Letters to Holly

Friday, October 7

No Contest

We've observed radio silence lately because we're stuck in a rut. Our days have become rigid in their schedule with nary a variation in our hours.

Your Sister is crawling through the semester. Having only one planning period every two days is murder, and she's deadweight. She's planning to go into work this weekend again, and my suggestions to lighten the workload clunk off her blast shields. The schedule should lighten next semester (still scheduled to begin with the new year, not weeks after), and the feedback of the bedraggled teachers should guarantee this doesn't happen again.

Earlier in the year, the county announced a contest for a new official seal. Logos were solicited, and I was mildly tempted. The deadline was right around the time of the two local conventions, and I had my concerns about the vetting process. Namely, there would be a committee of locals who would filter the submissions down to a handful before a round of citizen voting for the winner. The initial criteria for submissions was clearly noted. Who knows what the committee would look for? And why open up a matter of design to an expanded committee, one the size of the county? Too many variables in play. The winner wouldn't be necessarily the best design, but the one that appealed to the broadest range for whatever reason.

The two logos that have been released for public input reflect my suspicions. (I'd link to them, but the newspaper site requires a paid online subscription to read articles. Even the New York Times gives you a number of freebies per month.) They are bland or intentionally folksy. The committee apparently agreed as they have added a third voting option: the current county seal. So you can vote for weak, weaker, or same. I'm glad I stayed out of it. I wonder if they got so few submissions or, probably, they eliminated the ones that displayed ingenuity. It reminds me of the beer-logo fiasco, and what I call the victorious mediocre. The sharp/smart/clever/snazzy is dismissed in favor of material that prefers to blandly identify instead of engage. Or the contest organizers want the design that best fits their unspoken idea. And that makes the contest a dead crapshoot. (Am I just bitter? Maybe.)

I think the "same" option will win. It's the safest choice, and frankly the cheapest. No money will be required to replace the old seal. And that consideration will (and should, right now) trump all others.

Pictures of the Day
Entertainment Weekly and Marvel released the first official stills from next year's Avengers movie, and I can't believe we're getting an Avengers movie.

Monday, October 3

Hit or Misses

Yes, the airshow was freezing. We packed jackets and hats, but we were still unprepared for a wind that sharp. There was no sun. Others hadn't expected anything like that and attended in flip-flops. We were uncomfortable. They were miserable. Your Sister enjoyed it as much as the deputy because she's crazy for airshows. I don't regret skipping the 9 am 5k race on the runway -- too much wind, too much cold, too little running in the past months. But I am noticeably thinner, and I wonder how that will affect my running when I pick it up again. The Halloween race may still be possible. Actually, we're both pretty small these days. Your Sis is three pounds heavier than she was on her first day of college. I haven't been this thin in more than a decade. Speaking of which ...

This weekend marked the 10th anniversary of the Night That Changed My Life. I forgot about it entirely until this morning. That's a comfort; it means I don't obsess.  But it does remind me how radically my stations have changed in the interim. A new wife, a son, a house, new in-laws, a lost parent, comics, two jobs, 5ks. It's vertiginous. And dizzying. In virtually every way, my life improved. I'm tempted to contact the ex and thank her for her supernova of bad decisions. I'm also curious to compare our progress since then. I don't wish her ill, because, frankly, part of me thinks I don't need to. She's done more damage to herself than anything I could have concocted in the darkest bitter moments.

I mean, let's be honest, someone departs that way because they're betting they can find a better partner or be better off financially (Also it's an intentional slap to the head with a big, cold fish.). But that bet, at least indirectly, also gambles that the one left behind can't do better than the departed. And in that regard, the former missus missed. I traded up. I so, so traded up. Still, she was my best friend for the decade prior to the one I just marked, and her absence is notable for the time we did spend together. I certainly don't regret the marriage as it, if nothing else, house-trained me for Your Sister.

Another of our friends' marriage seems to be collapsing, and both folks work with Your Sister. No one knows the particulars, and that's fine. It complicates Your Wife's workplace, of course, and touches the majority of our friendships. We like this couple a lot, both as spouses and individuals. I hope they can work this out. But the parallels to an early collapse a few years back is spooky.We remaining husbands are obliged to step up.

Picture of the Day
This is Pyongyang, North Korea. This would make Orwell run screaming.