Sunday, January 30, 2011
Melvyn's is a hip and swank connection to Palm Spring's Hollywood history. Many of the legends in entertainment have dined here over the years. It remains so today and now a new generation of young Hollywood continue to flock to Melvyn's themselves.
Continuing on the theme of great restaurant staff, I just read a great article in The Desert Sun about the Maitre d'Hotel, Brian Ellis. I've had the pleasure of knowing Brian for a number of years and consider him one of the finest Maitre d's I've ever met. He was trained in the "old school" methods and can make anyone feel welcome and special.
I've hosted a number of parties at Melvyn's and he always handles the details with class, style and precision. Everything runs like clock work, and as a host to a party of guests, that means a lot. Just last week I had a dinner party for 30 people on several nights. One of the three evenings was at Melvyn's; and my group told me it was the most memorable experience of all the dinners.
There are lots of great reasons to visit Palm Springs, and Melvyn's is one of them. For locals, Melvyn's restaurant is a place I can drop in mid-week for a quick meal, or for special occasions too. Whatever you reason, be sure to check it out and experience a piece of Palm Springs history.
So why am I writing a post on my personal blog about a product? Well because I am EXCITED ABOUT IT and also love working for a company that is genuinely interested in making all-natural pet foods that can help dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
If you didn't already know, we have a well-respected zoological division that makes specialized diets for large cats, carnivorous birds, reptiles and other animals. Our team of nutritionists work closely with zoos and reserves to keep animals healthy and well nourished. If we're trusted by zoos and reserves, imagine what our pet foods can do for your dog or cat! I'm continually impressed that our company has this zoological expertise on nutrition too. I don't know of any other pet food company that has that expertise.
So yes it is true that I am writing this post to help spread the word about our newest grain-free formulas; I'm also doing it because I helped work on this project and an excited to see it finally online at petco.com and in petco stores nationwide. If you have a chance, check it out and let me know what you think! Or better yet try a bag for your dog or cat. Click this banner below to read more:
Friday, January 28, 2011
Linda Gray performs admirably as Bette Davis, drawing on her own encounter with Ms Davis over cocktails and dinner many years ago. This production actually showcases two actresses who each read lines from Ms Davis, and another who reads the role as the author. While enjoyable, this switching back and forth was somewhat distracting at times. I would have preferred to see a single spotlight on Ms Gray, against a dark stage with just her own reading. Regardless, the subject matter was rich in witticisms and wonderfully raucous stories from old Hollywood. Her unfiltered thoughts and recollections of scores of names through Hollywood history; from Tallulah Bankhead, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, to Marilyn Monroe are nothing short of titillating at times. Mr Hadleigh captures the essence of Bette Davis and recounts numerous stories that will delight any fan of Ms Davis.
A review I read describes the show as follows: "From her famous feud with Joan Crawford to her delightfully wicked comments on her contemporaries, "Bette Davis Speaks" is sure to be one of the most delightful evenings you will spend in the theater this year".
The show runs through March 20th, 2011 at the Indian Wells Theater in Palm Desert California. Located within the California State University San Bernadino, this Palm Desert campus boasts an impressive theater, ideal for this presentation. It's a marvelous example of arts thriving in our desert community. I was delighted to see my friend Ms Linda Gray appear in this role, she seemed to relish the opportunity to bring Bette Davis to life once again.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Shelters and animal rescue groups do great job explaining the potential costs to care for a healthy pet annually. Depending on the size of the pet, it can range anywhere from $400 to $800 per year, at a minimum. For some pet parents that can be a burden. Shelters disclose that so newly adopted pets are not abandoned when the consumer realizes how much the basics can cost.
There are a number of great books available about caring for your pet. One relatively new title is 'Barkonomics: tips for frugal fidos' written by Paris Permenter and John Bigley, the team from DogTipper.com
When I attended BarkWorld Expo last year I saw first hand how well revered DogTipper.com is among pet bloggers and passionate pet parents. I've been following Dog Tipper on Twitter for some time, when they announced their new book it caught my interest. I wrote to one of the authors and invited her to be a guest on The Palm Springs Savant & Co radio show. (In full disclosure, they provided a complimentary copy of 'Barkonomics' to read before the show.) My radio show tends to attract a number of pet people, so I knew that the topic of finding ways to save money to better afford pet care would be a popular segment.
Barkonomics is a handy reference book, boasting more than 300 ways to save money in pet care and supplies. It includes everything from Do It Yourself ideas, finding coupons in e-newsletters form your favorite pet retailers, to stretching your pet shampoo.
The one chapter I diverge from is on making your own dog food. It is a popular topic among message boards and many blogs, so I fully understand why they included this section in their book. While dog food is not rocket science, in my opinion it can be risky to feed a dog a homemade food long-term. Regular readers of this blog know that I work for Natural Balance, so of course I am partial to recommending our brand of dog food. A home made meal snack here or there is fine, but in my opinion- for your dog's primary meal, feed an all-natural, complete and balanced, nutritionally complete pet food available in a pet specialty store. I believe it is the best way to know it has everything your dog will need to remain healthy. To their credit, the authors provide tips on how to find deals on pet food, so you can still save money if you are a smart shopper!
Barkonomics has a well organized Table of Contents and Appendix that make this a valuable book to have on hand. I especially liked the section on Training and Exercise.
I applaud the authors for taking a responsible stand offering the 'Five Dog Expenses to Never Cut', which are: 1. Spay & Neuter, 2. Quality Dog Food, 3. Core vaccines, 4. Heartworm Preventative, and 5. Annual Health Exam.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Several hundred press/media groups from around the world pack the red carpet to capture the magic. Palm Springs still has a certain 'je ne sais pas' allure from its early connections to the Hollywood film industry. During dinner last night a celebrity friend remarked that there were more actors, directors, producers, writers and studio executives in Palm Springs these days than during its golden era hay day in the 1950's and 1960's.
Events like these cannot happen without its sponsors, of which there are many. Legendary jeweler House of Cartier is the Presenting Sponsor, Mercedes Benz is the official vehicle of the festival, and Penfolds wines is a producing sponsor. Those companies truly add a huge glamor factor the evening.
Of course, the Film Festival is mostly about the films being screened. However the Awards Gala is the glitter that helps generate world wide interest in the festival- and media too. Hundreds of limousines arrive bringing more celebrities that I could name here. During the evening I saw Dame Helen Mirren, Penelope Cruz, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Affleck, Colin Firth, Diahann Carroll, Robert Duvall, Natalie Portman, Rita Rudner, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Amy Adams, Aaron Eckhart, Jimmy Van Patten, Jesse Eisenberg, Jack Jones, Javier Bardem, Carey Mulligen, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Loggia, Oliver Stone and Mart Hart.
To give you an idea of the sheer magnitude of the press covering this event, I took this photo at one end of the red carpet. There was another entire section of press and photographers around the corner. Just in the front is actor Michael A. Newcomer ('A Thousand Cuts') and his date Willow, posing for photographs.
|Robert Duvall and his wife|
|Amy Adams looked stunning.|
|Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman|
|Natalie Portman was channeling Audrey Hepburn|
Once inside from the red carpet and away from the prying eyes of the media, guests relaxed during the cocktail reception, amid huge vases of red tulips atop every bar and table. Pedfolds definitely made their mark with red branding throughout.
|The Red Queen would have been pleased, beautiful vases of red tulips lighted from below|
|I took this close up for you Judy....|
|Chocolate mousse and vanilla cream with fresh raspberries|
|Carey Mulligan: Breakthrough Performance Award|
|Colin Firth: Desert Palm Achievement|
|Presenter James Franco|
|Presenter Jake Gyllenhaal|
|Jennifer Lawrence: Rising Star Award|
|Presenters Mark Wahlberg & Amy Adams|
|Presenter Oliver Stone|
|Ben Affleck: Chairman' Award|
|Dame Helen Mirren congratulates recipient Colin Firth|
Toward the end of the evening I was feeling artistic with my camera and tried to take a number of creative artsy-fartsy photos, none of which had the correct exposure except this one, of the bottle of tine and the tulips. I liked the way the diamonds surrounding the vase refracted light. Shortly thereafter my camera battery bit the dust and was doing strange things. We made a quick escape and headed to the after-party at the famed Parker-Palm Springs hotel, which went on into the wee hours. When I walked into the hotel lobby, there was Ben Affleck sitting on a sofa chatting with guests, while Colin Firth stood just a few feet away sipping a glass of wine. It was a night to celebrate the arts and world of entertainment, and that is exactly what we did.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Anyway, I attended the cast dinner party for an upcoming Independent film called "A Thousand Cuts", which was filmed here in Palm Springs. A Thousand Cuts is a psychological thriller about a vengeful father who hunts down the Hollywood director whom he believes made a film that inspired the murder of his daughter. Executive Producers are Palm Springs' own Wonderstar Productions and J&J Productions, and was produced by Audrey Loggia (photo below). 'Cuts' was directed by Charles Evered, written by Eric Barr and Marty James, it stars Michael O'Keefe, Oleysia Rulin, Michael A Newcomer, Jimmy Van Patten and Charleen Closshey who were at the dinner party at the Riviera.
|Producer Audrey Loggia and actor Robert Loggia on the red carpet|
|Enjoying my usual martini during all the madness.|
Its always interesting watching the photographers going wild with their cameras, all vying for "THE PHOTO" of the night. I stood back and observed the frenzy and snapped a few photos of my own. In this photo here are: Executive Producer Kim Waltrip, actor Michael A. Newcomer, actor/writer/producer Jimmy Van Patten, actor David Naughton, Executive Producer Jim Casey, all from their latest project "A Thousand Cuts"
A legend in her own right, the enchanting Miss Diahann Carroll, singer, actress and trailblazer in Hollywood. I had a lovely chat over dinner with Miss Carroll, she is to be inducted into the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame on January 20th. I'll be at that event in Hollywood so I hope to write about that evening here on my blog. Diahann Carroll is a class act, one whom other modern day performers would do well to emulate. Alas, there are few true entertainers today who can compare to the generation of Miss Carroll.
It was a fun evening, but just a warm up to the big star-studded Film Festival Awards Gala Saturday night...so stay tuned for more.
Friday, January 7, 2011
|The venerable Catherine Deneuve is masterful at comedy yet graceful too.|
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Each year I try to cover various events of the film fest, along with a few reviews of Independent Films screened here. The Palm Springs Film Festival has an outstanding reputation world wide for its diversity, range of topics and broad international representation. In fact this year we boast 196 films, from 69 different countries around the world! I was reading in Variety magazine that they plan to honor Mark Wahlberg and the “10 Directors to Watch" at our upcoming Black Tie Gala event this Saturday, January 8th. As usual I'll be at that event, and hope to have plenty to share about the celebrity speeches and more. To see my post from last year's gala, click here.
Robert ends up in hospital, and having little choice, leaves Suzanne at the helm. Proving to have a natural flair for business, she quickly assesses the situation, enlists the help of her devoted son to create a new line and her daughter (daddy’s girl) and her husband’s secretary (and lover)--and the business positively booms! Babin, who has never quite gotten over their brief tryst, can neither repress his feelings, nor his admiration for her: she is a force to be reckoned with. If she can do this, what else could she take on? But her husband will soon be out of hospital and duty calls…Cleverly drawing parallels with present day issues in France, Ozon’s Potiche uses emotion and humor to explore themes that are as fresh today as they were four decades prior."
Director: François Ozon
Producer: Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer
Editor: Laure Gardett
Screenwriter: François Ozon, based on the play by Pierre Barillet, Jean-Pierre Grédy
Cinematographer: Yorck Le Saux
Music: Philippe Rombi
Principal Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard, Judith Godrèche, Jérémie Renier
Sunday, January 2, 2011
|Finally, dawn broke and the parade route started to light up|
Parade organizers request attendees to be in their seats by 6:30 AM, mainly because of the sheer volume of people who turn up. We arrived by 6:00 AM- it was quite cold, 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) so it was rather chilly! We sat in the viewing stands, waiting for sunrise and observing the massive crowds settle into position along the route. I was seated at 90 S Orange Grove, which is the very beginning of the parade, just before it turn onto Colorado Boulevard.
I love the Rose Parade- the beautiful flowers that cover all the floats are a remarkable sight to see. I also love seeing marching bands and hearing their music too. When our float finally came into view, it was truly exciting. You see, working at Natural Balance is not just a regular job. We have FUN. We love animals and find ways to express that through our brand. Our Rose Parade float is a great example of that. Our float features the world famous Tillman and gang- who can all skateboard, snow board, and surf. This year they were skim boarding, while in another part of the float a group of Dock Diving Dogs were jumping into a heated pool and having a blast.
|As the float approached, this is the front view!|
|This photo is from the LA Times of our Dock Diving Pool|
|Side view of our float. In the center is the massive pool, to the right is the skim boarding area!|
|Rear view of the Natural Balance float|
|The official certificate!|
As I mentioned earlier, our float was certified by the Guinness World Records as the Heaviest parade float in history. Weighing in at 84,300 pounds, all the water in the heated pool (not to mention the 14 dogs) made for a record-breaking float! It was made by Fiesta Parade Floats, the best float makers in the business!
If you were not able to see the Rose Parade, the clips below had coverage of the Natural Balance float. First ABC:
And here is the clip from KTLA- our float is right around the 4:00 minute mark:
And here are a few other floats I saw that caught my eye for some reason or other:
|Look closely on top of the coach- POODLES!|
|This guy was doing some fancy rope tricks on his horse!|
|My favorite: The Ronald Reagan Foundation Float!|
|Kaiser Permanente (health insurance) had a neat float|
|Namco, the makers of Pac Man video game!|
|Cunard Cruise Line- this one is for Bee!|
|Rose Bowl team University of Wisconsin|
|Rose Bowl team TCU, Texas Christian University|
|US Bank, I just liked this one for some reason.|
|Warner Bros Float- you can see Sponge Bob!|
The whole experience was a lot of fun, and I was so proud of my company's float. It felt great to see first hand how well the parade viewers responded with cheers of support and applause when the Natural Balance float glided by. Those dogs sure are a hit. I can't imagine how we will top this next year, but I'm sure we will find a way!
This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.
It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.
As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.
This blog is independent and free of any type of financial affiliations. Some images used are from the internet and sometimes hard to credit them, so if you own any and want them removed just send me a message.
No copyright infringement intended. I am not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious, or other laws from the reader’s country of origin . The intention of this blog is to do no harm, defame, libel or offend anyone.