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Down the hill from my place.

September 26th, 2001

First Fifteen Minutes
Tuesday. What do you do with a Tuesday? Friday is still too far in the distance and Monday has chipped away any defensive armor you may have formed over the weekend. Dirty down in the trenches Tuesday, deadlines looming, crazy rumors bouncing around the office (two ships with biological weapons stopped by the Coast Guard last Tuesday outside of Los Angeles and San Francisco), one or another project suddenly due Thursday afternoon instead of next Monday morning and I didn't get much sleep last night and I'm tired (did I tell you I'm tired?) and the International Conspiracy to Obfuscate the Reasons for Living is down there on the sidewalk right now, beating on drums.

I did get a shipment of books from Amazon. One must be accurate. No day is a total waste. A great big Cartier-Bresson photography collection, the new Joan Didion, two Hunter Thompsons and the second and last book written by Oscar Zeta Acosta, The Revolt of the Cockroach People, published after his disappearance in 1971. This is good. These are good. A weird little book by Thompson called Screwjack, 59 pages packaged in a small 7" x 5" hardback for a modest $16. The swine.

Wednesday evening, later than usual. Spent a couple of hours at PCB with friends, Guinness and more Guinness.Berkeley Solano Stroll. I spent the afternoon with MRK going over an Access database that I've been wrestling with forever. Work on it for an afternoon, put it up on the shelf. Work with it for another afternoon, put it up on the shelf. This thing must be done tomorrow afternoon and my plan was to work on it this evening, knowing full well that only fools finish projects in the evening. There are only so many evenings in a lifetime. I've already traded out most of my afternoons to an office building with windows that won't open, what else can they want? They want everything. Remember that. Hold on to the nights, hold on to the weekends, hold on to as many days of vacation you can manage. Then cheat. A little. Around the edges. After a Guinness. Or two.

I discover the small book by Hunter Thompson I mentioned yesterday (above) is about a drug trip. Mescaline. The written description, at least, describes something more potent than the one or two Mescaline trips I took in the early seventies, but then who knows how my own description might read if I were ever to sit down and write it? Poetic license. Lots of stuff out there back then they called Mescaline that wasn't. The stuff I sampled came out of Texas, carried to San Francisco by the people who made it, people I knew then on a social basis. Great big horse capsules filled with long thin brown crystals that made the world seem different.

Thompson talks about his typewriter, typing, the machine iridescent, changing colors, his body changing shape, his mind skittering along the edge of whatever. This, his first Mescaline trip, barricaded in a hotel room overlooking the Sunset Strip in L.A. in 1969. Fine for '69. Nice to remember. Nice to read Thompson's book. Short, you know. Fifty nine pages.

I'm going to look at this Access database now. I think the first episode of the new Enterprise is airing later. (Check the TV schedule.) Oops, missed the first fifteen minutes.

The banner photograph was taken down at the bottom of my hill outside a (non 7 - 11) convenience store. The guys hang out early Sunday mornings and I've passed them (camera over my shoulder) every Sunday now for two years. The second photograph was taken at the Berkeley Solano Stroll.