San Francisco to Los Angeles

3:30am, ML’s (our manager) guest room. I cannot fall asleep, because I am waiting terrified for “The Big One.” I have never felt an earthquake before, but everytime I come to LA, I am primed for one.

Los Angeles/ Death By Large Yellow Umbrella

We are in Los Angeles, the “promised land,” finally. Today is the first day I could wear shorts. I love the warm weather, and I love the drive from San Francisco down to LA. (come to think of it, there are very few drives that I dislike). I remember a couple of tours ago, coming down the mountain pass into LA, there was a Christo exhibit, about 1000 huge yellow plastic umbrellas placed sporadically along “The Grapevine,” along the mountains. Christo is that guy who wrapped entire islands in plastic; he does very large art. There were yellow umbrellas placed along the highway in California, and blue ones placed in Japan somewhere. I think the exhibit was taken down early because a lady was killed in a windstorm; impaled by a large plastic yellow umbrella d’ art. What a way to go.

Angry Bartender Unable to Use Phone

The greatest hour of my day yesterday was the hour between 6:30pm and 7:30pm when we probably took some years off the life of the bartender at The Bottom Of The Hill Club by hijacking one of his phone lines for our AOL Warner-Online conference. I don’t think he understood what we were doing, and for an entire hour, he was FUMING at us as we typed merrily away at the keyboard, and he had to use the phone on the other side of the bar, 20 feet away. For some reason, one of my favorite pasttimes seems to be making people really angry.

Virtual Reality and Bright Green Hair

Nat is our friend who is an engineer in a virtual reality lab in the Silicon Valley Edge City. A couple of tours ago, he came up after we finished a show, introduced himself and asked us if we’d like to see a “virtual reality” demo- of course, our jaws dropped to the floor as we tried to scream “YES!” through our drool. It was so NEW then! We were so excited; we came around to his office the next day and he showed us the standard helmet and glove, and we flew around a kitchen, an office, and the inside of a body, grabbing things and shoving computers outside of windows, etc. The craziest thing about the helmet is that it is hard to remember that you are looking at a world, not just a tv screen. When you turn around to look behind you, you are looking at the virtual world BEHIND you. It’s hard to grasp. Nat explains to us now that he is doing testing on different virtual hardware; his unemployed friends come down to his lab and get paid $10 an hour to get virtually seasick, playing video games, wearing eye goggle headsets. I tried it once for a while and got sick, myself! It was great! Anyway, we missed Nat’s new demo because he’s busy working at a computer conference this week. Nat now has bright green hair. I wonder how he’s being received at his convention.