2000 Notebook: Transition XXXI
12 September 2000
Eva Hesse Sculpture
In the course of ransacking a friend’s home, I ran across a book I’d never seen before: Eva Hesse Sculpture. I quickly noticed three things, the first two of which were that the work was very good, and that it was made during a relatively brief period from 1965 to 1970. The third thing I could not help but notice was that Eva Hesse was a cute art chick. A 1960s cute art chick, but a cute art chick nevertheless.

I read more, and read a very, very sad story. Although I was primarily interested in the work I saw reproduced, one of the reasons I was interested in learning more about the artist was to find out what happened next, how she matured.

She didn’t.

Eva Hesse died on 29 May 1970; she was only thirty-four (give or take a year). Brain tumor. It was an obscenely early end to a life that started with equal outrage soon after her birth in 1936, when she and her sister were put on a “children’s train” from Nazi Germany to Amsterdam.

I believe that I should write many paragraphs about Eva Hesse and her work, but I don’t know what to say. What I do know is that the publication, the catalogues raisonnés, would probably not exist were it not for the work of Bill Barrette, Hesse’s studio assistant during the last year of her life. He’s my hero d’jour.

I also know that I’ve seen some excellent art work that few other people will ever see. Eva Hesse Sculpture is no longer in print, and will soon be lost entirely, as will everything I’ve ever done and will ever do.

That’s art!

13 September 2000
San Francisco Rain
It never rains in San Francisco. Well, almost never.

Yesterday, it rained in San Francisco. Soon after the first drops hit, many of the people on the Embarcadero fell over. It turns out that they were Lanzic-skinned robots programmed to walk is ever-increasing loops in order to provide the illusion of economic vitality.

Apparently, the city officials in charge of the project used cheap tropical robots instead of the sturdier—and more expensive—climate-compliant industrial robots.

That’s so very, very San Francisco.

gratuitous image
14 September 2000
Smart Brainy Hat
Cynthia has a smart hat: you put it on and you get smarter. I tried it and it didn’t work.

The hat itself looks like a bowl of brains. I took a photograph of it, but the resulting image doesn’t show the brains. How curious.

15 September 2000
A Critical Lack of Correlation
This afternoon, I shall engage in three distinct, unpleasant practices that will result in three distinct, pleasant memories. It took me a third of a century to understand that experience and memory are unrelated, but, now that I know that, I have it made.

16 September 2000
Reindeer Ale
I’m drinking a lake of Rainier Ale with a woman whose name I cannot remember, and the conversation’s going nowhere fast.

She insists on calling my favorite adult beverage “Reindeer Ale,” and I’ve given up trying to correct her. Reindeer Ale it is!

17 September 2000
The Time of My Life
Everyone thinks tomorrow is different from today, but I know that’s not true. I died years from now, and I’m not living today, I’m reliving it.

Fancy that.

gratuitous image
18 September 2000
San Francisco Missile Silos
There’s much too much money in San Francisco. The city’s administrators, faced with the need to spend a huge budget surplus, have installed surface-to-air missiles “to deter terrorists.”

This seems like a ridiculous waste of taxpayers’ money. Terrorists have never attacked San Francisco, except for my friends at Survival Research Laboratories. Since their assaults are always site-specific, and publicized weeks in advance, I can’t imagine the new SAMs will knock them off their testosterone-charged aesthetic course.

I’m increasingly nervous about walking the city sidewalks. In addition to avoiding muggers and excrement, I now have to step around thousands of silo covers. I assume most of them are decoys, but it’s still unnerving to be walking a meter away from a potential launch site. I can’t believe everyone involved in this boondoggle ignored Article Ten of the Model Rocket Safety Code.

    Launch Safety. I will ensure that people in the launch area are aware of the pending model rocket launch and can see the model rocket’s liftoff before I begin my audible five-second countdown. I will not launch my model rocket so its flight path will carry it against a target. If my model rocket suffers a misfire, I will not allow anyone to approach it or the launcher until I have made certain that the safety interlock has been removed or that the battery has been disconnected from the ignition system. I will wait one minute after a misfire before allowing anyone to approach the launcher.

No one but no one ignores the Model Rocket Safety Code with impunity! Life in San Francisco just keeps getting crazier, which is of course why I like it here.

19 September 2000
A Shower of Inspiration
I had a pleasant reunion with an old friend from high school. Inevitably, we eventually compared notes on which of our classmates have died. DW drank himself to death, GH had cancer, BB hanged himself, and MW blew his head off with a shotgun.

When I heard the last news, I was tempted to comment that, “at least his life ended in a shower of inspiration,” but such a remark seemed unnecessarily cruel. MW would have appreciated it, but I doubt anyone else would.

20 September 2000
Unsightly Emission
I coughed between my second and third cup of coffee this morning, and a piece of my brain came out. It looked like a tiny piece of gelatinous cauliflower. It was too disgusting to photograph.

A pigeon ate it. Good riddance.

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©2000 David Glenn Rinehart