2004 Notebook: Weak XIV
gratuitous image
3 April 2004
No. 9,359 (cartoon)
I wouldn’t mind dying.

Have you ever thought of killing yourself?

And miss all this?!

4 April 2004
Italian Innuendo
My Italian friend Skizandra seems like someone who emerged from a Fellini film, and she is. I first saw her in City of Women, and she’s at least an order of magnitude more fun in four dimensions. And so, when an unnamed organization sent me a ticket to work on a project in Italy in July, the first thing I did was to send her a note. I concluded my missive by admitting that about the only Italian I know is the word for suppository, “innuendo.”

Skizandra responded with a congratulatory note that concluded with a correction and an admonition.

    David, the real word for suppository is “supposta.” You’re supposta know more Italian than that!

Hasta la pasta!

5 April 2004
Churchill Toilet Considerations
Janet has a large, framed portrait of Winston Churchill in her bathroom accompanied by his rhetorical question, “Why stand when you can sit?” I share the savvy alcoholic’s perspective on poetry and urination; it’s a fine line.

I read, “Winston Churchill emerged from his mother in a toilet during a dance.” I don’t think she was dancing at the time, but the poorly-worded statement leaves a lot to the imagination.

6 April 2004
No Comrades of Mine
Almost two years ago Huey loaned me his copy of Stephen E. Ambrose’s Comrades; he described it as an incredible book.

I tried to read it on several occasions, but narcolepsy prevented me from getting very far. I finally gave up, and returned the volume to Huey with a relevant observation from June Wayne, “If it doesn’t amuse me and it doesn’t educate me, to hell with it.”

7 April 2004
Anchor Muse
A few days ago I found a small piece of pewter—maybe silver—jewelry in the remnants of a dirty snow bank. I didn’t know what to make of the tiny anchor with “muse” inscribed on the side. When I showed the bauble to Ian, he opined, “An anchor’s a good thing to have when you’re in port and a distraction at sea.”

I can’t find the anchor, and I’m not surprised. There are no snow banks near San Francisco; I doubt the tiny metal anchor ever existed. Muses can be that way.

8 April 2004
Trucks of Creation and Destruction
I usually sleep soundly in my lab. Once I’m unconscious, I rarely hear the guttural grinding of garbage trucks, the howl of sirens, or the plaintive screams of the insane phantoms that haunt the streets outside my lab.

Last night was different.

Some developers are building a tall building down the alley, and a convoy of mammoth trucks delivered lighter-than-air concrete throughout the night. Somehow, the whine of the antigravity motors embraced the subsonic churn of the rubbish grinders to create a sweet, throbbing, pulse that seemed to emanate from a space a meter above by sleeping platform.

I spent a sleepless hour listening to the pleasing interaction of the sounds of material creation and destruction.

9 April 2004
Drum Machines versus Drummers
I confided to Steve that my little “musical” experiment is proving to be more difficult than I’d anticipated.

“Look on the bright side,” Steve said merrily, “at least your working with a drum machine instead of a real drummer.”

“What’s the difference?” I asked innocently.

“You only have to punch instructions into a drum machine once,” Steve explained cheerfully.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart