2009 Notebook: Weak LII
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24 December 2009
No. 7,830 (cartoon)
You’re looking rather smug.

Maybe I am.

Happiness is preventable.

25 December 2009
Not an Evitable End
Jana and Jasmin decided to end their romantic relationship today. Although there’s never really a good time to do that, there’s no better time than Christmas. With so much despair and misery in the air, a little more might be barely noticed.

The decision was amicable, but not entirely mutual.

“Jana said the separation was inevitable,” reported Jasmin, “but I maintained it was certainly evitable until she walked out.”

And that’s the brutal math of romance: it takes two to make it go and one to make it stop. That’s amore!

26 December 2009
Faux Boxing Day with Dr. Batlan
Dr. Batlan invited me over for Boxing Day, so I of course accepted, even though the British holiday technically never occurs on a weekend.

It turns out that he wasn’t talking about the British celebration; he’s moving from the west coast to the wrong coast and needed help boxing up his worldly goods. He provided lots of pizza and beer, the traditional payment in a nonmonetarized friendship. Dr. Batlan has lots and lots of belongings, but I didn’t complain about all the work. At least we didn’t have to eat those detestable mince pies and the odious figgy pudding.

There may always be an England, but at least it’s ten thousand kilometers away.

27 December 2009
Florian’s Medication of Choice
Florian showed up at my studio with a large expanse of blood where the skin on his right arm used to be.

“Crash?” I asked rhetorically looking at his cycle. “How’s your bike?”

(My serious cycling friends tell me that, when inquiring about a bike accident, one should ask for a report on the bike’s condition first before discussing the rider’s injuries.)

“I need a new wheel,” Florian replied, “and an ice cube.”

“Just one?” I asked.

“In a large glass of whisky, please,” Florian continued.

I generally disapprove of self-medicating with alcohol, but make an exception for physical trauma involving the loss of skin and blood. And so, I brought Florian a large glass of whisky with a pint of hydrogen peroxide.

Florian will be back on the road, figuratively if not literally, soon. We’ve both been through this before.

28 December 2009
The End of the Naughties?
Rosalind told me that she was disappointed that the naughties were about to end.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. “The naughties have always been here and always will be.”

“No, I’m talking about the decade from 2000 to 2009,” she explained. “The naughties decade is almost over.”

“You’re making a semantic mistake,” I replied. “Some lame commentators have called this the noughties decade, as in nought being a synonym for zero.”

Rosalind seemed relieved.

“In fact, this is the naughties century until 2100,” I lied, “and we’ll be long dead by then.”

She smiled; that will keep her busy.

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29 December 2009
Retirement Plan (sketch)
My favorite mother, being a good mother, occasionally asks me about my nonexistent retirement plans. That’s when I explain to her that I make money by knowing what—and who—I know, talking, tapping on a computer, and occasionally making a photograph. I enjoy my work, and when I’m no longer able to perform those simple tasks I’m as good as dead, so there’s no point in retiring to stagnation.

Anyone who has a mother will not be surprised to hear she wasn’t convinced by my argument. And having known my mother for all of my life, I’m sure she never will accept my logic.

Since my mother’s smart enough to never look at this nonsense I concoct, my art piece for this month is simply a .38 bullet titled Retirement Plan (sketch).

(And mother, in the unlikely event that you’re reading this, it’s just art, just a joke. Same thing.)

30 December 2009
Bad Friends
This is a good time of the year—the end—to remember a wise observation by Samuel Butler.

“A friend who cannot at a pinch remember a thing or two that never happened is as bad as one who does not know how to forget.”

31 December 2009
Rolls of Honour
As the unremarkable year of 2009 fizzles to its termination, it’s time to acknowledge all of the businesses who were behind me this year as part of the Rolls of Honour programme.

  • 1890 Bryant Street Studios
  • Apple Store
  • B Restaurant and Bar
  • Benjarong
  • Caltrain 438, 447 (San Francisco-Menlo Park)
  • City of Fremont Development Services
  • Delta Airlines Flight 1071 (ATL-SFO)
  • Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Newark)
  • Drift Inn Cafe (Yachats, Oregon)
  • California Pacific Medical Center
  • Flint (Michigan) International Airport
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • Green Garden Restaurant
  • Jet Blue Flight 250 (LGB-OAK)
  • Joe’s Taco Lounge (Mill Valley)
  • Kjeldsen Sinnock Neudeck (Stockton)
  • Little Shin Shin (Oakland)
  • McRoberts & Roberts (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Michaelangelo Caffé
  • Golden Gate Endoscopy Center
  • Pancho’s Mexican Grill
  • Pizzetta 211
  • Quinta da Penha de França Hotel (Funchal, Portugal)
  • Quinta do Sol (Funchal, Portugal)
  • Raw Fish
  • San Francisco Art Institute
  • Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters (Florence, Oregon)
  • Stone Soup (Landrum, South Carolina)
  • Sweeties
  • Tom Yum
  • Turtle Island Restaurant
  • United Airlines Flight 901 (FRA-SFO)
  • United Negro College Fund (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Vientian Cafe (Oakland)
  • Workspace Limited

“Happy new year!” I said naïvely.

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart