2007 Notebook: Weak XV
gratuitous image
9 April 2007
No. 4,515 (cartoon)
You lied to me.

I treated you like family.

10 April 2007
Sarah’s Dreaming Strategies
Sarah and I discussed dreams during dinner a few nights ago; I told her I enjoyed the surreal thoughts I had during my nocturnal meanderings from a to b.

“I use a different approach,” Sarah said. “When you’re at point a, jump to x and look for k.”

“How do I jump from one point to another?” I asked.

“How do you breathe underwater or fly in your dreams?” she replied. “Just do it; you can do anything in a dream.”

I took her excellent advice, and went on a somnambulistic adventure without even leaving the couch.

11 April 2007
No More Farting Around
Kurt Vonnegut, the author who provided me with one of my three meanings of life—as well as a concise list of literary requirements—died today after a fall in his apartment.

Imagine that; he survived the firebombing of Dresden then accidentally killed himself when he was eighty-four.

It seems like an appropriate demise, as deaths go. I’m sure he would have appreciated the irony of an accidental death after his botched suicide attempt decades ago. And then there’s timing.

“When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life,” Vonnegut observed. “Old age is more like a semicolon.”

Vonnegut loathed semicolons; he argued, “the semicolon is a transvestite hermaphrodite representing nothing at all.” In another lovely case of irony, I find Vonnegut’s jihad against semicolons amusing, especially since he argued, “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”

Kurt Vonnegut, who survived the firebombing of Dresden, and provided me with one of my three meanings of life—as well as a concise list of literary requirements—died today after a fall in his apartment. So it goes.

12 April 2007
Final Flight Considerations
Taisuke Matsuo made a big mistake recently when he died in the lavatory of an American Airlines jet flying from Tokyo to Chicago. (Cleaning crews discovered his body locked in the toilet hours after the plane landed.)

His mistake wasn’t dying. After all, only Matsuo knows if his heart attack came at the right time, and he’s not talking. No, his last error was to die, unnoticed, on the wrong airline.

I never thought I’d have anything positive to say about my least favorite airline, but, today I do. When a woman sitting in the back of the plane died last month on a British Airlines flight from Delhi to London, the crew moved the woman to a more comfortable seat in the first class cabin for the remainder of the flight.


Some pundits described the move as a public relations move by British Airways, but I know better. After receiving a note from one of the airline’s flight attendants years ago, I suspect the crew was just trying to avoid the voluminous paperwork associated with a passenger’s demise.

I think I’ll choose British Airways for my last flight. Until then, though, I’ll patronize other airlines.

13 April 2007
Deirdre’s Good Advice
Deirdre sent me a note about something I wrote last month: “That doesn’t matter; not much does.” She told me I should quote Arthur James Balfour’s observation, “Nothing matters much, and in the end nothing matters at all.”

I took Deirdre’s good advice; I always do.

14 April 2007
The Camera and the Violin
Today is Al Weber’s seventy-seventh birthday, so I went to his Internet site to see what my favorite curmudgeon is saying these days. And that’s where I found this insight.

    Bob Kolbrener, a real photographer, keeps telling the story (and I love it) that if one buys a camera, they are a photographer. If one buys a violin; well, they own a violin.

As a photographer who owns a bass, that made perfect sense to me.

15 April 2007
Brett and Rhonda’s Divorce
I wasn’t surprised to hear that Brett and Rhonda are getting divorced. She wanted a non-monogamous relationship; he wanted a monotonous one. Not much room for compromise there, alas.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart