Naming Professional Sports Teams | Countdown to Graduation: Four Days

Dear Kid,

I have an opinion.

And I have done the math to back it up.

As you know, but I just found out recently, the Jets are playing hockey.

This is—obviously—wrong. Even if one isn’t a Jets (football) fan (Go Giants! Go Bengals! Go everyone!), one must acknowledge that the Jets exist (even if I’m not entirely sure what state they’re in anymore).

One should not have to hear that the Jets are playing and spend the next few minutes trying to understand that there is a Jets football team and a Jets hockey team and they are in no way related.

So I did the math.

According to My Friend the Internet, there are 30 professional basketball teams, 32 football teams, 31 hockey teams (how ridiculous to have an odd number of teams), 23 MLS teams (ditto), and 30 baseball teams for a total of 146 major league professional athletic teams in the US (and Canada).

One hundred forty-six.

Do you know how few that is? Yeah, OK, it’s 146 few. Which means there is no freaking reason on this planet that two of them have to have the same mascot name!

I propose that The Great Sports Authority (could be our friend Jenelle, might be Nike, but I’m open to suggestions) mandate a contest to see which team gets to keep the Jets moniker and which has to hold open auditions for a new mascot. I’ll have to give some thought as to how the winner should be determined (suggestions welcome here too).

Somebody really ought to be in charge of things like this.

(Can you tell I’m trying to distract myself from the fact that you’re graduating in four days?)

Dear Kid,

WAIT!

STOP THE PRESSES!!!

What exactly is going on here?

How can it possibly be only 5 days until you graduate from college?

I swear it was only a week or so ago that you rode the school bus around the parking lot in preparation for attending kindergarten.

I’ve barely aged since then, so it seems impossible that you have gone from a BoyChild to a ManPerson.

(For clarity’s sake, let’s just all agree right now that even when you’re 102 you will still be my BoyChild.)

In other (less upsetting) news, there is a squirrel on the birdfeeder. (“What?” I hear you say, “Less upsetting? How could that be? You hate squirrels on the birdfeeder!”) Well, I’ll tell you. I may have come around to Grandpa’s way of thinking: it isn’t a birdfeeder—it’s a bird and squirrel feed. Problem solved.

Yes, Wallenda the Flying Squirrel is back. And while he throws off my feeder-filling schedule, he is entertaining as all get out.

Birds just fly to the feeders and help themselves.

Not so Wallenda.

Wallenda plots. Wallenda scurries. Wallenda perches in the tree, scoping out the seed and trying to use his powerful brainwaves to move the seed closer. Wallenda scampers up and down the tree looking for the best launching pad. Wallenda waits and watches and then launches himself through the air, arms and legs spread like a true flying squirrel hoping desperately to land on the birdfeeder.

Wallenda clings like a, a squirrel, and manages to hop to the top of the feeder. He slithers to the pole and then stretches waaaaaay out to reach the feeder. Lunch!

I really enjoy watching this. It’s worth refilling the feeder more often. Especially because I have no intention of moving the feeders or chopping down the tree.

Eye Can’t See You

Dear Kid,

I went to the eye doctor earlier.

The good news is that all the parts of my eyes are in lovely shape. The doctor had a marvelous time exclaiming over the excellent surgery I had years ago.

And oh, the joy of dilated eyes. (For the record I can barely see to type this, so I’m blaming Dr. C for any and all errors.)

Then came the Choosing of the New Frames. Basically, try on 1,984 frames and reject 1,984 frames. Have an in-depth discussion with the consultant about skin color, hair color, style options, and the fact that my glasses spend most of their time on the top of my head.

Green glasses. Ooh, neat. Very cool.

Red glasses. Very fun, very interesting design.

But the winner?

Ah, my friend. You will have to wait until the glasses return from the lab and I get to wear them to see.

In the meantime, I’m going to go close my eyes until they return to normal.

Crunch Crack

Dear Kid,

The human skeletal system is an amazing thing. You already knew that. And it takes a lot to break one of the bones in your body. You knew that too. Which clearly means that those who break bones must be extraordinary overachievers.

(One could point out that they should stop achieving so much but one is much more polite than that.)

Being the kind of mom that I am (you are so lucky), I am thoughtfully providing you with an advanced study guide regarding bones.

Q: What should you do if you think you’ve broken a bone?

A: Milk the situation for all it’s worth.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you can make once you have a broken bone?

A: Do not repeat the action that caused you to break it—not even to demonstrate to medical professionals what happened. Because it will hurt.

Q: Which bone is the most painful if broken?

A: The one you just broke (obviously).

Q: How much does a broken bone cost?

A: That depends what you mean. If you are asking how much it costs to have someone break a bone for you, the answer is it happens all the time in movies and crime books, but I’ve never seen an add on Craig’s List for Bone Breaking—20% off.

If you mean how much does it cost to have a broken bone repaired, the short answer is A LOT. This is ‘Murica and we believe in charging for medical attention. The longer answer is it depends on your insurance (see: ‘Murica) and which bone you were clever enough to damage.

Q: How long will it take my broken bone to heal?

A: That depends. If it’s a bone in your foot it might already be your heel in which case you’ll need to be very careful talking to your medical provider. In general, you will be given the freedom to do whatever you want (medically speaking) one week after The Big Event you wanted to look great for.

In summary, try to leave your bones in tact.

Dear Kid,

I was casting around for a topic for today (there are no unauthorized wild animals living in the house at the moment).

Inspiration was not swimming in the pool I was casting in, or if it was I missed it.

So I started poking around my computer and found a bunch of letters I’d written to you when you were a wee thing and were away at camp.

I read a few of them, and I have to say there is nothing brilliant there (at least in the ones I read). They were mostly ramblings about whatever I was doing (or not) at the time, what the Puppy was doing (or not) at the time, and what we were having (or not) for dinner.

So basically a lot like this blog except without the references to Mrs. Joe Neanderthal.

But the letters made me smile. Not because our dinner menus were all that interesting (most assuredly not) but because I know you enjoyed getting mail at camp. The letters were a little smile I could put in an envelope and send to you, knowing that you’d smile as you read them.

So basically a lot like this blog except without the in-depth reporting and research.

At one point I sent you a series of jokes in the letters. Here’s one that made me grin out loud (I did not write this):

Two young men were out in the woods on a camping trip, when they came upon a great brook, filled with trout. They stayed there all day, enjoying the fishing, which was super.

At the end of the day, knowing that they would be graduating from college soon, they vowed that they would meet, in twenty years, at the same place and renew the experience.

Twenty years later, they met and traveled to a spot near where they had been years before. They walked into the woods and before long came upon a brook. One of the men said to the other, “This is the place!”

The other replied, “No, it’s not!”

The first man said, “Yes, I do recognize the clover growing on the bank on the other side.”

To which the other man replied, “Silly, you can’t tell a brook by its clover.”

I’m guessing you’re rolling your eyes the same way you did when I sent it to you all those years ago.

Hee-hee.

Bats and Ballet

Dear Kid,

After a extending his stay about 24 hours, the bat has checked out of Casa Mia.

It was a bit on the crazy side.

After a few more rounds of “fling open the front door and see if the bat will randomly fly out of the house” served with a side of Curious Puppy, the bat retreated to the second floor. Dad seemed to think this was a good idea. The Puppy and I weren’t convinced.

Then nothing proceeded to happen.

Then everything happened.

The bat reappeared. In our bedroom. This is not exactly where one wants to see a bat (just in case you weren’t sure).

Dad leapt in to action. I am not exaggerating. Leapt. After a Grand Jete across the room, he opened the window, which made a great deal of sense—except for the screen on the window. The bat dived toward the bed. Dad unhooked the screen. The bat zoomed across the room. Dad almost dropped the screen down two flights onto the bushes. The bat ignored the now open window and instead dropped about 1,000 feet directly toward Dad.

The bat saw this as an invitation to dance. It was an invitation the bat did not refuse.

Thus began the Pas de Deux of bat and man.

The bat made elegant use of his wings, swooping and diving, appearing and disappearing with grace and beauty.

Dad made inelegant use of the screen, lunging and flailing around in an attempt to guide the bat to the window.

The bat did not perceive the screen as an Agent of Good. And showed this by resolutely avoid all of Dad’s efforts to herd him.

“He’s getting tired!” When Dad said that, I was pretty sure he was projecting his own condition. When he repeated it, I was sure.

Eventually, the bat settled on the screen (the third time) and Dad guided it out the window.

I have not yet found evidence of bat guano.

Which I’m hoping is a good thing.

(Except that the bat was here a pretty long time…)