Letters to Holly

Friday, January 16

Gutting It Out

According to Kathy, the stomach thing I got is a town virus. She had it, her hubby had it. We were at their place Sunday. I got it Monday. Ergo. Therefore. Such as. Seems I didn't contract Sam and Ella after all. And here I thought I had conquered it through stubbornness.

My tummy is noisy but lazier, and I'm determined to feed it whatever I want to eat. However, I suddenly can't eat as much as I could, say, last week. Either my stomach has shrunk, or it's already half full. Either way, I can buy cheaper, smaller lunches now.

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FOX sued Warner Brothers a few months back over Watchmen. FOX said it never relinquished rights to make the film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the matter has been settled, and the studios will ask the judge to dismiss the case today. The movie is still scheduled to release March 6. No terms were disclosed, and geeks had hoped WB would give FOX the remaining rights to finally release the 1960s Batman TV show on DVD.

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I had a small breakthrough with the comic story, and it might just be acceptably unbad. My fearsome English Major powers broke down the simple plot and strung together a theme and everything. All the dry gunk teachers ask the kids to look for and extrapolate. "Do you think he was trying to say such-and-such?" Yeah, I'm actually adding all that stuff to the story. I'm debating whether I'm writing a fable or an allegory, and thank God I'm drawing spaceships and superpowers or this would be incredibly boring.

Picture of the Day
Be prepared.

Thursday, January 15

Most Is Well

Seems the worst is over. I ate lightly yesterday, including soup for supper. My system is beat up. My torso feels like I've been punched repeatedly, and I couldn't distinguish aches from gas pains. I feel like a wrung out washrag. I slept an entire night bookended by cups of mint tea. And now I'm famished.

Yesterday saw a run on Amazing Spider-Man 583, featuring Obama on the cover and inside. Marvel Comics recently instituted a no-overprint policy, meaning they make as many issues as the retailers order. If a comic gets hot, retailers can no longer order more copies quickly; they have to wait for enough similar orders to warrant cranking up the printers. But Marvel isn't telling the stores when a particular issue might create increased demand. Store owners had no idea this comic might draw crowds.

Most comic stores have pill-lists for customers. We each tell them what comics we want, and stores give us a discount. They lower their inventory and order slightly more than enough to fill those pull lists. What's on teh shelves, then, is all they have, and there may be ten copies of any issue after pull requests are filled. Marvel issued a press release on this comic Monday, and the people responded by seeking an already limited product. Here's a store in Greensboro:

The Election Day coverage lead to a run on newsstands. Newspapers sold out. Copies went for hundreds of dollars on eBay. This comic might do the same. Obama has become a proven sells gimmick for anything. Here are the most recent three comics with him on it:

This didn't happen with any other president in my lifetime. It hasn't happened with ANYONE in my lifetime.

Wednesday, January 14

Not Any Better

This stomach thing has become a monster. I continue to have a swollen feeling and pain, and now my stomach has opened the trap door. It's endless. I can't sleep, and my breakfast is a large Gatorade. The Pepto-Bismol helped a tad, but now I worry that it did more harm; maybe I want the symptoms to run their course instead of being muffled by pink sludge. I woke to find a cup of mint tea in my bathroom from Your Sister, who begins her exam week with a shell of a husband.

If this lasts another few days, I'm finding a doctor. It doesn't feel like my old ulcer acting up, and this area doesn't carry Swazi chicken innards. If it's a virus, it's horrible.

Picture of the Day
Artist's approximation of the disaster.

Tuesday, January 13


Maybe I undercooked the wings. Maybe I ate too many. Either way, life was bad last night. Didn't sleep. Felt like I had a fever. I had a headache. My belly was lead. I had to buy Alka Seltzer this morning, and my body feels like I've been slammed to the ground. I am dragging to get home, eat supper, try to keep it down, and sleep the whole night. I have small goals right now.

Wings have never betrayed me before. My world is askew.

Picture of the Day
This is a fan-made map of the Star Wars universe.

Monday, January 12

Skin of Our Teeth

I had a small filling placed on Friday afternoon. It's been decades since I had one, and I forgot how it used to be done. I think, when I was younger, they used tiny smelting plants with molten steel lava flowing through the office. Nowadays, they use a liquid glass resin quick-baked with a laser and ground down to fit the toothline. This grind is done with a Dremel tool, and my numb mouth tasted of resin dust. I still had leftover painkillers from the wisdom teeth extraction -- really good stuff, not penny-ante Advil or Aleve -- but never had to use either. I was eating Chinese 90 minutes later with no problem.

You might have heard about Your Sister's school on CNN or FOX. There was indeed an FBI investigation into a student's online claim that he was going to "shoot up" the place. He was a special-ed student who was expelled for taking weapons on campus last year. There were no definite plans founds in his home, and he has been sent to a mental institution. There was no concrete danger to the school or Your Sister. The faculty were told about the matter after he was apprehended, and students found out when it hit the news. All is well, but students are a bit freaked right before this week's exams.

Saturday night saw us hang out with two other couples, and I rambled much too long about the Watchmen movie when asked about it. I can no longer pretend otherwise: I am FREAKING THE F' OUT about this film. I see the ads run during football games, and I am stunned. This is almost really happening. Can they make this giant story into a 2-hour film? Really? They're even making Watchmen toys. I was torn about this initially. On the one hand, the source material is too somber for action figures. But the rest of my brains is giddy at the thought of a Rorschach toy hanging on department-store spokes next to Star Wars figures.

You might remember that Your Sis and I made our annual NFL predictions. This week's playoffs eliminated her entirely as three of her four picks lost. That's brutal. My Panthers, of course, died an ugly death, but my Steelers remain alive, and look to be the favorite of their division. They're one game away from the Super Bowl.

A new comic anthology was announced this weekend, and I reserved six pages for a short story. This comes immediately after I hung a homemade comic page on the hallway wall. If I had followed up on the audition request from last week, I couldn't have done the comic. I have six weeks to slap it together, but I have a stack of short stories that I can pick from to illustrate. This will be no problem. And that homemade page warmed up my drawing muscles right nice.

Picture of the Day
This comes from a recent Star wars comic, and I'm not sure what I think of it.

I prefer my Vader remorseless and devoid of Anakin until Luke redeems him decades later. I don't like Precious Moments Vader.