Skip to content
Author Micah Cambre

march 2008

Here’s a month in reflection:

  • NYC is best spent with someone. I can’t go there alone again without an objective, someone by my side, and keeping myself busy.
  • I meet the occasional person who I wasn’t expecting. Once again, that happened. The challenge is to keep it up in the meantime.
  • Next time I get the flu, 3 days max. And, please, not right in the middle of a conference at which I really wanted to spend more time networking and enjoying myself.
  • Austin is a small town trying to feel like a big city, but it’s really a small city that acts like a large town. Keep Austin weird!
  • SXSWi is getting too big for its own good. It makes me wonder what to do about next year.
  • I need to learn how to balance spending time out with friends and making time for myself. I hate sacrificing the chance to see people but I need to spend the time alone that I know I need.
  • Each visit to Houston reminds me of two things: I’m glad I’m living somewhere else but I miss it just as much as always. It’s always bittersweet to go back and return from the city.
  • I let go of a bunch of stuff I’ve had in boxes for years. I didn’t get any time to go through and sort that which I wanted to keep from that which I didn’t want. Nevertheless, it had to happen. Parts of my past went up in smoke, literally.
  • I didn’t have any Easter candy until after Easter when it was all on sale. What a nice way to save money!

by the time i blinked my eyes…

…it was all over.

What the heck? Where did SXSWi go? All of a sudden, it’s over. Out with the old and in with the new.

Can I get a do over? Please? I didn’t do nearly as much as I really wanted to, I didn’t make the connections I hope I had, and I was sick as a dog for most of it.

I guess there’s always next year.

being sick at sxswi

I do not recommend it. I think it’s a poor idea to get sick while attending a big conference. It hurts to talk, most people can’t understand or hear you and you kinda just fade in the background. Never again!

Come on, body, heal yourself!

the worst timing for being sick

This is not how I expected my month to go.

I spent a week in Manhattan enjoying it with my brother and dad. We saw lots of old and new places. The problem is that by the end of the week, I somehow contracted a virus. It wasn’t a minor virus either, it’s now full blown attacking me.

I’m now in Austin having arrived yesterday evening. My flight from LaGuardia was delayed three times and I had to rebook a flight from Houston to Austin. After 12 hours of airports and airplanes, I spent about another hour on the bus system before arriving at my destination broken and tired. So instead of either going out with the SXSWi crews or even with the person I’m staying, I forced myself into bed hoping that sleep and relaxation would cure this ailment.


I need drugs. Badly!

I’ve already missed parties, I’m going to miss panels, and I might not even start participating until later today or tomorrow by the looks of it. Can I get a do over, please?

UPDATE 11:30am: Screw it, I’m at the conference. No more sacrifices for my health! ;-)


There’s so much going on that this feels like a chore.

My top priorities right now:

  1. Finish up design projects either initiated or started last year
  2. Refresh design at work before the end of the month
  3. Switch to cheaper auto insurance
  4. Read a couple of books
  5. Start doing anything musically
  6. Finish my taxes already
  7. Stay motivated and ready for NYC, SXSWi, and Houston for the whole month of March.
  8. Figure out what to do with my personal stuff I left behind in Texas
  9. Get back in touch with everyone I haven’t seen this year

To be continued…

sxsw day 5

This day passed by too quickly, and began a little late. I walked in on the last half of Web Typography Sucks with Mark Boulton and Richard Rutter. Sadly, I missed the meat of it. Luckily, they released the notes and slides from it! I think the short of what they were saying is typography for the web is grossly misused and ugly. I agree wholeheartedly and I’m part of the problem. Time to change that!

Listening to Shaun Inman and John Gruber talk about their freelancing lives made me realize that I’m not sure that I’m ready for something like that with web design. I wonder if I an translate that with other areas in which I’m interested? It takes a very big dedication to what you’re doing and discipline that I sometimes lack (thanks to mainstream media and my lack of will to stop that medium from polluting my mind).

After a few sessions this afternoon, we make our way to to the airport for a long ride back home to LA. I shall be buying myself one little pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream before I go! Oh Blue Bell, how I shall me ye.

SXSW 2007 is an event I hope I can make an annual trip (assuming I don’t end up moving to Austin for some reason in the near future). Lots of great people I met, lots of great conversations and ideas discussed, and hopefully some great networking in the future.

sxsw day 4

By far the best day I’ve had here.

The first panel featured the ever so popular web designer Zeldman among others. It was cool hearing everyone’s ideas about how to get unstuck from being stuck in design. The next panel was all about online magazines, such as The Onion,, and College Humor. Very entertaining and interesting to hear how they built their communities.

Probably one of the biggest events for yesterday was being able to see Dan Rather up close and personal. He spoke for about an hour and fifteen minutes about the state of journalism, the differences of journalists today, and how online media affects his job. I sat right behind Patrick Norton of, formerly of TechTV as well as the guys who created (very cool web search site if you haven’t checked it out).

Jason Santa Maria and Andy Clarke gave a very enlightening panel comparing a heist to design. It was one of the most packed rooms of any that I had been in the whole week.

I ended my proper day at a future of internet video panel featuring among others Kevin Rose from Diggnation. The panel looked a little tired and Kevin was probably hung-over, and yet he brought beers for all five of them to drink as they discussed what they see happening to video online.

We ended our day bar hopping amongst 4 different bars, talking to various people from various backgrounds. It was extremely cool and interesting to be able to have so many great conversations with so many talented people! Sadly, we had to end the night just after 1am since we were both worn out.

sxsw day 3

Day 3 was very unproductive. After completely missing the first session, I barely made any appearance at the 2nd session. We tried to get some business cards made up at Kinkos, but after just spending too much money on paper, we felt we had done nothing productive so we left.

My first real session was at 3:30pm, which is 4 sessions into the day. So I attended only 2 sessions and made quick appearances at 2 others.

After the awards ceremony last night, we both decided to call it a night. So I was asleep by 11pm. Kinda sad to realize, but I’m also kinda glad because a couple of hours later, it was pouring outside with a tornado warning in the county. I didn’t bother waking up to check the news so I feel sleep quickiy after waking up.

Day 4 is turning out to be much more productive already.

sxsw day 2

Daylight savings bit me in the arse. We’re now both late to our sessions for the day! D’oh!

After a very early start to the day to get our badges and bags full ‘o crap, we made it to 5 sessions yesterday. It started out with seeing 3 very prominent people in design, Molly Holzschlag, Eric Meyer, and Doug Bowman, and one Microsoft engineer for Internet Explorer, Chris Wilson. It was interesting to hear the decade of CSS and how each of them started with it. It goes to remind you that even if you are watching web celebrities we all come from the same place. Knowing that Meyer still gets confused by display: inline is comforting! This was probably my favorite session of the day.

The next session was with Jason Santa Maria and Rob Weychert talking about inspiration. It’s not that I didn’t know most of what they said, but I think going to get a review of things is a great way to refresh yourself and your mind. And they gave me a really cool idea for a party! : Make up a really wacky theme that everyone has the dress up for, do a lot of promotional items, market it correctly, then film it and have a blast. It’s really interesting to see how these people live there lives.

Texas barbeque for lunch was just what I needed.

The rest of the day was less design oriented as I listened about tags, such as those you do on flickr or, about video blogging, and then I jumped around for the last session of the day between three panels.

The video blogging panel featured most TechTV alum including Patrick Norton, as well as the CEO of Diggnation Jay Adelson. It was cool not only to see them but to hear them talk about where things should be headed with video blogging. I think there will probably coexist regular TV and online programming so that they’re more closely tied together.

After bar hopping all night and getting to see the infamous Ze Frank, we decided to call it an early night on account of daylight savings. Despite an earnest effort to get up in decent time, my phone clock decided to revert back to the wrong hour, forcing my alarm to be a phone call.

“Are you awake yet?”


“It’s 9:30”

Ze Frank

sxsw day 1

After more than three years of knowing about it, I have finally made it to one of the most revered events in web design: South By Southwest (SXSW). The conference I’m attending is technically the Interactive portion, geared towards interactive media that exists online, but it has turned out that a huge majority of the participants of Interactive are standards based web designers.

Delay after delay after delay has worn us out. After an hour plane delay in Houston, our luggage didn’t even make the delayed flight. So we picked up our late luggage to wait on our late shuttle to the hotel. An hour and a half later, we finally made it hours behind schedule to our rooms. I’m patient, but I don’t enjoy being behind on something I’d like to get the most out of.

After enjoying a nice, long dinner at one of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants, Pappasitos, we headed down to Buffalo Billiards on 6th Street. The majority of its patrons, if not every patron, was a SXSWi participant! Sadly, we felt left out due to our late arrival and not having time to register for our badges. Still, it was really nice to be around great a lot of talented designers. I did recognize a few faces, met with old coworkers and met a few nice new people. I can’t wait to mingle more with others and it’s going to be wonderful listening to and being around such amazing talent.