Conversations with Younglings

February 12, 2016 - 4:34pm -- swingbug

My eight-year-old niece is learning to knit. She had about 6 inches of a scarf hanging off plastic needles at a family gathering on Saturday. In the midst of said gathering, I grabbed my sister and headed off on an excersion to the local yarn store.

"Kiddo, do you want to come to the yarn store with us?" I asked her.

"What for?"

"For yarn."

"What would I need more yarn for? I have yarn in my bag."

Cross-Marketing

February 10, 2016 - 7:18pm -- swingbug

The phone rings. I'm simultaneously making dinner and assisting in 4th grade geography homework. I pause in the middle of spelling 'Mediterranean' to grab the receiver.

The long pause and click announces a telemarketer better than a calling card.

"Hello?"

The subsequent slaughtering of my surname confirms as much.

"This is she."

"Hello, ma'am. My name is Chuck. I'm calling from Windows tech support. This call is regarding your computer."

"That," I say, flipping a grilled cheese sandwich, "is highly unlikely."

"Why is that, ma'am?"

Run Over by a Reindeer

January 8, 2016 - 3:59pm -- swingbug

I kicked Christmas to the curb early this year. Normally I'm all about the twelve days bit. This time the tree was showing signs of crunchiness around the turn of the year, and I gleefully stripped it down and dragged it out to the street.

Making a Playlist and Checking it Twice

December 23, 2015 - 12:38pm -- swingbug

Christmas music is one of favorite parts of the season. I look forward to it every year, and over time I've curated a rock and jazz collection of holiday tunes of which I'm very fond.

I never let myself listen to Christmas music before December 1st if I can help it. (I can't forbid the grocery store from playing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on November 1st. Yet.)

Prelude

December 17, 2015 - 4:27pm -- swingbug

So here we stand in this season of waiting on the verge of what could be a new hope. Nah, not Christmas. That turns up every year.

I'm talking about Star Wars, of course.

Folks from my generation seem to be tip-toeing into tomorrow with caution.

"You doing an original trilogy marathon first?"

"No, don't want to get too excited, you know?"

Festive

December 8, 2015 - 4:27pm -- swingbug

I had my yearly festive "Oh crap it's only two weeks 'til Christmas" panic attack yesterday. Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la.

It's alright. It wouldn't be the holidays if I wasn't buying candles for the advent wreath two weeks in and then burning them down preferrentially to make it look like I had been on top of it from the beginning.

Time Machine

November 26, 2015 - 10:49am -- swingbug

In 1895, Grover Cleveland was president of the United States. H.G. Wells had just built his Time Machine, and Oscar Wilde was teaching audiences The Importance of Being Earnest on the stage. The first working long-distance radio and the first moving picture projector were applying for patents.

California's female population was campaigning hard for the right to vote in state elections. Bicycling was all the rage. Big sleeves and bigger hats were in.

In Woodland, California, a new opera house was under construction. And also...

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