2006 Notebook: Weak XIX
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7 May 2006
No. 1,341 (cartoon)
I want a lover in the worst way.

Good luck; you deserve the worst.

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8 May 2006
The Running of the Sans Frisco Bulls
Yesterday I went to the first running of the bulls in San Francisco. The title of the escapade suggests it had something to with the annual spectacle in Pamplona, Spain. It did not.

First, there wasn’t a single uncastrated male bovine animal within a kilometer of the gathering. And second, the single “bull” at the event wasn’t a bull at all. Rather, it was a small, nondescript automobile with a large, papier mâché bull’s head mounted on the hood. In addition, two other creatively-decorated cars served as pseudo bulls to chase the participants.

And so it was that three cars pursued a couple dozen red-clad early risers for a few blocks through the abandoned canyons of the financial district.

Everyone had a good time even though no one got hurt. The organizers said they were tentatively planning on repeating the spectacle in July to coincide with the other running of the bulls, in Pamplona.

In twenty years, I wouldn’t be surprised if the event has corporate sponsors yet nevertheless costs lots of money to attend. Like Burning Man, I’ll probably stop going once there are over a hundred people involved.

9 May 2006
Enrico’s Changing Aesthetics
For decades, Enrico’s been making testosterone-driven art involving lots of fire, explosions, destruction, and semicontrolled mayhem. I can ask him any question since we’re good friends, and so I did.

“Enrico, do you think you’ll ever get tired of blowing things up and burning things down?” I asked.

“Astute question,” Enrico replied, “I’ve recently started to experiment with new work.”

“Do tell,” I said.

“In my next show, I’ll burn things up and blow things down!” he announced with a gleeful smile.

Michelle Spenser Ellsworth
10 May 2006
A Brief Introduction to Dancetheater
Jennifer told me that a friend of hers was looking for volunteers for the Women on the Edge Festival, so I offered to make some photographs of dancers at dress rehearsal tonight.

I was really impressed. I enjoyed all of the performances, especially since I didn’t experience my usual problems with dance. It wasn’t until I read the promotional material while editing the shots that I discovered that I hadn’t photographed dance, but rather dancetheater.

Dancetheater, that explains everything. I’m rarely mature enough to appreciate traditional and contemporary dance, but dance with addition content beyond movement is a wonderful medium for someone with my lamentable aesthetic limitations.

11 May 2006
Tuning Into the Colossal Higgledy-Piggledy Static
Everything I write and say suggests I have a feeble, tenuous grasp of science. There’s a reason for that: it’s true.

And that’s why I was thrilled to learn about a science fact I could sort of understand. It seems that over ten billion years ago, all the matter in the universe was condensed into an unimaginably—for me, at least—compact mass the size of a small warehouse or perhaps a large truck. Or maybe even some sort of ball. The details aren’t important.

Anyway, something went higgledy-piggledy, then BLAM! Everything exploded and went every which way, sort of like putting a poodle in a microwave oven, only on a much larger scale. In fact, all the matter in the universe came from what’s colloquially known as the Colossal Higgledy-piggledy.

Since higgledy-piggledy isn’t easy to spell or capitalize (Colossal Higgledy-piggledy? Colossal Higgledy-Piggledy?), scientists instead call the event the Big Bang. Even today, anyone with a radio can listen to the distant echoes of the Colossal Higgledy-piggledy. One or two percent of the static noise one hears when the radio isn’t properly tuned is cosmic microwave background radiation from the original Colossal Higgledy-piggledy itself!

And even if it’s not true, it doesn’t matter; it’s a great story.

12 May 2006
Hani Hind’s Marital Difficulties
Marriage is never easy, especially for Hani Hind. The Saudi Arabian man’s wife, Sarahoo, promises to harm, and perhaps even murder, any other woman he marries. That in itself isn’t particularly unusual; many men remain monogamous only because of credible threats of mutilation and death.

There is something somewhat unusual about this story, though: Sarahoo is a ghost. And as with all marriages, things get more complicated when there are children involved. Hind says Sarahoo gave birth to their ghost child, even though they only had sex twice. (Since I don’t know anything about his culture, I’m not sure if I should be skeptical about a story in which a Saudi talks openly about such intimate details.)

At last report, Hind is in Syria seeking a divorce with the help of Abdel Amir Houedi, an Islamic authority. Houedi isn’t unfamiliar with such relationships, and has declared that such phantoms won’t cause harm, “as long as they are Muslim.”

13 May 2006
Feeling Like No One
I called Abbie this afternoon to ask if she wanted to go to a couple of gallery openings tonight.

“What kind of work?” I asked.

“I didn’t look,” I said, “I’m just going because of the free food and drinks, and because I don’t feel like being alone.”

“Usually when someone says they want to be with someone it’s because they feel like no one,” Abbie observed.

Oh dear, I could see where she was heading. I love Abbie, but I didn’t have the patience to endure one of her wacky, pseudo-psychological analyses.

“That’s a brilliant observation,” I told Abbie. “I do feel like no one, so that’s probably who I should go out with tonight.”

Abbie seemed discombobulated by the fact that I didn’t argue with her. I don’t think she realized I’d quickly uninvited her before I hung up after a couple pleasantries.

14 May 2006
In a Memphis Boarding House
I just heard that Sweet Annie Divine, née Annie May Auspeux, died thirty years ago. Some news travels quickly; other developments take longer to get from there to here.

Divine, known for touring with Styx Ygg’s BamBam Five in the forties, suffered declining personal and professional fortunes over the ensuing decades. Although empirical evidence suggests that alcohol was not her friend, I’d bet a bottle of whisky that Divine didn’t see things that way.

According to the obituary I read, Divine’s last creative act was to record the song, I’m a Drunk in a Memphis Boarding House. And then, the report concludes that she “died of drink” a few hours later. In a Memphis boarding house.

Death as conceptual art! Wow!

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart