Monthly Archives: August 2015

Mid Term Grades

You may see here the beginnings of me becoming an English teacher, and not getting sitcom from my acting professor, unlike some people I could mention.  I do remember most of these classes though, not library though.

March 1987

Dear Family

Hi, How’s it going?

I had some stuff I wanted to tell you, but now I can’t remember what they were. Oh yeah.

I enclosed an article about some K-State Department of Journalism Stuff that I was talking to Mike (Sears) about the other day. It explains exactly what I was talking about. [There’s not article in the envelope, so I don’t know what I was talking about.]

I haven’t written that letter to G. yet, but I will. L. (S.), it turns out also got some money on the same kind of deal from the Citizen’s Bank. [More mystery. I don’t know what’s going on here either.]

The Formal was a lot of fun, by the way. M.W. was there–which was kind of neat.  So was A.M.

I plan on coming up to the game on Friday. I read where it started at 7:30. If that’s way off, you might let me know.

We got our first test back in American Novel the other day. When I handed it in, I really had no idea what he wanted exactly, so I had no idea how I would do. Keep in mind that this is a 700-level class and good for grad credit. Anyhow, we got them back and I hand the highest grade in the class– an A-. Hope I didn’t luck out and can keep it up.

On the downer side, in my “three-hours-of-easy-A” music class, I got an 96 & 92 on the first two quizzes, but a 78 on the first test. Have to study a little harder there, huh?

While on the subject– other mid term grades: P. World A, lab B, acting B?, library A?

But enough of that.

This spring break I might take a couple days to buzz down to Tulsa and see the S’s.

Guess I’ll see you all this weekend.

Have a good week.

Mike, play good Friday.

Mom, remain calm.

Hi Dad, how’s it goin’.




Two From Smeary Soapbox Press

photo 2(1)

Before the month is over and it’s too late for you to get some free stuff I want to write a bit about a couple of free independent comic books that I pulled down from the new Smeary Soapbox Press store. These are comics by Dale Martin, the talented guy behind Watusi the Talking Dog. Dale has recently launched his store and is offering free PDFs of his comics though the month of August. As I’m a regular reader of Watusi, I picked up a couple that didn’t have everyone’s favorite talking dog on the cover.

The first is called 20 From 920.

The way I understand it, this is a jam comic. A bunch of comic artists get together and jam, which looks like this. Everyone writes one panel of a one page strip, then passes the page on to the next artist who adds a panel then passes it on. And round and round it goes until we have a collection of one page comics telling stories about everything from a naughty alien to a man losing his teeth. I think I liked the idea of this comic more than I liked the actual stories. It was interesting to see how the artists interacted with each other, and to see what surprising and sometimes frustrating choices the artists made in response to the various prompts they were given. So for someone interested in the process of making comics or in the improv aspects of the comic jam, 20 From 920  will be a hit. If you’re just wanting to read a comic without all that meta stuff going on, this one probably isn’t for you.

photo 1

The second PDF I picked up is called Days of Wine and Anthrax. It’s a collection of a comic called Continuity and Vine that Dale wrote in 2002 about living in a post-9-11 America. These strips I liked a lot. I liked the point of view of these comics. I liked Dale’s take on the classic (Plop magazine in my mind) two guys on an island or two guys hanging on a dungeon wall trope. This is a smart and fun collection, and I recommend it.

There are a couple more of these books over at the store that I’m going to download while the getting’s good. I’d suggest you do the same. As I click on “publish” you have not quite 4 days.



Plainview #29

“No more tag!” The Plainview’s “No soup for you!” originated right here on Plainview #29. This is a short show as apparently we’d done one of those shows where we thought we were recording and weren’t. We also talk about Onward Christian Soldiers, Will’s yellow belt, NBC, and Sunshine.  And it’s short. So you have that going for you. Which is nice.

My Columbia Record Order

Feb. 1987

I apologize for the way I wrote most of this letter.  This stupid Robin Hood style, as I call it later in the letter, makes me want to travel back in time and smack the crap out of me. Maybe the stress of school was pushing me over the edge. I like that I seemed to have just received an initial order from the recently bankrupt Columbia record club.  I’m sure that I was kidding about pirating my new tapes.  I remember all those tapes.  Good stuff. Played the heck out of them.  It’s interesting how little of my life I remember.  I have no memory of the hotel experience or the play or, of course, almost everything I ever learned in most of my classes.  Fortunately Regan didn’t reinstate the draft in order to invade Nicaragua. Unfortunately it didn’t take conscription for the U.S. to invade other countries. (Unfortunately they invaded them, not that we didn’t have the draft, you know what I mean.) So here’s the letter.  And again, I’m really really sorry.

To the Clan of Sears of Abilene from the first born son of Bill and Elaine.


First I address my baby brother, second son of Bill and Elaine, the one to who was passed on the height, the one who is called The Milkman. I did, as did those of my hose who accompanied me, enjoy immensely the ballgame against the cursed Irish.  It was a blast, I can well and honestly say.  I plan on attending all of the sub-state and state contests as i can well manage with my busy days.  The State contests fall upon the first end-of-the-week of the annual Spring Rest and therefore should be of no problem to attend.  Also of interest, perhaps, to Sears the younger is the names of the tapes which I received by the post today. The list includes inclusively–Paul Simon, Graceland; Bangles, Different Light; The Cars, Greatest of Hits; Elvis Costello, Blood and Chocolate; Iggy Pop, Blah, blah, blah; REM, Life’s Rich Pageant; George Thorogood, Live; U2, The Unforgettable Fire.  You can pirate any of these which happen to tickle your fancy when I come home the second Fire or Saturn day in the month of the war god Mars.

And now for a more general information which, I surely hope, is of interest to all of the Clan of Sears of Abilene not excluding the noble hound Sadie and the imperial (for I believe there is such a word) Cookie.  This end-of-the-week I spent in Kansas City of Kansas where I attended the Acacia retreat of officers, at which we discussed amongst the members of teh alumni, problems and issues of interest in the house of Acacia of the State University of Kansas. It was a good time although we locked ourselves out of one of our two rooms and the, if I may say so, skin head of a night manager (for it was the last hour of the day of Fire) would not let us back in. Therefore we had no choice but to sleep, the lot of us, in one room. It was, in the morning ironed out, and we did not render forth gold, nay or any other currency, for the room we did not use. We stayed, by the way, at the Double Tree, of which the Clan of Sears of Abilene has, on occasion, rested their heads at the end of a hard day in Kansas City of Kansas or Kansas City of Missouri also called KCMO.

Our formal is this end-of-the-week. Yes, yes, before ye get started let me tell you I have a place for the Lady S to stay–she will be the guest of Lady S of Abilene.  It should be a very good time. Concerning my marks at school, I am doing am doing above all of my classes the I (Sorry I’m getting a head ache from all this Robin Hood talk–I’ll have to stop.) [Thank god.] I’ve taken two tests in P. World – 99% & 92%. I’ve taken two quizzes in Music – 92% & 96%. I’ve handed in 1 paper in Acting – B (but I can’t act). We took a test in Am Novel – haven’t’ got it back yet. And as far as I can tell, I’m doing fine in Library–far as I can tell. I’m struggling not to get behind, but I don’t know what the big deal is. I’m always behind by now.  Things are going along at the same old pace. Seems like last year this time I felt the same way–like I’m really tired and would rather be doing just about anything else.  Just what a parent whats to hear, huh? But have no fear. I’m not contemplating quitting school–not yet. 🙂

Are we going skiing over spring break? Just curious. I went to a play with Michelle S the other day. It was a weird one. Tomorrow From Any Window–real weird. I’ll have to tell you about it later.  I also went to see the Little Rascal Festival this weekend.  100 nonstop minutes of Buckwheat, Stimey, Weazer, Spanky, Butch, Alphalpha, Darla, and Pete. Fun. Welp, thanks for hte letter. Guess I better get to some reading–Saul Bellows Henderson The Rain King. Of course for my class.  See you in about two weeks at substate and three for state and spring break.  Send me a schedule of times and places and dates for all the games.  Bye bye. Love you.


P.S. I thought these articles from the Collegian were kind of interesting–scarey? maybe.  Don’t throw them away.


We are Asian lion dogs

As you may know, I took an amazing trip this summer. My family got the opportunity to visit Vietnam, a place we hadn’t been to since 2002 when we adopted Maly. So as part of communion I’ve prepared a slideshow of our over 600 photos . . . Just kidding.

We did have a great trip and we did get to see and do a lot. And we learned a lot–I think sometimes the kids felt like they were learning too much, and they wanted the tour guides to put a cork in it so they could just wander around a bit. And rather than show you 600 photos, I want to share just one story that I learned that I thought was pretty cool.


This is a pair of Asian lion dogs. They are mythical creatures that one might keep in one’s home for protection. They come in pairs so they don’t get lonely. One has its foot on a jar, representing the protection of your possessions. One has his foot on a cub, representing the protection of your children. We got a couple, not necessarily for protection, but because I like the story, and because they remind me of the church, which is why I’m sharing this part of my trip now, at communion time.

While Jesus was waiting to be arrested and crucified, he went off to pray. He said, “What I’m about to ask for, I do not ask on behalf of my current followers, but for those also who will believe in Me through their word, (I think that would include us); that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” A bit later he prays that they (we) may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that god sent Jesus.

In the book of acts we see one of the ways that the early church worked toward this unity of believers. –“And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.” (‭Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭32-35‬ NASB)

So that’s why I brought home a pair of lion dogs. Because they remind me of the church that Jesus prayed for, of the church that Jesus died for, of what the church, us included, is supposed to be.

God gives us each other so that we don’t get lonely, so that we can take care of each other, and so that we may be all in one. Like they did in the book of acts, this means seeing that our brothers and sisters (and our neighbors and our enemies, if I understand Jesus correctly) have what we need and some of the things we want. And it means seeing that our kids and our families are cared for. We are to do this together and for each other.

And I’ll be honest, I think this church, and this community, do an amazing job of this. But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. Especially by a couple of sweet Asian mythical creatures.

So as we take the body and blood of Jesus this morning, and as we remember his life, death, and resurrection, let’s remember especially that Jesus prayed for us to be one, to take care of each other, not just for our own sake, but for the sake of the world. And maybe we can thank god for all that we receive from each other. And then take those blessings out into the world.


Good old Olds

January 1987

Family Dear

Finally got a little time to write you a letter–let you know what’s going on. The Big “I” was this week so I’ve got a little studying to catch up on–not much.  I can’t believe Man’s P. [physical?] World. We’ve been in there for 5 days–more than a week and a half–and we’re already tp ot acceleration (“Now that’s the rate that uh, that something speeds up, or slows down–whoa, heavy!”) but I am spending a lot of time reading for Am. Novel–three hours a day this week.  I’ve got Rick S. in my Intro Music class.  He said he may go home this weekend and watch the Pokes at the Salina tourney. Haven’t heard ho we did.  When is the Wamego game going to be played? K-State took a crushing defeat yesterday afternoon to OU. Ouch. If we could have made our free throws and lay-up.  (If ifs and buts were candy and nuts . . . ) Tell Doc D. that if he wants to make any KSU- KU basketball bets, I’m more than willing to get some more free Coke.  We finally figured out what rooms we’re going to have and I’m all moved in.  I’m upstairs, down the hall, first right after the bathroom. Saw a good movie last week–“The Atomic Cafe.” It was a bunch of old 40’s and 50’s film footage about he New Nuclear Age–army training films, news clips, ads for nuclear proof neighborhoods, duck & cover, etc. It was pretty funny.  I’ve got some questions from it.  Mike, do good against the Salina teams. See ya.

Love, Matt

P.S. “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t tell Stalin.”