2008 Notebook: Weak LII
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24 December 2008
No. 6,328 (cartoon)
I wish I was here.

I don’t.

25 December 2008
A Shitty Christmas
A lot of people believe that—if you’re good and have a high-fiber diet—Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, will visit on Christmas day. I’m not superstitious, so I didn’t pay much attention to the legend of Mr. Hankey.

Until this morning, that is.

After I crawled out of bed, I discovered several piles of excrement on the kitchen floor. I suspect the holiday gift came from Titian, the miserable cur I’m watching over while his owners are away. I’m not blaming the mongrel, though; perhaps Mr. Hankey really did drop by!

In any case, I sang the last part of the Mr. Hankey song as I cleaned up the repulsive mess.

    Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo,
    When Christmas leaves he must leave too.
    Flush him down but he’s never gone,
    His smell and his spirit linger on.

    Howdy ho!

26 December 2008
Luciana opened a nice box of red wine; she described it as a holiday in a box.

“It’s an alcoholiday!” I agreed.

And that was the beginning and the end of boxing day, as far as I can recall. A large box of red wine is a welcome addition to most meals, but of little benefit when it comes to writing and memory. That’s why I don’t like to go on alcoholidays very often; there’s little to show for the effort except a tanned brain.

27 December 2008
An Abundance of Pretentiousness and a Dearth of Ideas
I was looking through Nell’s recordings when I discovered the most impressive packaging that I’ve seen for a disk, Fabric 36 by Ricardo Villalobos. The collection of songs was on a disk inside of a glossy envelope inside of a die-cut sleeve inside of an embossed metal case inside of yet another printed sleeve.

And the music? Dreadfully mediocre electronic disco crap. Evidently, all the talent and creativity went into the packaging.

The wretched music reminded me of Chris Rauschenberg’s White Gloves Hypothesis: “The quality of art work is inversely proportional to the number of white cotton gloves included in the portfolio case.”

An abundance of pretentiousness will never conceal a dearth of ideas, but that certainly doesn’t stop people from trying.

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28 December 2008
World-class Typo
If there’s anything I like better than a huge typo, it’s a mammoth typo on a publication’s cover. And so, the editors at MaxPlanckForschung have made me very happy.

The deep thinkers at the The Max Planck Institute decided some classic Chinese calligraphy would be just the thing to grace the cover of an issue looking at China. Unfortunately, they knew about as much about the Chinese language as I do: nothing.

And that explains why the cover of a recent issue of MaxPlanckForschung extolls the “enchanting and coquettish performance” of “hot housewives in action!” Very classy!

That was such an idiotic mistake that I’m surprised that I didn’t do anything quite that bad when I was editing and publishing a periodical. Perhaps I was too amateurish; perhaps it takes world-class intellectuals to make a truly world-class typo.

29 December 2008
I just learned that a baby puffin is a puffling. I think puffins may be one of those species that explodes in a microwave oven, but I’m not going to look for a definitive answer. I’m running out of places in my little brain to store new knowledge; I’m glad the year is almost over.

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30 December 2008
Twenty-Three Cinematic Yosemite Panoramas
I’ve been mildly suffering from a paucity of natural grandeur recently, so I decided to take matters—or pixels—into my own hands. Specifically, I enlarged some tiny Yosemite photographs from 576 pixels to 12,960,000 pixels to make Twenty-Three Cinematic Yosemite Panoramas. In the process of converting the thirty-two bit images, my computer created some fine patterns that aren’t visible on the Internet. Still, I like the self-indulgent photos, but I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Was Yosemite National Park made for chromophobic photographers, or was it the other way around?

31 December 2008
Rolls of Honour
It’s almost 2009, and thus time to cite all businesses that have made this another great year for my Rolls of Honour programme.

Atlanta Motel (Orangeville, Ontario)
Clift Hotel
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Newark)
Evergreen Garden
Flint (Michigan) International Airport
Hunters Point Shipyard
International Forum on Globalization
Left Space Studios
Life Science! (Woodland)
Litke Properties
Mama’s Royal Cafe (Oakland)
My Canh
Nifty Nook Restaurant (Orangeville, Ontario)
Nonesuch Gallery (Oakland)
Northwest Airlines Flight 222 (SFO/MSP)
Osaka Sushi
Outrigger Napili Shores (Hawaii)
Papa Lima Sandwich (New York)
Philip Williams and Associates, Ltd.
Ritz-Carlton (New York)
Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe (Emeryville)
St. Mary’s Medical Center
San Francisco Art Institute
Sometimes Gallery
Solano Land Trust
Vientian Cafe (Oakland)
Westin St. Francis

Thanks to all my sponsors, and bottoms up!

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart