So there I was, on a plane to Dever. John Denver's "leaving on a jet plane" stuck in my head. I was sitting beside a proud mom who wanted to set me up with her son (this actually happens more often than you'd think).
I was giddy with excitement on the plane anticipating meeting up with my friend Jenn. It will be the first time we both have functional cell phones while finding each other, and the first time we will be in an airport together. This will be the third continent we'll be traveling in together.
I get off the plane a little overwhelmed by the size of Denver airport and start looking for an exit. Jenn waiting with paper flowers and we hug and dance and jump around and hug again.
"We're in an airport!" and we start shouting random things to each other.
Jenn and I had very few conversations to plan this trip. We weren't really communicate much, sending a few letters but not talking on the phone for long periods. So the phone conversation leading up to this moment basically went like this...
"blah, blah, blah, I'm a white water rafting guide now, if you come by I can probably take you down the river." said Jenn
"When are you there till? I finish Tree planting in July."
"August, then I'm driving to Oregon for my next job."
"I can do August... roadtrip?"
"Thelma and Louise!!"
A week later
"Yeah how about second week of August? Or send me a couple dates then I'll look at flights."
The week after that
"Alright I have my ticket!"
"Sweet, we're going to stop at a music festival too, I sent you a link to get a ticket."
"Awesome, I'll send you my flight details."
And that was that. We don't really make complicated traveling plans. So when we were jumping and hugging and dancing in the airport, we were also relieved that in just a few conversations we made all this happen without a hitch. Then it was a three hour night drive to Buena Vista where Jenn had spent most of her summer learning how to be an awesome white water guide. "Ok, so here's the plan, tomorrow: awesome adventure."
"Great, I'm in."
One of the things we got teased for in Panama was looking at each other once and one of us saying, "We're agreeable, right?" We seem to always be on the same page when traveling, when we need space, what needs to get done, when it's time to relax and have fun. We're pretty great at communicating and trusting each other. If the other person's got it, they've got the other persons full trust and participation. It makes for a really supportive friendship, not to be second guessed.
We had a lot of catching up to do, on the drive from the airport we only scratched the surface and then we were there, in Buena Vista. Pronounced Beux-na vista by the locals, it was not much to see by night and I got a wonderful breathtaking surprise when I woke up. "You have 45minutes to still sleep" chimed in Jenn as she left to get the whatever we needed to make the day an adventure.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
|Photo credit Courtney|
Back in July, I got invited to a tree planters wedding in Toronto and since I was still in the extended summer plant, I didn't think I would be able to make it. Then I found out the plant was shortened and we were going to finish the contract early, but not close enough to make the wedding. Then, the week leading up to the wedding, on the Tuesday night, the supervisor mentioned he was headed to the nearest town (2hrs away) at 3pm the next day, to drop someone off who was leaving two days early...
Something stirred inside me and I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned till 1am and finally went to try and use the internet. Teddy, my tree runner for the first weeks was heading on a road trip from Thunder Bay to Toronto to go to the wedding, and had offered to give me a ride. (He had left the plant early to take care of some things before going to Toronto)
So, I sent Teddy a message:
Hey Teddy!!! Since the moment you left I wish I'd gone with you. If you're still in TBay tomorrow, I'm coming!!He messaged me back seconds later:
haha aww, treeplanting is hard :(
I was going to leave tomorrow morning sometime but I'm in no rush, I can definitely wait up for you if you want :) let me know
It was set:
Yes!! I'll hop on a bus to T'Bay and call you in the afternoon.
What's your number?
|Photo credit Courtney, Treeplanting supervisor|
It was the sweetest bus ride ever, no more bumpy bush roads, no more bugs, a comfy seat and AC! I was amazed at how beautiful the scenery was. There were people taking this bus across Canada and checking off marvelous lakes on maps as we passed by. I couldn't help but think again, I could live up here.
|Photo credit Courtney|
|Photo credit Courtney, Teddy and Luna|
I started talking to the lovely lady at the counter and asked if they were hiring. They only accept volunteer's, so I offered to volunteer and left my email address. We continued to talk, I told her about my blog, she told me about possible writing groups, I asked about job leads in the area. Then I asked about apartments in the area. I really liked this part of town as it's already where I know some good people live. "Actually... we have an apartment upstairs, but you'll have to talk to Margaret about it."
I met back up with Teddy and did some online work for my aunt. The car's diagnosis was not good, and we started checking flights to get us to the wedding. Air fare was more than double the price for a last minute ticket so we bought the Monday flight and hung our heads that the wedding was out of reach.
|The t-shirt says Front: A breed apart |
Back: There are everyday men and women...and there are treeplanters.
That night, since we weren't leaving till Monday, drinks were in order. A group of us cleaned up tree planters went to the Sovereign room and Foundry, the popular pubs of T Bay. Before we left each I asked about a good time to stop by to drop off a resume, and was told to come back in the afternoon. I came back to an email from the book store, to come by anytime between 2:30 and 6 the next day.
I printed out my resume at the library and headed The Sovereign Room. A most popular spot, with cool decor, eclectic beer list, and amazing food. That's where I really wanted to go, I had thought about working there the first time I came in, and had my first tasty bite of jalepeno empanadas. As luck would have it, the manager checked out my resume and had also been to Bocas del Toro, had also spent time in Toronto and just found out he needs someone in the middle of August. I could be here mid August... so we shook on it.
Pretty thrilled about that, I headed to the book store. The rent was more than I was looking to spend for a room so I went upstairs to see the place. It wasn't just a room as I had expected, but a full apartment with art and writing studio space. Freshly painted with lots of nice natural light and the only furniture: a big writing desk with chair. "It's like we were just waiting for you and it was meant to be." said Margaret. So I put down a deposit right then and agreed to moving in mid August.
The whole place reminds me of when I lived in High Park and Bloor West Village. I would have never been able to get an apartment close to this size for the price in Toronto. The best part is in 30minutes I can be in the wilderness, in 5minutes I can be by the water front, in 3minutes I can be at work, in 30seconds I can be in a bookstore.
Then it was time for some crazy bush party, the supervisor was having a Fun in the Sun party that would last the whole weekend for all the tree planters still in the area. Teddy and I had to participate. So I should let you know, it was a surprise for me to leave to road trip to the wedding, so you can imagine the surprise for my boyfriend. Then the car breaking down was also a surprise to me, and so continuing with the surprises we just showed up at Fun in the Sun. I was oblivious, but the relationship was already toast and he evacuated the courtship faster than it took to say bookstore. All the other people made it an awesome party and I laughed till my sides ached.
|Photo credit Courtney|
Actually I had wanted to move to Thunder Bay when I was seventeen. I held the acceptance letter to the pilot program at Confederation College in my right hand and the course catalog for Holistic Studies to stay in Toronto in my left. I figured I wanted a foundation for life before anything else and the Holistic Health program could give me that, and figured I could get my private pilot license when I was 50, or whenever I happened to get to Thunder Bay...
You may remember this facebook update and maybe now it makes more sense:
What a weekend!! Tried to make a wedding and ended up staying in Thunder Bay, where I got a job and an apartment: You're looking at the new resident writer of a Bookstore! And got dumped, surprise! My stomach hurts from laughing so much at Nolalu fun in the Sun and have a plane ticket to Toronto in the morning. To all you Torontonians, LETS PARTY!!
So there it is, the story of how I came to live in Thunder Bay, and also this song (thanks Larsen!):
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Wow, today, September 24th marks the two year anniversary of jumping on that first one way plane ticket. I'm closing that chapter, the two year long journey, and I feel like I'm losing a part of myself. I accomplished things I desperately wanted, I found things I didn't know I needed, and made connections that will last a lifetime. To anyone who's considering dropping everything to chase a dream, I support that decision and wish you the time of your life.
For a sense completion to this period I bought a round trip ticket for a visit to Toronto. I may take other short trips but I will stay living in Thunder Bay for a time, to live a quiet life and write. Write about my travels, some short stories, and other such things. I still have some blog posts to catch up on, like moving to Thunder Bay, the epic road trip with Jenn, and what it's like to move to Northern Ontario.
I can't help but feel a little startled by this pause. Just five months ago I was living in Panama with 'snorkeling' and 'jungle walk' on my to-do list. Now it's 'laundry' and 'clean the kitchen'. Three months ago I was living in a tent with my nightly check for ticks and night by a fire. Now it's checking that the door is locked and blowing out a few candles. A month ago I was on a road trip and didn't know where I was going to sleep or what State I was going to be in next. Now it's a trusty bed and a scheduled work week.
It's true about the human condition, we can become accustomed to anything. I normalized the traveling lifestyle such that getting back to the norm is foreign. It's nice though, and Albert Einstein said "a quiet life stimulates the creative mind." which is just the environment I was seeking to focus on my writing.
So far it's been a battle to write and set up a new apartment. My mind already wandering to living in Italy, backpacking in Thailand, and exploring New York. Spain calls, France tugs at my heart, Panamanian sunsets sit behind my eyelids...
So my friends, this two year stint of only buying one way tickets is officially at a close. It's a time to replenish funds, relive through writing, enjoy having my own apartment again and who's kidding who - planning the next adventure.
|Sunset in Panama, Bocas del Toro|
|stand up paddle boarding with Angus|
|Sunset in Panama|
|Paris, photo credit Jenn|
So my friends, this two year stint of only buying one way tickets is officially at a close. It's a time to replenish funds, relive through writing, enjoy having my own apartment again and who's kidding who - planning the next adventure.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Here is my favorite quote from Montana 1948, that I think will give you a sense of the plot and the voice:
"What finally lifted me from the floor and moved me back down the stairs? It was trivial, yet it bore out what a boy I was when all this was going on. In the kitchen was chocolate cake. My father had stopped at Cox's Bakery the day before and bought a cake, and it was sitting on the counter. A murderer may have been locked up a floor below and the molecules of his victim's dying breath still floating in the air, yet these were not strong enough finally to stand up to my boy's hunger for chocolate cake."
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
On my best numbers day of hitting 3000 trees, I got a rush of adrenalin from pushing myself so hard; mind, body, spirit. I had conquered much inner resistance, my sankara's. I had pushed through everything and felt like I was ready for anything.
I spent the first weeks of planting with lots of breaks. For me it was hard to remember it was still a job and to manage my time wisely. I was basking in the non-responsibility of it all. I didn't have to worry about sinking boats, or other people's land and property, no one was asking anything of me, and I was pretty content.
One of my tree runner's, Teddy (the person who makes sure you have enough trees to plant in your land), stopped asking me about how many trees I'd planted and instead asked "Okay Sam, what did you see today?" The list has gotten pretty long, "A big blue jay today". I've seen bunnies, frogs, toads, birds of all colours, butterflies galore. My best find, that I am most proud of was 3 lunar moths after a light rain. As soon as I saw it I dropped everything, ran to get my phone with a camera and ran back to take a photo. I continually gave thanks for seeing beautiful land that maybe only 100 people would ever get to see. Growing up in a big city I'm used to land that gets trod on by thousands of people every day. My favourite thing was finding little pockets, like a perfect sitting rock in the middle of ten foot poplar with wild flowers attracting butterflies.
Pre tree planting I thought seeing chopped forests with scattered piles of macerated wood, called slash piles would be what moved me to tears. "So you go in and plant after they've raped the land?" one friend asked over the phone (who uses toilet paper, paper towels, and stationary like the rest of us). I was angry about the concept of clear cutting but seeing (Northern Ontario) up close, mother nature is resilient and makes lush green spaces no matter how harshly you cut away. There would be other things to make me cry. One of my planting partners Steph, and I, made lots of jokes about the land, we keep fucking mother nature all day long, pounding our shovels into the earth, sliding our fingers in to put that tree in deep, she keeps batting us away with swarms of bugs, slaps in the face with poplar branches, biting us with rocks, always putting up the better fight, leaving us a little more wounded for the next day. Her cruelest trick is wasps allowed to live in the ground.
The last week of planting snuck up on me and my procrastination determination sunk in. I was ready to have my best week and give my all. I hated seeing my name near the bottom of the list when the totals were printed, I was working, but not like a hardcore tree planter (I could get 1000-1500 trees in and be satisfied. Where other rookies around me were hitting 3000-4000) My Tuesday started like no other. I didn't have my shovel or my planting bags, I was passed a message in the morning that my gear was in the truck that had left earlier. When I got there though, no bags, not even extra bags, and no shovel. I sat for two hours under a tarp and had a nap. Most people can hit at least 300-600 trees in that time, and I was napping. I was passive aggressive and doing my best to not care, "That's a total days break for me anyway, who cares? I don't like planting anyway…" Then some bags and a shovel came. Bags are not instantly one size fits all. They need to be adjusted at the hips and shoulders. Thankfully it was a nice shovel, short and angled. I bagged up (counted out bundles of trees and put them into two side bags. I keep my right side bundles wrapped in their cellophane because my shovel stays in my right hand. I unbundle the trees in my left side bag, so my planting hand can easily grab the loose trees. The bundles are usually 20-25 one year saplings of black spruce or jack pine.) and I went to make my line in.
I hate this part, starting at the front, looking for some kind of random direction marker in the distance and just hoping it's kind of straight (but it ALWAYS veers) this was a super shallow piece and I hit the back line (where the natural forest starts) really quickly. You don't plant in the forest but there can be some pockets to fit a couple trees. I peered in, I thought just three trees would fit (6ft apart) when my flight reaction kicked in. Pain seared in my hand and I instantly dropped my shovel, wasps were at me. More blasts to my legs and I was running, tearing off my bags so I could get back to the road. Screaming and swearing and crying. They got my shovel hand right between the thumb and pointer finger. My leg had three stings too and were already starting to swell. I hobbled back to my cache (where I had napped earlier) sobbing with "Fuck!" flying furiously. I put on some Icy Hot muscle relief (best bug after-bite) swore some more and went back to find my shovel. I already had a two hour break, I had no excuse to not plant, wasps unfortunately are part of the job. I spent the next few hours raging with anger. "How come I was here? I'm obviously the stupidest person in the world thinking I can do this, this is not a job for me." I got so fed up I dropped my bags and just walked on the bush road, "I'm quitting, I don't care if there's only a week left. Fuck it all." I said to no one as I picked my bags back up and hauled ass. I planted 2225 that day, a personal best and started two hours late and still had breaks. Yes I would be back tomorrow.
At the beginning, the hardest thing about tree planting for me was making quick decisions and then committing to that decision. You plant a tree, take a step and make a new hole 6ft away, but land is not anything close to a perfect field and you have to choose where your tree is going to go, is there nutrient rich soil, is it going to be to close to the last trees you planted? I would hesitate where to throw my shovel and that is the worst time waster. Or I would throw in my shovel and renege. The days that I was angry I stopped being a perfectionist and pushed myself through the hesitation. The first day I hit 3000 trees I knew I conquered that hesitation and knew I could hold onto that for other projects to come. And boy do I have a list of projects.
So tree planting was hard because of the bugs and the wasps and the ever changing temperature. It was also hard to push myself everyday, to not take a break, to think quickly, to commit to my decision, to not compare myself to other planters. It was also extremely rewarding. You don't have a boss telling you what to do. You get to be outside in nature all day long. You are exposed to fun and ridiculous moments every day you go to work. Every tree planter thinks of quitting and how much they hate it, but more often then not the tree planters come back to push themselves through another year. To enjoy in the lifestyle that you get accustomed to out in the bush with all the familiar friendly faces. You get the satisfaction of knowing you're doing something great, planting trees, and making money that you don't have a chance to spend until after you're done. You can treat it like a sport, as a job, as a way to put your whole life on hold for a few months. It truly was an unforgettable experience.
|bunch of butterflies|
|two lunar moths|
|Frog on slash|
|photo credit - Taylyn|
|It's pretty but imagine planting trees in that...|
|I've been describing these as 'what faeries would ride'|
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Thanks for sharing Jus, you were right, I really did enjoy it!
Friday, August 30, 2013
It's a great story, and deserves to be a classic.This quote rang true for me.
"A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say."
— Italo Calvino
I'm sure I'll come back to this one, and hope to come across more of Steinbeck's works.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
|Those are my boots, the day before tree planting began! |
I stumbled upon a labyrinth in Thunder Bay with
encouraging messages engraved in the brick road.
"It's 6am and time to rise,
wipe the sleep from your eyes,
grab some clothes and hope they're dry,
jump into the lunch line,
hop on the bus, don't be late,
that would be a rookie mistake!"
That's the beginning to one of the many songs I made up while planting. My all time favourite which I do hope to record: "I hate tree planting today" it has a really upbeat catchy tune.
So here's what tree planting was about...
Waking up in a smelly, slightly damp tent, the colder the morning, the warmer the day will be. Throw on your favourite tree planting outfit, the same sweet sweat smelling shirt you wore yesterday. Trudge over to the food tent to make a lunch with snacks that will last you a full day of planting, which is double the food you would normally consider eating. Grab breakfast and eat it in the mess tent or on the bus. Look at the white board to see which bus you need to get on and carry your 4lt of water, gear and food. Don't worry, this is always an awkward process, there is no smooth way of fitting yourself and your gear on the bus with 20 other planters.
|The Silver Bullet stuck again - photo credit: Taylyn|
|Box Fire & Tents - photo credit: Taylyn|
|Tent Alley - photo credit:Taylyn|
Your new home is always by a lake for a water supply. You will be drinking filtered lake water. There's a tent area, sometimes called tent alley, where everyone's tents create a cozy camping community. There are outhouses, which the cleaning of are part of the nightly chores that get rotated among the planters. There are trailers for staff and a kitchen trailer. There are two large tents, one for eating, one for the buffet of food, which will later serve as a good area for beer pong, and The Table Game, (work hard, party hard) and huddling together on weekends when it rains. If you're lucky someone will have set up clothes lines to hang wet clothes so they can become damp instead of sopping wet.
|Eating Tents - photo credit: Shirley|
|Staff Trailers - photo credit: Shirley|
There are no mirrors so you wont have to ever wonder how you look. By the faces around you though, you can only imagine you also have black fly bites all around your eyes, and on your cheeks and everywhere. Showering is at your discretion and if your not too exhausted to wait in line. Some people shower once a day, some people save showers as a weekend activity. Before bed it's a good idea to check for ticks. You've probably already taken a bunch off yourself and fellow planters. You can use ticks to make art projects and messages on duct tape. Most of the seats on the bus have a big piece of duct tape ready to peal back at any moment to trap your new found tick.
|Ticks on Duct Tape - photo credit: Megan|
|A Pretty Swamp|
Loosely holding the handle of an approximately 3ft shovel in the fingers of your dominant hand, throw the shovel head into the ground. You want to hold the shovel loosely because the Canadian Shield is unforgiving. If you hold the shovel tightly and hit rock beneath a thin layer of soil you will feel a shocking jolt run through your wrist and arm. This sucks. When you've hit creamy soil and your shovel slides in nicely, this is the opposite of sucky and will make you happy. You will probably smile. Then using your body weight, push the shovel (that is in the ground) forward so it is about 45degrees and loosing the dirt on the spade. Making a wide circle motion and stoping when you make a C, towards your hip. You now have a pie shape, or pizza slice hole in the ground.
|Loose Trees in Planting Bag - photo credit: Taylyn|
|Sam Planting Trees - photo credit: Shirley|
So in the time it took you to read that you could have probably planted 50 trees!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
"This book describes the mechanics of waves", maybe if I understood waves better I would be less terrified. I had already judged the book though, I wrongly anticipated it was filled with technical aspects that would be a dry read with science terms I knew nothing about. I reluctantly pulled it off the shelf and it immediately pulled me in. I was kicking myself for not reading this book as soon as it was recommended to me. Susan Casey isn't writing from the safety of a desk, she gets in the thick of it, learning about waves from the true masters; surfers searching for a hundred foot wave, scientists caught in epic storms, predictors of world disasters. She takes you to the moment and on the white knuckle rides. Laird Hamilton, a pro surfer, is her main connection to the world of waves. The information she gives is truly awesome.
There are pictures, incredible accounts of natures power, and an excitement I haven't encountered in other reads. This book would make a great gift for anyone who likes to get caught up in action and adventure. This book, hands down, goes on my top reads list!
Friday, August 2, 2013
So I left Panama at the tail end of April thinking (as I seem to always do) that I would be staying in Toronto for a whole lot of time. I wanted to rent a studio space, work on some art projects, get a bar job working on a patio in the summer. That intention was all well and good until I got invited to a going away party of a friend's girlfriend. Where a conversation went something like this:
"Where are you off to Katia?"So that night, as most nights when I get a crazy idea in my head that I want to do something (for no other explainable reason then I want to do it), I couldn't sleep. I had only been back in Toronto for one week and here I was producing a full explanation for a foreman of why I wanted to go tree planting and why I'd make a good addition to the team. I put a fair amount of time and energy in that email, and figuring most of the work was done, I might as well do a search online and apply to EVERY tree planting company possibly hiring rookies (first time planters). This was a Thursday and exactly one week since I landed in Toronto.
"Tree planting in BC."
"What?!?! I've always wanted to do that! I've been missing the application deadline since I first heard about it when I was 18, or I've been out of the country."
"Well, now's the time to apply because this is when people drop out, here's my foreman's email."
I closed my computer resolving I had to continue with my job search in Toronto like nothing happened or was happening. I went to interviews and found even at the post I was most excited for I was still pushing a fake happy and while I waited for the second round of interviews I stared at my silent phone whispering in my head and to all the tree planting companies, 'please call, so I don't have to go in there' but nothing happened, no one called, I continued with my interviews.
It was Thursday again, and the opening night of The Great Gatsby, so of course I was dressing up. With my hair in curlers, and a 1920's dress waiting for me, I had dinner with my parents before going out. I was just explaining to my dad why I'm certain that I can now only live in spaces with an abundance of nature. How living with the outdoors in Panama fed my soul and I want to be somewhere where I can be outside all day. He was coming around to my way of thinking, certainly not for himself, but at least understanding where I was coming from when my step-mom called from in the house that my cellphone was ringing. "Yes! Please answer it." and I bolted upstairs.
"Hello?"I went back to my parents beaming and fooling myself, but not them, that I hadn't made a decision yet. I had to sleep on it, buy steel toed construction boots and see how much airfare was before I could officially commit. As I finished dolling up in the mirror, I was so happy it wasn't a skype interview, there is no way someone would hire me for back breaking work looking like this.
It took a while for my brain to wrap around what was said,
"Sorry, where are you calling from?"
something something "Tree planting"
That was the magic word I needed to get super excited and have a truly happy interview. The talk with my dad made all my answers easily roll of the tongue. I knew I was in for a tough time of hard work, I knew I'd be living in a tent, and I knew I would be out in nature all day, every day.
"Can you start on Monday?"
That's when my I faltered. Monday, that was three days and a few hours away, and I would have to get myself to Thunder Bay.
"When's the latest I can let you know? Alright, I'll email or call tomorrow morning."
Friday I woke up early, and looked at the list that was sent to me. I now had three days to get everything, where normally people had three months to prepare. I took a deep breath and went to Mark's Work Warehouse for some CSA approved boots and a hardhat. Of course I was saying yes!
− quality waterproof tent
− tarpaulin/ground sheet
− warm sleeping bag (rated -15 desgrees Celsius)
− extra blanket, therma-rest, pillow
− flashlight, lantern
− eating utensils (plate, bowl, cup, cutlery, etc.)
− tupperware containers (for field lunch)
− rain suit (coat and pants) - nylon or rubber (quality!)
− Duct tape
− sunglasses, hat, sun screen, lip balm
− insect repellent (Watkins if you can find it, if not, something with “deet”)
− Insulated water jug (4L or more)
− Small day pack (to carry lunch, gear, etc)
− Comfortable, CSA approved work boots (Break them in before coming. You'll thank us)
− Work socks (Many pairs. Polypropylene undersocks paired with wool are best)
− T-shirts (many)
− Sweaters (expect snow at least once)
− Long underwear, toque
− The ability to use all of the above
− Alarm clock and Watch
− Swim suit
− Clothing for days off
− Spending money
− Mosquito coils
− MP3 Player, camera, deck of cards, etc.
− Personal first aid kit (band-aids, etc.)
− Journaling tools. Pens, paper, notebook, etc.
− We recommend bringing about $200 cash to cover any unexpected incidentals
− Planting shovel
− Planting bags
− CSA approved hard-hat
− High visibility vest
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
After hearing it was the favorite book of a friend and since I love the Hemingway, Fitzgerald era, I thought I'd give it a second chance. I was happy I did.
It really is beautifully written with a great style. I think the movie The Great Gatsby brings the book to life and I especially enjoyed dressing up for opening night. The Baz Luhrmann style shouts itself from the screen reminding me of exact scenes from Moulin Rouge but the script comes through as exact verbatim from the book. Not my personal favorite but can appreciate the book, story and movie.