|Rex - Merry Christmas!|
Sunday, December 20, 2015
UPDATE: We posted this on December 10, 2015. Since then we've learned that Rex was returned to Best Friends when the couple decided they weren't a good fit for him. It's a sad turn of events but, in keeping with our mantra, we will keep writing about him until he finds the permanent, loving home he deserves.
It's a great ending to a long, difficult story, but Rex is just one of thousands of dogs in need of loving homes. If you'd like to do something to help the others, consider donating money, dog supplies, or your time to a shelter or rescue group working to save dogs like Rex and our Tanner. As many of you know, since we published Gimme Shelter, we've donated a good portion of the profits to rescue groups like Healthcare for Homeless Animals (formerly Malibu pet companions), Karma Rescue, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary ( currently running a $2-$1 matching drive), Canine Adoption Rescue League, and Linda Blair's (yes, The Exorcist's Linda Blair) Worldheart Foundation. Who knows, you might have a hand in saving the next Rex. Thanks to Connie, Erica, Best Friends, and the Santa Maria Shelter for never giving up.
***In traditional karate,we end each class with a series of mantras meant to help focus our commitment to the art. The last one reads, "Never give up." Well that applies to Life and dog rescue, too. More than one year ago, Santa Maria California animal shelter volunteer Connie Kruse contacted me asking for help in placing Rex, gorgeous people that had been house there for 18 months. we passed his info around and cross our fingers. Several people applied to take him, but. for various reasons, the adoptions all fell through. This past May Connie and her team brought Rex to the Best Friends/NKLA mega-adoption in Los Angeles where he was transferred to the Best Friends shelter in West LA. In the hope that he might fare better there. Sometime around Thanksgiving, after 762 days in two shelters, a loving couple gave him a forever home. Another dog lover and friend of Gimme Shelter Erika Brunson, stepped up to pay the adoption fee.
"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." - There's wisdom in these words by Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige, but, as it draws to a close, 2015 still deserves a recap. We launched the year with a fun day at LACMA, where a pit bull loving cashier gave us free entry to the awesome Samurai exhibit. Later that month, we were fortunate to see our niece, the uber talented Margaret Spirito, perform her 'Sound Of Dirty Jersey' show at Rockwell, LA. Even better, we had a surprise visit from our Garden State friends TJ Coan and Jane DeNoble who joined us for the show.
|Margaret Spirito doing 'Dirty Jersey'|
|Eugenie, Linda, Joe & Lou - 2000, NYC|
|part of the winning Pepperdine University campaign|
|Eugenie & Danny Ducovny @ Canvas Malibu show|
***We don't want to spill the beans or jinx ourselves but 2016 promises to be every bit as terrific as 2015. If it all pans out, we hope to have big news about GIMME SHELTER. So, thanks for following us, and stay tuned.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
As you might have noticed, our posts sometimes tend to blow our own horn (or book). This week, however, we'd like to acknowledge the stellar work of friends and family. We'll start with our longtime (since 1970) bff, the super talented poet and painter Linda Simone who just crafted some superb illustrations for 'The Wanderlust (A South Carolina Folk Tale)' by her friend, the equally talented Sarah Bracey White. The book looks awesome and you can order your signed, limited edition copies from Sarah (email@example.com).
Staying with the visual arts, on Saturday 11/21, Jac and Arlington, the proprietors of Canvas Malibu, maybe the hippest fusion of art and fashion ever, threw another one of their fabulous 'Meet The Artist' parties. One of the featured artists was this superb stone carver from Malibu, Eugenie Spirito (I know, we did it again but it's all true). It was great fun getting to mingle with the designers and painters, and our dear friend, photographer extraordinaire, Roxanne McCann, captured it all for posterity.
Lastly, but not leastly (yeah, I made that up but cut me some slack, I'm a pit bull!), this past Tuesday, our gorgeous chanteuse niece, Margaret M. Spirito gave a KILLER show at Rockwell, LA, when the Sublime Ms. M (take that, Bette) reprised her 'Sounds of Dirty Jersey' show. She's always fabulous but was in exceptionally fine voice that night. I could go on, but read what an L.A. critic had to say:
|Lou, Tanner & Eugenie with the art crew (photo by Roxanne McCann)|
"Powerhouse vocalist Margaret M. Spirito revived her iconic "Margaret M. Spirito and the Sounds of Dirty Jersey" show last night to a full house of loving friends, fans, and family. Clad in black blousy pants and a black and gold top that made her seem like a hot Jersey-Girl superhero, Spirito took over the Los Feliz hotspot "Rockwell Table & Stage" -- and then tore it down. From New Jersey herself, Spirito created her show around musical artists who came from The Garden State and went on to make an impact on the music industry. Opening with the classics "Ready or Not/Fugee-la" from "The Fugees" Spirito proved she can move from funky R&B, to heartfelt ballad, to powerhouse rock anthem in the simple change of a chord. Backed by a three piece band, the raven-haired beauty moved effortlessly from an affecting arrangement of Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me" to a slowed-down and gorgeous rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." Throughout the evening, she tackled The Four Seasons, Bruce Springsteen, and the grand-daddy of Jersey crooners, Frank Sinatra. She even let her bandmates Anthony Starble (keyboards), Ian Lowe (drums), and Devin McNichol (guitar) steal the spotlight, along with special guest and friend Ben D. Goldberg who performed a lovely acoustic rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "Growin' Up." Frequently, Spirito and her band offered new takes on classic songs like a bluesy "Born to Run," "I'm on Fire" (sung as a duet with McNichol), and a mash-up of Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer" with "You Give Love a Bad Name." But what made the night extra-special -- and makes Spirito stand out amongst her talented peers -- is her banter. She doesn't just give a quip and launch into her next song; she gives us actual stories and allows herself the time to tell them. It's like listening to Kathy Griffin tell one of her "this is what happened to me" stories, but instead there's singing in-between. And it's fabulous. Spirito is admittedly a loud, chatty Jersey Girl and we'd never want her to be anything but. Add to that her vocals which are the size of the state itself, and you have a down and dirty evening worthy of the greats she immortalizes."