Posts Tagged "shakespeare"

Shakespeare, Biting Your Thumb, and Coffee

Dear Kid,

Shakespeare, Biting Your Thumb, and Coffee. DearKidLoveMom.comSo there we were, sitting at the table last night when you leaned over to whisper in my ear about biting your thumb at whatever was going on.

This was Most Excellent for a number of reasons.

First (and most importantly) it meant that you were close enough to whisper in my ear, which means YOU’RE HOME! This is a Wonderful State of the World.

Secondly, it meant that you remember some Shakespeare which means you are Retaining Education! This is much more impressive and much more difficult than retaining water. Or being a retaining wall. But generally less lucrative than being on retainer and possibly more comfortable than wearing a retainer.

Gotta love those four cups of wine (thank you JJ for bringing the wine) and writing at 1am.

Although you’re a college student. Writing at 1am is pretty much required when you’re in school, isn’t it?

The point I am wandering around (for 40 years in very dry writing) to make is: We are delighted you’re home for the weekend


Coincidentally, today is the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Google even doodled about it.

Coffee. I need more coffee.

Love, Mom

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Midnight Crisis | Hoisted by One’s Own Petard

Dear Kid,

I woke up in the middle of the night concerned that you are might not know the meaning of the phrase “To hoist with one’s own petard.”

This is bad for several reasons. Waking up in the middle of the night: bad. Being concerned about your kid in the middle of the night: bad. Being awake and concerned for no good reason: very bad.

But awake is awake.

Therefore and ergo, I blog.

To hoist with one’s own petard means “injured by the device that you intended to use to injure others.”

Translation: stepping in the poo you put out for someone else to step in.

A petard is was a small war engine used to blow holes in gates or walls. They were originally metallic and bell-shaped but later were made out of wood. Which seems backwards, but it’s on the internet so it must be true. They were used in the 16th century which no one remembers (no one I know was alive then) and filled with gunpowder so they could go “boom.” Gunpowder continues to be a very effective method for going “boom.”

The only reason anyone remembers petards or thinks about hoisting upon them is because good ol’ Will wrote it down for us in 1602 (Hamlet): “For tis the sport to have the enginer Hoist with his owne petar”. By which we learn (and by “learn” I mean “duh”) that Shakespeare had a big influence on our language and that he was often confused by the letter “e”.

To summarize: If you plot something rotten for someone and it bites you in the proverbial ass, you have been hoisted by your own petard.

Going back to sleep now.

Love, Mom


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Midsummer Night’s Mosquito, I Mean Dream

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was a playwright named Will. He wrote a bunch of plays that are not the subject of this blog.

Once upon a time, there was a Kid who had two parents who went to one of Will’s plays. More like one and a half of Will’s plays since there was a play and a play within the play. Which was playful.

Cincinnati Shakespeare in the Park came to Blue Ash last night. #cincyshakespark

Lovely evening, lovely company, great production, free Shakespeare. What more could you ask for in August? (Don’t answer that.)

The play in question: Midsummer Night’s Dream. You’ll be glad to know neither Dad nor I dreamed during the play.

Midsummer Night's Dream #CincyShakes DearKidLoveMom.comTo summarize the play (because you should know these things as a well-educated college student type person):

Once upon a time (I may have mentioned that part, but it’s worth repeating), there was a dude named Theseus who killed the minotaur and fell in love with Hippolyta, the #1 Amazon. That part is absolutely true. I know because I read The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea. And as we know, if it’s in a book it must be true. Somehow Will turned Theseus into a Duke which is wrong but really isn’t important. What is important is that the Duke is getting married (to the aforementioned Hippolyta) and a lot of people hang around when royals get married.

In the hanging around group: Hermia, daughter of Egeus (who is the walking embodiment of a pig-headed, unenlightened father). Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius; Hermia thinks that’s about the worst idea on the planet since she’s crazy in love with Lysander. Luckily, Lysander loves her. Unluckily, the law at that time was in favor of girls doing what papa said. To round things out, Helena is in love with Demetrius who is inconveniently in love with Hermia. Are you keeping up?

Meanwhile, a bunch of tradesmen (yes, men) from the village decide to put on a play to entertain the Duke, et al. They plan to act out over act a production of Pyramus and Thisbe (which is a version of boy-loves-girl, boy thinks girl’s dead, boy kills self, girl wasn’t dead but corrects that when she finds dead boy. Think Romeo and Juliet except shorter and with a lion). The most important overactor is Bottom. A word that is funnier when said by a Minion than when said by a Shakespearean actor.

Meanwhile (keep up—you’re smart), the fairies are having a tiff. And by “tiff” I mean the king of the fairies is having a spat with the queen of the fairies. Because having a tiff is not something men do well, the king and Puck (a mischievous fairy) cause a great deal of mischief. The king sends Puck zooming around the world to get a flower. Not just any flower, but a magic flower that (when applied to sleeping eyes) causes the person to fall in love with the first living thing they see when they wake up. (NOTE: Best zooming we’ve seen in a long time.)

The fairies are in the forest. The actors meet in the forest to rehearse. Meanwhile (yes, the main theme is “meanwhile”), Hermia and Lysander go to the forest to elope. This is (of course) nuts since everyone knows you elope with a ladder not a forest. My guess is Will still had forest scenery left over from the whole Birnam Wood thing.

Everyone goes running around the forest. Puck gives Bottom an ass’s head and the fairy queen falls in love (temporarily) with Ass-Topped Bottom. Detmetrium and Lysander both fall in love with Helena (which does not amuse Hermia in the least). Eventually Puke fixes things so everyone is in love with who they are supposed to be in love with. Everyone thinks they’ve had weird dreams (hence the title), so they get married.

Important quote #1: What fools these mortals be. Which people quote all the time.

Important quote #2: And though she be but little, she is fierce. This is important because Grandpa used to quote this at me. What with my fierceness and vertical-challenged-ness.

Important quote #3: Yark! I’m getting bitten by mosquitoes! Dad and I stayed at the amphitheater to chat for a bit and got chomped.

Love, Mom

Kuddos to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company which you can find in the park every now and then and at always.


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What Do You Know About Money? Bet You Don’t Know This

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, people landed on the shores of these here United States and bought Manhattan for a handful of baubles. Real estate prices have gone up since then.

 A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. ~Yogi Berra DearKidLoveMom.comOn August 8, 1786 (more than 200 years ago—I point this out since you’re still on summer break and I’m sure your internal calculator isn’t working), the Continental Congress authorized the issuance of the US dollar. The term “dollar” had already been in use for some time thanks to Back to the Future Part 126 (which has yet to be filmed).

The US Mint was created by Congress in 1792. Unhappily for 40% of the people touring the building, the Mint doesn’t produce Girl Scout Cookies. Unhappily for the remaining 60% of the tourists who know what the Mint really does, they do not hand out samples.

Early money was chunky since it was made out of gold, silver, and the aforementioned beads. The first paper money was hand-drawn on cocktail napkins and people were therefore unsurprisingly skeptical. Unsurprisingly (again), War was the instigator of change (extra points for remembering the Greek Goddess of War).

The change (not to be confused with pocket change) came about because in 1861 Congress needed money to finance the Civil War. So they made it up and issued Demand Notes. Demand Notes were printed on orange paper with purple ink which is why they were nicknamed Greenbacks.

After a bunch of years, a bunch of dollars, and a bunch of wars, the Bretton Woods (which did not go to Dunsinane Hill – serious extra points for getting that one) Accord linked most currencies to the dollar. This system did not last forever. Bretton Woods also created the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which changed its name but pretty much has lasted forever.

Today, like the currency of most nations, the dollar is fiat money (not backed by any physical asset [and by “physical asset” economists generally mean gold]). You can use it to buy other kinds of cars besides Fiats.

More importantly, you can use money to buy things like food and shoes.

Banks are a good place to keep money, but that is a subject for another day.

Love, Mom

Athena is the Goddess of War (but you knew that).

According to The Bard (by which I mean Shakespeare) Macbeth will be safe until Great Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill.

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The Big Shave | 10 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Beards

Bearded Dragon Not planning to shave even though it's December DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

“He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man. He that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him.” ― William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Happy December! It’s the start of a new month which means (among other things) that No Shave November is over (until next year). In honor of The Big Shave, I thought I’d share some Interesting Facts About Hair.

1. The average man’s face contains anywhere from 5,000 to 25,000 whiskers. The Grinch has more. Super huge thank you to Peg and Mitch for the tickets—we had a great time last night!

2. Cave drawing from as early as 10,000 BC depict men with clean-shaven faces and men with short beards. Billboards near those caves show ads for shavers (especially around Christmas).

3. Ancient Egyptian barbers regularly shaved their clients with razors and pumice stones as a beard was considered an indication of personal neglect. It is generally still considered a sign of poor personal hygiene if you’re female. It’s sometimes a sign that you play professional sports and you’re in the playoffs.

4. Alexander the Great noticed that the bad guys (anyone he was fighting) could easily grab his soldiers’ beards and therefore insisted his troops fight with clean-shaven faces.

5. In Shakespeare’s day, men often swore by their beards (which seems odd for something that can be shaved or reshaped so easily. Just kidding–different beard, see?) It was quite fashionable then for men to dye their beards. Kind of the way teenage girls treat their hair these days although I don’t think anyone in the Bard’s day went with blue or pink.

6. Peter the Great of Russia imposed a tax on beards, which was collected at every town gate. Can you imagine how US politics these days would react to the notion of taxing hair, tattoos, or piercings? Wait—I’ll be right back when I stop laughing.

7. Human hair grows about a centimeter a month (except when you have a really bad haircut in which case it grows about a centimeter a year.) Hair grows faster during the day than at night.

8. The longest mustache on record was 10 feet. The longest beard recorded was 17.5 feet. Why they are on record and not on a DVD or Blue Ray, I couldn’t say.

9. Wet hair is much weaker than dry hair—which is why many people prefer the ‘wet shave’ methodology.

10. Pseudofolliculitisbarbae (say that 10 times fast) is the medical term for razor burn. Clogged sink is the term for thinking about the Grinch shaving.

Enjoy your newly shaven face and travel safe back to school. Finish up the semester strong, kiddo. See you in a few weeks.

Love, Mom

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