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Under Construction
Jazz musicians at the Bulldog cafe, Oakland

January 1st, 2004

Me, Me, Me
Rain and wind and rain and the Napa river is flooding this morning as we begin 2004. Well, I'm inside with the heater running, I've had breakfast and I've had lunch and I don't live in Napa anymore, so let's be upbeat about the coming year. (I can flog this upbeat crap just as easily as that downbeat crap so we're in for upbeat crap at least through the weekend. Hard to say what will happen when I get back to face the year at work on the 5th, but that's, you know, whole days in the distance.)

I was floating in the bath this morning, having gone to bed early and sleeping in late, listening to the NPR people talking about some book or other on energy and how to focus it and maintain it and coddle it and use it to your advantage when I thought, well, yes, my attitude is so bad about the job, why not turn that around before breakfast and live happily every after?

And then I thought that's ridiculous, why not just focus on breakfast which is immediate and obtainable. It's later in the morning than usual, but it's raining like crazy and all those people who would normally be out for breakfast are still in bed with their hangovers so there's probably parking available so why don't I finish this bath and eat breakfast and start this New Year right! How upbeat! How positive! How energetic! (And laudable.)

Is this enough for today? I think so. Today I'm developing two rolls of black and white film to get the process going. I'm going to have to develop my own (which every good photographer should do who shoots black and white) or I'm going to have to find another black and white lab and I don't want to find another black and white lab because the only one's I've found have inconvenient locations and less convenient hours.

They talked about this a bit on the NPR program. Getting your priorities straight, being sure your objectives are objectives that give you a lift on the path and not objectives that sound good, but do you down. Could developing black and white film be doing me down? Or am I down and fighting all manner of tasks, both good tasks and bad tasks, just to be a bad guy about it? Or is digital the answer? Nikon has released a new digital camera. I wonder how it does in black and white? Digital development times tend toward the minimal.

Doesn't take long, does it? You start by carping, degenerate to photography and then hit bottom with talk of buying (cars, clothes, books, movies, stereos) cameras. An American life in the American drama. Me, me, me. (He, he, he....)

The photograph was taken outside of the Bulldog cafe on Broadway in Oakland with a Nikon F3 and 50mm f 1.2 Nikon (Nikkor) lens on Kodak TMAX 400.