Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Buzz Kill!!

My blogbuddy Twist of Kate posted a link to a site that will certainly cause you to have the pasta boil over. (That's on the higher end of my barometer for website pull. The highest end would involve a starving child and a dog rolling in his own waste. Thankfully this is fun, but not THAT much fun.)

The site is My Heritage, and there you can upload a photo of yourself or anyone else you know and it will assess your features and tell you what celebrity you resemble. Well, imagine my DELIGHT when I was a match for the Indian actress Bipasha Basu, who is considered by some to be the most beautiful woman in the world:

Unfortunately, I don't know how to quit while I'm ahead....

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Help and Win!!

A retired racer and his friend Jackson

How can you resist these faces? Our rescue group, Greyhound Rescue and Rehab, is holding a raffle to raise money for our medical fund. When greyhounds leave the track, they need to be neutered, have dental work and sometimes have broken bones or other injuries that need repair. Go to the website, hit "make a donation" and you have TWO chances to win:

1. If you win the raffle, you get this exquisite stained glass piece “Freedom’s Wind” valued at $350 - $400 donated by artist Doreen Day:

Be sure to follw the directions to enter the raffle: Drawing to be June 24th at GRR’s annual picnic and you need not be present to win. Tickets for the raffle are 1 for $3, 2 for $5, or 5 for $10 (of course, you can buy more than 5). Click on the “Make a Donation” button above to purchase tickets through Paypal. Be sure to put number of tickets purchased with your name, address & phone number.

2. ANY donation made through this blog will win 100 Blog Explosion credits. Leave a comment here as soon as you've made your donation, with your BE user ID so I can award the credits to you.

If nothing else, PLEASE link to this post on your blog.

Thank you so much, and if you'd like to read more about retired racing greyhounds, I've blogged about it in my Shameless Plug for Greyhound Adoption.

Here's my beautiful Kelso, whom I usually refer to as a 'cat in a dog costume".

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, May 26, 2006

Photo Friday: Home

I've lived in many different places since I moved out of my parents' house at 17. The photos here were taken in my favorite of all those places: a loft space in Brooklyn Heights that I bought with husband #1 in 1984. I had my own business at the time and had done a hugely profitable project. We bought this place, gutted it and designed the space we wanted. Since it had windows on one end only (overlooking the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge) we left it open. The "rooms" were created by levels only. (Once my daughter was born we had to sell it because it was anything BUT childproof.) Hard to see here, but there was a Japanese rock garden that ran through the entire space.

I loved this piano. It was a Kawai grand and our music teacher once held a concert in our loft.

This was the bedroom, a few steps up from the living area. (Eventually there was a sofa that fit into the empty space behind the black chair.) The backlit glass blocks on the floor were my idea. Under the entire bedroom was a crawl space for storage.

I liked how the wall was curved on one side (flat on the other side, behind the bed). The floor of the foyer was a black marble circle surrounded by more Japanese stones.

Recently, New York Magazine ran an article about real estate and featured an apartment in this building. It was selling for 1.5 million dollars. We paid $145K for ours.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Digging Through the Archives

Actually, I was attempting to find out why people searching on Google for "Kathie Lee braless" keep winding up on my blog. (Then I tried to figure out why anyone would search for Kathie Lee braless in the first place). Anyway, it took me back into the archives where I guess I had mentioned KLG and braless, but not in the same post. I did like this one, though, from August '05.

Just turned on The Today Show, and they are doing a segment called "Cheapskate Week". I have to admit that watching this, featuring people who do things like fill their own jelly donuts, make diaper pails out of popcorn tins, and bring ziplock bags to the movies to divide up popcorn... makes my hair go on fire.

One of my ex-husbands said I would "go across the street and around the corner to avoid a sale", and he was probably right. I've only been to Wal-Mart twice (and couldn't wait to get out), don't comparison shop, and am a firm believer in "you get what you pay for". I know it's irrational at times, but hey...I've never claimed to be a completely rational person.

Why this visceral aversion to bargains? As with most of my other neuroses, I have to blame my parents. As children of the Great Depression, they turned penny-pinching into an artform. My mother made a lot of our clothes, and in doing so made them about three sizes too big so they'd fit for several years. This explains why, in most old photos, we look like refugees from Uzbekistan. She also made clothes for my Barbie doll, which was great except for the fact that she didn't want to have to buy special snaps (you know, the right SIZED ones), so the clothes had closures as big as Barbie's head.

Getting a greeting card from my mother meant (and still means) receiving one that had been previously sent to her, with the inside cut out. All of the food in our house was "Brand X" or awful store brands like "Ann Page" and "Krasdale". Although my father loved ice cream, the best we got was Breyer's Neopolitan, or maybe a Cookie Puss cake from Carvel for a REALLY special occasion.

My father loved electronics and gadgets of any and every kind (we had air-conditioning before anyone else), but I still remember the "brand names" that graced them all... Setchell-Carlson, Bonsonic, Royce Union... some of which, I think, fell off the back of a truck. Since he was a mailman, our house was FILLED with tiny versions of many products (free samples that had been addressed to houses that didn't exist). We used miniature cans of Rite Guard and Arrid Extra Dry, ate from little packettes of Carnation Instant Breakfast, and read magazines that had a big square cutout on the cover. Occasionally we'd score big and get someone's 8 free records from Columbia House, if they moved away before it was delivered. And there was Joe the Dented Can Man, my father's favorite place to shop for canned food.

Their premier cheapskate moment came one year on their wedding anniversary. They went to the nearest Hallmark store, each picked out a card and handed it to the other. On the spot they read them, said thanks, put the cards back and left the store.

I guess it's all about priorities. My parents did manage to raise three kids on a postman's salary (although my mother also worked or collected unemployment most of the time), and we always had new cars that they paid cash for. They never had credit cards until they retired and we never felt like they were strapped for cash.

Still, while I appreciate their efforts, it has left me with a psychotic disdain for sales and bargains.

So... fess up. Are you a Cheapskate? Are you the child of a Cheapskate? Or are you, like me, the Anti-Cheapskate?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oops She Did It Again!

Unless you spent this past week on Jupiter, you've seen the photos/video of Britney's most recent parenting foible. Frankly, I'm not sure whether to call CPS or the Fashion Police. She was spotted crying in FAO Schwartz after the incident, but contrary to what the papers are saying, I think she was crying because she had forgotten to remove her black bra before putting on that white top, and she never expected all those people to get a picture of it. Kind of like when you leave the house in the dark and later discover that you're wearing one black shoe and one brown shoe? Thankfully most of us don't wind up on Page 6 every day, so we can get through the day in our mismatched footwear without much notice.

Oh, I've been hearing some people say that we're giving Britney too hard a time about her sloppy parenting, that every mother has done the things she does, they just aren't under the media microscope. Er, excuse me...but I've never driven with my baby in my lap, or plopped him into a car seat like a rag doll facing the wrong way (in a convertible, no less...call me a safety nut, but I would NEVER put an infant in a convertible). And carrying the kid on your hip, with a margarita in one hand (I know, I know, they said it was WATER) and pants dragging on the ground like mine did in 1971 is just a STUPID combination.

Good thing she's pregnant again, because she's going to need a spare.

PS: Britney has moved to Cyberia to escape the media spotlight.

Friday, May 19, 2006

She Never Disappoints Us

Before there was ballet and soccer and ice skating, there was tap. Almost every kid in the 50s and 60s, boys and girls alike, took a tap class and my sisters and I were no exception. We went to a small dance studio in Brooklyn called "Tip Tap Toe" [groan] and danced to period favorites like "Ballin' the Jack". (Even in my brief period of innocence, something about that title sounded dirty to me)

While my sisters continued on, I eventually said the six-year-old's equivalent of "screw that noise" and quit. I must have known that my parents would drag out the 16mm reels year after year to howl at my sisters in their various recitals replete with ridiculous satin and tulle costumes.

Apparenly not permanently scarred by that particular humiliation, my eldest sister decided to start taking tap again this past year. When I went to visit her in February I watched her in class and I was impressed!! She did great. I took a video and this is a still from it:

This past weekend, she went to visit my mother for Mother's Day and demonstrated the routine that she will be doing in a recital on June 1st. My mother watched attentively for the entire 10 minutes (an accomplishment in itself), and then said "Cute. Don't quit your day job."

Photo Friday: The Road

Ok, so you're thinking "That's not a ROAD, that's a TRAIL". And you'd be right. It's the Smokey Trail in Sedona AZ, 2002. But the theme of "The Road" also applies, because I love going on "the road" with my kids. I blogged about some of those trips here.

(click on the photo to enlarge it)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Idol Chatter

If Taylor Hicks wins American Idol, it will only be because the voters are too young to remember the REAL Joe Cocker. Or too old to know who he is. I have agreed with Simon all season...the guy is nothing more than a karaoke-style wedding singer.

Hicks winning Idol will simply trump the other current fiasco: Danielle winning America's Next Top Model. I guess it's a good season for hicks. (AW... that was mean!!) Well, at least JADE didn't win!

I need a life... ya think?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


After the tsunami in South East Asia, my blog friend Charm offered one of her lovely paintings to anyone who matched her $100 donation for tsunami relief. I did it, and picked a fabulous one to hang in my condo. It's taken me awhile, but I finally took a picture of it!! Here's a closeup and an "in-room" shot. Go visit Charm and tell her I sent you over there!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Photo Friday: Masterpiece

It being Mother's Day weekend and all.... couldn't let this theme be about anything other than my two "masterpieces".

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Panthergirl's Pick of the Week: The Perfect Crime

Hilarious black comedy, sort of reminded me of "Eating Raoul", another favorite of mine. The Netflix description is as follows:

"Alex de la Iglesia's hilarious crime caper stars Guillermo Toledo as Rafael, a typical Don Juan who enjoys his cushy job as a department store salesman and usually has his pick of the comely female staff. But when his bitter rivalry with co-worker Antonio ends in murder, Rafael must find an alibi -- fast. Lourdes, the one salesgirl Rafael has hitherto spurned, comes to his aid, but at a price; before long, prison seems distinctly appealing. ..."

Unrated, with subtitles. Definitely not for the kiddies.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Damn You, Hallmark

A timely rerun.

kitchen, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

I hate this time of year. Mother's Day this, Mother's Day that. All I know is, I have to go pick out a card to send to my 83 year old mother (you know, because I have to) and there isn't a damned one that tells my truth.

What is a dysfunctional child to do? Maybe I can write my own card, wtih little snippets to take her down memory lane...

....the adorable way she'd say "Who's gonna look at you anyway" to the pre-teen me as I'd brush my hair or look in a mirror before going out.

...the nightly game of "spin the knife" that my sister and I would play, to decide which of us was going to get to kill her.

...the loving way she said "Don't you have any respect for your body?", after my father beat the crap out of me for holding a boy's hand when I was 12. (it was so absurd that I actually laughed through my tears)

...those homecooked meals that were supposed to "taste better than they look."

...the way she tossed my favorite stuffed poodle into the back of a garbage truck as I sat, stunned and five years old, on my front stoop. She said it was dirty from me dragging him on a leash up and down the street.

...her sloppy technique when holding a towel in front of us at the beach, insisting that we take our bathing suits off before getting into the car. (cue "Who's gonna look at you anyway." It's a multipurpose expression, useful for humiliating children in countless scenarios.)

...and of course, her penchant for finding innumerable methods of inflicting physical pain when my father wasn't around to do her dirty work.

I've often looked at this photograph and compared it to those of my own children at about the same ages (I am 2 and my sister is 6 1/2). Thankfully, I don't think any pictures of my children show them as sullen as the faces you see here.

Maybe there's a card that says, simply, "Thanks for the memories."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Photo Friday: Adolescence

My favorite adolescent photo of my daughter Emma, (seen last week at age 5 along with Jonathan Pryce). I don't write about her much on this blog, because she's nearly 21 now and out of respect for her privacy I keep the current references to her to a minimum. But she was (and still is) an incredibly cool person.

As previously noted, her tastes have always run in extremely eclectic gamuts. In addition to the aforementioned affection for Baron Munchhausen, she was a Marx Brothers afficionado at age 6. Not only did she watch every film, but she read every biographical book she could find about them. She loved musical theater (in part due to my marriage to an actor/stagehand, but also due to the influences of her gay babysitter, or "manny", Arthur), British television (a huge Red Dwarf fan), and anything related to science fiction. She loved old movies, the campier the better. A subscription to the American Movie Channel magazine was a treasure for her.

While other girls her age were playing with Barbie dolls, Emma bought baby name books and invented families and their family trees. I bought her geneology software so she could transcribe the huge 3-ring binder full of these trees into electronic files. She would then write epic stories of these families, ala The Thornbirds, except the children in her stories went to places like "The Judy Garland Elementary School".

Her passion for Buffy the Vampire Slayer led to the buidling of several fanlisting sites (all have been taken down, but they were very cool) and several fanfiction submissions that got rave reviews on the web.

She was a challenge in high school, for sure, because being so unconventional made it difficult for teachers to keep her interested. She aced her SATs but considers herself "not a school person", so she's working a couple of part time jobs while I sit here, hoping that she'll use her multitude of talents and skills and unique personality to wind up in a good place.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rerun: Hide the Salami

A retread, but a crowd favorite the first time it ran. And it links to another funny old post about my mother.

ew, originally uploaded by panthergirl.

This was Marge's first true love, George. I can certainly understand the appeal. After all, IMAGINING his belly button is so much sexier than actually SEEING it. And is it just me, or does it seem like he's squeezing his goods between his legs?

The poor chick on the left seems to show up in all these pictures. I think my mother must have gotten her from Rent-a-Homely-Friend. ("Be the prettiest girl on your block!") I bet her name was Lori Davis (remember that SNL skit?).

Looking at this photo again, I suppose I could have titled this post "Socks on the Beach". God, I crack me up.