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Oakland Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride ‘05

September 14th, 2005

Not Everyone Does
Wednesday. A bit cold, this morning, the thought rattling around I might be turning on the heat one of these days. How rude. Turning on the heat in September in Oakland. I can remember years when it's been downright hot until well into October. (My definition of hot isn't everyone's definition of hot. Comfortable for me is often cold for someone else. Probably because they're not as well insulated as I am, the swine.)

The week is passing quickly. Lunch today at a new high end Mexican restaurant that's opened just down the street from the office with some folks I haven't had lunch with in a while. The food was very good, the portions small, the prices about double what a similar meal available down the street in a not so high end Mexican restaurant. High living for a Wednesday. I'm wondering, though. There are a lot of places in the downtown area where you can spend twenty dollars or more for lunch.

Restaurants like these are all over the place in say, Jack London Square, which is usually filled with tourists and people who moor their yachts along the Marina shore where housing rents and prices are higher than you want to hear. These restaurants, however, are designed to serve lunch to the locals on a day to day basis. I'm obviously unschooled in the habits of those who have bucks enough to eat there every day. I have cameras. I don't have cameras and bucks. It's one or the other in Proprietor Land, you understand. I'm lucky to have the choice.

This has run into a dead end, but you're too lazy to hit delete and start over.

I figure that's how many a book is written. Lord and Lady Wortmottle, trapped now in the castle, lips and clothes in a passionate tangle; three rather likable characters, all of whom have been developed in great and loving detail in Chapters Eight, Nine and Ten; one of whom is the cute little orphan girl named “Wendy”, who are now propped against a wall, deader than dead down in the dungeon; the water rising as the ever present typhoon winds seem to redouble; all of this so complicated and incomprehensible, so irrational and irreversible that even the author knows it needs to be erased and reanimated with a new Chapter One: without a castle; without a Lord or a Lady; without a dungeon or a second wind or a little girl named “Wendy”. But you, the author, have just about finished Chapter Thirty-five, ten paragraphs from the end of the novel (dear god) and the thought of starting over has you down on your knees, barking. (And you're seven months past deadline, the advance is gone if not forgotten and you're coming down with some kind of weird shit stomach flu that has the doctors baffled.)

Cumbersome, but it has a ring of authenticity.

It's the book you have to write and then throw away before you can write your first book with a chance of being published. Not everyone does. Continue. Start over. Here or there, in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride ‘05 Parade with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 70-200 f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/100th second at f 2.8 at ISO 100.