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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak I


1 January 2019

No. 2,284 (cartoon)

You can’t understand.

I really do understand.

If you understand, that means that you don’t understand.

2 January 2019

Exit Strategies

Hoo boy, here we go again: this is the beginning of the twenty-fourth year of making daily entries in this alleged notebook. Hoo girl, I don’t have an exit strategy so it’s going to be déjà vu all over again for as far as the eye can’t see.

Any thanatologist will tell you that there’s always the default ending: this notebook will terminate about the same time I do. That would be a messy if not ugly ending, but at that point that won’t be my problem.

I suppose I could find a more elegant conclusion to a huge waste of time. Let’s see, if I stop after a quarter of a century then I could retire on 31 December 2020; that has a nice ring to it. Or I could conclude with a big round number and close up shop after my ten-thousandth entry on 19 May 2023.

It will be more than a bit ironic if I keep doing this because I’m too lazy to figure out how to stop. Since I excel at procrastination, I’ll probably still be trying to find a slothful solution when the solution to every problem finds me.

3 January 2019

The View From My Window

The view from my window outside of Santa Fe looks like a traditional New Mexico landscape. No surprises there, since that’s what it is. Far away in her laboratory near Frankfurt, Germany, Dr. Jüengling pronounced my sunrise photograph “a disappointing prank,” and accused me of trying to pass off a painting as a snapshot.

She was so focused on the clichéd vista that she failed to notice that the moon in the photograph shows the dark side that’s never visible from these parts.

I used my computer to add the moon in recognition of the Chinese probe that just landed on the other side of the moon. I’m grateful to those totalitarian rascals for enlightening me: the dark side of the moon isn’t the dark side of the moon, it’s just the sunny lunar real estate only astronauts and robots can see.

That’s a lot to pack into a snapshot, and I’m just a tad chuffed that I did.

4 January 2019

(Not) Eating Crow

Dang, here I am in 2019 and I’m still catching up on the news from last year, such as this 18 July 2018 apology in the New York Times.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described a behavior of crows exposed to crow corpses. Live crows only touch, attack and attempt intercourse with crow corpses, they do not scavenge them.

I feel sorry for people who take themselves so darn seriously that they’re forced to eat crow publicly, metaphorically speaking. They must find it impossible to soar with the eagles when they’re bound by the albatross of truthiness around their necks.

And to continue with the tedious avian metaphors: don’t fry your roosters until ... nah, that’s more than enough for one afternoon.

5 January 2019

Galactic Alert!

Tarnation! I was just getting settled in for smooth sailing through another improbably charmed chapter of my shortening life when I saw this headline: “Nearby galaxy set to collide with Milky Way, say scientists”

If scientists say so, it’s gotta be true, right?

It gets worse.

Ever since I bought my doomsday clock decades ago, I’ve had it set for four billion years from now; that’s when the Andromeda galaxy will collide with and destroy my cosmic home, more familiarly known as the Milky Way. I do keep my eye on the galactic calendar; that’s why I don’t hesitate to procrastinate.

I may need to move up the Armageddon date by a couple billion years; that’s when the Large Magellanic Cloud may annihilate the Milky Way I know and love. It’s only a fifth as big as the Andromeda galaxy, but since it weighs two hundred and fifty billion times as much as our sun, there’s sure to be some flavor of cataclysmic hullabaloo, what with reigniting black holes, sending stars quadrillions of kilometers off their normal path, that sort of thing. Heck, we might even get bumped into cosmic exile.

I’m not going to sugarcoat the impending disaster. I now have two billion fewer years of wiggle room, so it’s time to get back to work.

6 January 2019

(No) Japanese Tuna Casserole

All endangered species have one thing in common: they’re tasty! That’s certainly the case with Thunnus orientalis, more commonly known as the Pacific Bluefin tuna. If you don’t believe me, just ask Kiyoshi Kimura. He just paid over three million dollars for a remarkable specimen, and it can’t even swim. The fish weighs two hundred and seventy-eight kilograms, but that’s not why it can’t swim. The scientificalistic explanation for its immobility is that it’s dead, as dead as a butchered tuna fish.

Kimura owns the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain, and, given the surreally high price of food in Japan, he’ll probably end up making a profit after paying just over eleven dollars a gram for the ichthyological marvel. That only makes sense if he sells it as sashimi; not even the wealthiest, craziest Japanese gourmet would pay thousands of dollars for a serving of tuna casserole, even it was made from my late grandmother Beulah’s recipe.

That got me wondering why I never saw tuna casserole on any menu when I was in Japan, so I asked Ayako.

“What a stupid question!” she laughed.

“There are no stupid questions, just stupid people,” I replied.

“There’s not a single can of condensed cream of mushroom soup in the entire Japanese archipelago,” she explained, “so fortunately, tuna casserole is a culinary impossibility here.”

7 January 2019

Birthday Complications

You may have never heard of Ugo Boncompagni, but his creation appears at the beginning of each of these eight thousand four hundred and eight notebook entries. Here’s a hint: he’s almost always referred to by his job title, Pope Gregory XIII. We were both born on 7 January; he’s four hundred and fifty-four years older than I am.

Or is he?

Ugo’s the hombre who replaced the Julian calendar with the eponymously named Gregorian calendar in 1582. That resulted in skipping the days between the fourth and fifteenth of October, so if anyone tells you that one of their antecedents was born on, say, 9 October 1582, you know they’re a no-good snake-in-the-grass lyin’ polecat varmint.

In conclusion, happy birthday to me, and happy birthday to Ugo? I don’t know if his 7 January birthday was on the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Only scholars know for sure, and I don’t care.

8 January 2019

Twenty-Five Nine-Letter Words

Twenty-Five Nine-Letter Words says nothing and speaks for itself; go figger.

Ideally, I would have made Eighty-One Nine-Letter Words, since nine is three squared and eighty-one is nine squared, but I couldn’t find that many good nine-letter words, even though there are over fourteen thousand of them. And as for sixteen letter words? Boring.

And speaking of boring, Twenty-Five Nine-Letter Words is also available in the PDF format.


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©2019 David Glenn Rinehart