a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: February 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Keeping Up With Oscar

SUMMARY: Which Oscar-nominated films have I managed to see so far?

I'll get back to the hummer babies (2 of them, so far so good), but for now, there's this. I don't watch the Oscar show, but I do look for movies that are presumably of high quality in one area or another.  Hence, I do try to catch the nominees, when they come out, that I haven't already seen.

How's your Oscar-nominated-movie watching doing this year?

** = Those I have NOT seen as of Feb 28 ‘16
(Winners are first in each list)
  • Best Picture
    Spotlight – Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, an  Blye Pagon Faust 
    The Big Short – Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner
    Bridge of Spies – Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt, and Kristie Macosko Krieger
    Brooklyn – Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey
    Mad Max: Fury Road – Doug Mitchell and George Miller
    The Martian – Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Mark Huffam
    The Revenant  – Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent, and Keith Redmon
    Room – Ed Guiney

    Best Director
    Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 
    Adam McKay – The Big Short
    George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
    Lenny Abrahamson – Room
    Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

    Best Actor
    Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant as Hugh Glass
    Bryan Cranston – Trumbo as Dalton Trumbo
    Matt Damon – The Martian as Mark Watney
    Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs as Steve Jobs
    Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl as Lili Elbe

    Best Actress
    Brie Larson – Room as Joy "Ma" Newsome
    Cate Blanchett – Carol as Carol Aird
    Jennifer Lawrence – Joy as Joy Mangano
    Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years as Kate Mercer
    Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn as Eilis Lacey

    Best Supporting Actor

    Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies as Rudolf Abel
    Christian Bale – The Big Short as Michael Burry
    Tom Hardy – The Revenant as John Fitzgerald
    Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight as Michael Rezendes
    Sylvester Stallone – Creed as Rocky Balboa

    Best Supporting Actress

    Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl as Gerda Wegener
    Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight as Daisy Domergue
    Rooney Mara – Carol as Therese Belivet
    Rachel McAdams – Spotlight as Sacha Pfeiffer
    Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs as Joanna Hoffman

    Best Original Screenplay

    Spotlight – Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
    Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen
    ** Ex Machina – Alex Garland
    Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, and Ronnie del Carmen
    ** Straight Outta Compton – Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, and Alan Wenkus

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    The Big Short – Adam McKay and Charles Randolph from The Big Short by Michael Lewis
    Brooklyn – Nick Hornby from Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
    Carol – Phyllis Nagy from The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
    The Martian – Drew Goddard from The Martian by Andy Weir
    Room – Emma Donoghue from Room by Emma Donoghue

    Best Animated Feature Film

    Inside Out – Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
    Anomalisa – Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson, and Rosa Tran
    ** Boy & the World – Alê Abreu
    ** Shaun the Sheep Movie – Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
    ** When Marnie Was There – Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

    Best Foreign Language Film

    ** Son of Saul (Hungary) in Hungarian – László Nemes  (It's still in theaters, has been on my list, and I'm hoping to catch it this week)
    ** Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia) in Spanish – Ciro Guerra
    ** Mustang (France) in Turkish – Deniz Gamze Ergüven
    ** Theeb (Jordan) in Arabic – Naji Abu Nowar
    ** A War (Denmark) in Danish – Tobias Lindholm

    Best Documentary – Feature

    ** Amy – Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
    ** Cartel Land – Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
    ** The Look of Silence – Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
    ** What Happened, Miss Simone? – Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby, and Justin Wilkes
    ** Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom – Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

    Best Documentary – Short Subject

    A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness – Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
    Body Team 12 – David Darg and Bryn Mooser
    Chau, Beyond the Lines – Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
    Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah – Adam Benzine
    Last Day of Freedom – Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

    Best Live Action Short Film

    Stutterer – Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage
    Ave Maria – Eric Dupont and Basil Khalil
    Day One – Henry Hughes
    Everything Will Be Okay – Patrick Vollrath
    Shok – Jamie Donoughue

    Best Animated Short Film

    Bear Story – Pato Escala Pierart and Gabriel Osorio Vargas
    Prologue – Imogen Sutton and Richard Williams
    Sanjay's Super Team – Nicole Paradis Grindle and Sanjay Patel
    We Can't Live Without Cosmos – Konstantin Bronzit
    World of Tomorrow – Don Hertzfeldt

    Best Original Score

    The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
    Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman
    Carol – Carter Burwell
    ** Sicario – Jóhann Jóhannsson
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

    Best Original Song

    "Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre – Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
    "Earned It" from Fifty Shades of Grey – Music and Lyric by Ahamad Balshe (Belly), Stephan Moccio, Jason "Daheala" Quenneville, Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd)
    ** "Manta Ray" from Racing Extinction – Music by J. Ralph, Lyric by Antony Hegarty
    ** "Simple Song #3" from Youth – Music and Lyric by David Lang
    ** "Til It Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground – Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and Diane Warren

    Best Sound Editing

    Mad Max: Fury Road – Mark A. Mangini and David White
    The Martian – Oliver Tarney
    The Revenant – Martin Hernández and Lon Bender
    ** Sicario – Alan Robert Murray
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Matthew Wood and David Acord

    Best Sound Mixing

    Mad Max: Fury Road – Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo
    Bridge of Spies – Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, and Drew Kunin
    The Martian – Paul Massey, Mark Taylor, and Mac Ruth
    The Revenant – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom, and Chris Duesterdiek
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson

    Best Production Design

    Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson
    Bridge of Spies – Rena DeAngelo, Bernhard Henrich, and Adam Stockhausen
    The Danish Girl – Michael Standish and Eve Stewart
    The Martian – Celia Bobak and Arthur Max
    The Revenant – Jack Fisk and Hamish Purdy

    Best Cinematography

    The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
    Carol – Ed Lachman
    The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson
    Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
    ** Sicario – Roger Deakins

    Best Makeup and Hairstyling

    Mad Max: Fury Road – Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin
    The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
    The Revenant – Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman, and Robert Pandini

    Best Costume Design

    Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan
    Carol – Sandy Powell
    Cinderella – Sandy Powell
    The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado
    The Revenant – Jacqueline West

    Best Film Editing

    Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel
    The Big Short – Hank Corwin
    The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione
    Spotlight – Tom McArdle
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

    Best Visual Effects

    ** Ex Machina – Mark Williams Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris, and Andrew Whitehurst
    Mad Max: Fury Road – Andrew Jackson, Dan Oliver, Andy Williams, and Tom Wood
    The Martian – Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence, Richard Stammers, and Steven Warner
    The Revenant – Richard McBride, Matt Shumway, Jason Smith, and Cameron Waldbauer
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, and Neal Scanlan

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mama Bird is Back!

SUMMARY: The hummer love story continues

Mama hummingbird is back in her nest again this year. How exciting is that? Yes, very exciting.  The only scary part is that she's in the same nest that kept dumping the baby birds (well--twice) and it was only through sheer luck that I saw them and replaced them. (See last year's Saga Part 1 -- guess I should fill in part 2. I never got back to it when various life tragedies started happening here. ... later the same day, finished part 2 and part 3. There are now links at the end of Part 1!)

Looks like she's done some intense rebuilding, but still, the fact remains that it's essentially attached to one wire.

We'll see how this goes!

See her wayyyy up there? No?

She's there!

Mind Your Pees. And Pee Cues.

SUMMARY: Pee wars.

Oooooohhhhhh noooooo there seem to be Pee Wars going on in my house.

All of a sudden every time I turn around in the house someone is raising his leg or someone's leg is already down and there's a puddle/spray or I'm finding a place where someone's leg has been raised. I mean, almost literally.  Five times in the previous 2 days!  And several times in the last week or so.

Which means time with rags and/or paper towels, my small carpet cleaner, and Nature's Miracle--over and over and over and over. Really?

What's with this?!?!?! Guess I'm going to have to go back to puppy handling with BOTH supposedly adult supposedly house trained dogs: Take them outside when they wake up. After they've been playing. After they've eaten. And so on. What a pain in the butt. I don't remember this ever happening with Jake and Remington!

This morning I made an effort to go outside with the dogs right after any of those occasions. Luke peed exactly once that I could see, first thing in the morning after he'd been outside for about 5 minutes.

I walked him around the yard about 3 other times for 10 minutes at a time, and nuthin'. Even with Chip wandering around cooperatively peeing on things in front of us to give Luke a hint.  Since they do have free access to the yard, and he has been out on his own, I'm hoping that this means this isn't going to happen inside today.

Several friends suggested belly bands.  Like these: Male Wrap/Dog Belly Band. Will have to give them a try.

Saturday, February 06, 2016


SUMMARY: It's crying time again.

Maybe this is why I don't come here to Taj MuttHall very often.  Crying. How could it be 11 months since Tika left? Nine and a half for Boost?  They were just here, just here. I miss these Merle Girls so very much.

Problem Dog Children's Visit to the Vet

SUMMARY: Chip was mostly good, then bad, then a little good. Luke was mostly ok, then scared, then crazy, then good.

Both dogs were perfectly happy to walk from the car into the vet's office and put their feet up onto the receptionist's wall to get some treats.  Luke was a bit nervous, leaping from floor to bench to floor to another bench (yes, pet-proof seating of course).  Chip seemed fine.

Both dogs were perfectly happy to greet the vet and get treats.

Chip wasn't thrilled about getting onto the exam table, but did it with a little collar tugging, and stood there quite calmly during the whole exam. Although you could tell that inner turmoil existed from the size of his pupils.

Luke became agitated and a bit fearful when the table for Chip raised and then later lowered.

When it was his turn, I had to lift him onto the table and hold him there firmly while he went into full "this is a slippery surface on a scary thing that I don't understand" mode.  He did put up with the exam and shots once we convinced him to stand up on his own (rather than leaning or the toes-extended, legs-askew thing).

Vet said that Chip's heartbeat, despite his adrenaline factor, was 90/minute, which is nicely healthy for a stressed dog.  Luke, however quietly he was standing, shook all through the short exam, and his heart raced at 150ish, so  he was, as usual, wayyyy overstimulated by what he was experiencing.

The vet takes the dog "into the back" for the blood draws for heartworm tests. He said that both dogs sat, not the first time, but when he used his big, commanding, deep voice.  Other than that, Luke was apparently a wild thing but entertaining to some degree back there.  Chip, however, snarled and showed his teeth when they tried to hold him for the draw, so he had to wear a muzzle briefly.

I take a long time to figure things out.  Chip is very sensitive about his personal space being invaded.  He loves to be petted, but if I move slightly into where any part of his body is resting, he jumps up and moves away.  If Luke does so, Chip jumps up with a low-key snarl and open mouth towards Luke, sometimes putting his mouth on him.  No bites.

But the one time we tried to do a restrained recall with him at the few agility-basics classes that we attended, as I walked away, he turned and snapped at the trainer holding him.  She didn't say anything else, just that he was clearly scared and worried and we'd find some other way to do the same thing.

So now he's threatened to do the same thing with the vet, so ugh another thing to figure out how to work on.  So odd from a dog who'll lie there and let you pet him all over.

Still--successful checkup and shots for everyone and hopefully we won't have to go in again until the next bordetella shot.

Then we all went for a short stroll around a nearby park.

Camera batter expired, so no photos at all, darnit!

Dog-photo envy

SUMMARY: One of the world's best dog photographers.

If you want skill-envy or fast-lens envy or location envy, all of these things are yours with these beautiful dog photos and accompanying article:

Kaylee Greer - One of the best dog photographers in the world

(And really I didn't post it for the envy factor.  I posted it for the inspirational factor, because, wow, does she show something to strive for! Here's one of the images.)