8 years ago my sister suggested I find a way to publish the amusing emails I sent her about our dog Zoe. Now there is blogging! Zoe tales are about Zoe (3 1/2 lb Chihuahua), Gracie (bigger and the world's friendliest Chihuahua) and other stuff I am thinking about. Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Guest Tale about Kitties

My sister and her partner have a large collection of cats who have chosen to live in their backyard. I thought I would share with you a "Backyard Babies Tale" about a couple of these cats. Enjoy!
Lionel and Fang are in the Igloo together! Lionel has been in there enjoying the sun, and Fang went in and started stepping on Lionel's squishy belly. Lionel was a little annoyed, but tolerated it. Now Fang has gotten comfortable and they are both snoozing in the sun! I am watching all of this from my office window. Cute!


Wrath of the Chihuahua

You know that you are obsessed with Chihuahuas when several people send you links to the same story about one. This Chihuahua sounds like Zoe's long lost twin. Zoe is similarly insistent on barking at trespassers onto her territory. And by territory, that means any place she can see or is walking on. However, unlike Bobo, Zoe's attacks aren't quite as indiscriminate (probably because she doesn't run loose.)

Yesterday my family helped me move my sofa to the wall with the window at the front of my house. This was done even though it makes it tougher for me to watch my big screen TV (which is quite the sacrifice for me.) I made the move all so Zoe can patrol. Zoe likes to keep an eye on things by surveying her territory. She then barks at anyone or anything that crosses her sightline. Of course, it maybe tiresome to some of the neighbors but she is safely behind glass. The only potential danger is to herself as she sometimes gets so apoplectic that I fear she might combust like a Spinal Tap drummer.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Perry's Food for the Soul - Updated

I mentioned below that I grabbed some quick tacos at Guadalajara in San Leandro the other day. When I have a bit more time and a much bigger appetite, I like to stop by my cousin's restaurant in San Leandro - Perry's Food for the Soul.

Stephanie has always been a fantastic cook and has had a lot of love for sharing her gift. I once got a serious bee in my bonnet for trying to perfect a version of our grandmother's rice pudding. Despite apprenticing in my grandmother's kitchen, I couldn't get it right. When I went off to college Stephanie found me yet another recipe and wrote me a card with the recipe and tips. Also, Oprah may have anointed Delilah's in Philadelphia as home of the best mac 'n cheese (and it's good - I would pick some up at the 30th St train terminal when I lived there and came home on the train from trips to visit the ad agency in NYC), but I could have told Oprah that cousin Stephanie actually makes the best.

So if you're near San Leandro and have a hankering for some tasty soul food - check out Perry's Food for the Soul (in Pelton Center off East 14th.) Or, talk to Stephanie about catering your next function and get ready for some seriously cheesy bliss.

UPDATE: Sadly, I must report that Perry's Food for the Soul has closed for business. The restaurant biz is a tough one and I wish Stephanie the best in whatever life holds next for her.

UPDATE 2: Please ignore the previous update. Apparently Stephanie has decided to hang on and keep up the good fight. So stop by and give her tasty food a try and help a sister out!


Keeping Busy Away From the Blog

So I haven't posted in few days, in part because I've actually been out and about away from home. On Saturday I had a nice visit with my friend Gail who was in SF.

On Friday I saw Alvin Ailey in Berkeley which was quite wonderful. They performed an amazing piece titled "Caught" which I don't want to give away in case you ever get a chance to see it, but it had half the audience on their feet at the end. Also, they performed a new piece titled "Shining Star" set to the music of Earth, Wind & Fire which is my mother's favorite band so it was a special treat for her, especially since it was her first time seeing Alvin Ailey live. I'm always taken with the ability of Alvin Ailey performances be both incredibly accessible and yet so clearly and thoroughly grounded in formal dance training.

I had a late lunch before the show at Guadalajara Taqueria in San Leandro. Although, the reviews aren't stellar, I find their carnitas (served only on Fri, Sat, Sun) quite tasty. I pick up a couple of small soft tacos for a buck each and that satisfies the craving. The line is always out the door so maybe it speaks to the price, but I think the food has something to do with it.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Chihuahua vs Chihuahua

I have, as mentioned at the top, two Chihuahuas - Gracie and Zoe for whom the blog was named. As we took our last walk this afternoon before a week of rain, I was struck by their differences.

Gracie is like a big mack truck of a Chihuahua. She's 9 lbs which is big for a Chi (they are supposed to be between 2 and 6) and is solidly built. She is also extremely friendly. So, aside from the usual checklist of things to do for dogs out walking, she's interested in meeting people and, if she's really lucky, finding something to eat. As we walked Gracie was all business. Charging ahead towards the sound of my neighbor working in his garage and when that didn't pan out in quality social time, marching intently towards the next patch of grass. We didn't see any of our friends and neighbors along the way today so Gracie didn't stop as we walked, except when she found a very interesting hunk of baguette that apparently fell out of a garbage can when it was picked up this morning. Of course I pulled her off, but she had a moment of hopes and dreams.

Zoe on the other hand is a bit of a hedonist intent on enjoying all the sensual pleasures nature has to offer. She wants to stop all along the way. Not just to do a handstand to put imaginary pee on the endless spots she needs to mark as her territory, but to stop and smell the roses. And I mean that literally. Zoe loves to smell flowers. She closes her eyes, sticks her snout into the center and breathes deeply, inhaling their intoxicating scent. Today we encountered some daisy-like flowers that have bloomed at the base of a tree after our last bout of week-long rain that Zoe lovingly investigated. Zoe also slowly and deliberately sniffed the little caterpillar-like bits of pollen fallen from another tree. And, of course, she wiggled her body through pristine patches of freshly cut lawn along the way.

So there you have it - no Chihuahua as yappy ankle biter stereotypes these two. Both dreamers in each their own way.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Hip Hop Feminism

Disclaimer: Some of the links will take you to some frank discussion and description. You should be able to tell by the context but be warned if you're sensitive to such things. Also, I do not link to the video mentioned below but if you must see it it's easy enough to Google it up.

The University of Chicago is holding a conference on Feminism and Hip Hop. This is in the wake of the protests of Nelly and his video for Tip Drill by students at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges and the resulting Take Back the Music conversation initiated by Essence Magazine. (Though some are wondering if Essence can remain an independent voice for black women now that it's been purchased by Time.)

A couple of weeks ago my mother and I accompanied my 17 year old niece to visit my grandmother. (My niece had a cool school assignment to interview someone who had lived through the Great Depression.) Later in the afternoon, I asked my niece if she was aware of the Take Back the Music movement. She wasn't (which leads me to wonder if the intended target audience is being reached) but she certainly is aware of the Tip Drill video. And I was delighted and so proud that she was as appalled by the video and much of the demeaning depictions of women in hip hop (and it's not just hip hop but that is what many, if not most, of the kids today listen to) as the women at Spelman. My niece went on a rant about how the values propagated in videos are leading girls she knows to call themselves tip drills and to back their thangs up and drop it like it's hot at eight years old. Yes, you read that right, EIGHT.

I'm all for lack of censorship and expecting parents to parent. My mom was horrified when I was listening to sex & drugs & rock & roll music in high school. She warned me not to come home from college with funny color hair - though when I did she thought I looked like a cute martian. But my parents and family did a great job of instilling values and a sense of self and self worth in me and so the music was just the music. But I wonder how girls today can resist what seems to be an onslaught of misogyny and pressure to be sexual at such a young age all in the name of "entertainment?"

I don't know that the music can be taken back. Yes I think hip hop started out in a very different place and much (not all) of it is not much more than a monetized commodity. But I don't think it ever belonged to the girls. At least, my niece gives me hope. And I'm glad some eggheads and around the way girls will be talking about it in Chicago.


New Products that Rock

I'm obsessed with consumers because I am an obsessive one myself. So I figured every so often I'd tell y'all about new stuff.

I've recently tried a couple of new cereals and both are tasty and worthy additions to your pantry or the top of your fridge. The first is Kelloggs Vanilla Creme flavored Frosted Mini Wheats. The vanilla creme flavor has adds a nice hit of sweetness if not authentic vanilla flavor. And you still get all the mmmm, fiber of the original so at least you can pretend you are being healthy. On the healthy enough that you don't have to be embarrassed you are eating a kid's cereal tip, General Mills has come out with Chocolate Lucky Charms. Kick start your whole grain life with this good source, which still has the same lumps of sugar masquerading as marshmallows plus it now turns the milk into chocolate milk. Yummy! Plus right now you can find both on deal for $2 or $2.50 a box which is about half-price.

Coke with Lime (which was prominently placed all over American Idol last night) is too sweet for my tastes (odd because I love Vanilla Coke which is way sweet), probably because I've been downing lots of Inko's White Tea which is fabulously just sweet enough and only 28 calories.

So there's a food round up. I'm still waiting for the next Schick Intuition to come and rock my world.


Monday, March 14, 2005

Do NOT Mock the Monocular

So when I was at the "sell weekend" for the job I took out of b-school the company put us all up at a very nice hotel and when we arrived we found a welcome/gift bag. In said bag was a monocular (think half a binocular) with a tag saying "keep your eye on us." I thought this was a silly gift as I am a firm believer in corporate gifts being something useful. And I doubt that any of the MBAs attending that weekend ever went bird watching for which apparently monoculars are useful. I had the great fortune to graduate just before the bubble burst and the amount of useless tchotchkes we highly courted students received was ridiculous. I felt strongly that the monocular fell into this category. I teased the very wonderful guy (and I will sheepishly admit I took the ribbing too far - far past the funny if it ever had any to begin with) who had organized the sell weekend for us to no end once I arrived on the job. I kept the monocular on my desk so that I could have a ready prop for mocking and making snark at a moment's notice. I got my comeuppance when the monocular was stolen.

If only I had known! Tonight's episode of 24 demonstrated the infinite usefulness of having a monocular handy for those times when a powerful electro magnetic field wipes out all power and you need to keep an eye on the bad guys. Who knew? Jack Bauer, of course.


Punk Rock Granny

There was a time when I swore that I'd be a punk rock granny. Punk rock until I die. Yeah, right. Until I cut off all my funny colored hair so I could look respectable for my college yearbook picture. I still managed to hold on to some of my p-grrrl respectability for a few more years but I sit here typing this to you wearing Eileen Fisher pants, a top from Talbots and with a color in my hair that looks like hair that could grow out of a human head.

Ian MacKaye, on the other hand, is all punk rock, all the time (and has made some really cool and highly influential music along the way). Check out this article in LA Weekly for an interesting article about staying true to yourself and to your brand. Because I can't resist the marketing angle, just think how brands that remain that consistent for 25 years while still evolving and going in new and different directions could succeed.


Friday, March 11, 2005

Pop Culture in the Academy

Now that I'm tuned into the blogosphere, I was curious and checked out a blog I read about in the University of Chicago Magazine (my favorite of the 3 universities I attended).

Daniel Drezner is a Professor of Political Science at Chicago (I don't know him but I was in the Ph.D. program there and - small world note - my friend Kimberly [whom I met at the Ph.D. program at UCLA where I was before I transferred to Chicago and who shares my last name but isn't really my sister] has his old office at the University of Colorado.) who blogs about
Politics, economics, globalization, academia, pop culture... all from an untenured perspective

I love the fact that he has back-to-back posts on "Should Jeffrey Sachs get $150 billion per year?" about a plan to eliminate global poverty and "The secret formula for superheroines" in which Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets a shout out. Buffy - one of the best.shows.ever.

Check it out for great reading that stimulates both sides of your brain.

And speaking of cool TV teen girl superheroines - where the heck did Joan of Arcadia go? Off to go surf and see if I can find out...


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Luxury and Goodness

Aaagh! Just got my first lesson on how to lose a post. I'll now attempt to re-create.

So, I promised in my previous post not to chat about marketing here. But Agenda Inc. led me to this article from USA Today about Whole Foods. ITA about the concept of linking health and pleasure. I'll rant in the future about why I think so, but until then I'll just say I'd like to combine do-gooding and pleasure by making my next car this. A girl can dream can't she?


Welcome to my Blog

Hello and welcome!

Just a bit about me and my blog. I had heard about blogs a while back but didn't really explore until the elections when I started reading Daily Kos. Earlier this year I read this article on Vault about Elisa Camhort and her company Worker Bees. After checking out those two blogs and clicking on some of the links I discovered a bunch of really interesting blogs. Some of them are linked on the side here - like Pause which is interesting to me because of the topic but also because it is so beautifully written. Others (most right now) are TV related because I'm quite addicted. And some of my friends who have businesses and websites and/or blogs are listed as well. Check them out - they're all cool - guaranteed!

Anyhoo - all that surfing inspired me to start a blog. I'm still getting my feet wet and learning my way around, so bear with me as I continue to refine the formating and features. The main purpose for this blog is, as I mention at the top, to share my observations of my funny little dog Zoe (who used to belong to my sister), my other funny little dog Gracie and my random thoughts on life stuff - except marketing - read on.

I have some time on my hands since I started off the new year jobless so I've got several interesting projects going on in between looking for work. One is starting a marketing company. Once Kimley, designer extrodinaire, gets my website up and running, I'll be starting a marketing blog over there and I'll post all my marketing blog links.

Thanks for checking us out!


Monday, March 07, 2005

The Original Zoe Tale

The original Zoe tale from October 1997:

OK - Zoe stories:

Sassy Zoe: We went out for our morning pee and poop Monday and Zoe was feeling feisty. This elderly couple crossed Bancroft and set foot on our block. Zoe sensed that they were trouble and attacked. She chased the old lady screaming out into the street. When I rushed in to snatch up Zoe, Gracie swooped in for the lick fest.

Sweet Zoe: When I came home from work on Monday night Zoe was sooooo happy to see me. I have never seen her do such an enthusiastic love dance. It was very touching especially since I had a pretty crummy day.

Sickly Zoe: Tuesday was Brian's last day (he got a nice promotion) so we took him out for drinks after work. Now I don't get hangovers or sick from drinking but apparently Zoe must have gotten a contact high from the alcohol fumes on my breath. While curled up sweetly next to me, without warning, she spewed forth the most vomit I've ever seen. Thank God it was just water. She created a slick on the bed 1 foot across and 2 feet long. It was bigger than her, I kid you not. We had to sleep on the sofa. And, needless to say, Zoe smells quite ripe.

Epilogue: The next morning after the Zoe attack, we managed to time our morning outing at exactly the same moment the couple from the day before set foot upon our street and it was an exact repeat of the previous day. As they fled down 138th I promised not to greet them the same way the next morning. We did not attempt the hat trick on Wednesday. I saw the old man out for a walk, though - without his wife. Zoe's mission: accomplished.