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Under Construction
Jack London Square

December 6th, 2003

Take The Pace
I went to see The Last Samurai at the Grand Lake theater this noon, the new Tom Cruise opus favorably reviewed here and there in the press. It's OK, I recommend it. There is a reasonably light hand for a Tom Cruise movie, a "Japanese" touch if you will. Not The Seven Samurai, but then very little in life is.

I also need to see Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thornton. I've heard good things about it, very good things about it before learning it's Terry Zwigoff's latest since Ghost World, the film he did after his excellent Robert Crumb documentary released in 1994. Now he's done Bad Santa with a screenwriter/director credit in a movie produced by Ethan and Joel Coen and he's directing something called Art School Confidential staring John Malcovich when it goes into production next year. In my film world that's called hitting it big.

I knew Zwigoff as one of the people around Crumb (He was a member of Crumb's Cheap Suit Serenaders) during the early seventies when I worked at the Rip Off Press. Didn't know Crumb well, knew Zwigoff even less, but knew them well enough to say hello and pass a few moments. A long time coming for Zwigoff if he's been living as hand to mouth as he was when I knew him over these intervening years. Interesting, though. Life is strange, but it has a sense of humor.

I tried doubling up the Zoloft to a normal dose for three days last week. Made me speedier than hell so I backed off. I may go for another month and then stop for a while to see how I feel. It's a big difference. Not that grind your teeth edginess you get with speed if I can remember what it was like to do speed. MSC called them beans back in the old days. White crosses. This stuff isn't the same thing at all, thank god, but still, you can definitely feel the difference. Not sure half the time how to sort it out from the vertigo symptoms: the aching head, the sore chest (the crossed eyes, the kidney stones, the bullet holes in the elbows). Complicated, isn't it? Growing old. Still, not a bad week back on the job, although I'm not sure how long I can take the pace.

The photograph was taken in Jack London Square in Oakland with a Nikon F3 and 105mm f 1.8 Nikon (Nikkor) lens on Kodak TMAX 400.