My QFest 2010 Schedule and Reviews

The waiting is over, the programme is crunched, and it’s time for my annual staycation that is QFest–the film festival formerly known as PIGLFF, the Philadelphia Independent Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. I have a page with my schedule and reviews that I update (almost) daily; I also post reviews and reports in a more real-time socially-networky way on Twitter and crosspost to the great social network wasteland known as Facebook. Hope to see you at the festival or around town!

My QFest 2010 Page

The Official QFest Home Page

On Twitter:

  • @thecorefiles — my reviews and reports from the festival
  • @QFest — the official festival twitter account
  • #QFest — the official hashtag

Festival Tips:

  • All venues this year are Ritzes. Not as convenient the g’ho, but no cross-town rushing and no Prince Black Box.  Hooray!
  • Not sure about one film versus another? Many of the movie pages on the official sites include links to trailers.
  • If you tweet about the festival, be sure to add the hashtag #QFest so everybody can find it.

Choosing My First Bicycle

This, my 45th year, is the year I learn to ride a bike. After months of research and consultation, I’ve narrowed it down to Trek’s Navigator series. So, it’s time to pick one and get on my bike.

Why learn now? It’s pretty simple: To get around town more, enjoy city sights like Schuylkill Banks and the Ben Franklin Bridge, and find a form of exercise I don’t hate. Philadelphia is an up-and-coming bike town thanks to groups like the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and it would be crazy not to take advantage of the cross-town bike lanes a block from my home.

This time I overcame the previous week’s GPS FAIL. Turns out that Valley Forge BikeLine inhabits what was once my favorite suburban Chinese (with dumplings!) buffet joint. The real-life intel I gathered was great thanks to the very helpful Joel, but he raised some interesting points, and I headed back to the Internet for more research.

At first I liked the 1.0’s basic feature set and not-overwhelming 8 speeds. Joe the Realtor made a good argument as we stuffed ourselves at Percy Street Barbecue: The best bike is just a few more billable hours; more gadgets and more comfort will probably encourage me to ride more. Plus those unforgiving Philly streets make the 1.0’s lack of suspension much less appealing. Sometimes simpler isn’t better.

And then there were two. The 2.0 and 3.0 use the same frame, but most of the 3.0’s components are a step up from the 2.0’s. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s demonstrably better for a newbie like me. I can’t appreciate the subtleties of tires, cranks, and derailleurs yet. Here’s where I am right now:

  • The 3.0 MSRP is $130 more than the 2.0.
  • The 2.0’s Satin Evergreen is my favorite color, but the 3.0’s blue resembles my CRX. *sigh*
  • The 3.0 can lock its suspension; the 2.0 can only adjust the stiffness. Ahem.
  • The 3.0 shifters are levers instead of the twist shifters on the 2.0.
  • The 3.0 handlebars have something like palm rests; the 2.0 has simple tubes.

Right now the 3.0 is winning, but who knows what will happen when I hit BikeLine this Wednesday or Thursday. Comments are welcome, but the clock is definitely ticking!

Obama’s Precious

The Daily Show frames Obama’s turnaround on fundamental rights with a Lord of the Rings analogy (around 08:00), much like I did last year.  Enjoy, especially the casting of Gollum …

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Respect My Authoritah
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Because the world needed a semi-automatic Taser

WANT! I’ve had this beauty in my drafts folder since last year, but it’s all the more appropriate given the recent tazing of a suburban hooligan at a Philly’s game. I would make an exception and gladly receive this as an Xmas gift. Actually, I could use one sooner–like right before a Philly team wins any kind of championship. Thanks to CrunchGear and their original article: Because the world needed a semi-automatic Taser.

So Glad You Did It

My book collection is 5 shopping bags lighter after a few trips to the Book Corner, a Book-Trader-like store next to the main branch of the no-longer-troubled Free Library of Philadelphia. So I picked up one of the dozen unread books to start clearing the backlog and came across this must-share quote in the first few pages:

Writing this way is a little like milking a cow: the milk is so rich and delicious, and the cow is so glad you did it. — Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Eight Years Ago Today

After the towers fell, I hunkered down in the spacious West Village apartment that had become home a few days earlier. What had seemed like a great place to spend Fall after summering in a pre-war closet just south of Central Park felt more like a bunker with the shades drawn and windows shut tight against the chaos outside.

I remember thinking a few things as I watched NY1 and got dressed for work that morning:  This was no small plane like the newscaster initially reported. I didn’t have long to get off the island and back to Philly if that’s what I wanted to do.  If this was something more than a horrible technical glitch, the last place I wanted to be was Penn Station or Port Authority or a subway car.  Then the 2nd plane hit and it was clear that staying put and out of the way was the best plan.

I don’t remember much after the towers fell except for the barracade at 14th Street, the lack of cars or people, debris blowing up from downtown, and the stench.  It was like burning circuits mixed with many unfamiliar odors–maybe AVGAS or any of the ten thousand things pulverized as the towers collapsed.  I can’t remember if it took weeks or months to fade, but it did.

Those billowing clouds included the vaporized remains of people in the planes and buildings.  We breathed in the dead, entombed them in our tissues, bore them with us as we shuffled around the city in shock.  I don’t know how long it took for their last few atoms to leave my body:  Maybe their traces remain in my bones. Maybe I’ll carry more than just memories of that day to the end of mine.