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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


December 31, 2013

I Can Manage
Tuesday. I did watch Scott & Bailey last night. Not bad. Best maybe not to have read the description of the episode on their web site beforehand, thinking of a piece I'd read recently by a movie reviewer who makes it a point to never watch a preview or read a review before he sees the movie as it colored his perceptions in ways that weren't useful.


And I watched Scott & Bailey last night, got to bed by ten and then got up with the alarm without apparent effort. Off to breakfast (the plain waffle with sliced bananas and strawberries, this time, taking no chances), the day starting well as it looks like the sun will break through the clouds later. The last day of the driest year on record.

My guitar lesson at the new location on Broadway this afternoon. Yes, I got in my practice yesterday, going through the chords I've now played more times than I care to recall. I'll ask for something a little different and challenging for this coming week so that if I fail, I fail for good reason. New chord combinations, finger picking. A New Year, after all, at least pretend to a shadow of ambition.

Are we up or down?

We're doing well here in our shell.

Later. Still overcast, the sun not quite burning through (they were suggesting some chance of rain starting tomorrow), so a bus to the ATM on Broadway. Why I did that, I don't know. Didn't want to walk on to the downtown so a walk back to the apartment experiencing what I've been calling “the dry mouth” and some wobbliness with the usual visual distortions. So much for blaming it on food.

You sure it wasn't the coffee??!!

This foods to be avoided rat race could go on forever. The dry mouth/wobbly episode ended soon after I got home and lay down for a while. Additional impetus to get the living trust all tied up neat though. I'm not thinking I'm going to keel over dead at any minute, but it does ring a little bell to see if you're paying attention. At least have the important stuff done before getting into the New Year whiskey for with dinner.

Later still. Change is always a little unsettling, setting out on the bus for the guitar lesson, yes, but without a camera. Lugging the guitar and a large camera didn't make sense, but again, an odd dread I attribute to going outside without the usual camera over the shoulder. How long have I been doing this now? Fifteen years?

The bus arrived at my stop early and so I arrived earlier than I'd been planning. The stop downtown is close to the building, so a walk across the street to sit and eat an ice cream bar before crossing Broadway again to find my teacher waiting at the door. The lessons will take place in the basement when the renovations are finished, but it was held today in a room about the size of a basketball court (with ceilings to match) on the second floor.

And how did it go?

OK. Never as I think it will go, but my chords rung clear and I'm able to move between them on the beat. Most of the time. So we'll see.

Left to find the bus pulling up across the street, but the light was with me and so a run to the bus and back home, the day essentially done by three in the afternoon on a New Year's Eve.

A walk over to the lake to get out of the apartment and take one or two pictures, the Mallards seemingly obviously into their mating season after one another in the water. I took this picture of the female just after a coupling. She seems to be in a good mood, invigorated. I believe Mallards mate for life? I'm could easily be wrong. What do I know about Mallards?

Evening. A good day following the brief episode this morning, little or no ambition as it happens, although I did get in some practice. Resolutions for the coming year tomorrow? I haven't been thinking about them. Be nice to do something about the writing, maybe start a photo project that kept my interest for a longer period. The candid portraits at the street festivals and the parades, yes, they are ongoing, still interesting, but something more? Might. Might not. Something may whisper into our ear.

Nothing on television, the public stations are still running their money raising specials and so to bed early. How early? As early as I can manage.

The photo up top was taken at Lake Merritt this late afternoon New Year's Eve with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f/4.0 VR Nikkor lens