TL;DR: 21 Tiny SXSW Tales
1. seeing a mural in progress at night become a full-fledged color masterpiece the next morning. austin street art game STRONG. camera at night: less strong.
2. wondering what happens when you pick the weird fake apples off the weird fake apple trees at the amazon pop-up for Good Omens show. failed to pick apple; not as cool as Eve. also, they were out of tacos. sad face.
3. watching Amy Miller SLAY it in a set at Esther's comedy club. (best of the night IMHO.) got yelled at for crossing the rope to use the bathroom too late in the show despite being previously warned. pretended i didn't understand english/directions/humanity.
4. that trippy rainbow on Brazos and Congress. well played, intersection. well played.
5. standing in line for an hour to not see Netflix #thehighwaymen subterranean bar nor Father John Misty playing at midnight because no one else was getting in that night, except for my bud Jason from Farm who was smart enough to go when the going was a thing you could do.
5b. standing in line for an hour to actually see Netflix #thehighwaymen subterranean experience. talking to a fake cowgirl. marveling at the Netflix request to post stuff on social media for prizes when there is ZERO cell reception. because: subterranean. still won a branded flask at the “general store,” an old western-themed giveaway stand where you redeem points from talking to actors for flasks, bandanas. delicious array of pickles on the walls behind them: NOT PART OF THE DEAL.
7. stumbling upon the pregnant alien blob. backing up s-l-o-w-l-y.
8. wondering what the story of the story scrawled all over one bathroom's walls was.
9. seeing a panel, a good one. Tim Ferris, Michael Pollan on psychedelics. (like, not ON them... or i don't know. reality is a hallucination anyway.) later fleeing a terribly boring panel on social media to instead see hip hop pitches. [INSERT NAME]
10. the men riding segues down 6th, wearing snakes. because, why not.
11. the “Weaving” exhibition by Cocolab, a giant canvas made of strings that light up and flow to the ambient music in an otherwise dark room. a much needed respite. chatting with the gal from australia who nearly cried from how peaceful and beautiful it was. “i had no idea how much i really needed this!” she said. “i think this is the best thing of all of sxsw” … wondering if i agree.
12. fleeing another dull panel about leveraging innovation to maximize experiences or WHATEVER to go listen to how music OWNS your brain. we’re helpless to your seductive powers, music. learned we like music so much because it hits both the part of us that revels in predictability and the one yearning for novelty. the beauty is in the balance.
12a. watching the video of the kid who wouldn’t touch anything until a piano was put in front of him and he basically BECAME the piano.
12b. and the man who got a kind of dementia, and knew he had it, and because this kind of dementia reduces inhibitions and allows for release of creativity, he painted a self portrait every day … until he killed himself.
13. talking to Twisha LASTNAME at a Fast Company panel about the future of freelance. immediately stalking her on LinkedIn, hoping to talk to her about Samaschool and her perspective on the future of gig economy and freelance life.
14. finding FAVORITE official SXSW talk when seeing Simon Tam tell his story. totally mesmerized. immediately stalked on LinkedIn. disappointed he no longer lives in portland. want more people to see and hear this man’s story and that of his band, The Slants.
15. meeting a friend of my boyfriend, a dazzlingly welcome and calming spirit, who he knew and played music with back in Shanghai. watched her kick ass on stage under her artist name Yehaiyahan.
16. being mildly electrocuted to earn a few sips of tequila. making parents proud. admiring face of death.
17. knowing a guy who knows a guy who knows the secret code to a speakeasy filled with lit up doll heads and drinks named “NAME” and “NAME.” (i ordered the “NAME”)
18. stumbling into a show featuring a band a friend of a friend of the festival’s music producer said was supposed to be good. expected good. got HOLY SH*T they’re incredible. named Yahyel, from Tokyo.
18a. stood on the fringes of the audience, a few steps from the crowd, watching mostly everyone record the show on their phones, watching the lead singer hop off stage and get swarmed by the crowd, watching as he made eye contact with me, beelined my direction, and took off his mic to hold a completely normal conversation for a moment (hey how’s your experience so far? … fantastic! are you enjoying the show? you guys are blowing MY MIND right now, amazing.)
18b. and he got back on stage and belted out in a deep Depeche Mode voice and that was that.
19. pretty sure this is a pyramid.
20. remembering the crawlspace i own in portland, and the verdict: INFESTED with rodents. and how i cried over them trapping possums the day i left for austin and not wanting them to die, but also not wanting to have them and the rats and the raccoons and their fleas happily cavort around, all up in my crawlspace, furnace too, causing the crawlspace fixers to remind me, “you’re breathing fecal air.”
21. coming home. taking a deep breath. can’t smell the fecal. remembering reality is a hallucination. sleeping soundly. bye bye.