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You shouldn't look too hard at the titles. Sometimes they're just for fun.

Spent last week and the beginning of this one down in LA, primarily to attend Wonder Con over a couple of days. That'll have its own little section on the off chance that other comics blogs/sites link back to this and ahahahahahahaha. Yeah, that hasn't happened in a long time.

Landed in OC and as I passed through the baggage claim area, got hit with a "Welcome to Orange County" tape loop that for all the world sounded just like the "Adventure and excitement await you in the off-world colonies" slogans from BLADE RUNNER. But we're in 2019 now, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Orange County, at least Anaheim, are for all intents and purposes the off-world colonies, set up for the pleasure of travelers but unlivable in and of themselves. That and THEY LIVE ended up being a documentary, only juiced up with aliens when the fact is it's us, only us, man.

Pleasantly surprised to see that my rental got upgraded to a Dodge Charger, even if it was that abysmal putty gray enamel finish. All these flat enamel weak-color finishes just need to disappear. At least when you got it in the fifties, they'd pair gray with salmon or some crazy stuff like that. Now we just get color blobs. Finish aside, the car was a dream for driving around LA in. Power when you wanted it, solid sound and climate control, which yes, you need even in March when the sun decides to come out and the Valley flips to mid eighties on the turn of a dime. Okay, so I spent a ton on gas money. Vacation, or at least a working vacation. Treat yourself. Self-care. Whatever else we're supposed to say to make ourselves feel better about the questionable choices we kick over.

Spent Thursday at Tommy's (for breakfast and I don't want to hear any 'eew's from the audience -- you bought the ticket, you ride the ride.) Then drove up from OC to Glendale to the Museum of Neon Art for what has become basically an annual trek for me. Though I'll admit that this year, there was a lot more kinetic and non-neon modern art, or contemporary pieces that integrate neon into the works, but not the most amazing stuff I'd seen there. The vintage pieces out, including the fully-restored dragon from Grauman's Chinese and the Dr. Kilzum extermination sign, however, were worth the price of admission. Had a chat with the docent about the animated neon ban in the city and how the Felix Chevrolet sign, while restored nicely, is not a neon sign and lost a little magic for it.

Glendale itself is really weird. I guess it always has been, but even more so. The downtown is ersatz, with a shopping district built up around the Americana building and apartments that feels like it's ripping money out of your wallet just looking at it. I park there for convenience, but always regret it later. The further you get away from that, the more it feels comfortable, like it's got a history beyond the last five years or so, blank spots filled in some. Drove over to Pasadena on the recommendation of a friend to check out Book Alley, which was worth the trip. Great selection of used titles in all subjects, including prints and restoration studio. I put back way more than I left with, and still left with an entire box. Clearly I require more stringent adult supervision.

Tagged along on a trip to a prop auction held by a virtual/immersion theatre show and wondered about the weird micro-economies and media production ecologies that spring up around them. Seemed tenuous, but then maybe everything is like that when you start poking around the roots. Got to enjoy sitting in traffic on the 110 both north and south because, well, it's the 110 and that's just how it is. Watched a giant truck trying to enter the freeway from a dead stop at the mouth of the Arroyo Seco Freeway and was surprised to see that there wasn't that side on the way back. I don't know how that thing could possibly have gotten on with traffic screaming down at seventy miles per and no sight lines to speak of. But it's not a thing that can be redone now. Too entrenched.

Over to Sierra Madre to crash with one of my friends all the way back from college in nineteen-DATE REDACTED. Let's just say that I've known him longer than I've not known him. Sierra Madre is great because it feels a lot like old California, only not paved over with all the new stuff just yet. Not as wealthy as Old Pasadena, either. Accessible by the Gold Line to downtown. Seemed like a pretty ideal compromise of quiet in the foothills and part of LA just the same. Could I retire there? You bet. Could I afford it? Maybe if I sell a few kidneys.

Walked over to a great Mexican dinner, not far from shooting sites for INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Talked with said friend about the various crazy music scenes in China that he'd run across. Dig this. These kids? They didn't grow up on streaming. They grew up on the cast-off CDs of western music companies dumping them overseas for what amounts to recycling prices. Folks didn't care what they were getting as long as it was something new. Genre didn't really matter. I kinda want to go and give it a listen for myself. Shot some neon after the sun went down. Headed back to his place for an impromptu reunion of The Roswell Incident. I'm rusty. Not gonna lie. But I kinda want to be not rusty now. Just need to figure out how to fit that into my schedule. Even got to play my old Moog Opus 3, which I'd sold to him a few years back. Playing electricity sounds great. It's not the most versatile synthesizer, but what it does, it does very very well.

Crashed out and I was not restless the entire night, which is unusual for me.

Next up - Friday and Wonder-Con. Coming later.

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