Stare.
 
2009 Notebook: Weak XXXIX
 
   
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24 September 2009
No. 3,145 (cartoon)
You’re extra ordinary.

It’s pronounced “extraordinary.”

No, it’s not.

25 September 2009
The Bus Driver versus the Sky Waitress
I’m at the airport in New York eavesdropping on an argument between a pilot and a flight attendant. The pilot attempted to end the spat by pulling rank.

“I don’t have to take that kind of crap from a sky waitress,” he announced, “and I’m not going to.”

“Look out the window and tell me what is says on the side of that plane!” she demanded. “It says Airbus, and you’re just a goddamned bus driver.”

I guess it’s not really United Airlines after all.

26 September 2009
Pliny the Elder at Sandra and Randall’s Wedding
I’m in Portland for Sandra and Randall’s wedding this afternoon, and I’m glad I am. It was wonderful to see friends get married, not to mention the ocean of salmon and broccoli forest at the reception.

They spent a lot of money on the event, including napkins printed with a quote from Pliny the Elder. “An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.”

I enjoyed the afternoon; it was a lovely mix of idealism, champagne, cynicism, champagne, salmon, champagne, asparagus, champagne, and champagne.

I left believing that the objects in marital possession will retains the same charm they had in romantic pursuit; that’s amore!

27 September 2009
Self-Esteem Problems
Rebecca told me she had a breakthrough in her last session with her therapist.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I let the wrong people determine my self-esteem,” she explained.

I don’t know why she pays for bad advice when I provide it for free. Some people just seem happier with a purchase than with a gift. Rebecca’s always been a curious case.

28 September 2009
Newsholes
I’ve made a number of disparaging remarks about the pathetic state of journalism, and with good reason: there’s increasingly less news in newspapers.

And now, thanks to my friend Sonja at the Los Angeles Tribune, I know this trend has resulted in a new word, newshole. That term describes the shrinking amount of space left for journalism after all of the advertisements have been sold.

It’s certainly a clever word, but is it accurate? I don’t think so, since there’s not much journalism in said aperture. Typehole? Fillerhole? The hole where reportage used to be?

29 September 2009
The Elusive Mongolian Death Worm
Almost two months ago, I read that a couple of New Zealand journalists were headed to the Gobi Desert in search of the Allghoi Khorkhoi, or Mongolian death worm. And what a worm it is! The two-meter long invertebrate has spikes at both ends of its hideous body, and fires lightning bursts out of its anus. If that fails, it also spits a lethal acid.

Yow!

Since the foul beast is attracted to earthquakes, David Farrier and Christie Douglas planned to detonate explosives to get its attention.

I haven’t heard any reports, so perhaps they accidentally killed the creature they were trying to find. Or maybe it’s the other way around, perhaps the critter felled them with a well-aimed bolt of lightning and/or venom.

No one’s ever seen the Allghoi Khorkhoi and lived to tell the tale, and only the Mongolian death worm knows why.

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30 September 2009
Thirteen Hollywood Swimming Pools
Los Angeles is an American cliché. Hollywood is a Los Angeles cliché. Swimming pools are a Hollywood cliché, or triple cliché. Who could resist such a concentration of clichés? Not me, that’s who.

I used satellite photos to make Thirteen Hollywood Swimming Pools. The images aren’t very detailed, but that’s to be expected when shooting through the viscid, polluted Hollywood atmosphere.

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart