Friday, October 30, 2009

I Designed that First

We have 6 designers left and only 2 of them are boys. And the 2 boys in question do not, imho, have what it takes to go all the way, Fashion-week-wise. This is the point where neither Logan's hotness nor Christopher's, uh, spunky attitude (?) will do anything to save them. One (more) bad design and either one is "auwt". And meanwhile, the girls are all having a "we're all girls and why aren't there more big designers who are women because women know how to dress women" conversation. Doesn't really matter this time around...clearly at least 2 of 'em are going to Fashion Week.

The designers meet Heidi, with their backs to the runway. They hear rustling and then Heidi tells them to turn around. There on the runway are their best looks. In the case of all the designers but 1, it is a winning look. (Logan, you'll recall, hasn't won any challenge. The judges just picked what they considered his best look). The challenge, which we think is quite intriguing, is to create a companion piece to that winning look.

Irina takes a moment to bitch that there are "2 people here who should already be gone". I assume she means the boys. Unless she means one of the boys + Gordana. Either way, it's the first of her snarks for the evening.

The designers have 30 minutes to sketch, a $100 budget and until midnight to complete the look. We see some very lovely sketches and then the camera lingers on Christopher's sketch pad. Remember, he has no prior fashion experience. His drawing is reflective of that. "Wow, that's puffy and weird," I say.

Carol Hannah feels compelled, for strategic reasons, to do a pant as she worries that her penchant for dresses will be viewed as limited. But she's not really feeling it and at Mood The Gunn counsels her that "to be über creative you need to be in something of a comfort zone". Which I found very interesting because one assumes that getting away from the comfort zone is the spur to creativity. But he has a point, because he is the Gunn and so Carol Hannah decides to make a dress after all. She's still floundering a bit back in the workroom, so after laying out all her fabric she goes for coffee.

Irina makes slitty eyes at Carol Hannah. Then she blathers about how she's going for a companion look to her Aspen ensemble that could"go to work" and look "clean and polished". She also totally rips off the "sitting in a ski lodge sipping champagne" line from last week. Because she likes us to think she's all that and a bag of fat-free chips.

Althea riffs off the paper bag waist from the skirt of her winning look, making a pant with similar silhouette. Logan's comments provoke a Malvin flashback. (mmmmm....omelets). Althea is not amused.

There is, in fact, much tension and biting of lips as all the designers do the "1 out of 6" math.

Did you know that Gordana was a Bosnian Serb?

The Neighbor informs me that Cake told her that Logan said that he wasn't on a lot of the interview clips because he refused to snark about the other designers. Oddly, tonight is the one time he seems to be doing nothing but. First the Malvin thing and then he confides that he looks at Christopher's dress and sees "volume, volume, volume...but it looks cheap to me". (And there would be a reason for that. Christopher bought 30 yards of white fabric for the oomph of his gown. But I'm assuming he used a lining fabric because, according to my fabulous friend Tanya, Mood is way expensive...fabrics average between $10-$15 a yard and go up from there. So you do the math. $100 at Mood wouldn't begin to buy you 30 yards of anything BUT lining. You're welcome).

The Gunn's Walk Around
Carol Hannah is fussing with her fabric and tells Tim that it's a "big scary mess". "You'll get no argument from me," he says. As they talk, he makes a suggestion about fabric placement and all a sudden Carol Hannah feels she's found her direction. "Now you have a fabulous textile happening," says The Gunn.

Irina has somewhat abandoned her "go to work" thoughts and is making a very tiny dress with a voluminous sweater. She is working with a lovely brocade-y fabric and the dress is stunning. "This is completely unexpected," says The Gunn. "I'm excited about where it could go".

Christopher, who really is terribly clueless and thinks he's going just great, uh, guns, is crushed when Tim says, "Your first look was youthful and exuberant". "This," he says, gesturing to the new work, "looks like her mother". Ouchity ouch. "Rethink the positioning of the appliques," he says. Appliques. That appears to be all Christopher has in his bag of tricks. Put enough gee gaws on a form and maybe the judges will be distracted from the fact that there is no fashion underneath. Oh Christopher. Have you met our judges?

Tim is troubled by Althea's pants. "They look like they are waiting for a diaper," he says. She is going for a juxtaposition between volume and fit but right now the pants aren't helping. I realize as The Gunn walks away that I haven't heard him say "Make it work" in the longest time. Sigh.

Logan is constructing a collar from nothing but zippers. Because they are shiny. And The Gunn says that the concept is "definitely in the 'wow' category". But Althea is completely miffed because she did a similar thing with her Christina Aguilera dress and thinks Logan's ripping off her brilliance.

Gordana and Tim debate the merits of the finish (or lack thereof) on the jacket she's made. She likes how it looks. Tim is dubious but as she debates the point he tells her it's fine so long as she is willing to "stand by it".

As this goes on we are treated to Irina and Althea in the break room stuffing their faces- quite unattractively I might add - with fat-free snacks and dogging Logan. Althea is all "He stole my zipper idea" and Irina is all "He's so not talented and shouldn't even be here" and Althea is all "I can't believe what a rip off he is" and Irina is all "He's only still here because he's good looking" and Althea is all "Can I borrow your biology notes?" Althea has generally been a mellow sweetie pie; that Irina girl is a very bad influence. (That or Althea asked Logan to the prom and he said "no").

Later, Irina pontificates about how she's been looking around the work room and thinks all the designers, her fabulous self excepted, should be very worried. Logan may be...he again dons his shiny pants for the runway show. And The Neighbor notes that he's bowlegged.

As we finish up, Althea is desperate for a hook and eye. Gordana offers her bag to root through and when that proves fruitless Althea turns to Irina, who snubs her. And then Irina spouts my least favorite line of a villain in a reality show: "I'm not here to make friends". We learn, via I-never-dog-anyone Logan that the other designers have taken to calling her "Meana Irina" adding that she needs to be humbled. True that. OH! And then, a little later, Irina is calling Althea a "whiner" behind her back and then proceeds to whine that Althea's sweater is a total rip-off of what Irina won with last week. Two-faced bitch.

The Runway
Heidi welcomes the designers to the runway, wearing a truly unfortunate ensemble. She introduces the judges: Nick Verreos from PR2, Nina and someone named Kelly Washington. Kors must be dead again. As the runway progresses the producers treat us with a side-by-side of each winning look with the new one. This is very helpful because one immediately gets a visceral sense of what works as a companion piece and what does not. And actually, in most cases, we do see the relationship....even if it happens to be horrible.

Nina tells Christopher that his dress looks like a "carnival float", Nick says it needed "editing" and Kerry Who says it "looks like 2 different gowns". MAB just thought it looked like a toilet paper roll cover.

Irina gets more accolades than her big head needs with Nick calling her look "uptown chic". But wait! Reason #412 to love Heidi Klum! Heidi is not loving the fabric and says that it looks "cheap". (Personally, I don't see that but hey, Heidi just let some air outta Irina so whoo hoo!).

Heidi also trashes Gordana's dress & jacket. Kerry says it doesn't look "strong", Nina says it is "dated" and Nick snarks that the model, including her hair, looks like "an office worker in Warsaw, Poland".

Kerry Who deems Carol Hannah's dress "kinda delicious" and the judges all love that this kicky little black party dress has pockets. (I love pockets).

Nina accuses Logan of showing "a student fashion project" and Nick says "it's a little 80's and a little Judy Jetson". He doesn't mean that in a good way.

Everyone raves about Althea's look, particularly the pants, which Heidi calls "genius". But Heidi does throw a little water on the rave-fest when she asks who did the big sweater first, her or Irina. Irina makes hay, saying that some of the other designers seemed to be taking their inspiration from the work of others. Nick cuts her off, noting that such a thing is entirely to be expected under the circumstances. But Irina still tries to throw Althea under the bus.

The Neighbor and I both pick Carol Hannah for the win because we love her dress and because, we admit, we hate Irina and just don't want her to win. We also pick Christopher for the auf but agree that nothing will surprise us aufing wise.

Althea is the winner, however, for her comfortable looking ensemble that every one of the women judges wants to own. Althea delightedly says she'll make them all an outfit. But backstage, she notes precisely what happened with Irina and refuses to attribute the snark to the circumstances. "This is not an issue of stress," she says. "It's an issue of character". The Neighb and I both let out a Bart Simpson "ha ha".

Shockingly, even though we said we wouldn't be shocked, Christopher is in. While Gordana is tsked for a look that was "sad, drab, outdated", Logan receives the auf. Heidi had told him to pump up the volume but "this was too tricked out".

So Logan leaves, taking his shiny pants and hotness with him, to tend bar in Seattle. But he is confident. While surprised to be out for being "innovative", he knows that he's got an aesthetic that isn't for everyone. This will not stop him. And I'm sure he's right. Plenty of girls want to look like Judy Jetson.

Prediction: The final 3 will be Carol Hannah, Irina and Althea. Gordana has good taste and fine skills but it's too late in the game for her to wow the judges enough to stay. While Christopher wasn't in the bottom 2 this week he was in the bottom 3. We all know he doesn't have what it takes. Further prediction: Irina will win this season of Project Runway because she has consistently produced interesting, well-executed and usually very beautiful fashion. And also, sometimes evil triumphs over good. That said, I'll be rooting for an upset. Because I hate when evil triumphs.


Thursday, October 29, 2009


Every Wednesday a group of yoga folks come to the house for an hour of instruction. It seemed like a nice thing to do for our families; they are all under stress and we all know that remembering to breathe, really breathe, is something people forget to do when they're stressed. So the yoga folks come and do their breathe-y thing and it's great.

I've always wanted to do it but I never seem able to pull myself away from my desk. Or else I have to take off to get The Child from rehearsal or some other thing. But last night she was rehearsing until 6:30 so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl.

I've always been a pretty flexible person. One of my personal Stupid People Tricks is that I can put my leg behind my head. (It's not extremely useful in most situations but it makes for good entertainment at parties). And being able to stretch all the way out made me feel very smug when we did our first Downward Dog. Plus it felt awesome. Then we did some other poses and I began to discover unpleasant places in my back. There were a few muscles that started screaming. It sounded sort of like, "Hey! You there, in the Warrior Pose. You wanna knock that off? We're sleepin' here". I ignored them and posed and breathed and then when we laid down for our final visualization I thought that dying was as good an option as anything else.

But I didn't. Victoria pulled my legs and rubbed my back and the angry muscles grumbled off to get a scotch. They weren't necessarily happy about being awake but at least they weren't yelling at me anymore.

During the visualization Molly was saying all the yoga instructor stuff about "Picture yourself in a place that you love...somewhere calm and might be an ocean or a mountain peak..." etc etc etc. I tried to go to the ocean, which I do love. But the place that kept popping into my head was the Balcony of Terror, 50 stories above the Chicago River. Not a very typical yoga place, but one that is, to me, one of the most beautiful views in all the world. And a place with exceedingly good associations. So I sat on the balcony, watching the sunlight dappled the water, turning the sounds of washing machines and folks making dinner into street noise and it was pretty awesome.

The good news is that, despite some earlier fears, I'm not walking dead this morning. Actually, I feel pretty fantastic. This yoga thing might be just the ticket.

Now I have to go see if The Cat is done killing a mouse in The Child's room. Gross.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

I Just Adore a Pent House View

It's been a good week, pumpkins. First we learned that MAB didn't have colon cancer that had metastasized to her leg and the next day we found out that I get to be hired permanently. Little did we know as we gathered for PR that life was about to get even better.

Christopher (Mr. I'm Always in the Bottom 3) was on about how he's stayed in this long even though he's the only designer with no fashion background. I begin to think we are being set up for an inevitable aufing.

The designers toddle off to Rodeo Drive to meet "a designer who's known around the world"...which could be any designer on the planet. So it's a tad of a letdown, at least to Moi, that they enter the Michael Kors flagship store. Really?

We have to rewind the challenge part a bunch of times because I can't hear it over The Neighbor lamenting the orangeness of MK's skin. We finally figure out that the challenge is nearly as boring as the Great Tanned One himself. Michael, you see, is inspired by 7 "great" locales. The designers get to pick one and create a look that embodies both the locale and their POV. "Wow us," they are told. "Have fun with your inspirations". It's a one day challenge, with a $150 budget. Who's starting to miss a good old fashioned grocery store challenge?

The designers blather on about their locales but I do enjoy it when Gordana talks about hers because whenever she says "Park Avenue" she sounds like Eva Gabor and I want to sing the "Green Acres" theme. They all bitch about the short funds for the challenge. Hi, kids. It's a down economy.

Nicholas has some notion of a "fabulous tomboy" in Greece, where he's never been. I throw up a little in my mouth.

Irina is all WTF because everyone in the workroom is joking and having fun. She thinks they aren't serious. I think they are laughing at her. What a stick.

The Gunn's Walkaround
Gordana has crafted a magnificent neckpiece with crystal bits but has nothing to which it will attach. The Gunn suggests she get started on a dress for her bauble and play with the fancies when it's done. "It makes me nervous to leave you like this," he says.

He admonishes Althea that "tailoring is a must" but her garment is looking too much like a boyfriend shirt.

Christopher's dress is ever so hideous and while that's my word, not The Gunn's, he does tell Christopher that it needs to be "exuberant and sophisticated". Irina snarks behind C's back that it looks like an Amish dress. OK, that's kinda funny. Because it's true.

Carol Hannah has made a very pretty, flowing long dress...very Palm Beach-y. MAB, however, notes "That looks exactly like something Uli would have done". The Gunn doesn't pick up on that but he is worried that it isn't pushing any boundaries. "The word is 'cliche'", he says.

Nicholas says some nonsense about his look being "fashion forward". If there was a thought bubble over The Gunn's head it would read "Meh". Logan is going for "comfortable" and Tim tells him that he needs "cohesion among the parts" and Irina is likewise counseled to "mind every proportional relationship".

Later, Irina snarks again about her no one appears to be trying to top what they've done before.

The day of the runway show the workroom is silent with panic as the designers scramble to finish their looks. Nicholas comments that while he can't actually "see Greece" in his look, "you could wear it there". Lamest. Comment. Ever. Christopher has shortened his Amish dress but it still makes one think that there is value in having some fashion experience.

Just like old times! There are Kors and Nina, both not dead and in the same room. Life is good. Guest judge is Milla Jovovich, who is a terrible actress.

On the Runway
The Neighbor thinks Logan's look is "kinda cute". I think it's boring.
Althea's is really cute, Nicholas' is way boring (there's a little magic in the blouse but the overall effect is a yawn). Carol Hannah's dress is very pretty and flowy but it is rather cliche. Christopher is on about the "proud moment" he's having as his look comes down the runway. One wonders what he's seeing because it's quite hideous. Irina's ensemble is pretty fabulous. She's a snarky bitch but girl can design. Gordana's dress is simple but it's all about the fantastic neckpiece and the overall effect is very, very pretty.

The judges, by and large, concur with our views. Irina is told that with her outfit she has created "the grand dame of Aspen". MK likes that "there is some sex involved" in the detailing of the back and Nina says, "It draws you into the fantasy". Christopher blathers about drawing inspiration from the sand and sky and rocky bluffs of Santa Fe but the judges don't see it. "The only interesting thing is the belt", says MK.

Carol Hannah's dress does not read cliche to the judges. They love the fabric and the braiding and the easy comfort of it all. And while there is some positive feedback for Nicholas' blouse the overall look inspires MK to quip, "I think you got the wrong Greece". It's true. The model need only crush a cigarette with her stiletto and say, "What's up, stud?" and it's Olivia Newton John in "Grease"...just not in black leather.

Gordana's gown is deemed "very Park Avenue" and Logan is told that what he designed are "clothes, not fashion".

The Neighb thinks Christopher is going to be out because during the judges' confab Heidi said his dress was "ugly" and while she thinks the win is a toss up between Carol Hannah and Gordana (that rhymes) she's leaning toward Gordana.

I too think Christopher will be out and pick Gordana for the win. We're biased. We are quite sure Irina will be in the Top 3 and agree that her design was impeccable but she really needs to be humbled.

That is never how it works on PR. Of course Irina wins for creating "a majorly luxe look that made us want to sip champagne in a ski lodge".

Carol Hannah and Gordana (still rhyming) are both safe but Gordana is counselled to have more confidence.

With a "pump up the volume" admonition, Logan is sent away, safe once again. Then Heidi grows all Teutonic and glares at Nicholas and Christoper. Nicholas is spanked for having "sadly missed the mark" and Christopher is tsk tsked with a "In the bottom two yet again" and told that his look had "no sense of play or inspiration". The clock ticks and then - man! this week just keeps getting better and better! We howl with joy and delight as Nicholas is aufed. We're so busy squealing and doing happy dances that we don't even hear his parting words and we don't care. He's gone gone gone, taking his stoopid hair and Euro-trashy accent with him.

Who wants to go sip some champagne in a ski lodge? We've got a lot to celebrate.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Attention All Tax Payers

Hi. It's MAB. You know, Rainey's Awesome Boss. (Ok, technically that would spell RAB but you know what I mean). I have called you here today to make a very special announcement.


I would like to announce that all of your prayers and naked pagan dances were very effective. Not only was Rainey on the cert (that's government speak, don't worry about it) but she was ranked as the #1 candidate for the job.

So she will get the job.

Unless, of course, she does something to really piss me off in the next 24 hours.

But I don't think she will because she really loves her job and I really want her to have her job. But between you and me, I do love having the power to decide whether she is in or "awout", as Heidi Klum would say.

Ok, that's all. Just wanted to let you know. Kiss kiss.



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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Really Need to Remember that Wednesday is Late Start

Then I wouldn't be yelling at The Child to get up when she doesn't actually have to.

Not much to report, kids. The job we just wait to see if Rainey is on the list of candidates. Stupid government hiring. Keep those prayers and naked pagan dances coming.

We went to a concert Saturday night at our friend David and Tine's house. It was awesome. Talented young dude out of Idaho named Marcus Eaton. Sling, you'd really admire his chops. You can actually watch the show we saw on his website. You won't see me. You might hear me clapping and "whooting".

BSG "The Plan" is out on October 27. That's a wonderful thing.

I'm drinking more coffee more often now that it is fall.

I need to make my bed.

I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight.

I need a pedicure but my hair is awesome.

MAB has been out of the office all week. Geez, I miss her.

"iCarly" is the best show on television. You should watch it even if you don't have a teenage girl in your house.

Looks like Nancy Pelosi has grown a pair and is pushing for a "robust" public option on health care. I smirk a lot when I hear people bitching about that. Especially the ones who I know are receiving government health care. Like Republican congresspeople.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Gitchy Gitchy Ya Ya Da Da

Christopher is here for one reason, people. To make it to Fashion Week. He is distressed about having begun so strong and now consistently finding himself in the bottom 3. He will step it up! Shirin is feeling good and Carol Hannah, who I like more and more all the time, is completely laid back about the fact that she has always been safely in the middle of the pack. "Slow and steady wins the race," she reminds us.

First question of the night is posed when Heidi meets the designers. WHAT is up with her pants? The Neighbor is equally concerned about her very severe hair. In a manner more menacing than kind, she announces that if the designers "want to shine" they must "upstage" the competition. She smiles, briefly, when she tells them that Tim is with "someone you'll be quite excited to meet". The smile fades and her eyes grow cold as she adds, "Oh, and did I mention there is no immunity for this challenge?" She's starting to scare me and The Neighbor but the designers are all giddy about this week's surprise whoever.

Holy "Half-Breed" on a stick, Batman! It's Bob "My Face is Freeze Dried" Mackie! The Sultan of Sequins! The arbiter of all things over the top! (Seriously, how does one's work wind up so often on the Worst Dressed List and still the divas clamor for your designs)?

Mr. Mackie -as everyone refers to him throughout the show so we will, too - tells the designers, quite honestly, that what he does is "not's the stage". This explains, btw, the Worst Dressed Lists and clamouring divas....Mr. Mackie does not create looks for girls like you and me...he creates designs that are meant, as he explains, to be seen from a mile away while still holding up to the scrutiny of video screens on stage. Alrighty then. As Nicholas begins peeing himself just being in the presence of Mr. Mackie, we learn the final bit of the challenge: the designers are to go to the next level as they design a concert look for none other than Christiana Aguilera. They have $300 to spend and 2 days to work.

Amid the "OMG, Christina Aguilera" gushes and swoons, we find ourselves at Mood where the majority of designers are just grabbing every shiny thing they see. Irina and Nicholas are quite above this magpie approach. Nicholas, flipping back his stoopid hair, informs us that he rather sees himself as another Bob Mackie and would never be so random in his choices. Then he grabs a mess of feathers like a crazy person. Irina, cool and cruel, connotes this grabbiness with cluelessness and lack of plan or purpose and frankly, there's something to that I suppose but since it's coming out of Irina's mouth it's just nothin' but bitchy. Really, really not liking her.

Nicholas is tinkling about how huge it is that both Bob Mackie and Christina Aguilera are in the same episode of PR and how lucky we are to be in the presence of greatness. Oy, my head. Gordana, on the other hand, is kerfuffled beyond all measure and just damned grateful she has the last immunity idol because she has NO idea where she is going with her design. However, I give her snaps for caring enough to be frazzled. She could relax and coast but her standards won't allow her to do that. So she decides to start all over.

The Gunn's Walkaround
Christopher has made a dress that will pull off to reveal, well, basically bad lingerie, and Tim expresses his "general disappointment". Christopher looks like he's going to cry.

Althea has a similar 2-in-1 thing going and The Gunn says, "You and she's in a pumpkin and going to pop out". Nicholas thinks this is the funniest thing he's ever heard in his life and falls over laughing and then pees himself.

Ah, but how the "I'm So Bob Mackie" sycophant is fallen. The Gunn thinks that Nicholas' look is entirely too reminiscent of what he did in the wedding dress challenge and says he had a "kind of 'uh oh'" when he saw it. Ha! Take that Nicholas!

Carol Hannah is working on something very nice but tells Tim that she wonders how she could make it sexier without making it look like an Ice Capades costume. Even as she muses on this she finds that big-girl place in herself and realizes that she really likes what she's done and doesn't need to sex it up. The Gunn concurs and says she's on track for "wow factor". The Neighbor notes that CH was one of the grab now, design later folks and validates that method (which is, turns out, how The Neighb designs stuff, too. Interiors, but still).

The Gunn is less kind about Shirin's "Guenevere meets Vampira". He hates everything about it and finds it far below the standard he expects of her. (And then Irina bitches, to Nicholas, I believe, about how Shirin doesn't even deserve to still be here. Hating her now). Now, the truth is that Shirin is struggling but there is a nice moment when Christopher is nudging her with encouragement and you suddenly see the light go on as she realizes what she needs to do.

[Showmance Alert! Cuteness between CH and Logan, including Logan asking in rather low and dulcet tones, "Am I distracting you?" and CH giggling "Maybe..." and blushing a lot.]

Then, all a sudden, nearly everyone snaps under the pressure and there are mini-melt-downs everywhere. Except for Irina, who sits, smug and impervious, on her throne of ice and glowers through slit eyes at those oh-so-much weaker than herself. (This includes informing her model that CH is "mediocre".) Suddenly, Nicholas articulates what we figured out weeks ago. "Irina is a bitch". Yeppers.

The Gunn has a "Bueller? Bueller?" moment when he tries to convene the designers for the runway but soon enough they gather up their sequin & feather bedighted models and head out.

The Runway
The judges are Mr. Mackie and LOOKY! Nina's not dead! She's back! I cannot believe I missed Nina Garcia this much but I really did. Although now the mystery is why we never see her and Kors in the same room at the same time anymore. Oh, and the other guest-y judge, appropriately, is Ms. Aguilera herself, in the flesh. Nicholas pees himself.

So here's what happens. The runway show starts and The Neighbor and I are largely underwhelmed. The majority of looks seem fine enough for normal applications but given the glitz and glam nature of the challenge, few of the designs strike us as stageworthy. The exceptions are Althea and Carol Hannah.

HA! Irina is safe but not in the top! HA! Miss I-Am-All-That-And-Then-Some. Gordana too, of course, is safe.

Christina tells Carol Hannah that she could see herself in her dress, Nina calls it glamorous and Mr. Mackie loves the way she created textures of black (we do too...shiny offset by matte....very nice).

Heidi tells Shirin her dress looks like an "upscale witch costume", Christina says she'd trip if she wore it and Nina is alarmed by the "disconnect" between the top half (which she likes) and the bottom.

Althea is praised for her clever use of fabric (she used both sides of her silver sequined fabric), Nina deems it "nicely made" and Christina thinks it's beautiful although she's not sure how it would move on stage.

The critique for Christopher is summed up in to musical words "Lady Marmelade". And since Christina (with Pink, Li'l Kim and Mya) has already done that look, he got nothing but an E for Effort (and that from Christina, who clearly hasn't the stomach for judging others. Which is why she and Irina will never be besties).

Nicholas pees himself when Christina tells him how "fun" his dress is and Mr. Mackie loves how he's affixed his feathers. ("Talk about Icecapades," sniffs MAB, "That looks like something Oksana Baiul would have worn pre-crack").

Logan's "punk rock princess" look is dismissed by Nina as evidence of him having "taken a chance" but failing to run with it.

The Neighb picks Christopher to go and Althea for the win. I concur about Christopher but like Carol Hannah's chances. And whoo hoo! It is li'l miss slow-and-steady who gets the win. Christina just adores the dress and says, "I could see myself in it...and maybe you will see me in it".

Heidi is very, very stern with the bottom 3 and we riff on her growing fierceness, her increasingly Teutonic look, the withering stares. We wonder if having had so many Seal Pups has finally gotten to her. For one second, as she's glaring at Logan, I have a brief Kate Gosslin moment and am frightened.

Though there are reasons to shun both Logan and Christopher, it is Shirin who is auf'ed for having lost herself and worse, having "really bored" the judges. Tears and hugs and kisses, because Shirin is nice and people like her. She pledges to "suck it up" and go forward. Good girl.

Now I'm left wondering if we're going to have an all girl lineup for the final 3. Christopher is losing it. Yes, he began strong, but isn't this the 4th week he's been in the bottom? Logan has hotness but not enough magic for the top 3. (Pegging him for a decoy show, though). And, as always, I'm just praying Nicholas finally goes, even before Gordana, because I just can't stand him anymore.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

President Obama is Taylor Swift and Everyone Else is Kanye West

'Cept me. And Iwanski. And, ok, a few other people. We're all more like Beyonce. But I digress.

I was still semi-sleeping when I heard the announcement that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. I sat up and asked, "Did I hear that right?" And when The Spouse confirmed it I lay back down and felt the smile on my face light up every bit of my being. My President had just won the Peace Prize. Holy cow! It's been a long, long time since I'd felt really proud of my President. Longer, even, than 8 years because as much as I liked Clinton, he did some things which were decidedly not proud making.

The glow didn't last. The haters saw to that. And so did a lot of people who claim to support this president. So what gives?

Let's start with the haters. They were all "A Peace Prize? What has he done? He hasn't done anything!" This is amusing, coming from a bunch of people who have spent the last 9 months complaining about what Obama has done. He has closed overseas detention centers and slated GitMo for closure, declared that America can get the intelligence it needs without torture,
embraced diplomacy - even with nations like Iran and issued a challenge on the world stage for all of us to get rid of our nukes. And that's just off the top of my head.

Every time he did something like that the haters screamed about how he was weak, how he was going to let America be pushed around, how it was stupid to try and engage our enemies, etc. etc. And while the haters certainly didn't like any of that, many of us who voted for him did. And more than that, it got the attention of the world. (The haters will tell you it doesn't matter what the world thinks. I would remind you that it is a big playground out there and America doesn't own all the toys. And also, personally, after 8 years of the world hating us, it's kinda nice to see that beginning to change).

President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize for speaking out about the need for changes in the way America, and the world, do things. Has he managed to bring that vision to fruition? No. Kinda like Martin Luther "I Have a Dream" King (who won his Nobel 35 years ago today) never lived to see a black man elected president. (And let's face it, even with that monumental achievement I think we can all agree that Martin's dream is yet to be fulfilled). Kinda like Desmond Tutu had to wait 10 years after receiving his Nobel, before his vision of a South Africa without apartheid began to become a reality. Kinda like even with a Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi is still sitting under house arrest in a Burma that isn't anywhere close to the democracy she has dreamed of, spoken about and worked for.

The world has always needed people who envisions a more peaceful world and who by the power of their words, as well as their actions, engage others to come along for the ride. And yeah, world peace is a lofty goal. One that hasn't been reached and likely never will be reached. But reach for it we must. I for one am very proud that the President of the United States envisions that world and was recognized for it.


Tomorrow we will discuss the ethical dilemma that haters on Facebook have raised for our Rainey. But right now I have to make The Child some oatmeal.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

First Jim and Pam's Wedding and Then This

The opening montage of obligatory primping & comments like "It's going to be sad from now on....people aren't leaving for lack of talent" is particularly great this week. For why? Someone was frying bacon. Mmmmmm. Bacon.

Irina goes into rhapsodies about how she's all that. We are over her. So is Logan, apparently.

Btw, The Neighbor's daughter, Cake, was out the other night and her bartender was none other than Logan. (And there are a bunch of reasons why you should NOT read anything at all into that because you shouldn't). She was texting us during their conversation...mostly to iterate and reiterate how "hot" he really is. And he is hot. But what is the deal with his snood? Me no likey.

Heidi, who is wearing some sort of weird top that looks like scrubs, tells the designers that this week they will have "new models" and out traipse a bunch of women in wedding dresses. The designers are all kerfuffled about a wedding dress challenge but wait, there's more. All the women are divorcees and the challenge is to recreate their wedding dresses into something more suited to their new lives. ("I just threw mine out," says The Neighbor).

Beginning with Irina, the designers choose and in every case they pick the dresses that have the most yardage to work with. This necessarily leaves the simplest dresses for last. Althea regards the 2 remaining women and says, "You are ladies with attitudes and that makes up for lack of yardage". Shirin is last, with a mere slip of a dress to work with and she's freaked.

The Neighbor opines, "What are they worrying about? They don't know what they get to add". True that.

The Gunn enters the workroom, adjusting his cuffs and looking sartorial to announce that this is the last challenge that comes with immunity. After adding this is a 1 day challenge he sends in the models. Poor Shirin. Not only does she not have much fabric, her model is obsessed with the notion of some sort of "Cher 'Half Breed'" look with feathers and other Bob Mackie weirdness. Shirin suggests that will be hard to do with "2 yards of fabric".

The designers do get a little wiggle room. They have $25 to spend at Mood for other trims and bits.

There is a lot of focus on Shirin this episode and Nicholas barely appears. While it is nice to not have to listen to him, the fact that he is not spotlighted tells me we're stuck with him yet another week. Dammit.

While Irina gushes about the "empowering" nature of the challenge, Gordana has a little melt-down. She's been divorced and this challenge touches her broken place. She needs to call her kids and cry because she misses them.

A lot of designers are dying their fabric but Shirin can't because it's synthetic and won't hold the dye.

The Gunn's WalkAround

Christopher has fashioned a belt that looks quite cute but as for the rest of his look The Gunn says, "I'm worried". He gushes over the "gorgeous color" of Irina's dress; she crows about this since what she dyed was "100% acetate". At the mention of the word The Gunn throws up a little in his mouth.

The Gunn tells Epperson that his dress looks "lab coat-y" and questions Logan with "What's the look?" and adds that there is "too much textile". Alternatively, he is thrilled with the color of Gordana's dress and urges her to take her look "as far as you can".

He's at his most Gunnian when he counsels Shirin. Acknowledging that she is working with "an effervescent divorcee", he tells her that she must keep the final product about her and that the divorcee will have to accept that. Then she cries a little while he cuddles her. Awwww. "Clear the table!" he says. "Just play likes it's a big paper doll. You have to be liberated!"

As he leaves the workroom he mentions something about how the original dress must be integral to the new look and Epperson freaks out. He clearly takes 'integral" to mean "literal" and he starts completely re-working the dress. (Hi. Did he not see that everyone else was shortening and dying and reshaping?)

Gordana makes a comment about how this challenge is like divorce..."taking apart the life you have been living and creating something new". She's kinda profound.

Shirin has resolved her issues and decides to create interest with decorative stitching. (MAB suggested that she could have done some sort of two-piece something with just a flash of midriff that would have been an homage to Cher without losing Shirin's sense of sophistication but we're just happy that Shirin has crawled out of her creative hole).

The models come in and we note that Christopher's client looks like a tranny.

Nicholas-the-Not-Great notes that he is "not proud" of what he's made and we like that but we still know that he's not leaving. His client is thrilled with his look and gushes, "I want to have your child". He blanches and nearly passes out and she adds, "Not really". As if, Nicholas.

The real models teach the divorcees how to walk. That's amusing.

The Runway
The judges are Kors, some chick who works for Jimmy Choo and Zanna what's her nose from Marie Claire. I think she's the one who killed Nina.

The runway show is, almost to a designer, pretty darned terrible. Seriously. Our comments range from "eeeww" to "not great". Carol Hannah's was cute, we love the bolero. Gordana's is way, way cool but otherwise they all suck. We're torn about what is the most sucky. Christopher's is a horrible bubble dress (that makes MAB's friend Moochie start singing the theme from "The Jetsons") and Epperson's makes MAB sing "Eight maids a milking". (You didn't know PR could be so musical, did you?)

Gordana is praised for her look. She used the lining of the original dress, dyed it and created something "edgy and chic at the same time". The judges love the asymmetry and just about everything else about the dress. Shirin gets big snaps for creating something that suits her client and for being "smart" about managing the crazy expectations of the client. Irina gets gushes like "brilliant", "chic color", "unbelievable", "fantastic". Slow down judges. Her head is big enough, thankyouverymuch. And also, for what it's worth, The Neighbor and I think this dress is quite dreadful and would be well suited to a mother-of-the-bride. We really don't like it at all. Which is why we aren't judges.

In the bottom we have Christopher, Epperson and Logan. Christopher tells the judges that his client wants to be (is?) an actress and he created something for her to wear to an industry function. "Don't wear that to an industry function," says Kors, "Don't". There's too much volume and the dress is basically a "metallic Hefty bag". Epperson and Logan are both slammed for the same flaw, summed up ably by Heidi (and she should know) as "Oktoberfest". Epperson says his dress (also described as something to be worn by a "pirate wench") was for his client to wear on a first date. "He's leaving," snarks Kors. And since "Oktoberfest" isn't slam enough, Logan also is told that his look is "a tragedy".

Whoo hooo! Gordana is the winner for having "rocked the challenge" and beautifully blending chic with edgy.After some very sweaty moments, Epperson receives the auf. He has learned a lot from this experience, he tells us. He limits himself and he won't do that anymore. Good for him. I feel ready to make some predictions about the top 3. I expect both Althea and Irina to make it. It's the 3rd spot that's a toss up. Both Shirin and Carol Hannah are contenders, as is Christopher (this week's mis-step aside). Logan is a possibility and Gordana is totally the wild card. What I do know, deep in my soul, is that Nicholas can't possibly last any longer. Fingers crossed until next week.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tippety Tap

There's a couple who stay at The House for a few days every month while one of them receives treatment. They used to be in show business. They worked with a lot of big names...Mitzi Gaynor, Rosie Clooney, like that. Anyshuffle, a few months ago we were talking with them and MAB mentioned that she'd taken tap lessons and loved it and one thing and another, Mr. M promised to give us both a lesson.

MAB found me a pair of tap shoes at a yard sale and we've both kept our shoes under our desks, waiting for our lesson. Yesterday was the day.

This was serious business. Mr. M wasn't going to do anything by halves. He had us standing at the railing of the back veranda, using it as a barre. He'd show us some moves, then count as we worked through them. His partner, Mr. R., stood behind offering encouragement. It was HARD! All that tappy grace you associate with the likes of Gregory Hines? That doesn't come naturally, my friends. I'd shuffle-ball-change and Mr. M would firmly say, "Keep your foot back!" or, MAB's and my particular favorite, "Lorraine, you're dancing flat footed. Don't do that!"

He taught us about 6 different moves and put them together into a little routine. We practiced for a good 30 minutes and both MAB and I were a sweaty mess by the time we were done. We promised to practice every day and on Friday we're going to have a recital. With costumes.

Mr. M was impressed with our enthusiasm but he told us that when we practice we have to do it right. "If you don't remember how to do a move then don't do it. I don't want you to learn it wrong," he said. The guy is a pro. This was not a case of "Let's play with the girls and have a little fun". He means us to be tap dancers, dammit.

He told us to think through the moves before we went to sleep. I did. And this morning the first thing I did when I got up was a shuffle-ball-change, shuffle-ball-change, shuffle, cross, hop, step. It wasn't pretty but I remembered it.

I won't be quitting my day job any time soon, but maybe, just maybe, you can teach an old dog new tricks. It helps if the trainer used to do choreography for Bob Hope.

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Every Plan With My Man Done Fell Through

I begin with a heavy heart as I remember that Nicholas has immunity and will have to be endured no matter what hideous excuse for "fashion" he throws on a mannequin. Sigh. Gordana makes an excellent Olympic analogy about how everyone is very good but mere seconds determine a winner. Gordana, it seems, is also the one who keeps the apartment clean.

The designers meet with Tim and Martina Reardon, who is a mucky muck at Macy's. Just an aside: we all share certain romantic associations with Macy's....likely linked to the Thanksgiving Day Parade (NOT the Macy's Day Parade, btw) and/or "Miracle on 34th Street". But truthfully? Macy's is where I go when I'm feeling a little full of myself and I need to be taken down a peg. Seriously? I can count on one FINGER the number of salespeople at Macy's who have ever asked me if I needed assistance. When I go shopping, I don't care to be fawned over but I do like feeling that the employees give a hoot that I'm in their store. I hate Macy's.

Anyway, Martina tells the designers that they will be creating 2 looks, which must use the color blue. She rhapsodizes about the many hues of blue, from soft, powder blue to electric blue. She does not use the word "cerulean". More's the pity. But that's not all. The looks must also be consistent with the INC. brand, which is sold exclusively at Macy's (plug plug). The winner will be commissioned to design a holiday dress for Macy's (which won't have to be blue). The good news? No immunity this week.

It's a team challenge. (Carol Hannah sings, "Waa waa"). Each designer gets 15 minutes to sketch and then they will pitch their ideas to Martine. The 5 top picks will be the team leaders. Carol Hannah tells us that she "gets" the Macy's shopper. (Apparently she too understands being ignored). Louise is disappointed as she browses photo spreads of INC. clothes....they are simple and she had hoped to do something big and splashy this week to prove that she can. Alas.

Here are the teams:
Irina (Gordana)
Althea (Logan)
Carol Hannah (Shirin)
Christopher (Epperson)
Louise (Nicholas)

The mood at Mood is one of stress. A number of the ladies seem to require a tranquilizer. Louise even misplaces her money, which she finds with her sketch.

Carol Hannah struggles with being a boss and telling people what to do. Irina, who has emerged as pretty darned bitchy, would rather just do everything herself. She chooses to offers Gordana no specific direction and just complain about everything she does.

Nicholas complains, a lot, about ruffles in general and the ruffles on Louise's dresses specifically. And since a) I don't myself mind ruffles and 2) it was her design that was picked and not his, I think he should shut the frak up. On the happy side of the work room, Christopher and Epperson are being as collaborative and self-congratulatory about said collaboration as can be and Althea is all giggly and dance-y because Logan is hot.

The Gunn's Walk Around
Carol Hannah begins describing the "casual" look she and Shirin are working on and when she mentions leggings The Gunn practically needs a fainting couch and declares, "Don't get me started on leggings". Duly noted. The Gunn is not a fan.

He is concerned about Louise's colors, intoning that "the ice blue charmuse is so abruptly different" from her other color selections. He is charmed by the length of Althea's skirt, how it is neither too long nor too short, and delights in how she and Logan are "avoiding the stereotypes in women's suits". (I enjoy that, too. I'd have an entire wardrobe of Althea's "business wear" if she wanted to design it for me).

Irina and Gordana use the walkaround to snipe at each other and disagree in front of The Gunn about a belt. They sound like the Republicans and Democrats debating the public option. Christopher and Epperson are working on a shirtdress (gag me) and while The Gunn "doesn't get" their textile choices, he does swoon that they have the "potential for serious reinvention". Unfortunately, what they hear is "you nailed it". Which is not what he said. Because they didn't.

Irina continues ragging about Gordana and I suggest (though she doesn't hear me through the screen) that perhaps rather than bitching she should give her some direction. And Nicholas is on again about his hatred of ruffles and their power to make him sick. Someone stuff a ruffle in his mouth.

The Runway

Big news! Kors is NOT dead! There he is! The snark is back! Joining him are Zanna Roberts from Marie Claire and Martine the Macy's lady. The Neighbor opines that she does not enjoy having different judges every week because she thinks it hurts the designers; she feels there should be more continuity so that the breadth of each designer's work can be taken into account.

Irina sends down a flowy striped dress that is just adorable and despite the gritching, Gordana's soft blouse with a deep blue pencil skirt looks very beautiful.

Althea's skirt has, inexplicably, become entirely too short but the shapes are good and Logan's created a very cute top and nice pants.

Louise's dress is awful. The color is all wrong, the ruffles are dreadful and sloppy and the pointless bow on the back looks like a hair clip tacked on. Nicholas' dress is only slightly less awful. It had nice lines but he's added more ruffles than it required. Less is more.

Carol Hannah and Shirin's dresses are, like them, cute. Christopher and Epperson, on the other hand, amaze us with the sheer awfulness of their looks: the shirt dress is hideous (Christopher says it can go "from work to happy hour" and The Neighbor says, "Go to work cleaning the house, maybe"). As for Epperson: "Look Charlie Brown! It's the Great Blue Pumpkin!" What happened here? I think the lack of drama between them lulled them into thinking they did good work. For the record, they did not. As unfortunate as Louise's designs may be, looking at Chris and Epperson's stuff makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

Althea and Logan are easily safe and Christopher and Epperson are in 6 ways of shock when they learn they are in the bottom.

Carol Hannah and Shirin are praised for great tops, lovable necklines and the versatility of their looks. Irina gets poopy with Gordana, which seemed completely unnecessary given that they were also in the top. The judges loved the dress, citing its "stand out appeal" and the fact that it's the only thing with a pattern. They also thought Gordana's blouse was very pretty so there, shut up already, Irina.

Louise and Nicholas are bashed with a "who wears this today?" The ruffles are "over-stated" and Louise's dress looks, says Heidi, like something "from a bad bridal shop". Kors snarks that it's "a bridesmaid's dress with a shower loofa". They are not too well pleased with Nicholas' contribution either and Heidi fixes him with a scary look and says, "You have immunity...aren't you lucky?". Which she repeats. Nicholas' bowels turn to water.

Christopher and Epperson fare no better. Heidi can't imagine "any modern girl wearing these". Kors calls the shirtdress a "tablecloth" and Epperson's look a "disco pumpkin". Christoper starts crying so hard that it's left to Epperson to try to defend the indefensible.

The Neighbor and I can't vote because she already knows who won and lost. But I pick Irina for the win and while Louise should be spanked Christopher and/or Epperson should be auf'ed.

Irina wins the challenge for a dress with "flirty, feminine stand-out appeal" and the other girls are all clearly safe.

Heidi reiterates to Nicholas that he is damned lucky he has immunity and sends him away. Epperson, too, is safe. Then Louise is told that her designs are so far away from what modern women want and that they were nothing more than bad, overworked bridesmaid dresses. Christopher, who still hasn't mastered his tears, is told that his looks had "nothing in common except how clueless they were". But it is Louise who is auf and Christopher continues weeping like a kicked puppy.

Louise was a very good sport and got a Gunn hug. Everyone seems sorry to see her go.

The last shock of the evening comes when we see a photo of Irina's holiday dress. It's ridiculous...a slutty little number with a damned butterfly applique. Cue Seth and Amy here: Really? Really? I am very disappointed.


Friday, October 02, 2009

What Happened Was This

It was a typical Thursday night. We ate dinner (steak with sherry-mushroom cream sauce, garlic smashed potatoes and green beans) and watched the Thursday NBC line-up. We chortled at "SNL", admired the general cuteness of Amy Poehler in "Parks & Recreation" and enjoyed "The Office" (which not one of the zanier episodes by any stretch it was subtle and amusing and I ♥ Steve Carrell). Then there was only 30 minutes to go before heading to The Neighbor's for "PR" but it turns out, I am not amused by "Community". I liked the first episode alright but I fell asleep halfway through it last week and this week I didn't even bother. I set my timer, curled up for a snooze and managed to not wake up until The Child walked in at 10:30 and said, "Aren't you missing 'Project Runway'"?

Which I was.

Thankfully, The Neighbor has a DVR so I will watch it after work tonight. (Or maybe Saturday depends on her schedule).

So those of you who care will still get your recap this weekend.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Some News

My position is supposed to post today.

Deep breath....