Making noise, not getting anywhere.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Around the Block

around the block

Oakland has something of a reputation for being a crime center, the murder rate per citizen surpasses that of any other place and the general feel in the streets in many areas is one of uneasyness and tension.

This, however, is part of south Berkeley, close to the Ashby Bart station, 10 blocks from where we live, and 1 block from where we rent our car from. Someone set a fire in the back of the house, in the alley, and when the firefighters arrived, they found in an upstairs apartment, all of two machine guns, a 50-caliber sniper's rifle, two dozen military assault rifles, assorted shotguns and handguns, a pair of bullet proof vests, as well as 178 marihuana plants.

Good thing they had taken the assault tank out for a ride to have a look at the poppy operation two blocks down.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Within 20 Feet

within 20 feet

Wenn man nach San Francisco fahren will von Berkeley aus, zum Beispiel um sich Coppolas Bügeleisenhaus anzusehen, das aussieht, als wär es aus ergrüntem Kupfer, aber dann doch nur mit glasierten Kacheln vollgepappt ist, kann man zum Beispiel den F Bus nehmen. Der F Bus fährt erst durch das Armenviertel von Oakland, an Gedenktafeln für erschossene Negerkinder vorbei, passiert dann Ikea (Köttbullar!) und fährt schließlich über die obere Etage der Bay Brücke, man sieht dann aus dem Bus Downtown San Francisco sich fotogen ins Bild drehen, vielleicht die schönste Busfahrt der Welt, wahrscheinlich aber nicht.
Während man auf diesen F Bus wartet, an der Ecke Shattuck und Dwight, vor dem Radio Shack, schaut man in der Regel auf den Boden, denn die Anzeige am Bushäuschen ist langweilig und wechselt selten, und die örtliche Architektur gibt dem Auge keine Rast. Und dass da hinten braune Hügel sind, lockt auch keinen Waschbären unterm Auto vor. Und wenn man nun an diesem Bushäuschen auf den Boden sieht, dann steht da offiziell auf den Asphalt gesprüht: No smoking within 20 feet.

Ich find das ja gut.

Friday, July 08, 2005

the flag

stewart & tripod

Stewart was setting up for shooting the American flag outside the door when I left the Flickr Meetup at San Francisco's Crossroads Cafe last night, saying "I need to get a shot of this" and looking up at an American flag. He then said in what sounded like a mixture of fascination and amused disgust, "Gotham City". A weird moment for me, because I suddenly remembered how the upiquity of Old Glory in cyclopean sizes had struck me similarly on my first visits to the US, and now I hardly notice it any more.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing.

pink and blue

world's greatest grandpas

I have in my hand a box of caramel sweets and a bottle of Gatorade, and in my legs the fatigue that follows an intense workout. The clerk at the cash register is reading a magazine and doesn't look up from it when an old woman in front of me puts a plastic bag on the counter. The clerk reaches into the bag, and enters the prices for the unseen items, not taking them out. The total comes to just under five dollars. The woman hands over two dollar bills, two rolls of nickels, and calmly starts counting pennies in her hand. "Not enough", she says, "let's see. What can I leave?" She reaches into the bag and pulls out a can of cat food, one of several, it seems. "How much now". The clerk, who has continued reading the magazine, takes off the can's price, the woman has enough money now, pays and leaves. My Gatorade and chocolate cost just as much. After I paid, and as I wish the clerk a good night, her eyes come up for the first time and meet mine for an instant. Gone.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

lynch's jay

he has no arms!

Sometimes just looking at birds makes me realize how patently absurd they look with their amputated torsos. I wonder if they think mammals queer with the superfluous appendages, so useless for flight.