So after more than fours years of having our own Butt-Numb-A-Thon Brian and I were able to score tickets to the OG Butt-Numb-A-Thon at the Alamo Draft House in Austin, Texas. Of 9,766 applicants we were deemed BNAT-worthy. Film geeks came from around the world to celebrate Harry Knowles' birthday. The cost? $300 for the flight and hotel, $60 for admission, plus money for food, taxi, and exploring the town the night before. Ay, there's the rub. But seriously, though, life's adventures are not free, thus out came the checkbook.

Note: The four smaller images in the story are actually short videos. Just click on the image.




A trip to the 99 store took care of the munchies, though we only took about half with us, saving the rest for next week's Eric & Brian's Butt-Numb-A-Thon.




Brian picked me up at 8:30 Friday morning and we headed for LAX.




Bags and pillow in hand we wait in the parking lot for the terminal shuttle.




No weapons of mass destruction.




On the flight Brian struck up a conversation with some lady who was on some bowl committee that allowed her to go to the Rose Bowl. Brian smugly pointed to his USC jacket as if to say, "Sistah please, it's all 'bout da Orange Bowl, beeyatch!" She promptly inquired if he was attending and he was forced to admit he wasn't. She then let him know she would also be attending that game. Bitch.




A shot of the Pacific.




Santa Catalina Island.




iPod Nation, baby!




A shot over Austin. Either that's a fire in the distance or, suggested Brian, a stampede. Run, Mufasa, run!




Coming in for a landing our shadow grew larger...




...and larger...




and... you get the idea.




Originally we had planned on taking either a taxi or shuttle to our hotel, each costing around $20. A sudden epiphany sent us to the Airport Flyer. Price: 50 per Butt-Numb-A-Thoner. Money, baby!




Do not adjust your monitors; there are, evidently, hobbits employed as Austin meter maids.




This type of sign was all over Austin. While I'm sure part of it is because Austin is the capital of Texas, y'all sure are proud of yer state.




Seeing as Austin is the live music capital of the world these wreaths are appropriate.




The Colorado River ran behind our hotel. Later you will see a picture taken from that bridge.




Yup, we're in Texas.




We decided to rustle up some grub...




...where Brian was promptly carded by Angel.




Yes, Angel.




Alas, we had to make due with the Hooters truck.




The Colorado River at night, from the aforementioned bridge.




With downtown Austin festively lighted...




...Brian felt the need to dance.



Brian bought Alamo Draft House tickets to a show called "Mr. Sinus Xmas Show" that night.




Since I would not be able to take my camera into BNAT this provided me an opportunity to get some shots inside the theater. Note: Evidently Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite was at the Alamo screenings of the movie the week before. Yessssssssss.




The theater was suh-weet. The seats had tables so you could enjoy your meal and drinks. There was a walkway in front of the tables so the waiters/waitresses could take orders at all hours of the night yet be unobstrusive. Genius. For BNAT we were seated in seats 1103 and 1104, in the third row (see circle). Even though my neck was tweaked for days due to turning left for 24 hours they were great seats.




We had tickets to see the Mr. Sinus Xmas Show. These three guys watched a variety of Christmas clips and, like Mystery Science 3000, made fun of them (get it? Mr. Sinus/Mystery Science).




At the show's intermission milk and cookies were served. Also, we actually crashed the 7:00 show even though our tickets were for 9:45. The only seats left were against the back wall on a leather couch. No complaints here, especially considering our asses would be attached to a couple of the other seats for 24 hours straight in about 15 hours.




Here is a clip from Touched by an Angel with Randy Travis guest starring. Other clips included The Star Wars Holiday Special (complete with Chewbacca's dad named Itchey, Davey and Goliath with Davey doing some nasty things under his bed cover, and It's a Wonderful Life. The guys even turned the latter into a drinking game: every time George (Jimmy Stewart) called out his wife Mary's (Donna Reed) name the crowd yelled "Christmas" and then took a drink. You know, "Merry Christmas." Good times, good times.




They were selling t-shirts in the theater lobby. Perfect for a high school teacher.




After the show we walked around downtown Austin for a while. It was a happening town, with many bars and clubs playing live music. We sauntered into one place and quickly noticed the many men with mustaches (including the cowboy working the door) and women with closely cropped hair. With everyone staring at us we made our way to the restroom, acting nonchalant. If there were any doubts regarding the nature of this fine establishment they were erased by the poster (above) on a stall door. Note: It wasn't until I saw the picture that I noticed the chalk and blackboard. I can only surmise this is a bulletin board where guys leave their numbers for each other. Yee haw!




I guess it pays to read the name of a place before you walk in.




Next we went into a place called "Buffalo Billiards" because we saw an air hockey table through the window. This time we made sure that there was no double meaning to "buffalo." (Though the painting on the wall made me wonder.)




If memory serves, the last time we played air hockey I was the apprentice and he was the master.




"Now... "



...I am the master.




Always bold Brian bought a beef and bean burrito... from a guy on the street... for a dollar! If you want to know what the "beef" actually was look at the board to the left.




When I saw the State Capitol building where George Bush worked when he was governor of Texas I was reminded of a t-shirt I saw earlier: "Somewhere in Texas there is a village missing its idiot." Word.




Brian committing vandalism on the official Texas Christmas tree in front of the Capitol.




Then playing nice.




At the end of long day we took the elevator up to our room at the Hyatt Regency.



The next morning Brian made the mistake of sleeping in.




We made our way to the Alamo about 3 hours early.




We asked one of the locals if he could suggest a good place for breakfast and he pointed the way to Las Manitas. Bueno, amigo.




Brian was unamused by my mocking laughter at his "liberal" use of hot sauce.




White boy!




A shot of the capitol building during the day.




We stopped to get Harry a birthday card. Some of the BNATers brought Harry presents but since we are teachers with families Brian explained the $400+ we spent on the whole affair was his gift. I know, ghetto. Sorry, Harry.




The ultimate movie geeks.




Check out the poster parodies in the windows.




Um, yeah.




After one of the Alamo guys gave his "absolutely no recording devices of any kind" speech for the fifth time we thought it would be funny to ask him, of all people, to take our picture in front of the theater. Without flinching he obliged, even showing me how to take a quality snapshot when the light is behind the subject. Here we were being smart asses and he acted like a quality guy. Austin rules!




When we first got into the theater they checked our bags and took my camera. Right after we were handed our swag bags by none other than the birthday boy himself, Harry Knowles. I asked him if we could take a quick picture and he graciously agreed. I ran back to get my camera, asked a passing employee to snap a quick one, then returned my camera. Of the 100 or so photos I took this weekend only one did not come out. Yep. Fack! So I scanned a picture of Harry out of Giant magazine so you can see one badass muthafucka.




Here is my review of the Butt-Numb-A-Thon VI experience.



We got out of the Alamo on Sunday around 12:40 p.m. Our plane left at 1:31 p.m. You do the math. As we headed to the Airport Flyer stop about 6 blocks down we quickly admitted to ourselves we would not make our flight if we continued with Plan A. Thus, we flagged down a passing taxi and away we went, arriving at the airport and checking in with minutes to spare. Like Hannibal always says, "I love it when a plan comes together." Even if it's Plan B from Austin, Texas (that was for you, Ed Wood).




On the ground in L.A. Home sweet home.