Went to Global Green event last night. I’ve always been impressed by GG and the people behind it, and we’ve started talking about what I could do for them — I am not, as I made very clear, a person you want organizing things or answering phones, since I would seem to have a deep-seated phobia of both. Looks like I’ll be writing for them — engaging the powers of storytelling in a TBD kind of way — possibly starting with a trip I took with some GG folk to New Orleans regarding this project here.
Afterwards ended up at Villa with another couple from the event — John and Christina — to meet up with Ryan and Joanna, who were coming from a fund-raising dinner in Malibu. They brought along a guy who is, get this, a slavehunter. (Or as he puts it, a ‘vice sex agent’ — or maybe it was ‘sex vice agent’?, since this is the point where details start to fuzz — but why waste such an excellent chance to use the word ‘slavehunter’?) Aaron works with governments in places like Cambodia and Thailand to rescue young girls from sexual enslavement…and found himself at a velvet-rope club like Villa amid the likes of us through his association with social entrepreneur Ryan and Ryan’s company Causecast.
Aaron has written several books on his experiences.
He’s also very tall. For some reason I felt compelled to remark on this throughout the hours at Villa and Ryan & Joanna’s place afterward: “You are a tall man, and continue to remain so.” “You’re just as tall as when I first met you.” Etc. He reacted to this with the grace and good humor of a man long-resigned to such idiot attention (“Yes. I am unusually tall”). I liked him and his tall lovely girlfriend Jennifer quite a bit.
Another highlight of the night was spending time with Christina — a.k.a. ‘Bibiana’, which is the Italian-movie-star alterego I decided to give her, although she is neither an actress nor Italian, but why bother with these things called ‘facts’? — who is the wife of John, who is the man who trains me and takes my author photos. (After all, you do want a talent for photography included in your personal trainer, along with the ability to climb out on your roof with a knife attached to the end of a broomstick to hack away the palm fronds interfering with your satellite dish. Assembling baby cribs on a moment’s notice also a plus). When you’re the type who craves working out, like I do, yet still relies on another person to make you do so, as I do, you end up spending a lot of hours of one-on-one time amid the squats and chest presses and interval treadmill sprints. Which means you talk to each other. A lot. Over years. Upshot: John is now a friend of mine, and although Christina and I had never hung out before, we already knew everything about each other. John has been telling me about Christina ever since he fell in love and married her (small beach ceremony in Mexico, he loved her white dress) and telling Christina about me ever since, one would guess, he found me interesting enough to talk about.
I got a kick out of this. It was like instant friendship: just add water (and four or five years’ worth of conversations relayed secondhand). It was an interesting change from when I encounter people who know me through my blog, and in my attempt to make chitchat tell them things they already know but that I don’t know they know (Me: “I totaled my car, which I really loved but felt so guilty about driving because –” Other Person: “–it was a Maserati.” Me: “Uh. Right.”). They don’t warn you about this when you first start to blog: the negative impact it can have on your cocktail conversation. You need to think about these things.
I give you pictures: