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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


January 17, 2013

Ten After Ten
Thursday. To bed by ten, up (after shutting off the alarm and going back to sleep for an hour) at seven, so a decent (you would think) night's sleep. Sunny, still cold, but again, the weather people are saying we may hit seventy degrees on Saturday, so we're well on the way to warm. I believe I've mentioned my attitude toward warm.

Anyway, a nice day ahead, a walk ahead, it's ten, we'll be heading out the door soon. With a camera. We'd better, if we hope to have at least the minimum number of photographs needed to plug the holes here. No complaints, no excuses, it's a useful little conceit to get us out the door, good for rationalizing anyway, if window dressing is needed.

Later. And so, of course (what else?), a walk along the lake and then on to the morning café for ice cream, a biscotti something or other and coffee, sitting out in the sun dressed for the weather. It was warmer than it's been, one or two other people out on the patio this time with me.

A walk then to the apartment, reaching the crosswalk on Grand when the bus running more than ten minutes behind schedule arrived. I'd been thinking, as I'd been walking, of something on the radio earlier, an interview with Deepak Chopra, where I'd picked up snippets of the conversation that had stuck: changing habits, even very small habits (as small as how you might buckle your belt in the mornings) were very useful in keeping the juices flowing, the brain flowering and all that other good Deepak Chopra stuff.

Anyway, this habit thing, my daily routine, all had been flitting about for some time at the back of my mind, so I decided to get on the bus and skip what would have fit into my normal routine of blowing off any further adventure and heading back to the apartment. A modest break in habit, not in the destination, but in the situation in which it was decided. I'd done the walk, it was time to go home and sit for a while before I set out again. And so I got on the downtown bus.

Nothing more to report, a little different walk, a little different route, a picture or two I might not have taken in a more commonly held state of mind, but a decent outing before heading back, getting off at the 7-11 look-alike for a small bottle of Jack Daniels and a small bag of trail mix to give a tip of the hat back to habit.

So no great decisions, no moving next week to the islands, but a further realization I still need to explore. More. Is 2013 the year? Could be. I've pretty much vegetated in place for long periods in this life making “radical” jumps every ten years or so to change course, sometimes for the better, sometimes (in retrospect) for the worse. Might be we're approaching another one of our little leaps into the darkness. One last one, one hopes, unless it too doesn't turn out.

Later still. A good session on the guitar, most of it going through the finger picking exercise. We'll see, I'm good at kidding myself into thinking I have them down and then get lost at the lesson.

Evening. Ah, yes. Thursday night. Fat Friends is the non-police procedural at six. As mentioned, I'm not able to do Fat Friends (Enemies, Sisters, Brothers, Uncles or Aunts) so I turned to Democracy Now, that seems to have moved to a six o'clock time slot on one of the PBS stations. We'll play guitar and wait to see what might interest us at seven.

Well, I watched The Dude and the Zen Master interview on the Charlie Rose, remembering (finally) that Elementary was playing tonight at ten. The picking hand finger tips had given out about then, so we're done with the evening guitar. The fret hand fingertips are reasonably tough, not real guitar player tough, but calloused and held out fine, but the picking fingers on the right hand haven't yet had the needed time and sorrow to catch up. So we stop.

Person of Interest is on before Elementary at nine and so I've been watching it. It's reasonably weird. Since I haven't watched much TV in the earlier years of this life, I tend to compare today's programming with what I remember from my younger days, and that's the source of my “reasonably weird”. This program is reasonably weird.

What I remember as the occasional bleeding edge cultural riff in my early days has now seemingly evolved into standard day to day fare, prepped maybe by movies like The Matrix along the way. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Hmm. I'm not sure what I think about it: novel, interesting and banal? Talk, shoot someone; talk, shoot someone; cut to the commercials? It does deal with some of my personal hot button issues like surveillance and subtle forms of propaganda. Welcome to today's world, I guess. Where have I been? Holed up somewhere in an Oakland apartment?

My goodness, this week's Elementary is a rerun, I even remembered who'd done the terrible deed, we can go to bed early at ten! (Ten after ten.)

The photo up top was taken on an escalator this morning in the Oakland City Center with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 G Nikkor lens.