Bons mots

Slips of my tongue

Reinvention is the mother of necessity

It’s time to move on and grow up.

I am no longer a mature PR student – I am a mature PR practitioner. Yes, I write, plan and practice what I’ve learned in my Communications and PR course. Thus, I have created a brand new blog – Bons Mots. Yes, it’s the same name, but the domain is new – and all mine.

Follow me at Fancy, eh? I have transferred all my archived posts there.

Stay tuned for more shenanigans.



October 31, 2009 Posted by | About me, There is hope... | , | Leave a comment

Love the One You’re With

A friend recently sent me an article called “Why I’m Alone”. It is a response by Huffington Post columnist Lea Lane to the question she is often asked in the years following the death of her husband: Why is she still alone? Why doesn’t she date much?

While I’ve never loved and lost like Ms. Lane, I can certainly relate to the question, “Why are you alone?” In my case, it’s rephrased as “Why are you single?”

“I guess I’m just lucky,” I smirk.

Like most smartass responses, mine comes across as defensive, and I make no apologies for it. I am a strong and confident woman who owns her own condo, is making inroads into a new career and has a stellar credit history.  Yet all that I achieve and accomplish tends to be overshadowed by my marital status.

“Why are you single?”

I could say that I choose to be single but that would be a lie. Take our biological disposition to mate and procreate, add centuries of social conditioning and stir in the fear of growing old alone. Is it any wonder that women get panic attacks when they’re not married by the time they’re 30?

I don’t choose to be single – I’ve just made my peace with it. If it really bothered me, I’d be more diligent in my pursuit of the opposite sex (my recent attempt at speed-dating notwithstanding, which is a separate blog post altogether). As it stands, I’m not in a particular hurry to get hitched. Marriage is not a goal of mine. I just want to find someone who I connect with, can tolerate my need for alone time and recognizes the genius of Tex Avery, Jon Stewart and Neil Gaiman. And I want to take my time finding him.

“Why are you single?”

My friend Catherine put it succinctly: “I sincerely believe that if I’m meant to meet someone, I will. I’m not going to moan about it if I don’t.” Amen, sister.

Until I meet my Mr. Right-For-Me, I’m enjoying my life. Here are my reasons why I’m okay with being single (with gratitude to Ms. Lane).

·         I’m never lonely – I have a wealth of friends who I can see more often than I could if I was in a relationship.

·         Dating provides so much interesting material for anecdotes and blog posts.

·         On weekends, I can wake up late or stay in bed all day.

·         I don’t have to answer to someone else.

·         I can take off for the weekend on the spur of the moment.

·         I have more time to spend with my family.

·         I can watch any movie I want to, even if it’s a weepy chick flick.

·         I look way younger than my years and I chalk that up to carefree living.

·         I don’t have to cook.

·         I don’t have to be disappointed and hurt when a man no longer likes me.

·         I have the bathroom all to myself.

·         I flirt to my heart’s content.

·         I love experiencing the thrill of meeting someone new and imagining what they’re like in bed. I love knowing that I can find out firsthand.

·         I don’t have to date a man I’m not crazy about because I’m “not getting any younger.”

·         No pregnancy/STD scares.

·         I don’t have to shave every day.

·         No one is hogging the bed sheets but me.

·         I can drink milk/juice straight from the carton.

·         NO IN-LAWS.

·         I have total control over the television remote.

What are your reasons?

August 19, 2009 Posted by | About me, There is hope... | , | 3 Comments

I’m so red-faced…

…because I am embarrassed. I have the worst case of sunburn in recent memory.

When I was young, before there was talk of depleting ozone layers and melanoma, my 14-year-old self would slather on baby oil and bake in the sun. When I was 30 years old, I would visit a tanning salon to acquire a ‘base tan’ before spending days baking under the Mediterranean sun. Born with a more olive-toned hue to my skin, what would normally reduce most fair-skinned people and redheads into ashes gave me a few days of mild discomfort. All for that glowing, sun-kissed, California Girl look.

But old, harmful habits die hard. While I don’t “suntan” anymore, I still do silly things, like slathering on tanning oil with a low SPF of 4. Or sitting in extraordinarily hot sunshine for hours with no coverage. I tell myself that since I’m not at the beach in a bikini lying in the sun for hours, it doesn’t count. <facepalm>

So, I suffer for my stupidity, if not for beauty.

If you see a woman on the street whose knees and chest are vibrant red, feel free to laugh. Hopefully, I can be shamed into smartness.

Clarification: I DO wear a bra.

June 22, 2009 Posted by | About me, FAIL | Leave a comment

2008: Hear, hear!

I’ve always been more of a movie buff so this should be a list of the best movies I’ve seen in 2008. However, with the exorbitant prices of theatre tickets and my misanthropic dislike of the common theatre-going public, I either wait for my movies to come on The Movie Network or I see them at the reperatory cinemas. That means my list of 2008 would trend heavily with movies that were released in 2007. So, I decided to offer you my list of favourite albums and singles of the year that took my breath away, made me dance like there’s no tomorrow and renewed my faith in an industry that gives the world Lady GaGa and calls Britney Spears a “comback.”

Here are my top eight music faves for 2008, in no particular order. (That would take way too much time and effort for my holiday-atrophied brain.) When compiling this list, I also noticed they provide great background music to either dance or make sweet, sweet love to – or both. Enjoy.

  • Al Green, Lay It Down. He sure did.
  • James Hunter, The Hard Way. A little story: I was in a Starbucks and heard a song I immediately fell in love with. I thought it was from a compilation of rare 60s R&B I wasn’t aware of. It turned out to be a song by a blues musician from Ireland. That song was “The Hard Way”, the title track.
  • Hercules and Love Affair, self-titled. Vocal contributions from Antony Hegarty. Listen to “Blind” and I challenge you not to dance.
  • Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It. Saadiq does it old, old school.
  • Duffy, Rockferry. Girl’s definitely has a voice. She just has to work on her stage presence and she can be a dynamo.
  • Goldfrapp, Seventh Tree. Very chill.
  • Johnny Pate, Outrageous (reissue). Heard this whilst perusing the wares at Soundscapes and bought it on the spot. I wish this was the soundtrack of my life.
  • Otis Redding, Live! In London and Paris and Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul – Collectors Edition (reissue). ‘Natch.

Honourable Mention:

MGMT, Oracular Spectacular.
Lykke Li, Youth Novels.
Q-Tip, Renaissance.
Santogold, self-titled.
ADELE, 19.


What shook your tail this year?


December 31, 2008 Posted by | About me | , | Leave a comment

The Notorious Bettie Page, R.I.P.


Bettie Page, fifties pinup queen and sexual pioneer, passed away yesterday at the age of 85. She wasn’t as hugely popular as Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield or other sex symbols of her generation, but still managed to develop a huge cult-like following, despite giving up the business in 1959 to devote herself to God. 

I’ve been a fan of Bettie since my early 20s. My admiration and devotion to her wasn’t as manic as what I felt for Marilyn in my teens. Perhaps it was because I was older and could better appreciate what Bettie stood for. Unlike Marilyn, Bettie represented a strong, potent female sexuality – unbridled, unabashed and fun. Looking at her cheesy pinup photos or bondage shots, it was clear she enjoyed her work and took great pride in it.

“I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It’s just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous.” – Bettie Page, Playboy interview, 1998

If Marilyn was the fragile, bruised child, Bettie was the aggressive, confident woman. Marilyn was the woman men wanted to take care of and protect. Page was the one they were slightly afraid of; she knew how to wield a riding crop.

I’ve always aspired to be a Bettie, rather than a Marilyn.

Celebrity deaths tend to attract a new group of followers, curious about this now-faded icon they are too young to remember. I hope a lot of these new admirers are young women who see in Bettie what they want to see in themselves – a confident woman, comfortable with her body. In this age where Barbie doll starlets with plastic breasts and body dysmorphia are held up as standards of attractiveness (hey Hollywood – since when is a size 2 “curvy”?), Bettie (and even Marilyn, for that matter) represents a time when an hourglass figure was something to be admired and drooled over.

Bettie, we’ll miss you. I think God’s view just got a whole lot better.




December 12, 2008 Posted by | About me | , | 1 Comment

Welcome to my blog.

bon mot [bon moh; Fr. bawn moh] a witty remark or comment; clever saying; witticism.

Why, hello there. Thanks for dropping by. This is my first foray into the exciting world of social media. Oooh, my extremities are already tingling. You must have many questions for me, such as “What do you have to say that is so important?” or “What do you have to say that isn’t being said by millions of other bloggers?” or “What are you wearing?” Good questions. My answer? Probably not much. (Har har.) But since I am advancing my career in the communications and p.r. industry it is on good advice from experts that I start a blog as a form of personal advertisement. Thus, I will blog.

A little about me: click on the About tab. It’s pretty much all there.

So, what can I add? Well, my mother certainly thinks I’m brilliant (smart woman, she is) and my friends tell me I’m funny (leaning heavily on the “ha ha” sort rather than the “weird” so that’s a good sign) so I’m hoping to bring a different perspective on life and its perversities. But I think my “angle” will focus on the fact that I am returning to school. What’s the big deal about that? Well, let me tell you why it’s a big deal:

  • I’m in my late thirties and just gave up a full-time job with four weeks vacation, an expense account and health benefits.
  • The last time I composed an essay it was done on a typewriter. An electric one, mind you, but there is no Spellcheck on typewriters. Actually, that is not true – I did compose an essay on a computer. In Word Perfect, DOS version.
  • I have a fear I may become Jerri Blank from Strangers with Candy, trying to fit into a world she long escaped from. Will my low-rise jeans be low enough? Should I buy the pink or baby blue Uggs? Is my crush on Zac Efron so, like, over (yes, I know he is half my age and probably gay, so shut up) or should I be pinning magazine clippings of the Gossip Girl cast to my locker?

I’m kidding, of course (well, mostly kidding). But you get my drift – I am in for a completely different experience than the one I have been living for the past 15 years in the workforce. It will be a fun and exciting time for me and I hope to regale you with tales from the (school) front. But mostly I would like to share my perspective on communications and public relations from someone who has been in the industry for the past nine years on the other (darker) side. Coming from CNW (the nation’s leader in- oops! Sorry, I sometimes forget I don’t work there anymore) I have been exposed to the needs of the communicator and the media. Will this give me a head start? Here’s hoping.

Which leads me to another reason to blog: social media is new media and acquiring membership in the web and blog community puts you far ahead of the rest. For those naysayers (and there are some in the industry, believe me) here’s a cool fact: There are now one million users on Facebook from Toronto alone (The Toronto Star, Jan. 2/08); we are the first North American city to achieve this goal.

I have several friends who post news and information on their profile – in other words, there Facebook profile is their blog. There are others who get their news and information from the web. (When is the last time you used a map instead of Google Maps, Mapquest or GPS? I thought so.) The 2008 presidential election will be run pretty much through YouTube and candidate blogs. (Of course, I prefer getting my news on U.S. politics with a side of cynicism (I miss you, The Daily Show) but I digress. Today’s journalists are not only writing for the print and electronic versions of their papers but are producing video content as well. Information is becoming more accessible than it was before. This means there are new ways to communicate outside of the standard news release and press conference and the web is the new place to look.

The web is also the new soapbox. Bloggers are people who have something to say and a powerful tool with which to shout it from the mountaintops. Case in point: Dell Hell (Jeff Jarvis vs. Dell: Blogger’s Complaint Becomes Viral Nightmare”, Online Media Daily, August 2005) and other p.r. horror stories. As a future communicator, I would be doing a disservice to myself and my future employers by not being aware of social media.

I can go on and on but my point is this: the web is not going away; it is getting stronger and more influential; and those who have embraced it will reap the rewards. Kind of like composing an essay on a laptop versus a typewriter.

Stay tuned for more…

Jerri Blank

January 2, 2008 Posted by | About me | , , , , , | 5 Comments


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