Saturday, December 31, 2005

Like it Here?

Time is running out to nominate your favorite blogs for a Best of Blogs award. Not that I'm begging or anything. ;)

Friday, December 30, 2005

Ringing in 1970, Panthergirl Style

I was fourteen years old on New Year's Eve, 1969. Trudging through 2 feet of snow, I went off to a party several blocks away in our little Brooklyn neighborhood. When I arrived, someone handed me a glass... a big glass ... of Southern Comfort. You know, the 100 proof stuff that doubles as paint remover? When something tastes that bad the only thing to do is chug it and wait for the party to begin.

The party, as I recall, involved a lot of vomiting in the snow. By 10:30 someone hauled me back home, deposited me on the doorstep, rang the doorbell and took off. (My father's reputation was the stuff of legend.) However, in what was just one of several scratch-your-head inconsistencies in the parenting style of Marge and Sal, I was not beaten within an inch of my life. Instead, my mother flopped me onto my bed and attempted to remove my knee-high boots. She yanked them off and then discovered that in order to keep my pants inside the boots I had wrapped about a million rubber bands around each leg. I don't remember much from that night, but I do remember her saying "Oh you dirty dog!" and running for a pair of scissors to clip the rubber bands.

She dragged me into the bathroom, propped my head on the toilet, and then.... they got dressed and went to a party themselves!! Can you imagine? "Ok dear, hope you don't choke on your own vomit! Happy New Year!"

How many people can say they QUIT drinking at 14?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Merry Coughmas, Happy New Earache

I must apologize for the dearth of postings this week. I've been sick. Still not all better, but getting there...

In the meantime, I'll just tell you that I've been keeping amused thanks to a couple of gifts courtesy of my daughter Emma. She gave me Seasons One and Two of Moonlighting, and Volumes One and Two of The Little Rascals.

The bonus material on the Moonlighting DVDs is great. I loved that show, and loved Bruce Willis even more. Some people think the show jumped the shark when they finally got together, but I disagree. The episode, "Maddy, Sam and Dave" is one of my all time favorites.

And the Little Rascals? When I was growing up in Brooklyn we thought we WERE The Little Rascals. We built cars out of plywood, tied a chair to the back of a tricycle and charged kids to ride in it. We turned my garage into a Spook House and staged "Pay As You Exit" musical revues before lip synching was even called lip synching.

(While watching It's a Wonderful Life with Lucas, I pointed out that it was Alfalfa who caused the dance floor to open up, sending George and Mary into the pool below!)

So, I hope you all are having a great holiday week and I will try and catch up with everyone as soon as I can!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Merry Chrismakka

Since my daughter Emma is living on her own now (and apparently doing her own cards), the Christmas picture I took this year includes just Lucas and Kelso! (click to enlarge)

Photo Friday: Depth of Field

This week's entry should be entitled "Bored while waiting for particularly slow service in a diner in the country", but it works for the theme. ;)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tall, Dark and Handsome...Well, Tall and Dark Anyway

Lucas and I saw Peter Jackson's "King Kong" today and although it starts out a bit slow, it was amazingly riveting, moving and believable. That's saying a lot for a film that includes a sunset love scene between a woman and a giant ape, the scariest island natives you've ever seen, and tumbling dinosaurs. Seriously, we were both weeping by the end of the film. (Lucas went so far as to say he hated the movie because it was just too sad.) Jackson did a great job, although some of the casting is questionable (Adrien Brody is NOT an action hero and Jack Black overdoes the 'oh my god I can't believe my eyes' look). But Naomi Watts is absoutely luminous and perfect as Ann Darrow. I loved it, Lucas has come around to saying he loved it too (although I would caution parents that some of the scenes are much scarier than I had anticipated), and it really didn't feel like 3-plus hours in the theater.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Jingle Belles

Christmas was a not a real "family affair" when I was growing up. Oh, it was in the sense that my father liked buying us lots of fun stuff (and because I was the third girl, I got all the cool boy toys. Er, toys for boys like racetracks and army sets and trucks.), and we'd usually have to go to my grandmother's house later in the day for the billion-course gastronomic extravaganza.

But Christmas morning was a different story. We'd get up and rip into our presents while our parents slept. When my sisters got older, I'd shuffle out to the tree by myself and check out the loot while watching "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol". Eventually my mother would get up and clang pots around the kitchen, then she and my father would exchange gifts (which usually meant she'd complain about whatever it was that he bought her: "A watch? I can't even read the numbers!" "A book? I could go to the library.") I felt bad for my dad, but I didn't realize how sad it was that my parents seemed to take no joy in watching us open our gifts, even when we were very small.

When my oldest sister had children my parents would spend Christmas with them. My mother tried to make my sister feel guilty for "forcing" the kids to wait until she and her husband were up (and poised with their cameras) before going downstairs to open their presents.

I, too, have been a "mean mom"... not allowing my kids to go out to the tree until I'm up. When Lucas was almost 3, my work as a childbirth labor assistant took me away on Christmas Eve to help a woman give birth. When her labor went from 3PM through the night and into Christmas morning, Tony managed to keep Lucas occupied upstairs in our bedroom until 3PM Christmas Day, so I wouldn't miss that wonderful moment we experience each year: seeing our children's eyes widen as they gaze at the tree with mounds of good stuff under it.

The classic family moment involving my mom came one Christmas when my sister's kids were older. My niece opened a present from my mother and got up to give her a kiss on the cheek. My mother held up her hand and said, "We'll all kiss at the end." (This is now an all-purpose line. At my father's funeral, I turned to Loretta and said, "We'll all cry at the end.")

Ok, Nip/Tuck Fans....

No "inside info" spoilers, please!! Just good ol' fashioned guessing.

First of all, this is the scariest fucking villain on TV, bar none. I get so creeped out every time I see that mask! Apparently he/she even has it's own "my space", but I'm too afraid to go look at it. I'm so queer.

Anyway... my money is on Ava, Matt's tranny girlfriend from last season. You heard it here first, folks. Who do you think it is?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Please go visit my new tenant (see sidebar). She is HILARIOUS (read the post about her buying a pair of jeans only to discover (too late) that there are rhinstones across her ass.)

She describes her blog as "recommended daily allowance of sarcasm, a pinch of irony, thoughts, complaints, overshares, self-deprecation, useless pop culture knowledge, rants and raves with a 20% chance of bad poetry."

If you like it here, I think you'll like it there.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Photo Friday: Weight

This week's Photo Friday theme is "weight". Ok, so it's a stretch... but Shamu does weigh quite a bit more than Lucas in this picture. (btw, Shamu was quickly whisked away after pulling this stunt. Whales aren't supposed to pick kids up at SeaWorld.)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Back from Chi-Town

After a series of flight cancellations and delays, I finally got back from Chicago last night. Love that city, but I wish one could learn about cancelled flights BEFORE checking out of a nice midtown hotel and arriving at the airport. We wound up at the airport Hyatt, which was fine, except for the restaurant with the lounge-singer from hell (think Bill Murray from SNL, only not as good).

On the up side, it was a good trip with great company. On Wednesday night we ate at Mon Ami Gabit in Lincoln Park which was wonderful! On Thursday came the blizzard and Friday through Saturday were spent mostly at O'Hare.

Hey... anyone else out there have experience with Invisalign? I've had mine for a week now and am still getting used to them. The good news is that you can't eat with them in, so I'm counting on a good 10-15 pound weight loss over the next year. I would love to hear how anyone else has done with them.

Well, I've got a lot of catching up to do... with my kids, blog-reading and my almost-full TiVO! It's freezing here, so it's a good day to stay indoors and do all of that.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Be a Cyberian!!

We need male volunteers to become Sims in our Adventures in Cyberia blog. If you haven't visited AIC before, it's a blog I created where bloggers are turned into Sims and we create soap-opera style storylines for them.

The other "goddesses" (women with The Sims2 who do the creating) are Jane of Coffe and Varnish, Xtessa of A Dose of Xtessa (who also designed our blog), Redelicious Heidi of Skiing the K-12, and our most active goddess, Robin of The Wisdom of Funky Bugs.

Two of Robin's blogger Sims have just had twin boys, so we need two male bloggers to be babies. C'mon's easy for you!! ;)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Polkadot Panthergirl

Off to Chicago on business until Friday night... running a retread, original posting date 4/11/05. Enjoy!

polkadot, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

...circa 1966. Traded the communion dress for this fetching pantsuit, socks and Keds (or were they PF Flyers?).

I was only eleven in this picture, and sometimes put crumpled up balls of looseleaf under my shirt to create the illusion of breasts. (not here, though) In those days, bras were so lumpy that the looseleaf looked pretty "real". Needless to say, I was in a big hurry to grow up.

That summer my mother signed me up for CYO Day Camp (Catholic Youth Organization). Based on my date of birth, I was put into the 10/11 age group. However, I had other ideas.

The very first day, I spotted a boy in the back of the bus who was singing "Satisfaction" at the top of his lungs. He was clearly NOT in the 10/11 group, but he was edgy and dangerous and I immediately ditched my funny glasses and made my way back to sit near him.

We arrived at camp and were greeted by the director: a big, nasty-ass woman that I knew only as the gym teacher at my sister's high school. A normal kid would have been terrified. Instead, I decided to doctor the birth date on my bus pass and get myself into the 13/14 group...and closer to the junior Jagger who quickly became my boyfriend.

I spent the rest of that summer wearing my bathing suit top under my clothes in the event that he tried to snap my "bra". I said "shit" a lot. The other kids in my group answered every possible question I had about sex. Although blind as a bat, I refused to wear my dorky glasses. Priorities, man.

(I'm pretty sure that if I had worn my glasses, I would have dumped singer-boy. He really wasn't that hot.)

Do You Believe in Orbs?

Some people think that these orbs are ghosts showing up in photographs. Other people think they are dust on the lens or something. However, there were several of these photos taken in a row, and the orb only shows up in this one.

I think it's my father, whispering to my evil sister, "You're still my favorite..."

(Just to give you a sense of the no-age gene in my family, we are... in order... 50, 83, 54 and 59. I think my sister Loretta, 59, is the MOST amazing of the bunch!)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Wondrous and Uncontaminated

Those of you who are regulars here know a lot about my son Lucas. He's 10 (turning 11 in January) and a pretty special kid. (If you don't know about Lucas, check out the link in my sidebar about his fundraiser).

Until recently, Lucas oftened talked about all the bad things that had happened in his short life...his dad and me divorcing, the premature deaths of his paternal grandparents, and of course losing his dad to lung cancer in '03. Also, because of his struggle with severe ADHD, it's been very hard for him to make friends at school. That's why, when I found this Thanksgiving statement in his backpack yesterday, I breathed a sigh of relief and knew that he had turned a corner:

"This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many different things. First, I am thankful for my wondrous family. Next, I'm on cloud nine because I have such terrific and nice friends. Last, but certainly not least, I am extraordinarily thankful for my healthy food, my uncontaminated water, and my very stable dwelling. These are just a small number of the countless things I am thankful for."

(The photo is of Lucas and his bearded dragon, Dylan. I'm thankful that Dylan isn't going to get any bigger than that!)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Doesn't He Know It's Christmas?

Just when I thought that "Butterfly Kisses" was the worst song ever written, leave it to Bob Carlisle (the wordsmith of that cloying tune), to come up with something even worse: "Christmas Shoes".

I heard it today in the dentist's waiting room. I'm convinced the dentist plays it so that anything he can do to you after that won't seem half bad. I won't torture you with ALL the words, but here's the refrain that had me alternately shaking my head and laughing my ass off:

" Sir I wanna buy these shoes for my Momma please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry Sir?
Daddy says there's not much time
You see she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes will make her smile
And I want it to look beautiful
If Momma meets Jesus tonight"

WHAT??? I felt like Lucy from Peanuts, begging Schroeder to play "Jingle Bells". "You know, Santa Claus, and ho-ho-ho, and mistletoe... and presents for pretty girls... "

Merry, er I mean MOROSE Christmas to you, too, Bob.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Photo Friday: Experimental

An "experiment" in walking a construction beam at the Museum of Science in Boston.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Silver Fox

In previous entries, I've mentioned the fact that I have a sister whom I haven't spoken to in three years. Prior to that, I hadn't spoken to her in four years. As with all crazy family drama, it's a long story. But to save blog space, bandwidth and to keep your attention, I'll give you the Reader's Digest version:

I am the youngest of three girls, each 4 1/2 years apart.
Growing up, I was closest to my middle sister because my oldest sister Loretta was a "goody two shoes". (Now she and I are very close)
When my middle sister ("C") was 18, she became involved with her much older boss who was not just married with five kids, but a kinky alcoholic chain-smoking abusive asshole.
For the first few years, she told me all the details of their bizarro relationship.
Once he figured out that I was telling her to get the hell out, he would find ways to alienate me.
Now don't get me wrong...she's a bitch in her own right. When Emma was 3 and I was out of work, I asked to borrow some money (a bridge loan until my condo was sold) and she told me to go on welfare or get food stamps. She's a high powered real estate broker, he was a partner in a huge accounting firm. They are not hurting for cash.
Anyway...after an eight year affair he married her. And, in the classic abuser style, he managed to isolate her from friends and family.
Now she's 54, he's 72...and I giggle to myself every time I remember how she used to lovingly call him "The Silver Fox", as he was prematurely grey. Now he just looks like a less-healthy Ted Kennedy. It's kind of amazing that he's still alive. We saw them this past weekend at my aunt's 80th birthday party and exchanged a few brief civil words before they bolted.

While showering the other day, I composed a little ditty in their honor ... to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies theme:
(L-B refers to Long Beach Island, where they own a house)

"Come and listen to my story 'bout a girl named C
A poor skinny thing not much taller than my knee...
And then one day she went searching for a dude
When up from the ground came a'one that was crude...

Jack, that is... kinda old, drunk by three

Well the first thing you know ol' Jack's pulling C's hair
The kinfolk said, "C, get away from there"
They said "Cheezy porn mags ain't the place you wanna be!"
But they loaded up their booze and they moved to L-B...

Island that is... jellyfish....tittie bars...

Well now its time to say goodbye to ol' C and all Jack's kin
For they will never thank you folks for ever droppin' in
You'll never be invited back to this locality
And don't expect a helpin' of no hospitality...

[Last names here] that is... Go to hell... Drop the booze off...

Y'all get lost now, y'hear? "