2002 Notebook: Weak XXVI
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26 June 2002
No. 1,491 (cartoon)
We’re finally alone.

We’re both alone.

27 June 2002
Bambi’s Mother
Hugh and I crashed a reception at the New Zealand embassy tonight, and I’m glad we did. The Kiwis are showing off their wines, and they’re not bad. Whatever New Zealand wines lack in quality, our hosts have remedied with quantity. And food.

“Venison, sir?” droned a roaming server carrying a tray of skewered meat.

“Venison as in Bambi?” I asked.

“Bambi’s mother,” she replied with a plastic smile.

I was in the process of thinking of a clever response when a horde of voracious guests pounced on the server and quickly grabbed every shred of deer off her tray.

28 June 2002
A Bad Month for Bassists
Dee Dee Ramone died this month. John Entwistle died this month. Bass players are dropping like flies this month. I wonder how the drummers got June off?

29 June 2002
Chronos and Chiros
I recently read about chiros, a different species of time than chronos. Chronos is garden-variety, everyday time: a minute is a minute is a minute. Chirotic time, however, measures time in quality, by the value of the minute. For example, a minute spent at a boring job is one sort of minute, but a minute spent in amazement marveling at a new idea or experience is a different kind of minute entirely.

I decided to make more of my remaining minutes in this life of the chirotic flavor. What a lovely, romantic ideal!

When I started to investigate chirotic time, I discovered that it’s not always a good thing. I remembered the party last night, when I was pinned in a corner by one of the most boring people I’ve ever met who insisted on telling me, in minute detail, about the myriad subtle differences between concrete and asphalt pavement. (“Did you know that there are seventeen distinct types of concrete?”) I would have gladly traded those five excruciatingly tedious chirotic minutes for five chronological minutes stuck in a traffic jam.

Time to stop writing.

30 June 2002
Elizabeth Churchill and Frank, 2002
Many years ago, I discovered that my photographs of people were fundamentally flawed when I realized that my portrait of Liz Young was unfinished. A few years ago, I made a series of portraits that I later denigrated as snaportraits.

Today, I made my first good portrait in a decade or two.

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Elizabeth Churchill and Frank, 2002

When I met Elizabeth, I looked at the diamond rings on her left hand and concluded that she was married. Elizabeth is not married, but she does wear her late mother’s rings for all the right reasons. Elizabeth’s mother died of colon cancer. Based on her family’s sad medical history, Elizabeth asked for a thorough examination. And that’s how she found the baby tumor in her belly.

Doctors removed the cancer, as well as half of Elizabeth’s large intestine. All the specialists now agree she’s fine. (I think she’s better than fine, but that’s another story.)

Elizabeth named the scar on her torso, “Frank.” I think Frank is very handsome. Elizabeth doesn’t know what to make of Frank; they’ve only just met.

1 July 2002
San Francisco Isn’t in France
The wise civic leaders on San Francisco’s board of supervisors today outlawed public urination and defecation. I was surprised at this development; I’d always assumed such acts were already illegal. After all, this isn’t France.

The measure was opposed by advocates of the homeless people who haunt San Francisco’s streets. They claimed that since San Francisco has few public toilets, the new law essentially made being homeless a crime. The august supervisors addressed this concern by ordering civil servants to publish a list of San Francisco’s public toilets on the Internet.

Despite the politicians’ best efforts, I suspect full bladders will overrule the new legislation.

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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart