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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

March 31, 2010

Do Without It
Wednesday. Up and to breakfast, the usual Wednesday morning business confab going on in the back, but more than bearable for some reason. The air clear and bright, the way it is when you've had some rain and everything is clean and crisp, a normal morning of glass turned into crystal. A twenty minute drive directly from breakfast to the dentist's to have the permanent crown put in place, a matter of a half an hour lying back in a comfortable chair. Good. A simple procedure, a comfortable procedure, but nice to get it done. I have the next cleaning written down in the kitchen calendar, I'll think of dentists again then.

Driving back I stopped to park on Telegraph near the University and walked around the area for an hour. The mood must be good if I'm up for doing something like this after sitting in a dentist's chair. I guess I'd been thinking about the morning light, the color and such, and obviously had an urge to explore it with a camera. Entering the dentist's twenty minutes early I had to talk myself into not then going out again, retrieving the camera from the car and using that twenty minutes to explore.

Did I get anything of interest on Telegraph? Who knows? I usually know when I've taken a bad shot the moment I've taken it, but the good shots, although they similarly announce themselves when the button is pushed, can turn out to have been lying. We'll see. I walked as far as the Sather Gate entrance to the campus to find a large group of students gathered holding signs, the meaning of which wasn't clear. They made for interesting images, though. I half thought it a kind of Zen demonstration, fifty or so people scattered here and there with signs that seemed to make no sense, a universal statement on protests future and past, art over life. Don't question fate when it hands you an opportunity like this: take your shot.

What was it? What was it about? I didn't ask. Maybe I'll check the Daily Californian later for an explanation. Maybe I won't. Zen photography in a Zen universe.

They all looked rather clean cut. Fraternity, sorority types. Maybe it was some kind of campaign event in a student election, each of the people on those signs a student.

At Berkeley? From Zen to what? Student government? No burning effigies? No dramatic speeches? Vote for class president? Nah. Not there. Not really.

I dunno. They looked awfully pacific.

I'm glad that thought only occurred after the fact. Might have affected my shooting.

Again, did I get anything worth saving? I was focused in my hour of walking, camera in hand; took over a hundred pictures, some of which seem OK in quickly going through them. I've had an an unfilled Telegraph Avenue section on artandlife now for years, I think I have enough now to post a page. Perhaps the photographs could be displayed as a group, a series of shots taken one clear morning on a specific date reflecting my eye's take that day of the street. No attempt to photograph people other than the sign carrying students, the bulk of the images of colorful and interesting store fronts and restaurants in addition to what I suspect are usually unnoticed nooks and crannies that I hope, if people familiar with the area should see them, will bring a brief moment of remembrance.

Later. For some reason I took a bus downtown thinking I could actually eat some pizza. It's been some time since I've had that thought. I believe I had a bagel pizza some time back, a bagel with cheese and pepperoni, but that's about it. I'm not sure where this came from, this not so much liking as wanting pizza thing, but it seems to be real. Still, an hour's walking about Berkeley this morning, another bus ride downtown with a walk back seems overly ambitious, perhaps even a bit neurotic, given recent history. Yes, I need to get out in the mornings after breakfast, but hadn't I already done that?

Later a walk down to the pasta place at the bottom of my hill. It was closed. I'd passed another pasta place earlier in Berkeley and thought about Rigatoni with a mushroom cream sauce. They had a picture of such in their window. The pasta place at the bottom of my hill is pricey, but it does serve good pasta. It was closed. Evenings only, except the weekends. What to do, what to do?

A short walk then to the local dim sum restaurant for an order of chicken fried rice to go. Six bucks with tax. I ate about half of it when I got back and put the rest in the refrigerator thinking I'd have more as the afternoon and evening progressed with any left over tomorrow. No, it wasn't great chicken fried rice, but it wasn't bad fried rice either, and that seems enough. My relationship to food, I'm afraid, has become distant. The weight hasn't gone down, hasn't gone up in these last two months, so I guess I've reached some kind of balance. The appetite, as you can tell from my description, is shit and, other than wondering out loud here more often than I should, it doesn't seem to matter to me much. Weird.

This is not the first time you've brought this up. Nobody cares.

That's the issue. I don't care. How is that, other than weird? Weird. Weird has a certain fascination. I'd like to know how it happened, whether it's in the head or has something to do with that stomach operation. Not enough information to go on and, if I did find out, so what? I'm not looking to get my appetite back if I can keep my weight where it is without undue effort. But weird.

Much, much later. To bed early last night, writing this in the morning. Read Jim Hansen's most recent book on global warming released last December. I can see why he's considered a bit of a loose cannon by the political types, but it's been interesting to go through the science step by step and clear up some of my misconceptions. They talk about climate models and how they're evolving, but the real in your face science has to do with climate over the history of the planet, what such things as carbon dioxide, glaciers, methane, reflective particulates in the atmosphere, ocean temperatures, the sun's temperature, glacial periods and such looked like just before nasty things happened.

I'm afraid were in for nasty things happening sooner than we understand. They're talking about ocean levels rising, Florida under water and such, and I'm guessing they're not kidding from the data they've been analyzing. The question isn't if, but when and then how fast? The data is indicating it will not only happen fast, once a tipping point is reached, but it will be unstoppable. Maybe best to have been born so I'm sixty-seven in 2010, 2020 may take place on a very different planet. Mad Max in America. I can do without it.

The photograph was taken on BART on the way to the 2010 San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 9 at 1/800th second, ISO 200.