A very strange day, creative but also destructive, accomplished but also slothful, staying mostly at home except for ducking out for takeaway, and mostly about work of several kinds and then not. Things seemed ominous, odd and out of order; if it never happens again, I won’t miss it.

A view of a gray quilt atop a California king bed with two windows, the sill of one which holds a small black cat, and a beige carpet covered cat tree

I spent almost a half hour today gawking at a special section of our newspaper printed a year before I was born, and brought in by a local. The paper is so wide, the artwork is so intricate and yet so dated and the version of history it relies on land so differently five decades later.

The front page of the heritage special section of the Contra Costa Times newspaper from June 21st, 1970

Had a little bit of deja vu (the bad kind) after looking this morning at a photo of a strip mall in my old ‘hood where there used to be a chicken spot and bakery a decade or so ago, then driving past it now to see at least three separate restaurants creamed into the same space.

A picture of patrons leaving Merritt Bakery and Restaurant in the 200 block of East 18th Street in Oakland, California in the early 2010s.

This week’s cold snap may have been why the cat was friendlier this morning. We’ll see if she stays that way up until this weekend’s expected showers. In the meantime, more than ready for a long month of feeling just slightly off to grind (or wind: whatever moves faster) to a close.

A pair of legs (mine) wearing dark wash denim jeans and dark brown Chelsea style boots are visible as I look down at the stretch of light colored concrete sidewalk and notice my shadow stretching out several feet away from me and cast by street lamps Sunday, January 29, 2023 along Franklin Street in downtown Oakland, California.

I spent the afternoon and evening following protesters who came out for a rally for Tyre Nichols and marched along several downtown blocks after hearing speakers lay into forms of systemic social violence. Often, I found my eyes drawn to passersby or residents looking out from windows.

A person peeks out behind vertical blinds on a second floor window Sunday, January 29th, 2023 in the 800 block of Franklin Street in Oakland's Chinatown neighborhood as marchers in a rally honoring Tyre Nichols, a Memphis man beaten to death by five police officers, walk north along Franklin toward Ninth Street.

I don’t miss my desk until there’s some piece of paper I’ve misplaced and need to get ahold of, so I spent the day slowly sifting for it through receipts, envelopes, user manuals, old newspapers and wires. What I was looking for didn’t turn up, but now I know I owe a few folks letters.

A salmon sunset sky with a heavy gray band of cloud over the Marin hills and mountains to the west with a few evergreen trees and a couple of streetlights brightening up as full dusk approaches Saturday, January 28, 2023 in San Pablo, California.

I walked uphill through our building’s parking lot, and briefly held my breath when some too-quiet car’s headlights briefly and unsettlingly illuminated my back before turning away. I said hi to A. at our gate, then crossed the avenue for snacks to white-flag a weeklong craving.

A stripped down motorcycle leans on its kickstand and takes up surprisingly little space between the white lines of an oil patch stained parking space Friday, January 27, 2023 at an apartment complex in San Pablo, California.

Weeks like this one remind me anew how people see (or don’t) other communities, organizations and outlets. Shout-out to [redacteds] for giving me the business as I asked questions, or tried to listen. In time, I’ll feel more grateful; honesty’ll feel like less of a gaffe than a gift.

A metal roll down door covering a small drive in garage at a home Wednesday, January 25, 2023 in the 700 block of Jackson Street in Oakland, California. The door is painted red with faint yellow accents, and a big blue flower with green leaves around it is centered on the door.

Sitting in sunshine, nearly 60F/16C out on the plaza. Just eaten. Should I work outside today? Maybe, if I could tune out a person sitting nearby, trying to give someone on the other end of a phone call a little bit more depth on what they do before their 11:30 Saturday appointment.

A recyclable plastic clamshell tray holds a bunless double cheeseburger with bacon, and a side salad with tomatoes and onions and balsamic dressing. Next to it, a lemonade flavored Vitamin Water bottle and a couple of packets of Doritos sir on a round light gray circular table top outside a catering or bistro restaurant at California Plaza in the 2100 block of North California Boulevard in Walnut Creek, California on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.

I forget what it’s like to have a commute, to be alone in my car driving home through several cities. Not so long ago, I lived just over a mile from the newsroom and could bike there, or back to my place if I needed to get my car (not to mention everything else that’s different now).

An African American man wearing a dark colored backward baseball cap, gray long sleeved hooded sweatshirt, medium wash blue jeans with light at the knees sits Tuesday, January 24, 2023 on a painted red step in afternoon sunshine with a white frame mountain bike with yellow tires on the sidewalk in front of him in the 3600 block of San Pablo Avenue in Emeryville, California.