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Under Construction

Ladies and Gents Who Lunch photos
Oakland City Center concert

September 21st, 2003

How Much?
Saturday. Does the funky dizzy feeling get better when I get out of the apartment? I don't know. I think so, but I'm so hypersensitive now I could be grasping at straws. Is this the way you folks out there with allergies feel day in and day out? Good grief. I've been marking time with this for over a year: the prostate, well OK, that's a thing unto itself, but this funky dizzy head thing? Allergies? Enough is enough. In to see the allergist next week. A vacation next month, somewhere in another climate, see if getting away from this place makes it stop. Weird. But then it's always been weird, hasn't it? This life.

That seems overly dramatic.

Yes. It does.

Sunday. OK, back from breakfast. Feeling better, thinking, as I was walking back, about a portrait I've been asked to shoot at the office, one of my fellow workers who wants something he can give to his eighty year old mother on her birthday next month. A portrait for one's mother. It has never occurred to me to give a portrait to mine. I shot an initial half a dozen shots in problematic light at the office on Friday, but as we were talking I learned he has a set of studio lights he'd used in a previous existence to photograph his own art and prepare slides to show potential exhibitors. So we made a deal to shoot his portrait at his place after checking the proofs when I get them back next week.

So let's see how these portraits turn out. Let's see what I can come up with in a formal environment with a tripod, talking the subject through the paces, get him relaxed. Shoot some candid's too, give it a good effort. All this on a Sunday and it's not even noon.

I take it our head is feeling better?

Yeah. I've talked myself into the idea it's allergies and allergies (I am told) can be fixed. If so it's time to get off the pot.

I've always called this my practice space - a cop out really, but it sounds good - a way to write and shoot when I'm not really writing or shooting. Practice is everything. Practice makes you ready when whatever it "really" is knocks. We're all waiting for the "really is" to knock, are we not? I have a sense I have yet to shoot my first photograph or, maybe more accurate, I have a sense I've shot it, but I don't yet recognize it. I have been slowly, kicking and screaming (carping), learning some craft. Anyone who's spent the time and effort necessary to learn their craft would laugh. I've done little and taken a long time with limited results.

The crucial aspect for me is finding a bent, finding my eye, opening an eye to what is possible and what is not possible and attempting both. This, like my practice space protestation, could just be another excuse for sloppy work. If the dizzy head goes away with the allergies, if it really is allergies, then I'm way ready to take a stab at something more, move on to whatever's next. I have things to learn and add to my resume so I can find another job when it's time to find another job. I think I'll do those things, but I'm not sure. Sometimes a chapter is just over and you don't have a choice. Do I really want to do this shit I'm talking about doing so I can add it to my resume? I'll know soon enough. But whatever's happening, it's time to take another step with these damned photographs and this upcoming portrait assignment is as good as any place to start.

Now, what was that about?

Sounds like a lot of other stuff I've written, doesn't it? Rah! Rah! life stumbles forward, all things are great (I'm writing it, I'm reading it, I'm not believing it.), the other side of the "oh god, what am I gonna do now" coin of my life. Still. I nod my head. I write. That's a sign of depression, though, is it not: this up-down, up-down business? Allergies? Portraits? Pushups and practice for the mystical "seeing"?

I listened recently to an interview with a TV writer who said he was only aware of one TV writer who claimed he wasn't on anti-depressants and he thought the guy was lying. Maybe writers, good or bad, if they really do write every day, need medicines. Or is it only TV writers who need medicines? TV writers and screenwriters. This is the age of medicines, after all, a pill for every ill. Maybe, once I've seen this allergist (are they called allergists?), I'll follow on with a big bottle of Prozac or whatever shinier, faster, more better concoction they've come up with to replace it. "Up, up and away, have a nice day, the skies are never grey" pills. I'm not laughing. Really. How much?

The photograph was taken at an Oakland City Center concert.