perpetuating the weirdness
Tuesday, November 28 2000
By now you've all seen AmIHotOrNot.com, the wickedly sticky site where people rate each other based only on images. Now there's AmIGothOrNot.com where you can rate the gothicness of someone on a scale from 1 to 10. You don't have to be attractive or even human to participate; people are posting a wide variety of pictures in there and the best performers seem to be the cats. Oh how fun! By the way, I found out something interesting about a week ago when I put a picture up on AmIHotOrNot.com. At first my picture was garnering a respectable 6.2 rating, but then I pasted in some text that said I don't pump iron and I don't watch sports, and my rating suddenly shot up to an impressive 8.1.
At 1pm I went out to lunch with my erstwhile boss Linda, to one of her favorite lunch places, the Lazy Daisy on Pico Blvd. and 23rd in Santa Monica. The agenda for our luncheon was to resolve some of the "weirdness" of recent events. But what we ended up doing instead was perpetuating that weirdness. It's a weirdness that seems more chemical than, say, sexual. What makes it particularly weird is that a few short weeks ago Linda was my boss, and it's terribly difficult reconciling the way she acts now with the way she used to act. It's a mystery wrapped in a conundrum lost down a storm sewer and she has yet to articulate a good explanation for her behavior. I finally told Linda that whenever she's been around me of late, she's acted like she was on ecstasy. I guess I was being a little too honest with my opinions, because this comparison really upset her and she started crying. Perhaps I am frustrated with the danger and uncertainty, but that's also part of the fun. I have an opening available for Muse, and when it comes to Muses of the Gus, explicability is not a qualification.
Now that she's no longer my boss, what a bad influence Linda can be! She suggested we kill yet more time by hanging out in the park down near the 10 freeway. So there we were, half-heartedly swinging on the children's play equipment, set as it was out on the special rubbery protecto-turf. Playgrounds really aren't much fun once you tower above the jungle gym and you've suffered through heartbreak, middle school and acne. But this was merely the backdrop for our extended "get the weird out" session, so we just went with it as though we'd finally pried our inner children out from in front of the teevee.
Linda asked me if I believed in reincarnation. No, I said, the human brain is like a floppy disk and no one asks whether lost term papers have an afterlife or come back as sea monkeys. But I did admit that sometimes when I meet people I feel like I know them already. I had a very logical explanation for this, of course: genes travel from generation to generation and throughout the population in large clotted masses, not as discrete little atoms. When you meet someone and she seems familiar, it's a good idea to treat her exactly like you treated whomever she resembles. I've never met anyone exactly like Linda, I said, but there are subtle things about her that seem familiar. Unfortunately, I couldn't think what any of them were. On the other hand, based on the way Linda looks at me and the things she's told me, I get this creepy feeling that she thinks I'm some sort of trans-dimensional projection of herself.
In the evening Bathtubgirl and I had a meeting scheduled with Pat, the loan broker who arranged our mortgage back in April. The idea was to arrive at some sort of consensus on how much money I owe Bathtubgirl. Pat was evidently willing to perform this moderator function as a service to humanity; she even intended to pay for our meal. These days this tiny woman might be a big time capitalist, but her heart is definitely in the right place. One of her other benevolent deeds was the founding of the Topanga chapter of the ACLU.
When I showed up at Bathtubgirl's place at about 6:15pm, we were already running sort of late. We put Sophie on a leash and hurried down Abbott-Kinney to Washington Street, turned left, and ended up at our appointed place, an Indian restaurant whose name I forget. It was a nice little place and was packed with patrons by the time we left.
Pat was sipping a glass of wine when we arrived. We sat at a table and spent most of the meal talking about how surprisingly much traffic Bathtubgirl.com is getting. "How much investor money do you think you'd need to make it profitable?" Pat asked. "$50,000" said Bathtubgirl. "Is that all?" Pat responded, incredulous. "She doesn't need an engineer, that's why," I piped in, wiseass that I am.
Then we finally got down to the business at hand, how many thousands of dollars I may or may not owe Bathtubgirl. Pat hadn't actually brought any documentation, so we were working entirely on fading memories. And we didn't really arrive at any serious agreement, though I will say that Pat's sympathies seemed to lie more with Bathtubgirl than with me. What could I do? I was the evil man. But I wasn't really upset serving this role. I've never felt misogynistic in the face of female unity.
Back at Bathtubgirl Central, I had the assignment of running 100 feet of ethernet cable to a downstairs room where yet another Spanish chick (not Dirtygirl) will have an office. This involved drilling through the floor, but of course there were no appropriate drill bits, not even in basement denizen Robert's impressive collection of tools. As I've needed to do before, I had to manufacture a custom bit. Robert had never heard of making a custom drill bits, but when I explained the process, it seemed like a good idea to him. He heated the end of a stout iron rod with a butane torch, pounded it flat, and then sharpened it to a spearlike point. Unfortunately, I didn't take proper measurements and nearly drilled a hole out through the overhang in front of the neighbor's garage. Such are the mishaps that can easily befall networking projects undertaken in California condominiums.
Every night when Robert drives me home after a day of doing Bathtubgirl work, I feel exactly like a rock star whose time is very important.
Pictures taken today using my trusty old Panasonic KXL-600A camera.
My workplace cubicle, complete with a Godzilla made of tea boxes.
Just outside that window is the set for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
A sunflower Linda gave me, against a backdrop of messageboard schema.
Me in the park down near where Stewart passes under the 10 freeway.
My erstwhile boss Linda in the park.
Coincidentally, like the Malvern Girls before her,
she hails from Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Frank from the UK subsidiary sitting at my primary workstation,
expounding on the subject of image repurposing.
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