Letters to Holly

Tuesday, February 20

Presidents' Weekend

We saw the high school boys win their conference championship in front of a packed madhouse gym. The student section lit into the opposing team AND their cheerleading squad with its own back-flipping representative matching the opposing tumbler move for move.

On Saturday I fed Your Sister lunch between her hourlong siestas. She stayed up long enough to watch the extended Fellowship of the Ring, which I think clocks in at three days. While she was out, I worked on the food comic. The next day, I drove down to Spartanburg to visit Esther. She was th photo wrangler at our wedding. She has a baby now, and this was my first chance to meet him. He's a happy lad. It was her dad's birthday weekend, and I gave him DVDs of GlenGary Glen Ross and The Right Stuff. I noticed during the drive that my oil light was flickering on hard turns, but I made the trip back home with no trouble. That's where I was when you talked to Your Sis on Sunday. I'm sure you killed in the interview.

On Monday, I took the car in for an oil change and learned it had almost no oil left I must have waited too long between changes. Also got the air and fuel filters cleaned, and the car does run much better now. Your Sis had to work. I got the groceries (and loaded up on crackuccino).

But before that I hit the gym. It was crowded with older folks, people who take to the machines in khaki pants and jeans because they intend to sweat as little as possible. Me, I'm going to get drenched. I found an open treadmill and started up my routine But before I could get running, an older man hopped on the machine next to me, and, I swear, started eyeballing me. Like a showdown. Like I was moving in on his territory. If I had to guess, he saw himself as the geezer stud who enjoyed making the other folks look feeble. Here I was -- younger, thinner, dashingly handsome, armed with an iPod (packed with the devil's music) -- working his beat and wooing his wimmens.

Now I had no interest in impressing his gals; I'm already hitched to an older woman. But as soon as I started running, he began to gallop too. With virtually no warm-up time. He meant to show me up. I didn't care. I had a fresh new playlist of songs to cycle through. Once I realized I was surrounded by old folks, I didn't have to worry about my music disturbing them. They can't hear. So I blasted my headphones, ensuring I will be as deaf when I hit their age. It's the ciiiiiircle of liiife, it's the wheeeeel of fortuuuune.

After about fifteen minutes, he stopped, cleaned up the machine, grabbed his gear, and left. I still had another fifteen minutes to go. I felt fine. This was my first run of any kind since the rehearsals started, and I was doing OK. I wasn't going at my top speed though; I was just testing whether my body remembered how to do this. I finished with no problems and devoid of 470 calories. Which I completely replaced with that crackuccino.

After all that, I sketched out panels for the comic over the three alloted pages, played some Guitar Hero and wrestling, and joined Your Sis for another basketball playoff game at the school. That team is tired. They played three games last week and held practice on Saturday in addition to their schoolwork (we hope). They gotta get some time off. We grabbed dinner at Juan's and tidied it off with Coronas.

I can already feel my body respond to the exercise. I'm a little tender, but also standing a little straighter.

Moving Picture of the Day
The third trailer for The Simpsons film is the goods.

In the News
Britney looks good bald. Honest. My theory: She dyed her hair into oblivion and had to start from scratch.

+ + +

The JetBlue fiasco baffles me. I clearly remember Northwest leaving people on the tarmac for eight hours within the last 10 years, and that airline didn't have this flustered response. Both times, weather played a big part in the airlines stranding passengers. But I don't see why a "bill of rights" would be necessary when common sense says you remove people from a plane after two hours of sitting on the runway. We got stuck in such a spot in Cleveland. Some folks around us made a stink (figuratively) and whined about the situation. But Your Sis and I brought books and we read out the wait. After a while, we exited the plane and got a new flight the next morning. It wasn't that big a deal. There was no need to threaten to sue or yell at the flight attendants.

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