Laura: Raining Cats and Dogs
The expression “raining cats and dogs” is commonly known to mean that it is raining extremely hard. It’s quite a popular expression – in fact, there’s even a kid’s joke about it:
— It’s raining cats and dogs!
—I know. I just stepped in a poodle.
As with most phrases, this one has several different origins, two of which are the most often cited. The first explanation claims roots in Norse mythology, where cats symbolized heavy rains and dogs were associated with Odin, the god of storms. The second version originated in 16th century England, where houses had thatched roofs and served as one of the few places where animals hid to get warm. Sometimes, when it would start to rain heavily, roofs would get slippery, and cats and dogs would fall off. Thus, if someone were looking, it would appear that it was raining cats and dogs. There is even an illustration in the previously-unheard-of-by-me- but-now-I-must-read children’s book: Raining Cats and Dogs: A Collection of Irresistible Idioms and Illustrations to Tickle the Funny Bones of Young People by Will Moses.
Activity – Song Silliness
Barbara: I enjoy almost every genre of music and I always listen to it in the car. The other day I heard a song “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen” on a country music channel and thought wouldn’t it be fun to listen to a lyric and in my day- to -day life make that lyric happen? (Those of you who know me would not think that was odd).
So that is what I set out to do. And of course, the first one I chose was the chorus from the song above which is “Sittin here, drinkin beer, talkin God, Amen.” While keeping my intent a secret from Laura, I went with her to have pizza and suggested we have a beer because it goes really well with pizza. Then I started talking about the book I just read, “Stranger in a Lifeboat” by Mitch Albom which led to a discussion of what we would do if someone claiming to be God actually showed up. And voila! There we were, sitting here, drinking beer and talking God, Amen! It really tickled my funny bone and I’m going to see if I can repeat the experience with more songs.
Movie or Series Theme: Rwanda
Laura: Black Earth Rising is a political thriller about the modern repercussions of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, where up to 1 million members of the Tutsi community were killed by Hutu extremists. Produced as an eight-episode limited series on Netflix, it focuses on Kate (Michaela Cole), a genocide survivor who was adopted as a young child by an international lawyer. Kate now works as a legal investigator with her mother and a lead prosecutor played by John Goodman, and it is Kate’s quest to discover everything she can about her past, no matter the emotional cost. The series is a tough show to watch, as it deals with atrocities, the brutal nature of political arrangements, raw emotions and complex relationships. Although this series was perhaps a bit too melodramatic at times, it deals with a subject that is all too often overlooked and, therefore, understood by far too few. For that reason alone, I’m thankful I watched it, although Michaela Cole’s and John Goodman’s performances are definitely worthy of attention as well.