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A happy birthday doo-wop to you too.
August 31st, 1999

I dropped Mr. Wuss at the vet this morning for xrays and an urinalysis. An occasional meow emerged from the carrier as we drove, but I had the impression he was remembering his last two visits and the fact he'd survived in one piece so he was just going to put his head down and tough it out. Good Wuss. No need to slap you around.

I picked him up later on the way home from work. He seemed distracted. I talked with the vet Another walk back from lunch. as I dropped the two bottles of wonder cat pills into my pocket, a different woman this time than the one who'd looked him over on the first two visits. She showed me the xrays. No apparent damage to the spine, she explained, no apparent anything that looked disturbing. I explained about the yowl and the tumble off the bed when I realized she hadn't been aware of how all this started, evidently the first vet didn't leave notes or instructions. Not a confidence builder. Still, at the moment he's not leaking and although he hasn't eaten the cat food with the ground up wonder pills yet, he'll get hungrier by tomorrow. He's lying with his head on my left wrist as I write. Good Wuss. Please don't leak on the keyboard. Or I'll slap you around.

Magnolias. Magnolia blossoms. Great big punch bowl size things that bloom and then wither in the course of a day. Thanks to those who let me know. I envision magnolias growing in haunted southern bayous surrounded by ancient houses, their crumbling porches populated by women of beauty who sip straight Vodka from ornate glasses and call it something else, their men back in the shadows, watching. But in Oakland? Magnolias in Oakland? Yeah, of course. Just my lack of common ordinary knowledge. Nothing to worry about.

There's a tale of woe here, but the bottom line is the DSL connection will not be made until September 10th. I cobbled together a laptop at the office and downloaded my email this morning and I will use it over the weekend to upload my journal. Three days to shoot pictures at the Oakland Blues Festival, finish unpacking and clean up. I need three days. I need three weeks. I need three years. I don't understand how people with wives and husbands and kids survive. How do they cope? I'm buried by a job, a move and a journal. Nothing to what real people are faced with before breakfast every day with school, vacations, inlaws, people for dinner, drinks on the patio, wash the car, feed the cat(s), dog(s), iguana(s) and fish. Go to work. Drive through traffic. Cop a feel with a coworker in the conference room. Get divorced. Get married. Refinance the house.

The banner photograph is of a group that performed out in front of Oakland City Hall today during the noon hour. As I understand it, the lady is the person who arranges of these concerts and they are serenading her with a happy birthday medley. Seemed like a nice lady and not a bad idea if you want a return invitation. The second photograph is one of our group as we emerged after lunch at a Cambodian restaurant.