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Here In Oakland

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Today at the pump

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Under here.

November 8, 2010

Over One Quarter

Monday. A good start, I think. To bed last night at ten, up at six with the alarm, to breakfast and the papers, on then to the dentist with the crown that came out in the sticky candy last week tucked safely in my shirt pocket. I had no idea what the traffic would be like that early in the morning, so I gave myself forty-five minutes to get there, arrived in fifteen, but was lucky and taken right in, home now at nine.

I go back to his office Wednesday morning at eight-thirty to start the crown replacement, the dentist cleaning up the gap in the molars and cementing the old gold crown back into place this morning. I've been through this more than once. Another appointment Wednesday to make the casting for a permanent crown and then back again in another week when it's ready to have it cemented in place. No dental insurance anymore of course, so we'll be made to pay more for our Halloween candy than we'd been planning. Such is life in the big candy city.

That means a dentist's appointment at eight-thirty on Wednesday, just after breakfast at the usual place, then cutting it close and driving back to my guitar lesson by ten. A doctor's appointment in Palo Alto later at one, but that's no problem. A long day I'd guess. “I'd guess” might be a good phrase to alternate with “I'm thinkin’”. I'm thinkin’.

Later. Clear headed has remained clear headed and it was apparent how much better I'm feeling as I was taking a bus downtown to walk around Jack London Square. Yes, I've done this before. Many times before. Nothing had changed except me, deedle-dee-dee. I didn't stop at Ben & Jerry's for a waffle cone because they weren't open, but I did go by to check. I have many ice cream flavors yet to try. You know things are different - better - when there's a spring to your step and you're shooting more pictures. Not necessarily world stopping pictures, but aware, taking pictures now and again to see if you can bring that thing you think you saw into an image.

So, feeling up and all, walking back up Broadway, I took a detour to shoot more doorways off in the light industrial area noticing how many of the photographs I've been taking with this new 24 - 120mm lens are at the low end of the range, 24 to 35mm. I go out to 120mm often enough, that was the idea, but again, interesting to see how often wide angle comes into play.

Anyway, a stop to have a cup of coffee at a gas station that's been converted into a coffee shop on Broadway next to Nation's, a place I often stopped by in the past, but haven't for years now because I get down there less often and, I'm guessing, when I do I don't have the energy, presence of being or gumption to make the detour, take my ease, relax and watch the people pass by.

To repeat, this clearness of brain, lightness of step and, maybe, sun in the sky is quite nice. More so for having lost so much of it over this last year. Or is it years? Will it continue? We'll not ask, do what we can today and enjoy it. Little projects that have been laying fallow suddenly raised their heads this morning as I was walking, new projects came to mind. Better to get my guitar practice in before I start learning Spanish was my thought. Or Mandarin. Maybe not Mandarin. Clearheadedness can be dangerous, lead to spinning one's wheels, one's brain, one's credibility as a reliable dude.

That's probably enough.

Too many words, maybe, but never enough of this (hup! hup!) rejuvenated head stuff. (hup!)

Later still. A nice set of door photographs. I like them anyway. I've said I'd like to do more and there are certainly more to take, but then I don't follow through. I was noticing how many “for lease” signs there were down in the Jack London Square area, how many up and down Broadway and around the rest of the city for that matter. A separate section for the empty stores? This financial downturn is real in Oakland, I hate to think what it means in some of the mid-western industrial cities that have been hit so hard. We live in our little bubbles, but sometimes a bit of the real world filters through. But we soldier on, close our eyes and persevere.

Back to the chords. Two hours on the guitar today, one of those hours already done. I have a lesson coming up, only two days left for practice. I see why they say two years to learn to play this thing well enough to play with others. Still, one quarter of it is already done. Here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken Friday at the Mehserle sentencing demonstration in front of the Oakland City Hall with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.