Pulling an All Nighter

Lulu's attempt at burning the midnight oil:All_nighter_1_2
On a related note, I'm curious about what kind of programming was on TV tonight about Ellen DeGeneres and her new French Bulldog.

Between 8:40pm and 12:10am I received about 15 different site visits from people who had typed some variation of "What is Ellen DeGeneres' French Bulldog's name?" into Google.

I can only guess that there was some kind of contest, and viewers turned to their trusty Google to find the answer.

Visitors were probably dismayed to see that my site didn't have the answer (it showed up in search results thanks to my Ellen post and my numerous posts about Lulu)...until now: ContactMusic reports that her new addition is named Pig.

So what do I win?

SoHo Grand Hotel

Sohogrand I love visiting SoHo when in New York (the shopping is amazing!) so this time around I decided to stay right in the neighborhood, at the SoHo Grand. Included in the Tablet Hotels guide for its personality and attention to detail, the SoHo Grand is a great little boutique hotel with a lot to offer:

  • A swank lounge and cocktail area at the Grand Bar (note to the owner: lowering the bright lights in the bar area would do wonders for the ambience!)Sg__bar_1
  • Outdoor dining and lounging space in The Yard
  • Complimentary iPods loaded up with the music currently heard throughout the hotel (for the duration of your stay) and Bose SoundDock Stations
  • Complementary bikes for cruising the streets of NY
  • Goldfish to keep you company in your room (I enjoyed this feature at the Hotel Monaco in Chicago once)

Sg_dining_1 The hotel has very sleek decor (think Hudson or the W), but with an architectural design that remains true to its gritty neighborhood surroundings: lots of cast iron, molded concrete, mesh wire glass, low lighting. Sg_stairs

The rooms are very comfortable (larger than those at the other spots, in my opinion) with fully stocked mini bars, flat panel televisions, WiFi, and a small library of CDs (the hotel's signature sounds). Check out the bathroom wallpaper, which is reminiscent of the Partridge Family birds:Sg_room4_1

Ursula1000 One disc in particular, Ursadelica, is one of my new faves. Featuring DJ Ursula 1000 (a/k/a Alex Gimeno), the house DJ at the Grand Bar & Lounge, it is an eclectic mix of (and I quote, because I couldn't possibly make this up) "jazzy breaks, mod freakbeats, latin movers, boogaloo groovers, psychedelic soul shakers and bouncy electric disco stompers." I LOVE it.

Pets are not only welcome, they are pampered with their own beds, room service menu, daycare, grooming, and walking services. We even saw a couple of pooches enjoying quality time with their owners in the Grand Bar and Lounge!

Marley & Me

Marley_2Anyone who is a dog owner - or simply a dog lover - should read Marley & Me by John Grogan (and the companion web site). It's a heartwarming story about a man and his dog...or more accurately, a family that includes a dog whose personality and presence are larger than life.

Grogan astutely and comically captures moments that every dog owner will recognize, from shedding and slobbering to unbridled energy and unwavering love. Some of the phrases he used to describe his beloved Yellow Lab could have easily been written for my silly Lulu:

"desperately happy"

"seemingly warped behavior"

with "the attention span of algae and volitility of nitroglycerin"

"darting left-and-right, sniffing, panting, peeing - coughing like a chain smoker as he strained against the leash"

...and the inclination to "love life with a passion not often seen in this world."

As you can see from these excerpts, Grogan is a clever writer and he tells an engaging story about life with Marley; but more valuable than his walks down memory lane are the life lessons he learned from Marley which he shares with his readers:

Never slow down, never look back, live each day with adolescent verve and spunk and curiousity and playfulness. If you think you're still a young pup, then maybe you are, no matter what the calendar says.

It's such a great quote, and with it all the other qualities dogs possess that we humans so often lose sight of: living in the moment, following your heart, finding joy in the simple things, loyalty and devotion.

Here's to the dogs!