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February 21, 2012

"Downton Abbey" printable paper dolls


Brought to you by New York Magazine's Vulture blog.


The dolls were created by illustrator Kyle Hilton.


They're free, the way we like it.


[via the New York Times]

February 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Privacy Pop Bed Tent — Got roommate(s)?


Where was this back when I needed it, in Rieber Hall at UCLA?


From the website:



Welcome to Privacy Pop, the innovative bed tent that lets you let it all hang out, no matter where you are.


A Privacy Pop tent gives you the coverage and privacy that you want, so that you can enjoy a place all your own, even in a dorm room or room shared with others.


College students and siblings who have shared their bedrooms for years are buzzing about this new product that carves out a closed-off space just for you.


Perfect for:
• Listening to your iPod or reading without bothering anyone else in the room
• Studying without being bothered or bothering anyone else
• Keeping bright sun out of your eyes while you sleep
• Ensuring you have privacy from prying eyes



For a few dollars more they oughta offer noise-cancelling headphones — for roommate(s).

[via LikeCool and OhGizmo!]

February 21, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Cat Whisperer

Jordana Serebrenik is a cat wrangler.

Excerpts from Alex Vadukul's February 17 New York Times story follow.

Jordana Serebrenik may be New York City's only for-hire pet-cat catcher. Her service, Catch Your Cat, Etc., does what it suggests: Ms. Serebrenik... will go to your home and corral your cat in situations when you cannot do so or prefer not to. The usual price is $80....

Her clients range from the old or physically impaired to those distraught at the idea of having to force their cat to go somewhere they do not want to go: the vet, for example.

"Some people just need someone who isn't emotionally attached," Ms. Serebrenik said.

Her business card — which asks, "Can't get Fluffy into a carrier?" — is in veterinarians' waiting rooms and pet supply stores around the city. Testimonials on her Facebook page are effusive.

"It’s worth every penny," said Alene Yarrow, who used Ms. Serebrenik to catch her cat when she was having work done in her apartment in Murray  Hill. "It takes away all the worry and concern off your shoulders. What she does is a blessing."

Ms. Serebrenik, 45, developed her knack for catching cats through years of animal rescue work. In 2006, after years of practicing law, she decided she needed a change. Upon returning from a six-week trip to Africa, she began immersing herself in animal care and rescue, volunteering with City Critters, a cat rescue and adoption group.

She quickly realized that she had a knack for catching troublesome cats, and credited her intuition: being able to interpret what a cat may or  may not do in a tense situation. Environments have to be considered, as in securing exits like windows and doors. Also important, she said, is "being confident and not emotionally tied in."

"It’s not that I don’t care," she added. "I care a lot, but I'm not emotionally tied to that animal, so I don’t get cluttered in thought."

Conducting volunteer rescues, Ms. Serebrenik said, she began to realize that there was an unmet demand for her talents, perhaps even by people who would pay for them.

So she began her business in 2010.

Ms. Serebrenik is a small, upbeat woman with frizzy black hair, blue eyes and clothing that is often spotted with cat fur. Her cat-catching tools include a red nylon net bag and a pair of Kevlar and leather gloves pocked with cat bites, including one that left a deep hole.

"I was bit right behind the knuckle," she said, as though it were a mark of honor. "I had to go to the hospital."

It may seem to some that Ms. Serebrenik fills a niche found only in the most genteel parts of New York. But pet cats can turn flighty when confronted with placement in a carrier. Some may burrow behind impossible crannies for hours; others can turn defensive, growling and lashing at their benefactors.

"I see clients who come in all scratched up," Dr. Jennifer Mlekoday, of West Chelsea Veterinary, said. "I know of people that don’t bring in their cats for years." She explained the cat psychology: "It’s a fear of losing independence."

Natasha Cotter, an office manager for a veterinary practice on the Upper East Side who has recommended clients to Catch Your Cat, Etc., said Ms. Serebrenik "just goes in and does it."

Above, she gives a demonstration.

Full disclosure: Gray Cat left the room while I watched the video up top, most likely as a sign of solidarity with her brethren.

[via Kay who added, "In my humble opinion, the idea is to make the cat want to do what you want it to. Similar to dragging a piece of cooked spaghetti, rather than trying to push it.]

February 21, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Have we no wine here?" — "Coriolanus" magnet


A 2" x 3" magnet quoting Coriolanus in "Coriolanus" (Act 1, Scene 9).


[via the New York Times]

February 21, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

White Lake Middle School knows what time it is


[via reader Terrence in a comment yesterday afternoon on Sunday's Drones Over Gotham post. He added, "Slightly OT, but have a look at this school zone sign."]

Yo Terrence, our philosophy here: If everything's related at some fundamental level — if you believe as does Miranda July that the Big Bang spewed out me and you and everyone we know — then nothing's ever off topic.

In fact, that's impossible.

Big ups to White Lake Middle School, proudly serving grades 6-8 in the Huron Valley [Michigan] School District, for the world's best School Zone sign (top).

Go Warriors!

February 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tabitha Simmons Strappy Sandal


It's been a while since I've featured great shoes here and believe me, I've heard about it on a regular basis from readers, a number of whom remarked that this was the only thing that made visiting worthwhile.

In response to your requests: shoes are back, just in time for spring.

The peppy style up top is available wherever Ms. Simmons' line is sold, which is pretty much all over the U.S., Europe and Asia.


Now stop beating on me.

At least about this.

February 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

My Facebook Timeline is now live


I haven't been so excited since September 5, 2007. 

Facebook yesterday added a note to my old page advising me that like it or not my new iteration (above) was going up next Monday, February 27. 

They added that I could take this opportunity to go back and clean up whatever I didn't want to show up then.

Me, no worries: I clicked "Publish Now" and Bob's your uncle.

Yes, yes, I know — I should have more than a total of four photos — one each of Gray Cat and a mangosteen and two of me — on my Facebook page.

But hey, I've got a blog to get out and there just aren't enough hours in the day for everything.

February 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Beauty Voice Trainer gives you the dulcet voice you've always wanted


From the website:


The Beauty Voice Trainer helps give you the dulcet voice you know you've always wanted, in just five minutes a day.


The system works in three ways: 1) Without training, the human throat is restricted. The specially designed mouthpiece positions the tongue to open the voice passage, allowing a much stronger sound.

2) It helps with abdominal breathing, a necessity for proper singing. 3) Finally, the included tuning fork guides you to the notes you want, and trains you to hear the proper intervals between pitches. In just five minutes a day, the Beauty Voice Trainer will teach you to maximize your vocal potential while singing. 

Beauty Voice Trainer Specifications:

  • Materials: ABS plastic and resin (mouthpiece); stainless steel (tuning fork)
  • Size: mouthpiece 5.6 x 9 x 3 cm, tuning fork 1.8 x 12 x 0.9cm
  • Includes mouthpiece, tuning fork and carrying case
  • Weight: mouthpiece: 22g; tuning fork: 30g
  • Manual: Japanese (but self-explanatory)


Orange or Purple: $60.

February 21, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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