Sep 30, 2006

I don't want the world, I only want what I deserve

I'm off to Bottom of the Hill tonight to catch The Gossip. If you've never heard of them, I suggest that you check them out. "Blues-y punk" is the best I can come up with right now to describe their sound. If I had a band, this is what I would want it to sound like. Lead singer Beth Ditto fucking rocks.

I'm so excited, I'm even wearing eyeshadow tonight. Take that, bitches.


Americablog has transcripts of Florida Congressman Mark Foley's illicit IMs with his page.

Gross, gross, gross, gross, gross.

Word 'round the campfire is that House Speaker Dennis Hastert knew about Foley but kept mum.

Disgusting, hypocritical perverts.

Sep 29, 2006

One sex tape I DON'T want to see.

Sorry. The more I read about the whole McCain Torture Bill, the more I get pissed. I can't write about it. Read everyone else's take (e.g. Carpetbagger, Laurie, Glenn Greenwald) because they say it much better than I can.

And in moments like this, when I start to feel despondent over our country's future and the downward spiral we seem to be going in, I turn to pop culture and celebrity gossip (and sometimes, pandas) for some sweet release.

Speaking of sweet release, Screech has a sex tape, which documents the legendary Dirty Sanchez in all its deviant glory. Allegedly.

Oh, that Screech. Always a visionary.

Sep 28, 2006

Project Runway After Party

Episode 11: What the Elle? aka, The Final Four
During the opening model elmination, Uli mixes things up by selecting Nazri to be her model for this week’s challenge, so Michael picks what’s-her-face.

At least Uli didn’t bust a Zulema and ask for a mafakin’ walk off.

The designers pay NINAGARCIA a visit at Elle, where she talks to them about the power of editorial and how fashion editors need constant stimulation, since apparently they’re all very bored and have seen everything at least once. Poor things. She also talks a bit about Elle magazine’s featured “First Look” section and how being featured there can give a designer some crazy exposure.

This season has been rife with twists and turns, and today’s episode was no exception. Heidi tells the designers that they’re not exactly committed to having a Final Three. So … does that mean a Final Two? Who freakin’ knows, right? [Except if you’re one of the diehard fans who’ve already seen all four designers’ OFW shows.]

This week’s challenge: To design a garment that best expresses who they are as a designer.

After 30 minutes of sketching and $250 later at Mood, the designers begin to work, thinking they have two full days to complete the garment. But of course, Tim comes in later and changes the rules. Their deadline now shifts to 5 p.m., and from there, they get one hour to shoot the models in the dress on the streets of Manhattan – and their pictures are supposed to tell a story. A mini-“First Look” spread, if you will.

Michael photographs at the Atlas. Jeffery photographs his model in Central Park. Laura photographs her model in an elevator, but then decides to hail a cab instead. Uli photographs her model (Nazri) in Times Square, at the subway station.

The designers are now tasked to write a “one sheet,” which basically consists of three words that describe their design aesthetic. How … how … “classroom” of them.

“As a designer, I am about …”

Laura – Glamour, elegance, confidence
Jeffery - Provocative, irreverent, romantic
Uli – Fun, life, adventure
Michael – Sexy, sultry, sensuality

Uli think’s Michael’s dress is slutty. Uli says it reminds her of a singles ad or phone sex line:

“I’m lonely, call me at 1-800…”

Jeffery thinks Michael dress is stupid. But then again, what doesn’t he think is stupid?

The winner of this challenge gets a “First Look” spread in Elle.

The day of the runway show, Tim lays it down – with a bit of a quiver in his voice, I must say – and reminds the designers that they’ll be held up to a higher standard and will be tightly scrutinized, looking forward to fashion week.

Everyone’s nervous, and Michael says it best:

“My insides are like porridge right now.” Slurp!

On to the final runway show!

Michael says his dress was so sexy, it even gave his white model “some ass.” Heh heh. Kors thought the weaving at the waist was pretty, but he seems underwhelmed. Heidi thinks it’s unflattering. The guest judge thought the large keyhole neckline was tricky, and I agree – ain’t no big-chested girl alive that could successfully rock that dress. Seriously. NINAGARCIA thinks that eveningwear isn’t his strength, and Kors thinks sportswear is more about what he’s about. Even his three words were essentially, synonyms.

Jeffery’s dress was pretty feminine, but I couldn’t help but think that it looked like a big poppy. As in the plant that opium comes from. And really, who wants to look like a human-sized narcotic plant? And who knew Jeffery was such a romantic? Apparently not the judges, as they found his garment to be “dowdy,” “too pretty,” “confusing,” “amateur,” “milk maid.” Apparently Heidi thought this dress was appropriate for the dairy farm.

Maybe in Germany, I don’t know …

Laura’s dress … NINAGARCIA expected more. Kors thinks she needs to expand on the concept of “cocktail” and “evening.” Editorially, they have “seen this dress before.” Heidi says she’d wear all of Laura’s dresses. Kors says he’ll scream if he sees another plunging neckline. NINAGARCIA seems to think it’s a phase.

Uli’s dress. The judges loved this dress. “You, but it’s a surprise from you,” said NINAGARCIA. Everything worked – down to the photo, which was her model jamming with some band they found in the subway station.

Why does the recurring challenge of “design a dress that expresses who you are as a designer” always seem to stump the designers season after season? And, if this is supposed to be a preview of their upcoming OFW collection, how could you possibly distill that down into one, single garment? To be honest, I think this particular challenge should be posed as the first challenge. It makes more sense to me. I mean, I’m no expert on the timing of the taping of this show, but I’d think the conception of the theme of their collection comes organically – I can see the merit behind this challenge, and the purpose behind it, but I think it forces a creative mind to commit to an idea prematurely.

But that’s just me.

Uli wins the challenge! (I’m glad we didn’t wager on this at work, otherwise I’d be out some cash, ha ha.) Good for her.

Heidi threw out the “one note” on Laura. But she stays in. “no plunging necklines!”

Michael’s “gamble” of a gown didn’t pay off.

Heidi tells Michael and Jeffery that they’re both in. So no decoy this season. Cool. If Michael got The Auf, I think I would have thrown a chair at my TV or something.

Yay! I don’t think I could have handled any of them losing this challenge, actually. Yes, even Jeffery.

Next week is the reunion, and it looks like Keith is trying to kill Heidi with his piercing stare.

“Uncomfortable, isn’t it?” he asks Heidi. That wouldn’t be the word I’d use ...

Sep 26, 2006

Project Runway Scandal?

Oh, those two:
Three weeks earlier, Tim Gunn, Parsons fashion design chair and the show’s mentor, had visited [Project Runway Contestant Jeffery] Sebelia in L.A. and declared, “He had a lot of work to do.” Word reached [Project Runway Contestant, Mother of Six, and avoider of Sweat Pants and Mini Vans Laura] Bennett, whose mother had met and become friendly with Sebelia’s mother. Upon seeing Sebelia’s miraculously finished collection, Bennett told the producers she believed Sebelia had outsourced his sewing—which would disqualify him. “His collection was very ambitious,” says Gunn. “I wasn’t born yesterday.” Adding fuel to the fire was Sebelia’s rather unfinished style of construction throughout the show. “We took the accusation very seriously, and we did a very intense and thorough investigation,” says Gunn. Bravo would not allow him to reveal the resolution.
Verrrrrrrry innnnteresting. And tomorrow is the final challenge. Juicy!

(Photo credit: Getty Images. Props to Zara for the link.)

At least she's somewhat perceptive

Gotta love The Sun:
In probably the least shocking celebrity statement of the decade, Paris Hilton has admitted that she’s "not like that smart".

The confession was made when the star helped police officers with an investigation into a burglary at the house of Hollywood porn baron Joe Francis.

When cops asked her what she knew, the socialite said: "I'm not that smart... I don’t remember... I forget stuff all the time."
Knowing is half the battle, Boo.

But seriously. Hanging out with the "Girls Gone Wild" guy? Eww.

(Photo lifted from here.)

Sep 25, 2006

Chris Wallace: Schooled!

By now, I'm sure you've read many dissections and anayses of Bill Clinton's appearance on FOX News, and how he vigorously defended his actions regarding Al Qaeda and Somalia during his time in office.

Chris Wallace. Poor guy. It was like a train wreck, watching him lose control of his interview like that. And there was Clinton, systematically deconstructing the shaky foundation of Wallace's biased, conflict-provoking question, about why Clinton didn't do more.

I think it's funny, in the first few minutes of the interview, how tightly Wallace clings to Bin Laden's words about how the U.S. departure from Somalia showed the our frailty. Hanging his entire question on the rhetoric of a religious fanatic, when in fact, history shows - as Clinton points out - how the same conservatives criticizing Clinton today, wanted him to "cut and run" in Somalia the day after Black Hawk Down.

You have to watch the video to witness the spectacle in all its splendor, but I literally applauded when Clinton hit Wallace with this gem of an exchange:
WJC: I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill [Bin Laden]. The CIA was run by George Tenet, who President Bush gave the Medal of Freedom to and said he did a good job. The country never had a comprehensive anti-terror operation until I came to office. If you can criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this: after the Cole, I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full scale attack/search for Bin Laden. But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan, which we got (only) after 9/11. The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that Bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would have had to send a few hundred Special Forces in helicopters and refuel at night. Even the 9/11 Commission didn’t do (think we should have done) that. Now the 9/11 Commission was a political document, too? All I’m asking is if anybody wants to say I didn’t do enough, you read Richard Clarke’s book.

CW: Do you think you did enough, sir?

WJC: No, because I didn’t get him.

CW: Right…

WJC: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try and they didn’t. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country: Dick Clarke.

So you did FOX’s bidding on this show. You did you nice little conservative hit job on me. But what I want to know..

CW: Now wait a minute, sir…

WJC: [..]

CW: I asked a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?

WJC: It was a perfectly legitimate question. But I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you’ve asked this question of. I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked ‘Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole?’ I want to know how many you asked ‘Why did you fire Dick Clarke?’ I want to know…

CW: We asked…

WJC: [..]

CW: Do you ever watch FOX News Sunday, sir?

WJC: I don’t believe you ask them that.

CW: We ask plenty of questions of…

WJC: You didn’t ask that, did you? Tell the truth.

CW: About the USS Cole?

WJC: Tell the truth…

CW: I…with Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s plenty of stuff to ask.

WJC: Did you ever ask that? You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch is going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers for supporting my work on Climate Change. And you came here under false pretenses and said that you’d spend half the time talking about…

CW: [laughs]

WJC: You said you’d spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7 billion plus over three days from 215 different commitments. And you don’t care.

CW: But, President Clinton…

WJC: [..]

CW: We were going to ask half the [interview time] about it. I didn’t think this was going to set you off on such a tear.

WJC: It set me off on such a tear because you didn’t formulate [the question] in an honest way and you people ask me questions you don’t ask the other side.

Some other great posts on this topic:
  • Laurie's post at Defiance is spot-on.
  • The Carpetbagger has his take on the showdown and brings up The Note and the notion of the "Chappaqua Hint." Leadership by example, bitches. Start taking notes.
  • And of course, Professor Juan Cole weighs in, with Lexis-Nexis searches and everything.

I'll take ten cases, please.

It's been a while since I last gave you a specialty food and beverage update, so here you go:
Coke later this year plans to introduce Enviga, a green tea drink that will claim to have calorie burning powers. Beverage Digest reported Friday that Enviga will appear first in New York and Philadelphia.

The drink, developed by Coke and partner Nestle, has been in the works since last year.
Understandably, the folks at Coca-Cola are remaining tight-lipped, while some of us are already starting to make room in the fridge.

Sep 18, 2006

¡Vamos ya!

Tonight is the first night of a 6-week flamenco workshop I've signed up for. My second workshop, to be exact. Cannot. Freakin'. Wait. I've been listening to flamenco and watching flamenco DVDs for the last two weeks, in preparation. Obsessed, I tell you. Freakin' obsessed.

(Photo credit: Ballet Nacional de Espana, from Flamenco World.)

Sep 16, 2006

Let the healing begin

LOS ANGELES - The tumultuous marriage of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown — which withstood drug addiction, Brown's numerous arrests, the decline of Houston's once-sparkling image and domestic abuse allegations — is coming to an end.

A publicist for Houston confirmed to The Associated Press that the Grammy-winning, superstar singer had filed for divorce after 14 years of marriage.

Publicist Nancy Seltzer declined to reveal where or when Houston filed the divorce papers, and said the singer had no statement to make.

"I can just confirm that she has filed for divorce," Seltzer said Wednesday.

Brown's lawyer said Houston had filed papers for a legal separation.
I guess their reality show never got renewed for another season?

Somewhere out there, Osama Bin Laden's making plans to get his groove back.

(Photo credit: Defamer.)

Sep 15, 2006

Project Runway Fashion Week Photos!

Getty Images has pictures from the Project Runway designers' shows. They had to do bathing suits!

Laura, Michael, and Uli did their trademark designs but the execution of their looks, obviously, was a lot more refined than the garments we've seen on the show. Laura's collection had an air of elegance about it - which was to be expected; Uli's was fun and full of prints; Michael's was all about Hot Mama at the Club; Jeffery's rock star garb was surprisingly understated. Did the judges succeed in taming the Punk Rawk Beast?

Go see for yourself. And then come back and tell me what you think.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Sep 14, 2006

Deja Vu

Why am I not surprised?
VIENNA, Austria - A recent House of Representatives committee report on Iran's nuclear capability is "outrageous and dishonest" in trying to make a case that Tehran's program is geared toward making weapons, a senior official of the U.N. nuclear watchdog has said.

The letter, obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday outside a 35-nation board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, says the report is false in saying Iran is making weapons-grade uranium at an experimental enrichment site, when it has in fact produced material only in small quantities that is far below the level that can be used in nuclear arms.

The letter, which was first reported on by The Washington Post, also says the report erroneously says that IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei removed a senior nuclear inspector from the team investigating Iran's nuclear program "for concluding that the purpose of Iran's nuclear program is to construct weapons."

In fact, the inspector was sidelined on Tehran's request, and the Islamic republic had a right to ask for a replacement under agreements that govern all states relationships with the agency, said the letter, calling the report's version "incorrect and misleading."

"In addition," says the letter, "the report contains an outrageous and dishonest suggestion that such removal might have been for 'not having adhered to an unstated IAEA policy barring IAEA officials from telling the whole truth about the Iranian nuclear program.'"

Project Runway After Party

Episode 10: Black and White, aka ‘WTF?’
I got home a bit late tonight and missed the first 15 minutes. And when I started watching, all I could think was, WTF are Angela and Vincent doing here? I thought we were done with them? Don’t do this to me, Bravo.

Heidi teases the designers by asking them if they are ready for their next challenge. Of course they say yes, but she decides to prolong the agony and tells them that L’oreal Paris is hosting a party in their honor tonight, and that she’s invited some special guests. Jeffery smells a trap.

The “party,” which really just looks like The Pink Elephant before regular business hours, begins with a toast. Did Laura drink any champagne?

Heidi welcomes the two guests: Vincent and Angela.

Michael thinks, “What the hell is going on?”

That's what I'm thinking too, man. WTF?

Angela walks out, almost tentatively, like she’s expecting someone to pop out from behind the corner and slap her. “I’m confused,” she says.

That’s not all, dear.

It’s here at The Pink Elephant that Heidi finally explains what she meant by that whole “there are other benefits to winning a challenge” cryptic thing. Get it? Because Angela and Vincent both won a challenge, they get a second chance. Didn’t Robert win a challenge? Or maybe not … whatever. But my God, were Angela and Vincent the only other two who won a challenge?

Kayne pours gallons of champagne down his throat to numb the Vincent/Angela-induced pain.

“The party was over at that point,” Uli says.

Back at Mood, the designers freak out about buying too much or too little fabric, since they have to use every scrap.

Michael’s trippin. “That was bananas. It was like whoah.”

Jeffery tries to find the silver lining, but can’t. Uli says that it’ll be embarrassing if she goes home before Angela does.

Vincent’s ready to make his “little cocktail numba.”

Laura calls Angela out, saying that her win was from a team challenge, and that her team members “carried a lot of weight.”

“Really? I disagree …” Angela says, all space cadety. As if she really believes that vomiting up rosettes/fleurchons = great design. “It’s the design that matters, not the construction,” she says.

Really, Angela? I disagree …

Get to sketching! And buying fabric! And draping! And cutting patterns! And getting feedback from Michael!

Laura’s model tries to give her some advice about designing a more youthful look. Laura's worried especially since the judges reamed her a new one during the couture challenge last week.

Collier Strong from L’oreal Paris comes in to talk makeup and styling. Makeup as accessory. So each designer meets with Collier individually to discuss the styling. I mean, I love makeup, but … yawn. Although I’m all for the smoky eye look in other colors besides black and brown. So Collier’s gotta be on to something.

Tim comes to each designer with his feedback. The usual stuff. But when he gets to Laura, she breaks down. She tells Tim that the last challenge shook her up. She wanted to make a big career change, but now she’s too tired and is just trying to take things day by day.

The day of the runway show, Vincent’s told that Jia, his model, had a bike accident, and that he’d get another model. But the model he got busted her “zippa.” Way to make a model feel like a heffa!

On to the runway!

This week’s judges: Michael Kors, NINAGARCIA, Zac Posen.

The judges loved Michael’s asymmetrical dress with a black cumerbund, and I loved Nasri’s earrings. Someone get me a pair! And can we talk about his orange paisley blazer?

Heidi said Vincent’s dress looked “cheapish.” Four words: Too. Much. Hoo. Hoo. Less cape, more skirt. Please. It’s not turning me on.

Uli, your hippie cocktail dress was The Ugly. No, no, no, no, no. But the judges think they’re seeing the same dress, time after time after time. And let’s not even talk about the big, knotted “necklace.”

Angela says her shrug was “modern, yet Edwardian.” The judges called it “costume-y.” I call it, Why the F did you have to go and bring Angela back in the first place? Did she miss the last flight back to Ohio?

Jeffery tells us that when designing this dress, he reminisced back to the last few L.A. cocktail parties he’d been to. Leggings? No. Don’t do that, Jeffery. Please. The judges are tiring of his “hard rock, Los Angeles look.” Kors thinks it’s so Gwen Stefani L.A.M.B. I would be interested in seeing something different from him. If they’re going to accuse Uli of being a one note …

Laura used all her fabric to design a black and white lace dress that one of the judges called “fun, but youthful.” And that it was “chic, perfectly made, so much more youthful than what you’ve been doing.” Posen says that this dress is highly marketable. “It works.” NINAGARCIA finds it adorable and a refreshing point of view.

“This time, she designed for a woman besides herself,” said NINAGARCIA. Amen, sister. Good work, girl. I loved this dress.

Kayne showed us that he could edit, but I think this time he edited a little too much. The black dress, while sleek, didn’t meet the challenge, in the sense that the white circular lace-up bigger-than-a-keyhole back made the white seem more of an afterthought than a truly integrated piece in the overall design. Posen thinks it’s Jeckyl and Hyde. NINAGARCIA isn’t crazy about it.

So, tell me, why did Angela and Vincent have to come back again?

Laura wins! Yay! But no immunity. Boo.

Now three are going to get the Auf. Hmm. Oh, sweet Jesus …the pressure.

Angela and Vincent are out. Bravo, why did you even waste my time? Seriously! WTF!

Vincent goes on to say in his (now second) exit interview how he’s been “making beautiful music” [I thought you were making clothes?] forever, and that he’ll continue “making beautiful music” for a long time.

“I do it so damn well. It’s a gift,” he says.

Interesting word choice there, Vincent. One man’s gift is another man’s delusion.

Michael’s in. And he throws up the double sign of the beast. Rock on, playa.

Uli’s in. Phew. Close call!

They question Kayne’s taste level. They say Jeffery is all edge, not much elegance.

Kayne gets the Auf. Peace out, Kayne. I’m not too worried. Kayne’s business is going to boom after this show. He’ll be alright. And he exited the show with all of the grace of a beauty queen.

Sep 11, 2006

Never Forget

This 9/11, I finally felt strong enough to not burst into tears at the WTC footage (no, I didn't finish watching the ABC "docudrama"). Tonight, I chose to honor the memory of those that perished in these attacks by celebrating life and trying to move forward.

Live goes on, but I will never forget. Never.

Sidebar to the ABC network: By fabricating scenes and taking artistic license, you no longer honor the memory of those who lost their lives during the attacks of 9/11. Instead you cheapen the event and reduce it to entertainment. Sales of ad airtime. Ratings. Sweeps Week. And, as a result, you dishonor the very people whose memories you attempt to immortalize and remember through your "docudrama." Docudramas should be reserved for stories about unsolved mysteries and women who escape abusive husbands. Not for the largest and most terrible act of terrorism on U.S. soil.

Oh yeah, and while you're at it? Get your facts straight. Thanks.

(Photo credit: Le Nouveau Tigre's photostream on Flickr.)

Sep 8, 2006

Caption This Photo

Man. Those pandas just can't catch a break, can they?
After falling asleep late Thursday for the first time since her labor, Ya Ya apparently crushed her newborn while it was nursing, the official Xinhua News Agency said on its Web site.

A zoo handler noticed the cub, which weighed only about three ounces, had fallen away motionless from her mother's nipple, it said. Zoo staff took the cub away while Ya Ya was still asleep and an autopsy showed that its heart, liver and other organs had been crushed.
I hope all of you new mothers and mothers-to-be out there learn the valuable lesson here, which is not to sleep with your baby while nursing it, no matter how much it looks like a white, hairy penis. With a face.

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhong Guilin. Post inspired by Ang.)

Yeah, me too.

I'd like to applaud the genius who created this ad campaign for VISA:

Thanks for the laugh, seriously.

(Ad found on

Sep 7, 2006

Project Runway After Party

Episode 9: Couture du Jour
Aah, Paris.

This week’s challenge was for the designers to create a couture dress. Did you know that you need to be licensed by the French government to be a couture designer? Neither did I. Ah, Project Runway, how you continue to teach me things about fashion that I never knew ...

Anyway, so the designers have to design and construct a couture-ish dress, by hand. In two days.

Jaws dropped all over the place.

Catherine Malandrino says she’s going to throw a party for the gowns. Oh, and the designers too. At some undisclosed location. Will Dick Cheney be there?

I kid.

But first, they chill at the hotel and then have dinner with Tim Gunn. In Pah-ree.

“I’m excited to be in Paris, but I’m even more ecstatic that Angela’s gone,” Jeffery says. I couldn’t agree more. If I had to watch another episode of her and her spazziness …

We see shots of the designers and Laura’s sternum walk through the streets of Paris. (Aren’t your boobs supposed to get bigger when you’re prego? I’m just saying.) It’s their first relaxing, proper dinner together. They all toast to Jeffery’s first win.

The next day, the designers take the Metro around town to soak up all that French inspiration and end up at the Sacre Coeur. Tim gives them 30 minutes to sketch.

Vincent tells us that his background training is in couture dressmaking, which leads us to think, ah, finally, now we'll get to see why Vincent made it on this show in the first place. We also find out that haute couture is yet another thing that turns him on. I swear, Vincent talks just like how I would imagine a creepy, sleazebag fashion photographer of questionable scruples would talk. I keep expecting him to tell his model to make love to the camera or something. But I digress.

Kayne shares his sketch with Vincent, who declares,

This is couture.”

You know, as if to say, yes, Kayne, you FINALLY got it right this time. Thanks, Mr. Couture.

The designers are off to Reine, a fabric store, in which they spend about 300 euros ($375 US).

Jeffery sets a goal for himself: To be the first designer in the history of the show to win a challenge while having immunity. With that yellow madras plaid? Bon chance, man. Make it work!

I think Uli’s freaking out about the whole implication that she’s a one-note, so she doesn’t even choose a print this time.

“That’s really something,” Uli says.

As the designers drape, drape, drape, Laura’s got something to say about everyone’s dress, and she’s not afraid to share. Especially with Kayne. Is this her strategery? Is she psyching out her opponents and playing upon their insecurities? Or is she just being catty?

“Kayne definitely has some Vegas tendencies going on.” Laura says.

Okay, maybe a little of both.

Jeffery, on the other hand, says Kayne’s dresses are very “prom.” I think Jeffery prides himself on how good he is at being a jerk.

Meanwhile, back in the Land of the Lost 401k, Vincent is determined that the dress he creates will be the epitome of haute couture.

“Vincent is like a legend in his own mind,” says Laura.

Indeed, sistafren. Indeed.

Then! Vincent busts out with some Daniel Franco moves, in which he works a little bit on the dress form, steps back, touches himself, asks others to touch him, and then keeps working. Basically, just basking in his own eccentricity and wasting time. It’s all too much for me to handle. I curl up in the fetal position during the commercial break.

Back at the hotel, we find out that Jeffery has some bizarre attachment to his cordless shaver. That’s just gross. All those shaven hairs flying around the hotel room. Nasty. That’s just like someone cutting their toenails on your couch or something. So. Punk. Rawk.

On day two, Michael’s worried about the time crunch, and Laura thinks this is the only chance she’s got to impress the judges, so she’d better make it big. Kayne’s dress is not working for Tim. The boning worries him. But Kayne loves it. Oh, a designer’s dilemma. Listen to your artistic voice, or listen to Tim Gunn?

Laura’s worried that Kayne’s going to get kicked off, and she doesn’t want to see him get hurt.

Jeffery could care less. “Nobody’s going to buy that. Unless it’s Halloween.” Rowr!

Vincent’s critiquing Michael’s handmade ruching, while Jeffery tells him that’s what Malan was trying to do. You know, with all Mr. Haute Couture Embodied talking about how Laura’s dress looks like something from the Creature from the Black Lagoon, what the hell does his dress look like?

Who knows, because it’s not even finished yet. At this point, it’s in a bunch of pieces waiting to be sewn together.

Laura’s starting to feel the effects of her pregnancy; the fatigue, the swollen feet. I have this feeling Laura’s interest in the competition is going to wane as her pregnancy advances. (But then again, don’t they just shoot for 32 days? I mean, does your body change that much in 32 days? I’ve never had a kid, so what do I know?)

The next day is Catherine Malandrino’s party. But first, they have three hours to finish their dresses.

Shocker. Vincent’s dress still isn’t even done yet! Looks like someone spent too much time worrying about everybody else’s dress, declaring "couture" and "not couture" all over the place, and all without the special license from the French government! Tsk, tsk.

The models come in. Vincent’s still got to hand-sew the hem, but he doesn’t have time, so he busts a Santino and glues it instead.

Michael’s model is a super heffer, so he has to take the dress in about FOUR sizes.

Off to the mystery location! It’s a boat on the Seine. And as the designers and models walk to the boat, some fool threw eggs at them. The egg splattered on Michael’s dress! I’ve officially put a mob hit on that fool.

Just kidding, officer. Carry on.

Malandrino arrives at the party, wearing some stunning retro-inspired dress, and she and Tim toast to the designers.

She mingles among the designers and their models, giving them props and some very constructive feedback. The woman deserves a job at the UN. Check out the diplomacy she engages in as she critiques Vincent’s dress:

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen shoulder pads on a couture dress.”

Heh heh. Same here.

So Vincent, apparently wising up to the fact that his “couture” gown is a piece of merde, completely changes the conversation and starts trying to up Malandrino, telling her she’s stunning, and a vision, etc. I think he even kissed her hand. His accolades really become so cloying and transparent that even the rest of the designers stop their conversations and just stare at the spectacle, mouths agape.

“Are those your shoes?” he asks Malandrino. (They’re not.) Is he like, trying to distract her from The Ugly?

Then he starts asking for her honest opinion about his dress whether it’s modern or dated. The best she could come up with was that it was “interesting.”

To me, the dress itself was very plain. Not “classic.” Plain. Home-sewn. Not well executed. And couture was, according to Vincent, his strength? In what parallel universe?

Jeffery got “audacious” with his choice of cotton for a couture gown. You have to hand it to Jeffery. He’s certainly not boring.

I kind of liked the corset bodice on Kayne’s dress, with its slightly asymmetrical lacing in the back. I don’t think it looks too “Vegas-y.” And I didn’t mind the fact that the boning showed through. But Kayne sure loves his flowing skirts, doesn’t he?

Laura’s dress, the black, long-sleeved, deep-v (of course) column dress with the big, puffy, Elizabethanesque collar, was very dramatic, very edgy.

Uli’s dress looked like an Uli dress, but in a non-print. But it was sexy and feminine and well executed.

Back in New York, the designers get two hours to re-fit their American models. Most of the dresses have to be let out to fit the American models. Laura’s puffy collar wilted. Vincent uses more glue.

On to the runway!

This week’s judges: Richard Tyler, NINAGARCIA, Heidi, and Michael Kors.

Vincent thinks that the cut in the back of his dress is “unlike anything anyone’s ever done before” (seriously, where does he get this stuff?). Laura’s ruffles fell flat during the flight back to NYC. Kayne still loves his dress.

During the judge’s deliberations, they go over Malandrino’s comments. All Malandrino wrote on Vincent’s card was “No, no, no, no, no, no.” Heh heh. Bring this woman back for Season 4, please.

Jeffery wins. “Fresh, new, hip, colorful, fashion forward. Couture,” Heidi says.

Vincent gets the Auf. Finally. Justice prevails!

And again with the “cashing out the 401k” during the exit interview. Why couldn’t he just freakin’ roll it over into an IRA instead of deal with the massive penalty? Oy. Enough with the 401k already. Put it in an annuity and get on with it, for crying out loud.

Michael, Laura, Kayne, Uli, Jeffery are the five designers left. One more week, and we'll have our four Fashion Week designers. My picks for Fashion Week: Michael, Laura, Uli, and Jeffery. No idea who'll be the decoy, though. It's hard to tell at this point. But I will say, anyone who gets The Auf from here on out is going to be painful to watch.

And yes, even Jeffery.

Sep 5, 2006

Doughboy's Dirty Little Secret

The recent revelation that Karl "Doughboy" Rove's stepfather, Louis Rove, was gay, infuriates me, because Karl has made a (very successful) career shaping and creating wedge issues around gay rights to benefit the GOP, mobilize the Christian conservative voting base, and further polarize our nation over issues that shouldn't even be a priority. [And that's not to say that I believe gay marriage should even be one of these issues, because it's a non-issue to me.]

It baffles my mind the level of self-hatred and lack of integrity Karl has. He's made a hell of a lot of money and gained a lot of political influence by selling out Americans like his own father, his "adopted father," publicly repudiating the very thing that made his father the man that he was, and effectively injecting into the public discourse bullshit about how gay people are "ruining" the moral fiber of this country. I guess it's somehow fitting, then, that when Louis Rove passed away, Karl kept it a secret from Louis' friends. An obituary wasn't even published in the local paper in Palm Springs. The better to keep Karl's dirty little secret away from evil fingers that Google, I guess.

What a shame. What an utter disgrace.

Somehow, the cognitive dissonance behind Karl Rove (e.g. Why does this fucker exist?) is starting to make sense to me now:
The zealousness with which Rove and Mehlman pursue an anti-gay agenda for political utility suggests more than just an ambition to win elections. Students of Freud might be able to artfully deconstruct their behavior but even lay analysts can see a bit of repression and self-loathing at work. Maybe Rove has a desire to get back at his father for leaving his mother when he "chose" to be gay. Or perhaps he is fighting his own homo-erotic impulses. His description of George Bush the first time they met goes a bit beyond a geek's admiration of the cool guy quarterback:

"I can literally remember what he was wearing: an Air National Guard flight jacket, cowboy boots, complete with the --- in Texas you see it a lot --- one of the back pockets will have a circle worn in the pocket from where you carry your tin of snuff, your tin of tobacco. He was exuding more charisma than any one individual should be allowed to have."
Sounds like a little mancrush to me. Don't run away from your feelings, Karl!

Not that I didn't think this before, but his unwavering willingness to debase and demonize a particular group of people purely for political gain (or rather, for the political gain of his client) just reeks of the utter hypocrisy coming from people who, unfortunately, have a direct hand in shaping the direction of public debate and policymaking in this country.

But I guess in Doughboy's world, the end always justifies the means, eh?

There's a ditch somewhere in Malebolge waiting just for you, Doughboy.

And don't even get me started on Ken Mehlman. I may have to smack a bitch.

(Post inspired by The Rude Pundit and cross-posted at Bring It On!)

Mr. Biggs thrown in the big house

Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers, has been sentenced to three years and one month (couldn't they just have rounded down?) in prison for tax evasion. I wonder if R. Kelly will be inspired to do a Ron Isley-inspired hip-hopera about Isley's ordeal:
Isley, lead singer of The Isley Brothers, avoided paying taxes numerous times in the past three decades and declared bankruptcy after the IRS seized his yacht, cars and other property in 1997.

He was discharged from bankruptcy four years later, but then did not file tax returns for the years 1997 to 2001 and in 2002 did not sign his return and failed to pay all taxes due.

Like I've said before, pimpin' ain't easy, yo.

(Photo credit: Philadelphia Citypaper.)

Irony, or poetic justice? You decide.

Crikey. Look on the bright side: If I were a professional, world-renown "wildlife warrior," this would be the way I'd want to go:
...Steve came over the top of the [sting] ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest), and he pulled it out and the next minute he's gone.
Condolences to Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin's family. That sucks. But at least he went out doing something he's been passionate about enough to make a career out of it.

Sep 4, 2006

Have no fear, César is here

I have been waiting for this place to open ever since I moved here. Had dinner there last night with my very dear friend and ex-roommate. Wrote about my experience. Check out my review on the Beast Blog.

Or better yet, let's go together. I swear I could eat those pimentos de padrón every day ...

(Photo credit: pimentos de padron from César's web page.)