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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

Last Weak  |  Index  |  Next Weak

Weak XIX

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7 May 2011

gratuitous image

No. 2,633 (cartoon)

I love the way we communicate.

We never communicate.

Exactly.

8 May 2011

Rowdy!

“Rowdy!”

That’s what Hilary said when I suggested we repair to a burrito parlour.

“Rowdy?” I asked. “Is that what the young people are saying these days?”

“Nope,” she replied, “I made it up when I got tired of available slang.”

What a great idea; I too am adding rowdy to my vocabulary.

9 May 2011

Roscoe’s Generosity

Roscoe told me that he hadn’t heard the scandalous gossip about Brian and Annette. That surprised me, since I told our mutual friend Imelda about it a week ago. (Normally I don’t repeat such outrageous hearsay, but I couldn’t resist sharing any tawdry tale that involves garbanzo beans.)

“I’m going to call Imelda as soon as we’re done,” Roscoe said.

“But I already told her last week,” I repeated.

“Exactly,” Roscoe replied. “I want to give her the satisfaction of telling me that she heard about it before I did.”

Roscoe’s one of my most thoughtful and generous friends.

10 May 2011

This Ain’t About the Art Anymore

Black Francis announced that that he’s reuniting his musical ensemble, the Pixies. He’s doing so with an admirable honesty and clarity of purpose: for the money.

“It’s not to say it’s not about art,” he said, “but we made that art fucking twenty years ago. So forget the fucking, goddamn art. This ain’t about the art anymore. I did the arty-farty part. Now it’s time to talk about the money.”

“How much do you think we should sell the tickets for?” he asked. “Where do you think we should play? How many shows do you think we should play?”

Ah, the torment of the contemporary artist. I’m glad I live comfortably and simply; obsessing about money sounds tedious and boring.

11 May 2011

gratuitous image

Vinnie’s Disintegrating Coffee Cups

Vinnie serves coffee in large paper cups. I always take my empty cup back to my boat to reuse, a practice that needs some ’splaining.

I don’t save the cup to preserve trees; I encourage recycling and the development of paper alternatives by consuming as much wood fiber as possible.

I don’t reuse the cup out of frugality or to be abstemious, either. Local thrift shops sell fine, large ceramic mugs for a dollar or two that are sturdy enough for drinking thousands of liters of coffee without noticeable wear.

I actually like the way the paper cup slowly disintegrates after daily use. First, I notice a slight discoloration in the seam, a structural flaw that allows coffee to permeate the surrounding walls with fascinating patterns. Eventually the cup begins to leak, and that’s when it’s time to go back to Vinnie’s for a fresh cup of coffee.

12 May 2011

Television Penetration

The Nielsen Company, a firm that monitors television use, announced that the number of American households with television access has declined by over two percent. That’s one of the few positive news stories I’ve seen recently. The report made for amusing reading, since the Nielsen study continually referred to, “television penetration.”

Ouch!

There’s no snigger like of schoolboy snigger!

13 May 2011

Live in Burkina Faso!

Nora poured us a couple of large cocktails when I arrived, then started to play Frank Sinatra recordings from decades ago. I don’t like Sinatra’s music, but listening to is was a small price to pay for such efficacious refreshments.

“This is my song,” she announced soon after pouring fresh drinks.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Lean Baby,” she replied.

I told her that didn’t seem right. She’s certainly lithe, but I dislike “baby” as a term of endearment. I told her that “Lean Baby” sounded like a low-calorie entrée that a cannibal on a diet might order.

She harrumphed, turned off the Sinatra fluff, and played a recent recording by the Rabid Potato Devils, “Live in Burkina Faso!”

The evening continued to improve after that; whew.

14 May 2011

Master of Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire, and Lord of the Manor of Eckington

Sir George Reresby Sitwell (1860-1943), the Fourth Baronet, Master of Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire, and Lord of the Manor of Eckington, was quite an hombre in spite of being English.

He was a bit of a hypochondriac, and traveled with many flavors of medicine. He was parsimonious too; he intentionally mislabeled his drugs and potions to deter anyone else from sampling them.

He also had great taste in woman. As he sagely noted, “Nothing a young man likes so much as a girl who’s good at the parallel bars.” Hubba hubba!

My favorite Sitwell anecdote is his approach to criticism; here’s the notice he posted at the entrance to his home.

I must ask anyone entering the house never to contradict me in any way, as it interferes with the functioning of the gastric juices and prevents my sleeping at night.

What a brilliant, timeless idea! If I had his words cast in bronze, I bet I could sell a jillion of the plaques.

Stare.

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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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