Letters to Holly

Monday, April 10

My Hair Was Mugged

Friday, we happened to run into Travis, Kathy, and Tonia at the local pub and talked for hours. Travis is playing a computer game that I recommended a while back, and I was able to help him work through a tricky area with it. I talked Harry Potter with Tonia, while Your Sister and Kathy talked teacher stuff. Then we walked over to Jason’s or dessert. A good night all around.

Remember when I discovered I could hear 1030 AM WBZ out of Boston? I beat that Friday night. 1010 AM CFRB. Toronto. Canadian radio. It's madness. I'm gonna try for Russian military chatter next week.

Saturday was full. I started off tinkering with the lawn mower to get it ready for use again. You have to tick through a checklist” change the air filter, change the spark plug, replace the oil, replace the gas, sharpen the blade. It’s not as bad as it seems to begin with. Then one finds that there is no direct spark plug replacement for the one that comes with the mower, and the charts for plug replacements at the local hardware stores don’t even list Briggs and Stratton, the guys who made my mower. Fortunately the local store owner recommended one to me that worked just fine. Also, I had no idea mowers held so much oil when I took out the drain plug. I turned the mower on its side and unscrewed the plug. I assumed the oil, being all old and goopy would just ooze out. No. Oh., no. The mower sneezes the oil at you. Once the plug is removed, you’ve got a gusher or thick, jet-black crud spurting out. This, you might imagine, can be surprising.

While I was out getting mower parts, I swung by the regular shop for a haircut, and the stylist this day just about shaved my head. In fact, as I sat there feeling the clippers drag along my skull and watching clouds of hair tumble to the floor, I remember saying to myself, “I wonder if this is what it feels like to have your head shaved.” Yes, yes it does. Because that’s what he did. I have hair, but not much. And it’s all one length. I look like I just left the army barber. The ladies at the office say I look like Jack from “Lost.” They are what we call “drunks,” and they are not to be believed. I was mortified by the haircut. It’s embarrassing. Eight-year-old redneck boys sport this style.

We ran to Target to buy baby-shower gifts, but the store wasn’t stocked well enough to match the registries. Your Sister instead opted for gift cards. We spent the rest of our time there buying a bathing suit for her. Let me tell you this, young Holly, this can be the most treacherous thing a husband can attempt with his wife. In fact, we tried this once before about a year back, and it went horribly wrong. Tears were involved, and in both of our defenses, Your Sister picked a really bad suit. It was the suit’s fault. Your Sister isn’t fat or ugly, but that suit had too much ugly to overcome. This time, however, we decided to mix and match, and found a winner based on the bottom piece which is made for guys. This gives her the tomboy look she craves, and we found a top without much trouble. We spent maybe an hour going through all the options, but we both enjoyed it. I like to shop, and she was encouraged enough by the combinations to have fun with it. Mission accomplished. We strolled to Old Navy where she found a shirt for me she really took a shine to, and she picked out some lighter summer gear for her.

On Sunday, I reassembled the mower and chopped up some wood for the firepit. I also tore down the ugly ivy clinging to the workshed. We grabbed some lunch at the pub (same as Friday night) and got groceries. We’re having the pub couple and Tonia over tonight for wings and wrestling. I’ve never made this many before, and I’ll have to catch them all up on the wrestling stories. It should be a blast. Last night, we watched The Paper, a Ron Howard ensemble film about a New York daily’s employees. Great film, really shows you how papers work. Or don’t work.

Sketch Day
As I noted last week, we’re moving along on the Star Wars pic. I wanted to try a more detailed style for this one and asked Your Sister to pose for me for both figures. The figure on the right will be modeled after you. These pictures show how I can take multiple photos and mash together the best parts of each for the pose I want to draw. I lightened up the pants on the second picture to better see the folds.

In the news
Rallies around the country today will focus attention on immigrant rights. As I said before, I’m against the easy bigotry and paranoia that slide into this debate. But is the legal process for entering the country that limiting? We provide an inspiration and culture for capitalist self-determination, and that lures people from all over. We can’t criminalize their desire to be here, but we can’t collapse our laws for coming here. How many people can be granted refugee status if they aren’t escaping a warzone? I’m all for a program that legalizes everyone that steps forward within a certain amount of time. If they’ve worked here for a time, they then have the means to pay for a retroactive legalized worker status. But if they don’t step forward within the time allowed, then they have to go back and come in legally. Let’s be fair and helpful for those who now have a better financial footing to afford the legal process. But only for a certain time. I’m still not for walling off the border; that’s too draconian for me.

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Part of the controversial youth worker law has been chucked by Jacques Chirac.

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A New Yorker article stated the U.S. is planning nuclear airstrikes against Iran. This comes from the same writer who first reported the Abu Ghraib abuse. The potential to use nukes comes from a 2005 decree that the administration reserves the right to nuke someone who poses a nuclear threat by those who might feel threatened and attack first. Baffling, isn’t it?

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