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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak IV


22 January 2010

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No. 369 (cartoon)

Stop staring at me with your fingers.

Why? They’re clean.

23 January 2010

Hair Cleanser versus Shampoo

I marveled at the ocean of lotions and potions in Lara’s bathroom. I was particularly curious about one product, so I asked Lara what the difference was between “hair cleanser” and shampoo.

“About a decimal place,” she explained.

24 January 2010

Pamela Z’s Implicit Statement

I went to a wonderful performance and talk tonight by Pamela Z. I was both embarrassed and surprised that I’d never heard about her, especially since she’s brilliant and lives around here.

I particularly appreciated her response to a request for her artist’s statement. “I would like to think that the art itself is enough of a statement.”

I shall have to plagiarize that in the unlikely event some silly person solicits such a pronouncement from me.

25 January 2010

Mushy Haggis Brain

I’ve never seen haggis offered on an American menu for the obvious reason. For reasons I do not understand, the Scottish delicacy is generally considered to be inedible. Inedible?! A sheep’s lungs, liver, suet, and other innards boiled for hour in the ewe’s stomach, what’s not to love?

Predictably, I was wrong. Haggis has been banned in the United States for twenty years because it was linked to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly known as mad cow disease. That’s a very nasty disease that turns the brain and spinal cord to mush.

I read a brief news report that the American haggis ban will soon be lifted. The story didn’t say whether the mad-cow threat was gone, or if more brainless, spineless Americans was a desirable demographic.

26 January 2010

A Night Alone with the Fish

I felt a tug at the covers as I was falling asleep last night, but concluded that it was just gravity pulling them off the side of the bed. And then, I heard a breath. That was quite disconcerting, since no one else in the room was breathing except for the fish. I must have heard my own breath echoing off the pillow. As I drifted into unconsciousness, I wondered if some who just died was paying a brief, final visit.

I neither believe nor disbelieve in revenants, but I was relieved that this morning’s mail made no mention of any deaths in my extended family.

27 January 2010

Named Bullets

I just read that Lee Mong-joon’s last work literally killed him. The South Korean artist was working on a new piece, The Bullet With My Name on It. He was engraving his name on the bullet, when the entirely predictable predictably occurred.


The very last thing to got through Lee Mong-joon’s mind was the bullet with his name on it.

There may or may not be a bullet with my name on it somewhere. If there is, I’m going to stay as far away from it as I can.

28 January 2010

Beautiful Women, Shy Men, and Indifferent Dogs

Gareth told me that he reluctantly agreed to take care of Penelope’s dog Sammy while she was away. He said he would never turn down a request from a friend, but that it didn’t hurt when Penelope assured him that women couldn’t resist introducing themselves to Sammy.

“I heard lots of women say that,” I said. “Did it work?”

“Well, I was walking down the street,” Gareth replied, “and noticed that two attractive women were catching up on us because Sammy had to stop every other meter to sniff something.”

“And then what?” I asked.

“And that’s when Sammy’s canine clock decided it was time for projectile defecation,” he explained. “The women crossed to the other side of the street and pretended not to see Sammy’s spectacle.”

And that’s how Gareth discovered yet another way not to meet people, albeit with help from a perfidious pooch.

29 January 2010

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Gallo in 4'33"

I forgot to make a film in 2009, oops. Since I don’t seem to produce any creative work unless I commission myself, I’ve given myself a new quota of making a film a quarter.

Gallo in 4'33" is my first film of the year, and my first featuring an actor. And perhaps the last, since Gallo was as obstreperous and uncoöperative as he was stupid and arrogant. And violent, too. When we had to shoot a second take because of his disappointing performance, he attacked me when I was setting up the shot. His agent literally pulled the surly parrot’s claws out of my back.

Perhaps his unprovoked assault was part of getting into character. In the second and final take, Gallo’s murderous scowl was exactly what I was looking for. Nevertheless, I’m done working with temperamental thespians for a while.


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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart