Man, does LA ever suck. This isn’t the usual Bay Area-resident-bitches-about-LA routine, either — I’m talking about a deep-seated rage. I hate the heat; it’s not like the clean oven-baked heat of the desert, or the muggy womb-like pressure-cooker warmth of the southeast, but an oppressive sinus-clogging misery like being in a stinky convenience store hot dog rotisserie that hasn’t been cleaned in months. A big, black cancerous palm-tree-covered tumor lodged in between me and Disneyland.
So as bad as I thought it was going to be driving to E3 on 3 hours of sleep, turns out it’s even worse driving 6 hours and going to E3 on no sleep at all. Around 6:30 AM it occurred to me it’d be better to get a plane ticket and rent a car so I could sleep on the plane and/or take a nap first, but I figured that’d be too expensive. Luckily, the friendly LA highway patrol saw to it that I could enjoy the long drive and added expense by pulling me over right as I got through the Grapevine. For speeding. Because my 4-cylinder Volkswagen takes all those hills in the Grapevine blazing fast, almost as fast, even, as the 10 million people who kept passing me.
The CHP guy said I “stood out” not because of the broken headlight or broken windshield which I have yet to replace, but because I “threw cigarette ash out the window.” Not a cigarette butt; I’d been careful to use my ashtray for once so as not to get pulled over for littering. Pulled over because of ashing out the window. Which of course is understandable, because you don’t get that pristine, clean-room environment that is the LA freeway system by throwing small bits of white dust around randomly. Worst was how he tried to act like he was doing me a favor: “I decided to save you some money by only putting down 78, but you were really going over 80.” My ass. I drove on and of course immediately lit another cigarette, out of pure spite. No more flicking, though — I just held the thing up to the window and let the breeze from all the cars zipping past me take care of the ash.
Then it was a good 45-minute drive from Glendale to the convention center in LA traffic, $20 for parking, and then The Videogame Industry and all its gory excess. It only took 10 minutes to get a splitting headache, and by 4:30 the soul-crushing despair had won out. I started to doze off on the 45-minute-for-15-miles drive to the hotel, don’t even remember checking in or lying down, and just woke up at 9:30 PM, missing the chance to meet up with Mac or do anything. So it’s a dinner of cookies and peanuts from the vending machine while watching Cartoon Network in the hotel room. Truly I am a High Roller.
Also, the hotel only serves Pepsi. God, I hate LA.