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Whatever it is blooming.
August 29th, 1999

Not To Be Repeated
I took Mr. Wuss to the vet for another examination. She went over his back legs and pressed inch by inch to see if he could feel her probing. He was somewhat numb, but he responded. He had some control, but he didn't have total control of his bladder and I could see the wet spot at the corner of the cardboard cat carrier I'd brought him in so when she pressed he wet the table. I assume this is not good. She took a blood sample, gave him a steroid shot and told me to watch him to see if he got any better. She said she'd brought the spider bite up during the last visit as a possible cause, but she thinks it could be damage he received as a result of awakening in the middle of an imagined cat fight and falling on the floor flailing. Still doesn't make sense.

I call in tomorrow morning to get the blood results and if they prove negative, we go for xrays and sonograms and whatever else. Wuss seems better, he asks to be lifted up on my desk to be petted and nod out after a while with his chin on my arm as he always has. I can certainly do this, but with a newspaper under him for the urine, which he seems to prefer to the bare wood anyway. His tail is still between his legs. He's not happy. I'm not going to think about this until tomorrow.

Saturday was a day to putz around. I went to the Berkeley Blues Festival around Whatever it is before it bloomed. three in the afternoon and shot pictures for perhaps two hours. Walked down to the BART station with a camera and an extra lens in my backpack so as to not be too obvious walking through the mostly deserted streets, took it out on the train before exiting and shot just over a roll of black and white film. This is the blues, after all, and black and white should be right. I was angling through the crowd looking for interesting faces and half thinking I didn't seem to be into this or there were no interesting faces (what a fucking well behaved crowd!) and then finding and shooting a picture, still half thinking this wasn't going all that well (many older women with tattoos from another life and reality) and then shooting another picture, repeat, repeat. Bands were OK, covering blues standards, decent musicianship although nothing spectacular. It might have been better to just sit in one of the chairs and drink beer and forget about photographs.

Got back to the apartment about 6:30, saw that the new Johnny Depp movie was playing at the Grand Lake theater in twelve minutes and said what the hell, maybe I'll get lucky and find a parking place close to the theater. Found a parking place just across the street and reached my seat in time to hear the last two pieces played by a woman on an old pipe organ that sank into the floor in front of the screen when she was finished. I hadn't realized they still had an organ let alone played one at the Grand Lake and maybe I'll go early next time to see the full performance. I wonder if this is one of those things that old farts do? Go early to hear the organ. The Astronaut's Wife was OK, not one I'd recommend unless you're a Johnny Depp fan, which I am, but even then it was a forgettable part in not much of a movie. The actress, Charlize Theron was good, the cinematography was a little bent and interesting, none of it seemed to work to hold your interest, however. Still, got me out of the house to explore the neighborhood.

I got out after 9:00 and walked up the street to look around. A book store with a lot of photography books in the window and a number of Chinese-Vietnamese-Cambodian restaurants as well as a KFC and a bunch of coffee shops, all open until ten. Nothing like that in my old neighborhood. I walked back to the car and just before I reached it a passing car attempted to pull into the left turn lane opposite me and began honking when the car already in that lane evidently wouldn't give way. Some words. Then, since the light was red, the car attempting to cut over pulled over and stopped, the guy inside, all 300 pounds of him, got out shouting, opening the door of the offending car and began beating on the inhabitants.

Two thoughts: one, was anyone in the assaulted car armed? Stray bullets hurt (so keep the parked cars between me and the fracas) and two, maybe I should be more careful when somebody muscles into my lane like an asshole. Occasionally I take offense and don't let them in. I'm good about remembering where this stuff can lead (guns, knives, bullets), so I'm not nearly as aggressive as I was when I was younger, but it's good to remind yourself. The light turned green, the assaulted car took off, the big guy who had gotten out of his car shouting at the top of his lungs got back into his car and split so I pulled out into traffic. Haven't seen anything like that in a while. I wonder if pressure is building around here or was that just a one off event, something like your cat being zapped by a cosmic slingshot in the quiet of night, an event not to be repeated? I wonder.

I have what is about a 40 foot tree that covers most of the view of the apartment house next door off the back of my balcony. I assume this is a well known tree that many seeing the blossom will recognize and I notice a much smaller version of this tree planted down the street (with the same bud). I took a series of pictures over a period of five days of this particular bud. The flower itself lasted for perhaps a day and then turned brown. Weird.