Monday, April 03, 2006

CALIFORNIA WITH HARRY POTTER

I've just packed, checked-in online, and printed off my electronic Virgin Airlines boarding pass. I'm flying to California again tomorrow. It's a looooong flight. And I have a teeny attention span. But for twelve (12) hours tomorrow, I shall again be soaring across the pond. I just did this 12 hour flight from San Fran in late January, and I'll obviously have to do it again when I return to London in a couple weeks. Only tomorrow I'm flying to Los Angeles instead, where I am meeting my Mexican, whose flight arrives just moments after mine (if our flights are actually on time, that is).

During these excruciatingly boring half-day flights I've taken over the past few years, no matter how many new films Virgin or British Airways show, no matter how many times the flight attendants return to me bearing more baby bottles of booze, and no matter if I'm flying to New York, San Francisco, or Dallas, never once in the past five years has Harry Potter failed to be featured on every international flight to and from the United Kingdom. He's always there, on every seat-screen, and is typically the only consistent element of my dozens of long-haul US/UK flights that I can count on. It's like time does not pass - Harry Potter is always waiting for me and everyone else. He has been on every flight for half a decade now, and it's not looking like he's leaving. He keeps getting older but he stays put.

For some reason, long rides on airplanes and trains force me to work nonstop - and I get so much done. It's an odd, hypocritical thing; there are so many distractions around me that there seem to be no distractions at all. So chances are I'll have written another section of my dissertation by the time Harry Potter and I land at LAX.

I am such a nice little boyfriend. Awesome has never been to Los Angeles before and wishes to see all the cheesy Hollywood tourist attractions. Thankfully I still have lotsa work colleagues who have become my friends during the past five years I've worked for my TV company. So, I've scheduled some personal tours of studio lots and 'insider' spots of Hollywood to which most tourists do not have access, like personal driving tours of celebrity Hollywood Hills homes, and more. (One of my Los Angelean friends used to work for The National Enquirer so he's more of an accomplished spy than a CIA agent.) I work for a major studio, which I believe charges like $100 for tours. But not when you're my boyfriend! My friends and I can give them for free! See, working in a shallow industry occasionally does have its benefits! More importantly, I am SO excited to see my California friends. I've not seen most of them in years! Even my college roommate has moved out to LA and is apparently Tyra Banks's assistant or something (both of whom are insane - I imagine it's a good match). I don't think I've ever used so many exclamation marks in my life!

In my other professional world, this weekend I am speaking at another reputable international conference right outside of Los Angeles. I had originally submitted proposals to three different sections of the conference in hopes I'd be accepted to one of them. But to my pleasant surprise, I was chosen for all three. (Woohoo.) However, this meant I had lots more work to do. I think I'm ready now? This conference will devour almost my entire weekend.

When I used to travel to Los Angeles for work in my early 20s, my company always put me up at the Beverly Hilton, I drove pricey rental cars, and expensed everything I ate and drank. This time around, we're taking our chances and staying in a small hotel in West Hollywood, and probably eating every meal at In&Out Burger. A producer friend of mine made the hotel reservation for me and emailed the confirmation soon after, saying, Hey! I reserved you the room Jim Morrison died in! Is this supposed to be a good thing?

So, the moral of all this celebrity bullshit, conference description, and reuniting with Awesome once again, is that I shall be MIA for almost a week. I then return to San Francisco with Awesome next Sunday, where I'll stay for almost two weeks. I am so fucking excited for like 19,548,626 reasons. I assume Harry Potter can't wait to see me again tomorrow morning.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees. - David Letterman