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Oakland Chinese street festival.

September 1st, 2001

With Someone Special
I ended up on BART late this morning thinking I would go over to San Francisco and walk around for a while, then decided at the last minute to get off in Oakland and have lunch. There was music coming from the city hall area and I thought, well, they're setting up for the Art and Soul festival that starts tomorrow, so I walked over to see what was happening.

They were having an east bay gay pride celebration of some kind, $5 to get inside, so I thought, well, hell, and went inside. I was packing a camera and two lenses (traveling light) and plenty of film, so I wandered around shooting pictures.

I was stopped by a guy who asked if I were a free lance photographer. No. Well, he was a free lance journalist covering the event for a local Asian magazine - there was an Asian gay symposium in one of the buildings that he'd just come out of - and he wondered if I'd be interested in shooting some film for the story. When was his deadline? Well, that was the problem, it was Monday. No way I could have the film done in time, I said, thinking now I really did have to get my act together and do my own black and white, then realized, hell, they're not going to want black and white. They'll want color.

Shift gears. My second thought, a little scattered, I could get one of the new Nikon digitals, as good an excuse as any to spend a ton of money, and then I dropped back into the real world and realized I could shoot color print and just go by a one hour processing lab. Kodak now makes a color print film designed for photojournalists, maybe I could play with that. Otherwise, just use whatever the local 24 hour lab considers standard. Shit, yesterday a band, today a toe in the door as a magazine stringer.

So, did I have a card? No. Well, here was his card, send him an email and maybe we could do something in the future. Go ahead and contact the magazine, if I liked, he was sure they could use a stringer. (No money here, no reason to even ask, but there's not a lot of money in sex, yet it continues to hold my interest.)

A step at a time. This is both more and less than it sounds, I think, more a sign than an edict from the gods. Send the guy an email. Get some business cards Get some nice business cards, OK?. You've been talking about this forever. Get the photo site on line. Now go home. Take a nap. Pull the covers up.

The guy upstairs is off with his girlfriend on a train to LA this weekend, so I'm taking care of his cat (Spider). Oakland City Center concert.He mentioned he'd bought a DVD player and if I wanted to use it over the weekend, well, go ahead. I too have a new Sony DVD player, so new I haven't even tossed the shipping carton yet - just in case it doesn't work and I have to ship it back - but I don't have a TV set or, at least, the right kind of cables to connect it to my old black and white. And I have these two DVD movies, you understand, two old Hammer science fiction films, that I've had now for some time with nothing to play them on. And my neighbor knows this, hence the offer. So I played one of them late this afternoon, Quatermass and the Pit, also known as 5 Million Years to Earth, wondering if I'd remembered it accurately.

Well? The scene at the end with the horned demon rising up over London was pretty cheesy - I remembered it with more detail and impact than I now realize a low budget late 50's, early 60's science fiction film could ever deliver - and it has that weird dorky British 50's feeling that must have driven them straight into the Mods and Rockers 60's scene the same way our own very weird 50's mixture of redneck and Rockefeller reality drove us to Elvis, the Beatles and eventually, Ally McBeal. Compare this movie to, say, George Pal's War of the Worlds. It has that same awkward 50's social innocence. Still, I liked it, dumb London looming demon or not. I have the second DVD from the series that I'll watch tomorrow.

Three day weekend. My head has been jello this last week, brought on, maybe, by the class in San Francisco. You'd think it would be relaxing, but it isn't. I need three weeks off. I always need three weeks off. You need three weeks off. I don't know you, but you need three weeks vacation too. I can tell. Anyone who would read along this far needs time alone on a beach with an umbrella drink and someone special.

A photograph taken at the local Oakland Chinese street festival and a photo of a woman at the Thursday City Center concert.