Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Grace's place - Austin, TX

Here I am in Austin, TX. Even more strange is where I am specifically. I am on an air mattress, currently sharing a bed with a dog, in a house that belongs to Joe's girlfriend, Grace. Yesterday he suggested that we sleep here because she has more room and an air mattress. This was before I had even met her, but it sounded ok. They are both at work and she's fine with me hanging here for a while, sleeping in.

But, it's better to start from the beginning. Marty turned out to be a hell of an annoying person by morning. As soon as the sun comes up, I'm ready for quiet time, even if I haven't slept. Actually, more so if I haven't slept. Not Marty! Talktalktalktalktalk. And about things I don't really want to talk about. On top of that, a 13 hour drive turned into a 16 hour drive because he just kept pulling over and spending far too much time browsing at gas stations.

We got in at 8:30am. Joe delayed going to work, which is apparently not a big deal at all for him, but I still don't like the idea. When I finally got there we chatted a bit, then I crashed in his bed when he left for work. It is my opinion that Joe needs to wash his pillowcases. I'm glad he gave me my own pillow, because sharing a dirty pillow is not my idea of fun. Sheets looked ok though.

Little power nap I guess, because he called me 2 hours later and we went to lunch at this vegan Thai place. Oh my god I love wheat gluten, and I love it better spicy (love it better?). Then we went to this coffee house and had vegan peanut butter cups (basically cupcake-sized peanut butter cups, but vegan, and BETTER) and chocolate beer. I am not convinced that beer tasted anything like chocolate, and I stand by not liking beer.

I told him I wanted to see where he worked, so he took me on a little tour. Joe works for a company that rents out cameras and equipment to movie productions. When they rent out something that requires a technician, they also rent out Joe, or his co-worker James. The place is an old airplane hanger at the old Austin airport. Most of the area has been turned into a strip mall, the rest is used for movie production. Robert Rodriguez has his studio in there and the new Friday the 13th is being shot there as well.

I am very sorry to tell you all that I forgot my camera on this trip. This is especially annoying because there were a few pictures I would have taken for sure. Joe's company rents out this Titan truck with a cherry picker-like thing on top for a camera man. The back wheels of the truck can be steered as well as the front, to make the truck drive diagonal, and also make -really- tight turns. The cherry picker is on a counter weight system, not a hydrolic one. Joe had me go sit on the camera end and then he sent it up into the air. It's not terribly high, but he made me wear a seatbelt. Ha. I got a pretty good view of the old airport, and the control tower especially, and of downtown Austin. I did request that he not drive the thing while I was in the air, as it might make me slightly uncomfortable. Joe is not the technician who knows about the titan and would not be called out to operate it normally, so it seemed better to stay stationary.

When I came down he drove me around the airport a bit and showed me the other studios. Apparently Rodriguez left up parts of the Grindhouse set and I would have taken a picture of it for my buddy Iggy. I did call Iggy and tell him that I met Rodriguez, which of course is a lie, and I told him so quickly. I think Joe is rubbing off on me in that way. He is a pathological liar. Luckily I've known him long enough to be able to tell when he's full of shit.

This is getting kind of long here, and I'm getting tired of typing, so I'll have to add the caving part a little later.

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