2007 Notebook: Weak XLIX
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3 December 2007
No. 374 (cartoon)
You’re bent.

You’re twisted.

We’re a good fit.

4 December 2007
Getting Licked by Patients
Jorge told me he’s studying at a veterinary school to become a canine rehabilitation therapist.

“What does that involve?” I asked.

“I help dogs recover from orthopedic surgeries,” he explained. “It’s like being a human physical therapist except my patients lick me.”

Yuck! On the other hand, I suppose he’ll get paid a lot of money for getting slathered with dog oil.

5 December 2007
Valerie’s Uncreative Buildup
Valerie was in a glum mood at lunch today; I thought that was a disheartening development.

“Earlier this year you said you felt all sorts of creativity building up inside,” I said, “so what happened?”

“It turned out that it was only flatulence,” she explained.

Valerie glanced at her burrito apprehensively, then changed the subject.

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6 December 2007
Bag Not From Trees?!
San Francisco officials recently mandated that large grocery stores give their customers paper bags instead of plastic ones. That may or may not be why I’m noticing more brown paper bags these days.

First, I spotted the curious Paper Bag Council Seal of Approval. And today, I came across a brown paper bag with what appeared to be some sort of conceptual art statement printed on the side: “THIS BAG DID NOT COME FROM A TREE.”

If the paper bag didn’t come from a tree, maybe it came from a factory. Maybe it came from several trees. Maybe it came from some paper-like fiber. Maybe it came from Canada. I don’t know; the bag’s manufacturer didn’t provide an explanation.

As a technical aside, I should mention that these words did not come from a computer.

7 December 2007
Pond Scum Mating Considerations
I met a woman at Shaz’s party tonight who told me that there are thirteen different genders of pond scum. Thirteen genders, imagine that!

From my heterosexual perspective, I’m trying to figure out whether thirteen different genders is better or worse than the two with which I’m familiar. If thirteen genders means that one has twelve different genders for romantic possibilities, well, who could protest that? On the other hand, if mating involves courtship arrangements with a dozen other genders, I can appreciate that the usual hurdles could be more formidable by an order of magnitude.

In any case, I remain grateful that I’m not pond scum.

8 December 2007
Sex in Space, or Perhaps Not
A couple of months ago, I wrote about the paucity of data regarding high-altitude and extra-terrestrial sex. Apparently, I’m not the only person looking at those particular frontiers of science.

Recently, an eight-year old news item resurfaced about Pierre Kohler’s book, The Final Mission: Mir, The Human Adventure. The French author reported that both the United States National Aeronautic and Space Administration and the Russian Space Agency conducted secret experiments on mating in space.

“The issue of sex in space is a serious one,” Kohler observed. “The experiments carried out so far relate to missions planned for married couples on the future International Space Station, the successor to Mir. Scientists need to know how far sexual relations are possible without gravity.”

Kohler reported that couples experimented with twenty different positions, but found only four possibilities were possible without the use of straps and other accessories to counter weightlessness.

It’s a great story. And, like many such tales, it’s not true. According to the recent stories I read, Kohler’s book was based on a fictitious document that’s been on the Internet for ages. Or, as they say in Kohler’s country, le grande hoax.

Oh well, that means that there are still promising avenues of research for tireless—or at least agile—scientists.

9 December 2007
Coppola’s Cautionary Tale
“Now as I’m in my sixties, I’ll have the career of an eighteen-year old filmmaker,” Francis Ford Coppola recently told an interviewer. There’s a cautionary tale behind that remark, one of the oldest stories in art.

Once upon a time, Coppola drove around in a van making a movie, The Rain People. I’d never heard of that film, but I did hear about the next one he made, The Godfather. (As an aside, I don’t believe that I’ve seen any of his work. I have, however, enjoyed the Zinfandels from his winery.) After that, corporations made offers he apparently couldn’t refuse; he went on to make a number of well-regarded films, as well as huge sums of money.

“People thought I was a big deal and I was offered other opportunities,” Coppola explained. “Always in my mind was, ‘Well now’s the time to make a lot of money so we can finance our own personal films.’ I made fortunes and lost fortunes and never got around to really fulfilling what had been my dream.”

Until now. Sixty-eight seems a bit late in life to realize one’s dreams, but I suppose it’s better late than never. At least he’s making his first movie in a decade.

In any case, it’s an ancient story that’s been repeated ad nauseam over the centuries: someone does something that they really don’t want to do in the hope that it will allow them to eventually realize their dreams. In all too many cases, “eventually” never happens.

Well into my thirties, I wanted to be an artist, and devote as much time to creative pursuits as I desired. I tried a number of intermediate steps that I hoped would allow me to do that, but none of them did. And then, well before my fortieth birthday, I had a minor epiphany: if I wanted to be an artist, I should be an artist.

So I did, and I am, and that’s that.

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10 December 2007
There’s a public toilet in a park near here that has three doors: one for men, one for women, and one for unsex.


I’m confused. Are there people of no gender? Perhaps it’s for someone halfway through a sex-change program. It’s probably just another facet of sexuality with which I’m not familiar, and may never be. After all, I still have yet to find an answer to the question I posed over seven years ago regarding what’s involved with a predilection for “questioning” or “transponding.”

For all I know, perhaps we humans, like pond scum, also have thirteen genders.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart