Letters to Holly

Friday, April 18


Having throughly gotten the bug, Your Sister asked me for any Wonder Woman comics I may have. Out from the workroom sprang all the comics from the various volumes, and they pile about eight inches high. I suggested she skip through them if her eyes begin to glaze over.

We took Your Mom out for lunch Friday for her birthday, and, after work, the two of us hit the mall where I finally bought myself a pair of Chuck Taylors. I've always wanted a pair, but my flat feet kept me away for fear of hurting the arches. However, I've run in a variety of shoes for the last few years, and my arches are no worse. So now I am rocking the Chucks -- black with white trim. Combine this with the temperature-appropriate jean jacket, and I appear to have tumbled out of an '80s comedy.

This weekend, we watched Unforgiven and No Country for Old Men, making for a violent and dour movie experience. But they're very good films.

On Sunday, I weeded the yard by hand. I also attacked the ground ivy where the blackberry bush used to be. I was desperate for physical activity but wasn't eating right to take a decent run. I bought a running magazine to help me get back into that.

I went back to the dentist today to finish the cleaning, and they didn't take any teeth, to my relief. I don't go back until January for a regular cleaning. And now you know.

Picture of the Day
DJ German Dog


Thursday, April 17

Geeks of a Feather

I made fajitas last night and proved to myself that I could eat without sloughing my teeth. So that was nice.

Your Sister has been a comic-reading fiend this week, gobbling up the recent Wonder Woman issues and the volumes of a metacommentary on superheroines called Empowered. That makes it sound more boring than it is. Anyway, I'm shocked she's getting into the books, but shocked in a pleasant way that reminds me that I married one nifty tamale. She's joining me in Asheville Friday to visit with Your Mom before Sunday's birthday.

Raging Geek Blasphemy of the Day
A movie based on the 1980s GI Joe toys and comics is in the works, and the first photo of Scarlett has been released. She was the lone female action figure when the Joe franchise went to teh same size as the Star Wars figures, just under four inches. Before that, the Joes were 12-inches tall and all man, baby.

This is the current version of her toy:
It's very similar to the original version, except now she has a sidearm. Scarlett was cool for us kids. Her biography on the back of the package noted her martial arts training and proficiency with weapons. She was no damsel in distress. She was sneaky and dangerous. Hence: cool. And the outfit, while making not a lick of sense, made her stand out from the drab-green uniforms of the guys. It also highlighted that she was fit rather than obligatory cheesecake. She was another descendant of Princess Leia; she could gab, she could fight, and she didn't cry. Like Wilma Dearing from Buck Rogers.

Here's the movie photo:

Sure, yes, OK. It makes sense for a sneaky military gal to wear an outfit that lets her actually sneak. But, and I can't mention this without sounding like a total nerd, the costume change just ain't kosher. They gave her Batman's outfit without the cape. I think she's holding a crossbow. All that black makes it hard to tell. As long as she's not the wilting hostage, I'll be OK with this. Really.

Clearly, I have nothing of substance to say.

Oh, wait. We did see some of the Clinton/Obama debate last night, and both candidates had good moments. The race seems to be so close because these are really good speakers who can toss out details for their policies. Still, McCain is toast when it comes to a one-on-one debate with the Democrats. North Carolina's primary is in three weeks.

Wednesday, April 16

Mumbles of Vengeance

I saw the Mario theme video on Attack of the Show, GTV's daily geek-culture show. Your Sister is a fan of it too, although she doesn't know most of what they're talking about. TiFaux is great for this; I can pause the show and explain the references, like in a DVD commentary.

She made a dental appointment for me for this morning, and, well, let's just say it's been a while since I've willingly draped myself on their chair. OK, yes, I went for my wisdom teeth extraction when they, to use their sophisticated lingo, "bombed out." But I hadn't been for a normal dental visit in ages. And while I can blame my last dentist -- incompetent and stupid and now a felon -- my own laziness and silly anxiety kept me away. They scraped and wedged and advised to do more at home.

I survived and I have all my teeth, and now I'm afraid to eat anything. I may have to Starbucks my belly into silence.

Picture of the Day
If I have any more tooth trouble, I'll just have him knock them out.

Monday, April 14


A few weeks back, I found a satchel in the library parking deck. The ever-paranoid fret voice warned me against even touching it lest it go kablooey, but I gave a cursory check and could find nothing immediately identifying the owner. I threw it in my car and took it home to dig through more throughly. I found a car title transfer form with a name and address, but the phone company didn't have a line there.

I let the bag sit for a week before digging through it again. Inside, I found a jumpdrive and a marriage license and eventually discovered a business card with a phone number and the name on the title form. I called him up. We rendezvoused Monday morning at an Asheville coffeehouse (The Dripolator, and what an appetizing name that is). He showed up, thanked me, and took his bag out the door. The bag contents suggested he lived at loose ends, and his appearance didn't alter that notion. On the phone, he said he'd wear a certain hat so I could find him. When he showed up, nope, no hat. Genius. I finished my hot coffee and read the Mountain Xpress before heading to work.

For the second year in a row, Your Sister's Spring Break starts with a snowfall.

I hope your hangover is tinged with joy.

Picture of the Day
Professor Akito Marada and his failed prototype sexbot cheer you from afar.

Bachelorhood and the Page

Longtime Reader writes:
glad to hear your dad thinks this round of chemo will go better. glad, too, to hear that you'll play a role in show selection. did the director admit that he was testing you? did he use those exact words? how did the double date go, other than that?
Not in those words, no. But he did say he considered me for the committee because of comments I had made about the script during the rehearsals and cemented his notion when I told him at the party that I had concerns about "the plot, not the production" regarding the script he handed me. It's still possible he thought I could play the Young Killer, but, more directly, he wanted to know if Ic ould quickly read and comment on a potential play for the company.

The double date was fine. We sat down for dinner at a local eatery at 7 and closed the place down. we were the last customers, and we talked plays, marriages, jobs, and travels abroad (I, the simple boy, had the least of them.) We'd get together with them again at teh drop of a hat.

Since that Thursday, I've read three of the scripts he handed me:

1. The Nerd: A party-crasher spills havoc on a man obliged to board him indefinitely. It's an early '80s comedy that, like a lot of plays considered by community theatres, uses just one set. It's got a hectic first act, and while reading I found a Post-it from a previous prop mistress who was reeling from the near-hundred of items required. The play drops in quality in Act Two, and the script calls for a big role by a small child.

This play includes a scene that was my very first assigned material in my high-school drama class. We four actors who learned this scene and competed with it at regional theatre conventions didn't read anything beyond the ten pages we were given. This was my first chance to find out how our characters got to this bit of hijinks. It's a great scene for high-schoolers, but I don't know how it will play for the blue-hairs. It's also a character list that will skew young and could be a good way to woo new actors.

2. Night Watch: A woman thinks she sees a murder and spirals into anxiety and paranoia. This would make an excellent radio drama. It reminds me of Sorry, Wrong Number, which my seventh grade class performed and recorded as a group project. It calls for an older cast, uses one set, and has few props.

3. Mousetrap: Strangers are trapped in a snowbound boarding house while a killer is at large. This is the classic Agatha Christie -- the longest-running play in the history of history: 23,000 shows since it opened in 1952. The original production virtually never ended. It's a fantastic script, and it's the clear winner of the bunch so far. The plot is airtight, and it ends well. Only incompetence and unprofessional behavior could sink this production.

I didn't realize Bailey's baptism was this weekend when I agreed to make the comic page. I stayed home, and Your Sis drove down for a along weekend with Your Brother and Andrea. It gave me free rein to bury my head in the page, but I felt bad for not going. Weeks ago, I assured her I would go.

Here it is in stages:
The money shot is the entrance of Grunge Hobo, who is determined to kill Kid janitor (I didn't cook up the names or the plot, I just nudged it forward). I had to make Grunge Hobo resemble the first appearance of the character


Final Page Art
The Whole Penciled Page

The Whole Inked Page

The Page With Text

I worked on this for about five hours on Saturday and a few more on Sunday. I listened to movie commentaries and NPR. I could have spent more time on the inks (pens, not brushes), but I was worried about coloring the page and applying text after, so I rushed it. It's not bad, I s'pose.

The rest of the weekend was exercise and movies. I watched the Twin Peaks movie and Unforgiven. When I wasn't reading scripts, of course.