Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Still. . . I'd Like a Little More

"Practicing photography."  I shot this photo from the hip with zone focussing and manual exposure.  Afterwards, I went to the Cafe Strange and had a cafe con leche.  While I was sipping that, I used my Leica app to download the photo to my phone, and that is where I cooked it up.  It looks strange.  I don't know how it will look when I put the RAW file into my computer and process it in Photoshop.  Not yet.  Maybe I just didn't hit focus.  Maybe the highlights will be blown out.  I am not as good, I guess, as I once was at this stuff.  I need more practice.  Or an autofocus camera.  

I like this one from S.F. a few years ago, but I don't know if I shot it from the hip or the eye.  I like the street sign.  Can't go left, can't go right.  It could be a political campaign poster, I think.  

Q FaceTimed me last night.  I had had a wonderful day.  I weighed myself in the gym before my workout.  I won't bore you with that but to say I was encouraged to keep going, and my workout was mostly cardio/aerobic/fat burning stuff, not the he-man shit I have been doing for so long.  At the end, I was sweaty from head to toe.  Then I took a schvitz, both sauna and steam room.  I've never really taken advantage of these in the past, but I've been reading about the health benefits of them lately, and they are well documented.  

I kept a busy day, and awhile after dinner, I took a soak in a hot Epsom bath and then showered.  Just after that, Q buzzed me.  I was a noodle and could barely hold up my end of the conversation.  It was like being stoned without smoking weed.  So he talked and I nodded with the occasional monosyllable.  I'm sure he thinks me old age retarded now.  He asked me if I wanted to play in a band with him in an off-Broadway play his friend it producing.  

"We would only play one song.  Two chords.  D minor and A seventh.  Can you do that?"

"I've forgotten," I mumbled.  

He told me he had watched the new Dave Chapelle special.  He said that he liked it more than did his. . . "partner."  C.C. had just texted me that he had watched it, too, and that it was funny.  So, after mumbling my way through conversation with Q, I decided to put it on.  

I had already watched the Ricky Gervais comedy special.  It was disappointing.  But how could it not be?  He has done such funny stuff in the past, how do you top that?  He was more pedantic than funny this time.  It is an age-old story.  He may have "shot his wad" already.  

So. . . Chapelle.  I'm sort of with Q's "partner"on this one.  Dave has picked himself up on his own back in order to take a victory lap.  He's "the man," you know?  He can be devilish, poking fun of the handicapped.  Edgy like stealing ice cream from a child.  But after that, he's thoughtful, too.  You know. . . he can see both sides of the argument.  Which?  Oh, the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing.  Yea, those fellows both had their reasons.  Dave, you know. . . well, he has to shit on someone, though, so he chooses Little Naz X.  

Well. . . that's funny.  

This morning, I read a piece in--dare I said it?--the Times.  It went like this:

The wildest moment in the new Dave Chappelle special. . . arrives about two-thirds of the way through when the comic says he’s about to tell a long story. That’s not the unusual part.

Some 36 years into a storied comedy career, Chappelle, 50, is better known for controversial yarns than carefully considered punchlines. At this point in the special, he tells the crowd in his hometown, Washington, D.C., that he is going to get a cigarette backstage, asks them to act as if he were finished and says he would prefer a standing ovation. He then does something I have never seen in a Netflix special: He walks off for a smoke and costume change, leaving the stage empty. He strolls back as everyone waits, politely clapping. No one stands. He sits down and even mentions that he didn’t get the standing ovation, grumpily.

He could have cut that out but didn’t. Why? Was it to reveal that his crowd refused to be told what to do, how he doesn’t mind, as he said at another point, if most people didn’t laugh at some jokes? Was it to include a momentary reprieve from the self-aggrandizing tone of the hour, which begins with rock-star images of Chappelle walking to the stage in slow motion and ends with a montage of him with everyone from Bono and Mike Tyson to the Netflix C.E.O. Ted Sarandos? I have no idea, but what sticks with you in Chappelle’s sets these days is less the jokes than the other stuff, the discourse-courting jabs, the celebrity gossip, the oddball flourishes.

Later, Chappelle says, “Sometimes, I feel regular.” As an example, he describes being shy at a club where a rich Persian guy surrounded by women recognizes him and the comedian imagines him telling the story of seeing Dave Chappelle the next day. The idea that this is Chappelle’s idea of regular is funny.
Maybe it's the 'roids.  I don't know.  But giants stumble.  It happens all the time.  You start off one way and end up something else.  I think it is the money.  Do "these people" really deserve that much money?  Football players?  Musicians?  I think everything is ruined by money.  As my old college roomie, bandmate, and colleague commented this morning, "Market logic has colonized civil society. Or is it civic culture that has largely disappeared? Actually It’s Both!!!"  

He can't help it.  He's a Ph.D. in Poli Sci and a lifetime wobbly.  But yea. . . .  

On the flip side of all this. . . I would like to be ruined a little bit with more money.  Q says that when he gets really rich, he is going to rent us a suite at the Carlyle.  It is one million dollars a year, he said.  Mick Jagger has had one there since the '70s.  

Christ!  I'm going to be staying at the Pod Hotel once again when I go.  I'm that funny average guy Chapelle is so sarcastically enamored of.  Yea. . . a little more money.  Just a little too much.  

After Chapelle, I was still awake.  This is a miracle, of sorts, as I've been falling asleep on the couch around eight each night for awhile.  It was ten-thirty, and afraid I wouldn't sleep that night, I took an Advil P.M.  Fuck those things knock me out.  Just a half dose, and I slept eight and a half hours.  I'm still dopey.  

But I have to start this day which has already gotten away from me.  Dopey or not. . . here I come. 

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