Letters to Holly

Friday, December 21

Sick Again

The cold sandbagged me, and another medicated night was spent in the guest room. I'll be sure to clean it up before you visit, don't worry. I'll hose down the bed. On the good side, I was given Friday off, and I've spent the day so far eating oranges for the vitamins and drinking coffee to dehydrate myself. I think we'll have soup and bread tonight (Your Sis calls it "prison food") to bolster my revolted tummy. I'm taking long soaks with magazines and novels to warm myself up.

I finished My Mom's CD and wrapped it for the tree. Except for you, I think we're done giftifying.

You'll be in town starting tomorrow night, and we'll try to make the vacation as spoiled as possible. And I'll be healthy by the time you arrive at the house.

Picture of the Day
We've got the tree lit for you.

Thursday, December 20

Dog Gone

The writers' strike hasn't hit our TV routine much. The benefit is that we can catch up on shows like House missed during my play rehearsals. But what we watch so often -- Jeopardy, This Old House, Survivorman, football -- don't employ those kinds of writers. "Pro wrestling" and "unions" are rarely uttered in the same breath so those scripts aren't affected by the walkout.

There was an odd thing on the Survivorman we watched last night. Les Stroud is a Canadian outdoorsman who drops himself in remote locations to live off the land for a week. He carries cameras and a few supplies to challenge himself. This recent show had him dog sled through Labrador, in the Arctic Circle. On the second half of the trip, he decides he needs to make the odds worse, and he jumps off the sled and watches the dogs vanish behind the horizon. He then spends the night outside in snow trench. He makes a point to say the dogs will follow the trails back to the rescue camp, about 100 miles away. But the next day, the rescue crew extracts him because the weather is turning the reliable lake ice into sludge. They all helicopter out. But there is no mention of the dogs. We had no idea if they returned or survived in the melting ice.

A quick check of the official Survivorman message boards shows that the dog's owners knew Stroud would separate from the dogs, and they in fact did make it back to camp. No word, however, on how long it took them to make it. I'd wager it was more than two days, and those dogs had no food. That's harsh. Cruel, even. I can watch the show to see Stroud risk his fool neck but not to take a chance with a pack of work dogs. Then again, I know squat about sled dogs. I was unhappy with Stroud neglecting to make overnight shelters for the dogs similar to the ones he made for himself.

My university plays Boise State in Hawaii Sunday night for the first weekend of bowl games. I don't see my guys doing well. I say they lose by 21 points. Your Sis will join me in Asheville tomorrow for what is supposed to be a shot day at our office.

I'm fending off another goddamn cold.

Picture of the Day
I could do Subway for lunch.

Wednesday, December 19

Days of Wine and Scorches

I found out, just yesterday, that I in fact do get to play more fantasy football. I apparently had a bye week before what's called the consolation round where the low-end teams fight it out for third place. If my team wins this week, I get to play next week. The rosters are now locked, however, so I can only play the team I fielded last. The projections say I'll lose, but at least it's another week of intense stat watching. And God help the Miami Dolphins.

We indeed hosted the teacher buddy, and I indeed set off the smoke alarm with the grilled chicken. She used to work in newspapers, and we swapped war stories. We talked and talk and talked and killed a bottle of wine. It made for a late evening and a dramatic crash into the bed. Earlier in the day, the office went out for a Thai lunch.

I'm technically done for Christmas shopping, except we'll have to buy you something when you visit. Something that catches your eye while we're out and about. Something to celebrate the end of exams. Or we can just throw open the liquor cabinet and play video games all night.

Picture of the Day
Red glass octopus. Just 'cause.

Tuesday, December 18

No Coffee

A new Ingles opened right near the office, and I walked down to meet the Starbucks staff, with whom I'm sure I'll become familiar quickly. But the stand isn't open yet. The sign says it won't open 'til almost New Years. It's odd. The pharmacy is open, the bakery is open. And yet I am deprived of my crackuccino. For this, worlds shall pay.

My Mom asked for a Christmas mix CD for a present, and I have about 12 songs at the ready. Half the disc is from either our Dean Martin of Charlie Brown Christmas discs.

We're hosting a teacher buddy for dinner tonight, and I hope to make chicken alfredo without setting off the smoke alarm. Again.

I'm waiting for Your Sis to ask Your Parents when they want to come over for Christmas dinner. Then I can tell My Parents when to show up.

Moving Picture of the Day
Here's the official trailer for the Batman sequel, and wow is it geek nirvana. Heath Ledger is unrecognizable, and Brokeback Mountain proved he can act his ass off. Too bad we have six months to wait for this.

Monday, December 17

Sometimes Invisible

Often, when the two of us are out and about in our hamlet, a student will walk up to Your Sis to talk about school. And I'll step back a bit to let them chat. Also often, the conversation will end with "see you laters," and there will be no acknowledgment that I'm there. No introductions, not even a glance my way. I become Ghost Husband. It's a horrible feeling.

We dug into research papers, and the grading was scattered throughout the weekend. The threat of the possibility of snow sent us to the grocery store. We got no white stuff, however. We went to a surprise birthday party Saturday night and ate potato soup and cake.

We went to a sports bar Sunday to watch the New England game, and I discovered the bliss of six live football games available on five TVs. It was a divine visitation of pigskin and snow. And we ate like pigs. We then rented and watched the third Pirates of the Caribbean film (finally), and it was an exhausting experience. I liked it, but I'm glad we saw this on our smallish TV to constrain it to an acceptable dosage.

To reward ourselves for grading papers, we decided that Sunday dinner would be red velvet cake. And so it came to pass.

It's A Wonderful Life airs Christmas eve at 8 p.m. on NBC, and I've set the TiFaux to record it.

Picture of the Day
"I don't believe it."
"That is why you fail."