On Friday night we played Scategories, an activity I enjoy only marginally more than a rousing game of Poke Your Head. Or a really deep paper cut. Anyway, one of the topics was Ethnic Foods, and the letter in play was A. I suffered the brain lock I am prone to whenever an hourglass is transferring its contents with (seemingly) increasing rapidity from top to bottom and as the scrit-scrit of opposing players' pencils on their score sheets reaches a crescendo. I scored a big fat zero.
My son wrote Acorn. I immediately awarded him double points. And stabbed myself with my Bic pen for being such a moron.
The next day we were working on his book report on Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. My son has read the book. I have read the Wikipedia version (Wikipedia = the Cliff Notes of 2013; those beautiful black and yellow books that got me through high school and college). One of the characters in the book was named Nikola Quercus, but later changed his name to Nikolas Quirke. Two weird things about this: First, if you were lucky enough to have the surname Quercus, why would you ever change it? (Well, apparently in this case you'd change it if you were bent on creating a post-nuclear-apocalyptic new world order in which mobile cities roam the barren countryside devouring each other for food and spare parts. You'd probably want to play down the "green" aspect of your family name.) Second - and I'm not kidding - I desperately wanted to name our second son Nicholas Quercus Siems. I was vetoed... for which Nicholas will no doubt be very grateful. In the same way our daughter is forever grateful she didn't become Harriet.
Later on Saturday, Ethan had a soccer match in nearby Templeton. While I was riveted to the action (lost 2-1 but Ethan got the lone goal and we had a penalty kick that would have tied the game get saved by the goalkeeper. A 6'2" twelve year old. Who shaves. But I'm not insinuating anything. Or bitter.), Nicholas was busy doing this:
(Click to enlarge)
Gathering a cap full of massive valley oak (Q. lobata) acorns. I asked what he planned to do with them. He said, "Pant dem and grow oat tees!" How cool is that?? Then I asked if we should grind some up and eat them, to which he replied, "No, papa. Dat would be ewey."
So the weekend wasn't perfect. But it was darn close.