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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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26 March 2014

gratuitous image

No. 9,812 (cartoon)

You never told me you were a mime!

27 March 2014

Indonesian Spam

A couple of days ago I was gibbering on about Lorem Ipsum gibberish, and today I received a mumbo jumbo junk email that I found curiously entertaining.

Jual Vimax Asli Murah Obat Pembesar Alat Vital Pria—Kita mengetahui bahwa setiap pria dan wanita mendambakan hubungan seksual yang saling memuaskan. Namun, kerap timbul masalah karena ukuran alat vital pria (penis suami) kurangbesar, mudah ejakulasi dini, Mr P Sulit Ereksi, dan kalaupun alat kelamin laki-laki itu mengalami ereksi, ereksi yang terjadi tidak keras, ditambah lagi masalah kesehatan seks lainnya.

Brett told me it’s not gobbledygook, it’s Indonesian. He plugged the text into an automatic translation service on the Internet and discovered that I was the recipient of an advertisement for an alleged penis enlargement product. My favortite part of the ad was the description, “Problems often arise because of the size of the male penis (penis husband) kurangbesar ...”

“I can’t believe anyone would respond to such a scam,” I said.

“I did once,” Brett admitted, “but I’d never do it again. I sent the scumbags sixty dollars and they sent me a magnifying glass.”

I was afraid to ask if he was joking, so I stifled a laugh and launched into a long discussion of bicycle chains.

28 March 2014

Outwitting Clay

When I complimented Rhonda on her new ceramic work, she modestly replied that it was simply a matter of being smarter than the clay.

“Why are you being so self-deprecating?” I asked.

“I’m not,” she replied. “Outwitting the clay takes immense discipline.”

I always find that explanations of how art is made are much more amusing than enlightening.

29 March 2014

Everything You Know Is Still Wrong

The Firesign Theatre released its eighth record album, Everything You Know Is Wrong, forty years ago. I can’t remember if I even heard any of the sketches, but I’ve never forgotten the volume’s title. That’s probably because current events regularly remind me of its premise.

Take the Black Death that killed sixty percent of Londoners between 1348 and 1349. Everyone knows that the plague was spread by fleas on rats. A recent study concluded that everyone who knows that is wrong. The researchers concluded that the epidemic grew so quickly that it had to have been spread by coughing, sneezing townspeople who were already infected. They backed up their argument with twenty-five skeletons from Charterhouse Square; it’s had to argue with so many bones.

In scientific parlance, the epidemic was thus the pneumonic plague, not the bubonic plague. That’s all I know. And since everything I know is wrong, even that’s probably not right, not right at all.

30 March 2014

Irrelevant Dietary Concerns

Roscoe cooked up a nice lunch for us when I visited him at his studio. He proudly pointed out that he used only organic ingredients from local sources. I have many faults, but being a bad guest isn’t one of them. That’s why I didn’t tell him that I though his approach to food was complete bollocks, conceptually speaking.

Once upon a time, large communities of people consumed only organic food they personally harvested, breathed the purest of air, and drank the cleanest water in a time when the concept of pollution was unknown. That was in the paleolithic age, when cave dwellers rarely lived past the age of thirty. (I just concocted the last fact, but it sounds reasonably true.)

Today, even malnourished, alcoholic junkies existing on pesticides, mercury, antibiotics, and preservatives usually live at least twice that long. There’s a lesson there, but it’s lost on Roscoe and me.

31 March 2014

Rain Gear Considerations

Brian and Annette cycled through the rain and showed up at my studio dripping wet. They’re dear friends, so I didn’t mind it when they draped their wet clothes over the heaters and spent the next few bottles of wine in their underwear.

“Have you ever thought of getting some good, waterproof rain gear?” I asked.

(I was relieved when neither of them pointed out that “waterproof rain gear” was repetitiously redundant.)

“What’s the point of spending hundreds of dollars on clothing you only wear when it’s raining?” Annette asked. “That’s just stupid.”

It’s obviously impossible to argue with a woman in her underwear, so I didn’t even try.

1 April 2014

Six Six Six Six

This is the six thousand, six hundred and sixty-sixth entry I’ve made in this notebook of sorts. Since six hundred and sixty-six has a certain cultural resonance among both Christians and those who belittle them, I suppose I’ve gone a hundred times past that superstitious number with six to spare.

Since I’m modestly numerate and ignore myths, the significance of today’s false accomplishment is that I’m two thirds of the way—give or take a day—to my ten-thousandth notebook entry.

The two preceding paragraphs are reasonably true, but I can’t help but note that today is April Fool’s Day. All hail Saint Stupid!

2 April 2014

The Constant Risk of Death

WebMD, a respectably respectable publication, recently featured an article, “Fruits and Veggies May Reduce Death Risk.”

I’m no stranger to typographical errors (there’s probably at least one within spitting distance of here), but how could a nominally professional periodical let such a ridiculous headline see the light of publication?

I like fruits and vegetables. I also like Rainier Ale and cycling through a fog of automotive pollution. Regardless of my choices—or yours, dear imagined reader—the risk of death for us and every other living thing on the planet remains at precisely one hundred percent.

Plan accordingly.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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