December 1st, 2005

Thursday, December 1

Sorry I'm so late!

Panel 1: Gads, Gerald, lighten up! Do you have to know where she is EVERY minute of the day? And I guess the Shannon's-a-person-too discussion was only ever going to be confined to one strip.

Panel 2: Why does she dump her knapsack in the middle of the floor like that?

Panel 3: Wow, that girl is awfully tall.

Panel 4: Well, if that girl is anything like I was in high school, she's probably thinking, "Man, I can't ever take a dump in privacy...there's ALWAYS someone primping in here!"

Panel 5: Lynn has done this before, with Liz: "I hate myself" --- "I wish I was you." Except in this case, a) April doesn't hear the comment, b) what figure, and c) it's been a lonnnnnnnnnng time since a high-school girl did NOT want to be skinny. Lynn, get outta the wayback machine.

December letters

Okay, my comments!

Elly: You'd be surprised by how much trivia these folks can remember!

Well, no, I wouldn't. They've lived longer and experienced more; their minds are at that stage where they remember 40 years ago better than 40 minutes ago, and they've been keeping in practice by telling stories to anyone within earshot. So yeah, they'd kick ass at Trivial Pursuit. Get with the program.

I'd like to be able to do the same...just find a nice dark subterranean cavern (preferably with hot springs) and sleep the winter away.

I wish you could, too!

She has to get the tree out of the basement? Wouldn't you think Canadians would have a live tree?

I'm not sure if anyone else mentioned Robin's birthday party, but it was last month and it went very well. The kids were well-behaved, Iris and Jim enjoyed themselves, as did Mira and Wilf, and we all had a great time.

I guess Mira doesn't have to be evil any more, now that the K's are on the scene.

I love seeing my son interact with his family. He and Deanna have a good partnership,

Uh...yeah. IOW, Deanna knows her place.

and they clearly adore their children. For me, it's an opportunity to see how our parenting skills paid off- and I think we did quite well. Now, it's payback time! There's a certain amount of satisfaction in seeing a kid that you struggled with...struggling with his own!

Still doing that "Ha ha, your karma caught up to you" thing, eh?

I often wonder if Elizabeth will marry, and if she'll have children.

"Often" meaning "24/7".

Ah, but they're wonderful. Despite the angst and the anarchy, I do enjoy teenagers.

How so, for cryin' out loud? Unless it's the opportunity to be the All-Knowing Saint Elly that you relish.

Sometimes I miss being that alive, to be honest! Some adults get so good at Zen-like objectivity that we could almost be accused of heartless detachment.

But not you, right?

John: The whole time he was angsting about competitive gift-giving, I was thinking, "But since when do you shop? Doesn't Elly take care of all that?" Then a few paragraphs later, he admits just that. Then all that jazz about his train sets and tool kits and snowblowing and fixing a window. Forgive my crudeness, but I think that must be the only thing that gets him hard any more. I mean, really, when was the last time he or Elly talked about something they'd done together, or any quality about the other that they admired? At least Mike praises Deanna for her soup-making skills.

Some ad-vice: Have a good December!

And what the hell does that mean?

Liz: I have a theory. We've talked before about how LJ claims that the characters make their decisions without input from her, like they exist independently and all she does is write about them instead of creating them. I wonder if LJ thinks Liz asked her to keep her courtship out of the strip for her own privacy, and that's why we haven't seen Officer Morsel since that brief glimpse at the stargazing session. It certainly would explain why the April episode has been so disjointed: LJ had to cobble together three weeks of strips to take the place of "Liz and Paul Sittin' In a Tree". "Let's see...Zits, Shannon, Becky's career, more zits, and oh yeah, a school assignment. That should do it!" And it would be in keeping with all the "thanks for your concern" brushoffs in the letters. LJ would just tell us, if we asked her directly, that Liz is a very private person and has asked not to appear so often.

April: It could be that April already knew how to make an outline, and what was eye-opening was Mike's suggestion to leave it and come back with a fresh eye. The thing is, though, if that's what he does, then leaving it would presumably mean switching to another project, not actually going downstairs and spending time with his family.

And we get Eva's backstory. And this comment is interesting: I've never seen Duncan act so nervous before. It's funny, but I know where he's coming from. But who has April ever crushed on, besides Dr. Morsel (John's associate)? Gerald basically ambushed her before we ever saw signs that she was interested in him, and there's been no one else (except for the letters-only summer camp guy). So how would she know how Duncan feels?

Mike: Gordon has finally been able to let go a little. Anthony Caine is the official manager - something he's good at, and he's going to have to turn the company finances over to someone else or go crazy trying to keep up.

I had to read this twice before I realize he probably means Gordon is the one who might go crazy. Ontario's Greatest Writer, y'all.

[Therese] never shared Anthony's vision of home and family, although for his sake she tried. Instead of talking things out and working toward a solution, she has become distant and more devoted to her career. She's rarely home these days and Anthony expects to have to make plans for a future without her.

Oh, how sad. Therese really should dial back on her work and spend more time with her family. Like you do...Oh, wait.

And no gay wedding for Lawrence and Nick. But what would the difference be, for heaven's sake? Just put it in the monthly letters and it doesn't have to affect the strip!

I still see Martha from time to time, although we haven't had an opportunity to exchange more than pleasantries as we run from work to the subway. She's divorced, dating and working in the colour production department of a sign company. It seems like a hundred years since we shared a crush at summer camp. She still has the freckles and the great smile that made me weak in the knees back then.

I love how he just casually mentions this, like Martha is or should be anyone significant to him. I wonder: Is she his first love because he dated her before dating Deanna? Or does Deanna still get the title because they knew each other first?

Carleen is making sure things are all taken care of. She is able to read a contract and decipher it.

Now, is this saying that Weed is really dumb, or that Carleen is really know, for a woman?

She's also aware of the value of his time. He no longer has "friends" asking him to attend their weddings or birthday parties as a guest with the suggestion that he "bring his camera".

Must give props here. This is one of the few times, if not the only, where "quotes" have been appropriate, because they seem to genuinely denote sarcasm.

Deanna: the shop-til-you-droppers get all the exercise one needs just running around carrying packages.

Well, no they don't. That doesn't burn any significant amount of calories, and when you factor in the high-calorie snacks they'll probably grab on the run, they're probably adding more weight than if they'd stayed home. Although I do thank you for the tip about rubbing one's eyes.

Somehow I think it's my job to preach prevention.

BWAH! Oohhoohoohoohoohoo...[falls off chair] Heeheeheeheehee! "Prevention"...HEE!

Not much to say about Jim, Iris and the pets. Now that Merrie and Robin's pictures have been updated, how about making April look her age, too?

Friday, December 2

"An'"s: One.

Panel 1: Ah HA. So there's Shannon, excluded and hurting. Perhaps there will be a followup on April ditching her. And meanwhile, April doesn't want to go for pizza because her face is a pizza, is that it?

Panel 2: Jeez, do they have to make Shannon look five years old?

Panel 3: April...Get off the cross, we need the wood.

Panel 4: Again, this kind of rubs me the wrong way. I still find it hard to believe that Shannon has no friends among the SN kids. Presenting it like this -- the "normals" don't care about her, therefore no one cares about her -- is essentially saying that normals are the only people who count, they should be charitable towards Shannon, and she would be eternally grateful for their largesse. And apparently April will never call Gerald on his rudeness: silence does mean consent.