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Under Construction

Ladies and Gents Who Lunch photos
At a recent birthday lunch in Oakland

November 8th, 2003

You've Seen It
Saturday. Windy today. Leaves blowing in the street, oak leaves (this, after all, is Oakland), the sky half cloud, half clear. A sunny patchy fall day. A good day to drive to the pet shop and buy cat food: a case of Triumph Turkey formula, a case of Evolve Turkey formula (Formula? Do they brew it in a vat, a combination of "things turkey"? Or is it a marketing ploy? More up scale than "Turkey Treats" or "Turkey Gizzard Delight"?). The day is good, the ears are ringing, but the head is clear and the energy says, well, why not shoot the Veterans Day parade tomorrow just to see if anyone attends?

Sunday. Maybe more inspiration today. Yesterday started all right, but then degenerated into a polemic on Iraq and the manipulation of Jessica Lynch, who, refreshingly, doesn't seem to want to be manipulated. Still, like falling into quicksand, falling into an Iraqi polemic leads to disaster unless you really work with your words and yesterday I was not up for working with words; yesterday was breakfast at the usual cafe, a walk downtown under threatening skies and watching chapter 40 of the unending Musashi series on Japanese TV. So I axed yesterday's entry and start again.

I'm out of photographs, of course. The shot at the top was taken with an experimental roll of Kodak Portra, a black and white film you can process at a one hour color lab. Muddy and not technically nice, but that's the photographer and maybe the processor and it sure is convenient and inexpensive compared to running contact sheets and having prints done from the negatives. I have more rolls. I'll try again. I'll see if I can't make the Veteran's Day parade later this morning. The sun is shining after a long afternoon and night of rain, but I'm thinking, well, I seem to be procrastinating and searching for other diversions to dodge this parade business. A movie. Something. Complicated, is it not?

Later. Well, no parade. No ambition to cross the bay, feeling tired and funky (but not falling down dizzy), so I convinced myself it would be a good idea to see Love Actually down at the Grand Lake, the Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson (and everyone else) movie. This turned out to be good therapy. I've recently heard two or three people express the opinion they avoid seeing a movie's previews or read a review before seeing it. The previews tend to tell the whole story, a recent marketing thing of some sort, which can spoil the experience; and reviews, well, reviews set up what are often misguided expectations. I've been thinking about the "misguided expectations". I've read my share of reviews and most of them don't really tell me much about a movie - whether I'm going to like it or not - and expectations often color the viewing to its detriment.

So, I've read reviews of Love Actually and I'd seen the trailer before seeing the movie. It's written and directed by the guy who wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones Diary and a bunch of others including some of the "Black Adder" and "Mr. Bean" TV and movie productions. I don't much like the "Mr. Bean" character (who has a bit part in Love Actually), but I do like the "Four Weddings" stuff. If you liked "Four Weddings" or get a kick out of Hugh Grant (there were a great many women attending in pairs and threes in the audiance) then this is a movie you'll want to see. Love in many of its forms, some that work, some that hurt, and now you've gone and read a review before you've seen it.

The photograph was taken at a recent birthday lunch in Oakland with the F3 and the manual AIS 50mm f 1.4 Nikon (Nikkor) lens on Kodak Portra 400.