2007 Notebook: Weak XXVII
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2 July 2007
No. 265 (cartoon)
I don’t trust my friends.

I trust my enemies; they rarely disappoint.

3 July 2007
Demons and Muses
I called Cecelia to see what she was doing; she told me that she was working on a new art project.

“What are you up to?” I asked. “I’m always looking for ideas to plagiarize.”

“Actually,” she admitted, “I haven’t exactly quite figured out what I’m doing yet. In fact, I’ve been drinking liters of cough medicine and hallucinating, but ‘working on a new art project’ seemed like a better thing to say.”

“One person’s demon is another person’s muse,” I replied.

I haven’t slurped cough syrup since I was a young boy; I wonder if I’m missing out on anything?

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4 July 2007
Discarded Taboule Bulgar Wheat Salad
I love housesitting for my friends. In addition to deterring nonexistent burglars, I’m pleased to take care of pleasant pusses and perfidious pups. And then there’s also the food. Take, for example, Dr. Poticha’s three-word note I found when I showed up at her place after she left for Italy.

“Eat my food.”

Dr. Poticha has a huge cabinet full of whisky and wine. Unfortunately, none of those bottles may be considered as perishables, and are thus off-limits to a relatively ethical housesitter like myself. And so, that left the bread basket and the refrigerator.

The icebox yielded many rewards: smoked salmon, cheeses, yogurt, and lots of other goodies that might be technically inedible in a couple of weeks. And then there was a container labeled, “Taboule Bulgar Wheat Salad.”

The wheat salad looked disconcertingly disconcerting. White speckles peppered the greenish mixture, perhaps mold? The alleged food looked suspicious, so I tossed it into the garbage can.

On the other hand, the bowl of pesto was covered in an unmistakably blue-fuzz fungus. I scraped off the disgusting growth, and enjoyed a delightful repast.

And so, there’s an evolutionary moral to this story. Tasty foods like pesto survive; weird concoctions like “wheat salad” do not. Pesto will no doubt be around in a couple of millennia; I wouldn’t be surprised if taboule bulgar wheat salad dies before I do.

5 July 2007
Putting the Bomb Back in Bombastic
Cedric asked me to describe my approach to art.

“That’s like talking about one’s approach to sex,” I replied, “it’s something well-behaved and genteel people don’t discuss.”

“And neither do I,” I added after seeing Cedric’s quizzical expression.

“What would you say if I put a gun to your head and asked you the same question?” Cedric continued.

“I suppose I’d ask you what kind of gun,” I replied. “Maybe it’s my fond memories of Austria and Austrians, but I’ve always been partial to Glocks.”

Cedric took a more practical approach: he put a bottle of Bunnahabhain to my head, then again asked me to describe my approach to art.

“I think it’s important to set impossible goals,” I replied uncertainly, “so I want to put the bomb back in bombastic.”

6 July 2007
Oxygen and Algae and/or Meteorites and/or Catfish
I heard a really great story about oxygen the other day. Was it something about almost all the oxygen on earth came from algae feeding on dinosaur remains? Or maybe it was sulfur reacting to meteors. Catfish evolution, perhaps? Something like that.

If I can’t remember any details, I suppose oxygen really isn’t that interesting after all. The more likely possibility, which I’m reticent to acknowledge, is that I don’t have even a tenuous grasp of anything to do with science.

7 July 2007
Razed and Defused
I’m drinking a whole lot of beer watching a whole lot of Led Zeppelin filmettes whilst housesitting. A whole lot of the former makes a whole lot of the latter tolerable. Almost.

These recordings, made when I was entering puberty, are sadly hilarious. It’s obvious that the editors has little original visual material with which to work, so there’s lots of gimmicky “special effects” spliced together with lots of images of the musicians’ derrieres. Ironically—or perhaps not—the ensemble’s videos got worser and worser as the quartet became famouser and famouser. Despite my firm belief that beer is not a depressant, I thought it was pathetic that the films got more sophomoric as the musicians became more senior.

As usual, there’s nothing wrong with whole lot of dross that whole lot beer can’t ameliorate, mostly. Those ginormous Elvis Presley sideburns, though, still deeply disturb me.

8 July 2007
Undebatable Burritos
I met Antoinette and Conrad at one of my favorite burrito parlours, Caliente Claude’s, for a simple dinner. But that’s not the way it turned out.

“How can you eat such a monstrosity when people are becoming morbidly obese?” Antoinette asked Conrad after he asked for extra guacamole and sour cream on his burrito.

“How can you justify eating that when people are starving?” Conrad shot back after Antoinette ordered a simple rice-and-beans burrito.

“Relax,” I advised. “Here’s how you eat any burrito. Bite off a piece. Chew. Swallow. Repeat as desired, but stop before you vomit.”

Fortunately, my atypical words of wisdom ended that debate.

Antoinette and Conrad grudgingly accepted my argument. I think they finally realized that a burrito parlour is a place for culinary satiety, not a greasy venue for sophistical discussion.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart