Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 LA Times Festival of Books

This past weekend, I made my annual trek down to UCLA for the LA Times Festival of Books.  (And once again, a year has gone by without me seeing the campus without all the booths.  I really need to do that.)

Fortunately, we'd gotten the rain out of the way early in the week.  While the day started off cloudy, it was sunny most of the day.  Weather was perfect.  It was just a bit warm in the sun and a tad cool in the shade.  I was comfortable in my jeans and T-Shirt all day.

I actually got there an hour early (and on time at that) to meet up with some fellow book bloggers.  (Okay, so I am stretching things a bit to call what I do book blogging.  That's almost all what they do.)  They all seemed to know who I was right away.  First, I was one of two guys in the group, and the other was a blogger's husband.  Second, I had been e-mailing them about my radiator problems.  So when I would introduce myself, I'd get, "Oh, you're the radiator guy."  Started out the day with them getting coffee and then plotting their day to get the most from their panels.

I, on the other hand, met up with Angelique and John at the official start time of 10 AM.  And we proceeded to do our normal pattern of go from one mystery bookstore booth to the other, chatting with our favorite authors, getting some books autographed, and finding out about new books coming soon.

I was a good boy.  I managed to leave with only 3 books, although I had more stuff I planned to buy on Sunday, mostly radio drama versions of plays that LA Theater Works does.  And one of those three books was a planned purchase before I left, too.

That evening, I met up with the book bloggers again for dinner at Jerry's Deli.  We had a fun time talking about books (shocked, I know), how boring we find sports, books, blogging, and books.  I felt right at home in no time at all.

Sunday was day two.  The last few years, I have gone down for a couple hours after church, and then headed a few miles further south to play some ultimate Frisbee on the beach in Santa Monica.  That was the plan when I got up and left for church that morning.  But as I sat in church, I started debating about the wisdom of spending all that money on parking fees and the plays I intended to buy after the money I spent on my car this week.  By the time the service was over, I had talked myself into staying closer to home.  I called Angelique to let her know of my change of plans, and then I called my roommate to arrange to get our Six Flags season passes that afternoon.  I know, I know, I didn't go down to spend money, but this was money I was already planning to spend.

I didn't think about my plans at all during Sunday School, but as soon as I left, I wanted to go back to UCLA again.  After all, the day was gorgeous, so it would be perfect for hitting the beach.  And there were three authors there on Sunday who weren't there on Saturday, including Sue Ann Jaffarian.  But I stuck to my commitments and stayed in town, even when my roommate said he didn't care either way, do whatever I wanted.

Boy, do I regret that now.  I still wish I had gone south.  Next year, right?

Of course, by going to Six Flags yesterday, we were able to ride a few rides.  By the time we bought passes and all that process, we only hit a few rides, especially because the lines were long.

Between the park and carrying around my backpack all weekend, my neck was sore again last night and this morning when I first got up.  It's doing better now, so hopefully I can get back to running on Wednesday.


Unknown said...

It was nice to meet you at FoB on Saturday - and yes, it was pretty easy to figure out who you were :-).

One of these years I actually might go both days. Oh, and I've never seen UCLA without all the books and tents either.

Mark Baker said...

Frankly, I wasn't surprised I was known as "radiator guy" or one of the only guys period.

I am down near UCLA pretty frequently to go to The Mystery Bookstore, but I never make the trek up to campus.

Ti said...

I thought of you as the Mud Run guy :)

Mark Baker said...

Oh, good. I wasn't just the radiator guy. :)