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.)