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Ladies and Gents Who Lunch photos
San Francisco Carnaval Parade

June 20th, 2003

Here In Oakland
Tired. Very tired. The doctor during my annual physical today asked if it could be sleep apnea, a thought I'd had in passing this morning. One of the signs is you wake up two or three times a night (and take a pee). Five years ago, when I mentioned waking up to take a pee, the doctor had laughed and said you don't wake up to take a pee, you wake up and then notice you need to take a pee. Apnea. Could be. It's been happening these last couple of weeks, wake up, take a pee, back to bed. Could be. It's something I know about, something I know how to watch. I'll keep my eye on it and, if worse comes to worse, take another sleep test. Apnea. All the pain and sorrow of the jaw operation for nothing? Could be. Life's like that.

Apnea and allergies. "Take one of these inhalers filled with swell anti-allergy stuff and think about another sleep test", said my doctor, who shares my interest in photography. Well, yes. A drop dead, crawl into bed feeling of tiredness combined with allergies is better than many alternatives. Allergies could be the cause of, well, the sinuses, the sore head, the dizziness - who knows? - the shape of the moon, the light from the stars. Why not? His guess is better than mine, even when he's wrong. He's the doctor. He's certified. He has the certificate.

A walk down to have breakfast at the usual place this morning, discovering Jerry Brown, mayor of Oakland, ex-governor of the state of California, sitting behind me with two other men talking downtown reconstruction and low income housing. Which is, I guess, what mayors talk about. Didn't seem odd, though. The place I eat is no big deal, maybe three or four other diners dutifully reading their newspapers lest someone think they didn't have breakfast every morning with mayors and one time presidential candidates.

That's been an interesting aspect of living in Oakland. It's small enough that I've run into the mayor perhaps half dozen times. He jogs around Lake Merritt, I've run into him on a Sunday morning in Jack London Square, at the City Center, on a sidewalk along a park, just a mayor out alone doing the usual without accompaniment. You'd think there'd be a bodyguard or an assistant. I've not passed him without a camera, and, early on, the one or two times I shot his picture, he gave me a pained, but toned down "who in the fuck are you" look, not quite the full "who in the fuck are you" look, as he does live in the fish bowl and, who knows, I'm old enough to be a (possibly pro-Brown) constituent.

So, a Friday off, the start of a three day weekend. We'll see how it goes: Watch the sleep, hope this inhaler gets me high if it doesn't cure my head, crawl into bed and take a nap, over and over, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Carnaval Parade.