Here’s What I Think About the FC Cincinnati Game

Here’s What I Think About the FC Cincinnati Game

Dear Kid,

I now have some perspective.

(Yeah, that’s not entirely true. But I have had a few hours’ sleep and I was just too worn out to write and reflect after the game.)

Sooooo, there was a soccer game in Cincinnati this week (wasn’t sure if you knew that).

The price of parking in the area doubled, the number of available seats for dinner eating dwindled to a ridiculous few, and joy and excitement reached entirely new heights.

Dinner was a colossal failure hot mess unfortunate event interesting. After a competitive game of “I Dunno, Where Do You Want to Eat?” we tried every restaurant within 6 miles only to discover that we’d have to wait until dawn for a table. (No joke. We put our names in at one place and we’re still waiting for them to free up a table for us.) We ended up at Dibella’s “Wait, there are going to be guests tonight?” Subs.

After placing our orders, we sat down to wait for the sandwiches.

Let’s do the math: 6 people, 5 of whom ordered subs. How many sandwiches were delivered correctly and how many mistakes were made? Ok, carry the one, compute the combination and permutations, throw salt over your shoulder, and be sure to show your work. In pencil. And the answer is: one sandwich delivered correctly! 4,782 mistakes were made. For the last sandwich, it took our collective efforts to explain that a Philly Cheese Steak included steak (not turkey) and cheese (not invisible cheese substitute).

Fortunately, we had plenty of time and eventually everyone was fed. (I ate French fries at the game. They were just about perfect. Happy, happy little me.)

FC Cincinnati Soccer and Pi. DearKidLoveMom.comThen we went to the game.

If we’re being completely honest, Football Club Cincinnati was outplayed from whistle to whistle. But as you know, I rarely let complete honesty get in the way of fan-ship and team loyalty. There were definitely some questionable officiating calls. Our guys played their hearts out and when they scored the first goal the crowd went wild.

I have never fully understood that phrase until now. I have never felt that kind of transformative energy. It was a lifetime experience.

Ultimately (and by “ultimately” I mean after two periods of overtime), we lost. By one teeny tiny little unfortunate goal.

We got home waaaay past my bedtime. But it was absolutely worth it.

Love, Mom

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You Can Do WHAT in Cincinnati? I’m Not Sure This is a Good Idea…

Dear Kid,

The things I don’t know continue to astound me.

For example, I didn’t know that the golf balls at Top Golf are microchipped and are therefore smarter than I am.

I didn’t know that mac & cheese on a burger was a thing (it is).

And I didn’t know that you can go axe throwing in Cincinnati.

AXE throwing? What? I'm not sure everyone should be handed sharp objects... DearKidLoveMom.comTurns out there is a place (cleverly) named Cincinnati Axe Throwing. Apparently, one goes there and learns to throw an axe and then, wait for it, throws axes.

It’s team building. (I know this because it says so on the website.)

I get escape rooms as team building. I get (kind of) bowling as team building. I even (sort of) get golfing as team building.

But throwing axes?

Seems to me, the team better be pretty solid before anyone is handed a sharp object.

Love, Mom

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FC Cincinnati | We’re Off to the Game!

FC Cincinnati | We’re Off to the Game!

Dear Kid,

Celebrating World Cup Soccer Puppy-style DearKidLoveMom.comSomehow, someway, we (and by “we” I mean you) managed to defy the odds, conquer the technology, and procure tickets to tonight’s FC Cincinnati game.

The fabulous feat means that A) we get to enjoy the game tonight and B) I get to make several people seriously jealous.

We also get to fight 4 zillion cars to make it downtown in time for the start of the game. Not a problem. I have great faith. Not to mention we’re leaving 6 hours before we need to be there.

OK, I’m joking about the 6 hours. We’re only allowing 5.

Don your blue (yes, it’s a #Blueout), and let’s have fun!

Love, Mom

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A Squirrel Named Wallenda

Dear Kid,

All of the squirrels in our backyard are connoisseurs of the bird feeder (and by connoisseurs I mean they will eat any and all seeds that fall to the ground). Most of them have tried to climb up the pole to get to the feeders (it is serious fun watching them try to outsmart the baffle). Several of them have jumped from various low-hanging branches to the feeder (at which point Dad chops down the offending branch).

Squirrel Wars 2016 Have Begun. Dad is --once again -- trying to keep the rodents off the birdfeeders. DearKidLoveMomAnd one of them has figured out how to leap 7 zillion feet from the trunk of a nearby tree to the feeder.

Occasionally it misses or overshoots the landing. But most of the time it sticks the landing.

Dad has named the squirrel Wallenda, which is funny if you don’t know the meaning, but funny and clever if you get the reference.

The Flying Wallendas was a family (the Wallendas) who performed stunts and such in various circuses. They did hand balancing, high wire balancing, and other feats of danger. They were hired by Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus where they debuted in 1928—performing without a net. The net had been lost in transit and “the show must go on” and all. Yes, it was dangerous. Yes, it was crazy. Yes, they did it anyway. And the crowd went wild.

In addition to performing in circuses, various family members undertook various publicity stunts like walking on a high wire over Niagara Falls, riding a bike on a high wire, and crossing the Grand Canyon on a 2-inch wire.

And occasionally plunging to their death. Which was going a little off-script. In a bad way.

So far, our Wallenda appears not to have been injured by any of his jumps (landed or missed).

Love, Mom

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Heard It Through the Grapevine | Raisins Part II (You’re NOT Going to Believe This Stuff)

Heard It Through the Grapevine | Raisins Part II (You’re NOT Going to Believe This Stuff)

Dear Kid,

The thing about raisins is they have a boatload of calories crammed into a tiny little bit of yum. But there are many reasons to eat raisins in addition to the yum.

Heard It Through the Grapevine | Raisins Part II (You're NOT Going to Believe This Stuff)Raisins contain resveratrol, which is a phytochemical (and if you mispronounce it sounds like reverse-it-all) that is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Raisins are high in fiber and flavonoids. (That’s a good thing.)

Raisins are high in calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium copper, fluoride, and zinc.

They are high in potassium and B-complex vitamins. And minerals they contain like selenium and phosphorus help with the absorption of proteins.

Who knew you could pack all that nutritional helpfulness in a tiny little raisin?

So raisins fight cancer, hypertension, diabetes, anemia, fever, and help with eye care, acidosis, sexual dysfunction, bone health, and dental care.

AND they dance! Not just the commercial from the ‘80s, but there’s a thing about dancing raisins, which is basically baking soda dissolved in water, raisins added, then vinegar poured in. Poof, dancing raisins. I don’t know why, unless you’re trying to entertain small children on a rainy day.

Eat raisins.

Love, Mom

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Heard It Through the Grapevine | Raisins Part I

Heard It Through the Grapevine | Raisins Part I

Dear Kid,

Based on hours of scientific research, I can conclusively say that (most) raisins do not wear white gloves and sing Motown.

Which is unfortunate, because those guys were adorable.

The word “raisin” comes from the Latin racemus which means “a cluster of grapes or berries.” Who knew? Besides Latin-obsessive people, I mean.

Once upon a time (before there was a California), packaged raisins weren’t available. Then someone found some sun-dried grapes on the vine. Once they stopped fussing about the missing pre-wine, they tried a dried grape, cried “YUM!”  in a variety of languages, and the raisin industry was born.

These days, over half the raisins in the world are grown in California, and Fresno is the raisin Capital of the world. The finest raisins, however, are from Malaga (Spain). I consider the finest raisins to be the ones in front of me.

Heard it through the grapevine. DearKidLoveMom.comIt takes more than 4 tons of grapes to produce 1 ton of raisins.

The way that the grapes are dried determines the color of the raisins. Grapes dried in the sun will turn into dark purple/black raisins. Grapes dried mechanically will be more of medium brown. And golden raisins are made by mechanically dehydrating grapes and then treating them with lye, burning sulfur, and sulfur dioxide. Say What??!

AND it turns out the best way to store raisins is not in the pantry but in the refrigerator. That way they retain their flavor, color, and nutritive value longer. (That can’t be right, can it? Who keeps raisins in the frig?)

Tomorrow: More facts about raisins (you are not going to believe this stuff).

Love, Mom

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Book Lover’s Day and the Library of Congress

Book Lover’s Day and the Library of Congress

Dear Kid,

It’s Book Lover’s Day again!

Once upon a time, members of congress pretended to read (these days, they don’t bother reading anything with more than 140 characters). And since their assistants needed somewhere to hide while pretending to research problems, they built a library. (Some experts argue that the real reason for the Library of Congress is that it was the one place in the capital where Congressional members couldn’t talk loudly.)

Founded in 1800, the library behaved itself nicely for 14 years or so until the British torched the Capitol building (which was where the Library was at the time). You already know about the Capitol being burned down because you’ve seen the movie Olympus Has Fallen. The fire destroyed over 3,000 books and caused the Librarian to revoke all British library cards.

Thomas Jefferson offered (and by “offered” I mean “sold”) his personal collection of 6,487 books as the foundation for the new library. This gave congress the opportunity to fuss about what kind of books should be in the national library and where said books should be housed. It was a lovely fight at the time, but compared to today’s squabbles was really only a blip of a disagreement. (“Blip of a disagreement” is the technical term for a squabble that happened in the past and resulted in something actually being accomplished.)

Some of my favorite books. DearKidLoveMom.com

Some of my favorite books. DearKidLoveMom.com

Blah, blah, architects, blah, blah, funding, blah, blah, construction, and on November 1, 1897, the Library of Congress opened its new doors to the public and was called “the largest, the costliest, and the safest” library building in the world. Because what public project doesn’t want to be called that?

The LoC currently has more than 164 million items on more than 838 miles of bookshelves. This means you are unlikely to be able to read all the books there. That’s probably ok, because you are unlikely to want to read all of them—especially the ones that have “extra boring” stickers on their spines.

The Library also has other collections including maps, recording, photographs, sheet music, manuscripts, books in braille, comic books (seriously), and telephone messages (not seriously).

FACT: The smallest book in the Library of Congress is “Old King Cole.” It is 1/25” x 1/25”, which (in case you weren’t sure) is crazy small.

The Gutenberg Bible, one of the treasures of the Library of Congress, was purchased in 1930. The 15th-century work is one of three perfect copies on vellum in the world. It will not surprise you to learn that you are not allowed to check it out.

Happy Book Lover’s Day. Go read something.

Love, Mom

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