Monday, March 27, 2006

Weekend Wrap-Up, Dog Hair, And 10-Second Movie Reviews

The movies:

Capote--Great film. Watch it. All thumbs raised over here. Should give P.S. Hoffman an extra Oscar. Suggest taking away William Hurt's ("History of Violence") for this purpose.

Derailed--AVOID. If required, RUN AWAY. Not even presence of hunky Clive Owen saves this one. Supposed to have "twists." Hint to moviemakers--you can't call them "twists" if we figure them all out in the first 10 minutes.

Dreamer--Recusing myself, as I AM a girl, and HAVE horses, and DID crush on Kurt Russell in my childhood, and DO currently crush on Oded Fehr, cannot possibly remain objective. Will say that equestrian innaccuracies were not quite severe enough to induce vomiting in horsemen/women.

Chicken Little--Deemed HIGH-larious by all ages in this household, and held Bella's attention all the way through. Toddler-rific, with enough laughs for the big kids.

On The Importance of Knowing Your Limitations:

On Saturday, I decided it was time to go ahead and put J.T.'s coat in oil--poodles have to grow such ridiculous amounts of hair that dramatic measures must be taken to grow and preserve as much of it as you can. And so began the laborious process of that first "putting down in oil" of the dog, which goes something like this:

*Mist the dog with conditioner, a bit at a time, and line-brush meticulously, using a fine-tooth comb to locate even the tiniest tangles, then picking them out by hand. Lose points for each hair that breaks off in this process.
*Bathe the dog with Orvus Paste, using care not to tangle hair in the process.
*Rinse the dog.
*Rinse the dog again.
*When you're certain all the soap is out of his hair, rinse the dog again, like you have OCD. At this point, if you've been keeping poodle show-coat for any amount of time, you probably do anyway.
*Squeeze all excess water out of the coat, using a towel if neccessary.
*Pour magic tangle-repelling mixture over the dog, paying special attention to the precious, precious hair of the topknot and neck. Make sure the elixir of disentanglement is worked all the way through the coat to the skin. Our particular "secret weapon" is 2 parts #1 All-Systems pure lanolin oil to 3 parts Coat Handler conditioner, diluted in a half-gallon of warm water.
*Squeeze excess moisture out of the coat.
*Towel-dry, by which I mean patting and squeezing, no rubbing. For the love of Pete's sake, no rubbing!
*Take the dog out to potty, if he can be trusted to keep clean for this short break.
*Have dog lie down on his side on the grooming table, and set your stand dryer in place.
*With stand-dryer going, line-brush the coat dry (or at least dry of water). For EVER. OK, not forever, it just seems that way.
*Take the dry but slightly oily dog and have him lie on the table in the pose of a library lion, with his precious little noggin resting on a neck-pillow, and separate his topknot-hair into sections with a knitting needle. You heard me. Straight parts matter. I don't know why, but they do. And the person who taught me didn't know why, either, but I now know that they do. Band the topnkot hair in sections, then connect the sections to each other in front to keep the topknot from flopping down into Little Lord Fauntleroy's eyes. TRY not to laugh directly at him afterward when he looks like this. Remind him that he will soon be a champion, and that this is what it takes. And also that when it's over, and that certificate comes, we will have a huge hair-shaving, dirt-rolling party.

OK, so you have an idea of the process. Here is where I tell you that during the entire confined-to-the-bathtub part of the process, Bella was at my elbow, like that little dog that used to annoy Spike the bulldog in those old WB cartoons. Talking, talking, talking, and asking the same questions over and over and over, most of which were some variation on "Can I help?" Just wait, child. You can help one day, all right, and help you will. At one point, I told her she could help when she was 5 years old. She stepped to the bathroom scale, weighed herself, and announced, "Mommy, I think I AM five!" Oy. Anyway, at my breaking point, and after having asked her in 1,001 different ways to please, for the sake of peanut-butter annwiches and Grandmommies, be quiet, she stopped. For long enough to briefly consider, take a breath, and then give me her decision: "I'm sorry, Mommy, but I just...can't." The period at the end of that sentence, I tell you, was audible.

(Oh, and the good news about the "oiling" of the coat is that from here on out, daily brushing is eliminated, and replaced with twice-monthly bathing and re-conditioning. Ahhhh.)

AND, reason number 2,011 that no one will ever question this child's paternity--the setting, fixing our hair in the bathroom post-bathing in the morning:


Mine and Bella's heads whip toward each other, and we lock wide-open eyes.

Me: "What was THAT?"

Bella: "What WAS that?"

Me: "I think someone stepped on a FROG."

Bella: (yelling gleefully) "I think I tooted!"

Me: (noticing my eyes starting to water and some paint peeling, then inhaling before I knew what I was doing) "GREAT JUMPIN' CATS, BELLA!"

Bella: "Heeheeheeheeheeheeheeeee!"

Me: "That was a STINKY toot!"

Bella: (still grinning, and cutting her eyes sideways at me) "But it was a GOOD one."


  1. :( I didn't know about the Derailed twists. I'm usually pretty good at guessing that kind of junk, too.


  2. chase, you were obviously multitasking while the movie was showing! To give you an idea, our antennae went up at the words, "I'll pay for him." And then once you're suspicious, the rest is just cheesy-easy. Should have turned it off then, and read a book, dang it!

  3. chase, you were obviously multitasking while the movie was showing! To give you an idea, our antennae went up at the words, "I'll pay for him." And then once you're suspicious, the rest is just cheesy-easy. Should have turned it off then, and read a book, dang it!

  4. Chase, I figured it out just by watching the previews!! You MUST have had your mind on something else.

  5. "great jumpin cats"

    i love you!

  6. Haven't seen any of those yet, dangit. I can't WAIT to see Capote thought, and since you have given it a two thumbs up, I'll have to make sure and add it to my Netflix queue right away. Have you ever read "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote?

  7. Above anonymous is wouldn't let me type my name in for some reason.

  8. I liked Derailed a bit more than you did, but then I have had a man-crush on Clive Owen since "Sin City".

    Saw "Inside Man" on Sunday--excellent film, very smart script, and, of course, Clive Owen (swoon)

  9. "For the love of Pete's sake"

    You're the best. Somehow, when I mix cliches it's never as cute and amusing as when you do it.

    And thanks for the secret poodle-keepers tips - I'm writing them down. Bwa-ha-ha!

  10. While I admit to having guessed what was happening in Derailed and being disappointed by the overall ending, I must say that I enjoyed the build-up. Not great, but fun.

  11. See CRASH if you haven't already. It deserved the Oscar. It's even better than Brokeback Mountain which is the only other Oscar-nominated one I've seen.

  12. All she needas to learn now is "Smell the Love" after the toot and her and the Count can go riding off into the sunset together.

  13. andrea, we loved "Crash," and were impressed by it. I particularly loved the performance of the guy who played the locksmith. Understated and honest and just...good. And we are, seriously, beginning to select movies by the "Cheadle Factor."

    kevin, I can see that. It was more of a "guy" movie, I think. I put it in about the same category as "Oceans Twelve," myself, but I can appreciate what they were trying for. And ultimately, we didn't turn it off, did we?

    erin--"for the love of Pete's sake" is a phrase that I totally stole, from, I *think* Stefanie's son, at "mommymatic." I THINK. If you recognize that phrase as being your child's, speak up. Ever since I read it I couldn't stop saying it. And yeah, the joys of advice is to finish them young, as puppies, before coat-change, and then you don't have to deal with this stuff!

    Mr. Fab--we are very interested in "Inside Job," encouraged by the fact that Jodie Foster hasn't appeared in an outright stinker lately. I'm still sore at Denzell, yummy though he may be, for agreeing to anything with a plot such as that "I'm holding everyone hostage until my son gets a heart transplant" movie. Urgh. I was going to get all superior and say that no man was attractive enough for me to suffer through a bad film for, and then I realized just how MANY times I've watched those "Mummy" movies with Brendan Fraser and Oded Fehr. I shall hold onto my throwing-stones for now.

    Melissa, I read "In Cold Blood" when you were a wee babe, or maybe just before you were born. My mom told me it was a great book, and she was right. And he did create a whole new genre with that one book! Pretty cool.

    jess, come visit sometime! We'll fill you full of cornbread and biscuits and more Foghorn Leghorn expressions than you can stand!

    All are awed at cece's deductive powers...oooooooh. ;-)

  14. Oh Belinda, I love you and your family. Yup and you don't know who I am but that's okay. I think you guys are just a whoot. "Great jumpin' cats"!!! I don't normally laugh out loud but I can't help it. I love those stories.

  15. I trust your movie reviews implicitly. Can't wait till you see "16 Blocks" and discuss, ad nauseum, the cuteness of my boyfriend Mos Def.

    How is it possible our children end up farting and laughing at the hilarity of the situation when we...ahem! I don't ever do such things? It's a physiological miracle, I tell you.

  16. I really enjoyed Dreamer, but then I like horse movies:o) It wasn't too unbelievable or that inaccurate. I do like Kurt Russell.

    I understand about the grooming, show or no show coat. Chauncey takes over 5 hours to do, start to finish. Of course, she is a Standard and has quite a bit of coat. I put some new pics from this weekend on my flickr site.

    Why do little girls insist that tooting is funny? Oh, I know, their grandpa's and dad's encourage this behaviour:o)

  17. None of those films are out here on DVD yet but I'm just dying to see Capote. In Cold Blood is book I was fascinated with and it kicked off my love of reading true crime.

    Bella just slays me. Good toot indeed!

  18. Hi, I think I got here from Trivial Pursuit :-)

    Love this story-I have a Standard poodle (Casper) and am so glad I didn't want to try the show thing. I love short pootie hair!

    And your Bella, ROTFL. I have a little one exactly the same. She could be used as a secret weapon by the department of defense!!

  19. Oh my....JT has some topknot. Dani rematted quickly after her last grooming, so she might be headed to the oil too.

    When JT's daddy Mason was the same age, my husband decided to "suprise me" by bathing and drying him for me. Except the hubby didn't read the shampoo bottle label...and used a half bottle of #1 All Systems Lanolin on him instead of the shampoo. I walked in the house to find the hubby frantically trying to dry Mason. Which wasn't going to happen....EVER. He couldn't figure out what the hell he had done wrong! Mason looked like he had been dipped in a vat of Wesson Oil. It took a big bottle of Dawn dishwashing soap to get all of the oil out of his hair.

    I wouldn't stop Bella from grooming. I stopped Ashley, and she ended up owning a blue tick coonhound.

  20. m'liss: He really doesn't. He has a good amount over the crown, but right in front is pretty short, a good 1.5 inches shorter the the rest. *sigh* And did you tell your hubby what a bottle of #1 All Systems Pure Lanolin Oil *costs*? He won't do that again! And you know you wouldn't take that coonhound back. What a face.

    kyahgirl, welcome! Gotta keep the poodle folks together, you know. We'll need strength in numbers when they develop opposable thumbs and overcome us.

    Dixie, I think that ICB was a genre-starter. Can you think of any "novelized" true-crime stories prior to that? At least in book-length?

    kim--the grooming, I hate it. The haircut, I hate it. The spraying up and fuss, I hate it. The winning? I likey. And yes, the fathers and brothers and uncles and anything with an x chromosome. Blame them!

    mochaaaaah, isn't that the one with MY boyfriend Bruce Willis, in it? Will definitely catch it sooner or later!

    nicole, I DO know you! I've been to your blog, and read about adorable you and your adorable hubby! I'm pretty sure I even left some comments before? Thank you for the visit--I love happy people!

  21. Oh my god - that was hysterical! Go Bella!

  22. I also trust your movie reviews. My husband really wants to watch "History of Violence", which he rather annoyingly insists on calling "History of Violins". I'll read blogs while he's watching that one.

    I predict our next trip to Blockbuster will be for "King Kong" and "Narnia". Seen those?

    Wow, the grooming story. It amazes me that the dog stays still for all of that. And the toot! "I think someone stepped on a FROG"-BWAhahaha!