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Shameless family dog photo.

April 24th, 2001

Afford The Monthlies
Tuesday. Portland.

Seven in the morning. The sky seems clear and there will be sun today. Perhaps go into Portland and shoot pictures in the downtown, perhaps work on my PhotoShop assignment (for last week) and try to catch up with the rest of the class. They are wading through some new and therefore more difficult stuff, Alpha channels and layer masks, and I really do need to get a foundation in what they are talking about so I can use it later in life with my photographs.

What am I saying? I still have my head full of wool, long night's sleep followed by naps: tired, tired, tired, but kind of a weird Sister in kitchen. tired, tired, tired. I wonder what it really is? You start to wonder, well, maybe the body is telling us something: the work is more stressful than I know and the body is about to make you shut down and check into a desert island for six months to lie on the beach or a in a hospital bed before making you get another job selling mangos on the beach in Tahiti; or, it turns out you really had the rare Tasmanian Grut and the rare Tasmanian Grut isn't over until it's over and it's not over; or, and this slows you down, once you turn 58 your mind turns to mush and your body turns to mush and it's all over; or, and this seems less likely, all these years of not drinking have taken their toll. Anyway, that means my talking about going to Portland to shoot pictures and work on my PhotoShop assignment is probably bullshit - nothing unusual, in my case - but bullshit none the less. Besides, I don't think my PhotoShop class id and password stored on my home computer have been transferred onto this one. Better add it. When I get home. Catch up later.

Last night we downloaded late 50's tunes from Napster and played them into the night. There's still a lot of stuff available although there were only 6,000 people dialed in. Still, most of what we looked for was there and easily downloaded. I'm realizing how nice Napster is for old out of circulation music and surprised how little I've used it these last couple of years. My sister and brother in law are both into music, my sister recording two 45's on Verve Folkways back in the folk era when she was just out of college and my brother in law playing for years in a jazz band.

They've downloaded five or six hundred MP3's and play them often. Nobody likes the record companies and their $18 CD's, nobody is happy with the big heavily marketed pop groups, but somebody has to pay for the music that is being made and some mechanism needs to be worked out that takes the Internet into account. It ain't goin away, not today, not tomorrow. Neither is music. There will be a marriage, with a shotgun if necessary, but I have no idea what the children will look like.

I downloaded R. Powell St. John's Living With the Animals from the first Mother Earth album with Michael Bloomfield on guitar and Mark Naftalin on keyboards, both sitting in on this album under pseudonyms when it was made in the sixties. I have the album at home. Their manager was an Austin friend who also worked with Bloomfield and Johnny Winter and it was through him that I was able to get backstage and hear some of the music up close.

I remember an old KSAN "Texas artist night" live broadcast out of the Alembic (Grateful Dead) studio in back of Fillmore West with Sister in kitchen. Johnny Winter playing and a new local group (straight out of Texas: Oakland, Texas) called The Pointer Sisters. I hadn't heard them before, although they were making waves locally, and I went up to them after their performance and said (hip, clear eared music maven that I was) "wow, you were great, you're going to really make it big", and they absently nodded their heads in the direction of the idiot in front of them and smiled. They already knew where they were going and didn't need any late in the day confirmation from me. Well, what the hell, I drank the Lone Star beer they'd imported at great effort from Austin and enjoyed the broadcast.

Well, had dinner with my mother and nephew last night at her managed residence house. Nice place, nice meal. Not many men present. We don't last the way the women do. A small closed world where things of moment are measured in what's for dinner, who said this, who said that, a field trip on a bus to wherever, the son and the grandson visiting this Monday evening for dinner. Not a bad world and when you measure the things that make up their lives against the things that make of the lives of their youngsters, I'm not certain one is more or less important than another. Can I see myself living in a place like that in twenty years? God, I hope not, but yes, given the alternative. I just hope I can afford the monthlies.

Not having shot any pictures earlier today, I took one of the dog (Frisky) and a couple in the kitchen as my sister and brother in law were preparing dinner. The quote is by Jeanne Moreau.