Monday, March 31, 2008

Steal Magnolias

One of my favorite TV spots of all time is the one the MTV used to (still does?) use in between shows: it's a CD and the sound of a chainsaw which is what you need to open one.

When attempting to open a similarly theft-proofed package the other day, I started to mentally list everything that would be SO different (or non-existent) if people simply did not steal:

Door locks. Keys. Car alarms. Padlocks. Window gates. Department store security tags.(Ever accidentally buy something where the tag hasn't been removed? Ever have that happen when it's a birthday gift that you bought on your WAY to the birthday party? Yeah, me too.) Security guards. Bike locks. Home alarm systems. Cash registers (well,'d still need to keep track of sales). Safe-deposit boxes. Vaults. Armored cars. Fort Knox. Security scanners. "Check your bag" at the entrance stores (common in NYC). Video stores with empty boxes on display.

Think about it as you go through your day. All of the extra packaging, every extra bit of energy you have to expend in life simply because people like to take things that don't belong to them. Life would be so different if we never had to think about it.

When I was in Tortola in 1981, life was like that. People just didn't steal. You could leave your stuff on the beach, go out to lunch and everything would be untouched upon your return (and by "stuff" I mean not just books, coverups and blankets... I mean cameras). I don't know if it's still that way, but all I can tell you is that life is far more relaxed when you don't have to think about being ripped off.

See what I mean?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Panthergirl's Picks and Pans of the Week


Into the Wild (DVD): Sean Penn's beautiful film about Chris McCandless, the young idealist who leaves home after college, donates his entire $24,000 savings to charity, in a quest for ultimate freedom in the wilds of Alaska. I hadn't read the book (by Jon Krakauer) so I didn't know how the story ends. Hal Holbrook's performance is truly worthy of the Oscar nomination that he received...incredibly moving.


The Bank Job (in theaters): A really fun ride about a bumbling group of bank robbers who don't even know the magnitude of the robbery they are committing. One of those rare "Thromedies" (Thriller/Comedy) that will leave you feeling completely entertained. And that's the point, right?


The Tudors: I'm still finishing up Season One on DVD, but I've already decided to get Showtime before Season Two starts. Riveting and beautiful to look at.


Monsters HD (on the Zoom Network). I hate the current horror film genre, and I'm too scared of films like The Omen (gave me nightmares for two weeks) and The Shining (still can't watch the whole thing), but Monsters HD shows classic (and not so classic) old monster movies as well . The kind that usually wound up on Mystery Science Theater. So bad that they're good. It's commercial free, except for the Monster Channel promos in between the films, which are masterpieces in and of themselves.


Dan in Real Life (DVD). Steve Carrell plays a widower raising three daughters who goes to a family reunion weekend and falls hopelessly in love with Juliette Binoche in 5 minutes, during a chance meeting in a bookstore. As it turns out, she is actually the new girlfriend of his brother, and they spend the rest of the film trying not to let the rest of the family know that they are hot for each other. I love Steve Carrell and I love Juliette Binoche, but this film is really a piece of crap. If it deserves an award, it would be "Most Inane Monologue in Any Film, Ever" for a speech that Binoche's character gives in the bookstore at the beginning of the film. Who talks like that??


Mildred Pierce: OK, so this isn't really a "pan". I watched this on TCM the other night. Joan Crawford won an Academy Award for her performance as a struggling working woman who is desperately trying to please her spoiled brat daughter. What struck me was the scene where her younger daughter (probably 6 years old) dies of pneumonia. She dabs a couple of tears from her eyes, and someone offers her "a nice hot cup of tea". Heck, my ex-husband cried more than that when the Knicks lost the playoffs in '94.


Doctors: I have what appears to be the flu. Yesterday, I left messages for two doctors: my internist and my pulmonologist. I have asthma, so when I get a cold or flu I have to vigilant about my lungs or I'll wind up in some serious trouble. I left detailed messages, saying that I need an Rx for antibiotics or prednisone and neither doctor returned my call. WTF??

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Talented Friends of Panthergirl

As I was driving home from work the other day (did I mention that it takes me an hour and twenty minutes now? Yeah, I thought I had.) it occurred to me how many incredibly talented friends I have.

I am still reading The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boyby Robert Leleux, whom I met at the wedding of my friend Nadia. (I introduced her to my friend Rich and they got married two years ago...too cool.)

Nadia is an incredibly talented and gorgeous singer/songwriter, and if you live in or near NYC be sure and try to see her. Her gigs are always posted on her website (the site itself is great!).

Two other singer/songwriter friends of mine I met right here in the blogosphere.

Deni Bonet, whom many of you know as the Last Girl on Earth, is truly one of the coolest people I know. AND we actually got to meet a few years ago in NYC, and she was as great in real life as she is here on the web. She's an amazingly talented rock violinist (has played with Cyndy Lauper, Sara McLachlan and Corinne Bailey Rae (on SNL!) and her original songs are so much fun. (and how great is that dress??)

Bud Buckley has a brand new CD out! He's got a Dylan-esque flair, but really a style that is all his own. Check him out before he gets too famous. We can say "we knew him when." And you get two for the price of one, because Deni plays violin on Bud's CD! One of my personal Bud favorites is "Let Me Go".

My dear friend Joy Masoff, mentioned previously for her fabulous and popular book, Oh Yuck!, is working on another sequel that I'll write about when it's done!


Kelso update:

OK, you won't believe this (I still don't) but the day after Kelso had his stitches removed he banged his right rear foot into a piece of furniture and split his nail right down the middle...the long way. OUCH. Back to the vet we went, and now he's got a big bandage and a boot on that foot. Someone suggested that I need to encase him in bubble wrap, and I think that may be the way to go.

Friday, March 14, 2008

What I Learned This Week

- If you want to make it in the music business, become a prostitute. It's good practice for BEING IN the music business.


- Marion Cotillard is a terrific actress. La Vie en Rose is not a terrific film.


- The justice system is really screwed up. I'm still astounded by this 60 Minutes story.


- I can get into the whole "brackets" thing without watching one basketball game. Check out Fafarazzi.


- Driving 35 minutes to and from work is a nice commute. Driving an hour and 20 minutes to and from work is horrible.


- When you're reading a really good book, you could finish it in one day but you don't want to.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Client 9 from Outer Space

My god. I never particularly liked Eliot Spitzer, but what planet does this guy live on? How could he possibly think he could hire a prostitute and not be found out? (and it's not just the prostitute that is causing him's when you get into things like money laundering that you're TRULY fucked.)

At least our boy Bill Clinton never pretended to be an altar boy. This guy, on the other hand, was "squeaky clean" and held himself up as the arbiter of ethics. Yes, what Bill did was dumb (I've always said, why blow the president unless you can tell someone about it?) but what Spitzer did was indicative, to me, of an enormous amount of arrogance and ego that led him to believe he would never be caught.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Photo Friday: Surreal

OK, I didn't take the photo. But it's my grandparents, taken in their native hillside town of Calitri outside Naples, Italy. I still can't figure out how my grandmother is staying on that donkey, but if that's not surreal I don't know what is!


Kelso update: After having torn out all five staples, he's now in the Mork from Ork hard plastic collar from hell, with SIX brand new staples.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Idol Boys

My favorite American Idol performances last night were from
David Cook

(taking a putrid Lionel Richie song and turning it into a growling rock anthem? You're my hero!)

and Jason Castro

Love that kid. Vinnie Barbarino meets Bob Marley. Bobarino. If he never has to speak to anyone he'll be a big star.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat, Er Collar

Postscript to the Kelso story:

His legs are so long that the current collar does not keep him from getting at the injury. So, I'm on my way back to the vet to pick up an even more humiliating accessory for him.

Lucas thinks we should rent him out as a satellite dish.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Adding Insult to Injury

First, the injury:

Laptop slides from the bed and lands on Kelso's leg. OUCH. We tried using our "greyhound repair kit" but it soon became apparent that the cut needed medical attention. Five staples later, he was on the mend.

Then, the insult:

They call it the Elizabethan collar, meant to keep the dog from licking or biting the wound. That's a rather optimistically regal term for something that makes him look less like Queen Elizabeth and more like Pagliacci in the petunia patch.