Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dad Continues His Reign of Awesome

Last week, I posted a bunch of pictures on Facebook from high school, early college, and my trip to Egypt. The pictures were on my Dad's computer, and the pictures of our trip out to the Western US in 1999 were on there as well. Since there were so many, I asked Dad to Snapfish the pictures so I could put those up when I had time. He finally got around to it, and told me he was "being selective" rather than posting all nine million photos available.

Things to know about Dad:
  1. He is Clark Griswold when it comes to trips.
  2. This West trip was most exciting for him because there was the potential for: trains, steam trains, coal trains, old mines, tin ceilings, and dams.
  3. He loves knowing how things work, and if possible, taking them apart.

As a result, some of the photos he "selected" were a little...interesting.

Dad and I had a discussion about this photo, to wit:

Me: Okay, in the photo you called Arizona9, what the hell is that?
Dad: That, of course, is a giant turnbuckle from the first bridge at that site. You can just barely see the start of the bridge in the background.

"Of course."

On the other hand, it should be noted that Dad and I pretty much have convos about stuff like this on a routine basis, so there's that. I mean, I recognized it as a bridge part but couldn't come up with the word "turnbuckle."

This is a giant irrigation apparatus that Dad liked. As a nerd, I do also find this cool, because a.) someone said "I have a desert I would like to grow some stuff in. How can I make this happen?"...and then did it, and b.) this thing was seriously SO gigantic.
Dam turbines in the Glen Canyon Dam.
He also included a lot of great family type pictures like this one of my brother, sister and me on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, but somehow, the weird pictures are just as good.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Drugstore Makeup

I recently went to get a manicure/pedicure. The usual place I go to was closed, so I tried a place a little closer to home, and when I walked in, the lady asked what I wanted. I told her, and she replied: "We very busy now! You come back ONE HOUR!" Not daring to defy her, I a.) left and b.) planned to come back one hour. (I assumed if I didn't do either one, she'd track me down and kill me.) On the upside, during my pedicure, two other people came in and got the same imperious orders, so I was kind of like "well, I guess I was right not to take THAT personally."

The manicure and pedicure were great, incidentally. While I was killing time, I went over to CVS and checked out the makeup situation, primarily to see if they had any of the nice, dark lipsticks I have been obsessing over. I bought a couple items (clockwise from top left).

1. Revlon Creme de la Chrome liquid lipcolor, bought in Plum Appeal.
2. Revlon Just Bitten lip stain, bought in Berry Juicy.
3. Revlon Make a Sheen "lustrous shadow," bought in Plum Like It Hot.
4. Rimmel London Colour Rush quad eye shadow, bought in Smokey Noir.
5. L'Oreal Bare Naturale mineral eyeliner, bought in Defining Slate.
6. Revlon A Floral Affair sheer powder blush, ogled in all colors.

I've talked before about my susceptibility to advertising and packaging, and obviously, this is well in play with these purchases. Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 6 are all from Revlon's "Limited Edition Collection," which I've been walking past with great interest for several months. It probably shouldn't matter but I just love how nice the packaging is. After all, putting makeup on is an aesthetically important experience...why shouldn't the materials you use be as pretty as the end result, and feel good in your hands?

The shadows have the same issues as every drugstore shadow ever, that being that they just do not have the staying power one would hope. I wonder if using one of those eyeshadow primers would help, but I also kind of feel like it should do what it's supposed to. I know that it's POSSIBLE to make a shadow that stays put, because Dior's 5-Colour shadows do so, so are you really telling me that I HAVE to pay 52 bucks per compact to have my makeup stay put all day? It's a little tricky, because the way my eyes are set, the lower edge of my lid rests against the bottom of my orbital bone, so I often get a line of whatever I'm wearing on my lower lid on the bone, right in the middle of what's usually a medium shade. The Make a Sheen shadow held up pretty well, with minimal ruboff, but the Rimmel and L'Oreal shadows were fairly lame. (The war is over, Parisian and British dogs.)

The lip situation is good. As I mentioned before, I'm kind of on a lip stain kick, and the Just Bitten one is a good color and goes on well. As I mentioned with the previous Body Shop lip stain, you should refrain from using chapstick before applying it, so it has a chance to sink in. The Creme de la Chrome stuff is really excellent. It's very very shiny and the color is gorgeous. It definitely felt like I was wearing something on my lips, but for the intensity of effect I am more than willing to feel it a little bit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Project Runway: Good Queen Fun

Dear RuPaul,




Yikes, dude. There was some scary shit going on there. I enjoy RuPaul generally but she was NOT looking her hottest last night. Maybe she felt like she needed to tone it down to judge? I like my RuPaul with insane platinum blonde hair, less obvious facial surgery, and significantly more insanity.

Ok, I cannot agree with you more about RuPaul. Seeing her look all plasticky and shitty made me feel really sad, because I was all about her in the 90s when she looked FABULOUS. Just awful.

Chris of course was fabulous...I liked how he had to stay very very still to keep that hat from going wonky on him, and also the "I knew him from his laugh" moment, which was very cute. I want him to be my friend in the WORST way.

Cindy and I were walking out of the gym and had a convo in the parking lot that made me consider what we sound like to the outside world, to wit:

Cindy: Do we know what the challenge is?
Josie: I don't know, I try not to check them.
C: Yeah. Okay, see ya.
J: OH! Yes we do! Drag queens!
J: And it's the gay Jurassic Park thing!
J: And CHRIS MARCH! You are going to LOVE Chris!
C: I will take your word for it.
J: Yay!

Then we drove out of the parking lot, and then when we came to a stop light, Cindy waved at me and I smashed the shit out of my hand on the sunroof because I forgot it was closed. I CONTINUE MY REIGN OF AWESOMENESS.

Last night I was talking with my hands (fughedaboudit) and I nearly cut a hole in my eyebrow with the nail on my thumb, so yeah. I know all about that kind of stuff.

Blayne...the great thing is that this DOES look like something out of a gay Jurassic Park...but this is maybe the only challenge where that is OKAY! Again, Blayne does the same 80's vomit, neon and black, vibrant extravaganza of puff, but it totally gels with the challenge at large and Miss Understood's look specifically. The structural failure of the wings was fine by me, since as you know I am having issues with liking Blayne's stuff as much as I do. He did well by this challenge, I think. I thought this was the perfect pairing, as Blayne's aesthetic and Miz Understood's look were basically made for one another. I thought this look had a real sense of humor, which I really enjoyed. Blayne is so a one trick though, and although he's growing on my because he's kind of funny, I don't know how much longer he's going to be around.
Terri...I loved everything about this look for Acid Betty! I don't know how the hell Terri lost. This worked perfectly with Acid Betty's look, and it was cool as hell even independently of AB's whole persona. It's just so crazy and bright and kickass....somehow both totally about everything drag is and completely unique. Love it. No idea how it didn't win. I was so angry when this didn't win! Terri is robbed again. I'm kind of hoping she's like Jay in that she is consistently good, gets passed over for wins but ends up taking the whole thing. I thought this was ultra creative, insanely well made and overall, just perfect.
Daniel...what a win/win that bottom two was, eh? Two irritating weirdoes, two boring ass designs. The colors were fine on this dress Daniel made for Annita Greenkard but dude...she's a drag queen. It CAN be pretty, but if "pretty and subtle" is the main hallmark of the dress, you've fucked up somewhere. Needs more crazy. I LOVED the "sequins are gaudy" defense that Daniel mounted. Talk about more proof that he's a spacey weirdo. How can you even THINK the phrase "sequins are gaudy" when in the last 48 hours you have been in the same room with a MAN wearing a crotch-high dress with a SEQUINNED FROG FACE ON IT??
I am exponentially happy that Daniel is finally gone. I thought this was too boring for a drag queen, and although it's pretty, totally inappropriate for the challenge. I was never really a fan of his stuff and was quite tired of his whining, so I was only too happy to see him go.
Joe...I think he won this on superb tailoring, because I will hand it to him...dang. Varla Jean here turned around at the end of the runway and Rich and I BOTH let out Friday-style "daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn"s. Gloves look at the fit on this outfit and say, "whoa." The whole thing is just so nutty and weird and great. The strange thing for me, though, and this is part of why I didn't get Joe winning over Terri, was that I didn't feel it particularly meshed with Varla Jean's whole vibe. I mean, she came out in that crazy ass Southern Belle get up and that was her whole schtick...the jump to sailor suit seems weird and not quite ideal to me. I too thought Joe did a great job, but I don't think this was in any way, shape or form better than Terri's. Yeah, it's fun and stuff, but as far as creativity goes, it's not even close. I think they picked him to win because he's the straight guy, and isn't that ironic. I think part of why he won was also that Varla worked the hell out of that look on the runway, and totally sold it. She looked happy and seemed as though she loved it so I'm sure that it helped just a little bit. (By the way, Rich saying dayum at a drag queen has slain me.)
Keith...I could have been down with Keith going, too. I will also note that I found Sherry Vine to be the most alarming of the ladies...there was some weird face action going on. The hair, though, was magnificent. There are bridges with less structural elements. I hated this much less than everyone else did, but I am also having some Shredded Shit Fatigue, so I guess I understand it. I don't know if it was the combo of hair and outfit but it gave off a distinct Cruella DeVil vibe to me. I was not that enthused about it in re: the visibility of underwear but after reading Tim's blog on Bravo's site I understand that the visible underwear is something of a theme with Ms. Vine so I will allow it. Oh look, Keith did another shredded piece of shit...what a surprise. Another one tricker. I really did not like this look, and I really don't like Keith. I do agree that her hair is pretty spectacular, but honestly, this kind of makes her look like a tramp, and I mean that in the poor British dude in 1890s way.
Jerell...I found LaMay to be kind of a lame queen as it was but this didn't do much to help. It looks like one of those heinous sequinned gowns that old ladies wear to the opera mated with some kind of excessively formal hiking outfit. These two particular textures just were not doing it for me and I found the collar to be kind of weird and lame. This is the queen who I found to be the scariest looking. She has no neck! She looks like some weird sort of drawing on playing cards! I was not really all that into this because it was just so strange to me, the colors are drab and it just doesn't say "fun." cool were the funky shoulder whosies? I love the colors and the whole effect, though I think the dress really needed the detachable thing. I didn't find the dress sans skirt to be all that thrilling. Sweetie was rocking the hell out of this though, she clearly loved it. *scampers off to make some sequinned shoulder tendrils* I loved this look. I thought it was over the top and fabulous, and those shoulder things reminded me of jester hats, which is always good. She totally loved it, she looked amazing and I think this was a great look for a drag queen.
Leanne...Leanne is like one giant human mood swing for me. I forget she exists basically for every moment she is not onscreen, then I see her, and immedately ramp into disproprtionate rage over the fact of her hair and stupid hipster glasses. Turns out I'm kind of a jerk. In any case, I was surprised that this Sharon Needles getup didn't get more totally fits her persona and is pretty goddamn cool in and of itself. I would also like to note that I VERY MUCH ENJOY that the old school Divine hyper-arched V eyebrow with spraypaint-enamel up to THERE is still in full effect. Rock it, Sharon! I also really loved this look. I thought it rocked, I loved the colors and the construction. It's really quite impressive. So much fun! I also have weird feelings about Leanne, but she doesn't annoy me as much as Kenley does.
Kenley...yeah, okay. More Cruella, but I think significantly short of the craziness that this challenge allows. Fit was fine, feathers were adequately swishy. I think that the glamour girl thing is Farrah Moans' thing, but if she's going Marilyn, I personally would enjoy seeing a famous Marilyn outfit (the Some Like It Hot number springs immediately to mind) completely dragged out and juiced up on the sequin roids. I's fine but didn't really do anything all that exciting for me. This is pretty much a meh. It's a regular dress with a feather collar. Wow. Lots of imagination there. My Kenley hate grows., Hedda Lettuce...kind of hot, no? Like, kind of great looking woman? I agree that the outfit WAS looking kind of Godzilla to begin with, but I think Suede is a pretty good editor. He has taken snippets of advice before pretty well. That being said, I still was more sold on Hedda IN it than the actual outfit. Fit her character well and worked, but again, like Farrah up there, it wasn't a total face-melting level of awesome. I think Hedda looked pretty, because she is pretty, although I'm not feeling the ultra dark hose. Whatever. It did look a little lizardy but I think Suede did a good job of working it over and making it less...Godzillaish. I'm also kind of liking Suede because he's pretty diplomatic and can take criticism well, but he can shove "wackadoodle" right up his ass.
Stella...I've seen a couple people slamming this outfit, but I don't know that it's so horrid. I don't know that it's an exact hit on Louisa Verde's style, but I think it's well executed and she looks great in it. Still, Stella is continuing to make some kind of leathergrommetlacingblack confection regardless of challenge and I fear that does not bode well for her, which is sad I love her crazy ass now. This isn't mind-blowing either, but I like it fine and Louisa clearly felt great in it. I had a feeling Stella would do something like this...a look with leather and very little imagination. I didn't think it fit the queen's style either, but it looks very well made. It's too edgy for Louisa, I think.

Two more notes: Pretty much everyone I've discussed with agreed that one of the most interesting parts of the challenge was when the ladies came in sans makeup. I think since the makeup and hair is SO crazy over the top, I always expect drag queens to look particularly distinctive even without it, but they were such a mixed bag. Very cool. That was by far my favorite part of the show. It was hilarious to see these guys putting on this very over the top glittery stuff. So funny. And Awesome.

Cindy was BEGGING for there to be an "awesome comments" section of the Jos 'n' Lucy show and I agree that this was an EXCEPTIONAL episode for commentary...the "it looks like a sad chicken" comment was great, and I also really enjoyed Michael Kors' throwaway comment on wanting Terri's insane boots! Hahahaha @ Michael. Like I said, he can't design worth shit but his comments are awesome. Speaking of awesome comments, I don't know if you saw Tony Bourdain last night, but he actually quoted a Yo Gabba Gabba song ( kids' show ever. It's an acid trip with techno music thumping in the background) which nearly made me shit my pants. I flove him.

Wake Up America!

Towards the end of this past semester, my ConLaw professor had some kind of break and delivered this...glorious lecture to sum up the course to that point. It was absolutely fantastic, a real testament to the power of the English language, in-depth political thought and the value of bringing political awareness and consideration into your every day life. I saw him in Charlie's a couple days afterwards and told him if he lectured every day like that I'd take every class he ever taught. It was that good.

I often think and talk about how unfortunate it is that no one in American public life really deals in oratory anymore...actual linguistic dynamicism tends to be abandoned for the sake of volume and airtime on the news programs. This is why I get all excited when someone like one of my professors brings the verbeage hard, but I PARTICULARLY love it when an American politician does it, and Dennis Kucinich? Just brought the oration hardcore.

I am in such stupid love with him it's ridiculous. Thanks to the Swedish Pirate Captain for linking me since I missed it the first go-round.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Friends Love Me

Last semester, School Friend Cindy found a comic strip for me that she lovingly cut out and presented to me with a stately flourish at our regular Tea Date in Charlie's. Since then - "then" of course referring to a day roughly 10 months ago - I have been carrying it around in my planner with the intent of scanning it to share with the world. I probably could have accomplished the same end by using the magic of the Internet to just find the damn thing online but then it wouldn't provide an opportunity for you all to shake your heads, let out a low chuckle, and say "Oh Josie, you with your incompetence."

See what I just did for you there? I am so damn GIVING I can hardly stand it myself.

In any case, the strip in question was one of the many prime examples of Quaker humor. I present to you, in all its glory, the strip that you probably saw in the paper when it was still snowing outside and that School Friend Cindy so thoughtfully clipped out for her Lone Quaker Friend.

*Quaker jazz hands*

Monday, August 25, 2008


This weekend, I attended Meeting at Old Sturbridge Village's Quaker Meetinghouse. The Meeting was arranged by Minister Richard Jones of the First Parish Church in Bolton, MA, which is an amalgam of Unitarians, Baptists and Quakers. Jones is the nephew of one of the Worcester Friends Meeting's elder stateswomen, Betty Jones, who is a 100% certified hot ticket and a very involved member of the Meeting. The Meetinghouse itself was original to Bolton, constructed in 1796, and then moved to OSV in 1953. It's really the epitome of the early Quaker experience - it's extremely plain and simple, with a Quaker grey exterior and basic post and beam construction on the inside, filled with unornamented pews.

One of the Worcester Friends had a really wonderful comment about the architecture of the building. He talked a little bit about a childhood desire to be an architect, and noted that places of worship are often built with our visions of God in mind...what that God would want, or what we think the concept of God looks like. He then noted that the Meetinghouse was plain, not presuming anything, but rather waiting for God to imbue the building with His own impression and spirit. He also had noticed that not one of the pews had a knot in it...a sign, he thought, that someone had taken the time to appraise each board and if it had a flaw, to lay it aside, deeming it not good enough to be a pew. Though the building is simple, it was clearly considered during its construction, and that is so much of the Quaker consider our every action and word, and the impact we have, can, and will make upon the Earth itself and on society as a whole.

Someone also mentioned that they had contemplated during Meeting the off-center window at the front of the Meetinghouse. She hadn't figured out what, exactly, the significance of it would be, but she did think it must have been intentional. You can see it in the pre-Meeting picture I took below:

It was really a very deep, moving experience to be in such an old Meetinghouse. Our family is Quaker throughout many generations on Mom's side, and while that knowledge brings a certain depth of tradition to my own experience, there is something incredibly moving about spending Meeting in a pew that has been occupied by Quakers over the course of 212 years. After Meeting, we all - and I do mean all, with a good 30 to 40 people in tow - went to brunch at the Oliver Wight Tavern, which was not only delicious but in excellent company, as I got to chat with members of both the Bolton congregation and Worcester Friends. I don't often get to stay for the potluck lunch that is held after Meeting every Sunday, so it was nice to chat with some of the Friends.

I have been somewhat disheartened by my application for Membership in the Worcester Meeting, and this really helped bring me up from some somewhat depressive thinking. I was surprised to find that I was not an official Member of the Worcester Meeting, which I discovered when I requested a Clearness Committee in contemplation of marriage for Rich and I. I think I was just busy being a self-absorbed teenager at the time when people usually apply for Membership, and never did it. My Clearness Committee (with whom one meets to discuss the why and how of becoming a Member) is mostly great and I really enjoy the individuals immensely, but weirdly enough, I seem to be having a hard time convincing them I am serious about Quakerism and the Worcester Meeting, in large part because I am Quaker and have been raised that way since birth. At our last meeting, they asked how my life would change if I became a Member of the Worcester Meeting and I think they expected a deep, "my spirituality will be realized" type answer, but all I could truthfully answer was that I would finally have the community component that is so crucial in the Quaker faith. I try my best to live my life by the Quaker testimonies, and feel that I mostly succeed.

I think many other people come to the Clearness Committee for Membership from a different place than I do. It's somewhat unusual to be raised Quaker these days, and I've never been anything else. One of the women on my committee was an Attender for 15 years before joining, but didn't apply for Membership until that point because she "felt like [she] needed to truly love everyone in the Meeting first." Another member of the committee was a Catholic for something like 40 years before discovering Quakerism and joining the Meeting. Most people come to, or find Quakerism, whereas I have never known anything else. Unfortunately, I don't think this is truly getting through to at least one member of my Committee, and I am finding that extremely frustrating. At the last meeting of the Committee, the Member who is having an issue with this was all "why the rush? Are you sure you're not just applying as part of some kind of nefarious hipster plot to have a Quaker wedding?" Well, first of all, I didn't know I wasn't a Member, and am applying because I found this out in the process of applying to be married under the auspices of the Meeting, so there WOULD be no rush had I been a Member; second of all, yeah, I plan on having a Quaker wedding because MY QUAKER FAITH IS IMPORTANT TO ME, and I'm not 100% sure why you would somehow find my desire to be married in accordance with that faith somehow sneaky. I explained that the wedding thing was a far off second place in my motivations, but that didn't seem to resonate. Luckily, one of the other Members was quick to note that she felt that I was in a very similar place to where she was when she applied for Membership - a Quaker wedding was something she wanted, but was far from the main motive for her application.

Needless to say, I have worked myself into an almighty paranoid snit about this and now am fairly panicked about whether or not my application will be accepted and advanced. I just am so upset about having to feel like because my concept of what constititues good Quakerism doesn't line up exactly with someone else's, I might then not be accepted...the whole thing just seems to run totally contrary to what Quakerism is ABOUT. The MOST frustrating (and weird) thing though is that I like all of the Members on my Committee SO MUCH , but in committee, it gets weird. Maybe I'm just misreading tone, I don't know.

In other, more cheerful news, I grew these with my own dirt. They are dahlias, called "Winsome," and I think they are quite winsome indeed!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In Lieu of Near-Black Lip Gloss Modelled By Someone With Different Skin Tone and Airbrushing

I finally snapped and went to order that near-black lip gloss/liner combo that Sephora's evil, evil marketing department put in their calendar and on their website, was sold out. However, I did go to get my nails done, and tried an adjacent color on my toes to see how it would jive with my skin tone. The color is OPI's Black Cherry Chutney, from their India collection.
Mom has Bastille My Heart on her toes, which I planned to copy, but I couldn't find it at the nail place. Pretty AND irreverent! Nothing says heart theft and romance novels like a notorious prison!

In any case, I like the Black Cherry Chutney on my toes, so I think I am willing to try superdark lips, but it looks like I'll be stalking Sephora for a while until it comes back in stock. I also enjoyed my pedicurist today. The place I had been going was fine, and pretty inexpensive, but the woman there only used a pumice stone on my feet instead of a callus shaver. For those of you not familiar with my feet (probably not many, given my affinity for shoelessness...thinking point: how does said affinity coexist with my shoe addiction?), they are extremely prone to callus and cracking. Rich frequently makes "hilarious" jokes about requiring an orbital sander to deal with them. Ha! Ha! In any case, many places shy away from using callus shavers, simply because of the liability involved with applying razor blades to people's skin, so it was no big deal with the previous place.

However, this lady started out with the faux pumice stone, stopped, felt my heel, then went into her pocket and pulled out a callus shaver. THAT'S MY GIRL! Good stuff.

The OED, Q.E.D.

One of my lifetime goals is to own an unabridged version of the Oxford English Dictionary. This is something I have wanted since some time around late high school, and the desire has only intensified since then, given that my interest in writing (and corresponding capitalization on my natural abilty) has only intensified in my post-secondary life. As most know, I adore the English language, and as I hope all know, the OED is the most remarkable documentation of, monument to, and celebration of the most pervasive language in the world.

The OED's dominance in the world of lexicography has long since been taken as fact, and said fact is known not only by academics but by the general public. That being said, I don't think it's all that common for people to have referred to it and thus to have seen the actual definitions that make the OED so exceptional and authoritative. The OED includes a staggeringly complete analysis of each word, including pronunciation, etymology, quotations (on average, 6), and a sort of carbon dating showing when the word first appeared in language.

In one or the other of Bill Bryson's excellent books on language that I have read (he has written others...I am behind on my Bryson), The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way or Made In America, he talks about one of the more startling stories that came from the creation of the Dictionary. This story is about the remarkable W.C. Minor, an inmate at Broadmoor Asylum who contributed a staggering number of entries to the OED. My grandmother and mother recommended an excellent book to me about this man and the rest of the cast and crew involved in the OED's creation, called The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester. It is a fantastic book, and everyone should run over to Amazon right now and buy a copy.

Obviously, Minor is a fascinating character, a man whose brilliant mind was nearly demolished by the American Civil War and ill-served by the fledgling mental health professions of the age, but equally spectacular is the Professor of the title, Prof. James Murray. I sometimes feel like the people of past eras simply operated on a higher intellectual level, and it is because of people like Prof. Murray that I come to this (perhaps inaccurate) idea. His intellect was so...unique, and so utterly staggering, that it is almost impossible to imagine how such a vast breadth of knowledge could possibly be contained in one body. In Professor, Winchester exerpts a letter from Murray's application to a job at the British Museum, and describes it as "offer[ing] some of the flavor of his barely believable range of knowledge," and the selection is so effective at demonstrating what I could not possibly explain that I hope Winchester and Murray would not mind my quoting it here. (For added fun, imagine a game show style "bing!" or do a shot every time he mentions a language.)
"I have to state that Philology, both Comparative and special, has been my favourite pursuit during the whole of my life, and that I possess a general acquaintance with the languages & literature of the Aryan and Syro-Arabic classes - not indeed to say that I am familiar with all or nearly all of these, but that I possess that general lexical and structural knowledge which makes the intimate knowledge only a matter of a little application. With several I have a more intimate acquaintance as with the Romance tongues, Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish, Latin & in a less degree Portuguses, Vaudois, Provencal and various dialects. In the Teutonic branch, I am tolerably familiar with Dutch (having at my place of business correspondence to read in Dutch, German, French & occasionally other languages), Flemish, German, Danish. In Anglo-Saxon and Moeso-Gothic my studies have been much closer, I having prepared some works for publication upon these languages. I know a little of the Celtic, and am at present engaged with the Sclavonic, having obtained a useful knowledge of the Russian. In the Persian, Achaemenian Cuneiform, & Sanscrit branches, I know for the purposes of Comparative Philology. I have sufficient knowledge of Hebrew and Syriac to read at sight the Old Testament and Peshito; to a less degree I know Aramaic Arabic, Coptic and Phoenician to the point where it was left by Genesius."

Suddenly, having won the French One Award in high school seems significantly less impressive.

I have wanted to be a lot of things in my life...architect, doctor, Manon Rheaume, astronaut, writer, President, Congresswoman, Senator, Governor...but even when I didn't have a specific career in my sights, above all, I wanted to be really fucking smart. That might sound weird, but that's been a constant throughout my entire concious life. The thing is, I often wonder if I can be as frighteningly, startlingly smart as people like Prof. James Murray and still like LOLcats and hockey and making jokes about how I'm going to drop Rich like an Olympic tae kwon do judge. So many of these historic intellectuals seem to have absorbed themselves so completely in the collection of knowledge that there was room for nothing else. Is that what it takes to reach those astronomical heights of intellectual achievement?

Luckily, I've met people, particularly recently, who are just astoundingly brilliant and yet also like sports where people regularly lose teeth, so maybe there's hope.

And I LAUGHED and Laughed.

From The Rut via Days of Turmoil.

...that's how I roll, motherfucker.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Example of Awesome, One Example of "Awesome"

First of all, in Josie's Awesome Friends news, former roommate Scarlett, whose actual name is Ashley Pontius, had her first on-air news appearance! After years of talking about getting on air by the time she hit 25, she went ahead and did it. Her first piece is on wedding flowers, for the local Amarillo, TX NBC syndicate, and you can watch it and all future Ashley News on CONGRATULATIONS, ASH! THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO BE AN INSUFFERABLE SNOT ABOUT HAVING LIVED WITH SOMEONE FAMOUS!

Now, while I was trying to WATCH this momentous news piece, Flyboy took it upon himself to do one of those things that simultaneously make me want to kill him and laugh until I can't breathe properly. I'd just accused Rich of being jealous that he didn't have any famous friends on TV when we heard the sound that is sheer horror to a cat owner's ears...the cat puke sound. We look around, and the little fuck is on the corner of the breakfast bar, assuming the position. As we watch, he projectile vomits, FROM A HEIGHT, onto my sneakers and narrowly missing a pair of red Nine West stilettoes.

I swear to God he does this shit on purpose.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Project Runway: Welcome to the Jungle

Blayne & Leanne...too casual for the challenge. There was also weirdness with the fit in the hip region; it made it look like there was a flat part of her hip about 3 feet long on either side. I think it was the slight volume where the shirt tucked in, combined with the relative tightness of the short. I never thought I would utter these words, but...I thought that the pants would have a touch of the pantaloon, slight puff before a band at the hem? And I was kind of looking forward to it. I don't know. I expected some volume instead of tightness on the pant. I thought the undershirt was very cool and that the COLOR from the waist up was rich! I liked the outfit overall for the most part but it didn't fit the challenge. I also thought this was too casual, maybe because the shorts are so fitted? I don't know. The tailoring on them was also really bad. I do agree that if they had some more volume, they would have looked dressier. The colors on top are sooooo pretty, but the bottoms are kind of dingy looking. It did have a weird fit and it wasn't flattering to her at all. This was just ok for me.
Suede & Terri...let's just take a moment to appreciate the excellence of Terri's shirt, which said "LA Face with an Oakland booty." That. Was. Awesome. I was not that shot in the ass with this, and I think the belt was most of the problem. I would have gone more to the side of darting in the waist area, because the belt just ruined the line of the shirt and obstructed its ability to move when they switched the position of the shoulders. That being said, they made a neat shirt from what I thought was a fabric doomed to 70s-scented failure. I do wonder if this is too casual, though...after all, Brooke Shields' character is an exec, no? I also got a kick out of her shirt, and right now, she's the only person who I really like. I think all of her clothes are funky and pretty and feminine, without being super girly and fluffy. Her designs are powerful and confident. While I don't think this is the best look for an executive, I do think it's really pretty. The print is cool and the shirt is super cool. Off the shoulder in an office - I don't think so. The belt is also troublesome, so yeah, I think that it would have been better off without it.
Daniel & Kelli...boy, what a trove of wenchiness THIS outfit uncovered, eh? From Kenley's mean laughter to the judges' collective hostility...whew. I think this just fell victim to the hazards of animal print and this model's complete lack of chest. This is the same one who modeled the vacuum bag and coffee filter dress and the amazing flatness of her chest was JUST as distracting that time. This dress really needed at least SOME boob action to sell it, and it wasn't happening. The dress had stylistic flaws in its own right (particularly that the bustier did not meet the skirt, which made it more slutty than sexy), but we've all seen the judges be sold on an outfit because the model rocked it out. The sad thing is that I LIKE this color combo - leopard, teal and black - but it's definitely one that needs to be handled with care, and I think with a poor pairing of designers like this one was it was destined to fail. Oh man, this is definitely a trainwreck. I thought her original idea was really cool, albeit really inappropriate for an office. Why were they trying to make Brooke look like a hooker? It didn't make any sense to me. I'm not really into animal prints, just because I think they really have the ability to make something look really trashy, but in this case I'm not so sure that's the problem. The entire thing was just a mess from start to finish. It looks sad and weird, and I kind of felt sorry for Kelli, but really - what was she thinking when she designed this? Lace and leopard print for an office?
Joe & Korto...well, she did take down some of the volume on the jacket, which seriously, thank God. That being said, it's still a LOT of volume and a LOT of ethnic wickety-whack. I liked the dress fine, but ONLY when it was standing still...WOW fit problems. When she stopped at the back of the runway, that was a MESS. I understand the use of the back cut out but it was poorly, poorly executed and messed up what could have been a perfectly nice (if a little bland) dress. I would have aufed this before Kelli's outfit to be honest with you. I liked the colors but it was poorly constructed. I think that Korto needs to edit her ethnic additions to her clothes. Can you see Brooke wearing this on the show, or can you see someone like Naomi Campbell in this? Brooke would look kind of silly. Also, the sleeves on this thing are ginormous! Jaysis, you carry a baby in each sleeve! I'm not a fan of the colors, but I did like the idea. The dress was simply and pretty, but yeah, construction issues abound. Also, Joe is turning out to be this season's queen. Kind of funny, no?
Kenley & Keith...I would have liked to see the skirt in a different color, or even multiple different colors so you could see the cool structure of it a little better. I wasn't really WILD about the print on top but overall the look was very pretty and feminine. The sleeves were neat too...we rewound and watched them several times and I thought that was cool as hell. Very innovative. Unfortunately, my appreciation of this was seriously whomped by the jerkiness of Kenley on the runway. I could also have lived without the neck scarf, but that's okay. This model is just so, so stunning. I really did not like this at all. The sleeves were really cool, but overall, I don't think this is such a hot look. The skirt is kind of boring, the print on the shirt isn't so great, and the neck scarf is unnecessary. Oh, and both designers of this piece are total pills. I really cannot believe how many people I dislike this season.
Jerell & Stella...I still find Jerell just annoying as shit, but I thought this look was great. I COVET the belt/obi. This picture does NO justice to the color. Great look. I don't know that the bodice is the BEST it could possibly be, but it works and I don't really take issue with it. I did find the GIANT bag to be quite overwhelming, but it's fine. I though Jerell really had the secrets to handling Stella. It reminded me of another pair and for the LIFE of me I cannot remember who it was, but it was one of the spacier PRers and a more stable one. The whole season (it wasn't last season...I feel like it may have been in Vincent's season), people just kind of left the weirdo to their own devices and prayed they didn't have to work with them, and then finally the inevitable happened. So, the weirdo was spacing out and kind of panicking, and the more stable person said something like "it's just like when you're a singer, and you pull from your center? You just have to pull from your center like that all the time, and it will all follow." and the weirdo was like "oh, okay," totally calmed down, and wandered off to be productive. It was this totally bizarre moment of "oh my God, she speaks her language" and it was magic, and it is KILLING me that I cannot remember who this was, but Jerell's management and collaboration with Stella totally reminded me of that. I thought this look should have won. I think if he made a jacket for this, there's no way they could have said no. I thought this was creative, pretty and fashion forward, and with a jacket, totally office appropriate. The belt is awesome, all the pieces work together and it's a complete LOOK. Jerrell is a pain in the ass, but yeah, he totally knew how to handle Stella and get the most out of her. Did the combo you're thinking of include Elisa from last season? I distinctly remember that whoever worked with her spoke alien to get her to be productive. Was it her and Sweet P?

(After some recon via TWoP, I have determined that it was Ricky talking to Elisa, from last season. Thanks to The Lucy for getting me on the right track!)

Moreover, WHEN DID STELLA GET SO DAMN PRETTY? I could NOT stop thinking about that this week! I think she must have laid off the eyeliner. But MAN, the camera would be on her and it was amazing! She's SO pretty, but the black hair brings out every teensy tiny wrinkle on her face, and the makeup is...well, you know. I just couldn't get over it. You know, I thought the same thing. There were a few times when they showed her where she just looked absolutely lovely.

While I have no particular love for Daniel, I did find it SO sad to watch his entire world collapse as his taste was questioned. He's clearly used to being the head Funky Stylish Guy in every room and group he's in, and you could tell that having aspersions cast on that status was just devastating to him. Now if he would just start showering then maybe I'd be on the road to liking him. Blech. I think he sucks. Like I said, the only person who I actually like is Terri. When she started that shit about Suede - "I don't know if he's packing balls or a va-jay-jay, but I don't have kids so no one is sucking on ma titties." FLOVE! She rocks. Everyone else is either gimmicky, boring or annoying.

Karaoke Night

"This was like...the full circle of this show. We're gonna take this nobody and make him such a huge somebody that this nobody will totally worship him." Top 40 Reality TV Moments on VH1

There are certain aspects of the zeitgeist that I try to experience from a position with various and clear exit routes, and preferably from a significant distance. This goal can usually be met fairly successfully when we work concessions at the DCU Center to raise money for the Booster Club (when you work the concession stands your organization gets 12% of what the stand makes). In this way, I have been able to experience small doses of Hannah Montana without being amongst the screaming youngsters, monster trucks without the exhaust inhalation and deafness, bullriding without the fine coating of dirt...and now, American Idol without, well, the screaming youngsters AND oldsters.

American Idol is a phenomenon that has largely escaped me. It debuted in my freshman year at American, and it was clear more or less from the get-go that a new age had was all people talked about and was obsessively watched, to the point that you could tell when the commercial breaks came on, since the dorms took on a deathly still while the show was on. A lot of people have "their shows" by which they regulate things like going to the bathroom and switching the laundry...I learned to pee in accordance with OTHER people's shows, thanks to American Idol. Now, of course, everyone watches it, including my parents. (NB: While we're covering voids in my pop cultural awareness, I am also not up on the Twilight series, don't have an iPhone, and am frequently confounded by technology.) I usually have a vague sense of what's going on, just because it's a huge "news" story, but that's about the extent of it.

We worked the Sam Adams stand during the Idol concert, which meant we were right there as people came into the building via the Box Office doors. I find that concerts spawned by reality TV make for utterly bizarre audiences; I first witnessed this when we worked at the Rock Star: Supernova concert, which was attended by all ages from elementary school to retirement home and was distinguished by having absolutely no cohering factor from one attendee to the next besides everyone being psyched out of their mind to be there. So in come all the Idol fans, and again, there's no common thread. I didn't really know what to expect from the concert. I kind of have a vague idea that the losers of the competition would be singing their own songs.

Obviously, no one can take anything away from the Idol producers in terms of their success in general use of capitalism. The amount of money involved in the Idol juggernaut is mindblowing. As impressive as that all is, the most impressive achievement, to my mind, is that they have convinced people to pay money by the fuckload to see...karaoke. Every single song was a cover...Queen, Heart, The Beatles, Usher, Rhianna, Gnarls Barkley. While I give them credit for a diverse set list, it's all cover, all the time. Just for perspective, I had a guy come up to me to get a soda who noted that he had paid $600 to bring his daughters to the show. $600! From one bank account! For KARAOKE! I'm sure it was an exciting show and I get that the Idol contestants are a draw, but STILL, holy crap, the fact REMAINS.
Dear Future Children,

I will not love you that much.



I'm sure that the success of Idol in view of its karaokitude says nothing good about the artistic integrity of the current generation of pop stars. I frequently seem musically out of touch because I don't really listen to the radio much of what's on the air is just disgustingly trite or bland, and what isn't is likely being overplayed to within an inch of its life. Frank said it best a couple weeks ago - "the best music has an actual story." If you've ever had to sing in a different language, you may have discovered that the best way to really kick ass on the tune is to get the piece translated so you know what you're singing about. True emotion, true connection to what you're singing about, is the way to make really outstanding music. Now that American Idol's success has legitimized the pop cultural presence of this kind of covering, I worry that we'll only see a continued rise of music that's written in teams, randomly paired with an up and coming singer, and that people will stop worrying about writing and performing and buying music that's actually ABOUT something. That is a damn shame.

Friday, August 15, 2008

For They Shall Inherit The Earth

Several years ago, I met an awesome couple through a website I wrote on. We got to be good friends, and two years ago, they had a daughter, who is basically 100% fantastic. A couple weeks back, we all went camping with some other friends, and I think we can all agree here that the standard reaction to "let's go camping with a two year old" is "...YOU will be going camping with a two year old because hell to the no." Camping with THIS two year old, however, was great...she was better at camping and group dynamics than some adults I have been camping with. She put herself down for a nap, people. We're all sitting around, hanging out, and she just goes "Mommy, be right back," goes on over to the tent, gets in, zips back up, and taps out for two hours with her teddy bear.

If I could get some kind of in-writing guarantee that I would have children like this one, I would be gestating right now.

While we're bragging about children we have absolutely no genetic claim to, I would also like to note that this little girl refers to everyone as Miss or Mister _______, counts to TWENTY and can identify numbers of fingers (as opposed to just memorizing the sequence of numbers), does the whole alphabet, and says please and thank you. She has also taken out both of her parents, both of whom are involved in martial arts, using her miniature martial arts skills.

This little girl's parents and I have an email list with a bunch of our friends, which we use to waste time at work. We were all going back and forth about nothing in particular when an email from Mom pops up:
Okay, so my 2 year old daughter just locked me in our basement. :(

Weirdly, we continued emailing for a couple emails before someone went "wait...what? Are you emailing a plea for help? Is that what's happening here?" We then established that Mom had been freed, and got the following explanation.
Yeah, I went downstairs to rotate laundry and closed the door so she wouldn't come down after me. The door has one of those child locks on it so she can only reach into the center and push the lock. Thankfully I found a bobby pin that I use to unlock her door when she locks herself inside. Unfortunately, that wasn't working. Finally, she turned it just enough to unlock the door.

I've long since accepted that this child will be the eventual overlord of the universe, but I always assumed it would be in a GOOD way, not in the imprisonment kind of way. Alarming, to say the least. But then, just to cap off the whole thing, Dad pops in with this:

There's your rollercoaster of marriage and parenthood right

Bad: There's laundry to be done.
Good: Wife's knocking it out.
Bad: Daughter locked Wife in the basement.
Good: Daughter let Wife out of the basement.
Bad: She did so by defeating the child lock meant to keep her out of the basement to begin with.

My friends are the best.

PS - Prepare to serve this little girl now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Upping the Fabulousity Quotient

By some miracle, when I emailed Rich this week all "hey I need to spend $172 on crap for my face, either in bulk or incrementally" he actually agreed, and thus I now have in my posession a bunch of fun stuff from Sephora. Two of the items are things I have talked about before, Laura Mericer tinted moisturizer (in Porcelain, because I am one skin tone away from people asking me if I use white lead based makeup), and Philosophy's When Hope is Not Enough serum. Both are fabulous and as School Friend Cindy has pointed out before, I am a total Philosophy pusher. Makeup Optional kit, body washes, get on it, immediately. I understand from Sephora's advertising, which I am hopelessly susceptible to, that Dark Lips Are In for fall. I am trying to work up the balls to try the insanely dark, glossy lipcolor shown in their mag:...but until I get that hardcore, I have opted for a Dior lipstick in "Devilish Pink." Three notes about Dior products...1.) I have yet to find one that is not amazing. I use their 5-Colour eyeshadow compacts, DiorShow mascara, Dior Addict lipgloss, and now this lipstick, and all have had great color and stay where you put them. 2.) Their packaging seriously sells me every's usually in beautiful glossy navy with silver accents, feels good in your hands, and is well designed in general. I am superficial. 3.) I don't know who names their products, but I suspect that that person has Tourettes Syndrome. All of their products seem to have the brand name in it nineteen times, like Dior DiorShow Pretty Dior Magic Dior LipDiorColor. This particular one is called "Dior Rouge Dior Replenishing Lipcolor". Per che?
Speaking of my susceptibility to advertising, a catalog or two ago, Sephora featured "The Ball" by Ojon.
Looks like an alien pod, no? I wanted to give it a try, since it claims to do all kinds of great things while also touting some inexplicable things, to wit: "Ojon Tawaka 'The Ball' contains a high dose of wildcrafted Ojon oil, rich in essential fatty acids, Omega-3, -6, and -9. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential components for skin's functioning and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential components of skin's structure. A deficiency of these essential fatty acids is common and can cause dry, flaky skin. Additionally, the rare, wildcrafted Tawaka Cacao blend in 'The Ball' contains the same antioxidant amount as 2,834 lbs of blueberries." That all sounds exciting, right? Okay, well...what does the antioxidant amount of blueberries have to do with determining what to rub on your skin? Have you ever rubbed blueberries on your skin? I also usually avoid anything that uses lingo like "wildcrafted" but frankly the alien pod angle was to alluring to overcome, so I ordered it, and used it last night.

So. If you have reasonably dexterous and crafty children who like chocolate, you'll need a storage plan for this to avoid them being lured to this thing by the sweet siren scent of it. What you do is rub the ball in a circular motion all over your body, then let it set in a bit (I shampooed my hair while it sunk in). Rinse, and you're done. I can feel a noticeable difference in my skin already, having used it once. Insane though the lingo may be, it appears to work, and in any case, what's not to love about starting your day with the smell of chocolate? One thing I will note is that it's a bit messy...the oils it transfers to your skin are brown in color and it leaves little exfoliatey bits. Nothing that a quick extra rinse of the shower won't solve.
Sephora is also great with the samples, so I got three small ones and one large one because I hit some kind of critical mass with my Beauty Insider membership. The large one was of the new foaming version of the facewash I always's from - you guessed it - Philosophy, and it's called Purity Made Simple. I also got a sample of Tend Skin for the Man of the House, who shaves his head, and an aggressively adorable teensy lipstick sample of Sephora's Lip Attitude in Talented Berry (again, who names these things?). The last sample was of Too Faced's Lip Injection Extreme, which is a lip plumper. There is a girl working here who has some kind of lip situation going on that flashes, last-moments-of-life style before my eyes whenever I think about tinkering with my lips (not often to begin with), so we're breaking down barriers, here. Tried it last night before bed, and it's interesting. It does as advertised, though it does get quite tingly and made my lips fairly red...not in a bad way necessarily, but mostly in a way that necessitates very accurate application. I am intrigued...we'll see how it goes as I continue to use it this week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fall Has Flung

I am working in a different part of the office this week, and thus can see that the trees in the back of the building are miraculously beginning to turn. Given the weirdness of this summer, with the endless rain and the messed up temperature gauge, and in anticipation of turning a new page of nerdiness with the new semester upon me, I am okay with summer making a graceful exit.

I am also okay with fall, because fall means BOOTS!

Akademiks "New World," which I own in brown. This would half of the "Apple Bottom jeans, boots with the fur" pairing that I own but promise never to combine.
Beautiful "Edwena" boot from Bandolino. I am just getting okay with flat boots.
Love the unusual zipper situation on this boot from Jean Paul Gaultier.
The Lucy boot from RSVP...just as fabulous as the real live The Lucy!
Marc by Marc that pop of blue!
The Emilio Pucci boots I've been coveting for the better part of a on sale from $1094 to $565! Unfortunately, only in a size 6. Damn, now what will I do with my spare $565? Seriously though, are these not the most fantastic thing you've ever seen? "I was like, 'Emilioooooooo!'"
This is maybe the tackiest shit I have ever seen. I HAVE to have it. When confronted with pirate hooker boots intended for use by the female minions/sex slaves of Goldfinger's younger brother Silverfinger, YOU BUY THEM.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Into the Wild, Out of Logic

For several years, I have been avoiding reading Into The Wild. Around the time of its release, someone relayed the story to me, and my reaction was no more than simple, knee-jerk irritation. I have long since stopped caring about bestseller lists as a measure of quality, but I'm usually vaguely aware of what's on them, and I didn't get why people were so high on the kid's story.

My successful not-reading-dumb-books streak came to an abrupt end this week.

My second theology course, The Problem of God, has Into the Wild on its reading list. I have already bought my books for the semester, and have been working on reading what I can, particularly for my Terrorism class. Though the Terrorism books are fascinating, eventually the Taymiyyas start blending into the Qutbs and it gets a little messy in my brain, so I interspersed Faith, Reason and the War against Jihadism and Inside Terrorism with some Into the Wild action, mostly because it was sufficiently portable. On the upside, I now understand why people were hoodwinked into inspiration by this guy's story. Jon Krakauer presents the story with that air of pseudo-mysticism that appeals to a certain kind of person with a boring life who wants some kind of magic handed to them without needing to seek it out or consider the options around them. I wish I could be nicer about it, but frankly, that's what it is. Throughout the book, he hints at spiritual relevance, but constantly pulls back in a "I'm leaving the final analysis up to YOU, Dear Reader" posture that absolves him of any kind of consequence.

The story, for those not familiar, concerns a boy named Chris McCandless, who was from an upper-middle-to-upper class family in the DC area. After graduating college, he eventually gave away most of his worldly assets, and began traveling the United States, abiding by a sort of Thoreauean, solitary hippiedom. He ultimately decided to go to Alaska and live off the land. Regrettably, he was to absorbed in his hyper-dematerialistic existential dogma to bring appropriate equipment with him, and he died in the wilderness.

Here's the thing about faith. Faith is necessary, and it is essential to the human spirit. I speak here of general faith...a belief in SOMETHING, be it God or the mere fact of your street address. Faith in God is trickier. Obviously, there are wildly divergent ideas of God, but rarely (if ever) do you find the concept of God as a physical, humanoid entity roving the streets with the rest of humanity (excepting Joan Osbourne songs). Believe in God. Believe that He'll make sure it comes out right in the end, that He'll take care of you if you live well. Do not believe that He will grab the back of your shirt if you willfully step off a curb into traffic. Regardless of your chosen deity or your means of worship, to hurl yourself without consideration into dangerous situations is pure idiocy. Chris McCandless' death could easily have been prevented with a library card, a trip to a wilderness camp, or accepting any of the numerous gifts of equipment that were pressed on him by the friends he made on his journeys. If indeed McCandless believed, as Krakauer insinuates, that God would see him through his nature experiment, he is to be pitied and nothing more. Whether a gift from God or not, we have free will, and we are responsible for our welfare on abandon that responsibility while claiming to be a servant of God is to prove you don't even begin to get the point.

Krakauer's presentation does not help in the slightest. He frequently references God or hints at religious significance, but never truly explains how and if these religious aspects of the story were causal or just random side effects of McCandless' juvenile self-exploration. Krakauer also makes the mistake of letting too much into the story...the admiration we're apparently supposed to feel for McCandless is constantly jarred by the inclusion of missives and statements from McCandless, which uniformly sound like they were produced by a petulant child. It belies a juvenile, often uninformed worldview, and while this immaturity explains much about his utterly unprepared foray into the violent Alaskan wild, it cuts the legs out from under any attempt to associate religion or spiritualism with the adventure.

I am curious to see where this course will go with the book. I am desperately hoping that I won't be expected to see him as a great existentialist hero, because that's...not possible. Had he taken the time to pack a set of flares...had he read some survivalist books...had he exercised a single piece of the sense his God gave him, I might be more willing to look to him for spiritual inspiration. I hope that the professor approaches this book as a tool to consider how far one's faith should be allowed to go - after all, the class IS called "The Problem of God."

Not every tragic story has a great, life-changing lesson attached to it. Sometimes bad things just happen. Sometimes they happen because you make bad choices.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Project Runway: Rings of Glory

As Apollo Ono was skating off into the sunset, I said to Cindy, "This challenge is going to be a complete shitshow and it is going to be AMAZING." I was not wrong. I LOVE when they give the designers hardcore sports because it activates panic EVERYWHERE.

Well, first of all, these designers should KNOW BETTER. Most of them have watched the show and they should be prepared from some kind of challenge that's going to take them away from their comfort zone and throw them into an environment they aren't going to be familiar with. It's season 5, people!

Also, I think maybe I am in love with Stella now. I cannot explain it. Cindy basically said it's because she is neurotic and thus I relate to the characters. She may not be wrong on this count.

Stella is still on my shit list. Blayne, however, is making me like him and I'm not happy about it. He's weird, he's creepy and he has a dumb catch phrase but he's so funny. God bless his little heart.

Speed Quote of the Episode!

Speed: [responding to Suede's sketch] I like that drawing looks like, what's that cartoon...the anime? Yoo..jai...oh?
Me: Err, I am not up on my anime. Oh! Sailor Moon!
Speed: YEAH, Sailor Moon! That's it!

GENERAL COMMENT: I'm just going to say this once - the answer to this challenge in ALL INSTANCES is "red, white and blue"...and USA USA USA red, white and blue, not this pink, purple, sky blue weirdness everyone was doing. WTF. It's the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics...whatever your personal sartorial leanings are, this is not the time to exercise them, at least in color.

Blayne...I really resent the fact that Blayne keeps making things that I don't hate. I find his mere existence so offensive that I want to hate everything associated with him, but then he keeps making stuff that's fairly cute. Asshole. Anyway, I don't like the shoes, and he's getting a little one-shoulder-happy, but overall I think this is a cute outfit. That being said, I am not sure how it would be on athletes...having monster thighs would be an issue, and swimmers, forget about it. Cute outfit for a normal (though skinny) human. I liked this look, although he's getting to be a one-note with the asymmetrical shoulder shit. It's simple, it's cute and he seems to be thoughtful in his design.
Daniel...really, who doesn't love a uterus button? I don't really hate the concept, but again, this is not really an Opening Ceremony outfit. I feel like one more row of buttons is required...maybe some more interest at the belt? I don't know. It just doesn't do much for me. I don't hate it, but I don't like it particularly either. What I DO hate is the overall greasiness of Daniel! Oh Mylanta! With the v-neck down to his navel and the hair issues EVERYWHERE and the grease and the convict eyes? GROSS! Oh Daniel, you are really beginning to make me notice you in a very bad way. Lee and I both noticed how particularly gross he looked last night, so yeah. This dress is just shitty all the way around, from the color to the style. I'm sorry, but this was inappropriate. And whatever comment Michael Kors had about being from the Republic of Cocktail nearly made me piss myself. Love the man, hate his stupid, ugly clothes and accessories. Jennifer...I actually think this skirt is pretty cute. That being said...USA? Anyone? Are we only sending the New Orleans Saints to the Olympics? Are we lending our athletes to two-thirds of Belguim? (YES I have a mental index of flags of nations, what of it?) This deserved the Auf for sheer not-getting-it-ness...the fact that it's a sweet outfit in its own right is just an unfortunate side note. I thought this was fucking adorable, but definitely not appropriate for the Olympics. If this sucked I would have felt a little better about seeing her go but this was soooo cute! I didn't get the gold and white skirt, and I think her lack of USA colors really did her in.
Jerell...I was so offended by the dementia that was this hat and neck situation that I didn't even realize that it was a SKIRT OVER LEGGINGS! Can we just take Jerell out back now for the beatings? I THINK that's actually a cute skirt, but who would ever know? Just way too much at work here...there are at least three patterns on the scarf/ascot/cravat/whatever, PLUS hat, PLUS blouse detailing. Can someone print this child the Coco Chanel adage about taking one item off before leaving the house and tape it to like, his face? The tragic thing about this is that pretty much everything on this outfit except the hat and leggings, I would wear, but I would never put them all together because I don't want to give everyone I encounter EPILEPSY. In other news, does anyone else feel like Jerell is mostly here because he wants to be the next big Catchphrase Guy? He is grating my nerves something fierce. HAHAHAHAHA! Imagine Flo Jo in this shit. Wow. I know they said Jennifer's look was silly, but I think this is flat out ridiculous. By the way, this model constantly looks like she needs to crap. What the hell is wrong with her face? AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!
Joe...despite wanting to slap the shit out of Joe for the bulk of the episode (SACK UP, HO!), I actually quite liked this. I think you really need to make the shorts the same length as the skirt, but overall I think this hit the mark on the whole Olympics, USA, go team aspect of the challenge. The two color zipper thing was cool, I like the overall look and think it would work for athletic bodies. I like the retro-but-fresh effect of it all. I thought he hit the nail on the head with this look. I love the skort (although I agree about the length) and the jacket and everything else he did with this. And yeah, he was being a total bitch.
Keith...what is WITH this model and the face? Good lord. I thought she was just doing that because of the S&M-fest of last week but I guess her face is just stuck that way. I actually think I really like this skirt, though I would like it longer and not smooshed under there and looking like it's being squeezed out of a tube. The fabric was really nice and floaty, and all swirled around like that, I really liked the effect. Then...there was the rest. The basic shape of the top is nice but I hate the collar, and the scarf situation DEFINITELY does not jive with it. Even if she had just unzipped (is it a zip? I think it's a zip) the top a little more to give the scarf more room to breathe, it would have been vastly improved. Sort of the story of this outfit, really...if she'd just given all the elements of it room more space, it would have been much much better. I still don't think I would have liked the skirt for Opening Ceremonies but I would have enjoyed the overall effect much better. I think she looks really goofy. Keith is also getting on my shitlist somehow, although I'm not exactly sure why. I like the fabric for the skirt but the rest of it is stupid! I hate this. Next!
Kelli...this is the problem with turning these people loose in a museum first. Everyone decides they want to take it retro, and it all ends in tears. Is this a cute enough outfit? Sure. Is it appropriate for the Opening Ceremonies? Not really. I would wear it to work. Well, no, SOMEONE would wear it to work. I don't like the pocket/line things and my arms would look like slabs of dead meat in that shirt. But someone could! The retro stuff is fun but she looks like a flight attendant to me. It's boring and overdone and I'm over it.
Kenley...totally cute - for something that is not the Opening Ceremonies. I have been trying to get up the courage to try some highwaisted skirts, and I would absolutely try this because I love the plaid. That being said, isn't this a little too formal for the Ceremonies? Also, no red! I'm not so much a fan of this one. I just don't think it's appropriate, plus I'm not a plaid lover, so this look just doesn't do it for me. There's also something weird going on with the shirt but I don't know what. Kenley is starting to annoy the hell out of me. Is it any surprise she and Daniel are buddies?
Korto...I really don't know how I feel about this as the winner. It's fine and all, but it's kind of bland and I wish she'd lined the pants. The stripes along the pant crease are actually kind of neat, but with the effect replicated along the crotch seam...yick. The jacket is cute enough but I wonder how it would look on actual athletes - again, I'm thinking about swimmers. You put one chick who swims fly in that and it's going to look like some kind of Incredible Hulk parody. I would have liked to see a wider belt, as well. Just very very blah to me. I actually thought Korto was going to be in trouble, and was surprised when she was in the top 3, and eventually the winner. I love wide leg pants, but I also think they needed to be lined. The jacket is shapeless. I don't really think this would compliment an athlete's body at all., anyone? I actually like this for the most part. That being said, I wish that the neck ruffle action was flared out away from her face a bit more, because right now it just reminds me of how sorority girls of un certain age will wear like...a teeny teeshirt with a scarf in the dead of winter and you just think "if it is cold enough for one, it's automatically TOO cold for the other." Interestingly, this is much like Korto's color dynamic...lots of white with touches of red and blue, but I think because it's an opaque, clean, bright white and it's short and sleeveless, the proportion is much better and it makes the whole outfit spicier. I also thought this was cute, although the shorts were a little troublesome for me. They're...baggy or something weird. I do love the crisp white look and I think it's cute enough, although once again, not sure it would look so hot on an athlete. know, I actually kind of like this OUTFIT though once again (forever and ever with this challenge), it's not an Opening Ceremonies outfit. I am not in love with the belly button hole...I think the difference between the hole and it zipping all the way to the bottom of the jacket is the difference between Stella's style and a more sleek look. This would have worked out better, Olympics wise, if she'd used a lighter blue...the navy just blends right it, which produces some of the weirdness of the belly button hole. Funky outfit, not for Olympians, but neat. Also, I am in love with the crackedoutness of Stella now...I mean, there's just no bullshit, you know? She loves leather and she has her own aesthetic, and she's NOT deviating from it no matter what, and that's all there is to it. Also? That jacket thing she was wearing in her interviews? With the GIANT FUCKING SPIKES on it?! She is nuts and I love it. I also found the belly button hole on the bottom offensive. WTF? I don't know. I think she's kind of annoying and more whiney than she is straightforward. There's always this "Oh God I have to do something for the Olympics and how can they make me do this I only work with LEATHA" thing she has going on and it pisses me off. What did you expect? Plus, she always looks terrible. I don't mind that she wants to do her own thing, but it's getting fucking annoying.
Suede...ah, the Sailor Moon dress. I like the skirt, lots of nice movement. I actually have a similar skirt that is white with black ribbon, but it's of a light cotton and threatens Marilyn Monroe moments at every turn, so I don't wear it all that much. Unfortunately, from the waist up, this is boring as shit. He REALLY couldn't have come up with something a little more interesting? Pull some of the navy and red into the white top? A ruffle? ANYTHING? Showed promise, got boring fast. The skirt is adorable, and I do agree that the top is boring. This would probably make some of those athletic ladies look absolutely frightening, so yeah, probably not a good idea. I the only one that noticed that this tube top only came up to her NIPPLES? I was freaking out all "what? WHAT THE WHAT? What is going on in the nippular region?" and Speed is just like "you are crazy, everything is fine." Is it a conspiracy? That being said, I thought this was very chic and pulled together. I like the neck ruffle and the jacket has just the right amount of detail without being obnoxious. If you ask me, THIS is how people should dress for the Fourth of July, rather than buying stanky Old Navy teeshirts and generally looking like a high school history book puked on them. Also, this can replace the general category of "Americana" any time. When are people going to learn how to wear red, white and blue without being offensive on every level? This is the kind of thought that keeps me up nights. No, I noticed the shortness of the top as well. I was like...are those boobies sticking out on top? I'd like to say right now that Terri will be in the top 3, and possibly win the entire thing. She is often overlooked when her clothes are fucking gorgeous and chic. You can tell that her tailoring is impeccable and that her style is amazing. I was kind of disappointed that she didn't win because I thought this look was stylish and classy and would have been great on most bodies. Ditto on the 4th of July crap too.