I sat home this morning, finishing a periodicals post, and watching the online traffic maps, until the route seemed clear for an unencumbered drive, which as I expected didn’t appear until somewhat after noon; the difficulty is driving through the vast expanse of LA city, on I405 or I5, which experience rush hour traffic slowdowns much of the morning and then again in the afternoon beginning by 4pm or so. The best case from my area in northwest LA, through the city to San Diego, is two hours; today it took about two hours 15 minutes, what with traffic slowdowns over the Sepulveda pass and then again entering SD on the 805..
The Town and Country resort, site of this year’s convention, is a maze of hotel structures, cabanas, pools, parking structures, and alleyways, which requires the handy map they give you at check-in to navigate. I parked my car and checked in, wandered over to registration, found the dealers room, and oriented myself just in time to attend the opening ceremonies, conducted by Toastmaster [not mistress] Connie Willis, who introduced the several guests of honor — Parke Godwin, Sheila McCarthy, artist Ruth Sanderson, and last but not least, that promising upcoming young writer by the name of, what was it, oh, Neil Gaiman…. who all stood up for brief, or very brief, words of acknowledgement….
After which was a presentation, which I ducked into and out of over the course of an hour plus, by the San Diego Zoo, that prominent local attraction, with two or three zoo officials not just promoting their site, but displaying *live animals* for the edification of the audience — including an armadillo, an owl, an anteater, and a porcupine, of those I saw…
Later I hooked up with the Locus worker-bees and contributors — Kirsten and her daughter Teddy, Beth Gwinn, Fran, and Karen Burnham + Curtis + 2-month-old-baby-boy Gavin — for dinner in one of the onsite restaurants. Then back to my room to check email and plan tomorrow’s post — Lois Tilton’s latest column, which you’ll see tomorrow morning.
Today’s travel music: Peter Gabriel’s New Blood CD, with impressive, substantially different versions (orchestral) of many of his best songs from “Rhythm of the Heat” to “Mercy Street”; REM’s latest album, which continues to grow on me; and the new Coldplay, which hasn’t, yet.