Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just to be Clear

This would be a good time to discuss fire safety. If your sleeve catches fire STOP, DROP and ROLL. Don't panic. I know a flaming sleeve is scary but waving your arms and running in circles is NOT the best plan. Yes, your shirt is, sadly, ruined and those are some nasty burns you've got there, but you're going to make things worse if you freak out.

Also, I'd like to explain the concept of "gotcha journalism". Let's say I'm being interviewed and I say something like "I'm bigger than when I was married. Thank Jesus that designers now make clothes for regular size women". Then let's say that the tape is edited so that the sound bite is "I'm bigger than Jesus". That's "gotcha journalism". But if I reveal myself to be a blithering idiot with no understanding whatsoever of the topic and if large sections of my interview, unedited and verbatim, end up in the script for a comedy sketch, demonstrating for a wider audience just how blithering I am, that's way unfortunate for me but it is not gotcha journalism. It is also not sexism.

There's a plus to being outed as a blithering idiot, though. Especially if I'm about to go into a (completely structured) "debate" with someone who isn't a blithering idiot. Because then all I have to do is show up and not blither for 90 minutes (which I should be able to do because I am good at memorizing sound bites and zingers) and I'll be a hero. In fact, if I can just keep my designer shoes out of my mouth for 90 minutes, I could end up the winner of the debate. Nothing sweeter than lowered expectations.

And speaking of sweet, happy New Year to all my Jewish friends.

Meanwhile, I get to have cocktails with Anne tonight. She's in town and we're meeting up for real. Tomorrow night she's going to come watch Project Runway with me and the girls. How fun is that?

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Bringing in the Sheaves

The Seattle area is being graced with that most splendid of meteorological events, an Indian summer. Long past the point when it is supposed to be warm and pleasant it is, uh, warm and pleasant. The mornings are cool and dewy but the days are full of the sun we should have had in July. The crisp air of autumn is on hold until evening.

I had plans for a very lazy Sunday afternoon, but something about this last burst of warmth tripped the Pa Ingalls wire in The Spouse, who decided it was time to bring in the harvest. So I let him. Knock yourself out with your hops there, Papa Bear, I thought from the smuggery of my computer game, the notion of a nice long nap edging itself into my thoughts.

But after he brought in his bushel of hops, he insisted it was time to go after the grapes. His reasoning was sound. Next weekend we will be too busy (Autumnal Feast + a visit from Buck) and, given the current conditions, the grapes are ready now and will not wait for 2 more weeks.

I frowned. If we picked the grapes, I'd have to convert them into jelly and juice. He didn't expect me to drop everything to do that but using the same "not waiting for 2 weeks" logic, I knew that if the deed were going to be done it would have to be now. So I made a run to the grocery store for pectin and jars.

And may I just say that it delights me no end that here in the 21st century, in an urban center, one can still find Mason jars at Safeway.

We took to the vines with our tubs and scissors and whatever residual gripe I felt was smoothed away by the magic of the vendage. The sun beat down, the grape leaves rustled in the welcome breeze. The Child joined us with an exuberant "I love to pick grapes!"

It was a good harvest.

The Spouse and Child left for a party and I set to washing and stemming. I got out my old blue canner. I'm sure it came from Dame Judi, back in the years when I was in full "urban homesteader" mode. Something spoke to me, as it always does, a tug, deep in the heart, reminding me of farm days and DJ's steaming kitchen and the sweet ephemeral fragrance of fruit filling the house. In so many ways I do not live as my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother did. But in this one thing, at least, we are all connected...the tools and recipes are unchanged and through blue enamel and pectin I am as much the child of my ancestors as it's possible to be.

I measured and boiled and ladled. Then, as I started parceling out the green grapes for juice, I counted the pings as the seals set on the jelly jars...6-7-8....ah, there it was. I called out "nine!" triumphantly...all the jelly will keep.

Then I was done, having added 12, count 'em, 12 quarts of grape juice to the tally. Not a bad afternoon's work after all.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a Crazy, Mixed Up World

I guess things got pretty interesting in Washington yesterday. Secretary Paulson, according to the NY Times, even went down on one knee to implore Nancy Pelosi to support his bail out package. Although according to reports, it sounds like it was internal Republican politics that skewered the deal.

And can we just talk about how weird this whole thing is in the first place? Republicans, lovers of capitalism and the free market, freaking because their buddies are all going bust and thus turning immediately to socialism? I didn't study a whole lot of economics in school but the way I always understood it, capitalism was based on the premise that you either make money or you fail and if you fail, because of bad choices or bad times or whatever, oh, well, you fail. And if you succeed you're welcome to the spoils. Socialism, on the other hand, is pretty much where goods and services are owned by the government rather than individuals.

So the Republicans want a $700 billion socialist solution to a capitalistic problem? These are the same folks who, after harping on family values for generations, are putting up an adulterer and crappy parent against the God-fearing family man while still trying to convince us they have the upper hand when it comes to morality? Just asking.

I wasn't sure what I was going to play today. Sometimes I go with the first song on my mind when I wake up. But today that was "Eye of the Tiger". And having it on my mind was bad enough.

So I washed it out with a little something from the Davies brothers. I think that's Sling on keyboards.

The Kinks "Lola"

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Project Runway for your iPod

First of all, MAB gave me a talking Tim Gunn bobblehead for my birthday. It's awesome. See why she's my awesome boss?

After being in the bottom 2 for 3 weeks running, Suede is very clear that Suede needs to step it up or Suede is gone. Korto, on the other hand, has all her spidey senses tinglin'...she's so close to Bryant Park she can "smell it".

We have to auf 3 models (yawn) and people start to mix it up. LeAnne, in particular, starts something when she takes Suede's model. (This results in Suede shooting daggers into the back of her head and Korto whispering "You're a heartbreaker, LeAnne".) Turns out, Miss Sweet 'n Innocent was being strategic, claiming that Suede's model gave him a big advantage and she wasn't having any of that. Oooh, cold.

In the work room Tim exclaims, "I can count you all on one hand!" before announcing that tonight's challenge will have the remnants designing for each other. There is little joy. Then we learn that the whole model mix up was a waste of drama because the designers will be the models. But wait, there's more. Each designer will be representing a different musical genre, which must be the influence for the look. So here is how it goes down:

Suede is punk rock and Korto will be designing for him. Kenley is pop ("pop is cheesy", she says) and Jerrell will design her look. Rock and roll will be Jerrell and Suede is his designer, Kenley will be putting the hip hop on LeAnne (snort) while LeAnne has to find the country in Korto.

Korto is doing a whole lotta eye rolling and muttering. This contradicts her claimed passion to win. I'm not sure I've ever seen a designer quite so disdainful of the process.

There is a lot of behind-the-back chatter about Kenley moving off her '50's dress schtick to do something hip hop and Li'l LeAnne raps:"Yo, Kenley is designing for me. She better not make it look like 1950". Hysterical.

The designers have an hour to consult with their clients and then off to Mood where we are treated, for the first time this week, to Kenley's "don't tell me nothin', Tim Gunn!" attitude. She has chosen some heinous large morning glory print as part of her hip hop ensemble. Tim gently questions this choice and she gets in his face. Boooooo. Hissssss.

Kenley is scared of being "sexed up" by Jerrell. We learn that Suede is a classically trained cellist (Yo Yo Ma!) and is "definetely not punk rock" (he said while sporting his faux hawk). Korto meanwhile claims victory at Bryant Park in the name of Jesus. I think Jesus would just like her to be less mean.

Transformations occur before our eyes as the designers fit their looks. A pair of cowboy boots is all it takes to get Korto to start line dancing. (Good lord, has she got a substantial booty!) and OMG! OMG! Kenley looks exactly like a brunette Britney Spears!

Tim's Walk Around

Tim admires the silhouette of Jerrell's garment. Jerrell asks if it needs something more. "It needs more if it's the right more," says Tim.

Tim considers LeAnne's country look and opines that it might be "too subtle or too nuanced", although he celebrates its "pleasing proportions".

He tells Korto that her look isn't nearly punk enough and entirely "too basic". Korto, for all her eye rolling at the presentation of challenges, is not afraid to listen to The Gunn and the wheels start turning.

Suede is counseled that his rock and roll look for Jerrell "doesn't look ramped up enough...every detail matters". Suede needs to embrace the over-the-topness of rock and roll but he fears going too far. No one is sure there is such a thing but, you see, Suede is clearly afraid of Suede being told he's gone too far. He's designing with his head now, not his heart.

The real fun starts when Tim approaches Kenley. Tim is very Gunn-like; "Correct me. I'm an old fart" is the way he prefaces his concern that her look doesn't say "hip hop". Kenley argues that he's think of oversized '80s gangster stuff and that's not what she's doing. Note, she didn't explain this. She got immediately belligerent. They go back and forth a bit, Tim trying patiently to nudge her to consider her look objectively while she gets more and more nasal defending her vast and substantial knowledge of hip hop. Finally Tim loses his saintly calm and sternly tells Kenley that he is only trying to support her and it "would help if you removed the sarcasm and snarkiness". Anyone else would wither under such comments. Kenley just stamps her little foot. Tim walks away. And he looks M.A.D.

Upon further consideration does Kenley open herself up to Tim's critique? No. We are treated to at least 3 more tirades about how much she knows about hip hop. Every other designer in the house is shaking their heads and muttering things like, "Hip hop. Uh, right".

Korto nearly kills LeAnne with bleach fumes and Jerrell confesses that he is thinking of sabotaging Suede on the runway, adding that he's "sure" everyone else is thinking the same thing. Elf Boy is mean.

Day of the show Tim returns to the work room with a "Good heavens! What happened to everyone?" He giggles at the designers prancing around in their new looks and assures them "it's not going to be a dull show".

The Runway
LL Cool J, who makes clothes as well as music, is the guest judge.

Korto came down the runway first, working the subtle cowgirl look LeAnne cooked up. And girlfriend worked it, setting the kicky fringe to swingin' and demonstrating the skill with which LeAnne's very killer skirt managed to rein in Korto's booty.

Jerrell gave Kenley pure pop...short little skirt, a little leathuh, a lotta fishnet and that completely disquieting Britney Spears look-a-like thing.

Sadly, much as LeAnne stretched her little white self to be bad, Kenley's look was anything but hip hop. And the bunching at the crotch of the high waisted jeans was the personification of "unfortunate".

Suede was the most enjoyable he's ever been as he walked Korto's punk design. He was sticking out his tongue, throwing the goat and owning the look. I had to keep reminding myself that the very awesome bleached up jeans he wore were hand-made from the inseam up.

It was disconcerting then, to have Jerrell follow in Suede's look, which had about as much rock and roll edge to it as the lastest Mandy Moore single. Yawn.

The Judging
Raves for Korto. LL (can I call him LL?) said the look had "energy" and was "right on". Nina remarked on how like Marilyn Manson Suede looked (she was right) and raved about the bleach treatment on the jeans. Kors, in a "what did he just say?" moment remarked that he liked the "silhouette".

Kors was more spot on when he told Suede that his vest was "cool" but that that tight leathuh pants were "expected". Suede tried to defend his work, saying that there was a lot of detail if examined up close. Mr. Cool J (do you call him "Mr. Cool J?") patiently explained that subtlety was well and good up close but for a rock and roll look to work it had to be able to scream from the stage. (Kors later referred to the look as "rock and roll goes grocery shopping"). The most damning critique came from the Klumeister: "Jerrell looks like Jerrell".

Nina, who also caught the brunette Britney thing (it wasn't just us), was pleased that Jerrell managed to make a sexy pop look that was "exposed but not too naked". Mr. J on the other hand, said that he was disappointed at first that there wasn't more skin, then pleasantly surprised when Kenley took off her vest to reveal the bare fishnet back. (Men). Heidi worried about whether or not the girls had any support but Kors adored it for being "very smart, very sexy, without being vulgar".

Heidi informed Kenley that LeAnne was wearing "the most unflattering pants I've ever seen". Mr. J (we've decided on Mr. J) said that the outfit didn't read hip hop. And then Kenley, in the ultimate display of arrogance and self-absorption, proceeded to school Mr. J on the nuances of the hip hop look. (This struck me as the fashion equivalent of claiming foreign policy credentials because you can see Russia from your house). Nina supported Mr. J with a simple note that the look failed to "make the point" and Kenley continued to argue, roll her eyes, stomp her little foot and otherwise ingratiate herself with no one.

Finally, LeAnne got faint praise. Nina thought her choice of color was "fantastic" but would have liked more glamour, Heidi and Mr. J liked the skirt but Kors felt she could have "notched it up".

We were all agreed that Kenley should go. The Neighb picked Korto for the win, MAB went with Jerrell and I too thought Jerrell would win but said I wouldn't be surprised if Korto pulled it out.

It was, in fact, Korto who won. And she was proud of herself for taking on both punk and menswear with success. Praise Jesus. I guess.

The bottom two were Suede and Kenley. Suede was blamed for playing it safe, again. Kenley was dissed for displaying "no glamour, no bravado" and for having "missed the attitude of hip hop completely". They left out being a giant argumentative, know-it-all, eye rolling pissy face.

But in the end? "Suede is leaving," said Suede. And here's the crazy thing. I've been waiting for his mediocre 3rd person butt to be auf'ed for weeks but Kenley, who is the more consistently talented designer, is just on my last nerve and I was actually sad.

So we're down to 4. I love LeAnne and tolerate Korto. I expect to see them both in the final 3. But between Jerrell and Kenley I'm torn. I've not given Jerrell proper credit for his obvious chops but his mean-spirited elf boy thing grates on me. I continue to enjoy Kenley's overall aesthetic (provided she doesn't try to do hip hop ever ever again) but can no longer feel any love for someone who is so abusive to The Gunn.

I need to go cuddle my bobblehead.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Something I Find Really Amusing

In my job I have occasion to encounter a whole lot of people from a whole lot of walks of life. That in itself is quite something. But you just wouldn't believe how many people, in the course of a conversation, will look at me and say, "Of course, you're too young to know anything about this but...", followed by a reference to, oh, I don't know, life before cell phones or watching Armstrong walk on the moon or whatever.

Given that I am 51 years old today, I find that pretty frakking hysterical.

At this time I would like to thank my parents, Sean Connery and Dame Judi Dench, for their superfantastic genes. (They don't look their age, either).

I would also like to wish a happy birthday today to my darling MN Fan, Jane, and to the always delightful Bruce Springsteen.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Update

We had a pleasant weekend, with the right balance of doing and not doing.

The Child had a sleepover here on Friday with 2 friends -twins, as it happens- who were quite delightful, as other-people's-children go. Once, when the 3 were gathered around the piano, singing and laughing, I asked if they'd be back. "Oh yes!" piped one. "You guys are cool".

Kids. So gullible.

Saturday was my errand day. Intellectually I am not yet resolved in this. For many years I've been smug about the fact that my Saturdays were free and not spent erranding with all that 9-5 rabble. But in practise I'm adjusting. The key is starting early and getting a spot in the garage at Trader Joe's. If I can get there before the traffic cop is at the door, I'm good.

I also did Tittlemouse chores and pungled bills, which felt very good. Most exciting of all, I got my wedding ring back from the jeweler's. It is very beautiful.

In the afternoon The Neighbor and I also retrieved my niece Molly. She was in town with her boyfriend but they'd spent all their money and didn't have bus fare to our house. She was wet from walking and sad for leaving her boyfriend so we cheered her up at a Caribbean joint in our 'hood. She had mango lemonade, The Neighb and I had Lemon Drops and we all shared some spicy turnovers with green papaya salad. It was lovely.

Mols joined us for dinner and a movie and then church on Sunday morning. Then we went out to breakfast at Saffron to celebrate the Spouse's and my anniversary. 17 years and I can honestly report I love him more now than ever.

Yesterday afternoon was nearly perfect. The Child, Molly and I all sat in the living room and read for hours. Molly was studying Chinese opera, the Child and I were reading the Twilight series. There was some napping. I also made, and burned, an apple pie. (It's tasty...just stay away from the charred edges). Molly went back to campus and we ate roast beast and Yorkshire pudding. Then The Spouse and I watched the first installment of "Elizabeth"...the HBO one with Helen Mirren. Excellent.

And now a new week begins, which should be awesome because a) I love my job and 2) my birthday is this week and you know how I am about birthdays (even without the gigantic hooha and fuss of last year).

Happy Monday.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

I Tried to Post This Way Earlier But Blogger Was Wigging Out.

When I was growing up we had a house and a car. After a while we had 2 cars. Dad worked, mom stayed home (until she went to work for a while) and we kids went to public school. We had running hot and cold water, clothes on our backs, shoes on our feet and never, ever once went to bed hungry.

Houses, cars, clothes and shoes were not always new but -at least where we lived-there was no stigma around hand-me-downs. Sure, they maybe didn't always represent your own personal fashion choice, but "new to you" could be kinda fun. (And a few years later, with the rise of vintage stores, it became hip)

In my memory we were middle class. Looking on it as an adult, I suspect we were teetering in the other direction. In fact, I knew it as a kid, but only instinctively, the way kids know things when parents think they are being clever with their hushed tones and tight faces that spread into force smiles when the kid walks in. My parents worried about money.

The worry didn't stem from anyone being spend-thrift. Not to mention that Dame Judi was one of those who could (still can) decorate a house with charm and elegance out of cast off furniture and restored bits that would have been abandoned by anyone else. AND she fed six people every night with good, wholesome food. The fact that she could concoct 4-5 meals by coaxing the goodness out of the same hunk of roast beef was just a testament to her housewifery. (You do realize that "housewifery" is pronounced house-whiff-er-ee, right? I love that word).

But despite Sean's hard work and Judi's creativity there was, I dimly suspect, not quite enough. Not enough to save up, not enough to pay down, not enough to go crazy and take the kids to Disneyland. But it was still enough by most standards. I refer you to the whole house-food-clothes-education thing. And thus it was that even though I suspect that by financial standards we weren't, I always thought I'd grown up in the middle class.

The Spouse was definitely raised middle class, split-level house in the 'burbs, mom at home (she stopped working when the babies started coming), and the panoply of cars, clothes, etc. etc. that marked comfort.

Fundamentally, I suppose that's how I've always defined "middle class"...the comfort around the edges...not just the "things" like a house and 2 cars and a chicken in the pot, but the idea that you could easily get another chicken if unexpected guests dropped by. And I suspect, at least for people of my generation "middle class" has always been more an idea than a reality.

But it is different today. What a lot of us used to think of as middle class doesn't exist anymore. We have a whole lot of people who are "working poor" and I suspect they are the ones who used to be "middle class". They have jobs and houses and cars but they have to worry every frakking month about how to make what they earn stretch to pay the bills, feed the kids and coast until the next check. Meanwhile they pray that no one needs any medical attention, that the car keeps running and the house doesn't spring a leak. As for things like vacations, college and retirement?


I can't help but diverge into a little political analysis. On the one hand you have a guy who was pretty much raised in poverty AND shunned the cushy money that could have come from a Harvard Law degree to work among the disadvantaged in Chicago with a cat who's married to an heiress and doesn't know how many houses he has. Obama is disparaging about the fact that his book sales have made him a millionaire while McCain thinks "rich" starts at $5 million dollars. Which, of course, leads me to believe that if that's his "rich" cut off is $5 mil, he's got a majorly skewed notion of where the middle class exists. Which means that, hello?, when he talks about the struggles of the middle class he sure as hellfire ain't talkin' about you and me.

But it's a lovely fall day and I digress. There is a whole other definition of rich that we could discuss. Because the other kind of rich isn't in houses and cars and wardrobes (although heaven knows all of those are very groovy things). The other rich has to do with contentment with one's lot in life, having good friends, being at peace, being loved. It also probably includes having enough pie and a blog buddy or two with whom to share it. In that, I know, we are all rich.

Bare Naked Ladies "If I Had a Million Dollars"

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Project Runway: Who Can Turn the World on With Her Smile?

There was a dwindling of numbers this week; MAB has a very bad cold so stayed home to rest and we are down to a mere 6 designers.

Suede is so concerned about his brush with aufing that his mohawk is flat and he speaks in the first person: "I have to prove myself". LeAnne wonders if perhaps this week they will be designing "evening gowns for infants". It makes me giggle. "Infants" is a funny word.

Heidi introduces some "special ladies" and out troop, oh, I'm being so mean and shallow right now, but out troop 6 of the least attractive, dumpiest looking women I've possibly ever seen. And it's not just me because all the designers have that "oh, crap" look in their eyes even as they stretch their lips over their teeth in an approximation of a smile. But that Heidi, such a prankster. These aren't the clients. The clients, who come trooping out next, are the daughters of these women. All the girls are recent graduates and going out into the world to start their fabulous careers (cue the "Mary Tyler Moore" theme song). The designers are charged with giving them a head-to-toe makeover that will suit this new phase of their young lives.

The designers are all relieved but in the workroom Tim mentions that really, the mothers are clients as well to the degree that they will "no doubt have their own opinions". Joe extrapolates on this remark from his experiences as a daddy of daughters and worries about the dynamic that assures that if the mother loves something the daughter will hate it.

But we're caucusing with our clients and some designers are just delighted to death because they and their client + mom are of one mind (Kenley) and others not so much because they either have to do things they don't want to do ("pants are not Suede's thing") or because they just don't seem that jazzed about the challenge (Korto).

Surprise teleconference from MAB, joking that the mom of Anna (one of the clients) used to be Anna's dad. Since MAB herself sounds like she used to be Anna's dad, we make her go back to bed.

$100 and 30 minutes later Korto has declared herself the "queen of leathuh" now that Stella is gone and this amuses me.

As the designers get sewing we hear lots of "first job" stories accompanied by fresh faced "gee whiz" photos from the era. Which for LeAnne was 2 months ago. Joe didn't always have a beard. He's pretty hot without a beard. (I've never been one for the facial hair).

During the first round of fittings we see the extension of the love/not love that happened upon the first caucus. LeAnne has made a really cute dress with lots of detail and her client isn't thrilled with it. LeAnne prepares to rework the ensemble with a "one sexy teacher dress coming up". I truly like LeAnne. She is funny. I like her designs and she seems to understand the challenges.

Joe on the other hand, seems to think that the challenge is to create a suit. Just a suit. Because obviously, that's what women wear when they go to work. A suit. A pinstripe suit. With a pocket square. I have visions of women on the ferry, wearing pinstripe suits and tennis shoes, going to their jobs in Manhattan. Carly Simon is singing. I realize I'm channelling "Working Girl". Seriously, Joe. Pocket squares? I'm not alone. Kenley and Jerrell have quite a lot of fun mocking the pocket square (emphasis on "square") concept.

The budding professionals return for a second fitting, this time without their opinionated moms, which makes everyone happy. Suede has successfully steered his client away from her preference for pants which, you'll remember, are not Suede's thing, and LeAnne's client is happy with the changes made to her dress. The relationship between Kenley and her client is somewhat mutually sycophantic and I didn't even realize there was such a thing.

Tim calls a "gather 'round" but poo, it's nothing exciting (like "now quick quick update all the poor dowdy mothers while you're at it"). It's time for a TREsemme infommercial. Blech.
Tim's Walk-Around
Tim is not dismayed (for a change) by Suede's garment, except to say that he has "issues" with the pockets on the jacket (which I think are one of the more redeeming things about his garment) and that, despite Suede's assurance that he has measured them, the sleeves seem uneven.

Tim tells Joe that he disputes the "relevance of this look", particularly given the chosen field of his client (which I want to say is graphic designer or some other hip thing). Joe rebuts that he is not concerned about her career path and Tim tsks, "But that is everything".

Jerrell gets a simple "really stunning" (and dammit! it is).

Kenley has done what Kenley does best, a vintage inspired dress. Tim suggests that the tulle underskirt could come up to the length of the dress and still work. And to the camera she says, "I'm not going to listen to Tim". Gasp!

Joe gets misty missing his family. The girl designers totally dis on Suede's lack of talent.

The Runway
Guest judge is Cynthia Rowley.

Joe: the client's mom is weeping. From pride or humiliation we'll never know.

LeAnne: love how this turned out. (Although the dress was way cute and the model never took off the jacket, which she shoulda).

Jerrell: just plain adore this. Dammit. Again.

Korto: oh, eww. The Neighbor and I find no relationship between the jacket and the dress.

Suede: The Neighbor loved the fabric, I did not. It reminds me of something a very large woman would wear while shopping at Walmart. I enjoyed the jacket slightly more but The Neighbor did not. It is this tension which keeps our relationship interesting. The client, however, clearly felt like a million bucks and worked that frakking runway.

Kenley: still a fan of her sensibility, if not her nasal tones. However, in contrast with Suede's client, hers was obviously not loving the runway.

The Judging
Heidi declared that Kenley had found a "mini me". She seemed quite sarcastic about that but the other judges loved the look, calling it "charming, cute" (Nina) and "the right look for the right girl" (Kors). Rowley thought it might be a "little fairy tale" but did not hate it.

Rowley smacked Joe for not considering that there were "other options" than a suit to make a woman look professional. Kors said it looked like it was designed for a "60 year old" and when he mentioned the pocket square Kenley had one of her passive-aggressive nasal snort fests. Nina dismissed the look as "cliche".

Shockingly, we were in complete opposition to the judges collective opinion about Korto's look. While we found it disconnected and icky, they all liked it a lot. Kors said it looked "current". Ok, Mikey, whatever.

Jerrell got nothing but raves. Heidi said "It's great...you're hired" and Nina loved the juxtaposition of the more traditional cardigan and the ruffly (fabulous) blouse.

Finally, Suede was mercilessly bashed for a "gratuitous jacket" (Rowley), Kors said you'd "never guess" girlfriend wanted to be a photographer when she grew up by looking at it and Nina...well, Nina hated it so much that she couldn't even talk about how much she hated it. I have never seen Nina speechless.

MAB teleconferenced in again at the break to vote. Both The Neighb and I picked Jerrell to win and Suede to lose; MAB was in agreement with the winner but waffled between Suede and Joe for the auf. Snaps to us for getting the win right...Jerrell for the second time in a row. (Do wish he'd lose his Jolly Green Giant hat, though).

And while Suede's "dated, overworked and impractical" ensemble was heinous, it was Joe who was "outsie daisy" (as one of his kids interprets auf Wiedersehen) for having "aged a beautiful girl" with a look that was "drab and cliche".
MAB is already voting for Kenley to be auf next. I myself am just sad that Suede lives to torment us for yet another week.


I Approve This Message

I'm sleeping, all snuggly and warm, and The Spouse's alarm goes off. I don't mind. I still have half an hour before I get up.

I try to go back to sleep; the volume on his alarm clock is low enough to manage that. I'm almost there and then, eyes still closed, I blurt out "That's a lie!"

There is was, yet another sound bite of McPain telling people Barack "is going to raise your taxes".

Barack Obama is N.O.T. going to raise taxes on you unless you are one of the 5% wealthiest Americans. Show of hands: who here makes a quarter of a million dollars or more a year?

(crickets chirping)

That's what I thought.

Mr. Straight Talk is anything but. He and his trained chimp (yes, I called her a trained chimp but that's not sexist. I didn't say the chimp was wearing makeup) are lying out both sides of their mouths and falling all over their flip flops at a dizzying rate. These people are telling so many lies that even Karl Rove, Karl frakking Rove says they've gone too far. That's like Darth Vadar saying you're too mean.

All you can see now of the Straight Talk Express is tail lights. Whatever integrity John McCain had at the beginning of this contest is officially gone. And that's no lie.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm Sorry...Did You Say "Bullish" on America or....

Well, I just finished hiding all my money in a mattress. You?

Monday, September 15, 2008


Last night The Child was talking about school. It's been going really well. So far she's getting straight A's. Math is "easy" (owing to the fact that so far it's all been review of the stuff she learned last year). She has good friends and is planning a series of sleep-overs. She's already found a niche and it's the most wonderful thing in all the land.

"You are really enjoying school now, aren't' you?" I asked.

She stopped washing dishes, turned to me with a big grin and said, "I really am." She paused briefly and then added, almost shyly, "I just feel so cool when I'm walking with my friends after choir and carrying my bag across the courtyard to the cafeteria. I can't explain it". Her eyes sparkled.

She didn't have to explain. I feel the exact same way when I walk across the parking lot, carrying my briefcase, toward my office. Exactly the same way.

What makes you feel cool?

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Friday, September 12, 2008

I Pledge Allegiance

After discussion with some trusted advisors I have decided to fill in all y'all about my new job. Some of you are already priy to the details but really, this is a story that needs to be told to everyone.

My initial reluctance owed to the fact that there's a .gov behind my work email address. It's not that blogging is strictly forbidden by federal employes but, well, being circumspect seems a wise course.

But as my job is associated with such a superfantastic mission, I can't not tell you about it. Not to mention that if you've never heard about this program, you should.

There's an organization called The Fisher House, created by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher. These fine and fabulously wealthy people had a passion for serving our veterans. The foundation has a lot of cool programs but the main focus is building homes on DOD and VA campuses which serve as a home away from home for the families of vets in hospital. While their loved one is being treated the family can stay-at no cost- in a beautiful home environment nearby.

The Fishers build beautiful houses, appointed with great beauty and comfort, then basically gift the house to the hospital to manage. The expense of operations and upkeep are funded by private donations. The 40th such house was just dedicated at the VA here in Seattle and I'm working as the "Program Support Assistant", which basically means I do whatever MAB needs me to do).

Now, as you know, I've never been a big fan of war but I always believed that if we are going to ask people to sacrifice for their country we have a boundless obligation to care for those who serve. And as much as I worry that we can also do more for our vets, I know that we all too easily forget the other heroes: the families that give their loved ones to us. These families also serve. They wait with their hearts in their mouths, tour after tour, praying that they don't get that phone call. When they do it is bad enough. If they live far away from where their loved one is being treated it is even worse. Fisher Houses step into that breach. A wife or parent or child may spend all day at the hospital but at night they can go "home". They can have a touch of normalcy - cook, a meal, read a book, watch "Project Runway". They can build community with others in the house, people who completely understand all they are going through. In peace and comfort they can recharge their batteries, enabling them to turn around the next day and engage in the process of aiding the healing of their loved one.

I am beyond proud that every day I can go too work and be a part of all that. The fact that I work in a beautiful place with the best boss in all the land? Trust me when I say, that's all gravy.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Project Runway: Today's Horoscope

Big fun for our little viewing group tonight as we were joined by Mary from Maryland (MFM), an adorable little thing we met because of work but who we want to keep forever 'n ever because she's precious.

Personally, I could care less about all the little bits of business at the beginning where everyone is either struggling to awaken, making coffee, appearing shirtless (hubba hubba) or mumbling unflattering things about the other contestants. Really, you're just wasting my time. Except for one funny thing this week, wherein someone...Suede or Blayne...I wasn't really paying attention, claimed to have had a dream wherein the challenge was to make a "sweetheart neckline dress out of chiffon and pop tarts". (Since that was funny and no first person references were involved, logic tells me it came from Blayne).

But I'm not one to comment on the dreams of others. The night before I dreamed I was making out with Steven Tyler. It was too sloppy.

As we settled in, MAB commented that she couldn't believe she didn't have to be scared anymore, what with Stella gone. And then what should happen but Heidi introduces this week's "special guests" and out troop all the losers who've already been auf'ed. The remaining designers will be paired with the losers, who will act as "inspiration and helpers". Faces crunch up in despair. You can smell the fear. Heidi assures the players that none of the losers have the opportunity to return to the game but that does little to alleviate the funk.

As for the challenge? They are paired up by their astrological signs. They will choose one of the two signs and design a representational avant garde outfit. Terri and Keith are one of the teams. This won't be pretty. You can see Terri bare her fangsteeth and Keith's eyes are already welling up with blubbering tears. Oy vey.

Each team has 30 minutes to "caucus" (a word I just love when it falls from Tim Gunn's lips) and I determine to remind myself to tell MAB we have to caucus whenever we need to discuss anything at work.

As an aside, we no longer love Kenley because we can't stand to listen to her talk. She needs a voice coach. Also, while MAB originally found Stella scary we are all agreed that the truly -fearsome designer is Terri. She's take-your-kidney-in-a-dark-alley-and-not-bother-to-pack-you-in-a-bathtub-full-of-ice scary. Stella would only be scary if she was jacked up on tequila and you made fun of Rat Bones...an easily avoided situation.

Right, so we go to Mood and spend $250 and then we're back at Parson's where Terri decides Keith will be good to "count the pins that fell on the floor", while LeAnne suggests Kenley is way overconfident. But I suspect the real annoyance comes from Kenley's all too nasal voice, which grows increasingly annoying as the weeks pass. Kenley said something stupid about "some girls just not wanting to have fun". This is how she justifies not being universally adored. Kinda like when Sarah Palin cries "SEXISM!" every time someone disagrees with her.

Tim's Walk Around
Blayne says a bunch of incoherent crap accompanied by odd noises that are supposed to explain his look. When he finally shuts up Tim quietly asks, "Can I ask 'why'?"

Jerrell is making a gown. The skirt looks to be made of suit fabric. Tim rightly inquires about his fabric choice and admits to being "totally perplexed".

Some designers are being very literal about their interpretation of the chosen sign. LeAnne is one of those. This doesn't seem like a good idea in most cases but in LeAnne's hands it works. Her sign is Scorpio and she's making a sort of exoskeleton around her dress. Tim is enchanted.

Kenley is making what she calls a "pod shirt" with a bustier. Tim reminds her that "there is a fine line between avant garde and costume". To which she replied, "What play have you ever seen this in?" She continues to argue (in her annoying nasal voice) until all Tim has left is "Don't listen to me". (Somewhere a death knell begins to sound).

I can't even describe in words what happened when Tim got around to Terri and Keith. To describe these two as oil and water is to do a disservice to the motto. Tim said something about the compatibility of their signs and how that should signal a happy collaboration and he is met with the definition of "awkward silence". It goes on so long that he is forced to ask what is going on, at which point the two begin to bicker in the manner that is characteristic of them both and makes me want to take Stella out for tequila.

Up to this point I'm thinking that this challenge borders on the cruel but then we get a twist. The designers get to take their models to the Planetarium for a little party where, it turns out, some former winners (and finalists) from previous seasons are going to judge the designs and actually vote on the winner (a decision that won't be announced until the Runway).

This is as good a place as any to mention something I've been talking about with a lot of my PR friends recently: this season sucks. Ok, maybe not sucks as in "I have better things to do on a Wednesday night" but certainly sucky because there's no passion. The designers I like the most don't thrill me like my favorites from previous seasons. Even my hatreds are far less strong than those I've known before. No, there is something missing this time around. Nothing to be done about it, but Season 5 will likely go down in PR history as one of the weakest ever.

After the party (at which Kenley and Heidi get into a debate about boobs and Kenley declares "If Heidi is talking nonsense I'm going to step in and set her straight"), there is a flurry of last minute fixes (well, at least on the part of the designers who are either mature enough to be open to critique or terrified of losing) and then it's time for the runway.

Francisco Costa, creative something or other at Calvin Klein, is the guest judge. He also has to sometimes be subtitled. There's nothing more amusing that someone speaking English being subtitled.

The Runway

Blayne: oh. Why, why, why? This clown should have been auf'ed the first week. Period.

Kenley: this is sad. And bad. It's sad and bad. It's bad, sad plaid.

Terri: she modified her design which shows an openness to the opinions of others. This would be moving if a) she were open to the opinions of others and 2) her look were remotely interesting.

Joe: beautiful. Seriously starting to take Joe seriously.

LeAnne: oh, my little pixie. Could we be looking at a 3rd straight win?

Korto: a maternity dress for a water nymph.

Suede: MFM summed it up best when she opined, "It looks like something from 'Designing Women'".

Jerrell: There is nothing in the world wrong with the skirt of this gown. In fact, it is fabulous. Except for the fabric. It does not read "avant garde" so much as "board meeting".

The Judging

Remember, the winner has already been chosen and is only to be revealed. So critique is reserved for the bottom four.

Nina, who really has pulled in her claws this season, remarks that Blayne's look is "haphazard". Heidi politely says that she doesn't love it. Kors, embracing his bad cop role declares -and you had to agree with him - "It looks like she's pooping fabric!"

Terri's dress is deemed something to be worn by a "voodoo princess from hell". But the worst of it was that we were treated to more of her and Keith's bickering: "he didn't help"..."she wouldn't let me"..."you started it"..."no, you did"...."did not"...."did too"...."MOM!!!!!" Oy, someone put those brats in time out. Since Keith was of no consequence, Kors turned all his venom on Terri, fiercely informing her that there was no way she'd make it in fashion if she didn't know how to collaborate.

Dig me, enjoying Michael Kors.

Kenley's ridiculous dress got less bashing than I felt it deserved but it wasn't the critiques that mattered so much ("nothing to do with the sign", "doesn't look new", etc). It was the fact that Kenley argued with every frakking thing any judge said. And I mean, argued. I'm not talking about a cogent defense of her vision. I'm talking the kind of baseless justifications that I routinely get from my 14 year old about why her room isn't clean.

Suede was this week's we-need-t0-have-four-people-in-the-bottom-so-you're-it-but-obviously-safe guy. The worst the judges had for him was that it wasn't remotely avant garde and was pretty much, as Nina put it, "bordering on the expected".

The Verdict

We were all agreed on the two, count 'em, two designers who should go home: Blayne (for being consistently horrible and way overdue) and Kenley (for being such an argumentative nasally biatch). MFM, The Neighbor and I were quick in our unanimous vote for LeAnne to win. MAB picked Joe but at the last minute jumped on the LeAnne wagon. (She could do that because we haven't yet installed our electronic voting booths).

But what's this? Who did you just declare the winner? Jerrell? Are you frakking kidding us? The good news? There's no more immunity. The bad news? Jerrell is still here. And still wearing his weird elf boy hats.

Kenley, to our surprise, is declared "safe". But Blayne, rightly, is finally "auf"alicious. He was so auf he didn't even get the Klum kiss off. And neither did Terri. Auf she went as well and good riddance.

All the tears in the waiting room suggest that Blayne was better loved than I would have thought. That's nice. It should comfort him on the plane ride back to his barista job in Seattle. I just hope his espresso is better than his designs. As for Terri, I suspect no one is sad to see her go and lord knows I'll rest easier knowing my kidneys are now safe.

Prediction for the final three: LeAnne, Korto, and Joe. Discuss.

Thank you for the photos, Bravo.


Farm Animals Don't Actually Wear Makeup

I'll have my PR recap up this afternoon. In the meantime, I believe I am ready to predict the final three: LeAnne, Korto and Joe. Discuss.

Now, a political observation:

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

Birds of a feather flock together.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

These are all common expressions, used to illustrate various points. Within the context of a political discussion on the economy or the war or immigration (for example), they are benign. Lift them out of context, however, and they are obviously a huge slam at Sarah Palin. Because she's touchy like that.

Big baby with her false outrage.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

This Would Never Have Happened if Gilmore girls Was Still on the Air

My job is the result of a project sponsored by a foundation back east. They are wonderful people and very passionate about what they do. Tonight they are hosting a dinner at one of the best restaurants in town, a place so nice that in all my 33 years in Seattle I've never been there. It's a schmoozy affair for big brass and board members and such like that. Yesterday MAB said, "Oh, we want you to come to the dinner tomorrow night...I put you down as a 'yes' but it occurred to me that I should ask you properly".

"Well, golly, MAB," I said. "I don't know. I'll have to make some calls, rearrange a few things, but I suppose I could be there".

Golly gosh, I'm excited. Fortunately, I've been at the job long enough to know just enough of the people involved that I won't feel like a complete idiot when we arrive. I'm never very good with the "hi, my name is...what do you do..." sort of chitter chat that these sorts of affairs usually require. But under the circumstances I think I'll be able to manage; especially since a nice dinner is involved. I know how to eat.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Wherein I Babble

The place where I work is brand new. We're having our ribbon cutting this week. But, as with any new place, there are all sorts of last minute details to be seen to; like getting in computers. I've been without an Internet connection for 2 weeks. Can you imagine? Golly, I feel so disconnected from what's going on in Blogtopia...no time to read other blogs, no time to comment on my own. It's really quite unpleasant. Hopefully that circumstance will change by the end of today and then I can be like all the rest of you, with your surreptitious blogging from work. (Actually, I may even be encouraged to do a little blogging from work...MAB isn't thrilled about waiting for her Project Runway recaps).

What else? I've lost 3 pounds since I started the job. I spend a lot of time running around, lifting stuff and going up and down stairs. This is superfantastic.

I'm bird happy with my gig, btw. Bird happy. I knew it was, on paper, perfect for me but it really and truly is. MAB is the best boss because she respects my work and trusts me to do it without micromanagement. Actually, I'm sorta become Radar to her Captain Blake. Which I love. My best jobs have always been the ones where I know my boss well enough to anticipate what he or she is going to need. It makes me happy to make other people happy.

The home front is simmering nicely. Now, Cuz and Mouse, you might want to leave this page up and encourage your spouses to move in the general direction of your computer. Because The Spouse is being awesome. It's not just that he made that suggestion a couple weeks ago about helping out more. He's really doing it. The other night we were talking about the menu for this week and he said to plan for him to cook Monday through Wednesday since I'd be especially busy getting ready for the ribbon cutting. To be perfectly honest with you, he's adjusting to this better than I am. I still haven't quite figured out how to come home at night, switch gears and do homekeepingish things. I'm sure I willl, but the fact that he stepped into the breach right away is just blowing me away.

And The Child, oy. She is LOVING school. She has a whole lunch table full of friends, which you know just warms my mommy's heart. And from what I can tell, she's stepping up to her academic responsibilities and getting her homework done when she gets home. I suspected the whole not-having-me-standing-over-her-thing would be positive in that regard. OH! And on Friday she went to her first theater audition; she's trying out for "The Boyfriend"...call backs are this week. She's very cheery about the whole process and doesn't seem particularly concerned if she doesn't make it this first time. I'm not sure I've ever seen a child so determined to grow up and be a specific thing. She has every intention of being an actress and welcomes every opportunity to learn more about the craft.

Today begins Spirit Week at school and the theme is (tee hee) the 80s. Dig Billy Idol and Madonna's love child:

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Lying Liars Who Lie

I know it's Jukebox Friday and I know that means music. But after a week of crappity crap, fearmongering, lies, character assassination and spin I'm so boiling mad (and dizzy) that I can't write straight. It's not just that I like to be articulate when I'm on my soapbox. But when I'm foaming at the mouth and waving my hands like a lunatic I have a tendency to fall off. A girl could break a hip.

This NYT editorial sums up some things nicely.

For the rest, we go to my good friend, Jon Stewart:


Project Runway: I Spy

After the model auf'ing we get right down to business. Heidi introduces a "special guest" and out comes The Gunn; "just little ol' me", he says. He tells the designers they will be designing for a fashion legend and takes them off to the meat-packing district. Blayne informs us that he hopes the "fashion legend" is "Mary Kate" and all I can think is, "Really? This is his standard for 'legend'? Well, that explains everything". But then, Blayne wants to marry Mary Kate. Which also explains everything.

We pop into a glorious show room and who should sashay down the dramatic staircase but the one and only Diane Von Furstenberg. "I want to be her. Right. Now". says The Neighbor. MAB wonders if they will be asked to make a wrap dress. Diane graciously greets each designer then announces that they will be creating a look for her fall line, based on the movie "Foreign Affair". The winning look will be sold exclusively to American Express cardholders (hey! I have one of those!). As an added bonus, the designers will get 15 minutes to select fabrics in Diane's sample room.

The selection process reads more like the looting of New Orleans, with Tim responding with "Good heavens," and "Wow" at the mayhem that ensues.

Kenley is this week's weeping mess. She is bowled over by the opportunity to design for Von Furstenberg, who she adores beyond telling. Apparently she's only ever designed for Walmart before this and she can barely hold in her joy-tinged-with-terror.

Back at the workroom the designers have some time to examine Diane's
'look books'. Stella seems confused and The Neighbor notes that "there are no grommets in Diane von Furstenberg's look".

Kenley sees that the looks are all layered but decides that rather than try and scrabble together 3 pieces of crap just to have 3 pieces, she's going to focus on one perfect dress. Bold or safe? Hmmm..

Suede just hopes Diane loves Suede.

Guess what? Blayne draws really beautifully. So does Jerrel. Shame about the sewing.

Terri announces that this challenge is up her alley because she's all about the androgyny. The other designers are increasingly commenting on the fact that Terri only ever makes one look. Perhaps. But she does have a way with the trousers.

LeAnne has, it turns out, always wanted to be a spy, and is skulking around the workroom with shifty eyes. She's getting more adorable by the day.

Tim's Walk Around

Suede says he loves camouflage and is inspired by Berlin. Tim says "I'm not getting it visually". He also notes that the dress is way too full around the hips and suggests Suede "think about the shape". Suede will send a memo to Suede.

Tim is stunned by the "phenomenal color" and "sublime shape" of the dress LeAnne is designing. She's making a jacket for it as well (which looks fab in her drawing) but Tim finds the jacket sloppy and counsels her to think about it.

Joe is making a hooded shawl to go over some wicky whack faux Mandarin top in a not completely unpleasant shade of pink but personally, I think the hoodie effect is icky. Tim, on the other hand (and he is The Gunn, after all) praises Joe for being "ambitious, stepping up and out". After this garment, Joe is going to run for governor of Alaska.

Korto is making a 3 layer look with a pop of yellow at the top and bottom. At first Tim isn't so sure about the yellow, especially as the peek of it at top looks like bra straps, but he starts to warm to it and loves the "volume on top".

Stella. Oh, Stella. She describes the look to Tim: "She's a traveller...she's from Paris, right?" "Berlin," says Tim. Paris. Berlin. Both big cities in Europe, right? Stella is so completely unconcerned about the competition; not because she thinks she's all that so much as because she just doesn't seem to get real het up about much of anything. Stella is the ultimate "whatevah" girl.

Tim is gaga over the "beautiful silhouette" of Kenley's dress and exclaims "I see Shanghai!" Yeah, it's only one piece but such a piece. Tim doesn't seem too concerned by her lack of layering.

Tim's final counsel to the group is to work hard so that they will "blow Diane von Furstenberg's stilettos off those staggering legs of hers".

I. Love. Tim. Gunn.

The Runway
Joe: I was right. That hoodie is stupid and the pink top is way too short.

LeAnne: love. this. dress. Love it, love it, love it. And the jacket looks super.

Terri: I think the other designers are right; Terri is a singer on one note. Nicely made but samey same.

Jerrel: "OH!" said MAB. "I don't like it". What is up with his weird hat obsession?

Korto: pretty dress, although she defied Tim because the yellow bra straps are still there.

Blayne: horrible. But that's to be expected by now.

Suede: oh, no, no, no, no. That vest with the dress looks dreadful.

Stella: oy. It's not that the suit she's put together is horrible in concept. But the construction is abysmal.

Kenley: we like this dress. A lot. So Kenley's POV.

The Judging

What has happened to Nina? She's gone again this week. Filling in for her is Fern Mallis, who's the Bryant Park fashion week mucky muck.

Diane likes the yellow in Korto's dress, Fern praises the "international" look and Heidi admires the jacket. Which means there is no love left for Joe. The judges unanimously are not liking this. Diane doesn't like the open back of the top and Kors says the ensemble is not cohesive.

Heidi thinks Kenley's dress is pretty but disappointed that there is only one piece. Diane, on the other well-manicured hand, likes the dress very much and praises Kenley for being true to herself. (Which probably made Kenley want to cry all over again).

Stella is in the bottom. Again. Diane likes the tweed she used for the suit but not the shiny fabric of the cape AND she gives a lecture about how the shape of the cape (that rhymes) is totally wrong for the period. Kors said the crotch of the trousers were "every woman's nightmare" and then said something about how it looked like she was "missing something" down there. Which is a little weird because hello, women ARE missing something down there. But whatever. He's an orange gay man. How would he know? He also expressed disappointment that Stella had lost her "edge".

LeAnne is uniformly praised for her (gorgeous) dress. Diane liked the yin and yang of the sleek gown with the more masculine jacket and called it all "sexy". Heidi thought is was something "new and different" and Kors said there was "a lot of design in there".

I'm guessing that Diane did not, in fact, love Suede as much as Suede had hoped. She found his dress completely unflattering, with too much fabric at the hips. (What did Tim say?) Fern said the jacket threw the whole dress off and Kors asks the dreaded question: "Did she get dressed in the dark?"

At the break (as we stuffed our faces with lemon pound cake and pecan pie) MAB voted for Korto to win and Joe to go home. The Neighb and I agreed about Joe but wanted to see the win go to Secret Agent LeAnne.

LeAnne did, indeed, win (for the second time in a row) which makes me happy because now that means I can by the outfit; assuming I can ever think of anywhere fabulous enough to wear it. (I wish you could see the back of this dress. It's stunning).

Even though Joe's outfit was confused and the back was a disaster, it was crazy Stella who was auf'd for not doing any of her 3 pieces well and for making a "major misstep". So you know what Stella did? She thanked Heidi, told her that she'd learned a lot and went backstage to smile and joke and hug everyone goodbye. Tim remarked that it was a most "ebullient departure". Stella doesn't care, you see, if you like her clothes. If you do, buy 'em and if you don't "walk on by". You gotta admire that sort of non-blubbering chutzpah.

Now our little leathuh queen returns to her beloved Rat Bones and we are left wondering if next week we will finally see Blayne's tail lights.


Recap This Afternoon

So come back for my take on the latest episode of Project Runway.

For the record, however, please note that this morning I'm wearing a wrap dress to work.

Diane von Furstenberg rules.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Neither Religious, Nor Right

For the record, I'm not upset that the Religious Right is rallying around the Palin family. It might be a bit much that they are turning an unwed pregnant 17 year old into some sort of hero, but that's better than stoning her in the village square.

What bothers me is how purely disingenuous is that embrace.

If Joe Biden's daughter was knocked up would Dobson and Perkins et al be standing by her family? Of course not. In that instance, we'd be hearing all about the moral lassitude of Democrats, how a father with a pregnant teen is clearly unfit for the 2nd highest job in the land, about how our culture and media glorify sex and "tsk, tsk" this is just another sad example but what can you expect from people with no family values?

You know I'm right.

For 30 some years the Religious Right has been breaking our heads with their sanctimonious crap. They are not perfect, they'll hasten to tell you, just forgiven and this is what allows them the "moral" high ground from which to pronounce judgement on the rest of us.

James Dobson believes that teen pregnancy is the result of parental neglect. But you won't hear that this time; partly because it's not true. Teen pregnancy is, as our new poster child for abstinence-only education illustrates, caused by teens having unprotected sex. But the other reason you won't hear anything suggesting that there is a smitch wrong with the way the Palins raised their daughter is because, hello, the Palins are Republicans.

You see, for a group that spend all their time living in black and white, proclaiming at every opportunity the moral absolutes of their tenets, the Religious Right is only too quick to indulge lapses, forgive sins and adjust their ethics to the situation - provided the individual in question is a Christian (of their stripe) and a red state conservative.

Grace, redemption and understanding are reserve for the few, despite the fact that Scripture is quite clear on the universality of God's love for all humankind. Somehow, the wing nuts keep missing that.

I'm glad the Palin family are standing by Bristol in this matter. That is only right. What sickens me is that the rest of the wingnut community is falling over themselves to be gracious, even as they continue to poke holes in the family values of the rest of us.

This must be what Jesus felt when he called the Pharisees "whited sepulchers". The "Religious Right" has no credibility with me and won't until the day when they demonstrate the love of Christ to everyone, not just people like themselves.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Oh, Fine

This morning's vlog is on YouTube so all y'all better go over there and make it viral or whatever it is you threatened to do.


McCain Palin: Who Knew?