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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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23 July 2018

gratuitous image

No. 7,462 (cartoon)

I’m of two minds about this.

Poppycock! You don’t even have one of them.

24 July 2018

Culinary Legacies

Rebecca told me that archeologists in Jordan have discovered flatbread that’s almost fifteen thousand years old; it predates agriculture by some four millennia. Evidently, the Natufians got tired of wandering and adopted the sedentary way of life most of us enjoy today.

“I hope that cheers you up!” she exclaimed.

“Why would it?” I asked.

“Thousands of years after your artwork and writing have disappeared—if they ever appear in the first place—you may still be remembered by one of your inedible meals that remained untouched,” she explained.

I wasn’t persuaded; I have no delusions of being remembered except by the people I love. And even if I did, I’m with Woody Allen, who wrote, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.”

25 July 2018

Toxoplasma gondii on My Mind

I can think of all sorts of great places to reproduce. Or, since I’m quite happily barren, maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about. I have no idea if I have no idea.

There’s only one way Toxoplasma gondii, the developed world’s most common parasite will make sweet love, and it doesn’t involve drinking cheap Mateus wine whilst listening to Barry White recordings. The protozoan parasite only breeds in a cat’s digestive system and has evolved a clever way of getting there.

Toxoplasma gondii has a brilliant way of arranging a passionate tryst in a feline’s love canal: it hitchhikes inside a rodent’s brain. Rats eat feline feces, and when they do they get a bonus: Toxoplasma gondii. The freeloader makes its way to the host’s brain, where it does a bit of clever reprogramming to make the rat less afraid of cats. That lack of caution results in a tasty rodent repast for the kitty, who’s soon providing the venue for a Toxoplasma gondii orgy in its belly. When the party’s over, the cat excretes the revelers providing a lovely meal for another hungry rodent.

Ah, the rich circle of life!

I’ve known about Toxoplasma gondii for years—who hasn’t?—and was thus struck to learn that humans also host the prolific parasite. Although the uninvited visitor can only fornicate inside a cat, there’s a good chance that the microscopic trickster is rewiring my brain. Again, I have no idea whether that’s true, but it would explain at least some of my irrational behavior.

26 July 2018

An Uneventful Evening

I pride myself on being a supportive friend. Sonja was rather wobbly tonight after the dinner party tonight, so I was literally supportive as I walked her home. A policeman on foot in the park—something I’ve never seen here before—also noticed, and approached her.

“Have we been drinking tonight?” he asked.

Sonja pondered the question for a few seconds before answering.

“I don’t think we have, officer,” she said with a sloppy smile, “I’m pretty sure that I would have remembered you.”

“Are you going to be alright?” the cop continued.

“Of course!” she exclaimed. “David’s completely harmless, just look at him!”

“Good luck steering her home,” the patrolman told me with the subtlest grin, “better you than me, pal.”

We ended up safely at her flat sometime later without any unpleasant incidents involving reverse peristalsis.

27 July 2018

Hope Is (Still) Dead

Now that I’m seventy, I still chase women, but only downhill.

I’m not seventy and that’s not my joke. That’s one of Bob Hope’s one-liners; he died fifteen years ago. He probably bought the quip from a gag writer. I say “probably” because I know nothing about the man; I just like to reuse the headline, “Hope Is Dead.”

28 July 2018

gratuitous image

Buffalo [sic] Burger, Bison Paddock, Golden Gate Park

I made a most interesting discovery when I set out to photograph the buffalo in Golden Gate Park: I discovered that there’s not a single damn buffalo there. I learned that buffalo live in Africa (Cape buffalo) and Asia (water buffalo); bison live down the street from me. My newfound knowledge was more than priceless, it was worth almost eleven dollars!

I bought a package ground “buffalo” meat to photograph for my most recent work, Bison, Golden Gate Park. There wasn’t a gram of real buffalo in it; it was all bison. I placed one of the shrink-wrapped portions on the educational sign in the park to make, Buffalo [sic] Burger, Bison Paddock, Golden Gate Park.

And finally, here’s the happy ending. I returned the remaining portion of the perfidiously labeled meat to the grocer and who refunded the entire ten dollars and ninety-five cents I paid for it. And there you have it: another alleged art project with a net monetary cost of zero.

The person who declared that there’s no such thing as a free lunch was obviously not very imaginative.

29 July 2018


I had this nagging feeling all morning that I was forgetting something, but I couldn’t remember what it was. It was almost like I was experiencing the first symptoms of Halfheimer's. And then it hit me: I slept in and forgot to run in the San Francisco Marathon.

That was bad enough, but this is the thirty-third year in a row I failed to remember the event.

Damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn damn!

My torment lasted for almost five minutes; that’s how long it took me to brew my fourth cup of coffee.


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©2018 David Glenn Rinehart

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