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Crossing the hump in Orlando

Well, somehow the 4:45 talk turned into watching the "Powerpoint Comedian" video ("Engineers aren't funny, we just laugh at strange things") and then meeting my track chair and then having some guy (who's the quality manager for WalMart or something?) ask me to review his processes and estimating to see if they make sense ("See, here you need to see if you have any flexibility to change the cost if the total time needed is under what you anticipated ... or if it's fixed, see if you can reduce the scope of the project. Remember, an estimate is only an estimate, they should be able to remember that!"), and then I watched two trolleys go by while I walked to the stop, then two buses ignored me because I was at a trolley stop ... and it was 7 freaking 15 and it was getting too cool to swim, for fuck's sake, and I was tired and my brain wasn't working properly to rewrite my paper even though after all of the advice I got today (one hour, twenty slides, "tell a story") I felt like I had a good idea about what I wanted to do ...

so I gave up and trod up the street to the movie theater, figuring I'd surely be able to make it there in time for a 7:45 show, which I did by about two minutes. I asked when the movie actually started and got a few extra minutes in which to wolf down some pizza (surprisingly good at Pizzeria Valdiano, I can see why they've been winning awards for best in Orlando), then headed in to watch Forbidden Kingdom. It's not a very good movie, despite having fight choreography by Yuen Woo Ping and good sets - I was mortified by the pathetic wig on the white haired witch (I mean seriously, it was the same sad quality as the one I wore for Halloween, and her wretched eyeliner and nail polish!) and the "I just read the manual" makeup in the desert scene. Really, why spend all of that money on CGI and totally cheap out on the details that would make the characters look good instead of just sad actors in a forgettable summer flick aimed at the 10 year old set? The people behind me were chattering at normal voice level and wouldn't shut up, and I was so irritated and uninvolved in the movie that I considered walking out, but every time there was a big fight scene it drowned them out. I'd consider this for $3 or maybe on an airplane, but there are really so many better movies out there, I'd kinda blow it. That said, the retelling of the story of Monkey was quite good and an exact match (up to a certain point) with the Chinese Monkey cartoon shadowdaddy and I watched last summer at the BFI.

I had a 20 minute wait for a trolley but finally actually caught one, and the guy was nice enough to stop at a place fairly near my hotel instead of forcing me to wait for a trolley stop that would have doubled (or tripled) my walk home. That's one thing I can say about this trip: I can't believe how nice people have been to me here.

And now it's 10:45 and I'm exhausted. Night, all.

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