ASCAP Trip Day 1

Here I am in beautiful Burbank, California. It’s funny, whenever someone refers to Burbank, it is usually prefaced by “beautiful”, conditioned we all are to a couple decades worth of Ed McMahon announcing the Tonight Show. I am not going to comment on the beauty or lack thereof with regard to any of the cities in the “valley”. I can say this: it’s warm and sunny today and I’ll take that over the dismal spring that has beset us in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

This was day one, in which our main character, specifically me, climbs on a plane and flies to beautiful Burbank, California. See, I did it again, I just can’t quit the qualifier. As usual for a trip, I was up later than I planned finishing up packing, and I didn’t sleep all that much anyway once I got to bed. I did manage a bit of sleep, but I am dragging today. After getting checked into my beautiful luxury motel, I took a power nap with the hopes that I will look somewhat presentable when I attend a networking event this evening.

My wonderful friend and life partner, Merrilyn, dropped me off at the airport at 6:25AM, bless her. Since last I flew, they have installed those high tech full body scanners. It takes about three times longer to get through security now. As required, I pulled my MacBook out of my bag and put it in one of those bins, and while I was snapping the bag closed, the passenger behind me managed to knock the bin containing my computer onto the floor. “Oh, crap”, said the little voice in my head. I also was nervous about letting the computer out of my sight while I went through the scanning machine. Fortunately, the computer was still there and later on had a chance to see if it was damaged from its inaugural swan dive. All is well.

The flight was uneventful, arriving in beautiful Burbank on time. AVIS didn’t have the car I wanted, a Ford Fusion, or anything in that class. They wanted to put me in Mercury Marquis, which is a full size car, and I was like, “not!”. They managed to coax me into an Infiniti GX something or other for an extra $13/day. Check this out: I go to get in the car and start it up, and guess what? It doesn’t have a key! It has a Stop/Start button. How the heck to you start this thing? I tried pushing the button a few times and saw the light cycle between “Acc”, “On” and “Off”. Somehow I got it to start. Later on, after stopping somewhere, probably Starbucks, I tried to start it but couldn’t figure out how to. I finally discovered that I had to have my foot on the brake pedal, and then all it takes is one push of the button. Whew! I was about to call AVIS and ask “wassup with that?”.

Today I had a lot of time to kill. My original lodging plans fell through and I already had my flight booked, so there wasn’t much to do until this evening. And I couldn’t check into my beautiful motel room until after 3. So I went for a drive. Didn’t really know where to go, so I decided to head west on the 101 toward Santa Barbara. Along the way, I stopped at a Starbucks so I could use the free WiFi and determine where I could find an In-n-Out burger and a post office. It looked like there would be a post office somewhat near the next In-n-Out. When I got there, the post office was across the parking lot. Convenient! Got my first batch of pre-release CDs shipped to the early bird purchasers. (Thank you, you know who you are.)

Oh yeah, that's what I'm talkin' bout.

So, I made it as far as Oxnard and found a beach and sat in the sun, the beautiful warm sun, and then it was time to come back and check into my hotel… hrrhmm, I mean motel. Here I am at the plush Safari Motel on Olive St. I didn’t want to fork over a pile of dough on a hotel, so I went cheap–not flophouse cheap. The room is clean, the plumbing works, but it does reek of a stale tobacco odor despite all of the “Natura” products they use to cover up the smell. It is officially a non-smoking room, but I think it spent too many years with people smoking in it. Oh well.

It’s off to the Renaissance Hotel in the heart of Hollywood in a little while to pick up my registration materials and go to a networking event. I’m only committing to an hour of networking, as it is something I need to work up to. I figure if I take it an hour at a time, I might wind up networking through the whole evening. We’ll see. Baby steps. I’ll have more to say about ASCAP: what it is, why I am here, etc., but this post has gotten gigantourous and it’s time to split. Until next time…


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