Just For Laughs 2010

This is only my second time going to the festivals in Montreal (Jazz + Just for Laughs) but it’s always been funtimes hanging out with the crew. This year, the Just For Laughs festival moved to the same place that the Jazz Festival is held at. I think it’s called the Theatre des Spectacles or Quartier des Spectacles, around Place Des Arts metro, going down St. Catherines and up Jeanne-Mance. We got there a little early, and there wasn’t much stuff going on, seems they only opened later in the evening. We did see some music busker people setting up on the street and I got a photo with them because they sang pretty well, had interesting instruments, and were kind of cute. Bahaha.

He's touching meeeeee

They were just about the only thing to see at that hour, so I gave them money. We then headed to Chinatown to bum around, have bubble tea, play touch screen games, and have fun taking photo stickers. I love photo stickers. They are posed, but spontaneous at the same time and so instant, that you have to keep them and it’s like you’re changing in the same box. Because, let’s face it, all photo booths are more or less the same. I have amassed quite a collection and I hope it keeps growing and growing. And growing. Because of all these changes that have happened even without me noticing, kind of, it’s strange to look back on the photos with old friends, high school friends, some that you don’t talk to anymore, some that you’ve reunited with, old boyfriends, photos that you’ve forgotten. It’s just nice to see. Now, with such a big change, a la leaving my dearest friends behind, I’ve come to treasure these little snapshots of our relationships.

So, we head back to the festival after a stint in Chinatown, and got in line for the Luminarium. It is this huge bubble thing made of some sort of rubbery material made by a British man who’s name escapes me, all stitched together my hand. Some of the fabric is opaque while others are coloured and semi-transparent. It’s all very interesting, and I think the coolest part is that there is no light inside. Instead, the sunlight comes through the semi-transparent parts to light the atmosphere inside. It’s very calming, and they have great music inside, no running, no shoes, just people sitting around this vast area lounging. Very fun.



Here's a part of what it looks like from the outside. With Adrienne's head. The place is about 3-4x that size.

Inside the Luminarium.

I feel like I've stepped into the future.

Honestly, that is how I imagine the future to be, when we live on other planets that don’t quite have the oxygen levels that humans need to survive. We will live in bubbly things like the luminarium.

Of course, on the street of the festival, there are just so many things to be seen. Aside from the food, and drinks, and giant chessboards, you’re likely to encounter the most eclectic combination of random and dastardly things in one setting.

Giant tongues...

A humpback man...

People on stilts. Oh the horror.

People on stilts are terrifying. I remember last year at the festival, they had this one woman on stilts who’s character was a kind of raggedy-ann/porcelain doll/zombie bride crossbreed, and had the personality of a maniacal haunted travelling circus. She was horrifying and I was severely disturbed by her, and now by extension, all people on stilts. I know what they are and all that, but there’s just something so wrong about it. From their overly theatrical and menacing personalities to their horse feet. It’s just one of those things on my list of fears. I’m scared of a lot of strange things that I shouldn’t be scared of: people on stilts, clowns, balloons, and doorknobs. I think those are the top things.

Acrobats...

Creepy mascots...

Soapy sudsy booths...

And a giant floating Rose.

So many things to see at this festival and as long as you’re with good people, or even by yourself, it’s all good fun, and it won’t be something that you’ll forget anytime soon.

And then I went to see Inception.

Holy mindfuck.

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What I learned from FIFA 2010 about soccer and life

5. Spanish players are hot.

Okay, not all of them, but c’mon, Casillas? Torres? For David Villa, his hotness is amplified from what it actually is for being this tournament’s goal scorer for the Spanish team. I never followed soccer before this year, so when it came to choosing a team to root for, I arbitrarily chose Spain gauging by the hotness of their players. I may not have started out as a “true fan” or anything, and I certainly haven’t ended up there yet, but I feel kinship ties to both the team and their fans after this tournament.

4. Soccer is pretty rad.

Lol, Ghana.

I’ve never been a sports person, but after deciding to follow the tournament this year, I can see where all the excitement is coming from. It’s really intense, seeing if your team will make it, calculating how many goals it takes to get them to where they need to be. I can’t say the same about hockey, or American football or anything, but I do get a thrill from watching soccer games. I used to be in the same boat as others when they say, “How can you watch a game that goes on for 90 minutes and no goals happen?” Now, I see how much thought and play goes into the game. It’s not just a bunch of guys mindlessly passing the ball around, they’re running up and down the field, finding ways through the opposing defence, stealing the ball back. And when a game goes on for a long time, tied, especially during eliminations, it is nail-bitingly nerve-wracking.

3. It’s okay if you lose your first game.

Aka tournaments and life are the same in the way that even if you fail the first time around, things can always turn 180 degrees and surprise you. Wow that sounded really corny. But I’m just happy that even though Spain lost their first game against Switzerland, they came back, won the rest of their games, and then the World Cup. WOOOO! Get back on that horse.

2. Competitive rivalry sucks.

I heard so much shit talking about Spain and how all the other teams are gonna kick their asses, wipe the ground with them, etc etc. It’s one thing to be confident about your team and cheer for their win, but during this tournament, I’ve had so many people verbally stomping me just because they see that I was a Spain supporter. It may only have started with their looks, but once the games began, I really started to feel like a supporter. And who’s to tell me I wasn’t? When you first start to support a team, what reasons are there behind it? You come from that region? It’s your ethnicity? It’s who your parents are rooting for? Each reason might as well be as arbitrary as the last. Because it doesn’t matter where you start, but how you feel about your team in the end.

When they see I don’t retreat when attacked, tail between my legs, and instead start defending Spain, they’ll pull out, “She isn’t even fucking Spanish.” So I’m not, despite me telling you that I am half Spaniard. I don’t think Vietnam or Canada or even China was playing in the world cup (my Chinese roots are really a stretch). And when these fans start regaling me in the most malicious manner for whatever reason, I develop a strong dislike for the team. Ahem, Germany. Yes, the Germans. I started out being pretty okay with them, till Germany fans start coming out of nowhere and ruining the spirit for me. By the end of it, I didn’t even care if Spain lost to the Netherlands (well, till game day at least), as long as they beat Germany. And beat them they did.

1. A lot can happen in 5 minutes.

From this tournament…

And other leagues…

3-0.. oh wait, 3-3

5 minutes how long it takes me to brush my teeth. It’s how long it takes me to choose an outfit, to change laundry loads and fold them, or to make some toast and spread butter/nutella/jam/peanut butter on it. 3 of those minutes are spent waiting for the toaster. I digress, 5 minutes in a game of soccer means a lot of action. Considering it takes them 5 seconds to get from one end of the field to the other. There have been goals within minutes of each other. Corner kicks, free kicks, fouls, shots that ricochet off the goal post. It’s just too much.

Because there’s so much happening, 5 minutes lasts a really long time, and that’s with them not stopping the clock. Basketball, 10 minutes actually means about a half hour. So. What I mean to say then, is that you can do a lot in 5 minutes, even if you’re not playing soccer. So do it. Fill up your time. Do something productive. I should probably start living by that.