Vancouver-Right Now

So what’s the policy on talking in the bathroom?  I don’t mean with a buddy, I mean IN THE STALL!

I’ll admit it, I do occasionally speak and shit.  But IN MY OWN HOUSE!  And I’ll check my BlackBerry in a public stall, but TALK?  I mean I’m sitting down doing my business in LAX and the guy next to me is dumping and dialing.  Shouldn’t there be a RULE?

The pilot said they were gonna leave EARLY!  Because of the 100 MPH headwinds.  But it was gonna be a smooth ride.  HUH?  The only time I’ve been on a bumpier flight is when I flew through a tornado.  I mean I’ve got to take a pee (I’ve got the bladder of a squirrel) and I get up from my seat and the belted-in flight attendant FREAKS OUT!  But protesting that I’ve got to go, she looks me in the eye and tells me to be CAREFUL!  And as I’m standing in the loo, holding on for dear life, I realize why they say professional fliers always stay buckled up.  I can truly see myself hitting the ceiling, never mind peeing.  Oh, I eventually dribbled something out, but I haven’t been this frightened since the tram at Snowbird got a mouse in its electrical parts and kept jerking on and off, swaying a zillion feet in the air.

And then it’s time to touch down.  And the nose of the plane is higher than the tail.  MUCH higher.  This isn’t how it’s supposed to be.  And we’re bouncing around.  And then suddenly we BUMP, and we start sliding from side to side, we’re DOWN!  But looking out the window I see no runway, only SNOW!

I thought they cleaned the runway before you landed.  I never land on snow in Aspen.  But before visions of twisting and sliding off the tarmac come fully into my mind’s eye we slow to a crawl.  Whereupon the pilot announces we’re gonna fly by an A380 on its world tour.  You know, the Airbus, the world’s largest plane.  Oh, it doesn’t look that much bigger than a 747 until you notice there are TWO rows of windows, that it looks like the fuselage ate an A320, or a 737.

And it’s snowing and blowing, flakes entering the jetway, but finally I’m on terra firma.  And after checking in with Graham Nash’s immigration man, actually a woman, in a BULLETPROOF VEST, this guy accosts me.  He’s here for the conference too.  He’s a little TOO friendly until I finally find out he’s a Canadian.  Really, Canadians are the antidote to uptight Americans.  They TALK!  And this Paul Faberman recited his history, from IRS to EMI to Fox to Celine.  Yup, he handles Celine Dion’s business affairs.  And I found out when his phone rang with someone he hooked up with ducats that she’s got a throat problem, and has had to cancel a week of shows in Vegas.  God, no matter HOW big you get in this business are you STILL a glorified ticket agent?

And we’re cruising, actually, that’s a misnomer, we’re CRAWLING through a winter wonderland.  Your vision of Christmas?  Vancouver here on November 29th is it.  A low ceiling, everything draped in white, it’ll make you want to live where there are seasons AGAIN!

And while Jenny, the coordinator, is showing me her Walkman phone in the front seat, I hear this woman behind me, Helen, is from Stockholm.  No, this can’t be.  I just got an AWAY message last night.  Is the name I’ve seen in my inbox every time she takes a trip THIS PERSON??

Yes, Helen McLaughlin, from V2 in Stockholm.  Sometimes the world is SO small.

And we finally crawl up to the hotel.  The Sheraton Wall Centre.  I’m staying in the tower you see in the picture.  With floor to ceiling glass walls.  On the 22nd floor.  Unfortunately, the DESK faces inside, but when I looked out, over the city, it felt like…  Well, I wouldn’t exactly say home, but when you grow up in snow, in winter, you have nostalgia for when it was all about what was INSIDE, as opposed to exterior L.A.

Now I almost didn’t make it.  You see, I had the WRONG DATES!  I thought it was NEXT WEEK!  Hell, look at the site, transmission conference programme, WAY up in the upper left-hand corner, in white on white, the days are delineated.  I MISSED them.  Especially since I never went to the site since you have to remember your password and who’s got time for that?

The intimacy intrigued me.  So here I am.

I know, I know, why am I not SKIING?  Going to WHISTLER?  Where they’ve had record-breaking snowfall, 13 FEET?  Well, Tyl, the producer, was gonna hook me up.  If I spoke at a panel at the Whistler Film Festival, I could ski FOR FREE!  Only one hitch, I’ve got to do my radio show on Sunday night.  He was trying to arrange a studio and then I told him to pass because it was too much already, I was going to Aspen three days later, but now that’s TEN DAYS later and I’m passing up all that virgin snow!  Bummer.

So I’ll keep you posted.  I’ve got to go now to this reception, to hang with all these friendly people, to get something to EAT!

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