Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Vested Gentress Cats

My job at Cats Like Us often requires me to do some research on brands and products, especially now that we are carrying true vintage clothing and accessories in addition to just retro. (Retro is new clothing in vintage styles.) The other day I came across a vintage dress online that had a funny cat print all over and the brand was Vested Gentress. I've come across this brand before but never thought anything of it until the cat print caught my attention. (I'm a bit of extremes, either pink and fuzzy or dark and spooky. I have a problem with cat clothes. I blogged about it before.)


This is the dress I saw, available online here.

Vested Gentress was a husband and wife team ~ Bud and Naomi ~ from Valley Forge, PA. Bud was a very good doodler and had some cartoons published. He started a men's clothing line and screen printed vests made-to-order in his home bedroom for some big names like Ambercrombie & Fitch. They played around with a women's line and eventually dissolved the men's line. The women's clothing was official in 1961. Many of the early animal drawings were designed by Bud. The big Newfoundland dog that was part of their hang tag and featured on many prints was actually their real-life dog named Briney Bear. 




There was an activewear line that was sold in country clubs and a kid's line too! They advertised in The New Yorker and even had four storefronts along the east coast. Some of the designs were exclusive to the shops. How exciting...and collectible! The company closed in 1985, after Bud's passing. 

Now I want to go out and find all their cat dresses. I have a new mission. Send help. Lol.




Here are some other fun designs...





I love them all. I hope you enjoy the whimsical style and wear what makes you happy!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Cat Cafe Anxiety

We finally got a cat cafe! The Purrfect Cat Cafe opened in Buffalo last year and Andrew and I decided to check it out. It wasn't exactly what we expected. We made reservations online for a certain day and time, and picked the afternoon "Nappy Time" because it was discounted at $5 a person, per hour. We filled out a waiver and read all the rules. I brought slippers otherwise you were supposed to wear the ones provided. I also brought a book thinking it would be lazy time with the cats, not so much!


We got there and there was no cafe part ...yet, just a cat room side, which was fine. They are working on the cafe side. We went in and were told there are ten cats roaming around! There was about five other people there too. I only found seven cats, but I'm sure the others were hiding in a back room somewhere. The room had lots of toys, places for the cats to climb, a bunch of chairs, and two love seats. It's also a mini gallery with local artist cat paintings.

(Side note: We had four cats once and one didn't get along with the others so I couldn't imagine ten cats getting along in the same room!)


Andrew petting Geno at the cafe.

In the hour we were there, two TV's were going and music, two cats hissed and swatted at each other, one cat I tried to pet scratched me, and another tried to bite me ~ but that time I prob deserved it. So it wasn't easy to curl up with a book and a cat. On the contrary, it was stressing me-ow it. If I was a cat I'd be over stimulated and hiding the whole time. It made me feel bad for them.

BUT we did see a kitty get adopted out. They are provided by the Ten Lives Club. So I think it's a good place, but personally I found it unnerving. With the new cafe part going in, I'll be content just to snack and look through the windows at the kitties.

We'll stick to Nappy Time at home with Vicktor & Ginger for now...






Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Spring 2019 Pusheen Box w Special Guest Jodee Bowie

Time is just flying by and here's the next Pusheen unboxing video! Listen to Jodee and I ramble about gumdrops, Happy Death Day, and drink a refreshing libation. (Recipe below.)



1. Pusheen Fanny Pack.


2. Exclusive Plush Pusheen wearing a hoodie. Look at those little arms!!!


3. Roller skating vinyl Pusheen.


4. Pusheen socks.



5. Magnetic key holder. This was a weird one. I feel like it didn't fit the theme.


6. Wooden block calendar.


7. Jump rope. True story: the only time I sprained anything was jump roping as a kid. I was about 10 and sprained my ankle. Never jump roped again.


8. Yoga towel. This is great because I do yoga and don't have one!


9. Windbreaker.


Black Currant Drink recipe from the video:

Blend in a pitcher

1 cup creme de cassis
2 cups lemonade
1 1/2 cups vodka

Fill a glass with ice. Then pour the above mixture over ice filling halfway and top with sparkling plain or lemon water and a lemon wheel.

You can see past boxes too: Fall 2017 Pusheen BoxWinter 2017 Pusheen Box and Spring 2018 Pusheen BoxSummer 2018 Psuheen BoxFall 2018 Pusheen Box Winter Pusheen Box 2018

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Movie: Pet Sematary (1989)

So I'm going to admit something dear readers... I never saw the original Pet Sematary (1989) all the way through or read the book. I've seen bits and pieces but I never understood the hype or cult following. I should preface this with I don't really like kids therefore I don't like horror movies with little kids. (Nope never saw Child's Play all the way through either.) AND who wants to see a dead cat? Not me. Definitely NOT appealing to me. I've been reading a lot about the Pet Sematary remake, so I thought maybe it was time to see the original. After all, resurrecting dead things is perfect for Easter weekend!


***Spoiler Alert***

Starts off like so many horror movies, the Creed family moves to the country to start over. There's Louis the dad, Rachel the mom, Ellie the daughter and Gage the son. Within the first few minutes the whole movie is set up. We meet Jud the neighbor from across the road, who cautions them about the heavy semi truck traffic and that they should fix their cat so it doesn't wander into the road and get hit. The cat is named Winston Churchill or "Church" for short. He's beautiful and gray. (Side note: It IS true that if your cat is neutered it's less likely to wander off familiar territory.)


Jud shows them that the path by their house leads to the Pet Sematary. It was created and cared for by the nearby kids as a place to remember their pets and "a place where the dead speak and rest".

Louis is an emergency room doctor and the first day at work he can't save a man that got hit by a truck. The dead man comes to him in a dream and warns him about the place beyond the Pet Sematary where the soil is "sour".


Louis gets left home alone for Thanksgiving while the rest of him family goes to Chicago. Ellie has a dream that Church dies. She's also getting warnings from the dead guy. He's really an angel guiding them but Louis doesn't seem to listen...AT ALL. Church does get hit by a truck and ends up frozen to the ground on Jud's lawn. They show the dead cat and them peeling him off the ground and putting him in a garbage bag. Gah! No wonder I never saw this movie!!!

Jud suggests burying Church beyond the Pet Sematary and Louis does! Even after the warning and seeing the ceremonial stones on the Indian burial ground. Well needless to say, Church comes back but he's not the same and reeks of death.


We find out that Rachel had to care for her dying sister who had spinal meningitis. Rachel was only 8 and resented her sister and was happy when she died. Some people say her sister is the scariest part of the movie. I wasn't impressed. She was creepy, but sickly. Sickly people don't scare me. 


Next up Gage gets hit by a truck and dies. Jud now warns Louis that a man came back from the Indian burial ground an abomination and they ended up burning him and his family down aka don't bury your son up there.

But of course, Louis buries Gage in the Indian burial ground. You'd think he would have learned! Gage comes back evil and kills Jud in a gruesome way ~ slices his ankle and face and bites his neck. Props to the director for actually showing it! Gage kills his mother and then tries to kill his dad, but Louis gives both him and Church a lethal injection. Louis leaves with Rachel and burns the house down, only to bury Rachel in the sacred ground...AGAIN! He's convinced she's more fresh and will come back the right way. Well she comes back and kills his dumb ass. 


Sometimes dead is better. Sometimes never seeing a "classic" horror movie is better. So now there's no one that we know of that knows about the burial ground and Rachel ~ the monster ~ is on the loose. It's a parable about life. Getting what you wish for isn't always the best option.

I watched the extras and it was based on Stephen King's life. The house in the country, the path, the cemetery, the dead cat were all things he experienced! I think that's the coolest part of it. I also like that they used real cats and the child actor to act evil not some dummy or stunt double. I say it's an average horror movie, 2.5 fluffy gray cats out of 5. (Although I would take care of 5.)

Another side note: What's up with the Ramones song Pet Cemetery? You can read about it here.

Trailer. 

p.s. Why did all the horror movie trailers from the 1980s have the same guy doing the voice over? hahaha.


Monday, April 8, 2019

Riverdale Thoughts

I enjoyed the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina so much that I decided to watch Riverdale, also part of Archie Horror Comics world. Let's just say Riverdale is Twin Peaks, but less odd, mixed with the scandal of Peyton Place, and blended with Buffy high school drama to make a tasty cocktail.


The first season starts off the same as Twin Peaks, a student is killed at the river. It's a murder mystery while the audience is introduced to all the players. The main characters are Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Archie, and their parents. The adults on the show are well-known faces. Madchen Amick, who plays Betty's mom was Shelly Johnson a waitress at the Double R Diner on Twin Peaks. The Double R is where "pies go to die". She even serves cherry pie to Betty and Archie on Riverdale, it's an obvious nod to her Twin Peaks days.


With Josie and the Pussycats prominently featured in season one I was hoping for good music, but the music is horrible, distracting even. The actresses can sing, but the songs are mostly remakes with droning sad female vocal fry, some covers sound as depressing as country music. Sorry Josie!

Second season is focused on finding out, "Who is the Black Hood killer?" He's going around town murdering people that he feels deserve it, and with all the awful people on the show he's a busy serial killer.


It's fun because there's horror movie references sprinkled throughout, mostly mentioned by Jughead. There's The Shining rug print pillows on the bed at the lodge they are staying in, Jughead mentions Dracula on more than one occasion, Cheryl's Nana Rose is poisoned with tannis root (which by the way is not a real root, it was made up by Ira Levin for the book Rosemary's Baby.), and they perform Carrie: The Musical in their high school. I feel like the only successful musical episode was the Buffy episode Once More with Feeling. It moved the plot along and by the end it was explained why they were singing. The Riverdale episode seems to have been made just to showcase the actors singing abilities, not necessarily driving the story line. It all takes place on the high school stage like a real musical. I was disappointed and found it to be forced and uncomfortable.

In conclusion, I hate the music on the show, but I'm enjoying the soap opera story. A few ending thoughts...Jughead has about 10 different jean jackets. How does he afford all of them if he's living at the drive-in or in a trailer. They can be expensive! FP (Jughead's dad), played by Skeet Ulrich gives the best advice on the show. I love him and not just because he was in Scream and The Craft. Also by the end of season two I love Cheryl. Her spider pins, cherry sweaters, and red lipstick speak to my gothabilly heart.



Haven't watched season three yet, I'm waiting for it to be available on Netflix, in the meantime season two of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was just added and I'll be checking that out while I wait

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Movie: Us (2019)

There is so much hype surrounding Us after Jordan Peele's first movie Get Out that I had to see it. When I originally reviewed Get Out, the story line had a lot to unpack. I only scraped the surface so I wouldn't give anything away. In Us there's a ton of hints along the way leading you to the finale. Again this isn't "horror" in the traditional sense, but more the horror that comes along with human nature. I'm going to try to break down the clues a little better in this blog. I'm sure there's more, but this was my takeaway.


***SPOILER ALERT***

In the very beginning of the movie there's an enigmatic reference to all the abandoned underground subways, tunnels, and mines. Clue 1.

We then see the protagonist Adelaide as a little girl watching a commercial for Hands Across America in 1986. This is a real thing that happened for those that don't know. It was supposed to show unity and awareness of the hunger crisis and homelessness taking over America. What it did was brought together people, including celebrities, that donated to the cause. They ended up contributing less than half of what was collected to those living in poverty. BUT my eye went straight to the VHS tapes on the left of the TV. There's three and the one that stood out was C.H.U.D., because you can actually read the title. It's an 80s cult classic AND C.H.U.D. stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. Clue 2.

Much of the story is told in flashbacks. Young Adelaide and her parents are at Santa Cruz boardwalk by the beach and they mention a movie that is being filmed there. (It's The Lost Boys , YES! Wonderful shoutout.) After her irresponsible dad wins her a Thriller T shirt at a game, she wanders off into a hall of mirrors. The power goes out and you see her inside alone being confronted with a girl that looks just like her, that's NOT a reflection.


There's religious overtones referencing Jeremiah 11:11 or "Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not harken to them."

Flash forward to her being a mom in the Wilson family with two kids and a husband. Her husband suggests going to the Santa Cruz beach where they can meet their friends ~ The Tylers ~ for a vacation. She doesn't want to go because of what happened there. This part is filmed great because we go inside her head where she stops listening. She's disconnected from her family. They do end up going and on the way her daughter mentions the government controlling people. No one responds to the comment, they ignore it. (It's like living with my family.) Clue 3.

The Wilsons meet their well-off friends on the beach. Kitty, the mom had plastic surgery, the dad brags about his boat. The have a giant beach house.

Adelaide is incredibly observant taking in all the people on the beach surrounding her, again we get to see what she sees. She's alone in a beach full of people. There's coincidences like a frisbee landing right on the spot of a polka dot blanket, it's red, white, and blue with stars representing America?, her friends twin daughters saying the same thing at the same time, 11:11 is the score on TV and on the clock, odd nuances that are building the story. At one point her friend, Kitty asks if she's ok, and she responds with "Sometimes I find it hard to talk". Clue 4.

Once back at their modest beach house The Wilsons get ready for bed and the home invasion begins. There's a doppelganger family that breaks in, all wearing one tan finger less glove, a red jumpsuit, and each carrying sharp gold scissors. (The one glove is another reference to Michael Jackson, possibly the red outfit from the Thriller video too.) The matriarch of the family "Red" speaks to them in a scary distorted voice, explaining that the Tethered live underground as part of a failed government experiment. She's the only one that speaks. Clue 5. The Tethered look like them and reenact the same things they do above, but unlike the top dwellers their only food is raw rabbit, and they are given sharp things to play with instead of toys. (I'm guessing the scissors.) She even states that her son was "born into fire" and she had to cut him out of her belly herself. This establishes the underground family as abandoned and feral. They came above to be "untethered".


The Wilsons fight off the Tethered family, not without a bunch of symbolism to being connected like scissors, i.e. two pieces of the same part, handcuffs, her son's werewolf mask that he wears almost the whole movie gives a sense of duality, even the life preserver attached to the boat.


They escape to The Tylers house and find out they are not the only family being targeted by the Tethered. The Tylers have been killed while Good Vibrations from The Beach Boys plays in the background. Lots of irony in this movie. It reminded me of how Singing in the Rain is used in A Clockwork Orange. When you see the dead twins sprawled on the floor, it's the exact shot from The Shining with the Grady twins on the floor and blood splatter on the walls. It just proves, more money might buy you more choice in boats and houses, but it can't save you and Peele has been influenced by Stanley Kubrick.


(Scene from The Shining)

They kill the Tylers doubles. Adelaide takes on one of the girls and smashes her, not before her son sees the savage rage in her eyes. The Wilsons are trying to figure out what is going on, flick on the TV and find out everyone is getting killed by their look alike counterpart. It's going on all over the country. Once the above dwellers are dead the Tethered join hands much like the Hands Across America commercial. Clue 6. In their red jumpsuits it's a strong visual. Now we know the Tethered has the upper hand because they had a plan all along. It's a massacre along the sunny beach and boardwalk. Another sharp disturbing contrast.

Red takes Adelaide's son and Adelaide goes after her, down to the beach and in the mirrored house, down the rabbit hole, ala Alice in Wonderland. The underground is cavernous just like the mirror house, but somehow she knows exactly where she's going. Clue 7.


Red and Adelaide fight to the death. Red explains that they learned how to "copy the body not the souls of people" and that "our time is now". She has created a mob mentality among the Tethered that's very scary. I'm not going to tell you what happens, but all four members of the Wilson family survive and the bunnies are let loose. (Yay! Poor bunnies.)

I really enjoyed this movie. The Wilson's are likable and realistic. There's social commentary about poverty and how what you are born into does effect your life to an extent. The top dwellers take things for granted compared to the Tethered, and the Tylers have a lot compared to the Wilsons. Everyone stop comparing yourself, we truly are our own worst enemy!

It makes you think. I do have a couple of questions regarding the movie. Are the Tethered breaking free from the underground and controlling the coincidences above? Does Adelaide's son know what happened all those years ago? Who fed the bunnies underground and cleaned up their poop?

Now my real question is Get Out in the same world as Us? Was the father from Get Out part of the government that was experimenting on people? Curious it all takes place underground. Thank you Jordan Peele for original ideas and making me ask questions! I give this movie five giant golden sharp scissors out of five.

Here's the trailer...


Friday, March 29, 2019

The Buckland Museum & Cleveland

Since Andrew ~ my hubs ~ and I couldn't take our vacation last year because Ginger got sick, we took the trip we had planned last year this past weekend. It's a was three and a half hour road trip to Cleveland, Ohio. Again the joys of living in Buffalo, NY is that you are close by to some major cities!

We made sure to stop at the Buckland Witchcraft and Magick Museum. I had heard about it when researching Salem a few years back and I knew it was in Ohio. It has since moved from it's original tiny location to a large gallery room with a gift shop attached. We visited about three days after the grand re-opening. So I imagine it's all a work in progress and they are getting settled in like anything else. (I totally understand because I own Cats Like Us and it's changed a lot over ten years.)


You enter through the gift shop, which I highly recommend exploring. They have new and vintage books on the occult, spiritualism, and everything in between along with inexpensive crystals, tarot cards, spell bags, posters, and jewelry.

Admission to the museum is only $7 for 1 adult and includes an introduction from the attendant ~ that in our case ~ just happened to be Steve Intermill the Director of the Museum! Otherwise it is self-guided tour and divided into sections including herbalism, divination, 1960s pop culture and more. There's artifacts, tools, ephemera, and art from leading practitioners in the pagan community. Also, if you have questions ask! There's so much history and information it's hard to pack it into one room.



A little background; Raymond Buckland was the person that brought the Wicca religion to the US. He traveled and collected pieces from the religion which makes up beginnings of The Buckland Museum and there's still more being discovered and added. They have a rotating exhibition space within the larger room that included Buckland's personal tarot cards created by him, so the exhibits stay fresh.



He inspired the robe worn in the Love Witch.



They even have a Lil Bub jar! I spoke with the director about meeting Lil Bub 
and when he met her he almost got to babysit her! (Second pic taken from The Buckland Museum)


Overall, the museum is small and charming, it's exactly what I expected. Perfect for anyone like me interested in witches, history, and museums.

Other places of interest we stopped on our little jaunt:

Southern Tier Brewing Cleveland we like flavored beers and fresh cut fries for the win!




Since we are tikiphiles we stayed at the Tiki Air BnB aka Davide's Tropical Paradise, it's definitely kitsch-tastic. Not only is there a stocked tiki bar kitchen, the bedroom is filled with country western singers, there's an "edelwiess" room, and a prayer closet. You kind of just have to see it. I was creeped out by the prayer closet. Reminds me a little too much of Carrie.









Being crazy tiki people we recommend stopping at Porco and Tiki Underground.



For vintage shopping we went to Suite Lorain and Flower Child. Be warned Suite Lorain is JAM PACKED, if you are claustrophobic you may get a little nervous in here. Be sure to set aside time to dig through everything. Flower Child is a little more organized and open, but it does have two floors of great vintage so plan time to look at everything.

Finally, we stopped at The Christmas Story House, or the house that TBS built. Lol. It's the actual house where the movie was filmed, but it's more than that. It's a whole complex. There's four buildings, the house, the Bumpus House that's a bed and breakfast next door, the Museum with photos and props from the movie, and the Gift Shop.






 The Christmas Story House was interactive fun.


So until next time, thanks for reading!