IFR return from the Bay Area (Full ATC) - You saw Weird Al?!

An IFR return home, with an interesting departure from San Carlos, some enjoyable music, comedy courtesy of Weird Al (yes!!), and the ILS through a spotty marine layer. Might well have been easier to depart VFR (although those departure instructions begin much the same way), thread through restricteds on my own, and then request a pop-up clearance into Santa Barbara. In the airspaces you fly, is getting a pop-up approach clearance a 100% certainty?
Thanks for your insight and enjoy the flight!
Wayne, GeezerGeek Pilot