So Brian and I had been eyeing the calendar as we headed toward the end of 2011. While many think of Thanksgiving and Christmas as the great holidays, we think only of Buttnumbathon. The application was finally posted and all our hopes and dreams kicked into high gear.

Buttnumbathon 13 was upon us, hereby known as BNAT13Wolf (Teen Wolf was the theme, hence, BEE-NAT Thur-Teen Wolf), and was exemplified by the greatest BNAT poster to date. Suffice it to say, though, Brian will not be displaying this one in his classroom.

Part of the application included uploading a picture of yourself with some relation to Teen Wolf. At first Brian went with the Michael J. Fox mash-up. But thinking it was too subtle...

...he went straight to the heart of the matter.

(Update: Had to censor it after Brian got scared his mom would see it! It was for the best, Susan. It can, however, still be found in the BNAT13Wolf yearbook.)

If you don't get the reference you don't remember Stiles, the guy who wore a bunch of comical shirts throughout the movie.

I went the more traditional route, even including some of my sophomore honors students.

Bill and Wayne also applied, but, sadly, they were not accepted. Sorry, guys.

A bonus option was to make a video singing the lyrics from this commercial from the 70s for the perfume Enjoli.

Here is mine.

And Brian's (it was not easy getting him to allow me to post it online).

The videos by Bill and Wayne were epic, far better than ours, and it is that very epicness that compels me to post them even though they were not deemed BNAT-worthy. They need to be watched in order though. First Bill's...

...then Wayne's (Warning: NSFW!).

(Update: Had to take it down after warning from YouTube!)

4 a.m. Friday morning found me curbside at Brian's house.

When we arrived at our LAX departure gate we noticed something amiss. The irony of this photo is that the board did not actually look like this, but was how my camera perceived the scrolling words.

All this was just to show that Southwest employees can't spell "Austin" correctly.

Heh heh heh.

Austin, baby!

Hertz Gold Choice members get the suh-weet Mustang.

Too bad we weren't Gold Choice members. Chevy Aveo, son! That's right, we were putting around town in a Hot Tamale. I dare you to say something. I double dare you. Yeah, I didn't think so.

It's a bad sign when the first thing we were greeted by in our rental car was an ice scraper.

As soon as were on the road we texted the Mississippi girls, Jessica Griffis and Lisa Rucker (and their old Mississippi friend, Sarabeth) who told us they were saving us a place in line at Franklin Barbecue. There were also a few other BNATters in line.

Lisa filled out a waiver because someone was filming inside the restaurant.

Three BNATters, Omar Salinas, Andy Howell (Copernicus) and Jason Gorber, waited patiently.

It was Brian's turn to fill out the waiver.

While in line a homeless guy approached us and asked for a buck. Brian obliged and I got him to take a group photo, along with Lisa, Jessica and Sarabeth.

Not only did he tell us his name was Cameron Woods, but he even showed us is Taz shirt. Austin bums roll deep.

Then, just as quickly as he entered our lives, Cameron Woods was gone, taking his Hanna Montana backpack with him (not to mention a little piece of our hearts).

45 minutes in line only offered a better view of the people behind us.

At least this sign wasn't for us.

We finally made it inside, only to find we were merely half way there.

At least we weren't on the outside looking in.

Franklin t-shirts were available for purchase.

The wonderland that is the Franklin menu.

Aaron Franklin, owner and great guy. I especially like Omar's big smile.

Evidently the food is so good here that this was the second day in a row that Jessica, Sarabeth and Lisa visited (and stood in the crazy long line).

Ok, so after more than an hour and a half we were finally seated with our food. I ordered the Tipsy Texan, a tower of chopped beef, smoked sausage, coleslaw, and pickles. The verdict? After my first bite I had to put it down, sit back and revel in the glorious taste. After 40 years of eating it is not hyperbole to say that this was the best thing I have ever tasted. Bon Appetit Magazine seems to agree with me. This is now a guaranteed stop any time I visit Austin.

While we were eating we met Moises Chuillan, another BNATter who apparently recognized our geekiness from across the restaurant.

Jason, Omar and Andy enjoyed their barbecue.

After the best barbecue in the world it was time for dessert. I knew what I wanted but wasn't sure how to get there. Unlike the Mississippi girls who had GPS, we were guessing (stupid Chevy Aveo). Since our destination was about 20 miles outside Austin we eventually had to ask a construction worker on the street. He gave us some convoluted directions, but at least told us head to the water tower.

Water tower?

Water tower.

Stay on target.

The Round Rock water tower could only mean one thing:

That's right, Round Rock Donuts.

The Mississippi girls beat us there, of course.

While Brian's cream-filled donut looked delicious, it doesn't explain the necessity for a 20-mile odyssey.

But the Texas-Sized Donut does!

Don't adjust your computer monitors; it is, indeed, bigger than my head.

I saw this thing on Man vs. Food and knew I would some day take up the challenge.

And so it began. So delicious.

This is the look of a man with diabetes in his near future.

Almost there.

Uh oh, here comes the wall!

Just as I was about to take my last bite Brian grabbed it out of my hand and ate half of it. Bastard.

So let the record show I ate 99.5% of the Texas-Sized Round Rock Donut.

On our way out of town we stopped off at the Puffy Tacos.

The only thing funnier than Brian taking a picture of Puffy Tacos... sending it to Bill Crockwell with the message that we visited his mom in Texas.

That night we headed to the BNAT pre-party at Pinballz Arcade.

We immediately encountered the Uncle Fester game.

It's a way cooler picture with no flash.

One of the walls was the Enterprise bridge, giving me the opportunity to tell you that it's ok to be Takei.

Windy Bowlesby concurs.

Holly Blain was in the house with her matching blue hair and sweater, plus her annual "White Girls Can't Mix" CDs.

We checked in and received free beer tickets and a couple bucks in tokens.

We found Jason Dubinsky and his beautiful companion. But enough about his mustache; his lovely wife Lola Hensel (with child) was also heading to BNAT.

My first fail of the night was putting two tokens in the Six Million Dollar Man pinball machine and nothing happening. More like the $6,000,000.50 Man!

Tom Stadlauer made it from Austria again. G'day, mate. Wait, that's Australian, isn't it?

Lick it up!

We finally got a moment with the man of the weekend and his new mustache.

Harry was, of course, quite popular.

After quickly using up the complimentary tokens Brian made a bold arcade investment.

Make it rain, Brian!

A beer-pong cup o' gold!

Then the cake was brought out for the birthday boy.

And mmmm, it was dee-licious!

We schmoozed with the BNATters that kept flowing into Pinballz.

Even Todd "Danger" Johnson's arrival from Australia wasn't enough to make Lisa smile.

We had beef with Cargill because he wouldn't invite us to his annual post-BNAT "party" at his house. First he said it wasn't even an official party, that people just showed up at his house. Then he even went as far as saying it was no longer at his house but at The Highball. Likely story, dude.


I don't know this guy's name but he had the best t-shirt of the night.

Doing some driving.

Melissa Kaercher cashed in some tickets.

Jason schooled some fools on the frozen tundra of the air hockey table.


Brian prepared for a first-class ass-whooping! Advantage me.

Melissa and Meghan Murphy sported their Sad Teen Wolf shirts, designed by Meghan herself.

Chris Moore and Natasha Petentler chatted up Harry.

Candice Roma was going all Apollo Creed on some virtual chump while her husband Mark looked on with approval (and maybe even a little fear).

I have no memory of what the disagreement was between Brian and Jeremy Stomberg.

In attempt to avenge his bitter air hockey loss, Brian took it old school.

Yes, he more than doubled my score. And yes, that deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean Ironman.

The second game was only worse for me.

Angela Behm stopped by for a visit.

We found the inner-Texan within ourselves and went to town on Big Buck Hunter. Unfortunately the outer-Californian showed up as we continually heard "You shot a doe", the game's way of telling us we suck at slaughtering poor, defenseless ruminant mammals.

We finished off the night with some faux-bowling.

The next morning we hit up the hotel's complimentary breakfast; suffice it to say, I was not very complimentary of it. Snack 'n' Waffles? Really? I couldn't wait to hit up the Drafthouse menu.

I bet those dogs were fed something better than prepackaged dough-based cakes.

Oatmeal, cereal, bagels, yogurt, bananas, OJ, coffee... despite the initial setback, when all was said and done we took care of ourselves.

As we were getting ready to leave our motel room not only did I find Ghostbusters playing but Brian quoted the scene verbatim:

Dr. Peter Venkman: "Uh, are you habitually using drugs? Stimulants? Alcohol?"
Librarian Alice: "No."
Dr. Peter Venkman: "No, no. Just asking. Are you, Alice, menstruating right now?"
Library Administrator: "What has that got to do with it?"
Dr. Peter Venkman: "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

Yeah, I think we were ready for Buttnumbathon.

Brian waited for me in the Hot Tamale while I asked the desk clerk for directions to the theater.

Of course, we did make a quick stop to pick up a card for the birthday boy.

While I forgot to take a picture of his present before it was wrapped, we got Harry Muppet/Star Wars mash-up characters (photo swiped from the Web), available only at Disneyland (plus we included unused Star Tours Fast Passes in the card).

Geek Mecca!

Awww yeah!

Joined the BNAT queue.

24 Hours of cinema bliss, you say? One, please!

Jessica, half of the Mississippi dynamic duo, greeted us her badge and a smile.

Then it was time to pick up our swag bags and t-shirts.

Heidi Zarse was handing out the BNAT13Wolf posters.

Wandering the Drafthouse a bit, I found that the theaters for BNAT and the Free Kids Club were adjacent to each other, appropriate since the BNAT profits fund the Saturday morning movie screenings.

We DO need these stinking badges!

We got a photo with Harry in front of the BNAT13Wolf poster, joined by Alan and Tami Cerny.

Melissa's second Teen Wolf-themed shirt in as many days stood out in the crowd-filled lobby.

Harry pontificating before magic hour.

The view from inside the theater had a "Nighthawks" feel to it.

The Man. The Myth. The Rebel.

It was an anxious and excited group of BNATters.

The main talk was the possible line-up.

What's wrong with this picture?

I hope that's Chaka from Land of the Lost. If not, WTF?


The wait was finally over.

Just a few more steps down the hallway to our seats... the FRONT ROW! At least we weren't alone. We were joined by the Georgia Crew who had the same seats last year, too. Meet, from left to right, Berni Johnson, Bob Jones, Jen Hoyt, Darrel Golliher, Ed Kelly and Glenn Leavell.

Plus we got a close-up look at Harry's presents.

While everyone was getting settled, Harry, his dad and Elijah Wood talked for a few minutes.

I wandered the theater checking checking out where people were seated. Anna Harrod (Brian's seatmate from last year) and Todd "Danger" Johnson had some sweet seats on the aisle (great for quick escapes to the loo).

Jessica and Lisa had the EXACT seats that Brian and I had last year. Cuh-reepy.

Father Geek and Head Geek were ready.

As I began to take a picture of Brian and Jeff Mahler, Harry directed Jeff to show his profile so the camera could capture the immensity of his schnoz.

Tim League started off the show with a few words.

He called Jeff to the front for good news and bad news. The bad news first: Teen Wolf would not be playing because the Alamo had abused their print so badly in the past there was no viewable copy. The good news: There were half-second snippets saved that would make appearances throughout the night.

On the BNAT-Facebook group page Glenn Leavell did a fine job in explaining how the whole thing began:

"The festivities kicked off with a very special video message by Eric Vespe (who writes as "Quint" on from the New Zealand set of THE HOBBIT. Quint treated us to several fun and silly behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew (including Peter Jackson, Ian McKellen, and Orlando Bloom). We loved it not only because we were getting a peek at THE HOBBIT set, but also because it was good to hear from Quint, as everyone had been lamenting his absence from this year's BNAT due to his obligations in NZ. Toward the end of the video, however, Peter Jackson suggested a solution to Quint's problem: Would a bit of wizardry from Gandalf help? And before you know it, Gandalf waves his staff, and BAM! The front of the Alamo Drafthouse theatre explodes with real flames, heat, and smoke) and Quint is magically and really in the house! As everyone is coming to their senses, Gandalf leans into the screen (remember, this really *is* Gandalf) and whispers to us all that he's slipped a little something into Quint's backpack. Low and behold, it's the upcoming first trailer for THE HOBBIT! Quint says that he needs a Trailer Bearer to take it to the projection booth, and Elijah Wood, the Bearer himself, who regularly attends BNAT (not as a special guest, but just as a regular guy) bounds down from his seat, accepts the burden of the quest, and heads for the booth. After a bit, the screen dims, and then... Well, there were technical difficulties, and we didn't get to see the trailer. More on that later..."

It was all good because not only did I literally feel the heat of the giant fireballs from the front row, we also got to see the trailer later in the festival... THREE TIMES!!! Buttnumbathon, like a boss!

Then Harry came up and talked a bit about his vision for this BNAT, both successes and disappointments. Then BNAT13Wolf began.

Obviously I don't have any pictures or video of the actual show so instead I will entertain you with some of the graffiti on the bathroom walls.

Sorry, bruh.

Ha ha, hail Satan (with an inverted cross as a "T").

We hung outside after a couple movies.

Found a zombie hunter's car.

And some unsettling art on the Alamo wall.

A little later Brian and Windy Bowlesby got down and crazy! See, Windy was showing us the native dance from Just Imagine, a 1930 movie we had just watched. Brian was merely an opportunist.

We all sang Happy Birthday to Harry.

Another break, without sunlight this time. It's amazing how quickly time passes when you're having the time of your life.

Killer graphics inside the Alamo lobby.

The helpful robot-ticket kiosk outside.

Man, I love this place!


Free posters for a truly kick-ass movie.

Brian and I ran into Jay in the parking lot during an early morning break between movies. Just a guess but I think he was enjoying himself.

Patricia had to save the three of us when we realized we were locked out of the theater.

Fast forward to morning and I found Megan Hagins outside.

6 a.m. in December in Austin equals cold.

That's right, I met Thorr. Thorr Thompson to be exact.

No trip to the Alamo Drafthouse would be complete without a visit with Tim League. Isn't he just the cat's meow?

A breather between flicks.

This is one of the cool parts of BNAT.

10 a.m. and it still looked cold.

I got a photo with that guy from the Bunny Museum commercial. What Bunny Museum commercial, you ask?

This one.

Then, just like last year, as we gearing up for the final movie, Harry told us to pack up our stuff and head for the buses waiting outside.

Natasha and Chris summarized the collective excitement.

What movie were we heading to see? Tom wanted to know.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol at the IMAX theatre at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, that's what movie.

We found the Mississippi girls after over 22 hours of being on opposite ends of a theater.

IMAX, baby.

After the movie we found Windy looking like a lost puppy.

On the way back to the Alamo we had to find a seat on one of the four charter buses.

Jessica and Lisa headed for our bus.

I threw out my best Forrest Gump "Seat Taken!", Southern drawl and all, but I don't think Jessica appreciated it.

26 hours after it all began, the group was dragging.

As a bonus we got a quick tour of Austin, including the State Capitol building.

Back at the Alamo we watched Harry open many of his sweet birthday presents.

Joss Whedon sent an autographed Avengers poster.


We snuck back into Theater One for one reason:

Brian wanted to play with the organ (and this time it's not a euphemism).

Jessica and Lisa wished Harry a happy birthday.

This is a prime example of the awesome presents this guy gets: yes, that is Harry the Hutt and his slave girl Patricia.

Harry as a Minotaur. Hmm, for the mantle?

(Update: Apparently I was mistaken. Harry wrote: "sigh. MINOTAUR? That is so obviously me as a Triceratops from Jurassic Park with Patricia as Ellie! FOR SHAME!" My bad.)

Harry added: "oh and both sculptures are copies of originals sculpted at WETA WORKSHOP for the Peter Jackson directed Wedding Invite video for Patricia and mine's wedding. From time to time... we get one. These were apparently painted by Richard Taylor himself, Quint tells me. Look up HARRY KNOWLES WEDDING on YouTube - you'll see. I want them all!" Well, here is the aforementioned video...

And the presents just kept on coming.

While Brian was talking with Leigh Price and and Chris Calilung in his full jammies, Jackie Salcedo pulled a BNAT photobomb. What the pho, Jackie?

So we let Jackie and Holly Blain join the gang.

Ran into Mike Saulters after seeing him on Facebook for a while.

It's his party and he can shoot silly string if he wants to.

And if you happen to be his target you take it like a man.

Angela Surkau and Rob Smith from England even made it to BNAT.

After all those hours staring up at the screen from the front row, I needed some release from my worldly suffering. I call this the Exalted BNAT Warrior.

After dropping the rental off we looked for some sustenance at the Austin airport. This was definitely not it.

But then again, after Franklins Barbecue, Round Rock Donuts, and 24 hours of Alamo Drafthouse food, I don't think anything would have satisfied us.

The BNAT13Wolf montage! I especially enjoyed the write-up by Wesley Dodd (Mr. Brotato Head) of his BNAT experience.

12 Movies, multiple trailers and 17 snippets of Teen Wolf in 26+ hours will take it out of a guy. Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to Buttnumbathon 14.