>let’s see… after waking up at 4:30am EST, flying from boston to san francisco, and then landing in LAX almost an hour and a half ago, i’m finally here. whew.
kind of a whirlwind, especially after sitting on the new york bus last night for 5 1/2 hours. will need to devote a blog entry and a half on fun stuff on friday (from getting swatch-happy in the garment district to biting into juicy xiao lung bao), but that will have to wait til i’m good and ready. cute pix in store, though.
the flight today was pretty nondescript, except i was squished next to an enormous eastern european mama and her adult ultra-defensive daughter, with a usually-well-behaved-and-adorable-but-wailing-through-a-long-flight baby right behind me. perhaps i might feel differently if i (1) were larger or (2) were a mother, but honestly, it is almost cruel to entreat trapped, contained passengers to a physical or auditory invasion of space. i prepared this time with ear plugs, but incessant cries are more difficult to screen out than loud ambient noise. little kicks to the back of the seat add to the rhythmic mix. it can be sure that smelly people and snoring people are just as annoying, but yeah… cross-country and international flights truly are the modern trial of the human spirit.
also, as i was waiting for the plane restroom (interesting how everyone, *everyone* gets up for the bathroom at approximately the same moment, thanks to the efficiency of the beverage cart down the cabin), i saw the first class passengers get treated to a mid-flight snack of milk and cookies. yes, MILK. COOKIES. from a cheery perky blonde stewardness, tongs clicking in hand. large bald businessmen and spoiled-brat children helped themselves as i stared in combined indignation, envy, and intrigue. not. fair.
the layover in SFO was slashed from 4 hours to 1 hour as i stood by on an overbooked flight which no one showed up for. figures. i went to get some lunch, as it was about that time of my stomach EST, so into the food court i wheeled. i went from eatery to eatery, horrified at the prices. two eggs + meat = $8.95?? you could get that at denny’s for $3! udon soup for $9.50? a greasy panda express-type place serving $11 combos? a BURRITO for $9 when you could probably get a bigger, better one (C-grade, of course) a mile from here for $1? generic-fusion (au-bon-pain-esque) SOUP (i.e. one ladleful) in a PLASTIC BOWL (not even bread for goodness’ sake; that’s extra) for $6. i was reeling. c’mon, stop kidding around, where are the food trucks? being a grad student, it’s particularly terrifying to spend more than $5 in cash on any one thing in a day. already i’ve plunked down $$ for a cab to logan and now i have to shell out for gross airport food? sigh. i picked the most cost-effective thing, a margherita pizza from firewood cafe‘s outpost in the terminal, for $8. it wasn’t that bad, fresh from the grill, with basil and tomatoes, and a thin crispy crust. tasty, but i’d rather splurge at cambridge 1 with interesting ingredients.
i hope i won’t starve or go broke here in LA.
i got a ride from the airport from donat-pierre, who provided a cheerful introduction to LA geography and his work at the creative technologoy department at USC. we talked about robotic caltechers and natural obscuring condensation. we arrived at the convention center, finally met isa, and learned about three events happening tonight. soldering party, an art show, and cirque berzerk. i have a feeling this week will be mad work in the day, and mad play in the dark.
so far i’m just chilling, but there’s a phat instant-prototype machine in the back and an amazing array of G5’s in this room. i’m not sure what to expect, but i’m sure i will learn a lot! will report soon from the front…