OK, here are my already fuzzy memories of what happened on Preview night and before/after. Warning: Some of this may not have actually happened.
Painless Southwest direct flight. No delays, got in a touch early, no luggage issues, and airport security at Austin airport actually nice, easy-going for airport security. No fits of Doctorow-esque rage were required. Talked with a few other Con attendees (including Austin's own superhero, The Defuser) while waiting for the flight.
Hotel check-in, also painless. Got room on 9th floor with balcony (yay!) and view of construction instead of pool (boo). Free wireless throughout hotel, though.
Grabbed lunch at Anthony's Fishette across the hotel. Memo to self: Don't get Mixed Treasures again. Lots of mixed, light on the treasure.
I've never been here early enough for the whole Preview night before. Did pro reg in about two minutes (shortest time ever, very efficient this year), then waited outside for them to open the doors. Watched an endless line of people following directions, heading upstairs to stand in line and come back down. Past experience told me to wait, and at about 5 or 10 minutes after 6, they'd give up on whatever crazy plan they had and let us all in. Past experience was right.
While waiting, accosted by very talkative comic fan whose opinions on comics, uh, differed from mine. He was a big Top Cow/Avatar fan and had many opinions on how they could streamline Comicon and fix comics. None of these ideas were good. Half hour wait seemed much longer during this chat. Kind of like being at work, except I wasn't being paid.
Saw and did seemingly everything in three hours on Preview night. May have successfully landed guests for STAPLE!, guests for Free Comic Book Day, gave bear to Stan Sakai, picked up artbooks from Cooke/Stewart/Bullock, got a Scott Pilgrim t-shirt, buttons and color special, got to look at a preview of Crogan's Vengeance, talked to Ed Brubaker when I spotted him at the Marvel booth, talked to Alex Robinson at Top Shelf (along with all the guys working the booth), connected with Toon Tumblers guy, picked up Sandman posters at DC booth, picked up Thom Zahler's Powerful Women 2 sketchbook and Cliff Chiang's Bombshells pinup collection ($40 for 6 great pinups, if you're at the Con stop by and pick those up)... bought a lot. No sketches as of yet, maybe today.
Grabbed dinner with Thom Zahler, Bill Williams and Brad Thomte at Rock Bottom Brewery. Joined later by Chip Mosher, Ian Brill and Matt (whose last name I don't know how to spell) for a few drinks. Lots of good conversation, I'm fairly certain Mosher swore me to secrecy on all of it. Ran into the Defuser (and Mrs. Defuser) while there, too. Turns out they know Thom as well.
Looooong solo walk back to Holiday Inn. Nervous about getting mugged since it was quiet and no one else on the street for much of the walk, and it was a ton of walking for the first night. Should have grabbed a cab, definitely will remember next time that shuttles close down at 10 on Preview night.
May have caught, skinned and eaten a muppet on the way home. Memory fuzzy.
Now, very full from food from yesterday, thinking about skipping breakfast and just heading to the Con.