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Under Construction
San Francisco Gay Pride Parade

July 11th, 2004

Make Arrangements
Sunday - my my - how fast the days do fly. Ten more days remaining.

You're counting down your vacation days?

That does sound weird now, doesn't it? A first today, though. I went into the office early this morning to wind up the week and get ready to go on vacation. Feeling good around two in the afternoon, I hopped on BART and took the train south to Hayward to check out the blues festival running this weekend. I've never been to Hayward, or at least I've never been to their BART station. Nice, the festival maybe a hundred yards from the station platform. I walked up to the ticket booth with a sign that said $20 for adults and $10 for seniors. The woman behind the counter didn't even blink as she handed me $10 change for my $20. I believe this is the first time I've been given a "senior discount". I wondered if I was upset deep down, a blow to the ego and all, but I also understood I liked getting the $10.

That is weird. All these years and it's come to this.

Indeed, we seem to have reached a precipice. I finished watching A Beautiful Mind earlier on DVD. The schizophrenia thing in the movie was handled well and as I was watching it I was thinking, well, schizophrenia. What hallucinatory permutations of mind and body come with this "senior citizen" business? Not, one hopes, the conjuring of fantasy companions like the ones in the movie. A writer's trick to convey the emotional dread of the issue without alienating the audience? A way to watch a guy go running around clucking like a chicken without giving the audience an urge to hold their capes up against, what? Vampires? Or is it vampires who hold up their capes in a last attempt to avoid the morning sun? Well, you understand the concept.

This all came together this evening - yes, we are going somewhere with this - because I went through my email this evening and realized the family party isn't this coming weekend, but the following weekend, and I've booked my vacation one week too early. We have to map out our vacation plans months in advance since only so many can be out of the office at the same time (lest the Russians come when our defenses are down, as Mr. Nash in the movie might opine). How exactly did I do that? Miss it by a week? Some less than subtle avoidance mechanism working here?

I've been experiencing similar lapses with the doctor's appointments - avoiding the paperwork, putting off if not flat forgetting - but I've been writing that off to the strain of one or two too many medical procedures. Well, we'll see. I'll still make the trip, but I'm wondering if this behavior is going to accelerate in the (near) future. You expect, reaching a certain age, that your thoughts will begin to drift after breakfast, but you hope it doesn't happen in your sixties, that you continue to tie your shoes and drive your car (and make vacation arrangements) unaided.

The banner photograph was taken at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at ISO 200.