A question of when: Terrorist Attacks, 28 dead in Istanbul

*Breaking News: 10 28 Dead in Turkey, 20-60 injured in Turkey’s largest airport, Istanbul*

19288905-Peace-Sign-of-the-Turkish-flag-Stock-Vector

If you haven’t seen the news yet, a terrorist just blew themselves up Instanbul’s main airport. What the actual fucking fuck.

I went to google to look up “Terrorist attacks in 2016” and as I scrolled down the Wiki page my eyes widened… until I realized I was only looking at January.

It is hard to say how many people have been killed by acts of terror this year. Where do you draw a line, differentiate? Isis attacks? Mass death caused by suicide bombings? A crazy lone wolf with a gun and a mental illness?

As the world still reels from the Orlando club shooting, another headline fills up the Social media feed. And what can I do? Change my profile picture to a flag overlay of the country where this next atrocity has occurred? Express my anger on Twitter, Facebook, on this blog? Sit glued to the unfolding news story as the horror of a city, of a nation unfolds before us? That media self flagellation of speculation and talking to witnesses who escaped near death?

Security measures get tighter and tighter at airports for those of us flying, and yet we can’t stop assholes from blowing themselves up where the families say goodbye, where loved ones wait for reunions.

I travel a lot, and my anxiety grows with each flight, every new famous monument we visit. We were in Paris two days before the attacks in November 2015. It felt close, WAY too close.

But it’s not just airport and iconic monument targets.

It has been a year and a half since my cousin was held as a hostage in a cafe in Sydney. Just a regular day where she and her friend were having a coffee and a catch up. My cousin Julie walked out of that cafe. Her friend Katrina did not.

Why?

If we #prayforturkey does that make it so that these attacks will never happen again? Did it change anything  when we #prayedforparis?

There is a heartbreaking video that makes me bawl my eyes out, of a french father explaining to his young son that they don’t have to leave Paris, because they have flowers to keep them safe. It is here, and as touching and inspirational as that video is, it is gut wrenching when you realize that child is growing up in a post 9/11 world where terrorist attacks are the norm, and it is not a question of if, it is a question of when.

 

 

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.

7 Things I learned about France

Unknown

Why do we travel? For me personally it’s a combination of the desire to never sit still or commit to anything (watch me run from responsibility, WEEEEEEEE!) and to big-up myself to old high school friends who recently just added me on Facebook (whaaaaat? I’m in France for the film festival… sorry my life is so much more awesome than yours. Maybe you shouldn’t have bullied me in fifth period biyaaaatch. Sorry can’t chat – #jetsetting).

But I guess another reason we travel is because we like to learn from other cultures and junk – I mean that is what I tell myself/my parents, so yes, lets go with that.

1. Everything in France tastes better than anything, anywhere.
As a long time liver and lover of Australia, Canada and Hong Kong, I feel I am the right person to tell you with confidence that the rest of global cuisines ain’t got shit on the French. Twenty minutes before my flight out of Nice airport, I headed over to Mono-Prix (some kind of grocery/clothes/homewares store hybrid) and snagged a 2.99euro chocolate mousse which was LITERALLY the best mousse I have ever had…ever…in my whole life. At an airport. For the same price as a ride on the Toronto subway. “Yes hello everywhere? Sort your shit out, French food is leaving you behind in the dust.” The French care about their food and it’s definitely quality over quantity. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t attempt to eat a new kind of cheese or try a new flavor of ice cream every day we were there. Yes that’s right – I am bikini season ready.

2. Everyone in France smells really amazing and takes care of their appearance
This probably isn’t shocking to you, but people in France dress extremely well and take mega pride in their appearance. Walking down the street to buy milk? Heels. Walking to the beach? Better wear my super fine silver jewelry and awesome lace throw thats nicer than anything ever that Paris H-T would wear. Working out? Hang on – I need to make sure I smell like vanilla and sandalwood and fairy dreams. As someone who is as delicate as an elephant who could stand to lose a few, I feel there is much to be gleaned from the elegance of these people. Also the French wear their sophistication with a big “fuck you’ attitude, which I also enjoy.

3. French customer service is the worst thing ever aka, the French are tired of your bullshit.
Living in North America has made me jaded to customer service. Never, ever, ever, ever, in almost 3 years have I ever heard a sales associate talk back to a client. The customer is always right, dontcha know? Not true in France. During this trip I experienced multiple instances of stubborn, rude, even aggressive behavior towards paying customers. I cannot even begin to imagine the shit storm that would occur if someone in retail in North America behaved the way some of the French did. There would be anarchy, or at the very least, some kind of beatdown.

4. My French is way worse than I thought, but most people speak English.
Perhaps because of the time of year and because of where I was in France, I found that my French did not really approve at all on this trip (except to learn never to say “La Chat sur la Table – as that in actual fact translates to something like the Vagina is on the table – oh how they laughed … at me). I hate to be one of those English speaking tourists that rocks up to a new country and expects everyone to speak my language, but in reality, most, if not all of the people I spoke to could speak English – and pretty well. Parle Anglaise? Oui? Sweeeeeet.

5. The Russians are taking over France, and slowly, the world.
After English, the language people the in the south of France are learning is Russian. You have been warned.

6. The French are insanely attractive
There is that expression that “French women don’t get fat” and goddamn if that expression isn’t true. But also, no one told me that I’d be in eyecandy central and that I should rest my eyes before I was almost blinded by the attractiveness gleaming from every sidewalk. Can you say “Schwing”?

7. I could easily live in the South of France
The sun, the people, the architecture, the food. I wish I had had more time to explore because this is a truly beautiful part of the world.

 

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

 

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.

 

 

 

I hate going to the Gym but I hate being Fat more

fat-bastard

Today, like most days I set my alarm for 6am because yesterday, like most days, I could not be fucked going to the gym after work. Today, like most days, I rolled over, denied my alarm and re-set it for 7.45am.

I have calculated the exact number of minutes it takes for me to check my facebook first thing (gotta know whats happening on them Internets) slather my face in make up, pretend my hair looks all sexy and fresh-outta-the-bed-tousled “naturally”(yeaaaahhhhright), cut up some fruit, add almond milk and gross healthy seeds and blend it to a fine brown paste of sweet baby puke which I then sip, as I gag and curse the heavens. Brush the yellow pearly whites, choose which fab (least hobo-ish) outfit to wear, try to figure out if my outfit is too slutty, realize I don’t have time to change anyway, but yes I should probably invest in some not-skintight clothing now that I have a “real” (ish) job and get out the door so I can either pack into a super crowded subway car, or walk in the fresh (read still -4 degrees + WINDCHILL, mother nature you bi-polar BITCH) Toronto spring weather to get to the office on time.

ilovegreeninsp_beautysleep_11-1

And then spend the rest of the day kicking myself for not just getting up and going to the bloody gym as I google pictures of Prince Harry’s gorgeous (and thin) would-be-fiance (I’m coming for you Cressida).

I fucking hate the gym.

People who tell me they love the Gym are out of their goddamn minds/have reached a place where they have replaced fun drugs with endorphin drugs. They are endorphin-addicts. Healthy Harold needs to have a serious talk with you guys. Seriously, track marks/running tracks -same same but different you overly-happy, protein punching psychopaths.

But I digress.

I have no idea how anyone could love a room that smells like sweaty boy-private parts/meaty farts, that contains all 360-degree full length mirrors so one can successfully gawp at all ones jiggling flaws with machines that make you burn and hurt and sweat and cry and beg (no more treadmill… I concede, I concede *weeps*).

But then I don’t know how anyone could love Honey Boo Boo’s mother and scienticifics tell me that she has had sex at least four times so…

honey-boo-boos-mom

The reason I go to the prison of misery is simple:

laziness.

Que? – you ask. Or maybe you don’t – I don’t speak Spanish.

One would think that the very opposite would be true of someone with lazy running slowly walking, through their veins.

You: But Paris, if you’re as lazy as you claim – you wouldn’t be going to the gym at all! You’d be 659lbs and you’d have Chihuahua dogs, 4 of whom you’d accidentally have squished in your sleep when you rolled over!

Too true concerned citizen. Five points to Gryffindor for your astute observations.

But in reality – getting that fat means I would in fact have to do more in the long run.

Here’s how I figure:

Step 1: Get thin and mega attractive (thin is in… deal with it)
Step 2: Entice a wider selection of potential life-partners
Step 3: Now that am prized possession, select partner with most resources good hunter/fire builder/best cave location
Step 4: Entice partner into legal situation where my happiness is now THEIR responsibility and they must do my bidding
Step 5: Profit

If I was 659lbs of pure ugly and loneliness, I’d have to do things all for myself.
Need to replace the light in the bathroom?
Fat Paris: struggles to reach ceiling as she is 5″4 of uncoordinated girliness girthiness
Thin Paris: Casually select any of the multitude of dudes dying to screw anything of mine in.

Need to tell Jehovah’s Witness people to fuck off?
Fat Paris: Trapped in house. Must listen.
Thin Paris: Not at home – out on fabulous dates. TTYL jesus.

You see where this going.

Yes I hate the Gym, but I also hate doing Laundry (see post below). Both of these things could be cured with unlimited money resources, but as I’m the bottom of the food chain of my industry…

Well.

I’ve set the alarm for 6am tomorrow.

 

Happy Happy Hanukkah, Chandler and Monica

1ZEylSr

I LOVE the end of the year.

Starting in October with Canadian Thanksgiving, and stretching through to Chinese New Year, there always seems to be something to be joyful about in the winter-time, something to look forward to and something to Celebrate an excuse to eat as much as you can possibly cram into your face. I mean, lets put aside that right after CNY we’ve got Valentines day (which I totally buy into – a little heads up any potensh’s out there) Easter (Chocolate…YAY!) then a bunch of Queen Related/National days (woopie commonwealth!) and then we’re right back at the end of the year…

Humans: Non-stop-party-rock.

But I especially love the end of the year. Thanksgiving has become a new one for me that I truly love, and Halloween in North America makes me want to chop off my legs, dress up as a ghost (easy, a sheet and two eye holes…who’s going to know?!) and get free candy (suckers). Totally worth it. That dude in South Africa who shot his girlfriend had no legs, and he was a total fox. I’m sure I’ll still pick up.

I’m very lucky to have lived all over the world, to have met all kinds of people, and to have been exposed to different cultures and customs. I always find it weird when people are like “why are they blasting Christmas carols in the super markets?!? I’m not Catholic/Christian/Religious. Why are they foisting their beliefs on me. I am offended. *meanface*” To which I ask… Are you retarded? Christmas carols are nice. And okay! Sometimes they don’t make a whole lot of sense. Like: I’m not worshiping some boy child that is the son of some King (ohhhkay fine, newlyborn baby Prince George – I’d worship him) & I barely know one wise man, how’d they find 3?! What is this nonsense tune? I’ll celebrate any holiday you want – so long as it involves eating my face off and pretty shiny things.

Today is the first day of Hanukkah, which is great because the majority of my friends in Canada celebrate it. I knew a couple of Jewish people in Sydney when I was in middle school (I’m going to go with…4,  three classmates and a teacher) and one in Hong Kong – my mums best friend. But it wasn’t until my friend and I accidentally applied to a Jewish summer camp that I really got to know what Judaism was about:

Durka (my friend I originally came to Canada with): it says on our packing list we need white clothes for Friday nights.

Me: That’s a bit weird.

Durka: Yeah it says every Friday we’ll have Shaybatt dinner. Whats that?

Me: No clue. Probably some weird Canadian thing.

3 Cool things about being Jewish (get ready for stereotypppppes – just kidding, or am I?):

1. Awesome Community
Never have I met a community that sticks so closely together. Supportive, well-connected, passionate about causes – people always ready to get involved and help each other out. Some people have described it as a bubble – but if you don’t like bubbles you must be a monster that also doesn’t like rainbows and cupcakes.

digital-photography_summer_photo_project-002

2. Always something to Celebrate
Between Weddings, Engagements, Holidays, Births, Events, Anniversary’s – most of my Jewish friends are always celebrating something. I guess when the community is as big and close as it is here in Toronto, there is always something worth noting or someone worth Congratulating. And I must say that is nice. Life is short, be happy – enjoy the moments – that is what I have learned.

3. The Foooooood
There is a word for non-Jews like me, and that word is “Goy.” Similar to the Cantonese word “Gweilo” (male) or Gweipo/Gwei Mui (female) which literally translates to “ghost boy” or “White Devil” and was a negative word for Foreigners in Hong Kong, I believe the word “Goy” began as a derogatory word. But you’re going to have to goy-t outta here if you think that offends me, because you don’t have to be Jewish to love Latkes, Knish and Matza Ball soup. We’re all people right? And people have taste buds (sorry to those who don’t). The only difference between me and my Jewish crew is that I got to experience the joy of Jewish-mother home cooking in my twenties – so it was all new to me.

image

There is something magical in the air (or I imagine there is) especially in Canada, with the snow, the glittering lights everywhere (seriously, nice job with the Christmas trees you guys). And while its cold and grey out there a lot of the time, I feel warmed by the idea of family, people randomly singing, lots of food, and the act of giving – drinking a lot and reflecting on the year.

So whatever your beliefs or non-beliefs, I hope you’re as excited as I am to get as fat as possible (any excuse) and balloon to a gigantic size so that when Summer rolls around, you’ll regret every winter calorie you ever consumed.

Happy Winter!

Romance me like one of your Gym Socks

qPADgRI

I love Fairy Tales, Cinderella in particular was always a favourite of mine, and clearly Hollywood’s too, because many of the chick flicks being churned out by the entertainment machine perpetuate some form of this legend.

I mean, what is not to love about Cinderella?

That girl starts off ordinary and becomes the Princess of a realm. And there is a handsome prince and shoes. What more could you ask for??! Except maybe the Fairygodmother could turn that pumpkin into a coach sized chocolate fountain. Justsaying.

It’s a rags to riches story that I would totally watch on TLC if  it were a reality show and if I had cable…or a TV (it’s true, this wannabe TV personality doesn’t currently own a Television and hasn’t done for two and half years…sorry it’s called netflicks and the internet…plus who has time to sit through commercials? not this gal)

And it used to be that the most outrageous part of the Cinderella story was that the animals could talk and a pumpkin turned into a coach. Or perhaps because of the Meme above you’re thinking the craziest part is that he fell in love with someone after a few dances (like thats never happened to any of us on a friday night…) and then forgot what she looked like (again…we’ve all been there). Or maybe the crazy part is that there was a fairy godmother (it’s called your parents and the magic they work is putting some extra money in your account so you can go to the ball eat). Or maybe the fairytale bit is that Cinderella put up with her StepMother and StepSisters shit for so long (hellllll nooooobitches, especially not if we’re all on the same cycle).

Um no.

The most outrageous part of the story is that the Prince didn’t wake up the next day after the ball and be like…”whaa? Woah man I was so drunk last night. Lolz”, and then went hunting with his friends, singing songs in the wilderness, playing croquet, highfiving each others asses in a semi-erotic way. Or whatever. And Cinderella was left disappointed that the Prince didn’t bother to find her, faced with the idea that this going to balls and hoping to meet a Prince thing was going to make up the rest of her life for the foreseeable future. Because she’d been with all the village boys and…meh.

Or maybe Cinderella totally snuck out of the ball on purpose. Like the Prince was getting a bit handsy at the event and she’d decided “mmmmnope, I’m not going to bang this dude” (we’ve always decided, pretty much within the first 30 seconds if its going to happen or not) and then it was super awkward when he showed up at her place. And turns out he’s rich so she’s like “fuckit. no pre-nup” gimme those shoes.

Ahhhhh romance.

Oh please. Don’t look at me like that. I’m not some bitter old crone, I’m (semi) kidding.

I just wonder what Cinderella would be like in a modern setting.

Girl sneaks into party she wasn’t really invited too. That takes some balls. Maybe she’s at home pre-drinking with her friends and she’s like “SCREW my sisters. I’m totally going.” She gets there, she’s wasted (she thinks she drove there in a magic-ed pumpkin – hello?!) and the Prince is there (he’s totally out-of-it and he hates all the people his parents have invited – he knows they’re just trying to set him up with their friends ugly daughters) they spot each other on the D floor. Awkward grinding/humping in front of all the older people.

They go out on the terrace, making out, Cindy sees that its almost midnight and her Step sisters have a curfew so she totes has to be home before them, she’s also potentially got puke breath. Prince dude can barely see straight – can’t even remember what the girl looks like. But he’s got her name. She bails. So drunk she leaves her shoe behind (classic hot mess move). He crashes.

Both wake up thinking: wow, what a special night.

Now if it was 2013, Prince Dude would totally just hop on FB and stalk the shit out of this “Cinderella” notices they have two mutual friends (ewwww he hates those skanky step sisters).

Maybe he friends her. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he sends her an awkward private message being like:
heyyyyy I got your shoe.

And thats it.

People say Romance is dead.

Disney, call me if you want me to help write the re-make.

Things I wish I knew before I did my Masters of Creative Writing AKA you should have spent your money on shoes

Hey Past Paris, how’s it going? So adorable that you just turned 21 and that you’re finishing up your Bachelor of Arts degree. It’s a miracle you passed every subject (hey…a 51 is still a pass OKAY) and that they’re ACTUALLY going to let you graduate when you were supposed to. All those last minute assignments you handed in (some that you began the DAY they were due and were mostly just made up sentences that you hoped made sense because lets be hungover…you drank 7/7 days of the week) were totally worth it, and now, because that 3 years went by in a flash, you’re thinking you’ll do a Masters Degree because you aren’t quite ready to join the real world? That’s sweet, and a great idea considering Australia has this Higher Education thing where you don’t have to start paying back your student loans until you make over a certain amount of money (don’t worry – you’ll flee the country before that happens/at this rate – you’ll never make more than that minimum amount anyhow!).

Except a Masters today does not hold the currency it used to, dear old past me. They’re handing those out like free condoms at the walk-in clinic, and by the time you’re twenty two, you’ll have yours, and everyone will assume you’re a genius in North America (because they make them do like four year degrees or some shit) but we all know you’re just a chicken who applied for the program the day it was closing, and who nearly didn’t make it because you forgot your passport, so you had to use your feminie wiles (and your tears) to convince the dickhead at student services to process your application.

And that Masters in Creative Writing (dear god why didn’t you do something like marketing or business-y so you could actually find a real job?!) is going to be a great talking point… but here are some home truths:

More Valuable than your Masters, is the Interning you do:
The Master’s contact hours I had were a joke. 7pm-9pm Monday-Thursday. Sure there was a lot of writing involved – but I did that ANYWAY because I love writing. SO to fill my time (and feed myself) I got a job doing shitty admin (this is what  has led to more jobs in the future, so thank you universe!) and got stuck into interning for free at a Television Production Company 3 days a week.

This is where I discovered my true passion and the career path I had vaguely known I wanted all along. Turns out  I am a WHIZ at juggling people on set, in a production office, PR people, people I need to get things from (like permission to film for free on a set) 20 year old reality “stars”, major networks and crew. Turns out I thrived on the drama, and learn’t more in 8 months interning (and then being hired and paid!) than I did from sitting in a classroom analyzing the screenplay for Scar face.

Get used to Temping/Retail while you look for that foot in the door:

3t9536
Truth be told, had I stayed in Australia, I would have worked on a bunch more shows by now. The production company I interned at loved me (the feeling was mutual!) and they would have found me another position (in research or production). But I knew I’d get stuck in the Australian industry. And hot off the press from a breakup and the completion of four years in one place (I get claustrophobic when I stay still too long) I decided it was now or never to try somewhere new. And so I found myself in a new market, starting from the bottom all over again, networking and having to re-make contacts. SO retail and Temping is what pays the bills and allows me to keep trying to be as fabulous as I can be. It isn’t glamorous but I am damn thankful for it, and it is pretty crazy who you may meet when you’re in a new office/talking to customers. If you are genuine and people are interested in you – they will do what they can – you’ll be surprised to discover who wants to help you/the connections they have if they know what you are trying to do.

You need to learn how to use multiple coffee machines/how to effectively stack a dishwasher:

A run-on from the Temping thing. Mostly what I’m asked to do in a day could occupy two hours out of eight. Answering phones, creating a few fedex orders and crafting a couple emails. Mainly you’ll be unstacking/stacking the dishwasher and making yourself fancier and fancier coffees (mainly due to boredom and or your secret mad scientist sensibilities and not due to your love of coffee).
Maybe you should have gone to Barista school and not got a Masters. Just saying. You’d probably be making more money by now.

Mostly what you’ll write is your blog:
Without those deadlines and people breathing down your neck, it’s going to take a lot of will power to finish projects. Sure you’ll go through writing frenzies, but to actually complete something… yeah not so much. But adorable that you thought you’d be a novelist by now. Uhhhh-dorable. *sobs*

People who did boring degree’s will have way more money than you and/or actual grownup lives:

images
That girl in the year below you at college who was studying chemical engineering that you stalk on Twitter and Facebook? Yeah. She just bought an apartment, is engaged, has a pet bulldog and makes 5x more than you did last year (yeah but her tax rebate was probably nothing so HA!). If you wanted to be rich you should have listened to your parents and done a degree with the name of a job in it (hey… Writer is a job…).

The good news is, you’re chasing your dreams and will probably not hate your job (when you get one) and will not just be living for the weekend.
The bad news is, while you’re chasing those dreams you’re going to be eating baked beans on toast at least 3 nights a week.
Yay for Creatives. *Hugs self tightly and rocks*

People are impressed you did a Masters of Creative Writing, because they always figured themselves a Writer… but it’s not going to get you hired…yet:
The number of times interviewers have been impressed that my Masters is in Creative Writing… well it’s a lot. The number of times they’ve been so impressed by the fact that I hold that degree and thought “we need to hire this ridiculously awesome girl!!” is not many. Scratch that. Maybe it’s none. (Pretty sure the interning thing is what has gotten me hired in the past)

There is a difference between people being impressed/jealous of the degree you got, and the way they figure that that degree equals revenue in their business/justifies your salary.

I’m sorry, I thought this advertisement was for an amazingly hilarious Australian girl who grew up in Hong Kong, can stack ALL of the dishes in one tray. is really good at Facebook and can make you an exquisite blend of hazelnut latte and hot chocolate. No? hmmm. That is strange. Anyway while i’m here i’ll just drop off my Resume…

You will probably think a lot about doing a more relevant degree/PHD:

xVyoSl
There is no way in hell I can afford international student fee’s here in Canada, so if i plan on getting further education – it’s back to Australia I go. And while that wouldn’t be so bad, I’m not sure I could handle being a full time student again. I may not be rich now, but i’m hella richer than I was as a student AND my parents were still helping me out at the time.
But I have thought about it. Two guys I’ve dated in the past got their MBA’s and people are doing the PhD thing now. I feel like, if I hadn’t done my Masters right after my BA, I would have appreciated it more (although moving off campus made my results sky-rocket and put me at the top of the class!)
But knowing me, i’d probably just want to study something fun and creative again, like, get a Masters in Stand up Comedy, or a PhD in Blogging.

 

I don’t live my life with regrets, and not for a second would I change my Masters degree, because I loved it, met some awesomely inspiring people – and got to do what I love.
I think i’d just make sure I had less lofty aspirations. Cos… like… I’ll be 25 in a month and I haven’t won an Academy award yet…

But there’s still 30 days!

OK GO.

My Accent is not as strong as YOUR accent, AKA: Autistic vs Artistic and THAT awkward misunderstanding

I’ve lived in Canada for over two years now, and sometimes I feel like I’m speaking Cantonese when interacting with the North Americans (I can, for the record speak some Cantonese, but it’s mostly Dim Sum and swear words…so you can tell I’m popular at parties).

My Australian accent is nowhere near as strong as it could be because of a combination of the fact that I have really not lived that many years of my life in the Land Down-Under and it has burnt off, because I mainly had British and American teachers in those formative first few years of school, and because of accent Osmosis, where you absorb part of the accents around you.

I frequently get accused of being British.

3q78q6

And yet despite speaking ENGLISH, I am constantly misunderstood, laughed at by friends and have had people stare at me bewildered by simple requests because, turns out, we share many of the same words, and yet some of our lexicon is COMPLETELY different.

Here are some amusing examples I have compiled for you:

The Letter “R”
Not brought to you by Sesame Street today, but by me. As an Australian I pronounce this letter of the alphabet much softer than the Canadians. I say “Ahgh” almost, where as the Canadians pronounce this letter “Arghh” like a pirate.

to_arr_is_pirate_funny_84_curtains

 

The difference in pronunciation is what creates most of the misunderstanding between myself and simple Canadian folk.

My Name
My parents have kind of boring names, and they endeavored to make sure we (my siblings and I) had cool, interesting, easy to remember names. I can’t speak for my brothers, but whenever I tell people that my name is Paris, most people make a face like, huh! cool! And no one has ever forgotten my name. Or if they have, they haven’t lived to tell the tale… so same thing!

pink ballons around eiffel tower

But I do find it amusing when Canadians pronounce my name back to me in my accent. Usually with a question mark. They say “oh your name is Pah-rass?…oh you mean Pearriss, like the city?”
No, like the Hilton. Dumbass.

Autistic vs Artistic
I’ll never forget the conversation I had with my boss at the TV station I volunteer at. I was describing a movie I had seen and told her “The movie was so artistic, I loved it.” She was shocked. Okay like you’ve never seen Finding Nemo. I get it. It wasn’t until she finally whispered “I’ve never heard anyone describe a movie as being autistic before” that I realized I would have to find another word. This has happened multiple times with various levels of shock/hilarity/awkwardness.

Toner
Another escapade from my first few weeks in Toronto. I had found a new hairdresser I liked and asked over the phone if they had Toner for after you get highlights (I am not a natural blonde… Q’uelle Suprise). After the hairdresser made me spell out the word (she thought I was asking for Tuna?) she laughed and said “Oh tonearrrghhh. Sure we have that.” Thank god they didn’t put Tuna in my hair after the highlights. That would have been bad…or maybe good? Fish oils anyone? BRB Tunahair

golden_fish_by_chrica-d5ao5r3

 

Google Translate
Hilarity has ensued multiple times (for Canadians) when I have used a word they are unfamiliar with. Funny thing is, I don’t just spout words totally out of context, so you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about, even if the word sounds funny to you. There is an improv game you can play where you have to speak in gibberish and act out a scene and GUESS WHAT?! People can figure out what the hell is going on when actors are making shit up worse than the Daily Mail.

Me: Where’s the bathroom?
You: The what?
Me: The washroom.
You: oh it’s over there!

Don’t. be. a dick. You knew exactly what I was asking. You just wanted me to feel bad. Well guesswhatIdon’t so HA!

Australian: Jumper > Canadian: Sweater.
Australian: Bin > Canadian: Garbage, or Trash (i forget, some of your words get mixed up with American words, and we’ve already established that i’m bi-lingual in Cantonese and English, so it’s a lot to remember).
Australian: Thongs > Canadian: Flip Flops (how many times has THIS been an awkward conversation?)
Australian: Soft Drink > Canadian: Pop or Soda
Australian: Sticky Tape > Canadian: Tape (derp…what does she mean sticky tape?)

There are just too many to list, but the list does go on.

Today I tried to buy stir sticks for the office I am working in this week. You know what those are right? The wooden sticks used to stir coffee and tea in the office. Well fine what would you call them?
Because the person I asked looked like I was completely. fucking. insane.
And I am, sure, but not today.
And what I don’t feel like doing at 10am on a Tuesday, is acting out what a stir stick is.

GAH!

Canada you have a population of around 3million people and according to wiki, in 2011 there were about 250,000 NEW immigrants! That’s about 8% of your population.

Everywhere I go I hear Irish accents, South African accents, Asian accents (all kinds) European accents… There is a huge Aussie and British population over here (duh… we run Whistler!)

So the next time you think about laughing about someones different accent, just remember…

Your accent sounds totally weird to me too.