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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XII


19 March 2010

gratuitous image

No. 2,247 (cartoon)

I don’t want to be drunk and alone forever.

As good as that sounds?!

20 March 2010

High Tech Crash

John told me that he flew over the handlebars of his bicycle at 30.9 kilometers an hours during a recent crash. He knew the exact velocity of his short flight thanks to a computer on his bike that records his speed with the help of at least three satellites.

I think such accuracy gets in the way of a good anecdote; it leaves no room for the embellishment that every good tale needs. For example, if—or, more likely, when—I have a similar accident, I’ll report that I was probably going “at least thirty-five clicks an hour, probably more like forty” when the accident occurred.

John’s technology tethers him to the truth, and that’s the death knell of any good story.

21 March 2010

Digital Data Telegrams and Electronic Voice Transcommunicators

I recently came across John Gordon Arkenberg’s business card, and decided to plagiarize bits of it. For example, Arkenberg doesn’t list an email address, but he does provide the coordinates for transmitting a digital data telegram. And now, I do too! Similarly, I abandoned my telephone number for an electronic voice transcommunicator number.

I not only stole Arkenberg’s ideas, I did so openly and brazenly. That’s art!

22 March 2010

Omitting Needless Words

Suzette asked me if I’d read The Elements of Style.

“Do I look like someone who knows anything about any element of style?” I asked.

“That’s what I thought,” she agreed.

Suzette explained that the book’s authors encouraged—no, commanded—authors to strive for conciseness and brevity.

“Omit needless words. Omit needless words. Omit needless words.”

In an unusual move for me, I not only listened to what she said, I actually took her advice.

For today’s notebook entry, I looked at what I wrote, then proceeded to delete everything that shouldn’t be in a well-written piece. This is what I came up with:


23 March 2010

Wine Pairings

Juanita asked me if I knew much about wine pairings.

“I’m fundamentally opposed to wine pairings,” I explained.

“How can you say such a stupid thing?” she replied.

I told her that I understood that, after finishing a bottle of wine, a second bottle is often in order. That’s an eminently sensible wine pairing. The first two bottles may lead to a third and a fourth, another reasonable pairing. At some point, however, wine pairings just don’t make any sense. For example, when every guest is pleasingly sated after the ninth bottle, why pair it with a tenth?

“You don’t know the first thing about wine pairing, do you?” Juanita demanded.

“I do know the first thing, and that means that I know the second thing as well,” I responded. “With pairings, it couldn’t be any other way, could it?”

Wine pairing and stupid statement pairing made for a quadruply fun evening.

24 March 2010

Jim Marshall, 1936-2010

I last saw Jim Marshall a couple of years when a friend and I dropped by his San Francisco apartment for a spontaneous visit. I accepted a drink from a mostly-empty bottle of Scotch, and declined an offer to help myself to a big bowl of cocaine. We chatted for a while, then left after Jim concluded that my friend must be a lesbian. After all, what other explanation could there be for a woman ignoring advances from a man some thirty years her senior?

I just heard that Jim died today. Alone, in his sleep, in a hotel, in New York. I’m surprised he lived that long; he may have been too.

I don’t know what to say about Jim. He was a good friend to me, and vice-versa. I admired him for his documentary photographs and images of musicians, and for his professional ethics. But then the same person who made sensitive photographs of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis could turn around and make intentionally inflammatory and offensive racist and anti-Semitic remarks that made everyone within earshot cringe. I never asked him why chose such an offensive act—and I believe it was an act, a very stupid one—and now it’s too late.

25 March 2010

Happy New Year! Again!

Five days ago I celebrated Iranian new year, and today it’s the Julian new year. The twenty-fifth day of March hasn’t officially been the beginning of a new year for four hundred and twenty-six years, but I’m not going to let that stop me from making merry on an ersatz holiday.

I can’t see any reason why, with the help of a good researcher or three, that I can’t find someone’s new year to observe every day.


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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart

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