packing hurts, unpacking hurts more

packing for anything is awful. i’ll a list of things to bring, which never seems to be complete. and ticking off the items one by one takes a little of the thrill out of going on holiday and almost makes it a bit more of a chore. for me, packing takes some of the romance out of going away. it’s hard to feel too excited when you’re in the chemist stocking up on supplies in case you get a stomach bug. if only i was a character in a romantic comedy who makes a last minute decision to get on a plane to be with her soulmate, packing her bags in a delightful frenzy. deciding how many sets of underwear you’ll need to bring is not delightful.

but unpacking might be just as awful. returning from the holiday and coming back to the real life where everything feels the same except now you don’t have a trip on the distant horizon to anticipate. sleeping in your old bed and working at your old desk which feel the same even though you now feel like a different person who just got used to a different, more carefree lifestyle. so you book another trip and it starts all over again.

HOW TO BE ALONE

Beautiful little film/poem.

LOOKING FOR LOLS #2

2. Kristen Wiig

THE QUEEN. One of my favourite Saturday Night Live cast members ever. Before I even got into SNL I’d seen Kristen Wiig in countless movies she’s had speaking roles in Forgetting Sarah MarshallAdventurelandGhost Town, Knocked Up, Date Night, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Bridesmaids (of course) and television roles on 30 Rock, Flight of the Conchords and Portlandia. However, I’d never paid much attention to her, as awful as that sounds, for me she always seemed to play such unassuming characters.

When I saw her in all her glory on SNL though, the blindfold was lifted from my eyes. I recognised her for the comedic chameleon she is. Below is a primer of four of my favourite characters of hers:

LOOKING FOR LOLS #1

Whenever you ask anyone about the top three qualities they’d want in their ideal partner it’s more than likely that a good sense of humour will be a quality on that list. And I don’t think it’s a cliché. (Yes, I used the ~accent aigu- above the é there. I have a deep respect for the French.) I’m not any different you’ll find a sense of humour at the top of my own list and I appreciate a good sense of humour deeply and anyone who will riff on a joke with me without hesitation.*

I’m starting a little series on Scattered Flashes where I talk about some of my favourite funny people and this week’s comedian of choice, is the first comedian in my life:

1. Demetri Martin 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mandeej/8611981836

Demetri Martin is the reason that I first became aware of comedy as a thing that existed. I stumbled across his TV show Important Things With Demetri Martin in my second year of high school during my travels on the internet and was hooked on his humour immediately.

I found his deadpan delivery and use of wordplay, music and sketch fascinating because he was nothing like I thought all comedians were like i.e. loud and crass. Demetri Martin always seemed so intelligent and driven to me (in his special If I he discusses all the weird and wonderful things he’s taught himself to do like ride a unicycle and learn to write with both hands) and in that way I found, and still find, him to be very inspiring. He’s got around three specials, a TV show and two books – all of which I’d recommend checking out. He’s also had small roles in a film or two so you might’ve seen him before! I hope one day I’ll get to see him live but I’m glad that the internet gave me the chance to find out about his work, I won’t say the internet never gave me anything! I can’t explain here how enamoured I was by his sense of humour during high school and how much I admired him.

He’s also had a few podcast appearances and I really enjoyed his spot on Pete Holmes’ You Made It Weird which you can see/hear here.

 

*Let me say, I’m against people having pre-conceived notions about whether someone will be a good partner for them based on a made up list of qualities but it’s a fun little exercise when not taken too seriously.

Teaching is one of the noblest professions

I’ve had some great teachers in my life, I can’t claim that any of them were Dead Poet’s Society levels of inspiring but the majority of them changed my life for the better. A handful of teachers have had such a profound impact on my life but to them I’m just another child in the hundreds, maybe thousands, that they’ll encounter and nurture. They taught me about the world and about myself. Chemistry and calculus, Judaism and Japanese, George Orwell and Geography  -All the things I didn’t realise I’d be proud to know in just a few short years.

I come from a family of teachers and as a child I thought it was such a boring job. Why couldn’t I come from a family of astronauts or race-car drivers? Now I’m older I realise that teachers have a great responsibility, to guide all the future astronauts and race-car drivers. Teacher are tasked with inspiring children to achieve their full potential. Teaching is one of the noblest professions.

If I Stay: THE MOVIE

I like crying over texts and if you feel the same then it’s likely you’ll have a great time watching “If I Stay”. I mostly assess movies on the stories that they tell, I don’t pay an overt amount of attention to soundtracks or lighting or cinematography. Furthermore, with film adaptions of drama/romance novels I don’t come out of the cinema feeling particularly satisfied because I’ll just have watched a story play out that I’ve read before and am already familiar with.

“If I Stay” disarmed me though and I really enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because it’s been two years since I read the novel and so the particulars of it weren’t as clear to me but I thought it was a great teen film. Chloe Grace Möretz is the sweetest thing and so is Jamie Blackley. I found the obvious gap in the ages between the actors a little distracting at first, they played their characters well and I soon forgot about it. I really enjoyed the use of music in the film and appreciate the fact that the creators of the film made the decision to compose songs for the film which Jamie Blackley actually sung. 

Below is a link to one such track:

Midnight In Paris

I found Midnight In Paris (2011) to be such a beautiful, funny and sweet film and I normally don’t get on with Woody Allen.  To Rome With Love was a little boring for me and the touches of magical realism disconcerting whereas in Midnight In Paris I think they worked perfectly.

From the get-go, I loved the movie. The three minutes filled completely with scenes of Paris! Magnifique! Luke Wilson and Rachel McAdams were wonderful at subtly acting out a couple not-quite on the rocks. Furthermore, the portrayal of the great artists and thinkers was WONDERFUL. Ernest Hemmingway and Salvador Dali made me laugh like nobody’s business.

Great cast, great story, great tone.