Stare.
 
2001 Notebook: Weak V
 
   
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30 January 2001
Music to Be Dejected By
Klaus sent me a collection of songs by various musicians with the brilliant title, Music to Be Dejected By. I opened a bottle of cheap, red wine and started listening to one hundred and seventeen minutes of the most depressing songs I’ve ever heard.

The music worked. A hundred and seventeen minutes later, I couldn’t decide if “Music to Be Dejected By” was grammatically correct, or whether it should be “Music By Which to Be Dejected,” or simply “Dejecting Music.” I spent the rest of the evening depressed by my ignorance.

31 January 2001
Slim Fat Chance
Aaron and I agreed to help Nancy move to a new apartment today in exchange for beer. (Moving is thirsty work!) When we got there, Nancy announced that there was a six-pack of Rabid Rat Ale waiting for us in the refrigerator.

“Will that be enough?” she asked nervously after she noticed the way Aaron and I glanced at each other.

“Fat chance,” Aaron replied.

“Slim chance,” I predicted.

Even though fat and slim are usually antonyms, we were both right. It takes more than six Rabbit Rats to move a one bedroom apartment.

1 February 2001
Trying to be Sonja Heisenden
I just read the amazing story of Sonja Heisenden, the shepherdess who became hopelessly lost in a ferocious snowstorm. Everyone in the village thought she had perished, until she stumbled back into town five weeks later without her flock. It turns out she survived by eating the sheep, one by one. Everyone—except, of course, members of the the family Bovidae—regarded her reappearance as a miracle.

Inspired, I decided to become Sonja Heisenden for a day. I prepared fake identification papers, and rehearsed answering the phone by saying, “Hello, this is Sonja.”

The experiment was a failure, a complete failure. No one asked who I was or asked to see my papers, and no one called. Maybe it’s my fault; I didn’t eat any sheep.

2 February 2001
The Rule of Forty
“Susan, I know this is none of my business,” I began, “but why is it you seem to get a new boyfriend every month or two?”

“Don’t worry,” she replied with a smile, “business is never that interesting. Anyway, the answer is forty.”

“Forty?” I asked. “Forty whats?”

“It’s the rule of forty,” Susan explained. “Anytime you repeat something forty times it becomes a habit. All the men I love are so wonderful that I’d hate for any of them to become a mere habit.”

Love works in mysterious ways, especially when approached numerically.

3 February 2001
The Most Boring Person I’ve Ever Met
Due to an unfortunate planning decision, I found myself trapped for four very long hours beside the most boring person I ever met. He was so boring, that he actually redefined the word “boredom” for me.

I used to think that most people were boring. I was wrong. Most people are uninteresting, which is a very different barrel of fish from being boring. Example: when someone tells me about their uneventful visit to a garage sale, that’s uninteresting. But when someone manages to spend twenty minutes elaborating on the trinket he didn’t buy at a garage sale, that’s extraordinarily boring. In fact, I achieved a state of complete and comprehensive boredom bordering on narcolepsy, an experience I would have thought unattainable without an expensive cocktail of prescription drugs.

If there’s is a bright side to this debacle, it’s that it will be a long time before I describe an uninteresting person as boring.

4 February 2001
Bad Art Futures
Simon’s involved in a project that modestly purports to be “the future of art.” In fact, it’s just an unremarkable scheme to peddle mass-produced prints over the Internet.

I fear the venture will be a commercial failure. Even in 2001, you can’t make cheap inkjet prints and sell them to the masses as “fine art” without the requisite number of nudes. I’m not sure how many nudes you need to convince an average consumer that s/he’s looking at Art; I have no interest in peddling my visual wares the aesthetically illiterate.

I do know this, however. Since there’s only one bare breast to be seen on “the future of art” site, I fear Internet riches will elude my friend and his cronies.

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart