Landed at about 9:00am local time, which was even earlier than I’d anticipated. Check in at the hotel was 2:00 or 3:00 pm, so I knew I had some time to kill.
Took a while to get a shuttle from LAX to Hollywood. To anywhere else in LA, there were bunches, but not so much for Hollywood. Took about an hour to get here from the airport.
Got to the hotel and gave them my vitals. Asked if I could drop my bag and come back at check-in time. Sure. So I dropped the suitcase- kept the PowerBook, thank you- and hit the streets.
First stop, Popeyes Chicken. We had a Cajun Joe’s in Lafayette for a while, but no Popeyes. That’s one thing I miss from Chicago or South Bend. So I got some here. I’ll stick a picture in later if I can get a good one, because the hilarious thing is that Popeyes is in a building marked “Medical Center”. Strange bedfellows in Hollywood real estate.
After that I wandered around to see what other meals I’d eat this week and anything else that’d make for good photos. Figured I’d take more later when I wasn’t so conspicuous and carrying so much. Then I found that everyone on Hollywood Boulevard was taking pictures with digital cameras. Little silver ones. Mostly they’d stoop and get their picture taken with a Walk of Fame star. But everyone was doing it.
There are a LOT of cheap sleazy lingerie stores on Hollywood. Dozens. Note to self: bring more money next time…
But seriously, there’s a lot of repetition. Must be demand, or they wouldn’t all be there, but there’s also a lot of churn from three years ago. I don’t have every store front memorized, but there were a lot more empty ones then. Not too terribly many cash checking places, which, as I always say, is the best measure of urban decay.
Also found a drug store. It’s their grand opening, so I assume there wasn’t one before. Might need to get some better shampoo or something, so that might be handy. There’re also two 7-Elevens near the hotel. That’s something else we don’t have in Lafayette, though we’ve got convenience stores (in town at least).
Wandered around until a bit before 2:00. Turns out check-in was 3:00, but I can stand around waiting anywhere just as easily, so I headed for the hotel desk.
The guard had changed since I’d been there in the morning, and the Middle-Eastern middle-aged guy was replaced by a small, nervous Hispanic. He was pacing and talking on the phone. He kept fingering some pieces of paper that he’d scribbled some notes on and then putting them back down. Those papers were my reservation forms.
He motioned that he’d be with me in a minute and I said, “That’s me.” He seemed more interested now. Apparently there was some hassle with the booking and he hadn’t figured out how they were getting paid yet. I said the Gnome’s already got my money, so I hope you get your share. Didn’t have any trouble with the airline (or the other hotel last time), so I didn’t see the hassle.
He kept talking to them and faxing things back and forth. Occasionally he’d talk at me, but I couldn’t hear him through the glass. He wasn’t good at getting his face near the little metal circle in it. After a few of those, I pictured one of those phone setups like jails have. That would’ve been funnier as he was juggling two phones already. He’d have to grow a third hand or literally start juggling them.
About 2:35 he finally seemed satisfied that I wasn’t trying to rip him off, even if Travelocity was, so he gave me the key. I got the login and password for the wireless Internet too.
The wireless Internet is pretty crappy. It times out my ssh connections constantly, so email is going to be a hassle. Web stuff seems to work fine, but that’s not on the wire much (that’s the point).
That’s not all that’s crappy. This place is sort of low-ball all around. That’s pretty much OK with me. If I’m spending much time awake at the hotel, I’m doing it wrong. Which is why I’m still up at 3:00am, I guess.
Was planning to take a shower and a nap, but time was growing short, so I took a shorter nap and forewent the shower. I was still pretty clean from last night, and the nap was much more important.
Went to the shows, which I’ll talk about under separate cover. I was pretty darn tired, and I faded a bit during the movies, but I mostly made it. I’ll catch up on some sleep tonight and try to get better adjusted tomorrow.
Ran into Les (of “Les is More”- he does extras for Disney DVDs mostly), who I met at the last Expo. He likes to sit in the balcony, which is a really great idea for 3-D movies. So I’m the designated runner because of my mutant ability to get up to the balcony faster than is humanly possible. They make us get up and clear the theater between shows, so you need to be able to get back out in line and back to a good seat pretty darn quick. If you go to an unpopular show that’s followed by a more popular one, it’s even harder.
Stopped at 7-Eleven on the way home to get some soda. Figured I’d keep a 2l in the fridge to sip on for a few days. Wrote this, and now I’m probably off to bed, though I really should jot down my thoughts on the movies so far.
So far, so good. Would’ve liked to have been more awake, but this was a long-ass day. Tomorrow is twice as many shows, but I won’t have to work as hard. The theater is only a couple of blocks away, and other than grabbing a meal somewhere in the middle, I’ve got little to do but watch movies and then run around the track to get back to see the next one. It’s a real good life.