Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Bridal Party Looked Resplendant in Jewel Tones

As promised, here are "before" and "during" shots of the Gladstone High School Cross Country team's 2nd Annual 5K Fun Run where I ran with fellow fierce women dressed in bridal gear.

Top photo, from left: Denise, Robyn, Jessica, Rachel, Deb, and Stacey.
Bottom photo, from left: Robyn, Denise, Stacey, Rachel, Deb, and Jessica.

The day was lovely, just right for a wedding. It was, however, mondo hot in those get-ups, and we were all sweating our patooties off before mile one. What made this race worth while? Well, it helped a local school, helped fund a program we all believe in, and during the race, we wondered out loud about the people you see running marathons (that's 26.2 miles for those of you not in the know) in costumes. Were we really part of that crazy club? Yes and no. Yes, running in costume was great fun, it added some levity to the morning and quickly parlayed any thoughts of "getting a PR" during the race; we were able to focus on what, exactly, we ran for: it made us all happy. I'm sure there are more reasons than that one, but doing something you enjoy- that makes you happy- is absolutely the best reason to do something. Agreed, mon cherie?

And I saved the best for last: once you crossed the finish line, you had to make your way down the Slip 'n' Slide! Below, our "bride" Stacey (in her own wedding gown from her now-ended marriage) literally "takes the plunge." (groan...)

It was a blast, and we were throwing out suggestions for next year's costumes before the half-mile mark. Outsider suggestions welcome, just be sure that we can purchase the makings of the costumes at local thrift stores/dark corners of bedroom closets/dusty boxes under the bed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Watch This

Okay, so I was visiting one of my favorite sites, Ninja Please , and this was posted. Effing awesome, indeed. Note: not for kids!


That's the sound of me, relaxing. So Ms. Johnnda and I drove to Plymouth, MI to visit My Favorite Redhead last weekend. We had so much fun. Such a lovely, relaxed, no-hassle time being girls (even if Miles and The Mouth Doctah were around). We even got a sneak peek at Red's wedding dress! Beautiful, sexy, delicate, feminine, appropriately luxe. I'd love to post a picture of Red in the dress, but I'm afraid the Mouth Doctah would look, too, and we just can't have that.

So I'll post a pic of my latest shopping score: diamonds!

I know they're small and you can't really see them (its hard to take a photo of something like that when you've got smiles in your eyes!), but trust me honey, thems diamonds in that band! And with the band of my Timex sports watch, it looks tres klass-ay, no? I'm very happy with my purchase, and hope that this is just the first spot of sparkle in a long and happy relationship with my local jeweler.

And now for talk about some other kinda bling: Project Runway and the drag queens!

How fantastically bitchy were those "girls?!"Could there have been anymore sequins and body shapers? Oy, honey, this was so fantastic, I could hardly contain myself. So let's dish about the designs: my favorite was not the winner (Joe's Sequin Spangled Sailor), even though it was tops for the judges. My fave was Donna Summers' design (Teri)- it had drama, art history references, fantastic styling. It oh-so-subtly brought up the comparison of today's drag queens to performers of kabuki, fer chrissake! Check it out:

I also like Korto's Flaming Booty. And ya know, I actually kinda liked Utah Gay Keith's Stevie Nicks-meets-Freddy Kruger dress. The queen who wore it had no expression whatsoever, but I liked its punk aesthetic.


That's all I'm going to say on that. What did everyone think of the "text your answer" question re: who would you rather see in drag, Michael Kors or Tim Gunn? Good gravy, Michael Kors probably dresses in drag when he's home. He probably models his own clothes for himself. Master Guru Gunn is totally the one to see in drag. What kind of get-up do you think he'd wear? And what would his stage name be? Ohhh, we'll have to let that stew a bit before we shout it out loud.

Okay, so tomorrow I'm off to a local 5K (benefiting a local high school's cross county team). I'll be wearing a bridesmaid's dress. I'm not kidding. I'll post photos before I head out for a shopping trip to Appleton with Daughter #1, two of her friends, and Daughter #2. Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Now It Is Time For...

...relaxing! Yesterday was the final day of my summer program at work. The kids and the staff all seemed to have a fine time on our reward trip to Thunder Falls Water Park in Mackinaw City. I'm ready for some relaxation, hence the picture (above) of the beautiful flowers from Mr. Fix's garden. A glass of water, a sunny spot, a good book, and those flowers are making for a lovely afternoon.

But seriously, how lackluster was Project Runway ? I really thought I'd be more excited by Brooke Shields, but I don't even watch that show she's on. All I really remember is that scene in Blue Lagoon where she gets her period and that crappy Suddenly Susan show she had. Yep, she's purdy, and yep, she's got nice teeth, but if we begin to call her a "fashion icon" based on her Lolita-esque Calvin Klen ad from way back when, we're really losing focus on what, truly, makes a style/fashion icon.

But the designers! LOSERS: I didn't really mind Leanne & Blayne's shorts and shirt look, it just wasn't anything new. And Joe & Korto's dress was one of the most poorly constructed things we've seen in a loooong time, but I did like the jacket, especially after it was modified a bit. I think they could've gone further with tailoring the body of the jacket and then keeping the volume of the sleeves. And the big losers, Daniel and Kelli: Daniel, in my opinion, is the one that should have gotten the double air kisses. "My taste is impeccable." Really? The outfit was trashy, too tight, and too Frederick's of Hollywood. ICK.

And now, the WINNERS: Suede and Donna Summer's outfit was cute, but nothing really new to me. I did like that they had pants rather than a skirt or dress, but hated the cut of the pants and wasn't convinced on their styling of the outfit. Jerell & Stella's dress was okay, too, but I can't believe that none of the judges made a comment on that crappy hemline! It wasn't obviously asymmetrical, which made it look like sloppy construction. I did like Stella's leathah belt, even though I'm tired of her.

Utah Gay Keith & Kenley's outfit was my fave from the get-go. Even when the designers were presenting the sketches, it stood out as the one. From the flow of the blouse, to the easy sleeve modification, to the lightness of those scalloped ruffles/fringe, it was a lovely, bright, sexy outfit that didn't need to work at being right. See how pretty?

And can I contain my excitement over next week's challenge? NO!!!!! Finally, it's the challenge the gays have been waiting five wicked long seasons for- DRAG QUEENS! I can't wait. They're even bringing Big Gay Chris back from last season. Yay!

Now, I'm off for a few days of girly time to see My Favorite Redhead downstate. Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Week In Review

Photo above originally posted by photo.envy on the mend on flickr. Go here .
After last weekend's activities, it was back to the grind Monday morning.
And Tuesday morning.
And Wednesday morning.
But come Wednesday afternoon, the excitement began. What could be more exciting than having one of your staff members call you and tell you that the school bus she's on- along with 30 1st and 2nd graders- is broken down? Nothing, I tell you- nothing is more exhilarating than the rush of adrenaline you get calling parents and telling them that their children are stuck on a broken-down bus in Trenary.

Thank goodness for Project Runway! Kind of a cool challenge this week. I liked the idea of designing an outfit that represents America, even if that meant way too much red, white, and blue. My biggest fear would be making something that looked like a stewardess' uniform. Oy!

But to discuss the show: I knew that the skort wouldn't win. It was too kitschy, too "uniform-y," especially with the huge "USA" down the right side of the skort- almost super hero-ish (which, I know Michael Kors pointed out that the Olympic athletes are super heroes to an extent, but its too much). So the bronze goes to the Spice Girls outfit from Joe.

Silver medalist was the stripes-and-jacket get up from our friend Donna Summer (Terri). Totally chic get up. I love how she mixed up all the stripes on top, wasn't crazy about the tuxedo stripe on the trousers, but loved the casual refinement of the look. As The Doctah said, "It reminds me of those Charlie perfume commercials from the 70's, but more modern." Agreed, Doctah, agreed! Just for funsies, refresh your memory here .

Gold medal to Korto. No argument here, and I'll break it down for ya: think about the typical female athletic form. Got it? Broad shoulders, flat boobies, small waist, no hips, muscular legs. A good tan. Korto made all of these things work well together in an outfit that was clean, contemporary, and feminine. That vest takes an athlete's broad shoulders and balances them out with the flare of the trouser leg (nicely accentuated by the red inset at the shoulder- my friends Stacey & Clinton would be pleased); the belt at the waist totally plays up the narrow waist most of the athletes have; the linen and feather-weight leather keeps them cool in the blazing hot pollution of Beijing, and the white shows off their burnished skin. Step up and get your flowers, Korto- the National Anthem is starting.

What about the losers? Jennifer totally had to go. BO-RING! Uninspired. When I saw that skirt, I thought: "awning." And did Jerell bring the crazy art school this week, or what? Little Bo Peep on acid meets Carol Burnett's Scarlett O'Hara dress.

Special mention to Keith (the one who says he's gay, but I don't get that vibe. The Devil tells me "He's Utah gay.") for an adorable and fresh outfit. Loves it.

Okay friends, I've completed my tempo run with The Devil, and now I've told my mother-in-law I'd help her pick out new frames for her glasses. We're trying to get her some hotness for the men on e-Harmony. Wish us luck, and have a great weekend!

Monday, August 4, 2008

What Do You Get When You Mix a Bunch of Polish People, Beer, a Ukulele, and a Dunk Tank?

Why, you get my family reunion, of course!

So this weekend was my Kaszynski Family Reunion. The last event took place in 2000 (I did not attend). These people are my maternal grandmother's relatives: everyone who attended is a child or grandchild or great-grandchild of one of the ten children of John and Frances Kaszynski. The photo above shows them all (Back Row: Art Kaszynski, Evelyn Thompson, John Kaszynski, Genevieve Meagher, Ben Kaszynski, Della McPartland, Leonard Kaszynski, Bernadette Heathcoat. Front Row: Gertrude Martinkus, John Kaszynski, Frances Kaszynski, Walter Kaszynski). My mom's mother is Gertrude- aka "Grandma Gert."

There were people there I haven't seen in twenty years or more. And despite what I titled this post, the ukulele was just there for show; when I was a kid, my mom's Uncle Len would play it for all of us kids and sing songs. Music was always a staple at those family gatherings, and this gathering was no exception- Cousin Joy managed to find a keyboard, and a few diferent people took turns playing music. It was a really nice afternoon at Cousin Joy's home that included good food, good conversation, and well-behaved children. I don't think I was annoyed even once by those kids (BIG kudos to Sissy for organizing all the kids' activities!). Maybe I'm mellowing? Nah...

I do need to say that the most amusing parts of the day came when: 1) family members (including- but not limited to- my father, two sisters, and two brothers) wound string tied to wrenches up one person's pant leg and shirt, then down the next person's shirt and pants, then up the next person' get the idea. I'm not sure why, either, but it was funny; and 2) Bobby Kaszynski dared four lucky relatives to try dunking him in the dunk tank. Only Brother Peaches was able to take the old timer down. I managed to get a nice picture of Bobby right before he bit it (below).

And what kind of celebration would be complete without cake? We had that, too (see below). Sure it was grocery store marbled, but man, it had some good frosting! Cousin Joy even had the bakery ladies write "Rodzina" on the cake; that means "family" in Polish.

My next big road trip adventure will be to see My Favorite Redhead in lower Michigan, and after's Hog Days, baby!

What? You don't know what is this "Hog Days?" Good gravy, do I have to teach you everything?

Go here to see how I've spent the last 30 Labor Day weekends. I will post more on this as the holiday draws closer, but for now, have a great week.