2004 Notebook: Weak XXII
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28 May 2004
No. 6,657 (cartoon)
You lied to me.

It was the humane alternative.

29 May 2004
My Really Smart Friends
All my friends are smarter than I am, and that’s not by chance.

30 May 2004
The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra
I just heard about the First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra. The musicians use instruments made from a variety of vegetables, “although where necessary, additional kitchen utensils such as knives or mixers are employed.” The musicians turn their instruments into soup after performances; I think that’s a brilliant idea! Even a bad show can become a good meal.

I must do more artwork with food.

31 May 2004
Beer and a Long, Easy Life
Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan just died. She led an unremarkable life, save this: she was the oldest person on earth when she died three months short of her one hundred and fifteenth birthday. I have a hard time imagining that anyone born in the nineteenth century is still alive, but newspapers certainly can’t print stories that aren’t true.

Her great nephew believed she lived so long because she had, “a very easy life—easy in the sense that she didn’t have too much to worry about.” She also drank beer with every meal.

Since I lead an easy life by design and generally enjoy a drink or four when I eat, I might live over a century. I’m not sure that’s desirable. Since an easy life with beer might lead me to become a frail shell of who I am now, I shall continue to take inadvisable risks.

1 June 2004
Wasting Her Fuse
I put on an old recording of the musical ensemble, The Avengers, and told Dr. Batlan for the xth time about my great disappointment with the alleged music Penelope Houston’s recorded in recent years.

“The woman’s wasting her fuse,” Dr. Batlan agreed.

“What a great phrase!” I exclaimed. “Did you come up with that?”

“Of course I did,” Dr. Batlan replied. “I just said it, didn’t I?”

“I mean, did you invent that?” I asked. “Or did you steal it?”

“Create, steal, what’s the difference?” Dr. Batlan shrugged.

2 June 2004
Summer Wardrobe Considerations
I don’t care about my appearance, and it shows. Although I achieve my unkempt, disheveled look by sloth, not design, my sloppiness has provided a beneficial societal filter. Without exception, anyone who avoids me because of my complete lack of fashion sense is someone I don’t want to know.

Having said that, I’m thinking of buying a kilt and a poncho. Now that summer’s here; the first thing I want to do after a hard bike ride is take my pants off to cool down. A surprisingly large number of otherwise liberal friends have asked me to keep my pants on, a request I feel obliged to honor when I’m a guest. Wearing a kilt—but not for Scottish considerations!—would address my temperature concerns.

I think a poncho would also prove to be an efficacious garment. The first thing to occur to anyone seeing me in a poncho is a two-part question: Is he crazy? And is he concealing a sawed-off shotgun? I think the combination of a kilt and a poncho would be a good way of meeting new friends.

3 June 2004
Gag Me with a Rainbow
Recently, I’ve been receiving a lot of stories about people formerly associated with the alleged environmental organization, Greenpeace. Some of it’s pretty amusing, like talking about the incredible stupidity we exhibited by accidentally invading the Soviet Union, pushing around the faceless volunteer, that sort of thing. Someone even mentioned I was responsible for bringing the first computers into Greenpeace; I don’t think I’ll ever be forgiven for that. And then there were the “where are they now” stories, with reports that no one has agreed to deliver a pizza to Osama Muftah since 11 September, 2001.

It’s tempting to look back at my time with Greenpeace through a rosy, beery, drugged fog. That’s why I’m grateful to someone I never met, Lafcadio Cortesi, who wrote some nonsense that ended with, “into an eternal realm and where the spirit of the rainbow dwells.” That was all I needed to recall the breathtakingly inept administraitors, the vicious, petty politics, the lame mysticism, and the general incompetence that made Greenpeace what it was, and probably still is.

4 June 2004
Meeting Monte
Klara introduced me to Monte Cazazza this afternoon; we went on a nice walk. Given my immense ignorance, I couldn’t remember any specifics about Monte; I only recognized that he’s one of those people in my orbit who’s well known for being well known. We enjoyed a pleasant, relaxed chat, there was some informal talk about me working with them on a joint project.

Although I normally don’t like to collaborate with other artists, I try to keep an open mind. And so, when I returned to my lab, I asked the Internet to tell me something about Monte. This is what the Internet replied:

    In 1972 he achieved infamy when he was invited to attend an arts conference weekend-in-the-woods to share transcendental conversations on perspective and grant-writing while nestling paint-spattered jeans in pine needles and toasting hand-dyed marshmallows for “s’mores” in an ultimate artsy outdoorsy atmosphere. Cazazza arrived with an armed bodyguard and sprinkled arsenic into all the food. At lunch he dropped bricks with the word “dada” painted on them on artistic feet. At dinner he burned a partially decomposed, maggot-infested cat at the table. His bodyguard blocked the exit, and several participants fell ill due to the stench.

The the thirty-two year old story was a nice introduction; I shall have to learn more. A creative collaboration with Klara and Monte just might be a rewarding exception to my selfish practice.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart