Instead, I went to Los Angeles for two days of back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings, to discuss stuff that may or may not turn out to become something tremendously cool.
The meetings went far better than I could have hoped for, but I'm not holding my breath. So let's not dwell on that. Instead, I'll revert to foodie mode: the meals were amazing.
Dinner Thursday was the best, most imaginative Sushi I've ever had, bar none. It could have been totally overwrought, and yet the flavors and textures blended perfectly. It was all very zen. Hideously expensive ($20 for the special rolls - although a "mere" $7 for the more usual Sushi standbys), Hamasaku was nevertheless an experience. (Their "celebrity sushi" menu isn't on the site, I fear...but wow, was it mind-blowing. Much like the delis of New York, the items here are named after - you guessed it - celebrities. The "Entertainment Tonight" clip (under "media" on their website) gives you an idea of some of them. If I'd seen this before I went there, I'd have thought it was hokey and ridiculous. But the food was sublime, and I'm glad I went in with an open mind).
Dinner Friday was at a place called Cafe Med, on Sunset Boulevard, and was on the other end of the scale: simple yet amazing. Absolutely the most solid, satisfying Italian meal I've had outside of Europe. The pizza Calabrese's crust was a work of art, and the Italian salami topping absolutely perfect. The spaghetti with clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari was exquisite: perfectly al dente fresh pasta, a slightly spicy sauce that wasn't thick and smothering in the American-Italian fashion, with tremendously cooked seafood that actually tasted of the sea!
The company was fascinating throughout, and when I told Judith who I was hanging out with, there was an audible gasp. We'll see if any of this works out. I was fully prepared for the trip to be a total waste of time, but something good may come of it. Now, of course, I lower my expectations and wait for the inevitable phone calls telling me yes, in fact, it was just a waste of time, thanks for playing, please try again. But at least I've got sushi memories to cushion the disappointment.
A Friday night red-eye got me back to Madison via Detroit by 9 a.m. Saturday morning, in time for a bleary stop at our terrific Farmer's Market. I was able to get bumped up to first class for both flights back for a mere $100 (thanks for the tips, all who suggested I grab this), and though a midnight flight is still a midnight flight, I'm guessing I drank enough of Northwest's alcohol to actually make the hundred bucks the bargain of the century.
And because all the cool kids are doing it...sketches!
Some Munchkin Cthulhu developmental stuff. New classes: Meddling Kids and Cultists. (Those of you who play INWO may recognize the cultist in the bottom-right).