2001 Notebook: Weak XXII
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28 May 2001
Multimedia Garbage
I found the lid to a “multimedia” garbage can on a street near the academy. I didn’t see the can itself, but I’d wager it was exceptionally large.

29 May 2001
Newlywed Cats
I just got a note from a recently-married friend who asked me if I could “take care of my cats while we’re away.”

I was, of course, delighted. Especially because she lives a couple minutes away from Taqueria Pancho Villa. Also, I love every cat I’ve ever met, and only Evil Tahoe has not reciprocated. Still, I had a question.

“Your letter raises an interesting semantic and philosophical point,” I wrote. “Now that you’re married, are they ‘my cats’ or ‘our cats?’”

“To answer your question about to whom the cats belong,” she replied, “they are my husband’s when the litter box needs to be changed; they are mine the rest of the time. HA!”

Smart woman.

I predict a long and happy marriage.

30 May 2001
The Cases For and Against Ball Bearings
I read that Thomas Alva Edison went to sleep clutching ball bearings in his hand. As he lost consciousness, the heavy metal spheres would drop from his hand onto the floor and wake him up. This technique allowed him to remember and transcribe the elusive dreams one has when slipping into unconsciousness.

My grandfather, Albert, worked most of his life at the Timken ball bearing plant in Canton, Ohio. The factory work killed him.

I think I should do something with ball bearings, but I’m not quite sure what.

31 May 2001
Melanie’s Not
I figure that I can usually separate the human wheat from the human chaff after knowing someone for ten weeks. And so it was that I decided to invite Melanie over to my secret laboratory dining hall seventy-two days after meeting her.

We had a very pleasant evening until Melanie told me that Melanie was only her formal name, and that her real name was Mel. I spent the rest of the evening trying to say “Mel” instead of “Melanie,” without much success.

My tiny little brain hurts.

1 June 2001
Three-way Insult
Herbert Simmons of Palm Springs, California, recently sent me a nasty little note that concluded with a memorable insult.

“And finally, you have an ego the size of Modesto.”

Yow! A three-way insult!

My hat’s off to Herbert Simmons of Palm Springs, California.

2 June 2001
Trent’s Gone
My friend Trent is in bad shape; he’s in very bad shape indeed. He’s become infatuated with one of his company’s clients, and tells me he has a hard time thinking about anything or anyone but her. And, since he’s talked about nothing or no one but her for weeks, I believe him.

“I sympathize with you,” I said. “Love’s difficult enough without the additional complications of falling in love with a client.”

“I didn’t say I was in love with her,” Trent corrected. “I don’t even know who she is. I just said I’m infatuated with her, completely. Absolutely.”

I cut him off before he could begin to repeat the lengthy list of reasons he’s attracted to her.

“Would it be safe to say that if you were trying to sell infatuation in a box, you’d put her picture on the front?”

Trent’s eyes glazed over as he nodded yes.

“Sounds like you’re pretty far gone,” I observed.

“You have a keen grasp of the obvious,” Trent agreed.

“It comes with being an artist,” I replied. “Anyway, I wouldn’t worry too much about the spell you’re under. Infatuation is not a long-term problem.”

3 June 2001
Sleep Death Options
Sunday night is a good time to talk about death, and so that’s what Ms. Kitto and I discussed tonight.

“When it’s my time to go,” Gloria said, “I think I’d like to die in my sleep.”

“I agree, sort of,” I replied. “I think, however, that I’d prefer to die in someone else’s sleep.”

4 June 2001
A Musing
I told anyone who’d listen that the muse paid me a visit last night. We had a pleasant time making bad conceptual art, drawing, even making mushroom brie pasta. Yummy, figuratively and literally.

Peter, who knows next to nothing about art, asked me which muse had visited.

I told him I never knew that there was more than one muse. It’s just one of those things I never thought about.

Peter was dissatisfied with my answer; he kept asking, “So which muse was it, exactly?”

Over lunch, Rachel told me that Peter associated “the muse” with all the artists’ models he’d been forced to read about in art history class hell. Rachel told me that I should tell Peter what he wanted to hear. She suggested a juvenile prank, which I of course liked.

And so it was that I eventually confessed to Peter that Rachel was the muse. I told him that she spent most of the evening posing nude on a couch covered in red satin. I told him that we drank three bottles of red wine, that I put ten rolls of film through the Hasselblad, and every other cliché I could remember from dusty art history books and “Blowup.”

Peter smiled salaciously, and looked both delighted and disappointed.

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart