Isn't it always the way that when you think you'll have a simple little evening that it snowballs into something else altogether?
Tonight was Project Resolution at the Firehouse Theater, a regular event on my calendar, so I knew I'd spend a couple of hours watching local films-in-progress with the audience providing comments and constructive criticism afterwards.
But tonight there were only three offerings, making for a much shorter screening than usual.
We saw Through the Looking Glass, a short about a cat wanting to escape his house for the outdoors, which included a scene of the cat using the litter box and a scene where a gloved finger substituted for a cat's paw.
The second was an animated music video called Cad for a DC artist, Celeste Starchild; it was vintage 30s-style animation with a catchy hook-filled song behind it.
The last was another animated film, this one called Survival of the Fetish, about rekindling the spark in a marriage through perversion. Hey, whatever works.
Because it ended so early, I was unexpectedly able to make another night of the James River Film Festival and see The Lady from Shanghai at the Grace Street Theater.
Director Orson Welles set out to make this studio-ordered film noir a disorienting experience and he definitely succeeded.
His final cut was 155 minutes, but the studio edited it to 87 minutes, probably causing it to be even more confusing for the audience.
Welles' fake Irish brogue and the shoot-out in the hall of mirrors alone were worth the price of admission, though.
And I not only ran into the P-Res guys there, but a couple of other friends as well, giving us a chance to compare who'd seen what so far at the festival.
I scored pretty well with three films in three days.
Leaving the theater and walking up Grace Street, I heard my name called from Ipanema's patio and answered the call of some restaurant friends lounging on the patio.
Before long, a couple of other restaurant friends showed up and I heard how both their restaurant and Ipanema had been slammed tonight because of, what else, Wicked crowds.
This play has been very, very good to the local restaurant scene, if a bit overwhelming from 5:30ish to 7:40.
What about dessert, you ask?
Well, the blueberry-lemon cheesecake was to die for, especially for blueberry fans like me.
Around midnight, yet another restaurant friend showed up, just as wiped out.
We now had three places represented, so the dirt flew fast and furious and chef and owner comparisons were made and discussed.
Before anyone realized, it was after 1:00 and Monday.
So my low-key early evening alone had morphed into something far more social, to my great pleasure.
The joy of going out alone is who I may meet and chat up along the way and tonight offered up some choice conversations.
Let's just say I had a wicked good time. GB, that was for you.