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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

Last Weak  |  Index  |  Next Weak

Weak I

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1 January 2014

No. 5,999 (cartoon)

Do you know what I’m thinking?

No.

That’s perfect.

2 January 2014

An Inauspicious Beginning to a New Year

Well, dang! The year ended just when I got used to typing “2013,” and now it’s 2014. Molly suggested that every time my muscle memory types “2013,” I should type “2014” a hundred times.

2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014.

This just might work, if only because it’s effective aversion therapy.

3 January 2014

Plateau-Rayleigh Instability

“Do you know why I like you?” Polly asked.

“I assume it’s because I’m brilliant and charming,” I suggested facetiously. “Or maybe you just appreciate the cheap wine I brought.”

“Nope,” she replied, “it’s because you never leave urine on my bathroom floor.”

I find it curious that all men aren’t that courteous. After all, what kind of idiot isn’t familiar with Plateau-Rayleigh instability? Even an ignoranus can see that a liquid stream begins to disintegrate in less than twenty centimeters from the source.

I told Polly that she should hang a poster in her bathroom explaining fluid thread breakup in general and Plateau-Rayleigh instability in particular. She said she’s already thought of that, but no book or poster addressing that subject is available.

That’s a great business opportunity for an entrepreneur. Since almost one hundred percent of humans don’t want their toilets to smell like urine, nothing could possibly go wrong. And if you’re skeptical, just ask Plateau and/or Rayleigh.

4 January 2014

Terminal Hypochondria

Melanie’s doctor won’t give her an honest opinion: the only thing she suffers from is hypochondria. He keeps her placated with useless pills.

When we went to the drug store to pick up one of her prescriptions, Melanie asked the pharmacist if the pills would make her feel better.

“Do I look like a fortune teller?” the pharmacist replied. “If you want to know what your future may hold, there’s an astrologer a couple of blocks north of here.”

I expected her to react angrily, but instead she seemed resigned to being shuffled through the sickness industry’s bureaucracy. I suspect one of the reasons she doesn’t complain too vigorously is that she’d be rather disappointed if someone came up with a cure for hypochondria.

5 January 2014

Getting Used to Math

I was pretty good at math when I was in school, but only up to a point. When I had to regularly break into the teacher’s office the day before an exam to steal a copy of the upcoming test, I knew it was time to retire.

In retrospect, I may have quit too soon. I wish John von Neumann had given me this advice instead of someone else.

“Young man, in mathematics you don’t understand things, you just get used to them.”

In retrospect, I suppose it’s just as well he didn’t tell me. I was thirteen months old when he died, and his insight would have been lost on me, as it still is today.

6 January 2014

Two Hundred Bad Poems and Then Some

“We’re all born with two hundred bad poems in us.”

Billy Collins said that by way of explaining how he managed to eventually write some good poetry after he exorcized his two hundred bad poems. That approach apparently worked for him, but he’s obviously exceptional. I’d think we need to do some laboratory tests on would-be poets—ideally involving vivisection—to prove my hypothesis, but I believe the typical aspiring poet has more like two hundred thousand bad poems waiting in gestation.

Or maybe it’s just one of those ten-thousand-hour things: you don’t get good at anything unless you do it for ten thousand hours. No, forget I ever said that: the last thing society needs is legions of mediocre writers cranking out millennia of vomitous poetry.

7 January 2014

Birthday Relativity

It’s my birthday, and the past is getting older and older. Or maybe the past is the same, and I’m getting older and older. I suppose it’s one of those theory of relativity things, so I have no idea. I’m no Einstein, except for perhaps my hair on a good day.

8 January 2014

Brandy for Dessert

After dinner, I declined Lara’s invitation to have cake and/or ice cream.

“I agree with Hemingway’s observation,” I answered. “Any man who eats dessert is not drinking enough.”

“Hemingway was a jerk,” Lara replied.

“Well, I suppose that I too might possibly be considered a jerk on rare occasions,” I admitted.

“I’m glad you saved me from saying that,” Lara agreed. “Would you like some brandy?”

My olive branch worked and we lived together happily ever, or at least until I went home.

Stare.

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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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