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Mr. Sushi retirement party in Oakland

December 21st, 2005

Life Is Good
Monday. MRE came by the lab today around three and mentioned he'd taken his class instructor to lunch earlier and a number of beverages later the instructor had decided to cancel the class for the rest of the afternoon and retire to his hotel. My assumption is the instructor has become tired of his job and wants other employment, but since he doesn't have the energy or the job prospects necessary to just up and jump, his subconscious is sending him less than subtle behavioral messages: “Quit!, Get fired!”. That or the pressure of teaching and travel over Christmas leads to traditional off the wall holiday behaviour.

This is a two day class for fairly expensive people, some of whom have flown here to attend from the east coast, all of it covered, of course, by the company. It is not considered good practice to blow off your afternoon training after too many beers with your students. Too visible. Too, um, obvious. Either that or MRE has hidden powers of persuasion. I'm thinking both. Knowing MRE.

Anyway he arrived at my lab at three this afternoon and we decided the only way to finish the day was at Barclay's with MRS, a short drive north to Rockridge, which we did. Now, this evening, three Guinness to the wind, I am home with Ms. Emmy relaxing in front of my computer. Another day in the life during the holidays here in Oakland.

Wednesday. A strange month, this month. For a December it is flowing by in fine fettle. My sister and her family decided to fly to Scottsdale for the next ten days to take the sun (the December sun does shine in Arizona, doesn't it?) and settle into sanity.

Do you really mean that? Settle into sanity?

Probably not. There's always a question of survival in the back of my own head as I stumble through December and I'm sure I project that onto others, but otherwise it's, you know, California. It gets cold, cold in the sense Californians think of cold, but generally cold's up and done with by the end of January. When I lived on Potrero Hill in the old Rip Off Ranch days we had one small gas heater in the living room. You could run it twenty four seven and for a week or so in January it wouldn't keep more than about half the living room habitable. The rest of the flat, all three bedrooms, kitchen and pantry, were really cold. Ten days, maybe two weeks in January of really cold and that was about it. The rest of the year was all rock and roll and Pina Coladas. With sanity there are various gradations. I'm on the talk about it don't do much about it end of the spectrum: no complaints, no sorrows.

I learned (you can see how much attention I pay to my surroundings) on the elevator Monday that we get Friday as well as Monday off for the Christmas holidays. A four day instead of a three day weekend. Which means tomorrow is really Friday and life is good, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at Mr. Sushi's party with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 17-55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens and an SB-800 flash at 1/60th second, f 5.6, ISO 100.