5 things I thought would be different when I left home

37942414

It has been almost 10 years since I left home and went out into the wild, scary, unknown world of adulthood living. I feel like I was truly and utterly underprepared for what was out there, and had I known, I’d have pulled a jew-dude (TM) and stayed at home until I was thirty.

But just like with black, there’s really no going back once you have fled the familial nest.

I just had so many misconceptions on what I thought living away from my parents would look like.

skeptical-baby

  1. “I can eat whatever I want!”
    Oh, oh…ohhh how I dream of the lovingly prepared home cooked meals of yesteryear. So angry and angsty was I, when a meal was NOT EXACTLY what I felt like eating, but instead an equal measure of vegetables, meat and grains. MEAT! Do you know how expensive that shit is?! What I would give, to have two middle aged people cooking for me three times a day…
  2. “I can stay up SO late”
    Want to know what I did Friday, Saturday and Sunday night this past weekend? Binge watched The Wire (because I’m about 15 years behind in my television programming at this point). I am a morning person, so around 10/10.30pm I start to fade fast. I used to think living away from my parents would be sooooooo wicked because I could just drink and party and watch movies all night long…Turns out my favourite thing these days is sleep. Yeah. I’m pretty cool actually.

    Screenshot_2016-06-13-09-50-18-1

  3. “I do what I want!”
    So long as it doesn’t cost money. Seriously. Sometimes over the last few years I have had all of the freedom and none of the money (funemployed/between contracts) and other times I have had some of the money and none of the time (J.O.B). When can I have all of the money and all of the freedom? (right…right…when I rob a bank Oceans Eleven style…got it…have you guys SEEN that movie? It just came out recently in 2001)
  4. “I can date whoever I choose!”
    Remember when your parents hated that guy you were dating in High School and you were like IHATEYOUWEAREINLOVEyoudon’tunderstandmeGETOUTOFMYROOM! Yeah well. Turns out they were right. Man when I was single, I would have given my left ovary (she’s the gimpy one I suspect) for my parents to be hovering over my shoulder as I swiped like: “No. No. No. Yes Paris. No he will have a weird thing for feet. No. No. What about that nice boy from the coffee shop?” It turns out I just wanna date guys that my parents will like and not weirdo’s with spider-man face tattoo’s. Go figure.
  5. “I’m going to get a creative job and YOU CAN’T STOP ME!”
    In grade 12 when picking degree time came, my mother said to me: “Do a degree with the name of a job in it” and I laughed in her face as I applied for my Bachelor of Arts. I guess, if you were to squint your eyes, choke yourself a bit until no oxygen went to your brain and then smoked some meth – you could really consider my whole life one elaborate “Art”. “So what do you do Paris?” oh me? I’m Art. Yeah I studied it at University. In reality, life has been interesting in the working world (#noregrets) but I definitely find myself veering more towards the corporate world as I see all my fellow creatives struggling and think fucccckthatshit. Oh you live in a basement apartment with your sibling, sister and co-business partners and you work in a deli 3 days a week but your new album just dropped on myspace? Cool dude, Imma go over here and work on my excel skills though….

So many people I know have babies now. Literally holding an infant a week ago and thinking: “this adorable squishy baby girl is going to slam a door in your face some day.”

I wish I could go back ten years and slap some sense into my 17 year old self. Eat my free meals, get my free laundry, and remind myself that unfortunately…your parents were right. Uh! Gross.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…or maims you horrifically for life

o66wj

I like that saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”(WDKYMYS). It sounds good, it’s inspirational. It makes you think “Heck, things were tough/awful/soul destroying – but I’m still here!!”

People have appropriated that saying into songs (looking at you Kelly Clarkson), put it on T-shirts, tattooed it on their bodies, put it over pictures of sunsets and posted it on each others walls when their friends have been dumped by jerk’s named Derrick (fuck you Derrick you meanie!)

e4e8540f47953d59a76b773dee5ca3da

I like the expression, but I don’t know if I always agree with it.

Because sometimes things kill you a little bit inside and they make you feel weaker, they throw off your game.

Was Leo’s character stronger at the end of the Revenant after he got fucked up by a bear, watched his son get murdered, was left for dead and then had to crawl through the snow and shit of 1800’s Canada to Murder my future ex-husband/baby-daddy Tom Hardy’s character? (Oh yeah, spoiler alert… but seriously if you haven’t seen that movie yet get your shit together – it was nominated for and lost best picture like 5 months ago).

I mean…I guess he was stronger – like how calluses get stronger on the tops of your feet. But he was also weaker because he had lost his humanity, and he was a murderer murderer and he was gross (like a callus – see how I tied all that together? Yay Creative Writing Masters degree)

I wonder if people use WDKYMYS as a way to excuse awful situations they don’t know how to extricate themselves from?

I’d consider myself a strong person who has faced some challenges. Would I exchange them for an easy life where some of the shitty things didn’t happen to me? Yes of course! I’m not insane. Faced with two choices: an easy road and a hard, bush-basher of a path, I think most of us would choose the easy option.

But life doesn’t work like that, and there are plenty of things that will try to throw you off the plans you’ve made, a death in the family, a financial set-back, a painful divorce, an unexpected illness.

So I propose a re-word. “What doesn’t kill you makes you different” – because not all things make you stronger, and thats okay too.

You are not a failure if you come out of a near-death-esque experience and think: “well that fucking sucked” and you’re not stronger.

End of Thought.

 

“Client”: The new buzzword for Late Gen Y’rs and Millenials

kurf3

Listen. I get it. In todays competitive employment market, with many of the jobs of our parents disappearing, it’s not enough to be just one thing. Diversification is the name of the game if you didn’t do a degree with the name of a job in it (heyyyyooooo – right here). Multiple skills, multiple ways to market yourself. Very few creative people I know are ONLY Graphic Designers or ONLY Musicians. They are also Servers, or photographers. People have side businesses and projects, multiple streams of income to survive in an increasingly expensive world.

kurgc

However, with the rise of entrepreneurs and people working for themselves, freelancing and working outside of the “norm”, I have noticed an increasingly hilarious trend in the language people use to describe themselves and what they do. And the most overused word is “Client”.

Me: So, how are you?
Guy I made up: Great great. Just had a really productive meeting with a client.
Me: Do you mean Brian? Your friend Brian? That guy with the man-bun and the vegan hair shampoo blog? I saw you guys through the window before I came in. Remember I met him three weeks ago at that weird art show where a girl peed in a bucket and called it the oppression of meninism? (just kidding you guys – I don’t look at art… or buckets…or weird chicks with weird explanations for stupid shit they do – they are around, I just close my eyes and don’t look like LALALALALA)
Guy I made up: Oh yeah Brian…well we’re collaborating on a project so…

Thats another word. Collaborate.

*shudder*

Don’t get me wrong. I use the word “Client” and I use the word “Collaborate” – they are great words and sometimes they are appropriate. Tomorrow I’m off to collaborate on a shoot for a pilot (read: work for free on a project I hope to one day use as a vehicle to convince people that I’m great and to pay me a fuck tonne of money). And I have had clients recently, or as I like to call them, random-non-full-time-companies-or-people-who-help-me-pay-my-rent-sometimes.

Let’s get serious… I’m not a small business… not a real one. I’m a loud-mouthed creative-type with the self confidence to sell myself as a product. That’s it. People say “oh hey can you do this one thing for money?” and I go, “yeah”.

You can dress it any way you want. You can throw words around that sound interesting, all the other twenty-something’s will be reaaaaal impressed and mentally catalogue that expression themselves for next time.

Buuuuuuhuuut, it seems to me that while having multiple “clients”, “collaborations” and “projects” on the go and talking about them on the reg may make you seem like you’re moving up in the world and creating your own success story to those around you, the downside of these buzzwords is that your parents think you’re actually doing alright, and finally cut you off financially for good (god forbid).

Toe the line my fellow creatives, remember we’re mostly all a month or two of unemployment away (heyooooo right here) from eating two meals a day and doing our laundry in the sink.

5 Things I am doing in the shower, that is not showering

At my apartment we have a shower bath Combo (which is pretty glorious and so fancy) so that when I feel lazy or sick (like ever since I got from France) I can lie down and just kindof splash around a bit and then BOOM, I’m clean. That’s how hygiene works, right you guys?

But lets be honest – there is something to be said for showers. Not only can you get in and out faster than a bath, showers are great places for activities. It’s a time all of your own where all of life’s irritations just slip away.

For a very long time I was convinced that I was ACTUALLY in the Truman show. I thought there were camera behind the mirrors (this has a large part to play in why I always used to hate being naked as an awkward teenager, even alone in the bathroom…

4geekstrumanburbank2

that and the film Candy Man which scarred me for life – I thought a man with Hook hands who could control bees would jump out of the mirror and kill me if I said “Candy Man” three times looking into a reflective service…I wouldn’t used a public restroom by myself for 2 years… my parents were furious)

312

Thank god there isn’t an audience tuned into me at all times (I’m an attention seeker, but I’m not that bad…). If you were to observe my habits in the shower… you would have me taken off to a nice quiet room somewhere. Somewhere nice with padded walls and a TV set to static.

Things I am doing in the shower, that is not showering

1. Winning imaginary arguments (that have likely ended long ago or never actually occurred)
This is by far the most cliche and popular of the not showering activities. I know I am not alone when I say that I come up with some of my best counter attacks in that damp, white walled solitude. Witty lines that are just the right amount of cutting as to leave my foe destroyed, barbarous parting remarks that I re-enact as I flip my soggy hair over my shoulder. If only there were a way to pause a fight mid-bitch, so that I might run home, jump in the shower, think of all the right things to say, dry off, return to the scene and deliver a long lasting comeuppance. Come on Science, hop to it.

2. Trying out awkward voices and faces
By no means am I a professional voice actor (This face was not made to be hid behind that of a cartoon, I mean c’mon) but I definitely fancy myself a bit of an amateur when it comes to silly voices. My favourite thing to do is speak-sing the words of a song in a really terrifyingly shrill voice. Like “A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me, hanging on the passenger side of his best friends ride, trying to holler at me” spoken like a much more high pitched yoda voice. Then imagine me trying to do a convincing velociraptor… all while naked. You’re aroused. I can tell. You’re thinking… HOW is this girl single. I know. I know.

3. Sucking in my Stomach really hard to see how it would be feel to be super skinny
If I sucked in my stomach really hard all the time, man I would be so sexy. I could totally do it right? Just like never breathe or laugh or talk? I’d be like 2 sizes smaller AT LEAST. Try it next time you’re in there and marvel at the body you could totally have if you just weren’t alive and stuff.

4. Trying to figure out how much less I would weigh if I just didn’t have boobs
Is there a way to weigh one specific body part? Like do they have a bra scale that you can just sling over your shoulder and be like: It’s all good guys, I actually only weigh 146 pounds, cos I’m carrying like 10 pounds a boob of breast weight! Or for those with big booties, couldn’t they just have the lip of a seat that you could hang your ass over? And then you could be like I’m not fat, I just have exactly 14lbs of junk in my trunk.

5. Doing Sweet dance moves (I could totally be Beyonce’s back up dancer)
Too bad professional dance studios don’t have shower settings, because the shower brings out the FIERCE in me. I like to shower with music (it makes me feel like I’m in a video clip okay?!) and I like to bust out my MOVES. Sometimes I like to combine my witty comebacks with dance moves like take THAT, biyatch. And then I bust a move in their face. Goddamn I’m hardcore. Hold me back bro.

Isn’t it nice to know that you aren’t alone in your weirdness?

You’re welcome.

Someone hated on me on Twitter…So I’m big time now. AKA Outta my way peasants

photo (8)

When I’m not receiving packages, making coffee’s or answering phones  9-5, I’m out in the world trying to make my parents proud (and draw as much attention to myself as physically possible).

Sometimes my attention seeking takes the form of some volunteer reporting.

Oh boy, I’ve covered some of the biggest stories in volunteer journalism history, Indoor Volleyball courts, School Marathons, knitting clubs, rotary auctions, Panda exhibits… If it’s local and it’s community, your friendly neighborhood Foreign Correspondent will be there.

Knitters night out

Knitters night out

photo (5)

Indoor Volleyball court

Santa

Santa

Usually the shoots are last minute and my preparation involves a five minute Google search and then a 20 minute mental scroll through my (limited) wardrobe, followed by a 20 minute argument with myself over what to to wear. There is not always a lot you can prepare for, for some of these events, often there is no more than a sentence online, outlining where and when and some variation of “come on dowwwwwwwn folks”.

As much as I tease, community events are really fun. People are eager to talk to you, and nobody has an ego (except for my VERY first ever interview on camera where an unexpected Z List “celebrity” chef was in attendance and tried to draw attention away from the kids at the fundraiser we were at – turns out he was AWFUL on camera and his PR pitbull was such a cow, she totally had me shaking with nerves and I fucked up tonnes of questions. As soon as he left we re-shot the whole thing again). People are usually just so happy that we came out and are shining a life (however small) on their achievements.

I don’t take myself very seriously during interviews (playing the dumb, blonde Australian works for me) but I treat the people I talk to with the respect they deserve. Okay maybe I’M not personally passionate about miniature trains or don’t know that much about the South Indian dance community, but there are people out there where that is a big part of their LIFE. And I think that’s pretty rad, frankly.

Interview about a new Zoo app - Toronto Zoo

Interview about a new Zoo app – Toronto Zoo

 

Ice Skating event Finalist

Ice Skating event Finalist

South Indian Fundraiser

South Indian Fundraiser

Live Rotary Auction

Live Rotary Auction

So it was with this attitude last Sunday, that I headed out to cover the East End Easter Parade. It is what it sounds like, a local parade with people from the community marching, with floats, and an appearance by the holidays finest representative, The Easter Bunny. I wasn’t really given much information outside of where to be and when. I hadn’t worked with this particular producer before, but I knew I would be out in the crowd grabbing sound bites from the audience when we took quick breaks from the coverage. I’m friendly and generally like things like parades! So off I went. No biggie.

When I arrived at the live-eye van, which had all sorts of wires coming out of it, I finally met a fellow reporter, Amy, for the first time. We are facebook friends and I’ve seen her perky self on the channel a bunch of times, but we had never actually met in person. She was going to give live blow-by-blows of the parade with a Canadian Olympic medalist….

Except he never showed.

Or actually he did. We spotted him waving to the crowd, perched in an open top car about an hour into our coverage. I began in the crowd but was quickly drafted to the booth to work with Amy narrating the parade. That’s a tough gig to do solo. And we had fun with it. We cracked jokes, I played the dumb blonde, we threw some cheesy stuff in there. Amy is smart, outgoing and way better at Twitter and social media engagement than I am (I can do social media when it doesn’t involve me – I used to be social media coordinator for an Australian reality show but I find it awkward to tweet about myself). Amy was tweeting some during the parade.

And then we both experienced something for the very first time… we got our first Twitter hater!

The tweet has been taken down or I’m just that bad at Twitter now that I can’t find it but the original nastiness read:

@Quick_A @ohparis Talk less and do your research next time. My ears are bleeding from listening to your useless banter. #knuckleheads

I think as far as twitter rage goes, we got off pretty lightly.

photo

Amy engaged with this “Mark E” person, but I was busy Sunday night making questionable decisions and getting up to other knucklehead like antics.

Upon further snooping of this bastion of philosophy and helpful “constructive criticism” twitter feed I found the following:

all I’ve learned by watching you is where to sell my jewelry, how to contact a lawyer and that the weather sucks. Thanks
@Thirteenmark13, April 8th (For those of you that don’t know – CP24 is another news source)

I suppose it is safe to say that it is not just my fellow wanna-be reporter and I who have offended the truly discerning sensibilities of this internet troll.

Well to each their own. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

And mine is this: I strive to do my best in any and all undertakings. Rather than sitting on my couch tweeting at young reporters-in-training, I was actually at a lovely community parade, reporting on it. Quipping lame jokes, mingling with the community, and hopefully learning more and more about live TV.

1280457_10151779428285805_1600398695_n

Anyone can take a pot shot at someone else from behind the anonymity of the internet, it takes courage and guts to put yourself out there – ESPECIALLY on live Television, and not for a second am I not proud of what I have achieved in the last 18 months since that fateful first, terrible interview.

Yup, I say inane, bantery-type bullshit, and yup, I come across as ditzy, maybe even a knucklehead on camera. People LOVE being interviewed by me and I LOVE learning about them and their interests and what makes them tick. People are fascinating.

Even the trolls I guess.

And you know what this means now right?! I’m famous enough to have my first hater! Obscurity here I don’t. I need to get all new friends and all new clothes.

Catch you at the Pulitzer’s ThirteenMark13… oh no wait… I won’t.

Peace, love and Knuckleheadery

Peace, love and Knuckleheadery

 

Administration Appreciation Association

Neo-answers-a-banana-phone-in-the-Matrix

Apparently it is Administration Appreciation week, so grab your Assistant, grab your Receptionist and give them a big ol’ smooch on the facial area (don’t do that – HR will have to have a serious talk with you about boundaries, and there’s too much shit to catch up on facebook!) and tell them “hey there sweet cheeks, (don’t call them sweet cheeks) thanks for being awesome!”

Today I was invited to a luncheon held by the Temp agency that supported my (meager) lifestyle for a year and a bit (I refuse to say year and a half, it was a year and a bit OKAY!?). The luncheon was held to say thanks to all us Tempies (my word, not theirs) for everything that we do. There was a selection of free sandwich’s, cubed Canadian style cheese (which is very orange for some reason) desserts (goodbye diet) and little gift bags which contained a notepad, sticky notes and a free pen. To enter this hallowed luncheon, I first had to scribble my name on a name tag (can we take a second to talk about how awful name tags are for girls with big boobs…like where are they supposed to stick?! And WHY do they always curl at the edges and threaten to fall off?! Who invented this godawful contraption, I’d like a word), scrumple it up because my handwriting is worse than a left-handed blind guy, and re-write it smaller and not as disgustingly.

I entered the inner sanctum and mingled with other people who are on the Temp trail. I recognized a few faces here and there (people I’d worked with at various places) and was struck by the ratio of women to men. I think there were 2 dudes out of a possible 40 people in the room, who didn’t work for the organization itself.

There were two distinct age groups, the under 28’s and the over 45’s. And I heard a lot of accents, a couple Aussies like me, plenty of people who broke out into Spanish after a few exchanged sentences, and a hybrid of United Kingdom-style accents.

So who is drawn to Temping?

People like me, who struggled to find jobs and people returning to the work force after a break maybe?

There are pro’s and con’s to the Temp gig.

Con:
Unreliable hours = unreliable take home pay. – Some weeks you work every day from 8-6 with an unpaid lunch hour in between. Some weeks you’ll work a half day from 9-12 and that is it for the week. It is a hard way to live, makes it hard to budget, makes it hard to plan.

Pro:
A sneak-peak into multiple companies without the full-time contractual commitment. Would you want to work in an office like this, that, the other. Would you be interested in a certain industry you’d never thought of before? What kind of vibe would be perfect for you? And on top of that – flexibility to up and take off on vacation whenever you want! None of this 2 weeks a year B.S… you don’t have much money to do that (see above) but still…flexible! Yay-yeah.

Does Google have a TV department!?

Does Google have a TV department!?

Con:
Always being “The Temp” and five steps behind. “Where are there batteries for my mouse which just died?” “Where does XYZ sit?” “How do I fix the coffee machine?” – If you’re Temping it’s not because you’re a fucking idiot (I mean… maybe you are) you are smart enough to operate a computer and answer a phone (presumably) but you constantly feel like a moron because you can’t answer simple questions.

on the flip side:

Pro:
You are not held accountable for shit that gets fucked up because you have only been there for a hot minute, how would you know things?! Pass the buck!

Con:
Not feeling like you truly fit in with a company (what if you’ve been there a week or two and then it is someone’s birthday… do you sign the card?!)

Pro:
The potential to make new friends and contacts (one of my dearest Toronto friends is a girl who’s position I covered more than a year ago… how would we have met if I hadn’t been her Temp replacement?!) – I personally got the job I have today because I worked in this office a year ago and then got another Temp contract in January. So much of it is being in the right place at the right time.

If there’s one thing I have learned – and it is compounded by this week of appreciation, it’s that Administrators need our love and admiration. They do the shitty jobs that you don’t want to… so bring them cakes and such. You know where I sit!

5 ways to downgrade last nights regrets, AKA What do you and Jesus have in common?… You both got hammered.

ZE35jlD

It’s Easter weekend, a time to explore how many chocolate eggs you can cram into your face-hole without catching the diabetes, while also pondering how bunnies and some jewish guy play into things (I want to say…re-incarnation? As bunnies? Is it that?! Am I right?! WHAT DID I WIN?!!!!!!!!!!!?)

A three day weekend means extra opportunities to hideously embarrass myself while under the influence of alcohol, and much like that guy who talked shit about Jesus behind his back (because… you know… he thought he was dead and all…awkward) I plan to wake up on Monday with plenty of regrets.

Some people can walk away from ridiculous weekend shenanigans without a backwards glance and I salute those super villians. But for me, what with the overly-active inner dialogue that is running at all times, I like to stew on that shit… build it all up in my mind until I convince myself I can never be seen in public again.

I have a very specific way to handle these situations and you’ll know if I feel I have wronged you/allowed you to see how uncool I am in a weakened alcohol-induced state if I behave in the following ways:

1. Bake you Apology brownies
I’m sorry I brought those really rowdy Irish guys back here for a post drink at 3am & then threw up in the refrigerator (kidding… only half of those things happened). The good news is I woke up feeling terrible (in every extreme sense of that word) and immediately went and bought brownie ingredients so I could bake myself back into your good books. If you don’t love me now, I’ll make it so you get really fat, and then no one else will love you, so you’ll have to be my friend. I’ll be your only option. *HAHA! – evil cackle.

photo-27

2. Block delete you from my phone
I say pretty much whatever I think without a filter on a good day, so when you add natures truth serum to the mix, I’m basically a walking talking ball of blunt emotion and loudly assertive opinions. I’m pretty great at hiding my true feelings and remaining mysterious at all times (in opposite world – good one Paris *highfives self*) – so when I wake up after a particularly gruesome evening of truth-spewing, sometimes my go to move is to just block delete you from my life for a while. I’ll know you’re a candidate when I open up my inbox and I’ve successfully cleared our entire conversation history, therefore protecting my brain from the specifics, whilst also allowing it to imagine the worst. So if you find that your texts aren’t going through – it’s because I’m avoiding you. Forever. Or until you do something retarded in my presence. Then we’re square.

MjAxMy01OTdjYmVlYWRhOGY0Yzlh

3. Verbal Diarrhoea the horrific experience to everyone we both know
Have you ever heard the expression “a problem shared is a problem halved?” Well I like to think of it more like “a problem shared means that the more people you tell the less it stings because you get de-sensitized to people’s reactions by how awful it is, whatever it is you have done.” Also if we can both laugh at me, then nobody is sobbing. It’s a lllllllll good. Why am I telling you this story that makes me seem like a drunken physco? What do you mean it’s weird because we haven’t spoken in two years. Fine. I’ll just go.”

4. Deny everything…vehemently
I confessed my undying love for you and then made out with someone else while maintaining eye contact?!? That never happened! I have no idea what you are talking about. I wasn’t even that drunk last night, now help me get my handbag out of this tree. Good day sir! (Years later under the same influence I may HINT at the knowledge of such events, but some things get locked up in the vault and even photographic evidence won’t make me admit to any participation.)

5. Go AWOL
Sometimes when things are reallllllllllly cringey, I’ll make a vow to never drink again and I’ll slip quietly off the radar (for about 5 seconds or until the next big social event I couldn’t possibly miss). You’ll know this is what I’m doing when you realize no one has aggressively tried to make out with you while also screaming Destiny’s child “SAY MY NAME” in your ear, or because you’ll stalk a picture of me on Facebook and see I’ve lost a few pounds from around my face (damn you beer bloat) and I’m posting more photos of food (yep I turn into that girl) and not blurred photos of me tonguing some kind of bottle and glazed over eyes. This is the worst possible option for me personally because much like a reoccurring pimple on your face, I’ll go away for awhile and then I’ll re-appear, worse than ever.

 

Much like Jesus, you can learn from me.

You’re welcome.