We had a great night out this evening. We traded babysitting with some friends so that we could attend a screening of Stand By Me at Alamo Village with Wil Wheaton in attendance. It also turned out that M. and J. were hosting a letter writing party for MMOB just before the screening.
After dropping the kids off, we headed to the letter writing party. It was really good to see M., J., and Baldo again. We don’t hang out enough and need to do it more often. We didn’t stay long, but we got in there and did our part (I hope) to motivate some registered voters in Florida to do their vote thing and show Bush that he’s not wanted anymore.
Since we know how the Alamo can fill up, we arrived about 45 minutes early. It’s a good thing that we did. Not only did the screening sell out, but Bookpeople sold out of all of their copies of Just a Geek. If I’m not mistaken, some people have to wait until tomorrow or later this week to get their copy. Luckily, I already had mine from Amazon (thank you Amazon Visa Reward Points) and I brought my copy of Dancing Barefoot that Wil self-published last year.
In a tribute to the film, there was a pie eating contest beforehand. Three brave Austinites volunteered for the honor of shoving their faces in pies along with Alamo proprietor, Tim League. The contest lasted three minutes with the only female contestant emerging victorious. She had commented offhandedly that she’d like a kiss from Wil as a prize and he enthusiastically complied when she emerged the victor.
Wil gave a brief introduction to the film before it started and then we all sat back and watched the film. The print was pretty low quality. There were a lot of sound artifacts and it completely cut out for part of the scene where the boys confront the junkyard owner and Chopper. At the end of the film, Tim tried to cut the credits short to start Wil’s talk, but Wil proclaimed that he’s “kind of a dick about credits” and made us all watch them (understandably). Once the credits finished, he talked a little about how much the film means to him now and then opened it up for questions. Some of the questions were so common that he’s already answered them in his FAQ. He talked about re-shooting the scene where they finally find The Body and about a water park that was near the hotel where they stayed in Eugene, Oregon. He also touched on how much the film means to him after almost 20 years and how that meaning has changed over time. After the talk, he signed books in the lobby.
Of course, when it was my turn, I couldn’t think of what I wanted to say. You never seem to have enough time at these signings. Anyway, he noticed that I had one of the earlier copies of Dancing Barefoot and gave me a really sincere thanks for buying it. He pointed out that it was the response that he got for that book which allowed him to write Just A Geek and get the deal with O’Reilly. I asked him if he had gotten to see much of Austin and he told me that he felt like a 15-year-old (apropos for the screening) in that he spent all of Linucon at the hotel playing games. Here’s hoping that he can come back again and experience a little more of what Austin has to offer.
Tonight’s screening reminded me once again how cool this town is. The Wife and I stopped at Gingerman on the way home for a pint and we ran into K. J. who was planning a Dogtoberfest benefit this coming Sunday for Blue Dog Rescue. We’ll be there for sure.