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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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12 November 2010

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No. 8,855 (cartoon)

You’ve told me that lie a hundred times; why should I believe you now?

Because you did the other hundred times?

13 November 2010

Holey Art

Sometimes aesthetics are based on pragmatics. Why did Picasso paint a zillion blue paintings during his blue period? Blue paint was the least expensive, that’s why. (I heard that that’s actually true, but of course have not bothered to verify it.)

Similarly or not, a number of Spy’s paintings have a hole in the canvas for reasons unrelated to aesthetic purposes. Art supply stores sell damaged canvases at a steep discount, so that’s what she used.

I can’t possibly address the question of whether or not she made the holes in the first place. As Sherrie Levine said, “I don’t want to say too much on this topic. A girl’s gotta keep some secrets.”

14 November 2010

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Buffalo Nickel

I bought some Rainier Ale at a local store today, and got more than just the predictable frosty goodness. The clerk gave me something I haven’t seen in decades: a buffalo nickel.

I was familiar with the coin, since I used to collect them when I was a boy. (My mother tells me she still has my collection in storage. I haven’t seen it in decades, but I know it’s smaller than it once was; my brother appropriated part of it to feed pinball machines when he was a young boy.)

Also known as the Indian head nickel, my specimen had been in circulation for so long that the embossed date was blank, worn away by decades of handling. I do know that it’s as old as 1913 or as recent as 1938; those where the years when it was first and last minted.

Since it’s in such poor physical condition, it’s of no interest to numismatists. I can buy a buffalo nickel in good condition for a dollar on the Internet, so there’s no reason to hang on to it. I’ll keep it in my pocket and give it to someone’s young child, explaining that it was the currency the native Americans used before they were colonized hundreds of years ago. That act should be good for at least a dollar’s worth of amusement.

15 November 2010

Tedious Enthusiasm

After repeated overtures, I finally finagled an invitation to visit Veronica at her studio. Between the second and third cocktail, I gently raised the question of why she’d been so elusive.

“You’re a nice guy and all that,” she explained, “but I find your enthusiasm taxing.”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Nothing personal, David,” she replied, “but I find your excitability a bit tedious; it doesn’t sit well with my regimen of doing as little as is humanly possible.”

The cocktails tempered my vigor, and we enjoyed a sedate, albeit brief, visit.

16 November 2010

Movies to Watch With Your Eyes Closed

Brandon’s organizing a horror film festival, Movies to Watch With Your Eyes Closed. He explained that the theme was commercially motivated. In a spectacular display of hubris and sophistry, he convinced the National Council for the Blind to fund the three-day event as a program to benefit the visually impaired.

I think it’s a brilliant idea, and not because of the sponsorship coup, either. A film festival where no one sees a film is a wonderful concept; there’s no possibility of anyone seeing a bad film. Or a good one, either, I suppose. But that’s fine, too; no one goes to film festivals to see films anyway.

17 November 2010

Cold Showers

I’m enjoying the spartan life aboard my boat, even though it does involve sacrificing some creature comforts, such as a shower. Actually, that’s not accurate; what it lacks is a hot-water shower. There is a shower in the form of a hose on the deck.

A cold-water shower doesn’t sound like fun, and it’s not. There’s more to life than fun, though, e.g., cold showers in my case. Like so many unpleasantries, the dread of a cold shower is worse than the shower itself. Get wet, wash, rinse, soap up some more, rinse thoroughly, then pop back into the warm cabin. It’s actually curiously invigorating.

There’s one little trick I’ve learned to make the experience even more tolerable. I’m not a mantra type of hombre, but I find repeating the phrase “delight in the inevitable” makes the frigidity more tolerable.

18 November 2010

Pretentious Frugality

Anita’s going to Bhutan for ten days, so I moved into her place for the remainder of November to take care of her ungrateful cats. She gave me a predictably warm welcome, especially since I walked in with a bottle of wine in my hand.

“That’s it?” she asked.

“Even though you’re getting on a plane, I should think that one bottle is plenty at this time of the day,” I said defensively.

“No, I mean your pack,” she explained, “that’s all you brought?”

“That’s enough for my computer, a couple of cameras, a microphone, a few changes of clothes, and another bottle of wine in case one of us gets thirsty,” I explained.

Anita rolled her eyes—never a good sign, and declared that I was, “pretentious in my frugality.” I am pretentious, so I offered no defense.

I looked at the three huge suitcases she’ll soon be lugging around the world, and resisted the slight urge to roll my eyes.

19 November 2010

Curious Condom Protocol

Big news from the Vatican; the pope now says condoms are acceptable, “in certain cases.” This may or may not be a change in a millennium-old church doctrine; I’m not sure if anyone had invented penile prophylactics a thousand years ago.

As for what certain cases, the pope came up with a surprising example: male prostitutes. Male prostitutes?!

The pope rationalized his decision by saying that condoms, “can be a first step in the direction of moralization, a first assumption of responsibility on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants.”


Julia welcomed the news. Her boyfriend, Henri, is an observant Catholic who’s refused to use a condom. Until now. As long as Julia pays him a nominal dollar to make love, that technically makes him a prostitute, and thus able to wear a condom and avoid eternal damnation.

Personally, I’m glad the pope continues to provide good entertainment value before I go to hell.


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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart

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