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Thursday, May 11th, 2006

Time Event
Tribeca "Wordplay" premiere
I'd better update before I forget everything that happened over the past week.

Last Wednesday, I had ambitious plans to see "Marvelous" at noon in the Village, go to the NYT and process the daily puzzles (I did the Sunday Tuesday night after the movies), and then head for the premiere (which started at 5:30, but we had to be there at 5 to pick up tickets).

With my sleep schedule askew, the early movie wasn't going to happen and I was glad to wake up in time to get to the Times. I wore the red dress from the poster. I was able to finish the puzzles by 4 and went to the Lincoln Center theater early. Excitement was mounting.

It was a little too early for people to be there, but I did see Cazique, who was able to sell his unclaimed tickets to people on line. Then various Creadon/O'Malleys, who had come from all over the country in support. Then friends and family started showing up. Besides my ticket contest winners, several people came on their own and it was great to see them. The audience included ex-coworkers, cousins, and friends from elementary school, high school and college, as well as assorted puzzlers. A kind of "this is your life."

It turned out 2 of my contest winners knew each other, even though they went to different Great Neck high schools, and we were able to sit together in the roped-off row. There was also room for my cousins, though they were at the other end so I didn't get to talk to them much.

The new cut had much improved graphics that better illustrated the standings, and allowed the audience to solve along with the contestants. A few segments got cut out, including Leslie and Janet who were there. The Q&A was super-brief, which was a shame considering people had flown in. Although the original schedule had us as the last event in this theater, "Mission Impossible: 3" was now slated for 8:30 and we were kicked out.

Not everyone was going to the pizza party afterward, so I said some goodbyes and got to say, "Merl, meet Merle!" (my 5th grade friend) I had assumed people would walk together to the pizza place, but couldn't find everyone, so just left with whoever was around. Some people didn't make it, and I'm not sure if they weren't going anyway, or didn't know where to go. If that was you, sorry!

It had started to rain, but we got to Ray's before it got really bad. There was pizza set out, but nothing I would eat (onions, pepperoni, chicken with what looked like a spicy sauce). I asked for plain, and some soon came, which got snapped up quickly. I later had another plain (Sicilian) slice. Other puzzlers came to the party who hadn't been at the screening. I probably didn't mix enough, but didn't want to strand my old friends who didn't know anyone. They all seemed to get along well with each other when I was off mingling elsewhere.

I saw our sales agent, as well as multiple Creadon/O'Malleys. I've now seen Patrick's mother 4 times since January, while I haven't seen my own mother in over a year (but that will change in a few days). Patrick introduced me to someone from Indie Wire, which I confused with Wire Image of the minimal Sundance swag. I caught up on some news from my ex-workplace.

The party continued in a bar across the street. I had orange juice and a water. It was Patrick's birthday. He's certainly had quite a year. We finally adjourned around 1:30 a.m. and I took a cab home.
Tribeca Thursday
I had another ambitious schedule planned for Thursday: 3 movies all in the same Lincoln Center theater (in the same exact room, in fact). But again, I just couldn't wake up in time for the first ("Brother's Shadow") so arrived for the 1:30 "Wordplay" showing. We weren't given tickets so I used my pass.

Inside, I offered "Wordplay" pencils and buttons to those around me, but not everyone took them. Don't they know who I am???? The people next to me were an older woman who was a puzzle fan, and her daughter just there for the ride. Watching the movie, it was nice to see the daughter get REALLY into it, cheering and laughing in all the right places. Doug from ex-work was a few rows in front of me.

Patrick, Jon and I did a Q&A afterward which went well. This smaller audience was almost more enthusiastic than the people at the premiere. So if these people tell their friends, and their friends tell THEIR friends, we could have something.

Out in the hallway, Christine gave me a movie theater chain's magazine with us on the cover (we beat out Al Gore - hah!). Michelle our IFC contact said that this was the last of our Tribeca obligations; there are 2 more screenings over the weekend, but they won't have Q&As.

There was time before the next movie, so I took a bathroom break and ran over to Barnes & Nobles to buy a mother's day card. I mistakenly thought it was that Sunday. Coming back, someone recognized me on the street, but he had just been at our movie so that doesn't really count. I headed back into the theater for the next movie - Ed Burns' "The Groomsmen." This performance was quite crowded. Almost all the screenings I attended were pretty much filled, even though they were in the middle of the day. This is a popular festival (or no one has real jobs).

I liked this movie a lot. It was the story of a group of City Island guys on the eve of one's shotgun wedding. The characters were well-portrayed and the movie was very New Yorky. I also liked "The Brothers McMullen" and "She's the One" which are essentially the same movie. Ed Burns himself did the Q&A (yum). I gave it 2/5 though I liked it a little better than "The Treatment," which also got a 2. If there were a 1.5, that would be ideal as I couldn't quite give it a 1.

I did some shopping on Broadway and walked toward home, where I was randomly recognized for the first time. The woman had won tickets to the premiere from the classical music station (WQXR, I assume). We talked a bit, and I told her how surreal this all was.

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