Letters to Holly

Friday, August 7

Yo Joe

I completely forgot to thank you for the Africa candy because I have no brains. Mrs. H.S. Ball's Chutney chips are hysterical. I want to eat them, but I don't want to rupture the sanctity of the Simba bag.

In our few days of doing little, we saw the GI Joe movie. Of course we did. It's much like the cartoon in that it involves many small scenes lined up toward a giant climatic battle. It also doesn't require a brain to watch it. It's simple and humble in the dialogue, and it relies on the '80s cartoon and comics for the character relationships. If I were a ten-year-old, I'd be all over this. If not for the copious expletives, this would be a fine boys' movie. If you, like me, watched the film way back then, you might enjoy this too. As a lifelong fan, I'm in no way bothered by the alterations and updates. I did notice how much tech porn is on display. The film loves to show off mechanical design. One segment smells like a ripoff of Iron Man, and it has no comic/cartoon/toy precedent.

We watched Raiders of the Lost Ark last night. It mostly holds up. It's surprisingly lean, not dawdling at all, and a modern version of this film would include at least ten minutes more of needless dialogue. The opening credits, for example, speed by like they have to catch a bus. Not complaining. Just unprepared for that by modern filmmaking. Your Sister had maybe seen this film once before, and that would not stand. She liked the film as all humans do.

Picture of the Day
Draws for your hands!

Thursday, August 6


Twas indeed a packed convention. While it blurs together into a compact mush, I feel every minute of it in me bones. I've been back since Tuesday night, and I'm still weary. I'm also noticeably thinner; I expected to pack on calories with bad snacks, but the constant movement burned them away. The Photographer's Diet may be the next big thing. Also, my camera trigger finger can lift a truck.

The new camera worked beautifully. The 16G memory wafer contains 3,400 photos, most of them redundant copies. I'll whittle those down over the next month for online and print publications.

We unwisely packed up the office truck the same day we flew back home. I knew that much heavy shoving mixed with hours of flight time would lock up my muscles, and yes, I'm sore and stiff. I ran this morning to help loosen up. My feet still won't speak to me.

I got to see some of Chicago. We drove through the city to get to the pier. The skyline is massive. Intimidating, even. The outing on the pier saw perfect weather and many tourists. I strolled alone past fast-food booths and souvenir stands. I ate a Chicago hot dog (survey says: meh) and chugged the rare Pepsi. Eighties music wafted above as people screamed in the ferris wheel and a vaudevillian did a magic routine on an outdoor stage. Honestly, I could have been on fire in a pile of feathers and been happy. I got to see the sky for once, and I was finally in the city I've watched through WGN since I was in middle school.

It was a good convention, I think. Mostly smooth and peppy. The attendees were patient as I took all those photos, and the musical skills on display were genuinely impressive. It's a good crowd of folks, and I collided with the same five or six faces every hour. We took over the hotel for five days, and the staff were helpful and polite. I did get to swim in the heated pool the day before shipping home. I caught some TV. I got more sleep than my fellow staffers. And most important, the dreaded dinner of honors only lasted half as long as the last convention's. I was shocked with glee (sheed? glocked?).

I got home around 8:30 Tuesday night sans a suitcase that decided to sightsee in Atlanta for a night. Your Sister drove me home and bought me Lucky Charms for the next morning. I took it very easy. But today, I'm running and laundry-ing and blogging. We're operating at 80%, I think.

Your Sis hopes we can surf next week. I wanna try it, I does. Sounds like fun.

Picture of the Day
I found a Chicago museum brochure that also served to remind me of Your Sister. It stood on the hotel bedstand the entire convention.