Two of the internet's favorite grumpy grouches finally face off in a to-the-death grumpy grouch-off! In this corner, it's reigning heavy-weight grumpy champion OSCAR THE GROUCH. And in the other corner, it's brash young upstart and internet-beloved grouchy feline, GRUMPY CAT. Who shall emerge victorious?!? (Trust me, you will. Because this is nothing but goddamn adorable.)
Portland's Audubon Society has announce the public release of two peregrine falcons who were found ailing in N Portland in mid-September. Turns out there was a rash of botulism (!) at Smith and Bybee Lakes this summer, and the birds "had likely fed on contaminated waterfowl."
That's no bueno, but the good news is that the birds are now completely rehabilitated, and will be released at 11 am tomorrow morning in Kelley Point Park, and the public is invited to witness their majestic reintroduction to the wild. Which falcons are peregrine falcons? Oh, just the world’s fastest animal ones, NBD. You know:
The birds have apparently been training for the big day in the Audubon's "flight cage"—hit the jump for a couple more pics!
As Marjorie mentioned last week, the Oregon Cats Classic was happening in town over the weekend. In an inspired attempt to claw the cat-lady-in-chief reins from Alison Hallett, I pointed and yelled something about Cheryl Strayed, and while she was distracted, I swiped her beat.
And it. Was. Glorious.
Click for more cats. You know you want to.
This weekend (Saturday and Sunday) is the Oregon Cats Classic, which involves cats competing in agility courses and being examined and judged for thing like the sheen of their coats and temperament, and some really impressive graphic design:
Cat shows are obviously a squee fest for anyone who geeks out over the animals themselves, but it is also some of the most amazing people watching you will ever have a chance to see. Cat show people
Case in point is an odd little internet road I wandered down yesterday (via some suggestion from Erik) known as the website for Chanan, the husband/wife duo who have been in the business of cat photography for 35 years (they'll be taking the official photos at this weekend's proceedings). Specifically the magnificently TMI bio page, which tells of how they double dated in their youth and of the year that they "moved into a larger home with facilities for a studio and office
separate from their living quarters," and the frustrating period of "seven intense years of trying to conceive." That's right. Intense. In conclusion, go to the cat show, especially if you have never been to one. And maybe smoke some weed first. It will be delightful.
The Most Famous Painter in the World takes on a daring new subject.
A fishing boat exploding off the coast of Oregon—but two kitties (and their owners) managed to survive the blast:
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — When the engine of their tuna boat exploded last week, owners Mark and Cynthia Schneider had no choice but to jump into the ocean and leave behind their two cats on the doomed vessel.
After being rescued by a nearby boat, they were stunned when they looked out at their sinking boat and saw one of the cats — a tabby named Jasper — on the bow. The other cat, a calico named Topaz, was in the ocean and eventually swam through the debris to safety on the rescue boat.
Jasper remained stranded at sea on the bow. As the boat sank deeper into the ocean, he was forced to jump in and swim toward his owners about 100 yards away. The cat made it to safety unharmed.
The story notes that the couple lost $40,000 worth of tuna when the boat sank, fish that was "destined for New Seasons Market." So, sorry if there's a tuna shortage at New Seasons—BUT AT LEAST JASPER AND TOPAZ ARE OKAY!
I'm a huge fan of local comics creator Ben Dewey—he's done the show Erik and I produce a few times, most recently last Thursday; and his Tragedy Series, about the tiny tragedies the world is full of, is one of the best things on the whole internet:
Read the whole thing here!
Get it, "Purrs Thursday?" Kinda sounds like "First Thursday?" Never mind.
Cat lovers: The Oregon Humane Society is hosting a free evening of wine and Captain Morgan over
fine art CATS!!! On August 1 from 5-8 pm at Tufenkian Carpets (515 NW 10th), you'll be able to meet adoptable kittehs (squeeee!), play cat trivia for prizes (!), and—maybe best of all—consult with an OHS cat behavior specialist and finally find out what your cat is telling you when she poops in the bathtub.
There'll also be a "kitty confessional" where you can give recorded testimony about what your cat's idiosyncrasies are (like pooping in the bathtub), footage from which may be chosen for use during the OHS Telethon or Festival de Tuna Cannes. Which, BY TEH WAY, is a new film festival for local cat videos (!), and if you've got 10 bucks for the entry fee and some cat rats running around, I see no reason why you should not submit a film. "Judges will be looking for suspense, romance, comedy and drama—all the typical ingredients of a cat’s life. Films will be judged on creativity, originality and the humane treatment of animals."
The top 20 videos, as determined by the judges, will screen at the Hollywood on August 22, and awards will be given for both the judges' final picks and audience choice. You might want to clear up your schedule for the immediate future, though: Entries are due by August 8. (Complete details here.)
As ever, anyone can participate—more about creativity than ready-to-wear, Modified is a popular way for hobbyists, artists and crafters whose work is usually in a medium outside of apparel to try out a runway experience, using only provided scrap material. They show alongside more seasoned veterans of the sewing machine, perhaps most notably having launched Ms. Wood onto her path to current prominence. And they're also adding a showcase for designers under 18.
It's a good vibe-y, high energy kind of affair, but my favorite aspect of the event is its charitable one, which focuses on three worthy area non-profits a year. 2013's lineup of recipients includes Sisters Of The Road, The Pixie Project, and Bark.
Currently they're still booking designers (contact Lizz for more info) and volunteers for "poster hanging, set up, hair, makeup, bartending, waste monitoring, lighting, production, ticket sales, check in, gopher, security or odd jobs" (email Shaunna on that tip). Or just come check out the Portland fashion show that takes itself the least seriously.
Guess what you're doing this weekend. Ok, I'll tell you: You are going to the single greatest event the Mercury has ever sponsored, The Internet Cat Video Fest! Longtime readers know that the Merc has a colorful history with cats (remember Cat Friday? Weirdest meetings ever.), but lately we've been relegating them to Courtney's awesome "Tonight in Music" photo selections.
Well, for one night at least, we're dragging our old cat lady shame out of the closet for another outing. And lest you think this is a slacker affair, know that this program originally drew over 10,000 people when it debuted at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis:
[Warning: The following video contains huge dorks.]
The re-staging of this event is going down this Friday and Saturday at the Hollywood at 7:30 and 9:30 pm, and includes an appearance from last year's people's choice winner Henri, le Chat Noir—you can check out one of his videos after the cut, too. The poor thing.
[Note: Erik is making me do this even though funnier outlets already have. I just want you to know that I know this.]
There's a fine American tradition of talking-cat films, from The Cat from Outer Space to Oliver and Company. But if the incredulity with which the creators of A Talking Cat!?! framed their titled tells us anything, it's that they're unfamiliar with the rich territory they've strip-mined for their super-boring talking cat movie. It's like they've never seen a talking cat before! It's also like they've never held a movie camera, written a script, or coached an actor to "act natural."
I don't even want to talk about this movie. Will you just take my word for it that it has a plot, of sorts? Can we talk about something else? How was everybody's week? Mine was good. I had a bad moment yesterday where I forgot I'd eaten beets, but otherwise, good.
Fun fact: There is a Hollywood superstition that putting a question mark at the end of a movie title is bad luck. Here are some films whose titles should contain question marks, but don't:
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
What's Love Got to Do with It
Here are some films whose titles do contain question marks, superstition be damned:
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
A Talking Cat!?!
So... I have a cat! If you guys didn't know. My cat is named Queequeg, which tells you just what kind of asshole I am. The cat in A Talking Cat!?! is named Duffy, which, according unreliable internet sources, is a surname of Irish origin that means "dark-skinned." Duffy actually has fur, so.
Director David DeCoteu is a native Portlander! So that's another fun fact. Another... well, let's call it a "fact," is that he also directed shockingly boring softcore porn series 1313. You can find them on Netflix! And should you choose to find them on Netflix—if you are that sort of person—you might notice that the very house where A Talking Cat!?! takes places also serves as the setting for 1313: Boy Crazy! Here's a trailer in case you don't believe me.
YEAH. SAME HOUSE. I KNOW.
A Talking Pony!?! is currently in post-production.
Alright, this is the last installment of the Blogtown acknowledgements of our best contenders in this week's Pets Issue's Cross-Dress Your Pet Photo Contest, in which we tasked readers with sending us their best pics of their pets dressed as a different kind of animal. It's a real testament to how creative/adorable the submissions were that, for instance, a miniature 10-week-old piglet named Spaz dressed as a bunny didn't win, because that is pretty frigging cute:
More previously unpublished cuties after the cut, including a pet squirrel also dressed as a bunny (how did this not win?!).
I'm tempted to call everyone who submitted to this week's Pets Issue photo contest—in which we asked you to submit a photo of your pet dressed as a different kind of animal—a winner, since all your widdle buddies are so dang cute. (But no, seriously if you are in the market for a dog costume, I can now warn you with authority that bee costumes are played.)
Of, course there is a big difference between a crappy cell phone shot and a carefully framed portrait on which you've gone all arts and crafts and created a diorama. These second and third runners up showed diorama-level dedication, and their critters look good enough to be worthy of your attention:
Submissions are due TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3 by 5 pm!
Cougar sighting! Non-figurative cougar sighting near Oregon Health and Science University!
The Portland Police Bureau just sent out the following press release (pasted below). Gather your children and pets.
UPDATE, 5:40 pm: We love an animal story here at Blogtown, so we hit the phones on this cougar sighting.
Our questions: Is the apocryphal cat some crazy outlier, unheard of in or around Forest Park? Mightn't it have implications—moral and pragmatic—for the way we should treat our wild lands? Shouldn't we all be going insane about this?
According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Rick Swart: Nope.
"There are a lot of cougars in Oregon, and they show up just about anywhere," Swart said. "Especially if there's a forested area around."
Still. Gather your kids.
News Release from: Portland Police Bureau
PORTLAND POLICE RESPOND TO POSSIBLE COUGAR SIGHTING IN SOUTHWEST PORTLAND
Posted: March 26th, 2013 4:10 PM
Today, Tuesday March 26, 2013, at approximately 2:00 p.m., Portland Police officers assigned to Central Precinct responded to the area of Southwest Sam Jackson Park Road and 10th Avenue on the report of a cougar in the neighborhood.
Officers contacted the caller who reported seeing a large animal with a 2' curled tail behind a residence in the 3300 block of Southwest 10th Avenue. The caller and another person reported to police that they are hunters and are familiar with cougars. Officers checked the area but could not confirm the presence of a cougar.
The neighborhood where the possible cougar sighting occurred is directly above Oregon Health Science University, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, the Shriners Hospital for Children, and the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center. This neighborhood is next to Marquam Nature Park and not far from Washington Park.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has some tips to remember about cougars: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/cougars.asp
ODFW advises the following if you encounter a cougar:
STOP - Never approach a cougar at any time for any reason.
STAY CALM - Face the cougar and do not turn your back towards it. Do not run. Running encourages it to chase.
APPEAR LARGE - Make yourself look large. Do not bend over or crouch down. Raise your hands. Hold your coat open. Hold small children.
FIGHT BACK - Fight back if attacked.
MAKE NOISE - Make noise while hiking to reduce the chance of surprising a cougar.
KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE - Always keep children close by and in sight.
AVOID WALKING ALONE
While there have been no other reported cougar sightings, the Portland Police Bureau would like community members to be aware of the possible sighting and encourages anyone seeing a cougar not to approach it but to immediately call 9-1-1.
AND YET. Where is her review, you ask? GOOD QUESTION. Has she even seen the movie? BETTER QUESTION. Does her lack of action clearly reflect a strong sense of disdain and disgust directed at you, the loyal and dedicated readers who ensure that she still has a job? OF COURSE IT DOES.
SO JOIN ME, Blogtown readers, in DEMANDING that Alison Hallett uphold her obligations to watch and review the film A Talking Cat!?! Vote below and make your voice heard: You'll find options for how much leeway we should give Alison Hallett until her review is posted on Blogtown. Feeling generous? Give her more time to watch and review the film! Feeling angry to have been CRUELLY IGNORED for the past 25 days? Demand her review goes up sooner!
Whatever date wins will be Alison's deadline for posting the review. Should she miss her deadline, I will post her phone number and email on Blogtown so that you can personally voice your displeasure to her via a nonstop barrage of emails, telephone calls, and text messages. She'd love that.
Bad news for the tourism bureau of Estacada: The town's #1 attraction, the Original Safari Club—a huge haven of cheap drinks, sketchy fried food, and most legendarily, tons of taxidermied large wild game in various states of repair—posted on their Facebook page last night:
I'd be lying if I said I was truly surprised; the fact that it's been around as long as it has is pretty impressive. Delving into the panicked comments on the post, the closure seems due to the costs of keeping up with repairs, of which I imagine there are many.
Waitaminute... Did you catch that last part? "we hope to open eventually in Portland. Help us find a good spot" HOLY SHIT.
Where should the PDX resurrection of the Safari Club go*??
* Because it's a potential dealbreaker, it's worth pointing out that the Club owner also stated that "My animals are coming with me."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it, or is it not Mercury Arts Editor Alison Hallett's job to BLOG INCESSANTLY ABOUT CATS? However, when I asked her to review the movie A Talking Cat!?!—which is about a talking cat, and may possibly be the worst movie in cinematic history—she flat out refused! Even better, the cat is voiced by ERIC ROBERTS in the most embarrassing, paycheck-grabbing role ever perpetrated by a struggling aging actor. Check out the trailer... NOW!
YESSSSSSSSSS... am I right? Anyway, even though Alison told me to, quote, "Shut up, shut up shut up shut up, why don't you ever shut up," she agreed to let Blogtown be the finally judge in this matter. SO C'MON, LET'S VOTE! (And remember, Alison! Blogtown polls are legally binding. I'd just love to sue your ass in court. "Shut up shut up shut up," indeed.)
Here's what I learned from this video of a woman who eats cat hair (as featured in the TLC show, My Strange Addiction, returning Feb 13):
1) It's not Alison Hallett!
2) Cat hair tastes like cotton candy—almost.
3) Her sister Andromeda doesn't approve of her eating cat hair. And yet, her name is "Andromeda"! WHY SO JUDGE-Y, ANDROMEDA?? YOUR NAME IS ANDROMEDA!!!
4) Never mind #2—cat hair actually has more of a cotton ball taste. Even less of a taste than human hair, which we all know tastes like Salisbury Steak. OMG, I WOULD KILL FOR SOME SALISBURY STEAK RIGHT NOW!
5) The best way to eat cat hair is to lick it right off the cat. Well, of course it is, and... ALISON! Stop licking your cat!!!
It's that time of year again: Your local Buffalo Exchanges (1420 SE 37th & 1036 W. Burnside) are taking donations of fur garments (either full-on coats or collars, trim, etc—shearling too) for Coats for Cubs, which re-purposes them as bedding for injured and orphaned wildlife. It's a good solution if you have some fur on your hands that you're not sure you can rock (my in-laws thrifted a full-length fur coat for me, which I don't think I'd be comfortable wearing, even on the East Coast)—it won't become landfill, and will serve a guilt-purging purpose. Plus it can be in any condition. Critters don't care. Drop 'em off anytime during either store's regular hours from now until April 22nd—do it for the cute baby raccoons.
(Caution: The following video contains brief footage of PETA-like horrorshow fur factory documentation. You've probably seen worse, but if you're feeling delicate today, don't watch all the way through.)
The Portland Police have informed us that at least two cats in the St. John's neighborhood have been deliberately stolen.
Here's the strange report, which seems to indicate a crime spree inspired by dog-theft-and-ransom film Seven Psychopaths:
On November 15, 2012, at approximately 8:00 a.m., Portland Police responded to a residence in the area of North Kellogg Street and North St. John's Avenue on the report of cat theft by an unknown suspect. The caller reported seeing a man pick up a friend's cat by the tail and put the cat in his car and drive away.
On December 23, 2012, another resident of the neighborhood, not far from the first call, reported seeing a man on the street squatting down and appearing to be trying to lure cats. The caller did not see if the man actually grabbed a cat or not. This caller had a limited description of the man as wearing all dark clothes and a hat, driving a white 2000-2004 Cadillac Deville, 4-door, with tinted windows and possibly a headlight out.
The district officer in the neighborhood has been told of other cats missing, but to date there are only these two reports linking a person to cat theft.
I wasn't sure why the Portland Police was keeping track of lost cats (that's the Humane Society's job) but stealing an animal is, surprisingly, a felony under Oregon law. Keep an eye on those cats and if anyone has information about the thefts, call the police non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333.
As the week draws to a drowsy closezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz—sorry, I had a big lunch. But if you're like me, you're already feeling worn out, in spite of the holiday and the short week. So there's no better thing to do than to goof off and catch up on some local music videos!
First up is a live clip from Grandparents, filmed at the Banana Stand on May 19, 2012. That show is shortly to be released by Banana Stand Media as a live album, continuing their series of excellent work documenting Portland bands in the live setting. This is a beautifully shot clip (courtesy of Collective-47), and a dreamy, daze-y track from Grandparents. The track's titled "Fume," and there will be a release show for Grandparents' Live from the Banana Stand at Holocene on January 24.
Lots more to look at after the jump.
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