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The What It Means To Live in Berkeley Parade.
December 3rd, 1999

When I Get The Invitation
The NT disk defragmenter toileth on. And on. And on.

Friday I had my teeth cleaned. Yes, the dentist noticed the fact my jaw had been moved forward. He'll check alignment to be sure the teeth are centering properly in another six months. You know, the one where they have you bite down on colored paper to see where the teeth are first touching? Was I feeling numbness around my lips? Was I inadvertently biting my lips? Was I burning my mouth by eating things that were too hot? Well, no. They were numb, but I wasn't burning or biting or doing anything too self destructive. I can remember maybe an instance of each. Somewhat self conscious at the table, but otherwise everything is working. A little clumsy when I'm using chop sticks.

Ah, you eat rice?

Um, yes. Chinatown. Lunch.

And pasta?

Um, yes.

Any gallstones?

Um, gallstones?

(Insert discussion of the possible relationship between people who develop gallstones and people who excrete lots of tartar that becomes plaque if you don't brush properly and wow! what a lot of plaque you're pumping out around the base of your gums, I wonder if it has to do with the operation, you'd better brush and brush and brush although your teeth are otherwise pretty good except they will dissolve like sugar in coffee if you drink any more Coca Cola....)

Um, yes.

Otherwise a good day. Beautiful weather. Clear and bright and not too cold. I brought the tripod in with the idea of shooting some pictures at City Center after work when it was dark (the Christmas trees, the decorations, the strings of lights) but said the hell with it and came home. Maybe this weekend. If I get myself out the door with a camera and put me in the middle of something worth shooting I'll be fine and feel all the better for it. It's just getting me butt out the door. Me as an object like a piece of furniture. Put me over near the fire and let me sit, but not too close. Not too close.

This is now Saturday morning. I went to bed early last night and awoke at 6:00, took a bath, What It Means To Live in Berkeley Parade. fed the cat, drove over to Safeway around 7:00. Not very many shoppers, but the isles are full of Safeway people filling the shelves from carts and stacks of boxes. Some guy whipping about on a fork lift size sweeper. What to buy that will last until I leave for Seattle Thursday evening? Is it considered too weird to eat the same dinner every night? Spaghetti with red clam sauce and Parmesan cheese? Not all that many calories, but as I think of it, cheese and pasta are probably not very high on the correct food list at the moment. There was the period where red meat was considered evil and now people seem to be eating protein only diets in order to lose weight. I can remember the Atkins diet that was popular in the 70's. I think he has a new book out and it's back in favor. Or was he the one who was shot to death by his nurse for exhibiting uncaring behavior? It's hard to recall.

There's probably something in print out there about red clam sauce in a can and how it will kill you and pretty quickly too if you eat it often enough, but they haven't mentioned it yet in any of my geek magazines. Nothing in the photography magazines either, although I could probably find some interesting stuff on studio lighting and red clam sauce, nice medium and large format discussions, how to calculate color temperature without reference to cholesterol or calories. It says on the can eating it will make you live forever.

The day is beautiful and I'm sitting inside at the computer. The cat is out on the balcony curled up in the sun on a chair. The cameras are loaded, of course, but I'm not shooting enough film. Like my dinners, I'm getting in a rut, thinking only of where I've gone to shoot in the past, no thoughts of new places and adventures on film. I've been thinking of taking BART to San Francisco, maybe walking to Gasser's, the big photo store, but to do what? I'd like to take a look at the new Nikon F100 and ask a couple of questions, but I have no real desire to buy more camera equipment. A lens or two in the spring that I've been thinking about buying now for some time and two or three studio strobes, but I own more camera equipment now than I will ever use with the possible exception, of course, of the nice Hasselblad equipment I'll need when they ask me to shoot portraits at the annual naked ladies convention in San Francisco. Plenty of time to acquire Hasselblads when I get the invitation.

The photographs were taken at the What It Means To Live in Berkeley Parade.