Dark Lord Baltimore and the Smart Girl
I’m going to take a moment to brag about my virtual pet and my actual child.
First, my virtual pet.
Hay Day recently released a virtual bunny that could be purchased for a lot of vouchers. I had zero vouchers because I spent them all on a fishing event, but I filled boat orders like mad until I was able to afford a tiny white bunny. I named him Dark Lord Baltimore, though we call him DLB for short.
Dark Lord Baltimore combines my two loves: the Harry Potter universe and Maryland state history. He’s named after The Dark Lord AND the first Lord Baltimore — George Calvert. I’ve already decided to name all the virtual dogs after the subsequent Lord Baltimores: Cecil, Charles, Benedict Leonard, Charles in Charge Again, and Frederick. Though I only plan on getting three dogs so… Cecil, Charles, and Benedict Leonard. And I plan on naming my future three cats after three of their wives: Anne Arundel, Mary Darnell, and Charlotte Lee.
I cannot put into words how much I love Dark Lord Baltimore.
I get that he’s a virtual pet purchased with fake currency, but knowing he is in my pocket brings me infinite happiness. So much so that I’ve started calling anything that makes me happy a DLB. My Newman’s Own Cinnamon mints are DLBs. A good book is totally DLB. Going to Chinocteague is a DLB trip.
Hobbes was right. Life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. We need to take our happiness wherever we can find it, even if it takes the form of virtual animals.
What is making you happy at the moment?
Josh wondered aloud while we were driving to the baseball game this past weekend how Maryland got its name.
“I don’t remember,” I admitted. “Jamestown was named after King James I.”
“Maybe Maryland was named for his wife? For his mother?”
“ChickieNob, who was King James’ mother?” I called into the backseat.
“Mary, Queen of Scots,” came the bored answer. She is so tired of us. This is how I imagine Wikipedia feels when we Google things. When we first started asking Wikipedia our questions, it eagerly returned the answers, happy to help. But by now, three trillion questions later, Wikipedia is wondering why we are collectively so unknowledgeable. Sometimes I get the feeling Wikipedia would like to include an exasperated, “don’t you remember anything from school?” at the bottom of each article.
Having the ChickieNob is like having a human external hard drive. I don’t have to memorize things like the lineage of the royal family or the mother’s name of every US president. I don’t have to remember obscure science facts or the characters in various books. I like to call her “the brain for my brain” from the song “Washington.” (I’m aware that isn’t the line in the song, but it sounds like it sort of goes along with the song.) Since she is usually with me, I can access her massive quantity of memorized knowledge simply by calling out questions into the backseat.
It turns out that while the ChickieNob was right, we were wrong in our assumption that the two nearby settlements were connected. Maryland was named for Henrietta Maria of France.
“Do you mind,” I asked the ChickieNob as we walked into Nationals Park, “if I write about how I call you the brain for my brain?”
“And post it on your blog?” she asked.
“Yeah, if you mind, I won’t do it.”
She considered the question for a moment and then nodded, “Sure, you can tell people. I think I’d like that a lot.”
So, yeah, Chickie is a very smart girl. I hope hearing that makes her happy.