2006 Notebook: Weak XXXIII
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13 August 2006
No. 2,507 (cartoon)
I feel like nothing compared to you.

Don’t flatter yourself.

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14 August 2006
Sophisticated Corporate Urination Chamber
As generations of toilet engineers have noted over the centuries, a stream of urine splatters when it hits a flat surface. That’s just basic physics. So far, scientists and inventors have been unable to design a urinal that captures every drop of urine. As a result, the floors near urinals are covered with a film of stinky and corrosive micturation.

Bathroom technicians at the Hilton Hotel on Grant Avenue came up with a new approach to dealing with the age-old problem: they distributed small, white carpet mats beneath each of the public urinals. As a result, the Hilton’s lavatories now feature urine-soaked rugs as well as smelly tile.

Very sophisticated indeed!

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15 August 2006
Former Lover Unportrait
Today, I enjoyed a lovely visit with a former lover. After going on an eight-hour walk, punctuated by a couple of meals, we went through a box of her things she’d stored in my studio.

When she found a framed portrait a friend made of her, she decided to discard the frame and take the photograph back to Europe. And so it is that I have an empty frame, a readymade unportrait of someone who’s on the wrong side of the ocean.

16 August 2006
My New Favorite Film
For decades, I’ve always considered David Lynch’s Eraserhead to be my favorite film. That’s because I always thought of it as a work of art, whereas almost every other fine film tasted like entertainment.

Today, though, I have a new favorite movie, Snakes on a Plane. I haven’t seen it, and have no plans to ever view what reportedly is a mediocre piece. That’s the genius of the work: the entire film is in the title; it’s a beautifully executed work of conceptual art.

17 August 2006
Not Writing With My Ear
I like John Updike’s work; I wish I could write a piece longer than two pages. I suppose it’s not much of a wish, in that I’ve never even tried to write anything of substance.

And so it was that I was struck by Updike’s observation, “You write with your ear, as well as with your eye.” I decided to try writing with my ear; here’s what I came up with.

cvtn n fb v vb x

The experiment didn’t work very well; I inadvertently pressed keyboard combinations with my ear that shut down my computer. Perhaps Updike has pointy ears? Or maybe he still uses a typewriter.

As for writing with my eye; I’ll save that trial for another day.

18 August 2006
Cooking With Wine
Gabriel, a guest at the dinner party I hosted tonight, asked me if I cooked with wine.

“I usually do,” I replied, “sometimes I even add it to the food.”

I’m glad Gabriel’s too young to know a W. C. Fields joke when he hears one.

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19 August 2006
Cat Urination Sculptures
Willy never got around to marketing his invention, Heavy Shitter Kitty Litter. That may or may not be because of competition from TechnoLitter, “Highly-Technical Kitty Litter.”

I discovered TechnoLitter when I was taking care of Fiona’s cat, Frederik. The “feline hygiene product” is formulated to absorb liquids—cat urine, for example—into a clump that can be easily removed from the litter box. I was impressed with the graceful curves and organic shapes I discovered when cleaning the cat box; they looked like grainy maquettes for new Henry Moore sculptures.

Fiona works with ceramics; I shall ask her if the objects may be coated with glaze and fired in one of her kilns.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart