Friday, February 29, 2008

Marge Madness

Just got back from 10 days on the road. Lucas, my SO and I drove from NY to Florida... first to Orlando where we visited my mother, spent four nights at the timeshare (see below) and then went down to West Palm Beach for the weekend before driving back.

As many of you already know, my mother is... how you say... "different". The first night of our visit, the four of us sat around her dining room table. At one point, she said something like "Our family doesn't change jobs a lot, and doesn't move around a lot." I chuckled and said something like "Speak for yourself", meaning that I have had several jobs and have lived in several different places since moving out of the house where I grew up.

Thankfully, the SO in question has known me for a long time and is aware of my marital history (and not bothered by it), because she immediately looked at him and said "Well.... her and all of her husbands! Elizabeth Taylor over there!" Ay yi yi... I'm sure my son really appreciated that too. We laughed about it later, but seriously... how did she know that this isn't a sensitive topic for us? Or doesn't she care?

Xanax and Pepto Bismol got me through the 24 hours or so that we spent with her. My son stayed for a few days and they had a great time together. She taught him bridge (he knew the basics from a Marx Brothers movie), they played golf and did crossword puzzles. He doesn't have the same history with her, but by Thursday he was ready to go as well.


Other notes from the road:

- When you go to Universal Studios in Orlando, and you're told to put all of your loose belongings in a locker prior to boarding The Revenge of the Mummy ride, there's a reason for that. (between the Mommy and the Mummy, this was a traumatic trip!)

- The Xpress Pass is totally worth it. We didn't wait more than 2 minutes for anything. The normal wait time for most attractions was 40-50 minutes.

- Going to a theme park without kids is more fun. I'm just sayin'.

- The GPS isn't always right.

- When you need to stop for gas in Washington DC, don't go to the gas station where the guy inside is protected by bulletproof glass.

- Playing Trivial Pursuit on a long drive makes it go really fast.

- Having my son reading the questions makes it go even faster, particularly when he reads "mastectomy" as "malestectomy", and "Wild Bill Hickok" as "Wild Bill High-cock".

- A week of warmth in February is a recharge for the soul.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Let It Snow

This is where I've been this past week, considering a timeshare purchase with Marriott. Seems like a great way to vacation, and I'd love to hear from anyone who's done it (particularly with Marriott).

Now we're in West Palm Beach, heading back North tomorrow. It's a LONG drive, but we'll take our time and hopefully the snow will have melted by the time we're back on Monday night!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy C-Day

It was funny enough listening to Meredith Viera talk about The Vagina Monologues on The Today Show, but when Jane Fonda let loose, with the c-word, it was a priceless TV moment. Thanks, Jane!


We're heading down to Florida tomorrow with a pitstop in Gaithersburg MD for a few days. I'll try and post from time to time!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Crazy Love

Er, whose choice is it, anyway?

A Valentine for every occasion indeed.

Stalkers need love too.

I [cough] love [cough] you [hack].

There's nothing to say. This is the creepiest Valentine ever, hands down.

Hope yours is filled with lurve.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Panthergirl's DVD of the Week

Watched "Across the Universe" on DVD last night (with two of my favorite people, and you know who you are). My other favorite person was here on Thursday and Friday and that was great, too.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the film. There are a few distracting elements, namely (no pun intended) the fact that all the characters have names like Jude, Prudence, Maxwell and Sadie. Oh and Lucy. Of course. And some supremely silly moments like when Prudence "came in through the bathroom window", and when Jude ate a Granny Smith apple, dutifully cut down the middle. Thankfully, there were no appearances by Rocky the Raccoon, no one had Rubber Soles on their shoes, and no one's life went on, bra.

But otherwise, it was visually beautiful, incorporated the Beatles' music nicely, and the covers were excellent. Bono's cameo is perfect, and Joe Cocker's is scary. Never a "looker", per se, he now looks like a less-attractive cross between Willie Nelson and Nick Nolte's mug shot.

It's a politically relevant look back at 1968, with some parallels that should scare the pants off us now. It also reminds us of how passionate people become in the face of a draft. Sad that it requires that kind of personal threat in order to get us riled up.

My favorite scene: the Army induction center, Rhythm-Nation-inspired dance routine. Loved it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Duper Pooper Scooper Grouper Trooper Cooper Snooper Tuesday

OK, I did it. I voted for Obama. Why didn't someone tell me that there was going to be a string of delegate names on the ballot that I guess I was suppose to vote for, too? I was so discombobulated in the booth that I finally just flicked the lever for Obama and left. Then I looked at the printout (that I should have seen BEFORE I voted) and saw those delegate names. What's up with that?

Anyway, here's what swung my vote from Hillary to Obama: Too many people telling me that if she gets the nomination they will vote Republican for the first time in their lives. I don't get it, but I'm not willing to take that chance. To those folks I ask this question: if Obama is her running mate, will you still vote for McCain? (I'm assuming that's the Republican you'd vote for, and not one of those other kooks. I find McCain distasteful as well, but at least he's not planning to incinerate the Constitution. Hopefully.)


I love Michael Strahan. His Howard Dean impersonation was dead-on:


Is it just me, or is Nip/Tuck particularly creepy this season? I mean the kooky slasher season was creepy, but this year.... woof. I keep forgetting NOT to watch it right before I go to sleep. Last night I pulled the covers over my head so I wouldn't see the last scene. That Sharon Gless character is waaaaaaaaaaaaay scary. It's also been quite funny in places, and I still really love the show, but I just need to TiVO it and watch the next day. Preferably a bright and sunny day.


Don't know which audition city that was from, but I fear for the judges when someone like this shows up. Still, her penchant for malapropisms make it fun to watch. ("Simon was so SNUG..")

Can we just get to Hollywood week already?

Monday, February 04, 2008

There Will Be Ticker Tape

Two things that made me go "wow" yesterday:

The Giants!

and Daniel Day Lewis.

Great game, great film. Great company, great guacamole. Tomorrow ought to be interesting, in Manhattan. Ticker tape parade on primary election day. Thankfully I vote here in the 'burbs. Still don't know what I'm going to do, but hopefully I'll figure it out when I'm behind the curtain.

Best Super Bowl evah, but definitely not the best Super Bowl commercials. The one that made me laugh out loud was the Tide Talking Stain one. Otherwise, meh.

The film is long, very long, but riveting nonetheless and the performance by DDL is amazing. I'm still pulling for Javier Bardem who deserves the Oscar just for sporting that doofy haircut for three months. But if DDL gets it, I won't be upset. He was fantastic.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

No Googling Allowed

As promised, here are the fifty questions that were on the Jeopardy! online test for East Coast viewers on Tuesday night.

Now remember: We had 15 seconds to read the clue, think and type the answers. NOT easy. See how many you can blow through and I'll post the answers tomorrow. Where the category is less obvious, I've posted it right above the clue:

1. This Bravo series is hosted by Heidi Klum.

2. North Dakota's capital was named for this man.

3. His "Nude Descending a Staircase" caused a scandal at the 1913 Armory Show.

4. His "Innocents Abroad" started as a series of travel letters about his trip to Europe.

5. Marie-Louise, this man's second wife, married him by proxy in 1810.

6. This is the longest river in Asia, and the third-longest in the world.

7. Helium, argon and neon are all classified as these types of gases.

8. This former minister played bass guitar on the "Tonight Show" in January 2008.

9. This country's traditional dishes include meekrob and nasi goreng.

10. Jhumpa Lahiri wrote this 2003 novel about a Hindu family's transition to life in Massachusetts.

11. This actor-turned-director directed the 2007 film "Into the Wild."

12. This play begins on a ship carrying the wedding party of Alonso's daughter Claribel.

13. His record-setting baseball was branded with an asterisk before being sent to the hall of fame.

14. 4-letter term for a horse with a reddish coat sprinkled with white.

15. This New Zealand capital is the southernmost capital in the world.

16. After losing the presidential race to Lincoln, he was chosen to be secretary of state.

17. His only opera was "Fidelio."

18. In 1953 the Lenin Peace Prize went to this Chilean poet and diplomat.

19. Mangabey, Rhesus, Proboscis

20. Donor of a hepatic organ.

21. Christine Ebersole won a 2007 Tony for playing 2 Edies in this play based on a documentary film.

22. The third of Henry VIII's wives, she died while giving birth to his son Edward.

23. This reaction ocurrs in the choloroplasts, the oval-shaped, green organelles in plants.

24. Collective term for the "costs" involved in transferring real estate from a seller to a buyer.

25. 19 year-old Bilawal was chosen as a successor for this leader's party.

26. Born in 1800, he believed God had chosen him to leave his fellow black slaves to freedom.

27. Cygnets are the young of this animal.

28. From the Latin angere, "to torment," it's defined as the anticipation of danger or problems.

29. This color of the Libyan flag is also a symbol of devotion in Islam.

30. It's the first book in the New Testament.

31. This rapper received 8 2008 Grammy nominations, including album of the year for "Graduation."

32. He was the only bachelor president for his entire term.

33. This Riviera city has a museum devoted to the works of artist Henri Matisse, who spent his last years there.

34. Usually symbolized by a letter, a changing quantity in algebra is called this.

35. Raila Odinga, who claims to be Barack Obama's cousin, is the opposition leader in this country.

36. Johann Eck debated this noted Protestant in 1519 and helped get him excommunicated in 1521.

37. Mary Ann Evans wrote "Silas Marner" and many other novels using this pen name.

38. This Atlantic "sea" is named for the seaweed that can be seen there.

39. It's the food of the gods.

40. Two lines, at right angles to each other.

41. Sara Gruen's "Water for" these animals explored the circus life during the Great Depression.

42. Famous for his chairs, in 1946 this designer had the first one-man furniture exhibit at MoMA.

43. In 2002, she became the first African American to win the Oscar for Best Actress.

44. This Jane Austen novel begins, "The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex."

45. The first presidential trip out of the US was Teddy Roosevelt's 1906 inspection of this project.

46. Vinson Massif is the highest point on this continent.

47. He's credited with writing "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey."

48. Rhonda Byrne wrote this 2007 blockbuster which had everyone helping themselves through positive thinking.

49. In English, this verb form usually starts with "to", as in "to go" or "to be"

50. The original author's last story about this detective was "The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place."

I think I got about half of them right, and if I had 3 more seconds I would have done a lot better. It was just SO fast!!