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Under Construction
Lake Merritt, Oakland

September 11th, 2004

Life Is Good
Another September 11th, a day to turn on the news, as I always turn on the news, but with just the slightest hesitation. What are they talking about? You hope, well, you know: You hope.

A Saturday: a day to sally forth into the distance in my new car to find adventure. There was a time when my idea of sallying forth to find adventure did not bring an image of an old man in an SUV. Even a smaller, theoretically counter-culture, SUV. A joke that: “counter-culture”. Most people I've seen driving them (and I've seen a lot of people driving Elements around here) are well on the far side of forty. Makes you wonder. Some - and I don't hesitate a second in saying this - some of them look down right old and decrepit and anti-social. But then I wander. Here in Oakland.

A good day for all that, though. The mouth and the head aching, but a shot of Wild Turkey and a couple swipes over the gums with a special triple distilled banana extract I keep for precisely such situations seem to have enabled the morning. A quick visit to the hospital for a blood test to be sure the blood thinners are working, a walk through Chinatown, where I bought a copy of Hero (with, I learn from reading the blurb, an extra 30 minutes of film not included in the theatrical release) and Ju-on, a Japanese horror flick also currently in release in the theaters. Well, in one San Francisco theater. About nine bucks apiece, twenty bucks including tax for the both of them. Which makes me wonder about their legality, either pirated copies smuggled over from Asia or DVD's only meant for Asian distribution. Nine bucks, after all, is about the price of a ticket.

I also bought a saké flask and four matching drinking cups. Pretty ambitious for a Saturday, I thought, two movies and a saké set. Which I used to good effect watching my English sub-titled Japanese soaps on television this evening. Fill the little flask (reading the labels I discover I probably bought the wrong kind of saké), pop it into the microwave and grill on high for a minute. Hot saké, a small sip at a time, watching Japanese television. “Life is good”, I was thinking. “Life is good”, was my thought the next morning, a dead saké bottle floating face down in the sink in the kitchen. “Life is good” I'm still thinking, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken Friday at Lake Merritt in Oakland with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 10.5mm f 2.8 Nikkor fisheye lens at ISO 200.