The New Year of First World Problems

This year I spared myself the pain of failure of New Years Resolutions by cancelling them out totally. This is demonstrated by the fact that this post was started in January as a “New Years Resolution post“ but is only successfully published in March, Why? Because the pressure to follow through with blog posts  is WAY less.

For the past couple of years, I’ve had some hipster feelings about New Years Resolutions. People tell me all about theirs and I just sink into an emo abyss. New Year Resolutions are soooo oppressively mainstream. I came to this conclusion when I miserably failed at my lenten resolution a few years ago. If I didn`t have the willpower to keep my daily coffee intake to under three dessert bowl sized coffee mugs for 40 days, why cause more self-inflicted low self-esteem?

In my last post, I told the world that I became one of Canada newest landed immigrants. I’d like to think that the patriotic honeymoon phase will last eternally but the truth is, my newly minted Canadian status has been lacking some of its intial lustre lately.

Hardly two months after I became a resident and all the hoopla of immigration died out and my all friends stopped offering to take me for “celebratory coffees”, reality set in that my life hadn’t changed one bit.

The weather still displays asshole-like behavior, I still ride the same buses and Rob Ford is still the mayor of Toronto.

Mayor Rob Ford

Mayor Rob Ford

But I feel a sense of pride to be able to call myself a Torontonian even if the word ‘Torontonian’ sounds like a name given to baby T-Rex.

One of the things that became very apparent now that I’m an official resident was an overwhelming realisation of first world problems. They were always there and they`re now significantly magnfied since I don`t have third world problems to deal with anymore.

Here are some of the worst first-world problems I`ve had to deal with. Read it and weep for me.

1) The “high“ setting on my hair dryer is not high enough.

How hard is it for Sears to carry a brand of  hair dryers whose high setting doesn’t feel like a pair of butterfly wings fluttering around a lotus flower in the morning sunshine? Now I have to wait for this shitbox piece of crap to burn out until the next useless Conair I buy on sale. Life is pain.

2) The inability to cut avocadoes.

Anybody else think Canadian winters are the worst time to buy avocadoes? Those little bitches are hard as nails to cut up. Anyways, being the overflowing wellspring of patience that I am, I thought of a genius plan of quickening the avocado ripening process. Put the avocadoes in a brown paper bag and use my useless hair dryer to blow bursts of warm air in the bag. Fruit likes warmth right? Is avocado a fruit? My parents, past science teachers or anyone with two and half functionally firing neurons would have probably sighed with hopelessness at the sight of someone blowdrying avocadoes. No guacamole till April. Life is pain.

3) When your lipstick is done perfectly and you have to Roll up the Rim:

Every year, Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons contributes significantly to seasonal depressive disorder by inflicting the ever popular “Roll up the Rim” upon overcaffienated Canadians. Throngs of people line up at Timmies every morning, noon and night for their double-doubles with excitement and anticipation at the prospect of biting off the rim of a paper cup to see just how much of nothing they won. It’s like the shittiest orgasm in the history of life. You keep building up to the promise of something sweet ( a free stale carrot muffin) only to have all of it crashing to pieces around you when you get nothing. Because there is nothing like the words “Sorry, please try again“ to pep up your mojo.

No stale muffin, no lipstick and no orgasm. Life is pain.

Here’s one my co-worker Kat ranted about the other day:

4) When you go home after a long day at work and your mother has dinner waiting for you but it`s something that you don`t like:

“I absolutely HATE it when I go home exhausted from work , and my mother has dinner waiting for me and it`s cauliflower. Yuck. So what if I`m still living at home? At 27. Rent free. ” Life is pain.

And for the grand finale…

5) When the hardest life choice you have to make comes down to deciding beween a coffee maker and toilet paper:

My coffee maker died right around  the time I ran out of toilet paper and I felt the world closing in on me. Since I do not own a vehicle, I could only carry home one of the bulky items from the store…toilet paper or a coffee maker. It is important to note that this impossible decision took two whole days to make, during which I exhausted all my emergency TP.

In the end, toilet paper won. Shit happens. For everything else, there’s Starbucks. I came up with a plan that was winning at life: I ordered the coffee maker online so it would be delivered straight to my house and went out to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy toilet paper. I wouldn’t have to lug home a large coffee maker box and toilet paper was light enough for my delicate frame to lug home.

But of course this first world universe had to shit on my parade. The very large bulk supply of toilet paper that I brought home that night turned out to be all paper towels instead (because I clearly cannot read labels). Three days later, I found a note on my front door telling me that Purolator dropped by to deliver my coffee-maker but since I wasn`t home to sign for it, I would have to go all the way to the post office and pick it up my myself.

I took that note and walked in the cold to the post office to pick up my brand new coffee-maker.

Now I have limp hair, seven rock-hard avocadoes, wasted lipstick, back pain from lugging home a coffee maker, frost bite, and a shit load of paper towels. But life is definitely less pain when you have coffee and toilet paper.  

What are some of your first world problems? 

Immigration officers say the darnedest things

If for some reason you have felt my blogging absence in your soul for the past week- don’t fret, children. I actually have a legit excuse this time.  As a lot of you already know, my never-ending immigration problems with Canada have been a constant source of bemoaned bitch fests on this blog.

Around this time last year, I wrote a very heartfelt letter to Canada making a pretty strong case of why this country needs to drop all this Bollywood-style drama and welcome me to the family already. Unfortunately, none of the big wigs in Ottawa read my blog or they would have seen that my love for Canada knows no bounds.

I’ve been living here as a foreigner for so long that I was sure the government must have either forgotten about me or has been using my application as a place-mat for their Tim Hortons’ coffee cups.

And then last week, just as I was in the middle of writing a miserable blog post about why Hallmark should hire me as their executive greeting card writer (I clearly have big dreams), I received an email from my immigration lawyer. It was an email I have been waiting a very very long time for.

I’m getting teary-eyed even writing this sentence: After 8 years, 3 months, and 21 days, my immigration application to become a permanent resident in Canada was finally APPROVED.

I was a little most excited about becoming immigrant than these people were about Canada winning gold at hockey in the Vancouver Olympics.

I was a little more excited about becoming an immigrant than these people were about Canada winning gold at hockey in the Vancouver Olympics. (Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com)

The past eight years of my time in Canada were probably the happiest and the hardest years of my life. I met some of the most amazing people whom I eventually called friends, I started this blog, I found religion, my first immigration application was denied, my status was incorrectly filed and as a result I lost my entire savings to the government in taxes leaving me completely broke. And then I broke my foot.

I laughed about it all till I almost peed my pants, and I cried about it all till I almost peed my pants…and eight years later, all of it came full circle as I stood in the immigration line clutching my confirmation letter- happy, proud, relieved and exhausted all at the same time.

But as much as I would love to tell you all more about my harrowing immigration ordeal, the whole point of this post was actually to tell you about the awesome immigration officers who marked the end of this chapter in my life.

Border immigration officers have always scared the crap out of me. They are stoic, expressionless fixtures who are trained to be suspicious of everything from puppies to empty tuna cans. Part of the whole charade of becoming a landed immigrant in Canada meant that I actually had to “land” in the country.

This required a drive to Niagara Falls, crossing the border into the States and then “landing” in Canada at the border on the way back. 

Crossing the US border is a feat in and of itself. I blame it on the fact that I was born in Kuwait. Names of Middle-Eastern countries stamped in your passport are never meritorious in these situations. We had a two hour wait in the line up in the immigration office at the US border.

The US immigration official dealing with my passport was a young man with the same stoic appearance as everyone else.

He asked me some questions, and then stared suspiciously back and forth between me and my passport. I almost shit my pants.

US Immigration officer: “How long are you going to be in the States?”

Karen: “Just a day”

 US Immigration officer stares at me again. I was sure I was never going to get out of here. 

US Immigration officer: “Do you know who Selena Gomez is?”

Karen: “Huh? Umm yeh.”

US Immigration officer: “You look like her”

Karen: “Thanks. I get that all the time”

US Immigration officer: “Sorry to hear about you and Justin Beiber”

Karen: “I’m not crying myself to sleep over it”

US Immigration officer: “Good to see you’re pulling through.”

Karen: “I do what I can”

US Immigration officer: “Here’s your passport. Have a good trip.”

When a US Immigration officer pays you such a high compliment, there's no other choice but to believe it.

When a US Immigration officer pays you such a high compliment, there’s no other choice but to believe it.

It was a relief to know that the Americans weren’t trying to link me to some terrorist ring…just to Justin Beiber. Clearly they already thought I was Canadian enough. Now no one can say that US Immigration officers don’t have a sense of humor.

_____________________________________

The Canadian border immigration officers also had an unusual sense of humor…which they displayed through this very cruel prank they played on me.

Our car pulls up to the window and we hand the immigration officer lady our passports.

Canadian Immigration officer: “Who’s doing their landing here?”

Karen: “I am!”

Canadian Immigration officer looks at me confused.

Canadian Immigration officer: Umm…were you told to come to the border to do your paper work?”

Karen: “Yes. I was told I could come to the border anytime.”

Canadian Immigration officer: “Who told you this? I’m sorry, but we don’t do permanent residence paper work on Saturdays. You’ll have to come back.”

For the second time that day I almost shit my pants.

Karen: “What?!? No!! Please. I was told I could get it done anytime.”

Canadian Immigration officer: “No ma’am, you can’t. Also, do you realize your visa here expired a couple of days ago?”

Karen: “NO IT DIDN’T!”

I was visibly on the verge of tears. The Canadian Immigration officer took one look at me and burst out laughing.

Canadian Immigration officer: “I’m so sorry. I’m just messing with ya. Come on out. Breathe. We’ll go in and do your paperwork”

I chalked this one down to the fact that maybe this woman was sitting out all day tired, probably needed a little entertainment and I was the perfect scapegoat.

The officers inside took all my forms, stamped all my documents.

They finally handed all my stuff back to me and said the words I never thought I’d hear:

“Congratulations, you are now a landed immigrant in Canada. Sorry you had to wait for so long.”

A declaration AND a quasi apology from a Canadian government official.

I smiled and walked out of that office feeling like I just won the life lottery.

Friday Chronicles: Diabetes and Moose poop

After a long hiatus from my weekly commentary on the idiotic behavior of idiots, the Friday Chronicles is back for another round of cheap laughs at the latest and not-so-greatest weekly news items!

I’m aware of just how long it has been. By now, some of you may have  acquired spouses, allergies, illegitimate children, book deals or, if you live my life, absolutely nothing. But no matter how crazy or not crazy your life has gotten since the last lifetime, there’s always time for some LOLZ for your Friday.

Politics seems to be the theme of this month. I vowed never to dabble too much on politics on my blog, and I’m not about to break that for the sake for the Friday Chronicles. But every once in a while, politics makes for some good humor.

1) Obama wins the presidential election 2012:

This news is stale and unless you’ve had your head stuck in a tin pipe in some sewer on Jupiter for the last two weeks, I really don’t think I’ve ruined the ending for anyone. The Republicans are now prepping for the end of the world, and the Democrats are advocating for women’s rights to choose between a binder and large manila envelope. But the actual news item that I’m trying to get at by using this as a leeway is:

2) Republicans threaten to move to Canada after Mittens Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential elections:

Time to bust out the Say Whaaaa face….

All these fools be so ridiculous that I can’t even eat my fried chicken in peace anymore.

This was clearly the highlight of the elections for me. In a rush of NObama frenzy, disgruntled and fed-up  Republicans expressed some adamant wishes to move to Canada, the one country that embodies the Republican nightmare: shiteous taxes, government funded healthcare, zero abortion laws, zero gun policy, gay marriage, jungle-is-massive lineups at Tim Hortons, Parti Quebecois…

Here are some clearly agitated Repub tweeters expressing their views:

And my personal favorite:

I love how the media uses the word “threaten”. Because in addition to the global warming panic-attacks Canadians experience whenever the weather is humid, and the by-law stating that all Canadians must spend at least 35.8 minutes of their day holding the door open for strangers, we now have to worry about disgruntled Republicans storming into our igloos and making fun of our poorly designed plastic money. 

As terrifying as these issues sound though, nothing compares to the biggest obstacle Republicans will have to face when they move here: switching to the metric system. 

Come on, Republican America! Is this what you really want?

“I’m telling ya, Barry O! All we need is a moose and a gun loaded with Timbits and we can rule the WORLDDDD!”
Diabetes and moose poop- Canada’s line of defense in case of foreign attack

(Quick Glossary: Timbits= Canada’s gift to the world= lethal balls of sugar from Tim Hortons)

If you are really hard pressed for a place to move to, here’s a suggestion:

3) Kuwait lands in the Guiness Book of Record for the largest firework display of life:

Kuwait, which is a relatively unknown little oil-rich country in the Middle East (and NOT a small farming town in Manitoba), made it into the Guiness Book of records last week. Why you ask? Because they just spent 15 million dollars on a firework display to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their constitution.  Take that, Fourth of July! Don’t even TRY to top this. Because Kuwait will just sneeze out a few million barrels of oil and buy your whole country.  

Here are some images:

You can click on the title of this news piece to see more of these pictures

I tried to think of some smartass comparisons but I keep getting distracted by all these lights. And after having lived in Kuwait my whole life, the only way I can describe this is by the image of Kim Kardashian: Hot, flashy and so ridiculously over the top. 

4) Facebook creates new “Couples Pages”:

Singles Unite! We now have another reason to drink vodka and write blog posts about talking to our kitchen appliances like they are real people. Facebook announced that they will now be collating all the information about you and anyone you have listed as being “in a relationship” with into your own couple’s page. And as with most new Facebook features, you have no say in this. 

It’s just like Facebook to take away any last shred of joy that one experiences when, after hours of stalking, manages to overcome all the obstacles of privacy settings and find personal information about their exes. But of course, I found an upside to all this. Less time for stalking can only mean more time to correct everyone’s grammar. 

And finally,

In my search for news stories this week, I found out that my husband celebrated his 32nd birthday on November 12th! 

5) Happy Birthday, Ryan Gosling!

And CLEARLY he doesn’t mind that I actually had no idea when his birthday was, as evidenced by what he said to me:

YES.
(www.effyeahryangosling.tumblr.com)

And with that, we complete this week’s political, hormonal, self-deprecating round up of “news”. Join me next time for another round my social commentary on the wonderfully weird things making the news. Happy Friday and have a great weekend, comrades!

Friday Chronicles: Roll up the Albino Rhino

In the name of randomness that usually underscores the Friday Chronicles, I googled the words ‘Friday quotes’  so I could have a hilarious opener for this week’s chronicles. You guys all deserve some opening hilarity for being so awesome. Sadly, this is what Google spewed out:

“I’m not that girl from Freaky Friday any more! I’m a real adult. In fact, I hate children! I hate them all!”- Lindsay Lohan

Here’s hoping all you guys had a better week than La Loco Lohan. If not, then here’s hoping you delay dousing yourself with gasoline for just enough time to read this week’s Chronicles.

What can I say…this was a pretty fun week in the news but I’ve been a little tired so if you sense a higher bitch index than usual, it’s just the crabby lady hormones talking. TMI? Indeed I believe so.

1) Tim Hortons begins its 2012 “Roll up the Rim” promotion:

This message is not brought to you by the Toronto tourism Board. If you are planning on visiting Toronto or just Canada in general, there is no better time than now. You may ask..why Karen? Why now when its -1o degrees celsius (14F for you Americans) and not when its 30 degrees celsius (hotter than you, America)?

Well, its Roll-up-the-Rim time, bitches! That’s right. Every year around spring time (subject to change) Tim Hortons Coffee House, Canada’s pride and joy, unveils Roll-up-the-Rim wherein after you are done guzzling your delicious Canadian beverage, you get the chance to bite at the rim (because it’s actually not that easy to roll) and win some cool prizes.However, because I’m a raging pessimist I usually never win anything.

The story of my life. Balled up fist and all. (www.thehammer.ca)

I also read the fine print that if you do win, Canadian residents will have to answer a skill-testing question. In case anyone asks, the Canadian national animal is the beaver. Not the moose. And not a yeti named Nantuck.

2) Kuwait plays Borat clip as Khazak national anthem:

The achingly rich country of Kuwait this year was host to the Arab Shooting Championship. Just that line should tell you that this is not a country you want to mess with. It’s probably why Maria Dmitrienko, the gold medal winner from Kazakhstan decided to just shut her gob and smile when she heard her beloved Kazakhstan’s national anthem replaced by the Borat spoof anthem, which basically talks about how Kazakhstan has the cleanest prostitutes in the region among its other positive attributes. The irony of it all is that Kuwait banned the movie Borat. Maybe that’s why they didn’t recognise the spoof when they “accidentally” played it off of someone’s bootleg Borat DVD. Oh you silly Kuwait you, always getting yourself in hot oil.

Full story here.

3) B.C. woman files human rights complain against restaurant about their beer:

Popular Canadian restaurant chain Earls came under fire recently when Ikponwosa (I.K.) Ero, a Vancouver resident complained to the Human Rights Tribunal that the restaurant’s beer “Albino Rhino” was offensive to her and everybody else suffering from albinism. Ero claimed that she had to leave her home country of Nigeria where albinos were constantly attacked and come to Canada to restart her life only to have a beer named after her condition.

If you’re anything like me, then several questions would have burned through your mind. Like for example, how is this not offensive to rhinos? Is PETA vacationing in the Bahamas? And another thing, has anyone tried looking up “Albino Rhino” in Urban Dictionary? (Y’alls can go and look it up yourselves). Because TRUST ME. This has nothing to do with albinos…or rhinos for that matter. I’m just gonna go now and maul over the possibility of calling the use of the word “brownies” as offensive. You know, because I’m brown. Don’t pretend you didn’t notice.

Full story here.

4) Canada goose attacks man in Mississauga, ON:

First of all, two thousand points to any non-Canadian who can correctly pronounce the word Mississauga. U.S.A. residents not eligible since you guys have Mississippi and they’re kind of the same.  Canada humans are clearly not the only ones enraged by the sudden weather change to frigidity this week from last week’s summer heat. Canada geese who returned for spring from their Florida vacay has been throwing hissy fits all week, the biggest one being a couple of days ago when our squawking angry national bird chased a man and fought him over a bag lying on the sidewalk. Its unclear whether the bird was pissed because he was cold, or because he was in Mississauga. Both reasons are understandable.

Who said Canada was a safe place? (www.blogs.riverfronttimes.com)

Here’s the goose video for your LOLZ pleasure.

And finally,

5) Prince Harry says it’s so hard to find love because of his princely status:

Prince Harry in a candid interview indicated that his royal engagements often cockblock stand in the way of romance and sometimes wishes he was just a normal guy. Harry, you adorable Brit. If you’re reading this right now, after looking far and wide through my best Facebook photos, I found the one good reason why you should dry your endless tears:

I also have one in red and purple. In case gold is not your color.

And that concludes this week’s edition of the Friday Chronicles. Just a little note, there will not be Friday Chronicles next week on account of it being Good Friday and I’m a good Catholic who tries really hard for least one day in the year to be nice and less sarcastic. And I’ll be away from a computer for most part of that weekend.

Until the next blog post, have an awesome weekend and the Friday Chronicles will be back to entertain you in a couple of weeks!