Geek March Madness, SXSW 2001!

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Friday March 9, 2001

Dave called us in the morning to say that now the airline wasn't going to fly him to Austin, but that he'd hook up with Denise Czaja and Leia Scofield, who were driving down from Dallas that morning. They would be in Austin about noon, they said.

Michael and Ari had to go to work, so Michael dropped me off at the Embassy Suites at about 9am. I was able to store my bags there, and I just took a walk up Congress to see a bit of the city. I went to Waterloo Records and finally bought the new Spoon CD, Girls Can Tell. I'd been having a hard time finding it in Toronto, but was amused to discover a sticker on the back of the CD saying "Made in Canada."

I made it back to the hotel by noon, and waited in the hotel lobby until about 12:30 but there was no sign of Dave, Denise, and Leia. My cellphone had been less than useless, since to use its US roaming abilities, I had to type in my credit card number, which it wouldn't take because it was a Canadian number. I wasn't able to receive calls, either, which made me pretty much unreachable. I finally talked to the manager and asked if I could check in with my credit card and then have the receipt torn up when Dave finally checked in. That seemed fine to him, and I happily checked in to our suite and had a long shower.

Dave didn't walk in until after 5:30 pm, muttering something about keys locked in the car and other assorted misadventures, and the next thing I knew, we were all heading out to Michael and Ari's again for a drink. We stayed there about an hour or so and then headed over to the Iron Cactus for Brad Graham's "Break Bread with Brad" event. This was my first exposure to a larger group of webloggers and it was pretty amazing to see so many familiar faces. I spotted Jish first and introduced myself right away. Everyone found tables and we sort of drifted around all night. I saw Heather Champ but didn't introduce myself. I did get to talk to Andre Torrez, who was really shy, but flattered that I admired his writing so much. I also met Anil Dash, who was sharing a hotel room with Jish, and Kevin Fox and Ernie Hsiung, who were both involved with Survivorblog.

After the Iron Cactus, we all headed for Lovejoy's, a pub where we continued gabbing until the wee hours. I talked with Rebecca Blood about her engagement to Jesse James Garrett and their upcoming wedding. Other people I talked with here included Brad Graham, Paul Bausch (PB), Wes Felter, Jessica Reynolds, and Tim Thompson. I left around 1:00 am and just walked back to the hotel.

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©2001 by James McNally and Consolation Champs.