Stare.
 
2001 Notebook: Weak III
 
   
15 January 2001
A Small Dutch Treat
Although I’ve made disparaging remarks about Kinky Love Motions aka KLM Airlines in the past, the dour Dutch aviators were very kind to me today.

As I was sipping whisky in the Rich Bastards Club at Schiphol airport, a KLM employee approached me and asked, “May I have a verd vish you, Mishter Rinehart?”

I got ready to explain why I’d taken eighty-three packets of smoked almonds from the snack buffet, but I didn’t have to. The employee said she was concerned that I wouldn’t be warm enough in my t-shirt, and insisted that I wear a complimentary “I Love Kinky Love Motions” sweatshirt.

I thanked her, and put the garment on. Even though it felt a bit warm, I knew my body’s whisky heat wouldn’t last all the way to California.

When I got back to the lab in San Francisco, I told Lars, a junior technician, about my good fortune. Lars was skeptical, which is one of the reasons I hired him.

“Are you sure they were just being thoughtful?” Lars asked. “You don’t think they may have had a problem with the silkscreened Brian Eno quote on the back of your shirt, ‘In art you can crash the plane and walk away’?”

Lars had a point; for some reason Eno’s never been very popular in Holland. That’s their loss.

16 January 2001
Pleasant Interludes
This may be the age of the short attention span, or it might just be me. I don’t have time to think about it, really.

Last year, I enjoyed a collection of short video artworks, Rob Craigie’s The Opposite of Scientist Collection (33 pieces: 1 Hour). This year I did even better; I discovered Anne Bjerge Hansen’s Interludes, over sixty pieces on a fifty-minute video. They were so good, I watched ’em all.

Hansen’s pieces were half as long as Craigie’s, and, in my opinion, twice as rewarding. Cause and effect? I’m betting on it.

17 January 2001
PoohPoohBook
When Jeremy asked me a question about some thing or another thing, I told him I’d have to look for the answer in my portable computer.

“Almost everything I’ve done in the last fifteen years is in my PowerBook,” I explained as I tippety-tapped on the keyboard. (“PowerBook” is the brand name of my portable computer.)

“PowerBook!?” Jeremy exclaimed. “I don’t think so. Since everything you say is pooh-poohed, I think you should call it a PoohPoohBook.”

“Your juvenile idea is not without some merit,” I admitted, “but I’m almost certain that would violate any number of registered trademarks.”

Jeremy didn’t reply; he just kept repeating “PoohPoohBook!” over and over.

I’ve never understood scatological humor, even if I do have the IQ of a second-grader.

gratuitous image
18 January 2001
Discarding Originals
During a premature bout of spring cleaning, I ran across an original fragment from my 1998 piece, Eleven Chef Pants Remnants.

I threw the scrap of cloth in the trash. In this day and digital age, who needs originals?

19 January 2001
Fast Bananas
I have discovered the essence of time travel, and it is this: bananas. Eating a banana is a one-way adventure; it is impossible to uneat a banana.

Or maybe not. Alberto said something about eating bananas at the speed of light as perceived by travelers moving faster than the speed of light in the opposite direction. Or something like that.

I didn’t pay much attention to Alberto’s well-reasoned argument. Bananas are relatively inexpensive; there’s no need to eat the same banana twice. In addition, I can’t find an insurance company that will provide comprehensive liability and collision coverage for a vehicle traveling at, or even near, the speed of light.

20 January 2001
Introduction to a Dead Artist
I went to an art exhibit opening tonight. The nine artists featured had two things in common. First, they worked in or near California’s Sonoma county. Second, all the artists were dead.

I’m used to seeing the works of dead artists; museums and libraries are full of them. This was the first time, however, that I can remember a contemporary art gallery using death as a criteria for a group show.

Ordinarily, I might not have even thought too much about whether or not the artists were alive, were it not for Elizabeth Quandt. I quite liked her work, an appreciation that may or may not have been influenced by my opinion that she was an extraordinarily handsome woman.

I think I probably would have enjoyed having a drink with her, but I’ll never know.

21 January 2001
Every Other Letter Beer
The lab workers and I were discussing horrible beers, when the name “Every Other Letter Beer” came up. Even though I thought I’d sampled almost all the wretched beers concocted in North America, I had to admit that Every Other Letter Beer had never passed my lips.

I was wrong.

It turns out that Every Other Letter Beer is a euphemism for Schmidt beer, a correlation that eluded me until Becky explained the relationship.

Delete every other letter from ‘Schmidt,’ silly,” she explained, “and tell me what it says.”

Ah! Where would I be without my learned friends?

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart