[VOID] I *ought* to be very frustrated right now...

Khare (rohit@uci.edu)
Mon, 25 May 1998 04:39:14 -0700

Tonight was "Something to Remember", a Golden Sher/Ziba Music/Lal Toofan
production. About 250 of LA's 21+ Indian-American party crowd, Lil'Jay from
New York on the 1's and 2's, and enough bass to even make me move.

About the best thing I can say for tonight is that at least I discovered a
new 24-hour LA eatery: the Ordonez cantina, across the street from the club
in Montebello. (One block south of the 60 at Garfield)

CobraBoy called in sick on this one. He's been battling a sore throat for
two weeks now, and yesterday's orgy of meat, cider, and anchorbabes must
have triggered a relapse. He sent his regrets and a charge to "get some
digits from some hoochie-mama chicks tonight." I suggested he buy a
PowerBall ticket instead. I was as disappointed as he was: I've never been
clubbing with a single heterosexual single person to calibrate (or is the
proper phrase "benchmark best practices"?). I left messages with the other
three people I thought might even remotely consider joining me (to no
avail, of course).

In the evening, I finally got around to scrubbing the bathroom tile and
sorting through the bags of magazines Adam passed on to me and cleaning the
trash off my futon and generally trudging through chores. Fighting grime on
your hands and knees certainly helped set the night in perspective.

{Well, it's not exactly rocket science to suppose that perhaps, just
possibly, other folk from the party might end up at the cantina across the
street. Luckily, my SuperEgo prevents me from being the least bit
embarrassed to be toting a laptop when one of only two women I talked to
the whole night wanders in. With her girlfriend and six guys -- no, make
that nine, more walked in -- tailing her scent. And for added mockery
value, the entire posse -- including two of the only three guys I
recognized at this entire event -- is taking the table across from mine.
Yes, indeed, it's a lucky thing I don't mind being "the computer guy."}

I stopped in Little India for dinner, but it was a little late on Memorial
Day eve to find much. I made it to the club at 10PM, which happens to be
part of a municipal government golf course and entertainment center: Quiet
Cannons. No, I can't imagine they hired a panel of consultant semioticians
on this one...

While it was clear that normally CobraBoy would have been quite correct to
be locking his radar on Latin hoochie at this joint, tonight it was
all-brown, much to my surprise. I figured it was only one room of at most
part-time bhangra in a mixed club. True, only a fraction of the airtime was
Indian music, but as for the actual census, there were about three or four
each black, oriental, and caucasian, excepting the staff. [Interesting,
really, that Word's spell checker insists on capitalizing that last term
for white, but not the other two. You think they would have learned from
the Wingdings font for "NYC JEW" :-]

The remainder of the crowd was skewed Punjabi, young, and thin (although
it's hard to say if the latter was a statistically significant bias, since
there may appear to be many fat Indians, marriage appears to be largest
cause of obesity in Indians). This is not a bad thing: perhaps a hundred
fine young things dressed as well as I have ever seen. The guys were pretty
slick, too: right out of an LA clubland posters: Boss athletics, Hilfiger,
Versace shirts, houndstooth jackets, Polo turtlenecks, cashmere sweaters.
Nary an FOB in sight to dilute the pool (Fresh Off the Boat). No
Easternwear, either, though I've seen some haute coture designs from India
far racier and buff than this.

As for me, I drank a few drinks, perched in a few idle spots, stayed sober
enough to not dance, and didn't feel aroused in the least. I might have
said about fifty words to people other than the bartender.

{OK, I admit, I do feel a *little* embarrassed to be writing amidst the
after-party here. Actually, I'm embarrassed more by the level of
over-analysis I'm engaging in, rather than merely the act of writing.
Otherwise, I'm sure I'd be even more self-conscious about eating alone than
anything else.

Of course, what am I doing while eating to pass the time? What bits am I
mux'ing with chile colorado? An index of early RFCs. Sigh.

On the other hand, I learned that I really must read through #875,
"Gateways, architectures, and heffalumps", Padlipsky M., 1982. After all,
these 20-year old protocols are ripe for reinvention, like #741,
"Specifications for the Network Voice Protocol (NVP)", Cohen D., 1977. Or
#706, "On the junk mail problem", Postel J., 1975.

Actually, there are a lot more of these I haven't read and really should
have. Nothing like lumping it to my intelligence and virility in the same


Let's consider that last statement again, shall we?

"I didn't feel aroused in the slightest."

This is a dark, smoky, bumpin' club filled with the prime of Americanized
Indian womanhood, and I can't be bothered to say hi to anyone. Well, I said
hi to maybe half a dozen folks, but didn't really talk to anyone beyond
that. I go to someplace like this to mediate, really. It's like a temple,
except darker, louder, and with a mandatory cover.

I spent my cycles analyzing *why* I didn't feel like making any moves. Now,
this isn't the simple set of excuses: shyness, fear of embarrassment,
tiredness, lack of patter. Something else was off tonight.

Working a cocktail party, I am completely fearless, turning on the
full-spectrum professional schmooze-dar to detect interests, professions,
styles, and more. Talking: that works for me. Looking? No.

Again, though: go beyond the tactical of merely detecting interest,
determining the web of existing degrees of separation (is that a date, a
relative, or a random on her arm?), and making contact. My best hypothesis
about why flirting in a club holds no allure is because the Golden Rule
eliminates the basis for it. I refuse to be judged by my looks, fashion,
motor skills, and sensuality, so I refuse to judge in turn.

'Judge' rather than 'appreciate,' mind you: I am more and more able to
appreciate such tastes, even be openly turned on by them (c.f. the 49ers
cheerleader tryouts last month). I definitely believe there are differences
in such endowments and abilities. However, I refuse to act on those

It seems utterly foolish to let the little head do the thinking and be
attracted to someone for those four reasons. The mind is the critical organ
-- but, let's face it, this isn't the set of Jeopardy, either.

Of course, the single most intriguing woman at this event had all four in
spades, so perhaps I protest too much. I, of course, think not: what I
found remarkable about her was her complete confidence. She seemed to know
everybody, even though she wasn't even from LA (I remarked on her
fearlessness and popularity to her, and she's from SF in fact).

Sigh. I dunno. I don't feel fear of being thought a fool myself, or a geek,
or anything other than a lech. Instead, there's a fear of imposing, of
intruding on someone else's space, of even judging them as a sexual being
rather than a sapient one. Perhaps because I myself am the latter rather
than the former.

But at least I'm here, enjoying the spectacle if nothing else. And if
nothing else, fortune favors the prepared mind. I'm happy I was out on the
town tonight, even if I kept my paintbrush dry.

"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out where the
strong man stumbled, or where a doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man in the arena whose face is marred by dust and
sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, and who comes up short
again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and
spends himself in a worthy cause. The man who at best knows the triumph of
high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, fails while daring greatly,
so that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who never knew
victory or defeat."
---Theodore Roosevelt