Tag : To23-35

3000 Member Bash — We Have To Do This Again!

Who knew? What a great bash it was. Indeed. On May 1st we had a chance for all three social groups to come and socialize under the same large dance floored, pool tabled, patio-ed studded roof! The evening just like most parties start small with most people being fashionably late, after all, no one wants to be the first one at a party, some individuals consider that a bit of a faux pas. Luckily as the Organizer, I had to be there to set the stage just right for the evening and to have a small talk with our Montana’s sponsored snacks. Soon, however everyone came in droves!

Thanks to another of our sponsors, JamesVII who kindly donated a few free T-shirts, valued at $127 each, we had a raffle which is something we don’t get to do as often as we would like for our members. Plus there were a few random free drinks to the winners of impromptu games played throughout the night. Seriously, I have this is the best way to make events, and I am already thinking to see how we can make larger and even more fun bashes. Later in the night, pool games and dancing ran wild, just the way we like them!

It is interesting to see so many people having fun, and it really has made all these last few years as an event planner seem worth while, leaving me with a desire to do more. Of course it is not all fun and games. There is a bit of planning that goes behind the scenes which are far from hosting a party. Great it would be if it was just all about that.

But a great thanks goes to Moe from Montana’s who was the liaison between us and Montana’s 2nd. He was quite friendly and flexible. Indeed I wish most locales where like that but that is just part of the game. So what is next for these groups which started as a hobby a few years ago? Well, that is an interesting question, as much fun as it has been, I sometimes wonder if I can keep this up. I already have entrusted one of the groups to an assistant who runs about half the responsibilities of Toronto’s Spanish Group and I am about to name a second one for the To23-35 Socials. Am I taking on more of a managing role? Ha, nah. But I would like to have more time for myself although I would like for the groups themselves to grow, even if I am not there anymore. 6000 Member bash? Sure, why not.

So going back to the bash, it was a great time had by all. With over 100 people this is one of the largest parties we have had — this month– and I certainly hope our next party is as fun and as pleasurable to host as this one.

TTC STRIKE: Walking Nirvana

So Last Friday came. I was out running one of my events at the Raq N’ Waq on Queen Street near Bathurst. Everything was going well, the weather was warm and cooperating, people were friendly, conversing and the drinks had flowing freely. I had even managed to get a few free from our nice brunette waitress for our group. Still don’t know why though. Then at 11:45pm, my friend Kristina text messages me “Hi. Don’t know if you know, the TTC is going on strike at midnight. You may want to let your members know.” Damn.

I passed on the bad news. As fate would have it almost everyone lived downtown. Phew. Well except for two of us. A member, Reggie lived in Scarborough, I lived near High Park. Both quite far for walking, specially after midnight. As such Reggie paid and made a quick dash, in the hopes of catching a lingering street car or a snaring a cab before the frenzy home began. As the organizer, I am always one of the last ones to leave any event so I stayed until everyone was ready, that was at around 1:15am.

Once outside, most managed to squeeze into taxis. I unfortunately was heading the other way. Thought of catching a taxi –each one I saw however was bursting with passengers– so much of that idea. So I decide to walk… at least part of the way. “It would be good for me,” I sold the idea to myself, ignoring the fact I could just as easily get mugged too.

After deciding on a safe route, backtracking Queen towards Bathurst, then north until Bloor and then west until Dundas West seemed like the better way. As you can imagine, Bathurst was surprisingly busy with cars and people cursing the TTC as they did the same thing I was doing: Getting home. Needless to say, the animosity was quite palatable. It tasted like burnt BBQ chicken.

You will be surprised what comes into your mind when you are walking by yourself for a few hours. Recently I have started looking for a job. ‘Did I say everything I could in those last three cover letters? Was I straight forward enough? When will they call?’ Then once that fades, you start thinking about more meaningful things. ‘Is that where I want my career to go? I don’t want to end up like those people who work for a company for eighteen years, look like zombies and are only going through the motions until quittin’ time!’ By the time a got to Bloor St. existential questions started creeping up and questioning a lot of life decisions. ‘Why am I not married yet? Are you sure?’

Existential questions after only two drinks? Impossible. I thought it silly. It wasn’t the alcohol, that’s for sure.

Then again, it could just be that I had the time and place to think. After all, It was beautiful night. Serene.

As I begun rushing west, I began feeling quite lonely as most people stayed near the beehive that’s the Annex in order to catch speeding cabs. I called another friend, Matty who was surprising awake and gave me much needed company for almost forty five minutes before succumbing to her illness: She had the flu and she just went off to bed. Nothing serious! She told me about her week, her trials and tribulations. I was very lucky to have her to chat. When the streets are almost deserted, having someone speaking to you through a phone gives the feeling of walking through an ocean with one long line tethered to the outside world. Funny. Whenever you feel alone is great to just listen to someone who really wants to share her mind with you. In the end, it felt like I had walked for only thirty five minutes. In reality it was almost an hour and half.

Made it home at about 3:00am. My feet hurt, badly, my heels in particular. Kids, don’t ever walk with dress shoes for two hours straight. Is that how women feel after a night with high heels? I felt sorry for female social standards and the obliged footwear. The silly things that come into your mind when you walk for a few hours. I made some choices regarding the jobs I would apply to in the future. I also had a quick reminder of just who my real friends are. The ones who will text message in the middle of the night, warning you about something just because they know out and about. Or who will keep you company at 2:00m, even though they are sick just because they do not want you to walk all alone. Including some realizations of the direction I want my life to go and the fact that I decided to kill myself a little by buying some McDonald’s near my place at that unholy hour.

But you know that, hurting feet aside, I think we should all do these more often. Take the long way. You never know the things you might think of when you make the time.
I am sure I will be one of the few to say this, but thanks TTC for your last minute strike.
Just don’t do it too often.

Adventures Of An Organizer (Part III)

Last Friday, February 29th a milestone was crossed: My group’s 100th event came to pass! As some of you know I run two social groups, one for people between 23 and 35, while the other focuses in people between 25 and 40. Yes, they do overlap, and they are both social and quite the pleasure to organize, and no, they are not dating groups. Both are quite interesting however, as the dynamic can be rather different at times. The “younger” group as I call it, the To23-35 Social Club tends to be more party and dancing oriented, while the “older” one has a more dinner & lounge vibe to it.

So which group was it that turn 100 events old? Why the TO23-35 Social Club! I had been thinking about this event and it importance of it for a while. Few groups in have reached this far and can proudly say our group is one of the largest (11th in Toronto out of hundreds) and one of the the best rated by its members. So at first, I thought of doing some Biblical, End-of-Days-carnival-of-the-senses affair but… in the end I opted to do something a little more low-key.

You see, I have never been the clubber type. Sure, I love to dance, but I dislike the whole line-up, cover, coat check, meat-market vibe and at times ridiculous prices for a bottle of beer. I am looking at you, sub-posh-wannabe Club V in Yorkille, charging a blasphemous $8 for a miserable 341ml bottle of Stella! Let’s see how long you last with such ridiculousness!

Although quite often we end up at a club as the girls in the group just love to dance, so we usually start off at a lounge only to end up at a club dancing the night away –or until they kick us out, whichever comes first. So, if we do end up going to a club the rare, odd time, I don’t mind it.

Anyway, back to the 100th event, I decide on The Rivoli, a quaint hot spot on Queen Street West. Known for its concerts in its back stage, its eclectic restaurant and pool hall on the second floor. Oh, and they have a small spartan lounge bar area which they try to sell as the ‘Sky Bar.’ Pressumably because aside a few chairs the place has nothing in it but air. Silly marketing.

The event itself was great! The vibe was great! The weather was downright miserable and as such only about 66 people showed up. However, as you know, it is the company that makes all the difference. And it did. So many new faces that it got hard to remember everyone’s name.

It was great to see so many people having socializing and having fun. Playing some serious pool and I am sure, some flirting. What can you do? Can’t stop it, right? In fact, quite a few people over the years have hooked up thanks to the group. That has to be worth a sizable chunk of good karma, I am sure of it. No reincarnating as an earthworm for me!

At the end of the night, when everyone was gone and there were only a few of us left. Yes, we practically closed the place –again– I have to say that it has all been quite worth it. Have met some interesting people and even got a few great friends out of the enterprise. You know, you aught to come out too, see what all the fuzz is about. You never know!

Adventures Of An Organizer!

In one of my adventures as an organizer of a social group I found myself at a trendy lounge in downtown Toronto next to someone who was wearing a shirt that read: ‘Remember my name, because you will be screaming it later.’
Never having heard before, I could not restrain myself from commenting: ‘Funny,’ I said with a hint of friendly sarcasm. Then asked if it ever worked, ‘It worked while I was in Vancouver’ he responded.

He was funny and he didn’t strike me as the shy type. Actually he seemed like the type who would benefit from a little shyness.

We quickly got into conversation. The usual things you would talk to a stranger at a bar. He had just moved to Toronto from aforementioned Vancouver –hated the weather, by the way—and had just gotten a job at a computer firm. My old job as a computer analyst gave us more few things in common but being a Friday, we non-verbally agreed not to speak about our jobs. ‘So what else do you do?’
Ah…here is where things got interesting.

‘A have a side business…’ he said hiding a smile. ‘I am just starting.’
I could tell he was hesitating. It was understandable; I was a complete stranger and had talked for less than five minutes. He reached in his jeans and pulled a business card and handed over to me. It was thinner than average, matte and with cheap looking ink. The main caption read ‘Enlightened Heart.’ Printed in calligraphy not much different than what you would find on a turn of the 1800’s cover of a Harlequin novel. His name was below this.

Wha? I said out loud, not fully understanding.
‘I teach shy people how to get women.’
‘Really?’ I said without disguising the doubt in my voice.
‘What are your credentials?’
‘My life.’

Then read the back of the card, ‘Personal life and relationship mentor,’ and an uplifting quote regarding being able to get what you want out of life. I asked if he was any good with the ladies. No answer, just a sheepish smile.

‘If so, why come out to my social group?’ I asked.
‘Field research.’
Damn. At least he was honest.

‘You know,’ I said, ‘I give a lot of free advise; doing it for over a decade now… Heck, you could say that I am giving away the business for free.’
‘The world is not short of misguided people.’ He commented.
God, did I know that to be right. He made me think: What if I have gotten five dollars for every time I helped someone hook up with their crush? Ten for every time I set someone up? And, what if I charged by the hour for the long nights spent over the phone telling a friend who had just been dumped that he\she would be fine until four o’clock in the morning? Holy mother lode! This guy was onto something.

From then on we jumped head first into many theories regarding dating and the mating dance. I have to admit, he had some good points regarding how to approach a woman: avoid pickup lines at all costs. The importance of attitude over looks, paying attention to details most men overlook and other general things. Even though we saw it from different sides of the fence, which is understandable as a point of view based on experience. It was still interesting to see the similarities and not so similar takes on the opposite sex. The verdict: ‘the dating scene’ is biased towards the shy and the timid. No secret there.

By the way, did I mention there were four ladies sitting between ‘Dale’ and me? Listening to everything we had said and I have to admit they did not seem very impressed with either of us. Not that we were being lewd, but I think she did not appreciate two men sucking the romanticism out of romanticism by making it sound like some sort of hard science. By the way, Dale, if you ever read this, I am giving you free advertising, so don’t come complaining.

A few hours later, Dale said he had another party to attend to but he was glad that the dropped by. I knew he was in fact networking for his business but told him he was welcome to drop by anytime. After all, that’s my job as the organizer of a social group.

’So is this what he really does?’ A woman in my group asked at the end of the night while studying his business card.
‘So it seems,” I said.
‘Strange, overall, he seemed kinda quiet.’

** Would you like to find out more about my social groups? Then wait no longer, click here!**