August 2, 2007
It’s no secret that I’m very amused by lolcats, especially I’m a bit of a cat person (people who know me in real life are probably going “A bit of a cat person? That’s the understatement of the year”). Judging by the amount of traffic that sites like I can has cheezburger get though, I’m clearly not the only one.
Which is why I was so amused when this was brought to my attention. Anil Dash, blogger extraordinaire (link to his bio) wrote about the lolcat phenomenon, including some of the history, grammar rules (yes, as he writes, it is possible to get cat speak wrong), and preferred nomenclature. There’s lots of interesting comments too.
Lolcats are even getting attention from the mainstream media – Time wrote about this particular meme a couple weeks ago. For some reason, I find it awesome that people take Lolcats so seriously. The sheer popularity of lolcats (and other memes) is a funny reminder that for every person using the net to change their world, there just as many captioning cat pictures.*
A picture is worth a thousand words:
Yes, I made it myself for the purposes of this post at the LoLbuildr.
*I’m not knocking people who caption cat pictures – I think people who create particularly awesome lolcats should get some kind of reward, actually, because they are hilarious. And um, I am one of those cat picture-captioning people.
July 8, 2007
A Malaysian blogger named Idham has agreed to donate RM 127 (about $37 USD according to XE.com) to the Darul Izzah Orphanage every time a blogger completes this meme (go comment on his blog to let him know you did it). I’m not typically a fan of memes, but this one is pretty cool and it’s for a good cause.
1. A person is only as good as….their actions.
2. Friendship is always…a beautiful thing.
3. To love is to…put someone else before yourself.
4. Money makes me…appreciate what it can accomplish.
5. I miss…watching football games from the student section in Notre Dame’s stadium.
6. My way of saying I care is by…helping people (and animals) in some way, shape, or form.
7. I try to spread love and happiness by…smiling and simply being nice to people. Being a bitch/jerk/generally unpleasant may have short term benefits but karma will get you in the long run.
8. Pick the flowers when…leave them in the ground so that others can enjoy them.
9. To love someone is…to forgive them.
10. Beauty is…that first spark of a creative new idea.
11. When I was thirteen, what I remember most was…figure skating a lot (I used to compete) and doing lots of insanely elaborate projects for my social studies class. Also, my family had just gotten an internet connection (remember the days of dial-up?) so I was pretty obsessed with that.
12. When I was twenty-one, I remember…still not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up.
13. I am most happy when…I am learning.
14. Nothing makes me happier than…innovation.
15. If I could change one thing, I would change…Are we talking about anything in the world? Could I somehow snap my fingers and eliminate all racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious prejudice? Cause that would be cool.
16. If smiles were…musical notes, then I would have an entire symphony.
17. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could…always assume that everyone has good intentions?
18. If you want…to change the world, then you have to…start with yourself.
19. Money is not everything but…it sure is nice. And it can accomplish a lot of good in the right hands.
20. The most touching moment I have experienced is…it sounds horribly cheesy, but the first time the cat I rescued from an animal shelter (he’d been there for more than a year, was covered in mats and tried to bite anyone who got near him) sat on my lap and purred. I’d taught an abused critter to trust people again! Crap, I am becoming a cat blogger.
21. I smile when…all the time, even in inappropriate situations. I find many things funny.
22. When I am happy, I…tell everyone why.
23. If only I didn’t have to…sleep once in a while, then…I could accomplish even more.
24. The best thing I did yesterday was…compliment others. A properly deployed compliment has more power than many realize.
25. If I ever write a book, I will give it this title…putting me on the spot here – I’ll use my blog’s title, Chasing the Southern Cross (explanation here).
26. One thing I must do before I die is…heli-skiing. Because jumping out of a helicopter onto untracked snow high in the mountains is awesome.
27. Doing this meme, I feel like…realizing that I’m kind of a hippie, but in the overly idealistic, let’s all be happy and help one another way, not in the unwashed acid-tripping way.
*I found this meme through Oh for the love of me – thanks!
July 1, 2007
I tend to find astrology intriguing, but I don’t check my horoscope everyday and I don’t usually ask people their signs unless it comes up in a conversation naturally (although I will generally make note of it when I find out people’s birthdays). It’s more of an “oh, isn’t that interesting” thing than anything else. And I do like to check the Nerve weekly horoscopes, but those are more for entertainment value than anything truly useful.
I’ve had my chart done, mainly out of curiosity. My sun is in Leo (perhaps this explains my affinity for cats of all kinds?), my moon is in Pisces, and my ascendant is in Aries. I found the whole thing to be fairly accurate, really, but many of “my” traits were vague enough to apply to anyone. From reading the other Sunday Scribblings posts, I’ve found this site that details the characteristics of a Leo (my comments are in red):
“The Sun is your ruling planet Leo. Of course the Sun is not really a planet; it is the centre of our solar system. And, as above, so below! You shine as brightly as the Golden globe because you reflect the characteristics of the heavenly body that rules your star sign!
You too are a ball of dynamic energy. You are warm, bright and self-motivated, and you want to make an impression in everything you do — your work, your love life and your social life.
Because you are extremely generous, you expect others to be just as big-hearted. So when you see others holding back, you find it hard to not jump in and try to change that. You want to see everyone giving to the best of their ability. (this is true – I just want everyone to succeed and be happy!) To other people, you can look like a bit of a tyrant, asking for more than they can give.
When you are feeling upbeat, you carry people away with your energy, and they love you for it. You love sharing your joys and successes with the people you love, and when you do, you are magnanimous — you never give a thought to getting anything in return. There are few star signs who really understand the nature of giving, but Leo seems to have perfected the art. (I hope this is true – I think I’m pretty generous, especially with my time, and hey, I’m a big tipper even when completely broke)
You also have a great sense of timing. When you offer a friendly word or gesture of encouragement, you pick the exact moment when it will have greatest impact. (not sure about this one - there are definitely times when I don’t know what to say) You always seem to be in the right place at the right time. You’re lucky this way. (I have been lucky in terms of opportunities I’ve had, but I’ve always felt that “the harder I work, the luckier I am)
Try to remember that your strong sense of self can be misinterpreted by others — understatement could sometimes be a more effective way for you to show your loyalty and express your generosity. (understatement? What’s that?)
Some people think you are a show-off, but this too is a mistake. Your dramatic flair is part and parcel of your zest for life, your love of people and your optimism. For you, life is a stage on which you can perform and express your talents. (This is definitely true – I used to be a competitive figure skater – I LOVED to perform and hammed it up to the point of obnoxiousness. I also participated in debate and Model UN (yes, I’m a nerd) and thoroughly enjoyed speaking and arguing on the podium).
You may not be a performer on the entertainment stage, but Mick Jagger, a Leo, is, and he is a very good example of the strutting, egotistical nature of Leo. Mick exudes charisma, creativity and a personal style all his own. Not only that, but he has embedded his brand name as No. 1 in the rock industry, decade after decade. On the stage of life, you too will want to be No. 1, and to present yourself as someone special, with unique talents. (I know Madonna is also a Leo, and that applies to her too.)
Loyalty is your trademark. People know you are a genuine friend who is always ready to lend a hand. Even if you can’t help someone with their specific problem, you still manage to send out a warm and reassuring vibration that makes them feel better.
On the other hand, you also have a need to ‘one-up’ others. A little more humility wouldn’t hurt. You will get plenty of praise and recognition for your energy and your self-motivation — you don’t need to big-note yourself. People will instantly recognise your abilities, and many will look up to you. Try not to let this go to your head; remind yourself occasionally to ‘get off your high horse’.
Leo’s totem is the lion, lord of the jungle — full of muscularity, grace and ferocity. This means that your physical appetites and general level of energy are extraordinarily high. You need to be physically mobile and fully engaged in meaningful work and social activities to feel good.
You are a born leader: people naturally gravitate to you, and look to you for guidance and security. This is especially true if you are born in the very first part of Leo – that is you’re born between 24th July and 3rd August. (July 28th here) At times you can seem a hard taskmaster, demanding excellence from them — this is just a reflection of your own actions, your own approach, but keep an eye out for it, and keep it under control.
For Leos born between the 4th and 14th of August, Jupiter and Sagittarius have a strong sway over your life. You are adventurous and love to travel, learn about new cultures and explores the world and people. Mostly easygoing you attract many friends and seem to be in the right place at the right time. You’re one of the lucky Leos.
Are you a Leo born between the 15th and 23rd August? Then your fighting spirit is second to none! Nothing gets in the road of your ambitions so its quite clear that you will achieve what you set your heart upon. My only comment is that you should never tread on anyone’s toes on the way up the ladder of success. You might just have to deal with them on the way down!
Generally you have a pioneering spirit; this is connected to your desire to be the best. So while you could be quite happy with a life where you follow other people’s rules and regulations, mostly you’ll much prefer to blaze your own trail. (very, very true – I’m happiest working for myself and creating my own job)
This means you will carve out your own niche and make a name for yourself. You’ll shine in almost everything you do, and will without a doubt make your mark in the world — you can reach the top of the ladder, no matter what field you choose. (Well, as a Leo, I have to say “of course this is true!)
Check out Sunday Scribblings posts here.
June 11, 2007
Exactly one year ago today, I moved into my adorable little apartment in Chicago. For the first time, I would have my own place, free of roommates and their assorted problems and issues (I’ve actually had some very cool roommates, but sometimes a girl just needs her own space). It’s in a vintage Art Deco building that’s a little under a century old and full of character and charm. It’s in good condition, however, and full of quirky details and there’s awesome views from my windows and the rooftop. The decor, however, is more eclectic than vintage inspired.
Here are some pictures – the wall hanging and a lot of the textiles are from India.
The turquoise dresser is only “vintage” thing in the apartment – it was my grandparents’ and is considerably older than I am.
This my cute little kitchen, where I mostly heat up frozen things from Trader Joes and set off the fire alarm but occasionally prepare a decent meal.
When I moved to Chicago, I also adopted a gorgeous black cat with emerald eyes. Her name is Eva and she’s my lucky black cat. Eva’s many roles include slayer of spiders, consumer of catnip, and giver of hugs and kisses.
Isn’t she a sweetheart?
Edit: I realized that by posting a picture of my cat on the web, I’ve officially crossed some kind of cat-lady line. If I’m living alone in a big old haunted house with fifty cats when I’m 80, at least I’ll know where it all got started.
April 20, 2007
“A houseboat inhabited solely by cats? Something like that exists? I have to go there!” I was first made aware of the existence of De Poezenboot (it translates to Cat Boat) by the Lonely Planet guide to Amsterdam. It described the boat as a unique kind of shelter that allows its denizens to roam freely and even offers low cost medical care to catowners. Best of all, De Poezenboot has visiting hours.
I’m enough of a bleeding heart liberal to love all animals, and I’m a confirmed cat person, so I was very excited at the prospect of visiting a shelter in a foreign country. De Poezenboot more than lived up to my expectations. The main area was bright, sunny space with plenty of toys, huge window ledges, and plush places to nap. And yes, there were probably around 30 cats and none of them were in cages (it is a decent-sized boat).
I was completely amazed by how well all of the cats got along with each other and with humans. Of course, these felines do receive a good number of visitors, so that definitely helped with their socialization. Or maybe it’s just the gentle rocking of the boat on the Amstel river that lulls them into a permanent relaxation mode. I spent two hours petting these cats – and wishing I could take them all home – and talking to some of the staff. It’s wonderful how just one common interest can turn strangers into friends.
If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, go visit the cats in the boat. They’ll be happy to see you.