So. We're back! If you're reading this for the second time, it probably means you already read this at either Anna or Susan's blog. And, btw, we're going to be speaking in the third person whenever we mention our names. Easier than changing everything for each blog. We decided to do a joint blog since we're sharing the stories and it's silly for each of us to type the stories out when we can do it together. So, sit back, and enjoy the VERY long ride.
Wednesday: Anna spends the day packing and cleaning. Susan spends most of the day on a plane in between Chicago and San Jose. She arrives around dinner time and we head back to Anna's house for a tasty dinner of home barbequed cheeseburgers. Yum yum! While Susan watched "Dawson's Creek" in Anna's room, Anna watched "Enterprise" in living room with her parents. Then it came time for "Angel" at 9pm, which we watched together in Anna's room. And laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Gee, do you think "Angel" has gone downhill at all? Thank goodness for small favors though... no more Lilah! And Cordy is weevil! Perhaps this explains her INSANE behavior since mid 3rd season? The rest of the evening was spent hanging out before an early bedtime for the drive on Thursday.
Thursday: We hop into the car, all packed up and head to the gas station to fill up for the long drive to L.A. Anna flips to one of her favorite rock stations, to find Color Me Badd being played. WTF?!?!?!?!?! As we try to figure out the mystery, more old songs are played and we figure the station is doing an early 90s flashback. Suddenly, the radio plays a news broadcast... something about war planes in Iraq. We think "OH SHIT. What has that idiot in the White House done?" The President starts speaking... and guess what? It's President Bush. But not the current one. The OTHER one. Yup... we were duped. Nothing but an old radio broadcast to go with the old music. Relieved and quite amused, we headed out onto the freeway to get on the way. We called Kacie and Allie to let them know we were on the way, since we were planning to meet along the drive. We arrived at the meeting place first, and waited for 30 minutes or so, but the girls still hadn't arrived, so we text messaged them and arranged to meet later in Kettlemen City for lunch. Along the way, we were tempted to stop by the Pleasant Valley State Prison, but figured we had better keep going to meet the girls. Oh well. Maybe next time! We met up easily at the McDonald's and chatted for quite a while before getting back onto I-5, where Kacie tried her best to keep up with Anna's speeding tendencies (shhhhhh... don't tell!). The drive was fairly uneventful, other than the rain on the Grapevine... but thankfully no mudslides like the day before.
We finally made it to Hollywood around 4:30pm, and got ourselves checked into the hotel room. Then we wandered around Hollywood and Highland, where a premiere was taking place for "Old School" at Mann's Chinese Theatre. When Susan asked one of LA's finest what was going on, she was met with some unexpected sarcastic humor. Who knew cops were so witty?
Susan: What's the premiere for? I'm from Chicago, so I don't know these things.
Cop: I'm from Los Angeles. (good natured laughter) It's for the movie "Old School."
While waiting for Luke Wilson to arrive for his premiere, we bought tickets for the 12am showing of "Daredevil" at Mann's. By that time we were quite hungry and decided to have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. A guy on his cell phone provided some entertainment (and a loud voice that carries). After dinner, we wandered around the area of the premiere which had already started (so we missed all the stars, but not their limos), but we found where the after party was taking place and we snooped around for a bit. Kacie
and some other Bronzers met us at Johnny Rocket's, where we chatted, listened to some oldies, and endlessly waited for Anna's cup of coffee. After it finally arrived, Anna downed it quickly and we decided to head back to the hotel before the movie. We watched a bit of TV before leaving again and spotted a typical LA broadcast - a high-speed pursuit in West Covina, CA. It was very exciting (apparently this was the station's entire 10pm news broadcast). They analyzed every aspect and angle of the situation. The driver was even stupid enough to try to escape on foot after his tire blew out. Unfortunately, we did not get to see the resolution. We still wonder if he was arrested. Anyone know? ;o) On the way to pick up our PBP nametags, Anna spotted Eric Stoltz walking past us, while on his cell phone. She quickly pointed it out to a clueless Susan
(Eric Stoltz became one of the jokes of the weekend).
After getting a little bit lost, we found the entrance to Mann's where Susan attempted to buy her Snowcaps, but was met with the typical Californian - "Huh?" The theater was pretty crowded with film students, noisy people, and even some fellow Bronzers! The previews were quite entertaining... Anna was thrilled with the preview for "Phone Booth," but surprised when several dorks decided to boo it. We also saw a brand new preview for "X-Men 2" which looks quite exciting and amazing. We think that preview had better writing than most of "Daredevil!" Not that it's saying much with dialogue like this:
"Go get 'em man!" Wow. Pretty inspiring stuff, right? We thought so, as did the film students in front of us... we had some good laughs over that. The stunts, however, were quite good, though Susan had issues with the excessive use of wire work. Jennifer Garner was decent, though the cleavage was REALLY out there. Jon Favreau and Colin Farrell were the best of the bunch, keeping us laughing. Ben Affleck... well, let's just say he didn't belong in that movie. And why is it movies always have perfect rain? And that sex scene was quite out of place... too obvious that it was added later. Very sleepy, we headed back to the hotel and zonked out for the night.
"He made me miss."
"Justice is served."
Friday: Because of our late night, we got up quite late in the morning. After breakfast, we hopped into the car and headed over to Burbank to find the Warner and Disney Studios. Warner was quite easy to find, though Disney took a bit longer because of some wrong turns on our part. We bought tickets for the Warner tour, but had a couple hours before it started, so we headed back to Disney where we drove around the studio several times in an attempt to take a picture of a large "Alias" poster, then finally decided to park the car and walk around since Disney is too lame to give studio tours. Although we hoped J.J. Abrams would run us over and then be forced to give a tour in exchange for us not suing him. Might have worked, right? Instead, Susan spotted what she thought was David Anders driving into the studio, which threw her into a frenzy of excitement and obsession, though Anna cannot confirm any of this since she didn't see the car's driver. But Susan swears it was him. Any friends of David know if he drives a black car? After that bit of fun, it was time to head back to Warner for our tour.
While entering Warner, a security guard asked if anyone was an extra, to which Susan replied, "I wish!" And thus, she became known to that guard as "The Extra." After spending a bit of time lounging in the tour waiting area, we finally managed to get ourselves into the cute guide's group, as opposed to the other group led by an older and much less good looking guide. Yes, we are shallow. After putting our cameras into the "lockbox" (memories of Gore and SNL, anyone?) we visited the Warner Museum, where the entire 2nd floor was devoted to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." VERY awesome. Lots and lots of cool props, including an actual working sorting hat. Susan was sorted into Slytherin, making her very happy because she can now spend her days chasing after Snape for real. And much to her horror and dismay, Anna was sorted into Hufflepuff. Seriously, what's up with that? At least she wasn't told she looked like a Hufflepuff, whereas a guard told Susan she looked like a Slytherin. Along the tour, we were shown the "Drew Carey" set, and got to walk around the outdoor set for "ER" and some of the sets for "Gilmore Girls." Susan was even able to give lessons on "Gilmore Girls" since the tour guide apparently hadn't watched the show in a couple years. We spotted several parking spaces for GG actors and crew members, and on the drive past the "ER" set, we saw Noah Wyle and Maura Tierney walking together. We also saw Anthony LaPaglia chatting with someone, as well as Rob Lowe and Dule Hill around the "West Wing" sets (making Anna very excited). All in all, the tour was fairly entertaining and we had a fun time. After arriving at the hotel, we arranged to meet Susan's friend Kristie for dinner. We ate at Mel's Diner and had a nice gossip-full chat. We headed back to the hotel, at which point Anna's leg decided to piss her off by hurting like hell. After taking three Advils, Anna felt rather icky and woozy, so she stayed at the hotel and went to bed at 9:30pm, while Susan went to the Renaissance Hotel for the pre-party, where she had a less than exciting time, thanks to crappy music, but at least managed to chat with some old friends and found a much sought-after solution to a lingering problem. She arrived back at the hotel around 1am and fell into bed.
Saturday: We rushed through breakfast, but still managed to arrive slightly late for the Locations Tour with about 40 other Bronzers. We can safely say that although the intentions were good, the tour was VERY poorly executed. While visiting the Los Altos Apartments, which serves as the Hyperion Hotel on "Angel," some Bronzers chatted with a rather disgruntled resident walking his extremely large dog. When he realized we were Buffy and Angel fans, he told us, "They ruin my fucking day when they shoot here!" Quite funny. After that one stop, someone in charge decided it was time for a group Starbucks trip. Why people didn't go BEFORE the tour is beyond us. Nevertheless, we were forced to sit on the bus for about 45 minutes as everyone other than us bought coffee. Talk about a waste of time. Finally, we started off again, this time heading all the way out to San Pedro to visit the pier where the Buffy/Angel scene in "Surprise" was filmed. Next up was Torrance High. It was great to see the old Sunnydale High (even without the Sunnydale sign up) and we got some lovely pictures. Unfortunately, one of the Bronzers found an open gate, and even though the high school had many signs telling people NOT to trespass, almost the whole group (excluding us and a few other folks) decided to trample all over the Torrance courtyard for about an hour. Yet another waste of precious time. Finally we headed for Buffy's house, also located in Torrance. Funny fact: apparently the group leader felt it was okay to trample all over Torrance High, but she was quite adamant that no one even get out of the bus to take pictures of Buffy's house. Next stop was Sony Pictures, where the building used as the Wolfram and Hart offices is located. And just our luck: there was a Trader Joe's across the street, so we got to waste more time waiting for people to finish there. Our last stop was Kenneth Hahn Park, where Willow and Tara's "Under Your Spell" scene was filmed for "Once More, with Feeling." Beautiful park and Susan even thought she spotted an "Alias" filming location from "Phase One." She'll have to check into that. And the tour was finally over... now we just had to make it back to the hotel. But it would of course happen that the war protest (which we fully support) was happening and Sunset was completely blocked off, preventing us from getting up to the hotel and causing major traffic backups. Finally, the bus driver let us off near Sunset and Highland and we walked up to Hollywood to have lunch, now in a rush, since we only had about 2 hours to get ready for PBP that night.
We made ourselves beautiful in record time and headed to the American Legion Hall for the 6th annual (and last) PBP. Susan found the food (well, at least the salad, bread, and brownies) to be quite tasty. We found friendly folks we knew (Little Willow, Kacie, Connie, and Kristie included) and chatted with them for a bit, before heading out on the hunt for VIPs to chat with. James Marsters was the first VIP we spotted (well, really only the top of his bleached blond head), but he was mobbed by an extremely large group of people, so we gave up hope on that one. However, he did walk right past us as he was rescued from the mob and escorted back to the VIP room downstairs. As entertainment, some folks were dressed up as the Ubervamp, The Beast, Skip and some other Jossverse creatures, so we managed to get a picture with the Ubervamp and one of the creatures from "Waiting in the Wings," though Susan refused to get near the Ubervamp for fear that he would suck her blood. We attempted to chat with several VIPs, but many of them were just too mobbed, and we're unwilling to push and shove people just to get to a VIP (though many, many folks there were willing). We did get to chat with the writers, Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson, and Drew Z. Greenberg included. We also met Vladimir Kulich (The Beast on "Angel") who gave us lessons on camera holding and had Susan hold his vodka ("the drink of my home country") as he signed her scriptbook. Sarah Hagan (Amanda on "BtVS") wasn't too swamped, so were able to chat with her and get pictures (and just a note - Sarah's date wins the award for best looking guy at the PBP). Summer Glau and Ron Glass (both from "Firefly") were both around, but when we tried to get close to them, mobs swarmed up and we were pushed back. So, feeling a bit frustrated from the pushing and the large amount of regular folks wandering around with VIP room passes, we headed to the downstairs bathroom, which happened to be the bathroom for the VIP room. Since our feet were hurting, we made use of the comfy couch and chairs down there for a little while. We even proposed to form a "Bathroom Club" with a couple other folks who took sanctuary in there. While hanging out, Julie Benz walked into the bathroom. As she was touching up her make-up in front of the mirror, we heard a guy in the hallway outside yell out "I told Julie Benz she could kick my ass!" Julie looked at us and laughed, saying "Whose ass am I going to kick? I better talk to him." We went back upstairs for a bit... as we were walking out of the large ballroom where the bands played, Eddie Kaye Thomas (from "American Pie") walked by us, throwing us both into fits of laughter causing huge amounts of wonder as to why he was there. So, Eddie Kaye Thomas has now become the new slang term for the word "random." We demand that whenever any of you is going to say something is random, say it's Eddie Kaye Thomas instead. Back to the party... we had to use the bathroom again (we are the Pee Queens, after all) and this time we spotted Sarah Hagan walking through. Summer Glau also stopped by, but we had to warn her about the flooded floor (which we reported, but no one ever bothered to fix) and then Anna proceeded to give her directions to the bathroom upstairs. So we didn't get her picture or autograph, but we did help her find a working bathroom. Julie Benz stopped in the bathroom again and was surprised to find us still there (though we had actually left and come back). We were disgusted by the twerpy fans who insisted on having her sign autographs and take pictures inside the bathroom, so we headed back upstairs again. Julie came upstairs a little later, and we managed to wait for the crowd to die down a bit so we could get a picture with her (see... we behave ourselves... no harassing of VIPs while they're in the bathroom!). We discovered who Drew Goddard was before most other folks, but as we were waiting to chat with him, the word on who he was spread, and a mob formed. Apparently Drew is the unknown Beatle. Who knew a writer would be so popular? Though he was EXTREMELY good looking. We had to wait a LONG time before the crowd died down and we were able to go back and chat with him. Doug Petrie seemed to be having a good laugh over Drew's popularity, and it's safe to say he'll probably be teased mercilessly at the office for a while to come. While waiting for Drew to become available, we chatted with Steve DeKnight over his newly blond hair. Anna asked if the change came with the switch over to "Angel," but apparently it was made for a gag reel of Season 6, where Steve played Spike. Despite our protests, Steve hopes no one ever sees that reel. Eliza Dushku was also present at PBP, though there was no chance of meeting her, as she was just as mobbed as James Marsters. Anna did manage to get a picture of her as she signed something for a little girl though. So, that was about it for PBP. Anna had a great time, and Susan enjoyed herself, though we both wished things had been less exclusive and better organized. The bands were great (especially Common Rotation) and it was lovely to hear Andy Hallett sing again.
And here's the list of VIPs we were able to compile, though we didn't see all of them: Joss Whedon, Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson, Drew Goddard, Steve DeKnight, Mere Smith, Eliza Dushku, Ron Glass, Summer Glau, Drew Z. Greenberg, Tim Minear, David Fury, James Marsters, Julie Benz, Iyari Limon, Sarah Hagan, Tom Lenk, Danny Strong, Adam Busch, J. August Richards, Alexis Denisof, Andy Hallett, Vladimir Kulich , Camden Toy, Mark Lutz, George Hertzberg, James C. Leary, Alexa Davalos, Eddie Kaye Thomas!!!
After security began to usher people out of the party, we headed back to the hotel. We weren't quite tired enough for bed, but tired enough to just want to hang out, so we ordered a pizza and watched the remainder of "Saturday Night Live" (as hosted by Jennifer Garner) and various other things on TV before finally heading to bed around 2am.
Sunday: Despite our late night, we managed to get an early start and headed off for Disneyland around 9am. We missed our exit in Anaheim, but the next exit ended up dropping us off right near the Pumbaa parking lot, so we were able to hop onto the shuttle to Disneyland and be in the park a little after 10am. We grabbed a Fast Pass for Indiana Jones and quickly headed off to Pirates of Caribbean, which thankfully didn't have a long line (yet). After getting the "Yo ho! Yo ho! A pirate's life for me!" song stuck in our heads, we went over to the Haunted Mansion. Inside the front chamber, a Disneyland employee was hunched over a bit too dramatically and talked in a rather fake scary accent, causing us to giggle a bit. When the lights went out and the employee disappeared as they always do on that ride, we weren't surprised. However, the creepy guy popped up behind Susan and said "Don't be scared!" thus causing her to shout "Shit!" in front of all of the other visitors, kids and parents included. Thankfully, everyone had a good laugh, especially us. At the end of the ride, as Susan got out of the car, the employee popped up again (he probably waited on purpose to catch us there) and shouted "Boo!" to which Susan replied "Boo!" Made for another very funny moment. Next up was Indiana Jones, which we got onto rather quickly, thanks to Fast Pass. The ride was loads of fun, and Susan got to "drive" (not really... she just had a fake steering wheel in front of her) wildly and prove that she can be a true SoCal driver. After that, we had lunch in New Orleans Square (soup in bread bowls... yummmm) and then got in line to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Lots of fun, though the wait was a bit long. Next up was Fantasyland, where Susan was dying to get on the Dumbo ride. We waited in line for a while, and after being assigned numbers, we went to get on the ride. Unfortunately, some parents didn't care about the numbers and too many people were let out, causing the cars to fill up too quickly and Anna got shoved aside by a bitchy mother and Susan was left with no car. Thankfully the employee there let Susan wait to ride on the next set and Anna decided not to ride in order to take pictures of Susan looking silly. Susan then bought herself the much desired Mickey ears and while Anna was in the bathroom, she proceeded to fall in the dirt. Anna wishes she had been able to see that. We then headed over to Tomorrowland and Fast Passed Autopia, which ended up being a mistake because we then couldn't Fast Pass Space Mountain, which had an extremely long line. But we really wanted to ride, so we waited it out. After hanging out into Tomorrowland, it was about time to leave, so we stopped by the Main Street Emporium (because one cannot leave Disneyland without trinkets) and picked up a gift for Rae along with other goodies.
Susan successfully drove through SoCal traffic on the way back to the hotel. Once there, we quickly changed and caught a taxi to the Whisky A Go-Go for the Common Rotation gig. The club ended up being much farther down Sunset than we thought and Susan kept having to pull ones out of her purse to pay the driver with... but she ended up just having to give him 2 fives. By the time we got to the club, the line was already extremely long and only grew longer as we waited. Finally the doors opened, but the line moved very slowly since bags were being searched and IDs checked. Susan's camera was taken away since it records video and she didn't want to pay the $25 charge to keep it with her. But the folks at the club were threatened with death and worse if anything happened to the camera. We headed straight upstairs for a table since we were very tired from standing in line at Disneyland all day, and thankfully we found an open table and some chairs to steal. We ordered our Midori Sours and some burgers and sat back to enjoy the wonderful music of Common Ro. It was a great show, and though we couldn't really see the stage from where we sat, we could hear the music perfectly, which was (obviously) the most important part. After the gig, Susan claimed her camera and we said our goodbyes to most of the folks. We were planning to catch a taxi, but Connie offered us a ride with her and Blair (her boyfriend) since her dad was picking them up. That worked perfectly because we hadn't been able to talk much with Connie all weekend and that gave us a chance to gossip and have fun with her. We said our goodbyes to Connie and Blair back at the hotel and then headed up to veg for a little bit before sleep.
Monday: We got off to a bit of a late start, but still managed to get over to Leanna's (a friend of Anna) place almost on time. We saw Leanna's lovely apartment and then headed to the IHOP across the street for breakfast. Had a lovely long chat and then went back to Leanna's and got directions to the 405 and began the long drive back to San Jose. A mostly boring drive except for our dream plans of having an "Alias" pajama lockdown party with various "Alias" VIPs. Planned all the ways it would be different from PBP. It could happen, right? Finally made it home around 6pm and told this whole long story you've been reading to Anna's parents. Then vegged in front of the TV and passed out.
Today was spent hanging around San Jose. We went to breakfast with Anna's mom (and Shasta) and then drove around Quicksilver Park and did some shopping in Los Gatos. Came home, had dinner, and watched "BtVS" and "Smallville." We both enjoyed "BtVS" immensely, though we thought the very end of the episode was straight out of "Lord of the Rings" in terms of visuals. But yay to Doug Petrie for writing and directing an otherwise excellent episode. And that's it... we're tired and need to sleep, and we're sure the rest of you need to do the same after reading this. Sorry about the length, but we had to get all the details out. Pictures might be posted later, but not tonight. Hope the rest of you had as lovely and fun a weekend as we did.