The Big Dream and The Get-me-out-of-here

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There is a pandemic sweeping the lives of the late-twenty-early-thirty-something year olds who don’t have children, might have fur-babies and wake up one day asking themselves WHAT THE FUCK.

If you are reading this and taking a big deep breath because you realize you are not alone, you are welcome. If this awakens a long dormant sleeping dragon of thought that you suspected existed but you couldn’t fully recognize, then I apologize – because shiiiiit I am about to justify every niggle you ever felt.

We, the unsettled settled are out there and we are hungry, we are stubborn, we are restless and we are bursting out of our skins. Indulge me in self indulgence all you traditionalists.

Over countless coffee’s and beers, I’ve had the same conversation over and over again. The “I am stuck in a rut and I don’t even know how to get out because I’m too damn tired” one, where educated, hardworking, passionate people, lament the thought bubble we are stuck in. We were told we could have it all. So where is it? Cookie please!

The new normal is that we want to have jobs we like, we want to travel the world, have a couple babies, maybe get married and be able to afford it all while the job market around us is like “JK bae, 10+ years experience, no benefits, $38k pa and you cool with working unpaid overtime and weekends? Holla at me!” and the dating scene is a revolving door of fuckboys and girls who can’t make eye contact with anything but their phones. The news is going: Don’t even THINK about getting on a train/plane or congregating anywhere in public in case of shootings/bombings/knife attacks and our parents are getting older and more dependent. That isn’t depressing. No siree.

Believe me, I’m aware of how lucky I am. I’m writing this to you from a first world country that I am allowed to live in because my parents were born in the right place and got me a “good” passport. If I sound articulate or intelligent by any stretch, it’s because I am also educated thanks to that same birth place, and the guidance of two excellent people who poured money into my brain (via the veins of formal instructional institutions). I’m white, which means I hopefully wont get shot for no reason in my car, and I’m female, which puts me at an advantage or a disadvantage depending on who you talk to, and so long as I’m not running for president.

And listen, I’m the first person to call people out on #firstworldproblems. Believe me. I’ve walked on the sidelines of poverty, I know that there are deeper issues at play in our world than the demented cries of a person who can’t afford the new iPhone.

But if there is one thing I have learned over the last few months of the ups and downs, it is that you can’t just push away things that you feel, and you can’t panic or beat yourself up because you feel them (thanks Mum) or because you are so preoccupied with keeping up the pretences that you have your shit together on social media. We know you don’t have your shit together…we’ve been to your apartment.

I feel it and I’m calling it out. The transition from hopefully graduate to slightly more jaded adult is not that fun at the moment. It’s not cute any more that we feel directionless. This isn’t Sex and the City where our lack of partners is because there is just too much dick to choose from. Our parents are sitting us down telling us they’d “like to see us get on the property ladder” and we’re agreeing with them whole heartedly as we open another letter about our student loans and wondering if we’ll get scurvy if we eat no-brand frosted flakes five nights a week for dinner.

We all started out with such big dreams! We went to school and we played along and we were encouraged to day-dream about what we “wanted to be” when we grew up. And then half of us fell off the wagon somewhere after high school and shrugged and realized that our job’s maybe don’t have to be our careers. Then we split up again when some of us realized that we’d give up that dream job for the security of that paycheck, or the option to travel with work. Those of us that have stayed the course  are more often than not slamming our faces into our laptops in the public library when we are on the hunt for the next job or big break AGAIN, thinking about escaping through English teaching in Asia or “how much DOES selling your *insert body part or fluid* really pay?”

I don’t have the solution to the twentythirtysomething malaise, and no matter how I google it (or Bing it… just kidding The Bing is dead, long live the Bing), no advice post or computer filtered answer can make my decisions for me (though I’d invest in the app that could).

All I know is that personally, I live happiest in the carnage and constant movement of work and sensory overload – when there are TOO many plates spinning in the air (because when that happens, how could I possibly have time to turn inwards). That lifestyle doesn’t really jive-turkey with the expiring “rising-of-the-ladder” career trajectory theory, and I’m tired of trying to be a square peg in a round hole.

Success is measured in many different ways, which is a topic for another day.

But for today – for those this resonates with, just know that you are not alone, and I’ve come to know, for myself anyway, that is the door doesn’t open, I’m just going to have to buy a sledge hammer. The coffee is on me when it comes to these conversations, because maybe if we stack our thoughts and idea’s one on top of each other, we’ll find a way to climb out of these ruts.

 

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of Thought.

 

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Speed Dating

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I feel like everybody needs good stories from when they were single (those crazy ol’ days) to regale their recently divorced female friends (fuck him! we never liked him anyway!) & grandchildren (see kids, your GamGam used to be a hot piece of ass… now hand me the Tequila and don’t tell your father).

So that’s what I figure I’m doing – just collecting up the stories for the happy hour tall-tale box, stories I’ll embellish and cover in memory rhinestones when I’m stuck in a loveless marriage 20 years from now.

Hey Paris! Wanna go on a date?
Yeah sure! 
Wanna go on a blind date?
Um… yea!
Wanna go on a blind date with 18 guys at five minutes a sesh?
…K? 

I didn’t really put too much thought into my speed dating cherrypop until the morning of. I didn’t exacccctly sign up for the event, more got roped into it by a friend who hosts it, facilitating young love and such…wait…Dan are you cupid!?

Hold the phone, I got some ‘vestigating to do.

No plans Saturday night? Forced interaction with members of the opposite sex? I’m in. and bonus! I convinced another single gal pal to come along so we could enjoy the delights of Toronto speed dating together.

I was all set until for the dating extravaganza until Saturday brunch with my little brother, who asked me if I had thought about any questions I wanted to ask these dudes.

Er.

No. I hadn’t really thought that far ahead.

I have no problem just chatting with people I don’t know/ have just met (thank you Expat upbringing) so why would this be any different?

Oh wait… because we have five minutes.

And these people are trying to suss out if they want to ever see you again ever. Which they will decide on first encounter.

None of this: well she’s hideously awkward on first encounter but you learn to love her quirks.

Five minutes. Do or die. Date or un-date … (whatever just go with it).

It’s a very pressure-cooker situation, where love is the steam and you and your new blind date are the meats and vegetables…stewing together. Will the stew be tasty and delicious or bland and overcooked (yes! I am rocking the imagery today).

To combat the surprising amount of nerves I felt, partly in relation to the under-prepared question thing (so… do you like stuff?) and partly because five minutes before I walked in and due to the suns angle in my friends car I realized I have been cultivating quite the lady-mustache (good god! This is why I will die alone) I did what any sane person would do. I walked in, got my sticker and booklet of judgement (Yes/No ________Comments) and ordered a significant amount of booze.

The worst part of the experience was for SURE the 20 minutes before the actual speed dating began, with all us singles milling around the bar sort of eyeing each other up. Many stood in silence, a few chatted with members of the same sex, but it all very very tense and very awkward.

Perhaps this is the reason for the amount of liquid courage I consumed (then again, maybe I just have a problem).

The venue was one of those annoying frou frou vodka bars so they didn’t have Cider (how about rum? no? FUCK) that had a rude bartender and uber dark interior. I had a couple Vodka Diet Cokes (at extortionate prices) and then switched to a pitcher of Vodka laced Lemonade that I was supposed to share with my blind-dating pal (not a blind pal… just to be clear). Key words there are “supposed to”, too bad they sat her a table away from me, so I had no choice but to drink almost the entire jug myself, while trying out my first impressions on total strangers.

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Did I debate making shit up? Yes.

Did I? No.

Why not? Because I’m not that quick on my feet and also everybody seemed really nice for the most part and I didn’t want to lie, or more importantly get caught out in a lie (oh the humiliation).

What did I learn?
Most of the dudes at this event wanted to meet someone and were either sick of online dating or didn’t like the idea of it. One guy actually told me that online dating suuuu-hhhucks for guys because girls get inundated with messages and the gents will very rarely get a response. Also a jug of alcoholic lemonade is a lot and I don’t have a very strong tolerance. And my mustache isn’t that bad but there are definitely places I can get it waxed (yay).

Should you try Speed dating?
Are you single? Do you hate online dating? Are you okay in person? Do you have an open attitude when it comes to this sort of thing? If yes, then my answer is yes. What have you got to lose? The guys were nice, and some of the conversations were funny, although it felt weird when they walked away and made notes or if you were in the middle of a conversation and the bell rang and they were like OKHAYBYE.

Would I do it again?
Why not?

This message brought to you by the Drunk Mustache Single Girls Society. Don’t drink and Mustache.

P.

Romance me like one of your Gym Socks

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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.

7 Things male animals do that make them better than male humans

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I am in no way condoning bestiality over here, but seriously, males in the wild are working their asses off to impress the female of their breed.
Which is perhaps more than can be said for my species (although many of them it’s like we’re in the wild, guys it’s called a brush…get one), I mean from what I know from afar, because…you know. I’ve never even kissed a boy or seen one up close (hi Mum and Dad).

Here are 7 things male animals do that make them better than male humans

1. Penguins finding the perfect pebble for their mate
Okay. You’re thinking to yourself, Paris, you are an idiot. Human males give certain rocks (diamonds) to their mates as a sign of affection allllll the tiiiiimmmmme. It’s called an engagement ring, and just because you’ve never been offered one, doesn’t mean they don’t exist in real life (hypothetical question time out:…if a tree falls in the woods, and everybody else is off getting engaged…does my forever-alone sobbing still make a sound??! Annnnd unfreeze, back to the blog).
And I would say, yes kind sir, you are right, there is a similarity to human males presenting stones to their beloved, BUT I would argue that Penguins do it better. Why??! Because according to the few articles I scanned birefly, Penguins scour the whole damn beach to find that perfect stone! They do all the hard work by themselves. They didn’t just go into Tiffany’s and/or their friend Ari’s store. Did your human male go to Africa to source that shiny stone? Did they comb the mines of Diamond-topia (where I assume diamonds come from) to choose the perfect raw material to adorn your nest finger I think not. Penguins > Humans. I rest my case.

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2. Frogs sing to their mates
The last time a guy full on sang to me, I was in a Karaoke bar the wrong side of 2am and immediately after his unintelligible rendition of, I think “Achy Breaky heart,” he threw up in his mouth a little and ran out of the room, to, I guess, throw up somewhere not his own orifice. SO Romantic. We’re getting married in the spring! And I ain’t no frog, so frog singing doesn’t appeal to me any more than what I just described above (who am I kidding, it totally appeals more) but if I was a frog, I’d be all into it. There is nothing more adorable than a male human crooning to you. They don’t have to be amazing (I’m casting my mind back to year 10 when my first ever boyfriend and his band wrote a part of their song about me and dedicated it to me at the battle of the bands. “Fall from Glory” Swoon!) but it’s definitely got to be sincere, like a frog. Got it?

3. Birds of Paradise bust a move 
Birds of Paradise dance and do a display to attract a female mate. Which I’m pretty sure was what was happening at the Cougar Bar I wound up at last weekend, only, I’m not attracted to the display of you thrusting your pelvis’s in the direction of anything with a vagina and pumping one fist in the air. You might want to work on your motions (thanks thesaurus.com), overly handsy guy I just walked past. Oh sorry, did walking over here with my female friend denote that we are both ready and available for mating? Nope. Male Birds of Paradise have better moves than most/all human males. Don’t believe me? Check it. You’re welcome. Don’t get trapped in the animal planet part of youtube. It’ll suck up your time and the weekend will be over before you know it. And there are things you can never unsee.

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4. Seahorses give birth like a boss
You read that right. Male seahorses are the ones that give birth. I know, I know, you and I are both thinking about having species-re-assignment surgery. It’s okay. This is a safe place. I am a seahorse trapped in the body of a human. Shhh. It’s all good. We’ll find a way to tell your racist, homophobic, speciest Great Aunt Maude. No but seriously. I know a few people who have given birth recently and from what I understand, that shit is disgusting. I even wrote a blog about it which you can view here. If your male human REAAAAALLY loved you, he’d find a way to be the one to carry and birth your offspring. What, you mean you aren’t going to bend the laws of what is physically possible for our species? Well fuck you guy, we’re done! *Storms out into the rain and calls girlfriends for post-breakup-with-non-pregnant-boyfriend cocktails.*

thomas_beatie

5. Bower birds and their Sweet Pads
The male humans that live without female cohabitation that I know, live one level above utter filth. There are slums in Mumbai that smell better than some of the apartments inhabited solely by males of the human variety that I’ve walked into. SO I think we can all agree that they have something to learn from the male Bower Bird, who takes decorating his nest VERY seriously. And you might argue that you know guys that take care of their habitat, to which I would counter argue that that male probably didn’t build his own home from twigs and sticks and isn’t a bird and didn’t choose each item lovingly and/or steal it from his neighbor. Or maybe he did, in which case, you’ve got a real keeper there.

Good God I'm Attractive

Good God I’m Attractive

6. Anglerfish
So, if you’re like me and you LOVE finding Nemo, you vaguely know about these guys. What you may not know is that female Anglerfish are often hundreds of times larger than their male counterparts. Ever tried to go out with a dude that is skinnier than you. I know I haven’t. I am a curvy (read, borderline fat) girl who likes to feel like a dainty princess. Is that going to happen when my boyfriends legs are skinnier than mine. NoIDon’tThinkSo. (And suddenly my mother justifies the pattern of my last 3 boyfriends in her mind and can sleep content at last.) Being the bigger, stronger one in the relationship is fine…but not for me.

Also, the Anglerfish have a REALLY weird mating habit. Because these guys hang out way way down in the deep and encounters are rarer than finding a good guy on OKcupid, the male Anglerfish becomes a parasite that just hangs onto the female.

Wiki says: “When a male finds a female, he bites into her skin, and releases an enzyme that digests the skin of his mouth and her body, fusing the pair down to the blood-vessel level.[15] The male becomes dependent on the female host for survival by receiving nutrients via their shared circulatory system, and provides sperm to the female in return. After fusing, males increase in volume and become much larger relative to free-living males of the species. They live and remain reproductively functional as long as the female lives and can take part in multiple spawnings”….

UM. No. I don’t want to be responsible for a guys survival, nor do I want us to be fused together. I think the humans have won this round….

7. Penis Fencing… nuff said
Wow. Aren’t you glad that you know that a thing such as penis fencing exists? I know I am, and I’m not talking about two dudes crossing streams at the urinal (which in my imagination happens all the time, especially in corporate office bathrooms). So there are these creatures called hermaphroditic flatworms, and turns out these creates carry both egg producing ovaries and sperm producing testes.

This is taken straight from Wikipedia:
“The flatworms “fence” using two-headed dagger-like penises which are pointed, and white in color. The mating ritual involves a violent battle during which two hermaphroditic flatworms attempt to pierce the skin of one another with one of their penises. The “winner” is the organism that inseminates the other; the winner becomes the father. The sperm is absorbed through pores in the skin, causing fertilization in the “loser,” who becomes the mother.

Child-bearing, while necessary for successful offspring production, requires a considerable parental investment in time and energy, and according to Bateman’s principle, almost always burdens the “mother”. Thus, from a biological point of view, it is preferable to be the father rather than the mother. However, there are other hermaphroditic species where both partners try to be inseminated rather than to inseminate”

Wow….

I have nothing to say about that except I think in that instance, I’m fine with the way human beings do things.

So keep it up dudes (literally I guess…in the mating sense) you won 2/7.

The wonderful world of Tinder

For those of you sheeple who don’t know what Tinder is, prepare your anus’s. This shit is hilarious.

Imagine an App on your phone that uses your location, and that you log into with Facebook. It takes your 4/5 most recent profile pics, your age, your interests and thats it. You can edit this of course, but there’s really not much to be said or done.

Here’s my face. My age and my name. I’m within 50 miles of you. Do your worst.

Then theres a heart symbol and an X symbol.

If you think the person is hot/hilarious looking, then heart, if not X it and a big NOPE gets stamped on their photo.

This app is fantastic for those people with short attention spans (me) and who have thinly veiled judgemental tendancies (also me…and almost everyone I know).

If you and the person you flick past both click the heart symbol then a chat opens up and you can speak to them. If one of you X’s the other then ba-bow. See you never.

It’s a pretty funny app, and definitely a time waster when you’re sick of Candy Crush (I hate you level 29).

But there are some instantly recognizable NOPE- dude moments to be found when scrolling through the available men of Toronto (maybe each city has its own special blend of NOPE moments, but no I feel the epidemic is worldwide).

 Dude NOPE moments on Tinder:

1. You’re taking a picture of yourself in the Mirror
You may or may not have your shirt off. mmmm NOPE

2. You’re with a baby in your picture. 
Totally that could be your niece, but i’ve got 0.5 seconds to make a judgement call here. I’m going with NOPE.

3. All I can see is a part of your body.
Is this a profile for your perfectly chiselled chest? Let me get my less-than-chiselled thigh online and see if she’s interested. NOPE.

4. There are 50 of you in the photo
Which one are you? I just don’t care to find out at this point, because I am lazy. NOPE.

5. You’re with your girlfriend in the picture…
REALLY?! Nope.

6. You’re in what looks like a picture with your bride!?
WTF! NOER-PE.

7. We have 77 mutual friends and I know you really well, and actually – you’re not a great guy, and I (not so) secretly kind of hate you, a bit, and stuff.
My friend tells me if you see someone you know on Tinder you have to give them a courtesy like. But my response to that Rachel is N.O.P.E

Is Tinder the future of meeting people/dating?

I don’t know/don’t care. It certainly is more fun than being humiliated constantly by Candies.

 

 

So High School

Everything about this is hilarious to me

Everything about this is hilarious to me

Being back in Hong Kong is sometimes so weird.

In this fast paced city, so much can change. Leave for a year and BOOM they’ve just built all these new buildings and your favourite cheap outlet is gone and French Restaurants have moved in everywhere (this is no joke…where the hell did all the frogs come from?!)

BUT *screechbangwaitasecond* so much can stay the same. I went to an ANZAC memorial service on Thursday with my parents and the Australian International School (where I went for the last four years of High School) was well represented by kids in hideous Green and Gold blazers. And Lo, who should I spy, but my old Headmaster who is still kicking it (with more grey hair) here in Hongkers in the same job. I bumped into so many people who are still here doing their thing – same old same old, you know?

The great thing about Hong Kong people is, no matter how long you have been gone and no matter how much has changed, friendships and conversations pick up right where they left off. Having a happy hour cocktail with a girlfriend after 2 years, it’s like I saw her yesterday. Meet my friend after the gym for some fatty fat fat Starbucks time, didn’t we do this yesterday? Oh no wait that was 18 months ago.

But being back in this city also reminds me of the High School times I had and all the stupid High School stuff we did. Like…remember in High School when someone could do one thing, and they were out of your life forever?

It’s sad that I’ve realized over the past few years I’ve become much more judgemental and quick to get angry at people or cut them out of my life. I wasn’t always like this. Even my dad has picked up on it, and to him, I can do no wrong, right Papa?

In High School and at University I was the easy going friends-with-everyone type. Maybe i’m getting older and more jaded? Dunno. Whatever it is, over the last few years I’ve noticed a change in myself that I’m trying to rewind. I don’t try to have enemies…

But there was ONE time in High School where I did cut someone out of my life with the words “Have a Nice Life” and remained until the last few years, extremely angry, and considered this girl my enemy.

It’s not a particularly interesting story and it’s definitely High School, but basically, a rumour got started while we went away on our grad trip that next to all the drinking we were doing (our parents knew about this…they knew we sneaked out to bars with our fake ID’s) we were also smoking *SHOCK* pot. Now, the reason this rumour got started was because of me. I had always had a VERY open relationship with my parents about what was going on, and they’d seen it all before, and I made some flippant comment about stoners on a phone call to my Mother, which she then mentioned to a friend (a teacher at our High School) in an anecdote which then BLEW UP into a huge escalando! (Goodness me Beatrice, the children have begun smoking Marijuana!)

Just prior to this grad trip, I’d been having a HELL of a year. My parents were splitting, it was my final year of High School, my brothers and father had moved to the other side of the world, my mother was battling an addiction and depression. Not a fun cocktail. And this girl who I had been close with for four years, suddenly turned around and accused me of being a snitch and a this that and the other and told me I had to call her parents and tell them I had been lying to get attention.

Well.

Nope.

At 18, despite being a very emotional and extreme person (which I still am to some degree) I decided, heart racing, that because she and I were moving to different parts of Australia to pursue our University degrees, to not engage in this drama. And I simply told her to have a nice life, and actually, haven’t really spoken to her in 6.5 years since we graduated. I bumped into her a few times over this period, and after the first time when she tried to talk to me, and I (extremely drunk) turned my back on her and faced a wall, have had (obviously) thoughts about why I acted the way I did.

In what mind-frame do you just decide someone is out of your life forevermore in a moment? Life is long and relationships are hard and tricky and messy and interesting.

I’d like to think that each year I get older, I also get a little wiser (pfffffft) and so, this year, being back in this great city for two months, with the opportunity to reconnect again with my friends and family, I’d like to work on being a little more normal when it comes to people and relationships.

Ultimately as humans (like bee’s…i think) our society and our self is built on relationships and interactions (unless you’re that Hermit guy in Wales…but even he has to buy his milk from somewhere).

So I will strive to approach people with more tolerance, and remember that at the end of the day we’re all human and we all make mistakes.

 

Things I know nothing about: Weddings

So it turns out that I’m old enough to know people who are my age that are getting married.

I feel like I’m not alone in this. You’re just a twenty something minding your own business and then BAM on Facebook a girl you went to high school with but don’t really know got engaged. Then there are the wedding pics 6-12 months later. Weird. But okay it’s on the periphery so I can deal…HOLY SHIT ANOTHER ONE!

You’re huddled under the covers rocking yourself to sleep thinking, “Okay but I never really knew her that well…” and then BAM, someone you do know well gets engaged.

Why are these people doing grown-up things when I can’t even use that blender I bought (It’s 10 speed okay…it’s really tricky).

Well. Ever since moving to Toronto I’ve met quite a few married people and they are quite normal and functioning. Granted that most of them are about 4-5 years older than me, (war wounds of dating a guy in that age bracket with lots of friends) but I’ve never really thought about it because they are already married and it kind of just seems like they’re a couple, but one of them has a big hard rock…and one of them has a pretty ring on her left hand. Did you see what I did there? That’s what we call “innuendo” or “an attempt at a dirty joke.” (WELL IF SOMEONE JUST HURRIED UP AND HIRED ME I WOULDN’T BE HOME ALONE WITH THE HEDGEHOG THINKING UP THESE TERRIBLE PUNS!)

I digress.

When I first started living in Toronto and started dating lovely Canadian boyfriend, he introduced me to many of his friends. One couple in particular I hit it off with, simply because they may be a crazier couple than Canuckboyf and I. It was love at first opening line when the female half of the couple sat down next to me at an event (at which I knew NO ONE and had literally been dating Canuckboyf for a month) and basically told me how she just wanted to get drunk and that we should go find the booze.

So we did. And may I say, the evening got less intimidating from there.

Anyway, we had some crazy fun nights with these two and then earlier this year the male half of this couple had some kind of revelation that he is dating one of the coolest chicks around, and proposed to her.

That’s so exciting!

Oh no wait! WHAT? That is TERRIFYING!

Yes. My reaction is over the top, and maybe you’re starting to think that I’m just a commitment-phobe. Fine. Yes. I have been known to run away from people that love me in the past, but that’s not it. This is more my fear about growing up and having to be a real person, rather than the fear of actually being with someone you love. I love love. I love the hollywood pre-packaged love. I like to look at pretty dresses and cakes and shoes and there were a good many years where one of my favourite parks in Hong Kong was my favourite because you could go on Saturdays and watch all the wedding photo’s taking place. I like wedding things.

But in my head I just finished High School…even though it has actually been six years, and I didn’t know anybody back then that was getting engaged or getting married and in my mind I still don’t. I’m still trying to pretend that I’m a child even though I’ve been allowed to drink and vote for over half a decade. The fact that I do a lot more of the former and very little of the latter just goes to show where my head is at. Maybe my wilful refusal to learn to drive is also a clue.

Regardless, I am turning 24 on Wednesday and that is something I have to face. I also know someone getting married. Fine. Breathe in, Breathe out.

A future picture of me on my wedding day

Yesterday I went to a bridal brunch. And it was really beautiful and lovely. It was the first bridal thing I’ve ever been too, and although internally I was freaking, I attempted to sit at the table like a calm lady, eat items from the delicious buffet and tried to not obviously eye-up the present table. I hoped mine didn’t look wrong. It wasn’t from the registry where I could buy my friend some towels or some bowels (the only available items), but was instead a couple of indulgent treats – the kind of thing I’d like to get.

Shall I rant about Registry’s? No, maybe another time. But seriously. I get the functionality of one. I do. But there is nothing exciting you can say about a steamer or a cake dish covering…whatever. Maybe one day if I get married I’ll be like “THANK GOD for the registry and my friends XYZ who got me this wonderful steamer.” Then I’ll tie on my apron, and clean the house waiting for my hardworking husband to come home so I can fix him a scotch and make him his dinner while telling the children to Shush and do their homemade jigsaw puzzle I created at my craft group.

At the table I was at for the bridal shower, were two girls who had recently-ish gotten married, and another girl who got engaged about a month ago. I felt like I was from another planet (more than usual) when listening to them talk about cake designers and venues. Maybe I would feel less like a fish out of water if I’d been to a wedding before and could make certain nodding motions about things like certain bands and dresses…but as it stands, I haven’t and I am mystified about things like that. The only contribution I could make to the girl discussing all the cakes she tried was…

what was your favourite flavour?!

Because honestly, that’s the only part of the conversation I could understand. CAKES?!!? CAKES HAVE FLAVOURS!!
Quick Paris, get involved! Ask about Flavours!

When she answered that she couldn’t choose, I still internally high-fived myself because hey, I asked a question in the right context and got a response.

Socializing WIN.

Weddings are exciting, and it’s exciting when people get engaged. It kinda feels like high school when we’d all freak out when one of the girls got asked out by one of the boys in Year Five and they were official after recess. Except this time it’s going to be LEGALLY official and somebody somewhere is dropping some serious dollars to make that happen.

Also it hopefully won’t be all over by lunch!

Since my friend-bride got engaged, Canuckboyfs flatmate also got engaged, my friend from Hong Kong who lives here got engaged, and another of the Boyfs close friends from High School got engaged. If they so choose to invite me to their weddings, that is another 3 weddings in the next 12-18 months. I guess it’s something I’m going to have to start getting used too… Anyone for a Cake Platter Cover?

At least nobodies pregnant yet…

Paris