- 26 June 2003
- No. 8,634 (cartoon)
- I cant stand you.
Thats why I suffer you.
- 3 July 2003
- Food on a Stick
- I had to stop for a snack when I saw Food on a Stick, a roadside convenience store near Florence, Oregon. It turned out the business only offered two kinds of warm food: mystery vegetarian food on a stick and mystery meat on a stick.
Whatll it be? the clerk asked.
Im not sure, I replied, whats in the mystery vegetarian food?
All sorts of random stuff from the factory, the clerk said. Its labeled on one end of the stick, but you cant see it until youve eaten everything.
I bought the mystery vegetarian food on a stick and ate it in the parking lot. I couldnt figure out what I was consuming until I saw the words on the stick: Aubergine and Rice Surprise.
The mystery vegetarian food on a stick tasted bland yet wretched. I guess the surprise is that I ate the whole thing.
- 4 July 2003
- Sushi Barbie
- Nancy asked me if I saw Barbie the mermaid when I took a shower.
I couldnt miss her, I said. I assume you put her in there for my amusement.
I figured youd do something interesting with her, she said with an ambiguous smile.
I rarely fail to disappoint, I volunteered.
Nancy and I chatted on the couch for a while until we heard her six-year old daughter Sadie screaming in the bathroom.
My Barbie, she cried. What did you do to my Barbie?!
I caught her in the tub, I explained, so I hung her off the faucet, but kept her head underwater so she could breathe.
Dont worry honey, Nancy told Sadie, Barbies fine, and David wont do it again.
Im sorry, Sadie, I lied, I thought you liked sushi.
Sadie ignored me for the rest of the afternoon, thanks to sushi Barbie. Nancy and I had a long, pleasant talk; I think she appreciates sushi Barbie too.
- 5 July 2003
- Overruling Tails
- When Sophia and I couldnt decide whether to have peanut butter sandwiches or a salad for lunch, we flipped a coin. Heads meant peanut butter sandwiches, otherwise wed have the salad.
The coin landed face down, so I started pulling salady bits out of the refrigerator.
Shall I make a dressing? I asked.
No, Sophia declared, I think we should have peanut butter sandwiches with honey instead.
I thought the coin decided that wed have salad, I said.
It did, she replied, but I thought about it and decided Id really prefer peanut butter sandwiches. With honey.
I think thats the point of resolving uncertainty by flipping a coin, Sophia continued. If you disagree with the outcome, then youve discovered your real preference.
We enjoyed our peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
- 6 July 2003
- From .22 to .44
- Russ took Elizabeth and me to the Oakridge Gun Club; thats about the most excitement one can have in Oakridge, Oregon. We each fired off a few clips of a .22 automatic, then decided to switch to a .44 for a bigger kick.
We admired the large holes the .44 bullets ripped through the wooden target. I couldnt figure out whether the .44 was twice or four times the size of the .22. Although .44 is two times .22, f4 on a camera lens lets in one fourth as much light as f2. I was still pondering the question when we ran out of ammunition.
Sheldon later assured me that a .44 is two times as powerful as a .22 And after that, Scott declared with absolute certainty that there was a four to one ratio between the bullets.
My learned friends are a blast.
- 7 July 2003
- Hasselblad Problems
- Phillip asked me to take a photograph of his most recent sculpture with my Hasselblad, so I pulled my old 500 C/M out of the safe. We drove away, but soon had to return to the lab when I remembered I needed a light meter as well as the camera.
When we finally arrived at Phillips studio, I put my camera on a tripod and started to compose a photograph. I thought that the image on the ground glass wasnt very sharp; thats when I remembered that I had to manually focus the Hasselblad. When I finally released the shutter, the eyepiece went dark because the 500 C/Ms mirror doesnt automatically return. My next reaction was to look at the image Id just made, but, of course, that was impossible. The image was still in its latent stage, undeveloped.
I didnt enjoy my reunion with film; I fear our differences may be beyond reconciliation.
- 8 July 2003
- Modern Art Is What Happens
- Geoffrey and I discussed contemporary art, and concluded its pretty lame, that it always has been pretty lame, and that it will always be pretty lame. Geoffrey suggested that the late John Ciardi had an interesting perspective on the sad state of affairs.
Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea.
- That didnt sound like a very good argument, although it was more convincing than most other theories on the subject. There is something to be said for tradition; albeit not much.