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Oakland Carnival Parade

June 25th, 2000

Arrive With A Hangover
So, I am sitting on the fucking curb waiting for the locksmith to arrive, when I realize I have given him the wrong address, West Grand Avenue instead of Grand Avenue, and the locksmith, undoubtedly lost over on the other side of Broadway, is wondering where in the fuck I am. And I further realize that I have exactly twenty-five cents left in my pocket after paying for breakfast in the diner in front of which my car is now parked with the keys locked inside and making another call to the locksmith costs thirty-five, so I go back into the diner and beg a dime from the waitress, whom I have fortunately tipped pretty well thirty minutes before when I left after eating breakfast in the first place and discovered my error with the keys.

Embarrassing. Locked out of my own car with twenty-five cents left in my pocket, having to cage a dime from the waitress so I can make another call to the locksmith, who is indeed looking for me on the other side of town, and explain that I am not only dumb enough to lock my keys in my car, but I'm too dumb to check the name of the street before I call for his services. I wonder if this is a trend, this sloppiness, this third or fourth step in a rapid decent down into the cellar of advancing age. Nah. I did the same thing when I was twenty. I think. It's difficult to remember.

Sunday. I packed the camera bag more carefully last night and took the first train into San Cute dog near Lake Merritt Francisco after a bagel and an orange juice sitting out front of the Jewish delicatessen near the Rockridge BART station. Real New York bagels, they said. Boiled. There weren't as many people on the train going over (two hours early) and there didn't seem as many people lining the streets, the Dykes on Bikes assembling on Market street instead of 2nd so I couldn't judge their numbers by how they filled the street. Maybe people remembered last year, how crowded it was, how many people they were expecting today and said the hell with it, watch it on television. For the last three years the crowd has been five deep pressed up against the portable guard rails lined up along the sidewalks, you can't get a decent place unless you arrive early. There must have been more people further up Market near the starting line. Maybe I missed half the parade because I was too far back. Mox nix. I like the Dykes. Women and motorcycles. But for one small fly in their ointment, a perfect mix.

Two and a half hours shooting eleven rolls of film, back sore and tired, stumble down the stairs into BART and, instead of getting off at the office in Oakland to finish up some work, I continue on to Rockridge and drive over to the Purple Onion Pizzeria for a slice, which is not as good as my imagination wanted it to be, and come back home. Take a nap.

Later. I mentioned I'm supposed to go to Asia next Wednesday, although there's still some chance Oakland Carnival Parade they'll cancel. I'll know tomorrow. I was looking forward to four days as far away from the office as I could get, but this is ridiculous. Suddenly I'm on an airplane for ten or twelve hours to give an hour's presentation and answer questions at a meeting of people I've been talking with on the phone now for the last three months. Useful, I suppose, but is it worth the expense? My own psychic expense? I don't even want to think about what a round trip ticket will cost tomorrow when I buy it. The reason I planned to go into work this afternoon was to prepare for the trip. Prepare the PowerPoint slides. I'll do it tomorrow. I'll do the laundry tomorrow night. I spent a year with the army in Korea thirty years ago and I may stop off for a day in Seoul on the way back, but what kind of visit is that? One day? A day in our Seoul office talking with our IT manager who's just gotten back from the Asia meeting himself.

I'll bring a camera, of course, but it wouldn't surprise me if there's no time for photographs. Which for a business trip is OK. I can't complain about that. The Dykes on Bikes photographs will have to wait until well after the 4th, though. Bitch, bitch, bitch. Relax. Board Wuss with the vet. (Poor Wuss.) Get on the aircraft. Take a nap. My cousin is a United stewardess. Maybe she's booked on this trip. Bring me some champagne from first class. Arrive with a hangover.

The banner photograph and the photograph of the two ladies were taken at the Oakland Carnival Parade, the cute little doggie at a cafe near Lake Merritt.