[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]


[100 Books]

[Other Sites]

Here In Oakland

Art & Life


Under here.

July 22, 2012

Nap To Be Nicer
Sunday. Another getting to bed early last night, but taking time to get to sleep. Not sure why. Sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes not. Up this morning (it's Sunday, so no alarm) at seven instead of six, off to breakfast and back on a sunny morning. Yesterday it was over ninety, today they're saying eighty, but it feels even warmer this morning than it did yesterday, so we'll see.

Reading the paper I realized that President Obama is giving a fund raising speech at the Fox theater tomorrow afternoon, the Fox located right in the middle of the area where all the federal marijuana busts have been taking place, and there's much talk about demonstrations against these busts and against the war (pick a war), which means (ta! ta!): an opportunity for pictures. So we'll use it as a rationalization for not photographing the Ginza Bazaar later this afternoon in San Francisco.

Later. So a walk along the lake and then over to the morning café because I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to go. I thought of taking the downtown bus, as, when I was approaching the stop, there were people still waiting for it to arrive, but even then I decided not.

What's downtown I haven't seen a thousand times on a Sunday? Undoubtedly the aliens landed later at the City Center (in full color and naked) and I missed documenting the ultimate “take me to your leader” moment in the earth's history. But such is life.

I've been noticing a slight increase in the homeless population in my wanderings. Sleeping by and near the lake is common and I'm seeing more people doing it in these last few months. Not a good sign.

I teeter on the edge with the homeless people I pass, a part of all the walking, some I give money - not every time, but often enough so they know exactly who I am - and establishing this relationship is a conundrum both for the “do I give now, do I give later, do I not give at all” aspect and the “meeting one at a place and at a time when I'm alone and they are in a desperate state” aspect. The asshole with the camera and the spare change might find himself in trouble, a combination of bad luck, madness and Fate.


Life has it's little puzzles and paranoias - walk here? walk there? - in both time and place, in the physical and the psychological, and it can with bad luck lead to broken heads, taken lives and stolen cameras. Life and the roulette wheel, turning together in similar circles.


Not as warm as it was yesterday, but quite nice. Some time now on the guitar, get started early, continue preparing for Portland, order any needed meds. We do prepare, but we need encouragement.

Later still. After all that I settled for a nap, awakening in a light, but discernibly wobbly state. Up and about, though, to turn on the news, sit in a chair in front of the screen and let the world settle itself down. As I said, a “light” touch of symptoms, but a real enough touch in the mid-afternoon, a time when they've become all too common.

Still, given the experience is over, the rest of the day should go well. Guitar, again, we'll start on the guitar and then follow through with more preparations for Portland. That and maybe some sushi and sake for dinner. Well, it's not yet four, plenty of time yet to think it over.

Evening. I've been playing chords and going through a simple progression I'd been assigned months ago, but reassigned for this week's coming lesson with instructions to play it at the proper speed. You can play most anything if you don't have to keep the time and most of the lessons I've been working on don't require they be played at the speed they were written. I'm playing this old one now at the proper speed, something I couldn't when it was originally assigned and studied. Interesting to see the progress.

Same with the chords. I learned the chords from the Beatles Come Together some time back and have practiced them every day now for months. They're simple chords, but not all that simple for a beginner to finger, and playing them without error on the beat has been, well, elusive. Except just recently, again after many months of daily practice (for ten minutes slipped in with the current week's lesson), I seem to have gotten them down. I can finger them, hit the strings without thinking. The fingers go where they're supposed to go and it sounds, well, something like Come Together, but only after a very long period of practice. It feels good. It does.

So you're a guitar player now?

No, but I see there is indeed light at the end of this tunnel and I appreciate, certainly don't understand, but appreciate what a real guitar player is able to do and what he or she must have done to do it. The fact I can play a set of chords from a Beatles tune doesn't mean I can now play others like it without plenty more practice, coming up on them slowly, but I'll be able to play it with less practice than I've needed in the past. That light, I mentioned, way down there at the end of the tunnel.

So a good evening.

Now if I could just get that late morning, early afternoon nap to be nicer....

The photo up top was taken yesterday along Lake Merritt with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.