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June 6, 2011

Those Who Can

Monday. I did get my act together and go by the lab this morning to have the blood drawn, no big deal, I've done this monthly now for ten years; got to breakfast running an hour later than is my norm, back now at the apartment for a nap. Well, again, a lay down on the bed for close to an hour, maybe actually drifting off to sleep for twenty minutes. Nice, these naps, sleep or not. No complaints.

It's overcast, they're saying a good chance for rain today, sun due tomorrow and through the rest of the week, so again: no complaints. Other than preparing for my guitar lesson on Wednesday, I have no idea what I may do other than shoot the occasional picture. More self portraits is a good guess, these new small umbrellas seem to do a good job, I just now need to adjust the light to get the shadow and background balanced in a way I like.

Best to do as many “sessions” with as many people as I can - head shots in this case - as it drives me to do better. Make mistakes, correct the mistakes, the way you learn any task I guess. Yes, this isn't a new revelation - the words, anyway, practice makes perfect - it's a lesson and a realization that repeats itself through. Good advice for someone who's younger, I wish the younger I had had more of it.

You had your chances.

Later. A bus downtown to pick up a prescription, learning in the process they charge a lot more at my local Rite Aid for a 90 day prescription than my health insurance mail order company charges. Enough more to get me off my butt and move everything back. Most of them are generic drugs, nothing too exotic, don't cost much out of pocket, but the one I picked up today is one of the newer ones and costs a bundle. The error of my ways suddenly made obvious.

A walk back then to the apartment, stopping for a mocha coffee at the Rotunda building, the various symptoms I've been experiencing - the double vision, the upper palate-sinus issues - pretty much in abeyance. Not gone, the sinus-upper palate thing never goes away, but both behaving well and the morning bus ride and walk back quite enjoyable. So I'm pumped and ready to pick up the guitar, do a proper session now that it's afternoon.

Later still. I guess I'm making progress on this guitar. Although I first started with book one of a popular beginner's guitar series before switching to taking lessons with an instructor, noting that I've now gone through everything included in three books in the series, I'm not sure I can play any better than I did when I started. That's not true, even I know that's not true, but I've just spent an hour practicing a simple melody playing along with a backup track playing on my laptop and getting it right is, well, difficult. Daunting. Takes me lots of time, it does.

And what can I play otherwise? You're taking guitar lessons? Play something so we can hear how you're doing. Right. If I say I can play While My Guitar Gently Weeps - and I can, at least the melody, one note following another - most people remember the song played by such as Harrison and Clapton where they, well, take it to places I wouldn't know how to get even if I'd been playing since they themselves started.

Are you finished?

Indeed. I'll get this simple little tune down by Wednesday's lesson. I'm better. I am. I'm making progress. I think. Here in the wild primordial concert halls of western Oakland. Where the bear and the buffalo play. Strats. Through Marshall amps. After midnight. For those who can hear them.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2011 Carnaval Parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.