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San Francisco Gay Pride Parade

December 20th, 2003

It's Better
It's probably those early years in Ballard, the Lutefisk mostly, greedy little bugger that I was, chomping down all day on mercury laden fish. Later the tuna, of course, we know about the tuna now, the white one's particularly, dolphin safe, the mercury content higher ever higher. Pretty soon you're wandering down the hall bouncing off the walls with your mind in some other world where tuna and mayonnaise coexist happily between two slices of Wonder Bread. Or is it my age, Alzheimer's on the horizon, here in Oakland?


I was walking today, thinking - I usually think when I'm walking - conjuring up words and rhythms. I didn't eat Dudefisk, er, Lutefisk when I was young. Scandinavian, yes, but we're third generation on my mother's side and who knows how many generations on my father's side and Lutefisk was something you chuckled over at family gatherings. I know members of the family have consumed the dish. There are serious members in my family, many of them serious, anyway, although from what you read here you may not believe it. They've tried it if only to converse knowledgeably in polite company. To know their history and all that. Most of the family, in fact, has visited the old Iceland homestead in the interior, a pile of rocks now, and everyone understands why we packed up and left. The availability of cheap American liquor, mostly, but hunger too from the look of it.

Is all this the product of the whiskey, two shots with water, or listening to public radio on an empty stomach?

I don't know about the public radio. I think public radio comes with age and living near Berkeley, although I was always told you're supposed to become more conservative as you grow older. Writing every day or so leaves only so much time to work on any given piece before you have to post it. I guess I need more time, become a sometimes poster. I spent a lot of time writing once way back and came up with nothing: empty vessel, empty words, discovering I had nothing to impart. It doesn't seem any easier to come up with nothing on a daily basis. No obsessing over yesterday's entry, though, you've got a deadline today and tomorrow you don't think about. Except for the pictures. I have to plan for the pictures.

Which is to say the studio lights, the mono-lights, the strobes - you understood where this was leading, right? - work just fine. It's just I need to figure out how to use them with the Nikons. The Nikon lights are no brainers, you hook them up and they calculate exposure. For the studio lights I may have to break out an exposure meter and test the damned things (notice how quickly they've gone from "saviors" to "damned things"), measure the distance from light head to subject and take notes. This isn't good for someone who bounces off of walls. Did I mention the mercury and the Lutefisk? Did you think this wasn't leading to photography? And complaining?

I take it you're still suffering from dizziness?

Yeah, but no complaints, it's better.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade with a Nikon F5 and 135mm f 2.0 Nikon (Nikkor) lens on Kodak TMAX 400.