Saturday, April 21 2001
It was a kind of cold clammy day and all I really wanted to do was stay inside and play with my new toys. I'm really happy with my new 19 inch ViewSonic monitor, which I have running at 1600 X 1200 of course, just like I did with my old ViewSonic 19 inch back in the days of CollegeClub.com. Interestingly, since my monitor is actually a refurbished unit, it could conceivably be the same monitor as the one I had back when I worked at CollegeClub. That's a nice thought and I think I'm going to believe it just for the mystical woo-wooness of it all.
I wonder, does CollegeClub still exist in the post-Poorbob era? People tell me they're actually running television ads again. I still can't help but smirk every time I think about how they were swallowed by arch-rival StudentAdvantage.com. During my employment at CollegeClub I attended so many fascist company meetings in which were told our company had a market cap in the billions, how each of our members was worth over $2000, and how we'd take over the world once we got StudentAdvantage out of the way (if only we shouted the company cheer loud enough). But then, when StudentAdvantage finally ate CollegeClub, the latter turned out to be worth about 20 million dollars and change. Oops, sorry about that tangent!
While I was hanging out with my 19 inch monitor this afternoon, Bathtubgirl called up and we had a good chat about all sorts of stuff, mostly girltalk actually.
Then Bathtubgirl unexpectedly showed up at my house, Sophie and all. At the time my housemate John was hanging out in the living room as he often does, watching teevee with Chun and his sister Maria. Bathtubgirl had come, she said, to take our curtain rods, two of the very few things she'd left behind when she'd moved out back in August. But she'd failed to consider the industriousness of my housemate, who spends his days trying to think up things to do with his time. He'd recently fashioned curtains out of drop cloths and hung them from the rods. They serve, among other things, to prevent the FBI from keeping us under constant surveillance. You might say we've grown to appreciate our curtain rods. So instead of immediately offering them up as Bathtubgirl expected, we stood around brainstorming all sorts of suggestions for improvised alternative curtain rods (wooden dowels, metal electrical conduit pipes, etc.) without ever once offering ours. Meanwhile Robertini (Bathtubgirl's on-again-off-again driver) sat patiently waiting for her in an idling vehicle out in the street. After Bathtubgirl departed empty handed, Chun observed, "I liked how she said she'd let you have the curtain rods if you'd go find her some replacements." "Yeah that's how she is," I agreed, "she's trouble."
The sad thing is, I'd warmed up about Bathtubgirl after our earlier phone conversation, but she'd simply used that as a beachhead to come to my house and ask for something. That's a typically LA thing to do. She's really adapted to this "city" well. People don't want to interact with each other here unless there's an angle. It's infuriating.
Once Chun found out that the curtain rods had cost $500, she turned and gazed at them with sudden admiration. Like Bathtubgirl, Chun is a big fan of figuring out the most expensive solutions to ordinary everyday problems. Things are always better if they cost a lot. In this case, however, it's doubtful that the curtain rods had really cost $500; I think Bathtubgirl just gave me that figure as an excuse to twist my arm for more money back when I actually owed some to her. Those rods aren't exactly made out of gold and they don't even fit the windows particularly well.
In the evening John and I decided to go hit a local bar, one within staggering distance. John has come to the conclusion that he's wasted nearly a year of his Los Angeles social life hanging out with the wrong scene. He needs to get out more and find people more similar to himself. This is the only way he's going to, for example, find the woman who is right for him. The Fernandos and the dance bars, while sometimes good intentioned, have been nothing but excessively schteveish distractions.
At first we walked down to that place called the Shack at 26th and Wilshire. It's more of a lunchtime bar, but I've been there in the past with co-workers, so I thought maybe it had a nightlife too. When we got there, however, we found a whole team of little league baseball kiddies eating icecream and making the pool table sticky to the touch. Not being pædophiles, we fled in horror.
Instead we ended up at an Irish pub called McGinty's kitty-corner eastward across Wilshire. We sat in the window drinking dark Irish beer and nibbling at a side of calamari. There weren't very many people in the bar, but John seemed to be heartened by the presence of a few unattached women and one pair who'd come without male companions. "I've talked to my female friends and it's true; chicks actually do go to bars in hopes of being picked up," I assured him. Looking at that one pair of women, comprised as it was of a dumpy redhead and a hot brunette, John said, "Of course you know, I'm always willing to take the fat girl for the team."
But we didn't get anywhere with the ladies tonight. This was just fine, because we were simply scoping the place out as a suitable bar within walking distance. Most of our barroom conversation consisted of a discussion of our respective family histories. Since the FBI thing on Thursday, John has been intrigued by the radical environment that forged me.
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