Thursday, July 23, 2009

RIP Gidget (AKA Taco Bell Chihuahua)

Taco Bell ad star Gidget the Chihuahua dies at 15

AP - Thursday, July 23, 2009 3:22:46 AM

Gidget the Chihuahua, the bug-eyed, big-eared star of 1990s Taco Bell commercials who was a diva on and off the screen, has died. She was 15. Gidget suffered a massive stroke late Tuesday night at her trainer's home in Santa Clarita and had to be euthanized, said Karin McElhatton, owner of Studio Animal Services in Castaic, which owned the dog.

Although she was hard of hearing, Gidget was otherwise in good health up to the day of her death, eating well and playing with her favorite squeaky toys at the home of trainer Sue Chipperton, McElhatton said.

"She was retired. She lived like a queen, very pampered," McElhatton said.

Gidget was found at a kennel and wasn't show quality, McElhatton said; she had an undershot jaw and huge ears.

But Gidget knew she was a star, McElhatton said.

"She was a prima donna, basically. She absolutely knew when she was on camera," McElhatton said.

In a 1997 Taco Bell television commercial, Gidget was seen as a male dog who, through the magic of special effects and a voice actor, proclaims in a richly accented voice: "Yo quiero Taco Bell" -- Spanish for "I want Taco Bell."

Viewers were charmed. What was supposed to be a single ad became a campaign that ran from 1997 to 2000.

The ads made the Taco Bell mascot wildly popular, although they provoked criticism from activists who accused them of promoting Hispanic stereotypes.

While other Chihuahuas had bit parts, McElhatton said it was Gidget who got the closeups and the quips (Carlos Alazraqui was the voice).

Gidget traveled first-class, opened up the New York Stock Exchange and made an appearance at Madison Square Garden, McElhatton said.

In later years, she did other acting work, appearing in a 2002 commercial for the insurance company GEICO and in the 2003 movie "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde."

She remained the object of affection after her retirement, going on hikes and beach visits with her trainer. She aged gracefully, and liked nothing more than to snooze in the sun.

"She was like a little old lady. She'd kind of gotten smaller," McElhatton said.

Gidget will be cremated, McElhatton said. Her owners had not decided on a final disposition of her remains. Taco Bell Corp. said in a statement Gidget would be missed by many. "Our deepest sympathies go out to her owners and fans," the company said.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Winner of "Not My Job" Award

A funny for today:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Second Birthday Concert in a Row!

Last year, I got to see Weird Al on my birthday. This year, I was able to receive some donated tickets at my work for the Cheap Trick/Poison/Def Leppard concert at the Nissan Pavilion, which just happened to be scheduled in town on my birthday! And the free tickets were a nice birthday present as well! It was just lawn seats, but it was actually still a decent spot to see the bands and we could definitely hear just fine. :) I have never seen these bands live, but I was a big fan 20-something years ago in my teen years. They actually still sound as good as I remember them back then, and they're even older than I am, despite turning a year older. Anyhoo, here are some pictures I got at the concert. Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

And his name is....Mochachino!

Well, the survey is over, and the winning name, by one vote, is Mochachino. (Galen was the close second)

To top it off, we found a professional pet photographer who was looking for some exotic pets to photograph for a class she is teaching. She was specifically looking for Ragdoll cats as well as sugar gliders, both of which we have. So we went for a session and she posted some beautiful prints on her blog, which is even more amazing since none of them would sit still for more than 0.5 nanoseconds. :) Link to her blog here, so you can see her pictures and her comments. Thanks so much Stephanie!!

(If the blog link ever breaks, here is a PDF of the post)

Here is a slideshow of Mochachino's portraits:

For fun, here you can see the sugar glider pictures as well:

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Help! We can't decide!

OK, we can't decide on what to call our new cat. He came with the name Mason, which I like, but my hubby doesn't particularly care for it. Here is a survey with the several possibilities that we have been considering, so please provide your input to help us decide!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 03, 2009


I was waiting for the elevator leaving work today, and looked north out the window, and saw a very beautiful rainbow. I happened to have a camera on me, so I shot a picture before it disappeared. Enjoy! :)