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January 3, 2011

Maybe I'll Go

Monday. The evening wound up a little differently last night, some Jack Daniels, yes, but not much, a session then reading the first few chapters of Keith Richards book Life, more reading than I've done in a while running just past midnight. And eating, remembering I had some Japanese candies left still sitting up in a kitchen cupboard, a whole bunch of (made in Japan) candy forgetting sugar is reputed to get you buzzed and, I would assume, keep you awake. Is that true? I eat and drink my share of sugar, but, like coffee, almost never in the evenings. Whatever the case I didn't get to sleep until after one.

So, up after nine, to breakfast under a sunny sky, back before eleven; home now at the beginning of a new week - month - year. If that makes a difference. It does make a minor difference, I suspect, if only how you handle it in your head.

Richards’ book, by the way, isn't bad. So far isn't bad. I have to admit I'm interested in what he says about learning guitar (he emphasizes learning on an acoustic guitar and then graduating later to an electric), about his introduction to the blues, rock and roll and the then current English and American pop music scene. It was different in England, of course, he didn't have access the way we did here in the place it was invented, but interesting comments and parallels all the same.

I'm not so interested in the tabloid aspects of the rock and pop scene, who slept with whom, in what numbers and when. Even when I knew Ms. C well in the early seventies, living at and listening to music in the old Rip Off Ranch, she having worked for Apple records and the Beatles, knowing the English scene well, I realize I didn't ask many questions about it other than the kind of standard “who of the four did you like best?” (Paul), “was Patty Boyd a decent human being?” (she was). Richards (so far) has been talking about his very early life, how he came to play the guitar, his schooling, his family, the conditions he grew up under in London.

He's nine months younger than I am and I realized how different an after the war, bomb damaged, tight on resources, London was from my old working class neighborhood in Seattle, the middle class rural neighborhood we moved to north of Seattle and the weird (certainly to me) upper middle class neighborhood we ended up in just outside New York City. World War II was raging when I was born, but my experience of it (other than hearing the very few stories told by family members who'd served) was essentially nil. Bombed out buildings? Still rationed foods to include candies, cakes, deserts and such ten years after it had ended? Little or no access to rock and roll? What?

So I'm a few hours into the book, let's see how much farther I go. Interesting to see my learning to plink away at a guitar at my age kindling an interest in hearing how he was introduced to the guitar at the age of fifteen. The first chapter, where he describes being (almost) busted for drugs in Arkansas on a Stones tour slowed me down a little and it took getting through that first chapter last night before it fired my interest to continue. But we'll see. Some of the old fire was kindled last night, some reading done, a throwback to an earlier me.

Later. A walk down to the ATM passing whatever seems to have happened beside the Grand Lake theater in front of the smoke shop. A car running into the planters and flattening the old parking meter pole? Hard to say how anyone would do that, there's no space or reason anyone would or could accelerate quickly or cross traffic, except someone did. Hi, ho. Walk on.

I'm only about three quarters there as I'm walking. The upper-palate ache is aching, yes, but that seems to go into the background after a while. There's some slight problem with the vision now, not like any of the side effects created by the allergy medications, just a kind of going out of focus effect that makes you, well, more careful. I wonder if it's an adjustment needed? Maybe I now need glasses to see correctly in the distance, something I've never had to do before? Could be, but then things through the left eye are in focus when I check, so something more to watch, see how it changes, if it goes away. (Please go away.)

A photograph or two, just to take them I'm afraid. A couple of guys in the distance with a camera and tripod shooting the city on the lake or maybe focusing on the flock of birds, flocks of birds, floating on the lake. I've not been willing to lug a monopod, let alone a tripod around. Made me think about it, though. I have at least one lens that requires support that I never somehow use, one of those purchases that were truly insane purchases in that I didn't use the lens after it arrived. It's kept me from acquiring anything similarly heavy, though. Hi, ho.

A picture of my long suffering tree stump just because. We can take photographs just because just, you know, because. I also took notice they're fixing up the old Kwik Way burger drive-in. There's been activity there now for a while, but I have no idea what they're planning. Burgers? More burgers? Not something I'm particularly looking forward to given my now ingrained aversion to burgers, but better building something than nothing in this economy, I'd guess.

Later still. The new mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan, is hosting an open house at City Hall from five to nine this evening. Maybe I'll go. Take some pictures. Maybe.

The photograph was taken at Lake Merritt yesterday with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24 - 120mm f 4 Nikkor VR lens.