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A fellow techie at lunch.
October 27th, 1999

Just Building Traffic
It was cloudy as I walked in this morning and a bicyclist I met on the elevator said he'd heard it was supposed to rain by the end of the day. A reality cookie to go with my morning coffee. There was the occasional spattering drop as I returned tonight and the clouds were looking ugly, but I arrived home dry and thinking about tomorrow. Or next week. Or whenever winter starts. Yesterday it was "I'm in love but I'm lazy" and tonight it's "I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in and it stops my mind from wandering...." Well, maybe that doesn't make sense. I'll stay with lazy and deal with the rain when it comes whenever it does come and skip the worrying part. I put money aside for a rainy day. That's enough sacrifice. Galoshes. Umbrella. Raincoat. Bus. They can be arranged later. Wet socks do not a life end except occasionally in bad movies and in countries where we've been bombing their infrastructure into powdered cement.

I want to shoot photographs this coming Halloween weekend, but I don't want to go out in the Won't you please come home. middle of the night with a load of equipment into say San Francisco (where they will be dressed to the nines and acting crazy) only to return on BART and climb my hill late with a zillion dollars worth of equipment. Insurance out the gazingus doesn't do you any good when you're dead. I could use a companion, but I haven't met anyone at any of these photography events who looks promising. For whatever reason photographers seem to avoid one another on the job or they avoid photographers they don't know, professionals who run into one another having a drink after a shoot, perhaps, but otherwise its every man, woman and child for him/herself. (I hate this he/she/it shit. One day the language will accommodate. A word needs inventing with the right sound and flavor.)

I knew a bunch of photographers in college when I was working with my magazine and the student newspaper. Even as students they were well along picking up Time/Life stringer stuff and local ad agency work. They were not looking for photographic sidekicks. Cheap assistants to schlepp the lights, yes, but sidekicks not.

I ran into a guy at breakfast here in Oakland once who commented on my Nikon and it turned out after we got talking that he was a retired photographer who still had access to a professional darkroom and wondered if we couldn't get together with another photographer friend (the guy with the darkroom) and do some shooting. Dumb assed me didn't follow up. Yesterday I suggested you had to keep your eyes open for opportunities, creatures who crawl in from the lagoon so to speak, and that was one of my learn the lesson sessions. So what if we got together and it didn't work out? So I wasn't looking for a darkroom. So what? This guy could probably have taught me more about photography in an afternoon than I've learned in the last year. Year and a half. He said he had a dozen Nikon (Nikkor) lenses. What more is there in life?

People will be coming to work in costume this Friday so maybe I'll get some decent photographs. Make sure I've loaded color in one of the cameras. Bring a flash. Check the newspapers out. There's a what? Day of the Dead celebration or street fair in Oakland my barber mentioned last week. Said it's nice. She's Hispanic and into photography herself. Maybe a way to avoid going to San Francisco and still get some photographs, although I'm not sure it particularly involves costumes since it's more a commune with the dead kind of religious event. Picnics in the cemetary with actual elements of respect. (Shows you what I know about anything.) At least I will avoid the little kids in their vampire suits. Or Clinton masks. Or whatever the fashionable Halloween Bay Area weeniebopper is wearing this week.

(Beth says she's thinking of slutting it out in a black vampire outfit. Weeniebopper she's not. Get photographs. Unless it's a ruse and she's just building traffic.)

The banner photograph was taken in available light at a restaurant we all descended on in Oakland last month. This is "the other" Beth in our group and not to be confused with the Beth dressed up in the slutty black vampire outfit I've mentioned above who lives in Sacramento and keeps a famous journal. That's yet a third Beth. The second photograph was taken at the Solano Stroll.