Okay, on to today. In the morning, Rebecca continued her stucco repair project for a bit. Then we went off to IKEA, where treasures with unusual names awaited us. We picked up a little table for the porch, a bigger folding table for backyard BBQ's (like our planned Independence Day party for July 3rd) some little shelves for the corner of the kitchen and some IVAR for the garage.
Like the gentleman I am, I left Rebecca to construct the furniture, while I went back to UCLA for the Festival of Books. I went to see Neal Stephenson. In some alternate universe, William Gibson would have signed 3 items, while Stephenson signed 5. As it was, it was the other way around, so I got all 3 of my Gibsons signed, but only 3 of the 5 Stephensons I brought. It was difficult to prioritize which to get signed. It was obvious that my 1st edition of _The Big U_ had to be signed. If you combine The Big U with Real Genius, you basically get an accurate picture of my undergraduate years at UCLA. In addition to that one, I picked Zodiac and my hb first of Crypto-nome-icon. Stephenson has a silly beard and about as much hair as Aaron had two days after Tarnished Chrome.
I picked up a copy of Harryhausen's book _An Animated Life_. They had a stack of signed ones left, but those were the absolute last of the first printing that Vagabond Books could get. So I had a distributed book signing. I shook Harryhausen's hand yesterday, and got the signed book today. Of the two Rays, I think Harryhausen has probably had a larger impact on my life than Bradbury.
I also found a book of historic photos of LA that I liked.
There was a booth full of manga with a couple girls dressed as characters, in order to draw in the pederast crowd. but the coolest thing was the "largest crossword puzzle in the world". It was designed for kids, and there were huge 3-D plastic letters about three feet across, that the kids were arranging on this huge crossword grid laid out on the ground. it was like live chess, only (unfortunately) there was no live combat between crumb-grabbers to determine who would win.
Got back home and helped out with the construction of IVAR and a little bit of the folding table. The garage is now far more organized than before, though it is still a lair of spiders.
Rebecca and I have a tradition that building IKEA furniture calls for margaritas (since odds are 50-50 that a piece is missing, or a hole hasn't been drilled) so I've got one by my side. I also washed the dishes and rolled out a pizza crust, and soon the evening will be completed with pizza, a movie, and some of our Santa Barbara wine (as a reward for all the work that we (i.e. Rebecca) have done this weekend.