Into the Concrete Jungle

Never, ever examine the workings of the Universe. In other words,  I woke up this morning long before my alarm clock rang. Or beeped. Or did anything like that. In spite of some difficulty getting to sleep last night. Who knew that a post-9PM Grande Vanilla Latte would be a bad idea?

Why, you might ask, would you do such a thing when you cut out all caffeine in your life so you could still have your morning coffee? Well, there were extenuating circumstances. I had already had two beers, and didn’t need another one.

I journeyed into Houston from my suburban stronghold to attend a meeting of SWAMP, which stands for the SouthWest Alternate Media Project, a filmmaker’s support group. I know they were instrumental in getting Belezaire the Cajun made, and had a hand in lots of local indie films. They’ve been around at least as long as I have, so they’re doing something right. And the latest thing they did right was bringing my friend Chris Holland in to speak last night.

Chris has been in the trenches working for film festivals the last five years, noticed he was answering the same questions over and over again, and did the logical thing and wrote a book, Film Festival Secrets. He distilled salient points into a ten-step presentation, said a lot of things that the budding filmmakers needed to hear, and had a very strong turn-out. Eventually we managed to get away from the attendees to get a drink and play catch-up (and for me to go awww at pictures of his newborn baby girl). The meeting had taken place in a bar in Montrose, and I had quickly determined that they had Guinness and had availed myself of that during the meet-and-greet and presentation.

Chris mentioned there was another bar a block over that might be quieter for our conversation, but I had lived in the Montrose and knew that bar a little more, um, interesting than we might have cared for. Went to where a nice coffeehouse had been next to the art house theater, found that it had gone the way of most of the things of my youth (how disturbing that I now consider my 30s my “youth”), and settled on a Starbucks, allowing us to suck down their free wi-fi with our coffees.

My shoulder starting acting sometime during all that – why, I’m not sure (though it probably contributed to my poor sleep). In a fantasy world, it was because Chris and I indulged ins some crime fighting. In reality, it’s because I’m an old fart who had to be wrestled out of his reading chair to join society.

Still up: taking The Boy to see Predators. Oooh, that will end well.

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