2008 Notebook: Weak I
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1 January 2008
No. 7,206 (cartoon)
What are you doing?

Reinterpreting my earlier work.

It’s repetitiously redundant.

2 January 2008
2008 Preface
Before I write anything this year, there’s something I want to say. I realize that I am prone to ramble on from time to time, so I will keep this concise for as long as possible. That may not make much sense at the moment, but I hope it will tomorrow.

3 January 2008
It was good to start the year with a lovely note from Molly, who gave me a very nice compliment. “You know what I like most about your work? Nothink.”

I suppose that doesn’t sound like praise to anyone who doesn’t know Molly.

4 January 2008
I learned a new word today, “lethologica,” the condition of not being able to remember a desired word.

How could anyone remember such a word?

5 January 2008
Polly’s Abbreviated Party
Polly invited me to her party tonight, and warned me it would be over at ten.

“Seems a bit early to kick everyone out, doesn’t it?” I asked.

“No; I’m not going to stay up all night for my lame friends,” she replied. “If you can’t get drunk and find someone to leave with by ten, that’s not my problem.”

6 January 2008
Just a Snowman
I read a great story about what happened when the artist David Shrigley built an unusual snowman in front of a St. Moritz, Switzerland, hotel.

“When the art collector who owned the hotel saw it he became very excited that I had created an artwork in the grounds of his hotel,” Shrigley recalled. “I had to explain that it was not an artwork; it was just a snowman.”

And since every story needs a good punch line, here’s Shrigley’s: “It’s an easy mistake to make.”

7 January 2008
Happy Ninetieth Birthday
Today’s my birthday. Again. I’m ignoring it, as I do all other hollowdays except perhaps St. Stupid’s Day and Thanksgiving. I rarely appreciate birthday greetings, but Brad’s birthday missive was exceptional; here’s what it said.

    Happy ninetieth birthday
    [photograph of a cemetery]
    All your friends are dead.

I’m several decades from my ninetieth birthday, but I treasured Brad’s missive. Do I really want to live that long?

Probably not. I’ve been to enough friends’ wakes; it seems only appropriate that they come to mine. While they’re still alive.

8 January 2008
Known Knowns
I was researching certainty when I came across one of Samuel Butler’s observations, “There is one thing certain, namely, that we can have nothing certain; therefore it is not certain that we can have nothing certain.”

I wasn’t certain, but I thought I’d heard something like that before. I poked around the Internet, and found this pronouncement by the disgraced American militarist, Donald Rumsfeld.

    As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know. We don’t know.

That would certainly be funny if that wasn’t part of his rationale for maiming and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart