Friday: Woke up at 5:30 a.m. and prepared for my trip. Client meetings until 10:30 am. Picked up carpool and cleared the distance between San Jose and Los Angeles in five hours. Went to boffo's Movie Night, where the consequences of my sleep deficit caught up with me and I promptly dropped into a dreamless sleep on his floor. Apparently, my sleeping form was a source of some amusement for the conscious guests. Drove to browascension & lightling's place and crashed.
Saturday: Met up with Aviad "50 Shekel, the World's Most Kosher MC" Cohen for sushi, photography/music related dialogue, and other mischief.
Our meandering through Los Angeles took us to The Standard, a nexus of the terminally hip and neck-snappingly beautiful denizens/visitors of Hollywood. Even in this rarified world of absurdly attractive people, one woman sitting alone working on a Sudoku puzzle stood out ... a jaw-droppingly attractive Latina mestiza that can drive even relatively extroverted people like me to intimidated silence.
I've often wondered about that intimidation factor - perhaps it's an outgrowth of the unspoken understanding between men of the pecking order; we know women of a certain level of beauty are courted and approached by richer, more powerful, more charismatic, better (in every objectively measurable sense) men than us, and we are utterly out of our league in that elite company.
Objectively, this fear makes no sense - even if one's chances that initiating a conversation will lead anywhere is less than 1%, it costs you nothing and represents a free call-option on interaction with a highly-desirable member of the opposite sex.
All that said (and though economists would have you believe otherwise), we humans do not make decisions based on cooly-reasoned Expected Value calculations; while I maneuvered myself to be seated next to the girl and work up my nerve to speak with her, I felt the thunder of my pulse pounding its staccato percussion into my skull. Ba-DUM, ba-DUM, ba-DUM, ba-DUM.
My exchange with Avi was distracted, distanced, while I steadied myself to overcome deeply-wired Beta-Male timidity and open up a conversation with the Latina. A twist of phrase, a turn of words, and in a curious reversal, she turned to us to comment on something in our dialogue and join our talk. My inner Beta Male heaved a sigh of relief as two became three, our conversation easing into comfortable territory of introductions and lighthearted banter.
Avi, to his credit, played his Wingman role perfectly - self-effacing, cerebral and complimentary to my extroverted, high-energy self. It was here we learned that the Latina ("J") is going to be a Playboy Playmate in an upcoming issue, and was waiting a few hours for a cab to take her to Hugh Hefner's 80th Birthday Party later on that evening. (!!!)
Ba-DUM, ba-DUM, ba-DUM, ba-DUM.
The invitation card she showed me was as elaborate as you can imagine, and nearly impossible to forge. We talk ... about her time as an Air Force radar operator (!!!), the radiology career she's pursuing, Hollywood culture. Experience suggests that beauty is typically inversely correlated to ambition and intelligence, but she's obliterated that stereotype quickly and an hour of elapsed dialogue stretches into a second.
Dinner hour. Time for a graceful getaway and make myself scarce. "I've got a dinner thing in 40 minutes, and my Sunday/Monday are booked, but if you're around Tuesday ..."
"Oh, you can reach me on my Sidekick! Here ..." as she scribbled her contact information on a scrap of paper.
Through blind, dumb luck, I shall dine with a goddess on Tuesday evening, N'Shallah.
Sunday: Hike with the Geeks, where I had a scintillating chat with brkvw on Artificial Intelligence, JPG compression algorithms, sleight-of-hand magic and perception psychology (all of which are linked by a few thin, obscure threads).
Preparing my 401k presentation for a client firm on Monday. Dinner with two old family friends I have not seen in six years. My mind is reeling with possibility and ferociously distracted. I'm crushing big-time and it's giddy, silly and fun all at once.
Monday: As I type this, I'm in Fullerton/
Tuesday: Morning appointment at the office of Ferrazzi Greenlight with the COO.
In the evening, I go to face my destiny.
Wish me luck.