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Ladies and Gents Who Lunch photos
Oakland Ladies and Gents Who Lunch Happy Hour

November 1st, 2003

Poking Through
Well, what to do with the rest of this day, the rest of this weekend, the rest of this life now that the head is getting better after this long last year? What do you do when your wish comes true? Not that it will last, you understand, you have to knock on wood, you can relapse in a flash: "I have this funny feeling in my tummy, doctor...." An experience like this is supposed to keep you on your toes, keep you from missing what life has to offer. What do you do now? Well, you keep your mouth shut and hope what you call "better" really is better, you hope the aching head becomes a not aching head and the vertigo stays with relatives in Ohio.

Do we move, then? Do we actually do some of these things I've been thinking about? Do I like the place I live in here in Oakland? Yes, I do. I'm comfortable, although I find I've explored the territory for long enough now to have become complacent. Do you just pack up at my age and start over somewhere else doing something else? Sometimes you do. At least in the movies. In books. On television. (Well, maybe not on television.)

Pop another pill, my son, there's more sunlight just a few milligrams away.

Let's not make this a litany. Let's keep the pills in the bottles for as long as we can.

Obviously, however, I'm not going to move just to move. I need to find another job and to find another job you actually have to go out and look. Look for what? I don't believe I want to dig out my passport and go to Iraq to shoot pictures. Some photo assignments are best left to the younger more energetic members of the trade. But it would be nice to mess with images. And computers. And writing small stories of no particular gravitas. What? Where? You can't say such things don't exist until you've looked. But where? Here in Oakland? I wonder. North of here, south of here? I've always liked the idea of Northern California, well north of my last address in Napa, but not too far inland, you understand, what with the heat and everything. Which limits the options.

Then again, there is the inertia of this place, the proof of my inertia in this journal. I am relatively content in Oakland. I have a place that I find comfortable. I have the toys I require. I have a job that is problematic, but one that will one day, I assume, take care of itself. Is this the situation for everyone working here for a large company? I don't expect to find a different environment at another large corporation. My suspicion is they're all pretty much the same, just in different places on the cycle. There are large operations that are satisfying to work for, but they're in the up phase (with battalions of ambitious incompetents awaiting their turn). Don't go looking for the end of the rainbow at the end of the rainbow, my son, unless you're looking to take a picture.

You know you've just read this and you're embarrassed you've written another one note piece on "god the head hurts and the job sucks". How are you really feeling?

Well, I am better. Not there yet, but noticeably better. A short walk downtown this afternoon, a nap, a little work in PhotoShop, pay some bills. No laundry, though. Laundry tomorrow.

Do you feel like an old man?

A little bit, but more often than not the youngster is poking through.

A Ladies and Gents Who Lunch Happy Hour at PCB in Oakland, taken with an F5 and an 85mm f 1.4 Nikon lens.