IMR: 1998: October: 15 -- Thursday, 11:50 p.m. (PST)
Century Plaza Hotel and Tower, Los Angeles, California

I just called Jen. Not surprisingly, she's doing just fine. She's keeping busy, hanging out with William (who was making Katie laugh so hard I thought she'd burst), and planning to go out later with Rocky.

It just figures Katie would reach another milestone while I was out of town. She managed to get from lying on her back to a sitting position, all by her lonesome. It wasn't so much a Frankenstein-esque sit-up, but rather a roll with a bit of an arm prop, but still. Just amazing.

So, my first day in Los Angeles is completed, all limbs still intact. It's nearly midnight here, but in Honolulu (and in my heart) it's only 8:30 p.m.

I spent nearly the entire day working in the "meeting venue office," our headquarters away from home tucked into a converted meeting room in the farthest corner of the hotel. We've rented four Pentium minitowers, a laser printer, two industrial-sized copiers, a fax machine, and ten phone lines.

In addition to keeping the site up-to-date, my duties apparently include on-site technical support for anything electronic. We've got a small Ethernet network running, sharing Zip drives and other hardware across computers, and set up a Toshiba laptop to check an e-mail account set up specifically for this meeting.

Between installing gobs of software, juryrigging TCP/IP internet access through several different Compuserve accounts, sorting incoming e-mail for seven different people, and coddling a portable bubblejet printer that's apparently allergic to paper, I've been busy.

[ Lobby ]So busy, in fact, I didn't see daylight once today.

Not that life indoors is all that bad. I had a little time to look around, and quickly discovered that this hotel is not your average Motel 6. It's a certifiable four-star establishment. Marble and brass everywhere, photos of dozens of presidents and celebrities line the long, majestic halls, and the lobby constantly buzzes with sharply-dressed folk who seem to loiter simply to be seen surrounded by extravagance. The staff is ultra snappy, eager to help and accomodate to an almost embarassing degree.

My room, though the basic model, is still quite large, full of big oak furniture with a grand view of Century City. I could probably live in the bathroom (though the water pressure leaves a bit to be desired, understandable in water-starved California).

[ Century Plaza ]The Century Plaza Hotel and Tower, in fact, is part of "Century City" — an enormous commercial superblock apparently first planned in the early 60s as Los Angeles' "city of the future." The hotel alone seems as large as four or five city blocks, but the "city" probably qualifies for its own zip code, home to at least a hundred shops, two towering business skyscrapers, and a 14-screen theater that's hosted a fair share of Hollywood-grade premieres.

I saw a little of it during the day's two meal breaks. (Fortunately, mom's biggest worry — having enough cash to eat — has so far been rendered moot since my employers have picked up the tab.) We walked through the shopping complex, past Macy's, a "Discovery Channel" store, and many other cool places I can't remember, looking for a place to eat.

Lunch was at a charming, noisy Italian restaurant where the portions were quite generous. Dinner was at a place called "Houston's" (picked over "Yin and Yang," a Chinese joint, and "Dive," a theme restaurant built to look like a yellow submarine). After baked salmon and broccoli dip appetizers, I dined on a Cajun-style barbeque shrimp pizza which put the stuff at California Pizza Kitchen to shame.

Besides the food, a major plus was the bathroom wall. (We all checked it out together.) As the plaque beside the sink declared, the tiles were specifically colored and aligned to create the optical illusion of being curved and obliquely-shaped, even though they were all perfect squares.

It made the hour-long wait to get a table worthwhile.

And it's 1:30 a.m., and I better get some sleep.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 11 October 1998 · Last Modified: 17 October 1998