Books by the Banks, Bee Pollen, Football, and Other Important Matters

Dear Kid,

Report of the Day:

Dad woke me up at 9:21am.

Ordinarily, this would have been a big ol’ breach of the Don’t Wake Me Up rule, but I had (sort of) agreed that it would be ok. And I didn’t have the energy (and by “energy” I mean enough caffeine) to argue. Or talk. Or grunt.

So I got up, threw on some clothes (figured if he wanted to wake me in the middle of the night, then he was just going to have to deal with a makeup-less wife), told him as long as he got me some coffee on the way I was ready to go.

I kissed the Puppy on his nose, put him away, and we left.

We were headed (I know you’re holding your breath just dying to know) downtown for Books by the Banks.

Books, as you may recall, are those things that have words printed on paper. They’re a little old fashioned (perhaps) but some of us love them. (See “Library”.)

Books by the Banks was down at the Duke Convention Center (which means “big space” in Cincinnati-ese). The amazing Susan of Working Moms Against Guilt (shout out—love her) was there speaking on a panel about social media, lots of authors were there, and—wait for it—the Bloggess was there.

The Bloggess was at Books by the Banks. That means nothing to you. But she’s kind of a big deal in the blogging world. The same way Michael Jordan is kind of a big deal in the basketball world. DearKidLoveMom.comThat means nothing to you. But she’s kind of a big deal in the blogging world. The same way Michael Jordan is kind of a big deal in the basketball world.

I was impressed.

I also met C. A. Newsome who writes murder mysteries set in Cincy dog parks. Which is impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the art she paints for the covers of the books (amazing puppies). Here is a helpful link, because I’m that kind of gal.

There were lots of sessions that sounded interesting but we had to leave because Dad’s reffing later.

So we drove homeward and stopped at the Montgomery farmer’s market where we bought fresh coffee (yay) and some farm stuff (including bee pollen which I will have to investigate). Our final stop was for bird seed and a new feeder.

At home, Dad snarfed a quick lunch while the Puppy and I hung the new feeder and filled everything up. The birds are happy.

Meanwhile, the Puppy discovered that someone has moved into one of our downspouts. Do you know how hard it is to dig into a downspout when you are a small canine? I got a flashlight so I could look in to see who was there. Turns out, no one was home at that particular moment. The beast is quite sure someone was there recently (and who am I to question his nose?) and was Not Amused when it was time to go inside rather than continue the search for his new friend.

I think that’s a pretty good start to a day, don’t you?

Now to football and other important matters.

Love, Mom

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How Many Texts Is Too Many?

Dear Kid,

I woke up to 60 text messages this morning.

You know you haven’t had enough coffee when numbers look like little people dancing. DearKidLoveMom.comYep. 6-0. As in one more than 59. (See how I do that math thing even this early in the morning?)

My first thought was (predictably) “You have GOT to be kidding me.”

My second thought was (even more predictably) “Coffee.”

Since that seemed to use up my ability to think for a while, I didn’t bother with a third thought.

Turned out (quite happily) that the 60 messages were a running dialog you, Pi, and Dad had last night about the various football games in progress, the ability to sum up most football games with the single word “kickers” (with or without exclamation points), and nailbiter emojis. It made me smile before the coffee kicked in (not an easy trick).

I was thinking about those texts when Grandma showed me an article about the importance of grammar. It will not be news to you to know that I think grammar is important. (Pi—if you’re reading this, the correct usage is “Sophia and I are dying” not “Me and Sophia are dying.”)

It will also not surprise you to know that I am perfectly comfortable with different “proper” usage for different types of communication.

For example, “’Kickers!’ nailbiter emojis” is perfectly fine text communication. Especially when the conversation preceding it has been about a football field goal attempt. It is lousy writing for a news column.

“See ya’” is a perfectly fine communication between friends agreeing to meet for pizza. It is anything except acceptable for closing a business communication.

As the article pointed out, one of the benefits of grammar (besides not worrying about your mother correcting you) is that when you use correct grammar you increase the odds that the person you’re communicating with will understand you. Using poor grammar often leads to “Huh? Explain.”

And while “Me and Sophia are dying” may completely and clearly convey the stress of not knowing the all-important outcome of the football game, I sincerely hope my voice is in her head saying “Sophia and I”.

Love, Mom

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What the Hoosier?

Dear Kid,

If you’d been hanging around in the United States in the 1600s, you would not have heard anyone use the term “Hoosier.” Even if you went to the area now known as Indiana, you wouldn’t have found anyone talking about Hoosiers.

Today, you can’t miss ‘em.

Somewhere in the 1800s, the term “Hoosier” sprang up, full grown, into usage.

What the Hoosier? Find out the real reason behind the name. DearKidLoveMom.comThere are lots of “explanations” given for the derivation of the term, some of them more outlandish than others.

Outlandish: They wanted to be the cool kids on the block when the phrase “Who’s Your Daddy?” came into usage.

Realistic: They wanted to be able to give people the “Duh” look when asked what a Hoosier is.

Outlandish: It comes from the word hoosa which means American Indian maize (corn).

Realistic: Indiana University inherited a mascot uniform and they had to have a name to go along with it.

And still History Departments at major academic institutions don’t call me to guest lecture. Go figure.

We had lovely time at IU yesterday, even if our presence caused yet another home team to forget to win while we were there.

Love, Mom

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Why Football Players Don’t Know How to Drink Water Without Help

Dear Kid,

Have you ever noticed that football players are extremely athletic? Of course you have. Have you noticed that they have lots of muscles? Again, of course.

So why is it that these strong humans are incapable of drinking water on the sidelines by themselves?

My friend Sue asked this important question and since I’m that kind of friend I knew I needed to provide an answer.

Of course my first thought was to ask you, but you weren’t available (because you were helping a football player drink water).

I asked Dad. He speculated that football players don’t have good aim through their helmets. (Insert potty jokes about boys having bad aim.)

So I turned to My Friend the Internet for answers. (I don’t know why anyone goes to college anymore when all the answers—both accurate and fictional—are available with a couple of clicks.)

Turns out there are a variety of “reasons” for spoon-feeding football players.

Dad was partly right. Helmets, facemasks, and shoulder pads can make it difficult for even the most gifted of athletes to squirt water into their own mouths. Gatorade, meet cheek. Not sure how that’s different from hockey players who seem to be able to drink without help.

Another “reason” is that football players are intensely focused on the game and can’t concentrate and drink water at the same time. Again, not sure how that differs from hockey. In fact, with the quick line changes, it might be even more relevant in hockey.

The next possibility is that receivers don’t like getting their gloves wet from condensation. This is especially important during games when it’s raining.

Or possibly, as the Chief Watering Source, athletic trainers can be sure that players are staying hydrated. Because football players are the only athletes that need to stay hydrated but can’t be counted on to drink enough.

The most plausible explanation is the sheer number of players on a football team (at last count, 7,892 for away games) and the size of area where the players can be (big). By controlling the racks of water bottles, athletic trainers can make sure the bottles are filled and available (as opposed to being thrown on the ground after a sip or two).

But I think the real reason is probably that their massive hands would crush the delicate water bottles.

Love, Mom

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Why I Love the Marching 110 (And Other Great Stuff)

Dear Kid,

Aside from the coffee we stopped for on the way to see you (one part battery acid to two parts battery acid) and my slightly sun-kissed nose, yesterday was a fabulous day.

Even the unfortunate end to the football game couldn’t take the shine off the day.

OU football! OU, Oh yeah!

OU football! OU, Oh yeah!

And I am now officially a HUGE RAVING fan of the Marching 110.

...the effervescence of the 110 between plays and during TV time outs is contagious...

…the effervescence of the 110 between plays and during TV time outs is contagious…

There is a convenience inherent in watching football on TV. The snacks are less expensive, there’s no line for the restroom, and did I mention the slight sunburn? But there is nothing like of being part of a cheering crowd. And the effervescence of the 110 between plays and during TV time outs is contagious (and unfortunately drowned out by TV commentators). The 110 has FUN. Halftime was EXCEPTIONAL!

Before the game and after brunch with you, Dad and I drove to  the “classic Appalachian town” of Nelsonville, OH, home of a very small historic town square, an opera house (closed for renovation), a cute emporium (bought a glass barrette), and Rocky Boots (want to kill something with four legs? Get outfitted here).

Nelsonville Brick

Nelsonville Brick

Nelsonville is famous for coal mining (which we don’t talk about) and its bricks which were often made with a star pattern and were shipped all over these here United States.

When we got back to Athens, we parked at “Event Parking $5” and walked over to the Dairy Barn and Art Gallery. I’ve seen the signs for the last two years since it isn’t that far from your apartment, but we’ve never been. Yesterday, we went.

Turns out the art gallery/museum cost $10 per human, and since we weren’t planning to enjoy $10 worth we didn’t pay. Instead I asked if I could visit the shop. Certainly, I was told. But to get to the shop you go through the gallery. I cheated and looked at the art on my way. Very cool. Not worth $10 visit fee.

The shop has much of the same art we saw in Nelsonville at the aforementioned Emporium, so we got to enjoy it a second time.

Our view during our picnic before the OU football game. DearKidLoveMom

Our view during our picnic before the OU football game. DearKidLoveMom

Then a quick picnic by the car and off to the football game.

Lovely, lovely day.

Love, Mom

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Do You Know Why Today Is Going to Be a Great Day?

Dear Kid,

Today is going to be an amazing day. Except for the Getting Up at 5:45am on the First Day of a Long Weekend Part.

Other than that, it’s going to be awesome.

Except for the driving. The early wakeup and the driving, not so great. The rest of the day, fantabulous.

Can you tell that I’m excited?

Partly because we get to see you (yay!) and feed you (whoops! Hungry college kid alert! There goes the tuition money!).

And partly because Dad and I get to spend some time together which it turns out we actually enjoy doing. Who knew?

And partly because we’re going to the Ohio University football game. Which we’ve never done before.

We’re excited to see the team play, we’re excited to see you on the sidelines, and we’re definitely excited to see the Marching 110 (about whom we have heard so much).

I looked up the Marching 110 (I think I’m required to write it in italics). I have it on great authority (and by “great authority” I mean the Marching 110’s website) that they are the Most Exciting Band in the Land! Emphasis on “exciting.” Which surprised me because I expected the emphasis on MOST. That may explain why the band has never called me for advice.

The Marching 110 currently has 245 members. The “110” refers to the original number of band members. And to the amount of effort (110%) band members are expected to put in.

The Marching 110 consists of the following instrumentation:  Clarinets, Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophones, Mellophones, Trumpets, Trombones, Baritones, Sousaphones, and Percussion.

No kazoos.

Ohio University's Marching 110 does not feature kazoos. DearKidLoveMom.comWait. Mellophones? What the heck is a mellophone?

I immediately turned to My Friend the Internet.

Do you know what a mellophone is?

  1. A brass instrument that says, “dude” a lot
  2. The thing you toast and then put on s’mores
  3. A silent cell phone
  4. A brass instrument similar to the orchestral French horn, played mainly in military and concert bands
  5. No, I don’t know what a mellophone is.

It is not at all obvious to me that I will know a mellophone from any other horn, but I plan to enjoy them (probably in an un-mellow way).

Today is going to be a great day.

Love, Mom

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