Secret Pop

Jan 12, 2006

The word of the day is "vicious circle."

I went to The Standard Downtown to meet Sarah and Paul for dinner. Sarah's room is all white and has a bathtub too near the center of it. The bathroom is tiled like an old-fashioned locker room. The mini-bar has fancy Swedish water in it. Paul pointed it out.

We took a cab to R23 at the recommendation of the concierge and ate very well. They were out of the two things Sarah most wanted to try. The Deep Fried Sawa Crab ("Very Cute") and the Sauteed Shimeji Mushroom with Chili Peppers. But we did eat the Dungeness Crab Salad ("Very Best") and the Rib-Eye Steak with Ponzu Sauce and an assortment of nigiri sushi and then vanilla mochi ice cream with a little pineapple pastille in the center. Yum, yum, and yum. The restaurant isn't in the best neighborhood. Our cabbie seemed concerned for us. But once you reach the address, there is a well-lit row of businesses and valet parking and everything. We were fine.

We went back to the hotel and had a few drinks at the rooftop bar. They were playing Soylent Green on the wall of a nearby building with a projector mounted by the swimming pool. Sarah and I noticed a definite listing towards the Asian side of things in the population up there. Paul told us they were filming The Fast and the Furious 3 and there were a lot of Asian extras and stuff hanging out. Sarah said, "No wonder it's so Super Mario Bros. up here." In my head, I tweaked it to, "No wonder it's so Super NES up here." And that is a good addition to the list of subtle euphemisms my family uses to inseminate conversation with our special brand of racism.

Paul asked me to take some pictures of the skyline for him. As I was doing that, a guy leaned out of one of those red pods on the upper deck and asked if I was taking a picture of the US Bank building. I don't remember what I said. Something like yes. Then, speaking of my pink houndstooth number, he said, "That is a GREAT coat," and I thanked him. And I wondered what non sequitur might follow if I continued to stand there. I didn't. Sarah said, "Mary, he was hitting on you." And I said, "I know. But his conversation-starters need work."

A woman came up to us and complimented my hair and make-up and couldn't believe that Sarah and I are sisters and coincidentally also lives in San Diego and works a few days a week in Los Angeles, and she and I ended up talking for a while and eventually exchanging business cards, because she works for a company that can use my services. As this was going on, I could hear Sarah and Paul talking quietly next to me. And I think I might have heard Sarah say something like, "Leave it to my sister to come here and get hit on by a woman." But it might not have been as snarky as that looks in writing. She's right. That's totally the kind of action I get. The business card kind.

The bathroom at that part of the bar is unusual. The ladies' room and the men's room are separated by a wall and the sink is shared by both sides with a mirrored panel keeping the genders from seeing each other, but there is space beneath the mirrors where the water comes out just above the sink and drain. And you can see the hands of the person opposite you as they wash themselves. It's a little weird. You can't see where the water is going to come from. It's a motion sensor thing. So when you stick your hands under there, you worry you might bump into someone. And then, just as I was going to brave the unknown, I heard the telltale signs of barfing and then saw that a guy was throwing up. Into the sink. The sink that I was about to stick my hands into. I elected to use the hand sanitizing gel I carry in my handbag instead. Yuck and gross. When I told Sarah and Paul and Paul's friend Arnold what I had experienced, they noticed that it was only 10:30 and what a loser. We are very cosmopolitan and could never ever be sick and ruined by that youthful hour.

I shouldn't have stayed out. I shouldn't have gone out. I had work to do. Sarah coaxed me with promises of an early evening. But I arrived home at close to three a.m. Of course. And I have to prepare for my mom coming to visit tomorrow and to take Jeff to Disneyland as agreed. Very little sleep will be had. Will I ever go to Disneyland after having had a good night's sleep? The outlook is not good.

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