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Before | After

Rain on our parade

Got back from Escapade last night and just completely passed out -- operating on three hours of sleep a night for almost a week is not a very sustainable way to live. Myself, X art, and blackbird_777 went to Palm Springs a few days before the con, and thank god we did because that was the only sunshine we got all weekend. It was gorgeous there till Friday, when we had to drive back to LA in a hurricane.

I'm actually not joking about that -- I come from the land of rain, but I have never seen anything like that. It rained torrents most of the way there, and I saw things on the highway I haven't really seen before, like a semi-truck trailer where the cab was hanging off the overpass and the trailer was just balanced on the guard rail, and heavy rescue after heavy rescue. Then when we got into town, the streets were completely flooded, lights were out at intersections, and it was just wild. We saw a Mustang go through an intersection with water almost at its windows.

That definitely added to the feeling of being trapped in a really awful place. It seems like most of the people enjoyed the hotel a lot more than I did. Yeah, I missed being in Ventura, and I REALLY missed being on the beach, but that doesn't mean that's why I disliked the hotel. I'm really glad that by being in LA and at the airport, a lot of people could come who might not otherwise be able to, but the thing is, we were AT the airport. Right across the street from Budget car rental. I have to walk for my back, and there was nowhere to walk that wasn't full of huge trucks and rental car shuttles barreling down at you, trying to run you over in crosswalks, tons of cars everywhere, and the constant thundering roar of airplanes. It was horrible. Those streets are huge, too, so you have to really know where to cross them.

And our (extremely tiny) room smelled gross and the carpet was wet by the AC unit, and of course the con space is always, always freezing (this is something about cons I don't understand, why we can't just turn the fucking AC down in rooms -- I mean, people who run hot can wear tank tops and sandals, it just doesn't have to be that fucking cold), so it felt like there was no respite. I was really happy to have counter space in the bathroom, no lie, but I just really did not like that hotel (and you could only get to the pool by walking through the insanely busy lobby). It was huge, and people were separated in rooms by towers, so it was hard to run back and forth with people --plus the elevators were like some kind of fitness test, where you had to sprint for them as fast as you could because the doors closed so fast and the lights never lit up to tell you which door was opening. I felt like I was on Get Smart or something.

I liked having the con suite on the same floor, but I can't help feeling like we could stay in LA if we have to, yet still get a decent hotel somewhere, that's less horrendously busy and noisy, is in an area with actual places to go besides one Greek restaurant and the incredibly slooooow and pricey hotel restaurants, and isn't in a gross, scary, loud area permeated by diesel fumes and the airplane roar. If all I ever did was stay in the hotel space, I supposed I wouldn't have noticed it, but it was not my idea of a good time. I did like that there were fridges in the room, but there was no way to boil water (the coffeemaker reeks of coffee, so you couldn't really use that without your tea or oatmeal tasting like coffee), so it was half and half there for me. One of the good things about the VVC hotel and the place we stayed in Palm Springs was that they actually have real little kitcheny spaces -- a fridge, microwave, places to store food. Finding someplace like that in LA shouldn't be impossible.

Anyway, the con itself was OK -- we came in pretty late on Friday because of the rain issue, and so I didn't really do anything that day. I couldn't even work up enough energy to go to the party, but I heard it was fun. Raine let me co-mod the Pacific Rim panel with her on Saturday, which was a lot of fun, though I get a little excited talking about PR so I had a hard time shutting up. It was a lot better attended than I expected, so yay. And I enjoyed the clams panel (that was SO much fun), and the what do you do in a fandom when one of the primary characters/actors die? panel. The Loki panel was a little problematic for me because there were a couple people there I didn't recognize who basically kind of bullied most of the other people and were really snotty and superior about things, and when I realized I was supposed to get dinner with the vid show comm and had missed it, I had an excuse to bail on it, so I don't know if it got better. I hope so.

Mostly it was as it always was, a chance for me to spend time with a lot of people I really care about. Having X with me the whole weekend, to talk about and watch Pacific Rim together, helped a lot, and there were many people for whom the ease of access meant they could attend that I got to see outside of just VVC in August, and that was fab. I loved catching up with everyone, and it was so much fun as well to see some new people who had come for the day.

Sunday I went to vid review for the first time in years, and it was interesting, actually. I thought Jetpack Monkey and Astolat kept a really tight program, considering that the art show running long forced us to be really late, and we mostly focused on the premiering vids since we were time limited. Although I pray they don't repeat the idea of doing the art purchases in the same room -- everyone was so freaking noisy and I couldn't hear many of the vid review comments as we were in a ginormous room with super loud air conditioning. No matter how often we shushed people, they just get blabbing. I really enjoyed the vidshow this year, to my surprise as well. Most of the premiering vids were fun, and Jo did a good job of bringing in some excellent Festivids and others from different vid shows. I'm still desperately trying to get a workable smaller file copy of my damn PR vid. I hope to have one soon. It's been a rough day. The only other panel I went to was the one about celebs in fandom, and that was really interesting and very cool.

This year, Aral and Sinead kindly hosted Oscars party in their room so we could trash theirs instead of mine! It was fun, as always, to watch the show with other people. A lot more people showed up than might be normal, because so many people had to stay in LA due to Polar Vortex flight cancellations. I felt so sorry for them, to be trapped like that and on perpetual hold, trying to nail down new flights without knowing what would happen to affect those flights. The hotel seems to deal with a lot of flight crews, and sometimes you'd see them all sitting there looking so depressed and frustrated.

By the way, blackbird and I, on both flights, got to go through the Pre-Check line in security at the airports. I don't know how we did it, but man oh man, that is the way to go. I just despise security theatre, and this lets you go through without removing your jacket, scarf, shoes, and you don't have to take your toiletries bag out! I didn't have a laptop, so that I don't know about, but y'all, YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET UNDRESSED. In LA I got called for a random security check, and that freaked me out, but all they did was swab down my hands and run me through some kind of program, and then let me go (I assume they were looking for explosives residue and whether I had any arrests).

I fell in love with Palm Springs and we went driving around neighborhoods, photographing midcentury modern architecture, so now I want to move there and buy a cool mid-mod house and be warm all the time. But god, SoCal hates my hair and my skin. As soon as I got back to the land of perpetual moisture and artesian water, my skin looked better and my hair felt less like straw. I assume I'd acclimate, but boy does that place not agree with my outsides.

So all in all, a good time mostly, but I truly hope we can find a better hotel again, and that next year we're not stuck in the middle of a typhoon.

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destina
Mar. 5th, 2014 05:15 am (UTC)
Hey, it was sunny at the hotel for like 10 minutes on Sunday! I know this because I was there and I declined to go sit by the pool. *g* Sorry I missed you; I really just drove out to see Killa for a bit and I was only there a few hours. I did get to give X a couple of hugs and that was nice. I have missed her, too. :)
gwyn_r
Mar. 5th, 2014 06:35 am (UTC)
I never even heard about this! Wow. I would have loved to see you, and I wasn't even doing much on Sunday. So sorry I missed you.
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