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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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15 October 2014

gratuitous image

No. 8,192 (cartoon)

Tell me what I want to hear.

Your existence annoys me.


16 October 2014

The Best Nap Ever

I like to take an afternoon nap. Once all the blood cells that were powering my brain since the five double espressos at sunrise turn their collective attention to digesting lunch, there’s really nothing to do but sleep until they return to cerebral duty. I usually close my eyes for twenty or thirty minutes, but today’s rest was much shorter or longer. I have no idea what happened.

I went to sleep at 15:00 and fell in to the deepest sleep. When I awoke from a disturbing dream, it took me a few seconds to remember where I was. Dreams don’t get much better than that! The clock read 15:00; that means one of two things could have happened. In my exhaustion, I might have confused 14:00 with 15:00. Or, I could have experienced the best dream ever, a few seconds of unconsciousness that felt like an hour.

This merits further investigation; I shall continue to take daily naps until I get enough empirical evidence to determine what did or didn’t happen this afternoon.

Or not.

17 October 2014

MOM on Mars

Adjusted for inflation, Brian de Palma spent one hundred and thirty-five million dollars to make Mission to Mars, his 2000 film that the renowned critic Gottfried von Stein dismissed as, “extraterrestrial celluloid poopoocrap.”

A few weeks ago, the Indian Space Research Organization’s Mars Orbiter Mission dba MOM reached the red planet. The budget for the real thing: seventy-five million dollars.

When it comes to Martian news, events two hundred and twenty-five million kilometers are of no interest. Stories from Hollywood, conceptually much farther away, are of much less concern.

18 October 2014

Thia’s a Wazzock!

Thia asked for my opinion about her dumbest idea ever (and that’s saying something). We love each other, so I was able to give her an honest reply.

“There’s no other way to say it, Thia,” I replied, “you’re a nincompoop.”

“No,” she shot back, “anyone who only knows one way to say something is the real nincompoop. Nincompoop nincompoop nincompoop nincompoop!”

(As is obvious, we enjoy our witty repartee.)

“I’m embarrassed to admit that you’re absolutely right,” I agreed. “You are, in fact, an idiot, a halfwit, a blockhead, a buffoon, a dunce, a dolt, an ignoramus, a cretin, an imbecile, a dullard, a moron, a simpleton, a clod, a dope, a ninny, a chump, a dimwit, a dummy, a numbskull, a knucklehead, a birdbrain, a nitwit, a numpty, a twit, a plonker, a pillock, a wally, a git, and, indeed, a wazzock.”

This story has a moral, and the moral is this: never get into a war of words with an hombre who’s packing a thesaurus.

19 October 2014

gratuitous image

Ambiguous Amputations

I was cycling along Funston Avenue, as I do most days of the year, when I spotted a chainsaw artist’s recent handiwork: a tree with two of the three branches of its trunk freshly amputated. I had no choice but to photograph it, so I did.

The resulting image is rich in symbolism. What it symbolizes, I have no idea. I’m so very glad that I never studied Freud or his fellow shrinkologists.

20 October 2014

The Scots Invented Sex!

Scotland has contributed many wonderful things to our global community. Scotch whisky comes to mind. I’m sure there’s another, but I can’t think of it at the moment. Or, at least I couldn’t until I read a recent article in Nature.

This sounds like a Monty Python joke, but it ain’t: some three hundred and eighty-five million years ago, a Scottish fish named Microbrachius dicki invented sex. Instead of spawning, he stuck his footlike appendage in her unimaginable thingie, et voilà! The Scots invented sex! (I haven’t read the entire scientific paper, but there’s no doubt in my mind that whisky must have played a critical role.)

Devorah wasn’t surprised when I shared this scientific discovery with her.

“I once had a romantic relationship with a guy names Callum from Glasgow,” she explained, “and apparently that’s how one still mates there.”

That doesn’t explain the kilt; that will forever be inscrutable.

21 October 2014

Thanks, Harvey!

A week ago I belatedly noted the death of Ferenc Berko, and, continuing on the sad theme of overdue remembrances, I’ll note the December passing of Harvey Littleton.

I went to high school at Interlochen with Harvey’s daughter and son. When I was a teenager, I met Harvey in passing when I lived at his place in Wisconsin to photograph his remarkable glass art soon after leaving Interlochen. Those brief interactions left an indelible impression. Without saying it in so many words, Harvey told me that being an artist is the best possible existence one could hope for on this planet. He had a lovely partner, a warm home, great work made in a wonderful studio ... thanks in part to Harvey, I can’t imagine that there’s more to a completely fulfilling life than that.

He also told me something I never heard before, or since. I don’t know how accurate this recollection is after forty years, but he told me that you have to have a huge ego to be an artist, to think you have something to say that the hundreds of billions of people who preceded you didn’t.

That idea stuck, and stays stuck (in a good way).

If I didn’t have a big ego and simply wanted to disseminate great art, I’ve have been a curator, publisher, philanthropist, editor, et cetera. I’m glad I never went down any of those relatively desolate paths. I wouldn’t be surprised, I wouldn’t be surprised at all, if Tom Stoppard came up with this observation after talking with Harvey.

“What is an artist? For every thousand people there are nine hundred doing the work, ninety doing well, nine doing good, and one lucky bastard who’s the artist.”

Thanks, Harvey!


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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