2001 Notebook: Weak I
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1 January 2001
A Lovely Binary Day
It’s cold. It’s grey. It’s cold and grey. 2001 would appear to be exactly like 2000, and nothing at all like Arthur C. Clarke’s book of the same name.

There is, however, one nice thing about the date, if not the day. In numerical shorthand, today is 01.01.01. That won’t happen again for another three thousand five hundred and sixty-nine days.

This promises to be a good millennium for numbers.

2 January 2001
A Photographless Day
I was about to go to bed when I realized I didn’t make a photograph today. If I don’t take a photograph before I go to sleep, I can’t take a photograph a day this year as I’d considered doing.

After thinking about it for a while, I remembered that I made a photograph every day in 1999, and that I wasn’t pleased with the results. I thought I might give the experiment another try this year, then decided against it. As a result, I felt marginally sane, at least using Albert Einstein’s definition. “True insanity is using the same behavior and expecting different results.”

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3 January 2001
Protruding Onion Rings
I cut a couple slices off an onion in order to balance my underwater salmon with an underground vegetable. They seemed happy together, nestled between two slices of bread.

Ten minutes after I’d sliced the refrigerated onion open, I noticed that the plane of the intact half of the onion had been broken by onion rings protruding from the center of the semi-bulb.

I ran for my camera in order to document the spectacular union of the culinary arts and the botanical sciences.

4 January 2001
Playing the Nukunono Card
I just found out that last year wasn’t all it could have been.

Alphonse phoned me from Hawaii to remind me that we were in Thailand a year ago. Since even I can remember what happened a year ago, I asked him why he called.

It turns out that he just wanted to boast that his 2000 was longer than my 2000. He said that having started the year in one time zone and ended it in a later one, he’d spent eight thousand eight hundred and days in 2000, ten more hours than me, and seventeen hours more than our friends in Bangkok.

“The joke’s on you,” I replied. “I’m spending this new year’s eve on Nukunono in the Tokelau Islands.”

“Where in the hell is that?” Alphonse demanded.

“Nukunono’s just east of the International Date Line,” I explained. “That means my 2001 will be longer than yours can possibly be.”

Alphonse called me a bad, bad name I shan’t repeat, then hung up.

2001 promises to be good as well as long.

5 January 2001
Longer Showers Forecast
I received an anonymous email criticizing my water conservation strategy. The innominate author told me, “you have the wrong end of the stick when it comes to showering.” S/he elaborated on that curious remark by positing that one should use as much water as possible, especially when and where water is scarce.

“People like you are the problem,” s/he continued. “Conservation leads to overbuilding; you shouldn’t encourage developers with your irresponsible behavior.”

I’ve never had my showering technique challenged before, but I suppose the unknown author did have a point. From now on, I’m having long showers. I suppose specious reasoning will serve me as well in the shower as it always has elsewhere.

6 January 2001
Gullibility Exists
When I ran into Daniel at the library, I decided to reopen an old debate by announcing that I had conclusive proof the word “gullibility” doesn’t exist.

“We went through that ages ago, remember?” Daniel replied. “I even showed it to you in the dictionary.”

“I guess you must have used a slang dictionary, or one of those special dialect references,” I argued. “If you don’t believe me, check out the two-meter long Oxford dictionary on the first floor. If it ain’t in there, then it ain’t a word.”

Daniel took the bait, and headed for the stairs. He returned ten minutes later waving a sheet of paper at me.

“Look at this!” he huffed after walking up four flights of stairs. “‘Gullibility’ really does exist!”

I glanced at the copy of the dictionary page and shrugged my shoulders.

“I guess you’ve certainly proved that,” I said with a smile.

Daniel didn’t seem too pleased, despite having won the argument. I guess he’s just one of those people who suffers from hedonophobia.

7 January 2001
It’s Halftime
It’s my birthday today, as it always has been on the seventh day of January ever since I was born. At forty-five, I figure I’m about halfway through life, although that’s purely conjecture.

I’m not sure if I count the first fifteen years as living. Childhood was just a long, post-larval stage; life really began when I left the nest and discovered art and kissing and drinking (not necessarily in that order) and more art and more drinking and so on.

So if I write off the first decade and a half of my life, I suppose it’s still more or less halftime in that the last fifteen years of a hypothetical ninety-year life will probably involve missing out on almost as many things as I did when I was a child. Maybe even some of the same things, such as being more or less independent.

I have a plan for the remainder of my life, and my plan is to have no plan. Or, as John Cage advised, “Experience not knowing what will happen next.”

8 January 2001
Blank Verse
I quite enjoyed _____, the _____ I received for _____. I particularly liked the technique employed _____ eight, where the _____ purported to _____ by filling _____ in a half-_____ of sordid _____.

I think I’ll try it myself, _____.

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart