Letters to Holly

Friday, June 1

I Take a Humble Bow

The response to the Arsenal page, including your link and tweeting, is overwhelming. It really felt like the tiniest of gestures as the months dragged on, but the premise surprises people. I asked his mom if I could put him in a comic, and I might very well make an Arsenal mini for the fall convention.

Yes, Asheville is gonna get a second convention. The unofficial Fanaticon replacement failed to wow folks, and they did not do a good job about getting the word out. This unrelated convention in October looks to the May show as an example, and I wouldn't be surprised if the they merge if they prove moderately successful in the coming years. I told the new show's organizers to sign me up for a table, and a new mini might not be impossible. A true mini, I mean, not another full-sized comic.

The Boston court ruling on DOMA is muy interesting. The argument over federal tax benefits gives this a booster rocket to the Supreme Court, and a conservative court, as I've argued for sometime, already leans toward individual sovereignty. This could cement the schism between political and social conservatism (the moral scolds). It won't be a factor in the November elections however.

P.S. During lunch, Arsenal's mom said bluntly, "you need to update Cooking With Villainy." So I did later in the day. 

Picture of the Day
This is the Dragon capsule from SpaceX, the commercial space enterprise. Dragon docked with the space station and returned without a hitch, moving us that much closer to a private company sending people into space. Wow.

Thursday, May 31

Aches and Pains

I am sore. Not crippling sore. Not hobbled sore. But sore. Stiff. Like I did too many sit-ups. I can't torque my neck enough to crack it, but that's the extent of loss of quality of life. I walk OK. I sit and stand OK. I'm not taking anything for it although I do intend to have beer tonight.

I was informed via email yesterday that my comics are being mailed to me. Now I'm all atwitter over the fear that there's a giant mistake on the comic that will be immediately noticeable when I open the box. However this is tempered somewhat by the voice in my head yelling I MADE A GODDAMN COMIC! HOLY BUG BUTTS, BATMAN! Just this morning, I took my minicomic PDFs to OfficeMax to get more copies made to fill out the four-pack bundles.

Your Sister took her motorcycle to the shop. She borrowed some new gas from my lawnmower supply, and the shop suggested her carburetor is clogged. They may do the state inspection when they fix the bike. She won't admit this but the crash gave her a good reason to make the bike a daily vehicle. I had to chase down USAA to start my claim properly. I have yet to hear from my assigned adjustor, but she may not need to call now. Once I told USAA that I was talking to State Farm (the other driver's insurance), they snapped to work, recording my statement and walking me through the process. We have to wait a week to get an appraisal because we live so far from a certified USAA repair shop. I intend to take the car to the Toyota dealership. I bought a new car seat during my lunch break yesterday. We tried to find the exact model we had, but all we found was an expensive upgrade. That's fine; we're adding it to the insurance claim.

Picture of the Day
Here she comes! Here comes Speed Teacher!

Wednesday, May 30

The Crash

So here's what happened:

I picked up the deputy early from daycare because we had to go to Hendersonville to pick up a package at the UPS hub. They won't deliver wine without a signature, and we work. On the drive there, his big-boy water cup turned over in his lunchbox, and the water leaked in the passenger seat and all over my sketchbook. It was bulging with comics and prints and convention to-do items, and they were all soaked.

I got the address of the warehouse from the UPS site, and I knew roughly where that address is. But the hub isn't obvious from the street. I saw the UPS trucks in a gravel parking lot and a building I assumed was theirs. But the parking area was gated and locked, and there were no accessible doors. I parked near that building and schlepped the deputy to it. That's when I saw the tiny "AT&T" signage. Not our building. I walked to the UPS trucks and headed toward the back of that lot, still not seeing anything that looked like a public door.

Juggling the deputy and phone, I called the UPS hotline to at least confirm my package would be there and the place would be open. As I talked to them, I found a mechanic working on a truck, and he pointed me toward a door around yet another corner. We walked in, and there was no one. This was the slightest of public venues for UPS customers. It was an afterthought. Someone walked by the door and took care of us. The box was light enough to carry while the deputy walked beside, and back we went to the car as the rain started up again. Back home we went.

Five minutes later, I was stopped behind a car turning left. The rain made the road slick, and I made sure to leave space as I braked. I was at a full stop when I heard the squeal, and I knew immediately it was behind us. I braced my leg to keep the brake on, and we got hit. We slid and hit the car in front of us. When we stopped rolling, I turned off the engine and checked the rear-view mirror for the deputy. His seat was askew and the baby mirror was knocked over. I waited for oncoming traffic to clear before I moved to the back to check on him. He was surprised and teary, but OK. His face contorts when he's fighting a big cry, and it was on display. The driver of the truck that hit me was at the other passenger window asking if he was OK," and I yelled at him to wait. I was right mad. I wanted to clobber him. But yeah, the boy was OK. I kept him in the seat and called 911. I told them I was shaky, and I couldn't say definitively we were fine.

The firetrucks arrived first, and they confirmed everyone was OK. I think it was about that time the drive of the car I hit walked over to me. She had moved her car out of the main road and onto the street she had stopped for originally. She asked if I hadn't seen her signal. I said I had and was stopped and then I got hit. She hadn't seen the truck behind me and its damage, much less the back of my car. The deputy stayed in his seat, where he would stay for the rest of the time. His seat had been shoved forward and crammed against the front passenger seat, but otherwise it was fine, and that was the best place of the time being.

We moved the cars to the side street before the ambulance arrived, and an EMT checked out the deputy while I signed hospital waiver sheets. The EMT said the baby seat had to be replaced because it was in the accident, and I said the replacement price would be worth it. Cops arrived about ten minutes later, and they took the registrations and licenses. During all this the truck driver was anxious about the deputy. I assured him he was fine, and bullets were dodged. The car sounded OK when I drove it, and other folks who looked at the back tires said they seemed fine.

I had called Your Sister twice and left messages before reaching her. I told her to stay near her phone(s) in case we needed a ride home. The police officer gave us each contact and insurance info for our claims and ticketed the truck driver for hitting us. The car I hit was sent home because there was no damage to their car or my front half. I got home and called USAA, and the claims department is not winning me over. The phone agent says no one can look at the car until Tuesday. I can still drive the car until then I suppose. But that's a very long time. I may go back to GEICO when this is over.

You've had worse accidents. You've gone through all this. But GEICO spoiled me when I had my wreck in 2003. My car was in a shop within two hours.

Your Sister gave me Balcofen to stave off muscle soreness, but it did nothing last night. I have tightness, but nothing Advil cant handle.

Picture of the Day
Unleash the tooth demons upon our insurance company!

Tuesday, May 29

In Which It Might Be Nice to Breathe

I am baffled by the head flu. It has clogged me up entirely -- at times approximating the feeling of sleep apnea -- and neither decongestants, Dayquil, nor allergy medicines make a dent in it. It's better today but only by the slightest of increments. Your Sister's doubled-over coughing seems better, and the boy is recovering. It can't be allergies.

We sat him on the couch as Return of the Jedi played on TV. Some channel was running a marathon, and we caught the part of the movie where the rebels and Ewoks attack the Endor moon bunker while the Falcon leads the attack on the Imperial fleet. Normally, he watches TV with constant commentary, pointing out vehicles or animals. But as he watched these little teddy bears fight a machine that walks like a chicken, he was dead silent and utterly still. Mesmerized. As the scene switched to the space fight, he saw the TIE Fighters and made "helicopter" hand signs. When the scene changed to the Vader/Luke/Emperor scene, he got bored. Rightfully so. That bit goes on for days. That scene drove him from the couch, and out the door we went. So, yes, when he's old enough to watch the films, I think he'll be interested.

Your Sister graded the majority of the papers last night. She felt OK about those she didn't get to, and none were handed to me for simple proofing. I offered to help a lot, but she wanted to fly solo. OK. I'll watch TV.

My ad ran in the Blue Ridge Rollergirl program Saturday, to what might be the smallest audience they've hosted. It was Memorial Day Weekend, after all. The next home bout is during the July 4 Weekend, and that audience might not be any bigger. I'm still debating running the ad again. I got some page views but no orders. What was odd was one of the visiting team members is named Bat. L. Royale. She wasn't present, but I asked a teammate to let her know about the coincidence. I'm also now convinced that the next comic will have a roller girl heroine.

And this was the shirt I coulda sold for tens of dollars.