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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak VI


5 February 2020

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No. 4,302 (cartoon)

You’re a fucking Martian.

You’re a fucking Earthling.

I wonder what our babies will look like?

6 February 2020

The Truth Set Andy Free

Michelle told Andy, “To tell you the truth, I’m unhappy with our relationship.” At least he told me that’s exactly what she said.

He responded with a lecture and advised her that she should never preface a statement with, “To tell you the truth ...” That suggested she wasn’t honest all the times she said, “I love you,” since she didn’t first say she was telling the truth.

She replied that she was relieved that he already knew that she never really loved him and that he was taking it so well.

I feel sorry for Andy, although I could have told him that nothing good ever comes from correcting someone else’s speech. And that’s the truth.

7 February 2020

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Employees Must Wash Hands

Andrea insisted that I join her at Bubba’s Barbecue Bistro and Bowling for a drink tonight. I knew any bowling alley that offered “a fine candlelight dining experience” was going to be some flavor of miserable, but I agreed since it was her birthday. I can say this since she’s from the Bronx: whaddya gonna do?

About the best thing I can say about the joint is that they offered overpriced real beer instead of overpriced American beer-flavored water. And then there was the bathroom.

The proprietors posted a warning sign by the sinks: EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS. I figured they were serious since they used upper case lettering, and with hidden cameras everywhere I didn’t want to be caught breaking some health edict.

I waited for ten minutes for an employee to wash my hands, but no one ever showed up. I ended up taking care of my own ablutions. I wonder why the owners tried to cultivate an entitled clientele without providing enough servants for the spoiled little twits who never learned how to eat barbecue without getting sticky fingers.

I took advantage of the washroom follies by suggesting to Andrea that we go to someplace that had a better selection of drinks and wasn’t understaffed. And that’s how we ended up at my studio for what turned out to be a pleasant little birthday party.

I’m never going back to Bubba’s place. If I ever get dragged away from cooking my own meals for friends, I’m going to insist on a hygiene-optional diner or taqueria where I can wash my own hands in the unlikely event I need to.

8 February 2020

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Italian Anchovies on Corn Tortillas (Diptych)

Elaine gave me a can of anchovies from her cupboard. I appreciated the gift as well as her candor: she said she hates salted fish, adding that the can was bulging from internal pressure, “so it might have botulism or something.”

I opened the can outside in case it exploded, but the anchovies looked fine. Imagine: one day the little fishies were swimming in the Mediterranean, and the following one they’re entombed in an aluminum sarcophagus filled with olive oil. The next thing they see is the blue sky, except that this time it’s in New Mexico, not Italy. And anyway, they’re not going to see anything because they were beheaded to fit into their Procrustean bed. That, plus they’re long dead.

I photographed them in their open tin, and again once they could relax and stretch out on a bed of corn tortillas. I liked the resulting photographs, Italian Anchovies on Corn Tortillas (Diptych).

And the meal? Not so much. The little critters were salty despite swimming in a sea of oil, but I’m not complaining; that’s their ichthyic raison d’être.

9 February 2020

Finding Your Vision and My Monitor

I asked Kurt if he had any suggestions on where to buy a good computer monitor. He recommended an Internet site that had great advice. I should have known better, but I took his recommendation anyway.

The publication featured a lot of information that would be quite useful, but only for nincompoops. I’m thinking about features such as, “How to Find and Build Your Street Photography Vision.” And then there’s a piece by Maximilian Simson on how to shoot creative photos of ... the subject doesn’t matter.

I feel sorry for anyone who thinks anyone else is going to reveal how to “find and build their vision” or be creative, even if the author does have an authoritative name like Maximilian Simson. (Aw, c’mon, Max; are you serious?)

Here’s the problem: people are lazy. (As a lazy person, I can say that with some authority.) There’s a good reason slothful and indolent people are referred to as lazy: they’re lazy. So of course they’re looking for someone else to tell ’em how to be creative, find their vision, et cetera, instead of getting off the couch and doing the hard work themselves. Silly people will always be telling other silly people what to do; it’s a system.

Here’s some free advice for anyone trying to find their vision: have a good look under the bed; you’ll be amazed at what’s down there. And don’t forget to check your summer things; you just might find your vision lodged between your dive mask and snorkel.

As for me, I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what monitor to get; I can’t be bothered to do the research myself.

10 February 2020

I’m Not Done Yet

Alphonse asked me to tell him about the most stupid thing I’ve never done.

I’ve never been so insulted in all my week!

His disparaging inquiry is an all too typical example of the ageist abuse I get. Just because I’ve been doing exceptionally imbecilic things for decades, it’s most impertinent to suggest that I’ve peaked. The nerve!

It’s the same with my artwork. Whenever someone’s silly enough to ask what my best work is, the answer’s been the same for all of my allegedly adult life: the projects I’m working on now.

11 February 2020

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Balaclava Considerations

It’s cold out, and I’m not just talking about the snow. It’s a dozen degrees below zero outside, colder than Antarctica at the moment. I’ve been faring reasonably well by wearing most of the clothing I have with me while traveling; that provides a reasonably good barrier against the fierce desert winds, but I do have an Achilles’ heel.

My feet are fine, thank you, my vulnerable spot is my Achilles’ chin. I can’t seem to keep it much warmer than the threshold of pain. After thinking about it for a bit, the solution was as obvious as the problem: I need a balaclava. Covering my entire head and neck except for apertures for seeing and breathing has to work better than Duane’s suggestion to coat my exposed skin in a thick layer of bacon grease.

Once I settled on the concept, it didn’t take me long to realize that the headpiece will more than pay for itself after I knock over the first liquor store. I wonder if having dollar signs embroidered on the forehead would be a good idea?

As always, I’ll take every opportunity to procrastinate. In the meantime, having a chilly chin is far from intolerable.


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©2020 David Glenn Rinehart