2004 Notebook: Weak IV
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22 January 2004
No. 4,191 (cartoon)
You’ll never learn.

I have better things to do.

23 January 2004
Poetry Trap!
I went to an opening for an exhibition of publications at the San Francisco Center for the Book tonight. And that’s where I was ambushed!

Although the curators did, in fact, exhibit printed matter, they interrupted the opening festivities by announcing a “special poetry reading.”


I was trapped, pinned against a table groaning under the weight of dozens of bottles of wine, listening to the wretched poetry of Spotted Youth and Old Losers.

Double feh!

I stood there, listening to horrible poetry and gulping free wine like it was free wine, trying to decide when to walk away from the open bar.

I left abruptly when I decided that my imbibing had shifted the critical balance: I was groaning more from the weight of miserable poetry than the table was sagging from the much lighter load of empty bottles of wine.

Bad poetry: quadruple feh!

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24 January 2004
Baking Flowers
Annalee invited me to a dinner party tonight, so I showed up early with a couple of bottles of wine. Annalee opened a bottle in the kitchen at exactly the second I uncorked the other bottle in the dining room. Pop-pop! Synchronicity is a beautiful thing.

We stirred boiling pasta and drank wine, not necessarily in that order. After a bottle or so, the other guests started arriving. For some reason, half of them showed up with completely useless flowers, e.g., the kind one can’t eat, smoke, or ferment.

Annalee graciously thanked each guest for their bouquet, then put the flowers in a hot oven. The baking flowers filled the flat with a horrible smell of incinerated pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives, and other chemicals used in floral agriculture. Even three bulbs of sautéed garlic couldn’t overpower the smell of incinerated flowers.

When I asked Annalee why she was burning flowers in her oven, she said she liked the concept of charred organic matter but couldn’t imagine burning animal flesh.

“And besides,” she added, “Have you seen what flowers do to a place? With pollen everywhere, insects, and rotting leaves, I think keeping plants in an apartment is as sick as keeping a dog indoors.”

Who could possibly disagree? Everyone enjoyed a delightful evening.

25 January 2004
Head Amputation
I read about a baby girl in the Dominican Republic who was born with two heads. I didn’t know what to make of plans to amputate the second head. On one hand, who could argue that two heads aren’t better than one? On the other hand, I know from personal experience that having two brains can certainly be problematical.

26 January 2004
A Bombastic Display of Testosterone-fueled Self-indulgence
Gloria Kittae, writing in Curating Quarterly, complained that the recent Survival Research Laboratories performance she was “subjected to” was, in fact, “nothing more than a bombastic display of testosterone-fueled self-indulgence.”

The private spectacle, commissioned for an international meeting of museum administraitors in Berkeley, California, involved burning a kilogram and a half of marijuana and blowing the smoke into the prestigious audience, then subjecting the befuddled spectators to righteous sonic and physical abuse.

Perhaps one day, if I apply myself, I too will be able to concoct a bombastic display of testosterone-fueled self-indulgence.

27 January 2004
Standard Reply
Clive asked me a complicated question, so I gave a simple answer: “Depends.” That’s the answer—or at least an answer—to almost every question.

28 January 2004
Free Range Brain
Damn, damn, damn! Once again I’m wondering why I haven’t gotten around to conducting a useless but lucrative scientific study. Within the last year I’ve read about rigorous research that’s concluded that models weigh less than typical women and that women make men drool. And now, I see that German researchers have concluded that people who sleep a lot lead creative lives and come up with great ideas.

The conclusions of the Teutonic inquiry are completely obvious and self-evident. I learned long ago to keep by brain untethered, and to follow my mind wherever it chose to forage. And anyway, people don’t get enough sleep because they work too much; that’s just wrong wrong.

29 January 2004
Deceptively Slothful
Kimberly, a guest of another denizen of my laboratory, asked me how I am able to, “sit around doing nothing.”

She used an insulting and accusatory tone of voice, so I didn’t bother to introduce her to any of the myriad paths that lead to an enlightened and rewarding state of sloth. Instead, I intentionally mislead her.

“To your untrained eye, it might look like I’m doing nothing,” I explained. “But I’m actually I’m really extraordinarily busy on a molecular level.”

“Really?” Kimberly asked.

“You don’t know the half of it,” I replied charitably.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart