Dave Sim's blogandmail - "Live" from Salt Lake City #2 (10/27/06)
The BLOG & MAIL IS LIVE AND ON THE AIR FROM SALT LAKE CITY
STARTING AT 7:47 AM LOCAL TIME
HERE IN THE TASTEFULLY APPOINTED BUSINESS CENTRE OF THE TASTEFULLY APPOINTED
LITTLE AMERICA HOTEL
500 SOUTH MAIN STREET IN BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN SALT LAKE CITY
"THERE'S NO PLACE ELSE IN AMERICA I WANT TO BE THE NEXT THREE NIGHTS THAN THE LITTLE AMERICA HOTEL…MAINLY BECAUSE ALL MY STUFF IS IN MY ROOM"
Dave Sim author of SUCKING UP FOR POSSIBLE
UPSCALE COMPS YOU'RE NOT NEARLY FAMOUS ENOUGH TO GET
LITTLE AMERICA HOTELS
"Our Chain Is So Small and So Tastefully Appointed We Look Like `Just Folks' Next to the Hiltons and the Marriotts"
Well, the best laid plans of mice and men as the saying goes. My intention was to be doing these regular updates of what's going on here but yesterday pretty much just disappeared. After I got Mimi to e-mail the last LIVE POSTING in early afternoon yesterday (having started the posting in mid-morning – a rough idea of how flawed the concept of LIVE is – more a case of WRITING MY LIFE ON COMPUTER IS DEVOURING MY LIFE IN HUGE BITES: but then I do it all for you and you know that, all you beautiful, beautiful people out there in Yahoo Land) I went back upstairs to the living room and took up a place on the love seat where I could watch her cutting and pasting the now last-minute remodeling of the LAST DAY Power Point presentation and offer suggestions if needed (and only where needed – it seems a computer age courtesy that if someone's life is being devoured by a computer as Mimi's obviously was, they get to decide how it's going to be devoured) or answer questions where and when she had any. The Devouring is no small point. By my reckoning she had been at it for several hours the night before and in the morning and she was barely halfway through. The target was to be done before Alan came back to the house and we went out to get Ger at the airport (arriving 24 hours after me – in the interests of Aardvark-Vanaheim having a fighting chance of survival, come what may, the new company policy is that we never travel on the same plane). I still had hopes of getting together with Craig Holyoke and Jason and Matt and Paula (who were obviously going to be turning up sometime) and the unnamed guy from L.A. who had come to see the exhibit and was somewhere around the Library store a half hour away from the house. About mid-afternoon Mimi was seriously wondering if she was on the right track and wondered if I could do a read-through. Sure, no problem. So I went and got my spiral bound script which Ger had put together, alternating the text and the footnotes and had Kinko's assemble and off I went in my best sometimes Orson Welles sometimes Richard Burton (when I really want to chew the scenery) voice (which evidently comes out sounding like Donald Sutherland according to Mimi) and by the time I had caught up to where Mimi was it was more late afternoon than mid-afternoon and I had to take her word for it that it was working. You can't read and check the Power Point. So, by that point, I gave up trying to supervise and found a collection of writings by P. J. O'Rourke (which included a parody of Truman Capote called "The Rent Est Due" from the 1970s that was devastatingly funny and which I tried not to laugh too loudly at as the computer devoured Mimi's life) (good case in point: it's now 8:10 am). Then Robin and Trevor arrived. Both of them former Night Flight employees. Trevor (Neil? Neill? O'Neill? My journalistic precision is suffering a time-lagged, sleep-deprived computer devoured massive relapse) is Batton Lash's assistant on Supernatural Law and was the guy who coordinated and got a good price on the framing of the exhibit and was bringing back all of the pages that hadn't been included but many of which would be posted on easels later on today. Anyway, he has four issues penciled and inked of his own comic book, a treatment of Joan of Arc. He passed all of my "basic means requirements" of having a pretty clear idea of where he was going with it and knowing pretty much what he was in for. Took him two years to go from a standing start to four finished issues in between assisting Batton AND holding down a full-time job at this framing outfit to pay his California-sized rent. How many issues is going to be, roughly. "About twenty-six," he says without missing a beat, "I've got most of it mapped out". Good vital sign that, especially the "not missing a beat" part. I suggested that he get Chet's Louis Riel and study it because as far as I could see he was facing the same basic problem. A historical piece about someone who saw visions/heard voices. It's a balancing act because you have to make it work for someone who thinks your central subject/character is crazy and for someone else who thinks your subject/character is at the high end of a virtually singular human state of existence. He said in The Town That Joseph Smith built as he prepared to read commentaries on Genesis 1 and John 1 that runs about three hours. Metaphors within metaphors within metaphors.
Anyway, by that time Robin was on her way to the grocery store to pick up fixings for her signature dish/home-cooked dinner. Laugh of the day:
ROBIN: Do the oven and the stove elements still work?
MIMI: I don't know. I think the last time they were used was the last time you were here.
By that time it was getting to be six o'clock and Alan was home to change and go to the Library to pick up Craig Holyoke and go out to the airport to get Ger and Mimi was just about ready for me to read through the next part, so I had to pass on going out. As I say, the day was just devoured. Mimi was working on page 32 of the 40 pages and we could see light at the end of the tunnel. By the time Ger and Alan arrived at the house, the place was filled with the smell of chicken pesto a-borning, the antics of Mimi's two Pekinese Queequeg (sp?) and Taz (for Tasmanian Devil, aptly named), the babble of conversation and me trying to get through to the end of Chapter Six. Which I did just as dinner was being served. I apologize for knowing very little about Robin besides that she makes a mean chicken pesto and she has a copy of Seduction of the Innocent that she gets cartoonists to autograph and do little sketches in. Anyway, blah blah blah, hahhaha eat eat eat, blah blah blah hahaha, eat eat eat and the next thing you know it was 11 pm. And Alan (to my great relief) produces my hotel key. I'm already checked in. That counts for a lot when you've been up and at it for thirteen hours two time zones away from home.
Up this morning at 6:30 for my pre-dawn prayer…
[had to phone the desk to ask which direction my room faced: it's something I still haven't gotten used to when checking in. "There's something I'm supposed to ask about. What is it that I'm supposed to ask about? The mini-bar key. No, I don't drink. I must be hallucinating. And as soon as I get in my room and a prayer time comes around, I go – Home Simpson-like "Oh. Yeah." At that point I'm always tempted to phone the desk and put on a thick Pakistani accent and ask "Be excusing me please. Which direction would be the Holy Mosque of the City of Mecca from my room?" But, there's funny and then there's only ostensibly funny, you know? Let's not go begging for trouble]
Read three Suras aloud and thought I'd have a nice leisurely bath (oh my aching "half bath" muscles of home) since I wasn't due for anything until meeting Ger in the Lobby at 9:30 for a 10 am interview at the local NPR station. So I'm lying in the bath and basically feeling bad about Jason and Matt and Paula and the guy from L.A. (evidently now on his way back to L.A. having seen the exhibit) and Craig Holyoke and not being able to do the LIVE TRANSMISSIONS I had promised and I thought: THEY'LL HAVE A BUSINESS CENTRE IN THE HOTEL! Quick out of the tub, dried off, dressed and out into the waning moments of pre-dawn in search of the lobby (having been dropped to the building my room was in I have no idea where the lobby is and it takes me a good fifteen minutes to find it). And here I am.
8:49 am. Time to save this to a disk, get something to eat in the lobby coffee area which I can smell from here and then it's off to NPR, lighting discussions with Aleko, our lighting and sound guy, apologies to Jason and Matt and Paula and Craig Holyoke and letting the afternoon evaporate until IT'S SHOWTIME, FOLKS!
The sun's been up for an hour and I already feel like I'm running behind.
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