18 April 2014

14 is the mew 72

From vetstreet.com, so that Pekoe gets enough candles every January.

How Old Is My Cat?

We all love easy answers, so after the idea of "dog years" became popular, we started seeing the same methodology applied to cats: Take the lifespan of a cat, compare it to a person, then get your formula, which is why you may frequently hear that 1 cat year equals 4 human years.
You’re ahead of me already, I bet: A 1-year-old cat is far more mature than a 4-year-old child, and a 2-year-old cat is fully mature, which can never be said of a human 8-year-old.
Because cats have less size diversity than dogs do, however, in this case we actually can make the formula work, if we start calculating at a cat's second birthday. The first year takes a cat to late adolescence, and the second into young adulthood. You can then start counting in fours: Figure a 2-year-old cat at 24 "human years." and add four years for every one thereafter, making a 4-year-old cat the equivalent of a 32-year-old person. That makes a 9-year-old cat about 52 in human terms, and 16-year-old cat about 80.

17 April 2014

How to let your friends know that you're coming to see their show

Gayle and I will be there to applaud for you guys on Friday.  We'll sit in the front row so that you don't miss us. 

And we'll wave at you every so often so you can remember where we're sitting.  

Try not to suck.



19 March 2014


I once asked my Mom why she didn't like raisins very much and she said that she had a cookie once that she thought was chocolate chip and it was really oatmeal raisin.  And that she has never forgiven those raisins.

So it's really a pity that I can't show this to her.

raisins and trust issues

13 February 2014

Ann's daughter, part 2

I am still my mother's daughter.  If looking pretty much like photocopy of her doesn't make that case, then there's always how I spent today.

We got about 12 inches of snow last night, so ...

I got up this morning on time,
had breakfast,
checked on-line to see if Ride-On* was running (no),
shoveled out my car,
tried to sell the kid near me who was helping his Dad on the moral imperative of cleaning off the top of the car (with illustrative anecdote), and
went back upstairs and changed into dry pants.

Then I made real hot chocolate with milk, **
enjoyed it while listening to public radio,
put on coat, scarf, hat, and gloves, and
walked to work.***

Pretty much every single item on that list comes right out of the Ann Snow Day Handbook.  One time, when Sara and I were kids, there was a snow day on the day we had a dentist's appointment.  So instead of rescheduling, letting us sleep late, making French Toast, and playing board games, Mom rousted us out of bed before our normal get up time because Mom made 8:00 dentist appointments and, because our dead-end street didn't get plowed very often made us walk the mile and a half through the snow to our appointment. ****

I'm pretty sure that it was uphill both ways, too.  Mom had lots of hardy pioneer spirit.

She would have been so proud of me today. *****

* The county run bus system.

** Mom wasn't a fan of processed foods.  Among the things that Sara and I loved that Mom hated were Pop-Tarts, tubes of raw cookie dough, and Swiss Miss.  Once, in an effort to lure us away from the grey powder, she made us "instant cocoa" from powered milk, powdered sugar, and cocoa.  The fact that we thought that it was "good but not Swiss Miss" and "kinda weird" probably gave her a real nice warm glow inside.

*** So that I didn't lose my good parking space.  It's easier to walk a mile in this weather than it is to get over losing the space one has shoveled out.

**** It can safely be assumed that I am still outraged by this.  

***** Of course, she would also be very confused because as I remember any shoveling that she asked me or Sara to do -- or anything else that even hinted of hardy pioneer spirit -- made us complain loudly and piercingly or quietly and sullenly.  Probably me more than Sara.  She had at least some hardy pioneer spirit.  

12 February 2014


I was given a bottle of Lagavulin 16-year-old for Christmas.  I hadn't opened it yet because I've been finishing the bland-but-pleasant Concannon (Irish Whisky) that I had bought for myself, largely because I liked the name.

And often trying something new because you like the name is fine.  You might end up with something you love.  I found a wine that I love that way.*

Lagavulin not only has a cool name, but the back of the box has marketing educational text which I reproduce here, for the pronunciation help if nothing else.

And tonight I'll give it a try while I continue to read Last Call, Daniel Okrent's fascinating look at Prohibition.

*I can't actually remember the name, but I remember the label, so I'm sure there will be more of it in the house soon.  

Many believe that this is one of the oldest distillery sites in Scotland.  In 1816 local farmer and distiller John Johnston founded the first legal distillery here at Lagavulin (pronounced Laga - voolin, after the Gaelic Laggan Mhouillin, "the hollow where the mill is"). 
Today, the four onion-shaped stills at Lagavulin are neatly tucked into a whitewashed jumble of buildings by the sea on Islay's (pronounced Eye - la) rocky southern shore, guarded by the imposing ruin of Dunyvaig Castle. 
There's  nothing hurried about life on Islay or about dark, intense Lagavulin, which receives the slowest distillation of any Islay malt, then spends sixteen years in old oak casks before being bottled. 
Pungent and potent, this is the great Islay malt.  With richly peaty, deep, smoky flavours, it has an intense, long, ambrosial finish. 
Lagavulin is the majestic Islay destination on a journey around Scotland's six malt whisky making regions.  The other Classic Malts are:
Glenkinchie - Lowland
Dalwhinnie - Highland
Cragganmore - Speyside
Talisker - Island
Oban - Western Highland

See?  Now I feel like I've learned something.

11 February 2014


Whenever Mary Ann would ask me to direct for the children's theater, I'd always ask for the June slot because that's when my theater year is usually least active.  Looks like I'm not the only person who thinks that way.  From a New York Times ArtsBeat piece on Linda Lavin agreeing to be in Nicky Silver's new play Too Much Sun:

Whether Ms. Lavin would like the play was only one potential hitch. There was also the question of whether she would be busy filming episodes of the sitcom “Sean Saves the World.” Mr. Silver took a gamble on that. 
“When I was talking with Vineyard about doing the play,” Mr. Silver said, “I asked for the last slot in the season, because that would be hiatus time. It’s hard to cast plays in New York with TV going on, but that last slot is always your friend.”

10 February 2014

My people*

9 Chickweed Lane

I am German and English on my Mom's side and English and Irish on my Dad's side.  So I am one quarter German, half English, and one quarter Irish.  Nonetheless, I ascribe 90% of what I am and what I do to either my German background or my Irish background.

As I never wear socks with sandals and never would, I don't tend to attribute any of my character or behavior to being of English descent.

"9 Chickweed Lane" by Brooke McEldowney

*The Germans, not the Nazis.  Just ... thought I'd clarify that.