Letters to Holly

Thursday, April 9

The 700 Club

Blogspot says this is my 700th post. Lots of yappity.

We got home right before 4 and ran right back out to get groceries. The renovating company is supposed to come back to the house today to tidy up the mess they caused when the water heater died. We did all our laundry last night just in case the machines are out of commission until they finish.

I am beat up from the drive, and I wonder if the Sunday morning run was a bad idea. We wolfed down a big supper, capped off by a red velvet cake Your Sis grabbed as we left the store. I mean, we didn't eat the whole thing. We're not total savages.

She's again in the sick bed, and her coughing sounds horrible.

Picture of the Day
I did not make this.

I Seek Advice.

The student and her mom were brought into an afterschool meeting with the teacher and an administrator. The latter took the lead in the meeting and unveiled everything to the mom and student. The student claimed it was a joke by the paper author. She was told she would have to start a new research paper on a totally different topic than what was approved earlier this semester. As she agreed to do so, she proclaimed it was totally unfair. I'm not sure why she's getting a second chance to turn in a paper for credit.

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Today's dilemma: I got a debt-collection note for my ex-wife. They found my address in hopes to find her. We've both here taken calls asking for her, and we've assured them she never lived here. Your Sis got rather salty, I understand. The ex owes $900 for an HSBC/Household credit card balance. I just Googled HSBC, and it looks like a card for people with horrible credit. Which I imagine she is. Her previous schmos took out cards in her name and maxed them out, so this might be the only card she can get. And now she owes almost a thousand on it.

Confession: I'm enjoying this more than I should. A few months after our divorce, she called to aska bout a huge balance on her credit report. She thought it might have been from a card I used during our marriage. I knew it wasn't; the balance was too much, and the card number was all wrong. I verified it wasn't a card I/we had ever used. As noted, she did have guys prior to me that fucked with her mail and money for their drug habits. And I -- the one guy who didn't abuse her -- was the one she ultimately left. So, yes, I'm enjoying this.

Question: Do I email her and tell her the debt hounds are after her? She did email me last year to let me know about Jared. She didn't have to. But is it really a kindness to reveal the efforts of debt collectors? They followed the bread crumbs to me becuase she's apparently ducking her obligation. Is it a kindness to sit on the news? I'm all conflicted.

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Seriously, call Your Sis to find out what we're doing this weekend. I still don't know if we're leaving town.

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I can now run two miles at a full gallop. I was exhausted, but I finished the mostly uphill run in just under 19 minutes.

Picture of the Day
This is a superior pet.

Wednesday, April 8

A Big Big Mistake

This actually happened Monday:

A student took her jump drive to her English teacher (just a door down from Your Sis). She was supposed to turn in her research paper rough draft last week. She said she couldn't get it to print. She handed the jump drive to the teacher and asked if he would accept the paper like this and if he would print it from the drive. After school, he plugged in the drive and found the paper file.

The first page, in giant bold letters read this: [Name of Girl] Is Sleeping With Me So I'll Write Her Paper. The paper was a loose collection of sources and facts with instructions for her to clean them up before printing and handing it into her teacher. The last instruction was a clear reminder to delete the author's note about the sex. She apparently never opened the file, didn't try to print it, and gave it to the teacher straight away.


The paper writer is a dropout from two years ago. The student is the daughter of a former school employee. There just happened to be a teacher meeting scheduled for Tuesday on paper plagiarism, and it was discussed. My understanding is that the parent and student will be told of the paper at the same time at an afterschool meeting.

It snowed ALL DAY Tuesday. Blowing, blinding blizzards of white soap flakes.

And now, ten Star Wars characters with expanded histories outside the films.

Your Sis is worried about this weekend. She's afraid her cold my waylay her into staying here. You should call and guilt her into making the trip.

Picture of the Day
There's having an idea for a costume and having an idea BE your costume.

Tuesday, April 7

Suddenly Snow

And just like that, our 70-degree days are a hazy memory, like a Tennessee Williams nostalgic monologue about mint juleps and weeping willows. Your Sister's school had none of this blizzard when I left town, but it was a steady, icy downpour the rest of the way into work, and now I can't see across the street from my tony office window. When the wind throws the gunk against our building, it appears to be snowing up. Upward? I'll say "up."

Your Sis is back in the sick bed, but she ought to be OK for the weekend.

I watched the game last night on and off, and Ellington has a fantastic shooting form. He launches the ball at the absolute height of the jump.

There's an anthology convention article here.

Picture of the Day
It's almost in no way kinda like this at all.

Monday, April 6

Utter Debauchery

A last-minute teacher get-together happened Friday. Mexican food was gobbled. Your Sis called it a night early while I drove a house of teachers and hung out until 2 a.m. Much lemonade and popcorn was devoured.

On Saturday, the school held the first of what I hope will be a regular series of fundraising dodgeball games. It was frenetic joy. So many teams of six players each signed up that brackets were constructed to handle them all. I only saw an hour of it before driving to Asheville to watch the season opener of roller derby. Unlike the version from the '70s heyday, this seemed legit. The Blue Ridge Rollergirls -- and attention must be paid to Your Sister's suggestion of the Black-and-Blue Ridge Rollergirls -- fought the Savannah Derby Devils. A track was taped to the concrete where the ice rink usually sits, and the women rolled counter clockwise.

In roller derby, the team's jammer tries to make laps by successfully navigating the field of jostling defenders in front of her. The more complete laps, the more points. The Asheville jammer is a dynamo named Jane Gretzky who was operating on a whole 'nother level. She was LeBron. She was Kobe. She was Ric Flair. We were gobsmacked. She was much smaller than the same team's Rigor Morticia (announced as "standing at six feet under"), and she could sneak through the packs. There were three of us watching together, all former ECU folks, and we had a ball. A quick appetizer at Barley's ended the night.

On Sunday, I was a little beat up from stadium seating and the previous afternoon's first mowing of the year. I put my lawnmower back together, and it cranked up the first time to my surprise. Grass was cut with malice and cruelty. On Sunday, to counter what was becoming a weekend of horrible diet and geeky sloth, I decided to run a full 5k course. It was earlier in the day than I usually run, and I met wind and sun. It hurt. I measured the course this morning on my commute, and it was almost 4 full miles. Today, I am sore in every place.

There's a local farm co-op that's offering produce to folks who buy a plot of farmland. The plants are harvested and delivered to town locations for weekly pick-up. We're considering it. I'll still work my garden, of course. Your Sis wants to put in potatoes very soon.

I've heard nothing so far about this past weekend's comic show and our anthology book.

Picture of the Day
Akimbo, the website and blog for International Women’s Health Coalition had this note on Friday:

One of IWHC’s Brazilian partners sent us this picture - apparently they’re selling like hot cakes in France as a means of protesting the Pope’s recent declarations against the effectiveness of condoms.

Those are large packages. I assume they are female condoms. Unless French men also have large packages.