Have a ball

Have a ball

For the second year running, my employer (the corporate parent-company thereof, rather) rented a party house in the midst of the action during the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, so my fellow nerds and I were granted VIP wristbands that allowed us entry for the four days we were in town.

Being at the house made for an interesting anthropological study. For example, I could tell just by looking around that most of the people there didn’t have kids … because it quite clearly was extremely important to some of these individuals to have gotten on the guest list, and to be seen there, and to schmooze with the other cool kids … whereas it was very important to my cohorts and I to get free alcohol.

The open bar was actually the second item on my two-item list of reasons why I was looking forward to getting back to the house this year. The first was the prospect of jamming out on “Guitar Hero,” which I played for the first time while at the party house during last year’s festival. At that time, the Wii was connected to an enormous flatscreen television that hung over a fireplace, and we played along to tunes that were cranked out of a sweet-sounding stereo system.

This year, the good folks at Nintendo apparently were invited to bitch the whole thing up by placing three tiny Wii kiosks in a little room at the back of the house, and the one time I tried to come to terms with the comparative lameness of the whole situation, the two used-car-salesman-like Nintendo promotions folks didn’t feel like switching one of the kiosks into “Guitar Hero” mode. I assume this was because it ensured that less people would be interested in playing at the kiosks, which made it easier for the Nintendo schlubs to pull the plugs before the clock had even struck 8 p.m. and spend the rest of the night helping themselves to some free booze while they tried to network their way out of the Nintendo promotions department.

Oh, but, yeah: the picture. These balls were hanging from the ceiling in the room where last year the “Guitar Hero” fun and good times reigned supreme. Balls indeed.

(Taken with my super-lame point-and-shoot camera, because getting a full-on SLR into some of the music showcases is a hassle, so I left it home.)

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