on her charisma alone
Wednesday, April 4 2001
Every day this week I've been coming home and doing something responsible during lunch. Yesterday it was credit card bills. Today it was real estate taxes, all $860 worth, and that's only for a half of the year, $700 worth of "supplemental" taxes not included. Taken in total, the real estate taxes these days are almost as high as the rent I used to pay in Charlottesville. Sometimes I wish I lived naked in the Amazon. Are there any any intelligent hot chicks there who don't crave Park Avalon? By the way, Gretch claims she was the one who paid at Uguale in the West Village of Manhattan. I forget, but based on how unexpectedly low my credit card balance is, I suspect she might be right.
Tonight the CTO for the UK site took me out to dinner and drinks. We started out at a semi-Italian place called Rosti (on the corner of 10th and Montana in Santa Monica). Man, that place sure was a poor excuse for a restaurant. The food was okay but came in tiny portions. The bread was stale. And for whatever reason they didn't even serve alcohol; I had to run to a nearby liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine. Then, after my plate had been taken well in advance of the CTO's, the waitress didn't bother to tell us which desserts were available; she just told us about the display case to look in if we wanted one. Later, after we'd busted loose from that place, we drank and talked at the Montana Avenue bar called Father's Office.
The CTO and I talked for a time about the subject of "what's wrong with Los Angeles." I told her about New York and the East Coast and how much I'd loved it: the architecture, dirt, seriousness and dry humor. She agreed but said that if I liked those things then I'd really like London. I wondered how LA could have managed to get so bad that it could be a city built for the happiness of cars and not people. I mused that the people who originally settled the East Coast had largely started out in Europe and had at said "this sucks, I'm leaving!" at some point while living there. Then the people who originally settled the West Coast had mostly started out as East Coasters who had likewise said "this sucks, I'm leaving!" Two generations of utopia-seekers and all you get is a automotive dystopia. "Maybe it's because there's nowhere left to go," said the CTO. "There's always Alaska," I corrected.
I love how cynical, manipulative, brilliant and oddly cheerful the CTO is. Tonight, partially by way of flattery, she told me, "You have to come to London!" She tells me this every time we go out, but she never has any funds to actually fly me to England. She's a powerhouse, that CTO. She gets so much stuff done on her charisma alone, I'm totally in awe.
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