23 Oct

Best cat pics EVER!

This page is a collection of funny cat pics. Not just funny pics, but funny captions as well, most of them riffing on Internet in-jokes like the “I’m in ur base, killing ur d00ds” meme. I am a sucker for this sort of thing. I’d seen some of these pics before, but not all, and when they’re all together in one place it leads to much hilarity.

15 Oct

The salwar kameez bug

Photo of a dress shop in Shimla, India,
by Liz Highleyman.

A few years ago I was thrift shopping on the outskirts of Vancouver, BC, when I saw a rack full of stunning outfits in bright colors with gorgeous embroidery and beading. It was lust at first sight. I wanted them so much, but they were $25 Cdn each, and I honestly didn’t know where I would wear them, so I left them there. And immediately regretted it. I knew they were some sort of Indian clothing, but didn’t really know much more about them.

Then, a couple of years later, I saw a post by Teresa on the Making Light blog, in which she discussed ordering custom-made garments directly from India and Pakistan, via eBay sellers. Specifically, she ordered salwar kameez — an outfit made of a long tunic (kameez), loose baggy pants (salwar), and a long scarf (dupatta). Salwar kameez are popular in India and Pakistan, among other places. They are beautiful on just about any figure type. And salwar kameez, as it turned out, were the suits I saw at the Vancouver thrift store.

So after reading Teresa’s post I thought for a long time about buying a salwar kameez. I kept putting it off, though, because $35 or so seemed like a lot of money for something I wasn’t sure I’d ever wear.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was at Goodwill with a friend, when what should I see but… a salwar kameez. It wasn’t as pretty as the amazing ones I had seen in Vancouver — it was plain spring green cotton with some silver embroidery — but it was pretty. It was marked $7.00 for the whole suit, including a dupatta, but it was also a blue tag, which meant 50% off. $3.50 for a salwar suit! There was no question; I had to buy it. So I did.

At home I wondered how to wear it properly with the dupatta. So I turned to Google, and found this How to Wear a Dupatta web page. I noticed that the model wasn’t Indian — she looks more Irish than anything! This encouraged me a bit, because now that I had the salwar kameez, I wasn’t sure if I, as a non-Indian pale-skinned Northern European type, could wear the outfit without offending someone.

An assortment of kameez fabric

Fabric from my latest purchases

And though I haven’t yet had the nerve to wear one in public — soon, I promise — I have managed to pick up several more of them already, just by browsing eBay and local thrift stores. Today I got three gorgeous kameez for next to nothing at Value Village (see the photo to the left, which shows the fabric) — one of them was the kameez alone (the salwar was apparently with it when it got to VV but gone by the time I found it on the rack), one was a kameez and salwar with no dupatta, and one was the full outfit. The fabric — though wrinkly for the moment — is stunning. The one on the right is peacock blue silk with gold embroidery and beading: very dressy.

So now I just have to wear them. Which is the hard part, because I don’t dress up much, and I will feel very self-conscious. I’m not sure when I will wear them. But I’ve definitely got the bug for these outfits. They are so flattering and pretty — why aren’t they more commonly worn in the West?

(Liz Highleyman’s photo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License. Thanks, Liz!)

10 Jun

Tiger and the Rat

Photo by litlnemo.

Sorry for the condition of this photo. It was taken in a dimly lit room, with a bad camera, and damaged film. I did the best I could to enhance it. I just found the photo while cleaning house; it was taken in spring 1996.

Anyway. I have told some of you the story of Tiger and the Rat before. This was in our old place in Wallingford, a rental with a rodent problem. Right after Tiger moved in with us, I walked into the kitchen and saw a big RAT in the middle of the floor. The rat froze. I froze. Then I said “here, kitty kitty kitty…”

Tiger wandered nonchalantly into the room, then saw the rat and — ZING! both cat and rat disappeared into the other room. I walked into the living room, calling the cat, and Tiger came out from the bedroom… proudly bearing her rat trophy. Then she dropped it on the floor at my feet and I took this picture.

(Then I pushed the rat outside with a broom, disappointing Tiger greatly.)

Tiger was a little 7 pound cat and this was a pretty big rat, though of course Tiger was still way bigger.

Our rat problem went away. DO NOT MESS WITH THE TIGER.

09 May

Refrigerator poetry: love and computers

10 years ago when we bought our house, we put a set of fridge poetry magnets on the fridge, with the theme “computers.” Then I got another set with the theme “romance.” The combination was, um, odd. At parties people stood by the fridge and made phrases describing their devotion to Macs (“Macintosh is always a delight”) and dislike of Windows (“ly ing Microsoft sucks & is inferior”), or just random phrases like the ones pictured here.

After almost 10 years, though, I thought it was finally time to clean off the fridge. So the poetry magnets are gone. But, obviously, not forgotten.

25 Apr

Tiger, 1986-2006

We lost our kitty, Tiger, today. (I posted about her 20th birthday a few months ago.) Tiger came to us almost exactly 10 years ago, when her original owners didn’t want her any more (how this could be, I have no idea). She has been the best cat one could ever imagine. Jason and I miss her so much. (The photo on the left is Tiger looking out the window on Sunday, taken from outside, hence the reflections on the glass.)

(By the way, she was an indoor cat — the outdoor pics were taken this weekend when we let her out in the warm sun as a special treat. It really did seem to make her happy and give her an extra bit of energy for a while.)

More Tiger photos:

Tiger wants tunaA tiger in the jungle
Tiger lumpTime to go back inside
15 Feb

The smoky British pub is about to be history

Last year Jason got to go to Germany, England, and Portugal for a work trip, and I had to stay home. He had a good time, and especially enjoyed London, promising that the two of us would go there soon. But, he said, there would be a problem for me — smoke everywhere, and especially in the pubs. I have asthma that is triggered by cigarette smoke, so I can’t be around smoke at all. There are some smoke-free pubs in London, but most of them aren’t smoke-free.

Well, that’s about to change. Like Washington State, England is about to have a complete ban on smoking in indoor public places. The rest of Great Britain will soon have this as well, and Ireland already has one, so we will be able to enjoy the British Isles more safely.

04 Jan

LibraryThing is addictive

I’ve been meaning to post about LibraryThing since I joined back in September. You might have noticed the bit in the sidebar here that says “Potential Reading” and shows 5 random books from my library — that’s a LibraryThing feature.

LibraryThing is really oddly addictive. I mean, it’s just a database of one’s books, right? And I already owned Bookpedia — which is really a nice program — to catalog my books, though I never managed to get very far. What is it about LibraryThing that keeps me adding books? (Slowly, yes, but surely.)

Probably it is the social aspect, though it’s not social in the sense of live conversation or anything like that. (Which is fine with me, as an introvert.) I can see who has a library most like mine (I realized one of my friends was there because her library matched mine so well), and who owns the books that I own. I can read other people’s comments, and post messages on their profile pages. There are RSS feeds for each user’s catalog, their reviews, books with specific tags — just an amazing number of potential RSS feeds to follow. Additionally, there is the competitive aspect — I want to post more books in certain categories than others have. I don’t think I can ever catch up with the user called dean, who has 7,998 books online, but I’m hoping someday I can catch up with languagehat’s books tagged “language”, at least. (He has 643 and I have 119. I’m fourth among people using that tag.)

Every couple of days I bring a handful of books down from the bookshelves upstairs and enter them into LT. At this rate, it’s going to take a while to get all of them posted, but it’s fun.

The only feature missing that I cared about using in Bookpedia (as far as I know — the site’s creator adds new features so quickly it’s hard to keep up!) is that Bookpedia allowed me to scan books’ ISBN bar codes with a Cue Cat scanner (unmodded, even), making book entry really fast. On LibraryThing, I have to type each one in if I want to base a search on the ISBN. But so far that’s not bothering me.

02 Jan

Happy Birthday, Tiger!

In early Spring 1996, Jason and I adopted a tiny cat named Tiger whose owners could no longer care for her. They told us she was 10 years old. She was a “stumpy” Manx cat who would follow us around like a puppy dog, demanding attention and cuddles at all times.

Since we didn’t know her actual birthday, we’ve considered New Year’s Day her birthday. (Yes, I know, I’m posting this one day late. I’m sure she won’t mind.) So this year, Tiger has reached the advanced age of 20!

Manx cats supposedly stay kittenish for a long time, and live to a ripe old age, so it’s not unusual for a cat like Tiger to live to 20 and older. She’s an indoor-only cat, so she isn’t exposed to much danger (despite the best efforts of our other, younger, cat Maggie), and we spoil her like crazy. Now that she is older, she spends a lot more time sleeping, and she is having more trouble with her co-ordination (when she tries to jump from the coffee table to the couch… sometimes she misses). But she still likes to play sometimes and will run around the house when she’s in the mood for it.

In this picture Tiger has found one of her favorite sleeping spots: a basket of nice warm folded laundry.

We also don’t know Maggie’s birthday, since she was adopted from the animal shelter. She is 9 years old.

08 Dec

On a lighter note

Today is the first day of the smoking ban in Washington state. Smokers on the Stranger forums were threatening to ignore the law. I hope people really don’t do that. I am looking forward to seeing live music in a club for the first time in several years. It is going to be so cool to be able to do that again! I have missed it a lot. Any good shows coming up?

03 Nov

Cockroaches in places cockroaches should never be

Simultaneously the funniest and the most disgusting thing I’ve read today (but completely work-safe!): a guy on AskMetafilter asking for advice dealing with the cockroach stuck inside his microwave LCD screen. Ugh. I am so glad I live in Seattle where roaches are very, very rare. (Unless you live at 4541 Brooklyn Avenue NE in the U District, which was a terribly infested building back in 1985 when I moved in. And moved out two months later. But that is another story.) The latest photo shows the roaches are multiplying! There are probably hundreds of them in there, waiting to swarm out like Creepshow!

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