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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXIV

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11 June 2017

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No. 5,539 (cartoon)

But you said you loved me!

You must have been slurring your hearing.

12 June 2017

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Sidewalk Squared

I’m a sucker for simple geometric shapes; who isn’t? That’s why I instinctively(?) reached for my Nikon when I saw the triangular shadow on the sidewalk cast by an awning on the corner of Clement Street and Twelfth Avenue. I made one exposure from this angle and another one from that angle; that kind of exhaustive documentation is a hallmark of my work.

When I returned to my studio, I rotated, flipped, flopped, and then combined the two photographs to make one: Sidewalk Squared.

I’m not sure what to make of it; it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever done. On the other hand, it’s everything like one of the composites Ray K. Metzker made long ago.

And that’s quite enough thinking for one day; time to move on to my next folly. I’m sure Metzker won’t object; he’s been dead for years.

13 June 2017

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Biohazard Palace

San Francisco has one restaurant for every two hundred and fifty households; that makes this the most competitive city in the country. Market forces demand creativity, and that’s how Tong Palace, a Chinese eatery down the street, was so successful for so long.

Until pesky, overzealous government regulators stepped in, that is. They used some bureaucratic formula concocted by paper shufflers in the capitol to determine that the fine cuisine represented a biohazard, whatever that is. One person’s biohazard is another person’s new taste treat; that’s what I say.

The health department rated the eatery’s hygiene at only sixty-nine percent, but it that a good reason to put dozens of poor laborers out of work? I think not. I would have preferred to see the establishment remain in business after lowering its prices by thirty-one percent then let the marketplace determine its fate.

That’s enough wishful thinking for one afternoon. I need to get back to work and find another place that offers generous portions of monosodium glutamate and lard at affordable prices.

14 June 2017

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Excessive Heat Watch

The electronic Internetty thing in my pocket features weather forecasts, and today’s is rather ominous: Excessive Heat Watch.

Yikes!

(It’s fifteen degrees out, but I’ll be damned if I can get the temperature in civilized Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, but that’s neither here nor there.)

My weather program’s display feedback problems notwithstanding, it still does what I need it to do. A temperature of over fifteen degrees is indeed excessive heat for a cyclist, so I shall wait in my dark cave until the current heat wave passes.

15 June 2017

Jean Cocteau’s Amazing Day

This is the fifteenth day of June, time to again observe Jean Cocteau’s Amazing Day. It’s a joyous time to savor his insight, “Stupidity is always amazing, no matter how used to it you become.”

This year’s dubious achievement award winners are the sixteen million Americans who believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows. I suppose that make a certain amount of sense if you’re a victim of fetal alcohol poisoning, then spent a couple of decades exploring the wonders of methamphetamines.

In any case, I shall sip a chocolate milk cocktail to toast the idiots who are keeping Jean Cocteau’s legacy shining brightly. Just joking; who would drink that swill?

16 June 2017

The Inimitable Smell of a Fresh Corpse

Hundreds of people who may or may or not be on drugs are lining up in Golden Gate Park to pay eight dollars to see the Corpse Plant—not to be confused with the Stinking Corpse Lily—in bloom for the first and last time in years, and why not? What’s not to love?

Amorphophallus titanum comes from the Ancient Greek amorphos, “without form, misshapen,” plus phallos, “phallus,” and titan, “giant.” So far so good! And that’s before one factors in olfactory delights from the morgue, and we have a Sans Frisco treat superior to Rice-a-Roni. (Rice-A-Roni is a product of PepsiCo’s subsidiary, the Quaker Oats Company.)

Now here’s the curious part: why is my friend Freddie the mortician waiting in the queue to see a rare, stinky flower?

“After whiffing formaldehyde for years,” he explained, “one’s heart cries aloud for the smell of a fresh corpse.”

17 June 2017

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A Thief and a Loser

After having four bicycles stolen in a city that’s never put a bike thief in jail for even a minute, I’m a bit confused about what the appropriate punishment should be. I know it probably involves beheadings, the elimination of hands and other bits, burning at the stake, et cetera, but in what order?

I thought Maycon Wesley Carvalho dos Reis, a tattoo artist, and Ronildo Moreira de Araujo, a bricklayer, struck the right balance when they caught a teenage drug addict trying to steal a bike. They gave him a motivational message by tattooing “A Thief and a Loser” across his forehead. It looks like they ran out of skin before they could add that he was a would-be bicycle thief, alas.

I’m no Solomon, but this does seem like one of those cases where the punishment fits the crime. The miscreant still has all the fingers and limbs he needs to continue his career as a bike thief, but perhaps the permanent note on his forehead will inspire him to lead a more dignified life, such as becoming a banker and robbing people the respectable way.

Stare.

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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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