Stare.
 
2003 Notebook: Weak XLIV
 
   
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30 October 2003
No. 3,038 (cartoon)
How can we change?

How can we not?

31 October 2003
Tricks and Treats
Two children—one dressed as a spider, the other as a carrot—rang the lab’s doorbell tonight. When I opened the door, the kids yelled. “Trick or treat!” and held out pillowcases full of small pieces of candy.

“Treats, please,” I replied. I pulled a candy bar out of each bag, thanked them, then shut the steel door. I watched their reaction on the video surveillance monitor, they seemed thoroughly confused.

I threw the candy bars away; I have no interest in candy.

I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t enjoy children. They’d probably change their minds if they only knew how to interact with the wee bairns in an entertaining manner.

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1 November 2003
Solar Reasoning
Saul told me that the sun’s erupting; everyone’s favorite star is sending out huge solar flares. I have no idea what that means, but it sounded impressive.

When Alisa asked me what happened to the prints I’d promised I’d give her, I said “problems with solar flares.”

When Vince asked me about the mess on the roof, I replied “we had some unfortunate difficulties with solar flares.”

When Sarah asked me why I hadn’t returned her phone calls, I simply lied, “it’s those damnable solar flares.”

And so on.

I think solar flares are absolutely great.

2 November 2003
The Skull Emerges
I looked in the mirror today, and noticed that I seem to have less meat on my face than I did a month or two ago. I can now see the outline of my skull more clearly than ever before.

For reasons that aren’t entirely clearly to me, this development pleases me. I’ll be dead sooner or later; then all the meat and skin on my head will decompose leaving only the skull. Since I don’t really know that much about sophisticated literature, I appreciate the obvious foreshadowing.

3 November 2003
The Problem With Imitation
I just heard a wonderful quote from Tobias Wolff: “Writers learn by imitation. There is no other way to learn.” He went on to describe typing out passages from Hemingway, just to experience what it was to write “like” Hemingway.

I can’t argue with this approach; I imitated everyone I admired when I was younger. I stopped. A lot of other people didn’t. And therein lies the problem with imitation. It’s like Henri Cartier-Bresson advised, “Thieving should be done with elegance. A good pickpocket is an artist!”

4 November 2003
Women Rule; Men Drool
I was reading Evolution and Human Behavior when I discovered that a scientist in Chicago concluded, after rigorous research, that women make men drool.

James Roney, who ran the experiment at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Mind and Biology, had thirty-nine men take what they thought was a routine saliva test. He then had his attractive assistant, Elizabeth Hirsch, chat with the men. Subsequent tests found a lot more saliva to analyze.

I mentioned the research to Dr. McAllister, who responded by repeating one of his oft-cited postulates, “If it ain’t spit, it ain’t love.”

I’m impressed that scientists can get large sums of money to conduct predictable experiments that only confirm what everyone already knows. My art scams pale in comparison; I think I need to meet more scientists.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart