Cougars and Catwalks

November 8, 2011

Cougar sent me a new pair of boots to talk about: the style’s called Marla.

They’re an interesting combination of practicality and cuteness:
warm, waterproof, cold-weather hiking booties… with 3-inch heels.

I like to combine the practical with the cute, so I chose to model these while trying to take my reluctant cat for a walk.

Please to enjoy.


One thing about cats is that they don’t particularly like being “walked”. This can lead to conflict.

face hit

And/or lots of waiting around.


So, when walking a cat, it’s important to have comfortable feet, since no doubt the animal will stubbornly crouch in the grass and refuse to move for long periods of time.


I’m sure some very complex thoughts are happening in that fluffy head.

I’m talking about my head, not the cat’s head.


Man, my cat is adorable. Ok, look at the boots. The shearling interiors are nice and warm. The man-made, PVC-free outers are waterproof.


The laces are long enough that I decided to try a new thing and wrap them under the boot before I tied them. I dunno, I’m just an innovator, I guess.

My rating on these is a yes.

Mojo pretty much agreed, then wanted to go back inside.


Thanks to Cougar Boots and Matchstick Promotions for the boot hookup!

PS – If you’d like to read about the last time I got boots in the mail, and then made my mailman photograph me, go here.

Uploading cat photos is easier than writing, Volume 1

April 4, 2011

Some great things to read

March 4, 2011

I read some very good stuff on the interweb this week. You might enjoy:

Paul Graham’s
Taste for Makers.
Excellent thoughts on making things that are simple and good, which can easily apply to design, writing, art, mathematics, acting, everything, really:

Good design is timeless. In math, every proof is timeless unless it contains a mistake. So what does Hardy mean when he says there is no permanent place for ugly mathematics? He means…. if something is ugly, it can’t be the best solution. There must be a better one, and eventually someone will discover it. Aiming at timelessness is a way to make yourself find the best answer: if you can imagine someone surpassing you, you should do it yourself.

The Hairpin’s thoughtful, insightful
Ask an Abortion Provider.

I speak of my abortion as a positive experience, not to secure the “most awesome abortion” prize (hello judges…?) but to save a seat for the possibility that this doesn’t have to be the worst thing that ever happened to you in your whole life…. If it makes you uncomfortable to think about abortion as something that could possibly be positive for a person, think of why you’re a person who doesn’t want someone to do the best that they can under the circumstances they’re in.

The Awl co-founder Chiore Sicha’s touching and funny elegy to his cat,
The Last Photograph of Cat.

Cat believed that everything was a prison… Because of his view that there was always something better beyond what boundaries so arbitrarily constrained him, Cat spent most of his life trying to climb over, through and under any possible obstacle.

The Wikipedia article on
Emotional Labour.

… a form of emotional regulation wherein workers are expected to display certain emotions as part of their job, and to promote organizational goals. The intended effects of these emotional displays are on other, targeted people, who can be clients, customers, subordinates or co-workers.

Every in-person job I’ve had in the past decade has involved a very heavy component of emotional labour, since basically I am hired to get people to open up with me (like when I interview or teach them), or to help them feel emotions that I generate (ie, as an actor) or to regulate their emotional journey (ie, banishing awkwardness and creating flow and comfort when hosting).

I was instinctively very aware of this concept, so it was fun to learn that it had a name and other people have written about it. One thing stood out to me: basically, the more superficial the emotional labour, the worse the worker feels about themselves. You have to genuinely believe in what you’re doing if you want to be OK with doing it. I’ve really noticed this.

Writer Mike Sager has a section on his personal website called Tips.
It includes some real gems:

– 53 ways to improve your reporting
(Sit in the back, in a place that commands the entire field.)

– 51 ways to improve your writing
(Dare to be bad. Then go back and edit.)

– 25 ways to improve editorial relationships
(Try to avoid drinking at lunch.)

Cat Bow Tie

December 27, 2010

I made an Xmas bow tie for Helder’s mom’s cat.
My cats were forced pleased to model it first.

Mojo. So majestic.

Juno. So annoyed.

Then I wrapped it up and gave it to the Senhora and my lil’ buddy Fausty, who chewed on it while being told in Portuguese how pretty he looked.

It’s felt, with a hair-elastic-and-button closure.

I am pleased with it, and am now planning an entire line of catcessories: a long necktie, a priest collar, a peter pan collar, maybe a Shakespearean ruffly thing. Stay tuned for more mortified cats special occasions.

I did this once before but obviously cats look better in tuxedoes than business suits. What am I, a farmer?

Cats arguing

November 29, 2010

You think this is just gonna be a sickeningly cute video of cats doing something with their paws, but what you don’t realize is that these are talking cats.

Thanks to Nathalie and Carlos for Facebooking this.

Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

September 5, 2010

Well thanks, Stamp. That packet of lies that served as an introduction is a lot to live up to, but I promise to do my best to keep the exciting content to a maximum, and the excessive punctuation to a minimum (though I hope you’ll all admit that there are some moments that call for seventeen exclamation marks, AMIRITE???? GUYS???).

While Nicole is away, I’ll be holding down the role of Gleaner of Internet Genius, bringing you the best from the elaborate series of tubes we call home. I’m slightly nervous, though, because–at the risk of screwing it all up right from the start–I’m not much of a Cat Person. I just hope that you, members of this community of aFfectionate aFeline aFficionados can be patient and wait for Nicole’s return, because there’s really not going to be any cat content for the next two weeks.

just jokin cat

Well, okay, but just that one image.

Let’s start things off right with a bit of culture, shall we?

Probably you have seen this video of a three year-old reciting poetry. (No? I really think you ought to. Go ahead. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.) The poem was written by Billy Collins, 44th Poet Laureate of the USA. He’s a great poet, a fantastic speaker, and he and his youtube videos can help you get rid of that evening you weren’t using anyways.

Someone has helpfully animated many of his poems for your delight and amazement. The animations are beautiful, but I can admit that I’m not totally sure how I feel about watching images while listening to poetry. It sometimes feels like too much information and my brain shuts down. But, gorgeous!

To start you off, here’s one called Forgetfulness.

There are a bajillion more out there. Please enjoy.

Finally, this (unanimated) poem here, called The Lanyard, made it rain a bit on my face, so use caution.


July 22, 2010

Here is an adorable video of a porcupine acting like a puppy. Now I would like one small pine pet please.

Here is a porcupine I met at Science North in Sudbury when I was there on a shoot a while back. His name is Quillan. All he wants to do is nap and eat sweet potatoes. You can pet him if you want. Only in one direction, though.

I learned that porcupines have three kinds of fur: very long thin yellow hairs that feel like cat whiskers, a thick coat of crinkly, oily, dark brown fur, and stiff, hollow, yellow and black quills buried in the fur. If you pet them, they leave a kind of shiny dark dirt on your fingers, kind of like petting a farm dog. The grease in porcupine fur smells like a mixture of cats and motor oil.

And that is what I know about porcupines.
Video via OMGblog.


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