Sunday, April 27, 2008

A ReSURGEnce of [Insert Grammatically Incorrect Word Choice Here]

Brief note: I fucking hate the Surge's...overall visual presence, I guess. Needless to say, my picky, judgmental self isn't wild about the combo of bright, primary red with bright, primary yellow without the soothing intervention of a neutral (that is not bright white), but beyond that, their team image seems designed to do violence to epileptics the world over. Everything is lightning based and extremely busy, with a ton of movement...gah. Moreover, their marketing strategy seems designed not only to encourage the viewer to buy sponsors' products, but to encourage said viewers to go out and develop issues that necessitate the purchase of those products. We're two games into the season and I'm already fighting back a Pavlovian impulse to ram my car into a tree just so I can go to Accurate Collision. I have to have heard those ad reads eleventy billion times so far...and again, two games in.

Okay, so I hate their marketing. I like pretty much everything else, so fine.

I'm a hockey girl at heart, which means a variety of things, but mostly that the actual gametime contact between players and me is limited. Hockey's loud, first off, and secondly, you have the obvious obstacle of the glass - if you're high enough up to be heard over the glass, you're probably not loud enough to get anyone to actually tune in. I'm plenty loud - I specialize in top-volume, extended-remix WOOs - but actually getting a player to hear every word you're saying and react to it is not that common. (Speed does not have this issue. Misogyny at work? KIDDING, KIDDING) At the Surge however, we sit front row, and there's no glass, so we have plenty of opportunity to talk with any number of participants...coaches, officials, players.

The Surge guys are fascinating to me, most of all because they are pretty much doing this for fun. The Surge is part of the CIFL, one of the minor leagues of arena football. The guys on the team have day jobs and usually only get $100-$200 per game. Good deal, right? Yeah, except this is full contact, really fast football, not toss around with your buddies. If these guys get hurt, they risk all kinds of crap with their actual, bill-paying jobs, not to mention the fact that their respective health insurers may or may not cover "injuries sustained while participating in violent sports." The parts of me that finds weird injuries cool really thinks it's neat that these guys do this. Logically, I can see it's probably a moronic risk, but at heart, I just think it's fucking great, to be honest with you.

I credit this kind of extreme amateurism for the general good feeling of the games...the guys are invariably cheerful before games, and the exact right kind of fighty during, and for some reason about half of them like dancing? In the middle of the game? Love it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hooray for Shoes!

So, I bought these shoes the other day.
And today I wore them, ALL DAY, while carrying a full shoulder bag o' books, and I was COMFORTABLE, people! Love 'em. As we all know, creating a shoe with a tall heel that is comfortable is an art, and these pass the test. And even more surprising? From Target, y'all. $26 for these suckers. My boss at work has them in black and they also look fabulous, though she did complain of a slight squeakiness. I didn't find these to be squeaky, but as we know with mass market shoes, there's no guarantee on uniformity. (Ironic, isn't it?)
I think I am ready to accept and condone the covered platform trend. Though numerous sources predict the graceful exit of the platform heel, I'm okay with it staying around as long as it looks this good. I also think there's a vast divide between your run-of-the-mill, strippertastic, chunky, clunky platform shoe and a covered platform like this.
And as always...don't buy shoes you can't kick ass in!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The School of Heinous Wenches

Dear Schools That Run Commercials During The People's Court,

First of all, I don't care if you think it's strange that I DVR and religiously watch The People's Court even though the AARP has never sent me anything, even a four function calculator. I've had about enough of your derision and I don't think it's very nice of you to keep bringing it up.

Second of all, I think maybe you misunderstood the point of advertising, because all of your commercials feature complete douchebags who I would rather fork myself in my own personal eyeball than attend class with. The point of commericals is making people WANT to attend your semi-accredited college. Instead, you offer such hits as:
  • Girl with Permanent Bitchface comes home to commence whinging about a litany of past sub-par jobs in a voice that would drive Jesus to stabbing. (NB - how her crappy jobs differ from the crappy jobs everyone in the known universe works in high school is not explained.)
  • Girl with Permanent Bitchface is working in a store when one of her high school classmates comes in, proceeds to talk shit about High School Classmate with a friend before pretending to like High School Classmate.
  • Girl with Permanent Bitchface stands in front of camera and bitches mightily about why her life sucks, then morphs into Girl with Permanent Bitchface In Scrubs and says "if I can do it, so can you," thus setting the bar for, you know, LIFE, so low roaches are leaping over that shit.

I think the point of these commercials is actually that these nice, sunnily-dispositioned individuals attend your colleges, but since the heinous wenches featured are in fact so heinous that it seems like you're saying, "if you're a heinous wench, you too can attend our college!" I feel that this is a mistake.

Finally, you might want to dial back the annoyance factor. There are twin commercials based on the vicious circle concept, one of which is not bad. It features someone saying a bunch of phrases ("I'm not making enough money...I need a better job...I can't get a better job because I need better education...I can't afford better education because I'm not making enough money") over and over again until another voice cuts in and says "Stop the vicious cycle! Go to Heinous Wench College! We will throw money at you!" The evil twin of this commercial sends me into FITS when it comes on, and features a hyperactive, shrill female voice shrieking "I got a great job because I went to SCHOOL...I went to SCHOOL because I wanted a good caREER" before the Voice of Soothing Shutting Up comes in and I collapse on the floor, bleeding from my ears and twitching. Again, I would recommend against this approach, since irritating the everloving shit out of people isn't really the most positive approach you could take.



PS - Stop cheapening my degree with your stupid buy-a-degree programs for people who can't hack it in the academic world.

And On A Less Hatey Note...

Here are my top three hoped for airborne vacations for this summer. Needless to say, the non-aviation-related list stretches for miles, but this is a good place to start for (hopeful) imminent travel.
  1. The Red Bull Air Race in Detroit, MI, May 31-June 1. Actually, this is a lie, since what I REALLY want to do is go to the Air Race in Abu Dhabi but Detroit will have to suffice. (After all, it IS the city of Gordie Howe and the Production Line, plus, you know, cars.) My favorite parts of air shows are invariably the parts where really freaking excellent pilots zoom around in a manner that seems guaranteed to make parts fly off their airplanes, and the Air Race is basically nothing but. Sign me up! (NB - this will have to tide me over until my friends and I can get our act together for the Red Bull Flugtag. Somehow I feel like I could die happy after careening to a smashy dousing in a contraption of my own making.)
  2. The EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh "Put It Down On the Orange Dot," WI, July 28-August 3. I've wanted to go to Oshkosh for...oh I don't know, probably a good 8 years now? Longer? I learned about this a while back and basically, for a week or so, Oshkosh, WI, decides to pack as many awesome aircraft into one airport as possible. People camp out under their planes, bring all their weird's like one giant orgy of hopped up aviation enthusiasm, plus lots of zooming.
  3. Cirrus Migration 6, July 10-13. A while back, Dad got a Cirrus, which is an awesome airplane that has a whole-plane parachute. He now runs an air taxi service, Skyline, which everyone should run out and book with IMMEDIATELY because it is awesome, plus you get to fly with my Dad, who is extra awesome. Cirrus is a great company, and they have an annual event where a huge number of Cirrus owners/fans migrate back to Cirrus' Duluth, MN headquarters to fly around and have educational fun. Cirrus is coming out with their first jet in the near future, so this year's Migration should be particularly cool.

That's right, I totally DID say that I wanted to go to Detroit, Oshkosh, WI and Duluth, MN for my summer vacation, you got a problem with that?

In Which I Hate...Yeah, Pretty Much Everyone.

Well, Hillary won PA.

Can I ask you guys something?

Where are the pitchforks? Where's the outcry? Where's the protest over these lame ass candidates?

I have been and will continue to vote for Obama, but I am not one of the crazy Obama people. Mostly, it's a social experiment...what happens when you elect a smart person who actually talks and acts like a smart person to the Presidency? Could be good, could be bad. I am definitely down for someone with a working knowledge of Constitutional law in their toolbox. Plus, I'm an snotty intellectual elitist, so having a professor in the White House appeals to me, if only as a function of my hope that one day we nerds will rise, inherit the Earth, etc., etc.

Still, I am left so dissatisfied with the utter lack of balls involved with this election. Maybe it's just because it's my first cycle away from DC, so I'm not inhaling so many Kool-Aid fumes, but it seems to me like the pandering has been at a fever pitch from day one, and that these campaigns are being horribly run. McCain's people can't rein him in, and frankly, he's that old man kind of fighty, which isn't conducive to the running of a country at war. You need to be able to project controlled fightiness, not actually be a crotchety old asshole who is blinded by their military experience.

Hillary...oh, Hillary. I liked the Clintons fine...I met Bill Clinton once when he came to speak at Mechanics Hall when I was in high school (high school? My brain can handle it being any earlier than that, so let's stick with it), and everything they say is true - the magnetism, the charisma, the blah blah blah. If he just could have kept his shit in his pants, he could have been remembered as one of the great Presidents, I think, and yet, here we are. I aspire to that level of schmooze...sans escapades of course, but you know what I mean. I even liked Hillary - my parent's elder dog is named after her, since we got her the day after the election. But my God, what Hillary has become. Again, it's an issue of get into politics for one of two reasons. You either want to change the world, or you want the power. I think both are fine, and I think a blend of the two is ideal, but what you absolutely cannot do is baldly show how much of a power whore you are. Again - it is fine to actually be one. You just can't show it.

Especially...ESPECIALLY...if you are a woman.

As many of you may have noticed, I am in fact a woman, and I'm a woman who has been fully engaged with the political process for about as long as it's possible to be at my age. You can talk all you want about equality and the Great Triumph of Women's Lib and how Nancy Pelosi has shattered the glass ceiling (horseshit, PS), but the fact remains, and may always remain, that women in politics are not the same as men in the same sphere. You cannot afford missteps, and even more than that, you cannot grasp so boldly at power. Women with overt power are terrifying to much of the old establishment...this is a fact, no matter how politically correct you want to be about it.

I wish I could teach the women of the world how to be female and be powerful at the same time. I'm not the queen of the known universe, and I'm no national political powerhouse, but I've accomplished a lot in the 25 years I've got under my belt. I've done all this mostly in four inch heels and dresses, with my hair and makeup done. You don't have to be frumpy, you don't need to be meek and quiet. There are limits, sure, but if you only have to deal with those limits, instead of worrying yourself to death about how this guy is so established and so powerful, you're in a state of normalcy...everyone has obstacles. Having tits has nothing to do with that. You have to own your personal power, and learn to read power dynamics quickly and accurately, and if you can do those things, you're 80% there. The rest is situational.

As hopefully everyone can see, HRC is not really getting this. The suits, they are tragic. This is not only because they are so...Boca, but because she's clearly dressing scared. Even more worrying is her reluctance to own know what, Hillary doesn't kick back on a Friday night with some shots of whiskey and target practice. And that's okay. But to pretend you do is to lie to people you're supposedly helping, or trying to help. She's not the only one who does this, obviously, but to me her trespasses are the most egregious, because men do not accept that behavior from women unless it's honest. Further, my primary reason for not voting Hillary is that the Middle Eastern cultures we're dealing with do not approve of, nor respect, female leadership, and this war isn't going to be over in four years. Electing Hillary will remove the ability to negotiate or even to argue with the Iraqi government, and close the channels of effective communication with surrounding governments as a bonus. It's just not the time, unfortunately. So now we've got American men calling bullshit, foreign EVERYONE ignoring her, and oh, PS, we're mid-war. Oops.

I am just left cold by these candidates...I'm most disappointed in Hillary for not being what she could be, but no one really does it for me. No one has the sack to socialize healthcare, no one has the guts (incumbents included) to take a realistic view of the war and figure out how to get out without the Middle East exploding (Ever think about this? Unsupported Iraq = Iran comes in = Israel engages = Hamas and Hezbollah geek out = uh oh), and no one seems to see what's coming down the road viz social security, education, the National Debt, the economy in general, or anything else. Why can't I have a candidate who engages in an intelligent manner with these topics, and why can't we force debate on them? This isn't a game, people, it's not the dress rehearsal.

Is this really the best we have?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bryant Park Collections: Christian Siriano

My theory is that this shirt is paint. No? Okay, maybe not, but one thing is for sure...this really demonstrates just how intuitively Christian understands texture. The balance of the shiny/smooth shirt, the feathery shirt, and the ruffly skirt is really amazing, and to get this much personality out of an all black outfit is no mean feat. (The boots remind me of my (our? Did you get those?) Steve Madden Chapp booties, if they mated with Balenciaga. Makes me hope that if I leave my Chapps in a closet un-pestered, maybe they will asexually produce some of those Balenciaga lego shoes. OR some of these Lacroix for La Redoute babies, similar in their legoness. Of course, neither the Balenciaga nor Lacroix resemble Christian's shoes but I think we have all long since accepted that my ADD cannot be contained and thus expect these kinds of detours.) I think that Christian's greatest strength is that he does understand how different fabrics work together, and he's almost like Uli was with her's always a pretty spectacular result. This look is really moving. It elicits a response and it's a damn good one. Wasn't this the girl who complained about the boots. I like them, but I didn't have to walk in them. I never did get those boots, by the way. The auction went through the roof and I couldn't get them. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed.Ohhh cool cool cool. This is just the beginning of Christian's "bizarrely wearable" stuff. The pants are magic (Death is Not an Option, Amazing Skinny Pant Designer Edition: Jeffrey Sebelia or Christian Siriano?) and look great with the booties. I also COVET the gloves, because every year I try finding super-fitted gloves and fail in a dramatic and whiny fashion. The COAT is just fascinating...the shape is great, and the varied textures with the sheer elbows and leather obi-ish belt are really fantastic. Very bland brocadey fabric made into magic, plus great hat. (PS - I have decided that the fedora I linked you to is going to happen with my tax rebate. I may disagree with the concept but I'm not dumb enough to kick free money out of bed!) This is where I wish we saw a little bit of color. While I agree with you on all of your points, I wish there was something here to kind of pop or dance. It's really hard to tell in the picture but I'm sure that the textures were much more obvious in person. Yay fedora! It'll look pretty fab on you, for sure!
Another great coat, more great pants...not 100% ready for the silver zipper on the fly, but otherwise great. I also think that this neck ruffle is probably what I SHOULD buy/wear, even though I WANT the insane cream colored one that eats faces. Ah, dilemmas. This is kind of repetitive. Pretty but kind of boring after seeing something just like it.
This was the one sour note for's not BAD, but I find it pretty boring and either very sci fi or else the property of a goth dental hygenist. I mean, it all fits well and is beautifully made, but it doesn't seem to fit with the glamour of the rest of the collection. Once again, pretty repetitive, really boring. What the hell was he thinking?
COOL. The man knows how to work a puffy sleeve. A hundred million billion points for that alone. I am really digging on these assorted funky neck details. I would like to see this one up close, since it's tough to see exactly what's at work...there's ruffle, but also other shapes? La la la, love the sleeves in the sheer fabric. My gripe is that this is waaaaay too repetitive again. Black jacket, black pants. I don't get it.
Ah, fabulous! The movement on this rocked. Of course, if I wore this, it would be trouble, but MAN is it cool. Plus, another fabulous hat!! It is decided, I'm buying more hats. EBay, ahoy! This also disappointed me because he basically did the same thing for his last challenge! While his unique pieces in this collection were my favorites out of all the collections, I found it really troublesome that he kept repeating himself in his designs. I do love the coat but I already saw it before.
It's probably wrong that I want this, but I don't care. The heart wants what it wants. Now, to figure out how to construct an airy, amazing, INSANE giant face eating neck ruffle in time for next fall/winter. I'm on it! It actually looks like there is a very cool jacket involved here, which I am just noticing since of course the hat/ruffle combo are the highlight, but it really is a great balance of flamboyance and structure. I adored this look. Well, I want this too. This is my all time favorite PR piece. It's so insanely gorgeous I can't stand it. I swear when I saw this my heart stopped. Really creative, lovely and feminine. Bravo!
Cool shirt, cool hat...again with a weird silvery zipper on the fly. Por que, Christian?? I would totally wear this to work, although likely mid-way through the day I would snap and color the zipper black with a Sharpie. Life is not perfect. Still! Fantastico. The shirt is awesome, the pants are boring. Still pretty though.
I felt like THIS was a bit costumey in a bad way. The jeans are magic and I love the hat, but the shirt is giving me issues. I THINK I like whatever is going on with the cream undershirtish thing, but the over-shirt is more Robin Hood than I am personally prepared to deal with. I think if he'd scrapped the over-shirt this would rock socks, but as it is I have some issues with it. I also thought this one was a little too Robin Hood for its own good. Where could anyone wear this without being laughed at? Too weird.
Co. Vet. Boots. Do I need them? Not on your life, but I DO NOT CARE. The shirt is amazing...the detail is just amazing! It's cool how he also worked in the feathers from the amazing final dress, really creating that continuity. Oh this is fantastic. The entire look is really awesome and I would shank you for the boots.
I really fixate on the BELT (of all things), just because it says so much about his eye for detail. It fades in the SAME WAY. Love it. I love this technique of his of - I think? - the zillions of vertical strips of fabric. What an amazing, innovative effect. Love it. That being said...I hated the styling on this model from the neck up. I'm not really in love with her face to begin with but the hair is just gross looking. I so want this dress! I absolutely loved this look too. It's just so freakin' cool. I didn't even look at her face or her hair until now but yeah, not too good. Fanfrickentastic.

Okay I have a question - is this model barefoot? Because she might be. It could also just be this picture but still! This was just amazing...I don't even know what to say about it. The fluidity of the switch from cloth to feathers, and the way he used the different types of feathers...ah, me. Still not sure about the little hatlet, but really, who the hell am I to say ANYTHING against this? NO ONE, that's who. Cool, innovative, fantastic. Super creative, inspiring and moving. I think that about says it all.

Bryant Park Collections: Rami Kashou

My comments in regular green, The Lucy's comments in white.
I love this color. I thought this was just so pretty, even though Rami loves his asymmetrical stuff and I am not so much in love. However, I think the overall prettiness of this dress overcomes the vaguely irritating collar business. I am also just noticing the AWESOME shoes and cuff. I can deal with this's not so draped and asymmetrical that it distorts the body, which is the general problem I have with Rami's stuff. The collar doesn't really bother me because it's subtle and it's not very noticeable at first look because the waistline is so fantastic. Pretty color and styled well, so I dig it.
I thought this was a REALLY cool jacket and kind of wanted the whole thing. This blue is so funny because on its own, it's lovely, but in conjunction with the rest of his collection it just starts feeling...dingy maybe? But on its own I just think this suit rocks and the jacket is so unusual and cool. Well, we all know the issues I have with suits and I must say that I'd wear the hell out of this. I love it and wish all suits were as awesome and creative as this one.

Two things: one, why would you use a picture of this with the coat on, and two, why would you MAKE said coat? I thought this dress was just so fantastic...maybe the best effect he's achieved with all his draping business. The fabric was awesome, the neckline was SUPER cool, and the draping/twisting/whatever really made it. This was probably the coolest draping he's done, I do agree. Too bad we can't see it. The coat is unfortunate for a million reasons.
I like the concept of this, with the red pants and the kicky bag and what have you, but the boobal area bothers me. I mean, this chick barely HAS boobs and this shirt is saying "here are my boobs, and they are saggy." I know this is kind of a thing, style wise, but ugh, no thanks. I'd even sign on for the sleeves if the bodice was different. Another unfortunate piece. I totally hate the makes her look like a tank! It's not even remotely flattering. The pants are kind of weirdly fitted too. I like the concept but the execution was not good at all.
Fine, and of course you won't catch me picking a fight with this red, but since it's in the same collection as that blue dress, it really pales in comparison. I think the structure of the blue dress is really necessary to work with that sleeve. I mean, this is cute? But not as awesome as the other stuff. Definitely cute, the color is great and the styling is good. Nothing spectacular though.
I think the black/red look is a little too sternly French Revolution for me, but the skirt is super cute with the little ruffly pleaty hem. I think the shirt is neat too but I would pair it with something else. I like this look, and I actually like the 2 pieces together because they are so French Revolution. It's super dramatic.
Give me 40 minutes and I'll go to the mall, buy this, and come back. It's fine, and clearly well made, it's just not very exciting, plus it's in that aggressive red/black palette. Meh. Boring.

Aaaaaand this is where we go from "sorta questionable" color pallette to "ew." I really think if he had gotten his colors together he REALLY would have made it a hard decision for the judges. I actually kind of love the actual design of this though, and kind of want it, in a different color, of course. I think the decision to use the quilting is really interesting, and the whole look is pretty cool, even with the one shouldered aspect which we know I hate. The color totally ruins this. I like the quilting on this a lot and from the waist up it's awesome. From the waist down though, it's not so good. I'm an not a fan of the pants at all.
So, how do we like the weirdness of this picture? It looks like there's a miniskirt and leggings situation involved, but I'm 99.99% sure that's not the case. Again, crappy (kind of literally, unfortunately) color, paired with cool design. If he had just had the bodice all woven, it would be a cool, pretty unique piece, but with the drapey piece pulled through it all, it's really kind of spectacular. This look is crazy awesome. I HATE the color though. WTF RAMI? In a different color this dress is museum quality art.
This started out just not doing anything for me. Then about midway down the runway, I realized that the one-psuedo-bejodhpured thing was on purpose, and I started feeling vaguely violent. Listen, we all love us some English riding outfits, but the undeniable fact remains that jodhpurs (along with any unholy VARIANT of thigh pocketry) only really ever work with riding boots. I SPEAK FACTS. Now when I saw this all I kept hearing in my mind was a cross between "TOGA TOGA TOGA" and "why is there a stupid pocket thing on the front of that dress." Oh Rami.
This should have been his final dress, period the end. WOW. I don't know that I am ready to personally sign on for shoulder ornamentation of this variety, but the overall effect is just amazing. Plus, knowing the work that had to have gone into it - didn't he say it was all strips of lace? - just amplifies the admiration I have for it. I think this is the clearest example of the celebration of the female form that he talked about in his introduction...every single aspect of this just says "women. are. fabulous." Ok, I am all about this. It's lovely, flattering and exquisite. I do dig the shoulders because I think they make this look very regal. I would KILL to wear this. I was actually looking for a wedding gown like this with the mermaid bottom, but my very ample bottom would have made me look awful so I backed off. But yeah, if I were a size 2, I'd want this.
I still think this is very cool, even if I think the gold lace dress should have been the last piece. The hip pieces STILL don't bother me. What EVER, Michael Kors. (And in other WhatEVER Michael Kors News: leg shine. WhatEVER, and also WTF?) The detail going into his work is really amazing. I'm a sucker for cool texture, so even though I don't like the bodice on this (what's with the enshortening bodice trend??), overall it's cool so I'm down with it. Dramatic and pretty, even though I hate the hip things because they would make anyone with a curvy body look tankalicious. I do agree that the lace dress should have been last but Rami does what Rami wants.

Now, in relation to that product, I have to admit that I'm not totally against it. Being pure white has always been an issue for me, and I hate wearing skirts or dresses with bare legs because of said paleness. Seriously, I go out in the sun and I burn up in about 15 minutes. I have done the self tanning thing and it's a pain in the ass but when it works, it's worth it. I don't know why Mr. Kors would be doing a product like that though. It doesn't make much sense.

Tuesday Afternoon Trivia

This... my Constitutional Law textbook. Because it is slow here, and I am bored, I just weighed it (it's REALLY slow, okay?). It weighs 3.3 lbs. It is also one of no less than 5 books I take with me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There's really no earthly reason for a book to weigh that much, even if it is a good book with lots of decisions and some decent commentary.

On the other hand, there's not much else I'd rather do than spend time outside on the lawn on campus in the sun, reading this mother or any other similarly nerdy tome that the Academy tossed up at me, so really, who am I to complain?

Seriously, 3.3 lbs.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cities At Night From Space

I came across this at Quizlaw, and thought it was just super, super cool. Worth the 10 minutes to watch.

I'm not sure what's cooler - the actual footage, or the fact that they were like "well, the camera wasn't quite getting the job done, so we grabbed some spare parts and MacGuyvered that shit into shape." If I could do the latter, I would totally drive a bootleg faux Maserati, is all I'm saying.

Bryant Park Collections: Jillian Lewis

Josie/Lucy PR Email Collabo: Now with more discussion to start! (Lucy in white, Jos in light green, for those with poor retentive abilities.)

I totally agree with you in re: Chris's fear of being pigeonholed as a specific kind of desiger. I feel like the judges have ALWAYS had a really hard time expressing frustration with seeing a certain style again and again without sending a distinct "so stop doing it" vibe. It happened with Uli, it happened with Rami, it happened with Laura, it happened with Chris...interestingly enough, it's the people who IGNORE those comments that seem to do the best. I think that the problem is that the challenges have such a crazy short time period, and when you have a certain kind of person who is committed to churning out the best item they can, they will inevitably go for their specialty, which they will be most familiar with. Once they have more time, they can get more creative and tie in techniques they may know perfectly well but have not had time to use - Jillian's knits are a perfect germane! - and everything comes out fine. Of course, this doesn't work with everyone, but I think it definitely explains a lot about some critiques and critique-ees.

I also take serious issue with them ripping Chris' costume background, because frankly, they are looking for a major fashion designer (in theory) who will have to show at Fashion Weeks, and seriously, if Fashion Week isnt' 60% costume I don't know what is. I mean, can you really slam a costume designer in the same season you have the fucking Heatherette boys judge?! I am so with you, he was one of my favorites all season and to see him get kind of mindfucked into a bland collection is a damn shame. How many million times did we talk about wanting him to go final three JUST for the joyous, fabulous collection we assumed he would put out?

I think the thing that bothers me the most about the judges is that they initially pick a designer because they have a clear point of view and are doing something different, but then when they see it consistently they start reprimanding them for being who they are! It doesn't make sense. It's like, do the judges want them to be who they are or do they want them to be who the judges want them to be? Fashion is so personal and style is so individual that it kind of pisses me off when they rip on someone for being who they are. I do think that the time constraints have a lot to do with someone designing in their comfort zone as well. You're going to do what you know, period. By the way, I'd love to see Nina turn around and tell Michael Kors that his fashion is boring. I can't imagine her not being bored by his shit, because he does the same thing all the time and it's always so blah!

I really wish that Chris did go all out and all costume. The piece he made with Christian and his final dress were really gorgeous, and I think if he did an over the top couture kind of collection, he would have been in the top 3 instead of Rami and he also could have won. It was just really, really disappointing for me because what I expected of him and what he ended up doing were 2 opposite ends of the spectrum.

That all being said, let's discuss the lovely, teensy Jillian's collection, which was pretty fab but not fab enough. I felt like it was a wearable collection but lacked a bit of Bryant Park level Wow Factor somehow.
I love the shape of this whole look...I think I told you of my plans to get a fedora and general hat obsession, so this totally does it for me. (NB: Pay attention, Sweet P!) I like the choice of belt, too, really ties everything together and pops in just the right place. Ah, Jillian and her Fabulous Coats. The hood piece really throws this whole look off for me. It's weird and kind of makes the shoulder and neck area seem as though it's all connected. I do like the hat and the coat though, and the belt is a great accessory for this look.
Okay THIS hat maybe not so much, but I think the scarfy product (seems too voluminous and excitable to be termed just a scarf) is SUPER cool, and the skirt is immaculately made...the volume is just right and the pleating is great. And we all know my feelings on pleats. Now see, while I like the scarf, I don't know if I really like it paired with this skirt. The skirt is just fantastic and the scarf is a little too folksy. It seems out of place. The hat is creepy.
I thought this really showed why Jillian was a great match for Ralph Lauren, but with a twist. The sweater is really neat, and the gold/yellow trim is inspired. Not sure about the riding helmet but overall it fits the look and no one's forcing me to wear one so I'll allow it. Oh how I love this sweater. It's so pretty! I do agree about Jillian and Ralph being a great fit. I think she's do well at Hilfiger too.
Um. Can I just register my dislike for this kind of off the shoulder, maybe-it's-attached-maybe-it's-not sleeve? I was looking at a wedding dress site that had weird ass sleeves like this all over the place and it totally ruined my ability to consider ANY dress on the page, is how much I hate it. I don't like this that much and the stocking...things are some kind of legging hybrid which frankly I am just not ready for. It's clearly all fantastically made, but I just don't like it. I didn't really like this look either. I know she was trying to do the armor thing, but how exactly does this fit into what we've seen? It doesn't make sense in the collection at all. It would have been really pretty strapless, I think.
I'm not quite ready for this sleeve, but I am also not totally writing it off. I LOVE the cut of the jacket without the weird over-sleeve attachment, and I think the skirt is super cool, but I'm torn on the over-sleeve thing. It kind of reminds me of the movie Return to Oz in the beginning where Dorothy is being chased by this crazy woman who is in charge of the insane asylum who is wearing this crazy old gothic black dress with super pointy puffed sleeves. It was kind of a weird movie. But I think I like this. The skirt is so fantastic and I want it! I think the little overlay on the sleeve takes the outfit in a different, bad direction. I think it would have been cuter without it. The shape is really pretty though.
I don't really hate this sweater, though I would not wear it, but I also don't get it in the context of the collection. The skirt and styling are cute but I just don't know that the sweater itself makes sense. I found it so weird that it kind of distracted me. Ugh ugh ugh! I hate the hat and the sweater so much it makes me sick. The skirt is kind of cool but it would make me look like a whale so forget it.
Okay...whither the holes, Jillian? Whither the HOLES!?! I am SO DOWN with this coat, until the HOLES! What are those about? Ventilation?! Another thing I found totally distracting, although like I say, the coat is to die for. I even like the hood on it, which normally would not be the case. The cut outs suck and they ruin an otherwise awesome piece. I love hoods so I dig it, but yeah, the holes don't make any sense whatsoever.
More holes I'm not 100% okay with. Overall I like the look, even the crazy Roman soldier hat, which I kind of want, but those holes are not my preference. I dunno man. The holes make it look kind of...trashy? I also don't like the fit of the sweater. It looks all stretched out. I'd wear the hat with some gladiator sandals. Heh.
Love those boots! I think this would be better with the Roman soldier hat, but I like the silhouette and the construction as always is fantastic. The construction of this piece is simply amazing. It's really pretty.
I love this. It's so floaty and girly and awesome, and the movement as it was coming down the runway was just terrific. A+, Jillian! This was my absolute favorite of Jillian's. It's just lovely all the way around.
I thought this was very sweet, and the super low, wide neckline masterfully handled - about 99% of those types of neckline look like hot roasted ass, and this just looks gorgeous. As with every freaking piece in every collection ever, I wish it wasn't in such a dark fabric, but I think it's lovely nonetheless. It's pretty, but I'm not crazy about it, probably because I feel as though I've seen pieces like this before and I really don't feel as though there's anything really innovative here.
The movement of this is really beautiful but I hate hate HATE the's just so weirdly built. I mean, it's well constructed but I think it has a touch of the Victorya Boob Flattening Technique. I know she was going for the armor-inspired look but this kind of super structured, "this line is where my boob is" look doesn't really do it for me. The top feels as though it doesn't belong with the rest of the dress, which is really fantastic. I absolutely love this fabric but yeah, the top is kinda weird.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I went to Meeting this Sunday with Mom, and it was a strange Meeting. One of the Friends had died on Friday, and the Meeting was just finding out about it that day, for the most part. I overheard the news, without knowing the man personally, before Meeting began, and as a result, I spent much of the time looking around the room, looking at all the old people in the room.

Our Meeting is a small one. Though the numbers are probably larger on paper, it's usually a gathering of 15 to 20 people on Sundays, barring Meetings for business and major religious holidays. I was one of three people under forty in the room, and the other two were from Philadelphia, PA and somewhere in Florida. Even when I was little and mostly just read Nancy Drew books in the windowseat, I still remember a predominance of older folks at Meeting. Meeting is held in a big yellow house on a street of other big houses, and there is a potluck after every Meeting. They have begun having events like movies at the Meetinghouse, inviting the public in to see what things are all about and to raise awareness for issues we hold dear...peace, charity, equality. It's neat, I think, that in an evermore bureaucratized, controlled society, Quakers have carved out and defended a niche for themselves, where things can be taken back to the basics...caring for your fellow man and working to better the world.

With Friend Lewis' passing, I feel all the more inspired to attend Meeting more regularly, and get more involved. It's such a lovely religion, and one that should have someone to carry the torch. On Sunday, it seemed like it would be so easy for the Worcester Meeting to slip away, to just fade into nothing. Looking at all these dignified, strong, activist elder Friends, who have lived so long under the Quaker doctrine, I felt fully what a loss it would be to allow the Meeting to disappear.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


This morning, I popped open the laptop and couldn't get to the Internet. OH HEAVENS TO BETSY! So I went to Meeting, went to Starbucks with the Momster, went to the Craft Center with the Momster, and then went to the Sharks game with the Speedster. Where they won. By playing well, not because the other team sucked. I was startled also. So then we came home, and WOE IS ME still no Intarwebz. We also got DirectTV the other day and it sucks the bag, so it's not a great time in the Land of Technology at Josie and Speed's House. Speed, because he is awesome, got on the horn with the Verizon lady and figured out what was going on.

Time out for a tangent.

I use my laptop while sitting on the couch. The cat has discovered that the laptop is warm, and thus usually comes over and parks himself next to the computer, then spends the next block of time oozing himself onto the keyboard, doing things like restarting my game, typing things like"qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqeeeewww" into the web browser, and hitting F1 for Help on every program in the world in the process. End tangent.

So, Speed and the Verizon Lady figured out that the cat, in his demented little variety of genius, managed to DISABLE MY WIRELESS RECEIVER, which requires holding down the "function" button while pressing the F2 key, which doubles as the "Wireless on/off" button.

I fucking DARE you to tell me he doesn't do this shit on purpose.

So that happened, and that was great. This weekend's hockey was exciting, with decent play and a shootout-defusing overtime goal, a trip to Manchester yesterday in which we lost but there was an awesome freaking fight, and then tonight we won in a great game and for added warm fuzzies, Riley Armstrong shaved his head to donate to Locks of Love, along with a BUNCH of fans, which I thought was really cool (not all of them had to shave their heads to donate, but that doesn't make it any less awesome). I recently cut my hair for the sake of having a cute short hairdo before I start growing it out for wedding styling purposes (realistically, I can probably get another short cut in, but we'll see...motivation is key), but those folks inspired me to a.) get in a donation pre-wedding if I can and b.) definitely lop it off post-wedding and donate. I mean, it's a renewable resource, why not?

The great fight this weekend was between a new kid and Manchester's big bruiser, Westgarth. There have been several new kids in town, notably Jones, Wishart, Zalewski, MacDonald, McGinn and McLaren (I didn't realize how many were Micks and Macks until right now). They all show promise, as far as I'm concerned, but boy, I really liked McLaren's contribution. The game wasn't going well on Saturday, but as Speed noted, when the Sharks got down to 3-0, McLaren properly identified it as a good time to try something new to shake things up and get people fired up, so he picked Westgarth and dropped the gloves. I checked the numbers on both combatants and my first thought was "oh shit, this poor kid's going to find out what it's like to have his face backwards," since Westgarth is a pretty serious badass. Physically it wasn't hugely drastic...they're both big boys, but McLaren's definitely got a touch of lankiness. But he got a good grip on Westgarth's shirt, and just started whaling on him...he even got a couple of Brennan Evans style punch-with-the-jersey-holding-fist shots in. At one point, he lost an elbow guard, too, and I thought for SURE that Westgarth was going to recover and whomp him while he was divesting himself of that, but he didn't, and finally, Westgarth realized he wasn't going to win this one and went for McLaren's knees to take him down.

Needless to say, all the Manchester fans took this as a won fight...whatever lets you sleep at night, you whiny bitches.

Finally, yeah I totally LOLCatted myself but frankly I find it hilarious and if you don't then tough shit.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sometimes Worcester Is Awesome By Accident

On the right hand side of Main Street...the giant, lovely, shiny new Courthouse.

On the left hand side of Main Street...the Irish Times, this week featuring "No Alibi" on Friday, followed by "Probable Cause" on Saturday.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Higher Education

On Monday, my ConLaw class ended with a little pep talk from the professor intended to violently shove some more of the populace into participating. Here's how class usually goes.

The prof comes in and either gives another inexplicably crippling quiz or starts the lecture. He is a smart guy, and is for real not fucking around with the English language which I enjoy to no end. There are a couple major contributors...kid with the Kucinich shirt, kid with the cool military-ish hat, kid behind me, and the kid with the accent. Occasionally, the back row will work to make up questions in order to stave off a quiz. I sit and apparently radiate intelligence (more on that later), and the rest of the class passes the time by thinking about birds or looking confused. A good portion of the class, you see, doesn't pipe up very often, including me, and I've been feeling guilty about this, since I genuinely like the class and the way the prof is teaching it.

The problem is, I don't have questions about the nuts and bolts - this isn't my first time at the Constitutional Rodeo. I want to know more about how the Constitution has manifested itself over time, and how the legal system has sprung forth and burrowed its way into societal norms and behavior. Still, not speaking up is not speaking up, so I emailed the prof to explain what I had cranking in my head and asked what he thought. He sent a really nice and (I think) complimentary email back, saying a couple things. Here's some paraphrase action.
  1. Good thinking, good self-editing.
  2. Having just 50 minutes per class is rough.
  3. Since it's only 50 minutes, there's not as much time to explore the philosophical stuff.
  4. THAT time is further limited when other people aren't getting the basics. And they aren't.
  5. Ask questions, but maybe don't go as far afield as your brain is going.

Well, okay.

This is a 300 level class. To be sure, there are some tricky concepts isn't always abundantly clear, and since it's Constitutional Law, a lot of what we're dealing with is written in thicker language than we use today. On top of that, there are a lot of opinions to read, which I personally hate and am sure other people hate as well. That being said, the prof does a good job explaining the material, is more than willing to meet with you to go over anything you don't get, and freaking loves questions. I don't see any reason for a college student - you know, a student of higher education? - should remain ignorant of concepts with this many options for straightening their shit out.

And because of that, I can't help but be a little bitter. Three times a week, I get to sit in a class with a brilliant professor and some seriously intelligent students. The opportunity there is huge to really get a ton of stuff out of the texts and each other, but instead, we get to stick with basic concepts because some people can't be fucked to get their act together and learn the material.

Blah blah blah learning disabilities, blah blah blah some people aren't as smart, blah blah blah WHO CARES. If you can't keep up, why should I have to be in the same class as you? And if you didn't know how hard it would be, why didn't you a.) drop when you figured it out or b.) bust ass to get up to and keep at speed? I know a lot of these kids are younger and haven't had the educational rollercoaster I have, but I really don't think it's asking too much to want them to keep up enough so we can explore more than hearing about Marbury v. Fucking Madison for the nine hundredth time. If you're a political science major - which in this class you probably are, since it's a 300 - quite honestly you should know this shit. You SHOULD be discussing the philosophical implications of the documents and texts, and for the love of should be doing it in a way that demonstrates a passing grasp of the English language.

Awful depressing, for stuff I truly love. Le sigh.

God, SACK UP, generation whatever.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Two Things That Are Great

This video Diamond Lil found:

And my new class schedule. For those of you who care, this is what I'm taking. All classes are Monday/Wednesday/Friday except the Philosophy one, which is only Monday/Wednesday, but for longer.

8:30 - 9:20, The Problem of God
9:30 - 10:20, Italian 3
12:30 - 1:20, Terrorism and the Modern World
1:30 - 2:20, History of Western Civ 1
2:30 - 3:45, Philosophy of Nature

Details as events warrant.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bryant Park Collections: Chris March

So let's talk about Chris' collection, even though it's kind of tough because it's all! So! Freakin'! Dark! You're so right about all these collections being really dark, I don't get it. Seems a lot more fall than spring, and even then, damn.
This reminds me too much of that genre of "crap with weird super-graphic prints on it" that is often found in stores targeted at skanky inner city teenagers, like Rainbow and Rave. While I like the shape fine, it's not anything revolutionary, and the print/picture/whatever does nothing for me. Worst of all: Chris can do better. I do agree that Chris can do better. I don't really have anything to say about this because it's just so blah. It's completely boring.
All I can think of is Helena Bonham Carter. And also how I think I might really like those shoes, but can't really see them. My dislike for any messed-with variety of velvet is getting in my way here, so it's not really doing it for me. Haha! It is very reminiscent of something Helena would wear, isn't it? It's so wintery and dark. It looks kind of Christmasy, for some reason? I don't know. Once again, WTF?
If not for the pants I might like this better, but god, there is a LOT of shit going on there, and it's just too much cognitive dissonance to be overcome by my enjoyment for the shirt (jacket?). I would also like to note that I don't see what the big deal was with the human hair. It's unusual, sure, but frankly I don't think it makes any sense to get all pearl-clutchy over human hair being used (I think, to great effect) on clothing, but not be grossed out by it being sewn onto someone's head. I mean, let's put this shit in perspective, MICHAEL KORS AND YOUR PEARLS, shall we? I also didn't find the human hair to be disturbing at all. I don't like anything about this outfit. The jacket/top kind of looks like a bathrobe to me. Maybe this was supposed to be his pajama look?
Again with a basic dress in a weird print, only this time I don't know what the print is and I hate the styling. Blah Blah Blah, more boring crap.
Fine, neat necklace, expect more from Chris. I like the cut of the jacket and I like the little ruching detail on the bottom of the skirt. The necklace is cool too, but seriously, could this be any more boring?
Why do all his models look so freaking disheveled? I feel like it really doesn't fit with the clothes. I also don't like this business of the skirt being weirdly hiked up at the side...there was another dress like that too that bugged me. I think in Sweet P's stuff?? I guess he was going for that whole messy goth look, like Edward Scissorhands had. This looks like the prom dress that the cheap whore in your class would wear. You know who I'm talking about.
Interesting effect, but I am having the velvet issues again, and the gloves do nothing for me. The neck...brace...thing looks like it was attached it's slipping to the right. I do like the effect here. I think it's really pretty, and could be very classy if done in some different fabrics and colors, but it isn't and so you have this. The collar is screwed up, I agree.
Interesting detail...can't tell if its applique or crushing or what, but that's the only thing interesting about this. Agreed. I think the print is cool, other than that, blah.
Okay going on here? Is this a man? Is it CHRIS again? What is this? It's like black velvet military garment in shape, like it escaped from one of those weird places (isn't Italy one?) that have their female police wear stillettos. Except the model is a MAN so the point is MOOT. This look made my gag reflex kick in. Yikes. The model is creepy, the outfit is horrible and I feel as though I'm in the middle of my worst nightmare ever.
How is this in the same collection as the rest of this crap? The cool skirt, the cool necklace, the nice shape of the jacket, and the judicious use of the hair...WHY COULDN'T YOU JUST DO THIS THE WHOLE TIME??? Wooooooo hairy suit! I love this look. I think it's so beautiful. She looks CHIC, not like she's about to stab you. Everything about this is great, including the tights, the shoes and the styling. Indeed, Chris - why didn't you run with this kind of look?
AGAIN! This is cool, I think...and the movement of the hair skirt was so awesome. Don't love the styling 100% but the overall look I just think is very cool. So pretty! Once again, she looks elegant. I even like the gloves with this.
This didn't do anything for me in the Pick Three routine, and it doesn't now...just not the oomph he needs to close the show, and although the whole show was in pretty dark and deep colors, this seems really REALLY severe, to the point that I don't think it fits. Blech. I think if he used the concept that he used in the red dress with the belt by maybe playing with a different shade of black or using a different fabric, this would have been pretty. But yeah, it is severe. By the way, I hate this model.

All that being said, I really expected more and differently of Chris. I think he psyched himself out, because this has none of his usual bouyant, happy self in it. He gave himself over too completely to the dark corners of his personality. Bummer. Sure we won't have heard the last of him, though. I think Chris' whole problem was that he didn't want to come off as a costume designer, but you know what? That's who he is. I think he tried so hard not to be too costumey that it ended up happening anyway, but at the bad end of the spectrum. It's like, something can look costumey yet still be cool, but something can be costumey and look cheap. I also think he kind of gave up and said screw it, I'm doing whatever I want. He's definitely talented and he was my favorite designer this season. I just love him and really hope that he continues to be successful.