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Under Construction
Oakland Chinese Street Festival

December 17th, 2005

Turns Bad
Pisces (Feb 19 - Mar 19) You're at a crossroads. Live the life you like or like the life you live? Choose the first. You won't be sorry with Jupiter in Scorpio.
Saturday. Well, yes. Jupiter in Scorpio. I might have known. Timely advice, though. The job has become somewhat more interesting since this mass of conflicting information they call Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS, a.k.a. Slow Moving Software) has become more comprehensible, the little twists and ticks beginning to make sense. After a year. Same with something called Wise Package Studio, a little $4k bundle that allows you to make “packages” for SMS. The nuts and bolts seem to be falling into place. This can be dangerous; this can dull your senses; this can lull you into thinking you can make do spending your waking hours doing your day job and forgetting family and photography. My secret passion for shooting attractive women at self contemplative moments while unaware of the camera, for instance.

That's always the rub. For whatever reason the work life has been more comfortable these last weeks, delusionally comfortable, and the photography is in a bind because the creative juices are at a half empty stage instead of a glass half full. I've got a problem to solve with this next studio session that has me upset and I need to sit down and work it out.

Still, having read the horoscope over breakfast, driving home, I spied a couple standing in a glass enclosed bus stop as I was stopped waiting for a traffic light two car lanes away. I had a camera on the seat beside me, as I always have a camera on the seat beside me, and I thought, well, I should take this picture (for a lot of good reasons we don't need to go into here) and I can maybe do it before the light changes and, well, this internal dialog went on for too long until the light changed and I made my turn without taking the picture. Still, the urge arose, the eyes saw the image, the glass became half full again and the juices started flowing. Let's resolve the studio problem, let's maybe even develop all this black and white film I have on my baseboard, let's (and this is reckless, I know) go out onto the street with a camera.

So, did you open that sake last night? Are we wishing we hadn't? Are we caught in our usual circular lament?

Sake didn't seem right, so I went down to check out the new owners of the sushi restaurant again at the bottom of the hill. A flask of hot sake, yes, but just one along with rolls named after States: California, Alaska, New York. Something rather exotic for dessert consisting of ice cream and two other ingredients, one of them in the form of soft, small, pale, glass-like cubes; another a derivative of bean curd, sweet and dark. Very good. I watched mindless Chinese television (with English subtitles this time) afterward and got a good night's sleep.

It is cloudy outside, they are predicting rain over the coming week, but I am snug as a bug in my apartment (which almost overlooks the lake); Ms. Emmy is kneading her ersatz lamb's wool scatter rug with her claws in front on the forced air heater and I am contemplating putting a record on the turntable and listening to something I haven't listened to for twenty years. The holidays, in other words. I would say the Christmas holidays, but the fundamentalists are driving many of us Californians away from Christmas and into the arms of the Goddess, who doesn't require a whole lot of political correctness as long as you kiss her feet and offer a nice back rub whenever the weather turns bad.

The photograph was taken at an Oakland Chinese Street festival with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 VR Nikkor lens at 1/1600th second, f 2.8 and ISO 100.