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Under Construction
At Lunch Today in Oakland

May 11th, 2004

Out Of Hand
Dealing with the RAW images produced by my digital camera may teach me more about Photoshop than I care to know. The picture above was shot indoors using available light, a combination of sunlight through the window behind me and the artificial lighting in the restaurant, which means you have to go into PhotoShop and work with the color a whole lot more than you'd have to with a digital image scanned from film. The saturation, everything seems different, particularly when you use a faster ISO setting as I did above. I need more practice. Which is about right, is it not? In America you need more of everything.

Another day that started well - read the paper over breakfast, nothing too startling awaiting at the office when I arrived - but again; fairly tired after the first two or three hours, unable or unwilling to focus on much of importance. I suspect this has something to do with the hernia operation, they're never quite over when you think they're over, although the symptoms have finally faded into the background. Some soreness - a couple of Tylenol's after lunch, probably just because I had them in my desk - a Guinness after work with MRE, now home to sit in front of the computer and think about going to bed.

I've been reading Augusten Burroughs Running With Scissors, an hour or so of reading every evening for the last few evenings which for me is a lot. There was a day when I'd have read it in one sitting, one late evening in bed. These days I'm lucky to finish the cartoons in The New Yorker. I understand his second book Dry, which I read two weeks ago in Hollister, was written before Running With Scissors, although it was published second. Both are tightly written, but I would have guessed his writing was even better in Dry.

Why do you say that? You really do need to finish Scissors before you go spouting off.

True, but anytime I'm writing about a book or a movie I'm blowing smoke, writing just to hear my own voice, no rationality implied, and besides: I like these books. I'm pretty sure I like these books and I'm impressed with the writing. Both are billed as memoirs, a recounting of Burrough's own life as a thirteen year old in Scissors and as a young man in his twenties in Dry working in big time New York City advertising. You wonder how to put them in context, memoirs, after all. Could be just the distance and precision he brings to his narrative is the distance and precision of the older writer looking back with no attempt to relate the stumbling mind set of a thirteen year old (in Scissors, he's a big boy in Dry), but it makes you wonder about a kid with this level of observation and intelligence. Could he, for example, be putting us on?

What does that mean?

Means I'd better go and finish Scissors before this gets any further out of hand.

The photograph was taken at lunch today in Oakland with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 28 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens shooting at ISO 1250.