All right, so… the tour so far:
Tuesday night I got on a Virgin America flight to LAX. I was looking forward to it as the description of the plane and amenities on board sounded pretty good. Alas, due to the non-updated Flash site, I had difficulty finding and understanding the checked baggage policy and was led to expect I would not be paying for my one checked bag. Unfortunately the policy had changed and the change was hard to locate and I did, indeed, end up paying for my one bag. Had I but known I was going to pay $15 for a bag and $3-8 for every snack I’d have booked in First class, which was $40 more expensive than coach when I was first booking the ticket.
Also the vaunted "electrical sockets at every seat," wasn’t really the truth either: the sockets are between the seats, so if there are 3 seats in your row, there are 2 sockets. And mine was functioning and showing it’s happy green light… until I plugged my laptop in, when it died and never came back. So I ran down my battery all the way to Los Angeles.
The plane as an Airbus A319–a very slim plane so the seats were close together and my seat mate was an armrest hog. The airline had also chosen cute seats that had an unfortunately shallow underseat luggage space so the laptop bag I normally have no trouble stowing was sticking out and I had no leg room.
But the flight attendants were really cute, friendly, nice and helpful–when they could help. And the fight was really no worse than normal. Some things were very good and some were pretty bad, like the fact that no one wants to pay for checked bags, so they all had 2 maximum-sized carry-ons and there wasn’t enough room for them all, so as we were deplaning, one fellow had to make his way to the back of the plane to find the rest of his family’s luggage.
The family refused to sit down and let other people leave while they fetched the wayward luggage, so we all got to wait until it was collected and they deigned to get the hell off the plane.
Every other person on board seemed to have a laptop. The guy in front of me wanted to work on his and so did I, but he wanted to work in his lap, so, with no regard for me, he slammed his seat back as soon as possible and nearly crushed my laptop. I had to ask him to sit forward, which he did, but… sheesh… check first or lower your seat more gently. But I did get 800 words done anyway.
Finally off the plane, I got my luggage pretty quickly, met my ride, and got out of LAX and into a nice sofa bed quickly.
Wednesday was a bit of a slow day, mostly phone calls and mail and 1200 words. Thursday a few things went bad and then a few more, and I spent my morning on the phone or in email trying to make them better and not getting too far. Eventually I gave up and hung out with my sister and went to look at Marion Davies’s beach house–but it was closed for the day so we lurked outside on the beach and cadged WiFi from the free Santa Monica system.
Tonight was my first signing in LA. A bit mixed since due to the release of Inglorious Basterds and District 9, everyone at the Grove was there for movies, not books, and the shop–which is usually busy as a WWII dance hall when the Navy is in town–was almost empty. My audience was small, so I pulled up an arm chair with the help of the CRM, William, and sat down with the audience to read aloud to them.
That was really pleasant and low-stress and three people wandering in the shop came to listen and bought the book. I also met my publicist’s mom, actress Pamela Franklin (she played the medium who is killed by the falling stone cross in the opening of The Legend of Hell House–one of my favorite creepy films) and I felt like a big silly fan girl. I also got to meet a lovely lady named Brandy from Underground Films and we talked about wonderful "ghosty" television shows. Then it turned out Brandy knew my friend Joe who’d also come along, as well as Publicist Josh, so it was a small, but delightful party.
Then the sister, her fiance, Joe, and I adjourned for dessert before driving home. Molten chocolate cake is delicious, but judging from the ache in my tummy, it’s got a lot of eggs… Still, a good evening and I had a fine time.
And now I must go to bed, since I have another signing tomorrow at Dark Delicacies in Burbank. Hope tummy is feeling better.
Still on the fence about Disneyland. I would like to go, but it’s very expensive now. On the other hand… it’s the 40th Anniversary of the Haunted Mansion and, well… how can you resist that?