free (and worth it) subscription

An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

Last Weak  |  Index  |  Next Weak

Weak XIV


3 April 2024

gratuitous image

No. 8,734 (cartoon)

I fear that I am at death’s door.

Try knocking; the doorbell may be broken.

4 April 2024

gratuitous image

Leon Russell’s Dictionary Debate with Phil Spector

I didn’t mention Leon Russell’s eighty-second birthday a couple days ago because I’m still not sure whether dead people have birthdays. It’s just another one of those unanswerable philosophical questions, like the one about the toad and the tortoise.

What I do know with reasonable certainty is that a birthday, real or imagined, is a good enough reason to repeat a good story.

Once upon a time a rather drunk Leon Russell showed up late for a recording session. Phil Spector, the famous producer and murderer, walked up to Russell as he was opening the lid of his grand piano and asked, "Do you know the meaning of the word ‘respect?’ ”

Even in his gloriously inebriated state, Russell came back with some fabulously witty repartee, “Do you know the meaning of the words ‘fuck you?’ ” He slammed down the piano lid and walked off.

The exchange reminds me of one of my favorite Miles Davis quotes: “Dumb, insensitive critics have destroyed a lot of great music and musicians who just weren’t as strong as I was in having the ability to say ‘Fuck y’all.’ ”

5 April 2024

gratuitous image

Ramones Forever!

In 2531 everyone in Japan will have the same surname: Sato. So says Hiroshi Yoshida. The Tohoku University economics professor ran the numbers and concluded that unless the Japanese change their antiquated customs—good luck with that!—they will become a nation of Sato-sans in half a millennium because of an archaic law that mandates that a married couple share the same last name.

I’m not concerned about the theoretical problem that won’t be a real problem for centuries. First, I’ll almost certainly be dead in five hundred years, probably much sooner. And first again (there’s a tie for first place), I’m not Japanese. And anyway, if everyone in Japan is a Sato that will certainly make things easier for me should I suffer from any mental decrapitude.

I can solve this so-called problem right now. If every newlywed in Japan chose Ramone as a surname, then by 2150 or so everyone in Japan would be a Ramone.

Ramones forever!

6 April 2024

gratuitous image

Crinkled Taters Shroud

When I roast denizens of the vegetable realm in the oven, I usually arrange them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. That’s not because of any culinary concern; I do it to avoid washing the baking pan more than a couple times a year.

Elaine left some Alexia Oven Crinkles in the freezer when she was here, so I popped ’em in the oven when I had a pleasantly unhealthy craving for fat and salt. They looked like ordinary French fries albeit zig-zaggedly cut; I suppose the manufacturer called them “crinkles” for marketing or trademark purposes, or perhaps because the potatoes were cut with apple juice and weren’t legally potatoes.

To jump to the conclusion of a story that’s not even a story, the ultraprocessed foodstuff left cryptic burn marks on the parchment paper that made it look like a shroud that might be revered in the potato community. I grabbed my serious camera and a tripod and made Crinkled Taters Shroud before eating my models, as is tradition.

7 April 2024


I enjoy a charmed life and I’m savoring another enjoyable day. There’s only a single poisonous snake slithering through this pleasant conceptual landscape that’s less than ideal, so it’s magnified out of proportion. And that brings us to Kurt and the preparations for my dinner party tonight.

“Would you like me to unthaw the green beans in the freezer?” he asked.

“No thanks,” I replied, “but please do thaw them.”

Why oh why oh why oh why do otherwise literate people use “unthaw” as a synonym for “thaw” when it clearly means “refreeze?”

Since that was my greatest annoyance of the day, I had another drink and carried on with cooking.


Alphonse called and said he was bringing salmon tonight, so I unthawed some of the packets I used to make Sixteen Frozen Pink Salmon Fillets Entombed in Plastic a couple weeks ago.

8 April 2024

gratuitous image


I appreciate the strange attraction of strange attractions, but I still have no idea why umbraphiles spend ridiculous amounts of time and money to travel to a distant location to be in the shadow of the moon for a few minutes. At this latitude, a planet or moon has blocked the light of the sun every day since the earth started spinning. In San Francisco, we refer to this phenomenon as “sunset” or “night.”

There’s a total lunar eclipse today, and millions of people are excited to see the circle of the moon cover the circle of the sun. I can appreciate the intellectual satisfaction that comes from matching a circle with a hole and a square with a box; I discovered that when I was four years old.

I remain relentlessly positive, so I’ll take advantage of all the eclipse to republish my 2017 piece, Square Eclipse.

Coming next weak: more of the same.


Last Weak  |  Index  |  Next Weak
©2024 David Glenn Rinehart

nothing nothing nothing nothing