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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


June 8, 2014

Top Of It

Sunday. I've watched the Annika Bengtzon series that ran last night in the past and carped at the predictable plot where she inevitably ends up alone in a deserted warehouse at midnight with a serial killer, seemingly oblivious to the danger until it appears, but started watching it anyway last night with an episode I hadn't seen before, an episode made at a later time when she'd just been made manager of the paper's crime reporting group and was adjusting to this new position of power.

And the story line was both interesting and complex. She now had a small subset of reporters and editors jealous of her new position, a fairly interesting examination of a woman's, or at least this one woman's, transition to power, all this set against their struggle to get the story of the murder of another woman, this one ambitious, but brutally no holds barred ambitious, an episode that ended where?

Well, in a deserted underground tunnel at midnight, Bengtzon - what else? - tied up with a dynamite belt in the company of a pissed off serial killer. What happened? I thought we'd gotten beyond the stereotypical ending, what with the more interesting and subtle story that was unfolding. Foolish me. Still, reeled me in. We'll be there watching next week when it runs.

Anyway, to bed at eleven, up right before the alarm feeling just fine, thank you, off to breakfast on a clear and sunny morning, home now feeling much better than the plodding morning I'd started with yesterday. Yes, the sake had had an effect, I suspect the bacon and cheese omelet (cheddar cheese) breakfast contributed to the day's events.

Yesterday's late afternoon two hour nap wasn't an ocular event, but it was a pale precursor, a reminder we're pretty much free of them now, but don't get too cocky Mr. Idiot. Quite yet. More time is required.

Later. A walk to the lake taking a camera with the 70-200mm lens set correctly for bright light, but then taking three photographs of a sparrow sitting in the shaded middle of one of the twisted trees, the shutter speed 1/50th of a second where it should have been 1/200th, better still 1/400th or 1/500th, the higher ISO required wouldn't have added any background noise. There really isn't any added noise until you get up around ISO 5,000 or so and even then you can push it higher if you need. Not paying attention. Again.

Still, that said, they probably turned out better for the error. Sparrows move quickly, flit about quickly: one moment still, at another less still, all others not. Such is life. I find I look for them now, I like the muted coloration, invisible next to more colorful herons, egrets and pelicans. Sat for a while on a bench watching the people walk by, no more pictures, back home now to read the Times that arrived after I'd left for breakfast this morning and then maybe attempt at a nap.

No thought to go to any of the local street festivals. There are two in the city, one in Berkeley, all three requiring too much driving or travel on BART (easy enough) but with an additional (less wonderful) walk. We'll start with the nap. No urge to go downtown to the City Center or Jack London Square.

Later still. Not tired enough for a nap and so out the door to where? Well, the City Center and then Jack London Square. Which figures, given my earlier preaching. A two hour walk and not a single picture, even when finding a farmers market underway in Jack London Square. A cup of coffee sitting on a shaded bench near the ferry terminal. So much for the day.

I had absolutely no desire to get anything to eat well into the mid-afternoon. A decent (no bacon, no cheese, no ocular migraines) breakfast, but no desire for food. One fifty-five on the scale this morning and for these last few mornings, so we seem to have lost the five pounds I've been telling myself I'm not trying to lose.

And are we now thinking of more? One-fifty? From blimp to stoop-shouldered spindly old man listing from the weight of his camera?

I'm thinking I'm a little crazy as it is so we'll not go there. Well, we might go there, but we'll kid ourself into thinking we're not aiding or abetting and then just say we're not noticing if the morning readings start to drop. Slip. Whatever.

Cut out the whatevers. Too many. Sloppy.

Too many of a number of things are included here. This is not the face you're supposed to present to the world.

Evening. Nothing on television. A Wallander at nine, which I can no longer watch. Just don't like the character and, in these episodes, he's suffering from the initial stages of Alzheimer's and hiding it, not telling his daughter who's also a detective in his group and just might be interested in the fact. Ah, well. We'll get to bed earlier tonight.

Otherwise a good clear headed day and evening. Spaghetti for dinner with a couple of scoops of cottage cheese. Hunger did catch up. And an It's-It picked up at the 7-11 look-alike, more to get out of the apartment than anything else. Feel good, the day seems pleasant, not even feeling antsy, but no ambition to do anything at all. I did clean the bathroom sink and mirror after taking a picture that, when I opened it on the computer, looked as if it were spattered with white paint. Or snow.

Didn't you do that just recently? Clean the bathroom?

I thought I had, but evidently the mirror and other surfaces are magnets for dust. The desk in the bedroom has the same problem.

How bad are things around the apartment?

We are not anywhere near the Wallendar stage. We often use the vacuum cleaner, for example. Once, often twice in a quarter. We're on top of it.

The photo up top was taken at the San Francisco Carnaval Parade with a Nikon D4s mounted with an 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Nikkor lens.