Apparently, this is the week we get spring flowers in Northern California.
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.
The last novel in verse I read was Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin. After finishing it, I decided that novels in verse are fine, but poems are a kind of contrived way to tell a story. Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam’s Punching the Air is forcing me to reconsider.
Longtime readers will remember that in the early days of this blog I used to devote Saturday mornings to funny things my daughter said. As she got older, she asked me to stop doing that. However, given the heaviness of our current news environment, the 13-Year-Old has given me permission to post a special illustrated edition of “Funny Things My Mom Says as Recorded by The 13-Year-Old.”
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.
The more targeted approach to tackling my To-Read pile inspired by the folks at The OcTBR Challenge has resulted in me reading a ton of great books this month. In today’s post, I’ll tell you about four of them.
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.