Bo Obama’s a Boring Bow-Wow

June 30, 2009

By Cole

First Dog Bo Obama and I have something in common. We’re black and we have 2 white feet. His are in front and mine are in back. But that’s where similarity ends.

Bo posed recently for his official White House portrait on the lawn, which is being distributed on his new baseball card.

(White House Photo - Chuck Kennedy)

(White House Photo - Chuck Kennedy)

And let the merchandising begin…

Bo has a comic book called Puppy Power in which he’s a superhero. Dopey Dog is more like it.

There are already quite a few slapped-together books about him. Ty is selling a Bo Beanie Baby and key chain.

Such fuss over such a dull dog.

Michelle Obama said Bo likes to chew on people’s feet and play with his ball late at night. He also enjoys chewing his toys and eating tomatoes. His favorite pastimes are running and napping.

Ho, hum.

The only intriguing fact about Bo so far is that he’s a Portuguese water dog, but they say he can’t swim. How do they know he doesn’t dog-paddle? It can only mean someone threw him into the deep end of the pool and he sank.

Since Congress loves pretending to work, it’s a wonder they haven’t launched a full investigation.

Jon Stewart tried to make Bo controversial on The Daily Show by claiming he’s openly gay.

Nice try, Jon. But until Bo pees on something or somebody important while the cameras are rolling, he’s non-news.

Let’s hope Mad magazine digs up some real scoop for its book, Bo Confidential: The Secret Files of America’s First Dog, to be released in August.

Horse Racing Hijacked by 2 Female Phenoms

June 29, 2009

By Adele

Rachel Alexandra, the freakish filly who won the Preakness, robbing Mine That Bird of his jockey and his shot at the Triple Crown, has done it again. On June 27 at Belmont in New York, she became the first filly ever to win her next race after beating boys, and broke 2 other records.

Rachel ran in the Mother Goose Stakes against only 2 other fillies for 1 1/8 mile, but her 1:46:33 time set a new stakes record. Rachel could have blown through Secretariat’s slightly faster record at Belmont, but since she was ahead by more than 19 lengths, jockey Calvin Borel let her ease up in the final stretch.

While racking up her 7th consecutive win, Rachel also beat Ruffian’s 13 ½-length margin of victory from 1975. But this was all in a day’s racing for Rachel.

In California, the amazing Zenyatta wiped the track at Hollywood Park with her 5 female competitors in the Vanity Handicap. Carrying Mike Smith at 129 pounds, which was 13-16 more pounds than the other horses (the “handicap”) and the heaviest weight of her career, the 5-year-old mare came from last on the 1 1/8 mile synthetic course to win by 2 ½ lengths for a time of 1:48:15.

Mike Smith and Zenyatta (Benoit Photo - LA Times)

Mike Smith and Zenyatta (Benoit Photo - LA Times)

Zenyatta is unbeaten, and this was her 11th consecutive win.

The buzz now is all about when these two superstars will match up, but nobody knows. Zenyatta’s only left California once for a race, and Rachel’s owner isn’t eager to have her run on synthetic turf on the West Coast.

I’m kind of hoping the girls never meet. Otherwise, one of them will have to lose.

Michael Jackson: One Conflicted Black Cat

June 26, 2009

By Yul

I’m not a fan of Michael Jackson’s music, but I considered him a fellow black cat (underneath), and his unexpected passing stunned me. In his own strange way, Michael was one of those rare people whose departure leaves a hole in the planet.

Have you noticed how everyone seems to have forgotten they were vilifying him as a child molester just a few years ago and saying his career was over?

I believe he did inappropriate things, but with innocent intent, pathetically trying to recapture his own missed childhood. He didn’t realize he was playing with a stacked deck of adult knowledge and feelings because he tried so hard to suppress them.

Michael didn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body. If anything, he was too nice and people used him.

If his death was simply a sudden heart attack, Somebody up there provided him the mercifully quick and graceful exit he needed, but could never find for himself without having more scorn heaped on him. Fate may have known he was walking into the biggest humiliation of his life with that 50-show comeback next month in London, and that he wouldn’t be able to survive it.

Sure, die-hard fans were eager for him to command a stage again, but plenty of people would have been saying, “That weird, washed-up pedophile is just making a fool of himself.”

Michael must have felt enormous pressure to succeed, knowing it was his last chance to salvage his career and pay his debts. Failure would leave him even worse off than before, with no options left.

But now he’ll forever be the King of Pop, with no embarrassing finale. As the world mourns his death, we must acknowledge that, for his sake, its timing was perfect. I hope he’s finding the peace and love he craved so much in life.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bourdain

June 25, 2009

By Karen

It’s a good thing Anthony Bourdain quit smoking because he’s got 53 candles to blow out today. We’ll be getting even more relief from the heat soon with new episodes of No Reservations beginning July 13 in Chile.


On July 27, watch for Bourdain’s much-anticipated journey to the “Rust Belt” of Baltimore, Detroit, and Buffalo with his pal Zamir. I’ve been renting The Wire from Netflix to get up to speed on Tony’s favorite show so I can fully appreciate his reaction to Baltimore.

The Travel Channel is playing coy about the air dates of the other new episodes. Maybe Ingrid from Room241 will check in soon and give us some scoop.

Cats Working reader UrbanJoanna sent a link to another great photo of lovebirds Tony and Ottavia. Her effortless chic is so Sex and the City.

Time magazine just dubbed the culinary tell-all genre Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential inspired as “Chef Lit.”

Culture in Indonesia, who’s trying to learn food writing, compares My Life in France by Julia Child to A Cook’s Tour by Bourdain and reaches an astoundingly off-base conclusion about Tony’s attitude toward food.

Thanks to Bourdain, I just got sucked in to Facebook while innocently trying to get a handle on his upcoming personal appearances. I’m in way deeper than I ever intended, hearing from long-lost cousins I couldn’t pick out of a lineup. I’m even registered like a common loony as one of Bourdain’s fans. Oh, the shame!

But since I’ve yet to figure out how Facebook works, none of it is doing me any good. Somebody out there please give it to me straight: Is Facebook an infuriating maze of poorly designed and hard-to-find features, or am I going senile?

Mama, Don’t Make Us Cats Go Vegan

June 24, 2009

By Yul

I can watch people eat salad all day, just don’t toss any into my bowl. I’m an unapologetic carnivore.

Last month, Karen bought this bag of junk called “By Nature” that contains chicken and fish, but the brown rice, various grains, tomato pomace, sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries ruin it.

Cats eating berries? Ha! The bag sits untouched.

But it had me worried, so I’ve been checking around to see what cats might face if this animal vegan thing takes off. I found VeganCats who sell VegeYeast, a supplement 100 times more acidic than regular yeast.

Could that possibly be a good thing?

A dog-owning VegeYeast fan shared some of her homemade dog food recipes. She puts garlic powder in everything, oblivious that it’s dangerous for cats and dogs. (For the record, onion can be fatal.)

They also sell vegan Evolution at $2.95 for a 14-oz. can. Add the pharmacy of dietary supplements to fill the nutritional vacuum, and our food is probably more expensive than people’s.

VeganCats had nothing good to say about mainstream canned food:

Most people… don’t know about the filthy renderings, diseased parts and tumors, unnatural fillers and other junk that goes into common foods, and they seem to think that most foods contain pure meat. Well, folks, that’s not the case, and you’d probably be quite surprised how little “good” meat goes into most mainstream brands…

What’s their point? If you believe Anthony Bourdain, cats are getting the most delicious “nasty bits.” Well, maybe not the tumors.

But I agree with VeganCats on this…

For those who say a vegan diet is “not natural,” please let us know what’s natural about a cat eating parts of cow, turkey, salmon or other such creatures that they’d never catch in the wild. When there is finally a can with a full dead squirrel, mouse, mole, etc., inside, then there will finally be a “natural” cat food…

Now they’re talking. We’d love Friskies® Field Mouse Savory Shreds, and we’d be helping the environment!

What if Cats Wore Burqas?

June 23, 2009

By Adele

Since his wife Carla keeps a closet full of Dior, it’s no surprise French President Nicolas Sarkozy sees nothing chic about burqas and niqabs, those head-to-toe black things some Muslim women wear. Yesterday in a speech to parliament, Sarkozy called those women “prisoners behind a screen” with no identity, subservient and debased, and declared such dress unwelcome in France.

That got me thinking…what if by some bizarre twist of nature, dogs could make cats wear burqas? Forcing us under wraps with nothing but our eyes to contend with is the only way they could ever get the upper paw on us.

Dogs would be free to romp and play and pee everywhere. Cats would become identical-looking nonentities — sweltering in the sun, unable to run, jump, eat, or even wash our faces in public.

The robes would drag through our kitty litter, stifle our natural grace, keep our tails between our legs, and make vermin lose all respect for us. Before long, the planet would be teeming with rats gone wild and the plague would make a comeback.

Cats — useless, faceless, helpless — would have to sit there and watch mankind get wiped out while dogs just stood around barking their heads off.

If God, Allah, or Whoever intended for any of us to be shapeless blobs, we’d have been built that way in the first place. But we’re not. We’ve got parts and we’re supposed to use them.

I hope Sarkozy’s attempt to liberate Muslim women is accepted graciously, without riots or violence. He only wants to see who they are and let them realize their full potential.

Obama, the Heartless Predator

June 19, 2009

By Yul

The way the media has been carrying on about Obama killing a fly on camera, you’d think he also ate it. I’ve seen the moment replayed at least a dozen times, and yesterday it was one of the lead stories on the Today Show — a new low, even for them.

PETA got upset, telling Obama he should have used a more humane way to dispatch the pest. Would they be foaming at the mouth if it had been a maggot crawling on his arm?

How about a mosquito, a tick, or a black-widow spider?

The fly had it coming. He breached White House security, flitting right past the metal detectors and the Secret Service. He could have been a tiny terrorist carrying a microscopic bomb that would have leveled Pennsylvania Avenue if not for Obama’s pre-emptive strike.

That’s the spin Dick Cheney would have put on it, after shooting the fly’s face off with a rifle.

But I believe what’s more important than Obama’s action here is what Obama was thinking. Was his coordination heightened because he imagined the fly to be Rush Limbaugh? We’ll probably never know.

Speaking of Limbaugh, that gasbag yesterday was bemoaning the fact that he crushed a fly with his shoe on his TV show in 1995 and nobody made a big fuss about it.

I guess that’s because flies swarming around the putrid stench of Limbaugh’s rhetoric is nothing extraordinary.

But in their over-zealous coverage of this non-event, if our news media is trying to warn other world leaders that Obama would kill a fly in spite of the way he talks sometimes, we’re in worse shape than I thought.

Will Gwyneth Paltrow Tangle with Anthony Bourdain?

June 18, 2009

By Karen

The blogosphere is itching for a feud between Anthony Bourdain and Gwyneth Paltrow. In Seattle on May 30, Bourdain ragged on Mario Batali for making Spain…On the Road Again for PBS with Paltrow as his sidekick when she wasn’t eating a Spanish staple — meat. Paltrow hasn’t yet taken the bait, and I’m predicting she won’t.

Socialite Life also reveals that Bourdain and Batali may be cooking up a new show for the Travel Channel. Oh, please, let that rumor be true.

Mission Mission was speculating back in March on Bourdain’s still-to-be-aired San Francisco episode, which he was filming then. The comments on this post contain 2 personal encounters (as well as a link back to Cats Working, thank you), and someone mentions spotting Tony with his “Asian ‘girlfriend.” I bet that was Ottavia.

There’s a shipwreck of a Bourdain fan blog that hasn’t been updated since January. I wonder what ended the honeymoon? I didn’t sift through the old comments looking for buried treasure, but you Bourdainiacs might want to.

Sadly, I know Tony won’t be popping out of my birthday cake this year. He’ll be at the New York Wine and Food Festival October 8-11.

I still haven’t found any personal appearances for June, so I’m guessing he’s either ramping up for Season 6 of No Reservations or taking some well-deserved R&R.

Here’s an interesting online Q&A between Bourdain and fans from 2002, when A Cook’s Tour had been published, and he was still on the Food Network. He mentioned that first wife Nancy’s idea of “extreme cuisine” was meatloaf, but defended it as a good thing.

If you’d like to see a replay of Bourdain’s staged Kung Fu fighting (Can’t recall the NR episode. Hong Kong perhaps?), here’s the clip. He was still wearing the ubiquitous earring and leather jacket. It’s vintage.

And here’s Tony dissing Paris Hilton with Mario Batali, with more links to other topics they covered during that gab-fest.

Miami Cat Killer Deserves Law of the Jungle

June 17, 2009

By Cole

The new guy always gets the toughest assignments, so I’m responding to searches on “cat murderer” with our opinion on the Cat Killer.

Since May 10 in the Miami ‘burbs of Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay, someone was killing innocent, trusting pet cats in unspeakable ways and leaving their mutilated bodies everywhere.

I myself grew up dodging crazy cat haters in the ‘hood as a stray until I found protection with caring shelter volunteers who weeded out wackos, so I can only imagine the terror and agony these poor kitties suffered in their last moments at the hands of a remorseless, butchering stranger.

After receiving tips and monitoring his Internet postings, particularly on the “Catch the Cat Killer!” Facebook group, the police arrested 18-year-old Tyler Weinman on June 14. Weinman lives in both towns, shuttling between divorced parents, and he “smirked” for his mug shot like this is a big joke.

He’s already raised his $249,500 bail and could be released today after a judge reviews his psychiatric evaluation. He’s supposed to remain under house arrest, wearing an electronic monitor.

Weinman faces 19 counts of felony animal cruelty, four charges of burglary, and 19 counts of improperly disposing of animal carcasses. He could get 158 years in prison, but we all know he won’t.

If he’d lured away 19 human toddlers, sliced and diced them, then tossed their gutted bodies on their parents’ front lawns, some with their faces cut off, he’d be smirking at a crazed lynch mob.

But some people think killing cats is no big deal. It’s just what boys do for fun.

If Weinman is guilty, he should be punished by cats — big cats. They’d play with him a long time before slowly shredding him.

There’s no description for his behavior except savage. The law of the jungle should apply.

But it won’t. If convicted, he’ll be out in a few years, just like dog torturer/murderer Michael Vick. These beloved cats will be forgotten until Weinman butchers a person and the victim’s family says, “If they’d kept this sick bastard in jail for killing cats, my (wife, child, husband) would still be alive today.”

The cats’ deaths are a warning to humans. You will be next if you don’t take this seriously.

6/17/09 UPDATE: Tyler Weinman is out of jail until his July 6 arraignment. The judge, in a decision she’ll regret if one more cat dies, decided Weinman’s not a theat. New details about the investigation have come out, including that Weinman is covered with scratches, which would indicate the cats put up a good fight before being slaughtered.

Sarah Palin, We Get It — You’re Obtuse

June 16, 2009

By Adele

Sarah Palin’s at it again, using her kids to keep herself in the public eye. This time it’s over David Letterman’s bad joke about a Palin daughter getting knocked up by baseball player Alex Rodriquez during the 7th inning.

Letterman thought 18-year-old Bristol was with Palin at a New York Yankees game recently, and that’s who he intended to lampoon. (Why?) But Palin was really with 14-year-old Willow.

The joke inadvertently hit the wrong target, and now Palin won’t shut up about it.

I’ve seen Letterman explain and apologize several times now. Palin even accepted his apology. But she still can’t help smearing the outrage around to include all females under 18 — even though Letterman explained very clearly that’s not who he meant.

Suddenly Palin, whose positions on most women’s issues would leave them all barefoot and pregnant, is their champion, and she’s loving every minute of it.

If Letterman can be faulted for anything, it’s for such a lousy joke, so off-base and topically outdated, it wasn’t even remotely funny.

As for Palin, she reminds us again she’s just another Republican who gets a wrong-headed idea and won’t let it go, even after all the facts come out.

But enough already!

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