Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, February 9, 2004 8:00 AM

The First Week Without Nopester

On Monday I leave work early to go see the dentist. I like this dentist who I've been re-united with after a 12 year absence. (It was due to insurance reasons.) Afterwards I lift weights and head off to a ResourceScout meeting.

On Tuesday I am very productive at Northrop Grumman. But during short down times I keep thinking of Nopester: Did I do the right thing putting him to sleep? Is he running around now on good hips? What else could I have done throughout his life to make it better? I get home and do the usual pattern: put the motorcycle away in the garage, lift weights, and go for a walk. Nopey is not peering through the gate when I arrive home. Nopey is not wandering around the yard as I lift. And Nopey is not there to get excited when I put on my walking shoes and head out the door. But the walk that I take is good and helps me work through my feelings.

Though I've strayed from the extremely low fat portion of my self-imposed active rehabilitation program (extremely low fat diet, lots of fruit and vegetables, moderate exercise, and anti-inflammatory) I'm able to run a bit on Wednesday and Thursday mornings before work. The early morning walks turn into combined run/walks as I am feeling able to run a short stretch without feeling like my right leg is going to collapse at any minute.

Thursday is a productive day at Northrop Grumman as a hole in the firewall at work is found that allows me to receive streaming techno and trance music. The high energy music keeps my work tempo high. And some coworkers come into my office and wonder if I'm having my own private rave or circuit party. "No, this is an open party!"

Friday I leave work early and do the laundry and lift weights. But I miss Person N_V because he has left to go visit his family.

On Saturday I get out for a good almost 30 mile bicycle ride without the neighbor. He has probably forgotten about the 8 am start time. It's a good ride and it prepares me for the rest of the day.

I've accepted an invitiation to accompany Person T* to a wedding. After I've accepted, she tells me who it is for. I have a problem. The wedding is for a software ChiChi that used to work at TRW and who I "had the hots for". But the ChiChi left the company because the older people weren't "change-minded" enough. It will be an interesting event!

We drive to the Beverly Hills Presbyterian church and we arrive half way through the church ceremony - traffic on the westside of Los Angeles being the usual nightmare. I scan the church and see one other person that I know. The church service is nice even if I don't understand what's going on because it's in Korean. After the service we get pictures taken with the bride and groom and then walk over to the reception. Person T* makes the comment that I'm the only white guy at the wedding. But I correct her, "I'm the only white person at all here". The food is good, the conversation is good, and the bride and groom come over to our table to chat. The groom keeps giving me a big smile - probably because I'm giving both his bride and him a huge smile as I say, "I'm so happy for the both of you." Later, as Person T* and I are getting ready to leave and the bride and groom are leaving to change from formal wear to traditional Korean clothes for the "family only" portion of the reception, the ChiChi...oops...the groom walks by me with a big smile and says, "I'm going to go take my clothes my clothes." And I just keep smiling and he makes his exit.

As Person T* gets in her car to drive home from my house, she says, "You should come over and visit Ben and me. We can watch DVDs or play with the robots. Bring your girlfriend too."

An immediate, "I don't have a girlfriend" comes out of my mouth.

Later Joe comes over and we head for a club in West Hollywood. Towards the end of the night the music is very good - as good as it gets. There are offers attempted that are headed off with, "I have a boyfriend". Late in the evening I've struck up a conversation with two guys. I've already used the "I have a boyfriend" sentence in the conversation, but this does not deter the two. They suggest that I come over and have some fun with both of them. I excuse myself as the hour is getting late.

Sunday is a lazy day. I get out for a morning walk to get the nespaper, read the newspaper, get out for a sunny midday bicycle ride, and relax the rest of the day.