Two more days

Alex Y. reneged on his pledge to give me lifts to and from the convention, which could have been a pain in the ass had I not friends who are willing to pick up the slack.

Yesterday, I was stuck in the morning. I don’t have a cell phone – well, let me start there.

All my work is done at home or in the classroom. I have a landline phone I use at home and I wouldn’t take alls when I teach. I have no use for a mobile phone when I work, and I don’t want calls when I’m off. Once in a while a phone comes in handy, and at those times I borrow Elvi’s – not the greatest solution because she uses a phone with a Bay Area area code. Whatever.

OK, back to Anaheim. My host, Roland, has a cell phone but no landline yet. He only moved in a few weeks ago. I borrow his phone when I need it. When I’m with Alex Y., I borrow his phone if I need it. So far, I’ve only called one when I’m with the other.

Yesterday morning, Roland had an early morning appointment, and Alex was supposed to pick me up at 11. My friend Stuart flew down from the Bay Area for the day to meet me and pick up a book. He e-mailed me offering to pick me up. I e-mailed back saying that Alex would.

I went to wait for Alex in front of the apartment complex, at which point I was without communication. I waited until 11:30, then borrowed a phone to call Alex. It sounds less complex than it was when I describe it, but I got Alex and Stuart in touch from afar and Stuart gave me a lift to the convention.

I’ve signed some books over the last two days. We haven’t sold as many copies as we’d have liked, but sales at the convention as a whole are slow. Alex did find a distributor for the books, which is good for him – irrelevant for me, but good for him. I’m making my money by selling my own copies. It’s all part of the joy of small-scale publishing.

I took Roland to the Angels game last night. I wistfully watched Vladimir Guerrero hit two more home runs, this time in an Angels uniform, alas.

Bonus holy cow!

My fantasy baseball team climbed into first place tonight, thanks to a month of better than .300 hitting.

My trades sacrificed some power, and I’ve lost a point in home runs, but I’ve climbed from last to sixth in average.

.270 batting average (6th, .0009 out of 4th)
198 HR (4th, four HR out of 3rd)
799 RBI (2nd)
94 SB (8th)
3.85 ERA (2nd, 0.02 out of first)
1.27 WHIP (1st)
62 wins (5th)
25 saves (7th)

I’m going to lose one point in saves and another in steals, but I hope to gain a few more in batting average, and maybe a point in ERA. Prospects look good, but it’s a very close race and my pitchers are a little ragged (Chuck James, Chris Young, Chris Sampson).

In the O.C.

I woke this morning at 5:00 a.m. with a baby migraine. I dunked my head in the sink to make my hair presentable, threw some Paul Mitchell in when that didn’t work, and had a pill for breakfast.

The pill kicked in before boarding at 6:30, thank goodness, but the nausea lasted almost three hours more and detracted from my enjoyment of the in-flight movie, “Waitress”.

I found the movie fascinating, because you can clearly see the each of the major influences on the story: writer, actor, and director. I liked the dialogue, which helped define each role. You know how they say that you should be able to tell who’s speaking without character slugs? That’s hyperbole, but you can see the advice at work in this film.

I’d have gone a touch more subtle, but what do I know – I tend to go too subtle. You can also see the choices the actors made. Maybe it’s the testosterone in me, but I thought all the male roles performed amazingly, especially Jeremy Sisto (Earl), in a movie in which all the men were defective in one way or another. In fact, Sisto was so good, he turned his despicable wife-abuser into someone you could almost heer for, which unfortunately brought out the bad side of the protagonist,Jenna, in high relief.

Then there’s the directing, which got too cute. I think the story would have come across more powerfully had the director not used swelling sacred music, quick jump cuts, and long, emotional shots to bludgeon us.

(Um, hours after writing that, I learned of the director’s murder. That was an unfortunate choice of word.)

Watch the movie. It’s not a great film, but I think it has lessons to teach movie-makers and even audiences.

I’m posting this from my pal Roland’s apartment. He was my executive officer in the virtual 101 Squadron when he lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He moved to Anaheim a month ago and it’s a happy coincidence. I’m staying with him and he lives only a few blocks from the modeller convention at which my book is being launched.

I stopped by the convention for an hour. People are still setting up, so there’s not much reason to be there today. One guy bought our book. I introduced myself as author. He said he was glad that the book exists and that he’d found a lot of info about the S-199 online. I told him it was probably my site, He said that was it. The look on his face was hard to interpret. Either he was impressed, surprised the the site and book came from the same source, or shocked that some guy in such a metrosexual shirt – my purplish hibiscus print – could write such hard-core geeky material.

Wandering the floor, I recognized a face. I wagged a finger as I struggled for the name that went with, but I found it. Mo! Mo used to lead WarBirds, then led World War II Online. He was at the convention with a group for which he manages the Web presence. We’d run into each other at WarBirds cons in the past and gotten along well. We had a nice chat and I look forward to seeing him again tomorrow.

Now, off to catch a movie….