A Jonathan Swift poem? Norse mythology? A mistranslation from the Greek? Shoddy thatched roof craftsmanship? Where does the phrase “raining cats and dogs” come from anyway? (Part 2 of our 2-post investigation)
Happy Fourth of July!
Thatched roofs? Unsavory Elizabethan street sanitation practices? A 1652 Richard Brome play? Where does the phrase “raining cats and dogs” come from anyway?
While I was busy not blogging this month, it came to my attention that this blog is ten years old. Goodness. I thought it would be fun to mark its decade-aversary by revisiting a question post from the early days of the blog to see how well my answer has held up. Spoiler alert: Not well.
I grew up watching the Muppets. For years I wandered through life, filled with the happy conviction that I knew everything I needed to know about Sam the Eagle. This happy state continued until I saw a video of the African shoebill stork on Twitter. It bore a disconcerting resemblance to old Sam. To make matters worse, while researching shoebills, I discovered that some think that the harpy eagle is actually the model for Sam the Eagle. There’s only one thing to do when your world has been rocked by this sort of question: compare and contrast.
Before I resume business as usual here on Caterpickles, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge what an utterly disorienting moment we are living through…
Happy New Year! Someone on Twitter commented that living through 2020 had given them a new appreciation for the relentless partying that broke out during the Roaring Twenties after WWI and the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. Living through 2020 also made me think about the Roaring 20s differently. I finally understand why so many women in vintage flapper photos are giving such achingly sad side-eye.
It’s the quiet time between Christmas and New Year’s, when we are supposed to reflect on the year past and make plans for the year to come. I’ll do my best.
Happy Holidays! Thank you for spending another year with us here at Caterpickles. May this holiday season bring some measure of peace and joy to you and yours.
About 20 years ago, my grandparents gave me a set of old family journals from 1871-1952. Mixed in with all sheep, pig, apple, and pork accounts are surprisingly interesting narratives of daily life in upstate New York in the late 1800s. This week, my great-great-grandfather goes to Rochester for a second mortgage, and comes away feeling a bit… swindled.