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San Francisco 2008 Carnaval Parade.

Under here.

August 9, 2008

To The Fire
Saturday. Sitting at Peet's downtown after maybe an hour pacing the apartment thinking I can't sit around here and I can't think of a place I'd like to go, the head feeling a bit off kilter: back and forth, back and forth before just saying “fuck it” and heading out the door. A walk down the way past the farmer's market to have a cup of coffee out at a table at the breakfast place where I'd had breakfast four hours before, then hopping a bus when it stopped to come here overlooking Broadway nursing an iced café latte this time here at Peet's. These moods occur, not very often, and then more often in the evenings on say a Sunday, or else I'd have to do some serious thinking about art and life with an emphasis on life after, well, puberty.

Back home, now, the jittery feeling gone - probably through the exercise, pumping whatever beneficial chemicals walking produces - and we'll see how the rest of the afternoon progresses. I have to admit downtown Oakland, at least downtown Oakland on Broadway in front of de Lauer's, the still open 24 hour seven days a week newspaper and magazine store, is a downer. Too many homeless people looking for spare change, looking to score: young and old, smart and stupid, bent and broken suggesting, maybe, you've made a wrong turn somewhere along the line standing here waiting for your bus, maybe you should move to, say, Palo Alto or the Hamptons.


I found living in “the Hamptons” during my teenage years a deader than dead end for someone of my tender sensibilities and since then, although I've always lived relatively comfortably, I've lived in places that attracted a fairly wide range of people with dissimilar backgrounds. Berkeley for example, even for all the books and the culture, even though it's the chosen home of Ms. W, gives me a similar set of the creeps for what I see as its uniformity and Oakland, I'm afraid, downtown Oakland for the reasons described, isn't all that much better. My apartment here is not in the downtown, but in a “mixed” area of incomes and ethnicities much closer to what I appear to be looking for.

Napa, maybe? I liked living in Napa, the town of Napa if not in one of the up valley cuter than cute little winery towns. I could buy the old condo I once rented in Napa for an affordable price, but I'm not sure you can go back after all of these years. I would imagine I'd have made an excellent ex-patriot living in a foreign culture, changing countries every now and then to clear the head and re-stoke the fire. Maybe that's still an option.

Are we being overly introspective?

Oh, probably. Nothing too debilitating going on at the moment, just some thoughts. God, in my estimation, is still on my side.

I ran across this yesterday, by the way. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If I were a young punk again starting out I might well give something like this a try. Video rather than still, video more “useful”, more powerful, more relevant in this mad dash century. It has a certain light touch yet it still drills home the reality of what may have been done to us in these last seven years. I say “may have been done to us” because I've learned that life's undercurrent of black humor can turn everything I detest and fear about something like the Bush administration on its head in a minute through events unimagined just waiting around the corner. But I doubt it. Anyway, again, if I were young I think I'd go out and get a camera and a video editor, start collecting news clips and writing scripts, add my own contribution to the fire.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2008 Carnaval Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/640th second, f 2.8, ISO 200.