2005 Notebook: Weak XLII
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15 October 2005
No. 4,112 (cartoon)
You’re so fickle.

That’s not true.

I never liked you, and always will.

16 October 2005
Marijuana Makes You Smarter
Roger told me he read an article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in which University of Saskatchewan researchers claimed marijuana stimulated the creation of brain cells.

“How did they come up with that?” I asked.

“Stoned rats ate more than usual, and in unfamiliar settings,” Roger replied.

“Let me get this straight,” I said. “Are you telling me that marijuana serves as an appetite stimulant?”

“That’s what the scientists say,” agreed Roger.

“That’s amazing,” I exclaimed, “one small leap for science, one giant step for potheads.”

“I knew it all along,” Roger said. “I’m always finding myself gorging in weird little restaurants after smoking marijuana.”

More proof, as if any was needed, that marijuana makes you smarter.

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17 October 2005
Contemporary Cretins
The Apple Corporation makes a notebook computer with the brand name, PowerBook. (As an irrelevant aside, I use one.)

I was walking down Stockton Street when I saw an irritating display in the window of Apple’s retail store. Apple displayed their current line of portable computers on an illuminated shelf with an arrogant boast silkscreened on it, “The only books you’ll need.” To emphasize the point, the computers were displayed between photographs of hundreds of obsolete books. In Apple’s brave new world, PowerBooks are the only three-dimensional books.

This pompous pronouncement irked me for two reasons. First, there’s the obvious irritation when some computer peddlers declare centuries of books to be archaic. What really maddened me, though, was the fact that I spend an average of six or eight hours a day using my PowerBook, and haven’t read an entire book in years.

I suppose I’m just another contemporary cretin like the Apple hucksters.

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18 October 2005
My New Sculpture
I spent the day photographing art work at Catherine’s studio. We leaned plates against a stack of four white bricks to get the right camera angle; that approach allowed us to set up something of a production line. At the end of the day, Catherine had as many pieces as she started with. I took the bricks with me, so I ended up with one more sculpture than I started with.

I know minimal brick sculptures are almost a hackneyed cliché, but I always did have a soft spot in my head for clichés.

19 October 2005
Dr. Collier’s Birthday Party
It’s Dr. Collier’s birthday, so it’s time to celebrate. He’s eight thousand kilometers away, but that’s not going to put a damper on the party. Although I have a perfectly fine refrigerator, I filled the bathroom sink with six cans of Rainier Ale packed in ice.

In theory, the cans of sophisticated adult beverage in the sink were the same temperature as if I’d stored them in the refrigerator. In practice, however, drinking icy Rainier Ale from the bathroom sink proved to be even more efficacious than usual. And so it was that I found myself composing a seventeen-syllable dispatch to Dr. Collier.

Ale and ice in sink
Thinking warmly of Richard
This ain't a haiku

I know I’ll be embarrassed by my lack of judgment when I read this later, but good judgment is wildly overrated.

gratuitous image from the Harris County sheriff
20 October 2005
A Successful Criminal’s Big Smile
Tom DeLay finally got arrested today, many years later than he should have. (The greedy little fascist is nothing if not perfectly slimy.) A Harris County sheriff took a remarkable mug shot of DeLay for their files: the vicious imbecile is smiling, like he was posing for his employee of the month portrait.

I first became aware of just how callous the weasel from Texas was when I worked with a human rights group a few years ago and discovered that DeLay had his fat greasy fingers in the human trafficking business. His clandestine arrangement with the traffickers was too complicated to go into here, but suffice it to say I wouldn’t contradict anyone who called DeLay a slaver.

At least I’ll give him credit for taking pride in his chicanery; I may never see another mug shot with the grin of a successful criminal. Although he’ll probably bribe, bully, and buy himself out of the latest charge as he has with the myriad ones before it, I can still dream of seeing him sentenced to hard labor on the Marianas, working beside all the people he helped traffic there.

21 October 2005
Incarceration, Beer, and Love
Raphael just got out of jail “after a little misunderstanding.” He said the best part of being free again was drinking beer; he compared it to, “being reunited with an old lover.”

“Doesn’t sound healthy,” I said.

“You don’t know anything about love, do you?” Raphael asked.

“I’m familiar with incarceration, beer, and love,” I replied, “it’s just that I think we enjoy different perspectives on all three.”

“Whatever,” Raphael mumbled, “time for another pint?”

“Yes, please,” I confirmed. “And by the way, forget what I said about having different perspectives on beer.”

We went on to have a generally agreeable evening.

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©2005 David Glenn Rinehart