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September 21st, 2008

Robert and I were up at about 9, and had sausage "biscuits" for breakfast. Biscuits is in quotation marks, because the sausage was actually on King's Hawaiian sweet rolls, not biscuits.



We saw the 12:35 screening of Burn After Reading at Crossroads 20.

Movie synopsis: A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it.

I would have to agree with this review:

The tag line for the star-studded Coen Brothers film Burn After Reading is "intelligence is relative". Certainly that statement is very fitting for this smart film about stupid people. [...]

Like a warped version of The Man Who Knew Too Little meets The Big Lebowski, the various story lines all intertwine and some very brilliant dark humor ensues.

The most most outstanding element of the film has to be the performances from the cast, most of whom had the roles written specifically for them by Joel and Ethan Coen. Malkovich's very serious nature lends so much to the humor of a character whose self-importance proves to be unfounded and McDormand's portrayal of a simple woman who thinks she's a genius is fantastic. Clooney plays on his smooth, James Bond-esquire image from films like Ocean's Eleven with very funny results.

With such an amazing cast, it would be hard to pinpoint a single stand-out, however Pitt steals the show.  Click to read the full version of this review, which also includes a video clip.



After the movie, Robert headed back to Durham, and I met Joe just across the way in the other section of Crossroads at Paneara, where I finally devised the survey I committed to create for the myfriessuck.com team.

It was my first time using SurveyMonkey to create a survey, and I found it as easy as the NC State application to create surveys, which I loved. Oh that reminds me, I guess I can access that app again now that I'm an employee. Yay.

Joe and I had dinner at the Carolina Ale House right next door to Paneara.



At about 8:00, my phone rang, and the person on the other end said, "John?"

"Yes."

"This is Michael." My mind raced through all the Michaels I know, and none matched the voice.

"Uh, Michael who?"

"Your nephew."

He has never ever called me, and he's 17 years old, so of course I wasn't expecting him. However, I was thrilled that he initiated the contact, and we had a great 10-minute or so conversation, which is a long phone conversation for me.

It was very nice to catch up. It sounds like he's really growing up. I need to send him a note or card thanking him for his initiative.



I met Joe at Flex at 9:30 for some free pool and karaoke.

After just a couple of games of pool, someone wanted the table, so we gave it up. The evening moved at a glacial pace—Joe and I were absolutely stunned when we checked the time after what we thought had been about two hours, and it had only been an hour.

I left Joe there at 11:30, as he's off tomorrow, and I have to work.

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