Letters to Holly

Friday, November 20

Hay Hay Hay. That's What I Say

I called Mom, and she's generally OK. She thinks there's more numbness and possible actual droop on her face, but she may be imagining it. She can eat fine. She needs a draw to drink until she picks up the knack. Hopefully the palsy will subside before then. She's in good spirits, again because this could have been so much worse.

We caught a one-act package at the high school last night. We actually only caught the first two one-acts. I promised a teacher's daughter I'd watch her monologue. She wants to work with the local theatre, and I'm kind of a role model for working with them. If she only knew. I wrote a note for her mother to pass along to her after school tomorrow. She has the basics down. Good energy, good projection. She clearly has more instruction than the other kids we saw, and that's no fault of theirs. She got good laughs.

My car was hit by a bale of hay this morning, giving credence to my theory that Matrices are magnets. It fell off a truck in front of me. There are some scratches, but no steering damage.

The senior didn't pick up the templates waiting for him in Your Sister's classroom. My enthusiasm for helping him has plummeted. I've offered to meet him again tomorrow and ensure he grasps the templates. Mentally and physically.

This is from ABC:

ABC announces the premiere of the sixth and final season of "Lost," with a special all-night event on Tuesday, February 2. A recap special will kick off the night from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET, followed by the much anticipated two-hour premiere from 9:00-11:00 p.m.

The series will then air in its regular time period Tuesday nights from 9:00-10:00 p.m., ET beginning the following week, on February 9.

Well, crap. The show was a Wednesday mainstay for the previous five years.

Picture of the Day
Kenny baker indulges.

Thursday, November 19

The Day After

I talked to Mom yesterday, and she was exhausted from worry but relieved it was "only" Bell's. She was given eye medicine and told the symptoms should be gone in about two weeks. I tried to help her relax and said "the biggest question, however, is can you still hold the cigarette in your mouth? Do we need to get you a headband?" She laughed. She intended to go back to work today, and I'll call her when she's likely to be home.

I feel a bit odd being here still after she went through this scare, but all I could do is sit and stare at her while she sleeps it off. She's totally lucid. There's no other neurological damage. She's relatively fine. I don't want to hover, to suggest she should be anxious -- more anxious -- about what she went through.

I made french onion soup last night, and I had hoped this would be a dish I can easily make for you when you visits. And then I remembered the four cups of beef broth and scratched that off the list. I have recipe books; I'll find new recipes to master. We clearly can't have sushi while Mom is visiting.

I also made minicomic templates and instructions for the senior. This lasted into the wee hours. I doubt it will help. I suspect he'll slap everything together the weekend before it's due and try to coast through. That's what I would have done at his age. I'll show him how the template works by assembling a minicomic in front of him if need be, and then that's all I can do. He has to show a skill set learned during this semester and he has to offer a product of that skill set. It's in his hands now. Literally.

Picture of the Day
This week may make my head a'splode.

Wednesday, November 18

Emergency Room

I got a call from a doctor couple who work with My Mom that she went to the emergency room with some arm weakness and facial droop this morning. She's lucid and relaxed. Preliminary diagnosis is a TIA, a pseudo ministroke whose effects may vanish within a day or a few hours. She's undergoing tests. I'm still in NC. Mom didn't want me to be informed until she had a concrete diagnosis, and I'm staying put until I get the word. This is how we handled her gall bladder when it flared up this summer. The doctor wife called Your Sister who called me to wait for the doctor husband to call me. All this contact is behind Mom's back.

At best, she'll realize this is a warning to knock off that fucking smoking and eat some meals. At worst, she'll be reliant one someone else to a degree. But that's for later planning.

Now you know as much as I do. Tell no one else until we get news.

Twenty minutes later: It's Bells Palsy. She's on the way home, but I haven't talked to her directly and don't know what she was told to expect or to do. Still sitting tight.

Tuesday, November 17


R2D2 is in the new Star Trek movie. Gizmodo says he was placed there by ILM, the Lucas effects house who worked on the film.

I'm making a page template for the senior to follow.
With letter-size paper, he can draw, fold, and cut his minicomic using less than 20 sheets to make 4 32-page comics. I even used math. I'll have Your Sis hand it to him this week at school, and our weekend meeting will confirm he knows how to use it. It takes some work out of my hands, and I can't complain. I'm now getting eager for my one-pager for the arts magazine.

Monday, November 16

Virtually Glad It's Monday

As hesitant as I am to bitch about a long work day to a medical student, Friday was a shrew of a hag of a chore, and I'm glad to be rid of it. I got to work at 9 and left after 7. It was all magazine work, and it reminded me too much of the bad ole alt-weekly days. A small teacher party was waiting for me back home, and I arrived before it broke up. I was informed they had beer, snacks, and ... '80s Trivial Pursuit? And would I like to play?? Pardon me while I lay waste to your homelands! I destroyed them. I went home with the afterglow of conquering.

I discovered the next day that only 90% of my gutter repairs worked. I recaulked the leak, and I think it will hold for now. We'll have to get new gutters next year, I'm pretty sure. I'm also concerned about the deck.

Sunday evening was spent coordinating Thanksgiving plans with Your Parents and My Mom. Your Mom is a little scattered about making plans for the girls. Things are still up in the air, but Your Sis and I aren't worried. We obviously know the town. We can offer options, something we can't do in Birmingham.

I managed to find the one copy of the Ultimate Blu-Ray edition of Watchmen (deleted scenes and tons of extras) at Best Buy. I hope to watch it when I we get five hours. I also set up the PS3 to stream NetFlix on our big TV. It's all so sci-fi. When we have you at the house, we'll plop you down in front of the TV. We have DVDs. We have video games. We'll spoil you a bit.

I met my senior kid this weekend, and I'm worried he's gonna blow this project. He has three weeks to draw, letter, and print a 32-page comic. Even I can't do that. I've warned him and related the meetings to his teacher. I fear he's gonna turn in something done at the last second. He has virtually no sketches, his rough script (unfinished) has no dialogue, and he hasn't thumbnailed a rough of the comic. It will take charity to get a passing grade.

Your Sis and I walked again in this very bizarre, warm evening air. It helped inspire notions for the school arts magazine for which I've been asked to submit an item. I'm gonna do a comic on running. I spent the weekend sketching a format I want to experiment with, and I've already chucked my first big idea (a collage of small drawings) for a straight-forward comic style, and I've got my first and last panels. I know what the comic will be about and roughly how many panels. I feel good. It's due Dec. 4. This is feasible. Unlike that the kid wants to do.

His teacher emailed me to say that I can't print and assemble the comic for him. He has to learn the skill set for the entire process. That means more work for him, less for me. I can live with that.

Picture of the Day
Invasion at the White House!