Bathtubgirl is in love
Friday, December 8 2000
Those looking to apply for a job in the Bush-Cheney administration, I have the link you're looking for. I just realized something about the abbreviation for Bush-Cheney. It seems appropriate.
When it comes to suffering, it stands to reason that the more intelligent a person is, the less suffering you would want to put him or her through, just on the basis that the more intelligent a person is, the more deeply he or she can experience existential pathos. After all, if you're the one responsible for an intelligent person's suffering it would seem to tear an enormous hole in the karmic fabric that protects you. This is simply an extension of an unwritten rule of human conduct: the more intelligent a creature, the less willing we are to hunt them, eat them, or make them suffer. The knowledge that so many chimpanzees are rotting in medical testing facilities makes lots of people, not just animal rights activists, uneasy.
What then, can we say about heartbreak? Is it harder to break the heart of someone whose intelligence you respect?
The erstwhile community team for my company (which itself purports to be an online music community, up there with the likes of Napster and MP3.com - and please just acquire us, MTV!) had something of a reunion this evening, organized by layed-off project manager Kolja. Since Kolja lives in Venice, the location was a bar on the Venice Boardwalk called "The Waterfront Café." I thought I'd be delayed by the process of riding my bike there from work, but it turned out that I was the first to arrive. So I walked all the way across the wide beach to the ocean, the nearest I've been to ocean water in many months. Then I pissed right there on the sand, concealing my illegal public urination in the premature winter darkness.
When I returned to The Waterfront Café there she was, erstwhile community DBA Laurie sitting by herself. I had her figured as the one who would be the first to arrive. We hung out for a time, she telling me about her new job and gossiping a little about how fucked up my current (her former) workplace is. I ordered a beer, an unknown amber German brew, and was amazed that it cost less than $2. Scanning the menu, I was delighted to see that most entrees (if you call a hamburger an entree) were less than $5. "You'd never get Bathtubgirl in here," I thought to myself (and then said to Laurie).
Next arrival was Stan, the older Japanese American programmer dude. He's the only other erstwhile community team member still working for the company, though he was only part of that team for about a week before it was dissolved. His current job consists largely of digesting the enormous logfiles that are every major website's burden. But there's a rumor floating around that his one-man development group is scheduled for liquidation. Anything to make the company more appealing for an MTV takeover.
Next arriving was Ted, the scrawny little Chinese-Canadian Java developer dude who left several months back when it was revealed that the company was going with an all-Microsoft solution to the problems of its legacy software. Ted is cocksure and full of himself in only the most cynical, jaded sort of way. Typical Ted behavior includes him talking about how he's never been fired from any job, even jobs from which he desperately wanted to be fired. The he'll sardonically come up with a brilliant new way to make money online. A good example of this from tonight: online parking lots.
Next came Kolja, who didn't even need to drive. He looked happy and well-rested. He's more or less enjoying his new job, wherever it is he's working.
Last to arrive were Linda and Chris. We all know about Linda, former Director of Community Development. She's spending her days and nights joblessly grappling with the core precepts of humanity while finding time to practice yoga and spiritual polyamory. Chris, on the other hand, has "come back as a Vampire" (as I like to say) at my workplace. I'd had him figured as dead and in the grave as far as my workplace was concerned when he left to pursue his calling as an orchestral musician. But now he's back, he's more powerful, and he's sucking serious blood (earning lots of money) as a contractor. He's been hired on to do the dirty work of upgrading the moribund installation of Vignette 4.0 to version 5.0, even while the architecture boys plot to sweep it all away with the latest whiz-bang XML-based technologies from Microsoft.
We drank lots of beers, chuckled about old times, and then Linda, Kolja and I had a rather protracted conversation on the subject of fake breasts. This somehow grew out of an earlier conversation about
Bathtubgirl (who has smallish natural breasts) and Dirtygirl (who has largish artificial breasts). Linda, who used to be a model, said, "People were telling me that if only I'd get implants I could make a lot more money. But it just wasn't me to do that." When I said that I've never considered myself a breast man, Kolja (who had been holding a moral-absolutist view against cosmetic surgery) contended that he wasn't a breast man either. I guess this all served to make Linda happy, since, as her modeling advisors had noted, she doesn't have large breasts. She proceeded to ask me what kind of a man I am, a question I carefully avoided answering (since the things I fetishize aren't body parts at all - and they're not things I normally associate with my erstwhile boss). Strangely, when I brought up the subject of cosmetic surgery to correct the features of Downs Syndrome, Kolja didn't think that was a bad thing at all.
When the reunion was over, after the boys had shaken hands and hugged the two girls, we went our separate ways. I biked down the board walk to Washington Street and got sort of lost as I pedalled inland in search of Bathtubgirl's place. I saw what looked like a fun party I was sort of tempted to crash, but I stuck to my mission anyway.
You never know what you're going to find at Bathtubgirl central. Tonight she had a couple of street musicians playing guitar in front of her bathtub webcam, standing with rolled-up cuffs in the lukewarm puddle of green in her bathtub. A bathtub isn't the most suitable stage in the world, but it's the only one Bathtubgirl has. Tonight's show was "Body Painting with Bathtubgirl" and this meant that BTG was covered with all sorts of seemingly-randomly-applied strokes of colors. She looked like a disheveled character from the last day of Burning Man.
Then Bathtubgirl informed me that she is contracting with a couple of guys from down the street to "completely redesign" her site. She'd be paying them money and giving them massages in exchange. As you might imagine, I was appalled. Bathtubgirl must have read what I wrote the other day about not liking "things had cheaply, with the exception of web development" and sought to immediately correct this inconsistency. Mind you, I don't know the capabilities of these people she wants to hire or what they really get in exchange. All I could think was that this had all the hallmarks of a bad dot com decision, the sort that characterized CollegeClub in the months leading up to its bankruptcy & firesale (and also increasingly evident at my present workplace). Firstly, there is an irrational assumption that people "outside the company" understand what needs to be done to fix a company far better than anyone actually working within the company. This is usually coupled with a belief that a company's employees aren't particularly competent, especially in comparison to outside contractors. There are usually excessive burn rate issues involved too and, along this line, I know that Bathtubgirl doesn't have money to be spending on extraneous web development and design. Beyond this, she seems to be slightly confused about what her would-be contractor guys are capable of achieving. She was talking like they could somehow build her an online store, but then she said they were "artists and design people." Somehow I don't think these guys are going to be building her an e-commerce powerhouse. So we had a huge argument and I went off to sleep on the red velvet couch, the larger brother of the only piece of furniture I inherited from our relationship.
Later on I woke up and could hear Bathtubgirl talking on the phone with her new internet boyfriend, that guy Snow from Snowsurfer.org. At first she was bitching about my sage dot com advice not to hire web experts she can't afford, but then she gradually lapsed into lighter talk, often giggling like a schoolgirl. I was thinking, whoah, it sounds like Bathtubgirl is in love!
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