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Under Construction
San Francisco Carnaval Parade

January 14th, 2004

And She's Allowed
Tuesday. The days are not getting any slower, but I'm feeling pretty good. This is good.

I should develop the two rolls of film tonight I said I was going to do last night but I doubt I'll get around to it. Load them into a developing tank, maybe. Take that first simple step. Then all I'd have left is mix the developer, everything else is mixed and ready sitting in recently purchased plastic bottles in the closet. These are the two rolls I shot testing the studio lights realizing (after the fact) I'd probably overexposed them (terribly) and I'm sitting here thinking what I'd really like to do is pour another drink before slinking off to bed and watching that weird Chinese television program on Channel 26.

I have no idea what this television program is or what it's about. An hour long soap that plays four nights a week at nine, Mondays through Fridays. Saturdays I watch Musashi which I think is finishing up soon topping out now at something like fifty episodes. Fifty one hour episodes. Musashi, at least, has English subtitles. This weird Chinese television show I watch on Channel 26 is in Chinese with Chinese subtitles. Cantonese with Mandarin subtitles? Where is it made? Hong Kong? Mainland China? Taiwan? I have no idea. I watch (and wonder).

The story is set in some early mythical period, young men and women making it with swords and snappy patter in a fantasy world, all drop dead movie star beautiful, two or three make up artists attached to each of the actors standing off camera ready to apply a quick coat of lip gloss, eyebrow liner, mascara or multi-colored powder. They're members of competing groups of some kind, some primarily women, some consisting of men and women, some led by men, some led by women, all, old or young, ready to whack your head off at the slightest provocation.

The women take no guff and take no prisoners. They are wont (men and women both) to break into blistering sword fights flying and flailing about, whirling dirvishes able to distort space-time itself and accomplishing all manner of derring do without killing one another except when they do kill one another and then without seeming blame or consternation.

The young women exchange the occasional longing look with the young guy (hero), but for all this well painted prancing flesh there doesn't seem a whole lot of hanky panky. Which is weird but undoubtedly due to the different culture, Chinese Kung Fu made for kids television culture perhaps, particularly if it's made for mainland China. All that tension and no release, no wonder they're flying.

Where are we going with this?

Man, I have no idea.

Wednesday. I talked with MSV at work today since I knew she was born in China and spoke fluent Chinese. Had she ever watched this program? Why yes, she had. The groups are variously competing Kung Fu schools, the woman whom they were trying to burn at the stake last night was the Queen of Persia (in disguise) and the folks trying to light her on fire were Persian mucky-mucks upset because she'd had a child (or fooled around) with someone not up to royal standard.

My, my. Kung Fu schools. OK. The Queen of Persia. The fellow whom the four young Kung Fu women think is one hot potato has (over the course of many episodes) become the leader of one of the schools, his parents forced to commit suicide by someone whom I don't recall early on in the series, someone who will undoubtedly be whacked by the youngster before the soap is over and the old guy with whites for eyes who spends his time chopping up people with his ornate sword is actually the young man's godfather (or something) which explains why he looks after him instead of hacking him to pieces.

Which doesn't make any sense, does it? It doesn't make much sense to me either and I'm the guy who's watching it. MSV admitted her husband wonders why she watches this stuff, but what the hell, she's a long way from home and she's allowed.

The photograph was taken at a San Francisco Carnaval parade with a Nikon F5 and a 135mm f 2.0 Nikon (Nikkor) lens on Kodak Ektachrome 100S.