Best Contest Idea Ever: The Alien and The Kitty

My best-contest-ever award goes to Nicole Peterson’s “The Alien and the Kitty” contest, being held now in memeory of her cat. The contest is titled "Nepenthe," the one who chases away sorrow. Contest entries will be artworks including her cat and the creature from Alien interacting to illustrate the theme. Such a cool idea! Contest deadline is October 31.

Pretty cool prizes, too. Contest rules and details here.

Nicole's beautiful cat.


And We're Walkin...

photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30108677@N08/3557515261/

New York is a pedestrian city, and one of my favorite things about living here is not owning a car.

A month ago I got a pedometer. My grandfather used to have one, and I was fascinated that it counted his steps every day. His wasn't digital, but was simply a counter that ticked off every time he took a step. He was a very active man, and since he knew the length of his stride, he could tell you the number of miles he walked in a day.

I read that ideally one would walk 10,000 steps in a day, which is close to 5 miles for the average person. Over the past 30 days I've averaged 6700 steps a day, or about 3.2 miles (a little over 5 km) -- without really trying (although I admit the pedometer has inspired me to walk a bit more than I normally would). Pretty amazing.

I love New York.



The Last Hurrah of Summer

Seems to be the Dog Days here in Queens--it felt like autumn last week and now it's in the 90s (32+ C) again. Ah well, my favorite season of the year will be here soon enough.

I'm working at Bobbi and the Strays two days a week now and it's the most satisfying job I've ever had. (Here are a few examples of things to which I can compare grantwriting for an animal rescue, if you're curious.)

It's keeping me busy, so there hasn't been much blogging. And if I hadn't already grown slothful about my blog, along came Facebook. Now if I have so much as a half-formed thought or a funny link, I just slap it into Facebook and that's it. No more blogging necessary. Facebook, drive-thru fast food windows, and remote controls are going to destroy our civilization, I tell you.

But can you eat it?

And now for today's link of total awesomeness (thanks to Moderncat, of course):

Check out her blog...tons of funny and her illustrations are absolutely terrific. And hey, maybe you'll want to bring something to the block party while you're at it!


The Bacon Party

Over apple-wrapped dates at a tapas restaurant, an idea was born, and enthusiasm for it grew rapidly. A bacon-themed party...yes! It was brilliant! We would collectively clog our arteries and gain untold pounds all in the same evening. Word spread rapidly and there was talk of bacon donuts, bacon ice cream, and bacon bikinis.

In the end no one wore a bacon bikini, and Apple Pie with Cheddar-Bacon Crumble was the dessert of choice although, in all fairnesss, two fearless guests did make Bacon Ice Cream, it just failed to reach the desired consistency: it was described as "swampy" and unfit for public consumption. (Disappointing, that.)

The cheddary, bacony crumble.

The finished pie. (Can I just tell you how excited I am that Mr. O'Kitten is baking again?)

Preparing pigs-in-blankets with bacon inside.

I made macaroni and cheese cassarole with bacon and scallions. Mac and cheese is one of only two things I can cook. (The other is spaghetti carbonara which, incidentally, also has bacon in it.)

Baked maple syrup-glazed bacon-wrapped apples. Some were cayenne peppered. Amazing.

The Bacon Explosion

A few months ago we spotted The Bacon Explosion online somewhere. I was skeptical, but Mr. O'Kitten was determined to make it, and the Bacon Party was the perfect occasion. He got the gorgeous thick-cut bacon (shown above) and the sausage (below) from Faicco's Italian Specialties (known around here as "The Pork Store") in the West Village.

The Bacon Explosion involves weaving bacon into a mat, adding some dry rub, cooking the bacon, layering on sausage and barbeque sauce, rolling the whole thing up and adding more seasoning, then grilling or, as in our case, baking the whole thing.

The Bacon Explosion, ready to go into the oven.

Just out of the oven.

Slicing the Explosion.

I really didn't have any idea how extraordinary The Bacon Explosion would taste. Mmmm...

We didn't get pictures of all of the food, so here for your perusal is the complete menu:

Potato Skins with Cheddar and Bacon
Baked Maple Syrup-Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Apples, Dusted with Cayenne Pepper
Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Almonds
Bacon Cheddar Apple Quiche
Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Scallions
Pigs in Blankets with Bacon
Bacon Explosion with Biscuits
Green Salad
Apple Pie with Cheddar-Bacon Crumble
Assortment of sherbert, sorbet and ice cream

For you knitters, I even knit a piece of bacon.

Emma made some new friends.

And fortunately, we didn't need one of these.

To everyone's disappointment, we couldn't find this. Maybe next time...



Not Your Mother's Urban Sombrero

Mr. O'Kitten is a big fan of J. Peterman--both the J. Peterman-in-real-life catalogue and J. Peterman-as-Elaine's-boss on Seinfeld. I post this for him because it is highly amusing:

"...There's a formula to the Peterman descriptions, and it goes like this: Drop the name of a Noted Person (Hitchcock, Hepburn, Churchill). Drop the name of a romanticized obscure-ish place. (Cannes, Kyoto, Seychelles). Mention an occupation in the arts or sciences (filmmaking; entomology). Be specific when it comes to colors (pink is dusty rose; green is celery; off-white is cream). And lastly: The last digit of prices can NEVER be a five or a zero."

View the gallery for scores assigned to ten amazing Peterman selections with their illustrations and absolutely astonishing descriptions. If you thought J. Peterman only existed on Seinfeld, you're in for a treat. If you've never actually looked at the J. Peterman catalogue...well, hold onto your Urban Sombrero.



This makes me think of the extraordinary potential one of my dear Severina's dirigibles, cat-shaped or otherwise.

If you make one quick-like (by next Tuesday) you can winwinwin...

On ice.


Oh Joy


Set Your Watch and Head for the Moon Base

Salvatore Dali, The Persistence of Memory, 1931

"The powerful earthquake that shook Chile on Saturday probably shifted the Earth's axis and made days slightly shorter, a NASA scientist said.

"Richard Gross, a research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, calculated that the planet's axis would have shifted by eight centimeters during the 8.8 magnitude quake, NASA said.

"'If the planet's axis did shift by eight centimeters during the Chilean quake, days would have shortened by 1.26 microseconds, Gross calculated.'"

From Chile quake shifted axis of the Earth.

Perhaps you've heard that they've discovered water on the surface of the moon. Maybe, like me, you found this fascinating, but wondered how much water: A couple molecules? A few drops? How about: enough for a moon base? That remains to be seen, but it's definitely more than a few drops.


Bring Me My Duster

Accompanied by backing vocals that sounds eerily like Hall and Oates, we herald the return yet again of skinny jeans, ankle leggings, and (shudder) even stirrup pants.

These look eerily like something I would have squeezed
myself into twenty-some years ago. I'm just sayin'.

And again, more of the same, but these days we go without
the shoulderpads for counter-balance on the upper quadrant.

As I am no longer quite as slim as I was when I last donned acid-washed jeans with ankle zippers, I am left to wonder where that indispensible item of my 1980s wardrobe could be hiding: the long duster. A google image search of "duster jacket" turned up little that resembled this versatile garment; similarly, no photos of "corey haim lost boys" showed that young man sporting one of his many dusters from the 1987 film; only a smattering of Etsy entries seemed to have the right idea.

This is sort of it, although more fitted than what I remember.
I actually like it enough to consider ordering one.

This is more of a coat, but I like it. Looks like something from
the J. Peterman catalogue (which, incidentally, had no dusters).

Lousy photo, but the right idea. Sort of.

Fashion historians will probably note the similarity of our skinny jean/legging to the narrow pedal-pusher of the 1950s, and may wish to muse upon the historical trajectory of the duster from the American West through the 1920s to its 1980s resurgence. But I just want a nice long jacket to billow behind me as I disappear into dark alleyways. Is that too much to ask?


Undercover Berd

Undercover Bird Feeder Slows Crime In Its Tracks

Don't skip the comments section:

"I have a birdbath disguised as a prostitute on my lawn. If people slow down when they see it that's just their fault."


Happy V-Day

Happy Valentine's Day to you all. This picture has nothing to do with Valentine's Day, but it made me laugh hysterically this morning.

An acquaintance of mine has put together a wonderful resource for all animal-lovers, but especially those of us in the NYC area. The New York Companion is a free, bi-monthly, New York City-based newspaper that exclusively reports animal news and has a great website with comprehensive lists of links to pet-friendly restaurants, bars, hotels, and stores, dog runs and parks, health codes, cruelty laws, veterinarians and volunteering opportunities. It doesn't matter where you are, you can get a free online subscription and it's definitely worth checking out.

In other news, Mr. O'Kitten's Muni cat got a little recognition over at the Random Cat Project and I made a couple bibs and a hat, which Emma modelled for you before I gave them to the friend's newborn baby for whom they were intended.