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In Oakland

July 11th, 2001

Week Goes Quickly
Thursday afternoon, my day to go over to the City Center after work, sit down, have a glass of wine, listen to music. A woman singer this afternoon, a jazz Latin sound, Astrud Gilberto Girl From Ipanema stuff: vibes, piano, guitar, bass and drums. People sitting at all the tables, a group to my right having a small birthday party, a couple in front of me looking at an open laptop on the table in front of them, the woman in a long down below her knees knitted sweater jacket, matching shoes, well coiffed hair, talking with the man next to her in an almost monolog, focused as hell.

Asian American woman, very attractive, emphasis on American, can't tell how old, but probably in her early thirties, selling this guy something. A glance at the laptop screen, a floor plan of some sort, the kind of sale with a commission that pays for lots of long knit sweater jackets and makes time working after five worthwhile. Is he buying? I have no idea. Been there myself, don't want to return.

Then I realized there was an art show opening at Pro Arts, two blocks down, and one of the young women at my camera shop had four of her photographs showing. I'd confused the dates last Thursday and walked on by, all the walls bare, no traditional hordeurves and red wine set out for the folks who knew the artists and attended these things. Actually, I don't know much about gallery shows, and I don't know anything about who attends them.

I've been to a few in San Francisco when one of the comix artists was involved back in the days when they were in vogue (actually, for me, at least, they tended to be good places to meet interesting women toying with the idea of adding an artist to their repertoire, tagging along to whatever bar we were attending afterward. There was always a bar, afterward.) and I've only been to a couple since. They look at me and wonder if I'm the sort who has the money and the inclination. I have some money and some inclination, but I've bought what little art I've bought directly from the artist. I'll wait until I make some of my own art, if I figure out how.

Anyway, there was the wine, there were the hordeurves, there were the people. No youngIn Oakland photographer from the camera shop, but there were her photographs nicely presented up toward the front, four images, black and white, posed shots done with a 4 x 5 view camera, serious thoughtful stuff. I'd been shooting pictures at the concert, of course, so I had my Nikon slung over my shoulder and a glass of wine sloshing around in my head. Pretentious and awkward, carrying a camera to an art show, but one glass of wine to the better and more years of experience said, clearly: "what the hell, you carry the damned thing to lunch, you carry the damned thing to breakfast, you carry the damned thing to the bathroom (no I don't), carry it to an art show and look like an idiot", so I did. Freedom from another set of inhibitions. Life is weird, but not without humor.

Long day, lots of web work, some of which I should go over this evening. The week goes quickly.

The photographs were taken at the office. The quote is attributed to an English professor at Ohio University.