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San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade

March 4th, 2006

In Japanese
Saturday. Slept in until eight, skipped breakfast at the usual place and ate across the street at the greasy spoon drive-in. Read the paper. Thought about my options, returned to the apartment, futzed with the computer, drove down to Beverages and More and bought three bottles of sake: one, the usual inexpensive (heat it in the microwave) bottle of Ozeki; the second, ‘Black & Gold’ (made in Fresno), a brand I haven't had before that comes in a squat dark brown bottle with gold foil and gold lettering; and the third, Rihaku “Wandering Poet” (made in Japan), a sake I've had that's very good and probably should be saved for a special occasion (like a Saturday afternoon). Those three and a package of decent cheese.

Now, I'm not sure this was my best move for an early afternoon, particularly if I start on them well before evening. Who knows where we may go if we spend hours together here at the computer, the television set playing Japanese programs with English subtitles in the background, my ever aching head aching ever less as the alcohol seeps into my cells? Hard to say, I suppose, until I've tried.

We are kidding?

We are kidding, but we are skating close to the edge. That low center of gravity brown bottle of “Black and Gold”, for example. What does it taste like? Should it be heated? Should it be consumed all in one sitting? Should it be consumed all in one sitting followed by another and, if followed by another, should it be the cheap under six dollars a bottle Ozeki or should it be the much more expensive “Wandering Poet” which is sitting on the kitchen sideboard, not wandering at all?

You laugh (and sometimes I laugh), but too much sake is too much sake. Not good for those who would write a (mildly comprehensible) journal, for those who would live to retire later this year, for those with the brains to think themselves out of this conundrum. One can be blind sided by conundrums. There's a whole school of fiction that explores conundrums, although sake conundrums tend to be written in Japanese.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 70-200mm VR f 2.8 Nikkor lens and an SB-800 strobe light at 1/60th second, f 2.8, ISO 100.