mmmmm. free wireless.

I’m at the Austin Convention Center right now, having just picked up my badge for SXSW and my big bag of stuff. The bag is a bit scary. It’s full of paper stuff that I am too lazy to wade through, at least one CD, small food samples, and one of those trendy little rubber bracelets (Lance Armstrong trendy, not old-school Madonna vacuum-cleaner trendy). I think all the paper in the bag must contain brick or concrete material, because this bag is pretty darned heavy. The bag itself has a cute Tales of the Rat Fink illustration on it.
I’m sitting at one of these little tables near the entrance where everyone is huddled over their laptops. The tables are nice although really they are an awkward size—more than enough room for one person, but a tight fit for two or three unless you know the other people well. Perhaps it’s meant as a way to get to know your neighbors. I realize that instead of posting a photo of myself yesterday, I should have posted a photo of the back of my laptop. If you see the back of a laptop with a Cookie Monster sticker on it, that’s me.

Every single time I have ever been to the Convention Center, even when it was an evacuee center, it has been icy cold in here. So I have on boots, jeans, knee-high socks, and a shirt that is too small to look okay unless I have a jacket over it. The jacket is on my chair and I am rather warm. Crazy. I keep consoling myself with the thought that it will cool off tonight and I’ll feel very fortunate around 8 pm. Besides, I would rather be a bit sweaty than shivering. I believe it is 84 degrees outside. Who knows what it might be tomorrow?
In another 20 minutes or so I will walk back to the car to drop off the big bag, and then find some food somewhere. Maybe Mongolian BBQ if it’s not too crowded. I wish I could wait until 6 to have dinner at Mongolian BBQ with the Austin Bloggers crowd, but the film I want to see is at 7 pm and that’s cutting it a little close. Maybe we can overlap.
This is a great place to watch people walk by. So far I’ve waved to Jon Lebkowsky, Jarod Neece, and Matt Dentler (not at the same time). I ran into Karina in the badge area, met her boyfriend, and we talked about good places to get red meat in this town. I recommended Casino El Camino for burgers, and after they insisted they wanted a very Austin, very meat-and-potatoes place for steak, I recommended Hoffbrau. All the other steak places downtown would have been way too fancy-trendy.
I met a number of filmmakers last night at a gathering at Fado: various cast and crew from Gretchen, LOL, 2 AM, and Jam. (And other films/people I am ashamed to say I can’t recall.) I knew Korey Coleman, the director of 2 AM, slightly from a time long ago when we both worked at The Daily Texan. I felt terribly sorry for the 2 AM people, because they had to be at an interview this morning at 5 am. Still, I saw Korey walk by this afternoon and he looked just as energetic as he had last night. The LOL crowd was at Fado even though they’d just driven to Austin from Chicago. I cannot possibly complain about being at all tired after the stamina of these people.
This morning was crazy-busy as I tried to get everything ready for the next week: charging up the camera batteries and the audio recorder batteries, testing the audio recorder by trying to interview the cat (he was not cooperative), and organizing everything in my purse and laptop bag. It’s so pleasant just to sit here and do nothing much. But if I don’t find dinner now, I will regret it later. So I better get up and pack up the laptop and get going. I’ll probably be back online after the first movie, working on a review for Cinematical to post later.