Tuesday March 16th [with side comments added the following Friday afternoon]
Afternoon – At the Austin Airport, waiting for the first leg of my flights home.
I made it to one panel yesterday – besides my own, that is – and enjoyed it: “CSS:The Good, The Bad & The Ugly”. I took some notes but they’re in the bag I checked, so details will have to wait. After that I went back to my room, checked work email, finished my preparations for my panel, had a quick lunch and then dashed back across the street to hang out in the green room to meet my panelists. The panel went fine and, though I had a little worry due to lost communication and my mobile phone not having any network communication for the last day or two, all my panelists were there and helped make it a good session.
Having survived that, I scurried up to Lovejoy’s to find the Webmonkey Wake. When I got there, I couldn’t find the group, so I headed on to the lovely Club de Ville for the Blogger party, which comes in a close second to Break Bread With Brad for best party of the festival. Things to sit on, good snacks and music not so loud as to prevent conversation are the key ingredients in my book. I had a great time talking to Jim Styn and Teresa from Voter Virgin, plus lots of other short little chats with other folks. Also had the pleasure of giving Dave Shea a drink, admittedly a free drink which had been brought to me in error, but in any case a sincere token of my esteem for his fine work on CSS Zen Garden.
When thunder began to threaten to make the outdoor party a shower, a group of us including Tantek and Photo Matt went to La Zona Rosa. We arrived too late for 20×2 unfortunately – too many good things going on at once! – but I did get to hear a little bit of the band and hang out with the DFW Bloggers gang. Amazingly, the rain didn’t start for an hour or so, though it always seemed on the verge. Just when it was clear it was really going to start in earnest soon, Matt and I decided to head over to the Omni Hotel lounge and see what was happening there. It really started to pour and we had an exciting silly adventure taking advantage of what cover we could find from awnings and doorways, wrestling with Matt’s umbrella’s desire to become an allerbmu, and the occasionally horizontal rain. We got damp and giggly and it was totally fun. The thunder and lightning added to our enjoyment.
Soggy, we eventually arrived at Paradise Lounge (the Omni having been vetoed as “totally dead” according to reports). Matt couldn’t get in without ID so we went up the street and found a cool pool bar and hung out there for the rest of the evening. Matt got pool lessons from the bar manager and I got the worst martini ever made. (Don’t order anything but beer, straight whiskey and margaritas in Austin is something I really need to remember next year. Not that I’ll drink the beer, but it’s a useful summation for others, I think).
There was a bit more hanging out in the Hilton lobby then I went up to my room to wind down, pack up and eventually sleep.
This morning I did not have the lazy sleeping in my body wanted, but I did manage to wake up in time to touch bases with folks back at work, confirm I had gotten all my things together and that my flight was still scheduled on time, before heading over to the convention center to meet a good crowd of folks – including one of my panelists and my old pal David Weinberger – for lunch. I didn’t get my usual Guero’s lunch & margaritas with Brad, but I did have really excellent spicy lemongrass tofu at Mekong River (which used to be called Cong Ly and was one of my favorite places for lunch the last SXSW I was at. It’s good and cheap!)
I got to give more goodbye hugs to my pals since there were about 50 SXSWi folks dining there before sharing a cab to the airport with Liz (from my panel).
So here I am, wishing I was staying one more day, but I’ve spent all I can. It’s a double-rent month thanks to four days at the new Hilton, but it was worth it. My room was nice and, for the schedule I was keeping, quiet enough. The staff were friendly and helpful. None of the decor gave me nightmares (though I did have a sexy dream about one of my SXSW flirt buddies. Given the exceeding deliciousness of the people I was hanging out with, I’m kind of surprised I only had (or remembered) one racy dream; I had plenty of good fantasy fodder). [And now, 3 days later, I can’t for the life of me remember the dream or who was in it. Romance is fleeting, apparently.]
So I’m going home. I’ll have 3 workdays where I don’t have to go to work and then a weekend. It will all be over too soon, I know.
I already have dinner planned with my friends who got married last week [had to cancel due to water heater explosion] and another dinner with my other friends who’ll be getting married this fall [still on, so far as I know]. I was going to have a date this weekend, but I have a gut feeling that’s gonna turn into a friendly hanging out or I’ll be going alone [or missing the show since it turns out to be at 10pm on Sunday night]. I might go to MOMA. I might go shoe shopping. I will probably go see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind when it opens; I like the premise a lot. [I have done none of these things, but I have had a restful time at home.]
Once again SXSW has reaffirmed my belief that the world and the Web is full of good, creative, fascinating people. I have lots of URLs to visit and panel notes to read and pictures to flip through. I have my own posts to add links & photos to and increased interest in working on my own site.
It’s good; it really is all good. And it isn’t enough to keep me from wishing I had all this and someone with his sweet arms around me and his lips on mine. [Who needs a secure signature file, now you know it’s a Dinah post.]