The screening went relatively well. We arrived a little later than some of the guests but with 15 minutes to go before the deadline on the invitations, and my boss started schmoozing while I set up the refreshments and then dashed out to replace a bottle of wine he'd broken. I didn't really talk to anybody before the screening, just stood behind the bar (which was humiliating to get behind because the only access was through a swinging door in the side designed for someone approximately 1/3 my bulk) and made sure the cashew cups were full. The egg nog I mixed was very popular (the trick is MORE liquor, not less) and it was an okay time.
I didn't get to see the movie for the second straight time because we ran out of cups and water and I took it upon myself to get more during this intermission (as well as to sample the nog, which actually was good) and to wait around for any potential stragglers. That turned out to be a good idea as well since while I was out shopping a woman showed up about 20 minutes late (I had given a 15 minute window before heading to the store) and I was able to take down her name and address and tell her we'd get a DVD out to her. She ended up staying until the screening let out and talking to Greg some, but I think she was important to Greg either as a professional contact or a personal relation, and I'm glad there was someone there to tell her how much longer it would be etc...
I felt sort of jealous during the screening too, invisible as I was. Everyone else was carousing and talking about projects and the rest of it, I was standing behind the bar thinking "I really want to make sure that 2 years from now I'm the one out there schmoozing and some other schmuck is behind the bar." Of course I did get complimented for making the best egg nog ever, but film people exaggerate as a matter of course. "This is the best I've ever tasted" translates to "Eh, it's only slightly below average." Women do love the nog, though. They can't get enough of it. If egg nog were a man it'd be a bad boy with tattoos and 19 girlfriends.
On a personal note, during the screening I received two messages on my cellphone, one a voice mail and one a text message, asking if I wanted to do anything later that night. This is the sort of increased sociability I was talking about. I called both back and ended up dropping by the Israeli MBA's apartment to talk to him about the class project. It took a little while for that conversation to get going because he lived in some pretty opulent digs. He has an apartment on the 12th floor of a gated complex of buildings where not only does the doorman buzz you up but he does so discretely, saying that he has to make sure the person you're visiting is home (He doesn't, he has to make sure that such a person would actually invite riff-raff like you into their beautiful home.) One of those buildings with an automatic pushbutton elevator AND an elevator man to push the button FOR you. I asked him later whether he could order a pizza in and he said that he could, but that the pizza man doesn't come up. They send a building employee up to get the money and take it down to the pizza guy at the gate and then bring the pizza up to you. He has a gorgeous unobstructed corner view of the city and a 60" or so high definition television wall mounted. His apartment used to belong to Rosie O'Donnell until recently. Let's just say that next time he offers to treat me to a coffee at Starbucks I might just let him go ahead and pick up the tab.
As for the meeting, which was a couple hours, it went well. He's a nice guy, and interesting. I think he used to be the playboy type but he's starting to eschew that stuff and now he wants to settle down, make art, and live a more normal life (If normal includes being able to buy a brand new $20,000 video camera on a whim) He's got a girlfriend who he loves for her inner qualities rather than the trophies he implied he used to date and he's quit smoking. In other words he's becoming mature. We talked for awhile, I tried to help him on his project, which he's handing in today because his girlfriend and he are flying down to the Bahamas for a short vacation starting tomorrow. Afterwards he drove me home in his brand new BMW SUV, which he called down to the garage to have brought around for him. He said he bought it a few months ago because he wanted to "Uprgade his lifestyle."
I don't mean to focus on the material stuff, because honestly it's not that big a deal, I was just very surprised because he didn't come off as particularly wealthy before. It's also important to me in one way. I might be working on a film project with this guy, he's hinted to me that he wants me aboard on what he's doing and he seems open to re-evaluating some aspects of it that he finds troubling, and if he can drop money on good equipment without flinching then it might be a really good thing. Heck he wants to do documentary now but maybe he'll want to move into fiction in the future. Money matters in the business I want to be in and working with someone who has some is not a terrible idea. I think he's got some decent ideas although he's a little green in terms of creative sophistication at times. He needs more practice, and so do I.
rpeate might be amused to know that Cyndi Lauper lives in his building.
Today is devoted to some writing and editing for the project and some other stuff. My boss is shooting for Belgian TV and doesn't need me. Tonight I'm going to hang out with John and see The Life Aquatic. Tomorrow is also devoted to the project, which I need to finish by Sunday evening. I hope to start writing again on Tuesday before my looming birthday on the 22nd, but I'm also supposed to have a dinner with my step-family. Given everything that's gone on that ought to be only slightly less fun than a case of hemmorhoids.