This cat now has a permanent home with us.

Sam and I recently adopted a cat.    We lost Josephine in November of 2016 and in recent months I started to pine for pet. I follow a cat rescue that focuses on cats with special needs called Philly Kitty.   A few weeks ago I saw this post:

Her profile information made me laugh a lot. Her name is Monkey.  Her foster mom brought her to our house over Easter weekend and she is still here  It’s hard not to think about Josephine with another cat around, but they are very different and it’s fun to learn about her personality.

Let’s talk about the name Monkey.  I did not love it at first. I always liked human names for pets, so I advocated changing her name to Stormy Daniels. Sam liked the name Monkey and it grew on me, so it looks like we are keeping the name Monkey. My sister hates the name Monkey. She told us that her pre-adolescent female patients refer to the vagina as a “monkey”. This is a funny a weird anecdote that is I’ve learned is commonplace in the healthcare field. Well I do not hate the name Monkey, but I do hate the idea of adults being too nervous to say the word vagina.

There is a cat named Monkey living at our house.   She is sweet and playful.   She has a penchant for leaping on our feet at night.  She does not meow a lot.  She likes to crawl under the covers. In short, she is a fantastic edition to our home. I hope that she is here for a long time to come.

Monkey, welcome to our home.


Love of Friends in Philly

Last night, Samer and I hosted a house party. I’ll let the guests rate it, but I had a lot of fun. We called it “Love of Friends – Philly Style”. When I lived in Pittsburgh, my friend Tirzah introduced me to the idea of this party. Love of Friends is held around Valentine’s Day to celebrate friendship.

We asked our friends to bring something to share and they did not disappoint. Lots of people brought games that I never really got to break into last night. Mona forgot the game “Dirty Minds” our our table when she left. I am still not sure how to play, but as I nurse my hangover with coffee and pumpkin cake (Thanks Zach!) this morning I am reading through the game book and laughing out loud. You give dirty closes to get people to say non-dirty words. Example:

  • Hint: You stick your poles inside me.
  • Hint: You tie me down to get me up.
  • Hint: I get wet before you do.
  • Answer: Tent.

Dan taught us about Chinese tea ceremony and taught me that I should be putting an ice cube in my tea. One for black tea, two for green. I am still shocked by this knowledge, but will test it our later in the day. Katie brought art! It’s a geometric heart and I love it. Maybe, I am being really sappy this morning. but I thought it went perfect for the party. Friends are the building blocks of love. She also gave us the art!

Our friends are so generous and amazing. People shared booze, food, stories, and Cathy brought her famous cheesecake. I never got to break into Exploding Kittens with Conor and Jules, but we had this great moment laughing and appreciating pets both past and present. Our old cat Josephine (RIP) would have loved/hated last night’s party.

Samer made tones of little pies for the night.  Some were spinach and some were cheese.  They were delicious and took the better part of a week to make.  I am so glad the Great British Baking Show came to netflix, because this now man is obsessed with making dough.

Last night made me feel so good.  I know that my friends are wonderful, smart, interesting, and funny people,so when you get them all together, it fills the house with the best energy one could hope for in a community.   I am eternally thankful to have such great people in my life.

I need to load the dishwasher one more time. Friends, we love you!

The start of the #O17 festival.

As soon as I got back from vacation I started attending Philadelphia’s first Opera festival. It is called O17 and I am really happy that we are trying to do something a little different this year. Sam and I are part of Opera Philadelphia’s Vivace group. Which the opera calls “Opera Philadelphia’s community for the young professional”. Young is relative, as there are no octogenarians in Vivace, and the professional part seems boring, but it is an affordable way to get season tickets to premium seats. I wish it was tagged “Opera Philadelphia’s community for the young enthusiast,” but they are cultivating donors. I get it.

We started with the Magic Flute on Friday. I have never seen this opera, and the stage was a blank white canvas with projected animation. It was really good. Sam told me that there is a lot of spoken dialogue in this opera, and they handle that by projecting the text on the stage to convey a silent film. It was nicely done, and it is a production that I think everyone should go and see. Rachel Sterrenberg plays Pamina and she is really wonderful.

Last night we went to see We Shall Not Be Moved. It’s a new opera set in the shadow of the MOVE bombing, about 5 teenagers running from the tragedy and circumstance that set them up for victimhood. The subject matter is top-notch and I hope we get more contemporary operas that are this strong. I thought the dancers were an excellent addition, though Sam did not appreciate them.

I found the writing for the police officer to be a bit cliché, and there was a bit too much spoken word for me. It is supposed to be an opera after all. It is completely sold out in Philadelphia, but I think it is supposed to open at the Apollo in New York. If this subject matters interests,  make sure you go see it. I thought the singer John Holiday was incredible.

I am having a good time with the festival. I am really glad the opera is doing it, and I hope it sets our opera up for more innovative productions in the future.