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She likes my journal !!

They have better beds on the A ward.

SF Chinese New Year Parade

February 5th, 2001

In Our Own Movies
Today was a good day to leave work early. Suddenly it all seemed to pile up, half of the current hot projects we're tasked with completing totally unnecessary given our current objectives, the other half critical and becoming more critical as their deadlines approach and nobody in our management chain seeming to care (I would say "know", but I'll say "care") about the difference. So I'm returning a call tomorrow I got from someone looking for a webmaster. We'll see what sort of webmaster. It's time, but I really don't like it.

Otherwise a long day and I'm going to get some sleep tonight. I finished James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia last night, a book by the author of LA Confidential. A reader asked why he wasn't on my 100 books list, and, since I liked the LA Confidential movie, I ordered The Black Dahlia, LA Confidential and The Big Nowhere to see what he was about. I got the same hit from The Black Dahlia that I got from the LA Confidential movie, both set in LA during the 50's, even sharing one or two of the same characters.

I've heard writers say they "became writers" when they finally found a scene or a character or a set of characters they really wanted to put down on paper and that led to a book. Ellroy has that same energy invested in his Dahlia characters and that energy carries the book all by itself, because I had no understanding of the emotional obsessions that drove these characters to find the Dahlia's killer, how it absorbed their lives, how it destroyed their relationships, how it drove them into dispair. Except. Maybe he's writing straight at the center of dream time, the land of archtypes, where logic operates, but at a very different level. Then again, maybe I'm just talking. You read a little Jung and you're an expert, but on what?

The 50's setting is fascinating, the LA police culture, even more so the description of Tijuana and Ensenada: wide open anything goes descents straight into hell. I'm not sure how I feel about the book, how I feel about LA Confidential that I started last night, but Ellroy's good, even though, or perhaps because, he's talking about an emotional landscape and logic that for me, at least, is out there somewhere around the mountains of the moon.

Tuesday evening now, having returned from dinner with a friend who manages the IT SF Chinese New Year Parade operations in our Seattle office, two hours to say hello and compare notes. I live here in corporate IT central and he lives out there in the real world where our company conducts actual business. We both decided whatever is happening, it's weird enough to make us both want to hang around at least long enough to see how things turns out. There is always the possibility that these people will pull it off, just as there's always the possibility that the drunk behind the wheel of the car with no brakes now hurtling down dead man's hill will dodge the cars and the traffic and the crowd of little children now skipping across the street in the crossing walk. Could be, it just depends on the movie we've chosen for our lives, comedy or tragedy, hero will win or hero will lose. And what part we may be playing, star or extra, good guy or bad, principal or supporting role. How many are extras in our own movies?

The photographs were taken at the San Francisco Chinese New Year parade on Saturday. The quote is by Shirley Temple Black.