Well, it turns out 9:15 is just a little too late to get in line to be in the Ellen DeGeneres audience. We would have made it had we been there at, say, 6:30, possibly even 7:00 this morning. But despite the fact that I was up at 4:45, that wouldn't have been possible. But hey, we still ended up in the riff-raff room, and Ellen came through there and danced with us, and I got to give her a hi-five, so that was cool. And I got a t-shirt and 4 free (and completely random) CD's that had nothing to do with the show. Had we been in the audience we would have gotten a digital video recorder from Canon, Paul Simon's new CD, and a year's supply of Pantene. (Which is really weird, because I use Pantene, and as I was showering this morning at oh-dark-thirty I actually thought to myself, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if they gave us a year's supply of Pantene??")
I got to Anna's hotel at 7:45, and we went to some little cafe for a quick breakfast. Then we hightailed it to the NBC studios and actually found a great parking spot. When we got to the main entrance we saw a sign that said "Ellen DeGeneres Line Starts Here." And there was NO ONE there. We foolishly though we were the first ones in line, but the audience coordinator Anna had talked to on the phone said not to get there before 9, so to us it made sense. OS we gloated for a while, then some other folks showed up, and then the audience coordinator showed up and said, "Sorry folks, we've already filled the audience for today. I brought a huge group in around 9 this morning. (Turns out THREE HUNDRED PEOPLE had been there by 9 AM. Some had started lining up in the middle of the night!) Then he gave us a laminated number card and said to come back at 2:30 to get into the riff-raff room.
So off we went to Santa Monica to kill time, and then we came back at 1:30 just to be safe. Then, for the next THREE AND A HALF HOURS we stood around (STOOD, literally) watching Ellen reruns on the monitors and chatting with other riff-raff-bound folks. (And two lucky girls who knew someone on staff and got into the audience.) Once we got into the riff-raff room, though, it was pretty fun. We danced and Ellen came through, and they kept throwing t-shirts out and then passing out the stacks of CDs for whatever reason. Oh--the guests were Diane Keaton, Sherri Shepherd, and Paul Simon. We misunderstood earlier information (or it was miscommunicated--I actually am leaning towards that, given some of the other information issues we ran into) and thought Clinton and Bush, Sr. would be there too, but it turns out she'd been in New Orleans with them last week and interviewed them, and they just showed clips of that.
By 7 PM when we finally left we were flat-out exhausted, but it was definitely an adventure, and heaven knows I don't get to do a lot of adventuring today, so that was cool. I left her a card and a copy of Violette Between, so hopefully she'll get a chance to read it. Abby was a perfect angel for her Daddy today, so that made it a little easier to be away from her, although at one point I almost started crying because I missed her so much. She was asleep when I got home but woke up about 20 minutes later, and for once I was happy she'd woken up early because I wanted so much to go in and cuddle her.
Now it's 9:45 PM and I am beyond tired, but Anna and her friend Marlene stayed in LA to meet up with another friend of Anna's for dinner, and she hasn't called yet to say they're on their way down, so I'm trying to keep myself awake for them. Not sure it's gonna happen. Sorry girls, you may be on your own tonight. :)