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January 4, 2011

Let Me Tell You

Tuesday. Read another chapter in Keith Richard's book last night where he describes the band going from dead broke, stealing food from supermarkets to eat, living like pigs in a small apartment in London to superstars playing before screaming crowds in a period of six weeks. How any of them survived after something like that is a reasonable question. Six weeks. Bam! They're good, are the Stones. The early Stones, anyway, no question in my mind there, but six weeks? Just like that? I can't imagine what it must have done to their heads, even hearing the constant barrage of titillating news and hype ever since. But I digress. I often digress.

Some more interesting comments on playing the guitar, playing specific chords (or not playing chords, slipping between them like eels in oil). Learned some things or, at least, I was introduced to perspectives I would never have imagined on my own. Gave me a wider perspective on playing in a band, how the Stones were listening to Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Elvis and others, but listening always to their backup bands and how they played, learning their names, copying their chops, constantly analyzing how they played. Interesting stuff. Better interesting than not.

Anyway. To sleep around midnight, up just after eight. To breakfast and the papers and back before ten, the sun shining (the birds singing, the cuckoo clocks crowing), the day ahead. The sinus-upper palate is letting me know of its presence, but nothing too terrible, nothing to get in the way, so we're out and about pretty soon for a walk I would suspect.

Later. A bus downtown, a walk then to the Rotunda building fronting on Justin Herman Plaza facing Broadway opposite City Hall to have an eggnog something or other and a raspberry thing sitting out at a table overlooking the open interior. Not a lot of people around and about, the sun out, but quite cold, the coffee shop and the table in the Rotunda building feeling warm and inviting. Whatever.

I sat listening to a group of people at a table nearby go over their upcoming budget for the year. City employees, maybe, running some kind of public aid operation. They had their own interior way of talking, their own vocabulary honed over the years; their own way of handing the conversation off one to another, the terms they used. Weird. But to some degree common to all business. Maybe my ear has changed now that I've been away for a while.

A walk then down Broadway catching a bus before I got too far, home then just before noon. We're getting older and creakier, but we've feeling pretty good. I actually put up another framed print in the bedroom last night, re-framed another four prints and currently have an urge to put another five up on the wall before this day is done. Weird. When I say these framed portraits have been sitting against the sideboard in the bedroom for over a year I'm not kidding. Not that I don't kid.

So we'll see. My guitar lesson tomorrow after a two week vacation, one when I was up in Portland and one when my instructor had a foot operation that's put him down for the while. I turned out I would have missed that first Portland lesson with the foot anyway, but either way I have been practicing. (Time for a bit of a guilt trip here, I don't seem to be able to avoid it..) I've been doing my scales and blues riffs, now I'm ready to learn a simple tune. Whatever he has on the schedule, I'm adding a tune from one of the song books I've acquired over these last months. I don't have many - the Beatles, a couple of others - but enough selection to find something I like that, with enough practice, I will be able to play. Pretty hot thinking for this old fart, let me tell you.

Later still. An afternoon and early evening scanning a few black and white negatives I ran across just recently in going through the binders. I'd shot a number of rolls of black and white that just built up after a while, shot during the change over from film to digital. and finally got desperate and dropped them off at a custom film processor in Berkeley, thinking, when I got them back, they weren't very good (my, my). But they included some studio portraits, a wedding and the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, one or two of which I rather liked. So I scanned a couple and made prints. Pretty ambitious, given my history, let me tell you.

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