The Void Which Was Last Week

Rohit Khare (
Thu, 12 Feb 1998 21:56:35 -0800

Karmaboy wrote:

> This makes 3 responses I've gotten now. Shut up about your so-called
> lack of a social life or the rest of us with NO lives will make you
> miserable with the tales of nothing we live through.

At least two people right here at ICS have tried to argue that I have more of
a social life than they do. That's horrifying. I have a lot more *activity*,
as a novelty-seeking impulive manic type. That's not the same as meaningful
inner peace. For instance, let's look at the last week in pictures:

Thursday: Classical Raves. Peyman and I got season tickets to the Pacific
Symphony Orchestra, which included a Yo-yo themed pre-party for the 20-29
crowd at the local "anti-mall". After classical, went back to work, went to a
cafe until 3am, went to the gym for two hours, bought two pounds of fruit
salad from the supermarket with nothing but the change swirling around the

Friday: Clover. Napped for a bit in the office, went to class. Peyman finally
arrived after 2 hours driving back from LA in the pouring rain from his
naturalization ceremonies with 5,000 other people who paid $20 for parking for
the 30 minute ceremony at the courthouse. Decided that even if everyone else
wimped out, we'd go to lunch at What's Cookin, an italian bistro. Besides, we
had to go out and rescue Roy's car from the floodwaters anyway. Forded the
yard-deep Physical Sciences River (hint: UCI drainage turns Aldrich Park into
Aldrich Lake). Risked life and limb for fresh gnocchi. (also discovered that
their timbalo is a mirage. The exquisitly complex dish at the center of _Big
Night_ was "not available yet" one day at noon, but "already sold out" by
1:30). Afternoon, generally killed time FoRKing until going off to Fry's to
pick up 16Mb of ram for my laptop I ordered two weeks earlier. Fry's said they
hadn't even bothered to @^#%@^ order it. Pissed, I tried to find the House of
Brews, but instead got lost and drove back-and-forth across Huntington Beach
for an *hour*. Arrived at Clover's surprise birthday party for a friend ready
to drink heavily (Booker's, 147 proof). Armed with yo-yo, proceeded to fail to
charm Clover's co-workers. Primarily by being upstaged by Clover's
speed-cherry-stem-knot-tying-with-tounge bar trick :-) Mortally offended her
boss by comparing her pluck in establishing a woman-owned computer consultancy
with my Mom's era. She was 28. Party ended up at Clover's dad's, with further
drinking games fueled by Knob Creek, unprintable zinfandel, and one-lb top
sirloion steaks on the grill by moonlight.

Saturday: got up around noon and sized up the situation. Called adam, who said
Dobbin was in town from northern Virginia on his way back from Vegas, so could
I please not intrude on their quality college buddy time? Considered it, and
headed south. Drove aimlessly down the coast until I hit San Juan Capistrano,
and decided to get breakfast. Found a charmingly quaint little patio cafe
built in 1881 across the tracks from the train depot, the Ramos House. Had a
great crab hash in the shadow of a twenty-foot tall mass of cactus, birds
chirping in the garden. Chatted with the waitress, who was duly impressed by
the Caltech sweatshirt and tales of Tim Berners-Lee, but later observed that
she's looking forward to enrolling in college in the fall. Ouch. Instead, went
back to my standards-theory reading, fielding the occasional question from the
hotshot yuppie couple making out two feet away between Nash equilibria. Spend
a few more hours reading wandering around the old town and in cafes. I was
particularly fond of a sunken fountain courtyard where I sat with my National
Research Council reports while clubwear models posed for catalog shots across
the way :-) Drove back up to Irvine, crashed, woke up at 10PM in a horrendous
el nino thunderstorm and remembered that last weekend, I ran into an old
undergrad buddy of mine at Caltech who invited me to his 25th birthday party
tonight, up at the Catalinas. Back to Pasadena, a two hour journey in the
flood waters (up to 8 inches on the 710 freeway). Finally arrived at midnight,
but surprised to see party still ni full swing. To my shock, friend's *mother*
recognized me, on the basis of perhaps 5 minutes' meeting two years ago at
graduation. Many gifts, much liquor, including more of the Knob Creek and
samples of an exotic honey liqueur (avail in LA only at Liquor-rama in
Claremont, end of the 210, drop onto foothill, 6-7 miles on the right). Met
another old friend I hadn't seen in ages, Sonny (1-800-ARCILLA), former biz
mgr of the California Tech. Wrapped up around 2:30 AM, when Adam warned me
that Jerry's Famous 24-hour deli had surrendered from 24x7 to 24xfri-sat to
only til 3, fri-sat. Bastards! So I went to Ralphs, grabbed a frozen pizza and
dropped by Adam's to drop off some pictures and MS Office. Philosophical
altercation with adam, drove off with cooked pizza to Mt. Wilson, 3,000 ft up
to enjoy the now rain-cleared view of the LA basin alone with my mozarella,
cheddar bread, bourbon, and Sunday New York Times.

Sunday: went to the gym for two hours again to work off the deplorable excess
of an entire 1500-calorie pizza pie. Dinner at Niki's Tandoori Express,
excellent cheap chicken tikka. Afterward, drove around OC in a vague search
for Little India, which I knew was somewhere along Pioneer Boulevard in
Artesia, out of misplaced nostalgia. Spent half-an-hour to find the five-black
strip, which naturally was closed. Hit upon the brilliant idea of at least
trying to meet Dobbin on his way back east, altercation with Adam aside.
Decided he *must* be taking the 10PM redeye to Dulles, since if he'd taken the
5PM, I wouldn't have an excuse to wander aruond LAX. Further, assumed he was
on United, because what else would you fly nonstop back to IAD? Arrived at
9:15PM and staked out the gate; but nagging realization said American might
also have a flight. United 1K lounge at least offered to reveal there's no
Dobbin reservation all day, and that the American flight leaves at 9:55.
Jogged up four terminals, only to catch it after boarding began. "No sir, I
can't page him on board, because that would reveal he's on board". Sheesh.
Wandered around the underground LAX internal tunnel system evading security
while the parking meter ran out. Drove around further in the violent storms
toward the end of the airport to check out the old Imerial Terminal Greg
Bolcer told me about, then along the coast high way (it dried up again) from
playa vista to Manhattan beach, where I discovered a new 24-hour joint, the
Kettle. Pretty upscale crowd for midnight sunday, so me in my tevas, gym
shorts, and caltech sweats enjoyed the Week in Review with a Cobb salad at the
bar. Afterward, continued driving along the coast, and for the first time,
found myself winding among the roads of Rancho Palos Verdes, an enclave of
million-dollar homes alog the pacific (the huge unlit knob of land you see on
takeoff from LAX; astoundingly open spaces. Climed the several-thousand foot
peak in the fog by a full moon to see LA spread out belw from the South.
Eventually ended up back on the 110 in Tim Byars' old neighborhood (NOT the
millionaires enclave, I must say :-) and raced a blonde from minnesota in an
accord all the way from Long Beach back to Jamboree in Irvine on the 405.

Monday: boring day. Went to the pub in the evening with some ICSers,
celebrated Greg's continuing endeavors to commercialize Endeavors, and finally
managed to beat foosball whiz across the hall 5-4 (but only because we only
let him play two rods, 19 men to 3...) Decided to go to Sid's in Newport
(motto: "Don't Tell Nobody") for dinner with Peter. Found a 45-minute wait at
9:30PM on a Monday night -- it's THAT popular a hidden dive -- that we went to
Taco Mesa instead (divine, healthy mexican food across from the Costa Mesa
DMV). Went home, read some more stds papers, went to Higher Grounds, shocked
to see the cafe already closed by 2AM.

Tuesday: Celebrated Peyman's US citizenship. Whole gang, 25 people, went out
to Ferducci's (sp?) a persian buffet lunch. Pigged waay out on kebabs and
sickly-sweet desserts. Later, napped in the office until knocked in the head
by an entering officemate who didn't realize my pillow as in the corner. Took
said slightly-depressed friend on a mood-raising trip: California Pizza
Kitchen, zinfandel, long island ice tea, back home (humiliation at having to
submit hovel, er, home for inspection), Spaten from Munich, and swiss
truffles. Seems to have done the trick. Went to Higher Grounds to catch up on
reading until 3AM. Went to the gym until 5:30AM. Crashed.

Live from the void,

PS. This afternoon, somebody called while I was out, and my officemate
answered the phone with "Rohit's in class right now" and was treated to a full
minute of hysterical laughter punctuated by "Rohit? in class?!" -- fess up,
who was it? The list of saracastic suspects is faaar too long...

PPS. Just to make it abundantly clear how much my life sucks, here's the plan
for my lousy Valentine's eve:

From: Jim Whitehead <>
Subject: RE: The Molotov Cocktail goes to Las Vegas !
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 19:34:27 -0800

Breana my precious,

Yes! Yes! Yes! It would take a seriously incredible sale at Fry's to keep
me and my friend Rohit away from your personal lounge tour Friday night.
Rohit will be wearing a T with a pre-printed pocket protector, and, well,
you *know* I'll be wearing my SPEEDO briefs underneath my sleezy lounge
gear. Ha ha hahhahaha!!

> i'll bring all my fav. porn mags for you to look at!

Well, Rohit promises to bring his copy of "Perfect 10", a porno mag.
started by a UCI Ph.D grad. in math named Norm Zadeh who got a job on Wall
Street, made a zillion $$$$, and now can self-publish his own porno mag
chock full of women *with natural breasts*, no falsies allowed!! Now
that's what I call a self-made man.

As for me, I *exclusively* read "Skanky Meat-eating Dog-hating Women
Monthly," so make sure you bring a couple copies for me, OK?

So, shall we meet up at the station at 7:30 with all of your other willing

- Jim