Not Sure What I’m Doing Here, But I’m Here

Today my so-called mansplaining (aka research and knowledge) was confirmed by womansplaining and after something where I wasn’t sure what happened but it wasn’t too bad.

Several months ago our oldest figured out she could charge purchases to her phone and I would have to pay for it. I spent a couple hours with our provider figuring out how to stop this but I required the assistance of She Who Must Be Obeyed to finalize it. I explained this to SWMBO, however, she is totally too busy so solving the problem was was put off. At a price.

Last month, She Who Must Be Obeyed decided we needed a new phone provider (and she a new phone as hers, at age 12, no longer updates the calendar) and I assumed she was doing research.

Well Ass. U. Me.

Last night, after some, um, words, I reminded SWMBO that changing companies was her idea and she did a shocking amount of research.

Then, today, I was rushed off to a nearby office where our data plan was modified but nothing else. I thought we were getting new phones despite my having explained it was too soon but instead my job was to sit around until my signature was required.

In the aftermath, I was carefully informed of the things I’d explained months before and told it was too soon to upgrade our contract. I was pleased to be correct in all this. Sort of.

The next phase will involve new phones. I’ll have to figure out how to make SWMBO think it’s her idea.

 

Reversing the Polarity of the Normal Flow

Lately I’ve been reverting to university summer time. Either that or I’ve become a vampire.

Because it’s a holiday/house arrest time, I’ve been staying up later and getting up later. This is something I haven’t done much since summer time during university. In those days, I’d invert time to the point I was staying up all night and sleeping a good portion of the day.

This doesn’t help me remember what day it is but eventually I get up and do the “work” required of my house arrest.

The funny part is, I’m actually doing actual work as I’ve foolishly decided to change things next year. Sigh. Perhaps it’s not too late to change my mind.

Monteverde Impressa–Long Term Review

Note: Once again I have to thank the kind folks at Pen Chalet for donating this pen. The pen is currently out of stock, but if you’re interested in getting one, you can ask for notifications at this link  in case they become available again.

The Monteverde Impressa is an odd pen that may serve as a good first fountain pen, but for reasons that may be out of the ordinary.

In the ten months I’ve used it since my initial impressions, I haven’t had any great technical problems. The nib writes well and I’ve liked using the pen. The cobalt blue and pearl white look attracted a lot of attention in a “Wow, that’s really cool, can I try that” sort of way as opposed to the “That’s sure a big old pen, ain’t it” attention my Shawn Newton Moody often attracts.

The only issues I’ve had have all been cosmetic. The most obvious is that the cobalt finish on the end of the grip section has peeled off.

The pen with part of the finish gone.

A different angle on the problem.

Also, over time the pearl material on the barrel has developed some odd black scratches.

Some of the scratches on the barrel.

This will be off-putting to a lot of true pen addicts, but in an odd way it makes the Impressa a good gateway drug, er, starter pen:  1) It’s inexpensive but doesn’t feel or look cheap. 2) It looks cool and attracts positive attention. 3) It writes well.

However, it’s not a family heirloom kind of pen. A year of solid use will produce chipped sections and scratches. Eventually, the new pen user will become annoyed by the dings and scratches and move on to more expensive pens.

At that point it will be a good pen for testing inks the newly minted addict’s are afraid to try in their more expensive fountain pens.

Second Note: The pictures are sized too small. Sigh. Will fix that another day. –DL

 

 

 

 

The Blather and the Tears

Our youngest graduated from elementary school today in a ceremony that was kind of mixed.

First, in order to reduce crowd size, there is a farewell ceremony for the sixth graders with all the first through fourth grade classes. The lower classmen were then sent home and only the fifth grade and the graduating class remained. (Note: She Who Must Be Obeyed and I accidentally crashed the farewell for the lower classmen. Long story.)

This means that not only did all the parents of graduating students get seats, there were also a lot of good seats to be had.

However, after that things get kind of odd.

The entire ceremony took two hours which, I’m pretty sure, is longer than both my high school and university graduations. In both of those cases the goal was 1) give me the damned diploma and 2) where’s the beer? (Note: I was technically of drinking age when I graduated high school although I wasn’t when I got to university. Another long story.)

What made the sixth grade graduation go on so long was the 50 minutes of speeches from various adults. Diploma presentation for 60 students took 25 minutes. Speeches a bit longer.

There was also a 15 minute section where all the 30+ VIPs (a few of whom gave the long speeches) were introduced individually.

After that was a final performance that took 30 minutes and tested my arm strength (as I was running the video camera). The sixth grade gave a speech that involved each student speaking part of the speech and, occasionally, all of them speaking in unison. That was followed by a song and the fifth graders repeating the process. This was all kind of cool and lots of people cried.

After that, the graduates marched out and I got to escape. She Who Must Be Obeyed remained behind.

The Perils of Being Cassandra

There are still those who doubt my powers, but they were scrambling for warm clothes today and probably cursing my name.

At least I like to think they were.

I’ve written before how one of my basic mantras is that “It always gets cold one more time.” There are people who doubt this–they claim that sudden warm weather is proof that winter is over–but today, to celebrate the first day of spring, we got snow.

It didn’t stick, and it only came between bouts of sleet and rain, but it did snow for a couple hours.

It didn’t effect me much, but I had fun walking in the snow with our youngest to get lunch. Also, as is a tradition, we are using our last drips of kerosene.

Now, there are those who will think this is the last time it will be cold. They are wrong. It always gets cold one more time.

What Day Through Yonder Window Breaks?

It’s only day three of the break between school years and I’m already not sure what day it is.

I managed to get myself to the speech contest on Saturday but since then I’ve had no place to be and little of importance to do. This means it’s easy to sit back and do little and have a very good time doing it.

On occasion I’ve listed things I want to sell and even dusted off old camera gear to take some pictures of the gear but other than that, I’ve done little else that required me to know what day it is.

That will change soon when I once again am “responsible” for “work” as required by the company for which I work.

I’ll be annoyed, but at least I’ll know what day it is. Probably.

Out and About

Spent the day doing nothing. Spent the evening with old friends. Because of that, this post will be only filler. (I may throw out an extra on Saturday, if I can only be bothered.)

The last time this friend was here I was working hither and thither and we couldn’t arrange a meeting. This means we haven’t seen each other for 14 years. We met a thousand years ago in the last millennium. (1999, which was in the last millennium, which was 1,000 years ago. More or less.)

A lot has changed during that time, including spouses and the number of children. She’s met our oldest but our youngest didn’t exist. Also, my hair didn’t look as gray back then because the lighting was better back then. (Yes, my hair isn’t turning white; it’s just bad lighting. No. Really. There’s bad lighting everywhere. It follows me. Something like that.)

Hopefully we won’t have to wait 14 years for the next meeting.

 

Farewell, But First

Anyone who thinks the Japanese are nice and polite has never seen them wait for booze.

Tonight was the farewell party for the teachers who are leaving the school where I work. This usually involves shockingly precise timing and those who arrive fashionably late miss the opening toasts and at least one course.

The toasts are important because, technically, no one can drink or eat until the toasts are made.

However, tonight, the toasts were delayed because beer arrived quickly, but the mixed drinks didn’t arrive for quite a long time. As a result, we just stared at empty glasses or slowly warming beer.

As the beer degraded, several staff members began to complain. This didn’t hurry things along as two large parties and the regular guests were being served by only three staff.

Eventually drinks arrived and toasts were made and we then enjoyed the tradition of slowly starving whilst waiting for the various courses.

A few of us were wise enough to meet before the party to have a few beers and eat some food. This meant we were more polite than many of the Japanese, which was a bit odd.

Now school is out and we won’t have to be polite again for a few weeks.

Riddance is Good With Near Profanity

I said goodbye to one of my worst classes today. I was ready to swear at them as much as they were pretending to swear at me.

One of my worst students saw his final exam score and said something that sounded like “F@#kity F@#k” but which was most likely “Huckity Huck”. It seems they think they can get away with saying “Huck” since Japan doesn’t have a proper “fu” sound. It’s more of a “hu”.

Well, at least they can get away with it today. (On a regular day I’d make them write the swear words 500 times with a promise that the next time they’d need an entire notebook to finish.)

Today, though, I couldn’t have cared less. This led a couple students to experiment with “Sit” and “City” which in Japanese pronunciation usually come out as “Sh#t” and “Sh#tty”.

The funny part is, this is the best they’ve pronounced either of these words all year so I just let them sort of swear.

In the end, I was glad to be rid of this class. This means, of course, that I’ll get a large portion of them in class next year.

Huck that sit.

Locked in Place With Red Ink and Bad English

I get up and move around every now and then, but it doesn’t help much. Oddly, my students have been helping.

I’m the last push of marking my last batch of exams. This is an easy test to mark but I hit the wall a long time ago and have been subconsciously refusing to establish a rhythm. This means I’ve been taking a lot longer than necessary. It doesn’t help that these are some of my worst classes.

However, several students have either written no long writing or have written only a few lines. This is good because it allows me to quickly mark the writing, or lack thereof, and that makes it easier to finish.

I just wish I could convince them to write nothing at all.