Press conferences and bad sushi

Well, I was up till 2 am writing last night and when I finally got ready to collapse on my wrinkly bed, I realized I hadn’t brought any pajamas with me. There was no way in hell I was going to sleep in my underwear in that grungy bed so I got stuck sleeping in my clothes, something that always makes me feel like a vagrant.

Bad enough having to sleep in cargo pants but then I went to pull the curtains closed and realized they didn’t close. They appeared to be sewn in place and I was only able to force one of them free enough to cover half the window. I’m one of those people who can’t sleep if there’s the tiniest bit of light in the room so what with the city lights shining in, I was forced to sleep on my back with a pillow over my face.

(Note – this is MY pillow we’re talking about, as in, the pillow I brought from home. Even scarier than the thought of letting my body make contact with the skeevy bedding found in most hotels, the thought of allowing my face to do it is inconceivable.)

I slept like crap, thanks to a combination of the light coming through the window, a hard mattress, my anxiety about oversleeping the Microsoft Press Conference and a latte consumed at around 10 pm.

At 7:30 I got up and jumped in the shower–and then jumped right back out again. The water pressure was reasonably good but the hyper-sensitive temperature controls had me alternately freezing and scalding. After watching some of KTLA’s morning show (which incidentally, gives a new meaning to the word “vapid”) I trekked up the road to the Wilshire Grand to catch the Microsoft shuttle.

Outside the hotel I saw a bus getting ready to leave and dashed for it, coffee and yogurt parfait in hand. Settling in, I turned to the guy next to me and asked, “Excuse me, this is the Microsoft bus, right?”

“Good guess,” he sneered, in a French accent. Oh boy, snotty French guys! Now I know I’m at E3.

The press conference was packed but I ran into my good buddy Matt, who compared to me, is a regular game journalism celebrity.

We sat together and watched as Microsoft restated their commitment to the Kinect with a blinding display of upcoming new technology and titles. The highlights though, were Ice-T playing Gears of War 3–

(in this terrifically bad photo he’s playing with Cliffy B. although from this distance, it could just as well be Bobby Flay) and some excruciatingly awful Kinect demos done by some obvious child actors. I mean, what 10 year old wears golf shorts and a cardigan? “OK kids – pretend you’re having fun!” They were so absurdly phony, spouting dialog obviously written by adults – things like, “That was cool! FIST BUMP!” Ugh.

Post presser, (no, they didn’t hand out anything cool – last year they gave out Xbox 360′s. Leave it to me to get invited when they aren’t giving out anything) I rode the shuttle to the Orpheum theater since it’s down the block from my next appt – the Ubisoft press conference – and went looking for something economical to eat.

There appeared to be nothing downtown that didn’t look like flies had been crawling on it for hours and I got stuck in the Macy’s Plaza food court eating the worst, most indifferently-prepared mall sushi in history.

They say sushi chefs train for years to learn their craft – I don’t think the guy who made my lunch had even had the benefit of a training video. The “spicy” tuna wasn’t spicy and I’m not entirely convinced it was tuna. It had this weird, mealy texture that just can’t be healthy. Now my stomach’s all rumbly and I’m worrying I might suddenly keel over.

Gotta get something to drink -stat -so I can wash this taste out of my mouth…

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