2007 Notebook: Weak XLII
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15 October 2007
No. 1,567 (cartoon)
Do you love me the way I love you?

You know that I do.

Then fuck you too.

16 October 2007
My Favorite Color
“What’s your favorite color,” Nancy asked.

“You know I’m a chromophobe,” I replied, “I don’t have a favorite color.”

“Well, if you had to answer the question, what would you say?” Nancy continued.

“Pint,” I said.

“That’s a stupid answer,” Nancy opined.

“In response to an even stupider question,” I agreed. “I love you because you always bring out the best in me.”

17 October 2007
Oakland Airport Follies
I’m suffering through one of the longest hours in my adult life at the Oakland (California) International Airport. I suppose it’s called an international airport because the vending machines offer stale, overpriced tortilla chips.

The dingy terminals reverberate with the tinny, amplified sounds of The Mediocrest Music in the Galaxy. The aural pablum is punctuated by stern, deafening admonitions beginning with, “This is a security announcement ...”

We will confiscate and blow up your luggage if you stop looking at it. Evildoers shouldn’t even think about boarding an airplane. You can’t bring certain things past the security checkpoint; please ask for details. We will tow and destroy your motor vehicle if you leave it unattended outside an authorized parking lot.

The “security” idiots at the Oakland airport seem to be in a race to the bottom with their nincompoop counterparts in Boston to see who can be the stupidest. Why else would they remind me every few minutes that I couldn’t carry certain items—such as a few cans of ale—past the security check after I’d already been examined by ineffectual screeners?

A friend of a friend in the Israeli secret service bragged that he could commandeer any commercial aircraft with a few meters of dental floss and an eggplant. Overschooled killers scare me, so I didn’t ask what the eggplant was for.

18 October 2007
Hannah’s Jalapeño Revisited
“It’s cold!” Hannah complained.

“I’m cold!” she elaborated, just in case anyone failed to appreciate her suffering.

Hannah is an intelligent, ten-year old girl, who realizes that she’s responsible for pointing out the myriad injustices that plague children in general and her in particular.

Her wise parents generally ignore her frequent protestations; they limit their interventions to potential calamities that threaten death and/or dismemberment.

I, however, am a visitor, so I offered Hannah an alternative to freezing to death.

“Eat this,” I suggested as I handed her a large jalapeño pepper. “It’ll warm you from the inside out.”

To my surprise, she grabbed the pepper and bit off half. Her brother Izahia, not to be outdone, ate the other half. And that was that.

Having solved Hannah’s problem, I left for a long walk in the Oregon rain. When I returned, Hannah’s mother told me that the unfortunate girl vomited up the jalapeño.

And so, I feel sad, even though reverse peristalsis is an integral part of maturation. In all probability, Hannah will vomit when she starts drinking, and vomit some more when she’s pregnant. I just hope tonight’s unfortunate episode won’t lead her to forsake the wonders of capsaicin, which I believe are generally more rewarding than being a drunk parent, even.

19 October 2007
Thinking Inside the Box
Jim and I were thirsty after a long drive to the Oregon coast, so we dropped by a liquor store before we went to the beach house.

“Going for the expensive stuff, are we?” Jim asked when he saw me toting a couple of magnums of Foxhaus red wine.

I’d chosen the cheapest big bottles I could find, so I thought he was joking. Once again, I thought wrong.

“You should think inside the box,” Jim advised as he led me to the next aisle. There, he pointed to dozens of five-liter boxes of wine. It turns out that cheap wine in plastic-lined boxes is about two-thirds the price of cheap wine in glass bottles.

And now, on the shore of Lake Cleawox, I’m thinking inside the box, and the thinking is very good indeed, albeit a tad acidic.

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20 October 2007
Sand Creatures
I love spending time on the cold, sandy shore of Lake Cleawox. It looks barren, but I know it’s not: the beach is teeming with sand creatures. The microscopic critters live off the microorganisms that survive in the sand’s minute silica crevasses.

The sand creatures ingest a grain of sand, then excrete it through the same orifice a few hours later. The brainless sand creatures only live a couple of months, and die within a meter of where they were born.

I’ve met some people who share many traits with the sand creatures, although they wouldn’t recognize their own behavior even if they saw it through a microscope.

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21 October 2007
Thirty-Three Analog Hours
I cleverly forgot to bring my computer’s power adapter with me, so I’m spending thirty-three hours on the Oregon coast without a computer. (Or, more accurately, with a live computer with a dead battery.) And so, I’m writing pages and pages by hand; I haven’t done this in decades.

Sipping wine from a coffee cup and writing page after page in a cabin by a lake seems rather romantic, but it’s not. I have trouble reading my own writing, my hand hurts, and I’m continually annoyed by the realization that I’ll need to type everything I’m writing into my computer tomorrow. Feh!

I bet Thoreau’s Walden would have been a better read had he been writing on a computer. (As an aside, I should mention that Henry D. T. took regular breaks from his philosophizing at Walden Pond to take his dirty laundry home for his wife to wash.)

Ah, nature! Feh!

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart