Thursday, February 3, 2011

Noir City

One thing I love best about San Francisco is all the opportunities for getting dressed up. Last week it was the annual Noir City Festival at the Castro Theater. Now going to the Castro is an experience in itself; the 1922 theater, with its ornate architecture, Wurlitzer organ that pops up out of the stage, and enormous art deco chandelier, really gives you a sense of stepping back in time. The theater is also located right in the heart of the Castro district, so the calendar of events reflects the lively vibe of the neighborhood (which reminds me that sadly, I have still never been to one of their sing-along Sound of Music events).

San Francisco being a classic film noir setting, the Noir City event is quite popular, and lots of people get decked out in 40's and 50's attire. Luckily I had my 40's reproduction dress, as well as a vintage hat that I reshaped and trimmed myself (I bought it for $6 when I was with Sal out in Minneapolis over the summer). And boy, did I get a lot of compliments on this outfit. The best was from Eddie Muller himself, the organizer of the Noir City festival and author of several books about film noir. When you're at a film noir festival and the Czar of Noir says you look fabulous, you know you've done a good job getting dressed.

But here's the point I was really trying to get to: over a glass of wine after the double feature on Saturday, Laura, Fawn and I ended up discussing the goofy songs we sing to our pets. I used to make up songs all the time for my iguana, Pet; mostly they were just bits and pieces of songs that I inserted his name into. The better developed ones had to do with his scaly lips, his greenness, and his fondness for lounging in the sun. One was to the tune of the Oscar Mayer hot dog jingle. It went:

My Pet-boy has a first name, it's P-E-T... *exaggerated pause where the other two letters should have been*
My Pet-boy has a second name, it's B-O-Y...

I always imagined that Pet really enjoyed hearing me sing to him, but it's possible that he always closed his eyes because he was trying to tune me out. Recently I learned that Mark also makes up songs for Georgie (as do I), and I confirmed with Laura and Fawn that they also both write songs for their cats. It got me wondering if this is indeed a universal habit for people who are really crazy about their pets. So let's hear it; do you sing songs to your pets? Are they regular songs, or do you change the lyrics to include your pet's name and traits? Feel free to share your silliest songs; after all, we're all friends here.

Dress: ReVamp Vintage
Hat: vintage
Pearls: my grandma Ruth's
Textured tights (layered over black nylons): Sock Dreams
Shoes: Steve Madden

37 comments:

Tizzy said...

"Mama said knock you out" became "Murphy said knock you out" for my cat Murphy. It involved standing him up on his hind legs and making punching motions with his front paws. He merely tolerated it.

Ms. Ten said...

I would make up nonsensical songs to sing to my pets on the fly, mostly about how stinky they were, or singing about how hungry they were when I went to feed them. I can't think of any off the top of my head but I haven't had a pet in several years, so...

Ann said...

I often make up little songs for my cats but I think my quirkier habit is my affinity for giving them any number of nicknames and middle names. I used to have a cat named Zuzu. She quickly got nicknamed Zuzu Top, you know, like Z.Z. Top. The name they'd given her at the shelter was Blitzen, a stupid name but I incorporated that in too rendering her Zuzu Blitzen Top. That then got shortened to Z.Z.B.T. and because she wasn't the sharpest tack in the shed I gave her a PhD at the end. Z.Z.B.T. PhD.
Now I have a cat named Dudley and he gets Nugget as a middle name which gets shortened to Dudnug. Dudnug has a problem which may require him to basically undergo a sex change. If that happens he will be Dudley Hedwig, Dudwig, and I think I'll give him a Sir in front of that. And if that happens I'll have lots of songs to sing for him!

AW said...

Of course I sing to my pets! They all have different songs that they prefer. My dog likes "You're a brown dog, O.D. boy" sung to "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch." He gets extra verses like, "You're stinky, and whiny, and drooly!" (All out of love, though, I assure you.)

Megan Mae said...

I don't currently have pets myself due to living situations but I sing at my mom's cats when I'm visiting. Especially her 'oldest', Spike, misbehaves we use "corporal cuddling" and I dance around with him singing "...And I dancedancedancedancedancedance. Do the Spike-dance".

Her youngest just loves his name said so I'll sing "Saaaaammmmyyy" and he'll chirp back at me.

tinyjunco said...

oh Megan, i love that video! do you two 'yodel' as well?

well, i have one to 'O Tannenbaum': 'o little tiny kitty cat (note: he weighs 18 lbs) you are my baby kitty cat' blah blah 'you have a tail and two ears too, it makes me be in love with you, o little......' you get the drift. drives me husband straight 'round the bend.

but like Ann, the main thing is the innumerable words we call the cat. we never 'named' him, per se. he came from the neighbor's, who called him 'king' (like elvis). so: poo, boo, boochie boy, poosky bear, angel square, boogie bear, little pear, pooh pooh, doodlebug...at the vet's he is listed as 'the bouch'.

we're a pro-animal family all around. a week ago my mom took her nap with her two cairns and my brother's yellow lab on her double-sized bed. typical in our bunch. steph

bonincontrus said...

I have been signing this song to my cat for years but i could never remember where I got the tune from, it went "Nermie Nermie valentine, I am yours, and you are mine" and my cat Nermal loves it! It was just this year I realized where I got the tune from...."me I want a hula hoop"!

gina said...

[to the tune of Lollipop]

Kitty-cat, kitty-cat, oh kitty kitty kitty, kitty-cat, kitty-cat, oh kitty kitty kitty. Kitty-cat! buh buhm buhm

[repeat ad nauseum]

I have no idea if I made that up, or if it was used on some commercial or something and just stuck in the back of my head for years till I got cats...

Sarah said...

We named our dog Boo at least partially so we could substitute his name into songs for the word "you." Current favorites are "Til There Was Boo" from the Music Man and "Til I Hear It From Boo" by Gin Blossoms. We are considering recording an album just of Boo songs and calling it "Songs in the Key of Boo."

Alli said...

Oh my goodness my husband and I sing to our cat ALL THE TIME! The first song was just singing the birthday song with kitty's name replacing all the words: "Scrappy Co- Co Scrappy Coco! Scrappy Co- Co Scrappy Coco! Scrappy CO - CO Scrappy Co- Co, Scrappy Co- Co Scrappy CoCo!"

Now we do that with pretty much any song that strikes our fancy. We have a fantastic time of it; Scrappy, for the most part, seems indifferent. :)

You look fabulous in your 40s outfit, by the way.

Gracey said...

This outfit is perfection. I'd be curious to know what the hat looked like before you trimmed it - it's just gorgeous.

I don't sing to my dog (although perhaps I should), but I used to sing to my friend's cat, Gigi, all the time. You know the song that Woody sang to his girlfriend Jenny on Cheers (Because she's Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, J-E-N-N-Y, Why? Because she's Jenny...) Well, I'd sing that to Gigi, adding an extra G and ending it in Y. Gigi hated it. Maybe because I was spelling her name wrong.

Anonymous said...

lots of one offs, but the most repeated and requested is to the tune of MJ's Thriller..."because its kibble...kibble time...you know you try to fight it...."

i am convinced he likes his derogatory nicknames...i've found that other pet owners sometimes get offended for him...Stinky and Stink Ass from his puppy tummy troubles, Creepo when mounting his peers, Jerko and Bonehead when he cant get it together...

freeda said...

Very jealous of the dress-up opportunities you have there. Here I can't even locate a fancy dress ball for New Year's Eve! It's frustrating.

I sing "Effie, oh effie, oh-oh effie-mack, when are you comin' back." Poorly. :P

You look gorgeous.

Cedar said...

My husband and I are always singing to our cats. Lily, our tiny neurotic bi-color tabby gets "Lily-cat, Lily-cat, ooh Lily-lily-cat" to the tune of "Lolli-pop".

Ichi, our giant equally neurotic black panther Siamese mix, gets this from my hubby: "Ichi-ichi-cat, you're a cat, you are not a wombat," to the Scooby Doo theme song.

KC said...

This is a beautiful dress! I especially love the sleeves!

KC
me-myself-and-style.blogspot.com

Larkaspen said...

I love the design of the dress and the hat. That frocks a real beauty! I have been lurking here a while but have been toO shy to speak up as of yet. You have wonderful taste and have turned me on to a few shops I was not aware of or never thought to shop at before. I have a question to ask. I am curious if you own any spats or if you know a good place to get some. I saw you wearing a pair of spat style Fluevog boots and that is what made me think of it. PS I have always sang to my pets and am amazed at how many others do the same thing.

Franca said...

1. love the hat!
2. very jealous of these events!
3. i don't sing to our cats but i speak to them insessantly and give them stupid names. They're called Ginger and Bertie and i call Bertie Gingerbertie and Ginger Bertieginger, because I'm always getting confused in my rambling. I also recently started calling Bertie Berta, before that Bertilicious. Gingers other names are McGinge and no 1 cat (cos we had him first). I could go on...

Anonymous said...

I, too, sing the Kitty Cat song to the lollipop tune, but never realized I was doing it until I read this. The Baron von Clauzwitz (a gorgeous, lovable, cat also currently known as Bowling Ball Kitty) does not inspire much music, because he's a talker. But we too used to do "corrective cuddling" with our foul calico named Mousie; she'd growl when I picked her up and so I would sing and gently squeeze her in tune to the music so she sounded like bagpipes. But I'm going to try a duet with Clauswitz today.

Anonymous said...

Our cat is Jack. When he is trying to hunt (somewhat ineptly) or stalking a toy: "Jack the Knife." Also "Hit the Road, Jack," "My tail, my tail" (to the tune of "Wasail, Wasail"), and many other works of musical genius.
Velma

Cynthia said...

Are there really people out there who DON'T sing to their pets? I'd love to share some lyrics, but I'd have to get my Westie's permission first, and he's taking a Very Important Nap right now. As to the cats - well, Smelly Cat is of course their favorite, but I do personalized versions of other songs as well.

EvaNadine said...

one of our lizards is a Mali Uromastix, creatively named -- (wait for it...) Mali.

her little song goes as follows:

Mali, the flying elephant
Flies around and round...
Mali the flying elephant
Her feet dont touch the ground.

dont ask me why we decided she was a flying elephant...

Kasmira said...

Oh, there is no end to the songs I sing about my cats. Sometimes, I don't even know I'm doing it. It's just habit at this point!

yancey said...

cannot believe I'm doing this but here goes;
"hunny bunny, you're the one
you make my life so much fun...."

sung to the tune of "rubber duckie" from sesame street to my cat: bunny.

Sal said...

Oh that dress is stellar.

I don't sing actual songs to my cats, but always greet them in sing-songy ways. They love it. They told me so.

Louise said...

George gets "George of the Jungle." Angels gets "What's New, Pussycat?"

Both cats and the dog get a variety of made up songs about the excitement of canned pet food. "Oh yes, it's stinky food, stinky food! Oh stinky food!" sung to the tune of "Ladies Night" is the current fave.

Virginiaa said...

One of the many cat songs I sing is "Kitty Kitty Boy Boy," to the tune of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

But then, I make up songs for just about everything.

Anonymous said...

Would love to share the lyrics sung to my Beagle-Boy... but you'd have to know the music that plays beneath the opening credits to the TV series Star Trek Voyager :)))

Audi said...

Larkaspen: I don't own any spats, but I'd say Etsy would be the best place to find some.

katy said...

my mother has always sung to our pets, and now that i'm all grown up with a place and kitties of my own, i do it all of the time. mostly to made up tunes, but also to real songs. they get rather elaborate sometimes.... :)
i love that other people do this too, because my husband always tells me how silly i am!

sara star said...

There are too many silly songs we sing to enumerate. But I love singing to my cat. Right now "our song" is My Girl by the Temptations. Since her name is Faye, it rhymes even more than the original!

Sometimes my husband and I make songs up from scratch, but usually we mess with regular songs and change the words.

chicagolo said...

ok, my first comment ever on your blog, which I've been looking at for a long time, and it is the words to our catchy parakeet song:

Perry and Larry the parakeets
we think you are awfully neat
with green and blue feathers
and pretty pink feet,
Perry and Larry the parakeets

oh they like to eat their food
but their favorite is the millet
but when they get greedy and oh so rude.... they hurry
and then they spill it
(dink donk doink)

repeat first verse with big finish on the last line.

Sheila said...

Wow, I love that so many poeple sing to their pets! My husband and I sing to our cat when we clean out his litter box - a song from "Oliver Twist" based on "Food, Glorious Food":

Poos, glorious poos!
I'm anxious to sift them,
Three nuggets a day,
I can hardly lift them!

Well, it goes on like that, with both of us rising to "Poos, glorious poos!" It's quite a production.

I love your classic outfit and hat - you really look lovely. And you have to so Sing-along Sound of Music - it's a blast!

Secret Squirrel said...

My Mum has a cat called Maisie, but I think that Maisie's REAL (secret) name is Pookie, Queen of the Pookimon Dynasty. I sing her made up sings whenever I visit about her fantasy life as Queen Pookie. It rarely makes any sense! I think, from the purring, that she likes it.

LPC said...

Love the mix of pearls and piercing.

wardrobeexperience said...

amazing dress! i'd love to have it in in my own closet.

http://www.wardrobexperience.blogspot.com

HippieBikermom said...

Had a cat Angie (named after the Rolling Stones song) that I got in law school in 1984. She was so high strung that she literally took valium every day. So, of course, her song was Psycho Kitty (patterned after Psycho Killer from the Talking Heads). Even though Angie died after a long & happy (if angst-ridden) life, whenever her name is mentioned my daughter & I still break into a rendition of "psycho kitty, que'est que ce?, fa-fa-fa" etc.

Danny Collins said...

Hey,

Nerdy fashion has become popular these days! Well, it looks awesome for girls and nerdy style fits emo guys too! I've seen lots of emo boys wearing big black eyeglasses, especially the square frames. When I went to Indianapolis with my sister to find one of the professional optometrists, we saw many trendy big eye glasses.