Fuck Cancer

save second base

How sad it is that many of us have lost loved ones to something we have no control over, cancer. And though we have to accept our circumstances and cope the best way we can, there’s still something we can do: support the cause by donating money to cancer research and raising awareness about cancer prevention, to help save those who are currently battling. So often our conversations fail to discuss such a huge issue, since it makes many uncomfortable, but there are many ways we can make a difference.

I arrived back to Toronto today from Jamaica, and can’t help but thinking about a guy I met there. This twentysomething was there with a buddy of his. When I asked about their week long getaway at the Iberostar in Jamaica where I was also staying, he told me that he flew him and his friend out for a week, since his buddy is having a difficult time dealing with the recent loss of his mom. I was so touched and warmed by the generousity – and further more, consideration – of this guy. I was blown away with how supportive he was of his friends loss.

When we have friends or family members who are coping with loss, we ourselves are at a loss of words of what to say, what to do, how to act. This results in many of us avoiding the topic all together, further isolating the one who is going through loss.

So how can we make a difference? By showing our support. For those of you in Toronto this weekend, I highly suggest coming out to the annual FUCK Cancer event, at Cinema. The proceeds of the $40 ticket will go towards research and surgical innovation at UHN. You can purchase tickets here and get in the conversation on Twitter here.

- Jenny Jen

#savesecondbase #fuckcancer

Something in the air

2440_132826165351_5956282_n

On most days, I frequent a Starbucks in my locale. I used to drive all the way downtown, to my fave cafe in all of Toronto, Ezra’s Pound, whose environment I’m still certain brought out my utmost creativity. But as I caught myself driving back and forth in traffic, looking for downtown parking, ensuring I only stayed at said cafe long enough to avoid an inevitable parking ticket for inhibiting a spot on the road for over two-plus hours, I made a grand (and much needed) realization. That the environment in which I surround myself in, shouldn’t matter as much as feeling confident and comfortable in the environment of my own mind. I realized that it was about high time (a handful of parking tickets to be paid later) that I become more adaptable; more realistic. More brave.

I decided to go to just your everyday, basic, Starbucks, the one closest to my abode up in the suburbs. At first I missed the quirky indie music, and the edgy looking baristas. But then, something magical happened; I created a home. I inevitably developed relationships with regulars and baristas alike. I begun both looking forward to – and loathing – our transactions (the latter due to being deadline ridden and not being able to be abrupt and end conversation.) It is through consistency that I was able to develop strong bonds and a comfort next to none. These are the people in my neighbourhood. Mothers, children, elders, police, and the people who work at the grocery store in the same plaza. I have a Starbucks dad – a man who is currently in the hospital and who I miss dearly, everyday when the clock hits 3:30pm and he fails to enter this specific Starbucks.

It’s really rather wondrous the bonds we create if only we allow ourselves to do just that. Ezra’s Pound, a cafe only open until 4:30pm, was a place for us ‘artistic’ types to go and work on our scripts/music/articles alike. This didn’t call for much conversation as – if you know anything about artists – we are all narcissists at heart. So to enter into a completely different world, whether it be commercial or what not, was to open myself up to change.

I now look forward to certain scenes that tend to play on repeat here. The elderly-80something couple who spend time at a table with books, newspaper, banter and hand holding, despite their inability to barely be able to walk to the counter. I admire the women who come here in their workout gear, making time to engage with their friends despite an obviously busy life.

An interesting thing happens when you take in your surroundings. You learn. You grow. You blossom. And know too, that you just being present has an equal effect on others as well.

- Jenny Jen

Photo credit:

My bags are packed, I’m ready to play

couple

For most couples, a weekend getaway seems sufficient enough to break free from the day to day hustle and bustle, to get some alone time and to build some much needed intimacy that can get lost in our daily routine.  For a relationship columnist however, I’m always looking to one-up my time and want to curate romantic experiences, outside the box.  Which is why, when I was approached by Durex Savvy Lover to represent Canada at their Durex Lovers Academy, in Venice, Italy, my response was ‘tell me when to pack.’

And so, here I sit, lululemon clad, glass of prosecco by my side, in front of an iPad at Toronto Pearson International Airport, with butterflies dancing in my yoga-toned tummy.  I’m awaiting my flight to the romantic city of Venice, which boards within the hour.  I am going with a lucky male companion to take part in the Durex Experiment, which essentially will offer us a series of sexual scenarios, developed by Durex in conjunction with leading industry experts, designed to stimulate a person and their partner in a whole new way.  As opposed to focusing on sex, the experiment will focus on the mentality behind it.  How great sex starts in your head, with emotional chemistry, not just the physical.

From a sunset tour of Venice, to waterside dinner under the stars, and a meal at Venice’s most romantic resto, love is sure to be in the air.  I’ll be staying at the five star Molino Stucky.

I’ll be writing at exclusive piece for ELLE Canada‘s FEB 2014 issue on the Durex Experiment, Lovers Academy and the results of the said experiment (there will be another 11 couples there from 11 different countries across the world,) as well as some of the sensual and unusual scenarios and situations I’ve learned.

I’ll be Tweeting and sharing my experience (and PG rated photos) with you all on the trip, so if you don’t already, follow me on Twitter @jen_kirsch.  Perhaps you’ll learn a little something something to share with your other half.  I certainly can’t be selfish and have all the fun now, can I?

Ciao.

- Jenny Jen

Photo credit: Source.