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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


October 16, 2013

Borsalino Hat
Wednesday. And so to bed early last night taking a crack (as mentioned) at the Eggers book before putting it down and picking up the iPad to watch a movie I'd started some two weeks ago starring Paul Newman and Susan Sarandon, a movie I believe I saw when it was first released in the theater, at least I certainly remember the first scenes set in Mexico. But have no idea whatsoever who's doing what to whom. As I've said, it makes watching it again more interesting.

Up with the alarm after a decent night's sleep. We seem to turn the lights out around ten, often somewhat after, not so often before, and that's our night's sleep. Sometimes getting up with the alarm, sometimes sleeping in. Seems to work, if grudgingly.

Anyway, off to breakfast on an overcast morning to read the papers and return at about eight (when the meters start), the sun appearing as I was about half way home, so the day is going to be sunny and undoubtedly warm, although you'd think, given it's now the last half of October, the temperatures would be falling.

I started my first real job after the army in San Francisco in October, 1969, a day when it rained like crazy. Interesting time. Years later, October 28th, 1998, was the date this journal consciously became a “daily” journal in the sense it started calling itself an online journal having found others that year with a similar form, and now some fifteen years have gone by. Go figure. I have no way of explaining how or why it happened.

Later. A slow enough morning, a brief nap, a brief read to finish that mind numbing conversation I mentioned in Eggers book. Mind numbing in the sense it was meant to be mind numbing you understand, nothing to say against the writer's craft. About half way through the book, we'll make more progress later. Maybe much later.

A walk over to the lake. No interest in going downtown, no interest in going to the morning restaurant, barely any interest in walking over to the lake heading out because I knew I could easily cut it short.

Some youngsters doing some kind of video thing, a class of some kind, so a couple of pictures to note their presence. A walk then along the lake to the white columned pergola noting the larger number of coots. Some geese under a tree, some pigeons on top of the pergola and three pelicans sitting with a line of cormorants on the protective boom. There are more birds recently, I thought, maybe we'll see even more migrating birds soon, more species, more passers through. Maybe the first wave consists of all these coots.

With these thoughts I find myself back at the apartment. I could take a bus by the BART negotiation building, get a decent picture this time of the news crews waiting on an outcome. Both trains and buses in the balance, one suspects they'll resolve them just as the feds have seemingly agreed to keep the nation funded for another few months.

Later still. Well, finally, a bus downtown to the City Center to have a cup of coffee and a croissant at a table in the City Center, sitting there thinking what am I doing here sitting at a table in the City Center? Well, maybe I'd get up and walk to Broadway (through Latham Square) and then head up Telegraph on the shady side, take a picture or two and see what was happening outside the AC Transit building where both BART and AC Transit union negotiations were underway.

Made an adjustment to the camera as an experiment in taking pictures in contrasty light, probably not the best move I've made, but you learn by trying. Lots of television vans and crews were sitting about, one lone demonstrator in evidence with his sign board posing for a picture.

I wondered if he was taking money from the Koch brothers or he was doing this on his own. The problem he's identifying is indeed a problem, one that needs to be addressed, but there's no way I'm going to support union busting as opposed to hard nosed negotiations. The general tilt in the news has been anti-union now for the last forty years, not sure it's lead us anywhere good.

A bus to the 7-11 look-alike for a bag of Doritos and bean dip (when's the last time I've done anything like this?) and then on home, the day outside definitely t-shirt weather, but t-shirt weather where you kept to the shade while walking and didn't sit out very long in the sun.

They say Congress has decided not to pull the economy plug and so maybe we'll get lucky and the BART-AC Transit-unions will settle and people will be able to go to work tomorrow morning. Why not? No reason we can't be on a roll.

Evening. Another chapter of the German lawyer drama Crime Stories at six. The client, defended successfully by the lawyer hero of the series, is shown to have probably been guilty of killing the young woman medical student at the end, an ending similar to the two episodes I watched last week. I think. I may not have been paying attention as closely last week, but the theme of the series seems to be the lawyer, because he's the defense lawyer, not only acts, but also believes his client to be innocent (if the client says he's innocent) and defends him or her (successfully, more often that not) to the end as the legal system (German evidently as well as American) was designed

I'm not sure a series like this would fly here unless the “bad guy” was portrayed sympathetically as in - what? - Breaking Bad and some of the others that are so popular? Silly me. Anyway, the young attractive medical student is murdered and - oops! - the killer goes free. Too close to real life, perhaps, for someone with silly sensibilities who evidently doesn't want to see the bad guy win and go free. Deedle-dee-dee.

The second episode that followed was similarly, well, interesting. The young client who evidently (by his own admission) wanted to eat his girlfriend (uncooked, with knife and fork) and who's parents then fired him as the boy's lawyer as the episode was starting, appeared again at the end of the episode when the main story was completed, caught by the police in the act of eating (again, uncooked, with knife and fork) a young (and one assumes) dead waitress. If that sounds strange and a bit disconnected (say what?), well, it is. Was. Exactly the feeling I'd gotten as I was watching it: disconnected in an oddly more dangerous world.

And your thoughts about these are relevant to whom? To what?

True. Who cares? If you react badly, my silly man, watch something else. Except this one seems to have a hook in there somewhere or I wouldn't be talking about it. Corny, hopelessly juvenile Korean soaps and a German lawyer in a black overcoat and a Borsalino hat who's clients have so far been universally unpleasant louts. And I watch them both. Well, the Korean soaps sometimes, only so much of that you can take, we need to tell the truth. Thank god I didn't opt to go to law school with criminal law in mind.

The income would have been better.

What? Defending cannibals?

Well, rich cannibals. You do have the black Borsalino hat.

The photo up top was taken yesterday along Lake Merritt with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f/4.0 VR Nikkor lens.