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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXXI

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30 July 2010

gratuitous image

No. 4,224 (cartoon)

Please don’t think that I hate you.

I know that you hate me.

I do, but I don’t want you to think so.

31 July 2010

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Michigan School for the Blind, Michigan School for the Deaf

My grandmother Beulah worked as a housemother at the Michigan School for the Deaf. She managed her young wards with an iron fist, sans the velvet glove. I suppose the draconian approach was all part of the grim institutional atmosphere of the mid-twentieth century.

Today, I finally made the diptych, Michigan School for the Blind, Michigan School for the Deaf, after thinking about it for decades. I don’t like it very much, and I’m not sure why. It may be the long gestation period; it feels like old work even though I just fabricated it.

1 August 2010

Listening, Answering, or Recording Machines?

“I’m calling because you left a message on my listening machine,” Freddie said.

“You mean your answering machine?” I asked.

“No, it doesn’t provide any answers,” Freddie explained, “it just listens.”

“It answers my call,” I countered. “It’s not sentient and can’t listen, it just records.”

“So then it’s a recording machine?” Freddie argued.

We went on to enjoy perhaps our most inane debate ever, and that’s saying something.

2 August 2010

Merry Goddamned Christmas

I have at least three hundred and sixty-five reasons I’m glad that I don’t live in England. Today’s argument: Selfridges. The retailer opened its Christmas shop today, one hundred and forty-five days before xmas proper.

“Christmas is coming earlier each year,” claimed Geraldine James, the Christmas Shop’s manager.

Well, in fact, no. Christmas has occurred on 25 December for the last sixteen centuries or so. Christmas observances in England are beginning today because Selfridges managers are greedy, cynical trinket peddlers.

I suppose I should be more positive; I enjoyed the two hundred and twenty days of unChristmas while they lasted. But now, bah fucking humbug, and a vile pox on Selfridges.

3 August 2010

Artist-in-Residence Strategy

I may be an artist in residence at a local organization I quite like. I proposed the project, and am the only person being considered for it, so my prospects look good. Nevertheless, I’m not taking anything for granted. I’ve leaned not to make predictions, especially about the future.

4 August 2010

Stop Press: Depression Occurs During Pregnancy!

I don’t know who has it easier, artists or scientists. Artists such as myself do silly things, and scientists are paid well for conducting silly research. As for the latter, I’m thinking of a recent news report.

And according to a slew of recent studies, depression occurs during pregnancy at an alarming rate ... the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists copublished a study with the American Psychiatric Association that found up to twenty-three percent of women experience depressive symptoms while pregnant. The same study found that thirteen percent of women took an antidepressant at some point during their pregnancy, a number that has doubled since 1999.

What sensible woman wouldn’t be depressed by having an alien organism fidgeting and growing—not to mention urinating and defecating—inside her for nine months? And spending those nine months contemplating the profound pain of that three- or four-kilogram creature squeezing through her almost impossibly narrow vagina?

I haven’t made any inquiries, but I’d wager that most of the august researchers were men.

5 August 2010

The World’s Best Kitty Litter

I’m taking care of Claudia’s cats Luna and Mitzi while she’s away. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but, if I did, I’d want to come back as one of her cats. She spares no expense in taking very good care of them, including their cat box.

That’s why when it was time for housecleaning, Claudia asked me to go to a nearby store and buy The World’s Best Kitty Litter. She apologized for not having any in storage, but I was pleased by the request. I looked forward to being seen with a bag of The World’s Best Kitty Litter; everyone would recognize me as a cat lover, and no one would know that Claudia financed the purchase.

I haven’t provided for a cat since the last millennium, so I was amazed how expensive it was: over three dollars a kilogram! That’s more expensive than most of what I eat. On the other hand, a cat won’t urinate or defecate in my food, so I suppose it all works out, sort of.

My plan to get public acclaim on Claudia’s budget didn’t work. The bag of kitty litter was so large and unwieldy that I needed to use my backpack to carry it on my bike, so anyone looking at me only saw The World’s Worst Wardrobe, as usual. That’s fine; serves me right for trying to be a poser.

6 August 2010

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Free Nitrogen Trap

I spotted a store in Berkeley offering free nitrogen. The offer of free anything caught my eye, but then I realized I have no use for more nitrogen, especially since nitrogen comprises nearly four fifths of the earth’s atmosphere. Who could possible need more nitrogen than that?

Martians, that’s who. The atmosphere of Mars contains less than three percent nitrogen. I believe I may have spotted a trap to lure unsuspecting Martians. I kept pedaling; I don’t want to get involved in any interplanetary shenanigans.

Stare.

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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart

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