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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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23 July 2021

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No. 5,722 (cartoon)

We need to break it down.

We need to break it up.

Fuck it; let’s just break it.

24 July 2021

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Three Cilantro Taqueria Tortilla Chip Bags

Many years ago I wrote an introduction to one of Michael’s books. (I like his work, so it was easy.) He offered me a very generous honorarium in appreciation, but, since I hate monetizing friendships, I struck a better deal: he accepted my counteroffer of free lunches for life.

I enjoyed the latest installment on the best deal I ever made when I feasted on a stonking huge burrito with him and Lucile at Cilantro Taqueria despite the pandemic hardships. The salsa bar is gone, as was the communal bowl of corn chips. Instead, we each received our portion of fried tortilla scraps in a modest brown bag with the dark, oily stains that indicate freshness.

I was going to photograph my burrito, but it disappeared before I could remove my lens cap. Instead, I took the paper bags home to make a commemorative photograph, Three Cilantro Taqueria Tortilla Chip Bags.

25 July 2021

Luciano Ramone

Selena said that so-and-so was a really good photographer. I didn’t comment, since one person’s really good photographer may be another person’s untalented hack. Instead of talking about photographers, though, I’ll talk about singers.

Luciano Pavarotti was, by all accounts, a darn good opera singer. I never imagined him singing for, say, the Ramones, and not just because if he jumped off the stage into the crowd he’d probably crush at least one person to death. On the other hand, since he once remarked, “You don't need any brains to listen to music,” and since he’s been dead for a long time, perhaps he does have what it takes to be a Ramone after all.

And that concludes what may be my worst analogy ever.

26 July 2021

Eric Clapton, Incomparable Theremin Soloist

I’m happy to predict the future, but only if it involves something that can’t be known until after I’m dead. My friend Logan is only in his early twenties, but given his passion for all things foul and fowl I’m all but certain that his obituary will feature the words, “one of the world’s prëeminent ornithologists.” (If I’m wrong I’ll never know; how’s that for a safe bet?)

I was having a nice chat with Logan when I cited Eric Clapton as an example of a cautionary tale. The musician has never made a serious effort to distance himself from—let alone apologize for—racist comments he made during a performance forty-five years ago other than to trot out the classic, “I was really drunk at the time” defense.

Do we have any foreigners in the audience tonight? If so, please put up your hands ... So where are you? Well wherever you all are, I think you should all just leave. Not just leave the hall, leave our country ... I don’t want you here, in the room or in my country. Listen to me, man! I think we should send them all back. Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white ...

Logan interrupted me to ask a relevant question, “Who’s Eric Clapton?”

I explained that he played synthesizers in the Glenn Miller Orchestra and is acclaimed for his incomparable theremin solos.

Kids these days! And that concludes today’s cautionary tale.

27 July 2021

There Is No Sun

Clarissa told me she’s very depressed, so I asked her to tell me more. I’d love for all of my friends to be constantly happy and healthy, but I prefer the reality of complex lives and relationships, so I asked her to explain how she felt.

“Imagine it’s a warm summer afternoon in the Alps,” she began. “I’m enjoying a lovely picnic, sipping wine with my boyfriend, enjoying the scent of wildflowers and the sound of songbirds as we bask in the sun.”

“So far so good,” I interrupted.

“But there are no Alps,” she continued. “There is no picnic, there is no wine, there is no boyfriend, there are no wildflowers, there are no songbirds, and there is no sun. There is only ...”

“Only what?” I asked.

“None of your business,” she concluded.

I got the picture; I’ve heard worse descriptions of depression.

28 July 2021

Possibly Certainly

Charlie and I made tentative plans to meet for drinks at his studio on Friday.

“I'll definitely maybe see you then!” I confirmed.

“Possibly certainly!” he agreed.

29 July 2021

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Unmarked Presidio Grave

I visited Jorge while he was working as a forensic anthropologist in the Presidio in San Francisco. He’s using ground-penetrating radar to identify some of the unmarked graves there dating back to when it was El Presidio Real de San Francisco, part of Virreinato de Nueva España.

He let me photograph one of his finds in the radar monitor before the excavation began; that’s how I made Unmarked Presidio Grave.


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©2021 David Glenn Rinehart

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