Letters to Holly

Friday, January 22

Listen and Sniff

You suggested The Moth podcast, and I've listened to each one with an engagement and contentment I used to get from This American Life. There's also RadioLab, and it's hit-and-miss, but it's clearly made by people who enjoy the layering of information. The edits embellish the progress of the stories.

One of my comic projects is an online comic diary. I'm aiming for three strips a week, all made well ahead of time. Digitally inking it is weak, and I wish I were quicker with the traditional inking process. But I suspect my real frustration is with the pencils. I need to slow down and draw in a style that I like instead of lazily sketching. I need to bear down. I also think I can do a 16-page hero comic for the con.

The website will now feature regular front-page updates. It'll be YouTube videos for the foreseeable future.

I'm on the back-end of the cold, and it's still no fun. DayQuil and NyQuil are my best friends.

Your Sis mysteriously got bigger in the last few days. It's very noticeable. She's smuggling a cylinder.

Picture of the Day
I must away.

Thursday, January 21

A Matter of Nomenclature

Whenever Your Sister asks me to pick up medicine on my way home, I assume it's goop for female parts. This has been the pattern for years. She'll rattle off an unwieldy name, and I'll scan the shelves to find it based on phonetics. She and I have bemoaned the poor choices in names for some of these medicines. We have taken the step to rename them with a word beginning with the same first letter so as to be demur in the grocery store. For instance, "I need to get some Voltron."

So when she called me last night to pick up Chlortrimeton, I assumed it was for the lady-garden. It wasn't until she said "I need a decongestant," that I realized it was for the northern climes. It's the only such medicine allowed by the baby book. I scoured the cold/flu/decongestant shelf at CVS. Nothing. I called her to ask for the medical name (chlorpheniramine). Nothing. I called her again to ask what else the book would allow. None, she said. I finally asked a pharmacist, and he bolted to the exact shelf space. In the allergy section. Ah. There's the problem. But she now has the safe medicine to fight the cold I gave her.

My own infected head is clogged, but it's manageable. Feels like it will be gone by Saturday.

Picture of the Day
Now that's a big Wampa.

Tuesday, January 19

Hello, Possums

I intended to use the sick bed last night. However, our new roommate will have its own room, and that's the old office. The old office's contents moved into the guest bedroom, along with all of Your Sister's clothes. That means she gets up before I do and goes to the current guest/sick bedroom to put on work clothes and do some grading. That would have made for a bad morning for our hero, who is frog-throated and medicined. The sick bed, then, is now the Bed of Your Sister no matter who's sick. Seems unfair, but there it is. Last night, I doped up with NyQuil and slipped pleasantly into a pool of black.

Moving Picture of the Day
Now my voice sounds like that of Dame Edna. How charming for Your Sister, I'm sure.

Monday, January 18

Baby Babble

Pardon all the baby stuff.

Your Sis felt Roo move for the first time this morning. Even if she wanted to wake me up to share it, I was out cold on NyQuil. My throat is raw from running on Saturday. I thought it was warm enough, and I'm downing Yogi tea and cough drops until I'm back to normal. Your Sis pointed out that such tea, made with slippery elm, can lead to miscarriages. I should be OK though.

Sparked by outside conversations, we discussed allowances and books. I'm of the mind that allowances are earned, and advances are earned through extra work. I think allowances can include "overtime pay" for extra work that doesn't diminish the next allowance installment. Your Sis likes making Roo use the allowance to buy the cool stuff. We'll provide basics, but if Roo wants the cool clothes, Roo has to use the allowance. I'm OK with that.

We also have a simple curriculum of stages of reading. I like Judy Blume. Your Sis doesn't not. Because she's a commie. I read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (and its sequel, Superfudge) and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great repeatedly. She won't hear of it. She wonders what chapter-books we should move to after the basic kids books. Charlotte's Web is her choice. I also like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. She asked when Harry Potter could be introduced, and I said it depended on Roo's maturity. But Narnia and The Hobbit would make for a good entree into Potter and The Ring trilogy later. No discussion on comics yet. We talked about this over lunch, and I'm sure we entertained the other restaurant patrons as we told those books' stories to each other. I could have used a puppet or two.

I'm starting two new comic projects this weekend: a comic story told one page each month, and a casual diary comic. Both are going online. I'll tell you where to find them as they go up. The monthly comic is story I've dabbled with for over a year. In addition to these, I need to hammer out about three minicomics for the May convention. But I have four months to do the latter and can manage that if I stick to a schedule.

I have the rare weekday lunch with Your Sister today, and I'm sure we'll bore everyone with baby talk.

Picture of the Day
Crucial notes if you ever go time traveling.