2004 Notebook: Weak XLVII
gratuitous image
20 November 2004
No. 7,303 (cartoon)
How shall we grow old together?


21 November 2004
World Toilet Summit
I’m reading reports from the three-day World Toilet Summit in Beijing that closed a couple of days ago. I suppose that doesn’t sound that interesting in the grander schemes of things, but how else would I have learned that flushing a toilet containing fecal mater sends bacteria several meters into the air?

I note with interest that “Gracious Living for a Model City” is the theme of the World Toilet Expo and Public Toilet Forum 2005, to be held in Shanghai in May. The rumor in toilet circles it that the event will feature some definitive presentations on urine projection profiles.

22 November 2004
The First Artist on Mars Annoys Me
I dropped in on the opening of Jason Mortara’s remarkable solo exhibition, The First Artist on Mars. He presented an impressive installation of photographs, paintings, and videos documenting his work on Mars. Jealousy has no place in the creative processes and aesthetic concerns, and so it is that I’m not jealous. No, really, I’m not jealous at all.

Still, I am annoyed with Mortara’s work, but only because it reminds me of Thirty-Six Quadrilles in Orbit, my pathetic failure with extraterrestrial art. When it comes to art, this is a hostile solar system.

23 November 2004
Another Standoff
“You’re being unreasonable,” Stella accused.

“I prefer to think of my circumstances as being beyond reason,” I replied.

Another standoff, alas.

24 November 2004
The Little Incident with the Five Gun-waving Cops
“You’re going to be really embarrassed when people hear about those five San Francisco cops who smashed their way into your lab and forced you to lie face-down on the floor at gunpoint,” Twyla predicted.

“Not at all,” I replied. “First of all, the little confusion leading to the incident wouldn’t be of note to anyone but a peasant. Most importantly, though, I’ll never be embarrassed by tonight’s little misunderstanding because I shall write the definite, albeit mostly false, version of the fiasco.”

I love being an author; it comes in handy sometimes.

25 November 2004
An Inept Impostor
Frances accused me of being an impostor, and she’s right. I’m a really inept impostor, though, so I’m not really misleading anyone.

26 November 2004
An Unfortunate Combination
I’ve got my eyes on the prize, my feet on the ground, my finger on the trigger, my head in the clouds, my nose to the grindstone, and a rocket in my pocket. I am so very completely in deep, deep trouble.

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart