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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


December 19, 2012

Lost Some Callouses
Wednesday. Awake and up before the alarm, off to breakfast and back on another cold but sunny morning, the light streaming through the (now curtained) balcony door thinking I'd best be off to have that MRI down in Los Gatos. How long the drive? Best allow more than an hour, I'm terrible about my never arriving late to an appointment compulsion. Mr. On Time must fight this habit and do his best not to arrive too early. On time at the party is nice, too early isn't, in his humble experience.

Got gas on the way home, so we're ready. I really don't like this king of thing anymore, not because it's an MRI, but more the thought of driving a good distance through traffic has become problematic now that I've gotten older (and slower). Trivial trips become a wrestling match. Nothing really terrible, but I'm wondering where this particular attitude might lead in another few years? Worse? I'd guess not better. If I'm around in whatever number of years. Odd sort of thinking.

Later. So I went through my usual routine of writing down the directions to the place from a Google map, no need to print it, just the last few street changes once I'm off the highway. Driving down, an easy drive, I got to thinking maybe I'd missed the exit. Hadn't I been driving too long on Highway 880, I wondered, when the thought finally occurred I still have that GPS app on the phone I swore I'd use the last time I found myself in this very fix. No more than a month ago. Way back when.

Anyway, I discovered I hadn't missed a turn and arrived on time, went through the MRI (wrapped up inside a metal tube that buzzes loudly around you for thirty minutes, broken in the middle when they pull you out and inject your arm with tracer fluid) and, back in the world again, headed home. I don't need the GPS to get back home, right? Just having arrived here I can surely remember the turns? Right? Such, as you may have guessed, is life.

Arrived home just before one, the detour not all that long once I'd turned on the GPS software and the lady's voice had explained where I'd gone wrong. I think I'll get one that mounts on the dashboard the next time I get the car serviced, one easier to manipulate while driving than this one on the smartphone.

The trip itself was fine, whatever apprehensions I'd had were mostly misplaced, although I'm not so sure my awareness on the road is as it once was. Yes, I pay attention, keep to the limit and don't make aggressive moves, but there's a little voice that says best to watch your step more closely in traffic.

Later still. A walk along the lake and then on to the morning restaurant for lunch, thinking I'd do something exotic like have a hamburger, a few fries, ice cream and coffee. Which I did. Not all that many fries, but I did come close to finishing the burger and had no difficulty whatsoever with the ice cream. Don't remember so much about the coffee. So far, so good.

Back now, the temperature still “brisk”, the sun bright, the late afternoon ahead. They said they wouldn't use any of their “seasoning mix” on the hamburger patty so we'll see how that works out. Meanwhile the guitar. Always the guitar. I suspect I've gone a bit stale or else the holiday season is showing guitar unfriendly side effects.

Evening. The Australian police procedural at six, an episode I'd seen before, but watched anyway while playing along on the guitar. Lots of characters suffering from PSD in this one, you forget Australia had been sucked into the Iraq mess, and you can see why an employer might have second thoughts about hiring a vet if they've been watching enough of this kind of stuff. Still, six o'clock comes around on a Wednesday night and I turn on the set and watch.

Similarly with the French police procedural that follows. No PSD, but everyone in it with but one or two exceptions, is damaged goods in the sense they cut corners, take payoffs, snort coke and aid friends and associates to avoid the law: the police, judges and prosecutors happily mixed in with all the usual assortment of criminal miscreants. Opaque, my description? My reaction to the program, although I have to admit to getting a kick out of it.

But enough. To bed before ten, the left hand finger tips really sore, which either means I've gotten in a whole bunch of playing or I haven't been playing enough and the finger tips have lost some callouses.

The photo up top was taken along Lake Merritt earlier this month with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 VR Nikkor lens.