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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak LII

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24 December 2015

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No. 8,887 (cartoon)

Remember when we didn’t despise each other?

Not really.

Neither can I.

25 December 2015

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Christmas Grass?

Earlier this year I photographed Jelly Bean Flavored Easter Grass. When I stepped outside this morning, I spotted some plastic Japanese grass—or was it seaweed?—that I’ve only seen as an inedible garnish in sushi joints. The curious thing is that Sake Zone, our local raw fish dive, went out of business last month.

I have no idea how or why this jagged green piece of trash showed up on my lawn, so I’m calling it Christmas grass. That’s stupid, but this is a stupid alleged holiday, so it seems appropriate.

26 December 2015

Relaxing with Alice

Alice came over to my studio for a visit this afternoon after her lunch with Valentine. She said that although she liked him, he was so quick-witted and almost annoyingly brilliant that a conversation with him felt like hard work; she was intellectually intimidated. She added that it was a relief to be with me and finally be able to relax.

She showed up with a bottle of Bunnahabhain, so I took that as a compliment. The whisky, not the remark about my lack of mental dexterity, that is.

27 December 2015

Gingerly

Juliana said she was cooking a nice stir-fry dinner, and invited me to join her. I’m not the sharpest blade in the proverbial sack of rocks, but I’m not a complete idiot, either, so I enthusiastically accepted her invitation.

She was in disarray and datarray when I arrived.

“I was gingerly adding ginger to the mix an hour ago when I realized that they couldn’t both be ginger,” she explained, “and I’ve been stuck thinking about it ever since.”

“Sometimes it doesn’t pay to think too much,” I advised. “Did you come up with a solution?”

“Yes,” she replied, “frozen pizza. It’s in the oven.”

I didn’t ask her if she added ginger to the pizza.

“I brought some Rainier Ale with me,” I announced. “It goes better with pizza than stir-fry, and is most efficacious in counteracting overthinking.”

Not surprisingly, the frosty adult beverage, combined with slices of hot, greasy pizza, all but erased her conscious thoughts about all things ginger.

28 December 2015

Sending Claudio to The Marketing Hall of Fame

Claudio’s mind is a mess; it’s all pretzeled up in lies and self-deceit. He suffers from serious problems that should probably be addressed by years of psychiatric counseling and perhaps even the related drugs. He insists, however, that all it will take to turn things around is a new this, a new that, or a new other thing.

He’s a tribute to the terrifying power of effective advertising. He needs to find a good taxidermist who will stuff him and ship him to The Marketing Hall of Fame. Sadly, that looks like his best option for getting out of his present morass, or at least the only one he might consider since it involves immediate gratification and no work on his part.

29 December 2015

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Ian Kilmister Had a Good Run

I don’t know with certainty what I’d do if I was diagnosed with a horrific case of extremely aggressive cancer. If that ever happens, though, I’ll probably plagiarize some of Ian Kilmister’s last words.

“I had a good run; fuck it.”

After singing “I don’t want to live forever” thousands of times, Kilmister—better known as Lemmy—finally got his wish yesterday. He died four days after his seventieth birthday.

Lemmy was the only permanent member of Motörhead, the musical ensemble he created in 1975. He was one of the great grandfathers and innovators of the playing faster and louder school of music. I’m too lazy to research this, but he just may have been the first person to use gratuitous umlauts in a band’s name.

I love many things about Lemmy and his work, including his refusal to be labeled and pigeonholed into a specific genre.

“Everyone always describes us as heavy metal, even when I tell them otherwise. Why won’t people listen?”

I’ll answer his rhetorical question by positing that they might be deaf. Motörhead turned up the volume of their performances to just past the threshold of pain, then added a few more decibels for good measure.

A few paragraphs ago I mentioned Lemmy’s singing. He was the group’s vocalist and bass player, but the sounds that came out of his mouth sounded more like a chainsaw cutting through a skull than conventional singing. I’m reticent to describe anything as unique, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll never hear another voice like his. His bandmates apparently thought the same thing; they disbanded Motörhead after he died.

Even my local Thai restaurant paid homage to Lemmy by adding dozens of bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey to their shrine. He drank a bottle every day of the elixir for forty years in a row; I can’t imagine why he died at such a relatively young age.

A good run indeed, Lemmy.

30 December 2015

Vemödalen

I’ve never met him, but yet, John Koenig annoys me. That has nothing to do with our personal interactions, or, more accurately, the complete absence of them. Koenig irritates me because his work is much better than mine; it’s much better than mine will ever be.

I know I’m being hypocritical, since I think it’s foolish to compare one’s work to anyone else’s, but I’m nothing if not inconsistent. I may or may not be a bit creative and clever, but he’s on much higher plane. For example, here’s an entry from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

vemödalen: the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist—the same sunset, the same waterfall, the same curve of a hip, the same closeup of an eye—which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap, like a mass-produced piece of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself.

That’s an idea I’ve tried to convey over the decades. I considered plagiarizing him, but he nailed it perfectly in a single paragraph. Or, perhaps, almost perfectly. I wonder if he took the idea of the gratuitous umlaut from Lemmy?

31 December 2015

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Twenty Years of This Nonsense

That does it. That did it. Or something like that.

This concludes my twentieth year—seven thousand, three hundred and five days in a row—of making these notebook entries that almost no one reads, and not without good reason!

I don’t know why I should go on with this senseless endeavor. But, since I don’t know why I shouldn’t, either, I will continue to waste my time and yours.

Happy new year, such as it is.

Stare.

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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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