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Store window in the Grand Lake Theater area of Oakland.

Under here.

July 20, 2008

Strange Thoughts
Sunday. Although yesterday was a long day out in the wilderness with aching muscles and all that, the important factor of the sinus-head thing, whatever I was feeling otherwise, I could tell was good. It's good this morning in that the clearer head, even a small incremental change for the better, has a disproportionate effect on the attitude and I'm really pleased at the moment. Now that I've jinxed any chance of further progress by mentioning it, of course. I'm comfortable with my habit of blathering on like an idiot, although it's gotten in the way with people I meet more often than I care to think about. Se le guerre. Truth is better than not, although adding a little sense to the ongoing babble would probably be smart. Now and again. On Sundays, for instance.


Well, things to clean up today to prepare for the week with an attitude that makes me believe they might actually get done.

You do go through mood swings. Is there really any difference?

I think so. Retirement as a concept seems to be sinking in. Little things are starting to happen, musings about things I've been putting off forever are turning into musings about things I'm actually getting done. Slowly. Very slowly, but again, the attitude is good and attitude can be everything in Oakland.

I've been wondering, for example, what could be done with these two Oakland web sites of mine? Here in Oakland and There in Oakland are silly little conceits, a play on the Gertrude Stein comment, but my guess is something interesting could be made of them. I don't care about any business prospects they might have, I'm not looking to do any actual work, just what could be done that would bring both some fun and a sense of satisfaction.

“Here” and “There” are references generally familiar to people who have no idea of what goes on out on the street. I have no idea what it's like living in the areas around here where people are getting shot, areas around here where the comment of an old-timey lesbian literary e- patriot has no use or meaning in their lives, so what do I mean when I think about developing something that talks about “Oakland”? I'm an import from the white upper-middle class suburbs of Seattle and New York, someone who fled that life at the first chance I got, but someone who's never had any idea of what it's like to survive without support, let alone raise a family where conditions are tough.

So build a web site on a vision of up scale downtown latte drinking cubicle workers looking for cheap housing near a BART station that will allow them to get to San Francisco pretty quick? (You could sell nice little paying advertisements on the site like that.) The idea is creepy to me and again, sounds too much like work. Maybe a pair of sites to chronicle whatever artist colonies are developing here in Oakland at the moment. The artist writer community in San Francisco was the only one that interested me when I first arrived forty years ago, but I'm too old to be thinking of trying to go back. Back to what? To find something I missed long ago drinking at Specs?

There's political ferment in Oakland right now. The mayor, Ron Dellums, has been under attack for at least the last year by Chip Johnson, the Chronicle East Bay columnist for “not getting things done”. What's that about? How much truth? How much fiction? What could I, a totally naïve resident, do on a web site to figure some of it out? What could I do with pictures and words that hasn't already been done a thousand times better by more knowledgeable others? How to interest other people in participating, the very thought of which again seems like work? See, you begin to feel better and suddenly strange thoughts take flight. Maybe ponder this over sake tonight.

The photograph was taken of a store window in the Grand Lake Theater area of Oakland with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at 1/350th second, f 2.8, ISO 200.