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"Okay," he says.
5:23 p.m.: She returns. "Why didn't you come get me?" she chirps. He shrugs. They talk.
7:15 p.m.: She takes her third slug of his Jack Daniel's. She makes a call on her cell phone.
7:17 p.m.: He shows her his tattoo just below his left nipple.
7:18 p.m.: She shows him her tattoo just below her navel.
7:30 p.m.: They're snuggling and whispering to each other. They kiss, on and off, for the next 45 minutes.
8:30 p.m.: An inebriated cowboy pleads with the conductor not to have him arrested in Houston for abusing the train staff.
9:30 p.m.: Houston Station, 10 and a half hours late. The conductor apologizes in what must be a memorized speech. My sister's waiting at the platform with her 2-year-old daughter perched on her shoulders.
"So how was it?" she asks.
Fashion Tales: Just Snub Me
THE THEME OF THE PARTY WAS "girly ambrosia: designer pants and pedicures." The purpose: to introduce Los Angeles to Rebecca Winn and Stacey Bendet, whose Just Pants by Alice + Olivia -- named after their mothers -- was created because the two UPenn grads, according to Fashion Wire Daily, were "tired of constantly having to tailor their clothes just so they would fit." I showed up, I admit, for the promise of mojitos on the rooftop of the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, discount prices on the Just Pants and a free pedicure, to boot.
Of course, after five years in Hollywood, I should know by now, unless you're Tiffani Thiessen, or that sexy brunette girl from That '70s Show or, at the very least, an assistant to such a person, nobody wants to sell you designer pants. And no one wants to touch your feet.
Minutes after the party started, the rooftop was crowded with tall, thin women, some of whom were already wearing Just Pants. I couldn't get near any of the remaining Just Pants for sale. They kept getting snatched out of my hands by women my friend described collectively as Body by Tae Bo.
The pants were $150 each. Some had Just Stripes. Some had Just Little Pineapples. There were handbags selling for $90.
In the pedicure room, I was No. 6 on the wait list -- not bad. Until I learned that there was actually a second list; and that nobody on the first list could get a pedicure unless the people on the second list didn't show up.
The second list held spots for Tiffani Thiessen and that sexy brunette girl from That '70s Show. Neither were anywhere to be seen.
Back at the designer sale, I told the rack girl that I liked the Just Pineapples. I asked, "Don't you have any short-girl, big-butt sizes?"
"It's called a tailor," the salesgirl said. "I'm sure you've heard of it."
Hmm, maybe she doesn't read Fashion Wire Daily.
I headed for the food -- they were serving brownies, pistachio cookies and rum, none of which was going to help anybody get into the Just Pants. Finally, I just left. I went home and gave myself a pedicure. I think the stuff was Revlon. It costs $2.99 at the drugstore. I'm sure you've heard of that.
WARCHALKING IN L.A.: Wibos in Weho
WARCHALKING IN L.A.: Wibos in Weho
AS ANYONE WHO HAS ROAMED THE streets of a major urban area with a wireless-enabled laptop can tell you, the ether is abuzz with data. This is no less true in Los Angeles than it is in San Francisco, where the tradition of "warwalking" for Internet access has been fostered by people who believe bandwidth should be free and are willing to configure their WiFis accordingly. ("WiFi" stands for "wireless fidelity," and is the nickname for wireless Ethernet networks based on the 1997 Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers' 802.11 standard.)
Warwalking, though, has never quite caught on in greater Los Angeles, in part because the Southland is short on the sort of digital Robin Hoods who beam their signals to the masses, and also because of the city's horizontal sprawl. In some areas, such as West Hollywood, a wireless connection hums every few blocks, but an open node, from which any old bystander with an 802.11b card can browse the Web, is harder to find. You could walk five miles in Los Angeles before coming across an open node, only to find your generous host has neglected to provide a comfortable bench where you can sit and read your e-mail.