Friday, June 30, 2006

More Socializing Your Dog

Zeta meets so many interesting people.

These are among the very best.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pet Nutrition

Zeta is getting in a lot of good socialization. Today she hooked up with Emeril, which reminds us to mention good nutrition.

Most veterinarians recommend food for your pet that contains high quality ingredients. Put simply, this means your pet digests more. There's a great deal of useful information on the Diamond Pet Food site. We feed Zeta only the finest. She eats Diamond Puppy Food. If Emeril made dog food, he'd make only the finest.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Socialize Your Dog

"Socialization (introducing your puppy to new sights, sounds, and experiences before age 18-20 weeks) is a crucial part of raising a dog. Most days, this means arranging a trip out somewhere or letting your puppy explore something unusual."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How Old Was Your Mother, When You Were Born?

LOOK at these gorgeous Centenarians! These women are happy aren't they! I want to be that happy when I'm that old. These are the Cardwell triplets, Faith, Hope and Charity. I love this photo. Unfortunately, I took issue the article that went with it.

This photo was featured recently on AOL along with an article entitled How Old Was Your Mother, When You Were Born? Apparently, Drs. Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova used census data to track information that now provides us with this (unscientific) information:

"The chances of living to the ripe old age of 100 -- and beyond -- nearly double for a child born to a woman before her 25th birthday. Other factors include growing up in the Western part of the U.S., spending part of one's childhood on a farm, and being born first."

The article also states: "The father's age is less important to longevity, according to their research," and, the finding that children born to young women are more likely to live to 100 "may have important social implications, because many women postpone their childbearing to later ages because of career demands."


I'm getting all femme-raged. How do they know the father's age is less important to longevity? And why would a statistically and not medically or scientifically accurate study be the kind of thing that would have important social implications, because many women postpone their childbearing to later ages because of career demands? Why did they call them "demands" and not "choices"? And why, oh why, do we all have to be raised in a barn to live to be 100?


Tuesday, June 20, 2006



Monday night the Sexy Beast and I had nothing to do, thankfully... or so we thought. First, SB's brother, who lives a block over, was having a friend and collegue from India (Dell) for dinner and had requested SB make her quite delicious salsa.

SB's brother had picked up parsley instead of cilantro (ick, imagine THAT salsa) so SB gets cilantro for him -- and we walk over, or rather, have Zeta drag us, as her onleash manners are terrible right now. I had to stop every three or four steps so she would sit and NOT pull! I can't believe a teensy little seven pound bundle of Schnauze can pull so hard -- she thinks she's a Samoyed!

Alright, so we finally get there, me fifteen minutes behind the SB... SB's brother mixes me a delicious drink -- an alcohol free concoction of orange juice, Sprite, Margarita Mix, a pinch of olive juice in a salt rimmed glass garnished with an orange stuffed olive. Yum. You might not think so, but it works!

Salsa gets made, we wait, I walk Zeta back home, I come back, we wait. You can imagine, again, with Zeta's leash manners that this is a time consuming event!

By now, SB's brother's guest is super late and in fifteen minutes I'm going to have to pick up G-Man (our youngest) from rehearsal. It's 8:45.

I schlep the Zeta Dog back home and go pick up G-Man. I return.

Still!!!! When I do, Sexy Beast's brother's guest has arrived. Two hours later. I'm figuring with no opinion or criticism whatsoever, this tardiness is not a big deal to those who are acclimated to the culture in India. It's dark by now, though.

Here's the fun part. We're eating on the patio. It's really lovely and all but -- for reasons beyond the Sexy Beast and me -- SBB (Sexy Beast's Brother) will NOT turn on the patio light. (Maybe it will attract too many bugs?) Hence, we eat by the dimmest of candlelight. I do mean dim. The Sexy Beast and I exchanged the use of long utility gas match lighters and candles to forage for vegetables to place on our tortillas.

SBB's Indian guest forages as well, and just as he has managed to get a good bite of his fajita, I hear what sounds eerily like a cat coughing up a furball. OOf! There I heard it again! The SBB has no pets, so what could it be?

SBB's Indian guest has encountered something hot in the vegetable mix. It's so hot he's over there coughing up a furball! Of course, how could we have immediately known what the sound was or where it was coming from, it was too dark!

As we say in Texas it was a flavor hot, not a temperature hot. You gotta ask that question when you stare at (if there's enough light) the victim of an attack of hot mouth. If it's a temperature issue, usually, you can count on being able to see the victim jiggling around in their chair, gingerly tossing the offending hot object from one side of their mouth to the other with their tongue, attempting that blowy, panting sorta thingy with their lips. It was a bad flavor hot, though, hence the furball simile. SBB got up to provide something for balance, finally settling on a few pieces of chocolate.

Just as SBB sat back down, I get hold of the same flavor bouquet. What the hell? While I provided no furball noise, I did offer the requisite response. A shake of the head, dousing of my mouth with beverage, craning of the neck, watery eyes, and a lively, "WHEW! What is IN these vegetables?" SBB couldn't fathom what could be so hot in his recipe.

While I held a candle to the platter, the Sexy Beast, brave and sure, once again foraged in the vegetables attempting to find the offending ingredient. She never did figure it out, but she did taste it. In a cool and collected and almost a macho fashion, the heat extricated from her a calm, "Yeah, I can take hot, but that's pretty hot." Of course, this is exactly what people who think they can take hot say when something is hot.

Well whatever. By this time it's nearly ten o'clock. The Sexy Beast and I had had quite a long night of it the evening before and we retired to our own house, SBB's Indian guest a little curious about our rush to go home.

That's ok, we'd been there since 7.

The rest of the night was uneventful -- well, at least for the Sexy Beast and me.

From LA Times, May 26, 2006

So good, I reprinted it here.

I LOVE live theatre!


White Way, right way

Drama critics have been grousing mightily of late about the trend of celebrity casting. For some it's an epidemic more dangerously virulent than avian flu: "Hollywood infects Broadway News at 11." One can imagine certain reviewers sitting on the aisle with their little pads in hand, wearing hospital masks and rubber gloves for protection.

Yet given the way the theater has to fight for its economic and cultural survival, this attitude is borderline perverse akin to someone insulting a rescuer for throwing down the wrong color lifeline.

If it takes a boldface name to bring out the crowds, so be it. Theatergoers aren't chumps. They know Denzel Washington, who played Brutus last spring in the Broadway revival of "Julius Caesar," is one of the best actors around, while Julia Roberts, who made her Broadway debut in Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain" this season, is a bona fide icon who has more depth than her film roles have typically shown.

The Tony nominating committee may have snubbed them both, but these stars' legions of fans couldn't care less about such geeky honors. Most have probably never even heard of Antoinette Perry, the theatrical dynamo after whom the Tonys were named, and few are likely to tune in to watch the June 11 ceremony on CBS. What's more, no association of theater snobs is going to stand between them and the box-office gateway to their beloved.

So does this spell the beginning of the end? For the one or two of you still dewy-eyed about Broadway, let me break it to you gently: The theme park known as Times Square can hardly be described (with a straight face, anyway) as a sanctified zone of artistic purity. Forget about the roving busloads of tourists that New Yorkers are always complaining about, it's the caroling army of Disney creatures from "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Tarzan" that makes the theater district seem like such a commercial free-for-all.

Surely a play by Greenberg or Shakespeare, even when clumsily done, is less of a time waster than "Hot Feet," "Lestat" or one of the other lamented bombs that marks this as the moment of the musical's apocalypse.

No, the problem isn't that movie stars want to do theater. (We should all have such problems!) But it's hard not to wish they were being better advised. In that spirit, the following list of do's and don'ts is offered. Tom, Johnny, George, Jen, Angelina and Cameron would do well to commit it to memory. If nothing else, the practice will come in handy for that irresistible theater script they may one day have to memorize.

Don't underestimate the difference between stage and film acting. Standing before an audience is like skiing down an Olympic slope. It requires supple physical technique, intense concentration and unlimited daring. Becoming the character is only half the battle. You have to convey your portrait to the back of the house while surviving the ogling stares of strangers, who can see you even when you have nothing to do and would be out of the shot in TV or film. And more frightening still, you have to duplicate it eight times a week on time!

Do recognize that the only way to real success is through commitment to the craft. A shining example of this is Cynthia Nixon, who has consistently balanced theater with TV and is likely to walk off (deservedly) with the Tony for her performance in "Rabbit Hole" a quarter-century after making her stage debut as a 14-year-old at Lincoln Center. Think long haul, in other words, and bear in mind that beginner's luck is rarer in the theater than in the movies. For those actors who want to do a one-off to enhance their "seriousness," better look elsewhere. Have your agent find out whether Mike Nichols has anything in the pipeline for HBO. Or how about a voice-over for the Biography channel?

Don't make your stage debut on Broadway. It's like deciding to learn the game of tennis by entering yourself into Wimbledon. Start at a smaller venue, off-Broadway perhaps, or one of the better regionals such as South Coast Repertory or the Geffen Playhouse. There's no escaping the spotlight, but why contend with the blinding glare of the Great White Way when you're just getting your feet wet? And remember: You're already huge, no reason to keep proving it.

Do take advantage of summer stages. Gwyneth Paltrow made her theatrical debut at the Williamstown Theatre Festival when she was a kid and subsequently returned as an Oscar winner to portray Rosalind in "As You Like It." Or you might want to consider a more high-profile outdoor option, such as the New York Shakespeare Festival, where critics tend to be more forgiving amid the Central Park greenery and former stars of "Law & Order."

Don't expect that your name on the marquee alone will pack them in. It helps, for sure, but there are other factors. David Schwimmer's fame, for example, wasn't enough to override the flood of bad reviews that forced "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" to call it quits prematurely. Needless to say, all the pans in the world wouldn't have mattered if he was starring in a slightly teary breakup comedy (ideally with Jennifer Aniston). But young female fans just couldn't be persuaded to turn out for their puppy dog in a vehicle that sounded this boringly butch.

Do play to your strengths. A prime example of someone who's doing just that this season is Harry Connick Jr. in the Broadway revival of "The Pajama Game." Crooning "Hey There" one minute, pounding out "Hernando's Hideaway" on the piano the next, he's mesmerizing with his concert dramatics. To say that his audience is falling for it would be an understatement. Truth be told, a good portion have to be resuscitated each night when he rips off his shirt and flaunts (in character, of course) those bronzed pecs.

Don't rush into Shakespeare. Just as you hope someone would caution Elton John against doing a recital of Beethoven sonatas, so someone should have advised Alec Baldwin a few years back against tackling Macbeth at the New York Public Theater. Which doesn't mean stick to the safe and boring. But one must build systematically toward difficult challenges, not jump into a role so notoriously difficult it's said to be cursed. Just ask Kelsey Grammer, who confronted the jinx on Broadway in 2000.

Do learn from your more experienced cast members, who hold secrets no acting coach can convey.

Don't be surprised when critics praise your veteran costars at your expense. It's the price you pay for learning.

Do find a director who can raise your level. This may be the toughest item on the list. One positive example: Scott Elliott, artistic director of off-Broadway's New Group, worked wonders with Parker Posey last year in "Hurlyburly" just as he did last fall with Jennifer Jason Leigh in "Abigail's Party," making him the go-to guy for offbeat actresses who want to blend their talents with an eccentric ensemble. (We'll try to ignore Elliott's muddled "Threepenny Opera" this season at Studio 54.)

Don't be put off by negative reviews. Artistic growth isn't built on plaudits alone, and wouldn't you rather stumble forward than stagnate? One can only hope that Cate Blanchett won't vanish from the stage after the drubbing she received for her over-the-top turn in "Hedda Gabler" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this year. The fault, dear Cate, lay not with you but with the daffily executed vision of your postmodern director.

Do take heart from Annette Bening's example in the Mark Taper Forum production of "The Cherry Orchard" this season. She put herself on the line in her hometown to create something exceedingly uncommon these days a theater offering that rose to the level of a major cultural event. The production wasn't perfect, but ballasted by a memorable performance by Alfred Molina and Bening's own rising poignancy in the final act, it distilled something essential in Chekhov that measured the distance between showbiz and art.

Charles McNulty is The Times' theater critic.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Big Dogs

Zeta is getting big. Well, depending on your perspective. We continue to have to patiently wait for the right time to sign her up for puppy school because her shots and the timing of classes has been off. So! She gets to go to school on the 27th, which is her birthday! She will be 15 weeks old. That's nearly FOUR MONTHS! I feel like I'm running out of time for her puppy development! It's ok, I suppose, as some trainers think a dog's impressionable youth is completed at 12 weeks and others at up to 20. Who knows? When does a dog's brain really solidify?

This weekend, both the boys asked about how much bigger she would get. I asked if they liked her small. They both said yes. Also, she was referred to as "portable" and portable is a good thing. Zeta will always remain portable!

Zeta is taking on the characteristics of a Schnauzer now. For the longest time she looked like a little teddy-bearish puppy thing.

Eight weeks

See, she's looking like a dog now:

Twelve weeks

Oh, and the Sexy Beast looks great! Nice hands, doncha think? ;-)

Zeta thinks she is a big dog. Lest we burst her bubble, we shall put her in the Puppy Class for all breeds rather than the class for small breeds.

We MUST further socialize her! I gotta think of other cool places for her to go -- without having her full set of shots STILL. Grrrr.

Friday, June 16, 2006

In Print

I wish I could say I was in print. But I'm not. A photo of mine is in print. On the cover of the entertainment section of my local newspaper, The Round Rock Leader. But, after clearly being informed of a request (made not of me but someone else!) to be credited -- I don't see my name anywhere!

Do you?

Mind you, I didn't crop anything off that image except the margins. Here's the original:

Looks better on newsprint, I admit, as it's just a little hot.

Here's the good news. I've been meaning to contact these people to see if they need a reviewer. So I did. I got a tepid reception -- maybe because I started out with requesting a credit for my photo next time. But I'm a sensible person, and since I am, I didn't push the issue, as I was fishing for further work with them.

Turns out, they're cutting back on this section. No surprise from a city that couldn't fund it's own community theatre $5k a year and determined the theatre should have NOTHING while spending $1 million on improvements on a golf course because their new slogan is "Sports Capital of Texas."

In Georgetown, an even smaller 'burb than Round Rock where $5k is only a portion of one night's ticket sales, they proudly parade the casts of their musicals in front of the City Hall. Oh, and by the way -- the aforementioned shot is of the lead actors in the Georgetown Palace's production of Moon Over Buffalo. Go see it!

And don't steal my photo!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Vibro Angel!

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Vibro Angel
Your Superpower is Speaking to Animals
Your Weakness is Handshakes
Your Weapon is Your Secret Decoder Lance
Your Mode of Transportation is Jet

Friday, June 09, 2006

And What Kind of Soda Are You?

You Are Dr. Pepper

You're very unique and funky, yet you still have a bit of traditionalism to you.
People who like you think they have great taste... and they usually do.

Your best soda match: Root Beer

Stay away from: 7 Up


I just found this article online.

Holy crap.

This isn't a "conspiracy theory." It's real. The data is as clear as can be.

Was The 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Z Dog

Zeta is growing up nicely. She probably weighs in at 6 pounds now.

We've socialized her, and continue to do so.
She's met at least 100 people in her 12 weeks of existence
including big men in beards and costumes,
women in funny hats,
children (some annoying!)

She can:
Lie Down
Wait(but she could be more patient)
Pick "which hand it's in"
Do the do outside (85-90% effectiveness here)
Run like the wind
Bark and growl very bravely
Give lots of sweet kisses
Happily sleep all night (always did!)in her crate

She goes to puppy school next week!

Zeta Haiku:
Small smart Zeta Dog
Sometimes on manmade fiber
Poops on green turf mostly

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bush and The FMA


In his weekly radio address this week, Dubya called on Congress to pass an amendment to the constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Very well then. I was actually thinking about marrying my dog but if this bill passes I can't do that.

His intent, outwardly, is to "preserve the sanctity of marriage," whatever that means. Perhaps then, a more appropriate amendment would be to ban divorce. Or, at the very least, make it much harder to obtain a divorce.

Is Dubya really pissed at Cheney? Is he granting rights to his own daughter's and removing them for his vice-president's? The vice president spelled out his position on the subject in August of 2004, "Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with. ... With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be able to free
to enter into any kind of relationship they want to." Aside from the poor syntax of his sentence, and that I don't otherwise support Cheney in any way, I agree on this point.

Ok, I have a story here -- it's a third party story, but I know someone, who knows someone who was with Laura Bush on Gore's original debacled election night. Laura and her entourage decided to take a break from the dramatics at the Governor's Mansion here in Austin and go have a drink in the neighborhood somewhere in the vicinity of said Governor's Mansion. Well if you're gay and live in Austin you know where this is headed. The closest bar, dear readers, is two blocks away -- and it's a gay one.

You guessed it. There sat Laura Bush on election night having cocktails with her husband's moral enemies. They were probably dancing around in G-Strings as Tuesdays are usually slow at the bars and strippers help business.

It's a story better told when it's longer, and by those who were a part of the delicious antics -- but I hope Laura didn't form any relationships her husband will ruin with his narrow point of view. The First Lady herself said that the FMA shouldn't be used as a campaign tool," on Fox News on May 14.

Anyway. I'll be honest. As a lesbian, I'm not on a passionate soapbox about marriage. But as a citizen, please don't use me as a scapegoat for things that really matter in our government that haven't been addressed.

And finally: The amendment doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of passing anyway! The proverbial phrase here couldn't be more fitting: It'll take an act of Congress. And that is a really, really, really difficult thing to do. In order to become law, the proposed amendment needs two-thirds support in both the Senate and the House, after which it must be ratified by a minimum of 38 state legislatures. Keep that in mind before your get your gay panties in too much of a wad.

Maybe this will be another letter in the alphabet that spells Dubya's demise.

One can hope, can't she?

Nonetheless, to join me in voicing a need for the government to get back to real business, take action here.

Ok. I've spent enough of my gay time on this.