A Good Day Ends With Calamari

Friday was a good day. Productive, fun, and full of surprises. I'd almost given up on these sorts of days.

I had a paying gig in the a.m. Pete's been working on a promotional video for an educational program. He needed a second camera. This is the second time I've been on location with this project. The people he's working with are very nice. I was on site at 9:30, and out of there by 12:30. We stopped for lunch and caught up on one another's various projects.

Not more than 30 seconds after walking in my front door, I got a call from Drew. He said that was out scouting locations in the film commission's van, and would it be okay if he picked up his mountain bike (which he had graciously loaned me many months ago after my bike was stolen — I've since bought a new one). Yeah, I said. Come on by. He confessed that he was in my driveway. I popped my head out. And waved to him and Janet. I wheeled out his bike (feeling a bit of a twinge in that I never got around to cleaning the chain — he'd loaned it to me immaculate, and I returned it to him otherwise).

Back inside I noticed that I had a message on my cell phone.

I called the number. It was a very pleasant woman who was calling around for an editor for a documentary she's working on. She confessed to having little money. I gave her a few suggestions. I even mentioned that, if she wasn't in a hurry, I might be able to help her out after I get this 48 Hour Film Project out of the way. She said she'd get back to me. It seems she got my number from Drew. When she said that, I felt doubly chagrined for that dirty chain.

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Because there was actually blue sky, I decided to head out for a bike ride. Along the Mission Trail I was able to see just how high the San Antonio river is running. In fact, I saw a big snapping turtle slowly making his way up a grassy slope beside the trail. He, too, finally had had enough of all that fucking water.

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Way down at the southern end of the Mission Trail, the low water crossing at Mission Espada was closed because …. Well, this is why.

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I returned back the way I had come. During any normal summer I would have been enjoying a strong wind at my back coming up from Mexico. But, nope, it was a blast from the east — more damp weather coming in from the Gulf. I guess more rain is soon on its way.

Back home, I barely had time to roll my bike inside before the mailman knocked on my door. He had a package. It was from the Aldredge Book Store. Meaning it was from my sister in Dallas.

It was a box of cereal. Or more specifically, a box of Frosted Krusty O's. In the lead-up to the Simpsons Movie, the PR gods have transformed several 7-11s into impromptu Kwik-E-Mart (the convenience store chain in the Simpsons universe). And, it seems, that in these refurbished 7-11s, they are selling, along with Fritos and microwave burritos, some novelty Simpsons stuff.

This box of cereal has a festive and sickening Matt Groening (or Matt Groening-inspired) illustration of famed Krusty the Clown holding a bowl of garbage-infested cereal (carpet tacks, earthworms, mold, et al). And, because this box of cereal is being sold, not in the Simpsons universe, but in a Dallas 7-11, there is a tiny printed caveat: “Product shown is not representative of the actual product inside.” Because, you see, it's really no more than a gussied-up box of corn flakes.

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I wonder how long it'll take before, in a moment of weakness, I rip open the box and drown those flakes of frosted corny goodness with some HEB soy milk? I suspect after a month or so the novelty will wear off, and it'll be just another box of processed food sitting atop my fridge.

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As it drifted from late afternoon to early evening, I started to get ready for a dinner engagement for the Josiah Youth Media Festival. Josiah's parents, Marcus and Nancy, wanted to treat the film festival team to dinner. And so, around 7, I headed out.

But as I was almost out of gas, I stopped at the Citgo across the street from the Church Street Theatre and Bistro. I slipped my credit card into the slot and discovered that I was using a monstrously slow gas pump.

As I was standing there, watching the numbers creep, I noticed a car pull up to the other side of my pump. A chunky '80s model Buick or something. A beautiful woman in a Mexican peasant blouse and a shaw stepped out. It was Louisette. Louisette Zurita. One of my favorite actresses, even though I've only directed her in three tiny roles. But, mercy, she has presence.

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We chatted some. She's in Dora's film, Dream Healer. But I already knew that. And I think that was why she was in my neighborhood. She said she was in her current outfit because of a show she's in at the Stoli Playhouse. I'm very happy to see that Louisette is getting back into acting. I really need to start writing a script for her.

The Josiah wrap-up dinner was at Paesano's in Lincoln Heights. It's an up-market Italian restaurant I'd never visit were someone not treating me. The food, however, was great. Marcus ordered the calamari for everyone as an appetizer — the addition of fresh basil made it kick ass.

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It was a wonderful evening, and the perfect ending to the first enjoyable day I've had in some time.

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