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~Friday~  I brought Xolani back to Duma's place for 8AM, where Marv was driving them and the other two folks that are here downtown to meet the people they'll be working with here over the next three weeks.

I drove up to the Avent Ferry Park & Ride, where I caught the #9 Greek Village Wolfline bus, which had only two people on it as it waited to leave from this endpoint of the line. Shortly thereafter, the #1 Avent Ferry Wolfline bus pulled up and both people got off the #9 and went over to the #1. Was it something I said?

A guy got on at the first stop who had ear buds in and whose music was so loud that he got earspray on me from three seats away.

At the next stop a guy got on about whom my first thought was, "He has a nice figure." That was immediately followed by the correction, "He has a nice physique." We don't use the word "figure" to describe a guy's body for some reason.

There were so few riders the entire way this morning, so scanning the bus for something to note about them, I noticed that of the six men on the bus, four of them used "products" in their hair, and two did not.



Yesterday, Marv asked me if I'd be able to pick up Xolani and Duma downtown at 2:00 this afternoon. After a nice, albeit quick, lunch with Sarah (and Jonah), Anna, and Brad for a Salon Coffee Klatch at Cup A Joe Mission Valley, a took a couple of hours worth of community service to do that.

I finally found them, a half-hour late, after riding up and down Jones Street (the east side, then the west side, then back on the east side) looking for the address that Marv had given me.

Because of the one-way streets, I had to take Lane to cross back to the other end of Jones each time, and on one corner, I noticed Xolani and Duma, and rolling down my window shouted for them as I pulled off to the side of the street.



In my mail, I had a very unexpected card from my mother, who I've mentioned before is a serious underliner in greeting cards, and this one was no exception. This is what she wrote:

Outside: Thank you for being there.

Inside: I just can't thank you enough for all you've done. You were there with a helping hand just when I needed it most... ready to pitch in and do whatever you could. You gave me something very special—your time—and I'll always remember you for it.

Handwritten: Many thanks to you John, you made our trip to Annette's funeral a big help. And through it we had a good laugh! We love you John, and thanks for being such a thoughtful and loving son. Much love.

Enclosed: A $200 check!



At a little after 4:00, I brought Xolani over to Duma's place, and then went back to pick him up at around 6:15.

The three of us went to dinner downtown at Hibernian, where we all three had their award-winning Fish & Chips.

At one point, Duma told me that he'd heard a few months ago that GLBT people were a little disappointed with President Obama's performance in office, and he wondered what my thoughts were on that.

In return, I asked both of them to share their thoughts with me on people born in the U.S. calling, or not calling, themselves "African-American."

After dinner, we rode around to see some of the bars they were considering going out to on Saturday night. First we drove by Hi5, and then ended up on somewhat of an adventure to find Black Tie, which as it turned out when we finally found it, had been renamed to Envy.

From there (pretty much across the street from Wake Med), we drove back downtown passing Flex and at the intersection of Morgan and West saw two guys walking with tinfoil helmets on their heads, like aliens of some sort. I did a quick mental check to see if it was the end of October.

I wanted to see what the name of that club that's on the corner of West and Hargett (by 5 Star) that I know was also a "black club," but it appeared to have gone out of business.



When we got home, Xolani was exhausted and ready for bed.

I met Phil over at The Borough at about 10:30, and we eventually made our way over to Flex, where as it turned out, it was "Space Night," and there were many, many tinfoil headpieces and other space regalia, including the two guys I had seen earlier in the evening.

We spent most of our time talking with Henry, who is always good to see, and a friend of his named Sam.

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