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Under Construction
San Francisco Gay Pride Parade

July 11th, 2002

When I See Her
Wednesday, after work (when else?), after an afternoon at an Adobe Photoshop seminar for photographers in San Francisco. I forgot how nice it is to walk out the front door of the building, descend to the BART station below, hop on a train and be in San Francisco in fifteen minutes, a five minute walk to the hotel. BART is nothing like the one other subway system I've seen. I lived in New York and occasionally took the New York City subway thirty years ago (before BART was built) and it's a whole different experience, darker, more crowded, more frenetic, although in its own way interesting. This isn't a fair comparison, but the point is I'm able to live in a reasonably small city by a lake where I can walk comfortably downtown to work along tree lined streets an easy hop from an internationally known city. I am thankful for this. Sometimes. Occasionally. When I'm conscious. And coherent.

A good seminar, by the way. A demonstration on version 7 from a photographer's perspective. I was hoping to pick up one or two pieces of useful information and went away satisfied. A lesson in how little I know about Photoshop for all the time I've spent using it, but a lesson that gives me hope. Progress (of a kind).

Thursday. Warm and humid this morning after Pleasanton, a commuter suburb east of hereSan Francisco Gay Pride Parade on the other side of the hills, hit one hundred and eight degrees yesterday. Fahrenheit, of course, else the oceans would have been boiling and you would have read about it this morning over coffee: "San Francisco Parboiled!". Which is warmer than I like, warmer than I can handle and why I don't live in Pleasanton, misnamed Pleasanton, perhaps, at least in the summer. So I set out in my shirtsleeves this morning and had a comfortable day. It became cooler in the afternoon, the local temperature in the high seventies, the temperature inside the building, well, heated more by the mental atmosphere than the weather. I'll not go there right now. I'm in the mood for something more palatable as I sit here fuzzy headed and writing.

I did shoot a roll of color for the CBT project at work, this one a series of pictures of a young woman walking along talking on a cell phone with an out of focus city in the background and I understood (again, ever again) while shooting why I should have put in more thought and planning. It will look fine, but a real photographer would have done it so much better, if only by drawing on the experience of having done it a hundred times before. I could start by reading the strobe light manual, for example, how to dial it down a stop, examine aperture and speed and framing and positioning and air conditioning and physical conditioning and the growing of radishes in Mexico. And other stuff. But later (what are we talking about?), much later, when my head is clear, and I can't hear the voices. Not easy to concentrate on lights when you're distracted.

The neighbor across the way has another sign in his window. I shot a picture which I'll add here when I get the film back next week, but is says: "Try doing in manually while drugged, filmed & imprisoned -w/o a lawyer or a cop in sight... Most people are waiting for a market hike, I'm waiting for an awaking of the U.S. Constitution and privately for the 10 Commandments". "Manually" is misspelled "manualy".

Maybe all it says is something about the neighborhood or the folks living in the neighborhood or the dangers of living in the neighborhood or the current condition of one particular tenant or, since I'm the one doing the writing, about me. The guy is having problems with his landlord. The landlord is having problems with the tenant, who is seemingly off the chart. If I had an ounce of curiosity I'd ask my landlord what was happening. (Which, when I see her, I will.)

The photographs were taken at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade.