SIFF opening-gala grand adventure

Wow. So yesterday was … A Day. The main event was the evening’s outing — the SIFF (Seattle Int’l Film Festival) opening-night gala and screening of “Battle in Seattle.” Where to begin..

8:00 a.m. — I pull on my backpack and walk up the street to catch the bus to work. Keys are (thank god) tossed into backpack and *not* purse.

11:15 a.m. — Get my purse out of my backpack in order to go to lunch with some co-workers as (another) send-off for Derek, who made a special trip to the Eastside to meet up with us.

1 p.m. — Return from lunch. Plop my purse down next to — but not inside — my backpack.

3:30 p.m. — Pull on my backpack — sans purse, still — and head out early to catch the bus home.

4:40 p.m. — Back home. Get ready for the premiere, finish up some work.

5:40 p.m. — Final preparations before needing to head to Capitol Hill to pick up my “date,” Lara, en route to McCaw Hall for the gala. Go looking for my camera, then remember it’s in my purse and then also remember that, SH*T! I left my purse in my office!! My purse has my cell phone (I have no landline at home), ID and credit cards/cash in it. Run to my computer.. luckily Eric (officemate) is still online in the office. I have him call Lara from my cell — which was in my purse — to let her know that I have to head to Redmond to pick up my purse, as I’ll likely need to show ID to get our tickets at the McCaw Hall box office, and won’t be by her place until probably 6:45 instead of 6, as was the original plan.

5:50 p.m. — Dash out the door and hit the freeway, negating the fact that I’d been good and bused in to/from work earlier.

6:15 p.m. — Due to thankfully light-ish traffic, get off 520 in Redmond. Hit immediate backup about two blocks from my office. Traffic is not moving at all. Turn off to try a detour, but again get stuck in a backup. I can now see flashing lights down 148th about a block past the turn off to my office; some kind of accident has the two lanes blocked. After 10 minutes, I’ve moved about four car lengths. I pull into the 7-11 parking lot and begin booking it on foot the 1.5 blocks to my office.

6:30 p.m. — Arrive in my office. Say a quick “Thank you!!” to Eric, grab my purse, and begin booking it back to my car. Along the way, my left foot begins hurting where the base of my big toe joins the rest of my foot. I stop for a second to look down. Turns out I’m already getting a f*cking blister! The shoes are good quality (BCBG), and Nordstrom had “stretched” them for me when I bought them, but it was my second time wearing them, and first time wearing them while walking so quickly.

6:40 p.m. — Head back to Seattle. Hit traffic just past the 520 W/405 S junction. While my car inches forward, I pull off my left shoe and try to stretch that part of the heel out more. I put on my earrings and necklace.

7:05 p.m. — Am pulling up to Lara’s building. Ask her to bring along some band-aids for me. I put a couple on the worst parts of my left food while we wait at a red light.

7:15 p.m. — Park in pay lot a block from McCaw Hall. Dash (or in my case, painfully stumble) across the street and walk up the now-deserted red carpet, past the $25 (!!) valets. Pick up my tickets — after NOT being asked for any ID — and run into the hall. Due to the lateness, Lara and I had to sit a couple rows apart. The timing actually worked out okay, though; they were still just doing general intro/SIFF plugs when we sat down.

7:40 p.m. — “Battle in Seattle” writer-director Stuart Townsend comes out to say a few words. He also quickly introduces the cast members who came out for the premiere — Charlize Theron (also Townsend’s girlfriend), Michelle Rodriguez, Andre Benjamin and Martin Henderson. Too bad Channing Tatum didn’t make it out.. After asking the audience for a show of hands of who was around for the WTO riots — and seeing a TON of hands go up — Townsend hilariously says “Oh sh*t.” Then…the movie begins.

….

Despite being distracted by my aching left foot and the fact that I REALLY had to pee (no way was I going to make my row stand up again, after I’d been seated late), I really enjoyed the film — Townsend spent something like six years on the film, doing research and interviews, and visiting Seattle several times. I thought it was a great behind-the-scenes look into the organization/process of protests, and the fall-out — both of the participants and innocent bystanders. They also showed the reactions from the Seattle mayor and police, and even the frustation of one WTO presenter who was trying to get his important issue heard. I think the film releases in September, so I’d urge Seattleites to check it out. Though most of it was filmed in Vancouver, it’s still a really cool snapshot of an infamous part of our history. I can’t believe it’ll have been 10 years since the riots, come November. The audience really got into the film — clapping or shouting praise when a character said/did something admirable..

After the screening, the cast and director came back out on stage to do a Q&A with a SIFF guy and take some audience questions. We found out that they all own Priuses! Well, I think everyone but Andre Benjamin, who says they don’t look cool enough … yet. Below, from left: Charlize, Andre, Martin, Michelle, Stuart, SIFF moderator:

Around 9:30, the Q&A ended, and everyone headed to the hall’s courtyard for the afterparty. I think nearly all of the 3,000 screening attendees stayed for it.. There were mad crowds around the alcohol table ($5 a drink), and the only foods were cakes and cupcakes. We stood around and ate a little, then headed to what I think is the Exhibition Hall next door, where there was more food, full bars, a small dance floor and lots of areas to sit around and chat. Once in there, we ran into some fun Aussie friends of Lara’s from her Amazon days. Though my feet were really killing me at this point (see right), we all stood around and ate (the food we got our hands on was really horrible) and chatted. Around 11:30, Lara and I decided it was time to cut out. I went to hug her friend Liz goodbye; Liz gave me a one-arm hug, but then sort of pulled me towards her, which resulted in my smashing my mouth onto her bare shoulder and leaving a sparkly lip-gloss imprint. Typical!! I wiped it off and mumbled something like “Oops! Haha, I smooched your shoulder,” but she was still talking about something or another and probably just thought I was doing some strange sort of Indian goodbye.

Before we left, we posed on the red carpet..

Once Lara and I got back to my car, I remembered that I had my gym shoes in my trunk, so I eagerly pried off my heels and put the tennies on instead. Ahhhhh!

After getting home, I applied Neosporin and band-aids to both of my feet — two per foot. Now I’ve got my fingers tightly crossed that I’m in better shape come Monday, as Chrissy and I are planning to do a day hike somewhere..

Some other notes from last night:

Interesting to see how Seattleites decided to dress for this event.. a lot of people were somewhat dressy, like Lara and me, but there were also folks in zip-up hoodies, jeans, and I even saw one guy carrying his bicycle helmet around.

“Celeb” sightings: KING 5 (?) sports dude Tony Ventrella. Super Deluxe lead singer and solo artist Braden Blake (I was going to say hello, since I’ve been a longtime SD concert-attendee and we’re acquaintences, but I didn’t). Some older guy Lara swears has a recurring role on one of the “Law & Order” shows (I wasn’t able to get a look at him).

So.. all in all, the day ended up well, despite the stress, drama and aching feet. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to get in at all, being so late! Hoo-ee.

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3 Responses to “SIFF opening-gala grand adventure”

  1. Wow what a night! Hot tranny! izi

  2. Ack, somehow I entered part of my word verification in the comment window, so that’s what that ‘izi’ is at the end of my note. FYI so you don’t think I’m leaving you some kind of crazy code that you are supposed to figure out or something. Derek is the only one that speaks in crazy code around here.

  3. Ha, I just thought it was some other Christian Soriano exclamation I hadn’t yet heard ;o)It was indeed a hot tranny mess! IZI!

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