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2000:  Travel and Tourism
2001:  "Old Guys"
Murphy's Law
The Splendor and the Glory
2006: I Don't Meant to be Critical, but...

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Books Read in 2007
Updated: 11/17
"Second Chances"



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18 November 2007

I just finished a book called "Second Chances," by Joan Banks, which is a fast read of what are essentially short stores, case histories, really, of dogs who have been adopted from PetFinder.  Each one will have you choked up, whether from the terrible mistreatment that dogs received prior to being picked up by some rescue group and placed for adoption, or from the happily-ever-after endings of the stories of the dogs chosen to go into the book.

It makes you feel good about taking care of all these dogs "in transit" from whatever situation they were in before being rescued  by the SPCA and their forever homes.  The stories of dogs caged all of their lives until rescued, dogs who are afraid of their shadow, the dogs (like Rupert) who were abused before being abandoned.  To give these guys a little love, even for a short time, is a good thing.

We now have Luna.

Luna actually has a foster family, but they are going out of town for the week, so she is staying here.  She is a 3 month old Lab/Aussie Shepherd mix and she's very sweet, but my lord is she loud.  I finally had to bring her in the house and close the door because she stands outside and just barks and barks and barks.

She seems to get along fairly well with the house dogs, after the obligatory ritual of butt sniffing was finally over.  She and Lizzie seem to be always vacillating among play, establishing top dog status, and fighting.  It is exhausting.  I also think she screwed up the TV by stepping on the  remote when I went to the bathroom. 

Tomorrow we are going off to SF for the Lamplighters Gala and, given the barking and the potential for fighting, I'm afraid Ms. Luna is going to have to spend several hours in a cage.  Someone from the SPCA has volunteered to come and let her out to pee at some point, and someone else will take care of her on Thanksgiving, when we will be gone all day.

Every new dog is an adventure!

I've had some feedback on one of my reviews, and it's very frustrating.  I seem to get more negative feedback from good reviews than I do from bad.  There are some shows that I really go the extra distance to give good publicity, but some in the company feel that it's not enough. 

I go by the "Marilyn Tucker school of reviews."  Marilyn Tucker was a critic for the San Francisco Chronicle.  You could always tell a Marilyn Tucker review because rather than say something bad about a production or a performer, she would spend most of her review giving a plot summary.  I do that a lot.  I long ago decided that there are community theatres that I review which are so sincere, so dedicated, so proud of what they do that I would not hold them to the same standards as I do, for example, for touring Broadway shows.  My editor and I sometimes disagree on that policy because patrons are still paying for tickets and he feels that if performances are bad, I should say so.

But I have a word limit and I can either spend the review tearing down people who are not very good in their roles, or I can talk about what is good in the production in the context of a plot summary.  The end result is a more positive sounding review.

Those are the reviews that I get complaints about.  Why didn't I spend time praising so-and-so?  Why didn't I give a more in-depth review (lord help me if I did!)

Complaints are not the way to win friends and influence critics.  I think I do an overall good job for the theatres I cover and don't give harsh criticism unless a show is really bad.  So I resent being taken to task when I've given a good review and still can't please the people in the show.  It makes me wonder why I bother trying to help a show find an audience in the first place.


What we saw Friday night


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