One book leads to another...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Friends of the Famous - X

The Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican-hairless) dogs were a favorite among the many pets kept by influential Mexican Folk-art painter, Frida Kahlo who, despite having polio at age six, which permanently damaged her right arm, and surviving a horrific bus accident that left her with a broken spinal column, 11 leg fractures and multiple internal injuries, went on to paint her “own reality” in images of herself and many of the menagerie she assembled in place of the children she’d never have. Ms. Kahlo’s menagerie included monkeys, parrots, macaws, an eagle named ‘Gertrudis Caca Blanca ‘, and a fawn she called Granizo.

On extended break after the finale of the popular and long-running Warrior Princess, Xena series, Lucy Lawless enjoys life at home in her native New Zealand with her husband, two sons, and daughter Daisy, who has a mixed-breed mutt-turned-hunk named Lucky who “hasn’t bitten anybody” and has been to good behavior school. Meanwhile, Lucy holds out hope for a possible new Warrior season where the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle is more defined.

Janos Xantus, Hungarian exile and noted zoologist who, while stationed at Cabo San Lucas in 1860 as a tidal observer on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, was credited with the discovery of such natural endemic treasures as the Xantus hummingbird, glittering green-bodied beauties with a distinctive white stripe behind the eye, maintain a conservation status of least concern, the leaf-toed gecko; who squeak when handled, and whose sticky feet have nonetheless inspired scientists to create such modern marvels as wall-walking devices and medical adhesives for sealing wounds, in addition to the Xantusiidae; secretive little lizards commonly called Night lizards,  who altered  conventional assumptions when a five-year study revealed that contrary to other lizard types, these give birth to offspring rather than laying eggs, constituting strong familial social structures which prompted scientists to desist lizard collecting lest one be sorely missed by those at home, As well as one of the world’s rarest seabirds, the Xantus’ Murrelets, chunky diving birds of the Auk family which are split into two groups, Scripps which typically roost in natural island rock crevices and the Marbled, which tend to set up house in the highest branches of 200 year old coastal trees. These birds are believed threatened only by extensive logging. 

Are you familiar with Kahlo’s work? Were you a Xena fan? What’s the best thing you ever discovered?


  1. Hi, dear Diedre!

    I just sprained my tongue trying to pronounce Xoloitzcuintli! May I send you the doctor bill? :)

    No, I wasn't familiar with the work of Frida Kahlo, but I'm glad you informed me. I Googled her paintings. Aren't they beautiful?

    I didn't watch the Xena series, but I am a big fan of current TV series that feature powerful, martial arts trained women that routinely mop the floor with burly bad guys. They include the female characters on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the upcoming spin-off Marvel’s Most Wanted, and Arrow, based on the the DC Comics character Green Arrow.

    Green is my favorite color and the Xantus hummingbird is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen.

    Thank you, dear friend Diedre!

    1. Mornin' dear Shady!

      Ha! You're so funny :-) The only place I've ever seen the word for those little dogs was in relation to Frida Kahlo. Even google raises a cyber-brow! Interesting that Kahlo seemed so absorbed with her own image. I suppose so much tragedy in her life had something to do with it.

      I hadn't watched Xena or any of those shows you mentioned - gasp! Does that mean I was grasping for a letter X post? I do like martial arts - I've seen every Bruce Lee film;-) Karate Kid was pretty cool.

      I absolutely love hummingbirds and always keep at least a couple feeders filled for them. I don't get very many here in the desert, but at the cabin I can't hardly keep the feeders filled! Green is one of my favorite colors too!

      Thank you so much, Shady for visiting as you have! It sure means a lot. Have a perfect day!

  2. I love lizards, but I never discovered any on my own. It might be cool to have one as a pet some day. So many features of lizards are so cool.
    I watched Xena, but not very often. Mostly I just watched so at some point in the future when I write about TV shows of the past, I would have something to write about for X. :D :'D :) LOL

    1. Hi Jeffrey!
      Lizards are quite common here. I've even named a few;-)
      Ha! I just checked your blog. To be fair, Xena does have quite a following. But gads, X was indeed a challenge!

  3. discovered? - beer, possibly
    Just visiting on the AtoZ tour
    from No190

  4. Awww that Mexican hairless dog is adorable!

    1. Hi Stephanie!
      I've always thought so too;-) And such tiny little things to have such big attitudes :-)

  5. Never met a Mexican Hairless, but I briefly considered using the formal name for the breed in my own X post. How DO you pronounce it? I've heard of Frida Kahlo and watched a bit of that bio pic starring Salma Hayek, while flipping through channels. Xena was a show I watched a lot and I'd be interested in a continuation of the series. That hummingbird is a beauty! Not a fan of lizards, though.

  6. Hi Debbie!
    That's a tough one alright! The pronunciation is Zoh-lo-eets-kweent-lee or Xolo for short. Somehow Chihuahua seems a lot simpler, doesn't it?:-) But for all I know they could be two different breeds.
    Hummingbirds have always fascinated me; so bold and brave and beautiful.


Any thoughts? Join the conversation, comments welcome here!