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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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We’re a three-cat household again: Welcome Jacob Howlett.

March 26, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats

Last week a reader sent me a series of emails about this stray cat that was always waiting for him at his house. He wanted to know what he should do about the cat. If you bother to send a stranger six emails in a row about a stray cat, it means the cat already owns you. I advised him to feed the cat and see what happens. I said that if he adopted the cat (which had already adopted him, so this would be a formality), he would have to decide whether the cat would be an outdoor cat or an indoor cat.

The outdoor cat arrangement is more casual (You could be one of several human serfs in the neighborhood providing the cat’s meals), but if the cat doesn’t show up for several days you may lose your mind from worry. The indoor cat arrangement requires an initial cash outlay (for deworming, flea bath, vaccinations, spaying/neutering) and causes some stress when the cat is introduced to the household, not to mention that you’ll be stocking up on cat food and kitty litter forever, but it leads to a relationship as intense as any you may have with humans in your lifetime.

The very next day, I myself adopted a cat.

For many years a family of cats has lived downstairs in my building. I used to feed their matriarch, a ferocious white kitty who showed her appreciation by bringing me the occasional rat carcass. The current generation consists of three cats, including a very sweet ginger with a funny walk. A car had run over him when he was a kitten, but he survived. For months I’ve been considering getting a third indoor cat. My foundling Khao Manee Drogon, who’s turning 5, needs a playmate, and my antisocial calico Saffy, who’s turning 17, hates playing (As far as I can tell she is pondering a unified theory of everything). Then last week while I was worrying about bills, I told the ginger cat, “If a cheque arrives in the next three days, I’ll adopt you.” I wasn’t expecting any payments, but suddenly a cheque arrived. A promise is a promise.

After getting de-loused and dewormed and having a thorough bath, Jacob Howlett moved into our house last Saturday. He spent his first night in a cage that Bubbles lent me, because he had to fast for 12 hours before his trip to the vet. (Jacob’s vet is Dr. Pete Tutanes, who works with a big chain of vet clinics but runs a small, spartan clinic in Makati. Telephone 882.0192; 0922.807.9695.) Also I wanted to make sure Saffy didn’t attack him—she’s very territorial. Drogon is already his best friend.

Jacob Howlett is a wee kitty at the moment, but after a couple of months I expect he’ll be enormous.

Would you like to support CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) programs for stray cats and dogs? Among other things they have a spaying and neutering program, which is better for the cats’ health plus it ensures that we will not be overrun by cats. You can find CARA on Facebook or call them at 532.3340.

Classic Sesame Street: Ronald Grump cons Oscar the Grouch into moving to Grump Tower

March 25, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Television

via BoingBoing

Roger Federer is back to be our antidepressant in a horrible world.

March 24, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Tennis

A few days ago he won Indian Wells for the fifth time. I’m caving in and buying an RF jacket.

To start, Federer looked relatively normal when we met, and definitely Swiss: dark turtleneck sweater, crisp wool pants, black boots. Hiking is Federer’s favorite hobby (his only hobby), but snow was falling and his legs were tired from Australia, so we went out to lunch, for raclette (at his suggestion), a traditional Swiss dish for après-ski, basically a plate of melted cheese. Not what I expected. But what did I expect, really? On the court, Federer is known for almost inhuman focus. Humorless determination. A steel-cut perfectionist with a stevedore’s nose, the finest forehand of all time, and the coiffure of James Bond circa Timothy Dalton. In the stiffest of all countries, why should he be any different? But frankly, he was so easy going from the start, so relaxed, for a second I thought he was stoned. (He wasn’t stoned.) He drove us to the restaurant in his Mercedes. We chatted about our families. I wound up telling a story about the time I did heroin by accident—look, it was in South Africa, and Federer’s mother is from South Africa, and I was trying to find some common ground out of the gate, the way you do when you’re riding in a gargantuan vehicle with a global celebrity you’ve just met—and he barked out laughing. Federer, a big laugher, who knew? Though it got to a point, by mid-meal, where I started to get suspicious—was it for show, to play the Everyman? Who likes melted cheese like the rest of us? (Maybe he was stoned?) This is a guy, I’d learn, who still makes reservations at a nearby public tennis facility rather than build his own private court. Think about that. Consider the fact that Federer has made over $100 million in career prize money, never mind endorsements. Now imagine being the local dude who has to kick Roger Federer off a tennis court because his practice session goes a little long.

Read the story in GQ.

It’s illogical to say that Roger Federer has returned to top form because reading the daily news gives us nervous breakdowns and we really need him to win. But we’re fans and will make the connection.

The genius of Get Out is treating benign racism as the horror.

March 21, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies


Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams (Marnie from Girls) star in Jordan Peele’s Get Out

You need to see this movie. It’s genuinely scary and funny AND it tackles oppression without once mentioning oppression. It’s consciousness-raising without the lecture. People who fancy themselves broad-minded think that because they voted for Obama, idolize black athletes and have black friends, they can’t possibly be racist, but benign racism is particularly insidious. (And the movie is produced by the studio that made Insidious.) Some of the horror comes from the shock of recognition.

Director Jordan Peele takes your expectations and turns them on their heads. Unrelentingly clever and expertly orchestrated, Get Out is required viewing for the year 2017. Bravo.

The Money Diaries of famous people will make you feel less inept about your finances

March 21, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Money, Movies, Television

It’s heartwarming, discovering that clever people whose work we admire can be just as stupid about money as we are.

Richard Linklater, the director of Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight and many other movies we love, explains why he’s glad he got downsized.

Anthony Bourdain seems to have all the answers, but when he was 44 he had never had a savings account, hadn’t filed taxes in 10 years, and was AWOL on his AmEx bill.

Now you can watch Trippies online!

March 20, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Television, Traveling

Watch TRIPPIES online at PhilStar TV. (Thanks, jaypee, for sending the revised link.)

Answers to questions you might ask:

1. Yes, it is completely unscripted and spontaneous.
2. Yes, Pepe and I were acquainted but we never hung out until we started filming Trippies.
3. Yes, we have no make-up or styling because we have enough to do without worrying about how we look. Yes, we could do with make-up and styling. (After I viewed the first two episodes I realized I should go back to wearing black because I look even weirder in color.)
4. No, I have the easiest job on the show because I just stand there and yak while everyone has to plan and execute shots, etc.
5. No, the age difference is an advantage to me because I can use it as an excuse. Example: Naah, I won’t go down the loooong stairs to the underground tunnel, I might re-injure my knee.

TRIPPIES airs on Sundays at 730pm on CNN Philippines, with replays Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at lunchtime. Pepe and I guest on Real Talk with Christine Jacob Sandejas and Rachel Alejandro this week.