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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak VII


12 February 2019

gratuitous image

No. 44 (cartoon)

The first drink of the day is always the best.

I enjoy a good breakfast too.

13 February 2019

Valentine’s Day Date

Colin wrote to say that he was desperate as usual and asked if I could find him a date for Valentine’s Day. I thought that was a remarkably silly request, even for him.

I replied that I could understand why someone might get confused about the date for Thanksgiving since it’s never on the same day in November two years in a row, but Valentine’s Day?! A date for Valentine’s Day is easy to find; it’s always on 14 February.

Was he grateful? He was not grateful, nor was he polite or speaking in complete sentences. Kids these days! He responded, “no, the other kind”

Why didn’t he say that he was looking for, “a sweet, dark brown, oval fruit containing a hard stone, often eaten dried,” in the first place? I suggest he go to Norooz Bazaar in San Jose, but I don’t think he’s serious about dates.

14 February 2019

Genitalia in the News

Female genitalia is in the news for reasons I cannot fathom. Human anatomy hasn’t changed in the last five million years or so, but that hasn’t stopped publishers hawking new books on the subject. Editors with a fondness for alliteration are using Valentine’s Day as an excuse to examine two new titles, Vagina: A Re-education, and Womanhood: The Bare Reality.

Talking about vaginas and vulvas on Valentine’s Day has led to a lively discussion, and therein lies the semantic rub. It seems that a lot of people—men, mostly—are unsurprisingly ignorant about language and anatomy. Vagina and vulva are not synonyms, ask any dictionary.

Megan’s father Jerry uses the phrase “womanly bits” since he’s too lazy to learn the difference; I suppose a silly euphemism is a tad preferable than assertively using the wrong word. And at least other men have a vague idea what he’s talking about, even though most of them have no idea what they’re talking about.

15 February 2019

gratuitous image

Archival Leak

I know my way around the Internet Archive’s server rooms; that’s where I go to dry wet clothes since thousands of hard drives generate a lot of heat. I was in there a couple of days ago during the huge storm when I noticed that rainwater was dripping from an exhaust vent onto a live computer full of electricity.

I said to myself, “Self, that just can’t be right.” The engineers agreed, and the grownups prevented any sizzling fireworks by plugging the leak.

The water didn’t affect the electronics, but the walls told another story. The seepage permeated the sound-deadening fabric that was saturated from all of the data residue that accumulated over the years. The toasty server winds quickly dried the cloth, leaving behind a visual record of the drainage. It was like the incident had been preserved in amber, although comparing cloth to amber is quite a stretch.

It only took me half a second to preserve Archival Leak forever or until my computer dies, whichever comes first.

16 February 2019

Ninety-Nine Percent of Everything

Suzette asked me if I’d like to hear some new poetry she just came across. I wanted to tell her that I’d rather floss with rusty barbed wire, but I answered politely instead.

“Pass,” I replied, “Ninety-nine percent of poetry is crap.”

“Ninety-nine percent of art is crap,” she responded, “Therefore poetry is art.”

Her logical fallacy made a modicum of sense, so I knew it was one of those rare times when it was time to put the cork back in the bottle. I suppose ninety-nine percent of everything is crap, but I’m not going to worry about it now. I’m just glad I didn’t have to listen to any poetry; that was a close call!

17 February 2019

Unexplored Implications

This isn’t a real notebook. As stated, it’s an artist’s notebook of sorts. A long time ago, I did keep a real notebook; here’s an entry.

I never look at my photographs. I mean I take the photographs, I process them, and I put them in bags from which they never escape unless I show them to friends. I really don’t want to hang my work in my room or in a place I’d see it constantly. I wonder what the implications of these observations are?

I wrote that on 25 September 1976. I never thought about the implications of what I noted, so I wonder about why I write these things down in the first place. I should stop now; I think it’s a waste of time to think about what a waste of time this is.

18 February 2019

Eclipsing My Own Nadir

After reading my most recent batch of weakly notebook entries, Paul wrote, “You’ve eclipsed your own nadir.”

Well dang; where can I go from there? Onward and downward!

19 February 2019

Everything You Don’t Have to Do

I’d love to be a cunning linguist, but I ain’t. For starters, I can’t begin to define words like “love” or “art.” That’s why I like being lazy and quoting people who are much smarter than I’ll ever be. I have no idea what Brian Eno thinks about love, but I love his definition of the other thang: “Art is everything you don’t have to do.”


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©2019 David Glenn Rinehart