I Disappear

8 Mar

I’m about to disappear into the hidey hole of South by Southwest Interactive, tomorrow in fact, which is not new. It’s become so routine, in fact, year after year that at my house we don’t even panic and scramble over it, we just know that those five days, Daddy is gone and we need a little extra help and planning.

But there’s some weirdness that this is the most public I’ll be all year, out from around 10 a.m. till probably 1 or 2 a.m. every night, meeting new people and seeing old friends. But at home, I’m just gone and disappeared. It’s like SXSW Interactive, for one week of the year, is a second family and I’m all Charles Kuralt up in there.

And then I’ll be so exhausted when it’s over I’ll stay home and miss all the Music fest stuff as I hibernate. My kids already think I’m some kind of bear, so perhaps this will comfort them.

ANYHOO!

Here’s all the stuff I’ve been working on the last few weeks. I’ve been writing and typing so much for so long lately that I truly feel my fingers might fall off and it was all I could do to round this up, but I know that if I don’t do it now, on the eve, it will have to wait till after the festival and the hole will be much, much deeper.

Here’s the roundup and thank you for your patience. I’d like to write more essays here but the truth is that I feel like I’m spending lots and lots of time writing either for work or for the other projects I’ve mentioned that there’s barely anything left but fumes by the time I’m done. I’m hoping things will settle down in a few months because some of these things are winding down or eventually they’ll be completed.


 

Work stuff

I hadn’t written anything for CNN in a long while for lack of me pitching them any ideas, but they were kind enough to let me write about SXSW Interactive as I was already gathering intel for the Statesman and doing lots of interviews.

CNN-SXSW 2013

My article, which was actually written almost a week ago, was about whether the hype at SXSW Interactive is dying down and if the festival has peaked (and whether that’s a good thing.) Since the article was sent in, my email inbox has a’sploded and now, I fear, the hype is even bigger/worse than last year. Somehow I had forgotten that people like to knock on our door at the very last minute with news and information and that this always makes life harder for everybody. But I think there’s still some good insights about the fest from the people I interviewed.

For the Statesman, of course, things have been hugely busy leading up to the fest.

This Thursday, I did a big Life & Arts story on free official events at Interactive.

Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat) Photo by me

In a very strange series of events, I met Grumpy Cat, the Internet meme sensation and even took a photo and shot a Vine video (below).

Emma Janzen and Tina Phan on our staff did a great video and I make a short appearance getting all cat-love on poor Grumpy Cat.

Further back, I did a Digital Savant column rounding up reviews of an Acer W700 Windows 8 tablet and the great Studio Ghibli-animated game Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. This week’s column was also about SXSW Interactive, a preview of the first two keynotes from adventurous entrepreneur Elon Musk and design guru Tina Roth Eisenberg.

The recent Micro features were “What is jailbreaking?” and “What is Google Glass?”

Speaking of Google Glass, I was on NPR’s On Point With Tom Ashbrook recently talking with Amber Case and Ben Chigier about wearable computers and user interfaces. It’s a full hour, but there was lots of great discussion and questions from readers. (An emailer told me I talk too fast and that they could not listen to me.

And from the random files, I interviewed LeVar Burton about a Holodeck project AMD is working on as well as Demand Media CTO Byron Reese about his upcoming SXSW presentation.

I also drew a very ugly picture of what the PlayStation 4 might look like.


 

Non-work stuff

The new sketch show that I helped write, Pulga Nation featuring the Mexcentrics, opened tonight.

It’s weird not being there for the opening and with the festival starting, not even being 100 percent sure I’ll be able to see the show. I caught a rehearsal the other night and all the nights spent in theaters rehearsing during the 10 years of Latino Comedy Project came flooding back and I remembered how much I missed it.

It’s a mix of people I’ve worked with for many, many years and new people. It’s exciting and fun and seeing words that I wrote up on a stage again, especially when the words are coming out of the mouth of my friend Patti, who makes me laugh always, has been a thrill. The show runs through Saturday. If you’re in Austin, please try to catch it.

Grumpy MeanyOur Space Monkeys continue to thrive. Their Twitter account is starting to take off and the new comics, I think, have been really good. And we’ve been consistent, posting every week, no exceptions.

New comics include one about the horrible game Aliens: Colonial Marines, a strip about an evil Higgs boson particle and this week’s comic about Grumpy Cat (kind of a coincidence, that). I also did a surprise birthday ¡Pescados del Mar! comic for my brother, drawn in my own horrible scrawl.

And because I hate to leave the girls out, here’s a Vine I posted of them playing at a gymnastics center for the first time. Those children lost their damn mind having so much fun.

I’ll be back after SXSW, post-hibernation.