Late night, early departure, no plan, no place to stay. No problem.
I got in to Austin at about 4:00 pm, and I admit I was kind of stressing out. Gave Tara a wake-up call from the Phoenix airport while waiting for my connecting flight, letting her know I was still looking for a place to crash. She’s what we like to call a hub, one of those people who can be in town for all of about five minutes but already have more friends and contacts there than anyone who actually lives there. Took a shuttle straight to the convention center and wandered around for a few hours toting my suitcase like some kind of geek gypsy, hoping to run into people but having no luck. Eventually, as I knew she would, Tara hooked me up with a great place to stay and a place to stash my stuff. Rock!
Met up with my new roomie Rachel on the way to Break Bread with Brad, which if you’re coming to SXSWi should be considered obligatory. I’ll try post pics of all the people I talk to in my Flickr stream. Everyone I’ve run into is almost scarily friendly. I highly recommend just going up to people and saying hi, which is how we met Jesse James Garrett (or rather, how he met us). We mentioned that to JJG that we didn’t actually know the host, so he jumped up and pulled Brad over to talk to us. I saw waxy.org on a name tag, pointed and yelled “you’re Andy!” in my classic oh-so-subtle fashion, which led to a discussion of my Upcoming.org wishlist and some cool existing features I didn’t even know about. Did you know you can email invites from within an event listing? Excellent.
Once the funds ran low a bunch of us went looking for free beer. We eventually found at the Buzznet/Red Bull House, along with a Halo room, music room (filled with Gibson guitars, couches and a bongo drum), and a giant Pong game projected on one wall that you play with the shadow your body casts on the wall. I’m sure there were good times a plenty after that, but I had to scoot back to the hotel to rescue my things from where I’d stashed them before everyone fell asleep.
Good times so far, and looking up for tonight. \m/