Letters to Holly

Friday, August 10

Another Early Morning

Kathy and Travis invited us over last night for a pancake dinner. Good stuff. They leave for Germany in three weeks to visit their exchange student.

I was pretty dang tired when I went to bed last night at midnight, but I woke up without much trouble this morning. I was a bit sore in the shoulders and arms. We quietly drove to the gym and drifted into the building. But once I got on a stationary bike, I found energy. I biked until the meter said I burned 100 calories, and then I moved to the various weigh machines and then ran for 15 minutes.

I don't think we'll do this five days a week. Maybe three. Regardless, I will still run my weekend 5ks. Your Sister wonders if if it's worth me joining her at the gym so early if we're only there for a half hour. I continue to assure her that I will be there as long as she is. I believe she feels more guilt about the early start than she feels regret for starting this project.

Picture of the Day
Stormy weather.

Thursday, August 9

The Experiment

School is approaching quickly, so quickly that Your Sis feels summer never really happened. Things she wanted to do between semesters didn't occur. And she's not happy with how much time she spent sitting and thinking and writing instead of walking about. She feels frumpy. Lumpy. Dumpy. Something else-umpy. Starting this morning, we're going to get up stupidly early and hit the gym before her school hours. She tells me I don't have to do this with her. But, yes, the husband should. And I am. I should make better use of my time anyway; I have a two-hour commute that east up so much of my personal time.

We got up at 5:40 and were at the gym at 6, right as they opened. We were there about half an hour. I had to get my bearings; I was last there around March. My favorite machines had moved, and I forgot my old routine. Did a little bit of this, did a little bit of that. I couldn't push it. I'm never any good at exercising immediately after waking up, especially if it's that early. I always seem to pull a muscle doing the smallest thing. Today was an experiment. I just wanted to go through a light routine and take stock of my progress. I seemed to do OK. So did she, even though she thinks she should be further along already. We'll go again tomorrow morning, and now that I remember where things are and what I used to do on them, I can get a better workout. We grabbed Starbucks coffee and split up for the day. It's about three hours after the gym, and I feel OK, I suppose. I may have overdone my arms.

After work, I caught The Simpsons Movie by myself because Your Sister think she has no funny bone. It doesn't try to be anything but a longer Simpsons installment. I like that. It's very funny, and I'll spoil nothing for you. But it's worth seeing in a theatre.

I'll work on the flyer today at work and get you a rough before I leave for home.

Picture of the Day
A baroque Supergirl. I don't get it, but it looks nice.

Tuesday, August 7

Your Parents Are Back

Your Sis drove into Asheville with me yesterday and puttered around town while I worked. We met up for a quick lunch at Mellow Mushroom. We picked up Your Parents from the airport as their flight landed on time but without one piece of luggage. Your Sis and I had agreed for a week to take them to the pizza restaurant for supper, but she instead asked them if they wanted Ruby Tuesday's. We went there, loaded them up on grub, and took them home after some debriefing. We were a little shocked to learn that Your Dad has read all but the final Harry Potter books, and I offered him my copy. Kempas was much relieved to be unleashed, and I may have been relieved just a little more. As far as I know, they're still waiting for the other suitcase.

And now our new regular feature, Dear Aunt Slappy.

Dear Aunt Slappy,
When are the dates you'll be in DC?
Signed, Busy in Boston

Dear BIB,
While I may be an artificially alive, 140-year-old spinster and moral buttinski, it's really not for me to say if your son should keep badgers in his room. From what I read here in this 2nd edition of Holmstead's Guide to North American Mammals, badgers are said to be "courteous to the blind, resolute when confronted by elephants, and prone to eating middle children." If your son has no younger and older siblings, he should be quite safe so long as he doesn't make his new pet watch Dumbo. Hope this helps.

P.S. Aug. 13-18.

Picture of the Day
A fire dancer

Monday, August 6

Potatoes and Hams

We caught Cyrano Friday night at the outdoor theatre. It was bad. I say this aware that my inability to make the cast of Romeo and Juliet could color my enjoyment. But Your Sister, who roots for local theatre to be its best, turned to me right after the curtain call and said "so, we're not seeing this group again unless we're part of a large party, right?" And I had to agree. The biggest problem with the show is the lack of microphones. The cast has to shout virtually every line in an amphitheater with poor acoustics. And neighborhood pets. And tree frogs and crickets (actual crickets in the audience, not the cliche kind) and church bells and car alarms and motorcycles. This flat shouting makes for a recital, not a performance.

The Cyrano actor tried his damnedest. He had the goods. His supporting cast was spotty (some of the Montford stalwarts are doing the shows no favors), but a number of them were gamers. I recognized a few from my audition. You'll remember how the director of that show encouraged the SNL-style of comedy delivery. He was in Cyrano, and we saw his style of acting, the classical stereotype of a Shakespeare performance -- broad, stiff, the method that makes an actor sound like Dudley Do-Right. So, yeah, I guess I'll try other companies for my theatre fix. Also, wearing Elizabethan costumes outside in July in Asheville? Not fun looking.

Didn't help that the directors made the actors fly through the lines to fit within a three-hour span. I wanted to like this, and I tried to hear all the lines despite the lack of mics, but Your Sis walked me through the show afterward, and I clearly missed crucial plot elements. If they fix the sound, they can work with inflections and tone and solve probably 80% of their problems. They won't even have to face out to the audience for all the lines.

We worked on the lawn Saturday morning, right before we plucked the remaining potatoes. After about a half hour, we had a bucket full of tubers. Had we not harvested the first batch a few weeks back, we would have too many to handle. As it was we ate four larger ones Sunday night for dinner. A library gardening book says we would notice the difference in taste from the store-bought potatoes, but we couldn't. Still, they were ours and we loved them like proud parents before gobbling them up like Saturn. We're planning on next year's crops and possibly making a cold frame for winter growth. Your Sis thinks we can use the old shower glass to protect the plants from frost.

I, of course, worked on your drawing this weekend, and I'll be able to ink the tighter sketch tomorrow after work. I'll mail you the image and potential text design (for a poster maybe) by the end of this week. I'll still have the weekend to work on it before we go to Washington.

Picture of the Day