Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Tuesday, April 17, 2000 7:30 AM

Guess What

Seeing that it is Wednesday, and the Barons ice hockey team does not have a regular season game tonight, I am bored. There were repeated pleas to the EOS GSFC customer and other EOS personnel to attend the Wednesday night 11pm drag show, but they have all wimped out. I go anyway. I arrive at the Frat House at about 10 pm. The place is empty, but starts filling up quickly near 11 pm. The drag show, scheduled to start at 11pm, starts promptly at 11:30pm. By 12:30am on Thursday the announcer is saying that we are taking a halftime break from the drag show to play a trivia game. I cannot answer the first two trivia questions (because they involve words that I usually do not use in public) so I go home. I am asleep by 1am. And I recall that Sabrina, the HVAC who has been absent from Friday night at the Frat House for more than a month, participated in the drag show but looked terrible. Like maybe she was sick and not really in Vietnam.

I dream about the Lizard People. After seeing the headlines in the Long Beach Press Telegram regarding the existence of Lizard People (possibly sent to you under separate cover), I dream about the Lizard People kidnapping the Boss. And forcing him to listen to unspoken and intolerable music. There is no thought/dreams of the Mushroom People kidnapping the wife of the Boss, but a giant 50 foot mutant squirrel comes and eats Space Park. I eventually wake up near 7am on Thursday and go to work. Space Park is still there. The Boss is still there. I wish those Lizard People were a bit more aggressive.

The EOS customer, probably still embarrased that he has missed the Wednesday night drag show, stays over in I&T land and avoids us all day Thursday. Later remarking - "Oh, I wanted to stay on east coast time and didn't want to stay up late".

I drink heavily on Thursday. I am celebrating 5 days on the wagon. I watch the Kings lose to the Red Wings. I call my former college-roommate in Detroit and rag on him and the Red Wings. He invites me to the city and I tentatively accept - provided that he finds a list of clubs that offer drag shows. He agrees to go out and research the issue. I savor the fact that I have playoff tickets for Monday (game 3) and Sunday (game 6, if necessary). Sunday with a ChiChi. I continue to nurse the wrist (ice pack), left bicep (alternating ice pack and Ben Gay rub as the chiropractor suggests), and right calf (ice pack). The calf looks like an artist's palete - all sorts of weird purples and blues. The house looks like an emergency ward.

On Friday, after a voice mail from the EOS customer saying that he is going home and will miss the Long Beach Grand Prix, I have a quiet and boring day at TRW. I go visit a chiropractor (to work on the the left bicep) and go home and run. And eventually go to the Frat House for a Friday night of music (muffled by ear plugs) and fun. Bob, Hai, Sabrina (the HVAC), and another acquaintance, who I don't know the name of, wonder where my boyfriend is. After answering this question so many times, I finally just answer with "Oh, you didn't hear? ChiChi took a cruise and the ship was sunk by an accidental military maneuever. ChiChi's lost at sea." And the questioning party doesn't know how to respond. (Sabrina looks her usual self on Friday, by the way. Perhaps the lighting and the makeup being unflattering last Wednesday. She confirms that she has been in Vietnam for the past few months and had a great time.) I get invited to Brigette Thuy Tien's Tea Party by a number of people (including Sabrina). The invitation highlights "Co'am thuc nhe", "Tro choi", and "Van nghe" with a lot of accents that I don't know how to reproduce in email. I enthusiastically accept each and every invitation and respond that I will try to make it. Eventually, I notice that a sort of hush has befallen the Frat House and notice that a number of people are whispering and staring at me. Later a couple of people, who I don't know, come up to me and give words of condolence, such as "I'm sorry about your boyfriend" or "It's too bad that cruise ship got in the way of the rockets". I respond with a sad look on my face and remain choked up so that I don't have to say anything. I get home near 2am.

Jay, my friend from Canada, has called twice since I was away at the Frat House and has left two messages. The last being left with him obviously drunk. I look for his telephone number. I boot up two desktop home computers, a notebook computer, (I cannot boot up the notebook that I won from Egghead on auction because it has not arrived yet - but if I had it I would) two electronic organizers, two cellular telephones, a beeper, a home phone, and three email boxes. (Hoping that each device has Jay's telephone number stored in it's memory.) After not finding his phone number on the two desktops, one notebook, two electronic organizers, two cell phones, a beeper, a home telephone, and three filed email boxes, I replay his messages and find that he has left me his number on the voice mail. I do not call him now because it is later.

Saturday finds an exciting day of qualifying for the pole down at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Myself and two other unnamed TRW employees enjoy the exciting final qualifying session as the pole gets traded back and forth a number of times. Prior to qualifying, I bet one of the TRW employees $200 that Luis Garcia, the driver sponsored by Tang, will get the pole. The TRW employee wisely does not accept. Luis Garcia, the driver sponsored by Tang, elegantly captures the very last qualifying spot. (The negative pole?)

I go home and drink. Heavily. Well, moderately. Just because I am bored. And the Tang car did not get the pole. And the Los Angeles Kings have lost. And I am bored. And I will start on the wagon, for sure, tomorrow. By 7pm I am staggering around the house. I go for a good bicycle ride on Sunday morning up the Los Angeles River trail through North Long Beach, Compton, and Huntington Park (or whatever other cities are straddling the LA River trail). The ride is a good one except for a flat tire that I have to replace before continuing. Danielle comes over on Sunday to work on homework. The professor in Danielle's class has suggested the use of Matlab for the neural science project. We work on the project - which is quite interesting, by the way - and eventually get the right results. I learn about lateral inhibition of neuronal stimulation, the radius of inhibition, and neuron firing rates. I make the excuse that I have to fix the bicycle tire/tube in order to get Danielle to leave.

Late on Sunday I realize that I must get help and I find an AA meeting. After attending the meeting, I put the "One Day Sober" chip that they pass out to first time AA-ers in a drawer. Later in the day I look in the drawer and decide to clean it out. I separate the pile into AA, CA, and NA chips and find that I have been sober for a total of 400 days! I have 6 one day sober AA chips, 2 one day sober CA ships, 2 one day sober NA chips, 2 thirty day sober AA chips, 2 thirty day sober CA chips, 3 thirty day sober NA chips, and one - that I am especially proud of - six month sober CA chip. If I recall correctly, the chips span the period from 1986 to present.

Later I get frustrated and throw all of the chips in the trash.