Sunday, April 30, 2006

Go See Marcia!!!!

You know that little "Rent My Blog" thing in the sidebar? Yeah, over to your right...scroll down a bit...see a thumbnail for my "tenant". The best thing about the whole space rental is finding little gem blogs that I never would have found otherwise.

I checked out Marcia ("The Pink Shoe") and loved her immediately. Anyone who mentions Catholic guilt and makes fun of Dick Cheney is a-ok in my book. I'm not posting a link to her here because you MUST click the thumbnail!

Use Your Words

Friday, April 28, 2006

Photo Friday: Famous

A rerun, but appropriate for this week's Photo Friday theme

emmas_hero, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

My daughter Emma (now 21) was a quirky child. Her favorite film at age five was The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen. She was introduced to this film by Arthur, her gay babysitter (fodder for a future blog post), who made her the pop culture queen she is today.

She'd watch the movie over and over and over, and memorized the credits so she knew every character and every actor who played him or her.

At the time I was married to husband #2 who is a Broadway stagehand and was working at "Miss Saigon"...starring Jonathan Pryce, who is also a star in the Baron Munchhausen film. Although not her dad, husband #2 was wonderful with my daughter (probably the reason I married him...sadly our marriage only lasted 18 months). He arranged for Emma to go backstage and meet her idol. This was, for her, what meeting Barney would have been for other kids her age at the time. She was totally freaked out and nervous, even concerned about what to wear. She wanted to desperately to meet him, but to her this was the rock star of all rock stars. She finally mustered up the courage and this photo is the result .

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Panthergirl's Pick of the Week: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio

I remember hearing/reading terrific reviews for this film when it opened, but it must have run in VERY limited release. God knows why. It is a sweet, funny, unique and heart-rending film... based on the true story of a woman in the 50s who keeps her family afloat by writing catchy slogans and winning contests. A wonderful period piece with a quirky style and great performances.

Now here's an idea for a contest: Guess how many freckles Julianne Moore has! LOL

Marge Madness!

Post title courtesy of my hilarious friend Joy. Although our visit was in April, a week with my mother can ONLY be described as "Marge Madness". (For background on Marge, go here and here and here.

Rather than drone on about the details of our whole week (think Elaine on Seinfeld going "BLAH BLAH BLAH") I'll just give you a list of daily "high points":


We arrive in Orlando at about 11:30 AM. Lucas has 103.9 fever. Other than that, the Air Tran flight was great. Flight attendants with a sense of humor. Just prior to takeoff, "This is flight 327. If Orlando is not your destiination, it will be now."

It felt great to experience the 80 degree weather, and as soon as we arrived at my mother's condo I put on a pair of shorts. Upon seeing the two distinctly brown burn marks, one on each thigh, I changed to capris and seriously considered joining a 12-step program for my laptop addiction.

I don't know why this struck me so funny, but I like to call it "My 83 Year Old Mother Servicing Her Police Car".

In addition to Marge, two of her three sisters were down there. The middle one is 80 (her husband, my Uncle, died a few weeks ago. I had posted about him being ill) and the one on the right (a twin, the other twin is in AZ) is 75. She plays tennis, singles, about 3 times a week. For YEARS she jumped rope 20 minutes a day. I can't jump rope for FIVE minutes. She also has a strange paranoia about bird flu. (She told us that there are 10 confirmed cases among humans in the US. Huh? Whatever!)

Anyway, with Lucas in bed all day, I sat and watched The Masters with my mother and aunts. Sports-nuts, all of them, I chuckled as they sat on the couch yelling "C'mon Tiger! Show us how!!!"


We got up (of course my mother had been up since about 5 AM) and Lucas was better. In the afternoon we went bowling and I actually BEAT her one game (ok, so I was using the bumpers and she wasn't. What's it to ya?). Then she kicked our butts with a 159. (In her bowling heyday, she had a 165 average I think). She sent some horny old man over to hug me. Once not too long ago she told us that a man at the bowling alley had asked her to dinner. "As if that's all he wants!"


We went to Sea World and she came along. Hard to say why, since she spends most of the time standing six feet behind us as though she's tapping her toes waiting to move on.

Lucas feeding the dolphins.

A very cute dolphin.


In the morning we went to play golf. Her golf course, in Winter Park, is basically in the middle of a neighborhood so there are streets running through and around the entire course. Totally bizarre. Anyway, her golf "form" is pretty much like bowling with a stick. But much to the dismay of Lucas and myself, she manages to get the ball up the middle and even made a few pars. Go figure.

The most endearing part of playing with her, though, is that she laughs at you if you screw up.

On Wednesday night, Lucas and I went to Disney without her so we could just relax and go at our own pace. He's usually afraid of rides but I convinced him to go on Thunder Mountain Railroad with me. He was nervous, but I said "Look. I used to be afraid of rides, and then I said to myself 'What's going to happen? You're not going to DIE!" So we went on the ride and I was laughing my head off and screaming, but he was crying through the whole thing. I felt awful. Later on, he said "It WAS kind of fun..." And the next day the headlines on the newspaper read: "Woman Dies After Riding Mission:Space at Disney".

One unkind but true comment about going to Disney World: What an unhealthy bunch these "ordinary Americans" are. WOW. When you live in an urban area, you get used to seeing people who are pretty fit and healthy looking (I guess from walking a lot and maybe just due to a more educated way of living or something). I'm not just talking weight, either. It was startling.


Went to play golf again because we're just gluttons for punishment.


Drove to Daytona Beach so Lucas could play in the ocean. It was a gorgeous day, he loved it. My mother informed us that people go "BUNG-IE" jumping there (hard "g"). Ever the control freak, she decided we should leave at 3PM. Lucas was still enjoying the ocean and it was such a lovely day that I was really in no hurry to go. At 3, she said "Should I go wait in the car?"


We went to Winter Park to take a small boat ride around some of the lakes there. When we boarded, Lucas and I sat down in the back of the boat, but rather than sit next to us my mother found a "better" seat. Hokey dokey!

This was our last day down there, and all in all it was a good trip. We survived some pretty wicked meals (pasta with enough garlic to choke a horse), I must have said 'RELAX!!!" a billion times, (especially because she thinks everyone is out to screw her in one way or another), but it was still good to get away.

And I think the burn marks have faded somewhat.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Crazy Mom Post Coming Soon!

Tonight or tomorrow at the latest... I want to make sure and cover ALL the kooky things she said while we were in Florida!

In the meantime, does anyone know what kind of tree this is? Naomi is a blogger who knows lots about plants and trees, so hopefully she'll chime in!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Do You Know an Angela Shelton?

Do you know about the Angela Shelton project? It started out as a woman looking for other women who shared her name. What she found? 40 women.... MOST of whom had been raped or sexually molested at some point in their lives. She made a film about it called Searching for Angela Shelton, and now has a blog... check her out here.

Sorry for the dearth of postings this week. Work is kicking my butt, mentally and physically. On Friday I'll be posting pictures and highlights from our crazy week with my mother. In the meantime...go say hi to Angela!

Monday, April 17, 2006

My Newest Post Isn't Here

It's here!

My new blog-bud Matthew of ChildsPlayx2 has asked his readers to write about non-holiday family traditions and I was happy to oblige. I hope you'll enjoy reading my entry, and please poke around and read more of what he has to say. Plus, he has him some CUTE twin babies! ;)

Go! Now!

Photo Friday: Full

Our bearded dragon, Dylan, does not always puff himself up like this...but I'm glad I snapped him when he did. He certainly fits this week's theme of "full".

If you are considering a Bearded Dragon, please please please do the proper research. When we got him at Petsmart the guy gave us completely incorrect instructions for care and feeding. I wound up returning almost $200 worth of supplies and supplements. Thankfully, I found this Yahoo group and we've now raised a healthy 20 month old who is over 20" long from tip to tail. (We bought him as a 6 inch long baby.)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Are You Sirius?

....or do you XM?

We are back from vacation, and yes... I have a few funny stories to tell... but first I need some advice. On the AirTran flight down to Orlando we had free XM Radio and my son laughed his little butt off for two hours listening to "Laugh USA". When we picked up our Hertz rent-a-car, it came equipped with a Sirius satellite radio and I just loved being able to tune into songs of any decade or some micro-specific category like "Music of the 1970s That Is Not Disco". (Not really, but close.)

Anyway, I would really like to get a satellite radio for the car but HOW do I decide which one? I couldn't care less about Howard (I'll sometimes watch his show on E! just because it can be visually amusing, but I don't find him funny on radio at all), and I don't care about Oprah (who apparently signed with XM).

What I liked about Sirius that I'm not sure applies to XM is that they have stuff like CourtTV, the Discovery Channel, etc.

Any strong pros and cons from you satellite-owning blogsters out there?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Life Imitates Seinfeld

Remember "The Pen" episode of Seinfeld, where Elaine goes to Florida with Jerry? She has to sleep on the sofabed with the bar ramming into her back, and Jerry's parents refuse to put the a/c on?

Well, I'm taking Lucas to Florida tomorrow to see my mother for a week. We will be sleeping on sofabeds with bars ramming us in the back. We'll get into the shower and discover that the water is freezing cold because my mother doesn't always turn on the hot water heater. Or turns it on right before one of us is taking a shower, so the water has not yet become hot. We'll be brushing our teeth with bottled water to avoid that awful sulphur taste, but on the up side we'll be playing golf and going to Daytona for the day on Tuesday.

We'll also walk around the complex with my mother who will call out neighborly comments like "Tell me about it!" when a woman says she's having a hard time with the fact that her husband passed away.

I promise to come back with lots of material for the blog. In the meantime, do me a favor would you? Visit at least ONE person on my blogroll that you've never visited before and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Stardust Memories - Redux

A stressful work situation has inflicted me with a temporary case of writer's block. So, I bring you yet another rerun. Hope there are enough new readers so I'm not boring you guys to death.

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There was something about that concoction of smells...the Old Spice, the Chanel No. 5, her pressed powder, his freshly cleaned suit...I loved it when they got dressed up to go out. They seemed different. Young. When I was little my older sisters and I would do silly stuff while they were gone...we'd dance on the coffee table and try doing cartwheels in our tiny living room. In my teenage years those smells meant that I'd have a boyfriend over who'd run out the front door as my parents came in the back way.

They'd always come home with a centerpiece of wilted flowers or little pink and blue candied almonds bundled in white netting. The delicious perfumes from the early evening would be replaced by stale traces of rye and vermouth, smoke and nail polish remover. He would have danced to make her happy. She'd complain that her feet hurt. By the next morning, they'd be snarling at each other and everything would return to ... normal.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Another Little Gem

A dear friend recommended this film to me but I didn't get around to watching it until yesterday.

All I can say is, HOW do movies that are this good fly under the radar for so long? Americans who won't go to non-Hollywood-blockbuster movies are missing out on so much. (And who is this Gerard Butler?? Grrrrrrrrrowl!)

I've see a few terrific non-American films with children at the center (but none are "chick flicks") One is Millions and the other is Iranian (subtitled) and called Children of Heaven.

When the remake of The Shaggy Dog is making a gazillion dollars at the box office and no one sees these truly great films, you have to wonder.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Shutting Down the Blog

Well folks, all good things must come to an end. I'm shutting down the blog for good.

And I'm also moving to Tahiti to write my novel and leaving my kids, my dog and my job behind.
April Fools!

Grisly, Man

I saw Grizzly Man on the Discovery Channel last month, but it was so full of commercials that I've now rented it from Netflix so I can watch without interruption (you know how much I love TiVO? I love Netflix even more. I've been a member since the beginning!). How do people watch movies on "normal" TV? Drives me nuts.

Anyway, this film is really amazing. If you are concerned about seeing someone eaten by a bear, or the remains of such, you won't see that here. But what you WILL see is an incredible character study, and the sad progression of a person's mental illness. Still, no matter how crazy Timothy Treadwell was, how do you explain the fact that he was able to live amongst Grizzly bears and feed foxes from his hand for five years before he was finally killed? Someone in the film says that he dealt with the bears like they were people in bear costumes, and that is the perfect analogy.

Werner Herzog also made one particularly wise decision in the making of this film. I won't say more than that. See it.