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~Friday~ I caught the 7:15 bus in this morning, one of the earlier ones I've taken since starting riding, and it was surprisingly empty, in other words, boring. I wanted to get to work early so I could leave early, as I had to be in Durham by 4:45 this afternoon.

I had a busy work day today, with a flurry of activity right before I left related to the Student Email Initiative project I'm working on.

This, for sure, is the first time I've ever caught the 3:30 bus home. I made the definite mistake to walk down to the joint #4#12 stop at Hillsborough and Dixe Trail rather than picking it up in front of the credit union at Hillsborough and Brooks, as I had a little extra time. The mistake was that it was incredibly freaking hot, and there was very limited shade at this stop. Just as it occurred to me to open my umbrella for some shade, the bus came onto Hillsborough Street up at Brooks where I would have already been on had I stuck with my usual routine. I'm just saying... The bus was totally crowded, and I had to sit with—heavens to murgatroid—a stranger!

I had three writing-related affirmations today, which I always appreciate:

  1. From my friend Etta, who is a senior lecturer and student advisor in the English department at State, but more importantly fellow Salon member and my friend, wrote this about that comment I posted to the Independent online about the review of Turn of the Screw: "John: I love the way you've used the 'unreliable narrator' theme in your comment on the review. It's that whole crazy, intriguing looking-glass thing. E."

  2. As a writer, it's really a treat when people share specific things that they enjoy(ed) about your writing, at least it is for me. This one, again from my friend Julie, was one of those affirmations: "Julie Proctor: My name in lights...I LOVE it! ;-) [Referring to her previous affirmation that I'd included in yesterday's blog entry] Your irreverence and sense of the absurd is what gives me the giggles. Like the 'bus driver going off a la Hillary' and the whole Cochise/Swapping Dollar scene....OMG that's hilarious on so many levels."

  3. Once again, one of my blog entries, this time the one about the diversity on the bus one morning this week, was featured on 30Threads.com (a website that highlights various blogs around the Triangle). The person who runs that website, Ginny Skalski, who is also my friend said this when I tweeted her that I am always surprised when one of my entries gets highlighted:  "You probably are surprised at the random tidbit I choose to highlight. There's so much good stuff on your blog it's hard to choose."

Tonight, I attended the first film in the 14th Annual North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, where (as I noted in one of my Twitter tweets today) "for three great days, I get to see movies where—finally—the guy gets the guy in the end."

The festival actually started last night, but my first movie was tonight, for which I met Robert at the Carolina Theater at about 4:50. After a few hellos, and nabbing the, "Large Popcorn and Drink Special" (not so sure what's special about paying $8.50 for something that costs a dollar at the most to produce, but I digress...), we settled into Cinema 2 for a collection of dramatic men's shorts. Shorts, as in short films, silly.

The collection was called, "So Romantic, So Bewildering," and four out of the six of them were decent. None of them were what I would have called outstanding. Short synopses of each:

  1. A Londoner travels 10,000 miles to rural New Zealand to rekindle an old relationship, but a friendly teddy bear will decide his fate in Teddy. [This one was cute, other than having to watch the first three minutes or so twice, because a technical glitch caused the film to start over after about three minutes. At the end, before the next short came on, it sat on the screen for a second with the "Play" button showing, and someone in the audience (who I think was my friend Mark Zumbach) yelled, "Play it again!"]

  2. Just before closing time, a burly bear walks into The Back Room of a bookstore looking for a book about an obscure Italian artist, and the lovelorn clerk learns a thing or two that can't be taught in books. [Cute, but the ending was kind of cheesy.]

  3. A farm son says too much in Shattercane. [This one was excruciating. Somebody talk already! The day's almost over. When the description says that the farm son "says too much," it means, evidently, all at one time and off camera. During the short film, it's the exact opposite—nobody says anything most of the time.]

  4. Two Men Kissing explores the intense beauty and physical pleasure of the kiss between two men. [Poetry on film.  'Nuff said.]

  5. The Golden Pin, a story about an avid swimmer, who finds himself struggling between the expectations of his Asian family and the demands of his heart. His father wants him to marry soon, but his mother, haunted by a past romance, hopes her son will stand up for what he believes. [This one was well done, with a timeless message, which is best summed up by Oscar Wilde's famous quote, "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."]

  6. A heart-pounding chase and a narrow escape from local thugs leaves two young athletes completely dependent on each other, stirring a mutual love that extends far beyond the football field in Chased. [Thanks be to the deities that this film was decent as one of the makers of the film was in the audience. Being bad was the only thing that could have made it more awkward than the guy who welcomed us to the film (they do this at each film in the festival, which gets a little old, okay very old, if you see a lot of films over the weekend), and then at the end tried to start the "discussion" with the film maker as the people who weren't interested in that, which was most of them, tried to file out of the theater. AWKward... Not that anyone asked me, but here's how you do it: You say, "As soon as everyone who has another commitment leaves, we'll start our discussion with the film maker." This let's the people who aren't interested leave graciously, and keeps the film maker from having to try to answer a question while most of the theater is filing out in front of him. I'm just saying... ]

I dropped by Flex to see what "The Rave" was all about, as I think that's what was supposed to be going on there. It was an okay time.

I spent most of my time with Joe, his boyfriend Phil, and their (and my) friend Steve. The highlight of my about an hour-and-a-half there was running up to a lady who had just lit a cigarette, saying, "You can't smoke in here," and watching her face as she realized she'd done it complete subconsciously while scooting out to the smoker's patio in a flustered fit. For the record, "lady" and "she" in the previous sentence refers to an RG.

I'm so easily entertained. I'm thinking about taking a red pen to my:

t-shirt making it the: "Grammar Smoking Police."



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