[journal menu]

[home page]

[Oakland Cam]

[email the Prop]

[sign guestbook]

[view guestbook]

[100 Books List]

[Other Journals]

Oakland in the street last Wednesday early evening.
September 4th, 1999

Good Scout
A Wuss update: He seems better. Still leaking, but less and less. He's able to get to the sand box for the heavier stuff. He still sleeps in the living room and not on the bed, but I'm assuming he doesn't like to leak where he sleeps so he's keeping his distance. I hope it isn't because he remembers whatever it was that bit him lives (in?) my bed(room) and he doesn't want to return to the scene of the bite. Or the kidney stone. Or the nightmare. Still a bizarre happening and I'm not sure it's over yet.

I have a habit of playing Freecell when I'm tired and my brain is an echo chamber filled Berkeley Blues Festival with white noise and garbled muttering. When I'm tired or the work is getting repetitive and all the synapses have shorted out. I play Freecell on those days to the point I've deleted it from my desktop machines at work with one copy in reserve on a server in the lab where I can hide behind a closed door during noon hour and not be discovered wasting valuable company time on nonsense. This became an issue recently when they discovered people in the security department playing solitaire on their 21" monitors. I'm not sure what this means. I don't mean about the company cracking down, but the fact I can go through entire days totally zoned out where my only apparent interest is to play this stupid game. Today was like that. No energy to do anything after shooting the blues festival (aching feet, aching legs) except play Freecell and listen to TV noise in the background. I'd worry more if it wasn't usually gone by morning. (Some people have blazing migraine headaches that last for days and I'm complaining about a Freecell fetish. Figure that out.)

The Oakland Blues Festival was set near our office building, the streets barricaded and littered with bandstands and lines of food and trinket booths: Catfish and chips, Guatemalan corn puffs, t-shirts, beer, chicken on a stick, Oakland Symphony posters, California wine, balloons. So I walked to the office in the early afternoon lugging cameras in a nap sack, securing the bulk of it in one of the server labs and then joining the milling crowds for two hours shooting pictures. I think I've seen enough street music festivals for a while.

I'm not really seeing them, you see, just going through the paces, missing good photographs as I walk like a zombie loaded on batteries and film. It was OK. A camera zombie is better than a Freecell zombie, I think. I had some of that catfish stuff with absolutely tasteless tartar sauce. (I assume good tartar sauce costs too much.) I got in close and shot the performers in approved this guy shooting pictures knows what he's doing contortions, no hanging back so you can't see their faces in the negatives, but I have no idea if any of it turned out. People wonder when you look like a professional, but aren't shooting the players, you're shooting the crowd. They, themselves. Where's this going to show up? Worse, who is this guy and what's he doing shooting pictures without a press pass? INS or thought police? Something Bill Gates is cooking up. They saw it on public television. And I'm the guy they warned them about.

Blues bands scattered throughout the neighborhood. Little blues bands in little places with little crowds, bigger blues bands in crowded street intersections. Amps and mixing boards, city police making sure everybody understands this is an approved with plenty of protection Oakland production especially those who may venture in from the suburbs. Which is good. Not too crowded. This is the first one, after all. Everybody seems to be having a good time. Plenty of exercise walking around with a camera and then lugging it back home up the hill when I'm finished. I am such a fucking good scout.

The banner photograph was taken outside Pacific Coast Brewery last Wednesday in the early evening. The singer was photographed at the Berkeley Blues festival last weekend.