I wonder if Shirley Manson ever did turn the tables.

Did anyone else realise that Frances Bean Cobain was not only not a child, but an actual adult? And an artist? That by the age of 24 she was (past tense intens-ional) married? I only know this because of some headline about her getting a court order to have her father’s acoustic guitar (from the MTV Unplugged performance) returned from her ex-husband. Fancy that, Kurt’s little girl is a person now. For all I know she’s been a person for years, but like Macaulay Culkin and Hayley Joel Osment the world will always think of her as a child. Wait, in the case of those last two, maybe it’s that the world would prefer them to still be children. I kid. The Pizza Underground are a slice of good ol’ American national treasure.

There’s probably some internet neologism akin to sonder about children we once knew/knew of who grew up. It shouldn’t be weird or unexpected, I mean, that’s what time does after all. Still, it gets me whenever I’m faced with an adult I used to know as a child. Hell, I’m sure I’d feel the same about old friends of mine I only knew as children. As if I needed yet another surefire sign I was ageing into irrelevance. My vacation back home was a lesson in the aforementioned as yet unnamed internet neologism (see how much cleaner it could’ve made that sentence?). Not only my two and a half year old niece (who I last saw at four months), but younger cousins (I’d guessed they were about seven and nine by now, not 11 and 13) too.

We’re all too aware of how we grow as we age, but with someone who’s been out of sight it seems crazy. I can wank on endlessly about my mental and emotional progression from 16-30. Concurrently there’s this dumb lizard part of my brain that doesn’t extend the same courtesy to those who I’m rarely near. It’s like my internal logic imagines some Schrödinger-esque quark-y existence whereby they could be any type of person in the time between our last contact. It’s only my proximity that solidifies their personality, before that they’re a jumble of potential, positive or sub-optimal. I’m clearly an idiot and a narcissistic one at that. It’s fine.

Kids’ll often grow up to surprise you. Who knew my niece would be so goddamn intelligent and perceptive for a two and a half year old? Seriously, you’ve gotta watch your mouth around that gal. She’ll pick up any conversational scraps left behind. Who knew my cousins would have their own interests and passions that they’d ardently stuck with? Who knew cute lil’ Hayley Joel Osment could be utterly reprehensible in the equally reprehensible Entourage movie (I mean, Entourage being a odious shitpile surprised nobody)?

I guess it’s just weird to think of somebody else for a change. When I grow up maybe I’ll get better at it.

I’m sitting in transit writing this. Seems apt enough.

It’s hard to gauge how I feel right now. Having just come off an 11.5 hour fight and still coming down off of sleep meds, my mind’s a bit woozy. It’s tricky to grasp on to solid trains of thought and there are a bunch of elusive ones slip n’ sliding around my brain box. I just realised that I need to do an entry for NZ’s 22nd of January, but also Canada’s 22nd of January. It’ll be two entries in one day for me, but should square things with you. With my current mind state it’s hard to figure out why, but all I know is that I need to, so let’s do that.

The one thought that’s making itself a constant is that I’m far more disheartened to be returning home to Toronto than I expected to be. Mum asked me on the way to the airport what big things I had planned for 2017. Right now, it feels like finding an answer to the above may be a large part of that. It’s strange, because I know that I love Toronto. I know that being home in Toronto I find constant reminders that make me grateful to have left in the first place.

Being back in NZ, however, I noticed the same phenomenon. It’s easy to find small things to tie the sentiment to: I think New Zealanders are generally a more pleasant and sincere people, less beholden to the strange artifice of implied social niceties. In Toronto, it feels like people act the way they act because of how they’d like to be perceived. On the flip side of that is accent privilege. I’m pretty fortunate to be living in Toronto with all the rights of a Canadian, but with the accent of a New Zealander. People straight up treat me nicer. People will go out of their way to help me out, in a way people back home wouldn’t. Without a doubt, it works to my advantage.

Whatever 2017 holds, I know I need for it to hold a big change I haven’t yet discovered. I’ve passed the “making it work” stage of my immigration. I’m settled, I have a place to live, diverse groups of good friends, local communities, custom Toronto coffee map, stupid but fun podcast, loving girlfriend and salaried position. I still have yet to find my why. I don’t know if it’s enough to straight up say that I “hate” my job, so it may be better to note that it’s a necessity that brings me no end of dread. There are places that this job could lead, but if it doesn’t at some point I’ll get more satisfaction from bashing my head into a wall continually. I don’t think this point is terribly far off.

I need a new job and I need that job to give back as well as taking. Something either creative or involved in the creative process. I need to be able to look back on a week and see things that were accomplished in making something happen. Going into the office every day to do the equivalent of drag and drop data entry would’ve felt beneath me at the age of 24, let alone 30. Despite the mitigating circumstances (having your company sold and trying to hold on to everything while hiring freezes and mass layoffs explode around you do factor in. At least a little), I’m disappointed in myself for having been stagnant for so long. It’s not why I left and it’s not where I want to be.

Most of all, 2017 is gonna be spent examining the above and working towards a solution. Why did I leave a situation where nothing was wrong outside of complacency? What can I do to justify my decision, preventing the same from happening again? I need to fall in love with Toronto all over again and I need to start making my life not the life I want right now, but the life I’ll want to continue building for years to come.

Snapping back to reality for a second, Mum never made spaghetti this whole trip.

With my birthday pilgrimage back home in its twilight hours (under 24 hours to go until we’re back on a plane to the Northern Hemisphere), it’s time to reflect on a few things. In the time I’d been living in Canada, The distance between expectations and reality had widened to a chasm. Back in New Zealand x or y, or this would’ve been better back home. Comparisons became a part of everyday life, but with a decreasingly firm grip on how things in Aotearoa actually were. I hyped up a hell of a lot to my girlfriend, who’d developed a well practiced (and likely well deserved) eye roll. New Zealand has long held the nickname Godzone (God’s Own), but I’d given my rosy view a radiant aura. Making it all the way back home, however, allowed us to hold a magnifying glass up to read the small print of my bold claims. Let’s have a look see, then, at my ostentatious proclamations and see how they matched up:

  • Chocolate: Without a doubt, much better. A lot of North American style of chocolate comes from the Hershey’s school of lowest common denominator. The rich dairy in NZ made for creamier, sweeter chocolate. Anything from Whittaker’s was top notch. Anything from their premium range was a step again above that.
  • Cheese: Continuing with the dairy theme, NZ cheese beats the snot out of its Canadian counterpart, shits all over them and wipes the floor with their limp, stinky corpse for good measure. I’m not saying there’s no good Canadian cheese, I’m just saying there’s not remotely a contest between the basic supermarket brands.
  • Coffee: Once again, no contest. Possibly because of its adherence to espresso as standard, the quality of NZ coffee is much higher than a Canadian cup. Brew coffee doesn’t have a strong foothold here, the closest things being cold brew or French press. Knowing that there are a few Toronto cafes I quite like, I don’t think it’s unfair to say that your average barista made NZ cup of coffee is better than 70% of all Toronto cafes. A good NZ cafe is better than 90% of Toronto cafes. This is only anecdotal, but I’ve got a pretty deep sample base.
  • Apples: This might come down to taste, so it’s probably better to clarify. The things I like about a good apple are thus: Sweetness/tart balance (I prefer super sweet apples with maybe a slightly tart aftertaste). Crispness (nothing worse than biting into a mushy apple or having your bite leave tooth tracks. I want to bite and have a chunk snap off) and density. Macintosh apples can go fuck themselves and most apples I’ve tended to find in Toronto haven’t scratched that itch. The apples here in NZ, whether Pacific Rose or Jazz, even Braeburn have been the real deal. Yet again, if you have different apple metrics, I’m not gonna hold that against you.
  • Cookie Time: My favourite cookie brand from NZ. Big chunky cookies with big chocolate chunks. I was apprehensive to try a Cookie Time, assuming they’d never hold up to the standards I’d set. I was wonderfully surprised. Biting into a Cookie Time cookie was like biting off a chunk of history. They tasted exactly the same as I always had. No disappointment to be had. Also visiting the Queenstown Cookie Bar (complete with merch) was a tiny slice of paradise.
  • Lamb: No complaints. A big leg up from Canadian lamb. Shanks for the memories, NZ. Succulent and tasty. After the meat was gone, I grabbed the bone and pried every spec of flesh from that fucker Glorious, especially bundled with great roast veggies for accompaniment, which brings me to…
  • Kumara Fries: The one big let down were Burger Fuel kumara fries. Maybe we got a bad batch, who knows? They were slightly undercooked and firm. Also kind of bland. I always remembered kumara fries to be bursting with flavour. What they’d lack in crispness they made up for with sweetness. These fries though didn’t make the cut. Sad times.
  • Roasted Kumara: On the other side of the equation, kumara did live up to the pressure I’d placed on it. I like sweet potato/yam, but noxiously yellow kumara was all that I wanted. Flanked by pumpkin and potato they bolstered an already fantastic roast.
  • Service: I actually hadn’t expected much from NZ service staff, considering they didn’t work for tips. Surprisingly though, they were mostly really pleasant and rarely was anything a big deal for them. Kindness felt natural, rather than artificially inflated due to their wages relying on them. Bonus!
  • South Island scenery: Holy shit, was the South Island ever majestic! Even with shitty weather, it was unbelievable. Blowing the North Island right out of the water, the huge mountain passes and almost alien flora were breathtaking. Mental postcards and gorgeous landscapes everywhere. If you’re coming to NZ, I can’t recommend enough how worth it escaping the cities is. Treat yourself, make the trek.
  • Friends and Family: The big one. I’d been apprehensive that time may have proven a barrier, that distance could’ve made things awful. Across the board this was proven absurd. Everyone was as warm, welcoming, witty and wicked as I’d remembered. I grew up around the best people and nothing has stopped that from remaining so. I know I said the same thing when I left NZ first time around, but out of everything I love here, I’ll miss the people the most. To hang about just talking shit has trumped everything else I’ve done on this holiday.

I may be leaving tomorrow, but part of my heart will always remain in New Zealand.

It’s a horcrux i case of my untimely death.

Are homegoings a thing?

While the largest part of my homecoming tour has been saying hello again to all my friends, there’s a tacit understanding that I’m once again saying goodbye for a while. This couldn’t have been more pronounced than last night, as my best friend and his wife came over for a family farewell dinner. After many years he’s finally leaving New Zealand to pursue new adventures in his wife’s home country of Finland. Hardly a new idea, he’s been chasing escape for years, but wasn’t finding much traction. After a recent event gave him the kick up the arse he needed, they bought tickets and looked toward a new horizon.

My friendship with him has spanned almost my entire life. We met when I was one and he was two. Our families being close, we grew almost inseparable. I have endless stories from our friendship. Here are a smattering:

  • When I was three, I had a birthday cake with a small rubber Batman figure. He ended up getting the same Batman figure. Being the me that I was at three, I chewed on it enough to cleave the cape clean off. On one of our play dates, I noticed his figure and swapped it with mine. By the end of the play date he noticed the lack of a cape on his figure and called me on my shit. I learned he was nobody to fuck with.
  • For his fourth birthday we got him a Shredder (Ninja Turtles) action figure. Right as he was about to unwrap his gift I whispered to him the immortal words “I hope you like the Shredder.” He never forgave me. For my thirtieth birthday he gave me a present and card. Knowing full well I was taught to read the card first, he’d colourfully emblazoned in large font “P.S. IT’S A SHREDDER.”
  • We often went away to camps together, during which we were treated as fraternal twins. We would come, see, conquer. At our final camping experience (when we were getting old enough that holiday camps were losing their appeal) we were notorious. We organised our cabin into a crack Capture The Flag team to win the camp-wide competition. We dominated the talent show with our own Star Trek parody sketch. We held down every dance floor, made an awesome cabin song that was on everyone’s lips. We basically won camp. For the first time in the camp’s history, they awarded “most Spirited Campers” to us, instead of an individual prize.
  • When we were seven or eight, we went to the beach. We were swimming and I found myself being pulled further and further out. I tried swimming against the pull but I was getting tuckered out. I didn’t realise I was stuck in a rip. Without hesitation he swam out and managed to pull me back to safety.
  • When we were little kids our brothers told us that if we mooned Mr Whippy (ice cream truck), the driver would give us free fruit boats. We did. He didn’t. He just yelled and flipped us off. We cried. My friend’s mum made our brothers buy us fruit boats, so I guess our brothers didn’t exactly lie.
  • When my friend got married, I was appointed best man duties. The most important of these was making sure he turned up safe and relaxed. An hour before the wedding we chilled out at a McDonalds drinking frozen cokes, trying to decide whether the “Bill Murray” playing golf on the TV was the actual Bill Murray. It was. Also my mate got hitched without a hitch.
  • We once got really high, bought a ton of booze, candy and watched The Doors. His younger brother joined us at some stage, which was fun until his brother sat bolt upright, wide-eyed and opened his mouth. A torrent of vomit erupted in a solid stream. To this day it’s the only time I’ve seen vomit bounce.
  • At our family Ohakune batch the local radio station was Ski FM. Ski FM would play ads for Amarula Cream in almost every ad break. We’d giggle and sing along to the jingle. This continued for weeks, then over multiple holidays. Finally at age ten or so, my mum relented and bought us the Amarula Cream we so desired at the local bar. It was then we truly leaned that the squeaky wheel gets oiled and that we could be pretty fucking squeaky. I just realised that I’ve never had Amarula Cream since.

It goes without saying that on some level I’ll miss him, but we haven’t been in the same country for over three years anyway. It’s not the kind of relationship that needs to be maintained. After close to 29 years, any time and distance disappears the moment we’re together again. I couldn’t be happier for him, venturing out into the world. I’ll just have to steer clear of rips.

Maybe I did and this is what heaven feels like. Can you get sinus congestion in heaven?

I could’ve died.

Out of happiness, that is. Surrounded by friends accumulated through the first twenty or so years of my life. My best bud, who I met at age one. He pulled me out of a rip once. A smattering of kindergarten mates. Friends from New Entrants and primary school. My friend whose Malaysian family practically adopted me ages 11 through 17. Community theatre friends. The gal who’s tying the knot tomorrow. Close university friends. The guys I flatted with, three doors down from my parents’ place. My Magic/board gaming buddies. Old high school friends I hadn’t seen in years. Friends’ new boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives. A table covered in salads, deliciously marinated chicken, a delectably charred side of barbecued beef. Endlessly flowing wine, beer, cider and spirits. One room crammed with my favourite people in the world.

I could’ve died happy right then.

There was a sensation that’s hard to describe and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt it so acutely. Standing in the kitchen having fixed a drink, I looked around and was stunned, deer-in-headlights-style. I didn’t know where to go. I could take a step in any direction and be engrossed in conversation with anybody in that room. Every single person there was someone I could’ve eagerly spent hours talking to. The fact that I couldn’t have dense quality time with had me almost paralytic. Fear Of Missing Out in its most profound. A special concoction of anxiety interleaved with high-octane bliss. I was having trouble functioning because I was so monstrously enraptured. Whittling away the moments I had by mourning the time I never would.

So I flitted around, airborne on whimsy. I stopped haphazardly, in love with every conversation I had no matter how short. I got distracted and jumped from friend to friend, like a frog adrift in a pond covered with lush lily pads. I breathed in the most exquisite snuff of old memories. Had I the chance to relive that night ad infinitum, I could have never lived another and died happy.

I decided not to read my speech, ill-content to cause anything that could jostle the evening’s calm sailing. Until I was press ganged into it. Decades worth of goodwill led attendees to sit through my sub-ten minute speech. It was heartfelt, earnest and surprisingly well received. Then the music came back on and I was shaking with something resembling eternal contentment. Hashtag blissed.

If fate deigned a moment for me to go, it could nary choose better.

See, reading this was time you will never get back. Lesson learned?

I’m having my 30th birthday party tonight, a few weeks early of my actual birthday. I thought I’d write something for the occasion.

Now that I’m approaching 30, I’ve had a lot of time to make mistakes. Nigh on three decades of fucking up, gathering the pieces and reforming opinions. I think that’s called learning (at least in the curriculum of the school of hard knocks). It might seem narcissistic and self-indulgent to write a speech for my 30th but you know what? I write every day. If it wasn’t this, it’d probably be a listicle of my top 7 shitting secrets to success. As the years have passed, the more I’ve grown, and the more years that pass, the more I realise I have left to learn. I swear it’s some kind of pyramid scheme, or at least can be blamed on the illuminati. As my body slowly degenerates, I hope I’m coming off on top trading youth for wisdom. So approaching 30, here’s some stuff that’s stuck with me. Let’s see if I can ace this without sounding like a “Live Laugh Love” Lululemon ad:

 

1. Time 

We trade so much of our time for money, but money will come and go. Time is the one thing we’ll never truly be able to get back. Aside from Georgie Pie that is. We’re all getting older and moving on with our lives. Some of us are getting married, having kids, buying homes and other stuff that’s supposed to be the domain of “adults”. We’re looking back at past years with a rosy fondness. Hitting peak nostalgia, which leads us to believe egregious things like Georgie Pie having had any semblance of quality. The ball pit was great, the pies were shit. Let it go already.

We’re not the only ones getting older. As we bring new life into the world, our parents are getting on too. Some of us have already said goodbye. It’s sad, but it’s also part of life. We can’t do anything about that. We can, however, spend time while we still have it. Time is the one thing we can’t take for granted. Please don’t add your loved ones to that list. It may sound cheesy, but cherish the people in your life while you have them. Nothing lasts forever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them what you have while you can. Which leads me on to the next item.

2. Pooping (and yes that was a pun)

Perhaps the most important lesson of them all. If you want to have easy, smooth poops, try raising your heels and bending over to grab your ankles. It’ll change your life.

3. Presence and intentionality

It’s so easy to be distracted. We carry around small beeping, flashing computers. Eye catching advertisements are everywhere. Our society is geared towards capitalising on all our mental stimuli at all times. There’s always something to do and being bored is a luxury left to eras long past. What’s harder these days is being present. Remember when I was talking about how important time was? (Hint, it was item number one on this speech) Well you only get the chance to live each moment once. Until we invent time travel and this whole speech becomes defunct, anyway. Over the past few years one of my most important discoveries was how my interactions grew with intentionality of presence. Putting the phone down, directing my focus.

Instead of using conversation as an excuse to say things and wait until I could say more things, I started asking questions and listening to responses. Authentically being with the person seated in front of me. The inverse of this sits too. If you’re not invested in the people around you, if you don’t care about them and aren’t interested in what they say or think, why are you with them? Be intentional and seek out the people who enrich your life. Then when you’re around them, be there. Save Twitter for when you’re on the toilet. You know that’s when you think of the wittiest tweets anyway.

4. Empathy

There’s nothing quite like having your opinion heard and respected. It feels great when people agree with you. Thing is, not everyone does. I know, for one, that there are people who got defensive when I shat on Georgie Pie earlier. That’s fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Even people who believe things that to you seem abhorrent. The world is made up of a spectrum of moral compasses and just because someone doesn’t agree with you, that doesn’t make them a monster. Your culture is the summation of the entirety of your lived experiences. Everything you’ve seen and done has in some little way shaped you towards the human you’ve become. It’s what makes you, you. It’s also why you see the world the way that you do. Nobody else has your distinct perspective, but that’s why the world is such a fascinating place full of myriad people. Do I sound patronising yet?

Here’s my point. If you truly believe that someone is behaving in a morally repugnant fashion, you cannot ever hope to change their perspective without first acknowledging it and seeing it from their point of view. If you start a conversation by telling they’re an asshole, they’re never gonna agree to anything but to disagree. It’s very rarely easy to put aside your views in order to understand someone (especially if they’re being a dickbag), but if the overarching hope is to be on the same side, it’s essential. Empathy. People are much more likely to be ignorant than malicious and they certainly haven’t lived your life. Consider others and it may change people in your mind from being “bad” to “different”.

5. Fulfillment

We all have needs and tending to each and every one feels almost impossible. Ask Maslow and his illuminati pyramid. Learn how you operate and it’ll do wonders to fix your mood. My girlfriend has helped me create a mental checklist that comes in handy if I’m ever grumpy.

  • Have I eaten recently?
  • Am I dehydrated?
  • When was the last time I was physically active?
  • Have I slept more than seven hours in the past three days?
  • Have I been able to switch off and decompress at all?

Or in IT speak, have you tried turning it off and on again? Learn what you need around you and life becomes easier to deal with. My biggest fulfillment lesson in recent years was how to find a creative outlet. I’m a creative person and it’s been a while since I’ve had a job that allows for creativity. Since I can’t exercise my creativity through my professional life, I’ve been leaning hard on external sources. I write every day for at least half an hour. It’s been massively helpful in expression and sometimes wrapping my head around difficult situations. It’s made it possible to cope at times where I would’ve otherwise crumbled. This last year I started a podcast (www.airbudpawdcast.com. Sign up for your free 30 day audible trial at audibletrial.comp/PAWD, that’s audibletrial.com/PAWD) and it’s allowed me to rediscover parts of myself I thought I’d lost. I feel more like myself than I have in years. I’m not telling you to start a podcast where you analyse the irreverent adventures of a sports playing dog and his incorrigible lineage (frankly we don’t need the competition), but have a think about what you need in order to be your best you. You won’t regret it.

6. Love

We don’t tell one another that we love each other enough. In western society we make the mistake of assuming love has to be romantic. If there’s someone in your life that gives more than they take, whose mere presence has made your life richer for having known them, isn’t that deserving of love? I’m so fortunate (#blessed) to be surrounded by people who inspire me. People funnier, smarter, more gracious, caring, witty and insightful than I am. I love that I can stand here talking to all of you, the people who shaped me and allowed me to be this person right here talking to you. I love you, sincerely, for having been part of my life.

Thank you. I love you.

Also thanks for indulging this extended wankfest of a monologue. Cheers to each and every one of you, you magnificent bastards.

I guess that Point Break came after her breaking point.

It takes a long time to fly half way around the world. With four hours left of my third flight in a row, my bum can sure testify to that. My tailbone in particular is furious. Real “I am Jack’s raging tailbone” kind of stuff. My body has decided to cramp and groan all over, so sitting in my seat feels more like writhing in discomfort. I wonder if United wants to adopt that as their new slogan. I don’t know if the phrase “familiarity breeds contempt” was coined for insomnia purposes, but after upping the ante and taking two melatonin pills, I’ve had a hard time getting much more than 20 minutes sleep per hour. I did just have the inimitable pleasure of shitting through turbulence. No typo. I love turbulence. I have enough faith in statistics to assume we’re gonna be perfectly safe and on the odd chance that we’re not, I won’t have very long to worry about it. When you’re sitting on the bog, bouncing up and down while holding on to an assistance rail, it just seems more adventurous. I don’t want to say that the one downside to riding a horse is not being able to shit on the go (without being bucked off), but if you’d ever been craving that unique experience, shitting through turbulence must be pretty damn close.

It’s been a peculiar day, as surely only an entire day navigating through transit and transit hubs can be. I guess expecting too much out of airports would be… hubris? To be honest, they haven’t been that lousy. Overinflated prices for sure. I’m not even gonna think about how much that bento cost. Still, San Francisco was nice, with bouncy horizontal travellators and the always enticing opportunity to eat Boston style clam chowder from a bread bowl (your quality and mileage may vary). After grabbing Japanese for dinner, we quickly found some seats and discarded plastic champagne flutes to do our Toronto New Years countdown/kiss. We made our duty free stop all of ten minutes before our flight was due to board, but weren’t allowed to carry our duty free to the gate (where we were directly heading). Instead we had to go to the gate and wait for the DFS service staff to deliver our goods at said gate. It’s the first time my alcohol has ever had an entourage. OH YEEEAH!

To be honest, the flights themselves have been fine. No real issue with food, decent entertainment, friendly staff, they don’t charge for blankets (which may indicate how low the bar is set for air transit these days. Thanks WestJet). The first flight, after an unusual 40 minute taxi, was smooth and a mere hour long. I spent the entire time listening to an old Harmontown episode. There was a sublime moment with a mom and daughter, both with long blonde hair. Sitting across the aisle from one another, entirely unprompted, pulled out hair ties and pulled their flowing locks into buns. The elderly woman sitting across from us was the oldest woman I’ve ever seen in my life. Not necessarily in age, but in mannerisms. She started ripping articles from the in flight magazine to save from later. She then began writing short emails to friends and family with strange capitalisation. 20 minutes before the flight ended she stated using the in-flight entertainment app, spent 15 minutes deciding what to watch and, with five minutes remaining in transit, settled on the Point Break remake.

The second flight, five hours in duration, went by pretty quickly thanks to the aforementioned in-flight entertainment. I’d heard great things about Your Name, a 2016 anime. The movie was about a guy and gal who began randomly finding themselves in each other’s bodies as they awoke. It sounds a lot more gimmicky than the touching, compelling film it turned out to be. A couple of twists and turns accompanied by stunning visuals and an emotionally manipulative score meant I basically spent most of my flight alternating between laughing and sobbing inconsolably. Especially after the next film I watched, Captain Fantastic. A quirky but earnest film about a father being left to raise his (six or seven. I lost count) children alone in the bush after their mother passes away. The film is a hell of a lot more layered than that, but I’d hate to give too much away. Viggo (can’t spell his last name) is in the titular rule (I guess. Nobody explicitly calls him Captain Fantastic, but it’s sort of implied), with a tremendous cast of young talents. I once again cried many times, but an equal ratio of happy to sad cries. A truly wonderful film.

But then the sound jack on my 12.5 hour flight was fucked and I couldn’t really watch stuff. So here we are. Anyway, I need to go. I’ve got a well sized turd waiting in the wings. Fingers crossed for turbulence.