Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What I've Been Doing Since Last Friday

1. Working from Home

(No, that is not me. That is not my deck, that is not my glass of wine, I wouldn't be caught dead in those shorts, but the weather looks damned nice as opposed to the slushy mess outside my door. Oh, and that is most DEFINITELY not my laptop.)

2. Being tended to by paramedics and the State Police.

You might think it sounds like fun to have eight men in your living room at 1 AM (you being the only person in pajamas), but I'd beg to differ. You can read about other asthma adventures in this post called "Back in the E-E-E-R". The good news is that this time I called early enough in the process to be treated at home. Lucas never even woke up.

3. Watching this:

Yep... it's bonus time kids. Got me some Samsung 56" DLP HDTV with Surround Sound! I've reclaimed the living room. The X-Box has been relegated to my son's room, and I can see every pore on Rosie O'Donnell's face. OK, it was still worth it. Did you know that Jane Seymour's eyes are two different colors? And I could practically count the feathers on all those fabulous Oscar night dresses. You know, before my lungs cut out on me.

There are some things that hi-def just cannot help with.

Did I mention the cool wireless rear amp and speakers? I may never leave the house again.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Silly Idol

OK, so I'm as much of an American Idol geek as the next person. And my insights this week aren't earth shattering: the guys sucked, the white chicks sucked. Period. Jordan is my girl. Lamika is great, Melinda Doolittle is awesome, but I'm pulling for Jordan. Love me some Chris Sligh, but he'll get himself a career regardless.

One of my biggest beefs with the show are the mostly awful song choices. If I hear "Ribbon in the Sky" one more time I think I'll yank my intestines out through my nose with a crochet hook. One reason I love Jordan is that she picked a Joan Armatrading tune! Thank you Jeeeezus.

But what I will never, ever understand about this show is the concept of having the LOSERS "sing one more time". Huh?? "America" has just told you that you are the worst of the worst, the silt at the bottom of my gas tank, the nose goblins under Stimpy's desk.... and yet we want to hear you again? No, the point is that we NEVER want to hear you again!

And can someone please instruct Ryan Seacrest on the fine art of contestant elimination? He either pulls the band-aid off one hair at a time, or he offhandedly informs the stunned victim that he or she is heading home with about the same amount of drama in his voice that he'd use to say "Um, you've got spinach in your teeth."

So... that's my Idol wrap up for this week. The show that makes TiVO worth every penny I spend on it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

In Honor of the Westminster Dog Show

Didn't get to see as much of the show as I wanted to this year, but I do have my own favorite little video to share starring that Dog of Dogs, Triumph. In the words of Perez Hilton, if you are easily offended do not click here.

Friday, February 16, 2007

"One hundred and EIGHTY!"

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

OK, so I should probably add an 11th "things I've done that you probably haven't" that reads: Got my picture in the New York Observer and my name in "Bulls Eye News" for my outstanding dart throwing skills. (Yes, there's really a magazine called Bulls Eye News.)

When I was married to husband #2, he taught me how to throw darts. We had a board in our kitchen, and at night while he was working I would throw and throw and throw while my daughter was asleep. He was a really skilled player, so we started to frequent a dart bar and eventually started joined the NYC league. I played a lot and became pretty skilled myself. (Except for the choking factor, but that's a general problem I have with all sports.)

It was an interesting world, the dart world, because the people in it were either hard drinking, hard smoking types (think Tuesday nights at the bowling alley), or white collar ad agency types, or artists and musicians. This picture was taken at our home base -- a bar called Muffin's Pub --, in 1990, when the New York Observer did a cover story about the dart scene.

One night in 1992 I was scheduled to play but decided to meet a friend for dinner instead. That night Muffin's was held up by two masked gunmen and who came in firing shotguns, killing the bartender. One of those "simple twist of fate" things, I guess.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cuddly Lizard

One doesn't think of lizards as being cuddly, but "one" probably never met a bearded dragon. (I know my blogfriend Elle of True Blue 4Ever can relate because they have one too.) The story of how we acquired Dylan, our beardie, is worth repeating every once in awhile. (I'm sick, plus I'm going away for three days, so i might just post a few reruns to keep this place moving):

Meet Dylan, the Bearden Dragon. This story will give you a little insight into the way things work at Chez Panthergirl. Two and 1/2 years ago, I took my son on a routine visit to Petsmart to buy dog food for Kelso, and the following conversation ensued:

Lucas: Mom, can I buy an Anole??

Me: [buy an asshole? WTF?] What's an Anole, honey?

L: It's a lizard.

M: Let's see it. [ok, it's just a little thing. What the heck. Then again, don't want a pet that's going to croak in a week. We've had our share of untimely death in this family.]

M (to dorky salesguy): Is this thing going to croak in a week?

Dork: Yeah, probably. You'd be better off with a Bearded Dragon.

M: [Hm. Anole, $15. Bearded Dragon, $79. A lizard that doesn't croak in a week: Priceless.] Ok, he's pretty cute.

L: Yeah! Yeah! I'm going to name him Dylan after my cousin and a kid I knew at camp.

The bearded dragon was about 5" long and just a baby. They actually grow to 24" or so, which sounded pretty cool. You can walk them on a leash. Dorky Salesguy shows me the $200+ worth of stuff I need to get for said dragon, and off we go. Dragon takes enormous dump in the shoebox we're given to take him home. P.U.

After setting up his elaborate habitat, I proceed to join the Yahoo! Group for Beaded Dragon people (see, this is what I do. I jump into whatever it is with both feet and an arm or two. That's how I wind up married 3 times. Nothing is done halfway around here.) I learn from the "Pogona" (genus name?) group that almost everything I bought is totally and completely WRONG, and if I don't get the right lights and the right food and the right substrate, I'm going to wind up with a croaked-lizard afterall.

After about two weeks of buying and returning and buying and returning, Dylan was on the road to a happy and healthy lifestyle. (I, on the other hand, was broke and exhausted.) I became an expert in cricket-keeping as well. But it wasn't fun keeping a pet for your pet, especially a particularly gross one. I have since switched to silkworms and if you think that's gross, you never dealt with crickets. Besides, I can mail order them. You should see the faces of the mailroom guys when the box labeled LIVE WORMS arrives for me at work.

As promised, Dylan is now about 24" long and I have to admit that I really dig him. He's a lot of work at times (my mornings weren't crazy enough without having to make a freakin' SALAD for a lizard), but he's clean and quiet and actually likes us. Here you can see how long he really is:

Friday, February 09, 2007

Couldn't Be the Inheritance, Could It?

I am *really* confused. For years, I have seen men on Jerry Springer, Judge Hatchett and various other kooky tv shows anxiously awaiting the on-air results of paternity tests to prove they had NOT fathered the child of a woman they had happily ridden bareback on at least one occasion.

Now, after the untimely demise of poor Anna Nicole Smith, three men (so far) are climbing over each other for the opportunity to raise her baby girl.

Hm. What's the difference here? Oh yeah... the Springer and Judge Hatchett won't-a-be dad segments generally involve women who are living below the poverty line with their children. The kids in question aren't usually sitting on top of a mountain of money bags, just waiting for another trustee to manage the funds.

Something tells me that the men involved in the Anna Nicole dispute (with the possible exception of Howard K. Stern) are not clamoring to become financially responsible for little Dannielynn, or for a chance to cart her to and from ballet lessons. Or am I being too cynical?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Shadow Malfunction

Didn't you love Prince's halftime show at the Superbowl last night? I really, truly did. But what I loved most was this shadow shot, hilariously reminiscent the famous Austin Powers tent scene...

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Earning a place as one of my favorite films ever, The Departed deserves every nomination and award it's received and more. It is a new classic, right up there with GoodFellas and The Godfather. The script is brilliant...intricate, compelling and at times absolutely hilarious.

But brilliant script and direction aside, what makes this film soar is the cast. While I love, love, loved Little Miss Sunshine and its ensemble, I now believe that The Departed may have the best ensemble cast EVER. When we left the film and started to talk about who's performance was outstanding, it became clear that every single actor in the film was at the top of his game. I'm not a big DiCaprio fan. I've always seen him as a little boy, and he's rarely convincing or compelling for me. Not so here. The whole lot... Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon, Baldwin, Whalberg, Sheen... absolutely amazing. It's in re-release now so I do recommend seeing it in the theater, but it will be on DVD next week and this one is a keeper.


While we're on the topic of "BadFellas", I watched This Film is Not Yet Rated last night, and MAN... the things I didn't know about the whole MPAA rating system and the bullshit way that works. Thought censorship was a thing of the past? Think again. A very small ("secret") group of people (including selected CLERGY) and corporations are controlling what you get to see and what you don't. (When they slap an NC-17 rating on a film, the release is dramatically impacted. Many, many theaters across the country will not show the film.) Rent it. It's a real eye-opener, and a who-dunit in it's own right.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Dirtiest Job

Awhile back, I wrote a post about the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs, and listed some other occupations that I thought would fit that bill.

However, when I woke up this morning and began to watch various newscasters delivering reports about the Groundhog Day festivities in Pennsylvania, I realized that there was a job I hadn't mentioned... a job so dirty I don't know how they get anyone to do it. What is it?

Saying the words "Gobbler's Knob" with a straight face. That, my friends, is the dirtiest job of all.