I start this post with Grace’s shoes because all posts about Southern California should start with a fine pair of strappy sandals. Everyone knows I don’t do strappy sandals but I think Grace wears them very well. I absolutely love the toenail polish! If you want to see more of Grace’s style you should hop over to her blog What If No One’s Watching? (and she’s doing a giveaway right now too!). Grace is everything I wished I was going to grow up to be: six feet tall (okay, I was aiming for 6’3″ and stopped a little shy of it at 5’7″), stylish, smart, funny, and completely down to earth. Plus she has the best laugh EVER.
The panels I went to this year were great, as I expected them to be, especially the one about writing book pitches. I have one tiny complaint and this goes out to all panel speakers: I would like to see your face when you’re talking to me please! The whole time this panelist talked this was my view (though often I saw even less than this). I do understand that sometimes they need their laptops to do their presentations but pushing it to the side would be helpful. It has been suggested to me by more than one person that I am perhaps not appreciating the 21st century lifestyle that includes live-blogging, being connected online even while trying to connect with actual live people… I accept the criticism. I think it’s true. My expectations are very 20th century. I’m not dissing anyone who hid behind their laptop, I’m not saying they didn’t still give plenty of value, but I’m sticking with my wish that when I go to see people talk I actually get to see them. I traveled 900 miles to hear what all of them had to say. I still think the quality of information and discussions was very high so please don’t hate me for having that one little complaint.
This picture is for Skye because she asked for it even though I told her it was not a good one. Skye took a ride down the sidewalk in Liz’s wheelchair sitting on Liz’s lap. If I’d known they were going to pull this very funny stunt I would have run to the bottom of the hill and got a much better snap of it. Or caught it on video. It was so funny! Alas, once I saw what they were going to do it was all I could do to search my capacious bag for my camera and get this one. So this is for you Skye!
When there are hundreds of people swarming all around you for two or three days and then suddenly they’re all gone it’s eerie. I like ghostly spaces like empty theatres and empty stadiums. Think of all the asses that sat on those seats. Do asses have their own ghosts?
The Amtrack train station in San Diego is in this gorgeous old building. I would like to live here. The windows reminded me of the living room window of my old stucco early thirties house. Which always gives me a little stab of pain but then I remind myself that everywhere beautiful I’ve been allowed to live is an experience to be celebrated. I’ve been lucky in that way.
As is my usual habit I couldn’t help but watch the sides of the tracks for dead bodies. I always do that on trains. I was slightly distracted by the ticket-taker from hell who was mean to a little kid, sharp, impatient, and basically accused me of lying about moving seats at one point (I hadn’t). It was a tense ride from San Diego to Los Angeles with all the passengers (adults) terrified of the blond terror, but I forgot all about her when we stopped for passengers in San Juan Capistrano. This was my view out the window and it is eloquent of everything that is good in California. The old mission style architecture, the bouganvilla spilling itself all over the state, and the light which, when it’s not making me angry, is beautiful.