It’s that time of the month again, where I go through the monthly letters and dissect the part that apply to my chosen characters.Shannon Lake
– zippo, as usual.Jeremy Jones
got a mention in April's Letter, August 2006Duncan's going away to his cottage for three weeks. Gerald, Eva and I went up there with his parents a couple of weekends ago - it's about an hour north of here, and it's right on a lake. We had a blast. We went swimming and played this game called croquet (even though we don't really know how - we just whacked the ball through the hoop things and tried to hit the post afterward, kind of like an obstacle course). We built a bonfire later on and I played my guitar and we all sang. It was tons of fun. The four of us slept out on the back porch - it was screened so the mosquitoes couldn't get us...we hauled mattresses out there and threw our sleeping bags on top and stayed up most of the night talking. It rocked.
This story surprised me. 2 opposite sex couples are going up to a remote cottage by a lake, with Duncan’s parents to chaperone. They sleep together out on the back porch, and April describes it more like a slumber party. I am not sure what to make of this. A year has passed since the grade 8 grad, and April’s relationship with Gerald is almost completely platonic. Not a single one-on-one date or a kiss all year long. Not one. Then with Duncan and Eva, after an initial Duncan leering and Eva smirking, they show virtually no interest in each other, with no mention of romance even in April’s monthly letters anymore. The whole group has fallen into the same kind of setup April used to have with the 2 boys and Becky McGuire, where they were platonic pals, who hung out together. Maybe when you are 12 that would make sense, but after last year’s grad makeout session and Becky’s roadside business, I thought Lynn had realized April and company were actually at the age where you had to keep an eye out for what they did. My nephew is at that age and he has a girlfriend, and his mom (my sister) watches him like a hawk.
I think it is fairly safe for Jeremy Jones to have a full blown relationship with Eva now. Lynn seems to have no interest whatsoever in Eva being any more than an ethnic Becky replacement, except with less personality. With a little over a year to go to end the strip, I would be surprised if she wasted any more time trying to develop a Duncan / Eva romance.Oh, and Becky? She's "on the road". She's doing the Heritage Fest in Rocky Falls and a bunch of other summer community gigs. She's got a CD out and she sent me one. It's good. She's doing really well, but I wouldn't want her life. Her dad is her manager (they fight) and Jeremy J. is still doing sound and lighting. She's seriously into this. I keep wondering how she's gonna do in school.
We haven’t let go of the “Becky getting her comeuppance through bad grades” story yet. The additional detail is that she fights with her dad. Given what susannamoodie
told me about Heritage Fests and the fact I cannot find Rocky Falls anywhere in Ontario, I suspect that the letter is supposed to indicate that Becky’s musical performances are small potatoes, particularly with the quoted "on the road." I was however, quite excited to see the tour storyline picked up in the monthly letters, even if it wasn’t on as grand a scale. The only reason I did the tour was to give me and qnjones
excuses for not posting when we were on vacation this summer. It has also had the added benefit of getting Becky out of her Valhalla trap that was sapping the Becky snark out of qnjones
Jeremy Jones has moved from being a roadie, to doing sound, to doing lights as well. Normally I would expect a Jeremy / Becky romance to be shown as an indication that the 2 villains have linked up, but I think Jeremy is mentioned here, only to let you know that when his character is going to be revisited or mentioned, it will be in the context of Becky. I don’t really expect any Jeremy Jones character development over the next year. I expect one to two more appearances before the strip ends.Constable Paul Wright
– He got mentioned in two letters.Elly's Letter, August 2006Speaking of my adult children, Elizabeth is settled in to her new routine although she's still rather melancholy. It's understandable - after having met Paul, I can see why she's so crazy for him. He's a very handsome young man, and they seem to have a real connection. She clearly misses him - she's been greatly preoccupied and is quite absentminded. As far as I know, they keep in touch every day. He seems like a nice person. I'd like to get to know him better (and I guess - so would she!)
This passage is confusing, because Elly was the first to meet Constable Paul Wright. I am not sure why she is pretending she hasn’t met him before. You can see that Elly finds Paul attractive, and nice. She mentions his communication skills in particular, which is funny considering in the same sentence, she snarks Liz’s lack of communication skills. You will notice that one of the words Elly never uses with respect to Anthony is handsome. This seems to be the big discriminator between all of Liz’s other boyfriends and Anthony. He’s ugly. He’s drawn ugly, and everyone knows it. This passage hints though, that Liz does not know Paul well enough and she probably won’t get to know Paul well enough.
As a hint for how to play Paul, I have been pretty much doing that one. I have Paul talk to Liz every day and report his perspective on what he views Liz to have said about the daily strip activities. I try to contrast this with qnjones
’ own Liz perspective, hopefully to humourous effect.Elizabeth seemed rattled by her encounter with Anthony at Gord's car dealership. He's a nice man, and he obviously still carries a torch for her. I'm interested to see if he contacts her, although I doubt she'll tell me if he does. Whatever happens, they'll always be great friends, and we're all so proud of the way he's handled his divorce and single parenthood. He confides in John, which is good. John has always had a real personal interest in both Anthony and Gordon - and our investment in both of them has been such a good one!
Elly’s remarks about Anthony are pretty much like a mother would make about her son. If you are to compare and contract the Paul paragraph with the Anthony one, you will note that although there is a slam on Liz’s communication skills in both paragraphs, Anthony’s communication with the family is beyond reproach. He actually talks to John, and when you get right down to it, nobody else in the strip does that. Maybe April. There is also a hint that Anthony will be the one to initiate the dating relationship with Liz again. The way this one is played is different from the strip, where Elly is practically falling all over herself in favour of Anthony and Elizabeth goes out of her way not to mention Paul’s existence to Anthony. If I read the intent in this monthly letter, Anthony is to make the first move. However, given the way Paul is portrayed, it would be completely inappropriate for Anthony to make that first move until the relationship with Paul has been shaken. As has been done in these situations before, Elly is the one who broaches the Anthony topic, leaving Elizabeth’s opinion an enigma, as usual.
Now onto the nitty gritty with Liz's Letter, August 2006
Hi gang...I'm getting ready to go up North for the August long weekend - I haven't seen Paul in more than a month and I'll be making the drive to White River to stay with him for a few days. I'm leaving on Friday afternoon right after class, and I'll arrive Saturday morning. I won't get much sleep, but it'll be worth it. I can't wait to see him again! I hope his transfer comes through and we can be closer.
Given the way the rest of this week’s strips are going, i.e. the big farewell for April to go to the farm, I seriously doubt we will see Liz meet Paul’s family at White River this weekend. I would think the Liz / Paul parent meet would be strip-worthy. I know I would love to see Liz meet and greet with an Irishman, and Ojibway mother, and the smooth wisdom-talking mishomis. However, I suspect what has really happened is that the person writing this letter has gotten confused about where Paul Wright lives. Let me lay it out for you. According to mapquest.com, Armstrong, a city approximately in the same location as mythical Mtigwaki is about a 20-hour drive from Toronto. According to last month’s Mike letter, Paul lives about 17 hours from Toronto. The website description and the strip, indicate that Paul lives in Otter County. The strip said Paul’s parents are in White River, which is the only real place of the bunch and mapquest.com says it is an 11-hour drive from Toronto. But….this letter does not say one word about visiting Paul’s family, only Paul. So, maybe the letter writer is confused about where Paul lives. If Liz left at about 4 pm on Friday then 17 hours later she would get there about 9 am on Saturday, so the number fit pretty well with the monthly letter, as if it were a Paul visit only.Mtigwaki – 3 hours – Otter County – 6 hours – White River – 11 hours - Toronto I'm leaving Shiimsa with one of the other girls on my floor - we have a common kitchen, and Shiimsa loves her because she cooks a lot of bacon and always shares with the cat. So I don't have to worry about leaving her alone and having her destroy my few possessions while I'm away. I still feel like I'm a transient - I won't be in this apartment for very long, so the vast majority of my stuff is stored in my parents' basement. This apartment was furnished, so all I had to bring along was my clothes, my computer, my teaching materials and whatever else I couldn't live without for a few months, which isn't much. (Well, it is hard to live without Paul. Really hard.)
My snark in the FOOBiverse’s Journal was that Liz never lived with Paul, just Eric. However, what she is really trying to say is that she equates Paul with things she can’t live without. Actually he is one step below in the “hard to live without” category.Once my summer classes are done, I'm going to need to find full-time work. Having no contract lined up is making me very, very nervous - but I'm confident I'll find something. At this point, it's convenient to have no roots. I have a radius of several hundred kilometers to search, and I wouldn't mind living anywhere in this area so long as I was able to get out to visit Milborough fairly often. Being a couple of hours closer to Paul's place would be handy as well. I'm putting in applications everywhere, leaning on every friend and contact - and checking the Internet constantly for news and notices. My friends here tell me that hiring often happens quite suddenly towards the end of August, so I'm keeping everything crossed but my eyes!
This passage was very interesting and may be providing the reason why the idea of Markham being Liz’s permanent job site has not been mentioned again. Markham is moving the wrong direction with respect to Paul. So, maybe Lynn has changed the permanent job location to someplace a little more westerly than Mississauga, in order to try to convince us faithful readers that she is at least making an attempt to keep her relationship with Paul. Fortunately, we will find out next month, so Lynn can’t drag this one out for too long.
Overall, there is not much to add. I will write the Liz / Paul visit this weekend. Liz will arrive on Saturday morning, and she will have to leave no later than Monday morning to make it back in time for school on Tuesday. And I will add the Heritage Fest to Becky’s tour itinerary. That's all folks!