23 November 2013

Battling a Cold During a Busy Week

Late the week of 15 November, I caught a cold, which was not pleasant. I got over the drippy nose fairly quickly, but the coughing now and then has persisted. It did put only a minor crimp into my volunteer efforts the first weekend of the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF). The late afternoon and evening of Sat., 16 Nov. found me at Washington University's Brown Hall, where they showed a couple of documentaries: "Tales from the Organ Trade" and "The Undocumented." I stayed in the lobby, so I would not give anyone else in the theater my cold. Both films were well received.

The next night found me at Webster University's Moore Auditorium, where a pair of family-friendly films were screened. The first was "The Blue Tiger," a Czech live action film with a bit of animation added in. It told of two kids who conjured up a blue tiger to save their parents' botanical garden from a mayor's demolition plans. This was followed by an animated French film, "The Day of the Crows." It was about a boy who grew up in a forest who discovers much in a nearby town and helps his father deal with tragic memories. I was able to sit in the theater for both movies (I was well enough to do so), and enjoyed both of them.

Before my Sunday shift at SLIFF, I was in a packed Shameless Grounds in Benton Park for the Sex Positive St. Louis discussion on casual sex. About 50 people attended and although I could only stay for about an hour before heading to Webster U., I found it a very interesting talk, with plenty of opinions put forth by the host and several attendees.

I started my full time vehicle service work for the car rental firm this past Monday (18 Nov.), and welcomed Drew, our new branch manager. Things went well, although the cold and wet conditions much of the week did not do my health any favors. A few of our customers I talked to while driving them do and from the branch were very happy that I am now a full time employee, with the benefits that go with that status. I'll be working four full days a week; every third week, I'll work a half weekday and a Saturday morning with three full days.

Straight from work on Tuesday (19 Nov.), I got the fellowship hall at Calvary Presbyterian Church set up for the IPMS/Gateway meeting. We had our final Modeler of the Year contest of 2013 (which I helped judge), final nominations and voting for the Bob Stroup Award, first nominations for 2014 club officers, and a build night. Busy time.

The next night, I drove from work to Vetta Sports Club in Cottleville, Missouri for the soccer referee in-service recertification clinic. I took in the presentation (in progress) of points of emphasis for referees, and volunteered to do a pre-game talk with my assistant referees to show my colleagues how to do an effective pre-game. All I need now for my 2014 badge is to take and pass my fitness test, which I will do on 1 Dec. Wish me luck!

The off-day from work Thursday (21 Nov.) was most welcome. That night, I was at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema for SLIFF volunteering. I was able to see two films that night, starting with the documentary "Tim's Vermeer." it told of Texas-based video equipment inventor Tim Jemison's attempt to recreate a painting by 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer. A most riveting tale and greatly received by the audience. I then saw the feature "The Jewish Cardinal," from France. That's a fact-based story about Jean-Marie Lustiger, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who becomes Archbishop of Paris in 1981 and has to deal with his dual identify when mediating a dispute when Carmelite nuns set up a convent at Auschwitz. I found that film very interesting.

Back at work yesterday and it was rather slow for a Friday, for the most part. It was OK by me.