After a brutal 8 AM departure time from O’Hare, a brief stop at Dallas-Ft. Worth (“Home of the Confusingly Located Departure Info Screens”), and a shuttle ride from the airport with a loud-talking publicist, I am officially registered and able to enjoy the relative calm of the South By Southwest press room. We’ve got a nice selection of sodas— with ice!—and an Internet hookup for harried journalists to update their MySpace profiles with. I’ll be posting as much as possible during the week. In the meantime, I’m off to try and scam my first free drink.

PS: It only took about ten minutes of hanging around the convention center where everyone comes to register for me to run into my first Chicagoan. Lucky for all of us, the mental and emotional stress of driving from Chicago to Austin mostly in one stretch was not enough to make the 1900s break up.