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Oakland Holiday Parade

Today at the pump

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Under here.

December 24, 2011

Day To A Close

Saturday. To bed early last night, no way around it, to sleep I'm sure by ten, up this morning at seven-thirty and off to breakfast. Not all that many people there, they'd left a reserved sign on my table as they always do when I'm late, a little embarrassing but nice. There were no lines of people, plenty of open tables, but still, a little embarrassing (and nice).

Back home by nine, the sun in a clear sky, a nice day and week ahead. No rain since I last heard we were breaking various one hundred year old no rain in December records, so I guess we're in the books. Knowing our climate history, that's probably not good.

Last night was interesting. I'm happy the ocular migraine literally held off until I reached home. I'd almost missed the bus connection when BART arrived in Oakland and would have had to wait another thirty minutes for the next, not sure I want to have one of these things sitting in the dark waiting for a bus. Or riding on a bus, although I did have one recently on the way home on a bus and survived.

Saying that is a bit over the top. These things are disconcerting, but you're able to put up a good “I'm OK, nothing is going on with me that's out of the ordinary” front and navigating (walking) can be done without bumping into people or trucks. But it's disconcerting. I may have mentioned that.

A nice long hot bath after breakfast. Now that I'm retired I usually bathe in the afternoons, but I figured a bath was what was needed to get out of this ditch and back on track. None of last night's symptoms, of course, but a little foggy from too much (or too little) sleep, the world coming together at its own pace and I was thinking hot water and a head full of soap might hurry it up.

A walk now I think, check out the farmer's market, get some air, blow the cobwebs out. Skip the Guinness though. I'm afraid I'm blaming the Guinness for last night. And hot sake in combination with the particular sushi I like to eat along with it at the place down the hill is on the list. I've not given up on the small, consumed at room temperature, bottles at home. We've had good luck with those. Until we don't.

Later. A walk down the way through the farmer's market, fairly crowded at eleven in the morning, although I've seen it better. People still buying Christmas trees at the lot beside the market. I remember families who traditionally bought and put their tree up on Christmas Eve and took it down, I suspect, with the New Year. I didn't want to think the people I saw carting off trees were having to delay until the last minute because they needed to take advantage of a clear the lot on the last day discount. At least if they have kids.

Well, what the hell. Lunch, an early lunch after a late large breakfast, at the morning café. They wouldn't take payment after what I'd left this morning for a Christmas tip. Fair enough. If they must, they must. Merry Christmas. It was a good lunch.

A walk then around the loop to the ATM (I hope this is the last ATM visit for the year) and back; again, lots of people about on the sidewalks and eating at tables out in front of restaurants and coffee shops, a nice morning to be outside. Tired, but maybe I need to get comfortable with it in the future, maybe a nap later. I found this on the camera when I downloaded, taken by accident while waiting at a crosswalk for the light. Probably the best picture of the day, but I can relate to that - Kismet, after all, a wake up gift from the gods - sitting here now as I am serenely on the sand under the moonlight in the far reaches of Oz. Um, Oakland. Near Oz.

So, Christmas Eve. Put the feet up, play the guitar, maybe skip the various Christmas shows later on the tube. A little too much, most of them, they don't seem to get any better with age. I doubt very much I could sit through It's a Wonderful Life one more time. Liked James Stewart, old enough to remember going to his later movies when they were released, but sometime in the seventies, maybe the sixties, it became too much.

This from someone who can sit through a Korean soap?

Some things are too tangled to pull apart, let alone understand. Actually, that seemingly never ending Korean every weeknight soap actually did end Thursday running into an expected “all is forgiven, everyone will live happily ever after” wall. You think, well, I guess it might be nice to think life could be like that, but I'm afraid my own reaction would have been to shush one or two of the really nasty characters out the door, lock it behind them and burn all their photographs.

Pretty grim, coming from you. Burn photographs?

Well, not the better ones and certainly not the frames. Burn them? Well, maybe lose them on an old hard drive you've hidden in a closet.

Later still. The world - after a good lie down to take a nap, but without getting to sleep - seems to be creeping back together again, so I'm looking forward to working with some more images later and just futzing around with whatever appeals this evening. If I can't cotton to the idea of watching It's a Wonderful Life, well, I'm sure there are other Christmassy shows playing. We are not a curmudgeon.

It's sounds a bit like it. Burning pictures and all.

Later evening. I did go through the 2004 Holiday Parade photographs and it turned out there were indeed enough for another section which I will finish tomorrow. I wonder what I have in the way of negatives of the 2000 Parade, the first one? So good. Christmassy, Holiday Parade photographs, Santas and such.

I did start a Netflix movie that's been sitting on the player now for a while (it takes me forever to watch these things - I tried Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson, easily starting and then stopping watching it five separate times over this last week, before giving up and sending it back maybe halfway through) and realized, as I was getting into this current film, that this was indeed Christmas Eve and it turned out I was watching some earnest bad guys going even badder foreign film, turned it off and put it back in the envelope. My, my.

So, an evening ending with a little guitar, going over things I enjoy, the stint with the photographs and a guttering Christmas candle on the table bringing our day to a close.

San Francisco last evening in the financial district taken with a Nikon D3s mounted with an 50mm f 1.4 Nikkor G lens.