Letters to Holly

Monday, January 17

Clearing Away the Debris

I once had boxes of cassettes. As part of my bedroom cocoon in high school, I taped songs off the radio for my imaginary radio station, and I had as many official tapes I'd buy at the mall. Moving a number of times in ten years whittled them down to a shoebox of treasured albums: Twin Peaks, Depeche Mode, adaptations of The Shadow, Hamlet and Les Miserables.

I had the notion for years now to burn them to digital files, but my two options involved elaborate Goldbergian methods to make copies or paying someone to do it for me. The local radio store does this, and I hesitated, hoping a simplified option would emerge, and finally it did.

Using Audacity, the software I already have for remixing music, I learned I only needed a dubbing cable to connect a tape player with the laptop. Luckily, we had a tape player. Unluckily, the store most likely to have that cable, Radio Shack, isn't open on weekends. Because, really, who shops on weekends? I hopped into Kmart on the off-chance they'd have it, and they did. The packaging is so contemporary, it doesn't mention cassette dubbing. I am a man from the distant past.

Your Sister lent me her classroom tape player, and I've already made copies of my Def Leppard tapes. I was surprised to see how many tapes I had already replaced with albums bought off iTunes, but I will be able to hold onto my drama adaptations and hear them during my commute. This tape copying has lingered over my head for years. It's a relief to chip away at that cloud.

I also chopped at the driveway ice, and the remnants were sizable. The flat area was still a sheetcake of snow and ice, and it took more than an hour Sunday to clean it away. I only worked at it because we're predicted to get more ice and snow this week, and I didn't want to surrender any ground to the elements.

We took the sidekick sledding Saturday morning. It was a passive experience for him; Your Sister and I took turns holding him as we went down hills at the school. This was my first time as I grew up in flat lands, and I stunk at it. Your Sister was on a varsity skill level, diving belly first on the sled and down the hill. She's determined to get back into pre-baby recklessness. No, not recklessness. Spontaneity. We then left for lunch, and she inhaled a bowl of chili.

I made simple borders for some of my comic pages and ordered a mess of more. I tried Amazon, but the storefront wanted to charge me shipping for each bundle I bought. Instead, I went to the manufacturer and bought more than twice as many pages for the same amount I would have paid Amazon. Now I have 100 pages lurching through the mail service toward our citadel of ice. The month is half over. I have to start cranking out art.

Picture of the Day
Keep within reach at all times.

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