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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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30 July 2013

gratuitous image

No. 8,147 (cartoon)

I’ll see you in my dreams.

I’ll see you in my nightmares.

31 July 2013

Interrobang, Ms. Feisty Britches, and Gill Sans Extra Bold

Once upon a time, Gerrit lived with two cats, Interrobang and Ms. Feisty Britches. One of them died and he got another cat, Gill Sans Extra Bold. I can easily remember their names—who could forget them?—but I can’t remember the name of the kitty that died.

For a while, I was reticent to visit Gerrit for fear I’d call one of the pusses by the dead cat’s name. I finally realized that I had no reason to address either of the cats. Why call a cat anything? It’s not going to come.

1 August 2013

Cigarettes Kill (Again)

Cigarette packages all feature grim warnings that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, et cetera. No one pays attention to such alerts until they’re dead.

Jennifer Rosoff is the latest tragic example. The thirty-five-year-old woman left the safety and comfort of her New York City apartment to go out on her balcony for a smoke. She leaned against the railing; it broke; she plunged seventeen stories to her death.

Oh well, at least that’s quicker than cancer, and less terrifying as well.

2 August 2013

The Institute for Predictable Outcomes Strikes Again

Alicia told me that a recent study concluded that more teenagers are shoplifting now than they were ten years ago.

“Was the research conducted by the Institute for Predictable Outcomes?” I asked. “Of course more teens are shoplifting more; a decade ago they weren’t even ten years old.”

3 August 2013

El Río de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula

I dislike abbreviations. it’s all part of being a curmudgeon and a would-be pedant. Sans Frisco is easy to type; why use SF?

But even I admit the LA is another story, and not a pretty one. No one has time to spell the full name, “El Río de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula.” (Translation: The River of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Portiuncula.)

4 August 2013

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Hawai’an Interstate Highways

Helena took her mother Mabel for a vacation in Hawai’i. Mabel has dementia, but Helena thought she’d enjoy the trip even if she won’t remember it.

“Why is there an interstate highway on an island?”

That’s the first thing Mabel asked when they left the airport. Perhaps she’s not as deranged as the doctors thought.

5 August 2013

Sally’s Favorite Drink

I asked Sally what her favorite drink was when she came over to my studio.

“Usually my favorite’s the seventh one,” she replied. “Do you have that?”

Fortunately, I was able to give her the adult beverage she wanted. We enjoyed a pleasant, thirst-quenching visit.

6 August 2013

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Measuring Rainier Ale

I think it’s important for an artist to have a project s/he’ll never complete because it’s virtually impossible. That makes it easier to accept all the failures that result from indolence and incompetence.

I made the mistake of telling Julian about my not-in-my-lifetime project, making a life-size model of Mount Rainier out of Rainier Ale cans. Julian’s an engineer, and started doing calculations. He did some measurements, and concluded that the work would be twenty-seven thousand, nine hundred and forty-nine cans high. And then he frowned. Should the cans be full or empty? Would empty cans have the structural integrity to support the weight? If the cans were full, would the ones high in the atmosphere freeze? And at what temperature does Rainier Ale freeze, anyway?

I stopped him in his logical tracks.

“No matter how thirsty I get,” I explained, “I’m probably not going to drink twenty-seven thousand cans of ale before I die. We’ll start with empty cans, and if that doesn’t work, generations yet unborn can fix things.”

And with that, I opened another can to toast my failure.


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©2013 David Glenn Rinehart

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