2006 Notebook: Weak IX
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26 February 2006
No. 4,986 (cartoon)
I gave you the best of me.

You got the rest of me.

That’s amore!

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27 February 2006
Missing My Period
I was photographing Catherine’s art yesterday when I had a little accident: a small mishap, if that. One of the legs of my huge Gitzo tripod accidentally collapsed, pinching the skin in the palm of my hand.

The result: a loud expletive and a small blood blister. And not just any blood blister: mine was shaped like an exclamation point.


Except: my small blood blister wasn’t all there; it was missing the period at the bottom. And I wonder: am I using too many colons to compensate for my missing period? The answer: no, this is just more bad writing.

28 February 2006
Thinking Is Overrated
I love news reports that support my superstitions, prejudices, and inane assumptions. And so it was that I was delighted when I ran across a headline in the Guardian, “Want to make a complicated decision? Just stop thinking.” I’ve always thought that thinking was overrated, and now I have learned company espousing the same dubious proposition.

If I understood the article correctly, Ap Dijksterhuis—a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam—concluded that complex decisions are ”best left to the unconscious mind.” As Dr. Dijksterhuis explained, when presented with an important decision, “I sit on things and rely on my gut.”

What could be more logical once one goes beyond logic?

1 March 2006
Cycling Theory
When Theresa asked me if I’d been on any good bike rides lately, I explained that I only rode to get from here to there and back again. It took her a while to comprehend that I viewed a bicycle solely as means of transportation.

“That’s crazy,” Theresa opined as she examined my bike’s tires, “that’s like only having sex to make babies!”

“That could be true,” I told the mother of twins, “if you assume that the only value of sex is procreation.”

“You have too much pressure in your tubes,” Theresa said with a blush as she tried to change the subject.

“I’ll assume that’s not a double entendre,” I replied.

Theresa blushed again, and told me I was a fool not to spend more time on my bike. I agreed with the first part of her assessment, but didn’t admit it.

2 March 2006
I always find it hard to call my friend Cheryl at work. Cheryl’s near the top of the food chain at a big corporation, and her deceptionist (her accurate description of her receptionist) does his best to filter out unbusinesslike calls like mine. Here’s what actually happened on a recent call to Cheryl’s allegedly direct line ...

“Cheryl X’s office, how may I help you?”

“This is Dr. Rinehart’s office calling for Cheryl.”

“Our phone bank database indicates you’re an associate of Ms. X’s rather than a bona fide doctor; how may I direct your call?”

“Since I want to talk with CheryI, I suppose the logical conclusion is that you might put my call through to her.”

“I’m sorry; she’s on a bio break.”

“A bio break?”

“A bio break.”

“A lunch bio break?”

[No reply.]

“A urination bio break?”

[No reply.]

“A defecation bio break?”

[No reply.]

“Ah, then it must be a menstruation bio break!”

And with that, Cheryl’s insolent servant hung up the phone without so much as a fare-thee-well.

Bio break?! Why can’t people speak plainly any more?

3 March 2006
Drinking Morrie’s Whisky
I had a nice visit with Lynn today; she’s the wife of my late friend Morrie. Morrie’s been gone for years, but I still miss our learned debates.

At the end of his life, Morrie argued that no institution would take his archives without a substantial bribe attached, especially since he was primarily a documentary photographer. I told him he was wrong, even though I secretly suspected he was probably right.

It turns out I was right after all. Lynn told me that a museum purchased a substantial number of his prints, and had also taken his negatives for safekeeping. Since I had a small role to play, I decided to celebrate.

I knew Morrie kept his whisky on the top shelf of the pantry, so I had a look. I found the bottle of Bunnahabhain where he’d left it, so I helped myself to a drink. And another drink, followed by several more. Morrie’s whisky tasted wonderful, although not as good as when we drank it together.

4 March 2006
Longer Followed by Shorter Days
As I was walking through the park early this evening, I was struck by how light it was. Perhaps “struck” is too strong a word, for I regularly remark—if only to myself—how much longer the days are. I’ll continue to do that until 21 June. Then, for the next six months I’ll note that the days are getting shorter.

Since the days are always getting either longer or shorter, I always have something at which to marvel. I suspect that the reason so many people are depressed is that they don’t share my extremely low entertainment threshold.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart