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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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17 December 2020

gratuitous image

No. 6,692 (cartoon)

I’m alone with my demons.

They must be terribly bored.

18 December 2020

Birthday Math

I don’t keep track of my friends’ chronological ages; they fall somewhere between meaningless statistics and pointless data on the useful information spectrum. That’s why I was shocked when Hortencia told me that today is her seventy-fifth birthday.

“That’s amazing!” I exclaimed.

“There’s nothing the least bit remarkable about it, dear boy,” she replied. “I was seventy-four yesterday, so it’s just basic math.”

She was right, of course, but I’m continually surprised by how the years add up.

Until they don’t.

19 December 2020

My Lion’s Share

Amos told me that he bought a couple of frozen pizzas for my visit to his studio. He explained that he’ll probably want more than half of one, and that I could have the lion’s share. I thanked him for his largesse, then got to thinking as I do from time to time.

If I get the lion’s share, who gets the rest? I assume cheetahs, leopards, and tigers get a seat at the virtual table, but since I live in a feline-centric universe, I would say that, wouldn’t I? I suppose the exact apportionment is written in The Law of the Jungle, but I’ve never read it since I’m above the law as the king of the jungle.

I’m more of a laissez-faire potantate than an enlightened despot, so as long as I can have all the pizza I want and the other cats are satisfied, I’m happy to let the baboons and hyenas sort things out for themselves.

And speaking of pizza, I need to make a trip to Lonnie’s Liquors to get more ale. I suppose one could have pizza without beer, but, like a vegan lion, it just ain’t natural.

20 December 2020

Art and Sashimi

Maude was most unimpressed with my latest work.

“What in the hell do you call that?” she demanded.

“I call it Art,” I replied, “but if that’s too informal you’re welcome to call it Arthur.”

“A Khoikhoi can stick a potato up her nose and call it sashimi,” she sniffed, “but it’s still a spud.”

I thanked her for her dubious insight, but didn’t tell her that I plan on plagiarizing her idea. I already have the title for my new piece, Sashimi, now all I need is a diminutive tuber and model with a honking large schnozzle.

21 December 2020

Radiant Solstice Wombats

A month ago I mentioned that platypuses glow under black light. It’s tempting to think of them all aglow on this winter solstice, the longest night of the year. Tempting, but stupid: it’s the summer solstice and longest day of the year down under in platypuslandia.

A month is a very long time in science, and now I read that bilbies, echidnas, hedgehogs, porcupines, and Tasmanian devils also fluoresce. See where this is going?

As Persephone advised, follow the curve, not the line. In this case, the trajectory is obvious: by the time researchers are done surveying the biosphere under black light it will be clear that humans are the only life form that doesn’t glow.

That explains a lot on this long, cold, and dark night.

22 December 2020

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

Audrey called and suggested that I follow up on my piece Three Painted Desert Diptychs with The Illuminated Desert, nighttime photographs of cacti and the like lit with electronic flash. I didn’t tell her I’ve seen many such images—sundry of them rather good—in order to avoid the tedious “but it’s all been done before” discussion. Instead, I took drastic evasive action.

I channeled an infernal Tony Bennett from a parallel evil universe and used that chthonic energy to first compose and then sing a new song, I Left My Strobes in San Francisco. She begged me to stop, but I gave her no quarter (or any coin) and kept caterwauling until she disconnected her phone.

I’d never used that successful debating technique before and probably never will again, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. (I’ll make a note here that It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time is a great potential title for the autobiography I’ll never write.)

23 December 2020

gratuitous image

Two Dozen or Twenty-Five Cactus Segments Connected Somewhat Randomly

Health is more important than art; that’s why I’m pleased with Two Dozen or Twenty-Five Cactus Segments Connected Somewhat Randomly: I was never impaled by even a single needle whilst fabricating it.


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©2020 David Glenn Rinehart

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