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Oakland City Hall noon concert.
September 5th, 1999

Sunday. Drive out around seven to the big Safeway beyond the car dealerships on Broadway before the hoards descend. Buy one of everything. Say OK to the woman who urges me to take the two package for one paper towel special. I wonder if they're any good. Big questions like these dominate my morning. I feel good. I feel like unpacking boxes. I feel like going back to bed.

I think one day everyone will have a thin little book they can refer to when they've Berkeley Blues Festival got the blues. Call it the blues book (wow!) and the blues book will contain maybe ten or so short questions you answer and then grade for yourself, using the result to refer to the back for a detailed explanation of why you're blue. Or red. Or down. Or out. Or bat shit crazy howling in the basement as you feed hollow points into those extra capacity magazines you got for Christmas. I'm up to jumpy. Not blue, but jumpy. That's before blue. Well before hollow points. I've just moved to this new apartment, my job is in ferment (no particular ferment, but ferment, none the less, and ferment can lead to, well, stuff) and I am noticing how long I've lived alone and what that predicts for the future. So I could use the book.

I suspect I already have answers to some of the questions, I just don't have the questions and the directions in the back ("have a nice dinner", "go to a movie", "take a day in the country", "divorce that lame assed turkey", "say hello to your brother/sisters", "eat a peach"). I suspect the reasons for the blues are not all that complicated and some graduate student somewhere is right now in the middle of figuring them out. Ten questions and you follow the results to the answer(s) in the back. Ah, #432: "Buy a red car with no top".

So what to do next? This is rambling, but we're at jumpy, remember, and I'm looking for a way out. Every three to five years that question rolls around, except as I grow older it's not as pressing as it was in the past. Maybe the hormones aren't pumping like they used to or I've become wiser (a dangerous assumption) or maybe the September moon is full (which it isn't) and vague radiations are making me, um, jumpy.

So, I don't know, a three day weekend in Oakland, the sun shining, the temperature right, both cameras full of film. More boxes unpacked, the carpet vacuumed and the cat feeling better. Fewer puddles, although he's still sleeping in the living room. The lady in one of the apartments across the back is singing a song from a Broadway show. Not a bad voice, but I wouldn't recommend a new career.

Tomorrow the laundry, next weekend another Solano Avenue Stroll to photograph and perhaps this year the Renaissance Pleasure Faire out in Marin. This will make the third Solano Avenue Stroll, two and a half years since I began shooting pictures again, one year next month since I began this journal. Maybe I'm just getting stale, wondering about the next two whatevers. Jeez.

The banner photograph was taken last Wednesday at an open air concert in from of Oakland City Hall, the second photograph was taken at the Berkeley Blues festival last weekend.