Saturday, 29 September 2012

Servant Up For Adoption

Name: Survant
Breed: Malaysian Long Hair
Age: Uncertain
Gender: Female
Colour: Chocolate with high vanilla
Adoption Fee: FREE (just get her out of our home!)

Reason for putting her up for adoption:
 Ever since she contracted that horrible, wracking cough, we have been deprived of a sound sleep. Many times Yin Yin or I, whoever the unfortunate party is that happened to be sleeping next to her, would be jerked awake every 2 or 3 seconds with that pulverizing sound. We are tired and sleepy (yawn) and the only chance we get to sleep is when she's out. 

Blackie Bond

Lady Faye Yin

Monday, 24 September 2012

Monday, 13 August 2012

We Have Our Own Pendant!

Our servant made this today! It's a handmade glass pendant on a handmade stretchable beads necklace. 

Please ignore the reflection from the light. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Help by Katryn Stockett

Although The Help was published in 2009 I did not know about it until it was listed in New York Times Bestseller List for the month of June 2012. I love to check out the synopsis of each book that made it to the list and if the plot or contents look interesting, I'd download the ebook. (Obtaining books used to be slightly more irksome as it requires a trip to the local bookstores and sometimes you go away disappointed as they don't have the title you want.) The Help looked promising. 

Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s, The Help is about African-American maids working in middle-class white households. The story is narrated by three strong and courageous ladies: 
a) Aibileen, who takes care of Mae Mobley, a two-year-old daughter of Elizabeth Leefolt; 
b) Minny, who is always loosing her job due to her sassy mouth and who now works for Celia Foote, whom the society ladies referred to as 'white trash';
c) Eugenia 'Skeeter', daughter of a cotton plantation owner and journalist wannabe.

Skeeter had graduated and returned home to find that Constantine, the black maid who raised her, had disappeared. No one would tell her what had happened.

Meanwhile, she applied for an editor's job with publishers Harper and Roe. The senior editor, Elaine Stein, called her personally to tell her that her application is rejected, but she is encouraged to write a  book on a subject that is interesting and matters to her.

Rallying the help of Aibileen and Minny, Skeeter started on her book about what it is like for black maids to work in white households. Secret trips were made to Aibileen's home where interviews with the maids are held. 

As the story unfold, I was hooked and reeled in like a fish. The 'voices' of Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter are distinct from each other and believable. But most of all, it was the inhumane and racist treatment of the African American maids that got to me. I had never imagined that the whites in America was so racist in the early 1960s. I knew they were racist but to that extent?? (I had to google to verify the facts.)

'Blacks are dirty and have disease' is the constant thing you hear. They do not allow a black maid to use the toilets in the house, nor to use the same cutlery or plate as them. Everything is segregated. You have shops for the blacks and shops for the whites. As long as a black woman is not wearing a white uniform signifying that she's shopping for her white mistress, she is not allowed to enter the stores for the whites. In the story, when a black guy was caught buying petrol from a white petrol kiosk, he was beaten almost to death, never mind that he didn't know it was a white petrol kiosk.

It really makes me wonder, why are people so uncomfortable with the colour black? And I don't mean only the Africans. Black cats are shunned, too. They are the least adopted, and the myth of their bringing bad luck to a household is propagated throughout the centuries.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Worldwide UFO Cover-Up

I woke up this morning and found the human staring at the computer screen on her desk. 

Oh my doG, that's Yin, on the cover of the magazine The Worldwide UFO Cover-Up! And what are they saying?? That Yin is an alien that has been living amongst them?? Wait.....the human has just flipped to another screen....

Oh no, I'm also on the cover.....and why is that human green all over with such huge eyes? He looks more like a bug than a human....

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Yin Is Not Too Happy

Today is not a good day for Yin. Well, it's not a good day for me either, but I take it like a man, chin up. Yin, she's just such a pussy over it.

First, our human decided that despite her bad arm she is going to subject us to a bath. Before I even suspect anything, she had scooped all 8kg of me into her arms and took me inside the bathroom, locking the door behind her. 

Yin had no excuse, the fur brain should have realised what the game of the day was and put herself out of our human's reach. What did she think I was yowling at the top of my voice in the bathroom for?? Practising for the choir??

Look at her, after her bath. She's not very pleased.

And then, to cap it off, streaks of electricity lit up the sky while someone moved some really big and heavy furniture up there. Boom! Boom! Crack! 

I'm used to hearing this thunderous noise, and am rather nonchalant but Yin absolutely hates it. Forgetting her displeasure at our human, she ran and tucked herself between her legs.
Could someone please tell her how undignified it is for a cat to tuck itself against a human slave? How are we gonna rule the world if we fear the moving of furniture somewhere up in the sky?

Friday, 29 June 2012

We Are Pawticipating In The Cat-Olympics 2012!

Soon it'll be the Olympics again and we are pawticipating in it even if our humans aren't.

Yin and I are entering for the Synchronized Snoozing hosted by The Island Cats.

We are also taking part in Snoopendous-Sniff-A-Thon hosted by Luna and Cynder.

I am going for Couch Potato Peeling hosted by Lilly Belle and Muffin.

Yin is trying for Best Nippy Faces hosted by Callie and Sassy

She has also decided to go for Balancing Beam hosted by Cory and Company.

If you are a cat or dog, do join in the fun at The Pet Olympics. For more details on the events, check out their Official Events and Sponsors Page.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Blackie Bond: How To Deprive Your Human Slave Of Sleep

If you are a cat, you would know how frustrating it is when your human slave sleeps when you want to play. They not only sleep like the dead but they sleep like, forever, while you languish in boredom. Such inefficient bodies they have.

To prevent my human slave from a sound sleep, I have devised a fool-proof strategy. It has yet to fail me. Here is a step-by-step guide.

1. Shortly after the bedroom is plunged into darkness, scratch open the wardrobe door, go inside, and start a mournful howl. This will make your human slave think you're trapped inside the wardrobe, get up from bed and retrieved you.

2. Once she has settled back into bed, walk to the bedroom door and meowed. She'll think you want to go out of the room. When she gets up and opens the door for you, trot back to the wardrobe.

3. Wait until she has snuggled under her comforter again, then hop onto the bed and swipe her hand. If she does not respond, give it a quick, hard bite. That bite is guaranteed to get her to open her eyes and talk to you.

4. If she still goes back to sleep, lie down next to her. Position your body in such a way that she has no room to turn without squashing you. Lying stiff on her back, she'll be too uncomfortable to fall asleep.

5. If she still manages to fall asleep, bite and pull her hair. 

6. If that still doesn't work, jump on her like a trampoline.

You know you have succeeded in depriving her of a sound sleep when she staggers out of bed the next morning bleary-eyed and brain-dead.

And now, I must take a cat nap to refresh myself for my exercise in keeping my human slave awake tonight.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Blackie Bond: We Have Been Cartoonized!

Some humans will do anything to be immortalized.....
Some cat slaves will do anything to have their cats cartoonized.....
Thanks to Katz And Other Tales who shared about this fun cat cartoon program
we felines are now in the 'annals' of cat cartoons....

Our human isn't talented artistically, and I can't say we look too much like the cartoons.Well, to be fair to her, she got our mouths right, and I have to admit that my cartoon character resembles me a lot more than Yin's. Even my face looks almost like mine, I think. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

This is the first Haruki Murakami novel that I've ever read, and I would never have touched this book with a long pole if not for the fact that it was in the New York Times Bestseller list on 4th December 2011. Yes, I had downloaded that book into my Kindle since December last year, but was only able to start reading it early last month.

A 3-volume work that was written in Japanese, the books were combined into a huge single-volume monster when translated into English. A friend told me that I would be eighty by the time I finished the book. She was almost right. It took me more than a month to finish the 1000-page novel. But hang on....I've read 1000+ pages novel in one-eighth of the time it took me to finish '1Q84'. 'Under the Dome' by Stephen King comes to mind. So, what gives?

'1Q84' was a long, tedious novel. If 'Under the Dome' was a home-made burger of 100% beef patty, then '1Q84' was a cheap mass-produced burger with lots of fillers added. Hundreds of prosaic pages that did not move the story along were filled for no other reason than to contribute to the wealth of the timber tycoons. I would not have bothered completing the novel except that I was curious to find out if the two protagonists, Aomame and Tengo,  would ever meet and if they had wandered into an alternate reality or living in a parallel universe.

The plot vacillates between Aomame and Tengo with Tokyo as the setting....a Tokyo with two moons and 'Little People' who emerged from the mouth of a dead goat. Little people that came out as two inches tall but shook themselves up to twenty-eight inches. They plucked thin threads from the air and made air chrysalises. 

Those little people, we were told, were intelligent and powerful with long arms. Intelligent....ok, the most intelligent words that came out of their mouths were, "Ho, ho.". As for powerful.....they can't directly harm the protagonists (read: limited powers), and they kept shifting their focus like a short-attention-span five-year-old. 

Last, but not least, four whole months were dedicated to Aomame not doing anything except cook, eat, read, sleep and exercise. A more depressing book I have yet to come across. Each reading left me feeling dejected to the point of being suicidal. Die-hard fans of Haruki Murakami are probably going to slay me for this criticism, but I welcome their putting an end to my misery. '1Q84' is nothing more than a long, painful verbal diarrhea. 

Friday, 24 February 2012

We are busy....

Yes, very busy. So busy that we are sitting there, waiting and watching the printer spit out the paper.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Blackie's Chinese New Year Wish List..... for a bigger cat-sofa for his, ahem, enhanced body.

Micro by Michael Crichton & Richard Preston

Micro, a nano-technology thriller, was one-third written when Michael Crichton died. His agent looked for a co-writer to finish the novel based on Crichton's notes , files and two drawn maps. Richard Preston was eventually selected to complete the novel, based on his science background and bioterrorism work. The book was published in November 2011. 

Micro is set in the rainforest of Hawaii and features a villainous entrepreneur, Harvard graduate students shrunk to half an inch tall (though the scientists in the novel referred to them as dimensionally changed), small insects like ants which saw them as food, and micro-robots programmed to kill. In short, it's like a miniature version of Jurassic Park.

The plot opened with a private investigator being hired to check out the nanotechnology organisation which resulted in three mysterious deaths in an office, one of them being the private investigator himself. The police was baffled, as the only clues were ultra-fine, sharp razor cuts all over their bodies. The doors and windows to the office were locked from within and there was no signs of struggles of any kind. They just plopped down dead. 

Besides the action-packed story, the novel also contains a lot of rich details on the flora and fauna, insect life and their anatomy and biotechnology. One of the characters, Rick Hutter, an ethnobotanist, reminds me of my late grandmother. He believed that you could fight venom with venom. My late grandmother would catch centipedes and pickled them in vinegar, or was it wine, I don't remember. I was just a young kid then. Each centipede that crawled in our garden was perceived as priceless treasure and would be carefully picked up with a pair of tweezer before being lowered into a jar of vinegar/wine. She said the venom of the centipede would counteract the venom of a snake bite.   

But I digress....anyway, this novel educates as well as entertains. I was hooked right from the beginning and finished the 424-pages book in one and a half days (read: no productive work was done during that period).

Friday, 13 January 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King

This is the first Stephen King's attempt at a time travel piece, even though the idea for 11/22/63 came to him in 1971. King said that "back then, the wound was still raw and it would require too much research and literary talent" that he didn't think he had. When he returned to the project later, King had to read a lot of historical documents and archives in preparation for the novel. He even found out how much drinks and food cost at that time.

11.22.63 centres on Jake Epping, a high school English teacher at Lisbon Falls, Maine, who travelled back in time to try to prevent the assassination of JKF. The time bubble was at the back pantry of a diner. And the time in the past was 9 September, 1958 at 11:58am, Lisbon Falls, Maine. 

In order to prevent the assassination, Jake would have to stay in the past for four years. And the past is obdurate. It refused to be changed, and would do anything to prevent Jake from changing it. 

The concept was fascinating but somehow, the plot did not hold me in its grip. There wasn't enough tension or action and it was one of the few Stephen King novels that I was able to put down to attend to other things. It wasn't a poorly written novel. But it wasn't one of his better ones either. 

That said, anybody who enjoys reading as a pastime should try to lay their hands on a copy. There's a lot of interesting trivial data, like how women in that era were different from today's women.