I spent most of March on the move. It was hard to go back to routine and I'm still adjusting. I much prefer the routine of no routine, actually. I'm better off when I'm conditioned to expect nothing, when I can just be surprised by whatever comes along. I've also found that you can occasionally still expect a paycheck when you do that. That's my ultimate goal. Besides, my sleep schedule is shot, so I really feel more offended than usual about having to get up at any particular time. But it must be this way for just a little while longer.
I haven't written about New York, yet, mostly because I hadn't gotten the pictures posted fully and I feel like a big slacker when I don't do that. Actually, I really haven't posted about Austin yet, either - not to the extent that I likely should.
The bottom line from that trip was that SXSW was largely worth the time and effort it took to attend. I learned a lot and it was interesting to be at a tech conference that wasn't all women. There were things about it that I didn't like. I hated that Tucker Max was a speaker. It was almost enough to make me never want to go back. I won't link to him, so Google him if you must. He's disgusting, and it offended me that he was presented as a success story, strictly because he gets traffic and makes money. There are so many successful WOMEN and other men who have gotten book deals from blogs. Why someone who spreads what amounts to hate speech? Why make him an example of success? It's these things that depress me about the world.
I also don't like events in convention centers at all. I think that convention centers signify everything wrong and bad about American generica - too big, too gray, too much shitty food. Plus it just takes too long to walk everywhere in them. It's all the walking down gray hallways, carrying great big bags over football fields of space, covered in bad carpeting. Blah. It bums me out. I liked having my laptop with me so I could connect with humanity whenever I got to whatever room I was going to. How's that for irony?
I love Austin, though. I love the experience of being there. It's very comfortable for me. I don't know how long I could stay and that's not really relevant to the storyline, anyway. It's just a good place to BE, for any particular period of time. Although I stayed with my beautiful friend and amazing artist Shobha, and spent time tooling around with Lauren, I spent a fair amount of time tooling around the city on my own. Some highlights:
*The first night meetup with the ladies (and some guys, to be fair) from Blogher, at Freddie's, which has a great outdoor space.
*Queso at Curras. And Magnolia Cafe. And Rio Grande. And another place I can't remember the name of. Just....loads of it, to the point that I said on the day I left, "If you punctured my arm I'd bleed cheese." It's just so GOOD, the queso. Sweet Lord, if there's a heaven, let there be queso there.
*The first "Writing, Better" panel with the awesome Ethan Marcotte and Erin Kissane from A List Apart,
and the one with the people from mediabistro.com, salon.com (now that was really exciting), and The Onion. Those were worth the time and attention.
*The Yahoo/Flickr party at Light Bar, which I stumbled upon on my own, but I got some cool photos and replaced my Flickr buttons. It's the little things, I guess.
*Sitting up and talking with Shobha.
*Free wifi everywhere in the city of Austin - no log-ins. This is just reason enough for a web addict to keep coming back for more.
*Progress Coffee shop
*Shooting pictures by the railroad tracks
*Hanging out at the Spider House
*Getting my hair cut at Bird's Barber Shop by the very nice and friendly Fay, who really thought I should move there, and probably thinks that you should too.
*Finding the Ironworks Barbecue place randomly and watching a monsoon outside as water poured in through the stovepipe.
*Warm, gorgeous, restorative air, for the first time in months.
That's a pretty good summary. It was a good trip. You can see the pictures here, in the Austin set on the right. And if you've never been down there, take a trip. You'll probably like it.