Hangin’ With Suede

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This week I’m going to talk about my new buddy, Suede. I met this lovely little guy briefly last Summer/Fall. Suede is a Sphynx cat. He’s “hairless”, which isn’t really hairless, just more like peach fuzz. Hence his name. Here’s some more info about the breed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx_cat

Some people think hairless cats are scary…

 

(weheartit.com)

(weheartit.com)

But they are total sweetheart baby dolls.

(justacat.info)

(justacat.info)

pphotography-blog.blogspot.com

pphotography-blog.blogspot.com

(Who wouldn’t love that face?)

The come in a bunch of colors.

(biracialnakedcatlove.com)

(biracialnakedcatlove.com)

(funnycatwallpapers.com)

(funnycatwallpapers.com)

They are very playful and social. Because they don’t have a lot of fur like other cats, they’ll often wear little shirts or sweaters. Even though they might be chilly, they are little hot water bottles, and it’s fortuitous that they love to cuddle.

I came over to get the run down on the Suede before my friend left for her trip. We played a little bit.

Suede

He was working his little metal shirt. I mean, obviously he is such a…

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Stud muffin! Get it?… He’s even kind enough to pose with fans for the occasional photo.

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(I really think I’ve made some hairless cat fans this week…)

We even did a shoot together, Suede and I.

This is our Christian rock album cover.

This is our Christian rock album cover.

"That's the spot, lady..."

“That’s the spot, lady…”

"Oh darling, stop... Okay, now tell me how pretty I am."

“Oh darling, stop… Okay, now tell me how pretty I am.”

Today we had a dress up costume party.

Suede was a gentleman in a cravat.

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And he made being a “rude boy” look elegant.

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But my favorites were Chippendale Suede:

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and Punk Rawk Kitty.

"Free Pussy Riot" denim vet is my own creation. Made before they were, you know, freed and stuff.

“Free Pussy Riot” denim vet is my own creation. Made before they were, you know, freed and stuff.

And in reward for Suede’s arduous work modeling, he received little fishies and catnip toys that he went apeshit over. Pro cat lady tip: since it’s just about Easter season, you’ll probably see those cheap plastic eggs out and about. They make great catnip toys, if they have the little holes. Even the plastic shells from the quarter machines work. I also brought him a catnip mouse, in case the egg went over like a lead balloon. He had a great time with both. But I have to say, he seemed to prefer the mouse.

Not pictured in the Youtube footage, Suede would jump straight up to pounce on the mouse, and then stalk it too.

I’ll be sad to not see my little fuzzy friend for a while, but I’m sure we’ll quickly take up where we left off when we come back together. I’ll miss the little dude that wanted nothing more than to be held like a baby and purr like a little squishy jet engine.

And I think he liked me too…

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My Liebster Award Post

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liebster-award

I was nominated for the Liebster award by Charlotte over at All Things Beauty & Lifestyle (charlottebeautyandlifestyle.wordpress.com). It is an award given to blog pages with less than 200 followers as a way to help them get noticed.

So here are the rules for the nominees:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award.

2. Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.

3. Give eleven random facts about yourself–they can be anything!

4. Nominate eleven blogs that you think are deserving of the award (but they must have less than 200 followers)

5. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.

6. Give them eleven questions to answer.

These are the questions I was asked:

1. What is your favourite part about blogging?

I like coming up with something to say. I can always “have something to say”, but thinking up a coherent, erstwhile post that I feel proud of can be a challenge. I like giving other people ideas, or things to think about. I’m glad for another outlet for creativity.

2. If you could only use one make up product for the day, what would it be?

90% of the time, I don’t wear any make-up. For a while I was wearing tinted moisturizer. It really does help even out skin tone. I always say I wish someone had told me acne doesn’t end at puberty. My other go-to would be either mascara or eye liner. It really all depends on my mood. But simple mascara or eyeliner can really help draw attention to your eyes.

3. How often do you clean your make up brushes? Not often enough…

4. What is your number one beauty tip?

Have fun. Don’t be afraid of color or product. Try something new. Go nuts. And fuck the haters.

5. When you have a day off what is your favourite thing to do?

Well, at the moment, everyday is my “day off”. But I always feel my best when I’m being creative. Whether that is writing, painting my nails, or making something else. I’m pretty much a jack of all trades, and master of a few.

I try not to get sucked into a meaningless loop of Facebook games and TV, but I make no promises.

I currently have about 7 books lined up to read. 2 are on my Kindle app and 5 are staring at me from my nightstand.

  • Morrissey Autobiography
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  • Sylvia Plath The Collected Poems
  • Conceived With Malice: Literature as Revenge in the Lives and Works of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, Djuna Barnes, and Henry Miller
  • A Man Above Reproach
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • A book of short erotica stories based on the Lovecraft Mythos

6. Who is your idol?

That’s kind of difficult, because there are a lot of people I look up to and find connections with. Not so long ago, I fell in love with Henry Miller when I read Tropic of Cancer. When I was in my early 20’s, I would have told you it was Robert Anton Wilson. I still love him. If you had met me in my early teens, I would have professed my love for Warren Ellis, as I did in many a journal entry.

If you ask me artistically, I would say I’ve always felt a connection to Frida Kahlo and her surreal story-telling self portraits. But recently I’ve also been inspired by Bunny Yeager and Teeny Harris. I wish I had  been alive to be part of the Dadaist movement. But don’t we all?

7. What is your favourite quote?

“A witty saying means nothing.” – Voltaire

8. What is your favourite genre of music?

Wellllll…. That’s a tough one. I guess I’m kind of emo-alternative, and stuck in the 80’s and 90’s, with some random 70’s stuff thrown in. I’ve always loved the Monkees and Social Distortion. I can’t really classify it with an all encompassing label. But I’ve seen a lot of concerts. And I’ve seen a few bands multiple times. I’ve probably seen Social Distortion the most, followed closely by the Misfits and The Counting Crowes. I have a signed ticket from a Counting Crowes concert.

Crowes

It’s actually been bothering for a couple of days now that I used to have a guitar pick from Social Distortion that I got from their sound engineer, who I stayed friends with briefly after we met.  I really hope I didn’t throw it away in a purging of things.

9. What is your favourite movie?

I will continue to go with the long time, stock answer of Billy Madison, because I can recite that movie line for line. I did once have an entire text conversation in Spaceball quotes until both of us literally ran out of dialog from the movie. Recently I’ve rediscovered my love for Blazing Sadles. The infamous  bean scene will make me laugh until the day I leave this Earth. I don’t want to live in a world where fart jokes aren’t funny anymore.

10. What is the number one thing that you do to keep your skin clear?

This is currently a losing fight. I have good times and bad times. I’d like to specifically point at my hormones, or my eating habits, but I think internal strife does me no good. When I’m depressed and not taking care of myself, break outs seem to flare up.

I alternate using a black head scrub, a mild cleanser with no salicylic acid, and a regular no-frills cleanser with a scrub pad. I have the Burts Bees blemish stick and I’m using their moisturizer for acne prone skin. My skin is on the drier, more sensitive side, so I end up needing moisturizer so I don’t get flaky, but then I have to make sure it’s not too much to the point I start breaking out either.

11. What is one thing that you can’t leave the house without?

Clothes. They tend to arrest you if you do that. A bra so it doesn’t look like an episode of National Geographic. My wallet and my keys are good things to remember, though it hasn’t been unheard of for me to forget one or the other from time to time. I tend to have a neurotic thing about brushing my teeth before I leave to go somewhere because it makes you feel like you have a clean slate before you face the world.

I’m supposed to tag 11 blogs with under 200 followers, and as socially awkward and a non-participant in life, as I am, I can’t even name 11 blogs. So if the first 11 people who give me their blog addresses, I’ll update my list and comment on yours to let you know. But I can write my theoretical 11 questions.

  1. What was the last thing you read/watched/listen to that changed your life?
  2. What is your favorite thing to wear lately?
  3. If you could afford to buy one designer’s line in whatever size you are, which one would you get?
  4. What is your latest inspiration?
  5. What’s your favorite play/musical?
  6. If you could be a fruit, what fruit would you be?
  7. Buzzfeed quizes, harmless fun or the work of Satan?
  8. What do you think happened to Flight 370?
  9. What’s your favorite Stephen King story?
  10. If you were allowed to have an exotic pet, what would you have?
  11. Please describe your imaginary super hero, inner drag queen persona, or imaginary stripper playlist.

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I love to cook. I love to see what I can make with what I have.
  2. I’m a middle child and the only girl in my immediate family.
  3. I spent a long time learning how to read palms.
  4. I like to talk to the cats in French.
  5. Popular nick names for my cats (from myself) include but are not limited to: Ladybird Johnson, Porkus Aurelius, Squeaky Fromme, Leonard Trotsky, Chief Crappapaw, The Law Firm of Nebshitz and Nebshitz, and Stinky Pete.
  6. I call my purse Mary Poppins’ carpet bag because I have the most random things in there. I try to be like the Boy Scouts and always be prepared. Do you need a pen? I usually have it. A band aid? Lip balm?… Nail clippers? Just ask.
  7. I always have a need to read forbidden books, like Marquis DeSade or Anais Nin. And I started playing D&D because the 700 Club told me it would turn you into a blood drinking Satan worshiper, possessed by demons.
  8. I still haven’t started trying to play the violin I bought last Summer.
  9. I’ve had my license for less than 3 years.
  10. I prefer the Japanese version of Pulse and Old Boy. I like different things about the American and Japanese version of the Ring. I prefer the American Grudge to the Japanese.
  11. I’ve seen the first 5 Bring It On movies and all of the Final Destination movies.

Right now the only person I’m going to tag off the bat is my good friend Elizabeth:

sharplilteeth.blogspot.com

But feel free to answer the questions in the comments below if you don’t have a blog. It’d be fun to get to know my “audience” too. Though I suspect I know 90% of you in real life and your my friends that are nice enough to read this.

St. Patty’s Nails

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To be entirely honest, St. Patrick’s Day might be my least favorite holiday. First of all, it’s amatuer hour. All the asshats come out of the wood work and use it as a good excuse to drink beer with green food coloring until they’re urinating on the sidewalk and fighting in primordial herds. The professionals are nursing hangovers on your average Wednesday morning. So not only is this encouraging the average Joe to cower in their home base, but I have a couple pretty bad associations with the month of March that make me a little cranky. This year we had the one year anniversary of a friend’s death. This is also the month my father died and I got laid off at work at the same time. Funny enough, this time around I’m out of work again after 7 years.

But all the same, it’s not entirely awful. Some people I care about a lot have birthdays. The weather is getting a little better. And worst comes to worse, if I’m looking for a ray of sunshine, I can say I’m alive, I have a home, and food, and my cats are healthy too.

So I did a couple of loosely themed St. Patrick’s Day manicure. You won’t find shamrocks or leprechauns. But they are green… 

First I was inspired by this blog post talking about Spring trends: 

http://gothampolish.blogspot.com/2014/03/top-5-spring-2014-nail-polish-trends.html?m=1

Specifically, I was interested in the part about metallic green. Only I wasn’t interested in doing a Wintergreen color. I used a sampling of the metallic greens in my collection.

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I painted one nail white with the Essie on the far left, and used one of the nail tattoos, seen here:

 

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This is the outcome:

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Then I came up with another idea about a week later. This time I used a brighter green. I alternated patterns of dots and stripes created with the dotting tool on white and green, with one accent nail of loose glitter. 

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Saturday was the day of the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Traditionally it’s also the day when everyone holes up in Market Square or stumbles around the South Side. Being that it was also March 15th, it coincided with the 19th annual Ides of March March. It’s a strange tradition to describe. The event is organized by Phat Man Dee. It first started when I was in high school, way back in a time called “The 90’s”. Maybe you remember from your high school English class that the Ides of March is in Julius Caesar. That’s the day he was assassinated, and he was warned by a bunch of creepy soothsayers. The march is a gathering of the unusual. Costumes are encouraged. Signs are carried. And we tromp up and down the main fare, warning passersby to beware the Ides of March… march. This year, I brought some new(er) friends with me. Since it was a Saturday, I actually got to dress up too. This photo is probably my favorite to surface so far. (Photo credit: Ray Gerard)

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I’m the unicorn in the zombie hoodie. This picture was the selfie I tried to take when we got off the bus.

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I managed to, for a brief period of time, successfully wear false eyelashes that I applied all by myself. (Well, I used this tweezer like applicator device I got at Sephora, but I’m totally taking credit.)

It was an absolute study in chaos, one I cannot sufficiently describe. And for the day, it was actually considered moderate by local standards. Still, aside from an attempted prop snatch and an testosterone fueled man throwing his shoulder into everyone, we all made it out unscathed. Tired and cranky, but unscathed. The evening was spent winding down with pizza and movies. A happy ending.

 

Fish Fry Fridays

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Pittsburgh has a lot of traditions that are kind of quirks. Old people sweep their sidewalks as a carry over from the days of steel mills. Every time it snows, stores run out of bread, milk, and toilet paper. The theory is that you’ll be stuck at home without these crucial supplies to survive. Older houses will have a toilet in the basement known as the “Pittsburgh Potty” which the mill workers used when they got home so they didn’t much up the house before dinner. The Lenten Fish Fry may not be a distinctly Pittsburgh tradition, but the phenomenon has a distinct regional flavor.

For those unfamiliar, the original premise is that because Lent is the period leading up to Christ’s death, and ultimate suffering for humanity by giving his life. So the Christians who participate in Lent sacrifice to remember. Long ago, it was a time of fasting. But in modern times, it has translated into “no meats on Fridays”. This does not disallow fish. And in even more modern days, especially in my hometown, this means you go to a church’s hall and have a large battered and fried fish, plus sides that usually involve butter and starch, plus if you go to some locations you can also have a beer with your meal, and there is usually a bake sale and raffle.

It is the sheer fact that a time of sacrifice is celebrated with big, flaky, delicious fried things and lots of butter, and isn’t really suffering at all that draws me into this ritual (being raised Catholic and in my adulthood being… something else). 

Last year my work schedule prohibited me from enjoying any church’s delicious fried offerings. This year, my schedule is much, much more open… So I’ve decided to partake of as many of these as I can. I’ve enlisted friends to join me in my crusade of hedonism for a good cause. And I’ve decided that I would document this in the form of a review.

It all begins on Ash Wednesday, March 5th. We started with St. Rosalia Parish in the neighborhood of Greenfield (411 Greenfield Ave). This adventure was shared with TJ. We got our sandwiches and sides to go. 

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The fish was a generous portion on a decent bun. Cost of a meal with 2 sides was $8. The batter was nice and light and crispy. Both of us got haluski (egg noodles with cabbage and onion). I got fries and he got the coleslaw. Both of us found the haluski to be disappointing. TJ described the coleslaw as “very-lightly-dressed cabbage salad”. For those curious, my fries were fairly standard (in the good crispy way), but as always is the challenge with fries to go, they were pretty cold. Adding in that the fish made up for the sides, I will give it 6 out of 10. And I would go back there at any point for a sandwich.

My next stop was at St. Joseph’s in Bloomfield. It’s actually St. Mary’s fish fry, but they use St. Joseph’s space (these places are across the street from each other, mind you). This flight was solo.

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This was the Friday after, March 7. The meal was $10 (also including 2 sides). Also their bake sale was better stocked and really cheap for the goods provided. 

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I spent about 2 more bucks on the sweets, so it was $12 total. I was happier with the sides, garlic noodles and steamed broccoli. The fish was also a generous portion, and the bun was good. The batter was a little heavier, a little crispier, but not displeasing at all. The brownies with dark chocolate dollop on top, and the thumbprint cookies with the kisses were excellent. I would collectively give it a 6.5. Add on points for better sides and desserts, but minuses for being more expensive and I liked the other sandwich a little bit better.

The third stop was this Sunday at St. Mary’s on 19th St in the Southside neighborhood. I was accompanied by TJ and Xavier.

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My total ended up being $12.50 before we got to dessert. The haluski was definitely better. The mac and cheese was good, but I always find homemade mac ends up with over cooked noodles. I was most disappointed with the fish. But the main pull of St. Mary’s is the homemade pierogies. 

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Since today was Pi day (3.14), I was most excited to see the pie, which was in demand. I was even offered a dollop of Cool Whip, like grandma’s house. I wanted to give them higher points because homemade pierogies and pie, but the fish was not at all my favorite. I’ll say 5.5, and I feel pretty comfortable that my friend’s would agree. 

Some things I noted: Why do all of these church functions have the most confusing layout known to man? It’s like you have to be in the know to be in the know. No clear labels or signs to direct you where to go, or where to put your tray, etc. Also, they really pack the tables in, but I have yet to see it so full that they needed all of them. There are tables to the detriment of mobility at times. Also, part of me kind of feels bad that the average person working any of these is probably at least in their 70’s, with a few exceptions. But it is what it is, local flavor; shabby curtains, and drop ceilings, plastic tablecloths, and all. I don’t think I’d really want it any other way. It’s what I know and a part of what I call home. 

 

Just peachy

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I know, I know. I need new nail polish like a hole in the head. I have been abstaining very well. But I do still look from time to time, and I saw this pretty vanilla/yellow that caught my eye. And the color’s name is “Unicorn”. C’mon, I’m only human…

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The inspiration for this mani was a combination of these two ideas.

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I’ve been ruminating over that 2nd image for a while. I like the idea of doing variations on a theme, with something different on each nail, but coming together in something like a color or texture, etc. I’ve been thinking about peach since I got the peach Nails Inc Feather Effects. I had tried it on it’s own:

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I felt like it would probably look better on top of another color, but I liked the confetti aspect of it. 

So with these factors in mind, I went through my colors and selected the new yellow, an orange, and a pinky peach. I decided I wanted the primary color to be the yellow, so I painted 3 nails with the Unicorn, and then one of each orange and the peach. I didn’t just want to have one nail with the Feather Effects, so I looked through my arsenal and found stickers, nail tattoos, and glitter.

For the index finger I used a sticker from the Hello Kitty set I got from Sephora:

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For the middle finger, I selected some floral stickers in the same color family from a set from the drug store that I’ve had for quite some time:

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On the ring finger, I tried the Feather Effects on top of the Unicorn. 

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And on the pinky, I decided to go with a chunky, loose, gold glitter from the Ciate set I got in December:

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Not to leave out the thumb, I decided to use a bigRuby nail tattoo from the “Hers” set (http://www.bigrubytattoos.com/collections/all-products/products/hers) because I liked the diamond design and it was in that peach color family that I was going for. 

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It’s still snowy and cold, here in Pittsburgh. But I’m happy with my hopeful, springy mani. Happy Mardi Gras, guys! Here’s to warmer days ahead!