Monday, June 1, 2020

Spring 2020 Pusheen Box

Well I miss unboxing with my friend Jodee, and with everything going on in the world I'm kinda down in the dumps...but this Pusheen Box was really great. You know how I like useful things, and I plan to use all of it, probably not in the way it was intended. I don't plan to use the vinyl toy, because there is no real use for it...except being a dust collector. I really miss the plush Pusheens, I like them so much better than the vinyls.

Do you miss hearing my voice, or want to see little Ginger sit so close to me she wants to be underneath me? Watch my unboxing video!



So I guess the theme was house plants. I thought it was going to be a tropical/ tiki theme. *shrug*

1. A Wall Hanging. I don't plan to use this as a wall hanging, but I'll use it as a decorative table cloth or possibly a scarf. 

2. Glass bottle with a strainer. I plan to use this for hot and cold tea. It's small but, brews about a normal coffee mug size.



3. An incense dish. I plan to use it for holding my tea bags when I'm done seeping them or for a spoon rest. I think Pusheen's a cutie on this dish.


4. Heating Pad. But it can be used for a cold pack too. I already used it. Stays warm for about 20 minutes. It's a great size, perfect for lower back pain or cramps. Not sure I like the picture on it. Looks a little too 1980s, but I'll still use it.


5. Vinyl Figure. Meh.


6. Notepad. I love their notepads, I use them all the time to make lists. I know how I feel, I feel tired...all the time...it's never ending. I do like the little sloth on it though.


7. Wooden Tray. I plan to lacquer over this so I can use it for drinks etc. It's pretty nice and sturdy too. It will help me organize my tea.


8. Silky Summer Bathrobe. (It's actually polyester.) Super cute and comfy. Now the weather just needs to cooperate.


Thanks for reading and be well!

Past unboxings
Fall 2017 Pusheen Box
Winter 2017 Pusheen Box
Spring 2018 Pusheen Box
Summer 2018 Pusheen Box
Fall 2018 Pusheen Box
Winter Pusheen Box 2018
Spring Pusheen Box with Jodee Bowie
Summer 2019 Pusheen Box
Fall 2019 Pusheen Box
Winter 2019 Pusheen Box and Soup



Saturday, May 30, 2020

Mandy (2018)

From horror movie fans, I've heard mostly good things about the Nic Cage movie Mandy. I've been planning to watch it for a while, and I wanted to go in blind. I knew he was in it and it was gory ~ that's it. After I saw his performance in Color Out of Space, I think he's cemented his place in the horror movie genre and let me just say Mandy is a 1980s-heavy metal-fantasy-nightmare-revenge-love story, so a little bit for everyone. No really, it is!


***SPOILER ALERT***

This movie is divided into three parts, the first is The Shadow Mountains 1983, where we see Red played by Nic Cage and his girlfriend Mandy played by a haunting Andrea Riseborough and their comfortable understanding relationship. They have a big cabin the the woods that's covered in widows so you're practically outside. It feels early 1980s with Regan on the radio, the woods, nature, and the remnants of the 1970s interest in the occult floating around in the air.

Mandy is a fantasy artist. She draws things you would see on heavy metal album covers or on the side of 1970s vans. She wears metal band T shirts, reads fantasy books, and has long black straight hair that gives off witchy vibes. She also has a scar on her face that's never quite explained, but we do know that her father liked to kill defenseless animals. (She talks about it, but thank goodness it's not shown in a flash back. Yikes.) Her character is mysterious and hypnotizing. She has an unspoken history that's captivating. Her interaction with Cage makes his acting seem wooden, almost bored, but don't worry he's showcased in the second and third parts of the movie. The next segment is called Children of the New Dawn.

We are then introduced to this cult when they drive by Mandy walking down the road. The leader, Jeremiah, can't stop thinking about her. He tells one of his cult members to kidnap her and bring her to him. Brother Swan uses the Horn of Abraxas (a sort of flute type thing) to summon a demon biker gang called the Black Skulls. The cult sacrifices one of their own to the biker gang so the gang will help kidnap Mandy. A "Blood for blood" deal. When we see the bikers about to home invade the cabin it's reminiscent of the killing scene from The Lost Boys. Already this movie is invading the soft space in my heart.


Mandy (2018)


The Lost Boys (1987)

Of course they successfully kidnap Mandy and they put drops in her eye and sting her with the biggest bug I've ever seen. (Gross.) She starts hallucinating. (Really drugging her is the only way they could ever get her to stay there.) Jeremiah says that she called out to him "silently" and he plays her his album. We find out the cult leader was a musician, but he wasn't successful in the way he wanted to be so he forms this cult instead. He thinks he can take anything he wants because the voice inside his head told him he could. Mandy laughs at the music and at him, humiliating him in front of his followers.

Meanwhile Red is tied up with barbed wire outside. The cult has Mandy in a sleeping bag, they hang her up and set her on fire for Red to watch. She's burned to ash and they stab Red and leave him tied up. Eventually he frees himself and vows to seek revenge on the bikers and the cult. Now it begins. He has an emotionally charged screaming session in the bathroom in his cabin and it's AMAZING. Just look!


Using this bathroom to prep in the morning for work would def keep me awake and raring to go!
I love it.

This is the Nic Cage I want to see in movies! The over-the-top psychotic rage acted out in his underwear in a day-glo bathroom. Scenes like this give me life! Now you know something big is going to happen.

Red goes to his old friend and picks up some weapons. You don't find out how they know each other or why his friend is storing his weapons or how he knows how to forge a scythe thingy, but that isn't the point ~ you don't care! You just want to see him use the stuff! We also find out from his friend that the bikers were once people and bad LSD caused them to turn into demons that like pain. Um ok. Hellraiser much? Again this movie comes for my heart.

In the final third part of the movie called Mandy, it's the action fight sequence that's been building up. Red finds the bikers, then offs them one at a time, he even takes one down single handedly! The one is so coked out watching porn it's hard to believe they can get their shit together to be called by the Horn of Abraxas. Anyway, Red is covered in blood, and reminds me of Ash from The Evil Dead  (1981) AND there's even a chainsaw fight! Now this movie really has me hooked.


Nic Cage covered in blood and being crazy. 
(This pic is a little fuzzy because I photographed it from my TV)


Bruce Campbell covered in blood and being Bruce Campbell.

After killing all the bikers, Red snorts some cocaine and finds the "real" drugs in a jar. He takes a tiny taste and it melts his face off....figuratively and visually. Then Red goes to the LSD maker to find the cult. It's a trippy scene ~ there's even a lion!

The cult members are holed up in a church that has underground tunnels. He kills some of the members, but not all. Does this mean there will be a sequel? He dramatically kills Jeremiah and says "I'm your God now", then walks away in slow motion as the church burns. Kinda epic.

There's a lot to unpack in this phantasmagorical movie. It's interspersed with cartoon dream sequences, a cheddar goblin, and psychedelic colors. Red truly becomes one of the characters in a fantasy novel that Mandy reads about. It's a wild ride. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 boxes of mac and cheese ~ only because I want more back story on the characters, Mandy was stupid for essentially telling the cult where she lives, and their cabin has bad feng shui with couches facing away from doors and windows. Anyho...

Here's the trailer...

Monday, May 11, 2020

#cats_the_mewvie (2020)

My curiosity got the best of me when I saw Netflix made a movie called #cats_the_mewvie. It's not my style to care about Instagram celebrities, but this movie is about celebrity cats, so of course, I'm in!

The movie ~ or should I say mewvie ~ is a documentary interviewing famous cats and their owners, but also talking to social media experts and how cats have become the "happy" part of the internet.

It shows Mike, Lil Bub's owner, who I met in real life and he's a super cool guy. He talks about how Bub is an inspiration ~ or should I say inspurration ~ with her determination and challenges. She was only supposed to live a couple of months, but ended up living seven years! She was the first cat born with her rare disease, and she was studied to help doctors learn more about how it also effects people born with it. Her meet and greets and merchandise helped raise a lot of money for disabled cats too! How great is that?! Cats can be more than just models for cute pictures, they can have a purpose too ~ or should I say purrpose? Good job Bub, R.I.P.


I cherish this picture so much, it lives on my desktop at work.

The movie spends a lot of time with the catsofinstagram creators, who are kind of annoying. They keep saying how "weird" their cat Pudge is. Yes, THAT Pudge, the famous cat. Of course, Pudge is well known because she's owned by the creators of catsofinstagram, and they are constantly promoting her, and the latest cat trends. (Which quite honestly I don't understand "cat trends", cats are cats.) I found it odd the way they talked about Pudge, I guess I just have a special bond with my cats, and I don't think they are weird at all. I get my cats and they get me. Maybe Pudge doesn't want to be in the spotlight.


Adorable Pudge.

Other experts on famous cats they spoke with were the curator from the Museum of the Moving Image and how he organized an exhibition in 2015 called How Cats Took Over the Internet. I wish I could have been there for that! The movie also recognizes the "meme librarian" from tumblr that works for the page Boys with Beards and Cats, and that literally is all that's on her page, bearded guys with cats. They quickly talk to the creator of the Infinite Cat Project, how viral cat memes took over the internet in 2004, the lol speak of cats, the editor for the Animal section on Buzzfeed, a talent agent for "pet influencers", and the kittenlady. I adore the kitten lady because she's all about educating people on cats and kittens. I've been following her for a long time ~ or should I say fur a long time? She even writes books!


The movie delves into the social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram too. YouTube was created to transcends language with videos that can be taken with your phone. In 2010 Instagram was launched and cat owners now have a time to shine and show off their cats. Cat owners are relatable, and people are excited about posting their cats. It's as simple as that. All cats are beautiful, but of course their owners think they are extra special and can breakthrough to become the world's most popular cat, but it's not that simple. It's kind of sad and what Mike says at the end of the movie makes sense. So many cat owners want to make their cats famous, but is it good for the cat? Not always. Now we are in the next generation of Instagram cats and it seems your cat has to have a quirk to make it stand out since there are so many cats online. You need to have a defined brand and it takes a ton of time to photograph cats and edit the pictures. It has become work.

They interview owners that seem almost desperate to make their cats famous, like fatcathercules (who is a cute chonky boi) and RuPaws Drag Race. I'm sure after this movie, the publicity ~ or should I say purrplicity ~ should help!


Fat Cat Hercules and his 27 lbs.

Some of the other cats featured are Nala, Oscar & Klaus, Suki the Adventure Cat, Monty Happiness, Homer the Blind Wonder Cat, benbencatcat, Atchoum, Nathan the Beach Cat and more! So if you want to watch cats, or see who own's the famous ones, it's a great movie.

I firmly believe cats connect people. They bring joy and happiness by their cuteness, purrsonality and independence. If you win over a cat, you're good people.

(I'm sorry I couldn't find a trailer for it.)


Monday, May 4, 2020

Pussweek ~ the Magazine for Cats by Cats!

I discovered Pussweek when I went for a visit to the Buckminster Cat Cafe a couple months ago. I just had to know more about this thoughtfully laid out cat magazine! A magazine written by cats for cats?! I was intrigued and ordered the Deluxe Pack that comes with seven magazines, a small poster, magnet, two stickers, holiday cards, and a bow tie. I just had to have it all!


I'll just start by saying the box came packaged beautifully. If you you've ever seen me unbox makeup or subscription boxes in my other blogs you know I really appreciate packaging.





This magazine puts a smile on my face in these uncertain times. 


It really gets in and asks the important questions...



They even featured my girl Lil Bub on one of the covers!


It's very funny and the pictures are high quality. Did I mention there's a centerfold?! Scandalous!


I tried to put the bow tie on little Ginger
but she was not about to pose, and in true cat form 
she just fell asleep.




I don't think she likes the magazine as much as I do. Oh well, so much for a cat magazine for cats.

Friday, May 1, 2020

In Search of Darkness (2019)

Last year I sponsored a kickstarter for a documentary about iconic 1980s horror movies called In Search of Darkness. I received a digital and DVD copy and decided to watch it. You have to really like 80s horror and documentaries since it's about 4.5 hours long! Honestly it's really not a problem for me, especially since this movie is peppered with famous horror movie actors, directors, writers trailers, and behind the scenes...AND Elvira is in it!


(See this picture. I'm that Gen X kid that had to entertain themselves, parked in front of the TV for hours absorbing all the horror I possibly can.)

This movie follows the decade year by year interviewing people about their involvement in certain iconic movies, discussing the elaborate and inventive horror movies of the 1980s. It also highlights how horror movies can be a coping mechanism for dealing with real life, the thrill of finally being able to buy and curate your movie selection because of VHS tapes, how influential the VHS cover art was, the practical special effects, how horror dipped it's toes in 3D, the horror villain franchise, the rise of the scream queen or final girl, the soundtracks, the dedicated and inclusive fandoms and MORE!

Yes it covers the expected Fri the 13ths and Halloweens, and they mentioned a couple movies I always meant to see and forgot about. I can now say that they've been added to the elusive "list" that I have of things I'll eventually watch. (Seriously though, I do have a list.)

Some movies that I was surprised to see included in this "iconic" list are Fade to Black, Full Moon High, Q: The Winged Serpent, Dolls, and 976 Evil. I am glad that they included the Troma Films too. Once you see any of those, they stick with you like slime.

It'll be interesting to see where contemporary horror movies develop in terms of story lines. The 1980s seemed to be rich with innovative new ideas and lately movies seem to be lazy with remakes. The horror community is hungry for original ideas. Anything new is exciting and welcomed with open arms, because of the fact it's different! (At least that's how I feel.)

The other thing to think about is VHS tapes. They are destroyed and lost. So many B horror movies are not being transferred to a new medium and shared. So many stories will be forgotten. I give it 5 out of 5 Be Kind Rewind stickers. Also I don't know how they made it only 4.5 hours. It could easily be 10!

Here's the trailer...


I was so excited to see my name in the credits!!! (I'm a super dork.)


Currently the same collaborators are collecting money through a kickstarter for a 1980s Sci Fi version called In Search of Tomorrow. You can find information about donating here.

Monday, April 20, 2020

*URGENT* Become a Kitty Pen Pal!

A friend of mine was checking in with me via email and he shared this link, encouraging me to become a kitty pen pal. Who knew you could become a kitty pen pal?! The Philbrook Museum of Art in Oklahoma has three cats that roam the gardens as part of the pest control. Since the museum is closed because of the coronavirus the cats are lonely and want you to write to them! They said you can write to Cleo and Perilla (pictured below), which I did, hoping they write back!




I'm a collector of vintage stationary and mailed the kitties a vintage card and included my shop information. After all, it's named Cats Like Us. If they get your letter by April 26, you'll get a letter back!!! (Hence the "URGENT" in the title.) What are you waiting for? There's lonely kitties out there that need your letter!!!

Follow up 5/7/2020

I got a response back! Vicktor, Ginger and I were invited to visit Perilla! AND I got a sticker. :)



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Emporium 32 & Shopping Small

Normally I'm not one to shop when I'm depressed ~ sleep, yes ~ but shop, no. With everything going on in the world, I was feeling kind of down last week. One of the shops I follow, The Pickety Witch (that I've blogged about before) posted a picture of some pins they made exclusively for Emporium 32 in Salem, MA. The Witch House pin was one I needed to buy.


If you follow my blog, you know that I love Salem, and blogged about The Witch City after revisiting her in 2017. At the time I didn't know about Emporium 32, they had only been open a year, but I would have definitely paid them a visit. The shop specializes in traditional style, supports independent artists, and carries many exclusives. Oh, and it's run by a husband and wife team. Um, yes, I can relate. My shop Cats Like Us is our life. We carry retro and vintage clothing and accessories and we have an "Everyday is Halloween" Collection. After learning this, I knew I had to make a purchase and support a small business. I went with the pin and a Salem necklace.


My order shipped quickly and they came wrapped in a cute little bag with a sticker and lollipop. It really brightened my day in this uncertain time. I can't wait to wear them when I'll actually see people! Since I can't do that right now, I thought I'd share it in a blog. Please support small businesses we need it more than ever now, and there's lots of ways to do it. Of course buying something works, but here's a graphic I found that helps too.


Thanks for reading and be well!


Friday, April 10, 2020

Cats the Movie (2019)

I'm going to review THAT Cats.


Let me begin with ~ I saw the Cats musical ~ or should I say meow-sical? production when I was 12 years old. I was a smitten kitten and loved it. What's not to love? It's about cats! It was an immersive experience with the set being a giant junkyard, and the characters only consisting of actors dressed as cats, there were no "people" in the show. Each performer was covered in a lycra unitard trimmed in plush fur and their markings, movements, and attributes are what made them distinct characters in the musical. I was enthralled with the costumes, the acrobatic prowess of the performers, their cat-like nature, and the synth-y keyboard music. I left with a Cats sweatshirt and the soundtrack on audio cassette. (Yes, I'm dating myself now.) When the production rolled through town again ten years later, I was there, still fully in love with everything about it. The latest movie is not the stage production.


I love all these cat costumes and their furry heads are the best part! 

***SPOILER ALERT***

Cats the movie, follows pretty much the story of the musical with a few tweaks here and there. It has cats, rituals, magic, singing and dancing, and the moon. What could go wrong?

The story is based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possom's Book of Practical Cats. (I've written about it before when I blogged about Edward Gorey.) It's about a gang of cats called the jellicle cats that go the the jellicle ball once a year where one of them is picked by a wise cat named Old Deuteronomy to be "reborn" in the Heaviside Layer. It's a place where you can be the cat you've always wanted to be, it could be heaven, or it could have to do with cats having nine lives, it's never really explained. Throughout the musical each cat is introduced and you learn their backstory and why some of them would want to go there.

The first few minutes into the movie it's hard to tell if it's going to be a cartoon because of the heavy CGI on the actors cat ears and tails. They have the faces of the actors and they almost look projected on to the bodies, anthropomorphic cats. At first it's a little disturbing, but by the end of the movie you're used to it. I can see where they thought this might have been a good idea. It's the perfect way to experiment with advanced CGI and I'm sure the actors thought it was cool to be turned into cats. I was hoping that this would update the story, but honestly I think it would have been better with the lycra and faux fur. It was hard to make out the individual cats like in the musical, most of them just look like tabbys, and the fur looks almost flat, without texture. Don't get me wrong the tail and ear movements were pretty accurate, but the costuming ~ if you can call it that ~ falls flat.


The movie takes place on the street set in a theater district. The main scene is performed in a run down theater. It looses the charm of taking place in a dingy junkyard.

The dancing is good, and includes a lot of styles, but its's lacking in the acrobatic style. Most of the leaps and jumps look computer generated, and it takes away from the performance. I did enjoy that they made Skimbleshanks, The Railway Cat, a tap dancer. I'm a tap dancer from way back, and he starts slow with paradiddles and works his way up, it's great!

Here's his full scene if you can stand 4.5 minsutes of it. Lol.


The comedic parts interspersed throughout the movie are BAD, with a capital B. In the original musical, the whole story is told through songs. In the movie, it was mostly told through songs, but there was some hokey comedy bits fit for a five year old. I was waiting for a fart joke. This ruined the tone of the movie.

Taylor Swift's part is miscast. She is meant to play a sexy cat and has one featured song. Sorry Taytay, in my mind you are not a slinky sexy cat. You are a tall young girl that's annoying. In the movie she swings down on a fake moon and sprinkles catnip on the cats. Was this added to give her a bigger role? Not really sure. It seemed completely out of place.


Old Deuteronomy is played by Judi Dench, whereas in the stage production it's normally a male role. It enjoyed this switch-up, and after some research I found out she was meant to be in the very first production of Cats in 1981, but got injured before it opened.

Jennifer Hudson is the best part of the movie. Anytime she sings, it's like she stops time. Her rendition of "Memory" is powerful and dare-I-say moving? It's absolutely beautiful.


A new song was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Taylor Swift for this movie called "Beautiful Ghosts". It's also an equally great song, but it really needs a stronger singer to perform it in the movie.

Overall, I'll say it again, the singing by Jennifer Hudson is the best part of the movie. Don't expect any purrs from me. I predict with the other scathing reviews it's recieved, they will help elevate the versions of Cats to cult status. I give it 1.5 meows out of 5.

Here's the trailer. A little disappointed it doesn't have the original overture because it was so atmospheric, but a reworked version of it...


Here's the original overture...









Sunday, March 29, 2020

COVID-19 & In Fabric (2019)

Ok, I've been laying low because of all the chaos that's going on in the world right now with COVID-19. We are truly living in a real life horror movie, that being said I've had to close my storefront Cats Like Us and get to posting every single thing we have in our stockroom on our website catslikeus.com so customers can continue to shop and we can have money coming in. It's not a perfect situation, but it'll have to do for now. That means I've been busier than normal behind the scenes running my business, so forgive me for not blogging more! I hope all of you are well and taking precautions.💓

Last night I had a chance to watch a movie I've been meaning to see...In Fabric (2019). I always said that if I ever wrote a horror movie, I would write about what I know ~ clothing retail. This movie is about a killer dress...and by "killer" I don't mean fabulous, I mean it actually kills people!


 ***SPOILERS AHEAD, SORT OF***

In short, the movie follows a cursed red dress that travels from person to person.

What I found interesting was the store, Dently and Soper, that sells the dress and it's proprietors. They are dressed in outfits inspired by turn of the century full mourning dresses, speak in riddles, wear wigs, practice cult-like rituals on their creepy anatomically correct-ish mannequins, and that instead of a fitting room they have "The Transformation Sphere". Are the workers part of a cult? Not sure, but they are definitely eccentric. Do they control the dress? Also, not sure. But one thing I do know, if you wear the clothing you sell at work, you are more likely to sell it. They ~ in no way ~ wear what they sell. It's so out of place among the ho-hum customers, the juxtaposition becomes funny. The customers are complete savages though, crowded at the shop doors waiting for them to open...daily. (Ok, I admit, I'm a bit jealous of that. Maybe I should start a cult and more people would come to my shop? Yes? No?)


The red dress is very pretty, flattering on everyone that wears it, it's completely indestructible, slinks around on it's own, floats in the air, "watches" you sleep, and spontaneously combusts. All that from a LRD! (Little Red Dress)


I won't give much more away except that the dress is worn by three people in the movie and the same thing happens to all of them, but be sure to watch it until the end. Then ask yourself, are they in hell now? Or was their life on earth hell?

The visuals and soundtrack are what interest me too. Vintage fashion ads interspersed between creepy mannequins with no eyes, the odd storefront, and the red fabric. The flowing red fabric is reminiscent of David Lynch movies and the psychedelic swirls and colors, eroticism, abstract piano notes and synthesizer soundtrack, and directing have a bit of a throw back to the gaillo films. Overall I give it four mannequins out of five for weirdness. I like weird.

Here's the trailer...