Funny the World...

Wednesday with I.W.

March 30, 2000

I don't mind traffic, mostly. But I sure feel sorry for people who have to commute to the Bay Area every day. I drove to Berkeley yesterday to meet and have lunch with a friend of a friend (another blind date with another male stranger). The trip down wasn't so bad, and I left Berkeley early enough that I was ahead of most of the traffic, but still I looked at the build up of cars and wondered how people can do it day in and day out year after year after year. Despite the fact that it took me 20 years to consider Davis "home," I have sure come to the point where I'm happy to just stay here and leave the driving to someone else!

The day started at the homeless shelter. Today is really my day to work, but they are fighting a tight deadline for getting new forms filled out for all the old files (Ned will be so pleased to hear that someone actually said to me that it was "all about paperwork."), so I agreed to put in a couple of hours yesterday as well. Worked my way through a couple of letters in the alphabet, transferring information to the new forms. With luck, the project should be finished on time.

I didn't work a full day, but left at 10:30, came home to check e-mail (well....sure...what else?) and then got back in the car to head to Berkeley. The gods were kind. I normally listen to That Schalchlin Guy in the car, but for some reason the radio was on to a new station and as I started the motor I heard "traffic is closed at Pedrick Road." Gleep--that's exactly where I was headed! Turns out a fuel truck had burst into flames earlier in the morning and traffic was practically stopped both east and west on I-80 until past the site of the accident. Thank goodness I heard the report! I took back roads until I passed the traffic backup, so I was able to miss all of it.

And then down to Berkeley to meet I.W.

I.W. (yes, that's apparently his name) is a friend of Dave Tucker, the only aging beatnik I know (most of my friends are aging hippies, but Dave's an old guy {g}). I.W. just moved out here from St. Louis and doesn't really know a lot of folks in the area. Dave thought he and I would get along together, and we did. He's a delightful man, but a bit disconcerting to be with because if Gilbert had been bald, he would have looked a lot like I.W. There was enough difference that they are definitely different, but enough alike that I was constantly being reminded of Gilbert, even down to hand gestures. He gave me the grand tour of his apartment, which is smaller than our living room, but it has a fantastic view of the Berkeley campus, and if you bend over and look to the left, also of San Francisco. We went up on the 9th floor (roof) where, since it’s the tallest building around, you have a sweeping 360 vista. It was a beautiful spring day, with fluffy white clouds, blue sky, and just the right amount of breeze blowing.

Eventually we left for lunch. Where we ate was determined by the fact that I only could get an hour on the meter where I’d parked, so we had to drive "somewhere." As IW is new in town, he left the decision of where to eat up to me. I drew a blank, and so we ended up at Spengers Fish Grotto, newly reopened under new management. I had been wanting to see what it was like now--and I’m always up for crab louie. The decor is the same, the food is good, but more expensive (of course), but we had a good time. I don't know that we'll get together again, but it was an enjoyable afternoon.

When I returned home, there was a call from Paul's widow, Audra. She wants to know if I'm interested in taking a dog that belongs to the assistant at her veterinary practice. The dog is a cocker spaniel named Buddy. How could I say no? Buddy will be arriving tomorrow for a "trial run." Hopefully he will be a better trial than the recent week with Scout, the coon hound--sweet dog but entirely too large to live here (any dog big enough and smart enough to open drawers and feed herself is entirely too big to live here!)

I decided to call this diary entry "Wednesday with I.W.," which reminds me of one of my favorite books last year, "Tuesdays with Morrie." I'm destined never to own a copy of this book. I bought a copy for myself, but after reading it decided Ned really needed to read it, so I gave him a copy and bought myself another copy (I also bought a copy to give to Ron for Christmas). I re-read the second copy at Olivia's house and decided it was really a book she needed, so I gave the book to her for Christmas and bought myself yet another copy. That copy was in the car when it was stolen in November. So to date I have purchased four copies of this book and still don't actually own a copy for myself!

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created 3/30/00 by Bev Sykes