2003 Notebook: Weak XXXVI
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3 September 2003
No. 2,750 (cartoon)
You only pretend to love me.

Would you prefer that I didn’t?

4 September 2003
Rendezvous With Ani
I always end every visit with Ani with an appointment for our next engagement. And so it was that after lunch I asked Ani if we were still on for dinner a week from tomorrow.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Ani said, then added, “if I’m still alive then.”

Unlike many of my dear friends, Ani’s not a drama queen, so I asked her if anything was wrong.

“No,” she replied, “I’m fine. It’s just that since so many of my friends are dying, it seems prudent to remember that life is tenuous.”

“Point taken” I agreed. “Let’s get together next week regardless whether we’re alive or dead. And if one of us is dead and the other isn’t, then we’ll improvise.”

Ani agreed, and that was that.

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5 September 2003
I Love Living in the City
I’m enjoying a thoroughly absurd San Francisco evening. Some amateurish teenager filled the sky with clumsily-constructed, melodramatic clouds. Footless pigeons bathe in a puddle of sudsy, oily wastes and floating cigarette butts in front of an auto repair shop. A deranged street preacher is ranting about hitchhikers and fornicators who will certainly rot in heaven where they’ll breathe the fires of sin. Saxophones everywhere!

I love living in San Francisco.

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6 September 2003
Analog Nostalgia
I went to North Pitney’s opening in Berkeley tonight; I enjoyed the shifting, fabric panels of his interactive maze on a conceptual level. In a few years I imagine he’ll make the real thing, with digit-crushing steel plates.

I was even more captivated by the old machines some artists used to project film loops. I didn’t appreciate the short, repetitive films, but the old, rattling projectors made interesting, nostalgic pieces of sculpture.

7 September 2003
A Tanzanian Analogy
I had a brief, unpleasant conversation with a popular artist. I won’t mention the person’s name, since he’s a friend of a friend. I will, however, cite a popular Tanzanian proverb: “The higher the monkey climbs, the more he shows his bottom.”

8 September 2003
Twin Burritos?
Ali called and cancelled our dinner; she said she got a better offer. I commended her for her honesty, then went out for a burrito. Later this evening, we met for drinks and compared dinner notes.

“I had a magnificent burrito the size of a newborn infant,” I announced, “what did you have?”

“I had the same, although mine was as big as a small baby,” Ali replied.

“We could have had children together,” I said.

“Yuck!” Ali immediately exclaimed. After thinking about the disgusting proposition for a bit, she asked a hypothetical question, “I wonder if they would have been twins?”

9 September 2003
Warren Zevon’s Lifeless Eyes
Warren Zevon died a couple of days ago, and left behind what he knew would be his last recording. It’s good, and contains the obligatory weeper. For his signoff album, Joey Ramone recorded George Weiss and Bob Thiele’s What a Wonderful World; Zevon chose Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

Matthew Raltson took a competent studio portrait of a suitably somber Zevon for the album cover. As I studied Zevon’s face, I noticed that Raltson did a sloppy lighting job for a commercial photographer; there are no highlights in Zevon’s eyes.

I pondered this seemingly amateurish mistake for most of a large glass of whisky. Finally, I understood what I was seeing. A dead man’s eyes should be dark.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart