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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


July 11, 2013

Maybe Two
Thursday. Last night an exciting ending to a long day? I guess it could be framed that way. To bed early, awake and then up before the alarm, off to breakfast and back on a cool overcast morning, dropping by the supermarket on the way home. Out of such essentials as air popped popcorn and cottage cheese, almost out of spaghetti.

Not a bad start. Still the aching sinuses, but maybe a nap will take care of them. About now.

Later. A nap, up, a bus downtown to walk through the City Center to have a cup of coffee inside the Fountain Café at a table, one photograph of a ghost in the window, a walk then to the pharmacy to pick up needed non pharmacy things like tooth paste before walking back to the apartment. Enough walking for the day, although I suspect I'll walk later to the morning café for lunch.

Overcast all morning, cool, wearing a needed jacket, although now that I'm inside the sun is coming through and there's blue sky and white clouds replacing the high overcast. Mornings on the coast: the fog comes in from the west and keeps temperatures in line. Not what seems to be happening out there in the rest of the world.

Later still. Another nap, another lie down listening to the radio for an hour. Remembered today is Thursday, the day I'm to do the Protime test, so get up, get out the kit, stick the finger with the needle, draw blood, watch the little machine whir and click (it doesn't whir and click) until it spits out a number. The number looks good, call it into their automated phone system and forget about it again for another week.

I've occasionally wondered how things might have gone in the sixties and early seventies if we'd had the surveillance system then we seem to have in place today. I've never made the effort to initiate a Freedom of Information request for any info that might have been collected on me when I was publishing the magazine in Seattle in the early sixties or later in the 70's in San Francisco, when I worked with actual hippies at the Rip Off Press (serving the revolution since 1969). Maybe there are files out there, maybe just an entry in a file, maybe not, but I wouldn't be surprised if it/they existed.

With this system they have today, though. They'd have examined the old anti-Vietnam war movement right down to the molecules, my question being: what would have been the result? For someone like me? Deedle-dee-dee?

I'm not so much thinking of the government, our role was minuscule and never verged on illegal, but evidently now the FBI-NSI shadows trade their files with private security companies (70% of the U.S. security budget goes to outside contractors) who trade information (and dollars) back and forth with big corporations. If you were applying for a job? A prospective employer knowing you once (or, heaven forbid, twice!) participated in an anti-war march? Said bad things about the government? Helped a publishing company who's books contained characters who smoked dope and lived to tell the tale? Sorry Jack, we can't take a chance on hiring a dingbat like you with your mottled history.

You think about this?

Now and then. Writing here over the years has made me realize I've been an idiot. I'm sure my old shipping company was leery of the journal, although (I suspect, I think) nothing really came of it. Wouldn't have been good to have it on my secret, provided by the government to the company resume when I originally applied for the gig. Now that I'm retired, well, I'm betting there will ultimately be no consequences. You'd think not, but then something both stupid and obvious comes right out of left field and proves you wrong.

You read about too much of this stuff. You're an old fart. Get used to it!

Evening. The last of the French detective episodes at six. Seriously schmaltzy, I shouldn't be admitting I watched it given my concerns above.

You couldn't be hired if they knew you watched it all the way through without experiencing all that much distress?

I certainly wouldn't have hired someone like that.

It was about at this time last night I had the little ocular visit. No sign of such at the moment, even though I had the same dinner. Not sure it has much to do with food, probably doesn't have anything to do with alcohol after all this, although I'm not sure I'll use the realization as an excuse to have another drink.

Which has been a while?

Not since I last mentioned it. A month? Two months? Time telescopes and collapses. The thought of having a drink never seems to come up anymore (other than just now). Maybe one of these days. As an experiment. Be nice to have one now and again in an evening. A little sake. One. Maybe two. Doodle-dee-do.

The photo up top was taken of an apartment window in my building walking home from lunch yesterday with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 24-120mm f/4.0 VR Nikkor lens.