|This will be me in a few days
Hello, Stranger by Lisa Kleypas: Pretty swoon worthy, even though it requires a hefty suspension of disbelief.
Instead of listening to an audiobook, I'm currently going through Rick Steves' Paris-related podcasts.
Nothing. But I did find some articles of mine online that I hadn't realized were posted by the publication! Read my guide to the Her Paris exhibition, which focused on female artists in 19th century Paris; and a review of that Haitian art exhibit I mentioned in my last Sunday Snapshot.
Loving Vincent, starring Douglas Booth
I've been wanting to see this film ever since I first heard about the Kickstarter years ago. A year after the death of Vincent Van Gogh, Armand Roulin is asked by his father to take one of his letters to his brother, Theo. But when Armand arrives in Paris, it's to find Theo dead and his wife and child gone. As Armand tries to search for someone, ANYONE, to take possession of the letter, he's drawn into the mystery of Van Gogh's death. Was it suicide? A tragic accident? Murder? Everyone in Arles seems to have a different theory, and a different reason to either hate or love the celebrated artist.
I ADORE this movie. It's absolutely gorgeous: 125 professional artists hand-painted every still of the film, bringing Van Gogh's paintings to life. I loved the visual quotes of Van Gogh's work and you really get a feel for how his paintings are a diary of sorts, documenting all the places he went and all the people he met.
I also enjoyed the film noir-esque atmosphere and storyline, which is particularly appropriate for such an expressive artist.
My only criticism is I don't understand why they didn't full-out animate the movie instead of filming it in live action and then hand animating it. It doesn't quite make sense to me: not only did they add an extra (and expensive) step, I'd rather look at a character in this film and think, "Oh look, it's Doctor Gachet!" or, "It's Postman Roulin!" than, "Oh look it's Chris O'Dowd and Aiden Turner!" It was just distracting and pulled me out of the movie. But otherwise I think this is probably the best movie about Van Gogh I've ever seen.
And PS, "Starry Night" at the end COMPLETELY wrecked me.
Dunkirk, starring, like, sooo many white guys.
Normally Christopher Nolan is my spirit animal, but this movie didn't do much for me. I appreciated the reportage angle Nolan was going for, but my mind started to wander about halfway through. There were just so many boats. And so much water. And the Germans were hardly ever mentioned or shown, which I found kinda weird and it made the whole thing a bit hollow. I mean, the Brits could have been fighting against the French for all we knew. There was certainly enough antagonism between the two. But war movies aren't really my thing, so.
Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis, Elizabeth Shue
Honestly pretty entertaining! It's not a good movie, mind (the presence of Elizabeth Shue should tell you that much), but I enjoyed the '70s B-movie vibe and some parts were just too hilarious. Plus Bruce Willis actually looked like he was having a good time! If you do go see it, expect a slow start, predictable plot, and lots of blood and gore.
PS I Love You, starring Hilary Swank
Uhg. First of all, there's a long and completely pointless prologue. Then Gerard Butler dies and leaves notes for Hilary Swank to send her on a treasure hunt to overcome her grief, or something. Question: WHO WOULD DO THIS? It's nutso. Also, let's say for the sake of argument someone would do that. Would their widow then proceed to fall for [[[redacted]]]? Hard to believe. This movie made me happy I refused to read the book.
Forces of Nature, starring Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck
A complete trash fire. Sandra Bullock looks terrible and the story is stupid and hateful. Avoid at all costs.
Southside With You, starring Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers
I realize this is supposed to be a "slice of life" film and not a drawn out romcom, but there was absolutely nothing going on of interest in this movie. It felt like a stage play where the characters just stand around and talk about their backstory. Tika Sumpter does do an excellent Michelle Obama impression, though.
These weeks in heidenkindom:
My trip to Paris is nigh and I spent yesterday afternoon pre-packing. I like to prepack because it reduces my stress, and also my packing process is basically: pick out everything I think I'll need, realize there's no way I'll be able to fit it all into my extremely tiny suitcase, and then edit it down.
That's something I don't want to be facing for the first time at 8pm the night before I'm set to take off.
|The extremely tiny suitcase
Plus, when you prepack you realize what you need and what you may be packing two of for no good reason.
As you can see from the photo above, I'm a big fan of packing cubes. If you're the type of person who has crap spread out all over your bed 10 minutes after you check into your hotel, these will make your life about 100x easier and more organized. They're like drawers for your suitcase!
Anyway, I always enjoy seeing what other people pack, so I thought I'd share my still-tentative packing list:
- A shit ton of socks. Guidebooks always tell you to only bring 5 pairs of socks, but once I was on a trip in the winter and ALL my socks got wet. There were no dryers and the suckers wouldn't air dry because it was cold. I was miserable. As a result, I now pack about 50x more socks than I think I'll need, and I've yet to regret it.
- Shoes! I always pack two pairs of shoes, but I'm still undecided on which I'll bring to Paris. I actually bought two pairs of shoes specifically for this trip, and they're good shoes, but I kinda just want to wear my Merrill's and bring casual flats even though–again–the guidebooks are like, "Don't wear sneakers! You'll be spotted as a tourist immediately!" Okay, but I'm also going to be walking a lot. What's your answer to that, guidebooks?
|Shoes! But which to bring?
- Pants, another area I'm undecided about. I was going to bring a pair of jeans and black slacks for going out to a fancy-ish restaurant and/or trying to get a free upgrade on the plane, but I realized through the magic of trying on clothes that the slacks I have don't fit anymore. And all the dresses I have are sleeveless, so now I don't know what I'm going to bring exactly.
- Tops (4 long sleeve, 1 button down, 1 short sleeve, 4 sweaters)
- Ziploc bags
- Duct tape
- Door lock
- Clothing detergent & sink stopper
- Jackets are something else I'm going back and forth on. It's supposed to be rainy and in the 50s, which is pretty darn cold for me, so I don't want to just bring a thin rain jacket because I will freeze and be miserable (see socks, above). I was going to take my black trench, but then the blahgs (uhg why do I read this stuff) were like, "Don't wear heavy coats through security, especially if they have a bunch of zippers!" I can see their point, but unfortunately the black trench will not fit into my extremely small suitcase. So now I'm back to the rain jacket and just layering it over a sweatshirt, but again, if I go out somewhere nice to eat...
- All the charging cables
- Portable charger
- A scarf, if I can remember it
- Earbuds (set of two)
- Journal & pen
- Small wallet-sized purse
- Rick Steves' Paris–Rick Steves is not the hippest person on the planet. But this guidebook is packed with a TON of useful information and unique tours you can't find anywhere else. If I had to recommend one guidebook to Paris, it'd be this one.
- Paris by the Book–A publisher sent me this last week and I was like, "That's a weird coincidence!" So I'm going to give it a try on the trip. If it sucks I'll just leave it in the airport or something.
Anyway. If you have any packing tips you live and travel by send them my way! I'll be adjusting as needed until it's time to leave for the airport.
Hope you all have a great week and Happy Easter if you celebrate it!
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