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Randoom

Julius, Jennifer’s cat, fell or jumped off the porch Saturday night. (Knowing this cat, I suppose it’s possible that he both jumped and fell off the porch; he has been known to bend time and space and do impossible things in that way…) He was gone for four days, which led to an understandable amount of sadness and panic. Last night when we came back from dinner, he was just sitting on the steps waiting for us…

Covered in his own shit.

I really wish I had video of whatever it was he got up to. Every time I’ve ever disappeared for four days and returned home stinking to high heaven and caked with feces, its always been the prelude to a damn good story.

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Emory tried (again) and failed (again) to invite filmmakers to campus for a screening and a Q & A. They screened the short film “The Accountant” and the trailer for the new film by the same group, “Randy and the Mob.” Then the Director/Star, co-star, producer, and a couple other people came to the front to answer questions.

Problem was, the cast and crew nearly outnumbered the attendees. There were eight people in the audience, and five people and a documentarian among the guests of honor. I can’t imagine how disheartening that must be.

But Emory is, in certain ways, to blame for the thing. The Film Studies department has never advertised its events particularly well; that’s part of the problem. Additionally, the film studies students are apathetic (I was the only current FS student in the room), and it apparently hasn’t crossed anyone’s mind to offer extra credit or make these things mandatory, because undergrads never come.

I’m glad things like this happen, because I like meeting people who are active in the field and who I admire, but it’s such a waste of effort to organize things like this and then have an embarassing turn-out.

Of course, I don’t really mind that there was hardly anyone around, because it meant that I got to sit around and shoot the breeze with Walton Goggins for about twenty minutes. (Who most people would probably know from TV series “The Shield,” but whom I geeked out over because he played ‘Downtown’ Anderson in “Major League: Back to the Minors.”) I wasn’t having one of my better days in terms of conversational skills, but it was pleasant nonetheless – he’s a good guy.

I didn’t get an autograph or anything, but I rarely do that sort of thing. I usually find it much more fun to treat celebrities like real people. Asking for autographs puts you back in superior/inferior territory…

To get back to the point, it’s a little silly that they took time out of their busy schedules to try to promote the film and only got 8 listeners. Emory needs to try harder on these things, because they aren’t stopping by just to spend half an hour doing small talk with me – as much as I might enjoy it.

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The plans for the conference trip to Belgium are moving along. I received the information packet through email yesterday. As it turns out, Kathy Fuller-Seely from Georgia State, who I’ve spoken to about Better Films Committee research, is also going. So I’ll at least have an acquaintance in the vicinity.

And they’re putting together a guided tour of the historical theaters of Ghent for Sunday, which should be a nice touristy thing to do.

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On the less positive side, classes aren’t going so well this semester.

The history class about race is fine. The two professors are both very good at what they do and this is ‘their baby,’ so the whole thing is well organized and informative. But I’ve been in the ‘film history’ rut for about nine months now (all history is a ‘rut’ for me, eventually), and I’m just not particularly in the mood for it. So, no matter how good the class is, it’s just not catching my fancy at the moment.

And the other class, on a pairĀ  of comedy auteurs, has been awful. The professor seems to be completely unprepared at all times (he’s tried explaining a couple of online group assignments and no one really seems to have a clue of what he’s actually after), and the class has zero structure – no clear cut reading assignments (just a collection of books to read whenever), no clear line of thinking (why aren’t we watching “Sullivan’s Travels” and “O Brother Where Art Thou” back to back, for example), and no one really seems to know what to do. We’re only two weeks in, and haven’t even really had a full class yet (as the first week was largely introductory material, and the second was mostly a primer on doing research at Emory), and yet I’ve already given up on it. I have my paper topic and beyond that I just don’t have any hopes for it. There’s always hopes that it will improve, but…

So this semester might be quite the trudge.

Oh well.

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Oh, and since I never actually blogged about it, I did go to Scottsbluff two weeks ago and performed Keith’s marriage ceremony. (And what an Oscan winning performance it was…) It was nice. And, I got to do something that most people never get to do, so I’m grateful for the experience.

The attendees, and Rachel and Keith, told me that I did well, but that’s the thing about weddings…you can’t do it again, so everyone is on your side. If you don’t do well, I’m not sure anyone would admit it.

And, it’s a lot of fun having a bunch of older people call you “the preacher” for an entire day. Especially when you don’t have any right to the title. I recommend that anyone who can weasel their way into such a situation, that they take full advantage of being called “the preacher.” I miss it already.

Anyway, congratulations to Rachel and Keith.

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