Bobbi and the Strays (and Me)


Today I volunteered at an animal rescue place called Bobbi and the Strays (the website could be a little more aesthetically pleasing, but all the relevant info is there). I hope to be able to go back for a few hours every week. Each time I've visited since we've moved here the place is so clean, the animals all have clean cages, fresh beds and litter boxes, fresh food and water, and toys, volunteers are out walking the dogs, and I've noticed that there are always visitors in their storefront location and animals seem to be adopted regularly.

All the volunteers were lovely and I finally met Bobbi a few weeks ago. Aside from taking in my own much-beloved furlings, I know I can't save all the strays in the world -- but maybe I can help out in some small way at this one place, one animal at a time.

I was there for four hours today and, amazingly, in that short time four animals found homes! First, a pair of nearly identical two-month-old tabby kittens went to a lovely family. They'd come from Animal Control and the volunteer who'd been fostering them actually went with her husband to pick up two more on her way home!

I didn't take any pictures myself today, but the two kittens looked a lot like this one. I love tabbies. I was so happy they got to go to a home together.

Next was a lively five-month-old long-haired chihuahua named Nikki. Bobbi made a home visit first to make sure everything was in order; Nikki loved her new adoptive parents' other dog and seemed delighted with the arrangement.

Not Nikki, but this looks a lot like Nikki.

Finally, a little poodle mix named Sam who'd stolen my heart becase the first thing I'd been asked to do as a new volunteer was to take Sam for a walk; I guess we bonded because we were both the new kids. He'd just arrived from Harlem (don't ask me how he wound up in Queens) the day before and was thin as a rail with a hind leg that stuck out at an odd angle--probably the leg had been broken and never set. It didn't slow him down any and I could barely keep up with him as he greeted everyone on the sidewalk and darted from flowerbed to lamppost to flowerbed.

This could be Sam's twin. He was super-cute.

Sam looked spiffy all freshly-bathed and I was shocked to see the veritable fleece they'd sheared off of him the night before. He loved all the other dogs and all the people that came in during the day. He only showed fear when I tried to put him in his crate for dinner, which set him to shaking and such sad whining that it nearly broke my heart. I relented and let him out to eat.

Shortly after his dinner Sam was destined to leave to make his forever home with someone who had recently lost his dog of 18 years. It was so touching and I'm so happy for little Sam. He'll make such a lovely companion. We had a fond farewell and he eagerly left with Bobbi's friend, who was to deliver him to his new life.

It was a good day.


Marton (Chinese for 'bathroom') Humor--er, Restaurant

I won't even try to describe this toilet-themed restaurant. It's in Taiwan. With theme restaurants being all the rage, do you think New York is ready for such an eatery? Who knows--it could be the next big thing.

Really gives me a craving for a cat box cake...


There Be Knitting and Bears and Cats

Knitty Bits

Leftover sock yarn became some beanies. Why are these dark colors so hard to photograph? I probably need to go outside into natural light. Well, anyway...

This one incorporates Fleece Artist merino, Mountain Colors Bearfoot wool/mohair/nylon, and Filatura di Crosa's Millefili Fine 100% cotton. (You may recognize the first and the last from my cami, which I've been wearing a lot lately.)

I liked the leftover-bits-beanie so much I decided to make another. This one has odder yarns in it, including more of the Millefili cotton, two different KPPPM colorways, some mauve bamboo, a bit of Handmaiden Sea Silk, some Lorna's Laces, a fair amount of unidentified black/white cotton, and merino/tencel from Yarn Lust.

This work-in-progress is a child-size chenille hat. I've discovered you can knit while standing at the bus stop.

I decided to try knitting one of those Recycled-Plastic-Bag Carry-Alls, and here's one finished side. I was afraid that since I didn't have any brightly-colored bags it would look blah, but I kind of like it with the white sacks. Also, I thought cutting up the bags would be a huge pain, but a single bag knit into a section about 12 x 3 inches (31 x 8 cm) so it only took six bags to make a side.

It was easy to knit with the plastic strips, too, and I like the strange texture of them. I haven't finished the tote yet, but I'll keep you posted.

A Bear

This handsome bear is a new arrival at our house. My grandmother made him a few years back in a bear-making class. His name is Joey.

Now that Grandma is gone, we've been asked to give Joey a home. So far he's adjusting fairly well, although he says he misses Pennsylvania soft pretzels and the city is a little noisier than what he's used to.

Two Cats

Mr. O'Kitten painted this portait of Emma and Grey Cat. It's hanging over my desk and I really like it. He completely captured both of their expressions and personalities so well, and on days when I particularly miss Grey this painting is a beautiful memorial. Emma, of course, remains completely indifferent to being immortalized on canvas.


Tee Time

Kittens and skulls. Two of my favorite things. How can you go wrong with this shirt? It also comes in grey. If you want to get your local Obsidian Kitten one (*winkwink*), medium or large would be good.

I also really need one of these. I'd wear this style in a small, unless Franklin starts making black ones in my size. So I can't wear it to work--so what? His story about the bizarre comment that led to the phrase "I learned to knit in prison" made me laugh so hard that coffee came out of my nose.

These girls wear their own all-natural furry tees. And if they learned to knit in prison, they're not telling.


The Magic of Technology, Part II

Morgan: Me? Oh, no, I didn't put anything in the microwave.

Morgan [to self]: Oh, come on. They didn't ask if I put anyone in the microwave...

Voice [offstage]: Hey, has anybody seen Isis lately?

I Survived the Cyclone (Coney Island, Part III)

I love rollercoasters, and didn't ride the world-famous Cyclone the day we went to the Mermaid Parade. So yesterday we headed back out to Coney Island and I braved the Cyclone.

Mr. O'Kitten had ridden this monster of a ride once before, incurred some abrasions and proclaimed it "the scariest ride [he'd] ever been on," refusing to do it again. So I was on my own, while he documented the adventure on film.

We got there early and I was on the second train of the day. I actually got to sit in the second row! This didn't afford me the front row view of the wooden track, which apparently you can see straight through, but it was totally exhilarating and I was giggling and rubber-kneed and giddy for about a half hour after the ride.
In other words, it was fantastic.

Built in 1927, the Cyclone has this amazing wooden track which rocks and rattles and makes all these incredible creaky and totally terrifying noises. Fittingly, at the start of the ride, the operator pulls a huge, wooden, waist-high red lever that looks like it should open up some comic-book villain's trap-door--and off you go.

Despite (or perhaps because of) its age, the Cyclone is a whopping 2,640 ft (800 m) long, offering a nearly two-minute thrill ride. With a maximum height of 85 ft (26 m), it propels you up to 60 mph (97 km/h)!

Here it is in 1949. Now the Cyclone is a NYC Historic Landmark and has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Some Cyclone stats:

Year operation began: 1927
Designed By: Vernan Keenan
Built by: Harry C. Baker
Initial Investment: $175,000
Type of Ride: Compact wood twister
2008 Price to Ride: $8 ($5 to ride again)

Ground dimensions: 75 feet by 500 feet (23 m x 152 m)
Height: 85 feet (26 m)
Length of first drop: 85 feet (26 m) at a 60 degree angle
Track length: 2,640 feet (800 m)
Maximum speed: 60 mph (97 km/h)

Number of 180 degree turns: 6
Number of drops: 12
Changes in direction: 16
Number of track crossovers: 18
Number of elevation changes: 27

Here's me. Okay, so you can't tell it's me, but it's me, in the front car at the top of the hill. Photo courtesey of Mr. O'Kitten.

Ride the Cyclone yourself in this YouTube video. Imagine you're me sitting behind the guy with the camera, with the folks behind you intoning "I don't wanna die...I don't wanna die..."

"Hold on to your car keys, hats and wigs..."

On the Boardwalk

After the Cyclone, we went to the beach. Mr. O'Kitten did a little swimming (his verdict: warm water good, no waves bad) and then we hit the boardwalk.

My fascination with signs is not limited to the subway, and the boardwalk is rife with great signage.

You may remember that I was very fond of the Astroland burger guy with his big retro rocket.

Yesterday he was serving up a seagull on top of his burger...

...and the clams at his bar were really yukking it up.

More clams were out on the town at the Gyro Corner...

...where I gather Joey is a regular.

I don't know what mozzarepa is, but this sign almost makes it sound good.

Around and About Coney

'Faber's Fascination' strikes me as a great name for something.

Yes, of course we had Nathan's again.

Coming soon...actual knitting content!


Coney Island, Part 2

Nathan's Famous Franks

We began our adventure at Coney Island here at Nathan's Famous Frankfurters.

It doesn't look all that different than it did in this 1953 postcard.

Who waits in line for 45 minutes for a hot dog? We did...

...and it was totally worth it.


Coney Island still has its famous boardwalk and amusement park, Astroland.

I really like the Astroguy with his big rocket.

Of course The Cyclone, built in 1927, remains a major attraction. I love rollercoasters and haven't ridden it yet, but plan to before the summer is over.

This is The Wonder Wheel. I've never seen a ferris wheel like it--the cars roll back and forth from the center to the edge on curvy tracks. I love scary rides, but this looks terrifying.

Speaking of scary rides, here's Mr. O'Kitten in front of The Ghost Hole. I made him stand there because he hates haunted houses.

And the Beach

Obviously, the beach at Coney Island isn't as crowded as it used to be.