Archive for October, 2012

Hovawarts, Kooikerhondjes and Stabyhouns – Meet the Breeds 2012.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Every year now at the Javits Center in Manhattan, the AKC and the feline equivalent of the AKC has a thing called Meet the Breeds. They have cats and dogs of various shapes and sizes. You can meet them and pet them and learn about them, it’s delightful. Each creature gets a booth and the owners/breeders make it look like a middle-school science fair. There are photos and costumes and fun facts posted everywhere. The first booth my co-worker, Nessa, and I came across was the Siberian cat. The lady was dressed in authentic Russian garb. The cat did not seem to care about this.

And in the front entrance there was a woman walking a Saluki, a breed of dog native to Saudi Arabia. Not only was the lady totally pimped out, but the dog was dressed as what I perceived as a belly dancer.

At the toyger booth the woman had dingle-dongles of tigers on her head. BTW, toygers are gorgeous. I would love to have a couple of those hanging around my abode.

My favorite kitty at this thing was the gray striped Turkish Angora. He wouldn’t really hold still for a photo, but take my word for it, he was exquisite.

There was a Havanese cat who really loved his feathered toy on a stick. Like, really loved it. In this picture, I’m holding over my head. In the second picture it’s off to the right. Look at the intensity in this cat’s eyes. He wants to kill that thing so bad. DEATH TO STICK.

After lovin’ on the kitties, we headed over to the dogs. The dog section is always substantially larger than the cat section, probably because most cats look vaguely like cats and are cat-shaped, but dogs vary so much. I saw this chart and it pretty much sums up how it works for most people.

There were four new breeds that I noticed. One was a French dog that I forgot to take a picture of (it was scruffy and blonde), but the other three I managed to catalog. There was the Kooikerhondje (I’m going to assume that’s a Dutch breed):

The Stabyhoun:

And the Hovawart, which I loved. I asked the lady about them. First of all, how am I expected not to call them a Hogawart? I mean, really? Anyway, they’re from Germany, they’ve been around since the 1200s, and they live to be about sixteen, which is unheard of in a dog as big as that (they’re very big). That’s due to excellent breeding and rigid record-keeping by the Germans. Say what you want about them, but the Germans make a great dog. The dog I petted was a total sweetie and crazy-soft all over, not just his ears like most dogs. I heart Hovawarts.

There were a stellar bunch of big dogs like the Leonberger, the Irish Wolfhound, the Akita and the Borzoi (my favoritest type of dog in the whole world).

As I said it’s extremely common to dress up for people to both decorate their booths and put on costumes to represent their breed’s land or origin or most notable trait or whatever. This man dressed as a monk said he owned five St. Bernards. I can only imagine what his food costs must be every month.

The Newfoundland booth was storm-oriented. Newfies are water dogs, mostly used for rescue. They have webbed paws.

This is the Rhodesian Ridgeback booth. And here is a young Ridgeback giving someone the sideways-eye.

I thought the Chow Chow booth was the dopest. Except for the Brush Script on the front, but that looked like it was done by a little kid, so I’m going to let it slide.

I imagine the dogs get bored after a while. This Tervuren was just chilling out. He’s probably tired from being mistaken for a German Shepherd all day.

And these Scottish Deerhounds gave up.

This Weimeraner is giving a high-five, but you can see in his eyes his thoughts are elsewhere. Perhaps thinking of a love from long ago. Or meaty treats.

The were a ton of wee dogs as well. There was this tiny Chihuahua puppy.

And these Yorkshire Terriers.

Also this Shih Tzu and Pekinese and King Charles Spaniel. All soft and sweet and friendly.

But the cutest (translation: the ones I was most tempted to shove under my shirt and hightail it out of there with) were the Pomeranians. Oh Ancient Crone, how I envy you and your super-adorable doggies.

The Corgi Queen was there again this year. I love that lady.

The Saluki booth was fabu.

The Schipperke, being a boat dog from Holland, was wearing a little sailor hat. The other one was wearing a lei… because it was on vacation, or something.

The whippet dressed as a witch was a total darling. A Witchet, if you will.

The piece de resistance of the experience, in my opinion, was the following:

– An ancient Chinese Crested
– With no teeth
– Whose tongue is too big for its mouth
– Wearing a green sweater
– Falling asleep.

Chinese Crested dogs look… intriguing to begin with.

I learned that the hairless dogs are more prone to tooth loss because whatever gene creates the lack of hair also affects the tooth strength. You learn new things every day.

So it was awesome and I’m totally going next year. I’m going to take Snorth with me whether she says okay or not. Snorth, we’re gonna go pet things next year! Put it on your calendar! We goin’!

Two weird violent comedies I saw recently.

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

I saw Seven Psychopaths. Ohhhhhh, it was so close to being good. So close. It felt like amazing actors were acting out a first draft of what would eventually be a really great script. I loved Sam Rockwell because, hey, Sam Rockwell is super-fantastic, and Colin Farrell is a sexy beast, and Christopher Walken is terrific. Specific scenes are amazing as mini-films, but the film as a unit isn’t great. Some thoughts:

1. Christopher Walken wears a suit the whole time, and when he walks he has a jaunty pop in his step. I kept waiting for him to break into the Fatboy Slim dance. It really looked like he was gonna at certain points.

2. Speaking of Christopher Walken, there’s a scene where all three leads are driving around – Farrell and Rockwell are in the front seat and Walken is in the back seat sleeping. The guys in the front are talking but I couldn’t listen to them because Walken is all bony and freaky and his mouth is hanging open and his muscles are all slack, it’s utterly terrifying. It’s like trying to pay attention to a conversation while the chick from The Ring is chilling in the shot, being all “Howdy!” and whatnot.

3. If you play a drinking game based on how many times the words “psycho” or “psychopath” is said, you would be drunk in no time. It got to the point where the word lost its meaning for me. They could have said “crazy” or “unbalanced” or “mentally ill”, any number of alternatives were available.

And now I’m watching Super. That’s the name of the film. Super. It came out on DVD recently. It’s about a guy who loses everything and decides to become a superhero. He whacks bad people in the head with a pipe wrench. It’s like a comic book (or graphic novel, if you’re cool) (which I am not) come to life. It was very weird and violent, like 300 taking place in suburbia where everyone drives Buicks.

1. Rainn Wilson plays one of the most socially awkward human beings I’ve ever seen. It would have really easy for him to go into “Non-Believable Dork” area, but he doesn’t. I have a new appreciation for Mr. Wilson and his acting abilities.

2. When Ellen Page tries to be sexy it does not work. She sounds like someone trying to be sexy after watching copious amounts of porn. “Women should moan like this” kind of thing. It doesn’t help that she looks twelve.

3. I really liked the way they used Adobe AfterEffects in this film. Did I mention I’m teaching myself AfterEffects? I am. I had forgotten how irritating it is to learn new things (you just don’t know stuff!). Anyway, instead of having normal film-style flashbacks, they did all kinds of nifty animations.

4. Oh hello, Kevin Bacon. Didn’t know you were in this. Look at you, being all awesome.

5. Wow, the last half is grotesque and rough. I was not ready. It went from weird and charming to heroic to plain horrifying. I’m very upset now.

My final review on both films: they are both the best films ever because they have soft sweet rabbits in them. The end.

A new purse, finally. And other things.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The last time I painted a purse was over a year ago and since I was working on many other projects I never got around to making a new one and the jelly one was decomposing like a mummy in a horror film. This one:

The metal tab things had ripped off and I had spilled all kinds of delicious foods on it and the strap was totally frayed, etc. The time had come, and gone, and circled back around again, and I couldn’t keep carrying it because my lip gloss kept falling out of the holes. They discontinued this particular style purse, but before they did I bought the last fifty the factory had. Alas, about ten are gray, but the rest are this appalling Pepto pink. So now I have a stack of revolting pink purses in my closet. I took one and dyed it so it was a grayish lavender. Then I drew a horned beetle on it and used Pantone markers to give the impression of a shadow in rich blues. It looks adorbs.

Two other things: there’s this thing in fashion in the last few years where you rip t-shirts in intricate patterns and then you tie up the shreds with complex knots. It looks a bit like the lanyard bracelets you made at summer camp. I was pretty meh about the whole thing until I was walking through Times Square the other day and this chick had this neat skull ripped in the back of her shirt. That was pretty cool.

The third thing: Publicis New York merged with another agency, Kaplan Thaler Group and now it’s Publicis Kaplan Thaler. In 2013 we will be joining up in a building on Broadway and 52nd, and recently I went there. It’s a nice enough office building, but something in the elevator bay is going to bother me each and every day when I work there.

Uuuugh all the letters are mashed together and then there’s that giant gap why why??? It’s so crappy. One late night I may snap and go out there with an X-acto knife and handle my business (and get fired, but at least the letter spacing will be corrected).

Belgium and some charts.

Friday, October 5th, 2012

The Moomins and I are going to Belgium for Thanksgiving this year, so in order to find out all the awesome things The Moomins called the Belgian Tourist Bureau. And the Belgian Tourist Bureau informed her, without a hint of humor, that they only deal with the Wallonia region (French-speaking), not the Flanders region (Dutch-speaking). Okay, this is pathetic. Do you know how big Belgium is? It’s 11,000 square miles. New York State is 54,000 square miles. Belgium is teeny-tiny. However, the Frenchies and the Dutchies are still fussin’ and gripin’ and won’t play nice. So The Moomins had to call a different tourist bureau to get info on the Flanders chunk. It’s fine if the two regions are cranky. My people are from Israel, I am in no place to judge people fighting about land the size of Rhode Island. However, do you think the the official tourist bureaus can put their differences aside to send my mother information about the entirety of the stupid country so we can visit it and give it our money? Perhaps maybe?

I asked The Moomins, who was raised by Belgians and speaks both languages, what holds the country together and without blinking she said, “Beer.”

In other news, charts.