Everest review

everestEVEREST (2015)

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur

Written by William Nicholson & Simon Beaufoy

Starring Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Josh Brolin, Michael Kelly, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright & Mount Everest

IMDb – synopsis: “A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.”

I’m still thinking of this film. I saw it only few hours earlier. It’s not very good. But it’s not very bad either. And it’s not that much “meh”. I don’t really know what it is. Let’s try a pros vs cons list.

Cons first because I’m a positive person and like to finish with the good stuff.

Robin Wright and Keira Knightley were so unused. So unused because they were, after the said mountain, the best things in the film. They are so good and these brief roles they have in Everest proofs my point exactly.

I didn’t really care about anybody. Too many characters. Gone in a second. And most of the time they are covered by necessary clothing and stuff, so you don’t really know who that is. That being said, it was kinda waste with that kind of actors not to really see how good they actually are because, lets face it, the main character in the film is Everest. As it should be but, you know, you do know it’ll survive no matter what.

mount-everest

And that brings me to the pros. I really liked that the film did respect the mountain. It is actually shot in Nepal and Everest’s South Base Camp. According to IMDb there were another real life accident at the mountain when shooting of this film happened: “This movie is based on the worst disaster to ever occur in the Mount Everest region in Nepal but a striking coincidence occurred when this movie was being shot in Nepal. An avalanche on April 18, 2014 killed 16 people on Everest and the casualty was higher than the 1996 disaster which this movie is based on. The shooting had to be postponed and the disaster took the most lives ever taken in an Everest Disaster mostly Sherpas (all Nepalese) who were preparing ground work for the upcoming climbing season.” You have to respect the nature. And after seeing this film I have absolutely no desires to climb a mountain. No way. No. I can still hear the wind. And feel the cold. No.

Everest looks great in the film. Beautiful and dangerous. Majestic. All in all, all the technical aspects work really nicely. It sounds and looks good but the feeling is kinda gone and, as a mountain lover, I think it’s hard to capture how enormous those things are, especially Everest. I’m glad some other things are easier to capture.

Jake Gyllenhaal shirtless gif

Rating (for the film, not Jake here): *** (out of 5)

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Midnight Sun Film Festival

Seems like my  promises are worth of nothing. The last week I promised to write two more posts during that week and I didn’t… But here we go with the first one.

msffposterSo. The last month I volunteered at this Finnish Film Festival called Midnight Sun Film Festival. Volunteering at a film festival has been a dream of mine for a while already. Though I’ve always imagine taking part to Sundance Film Festival or Toronto International Film Festival. And I’m sure I will at some point. I also realized that I’ve already volunteered at Helsinki International Film Festival but because it’s one kept in the city and I was working at the same time, it didn’t have the same feel to it.

Midnight Sun Film Festival is held in Sodankylä, Finland. And that’s in Lapland! About same the latitude as the northern parts of Alaska… It took me nine hours to get there by public transportation. And people just live there like we do here in “south”. “South” meaning that even my hometown is more above than Anchorage in Alaska. I don’t even know why we live here. But back to Sodankylä! So, it’s up there. Small, out of nowhere place, where people were the nicest I’ve met and the atmosphere so not like in Finland. And that’s a good thing. I always say that “only in Finland” in the meanest possible way because our government tends to forbid everything they can. But seems like only in Southern Finland we follow the law that much. When there’s 130 km between the towns, guess the law can’t be everywhere and people are able to relax a bit. The best.

The main road in Sodankylä in the middle of the night.

The main road in Sodankylä in the middle of the night.

The Finnish way of enjoying the terrace.

The Finnish way of enjoying the terrace.

Apart from Sodankylä, the festival itself is like gathering of a bunch of hippies or wannabe-ones. This year 27 000 ones. I really don’t consider myself the one but during the week I spend there it felt like I was becoming one. The atmosphere was the most relaxing one even the weather was the opposite. The temperature went from minus three to +23 celsius in one day! And I worked at this pub tent outside. But well, I guess, I am a Finn in the end because it wasn’t that bad. I had four shirts layered on me and I just took three of them off when hot (well, warm) and put the three back on when cold. Though I got to admit, the rain got me a bit. The one night we had to shut down before we intended to do because our tent was flooding. And I only had a one pair of shoes with me because of the inconvenience of  another trip right after this one.

For the volunteers the festival was really easy one. Meaning that you had one six hours shift per day and the rest of the day was free for you to watch films or do something else.
Something else involved quite a bit of drinking some alcohol beverages like we do in Finland. Though when consuming them on this tiny pier like this they do taste a bit better:

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Photo by Saana Kotila

Some of the volunteers, I heard, saw some 20 films during the four days of the festival. I have to admit, I only saw five. I also have to admit that MSFF might be a bit too arty for my taste when it comes to the films on display. There were some of the lighter ones as well but unfortunately I was working during the showings but I don’t mind. To me the best thing at the festival wasn’t the films but the atmosphere of it all.

But a few words of the films I saw. The first one that I watched was The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Philip Kaufman who was a guest at the festival. The guy came up with the idea of the first Indiana Jones’ plot. It is still hard to believe because I also saw another film of his, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, and both are so so boring. There lenaolinwas nothing light (except some beautiful shots) in The Unbearable Lightness. And quite hot Lena Olin. But I don’t want to watch more of Philip Kaufman’s films. Especially if I have to sit on the floor like in the first one that I saw because it was sold out.

The second film I watched was karaoke (or sing a-long) version of Grease. There wasn’t anyone acting the parts which was a pity but it was good fun anyway. Pity that Finns are a bit uptight and the singing wasn’t that huge as I hoped. But in our corner of volunteers we had fun! Grease was probably also the best film that I saw during the festival.

The other two were Bella Addormentata by Marco Bellocchio, also the guest at the festival, an Italian film of euthanasia that wasn’t really sad. I liked it quite a lot. It was refreshing to watch a film about that kind of subject that is not brooding or depressing. Plus I love Italian language. The last but not the least was

Photo by Taru Kalvi

Photo by Taru Kalvi

Occident by Cristian Mungiu that just got to Sodankylä right before the showing of this film. I was so excited to see him live! He has, in the end, won Palme d’Or and is young and from Romania. He’s so talented. Occident was his first film they showed in Cannes and even though he’s come a long way since then, it was an entertaining piece of cinema. I’m always a fan of people dreaming of bigger things. I assume the title of the film is an indication to the situation when one is that suffocated by the ones surroundings that the one can’t breathe anymore. Figuratively speaking.

Photo by Pauliina Leikas

Photo by Pauliina Leikas

In addition to mentioned films I saw the panel of Finnish film makers discussion of the scene. What makes it, how it’s made, what is a scene and so on. It was, to me, the highlight of the program. It was very interesting to listen to the actual makers of the films how it’s done and the different opinions what exactly is a scene. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to listen the discussion to the end because my shift started. I also saw one screening of Kino Euphoria that is the short films of the film makers taking part to this workshop during and before the festival. I was quite hammered by that time (if I remember correctly the screening started at 5.15am or something like that) but I remember the second film of the bunch was really funny. The director was Italian, I think, but that’s about it. The film was about hangover. If anyone reading this could tell me the maker’s name, I would appreciate.

In conclusion, I will definitely go back. And I think everyone should visit this festival once in their life. It’s an experience that, I would imagine, one can’t see anywhere else.

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All the credited photos are taken from the official site of the festival.

The List Lover on Holiday

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Nyhavn at Copenhagen

To be honest, I’m not on a holiday anymore. But I thought I should probably  write this post before others I’ve planned, to explain why I’ve been somewhere else than here.

As I told you, I left my day job few weeks a go. It was the best decision for a while! I’m happy again. It feels unbelievably amazing to be able to feel free again. During the last six weeks, I’ve been working as a bartender that much I’m able to pay my rent, went to Prague, been participating as a volunteer to the film festivals and went to Copenhagen. I will post about the last two on next week. I’ve also been on a holiday. And it’s been fairly good summer so far weather-wise and it’s definitely been a great summer so far other wise!

My home town Tampere on a bright summer day when we celebrated birthdays of our two friends.

My hometown Tampere on a bright summer day when we celebrated birthdays of our two friends.

As the readers that have been with me a while know, I have few challenges to accomplish. And I try to keep you updated about the task. It’s been a little while (…) since the last update (the one linked it the only one), so let’s do another.

I didn’t succeed to do anything from my Bucket List. Though Eetu, a friend of mine, came back to Finland, so I’m not going to visit him. And I also added one thing to the list. Travelling to Thailand and India. I’ve never had any interest to travel there but this spring couple of my friends travelled there and the other especially isn’t the type I would expect to like that kind of thing but she did. And the other is my ex/future-roommate and she loved it. So, I guess I need to go to check what’s the fuss. Plus I’m deadly seriously afraid of snakes, so it’s also going out of the comfort zone and that’s usually a good thing.

I didn’t watch any of the films from the IMDb-250. I think I need to have a week or a couple dedicated just for that to get it done.

I did manage to read two more books! (It’s still so unbelievably shameful how little I read…) The first one on the list (number three) was my reading for the entrance examination for the university. I applied to journalism. The fourth is the second book of the Mortal Instruments. The movie about the first part is in cinemas on 21st of August in the States and a week later in Finland. Here’s the trailer:

I also watched 15 more films for 50/50 challenge. Not much if you think it’s been seven weeks this one included. I reviewed some of the weeks and I will review the week that I spend on the film festival, the one beginning with Unbearable Lightness of Being. But it’s been kind of dry spell with the movies since Iron Man 3. Yes, I’ve watched few good or great ones but I haven’t seen a truly good new film since that one. I still need to catch the latest Star Trek, The Great Gatsby and Only God Forgives at the theatres. Have you seen any of those, which one I should absolutely see?

And then to my very favourite challenge! 100 Things in 1001 Days. The first of all, I’ll be enrolling to school on August 21st. It’s not my first option that I wanted to go but not the least either. I’ll start to studying International Business in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. I’m so excited! Let’s see if I manage to stay there. I hope so.

I volunteered at the film festival (the number 5th on the list). To be exact at Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä. It was different! And so much fun. I will be going back. With visiting to Sodankylä, I also travelled to Lapland for the first time (# 74).

The staff party after the festival. Photo by Santeri Happonen

The staff party after the festival. Photo by Santeri Happonen

I still want to participate to Toronto or Sundance. Preferably the former because I met so many great Canadians in Prague and Copenhagen that I want to visit their country too.

I can also mark the number 58. I started changing my wardrobe from black hoodies, jeans and t-shirts to more feminine few months ago and these days it’s mostly colours (red, green and even yellow) and mostly dresses. I love my new style, even though there’s still lot to be done.

Photo shooting session at outside, not as easy as one could imagine.

Photo shooting session at outside, not as easy as one could imagine.

I got a bit closer to some of the tasks. I’ve been to five restaurants and three bars (#36). I also shot one of my friends with the cam (#20) to practice. I also bought a gift card for massage (#88) and made a deal to get a bike for free if I just retrieve it (#85). It’s unbelievable how “hard” it is to achieve things even when they are the simplest one. I’m happy that I have my 100-list but I do hope I manage to fulfill those easy tasks on it as well. I travelled to Lapland and took part of the film festival but I didn’t manage to pick up the bike ten minutes from my home and get it repaired?! Really? I do hope I will accomplish some of those easier goals during the next month. I will start a summer job today, it’s night shifts at gas station, five shifts on a row, then five off, I should have plenty of time to carry out my list.

I’ll leave you with the promise of writing about Midnight Sun Film Festival and Copenhagen during the next week. And with the quote I read a while ago and liked a lot.

thompson

Films of the Week Vol. 6

I haven’t posted anything concerning love of my life, the movies, for a while, so let’s review the films I watched during the last week.

Demolition Man (1993)demolitionman

directed by Marco Brambilla
written by Peter M. Lenkov, Robert Reneau & Daniel Waters
starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes & Sandra Bullock

I saw Demolition Man back then when it was in cinemas. Back then I also thought it was quite good. Fortunately I was 13, so I can forgive myself. It’s not good. And it’s really hard to understand Stallone if you don’t have subtitles. I recorded this from telly and for some reason the subtitles didn’t work properly so I had to watch this without them and man! that guy can’t speak palpably. Very annoying. Sandra Bullock is the best thing in this one. But I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone except maybe those guys who love those Expendables casting-kinda things.

Rating: ** (out of *****)

Julia-Roberts-20My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

directed by PJ Hogan
written by Ronald Bass
starring Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz & Dermot Mulroney

First of all, I’ve never understood what’s hot in Dermot Mulroney? He seems really stuck-up and kind of slow. Not interesting at all. So why they put him in the male-lead in those romantic comedies? I don’t get it. Especially in My Best Friend’s Wedding because Roberts and Diaz are competing of his love? Really? Why? Gosh, I just noticed this film has been nominated to an Oscar! WHY??? I’m in a bit of a shock now. But anyway, this one is decent rom-com (as you probably know already, I’m a fan of that genre and watch really embarrassing movies if they’re rom-coms), it was even better than I remembered. Roberts is endearing and Diaz is funny. That’s about it but it’s enough.

Rating: **½ 

(I should explain myself because I gave this only half a star more than the previous one but there is my line of what’s bad and what’s not. Two stars equal bad but 2,5 is already on the better side.)

Letter’s to Juliet (2010)letterstojuliet

directed by Gary Winick
written by Jose Rivera & Tim Sullivan
starring Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Egan & Gael Garcia Bernal

Letter’s to Juliet is one of my favourite rom-coms that has come out recently. I have a thing to Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal is always hot, Egan speaks deafeningly beautiful English, it’s about filling your dreams and it all happens in stunning Toscana. If you didn’t know, I love Italy. Ok, the film is not exactly anything new or even original but it has the taste of summer and look of love. Makes me smile.

Rating: ***

titanicTitanic (1997)

directed by James Cameron
written by James Cameron
starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Bill Paxton, Gloria Stuart & Frances Fisher

I’m the king of the world! That’s what Cameron said after receiving his Oscar for directing and I couldn’t agree more. Titanic was and is the love story of all love stories. And I remember how everyone talk about Titanic sinking with it back-then-huge budget. And the enormous success after the release. To me Titanic is the movie that got me once and for all hooked to the world of cinema. I simply love it. Yes, it’s a bit too much and the special effects are a bit out-dated but the story inside is never. And it gave us two of the best performers of today, Leo and Kate. To me Titanic is all about Roses journey to freedom and one of my favourite quotes is from the film:

He saved me… in every way that a person can be saved.

titanicliberty

Rating: *****

Assassination of a High School President (2008)

directed by Brett Simon
written by Kevin Jakubowski & Tim Calpin
starring Mischa Barton, Bruce Willis & Reece Thompson

This little gem I had in my digibox and on a lazy Saturday I decided to watch it and I’m very glad I did. First of all it introduced me to Luke Grimeslukegrimes, a very nice eye-candy who seems to be able to act. Secondly it has charming air to it, it’s a bit weird but at the same time it’s a perfect example of how to construct your movie. Assassination of a High School President has the script made by the text-book. It’s an example how to hide your hints of what’s coming into the film. Everyone who has studied at least a bit of film analyzing (or novels) sees those clues and knows easily what’s gonna happen in the end. But it was kind of fun. Characters in this little movie are interesting enough and the soundtrack is awesome, I probably need to find it somewhere. I recommend this one if you’re into a bit weird or high school movies. I like both.

Rating: ***½

Up in the Air (2009)

directed by Jason Reitman
written by Walter Kirn, Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner
starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga & Anna Kendrick

George-Clooney-in-Up-in-the-AirFor some reason I didn’t manage to watch Up in the Air when it was Oscar nominee, so I kind of forgot it. But thankfully recorded it when it was on telly. Because it happens to be very, very good movie. All of the actors are doing top-notch work and it looks like George Clooney is becoming one of my favourite actors. In my opinion he should have won the Oscar for The Descendants because that was his best work to date but in Up in the Air he’s also in a fine form. So are Farmiga and especially Kendrick too. She’s really growing to be quite a talent. That means, there was something good in Twilight saga after all. The script in this one is ridiculously well written. It’s real, funny and heart-breaking at the same time. I especially liked the one scene where Kendricks character is talking with Farmigas about men and expectations women have towards them. There really is a difference between a 23-year-old and 43-year-old. Director Jason Reitman has emerged as a real player in Hollywood with this, Juno and Young Adult. Next up is Labor Day with Kate Winslet, Tobey Maguire and Josh Brolin. Can’t be bad.

Rating: ****½

Tomorrow I’m off to Sodankylä and Midnight Sun Film Festival. Let’s see what I get to see there. A lot of Finnish films I guess and probably also some gems from Europe mostly. I’d at least like to see Sightseers, Blancanieves, Fill the Void, Dupa Dealuri, Room 237, Laulu Koti-ikävästä, The Purge and 21 Tapaa Pilata Avioliitto but then again, I’m volunteering, so I’ll see what I’m able to see.

Trading trailers (and a bit more)

shieldI’ve been watching a whole bunch of trailers lately. I’m not exactly a huge fan of them because sometimes they just tell you too much of the story. But the last and this week the television channels in the US announced their picks for the next falls series. And few of the new ones are looking good! As I mentioned in the post of Hollywood news, I was particularly waiting for Joss Whedons S.H.I.E.L.D. series to get the thumbs up. And as you’ve probably read all over the net already, it got! And the trailer looks more than promising:

There’s also another soapy thrillery, looking a lot like Revenge and also going to be on tv right after it, and it’s called Betrayal. Stuart Townsend is easy on the eyes (The Queen of the Damned, anyone?) and the trailer looks good enough. I just hope Finnish tv-channels would be wise enough to put it somewhere on Sunday evening like in the States. Once Upon a Time, Revenge and then this new one in a row sounds a working ensemble.

The next one on the list of up-coming series that looks promising is The Blacklist headed by James Spader. There are quite loud echos of Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal but that aside, I’m intrigued:

And the last but definitely not the least when it comes to my taste in tv, is Sleepy Hollow. Yes, there is a film of that name and yes, this is based on that. The creators are the same behind of Fringe, the already-cult-classic that just had its final season. And I think Fox is looking something to replace it. This is not looking bad alternative:

(And that guy in the lead is looking like a potential heartthrob.)

That’s it about television. There are only few movie trailers that got my attention lately. The first a rom-com (I can hear the sigh guys…) that looks encouraging, About Time. There’s Rachel McAdams that is, according to my ratings in IMDb, my favourite actress and time travelling. Yeah, doesn’t sound that good. BUT there’s also Bill Nighy and director/writer Richard Curtis, who’s scripted classics like Four Weddings And a Funeral, Bridget Jones, Notting Hill and Love Actually. My hopes are up.

The other that I paid attention because of the WtF-reaction:

(P.S. I love Michael Cera)

What else is happening. Well, Cannes Film Festival is about to start. About now. Well, I’m not sure if the time is exactly correct but soonish. Today anyway. The jury of Cannes is this year lead by non other than Mr. Steven Spielberg. Joining him in the task of choosing the best of the bunch are auteurs Cristian Mungiu (who’s going to be in Sodankylä too!), Ang Lee and Lynne Ramsay, director Naomi Kawase from Japan and actors and actresses Vidya Balan, Daniel Auteuil, Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz. So, there’s talent both sides of the judging table.

On the other side are some potential Oscar nominees, for example always reliable Coen bros with Inside Llewyn Davis, a film about New York folk music scene back in the 60’s, starring Oscar Isaacs, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund (he’s the reason enough for me to see this one). Jim Jarmuschs Only Lovers Left a Life about two centuries old vampires in love starring Tilda Swinton, Tom “the sexiest voice in the world” Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt and Anton Yelchin. That’s probably not Twilight. A small film, Nebraska, by one of my favourite directors, Alexander Payne, a road movie about a son and a father, starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte. Polanskis latest, La Vénus à la fourrure aka Venus in Fur, about an actress trying to convince the director. Don’t know what to think about that but it’s Polanski.Only God Forgives Steven Soderbergh is participating with the one that is his latest as a director for a while if not forever (or so has he said) and is made for HBO, Behind the Candelabra. It’s said that Matt Damon and Michael Douglas are making the career defining jobs in the lead roles. To me the most interesting film of the festival is Ryan Goslings (I should probably tag his name, not the first time I mention him, huh?) collaboration with Drive (one of the best films of the last century) director Nicolas Winding Refn, Only God Forgives.

Outside of the main competition I got to mention Sofia Coppolas The Bling Ring. It’s based on the actual events when young and stupid kids robbed the young and famous. Emma Watson is looking hooot:

(I know I’m highlighting the American films but I like them the most.)

And as a post scriptum, are you insane in Maxim?

miley

The Hottest Woman of 2013 according to Maxim

mila

The Sexiest Woman 2013 by FHM

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The List Lover’s Update – April ’13

Remember when I told you about a month ago how I love lists? And promised I will keep you updated how I manage to keep up with my hundred-and-one “to do” -lists? You can see all links to my lists under the Hollywood sign. There’s four of them and when you go and check them, you’ll see I’ve got more than hundred-and-one things to do and most of them are about films. Surprisingly. But here we go, the first update on The List Lover’s calendar.

theggThe first I’ll take the 50/50 challenge. It’s about reading and watching movies. I’ve been really lousy at both recently. And you can see from my previous posts what I’ve been watching. I haven’t been reading at all. Or well, I’ve read some magazines but that’s all. I did start a new novel to add to those eight ones that I’m already reading… But it’s a classic and fairly short one. I try to finish it before the movie version hits the theatres. So, all in all, since the posting of the first List Lover’s post, I’ve watched total of nine films. Pitiful. But I’m still ahead of the last year, with seven films. Wow. Yeah, I need to do better.

The next update is for my Bucket List. I have achieved zero things on that list. But I have taken a little steps to get a little nearer of some of the goals. 56.Create an ultimate deserted island -record (max. 20 songs): I have the playlist on Spotify where I put all the songs that I don’t get tired of. I think there’s three songs now. So, only 17 to go. Get a meaningful tattoo: Today I started to collect tattoo ideas to Pinterest and yesterday I talked with my friend who’s tattoo artist about it, the cost, the time and so on. 84.Get a basic wardrobe: this one I’m doing weekly or more. My friend, who has a great taste, wrote me a list of basic wardrobe she thinks I need and I’m trying to get it now. And from that number we can get to my next list.

quote

101 Things is at the moment my favourite list because it seems to me that I can actually accomplish those goals. I’ve done a bunch of things to get nearer to some of the targets. I did finish my pre-tasks for the applied sciences uni to study Film and Television, I am reading for uni to study Journalism and I did go to entry exams for International Business. So, the number one on the list is in the making. For numbers five and 74 I got the good news from Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä, Finnish Lapland. They invited me to work as a volunteer in June. And Cristian Mungiu will be there! For the number 21, I started to read The Great Gatsby. And did some paper shuffling for the number 29. The number 36 is almost done, only two bars to go. And for 84 we marked ourselves for the waiting list of Noma while in Copenhagen this summer.

pinterest-logoI did achieve some of the goals. The first I joined Pinterest and I’m quite fond of it already. I got a tiny heritage the last week, so I also achieved the target number 23. And I made a short film, a very short, but still. It was for the pre-tasks but again, still. It counts. And I have started to wear more feminine clothes (58) but I’m not crossing it over yet because I want this change to last. I also have that five bottle of wine (87) at home because of my friends who brought them to me when I had my birthday dinner (I’ll blog about that later!) but I need to see that it also lasts before marking it.

So there you go. I have manage to make my life a tiny bit better during the last five weeks. And I will continue doing that. And maybe, perhaps, inspire someone else to do that too.

P.S. If you’re a girl liking the easy-on-eyes-guys, I would click on that Pinterest logo.