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Posted on March 29, 2004 at 09:21 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

Good Weekend 2004

It's been a great weekend so far. Friday night started well when I met my housemate Chris at the Metreon and saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which we both liked a lot. After the movie I went to Toronado's in the lower Haight and ate some pizza from the weird pizza place next door while my friends & their friends (Esin, ?Trish?, Esin's fiance whose name I really should remember but don't, Kristin, Joey, Jessa) drank beer. The pizza place was doing the worst marketing move I've seen yet in a restaurant: they had the tv where you stand and wait for your order tuned to the pet surgery channel. I was concentrating so hard on not looking at the screen and not imagining what the vet was describing that I completely failed to see Kristin and Joey had come into the tiny place right behind me. I fled as fast as I could and ate my slice back in the bar.

Once Suzan, Kevin and Min Jung showed up, the group migrated to The Top which is a swell little bar. Great physical space, good music. Unfortunately, really evil well liquor and bartenders whose idea of a gin & tonic is 4 parts gin to one part tonic. Ugh. I think I'll order whiskey there next time or bring enough money that I can call my drinks & stay away from their headache inducing well liquor. Despite that, though, I had a really fun time talking with folks and getting lots of nice hugs.

I walked home, drinking water on the way and hoping the fresh air and exercise would help fend off a hangover. Another glass of water at home and staying up a little later to answer email did seem to help make me slighly less pained in the morning. I woke up at 9 something, had a glass of water, thought I might get up and then fell asleep for another two hours. That meant I missed most of Heather & Derek's brunch, but I was able to get there in time to participate in the memorial service for the late great Tigger.

It was a sad occasion but brightened by people's fond memories, the beautiful location in Buena Vista park and the loving attention of Chieka, Bug, and the other attending dogs. At the end I was ready to be alone for a while, so I walked down through the park to Haight Street and slowly puttered along all afternoon, shopping. I was enjoying a rare clothes-trying-on-tolerant mood so I did actually end up with some nice new things to wear instead of just a new CD (Jump, Little Children's Magazine which rocks my socks right off). I had late lunch/early dinner (first dinner?) at Citrus Club. Mm, asparagus special.

When I got home I was tired and sweaty, but cheerful. I took a shower and have spend the rest of the evening in my feety pajamas puttering around online, looking at people's SXSW pictures and making an extremely token pass at working on entering my receipts in Quicken. Cooked some dinner around 9 or 10. Enjoyed listening to Van Halen's first album which Chris brought home this evening. Totally metal, man!

Now, somehow, without feeling like I was spending much time on anything, it's after midnight. Bed time.

Posted on March 28, 2004 at 12:12 AM in friends & family | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Power of Lutefisk - An oldie but a goodie. I had totally forgotten this was by Clay Shirky.

Posted on March 27, 2004 at 05:41 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

Posted on March 26, 2004 at 09:38 PM in Current Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Recommended: Skin Deep at Varnish Gallery 2004

I went to a very cool show this evening in a nice little gallery space on Natoma between the transbay bus terminal and SF MOMA. Fun artwork by some sassy women. I initially went because I got introduced to Isabel Samaras' art by some folks on Flickr. It was great to see her stuff in person, especially the newest piece "The Lily" which shows Herman Munster leaving a tattoo parlor with a new picture of Lily in a lily on his chest. His shy, proud smile is just great and I love how Isabel signed her name on the piece by having it written on a piece of paper in his pocket. It's worth stopping by Varnish just to see that one alone, but you can also have a good glass of wine and enjoy all the other great art.

I wound up hanging out for a little while with Andrea Tucker who has fun paintings of freaks, but my favorite piece she had there was a little book called "i Had a Monster" which is all beautifully inked pictures of a woman dealing with her demon. Brilliant stuff. Fortunately she had copies for sale, so I now have one of my very own.

I also met Sharon Leong who has the big piece at the front of the gallery, but my favorite one of hers was one in the back called "Shoe Disorders".

Also featured in the show:
Annette Hassell - "Hoodoo Consults the Oracles" was my favorite of hers. Don't miss the way she decorates the edges of some of her pictures.

Sunny Buick - the untitled one with the fish (at the back of the bar) was the one I liked best from her.

Kirsten Easthope who does this fabulous glossy pin-up girls painted on bowling pins. I was torn between "Strip-o-Rama" and "Cocktail", but "Fun Fur" was pretty cool too.

Posted on March 25, 2004 at 10:22 PM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (1)

Morning, on the bus 2004

San Franciscans are fascinating to watch. Perhaps all big, liberal cities are as good for people watching.

One thing about a regular commute is the way you come to recognize fellow travellers. The impeccably dressed young man with a taste for fine literature. The hipster girls, somewhere between Sex & The City and the Haight Street thrift stores. The artists, doodling in their sketchbooks. The snoozers catching just a few more minutes, hats pulled low over their eyes. The comfort kings & queens with their newspapers, coffee and whatever else they need to have a relaxing morning. Almost always one painfully cute person to admire (purple shoes! swoon!) and me, typing with my thumbs.

Posted on March 25, 2004 at 08:45 AM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (3)

Dream this morning 2004

I am at a bus stop or above-ground Muni station. I think there was more dream before this involving walking down from the hills (Twin Peaks?) but it faded as I woke. There is a woman waiting at the stop, tall black chick in a black down jacket. She looks like one of those tough, streetwise, low income folks you see down by 16th & Mission. A man (played by Mike who I saw at SXSW but don't know and didn't speak to) is talking to her in a soft, friendly voice, confirming something, having her open her coat. She is confident and proud, not resentful. I think perhaps she had her baby with her and he was some sort of social worker.

The dream skips and the woman becomes paler, shorter, the jacket and baby disappear and now I know her to be (ah, how we just know things in dreams!) more of a student/"starving" artist type. Someone is telling me that a guy in our social circle is seeing her (mental image of a guy who looks like an amalgam of Patrick Farley and Matt Mullenweg). He's saying "...but he's posting all this detail about it, what they do sexually, things like that..." and I'm reacting with laughing alarm. Meanwhile I'm looking at her site. My view pulls back and the site is on a screen hanging from the ceiling of the space I'm in. It's sort of like a an old-fashioned train dining car with booths along the windows and a row of small tables down the center. Imagine a combination of the Magnolia Cafe and an F-line trolley car. I'm on one side and standing & working his way along the aisle on the other side is Jeff Veen. I can see him clearly and the faces of the people (including Mike) sitting in one booth he's almost at, but everyone else in the crowded space is just a dark silhouette. He's continuing to talk, but now he's saying, apparently in reaction to something I've said about the interface I'm working with "...yeah, I don't recommend the [forgotten name, don't think it was one I've heard of now] browser anymore...". My sense is that we were lamenting how that software for the Mac was just not reliable enough to compete.

Now I'm at work and I can't remember if the dream went on from there or if that's when I woke up. In any case, I believe the whole scene in the train car was a chat interface and that this might be my first dream in which I've been in both a physical & virtual space simultaneously.

Posted on March 23, 2004 at 09:51 AM in creativity | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to build a crappy evening 2004

1) Don't check personal email before leaving work and fail to see invite to gathering tonight of people you really really like until it's half over.

2) Waffle for a while about paying for a cab when you might get there and find everyone was ready to leave.

3) When you do decide to go anyway, walk down your steep hill a few blocks and realize just as you get within hailing distance of empty cabs that your wallet is back at home.

4) Climb back up the hill and fail to reach any of your cool friends on their mobile phones to confirm that they're still up for hanging out and having fun.

5) Mope in front of your computer.

6) Check email and get nothing but spam.

How to turn around a crappy evening:

1) Receive spam with subject "cancelled guignol".

2) Chat with one of your bestest pals.

3) Eat Scharffenberger chocolate.

4) Listen to the soundtrack to Triplets of Belleville.

5) Let bestest pal connect you up with more of your pals in goofy new chat interface.

Posted on March 22, 2004 at 09:37 PM in worry vs. clarity | Permalink | Comments (0)

End of Laziness 2004

My vacation this past week turned out to be kind of a break from new content on the site apart from my SXSW reports. And I celebrated Discardia this weekend by discarding the notion that its creator has to acknowledge it at all (though I did discard my old PDA to a teacher friend of mine - my token effort to offset school funding cuts).

Now I'm back to work. My computer started my day reporting "Downloading 1 of 860 messages" when I opened my email program. I'm making surprisingly good headway against them. Got through the first pass on everything and now have my inbox down to 123 messages left to work through, about 75 of which predate my trip. Not too bad for the first half of the first day back.

Astoundingly enough, I haven't lost the relaxed feeling yet, thus, maybe I'll blog more later and maybe I won't. I did manage to put up a nice new picture of me down there in the sidebar, though. (Thanks, Heather!)

Posted on March 22, 2004 at 01:06 PM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (0)

All my favorite people are in this box. 2004


Sam Brown picture that came through with black background after uploading. Wacky!


(Shared on Flickr on this date.)

Posted on March 20, 2004 at 09:01 PM in The Web | Permalink | Comments (0)

Posted on March 20, 2004 at 11:48 AM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (0)

Straights working to win legal rights for gay couples - Yay, Derek! Don't miss the nice picture of him with the Justly Married poster.

Posted on March 20, 2004 at 11:30 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dinah at Blue 2004


taken by Heather Champ

Posted on March 19, 2004 at 08:00 PM in Dinah - introduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

SXSW 04: Thoughts on the way home 2004

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 20x2 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.]

Posted on March 19, 2004 at 01:01 PM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (2)

He is so dreamy, indeed 2004

Eric Meyer captured this great moment of Min Jung and I separately spotting Scott walking up the hall (I'd been watching for him and hadn't managed to find him until this moment) and then rushing into his arms squealing with delight:


Posted on March 18, 2004 at 04:48 PM in friends & family, music, SXSW | Permalink | Comments (0)

SXSW 04: Notes for my panel, "Streetwise Librarians and the Revolution in Public Information" 2004

Panel: Cindy Hill from Sun, Tanya Rabourn from Columbia University, Liz Lawley from Rochester Institute of Technology, Jon Udell from Infoworld and moderated by me.
Monday March 15th, 5pm

Here's my notes on what I planned to say:

Welcome to Streetwise Librarians and the Revolution in Public Information. Many people now know that librarians are not the old stereotype of the "shushing bunster". In fact when I told one gentleman whom I respect highly which panel I was moderating, his first reaction was "Mmm, librarians. I need to find myself a hot librarian." So though people know some of the important qualities of the profession - integrity, discernment, respect for privacy, hotness - many are still unfamiliar with the work we do now.

We believe that understanding what those trained in library and information science do can help others in the interactive community work in partnership with us to reach a broader audience, particularly those who might not otherwise be reached. Who knows, you may get inspired to go to library school yourself.

Our panel today represents some of the spectrum of librarianship and a non-librarian who is creating bridges from the rest of the web world to libraries. My name is Dinah Sanders and I am the product manager for one of the world's the worldest most popular online library catalog solutions. For those who aren't familiar with the term, online catalogs are the web sites where all the work done by librarians in the background to identify and describe resources comes together with making them accessible to the library's patrons. If you've ever looked up a book on the web and made a hold request, or renewed a book online, you've used a product like the one I work on.

Elizabeth Lawley is currently a professor of Information Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, she worked as a librarian in the Library of Congress in a not-so-past life. Liz, could you talk for a couple minutes about your work and projects?...

Tanya Rabourn graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1996 with a Masters in Library and Information Science specializing in digital resources and rare book librarianship. She has worked on several digital library projects with a number of research institutions including Columbia University and The New York Public Library. She is currently an Information Architect with MetLife. Tanya, how does being a librarian fit in with being an information architect?...

Representing special libraries, we have Cynthia Hill. She manages access to information and content via SunLibrary for Sun Microsystems, Inc. She also teaches Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. Cindy, tell us about being the librarian for a high tech company like Sun...

Jon Udell is an author, information architect, software developer and groupware evangelist. He was BYTE Magazine's editor-at-large, executive editor and web maven and he is currently lead analyst at InfoWorld. So where's the library in all that? Well, one of the very cool projects Jon did was a bookmarklet (or favelet, I am learning to say) called "Library Lookup". Jon, tell us about that project and your connection to libraries...

Thank you all. As you can see, librarianship covers a wide range of activies. Now I'd like to turn to the main question for our panel "How do you use the power of the network to create connections between resources which are inside libraries and those beyond?"...

One more question for the panel and then we'll open up the floor:
There have been some interesting developments in different parts of the world which relate to freedom of information and the average person's relationship with knowledge & learning.
Britain now has the goal of rapidly becoming the world's leading knowledge economy and is executing enormous projects to educate the entire population. In the United States privacy and freedom of access are hot issues in the face of the Patriot Act and other political changes. Could you each talk a little bit about how you view the future of librarianship and public use of information?...

Who has questions for us? Come on, we're librarians; we know how to find answers...

From the attendees perspective, you can read David Weinberger's notes on the session.

And found via the trackbacks to David's post, here's Jenny reacting to the panel via the discussion in her social network.


Oh and I just found some notes I scribbled down during the panel:

Liz: "Most people don't want to organize info, they want to create."

Libraries as Switzerland

Annotation as an overlay

Posted on March 17, 2004 at 05:45 PM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (2)

SXSW 04: Panel notes for "Wireless Future Scenarios" 2004

Panel: David Isenberg of The SMART Letter and Derek Woodgate of The Futures Lab
Sunday March 14th

This was a rather dry panel and could have done with a little bit of introductory framework. Also they used some videos to try to get part of the message across, but they did not add value to the presentation - just bullet points with music & animation, no additional insight. If they were going to re-work it, I'd recommend transforming it into more of a roundtable discussion; since it's all speculation, get the audience involved in the speculating earlier in the session.



if you have the choice to do something in the middle or at the edge, do edge. = end-to-end principle.

Googan: the perfect network is perfectly income repellent (cited by isenberg & weinberger)
[They talked a lot about the conflict between consumer desire and current business models]

talking about rethinking the natural monopoly, what if the base layer was a utility? [I thought: and what if the library ran it?]

evaluating possibilities: function, benefits, drivers, delivery

any time, any place, any device

Posted on March 17, 2004 at 03:58 PM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (0)

SXSW 04: Keynote with Eli and Zack from Moveon.org 2004

Sunday March 14th

It was a really good keynote, but I didn't take notes.

Molly Ivins introduced them and said that bad information "poisons the well of public debate", which seems like a good argument for getting more librarians involved in identifying good resouces. It may be time to do a joint project with Google and a bunch of library organizations.

They gave someone one minute of their keynote and it was an ideal choice. Teresa from Voter Virgin gave a great presentation. Check out her project, it's a very cool way to get more people interested in civic participation.

Posted on March 17, 2004 at 03:47 PM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (0)

SXSW 04: Panel notes for "CSS: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" 2004

Panel: Brian Alvey of Weblogs Inc, Kimberly Blessing of AOL, Doug Bowman of Stop Design, Eric Meyer and moderated by Tantek Çelik
Monday, March 15th


The Good:
Tantek: Start paying attention to CSS 2.1 Candidate Recommendation instead of CSS 2.0.

Tantek's slides for his great presentation:

- avoid hacks
- fewer is better
- further from content is better
--- clean content
--- clean style sheet
--- import style sheet with the hack

There are some great bookmarklets (a.k.a. favelets) out there to make your testing easier. Eric showed off some I really liked for adding styled borders to the tables and highlighting images without alt tags and things like that. Unfortunately, he didn't say or I didn't catch where he got them. They don't seem to be on his CSS reference page or part of Tantek's Favelet's page. Anyone know? (Yes, they're probably something I could figure out after a while how to make, but it'd be nice to have these examples I want to use to improve my CSS and then I can figure out how to do favelets for style changes later).

Someone, Eric or Brian I think, gave some nice examples of bad use of styles in lists where each entry in an unordered list with class="foo" has a class="bar" in its LI tag. You could just do
ul#foo li {style rules}
instead of having a "bar" style defined and having to declare the style in all those tags.

Someone said to assume that display:none will cause that element not to be read by many if not most screen readers. This makes Fahner Image Replacement a non-accessible solution.

Kimberly showed some very interesting things they're doing at AOL to make it easier for staff adding new content to insert it into the design without having to understand how to write clean CSS. She showed a very stylized grid of possible positions and sizes for content in the basic page layouts. Selection of a position seems to bring up an input box for the information (headline, image, main text, links for further info) which is then put into the template. Very clean and produces very consistent look & feel with a variety of folks doing the actual input. It reminds me of a more sophisticated version of the administrative interface SoftDevices made for Kevin Smokler's Central Booking site.

See also the much better notes from Matt May which were helpful to me in sorting out who said what in my brief notes.

Posted on March 17, 2004 at 03:27 PM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (0)

SXSW 04: Notes from panel "Accessibility Is For Everybody" 2004

Panel: Wendy Chisholm of the W3C, Dr. John Slatin of University of Texas, Jeff Veen of Adaptive Path, and Sharron Rush of Knowbility moderating.
Saturday, March 13th

[keyboard shortcut] access keys need consistency and need not to steal existing ones (recommend using 0-9 instead of alpha characters)

read article "Art of Alt"

wgbh has examples of inserted descriptive commentary in video

[Veen showed examples of sites making use of CSS]
wired news
view these with and without css [there are nice bookmarklets (a.k.a. favelets) to easily turn on and off CSS. I need to track one of these down. Probably via Doug Bowman or Tantek]
in newer and older browsers
and visit veen.com for these & other interesting examples

prioritizing incremental change:
home page navigation
most common tasks
test and find what are current problems (then prioritize those and grab low hanging fruit)
put good stuff into templates (and fix errors in templates)


Chisholm: simple way to [do a very rudimentary] test: just don't use your mouse

read new draft of next WCAG guidelines

freedomscientific.com - JAWS [accessible browser software which is expensive, but which you can get a sample of]

frames must have title labels which are meaningful to humans
and skip links to jump between frames

Posted on March 17, 2004 at 01:51 PM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (0)

Another SXSW Almost Over For Me 2004

I got too busy to write so I guess summaries of the rest of my time in Austin will have to be written from San Francisco when I get home.

My panel went well and I'm very grateful to my panelists and the audience.

The parties tonight were fun.

Had a great time hanging out with new friends. Many good hugs and kind words. And witty repartee too!

Heard a fun band called From Bubblegum To Sky.

Stayed up way too late (after 4am local time and I still need to pack and shower, so I can check out tomorrow).

Want to try to make it to an 11:30am panel. Will see how well I do. Since checkout time is noon, I guess I'll have to be up and about anyhow.

Am looking forward to being in a city where the bartenders know how to make cocktails. (Partial exception and "best back bar in Austin" award to the Club de Ville).

Am looking forward to getting back on a normal sleep schedule (except for some nice sleeping in to make up for last night and tonight).

Best time of SXSW so far? Racing through the rain from La Zona Rosa to Paradise Lounge with Photo Matt with thunder and lightning above.

My shoes are still wet after hanging out for hours in a really nice bar [what was the name of that place? they deserve people's business.] and in the Hilton lobby and here in my room. Totally worth the adventure.

Posted on March 16, 2004 at 02:24 AM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (1)

James and his fancy shirt 2004

The Consolation Champ himself at SXSW 2004. (Not sure which day this photo is actually from.)

Posted on March 15, 2004 at 12:00 PM in friends & family, SXSW | Permalink | Comments (0)

SXSW 04: The rest of day 2 2004

Raw facts of the day, probably maybe to be filled in with links & pictures later:

Put on my swell new scarf that Judith made me and headed out. I made it to the kickball game and got to see some good plays. Sorry I didn't get to hang out longer. Ari Brown gave me water and thus helped my day go better. I said Hi to lots of folks and then walked over to registration with Colin Mutchler. After getting rid a bunch of our bag goods (mostly ads and heavy magazines hitting the trash), we walked up to 6th Street and had Mexican food for lunch. I searched for an ATM unsuccessfully as he headed back to the convention center.

I hung out in the halls before & after a session on Accessibility and visited with more folks. I saw Jen's new baby Arlo who's a cutie. She looks just great as always. Got some nice big hugs from Justin who was looking good too. Never noticed before what great skin he has. He was wearing a great shirt that said "Made in Vagina". Met and re-met a lot of people. Stopped by the hotel to see if my pink jacket was back from the cleaners, but no such luck. Walked over to the party at Lucky Lounge during which it began raining. Very crowded and noisy, but nice to see more folks there including Pableaux and Randall. More lovely hugs from Heather and Steve. And then I realized that somewhere along the way I had lost the lovely new scarf. Felt like the biggest dork on the planet. To help console me Steve gave me a small figure who I choose to interpret as a sushi chef, but more likely he's supposed to be some kind of karate guy.

Had dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse with seven delightful men. No, I was not suffering. Very nice quality lads they are. Let's see if the drinks I had haven't blurred my thinking too much to remember: Andrew, Shaun, Jared, Ryan, Jish (a.k.a. Alphonso), Wes, and Michael? Matt? drat. [It was Michael; Matt and I hung out later} The folks I was talking to later have gotten me all confused. I'll kick myself once the aphasia wears off, I just know it. The Fruit Basket of Damocles was discussed. The waitress Patty loves the song "Freebird". (Why can I remember the name of the waitress and not the people I was eating with? jeez my brain functions oddly when alcohol is applied). I had the Tiliapia with the sauce on the side and it was incredibly good.

After dinner we walked up to the Frog Design party. It was very very loud and crowded. I think I would have preferred a quieter party during which we actually got the chance to design some frogs instead of it just being the name of the company. More fun hanging out laughing with pleasant folks while we debated where to go next and how to get there. We ended up taking cabs out to the Book Punk X event. Got there half an hour early and enjoyed sitting down while we had more wine & beer. It was a nice small bar but the mood was a little odd since the bar tv was showing Requiem For A Dream. I liked the first reading but then the band came on and it was too noisy to be worth putting up with the increasingly smoky atmosphere, so I took a cab back to my hotel. On the way back in I asked if they'd found my scarf, but they hadn't.

Gloomily, I took the elevator up to my floor, walked down the long hall and then, there on my door, tied around the handle, The Scarf!!! Hooray! I'm greatly relieved. [It turns out that sweet Justin found it at the conference center (I think), remembered where I was staying and walked it over to return it. What a pal!] And then I had a message that housekeeping had my coat back even though I didn't expect it until Monday. While I waited for them to bring it by, I checked email and among all the spam had a nice long real letter. Then while I was replying to it, the jacket was delivered and they'd done a great job, all the stickiness gone and only a couple small blue marks. I can work around that. Such a relief that the jacket wasn't ruined!

My mood much improved, I walked over to the bar at the Omni Hotel where my crowd is prone to gather in the evenings barring other plans. On my way out I visited with the little triumvirate of Tantek, Doug and Eric who were gathered in the lobby here, plottin' and plannin' on their laptops and enjoying the big red leather chairs. At the Omni I got in a bit more visiting, marvelled at the lameness of a couple of drunk dudes at the bar and then walked back to my hotel with Kevin and Dave (whose name I've been having the hardest time getting to stick; I think it's because he seems much too interesting and complex to have an ordinary name like Dave). The Triumvirate were still comfortably established in the corner of the lobby and we stopped to chat with them. Photo Matt joined us and the others tried to get him to tell some embarrassing story which he was refusing to do. Though I was enjoying how good he looks blushing, I decided to make my exit and leave them to the boy talk.

Now I'm back in my room, reading email, planning to take a bath before bed and deciding that though there are good panels, I'm probably going to sleep in again tomorrow.

An amusement among my junk mail is something which I suspect is only supposed to go to cats and that I got by accident; subject line: "shed while you sleep".


Now it's later. 1:10am California time and that means I'm definitely not going to the 10am Austin time morning panel. Off to bed with no intention of setting an alarm clock.

Posted on March 14, 2004 at 12:27 AM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (4)

Fray Cafe 2004

Photo by Wes.

7627034_bcb9ca7f54_o Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 5.59.01 PM

[He'd been shaved for a short film since the conference started and was having a lot of fun with it.]

Posted on March 13, 2004 at 12:00 PM in friends & family, SXSW | Permalink | Comments (0)

SXSW 04: The first 24 hours 2004

Friday midday - In the air between SF and LA

Totally blew it and left the house when I should have been arriving at the airport. Perhaps my body is so opposed to getting up at 5am that it blocks me from setting the alarm correctly. I took the F-line trolley car and a SamTrans bus to the airport, blithely unaware. Once at the airport I realized my miscalcation. A kind woman in the long checkin line reminded me of self-checkin and with a little additional help from the staff over there (where my reservation wasn't recognized at first) I got my boarding passes 20 minutes before flight time.The only problem was I was carrying 3 bags and you're only allowed 2 carryon items. Fortunately, I have a soft suitcase and I had packed it loosely enough that I could fit my laptop case inside it. Wearing two jackets and thanking my good fortune that the gate was nearby and the line at security short, I dashed onto the plane. I was the second to last person on board and my luck continued to hold with an empty seat beside mine so there was extra underseat space to stash my stuff. All the way through I've been guiltily thinking "Poor planning on my part does not constitute an emergency on their part."

If my hotel offers massage services, I am sorely tempted to avail myself of them. The march last night was worth it, but my arms and shoulders are aching from holding up my sign and carrying luggage isn't helping. It doesn't really matter though because it all worked out and I won't miss Brad's party.


Saturday morning - Hotel Room

And what a lovely party it was. Saw old friends (Mike! Jay! Nikolai! Wes! Leia! Leonard! Steve & Heather!!!) and made a couple new ones. Ate some tasty food and had two yummy margaritas (one for me, one for Judith back in SF). As ever, Break Bread With Brad was a great time and if it is the highlight of the trip, it will be a very good trip indeed.

After dinner we headed over to Polly Esther's for karaoke. I made one exceedingly foolish error which I sorely regret. No, it wasn't high-kicking to Brad's rendition of "Lil Bitty Pissant Country Place" from "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". No, it wasn't cage-dancing with Brad as [someone - ah, it was a trio of random Texan women] sang [something - of course, how could I forget? "I Love Rock n Roll"] [Hey, they were strong margaritas and I'm just waking up; Brad'll remember. - Nope, Rannie did]. No, it wasn't singing (because this time I was smart and acknowledged that my voice was completely shot by second-hand smoke and had the wisdom to choose Tom Waits' "The Piano Has Been Drinking" as my song).

My bad choice was that as we were leaving the Iron Cactus, heading out into the slightly damp evening, I didn't then peel the requisite "Hello, my URL is..." nametag off the lapel of my beloved pink corduroy jacket. Later, after the party was moving on to conversation in the lobby of the Omni, I did try to and discovered that the gummy paper had fused to the fabric and the bold blue ink with which I had carefully written METAGRRRL was starting to soak through. I will see if the housekeeping team here at my hotel can work any miracles, but I fear I may need to do some embroidery or something to camoflage the damage. Drat!
It's just a jacket and I have a new quest to find or create another like it, but it still bummed me out a bit.

The nice thing about web pals is that when you're kinda down at 3a.m. sometimes they can still be there for you. Back in my room at the hotel as I was cleaning new business cards out of my wallet, resigning myself to the now imperfect nature of my jacket and trying to stop fretting before I went to bed, my mood was much improved by having my new friend Colin play the guitar for me.

The Kick! kickball game was supposed to start 20 minutes ago, so I better take a shower, get dressed and get out there in time to go to lunch with everyone.

Panels? Uh, yeah, yeah. I'll probably register and go to a panel one of these days. I hear there's a convention going on somewhere around here.

Posted on March 13, 2004 at 09:51 AM in SXSW | Permalink | Comments (1)

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