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San Francisco 2008 Carnaval Parade.

Under here.

August 12, 2008

Without The Valium
Tuesday. So I was sitting in the living room yesterday vaguely staring at the wall in the middle of one of my “what do I do now” routines, thinking do I do this, do I do that, when I picked up a camera sitting on the floor beside me and thought, hmmm, when's the last time I cleaned the digital display on this little beast? Cleaned the UV filter protecting the lens? So I found the cleaning kit and did the necessary stuff. Hmmm. I have other cameras. I repeated the cleaning. An hour went by without wondering what I should do with myself as I absently hummed a little tune like some oversized Winnie the Pooh nicely whacked on Valium. Well, maybe not like Pooh on Valium. I'm not into Valium.

But this, of course, is the goal. I've been there many times in my life, happy to get up in the morning and futz with whatever it is that I'm futzing with at the moment: something small and silly like cleaning the cameras, something larger and more strenuous like cleaning the apartment.

Cleaning the apartment?

Well, planning a summer in Switzerland, starting an Internet company, cleaning the apartment and doing the laundry.

You seem to be well behind the rest of the world in matching your ambitions to your capabilities. Some people out there are raising families, putting their children through college.

Ain't it the truth? My current life's project is getting Ms. Emmy to favor (and consume) her faux-tuna cat food.

Or is this not registering? Am I the only one who has such periods, interregnums where I go through a shifting of gears in preparation for what's come knocking? I suspect this is a common condition and I suspect I'm now coming out on the other side of this one, this shifting of the gears now that I no longer go to an office (to play with computers) and pull an oar with others who find themselves in a similar situation. I still play with computers, but in a laid back not too serious gentlemanly way. No fuss, no muss, nobody looking over my shoulder.

A good breakfast, by the way, taking another picture of the 76 station's gas price display, gas dropping another two cents a gallon. A simple daily routine, takes all of ten minutes if you factor in putting it through PhotoShop, something like my Winnie the Pooh routine, humming along, oblivious to the world.

Is that the idea? Oblivious to the world?

If you set aside time now and again to deal with the world eyeball to eyeball: take care of the bills, take care of the relationships, make timely runs to the store for cat food and to keep your medical appointments, there's no great issue in spending the rest of your life oblivious to the world, slipping into your version of a computer life, read books that take you on improbable journeys, watch Japanese soaps written by people who live on another planet.

As in watching reality TV?

You can take the idea too far; oblivious can, indeed, be overdone.

Later. One should tread lightly, not take chances in offending the gods, but I received a copy of The Way of the World by Ron Suskind yesterday, ordering it after hearing an interview with the author on the radio. Nothing radical here, I do this from time to time, I have a copy of his earlier book The One Percent Doctrine sitting unread in the book case beside my bed. It's just I actually started reading it this morning getting about a third of the way through, another third this afternoon, some thought of finishing this evening. My, my. I actually sat down (lay down) and read something. Winnie the Pooh, without the Valium.

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 1/800th second, f 2.8, ISO 200.