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September 24, 2011

Get The Practice In

Saturday. Not sure it was the sake, perhaps it was the plethora of unwatchable mind numbing programs on television, but I put on La Boheme last night, turned down the lights, and listened to it through the evening. A bit of sake, yes, but when have I not had a bit of sake now and again? In my twenties, thirties and into my forties I'd listen into the late evening, early morning, mostly to what was then called progressive rock, the non pop standards of the late the sixties and early seventies, but also the older stuff from my teenage years - Elvis, Fats Domino, The Hollies, The Dell Vikings and many others - sometimes the operetta I learned through my uncle who sang these rolls and then later, in college, Italian, French and Russian opera arrived at through Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. A personal passage to a different place of one's own.

Haven't done this now in a long while, probably due to something less obvious like a reduction in testosterone. Nice to still have it happen, though. La Boheme, all the way through. I have many recordings of this particular standard - poets in a garret (hup! hup!), arias on a balcony overlooking the City of Light - have watched it more than once at the old New York City Met sung by many of the then stars.

Still, who hasn't at some time listened into the night to whatever music brings them delight? Many I've known. Ms. C mentioned a combination of rock and roll and opera wasn't all that uncommon to see on shelves in Europe and in Great Britain, her own home. That was nice, although I've never been to Europe. Then again Ms. C too liked to listen into the night, dreaming her own dreams. I hope she still does that now and again out there somewhere. Hard to know.

OK, that was written last night, this is now the morning. To bed after ten, up after seven, to breakfast and back by nine, the sky overcast and the weather people saying into the sixties today rather than the eighties and nineties. The nineties somewhere inland, maybe. It's been overly warm here and I've been complaining about it (just a bit, just a bit, we know our place), but not the nineties (dear god).

There's a parade forming up at noon in Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, a parade setting off to the City Hall for Moving Planet, a coordinated worldwide global warming demonstration. It's on the calendar anyway and I suspect I'll go, although right now I'd just as soon stay inside. But it's early, my attitude is known to change by later morning and the need to get out of this place kicks in. Good. That it kicks in at all anymore.

Later. A bus to BART and BART to the Embarcadero and Justin Herman Plaza to photograph the Moving Planet parade that would be heading up Market to the City Hall at 12:30. Took me a little bit to get my head out the door (no, I didn't have to first get it out of that other place, mind your manners), but once in the cool overcast air I was fine. Old man with a camera. Two cameras, actually, one in the backpack, too large and unwieldy to comfortably carry to and from, not so bad while shooting with one or the other camera in hand and the other over the shoulder.

I'm not sure I did all that well in the sense of creating a feeling for the event through the photographs, but I was able to nail a few good candid portraits and that's the reason I'm there, wherever there may be at any given time or moment. So no excuses, a page at least for artandlife and that's my definition of success for any outing.

I did think of taking a cable car up California to Polk Street for the Jazz Street Festival, but thought better of it. A long enough day already, I have another event in San Francisco tomorrow, let's take this one rational step at a time. Hup. Sitting here now writing this I'm glad that was the decision. Feel OK, but any more would have been playing with fire.

Evening. The afternoon spent on the photographs. I apparently have enough of them for three sections, but I'm not sure they're all that good after going through them again. Cut it down to one section, there must be enough for one if I'm thinking three. Two? Again, a long afternoon, I'm tired and need to spend my time on the guitar before turning in. Nothing on television I'm aware of, so it shouldn't be all that hard to get the practice in.

The photograph was taken at the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival Sunday with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens using a 1.4x teleconverter.