Letters to Holly

Friday, June 2

Library and Spelling

We took the horde of books back to the library. These were two boxes' worth the library asked the community to take home to make their move easier. The new digs are nice, if a little spartan. All the new joint needed was more floorspace, and it certianly has that. It's a simple building with good lighting and an accessible layout. It also has a small ampitheatre, another recent discovery that makes me want to try theatre again. We ran into some students scrambling to finish research papers. One tried to get Your Sister to edit his work, and I told him she's off-duty. Then we ran home to watch the spelling bee.

I started to think the Saryn Cook angle was just that: scripted. The judges admit to a spelling mistake in the first primetime network airing? And it allows the cute girl to return to fight again (and by "cute I mean she had her hair done and what appared to be make-up)? I'm a cynic. It tripped my alarm. Her subsequent loss suggested her return didn't affect the outcome so much, protecting any effort to provide a shock without putting the contest in her lap.

Still, it's a fascinating spectacle because we get to watch people think, a rarity for TV. Ms. Close deserved to win as she outlasted a Canadian who got at least four French words in the last three rounds. Talk about luck.

Speaking of the Canadian, she was there because the contest is open to all English-speaking nations, yet so many words were not English: French, Greek, Turkish, native Hawaiian, German. What's the deal? Either it's an English spelling contest or it's not. If not, why should the official language of a competitor's nation matter?

Your Sister had very little trouble with the German words, including the winning word "ursprache."

Picture of the Day
This gets a little complicated. The image below is of the first appearance of Jean Grey as Phoenix. This is possibly the biggest moment in the X-Men franchise, as it set up storylines for decades. It also plays a part in the X2 and X3 films. This is drawn by John Byrne, who co-wrote and drew the majority of the original Phoenix material, including its holy-crap ending. But this is an homage to the guy who originally drew the scene, Dave Cockrum. Byrne is a lightning rod for online geek chats. He's certainly one of the more significant artist/writers of the past 25 years, but he's also one of the most vilified. Rumors about his ego and professionalism dog him, and as far as I know, it's unfounded. Either way, he energized the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Superman, and Wonder Woman franchises over the course of this career. And he can draw anything. He's been a fave of mine since I was barely a teen.

In the news
Get ready for Loud Words. On Monday, Bush will back a Senate bill to add an amendment against gay marriage. This is a ploy to win back the GOP diehards who drifted away because of the war. Al Franken (funny guy, lousy radio host) said the GOP won the 2004 election with "fears and queers," spooking the Heartland with tales of terrorists and gays. Looks like they're trying it again.

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According to ABC, Homeland Security excused a reduction in anti-terrorism funding to New York because there were no national monuments there of interest to terrorists. I'm dumbstruck.

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