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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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12 November 2012

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No. 4,587 (cartoon)

I’m inconsolable.

Savor it while it lasts.

13 November 2012

Baby Soup

“What did you do to upset Seymor?” Rodney demanded.


I was watching a movie with the six-year-old. The protagonist started to go into labor pain, and ordered her husband to boil some water. Seymor asked why she did that, so I told him about the facts of life. In retrospect, I suppose I should have let Rodney do it, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

I explained that when a woman has a baby, she always has a pot of scalding hot water nearby. If it’s a good baby, she keeps it. If it’s a bad baby, she throws it in the boiling water along with an onion and some vegetables to make baby soup.

Seymor got visibly upset when he heard that. I reminded him that he must have been a good baby if his parents didn’t turn him into soup, and that they no doubt still loved him. That didn’t help, and he ran upstairs to his father’s studio.

Poor tyke, I guess he wasn’t old enough to appreciate the miracle of birth.

14 November 2012

Made with Pride by Tyler Myers

I was happy to oblige when a tourist asked for directions. We chatted for a while; he told me that he worked in a paper bag factory near Canton, Ohio. He said that every bag that came out of his machine had “Made with pride by Tyler Myers” printed on the bottom.

“You’ve probably seen my work,” he added.

Dang; I guess he really does take pride in his work. That’s why he seemed a little crestfallen when I told him that I didn’t patronize Costco, Kmart, Sears, Walmart, or the other stores that used his creations.

15 November 2012

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Three Presidio Air Intakes

I photographed three huge air intakes—what else could they be?—on three different government buildings. Each one was unique, but each one looked like Theodor Seuss Geisel designed it.

16 November 2012

Not Rotgut

I corrected Ruth when she chastised me for drinking rotgut whiskey.

“It’s clearly not rotgut whiskey,” I explained, “since my gut is neither rotting, rotten, or rotted.”

Ruth harrumphed. People always harrumph when they lose an argument.

17 November 2012

I Wish List

Most people—including me—have very short attention spans. I believe that “attention deficit” is the human condition. That’s why I never make my stupid little stories more than a few paragraphs in length; who can remain undistracted for longer than that?

There’s a popular literary form that’s even more concise: the list. Bonnie Ware is a hospice nurse; her short list of the most common things people say on their deathbed has been repeatedly repeated for over two years.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I’m surprised how popular the five sentences are; they all seem like a priori knowledge. Or perhaps I’m just underestimating how stupid people are; it’s easy to do.

18 November 2012

Burying Holes

Stewart told me that city workers showed up outside his house yesterday with shovels and a truck full of hot asphalt. When he asked what they were doing, one of the laborers replied that they were, “going to bury some holes.”

And that’s what they did.

19 November 2012

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Airport Security Theatre

A few days ago government authorities arrested Geoffrey McGann at the airport in Oakland for possessing bomb-making material. The evidence: a ridiculously large watch on a huge leather strap to which were also attached a toggle switch, four fuses, and gratuitous wiring, all connected to nothing. Anything that useless has to be art, and it was, one of the dozen or so watches McGann has made as an artist and art teacher.

According to the news report, “Police said it resembled a trigger device for a bomb.” Perhaps, if Rube Goldberg made bombs. Or maybe the Alameda sheriffs read a lot of comic books whilst eating doughnuts. I heard that real terrorists—who don’t have large budgets or aesthetic concerns—prefer ten-dollar Japanese watches, the kind offered for sale in airport gift shops.

The airport security theatre continues: part tragedy, part comedy, all farce.


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart

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