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~Saturday~ I was up at 7:30 this morning, after some very weird, very "involved" dreams.

I didn't mention my stop at the grocery store yesterday on the way home from the gym, but while there, I bought a box of All-Bran cereal and ate a huge bowl of it for dinner last night, along with a banana sliced up in it. Go to work fiber!

All-Bran Bran Buds with 51% of your daily fiber allowance

This morning I had another huge bowl of it the same way. And I'm happy to report that my GI track is on its road to recovery now. Thank goodness.

Also, my abs are "feeling the burn" of yesterday's prodigal return to the gym in general, and the ab crunch bench in particular.

I made moves in the several online Scrabble games I'm in the midst of, had a quick instant message conversation with Robert, showered, packed a lunch, and headed into my office, where I pretty much planned to spend the day and night up until the time I went to my remaining NCGLFF move tonight, which didn't start until 10:50.



At work, I spent way longer than I wanted to transferring the notes that I took in our weekly Google meeting on Thursday into the official agenda and notes file. Then, I updated my weekly status report for the week.

Next, I accessed the leave system, and coded two hours sick leave for Tuesday, when I went to the endodontist, and 8 hours of sick leave for yesterday.

And, finally, I got started on the main reason I'll be working pretty much all this weekend, which is to complete a draft "IT Governance at NC State University" document for our Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer.



I made decent enough progress on the document that I decided to leave work for a while to go to the gym and to have dinner at home.

At the gym, I did an upper body workout, where at one point I re-ordered my routine to get away from a grunter. It's kind of funny now, whenever I hear anyone making any noises when working out now, I think, "Drama queen!" Nobody cares about how hard you think your workout is.

I had the rest of that grilled chicken tonight, after pan frying it to make sure any remaining pink was out of it, and then adding it to some lite Alfredo sauce, poured together over bow tie pasta. Quite delicious.



I got back to the office at 7:30, where I worked until 10:00, before heading out to The Carolina Theater in Durham for my second, and last, film that I'll see this year. I'm sorry I missed the one that I did, Hollywood to Dollywood, about which I've heard nothing but good things.

Tonight's film was Kink Crusaders, and I anticipated it being extra interesting, since it's a documentary about the origins of International Mr. Leather (IML), which is the event I attended this year in Chicago over the Memorial Day Weekend.

For the most part, I liked this film, some aspects of it more than others:

Pros

  • I liked that it attempted to explain "acceptable" BDSM in terms of safe, sane, and consensual.

  • It was interesting to hear, particularly from one of the international contenders, the different laws and political antics around BDSM.

  • I liked the diversity aspect of the community, and its long road to being an inclusive community.

  • It was good to see the actual pageant, as I didn't attend it when I attended IML this Memorial Day Weekend. With that said, I'm glad I didn't attend it. Not my cup of tea.

  • I like that they touched on the economics of the event, both for the Hyatt and for the city of Chicago. With that said, they could have done more on that. It's absolutely phenomenal to me that an event like that can buy out the entire downtown Chicago Hyatt hotel for three days, where it's essentially "closed to the public." Think of the economic impact of that. They have 2,019 rooms there, times $200 per night (and that's only for the people who got the "event rate" in time, many others paid more) for 3 nights (and some people stayed four) = $1,211, 400. And that's just for the rooms. A "house bourbon" cocktail in the bar was $9.00 and the beer was $7.00 a bottle.

Cons

  • My biggest complaint was that this was essentially as if someone had taped the whole IML 2008 and then cut it down to 74 minutes. I think they could have taken a lesson from the documentary Pageant, where instead of trying to interview almost all of the 20 finalists, and showing all of their answers to questions, for example, it would have been more compelling to the audience to pick five or six contenders, from very diverse backgrounds, and show everything they had put into getting to the finals at IML—what they did in their hometowns, the different levels of competition that got them where they are, and so on. That approach gets the audience invested in one (or more) of them winning, and gets them to feel more empathy for the losers. (Although, I realize that, "everybody wins.")

  • With that said, I had absolutely nothing invested in the guy that ended up winning. In fact, I didn't find him very likable and instead of leaving thinking, "Well, he'll be a good representative of the leather community for a year," I left thinking, "I wonder exactly what it was about him that made him win."

  • I don't think they showed, or talked enough about, the various fetishes and fetish-related products for sale that I saw at the event when I attended. Those are the kinds of things that open your eyes to how fascinating human eroticism and sexuality is, even if you're not interested in participating in most of it yourself. They showed very few scenes from "The Marketplace," which is a huge deal there, and where you not only see many of those "products," but you see people demonstrating them.

  • It was annoying that almost every interview throughout the film where the guy who eventually won was done, which I recognized as at the top of one of the escalators that lead down to The Marketplace, had so much noise going on in the background that you could hardly hear what he was saying. Can you say sound edit?

  • Because of the format (I think), it seemed longer than 74 minutes to me.

So, that was my second, and last, film for this year's festival. It's been interesting over the years to observe my participation level in the festival, as well as my tolerance for poor quality films. In the beginning, I went to almost every film, and I pretty much liked them all. What's not to like, finally seeing "people like me" in an entire film, as opposed to a stereotypical cameo in most films, and in the lead and supporting roles?

But now, I'm getting more discerning (some might call it cranky, but, well, I am ten years older, too), but I want more than that. It's like that short I complained about, "Tell Me a Memory." It's not enough for me any more to hear the same old story, but with gay characters. I want something that makes me think, something I didn't expect, and it wouldn't be bad if the protagonist died at the end of one or more films or if the guy doesn't get the guy at the end of the film.

I can only imagine what it's going to be like next year, when the festival goes from being four days long to nine days. It's already an absolute chore picking out films to go see, and it just makes me wonder if the bar is going to have to be lowered even more to fill up a schedule of that duration.



Once home, I read a few more chapters of The Hunger Games, and I also started making notes about it to remember to share with book club when we discuss it. Two things I've noted so far:

  1. Up until the middle of the first chapter, I thought the protagonist was male, which is just interesting.

  2. This author is good with "hooks"—two doozies so far, and both in the very last sentence of a chapter. Just plopped it out there. After the most recent one, I couldn't put the book down right then even though I was waiting for the end of the chapter to go to sleep. I had to read the beginning of the next chapter to see what happened. That's good writing.

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