In 2011 I ponied up and attended SXSW for the first time. The festival is a sensory overload for sure, made all the more overwhelming by day-drinking and the nagging feeling that you're missing something cool even as you're watching something cool. On the flip side, it's fun to see an already-amazing city get transformed into a playground for great music and surprisingly suave tech nerds (I'm sure Austin residents beg to disagree).

This year, my plans to attend got thwarted -- but in a good way! I start a new job on the 19th, and even though it'll be a fun plunge into the unknown just like last year's SXSW trip, I'm guessing my new employer won't thrust a Shiner Bock into my hand the second I walk in the door…although if that happened, I certainly wouldn't complain.

Anyone heading to Austin next week, please enjoy yourselves, take some chances on bands you've never heard of, and eat one of these obscene doughnuts on my behalf (preferably the one with fried chicken, because why not).