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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


December 26, 2013

Through The Evening
Thursday. To bed early, to sleep early to awake with the alarm, having forgotten my morning restaurant didn't open until seven-thirty this day after Christmas. Now, did that mean they didn't start serving breakfast until seven-thirty, but still opening (for coffee and pastries and such) an hour earlier at six-thirty as they usually do when they open at six and then starting to serve breakfast at seven? Why have we not been paying attention?

Easy enough to delay getting out of bed. Listen to the radio turned down low with our eyes closed, head on the pillow, time whipping by, seven coming up on the clock in what seems but a minute.

Well, yes. Up and off to breakfast to arrive just after seven, the café indeed having opened an hour earlier at six-thirty, breakfast over the papers feeling just fine, thank you. How wedded are we to our routines? More so than we think, I guess, obviously having flipped a bit after missing but one morning breakfast in mine.

The usual aching sinuses and upper palate as the day started, but it soon dropped into the background. Clear headed on a clear day, we'll go out and shoot pictures if only to find one with the proper proportions to fit up above. We will. No great ambition to go anywhere in particular, but we can at least make an effort on this Thursday after Christmas.

Later. A walk to the lake with the 80-400mm lens, passing a crow hopping along in front of me on the sidewalk, then noticing three up on the crossing light. They say they're quite smart, crows, and, watching them talking, watching me, I believe it.

So, what kind of pictures can be found on a morning after Christmas? Plenty of pictures of people with their backs to the camera. Do I take them because I have an inner urge to take them or do I take them because they're easy, no confrontations when someone looks up to see me with the camera? A little of each, perhaps. Doesn't seem to matter.

And so a short walk over to the lake, no way I'm taking a lens this big on a bus or on to the morning restaurant. Yes, I've done it before, but it's big, not that heavy, but much too obvious. One does not like to be more obvious on the street than one must, even in these relatively secure places. Probably more a head trip of mine than reality.

We do have our little head trips, do we not?

We shall stop right there.

Later still. I had to spend a minute or two to talk myself into it, but a bus downtown to the City Center, running into a line of City Center janitors, security officers, parking attendants and building engineers (whew!) demonstrating against the new owners who've evidently eliminated many of the compensation gains they've made in these last years. Just in time for Christmas.

And so I took pictures, recognizing one or two who always smiled and said hello when they passed while I was working their building at APL. Just another story in the naked city? I wish them luck.

Nothing I wanted to eat at the City Center so over to Peet's for a dry crumbly something that went well with their coffee. Lunch for today. Two pounds under this morning, so we're not particularly watching the diet, just noting what still is to me an odd lack of appetite.

A walk up Broadway to the bus stop on Grand taking a picture as I passed through Latham Square. Two dogs lying beside their (what looked to be) homeless owner, you hope they're not hungry but know better.

A picture of a truck as I was walking, flubbing the exposure. Make a note, remember next time to do better. I read this flier as I was passing, crossed the street, saw another and decided to photograph both, returning to take a picture of the first one. “I have information about your white Chihuahua....” Sounds vaguely threatening.

Remembered I had to make an appointment to go over and sign the living trust document and so got off the bus at their corner. A walk then back the rest of the way home passing by these two, another “Hey, take my our picture!” For all my hesitation in having to talk myself into today's journey, it's turned out well. Not all the pictures are keepers, but one or two. We're happy.

Evening. And so, nothing on television, I picked up again and watched more episodes of The Killing, a police detective series set in Seattle (where in every scene it's raining) and all of the characters - good, bad, indifferent) have issues. Still, interesting, still don't know who done it (yet), but we'll keep watching. I have no idea where this thing ran initially, on one cable channel or another, but it does get me through the evening.

The photo up top was taken today at Lake Merritt with a Nikon D4 mounted with an 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G VR Nikkor lens