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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


July 6, 2013

Set The Alarm
Saturday. Might be best if I were to go back and reread yesterday's entry, as I was a bit foggy during the quick edit I did this morning. See if too much of it was stranded out in left field with the birds and the butterflies. Maybe look at it later.

Got through the first couple of chapters of the new Maigret mystery last night, this one written in the 1940's, some ten years or so after those first three. Is the style and the writing better? Different? Seems so. Not as much so as the last of the six books I've now bought, as I took a quick look at its first few paragraphs, so we'll put off making any comparisons for later.

It's a story, this fifth one written in the mid-forties, that I immediately realized I've seen on the Tuesday evening Maigret television series and, as I've been with the television programs, I'm not clear who done it or why, although there are hints. So we'll see if re-reading one is any different from re-watching one having once known the plot.

Otherwise to sleep not too late, but well after ten. Up at seven-thirty having turned off the alarm and gotten in almost an extra two hours to drive to breakfast, feed the meter and then return to again, do an edit, a quick rather fuzzy edit, before flaking to take a nap. An hour's nap. A good solid hour before sitting here in front of the screen again, the head slowly reassembling at thirty minutes before noon.

The sun is shining, the sky is clear, there's a farmers market going on down the way at the usual place and there's a Temescal Street Fair scheduled for tomorrow. So a good day and a good weekend portends, let's allow the head to finish reassembling itself, brush the hair, grab a camera and go out into the sun. Diddle-dee-dun.

Later. A glance at the smartphone app - four minutes - so out the door and down to the stop, the bus arriving with one minute to spare, off to the downtown to see if there'd been a chalk mural done yesterday at 14th and Broadway. It was there, it hadn't been erased, so some pictures before walking over to the City Center, seeing there were places open, but deciding to take the next bus back to the morning café to see if they had an outside table available so soon after the noon hour.

Part of the plan I'd been turning over since setting out was to go by an ATM, but which one? The one on Broadway heading toward the downtown or the one over the hill from the morning café on Lakeshore? Very existential, these questions.

All the tables were filled out on the patio at the morning café, so up over the hill on Mandana, which got the heart pumping. I can pretty much walk forever without getting the heart pumping - some sore back muscles later, yes, if I walk long enough - but a goodly sized hill like Mandana and I can feel self righteous when it's done.

Went by the ATM and then walked all the way around to the morning café to avoid the hill to find the patio still filled, so ice cream and a lemonade at a table just inside the patio door, a cool draft of air making it quite comfortable. Warm out there in the sun. I'd been avoiding walking on the sunny side of the street in shirt sleeves, but quite comfortable in the shade.

A walk back to the apartment, stopping by the lake for a while to just sit and watch, a picture of a guy putting a leash on his dog. I'd wondered what had caused two groups of some hundred or so geese to suddenly split and move in a wave toward the shore until I spotted the dog. He was walking slowly toward the geese without any apparent plan and was happy enough to stop when his owner had called and attached the leash. Would have been nice to have gotten the shot earlier, the dog in the foreground, the geese moving like magic before him.

Home now, the fan sitting at my feet, UPS having delivered the package I was expecting while I was out (leaving it again outside the front door, picked up by the apartment manager when it was spotted) and thinking maybe another nap was in order. Some guitar later. Pretty exciting day, so far.

Evening. Another Swedish reporter episode where she manages to walk right into another lonely meeting with a psychotic killer, but is saved in the last second by the convenient arrival of police. If this is the life of a newspaper reporter, if this is what it takes to succeed, well then, way back when I wondered, I obviously made the right choice.

You are kidding.

A little hyperbole to start the evening. I did get in some guitar while I was watching, the chord sequences in this new song are not coming together so easily. Hitting them cleanly is an adventure, hitting them cleanly on the beat even more of an adventure, but that seems the name of the game. You practice long enough and it finally happens, but I supect there's a reason they don't stress the “how long” in how long it really takes.

More than a couple of weekends. Not unlike learning to write or to draw?

I was hoping it might not apply to photographers.

In looking up the Temescal Street Fair just now on the web, noon to six, I remembered that the bus I take when I go downtown, if you stay on it beyond the morning café, goes right by the intersection where the streets are blocked off for the fair. Just get on the bus, get off at the fair, no driving, no parking, no stress. How many of these have I driven to looking for parking halfway close by before realizing there was a bus? Well, three or four I guess, no need to be upset.

To bed early, try more of the Maigret, up tomorrow on a Sunday without needing to set the alarm.

The photo up top was taken of the Dykes on Bikes at the San Francisco LGBT Pride parade with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Nikkor lens.