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Oakland Art and Soul Festival

November 25th, 2004

After A Thanksgiving
Back from breakfast at the usual cafe, the streets relatively deserted, but still some foot traffic; people running the lake, more available parking than normal for a Thursday morning, but traffic, none the less. A Thanksgiving Thursday in the Grand Lake theater district of Oakland, the sky overcast, the temperature temperate: t-shirt and a light jacket weather. And I'm feeling pretty good. One day you're up, one day you're down. How bout two days you're up, one day you're down? Two weeks you're up, one day you're down? One hour you're down?

How bout we stop this right now?

I'm not sure why I'm always surprised when I sink into an introspective funk and only realize “ha!”, I've been in an introspective funk after I snap out (of it). Why not realize the chemicals are grabbing at the steering wheel and just park myself in bed, pull up the covers and come out when the chemistry eventually takes a break? Why worry about it? Take a walk, maybe, if that helps, but otherwise vegetate and don't hassle yourself. Let it roll. And pop another Zoloft.

Maybe it's the fact we're in the middle of an all too familiar end of the year reorganization at the company. I've been informed I'll be transferred to a new department starting next month as part of this “streamlining” and although this means I've dodged the bullet (again) for what I hope is as much as another year, I'm concerned about others in the building. We'll know in another two weeks.

The photography has been going through its changes, though - good one's I hope - but I've been wondering if buying this new (very) nice, but essentially “unneeded” camera is something like a couple who decides to have a baby to “save their marriage”? A foolish move doomed to failure. Probably not, but the symptoms are suspicious.

Later. An excellent dinner. The eight year old Champagne had none of the older Champagne character I was wondering about. I learned about older Champagnes when I was working in the wine business. Fifteen years old, twenty years old. The Brits are big on old Champagnes, an acquired taste, but the Brits are pretty decadent, you understand, and they've carelessly developed odd affectations over the centuries. I can attest to this after years of carousing with our ever dwindling contingent of Brits here at the office. Must be genetic, something about growing up on an island: they flee with all their decadent British habits, this thing about obsessing over older than one thinks they should be Champagnes is but the tip of the iceberg.

What was that about?

I have no idea. Polly may let me know if I've stepped over the line. I've heard arguments (over beer at PCB) about the use of the word “Brit”. One argued she found the word offensive, and although the majority (of the born in Great Britain, fled to Oakland) contingent was comfortable with Brit and used it themselves in conversation, I've had mixed thoughts about using it since. I might ask MRE for his opinion, but he's a Welshman and occasionally says things that make no sense to a sheltered, left coast, read about Great Britain in a history book American. I was hoping, though, that an eight year old Champagne might well taste as if it were twenty.

This still doesn't make any sense.

You begin to make sense when you've had two weeks away from the office. You're lucky you can sit down at a keyboard and play Freecell after this one week I've just finished. You find sense, well, come to think of it, where do you find sense these days? In our various levels of government? In the churches? In the streets? In the bars? At the family table, alone, eating a pizza?

You've just had an excellent Thanksgiving dinner with friends and you're talking about eating a pizza alone in what one assumes is your apartment. Is there a problem?

No. I'm finishing this on Saturday morning, as it happens, the day after the day after. I've had an excellent breakfast, the head is clear, the sun is shining and I'm having dinner with two of my rowdy cousins and their Hollywood children in San Francisco this evening. Ms. Emmy is snoozing on the chair beside me and I'm thinking of going out for a walk with a camera. But I did - yes I did, I can read it above - write something about sitting alone here in the apartment eating a pizza. I often sit (rather comfortably) alone and rarely eat pizza, but that seems to be what I wrote the day after a day after a Thanksgiving, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Art and Soul Festival with a Nikon F3 with a Nikkor 105mm f1.8 lens on Tmax-400.