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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


Under here.

June 18, 2012

Good To Hear
Monday. I didn't get to sleep last night until after eleven, reading (using the Kindle, of all things) a story in the current New Yorker, the magazine itself sitting on the reading table beside me near the bed. Well, I was testing it, I guess, after having charged it earlier and as the New Yorker subscription does include tablet access without additional cost. I'm afraid they are the future, but a future for me that's not quite altogether here yet.

Still, up in good fettle, heading out to breakfast and back on an overcast morning, feeling pretty good. I'd thrown out some old computer books that were taking up space on the shelves to make room for some new ones that have been stacked haphazardly in the bedroom, thinking in terms of following through later with more of the same. More cleaning up the environment. Pretty heady stuff for this early in a morning.

We'll see how the rest of the day goes. I admit I'm curious.

Later. The overcast had cleared by mid-morning, so a walk along the lake and farther on to scope out the Lakeview school closing demonstration, noting the various network news vans and people around the entrance. I'd never been up on the hill at the entrance to the school itself so I took a couple of pictures. Quite a view, interesting school.

On then to have coffee and ice cream at the morning café, back to take a couple of more pictures on the way home.

I dumped more of the old, out of date, computer hardware and software books into the trash (I'm not sure I need a thick tome on programming Linux 8 anymore, not that I ever did) and got the rest of the stray books without homes up on the shelves. Not that I've read all of them yet of course. I may hang a picture or two later, at least trade out a couple now up on the wall for one or two of those I've had leaning against the baseboard now for, well, years. I may. You can never tell.

Other than that (pretty exciting morning so far, don't you think?), I notice the arctic sea ice has moved into new, potentially record setting territory. Hard to say where it will go, whether this will set a new record for the year, but it's fun (and a bit morbid) to follow. More fun than tracking gas prices, you'd think. Probably the difference between a rut and a neurotic rut: whether or not it can possibly be said in any way to be personally useful.

You can't just do it for the hell of it?

That's been my excuse. Doing something for the hell of it is useful, is it not? And neurotic.

Later still. I've realized I've been starting to do things again since I retired that I once did (for pleasure) when I was much younger, most of them when I was still in school and had the time: the photography, started before I entered high school; the writing, started in high school and on through college (and later for a period of years in my early thirties). This morning, not for the first time, I've been thinking of taking up drawing again. Get a simple drawing board and a big pad of paper.

When we lived near Seattle my parents would go by the local newspaper office and buy big inexpensive pads of newsprint, the size of an unfolded newspaper, and I'd draw (along with some of the other kids in the neighborhood) fighter planes in combat, pictures of exploding tanks and Cat in the Hat cartoons, stopping only when we moved to New York and the newsprint tablets (and friends who were into drawing) dried up. I've wondered about that, going back to the things I once preferred when I first started and the world was uncomplicated and young.


Well, why not? Up until recently I was scribbling awkward looking cartoons in a spiral bound journal in bed before going to sleep. A drawing board, something simple (and cheap) might start me going again. And, what the hell, it might not. No problem. Better than learning another language (another silly conceit), although drawing takes years to learn (as does anything worth doing). Probably more useful than knowing how to play at electric guitar this late in life, not that there's any need to choose (between the two) before the lights go out.

Later still. A walk by the school again to take more pictures, as it turned out (reading their signs earlier this morning) they were having another rally at four, stopping at the morning café for coffee first. I posted a section on HereInOakland earlier in the afternoon and thought maybe I could put together another section for later today, but in looking at them now I didn't get enough I consider worth posting. Need to work on that not good enough part. I'm not liking some of my results: the color, the contrast, the composition, the whatever else. Odd in that I got twenty or so that worked well enough on Saturday and this morning.

Evening. My sister had surgery today in Seattle and tells me, in a text, it went well, although she still has a somewhat unpleasant week of recuperation ahead. Good to hear.

The photo up top was taken of a group of dancers at Lake Merritt with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens.