2008 Notebook: Weak XLVII
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20 November 2008
No. 8,028 (cartoon)
Are there questions that shouldn’t be asked?

Are there questions that shouldn’t be answered?

What in the hell are we talking about?!

21 November 2008
Fast Fingernails and Slow Toenails
I just read that fingernails grow faster than toenails. I should have observed and known about such an obvious phenomenon, but I didn’t. Life’s full of things I should have noticed, but didn’t.

22 November 2008
Punk Bodyguards?!
“Punk musician” Travis Barker filed a lawsuit for twenty-five thousand dollars after the jet he was on crashed and burned in South Carolina; the drummer’s bodyguard died.

Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute here! This sounds more than a little suspicious.

Since when did drummers become musicians? Since when did anyone file a lawsuit for only twenty-five thousand dollars? That’s just enough to cover the lawyers’ lunches. Since when did punk rock come to South Carolina? And since when did punk musicians or drummers have bodyguards?

Something smells rotten here; that’s usually the case with drummers.

23 November 2008
Half Bisexual
Lina announced that she’s “half bisexual.” In response, I gently told Lina that I prefer that my friends keep their private lives private. Lina replied that she was hopelessly heterosexual, and that she was just trying to be funny and clever.

I was tempted to tell her that people are funny and clever without trying or they’re not, but I kept my mouth shut. I should do that more often, but probably won’t.

24 November 2008
Duplicitous Sperm-Stealing Orchids
Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species; everyone knows that. But I just heard about—almost a century and a half after the fact—his next book, The Various Contrivances by Which Orchids Are Fertilized by Insects.

It seems that orchids fool male wasps into thinking they’re female wasps (?!) and pollinating them. I don’t really understand how orchids have figured out that acquiring wasp sperm is in their best interests, which makes them—not to mention Darwin—smarter than me.

And speaking of stupid: I don’t know much about male wasps either, but they must be either stupider and/or more desperate and/or drunker than their human counterparts to mistake an orchid for a member of their own species. Despite my myriad embarrassments and faux pas, I’ve never mistaken any other species for a female human of the opposite sex.

25 November 2008
Circular Logic
I just discovered two new types of circles. First, there’s a circle with a radius of zero; that’s actually a point. At the other end of the circular spectrum, the radius of a circle with an infinite radius is, in fact, a line.

Of course, I really didn’t discover this; smart mathematicians figured out this circular logic centuries ago. Still, I’m happy with what I learned; from now on I’ll never know whether the line I’m looking at is a garden-variety line or part of an infinite circle.

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26 November 2008
Twenty-One Fort Mason, San Francisco, Parking Lines
“Write about what your everyday life offers you,” Rainer Maria von Rilke advised. I generally ignore advice, especially when it’s from Rilke’s book, Letters to a Young Poet. (As may be evident, I’m neither young nor a poet.)

Nevertheless, photographing what my everyday life offers me has served me well. Recently, that’s resulted in Two Sketched and Two Painted Arrows, and, most recently, Twenty-One Fort Mason, San Francisco, Parking Lines.

Despite the workers’ attempts to paint uniformly nondescript white lines in the repaved parking lot outside my window, each stripe is nevertheless different. I know this is a simplistic attitude, but this lack of visual conformity pleases me every time I walk through the parking spaces outside my studio.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart