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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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5 March 2014

gratuitous image

No. 2,131 (cartoon)

How did we get here?

I came alone.

And that’s how I’m leaving.

6 March 2014

Driving It Off

A man in Hobe Sound, Florida, recently got into an argument with his wife after she accused him of drinking too much. He sensibly walked away from the confrontation, then unwisely decided to sober up by “driving it off.” That was the explanation that Michael Moore (no relation to the filmmaker) gave to the policeman who arrested him for drunk driving. In retrospect, it was inadvisable to have also told the cop he was on his way to the bar for more drinks.

The nice policeman helped him drive off his drunkenness by giving him a free ride to jail, so I guess his ill-advised lunacy was ultimately efficacious.

7 March 2014

The Logical Destiny of Bores

Alphonse is financially wealthy, but otherwise poor. He is rich in dollars, but embarrassingly lacking in life’s more rewarding currencies. For some reason, though, he spends most of his time acquiring even more money that he doesn’t need.

He’s currently investing in a chain of animal care facilities, One Stop Pet Drop. Each location has both a veterinary clinic as well as a taxidermy shop, which he assures me is a profitable way of, “leveraging synergies to create a premiere national portfolio,” or some other business-speak bilge.

“Why not have a crematorium and columbarium as well?” I asked.

“We opened the kimono on that one,” he replied, “but it wouldn’t scale with our core competencies.”

“You have no idea what that means, do you?” I responded.

“I don’t have to,” he said with a shrug, “I have people for that.”

Alphonse’s tiny life reminds me of Barry Humphries’ observation, “Most of my contemporaries at school entered the World of Business, the logical destiny of bores.”

8 March 2014

I Love Ewe Too

Duane and Amanda are getting a divorce. And not just any divorce, either; it’s a very ugly divorce. Amanda told me that Duane is making the difficult situation much worse by claiming he never loved her.

“What revisionist rubbish,” I replied, “I personally heard him tell you that he loved you on several occasions.”

Amanda rolled her eyes, and explained that he claims he actually said, “I love ewe.” She added that even though she hated to give a jerk a break, they did eat lamb rather often.

Oh well, at least the lawyers will be fine. And perhaps sheep as well.

9 March 2014

Ox Vertebrae, Tuna Fish Cans, and Cheap Wine

Theresa invited me over to her studio to show me her new sculpture. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of it and neither was I, so we opened a magnum of cheap wine to celebrate and meditate.

With each glass of wine, Theresa became more appreciative and enamored of the brightly painted towers of ox vertebrae and tuna fish cans. By the time the first bottle was empty, she declared the work to be, “probably one of my best pieces ever.”

As Jorge Mario Bergoglio said, “Who am I to judge?”

10 March 2014

Thanks Again, Tom!

A very long time ago when we were teenagers, Liza—who was Lisa then—loaned me her copy of Tom Robbins’ novel, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I remember the subtexts of that exchange; it was quite heady at the time. What I didn’t remember was the wonderful writing, at least not until today when I came across this excerpt.

If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it will go, push it beyond where it has ever been before, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic. And it doesn’t matter what it is that you select, because when it has been pushed far enough it contains everything else. I’m not talking about specialization. To specialize is to brush one tooth. When a person specializes he channels all of his energies through one narrow conduit; he knows one thing extremely well and is ignorant of almost everything else. That’s not it. That’s tame and insular and severely limiting. I’m talking about taking one thing, however trivial and mundane, to such extremes that you illuminate its relationship to all other things, and then taking it a little bit further—to that point of cosmic impact where it becomes all other things.

On those rare occasions I read something that good, I lose my delusions of adequacy as a would-be writer. Thanks again, Tom!

11 March 2014

gratuitous image

Fourteen Cheap and Dirty Camera Lenses

Gale has a collection of seventy-six cheap cameras from the sixties and seventies. I borrowed fourteen of them and photographed their shoddy little lenses. In addition to the visual interest, one of the reasons I did so was because I appreciated the cameras’ names: Clikomat, Centria 100X (Color Corrected), Focal Nomad (American Optical Lens), GAF Anscomativ 236 (Color Corrected Lens), Halina, Hanimex 88X, Imperial Insta-Cube (Impar 42mm), Kamero X-101 (Color Corrected Lens), Keystone 125X, Kodak Instamatic 100, Regula Diplomatic-C (Isco-Optik), Sanwa X50 (Optical Lens), Simplex 41 (Simpli-Matic 44mm Color Coated Lens), and Sunpet 826.

I was pleasantly surprised with the result, Fourteen Cheap and Dirty Camera Lenses. The reflection of my studio’s hundreds of light emitting diodes in the lenses reminded me of insect eyes. I also found the cloudy, impaired optics pleasingly depressing, a nice little reminder of the ocular degeneration I’ll experience if I stick around long enough.

12 March 2014

The World Wide Web at Twenty-Five

The World Wide Web is twenty-five years old today. That calls for popping a cork or two, but that’s what I say on most days.

I don’t know much about technology, but I do appreciate that the acronym is WWW is linguistically unique since it has three times as many syllables as the words to which it refers.

Stare.

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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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