2004 Notebook: Weak XIII
gratuitous image
26 March 2004
No. 6,597 (cartoon)
At least it can’t get any worse.

Just wait.

27 March 2004
Bad Habits Persist
Naomi’s still smoking tobacco, so I chided her to stop.

“Be careful what you ask for,” she advised, “cigarettes are a bad habit and so are you. Giving up my bad habits might not be in your best self-interest.”

That’s the first time in my life I was flattered by a specious argument.

28 March 2004
I spend much of my life engaged in pursuits that I find challenging, rewarding, enriching, stimulating, and so on. But last night I just had big, big fun. I went to a party at a warehouse in Berkeley with a hundred people, a hundred and ten bottles of wine, and all sorts of sundry other nourishment and refreshments.

I was perfectly happy; that’s really all I need for a delightful evening. And then the hosts turned off the recorded music and an octet of the area’s finest musicians assembled on a makeshift stage.


It only took ten bars of power polka meets punk on speed cut with bleach meets a half-hit of blotter lysergic acid diethylamide in a borscht-belt resort to get a hundred otherwise hipper-than-hip urban sophisticates in touch with their hopping, drooling inner idiots. By the time Polkacide launched into “Wiener Dog Polka” it was all over: complete pandemonium, people bouncing off the walls and ceiling, big, big fun.


29 March 2004
Remembering the Blind Man on Mount Everest
I asked my computer if I’d written about Mt. Everest getting around five centimeters higher every year; the computer replied that I did exactly that on 7 October 2003. The computer helpfully added that I’m an idiot with a sieve for a brain.

It turns out that on 7 June 2001 I mentioned Erik Weihenmayer, a blind man “who just climbed to the top of Mount Everest.” Yet, on 15 September 2001 I claimed, “Juan told me that a blind man climbed to the top of Mount Everest.

I wonder if I really forgot that I’d already written about a blind man atop Mount Everest, or if I was playing some stupid joke? There’s only one possible answer, of course: who cares?

30 March 2004
A Very Strange, Sad Affliction
Sandy told me about a dentist in Denver who had some sort of extraordinarily rare obsessive-compulsive harming fixation disorder. Every time he hit a bump when driving his car, he had to stop, get out, and find out whether or not he’d hit someone. Eventually, he had to move to the western border of Texas, where the flat, barren landscape (moonscape? mooscape?) provides clear views in every direction. Even so, he sold his car and bought a bicycle.

What a thing to happen to a guy. Still, any confusion that results in riding a bicycle can’t be all bad.

31 March 2004
Tea With Milk and Sugar at Night
I had a cup of tea with milk and sugar tonight. I know that sounds like perhaps the most ordinary thing I could do, but it’s not. I never put sugar in my tea, and I never drink tea at night. Or, more accurately, I never did before today.

My life appears to be on its usual higglety-pigglety (higgelty-piggelty?) trajectory, but everything’s different today for reasons that have nothing to do with drinking tea with milk and sugar at night.

1 April 2004
The Obvious, Stupid Solution
It’s Saint Stupid’s Day, and that means it’s time for the annual San Francisco parade. I’m part of a massive sea of stupidity, and this gives me great hope for the future, even though things are looking pretty grim at the moment. Stupidity got us into this mess, and stupidity will get us out.

Stupidity will no doubt prevail. Always has. Always will.

2 April 2004
Not a Bad Writer
“I’m just a bad writer with a drinking problem,” Priscilla concluded after going on, at some length, about her myriad creative frustrations and failures.

Priscilla takes art too damn seriously, and I tried to tell her that in a gentle, ultimately positive way.

“You worry too much,” I advised, “your only problem is that you’re a bad drinker with a writing problem.”

Priscilla looked confused and surprised; I guess she isn’t used to having supportive friends.

last weak  |  index  |  next weak

©2004 David Glenn Rinehart