As I write this, I’m sitting on the airplane, flying home from Los Angeles. It’s Thursday night, and spent the day with Universal examining the game Wanted: Weapons of Fate. It has been a long day, and I look forward to sleeping in my bed, but I also wish I were able to stay the night.
Allow me to explain.
Initially the invitation was to fly down on Wednesday night, spend the night in a hotel and catch an advance preview screening, then Thursday we would head over to do the Universal back lot tour, see the film Wanted, spend some time with the developers and then catch some gameplay time. Then Friday morning the return flight home.
The way my home life is, this just wasn’t possible. I’m not complaining, because my home life allows me to actually stay at home and spend time with my children, much more than most parents, let alone fathers. I won’t go into the particulars as to why, but I couldn’t fly down Wednesday or return on Friday, so that left only travel on Thursday.
I woke up at 4am on Thursday, took a shower, called a cab, and headed to the airport. I was able to check in quickly and headed through security easily. There was a long line at Starbucks so I wasn’t able to get coffee before boarding. If you know me, you understand that I absolutely need that caffeine. I was able to get a cup on the plane, but it was not enough. After landing I was going to try picking up a cup or two before my ride (thankfully I wasn’t going to have to take a cab) showed up. Unfortunately, I was unable to do so as I needed to get to the hotel in time for the day’s events to begin.
Almost as soon as I arrived at the hotel and met up with the group (where I was hoping to get some coffee) we headed out to the tram tour of the Universal back lot. Despite all the years of going to Los Angeles for events I have never participated in a studio tour. This one was quite enjoyable – and yes, I did ask for Babs.
On the tour there were several scheduled events, such as a Jaws attack, an exploding bridge and more. What I found more enjoyable were the various items on display such as various vehicles from films or actual set pieces such as the exterior neighborhood that is used for “Desperate Housewives”.
After the tour we were ushered into one of the screening rooms to watch Wanted. I was hoping to get some coffee, but no beverages would be allowed into the theater. I would have to wait.
Lunch was then served, and by this time I was beginning to go through withdrawals. The only thing that was keeping me any sort of sane was the one cup I got on the flight down. It wasn’t the fact that I had been up since 4am that made me craving coffee, but the fact that I am completely addicted to the substance. By noon I was getting a headache and was actually having a hard time eating because my hands were shaking. No, I’m not particularly proud of this.
I finally was able to get some regular coffee after lunch – I found the café that sold coffee just around the corner (keep in mind that we were still on the Universal studio lot). I managed to get myself a large cup of coffee and stopped shaking.
Then we had a presentation of some of the major points in the game and discussion with the developers and play time. During this time, I was also able to manage to find the nearby Starbucks and get some serious caffeine through my poison of choice triple tall soy mocha – in case you were wondering).
Next on the agenda was a return to the hotel, and while everybody got ready to go out that night by going up to their hotel room and writing things up for their respective websites or checking the internet porn or whatever other people do, I waited in the hotel lobby for my ride to the airport. I had an interesting conversation about marketing, advertising, the economy, passion in work, and more. At the airport I caught the flight home, and this is where I am right now.
So, while it would have been nice and much more relaxing to fly home Friday morning, I have no problem heading home on the same day. I appreciate that I was able to go and participate in the event and get a good look at the game as well as see some people that I don’t normally get to but once or twice a year.
It may sound nice, and super easy work, but it really isn’t. No, it isn’t working in a coal mine, nor is it working in a office for 8 hours a day with an hour commute each way, but it is tough, and not just because I had an issue with my addiction. Still, I am thankful that I am in a position of fortune and am grateful for the opportunities I have.