Let's make one thing clear right off the bat: My miseries have nothing to do with the actual festival or any of its (so far fantastic) staff members, but I generally feel like fried crap on the first day of any film festival. I'm a cranky traveller who eats and sleeps at strange hours, and travel generally upsets my oh-so-sensitive nature, but Philadelphia to New York could hardly be considered "travel," so what's the problem? Stomach problems, for one, that have since dissipated (thank god) but had me experiencing all sorts of seriously unpleasant ... gastrointenstinal issues. Plus I'm staying in a nice enough hotel that unfortunately is really warm and dry -- and so my first night of sleep was interrupted by a horrific nosebleed that woke me up in a slight panic and ruined one of my very favorite pillow cases. (Yes, I travel with my own pillow. I detest over-fat pillows.)

So my first evening was jam-packed with shivers, sweats, vomit, lots of nose blood, no food, and very little sleep. (Ah, plus the hotel is doing jack-hammer construction on its numerous window fixtures, but only from 9am on.) Obviously I was more than ready to jump into eight days of festival work. At the very least I had to go get my press badge, so I made extra-sure that my body was done ... expelling things, and I headed down to the press office, which was completely empty at this early date, and populated by very helpful volunteers. (They also had lots of free beverages, which my belly sure did appreciate.)

Since my body wasn't currently threatening to unleash anything disgusting, I opted to head down to a press screening and saw a difficult but very interesting French film called 57,000 Kilometers Between Us. The theater was approximately 45 degrees, but it felt nice. I left the movie feeling quite a bit better, but I cabbed it back to my hotel just in case. I'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say it was a smart move.

So this morning I woke up around 4am, feeling markedly better, but still strangely un-hungry, considering how little I've eaten so far. I've spent a whole lot of time in my hotel room, and all I can say is this: I'd probably be dead right now if it wasn't for The History Channel. But today I get to see some cool-looking flicks and hang out with Sir Erik Davis of Queens, so I guess things are looking up.