Thursday, November 29, 2007

Evil Cell Phone Companies

Check it out... will be airing soon. This guy works with GRR, our local greyhound rescue group.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kelso Update

Hi all. Don't want you to think that just because I've won a couple of prizes here and there that I'm counting on a lotto win to help pay Kelso's vet bill! :) Still need you guys to shop through those links ----------->
We've raised $42.00 so far. Thanks to those who have helped!

Kelso is doing better, although still not 100%. The doctors are treating him for Lyme's disease now even though they are not sure he's got that, or any tick-borne illness. I do Frontline him, but they feel it's a better-safe-than-sorry move. His back seems better, but he cried out when they manipulated his neck on Tuesday. Poor guy.

So, he's on antibiotics and a very low activity schedule (if you know anything about greyhounds, you'll know that this isn't much of a stretch from his NORMAL activity level of less-than-zero.) But we're keeping his walks short and trying to keep him off the furniture (oh my sides...I'm cracking ME up at that one).

He's staying busy on the computer in the meantime.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Waiting for the Big One...

Despite our recent setback with Kelso, I consider myself to be a very lucky person. Oh, I've had my share of drama... for sure. But when it comes to matters of luck, I win stuff. I get picked for stuff.

My dad brought me to the racetrack a few times as a kid, but my penchant for picking winning horses made him a little nervous. Sure, he had taught me to handicap, but I think luck played a big part.

When New York started the scratch-off lottery tickets craze in the 1970s, I always won a few dollars, and once I scratched off a $1500 ticket.

Out of the thousands of people on the street during the filming of "The Groove Tube" in 1971, I was chosen for a "solo", securing me a place in cult-film history.

After casually deciding to respond to an email from a vendor at work, I won two tickets to the 2000 World Series in New York... the subway series between the Yankees and the Mets. Out of 4000 entries, I won a pair of tickets that were going for $9000 on Ebay. (Of course, I went to the game instead because that, to me, is priceless!)

I win in casinos. Not thousands, but I've done things like discover a chip on the floor, stick it nto a slot machine and win $200. I won $500 in a $2 slot in Vegas last year. I always wind up ahead, but maybe that's because I'm unwilling to throw all my winnings back into another machine.

When I've written to Dr. Phil, or the Today Show, or the Early Show I've gotten return calls from producers. The Dr. Phil thing didn't happen because it would have required my daughter to talk about not doing her school work on national TV (at 16, this was a "no way" proposition). I got called twice from The Today Show, the second of which turned into the segment you can see by clicking on my sidebar link. I contacted the CBS Early Show when my son (then 10) was doing a "Driving for Dollars" effort at our local golf range, for the victims of Katrina. He ultimately raised $7500 and the video can be seen here.

Recently, I attended a fundraiser for The Norwalk Emergency Shelter. I bought six raffle tickets and won FOUR prizes:

- A Coach purse worth $300
- A $200 spa gift certificate (I had an amazing aromatherapy facial last week, and BOY did I need it.)
- A $330 gift certificate to a funky portrait studio
- A Bernie Fuchs print of "The Legends of Golf".

By the time they called the third winning number, people were giving me suspicious looks as I sheepishly went up to the MC to claim my prize. After the fourth time, they were asking me to pick lotto numbers for them.

So... back to the lottery... I know I should be buying Mega Millions tickets regularly but I always forget. I really do need to start, though. I think some of this is genetic. My sister wins stuff too. And years ago, my parents bought a ticket in the Florida Lottery and played the six numbers created by the birthdays of me and my two siblings. They missed winning the $20MM jackpot by one number (it wasn't my birthday that wrecked it, either.)

I'll let you know when I hit the Big One.

Grey's Monotony

What the hell has happened to "Grey's Anatomy"? There has been ONE decent episode this season, and at the moment I can't even remember it. Other than that, every episode has been as exciting as watching (oil-based) paint dry. The writers appear to have suffered from character-amnesia, serving up a bawling Miranda Bailey (more than once), and suddenly chemistry-free Izzy and George (a transparent attempt to appease the squealing fan base who hate their pairing). The Mer-Der storyline has been milked for all it's worth, but the writers are still pulling the teats. And please... don't let Ellen Pompeo dance. Ever again.

Things that made the first two seasons so compelling are gone: Meredith's mom, Izzy's illegitimate daughter, fascinating patient stories that tied in with the theme... beautifully, seamlessly, but not obviously. What we're left with is obvious. Blech.

The absence of Kate Walsh is unfortunate as well. The only interesting characters left are Alex and the new cardio-thoracic surgeon who replaced Burke. But then again, there is a blank-slate backstory for her. We're not sitting there saying "Wait.. she would never do THAT."

What killed this show? Too many characters? Too many writers clamoring for a chance to work for Shonda? (I don't know...have you ever listened to the Shonda/Betsy Beers podcast? I couldn't listen to those two for more than 30 seconds or my ears would bleed.) Or maybe it was the over-exposure of the actors after all the Isaiah Washington hoopla... it's hard not to look at them in that context. It's why movies with unknown actors are sometimes easier to're not seeing the person who was just splashed all over Page Six. You're seeing the character.

Oh, I'll keep watching. But I'm less likely to sit glued to the tube at 9pm on Thursdays and more likely to record it and save it for the TV wasteland that is Friday night.


If you haven't seen "Man Men" on AMC, don't download it illegally and watch the entire season in one day, because that would be wrong.

If you did that, which you shouldn't, you'd be riveted from the Saul Bass-style opening credits (think James Bond) to the spot-on art direction, costumes and mind set of the year 1960 in which the show is set. The misogynists in the workplace, the catty secretary in the sheath dress, the torment of the original desperate housewives, and the stifling limitations of the pre-feminist gender pigeonholes (for both genders)... it's all there.

Sometimes the period-piece writing can be over-the-top in the "things were different then" category. (Two children are running through the house, one with a plastic dry cleaning bag over her entire body, pretending to be a spaceman. Mom shouts "Sally! If I find my dry cleaning all over the bed you'll be in big trouble!")

Catch it on DVD when it comes out (in January, I think). If you're a baby boomer, you'll really enjoy the trip down memory lane and be equally glad to return to 2007.


Help Kelso... shop through our sidebar links ------------>
So far, *15* orders have been placed!! Thank you to all who are helping.

A shout out to Zybron's Thoughts and The Day Flew By... for posting about Kelso on their blogs!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Photo Friday: Two

... and one for good luck.

Today's blogger thank you goes to Rosie at "Living With Severe Arthritis" for adding our "help Kelso" link to her sidebar.

There are BIG Black Friday savings at today!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks to Give

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate... my son and I are having what I call a "Tiny Tim" Thanksgiving. Just the two of us and Kelso. But we're making the whole traditional meal (he loves to cook, like his dad) and it will be a lovely day. It's warm enough to go into the city to see the parade, but we can't leave Kelso home alone for that long (the prednisone makes him have to pee every hour or two).

Anyway, urine aside, I did want to use this Thanksgiving opportunity to thank the bloggers out there who are spreading the word about our links.

They are going to be having amazing Black Friday sales tomorrow.

So far, our thanks go out to:

A Light in the Dark. Not just a great blog, but also the brains behind The Mystery Topic Challenge.

The Dutch Files. How can you not love a woman who describes herself as a "certified fucktard magnet"?

Old Old Lady of the Hills. My choice for "Blogger with the Most Interesting Life", Naomi always has a great story to tell about old Hollywood or Broadway. Plus, she gets to go to the Emmys!
She didn't know how to put my link on her blog, but she's promised to do her Amazon shopping through us.

Bud Buckley, musician extraordinaire and long-time reader of this blabfest. Bud has a new CD coming out and it's already getting terrific pre-buzz. Go listen to his stuff! This Bud's for you.

Textual Relations. "Mr. President" discovered me on the previously mentioned Mystery Topic Challenge forum and kindly posted his own "Help Kelso" entry. But do yourself a favor and read his posts about Twitter which are hilarious. How can you not love a guy whose url is ""?

Ghost Works. Another MTC buddy. Go visit!!

Thanks, everyone. And keep shopping! I've updated my aStore: "You Shouldn't Have!" and there's some pretty cool stuff to see. (Panthergirl trivia: My initial motivation for blogging was that I really wanted to start a website called "You Shouldn't Have" which would basically have been an online personal shopping service. I just couldn't figure out how to make it work so that I'd make money. I'm sure others have done it by now, but that's how The Dog's Breakfast was born!)

And now, my favorite Thanksgiving rerun:

How I Became a Feminist

Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving turned me into a radical feminist. Or, maybe I was born one and Thanksgiving just confirmed my inate belief that women have traditionally been treated (sometimes willingly) as second-class citizens.

Of course it wasn't just this particular holiday that validated my beliefs. Every Sunday, during the eleventy-seven course extravaganza known as "dinner", the same dynamic would be present. But I refused to buy in, even as a little girl.

In this photo, I am seven years old. I'm wearing an apron, as is my grandmother, my mother and my middle sister (for some reason, my eldest sister on the near left either escaped kitchen duty or shed the apron immediately afterwards. (My mother also seems to be either admiring the nasty perm she forced on my stick-straight hair, or she's thinking "You'll wear the apron and you'll LIKE it..."

I didn't mind the prep work all that much. My grandmother always made the macaroni from scratch. (the term "pasta" was never used. It was macaroni, no matter what it looked like.) She'd let us knead the dough and then she'd roll it out and cut the squares of ravioli or strips of lasagna. She'd lay a sheet on her bed, sprinkle it with flour, and place the finished pieces on it to dry. Also placed there were the strips of dough that would never make it to the table...gobbled up raw like so many strings of licorice. We loved the raw dough.

We'd stir the gravy (no, not sauce or tomato was gravy), helped roll the meatballs, cut the provolone into little squares for antipasto. We sliced the pepperoni, put the turkey in the oven, rolled up the braciola (pronounced: bra-JOLE) and prepared plates of salad that featured iceberg lettuce, black olives and a red vinegar that came from the wine cellar in our basement. All of that was kind of fun.

The meal was generally a festive event (unlike our daily family meals, which are fodder for another post altogether). Everyone drank homemade Chianti (even the kids, and my mother who would offend everyone by putting orange juice and ice cubes in hers), and stuff themselves with everything from soup to nuts. Quite literally: Minestrone, antipasto, macaroni, meatballs and other meats, followed by salad, turkey, fruit and nuts. My grandfather would entertain us by cracking walnuts on his bald head. Then, percolated coffee accompanied by cake, pastries and cookies that were also sometimes made by my grandmother...particularly the anisette cookies with pignoli nuts. Those were my favorites.

But it was the after-party that infuriated me. The women would begin clearing the table and marching like lemmings back into the kitchen to clean up. Remember, this was before dishwashers and Teflon. We're talking HOURS worth of pot scouring, washing and drying dishes, wrapping leftovers, wiping down counters and tables and collecting linens. The men would do the thing that has spawned cliches to this very day: sit around the living room and watch TV, with their belts and flys open to free their bloated bellies.

By the time I was 7 or 8, I'd take advantage of the commotion and slip away. Thanksgiving would usually take place, as it did here, in my grandparents' apartment upstairs from us in our two-family home. I'd make my way downstairs and in the peace and quiet of my room, or better yet our "finished basement", I'd read the newspaper. When I began to do this on Sundays as well, I'd tiptoe down there and read the Herald-Tribune and my favorite comic strip: Miss Peach (little kids with giant heads).

As an adult, I once dated a guy whose family still functioned this way on holidays. The women cooked, the women cleaned up. The men ate, the men digested. When he suggested that I join the feminine cleanup brigade, I asked if we were going to pick up the plates with our vaginas. He decided to help out, and I was happy to assist him.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bloggers for Kelso!

Update!!! My blog pal 21st Century Mom has not only written a post about our fundraising effort for my greyhound, Kelso, but she's offered to put a link in her sidebar using our code. If you would like to do this as well (and of course get a shout-out for your blog here), insert this code into your template sidebar:


(I think if you "View Source" in your browser you can see the code. I don't know how to post the actual code here without it turning into HTML text! If someone does know how, can you tell me? Thanks.)

Please let me know if you link to us, and I will be sure to post a link to your blog here. We're making some progress, but need two more items ordered in order to get us to the next referral percentage goal (6%).

Need two things? Order them on through Kelso's link!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kelso is Home...

...but we need your help, if you are so inclined.

I picked him up yesterday after a WEEK in the animal hospital. The bill was $3200!! And that's without surgery. I didn't drop the VPI, but as you may know, if they pay a third of that it will be a lot.

Anyway...all I ask is this: If you shop at, can you please get there by clicking on ANY of my Amazon links in the sidebar? We'll get credit for anything you purchase through Amazon if you get there through my links. Every little bit helps, and this doesn't require donations or anything other than getting to where you usually go, taking a different path. You don't have to buy the items featured here...just go to Amazon through them.

If you can spread the word, that would be even better.

Don't do it for me... do it for him.

Thank you!!

PS: If you want to use to buy books for a fighting soldier, or donate some of your used ones, go to Books for Soldiers. A really, really cool idea.

Photo Friday: Travel

Luke on the Wild Jeep Adventure in Sedona, 2004. The up side of travel.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy

Forget about Oprah, child. I'm here to tell you about a fabulous new book BEFORE it hits the shelves and BEFORE she makes it her pick of the month (what's with her choosing books that are so old lately, anyway? Smells like a movie promo tie-in to me). But I digress.

If you, like me, love books that make your own dysfunctional childhood look like a romp through Pleasantville (think "Running with Scissors", "The Glass Castle" and "Crazy in Alabama" (the book, not the movie), you'll love my friend Robert Leleux's debut effort: The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy.

My favorite review is this one:

"Robert Leleux, growing up with weekly nail appointments at Neiman's and bravely wearing paisley pants in East Texas, has taken a childhood that was alternately chaotic, horrendous and hilarious and turned it into a brilliant memoir. Thank God for all of us that his honey-ham glazing days are behind him and Leleux can take his rightful place alongside Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris and, yes, even his mama Jessica's beloved Truman Capote." - -Celia Rivenbark, author of "Don't Dress Your Six Year Old Like a Skank", "We're Just Like You, Only Prettier", and "Bless Your Heart, Tramp". (and now I want to read her books, too!

You can read an excerpt of Robert's book (and see more photos) on his website , but this little bio will show you why he's one of those rare people who writes a great book, gets it published, already has a book tour scheduled AND great pre-buzz from other authors and featured in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. If I didn't like him so much I'd hate his guts.

"For nearly thirty years, Robert Leleux has remained internationally unknown as a celebrated bon vivant, fashion icon, and man about town. Neither the best-selling author of Highland Fling (1931) or Wigs on the Green (1935), Mr. Leleux's work is in no way associated with that circle of Bright Young Things who illuminated the London social scene during the interwar years. He is known not to have been portrayed by Julie Christie in John Schlesinger's Oscar-winning film Darling. In 1972, Mr. Leleux wasn't made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He does not currently reside at Swinbrook House in the Cotswolds.

Robert Leleux is the author of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy, where more information on his life may be found."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blog Implosion

First, an update on Kelso: He's still in the hospital. Not sure if he'll need surgery, but he can't come home until he's well enough to navigate the stairs and he can't do that yet.

Now, to the topic at hand. Non-bloggers will be incredibly bored by the following, but it's an important public service announcement to my blogfriends:

Shortly after I began blogging, I learned about a cool site to drive traffic called Blog Explosion. I will not link to it here, because every time you go there they make money from the ads they run and right now, I don't want them to make any more money they didn't earn.

Initially, this was a great site. You surfed blogs for credits that translated into other people seeing your blog x number of times. You could even buy credits to get in a higher rotation, or to run banner ads. Other traffic sites came and went, but BE seemed very solid and I made some wonderful connections as a result.

A few months ago, BE changed hands. Since then, everything has gone to hell. There were issues beforehand, but now they have started taking money for credits and not applying the credits to your account. I also had my banners running (assigned credits to them) but the only banner that ran was for BE itself, for weeks on end. Yet my credits were being used up. Hm.

Bottom line: Do not use BE anymore. They are crooks. I've posted to the member forums there and other people are having the same experience. There IS a new service called Blog Soldierswhich seems to be good. At least you can get a response to questions from a real person.

Funny update: Since posting this, BE has credited my account with SIX THOUSAND credits. Too funny. And too little, too late.

There's also a great forum called Mystery Topic Challenge. You don't have to "play" the Mystery Topic game. You can just introduce yourself and your blog there and read other new ones. The community is growing daily.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Pup is in Pain

(They each need a thought-balloon that says: "You call that a dog?")

Kelso, my retired racing greyhound, is in the doggie hospital with a suspected spinal disc problem. He was limping so badly last night that he couldn't make it up the stairs of my condo, so we had to take him to the E-Vet at about 11pm.

The good news is that x-rays show no osteosarcoma or bone cancer, but if he is still in pain tomorrow with the steroids and pain meds, it's likely he'll need an MRI and surgery to repair a bulging disc.

He's going to be 10 in February, so this is all very scary for us.

(This photo was taken at a friend's house.. the collie is not mine. But I do love the contrast!)

Ringing in 1970, Panthergirl Style

It's been a crazy week in Pantherland. Work crap, more bullying issues for my son, more work crap, and my beloved greyhound is in the hospital. I've got lots of stuff to write about, and will probably have a bit of time to do it this weekend, but in the meantime...a holiday-season rerun from last year.

I was fourteen years old on New Year's Eve, 1969. Trudging through 2 feet of snow, off I went to a party several blocks away in our little Brooklyn neighborhood. When I arrived, someone handed me a glass... a big glass ... of very strong smelling brown stuff that I was pretty sure was meant to get me in the holiday spirit. It turned out to be 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 next hour or so, 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 off to a New Year's Eve 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?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cover Craft

Shows like RockStar, American Idol and now, The Greatest American Band, have made an artform of sorts out of covering well-known songs, with mixed results. Sometimes I'm so attached to an original song that I cannot stand to hear it manipulated or changed in any way. Other times, I've been pleasantly surprised by someone's personal take. And in some cases, a mediocre song has taken on new life for me. I've found some great ones on various movie/TV soundtracks as well.

Here is a sampling of some of my favorite cover songs:

"Umbrella" by Mandy Moore. I like the Rihanna song, but love Mandy's version of it. (Check out YouTube for the video of her, and also for the Vanilla Sky video cover which is hilarious)

"The Man Who Sold the World" by Jordis Unga. WHO?? Yes, a contestant on the original RockStar: INXS, blew my mind with this David Bowie song. I have it in frequent rotation on my iPod. Loved her, yet she's virtually vanished.

"I Want It That Way" by The Candy Butchers. A live acoustic version (sounds like it was recorded in someone's wood-paneled basement) introduced to me by my blogfriend Micah, on a mixed CD he sent me a few years ago. The Backstreet Boys never sounded so good, even with the "goof" towards the end.

"Across the Universe" by Fiona Apple. From the "American Beauty" soundtrack, and just perfect.

"Two of Us" by Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, from the "I Am Sam" soundtrack. The Wallflowers doing "I'm Looking Through You" is pretty great too.

"Cry Me a River" by Joe Cocker. No comment necessary.

"I Don't Want to Talk About It" by both the Indigo Girls and Everything But the Girl. Loved the Rod Stewart original, but these two are great as well.

"Sexual Healing" by Shaggy. A Reggae take on the Marvin Gaye classic.

I know there are a lot more.... but I'm heading to Manhattan to see my cousin Jim at mile 18 of the NYC Marathon! (You may recall that I entered the lottery to walk it, but my number was not pulled. Wah.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

But Of Course!

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few