Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Took the day off of work today to look after the kidlet, whose school was inexplicably closed for....Lunar New Year!

What's Lunar New Year you ask? Damn fine question. I asked Google the very same thing and it is apparently another way of saying Chinese New Year. Why is the San Francisco Unified School District closing their schools for Chinese New Year you ask? That is an even better question! When I posed this very question to a SFUSD official, he pointed behind me and said, "LOOK, A ROOSTER!".

Seriously though, the real reason that they were closed on Chinese New Year is somehow related to the 12:08 on alarm clocks. Follow the money.

I ended up spending the majority of the day with the kid at the excellent Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley. I credit this facility with my current career. They taught me so much about computer programming in about 6 weeks of summer school, that I didn't learn another concept from age 14 to age 19. So, I'm delighted to bring my child there. She's a cute little geek and enjoys the various exhibits, especially those with lots of buttons.

The exhibit she was anxious to see, however, was their detective exhibit. In this exhibit the visitors are presented with a mystery and get to use various forensic tools to try and deduce who committed the crime. It's kind of like CSI, except with fewer dead hookers and no video clips of bullets shredding through internal organs. Maybe it's just me, but the absence of dead hookers left the exhibit lacking a certain realism.

Two mysteries were presented: the Missing Toy Boat Mystery (for smaller kids) and the Missing Money Mystery (for older chitlins). We solved the Toy Boat mystery by analyzing fingerprints, examing handwriting, and some pretend suspect-beating. My daughter then begged me to do the more advanced mystery with her. This plotline featured angst-ridden relationships, missing people, and blood-covered surfaces. All this was both baffling and frightening to my daughter. I tried to keep things upbeat though.

"Sweetie, looks like he was drugged AND THEN drowned. Ho ho ho."

We did as good a job of solving that mystery as I did of keeping it light-hearted. Just once I'd like to spend a day off with my daughter where I don't scare the crap out of her. I guess I'm just old-fashioned that way.

The other excellent bit of parenting I did was when I grabbed my wife's lunch out of the fridge instead of my daughter's. My daughter was not amused to bite into a hot Louisiana sausage link instead of her sickly sweet chicken apple sausage. Oh, the fiery burn. Ho ho ho.

I am, still, available for babysitting gigs. Call me.

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