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Sep 25, 2014

"And a Child Shall Lead Them" + Rita Moreno!

Friends, if you really want to make a six-year-old's day, let her walk your chihuahua.

I hung out with my friend Suzanne (of Beau Baby blog fame) and her charming daughter, Lucy, this afternoon and really had fun.

I don't spend much time with children, but I always enjoy it when I do.  They're cute and they just adore animals.

I know from nearly every daily dog walk that there's something about chihuahuas that enthralls kids -- especially girls.  I guess it's the breed's small size and big ears or something.  Plus that chihuahua movie...

While Willy (the white one) is OK with pretty much any human he meets, Freddy does not cotton readily to children (or skateboards, or garbage trucks, or men in uniforms...the list goes on).  He gave Lucy a bit of a fright at first (and second), but he finally calmed down in the apartment when we gave him his beloved Lambchop doll to suckle.

He's still barking at Lucy below:

Before the dog walk, Suzanne, Lucy, and I visited the latest show at the FIT museum, "Dance & Fashion."  I enjoyed it, though I was disappointed that none of Ginger Rogers' gowns were included; it's more about how dance costumes influenced fashion and vice versa.  It's open through January 3rd and the museum is free.

In other news, I just finished reading Rita Moreno's autobiography.  Actually, I borrowed the book-on-tape, read by Rita herself, and highly recommend experiencing it that way.  She's had quite the life and, unlike many celebrities who grow old in a bubble, has a lot of self-awareness.

Moreno is probably best known for playing Anita in the 1961 film version of West Side Story, but she had already been around a while by then (she even had a small role in Singin' in the Rain) and is still active today.  She's also one of the few performers to have won an Emmy, a Tony, an Oscar, and a Grammy.  Marlon Brando is a big presence in the book, as he played a huge role in her life; in fact she came close to killing herself over him, but you'll have to read to book (or watch one of her many YouTube interviews) to find out why.  I read a lot of celebrity autobiographies, and this is truly one of the best.

Moreno is also a fabulous performer.  This Emmy-winning performance is a favorite (the fun begins at 0:11 sec):

Moving on, I bought a book for a penny today!  It's Sewing Activewear" from the Singer Sewing Reference Library series.  (Of course, shipping is $3.99, but it's still a good deal).  I read Miss Celie's review, and it sounds worthwhile, especially since I'm planning on stitching up some running gear in the months ahead.

And that's it.

Any Rita Moreno fans out there?

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I remember Freddy barking away when Kimberly and I came to pick up a sewing machine. I thought maybe he was protecting the sewing machine like a security guard. ;) Nice that you were able to get together with Suzanne and Lucy!

  2. Love love love Rita Moreno! Every now and then Hub and I watch "The Ritz" and laugh ourselves silly!

  3. Thanks for the Rita Moreno review; I'm a fan and I just put the book on hold at the library.

  4. Oh, yes! When I was a girl, I wanted to be Anita: dark haired, feisty, talented, generous, practical, and exotic. Well, that didn't happen, but I've always loved watching her perform, whatever it is she's doing. She always makes it special.

  5. "Zelda! Woo hoo, Zelda!"

    I saw a show at the V&A on surrealism, and there were quite a few ballet costumes in wool jersey. Can't find them on their website, but did find this:

    Woo hoo! I can miss it twice!

  6. As the mom of a 13-year-old, I can attest that there have been several chihuahua movies in the last decade, and I've seen them all. I've seen all 20 or so talking dog movies, as a matter of fact. And the ones where the family dog gets freaked out by the cute alien under the bed. And the ones where the dogs and cats are James Bond-like spies. And a similar movie, except the spies are hamsters. I'm not making any of this up.

  7. How cute! A small girl we met on a walk once was very confidant that she could walk Paisley. Thank goodness she didn't get the chance.

  8. "Hey, you guys!" Rita Moreno in The Electric Company, daily on PBS (next step up from Sesame Street for the toddler fan base). That diminutive lady would rear back and bellow the opening line in an astoundingly stentorian voice, at the start of every show. Am I the only person who remembers this? That was my first experience of this admirable person.

    1. I remember! Oh, and Morgan Freeman was "Easy Reader" - remember that?

  9. Thanks for the tip - I just went and bought a copy of the Activewear book for the same price!

  10. Oh, that sounds like it would be fun to listen to! I'm generally not a fan of books on tape, but I think I'd actually enjoy listening to Rita narrate. I may have to check it out!

  11. Looks like Freddy is the typical, little yappy dog! There’s a little dog in my neighborhood that is determined to kill the bus that comes by every morning.

    I’ve loved Rita Moreno since seeing that “America” dance sequence when I was a child. It really left a lasting impression. Thanks for the book review. That’s definitely on my list, now.

    And I do remember her from The Electric Company, though I was way older than their audience. I watched it just to see Rita and became a fan of Morgan Freeman.

  12. Rita Moreno :-)
    Googie Gomez ;-) - The Ritz
    Glad to have both living here in the bay area!

  13. Thanks for the Muppet memory! Made me laugh :)

  14. Got the chance to see Rita Moreno here at our Chrysler Hall years ago and will always remember her performance. Some of my fondest memories as a teen were seeing her on the Electric Company : )

  15. I just read her autobiography, too. It's fantastic.

  16. My chi barks at strangers-men and women though he dislikes men more-for the first 15 minutes or so. Then you become his best friend. He loves kids and other dogs. Beautiful job on the parka. It's fab!

  17. Thanks for showcasing Rita Moreno, a wonderful and versatile performer. I especially enjoyed her multiple appearances as feisty hooker Rita Capkovic on "The Rockford Files," the excellent 1970's TV show starring James Garner as a low-key private detective who always appreciated strong, unconventional women. Rita was one of the most memorable.

  18. I’m with Freddy – if it was socially acceptable, I would bark at small children to keep them away from me, too! Then again, perhaps I am acting just like a small child when I gleefully approach dogs and their owners to say hi to my furry friends (which I never did as a child . . . my dog obsession came later in life).

    I think it’s time to go snuggle with Tino, now. Say hi to the boys for me!

  19. Doug the Pug has a major problem with men in uniforms, too... doesn't seem to matter what kind of uniform! Your dogs are too cute.

  20. Small size, big eyes and big ears! I, too, was fascinated by chihuahuas as a child - with the added factor of them apparently being quite an old American breed, which is definitely fascinating for a European girl interested in the history of the Americas! And the added factor of my grandfather's ridiculous name for them, "betweentwobreads". :D

    And wow, that puffy tulle dress on display. It definitely has some elements of mid-19th century to it. Do you remember what it was? It looks like a costume.


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