Ella Tiene Quince Años

Back in November, I mentioned that our American Eskimo Dog, Cosette, turned 15. Not too shabby, especially considering that she had a pretty extensive cancer a few years ago. In spite of being pretty deaf and a bit arthritic, the old girl has plenty of spunk left in her. Leading up to her birthday, I thought it would be fun to take some photos of her at the Mullholland Fountain on Los Feliz near Griffith Park.

For years when I've worked my once-monthly or so Saturday, I've driven home past the fountain and it's usually still been daylight. On sunny weekend afternoons, there are usually one, if not several, groups of people in fancy dress getting photos taken. At first, I assumed they were wedding parties. Doing a double-take, I realized they were usually comprised of kids. Teenagers mostly, but kids nonetheless. Latino kids. It slowly came together that these were not brides, but girls who were celebrating their Quinceañera.

So, you can see where this is going and yeah, I dressed Cosette up and took some photos of her by the fountain. If I'd done it properly, and had about ten others to help me, I'd have had a slew of young, male dogs to pose with her. Oh well. I also didn't dress her in white, as most of the birthday girls do, since she has white fur. And if you hadn't guessed, we're not even Mexican, so this was just all for my amusement anyway.

Quince Años (Fifteen Years)

Pretty Pretty Princess

Yes, I have become one of those people I used to make fun of! I didn't go so far as to rent a Hummer limo for the 'Caninceañera', but just wait until you see what I'm cooking up for her Sweet 16!



Starting with one of my favorite photos that I took of Rusty a couple of years ago, E treated it in Photoshop to make it look a bit like a painting, made an enlarged print, and matted it and framed it himself. It's gorgeous.


This One's Real

Santa Ami

Ami, my real hamster, modeling a craft Santa hat.



Well, Did You See Alien? When The Creature Was In That Guy's Stomach? It Kinda Feels Like That.

Out with the bah-humbugs and in with the I-really-don't-have-it-so-bads. I've been bitching about having to work today, Christmas Eve, the 26th, blah, blah, blah. Luckily my job, besides being something that I do really enjoy doing and earning me a living, helps me keep things in perspective. One of the teenagers I was working with today said to me, "Having cancer sucks. All this stuff you have to go through." He was right. I could only agree with him and encourage him to hang in there.

So yeah, between my paying job and the volunteer work I do, I am constantly reminded that I have it pretty good. Sure, I have a bad cold right now and my house is a disaster, but in general I'm in good health, I have a loving and extremely supportive and patient husband, I have a house, my oldest dog just turned 15...I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Oh, and if you missed yesterday's post, I was linked on the Craft: blog!

Merry Holidays to all of you readers and your friends and families.


Craft Hamster How-To

If you know me in the slightest, you probably know I'm obsessed with hamsters. I make craft hamsters using pom poms, craft foam, fishing line designed for beading, and hot glue. Acrylic fillable ball ornaments make good exercise balls. I've sold them at Comic-Con and a local craft fair.



The pom poms for the eyes, nose, and tail are very small and hot glue is,, so I use tweezers to hold onto and stick those onto the larger hamster body pom pom.


I cut 3 pieces of fishing line for the whiskers. I glue those to a pink pom pom, which will become the nose. I find this to be the trickiest step.



I cut ears out of craft foam. I struggle to make them fairly symmetrical.


After I glue on the ears, I add the nubby tail.


The hamster is then loaded into a plastic ball and a piece of twine is added, along with a tag and/or ribbon. They can be used as Christmas tree ornaments or simply as a care free pet.


Oh Hamster Tree


Optional Santa hat constructed with a triangle shaped piece of red felt folded into a cone and secured with hot glue, a pom pom and a piece of pipe cleaner.



*Linked on the Craft: blog!


It's Never Enough Until You've Got All The Stuff

I'm off today. No, not for the start of vacation, but just a comp day for working this coming Saturday. It's the nature of having a job in a facility that NEVER CLOSES. Luckily for me, my work area is closed on certain days and one of those is Christmas Day. There will be one person from my department that will be there that day, at least for a few hours. My department is also closed at nights, so that is a good thing.

So far, I have not been as productive as I'd intended. I slept later than I wanted and am having a hard time getting started on the multitude of projects that need attention. I did start some laundry, but used up the fabric softener. I'm changing my game plan and thinking of heading out to buy some more and perhaps do a little Christmas shopping.

"Egads!" you might be thinking. That's so last-minute for Christmas shopping!!! Um, no, it really isn't for me. Trust me, no matter what I get done today, I will be at Target, after work on the 24th, really doing some last-minute stuff. Ever been to Target around 8 or 9pm on Christmas Eve? It's INSANE. You get to see the true nature of people and it's not pretty.

For all of you venturing away or at least off from work for the holiday, I wish you a very good time. I have my usual itinerary of fun planned, working or not, so it will be quite merry for me too. Plus, I have my two weeks of vacation in January to look forward to.




Vote for gigantic Ami here!


Time, Time, Time, See What's Become Of Me

It's a good feeling to get an email from a friend that says, "What's up with you? Haven't heard from you in a while, hope you're not working too hard." Especially when that "a while" is truthfully only a couple of days. Life seems to be in high gear right now, partially due to the holidays as that has added a few items to the social calendar.

I have piles of laundry, both clean and dirty, a sink full of dishes, and way too much other clutter to list. I haven't updated my blogs, read yours or hers or his, or taken many photos lately. Twitter informed me that I haven't updated in over 24 hours and I didn't watch 30 Rock yet. I have some things I really need to get out into the mail also.

It's not that I'm just napping and eating bon bons. I've only done some of that in past few days. This week I did see American Werewolf in London in a theater, hosted by Edgar Wright and with a John Landis Q&A. I also saw Ben Lee in concert and went to a Scrubs panel at the Paley Center for Media. I also took Little Guy to the vet and bathed Rusty for some volunteer work we are doing today and tomorrow. Oh, and I worked 40 hours.

I guess my point is that I look around the pig sty where I reside and glance down my To Do list and feel lazy and unaccomplished. I sure that I'm not alone in feeling this, especially at this time of year when time demands and pressures seem to multiply. I could probably go on about this, but Rusty and I have a very important date.



Absurd quotes from today, which was a bizarre one:
  • "My pants are making me dizzy!"
  • "When my Mom would find lice in my hair, she'd snap them on a coconut shell. I loved the sound."
  • "There should not be rats where there are naked people."
  • "Wow! I just got a Hamster Club newsletter! I didn't even know I was in a hamster club."*
A conversation E and I had after getting home Saturday night:

Me, opening my purse and pulling out an item of clothing:
"I took off my fat-sucking undergarment in the bathroom at the party."

E, looking quite perplexed: "Why would you do that?"

Me, still tipsy and a bit smug even: "Well, I had it on over supportive tummy control stockings. I felt like I was overachieving."

E: "Overachieving? Maybe you should go to the gym more than once a week and then we can talk about overachieving."

*Yeppers. I said that one.


How In The World Will I Make It To Work In The Morning?

I've been drinking since we clocked out and now it's 4 am...

Not really. I did my imbibing last night and didn't have to work today. It's been a good weekend (besides the latter part of Friday night...see below) and I hate to see it end. Since I have Fridays off, my weekend starts Thursday night. We went to a holiday party/open house at a facility that does digital post production work. It was nice to see some familiar faces, but the demo we sat through was way over my head.

Before the Largo fiasco on Friday, we went to the annual Toluca Lake Holiday Open House, primarily to get Rusty's photo taken with Santa. I haven't scanned it in yet. It's not that great and I had to be in it, so we'll see. I'm just really glad the rains let up for the event.

E had to work most of the day Saturday, so I ran a bunch of errands. He finished around 8pm, stopped home briefly and we were off to a Christmas party thrown by one of the guys E is actually working for. We had a great time and caught up with some friends we hadn't seen in ages. I even ran into a guy from my book club. We both did that, "Whoa, this is totally out of context" stare at each other before saying hello. Many laughs were had with our buddy H, who I actually refer to as Lady J, but that's another story. I got a bit tipsy, especially after the shot of Scandinavian turpentine beverage Akvavit. Blergh. My apologies for any inappropriate drunken texts or photos of toilets that went out.

Today was a gorgeous, warm and cloudless (one benefit of rain!) day. We went to the Rose Bowl flea market, briefly, where I picked up a bunch of little Hamtaro character figures. E picked up a 1985 issue of Playboy for a fascinating interview with Steve Jobs, who was talking about essentially an iPhone back then. We invariably spot a celebrity at the monthly flea market. Today it was Alice Cooper, which was pretty cool. I was alone though as I'd gone off in search of kettle corn.

After our modest purchases, we drove further east to Ontario to see our good friend, Scott Land, perform as Willy Wonka in a musical starring mostly high school students. The Chaffey High School Thespians are an impressive group of youngsters and they put on a great show. We got to have dinner with Scott and an old friend we haven't seen in a long time.

All in all, a great--but too short, as usual--weekend. How was yours?


Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

Ever been really excited about something, only to be thoroughly disappointed? It's happened to us now, not only once, but twice, in trying to see Jon Brion* perform at Largo. From time to time over the years, we have seen Jon pop onto stage for a song or two with Jill Sobule, Colin Hay, or Aimee Mann, but we never managed to book a table for one of his locally legendary weekly gigs, which often includes surprise guests.

I don't even remember how long ago it was (early '06?), but we had finally gotten a reservation for the show that fills up months in advance. We queued up on Fairfax Avenue and waited. And waited. What was going on? Why aren't they opening the door? It turns out there had been a three-block or so power outage. Largo could not operate their kitchen or safely have an audience in their space. They canceled the night and sent a bunch of disappointed people on our way.

Shortly after that fateful night of the no go show, Jon developed tendinitis that kept him from performing for some time. So, we were quite excited when he started showing up again on the Largo calendar. With great anticipation, we booked a table for last night's show. The listing had another name on it as well, which we assumed was an opening act. When JON BRION is written in big letters with the other name, Nels Cline, written in small letters under it, that's what you think. How wrong we were.

Jon Brion and Nels Cline took the stage together and stayed on the stage together for, what was a surprise to me, "an evening of improvised duets." There was a lot of experimental electronic, and at times downright psychedelic, sound being produced. It was not what I was expecting at all. I wanted to hear Jon Brion sing some pop songs. He rarely sang at all during the set. I know some folks enjoyed it, but it was just not my thing. I don't think the people I saw sleeping through most of the show (I'm not kidding) were that into it either.

Sigh. So, do we try for a third time? I'm not so sure. With so many favorites of ours on the upcoming schedule--Watkins Family Hour, Glen Phillips, Colin Hay--I don't know that I need to risk it again with Mr. Brion.

*You may not know Jon Brion's solo work, but you have surely heard some of his film scores and/or some of the popular music he has produced, including my favorite Spoon song "The Underdog."


It's Not My Bag, Baby

So, yeah, I bought a diaper bag at Target* the other night. Now, don't get excited. Even though it's not a gift, I'm not pregnant. Let's not even go there. Actually, I got the bag for Rusty, my therapy dog. When he goes to work, there are certain supplies I need to bring along. Some of the items we carry include a Polaroid camera, a towel, a small photo album, a dog brush, possibly a couple of costumes, poop bags, water and a collapsible bowl, etc. I've used various tote bags, since I have plenty of those, but nothing was quite doing the trick. As I whined about needing a better solution, E suggested a diaper bag. "They have lots of compartments," was his reasoning and I agreed.

This is what I got and it's perfect:

Part of the reason I was so desperately in search of a new bag was that Rusty and I were preparing to attend a big even this past Saturday. Snowball Express is an amazing organization that I feel honored to have taken a small part in. Children, men, and women who have lost parents and spouses in military action during the past six years were flown to Southern California for an all expenses paid weekend. There was a big event at the Oakley in the O.C. There were a lot of activities going on and most of the kids seemed to have a fabulous time. Rusty was a friendly face and a warm being to hug. He generated a lot of smiles and laughter, as well as gratitude from the parents, a few of whom said, "Thank you so much. The dogs were my kids' favorite thing today." Admittedly, the day was pretty draining, physically and emotionally, but I was happy to participate. It certainly put real faces to what is going on in the world and was quite profound not matter where you stand on certain issues.

So, I may be kind of a scrooge this time of year, but not in terms of giving to those in need. I don't have much money to give, so I give my time and share my snuggly little teddy bear-like dog and his unconditional love.

*For more great Target stuff, check out the Inside My Target Cart blog.


How Do You Get A Man To Clean The House?

It's a simple answer really. I'm sure Will could take a guess. Yep, you got it. Robots. That's all it takes. Get a couple of housecleaning robots and you'll get a guy to clean on a daily basis. I've seen it with my own eyes.

E and I recently picked up a couple of refurbished home robots at a great discount. The Roomba is staying on top of the dog hair that so quickly accumulates in the living room and the Scooba has been tackling the bathroom, kitchen, and the covered patio, which gets some abuse from the dogs. Especially with the recent rain. I'll leave it at that.

So, ladies, if you want some help around the house this holiday season, you might want to ask Santa, Hannukah Harry, or whoever it is that graces you with gifts, for a housekeeping robot. The future is now.


Happiness Is...

...being able to watch Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales at the gym while enduring the elliptical machine. It helped with torture of it all. A little.

Not Tonight Dear

The double feature we went to started an hour and a half late. Rusty and I will not be blogging tonight.


More To Come

Even thought NaBloPoMo ended, I did intend to post something yesterday. It ended up being a very long and fun, yet incredibly exhausting day that didn't end until close to 2 am, when I just gave up. Today has consisted of sleeping quite late, laundry, dishes, some robotic housecleaning, and now a scramble to get ready to go out into the world. I intend to write something later, as does Rusty, who has quite a bit to say about our adventure yesterday.


Blog Template by