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SF Chinese New Year Parade
February 28th, 2000

I went to sleep listening to the rain beat down on the house last (Saturday) night thinking, well, maybe it will rain itself out and the morning will be clear and I can get outside. One of those idle thoughts that don't mean very much, just that it's been raining for the last week and I am a spoiled rotten California rat who needs his sunlight. Idle thoughts, Wuss curled up at the base of the bed, quiet, the wind blowing outside over the balcony. That's the last I remember, that and the rain, last night.

Sunday morning I drove over to Telegraph (in the rain) to have breakfast at the cafe I frequented when I lived in Rockridge. ("Haven't seen you in a while," he said. "I've moved", I said. "Oh," he said.) It was clear, just before ten, with the sun breaking through the clouds as I finished, so I walked up Telegraph toward University, looking for the store where I'd last bought an umbrella, thinking this was the time to finally get off my ass and get another one. Lest I get wet.

I passed two men in their mid thirties coming out of a store as I was walking along the SF Chinese New Year Parade sidewalk, one saying to the other "I can't believe I just spent $10 for an umbrella!" I looked at the umbrella. Good size, black, with a solid wood handle much like the last two umbrellas I've managed to lose (read spaced out and left on a bus - the first - and spaced out left against a street lamp - the second). Do you pay attention to omens when they're sent to you on the sidewalk, in this case by a young man in his mid 30's, talking with his companion as they passed? Sometimes. Not so much when I was younger. And stupid. And wasn't paying attention. But hey, not today. Nice umbrella, $9.99 plus tax. I would never have otherwise noticed the shop. On the way home I filled the car with gas and finally got around to putting more air in the tires. Three things that I have been putting off now forever have been accomplished in the space of a morning. (I bought a battery for the garage door clicker.) I'm on a roll and it's only noon! On a rainy weekend.

Monday. I wrote this on Sunday. Simple stuff, but simple stuff needing a rewrite before it makes sense if it's ever going to make sense. And for whatever reason I ran out of gas and dropped it. Happens. I did buy two candles cast in the shape of numbers along with that battery for the car door clicker yesterday morning thinking I could shoot them for Rien's collection. Fat chance. It will take me another month just to find matches.

The photographs were taken at the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco last Saturday.