Archive for August, 2014

A coupla things.

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

1. If I have a low-resolution image but I still want to use it and I want it to look good, I would maybe do this because this is rad:

http://www.photoshoptutorials.ws/photoshop-tutorials/special-effects/quick-tip-create-triangle-pixelation-effect-photoshop/

 

2. Speaking of design, someone okayed a photo of a man diving into a pool for a New York fitness club ad that was on one side of my Facebook screen. Aside from the fact of why this was a targeted ad for me, it was so small and grainy that I thought it was a portrait of Doctor Finkenstein from Nightmare Before Christmas mutating in a pool. Here is the ad:

creepy-ad

And here’s who I see every time I see it.

1009418677a2032735007b35690522l Nightmare_Before_Christmas_Dr_F

 

3. In addition, Facebook is sending me this over and over again and I find it off-putting.

dumb-shirt

What? What Rothman thing wouldn’t you understand? Adult-onset diabetes? An inability to whisper? I hate this shirt.

I went to a cat fashion show. Yes, you heard me correctly.

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Every so often I would see that there had been a cat fashion show in New York where cats were in costumes and looked peeved. Despite my love of kitties I had little or no interest in seeing felines dressed in festive ensembles traipsing down a runway. However, recently I “liked” the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Facebook feed and therefore I see their posts. One of their posts was this:

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Now this is different. My entry fee goes to support beasties in need, I get to go inside the Algonquin Hotel, a national treasure of a building, AND I get to see haute couture kittehs? Well, now I’m totally in. I bought myself a ticket and when I told The Moomins I was going she said, “You got me a ticket too, right?” I was like, “No, do you want to go?” and she was all, “HELL YES I want to go” so off we went. Shortly after we got to the hotel we were greeted by Matilda, the house cat of the Algonquin.

http://www.algonquinhotel.com/algonquin-cat

People went CRAZY. They all ran up to her, begging her to face this way, banging the concierge phone on the counter to get her attention. Here’s a shocker: she would have none of it.

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I love how in this picture where The Moomins is talking to her, Matilda looks all, “Do I know you?”

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There were a ton of professional photographers there. I just brought my cellphone so all my pictures look like they were taken with a potato. If any of the pictures I show here look good it’s because they were taken by someone with a real camera and I wrote their names in the corners so they would get credit.

The cat show was upstairs and didn’t start for another fifteen or twenty minutes so in the meantime The Moomins and I wandered around the ground floor. Set up were gift bags for the raffle, various foodstuffs like crudites and fancy cheeses and an enormous cake with (I’m sad to say, extremely poor) renditions of Matilda and Tara, the cat that rescued that little boy a few months ago. The LEDs in the base were a nice touch, though.

cat-show-cake

We eventually worked our way upstairs to the actual fashion show. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe a runway or something. It turned out to be various cats perched on pillows wearing costumes inspired by Broadway shows. Their emotions ranged from, “Eh, it could be worse” to “This is WAAAAAAY too many people” to “Please, if you have any compassion in your heart kill me now and end this living nightmare.” First you encountered Vito who was sleeping for most of the time he was on display. He was the chillest cat ever.

cat-show-cat

Behind him was a cat dressed as the lead from Legally Blonde. The owner informed me that this was totally appropriate because this cat was raised by a chihuahua who adopted him as a kitten when she lost all her pups (Elle, the main character of Legally Blonde has her chihuahua with her all the time). He was also calm, but I think he would have preferred to have slightly less people flashing lightbulbs in his face.

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There was the Persian representing Wicked.

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There was a black cat who was Roxy Hart from Chicago and he wanted to leave so badly his owner had to keep her hand under the skirt area to keep the little guy from fleeing.

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Off to the side was the Rock of Ages cats, Tigger and Cody:

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And off in the far corner was two cats representing… something with turquoise and argyle. One was a Savannah and he was sleeping and the other was a wee kitten with yellow eyes and he was full of the frisky.

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In the library was Tara, the cat that rescued the little boy from the attacking dog. This cat. As I entered the room Tara stalked across the carpet and hid under the tablecloth.

tara tara-hero

But he best part for me, without a doubt, was when a woman showed up late all flustered and I realized she was wearing two cats, one on her shoulder and one in a baby sling.

cat-show-ancients1

I have a weak spot for gray cats so I immediately fell in love with sling-cat whose name, I found out later, is R2D2 because of the wee beeping noises he makes. In addition both these cats are ancient and really shouldn’t have to go through this stupid and humiliating endeavor. Wearing costumes is a young kitty’s game. These elderly fellas should be playing shuffleboard in Florida. But here they were and it was about to get real rough for them.

cat-show-ancients2

R2D2 was then dressed as The Phantom of the Opera and Orange Cat Who’s Name I Never Caught was the Phantom’s Angel of Music. Orange Cat seemed moderately tolerant of this but R2D2 immediately went into some kind of sadness trance and stared at, nay, through, the carpet for the next hour. I think he was willing himself to die. People petted him, cameras went off in his face, he didn’t care. He was convincing the Grim Reaper to drop on by and help him shuffle off this mortal coil. I’m a bad person because I may or may not have laughed until tears rolled down my face at the utter pitifulness of R2D2. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.

phantom1 phantom2 3-algonquin-cat-fashion-show-2014-phantom_650 10525784_10154415923300321_5495806801567691759_n

OH GOD NOT THE MASK HASN’T HE SUFFERED ENOUGH

r2d2

I didn’t purchase any raffle tickets so The Moomins and I split after we petted all the cats that would let us and munched some cheese. It was a nice experience and I would go again to give funds to a worthy cause but once you’ve seen a bunch of cats in costumes you’re kind of good with that for a long time.

 

The kitchen re-model, part WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING this is why people hire a contractor.

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Ugh, the countertop. I’ve been working on my countertop for like three months now. Painting, sanding, trying to get it perfect, etc. A week ago Cricket and I were going to pour the resin. We did everything right. We taped up plastic and put barriers on the edges to prevent overflow and I cleaned all the surfaces of debris, everything was going great.

Until.

I realized that I need some small cups filled with resin to get in between the tiles in the back. I couldn’t use the big gallon bucket we had mixed up the resin in, it was too big and clumsy and the stuff would splash. So Cricket gets the bright idea for me to put three cups down on the area of the countertop we’re going to pour next so when he puts the resin in the little cups if he overflows it won’t be a problem. So I lay the cups down and when I pick them up THE ENTIRE COUNTERTOP COMES UP WITH THEM. The resin on the bottoms of the cups pulled up all the paint, the spackle, everything down to the plywood. I had an epic meltdown like a overtired two-year-old in the supermarket. I screamed, I cried, I called Cricket a six-foot-three bag of garbage, it was not a good time. I had to take some pills and lay down for a while, I got myself all riled up. If I had been a little kid I would have puked. It was a big bummer.

After I pulled myself into some semblance of togetherness (it took about an hour), I realized that I would pour the resin on the parts of the countertop that did not look like it had been hit by a grenade, repair the damaged area, do a separate pour and then sand and polish the seam so it looked cohesive. This is not what I was hoping for. I was hoping to get a plumber in this week to hook up my sink and dishwasher, but you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Here’s what the affected area looked like after I spackled what looked like a big open plywood wound.

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I sanded and fussed and painted carefully and got it to look pretty perfect. Then I prepped it and did the second pour. Everything went fine except now there is a 1/8″ lip of difference between the two pours.

countertop3 countertop4

Sigh. I would leave it with the seam but it will gather dirt and nothing will lay level on it so I decided to bite down and sand the countertop into some state of flatness. I’m using about seven different grades of sandpaper from 60 to 2000. (Did you know they make 2000 grit sandpaper? What is that, a piece of terrycloth towel? Does it have any scrape to it at all? We shall find out.) After that I’m borrowing Cricket’s oscillating multi-tool and polishing the afflicted areas to (hopefully) its original shiny patina. Pray for me. I will need it.

Saw two shows, read a book.

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

1. Shows! I saw Breaking the Code and Violet. I went to the Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts to see Breaking the Code. It’s the story of Alan Turing, the British genius who broke the German enigma code during WWII and pretty much invented the computer as we know it. That’s all I knew when I bought the ticket. Interestingly enough, that’s not really what the show was about. You would think that would be enough plot, but there’s so much more to this man’s life. Turing was a homosexual when it was illegal to be one. When he went to the police after he was robbed Turing let it slip that the man who robbed him had slept with him the night before. Turing was accused of “gross indecency” even though the dalliance happened between two consenting adults behind closed doors (this makes me SO ANGEEE) and the court gave Turing one year of probation and estrogen to render him impotent. It also made him grow breasts. The whole thing is messed up. At 41 Turing was found dead from cyanide poisoning. It is assumed that it was suicide, but there is another theory, From Wikipedia:

Philosophy professor Jack Copeland has questioned various aspects of the coroner’s historical verdict, suggesting the alternative explanation of the accidental inhalation of cyanide fumes from an apparatus for gold electroplating spoons, using potassium cyanide to dissolve the gold, which Turing had set up in his tiny spare room.

Breaking the Code was really engrossing. I wouldn’t call it “fun” but it was definitely informative.

The other show I saw was Violet. I had no interest in checking it out until I saw their performance at the Tony Awards. I am a sucker for good gospel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kVaDl1MsYs

Violet, when she was about thirteen, was whacked in the face with an axe blade while chopping wood and her father was scared she was going to bleed out from the wound so he went to the nearest place and had it stitched up quickly and not very well, so she has a big ole lumpy scar across her nose-bridge and cheek, not unlike Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones.

Tyrion-Lannister

(Interesting directing choice: the actress doesn’t have anything on her face. You have to imagine it. It makes the third act better.) Violet is about this young woman’s journey via Greyhound bus to a faith healer who she is convinced will fix her scar and make her beautiful. It takes place in the 1960s so there’s some race stuff in there as well. It’s a good show with good music, but the talent of the stars is what makes it great. I would recommend Violet except it’s closing in four days, so chances are you will not have a chance to check it out. If by some strange fluke of nature you are in the city before August 10th and you are going to see a Broadway show, this is a good one to see.

2. Book! I read Gone Girl and THAT BOOK CAN SUCK IT. It is the worst because it started so well! I loved the writing at the beginning, it was engrossing and the adjectives were well-chosen, I was hooked. I stayed up until 1:30 on a work-night because I couldn’t put it down. So thrilling! So many twists and turns! And then… garbagepants. It goes right off the edge of anything reasonable and straight into Housewives-of-New-Jersey-throwing-wine-in-each-other’s-faces level stupidity. And the ending BLOWS. It just ends. Crappily. You hate every single character and your face is in a permanent grimace for two days after. I hear they’re making it into a movie. A MOVIE I WILL NOT BE SEEING.

Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOBr8lOTZ6I

Addendum 8/12/14: I forgot to mention that one of the people starring in Violet is the silent character Norma on Orange is the New Black, Annie Golden. She plays a bunch of different people in the show Violet and while I was waiting outside for the will-call counter to open, who should show up but Lea Delaria, another actress from Orange is the New Black! Lea plays Big Boo. People were asking her for photos and telling her how much they loved her and I didn’t want to bother her, but it was so nice to see fellow actors supporting each other in different performance mediums.

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