Happy Happy Hanukkah, Chandler and Monica

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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.

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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.

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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!

Things that I am actually really thankful for that might not seem obvious all the time

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Well…it’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada (America is doing its own thing in november I think) and because I like to embrace things I feel I missed out on as an Australian child in Asia, I’ve decided to embrace this tradition whole heartedly.

I think it’s fantastic to have a national holiday related to the giving of thanks and I’m cool with the idea of stuffing your face, whatever the reason (even though our Thanksgiving this year is going to feature more Veggie friendly options due to my roommates non-meat-eating-ways… “no no you’re right, this tofurkey IS delicious” *cries*)

There are just so many things to be thankful for in life, and the obvious ones like my parents, my friends, blah blah, those are boring. Here is a list of things I am actually really thankful for that might not seem obvious all the time to you, but that we should take a moment to be thankful for once in a while.

Thanks Mr Garbage Man

Thanks Mr Garbage Man

I am really thankful that other people work shitty jobs, so that I don’t have to:
I used to work in retail, and it sucked, hard. But one thing I learnt from that (shitty) experience, was that I needed to be mindful of people doing kindof crappy jobs so that I don’t have to, and to make sure I give them my thanks. Like people who work in Cafe’s doling out life-giving coffee at 7.45am. Do you know what time those people had to get up so that they could be open and ready for you as you start your morning commute? Like, 3am. That’s fucking early man. Or garbage dudes who take my smelly refuse away from the place that I sleep and eat most days. Ew.

What did they do in the good-ol days before government controlled waste disposal? I don’t know, and I don’t care to briefly google it to find out. So thankyou Garbo’s, and people who work in human waste-getting-rid-of-…ness. I am glad I don’t have to deal with my own shit figuritively and literally. And people who work on farms/turning animals into the food I eat. I don’t want to kill things and feel bad… so… thanks to you guys also for making my life less shitty. And such.

I am really thankful that I do not have an STD:
Last year a rumour was spread amongst a group of people I knew that I had herpes, which infuriated me at the time (obviously) but now just makes for a great story and something to laugh about with my friends (because I actually sortof accidently kindof  started a rumour the year before that a friend of mine had an STD…Karma is a swift and unforgiving biiiitch). But really, I don’t spend enough time being thankful about the fact that there are no viruses in and around my Vajajay. I definitely do not have the money to be spending precious drinking dollars on fancy anti-herp or wart creams, and, lets be honest, I don’t have the commitment to apply that shit on the reg, so. Yeah. I’m thankful that my parents always stressed that CONDOMS were whats-up with getting-down. Thanks Mum and Dad, you guys are the greatest.

I am really thankful for Sand:
It’s tiny smashed up rocks and shells. Isn’t that amazing!? Yes you guys, yes it is.

I am really thankful that I am a blonde, white woman with big boobs:
I know, I know. You’re sick of me mentioning my breasts at every available opportunity (sooooorrrrry, they’re literally in front of my face all day every day) and now you’re kindof worried that I’m about to say something semi-racist. But no. Ish. I’m just saying that I’m grateful to be me, because if I was me, but a dude, I might get punched in the face a lot more than I do.

I pull a lot of shit and get away with it because I can play the ditsy-blonde-girl card, the foreigner card (like the time the cop wanted to charge me for jaywalking… hellooooo we don’t have roads in Australia…how was I supposed to know), and the outraged-indignant-feminist card (are you saying that because I am a WOMAN?!)

So thank you Genes, and circumstance and evoltion, for allowing me to be a bitch and still get free drinks on a semi-freuquent occassion.

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I am really thankful that Sharks do not have legs:
I fucking hate Sharks. Have you ever seen ‘Deep Blue Sea’? That is the scariest fucking movie of all time (apart from ‘The Candyman’ which I watched at an innapropriately young age, about a man with hooks for hands that can come at you through a mirror if you say “candyman” three times in a row) about Sharks that get smart and sink a Shark Research centre in the middle of the ocean and try to kill all of the people working there. Why Sharks, WHY?!

Sharks are dicks.

So I guess I don’t spend enough time being thankful that Sharks are safely in the ocean, and I am safely on the land. Really, in my day to day urban life, I have no natural predators (except for rapists and gun-men) and for that I am truly thankful. And I’m glad to live in Canada now because all the things that were very real dangers in Australia (deadly spiders, snakes and sharks) would all freeze to death over here in the winter. Yay -20 degrees. Kill all the things.

I am really thankful that when we cry, we cry tears, and not glass shards:
The human body is an amazing thing that makes me go “wow” on a regular basis. Like, WOW you grew a human person from your orgasim and a tiny egg-thing we can’t even see. And your partner carried it inside them somewhere between their guts and where they pee? Humans right!? Astonishing.

So it’s good that our humanly functions (apart from childbirth) aren’t too painful. Like crying. Tears are soft water droplets that you can’t even really feel, but imagine if they were tiny sharp shards of glass so that when you cried, you probably would cry more because of the pain. And then your cheeks would just be all scraped and torn up.

Children would be a lot quieter, there would be less sad movies, and people in general would mostly be hardasses. So thankyou evolution for making me not bleed from my eyes when I’m having a bad day/meltdown/PMS.

I am really glad that weekends exist:
Imagine if we lived in a world where there were no such things as days off or weekends. It would be like Brave New World or 1984.

Bill: Hey Gary, what you up to today.
Gary: Work. And you?
Bill: Same! And then the next 7 years of our lives?
Gary&Bill: Woooorrrkk!

If weekends didn’t exist, I would have no good stories to tell at parties because I wouldn’t have the opportunity to shame myself and regret my poor life choices. No good story ever started with “and then on a worknight this one time…”

There are so many other things to be thankful for, like how Kim Jong Il is not your dad, George Lucas isn’t directing the next Star Wars, and Sloths are a creature that really are real in real life (for a long time I thought they were an internet hoax – seriously…)

I hope you’ll take a minute to appreciate the things that you might not normally be thankful for, but that you probably should.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

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Here it is

It’s Thanksgiving in America this weekend, and while I am not American, nor do I live in America (North of the border YO!) I think it’s an important time of my life to take a deep breath and think about what is important and to say THANKYOU Universe and Science and World for letting me take my little gulps of air and to have blood thrumming all over my body in this thing we called life.

Because someone I know kind of died yesterday.

I didn’t know this person so well, he was a friend of my Mum’s and I met him and did a play with him when I was 14 years old. I knew him as a backdrop to my adolescent self-obssession, and later as an adult, as that guy who always posted a word of the day on Facebook (dang Facebook wall cloggers!)

And though I am saddened for my Mum who is sad, and I quietly mourn the loss of anyone who passes away at a time when they are too young (47), I am not a Sympathy Vampire, intent on packaging this loss to gain attention for myself, or make a statement about how this affects ME ME ME. I just note his death as a time to reflect and to take stock in a busy world.

Thank you…

Sometimes I think I’m not normal. Does everyone spend as many hours in their own head obsessing about things like I do? Do people beat themselves up as much as I do, for the passing of time and the apparent non-achievements they think should have come more easily by now?

Does everyone have this restless demon rolling around inside their ribcage, and a voice in the back of their brain that constantly cries “run away! What’s over there?! Look at all those people doing more fun stuff than you! Flee, jump, swim, out out OUT! What would Tina Fey do??”

Or is it just me?

I think it’s safe to say that most of the time I put on a very confident exterior. I just seem to get on with things. I move countries. No big. I settle in wherever. Whatevs. People have used the word brave to describe me before..

But the ugly truth of the matter is that I am a roiling rack of insecurities, fear and uncertainty. I second guess every single move I make, and it is exhausting. There is no harsher critic than yourself. And I have begun to realize that perhaps that level of  self-criticism is too hard to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Maybe it’s my oldest child syndrome forcing me to be an overachiever, or the small child in me that was bullied badly in those early years who made a vow one evening in the bathtub (I’ll show you, I’ll show all of you! I’ll get so famous and then I’ll pretend I forgot your name!), but enough is never enough. Up until this point I have never been working hard “enough” I have never made “enough” money, it’s never quiet as bright and sparkly “enough” I’m not thin “enough”.

I’ve come to realize that people don’t often talk about painful things, or things they think will put them in a lesser light. The population is afraid to look weak, or maybe we’re all just Keeping up with the Kardashians. And as a result, everybody secretly thinks they’re sucking way worse than everybody else.

That they aren’t “Good Enough.”

And that’s how I feel sometimes.

Like when my visa was screwed up, I felt like I hadn’t been prepared, and when I couldn’t get it fixed and felt like a goldfish lost in the ocean, I felt like I was failing at life. As the dollars in my bank account dwindled, and my stress levels rose, I wondered how all the other 24-year-old wannabe’s out there were doing it.

Because no one ever said to me “You know what Paris, this week I feel like I’m really fucked and sucking at all this reality.” And so I thought, “oh, it’s just me that sucks then.”

The truth is, I’m less financially secure than I have ever been in my life. I’m finally getting some TV experience and I love it, but after applying for hundreds of jobs, there is still nothing paying coming my way. I have two degree’s behind me, and I’m starting to think I should have taken four years of work experience over the higher-learning. I wonder all the time about whether I should pack in this North American adventure and head for the hills (aka either of my parents houses). I’m trying to decide if I’m making any progress, or if I’m a seagull trapped behind a glass door, continuously bashing its head against a barrier it can’t see and the thing it craves.

I’m thankful for:
My Family, who are far away, but who I love and who I miss. The older I get, the more clearly their cracks and lumps and bumps become apparent to me, but the same goes for me, and they seem to still like me anyway.

My boyfriend and my friends-wherever they may be in the world.

My ability to read and write, two of my greatest loves in this world.

Being healthy. That’s a big one, one that I know you are supposed to be thankful for, but which I never truly appreciate.

The safety I enjoy by being an Australian Citizen, for the ability to live in countries of my choice, and live in peace.

It’s not a long list, and it’s not detailed. But for richer or poorer, those are the things that matter to me. I could specify, and I have private lists that go on and on. But those are the main things, and even when I am staring down the barrel of a potentially stressful few months, or stuck inside my own head over analysing the little things and driving myself crazy, I remember (somewhere in the recesses of that other part of me that is actually pretty practical and on top of things) that I will be okay. And that my life is a tiny blip compared to the age of the earth and the stars.

End Rant.