Last night I drove to Shoreline, all by myself! Okay I guess it's not that impressive; it's only 12 miles from home. It's literally the first suburb north of Seattle city limits, across 145th Street.
In any event, this is the first year at SIFF that I'm attending any screenings they're having at Shoreline Community College, and last night was the first of them -- Prospect, which I really liked, mostly because of how well-written it was. I knew when I got the ticket that it was filmed in the Seattle area, but did not know exactly how local the production was until the director introduced the movie. He told us they built sets in a warehouse in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood for interior shots, and shot exteriors in forests all over Western Washington -- including a portion of it shot in a Shoreline park not far at all from the community college.
The production being that local really made me fear that the production would look cheap, and it didn't. Okay, the spaceships and guns and stuff that they used kind of did, but the movie was so good otherwise that it was easy to overlook that. The same goes for the well-used (and sparingly used) special effects. I really, really would recommend this movie. Its overall grade is a B+, and only that low because of the relatively limited production values; the script, though, gets at least an A- in my book. And the script is arguably the most important part of a film -- in tandem with the editing, anyway.
I opted not to stay for the Q&A after the screening, just because I wanted to maximize the amount of time I had at home to write the review. That's pretty much all I did last night after getting back home again, before it was time for bed.
Oh! I nearly forgot! As I mentioned I would in yesterday's entry, I left work just after 3:00 to go over to Myrtle Edwards Park for Sara W's small-ish going-away get-together. It was organized by her boss, the VP of Social & Environmental Responsibility, Brenna. She invited everyone in the Social & Envrionmental Responsibility department as well as email alias (8 people), plus 10 more people Sara is closest to at the office. Sara specifically asked not to have some big party for the entire office, which often happens when a longtime staff member is leaving -- and Sara has worked here going on 19 years now, apparently (she started working at the stores, as many at the office do . . . just not me).
It was a joint mini-party for her and Nick, our Nutrition Educator, who is also leaving to take a teaching position in Rochester, New York (a seemingly random choice that apparently has mostly to do with where he was offered this type of position he was looking for). I'd say about 11 people did make it, which was a very nice, comfortable number of people -- not too many, not too few -- and it was never even quite that many all at once. Jack from Graphics was there for just a few minutes at the beginning and had to leave; Kathy from Graphics showed up nearer to the end. Lynne, who sits in the cubicle behind me on the rare occasions she's actually in the office, brought blood orange soda to mix with sparkling rosé for the few of us (including me, of course) who would not be going back to work afterward.
I got into a nearly heated argument with Trudy, something that actually had me asking Kibby this morning if I was crazy. Sara mentioned the themed Halloween costumes that Kibby and Jared and I used to do; I noted that the practice actually started with Kbby and Shauna and me; Sara started talking about how she missed Shauna and how fond of her she was. I mentioned how Shauna and Jennifer had a blow-out -- really the whole reason Shauna left in 2008.
So Trudy piped up that Jennifer had blow-outs with a bunch of people. "Thirteen," she said, with utter confidence. What? "How did you arrive at that number?" I said, and a couple of people actually laughed a little. Trudy never did list them all specifically -- and now I believe she just pulled that number out of her ass -- but she insisted that such a blow-out occurred once between Jennifer and Justine; that it was when they were co-Directors of Merchandising (this never happened, not in the 16 years I worked here anyway), and that it was close to the time Russ was Director of Merchandising (definitely wrong; that was only a few years ago). I never screamed at her, but at one point I had to check myself because I was beginning to raise my voice: "That never happened, I was there!" I mean, for fuck's sake, this is my own department she's talking about, not hers. She quite calmly continued to insist this had happened, and patently refused to acknowledge she could be wrong. It was like talking to a Trump voter, or that lady I saw on TV once who said she didn't like Obama because he was a Muslim. The reporter immediately said, "But . . . he's not." And the lady just shook her head and said, "He's a Muslim." It felt like I was conversing with that level of crazy.
Justine doesn't seem to be here today, but Kibby suggested I ask her about it when I get a chance, and I think I will. I had forgotten that Jennifer was Director of Merchandising the year Kibby and I were hired, so maybe Trudy just has time lines confused? Although I remember talking to Justine, who came to the office not that long ago after being a Store Director, about her history with PCC, and I don't recall her saying she ever worked at the office before this. I need confirmation from Justine about it, though, because it's driving me crazy. In any case, Trudy, who has also been here a couple of decades, is set to retire early next year, and frankly I think that move is long overdue. Talking to her yesterday honestly felt like she was gaslighting me; I started to doubt my own memory. I was glad to have Kibby confirm that Jennifer and Justine being co-Directors of Merchandising never happened, at least not while we've been here.
. . . Well, I wound up sitting next to Nancy, our VP of HR, as I ate my lunch just now, and so I was able to ask her about this -- Nancy has worked for PCC since 1976 (the year I was born!) and would obviously know about personnel changes. I guess Trudy was right that Jennifer and Justine were once co-Directors of Merchandising, but she also had her timelines wrong: it was nowhere near when Russ was here, and was before Kibby or I started. It was kind of funny when I told her, "She said they didn't really get along." Nancy just kind of looked at me for a second and then said, "They got along fine."
It probably won't be long before Nancy retires herself. I heard some pretty cool stories about how she found her way here from her native Rhode Island, via a brief stint in Oregon where they rented a farmhouse and their landlords declared Nixon's resignation the "saddest day in American history." That's how she was able to place when she lived there. Anyway, I guess she was basically a stay-at-home mom for just a few years but answered an ad for an HR Coordinator at PCC in 1976. She came and was surprised they had no HR department at all, and the company had about 450 employees. Alicia asked, "How many are there now?" If you count positions like PCC Cooks instructors -- which are part time -- then there are around 1600 people working for this company. Even if you don't count them, it would be somewhere around 1,450.
Anyway, Nancy also apparently had a Volkswagon bus for many years, which sat unused on their property for the last ten years before it was sold maybe a year ago. I told her, "It's like you're part of PCC's hippie legacy." She said, "I am."
[posted 12:51 pm]