Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, February 16, 2004 8:00 AM

A Long Weekend

On Wednesday night, after a good session with the weights, I head over to a political fundraiser for a lady who is running for the city council in Long Beach. I give her information on Charleston, South Carolina's "Livability Court" and we have a brief discussion about how it would improve neighborhoods and small retail as well as a discussion on websites and automated emailing. I am being dragged in/volunteering for active duty. The people that I meet are nice and I want to be involved with this lady's campaign - it is an uphill struggle to unseat the incumbent.

During the fundraiser a good-looking lady walks in that I know from somewhere, but I just can't place where. Eventually we are introduced and we both admit that we know each other but can't place where. And we start playing "six degrees-of-separation" as we try to figure out where we know each other from. When she says something to me that makes things click, I ask her if she knows Frank and Jeanine (Mom and Dad who I babysat for). She stops the conversation and points at me and says, "You're Uncle Ray!" It turns out that she is the ex-neighbor of Mom and Dad. (And to add to the coincidence, it turns out that her new neighbor is the stepson of a Northrop Grumman coworker of mine.)

I take Friday the 13th off and run errands. I get out for a bicycle ride, mow the lawn, wash the car, do the laundry, do some shopping, finish up my taxes (I hope), and a few other little things before heading down for a nap at 3pm. I awake near 5pm just before Person N_V comes over. Person N_V is going out with a friend for her birthday, so I call Person J_VKPI and we're set to go out on a Friday night.

We head to the "herd, clone club" and run into Joe and his friend, Person K_V who Joe is trying to set me up with. Though I don't know the bartender, I introduce Person J_VKPI to the bartender (because he asked me to). Later we head to another club. We run into many, many acquaintances including Person F_F, Person Ralph (Person Roy's roommate), friend of a friend, and others. Person Rene is down visiting from Berkely and Person J_VKPI and I visit with him for quite a while. Towards the end of the evening I can see two guys eyeing me down - continuously. I pretend not to notice and don't even think about making eye contact. Later in the evening as Person J_VKPI and I are heading for the door, the two guys are near the door - pointing at me and smiling as I walk out. I finally take notice of them - I give them both a huge smile and I wave to them. They don't know what to do and I'm gone before they can make up their minds. I'm laying down for sleep near 3 am on Saturday morning.

On Saturday I go for a morning walk, replenish the energy supply, and get out for a great bicycle ride along the Los Angeles river. When I get home Person N_V is back and we make plans for today's lunch. Except that a surprise visit by Person T* and her son to drop off a Valentine's Day present confuse many things! Many things! Person N_V excuses himself eventually to visit his family in Sand Diego. And Person T* cannot say anything now because her son is around. But her son and I play with a robot of mine before they have to leave.

When Person T* and her son leave, I straighten up the living room a bit and notice a piece of paper that is on the floor. I assumed that it was an instruction booklet for one of the remotes (that has been on the living room table for a while). But it is not. It is a shock. It is a piece of evidence that suggests something bad about Person N_V. I pick the paper up, read it, study it, and put it down at least 10 times as I try to find some information that suggests that my assumption is wrong. But I do not find that information.

I want to take a nap today, but I don't. I cannot. There are too many questions revolving in my head. Instead I wax the car and then lift weights. It is a great session with the weights - every muscle that I worked has a great pump. I replenish energy sources again and consider what the evening has in store.

I arrive at a club in West Hollywood just after 10:30 pm. Tonight the music is very good - only a few herd, clone songs played. It seems like everyone that I am acquainted with is here tonight - Person F_F, Person Ray, Person Rene, Person W (who I haven't seen for a long time), and Person N_C. Person N_C looks good with highlights in his hair. We talk about his work and my work, his life, and things. At the end of the evening, Person N_C, as he gets ready to leave with the friends that he came with, makes me an offer to start things up again. But I explain to him the situation that I am in but we agree to go rollerlbading when my back is better. Later in the evening I run into the two guys from last week (who made me the offer to come over and have fun with them). They have two more friends with them, who I am introduced to, and I start to wonder if I'll get an invitation to go back and have fun with all four. Fortunately THAT offer isn't made.

Well, it's late, I was up until 3 am the previous night, and there are other offers coming towards me, so I leave the club near 1:30 am. On the drive home there are quite a few CHP cars out. I actually come up on one above 90 mph but see the CHP car in time to calmly slow down and stay behind it until it exits the freeway. On this eventfull drive home there is a car just next to me that has misjudged his/her speed into a freeway transition road and has all four wheels locked up and is headed a bit sideways in order to avoid hitting the car in front (by just inches). I am laying down for well-deserved sleep just before 2:30 am on Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning I'm up before 7 am to walk and to buy the newspaper. After reading some of the newspaper I get out for a sunny bicycle ride. It is a good ride. Except that I keep thinking about the piece of paper and the ramifications.

Later in the day Joe calls again. Joe knows that I am having a difficult time emotionally because I found a piece of evidence about Person N_V that I'm having trouble dealing with and because Person N_V is visiting his family in San Diego (and we cannot have a real discussion about the issues). So I meet Joe at a coffeehouse in Long Beach for Joe to study and for me to read the newspaper. We talk about the issues as well as getting stduying and reading done.

I'm back home near 8 pm on Sunday night - waiting for Person N_V to return. But then I realize that Person N_V doesn't work on Monday because it's a holiday and that he may stay in San Diego for another day. I go to bed near 9:30 pm and try to read before dozing off to sleep.