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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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12 November 2014

gratuitous image

No. 4,445 (cartoon)

You pretend that you suffer.

You pretend that you care.

Problem solved!

13 November 2014

gratuitous image

Brewster Kahle, 13 November 2014, 18:05

Except for relatives and romantic partners, no one has had a greater—and more positive— influence on my life than Brewster Kahle. By inviting me to be the artist in [literal] residence at the Internet Archive, he’s allowed me thrive in an extraordinary bubble in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

I rarely photograph my friends unless it’s for utilitarian reasons, such as a passport photograph or some other requested documentation. Otherwise, I prefer to remember the people I love as a pleasingly blurry montage of memories rather than a few specific instances in time. That’s why I like my photograph of Brewster behind the frosted glass door of his office. He’s barely discernible, but I recognize the constant glow of his computer screen. The photograph is timeless, so my first photograph of Brewster will probably be my last.

14 November 2014

Babalou’s Most Grievous Offense

Babalou sent me—and every other person she knows—a shamefaced apology this morning. She was so contrite and humiliated that, if I didn’t know better, I might have thought she was Japanese. On the other hand, if she were Japanese she probably would have committed hara-kiri given what she considered to be the severity of her grievous offense.

She made a typographical error.

A couple of weeks ago, Babalou invited everyone to the opening of her new exhibit on 8 December. The typo? It was on 8 November. She thought it was a disastrous mistake, but I didn’t. I wouldn’t have been able to join her in December, but I never told her that. Instead, I told her how sad I was that I missed the reception to which I was so very much looking forward.

Poor Babalou. Heck, if I got my knickers in such a tangled twist every time I erred, I would have probably had a couple of fatal heart attacks by now.

15 November 2014

Sans Frisko Bay Guardian

I was talking with Josephine and her entourage at Jana’s party when she mentioned that the San Francisco Bay Guardian went out of business after forty-eight years. We all lamented the death of the weekly newspaper that was an important part of San Francisco’s cultural and political landscape. We then went on to note that none of us had even touched a copy of the august periodical in at least a decade.

I can’t understand how such a venerable institution could possibly have gone out of business.

16 November 2014

Whisky and Beer

Jasmin cooked a lovely salmon and asparagus dinner for us tonight. I enjoyed listening to a recording of Bryan Ferry crooning the song, Whisky and Beer, with the lyrics “whisky and beer” repeated dozens of times. Classy!

I’m probably the only person who’s heard him sing that, because I was listening to his recording of Rescue Me. Oops. The combination of his accent, pronunciation (res-queue-a-meer), and melodramatically romantic style made “rescue me” sound like “whisky and beer.” Or maybe I was actually listening to the whisky and beer Jasmin served when I arrived.

Whisky and Beer is a great song; Ferry should record it. Or maybe not: it would probably sound like he was singing, “rescue me.”

17 November 2014

Beauty Sleep, Ugly Sleep

Florian was exhausted, so I told him he should get some beauty sleep.

“I wish I could,” he replied, “but that’s not an option these days.”

He went on to explain that sleeping with a beautiful woman is beauty sleep; sleeping alone is ugly sleep. Having just seen myself in Florian’s bathroom mirror, I had to agree.

18 November 2014

Twenty-Five Carless Years

Rosalind and I stopped at her auto repair shop to pick up her car after some routine maintenance. Things did not go well when she got the bill.

“Six hundred dollars for a tuneup?!” she exclaimed. “You must be joking!”

“If I was joking, then you’d be laughing, wouldn’t you?” the mechanic replied in a tired voice without looking up from his paperwork.

Rosalind fumed all the way back to my studio about how expensive it is to own a car. I hear that a lot, and long ago learned not to mention I haven’t owned a car in twenty-five years. For some reason, that seems to annoy people. I don’t mind doing that, but I’d rather do so with bad art, not personal economics.

19 November 2014

World Toilet Day

When I was a boy, my father treated the bathroom as his morning refuge, and the toilet—his throne—was a place of reverie, a place where he could be alone with his thoughts, a cigarette, a cup of coffee, and the newspaper.

I’m reflecting on that childhood memory as I type this whilst sitting on the toilet. Normally I wouldn’t consider combining business with pleasure, but I can’t think of a better way to observe World Toilet Day.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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