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Here In Oakland

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Today at the pump

My sister!


Under here.

November 26, 2010

Susceptible To It

Friday. I do think these damned inhalers cause most of what I call “fatigue” around here. I adjusted the dosage down again yesterday, continuing through today, and feel much better: the head clear, the eyes bright(er) and the babbling near boil. Which means up at the usual hour, off to breakfast and the papers, back now feeling pretty good. Maybe attend the Union Square tree lighting ceremony in San Francisco. There's a couple of things going on today in Union Square, one of them a tree lighting at six, something else later this morning at eleven. Won't know if I'll go for another couple of hours, but I will get out and Union Square is but a short ride once I get through the door.

My black Friday expenditures were made last week, one due today and one on Monday. I watched the John Lennon American Masters program Monday this week (I'm pretty sure it was Monday) and it brought back memories. For someone my age the Beatles - Lennon and Harrison particularly, as they're no longer with us - are an integral part of our being. The music, yes, but how they merged with the war era, the protests, the craziness of it, how it bent our lives in ways we'll never be fully able to tell.

I don't much play the old lp's anymore, but I checked Monday night to see what I had by Lennon and found all of them sitting up unplayed on the shelf. I will play one or two through before this long weekend is over and - to get back to the black Friday start - on a whim, at fifty percent off, I ordered the complete Beatles catalog, something like twenty CD's in a recent boxed release I'd never have considered buying without the fifty percent off. No, I don't have all twenty of them on vinyl, so it's not a completely idiotic purchase and, if I play them, I think the purchase well worthwhile. That and two or three Christmas presents and I'm all black Friday'ed out. I am.

Can you afford any of this?

Nope. Budgeting to follow. That dented car and that lost crown put me on alert.

You say these things, yet you seem to do little about them.

We'll come to grips with the fact we could actually live longer than any in my male line has managed and then we'll get real. I'll get real.

Is any of this getting through? Are we just, you know, babbling?

Not entirely, but reality has its way of breaking in. Eventually. On its own schedule.

Later. A bus downtown thinking what is it I haven't seen recently here on a day when nobody's around? So a last minute decision to take BART to San Francisco, getting off at Powell Street where the cable car terminates at Market and then a walk up to Union Square thinking I don't really have any ambition to be doing this, but feeling so good I said so what? If it's the allergy inhalers or the phase of the moon or the little chicken headed reptiles that scritch and scratch in the attics and in the walls, who cares as long as whatever it is goes away and isn't something acquired by old guys my age that plans to stick around.

Not much in the way of photographs. Entering the West Oakland station I noticed a zeppelin just up above the train, so I took a picture and realized I'd grabbed the camera with the 85mm lens instead of, as I'd thought, the 24-120. What the hell. Recalibrate the head. Adjust the eye. Better to have brought the 24-120, but there's no reason you can't get something good with the 85. And that zeppelin was close. Very close. Yes, an 85 is designed for a different kind of subject, but it stretches the way you see, causes you to look for different things to photograph and I've brought it along many times before.

Why a zeppelin? Why not a dirigible or a blimp?

Because I looked it up and discovered a picture of the thing and an explanation of why it's a zeppelin.

So, San Francisco, Union Square: again, not finding all that many photographs, but got this one getting off the train at Powell. Not great, but interesting, a first shot coming off the escalator and into the ever present crowd waiting to catch a cable car. One or two more in Union Square, duplicates of subjects I've shot many times in the past, nothing particularly inventive or unusual. But again, we're feeling good. Walk on. Enjoy the air, the weather.

BART then back to Oakland and a walk back to the apartment, the streets again relatively empty. There was quite a crowd in the Union Square area, don't know if it was larger than usual, whether it portends an uptick in the economy, but was surprised at how few people were on the train both coming and going. No problem getting a seat. No problem at all. Then again maybe they all came at six, don't plan on leaving until the last midnight train sets out. They told me at breakfast my waitress was in line at a Target store at four this morning.


You're telling me?

Later still. Watched the news, moved the little Bose iPod player into the living room from the bedroom, something I should have done at least a year ago as I don't play the damned thing when I'm in bed, but will and do when it's in the living room. The sign of a good mood I assume, getting up off my ass. Night falls, we'll leave it at that. Some time practicing the guitar, sitting here now on a break. My right hand, the pick hand, for some strange reason is aching. Something's always aching around here, we'll just assume guitar players are susceptible to it.

You're a guitar player?

Now, now. Be nice.

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