2009 Notebook: Weak XLIV
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30 October 2009
No. 1,255 (cartoon)
This is no time for idiocy.

Then shut up.

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31 October 2009
Three Fort Mason Pyramids
The creative pasture between my ears has been mostly fallow in recent weeks. And so, I was glad when bored government workers decided to build tarmac mounds in the parking lot and paint sloppy (is that a synonym for painterly?) triangles on them.

It didn’t take long—three hundredths of a second, to be exact—to make Three Fort Mason Pyramids. My other parking lot art includes Seventeen Fort Mason, San Francisco, Painted Rails, Twenty-One Fort Mason, San Francisco, Parking Lines, and Two Sketched and Two Painted Arrows.

1 November 2009
Useless Wildlife Facts
All twenty species of armadillos give birth to four young of the same gender. A beaver can hold its breath for some forty-five minutes. Bats always turn left when flying out of a cave. The ocelot slumbers only in prime numbers. A jackrabbit is faster than a racehorse. A porcupine sports some thirty-thousand quills. Giraffes sleep less than four hours a week. And so on.

What a tedious day. Citing useless wildlife facts is even worse than playing monopoly.

2 November 2009
Another Day of Wordy Toil
Eric called to tell me how miserable he is. He drunkenly cited his usual litany of romance woes, money problems, and his standard vexation: his despotic boss. I’m not sure why I listened to his complaints; I’d heard them all many times before.

This has been a rewarding day. I’ve been working on the paragraph above since I awoke this morning. I moved a semicolon, deleted a redundant adjective, corrected a typographical error, addressed a few mechanical issues, and much more. That was a lot of hard work, but at least I have a new paragraph to show for my travails.

It’s dark, and time for a drink after all that exertion. No one said writing was easy!

3 November 2009
Wedding and Divorce Video
Since every marriage she’s filmed has ended in divorce, Marge announced she’s done making wedding videos. And that gave me an idea.

I suggested that she make a wedding video that begins with two happy, independent people meeting, falling in love, and getting married. That’s the basic wedding video formula, but here’s the twist. I recommended she edit the piece so that when it’s played in reverse, it shows a content married couple agreeing to separate, and it concludes by showing them as two happy, independent people.

4 November 2009
Hope in Hopelessness
Health Psychology published an article by scientists at the University of Michigan on hopelessness. The researchers studied colostomy patients, and concluded that those who believed their condition was permanent were generally happier than those who held out hope that they’d be healthier some day.

“There’s a dark side of hope,” concluded Peter Ubel, one of the study’s authors. “Sometimes, if hope makes people put off getting on with their life, it can get in the way of happiness.”

I have to agree, especially given Dr. Ubel’s credentials. Anyone who lives in Michigan is usually a de facto expert on hopelessness.

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart