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November 6, 2010

I've Just Said It

Saturday. I sometimes joke this journal might make an interesting analysis of a brain deteriorating with age, the quality and sense of the writing crumbling over time. And I'm half serious, half joking. Lately I've been tending toward the serious side. This really does degenerate into babble more often than not and I'd be more precise in the ways in which it does, except I find I'm often too scattered to read the damned thing and make notes. Take notes. Whatever.

The Mehserle sentencing demonstration went easily enough. An hour's shooting, the results of which don't thrill me as much as I'd like. One or two of them worked out, but they're individual pictures without a unifying feeling to them. I'll think about that. Not sure I'm after a unifying feeling, but it might be interesting if I could come up with one that didn't turn me away from the portrait aspect I'm after.

Maybe just call the thing one big candid portrait outing, get rid of the demonstration-parade-festival nomenclature and call them web “portraits on the fly” or “street portraits”. They aren't really “street photography” as such, more street portraits and not street photography in the broader Cartier-Bresson tradition. More Cartier-Bresson light. Very light.

A ride on BART to San Francisco after the City Hall shooting to meet with Mr. E at Harrington's and then take a cab to a bar called the Anti-Saloon League where Mr. Y had made a reservation for four. Evidently you make a reservation for a particular hour, for when you'll arrive, but also for when you'll leave. Ours was for a period of an hour and a half (as perhaps all of them are) and I was told they ask you to leave when your time's up. They also give you a “password” to get inside, so you knock on the locked door and a guy answers asking for the password, each reservation having its own unique password. No password, no table, no getting inside. Mr. E and I looked at one another and wondered if all this wasn't a bit too cute for words, but what the hell, we were there, we had a reservation, we went inside.

The conceit is interesting, the bar maids attractive and knowledgeable about the whiskies on the menu, the multi-page whiskey menu impressive in its length. I had a Scotch, something Mr. E ordered and I'd seconded, I have no idea what it was, and a French absinthe, the two of them together with tip forty dollars. And that was ordering on the more modest side. So, clever conceit or no, it was an interesting bar, worth the one visit to see what it was about.

I realized later, however, why they might limit their patrons to an hour and a half. When your entire menu consists of hard liquors of various kinds and stripes, you don't want to be continuously flushing groups of drunks out onto the litigious streets of San Francisco after more than an hour and a half of heavy drinking I'd think. The place was full on a Friday night, the “saloon” annex, as such, hidden behind a set of book shelves that was opened on request by the guy who let you in. I said almost “too fucking cute for comfort” and felt I don't exaggerate after seeing that.

Spoil sport.

After all these years you have a doubt?

So this morning up with a headache. The drinking last night? It's hard to say how much, given the ongoing sinus-upper palate thing, now more an upper palate thing with the sinuses seeming to have cleared up somewhat, but some of it a hangover no doubt. I had two Guinness at Harrington's and two drinks at the Anti-Saloon League over a period of four hours, one of them the muddy white liquorice-like absinthe, the second time I've had it now in my life. Whatever effect that combination had, it had an effect.

Anyway, to breakfast and back, to bed for a nap this morning when I got back. Some practice on the guitar throughout the late afternoon and early evening, a bus ride downtown to look around, but returning on the bus as I wasn't up for looking around downtown Oakland for more than a short while as they'd taken all the tables out of the City Center early Friday afternoon. Less interested in hanging around without a table to sit at, let me tell you. A long day ending by turning in early, remembering to set the alarm and turning back the clock.

Daylight savings time is done, something I knew was coming, but as dark as it's been getting without it, I'm wondering now how dark, how early it will be dark now that it's no longer in effect. Silly thing to think about you might say, I might say, and come to think of it I've just said it.

The photograph was taken of a planter outside of Ben & Jerry's in Jack London Square last week with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24 - 120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.