Here. It's called SXSW, and it's the biggest music/film/arts festival in the world, and it goes on, all over the city of Austin, Texas, throughout this week.
Every year I think I ought to go. 1,600 bands/musicians go. Some 13,000 music industry types go. I've received roughly, oh, 2,000 email messages (I'm not kidding) from various music publicists telling me about their bands who will be performing at SXSW, and where and at what times they will be performing, and inviting me down for free beer and barbeque. Some of them have even sent me the handy badges that I would need to enter their exclusive, industry-only-type tents where various bands play and where they serve the free beer and barbeque.
Now, I like music. A lot. And I suppose you could probably slot "free beer and barbeque" into the "Favorably Disposed Toward" category as well. So SXSW basically strikes me as an opportunity to catch lots of great music with people who love great music, to schmooze, and well, to eat barbeque and drink beer. I can think of worse fates.
But once again I am not there. This is because I have a job in corporate America, which graciously provides me with ten vacation days per year. And this year just about all ten of those vacation days are already slotted for speaking engagements at various music and arts festivals and college campuses.
I'm not complaining. Oh hell, yes I am. I could be on spring break with the music world in Austin, Texas. Instead I'm sitting in my cubicle on the 16th floor, looking out over a city covered by almost two feet of snow, and writing about database capacity planning.
I'll get over it. Even in the midst of my despair, I know that my life isn't so bad. I have, for example, access to free staples, and I don't even need to leave Columbus to get them. Life is great. I'll keep telling myself that.