Hey everyone! Here's my own personal Emmys story, complete with sordid details and photos. If you want more, I'll soon be updating my blog with more...and also with a fabulous Emmys wristband contest!! Hope you enjoy my story!
In the six years I’ve lived in San Francisco, I had never once managed to make it all the way down to Los Angeles. Just weeks ago, I learned that that was about to change—I was going to the Emmys! Missribs, Waltmor, Danmod, and several more members of the TV.com crew were given the amazing and surreal opportunity to be packed like sardines into the bleachers overlooking this year’s red carpet. What would it be like? We had absolutely no idea, but we were definitely excited…and a little unnerved by the mandatory background checks!
In the days leading up to our big trip, things at work became increasingly hectic—and not only because of our constant daydreaming about all the stars we were going to meet, hang out with, and befriend. My personal plan was to go shopping and run into George Clooney, who would be so smitten by me that he’d buy me a new wardrobe, take me out to dinner, and then spirit me away for a long life of luxury. Good times were definitely on the way!
After a hectic two weeks, it was finally time to go. Missribs and I came to work for a morning of last-minute preparation, then waved goodbye to our jealous coworkers and headed for the airport.
The security line was disarmingly short, so we had time to relax in the airport bar with some sweet potato fries and a glass of Pinot Grigio before boarding the plane. The flight from San Francisco to L.A. was just long enough to down a glass of water and begin to slide into a catnap…until we were rudely awakened by the pilot’s super-loud, smack-in-the-face “prepare for landing” announcement. Ouch. We groggily lugged our bags out to the sidewalk and took our first deep breath of smoggy, humid, and deliciously warm Los Angeles air. A far cry from what passes for “summer” in San Francisco!
After picking up our rental car and making our way to West Hollywood, we checked into the night’s accommodations: the lovely home of Missribs’ friends Dave and Viri. Declining to hit the town, the four of us spent a lovely evening dining on takeout Italian food, sipping a few homemade cocktails, and watching Evil Dead II. We also had time to play fetch with Dave and Viri’s totally nutso cat, Rubi. That’s right, she plays fetch. With a hacky-sack. And it’s really cute.
Saturday morning dawned warm and sunny, and after a coffee and breakfast we were ready to go shopping. Since I’d never visited L.A. before, I let Missribs take the wheel, and soon we were cruising down Melrose. We went into store after store after store…but unfortunately, we found nothing but cheap and ugly dresses. I did have a good time checking out all the weird L.A. people with their leathery-tanned skin, skeletal frames, and surgically enhanced bodies. That’s definitely another difference between L.A. and home—here, most people are pasty-skinned and slightly flabby. It’s acceptable since everyone in San Francisco works in an office and it’s always cold and foggy.
Bereft of cool outfits for the Emmys, we gave up and headed for the hotel. The place has a reputation for being “hip and funky,” and I can say that it was definitely unusual. Our room had two mattresses on a raised platform, a swirly paint job, and a shower separated from the room by nothing but a glass wall. Luckily, there was a curtain for optional bathing privacy. After pulling all our clothes out of our luggage and basically trashing the room (Missribs brought about 10 pairs of shoes), we decided to bother Waltmor and Danmod. Their room was a few floors above ours, so we headed up there and pounded on the door. After tasting their patented “vanilla vodka and diet coke” cocktail, we went down to the lobby and met up with the rest of the TV.com crew. Dinner time on the company dime!
The group (about 13 of us) wandered uphill for a few blocks until we reached our destination: a fancy and delicious Italian restaurant. Wine flowed like water, plates of appetizers were passed like Frisbees, and we gorged ourselves on a feast fit for royalty. Everyone’s tongues were getting looser and looser, and the gossip began to flow even more abundantly than the wine.
After our meal we dashed back to the hotel, where a tipsy Missribs and I realized that we needed to make a trip to Rite Aid. No liquids on the plane meant we had no lotion, face wash, or mascara. How were we going to get dolled up for a visit to the infamous hotel bar? After taking orders from everyone else (deodorant, evil cigarettes, etc.), we struck out…only to find the drugstore locked up for the night. Downtown L.A. is pretty much a wasteland when it comes to retail, so we struck up a conversation with a pair of semi-handsome young policemen hoping to hitch a ride to the nearest Walgreens. They talked to us for about 20 minutes, but in the end decided they’d get in trouble if they helped us. So much for “to serve and protect,” huh? Thanks for nothing, LAPD!
We returned to our room to don our sans-mascara party outfits, and I almost fell asleep while Missribs pondered her choice of footwear. Luckily she managed to make a decision just before I became lost in dreamland, and we began barraging Waltmor with text messages. Apparently, he and Danmod were also tempted by a visit to the Land of Nod, so Missribs and I had to go pound on their door again. We spent some time hanging out in their room, listening to the radio and throwing the same three $20 bills around to make us feel rich before taking the elevator to the insane club on the roof of the hotel. The view was amazing, the music was terrible, and thanks to our boss the drinks were free. I spent the evening sippin’ on whiskey, chatting up my less-talkative coworkers, and fending off the advances of strange, tan men in shiny shirts. One of them asked if Waltmor was my husband, and I decided it was wisest to just let him believe that.
When the bar shut down and the security dudes kicked everyone off the roof, things got weird. There was a long line for the elevator, so Missribs and I stumbled all the way down the stairs in our high heels. We needed to visit the front desk in search of toothpaste, which they assured would be delivered right to our door. Not willing to set foot on those stairs again, we waited for the elevator, which was jam-packed with drunken tourists (kinda like us). When we reached our floor, we shoved our way out and ran down the hall to our room…and then realized we were not alone. Two strange men were standing behind us, swaying slightly and looking hopeful.
“Um…hi,” I said.
“Hey!” responded Dude Number One. “Do you guys want to hang out?”
Seeing as it was about 2:00 a.m., we had to be up bright and early, and there was no earthly reason to invite these strange guys into our room, I responded with a resounding “No, thanks.” Dudes One and Two didn’t get it.
“No, wait, it’ll be fine—because it will just be casual!” cried Dude Two, while his companion nodded vigorously. “We can get some champagne! Please?”
Missribs and I looked at each other, then looked at Dudes, then shut the door and collapsed into laughter. When we were sure the Dudes were gone, we called room service and ordered a big platter of French fries, white wine, and a giant cheeseburger for Missribs. We then took advantage of a few very special photo opportunities, and I used my digital camera to make a movie of Missribs dancing in the bathroom. Check it out on her blog!
After what felt like just moments of a deep and comfortable sleep, we were awakened by a loud and vigorous knocking at our door. Breakfast had arrived—delivered by the very same handsome fella who’d brought us our midnight snack. He must have had a long and interesting night.
While slurping coffee and munching on toast, Missribs and I dragged ourselves up, through the shower, and into our clothes. Since our shopping excursion had been a miserable failure, I had to trust in my old standby: jeans and a tank top. Oh well. We dashed downstairs, where the rest of our group was lolling on the lobby’s fleet of neon pink couches and nursing various party-induced ailments. Fortunately, our bagged lunches contained plenty of water and Ibuprofen!
Missribs and I packed four fellow coworkers (Waltmor, Danmod, Greg, and Roland) into the back seat of our rental car and headed off for the Shrine Auditorium…the wrong way. After several minutes and several U-turns, we realized our mistake and headed down another road, which turned out to be one of the many routes that did not go to the Shrine. As the minutes ticked by and our bosses called us over and over again to ask where the heck we were, we drove around in increasingly large circles and saw some of the area’s more interesting neighborhoods. Then, finally, inspiration struck and we managed to decipher the map! We were on the way, we were in the parking lot, and we were walking towards the red carpet!
Then we were stopped by a security guard and turned right around. Apparently, there were a few lines we had to wait on before we were able to access the bleachers. We waited. It was hot. We waited. It was hotter. We got wristbands; we got “wanded.” It was incredibly hot. And finally, with sweat streaming down our faces and melted sunscreen stinging our eyes, we were ushered to our seats!
From then on, everything was chaos. The sun beat down on the shade-free bleachers; sweaty, screaming people were packed in like sardines; and giant cameras panned back and forth across the greasy mob. We waited and waited…and then the celebrities began to arrive! We saw so many actors, I can’t even remember all of them…but I got extra excited for Tom Selleck, Joan Collins, Hugh Laurie, Kevin Bacon, the incredibly tall Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and of course Heidi Klum and Seal. Since I’m a newly obsessed fan of Project Runway, I couldn’t wait to see what Heidi would look like—and of course she did not disappoint. She looked gorgeous in her bright red dress, and I managed to take a horribly shaky video in which you can sort of see her walking (Watch it here). The only disappointment: George Clooney failed to show up and rock my world.
After hours of shouting, shoving, and snapping, some guy on a loudspeaker ordered all the celebrities to go inside the building and sit down “right now!” After awhile they obeyed, and the bleacher-dwellers filtered out…but something made me and a few coworkers stick around. And we were lucky we did, because that’s when things got really special. We made it down to the very front of the bleachers and leaned over for a better view of the last few stragglers, who showed up late to avoid the throngs of people.
Harrison Ford! Calista Flockhart! Eva Longoria! And more…until the very last limo opened up and Wentworth Miller strolled towards us. He actually came up to the bleachers and started signing autographs. Now was my chance! Missribs and I had made a sign to hold up for the TV cameras wishing congratulations to a coworker who was unable to attend the Emmys because he was busy getting married…so I leaned down, called out to Wentworth, and asked him to autograph the sign. He came right towards me, scrawled his signature, and touched my hand as he gave the paper back to me.
Sparks flew, and his fingers lingered on mine as he gazed deeply into my soul with those stunning green eyes of his. He grasped my hand and pulled me forward, then whispered into my ear! “Come with me, the Emmys are too boring…let’s get out of here,” he whispered. Since all the other stars had already gone inside, no one was paying attention as I slyly hopped the fence from the bleachers to the red carpet. There I was, and there was Wentworth! He grabbed my hand and we casually strolled away from the Shrine and towards his waiting limo. We sipped champagne as the driver took us across town, shared a romantic and tasty French meal, and spent the rest of the evening watching the tape-delayed Emmys action on Wentworth’s gigantic TV. Maybe I’ll come back to the TV.com office someday, but for now, I’m working from “home!”