Saturday, September 13, 2003

Less is more... Q.E.D.

JPennant: its funny
JPennant: being homeless has allowed me to meet people I wouldnt have otherwise never met
tysha: :-)
JPennant: who woulda thunk
JPennant: I did say I was coming to Cali to meet people
JPennant: and by golly
tysha: true true
JPennant: last night I met an african man
JPennant: turns out he was a former math professor and scientist at Fisk University
tysha: wow!
JPennant: Ive met a lot of phD's on the street
JPennant: that's no joke
tysha: i believe ya..
JPennant: in any case he gave me an insight that has all the elegance of a theorem
JPennant: we were talking about the freedom that being outside the system gives you
JPennant: not having a lot of baggage
JPennant: and he said
JPennant: "Simplicity requires intelligence"
tysha: lol. so true
JPennant: "It has to be harmonious, logical and easy."
JPennant: thats called balance
tysha: true
JPennant: thats a great way to put it
JPennant: he is a mathematician, so he reduced a world of wisdom to a phrase
tysha: wow. i may put that up on my blog - "simplicity requires intelligence.
JPennant: hey me first ;-)
JPennant: heheheh
tysha: sure. its your story.. i'll link it to your blog :D
tysha: :-)
JPennant: nah, go ahead
tysha: no no
JPennant: I got a lot more of this stuff Im learning daily ;-)
tysha: its your story.. it would be nice to hear the whole thing that just a single sentence

Ok. :-)

Hosed, a technical term

Scorn at the life Im living, I can deal with. But the hard life of the itinerant is taking a toll on my equipment.

- G3 Mac powerbook, blew up, almost literally.
- External CD burner, stopped reading CD's.
- Camera. Dead, prolly terminal.

(I JUST realized. Everything has blown up or been knackered around the time of merc retrograde, cept for the burner.... freaky.)

And now, the laptop, dropped 5 too many times, is hosed.

McClint: yo joe
JPennant: hey. writing the eulogy for this laptop
McClint: dead again for the last time?
JPennant: the screen is flickering like a demented lightbulb
JPennant: Im amazed even Ive kept it running this long.
McClint: it was already old when you got it, wasn't it?
JPennant: yup, circa 1997
JPennant: all I need is the screen and laptop frame from this guy
McClint: yeah
McClint: hey... scroll down to the larger pix here:
McClint: closeups of the camera itself
JPennant: dude, I can barely see the IM window
McClint: oh hahahahaha sorry
JPennant: breaking up as we speak. its like trying to talk on an etch a sketch right now
JPennant: actually an etch a sketch would be clearer
McClint: hmmm you might be able to see this one:
JPennant: dude, my screen is reversed black and white flickereing with streaks
McClint: damn. too bad ya can't take a picture of your screen
JPennant: wouldnt convey the beauty Im beholding
McClint: hehehe
JPennant: I need another cheap laptop or parts to rebuild this (aka the craigslist link I just showed you)
McClint: define cheap?
JPennant: less than 300 bux
JPennant: at least this will lighten the load
McClint: how so?
JPennant: I shut this down, Im gonna take out the essential parts and then toss it
McClint: oh i see
McClint: one less thing to tote around with you?
JPennant: 8 pounds less, yar

Are you SURE things are gonna be looking up, Poo? ;-)

Friday, September 12, 2003

I knew it.

I knew it.

I came here to meet people. For their benefit as well as mine.

I dunno about that, but the connections seem to be lighting up for me.

Yesss.. its looking good. Very good.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

IF... we will then proceed to lose our everlovin' minds.

Chicago sport fan, I am.

No. I could care less about the Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Jets etc etc. Not a fan of the NY sport teams.

Not even.

I love Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, Da Bears, Da Bulls, Da Blackhawks (even tho the hockey games are mostly attended mostly by Chicago's Guido and Barbie types) et al.

This weekend, the Chicago Bears got stomped on by those (refrains from many alliterative and pejoratively homesexual words) the San Francisco 49'ers.



Da Cubs. Da Sox. Are both fighting for first place in their respective divisions.

Which means, there possibly could be a North Side/South Side World Series.

And the possibility of that happening again -- umm, when does Mars pass this close to the earth again?

Ah yes, the year 2287.

Being a professional Chicago sports fan (do not try this at home), we of course KNOW this will not actually occur now or then.

But.. IF.. *breathe* .. if it so happens, god willing, Allah akbar... we will then proceed to lose our everlovin' minds.

We will wait for the future with bated breath.

In the meantime.. Da Bears got stomped, eh?

Those *&@%#%@(.

Gotta love 'em.

And sometimes, it was simply cool as fuck

Black and Whites

Is it because I didnt get a coffee and bagel beforehand?

Normally, they feel - at most - like tiny mosquito bites.

At most, I'll flinch.

Today, I actually yelled out in pain!

The acupuncture needle in the side of my hand is the one I dread the most, as it hurts.
And then I dont feel the rest of 'em.

Today. OW! All seven of them, including the one in the ear that goes in shallow and I never feel.

The acupuncturist said that today, I was unconsciously resisting, my hand turning over to avoid the needle.

What the hell is up with me today?

They even hurt as I took them out.

Huh. Weird.

My virgo mind is already doing the analysis...

At first light

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

First lovin, and then..

"Oohh, Aahh, that's how all of this starts, but then later there's the running and screaming"

.. talking to lilbro, and then he suddenly stops making any kind of sense. As usual, there's good reason for this

lilbro: dont want that to happen to me
JPennant: ?? whats that got to do with anything?
lilbro: and i dont beef when the sun is down
lilbro: sorry son
lilbro: talkin to sania right now
lilbro: she actin like a chick
JPennant: ahh, youre distracted
JPennant: oy
lilbro: tuff world we live in son
JPennant: go handle yo bizness little brother
JPennant: love you
JPennant: be good
lilbro: aight
lilbro: luv u son
lilbro: talk 2 u latah
JPennant: irie

Peace and Quiet.

A chica earlier asks me where Ive been, been worried about me.


Been out and about, on my own...

I like peace and quiet.

Moment n time

Corner of Hearst and Shattuck, outside the Berkeley Espresso joint

- Three women, one with her yoga mat slung over her shoulder, talking to an artist, selling his art out of a box, attached to his bicycle.
- Two 65 mustangs, one black, clean, concours, the other ratty, primered, with a no hood, revealing a highly modified and chromed 427 Cobra motor, blat blatting unevenly waiting at the stop light.

Light changes and both mustangs launch for an impromptu block-long drag race, squealing tires and thundering the air with noise, exhaust and tire smoke and adrenaline.

The artist doesnt stop talking, and the women wander into the coffee-shop singing the disco hit "Shake Your Booty".

As it quiets down to the genteel murmur of North Berkeley, no one turns their head.

I feen for a camera.

Because I know she'll be sneaking a peek on the down-low...

Happy Boithday, BigSister !!

How do I know its you, Wendy?

I do this for a living, remember? ;-)

Time Does Tell

I was looking back
at the old PennantsPages (everybody else does it seems) and I came across this 11/29/2000 entry with a transcript of mail from Poo

Anyway, she writes:

Hey Dawg Hunny:

I kin tell ya still miss the beauteous San Francisco.

Do I smell a move?

Much love,

My initial reaction is to always proclaim the negatory when she 'senses' stuff, being madd stubborn and thinkin I know everything..

However, over the years, Ive found that it is futile to fight her instincts. She is usually quite on target looong before I can say whats going to happen.

So, at this time I will say:

It is far too soon to tell.

As an aside, JT just called me - and the first thing after "How ya doin" was.. "so when are you moving here?"


As I said, I try not to second guess her instincts, even if I hope she's wrong...

Yes Poo, youre almost always right. :-)
Today's horrorscopes
You're undergoing a process where the wheat will be separated from the chaff. You're on the side of the wheat. Be nice to the chaff.

At some stage today you will realize that you have been taking something far too seriously.
At first it will make you angry to think that you have wasted so much time and so much emotional energy on it, but as the day progresses, you will understand that it is just another learning experience, one that in the long run will make you stronger


Was talking to someone last night about happiness, then after reading the recent NYTimes Magazine article: The Futile Pursuit of Happiness , I felt good.

I do.

Happy, even.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I dont

I went to
ground zero once, and only once, with The Cappy. No, truth is, we only went to as far as Reade Street.

We went as soon as the lockdown on the tunnels were lifted.

By that time the fires were out, although still smoldering, the dust was caked everywhere, the barricades were up and people were there doing a combination of gawking and .. being stunned.

My most indelible memory was of seeing one building with its windows blown out, half its facade torn away.

I walked past a girl I dated. She was in a red cross volunteer vest. Hannah. I didnt even see a flicker of recognition. Havent seen her since.

I took a few pics. It was quiet. Even with the heavy machinery being trucked in.

We left. Our mouths were gritty. We had throbbing headaches. We gladly took the water the volunteers handed us.

And we never went back.
If Id known my pictures would become suddenly and irrevocably dated.

I woulda taken more.
I never looked in the direction of ground zero again.


I still dont wanna.

I have no intention of going back till they finish rebuilding.

And even then.
I dont read the remembrances. I only skim through the articles. I dont watch tv so Im spared the anniversary crap.

I would rather remember things..

- Going to dinner at the Thai place with Tisha across the street, her favorite place to dine.
- photographing it
- taking the PATH trains
- wandering through the courtyards
- the crush of people crossing the street at commute times
- the tourists
- the farmers market every tuesday Id always be too late to enjoy
- the absolutely filthy Krispy Kreme donut shop, after it had served thousands

And using it as a reference point.

Everything after, Id rather not.

Thank you.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Listening up

"Wow. I AM shallow."
"No youre not. You just have your preferences."
"Yeah, but I could be missing out on something good.."
"Nah. If you had gone through with it, you would always wonder in the back of your mind what you could've had."
"Yeah, thats true. I just didnt realize I was like that."
"As I said, everyone has their preferences. Cant blame 'em for it."

"Its good that you landed here. Out of all the places, Berkeley is the best of all places to be shipwrecked."

"Why is that?"
"Well, you're allowed to be yourself here."
"How so?"
"You dont have to meet anyone else's expectations but your own here in Northern California."
"Its not like say, Los Angeles, where after awhile, you realize that youre in a place where youre constantly scrutinized, to see if you fit in. Its even worse if you have to drive around, cuz then you really feel the frustration of being under that energy in a bowl. Even after only a few weeks, you'll start behaving according to how you fit in."

"It's interesting that you should say that..."

"Wow. I was talking to an artist type dude the other day, and he told me about when he was homeless last year, he was sleeping on rooftops.."
"So? Whats so special about sleeping on rooftops? Thats what a lot of women do here."
"Yeah, when we were homeless, me and my girlfriend would do that all the time."
"No wonder I dont see too many young women sleeping on the streets.."
"Yeah, we tend to stay out of sight as best we can."



I cant. I just cant.

Ive added 'dude' to my vocabulary.
'Hella' is sprinkled throughout.
Ive even been heard to say 'righteous'.

But this is where I draw the line as far as absorbing Cali speech:

I will NOT, NEVER, NEIN... say

'Right on'.

I used to say 'cool beans' back in Florida to mean the same thing (aright, cool, I feel ya), but this is CORNY.

'Right on.'

Fuck no. Cant make me.

SOME people just blew it off.

And then there are some folk who do loyalty and friendship very very well...

-- "Nancy (US - New York)" wrote:
> Man I did it again!!! I missed your birthday...
> I
> was actually off on your
> birthday so I didn't have my friendly Outlook
> reminder chiming "Joe's
> Birthday". I'm sooo sorry I'm late but:
> Happy birthday to you!
> Happy birthday to you!
> Happy birthday dear Joe...
> Happy birthday to you!!!!

<-- *BIG-ASS grin* :-)

(Fer the record, she had never missed my birthday before..)

This is only a small example why this lady only has to ask for me to go hurt somebody for her, anytime, anyplace.

Her loyalty and no-nonsense support throughout the years has been priceless.

Like Ive always said, I can only hope I find somebody even near as good ...


They keep saying this word like its a bad thing.

Its saved me too many times for me to knock it.

Eh, I guess they just dont get why.

It just means you dont have to sweat the silly things that people do when they misbehave.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

My shot list for Los Angeles:

- Sidewalks.
- Cars.. and their reflections (there was a reason for me practicing shooting reflections and the perspective)
- The Golden Light
- Signs

It doesnt get much clearer, but I can 'see' what Im planning on shooting.
Even without a camera, Im still 'shooting''.. framing and practicing shots in anticipation of when I resume.

Im trying to free myself from the viewfinder, to think outside of it, while dealing with the issues of metering, exposure, depth of field etc etc.

To think like a painter while shooting.


But, this exercise would sho' be easier with a camera in hand. :-)