Fun With Tom And James.

For those of you who are somehow unaware, Australian blogger Tom Clift is making his way across North America, going to film festivals, and meeting as many of his online friends as he can. Months ago, he started showing people his tentative schedules, and plans were made to meet up. Well, one of the time and dates was going to be in Austin, and as that's only about a 2-hour drive for me, I figured "Totally!" Even more surprising, however, was when the mysterious James Blake Ewing of Cinema Sights, also a fellow Texan, decided he would meet up with us as well. And so we compared schedules and found the best possible day to meet up. And so we did. Here's how it went down (at least from my perspective):

The drive to Austin was mostly uneventful... except for some peculiar song choices on the radio. At first, every song had to do with killing, being killed, or death. Getting flashbacks to something like the  Final Destination series, I really began praying that the mysterious, HAL9000-esque James was not going to murder us.

But then, I kid you not, this song came on the radio:

I couldn't help but laugh, and everything was right in the world.

Anyway, the plan was to meet at the Ritz Drafthouse theater at 1 PM. I pass the theater, get a parking spot in a lot down the way, and wander back in the direction of the theater... and can't find it. I'm literally going in circles for 10 minutes, unable to find this Drafthouse theater that I know I had just seen. (It was tucked away in a little alcove area that I kept missing for some reason.) Eventually, I hear a familiar Australian voice call my name from across the street and see Tom waving. I smile and start walking towards him as he motions to a guy who looks like [description deleted] that I could only assume to be James. We said hello, shook hands, and began our wandering of downtown Austin.

We begin talking as we're walking, and Tom suggests finding a little diner or something so we can sit and eat and have a little discussion before our 3:30 showing of The Master. We do and end up getting sat at a table right next to the door. I got this chicken sandwich and Tom got a ridiculously huge burger, while James didn't eat because he's [reason deleted].

A picture Tom took of his ridiculous burger.
We sat there talking for at least 90 minutes--everything from Tom's TIFF experience to our favorite films of the year thus far and more. (I kept bringing up Cabin in the Woods, and James kept bringing up directors we'd never heard of. Tom kept making us both jealous of the movies he's already seen, mostly thanks to TIFF.) At one point James quotes 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Soon it was about time to head on over to the Drafthouse, and so we did. We got our tickets, found some seats, and just hung out for 20-30 minutes or so waiting for the flick to start. I ordered a totally insane milkshake just because it sounded too ridiculous to actually exist (vanilla ice cream mixed with root beer, chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, malt mix, and topped with crushed popcorn. Dear God was it good). And, believe it or not, the irony of ordering a milkshake to PT Anderson's follow-up to There Will Be Blood didn't hit me until later. But I drank it up!

After the movie ended (with the theater in total and complete silence for at least 2 minutes... probably due to confusion), we three amigos headed out onto the street where the sun blinded us. We hung out on a street corner among other peeps and talked about the movie. And this is where things got interesting. We were approached by not one, but two different homeless guys asking for money, to which we had none to offer. And then, because both Tom and James' back were to the street, I was the only one to see this... but a guy who looked exactly like this started walking around the nearby intersection:

He had the purple beanie and all. He walked down the crosswalk and past us; a few minutes later, he came back looking lost/confused and made his way back across the street where he was originally. And I never saw him again after that. I thought at least James had seen him, but apparently not. He was all "I'm sorry, Dave." (Or something like that.)

Then I asked James a very important question and/or favor as Tom made a phone call. Surprisingly, he agreed. So the three of us made our way to my car. But before we get there, these two really hot girls stop us and ask me to take a picture of them. I guess I'm just approachable like that. They thanked me, we made out for a while, and then they went on their way (one of those things isn't true). So anyway, we goofed off for about 10 minutes in the parking lot before wandering back to the streets of downtown Austin where we were bothered by more homeless men (I blame Tom and/or James. I attract hot girls).

Speaking of hot girls, as we were wandering from one end of downtown to the other, a hot Asian girl stopped the three of us and gave us these Judge Dredd badges for free and then asked us to take a picture with her so her boss didn't think she was just slacking off all day or something. And then she let us leave. It was rather strange.

From there, we found ourselves heading further than we'd traveled thus far to hit up a Starbucks. And there we sat for the rest of the night running the gamut discussing film types and topics... everything from artistic, pretentious flicks to mainstream to bad bad to A Serbian Film and Human Centipede 2 (ironically, neither of which I brought up). By the end of the night, I don't think there was a single film genre or director we hadn't covered. We even talked about my 50/50 List and what I had coming up after we ran out of other movie things to talk about.

Strangely, I noticed (again, with James and Tom's backs to the door) that more and more flamboyantly gay and lesbian groups entered the shop. I thought nothing of it, of course--this was Austin, the most liberal city in Texas. And then a rather tall transvestite came in, and that's when I knew something was up. That's right, ladies and gents. The three of us found ourselves in the middle of a gay pride parade! When we eventually left Starbucks to head our separate ways (after taking a picture together, of course), James and I had to dash across the police-guarded street before the parade hit this far down so we could get back to our cars. What a way to end the day!

Now, I know what y'all are saying: "Pictures! Pictures or it didn't happen! We want to know that James isn't a robot and/or that he actually exists!" And I will show you a picture... in November. Why November?

Well, I hinted at it earlier, but James agreed to appear in the final episode of The Vlog, which will be airing on Sunday, November 4. That's right. If you want to finally know what James Blake Ewing looks like, you must tune in to the Series Finale of The Vlog, and you will finally see video evidence. Until then, any picture is embargoed. (And if you haven't been watching... I suggest getting started! It's awesome!)

And that's it!


  1. Wowsers. I don't know, all this blogger meet ups that have been happening lately are kinda magical. Like, I don't know why, but it is cool that you're all meeting each other.

    I mean, if you ever get bored and have a spare few thousand, come to Dannevirke. You'll have a whale of a time here (okay, our milkshakes are basically just ice cream, milk and syrup. we have nothing special to offer)

    Anyway, this sounds like it was a really fun time! I am actually quite looking forward to seeing James (in a non-dodgy way). But at least we can now be sure that he exists...haha.

  2. I still have my doubts and think he might be an AI until I see actual footage.


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