SXSW Day 2: What Went Wrong and Moments of Bliss
The problem with getting things wrong is that you assume that they can only get better from there on. That was definitely not the case today, Saturday May 10, on Day 2 of SXSW’12. The rain hadn’t let up at all from yesterday and Jairo and mine’s initial attempt to find a bus to the Austin Convention Center led only to soaked socks (What I deserve after making fun of a woman with duct-taped New Balance shoes yesterday) and a poor attitude on my end.
After a McGriddle and a date between my socks and McDonald’s hand blower Jairo and I finally found a bus, driven by what is most likely the coolest busman ever. At one point when the bus slid he casually commented in an Isaac Hayes-like voice, “Take it easy, baby.” Things definitely turned around from there on for a bit. We met up with Alex in the pressroom and while I downed coffee and plotted out article ideas, the guys sorted out some technical issues (Sorted!).
We then caught a panel called ‘Everything’s A Remix’ that was a nice surprise and the speakers repeated what many creative writing professors have told me over the years about what it means to be creative: Copy, Combine, Transform (Read more on that here).
The day took another dive when we drifted through downtown Austin in search of cheap food and only succeeded in finding ice cream cookies and pies, which soon sent me into a sugar-induced headache.
The dive evened out later on when the guys went off to a camera seminar and I went to catch a taping of Doug Benson’s comedy podcast ‘Doug Loves Movies’ over at Esther’s Follies, a cool little venue that’s been a mainstay of Austin’s downtown scene. Even before the show started my mood began to pick up thanks to an Austin native I met in line named Matt who’s been a SXSW volunteer for the past three years. While we waited we talked about our favorite comedy podcasts and then he followed that up by telling me about his two-month old daughter (Congrats again, Matt!). Once the show started and Doug introduced Greg Proops and James Adomian along with two filmmakers I was laughing immediately and in the highest of spirits. The sugar’s effect had finally waned and a surge of laughter took control of my body for the next two hours. Highlights included one of the filmmaker’s recommendations of a movie where vaginas sing and Adomian doing an impression of Proops. It was also a pretty cool moment when I correctly guessed a movie the guests didn’t know during a round of the Leonard Maltin game (‘Antz’ in the category ‘Four Letter Movies.’ I left Esther’s looking forward to the rest of the night; it being only 6pm.
However, I was unable to locate the guys as they had gone off to check out a movie we had talked about seeing earlier that day (Pompeya, which Jairo writes a few choice words about here). With my plans squashed I took out the schedule and picked out the next playing movie, which turned out to be the Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass starring ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ (Read my review here). I made my way over to the gorgeous Paramount Theater via Chevy’s ‘Catch a Chevy’ promotion that takes SXSW attendees anywhere in the conference limits. After catching the end of the line that wrapped around the block I spent my time waiting in line in a pity part for one accompanied by my loyal mint green ipod Shuffle and Amy Winehouse’s discography. The movie then did away with the self-pity for a few moments.
Leaving from there the intention was to see two more movies, but a combination of the return of my self-pity and hunger made such a thing undesirable soon after. However, as I waited on Brazos and 6th for Anisha (newly arrived from Houston) and Jairo to pick me up I realized I was in Austin on a drizzly Saturday night with three really cool friends and I knew right then the rest of the trip would go by okay. After all, things can only get better now, right?
—Andre Habet, FUHA‘s nice guy extraordinaire