Letters to Holly

Friday, September 7

Paper Tigers

I left work early to help the school paper editor and adviser adjust their layout. The paper is nicely designed but it needs some spacing; the columns are crammed together. I showed them how to fix some elements in their software (on a Mac, unfortunately) and suggested some small graphic elements to use if a photograph assignment didn't come through. I may go back next week to work directly with their layout person. After dinner, Your Sis and I took in the hype-a-thon that was the season kickoff TV show and then enjoyed some football.

The NFL Contest
NFC: New Orleans (0-1), St. Louis
AFC: Indianapolis (1-0), New England

NFC: New Orleans (0-1), Carolina
AFC: New England, San Diego

The Saints could only restrain the Indy offense for so long, and the second half was a scoring spree for the Colts. I'm currently a distant fourth in my fantasy league. My top running back ( a Saint) was clobbered by the Colts defense.

Picture of the Day
Uranus and its rings.

Wednesday, September 5

Sweet Merciful Odin, It's Football Season Again

Your Sis continues to harbor the cold, and now her fellow English teachers are getting it too. She's taking it easy at night and turning in even earlier than normal. She's using the sick bed.

I used the griddle from Your Parents to grill chicken for a pasta dish. We've bought frozen fillet bags for years now, and it's just about time to stop. I notice more and more of the egg-based preservative that coats the chicken, and I don't want it. If I want egg in the recipe, I'll add it, thank you.

Your Sis and I finally made our Super Bowl picks last night. I wrote out all the teams in their respective conferences and let her pick first. I didn't see her picks when I made mine, and surprisingly, half of our picks are identical.

NFC: New Orleans, St. Louis
AFC: Indianapolis, New England

NFC: New Orleans, Carolina
AFC: New England, San Diego

New England and Carolina figure heavily in my fantasy team. I have to root for them. Your Sis has a small crush on the Indianapolis quarterback. Indy and New Orleans play each other tonight, and Carolina and St. Louis play each other this weekend. The season begins, and there is no slow stroll toward domestic warfare. As of tonight, it's on like Donkey Kong.

Picture of the Day
This man was clean shaven yesterday. Such if the power of football season.

Tuesday, September 4


Saturday was highlighted by a cookout dinner at some friends' house and a pleasant summer night conversation on the back deck.

I started Sunday by clearing the garden space of a weed jungle. It took longer than I thought, and I flushed out a small zoo of yard critters including a praying mantis and a frog. The town was oddly quiet, but the cooler cloudy weather may have kept the tourists at bay. Your Sis, still cold-ridden, slept a lot. I washed both cars before grabbing a pizza and DVDs.

The Lives of Others is a German film that won the best foreign language Oscar this year. It concerns a Stasi agent monitoring a writer/actress tandem in the last days of East Germany. It's very good. We see the monitoring agent transition from strident interrogator to a quiet co-conspirator without the knowledge of his bosses or the couple. It didn't go where I expected it to, and I'm relieved for that. If this was a domestic film, there are dozens of places you could pinpoint where the film would go badly.

Monday morning we kayaked down the French Broad, from Rosman this time. I believe this was the same company you and Your Sis used a few years back. We chose the four-hour trip and saw dozens of animals we normally don't get to see: herons, kingfishers, ducks, two flocks of geese (which produce an enormous amount of horsepower when they take off en masse a few feet from your kayak), and bugs by the truckload. The trip would have been quicker had we not run aground so often on the riverbed. Once we dropped off the boats and drove back to Mayberry, we inhaled pub food. Your Sis, shock of shocks, then napped. This morning, I am a wee bit sore from all the work. I'm also guzzling Gatorade to fix my sun-roasted hangover.

Picture of the Day
Mount Fuji

In the News
You could practically hear the celebration in Boone all weekend. I watched my ECU Pirates hold off Virginia Tech for most of their game.