Thursday, June 30, 2005

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Apparently there's a problem with the photobucket server, or the designer has exceeded her bandwidth on that server, because as you can see, all my "Dog's Breakfast" graphics are missing. Hopefully this will be resolved soon...

Check the Updates!

Too weird!! Check out the latest here!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Here's the 80s photo without the shades... and with the clearly visible tan line!! Got me thinking about the various hairstyles I've had over the years, after having LONNNNNNNG hair all through high school (the down-to-your-ass kind that gets stuck in the toilet if you're not careful).

So, of course I had to scan some evidence.

I was probably about 22 in this photo... this was after I had cut off most of my mane.

This is another '80s photo...after the spikes grew out. I was trying out my friend's new bathtub. (doesn't this hair look like a wig?)

1988 perm. This one didn't last long. My hair is so straight that a full perm would only stay curly for about a month.

This was SUPER short, circa 1992. I was really, really thin so I could pull it off, but EVERYONE told me I looked like Liza Minnelli (hello? that's NOT a compliment!) so I grew it out and I will never, ever cut it short again.

Adventures in Cyberia Site Debuts!

OK kids.... since I know many of you are loving this Sims thing, but many of you are not (or are confused at the very least), I have opened a separate blogger site called "Adventures in Cyberia". This is where all the daily updates will appear, along with the links to each family's story on

Now that Blogger has made it possible to post photos without using Flickr (to a point, anyway), I'll definitely be updating frequently. MUCH faster process.

NOTE: For now I'm stuck with a standard Blogger template, but I've downloaded the design kit with the official Sims graphics and Ro from Ciao My Bella! will be giving us a cool skin very soon!

Here's a closeup of Nadia...ain't she gawgeous?

Don't You Want Me Baby?

My blog buddy Lu is asking people to post their TOTALLY 80s photos of themselves (ok, if you were 5 in the 80s it doesn't count).

Here you see me in all my spiked-hair, white-anklet, shoulder-padded glory. Now I ask, "Don't you want me, baby?"

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Meet the Roflers

OK.... although eating, sleeping, working and parenting are getting in the way, I have managed to create a second Sim family and move them into their house in Cyberia. Micah has greeted them already!

Introducing.... The Roflers!


Me (aka P.G.)
and Julie

The boys have romance on their minds... and someone had better learn to cook because we've already had TWO fires! Julie got a job as a scientist and Nadia is going to work in a restaurant! Micah Bloginski stopped by wearing his mascot costume. Heidi and Julie have been boogying, Kevin likes to play darts with me. Charlie has been trying to chat up all the women.

See and read tonight's escapades here:
The Rofler Family

Now, in case you're wondering what the Bloginskis are up to, wonder no more.

Dawn's wants and fears = Deni

Dawn is obsessed with Deni. She wants to be Deni's friend, wants to flirt with Deni, is afraid Deni will reject her. All Deni, all the time.

Micah is taking over for another more famous team mascot. Can't wait to see the new costume.

For the Bloginski update, go here:
The Bloginski Family .

If you look closely, you'll see Dawn hugging Deni. ;)

A Little More Sims Info

A few things...

1. I will still be posting content OTHER than the Sims stuff, for those who aren't interested in that. (what are you, nuts?)

2. For those who aren't that familiar with the game, I don't have a lot of control over some aspects of the game. For example, when there was a fire in the kitchen yesterday, and Robin freaked out, a therapist literally dropped from the sky to treat her. All I do is try to keep them happy (send them to bed when they are tired, make sure they learn things like mechanics so they can fix stuff, etc.) and I can encourage various kinds of interaction (chatting, flirting, hitting on, etc. Not that I would do THAT. har har.

3. Although the families will live in different houses, the individual Sims will drop in on each other and maybe we'll throw a party this weekend!

4. Another thing I do when creating each Sim is assign an "aspiration" (choosing from Fortune, Knowledge, Family, Romance and Popularity).

The Bloginskis break down as follows:

Deni: Fortune
Dawn: Popularity
Micah: Fortune
Karan: Family
Robin: Knowledge
E.C. - Family

5. And last but NOT LEAST: One thing I hope to achieve with this game is to introduce you to each other's blogs!!! I'm starting a separate blogroll in my sidebar for the participants, with the word "SIM" after their blogname. Go visit!!

Now, I must get back to the labORatory.... nyuk nyuk nyuk ....

Those Crazy Bloginskis

mascots and robin

So! Everyone has a job now. Micah and Karan are Team Mascots and wear funny bunny heads to work. In this scene, they have brought a friend home, but Micah has fallen asleep on the sidewalk. At the bottom of the screen you can see Robin's current state of mind.

Deni and Robin are in the military, and Deni even got a promotion on her very first day! Unfortunately, she can't cook and keeps burning things. She even caused a fire in the kitchen and the firemen had to come. Robin was so freaked out that a therapist had to be called to calm her down.

Dawn is a dishwasher and she's already managed to miss the carpool one day. However, she is becoming more popular and is officially friends with Deni!

Micah has been dreaming about Karan, Deni has been dreaming about Micah, Karan learned plumbing and fixed the bathtub. There's now a dartboard in the kitchen and a few strangers have stopped by to meet our bloggers.

Here's a picture of E.C. getting a job via the internet as a campaign worker:

ec finds job

AND here's an updated story with photos from the official site:

The Bloginskis

With any luck, I'll be creating Family #2 tomorrow... Remember, only people who have supplied me with their zodiac signs can play!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Regurgitation Monday: Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't

Rather than post the link, I'm just re-dating the post. Original post date: March 1, 2005.

Copped from The Infected Papercut and a host of others. I'm going to keep this pretty tame, as my 19 year old reads this blog from time to time!

1. I co-produced an Off-Broadway show, starring Ileana Douglas and Enrico Colantoni.

2. I was thrown out of a car that hit a pole at 75mph and had virtually no injuries.

3. In 1977, when I suspected that my boss at Newsweek had written a letter to HER boss trying to get me fired (it was in a sealed envelope on his desk), I read her typewriter ribbon and deciphered the entire thing.

4. I worked as a car salesperson for 6 weeks. Since I needed to retain my soul, I quit.

5. I got Honorable Mention in the New York Magazine Competition (the Mary Ann Madden one that doesn't exist anymore) in 1971. The challenge was to write "What I'm Doing on My Summer Vacation" by a famous person, without using the letter "e". Mine was: "I'm staying homo" by Truman Capote.

6. My daughter and I were driven to her school by Bill Murray and his wife one morning in Manhattan. Their son happened to be in her class, and they spotted us waiting for a bus. It was a very interesting drive.

7. I drove to Florida from New York in one day.

8. While working in an allergists office during high school, I passed out cold when he scooped some black phlegm out of a patient's throat. Ew.

9. I made out with my high school Science teacher.

10. I lost money on NYC real estate.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Adventures in Cyberia


Our first "family" in Cyberia...the Sims neighborhood I created for us. I just spent about a half an hour posting the links to each person's blog and a recap of today's events but Blogger ate my post!

You can see some screenshots from today's activities here:
The Bloginskis

So, you have the links for Dawn, Deni and Micah (see previous post). I gave Dawn a hat and some braids!

I added three more bloggers to make this group of roomies:
Robin of The Wisdom of Funky Bugs (dark hair, red top)
Easy (EC) of Glory-Road (Cardinals hat)
Karan/Rugdesigner of The Shoes Keep Dropping... (seated in front)

Dawn wants to be popular but she acts kind of dumb so everyone's annoyed with her. She and the guys are still unemployed. Deni, Robin and Karan have accepted some, er, weird jobs. All six of them are living in a 2 bedroom house.


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Sneak Peek!!!

Thanks to all the volunteers for my Blogger Sims Game!.

I've started playing god already...creating Sims of three bloggers who either have pics on their blog, or in one case whom I've actually met! At this point I'm just doing the physical stuff and clothing, but I'm really trying to get the features as close as I can to the real person. (It's hard to see here, but up close they're pretty good!)

When I start creating the neighborhood that's when I apply some personality traits to each character. It would REALLY help for me to know your astrological sign (because that's how the personalities are determined). If you don't send it to me I'm just going to guess!

I'm going to create houses with about 5 or 6 Sims (a "family" of bloggers which will have a silly last name) in each house. As each house is populated I will begin to post screenshots of the activity in that house. (Once the 2nd house is done, there will be activity crossing over from one to the other). There are also pre-created "strangers" in the neighborhood who may pop in.

If this really takes off, I may open a 2nd blog just for our Sims Game!

Here are the first three Blogger Sims:
Deni, The Last Girl on Earth


Dawn, Webmiztris


Micah, of Micah's World


Friday, June 24, 2005

Fearsome Foursome

two_couples, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

Like the Kramdens and the Nortons, or the Flintstones and the Rubbles, my parents and my Aunt Ginny and Uncle Shon were inseparable. And like those timeless couples, the love was expressed in some interesting ways.

My aunt and my mother are sisters, but my dad and my uncle formed the closer bond. As the kids played in the next room, the four of them would play Pinochle and yell and scream at each other as though millions were on the line. "What the hell are ya doin'?" "You don't know what the hell's what!" "Goddamit, Marge!" "Whaddya, stupid??"

While my mother followed tradition and married an Italian, my aunt broke free and brought a Welshman into the family. This was fortunate, since it made the men even LOOK like Ralph and Norton, or Fred and Barney.

We always envied our cousins because their parents were so supportive and loving (ok, my aunt DID throw a Brillo box at one of her sons once). My uncle enjoyed taking his kids places, participating in sports with them and displaying their trophies. In our house, the only trophies belonged to my parents: Bowling trophies which sat [not kidding here] on a shelf over their bed. Hey, whatever turns you on.

Of the four sisters, my Aunt Ginny is the most real, the warmest, and most inclined to tell the truth about the family. It was she who told us that my mother wielded control and power at six years old because she had to translate for my grandparents who spoke no English.

She also told us that my grandmother's philosophy of childrearing included the concept, "Never kiss your children when they are awake." These little revelations have helped me put together some of the jigsaw puzzle that is my mother's psyche.

My uncle is 82 now. He was crushed when my dad died...they were as thick as thieves. But he and my aunt, although both struggling with health issues, continue to be warm and upbeat and sometimes hilarious.

At a recent family function, I sat and talked to him for awhile. He's virtually blind but still plays golf, with the help of a good friend who positions him over the tee. What cracked me up, though, was when he described a 90 year old woman in their apartment complex as having "A.Z." Senior citizen lingo for Alzheimer's!

If you look REALLY closely at this photo you'll see me... that's a white maternity dress my mother is wearing. ;)

Book 'em, Danno!

Check this out!! Let's make Julie's big day a really special one for those kids...

Photo Friday: Orange

orange_gates, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

This week's Photo Friday entry was taken in Central Park, of Christo's "The Gates". Being there was indescribable. You'll notice, too, that people wore orange as they walked through the exhibit. Even dogs wore orange. I know there's an "orange you glad ..." joke in here, but it's too early in the morning for me to think of one.

Feel free to come up with your own!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Who Wants to Be a SIM??

I have a great idea for a blog game. I'm going to buy the SIMS2 (just came out for Mac). What if I were to create SIMS based on all the bloggers who want to play, and then once a week or so I'll post screenshots of what everyone is up to?

Leave a comment (with your blog link) if you want to play, and if I get enough people I'll divide everyone into several houses and see what happens!

(you could find yourself in a hot tub with another never know with the SIMS!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ay yi yi

luke_eyes97, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

This is how I feel about the Yankees right now!!!

(sorry for the drive-by post...a meatier one will appear by tomorrow)

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Father's Day Message from Beyond?

I'm not sure what I believe, really, but yesterday we were sitting at the pool reading...(my sister, Lucas and me...there was no one else around because it was cloudy and cool)... and the most amazing thing happened.

Lucas was quietly walking around the perimeter, trying to approach the house sparrows that would briefly light upon the fencing. All of a sudden, he called to us and we looked over to see a sparrow sitting on his index finger. It was momentary, but profound, and my sister looked at me and said, "Tony?'

All I know is that wild birds don't normally come to rest on our fingers. Was it my son's dad paying him a visit on what was a difficult day for him? We can only speculate. But it was a joyous moment he will never forget.

Regurgitation Monday

As promised, here's another Monday re-run... It's a short but hilarious read called "Good Night Nurse!".

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day

luke_daddy_96, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

Enjoy your children. Enjoy your dad.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Family Reunion

pretty&cody, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

This is so cool. My friend Jason adopted Cody (on the right) about 18 months ago (he's 4 now). Cody was badly injured on the track and Jason patiently nursed him back to health.

Recently, he discovered that Cody's mom was finishing out her career as a brood bitch after birthing a total of 24 pups. Her name is Pretty, and he made arrangements to have her transported from Kansas to Bridgeport where he picked her up this past Thursday.

Pretty is ELEVEN years old...and now she'll live out the rest of her life with her baby boy.

I haven't posted about greyhounds in awhile, but remember if you want to contribute to our adoption group (it's costly to keep the dogs in foster care and provide medical services until they are adopted), click HERE. The greyhounds thank you!!!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Photo Friday: Sport

no_baseball, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

My Photo Friday entry this week is more about the anti-sport than the sport.

I have posted several times about my son's passion for golf (and in fact used a photo in a previous Photo Friday for "Green"). But today's picture is about his utter DISINTEREST in baseball.

He wanted to play Little League after his dad passed away, because Tony was such a baseball nut, but although he had great hand-eye coordination he just hated it. This photo is descriptive of how he felt about that season.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Sister Act

studio shot 1958

I'm so excited because my sister Loretta is coming to visit tomorrow and staying until Tuesday. She's the eldest, I'm the "baby". My middle sister, Corinne, doesn't speak to us but that's a story for another day. Or two. (To keep your interest piqued, there's a cross-dresser involved. And she's married to him.) I often refer to my sisters as the "good witch" and the "bad witch".

Anyway, I loved Loretta when I was little, but she and I weren't so close once I got to be a rebellious teen (she actually told my mother not to let me see "The Graduate" when I was 13 because it was 'full of bedroom scenes'. Well, shit! Why do you think I wanted to see it??). In recent years that has all changed. She went to college while her kids were in school and became a free-thinking, liberal feminist (which also caused her straight-laced conservative husband to flip out. He's now her straight-laced conservative EX-husband). She became an interesting and fun woman and even learned to say the F word! (I like to say I taught her everything she knows.)

Whenever we're together we laugh non-stop, mostly about my mother and sometimes about the "bad witch" and her cross-dressing husband. Lucas loves having her here too, and was kind of disappointed that I'm not traveling on business or something so he can have her to himself.

She'll kill me for posting these, I'm sure, but here are a few more blasts from the past... To get back in her good graces, I will include one current sexy one!

easter_girls 1960

(dig those dresses... and my glasses! Also, that was my idea of a smile. I've got a ton of pictures making that same face.)


Isn't Marge just thrilled to be a mom?


Loretta a few months ago. She's 9 1/9 years older than I am. Do the math... isn't she amazing?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Complicated Relationships

emma_tony, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my daughter Emma (now almost 20) had become estranged from Tony by the time he became ill.

She was five when I met him and they bonded immediately. He loved her as though she was his own child. I think he gave her shoulder-rides to school until she was about TEN.

Although they loved each other intensely, they would also have incredibly wicked fights once she got to be about 9 or 10 (she had a year of PMS, I think). These would often take place when I was out and couldn't "referee". (Ultimately, when our marriage broke down and Tony became verbally abusive, she shut him out completely which was heartbreaking for him. It just goes to show how loyal children are to their parents in those situations.)

ANYWAY... one day when she was about 11 they had a huge fight and she said "You're not my're just some stupid guy my mother married." And then, "Get your fucking ass out of my room." (she was a piece of work, I tell ya). I came home just in time to send them to their respective corners, and after she had cooled off she wrote him this:

(click to enlarge)


It still makes me giggle to read it, especially with the use of the flowery font. It's hard to believe, though, that she went from this level of affection to never wanting to speak to him again within a few short years. She did attend the memorial service when he passed away, but mostly out of support for her brother and me. Life and relationships are complicated indeed.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Double Regurgitation Monday

As I mentioned last week, I'm going to do "reruns" on Mondays each week, partly because it's summer and that's re-run season, and partly because I have a lot more readers now than I did in January when I started this thang.

Today is BONUS re-run day because I have two posts that are somewhat related.

The first is called "Dates with Nuts" ... a recap of some of the high (low?) points of my online dating experience.

The second, "Bachelor Number Two" (and yes, that is an intentionally disgusting pun), is a photo-festival of what I received in email from some available lotharios. OK, it's probably a little mean to post these on the internet, but's a good lesson in "don't email someone something you don't want millions of people to see."

So... enjoy!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Sweet 'n Lowdown

snl, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

Did you ever see that episode of 'Friends' where Ross' grandmother has died and they are going through her things? They open up a closet and thousands of Sweet 'n Low packettes fall on their heads. I have been called Ross' Grandmother on more than one occasion.

This morning I was leaving my local bagel place, iced coffee in hand along with my car keys and a few, er, extra Sweet 'n Lows. As I crossed the parking lot, I dropped the packettes and as I scrambled to pick them up, I imagined four police cars pulling up, sirens wailing and the sound of a bullhorn: "PUT YOUR HANDS UP AND DROP THE SWEET 'N LOWS. NOW. WE KNOW YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CUP OF COFFEE AND EIGHTEEN SWEET 'N LOWS. YOU WON'T GET AWAY WITH THIS."

This fantasy or something like it enters my brain almost daily as I slip a few extras in my bag. I suppose it would be easier to just buy the damned things, but I enjoy living on the edge... ;)

A Good Excuse

lucas_finishes, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

I feel a little guilty about not updating the blog daily, but there's a good reason for it.

A while back, I posted about Lucas' love affair with golf. This passion has escalated, as has his talent. We spend most of our free time at the driving range and every other Thursday he has a "playing lesson" with the pro on a 9-hole course.

He's doing so well! They calculated his club speed at 80mph when driving the ball. (he's only 10 and weighs about 62 lbs.!)

OK, so that's ONE reason I'm busy. The second reason? Because I'm learning too!! And I'm hooked. Never thought it would happen... I love tennis and have played for years. But I've crossed over to the dark side and I'm loving it.

So...that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I promise to update at least every OTHER day, if not daily. Thanks for continuing to visit here!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Photo Friday: Nerdy

alfalfa, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

Who's nerdier than Alfalfa? My entry this week is a favorite Halloween series of mine. Lucas was only 8 months old, had barely any hair, so we had to make the Alfalfa cowlick by putting egg whites in his hair (a throwback to the do you think they got those spikes?? The eggwhite hardens so much you could impale someone on that thing.). Emma was 9, and wanted to be a "wacky travel agent". I think she looks 30.
The best, though, is the last of the series...
Image hosted by

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"...and your little dog, too!"

margie_gulch, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

My mother always hated animals. In Brooklyn, we would say she "shkeeved" them. Every once in awhile, I'd drag a kitten home, but it would be banished outdoors and would eventually leave. Since my dad loved dogs (sort of, but that's another story), we got a German Shephard puppy when I was about five. Again she was not allowed to live in the house except for a small area of the basement. Eventually she got sick. My parents took her to the vet and came home without her, with some matter-of-fact explaination to us, shocked and heartbroken.

When I was in High School, a friend found a puppy in a dumpster and gave it to me. I did a big sell job to keep her, saying that she was going to be a small dog, and somehow my parents agreed. AND because she was so little she remained indoors. I named her Stymie, after the character on the Little Rascals.

She was kind of a pain, never really got the hang of "housebreaking", but we all adored her. One day, much to my amazement, I heard my mother coo, "We love you, Stymie..." When I was 17 and graduated from high school, my parents moved to Florida (again, another story) and took Stymie with them. A few years later she died of leukemia and they were devestated.

The funny-looking face that softened my mother's heart?


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Not Since the Toyota "Leash" one...

...have I laughed out loud at a TV commercial. Until last night when I saw one for The Sopranos: Season Five on DVD. It's a montage of clips of Tony yelling at his son AJ, whacking him in the head, slamming the refrigerator door, etc. ... and throughout it all, the theme song from "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" ("people let me tell you 'bout my best friend...") is playing. The last frame is just black, with the words "Happy Father's Day" and a visual of the DVD boxed set.

Absolutely brilliant and high-larious.

Those Were the Days, My Friend

tickets, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

You thought saving the letter was cool? Here are some tickets stubs from early concerts I attended:

Sly and the Family Stone at Madison Square Garden
Santana at the Fillmore East
Bette Midler at the Bitter End (a tiny club in Greenwich Village...she was HILARIOUS. Her best joke? "I'm gonna buy Tricia Nixon a man-eating plant. Maybe she'll learn something!").

I had begged my parents to let me go to Woodstock, but that wasn't happening. Of course, a few years later I flew on an airplane without their knowledge. But at 14 I was still a little bit afraid of them.

The most fun thing about seeing these stubs? The ticket prices...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Monday Regurgitation

In in the spirit of summer reruns, I am going to start a weekly feature here at TDB called "Monday Regurgitation". It's a chance for me to dredge up an old post for those who weren't reading my blog a few months ago. I mean really...does anyone actually click on the "Archives" links?

Apologies to those who HAVE been reading since the beginning...and I promise a new post tomorrow.

Today's re-run is called My Son Lucas, Crack Photographer. Enjoy. And leave your comments here!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Photo Friday: Rare

hitchcock letter, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

My entry this week.

Wait? Didn't every 10 year old girl write to Alfred Hitchcock, weekly, and get faithful responses from his secretary?

She answered every inane question I posed, and in this particular letter she let me down easy when I had invited him to my sister's wedding.

In these days of "form" everything, this is rare indeed.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


emma, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

Awhile back, i wrote a post called Acorns and Oak Trees, about the quirky kid that I was and the quirky kids that I have.

My daughter, about 9 years old in this picture but turning 20 this year, is about to live on her own for the first time. She's moving into an apartment with two friends, while she works two part-time jobs.

Although she had SAT scores that could have propelled her right into a great college, her high school GPA reflected the fact that she did very little work. The sophomore Social Studies paper that was required to graduate? She handed it in on graduation day.

She's a very talented graphic designer and writer, and as a Buffy fanatic she has spent a lot of time and energy writing fan fiction and creating fanlistings. You can see her work here (click the word "current"). Although I took her on tours of RISD and other art schools, she adamantly maintained that she's not a 'school person' wanted to work.

Tensions ran high between us in the last year of high school, so I suggested she move in with her dad and his wife and daughter. That decision probably saved our relationship.

After having worked mostly in retail, she recently got a job at a radio station in Woodstock, NY (where her dad lives) designing concert posters and working on their website. It heartens me to know that she's finally putting her talents to good use...but I still wish she'd go back to school.

The irony of all this? After high school, I moved out of my parents' house and moved in with an older man. I couldn't wait to work and make my own money, but I was far from independent. I lived in that bone-shatteringly abusive relationship for five years before finally extricating myself. It was then that I moved to Manhattan, alone, and started going to NYU at night after work. I never finished.

Maybe I'd like to spare my child the years of 'on the job training" I had to do before finally making a career for myself. But deep down I know that she has to make her own way...that she is FAR better off emotionally than I was...and that I am incredibly proud of the person that she is.

My life has held surprises around every corner, some good and some not so good, but I've never been bored. I think the same will be true for my little acorn.

I think she'd kill me if I posted a recent picture of her, but she's beautiful!