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May 25, 2010

We Approach Summer

Wednesday. To bed and to sleep early again last night after what amounted to three or more hours on the guitar. Scales and chords, over and over. The playing seems restive, I seem to like it. Three hours, though. More than I'd imagined when I started.

Overcast, they're saying some chance of rain, although we're heading later into a period of sun that will last through the weekend. The Carnaval Parade is this weekend, don't want no rain on our Carnaval, not while I'm there photographing them as they march below the massive Munchkin mansions of Oz.

Please stop.

It's now eight, my guitar lesson at ten, a bit of practice to go over the lesson before I head out. My usual routine. Hard to say how the day is starting, although I feel pretty good, we'll see how the double vision and such play out. No sign of it yesterday, be nice to say the same today. It came in on its own, uninvited; maybe it will leave on its own (with our permission). Brings a lesson on what's important and what's not, though. You learn very quickly what's what when one of them takes residence.

Later. Not so bad. The chord changes went well, still work to do, but there's always still work to do. I need more time on Satisfaction, need to play along more with the song, but that was obvious before I went to the lesson. We can do something about that. We've now been introduced to something called barre chords which, at first glance, seem totally impossible to finger, but with some instruction seems I can play. With time and practice. And practice. Believe me, with practice. So the lesson went well, on to rock and roll stardom by tomorrow! (or the day after, hup! hup!)

The sky is really grey, by the way. No rain yet, but it looks as if it has it in mind. Maybe a walk, maybe not.

Later still. It did indeed rain, maybe we're now headed for sun; maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Strange weather here in Oakland. California. The planet.

For some reason I decided on sushi for lunch along with (of course) sake. Back now feeling good if a bit buzzed. It's well after one and no sign yet of double vision, as clear as it was yesterday. Not sure why, not sure what's happened, have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Today we'll play these new, stretch the fingers chords and see how long it will take to play them well. Reliably well. So they sound like, if not actual chords, then something you might hear from a guitar.

I hadn't understood an aspect of learning to play involved going through a focused personal exercise program for the left hand and fingers. I've never been willing to do that for the body, but I suspect I'll not crap out if it's only for the hand. The left hand. And fingers.

Later gator. More chords. The fingers get really stretched and tired quite quickly with these. You go through a series of chords and you're fingers are done, so I guess I'll do these for short periods many times during a day. I'd looked up barre chords after returning from the lesson and one of the entries by an instructor mentioned he'd taken three weeks to get his hand in shape to play them, probably much faster period than I'll manage, by doing just that: a five minute session when he awoke and then as many as he could manage before bed.

Oh, and having sake for lunch is probably not something you want to do every day. A nap after, feeling better now, but still not feeling like going out for a walk even with the sky clearing and sun now shining. Silly me. I believe I've written that before - “silly me” - and suspect I will again, but not for having a couple of drinks during the noon hour. The memory is going, but it hasn't gone that far, won't go that far for a very long time unless I'm unlucky. I'm dumb, I've made my mistakes, but I'm not unlucky.

Four now. Another session with the chords and then we'll see what's left.

Evening. None of the double vision, little or none of the rest of the crap to which I've grown accustomed. Maybe a two day respite, maybe a three. We'll not say more than that. Knock, knock. More chords, but in shorter chunks. Chord chunks. At least that's how they sound. Here in the vast sweating swamps of somnambulant Oakland (as we approach summer).

The photograph was taken of a doorway off Mission in the San Francisco Mission district near 16th with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24-70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens.