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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Cats’

In praise of the three-martini lunch

November 26, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Drink, Places, Traveling 2 Comments →

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Photos of the library, building and cafe from themorgan.org.

Carmen invited me to a three-martini lunch at the Morgan Library. A year like this calls for regular doses of alcohol as a survival mechanism, so I said yes.

The Morgan Library houses the impressive collection of Pierpont Morgan. Listen, if you’re going to be a robber baron, the least you can do is leave a spectacular library.

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The library is pretty much the way it was in Morgan’s time, but the building has been renovated by Renzo Piano.

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It feels a little jarring to step out of the exhibit of Charlotte Bronte’s papers and into this. One is expecting Thornfield Hall, mud and howling wind.

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Carmen, a tech consultant, started Whisky and Books, which pairs books with whisky and meets every month to discuss. This month’s pairing: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Bruichladdich X4+3. What a great idea, we should do this in Manila. Noel and I have long planned a Silence of the Lambs dinner with a good chianti (and fava beans).

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I associate martini lunches with this scene from Mad Men. (Coincidentally, I have a ticket to The Front Page starring Nathan Lane and John Slattery.) We did not remake this, probably because I did not eat a bucket of oysters.

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As long as we were pleasantly tipsy we visited an altar to literature and drink: The Algonquin Hotel, where Dorothy Parker et al held court at the Round Table.

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The Algonquin is now ruled by the imperious Matilda, third of her name.

A classical musician has recorded an album to soothe cats and Saffy likes it.

October 23, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Music No Comments →

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“Delightful! I recommend this album to cats everywhere.” – Saffy (Whenever she hears this music she runs to the speakers and listens intently.)

David Teie of the National Symphony Orchestra has made a study of sounds that cats like, and composed music for our feline overlords. He is now working on an album of music for dogs.

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“I told Saffy I prefer the Star Wars score by John Williams and she smacked me. She’s a nasty girl.” – Drogon

Too much metaphor: The Brutal War of the Political Cats of Downing Street

September 18, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Current Events No Comments →

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Larry (tortoiseshell) of the Prime Minister’s Office in battle with Palmerston (black and white) of the Foreign Office.

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Both were adopted from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Other cats have since moved into the offices on Downing Street: whether they will promote peace or join the fray remains to be seen.

Cat Wars: Downing Street upheaval

How to read a pet food label

September 13, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats No Comments →

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Information from the Association of American Feed Control Officials

A pet food is the sum of its thoughtfully blended parts, with the quality of the food overall being more important than the presence of any one particular ingredient. Taste of the Wild labels contain such reader-friendly information to guide pet owners on what they’re actually feeding their pets.

But what do the terms on your pet food product label mean?

1. Check the product name.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has strict rules regarding pet food product names:

The 95% rule ­— Pet food meeting the 95% rule has very few ingredients and simple names, such as “Kitty’s Favorite Tuna Food.” This means 95 percent (and not lower than 70 percent) of the food must be the named ingredient. The water added for processing and added vitamins and minerals is not counted.
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City of Cats

August 29, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Places, Traveling 2 Comments →

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Cat in Holland Village

Noel wanted to go someplace fabulous and bleeding with local color, but I really am the most boring guest. I wanted to go to temple immediately, i.e. Kinokuniya. To my credit, I was in and out in just over an hour. I found:

Books

– Sweet Caress, which is not a romance novel, and Armadillo by William Boyd, who creates characters I would like to meet. Any Human Heart is one of my favorite books. If you are glum and in despair over how you’ve spent your life, I recommend it highly.

– The Mark and the Void, a comedy about banking by Paul Murray, who wrote Skippy Dies.

– Public Library, short stories about libraries by Ali Smith, who is wonderful. I have two copies of How To Be Both and cannot bring myself to part with one.

– Suspended Sentences, three novels by Patrick Modiano. The French are allowed to publish very short novels. Reading Modiano teleports me to Paris, where one is happy being melancholy.

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The resident cats at Books Actually have pins, postcards, and other merchandise, which gives me an idea.

On the weekend I went to chapel, a shop in Tiong Bahru called Books Actually, which last time I was there was patrolled by a large cat. There are three cats now, they know they are crowd-drawers, and they barely deign to be patted.

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The friendlier of the cats at Books Actually

In the day Noel went to the office while I wrote. At night we went out to dinner. In two days I finished my second draft, leaving the weekend free. If you have to write fast, I recommend getting out of Manila for a bit. Not entirely, because what would we have to write about?

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Cat at Moh Guan Terrace in Tiong Bahru

I had told Noel that I wasn’t interested in seeing the sights, which of course did not stop him from producing lists of things to do and restaurants to try. It is hotter in Singapore than it is back home, but it is clean and orderly so at no time do you feel like you’ve been spritzed with eau de Pasig River. Also there are plenty of well-fed, glossy cats on the streets and in the shops. Could I live here? Probably not, but it makes a great contrast. We all need a little antiseptic sometimes.

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Zoozoo, the real owner of Cat Socrates on Joo Chiat.

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Those who have left

August 16, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Cosmic Things 2 Comments →

diary

Mat-Mat the Cat

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