SXSW notes 2002
I just found this on my pda. Gotta remember to post this stuff right away next time.
Got up at 4am to drive to SoftDevices to meet Kristin, Jessa and Jish. My co-worker, Bob, graciously met us there and got us to the airport about 6am. My flight left at 7:15am, direct to Austin and the others flew out about 7:45am to arrive mid-afternoon.
Even though I'm writing this during the flight home, I can't really say the similar environment is prompting much memory of the trip. There was no food service, just some granola and beverages. I think I mostly just spaced out, not quite sleeping, but certainly not quite awake. On these flights, it is my habit to drink hot water with a bit of lemon in it in order to keep myself hydrated and my sinuses from feeling dessicated. If that gets boring, then I spice things up with Bloody Mary mix. Do not drink alcohol on planes; you'll arrive dehydrated & headachy. Far better to go to a good bar after dumping your bags at the hotel.
Since I arrived at 12:30pm local time and there were no other SXSWers around, I decided to just take the bus into town. 50 cents is a hard price to argue with. I had just missed the direct bus, but one with an easy transfer soon came along. I spent 10 or 15 minutes waiting at Austin Community College for the second leg of the trip and would have totalled less time on the bus than waiting for it, but for an untimely accident on the road we were using. We stopped behind some other cars whose way was blocked by a police car. After a moment, someone on the bus noticed an odd thing visible behind the flashing lights atop the car: tires. Apparently someone had hit a slick spot on the road in the very very light drizzle and managed to flip completely upside-down. After a few minutes of waiting, we were routed around on the right and saw that the folks on the scene had flipped the vehicle - a large SUV of some ilk - back onto its wheels. There was no ambulance and, surprisingly, a woman, who from her proprietary attitude in checking through the windows for objects loose in the SUV I assume to have been the driver, was walking about with no sign of injury or even distress. I guess those things really are tanks.
I had misread the map, so rather than my bus coming through downtown first near my hotel, I recognized the Convention Center ahead and was let out right at the door. Since registration would only be busier later, I rolled my bag (a great carry-on borrowed from my friend Fil) right on in.
I can't say I was looking my best when I encountered my first group of friends - Dinah is not a morning person - but they recognized me and seemed patient with my obvious fatigue. If memory serves, I saw Jay and James there. Oh, and Lane and Courtney. Um, and probably some other folks too. I zombied my way through badge photos and picking up my bags o' swag (both an Interactive and a Film bag this time - hooray for good canvas bags!). James, Jay & I walked up to La Quinta from there - a bit of a longer walk than I was up for, laden as I was with everything I'd need for the week, but I made it.
Here again my memory is blurry. I think I might have taken a nap. Certainly I was relieved to get rid of all those heavy bags and headed out in the early evening in good spirits to Break Bread With Brad at the Iron Cactus. It was another wonderful gathering inspired by the charming Mr. Graham. I think there were at least 50 of us, so I'll be relying on the pictures to remind me of all the fun. I do recall having a lovely time sitting with Meryl, Nick Finck, Thomas Vander Wal, James McNally and Ben & Mena Trott. Joey Tio was there, brought by Jish, I think, and was, as usual, partying with great enthusiasm. Then again, who are we to point fingers. We all drank our share of margaritas, flirted shamelessly, stayed up too late and made monkeys of ourselves. That, my friends, is what SXSW is largely about and hooray for that!
Once everyone had eaten & consumed their first drink or two of the evening, many of us made our way over to Polyester's for karaoke on the back patio. Now this really deserves not just pictures, but movies. I hope fervently that Mena's cutest-girl-in-the-world performance of "Stand By Your Man" and Ernie's jaw-dropping rendition of "Oops, I Did It Again" (complete with choreography) were recorded for posterity. I also fervently hope (as, no doubt, does my audience) that my debut karaoke performance of Mama Cass's "Make Your Own Kind Of Music" was not. Ouch. High & flat are not normally adjectives applied to me, but they surely fit then.
Relaxation notwithstanding, it had been a very long day and I was unable to stick around to hear Wes break on through to the other side as he was reported to do later in the evening.
...here the manuscript breaks off...
There is one small problem with that plan... 2002
My big wonderful walk plans are suddenly altered. I just looked at the bottle of the medication I'm taking this week (an antibiotic to clear up a mild infection on my leg) and it says Avoid Prolonged Exposure To Direct Sunlight While Taking This Medication. Bugger.
Well, says I, there are two goals for today: walk a lot and have fun. Where can I do that without getting exposed to a lot of sun? The Exploratorium!. And it's Easter Sunday so it'll just be me and the other secular humanists. Care to join me? I'll be heading over there around noonish. [uh, update, by noonish, I mean, of course, 1:30ish]
Out For A Stroll 2002
I'll be taking a walk tomorrow. My diet has gotten a bit lax and my body is starting to feel mushy now that all the moving and SXSW walking about are done.
Definite stops on tomorrow's journey:
- The Fillmore to buy tickets for next month's Kids in the Hall show (at the Warfield, but you buy the tix at the Fillmore, go figure)
- Green Apple Books to sell off some stuff I no longer need
- (if it's not bitingly cold) parks and seaside, either Golden Gate or Presidio en route to the Pacific
Drop me a note if you want to join me for some or all of my ramble.
Almost 11am now and I'm feeling marginally better. I'll just have another cup of tea and finish this game of Bejeweled, then get on the road. Ye gawds, that must have been one hell of a Mojito...
My Friends Are Beautiful 2002
I just had the kind of evening I moved to San Francisco for. Dinner at Citrus Club with 11 wonderful people, each of whom I would gladly have over & cook dinner for & wind up talking for hours & hours. Then we strolled to Club Deluxe for great cocktails and Tom Jonesing and were joined by half a dozen more fabulous folks. I love my friends.
fun in the Haight with friends 2002
Photo by Bill (Mermaniac).
Easier, cheaper & better, my lily white ass. 2002
I think I'm getting Stalin's mail. Today's spam subject: "This pogram let you investigate Anyone-Anytime!"
Happy Dinah 2002
So, I began my task of making sure all old content is contained in my happy new Moveable Type content management system by opening up Dreamweaver and using its site tool to browse my files on the server (hosted by those fine folks at Hurricane Electric).
First directory: .status. Oh, hey, I haven't checked my referral logs for ages. I'll just take a look.
Surf. Surf. Surf.
Hey! Cool! My Musee Mechanique information is listed in the Librarians' Index to the Internet (and they referred to me as librarian Dinah Sanders, which I think is awful cool bein' as how I don't even have a library job. I'm chuffed; chuffed, I say!)
Y'know, I think those Blogdex referrers are more special now that I've actually met the charming, talented and rather cute Mr. Cameron Marlowe.
Oo, pictures from SXSW and weblogs I haven't checked in on in a while and new friends and and and
oh. Heh. Elapsed time: approx. 1 hour, 45 minutes. Progress towards goal: zippity do dah zippity ay...
Busy Buzzy Week 2002
I've been working a lot of long days lately (Thursday, Monday & today) getting the next version of Central Booking ready for public enjoyment. Fun work except when I'm flyin' a bit too fast & loose and drive the engineer on my team, Emin, nuts by editing things directly on the future production server instead of pulling them down & FTPing edited versions back up. In my defense I will say that I was just making small changes, many of them related to Moveable Type which I only have on the production server.
After spending much of the last two days installing and configuring Moveable Type, I am more in love with it than ever. Ben and Mena have done an outstanding job. For those comfortable with very basic Unix commands (mkdir, chmod) who want a powerful, flexible content management system with a great, adjustable interface and good documentation, this is an ideal solution.
So, it's 10pm. I got home at a little before 9pm, I'm pretty tired, I've been at the computer many hours over the last two days, and what am I thinking? Oh yes, you know it, "Hmm, maybe I'll just upgrade my blogs to MT 2.0..."
Silly Dinah. Maybe I better just finish migrating from Blogger first, eh? Um, or even finish getting all that hand-coded content I created pre-Blogger in here? Heh. Erm. Yes, I'll just go get on it, shall I?
Sunday Night Slump 2002
I have so many things I want to be doing at home to get things cleaned up both on and offline that it's hard not to feel a bit down at the end of the weekend because I've only just scratched the surface. On the bright side, I did get a lot done including my most hated chore: scrubbing the bathroom. Bleah.
Now I need to go do some dishes since I went through a lot cooking a mushroom-barley-thyme soup and vegetable stock at the same time. The soup came out very good though and I did learn a new technique to add more flavor: pan fry some spring onions or shallots in olive oil with chopped up fresh herbs. Really rounds out the flavor of the soup with much more complexity.
Yep. Gotta do some dishes.
Think I'll play a little Bejeweled first though.
Now here's a political speech worth reading 2002
As my uncle Larry pointed out to me, it's interesting that George W. Bush did not want the United States delegates to the International Conference on Financing for Development to hear this speech by Fidel Castro: "A Better World Is Possible".
I do not approve of a president who is afraid to have his people hear opposing opinions. Apparently he has not read the Bill of Rights or believes its ideas should not apply outside of the United States.
Some nice tasty venom 2002
My friend Mike (who I wish would start writing online) just pointed me to a lovely bitchy summation of American political parties. I think the author, John Scalzi, is pretty accurate along with with his snarkiness.
(Mike also pointed me to this account of a guy taking the Navy Seal training which as I read it is making me oh so glad I didn't have to get up at 4:30 this morning and do push-ups).
Pretty Scenery 2002
Ah, it must be spring. Not only are there blossoms on the trees and new green grass everywhere, there are attractive men snoozing on the morning train where they can be admired without the need to pretend not to be gazing at them.
From my vantage point on the upstairs seats I could just see his face from the upper lip down as he leaned against the window on a pillow made of his jacket. Reddish hair (as evidenced by his sideburns), pale skin, light freckles, a fascinating tattoo (is that a ring of dancing bunnies around his arm?) peeking out under the sleeve of his bright orange "i agree with marty" t-shirt, red-framed glasses resting beside a copy of Dorothy Sayers' Murder Must Advertise. Mmm, delicious creature.
He had woken by the time my station came along, so I paused on my way out to say "Pardon my insatiable curiousity, but who is Marty and what are you in agreement about?" It turns out he is Marty and the shirt was a gift from a friend who found it in a thrift store. We expressed our mutual belief that clothing which endorses us is a good thing and that Dorothy Sayers' books are very enjoyable. He said he likes how they are so romantic and then it's "oh and here's a mystery too" almost like an afterthought.
Naturally, I was not wearing my jacket with MetaGrrrl on the back and I neglected to mention my own name. Clearly, I am not much of a strategic thinker when it comes to chatting up cute boys. Ah well, a hopeless romantic as yummy as all that must be taken anyhow, so I'll just get a little vicarious pleasure to perk up my morning. Ah, spring...
Communication Backlog 2002
One side-effect of moving (which I know many of you will be able to identify with since 2002 seems to be Year of the Move) is that lots of small things get set aside for later, After The Move. I have a bunch of receipts, bills, etc. to go through that would be over a foot high if I stacked it and 1001 pieces of email in my inbox - none of which is spam. Oh and another half dozen that need to be answered in my Musee Mechanique email folder. Ah, and my few SXSW pictures to put up.
Forgive me if I haven't gotten back to you yet. I'm digging myself out of this drift.
Good Home Cookin' 2002
I felt the urge for a good warming vegetarian meal tonight. I ate a lot more meat in the last month than I normally would and lots of high fat things, so it's time to mellow out the diet a bit and make my body feel better.
Tonight's meal: Butternut Squash Quorma (squash, onions, garlic, turmeric, a bit of garam masala, salt, pepper & some peas) & Chalau (white rice cooked with cumin and coriander)
This is an Afghan meal and if you've never had Afghan food, I highly recommend finding your local middle eastern restaurant and trying some. Sabsi - a sort of spinach dish reminescent of Indian Saag - is my favorite.
Time to eat!
Modern Times 2002
I just had a wonderful technology-enabled moment: my friend Jay just instant messaged me from the airport in Austin where he's enjoying free wireless internet access. He said "I'm about to board" and I got to wave a virtual handkerchief farewell and see him off as he sets out for half a year in Europe. Keen!
Some People Are Just Plain Worth Your Time 2002
I had a great day with Edmond today. He showed me all his ridiculously, astoundingly lightweight gear for his upcoming epic hike and began teaching me the care & feeding of the Trail-Dwelling Meinfelder bird. I'm gonna have a good time sending him his supplies and hearing his stories trickling in over the summer.
Why are Windows PCs such little tubs of shit? 2002
I am so ready to buy a Mac. All I needed to do tonight after I got home was connect my little flash card reader to my computer and transfer off my pictures from SXSW so I could lend the camera to Edmond. I even have the software disk that came with the damn thing.
I have restarted 5 times. Reinstalled the software 3 times. Still the stupid brick can't see the device.
On a Mac, I would plug the cord in the USB port and it would just work. Don't believe me? Read this account of making the switch from PC to Mac.
My goddamned computer has me practically in tears and using language that would make a sailor blush.
I'm tired & stressed.
I'll probably be broke all summer if not for the rest of the year.
I have $9000 in credit card debt.
No Mac for me. Not these days.
So, universe, how about if this piece of shit computer would just work how it's supposed to, huh?
I love public transit. 2002
Yesterday I left my company car at work and rode the train home. It was fantastic. I spent the time reading through the SF Weekly and noting in my planner* events & exhibits I'd like to see. Very relaxing. My bus ride home was easy and I had a friendly chat with George, a 1971 graduate of Humboldt University, I think in Computer Science, who is currently living a rough life, mostly on the street. Despite being on the way to the clinic to have his face treated from having been "sucka punched", he was cheerful, funny and upbeat. "I've been through some stuff, but it keeps life interesting!"
This morning I walked the few blocks over to Van Ness in the lovely sunshine and caught a bus that came within a minute of reaching the stop. The bus developed a problem with leaking refrigerant and when someone pointed it out to the driver, in the next block he rolled down his window and called across to a Muni person sitting in her truck. About 5 minutes down the route, another bus pulled in behind us and our driver said "Okay folks, my bus has a problem. Just change to the bus behind me." We all trooped off the first and onto the second which continued the route. Total time lost: less than 1 minute. Rock on, Muni!
I walked off the bus, across the street and onto the train. Total elapsed time from my house? About 15 or 20 minutes. Once on the train, I took an upstairs seat and settled in with my bag** as a desk. En route, in the morning sun, I added into my planner all the contact information from the business cards I collected at SXSW. At my station, I walked off the train and onto a free shuttle which dropped me off a couple blocks from my office in Santa Clara. During the ride & the walk, I took care of a tedious phone task: calling PacBell to have an old bill discrepancy cleared up.
So I arrived at work relaxed and with some silly little busywork chores out of the way, having enjoyed sunshine & smiles from the drivers & conductors along the way. Ahhhh... much better than driving.
*I use Life Balance and Datebook+ on the Palm OS (Handspring Prism hardware).
**The Clive Traffic is my bag of choice. Comfortable, with a wide strap across the chest. Convenient, with a clip to unhook the strap so you can pass it around your body & reclip to provide a secure work surface (the back of the bag) in your lap while riding the train. Note: move your mobile phone from the strap pocket to the side-of-bag pocket so you don't have a lump behind you.
oh, um, yes, I'm back. 2002
Kind of funny that there's more evidence of my return in my comments in everyone else's blogs than there is here. Just one more sign that SXSW gets our minds on our friends & the community and off ourselves. Navel gazing will no doubt resume eventually.
back in San Francisco 2002
[Probably sometime in March; guessing 2002 because Joey has an argyle sweater]
at the movies 2002
[date uncertain; placed in 2002 (rather than 2001) because it looks like he's got the little argyle sweater on]
Last Day in Austin 2002
Photos from Brad.
At SXSW 2002
Hi! Yes, I'm alive. Having a good time, staying up too late, eating yummy things, getting lots & lots of hugs from dear friends I don't get to see often enough, meeting new people, getting charged up, getting new ideas. So much to tell about, really too much. Highlights: - Ernie from Little, Yellow, Different singing "Oops I Did It Again" complete with dance moves. Ernie rocks my world. - Seeing the world premiere of "Gigantic", the new documentary about They Might Be Giants. Recommended! - Sitting at a table at the Magnolia Cafe at 1:30 in the morning with Halcyon, Miss M. and Justin Hall talking about (what else?) sex. - Hangin' wit Joey Tio, the Uncle's Monkey. - Sharing a room with the totally cool Shannon and Jay. - Listening to my body and sleeping in. - Supporting the fine businesses of Austin, especially the nice folks at The Hideout coffeehouse & theater. - Seeing the amazing Alamo Theatre where you can actually order good food & drink from your seat. (Note to self: try Rosemount Shiraz wine again). - Sittin' on the floor in the halls playin' Fluxx with whoever Shannon & I could round up at the moment. - The sublimely wonderful, sweet, smart, fun to be with Mena & Ben Trott. (Mena singing "Stand By Your Man" while Ben took pictures brought tears to my eyes and then she won (she won!) the Best Weblog award!) - Sitting with the Webvixens at the awards ceremony. - Walkin' in Austin. - Cheering kickball (Anil rules!) um, gee, I guess I better let someone else use this free internet access. More upon my return.