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.

50 something things you should not buy for your 50 something Father on his Birthday

302909_10200878956672825_989795444_nOh hey everyone! It’s my Dad’s birthday! Happy Birthday Austraalien Papa. I don’t know how you feel about me revealing your age on the interwebs, so lets just leave it at the vague 5o something mark.

Here are 50 something things you shouldn’t get your Father on his 50 Something Birthday:

1. A 40 oz Bottle of Hard Liquor
Pops, you’re old now. You should be in bed by 8.30pm LATEST. What do you think you are?! Forty something?! Enjoy your 50’s with some chamomile tea and MAYBE a glass of Bailey’s and Milk…if it’s Christmas… and you’re feeling wild and frisky.

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2. A Pet Rock
Dad, I just don’t know how many more years you’re going to be around, and a Pet rock is a lot of responsibility. I wouldn’t want to get you a pet rock only for me to have to adopt it back. So. Probs just stick to pets that die more frequently. Like Goldfish. Good ol’ predictably death-hungry fishes. Yay!

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3. A “cool” Sweater
I don’t want you to get mugged by hipsters who want to steal your style, you trendy old man you (I already see them eyeing up your 80’s jeans…isn’t it great they came back in fashion!)

4. A Map
Look Dad, all of the places you wanted to visit but you never will!

5. Book, “100 Places to see before you die”
Ditto.

6. Best of Nickleback CD
No one should own this, and despite the old man jokes, I actually love you.

7. A life-time membership anywhere
Well. You’re not going to use it much are you? Probs should have bought it for you when you were born. Get the most use out of it.

8. A Pound of Mar-i-ju-ana
You’re already moving slow enough and laughing at lame things. Lets just leave that one alone.

9. A Vehicle
PAHAHA like i’ll ever be able to afford a vehicle. Also should you be driving? Think of society.

10. Google Glasses

11. Salsa classes

12. A potato

13. Underwear

14. A blow up sex doll

15. Concert Tickets
Who knows if you’ll be around… we can’t plan that far ahead!

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16. A mirror

17. Ties
How many working days do you really have left in you?

18. A retirement plan
Can’t afford…on your own old man

19. Adult diapers
I don’t want to deal with your shit…literally…

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20. Tight leather pants

21. Ski’s

22. Unicycle

23. Condoms

24. An escort

25. A guide dog

26. A hearing aid

27. A disabled parking permit

28. Extra slippery shower soap

29. Expired milk

30. Heroin

31. Skydiving Lessons

32. Netty-pot

33. A pound of Butter

34. Swim with Sharks experience

35. A turtle
I don’t want you to feel bad when it out lives you

36. Protein Powder
Do you even Lift?

37. Back Wax

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38. Crack Wax

39. Sack Wax

40. G-string

41. Samurai Sword

42. Light Saber

43. Electric Knife

44. Blender

45. Wooden Spoon
Wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself.

46. Map to buried Treasure

47. Cursed Amulet

48. 10,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
I don’t want you to never know what it creates!

49. Poison Toad

50. List of 50 something things people shouldn’t buy you and take every opportunity to poke fun at how old you are…..ohhhhh shitttt

Just kidding Daddy! I love you so much, and I hope one day I’ll be as cool as you were in your mid to late twenties.

And as skinny.Thanks for the Genes!

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Saying Goodbye to “Home”

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When people ask me where I’m from, I can’t help it. I take a deep breath in, and I roll my eyes slightly.

Where am I from?

What a pointless question.

I think people ask it because I have a hard-to-place accent. I think people ask it, because they are trying to put you in a box in their mind. I think people are trying to categorize you. Do the places we are “from” define who we are? I suppose in some ways they do. Where you hail from is a cultural touchstone, a window into the type of person you might be.

Canadians and Americans are similar but different. If you are from Toronto, you are different from someone who is from Montreal or Vancouver. If you are an Australian, people generally assume you are friendly and outgoing. If you are Irish, you like the drink and you can get a bit crazy. Am I stereotyping? Stop me if you disagree. Are people asking you where you are from to hint at who you are? What your roots or heritage might reveal?

There are endless ways we divide ourselves, label ourselves, identify ourselves. In Toronto, I’ve heard people tell they are “from” a specific suburb. Like the area within the city, within the provence, within the country, might help signify more about them.

So where am I from?

I tell people, short answer form, that I am from Australia. I have the (slight) accent, I have the passport, I have the birth certificate. When people ask me where in Australia I am from, I tell them Sydney, because it is the place in Australia I lived most recently (for University) and spent the most years.

In reality, I was born in Perth, on the West Coast, where my father now lives, and where my cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Grandmother have always lived. I think I have spent a total of 6 months in that part of the world in over 25 years.

My mother is a New Zealand citizen. Am I from New Zealand? No. I have never been there and she left when she was 7.

Where am I from?

I spent the greater part of my life in Asia. If I told you I was from Hong Kong, you would laugh in my face (it has happened, people have done a double take and then asked me seriously… “Are you Chinese?”). I am a blonde haired, green eyed, Caucasian woman. My brother is a 6″1 hairy, caucasian giant. He was born in Hong Kong. Where is he from?

My other brother 6″3 currently blonde (or pink) haired (I think) was born in Kuala Lumper. Is he from Malaysia?

I remember a childhood of sweaty hot, monsoony nights. Street food and night markets, grinning faces that looked very different from mine, and conversations all around me in languages that I couldn’t understand.

My Mother has packed up her apartment in Hong Kong, and plans to move to Thailand this month. I am excited for her, for her new adventure. After a decade and a half in the hustling, bustling Fragrant Harbour, I know she is going to enjoy the peace and tranquility of Thailand. I know that she is chasing her dreams, and entering the next chapter of her life. With three fully grown children and another forty years in her, she has definitely got the right idea, jumping into the next adventure.

But a part of me mourns.

For someone who is a self-proclaimed Expat Brat, who moved to Canada without a backwards glance, Hong Kong was in many ways my “Home.” As culturally confused as my family and friends are, Hong Kong is a backdrop where we can all fit in.

Sorry to sound like I’m excluding, but you wouldn’t get it unless you’d grown up there, or lived in another major Expat City, (Kuala Lumper, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Seoul…)

And Hong Kong will always be there. My Mothers departure does not mark the end of the existence of that city. It is simply the last, torn out root of that chapter of my life. I can always still go there, I will always have friends there. I just won’t go “Home” to Hong Kong when I visit my parents.

My parents will be in their chosen cities, and I will be in mine.

Hong Kong is our central location, geographically a middle ground, or halfway house, for my family which is spread out across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. And while Thailand is close by, it does not hold any of the memories for my family. It will not feel like “Home” for me. Perhaps it will for my brothers who spent a year at Boarding School there. I don’t know. Even between the siblings, with only five years between the youngest and oldest, there is a vast ocean of experiences and childhood memories.

Where am I from?

Home is a word. It embodies a feeling. It cannot be one place because if you asked someone in Cairo where home was, and asked someone in Chicago the same question, both people would point to different spots on the map. It is not a charted destination. It is not physical. Maybe that is why I have always found the concept so confusing. Maybe that is why I think about it more deeply than those who ask:

Where are you from?

 

 

6 reasons I still might probably get a cat even though my roommate is allergic.

I have two roommates that are really lovely. They are craigslist roomies which means they are strangers from the internet and I had about 20 minutes with them before I had to decide if they were a) rapists and b) if I could handle the amount of dishes they do/don’t clean.

It’s all-good because it turns out they aren’t rapists and we have successfully shared a house for about a year now.

One problem we’ve recently run up against at number 166 however is that the older I get the more I feel the need to surround myself with furry things that have to love me unconditionally…and my roommate is allergic to cats.

Here is a list of 6 reasons I still might sneak down to the Toronto Humane society and just make a big decision about another creatures life. Just ‘cos I can y’all! YOLO!! (or YOLN – you only live nince, which is my way of making nine lives…jokes..cats… Hey look over there! *runs*)

6. A cat is going to cuddle me way more than my roommate.
Sorry Dani, but how many times have you hopped up on the couch to rub your head against my leg? Hmmm?

5. A cat is going to do funny things I can post on the internet.
When was the last time you ran into a door frame chasing a laser? That’s what I thought.

4. A Cat is going to be so happy when I feed it disgusting stuff out of a tin.
Are you?

3. A Cat is going to hang out with me all day when I’m bored.
Oh so you have “school” or you’re “hanging out with your friends.” That’s cool. You know who isn’t doing those things? My cat.

2. A Cat isn’t going to judge me when I’m drinking that bottle of Bailey’s alone laughing hysterically at Goat video’s online.

1. A cat is going to let me dress it up and take pictures of it and post them on instragram.

Are you Dani? I didn’t think so.

25 things you’re still doing at 25 that mean you might be a fuckup

Didn’t our mothers teach us any better?
Aren’t we supposed to be fully equipped adults at this quarter century mark?! Guess not.

25. Ignore your credit card bill
Oh hello there bank statement. I’ll just put you right over here with the other fire.

24. Fuck up the most simple of recipes.
Grilled eggplant you say? Olive oil, salt and a grill? That seems simp..OHMYGOD WHY IS THE SMOKE DETECTORFREAKING OUT!?

23. Skew your financial priorities.
Hum. I haven’t paid my mobile phone bill this month…but its cheap wednesday at the place I get my Brazilians. Ohkay Vagina. You win this round!

22. Save Random dudes names in your phones, and having no fucking clue who they might be.
“Brad Chicagodude” eh? He sounds like a riot.

21. Misquote quotes at people.
Stop. You sound like a fucking moron. Pretty sure just because you saw the quote on a picture with artsy writing, doesn’t mean that said person actually said it.

20. Have nothing in your fridge except a slightly crusty block of butter and expired milk.

19. Drink expired milk.
Check the expiration date dickbag!

18. Text someone you were bitching about a message about them…to them

17. Sneakily use your roommates hair curler, and then forgetting to turn it off when you dash out, and burning a hole in their duvet and their top not to mention the fact that you could have burnt down the entire house…
Sorry Brodie.

16. Stretch out your leftover take away to last as many meals as possible.
Whats on the menu boys? Ethiopian for breakfast and lunch and Indian for dinner. Hallelujah better bring a book to the bathroom.

15. Have weird, poorly timed, sexually awkward experiences with your male friends and then refusing to ever talk about it and/or make eye contact ever again.

14. Fuck around with your birth control so you are literally on a roller coaster of emotion.
It’s one pill, ONCE a day. How is that hard to deal with?!

13. Send a group message on Facebook when wasted that offends everybody except the people who just exited it immediatley.

12. Send begging follow up emails to jobs you applied for.
“I will literally work 21 hours a day. Please god just hire me!”

11. Shrug off someone you thought was begging for change because you have your headphones in.
Turns out its just a hipster asking for directions. Try to explain the situation…then just run for it.

10. Let the garbage pile up in the bin rather than walk the 10 metres to empty it.
“What IS that delightful odour?”

9. Buy new underwear at La Senza so you don’t have to do laundry again.

8. Rinse the flashy piece of salmon you bought yourself and when it comes to dabbing it dry, realize you are all out of Kitchen towel, so attempt to use toilet paper.
This does not work.

7. Spend more money on shoes in a week than groceries/the medicine you might need to kill this cough.
Alcohol does not count

6. Get black out drunk on a Tuesday by accident and end up with your friend in a Karoke bar even though you both have work together tomorrow.
“Accident”

5. Try to sound fancy and pronounce expensive brands.
Realize you sound like a fucking tool.

4. Facebook stalk your more successful friends that were in the year or 2 years below you in High School.
Drink a bottle of wine and cry. Repeat.

3. Destroy your white shorts because you’ve still never really got the hang of a coloured vs a “whites only” load.

Maybe I’m not racist, and the idea of separating the coloureds and the white seems a bit 1950’s mkkkaayy?

2. Tell your mother all the fuck-up shit you feel like you do in your life as a 24, almost 25 year old. Cry in the shower. Decide to write a blog about it. Instantly feel better.
HERE COMES THAT HIGH ON THE ROLLER COASTER OF EMOTION WEEEEEEeeeeeeeee!

1. Get up tomorrow and do it all again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fourth day of the New Year

DSEbnI for one buy into all the New Year resolutions brew-ha-ha. I’m no fool. I know that realistically this time last week I was no hugely different person (although I was in Hong Kong having a pretty sweet-as time with my family), but there is something about the “New Year” that really does it for me. The idea that things are new and shiny and that the slates are wiped clean. That appeals to me.

I’d like to think that one has the ability to change their destiny, and when you feel like you are stuck in a funk, then something as simple as a change from 2012 to 2013 and taking the time to re-evaluate your priorities is extremely important.

I was also told years ago that the way you spend your New Years Eve is the way you will spend your year. It is one of those stupid things that I heard in childhood and has stuck with me like gospel. I spent New Years Eve working an event with my family (dressing up as crazy Medieval characters), and the following day I was travelling. So following that logic, my 2013 should be filled with a) lots of work, b) lots of family c) Creativity and d) Travel.

I hope so. Family is so incredibly important to me, which may strike you as odd considering I live a comfortable 15 hour flight away from my closest family member. But that is the life of the expatriate that I have to embrace. I am an expat brat through and through, and I’ll never be happy unless I’m moving around sampling the world around me.

Yes, it gets exhausting and I get tired. Last night I cracked the shits (which is an Australian expression meaning to lose it, or to get angry and hysterical…not any other fun thing you can think of) and said that I wanted to go home (which home you ask…ahh?).

But at the end of the day I do love being an Austraalien in Canada. It isn’t easy, and it especially is frustrating when you are job seeking like I have been and feel like you are getting nowhere. But i’m not ready to move back to Australia or Hong Kong at this stage. And although I am secretly desperate to move to the UK, or NYC, I think it would be a foolish move at this point.

So for now I must content myself with the piles of snow and the polite Canadians.

But it certainly was interesting to be back in Hong Kong for the christmas break. It is amazing how some things can change so dramatically in 18 months and some things can stay so the same. Walking around, navigating the streets, bumping into people, it was like I had never left. But then a couple of my favourite shops had disappeared and there were new trendy shops in my area (Sheung Wan in Hong Kong used to be the antiques district, and when my Mum moved there 6 years ago, there were carpenters in the street and a couple of vegetable vendors, all of which have been muscled out for trendy new “concept stores.”)

It was weird to go to Hong Kong and then to come back to Toronto. It really solidified Toronto as “home” for the moment. All my stuff is here, my boyfriend, my phone bill…all the commitment things, ya’know?

But I was glad to be coming back. Too many of my Expat Brat friends moved back to Australia and are stuck there a bit now. They have better jobs than me, but they don’t necessarily plan on living the Expat lifestyle anymore. And I do. I love Australia and I miss my friends, but I’m not ready to end up there yet.

I suppose it doesn’t matter where you are so long as you are happy.

Well…here’s to being happy in 2013.

End of First rant of the year… for now

5 Reasons I am failing at life as an adult, but winning at being 3

 

Sometimes I love living away from home. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my family and I miss them, but they are the kind of people who I can take in small doses too. We have always been a gypsy family that lives spread out, and although we miss each other greatly, we are the type of family respect each others need to travel, quest for adventure. I have friends here who, at almost 30, are still living at home, and good for them if it works, because sometimes I still severely wish I lived at home, in fact, need to live at home.

Here are the reasons why I am failing at life as an adult, but winning at being 3 years old.

 

1. Meals

Whenever I have been home for a few days, I get this weird feeling in my stomach. My skin is better, and I sleep really well. And then I realize it is because I am eating 3 meals a day, (I know! THREE WHOLE MEALS!) and they mostly contain food that has been cooked at home and not in an industrial restaurant style kitchen. There are usually these vegetable things involved, and the meals happen at pretty standard times.

What I am trying to tell you is that two days ago I was really hungry after working a promo job, and it was late, and I couldn’t think what I wanted, so I bought half a roast chicken from the Portuguese place on the corner, AND an Ice Cream sandwich (lemon cake flavour) at Bakerbots bakery, and because I was walking, ate the ice cream first and the chicken when I got home. Failing at being an adult, WINNING at fulfilling my childhood fantasy.

 

2. Being outdoors

When I was a child, my parents were always telling me to turn off the TV and get outside because it was a beautiful day. WELL HAHA! Parents, because now I’m 23 and I don’t have a TV but I have my very own laptop where I can spend HOURS watching Cat videos, not leaving my house or Pajama’s until its nearly dark outside! So suckit adulthood!

3. Bedtime

My lights out time age ten and under was 7.30pm, maybe 8 if I had a sports game after school. WELL! My young fantasy’s are now coming true! I stay up waaaay too late just like all the big kids and do important things like check my Facebook wall repeatedly, and stalk people i’ll probably never see again or would recognize if I did. In the meantime, as mentioned before due to irregular sleepy times, my reoccurring face pimples are worse than the height of my adolescence. But I do what I want. So BOOYAH life. Take that high five in the face.

4. Dressing how I want every day with no one to say NUTHIN!

Yeah, I am wearing mismatching socks. What of it? Yeah this shirt has a toothpaste stain! So!? No I don’t think my sparkly blue eye shadow is too much for a daytime pool party. I can do what I want, and its only weeks later when I have come down off the crazy train of whatever-the-hell hormones were kicking around inside my brain that I look back and think, if ONLY my mother had been there to nag me to change. I always look so well dressed and put together when I am home. But nu-uh, I do what I want!

5. Laundry

As a three-year old, I didn’t care so much about laundry, because DUH someone else did it for me! It was like a magic trick, I would get dirty and boom, the clothes would be back by the end of the week, neatly folded and all good. As an adult, it is one of the most tedious things I have to do, and so I go out and buy more and more underwear, so the frequency of laundry is decreased. True story.