Blue pants and other problems

Have you ever had those days or weeks when EVERYTHING is going right? Your hair looks like you stepped out of a Pantene commercial, your bus pulls in right when you get to the stop, you get all the crunchiest fall leaves to step on and your spinach cooks to perfection (if your definition of perfection is edible) …. Well, this was not one of those weeks.

This Monday I woke up with bed hair that made Medusa look like a Disney princess, the only clean clothes I could find were a pair of electric blue pants and my bus decided not to show up entirely. It was the kind of day where I looked like a walking Lady Gaga-inspired Starbucks commercial with a Venti and a crazy eye. 

On the day`s agenda was surviving work and reapplying for health care benefits. Health care as it turns out is something I provide and yet not entitled to receive due to immigration reasons I wish not to discuss with the general populace at this time. And so in order to obtain these coveted health care benefits, I left work early. I had all my documents in order. I had an umbrella  for the rain. I had an iPod to play rain music (Coldplay). Folks, if its one lesson I can teach you in this lifetime its this: No day can be good when there’s rain and electric blue pants involved.

For starters, my umbrella broke gave up. It said “Screw you, you frightening-looking hellcat!”. In those words exactly. It took me an hour to get to the Service Ontario office. I took a number and was told my wait time would be 50 minutes. I must have looked like I just come from an audition for ‘The Village People: The Musical’ because I spent 50 minutes having new immigrants (mostly South Asian of some sort) staring at my blue pants and their South Asian immigrant children staring at my rain-beaten Gaga hair. I gave them all the crazy eye.

Finally my turn comes and the conversation with the old Indian man government worker goes something like this:

(Sarcasm, which is in italics, was clearly spoken although not made audible.)

Old Indian man: “What are you here for?”

Karen: “OHIP. Here’s my application stuff.”

I proudly slide all my up to date documents to him. Old man carefully peruses through the sheaf of papers.

Old Indian man: “All seems in order.”

Karen: ‘Of course its in order! Do I look like a disorganised person!?’, I think to myself while glaring at him with my crazy eye. *smiles*

Old Indian man: “Alright, do you have proof of address?”

Karen: “Proof of whaaa?…”

Old Indian man: “Proof of address. Do you have something with your name and  address on it? Like a driver’s license?”

Karen: “I don’t have one. Why do you need it anyway? I have all the documents for the application here. They never asked me for this the last time I applied.”

I rummage through my purse. And by the mercy of the Good Lord Almighty I find my cheque book. I happily hand the cheque book to the old man. It very clearly showed my name and address.

Old Man: “Sorry lady, I can’t accept that. That’s not valid. Do you have a T4 tax form?”

Karen: (Author’s Note: For those of you familiar with my immigration situation, let not the irony of this question be lost on you) A T4 tax form?! Why, of course I have a T4 tax form! Hold on while I call the ‘Game Over, You’re Screwed’ department of the Universe because the last time someone asked me for a T4 tax form, that’s who had it. “I don’t have a T4.”

Old man: “What about your Notice of Tax Assessment?”

The man asked me this as if it’s the most common practice for people to carry around their tax returns in their wallet. I humored him by rummaging through my purse just to waste time.

Karen: “I don’t think I have it on me right now.” ‘I must have forgotten to put it in along with my nunchucks and mints this morning.’

Old man: *slides my papers to me*. Sorry, no address, no health care.

Karen: ‘You bastard! I hope your shirt gets caught up in your coat zipper and a pigeon comes out of nowhere and shits in your coffee.’ “But I took time off from work to get here. I have everything! Please don’t send me back. Please.”

Old Man: “Sorry. We are open here till 7pm. We are here to help you”

Karen: ‘I hope someone helps you to a generous face slapping and then steals all your paper clips.’ “Thanks, you’ve been a big help.”

Old man:Anytime.’  “Anytime.”

What a moron. 

I walked out into the rain. The upside to this was that I didn’t have to get my picture taken for this God forsaken health card. Because crazy eye pictures are only for mug shots, private drunken Facebook photos and Driver’s licences. It will be alright, I told myself. I’ll go to Shoppers, buy a new umbrella and then go home, have some tea and chocolate. That’s my solution to such problems. Trans fat and a nap.

I make my way to Shoppers. The sales associate looks at me.

Karen: “Do you have umbrellas?”

Sales Associate: “We did. We’re out of them at the moment”


What? I HOPE YOU ALL DIE!!  Don’t look at me disapprovingly for saying that. Last time I checked, we’re all going to die anyway.

Moral of the Story: Never wear blue pants on a rainy day. Also, don’t drink 20 ounces of coffee.

Do I look fat in that shirt?

Summer is officially in! As are my earth-shattering inspirations to blog. Better recognised as the end of my shameless laziness.

Today was so hot that even a desert girl like me will admit that air conditioning wouldn’t have been the worst idea. With all the fabulous things that come with summer (read: fun, flip flops, freezies and fudge icecream), I been scouring the stores for some sassy summer shirts and skirts.Vintage is my new favorite flavour of the season. Tout Toronto will soon be tooting with posts about my escapades to find the perfect vintage finds. Soon as I manage to get off my lazy ass and tout away that is.
Anyway, the very reliable Torontonian weather forecasters have prediced a hot summer this year and with that segway, I will get on with the actual point of this post. Some old trends with a new twist for a hot summer. All of these reflect my own personal style and opinion. I am not a fashion guru. Please do not send me angry emails and crazed wall pasts on facebook telling me of how you wore your grandma’s 70’s flower-power-polka-dotted, obnoxiously large shoulder-padded blouse with a bedsheet-like hippie skirt you rescued from Kensington Market to a hot date who ran away from you with fear and trembling (and lets face it, a little awe) at the sight of you. If you do however, send me a photo and I will post it on my what-not-to-wear segment. Just kidding. I’m sure you looked lovely. That been said, here are a few trends that having been catching my fancy lately.

Shoulder pads: I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to wear your mother’s 80’s power shirts while trying to flirt with that hottie in the ice-cream aisle. Understandable and even sensible. I do however, truly believe there is a way of dressing up shoulder padded garbs without becoming your mother. For example, a shoulder padded blazer. Granted, blazers are not the best idea for 28 degree C weather. Neither are they the best idea for bigger girls who have no need of a cure for droopy shoulders. But they’re hot. As in trendy. And not as in emitting heat rays.
For example:
As cool as this looks, please do not wear this unless you are a runway model, have an overflowing cup of confidence and cool, a meatless petite Korean girl, or Rhianna

If you are one of the above four, I’m already jealous that you can rock that without looking like an idiot.

Scarves: Scarves are not new fashion discoveries. They are ageless. However, I newly discovered the genius of scarves when I bought one for a dollar at some random scarf stand on the street. Scarves are an inexpensive way (I say inexpensive only if you do not buy your scarves at Prada) to brighten up one of those bland colour shirts you bought at Bluenotes on sale for $5.00. Vintage stores have tons of these, and if you’re willing to shop around, you will find some beautiful scarves for even less. Once again, scarves in the sweltering heat, not the greatest idea. But they are oh so pretty…and perfect for those summer days at work.

Patterns and polka dots: I love patterned blouses. Although, I’ve been told patterns are not for everybody and their grandmother. Or maybe they’re just for their grandmother. But to me, nothing welcomes in the season of sunshine like a summery cotton print. As for polka dots, they’ve always been in style whether you would like to admit it or not. Use discretion with this one though. If prints scare you, try testing out pieces that are not overwhelmingly patterny. However, if prints, patterns or polka dots are really not your glass of iced tea, move on to the purses.

Vintage purses: I have nothing more to say. Its a purse. You should invest in them whether vintage or otherwise.

Vintage shopping is a bit of a pain in the butt. (Literally, all that walking takes its toll) It’s a lot of searching and bargaining. Not to mention, you’re not always lucky to find stuff in your size, appropriateness of shoulder pad size and design. But those are the best parts too. Hours of walking looking for that perfect scarf to go with a perfect shoulder padded blazer to be rewarded with a bargain deal of a fabulous purse instead. Or bear with me here…actually having your mind opened up to possibilties of wearing something or at least trying out something you wouldn’t normally wear. That’s the amazing thing about bargain shopping. Its the thrill of finding cute little shirts and trying to create outfits in your head that makes vintage shopping the flavor of the summer. So go ahead. Shop. Create. And have fun putting together cool outfits this summer.

Also, I would like to add: Combining all of your outfits created by your artistic genius with a cute pair of flats and a tall green tea ice tea from Starbucks is optional. (although very much recommended.)

Happy Shopping! And stay tuned to Tout Toronto for some cool vintage stores I discovered!