wide awake drunk - Saturday October 21 2000
I spent another whole day being the VP of IT for Bathtubgirl.com, making small changes to the Flash animation, becoming aware of and then familiar with a streaming media client called RealProducer, and making further modifications to the custom sound system for the bathtub studio. Owing to the fact that most of the equipment (excepting the DSL connection) seems to work fairly reliably, I've been fairly productive during my recent sessions, and this has meant that I've been considerably less grumpy. But, as bosses go, Kim is the most demanding, least encouraging of any I have ever had. She doesn't want me taking even the briefest break and God forbid I should want to do something other than work on her site for a moment. These aren't trivial complaints given the fact that I put in a ten hour day at Bathtubgirl Productions today.
After our final shouting match on the subject of installing an mIRC client, it was time for Kim and I to go with Maria (aka Dirtygirl) to a big party at Chris' house on the other side of Venice. Chris had gone all-out in preparation for this throw down, spending $1000 at Costco just for alcohol (Kim had gone with him on that particular expedition). Not only that, but he'd printed up different sets of invitations for various contingents of invitees. For example, he'd made a set for me that called the party a "VODKATEA PARTY" and had even included the URL for my Spies.com website - something I unfortunately couldn't just hand out to my housemate, etc., because (in an effort to simplify my life) the journal is still a secret from them. But there were other flyers that called the party a Vodkatea party without mentioning my website - so I gave those to John instead. These must have really surprised John's friend Catherine; the party we'd had a week ago at our house had started out as an idea in her mind to evangelize the concept of vodkatea.
Robert the Basement Troll, acting in the all-important LA position of "driver," dropped us off at Chris' party and we wandered in. The time was about 11:30pm and the place was pretty well stocked with both people and booze. Porno movies were projected on one wall of the house, and the bar was staffed by someone evidently being paid to mix drinks. Most of the people were out in back. There were a lot of people there, but not much was happening. People were milling around and talking, sort of bored in the way people can be bored at a big party. You know how it is: there's lots of potential, but it seems unlikely that you're going to have much of a story to tell about what happened the next day. There was a hot tub, but no one was in it.
The demographics weren't bad. Mixed in with your usual LA schteve component were a good many people projecting more decidedly "alternative" vibes (whatever the fuck that means). And, of course, this being LA, there were plenty of hot blond chicks. It's hard for anyone, no matter how alternative his proclivities, to complain about the presence of hot blond chicks. The average age for attendees about 26.
Dirtygirl decided the only way to get things happening was to dance. So she took me in hand and got me dancing with her. My my, now that Dirtygirl is one hot firecracker with some serious sultry Spanish steps. Her tight little body and those perfect man made (for men) breasts kept brushing against me and I couldn't help myself. I had to stop just to keep from making a spectacle of the boner I was developing!
Chris was doing a good job as a party host. He came around with a bottle of contraband Japanese sake, the kind that comes with a dead poisonous snake coiled up at the bottom, like a huge vertebrate tequila worm. I had a tiny sip, and I'd have to say it was the most lingering, pungent beverage I've had in recent memory. "Why is it contraband?" I asked. "Because if you drink the whole bottle it will kill you," said Chris.
Then my housemate John showed up, followed soon enough by wave upon wave of people (most of whom I knew) from another party he'd been attending. John had passed out the VODKATEA PARTY flyers there, and (being a somewhat more straight-laced crew than the sort with which I normally surround myself) they'd been intrigued.
The thing that provided me with the wherewithal to really enjoy this party was a tiny 10mg pill of a prescription medication used to treat adult attention deficit disorder. It's some sort of amphetamine derivative, a Schedule II medication. John apparently gets a prescription of them, and he casually handed me one.
But the thing that really pumped life into the party was a performance by a troupe of fire twirlers, veterans from multiple Burning Men. People pressed into the back of the lot and spilled into the alley to watch. There's only so much fire twirling that a person can watch, but it provided the necessary catalyst to set off a chain reaction of strangers meeting strangers. Some of these interactions were further advanced in an "opium den" style tent in back, in front of the electronica-spinning DJ, and, when it finally got up to temperature, in the hot tub. It turned out to be a truly excellent party. I found myself having a prolonged conversation with a girl whom Sal (an Iraqi friend of John and Fernando) had brought. I forget her name, and she wasn't all that cute, but boy was she smart. We were talking about her PhD thesis, which concerns photoelectronic polymers. This project is being lavishly funded as part of a six billion dollar nanotechnology effort launched by President Clinton which I didn't even know about.
I was very pleased that all my somewhat schteveish chums, friends connected through my housemate John, found themselves unexpectedly having fun. I told John that I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if Chris had arranged for 20 midgets to show up later in the evening. "You know what I say about great movies, don't you?" John asked. "No, what?" I replied. "They all have midgets and apes," he said.
Sure enough, later in the evening a female dwarf, fully decked-out in leather fetish gear, showed up amid the forest of full-sized people legs. John ran off to congratulate me on my more or less accurate prediction.
After a certain point in the evening, Dirtygirl and her Spanish friend, the one with whom she has such great sex, went off to do their business. But then, an hour or so later, there she was again. It seems that, in a fit of despair, Kim had called home asking for someone to pick her up. So Dirtygirl came back with her Spanish friend to wander around the party looking for her. It turned out that Kim had found another way home, so Dirtygirl took it upon herself to take me back with her. At first I didn't want to go, but then Dirtygirl put this guilt trip on me about how miserable Kim had been in the face of the fun I'd been having. So I agreed to go.
But as we neared Dirtygirl's car, I saw my housemate John with the remnants of his posse, preparing to go home. That was good enough for Dirtygirl, so I broke with her and joined up with them.
After John had packed all his Valley-bound friends in Fernando's car, he turned to me and asked, "are you tired?" "No," I said. We were both amped up on those ADD prescription pills. I actually felt a little like I'd had a non-inconsiderable hit of Ecstasy. So we decided to go back and rejoin the party. On the way in, John admitted that he and Catherine had been making out in a little alcove off the street, but that she'd had to interrupt the festivities in order to puke and that, "it wasn't too attractive."
Back at the party, the police had come multiple times, the music had been silenced, and most partiers were heading out. A few bathed in the hot tub or hung out in the opium den. Chris tried to convince me to get in the hot tub, but John suggested it was probably a bad idea at this stage of the evening. We ended up in the opium den.
By now my serotonin levels were surging, and I felt the need to arrogantly dictate social rules. For the most part everyone played along, although this one guy looked like he wanted to punch me. On my suggestion we went around the ten introducing ourselves. When my turn came, I enforced a large dramatic pause, and then burst out with "My name is Gus" voiced as if I had cerebral palsy. I was so perfectly in character that it was actually less offensive than it sounds.
A couple girls had entered the tent and were sitting on either side of John. They weren't especially cute, but it was late in the evening and you know how that is. John got to talking with both of them, and they really seemed to be digging him. He's a charming, attractive guy, so it wasn't really any mystery. But I've never seen him in play like this before. And when the girls finally had to leave, one said to the other very matter-of-factly, "You think we ought to get his digits?" and the other agreed. By this point John had indicated that I (jokingly captioned by John as "the sketchy-looking character across the tent") was his housemate. It thus fell on me to provide our number. The red headed of the two girls, on closer inspection, told me, "you're not very sketchy-looking."
Back at the house, my jaws were doing the jaw fandango and I was having trouble falling asleep, or even getting a hard on (a possible means of self-medication). I'd been drinking heavily and was fairly drunk, but that speed in my system refused to relent. It's hard to imagine anyone would have such a bad attention deficit disorder as to require a drug that powerful.