Monday. A box of books arrived from Amazon this evening. What am I doing ordering photography books - collections of photographs, not “how to” books - over the web without paging through them? Yes, they are by photographers whose work I know, books I've heard of, but, you know, given the fact that photography is such a personal predilection and that one book by a hot shit photographer you think is great doesn't always mean you'll like his next if it turns out his next was assembled from what was to become known as his “Protozoan Period” when he went off on a serious weeny-teeny binge, everything shot through a microscope on infra-red and printed on reconstituted napkins. A leap from nudes to nematodes in one easy lesson.
And these books that arrived from Amazon? They're full of nematodes?
Nah. Plenty of soulful looks and runny mascara, not a nematode among them.
Jon Carroll wrote a column in the Chronicle today about migratory birds and how the soon to arrive avian flu pandemic will sweep through the country, causing me to wonder how many of these little rascals will land next door in the bird sanctuary surrounding Lake Merritt. You can spend too much time thinking about bombs-gas-avian flu epidemics a little voice is saying, even though it's supposed to “sweep through the country” pretty soon.
My morning Carroll was followed by a similar conversation over lunch when a fellow employee from Israel joined the group and we went from the bombings in London to the bombings in Iraq, to the bombings in Israel, to when the next train was going to blow up (in Oakland). You know the routine. And it gets old, this routine. You need to keep your eyes open - unattended boxes of dynamite noticed in the mens room - but you need to keep your spirits up too (as you sip that hot sake over lunch), right? I mean, what the hell. The weather is fine and these picture books are fine and, well, what is there not to feel fine about? So lighten up. Hup! Hup! You know the routine.
Are you upset?
Nah, no more than usual. As I said, the weather is fine, albeit it's now getting warmer than I like in the late afternoons, and you expect these conversations after something like London. I'm just giving myself a little pep talk here, a monologue of encouragement.