Wednesday, October 8, 2003

The Elephant in the Living Room

Today is the fifth anniversary of my starting my job. On this day, five years ago, I started out by writing thank-you letters for my new boss to the other people who interviewed for the job, and was aghast to discover that I was the only person with any kind of credentials at all to apply for it; last year, I was planning to resign... and here I am still. I guess there's a lot to be said for chickening out (or being talked out of something) at the last minute. If I was wandering loose in the job market when the economy went down the toilet, things might be very different today... I might not have a new car and a jacked-up credit card to complain about, but abject poverty and uselessness instead.

At any rate, we had a staff lunch today, at Ristorante Milano, and a good time was had by all. No raises or bonuses were distributed, however... a pizza Bolognese and continuing employment will have to suffice.

Earlier this week, I celebrated another anniversary... twenty years ago last week (we can't remember the date, only that it was the first week of October), Caroline and I met in the Student Common of Oakland High School, and a week later we started sharing a locker. Though our relationship has not been constant at its current level since then, we were best friends at the time and are best friends now, twenty years later. She is a constant source of joy to me.

This evening I will be attending the cinema with my friend and coworker JB, where we will be viewing another double feature from the Film Noir Festival at the Grand Lake. Last week we saw On Dangerous Ground and In a Lonely Place, neither of which struck me as particularly good films; the first was a pot-boiler, rather muddled and meandering, starring Ida Lupino, and the second was a little more believable but still a trifle muddy in its plotting and pacing, and starred Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. Tonight we will be viewing The Big Heat (again with the lovely Miss Grahame, along with handsome Glenn Ford) and The Sniper (with super-suave Adolphe Menjou).

Though this week's selection is more "classic" than last week's more obscure offerings, I don't hold out a great deal of hope for these films. Noir isn't my big thing, I much prefer the big-budget things with fashions and musical numbers and comedy and whatever. But JB loves it, and has all sorts of interesting backgound information to share, and it is all certainly entertaining. I'd rather have a William Wyler Festival, but I'll settle for being educated on an unfamiliar genre.

I had another freaky dream this morning, I don't know if it's a change in the weather or some kind of allergy or what. I don't really remember much but the last few minutes of it: I shot a man six times in the chest, and then made love to him as he lay dying, in a large Chinese-red room full of fresh popcorn. Afterward I went to take a shower and encountered Lawrence Fishburne in the bathroom, and then I woke up. The erotic sensation of kissing a dying man on the nipples and mouth still lingers in my mind, hours later.

And I'd rather think about that, and anything else for that matter, than reflect on the foolishness of my fellow Californians, or at least that 47% of those fellow Californians who voted yesterday. I still can't quite believe it happened, and that we're going to have to live with it.

But fiddle-dee-dee, I'll think about that tomorrow. Or next year. Today I am taking a page out of my Grandmother's book and refusing to believe something that I know perfectly well is true but would prefer not be true. I think I look pretty good in ostrich feathers.

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