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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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30 July 2017

gratuitous image

No. 1,343 (cartoon)

You have a million excuses for your misery.

One of them has to be right.

31 July 2017

Use Calibri, Go to Jail

If you don’t think typography is important, just ask Maryam Nawaz. She submitted some documents purportedly from 2006 to prove that her father, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was innocent of corruption charges. She used Calibri, a mediocre typeface that wasn’t distributed until 2007.


That’s why I generally use Goudy for everything I print, forged or otherwise. Goudy has been around for over a century, and no one has ever spent time behind bars for using it.

Nawaz Sharif has been deposed. I think that’s a pretty light penalty for bad typography. I can understand kleptocracy, but there’s no excuse for bad design.

1 August 2017

The Mystery of Hidden Bras

I saw something I’ve never seen before this afternoon. An ordinary looking middle-aged woman in grubby clothes—my usual attire—was walking through the grocery store parking lot. Like most women, she was wearing a bra. I could see that at a glance since she was wearing what for everyone else is an undergarment on the outside of her shirt.

I can’t believe I’ve never seen that before, but why?

With so many people trying to differentiate their appearance from everyone else, why is the first woman I’ve ever seen making such an obvious move? I don’t know anything about the physics of breast restraints; my engineer friends tell me the formulae for such devices are frighteningly complex. Nevertheless, I suppose a brassiere would be equally functional with a thin layer of cloth over the breasts.

I understand bras are very expensive and sometimes feature exotic materials and meticulous design. Why spend all that money on something very people will ever see?

Helena was aghast when I shared those thoughts with her. She said even her mother Mabel would never consider doing such a thing even at the height—depth?—of her dementia. She concluded that no normal woman in her right mind would even consider it.

Thousands of women in Sans Frisco would be most indignant if anyone called them normal, so why have I only seen one woman in my life that had the originality to wear a visible bra?

2 August 2017

David “Death Ray” Rinehart

I’m proud of my middle name; Glenn was my late father’s first name. I may be temporarily changing it to “Death Ray,” though, for professional reasons. David “Death Ray” Rinehart has a nice ring to it, no? I wouldn’t be surprised if I become known as DR Squared in intergalactic circles in my new role as the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s Planetary Protection Officer.

Sally sent me the job description for the position, and I found it curiously interesting. I’ve always thought “having a job job” was synonymous for “ingesting poisonous poison,” but this opportunity was made for me, or perhaps vice versa.

The appointment pays decently, between $124,000 and $187,000 annually. I’d get to work with really smart people as part of the three- to five-year contract but don’t have to manage anyone. And my work could stave off an alien invasion of Earth or, perhaps more importantly, protect other planets from us.

I can see it now: David “Death Ray” Rinehart, Planetary Protection Officer. I’d wear a uniform with spectacular functionality that would make James Bond look the cub scout he is. I’ll have no idea about its appearance or specifications until I consult with the top scientists and engineers in the most secret of military laboratories. All I know with certainty is I’ll have some sort of death ray weapon to command respect and fear; they’re two sides of the same pancake.

It won’t take long for my reputation for firmness and fairness to spread throughout the galaxy. I won’t hesitate to use my plasma ray to reduce any invaders to an invisible mist of scattered atoms, nor will I think twice about summarily executing any earthlings who threaten peaceful extraterrestrial visitors.

If NASA bureaucrats are smart enough to realize that there’s no reason for any competent person to work more than ten hours a week, I figure the job is mine if I want it.

3 August 2017

The Rinehart Institute Salubriously Debauched

Julian’s as pretentious as he is shallow, and vice-versa. He wasn’t sure whether he liked my artwork or not until he checked out my credentials.

“What’s your background?” he asked. “Do you have a degree?”

“I got my philosophiae doctor from RISD magna cum latte,” I answered with a modest shrug.

“That means you’re Dr. Rinehart?” he continued.

“Please call me David,” I replied.

“I really like your work,” the weasel concluded after having established my intellectual and aesthetic bona fides.

The pompous buffoon assumed the acronym was a reference to the Rhode Island School of Design, but I was talking about a more exclusive institution with only one graduate in its entire history, The Rinehart Institute Salubriously Debauched.

4 August 2017

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Seventy-Eight Seconds of Sonic Cushions Surrounding One Dozen Songs Recorded at Seventy-Eight Revolutions per Minute

I stole this idea from one of my favorite artists, Nina Katchadourian. Oops, that was too honest. My latest work, Seventy-Eight Seconds of Sonic Cushions Surrounding One Dozen Songs Recorded at Seventy-Eight Revolutions per Minute, was informed by her piece, Indecision on the Moon. Here’s how she described her work:

Indecision on the Moon is a re-edit of the Apollo 11 moon walk, where all the coherent language has been taken out to leave only the sentences that trail off, the bits of language like “uh,” “um,” and “er,” the sounds of radio static, and so on.

My piece comprises the pops and hisses recorded before and after twelve digitized recordings of a dozen 78 RPM records.

Bah! Humbug!
Broke But Happy
Drunkard Medley
Gliss Me Again
Half a Photograph
I’m Cooked, Boiled, and Toasted
Mutiny In The Nursery
Once a Bum, Always a Bum
Plink, Plank, Plunk
Sheesh, What a Grouch!
Sixteen Old Ladies Locked in the Lavatory
When It’s Hog Calling Time in the Vall

With titles like those, I couldn’t go wrong. Unless I did.

5 August 2017

Just Like Any Other Day

“I’m sorry a bit down tonight,” Sandra apologized. “I have a birthday coming up in just over a year and I’m a bit preoccupied.”


I couldn’t decode her message. Was she obliquely hinting that she had a birthday in a few weeks? Or perhaps she was concerned about reaching a chronological age that’s a multiple of ten? I decided to play it safe.

“Birthdays are just like any other day,” I replied. “They’re just another occasion to celebrate that you didn’t die in the preceding year.”

Sandra’s expression remained neutral; I could not have hoped for more.

6 August 2017

Numerical Monikers

Randall and Rebecca are some of the most practical and efficient people I know. They named their three daughters One, Two, and Three. What a sensible and logical approach! With so many parents trying to come up with original names for their progeny, I’m surprised I’ve never met anyone with a numerical moniker.


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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