Blow by blow: The real story behind fun

When you see the pics from the epic Nonstop Honolulu launch party, I want you to know that it was fun. Total, no-holds-barred, unabashed fun. For me, at least — I wasn’t covering it.

This weekend I will be covering a taste-and-sip: smiling faces, slow meanders from food booth to food booth, oohs and aahs over yummy creations, wine glasses clinking as the sun sets over the ocean.

It’s the kind of event that I’ll work up into a captioned photo gallery on this site, and people will say, Looks like fun! Did you have fun?

Good question. Why? Here’s a quick reveal for you, blow by blow, from a recent event.


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Sunset hour, start of event. Arrive with Nonstop’s Melissa Chang to a VALET PARKING FULL sign and tied-up traffic, which makes me anxious about losing daylight. I need to shoot delicious food! Happy people! Parkmycarparkmycarparkmycar. Please?

Run in and find the registration table. Two women are signing in the entire RSVP list with cardiac-inducing slowness.

Finally register. Herded into another line for wristbands.

By now I’m ready to explode, but at every third step either Melissa or I keep running into people. The nonstop chatter hastens the fading light and I’m becoming visibly apoplectic.

Melissa is helping me with coverage: I have to photograph, shoot video, make notes, hand out business cards and taste dishes at the same time. “I got your back, amigo,” she says. But when she runs into her thirty-seventh acquaintance, I abandon my amigo and bolt off — in the wrong direction.

There’s buzz about the food in the ballrooms, so I head there, only to realize I’m in the only venue with indoor lighting. The other venues are outdoors, where the sun is now dipping below the horizon. They’re too far away, so I quickly start videotaping/photographing/eating.

By the time I get outdoors where most of the food is, it’s dark.

I troll the booths, videotaping/photographing/eating everything that looks good. Shots get blurrier as I balance plate and glass, hold my breath and try to keep the camera still. Did I hit every booth? Nope: By the time I hear about Nobu’s incredible dish, he’s run out of it. Yikes! Need to pick up the pace.

When I have enough shots, interview footage and B-roll, I’m exhausted. All I want is to go home and start downloading, sorting and cropping photos and outlining, uploading and writing the event gallery. All this will take hours, and it’s due tonight so it can go live on the site first thing in the morning.

I gather up all gadgets, fish out my valet ticket and start the round of good-byes. PR peeps run by with the word that it will be one more hour before the event’s contest results are announced. ONE MORE HOUR. I put away the valet ticket and sit down.

That’s when I start having fun.