Saturday, September 27, 2008

Its Time to Sit Shiva

I haven't been this sad about a celebrity passing on since Harry Caray died. I've known this was coming for a long time, but I was disheartened this morning. There I was, reading my new issue of In Style when I heard the announcement on NPR that my longtime boyfriend (of sorts) had died. Behold (above) the beauty of Paul Newman in his prime state, and go buy some salad dressing.

*sniff sniff*

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Home Stretch

WOW! So not only are we down to the last five designers on Project Runway , but we are counting down the games until my beloved Cubbies win their division title and make it one step closer to a (hold your breath and cross your fingers) World Series! Cue that cheesy song...

And now let's strut back to the runway. Interesting challenge, I think. Some people might think it was boring, and may have asked, "What's so hard about designing an outfit for these college grads?" Well, from the judges' comments Wednesday night, there were some designers who just did not get it! Let's dish:

The Losers: We'll start with Leanne and her dreary teacher's dress. I agree with the judges that it looked better with OUT the jacket. I don't understand why on Earth Leanne decided to go with- and the girl agreed with- a dress. Everyone knows that elementary teachers need to be five thousand places at once (metaphorically speaking), and that sheath just doesn't cut it. A smart, chic outfit with knit on top and trousers on the bottom would have been much better, even if is a cliche to dress teachers in dowdy double knit. Let's move on to...Suede. Ms. Fix thinks that Suede has questionable taste. Ms. Fix says that Suede would have to totally answer to Ms. Fix if he designed that 1989 jacket and Forever 21 dress for her daughter! Ms. Fix doesn't like Suede too much this week. And now the big loser, Joe. Nina Garcia was so right: he hit every cliche. But boy, did I wish I had that reach-through television again when stupid Kenley started laughing. She is just so annoyingly wrong wrong wrong.

The Winners: While we're on the subject of Kenley...I hated it. Obviously a cop-out for her, as she just made something for herself and decided for her client it was perfect. It was well made, though, and a great style for the grad's line of work. Next up is Korto: I loved the jacket. I liked the dress. I hated how short the dress was. The girl didn't have the legs to pull off something that short, and those closed round-toe pumps made her legs look even schlumpier. Our big winner- second week in a row!- is our Sagittarius friend, Jerrel. It was absolutely spot on. I'm so glad he didn't mess with the girl's hair (other than to get rid of that skunk stripe), since it totally played into her personality. The outfit was divine- great classic pencil skirt, shiny and feminine blouse (with a bit of sex kitten peek-a-boo fabric on top), and then that knit cardigan that screamed "I watched Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and loved it!"
Behold the winning design (below).

My predictions for the Final Three designers (who, at this point in the real world, have already shown at New York's Fashion Week) are Jerrel, Korto, and Leanne. Are we wagering bets???

Other news? Well, today was National Native American Day, so I didn't have to work...but I did anyway. I'm pretty bad at the whole "time off" thing. What else? Dunno. I'm supposed to go clean up a local ski hill that has for the past dozen years or so been used as a garbage dump (illegally, of course). My mother-in-law spearheaded the clean-up campaign, so I kinda feel obligated, but we'll see. I may have other things to do besides help the environment.

Scheduled to do a 16 mile run on Sunday, and let me tell you, it'll be S-L-O-W. I'm battling this hellacious head cold right now and can't seem to go three minutes without needing to grab a Vicks-infused Kleenex. The Devil is still out of town, so my runs have been solo. Only six more weeks until the "Sweetest Sponsored Race This Fall!" I may find time to post again this weekend, should anything amazing happen. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Art

So I had a brainstorm idea last week about two new pieces I'd like to start on, but first a word about my "artistic process."

Many times I'll have certain imagery in mind, or a series of images that I link together to make sense to me, or sometimes I'll think of words- something akin to what Jenny Holzer did with her "truisms" - and then the image will come to me. Its this last type of process that I've used to come up with two new pieces of work. I'll only tell you the titles, and you'll have to guess at what the imagery will be. Correct guesses get a _______!

#1: "Its easier to kick the dog than it is your husband."
#2: "I Don't Belong Here."

Maybe you think that I'm putting the cart before the horse, what with giving out titles before having the completed images? Well, listen up non-artist-blog-reader-types! The images are alive in my head!!!!!

Crazy? Maybe. Have a nice rest of the week. Also, if you don't know who that is in the photo above, you're really not an artist! Hmmmph!

Monday, September 15, 2008

What Makes It Okay That Its Monday?

Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win! HOLY COW!!! And not only that, but they did it in style! First, Carlos Zambrano comes back and pitches a no-hitter (the first for a Cubs pitcher in 36 years), on Sunday, and then today Ted Lilly made it as far as the 7th inning with his own no-hit bid; although Lilly finally gave up a run, the Cubbies still prevailed over Houston 6-1.

All I know is that I feel like singin' that dang song really loudly..."Go Cubs, goooo! Go Cubs, goooo! Hey Chicago, whaddya say? The Cubs are gonna win today!" Woo hoo! Harry Caray is smiling down on the Windy City Northsiders!

And how was your weekend? Mine was C-O-L-D! Ugh, do I hate the cold weather. See us fire signs (see previous post) don't take kindly to the water or cold- snuffs out our "fire," don'tcha know.

So this week at work, I started my after school program for the kiddies. It serves kids in grades 1-6, and this year (so far) I have 55 little darlings from 3:00-5:00 pm, four days per week. Have you ever tried to fit 55 kids in a regular sized classroom? Let me save you some trouble: you can't do it. At least, not if you want them to be able to work on homework, or an art project, or math drills...So this week will be one of trying out different methods of classroom management. It may involve splitting the kids up into smaller groups, moving around to different areas of the building, who knows? But I'll figure out a way to "make it work!" as Master Guru Gunn says. That is, after all, what I get paid the Big Bucks for! Ha!

What else? Well, Katie finally got her flight and our rental car for our trip to the East Coast ( the Cape Cod Marathon ). If you're in the Boston area on the 27th of October and feel like having lunch with a very nice stranger, let me know and I'll hook you up with Katie- on a platonic level, because she's got this boyfriend named Paolo.

Enough drivel- I'll post again on Thursday, after the fabulousness that is PR happens. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Sagittarians are on FIRE!

Read carefully the "good" and "bad" of my astrological sign, and file away for future reference. It will help you understand the mysteries of the Sagittarian mind...

Okay, that was complete bullshit. :o)

Kind of a cool challenge this week on Project Runway . I'm not sure that I like when the producers bring back the designers who have already been eliminated from competition, but it sure caused a bit of someone's diva behavior to come on out! (Uh, yeah, that would be Donna Summer and Utah Gay Keith.)

Let's get down to business, shall we?

The Losers: Blayne-licious and his "pooping fabric" design were awful from conception. Stupid Stella certainly didn't help by having such shiteous taste, either. Icky. Kenley's mish-mash monstrosity was so much costume, so not avant garde, I wanted very badly for "reach-through television" to be a reality so I could pound her in the head and call her that word My Favorite Redhead and I are not supposed to say (but we said anyway at Maple Beach!). And gee, her ousted partner, Wesley, was such a lively personality- I wanted to reach through and smack some life into him. (All that ugliness makes me a wee bit aggressive.) Suede and Jerry's Aquarius mess was so boring. That outfit is like the outfits you see on the Butterick 99 cent patterns: Sewing 101. And then Donna Summer (Terri) and Utah Gay Keith's Leo design- strike that, it was all Terri. That was one of those designs that looks great only from very very far away and out of focus. Otherwise you could feel the cheapness of the materials through the television waves. Again, reach-through tv would have come in handy to smack the diva right out of Ms. Summer. Auf to Blayne and Terri.

The Winners: I got that Korto and Kelly used Aquarius for their inspiration, but what were those crepe paper streamer thingies across the bodice? Confusing. Joe and Daniel's dress was very pretty; I loved the fabric that looked like some sort of horse's hide print- and I mean that even though I hate the animals- so "natural" yet so glam. Leanne and Emily's Scorpio was great. I, too (just like Master Guru Gunn), was sold on the exoskeleton idea. And I thought that the way the black came up and over and around the one side to totally cocoon the model's head was right on. And so that leaves us with the big winners: Jerell and Jennifer's super sassy Sagittarius creation. Where do we start? Well, during the work time part of the show, My Favorite Local Celebrity and The Doctah and me all went "Ohhhhhh!" when we saw the shiny fabric with the men's wear skirt. That jacket was to die for. And (always important to me) the finished product/styling/presentation was flawless. He used a twisted arrow as a headpiece! Brilliant (below)!

Hmmmkay...what else is there to write about? Well, Nona Bologna is reportedly visiting tomorrow night, and I think that The Doctah and me will be bringing her to see Daughter #1 play in the marching band. Hey- don't you think that its kinda an obligation for a high school marching band to play "Gonna Fly Now (the theme from "Rocky")?" I DO! I've been lobbying Daughter #1 to get it on the playlist, to no avail. They do, however, play some Cirque du Soleil stuff that only _______ (insert word Red and I are not supposed to say) really like. Sorry, Katie, but its true.

And remember the other day when I posted that the temperature was only 48 degrees? Well, another sure sign of cold weather came to me via US Postal Service: I got my rates guide from Ski Brule . I'm thinking that a long weekend for New Year's Eve would be fun, and am trying to get Brother Peaches and family to get on board.

The Devil is out of town on business, so I'm on my own for running tomorrow. Here's hoping that your weekend starts off as energetically as my own!

Just A Minute...

...and I'll be right with you! So, I don't have time to post on the fabulousness that was Project Runway last night, but I will later tonight. I promise! Now, get to work, or I'll tell the rest of the girls you're bad tipper!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Can You Believe No One Made A Wrap Dress?

Above: From Diane Von Furstenberg's Fall 2008 collection.

Time for my weekly Project Runway rant!

Seriously now, Diane VonFurstenberg is known for her wrap dresses, and not a single designer chose to create one for this challenge? Did they think that they'd be chastised for taking an easy route or something? I think a wrap dress would have been a welcome sight, especially after seeing what they DID come up with!

The Losers: Blayne's bloomers were terrible! Most women are curvy and to place the band of those pants right under the knee creates such a definite line- who wants their legs cut off there? His top half was great, though, as was his styling. Jerell's get-up was too much and not enough for me. Too much when put together like he did, and not enough on their own (boring!) to really make a positive impression. Joe took the "Shanghai-ness" a bit too far. Maybe he was still channeling his inner drag queen? Costume-y, poor construction (really, at this point you still can't get your seams to line up? Go back to home ec. class!), and incongruous design elements- blech! And the biggest "lose-ah," Stella: All that fantastic fabric in DVF's studio and all she used was a boring tweed and shiny black leathah stuff? Aside from the fact I'm over her attitude and shizz, the design was not there. Boring trousers, "magician's cape," (HA! That was an awesome comment by the judges!) and that crazy bloused top, which to me looked like a sleeveless polo shirt gone terribly, terribly wrong. As one judge said, "Stella wasn't stellar tonight."

The Winners: Kenley's dress was pretty, and Michael Kors nailed it when he said that she got the "Shanghai" just right. But it was a simple dress, nothing exciting. I think she lost touch of her own style in favor of- her words!- creating something "for sale!" I think she needs to remember that she's the designer, and if her designs are worthy, people will buy them. If she only wants to make clothes "for sale," maybe she can get a job designing for Wal-Mart. Korto's dress and jacket were fantastic. I loved the shock of yellow from under the skirt, but I think it should have been a longer hem. It seemed to me that she ran out of fabric, or forgot that the model was going to be wearing heels. And for my favorite- and the judges, too- Leanne. Two weeks in a row! You go, girl! That dress was magnificent! The color was deep and rich, the draping of the neckline and the sensuous ruffle down the back of the skirt- oh, my! And then to juxtapose the nubby grey jacket with that collar with the gown? W-O-W! See for yourself (below).

So I was left wondering what the next challenge will be? Who were those shadowy figures coming out onto the runway during the previews? My curiosity is piqued!

And now on to other news...The Devil had work to do, and I have an eye appointment, so my tempo run is waiting until 11 am or so. Maybe it'll warm up by then (current temperature? 48 degrees).

Also, Mr. Fix was not one of the 120 or so people arrested in St. Paul Wednesday night; he arrived safe and sound just in time to make dinner for the family. He did, however, spend a considerable amount of time with the bottle of Febreze in the car (oh, those smokers!). Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Think Its Really Over

Summer, that is. See the photo above with the pool, smiles, and 90 degree heat? Oh, it was sooooo magnificent! I am an unabashed heat lover, so that kind of weather is just perfect, especially if I have no plans or schedules to keep. That was how I spent a majority of my Labor Day weekend: sans plans. I was, of course, at the annual tradition of Hog Days .

I ran in the 4 mile Hog Days Stampede (36 minutes or so, the new results weren't posted yet), did some bar hopping, and...that's really about it! Usually I watch the parade ( I love a marching band and bagpipes), but I opted to swim instead. Usually I go to the flea market, but I opted to avoid the parking hassle. Usually I get flat-out drrrruuuuunnk at least once, but I opted for moderation this year, which I was especially glad to have done after seeing our newly "adopted" sister, Ashley/Paris, after playing a game called "Edward 40 Hands."

Do you know this game? Well, its a take on the movie "Edward Scissorhands," where Johnny Depp's character has scissors instead of hands. In the game, the scissors are replaced with "40s" of beer; in the case of Ashley/Paris and everyone else who participated, bottles of Boone's Farm were used. Now, here's the tricky part: the bottles are duct taped to your hands until they have been emptied by drinking the contents. The big trick is using the bathroom, I guess. Ashley/Paris (who bears a resemblance to a certain heiress, and shall from this point on be only called by that name) finished her Strawberry Hill in 18 minutes. Sister-in-law Jennifer made her puke it back up and come home for the night. Ah, to be young again!

I chose to stay in that night and play Farkle and then Shanghai Rummy with Sissy, Gack, Salcha, and Chin-ho. Yes, those are nick names, and no, I won't tell you who they really are.

Anyhoo, I returned home Monday and the kids started school on Tuesday, and Wednesday Mr. Fix drove to the Twin Cities to see Rage Against The Machine , playing across the street from the Republican convention. He's not home yet as I type this, nor has he called. He is on strict orders to never call me from jail, as I will not bail him out. So, either he'll show up later tonight, or he won't. Either way I'll post on what we're all eager to talk about: Project Runway !