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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?

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Yesterday in downtown “Old” Oakland.

Under here.

March 6, 2009

My Thoughts Exactly
Friday. More sun this morning, maybe we're getting out of the rain: “in like a lion, out like a lamb” as you once heard people say. Not good for the drought, though. They say the reservoirs are still low and if global warming is going to make this low rain experience the norm, well, we'll have to stop growing all those fruits and vegetables the rest of the country has gotten so used to eating. Verily, as we in California have gotten so used to eating.

I can remember at the age of about ten or eleven, in say 1953 or 1954, eating lunch at a friend's house north of Seattle (a friend from a very well to do family) and seeing an avocado for the first time and learning a single avocado sold locally for a dollar. A 1953 dollar today would be what? Ten dollars minimum? Maybe we're looking at hundred dollar a pop avocados in the future? Doesn't seem credible. Avocados are grown on trees and they can be watered using low consumption drip irrigation, much as we watered our grape vines in Napa, but something is coming and I, for one, am hiding my head in the sand and not thinking about it.

I have to admit the attitude is good. I did go over to San Francisco last night to drink Guinness in a crowded bar with the usual crew. I kept it to two (and a half) pints, skipping out on the straight shots of whiskey the rest of them downed before heading off to the next Irish bar across town (I'm such a fucking goody two shoes) and I got home before nine.

Now, two and a half pints of Guinness will still give you a buzz and I'm not sure if it was the buzz or my notoriously good sense that caused me to download both The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Revolutionary Road to the Kindle, reading the first chapter of Dragon Tattoo before going to bed. Why these two? Not sure, I went online and read some reviews. I can see their policy of allowing you to check the book out by downloading the first chapter for free makes such good sense. When I browse a new title by a new author in a book store, if I'm attracted by the title, I pick up the book and read a few paragraphs to get a sense of the writer's style. I can do the same thing now over the wire with this Kindle.

The reason I'm futzing with and going on about the Kindle (as I've mentioned) is I'm seeing it as a possible back door way to reading again. Now that I appear to be feeling “better”, more “up”, anyway, I've been thinking of ways to get back. I have the time now, right, although I always made time in the past no matter how busy. So, this week, in addition to downloading books to the Kindle, I started reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (close to eleven hundred large and dense pages). I'd never heard of Wallace before last year, seeing reviews of his work after he committed suicide. Those were very good reviews, “best writer of the century” reviews of a writer, again, I didn't remember. Reviews that said to a pretentious reader like me (deedle-dee-dee) you do have to take a look, current degenerate reading habits be damned, “best writer of the century” and all.


So I see something of what's grabbed their attention. Not that he's the best writer since old what's his name put Tom and Huck on the river, but he's a writer with an unusual style (to say the least), a style I'm going to have to read with attention if I'm going to get my hands around it and gain comfort with his method and rhythms. He's one smart chameleon of a writer from the looks of it and whether or not I'm able to gain from the experience, I'm thinking I at least need to read this book if only to still say I'm a reader. A bit like reading Joyce, maybe, in the sense you have to spend enough time with him to align your head around his language, his accent and the manners of his exposition. Whether it's the “best of this or that” doesn't really matter.

Other than that, it's morning, the sun is shining, the attitude is good and the radio is not playing. Makes me stop and think every now and then, realizing I'm not listening to whatever it is they're putting out on the public airwaves, the audio stream missing, my own head forced to listen to, well what? itself?, to listen to, well, nothing? Allowing thoughts and images to float into my brain not properly vetted by our ever more encompassing mass media engine?

If that's where it's leading you, maybe it would be best to turn the radio on.

My thoughts exactly.

The photograph was taken yesterday in downtown “Old” Oakland with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 17 - 200mm f 3.5 - 5.6 Nikkor VR lens at 1/1000 second, f 4.0, ISO 100.