Tuesday, July 16, 2019

More City



Day 4.  Today we were doing what Ili wished.  I got us coffee downstairs, then we headed for the Muni and took the train to Haight.  The day, again, was beautiful, and hippie Ili was happy.  When we exited the train at Carl and Cole, we spied a crepe restaurant right away.  Crepes on Cole.  We got a nice table outside and ordered mimosas.  Ili had a sweet crepe, I a savory crepes Benedict which was lovely.

A man with a cat approached the table.  I wish I had the picture ready to show you here.  He was groovy and all that, but when he went to put the cat on the table, Ili stopped him.  No cats on the table.

Another mimosa and we were off to Haight.  It is nothing like it used to be in a sense, but in another it is.  We walked the length of the street, entering stores, browsing, and then we turned and went back.  We entered the Golden Gate Park and walked the trails past the ponds and ballparks and the children's playground and carousel, past the lawn bowling field where matches were in progress, and on to the Japanese Gardens.  There was a long line and a $9 entrance fee.  We passed.

Then we were tired, so we found the nearest Muni station and headed back to camp.

When we left the train, I convinced Ili to go to the Geary St. Galleries with me.  In some galleries, passing others by, five floors and little inspiration.  Why are they not showing my old work?  Oh, yea.  They don't know.

Back on the street, the day was gorgeous, clear, sunny, warm and dry.  Exceptional light, deep shadows, high, bright light.  You couldn't beat it.  Just too pretty.

Back at the hotel, we drank wine and I called to book a car.  I could pick it up in the morning and turn it back in at the airport.  That was a tremendous relief.  And so Ili wanted to celebrate.  She was taking me to the North Beach Restaurant, an old, slightly upscale place that had been there forever.  We had a great waiter, an old guy in a formal suit who made all the right suggestions with a casual, friendly air.  We drank a bottle of wine with our meal.  We had desert.  And when we were done, it was still beautiful, the light golden and intense, the temperature dropping.  I told Ili stories about the Condor club, took pictures of a dancer outside a hooch bar.  We went into the Beat Museum.  The owner asked where were from.  When Ili told him, he started telling us about Kerouac's history in that town.  Uh-huh.  I schooled him that much to his surprise.  Ili bought things as she will.

We walked home back through Chinatown.  Union Square.  We watched the skateboarders, then meandered stiff legged back to the hotel.  Beat, we sat on the balcony, watching and listening to the city, heard the "thump-thump-thump" of dace music many blocks away, looked at the lights of the ball stadium in the near distance.  We were too tired to go out, too tired to even go to the top of hotel to sit in the bar.

Beat, we showered, had a final drink, and fell into bed.

Monday, July 15, 2019

And This Was Nature



Oh. . . I don't have time to continue the narrative this morning.  I'll try to post again later today.  Keep an eye out.  Stay tuned.

Yesterday, I made stew beef in the slow cooker.  Put in all kinds of tomato sauce and chopped onions and peppers and wine.  Six hours later, oo-la-la.  My mother loved it, as did the rest of us.

I am a basic cook, simple but good.  No reductions or sauces in my repertoire.

After dinner, we walked to the lake and sat on the bench outlooking.  The breeze was strong and steady and kept away the bugs.  A momma duck and ducklings headed for shore in the falling light.  An anhinga dove for its last meal before coming to dock to dry its wings for the night.  Lizards found their places.  An osprey tried for a large fish on the last dive of the day, but the fish was too big.  Empty belly that night.  The smell of the lake, the breeze. . . I fell asleep twice.

And this was nature.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Day 3



The older I get, the more life gets in the way of what I am doing or what I want to do.  Not that the four of you noticed, but I was away for a couple of days.  Life crisis.  You know.

It seems to have all worked out.

So what do I do, go on with the S.F. narrative?  I've lost momentum.  Somehow it seems silly.  I'll be brief and leave out all the sordid details.  We woke up and had coffee, then headed off to the SFMoMA.  Warhol.  Lots of it.  We already knew most of the information on the walls, knew more, so we were able to cut to the chase and just look at the art.  Impressive.  Warhol nailed it, whatever that was.  But he hit it right on the top of the goddamned head.  He had ideas.  He was good.  And like all good artists, he kept evolving.

Then we came to some Roy Lichtensteins.  There was a resemblance between Lichtenstein and Warhol's silk screens.  But Lichtenstein didn't use silk screen.  He painted all of them.  Jesus, what a talent.

He just didn't have all the ideas that Warhol had.

On the way to the museum, I saw a guy with a Leica taking pictures in the street, a guy maybe my age, short-ish, round.  He saw my Leica and we started talking.  As we did, he whipped his camera to his eye for the briefest of seconds and snapped a photo of a passing woman.  You would barely know he had done it.  Perfect.

Inside the museum, I saw him again.  He introduced me to some other fellows, one with a Leica, too. I mentioned the photo snapped in the street and said, "He's as quick as Winnogrand."  He even shot with a 28mm lens.

"For what its worth, I met Winnogrand once," he said, and I wondered if maybe I should know him.

After MoMA, we took the train out to the Mission District.  When we got off the train, we were on top of the hill that rolls down to the park.  There were people lolling about everywhere.  I saw some tents.  As we descended, it was clear that we were at the staging ground for a Pride parade.  This was not like the ones back home.

I thought I knew my way around, but after a few moments, I was feeling rather lost.  Ili picked out a pizza restaurant that used some special, magical ingredients, so we got a sidewalk table and some wine.  The day was crystal clear and gorgeous.  The Mission is sort of like the Brooklyn of NYC, I think, less busy, minus tall buildings, relaxed.  We walked the streets and perused the shops.  Why oh why isn't every city like this.  No chains stores.  Everything somehow new.

We came to a shop that sold animal heads and bones and insects and relics, something fun to stumble across as was Evolution in SoHo so many years ago.  There is still magic in the world.  It is just disappearing at an exponential rate.

But here I sit on a Sunday looking at a computer screen.  I need to go out and have something to eat and drink.  Yesterday that was gazpacho and ceviche and sangria.  It was good.  It was fun.

What am I waiting for?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Passing the Day



After lunch, we walked to North Beach up hills through the neighborhoods, past small grocers and bars and cafes, and I realized what shape I was in.  Apparently, I still have a way to go before my recovery, especially of the lung that had collapsed in the accident, is over.  But, I thought, this walking hills is especially good.  I was glad I had passed on going to Yosemite this year.  Next, I said.  I will be ready then.

We entered North Beach from the top near Coit Tower.

"What do you want to do?  Would you like some coffee?  I can take you to a famous old place where all the Beat writers used to go."  

"Sure."

We headed down the hill to the Caffe Trieste on Vallejo St. The joint was crowded and beat as ever.  And. . . it was not for Ili.  She turned around quickly. 

"I don't want to go there."

I was disappointed, but my history is not hers, so. . . O.K.  We continued down the hill until we spied City Lights Books. 

"Now there's the place," I said, going into a speed rap about the history and importance of the bookstore.  "Ferlinghetti just turned 100 and published a new book."

Somehow, it seems, a life of drugs and liquor and late nights is good for you.  Maybe.

She, however, was looking at Vesuvio Cafe next door. 


"Let's go in there first," she said, and not wanting to be a spoil sport, I agreed.  It was early, so the place was rather empty.  We ordered some sort of specialty champagne drink and took a table.  A couple of regulars asked the bartender to put the t.v. on for the women's soccer match, USA vs Somebody.  The fellow at the table next to us sat with a chess set in front of him.  Occasionally he would make a move.  He sipped coffee and stared at the board.  The place was pleasant, so we ordered again.  It was a lot easier than walking. 

When we had finished, we stepped across Jack Kerouac Alley and into City Lights.  It is still a good bookstore, even more so since there is barely anything to compare to it now.  The place was crowded, of course, but it was ok.  I already had most of the books.  I took Ili up to the Beat library upstairs.  I pointed to things and whispered, but she didn't grow up with this as I had.  She found a book and a chair and sat down while I browsed.  I found a Kerouac section and was surprised at how many titles were unknown to me.  I picked up "Good Blonde and Others," a collection of writings I had never seen, a hodgepodge of stories, essays, and criticism that I'd never seen.  It didn't look like his best writing, so I bought it.  I thought it might cheer me up to read some not so wonderful things by a good writer.  It might inspire me. 

Exiting City Lights, we headed back uphill to Chinatown. 

"Remember the movie?" I asked.  We had watched it together a few months back.  "This is it." 

We turned down Grant St. and wandered in and out of stores full of ceramics, silk, and jade.  Ili ended up with three jade bracelets before we came to a dim sum restaurant.  What the hell.  We slipped in and got some dumplings.  They were good, so we got some more.  Beer and and tea, a San Francisco treat. 

Within minutes, Ili asked, "How's your belly." 

"Really?  You too?"  Mine was already cramping. 

"I think we had better head back to the hotel."

"I hope we make it." 

We laughed tight cheeked back to the Hilton.  By the time we reached the hotel, though, we were fine-ish. 

It had been a good day.  We would need dinner soon.  But first, we needed a break. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Perilous



At the end of the cable car tracks, we set off down the hill toward Fisherman's Wharf.  It was the best way to start an S.F. trip, I thought, doing the most touristy thing first.  But as I said, we were early. There were hardly any people around. 

"It's strange," I said.  "I haven't seen it this empty since I was here in 1975."  Then fisherman sold there catch off the boats.  Otherwise, it really wasn't a destination. 

I walked her past the boathouse and to the beach where a chill wind was blowing off the water.  The usual swimmers in full wet suits were swimming laps in the roped off area.  In the background was the bridge, red, iconic, beautiful.

And then. . . there was a group of about 30 kids with a couple chaperones.  The kids were all stripping down, naked as birth, and putting on little bathing suits, chaperones helping those who needed it.  Ili and I looked at each other.  WTF?  Apparently, they were getting ready to swim.  Could it be?  Naked kids on a cold beach readying to enter the frigid water.  Sure, San Fran is different, but somehow, from every angle--practical, legal, ethical--this looked perilous. 

Well, we weren't in Kansas anymore. 

Though we had just eaten, Ili was anxious for some chowder and sourdough bread, and by now it was 11:00, so. . . what the hell.  But there were sooooo many chowder places, and Ili could only have one, so she stopped to ask the handsome boys on the dock working the tour ships where she should eat.  The Blue Mermaid, they said. 

And so it was.  And it was good.  We sat outside eating our second meal in two or three hours, glasses of wine, the smell of legal weed wafting across the patio, sun shining, the day before us. 

It sure beat working. 




Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Inauspicious



Day 2 began with coffee and showers.  We slept late, of course, then sat on our balcony overlooking the city, eager, but in no hurry.  We had days.  We wanted languor.  Excitement, however, overtook us, so we grabbed our things, in my case the camera bag, and stepped into the street.

Immediately, I put a Leica to my eye.  I saw a woman picking through the garbage can next to the hotel.  And then, like a sudden bolt of lightening, like rapturous thunder, a woman was screaming at me, not the one I photographed but a stranger walking up the sidewalk.

"You can't do that.  You have to get permission."

It wasn't that polite.  She was angry and aggressive and charging toward me like a Pamplona bull.

"Sure I can," I said.  "I can take photographs."

"No you CAN'T!" she screamed.

"O.K." I said.  "Call a cop."

"I am a cop," she yelled, pulling out some sort of laminated cardboard i.d.

"Then you should know better."

Ili was not happy and pulled me away.  Breakfast did not go well.  It had just begun, and I was already ruining her vacation.

It is impossible to photograph when you should be vacationing with someone.  She was right, of course.  I needed to be in the streets alone, looking, seeing.  Still. . . I was in the city.

After breakfast, we strolled up to the cable cars on Mission.  There was barely a line.  We were early, I guess, being on East Coast time.  Ili was excited to ride a cable car, so we were getting happy again.  As we stood in line, a big homeless guy wearing a blanket like a cape stepped up to her.  He wanted money.  I wanted to see how this would go.

"I can't, dude."  He stood there, a warm sneer plastering his mug.  And as I say, he was big.  He asked again, and again she demurred, but he didn't go away.

"Can I take your picture?" she asked.

"No," he said defiantly.  I decided to chime in.

"There you go," I said.  "It's 'no' all around.  See how that goes?  Nobody wants to give anything away."

He looked stunned.  Then he said, "O.K.  Take my picture."

"I don't want to."

A bit later, he was in a shouting match with a security guard who was trying to move him away from the crowd.

"Fuck you.  You ain't no fucking cop.  Kiss my ass you motherfucker!"

But eventually he moved on.

And that's how the day began.  Inauspiciously.

But Ili love riding the cable car and the conductor let us stand on the back platform from which we snapped photographs like the one above.  The cable car swept up the steep hills and when it crested, Ili could see the bay.  It fairly takes one's breath away.  The sun was out.  The sky was blue.  The air was clear.  I was still worried, but I had my fingers crossed.


Monday, July 8, 2019

Voyage



I shot this with the Monochrom and the 21mm lens.  I love the combo.  Wish I had used it more in S.F.  It just takes in so much of the scene that everything is juxtaposed.  Almost every picture is a story.  If I lived in S.F. or N.Y., I'd be a better photographer.  Hell, I'd be famous in a few months.

Maybe not.  But I'd certainly have more pictures that I enjoy.

O.K.  I am to report.  No matter how early you pack, there is much and more to do before you can leave the house.  And so we stressed.  But everything went fine.  We got to the airport early, got through TSA quickly, even with my metal ribs, and had time for a bite at one of the chain restaurants served by a definite they.  Drinks and a shitty steak, and then aboard.

We went as cheaply as we could.  Basic Economy.  I've never been in a more cramped, more humiliating seat in my life.  For five and a half hours, knees jammed against the seat in front of me, I twisted my body to accommodate the hump on the floor where my right foot should have been.  We both swore we would never fly economy again, at least not for any long flights.

But the flight went smoothly and we landed on time in S.F. late in the evening--for us, at least--having crossed three time zones in passage.  We got a Lyft into the city, to our hotel, the Hilton at Union Square.  I'd stayed there before.  It is a decent hotel, a conventioneers place, and it is well situated.  When we checked in, the nice young girl at the counter gave us an upgrade, so we had a 28th floor room with a balcony and a view of the city.  The room was nice and the evening was just beginning to spread, the lights of the city beginning to sparkle.  We watched the silhouettes of dancers projected on the top floors of one of the new buildings I'd never seen.  Then we went downstairs to eat.  Ili said she wasn't hungry, so I grabbed a hotdog and a bottle of wine at the deli.  Bad mistake.  I couldn't eat it.  We showered and went to bed hungry and a little drunk that night.  But the bed was comfortable, and we sank into a deep, long slumber, not waking until well after dawn the next day.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Return from Paradise



I'm back from Cali.  We were in S.F. for the big Pride Parade.  Boy, was I surprised.  My own home town has a larger gay population per capita than does S.F., but it is a different kind of gay.  We are sort of Disney Gay.  Pride parades here are big but not radical.  People wear t-shirts with rainbows on them.  It is all "family friendly" here.

San Francisco is another thing.  Women walking naked, men wearing nothing but ass chaps.  I'm not saying it isn't family friendly.  People bring their kids.  Just a different family.  I got so excited, I jumped right in.  Ili took my picture walking naked through the streets, living the dream.  I guess I've put on a little weight since the accident, but I think I look distinguished.

I kid.  We loved it.  People are the friendliest in "the Bay area."  As long as you are a vegan tranny.

I have to quit it.  It is a place for lovers.  We couldn't have had a better vacation.  We chilled more than we thought we would.  Went to S.F. for four nights, toured the neighborhoods, ate and drank like gargantuans, dropped hundred dollar bills like rain.  Then we went to Carmel for two nights.  Which became three nights.  Which became four.  Let me make a recommendation if you go--La Playa Carmel.  Best place for real.  It may seem expensive but every morning they serve a champagne breakfast with a chef.  All day sangria.  Good wine at 5:30.  And to top it off, fresh baked chocolate chip Ghirardelli cookies and milk at eight.  Terraced gardens overlooking the sea.  Complimentary car service, too.  Cool air and fireplaces.  We couldn't leave.

We decided to live in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  We checked the price on a little house we liked.  Seven million.  I guess we came too late.

Ili had her monumental birthday there.  Best day ever, she says.  The weather was perfect.  We walked Point Lobos, visited the otters and the seals and all the creatures of the forest and the tide pools.  Came back and snacked on fresh figs, bleu cheese, sourdough baguette, olives, and a local wine.  Dinner that night at an Italian restaurant, the oldest in town.  Two deserts.  Decadence.

I won't try to tell it all here.  I haven't thought much for the last ten days, not about anything real.  I've just been taking in the fairyland.  This morning, I'm back in my own home, cozy, lolling, and saying hello.

Oh, Ili marched, too.  It was quite a day.


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Travel Jitters



I've packed and repacked, then packed again.  Suddenly there are many things that MUST be done before I leave.  Finances.  Servants.  Etc.  It is always hard to cut the cord.  But in a few hours, I'll be on the plane, drink in hand, and I'll settle in for the long ride. 

Now I have to finish up at the factory so that the machines will run while I'm away. 

Nerves on end.  I might post a couple times from the road.  Maybe.  We'll see.  If not, see you soon-ish. 

Ciao for now. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Until Then


I found this picture when I was purging thousands of images from my hard drive.  It is a film scan from a few years ago.  Q has become so wildly popular with his own dog pics, I figured I might get into the game, too.  Hippie dog fest. 

I'm packed for S.F.  I'll repack tonight.  In my sleep, I remembered all the things I forgot to pack and changed my mind about others.  I keep thinking, "half the clothes, twice the money."  I will have the same clothes on in every picture from the trip.

Just for those of you who actually worry about me, I am getting better all the time, I think.  Six weeks ago, I tried to do a push up.  I was successful.  I try to do push ups about twice a week, each time increasing by one.  Yesterday I did fifteen.  Other things, too.  I'm not done improving.  Seriously, I am coming along quite well, I think.  I even believe that the fatigue I experience will pass. 

Better every day. 

Well, kids, this might be the last post for about ten days.  I will not have a computer in S.F.  I may post a few pics from my phone without much narrative.  I'll try. 

So, as Q likes to say, until then. . . .

Monday, June 24, 2019

Culling



Monochrom and a 25mm Voigtlander in the park on Saturday.

"Hey, I love your earrings.  Can I take a picture?"

I didn't do a very good job, but I liked approaching her and her being flattered.

"That's a really cool camera."

"Thanks."

I began purging my digital files this weekend.  It is awful, but it is good.  Thousands of images are gone, just stuff, but some of it is hard to part with.  Ili pics, for instance.

"Noooooo--get rid of that," she says adamantly.

We all like to be flattered, so I delete pictures of me, too.

But mostly things from the street.  I hate looking through so many bad pictures, but I will never have to again.  And I am learning something.  My technique may get better.

Plus, I'm freeing up my hard drives.

But still, it is difficult to get rid of images, even digital ones.

Three days 'til San Fan, or Frisco as the hippies said.  Cool people aren't allowed to say that now.

The closer the trip gets, the more there is to do.  How is that possible?

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Fruits of Summer



Summer means fruit and vegetables.  We stopped at the farmer's market and got some delicious peaches, some vine ripe tomatoes, and some blended goat and sheep's milk cheese.  We made a sort of Capresse salad joined by an egg on toasted sourdough bread.  Jesus, Joseph, and Mary.  Later we had cut peaches.

There are some good things about summer.

Last night, we watched "Deadwood: The Movie."  Don't bother.  It is like all things redone.  Milch fucked up doing this movie.  It is as disappointing as the "Arrested Development" remakes and the last season of "Game of Thrones."

If you think I'm watching too much t.v., you are right.

Here's the new cat.  She is not ours.  She is wild as they come, but we feed her.  Bad decision on our part, but she no longer looks starved.  I am hoping she is a good mouser-style barn cat.  You can see the top of one of her ears is gone, so we call her Scar or Scarlet.

She never responds.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Solstice



The first day of summer was very long, of course, the old summer solstice, but it was also very hot.  Even my new air conditioner was struggling to keep up.  The world is worse and getting worser.

But now it is time for summer things.  I am preparing for the trip to S.F. It will be good to get out of town, I hope.  I still have trouble sometimes, whether it is sleeping or moving.  In moments, the horror comes back to me.  I am not the man I was, but who is?

There will be no Yosemite this year, no real strenuous stuff.  I hope S.F. will be fun for Ili and for me.  I haven't been for at least five years.  Much can change.

Then a trip down the coast and some nights in Carmel, then. . . I'm not sure.  We will play it by ear.

So the blog will go dark for a while soon.  But I am hoping to have something new to say.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Disguise of Beauty



Monochrom, my new carry around camera.  Lots of silly, nothing shots that will look better in twenty years, maybe.  Probably not.  I'm just digging shooting again.

I should have gone to the Trump rally and made pictures, but it seemed too difficult.

I got beautified yesterday.  My beautician told me her troubles which are many and terrible, then she told me about her training and dancing and dreams.  She is forty years old and looks terrific, but I find her desire to enter competitions a bit confusing.

"In the end, what will you have?  Maybe a trophy that says, 'Ms. Daytona Beach Shores, 2020.'?"

She giggled, but I felt after that it was a cruel thing to say.  At least I didn't add, "Over 40."

She said she wanted me to take some photos of her.  I asked her for what purpose.  She showed me some photos that she liked.  That is not what I do, I told her.  They were either advertising or vanity photographs, things that tried to disguise and beautify reality.  I tried to explain that to her, but I couldn't tell her that I wanted to photograph reality in all its ugly horror.  I don't think that would have been accurate.  But close.  I like beauty fine, but I haven't any interest in photographing people to disguise who they are.  There are phone filters that can do that.

"I like to photograph people who are naked," I said, "raw and unadorned. I'd just put your receptionist on that couch and try to show the crazy in her."

You know, that's not what people want to hear from a photographer.  Well, not everyone, anyway.  But that is really what I want to do.  I'll try to make pretty pictures of flowers and of Ili because that is what she wants, too, but other than that. . . not so much.

I do like pictures that make me seem desirable, though.  I get it.  I just don't want to be the one taking them.  I would do fashion for money, but so would everyone else.  It is a crowded field.

Having said that, what will I photograph?  Ugly reality?  Diane Arbus--style portraits?

Yea.  If I can.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Keep America



I watched Trump kick off his 2020 campaign last night.  I didn't mean to.  I just got sucked in.  Once you see it, how do you look away?  He is not just a liar.  He is THE GREAT EXAGGERATOR.  He is.  He is terrific, really good.

He reminds me of a lot of men from my father's generation.  They talked in those grand terms.  A lie can seem true if you pepper it with just enough of what is verifiable.

For instance, last night he made a stunning point.  When he debated Hillary, she asked him if she won, would he support her.

"That was probably the toughest question of the night.  Look how it turned out."

Big smirk.

Yup, Hillary's question was disingenuous.  She has never supported Trump.  But we knew that.  Still, the point is made.

And the audience went wild.  KEEP AMERICA GREAT.  USA.  USA.

On the other side, my main man, Jeffery Toobin, was making a silly point.  The millions of illegal immigrants that Trump wants to lock up, he says, have jobs.  They have families.

I don't get the point, unless he means certain crimes should be forgotten if you work and have children.  There has to be a better argument than that.

It is hard to know where to run.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Twice the Money



I was trying to test out a flash with the Monochrome and the wide angle lens.  I couldn't get it it fire, but I found this image to have that certain je ne sais quois.  That's French for "I don't know what."  People use it to mean "flair," I believe.  But it is just admitting a certain stupidity about a thing.  I really believe the photo has that quality.  I don't know what.

But I got the flash to work with the camera now and I am a pain in the ass with it.  You'll see some examples in the near future.  I am flashing everything and everyone.  I'm trying to make some Mark Cohen--style photos.  They are not turning out that way which is probably good.  They have my own mark and smell to them.  First you copy, then. . . je ne sais quois.  

I like the phrase as much as esprit de corps and Viva Las Vegas.  

Last night was the full moon, I hear.  Couldn't tell it here.  Rain.  Still, the weird dreams and strange sleep evidenced it.

Now for the factory.  Only a week before S.F.  I got some good advice for the trip.  Pack half the clothes and take twice the money.

Yup.

Monday, June 17, 2019

A Thing Memorable



I'm in love with my Leica Monochrom--finally.  I have put on an old Voigtlander 21mm lens which I bought about a year ago, and voila. . . magic.  It is good for some things, not all thing, but it is providing me with a perspective I once had and lost.  Photographically speaking.  It is the widest lens I've ever owned.  It is sharp and small and great.  Fun.  I am carrying it with me everywhere.

Rain and more rain.  It is the time of quiet and waiting.  That's Steinbeck.  Sometimes he could write a thing memorable.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Beautiful Failure



Another failed attempt at 8x10 instant film.  Outdated film, of course.  Still, I think it has some charm.  But these failures are expensive ones.  I may have to give up.  I have an idea of shooting paper negatives.  That will be much less expensive, but I'll need a darkroom.  I'll find out if I have one to use on Monday.

There is nothing that can't be done tomorrow.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

All Things Visual



It's Flag Day, I think.  Patriotism abounds.  All things red, white, and blue.

Blue.

I've been working with the 8x10 camera.  I took it apart.  I'd forgotten how to, if I ever knew.  I was scared that I would break something.  After I got it apart, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get it back together.  But I did.  Took a portrait of Ili sitting by the window.  Used five year old Impossible color film that has been sitting in the garage.  It worked, but the colors were very faded.  I rather liked it.

A new box of color film came yesterday.  The color should be vibrant.  I will try some today.

And I got back scans of four 8x10 negatives I sent to California for processing.  It worked.

It costs me about $20 a shot to take 8x10 images--if I do it right.  This little experiment might not last long.  Still. . . .

It has been gray here, so I have been shooting with my Leica Monochrom.  Black and white is good in pale light, or at least better than color.  I think.  Maybe.

O.K.  Saturday.  I am ready to start the day.  Here's to the visual.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Is This Normal?



The weather is insane.  Yesterday I got caught in a storm that raised the rear end of my car off the road.  I've never seen a wind like it.  I was at a stoplight behind another car.  I saw the back of his car leave the ground.  The street lights were like flags blowing horizontal.  People tell me it must have been a microblast, whatever that is, but that sounds right.  Man.  What a storm.

I have PTSD about storms since Charlie took my apartment.  Rain and dark skies and winds freak me out.  I can't help it. 

It is raining today.  It will rain tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. 

The a.c. guys are still working.  The portable a.c. leaked and warped the oak floors in the apartment's kitchen.  Two companies are arguing about who is responsible. 

"If it was leaking, why'd she use it?"

To me it is the--"I gave you poison candy.  Why'd you eat it?"--argument. 

The more that I do, the more tthat needs to be done.  The closer to retirement I get, the more money I need. 

Is this normal?

I hate adulting. 

My hair needs washing.  My nails need trimming.  I should probably shave. 

That is the future.