2009 Notebook: Weak XLV
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5 November 2009
No. 8,409 (cartoon)
I can taste what you’re thinking.

I can lick what you’re tasting.

I like where this is going.

6 November 2009
Walter Cronkite’s First Jelly Doughnut
The late newsreader Walter Cronkite sat down at a nearby desk in one of my dreams.

“This the first jelly doughnut I’ve ever had,” he reported, “and I shall comment favorably on it.”

I’m not very interested in newsreaders, sweets, or my dreams, so I ignored the incident.

7 November 2009
Staring into Space
I was cycling through Oakland when I saw a man sitting alone on his porch. He was just sitting there, staring into space. He didn’t have anything to read, he wasn’t drinking or smoking, he didn’t have a telephone or a computer or binoculars or anything. He was just sitting there, alone, staring into space.

How can people do that for minutes on end?

8 November 2009
Repeating, Old Mistakes
This is embarrassing if not perhaps inevitable. I just discovered that I wrote about the article, Artists’ Suicides as a Public Good, on two different days, 6 June 2007 and 22 September 2009. I keep all these entries in a searchable database, but my unflagging attention to detail evidently flagged.

“Oh well,” I told Tracy, “at least my latest blunder gives me something to write about today.”

“You probably wrote about duplicate entries before, too,” Tracy predicted.

She was right, as usual. On 6 October 1998 I noted that I’d written equivalent accounts then as well. Double dang; I really need to work more assiduously to make new mistakes instead of repeating old ones.

9 November 2009
The desk in my studio is more of a table than a proper desk. It has three square meters of surface area, almost all of which is hidden by computers, monitors, hard drives, cameras, strobes, speakers, books, papers, fruit, nuts, and a coffee cup or wine glass, depending on the hour. It looks like a clutter jumble, because it is.

I don’t mind the general disarray; I can almost always find what I need. Until recently, that is.

Some electronic gizmo is going buzzeep-buzzeep-buzzeep at random, and I’m not sure which one is the culprit. The device that’s demanding my attention never stays on long enough for me to locate it.

I suppose I could clean my desk, but life’s too short for that particular waste of time.

10 November 2009
The One Nation Indivisible Unification Act of 2009
Just when I thought today was deficient in mirth, another Kansas politician came to my rescue. Ed Haskell introduced House Resolution 2666, One Nation Indivisible Unification Act of 2009. The nonbinding resolution, which states that atheists shall be deemed to disbelieve in a Christian god, promises to be as amusing as the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009.

“This act offers agnostics and atheists the opportunity to acknowledge God Almighty,” said Haskell, “even if they, at their mortal peril, chose to do so by choosing not to recognize Him.”

The legislation’s being challenged by at least one Jewish politician, who insists members of his faith should be free to deny the existence of a Jewish deity.

I figure it’s just a mater of time before competing imams weigh in with conflicting fatwas. Bring on the Wiccans!

11 November 2009
Perspectives on Artistic Success
George Abbott admitted (bragged?), “I was not a successful playwright until I took parasitical advantage of other people’s ideas.”

I wonder what Abbot meant by “successful?” I’d wager he meant commercially successful, since he made a lot of money. My preferred definition is that he was so satisfied with his work that he felt no need to cloak his methodology.

I won’t be asking Abbott for a clarification any time soon; he died approaching his hundred-and-eighth birthday in 1995. I don’t think keeping one’s body alive for that long is necessarily a desirable accomplishment. According to what little I’ve read, Abbott was creatively active and creating new work when he was a hundred years old. Working until you die: that’s what I call success!

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart