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Lake Merritt, Oakland

November 17th, 2001

Forward To The Trip
Wuss is in a cage at the vet. The newspaper at the bottom of his carrying case was soaking wet when I dropped him off.

I'm sitting here waiting for the people from Enterprise to pick me up to get the car. There's a parking lot down at the corner, two bucks for the weekend, I'll park it there until I leave tomorrow. An afternoon to pack, do some stir fry shopping, have lunch, call the old landlord about the rugs. Shit. Oh, well. Life has its little dramas. Perspective, my son, perspective. Your life is a dream, your troubles are none, and you, you turkey, have the balls to rattle on about it. Do you have any idea what someone with imagination and gumption would do with your life?

Back from stir fry shopping. You can find Chinese condiments and spices in local suburbanOakland City Center concert supermarkets, but the selection is small and the prices are ridiculous. Push your way down the isle of a Chinese market in Chinatown and you can find ten or twelve of everything, all of it for half what you'd pay in any suburban market where Chung King in the can is still state of the art, lots of people at the checkout registers to take your money. No bar code readers. A scale, a cash register and a berzillion people grabbing things off shelves, picking through vegetables and meats (some of which give you pause - how exactly do they cook those and, um, what exactly are those, anyway?), running on in languages other than left coast English. There are eighty or ninety languages spoken in the bay area, fifty of them were comparing prices today in my market.

I asked if the car I was renting had a CD player and was told none of the mid size cars had CD's, but they had a Chevy pickup truck with a CD and cruise control and an adjustable seat if I wanted to trade. No CD player in their mid size cars? Like buying a computer these days without a CD, I'm not sure you could get it to work. I rented the pickup truck, same price, comfortable - move the seat back and forth, check the leg room, plenty of coffee cup holders, radical looking radio with multiple buttons - and it's sitting right now in the parking lot at the bottom of the hill. The Internet says the sun is shining at the Highway 5 Siskiyou Summit pass, what do you bet it's snowing when I come back? I asked the rental people about chains. Did they have chains? A blank look. California, you understand. Ah, yes chains. No. No chains.

So the evening is here and it's time to pack. I'm looking forward to the trip.

Both photographs were taken at an Oakland City Center concert.