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San Francisco Journalcon photos
Oakland Carnaval Carnival

December 18th, 2002

On The Child
Six-thirty in the morning, a pretty good night's sleep. Sitting here thinking I should go by Safeway and pick up a couple of things, buy some milk and cereal for breakfast. Lunch today with my compatriots at the company, a group "Christmas lunch" at a local Chinese restaurant. Things are tight this year, so the company isn't picking up the tab, but no big deal. Nice to see everyone again for the first time in four weeks. They've all been working like dogs, since they've reorganized two people out of our section, and next year may be more grim than this last, but again, what the hell? We're employed, we're alive and we don't really give a shit. There's a feeling of power in not giving a shit, even if it only lasts for a "take this job and shove it" minute. Early morning fantasies. Too much time on my hands.

Eight in the morning, shopping done, breakfast eaten, tired and dizzy, ears ringing, but focused on the day (sorta). My horoscope suggests I focus on doing what's necessary to attain a dream. What dream? The problem isn't so much attaining a dream as having a dream in the first place. Don Juan told Carlos to "invent" his dream and work to attain it. Once attained it will point the way to another step. A way out of the no dream conundrum.

The advice is good advice or, at least, I've always believed it. Haven't so much done it as believed it. "Invent" a dream, or, to make it more, um, sensible, invent a project or set a goal, something to work for and accomplish. Doesn't have to be earth shaking. Building this firewall for my home computer is good enough, a project to learn more about Linux and firewall design. Techie stuff of use in making a living, maybe, but useful just in setting a goal and going forward. If it's a waste of time, at least you know it's a waste of time. No need to do it again. And if it isn't, if it leads to something beyond, something more interesting, well, success. Lots of small dreams like these lying around. Small steps, call them "projects" or "tasks", names with less drama than "dream", easier to talk about without being branded an idiot.

So what happened to the portrait lights?

Computer firewall, portrait lights? Have I mentioned I like the new Honda Element? Room for me and my lights, a cot, maybe, and a sleeping bag? No? Well, best not.

Two-thirty in the afternoon. I've just returned from lunch. Sat at a table crowed with good looking women and ate like a pig. I think I stir their maternal instincts: Keep an eye on the child.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Carnaval parade.