I spent last weekend in Los Angeles, or Burbank to be more precise. I wasn’t there that long, but it was funny how many LA stories I got out of it. Saturday afternoon, for example, I was coming back from a mediocre lunch at the oldest remaining Bob’s Big Boy (it dates to 1949, though hopefully the food does not). I saw a woman with a big stroller crossing the street with what looked like the entourage of a rap star. As they got closer to me, I saw that a cameraman was filming the whole posse. I don’t know if the baby mama was the center of attention or if she was a nanny for someone else in the group. I walked right by them and couldn’t tell you who anyone was, but it’s possible I made a 2 second cameo is some dreadful reality show.
Later I was in a quiet hotel bar doing some Dragon Age work. Two women came in, and a few minutes later a Latino guy in a fedora joined them. The women start to interview him, and they seem pretty excited. Again, I had no idea who he was. I was sitting maybe 10 feet away so I could hear the whole thing. As he dropped clues, I used my iPad to run Google searches. I finally figured that it was Jaime Monroy. I had never heard of him, though apparently he was the warm up comic for Solid Gold and opened for the Jacksons on the Victory Tour. He had some interesting stories but he lost me when he said that his hero was Ronald Reagan.
Finally my old friend Cecil Castellucci came and picked me up at the bar. Cecil and I met as college freshmen at NYU and fate kept throwing us together until we decided we were friends for life. Our most improbable meeting was in the middle of Dachau the year I Eurailed around the Old World. We have both ended up with careers in the geek world. I do the gaming thing, of course, and she writes YA novels and graphic novels (her Plain Jains book for DC was terrific). We have crossed paths at conventions from time to time but we needed a proper catch up and this was the night. She used Twitter to find a cool bar in Burbank called Tony’s Darts Away. We stayed there until it got too loud and crowded (damn hipsters), then we moved to an old school diner place we happened across called Talleyrand (founded by a fan of French diplomacy?). They still had bundt cake on the menu so I got a slice and we kept talking until I got a call from Wil Wheaton. I had a great time talking to my old friend and wished it could have gone on longer, but we had to leave.
I was crashing at Wil’s the next two nights so Cecil was kind enough to drop me off. Everyone was sick at the house and they had been working all day, so they went to bed by midnight. I’m a night owl, so I was up until 4ish. Then I got up at 8 am because I had somewhere to be early. I can’t talk about the rest of the trip yet, but that should change come March. I will say it was nerdy, fun, and a little bit Hollywood. I got home and at first thought I had missed the plague. It was sneaky though and I didn’t get sick Thursday. Now that head cold is ragin’ full on. Glad I can stay home this weekend.
Originally published on LiveJournal on February 10, 2012.