tail wagging the dog

November 11, 2007


Any case where something of greater significance is driven by something lesser.Wikipedia says:

“…is taken from the joke: “Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail was smarter, the tail would wag the dog.” Interpretations differ as to the meaning of this metaphor. Some suggest the dog is public opinion, and the tail represents the media; the dog is the media, and the tail is political campaigns; or the dog is the people, and the tail is the government…”

I had intended to go on and on about this particular expression, but we rushed off to see a concert at the Wiltern in Hollywood this evening, and I didn’t get the chance.

However, I must say, if you ever get a chance to see “Swell Season” you absolutely must! Their music is magical, evocative, whimsical and so beautiful it almost hurts.

Tom and I had the good fortune to hear “Swell Season” at the Orpheum last year, as they opened for Damien Rice. Damien Rice was phenomenal, but we couldn’t believe what a gem we had found in the opening act.

Glen Hansard, lead vocal/guitar of “The Frames” and Marketa Irglova are the leads in Swell Season and also starred in the film “Once”. I haven’t seen the film, but I’ll tell you, if those two have half the chemistry in the film as they have onstage, it can’t miss. When they sing a duet, there is an intimacy between them that is so sweet and intense, it makes you feel a bit like a voyeur, like you’re intruding on a private moment.

Take my advice and go hear them live. Do it, not only to experience their energy, the purity of their sound and their beautiful lyrics. Do it, not only because Glen on acoustic guitar and Marketa on piano sing with the strong, clear, sweet voices of angels. Do it, also to hear Glen go on and on unaffectedly, revealing the underpinnings of each song, with Irish wit and charm. Do it, because this is not just a performance, you are truly sharing a moment with these talented artists. Do this and see the film. I know I’m going to see it as soon as I can. I hear it is really good!

While your at it, rent “Wag the Dog” with Robert Dinero and Dustin Hoffman again, or for the first time. It was a pretty good movie if memory serves. More importantly, it ties in with the theme of this post.

Hmmmm, is it my imagination, or was that just tail wagging the dog?

pug shot

October 20, 2007


Keeping true to my nature, it’s 1:00 a.m. and I’ve just now finished doing laundry and packing for our trip to Portland, Oregon tomorrow morning. The delicate balance of nature would surely collapse if something as unexpected as my planning ahead would have occurred.

My suitcase is predictably packed beyond capacity with damp clothing and may blow it’s rivets at any moment. In contrast, Tom’s bag is reasonably and lightly packed, possibly with room for me to sneak in a shoe or two.

Yes, we are finally taking a wee vacation! Heading off to Portland for four days, to see if we can’t re-ignite our passion for moving there. As much as we still dream of our eventual move, we have become a little complacent of late, and now that the summer swelter is behind us, we’re feeling somewhat less desperate about getting out of California.

So we’re off to the airport early in the morning, so I best get my butt to sleep.

I might add first, that the above pug is a detail from one of my children’s book (in progress since forever) spreads. It’s one of my less than successful spreads. Although I like how little pug dude turned out, I am not in love with how rough and toothy the paper is and how it shows up so prominently in the the background. So I will be giving this one another go, trying something smoother perhaps. But for now, little pug guy gets to live on my blog.

Good night!

halloweiner dog

October 17, 2007


Sick of the ubiquitous Halloween theme yet? Not me, I’m loving every minute of it. Just can’t get enough pumpkins, witches and candy corn.

However, everyone has their limits. For instance, I certainly don’t envy the employees of Rite Aid or those Halloween specialty stores. You know, the stores that sell witch figurines with flashing red eyes and the irritating cackle. They sell candy dishes with the skeleton hand that grabs at you as you reach for peanut M&M’s or Snickers, chortling maniacally.

I can imagine, every day, these employees going just a little bit more mad. As the gazillionth customer, that day, pushes the button unleashing just one more witch cackle, one more baleful ghostly moan or one more banshee scream, they snap! Now there’s a scary thought.

So, take heed, all ye who enter Rite Aid. Step lightly and resist the temptation to push yonder button, lest you unleash hell upon thee.

Ahem, so anyway, I thought I was super clever coming up with Halloweiner Dog. That is, until I insisted on googling it, to make sure I was, in fact, being original. Turns out, the whole freaking World Wide Web is lousy with Halloweiner Dogs. In fact there’s even a children’s book called Halloweiner. Who knew?