Good News Everyone

Feeling Good, or: Looking to the Future

This is possibly the first ever post that is solely about me and what’s going on in my life. I KNOW. ON MY OWN BLOG. Because I feel good (cue James Brown) and want you to know I haven’t utterly lost it and set my neighbor on fire. I think it’s important to feel what you feel, but I also don’t want to dwell on things forever. Plus I don’t want this to become Jillian’s Teen Angst Blog: Part Two (I apologize, internet, for Part One). I hope you realize that any foolish passion on my part is entirely over. I’m looking to the future. (Yes, that was a North & South reference, and I do not apologize. If I could, I would slowly put on a top hat and march away dramatically.)

Without any further nonsense, things I’m looking forward to in the near future:

  1. Most immediately, finishing off a loaf of banana bread I made last week. Apparently banana bread has only been a thing since the 1930s. Just 100 years ago it would have been possible for me to live in a banana bread-less world. Thank you to whatever coincidence of time, space, and invention prevented this from happening.
  2. I have three days off this week, and a mega stack of books and movies. Finally going to watch The Babadook.
    It's wrong to imply that I have a problem because that's clearly false.
    It’s wrong to imply that I have a problem because that’s clearly false.

    Also looking forward to reading The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, my impulse new book purchase. Honestly, I haven’t bought a new book in a really long time…I’m much too cheap to spend more than $1 or $2 on used books. It made me feel powerful and cool knowing I will read this book way before anyone can check it out from the library. And if I really wanted to, I could tear pages out of this book and scribble all over it and pour tea on it. It’s my right as a consumer. God, you guys. I feel I’m about to begin a retail therapy phase.

    That cover, though.
    That cover, though.
  3. Once they have aired their current seasons, I will be binge-watching Continuum and Masters of Sex. Seriously, if you watch either of these shows, let me know and I will talk (type?) your ear off. I don’t think any of my co-workers watch either show, and Masters of Sex is just really hard to casually mention in conversation. “So I was watching Masters of Sex the other day…Do you ever watch Masters of Sex? I find it really interesting to watch.” I wish Masters of Sex had a name that made me feel less like a complete perv. Stupid William Masters for having a name with so much potential for filthy puns.
  4. I have decided: vacation in Sept/Oct. I NEED IT.
  5. The second Diviners book, Lair of Dreams, will finally be published towards the end of the month. Libba Bray’s trilogy(?) follows Evie, a young woman with supernatural abilities, living in 1920s New York. Evie tries to solve a series of occultish murders with the help of her powers and some absolutely fantastic secondary characters. There’s also a really gross scene in a butcher shop in the first one. No one is as creepy as Libba Bray. NO ONE. I’ve been waiting three years for this one, and I’m so bad at waiting.
  6. I finally went bra shopping after putting it off for years. YEARS. I’m sure this is more than the world needs to know about me, but I HATE HATE HATE bra shopping, so I’ve been hoping for the best even as my bras are being killed off in And Then There Were None-style mayhem (spoiler: it was me. I killed them). Be proud: I braved Kohl’s, a store so vast and forbidding that you could get lost and no one would find you for days.
  7. I’ve started version 2.0 of Jillian’s Terrible, Soul-Crushing Job Search. I know that doesn’t really sound like the most fabulous thing to do, but I think it’s time. I like my jobs at the moment, but I’m extremely underemployed. Especially as I’ve been seeing some postings that actually sound interesting and might work out (maybe). I’m easing myself back into applying. Slowly, slowly.
  8. I’m really enjoying my new hobby of painting swear words on cheap ceramics.

    Much cheaper than therapy.
    Much cheaper than therapy.
  9. Also of note in a few short days: my mom bringing me a suitcase full of Tunnocks and tea. This is a thing that is happening, right, Mom? RIGHT???
  10. Rapidly approaching this blog’s first birthday! I’m trying to come up with something special to do in honor of it. I started blogging to keep myself busy, and it’s become such a meaningful, important part of my life where I’ve met some fantastic people. Looking at you especially, Christa and Hayley, but I hope all of you, readers, know how much I appreciate you. Yes, even you, random internet creep. You’re good for my stats.

Obviously I’m upset about my neighbor being a condescending asshole, but I’m tired of giving fuckheads undue influence over the way I think and feel. It sucks that I’m majorly underemployed and drowning in student loans, but that doesn’t mean I have to be miserable all of the time. Though it’s antithetical to everything about my nature, I’m attempting to go with the flow. My life isn’t what I want it to be, but there’s really a very limited value in obsessing over the way I think things should be, n’est-ce pas?

Since you have been so patiently bearing with me, what are you looking forward to, reader(s)?

Or feel free to bitch about things. Never let it be said that my blog isn’t somewhere people can go to bitch about their lives.

Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Hector and the Search for Happiness, or: Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

Christa’s pick because I guess this is still romance week(s), but we’re a little romanced out. Also Simon Pegg. See Christa’s thoughts here!

The Film:

Hector and the Search for Happiness

The Premise:

Films like this make me question including a summary. Hector (Simon Pegg) travels the world searching…for…(act surprised)…HAPPINESS.

The Trailer:

The Uncondensed Version:

The most important thing you need to know about this film is that it begins with Simon Pegg and a dog flying in a biplane. If this is an image that appeals to you, you may enjoy this film. If you think that sounds a bit over the top and, frankly, cheesy, then this film may not be up your alley.

Our movie follows Hector, a psychiatrist who likes his nice, quiet, comfortable life with his girlfriend, Clara (Rosamunde Pike). As her jackass boss points out, Clara has yet to discover the words “maternity” or “leave.”

The usual routines get upset when Clara finds a picture of Hector with someone named Agnes. Hector also brings out the “Are you happy?” question with extremely poor timing. Honestly, Hector really does want to know what makes people happy, and decides to travel around the world conducting his research.

A man wearing glasses faces a woman who is wearing oversized black glasses.
You think I’m unhappy? Did the giant hipster glasses give me away???

Hector’s first stop is China, where a cranky rich dude argues that money is happiness. In contrast, we get the Dalai Lama (I presume?) telling Hector that the key to happiness is, among other things, not to avoid unhappiness.

Next stop is to visit Hector’s friend, a doctor in an indeterminate African nation. Basically, all kinds of shit goes down, but Hector does make friends with a powerful drug dealer. Cool?

Finally, Hector travels to Los Angeles to meet up with Agnes, thus freaking Clara the fuck out. On the plane, someone asks if there’s a doctor in the house b/c there’s a woman whose brain is swelling. She doesn’t want the plane to stop because she’s on the way to visit her sister one last time, so Hector requests the plane fly at a lower altitude. Okay, I’m sorry, but if you’re having a medical emergency, I think they would stop the fucking plane whether you want to or not. Hector, the very soul of nobility, gives his first class seat to the woman and spends the rest of the flight trying to make her feel better. To be honest, this entire scene makes faking a medical emergency on a plane seem very appealing.


A man on a plane tends to an unconscious woman.
You beautiful angel, you are NOT REAL.

Anyway, Hector arrives in LA. Also Agnes is Toni Collette, which is fantastic. Agnes is happily married with children, but she has some great connections in the psychology field, including Christopher Plummer in a beanie. He has developed a device for people to wear, after which he can diagnose what emotions they are feeling.

A man sits next to an older man (played by actor Christopher Plummer) in a medical office.

Hector doesn’t have grown up feelings until Clara calls, and it lights up every part of his brain. He’s got more feelings than someone watching a Pixar movie.  Does this mean Hector has finally found the key to happiness???

The Critique:

Simon Pegg was so adorable in this film, and Rosamunde Pike too. I really liked that the message of this film was, among other things, that it’s okay to enjoy the everyday moments of life and the seemingly dull routines…though it is necessary to challenge yourself and be a bit uncomfortable at times.

This was a fun, upbeat film, but at times it was a little too upbeat. I found myself overanalyzing certain situations in which people turn out not to be complete assholes with really sketchy ulterior motives (but I suppose that may be more of a reflection of my general state of mind at the moment).

I also expected us to delve into Hector’s childhood a bit more, as there were clearly some issues there. I suppose it was kind of refreshing that this wasn’t a film in which talking about trauma made its impact suddenly disappear.

And on a side note, towards the end of the film, Hector Skypes with the Dalai Lama, who seems surprised to see him. It makes me uncomfortable to think the Dalai Lama is on Chatroulette or something, but in what other video chat scenario would you be so surprised to see someone you know? No?

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherSmall Pink PantherHalf Pink Panther head 3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

I’m a harsh critic, what can I say? Honestly, I got hung up on that plane scene, which seemed to argue for the basic decency of passengers on long trips.

What did Christa think? Find out in her post here!