Monday, March 31, 2008

Kenji's New Name

Kenji loves going outside when the weather is nice. She's only allowed out in the fenced backyard with parental supervision. She has to wear her collar with her city tag on it, just in case she sneaks out of the yard somehow. Her "necklace" and "pendant" match her blue Siamese eyes. Kenji wondered what her pendant said and I told her it said that she had her rabies vaccination and that it had a special number on it to help her get back home in case she gets lost. All this domesticity is a far-cry from Kenji's beginnings as a little streetwise kitten.

Kenji wants to keep it real. She's decided that her new name is Rabies, because it sounds tough. And it already says Rabies on her pendant.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Who Is That Middle-Aged Lady?

I've known since the 6th grade that I loved acting. When my dad passed away last year, the whole limited time on earth concept hit home in a hard way. I decided to lose weight and pursue acting in a more professional capacity. My big dream is land a role as a sitcom mom, work with a great cast for about five years and retire. After losing 28 pounds over the past year, today was the day I finally got my professional headshot photos taken.

I was excited to have a professional photographer take my photos. He did a great job, but I see wrinkles in my pictures. Ugh. When did I get old?

The upside is that I look old enough to be a sitcom mom now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Flying High with Sean Penn / Karen's Wedding!

Hollywood bad-boy Sean Penn was on our flight from Santa Anna to Austin last night. He looks the same in person as he does on the big screen, only smaller.

We went west primarily for my friend Karen's wedding. I met Karen at freshman orientation at the University of Texas in the summer of 1991. She was cool. She knew about bands. She went to clubs. I didn't believe her when she said she would find me in the fall. She did! We were inseparable for two years until she took a break from school, and moved to New York City. We lost touch for a few years, then bumped into each other in Austin at the movies one Friday night. Boom -- fast friends again. We've stayed in touch ever since.

Chad and I arrived in LA Wednesday afternoon, staying at the lovely and eco-friendly Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica. Karen waited tables at the restaurant Real Food Daily when she first moved out to LA ten years ago, so that's where we had dinner. It was fun to see where she worked, and the vegan menu was really/surprisingly yummy!

After dinner, we saw my favorite band, NadaSurf, with another good band, Sea Wolf, at The Music Box (a.k.a. Henry Fonda Theatre) on Hollywood Blvd. The Music Box features velvet curtains and a roomy, raised stage. The theatre has art nouveau touches like scrolly gold columns flanking box seats on either side of the stage. The venue lends a real sense of credible theatrical performance since the audience doesn't have to watch the band scramble to set-up and tune their instruments. The curtains come up with a sense of ceremony, and the band starts to play. Both bands delivered solid shows. Oddly, both bands featured cello players which added a real depth to the music. I did the silly bounce at the knees and bop your head dance to every song. I was that dorky girl that sang along.

Thursday we spent twelve hours at Disneyland. Bag on the Disney marketing machine all you want, but I grew up on the movies and the theme parks. I really enjoyed the trip down Childhood's Good Memory Lane. And I got to ride the Matterhorn roller coaster for the first time. Woooooo...

Friday's main event was Karen and Matthew's wedding. I'm so happy that Karen and Matthew found each other! Their wedding was gorgeous and fun, just like they are. The ceremony was outside under a perfect Malibu sky. I cried like a baby to see my longest-lasting, and delightfully wildest, friend joining her soul-mate in holy, monogamous matrimony. In short, the wedding was relaxed, joyful and perfect from a guest's perspective.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2 Quickies

First, I love! This brilliant website is legal and free! has all sorts of new and old TV shows and movies for viewing with limited, quick commercial breaks.

I watched the first two episodes of The Return of Jezebel James starring Parker Posey and written by Amy Sherman Palladino of beloved Gilmore Girls fame. The show was okay: a little too quippy with recycled actors from Gilmore Girls and a plot premise that requires big suspension of disbelief. Maybe it will get better?

Second, I flew into the Palm Springs airport a few weekends ago for a girls' spa getaway with a pal from LA. So many people were packing pooches, literally carrying little cutie-dogs in glorified purses. I had a funny vision of myself trying to carry my forty-pound Janie-dog in a giant bag. I predict that bigger dogs will be the hot new fashion accessory! You'll get a good workout toting your furry friend.

Monday, March 17, 2008

TV Snob Embraces a Reality Show (It's British)

The writer's strike had me watching more shows on DVD or the internet, and reading books instead of watching the bad reality/competition show filler that the networks trotted out to fill the void. I typically don't like reality television. The editing and situations of reality television are mean and manipulative at best; and exploitative and potentially dangerous at worst. Oh, the humanity! (Sorry, Jenny. I know you like some of the reality shows.) Here's the big but, BUT I really like the BBC America show Last Restaurant Standing. This fancy-pants chef, Raymond Blanc, gives nine couples (some are romantic partners, but there are also sibling teams and one mother-son team) the chance to open a real restaurant with his backing. If you can catch a marathon of this on BBC America and catch up, or even just start viewing now, I highly recommend this show.

My top 3 picks for the teams/couples to win are:
Martin, a prison caterer, and his fiance Emma who works in a bingo hall.
Lloyd and Adwoa, an engaged couple who run market stalls selling food.
Sisters and children's entertainers, Jess and Laura.

On the subject of reality TV, I never watched Project Runway this season. I followed it last season, and liked it pretty well, but I wasn't into it this time around. I only have so much attention span to squander on TV.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


My first decade living in Austin, I hated the summer. The long seem-to-last-forever, hot record-breaking-temperatures, drain-my-life force summers were not my favorite (NMF). If you asked which was my favorite season, I'd answer fall, because it marked the longest amount of time until summer steamed back into town.

Now that I've lived here nearly seventeen years, I'm used to summer. I love going to Deep Eddy Pool and having Jim-Jim's water ices. I kinda like getting into my hot car after sitting in over-air-conditioned spaces. I see lots of movies. I've learned to slow my pace and constantly hydrate.

This year, I'm loving spring. Buds are bursting. Leaves are sprouting. Temperatures are rising and that lovely sun is shining. I'm okay with the impending summer; rather than viewing spring as the prettier harbinger of the long, hot season.

Chad and I raked, mowed, mulched and weeded this weekend in preparation for our spring yard. Janie sampled some of the fresh mulch and thought it was pretty tasty. She's learning the new command, "no! yucky!".

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Getting to Know You

Janie did not go to work with Chad this week, because he was in New York, and she's not ready to fly just yet. Poor Janie was stuck at home with boring Mom (me) and the hissy kitties. Plus it rained two days this week. I've been trying to think up indoor activities such as tug-of-war and wrestling. We spend lots of time outside when it's dry enough.

I'm learning that Janie knows lots of cool commands and games. She totally knows:
her name
stay (when she's not too distracted)
go potty outside

If I pat my leg twice she knows that she needs to come with me, which is super-helpful when we go out for a midnight potty break, because I don't want to yell out her name to get her inside. She'll fetch her tennis ball and bring it back about three times before she decides she'd rather chew on the ball than give it back. We're working on the command "release" to have her give the ball back. Janie is learning "wait for it" when it comes to accepting a treat or a toy. She's always very gentle, but a bit clumsy.

Janie has been training me too. She'll take a piece of carrot for a treat once a day, but if I try this healthy treat option a second time in a day, it just sits on the floor uneaten. Janie sleeps in her crate through the night, and waits for me to come get her in the morning without barking or whining. Instead, she shakes her tags every few minutes when she's ready to get up and out, and that jingle-jangle noise makes me get out of bed. She knows that if she rests her head on my leg and looks super-sad, I put away the book/computer/project and pet her tummy. She lets me know she needs go out to potty by putting her two front feet on my knee or by giving a little bark and gesturing to the door with her head. My treats come in the form of happy prancing, tail-wagging and sweet, happy sighs from Janie.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sweet Kitty Needs New Home

This cat, Hannah, was one of my Furry Godmother kitty-clients. I love her so much, and would adopt her myself if I didn't already have 3 cats and a new dog. Her person-mom is looking for a new home for Hannah due to a hectic travel and work schedule. She feels guilty for not having enough time to spend with Hannah. Email, comment or call me if you're interested in Hannah. I will then pass your contact info on to Hannah's current person-mom.

Here's what Hannah's person-mom says about her:
She's a lovable, playful, curious, spayed, Siamese-mix... very social, greets people at the door, curls up in strangers' laps, loves to be held, meows a lot (so she's not for people who need silence to concentrate at home)...doesn't have a mean bone in her body, has never even attempted to scratch or bite anyone, she's very healthy, except needs annual teeth cleanings. In the winter she likes to curl up on your lap a lot
and even get under the covers next to you.

She'd probably be very happy in a easy-going, lively household where people/kids wanted to play with her a lot, like letting her chase a laser pointer, or playing with a string. She also loves watching/stalking birds or squirrels at feeders and playing in cardboard boxes.

She'll be 13 soon, she was born around April 1995, and as you can tell from the photos,(taken this year) she still looks like a kitten. She has always been an indoor cat but still has her claws.