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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

Last Weak  |  Index  |  Next Weak

Weak XLIX

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3 December 2011

gratuitous image

No. 2,464 (cartoon)

The last thing I want to do is hurt you.

So it’s still on your agenda?

4 December 2011

The Niceville Christmas Spirit

When I think of Christmas, I think of Niceville. A year ago today the Christmas parade in that Florida town degenerated into chaos when a city worker stormed one of the municipal trucks in the parade and challenged the driver to fisticuffs. After blaming his fellow employee for taking overtime assignments that were rightly his, he ordered him out of the vehicle so he could “whip your ass.” (To no one’s surprise, the perpetrator was charged with disorderly intoxication.)

Anger. Resentment. Conflict. Heavy drinking. That’s the Christmas spirit!

5 December 2011

Homeless in Hungary

How do you get homeless people off the streets? Hungarian politicians have come up with an innovative solution: outlaw them. Legislators passed a law that will provide a fine of six hundred dollars and/or a prison sentence for anyone convicted of being homeless. With some ten thousand homeless people in Budapest, the financial penalties provide a new revenue stream. And a homeless person in prison is no longer homeless, no?

I’m reticent to mention such egregious stupidity. American politicians are as starved of intelligence as much as their Hungarian counterparts, and might try the same inane approach.

6 December 2011

Louie’s Golden Rice Bowl

“There’s a bone in my tofu.”

In response, our waiter gave Jana a brief pro forma apology that she thought was insufficient. When she pointed out that tofu has no bones, the waiter replied that it was actually chicken, “much better than tofu when you think about it.” Jana said that as a vegetarian she didn’t eat meat, a position the waiter couldn’t appreciate. He added that since chicken was more expensive than tofu, he couldn’t understand why she objected.

Jana insisted that we exit without leaving a tip. I wonder if that will result in our waiter treating ill-advised vegetarian guests better or worse in the future? I’ll never know; I’m never going back to Louie’s Golden Rice Bowl: the food tasted bad and the portions were small.

7 December 2011

Hair Shoes

When I complimented Jasmin on how good her waist-length hair looked, she advised me to enjoy it while it was still there. She said she’ll be cutting it soon and using it for shoes. She went on to explain that she’s making hair shoes because it’s never been done before.

I was skeptical, since virtually everything’s been done before. I asked the Internet if anyone’s made hair shoes, and the Internet replied that Tsai Shiou-ying, from Taichung, Taiwan, has already done so.

I regretted my inquiry immediately when I saw how crestfallen Jasmin was. I tried to cheer her up by suggesting that she take Karl Valentin’s approach to creative pursuits: “It’s all been said already, though not yet by me.”

She nodded glumly. I left wondering whether her hair will be on her head or on her feet the next time I see her.

8 December 2011

Panorama of Fetors

The San Francisco garbage dump sponsors an artist in residence program. I’m not going to apply for the scheme; it couldn’t possibly be better than my artist in residence position at the Internet Archive. Should I ever change my mind, however, I know the piece I’d concoct there: Panorama of Fetors.

I’m imagining a long narrow hallway with a variety of repulsive-smelling substances, each one more vile and revolting than the one that preceded it. If I do my job well, the piece will induce reverse peristalsis in visitors. That would certainly be the vomitous icing on the cake! Even though all good art is interactive to some degree, this would be my first work that’s demonstrably so.

9 December 2011

Gee Eye Zed

Gesselschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit changed its name to Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. Ordinarily such bureaucratic rebranding would be of no interest, except that my friend Sabine, who used to work for GTZ, now works for GIZ.

Oh dear.

Although German is Sabine’s first language, she speaks perfect English. Or at least perfecter than mine. And so, I can’t imagine her walking into a room and saying, “I work for GIZ.” Sabine’s au fait with American culture, so I’m sure she knows jizz is a common euphemism for semen. (Her partner’s surname is Bonk, but that’s another story for another decade.)

After a bit of consideration, I realize that my imagined problem isn’t a problem at all. If asked about her employer, she’d report that she works for Gee Eye Zed. Only an ignorant American—that would be me—would pronounce it otherwise.

10 December 2011

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Bonnie’s Party

Ah, another December, another ridiculously fabulous party at Bonnie’s. Her soirées always feature too many interesting people with whom to chat, too much scrummy food, and too much spectacular wine. In other words, just the right combination of everything.

Virtually all of her other guests are more monetarily affluent than I am; they’re the ones who bring cases of expensive wine. Since there’s no point in contributing the proletariat swill I enjoy, I bring a camera instead of rotgut. As a result, I enjoy a great evening and Bonnie enjoys flattering photographs. I’ll never tell here this, but it’s easy to make a pretty good photo at her party. All I need to do is make hundreds of haphazard photos and select the one that’s the least imperfect. It works every time!

Stare.

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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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