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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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28 May 2015

gratuitous image

No. 9,613 (cartoon)

But what does it all mean?

Don’t mean fuckall.

But what does it all mean?

29 May 2015

In Caffeine We Trust

Europeans complain about the excessive regulation of the nanny state, and rightly so. A couple of days ago, the European Food Safety Authority analyzed the Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database, then warned against drinking more than five espressos a day.

That’s preposterous! I need the first five espressos of the day just to be alert enough to make the next five, and that’s only before breakfast.

I think that the stereotype of lazy Europeans is based on a misunderstanding. They’re not slothful; they simply haven’t had enough coffee. That’s not surprising given how expensive it is over there. One of the few things the United States has going for it is relatively cheap coffee. If you avoid the pretentious cafés and go to the right diner, a waitress named Dinah or Gladys will cheerfully refill your cup repeatedly until the jitters overtake you.

“In God We Trust” was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956; it’s time to change it to, “Caffeinate and Dominate.” That might give the hapless Europeans a clue.

Or perhaps not.

30 May 2015

Another Poetic Ambush Thwarted

That pesky Julian ambushed me and asked if I wanted to read some of his poetry. I try to avoid him, but he’s clever and creative, albeit not when it comes to poetry.

“Sorry, Julian,” I replied, “but not today.”

“It’s always ‘not today’ every time I see you,” he whined.

“I’ve never lied to you, have I?” I replied.

He huffed off in a poetic huff, but he’ll be back. Those sneaky poets are as indefatigable as they are insufferable.

31 May 2015

gratuitous image

Paint on Canvas

When it comes to painters, the “aerosol artists” who spraypaint their doodles on anything visible to the public are the least respected. They’re also the most reviled by the poor schmoes who have to remove their graffiti. Artists who paint on canvas are the most admired in terms of commercial value; it’s all a matter of marketing.

I saw a clever combination of the two extremes whilst cycling down Anza Street this afternoon. An alleged artist spraypainted her or his work on an abandoned mattress, et voilà! Paint on canvas! Anyone who wants the juvenile sketch can freely haul it away, and the building owner won’t have to paint over it. Win-win as the Californians say.

1 June 2015

Happy Sweat

Well I’ll be a star-nosed mole; there may be something to the pheromones malarkey I mentioned a few weeks ago after all. According to a study in a recent edition of Psychological Science, women were happier after smelling a happy man’s sweat.

“Being exposed to sweat produced under happiness induces a simulacrum of happiness in receivers [blah blah blah blah blah],” explained Gün Semin, the senior study researcher.

(Hold it, Gün Semin?!)

“Somebody who is happy will infuse others in their vicinity with happiness,” the Utrecht University professor continued. “In a way, happiness sweat is somewhat like smiling; it is infectious.”

And somewhat like gonorrhea, I suppose.

I’m happy and I perspire, but I doubt that I’ll be able to cheer anyone up. I’m very happy whilst making purported art, but that’s figuratively and literally no sweat. I’m quite sweaty after an hour of hard cycling, but it’s satisfied sweat, not necessarily happy sweat. (The small study didn’t examine satisfied sweat.)

I’m quite happy with my dearth of happy sweat; I’ll never have to make the uncomfortable moral choice of whether to ask a sad woman to sniff my armpit or let her suffer.

2 June 2015

An Overdue Acknowledgement

Sandra is annoyed with me, but who isn’t? She’s been bellyaching lately that I plagiarized one of her thoughts (or was it an anecdote?) without acknowledging her.

“You just might want to credit so-and-so the next time you steal someone’s material,” she chided.

I surprised her by agreeing with her suggestion. (I like to do that occasionally just to confuse people.) And so, I’ll concede that this entire brief entry was more or less copied verbatim from an idea some so-and-so mailed me.

You know who you are; thanks for giving me the day off!

3 June 2015

Botulism Banquet

Randall came up with his business plan after watching a couple of movies, Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” and “Eat the Rich.” Both films featured business ventures that were designed to fail yet succeeded commercially. Randall was particularly impressed with the Bastards Restaurant model in “Eat the Rich,” where wealthy patrons queued to be abused by sadistic waiters and waitresses.

After considerable thought involving at least three bottles of bourbon, Randall invested most of his savings to plagiarize the Bastards business model and opened an eatery called Botulism Banquet. He thought that the relentlessly trendy hipsters with more money than brains would flock to his new spot. Instead, they stayed away in droves. As a result, Randall now has more brains than money, although that’s not saying much given the financial débâcle.

I commiserated with Randall while I helped him dispose of Botulism Banquet’s wine inventory, one glass at a time.

“It was a good idea,” I lied, “and I think it might have worked with a slightly different name, something like Bulimia Banquet.”

To my surprise, he agreed, and said he tried to use that name, but it was registered to a Southern California musical ensemble that disbanded almost a quarter of a century ago.

Ah, the world of commerce, yawn.

4 June 2015

Incomprehensible Procreation

Rebecca always talks about her children; that’s what parents do. Her son is twenty-one; her daughter is fourteen. I’m sure that she told me more about them, but I can’t remember any other details. Before moving on to more interesting topics, I thought I’d be polite and ask her about parenting.

“What’s the difference between raising your first child and the second one?” I asked.

She squinched up her forehead and thought for a few seconds before answering.

“About the best I can say about my son is that he made me a better parent by the time I was raising my daughter,” she replied ruefully.

I will never ever never ever never ever understand why people procreate. Nevertheless, thanks Mom! And if dead people can read, thanks to you too, Dad!


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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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