This is the place for friends to talk about books, movies, music, food, and everything fun!

Friday, May 30, 2014

A New Blog Feature, Visit Our Individual Pages!

Dear Readers,

I've added a new feature to the blog! 

See the word "Pages" on the righthand side of the blog? Below it is a "Home" button, followed by links labeled "Meet Lilly Faye," "Meet Dizzie," and "Meet Alfie."

Now each of us has our own individual page filled with fun information about ourselves. Just click on our names to visit our pages. I let the boys fill out their own questionnaires, so I refuse to be responsible for their answers!

The "Home" button is just that. No matter what page you're on, the home button will always bring you back to my latest blog post, so you can't get lost.

I hope you will enjoy visiting our pages. The boys and I would love to hear from you, so don't hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email. 

To leave a comment, just click on the word "Comments" directly below any of my posts, and a handy comment box will pop up for your convenience.

To send me an email, you can use the "Contact Form" available on the righthand side of the blog. 

Also, if you belong to Google+, please recommend A Poodle Looks at Life. I sure would appreciate it!

Lilly Faye

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Personal Journey

Dear Readers, 

Watching Philomena (see my review posted May 27, 2014) has moved me to share a very personal part of my own story with you.

Many of you probably look at me now and think, what a glamorous and exciting life Lilly Faye lives! But the truth is, I wasn't always a gorgeous model and international blogger.

In fact, the first seven years of my life were extremely difficult. I lived in less than ideal circumstances, and I gave birth to a lot of puppies. I did my best to feed them and keep them clean, but I had very little help. I had no control over my situation.

Like Philomena Lee with her son, I loved my puppies and wanted to keep them, but eventually they were all taken away from me. I don't know where they ended up. I don't even know if they all survived. I think about them often, and wonder if they remember me.

After my last litter, I ended up on the streets. Let me tell you, the world is a scary place when you only weigh twelve pounds, and are completely on your own. 

Eventually a nice woman took me in and fed me, but she soon realized she couldn't keep me. Fortunately, she knew of an angel on earth named Tammie, who has saved the lives of many dogs like me. Tammie put my picture and story on Petfinder. That's where Mommy found me and offered me a forever home. 

My doctor has told me I won't be having any more puppies, and I guess that's for the best. But I still think of my little ones. I hope they ended up in good homes like the one I have now.

Dear Readers, if you have room in your hearts and lives, please consider adopting a furry companion (or two!) from a shelter or rescue group, and give them the happy life they deserve.

And if you yourself are homeless or in a bad place, please don't ever give up. You never know when you will meet someone who will change your life in miraculous ways.

If you need proof, just look at me. I was hopeless and homeless, and now I have a loving home, lots of fabulous friends, my own blog, and wonderful readers like you all around the world. Miracles do happen!

Thank you for reading my blog, and sharing my journey. The best is yet to come!

Lilly Faye

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lilly Faye's Movie Review: Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

Dear Readers,

Philomena is the mostly-true account of Irish woman Philomena Lee's fifty-year search for her son, who was taken from her against her will by Catholic nuns in a convent in Ireland where the child was born. He was adopted out (perhaps "sold" would be more accurate) to an American family in the early 1950s.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, the movie is based on the book, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty-Year Search, by Martin Sixsmith, a British author and BBC presenter.

Judi Dench plays Philomena in the movie, and she is perfect in the role. In fact, she was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress for her work.

Steve Coogan, who is perhaps better known for his comedic roles, particularly in England, does a fine job playing journalist Martin Sixsmith in the movie. Coogan also co-wrote the screenplay.

The wonderful chemistry between Coogan and Dench is reason enough for seeing this film, but it's far from the only one.

I won't spoil the surprises, but rest assured there are many to be found in this fascinating movie. Thankfully there is also quite a bit of humor to lighten the heavy subject matter.

After you've seen the movie, you might be interested in reading this Washington Post article about the real Philomena Lee (warning: this article contains movie spoilers!):

And if you're interested in learning more about the fascinating American life of Philomena's son, I highly recommend this New York Times article, which does an excellent job of telling his life story (warning: this article contains serious movie spoilers!):

I'd like to thank my blog intern Dizzie for inviting me over to watch Philomena with him. Dizzie and I agree on this one...

Lilly Faye's Movie Rating: Two Paws Up!

Lilly Faye

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lilly Faye's Movie Review: Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, and Paul Giamatti

Dear Readers,

My blog intern Dizzie and I recently watched the film Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, and Paul Giamatti. 

It's a fictionalized account of Walt Disney's behind-the-scenes struggle to get author P.L. Travers to agree to let him make the film version of her book, Mary Poppins.

Disney pursued the film rights for twenty years, after promising his young daughters he would turn their favorite book into a movie. P.L. Travers was vehemently against the idea of a movie from the start.

Saving Mr. Banks focuses on a two-week trip to Hollywood, which Travers eventually agreed to make in order to work on the film project, intercut with flashbacks of the author's rather difficult childhood in Australia.

Dizzie: News flash! The creator of iconic British nanny Mary Poppins wasn't British!

Lilly Faye: That's right, Diz. To continue, it is in these flashbacks that we learn of the real-life inspiration for both the character of Mary Poppins, and Travers' many books about her.

Dizzie: P.L. Travers wrote several sequels to Mary Poppins!

Lilly Faye: That's correct. My long-time readers may remember that Diz and I watched Mary Poppins together on Christmas Day. Therefore, references to the original movie were easy for us to follow. Never fear, though. If you haven't viewed Mary Poppins recently, there are plenty of relevant clips from it interspersed throughout Saving Mr. Banks.

Notes of interest: 
Walt Disney, who is depicted sneaking a smoke in Saving Mr. Banks, died of lung cancer in 1966, two years after his film version of Mary Poppins premiered. 

P.L. Travers' real name was Helen Lyndon Goff. She used several stage and pen names throughout her career.

Legendary Disney music composers, brothers Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, suffered mightily from Travers' wrath, far beyond what is depicted in Saving Mr. Banks. If you would like to know more about their true experiences working with Travers, here is the link to an excellent New York Times article about it:

More about P.L. Travers' life (not necessarily suitable for young children) can be found in this New York Times review of the biography, Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers, by Valerie Lawson:

I really enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks, even though I was aware I was watching a happy Disney version of a much darker reality.

Lovable Tom Hanks, though several years younger than his character, was a perfect choice to play lovable Uncle Walt.

Emma Thompson, who is said to have studied hours of audio recordings made by P.L. Travers in preparation for her role, is convincingly difficult and prickly. She comes across onscreen as the very definition of uptight.

Dizzie: She scared me!

Lilly Faye: Colin Farrell was a great choice to play Travers' alcoholic father.

And Paul Giamatti, who brings humanity and pathos to every role he's ever played, does the same here as the chauffeur who manages to get closer to Travers than anyone else at Disney Studios.

All in all, Saving Mr. Banks is as bright and colorful as you'd expect from a Disney movie about...um, Disney.

Personally, I loved seeing the 1960s-style clothes and furnishings.

What did you think, Diz?

Dizzie: I think I would really enjoy a trip to Disneyland!

Lilly Faye: No doubt, Diz. Time to rate the movie.

Lilly Faye's Movie Rating: Two Paws Up!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Goodbye to My Dear Friend, Busty Cat

Dear Readers,

I have some sad news to share with you.

Busty Cat, my best friend of many years, and a good friend to this blog, passed away peacefully at home this week, surrounded by her family.

Busty was born near Liverpool, England approximately 16 years ago. She was rescued from the streets early in her life by animal lovers who gave her a wonderful home. A tiny, gentle soul, Busty was adored by all who knew her.

Busty was semi-retired when I started this blog in December 2013. Nevertheless, she appeared in seven posts, working as an independent contractor. I know many of you will miss her insightful comments, particularly when it comes to my book reviews.

Wherever she is, I'm sure Busty is trilling loudly for her whipped cream, one of her greatest pleasures in this life, and undoubtedly in the next.

My deepest condolences to Busty's Mummy and Daddy, and to her housemates Alfie and Dizzie.

Lilly Faye

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Late for Work

That's odd. It's past noon, and Dizzie hasn't shown up for work yet. I have been letting him take on more responsibility lately. Maybe he's out chasing down a big story, or lining up an important interview for the blog.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lilly Faye's Guide to Business: Learn to Delegate (Part 3 of 3)

Lilly Faye: I feel terrific. A trip to the spa, followed by a relaxing weekend, was just what I needed. Now it's back to the real world. Time to check my email.

Lilly Faye: From Amazon...your order has been shipped. That's odd. I didn't order anything. Pens? Paper? OINKIES!!! Time to have a video chat with a certain blog intern!

Diz, are you there? Can you see me?

Dizzie: I'm here, Boss.

Lilly Faye: Back up a bit. You're too close to the camera. I don't need to see up your nostrils. That's better.

Lilly Faye: Diz, do you have any idea how many pens are in a gross? Twelve dozen! That's 144. And you ordered two gross, which is 288 pens! Plus two cases of printer paper. That's 500 sheets in a ream, five reams in a case, and you ordered two cases, which means you ordered 5,000 sheets of printer paper!

You do realize the blog is digital, right? I don't need any pens or paper. All I really need is a new camera.

Dizzie: I'm sorry, Boss. I was only trying to show initiative and get you a good deal. I wanted you to be proud of me.

Lilly Faye: Sigh. Well, I guess you did obey my order not to post to the blog. And I never actually said not to order any supplies.

You're enthusiastic, loyal, and as I have to keep reminding myself, you're only 16 months old.

Dizzie: How can I make it right, Boss?

Lilly Faye: You can be the one to send it all back!

Dizzie: Can I keep the Beefy Bones and Oinkies?

Lilly Faye: Grrr....

Three days later...

Dizzie: THE MASTER wasn't any more thrilled about having to send all this stuff back than the Boss was. Why is everybody so grumpy lately?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Readers,

Happy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere! Even if you're not officially celebrating the holiday today where you live, you still deserve thanks for all you do. The world as we know it wouldn't exist without mothers!

Lilly Faye

Friday, May 9, 2014

Lilly Faye's Guide to Business: Learn to Delegate (Part 2 of 3)

Dizzie: The Boss finally put me in charge of the blog while she's off having her hair and nails done. I can hardly believe my good fortune.

This is my chance to show her how smart she was to hire me as her blog intern, even if she doesn't pay me.

Dizzie: The Boss said absolutely no posting to the blog, I'm only supposed to monitor the comments and email.

Just my luck, it's a slow day in the comments section. I'll check the blog's email account.

Here's an email from Amazon. They're having a big sale on office supplies, for a limited time only. Maintaining office supplies is usually an intern's job, isn't it? I'll just have a look.

Dizzie: Say, these are nice pens. I wonder how many are in a gross? I'll put two in the cart, just in case.

And printer paper...what a deal. I think I'll order two cases to go with the pens.

I might as well throw in a couple of boxes of Beefy Bones and a bag of oinkies for myself, while I'm at it. I'm sure the Boss won't mind. 

Dizzie: Online shopping is an amazing invention. They don't even ask for money! All I have to do is enter the Boss's passcode and click the button. It's almost too easy!

The Boss is going to be so impressed with my initiative.

A few hours later...

Lilly Faye: Dizzie, I'm back!

Dizzie: You look real nice, Boss, and you smell good, too.

Lilly Faye: I feel like a new Poodle. Thanks for watching the blog, Diz. I just came by to pick up my login code book and see how you got along on your own. Did you have any problems?

Dizzie: Nope. No problems, Boss.

Lilly Faye: Good. You can take the rest of the afternoon off. I'm going home to take a nap.

Dizzie: I wonder if I should have told her to expect a UPS delivery?

To be continued....

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lilly Faye's Guide to Business: Learn to Delegate (Part 1 of 3)

Lilly Faye: Diz, I need to take a little personal time. I've got a hair and nail appointment that I really can't afford to miss.

Dizzie: I see what you mean, Boss.

Lilly Faye: Yes, well, you've grown a lot in your job as my unpaid blog intern these last few months, so I've decided it's time to take the next step and give you the responsibility of watching over the blog while I'm away. 

It will only be for a few hours. Do you think you can manage it?

Dizzie: Wow, do I! Thanks, Boss! I won't let you down.

Lilly Faye: Before you get too carried away, all I want you to do is monitor the blog and make note of any comments or emails that come in. Don't try to answer them yourself. I'll do that when I get back from my appointment.

Dizzie: Will do, Boss!

Lilly Faye: Whatever you do, don't try to post to the blog yourself. Agreed?

Dizzie: Sure, Boss. Whatever you say. I appreciate your trust in me.

Lilly Faye: Here is my super secret login code book. Guard it with your life.

I gotta go.

Dizzie: This doesn't looks so hard. What could go wrong?

To be continued....

Monday, May 5, 2014

This will put a smile on your face!

Dear Readers,

Oh dear dog, be still my heart! Australian Robert Dollwet has posted a fantastic 3-minute YouTube video titled Happy Dogs and Cat in Australia.

It features an exceptionally handsome bunch of dogs plus his own rescue cat frolicking on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Yes, Mr. Dollwet's cat swims in the ocean!

To make it even sweeter, the video is set to my favorite tune, Pharrell Williams' hit song, Happy!

Here is the link for the Happy Dogs and Cat in Australia video:

And this is the link to Robert Dollwet's YouTube Channel, Catmantoo, where you will find videos showing you how to train a cat to do amazing things:

Enjoy, and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Lilly Faye

Friday, May 2, 2014

Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 3, 2014!

Dear Readers,
In many countries around the world, the first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day! All you have to do is walk into a participating comic book shop, and they'll give you a comic book absolutely free!

Call your local comic book shop and ask if they're participating, or use this link to read the rules and find a participating store near you:

Don't dawdle. They go fast!

Lilly Faye