The adventure started Wednesday morning as my flight left at 8:10 am. We were running a bit late as my news story containing the E3 press kit had dead links. I'd had the news post and forum post all ready to go but then my idiot computer did an automatic Windows update overnight and restarted my comp without me asking. How typical it happens on the one day I need my computer to stay on. Thankfully, Firefox saved what I'd entered, only I forgot to check that it had the latest version of my edits. Unfortunately, it didn't, so I had to fix that then jam out of the house.
Poor Buddy started screaming as I said goodbye, I could hear him from inside the terminal! I didn't have time to pack a breakfast bento, I simply ate early and figured I'd tough it out on the flight. But much to my surprise, Hawaiian Airlines is one of the few airlines left that serves you a free meal! Not only that, they come by every half an hour offering free soda, water, and juice. I had the turkey sandwich, which was quite good. The meal almost made up for the rock hard seats. I saw The Last Mimzi on the flight and it was a wonderful children's film. I was pleasantly surprised!
I land in LAX and am picked up by my boss Draknorr (Ryan) and an Affinity Media guy we work with in IRC a lot, cyamarin (Casey). We head over to the AM office in Santa Monica where I get to meet Sybil Grieb, Casey's wife Rian, our two new programmers, and Zam President John Maffei. We had a quick dinner and I convinced Ryan to take an extremely rare photograph with me! His flight was leaving at 10:45 so we shared a cab to the airport and by chance got this freakin' hilarious cab driver. It was great to finally meet Draknorr in person and I was sorry we only had a few hours to hang out, but it's better than nothing!
I checked into my hotel and quickly got lost trying to find my room. I followed the stupid <-- arrow and kept finding sign after sign telling me to go --> then --> then -->. Finally the absolute last room I could possibly check is mine. I walked completely around the entire hotel wing. Turns out the first sign I saw had the --> arrow erased so instead of sending me straight to my room, which was right around the corner from the elevators, it sent me all the way around the other way. I swear, things like this only happen to me. (and other people who get that room..)
I called Ganiman from FFXIclopedia to schedule breakfast with him the next morning. While waiting around for him, I found my first bento box in, of all places, the hotel gift shop! It was a Hello Kitty one that came with a fork and spoon and wasn't too bad for Sanrio at $5.95. After a little confusion about which hotel I was at, we sat down to a nice breakfast and had a great chat about the game and of course, babies since he's expecting later this year. I'm always ready to talk about kids. ^_^ I took a cab back to Affinity so that I could print out my questions again since for some reason they decided to run off and hide. Then my cousin picked me up and we headed off to (YaY!) Little Tokyo.
The first place I walked into was some kind of Japanese outlet store so I knew I'd find some good things in there. I ended up getting matching containers for my apple and grape Putifresh boxes, a purple bento box, a collapsible sandwich container, some cute little mini forks which should work great for fruit, Hello Kitty sauce containers, Hello Kitty paper food cups, and a cute metal lunch box for Baby Girl. Sadly, no matching Putifresh bento straps. :( We stopped in a couple more shops before eating, then headed over to Marukai. I was wearing my "Japanee tourist hat" and so the cashier spoke to me in Japanese, even though I addressed her in English. I used my Marukai card from Hawaii and though she couldn't use it, she let me use her guest card or something. Me and Jenn were laughing about how we buy memberships then never seem to make it back to the store until it's too late. Glad I'm not the only one!! Now when it's expired next year and I've never gone back, I can look back and say, "Hey, at least I got to use it in Little Tokyo!!"
Somewhere after Marukai I lost my awesome hat, which still makes me all droopy and sad. I've had that hat for years... I think it blew off my head when we were walking back to the car and since I'd been having the feeling like it was there even when I knew it wasn't, I think I just didn't notice it was gone. Phantom hat feeling did me in!! We headed out to Universal Citywalk after that to see Harry Potter. The red carpet was out for the premiere of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and the thought of possibly of seeing Adam Sandler was really cool, but his show started while we would be inside. Bummer!
We parked in a Curious George parking lot that my kids would have gone ballistic over and there was a huge painting of Curious George at every elevator. The hilarious part about this was both times that we rode the elevator I overheard people say, "We're parked on the Curious George floor!" The second time I just told the family, "Actually, he's on every floor." lol!!
Harry Potter was a really great movie. I felt for once that this wasn't a child actor attempt, but instead a real, honest adaptation of a Harry Potter novel. Seeing it on IMAX was really great, but if you ever go, know that there are no previews at all! They just start it right off! I didn't feel that the death was handled as well as it could have been and they cut out one of my favorites scenes at headquarters after it happens. Umbridge wasn't what I'd pictured but she was still exceptionally well cast. Helena Bonham Carter was freakin' made for the Bellatrix Lestrange role. The last scene with Fred and George Weasley exiting school really could have been done better, but it was instead reduced to a simple fireworks show. All of these things aside though, I still thoroughly enjoyed seeing it. We had a nice dinner at Daily Grill and I got back to my room close to 11.
With the 1up interview revealing a few things Wednesday, I needed to re-do some of my questions and come up with several new ones as well. I stayed up until 1 am doing this and met briefly with Exodus in the morning to make sure he thought they were ok. Matt picked me up at around 9:30 am and after picking up Ganiman from the wiki we had breakfast at a nice place with very yummy food. (I forget the name, Coffee Co?) We still had time to kill though, so we stopped at one of the renovated 7-11 Kwik-E-Marts! Even though I haven't watched Simpsons in forever, it was still an awesome place to visit. There was a security guard outside and he had to keep people outside if the place filled up too much. Pics are here.
Okay so I'd been seriously stressing out over this interview since it's the first one I'd ever done and it was with the people who freakin' made the game I play and all... no stress. ha. It went okay though. I had a bad case of the "umms" for the first few questions and the beginning was seriously freaky for me because for what felt like forever they're all just sitting there staring at me saying nothing and I'm like "omg omg omg wtf?" But I made it, I'm still alive, I didn't die from anxiety like it felt like I was going to. I got a great group picture to remember the experience too!
After the interview I had my first ever In-N-Out burger! It tasted really great, very fresh! I'd definitely eat there again if I ever wanted a burger but didn't want a grease sandwich. For taste though, I think I still have to give first place to W&M Burger right here in Honolulu. If you've never heard of it, it's this tiny little place in Kaimuki right behind City Mill on Waialae Avenue. They've got a teeny little parking lot that fits like 5 cars but holy crap do they have the best tasting burger ever. They put some kind of magical barbecue sauce on their patties or something and have been in business for like 60 years or something nuts like that. The burgers taste like they're really bad for you, but going once a month or so shouldn't kill ya. (just control yourself)
I flew back soon after that and boy did I learn something about transcribing. It's ass. I hate it!! If anyone ever asks me to transcribe something I'm going to make up some excuse about how my ears have been ringing for the past week or how I tend to hear the complete opposite of what people are actually saying... On the plane back I sat next to this really great lady and we talked for almost the whole last hour or so. I gave her my card and she mentioned that she thinks her son plays Final Fantasy. I thought that was hilarious. Chances are he plays one of the console ones, but I just found it so amusing to imagine her telling him she sat next to some lady named "Pikko" on the plane and it just so happens he posts on Allakhazam or something.
Bentos will resume tomorrow. I made Butter Yaki tonight and have packed it into one of my new bento boxes. This was a very expensive one, costing me $14.99 for a main box with divider, two side boxes, matching chopsticks, an ice pack, and a cute floral zipper bag. I found it in Marukai. Pics tomorrow!
My total weight gain over the course of 3 days in LA? 1 pound! Woohoo!! And this morning I weighed in at 126.6 lbs. I'm not even counting points anymore. All I do is eat as healthy and as fat free as I can. I give myself treats now and then and when I'm deciding how much to eat, I usually stop just before I reach that point. The amount I eat at meals is much less than it was before, that's the only way I can explain it. Either that or something's wrong with me, but I won't go there.