There is No Coffee in TEAm and Other Caffeine News

Dear Kid,

But wait, there’s more.

If you thought I had posted a sufficiently caffeinated blog the other day, you’d be correct. If you thought (as I did for a short time) that that would be the end of the caffeinated discussion, you’d be wrong.

A nice cup of teaNot only does caffeine come in the traditional liquid form (coffee, tea, diet coke) and the easily abused and sometimes lethal powdered form (stay away), turns out there are non-traditional liquids and—wait for it—aerosols. Clearly, I have been living under a rock.

Thank you to Cornell student Kyle and Boston University alum Greg for bringing all this to my attention.

Turns out, there are concentrated liquid caffeines out there. Liquid caffeine mixes nicely with no powdery aftertaste but there is enough caffeine in a gallon of the stuff to show 7 people the wrong side of the dirt. One of the joys (and by “joys” I mean not so much) of liquid caffeine is you can mix it with your favorite alcoholic beverage so that you can be awake while you get drunk and do stupid things.

The only things worse than a drunk idiot is a drunk idiot who refuses to pass out.

Did I mention that too much caffeine can KILL YOU!!!??? And that these concentrated forms of caffeine are the easiest to abuse? And (as we know from professional football) abuse is bad. Ergo, stay away from the concentrated stuff.

Have you heard of Death Wish Coffee? It has 200% more caffeine than standard coffee. Which won’t kill you (probably) but might make you so jittery and unable to sleep that you wish it would.

And the aforementioned aerosol caffeine delivery system. Yep, it exists. The regular dose won’t harm you (presumably) as it has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. According to everything I read on line aero-caffeine (once known as aeroshot, but now under slightly different names) works fast, is extremely convenient, and tastes horrible. Authorities worry that because it’s so easy to ingest kids will do multiple shots in quick succession which could be dangerous.

Coffee on Campus, DearKidLoveMom.comAll in all, I think I’ll get a cup of coffee and head back to bed.

Love, Mom


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Odin of Asgard: The Stuff You Don’t Know

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was a Norse god named Odin. He was the head number one deity dude and was specifically in charge of War, Death, and Knowledge. War, Death, and Knowledge didn’t always appreciate having someone in charge of them, but they went along with it most of the time because they didn’t have much choice in the matter.

Unlike our good friend Athena who was all about war with honor, Odin was all about war for raw and chaotic frenzy—what fun. It was said that his mere presence could strike the enemy blind, deaf, and impotent. Which should give you some idea of what he looked like. It should also help you understand why the little blue pill is also known as an anti-Odin or Odin-dote.

Justice and Fairness weren’t all that interesting to Odin (which caused J & F to pout) but Knowledge was. (The answer key to the SATs would have appealed much more than the notion of rescuing a fair maid.) Odin was very big on gathering military intelligence. His ravens (the original winged drones) were tasked with zooming around the world bringing back reports. Sometimes Odin even used the info they brought back.

Odin had only one eye. He had traded the other for a drink from the Well of Wisdom. (This is the source of the phrase “an eye for a well.”) College students would be well (ha!) advised to avoid trading body parts for promises of knowledge unless they have indisputable evidence of being immortal.

If you were looking for Odin (at least in those days), you might not find him in Asgard or Valhalla since he frequently wandered. Odin liked to travel but was not keen on being recognized so was generally in disguise. He didn’t carry a passport which was OK since gods weren’t often asked to present a passport.

These days Odin is making a big comeback in movies and video games. Which just goes to show something, but I’m not at all sure what.

Love, Mom

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The Latest Danger to Hit College Campuses | You Won’t Believe What It Is

Dear Kid,

Have you heard about powdered caffeine? It’s the latest scary substance to hit college campuses.

Lets’ start with the basics: Avoid powdered caffeine.

Let me be clear. Caffeine isn’t great, but it isn’t hideously awful (unless you’re trying to quit caffeine—which I can tell you from personal experience is No Fun Whatsoever). I, myself, personally have gone back to drinking coffee. And Diet Coke. And sometimes tea.

I’ll be honest. I am addicted (see above comment about quitting).

But a cup of coffee (or two) or even a bunch of cups of coffee the morning of a big final are not what I’m talking about. Worst case with too many Stbx, you’re going to get jittery, and have an acid stomach, and be awake to enjoy your jittery stomach.

Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised. ~Star Trek: Voyager DearKidLoveMom

With caffeine powder, however, there is a good chance you won’t be around to be awake. And while sleeping thr

ough side effects is a little unkind, being dead through side effects is just downright rude.

The facts:

  • Caffeine is a drug albeit one that is regulated like a dietary supplement when it’s regulated at all.
  • A 12 ounce Diet Coke has about 45 milligrams of caffeine.
  • An 8 oz cup of coffee has about 95 milligrams of caffeine.
  • One grande Starbucks coffee (16 oz) has about 330 milligrams of caffeine (even their decaf has a lot of caffeine).

  • Experts say you should have no more than 600 milligrams of caffeine per day.
  • 5,000 to 10,000 milligrams is considered lethal (let me repeat: LETHAL).
  • The serving size for powdered caffeine is 1/16 of a teaspoon. The smallest measuring spoon I own is ¼ teaspoon.
  • One teaspoon of powdered caffeine (which looks like oh so reasonable an amount), has over 2,300 milligrams of caffeine (think 25 cups of coffee. All at once.).
  • Two regular spoonfuls of powdered caffeine is the same as chugging 70 Red Bulls. Which is unhealthy for more reasons than I care to write about.

Stay away from powdered caffeine and get your jitters the old fashioned way.

Love, Mom

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Suburban Mom’s Car Held Hostage by Pale Attack Spider

Dear Kid,

Me: We can’t go out tonight
Attack spider. DearKidLoveMom.comDad: Why not?
Me: There’s a spider in the car
Dad: What?
Me: There is a spider in the car. We can’t use the car
Dad: You’re kidding, right?
Me: Nope. Spider. In car.
Dad: How did you drive home?
Me: Not very well once the spider attacked me
Dad: Attacked you
Me: Yup
Dad: Want to tell me about this attack spider?
Me: I thought it was outside the car. It wasn’t
Dad: And it attacked you
Me: Yes. And then I smacked my knee on the steering wheel
Dad: Why?
Me: I don’t know why it attacked me. It must just be a vicious spider
Dad: Why did you smack your knee?
Me: Well I wasn’t trying to smack my knee. I was trying to get rid of the spider and smacked my knee as part of the process
Dad: Getting rid of a spider involves smacking your knee?
Me: Only if you do it wrong. Which is why we can’t go out tonight. And why I need ice for my knee.
Dad: What happened to the spider?
Me: If I knew, one of us—and by “one of us” I mean you—could probably do something about it
Dad: What color was the spider?
Me: Pale
Dad: Pale isn’t a color
Me: On this spider it was a color. Or maybe it was Drab Pale
Dad: Is that one of those weird colors you made up like teal?
Me: Teal is a great color. If the spider had been teal, this might be a very different conversation.
Dad: It would?
Me: Actually, only the color part would be different
Dad: We leave in 3 minutes
Me: Maybe I wasn’t clear
Puppy: I can be ready in three minutes
Dad and Me: No
Me: Unless you want to eat a spider
Dad: No! I’ll go look for the spider
Note: Some sighs are small and subtle. Dad’s was neither.
Dad: No spider. Let’s go.
Me: Are you sure?
Dad: I’m sure. Let’s go

We went. I was not attacked by a spider. Although I’m still a little concerned about driving to work today…

Love, Mom

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Sports Illustrated: History, Facts, and Swimsuits

Dear Kid,

IF you had been around on September 16, 1954, and IF you had been a trend-watching sort of dude, and IF you were interested in sports, you might have noticed the first issue of Sports Illustrated. You weren’t around, so you didn’t notice, so I—being that sort of mother—shall attempt to fill you in.

Sports Illustrated was first published on September 16, 1954. You are now filled in.

But wait, there’s more.

Many people in the magazine publishing industry scoffed (that’s the polite word) at the idea of a magazine devoted entirely to sports. After all, several had already failed (including two named Sports Illustrated). But interest in sports was exploding (if you had been around you might have heard the bang) and color printing was exploding (ditto). All in all, it was a rather explosive beginning.

The magazine more or less (in this case “more”) missed the mark in the early days focusing on polo (the kind with horses rather than water), safaris (the kind with guns rather than cameras), and yachting (the kind with rakish hats). Advertisers yawned and only the snooty rich people cared about the coverage.

Fast forward to the 1960s, when SI (as it wasn’t yet known) began to have full color coverage of sports, began to pay attention to football (the American kind), and introduced the Swimsuit Issue. Wham! (That was the sound barrier being broken as SI’s popularity zoomed up.)

Sports Illustrated has named a Sportsman of the Year since it began. The first such person was Roger Bannister. No extra points for knowing who he is, but you can pat yourself on the back. in 1972 Billie Jean King became the first female to be named Sportsman of the Year.

Love, Mom

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How to Handle a Lurking and Looming Deadline Without Shooting Anyone

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time there was a deadline. It wasn’t a deadline far off in some mysterious future. Those can be easily ignored. One can put those off until tomorrow even though it would be better to get to them today. It wasn’t a faux deadline, self-imposed to give the illusion of urgency. No, this was an Imminent Deadline and it Loomed.

Imminent deadlines have a way of looming that is quite unlike any other kind of looming. There is no warp and no weft. There is just great, hulking looming. In fact, imminent deadlines often loom with malice. And hostility. Sometimes even with hostile malice.

This particular Imminent Deadline loomed with more hostility and more malice than most.

And it Smirked. It was a hostile, malicious, smirking sort of Deadline whose vocabulary consisted mostly of “mwahhahahahaha” and the theme from Jeopardy!

You might think it was deadline for a college assignment. You’d be wrong. Those sorts of Imminent Deadlines are generally mainlining Starbucks and cursing Higher Education in multi-syllabic (albeit meaningless) words.

You might think it was a deadline for a work assignment. You’d be wrong again. Those sorts of Imminent Deadlines are generally accompanied by visions of the unemployment office and spreadsheets with circular logic.

You might think it was a deadline for voting. You’d be wrong there too. Those deadlines are used to being ignored and generally skulk along near the voting precinct hoping someone will notice even if it’s only an eager journalism student.

You might then think it was a deadline for a college application. It wasn’t, because it was the wrong time of year for those deadlines.

You might consider the possibility of a Deadline associated with some sort of Ultimatum. Those Imminent Deadlines can be quite terrifying. Their bite has been known to cause all kinds of paralyzation.

This was a deadline for a blog. And it Lurked. And it Loomed. And it radiated Hostility.

It is worth noting that almost no heat is generated by a Lurking and Looming Deadline except upon those who are being Lurked and Loomed at. So while deadlines are terrible for generally heating up a home, they are quite clever at lighting a fire under someone’s posterior.

History has noted that many attempts have been made over the years to deal with Imminent Deadlines. One way is to simply ignore the deadline. However, since deadlines are distantly related to hangovers, it will not surprise you to learn that they (deadlines) hate being ignored and will do their utmost to bring themselves to the forefront of the conversation.

Throughout time, the most popular method for dealing with a deadline has been to turn over and go back to sleep. This is sometimes a slightly effective method for dealing with hangovers, but pretty much never gets rid of a deadline.

It turns out that there are two effective methods for dealing with a Lurking and Looming Deadline full of Hostility and Malice.

The first is to become so wildly popular and successful that you become the Boss of All Deadlines. This almost never happens between the time the Deadline begins Lurking and the actual Deadline in question.

The other way is to simply Deal with It.

The third way (I love how Douglas Adams counts and may use his approach exclusively from now on. Or I might not) is to write a blog about them. This not only addresses the actual Deadline itself, but serves to flatter the Lurking and Looming so much that they sit down like obedient puppies waiting for a snack.

I hope you have nothing Lurking or Looming on your horizon today.

Love, Mom

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Dinner Out with Sparkling Conversation

Dear Kid,

Listen my child and you shall hear
Of a meal we ate when you weren’t here.

I thought of writing the whole blog in poem, but by the third line of my attempt I’d gone from Paul Revere’s Ride to A Visit From St. Nicholas (Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!) and the scan had gotten hopelessly mixed up in my head. Back to narrative.

Last night we went out to dinner. Turns out you need to make reservations more than 20 minutes in advance if you want to take 6 people to dinner on a Saturday night at a trendy spot. We went to Bonefish Grill (which I like very much but I’d been to before and I’d hoped to try one of the new restaurants in town. Apparently so did a lot of other people.).

Puppy: You didn’t take me
Me: You had dinner at home
Puppy: I could have eaten if you’d taken me
Me: You were napping
Puppy: Only after you left me at home!
Me: (I am not going to mention they don’t let dogs in. I am not going to mention they don’t let dogs in. I am not going) Want to play with a toy?
Puppy: I love toys!

I had planned to take photos of dinner and share our culinary experience that way. It was a perfect plan except for the part about me remembering to take photos which I forgot. Completely.

So imagine, if you will, hummus and potsticker appetizers, delightful salads (for some of us), warm bread, delicious entrees, and sparkling conversation. I wouldn’t have known how to photograph the sparkling conversation anyway.

Puppy: Do I have sparkling conversation?
Me: ummm…
Puppy: Scratch me
Me: Yup, that sparkles
Puppy: See? You should have taken me

All in all, a lovely evening.

Puppy: Except for the part about me not going.
Me: I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it was still a lovely evening.
Puppy: Except for the part about me not going.

Except (according to some) for the part about Booker not going.

Hope your day is sparkling.

Love, Mom

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