Wednesday, February 29, 2012

There more hotdogs in Hollywood than dogs.

 
My dog Susie says

The bling! The hair! The makeup! And that was just Uggie.

My Big Mommy Sandy, and I arrived in L.A. on Friday for the Oscars this weekend. Now when you get into the L.A. airport you have to quickly find a cabbie who speaks English. We found out on previous trips, that broken-English can mean broken destinations, as in, ending up in the wrong place. Mommy's here on business and I'm here to meet Uggie the canine star of "Silent Movie." It's late now, so were going to sleep to see the lights and sights of downtown Hollywood early tomorrow. Tonight, I dream of hundreds of sheep under my spell.

We're staying at the old "Roosevelt Hotel" right in Hollywood instead of my fave, "The Beverly Hills Hotel" which is located about 10 miles away. Sandy, my Mom, wants to be in the middle of all the action, especially for her favorite, "The Red Carpet" arrivals. Her screen-play agent and friend got us the tickets. Hey, they have agents for all kinds of specific things out here: Script agents, Feature-film agents, TV agents, Internet agents, Book agents, Booking agents, Talent agents, agents for your agents, etc. Makes my head swim. With so many middlemen, no wonder it takes so long to get anything done. I'm going to meet with an "Animal" agent who represents Uggie, the star of my upcoming saga. We're having lunch at Spago's on Monday in a special hidden room just for non-humans.

This old Roosevelt is some kind of place. Old as Hollywood itself, 'bout a hundred years or so. Seems that the first Oscars were held here. Celebrities have stayed here, lived full-time here, fought here, loved here and died here. In fact the guy who brought in our luggage said the place is full of ghosts! Now there are only two things I'm really scared of: bears and ghosts. I can run like hell from bears, but ghosts? I'm sleeping close to Mommy tonight.

On Saturday afternoon, we went out to the beach at Marina Del Rey to visit some folks who live on big boats. Really big boats. My favorite was a couple who Sandy's known for years, that have a big Black Lab, "Blackie," living on-board full time. They travel all over the world with him and Blackie tells me, he's pooped on some of the finest beaches in Europe. I'm too shy for that. I prefer the deep woods, far from the maddening crowds.

Sunday morning is here and after a big brunch, we head over to the place where the Red Carpet is. It's around 3 in the afternoon and people have started arriving. Big Mommy is busy watching all the designer dresses the women are wearing. She talks to the photographers and other spectators and gives each person a grade; A-F. Now years ago before the stars starting relying on professional "dressers" half the women would've received an F. Today hardly anyone ever gets a failing grade. Her favorite was Gwyneth Paltrow's white dress and cape. Sandy loved it. Her least favorite was a skimpy see-through dress that showed the world her bare chest: a lady singer with a big butt wore it.

The Oscars started at 8 that evening. It's recently always been held at "The Kodak Center" but this year, Kodak filed for bankruptcy so they removed their name. Funny thing with the Kodak Company being world famous for film, but not being able to sponsor film's biggest night. Ironic wouldn't you say?

So all the various actors were shown in the movie roles, they were nominated for. I can't remember many, but Mommy and I sure liked George Clooney in Hawaii. There was also a large looking lady nominated for a scene in which she poops in a bathroom sink. Hey, I can do that if I want to. But that's gross. Neither of them won.

Billy Crystal was the master of the Oscars or something. Daddy had mentioned before we left, that he'd met Billy once at a basketball game. It seems that Mr. Crystal, when he was in town, attended every game for the Los Angeles Clippers and even had seats on the floor, which were very expensive. One time, Daddy found himself sitting next to Mr. Crystal. He asked Billy why he rooted for the Clippers, who were really lousy, and not the Los Angeles Lakers who were frequently the World Champions. He looked at Dad and simply replied, "I'm a masochist."

My Big Mommie's favorite movie and actor were "The Descendants" and Meryl Streep. I was rooting for cute Uggie and the "Silent Movie," myself. Meryl won and the "Silent Movie" won, so we were both pleased. I later sat down with Uggie backstage and realized something you always hear when you meet a famous movie star: "You're not as tall as I thought." So true for my little Uggie, a Jack Russel Terrier. But he's so precious and agreed to be the star of my upcoming movie, about Elvis and The Beatles meeting and spending a wild day together. Of course, my flick uses animals substituting for the famous characters. Much cheaper and better temperament. Stay tuned....

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. At lunch on Monday, Uggie told me that the French guy who won the best-actor Oscar in his film "Silent Movie", French-kissed him. Uggie said it was really terrible, because he tasted like cigarettes.

Also, Sandy believes that rescuing or adopting a dog is your best opportunity to chose your favorite relative.

For more of Susie's barks go to http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For info on Sandy Steele go to http://sandysteele.com













 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Westminster Pedigrees vs. America's Mutts

 
My dog Susie says

A rare dog saves a rare dancer


A few days ago my Big Mommy and I were watching the two days of one of our favorite television shows (right behind Dancing With The Stars), the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. It's held every year in Madison Square Garden, which is really round, where over 2,000 dogs with 185 breeds show their stuff. It's so big it takes two different nights on two different networks to show it all. This year's contest was both exciting and depressing for reasons I'll discuss later.

I learned that the dog who is finally chosen champion isn't necessarily the smartest, cutest, most agile, understands English, takes commands, runs around fastest, jumps highest or does the best tricks. No, the winner is the one that resembles the perfect model of a particular breed the closest. It's no beauty contest like Ms. America, and there is only one judge who determines the winner. So if there was a "Frankenstein" breed and a dog lumbered around scaring and attacking people the closest to the perfect Frankenstein model, then they are declared the winner!

This years winner was a Pekinese named Malachy and people acted like he was in fact a Frankenstein. Without dwelling on the winner let's just say it wasn't a popular decision. There's always next year.

The bad or depressing part of this year's contest was when my Big Mommy, Sandy, discovered that the Westminster Kennel Club doesn't support rescue or adoption of animals that are orphans. They're more concerned with keeping all breeds perfect without any "mixing" of the various types of dogs. Now, dogs will be dogs, and sometimes nature takes its course. What would America be without mixing together over centuries different human races and nationalities from different parts of the World? Not as strong I bet. Anyway, Sandy was so outraged that she emailed the Westminster Kennel Club and told them what she thought about their outdated philosophy. Oh, and she stopped her hefty annual donation. Don't they realize that by not helping ALL animals that need humans to take care of them, for example, Sandy and I maybe wouldn't have met each other. Big Mommy and I always say, "we saved each other when we found each other."

Now for the exciting part of this years contest. It turned out that one of the contestants was owned by a former ballerina named Sharon Pederson. My Big Mommy took ballet for years. Ms. Pederson was stricken with Parkinson's disease when she was 33. She experienced daily intense burning pain and was watching her previous active life slip away. She eventually went to the outskirts of the planet to search for help. Arriving in Norway ten years ago, she was treated and eventually became much better. Because of this trip, Sharon became interested in a local breed called a "Norwegian Lundehund" which was almost extinct because of a distemper epidemic years ago. The total population of this breed was estimated at only 6 dogs who lived on a remote Norwegian island north of the Arctic Circle. Brrrrrr.

Because Ms. Pederson had traveled to this most inhospitable region of the world and it saved her life, she felt a kinship to these unusual animals. She adopted one of the few "Lundies" and named it Nils. She also joined a local kennel club which led to her becoming president of her kennel club. This led to her attending Westminster as a judge, and then meeting a man there, who would become her future husband. So fate lead her to the top of the world, which saved her life and maybe her soul. See... adopting a dog can lead someone to places of happiness... you can't imagine.

As a footnote, Nils the Norwegian Lundehund is so agile he can bend completely backwards and touch his nose to his back. Also, because of his unique skeletal structure along with six toes, he can contort his body into various yoga poses. So, Sharon being a former ballerina, can really appreciate what a special dog Nils really is!

One last thing: Sharon and Nils competed in this year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Catch you later,

Susie & Sandy Steele

P.S. The last words spoken on his deathbed by P.T. Barnum, a dog owner, and a famous showman of his time........ "What were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?"
 
To see more of Susie's barks go to: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more information on Sandy Steele go to: http://sandysteele.com








 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Puppy vs. Super Bowl

 
My dog Susie says

Giants against Puppies

This years Super Bowl was between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots football teams. Now every year my Daddy, Richard, has a few friends over to watch these guys beat each other up, while they enjoy pizza and beer. It sort of reminds me of the Romans and the Christians in the Coliseum, except hopefully nobody gets killed. Anyway, my big mommy Sandy and I and the neighborhood pets go into her bedroom and turn on my favorite sporting event of the year: The Puppy Bowl.

While dad's friends hoot and holler and drink and eat, we all quietly enjoy the peacefulness and silly antics of young dogs frolicking and competing with each other for a couple of hours. Even the cats enjoy the action. This year's puppy athleticism was exciting to watch. Here's a brief recap of both contests.

First of all, the Puppy Bowl production values can't be beat! Even with their meager budget the puppy team led the way in play by play "color" commentary: there was coverage from the Sky Box by Meep the Bird tweeting every on-field move; and, as a bonus, the bravery of "team" hamsters high-up in the blimp with an aerial view and narration of the action below. Puppy team spirit was enhanced by the bunny "Kiss Cam" to spice things up (Jumbo-tron is soooo passe) and, of course, the Cuddly and Cute Kitten halftime show. The sexy kittens really outdid themselves this year. Their cuteness was really jacked up with the flash stage and props.

As for the actual game, while the first quarter had a slow start, Aberdeen the Heeler Shepherd and Hunter the Pit Bull mix saved the game with 4 touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Adding to the overall excitement, Hollie the Border Collie mix let her enthusiasm boil over into a few fights towards the end and accrued a few penalties but wasn't ejected from the game. I'm a Border Collie myself, but I'm a lover not a fighter!

Of course, the field was "fouled" once or twice but the guilty pup only received a five yard penalty. The game itself was raucous and action-packed at every turn. I was panting just trying to follow the tackles, nipping, pooping, instant replays and all the sideline and aerial camera work! Thank goodness for half-time so I could dash over to my water bowl to cool down. I wonder what really happened in the puppy team locker room? What did the coach say? Who is the coach anyway?

The kick-off for the Super Bowl was boring to me but the game was exciting according to Daddy and his buddies yelling and slapping each others hands. Half of the room was for the New York Giants and the other half for the New England Patriots. After seeing both quarterbacks I like the Patriots because their quarterback is really handsome. I looked at the game when my Puppy Bowl had a commercial or was at half-time. At the end of the first half of the Super bowl, one team was ahead by a point. But the best thing about this years game: The half-time show featuring Madonna. Big Mommy loves Madonna's music and actually met her once. Daddy met her a couple of times also, but doesn't mention it too much. Maybe he prefers Lady Gaga.

This was the first time I've ever watched a music concert and it was sure exciting with all the people on stage running and jumping around while they were singing. They also seemed to flash a lot. Anyway, since this was my first concert, I had to rely on Mom's approval which she readily gave.

The rest of the game seemed to go back and forth with one team leading and then the other until the very last play. The New York giants won and the crowd went wild. The MVP (most valuable player) was a quarterback named Eli Manning who was cute, but not as cute as the guy for New England. The MYP (Most Valuable Puppy) in a hotly contested vote was a Chihuahua named Fumble. He also lives in New York. Is that a coincidence or a conspiracy? Hmmmmm.
 
Now comes the real question: which game was the most entertaining?

After numerous debates the girls won. The Puppy Bowl was voted most enjoyable because:

    1. Puppies are much cuter than 300 lb. football players. 2. Dogs don't spit and hit each other. 3. Dogs don't jump up and down congratulating themselves on every play. 4. Dogs are willing to share the ball. 5. When a dog gets hurt the other dogs will lick them. The human players sometimes kick a player when he's down. 6. Lastly, for the dogs, cats, pigs and parrots the game is just a game. For the players it's just a business.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Researches have recently discovered that some dogs can comprehend a vocabulary of 2,000 words, whereas some cats can only understand up to 50 words. No one ever asks how many words a football player can comprehend.
 
To see more of Susie's blogs go to: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com
To see more info on Sandy Steele go to: http://sandysteele.com






 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Fab 5




 
My dog Susie says

"Role camera"

Part 2

After a good nights sleep it became apparent to me that the director would have to be close to the screenwriter for my movie about Elvis and The Beatles. Who could I get? My first choice for director is "Arrow" an Old English Sheepdog owned by Paul McCartney. The problem is Arrow is in England. My first choice for screenwriter is "Marlowe" a Welsh Corgi. The problem with Marlowe is he lives in New England. How can I get them both together so we can all talk? I know! We can meet at the Atlanta airport which is the world's busiest. I need to text both of them or go to Facebook to find out how their schedules look for the next few weeks. Oh, and Marlowe is owned by writer Stephen King.

Next up is to confirm the cast. As far as I know everyone has agreed to play their parts. We've got a baby bear named "Boo" to play Ringo. There's a Black Lab named "Runner" to play George. Up the street from me lives a Cheshire Cat named "Smiley" who'll play Paul. We found a Collie named "Lassie" in the animal shelter to be John. Lassie is really happy to be out of the shelter and should do a fine job. Last, we got in touch with "Uggie" and his agent who will agree if the pay is right. I wonder how many bones he'll want? Uggie is the star of "Silent Movie," and hot right now.

It looks like everything is falling into place for our little movie about The Beatles meeting Elvis one day in 1965. I hope Boo, Runner, Smiley, Lassie and Uggie can take direction from Arrow and embrace Marlowe's film script. I also found out that Arrow is the direct offspring of "Martha", who Paul wrote a song about called "Martha My Dear", when he was singing with the Beatles. Last but not least, I've hired myself as the producer of this animal rock and roll film.

After speaking with all the animal actors and their representatives (how quickly we change) the cast, screenwriter and director are all set. Since I'm in charge of the budget and such, the animals agreed to the following actor's scale. The dogs would be given two all-natural homemade meals a day with a treat in the afternoon. Boo the baby bear is going to get salmon for lunch and dinner and then a small portion of all natural honey. The "star" of the film Uggie gets all of the above along with a French poodle as an "assistant." Lastly, Smiley the Cheshire Cat gets fish twice a day and catnip whenever she wishes.. Everyone will split the profits after we give 50% to the PAWS organization. So we're now ready to begin shooting here in the spring.

My big mommy Sandy said she's so impressed with my putting together this movie, when the Oscars are given out in late February, she's going to take me to the event.

" OMG. What will I wear on the red carpet and should I talk to Joan Rivers?"

It's been a busy week for me, so I'm going to put my paws up and go to bed real early.

Catch You later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. The last time Sandy took me to L.A. the grandson of actor Clark Gable was arrested for pointing a laser at airplanes flying in the sky. When the lady judge inquired why he did this, his answer was, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

For more barks from Susie go to http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

Additional info on Sandy Steele go to http://sandysteele.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"The Beatles are Animals"

 
My dog Susie says
"Roll camera..."

Part 1

These trips back and forth between my mountain village in Georgia and the magic in Hollywood gave me an idea. Lets get all the animals together and make a movie. A few years ago my big mommy Sandy met with a movie producer named Dick Clark on a movie project about the Beatles and Elvis meeting one day in L.A. So, I figure if people want to see something about a singer from the South and some bugs, then they would be really excited about watching dogs, cats, squirrels, bears and other critters having fun. The first thing we have to do is get someone to write a story; in the movie business it's called a script. Mom's too busy to do it and Dad's out of town on business, so I guess I'll have to write it myself. First thing I need is to figure out where it takes place; the mountains and forests of the South or the California beaches with all the sunshine, waves and babes. Do I want a G, PG or R rating?

I know what I want the story to be. After reading Sandy's movie script, which she co-wrote with Steve called "The Fab 5", about the most famous rock group in the world meeting the most famous rock and roll singer of all time, I decided to steal her idea. But instead of humans I'd substitute animals. I've got to start Googling Elvis, John, Paul, George, and Ringo to determine who could best play them in my movie. Also, on my previous trips to L.A. I met quite a few dogs whose owners were actors. I'll sent them a text and ask for their opinions. When I was at the Santa Monica beach last trip, I met three dogs who would be perfect for this task. And their owners are all down to earth and very sweet and they gave me treats when Sandy wasn't looking. I'm still trying to lose that extra weight.

"Buttermilk" is a Cockapoo owned by Ashley Judd and seemingly very smart. Ashley is also from the South. Buttermilk thought a "Teddy" bear would be perfect for Ringo. Since I've never seen a real live Teddy bear, maybe a baby bear would do. I guess Buttermilk isn't as smart as I thought.

"Dylan" is a Golden Retriever owned by Renee Zellweger and seemingly very caring and loving. Dylan thought that a Black Labrador would be a good match for George. Reese Witherspoon's French Bulldog named "Coco Chanel" recommended that a "Cheshire Cat" would be a nice fit for Paul, because they're always smiling, sassy and happy.

Three characters down two animals to go. Actress Drew Barrymore's mixed-breed "Flossie" pondered who might play John Lennon. Suddenly Flossie blurted out... Lassie!! So it looks like a Collie is the choice for John. Now, I'm a Border Collie and smarter than your average dog, but smarter than "Lassie"; I don't think so. We'll see after the movie premiers and what kind of reviews we get. Last but not least is Elvis. This might be the most difficult.

When Sandy and I were jogging on the beach at Santa Monica on our last trip, I met the biggest dog I ever saw; a Great Dane named "George". My neck ached from having to look up with him being so much taller than me. Anyway, he said that he'd talk to his owner and get back to me with an answer for who should play the "King of Rock and Roll'.

George called the next day and emphatically stated; "My owner would be perfect for the role!" At least that's what his owner suggested! Second choice would be an Golden Eagle. So we went with the eagle. By the way, George's owner is Jim Carrey.

Now the primary cast of characters is set: a small bear playing Ringo, a Black Labrador for George, a Cheshire Cat for Paul, a Collie as John, and a Golden Eagle playing Elvis. I decided that since all these animals are available right here in the mountain forests where I grew up, that the story would have to be set here instead of L.A. "Rewrite Please!"

Wait a second! I just returned from seeing "Silent Movie" which is really great for animals because they can easily understand the dialogue. Wonderful movie but the smallest member of the cast, "Uggie" the brilliant Jack Russell Terrier, stole the movie! Sorry Mr. Golden Eagle but we've got to give the role of Elvis to Uggie.

I'm going to bed now because all of this thinking has made me really tired. I'll get a good-nights sleep and start tomorrow on the script and finding a director. Tonight I'm going to dream of herding lots and lots of fluffy sheep.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. I once met a Chihuahua named "Tinkerbell" sitting in a lady's purse in Beverly Hills. Tinkerbell's idea of making a movie is two dogs doing you know what and then going out drinking and dancing. Her owner is Paris Hilton.

For more blogs from Susie go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com
For information on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com or www.sandybeverlyhills.com