Zombie response plans are essential (and 6 other snapshots of a wonderful life)

And yes, cappuccino still tastes better on barstools.

* You address an envelope to one of your oldest friends -- but you use her newly minted married name and address. Passage of time and advancing age duly noted.

* Kentucky Derby parties need Derby pie, mint juleps, and a betting crowd for optimal success. Thank you to Pioneer of the Nile for netting this blog author a whole $6.

* If you're short on horses, hold a Worm Race. Thank you to Pioneer of the Pile for a strong second-place finish out on the patio despite the offending drizzle.

* Live jazz and weird paintings and silly jokes late into the night remind you you're 25, not 45. No wonder, then, you don't feel tired when you giggle your way in the door at 3 a.m.

* Forget swine flu: Our government needs a zombie response plan. Are the borders secure?

* When irate, speak with a gypsy accent. It doesn't guarantee silver will cross your palm, but it does make you feel like you've cast an effective curse.

* Brownies are an excellent appetizer. Before breakfast.