If I had thought about it when I went this past weekend, I would have taken more photos! I was excited to attend the Buffalo Oddities & ...

If I had thought about it when I went this past weekend, I would have taken more photos! I was excited to attend the Buffalo Oddities & Curiosities Expo. It's been canceled for the past two years due to covid. Now, although many of the businesses I follow online were not in attendance, I did come home with a few goodies.

Coffin Nail Necklace from Mockingbird Lane Artistries. It's been on my list for a while to get one.

If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for tea. I picked up some loose tea from Morose & Macabre, and it smells divine.


Lastly, I bought these raccoon knuckle bone earring from Feral Grandmother Artistry. While not on my list of things to purchase, I liked how tiny and delicate the bones are. The owner was really sweet too.

I saw many of my customers and friends there, and heard mixed reviews of the event overall. Personally, I'm not into wet specimens or taxidermy (I know ~ the shame), but there was enough there to be interesting. I thought it was a little weird they had booths that just had vintage stuff ~ not necessarily "odd". For example, a booth had old 1980s toys and another was selling vintage Playboys. Not that odd in my book. My guess is that this is the first time they are doing this expo, so they needed spaces to fill. I thought it was worth it to go, even if it was just to be among other weirdos.


Me & my friend Jodee Bowie.

Thanks for reading! My blogging has slowed down, but it's because I've been writing movie reviews for Auxiliary Magazine, prepping my kitchen for a full remodel that's been almost 20 years in the making (I'll post before and afters when it's done), and taking care of elderly Vicktor



  Recently, I picked up the book Cat Call: Reclaiming the Feral Feminine by Kristen J. Sollee from The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft &...

 

Recently, I picked up the book Cat Call: Reclaiming the Feral Feminine by Kristen J. Sollee from The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick because I really enjoyed her book Witches, Sluts, and Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive...and because it has "Cat" in the title. (Duh.) I have to say I enjoyed it. She writes about topics that live in our subconscious that we don't consider in everyday life, but I think I was hoping it would break down the chapter topics a little more. The feral feminine discussion is a HUGE undertaking because there are a VAST amount of cat archetypes symbolizing so many things, and can be interpreted so many ways! She used her experiences and pop culture references to round out the chapters, but honestly you could go on forever with how cat symbolism is around us daily. Everyone's experiences while reading this book can bring different ideas to the table. It's a malleable read.

There's a thoughtful introduction by Pam Grossman, who I have written about before. What a great start, then Sollee touches on ("touches" being the operative word) kitten play, cat kinks, cats and courtesans, and more. Side note: Kitten play is a form of animal role play where you get into the headspace of the animal you are portraying and take on their mannerisms. So this book was much more sexual in nature than I anticipated.

There are chapters covering black cat superstition, history of Egyptian cat gods (I was hoping it would get into more), and the cult of Hello Kitty cuteness. I'm a strong supporter of Hello Kitty. AND I'm here to remind you, Hello Kitty is a girl dressed up as a cat, her name is Kitty White, and she is five apples tall. 

I think the thing I hated about this book was that she references many many images that aren't pictured, and unless you are familiar with the artist or image, you really have no clue what she's talking about. I'd like to see the images in the book. Other than that, it's a good read that makes you think. 

For more info on the author http://kristensollee.com/

There wasn't a Cat Video Fest last year with everything going on. I went in 2019 and 2020 , but I'm happy to say it's back thi...

There wasn't a Cat Video Fest last year with everything going on. I went in 2019 and 2020, but I'm happy to say it's back this year! I ended up going alone at an odd time, 5pm on a Wednesday, so there were no kitties up for adoption in the lobby like the last few times. I tried to round up friends, but no one got back to me. *sad face* There was about 4 other people in the theater, so almost a private screening! 

The local cat cafe the Purrfect Cat Cafe was a sponsor of this event. I blogged about them before. Viewing it at the North Park Theater is always a good time. You can send them videos of your cats, and they show them before the movie. I did this with Vicktor and Ginger before. This time, 22 cat videos were submitted! It's always funny to see how goofy other cats can be.

The Cat Video Fest compiles a bunch of viral cat videos from the past few years into an hour and a half movie with CATegories like "Drama", "Action/ Adventure", "Documentary", and "Comedy". They featured the usual suspects Henri and his "Artiste" video. R.I.P Henri, you were the perfect existential cat, Dymka the Russian cat with prosthetic legs, Cole and Marmalade R.I.P. Cole, you reminded me of my Vicktor, Juno the Blind Wonder Cat and his new blind brother George, the legacy of Tombili Cat, and more. It mentioned the Ukrainian cats that have been displaced, and the Island of Lanai that has been turned into a cat sanctuary with more than 600 cats! 

I like supporting this event because they raise money for cats in need around the world. Watching it this time, I laughed and cried. If it comes to your town, don't miss out.

Being a business owner, I have to plan. I meal plan, I plan what I wear each day the night before, and I plan vacations. Andrew (my hubs) an...


Being a business owner, I have to plan. I meal plan, I plan what I wear each day the night before, and I plan vacations. Andrew (my hubs) and I try to take at least a small road trip each year ~ even if it's just for a change of scenery. That means it's usually on a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday when my shop Cats Like Us isn't open, so our getaway doesn't interfere with shop hours. Let me tell you, I had our Cleveland, Ohio trip planned a few months in advance. It did not go as planned, as the universe was working against us. We still managed to include some fun things, but it wasn't what I had hoped.

A few days before we were set to leave, I was double-checking the hours of everywhere on our list. One day of our trip was going to be dedicated to visit the Feline Historical Museum. It's a museum created by the Cat Fancier's Association outside of Akron, Ohio that's dedicated to the preservation of the history of cats in all art forms and types of pedigrees. Well it said on their website they were closed until further notice! I contacted them and one of the persons that runs the museum died, another was hospitalized. How awful. I was super bummed about this, but it's understandable. Needless to say, our trip plans changed two days before. 

Since our last trip to Cleveland in 2019, some new places have opened that we wanted to check out, so we were still determined to go on our road trip! The first stop was The Haunted House Restaurant for Sunday brunch. It's on a corner and when you check in at the movie counter there are large murals in the waiting area. Inside they have at least three TVs playing different horror movies, movie props, and lots of windows, booths, tables, and a nice bar. I ordered the lobster BLT and it was heavenly. (Yes, I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu! I'm on vacation dammit!) Paired with The Ring cocktail, it was the perfect combo. Andrew went with some a la carte breakfast items. They played 80s party music, and announced a birthday and an anniversary while we were there, but beware when the horror soundtrack starts! You might end up with an extra lunch guest! 










Andrew made a friend! (He's wearing the exclusive to Cats Like Us Monster Matt T Shirt.)

Next up we visited Suite Lorain. It's a go-to when we are in Cleveland for vintage, but it's very crowded. Not with people, but with merchandise, and this time around they were very strict with the Covid mask mandate. I was talking to Andrew with my mask on, alone in a corner of the shop, and was told that it was moving and needed to cover my nose better. Which is ironic since the shop itself is a bit messy, dusty, stuffed to the brim, and a little hard to shop because of the overcrowding. You could easily remove half of what's in it, and it would still be full. As a store owner myself, I just want to sort and organize it. If you do go there, go on a mission or be prepared to dig through piles. They do have everything, but you have to take the time to find it yourself.

Another new (to us) place we visited was Cleveland Curiosities. It was recommended by our friend Jay of Wooden Ts (He printed our Monster Matt T shirts.) The small and friendly shop was bustling with customers when we were there. It had oddities and taxidermy for sale, some of it quite large! I would recommend a visit. If you can't make it there, we have a local shop next to Cats  Like Us in Tonawanda, NY called Black Sheep Market that carries similar items, but has more small gifty items, less taxidermy, and a strong sense of humor!






After shopping and driving around, we worked up an appetite and planned to grab a drink at The Dark Room Bar. They have a list of horror movie themed drinks and seemed like a good fit for our trip... only...when we pulled up...they looked closed. It seems they had a fire. Strike two. Two places we had planned to go to that were closed. I swear I checked two days ago, and they had hours listed.



So what were we to do? We googled nearby restaurants and ended up at the Creekside Restaurant and Bar. We chose it because it sounded like an "old people place" that would have cocktails. It did not disappoint. Old people know where it's at! The food was delicious and service great. Good for people watching, lots of toupees, and golf style outfits. It's not surprising that as we left, there were tons of people waiting for a table. This ended up being a good choice.


We ate an early dinner, and were still pretty wired, so we decided to catch a movie. We saw Thor: Love and Thunder at the largest movie theater I have ever been in! You seriously had to walk up five flights of stairs to get to our seats in the middle of the theater. It was pretty cool. (Side note: I thought the movie was ok. It was much more of a goofy love story than a super hero flick.)


Now on to day two. (Sorry, this is a long blog post.) Our second go-to vintage shop is Flower Child. It's organized and two floors and we were really looking forward to checking it out only...as we were walking up to the door a sign was being added to the front door. Really?! You got to be f'n kidding me! Closed for maintenance. WTF. I JUST checked their hours. It looks like they made a post on their Facebook the afternoon before we went there saying they would be closed. Three strikes. Ok, I tried to maintain composure and stay positive. 




We were not going to drive to Columbus, Ohio to their other location.

On to our next stop then, The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft. I wrote about them before, and they deserve another write-up! I mainly wanted to go back to the gift shop there. This place has such a good vibe. It turned around our day. The owner was working again, and I overheard him chatting with some customers. Everything he said is exactly what I say when my customers ask certain questions. Being a business owner isn't easy. You don't get days off. (and even when you do, everything seems to be closed. lol.) The shop is small but has a nice selection of books both new and used, and not just on witchcraft, but all kinds of subjects, there's a large crystal and gemstone display, altar pieces, and so much more! 




"Attention Shoplifters: The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick is protected by a 1000 year old curse. Don't test us."

I came home with three books, a magnet, glow in the dark T shirt, special blended positive tea, and tea leaf fortune cards. (Another side note...I took an online six week tea leaf reading course from The Tasseomancy Museum. That's another reason why I was M.I.A. for a little bit. I plan to take the advanced one in fall.)

I'm a fan of cemeteries. They are quiet, serene, and free. I don't get a chance to go to them very often. When we learned the Feline Historical Museum was going to be closed, we shifted gears and decided the Lake View Cemetery would be worth a visit. Yes, Eliot Ness and the James A. Garfield Memorial are there, but I really wanted to see the Haserot Angel aka "The Angel of Death Victorious"! It's a life size angel sculpture made of bronze and marble located under a tree canopy that appears to "cry" black tears holding a snuffed out torch to symbolize extinguished life. Haserot was the name of a canning mogul, and it's their tombstone. It's absolutely beautiful in real life and so metal! But really it's a stunning piece of artwork by Herman Matzen. You can walk around it to view the full piece. 



Here's me in the picture for scale. I'm 5'6". Some other notable tombstones...


Alan Freed. Cleveland disc jockey that coined the term "rock n' roll".


Eliot Ness. Public Safety Director for Cleveland that brought down Al Capone.



James A. Garfield Memorial. It has relief sculptures, stained glass windows, and a gold dome.

Rounding out the day, and since we had more time to kill (get it? we were in a cemetery?.... I apologize.) we had some time, and visited a park. Hung out on a park bench, and then visited with some tiki friends at their in home tiki bar. We met their four cats. It was so nice and relaxed, I forgot to take pictures.

Last day was the drive back. We drove by the Worlds Largest Stamp. Even though it's a park, there's no free place to park because it's so close to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (I've been there already. It's a beautiful, HUGE museum. If you go, be prepared to do a lot of reading and spend the whole day.)


Image taken from website, since we didn't stop and park.

The last last place to mention is that I finally ate at a Waffle House. (There aren't any in New York State.) Andrew is a fan and really wanted to go there. I thought it was fine. The bacon was made to my liking...burnt, and I was excited they had cinnamon raisin toast. He had a pecan waffle. 


So I guess the moral of my trip story... No matter how much you plan things, they may not work out and you will need to be flexible. I need to relearn this. Before I owned a shop, I was pretty easy going and went with the flow. This trip taught me I need to be able to pivot. 

If you got this far, thanks for reading! 


Hello, I know it's been a little while since I've blogged, but it's because I've been busy with monster T shirts at Cats Lik...

Hello, I know it's been a little while since I've blogged, but it's because I've been busy with monster T shirts at Cats Like Us


We couldn't be more excited!   Our new line of Kooky-Spooky Ts, expertly printed locally and featuring exclusive original artwork by "Monster" Matt Pattersonare now available in-store and online!

 

Also known as "the man of 1000 bad monster jokes", Matt is an artist and award-winning author that resides in Western New York. He's known for his one-of-a-kind sculpted monster masks and love of horror movies.

 

Cats Like Us is proud to produce Matt's exclusive classic movie monsters as wearable art! The hang tag on the shirts feature the original artwork the shirt is derived from too! Available in unisex SM-XXXL. Be sure to grab yours today!





~Yes, this is what I've been busy with and couldn't be happier to have finally made these punny shirts. Thanks for sticking with me.  :)

If you're like me and laugh at gore in horror movies, you'll like the book Bunny by Mona Awad . Written in 2019, and only Awad'...

If you're like me and laugh at gore in horror movies, you'll like the book Bunny by Mona Awad. Written in 2019, and only Awad's second book, it won many awards including GoodReads Choice Award for Best Horror, The Ladies of Horror Fiction Best Novel Award, and was named a Best Book of 2019 by the New York Public Library. Little did I know she teaches at Syracuse University, just a hop (bunny humor), skip, and jump from where I live.

I went to read it blind, just knowing that it was about a group of girls, but it's more than that. It's so relatable if you've ever felt like a goth outsider (check), have a constant internal dialog (check), and overthink things (check).

Without giving too much away, it's about a grad student that falls into a saccharine sweet clique of girls that are absolutely as cultish as them seem. This book is a drug and alcohol induced trip that combines The Craft and Frankenstein into a gory story with 1980s summer movie vibes with rich kids in mansions and a nicely wrapped-up graduation ending. I couldn't put it down and wanted to know what happened next. If you like bunnies, be warned, there's a lot of bunny killing in the book. (Duh.) Despite this, I highly recommend it. I should mention it's also currently in film production!

If you're unsure if you're "ready" to see Ready or Not (2019) please run, don't walk, I can assure you, you ARE read...

If you're unsure if you're "ready" to see Ready or Not (2019) please run, don't walk, I can assure you, you ARE ready! This is a fun ensemble horror-comedy that really gives us it's all! The characters are developed, the acting is superb, the gore is top-notch, and the story has a very, very satisfying ending. 

*Spoilers*

Ready or Not takes place over the course of a night. Obscenely rich Alex and humble Grace are getting married at his parent's estate. They've earned their money creating playing cards, then board games, sporting goods, and now sports teams. Suspiciously, he gives her multiple chances to call the wedding off, but she's determined to marry into his dysfunctional family for love, not money. He knows something she doesn't. 


On the wedding night, the immediate family is called to the game room, where the new family member gets told the history of the family fortune and are given a wooden box that draws a game for them to play. It could be Old Maid or Chess, but Grace draws Hide and Seek. What everyone there knows except for Grace is that when you draw Hide and Seek you will be hunted to death. Now she must die before dawn, or everyone in the family dies. These are the sacrifices they make to keep their wealth in the name of Satan. 


Alex never told her about Hide and Seek because he didn't want to scare her away, and because it's only happened one other time in his lifetime where someone drew that card. Um, I think I'd still want to know!

Grace thinks the game night is just a weird family tradition, and she hides while each family member is given an antiquated weapon to kill her with, except Alex. The distribution of different weapons to the different characters reminded me of Clue...Emilie with a six shooter in the guest bedroom...(sorry I warned you, this is a "spoiler" section.)


Alex tries to get his new bride out of the house, but things go awry. It's a true roller coaster ride. You learn everyone's motives, but don't know who's good or bad until the end.

You see rich people trying to work for what they believe is the right thing, and Grace has always been alone fighting for herself. So there's a bit of socio-economic underpinnings in the story. She's a true final girl and doesn't need the help of a man to save her. She really evolves from beginning to end. Best of all, she's played by Samara Weaving from The Babysitter, another enjoyable horror comedy.

I love the homage to Heathers at the end where she sits on the steps of the mansion while everything is exploding and on fire behind her and lights up a cigarette. Perfection.


Ready or Not

                        
                            Heathers                                    

The practical effects are refreshing and very well done. The lighting is warm like polished wood. It's darkly funny and fresh. I give it five out of five very sharp daggers. As they say, "Till death do us part."

Here's the trailer...