— Long trip, Providence to Chicago to San Francisco to Burbank. At least it was all on the same airline this time around.
— Saw my first live Segway at O'Hare down in the tunnel between the United concourses. I still don't see the appeal.
— Watched Master and Commander on the Chicago to SFO leg, and enjoyed it more than the book. (I realize that they actually adapted a different book for the film, but work with me here.) For one thing, they don't go into near as much boring detail about the workings of the ship as the book, and yet they still give a good picture of what life was like. Plus, there is dialog, rather than what reads as a transcription. For another thing, Crowe's Aubrey comes off better than the Aubrey I read on the page. That Aubrey often seemed unsure, and not very commanderish. The film Aubrey is more believable as captain. Maturin also seemed well cast, although he seemed a bit more naive than he ought to be by this time in his tenure in the RN.
— SFO is the. Best. Airport. Ever. What else would you call a place where the first things you see coming in from the gates are half size replicas of a Spitfire and a Hurricane hanging from the ceiling. There are also replicas of a DR-1, an SE-5A, an BF2C, and others. Neat! There are also actual museums on-site, including an air transportation museum, and they scatter some of the exhibits about the concourses. Very neat!.
— Landed in Burbank, and went straight to Gardens of Taxco in Hollywood for dinner with friends. The food was good, but the restaurant was really annoying (to me). There are no menus. The waiter recites the entrees as though they are all specials (perhaps they were) with a Spanish accent, and his apparent schtick is that he rolls his r's excessively. He also mentions that you'll get soup, dessert, and two appetizers with dinner, but not what they are. No prices are mentioned, either.
Here's the thing. I have trouble hearing in situations where there's a lot of commotion, like, say, a busy restaurant, as it is, and when the frelling waiter is playing games with his accent I have an even harder time. I also really, really dislike not knowing what else comes with the dinner (and it turns out to be whatever random appetizers they have around apparently. Sean had a different appetizer than I did), and I don't like not knowing what it's going to cost. I wound up ordering the beef dish because that's the only one of the items that I could remember. As noted the food was very good, but it wasn't so fabulous that I would ever put up with that nonsense again. Would it kill them to put up a frelling blackboard? (Note that this is just me talking. Others thought it was fine.)
— After dinner, we went over to the Soulless Social to mix with fellow fans, and to buy raffle tickets for various goodies. We were struck by a revelation or sorts. There are so many people in Buffy fandom who *aren't* Buffistas. It's one thing to know there are other groups of fans out there. It's quite another to actually be in a room with a bunch of folks with screen names that you've never seen before. A few of us were describing the gathering using Venn diagrams of Buffistas, Bronzers, Live Journalers, etc. It was kind of neat figuring out the overlaps. Anyhow, being a complete social misfit, I stayed close within our little Buffista circle. Familiar is good.
— Brunch at Roscoe's, followed by buying a big stack of used CDs at Amoeba. Finds included a couple of Who albums (Quadrophenia and Live at Leeds deluxe edition, plus a Pete Townshend's greatest hits), a pair of newish Strawbs CDs, a Ray Davies tribute album, and albums by Rhett Miller, Mason Ruffner, the Mekons, Jack Smith and the Rockabilly Planet, and Yo La Tengo. The Who stuff and Ruffner were all replacements for the vinyl versions I own. The Jack Smith album amazed me, because we used to see him live on Friday nights when I was in grad school over at the Narragansett Cafe in Jamestown. The 'Gansett is the only place I ever almost got caught up in a bar brawl. Good times.
— The party was fab. I very much liked the way the organizers arranged the physical layout of the shindig. The main party stuff was in the ballroom, with much very loud music for dancing and such. There was also a largish, much quieter room as a lounge, where the silent auction was being held, and you could have non-decibel challenged conversation with people.
There were famous people. Julie Benz is gorgeous in person, as is Sarah Thompson. Thompson saw the bag of "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" buttons that Emily had brought to the party, and grabbed one for herself. Never was a fan of Eve, but I am now a fan of Sarah Thompson. James (Clem) Leary is very funny and friendly, as is Mark (Groo) Lutz. Fury held court, and I was present when Madrigal managed to totally creep him out. He retreated. Very cool. Ultimate Drew and Jeff Bell are tall. DeKnight is wee, and was escorting a gorgeous, very funny woman who turned out to be Mere Smith. Tim Minear was the only one I introduced myself to, and we talked a bit about Wonderfalls. Also, I made a comment that made minim_calibre snort in front of Tim (I wish I could remember what it was). I also shook Ron Glass's hand as he was leaving. He's taller than I expected, which means the rest of the guys on Barney Miller were really tall. Andy Hallett sang, including a brief duet with Gloomcookie, and had some of the fans, including Aimee, join him as backup dancers. It was all great fun.
I won two of the auctions, scoring a copy of the "Peace Out" script signed by Fury, and a copy of Fray #8 signed by Joss. Afterwards, while we were waiting for our cab, we got to chat a bit with Jonathan Woodward about cabs and Plei's fifty year-old shoes. Very friendly, a bit more like Tracey than Knox.
— la_perkins (my host) threw a brunch, which turned into a most of the day affair. There was good food, good conversation, and a viewing of the Wonderfalls pilot. I took about a half hour's worth of video of the party, basically one long clip of natter in 3D. I will convert that to an mpg at some point.
— Later on, Minim and I borrowed Perkins' car and drove out to Oxnard to visit with shrift and nestra, who were in town for Escapade. More good conversation about all things fannish. Got back to Perkins' in time to grab three hours of sleep before taking Minim to the airport.
— Perkins and I took Minim to LAX at 4 in the morning, then went back to sleep. Later, we went back to Amoeba, where I dropped another load of money on DVDs (Into the Woods (B'way cast), Sink the Bismarck, Farscape S3v5, a couple of old Rocky Jones, Space Ranger eps (RJ was appointment TV for me when I was a kid), and a Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes volume. We did some shopping at the Grove, then went over to the Miracleborns for dinner.
— Then it happened. The disaster of the trip. After dinner, we all played Trivial Pursuit, and my team *didn't* win. (We didn't actually lose, but Aimee and I were down a wedge when Perkins and I had to leave). Bother.
— Retraced the flight out. The movie was Radio, but I skipped it. I'd finished reading Sharpe's Havok on the way out (enjoyed it more than some of the other recent Sharpes), and reread Glen Cook's Old Tin Sorrows, my favorite of the Garrett novels, on the way back. Got home, and it was much colder than California.