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April 26, 2011

I'll Surprise Myself

Tuesday. Up at six with the alarm, to breakfast and back by eight. OK. What now? To bed for another hour and a half. I was tired. Up now after ten, the sun shining, the day great, me thinking it couldn't hurt to lie down again. Just for a little while. Clear the head.

I forget when I got to bed last night, but it wasn't all that late. Eleven, probably, later than I should. I did have some sake last night, but the usual amount. Right up to my limit of two plus maybe a few additional milliliters, but close enough. Still, even though I consumed it slowly over the course of the evening, it could have left a mark.

You do go on about sake.

Cheap sake, served now at room temperature. No more putting it in the microwave. All this is probably just me wondering why the head is cloudy some days and not so cloudy on others, looking for a culprit. If I had a decent internal editor none of it would show up here, oh dear, but I don't and it does.

Quite a bit of time on the guitar yesterday, the fingertips still a little touchy this morning. I'd hope, with a couple more weeks of this, they'd settle out. Am I a better guitar player for all this practice? (My idea of a lot of practice, not necessarily the idea of actual guitar players who may be laughing at the moment.) I think I perceive progress, but not enough to really be sure. Of course there is, that's the reason you practice, but as I've said ad nauseam, practice is what it's about.

So, as you've been claiming, you'll still be a rock star in six months?

It's always six months. Realistically I want to play a decent tune in two years. That was the objective. Play for two years and then sit down and see where I go from there. If I do play for two years, an hour or more a day, I don't think I'm going to stop, but they say you need objectives (realistic ones, not this two year business, too long really to make sense) and I've set objectives.

Two years was actually the point at which I wanted to be able to play Layla. I assume badly, I don't really expect more than that, but to know the song on the guitar by heart. I go over the intro every day, just, you know, to keep on track. Two years go quickly here in the salt marshes of Oakland beside the bay.

Later. A walk to the bus two stops farther along on Grand as I was too early for my stop, catching this shot of the birds being fed. You can't really see them for the cluttered background, maybe something more with better cropping, but still, a good way to start a walk.

Caught the bus, got off at Broadway to have a strawberry shortcake at Bakesale Betty's, the line not too long for half past eleven. Hungry for some reason, even though I'd had a big breakfast. I was hungry when I went to breakfast as well. Still holding the weight at just under one-sixty, so I figured a little strawberry shortcake couldn't hurt.

These guys were approaching as I got ready to cross 19th. Hugs. OK, we had two people shot to death and four wounded in some kind of crazy robbery attempt near Jack London Square on Broadway just after midnight this morning, maybe this was their reaction. Hugs not bullets. I settled for a picture.

So we're ready to pick up the guitar. I was able to pick up a prescription I'd called in yesterday when I got downtown, the usual wait til the last minute refill, so the trip was successful. Not much of a walk, but a walk, we'll see if there's another one later in the mill. This old mill.

And, well, we have the 40th Anniversary CD/lp package arriving today from Amazon, the 40th anniversary of the recording of Derek and the Dominos Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Why do I need a 40th anniversary package when I have the original lp's, both the original studio and the live recordings, have the various CD's they've since released and don't need any of the printed on paper promotions (what in the hell would I do with them?).

But I thought about it (Amazon is very good at giving you a heads up when these things are announced ahead of their release when they know you've bought similar stuff in the past) and I thought about it and then I said the hell with it and popped for the package. Do I not write enough about this album? To the point I understand I'm well over the line and into the land of ad nauseam?

OK, I like these two albums, I particularly like most of the cuts, I'm still able to play them without getting grumpy. Occasionally play them in spurts. We'll see what we do when it arrives. When they arrive, whatever “they” consists of when I examine the package. They talked about a book, some tickets, some other stuff.

Later still. Guitar practice sitting on a stool in front of the news on TV. I suspect more than a few scales have been played by guitarists in front of a TV. Probably doesn't lend itself to proper posture as you practice, but then again I suspect it teaches you to play the damned thing in various contorted positions, no doubt useful on a stage or in your videos. It's five in the afternoon, still no package, but this particular delivery company always arrives here late, often after six, so nothing to stew about.

Tried a different cropping of the gulls, the photograph still doesn't quite pop. I may have to break my rule, go out and set it up (properly). Position myself, bring bread, stuff like that. I'll surprise myself if I do. Doodle-dee-do.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival Parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.