I woke up at 4:30 this morning. And then again at 4:47. And then at 5:05, 5:12, 5:21, 5:27, and, finally, for good at 5:30 a.m. I never sleep well the night before I travel. But since I’d already packed and made the necessary preparations, the morning went smoothly: fed the dogs, had breakfast, showered, dressed, then out the door at 6:45, and at the airport at a little after 7:00, right on time to find out my flight had been delayed. Apparently, there was some sort of mechanical problem (really the last thing you want to hear when you’re about to fly), so they were switching planes. Well, the original plane may have been a deathtrap, but I suspect it was at least a roomy one. As I shifted about in my cramped seat in an attempt to stave off the onset of deep-vein thrombosis, I imagined myself less a television producer jetting off to some big industry event than a sailor aboard the U571. I finally found a comfortable enough position and had just started on my next book when some guy a couple of rows back started doing a really bad Schwarzenegger imitation. And a loud one at that. But it turns out it wasn’t a hilarious phony accent at all. It was director Uwe Boll discussing his next movie. He continued his boisterous R-rated musings throughout the safety briefing, much to the air hostess’s dismay. Finally, we took off, approximately one hour late.
The cabin temperature was as frosty as that air hostess – c-c-c-c-cold. I suspect someone may have had the window open. Nevertheless, I managed to nap, enjoy an alright smoked salmon and cream cheese dish, and get about 250 pages into A Game of Thrones (loving it!) before we touched down in San Diego.
Hoping to save time, I had crammed everything into my carry-on luggage so that I wouldn’t have to do any waiting at the baggage claim. Unfortunately, my fellow travelers did not share my foresight and so, I ended up waiting for Martin Wood, John G. Lenic, and Morris Chapdelaine to get their baggage before climbing into the limo and heading to the W Hotel.
Once there, we checked in. Martin was delayed because, according to the desk clerk, his room was undergoing “final inspection”. In the event it didn’t pass final inspection, they would find him another room. Final inspection? All I could think of was “Okay, the bloodstains are gone and we’ve removed all signs of a struggle so I guess this room is good to go.” No inspection hold-ups on my end, and when I mentioned I was looking forward to the cookies and milk on the room service menu, my welcoming clerk asked me to name my favorite cookie and then jotted down “Chocolate Chip” on a note pad by my name, causing Martin to inform her: “I like chocolate chip too.”
The room is nice and clean, there is wireless internet access, and the bed is comfortable and doesn’t smell like diapers. There is also a chalkboard on one of the walls that I made good use of, jotting down helpful reminders to myself (ie. socks first THEN shoes!). I was a little worried by the lack of complimentary toothpaste and figured I would have to go on a little run but, thankfully, I found some in the mini-bar. When I went to brush my teeth, however, I almost made the foolish mistake of using the night-time toothpaste (clearly marked PM) instead of the daytime toothpaste (clearly marked AM). Imagine how embarrassing that would have been if I’d actually gone out unawares and had people notice and remark on my egregious faux-pas. I checked the back of both products and, while there’s nothing to suggest any difference between the two, both warn that if the toothpaste is accidentally swallowed (in the unlikely event you actually put it in your mouth and, if you do, what the hell are you thinking?!) – “get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately”. Well, maybe I should just brush my teeth with soap instead.
I unpacked, then headed downstairs where I met up with Atlantis fan Marsha and set off on a quest for corn tamales, then a good place to grab a bite, then just anywhere we could eat. Not much in the way of restaurants around this area, but a fairly impressive selection of bail bond companies. We passed the hall of justice, some law offices, a prison, but nothing in the way of restaurants. I have to wonder where all the ex-cons go after they get released? Do they have to catch a cab cross-town to hit a Wendys? Finally, we found the Karl Strauss Brewing Company where we sat snacked on some Portobello mushroom fries, and I had a turkey burger with blue cheese and a brownie sundae. Over our late lunch, Marsha confided that she is a transplanted southerner who misses some of the down home cuisine she used to enjoy growing up. Apparently, Ventura California chicken livers aren’t nearly as good. Still, she seemed to enjoy her lemon chicken.
Marsha also informed me that I am scheduled to sign autographs tomorrow after the panel. I am? First I’ve heard about it. Well, all I can say is get there early to beat the thousands of who’ll be camping out for their personalized Joseph Mallozzi autographs. You know, now that I think about it, I really wish we’d secured a bigger venue.
Well, I’m going to try to squeeze in a work-out, then it’s dinner and an early night for me as tomorrow is the big day.
The mailbag will return…hmmm…not sure when, but eventually.
Today’s pics: special guest star Damian Kindler on his way to a Sanctuary-related signing, John and Morris riding in style, Martin and I enroute, my bed at the W (the beach ball is a nice touch), gentle reminders, the AM/PM poison toothpaste, portobello fries, the brownie sundae.