Red Skinny Jeans | Unlikely to Destroy Life (or Prom) As We Know It

Dear Kid,

Red Skinny Jeans -- unlikely to destroy life (or prom) as we know it DearKidLoveMom.comExcuse me while I jot a brief letter to Not You.

Dear Vast Majority of People,

Get A Grip.

I’m not sure who is in charge of the world, but I’m pretty sure it’s not you. Please do not take upon yourself to “correct” all that is wrong with the world, because A) no single person or group can possibly fix everything all at once and B) no one appointed you Head of All Things.

Thank you.


There are problems in the world right now. Ferries are crashing, planes are disappearing, Russia is annexing territory faster than makeup trends change. But now we have entered a whole new season of nonsense: Prom Season.

Prom Season is its own kind of crazy.

Every year some people get a little loco around appropriate attire. With good reason. Sometimes girls wear dresses cut up to here or down to there and it’s a bit more than a bit much.


If there isn’t a policy about what one can or can’t wear, prom officials need to keep quiet. Oh, they can frown disapprovingly and whisper to each other how no one dressed like that in their day. (They didn’t. They had other inappropriate clothing.) But you can’t throw a kid out because her dress is too short if you don’t tell people they can’t wear dresses less than an inch long.


You can’t throw a kid out of prom because you just happen not to want to wear what they are wearing.


You can’t throw a girl out of a prom because she is wearing red skinny jeans—unless perhaps that’s all she’s wearing which wasn’t the case in this instance.

Shafer Rupard from Cherryville, N.C. (population: not very many) was thrown out of her prom for wearing red skinny jeans. All of her body parts that should be covered were covered. In fact, I’d venture to guess she was more covered than the vast majority of the girls in attendance.

When the teacher-chaperone approached her about her attire, Shafer thought it was the leather jacket and baseball cap that were the problem and offered to take them off.

Not so, not so. It was the red skinny jeans.

Did I mention there was no dress code?

I have several thoughts about the teacher-chaperone in question (about whom no one is talking) ranging from “What were you thinking?” to “I bet you’re jealous you can’t fit in those jeans” and covering other non-complimentary acreage I wouldn’t want to print here.

And Shafer still hasn’t gotten an apology. Which may be the worst attire issue of all.

The point is: people have got to get a grip.

Love, Mom


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New Chemicals Mimic Illegal Drugs

Dear Kid,

I don’t understand people taking drugs whose main effect seems to be inducing vomiting and trying to convince people to kill them. Maybe I’m just behind the times.

Don't Be Stupid DearKidLoveMom.comThere was an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer last week about just such an episode. The hallucinating man (who was all of 18 years old) had been smoking (get this) a strawberry air freshener “most of the day.”

Who wakes up in the morning and says, “Gee, I think I’ll smoke an air freshener today?” How do people come up with this stuff?

There is a new rule that bans the possession or sale of PB22 and 5F-PB22. Those are the chemical compounds our genius was smoking, and they are often sprayed on plants to mimic the high of marijuana. There are also laws banning the use of synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. This is a good thing.

But just as soon as laws, rules, regulations, and mothers go to work, chemists start tweaking formulas to skirt the law. Brilliant (please note the sarcasm font).

To be clear, vomiting and hallucinating are not nearly as bad as certain death from krokodil, but they are certainly not good. And no one knows what they are doing to brain cells, or what they might cause people to do (begging police to kill you falls under the “not good” category, imho).

A reminder to use your chemistry skills for good.

Love, Mom

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Earth Day 2014 | The True (ish) History of Earth Day

Dear Kid,

The earth is what we all have in common. DearKidLoveMom.comOnce upon a time, there was no such thing as Earth Day—there was just earth. One day a clever Neanderthal said, “Hey, this rock is pretty cool. We should celebrate its birthday.” Mrs. Neanderthal said, “I don’t have time for birthday parties—go kill us some dinner.”

Mr. Neanderthal (being—as I mentioned—a clever dude) did as he was told and Earth Day celebrations were lost for a long time.

In 1970, some hippies discovered that if you played the Beatles last album (released in 1970) backward you would hear a treatise on environmentalism and Earth Day, the Modern Version, was born.

The early celebrations were a time for participants to drive their lead-gas guzzling cars over polluted waterways to spend some time waiting for the sun to trickle through the clouds and smog. Speeches were made, photos were taken, and the earth was praised. The earth (wisely) did not comment.

Today, a few radicals still go outside to breathe (somewhat) clean air, paddle in (somewhat) clean water, and make (generally) clean speeches. Others choose to celebrate Earth Day by posting photos on Instagram and Facebook. The earth (wisely) is unlikely to comment.

Happy Earth Day.

Love, Mom

“The earth is what we all have in common.” ~ Wendell Berry

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7 Important Facts About Zebras and 1 Striped Reminder

Dear Kid,

When was the last time you thought about zebras? (Not the referee kind, the related-to-horses kind.) I’m guessing not recently. Zebras are good creatures. (Zebra print is also a great trend, but that’s not what we’re talking about today.)

So, being the kind of mother I am, I thought I’d tell you a little about zebras.Zebra: Seriously Mom, how could you name me Spot?

  1. Zebras don’t make good house pets.

You might think they’d be handy to keep in your room as a friend, but you’d be wrong. Zebras are not tiny animals. They don’t eat tiny amounts. Hence, the other end of the digestive process is neither petite nor perfumed.

  1. Zebras are highly social.

They hang out in groups, like fraternity members only there are more of them. Like fraternity members, they will only go to sleep if there are friends nearby to set up an alarm if a predator is close. Also like fraternity members, they prefer to graze together. No word on whether they like fart jokes, but I’m sure they appreciate a good chemistry joke once in a while.

  1. Zebra stripes are unique.

Zebra stripes (like human fingerprints) are unique to each individual animal. Zebra watchers often identify zebras by the stripes on their tushies. While zebra stripes might to make a person wearing them stand out at a cocktail party, when in a massive herd zebras’ stripes and coloring makes it difficult for lions (and other predators) to tell where one zebra ends and another begins.

  1. Zebras are family-oriented.

Just not your family (because you’re not a zebra). Zebra mamas are very caring and protective of their foals and are known to check on them well after they’ve graduated from college. Zebra kids find this kind and reassuring and do not fuss at their loving parents.

  1. Zebras are zippy.

Zebras can run over 40 miles per hour. They also have excellent stamina and the ability to cut across the field. They are often recruited for football teams.

  1. Zebras are communicative.

They get their point across by sniffing, balking, braying, barking, snorting, changing the position of their tail and ears, and rolling their eyes at their parents.

  1. Zebras are brave.

The head of the herd generally stays at the back to defend against predators. If a zebra is injured, the rest of the herd will circle around it, dancing the hora to keep away the predator and give the injured animal time to rest and recuperate. While there are several high schools with the zebra as their mascot, I am not aware of any zebra college mascots.

Don’t forget to text your sister.

Love, Mom


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Chemistry Jokes to Help Prepare for Final Exams

Dear Kid,

In honor of the fact that finals are soon to be upon us (and by “us” I mean you), I thought I’d lighten the mood a bit by providing topical humor. Specifically, Chemistry Jokes.

Did you hear that Oxygen and Magnesium are going out? OMG they’re a couple.

I didn’t say they were brilliant, just that they are chemistry jokes. Because chemistry jokes are sodium funny. (I didn’t make that up, but I kinda wish I had.)

OMG Did you hear that Oxygen and Magnesium are a couple? Chemistry joke. DearKidLoveMom.comOxygen went on a date with potassium. It went OK.

No reaction to chemistry jokes so far? I’ll keep trying.

Why do chemists like nitrates so much? They’re cheaper than day rates.

What do you do with a sick chemist? If you can’t helium, and you can’t curium, then you might as well barium.

Is funny, is funny.

Helium walks into a bar, and the bar tender says “We don’t serve noble gasses in here.” Helium doesn’t react.

Two chemists go into a restaurant. The first one says “I think I’ll have an H2O.” The second one says “I think I’ll have an H2O too” — and he died.

What did the scientist say when he found 2 isotopes of helium? HeHe

Come on. How many moms do you know that look up chemistry jokes for her Kid? Especially when she only understands about half of them.

A proton and a neutron are walking down the street. The proton says, “Wait, I dropped an electron help me look for it.” The neutron says “Are you sure?” The proton replies “I’m positive.”

Is silicon the same in Spanish? Si.

Q: If H2O is the formula for water, what is the formula for ice?
A: H2O cubed.

You should feel free to smile rather than rolling your eyes at me. I know you are, even if i can’t see you.

The optimist sees the glass half full.
The pessimist sees the glass half empty.
The chemist see the glass completely full, half in the liquid state and half in the vapor state.

That one I like a lot. I might even try to remember it…

(Fe)male: Male with iron added for greater strength, ductility, and magnetism.

What happened to the man who was stopped for having sodium chloride and a nine-volt in his car?
He was booked for a salt and battery.

Little Timmy took a drink, but he will drink no more. For what he thought was H2O was H2SO4.

(It’s funnier once you look up H2SO4 and discover it’s sulfuric acid.)

Hope today is full of giggles. But don’t overreact if it isn’t.

Happy Studying.

Love, Mom

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Surprisingly Great Trip to Louisville

Dear Kid,

Yesterday, Pi and I went to Louisville. She didn’t have school and it was BFF-from-Louisville’s birthday so we decided to make a day of it.

Pi drove down over (the Ohio) river and through the (back) woods and if we weren’t laughing all the way, we laughed for a good bit of it.

First we went to Flame Run where they were making beer glasses with a divider down the middle (for specialty drinks like black and tans).Flame Run Glassmaking Louisville Ky

When our rumbling tummies told us it was time to get on with lunch, we drove over to the baseball stadium and had lunch at the first establishment we saw which was a micro-brewery. We did not partake of the brewery, but we had a lovely lunch and a silly photo session with the oversized mitt.

Pi in the baseball mitt chair

Pi as KY Col. DearKidLoveMom.comThen we wandered around NuLu which is a revived part of Louisville. There were lots of little stores to stop in (so we did) and we found the Speed Gallery. The Speed Gallery is an art gallery. At the moment it’s undergoing extensive renovations (I’m not sure if we were in the permanent location that’s being renovated or the temporary one while construction continues elsewhere. We did a quick tour of the gallery and then found the kids section. Since we’re both kids, we had a marvelous time. Pi beat me at a game of concentration (so what else is new) and then we put together a puzzle. It was a Chagall piece and pretty tricky, but eventually (and with much silliness) we got it.

Wandering back toward the car we found a great place call Ghyslain. My new favorite place in Louisville. It is primarily a chocolate and pastry shop, but they serve all sorts of yummies. We sat outside in the sun and had gelato and the best cup of coffee I’ve had in a while. Happy, happy us.

Eventually, we made our way over to one of the high schools where BFFFL (BFF-from-Louisville) was playing lacrosse. We got to see the end of the game (our heroes lost) and then came the best part. BFFFL’s mom and dad knew we were coming, but BFFFL did not. As she came off the field, Pi hid behind her dad and then popped out. Shock. Stunned happiness. Teenage overwhelmed-ness. It was lovely. (I don’t have a photo of it, but her dad does, so I’m working on getting one.)

BFFs DearKidLoveMom.comWe joined the family for a lovely birthday dinner and made it home by midnight.

A lovely day was had by all.

Hope today is full of great surprises!

Love, Mom


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Death By Fireworks, Getting Hit By Lightning, and Lottery Tickets

Dear Kid,

I had a great day yesterday.I had a great day yesterday-Hope you have a great day today!

I renewed my driver’s license, and against all expectations it took only 12 minutes from the time I walked in the door until I had a new license (terrible photo—duh).

I went to the post office and in less than 2 minutes I was done. Very different than earlier in the week when half the population of Cincinnati was partying with the USPS.

And that’s how the entire day went.

So I thought about buying a lottery ticket.

I dug up some (not very surprising) facts about the lottery.

  • You are more likely to be struck by lightning 5,000 times than win the lottery
  • You are 146 times more likely to die in a fireworks accident
  • You are 8,000 times more likely to be murdered

Here’s what I find particularly interesting. I’m more likely to be struck by lightning 5,000 (count ‘em, 5K with a comma) times than to win the lottery but only 146 times more likely to die in a fireworks accident.

Is there a fireworks-injury epidemic I don’t know about? How is it even possible that that many people get killed by fireworks? Are people eating fireworks or something?

(Does quick research.) According to MFTI (My Friend The Internet), there are four deaths per year from fireworks, and the most times anyone has ever been hit by lightning is 7 or 8.

Which, as far as I can tell, means I don’t have to worry about death from fireworks, overly fried hair from multiple lightning strikes, or winning the lottery.

Guess it was a good thing I didn’t buy a ticket. But I digress.

Back to yesterday.

Later in the day, I went to the gym. There was virtually no one at the gym, so I was able to use the machinery I wanted without waiting. And my FitRadio was playing great music with no load-time issues.

By working out I burned 225 calories. I celebrated by eating 7 servings of salmon and an entire cheesecake.

See what I mean about a great day?

Love, Mom

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