2007 Notebook: Weak XXVIII
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9 July 2007
No. 9,133 (cartoon)
Do you ever think about how cruel you’ve been to me?

I try not to rest on my laurels.

10 July 2007
Shannon Shaves Her Palms
The first time Shannon told me that she shaves the palms of her hands, I didn’t pay much attention. I thought she was making a bad joke, but she was simply making a declarative statement.

Shannon flies, sort of. That is, she travels through the air swinging from one piece of aerial acrobatics contraption to another. As a result of all the friction, her palms have large calluses that she needs to shave to stay in shape.

I was impressed when Shannon showed me her palms. They were rugged and austere, like the Siberian tundra. Actually, they were nothing of the sort, but I’ve always wanted to use the phrase, “rugged and austere, like the Siberian tundra.”

I’m delighted to have a friend who shaves her hands. I suspect I have more than one friend who does the same, but Shannon’s the only one with nothing to hide.

11 July 2007
Ginormous Annoyance
Fashion is one of many things that I don’t understand; why would anyone bother trying to be fashionable? It’s like Jean Cocteau said, “Fashion is everything that goes out of fashion.”

Having said that, part of my job description as an artist is to exhibit a modicum of originality. Thus, I was somewhat annoyed to learn that the editors of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary have decided that ginormous is a “real” word.

I’ve been using ginormous since 1996. I thought I was using it almost exclusively, but, once again, I was obviously mistaken. Oh well, I’ll just have to invent a new synonym for huge. Jonathan Swift probably wouldn’t mind if I used Brobdingnagantic.

Mark Twain was certainly right when he concluded, “What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing he knew nobody had said it before.”

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12 July 2007
Go Endeavor [sic]!
Need Another Seven Astronauts, the U.S. space agency, is in the news again for one of its high-profile blunders. NASA workers mounted a Brobdingnagantic banner at Launch Pad 39A featuring a misspelling of the space shuttle Endeavour. (The rocket scientists who who mounted the “Go Endeavor [sic]! sign apparently didn’t realize that the orbiter is named after James Cook’s Bark Endeavour.)

I’m in no position to gloat about someone else’s typographical error; my writing is chock full o’ myriad mistakes. On the other hand, I never claimed to be a rocket scientist. It’s disconcerting that the people responsible for the ridiculously complex task of sending humans into space failed to notice an obvious misspelling.

After thinking about it, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided that I like NASA’s most recent mistake, especially since it didn’t kill anyone. I wish I had the courage to make my gaffes with three-meter tall letters.

13 July 2007
Getting Stoned on Huey’s Terms
I enjoyed a lovely lunch with my old friend Huey, who, after spending three quarters of a century with his eyes open, is a font of wisdom.

Huey relies on the generosity of wealthy patrons to support his environmental work, but he disdains socializing with them more than absolutely necessary. We agreed that drinking with our rich friends was an expensive proposition, since they generally prefer to tipple overpriced adult beverages at pricey taverns. Huey told me he keeps cases of cheap wine at his home so he’s never obliged to frequent expensive saloons.

“It’s important to get stoned on your own terms,” Huey explained.

(I should mention that Huey’s use of the word “stoned” comes from the last millennium, when people used alcohol as a drug.)

14 July 2007
A Meat Bag
I rarely dabble in philosophy; questions such as “What does it all mean?” make my tiny brain hurt. As a result, I’m delighted when I come across an overly-simplistic answer to an overly-complex question. Today, I’m grateful to Eric Arthur Blair for his observation, “A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into.”

(Blair is more commonly known by his pen name, George Orwell.)

15 July 2007
Not a Grownup
This afternoon, I was enjoying many beers with Joyce when she referred to “the place where you grew up.”

“I haven’t grown up,” I replied, “that’s a euphemism for the end of growth. I’ll never grow up”

Joyce rolled her eyes and handed me another beer.

“Don’t get all semantical on me,” she said. “After all, no one’s going to confuse you with a grownup.”

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16 July 2007
Lori’s Discs
Whilst visiting Lori’s farm, I was surprised to see both compact discs as well as floppy discs hanging from the trees in her orchard.

“I know that the shiny compact disks are supposed to scare away birds,” I said, “but why are you also using floppy discs?”

Lori explained that, since compact discs held some five-hundred more data than floppy discs, she used a combination to keep both large and small avifauna away from her apples and apricots.

Wow! That’s the kind of science I can appreciate!

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart