I am going to do some usability testing of a new web site they are developing. It's about 60 hours of work, over about a two-week period, and the pay is $15.00 an hour. I'll take it.
I had to turn in several forms: an NCSU Part-time Work application form, a federal Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate (W-4 form); the state of North Carolina equivalent to that (NC-4 form); a direct deposit form for my paychecks, a form stating that I'm registered for the draft, or if not, that I have a damn good reason not to be (and "because this country fights wars for stupid reasons" was not an available check box). But I digress...
I had allowed 30 minutes for this meeting with Chris Leaston, and it took all of five minutes. While there, I met Mike Cauces, who I will meet with on Monday, along with the project manager to introduce me to the project and my assignment.
Since I had a couple of hours until my 1:00 meeting with Myra, I went to Helios for a while.
I arrived at Clark Hall at about 10 minutes until 1:00, and in the lobby area of the fourth floor, found the main hall door to get back to Myra's office (to all of the offices, actually), locked with a sign on it that said, "Will be back at 1:30."
"Hmmm," I thought. "I thought our meeting was set for 1:00."
I waited in the lobby area until about 1:10, and then thought I'd check in with Myra's cell, just to make sure I wasn't supposed to be meeting her at Kinko's, though I knew we'd agreed to meet here, because I'd told her that I had just a couple more changes to make to the newsletter before we brought it to Kinko's.
She answered her phone, and as it turned out, was back in her office, with no idea that the main door up front was locked.
I made my changes, and we headed over to Kinko's, where she turned in three jobs, one of which was the newsletter — 40 copies, on 11x17 paper folded newsletter style, with two staples in the middle binding.
Easy enough for me to do it myself next time.
I met Robert at the Carolina Theater, where we had tickets for two movies at the 2006 NCGLFF — Small Town Gay Bar and Love Life.
Small Town Gay Bar
Movie Synopsis: Small town gay bar is a tribute to the resiliency of gays living in rural areas throughout America. A moving portrait of men and women fighting to create and maintain community for themselves in the face of great opposition, hypocrisy and prejudice in a largely ignored subculture of discreet back door entrances and hushed sexual expression in small town Mississippi.
Deep in the heart of the Bible Belt, attacked on all sides by the Christian Coalition, several spirited bar owners have created an oasis for gays to call home. Rumors in Shannon, Mississippi (population 1,657) and Different Seasons in Meridien, Mississippi (population 39,968) have both survived decades of torment and persecution from authorities and citizens.
Despite overwhelming odds against their survival, the rural gay community has become even more empowered from hatred following devastating attacks including vandalism, organized protests and the recent brutal murder of18 year-old Scotty Weaver who was tortured and mutilated in a neighboring state by three assailants, simply because of his sexual orientation.
The characters that populate these low profile bars are a colorful and loving bunch, grateful to have a place where they can be themselves. Jim Bishop (aka Alicia Stone) is the glamorous show director at Rumors by night and a veterinarian receptionist by day. His partner Geoff is the DJ at the club. Lori and her lover Ruby purchased the dilapidated and abandoned Crossroads Bar and converted it into the popular bar Different Seasons. Their dedication and creative spirit have helped the club survive as the only gay destination for the local population.
The fight for equal rights is far from over, but at these small town gay bars, a "family" has been created for a hardy group of strangers who have quickly become life long friends. While urban life has made strong advances in the hard fought journey from the underground to prime time, these small pockets of community throughout America continue to struggle for basic rights of life and love.
If anyone asked me, and if my thumbs came in halves, I'd give this movie one-and-a-half thumbs up. I couldn't go all the way to two thumbs, and one thumb just isn't generous enough.
What contributed to the thumb nub: I thought too much time was spent on the, by now infamous (and totally tired), "Reverend" (godhatesfags) Fred Phelps, which of course elicited outbursts from the audience, particularly the guys sitting behind us making comments at the screen as if the characters could hear them. I hate that.
I was also disappointed that this documentary focused basically on only two bars — both in Mississippi. I thought it was going to include a lot of shorter segments about small gay bars all over the country.
One could argue that spending more time on only two gave you time to "care about" the characters. I think that point is arguable, as I cared about the characters pretty quickly any way.
There are a lot of great stories to be told about a lot of rural gay bars — including the one about the bar Friends Lounge, set in the midst of ultra-conservative Jacksonville, NC, where marines from nearby Camp Lejeune used to "sneak" into by waiting until a group of 8-10 "out" patrons would line up at the door side-by-side, four or five on one side, the other four or five on the other, with their arms up touching in a point, creating a sort of "private hallway" that the closeted marines could enter at one end, right from their car, and run through to protect their anonymity as they entered the club.
This was all before "Don't ask, don't tell," of course, not that that piece of shit legislation has made much difference.
Movie Synopsis: Crisply told and packing an emotional punch, Damion Dietz's (Beverly Kills) latest film tells the story of a couple in an unhappy marriage of convenience. In an attempt to meet expectations and retain financial security, Joe Hahn (a closeted former pro baseball player) and Mary Hahn (his sexually secretive wife) mimic the conventions of a traditional heterosexual marriage, and find themselves suffocated by the strained, empty charade.
But when Joe develops an emotional connection with a young man from his past, and when a beautiful friend from Mary's college years resurfaces with her own agenda, the marriage of convenience begins to crack, revealing the truth, hope and strength buried within all of them. With equal time given to both the male/male and female/female relationships, Love Life is a most unusual and captivating film. What's next for this not-so-happy queerly married couple?
Dreadful, dreadful, dreadful. That's what I thought about this film, and after about 40 minutes of it, Robert thankfully said, "Would you mind if we left?" I couldn't say yes fast enough.
I can't believe that this movie has good reviews, and I see at their "official" web site (link above), they have already added that the film has sold out at the NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. It's one thing to sell out before anyone has actually had a chance to see it, and quite another to sell out because many people have seen it and recommended it.
What I didn't like: the lighting was awful, awful, awful. I spent half (of what I saw of) the movie squinting trying to see the characters. It was one of those movies going for alleged "artistic effect," I guess. I also didn't find the characters interesting.
At one point one in the film, one of the characters, the "wife" I believe, said something about being able to survive financially (if she and her husband divorced), and I thought, "All I ask is that you make enough to buy some fucking light bulbs to turn on so we can see what the hell is going on in this movie."
Later she said something to the effect of, "I was so different when I was back in college," and I thought, "Hopefully you were interesting back then."
My biggest problem with this film, other than the lighting, was the writing. It was too much "tell, tell, tell," and not enough "show." The number one thing you learn in fiction writing is that you "show" things, not "tell" them. I can't even begin to count the number of times that female lead "told" us that she was in her marriage to keep in the good graces of her mother on whom she was financially dependent. I don't want to hear it; I want to see it.
Okay, I'm done ranting about all that. Leaving 30 minutes before it was over, I was grateful to have a half-hour back of my evening.