Saturday, October 29, 2016

A cat’s perspective

I sat down to ask Luke McDevitt of San Francisco to ask about his catnapping habits



How many hours of sleep do you get in a day?

About 20 hours a day. I am not getting any younger; I need my beauty sleep!

Where do you like to sleep?

Mostly on the bed. I prefer to sleep on my human’s pillow, blanket or on her clothes when she leaves them lying around the bed like she is wont to do. I also like to sleep on top of her laptop and her keyboard, especially when she is trying to use them. Sometimes when I feel like it, I sleep on top of her too. It’s really comfy; my human functions perfectly as my personal sleep heater.

What’s your favorite sleeping position?

It depends on my mood. Sometimes I like to curl up into a ball. Other times I love a spread eagle sleeping position where I can take up half the bed despite my diminutive size.

What do you dream about?

Cat treats, cat treats and more cat treats. You can never have enough of them. My favorite dreams are where I am practically swimming in cat treats.

How do you best show your appreciation for your human?

When I feel particularly affectionate, which is rare, I knead her when she is sound asleep. Judging from the high-pitched yelps she makes, she seems to enjoy this affectionate gesture of mine.

What’s your pre-bedtime prep?

I make my human give me a good scratch behind the ears. It makes me feel relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.

Any tips for a great night’s sleep?

Drink lots of water, have your human turn off all the lights and if possible, turn off your human’s alarms on her phone. I hate it when I am enjoying my beauty sleep and my human wakes me up with her annoying alarms that seem to rattle off at random times each day.

What is your perfect start to the day?

Seeing my human frantically running around trying to get her day started while I continue to snuggle on the bed that she has left toasty warm for me.

National Cat Day (Oct. 29th) is the official global holiday to celebrate cats for all the wonderful love they give us and to encourage adoption.

Happy National Cat Day!



"What greater gift than the love of a cat?"—Charles Dickens

America is one cat-loving nation. According to a 2015-2016 survey, 85.8 million cats are owned by U.S. households (compared to just 77.8 million dogs).

And if you own a cat (or two), you’ll realize that they sleep a whole lot more than we do. While the recommended hours of sleep for humans ranges between 7 to 9 hours, cats sleep an average of 16 hours and up to a whooping 20 hours a day.

They also experience sleep differently from us. Humans have an REM sleep cycle of 90 minutes; for cats it only lasts 5 minutes. And while they do sleep two to three times as much as we do, they stay alert while asleep and can wake up and be fully operational at the slightest noise.

Like humans, cats do actually dream during REM sleep. If you notice your cat’s whiskers or toes twitching while asleep, he or she is probably dreaming.

If you aren’t already sleeping with your cat(s), you might actually consider doing so; a recent study found that sleeping with pets actually help some people sleep better as it gives them a sense of security.

Cats are very social and highly adaptable creatures. While they are crepuscular (meaning they are most active during twilight hours of dawn and dusk), they are likely to adjust their sleeping habits so that they can spend more time with their loved ones, which hopefully include us.

Here are the top 20 ways you can celebrate National Cat Day with your cat (or cats): http://www.nationalcatday.com/celebrate

National Cat Day (Oct. 29th) is the official global holiday to celebrate cats for all the wonderful love they give us and to encourage adoption.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

San Francisco Exotic Food Crawl Post 5: Russian Food at Cinderella Bakery in Richmond

The only Russian dish I have ever had in my life was beef stroganoff, which my late uncle used to make on occasion. I was actually in Australia when Australian MP John Murphy actually complained about the small portion of beef stroganoff his wife was served in the parliamentary cafetaria during a Parliament session. He was subsequently forced to apologize after being criticized for using the House of Representatives as a platform to lodge his complaint. I am pretty sure that the news barely made a blip around the world, but the Australian media actually had a field day with it.

My best friend and I decided on Cinderella Cafe because it seemed the most affordable option in San Francisco for Russian food. We figured that with lower menu prices, we would be able to try more Russian dishes between the two of us.

Cinderella Cafe is located on Richmond in the heart of Little Russia in San Francisco and is staffed by friendly Russian servers. I ordered the golubtsy with a side of buckwheat kasha and blinchiki with sweet cheese filling for dessert while my friend ordered the borscht soup and pelmeni.

The food did not take long to arrive. Golubtsy is a cabbage roll dish stuffed with rice and meat served with a tomato vegetable sauce and blinchiki is a thin Russian pancake akin to French crepe. The blinchiki was served with a side of raspberry jam and sour cream. They were both delicious.



Golubtsy



Blinchiki

I have always hated beets all my life. I feel like they taste like dirt and can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would voluntarily eat them. My best friend had no such qualms. I was prepared to hate the borscht soup, which is basically beet soup, but found myself loving the hearty taste. It wasn't until later that I realize that the soup actually had a tomato base rather than a beet one, which might explained why I actually like it despite the fact that it contains beets.



Borscht soup



Pelmeni

Her pelmeni was a meat-filled dumpling that came in a clear broth and it was served with sour cream on the side. Sour cream seems to be the cream of choice with Russians. The pelmeni was reminiscent of Chinese food, akin to Chinese dumplings, which shouldn't actually be all that surprising considering that Russia and China are neighbors.

As far as I can tell, the Russian food here is authentic and very affordable. Since then I have dragged another friend there to try the baked goods here. My best friend and I hope to come back one day to try the other Russian dishes we didn't get a chance to partake during our first dining experience here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

San Francisco Exotic Food Crawl Post 4: Afghanistan Food at De Afghanan Kabob House in the Tenderloin



De Afghanan Kabob House. Little niche tucked between two other buildings.



Some nice Afghan-themed artwork on the wall, which is painted a deep red.



Combination Kebab



Manti

It is one thing to decide that you are going to do a San Francisco exotic food crawl. It is quite another thing to try to decide where to even begin. There are literally hundreds of cuisines that my best friend and I had never tried before! Where to even start? One day while I was on the San Francisco State University campus, I spontaneously decided that we would try the exotic cuisine of the first friend I see. Of course that friend turned out to be of Afghan descent.

And that was how we ended up having Afghan food. I asked her and another Afghan friend for dish recommendations. Armed with said dish recommendations, I began Yelping for Afghan restaurants in San Francisco. I decided on De Afghanan Kabob House because it looked to be the most authentic Afghan restaurant in San Francisco.

The restaurant is rather a small one, tucked between two other buildings and right across the street from Tommy's Joynt. The walls are painted a warm shade of red and there are interesting Afghan-inspired pastoral paintings decorating the wall.

The complimentary bread we got, which was lightly brushed with some sort of oil, was delicious. We ordered the manti as our appetizer because one of my other Afghan friend recommended it. It looked like Italian ravioli and frankly tasted like Italian ravioli.

We also ordered the combination platter to be shared between the two of us. It came with three kinds of meats, a minced beef patty, tandoori chicken, which tasted like Indian tandoori chicken, and a beef kebab. It also came with two different kinds of basmati rice, one white and one yellow. Honestly I couldn't really tell the difference in taste between the two, but both rices were very fragrant and nicely flavored. In Afghanistan, rice is considered the king of the meal and special care and attention is always taken in cooking it. The dish also came with a side of salsa and salad which felt slightly out of place but provided a nice spicy punch to the meal.

Overall, we were very satisfied with our meal; I have gone back there once more with my partner in food and another time with my visiting relatives. The food was consistently good both times. I would really highly recommend this restaurant if you are interested in trying out some Afghanistan food.