I’m in Austin for a local talk show. This is the start of a mini media tour for my sponsor.
As it happened, my hotel is right next to the Congress ave bridge. I insisted that Wendy, my PR handler, come down to the waterfront and watch the bats emerge at dusk. There’s a whole colony of them living under the bridge. This is a fairly recent development. They just decided it looked like a good home.
Wendy had never seen a bat before. Now she’s seen billions.
It’s not often you get to see natural phenomena like that in the heart of a modern city.
Dinner on 6th st.
Wendy told me a story about watching the video for the first time and reading some of the comments people left. She started getting teary-eyed at the stuff people were saying. She sent it to a co-worker, Susie, who also traveled with me across the US in September and helped sign people up to be in the video. She heard the music playing as Susie watched it a few offices over. When it finished, she heard Susie get up and walk down the hall.
Susie turned the corner into Wendy’s office with tears running down her face. Wendy was already crying, so she just shifted into full-on bawling and they both let if flow together.
By this point in the story, I was doubled over on the floor in hysterics. ROFL, you might say.
I’ve met a few PR people in my time. I’ve found them to be a pretty jaded bunch. Bullshit is their stock in trade (I mean that in the nicest way). They don’t cry easy.
As a longtime devotee of aint-it-cool-news, I’ve always wanted to take in a movie at the famous Alamo Drafthouse, but it’s never worked out in the past. I went to see Sex and the City by myself, which makes me, officially, a woman.
I left about halfway in, right after Charlotte crapped her pants. It wasn’t the girlie stuff — or the scatology either. The movie has absolutely no momentum. It’s like a car that dies at every stoplight. Plus, ya know, I’m a little distracted…
The new video is the most-watched thing on the internet right now.
…well, surely someone out there is inserting something somewhere they shouldn’t on camera, and there are way more people watching that, but no one is bothering to track it.
It took over a week for the last video to get a million views. This one crossed that mark in less than two days. Even the soundtrack is doing great, and people actually have to fork over money for that. It’s outselling Hannah Stinking Montana!
That money goes straight to Garry Schyman, the composer, by the way. And by Jupiter, he deserves it!
The walls are rattling on my site. I did my best to keep it running, but it’s not set up for anywhere near this amount of traffic.
Speaking of my site, the FAQ is two years out of date. Ignore everything in there. I’m still working on a downloadable HD version. I know you know some great site that’ll solve all my problems, but trust me. It’s complicated. And sorry about all the missing journal posts. There’s a lot of ground I never got around to covering. Israel, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Bhutan — the more I have to say, the less likely I am to get around to it.
I put the video up on Friday. Melissa and I spent the morning on the couch, glued to our computers and reading comments back and forth to each other.
Who knew you people were such softies?
I’d gotten up in the middle of the night to upload the video and have it ready at the start of the east coast workday. This may have been a good idea in theory, but my grogginess resulted in the wrong file getting uploaded. The version now playing on YouTube was compressed from a mediocre Windows Media file instead of the superior Quicktime. Also, the running-in sequence isn’t quite right, Sydney is too dark, and New York is too bright.
These things I can live with, but someone also pointed out that I spelled the Philippines wrong, which is terribly embarassing.
When it got featured on YouTube, we took a walk and tried to get some perspective. I failed at this. I was getting statistical updates every few minutes from my sister.
Yesterday, we pulled away from the swirling vortex long enough to go to the Solstice Parade in Fremont. I’d never been. Naked people on bicycles definitely helps get your mind off things.
We stopped into Google to use the bathroom and avoid the honey buckets. Some of Melissa’s coworkers were standing naked in the lobby, covered in body paint. This shouldn’t have been terribly surprising, but still, it’s hard to hold a conversation with someone who has star-spangled boobs.