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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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22 October 2011

gratuitous image

No. 4,371 (cartoon)

I’m going through hell.

Keep going.

23 October 2011

Subtracting Vivian

Wilma and I always argue, and this evening was no exception.

“It is,” I said.

“It is not,” she replied.

“It certainly is,” I insisted.

“David’s actually right this time,” added Vivian.

“Why did you add Vivian?” Wilma asked.

“I didn’t add her,” I responded. “I thought you did.”

We established that neither of us had added Vivian, so we subtracted her and returned to our tiresome argument.

24 October 2011

Accursed Computer

A few weeks ago, Thia called me to announce that she was dumping her computer. After a number of repairs that weren’t really repairs at all, she’d decided it was better to get a new computer than to squander more time. I told her that I could probably fix it, but she declined my offer.

“I’m done wasting my time on this,” she explained. “You can have it if you want it, otherwise it’s landfill.”

I gratefully accepted her offer, since I could use parts of the computer. She said she’d ship it to me, but never did.

I called her today and asked about her computer situation. She said she was quite happy with the new machine. When I mentioned the old contraption, she said she’d given it to a charity that provides technology to underprivileged children in the developing world.

I didn’t know what to say. The computer was gone, so there was no point in reminding her that she’d promised it to me. I felt a little guilty for even feeling disappointed, since I have a wealth of computing contrivances, and I had no real need for more technological redundancy. It would have been churlish for me to be disappointed, so I wasn’t.

My electronic gizmos are all gizmoing along nicely. But somewhere in a small village far away, a child is cursing the accursed, unreliable contrivance the Americans sent.

25 October 2011

Sooner or Later True

Devorah told me that, according to the Hawai’ian creation myth, the octopus is the only survivor from a vanished alien culture. That sounded rather improbable, so I asked the Internet if it was true. The Internet replied that it had never heard of such a legend, suggesting that Devorah’s story is false.

I like a good story and believe my friends, so I shall repeat the octopus story as if it were indisputably true. If enough people cite it with certainty, then one day it will be true, eventually.

26 October 2011

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Illuminated Skeleton

When it comes to photography, you can’t go wrong photographing dead things. The deader the better. You can’t find anything much deader than a skeleton, unless it’s cremated ashes. Ashes don’t photograph well; even a miniature plastic skeleton is a better visual option. When I spotted one illuminated with a light bulb in the chest, I couldn’t resist.

So I didn’t.

27 October 2011

Passing Acquaintance of the Earth

Washington DC is a wretched place, but it’s not without one redeeming value: free food. The city is home to thousands of organizations, so every evening a few of them host catered receptions.

Niklas offered two choices for grazing this evening: Friends of the Earth or the National Geographic Society. I opted for the former, since my disheveled appearance would be fine among alleged environmentalists. The better food at the latter event didn’t merit getting heveled.

I don’t know much about the organization except that it has a huge office with a commanding view of the Washington skyline. After many trips traveling from the bar to the buffet and back again, I concluded from the photographs on the walls that the employees spend a lot of time holding up handmade signs admonishing people to do the right thing and/or not to do the wrong thing.

One of the hosts asked me if I was a member of her organization. I told her that I wasn’t a member of any organization, and that I was more of a passing acquaintance of the earth than a true friend.

She knew I was only there for the salmon and wine, and she didn’t care. Washington is full of mercenaries and opportunists, so a freeloading ne’er-do-well was relatively inconsequential.

28 October 2011

Hospitality and Whisky

Dr. Hayes is a most excellent host; he plied me with liquor whist I was a guest at his pleasure palace in the swamp that is Washington DC.

“Thanks for your hospitality and whisky,” I said as I headed for the train.

“You say that as if they were separate things,” he replied with a puzzled look.

I apologized for the confusion, and promised to be more careful with my choice of words in the future.

29 October 2011

gratuitous image

Bat Mitzvah Lessons

After knowing Paul and Shelly for decades, they finally recognized my artistic genius. That’s why they invited me to photograph their twin daughters’ bat mitzvah.

As part of the ceremony marking their transition to adulthood, each of the girls, er, young women, had to provide an analysis of some story from the Torah. Rivka chose an anecdote about Noah. The old man was so glad to off the overcrowded cruise ship and back onto dry land that he got legless drunk and passed out naked. Rivka showed her maturity by not commenting on how disgusting a nude six-hundred year old man must have looked, and instead addressed the broader philosophical implications of hierarchies of righteousness.

I congratulated her after her presentation. l told her how much I appreciated her insights, and that I’d never get drunk again.

“Really?” she asked skeptically.

“That’s right,” I confirmed. “Should I ever become inebriated again, I’m going to get righteously drunk.”

Rivka’s sister Hannah had a much less complicated message on the t-shirt she designed for the occasion: “Sleep is for sissies.”


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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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