Secret Pop

Jul 26, 2006

A play on words involving heat.

"Is it hotter than a breadbox?" That might have been it. But I can't remember. I just know that I was standing in the humid elevator at the Marriott on my last day, and I was thinking about the blog I would eventually write and what the title of that blog might be.

I arrived in San Diego for Comic-Con on Wednesday afternoon. Well, technically, I arrived on Tuesday night and stayed in the air-conditioned luxury of Beulah and Justin's lovely new home in familiar old Carmel Mountain Ranch. But I arrived at the Marriott on Wednesday afternoon, with my bags and my pre-registration paperwork and a lot of love for the anti-perspirant brand I use, which makes me smell like a delicious bowl of pears, especially when I'm sweating.

There were setbacks. My reservation was wrong. My bed situation was wrong. I was flustered and fearful that everything would suck. But Larry, the bellhop who had helped me and Beulah last year, was a savior in full messianic regalia. Well, a little nautical, be-epauletted shorts and tunic get-up which is the uniform at the Marriott, but he was the messiah as far as I was concerned. I remembered him from last year. And when I said Beulah's name, he remembered her, too. I don't know if he remembered me, but he said, "You've grown your hair out." Which is the right thing to say, guys, if you aren't sure if you remember what a girl used to look like. Nine times out of ten, you'll be right, and the girl will touch the bottom of her hair and giggle. Larry called the manager and took care of business. And he even called me the following day -- his day off -- to let me know that all was well. What a prince, right?

Beulah and I had a great time. Had a few cocktails with my pal Jim Sabo. Ate dinner at Trattoria La Strada. Laughed and laughed. When we got back to the hotel, we got in the elevator, and I fawned over Steve Purcell, who was in the elevator with us. He was surprised to be recognized. And probably equally surprised to not be murdered. I was very civilized about it, but you know how Comic-Con can be. Maybe I went there specifically carrying my elaborate rope murder fantasy with me. He has no way of knowing. When Beulah and I got off on the 21st floor, she spotted Glenn Danzig, who is at the Con nearly every year. The sighting prompted her to write this in her secret blog:

glenn danzig is an inky coconut
Posted on 2006.07.20 at 01:46
Tags: danzig-pointment

we are staying at a swanky marriott that's connected to the convention center here for comic con. so it's total dorkfest, but there are also a lot of celebrities milling about. we were in the elevator with one of mary's heroes, steve purcell. she was all, "i can't believe i'm in an elevator with steve purcell" and he was all flattered. so we exited the elevator on our floor, and who do i see? glenn danzig. short, not as buff, and super old. and i swear through this inky black hair i saw a bald spot that looked not unlike a coconut. i wanted to say, "hey! you look like glenn danzig!" or "do you know glenn danzig?" or "i would've liked to have met you like twenty years ago!" or "i love your son glenn danzig, mr. danzig." anyway, he's on our floor. i'm tempted to go a knockin' and start wooing him with my impressive interpretations of early misfits and danzig songs. i'm so ready. he didn't seem to understand the lights and the signals for the elevator. that also led me to believe he may have alzheimers. this depresses me. i want to serenade mr. danzig with the music of last caress, "i've got something to look really old and bald todaaay.." which would obviously be followed by "it doesn't matter much to me as long as you're...not dead and on the same floor as us at this marriott." and that wouldn't be all that great. and he's all senile now so he totally wouldn't even know what the fuck i was talking about.

so i totally ran into glenn danzig. that was the point of writing this.

Eventually, she became convinced that it was him, thankfully. It's a much cooler story when it doesn't end with him not being Danzig. He was wearing a turquoise shirt. So he was clearly trying to not be recognized. But he might have wanted to look into a hat.

I took Beulah to the Convention Center the next day, and she shopped with me and was not miserable. That always makes me happy when I drag my friends to Comic-Con. I bought her a Drinky Crow. That might have helped. I didn't buy her the Turtle Camper we both fell in love with, and when I went back on Sunday to buy it, it was way sold out. But I bought it for her online when I got home. Shh. Don't tell her.

Suddenly Slayer

When we got back to the hotel, I got a text message from my pal Eric Wareheim asking if I wanted to go see Slayer. So I did. They were playing at the Sports Arena, which has become such a sad place to see a concert, but a perfect place to see a Slayer concert, with openers starting at 5:30 P.M. Ridiculous. Eric and I found the box office, and two barefooted beach teens ran up right before us and may have been stunned by the ticket price or something. But they ran away immediately. I can't imagine seeing a general admission death metal show in bare feet. Unless I really wanted smashed feet.

Inside, we found Tommy Blacha and his lovely girlfriend and Brendon Small and his lovely girlfriend, and a sweaty mess of rockers of all ages. Because I travel with them, Eric and I arrived equipped with earplugs. This was very smart. With the protection of earplugs, I could zone out and just watch the whorls of the various mosh pits. The mosh pit nearest us was fairly unchaotic. So much so that it became apparent that moshing is really just skipping in a circle. Skipping. Like when children in grade school entertained themselves by learning variations on walking and running. Skipping in a circle with sweatbands on one's wrists. That is what the dictionary should say when someone asks it what moshing is.

At one point, a drunk guy was being escorted out by Staff Pro, and they were leading him up the risers where I was standing, and for some reason he grabbed onto the strap of my handbag and pulled me backwards down onto the walkway, where I was slightly trampled. I said, "Oh, fuck!" And then I heard the Staff Pro guys saying, "Let go of her! Let go of her!" And Eric reached down and helped me up, and I was fine. I don't mind a little scary drama. As long as it doesn't end in me bleeding or losing my camera. I am a good sport.

After the concert, we called cabs and went back Downtown to meet friends at Star Bar. I stayed there for a while. Eric and I went next door and ordered Mexican food. I introduced Brendon to carne asada fries, which he later called "the best worst thing ever." I can't believe people have not had carne asada fries. Nor can I believe that Mexican food in other cities is so disappointing. Especially in Los Angeles. Whenever I'm in San Diego and have the chance, I glory in burritos and shake my fist at the northward sky.

Kristen Herman and Mark Rivers were at Maloney's so I headed over there. But when I got there, they were gone. I was in the door long enough for the door guy to say, "Have fun." But then I got Kristen's text, and I turned right around and left. I met them at their hotel and hung out and chatted with Kristen for a spell. Then I walked back to my hotel in the wee hours where I slept like a freezing baby.

Wet Wet Wet

Friday morning, Kristen and Mark and Scott Adsit came over to the hotel pool to join me and Mindy, who had just arrived that morning. I drank a number of bloody marys and got plenty more freckles. Then Sarah's Paul arrived, and I showed him around the Con for the afternoon. After which, he and I had dinner with Sarah at Rama, my new favorite Thai restaurant in San Diego. While there, a story happened which -- in the retelling -- causes others to label Paul the best boyfriend ever. Afterwards, we went to a wine cellar, where I bought a fancy bottle of Icelandic vodka and a few bottles of Jameson. Then we went to a "convenience store" to buy club soda, but the line was ridiculous. I waited in it for easily 30 minutes. Probably more like 45. It was just Comic-Con people ordering sandwiches. And there was no register where you could just buy something you were holding in your hand. I don't need them to put provolone on this club soda. Can't I just go to the front? Answer: no.

I am now fatigued from all this reminiscing, and my lap is hot and sweaty from having a computer on it. If you've been wondering why I haven't been blogging, that's why. It's too hot. And I don't like to sweat. Ever. So there's much more to tell, but the condensed version involves illicit late-night swimming in the hotel pool two of the remaining two nights, getting Dino Stamatopolous and Jay Johnston in trouble by giving them my fancy Icelandic vodka and my Jameson right before the Adult Swim panel, finding the Saturday weather too hot for me to wear my favorite boots, drinking Pellegrino from a weird horn-like glass at Dussini, standing still in the air-conditioned Convention Center and still feeling sweat dripping down my legs, indulging in multiple showers, and finally on Sunday seeing Lou Ferrigno in a booth again and again making eye contact with him just as he reached down and juggled his nuts. This isn't the first time this has happened to me at Comic-Con. Which has caused me to wonder if Lou Ferrigno -- being deaf -- thinks that if he can't hear me, I can't see him.

The Chewbacca I posed with looked and sounded dead on. And I also noticed that I didn't buy all that much this year, mostly because I have it all already. Which says something about me I might not entirely be proud of. It also says that Jordan Crane needs to make some more books. If only to give me something to spend money on.

And on the last day, in the last moments, Jeff Small was waiting for his friend Ratna, and I was drinking the most refreshing Diet Pepsi I have ever had in the Marriott North Tower bar, and I could have fallen asleep right there. He and I looked through some of our purchases. Jeff, his Winsor McCay book. Me, my 1930s issues of Popular Mechanics. When Ratna arrived, she showed me her amazing sketchbooks and shamed me with them. Then we all made our way to the bell desk and then to the valet. A cute bell hop helped us. And when I said goodbye to Jeff and Ratna, he started helping me to my car, and he said, "So that's not your boyfriend?" And I said, "No, we're friends." And then he opened my trunk and saw the many bottles of Jameson there in various stages of emptiness, and apparently he fell in love with me right then and there. "It's a shame you're leaving," he said. And if he hadn't been so sweaty and I hadn't been so sleepy and there had been a plane there and World War II going on, it might have been a Casablanca moment. He was very cute. I should check back with Larry and see if I can get his number. At the very least, I will always have a place to keep my luggage.

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