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August 21, 2011

Numb And Dumb

Sunday. Last night seems to have gone well. Probably best to have at least tried to avoid the additional sake the owner poured last night, but it wasn't a large amount and the evening didn't stumble, this morning at least half clear headed when I got up some fifteen minutes after the alarm. Back now from breakfast and the Sunday papers at the usual place, the sky overcast, the second and last day of Art & Soul coming up again at noon.

My old friend Mr. W is having a benefit poetry reading later this evening in Berkeley. He and his wife won't be there, as he's not really in any condition to attend, but I think I'll show up to show the flag and make a contribution. Unless Art & Soul gets in the way in some way and I'm flat on my ass when the time arrives. I seem to be more realistic in my prognostications as I grow older. We'll skip adding “and wiser”, although “realistic” would qualify.

I say I'll show up at Art & Soul somewhat later today than I did yesterday, fighting my habit of invariably arriving on time, which is really to say arriving too early. Yesterday I was there at twelve-thirty and, although there were a number of people already there, nothing really picked up for another hour. By the time I left around three people had been arriving in greater numbers, but I'm still a little worried about how the festival is doing and what it says about the current condition of Oakland.

They had a story in the paper this morning about people giving up their pets because they could no longer afford to feed them - a story on the current economy - one woman, crying, saying she'd been forced to live out of her car and couldn't face having her cat doing the same. Guaranteed to grab at an old cat guy, let me tell you. How to finally confirm these allergies came from my cats and not something else? I'm still not sure.

Later. For all my saying I was going to arrive later today, I arrived later, but only by half an hour. Still, compared to yesterday, the festival area was now crowded, probably because I realized the acts set up yesterday for some of the stages had changed. The Plaza stage, which on Saturday was called the WomenGig stage, was hosted by gay comedienne Marga Gomez who did a stand up routine and introduced the performers which I appreciated as I learned a whole bunch of new slang. Still, not a large audience, even in ever so hip Oakland. Today is was the Dance Through the Decades stage, from Lindy Hop to Turf, and it was packed.

Tower of Power was the closing act on the main stage over on Clay and 12th and what had been the Gospel Showcase on Jefferson was now the Oakland Blues & Heritage stage and it too was going great guns, not that the gospel folks hadn't turned out. So, for those and whatever other reasons, the place was jumping and I left two hours later to catch a bus (which came this time to my relief) and arrived home feeling fine. A slow morning, this morning, but a pick me up afternoon. Now we'll see what happens later this evening at Mr. W's benefit.

The photographs? Well, hell, it was still like pulling teeth, but that's been the way of all the Art & Soul and similar festivals. Today was productive, but less so than yesterday and yesterday wasn't great. Still, I got some few pictures I like and between yesterday and today I'm sure I have a section for artandlife. Just one section, but one is enough. We are happy so far with what we've seen of the results.

Next weekend the J-Pop Festival in San Francisco's Japantown and I'm definitely looking forward to that: attractive avant-garde ladies dressed to the nines in over the top Japanese pop. Heaven at the end of the rainbow, no ticket required.

Which means?

I like J-Pop.

Evening. Drove over to Berkeley for the poetry reading, made my contribution, sat in in a small room with walls covered in art and posters from the late sixties, early seventies, didn't see anyone I knew from the old days (seemed to be a poetry crowd from those times - nice of them to donate their time and money) and left just before it started.

Good, actually. I have today's guitar practice to catch up on before I go to bed, I made the donation I much wanted to make to the cause and the day is ending well. No sake tonight, but I picked up a small consolation microwaveable pizza at the convenience store. It's reminded me just now of why I've avoided them for so long. Heartburn, I believe it's called.

I think the funky morning this morning had to do with all the Saturday running around, but I'm afraid I'm going to conduct another test, a two week sake hiatus this time, to see how I feel next Sunday after I've run myself into the ground at J-Pop, see if I feel as funky (and tired) as I did this morning. These tests, I suspect, if I'm not careful, could go on and on. One week without alcohol, OK, I've done that, now two weeks. Do we follow with three?

No kitty cats and now no alcohol?

I'm struck numb and dumb.

The photograph was taken at Lake Merritt recently with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24- 120mm f 4.0 Nikkor G lens.