until the cops come, Venice Beach
Saturday, February 10 2001
The plan for today was to attend another wild and crazy party in Venice hosted by Chris the camera shop guy, one of Bathtubgirl's few benefactors. The last party there had been most memorable, so I was excitedly looking forward to this one. My plan included stopping by Bathtubgirl Central at some point to sort out some Flash integration issues on her website, and then later moving on to the party.
Bathtubgirl was having trouble with her webcast today, and since I haven't been there in awhile, I thought it might be fun to go over and help out sort of intern-stylee. So Bathtubgirl came to my place to pick me up, Sophie the Miniature Schnauzer and all. For the first time in months, Bathtubgirl actually came into the house we used to share, saying hello to John and looking at John's latest painting and making the appropriate noises of approval (it is a spectacular painting). Meanwhile Sophie scrambled around on the hardwood floors that used to be hers, sniffing all the corners and making John dogsick for Altoona Sam.
When I got climbed into Bathtubgirl's Volvo, there on the dashboard in a nearly-framed state was her first check from Blah-blah.com, payment for the banner ads she'd been running for the past five months. It was something like $21.20. "Don't spend it all in one place," I suggested. "I'm buying myself a bottle of nice wine," Bathtubgirl proclaimed.
Back at Bathtubgirl Central, everything was different from the way it had been the last time I'd been there. You blink your eyes in this town and suddenly everything is different. For starters, there is no more Dirtygirl. She's gone off to bigger and better (and perhaps more lucrative) things. Now her room is occupied by two new people who drifted into Venice from somewhere in the middle of the continent. One is a musician dude named Greg and he's living platonically in the same room with a stunningly hot firecracker of girl named Rebecca. One moment Rebecca is living somewhere in Oklahoma and the next she's got a room at Bathtubgirl Central. Then of course there's the new Bathtubgirl boyfriend, Snow of Snowsurfer.org, who shares a room, a DSL line and a bed with Bathtubgirl. The one constant in all of this is Eva the Basque BTG art director, residing on a basement node of the BTG intranet. In total this comes to five people and three beds, a nice large group to contribute to the hefty Venice Beach rent of $2XXX per month.
While Bathtubgirl was off getting her hair and nails done (an invariably multi-hour event), Snow and I worked on developing a newer, more simplified navigation system for Bathtubgirl.com. This involved alterations to all pages on the site, but it wasn't really very labor intensive or difficult. Mostly what I was doing was a "knowledge transfer" so Snow could get a sense for the most common things I do in the functions.asp include file and start doing them himself. "If you know BASIC, it's not too hard," I assured him. For some reason I subconsciously assume that all educated people know BASIC, but (as I've subsequently learned) this is almost never true. With Snow, however, it actually is true. He knows BASIC. He'll go far in this world Microsoft has given us.
Unlike Bathtubgirl, Snow is really pretty low key and we worked well together. If, on the other hand, it had been me and Bathtubgirl doing the same sort of thing, we surely would have been screaming at each other within a half hour.
Every time I needed something like a beer or a glass of wine, Snow usually suggested it before I even had to ask for it. But then I realized I was getting too drunk too soon so I asked for coffee instead. Snow doesn't even drink coffee, but Bathtubgirl has taught him how to make it, and a long time before that I taught Bathtubgirl how to drink it: black like my evil whiteboy soul. "You like it like Kim likes it?" Snow asked. "Yeah."
Bathtubgirl's hair was unexpectedly big and red when she came back from the hours spent having it done. It was almost heavy metal hair so I started teasing her with the heavy metal salute and shouts of "rock on!" She was kind of sensitive about this and soon enough she had it in twin raverchick ponytails: late 80s to late 90s in the blink of an eye.
Bathtubgirl and me on her webcam today.
So then Greg went out to get beers and we started smoking pot (or "bubbles" as BTG calls them) and Bathtubgirl started preparing for her show. All kinds of craziness was about to begin because I'd managed to set the wheels in motion for a first-ever worlds-colliding event: Bathtubgirl meeting Linda and Julian.
So then there they were, Linda and Julian at the front door of BTG Central. I brought them up the stairs, had to keep them busting a left into the living room, where they would have ended up hanging out with BTG's housemates, who by this point were doing the hippie guitar and singing thing.
So then I took them to the back where Bathtubgirl had already begun her show. BTG immediately wanted to interview them in her bathtub, you know, a roll up their pantlegs and stand in the colored water (unpleasantly yellow at the time) sort of thing. She really missed out because Linda and Julian had psychologically prepared themselves to get naked!
The interview didn't go for very long and mostly consisted of Bathtubgirl telling how she knew them via my workplace. "That's enough about work," Julian interjected at one point and then I don't know what they talked about. I really don't know who would have cared one way or the other except for close readers of this journal. But with webcasts it doesn't have to be all that interesting to catch viewer interest. Dada performance and interviews alone make for fine material, as long as there are chicks involved.
What followed was perhaps a little more interesting for the horny guys in the audience: a scene in which Linda shaved Bathtubgirl's legs. Shaving with Bathtubgirl: the consummate confluence of kitschy corny erotica and dada.
Then, in another somewhat less-anticipated worlds-colliding event, John and Chun showed up. They just sort of sat there on the floor and didn't even want to be interviewed on the webcast. I sat on the floor and chatted with them a little just so they'd feel included but eventually they left, saying they might meet us at the party later.
We all dropped ecstasy because that was the plan. Before long Julian was running around doing little things for the Bathtubgirl website, acting as DJ, playing with the lights, looking at the website, asking lots of questions, that sort of thing. This was sort of unusual because Julian is rather shy and often dissolves into the wallpaper unless he's absolutely comfortable with the situation. Bathtubgirl was very impressed with him and said so repeatedly, in that slightly-condescending way that 30 year old women address 19 year old boys, "You're really bright, you're asking all the right questions!" Then, turning to Linda, she'd say "He sure is smart!" She also liked the fact that he wasn't being a boorish male let-me-tell-you-how-it's-done showoff about everything, or, as she also put it, "He's evolved!"
Of course, as has already been established, Julian has nothing against older women, and he was thriving on Bathtubgirl's enthusiasm. A positive feedback loop rapidly went into motion. Both Linda and I were proud and delighted to see them hitting it off so well. Soon enough Julian and Linda had set themselves up with their own show on Bathtubgirl.com. Everything was falling into place and clicking together. Whatever fucked-up energy I had with Bathtubgirl seemed to be completely counterbalanced by the energy brought by Linda and Julian. Conversely, all the fucked-up energy of my relationship with Bathtubgirl and Julian was perfectly counterbalanced by Bathtubgirl. "I don't know if this is just the ecstasy talking," Bathtubgirl said, "but I think this is going to work out really well."
Under the influence of ecstasy, I made a few realizations about things I'd normally overlook without the help of a serotonin-unleashing substance. One of these had to do with all the political work Julian has obviously been doing behind the scenes on behalf of the UK site, making my life much easier and smoothing out possible troubles with the manic VP of System Architecture. I told Julian how much I appreciated his work and he agreed that he'd been pulling for us and said if there was anything we needed, to just ask him. I hadn't really thought about this before, but I realized that Julian is, among many other things, an extremely savvy politician and diplomat.
Linda is sort of a loner on ecstasy, content to wad herself up into a ball on the bed and not really interact with anyone. But once she started noticing the interesting new social dynamics, she sort of sprung to life and beamed with pride.
While all this was going on, Eva the Basque Art Director chick kept storming into the room all dressed up in a zebra stripe jacket, ready to go out and party. And there we'd be, not really ready at all, just sort of thriving on the good vibes.
But eventually we got up and somehow arranged transportation to the party. Julian was good for driving, so all five of us piled into his car. As were preparing to do so I joked that it didn't matter how little room there was, because "we all love each other." I meant this to mean "we're all in love with each other." As for the others in the BTG household: Eva and the various people who'd been playing guitar and singing, they all rode in firecracker-hot Rebecca's car.
So there we were, at Chris the camera store guy's party, wandering quickly through all the rooms and backyard, past the strips of crepe paper hanging from wherever it was hanging from. The music sounded pretty cool to me, some sort of house thing with a nice repetitive 4/4 beat, though Eva (who is bohemian without trying because that's really how she is) was quick to complain "this is just old school house, blah blah blah." She's the sort who will always find something to complain about while having a marvelous time all the same.
Chris the camera store guy introduced me immediately to some random young woman nearby, saying we were both into doing things with computers. At first Chris was going to mention my journal but then he suddenly realized my housemate might be nearby, so he transformed the introduction into a reference to some sort of meaningless E-commerce filler-speak. The woman was attractive in a very conventional Republican sort of way (not that I don't have a set of fetishes about such women, mind you; sometime I'll write about my Amish fetish as well), but her conversation didn't do much for me at all. I just couldn't picture myself eating her pussy, even though she was kind of cute. So, as she was interrogating me about my workplace (by now I'd told her what it was) I said that I didn't really work in the thick of things, that I worked more off on the periphery. It seems she immediately interpreted this to mean that I was saying I was just a peon, and with that she turned and walked away. Yes, fellow readers, my status was not high enough for her! It was such a shockingly typical Los Angeles moment, I later felt compelled to tell Linda about it.
It was a party, but Linda and Julian (and, to a lesser degree, Bathtubgirl and Snow) were serving as anchors, not really mingling as I would have preferred. So periodically I'd wander off. It was sort of a chilly night, so a fire had been started off in one corner of the yard and people were hanging out around it. Then there was the hot tub, which didn't get going until late in the evening. At first the only people in the hot tub were Chris and his girlfriend (new since the last party), totally nude mind you, but then fire-cracker-hot Rebecca, who'd been dancing with glowsticks and creating quite a sensation already, jumped into the hot tub fully clothed (boots and all) and (I'm told) started making out with Chris' girlfriend Kim & Missy Show stylee. Well, no way to deny it, that was pretty fucking hot. Soon enough Rebecca was the sensation of the evening, easily outshining the guy who climbed the tree and acted like a chimpanzee. Of course, word also got around that Rebecca is Bathtubgirl's new housemate, the sort of publicity that can't be bought with money. We'd been suspicious all night that every interesting party spectacle had been choreographed in advance by Chris, but this one seemed spontaneous.
There was a period of time when Linda just sort of clung to me. It wouldn't have been unusual had we been alone, but in public it was somewhat more of a spectacle. The thing I appreciated, though, was how accepting Bathtubgirl was about it. In the past, back during our relationship, she used to badger me about attractions that weren't even there. Now, though, with everything out in the open, she was totally accepting. She'd somehow managed to transcend all that dumb shit. Perhaps now we could finally be friends. Healing was happening. And yes, whomever George W. Bush appoints as Drug Czar, ecstasy was playing an important role.
Julian and Linda enjoyed hanging out with us, but they weren't enjoying the party very much. What they would have liked to do was go back to Bathtubgirl Central. But, the others in our contingent including myself, were too busy having a great time. So eventually Linda and Julian went off on their own.
Towards the end of the party, when the cops began showing up repeatedly, there was this one random guy who took a special interest in Bathtubgirl. She liked him because he reminded her a lot of one of her friends from somewhere else, except that he kept putting his hands all over her. Being a horny young man, he was only to happy to offer to take her home, but of course she still had a rather large contingent (especially if you include a now-soaking-wet but nonetheless firecracker-hot Rebecca) and this guy wasn't really interested in all of the gentlemen that BTG's contingent included. Somehow we managed to cleave away from him, much to the relief of Snow.
I was having so much fun that I decided to spend the night at Bathtubgirl's house. We all sat around in the living room with a few random guys Eva brought home, smoking pot and drinking wine. It didn't take long for one of these guys to directly hit on Bathtubgirl in the sort of way that she could simply shrug off.
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