Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A sad cat, a contributor’s book, and a Crock-Pot

"My cat is sad because he is feline and he needs to be loved, just like everybody else does." Photo by Tom Cox.

@MYSADCAT Twitter account

The Bear is an 18-year-old British cat who seems to carry all the world’s sadness on his furry shoulders. Because the Internet can never really be too full of cats, author and owner Tom Cox has turned The Bear’s great sadness into the very funny Twitter account @MYSADCAT. (At least two of Cox’s other cats also feature in Twitter accounts at @MYSMUGCAT and @MYSWEARYCAT.) Although Twitter accounts for pets would seem to have run their course years ago, Cox’s simple gimmick and dry wit work every time: a photo of The Bear, often staged, with the words, “My cat is sad because…” The tweets range from the topical (“My cat is sad because he queued for hours to get an iPhone 6, then another cat jumped the queue and got the last one.”) to the absurd (“My cat is sad because he just looked at a photo of Rod Stewart in 1971 then looked at a photo of Rod Stewart in 1985.”) to the Moz (“My cat is sad because I told him The Smiths had reformed & made a new album, then I shouted ‘NOT REALLY’ in his face.” We know, The Bear, we know.) Even if you think you’ve already reached your Internet-cat saturation point, go listen to The Smiths and read about poor sad The Bear. [Laura M. Browning]


The Girls At The Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

I’d known The A.V. Club contributor Genevieve Valentine for months before realizing that she was a published novelist; in fact, the first time we met in person, over coffee in New York, she told me she was a few days away from publishing her second novel. Nothing makes you feel quite so inadequate, as a writer, than discovering someone you’ve been working with is that prolific. Well, Genevieve has continued to make me feel inadequate, although, I think, in the best way possible. The Girls At The Kingfisher Club, her second novel, is a retelling of the fairy tale of the 12 dancing princesses—set in the roaring ’20s, at dancehalls and jazz clubs around New York City. Jo and Lou are the oldest of 12 girls that are an embarrassment to their father. So they learned how to sneak out and go dancing at night, finding their way into gin joints with pretty smiles and well-mended stockings. But because this is New York, and not a fairy tale, things aren’t going go quite so perfectly. I can personally attest to Genevieve’s passion for history from the era—every chapter is named after a jazz standard from the time period, and the details of geography and decor are impeccable. But beyond that, it’s about finding a way to escape dire surroundings—and then once you have escaped, to let go of the fear that used to dictate your life. A good book for sisters, fans of Chicago, and anyone perpetually fascinated by the vast multitudes that make up New York. [Sonia Saraiya]

Crock-Pot: The Original Slow Cooker

Until as recently as a few months ago, I too bought into the enormous amount of hype surrounding KitchenAid’s stand mixer. I once enviously liked a Facebook post in which my friend exclaimed, “TODAY SOMEONE GAVE ME A STAND MIXER AND I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO GET MARRIED OR PUT IT ON A STUPID SELFISH REGISTRY OR STEAL THE DISPLAY MODEL FROM SEARS.” This accurate rave was accompanied by a picture of her lovingly holding the KitchenAid box. That was last December, so you can bet I was hopelessly wishing I was the one hugging that box. But it’s time I impart my relatively newfound wisdom: Crock-Pots are the far superior kitchen appliance. Sure, it doesn’t cost nearly as much as a stand mixer, but that’s no reason to deny it praise, because this slow cooker will feed you year round, and doesn’t require any “oohing” and “ahhing” to do it. (Yes, I believe the KitchenAid stand mixer is fueled not by electricity, but by its sense of pompous prestige.) In fact, that’s the whole point, to fix it and forget it. And the food—chili and boiled dinner are two of my personal favorites—is ready when you are, waiting to hug your insides. So, go buy one and a cookbook (there is one out there for each of you, from the traditionalist to the revolutionist and even the skeptic) and fall in love with food all over again. [Becca James]


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