"Heroes & Villains," The Imperial Court of LA/Hollywood's 2004 coronation!
We made it out of the house by 10:00 AM and made pretty good time down to the Radisson Wilshire Plaza Hotel in the heart of Hollywood. Hotel's website's directions sucked (next time we run our own set in addition), but we made it there safely.
Nothing was open for lunch at 4:00 except Togo's, McDonalds and Carl's Jr. Hotel restaurants weren't even open. Togo's won by default.
Caught up with folks for Friday night's out-of-town show, bunches of folks we knew from around California and the rest of the country. Showed up on time to drop off K's music with Imperial Buffalo's Malibu Breeze and Trisha Ohh, who were in face, on time and ready, to find out that the hotel wasn't and the show bar wasn't open yet. There was a steady stream of drag queens going down to the main bar for a while. The show itself ended up starting an hour late, about when the hotel finally got around to opening the bar.
Malibu and Nikki Coldwater (Long Beach, I think) cruised through the show, and we finished at a reasonable time. Over 30 performers, and we still got on to the bus by 10:15. Regent Emperor Ernesto and Empress Amber Alert chose to take us to some Silverlake hangouts, starting with The Silverlake Lounge and Le Barcito, two hangouts popular with the local latin boys. We tried to stop at MJ's Bar but it was just too busy to take in a busload of drag queens. Club 7969 was a touch freaky, but an interesting stop. We finished up at the Gold Coast Bar (just around the corner from Ernesto's house). The Gold Coast reminds me a lot of the bars I used to go to in the midwest, totally not the vibe I expected to find in West Hollywood. On the way back, we stopped at a little roach coach (still open at 2:00 AM) where Ernesto climbed inside and started taking orders with the staff. Got the most fabulous lengua (beef tongue) tacos, just what the doctor ordered after all that drink.
Downside was in the morning, K discovered he lost his cellphone on the bus. Inconvenient, but it was just a cheapo model, and he's got a new phone coming now.
Hospitality was pretty nice; good food, good drink, and a ton of people. Acoustics in the room were atrocious, but you can't have everything. We dropped off protocol, gabbed with folks, and K showed folks the DVD of him doing drag at the "Emperor's New Clothes" show. We ran up to the Japanese restaurant (SAKA-A) in the hotel for lunch (fabu, actually) rather than depending on the food in hospitality.
Quite a bit of nap later, and we started cleaning up for the Coronation Ball itself. We were getting dressed for dinner and the first act (old pic, we've since added the belt to the briefs) when we were joined by Vincent J. Roth who offered his own super presence in support of the theme.
The ball started with an excellent buffet dinner (that featured I think 8 different quesadillas; I see Ernesto's influence here too). First act saw a very nicely choreographed opening number by Jazz (one of the LA court members) and her backup dancers, and the introduction of the Imperial Family and Court of LA/Hollywood.
K changed out of the superhero uniform to something a touch more formal when he was one of Amber's guests on the dais in the second act, and it was a good thing; Mama José (Empress 1 of San Francisco) was up there too, and she takes all this very seriously. I also got out of spandex and dressed (cheated, actually, I still don't have a gray Mao suit) as Dr. Evil.
Third act K changed into his Condom Crusader costume (old pic again) and Vinnie changed into the Surge of Power battle suit for our court presentation.
Amber and Ernesto each did a very nice set of numbers for their last walk, and then we waited a few moments for them to announce that Lamonz DuPre had been elected the next Empress of LA/Hollywood. Lamonz is originally from San Jose and was in the court here, moved up to Alameda county and reigned as Empress there 4 years ago, and recently moved down to LA. You would think she had learned.
We ran back to the room, shed the spandex, latex and leather, got into less constricting clothes and went down to the Chicago party hosted by Empress 1 Pia Mess, Baron 3 Andy Zweick and several other members of the Chicago Court and Royal Family. Eventually the noise level got to be too much and we absconded to the room to watch the Batman Movie (yes, the stupid one; we won the DVD playing Monarchy trivia on the bus tour Friday night) and sober up a bit before Vinnie drove home.
Sunday morning we packed up, went to the victory brunch (where K won "Best Male in Theme") and then headed home.
The drive home was the part that sucked.
Even at 2:00 PM, I-5 North leaving LA was a clot until we passed the CA-14 interchange.
There were at least 3 accidents on I-5 North in the central valley. Huge backups going into the Kettleman City, CA-46, CA-43 and Coalinga exits (all those people trying to have dinner at Harris Ranch) The last merge on 152 (coming down Pacheco Pass, at the intersection with 156) was a disaster, backed up past Casa de Fruta.
It took over 8 hours to get home. It was a good thing we had the iPod, or we would have gone nuts.