|||||iCarly theme song - Miranda Cosgrove and Drake Bell||]|
I've been a fan of some Nickelodeon shows for quite a while.
The Amanda Show,
One big thing these shows have in common is they're directed by Dan Schneider, who aims to produce good TV, not just "kid TV". This may be why I like them, or perhaps I'm just a kid at heart.
fizzygeek and I were hanging around in an airport
waiting for a flight, and I was browsing Dan's facebook feed
when I saw
he was having a charity meet-and-greet to support
St. Jude's Hospital.
Dan had asked the casts of both iCarly and Victorious to participate,
and they all agreed!
Hoo boy, I wanted to go to this shindig! I asked
fizzygeek if I could go, and she said I should
probably think about it first, see if it would be feasible.
I considered it for a while, and decided that this would be
a popular event and would sell out quickly. I could either
pounce on it immediately, and take the chance of paying for it
and not being able to go, or think about it on the plane ride
and take a chance of wanting to go, but all the slots being
gone. Additionally, Andrea couldn't go anyway.
I pounced on it anyway, to her vague surprise.
When I got home, I started making arrangements. I booked a room
the hotel where the event would be held,
and found an affordable flight to Memphis, connecting through Charlotte.
Then I got another notification - NASA had freed up some additional
VIP tickets for the (then) final space shuttle launch. I had tried to
buy tickets earlier, but they were sold out, so I got on the bus
company's mailing list. This mailing included a URL to buy the
tickets, but the URL was mangled in transmission. I reverse-engineered
what it should have been and bought the tickets pronto.
I remember Spider Robinson writing in one of his books that seeing
a shuttle launch from the VIP area was an incredible experience,
and it was worth going to a large amount of effort do do so.
I had seen the Apollo moon shots go up from across the river,
those were awesome, and I'd seen a shuttle launch from on top
of the bridge, which was wonderful, but not like a Saturn V.
However, a shuttle launch from close up was something I wanted
to experience, and chances were running out.
Then I realized it was the same weekend!
Now what am I going to do? Okay, calm down, they're not the
same day. I can fly to Memphis, meet Dan and his TV show casts,
then fly to Florida and catch the space shuttle launch with Andrea.
So I went to the USAir web site and tried to modify my flight.
Unfortunately, USAir's reservation system isn't too bright - I have
to work with the complete flight between Memphis and Dulles, I can't just
delete the Charlotte-Dulles segment. And I can't convert Memphis-Dulles
into Memphis-Orlando, because there are no more seats on the Memphis-Charlotte segment! Even though I'd be on that plane either way, the
computer simply can't accept that I'd be vacating a seat that I'd then
occupy. Okay, I'll just call the airline directly and deal with a human
instead. No dice - the human uses the same broken reservation system,
and can't accomplish it either.
Fine, I'm not going to miss out on the shuttle launch. I went to another
airline and bought a ticket from Charlotte to Orlando, and one from Orlando to Dulles. I'll just get off the USAir plane in Charlotte and board a plane to Orlando, abandoning the Charlotte-Dulles segment.
I'm not sure what I'm going to wear - I'm tempted to wear a Gibby's Ice Cream T-shirt, as one of the characters on iCarly is called Gibby. But it might be a fancy shindig, so I also pack a really nice but somewhat outrageous striped shirt that had once listed for $200, but we found on a clearance rack for $20 or so. I emailed the event coordinator asking if there's a dress code, but hadn't heard back.
I get to the hotel and unpack, and find that I have a reply to the dress code - it's supposed to be reasonably fancy, no jeans. And I somehow neglected to pack nice pants. Time to go shopping! I call a cab to the mall. The cab driver takes a phone call on the way, and speaks a language that sounds faintly familiar, but I can't place it. When he gets off the phone, I ask him about it. He explains that he's speaking Ethiopian. No wonder it sounded familiar, I love Ethiopian food, and have learned several of the terms for the dishes. He and I have a great time discussing Ethiopian food.
I get to the mall and do some power shopping, picking up a nice pair of slacks, a belt, and some cufflinks. I'm going to look good.
I also scarfed down some food, as I didn't know when I'd have another
opportunity to eat, as I'd be getting back to the hotel not long before
the event began, and I still had to change.
I have a nice chat with another cab driver on the way back - he's curious
as to why I'm in town, and I explain that I'm attending a fundraiser for
St. Jude's Hospital. He says they're a wonderfully deserving place, and tells me a tale. There was a boy who'd gone to a conventional hosptial with cancer, and they told him he had maybe two months to live. His parents took him to St. Jude's instead, where he had done quite well. After a year, he was well enough for a trip to the zoo - and that cab
driver had driven him and his parents to the zoo.
When I got back to the hotel, there was a huge crowd of people in the lobby.
I figured the TV stars had showed up and I was missing things!
Out by the elevators was mobbed, so it would be problematic to
even get back to my room to change.
It took a while for me to figure out what was really going on:
the Peabody hotel has a tradition where a
family of ducks lives in their fountain
during the day, and the ducks march back to their home on
the roof at night - via the elevator.
Once the ducks had made their journey, the lobby cleared out
and I was able to go back to my room and change into my fancy duds.
Originally posted at Dreamwidth.org comments