Letters to Holly

Friday, September 25

Putting Me to Sleep-ing Beauty

I'm going to email your brain a pillow made of chocolate. You're on the other side now.

Because I posted a Maleficent sketch on FaceBook, Your Sister and I decided to watch Sleeping Beauty last night. She hadn't seen it but remembered a collection of records Your Grandparents had that told the story. I saw the film once when Disney put its classic films in theatres to bolster videotape sales. This was the late '80s. The DVD looks great on the PS3, as they all do, but the story is weak.

It should be renamed The Three Round Fairies and Their Sometime Adventures with Tall People. It's all about the faerie godmothers. There are clearly scenes padded out to extend the film length. But my witch gal still rules the film, and her dragon form is a great design. You can see moments that influenced Fantastia -- extended bits without dialogue, dancing brooms and buckets, dark imagery. I think they were test driving the elements before making that film. We yawned a lot watching this film; it's not designed for adults.

Your Sister had her second appointment today, and the diagnosis is good so far. But the results won't be known for another two weeks. I had to Google some of what she told me.

Picture of the Day
Easier than turning into a car.

Thursday, September 24


I made fajita-rritos last night, and sketched madly. I wish there was more to say. They were good.

The school yearly raises funds by hiring out student volunteers to work around the community. The school gets an hourly rate from the locals. We've considered hiring a kid to work around the house, but we don't have much for them to do.

In AIDS News
The AP reports an AIDS vaccine cocktail has shown some success in a 16,000-person trial.

In Music News
The nominees for next year's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced. Let me speak on this.

First-time nominees:
KISS -- No. They took the theatre of Alice Cooper and David Bowie and made it cartoony while pretending it was dark and cosmic. They neither advanced a musical genre nor added anything to rock and roll.

Red Hot Chili Peppers -- Yes. They did fuse sloppy punk and '70s funk into something new, and it went big. They enjoyed the explosion of indy music in the '90s. They almost single handed dragged SoCal rock into national dominance. The late '90s bands, including Green Day and No Doubt, owe their souls to the Chilis.

Genesis -- Iffy. If we're talking the entire work of the band, yes. With Peter Gabriel, they continued prog rock's early' 70s march. And when Gabriel left, the band went pop. I'd argue that Gabriel should be inducted for his total work, including his advocacy of world music. If induction is influenced by reocrd sales, then, yes, Genesis has earned it. But for "rock and roll," no. They haven't done rock in almost 30 years.

Hollies -- I know exactly two songs: Bus Stop and Long Cool Woman. I have to pass.

LL Cool J -- Yes. I love LL. He hit MTV right when my ears wanted new music, and he has maintained a respectability in a genre that shifts quickly. I attribute his success to his producers, but his content showed rap could deliver ballads on par with those from soul and R&B. he expanded the genre, and that earns a spot.

Jimmy Cliff -- Yes. I know nothing of reggae, and I know this guy's name. That's gotta be good for something.

Returning Candidates
ABBA -- Yes. All they did was move the world from disco to New Wave and '80s pop single handedly. Madonna and Blondie would be trivia questions without them. As significant to music as the Temptations and Led Zepplin.

The Chantels, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro -- Don't know them.

The Stooges -- Yes. The Rolling Stones to the Ramones' Beatles.

Donna Summer -- No. She's a product of producers, the real power of disco.

The hall will only accept five inductees, and I'd go with ABBA, Cliff, The Chilis, LL Cool J, and The Stooges.

Picture of the Day
An Ira Glass image I did not make.

Wednesday, September 23

Taking Inventory

The garden held up better than I expected. A number of tomatoes were smacked to the ground, but the corn and pepper plants are intact. Depending on who you ask, we had anywhere from 13 to 22 inches of rain in less than a week.

As Sketchtember comes to a close, I hope to move to a painting. I have that photo I took when we went to the NC museum in Raleigh, and I still think it will make a good painting.

I ran yesterday for the first time in about two weeks, just enough to clean the chimneys. I want to get back to a 5k-exclusive route within a week and keep at that until the Halloween race. But I'm fighting a reduction in sunlight.

The prospective senior-project student emailed me to ask how long it would take to make a 5-page comic. I said it depends on what he wanted to do and how feasibly he could do it. He has to determine what kind of story he has in mind, if he has one in mind. But I told him we'll make it work.

Moving Picture of the Day
We noticed this TV ad recently and remarked how much the woman looks like you and Your Sister.

Tuesday, September 22

Drying Out

We didn't get hit as badly as parts of Georgia, but we did get hit. The school is on another 2-hour delay as we wait to see at what height the rivers will crest. We personally are fine. Our house is high enough to be above any river or creek threat. I should check the gutters this weekend to see how they're holding up. The garden may be finished this season.

That back pain is 90% gone thanks to wife care and small adjustments. The heavy bedspread helps me stay flat during the night, and I'm minding my desk posture. The pain has never faded this quickly before, and I'd really like to run when I get home. The Halloween race is five weeks away, and I want to be ready.

Mom is doing OK. She pushed it too hard last week and decided to scale back a bit. Her digestive system is in a higher gear now, and the doctor said it might plateau. Or it might not. Everyone's different.

House veered away from the formula last night, and it was interesting if not totally successful. The success of the season premiere will depend on how well the series follows up on the character's progress. I missed the supporting cast.

Picture of the Day
I listen to old-time radio shows all day at work, and the ads are a hoot. This print ad is in the same vein as Lux Toilet Soap and Signal Oil.

I also enjoy hearing all the wartime solicitations for volunteers and donations.

Monday, September 21

Bossh Office 3

Rain and rain and rain. Your Sister has a 2-hour delay this morning, and our garden is a swamp. The weather kept us inside and productive. I'm sending you shirt notions today. Check your email. I worked on sketch requests. Your Sister tried to update her school grades, but the rain clobbered the school server.

We watched The Mist again last night. The DVD has a b/w version of the film that truly makes for a better experience. It and the rain underscored that fall is here, and Halloween is just a month away.

We also watched Elizabeth: The Golden Age off Netflix, and that means ... Bossh Office!

Chipper Bossh: What a gorgeous film. The colors, the costumes, the visuals. I dub this "production porn." I loved watching it.

Surly Bossh: This is a pile of movie pieces released as a film. The scenes are disjointed. The editing ruins any flow. It's a TV miniseries crumpled into a movie.

Chipper Bossh: Wait, that's actually a proper critical comment. I'm ... I'm surprised.

Surly Bossh: I'm not saying the film wouldn't be better if the queen sicced TIE Fighters against the Spanish Armada. But if I'm going to be charged for the price of a movie, I want a MOVIE.

Chipper Bossh: Well, I got my money's worth. Cate Blanchett is never not good, and the director makes with involving camera work.

Surly Bossh: You know what cheeses me off? What makes my cold blood warm by a half-degree? They cut Elizabeth's famous speech to her troops. They squished it into a bland Braveheart scene and rejected a fine, real troop-rallying cry by the queen. Check this shit out:

And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honor and my blood, even the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too.

Chipper Bossh: That is good.

Surly Bossh: That's a woman you follow into battle. I'd vote for that queen.

Chipper Bossh: You don't vote for queen.

Surly Bossh: No one told Padme that.

The actor who plays Benjamin Linus on Lost won a dramatic supporting actor Emmy last night. The guy who plays Locke won the same award last year.

Picture of the Day
Barack Obama even sounds like a Jedi name.