2002 Notebook: Weak IX
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26 February 2002
No. 3,162 (cartoon)
It seems like you’re suffering from depression.

No, it’s just pervasive despair.

27 February 2002
The Terrible Powers of Gin and Tonic Water
Last night was confusing.

Last night Emma and Evan came over for drinks. Since Emma’s a foreigner, I served gin and tonics. Pip opined that the drinks were “perhaps a bit on the strong side,” but that didn’t dissuade her from having another refill or two. Maybe three, even.

We began discussing memory, and I said that my laptop computer served as my memory, since that’s where I store most of what I’ve done over the last decade.

“I think of a laptop as a person’s mind,” agreed Evan.

“Well, you would, wouldn’t you?” replied Emma. “Most men don’t have much in the way of brains above the belt, now do they?”

Their debate went downhill after that, particularly when Emma brought up last year’s incident with the flight attendant and the sausages.

Last night was confusing. The next time Emma and Evan are here, I think I’ll serve Rainier Ale.

28 February 2002
Both Ends Burning
I was walking through San Francisco’s mission district yesterday, and I spotted a new taqueria, Quemando los dos Extremos. I bought and inhaled a fiery burrito; I was impressed that someone finally took my request for “very extra hot” seriously. The jalapeños literally brought tears to my eyes.

A spicy burrito is a beautiful thing.

Tonight, Helen asked me if I had any matches, and I remembered that I’d picked up a book of them from the taqueria so I could find my way back there.

Helen told me that “Quemando los dos Extremos” means “Both Ends Burning” in English.

That explains a lot.

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1 March 2002
My Introduction to Groxis
In 1985, Virginia invited me over to see her new Apple Macintosh computer. I was amazed at what the computer could do; she finally made me turn it off at two in the morning. (But not before I’d completed my first of innumerable pieces of bad computer art.)

In 1993, I began working on the World Wide Web, and immediately abandoned plans to disseminate my work on floppy disks. (But not before I’d spent weeks designing extraordinarily handsome labels for the floppy disks.)

Today, I saw the most amazing bit of technology I’ve seen in almost a decade when Paul Hawken showed me his company’s Groxis software. I could say more about the project, but I need not bother. If I’m right, almost everyone with a computer will be using it within a year to sort through terabytes of data. And if I’m wrong, no one will notice.

2 March 2002
Another Forgettable Conversation
I had a pleasant chat with Jan tonight, even though she was a bit disconcerted that she’d forgotten our last conversation and couldn’t remember our last visit. I told her she shouldn’t worry; I suggested that forgetting incidental interactions with me was probably a healthy thing for a busy woman.

Jan found my less-than-compelling argument less than compelling, so I decided to cheer her up with a joke.

“So anyway,” I began, “the CIA was interviewing three final candidates for ...”

“Wait wait!” Jan interrupted. “I told you that joke a week ago!”

“I’m so embarrassed,” I replied. “I forgot that I originally heard that joke from you.”

Ironically, my aborted joke made Jan feel better. Jan and I agreed that forgetfulness loves company. At least I think that’s what we concluded; I can’t be certain.

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3 March 2002
Women with Lines
Beautiful women are beautiful. That’s one of those tautologies that makes life worth savoring.

Having said that, I must add that I don’t see why anyone except young people find young women attractive. When I meet a young, seemingly beautiful woman, I can’t help staring at her face, and seeing the absence of wrinkles, experience, lines, and history. Blank canvases are of little interest, even to minimalists.

4 March 2002
That’s Amore!
Sonja just called with big news.

“I broke up with the jerk,” she announced, “I’m gloriously single again.”

“I assume ‘the jerk’ is your boyfriend,” I replied.

“Was my boyfriend,” she corrected.

“I hope the separation wasn’t too ugly,” I said.

“Oh, I was very diplomatic,” Sonja assured me. “I did tell him I hoped I never see his weasely face again, but I added that I’d never forget all the wonderful things he said about himself.”

That’s amore!

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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart