Letters to Holly

Friday, March 20

Running on Fume-accinos.

Despite what used to be a robust metabolism, I developed a pudge, and I blame my addiction to frappuccinos. Oddly though, they help one run for days and days. I've run hard this week, going farther and with longer strides to get myself back in shape. I ran last night for just at 3 miles and ran earlier this week for a full 5k. I can already see a difference. Also, I'm trying to give up my lunchtime Sprites. I knew they swelled my gut, but their siren song was too alluring. [shakes fist at Sprite, swears vengeance]

Of course someone brought a box of fresh doughnuts to the office today. And I must eat them. It's the agreement doughnuts and I struck at the Treaty of Delicious after the Revolutionary War.

I bought new pens to try out. They're a step up from my bargain-basement ink pens, and I really need to find the high-end stuff. I intend to use a brush to ink this noir comic because the blacks must be deep and opaque. Pen ink is thin and can fade easily. But I'm nervous about starting the inking. I want this art to be better than that of the six-pager. I want to be proud of this, even if it is a ten-panel joke.

Also, I'll draw Your Sister's headshot for her school webpage this weekend.

Picture of the Day
One of Seattle's two dailies closed this week, and the obituary editor added it to their last listing.

No one asked me what can be done to save papers, but two things are vital:
1) Buy them cheap from the morons who bought them and ran them into the ground. Most papers are drying because their syndicate owners didn't know how to run papers, and tried to make every paper nationally relevant. Papers were trying to compete with USAToday and the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. They burned out. Also, people stopped buying the papers when they reduced their local copy to reach a national audience.

2) Papers should perceive themselves less as newspaper companies and more as new agencies that have a printer. With online options, papers can produce audio and video along side text and graphics. They can be TV channels, radio channels, and newspapers every day. They have to diversify.

Thursday, March 19


I opened the workshed for the first time this year and started the lawnmower maintenance. Dad and I made a deal that he'd by us a new one for this year, but, well, you know. I can make this one last another year if need be. I opened the oil pan so it can drain for a few days. I also hammered down the fence stakes around the garden. We indeed have rabbits, and I saw one just as I entered the back yard. I'll change one end to make it removable; that will let us drive a tiller in and out of there.

Your Sister rejected all of my suggested avatars for her teacher webpage. She even asked for the third, drawn picture. Now she wants a drawing of her. I don't think she knows she's starring my current comic project.

The prez predicted his NCAA March madness brackets and named UNC as the overall winner. As did I on Monday. Just sayin'.

Moving Picture of the Day
Did you know they made a musical about Your Aunt Susan? Amazing.

Wednesday, March 18

Pulp Nonfiction

A catch-up phone call with mom revealed that she did not like target practice with Her Brother's .38-calibre gun. She thinks she'll sleep better with a gun in the house, and since Louis isn't using his anymore, she claimed dibs. Unfortunately, the kick of the gun was too much for her, and she now wants to downgrade to a .22. She also wants to forgo the license, which is a bad idea. It means two things:
1) She won't be able to buy the gun from a legal source. I assume she's going to buy a gun from a friend of a friend.
2) She can get charged if she's discovered. She doesn't intend to carry it in her purse, but if she drives with it and is pulled over, she's in trouble.

My Wife wants a bike, and My Mom's packing heat illegally. What kind of drive-in-movie reality did I wake up in?

I ran 5k yesterday along the heartbreak hill route. Because our pub moved to the foot of that hill, I get to run by the smokers twice as they wait for a table. Running past an Irish pub on St. Patrick's Day -- again, twice -- is a damn depressing thing. I wanted to run farther, but the hill tightened up my legs, and I walked for part of it. But that was after I finished 5k. I got an email this morning from someone who wanted to start training for a 5k, and I'll be her running buddy. We ran together in a 5k last year on the morning Dad took ill.

Picture of the Day
After taking last week off, Lost returns tonight!

Tuesday, March 17

Two Offers

When we staggered home Sunday night, I found a phone message from the actor who played the judge in the Christmas show. He asked me to call back, and I did on Monday. He was looking to cast a role at a play for the local learning center but had cast it after he first called me.

And then today, I found a Facebook message from the director of the annual debut play presentation. The theatre holds a contest to debut a play every year, and this one will apparently deal with young Shakespeare. I'm curious, but the show after that is Rainmaker, and I was asked to audition for that last year. I don't think I can do both. Also, I hope Your Sis can try for Rainmaker too. We could be the leads.

My participation will depend on my confidence that the Christmas show disaster won't be repeated. Right now, as I type this, I only feel dread nihilism. But I'm leaning toward Rainmaker of the two. I know the show (I advocated it in the script committee), and it's a great vehicle for the lead actors. But I may be too old for the role. That's a new reality for me.

For St. Patrick's Day, we opened some Guiness, and it was crap. I think the magic draught widgets in the bottles were broken. Your Sis didn't know about them. When I finished my beer and rattled it inside my bottle, the look on her face that suggested she imagined a mouse skull inside it.

The comic is sketched out, and I'll define the art before I ink.

Are you all exam-ified?

Picture of the Day
Found online.

Monday, March 16

I Married a Motorcycle Mama

I attended a post-natal baby shower for Kathy and Travis Friday night.They had pizza and beer, and it was good to catch up. They played a very odd game called Name That Poo. The attendees split into two teams. We were given diapers containing melted candy bars, and we had to identify them by smell (I mean, no one wanted to taste them). That was odd. Odder was offering us brownies after. Yikes. We also played baby Pictionary, and I was voted to draw for the men's team. As soon as I walked into the room, I was pulled aside by four people who each asked me about Watchmen. I told them it was huge, it was fun, and it's not Iron Man. I also offered them my trade collection to read.

I killed time shopping before the shower and found framed canvas for almost 50% off. I bought two large canvases, and now they stare at me with their impatient canvas eyes.

We hit Asheville on Saturday to get the taxes taken care of, and we treated Your Mom to lunch. I bought some art pens the pros are raving about, and I showed Your Sis the new Barnes & Noble store at the mall. It's massively massive.

We then found a motorcycle store, and Your Sis went gaga. We found a nice riding jacket she might get for her birthday, and she confirmed that the bike she learned on is the right model for her. Everything else was either too tall or made her sit too far forward. The Honda Rebel is similar to the mid-century Army bikes, and that only makes them cooler (MASHcycle!). Sh's asking me if I want to learn too, and I fear I'll intrude on her new hobby. Also, I can't ride that small a bike, and we don't need to buy two cycles.

We walked to a neighbor house for Irish supper on Sunday. Your Sis made Irish coffee, and we all drank Irish beer. Then the two of us staggered home. A local theatre is presenting Rocky Horror this summer, and I'm trying to talk Your Sis into watching the DVD before she sees the play. I think she becomes more reluctant to see it with each new detail I provide.

The drawing of the new comic story has begun. Did I mention it stars Your Sister?

Picture of the Day
This is her on the Best Bike.