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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak VII


12 February 2010

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No. 7,830 (cartoon)

What’s the difference between an aardvark?

One leg is the same!

13 February 2010

Heavy Clouds

An average cumulus cloud weighs a billion kilograms. I never liked Wordsworth, his damn daffodils, or his fluffy clouds, but there is something almost poetic about a billion-kilogram cloud floating silently overhead.

14 February 2010

The Real VD Thing

Thompson’s Dictionary of Acronyms and Abbreviations defines VD as:

1. Valentine’s Day

2. venereal disease


I wonder which one—or both—was on Peter Ustinov’s mind when he said, “I can see from your utter misery, from your eagerness to misunderstand each other, and from your thoroughly bad temper, that this is the real thing.”

15 February 2010

Rat Dog!

Cheri has a rat dog. Technically, it’s a rat terrier, but it’s clearly a rat dog, a canine rich in ratlike qualities. The wee beast has beady little eyes, long, black nails, and a constant, annoying bark. It would chew my throat open if it wasn’t so short.

Nevertheless, I feel a bit of pity for the wretched creature. It can’t be easy being a rat dog.

16 February 2010

Another Cat Fact

A cat has thirty-two muscles in each ear, and uses all of them not to listen to humans.

17 February 2010

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A Litterary Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I don’t know much about litterature. I write more than I read, although that’s not saying much.

I went to my first book reading tonight, but for reasons unrelated to writing. Bill Cotter, the author, and Dave Eggers, the publisher, were cooking and serving grilled cheese sandwiches to promote the event. (It’s funny how things happen in curious sequences: I wrote about grilled cheese sandwiches earlier this month, and then I mentioned free sandwiches at a North beach gallery, and tonight I had grilled cheese sandwiches at a North Beach book store.)

I attended the event because I figure Eggers owes me at least a grilled cheese sandwich. At least. Eggers titled one of his books, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (not to be confused with Erin O’Mindy’s recording, A Creation of Staggering Genius). Clearly, that should have been a title for one of my works, but he used it anyway, and without even asking me.

But that was a long time ago. Tonight Eggers grilled up a fine sandwich and laughed at one of my stupid jokes, so all’s forgiven.

And although this has almost no relevance to the greasy evening, Cotter’s an excellent writer.

18 February 2010

The Depth of Andrew’s Shallowness

Andrew is dispirited. That’s not surprising; he’s always like that.

I’m not going to ask him why he’s demoralized. There’s no need to do so, since he’s not shy about sharing his misery.

“I’m depressed by the depth of my shallowness,” he announced.

I was tempted to ask him to elaborate, but caught myself in time. I despair of hearing about Andrew’s never-ending despair, so I asked him about the weather in order to change the subject.

My stratagem didn’t work; he proceeded to complain bitterly, and at great length, about all things climatical.

19 February 2010

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Registering Subversives in South Carolina

Those crazy South Carolinians are at it again! There’s a story in the news about a measure requiring member of “subversive” organizations to register with the government. The Subversive Agent Form asks:

Do you or your organization directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina or any political division thereof? [ ] YES [ ] NO

The state only charges five dollars to process the form, an amount even a seditious dissident on a low budget can afford.

The only problem with this story is that it’s not news, not at all. Paranoid bureaucrats came up with the scheme in the fifties during the height of communist hysteria. Nevertheless, the form is still available. I was tempted to register but decided purchasing a burrito would be a better five-dollar investment.

For a more recent example of South Carolina lunacy, Mike Pitts—a representative in the South Carolina legislature—is advocating replacing dollars with silver and gold. That’s such a stupid idea that it’s actually appealing. Imagine, everyone can carry little felt bags filled with precious metals, just like in days of olde. It might interfere with catching bad guys, though, since I’m not sure how one would weigh and send the an eighth of a gram of gold required to file the Subversive Agent Form.


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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart