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September 6, 2010

Master Of None
Monday. A good day, yesterday, as mentioned. Close to three hours walking around with a camera shooting pictures (the back a little sore after I arrived home, but otherwise fine, not particularly tired, the head behaving) and the ocular migraines evidently taking a vacation. There's some effort in examining, adjusting and putting together two artandlife sections, but I seem to enjoy it, working pretty much straight through into the evening yesterday and finishing up this morning. So good.

The morning sky is clear, I have no idea how warm that means it will be later, my café pretty much empty during the hour I spent having breakfast, leaving after eight. Did people burn themselves out last night? I assume more will arrive later. One does not want one's morning café to have financial problems in these times of financial problems. I should stop reading Paul Krugman's column in the Times Monday's and Friday's and most certainly skip his blog altogether. He's been spot on the economy since well before the meltdown and lately he's been even more upset and negative as the political culture continues what he considers to be a death spiral. All the mistakes made in 1937 repeated today, some seventy years later.

You could, you know, actually stop reading Professor Krugman.

Yeah, right. Good luck with that. I have, however, started listening to the B.B. King Blues station on XM radio rather than listening to the various internationally originated news programs they broadcast on public television. I find the blues more soothing. I've never been all that much into blues, actually, but I find the blues is less jarring than what XM calls its Deep Tracks station, progressive rock from the late sixties and seventies. Half of their Deep Tracks programming is good enough (as in it fits my particular idiosyncratic prejudices), but half of it is stuff my brain doesn't want to navigate. None of the blues is particularly jarring and I may, with time, learn to appreciate more of it as I'll undoubtedly start accumulating and listening to blues albums. Well, CD's. To be accurate.

Just download them free over the web.

I still like the physical disk itself, have no trouble with CD's over LP's and I don't buy enough to worry too much about the cost. I also discover you can create ringtones from music you've transferred from a CD into iTunes, but you can't make them from the music you buy from Steve Jobs. I'm sure there's software available to take care of that, but, for now, I'm buying the occasional CD, transferring it into iTunes and then listening to it here and in the car. Old fart habits. Getting an iPhone changes you only superficially, an old fart's core holds firm if only through ossification.

Later. I'm going to have to look up “double vision”. A walk down to the bus stop, the sky clear, the sun doing it's thing, the temperature good, not yet too hot, camera over the shoulder. I carry the camera over the shoulder when I'm waiting on a bus or in any other circumstances where the use of both hands is required, otherwise it's in hand and ready to go. Hard to manipulate the wallet with a chunk of metal strapped to your paw. It can be done, but it's no fun.

But I digress. These last few days, when I look even slightly to the side, things bifurcate and I see an overlapping two of everything. Close one eye and I can see just fine, but otherwise, unless I'm looking straight ahead, objects divide and become farther apart the more I look to the side. Disconcerting, a bit. Either side. Otherwise I feel OK and the double vision, whatever it is, doesn't seem to get to much in the way (except when I'm driving).

Otherwise the sinuses seem to be reacting to the antibiotic, and they're feeling better. I think. “Impacted”, the doctors said. Probably not good, this “impacted”. Best to unpack the “impacted”. Still, double vision. Has it always been there and for other reasons I'm computing it differently now, something to do with the brain and the nerves, the pathways? Or something? None of this is game breaking. Unless it gets worse.

A bus ride (as I started before digressing) downtown to walk over to the Chinese Cultural Center for a green tea ice cream cone and some M&M's while sitting out near the fountain. The ice cream was good, the M&M's tasted like, well, not worth the calories or taking a chance on an ocular migraine, as it's on their to be avoided list. Which is OK. I'll skip them next time out, stay with ice cream, not much more to be said.

Two or three photographs. Walking back through Old Oakland along 9th, I liked the street for the color, the overhanging trees, their leaves turning as we head toward fall. Another shot, just because I came up on it quickly, nothing to special about it. An interesting reflection in the Marriott Hotel Convention Center, but again, this was about it for the walk this morning.

Getting back to the apartment I drove over to the morning café for a bagel and an iced tea. The woman sitting across from me out on the patio talked on her phone with the little dog on her lap the whole time I was there. No complaints, no reason not to be talking on your cell phone outside on the patio and besides, there were others having conversations at their tables and the voices blended into a background babble where none of the individual voices stood out. Still, it caused me to pick the camera up off the ground, turn it on (was she noticing any of this?) and take the picture, she totally oblivious. It isn't the picture I'd hoped. At least the image I had in my head watching her on her phone, not a negative image, just an interesting image, not quite caught.

I've been thinking about getting more serious about photography, learning the elements I've avoided. A passing thought. I often have passing thoughts such as “why not learn a language” now that I'm retired (etc. etc.). Spanish most often, but Mandarin Chinese, even Japanese sometimes come to mind. Everyone has them, do they not? But why add to what I've got? A guitar to learn, a photography habit and an upcoming writing deadline on my plate. Keep focused, bucko. "Jack of all trades, master of none." Hup! Hup!

You're mood seems good (if a bit speedy) for all your bitching.

For all my “double vision”, errant sinus issues and the maddening sound of small animals scritching inside my walls, I am feeling good. Maybe it's the weather, the afternoon (and the meds). The experience of getting up in the mornings with a project comfortably in hand is nice. “Comfortably” in that the project is exciting. And I do have one or two to choose from, do I not? Here in Oakland?

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Art & Soul Festival with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.