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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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28 May 2014

gratuitous image

No. 8,854 (cartoon)

You charged me twice what we agreed on!

That’s standard practice with schizophrenics.

29 May 2014

Catsitter in Training

This is my tenth day of catsitting, and I’m finally understanding the feline rhythm: there is none. Cats are perfect random event generators.

My main job is to ensure that the grimalkin always has a bowl full of food and fresh water. My secondary responsibility is to serve as her windowman (as opposed to doorman). She has her own private entrance, but prefers to come in and out through the kitchen window. I sit next to the window anticipating her arrivals and departures, which, given their randomness, is impossible.

I was sipping coffee for almost an hour this morning waiting for my puss to show up when it occurred to me to open the window and hail her with the traditional, “Here kitty, here kitty kitty kitty!” She showed up within a minute, the same as when I did it every other day.

She’s training me, something almost everyone I’ve known has claimed to be impossible.

30 May 2014

Being and Nothingness

Marina Abramovic is planning on doing nothing, and that has some people who hallucinate that they live in “the art world” quite upset. They have evidence that clearly shows that Mary Ellen Carroll has been doing nothing for decades, and that Abramovic has failed to acknowledge that she’s standing on the shoulders of a giant of nothingness.

The whole silly snit is just a tempest in a bedpan. What artist hasn’t done nothing from time to time? The self-aggrandizing curators and critics would be most annoying if their idiocy wasn’t so amusing.

Should anyone want to compare and contrast my exploration of nothing with the work of Carroll and Abramovic, here it is:

31 May 2014

The Fat Kid’s Legacy

Angelina said her nephew Freddie’s housemate—who he referred to only as “the fat kid”—was murdered in what police described as “a senseless killing.” (I wonder if the authorities ever report a sensible killing?)

Freddie lived with his late roommate and three other people in a group home near the University of Tennessee. The survivors remember the fat kid for two reasons. First, he died without paying his share of the rent and household expenses for June. That loss was offset, at least partially, by the contents of the fat kid’s freezer.

The murder victim had his own private freezer that he’d just restocked before his death. The fat kid’s corpse was still warm when his roommates drank all of his beer and began to plunder his freezer full of greasy treats. Freddie estimated that every last high-calorie snack will have been devoured before the fat kid’s relatives come to claim his possessions.

As far as his fat kid’s housemates are concerned, his legacy will last exactly as long as the contents of his freezer.

1 June 2014

The Rewards of Work

Evelyn’s here for dinner, and there’s a good reason she looks exhausted: she is. She told me that, in the last forty-eight hours, she’s been to four parties, two dinners, a brunch, a lunch, and is going to another party in a couple hours. She added that she’s looking forward to going back to work tomorrow morning.

I told her I was glad that things had improved. A few months ago, she said that she hated her stupid job working for a stupid boss in a stupid company doing stupid things, and so on.

She corrected me and said that everything about her employment situation except her salary remained stupid, stupider, and stupidest. The only reason she looked forward to going back to work was to get some rest and recover from a long weekend of hedonistic indulgences.

I had to agree that was about the best argument I’ve heard in favor of having a job, albeit not a very persuasive one.

2 June 2014

The Kentucky Waterfall and the Maserati

Alexia is always complaining about something; today it’s the guy who lives down the street from her in one of San Francisco’s more affluent neighborhoods. (That’s not a helpful geographic locator; each of San Francisco’s neighborhoods is more affluent than the others.)

According to Alexia, the hombre in question has “a morbidly distended bell and a ‘Kentucky waterfall’ haircut.” (A man with a Kentucky waterfall is bald as an egg on top; the remaining hair is long and wispy.) She frequently sees him washing and worshipping his Maserati Quattroporte, “as if that’s going to negate his porky ugliness.”

Never one to miss a stupid argument, I defended the corpulent, pathetic man. I gently pointed out to Alexia that she, as a woman in her fifties, is not his target demographic. I suggested that the woman he sought was young, stupid, and easily seduced by too much money. Alexia thought about it for a bit, and agreed.

“This is weird,” she said, “but why do a feel a little bit disappointed that I’ve been rejected by a repulsive man?”

3 June 2014

Another Ice Tomb

A decade ago I wrote about the Marine Memorial on the west side of Mount Rainier, where thirty-two marines are buried in the Tahoma Glacier after their plane crashed there in 1946. (Why to I only measure the past—and never the future—in decades?)

It looks like they may have company on the other side of the mountain. Six climbers were swept away a few days ago and presumed dead after they plummeted a kilometer down the side of the mountain. Avalanche? Rockslide? No one knows how—or even when—the accident happened. All that the authorities can say with any certainty is that they’re dead, and that their bodies will never be recovered for decades, if ever.

It’s too bad that their adventure ended with their demise, but what a way to go! And although I prefer cremation to burial, I can’t think of a better place to be buried. It’s too bad that I probably won’t have the strength to hike that far up Tahoma when it’s my time to die.

4 June 2014

Crazy Cat Guy

Were it not for his y chromosome, Hubert would be a crazy cat lady, albeit the good kind of crazy cat lady. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when he told me he’d just adopted his umpteenth—give or take a few—puss.

It started with very good intentions, as the best fiascos often do. Hubert’s been urging everyone at his workplace to get a cat, and one of his coworkers finally did. When he checked in to see how the kitty was doing, his not-so-learned colleague reported that, “things weren’t working out.” It seems that in the week he’d had the cat, it had yet to find or catch any food.

Hubert agreed that the relationship was untenable, omitting to mention that the only companion critters suitable for his workmate were bedbugs, since they’re quite adept at feeding themselves.

The irony of the story is that the new cat is the best mouser in Hubert’s house, although I suppose that’s not saying much given how slothful his other pampered pusses are.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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