Friday, December 11, 2009

Odds and ends and underpants

Let's see if I can actually be quick for once, and then get some dreadfully overdue books signed and ready to ship before the mailman gets here. The plan is to catch up on some commentary (that's part #1) and finish with a funny story that's almost as overdue as those books (that's #2, and that was enough of an excuse to link to today's Frazz -- which, you'll notice, is now readable without clicking).

To all the kind folks who encouraged me to print a poster of the strip that was cited by Brian in his Carnegie Teacher of the Year acceptance speech, efforts are under way at United Feature Syndicate to do just that. So now the strip itself will be a product.

Speaking of flattering mentions by impressive people, don't miss the interview and review of Trizophrenia in the RunnerDude blog. Then read more of his blog. It's very good stuff.

VeloBen and La Professora  assure me that I'm on reasonably safe legal ground by borrowing St. Lawrence University's seal for Frazz's shirt. I don't know if any jokes that begin with "A librarian, a professor and a cartoonist walk into a legal briefing," but one needs to.

Because this weekend's book-signings at Great Lakes Books in Big Rapids (Saturday) and Kinetic Systems in Clarkston (Sunday) can only accommodate so many people, we have Helen asking if I'm going to be signing books in Ann Arbor soon and PurpleState asking something similar about the Washington, DC area while Noel offers to get me into the pool at George Mason University. Noel has a good radar, because I'm in talks, as they say, with the director of a triathlon just west of DC. And I'm also pretty much confirmed to be a part of an Ann Arbor event in late March. I'm being all cagey and secretive because I don't want to usurp the promoters' right to have a little control over information about their own events. I'll update you as things become official.

Jim Smith II adds to the pile of much-needed and gratefully accepted swim encouragement. Let's lay it out in the open right here and now: My I hereby declare my goal for this offseason (can an off-season have goals? Is that fair?) is to hit that 7:30 500-yd freestyle, a feat experienced swimmers like to call "warming up." I did it at practice just this morning, but I don't think it counts when you do it in 100-yard pieces with generous rest intervals. But it's a start.

Which brings us to the part you've been waiting for, the funny story. After last Saturday's swim meet, I was talking with friend who had had a pretty good day in the water himself, breaking several records, personal, pool and otherwise. I don't remember the exact events, records, or even the guy's name, if only for his dignity's sake. In fact, the only detail I was able to pay much attention to at all is that as he was telling me about all this, he was wearing his towel and blotting the water out of his ears with his underpants. Good to know I'm not the only one affected by cerebral oxygen deprivation after a hard swim.

Okay. That'll do it. Circling tidily to the Frazz episode we led off with: Gotta go.


Jim Smith II said...

Was wondering why you wouldn't name names till I got to the end. Hilarious!

BTW - I gotta come up with a cool nickname like "VeloBen" or "La Professora", my just sounds too formal ;-)