2009 Notebook: Weak XIII
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26 March 2009
No. 922 (cartoon)
Your love tastes like petrol.

Your affection smells like vomit.

Let’s go!

27 March 2009
A Very Slippery Numeral
Izahia sent me the weather news from Homer, Alaska.

“It’s literally zero degrees out,” he reported, “but at least it’s twice as warm as it was yesterday.”

That led me to wonder about the concept of half of zero. I can appreciate why there’s no Roman numeral for zero; it’s a very slippery number.

28 March 2009
An Alcoholic Mystery
Sarah cooked a great dinner tonight. She can’t drink alcohol because of the medication she’s taking, so we enjoyed juice and tea with the meal. As a result, I wasn’t the least bit inebriated when I pedaled down Polk Street back to my studio.

The sidewalks were crowded with drunks, very loud drunks. More than one of the revelers stumbled into the street in front of me; navigating the human obstacle course made the short bicycle trip more interesting.

As I surveyed the drunken crowds, I wondered why they became so obnoxious after a few drinks, when my friends and I are delightfully and irrepressibly ebullient in the same state? Another one of life’s little mysteries, I suppose.

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29 March 2009
A Bag of DNA
My hair grew long enough to interfere with my vision, so I cut it off a few days ago and put it in a bag so it would no longer be in my way. This afternoon, I needed somewhere to put my annoyingly long fingernails, so clipped them off and put them in the bag full of hair.

Having concluded my personal maintenance for the month, I wondered what to do with a bag of my deoxyribonucleic acid. I didn’t have to think for long: it’s worthless, so I threw it away. If some mad scientist finds it and uses the hair and fingernails to recreate me, that will be his problem, not mine.

30 March 2009
Cretin Love
Deirdre is smitten with her new courtship interest, a man she describes as “the most handsome cretin on the planet.”

I don’t know what to make of her infatuation. It’s easy to understand the physical appeal, but I’m not sure about the viability of being romantically involved with someone of very limited intellectual capacity.

I heard a story about an American man who’s been happily married to a Japanese woman for decades. They have no common language; she speaks almost no English and he’s even worse at Japanese. Perhaps communication between romantic partners is overrated, so I asked Deirdre what it was like to be involved with a cretin.

“I said Korean!” she exclaimed. “You’re the only cretin I know, you imbecile.”

I was tempted to point out that “imbecile” has a specific definition, but decided to simply apologize instead. Sarah rewarded my contrition with some excellent kimchi, and we lived happily ever after, or at least for the remainder of the visit.

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31 March 2009
Fourteen Oklahoma Highway Intersections
I’m rarely bored with boredom. There must be a reason for this, but I’ve never tried to find it. Fourteen Oklahoma Highway Intersections is the latest manifestation of my love of tedium.

I was originally planning to use precise titles, such as, Creek Turnpike and East Fifty-First Street, 36°05'37 North, 95°42'53 West. I rejected this approach because I was too lazy to determine accurate latitude and longitude coördinates. I did take the time, however, to crop all the images to phi, colloquially known as the golden ratio.

As was the case with Twenty-Three Cinematic Yosemite Panoramas, there’s more to the images than meets the eye, at least over the Internet. The computer program I used to process the photographs broke the satellite images into thousands and thousands of tiny geometric shapes. I’m probably the only person who’ll ever see them, since I doubt I’ll ever print the images large enough for these details to be visible.

I can’t remember if I was ever in Oklahoma, that’s how boring the state is, a state that’s perhaps as boring as looking at Fourteen Oklahoma Highway Intersections.

1 April 2009
Saint Stupid’s Day Work
It’s April Fool’s day again, and time for the annual Saint Stupid’s Day parade. I won’t be joining in the festivities, though, as I have to work. The government’s giving away hundreds of billions of dollars, so some friends and I are asking for only three million of them. That certainly seems reasonable to me.

Curiously, chasing money feels like the right thing to do today. Work is stupid, so what better way to celebrate Saint Stupid’s Day than by laboring? Such drudgery is much stupider than any parade!

2 April 2009
Journalists and Stenographers
“What’s the difference between a journalists and a stenographer?” Nancy asked.

“That sounds like a trick question,” I replied. “So tell me, what is the difference between a journalists and a stenographer?”

“I really don’t know anymore,” she said, “and I’m afraid they don’t either.”

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart