Time Change

March 14, 2016 - 4:43pm -- swingbug

I had a somewhat anachronistic weekend. Saturday I went to Sac ComicCon. I'd never been to a con before, though I had always kind of wanted to. This one was small, nearby, and inexpensive, so on more-or-less a whim, we bought tickets and gave it a whirl. They had the sorts of things that you would expect to see, presuming anybody ever truly expects to see two guys battling it out in full plate armor made from flattened mountain dew cans and duct tape.

Bee

March 7, 2016 - 6:35pm -- swingbug

My son came home from school several weeks ago brandishing a permission slip to join an after-school geography club, which I thought was pretty cool. (I'm a geographer by trade myself.) He thought it was pretty cool too, so I signed the form.

The first day he came home from geography club, I asked him what he'd learned that day, and he said something like, "We learned the capitals of the states."

"Huh. Okay." I'll admit I was a little puzzled, but I do remember being forced to do that myself at about his age.

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.

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