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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, here we are in December already, and with it, Advent.  The purple-bowed wreaths go up on the front door of Port Swiller Manor this afternoon.

In the meantime, some this and that:

♦  As I mentioned in an earlier post, Middle Gel’s madrigals group is doing their big Renaissance Feaste this weekend.  Earlier this week, Mrs. R said, in passing, “Oh, there’s a production managers’ meeting Thursday evening.”

“Oh,” I said.  “So?”

“So you need to go.”

I do? Why?”

“Because you’re a manager.”

“Uh, when did that happen?”

“I signed you up.  You said you wanted to volunteer this year.”

“What I said was meant only in the most general, speculative, and above-all non-binding sense.  I wasn’t anywhere near a firm commitment at that point.”

“Well, I signed you up anyway, so you’re going.”

So I went.  And last evening I managed the production, at least to the extent of standing in the wings and shooshing kids until it was their turn to go on.  (However, I did make the command decision to kybosh an artificial tree at the last second which was threatening to topple over on to the stage.)  Tonight, as Middle Gel is a senior, I get to be a guest instead, although I’m also committed to helping strike the set when they’re all done.

♦  Some interesting mail this week.  First, I got a cold-call letter from a real estate firm in Maine purporting to console me for the loss of my mother but also offering to take care of unloading any property fast.  (They had obviously spotted the estate notice printed in the local fishwrapper.)  I’ve worked in a small firm in my time and know what it’s like to try and drum up biznay, but I still find this sort of thing off-putting, and question it’s effectiveness.  Meanwhile, in the We’re The Feds And We Never Make Mistakes Dept., I keep getting letters to the Mothe from Medicare asking her to complete a customer-satisfaction survey.  I suppose it’s a sign that I’m coming out of my grief that a large number of malicious responses occur to me.  Probably get arrested for fraud if I gave in to them, tho’.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, somehow Mrs. R got a solicitation from Planned Parenthood yesterday.  It says, “Stand With Us”.  On that one, I’m tempted to scribble, “No, thanks.  We don’t want to go to Hell.”  I might give in to that temptation.

♦  As it’s December, once again the dreaded office “holiday” party looms on the horizon.  I’m afraid I’m going to have to go this year, as I can’t think of a reasonable excuse to duck it, and people noticed that I ducked last year.  I do draw the line at running the karioki machine, however, as somebody casually tried to get me to commit to this week.

And speaking of that, somebody had the idea of having an “office door decorations” contest this year.  I was discussing this with a colleague yesterday and she was actually astonished when I said I didn’t intend to participate.  “But…why not?” she said.

My first impulse was to reply, “Because I’m an adult” but I refrained, instead settling on the all-purpose, “It’s just not my speed.”

Ol’ Robbo is known as something of a diplomatist around the workplace, but really, they have no idea…..

♦  Finally, and now for something completely different, I borrowed a book from my brother over Thanksgiving called Monty Python Speaks.  It’s a series of interviews with the team in which they talk about the origins and development of the show and all its offshoots.  Interesting, with a few nice nuggets of trivia thrown in, but overall, although I will always love much of Python itself, I came away liking individual members of the team even less than before.  Especially Gilliam and Idle.

UPDATE: Oh, by the bye, we had an earthquake the other day.  4.1 and centered in Delaware, but Ol’ Robbo definitely felt a bit of a tremor at his desk.  Not nearly like the one we had a few years back that was positively sick-making, but noticeable nonetheless.

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