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Ms. Emmy on drugs in Oakland

December 31st, 2006

My Own Night
Sunday. I bought one of those digital picture frames, a nice one with what appears to be all the bells and whistles (wireless, tireless and web enabled) without first seeing it the flesh and I'm thinking, as I'm looking at it, this is probably not the way to display pictures; this is probably not the way any rational person would display pictures. Not on a wall, not propped up on a table or a desk. Display a photograph on your computer, sure, just as you'd look at a photograph in a newspaper or magazine, but framed prints are still the way to go for anything permanent. This digital frame is too glitzy. Too much like a neon sign. Then again I've had it now for not quite a day, maybe I'm missing something. It came with built in stereo speakers so you can describe the undying elegance of your photographs as they morph from one to the next; to whom you'd describe them I don't know, but with violins playing in the background no doubt for effect. What was I thinking? I've never heard the words: “Look before you leap?”

You weren't and you haven't.

Piece and parcel of too many things I've done in this last year, think I, as I sit here summing up. Not a great year for the world, from the look of it. I can't think of anything we as a country have done that doesn't guarantee a special place in hell for us in the afterlife. My own day to day hasn't been affected all that much. One hopes all of you may have survived as well, although I notice a number of hits from the Middle East in my referrer logs. Nothing much out of Africa, of course. Hard to surf the net when you're starving to death in the ancestral home of the human race. The head is not good and that's worrisome, except I don't seem to freak out about it. I just bump into walls more often and take, when I can, longer naps. It's probably causing turmoil inside: bells clanging, whistles blowing, ghosts scrambling around my subconscious looking for life jackets.

Then again, walking back from breakfast this morning, I took a detour along the lake. No big deal, a walk maybe fifty feet down from the sidewalk, taking a photograph of the birds sitting farther out in the mist. Not a very good photograph, but at least I'm standing there with a camera in hand and not spinning back to the apartment wanting a nap. Still it's the last day of 2006, a day to look back, yes, but also to think of the year ahead. Do I have anything coming of any real interest? I mean, am I going to repeat this last year? Go to the office in the mornings, half-do a day's work, return home, drink sake, make desultory comments on the web? Take more pictures? It doesn't matter whether I do or not, but I still have some thought whatever I do should be something I want, something no matter how minor in the eyes of the world that at least lights a light in my own night. Here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken of Ms. Emmy with Nikon D2X mounted with a 17-55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at 1/50th, f 2.8, ISO 1600.