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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXI

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21 May 2014

gratuitous image

No. 910 (cartoon)

I love to drink, but then I have to urinate.

I love to urinate, but then I have to drink.

Life is good!

22 May 2014

The Perfect Holiday

I’m spending the next three weeks at Molly’s place while her humans are in Paris. I’ve never met a less finicky cat; we’re having a great time rich in catnip and smoked herring. Yummy nums!

As for Molly’s humans, they’re having the kind of holiday I want them to have. I would not be pleased if they were spending three weeks in Swamp Bottom, Mississippi, and neither would they. Paris sounds great; I miss the bakeries, the exotic smell of Parisian air pollution, and the women who talk like singing birds. However, I don’t miss Paris enough to pay thousands of dollars and suffer the indignities and humiliation of contemporary air travel: I’m glad they’re there and happy that Molly and I are sharing their fabulous pleasure palace while they’re traveling.

I want my friends to be happy, but not so overjoyed as to make me envious, so Paris is just right.

23 May 2014

The Rabbit Joke

It’s been almost a year since I’ve seen Gael, but I’ve been thinking of her almost every day. I wish my memories of her were based on profound interactions and exchanges, but, unfortunately, they are not. Instead, the rabbit joke is the foundation of our relationship, such as it is.

Years ago, Gael was romantically involved with some flavor of Eastern European. She enjoyed the long parties with his friends, which involved lots of drinking and lots of jokes. She told me that the best joke of all was the rabbit joke. She wouldn’t repeat it for me; she said she didn’t have enough time. She explained that it took at least five minutes to tell the abridged version, and that really didn’t do justice to a comedic masterpiece.

After much cajoling and pestering, Gael finally told me the rabbit joke. The rabbit joke is that there is no rabbit joke. The joke was on me, and that’s the best joke there is!

24 May 2014

Freezer Fresh Pants

The chief executive officer of the clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss claimed that there’s no need to wash denim pants. Instead, he maintained that freezing them was sufficient to kill germs. I’m intrigued; I’d never heard of this approach before.

Hoodlums, hippies, and bikers never wash their pants, but that has nothing to do with hygiene: it’s a cultural imperative. My jeans are rather unspotless; I have no such excuse.

I know little about the physics of cleanliness, but I doubt that subzero temperatures would affect the bike oil stains one way or the other. The salsa and guacamole splotches might be another story. I wonder if they might simply flake off upon being removed from the freezer?

I’ll have to give the idea of doing my laundry in the freezer more thought. I have plenty of time for deliberation; I’m not scheduled to clean my clothes until the first of the month.

25 May 2014

The Fog of Documentary Filmmaking

Conrad told me that one can’t make a decent living from documentary films. (He’s as cynical as I am, and that’s saying something.)

“I suppose you’re right,” I agreed, “unless you’re talking about someone like Errol Morris who’s at the top of the cinematic food chain.”

I like Morris’s work. His film, Fog of War, gave me a different perspective on Robert McNamara. He failed to do that with Donald Rumsfeld, who he portrayed as the clueless, murderous cretin he was.

“Do you know where Morris’s serious income comes from?” Conrad asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “Royalties? Licensing excerpts? Consulting?”

“Nope,” he declared triumphantly, “he films ads for McDonald’s.”

Well, I’ll be! Maybe one can’t make a decent living from documentary films after all.

26 May 2014

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The Ted Nelson Chair

I hold the Ted Nelson Chair at the Internet Archive. Or at least I do until I release my grip on the prestigious seat.

Some of my learned friends dispute that the Ted Nelson Chair even exists, so I provided photographic evidence. Theodor Holm Nelson himself labeled the chair “Ted’s,” so there!

27 May 2014

Stop Graffiti!

Berkeley, California, is perhaps the only city in the western hemisphere with a foreign policy. Impotent activists populate the municipality; what they lack in effectiveness they attempt to compensate for with futile enthusiasm.

I have no idea how many of the familiar octagonal, red STOP signs are posted in Berkeley, but I have yet to see one without a word or two painted or stenciled at the bottom. STOP: war, driving, misogyny, imperialism, flying, hunger, et cetera. None of the admonitions are without merit; I don’t know which one to put into practice first. (As a defensive aside, I’ve never had a trace of misogyny, and haven’t owned a car in decades.)

Whilst cycling through Berkeley today, I saw a demand that appears to be universally ignored: Stop Graffiti!

Stare.

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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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