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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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5 March 2012

gratuitous image

No. 2,782 (cartoon)

Life is short.

Make fun of it.

6 March 2012

Chili Bondage

I’m catsitting for Claudia, and it’s not going well. Claudia has a pair of rubberish dishwashing gloves hanging over the edge of the sink; that’s where the trouble started.

Like most people with a y chromosome, I can feign domestication when the situation calls for it. But, when alone, why bother? That’s why I like to eat over a sink: no plates to clean, and I can easily wash down the drain all the bits that fall out of my sandwich, burrito, et cetera.

That timeless technique has always worked well. Until today, that is. Some of the hot sauce I was slathering on my quiche dripped into the sink, but not on me. I didn’t think much about it until tonight, when I was cleaning up the mess.

I easily rinsed the steel sink, but the chili stain remained on the gloves. I wiped the gloves with a soapy sponge, but the red splotches endured. I scrubbed and I scrubbed and scrubbed some more, but the salsa had permanently bonded with the rubberized fabric.

I wonder what color my innards are? I wonder, but I don’t really want to know.

7 March 2012

Annoyingly Positive

Suzette was recounting the miserable situations in Sierra Leone, Somalia, Syria, and other countries with names that begin with the nineteenth letter of the alphabet. She lamented that most people around the world lead short, brutal lives.

“They’re the fortunate ones,” I replied. “At least they die before they’re old enough to realize the hopelessness of their miserable existence.”

“Why are you Americans always so annoyingly positive?” she asked.

8 March 2012

Chemical Clarity

I recently read an interesting article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. (That almost goes without saying, since the Journal of Psychopharmacology only publishes entertaining research.)

Pal-Orjan Johansen had a look-see at some experiments with lysergic acid diethylamide conducted in the sixties. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology neuroscientist concluded that LSD was effective in helping alcoholics control their drinking excesses. Like so many studies, the conclusion seems obvious to anyone who’s experienced chemical clarity.

“Curing alcohol dependency requires huge changes in the way you see yourself,” Johansen concluded. “That’s what LSD does.”

I wondered if the drug was still popular, so I asked the Internet and got a useless answer. “In 2009, the last time data was taken, 779,000 Americans age twelve and older said they had abused LSD at least once in the previous year.” As for how many people used it to their advantage, this the worthless reportage did not mention.

9 March 2012

Copyright Chris Wahlberg all rights reserved

It’s Alive

Dr. Wahlberg sent me a predictably great photograph of Molly, the cat who owns him. (I used the word “predictably” since he’s a great photographer and she’s a great cat.)

I showed the image to Juanita, who quickly turned away and chided me for showing her “that roadkill crap.”

“That’s not roadkill,” I explained, “that’s Molly, and she’s in fine fettle.”

“It’s alive?” she asked incredulously.

The end.

10 March 2012

What Else Is There?

Samantha insisted I watch a film with her, so I did. Given my limited critical vocabulary, I’ll simply report that I enjoyed Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman.

I’d never heard of Shulman (1910-2009) before, even though he was perhaps the preëminent American architectural photographer of his day. The word “architectural” is the key to my ignorance. The Getty Center acquired Shulman’s archives, but you won’t find them in the art department. They’re on the other side of the conceptual and literal firewall in the architecture department. I never knew that such a barrier existed until now.

My favorite part of the film was an excerpt of an old interview in which Shulman was asked, “You enjoy your work, don’t you?”

“What else is there?” he replied.

Shulman’s my kind of hombre.

11 March 2012

Move Along

One year ago today, the combination of a massive tsunami off the coast of Japan along breathtaking incompetence and hubris resulted in the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. Accomplished government and industry liars issued a string of releases assuring anyone stupid enough to believe them that the meltdown in progress was a trivial incident. Nothing to see here, folks; just move along.

And now, a few reports are finally detailing just how grave the catastrophe really was. For example, officials considered evacuating Tokyo. That’s predictable, as are contemporary updates on crippled nuclear plant: the radiation it’s spewing isn’t anything about which to worry. Move along.

12 March 2012

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: San Francisco Window

This is one of those photographs that should not have been published since there are only two people who can really appreciate it: the person who cooked tonight’s fabulously scrummy dinner and me. We know the steam from a hot squash tart provided the condensation on the window and that the image could only have been made in her living room. For everyone else (that would be you) it’s just another grey rectangle.


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart

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