2003 Notebook: Weak XXXV
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28 August 2003
No. 5,802 (cartoon)
This is impossible, just impossible.

Life can sometimes be that way.

29 August 2003
A Good Quotation or Two
I was browsing through a compendium of quotations at Kirsten’s apartment when I came across this:

    “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

I read the quotation aloud to Kirsten, and asked her to guess the author.

“Helen Keller,” she replied. “Everyone knows that.”

I didn’t feel like mentioning that I’d never heard it before, so I changed the subject.

“I like to think of my life as a daring adventure,” I said.

“I’m sure that is how you like to think of your alleged life,” Kirsten agreed. “If I was a runaway caboose with a wheel loose, I suppose I’d like to think of my series of train wrecks in the context of some trite Helen Keller drivel.”

She was right, of course, so I asked her if she knew that Abraham Lincoln said, “No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.”

She ignored my question and asked me if I’d like a peanut butter sandwich.

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30 August 2003
The More Memorable Vespucci
I just learned something about the woman in Sandro Botticelli’s painting, The Birth of Venus, colloquially known as Venus on the Half Shell. Her name is Simonetta Vespucci, and, depending on who you ask, she’s either the sister or cousin of Amerigo Vespucci.

By all accounts, Amerigo Vespucci was a loser, a huckster, a charlatan, and a fraud. Nevertheless, a third of the Earth’s land mass is named after him thanks to a drunken poet’s suggestion to a sloppy cartographer. And so it is that I’m delighted that I can now associate the Americas with a beautiful woman instead of a fifteenth-century bamboozler.

31 August 2003
Differently and the Same
I had beers with Victor and his new guitar this afternoon. As Victor strummed, I mentioned that a friend of uses picks on all five of his fingers to play his guitar.

“Everybody does it differently,” Victor said.

“I don’t know about that,” I replied. “Almost every other guitarist I’ve seen uses either one pick or none at all.”

“Except for those who do it the same,” Victor added.

1 September 2003
Free Broccoli Dinner
I found a huge bag of broccoli on the bus; this is my lucky day. When I got back to the lab, I discovered that some of the broccoli was in the early stages of decomposition. A number of stalks were a tad on the slimy, puffy side, and some of the florets were brown and grey instead of green. Still, the broccoli had to be relatively healthy or all the bugs crawling around in and on it wouldn’t be so frisky. After thoughtful deliberation, I decided that all the broccoli was edible.

A six-minute bath in boiling water minimized most of the broccoli’s cosmetic problems, and a liberal coating of pesto finished the job. I feel healthier already.

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2 September 2003
Scanning Soup
I’ve been scanning soup, and I’m delighted with the results. I know being excited by one’s work is an aesthetic warning sign, but how dangerous can soup be?

Trader Joe’s Barley Soup With Vegetables is my most recent soup piece. The soup tasted like bland, unseasoned dog food, but it looks great. I’ve always liked good-looking art in bad taste, and thus I’m quite pleased.

But I’ll get over it.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart