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September 25, 2009

The Fast Lane
Friday. Overcast and cool at just before eight. The usual breakfast and reading of the papers at my morning café, home now to contemplate a Friday before a weekend. I'm due to get together mid afternoon with some of the usual crew, some thought of taking in the Tut exhibition after a Guinness or two at a local pub. I suspect Tut is not in the cards, but it sounds good. Better from my perspective to take in Avedon just up the street, but I give that no chance of happening either once the Guinness starts to flow. We'll see. Lately travel to anywhere, San Francisco included, is a major effort on my part. Once I'm on the way, doesn't matter where, all things fall into place and I'm as comfortable as anyone, it's the getting going that's the stopper.

No word from the doctor on the meds. The readings are running from normal to maybe ten, sometimes twenty points top and bottom over normal, so I'll not particularly worry about it. It would surprise me if I don't get a call late this morning, but who knows? We'll keep the Guinness to two and make it a reasonable evening just to, um, keep my mind and body intact in case I have some use for it tomorrow.

Another sign of progress, maybe. I downloaded Max Blumenthal's Republican Gomorrah to the Kindle yesterday afternoon and managed to read the first few chapters. I say a sign of progress just in the reading, nothing to do with the subject matter, any serious reading being something I've been inexplicably avoiding now for a long time given my earlier history.

Blumenthal is basically talking about the far right “born again” fringe of the Republican party that still makes so much noise on the news and in current political discussion. I don't really consider them “Republicans”, as such, at least not the Republicans I knew in my younger years prior to Barry Goldwater's run for the presidency. We're talking Falwell and Dobson and some other really strange people I've not heard of before, single issue groups that focus almost exclusively on abortion, homosexuality, evolution, immigration and religious dogma; how they came to be, what seems to drive them. Scary to a greater degree than I was expecting. Psychoanalysis as applied to political movements. I wonder how I'd react to a tract applied to photographers? People who keep journals?

Later. The Nikon web site tells me my 35mm lens has been repaired and shipped, due to arrive this coming Monday. A lot cheaper to get it fixed than to buy a new one, although I'm wondering what failed. It's not as if I took it to Iraq. How many things can go wrong with a lens if you don't abuse it?

Late yesterday afternoon I started futzing with the small strobe lights again. I see it as a sign the energy is coming back and some of this crap that's been dogging me finally easing. Now to take it beyond this initial step. Yes, the lights are in place; yes, I've taken pictures (not very well lit pictures) and now how do I make changes to improve them? There's always a “gotcha”, isn't there? It isn't just a matter of getting out of the bed in the mornings, you actually have to sit down on the bed and tie your own shoes! Learning to use these lights, actually making some progress, is not unlike tying your own shoes. You actually have to do it and not just write about it! Talk about not reading the fine print when I signed the “I want to be a photographer” agreement!

Later still. Another trip downtown, this time to pick up vitamin pills at Rite Aid (my goodness, they were having a two for one sale!), a quick bus ride down, a quick bus ride back stopping for a cheese sandwich at a café with sidewalk tables on a side street off Grand near the lake. No thought to get in the walking. Another ride downtown to catch BART for the city in about an hour. Life in the fast lane, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken entering the Oakland City Center yesterday with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 17 - 55mm f 2.8 Nikkor DX lens at f 4.5 at 1/400th second, ISO 100.