Letters to Holly

Friday, June 17

Doctor Doctor, Give Me the News

The sidekick saw the ENT today, and his Prevacid dosage was cut back to a half pill a day. If the original symptoms return, we go back to full dosage for a kid his age. I think he'll be fine. He doesn't make any snoring noise the way he used to.

I heard back about my blood tests, and my total cholesterol is elevated from December but still within safe numbers. HDL is up but not enough. LDL is up but still safe, and my triglycerides dropped like a rock. I checked my exercise heart rate (128 a minute), and that seems optimal.

We're planning to take the boy to his first zoo tomorrow. There's a celebrity animal refuge near my hometown, and it offers a "safari" bus ride and the ability to hand feed animals. Your Sister is seriously jazzed for this; I wonder how well he'll recognize animals from the storybooks.

Picture of the Day
Looks like more exercise for me!

Thursday, June 16

Waiting for Results

Our regular GP is out with a new baby, and I met her temporary replacement yesterday. He asked to run a follow-up blood test to see where my HDL is now. It was low enough last year that I was put on fish pills. I went in this morning for the blood draw and was told the office would call me tomorrow with the results. If further action is needed, they'll bring me in all quick like to get me fixed up. I feel fine. I'm running again and gardening and chasing the sidekick and biking (but not this morning; I was told to refrain from eating and exercising before the test).

The neighborhood was whacked by a strong summer storm complete with hail. The deck was covered in dead branches, and the garden was lucky to duck a strong blow. I added tomato cages this morning. I need to read up on trellises for the pea vines.

Your Sister took the sidekick to a local stone store for lawn accessories, and he went ape shit over the giant vehicles. We don't have any of these toy types, and he doesn't seem them on TV or in books. Yet he adores --suddenly, completely -- big construction real-life Tonka trucks. Maybe it is gender genetics.  

The new blog artwork is from Time Bandits, an early film by Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin which I adored as a kid. It's about little assistants for God yoinking a map of the universe to hop through time and steal as much as they can carry. They accidentally team with an English boy and move toward The Most Fabulous Object in the World, unfortunately located in the lair of Ultimate Darkness. It's a fine boys film.

Picture of the Day
We must choose the right outlets for assistance.

Wednesday, June 15

Up and At 'Em

This marked my third consecutive morning of running. Monday and Tuesday were boot-camp jogs intended to assure me I could at least make the route without stopping. This morning, I decided to push it, and I cut more than a minute off of this week's run time. I hoped to bike, but I forgot we keep the bike helmets in the nursery, and I didn't want to wake up the deputy.  I need to switch up my morning exercise, and I like the idea of biking to supplement the run and floor exercises. I have a doctor's appointment today to follow-up on my check-up some months back. The exercise and triple-omega pills should be paying off by now.

I can't take credit for getting up early and running. I'm naturally waking up a good half hour before my alarm goes off, and we've had enough rain that I don't need to water the garden. I've got the time, and summer fashions tell me I need to shape up.

HBO showed Little Shop of Horrors often and daily. It might have been the movie from my teen years that prepared me for the classic musicals I saw a few years later. In the space of about four years, I was introduced to Fiddler on the Roof, Rocky Horror, and Oklahoma. The latter hooked me on the genre. I was probably in my late 20s before I realized Wizard of Oz was a musical. Back when CBS aired it in the time before VCRs, you saw it once a year.

Moving Picture of the Day
Sesame Street takes on the cursed Spider-Man musical.

Monday, June 13

Just An Excuse to Post Videos from The Tony Awards

For our anniversary, we hired a babysitter Friday night and caught the new X-Men movie.  It's the goods. It cobbles a number of classic X-Men comic moments and makes new story with them. The acting is top-notch, and the action is good. It also rewards loyal viewers of the first three X-Men movies.

The local comic store informed me that three minicomics had sold in the past two weeks. Woo.

We biked between thunderstorms Saturday afternoon. The sidekick is taking to it well. We can't ride the bikes back up our hill, and I shoved the boy-burdened bike as we finished riding. It sucks to run it too. But run it I did this morning. I got up before seven and ran our route in under 21 minutes. The school traffic was thin enough to assure me I wouldn't get plastered by a bus. I dunno if I can do this every day, but I did get a good weekend workout between the bike and gardening.

Also, a neighbor's tree rotted and collapsed across the road on Sunday. I only noticed it when I saw traffic slowing in front of our driveway. None of the tree parts landed on our property, but I didn't see anyone cleaning it up. Out I went. It was light work as the tree felt like Styrofoam. The neighbor thought a branch had fallen and thought nothing of it. He didn't seem too concerned when I rang his doorbell and informed him. The pieces were all there as we left town later that morning and returned that night.

We went back to my hometown for a reunion of my maternal grandmother's family. The deputy was cooed over the whole time. Because I was carrying him for the event, we put his nametag on his back, and people knew his name before they talked to us. He watched the older kids play basketball, and he was itching to join in. After, we had our first swim in My Mom's pool. He took to it with relish after weeks of being trained to splash in the tub. He has a swim bodysuit with a hood, and he floated in a small tube raft. When we poured him back into the car, he slept like a coma patient.

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As Your Sister wades into the deeper waters of the teacher pool, she learns many a thing:

1) One teacher is moving. His departure surprises us both.

2) Another teacher is staying. Her continuance surprises us both.

3) It's presumed that Your Sister will be department chair. She'd rather not. I'm trying to comfort her by saying that the sidekick's sleep cycle and time at daycare affords her a lot of time to be chair and do chair things.

4) She's teaching AP again, requiring her to scrape together a syllabus before summer.

5) The county manager's budget proposal calls for $38,000 to be cut from the library, virtually all of it from new-acquisition moneys. That affects the teachers who want to order books for their classes. To secure enough copies of one book, she contacted an Asheville bookstore, and they had four copies of it. By the time I got there the next day, they had eight more copies. The cost of these books is, of course, coming out of our pockets. (Oh, and the library budget cuts means they're scrapping periodicals for a year. That's my favorite library section.).

6) The state budget has decreed that schools will have five fewer teacher workdays as they become full school days. This is packaged as a cost-cutting measure, but it adds five days to the 180-day mandatory schedule, and it requires five additional days of utilities, buses, and school meals. The governor vetoed it, but the legislature says they'll override.

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We watched the Tonys last night, and it may have been the best broadcast of the show I've seen. The musical numbers this year were all stellar, and let me post two great examples.

If you don't watch the Tonys -- if you have no real interest in Broadway -- I can't blame you. Broadway has catered to the tourist crowd hard in the last ten years and only recently pulled itself out of the jukebox musical genre (take the biggest hits of a mainstream artist & build a plot around it -- you know, ABBA, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, etc.). But I think the American musical is swinging back to a proper display of talent and skill. Now, yes, the new trend is to make musicals based on popular films, and this clip is from the adaptation of Catch Me If You Can, the Spielberg/DiCaprio film. The star of the show -- Norbert Leo Butz -- won the Tony for Best Musical Actor last night for this show (and maybe this number), and he won a Tony a few years back for his work in the musical based on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Anyway, in a Tonys show that was PACKED with talent this year, this number stood out even against hot, hot performances from The Book of Mormon and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Sister Act. This number, I think, stole the show, and god damn if I don't want to audition for a show right now.

And here's Harry Potter tearing it UP in his show. This kid is good.

Your Sister asked if, in all my theatre interest, if I ever wanted to be a song-and-dance man. Of course, but it's only been recently that I felt like I had the pipes to do a decent job. For example, the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors? I can do that.


Leo Bloom in The Producers? I can do that.

As I finished my run this morning, I passed a neighbor who's been in a few local shows with me, and he asked if I was coming back to work with the local company. If I didn't have such sour memories of bad choices and backstage drama, I'd hop at the chance to do the latest musical (Annie, by the way). But I can't risk shouldering Your Sister with a revived work schedule and the boy for such a chunk of time only for me to regret working with people who can't learn their lines.