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May 18, 2010

For The Day

Wednesday. Sun and clouds this morning, but mostly sun. They're saying both for the rest of the day and then clear tomorrow. We are pleased to lose the rain.

The guitar lesson at ten, we'll tune the guitar and go through the assignment at least once before setting out. I've certainly put the time in, but spent quite a bit of it playing individual parts, not going through the pieces I've been given to learn as a whole.

Not sure why I do this, although I go through the “components” quite rigorously and at length, but not necessarily doing it, say, against the bass and drum background or playing along with a commercial recording of the songs themselves for the rhythm and the sound. Important doing it with the bass and drums, prepares you to play in a group. Still the two riffs and chord sequences I've been assigned are down cold. Pretty close to cold. The chord changes have been practiced at great length, although they're still not to where they should be. I suspect it takes months to make these transitions with any speed as in on the beat. But we're closer. Yes we are. Here beside the wide wild raging rivers of Oakland.

Later. Good, bad, who knows? Some progress on Satisfaction, Rumble and what we're calling a basic pluck two strings at a time rock and roll riff. I've downloaded an iPhone app the instructor was using called The Amazing Slow Downer which allows you to take a tune (such as Satisfaction) and slow the beat way down while still keeping the pitch so you (as a humble beginner) can keep up. Nice. It is. Very nice.

A version for the computer and a version for the iPhone and, I hope to find when I get it up and running, for my older iPod too. Might not work with the old iPod, but we'll know soon enough. Just the two tunes needed at this point, I can always use the iPhone instead of the iPod if necessary. And figure out if this iPhone works with the little Bose speaker set I use to practice. Complicated, stumbling into another century, all this need to have hardware crap they release in every passing month. Bad enough with the cameras.

The rest of the week is now clear of commitments and I think I'll celebrate with a nap. A lightweight ocular migraine visited me last night some time after returning from the restaurant, coming on as I was lying in bed with the Kindle reading the last two pages of The Butcher Boy. An interesting fantasy flight when it sneaks up on you while you're reading. It didn't last all that long, but was accompanied by the fetid dry mouth I've talked about. Not the same dry mouth that comes with using the allergy inhaler, but definitely a dry mouth.

So chalk another ocular migraine up on the chart: lightweight, didn't last long, didn't sink the ship. I'd never heard of an ocular migraine until I had one, don't really know what what they are now, but boy-howdy I know one when it arrives.

Later still. A walk down to the bus only to miss it by thirty seconds. Well, I thought, I'm headed to Bakesale Betty's for strawberry shortcake, why not just walk and see if that newly painted truck was parked where it's usually parked along the way? Pretty exciting stuff, painted trucks, you'll have to admit. So I set out. And there it was. So naturally I took a picture.

I had the strawberry shortcake, the line of people waiting wasn't all that long for the noon hour, although all the ironing boards serving as tables out on the sidewalk were taken. Fine, there's a low lying stone wall available just down the way. The strawberry shortcake was OK, given my now wretched palate, but the whipped cream is indeed whipped on site, the shortcake is baked on the premisses and the strawberries are, well, strawberries. I suspect it's much better than I'm able to recognize.

As chance would have it there was a bus stop just across the street and the bus was arriving as I finished the shortcake and was dropping it in the trash, so a ride home to finally take that nap just like that. My days are still spent in the bubble, the “bubble” being, as I've described, a kind of head cold without any of the associated liquids. You feel hemmed in, swirling in your own little fish bowl. This has been going on for a long time and it doesn't seem to be getting any better, but we're working on it. And we'll continue. I can still write this, I can still take pictures, I can still get in my walks and I can practice guitar. Life could be worse in a but slightly different universe, so make use of it.

What's that about?

I don't know. I plug along, don't think about the right or wrong or whatever of all this, but now and again need to remind myself that although it's not great, then again, it's not really getting in the way of doing the things I want to accomplish. It cuts a percentage off the top and makes me too often hesitate to think of travel or sometimes even getting in the car to run an errand. So again, Self, just reminding us we're OK, even it we're no longer one hundred percent.

There's got to be some kind of downside to talking about this stuff online. Maybe not for getting a job, but something else you may one day want.

There probably is.

Even later still. A good session on the guitar as I backed up more images to disk. The process is simple enough, although I print a picture from the batch on each DVD and add the date and a list of the images inside. And I find I make mistakes. Odd mistakes, errors, stupid mistakes not dissimilar in kind from the typos and odd juxtaposition of words I find here when I'm editing. Because I'm tired? Because I'm not paying attention? Moi? We'll leave it at that, won't take the next step and blame it on age as we've done our bitching for the day. At length. As we have.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Cinco de Mayo Festival with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.