[VOID] On the Resonance Modes of Protein Separator

Rohit Khare (rohit@bordeaux.ICS.uci.edu)
Sat, 14 Mar 1998 14:52:26 -0800

12:47 AM March 13, 1998, Toi on Sunset -- Tonight's installment
features geeks, go-go dancers, lesbian makeout sessions and
block-rockin' beats.

I've been back up in Pasadena working on classes and http-wg stuff; I
rely on Adam to kind of goad me through getting stuff done. He's been
in a coma this week from the flu and overexercising, so a lot of stuff
got pushed off as I pursued a social life in that time. Of course,
when I came up Thursday, I began to remember why I left LA: I can't
breathe during March. I have severe seasonal asthma allergies to
Pasadena foliage. Nevertheless, we soldiered on, writing to all hours
of the night.

OK, I did, not we. I was in Adam's office the night after the
McLachlan concert chatting with Dan Connolly til the wee hours. When
it turned to working on an 'Evolution of the Web Consortium' paper for
standards-class, Toi's came up again, since that's where Adam and I do
all our Web-writing. So I went searching for "Toi on Sunset" in
HotBot, and while they haven't indexed any of the seventeen zillion
posts I've made from there, #3 is http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~eieio/

Yep: an amazing character, Ms. Wexler: raver, racergirl, hacker. Also
has quite a collection of mail-from-losers, just like another Techer
Babe of the Web I knew, http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~eveander/ .
Furthermore, it turns out there's a reference to her on
FoRK discussing meat between Wub Harley and Robert S. Thau:
http://xent.ics.uci.edu/FoRK-archive/may97/0482.html and 0486

What the hey, right? One more for the email Scoreboard, someone I'd
like to meet just as a fellow CS alum if nothing else. I sent her a
note appreciating her pages, her taste in Thai, FoRK, and inviting her
along for some late-night noshing sometime.

Now this telegraphs the punchline too well, but try to empty your
mind. Mine is...

About fifteen minutes later, after consulting Adam's eight-ball as to
whether I should cheekily force the issue and walk over to the lab and
ask her directly, I decided to pack up and leave when Steven Schkolne
bursts into the office asking if I know about 'smart pointers.' He's a
dramatic entrance, tall and lanky and darkly brooding, a CMU-scarred
graduate student. Following right after is a jumpy little black Lab on
a long leash leading to a stunning woman in a bright yellow dress and
an oh-so-hip Perry Ellis rainslick, the kind of outfit which screams
"I'm-just-visiting-Tech-please-don't-assimilate-me!" The mystery lady
doesn't say anything for a bit as I pontificate back to SS about
"well, it might be a handle, just for memory management; using the
upper address bits to flag GC, as in the Lisp Machines; or URC
(Uniform Reference Citations) for archival Web use; or even a species
of dog, for all I know -- what gives, Steven?"

And then she volunteers it's for a homework assignment. While she's
typing in the URL, I ask SS about lunch at Toi's or Canter's on
Fairfax, and there's a sudden interjection of "that's a cool place!"
and it dawns on me...

No, she didn't see my mail yet; it was just an astounding coincidence,
just like the night before at Adam's door where he decided to call and
check in with me after four days and my cellphone went off at
precisely the moment I knocked on his door.

Anyway, nothing happened that night, but Friday morning, I called
around and found out a Holi celebration in Garden Grove had actually
been pushed to Sunday, so I was free that evening. I'd been looking
forward to this concert for a month:

LA Weekly Concert Pick of the Week

The Crystal Method, DJ David Holmes, BT, Fatboy Slim, and

...many people still don't get it. The call this futuristic,
synthesized blanket of beats and rhythms soulless and repetitive,
charging it lacks the energy of actual musicians playing actual
instruments onstage. [this feeds my monstrous ego by leading me to
conclude I am the only musical consumer in LA who paid for
symphony, rock, and techno tickets in the same fortnight. Hmmm. And
I'M still hoping for NRBQ tix at House of Blues Tuesday.] ...
tonight's show just might change the minds of even the staunchest
electronica haters. ... TCM's sound is an aggressive hodgepodge of
furious drum'n'bass, percussive hip-hop-esque samples, liquidy
retro grooves and throbbing rock & roll. Irish DJ David Holmes --
whose American debut, Let's Get Killed brilliantly conjoined the
organic with the mechanic through sonic dubs and loops and a little
Latin percussion and New York street talk -- is a turntable wizard
whose funky mixes are inspired by urban life, dance-floor chaos and
nameless nostalgia. BT, whose real name is Brian Transeau, is a
27-year old trained classical pianist who smothers rich melodies
with electronic loops and infectious dance beats. Both
Propellerheads and Fatboy Slim incroproate familiar elements into
their pumping sounds, the former reworking hip-hop artists like De
La Soul and the Jungle Brothers, the latter scoring a dance hit
with "Goin Out of my Head," which uses a fierce sample of The Who's
"I Can't Explain." While all of tonight's performers are children
of the computer age, seeing and hearing them should be a loud
reminder that their inspirations are the songs and musicians we all
grew up with, and this is where the soul of this new music really

[And yes, I did just retype that whole thing -- laweekly.com has
five other categories' picks on their site, but not this one...]

The concert itself is probably a compressible experience to veterans,
but it is a relatively new outing for me, and certainly a solo first
-- but I couldn't convince anyone at all to join me from UCI or from
Caltech. Feh.

[Actually, I was wrong -- when I got back from Toi's at three in the
morning, I found a wavering note from Ms. E -- she sent it at
precisely the moment I left the house. Mockery most foul! Conservation
of luck, eh? ]

Went down Sunset and quickly scalped a $20 ticket for $30 at the
corner while stopped for a red light -- I love a free market! Made one
cardinal mistake though: I gave him $40 and expected change... good
thing it was a long red light! Sold out, but I could see lots of other
tickets for sale, and it's reasonable enough given I'm going to spend
at least as much on alcohol and parking.

[I'm sorry, but I have to interrupt to describe this perky 5'10
redhead at the bar, spiky hair, spiky heels, and shiny skintight
silver jacket and skintight black leather pants. I have got to get a
digital camera... The Wizard of Oz is playing on the TV monitors. Beck
on the stereo. Am I addicted to this place yet?]

For reasons left in another post (about Ms. Gellar), I decided I
needed a copy of The Economist for Sunday brunch, so I went to my
favorite 7x24 newsstand at Cahuenga and Hollywood. Tonight, I finally
realized why those !^#@% bastards get away with charging $4.25 for a
$4 Sunday NYT. I always went there because it was the first place in
the city to get a copy -- 5PM Saturday, an advance-copy premium. But,
the real story is that they keep it for sale the rest of the week.
Thus I found a six-day old virgin copy of The Business Class, which
Dan Kohn had excerpted. Turns out it's not just an article, but an
entire issue dedicated to the theme -- I was about to kill Dan! But
there it was, in all its frequent-flyer glory. I'm only disappointed
that William Safire didn't pile on amidst the dozen other articles; I
think there's a lot to be said about the competing noun and verb forms
of "first-class upgrade" and "upgrade first class" :-)

Happily bitful, I walked up the block to Sunset and Vine and up twenty
stories to 360, a penthouse bar and restaurant, very of-the-moment. So
of-the-moment I should have felt out of place, but I was too stunned
by the rain-scrubbed views of the LA basin skyline. Had a martini in
honor of Dan while flipping through the Times, but I forget his
exacting recipe. I just went with Bombay Sapphire, shaken, and two
olives, stuffed.

Finally, the main event. It certainly was fun to pile into a human
sea: capacity at the Hollywood Palladium must be 12-1500; Adam sez
3000. I dunno, my highschool class was 1200; Caltech was 800; I have
subzero intuition for these things. After OC (UCI in particular) it
was a bit of a shock to get back to representative LA burbclave
demographics: majority white, smattering of Orientals, relatively
underrepresented Hispanic share (it's electronica, after all), and a
vanishing number of Middle Eastern/Indian guys, perhaps 15. And, as
far as I can tell, one subcontinental woman in the whole assembly (and
only another half-dozen indeterminates). So this was much more
representative of my daily experiences than last weekend's string of
desi encounters: perhaps 1%, and of that, 97% male.

Anyway, I wasn't orbiting the floor, compiling the census for long,
though. There's a main floor and two balconies overlooking it adding
up to about the same area again. One was roped off for VIP's; the
other was for the too-hip-to-dance crowd. Down on the floor, as the
drinks kicked in and the bass cranked up, I migrated towards the
center of the pit -- and suddenly recognized a batch of '95 and '96
Lloydies at the frontmost barrier. Wicked! Homecoming, of sorts. They
had these bitchin' new flourescent orange Lloyd shirts knocking-off
the Tide detergent logo -- perfect! Of course, there's not that much
chatting to be had front-row-center between a few thousand watts of
speakers, a few million candlepower of lights, and no earplugs or

The bill was precisely as wonderful as I hoped. I must have been
dancing for four hours straight -- at least the sort of spastic
movement I call dance (which actually works for techno -- please don't
let it become passe!). By the climactic set from Crystal Method, all
manner of dancefloor antics were breaking out: mosh-pit like crush of
humans; slam dancing; pros in full-on spacesuits; women stripped to
their skivvies, men to less; a pair of very drunk lesbians making out
for half an hour literally under my nose; and what, after watching
Howard's Private Parts, should be best described as jack-off bass...

And most memorably, bass that can tune to a single strand of
overgelled hair. I stashed the sample of Sebastian 'protein separator'
hair gel from last Thursday's symphony pre-party in the glove
compartment and used it for a quick touch-up before tonight's concert.
It clumped a little, and as BT played the scales, I could feel
different parts of my helmet vibrate in sympathy...

All in all, an excellent evening. And now, I retire to my Prad Na Pram
(spicy mint chicken curry).

Tonight's fortune: "You will soon be honored by someone you respect."

Staring directly into the laser,


PS. The Indian takeover continues... the dilution of its culture by
Anglos, that is: Starbucks is launching its new Chai Tea Latte (a
double redundancy!) nationally. Bogo (buy one-get one) coupons in the
LA Weekly -- I figure it's my duty to cash in as many of them as
possible and bankrupt this silly venture...