5 things I thought would be different when I left home

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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.

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  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.

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  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.

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Cool guys don’t look at explosions

This weekend in Ontario was a long one (thank you commonwealth) and because I am lazy and the weather is nice, I decided to have a movie marathon inside, rather than venture out into the sunshine.

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I’ve had a bit of a hunger for Action Movies since Saturday night’s visual expolgasm in the form of Mad Max Fury Road. Talk about edge of your seat action. That is the first movie I have seen since Avatar (which I saw 3 times in the cinema, fuck off haters – that shit was excellent) where I have walked out and thought, I need to see that on the big screen again…like right now.

But I’m poor and cheap tuesday is around the corner, so instead I turned to the library of movies available to me. I threw some popcorn on the stove (because I’m vintage like that) and settled down to the following movies (none of which I had seen before):

Die Hard with a Vengeance
Reservoir Dogs
Terminator 2

I like to pretend that there is only one guy out there who makes those movie bullet exploding packs (which google tells me are called Squibs – which is incidentally also the name of non-magical people born into wizarding families according to JK Rowlings Harry Potter….)

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And the guy who makes the squibs is like, “okay, how many bad guys you got getting shot?” and the Director goes… I dunno maybe… like 50? And so the Squibs guy is like “uhuh. And how many good guys you got getting shot?” And the Director scratches his head and then flicks through the script to see if there is a well-meaning black guy somewhere in there that gets shot in the line of duty and he goes: um… maybe like 3…4 tops?”

So the Squibs expert goes into his stock room and pulls out 3000 of the fake bullet suckers and goes “ok, these are for the bad guys” and then he pulls out 3 more and he goes “and these are for the good guys”.

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What I’m alluding to with my horrifically written dialogue above is that in all three of the movies I saw today and to some extent Mad Max on Saturday, the ratio of bad guy bullets and the amount of bullets our hero’s take, seem to be like 1000:1. I get that it’s an action movie, it is a bit of suspended disbelief, but honest to Betsy! I’ve never shot a gun in my life and I’m pretttttty sure I could have killed Bruce or Sarah Connors at some point with all the chances I had.

Another thing that really got to me today was how easily things exploded. Okay not Reservoir dogs which is a lot of talking in a warehouse, but Die Hard and Terminator Two?! I swear to god Bruce or Arnie so much as looked at a thing and it exploded. How much did they spend on pyrotechnics on those films? A bucket load I bet. Mad Max also had a lot of gratuitous fire and explosions, I suppose that is to be expected in a 2.5 hour long car chase through the desert. An utterly ridiculous and yet popular part of Mad Max was the guitarist propped by cables on the front of a vehicle in his red onesie, shredding a guitar that randomly spouted fire. There I was thinking: you’re telling me gasoline is extremely valuable in this apocalyptic world and that guy gets to shoot fire out of his guitar?! Okay… I guess… I mean… I’m no warlord so…

And the final thing that struck me, and it is something that the makers of Austin Powers joked about in The Spy who Loved me, why, oh whyohwhyohwhyohwhy must they always tell each other how they are going to kill each other. Why does John McClane tell the Germans when he’s coming up the tunnel behind them? Why would you do that knucklehead? Now they’re going to run, you dumb idiot?! Why does Vic Vega talk to the captured policeman. I didn’t know what was going to happen… But I knew somebody was going to stop him. Such ARROGANCE enjoying the moment, talking it out… just do it already!

I love action movies, don’t get me wrong. Maybe my brain was scrambled by watching too many in a row. They sort of started to feel formulaic, like you knew the explosions were going to happen, someone was going to end up looking bloody and beaten, and a character you liked a lot was going to fall into some dire situations.

But the part where I suddenly thought…okay well thats enough of that genre for a while, was The Terminator…being lowered into a pit of boiling… metal I guess? Giving the thumbs up as his final gesture…. Are you serious right now?

Bye bye – just kill me even though I admit I feel pain, and I got here from the future, but Nah, don’t send me back. It’s cool. Just melt me up. And the kids crying, and the mum looks distraught…. I just… hmmm.

Time for some Family Guy

When being a Receptionist sucks…

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2014 has been a pretty fantastic year thus far. I had the opportunity to go to Sundance Film Festival and Los Angeles, and when I got back to Toronto I had a number of awesome interviews for roles in the Film & TV industry (none of which eventuated into a job…but still! Interviews woo!). I then stumbled into a contract position at a TERRIFIC Film & TV company in a role I loved, and when that position was up, I told the company I would do literally any role they had going so as to stay in this multi-national Entertainment giant.

And Lo, a receptionist role was up for grabs – so I went for it.

While being a Receptionist is definitely not my dream job – if it pays the bills and I get to hang around cool people that may one day recognize my potential and hire me for other cool industry stuff all day, I say: why not? It’s better than sitting on the couch watching back to back episodes of Friday Night Lights (no it’s not, I wish I was doing that right meow!).

I’ve gotten to the point with this company though where I’m starting to really love every body here – and I wake up with a smile because I love going to work. The employees are fun and happy and everybody is in this business because they genuinely enjoy what they do (lets be honest… ain’t nobody in it for the money).

And yet…having said that… there are a few things I encounter on the daily which make me think:

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Here is a list.

1. Insane couriers…
Being a courier in this town is truly a calling/last resort. Why do I say that? Because haaaaaave you met Toronto?! This city gets down to the double negatives on the reg. Mother Nature is one bad bitch when it comes to this city by the lake. Most of the couriers bike our oh so important packages around. -15 + wind = you’re going to have a bad time. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when 75% of the couriers are batshit insane. From tragic life stories and clear social anxiety issues (I’m talking won’t look me in the eye/mumbling)  to: “look at this rash on my hand…what do you think?” (Hmmmm I think I need to douse this desk with hand sanitizer and/or light it on fire ewwww ew ew) I have met them all. I’ve had full blown disagreements with men old enough to be my grandfather because a box was actually 2.5lb and not 1lb as stated on the pickup slip. Listen dude, I’m just waiting til you leave so I can get back on Buzzfeed…

2. So my idea is…
Everybody has an idea for a Film or Television show – most people watch a lot of bad Film and TV and think that they could do better and while I’m not disputing that that is necessarily true – you can’t just wander off the street and sit down with someone to discuss your amazing idea. There is a process involved (that I’m still trying to work out myself!) and yet in come these uber confident wanna-be producers, with no meeting and nothing on paper – expecting…what exactly? If confidence and the balls to actually show up were all it took – you’d be in a corner office in no time. As it is…um I’ll take a message?

3. I want to be a star…!
The truth is that the company I work for does produce TV shows here in Toronto. Again, there is a process, there are casting directors, auditions, call backs, none of which occurs here. We’re the corporate office, not a sound stage or an agency. You can’t just drop off your showreel or headshot to me… I’m not sure what to do with it. Also, I’m answering the phones and sending the Fedex’s – does it seem like I have “pull”? Maybe… in how to re-arrange the contents of the fridge…otherwise sorry! Can’t help you.

4. How can I get in contact with…?
While I definitely recognize some of the faces that play in the loop of our shows (over and over and over and over and over…) I couldn’t name a quarter of the actors or tell you anything about them (except I’m getting sick of seeing butts and violence on repeat). This is not true of fans of the show – who assume (apparently) that we know them (intimately) and would willingly give up their personal information and details. Errr…. not so much.

#firstworldreceptionistproblems

No but seriously… go away so I can look at this Cat gif compliation

Six Feet Under-standing

Today I finished watching the fifth season of a little HBO show they like to call ‘Six Feet Under’. I began watching Season One earlier this year with intelligent and sort of cineophile-ish Canuck boyfriend. When he began explaining the premise of the show (that it is about a family who own, operator and live at the premises of a funeral parlour) I was intrigued but hesitant (the fact that he has not once been wrong in suggesting a film to me is besides the point.)

What began in the early part of this year ended today, and to his credit, Canuck boyfriend watched the entire thing again from start to finish with me, without missing an episode. We would discuss at length this emotional, fantastic show about love and loss and everything in between.

I haven’t watched many shows from start to finish without missing an episode, and especially with the same person in the room for every viewing experience. I think the last time something like this happened I was in Hong Kong for Christmas, and my Mum and I downloaded the first and second season of ‘Archer’ a wickedly funny animated adult-ish show about a spy agency. I was supposed to be heading out later that evening, but Mum and I downloaded them all, started drinking Bailey’s in the afternoon and couldn’t stop. I have never laughed so hard, nor snorted Milk so far across a room before.

But watching ‘Six Feet’ was different. Not only are the characters so real that you miss them and hope for their safety and well-being, but the way the show progresses is in a linear narrative structure, so each episode reveals something new about the characters and deepens their journey. And while I’m sure that each episode has its stand-alone qualities (each episode begins with a death and follows a similar structure, jumping from story lines that ensnare the different characters) after watching 5 series of this show in order…I can’t imagine just flicking on the TV and catching a re-run, or skipping to episodes I think I might like better.

After five series you believe in the struggles of the Fishers (the main family) and their community, and you have also watched them grow and develop, make up and break up, so you feel like you know their past and where they might be headed.

The whole cast and crew of this show can not be commended highly enough. They take you on a roller coaster of emotion, and although I am extremely late to the party on this one (the fifth season ended in 2005) I feel that the messages and struggles within the show are relatable to each of us today.

Whether it is David’s struggle with accepting his sexuality and wanting a family, Nate’s fear of commitment and responsibility, Ruth’s fight for independence and self-image after years of playing the role of wife and Mother, or Claire’s desire to be heard, to not be forgotten about and to be loved, we have all been there, we have all felt at times like a David, a Nate, a Ruth or a Claire. This show reminds us that life is not always pretty. It’s intense and interesting, but it ain’t always sunshine and lollipops.

In a TV and film landscape where producers and film studios are still trying to feed us glittery images of a Utopia that doesn’t exist (well…maybe it does…on the backlots of LA studios) this show is refreshing a sad and unflinching when it comes to dealing with pain.

‘Six Feet Under’ says:

Hey you know what? Sometimes life sucks. But you’ll get over it.

Everyone always said to me that the last episode would stay with me. After the tumultuous five seasons, I couldn’t imagine where the writers could take us after all the hurt we as an audience had endured. But they really took it to the next level and everyone was right. The last episode was amazing.

I would recommend that people commit to the 70 or so hours of viewing, just for the last ten minutes of episode twelve, season five.

I wish sometimes that life was documented like a TV show (I’d definitely want mine to be HBO). Things happen to us in increments sometimes, just little tiny pieces of the days and nights and they add up to make big things, to change lives for the better or for the worse, but always clumping together to form hours and days and months and years. And it’s hard to see them in big picture form. Sure, you’ll remember the big ones, the day she said yes, the day you signed your name on the deeds of the new place, births, deaths, awkward school reunions…

But what about the moments of interaction with a family member – where you learned something unique about them just for a split second, where you saw them in a different light for just a moment? In TV land the character could narrow their eyes and the music could come up, but in real life those moments go undocumented. They just happen and without realizing them, or having the remote control to go back, freeze and re-watch, we are unable to perhaps identify significance – or appreciate that nuance to the extreme.

The underlying message that I took away from this incredible show is that life is short and hard sometimes, but beautiful.

I’ll try to keep that in my heart on the days I wonder what the fuck I’m doing with my life

Because I haven’t had a “what the hell am I doing with my life?” moment in a while

Dear Universe,

Hi, how’s it going? Remember when I turned twenty and I decided to throw away my foolish teen angst and exchange it for the melancholy of being a 20 something? I decided to write a list of things I wanted to achieve in the next five years as a way to not die of stress/boredom/whatever fucking hormones they’ve injected into the chickens I eat which now make me grow black hairs in places a fair-haired woman should not and make me a crazy person 9 out of 10 times during the day…

Remember? Remember Universe?!!? We had a deal! I’d put all of my hopes and dreams for the next five years on a piece of paper, and you… you would keep up your end of the bargain and make them all magically happen. Instantly. Just as I planned.

Like:

Win an Academy Award

Publish a book

Learn Another language and live in a country where I can use it

Buy some property

Do something notable that helps others

Well guess what Universe? In 2 months, I’ll be 24 years old.

HOLY COW BATMAN! you say, and I say it too, but you can’t really understand me because I’m curled up into a little ball with a pillow scrunched into my mouth, rocking violently from side to side shaking my head, moaning WHY WHY WHY to the sound of that biological clock ticking and the days of my beauty ebbing away.

So MAYBE (I’ll admit it here) some of these dreams were lofty, and MAYBE (I’ll admit) even though I WAS an extremely well-travelled 20-year-old, I didn’t really know shit about the world, having lived first in an Expat bubble, and then wrapped up in the world of Wesley College where my main concern each week was how many boxes of wine my friends and I could afford if we got Thai food 3 times that week too.

Perhaps I was a little naive in thinking that somebody would swoop down to my disgusting room and say:

“WOW! YOU! YOU TALENTED STUNNING YOUNG CREATURE! EVEN THOUGH YOU BARELY WRITE AND YOU ARE TOO AFRAID TO LET PEOPLE READ YOUR WORK…YOU GIRL! YOU WHO WANTED TO BE AN ACTOR YOUR ENTIRE LIFE WHO HASN’T PUT ONE LICK OF EFFORT INTO TRYING OUT FOR THINGS OR GOING FOR CASTINGS…YOU ARE MY NEW MUSE. COME TO HOLLYWOOD IMMEDIATELY AND TAKE OVER.”

Because I’m pretty sure that’s how it happened in my head. Hey! I wrote it on the piece of paper. Now I just sit back and watch the money and job offers roll in.

Heh heh heh. *I rub my hands together Mr Burns style – excellent*

Um yeah.

So let’s have a lookieloo where I’m at with the old paper universe wish list.

I haven’t won an academy award, in fact I haven’t written a script in almost 18 months…so. I did win a badge at the Blue Jays game I went to a couple of months ago… and by won, I mean, my friend who works there got them to give me a badge that said “Today is my first Blue Jays Game!” and the date. I wanted to end up in LA or New York…but in fact I am here in Toronto. Like a bird slightly blown off course.

Publish a book…. well i did write two articles for free which went into the Gleaner Newspaper! A small indie newspaper that mainly services the tiny area I live in…And I have this blog. When I finish writing it, the button I have to push says Publish.

Turns out I did move countries, so we can strike this one off the list. AND to a place where I had to learn another language and could use it every day. Canada is that country. I learned to speak Canadian English. I can now put that on my resume. WIN. I now know what a sweater really is, and sketchy. Woohoo. So glad my parents sent me to Private schools.

Buy some property…yeah maybe on the Monopoly board – If i don’t get sent to jail

Do something notable that helps others….

When I was redrafting my Resume a couple of days ago, my Canuck boyfriend, who for the last five months has been working in a position where he has to view hundreds of Resumes, told me I should put some hobbies and interests if I am to be applying to certain positions as it distinguishes you and sets you apart.

Me: Okay…so what hobbies should I put?

CanuckBoyf: I don’t know…whatever you enjoy doing in your spare time.

Me: So… sleeping?

CB: OR, writing your blog, theatre viewing, Theatre acting…

Me: Okay! What about Photography? (Just btw, I have 217 albums on Facebook and, as someone pointed out to me, nearly 5 and a half thousand tagged photos of myself.)

CB: Great, I’ll put attending indie music festivals and historical reading.

Me: um… I don’t think I’ve ever attended an indie music festival…and historical reading… that sounds like you.

CB: you read game of thrones right? That’s historical ish, and you love Of Monsters and Men! They’re indie!

Me: Okay… maybe we should put basketball… I seriously plan to join a team this season…

Sadly our little fudging of my Resume exercise made me realize how lacking in volunteer work my life is. I have always meant to volunteer some of my time to helping others, but the “meant to” does not translate to actually helping somebody. And so with remorse I realize that by 25, I may not have achieved something on my list.

OH HUSH Paris, you say as you read this overly long and gas baggy account of woe is me – there is still time. You have 14 months to get yourself on track. And you are right, by the time I am twenty-five, I very well may have put myself on a path to Oscar glory, or written some chapters of a novel, or seriously started saving for a house, or made a difference to someones life.

I realize that life is a journey, and that probably this freak out is because I am currently seeking the next chapter of my life – deciding it is time to start that elusive beast “A Career”.

Being unemployed SUCKS and its only been a week, but I’ve always been someone who likes to know what’s happening next.

And right now it is all a bit of a mystery, like a jigsaw puzzle with the border all done, but NO fucking clue what the big picture is.

Paris