[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]


[100 Books]

[Other Sites]

Art & Life

Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

January 31, 2010

We Know Why
Sunday. Awake and up this morning around nine after getting to bed late at close to midnight. I figure however I might calculate, adjust the circumstances and numbers for this and that, I got a good solid eight hours of sleep. So no complaints. I'd work at finding some, but I don't see a way to make a case. I'm well rested. I should be well rested, yet I babble on here. Otherwise the sun is shining, breakfast is done (my waitress gave me a large piece of roasted pork and half a dozen apples as I left, since she doesn't like pork and her family had had their traditional New Year's celebration over the weekend, a celebration that always includes roasting an entire pig). I'm home now (pork safely tucked in the ice box) ready for something, maybe a nap.

After eight hours sleep?

I have no idea why I said that. Some days are up, some days are down, this day has yet to reveal itself, even this late in the morning. I managed to read the Sunday Chronicle straight through over breakfast starting with two of the first front page stories: the first: a Wine Train federally funded project in Napa, re-building a railroad bridge, that's been given to an Alaskan company on a no bid contract, the transaction considered kosher under an amendment to a bill tacked on by Alaska's Senator Ted Stevens (You know, the one in jail?); the second: an outline of our current federal budget impasse - no new taxes, no spending cuts, no nothing to fix the train wreck coming (over a Napa bridge?) - and how brutal this lack of action is going to be in the coming years. Depressing stuff to start your breakfast on a day when the sun is shining on a promising weekend was my thought.

There were other stories inside the paper: a confluence of approaching disasters - population growth, global warming, dwindling energy, less arable land, ever more expensive fertilizers and such - the obvious stuff, but laid out like a dead frog on a dissecting plate. Less than appetizing when you read it first thing over breakfast. Do you wonder why I left the café before opening the local Tribune, bringing it home for possible reading later? Nor do I.

So I shall focus on a wider range of possibilities for the day, allow for more than just getting out for a walk and taking pictures. The work on artandlife, the “fixing” of some of its earlier pictures, has led to further thoughts on how to improve the project. Backing up old photographs, realizing I've increased my skills in the use of PhotoShop over these last several years, understanding I have the time to do these things, all lead me to think there's much to keep an old man pleasantly occupied for the time ahead. And that's good. We're talking heading into the sunset here on our own recognizance, there are pitfalls in setting out into the sunset on your own, best to understand “on your own” can have benefits, things to keep you amused until, well, amusement fails.

Are we heading into depressing thoughts?

Not really. I am happy with how the days are going, even if the sinus-head thing and whatever else has been bugging me continue. There are worse things happening in the world. I read about them every morning in the papers. A habit I should examine for intelligence. Maybe not the way one wants to start one's day. The reason they once published afternoon editions, once upon a time when I was young(er), get the day in before you learn what other folks are up to around the world (and then go to sleep and forget the lot of it). Did I mention the sun is out, the temperature fine, a start to the day you wish to have the night before, but don't always get, even in a town that sits across the Bay from the End of the Rainbow?

Later. A late morning, almost empty, bus downtown, the sun bright, the streets and sidewalks relatively empty. A small cup of coffee at Peet's up above the corner of Broadway and 12th Street taking a picture I've taken a hundred times before. Same setting, same format, same generic person. Still, the day bright, clear, what can be bad about that? The attitude contemplative, the lungs quite loose and coughing, why isn't this thing with the lungs clearing itself up? OK, a cup of coffee, over to the City Center descending the stairs, the white strips of light contrasting with the shadows cast by the stairs themselves catching my eye. A picture of these bands of light and shadow?

I climbed back up the few stairs I'd descended and focused the camera. Ah, the photographer's shadow on top of the shadows cast by the stairs. A common picture, the photographer taking an image of his own shadow (should I leave in the tips of my shoes?), but a better one, a less trite one than the one just taken, was my thought as I stood. One here, one for the main picture tomorrow. Then I thought later: I'd been attracted by the shadows cast by the stairs themselves, had I been distracted from that thought in then seeing my own superimposed shadow and letting the logical photographer override the subconscious photographer and been distracted? I'll think about that, see if I can't return and do it over. Not a thought I would have had some years ago.

The City Center? Been there a thousand times. If you've had the bad luck to have been reading this for the last several years, you've been there too. A picture in the bright sun. Have those four lights on light poles always been there? Maybe look back at earlier images and see. Again, nothing spectacular today, but a little different based, I don't know, on the shape of the moon last night up next to Mars.

A walk then down Broadway to the bus stop at Broadway and 20th, a picture of the Oakland Fox theater. Do they call it the Oakland Fox theater the way we always called it the Brooklyn Fox theater when I lived in New York? Who cares? Who cares???

I don't think it's your sinuses that are starting to fall apart.

Back now to work on some promised pictures for my cousin, photographs I took of her neighbor's cats that need some cropping. I'd promised her I'd do them, then completely forgot about it in the space of maybe six hours. I enjoy a project like this, look forward to doing it, yet for whatever reason, once promised and the email filed, I totally spaced out. Did I mention I now make a little mark on the calendar whenever I take the two meds I've missed in the past? To be sure I don't take them twice in a day or miss one altogether? I did? Well now we know why.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2006 Carnaval Parade with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at f 2.8 at 1/2000th second, ISO 100.