A.R.M. (kinkyturtle) wrote,

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My trip to Austin to see TRON

As I may have mentioned before, I went to Austin yesterday for a special midnight showing of TRON at the downtown Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. The show was hosted by my personal friend, TRON Guy </a></b></a>jmaynard (he is, too! He hosts my website).

The drive over was nicely uneventful. I took I-10 to SH 71 to US 183 to a Motel 6 on I-35 in the north part of town, where I got a room for one night. (Busy day + midnight movie + 2 am ending time + 3-hr drive back home = no way am I driving back home till the next day.)

WARNING: This entry is long and detailed. It's really cool, though, and you should read the whole thing!

I wanted some more packs of Fluxx Blanxx cards, but I had apparently depleted the entire city of Houston of them. So I decided to look for them while I was in Austin. Before I left home, I went to the Looney Labs website and made a list of all stores in Austin that sell their stuff.

Once I had my motel room, I called them all. Well, almost all. Two of the stores on the list were a place called Oat Willie's (two locations). Didn't sound like a gaming store, but I called one. I asked about Fluxx, and the lady said all they had was Stoner Fluxx. Ohhh, I see, it's one of those places. So I didn't bother calling the other place.

Results: Only two stores in town had Blanxx, and they only had one pack each. So I went to both places and depleted the entire city of Austin of Fluxx Blanxx.

The first store I went to was Dragon's Lair on Burnet Rd. While I was there, the guy behind the counter took a phone call from someone asking if Dragon's Lair was an adult store. The clerk's reaction was along the lines of "WTF?"

The second store I went to was Great Hall Games on Lamar Blvd. When I got there, the guy behind the counter was busy taking a long detailed order over the phone. This worked out for the best, though, because while waiting I looked around and found a card shuffling machine! Yaay, I needed one! Can you believe I never learned to shuffle? I hate the thought of bending cards.

Then I drove over to Barton Creek Square Mall for dinner.

On the way to the food court, I saw an Apple store! I popped in to check LiveJournal real quick. (Darn, I shoulda made a post while I was there.) While I was reading, a guy came over and asked about my Mephit Furmeet 8 T-shirt. Turns out he's friends with a few local furries, including </a></b></a>pacerfox! Cool! (I've forgotten his name already, though, dammit.)

So then I went to the food court and ate at Chick-Fil-A. The guy behind the counter seemed a little too eager to go on break, and he slapped my change into my hand a little too fast, sending a shower of coins across the counter. He said, "Oh shit! Er, excuse me. Oh darn!"

After I ate, I drove back to the motel to try out the card shuffler and fix up my custom deck with Blanxx.

Around 10:15 pm, I drove downtown. It was hard to find a place to park. No, strike that. I found a place to park, but it was hard to get to it. This is why I never go downtown here in Houston; it's not worth the trouble of driving in it!

Finally I parked in a garage and hustled down the street, trying to get to the Alamo Drafthouse before 11:00. The show wasn't scheduled to start until 11:49, but I was under the impression I had to get there 45 minutes early. When I got there, Jay was standing outside, in street clothes, chatting with a ham radio friend of his.

We went inside and upstairs. Jay was joined by several other ham friends of his, all of whom were wearing custom-made blue T-shirts with an embroidered insignia saying "TRON Guy Jay Maynard Fan Club". I asked where I could get one! I was introduced to the woman who made them, and gave her my address and shirt size.

Things were running a little late. The previous movie let out around 11:50, and Jay went in first so he could get to the greenroom behind the screen and suit up. Then they let everybody else in.

At the Alamo Drafthouse, the seats all have tables in front of them, and there are menus and pieces of paper to write your order on. I ordered a BLT with fries and a Dr Pepper. (Good thing I went easy on dinner earlier!)

Before the movie started, Jay came out in his TRON suit to answer questions. There were questions about how long it took to make the suit, whether he wears it to work, is it good for picking up girls in, etc. One guy asked what he's wearing underneath it. Jay said, "Oh, you've decided to open that can of worms, eh?" and talked about the initial photos he had on his site and the initial wave of attention and so on. (Short answer: he wears a dance belt.)

Then it was time for the movie! It had been a long time since I last saw it. I'd forgotten how much fun it is, and how silly it is in the "That's not how computers work!" department. I'd also forgotten how much David Warner simultaneously underacts as Dillinger and overacts as Sark. :}

A few minutes into the movie, the projector suddenly lost power and ground to a halt. Fortunately the light went out so the film didn't melt or break. The theater erupted in cries of "Damn you, Dillinger!" and "I don't remember this part." But after about half a minute, it started up again.

After the movie, Jay hung around to let people take pictures of him. I got a few pictures with a disposable camera I'd bought earlier in the day (having decided at the last minute that I didn't feel like lugging my camcorder to Austin).

I hung around a while to chat with Jay some more, and then went back to my motel room.

Sunday morning I woke up around 11 am, got dressed, checked out and drove over to Barton Creek Square again for lunch. I drove all the way around the mall and... you know how malls are usually surrounded by restaurants in separate buildings? I was surprised to find only one of those; a Mexican place called Abuelo's. So I went there. Good food, but for some reason a total of five different waiters came by to ask what I was drinking (Dr Pepper). Good flan, too.

The drive home was also uneventful, until I got to Houston. As I exited I-610, the song "Good Year for the Roses" by Elvis Costello started playing on my CD player. I drove a block ahead to the intersection and waited at the light to turn left. The light was long. Annoyingly long, because I had to go to the bathroom. It did not turn green until "Good Year for the Roses" finished playing!

Then there were two more traffic lights in quick succession to get through, but they were anything but quick. It took one and a half more songs to get through them ("Veronica" and half of "Man out of Time"). Aaaaargh.

So anyway I'm home again! Did I miss anything?

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