Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Before The SOA S4 Viewing Party

As you know from the blog about the things we saw before, during, and after the event, all y'all are aware that we met with April MacIntyre, blogger extraordinaire of Monsters & Critics. She got us back to the hotel in plenty of time for me to finish the IN swag for the cast and some of the crew, which was finishin' up the autographed pics with uncirculated IN quarters in plastic holders attached.

On Friday evening, Ms. Kyle Loony (no snark about her last name, thank you very much!), of Fox Home Entertainment, met with Mark and myself at the hotel to provide us with flip cameras. Not sure why they're called 'flip'. They're very thin video cams with a wrist holder and a chargin' unit. The purpose of these small mini cams was for us to record our thoughts and feelin's about bein' winners, and also film the event from our point of view.

Though I have an AS degree in radio/tv/film, the DH has the BA degree in photojournalism, so he got to help with the mini cam filmin', and we recorded my thoughts/feelin's on winnin' and bein' an SOA fan. Then I took on the camera duties so Mr. Robert could record his own thoughts. His favorite line is 'It's all my fault!'

As Robert was gettin' ready to go, I filmed the two bags of IN swag I was takin' to the event with a little narrative. The kitty bag of mine came in handy, as I was also able to carry the two flip cam boxes (Mark's and mine) with their chargers, and a few other necessities besides the swag to the event. Yes, that's a picture Robert took of me workin' the flip cam, bags o'swag beside me.

We trooped downstairs where we were to be picked up by Diva Limousines, where the other winner, Mark Mitteer and his friend, Katherine Miller, were already sittin' and waitin'. Mark decided to use the dusk and the hotel exterior for his thoughts and feelin's, with Kat (aka @meadowgirl on the twitters) doin' the cameraperson honors. I also took the opportunity to do some filimin' of the hotel Sutterink and FHE had elected to have us stay in. This is where we found Mark and Katherine.

This is Mark and Kat, sittin' outside the hotel waitin' on the limo.

The three of us, me in the middle doin' my SOA bag lady thing.

We were to be picked up in a Lincoln Town SUV. It was nice, both inside and out. Our driver was Serge, turned out to be a former resident of the former Soviet Union. Believe me, his accent was much more realistic than Putlova's in Season 3 (sorry, Kurt, but Keith S really didn't nail the Russian accent as well as he could've. Always had great respect for the man after 'The Equalizer' and 'Golden Years'. Guess ya can't always hit the mark). Serge told us lots of interesting tidbits about his life across the world as we drove. Mark made sure that Serge knew the rules, 'Cop, no stop' and 'Sidewalks are an alternative route'.

It didn't take long to get to the Landmark Cinema, where the event was to be held. The West End Tavern, where the reception would be held later, was right next door to the theatre. Robert did his imitation of 'cute puppy wantin' somethin' special' when he saw a Barnes & Noble right next to the theatre.

(He wanted to buy one of his 'subversive' magazines. Was I nice and let him? Keep readin' to find out.)

Serge let us out at the front entrance, where there was no red carpet and no paparazzi (Yay!). A big limo pulled up right after us to deposit Tom Arnold, aka Georgie Caruso. Now that 'Call of Duty' has aired, I can now refer to him as the deceased Georgie Caruso. We got the honor of ridin' up in the elevator with him (by we, that means me, the DH, Mark, Kat, and the FHE people). That was about all we saw of him until the Q/A session after the viewing.

Once we entered the lobby area in front of the theatre room we'd be usin', my little eyes spied 'mi Yahama amigo' Emilio Rivera, and I rushed up to greet him. He had friended me on FB a long time ago, and when I purchased Tig, he'd commented on his page that he had a similar bike back in the day. He immediately called me his Yahama friend and gave me a big hug of welcome. We talked for a bit about ridin', and that I had some IN swag for him, which I'd be sure to give him at the reception.

Then up walked Kurt Sutter, who I term the Great Bird of the SOA Galaxy. I expected just a hearty handshake from him as he is known to have issues with lots of people in small spaces. The Great Man gave me a big hug and a smacker of a kiss on the cheek! Somehow, my arms went around his neck, fortunately, not to choke him, and I literally bawled like a baby at his greeting. That was my first 'floor open up now and take me away!' moment. Me, a grown woman, bawlin' like a baby in Kurt Sutter's arms!

He then introduced me to his wife, Katey Sagal, and his daughter, who sings as Sarah White (at least that is what the ITunes has the song and artist listed as, if I'm wrong, my apologies!). I slipped into my best behavior and stated somethin' along the lines of 'Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Sagal," (D'oh!), shook hands with her and introduced the poor bag laden husband to her. Then complimented both her and her daughter on their singin' and also shook hands with their lovely daughter.

Mr. Sutter went on to greet Mark and Kat I guess, and we got our picture (we bein' Robert and I) got our picture taken with Ms. Sagal.

Then we (that bein' Robert and I) got a chance to meet and speak with McNally Sagal, who plays Margaret Murphy, the hospital administrator. I expressed my appreciation in the growth that the character has displayed from Season 2 to Season 4, goin' from a cold, mechanical administrative type to a warm, carin' friend to the Tara character complete with her own heavy baggage. Ms. Sagal seemed pleased that I was aware of this.

Next approached my dear friend, Michael Marisi Ornstein, wearin' a leather lookin' fedora and a big grin. We hugged and said hello, and I showed him that his package of swag hadn't been forgotten; it was in the kitty bag. We made plans to 'hook up' during the reception.

Kristen Renton was standin' in the lobby area, very hard not to miss with all that long, beautiful blond hair! I ventured forward, where she was standin' and talkin' with some people (FHE staff I think?), and spoke her name, addin' "I'm Lowecat".

Another big hug and big smile came my way.

Kristen and I have been communicatin' a lot of Twitter, and she has been very supportive of my benefit rides, also tweetin' support and love for the effort. She participated in a women's cancer fund raiser earlier this year, which I donated to in honor of my dad, a 27 year prostrate cancer survivor. Kristen is also involved in animal rescue, specifically boxer dogs, though she has a love for all animals. You can find out more about her causes through these links:

Christopher D. Reid was also in the lobby, and we waved at each other. I intended to talk to him, but we were asked by one of the Fox Home Entertainment staff to get our refreshments (Eat in front of Kurt Sutter and company? During SOA 410? I don't even eat during viewin' at home and couldn't think of eatin' in front of them!) and go inside the theatre.

Instead of the usual stadium seats (and I think, but can't be sure that there were a few of them), there were large, luxurious leather armchairs to sit in, with tables to hold our refreshments. Robert, of course, had popcorn, I couldn't tell y'all what Mark and Kat had. I had water. We girls were between the men, and for some reason, we were seated on the front row, right in front of the screen and right in front of Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal!

Because the question has been come up, I'm gonna editorialize a bit right here and now. NO, I am NOT a bit disappointment in the way the event turned out! Yes, I realize that Mr. Sutter made certain promises in his original announcement in his blog:

Here's my challenge/promise:
If we can see at least a ten percent bump in the season four premier -- in both total viewers and the 18-49 key demo -- I will pick a loyal SutterInk Twitter follower (I'm not tweeting but my account is still active) and a SutterInk blog follower -- fly you and a guest out to Los Angeles, put you up in a non-shithole hotel and invite you to my house to watch episode 410 of Sons (After a thorough security check by Fox of course). I believe that is Thanksgiving week so I might even be able to convince a few cast members to join us. Perhaps we'll call it a party. My wife, not only is she beautiful and loving, she puts out a nice spread.

(the above was taken from Kurt Sutter's blog, Season 4 Premier Challenge/Promise Update )

Frankly, I'm glad that we didn't go out to the Sutter family home. That's their sanctuary, a place they can retreat where the rest of the world doesn't invade. It's one thing to invite friends, family, and co - workers to one's home. It's somethin' else to invite strangers / fans to the family abode.

Mr. Sutter took a big leap of faith to invite two fans to LA in the first place, knowin' nothin' more about us than what he's read of our blog responses and twits (twitter posts). Considerin' the number of stories about stalker fans that have made the news in the last few years, it was downright ballsy. Granted, Fox Security probably ran a considerable background check, and I'm sure they would have acted if any red flags had popped up.

To be honest, the idea of goin' to the Sutter residence made me very nervous. As I told Mr. Sutter later that evening, 'Like Radar said of Col. Potter, if we'd been at your home, I wouldn't have been able to dip my Zwieback in my Bosco!' I think he understood what I meant.

By havin' the fan event at a more public place, such as the Landmark Cinema and the West End Tavern, there was more room for the cast, production staff, Fox Home Entertainment people, and us fans to spread out. We got to see episode 410 on the big screen (and wow! Seein' Kim Coates, Kurt Sutter, Katey Sagal, and everyone else on a theatre screen like that was, in a word, awesome!) without commercials; we had a great place to meet and talk individually with the cast members who graciously gave of their free time to attend with plenty of room to spread out.

In the next installment, thoughts of watchin' 41o before all y'all got to, and my next 'Open up the floor and let me drop' moment! Like I've said before, this is like a gourmet, 12 course meal, intended to be savoured slowly!

Friday, November 18, 2011

An Open Letter to Internet Bullies

Dear Cyber Bullies;

The internet and the social networks never cease to amaze me. Bullies who once hung around the restrooms and hallways now lurk message boards to cause all manner of trouble for people - young, old, male, female, black, white, gay, straight - and anything else they don't like.

Like settlers crossin' the prairie in days of old, they call their 'friends' to circle the wagons protectively around them while they spew their vicious little bits of poison that usually hold as much water as a leaky sieve at their chosen victim. Doesn't matter if the things they state are true or not, just get it out there and make their victim squirm, that's all that matters.

What should be worked out by grown adults in private email gets blown all over the world wide web, with people takin' sides and addin' their own fuel to the fire. Lies become bigger, bashes get nastier, and people get hurt.

It seems that fan groups, be the groups exist for a television show, movie, book, or music, are fertile breeding grounds for such vile creatures. I've been seein' it happen to a very dear friend of mine, and it's gotten past the point of harassment to downright evil.

This particular friend of mine has worked very hard at something she loves to keep people informed about a certain show we both enjoy. We share the love of this show with hundreds of thousand of others. This woman originally started a fan club of sorts for an actor who is on the show. From that fan club venture grew into an internet message board/forum and several facebook fan appreciation pages.

Because of this woman's hard work, the actors and producers of this show have chosen - of their own free will - to bestow autographs, posters, and other items related to the show. They have sent her good wishes - again of their own free will - that she has shared with friends. She's not done this to rub the 'have not's ' faces in her good luck, but to share the love from these people.

The majority of us, though a trifle envious, have been happy for her. I can grok that joy havin' just experienced being selected by the showrunner/Executive Producer/Creator of the show to meet him, preview the 11th episode of the season before it aired, and record a YouTube question and answer segment with him and the other winner (more on that in a minute).

Sometime earlier this year, this lady and another lady got into some kind of misunderstanding. Feelings were hurt, and instead of things being kept private, the disagreement went public. Sides started to get taken, accusations were made, gossip got carried around, innocent people got hurt. It spread like wildfire from one page to another page to another and then to other social networking sites.

Now, this fantastic lady is considerin' bowin' to the pressure of all the hate bein' heaped on her, and lettin' the asshats win. She's considerin' shuttin' down all her pages, among other things. Several of us, including both of the winners of the viewer challenge, are tryin' to talk her out of doin' this. But she's hurt, and I can't blame her for feelin' that way. When people make accusations that they cannot or will not back up with proof when demanded, things have gone way out of line.

Hell, the other winner and myself have been subjected to negative comments about our backgrounds and looks on the YouTube Segment. There have been many positive comments, but the negativity is simple pea - green jealousy because we were picked, and the haters don't feel we make the best representation of the fan base.

Fortunately, the EP/Creator/showrunner didn't demand pics up front from the winners before he brought us out to LA. He accepted us as is, warts and all. Thank Gawd for that. All you have to do is look at his face on that segment. Does he look like he's thinkin' "I can't wait to get the hell away from these two?"

When it comes to bein' made fun of and bullied, that's somethin' I've endured all my life. I can pretty well handle it, and while hate confrontations, won't hesitate to fight for what I believe is right.Both of us who won have lambasted the haters on You Tube. One has actually had the balls enough to apologize for their comments. That's what a grown adult should do.

What's goin' on lately with this young wife, mother, and fan is NOT right. It needs to stop. It needs to stop now.

The other side can justify their actions to their heart's content. I've heard all the excuses. It's time to quit addin' fuel to the fire and walk away from the disagreement. Just give it up and go find something else to do. Bury the frackin' hatchet and leave it buried.

End of line.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Much Appreciaton is Enough?

Remember those story questions in math? Those always used to drive me batty. Still do. This is kinda like those math story problems. I'm gonna put it to all y'all, and see what ya come up with.

A social network acquaintance did something very nice for me, as I would not be able to attend a personal appearance featuring a favorite celebrity. This acquaintance was going to attend the appearance, and because I could not, obtained an autograph from that celeb for me, postin' picture of same on my social network wall. I wrote a thank you to that acquaintance the minute my eyes beheld the picture and then sent an email to that acquaintance as to how to get the item to me.

In the meantime, this same person did something I did not agree with, and could not condone. I cried foul on it, and because it bothered me so much, blogged about it right here, but was careful to keep names out of it. No names were mentioned. You can read it for yourself.

I was pretty blunt in describing the person's behavior. The adjective fits. i don't apologize for usin' it. The behavior has the potential to cause harm to a lot of innocent people thanks to guilt by association. I'd like to hope not, but one never knows.

Well, the miscreant who irked me with the misbehavior took the adjective and the blog personally. They felt hurt and betrayed that after goin' out of their way to do this nice thing for me, I had turned on them. Obviously the person read the blog, but they got the wrong message from the blog.

A series of private messages on FB flowed. The PMs were along the same vein, justifying their persepctive and the behavior itself. As the PMs progressed, I was called harsh, uncaring, mean spirited, and the SOA/Twitter police. I was told by this person I need to mind my own business and not read what they post on the WWW (I'm still scratchin' my head on that one!).

The most galling thing was for the person to state several times that they weren't bein' properly/appropriately thanked for their gesture. This after being shown gratitude on my own FB page, on this very blog, and in all subsequent PMs! How much gratitude does a person need, for cryin' out loud?

See, where I come from, sayin' a sincere 'thank you' was usually enough. Same thing with writing a thank you note for a present. Once was enough. Even if you had a dispute with the giver, a simple, sincere, single thank you often bridged the gap.

Nowadays, it seems that people expect you to take out a billboard and/or prime drive time teevee/radio ad space to proclaim your humble appreciation for their thoughtfulness.

I don't know about you, but it just doesn't add up to me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm an Outspoken Beyotch. Deal with It.

It seems that my tendency to speak my mind has caused a few people on the social networks some well deserved and maybe not so well deserved distress. Like my husband's mama, outspoken is one of the things that defines me. So does bitch, as in Meredith Brooks' song 'Bitch'. All those adjective she sings about herself applies to me. It's a badge of honor carried proudly and honed through 50 plus years of livin'.
I don't pull punches, do not say things that people want to hear. I don't like confrontations, but will stand up for what I believe is right. Anyone who knows me knows that they will get the unvarnished truth from me. It might be painful, it might smell like shit, but it will be the truth. IMO, a true friend doesn't whitewash the shit, doesn't plump you up with puffy words that don't hold a bit of weight when it's not merited. I'll fight to the death for your right to be wrong. A true firend tells it like it is, even when it hurts. That's the way I live.
That doesn't mean I go deliberately lookin' for trouble, but when it rears its' ugly head, especially if someone I care about is bein' attacked in public, I'll jump in with both feet and both eyes wide open into the fray. I did that recently with the blog titled 'Not so Social Networking Redux'.
The party, who was and still remains nameless, apparently saw herself in the blog, and didn't like what she read. Tough shit, baby. What you did was wrong. I stand by that belief. Yes, you were defendin' your friend, but when ya took it off the social network where it originated and brought it to a different public forum, y'all crossed the line. By involvin' an innocent cast member of our favorite teevee show in the fray in a juvenile manner (to borrow someone else's description, usin' hangman spaces for fuck's sake? Jaysus!) with the post was even worse. It tainted the rest of the fanbase. It was unladylike behavior.
Said party did something very nice for me over the weekend, as one of my favorite actors from this program was in my hometown the same weekend of my winning trip. Yeah, it was a little disappointin' to miss the actor's appearance, but he is also gonna be just two hours north of me in two months. The party took it upon themselves to get both actors from the show to sign a poster for me, explainin' why the party was doin' so. The party posted a pic of the autographs on my FB page, for which I thanked said party profusely.
Durin' the weekend, I had little access to the internet. Only via the Iphone, and we pay for datea use overage. Ergo, it was necessary to limit said usage as much as possible. The twitter war over the fake show motorcycle cuts was drainin' enough (see the 'Party' blog, comin' soon, for more on that little episode). However, I did see the party's twitter post, and made a response to it. The 140 character response was simple and direct. It's on my @Lowecat twitter account for any who want to read it from 14 Nov.
Though I follow the party, I did not see the second volley in the twitter fray fired off to the creator and EP of the show that named the party that had betrayed the friend. Not until I received a diatribe in FB mail blastin' me for statin' my mind and remindin' me of the beautiful gesture that didn't have to be made. So, I went huntin' and found the tweet to the EP. My heart sank.
One of the things said to me in the diatribe mentioned that the party has heard others refer to me as the self appointed SOA/Twitter police. When it comes to fake SOA cuts, damn right I'll speak out, and I did, and will continue to do so. That's a whole 'nother blog of its' own (see the one for Hallowe'en, 'Just Don't Do It') and has already been written. That's the only so called policin' I do where SOA is concerned, other than bootleg DVDs.
Fact is, I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. If you can, I'll have the balls to admit bein' wrong.
Whether I get the signed item or not at this point remains to be seen. The party received a response via FB mail. It was very intent, probably defensive, and in two parts. I've yet to go to FB to see what's waitin' for me. Since my email didn't have a message notice, it may be lyin' in wait like a hooded cobra ready to strike. At least I saved the pic posted on my wall on my hard drive, and will have that.
The diatribe then led me to the party's friend's wall. That person is on my FB friend list. I challenged a comment she made on that wall about the whole matter. My challenge was very similar to another poster's view. That challenge lead to late night/early mornin' frank and intense dialouge between two adults who behaved lke adults, admitting to and apologizin' to each other for wrongly stated comments and comin' to an agreement.
If you are a friend of mine on FB, don't bother lookin' for the comment thread. The wall owner has deleted it as a sign of good faith. The apology the party made was copied to me in email from FB, and is saved as somethin' to treasure. The original party also expressed to me her shock and dispair over the mutual friend's post to the actor and the show creator on Twitter.
I mention this ONLY to show that this is what should have happened in this first place! Grown adults actin' like adults and speakin' to each other directly (or as directly as possible as social neworkin' allows) instead of cryin' "foul" in public and havin' their friends circle the wagons to sling more shit than any monkey house in any zoo can produce. Somewhere along the way, a war got started and grew and grew and grew as many wars tend to do.
I hope to Gawd that the grown adult activity/behavior can continue, and that peace can be restored between all four mutual FB friends. It's gonna be difficult, as some bridges have been burned. The party whose misguided Twitter posting brought me into this wrote some very hurtful things to me, besides the police comment. As that person discovered, I can - and will - go back over my own writings to prove something right or wrong.
Forgiveness may be easy to give. Forgettin' may be harder. Trust can be given, and easily bruised. Once injured, trust can be very difficult to rebuild. I think it's possible, but it's gonna take time between two willin' adults to take the time and the effort to do what needs to be done in the rebuildin' process.
End of line.

Time to Party or Pawtee in LA

After checking into the hotel, resting up from the travel, watchin' my favorite (and only!) soap, and findin' a place for my stuff (thank you George Carlin) , and then goin' out to the mall for lunch and shoppin', we got ourselves ready for our first ever Hollywood type party. Or, as KISS calls it Pawty.

This party was actually a grand openin' at Perri Ink Cartel, a unique shop on Melrose, which I mistakenly identified as Santa Monica Boulevard in my previous blog. (I told y'all on twitter and FB that I do fact check!) The invite was for the DH and myself from Mr. Michael Marisi Ornstein, aka Chuckie on Sons of Anarchy.

Mr. Ornstein and myself have been in communication on Facebook and Twitter (where he posts as @swimdeep) for some time. I also subscribe to his blog, 'Handwritten Radio'. It's on my dashboard under Blogs I Follow. You should check it out.

Mr. Ornstein is very talented, not just as an actor, but as artisit, photographer, and writer. His photos and paintings have appeared on Twitter and FB. He also has a website for his work:

Because of that communication back and forth, and my interest in his work (which included sending him links to various art venues in Indianapolis in hopes he will one day display his work here, hint - hint), it was only natural to ask him in DM/PM's on FB and the Twitters if he would be at the SOA event.

Well, not only was he goin' to be at the event, he invited the DH and myself to the Perri Cartel Ink openin'. Happy happy joy joy! Hell yeah, I'd love to go.

Then came the questions on my part. What does one wear to such a function. Formal? Casual? Casual/formal, formal/casual, or clothing optional (well, it is LA!).

Mr. Ornstein responded to wear something one would wear to meet a rock star like Keith Richards. Yeah. That helped a lot. Groupie wear? I don't think so, not at my age. Then he followed up with what he intended to wear as a guideline. Comfy casual. Jeans, jacket, boots. OK, I accept that.

Next thing to worry me, how in the Hell do we get there? Taxi? Hotel car? Bus? Shanksmare (an old biker term from the 1960's meanin' to hoof it, and I have the DC/Lois Lane comic to prove the term!).

Not knowin' a damn thing about public transportation in LA, I did what any good reporter (or in my case, former reporter) would do. I researched. Started with the hotel concierge. The hotel's web site had mentioned that the hotel offered cars and drivers. Hmmm.

The concierge was helpful. Yes, the driver/car was free -- within a mile and half radius of the hotel. After that it would be $95 an hour, minimum two hours. Holy George Washingtons, Batman! The DH would have kittens over that idea!

The concierge heard my heart stop. Literally. While I was indulgin' in a little self CPR and wonderin' if bus routes would be workable (oh yeah, as IF either of us would want to try to find a bus route to the hotel in the dead of night in LA?), the concierge stated that it was 'only a $25 cab ride one way'.

That was a little more doable. I still researched the bus routes, just in case the DH had kittens about the cab. Became not very sanguine about the schmand faire option at all.

With attire and transportation matters resolved in advance, we trekked down to the lobby, on past the hotel cars and drivers, to the line of cabs waitin' beyond. We took the first cab in line, and I handed the driver the pre - printed address I'd found on line for PIC. You can learn more about this store by clickin' on the links below:

(picture of the Perri Ink Cartel logo used by permission of Michael Marisi Ornstein).

The ride took us past many interesting shops. Many reminded me of our arts districts in Broad Ripple and Massachusetts Avenue. Small little shops advertisin' all manner of goods and services. Plus a whole lotta Starbucks.

We saw the Beverly Hills government center, a very tall building that I swear is the same one that appears on the badges of the LAPD, especially from Dragnet. We would later learn from April Macintyre, blogwriter for Monsters and Critics, that the building is quite historic. We also saw the sign for the Beverly Hills residential area. Whoot!

I cracked up at the sight of the store sign for a medicinal herbage shop. BUZZZZZ R Us. I tried a picture, but it's not the best. Robert got closer for a picture. Still not great, but it works.

The taxi let us off on the corner, where the valet parkin' was takin' place. The valet was still nice enough to open the cab door for me. I got very spoiled this weekend by all the men openin' doors for me. Our driver from LAX to the hotel opened the door for me. The valet parkers at the Intercontinental opened the doors for me every time we got out of a car. Our driver to/from the hotel and the SOA event opened the door for me. The only time I had to open my own bloody door was when we got INTO the cab and into our room (I keep tellin' the DH he still has to woo me, even though he's won me)!!!! Robert, dear husband, y'all need to take note of that. Those men spoilt me rotten. Hint - hint.

I walked up to the people at the barricade and told them who I was and that Mr. Ornstein had left my name for admittance with a 'plus one'. The helpful ladies directed me to the other side of the barricade, where the ladies with the guest list were standin'. No problem, we walked over and I introduced myself to the ladies with the clipboard. They quickly scanned the guest list, found my name, and - voila! - the little velvet rope was opened and we walked the red carpet inside.

The first thing I saw, and unfortunately didn't get a picture of, was a repainted Nash Motorcycle. Oh, I wanted that bike so much! It was very difficult not to touch, but I remembered an age old adage, 'if you touch, you buy.' Talk about the DH havin' kittens about the shippin' for that! (The bike, not the fella next to it, more on him in a minute).

(picture used by permission of Michael Marisi Ornstein)

Perri Ink Cartel is a one - stop shop for a hair cut, body piercin', tattos, guitars, Mr. Ornstein's art, and motorcycle parts. We wondered through the buildin', lookin' at the many things on display in front. Robert kept sayin' 'No touch. No touch. No touch' about the bikes. Men! We kept walkin' through the buildin', findin' that like an onion, the further in we went, the more interestin' things we found. Then we found the out back area. Actually, I damn near fell into it.

Seriously. I didn't see that there was a step up. I was holdin' my kitty bag in my hand (carryin' some Indiana swag wrapped up all pretty for Mr. Ornstein). The bag would also hold any thing we might pick up that was offered as freebie souvenirs. It was never intended to go flyin' onto my shoulder and whackin' me upside the head. The bag did exactly that while I gracelessly tripped my way into the back lot.

The lady bartenders saw my near embarassment and asked if I were OK. Other than totally embarassed, I was fine, thanks for askin'. At least I didn't fall on my face and embarass myself further. One of the bartenders was also from the midwest, from Kansas. This came out because I made a comment about my midwestern country self not knowin' to watch me step. Who says one can't make instant friends of strangers?

We ordered non alcoholic drinks, and started to meander around. Servers of the male and female persuasion offered us tasty tidbits, always bein' careful to advise if nuts were involved. Scrumptious doesn't even begin to describe the cuisine. I was fascinated to watch the chefs put the snacks together.

There was a canopy with the Nash Motorcycle logo set up with chairs for people to sit in. Also two barber chairs were out in back. I kept expectin' SOA's Floyd to show up!

(photo used by permission of Michael Marisi Ornstein)

As we waited for Michael to appear, I inadvertantly got into a twitter war with a couple of twitters about makin' their own SOA cuts. The intent to go on Twitter was to share the location. I got so involved in the twitter war that I missed Mr. Ornstein's tweet message of 'Are you here?' . The basis of the war was that two people on twitter were thinkin' of havin' SOA cuts made up. I was tryin' to dissaude them from this, out of concern for their safety (and not wantin' to see Sutterink or FX or Linson Productions get sued). That war eventually worked itself out, but it took a bit of my time and attention until Robert made me turn the Iphone off.


Then I had my first magic moment. Christopher D Reed and his lovely wife walked into the back lot. The lot was beginnin' to fill with people. Lots of people. It wasn't hard to recognize Christopher. He stands out in a crowd due to his height. My little heart fluttered, but I didn't run up to him and say 'hi'. Hell, the man was there to attend a function in support of Mr. Ornstein, and he and his lovely lady were waitin' in line to get their drinks. It went against everythin' I hold dear to bother them.

But that didn't stop me from lookin'. And whisperin' to the DH that Christopher D Reed was in da house - or in that case, da lot.

"Who?" my dear husband imitated an owl.

"Filthy Phil," I hissed, raisin' eyes.

"Oh. Him. Yeah."

Raised eyes again. Men!!!!

A few minutes later, I had my first real fangirl moment. Dayton Callie had walked up next to Chris and his lovely wife.

"OMG!" I hissed to the DH. "It's Dayton Callie!"


'Do your feet fit on a branch and you shit through feathers?' I thought. "Dayton Callie. Unser."

"The former sheriff?"

Good Gawd! He does watch the damn show! "The former police cheif. DO NOT call him the former sheriff!"


Meanwhile, I am feelin' ashamed for indulgin' in a minor fangirl squee. No one else heard it, or if they did, they didn't let on that I'd just fangirled all over the place. Again, no rushin' up to see/speak to him. He was on line for a drink. And he was chattin' with Chris and his lovely wife (and she is very lovely!).

Content that I wasn't goin' to bespoil/besmirch the fine name of Lowe (and my maiden name of Emily), Robert left me alone in the back lot to go snoop around the front. He left and I sat on the edge of one of the barber chair so that someone else could sit, too. I was content to watch and listen to the folks millin' about me. And feast my eyes on the SOA cast in attendance. And look for Mr. Ornstein. And stay off Twitter so I wouldn't be the 'SOA/Twitter police" as I've been accused of bein' from another blog post of mine. (le sigh).

I will admit to feelin' slightly annoyed on behalf of Mr. Callie and Mr. Reed, as they were standin' in line waitin' to get a drink and talkin' with each other, fans would walk right up, interrupt the conversation, askin' for a picture with Mr. Callie. They totally ignored Mr. Reed at times. Let me tell you, I've never seen anymore responde more graciously than Mr. Callie to these requests for a picture, despite the interruption. He spoke graciously to the fans, posed for the pictures, shook hands, and never once indicated that he wasn't exactly pleased with their audacity. Had it been me gettin' interrupted, somethin' would've been said. He never responded with anything but grace and open friendliness. Both Mr. Reed and Mr. Callie reacted like true gentlemen when accosted in such a manner.

Robert returned, and I continued to watch the people around us. Even did an imitation of salmon swimmin' upstream to spawn to get a refill from the lady bartenders and back to the metal barricade seperatin' the alley from the lot. Robert announced he'd picked up some PIC swag that was free. A matchbook for his best friend's collection and a couple of biz cards. He also said he thought he saw some motorcycle parts, but they might've been tattoo implements for all he knew. My dear love is not the most mechanically inclined male in the world, but I love him anyway.

Havin' piqued my interest, I again swam like a salmon through the millin' throng and eventually found my way out of the back lot into the building again. No longer imitatin' a salmon, I meandered around up front, droolin' over the motorcycles on display, lookin' at Mr. Ornstein's art, and picked up some swag of my own. A guitar pick and a biz card.

I found the curly shiny metal implements Robert had mentioned. They were springs for a bike. The young man behind the display case noticed my interest in the bike parts, and we talked for some time. It turns out he had just arrived from the great state of Ohio (either Columbus or Cincy, it started with a 'C', that's for sure). I pulled out the pre printed from home paper about PIC to show him the reviews the store had already received on a website called 'Yelp'. Let him keep it to show his bosses. Hey, anything to support the local business owner is my motto.

I showed off a picture from my Iphone of Tig, my beloved bike, and the young man drooled over him. I believe I made a friend for life there, as I was truly enthused by the potential, describin' how such a shop just might make it in Indy either on our Mass Ave strip or in Broad Ripple. The gent had heard of Broad Ripple, of all things! This new friend is the one in the blue checked shirt.

(used by permission of Michael Marisi Ornstein)

I spied Dayton Callie and Mr. Ornstein talkin' in the lighted front area of the store. Mr. Ornstein was describin' his artwork to Mr. Callie. Nope, not gonna run up on the pair. That would be rude. My parents raised me better. I'd already seen fans run up on Mr. Reed and Mr. Callie out in the back lot, askin' for pics. Both gentlemen were gracious to do so. I didn't want to subject them to the same treatment. My time would come. Patience is a virtue, right?

So, Mr. Ornstein finally turns around and starts walkin' towards the front of the building. I stepped into a little alcove so as not to block his way. He starts to pass, then does a double take and stops dead in his tracks. He smiles. That big smile that just lights the joint like a hundred watt bulb.

"Myra?" he asks delightedly.

I forget what I said. Maybe somethin' like "Guilty". Honestly, I do not remember. I do remember bein' enfolded in a big ole bear hug and a hearty kiss gettin' planted on me cheek. I nearly bawled like a baby! Never expected such an enthusiastic greetin' as that. A handshake, certainly. I think my mind said to myself, 'I just got a hug and kiss from Michael Marisi Ornstein!!!!! And no pic of it. Naturally it'd happen while Robert was elsewhere!'

I still had my kitty bag with me, and the gaily wrapped package of IN swag intended for him was plainly visible. I explained that it was for him, and brought along in case he wouldn't be at the event the next night. He assured me he'd be there, so we agreed that I'd keep it safe until then.

We talked excitedly for a few moments, then Mr. Ornstein asks if I'd met Mr. Callie yet. This I remember respondin' that the oppostunity hadn't come up yet. Mr. Callie was standin' near the very display case where I'd met the youngster from OH. Mr. Ornstein made the introduction, and I held out my hand and called him, "Mr. Callie."

"It's Dayton."

"Well, where I come from, it's Mr. or Miss/Mrs./Ms until I'm invited otherwise." I cringe inswardly. 'Did I really just say that? Oh, Lord, floor open now and swallow me up!'.

He seemed delighted. I remember askin' if he would be present at the event the next day. He apologetically told me that he had already promised the big cheese at FX Net to be present at HIS event the same evenin'. I told him that there was a little bit of IN swag for him, and that Mr. Ornstein would get it to him (actually, Kurt Sutter's lovely and talented assistant, Katie Cutright, will ensure that Dayton gets his swag). I told him it wasn't much, but it came from the heart. I also told him it was a shame he couldn't make the event, but understood that duty calls. That was when I learned that Ron Perlman wouldn't be at the event, as he, too, had a prior committment to the big cheese's event. It was some kind of fight, and when I asked who was fightin', Mr. Callie said he didn't know and we got a big laugh out of it.

While we were up front, Mr. Reed came through the same area, just gazin' around to see what there was to see. Mr. Ornstein made the introduction, and I found my pudgy little hand enveloped in his. He was genuinely glad to see me, and we talked for some time as well. To my delight, Mr. Reed intended to be present for the event, and I let him know I had IN swag for him, too.

We all wound our way back to the outside lot, doin' the swimmin' upstream thing again. I beckoned my DH over to the drink table where Mr. Reed and I were standin', and he did 'the swim' to us to meet Mr. Reed. We got refills, and went our separate ways, Mr. Reed to find his lovely lady and us to find a place to stand where we were out of the confinin' crowd.

My little eyes spotted Mr. Callie near the Nash canopy, so we did 'the swim' to that area, where there was space to stand and wait. My intent was to introduce Mr. Callie to Robert, who had watched the former in 'Deadwood' when it ran on HBO when the actor had a free moment.

In the meantime, Mr. Ornstein came up to us, and I made the appropriate introductions. We three stood and talked at length about my experience in broadcasting and why I got out. Mr. Ornstein was genuinely interested. I felt guilty over monopolizin' his time, but as long as he was willin' to talk to us, I was happy and didn't mind at all when people came up to talk to him, nor when he was spirited away to talk to others.

Eventually, the opportunity came to introduce Robert to Mr. Callie. I again got his attention by referrin' to him as 'Mr. Callie' and got instantly corrected again. Mr. Callie was gratified that Robert remembered him from 'Deadwood', and the two had a nice little talk about it, and why he wouldn't be at the event the followin' day. I then asked for, and Robert took, a picture of me with Mr. Callie. As Robert took the picture I told Mr. Callie about enjoyin' his small role in 'To Wong Foo' as Crazy Elijah, which he also appreciated.

Mr. Callie then excused himself to mingle some more. We noticed that people were thinnin' out, and we realized that with the possibility of meetin' April Macintyre (of Monsters and Critics blog), plus havin' been up and about for hours on little sleep (other than what we got on the plane and at the hotel), that we needed to find a cab and get some snooze.

Mr. Ornstein found us and introduced us to his lovely wife, Zoe. We spoke for a bit and I remember thankin' him for the invite and a wonderful time, mentionin' it was our first Hollywood/LA party. When I mentioned we were gonna call a cab, he whipped out his cell phone and called one for us, givin' my cell phone number as a contact, which I provided to him.

An aside about the cellphone. My usual default ring tone is the SOA theme song. There are two other ringtones, The Phantom of the Opera and George Takei's 'Oh My!'. Not wantin' to call attention, even though the phone was on vibrate, I changed to the POTO theme.

Oh, dear! Just realized that neither Mr. Reed nor Mr. Ornstein knew at the party of my near splat on the concrete. They shure know now! Picture me smackin' my head. No injuries, guys. Except for my wounded dignity, and that's been wounded before.

The subject of gettin' sat on by the tottery lady on the turbo jet did come up, as I was in a little pain in the legs from the walkin' from gate to gate and bein' sat on. The lameness showed, and the story came out about the lap dweller. Robert and I had seperate seats on that flight, so he didn't know of the lap perch until after we met back up in the arrival gate at O'Hare.

Both Ornsteins were genuinely concerned, askin' if I were OK from bein' a perch. I assured them no harm was done, it wasn't the lady's fault, and that I planned to soak in hot water (either the hotel hot tub or our room tub) on our return, addin' a promise to Twitter DM Mr. Ornstein that we arrived at the hotel safe and sound. in the meantime, he Twitter DM'd the cab company telephone number to me.

Another big hug and smack on the cheek to me from him, a handshake to Robert from him, and handshake from both of us to Mrs. Ornstein, and we departed through the metal barricades in the back lot to the sidewalk and along to the front to await our cab.

The young gent from OH walked past us, I said goodbye to him and quickly introduced the DH to him. And darlin', I apologize for not rememberin' your name. I definitely remember your face, though, and your genuine friendly hospitality. When y'all get to be my age, you'll understand what CRS (can't remember shit) is all about.

Twenty minutes and two phone calls later, our cab arrived and whisked us back to the hotel. I had time to duck into the comic book shop to ask about the new Dark Shadows comic that was supposed to be out. The guy mannin' the cashier's desk checked their inventory and reported they didn't get it. Le sigh. Reminder to self, check on (Yes, I'm a comic book geek). I also took the pic of the sign of Floyd's barber shop and the BUZZZZ's R Us signage.

We returned to the hotel, me limpin' a lot. I wanted to go to the hotel hot tub, as Kat (@meadowgirl) and Mark (@TwistedShadow) had mentioned on Twitter how wonderful it was. Robert was too tired to go with me, and didn't want me goin' alone. Plus, the hot tub closed at 11pm (I would learn later). So, I Twitter DM'ed Mr. Ornstein that we arrived safe and sound and was off to soak and did so.

He had meantime DM'd back that he was glad we were safe and to enjoy the soak.

So ended our first forway into Hollywood pawtees!

Next up, breakfast buffet and the SOA Fan Appreciation Event.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Not so Social Networking Redux

I had intended to start bloggin' about my 'winnin'' weekend in LA, and still plan to, but first things first. Sorry, kids.
A few weeks/months ago, I blogged about the not so social aspects of social networkin'. Facebook seems to be a breedin' ground for bullyin' and anti - social behavior, which is NOT what Mark Zuckerberg intended it to be.
Unfortunately, wars and misunderstandings erupt, with people takin' sides and tryin' to do more harm to the other side.
As long as it stays on FB where it started, and the two sides eventually work it out, I tend to not take sides in FB fights.
This week, it seems that one particular FB fight is gettin' more nasty than before. Again, I had no intention of takin' sides, as both parties are friends. However, when another party takes the war outside the FB dimension, and involves other parties in the war who have no oar in the water, I WILL speak out.
I did that yesterday, when a person took this FB battle to Twitter, and brought in parties from a particular television show that we all adore into this. I feel, and continue to feel that this is WRONG.
The twitter name who was brought into this has no oar in this particular pool of sludge. He doesn't have an interest in it, either. But, the twitterer who decided to bring it to the other social network - ie, to twitter - did so maliciously (IMO), in order to hurt the other party.
That, IMO, is NOT fair dinkum. That was hurtful to the other party in the war, and the recipient of that very public tweet probably scratched his head and wondered "WTF?". I don't blame him.
This also gives public figures like this particular person fodder for the idea that the fans are nothin' but a lot of demandin' nutcases to be avoided at all costs. It definitely doesn't do a damn thing to keep such an idea from poppin' up.
It's not a wonder that many public figures/celebrities have left FB! One of my friends, Frost Stillwell, formerly of KABC constantly asked for people not to send him game and app requests because he received so many. His friends' board was to post and receive messages/news, not to get game and other BS like that.
Twitter, fortunately, has a bit of a filter in it. A twitter name can choose who he or she follows. It does not, however, keep a twitter name from seein' all 'at mentions' (@soandso) directed to his or her twitter name. Celebrities will get thousands of those tweets in a minute from those that follow them, so if they have thousands of followers, their 'at mentions' are very busy.
Twitter and FB, as I've said before, are a wonderful tool for gettin' information out, and for the public figures to be more 'in touch' with their fans. It's a lot better than the old days when ya had to haunt the stage door or go to some kind of a show/public appearance in the hopes of interacting with the 'star'.
Bullshit like what went on this weekend will be just the reason the public figures will use to abandon social networking entirely. It was stupid, idiotic, uncaring, unkind, and the type of aboslute cuntlike behavior that our show's fan community doesn't need as a reflection on us.
Yes, I said cuntlike. I meant it, too. I don't like the word, but it best describes my feelings on it. It's brutal, it's nasty, and that's exactly what that person did. It stinks.
Notice, I've not named names, and don't intend to. That person knows who she is, and knows what post I'm talkin' about. I called her out about it on Twitter.
Maybe I should've let it end there, but it's too late now. When I get pissed enough about a topic, I'll blog it. It was enough to delay my first post about the winnin' weekend to air my opinion in more than 140 characters.
To the public figure who was twitted to about this matter, my most heartfelt apologies that you were brought into the matter. You didn't deserve it, and it is NOT, repeat NOT indicative of the behavior of all the fans. I think you know that, but it needs to be empathized.
And if anyone in the fan community wants to dispute me, go for it. As Mrs. Slocombe of 'Are You Bein' Served' often said, "I'm just in the mood!"
End of line.

What We Saw Before, During, and After Winning.

The rock band Tesla put out a song called 'Signs'. It started with 'And the sign said. . ." I love to look at signs when we travel. Not your run of the mill road signs, but store signs. They're designed to catch your eye. Our time in LA exposed me to plenty of signage, and I took a few pics of same. Figured this first blog would include sights and signs we saw both going to and away from LA.
This is how things looked to us at 330 AM as we left our house to go to the airport in Indy. It was cold, with temps in the 20s, and we had snow on the ground.
Yes, that's snow on the ground and our mailbox. BRRRR!
Indy International Airport has a Harley - Davidson Store in it. It's mentioned in Book 2 of my fanfic. They keep a motorcycle on display on the inside. Chicago's O'Hare Airport also had a Harley - Davidson store, and this beauty was on display outside both goin' to and comin' from LA. I lusted and drooled about it, but Robert said I couldn't have it. Dammit.
A side story here, the DH had said we didn't need to get to the airport as early as two hours ahead. "There won't be THAT many people there at that time of the mornin'!" I insisted, and good that we got there before 4AM, as there was a line for the TSA.
Starbucks wasn't open then. I had to wait for Chicago to get some coffee in me. We had a flight on a turbo prop jet from Indy to Chicago. One hour plane versus three hour drive, I'm game! Cramped, but I made it.
When we were goin' to deplane, at O'Hare, everybody seems to wanna get out at once. One lady was a litle tottery after sittin' for an hour. Someone behind her got a little pushy, and like dominoes, the line jerked forward. The poor lady lost her balance and fell into my lap. I just let her stay put until the press of people were able to move forward. Hey, things happen.
This is the view of our gate to go to LA, with yellow to denote Veteran's Day. I had just been to Starbucks for a munchie and a cuppa. Yay! I also got to see the sunrise in Chicago from the gate area. I thought we'd be chasin' sunrise all the way to LA, it didn't quite work out that way. It was daylight the entire time. Go figure. We arrived in LA about 935 or so their time. That translate to 1115AM our time.
Arrival at LAX was busy. Lots of people. Our driver found us at baggage claim, and our bags were waitin' for us on the carousel. We checked two, Robert carted my computer bag around, poor thing. I think he sometimes felt like a pack mule.
No, this wasn't the sign that was up at LAX. It was actually in a window at a comic book store located next to Perri Ink Cartel on Santa Monica Boulevard. I saw it on Friday night as we were gettin' ready to leave the openin' party that Michael Marisi Ornstein invited me and the DH to attend. Somehow, I just couldn't resist it.
This is more along the lines of what we saw at the airport.
This is as we walked outta the plane and into LAX proper. Since it was Veterans' Day, we were greeted at each airport - Indy, O'Hare, and LAX - with yellow balloown and/or ribbons. At LAX, there was a band playin' songs for the military. When we walked by, they were singin' 'Let There Be Peace'. We saw noone from the military at Indy, but a large number at O'Hare and LAX. Kudos to the airports for recognizin' our service men and women!
This is, of course, LAX.
This is the hotel that FX Home Entertainment and Kurt Sutter put Mark Mitteer, his guest, my DH Robert, and myself in. The Intercontinental was once a Hyatt Hotel. This was more than a four star hotel. This is a top of the line place that made us feel at home despite its' elegance. Yes, that's the DH's face in this photo of the hotel as we drove up.
Once we'd rested (we never went to sleep Thursday night!) we went to the nearby open air mall, Westfield. The hotel car took us and brought us back for free, at least anywhere within a one and a half mile radius. This is not your enclosed mall. It is very much like Metropolis in Plainfield IN and Carmel Clay Terrace in Carmel, IN. Kinda like a shopping center, though not with the large parking lot.
Lots of kosks and stores to catch the eye. We didn't take in a movie; not after the airplane movie. Great food court with lots of different cuisines to try. This Robert doin' the tourist pose near/under the lighted mall sign:
Only in LA could one see all manner of luxury cars. I couldn't believe that Robert walked right by a Maswerati and didn't realize it. We saw a lot of Mercedes - Benz', Maserati's, and a few stretch limos. Lots of cabs, several busses, but not a lot of smog or traffic jams.
We saw Bloomingdales (and walked through it), and I looked at Swarkovski Crystal store because of Phantom of the Opera movie connection. I'd love to have one of these ornaments on the tree, but the price? Le sigh.
Curiosity made me look to see how much a 20 ounce bottle of pop was askin'. As you can see, it was $1.50. Not bad when it's about a buck and a quarter in Indy in some places. At the hotel, a can was runnin' $5 from the honor bar. The price of gas wasn't too bad at $3.85 for regular, $4.05 for premium. It's been that high in Indy. I was expectin' it to be higher.
I couldn't resist takin' a picture of this eatery. After all, pink tacos? Only in California. So many jokes, so little time. I'll be good, though.
Never been to Bloomingdale's. Not even when I went to NYC numerous times in life. So, I had to step in just to say I'd stepped in. Robert wanted to know why I didn't wanna buy anything. At those prices? I'm more of a Tarjay (Target) shopper than a Bloomingdale's, but it nice to look around.
After ironin' shirts to wear to Michael Marisi Ornstein's event that night and for the SOA Event the next night, the DH forget his shirts, so he had to buy one. Found a good one on sale at Macy's, before we went to Bloomingdale's. While we were at Macy's, I saw this sign for a line of clothin'. Not too far from bein' our boys, eh?
Then I saw these shirts. One knew novelty shirts for Angry Birds were comin' along, just in time for Christmas! I like 'em both, though the one is kinda my motto.
The saleslady who rang up Robert's sale at Macy's was quite interested in our reason for bein' in LA from Indy, and also in my bein' a rider. When she saw the picture of Tig on my Iphone and learned he's a 750CC, her comment was 'You go, girl!'
The FHE people had a car and driver to take us to and from the hotel. Our driver was a delightful gentleman, I believe he said his name was 'Tai'. He seemed to hit it off with Robert due to their shared Oriental/Asian heritage. Our driver is also a motorcyclist, so he and I had quite a chat about ridin', the cost of gas, and he also pointed out lots of interestin' sights. One of those was the fact that FX/Fox Studios was right next to the hotel. You only see it as a blur, as the damn camera caught Robert's profile better.
The view from our hotel room on the sixth floor gave us a good look down and into the Fox lot. Didn't see any stars. Le sigh again. Inside the hotel, I got a laugh at the sight of a large Snickers bar sittin' on the dresser in a basket of sorts. It was part of the honor bar. I could only imagine Tig, the character's reaction to such a thing. However, at $5 for that candy bar. I decided to leave it be.
One person on Twitter had suggested that Mark and I raid the entire honor bar and charge it to Fox and Sutter. I told 'em no way. That wasn't honorable, and I wasn't gonna milk Sutter and FHE for all they were worth. That's not cricket It's just somethin' ya don't do when usin' someone else's dime. I'm sure it was meant in fun, but the point remains the same.
I am always in support of the local businessperson, especially one that provides coffee and o
This is just a sample of what this tea shoppe has to offer. I wound up buyin' two bags of strawberry/vanilla tea,
While we were enjoyin' punkin pie frozen yogurt (aka froyo) from one of Kurt Sutter's workerbees (known on twitter as @culvercat), I saw this kiosk. When I read off the name, Mr. Robert was shocked and appalled because he thought I said somethin' else right out in public. Outspoken I might be, but not THAT outspoken!.
Right across the street from the aforementioned comic book store, right on the corner, sits Floyd's Barber Shop. This is probably a little too dark to see, but it's there. A taste of Charming in Lalaland.
Only in Lalaland would one have a store or two devoted to medicinal herbage. This particular sign, which the DH took with our digital camera while we were waitin' for a cab from the openin' at Perri Ink Cartel made me laugh my ass off. Right there on Santa Monica Boulevard. The sign says 'Buzzzzz's R Us'.
The last thing I saw as we were leavin' the mall was this sign. It's somethin' near and dear to my heart, as most of our kitties are rescue kitties in one way or another. Glad to know that even a poo=poo fancy place like this encourages animal adoption.
On Saturday, before the event and after the buffet breakfast that was part of our accomodations, I got to meet with one of my favorite bloggers, April Macintyre, who writes for Monsters and Critics, among other blogs. I originally thought that the invite was only to me (and to Mark Mitteer, the other winner), but DH came down to meet her. Therefore, the invite got extended to Robert, who willingly went along. April wanted to be sure that we got to see the sea, as I'd never seen the Pacific Ocean. Robert, therefore, did his thing of the touristy pose before the sea.
She took us to lunch at a place called Gladstone's. All the fish you could wish for. We shared their fresh baked bread, a fried calamari appetizer with dippin' sauces, she and I both had the crab roll while Robert had a seafood risoto concoction. YUM! The crab roll came in handy early Sunday morn. That was my breakfast.
The sea was awesome! April took us from the restaurant down to the nearby beach to walk on the sand. It was the first time I'd ever seen gulls up close, as well as a pelican. Robert went off without us to try to get a picture of the pelican. He says he got one. As we were walkin' back from the beach, we saw gulls goin' after leftover food from the restaurant. Smart birds.
We also saw paddle/long boarders out on the sea in their speedos, as well as the sailboat, and a warnin' of rain to come on the horizon. Lovely!
April then gave us the nickel tour of Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, and the Brently neighborhoods, as well as Rodeo Drive. Out of respect for the residents of those areas, I did not take pics. One of those areas includes the one where Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal used to live.
All too soon, we had to go back to the hotel so we could get ready for the grand openin' celebration at Perri Ink Cartel that we were invited to (we as in the DH and myself). That was our first Hollywood party, and I'm proud to say that no one got busted! While at PIC, I met an employee who had just moved from Ohio. We spoke for some time about bikes, the shop, and of bein' Midwesterners.
Since y'all have seen the DH's picture, here is one that he took of us two winners, and Mark's plus one. Mark is the male of the group. Mark Mitteer, aka @TwistedShadow, me aka @Lowecat, and Katherine, @Meadowgirl. Taken just before we went to our separate gates.
And finally, some 12 hours after we left the Intercontinenal Hotel in LA, we arrived HOME.
This is the first of several blogs about the trip. Tomorrow, I'll post about the grand openin' at Perri Ink Cartel.
And then will come the 'SOA Fan Appreciation Event.'
If I gave y'all more than this, you'd be too full to really enjoy it!