Monday, February 28, 2011

On the road again: TEDActive, day 1

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for a while understands that I like coming to TED, I really do. I accept that I'll never be cool enough to make it into TED at Long Beach, but I'm still glad to be able to attend TEDActive here in Palm Springs--where the weather is, by the way, every bit as gorgeous as you might expect it would be.

All that said, damn, getting up at 4:30 to leave for the airport at 5:00 flat out sucks. Most nights, I don't turn off the bedside light until after 4:30, so to say I slept very little and poorly is to commit a grave understatement. I thus dozed fitfully and was generally useless through the two flights here, though I woke up enough to enjoy a breakfast of the delicious Red Mango parfait in DFW.

Enough about my trip, though; I know what you really want to see: pictures of TED swag. No problem; I aim to please. (As always, click on an image to see a far bigger, more detailed version.)

The bag is a Jack Spade courtesy of Target, which seems to be a very active (read: big contributor) sponsor.

I'm listening to these Jawbone Jambox speakers right now, a nice try-out play of The Gaslight Anthem's American Slang. The Jambox isn't up to the quality level of my usual travel speakers, but it is smaller and lighter and not too bad, so it holds some appeal.

The Riviera, by the way, is a peculiar brand of swanky, sort of California organic modern meets Rat Pack retro. Check out, for example, this view of one corner of my room.

Or this shot of the closet and the huge Marilyn over it.

Because I know at least a few people will ask, the bathroom is indeed pretty nice and features this enormous tub.

Dinner, the first all-group event, was a food-truck party in the parking lot of the hotel. A house band, headed by the indefatigable Jill Sobule, alternated with a DJ group. Four trucks--burgers, tacos, Thai, and Lebanese--provided food to the large crowd of hungry attendees. As many people observed, it was a great setup if your goal was to make people meet and talk with one another, but as a mechanism for feeding hundreds of attendees, it was slow at best. Lines lasted half an hour and longer.

Note all the people waiting. Everyone I met took it well, but the free alcohol did seem to help many of them pass the time.

After a while there, however, I had exceeded my socializing quota for a long, nearly sleepless day, so I headed back to my room for work.

Tomorrow morning, the sessions start. I'm quite looking forward to them.

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