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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


January 12, 2013

On A Saturday Night
Saturday. There'd been a reference on Facebook to Elvis '56, an hour long documentary done for TV in the late eighties, with commentary by Levon Helm on Elvis Presley's rise to fame in that one year, going from country boy playing home town honky-tonks to a level of fame and notoriety never seen or heard of before on the national stage. So I watched it last night, staying up after ten. Well after ten. Silly me. Good movie, though, brought back memories of another time on another planet circling another, but similar, sun.

We'd moved from Edmonds, a small town north of Seattle, to Yonkers just outside of New York City, in the summer of 1955. I was twelve and something called rock and roll had arrived, laying down what was judged a disturbing beat as was rising up over the horizon. I remember watching Elvis on at least one of the television appearances in the movie, watching the national uproar that developed over “swivel hips”, and screaming teenage girls. Much for a kid of thirteen to get his not quite conscious head around, interesting to review now that the kid is older.

Later. I set out for the downtown to get the (dead as of yesterday) watch battery replaced, missing the bus by a minute. I knew I was going to miss the bus, but didn't see any reason to rush. Bus or no bus I needed to get out of the apartment and so headed left along the lake and then on by the farmers market to the morning café to see if they'd finally replenished their ice cream. (One's café should not run out of ice cream.)

So, two servings of ice cream later out on their patio in the sun (I'd dressed for the cold), I caught the downtown bus at their stop and headed for Chinatown and the small jewelry store where I've bought watch batteries in the past. They, after no small time and effort, told me they weren't able to get the back off the watch to replace the battery. My, my.

So, a walk to Peet's overlooking Broadway (for coffee) to settle the head before walking farther on to a watch repair shop I'd noticed on Broadway near Telegraph and they, admitting some difficulty, did the deed. I now have a new place to go for watch batteries.

They last how long?

This one: two years.

Two years? Maybe best to write it down so you don't forget this place, your memory going in the direction it is.

Now, now. If that's what you're getting out of this I'm overstating the case.

Walked up Broadway to Grand to catch the bus, the sinuses feeling odd and crappy. None of the ocular stuff, but a definite desire to lie down and allow it to go away. Disconcerting, when these things happen on the street, ups the paranoia, puts you into a box where you realize, should things get worse, you could become, well, unable to easily take care of business. Not anywhere near that state, no real worries it might happen, but you think about it and you think, well, this might not be good if it says anything about a possible future.

Back at the apartment to lie down, the head and the day coming back together over something like an hour, listening to the Bill Moyers interview with Paul Krugman on PBS. In a world of clashing economic interests and ideologies, Krugman's analyses, not always calming, have always made sense.

Maybe, now that the day and the head are back together, we'll start on the guitar and consider the 49'ers Green Bay game later at five. It shows how far I've drifted when I learned for the first time this morning that the 49'ers were entering the playoffs and their first game was playing later this afternoon. Hard to miss the coverage this morning in the Chronicle and the Tribune, even for someone who doesn't read their sports sections.

Evening. The game started not all that well for the 49'ers with that interception and the Green Bay run back and touchdown, but they seem to have turned it around now that it's reached fourth quarter. Naturally I checked the police procedural at six, the German language one set in Venice, and I spent most of my time watching it while on the guitar. I'd seen it before, of course, but (as so often before) didn't remember how it would end until the very end. I've decided this is an advantage, turns old potboilers with minimal plots into new potboilers with minimal plots I'm willing to watch.

Anyway, we'll see how the 49'ers finish this out, but with the police procedural now finished, I'll switch between checking on the game and watching episodes of House.

Can it possibly be worth trading the 49'ers for a German language police procedural you're seen before and some hospital drama about a Vicodin addicted doctor with a name like House?

Well, right now the score is San Francisco forty-five, Green Bay twenty-four, with three minutes and twenty-four seconds left in the game. The outcome is ninety-nine percent certain. Ninety-eight percent. We'll check back again, but mostly we'll watch these House characters verbally destroy one another for reasons I'm not quite certain about or fully able to understand.

Verbally destroying one another as they're saving and/or killing a never ending supply of quirky patients who are suffering from maladies never before seen or heard of in the annals of medicine.

Right. Something to look forward to on a Saturday night.

The photo up top was taken this morning along Lake Merritt, the fountain head seemingly missing, with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 VR Nikkor lens.