(This is like one of those essays you always had to write in September when school started again.)
I spent the weekend in Los Angeles, California so that I could attend The One Last Party, put on by TheOneRing.net.
This was my first trip to California. Unfamiliar vegetation – the trees, mostly – gave the place a sort of sci fi vibe. There were two kinds of what I guess were both palm trees, but one was taller with a skinny trunk, and the other was squattier with a thicker, hairy trunk. It was also a lot muggier there.
Hollywood was unimpressive, to be honest. To start with, I don’t watch TV and I hardly ever go to movies, so there isn’t really anything about Hollywood that interests me. I expected something more exotic and glittery, but it didn’t feel particularly different than the grubbier parts of Denver. Except that it was bigger. And grubbier.
I did go find Hollywood Boulevard, but there wasn’t much to see. They were putting up all the grandstands and stuff for the Oscars on Sunday, so you couldn’t even get to part of it. I found a few stars, although I had heard ahead of time that Peter Jackson’s star was under one of the grandstands, so I didn’t even look for that one.
I felt they had “jumped the shark” when they gave a star to Orlando Bloom a couple years ago, but after seeing some of the older recipients, it became obvious that the shark was well and truly jumped long before ol’ Orly came along. (The Smurfs? Really?? And the Munchkins???)
I didn’t do much sightseeing. I was there only a couple days and I wasn’t interested enough to brave public transport to look for anything out of walking distance. I did find a cool residential neighborhood behind and up the hill from the hotel. All stucco, plus all the weird plants and flowers – that sci fi vibe again. And it was an extremely steep, winding hill, to the point where, about halfway up, you have to lean forward and march.
The Party was fun, too. Everyone was dressed all fancy, either in evening dress or costumes. There were some amazing costumes – a Smaug with actual wings, a couple of fantastic Thorin Oakenshields (at least one of whom was a woman), a dead ringer for Elrond, lots of very hobbity hobbits. And some female dwarves (not just women dressed as dwarves, but dressed as female dwarves.)
The catered meal was yummy and the entertainment was fun. Emerald Rose, a Celtic band, was first and they were pretty lively. The California Dreamers were the main entertainment – the mostly 60s cover/Mamas and Papas tribute band that William Kircher (Bifur) and his wife started (I think).
I was a little disappointed that more celebrities didn’t attend (I was secretly hoping to see at least Richard Armitage and Graham McTavish), but we did get Bruce Hopkins (Gamling), John Bell (Bain), Sala Baker (Sauron/various Orcs), Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer LOTR), and Royd Tolkien (ROTK/DOS uncredited roles/JRRT’s great-grandson). Plus the Happy Hobbits, the Button Lady, and various other folks.
I took some photos of the guests and the performers, but they’re pretty crappy. My iPhone really doesn’t take good photos from that far away, but by that time, my shoes were off and I wasn’t about to put them back on to get closer for photos.
This link has way better photos: