Saturday, January 01, 2005

Sure, there were fireworks

cecily: Hey J - happy new year to you.
cecily: did you ring it in in style?
JPennant: yup by watching san franciscans get drunk, spill sex lube over bus passengers and asian chicas in red ballroom dresses and tiaras fight in the street.
JPennant: I couldnt make that up. :-)
cecily: alrighty then!
cecily: sounds like a winner.
JPennant: LOL
JPennant: lemme tell ya, it was interesting :-)

I may even post photos sometime.

How hella random

In a
city the size of San Francisco, the probability of crossing paths with someone you know is high.

Still, when it does happen, it is surprising.

So, when I found myself enveloped in a crushing bear-hug by a pretty red-head loudly squealing my name on the Powell Street BART platform whilst on my way to work at 10:30 pm a few nights ago.

I havent seen my friend mira since i'd left berkeley 6 months ago, and apart from a few emails here and there when we both moved to frisco, we had lost touch.

Still tho, us crossing paths like that was definitely unusual.

Even more unusual was when we parted company and i rushed into the virgin megastore downtown to exchange a duff DVD that i'd bought for christmas.

The virgin megastore in downtown San Francisco (across the street from the Apple store, clint) is not somewhere you'll find me at any time, much less that late at night.

Once i found another DVD, I rushed downstairs to get the thing exchanged so i could be on my way to work.

Unthinkingly, because i was in a rush to get outta there, i jumped ahead of a young woman who had been standing there. When the cashier objected, the young woman graciously waved me to the cashier.

I thanked the woman and rushed up to the counter, intent on getting the hell outta there. Then i realized i knew this woman, even if i had never met this woman before.

"You look familiar." I said to her.
"Uhhh... JOE???"

SO that's how, after 5 years, I finally met the kind woman ive been calling princess all these years.

Sorry gg, for rushing out on you - i didnt have a ton of time because any more serendipity wouldve made me late for work.

Even when ive been without camera, im always taking pictures in my head, framing, composing and evaluating.

Probably just so I wouldnt get out of practice.

But there was one aspect of actually taking pictures i had forgotten, which was figuring out how to get the proper exposure.

That is probably the hardest part of photography, which is why Im still thankful to Tim the Photographer giving me a quick lesson on how to quickly spot-meter an image in camera while we shared a brooklyn-bound cab home.

Just something I realized while trying to get some shots in the other day.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Picked up camera #1.

#1 is the pocket camera.

I swear to gawd, even by the time the 11th hour and 59 minutes came I had no idea what i wanted, as there are literally thousands of pocket cameras that fit my somewhat loose/somewhat strict criterion.

The ones i wanted were, of course, more than i budgeted. The ones that were under my budget, i wasnt really feeling them.

Nothing in that sweet spot.

So, yesterday - i walked into the local Wolf Camera, strode to the counter and announced 'Im buying a camera right now. I want to spend as much under 200 bux as is humanly possible, it must be 3 megapixels or above, with a fast f2.8 lens for night shots, and did i mention that it must cost under 200 bux?'

And so we spent an hour browsing their clearance area.

This being San Francisco, the guy at the counter was someone interesting. He shoots images of jazz musicians. That's his riff. We talked and listened to jazz as we went through the cameras.

So, of course - by the time i was done, i had a bunch of cameras to choose. But this time, I was happy to make a choice.

The cameras were all good, and dirt cheap. And,naturally, all fuji's.

I chose a Fuji 6800 zoom, even tho i couldve gotten a newer F601 for only 10 bux more.

Thats ok. Ive got a sweet-looking camera designed by Porsche, pocket sized, something good enough to have been rebadged as a Leica, solid and just what i need.

All for only 150 bux plus tax.

Cant beat that with a stick. Im happy.
JPennant: i feel good about what i bought
McClint: well where's the fruit of your labor?
McClint: we wanna see pix! :-)

When Im good n' ready. :)

Ive got a long list of things I wanna see meself.
So, next.. camera #2.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Are ya happy to be here?

Dori, who recently moved to Portland from New York, has this to say about the West Coast..

that's the general consensus here, in a place where it's pretty much okay to be broke if you're trying to pursue some sort of creative dream (right now, what i'm pursuing is figuring out my creative dream, but hell, it's a start).

yeah, one small part of me is fucking freaked out - the other part of me is kind of happy to be put in this desparate position - a time to think about ways i can support myself creatively, in a place that supports that kind of thing.

Yep, thats exactly how Ive felt.

Which kinda leads into something I was asked recently...

gabz: so, are you happy you came westward?
JPennant: you know, youre the first person to ask me 'happy'
gabz: you're kidding
JPennant: nope
JPennant: its usually variations on 'are you glad', 'is it what you thought itd be' etc
JPennant: but 'happy' is specific
JPennant: the short answer is no
gabz: d'ohh
JPennant: no, not bad
gabz: but, i do understand: it's culture shock.
gabz: and you're not the first to say that cali doesn't make a person 'happy'.
gabz: it's interesting... but, please expand
JPennant: actually, im more homesick, but im not gonna move back
gabz: yeah. i hear ya.
JPennant: that said, its nice
JPennant: my brother sent me a care package yesterday
gabz: awww
JPennant: it had pastries and bread from Brooklyn
gabz: nice!
JPennant: that was the first time since 2002 Ive had that
JPennant: it reminded how far away I am
JPennant: Im not melancholy at all
JPennant: but kinda homesick
JPennant: ive made good friends
JPennant: the situation is improving
JPennant: and im lucky to be where i am :-)
JPennant: that occurred to me the other day
JPennant: i was walking up some pretty and dreamlike street
JPennant: and Im like, "Dude, IM IN SAN FRANCISCO living free and easy. this time is a once in a lifetime kinda thing!"
JPennant: so, feeling lucky and appreciative is the long answer :-)
JPennant: makes sense?
gabz: absolutely

Like Dori said, you get a lot of support out here when youre broke but trying to do something creative. out east, its about the money first and foremost.

Its brave, and almost suicidal out there trying to do what Im trying to do out here.

They respect dreams here.
Gonna pick up camera #1 this weekend.

JPennant: im currently in the tenderloin looking at the traffic pass by on geary
JPennant: makes me feel all literati an' shit
gabz: hahaha
gabz: the rain mus make for some interesting photos.
JPennant: youre right, it sure was nice tonight/this morning with the lights off the wet sidewalk and streets.. neon and flourescent
gabz: it's kinda cool
gabz: all shimmery and stuff
JPennant: it did not suck :-)
gabz: hehe

So, short answer:

No, it does not suck.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Cool waters

I drink
tap water.

Its not because Im being so cheap, but because the tap water can be very, very good.

New York has traditionally proclaimed their tap water as the best tasting water in the world.
Uh, yeah. These are the same people who are maniacal in their collective affection for Poland Spring bottled water, that has a definite *crunch* to the flavor.

Now, the gold standard used to Naya water from quebec, which was so pure that the water tasted 'sweet' and went down soft. I would drink nothing else, my body thanked me.
Its no longer that way, because theyve pumped so much of it, it now has a limestone aftertaste to it. Sad.

Florida water from the florida aquifer is considered so clean, that simply aerating the water is considered all the treatment it needs to be potable.
Right. Due to the various heavy metals therein, it is so NOT potable.
Neither is the South Florida water that has a greenish tinge to it.

No way Im drinking that crap from the tap.

But the water in the Bay Area, ahh yes. Snowmelt water from the Sierra's.

Especially now, cold crisp and clean.

Mmm, tap water.

Fresh from the mountains.

They should bottle this stuff.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Yo Mac

Happy birthday, Clint.


I had
broken the screen on the laptop back in June, I think. I only replaced it a few days ago. In that time, I worked around things by working with the broken screen in the area that was still clear, adapting my techniques to that limitation.

I didnt realize I was still retaining my habits until I found myself unconsciously twitching the cursor to the right , where I had crowded my icons and start-bar on the laptop. I was doing this on the mac, as well as on the laptop even though there was no longer any need.

Very hard to break habits, even the ones that may seem dead and buried, Im finding.

Long story short, next years resolution is taking shape, its about changing habits.

Now, what about them?

Adopt new ones, stick to the good ones, leave the not-so good ones alone.

Which ones?

As I said, its taking shape.
As anyone who lives with a Virgo will attest; we hate surprises.

Or, more accurately, we do not like to be surprised.

So, say we buy something for ourselves, the chances are we will know as much as is humanly possible about that object.

This christmas, I was bought a gift.. a one shot coffee maker.

If I had bought it, I wouldve known a lot about that item.

Because it was a gift tho, due diligence was not necessary.

So, long story short - the thing makes a fine cup of coffee.

And it is going back.

I had to flush the unit out for a long time to get rid of a nasty petroleum product taste out of it.
It leaks, because the pressurised tubing cannot hold the water.
It is loud and vibrates when making coffee. It actually sounds like a cheap aquarium aerator.
And it feels flimsy ad poorly assembled..

And according to other users on the internet, it is prone to catching fire.


Surprises like that I dont need.