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Off Highway 101 along the Oregon coast

December 21st, 2001

Here In Oakland
Ah, Mr. Wuss, Mr. Wuss, this is not good. This marks the third week since I've taken you to the small animal clinic at Davis, two weeks now on your new pills, and, although I've thought these last two weeks you might be getting better, this evening you have relapsed and your urine now is tinged with blood. The vet says they can take you in tomorrow early, too late now to get you in today, and, since you don't seem to be in pain, you're eating, you're bright and alert, I think that will have to do. Bleeding is not good, old friend, not good for cats or for people.

This is getting depressing, isn't it? That is not how I've been feeling as I've been looking forward to this long four day Christmas weekend, four days to putter around the apartment, go out, shoot pictures, see one or two movies that look interesting: the Cameron Crowe schizophrenic mathematician movie A Beautiful Mind, directed by Ron Howard and Wes Anderson's The Royal Tannenbaums, his follow on to Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, two movies I rented recently after reading a review.

I realized I'd seen Bottle Rocket before, a quirky weird off the wall effort with an unsettling but thoroughly interesting tone, and now a first look at Rushmore, another original step in a similar direction. I believe A Beautiful Mind is playing down the street within walking distance at the Grand, which means I might really go see it, but The Royal Tannenbaums will probably be playing at one of the Berkeley art houses and require actual effort. Maybe wait until it's out on video.

Well, what to say. I've had a shot of Glenmorangie, the one with the "Madeira wood finish"Near Lake Merritt , sipping it, you understand, rather than banging it back in some solitary uncouth exhibition of Christmas spirit, and I've got a load running downstairs in the wash that includes the pair of pants I wore into work today. Wuss, you understand. Poor Wuss. Poor pair of pants. A shot of Glenmorangie will ameliorate these things. A bottle of cheap American beer, cold, in the bottle, has a similar beneficial effect. This is not to disparage the Glenmorangie. I still have a warm feeling for those old French wines I got to know when I was in the wine business and a glass of, say, a good year Latour will still make me roll on the floor and wag my tired old tail like it still mattered. But one must not get things out of perspective. Many's the long cold winter afternoon been warmed by a bottle of Bud (and another bottle of Bud) and made women in the vicinity more interesting. It's just that it's Christmas and I've got this bottle or two of the Glenmorangie and it's time for some after dinner drinking.

Somewhat later, the laundry done and hung in the closet, the livingroom warm, the whiskey worn off a bit now, but soon to be corrected, Wuss settled down in his chair across from the heater. Wuss will go in tomorrow and tomorrow is soon enough to think about it. I'll finish shopping in the very early morning for food for the weekend. I'll have a good breakfast and read the paper. And life will continue, here in Oakland.

The banner photograph was taken off Highway 101, I believe in Oregon, but I may have crossed the California border, the second photograph was taken across the street from Lake Merritt in Oakland.