2003 Notebook: Weak XL
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1 October 2003
No. 685 (cartoon)
How did we sink this far?

We’ve always been like this.

That’s progress, I suppose.

2 October 2003
No Shampoo
I just arrived at the Wiles Compound in Santa Fe, and it’s exactly as I remembered it, sort of post-apocalyptic, white-trash dada. I feel very much at home here.

After a shower, I told Dr. Wiles that he was out of shampoo.

“Thanks for the reminder,” he replied with a laugh as he rubbed his hairless head, “I knew I was forgetting something. You wanna maybe blow up something or something? I need more smoke around here I guess.”

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3 October 2003
Fried Chicken, Fried Scanner
I came to Santa Fe to photograph a friend’s jazz festival. He appreciated the art piece I made as well as my unimaginative documentary photographs, so I decided to do another personal project at this year’s series of concerts.

I planned on making scans of each of the musician’s hands; I thought that would make an interesting grid. I wasn’t sure what I’d do when I came to a vocalist; I thought Claudia would probably let me scan her tongue. I didn’t worry about it too much; I wasn’t looking very far ahead. Although I rarely find planning to be a good investment of time, in this case my failure to prepare for the scanning sessions scuttled the endeavor.

When I showed up backstage, all the musicians were eating fried chicken. Fried chicken! Since when did jazz musicians start eating fried chicken?! As it turned out, I didn’t have worry about getting greasy handprints on my scanner’s spotless glass platen. That’s because the scanner refused to function. I downloaded new software, but the scanner was as dead as something that’s really, really dead. And that was that.

I’m disappointed, but not very. I liked the scan I did of my hand, but five-fingered hands probably wouldn’t be as interesting. And besides, I’ll probably get invited back to another jazz festival here, so I can do my scanning project later. Just like the hundreds of other pieces that are purportedly “in progress.”

4 October 2003
Waiting for the Meat
I was walking around the stage tonight taking light meter readings when a stagehand asked me when the meat would arrive.

“I think the buffet’s been up in the green room for the last hour,” I replied.

“No, the meat,” she insisted. “I need to know where to set up the drums.”

“Oh, I see,” I said. “I think everyone’s supposed to be back in the next fifteen minutes or so.”

I didn’t want to expose my ignorance of the jazz world, so I didn’t ask whether “the meat” referred to all performers or just the drummers.

5 October 2003
Lard Chimes
Santa Fe has a pernicious, abhorrent underbelly, and that abscess has a name: new age. The new agers are everywhere, including next door to the compound in which I’m staying.

I was reminded of their despicable presence in the middle of the night, when the sound of the distant neighbors’ banging wind chimes woke me from a pleasant slumber. My first impulse was to destroy the annoying chimes, but that didn’t seem like the right solution. And that’s when the lard muse paid a visit. After I coated the obnoxious chimes in an entire kilogram of lard, I enjoyed a quiet, peaceful sleep.

6 October 2003
A Bad Massage
Eric just gave Lori a massage and, well, it didn’t go very well.

“You call that a massage?” Lori asked.

“I guess so,” Eric mumbled.

“It didn’t even last two minutes,” Lori complained. “Who taught you how to give crap massages?”

“Uh, no one,” Eric admitted. “I just figured out how to rub a woman’s shoulders until she takes off her shirt.”

“That’s pathetic,” Lori replied.

As Lori walked out of the room, Eric protested that a lot of guys don’t even try to give massages. His lame argument fell on absent ears.

7 October 2003
Useless Everest Data
Mt. Everest gets higher by some five centimeters every year. That means the mountain’s summit is now around two and a half meters taller than it was when Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary “knocked the bastard off” fifty years ago.

I love useless statistics, the uselesser the better.

8 October 2003
Santa Fe Hailstorm
I’m enjoying a huge hailstorm. Hailstones the size of average-sized hailstones are bouncing off the metal roof like juicy maggots frying in bacon fat in a red-hot, iron skillet. I wish San Francisco had hailstorms.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart