Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Sunday, October 31, 2004 10:00 PM


On Monday afternoon I go to court to "discuss" the ticket where the CHP officer and I were yelling back and forth at each other. For one last chance, the judge asks if I want to go to traffic school or go to trial (because you cannot go to traffic school if you lose the case at trial). I proceed with the trial. After the officer presents his evidence against me, I cross examine the officer. The officer gets very nervous when I indicate that he has written the original citation to the wrong person with the wrong driver's license number. When the CHP to not tell the truth regarding the license plate number that is written on the citation (because he made another error in writing down my license plat number, my name, and my driver's license number) I rest my case. I know that the CHP officer is going to say what he needs to win. The judge rules me guilty. I thank the judge and the court for their time. As the officer is walking past me, I say, "Thank you officer". He's a bit taken aback, but he politely responds with, "You're welcome". With the CHP officer out the door, the judge stops me and says, "Mr. Manning, you look like you've put in a fair amount of time on your case with the trial by declaration, the evidence presented, and your professionalism. And you have a good driving record. Do you want to go to traffic school to keep the points off you license and not have them reported to your isnurance company?" And of course I accept the offer.

On Wednesday I walk into Burger King to grab some french fries and diet Coke for lunch. (I'm being lazy at eating healthy this week and had a salt craving.) A little ChiChi is taking orders at the drive through window and I can't help but stare at him as I give my order to the cashier. A bit later, as I'm filling up my diet Coke and waiting for the french fries, the ChiChi walks past the cashiers and catches me staring at him. He does a double-take as he tries to figure out why I'm staring at him. I turn and focus back on my diet Coke.

After I've sat down with fries, a diet Coke, and a common property newspaper, the song that comes on over the radio jolts me back 7 months. It's that song about, "Let the rain come down upon my life, Let it wash away my something, etc" This is the song that was playing when I caught Person N_V kissing another guy on the dance floor (when he knew that I was in the club). At first I have sadness in my heart. But then, as I've been trying to do lately, I "embrace my pain". I try to tell myself that the song is a reminder of what happens when one is not faithful to his/her partner. And I tell myself that all of the shenanigans that Person N_V pulled were good for me because it made me get rid of him eventually.

Person C_T comes over after work on Wednesday night and we watch "Roman Holiday" while eating popcorn and drinking diet Coke. I've never seen "Roman Holiday" and it entertains me and keeps my attention. Because both of us are tired, Person C_T leaves near 10 pm.

Friday is a productive day. There are good models built, good scripts written, and other positive things. I leave work a bit early and continue being productive by lifting weights, mowing the lawn, washing and waxing the kitchen floor, pulling up more carpeting from the living room, and doing the laundry. I'm heading for bed near 9:30 pm.

Saturday is a productive day as I get out for a walk and lift weights, pull up the remainder of the living room carpet (carpet, padding, tacks, and staples), fill two prescriptions, buy a birthday present (and the new Donnas CD for myself also), and get out for a bicycle ride at midday. By 3 pm I am tired and I get down for a one hour nap. At 7 pm Person C_T comes by with Person L_M and Person N_L for a birthday party/dinner at....Hooters. It is Person L_M's birthday and we take her to Hooters for dinner.

After dinner we head to a restaurant/club in West Hollywood where everyone is dressed for Halloween except us. The club plays hip hop music so loud that the waiters cannot even hear what we are ordering. We spend about an hour at the club having desert, opening Person L_M's presents, and taking photos. Afterwards we head to another club in West Hollywood. This club, which I went to once with Person N_V, is not my favorite but at least they are playing decent music tonight. We manage to find seats by pushing and shoving our way through the crowd. Or, in my case, being dragged by the hand through the crowd by Person C_T. I am surprised that I recogonize only a few people - none well enough that we really know each other. By 1:45 am on Sunday morning we are leaving the club to go back to Long Beach. I'm dropping off to sleep near 3am on Sunday (which becomes 2 am with the time change).

On Sunday morning I wake up and find in my house, besides myself, a gay man, a lesbian, and a straight woman. "Oh this is going to be interesting when the neighbors see this group leaving!" I get out for a 40 minute walk and buy the newspaper. I see the group out the door at about 8:30 am as I read the newspaper, watch the final motorcycle race of the season (from Valencia), work on framing out the attic door, and get out for another good midday bicycle ride. Though the weather is a bit cool even at midday, I've taken my shirt off for the rides on both Saturday and Sunday in order to soak up some Vitamin D from the sun.

After the Sunday ride the weekend starts winding down as I do some paperwork and continue framing out the attic door. Later Person C_T and Person L_M come buy with a tape to watch and we watch the tape as I pass out Halloween candy to more than 50 trick-or-treaters. At the end of the evening I rapidly push Person C_T and Person L_M out the door because I need sleep.