Thursday, July 31, 2008

Project Runway Season 5 Episode 3

(Click the photo above for a larger version of all of Episode 3 designs.)

I don't know about you all, but the e-mails were flying fast and furious in my world this morning in reaction to the winner of the Episode 3 challenge.

What's all the fuss about? Well, basically, this was the winning design:

Um, excuse me? As guest judge Sandra Bernhardt pointed out, it looks like the model has a "goiter". My first reaction was that she looks like a mushroom person from "Super Mario Bros". How the crap is this a winning design? I mean.....ewwwww! I don't have words!

Well, okay, maybe I do. I can't believe a design that adds volume through the hip area is EVER a winning design! People! No woman, no matter how skinny, wants her hip area exaggerated. Never! No, NO, NOOO!

Project Rungay offers an explanation that I suppose is as good as any. They postulate that the design won due to the similarity between it and Balenciaga's Spring collection. Here's one from the Balenciaga collection in question:

Yep, same exaggerated hip line albeit without the additional insult of the contrasting fabric. Puff sleeves? Check.

There was some wonderful work that got passed over. My personal favorite was LeeAnne's design:

OMG, that skirt--to die for! And, although it looks like a dress, the pieces are separate.

Here's the loser:

Definitely not the best with that random flouncy blubbering ruffle. But still not, in my opinion, the worst. The worst, and I'll defer to Michael Kors here, "It looks like toilet paper caught in a windstorm":

SO true. Yet, inexplicably, this designer survived to squeeze the Charmin another day.

I'm hoping for better next week.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Night Fever

I was intrigued by this website tonight. "Club Retro" promises us the Paducah nightlife is about to change. And all I can say to that is, dang, I sure hope so.

The teaser tells us Club Retro will be the areas newest and most exclusive night club, playing dance music from the 70's and up. If you loved the 70's and love to dress up when you go out to dance, then we are just what you have been waiting for. Which automatically makes me think this:

Obviously, a best case scenario.

Other than that, there's not much additional information to be had, unfortch.

I did e-mail the address listed and got a response e-mail advising me the club would be up in late fall.

We shall see.


My sincere thanks to everyone who e-mailed me their beauty tips and tricks. I love hearing from you and plan to get to each one...but I'm still looking for more! It's not to late to send me your best tip. You'll find my e-mail address under my profile.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Dubya Trailer

[Update: An interesting in-depth look at the film from the LA Times is here.]

Behold the trailer for "W", a film that will release in the fall about that sad excuse for a human we now call the POTUS. (Incidentally? Blogs have truly jumped the shark when GWB has one. It trails off in August of '06 right around the time he went back on the bottle. Here's an excerpt from the now abandoned site: Somebody ate my strawberries. I put them in the little fridge I keep here in my bunker on Air Force One, but now they're gone. Read more here.)

I'm fairly certain a sitting US president has never enjoyed the dubious honor of serving as subject matter for a major motion picture. Much less a movie directed by arguably the most paranoid man in Hollywood, Oliver Stone.

Lest we forget, Ollie is the guy who gave us "JFK", the film that advanced a theory that, not only was Kennedy's assassination a conspiracy, it was a conspiracy that took in everyone from the mob (Dallas-NY-Chicago-NOLA) to Lyndon Johnson to Castro to gay New Orleans antiques dealers to the FBI, the CIA, the US Military-Industrial complex to Woody Harrelson's daddy*.

Can't wait to experience his take on how we got a cross-eyed ingrate dumb-assed lying sack of sh!t for a president.

(I bet Woody Harrelson had something to do with it.)


*Full Disclosure? This does not stop me from loving the movie to the point where I own it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Beauty Tips, Tricks & Products: A Girl Can't Have too Many

I know there's a lot of wisdom out there reading this blog. I'm referring here, not to my guy readers (we'll get to you later), but to you!

Yes, YOU, silent girl.

I know you're sitting out there right now with an AMAZING moisturizer in your medicine cabinet or that incredible don't-leave-the-house-without-it lip gloss tucked in your purse, or that special pair of jeans hiding in your closet that makes your ass look at least two times smaller and three times shapelier when you pull them on.

Ever since I observed Christa passing quickly passing her eye-liner pencil through the flame of her Bic lighter before applying it (softening makes it go on easier) or my friend, Jeanna, blow-drying her hair with her head hanging between her knees (more volume!), I've learned the best beauty secrets are usually no more than a girlfriend away. And I'm not too shy to share my secrets--lest we forget my enthusiastic endorsement of the Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Push-Up Bra, the product that transformed my very own personal boobs into "two scoops of danger", as I recall.

So I'm asking ya'll to share your secrets with me. Anonymously or otherwise, e-mail me (you can find my address under my profile) and tell me your favorite product (and why) or your best trick, tip, or technique and I'll share it here. Not sure yet if this will be a regular post or a sidebar feature. And I've already got the first installment for you.
Our first tip comes from Jill, a prodigious student of beauty with a trunk full of products to prove it. She tells me, though, that there is but one product these days that she finds absolutely essential: a good primer.

And girls, I'm told if you're over 40 or just have skin that isn't the smoothest in the world, a primer may well rock your world.

If you're not savvy (Jack Sparrow), primer is usually a silicone based product that you smooth on on after your moisturizer and before your foundation. It will minimize pores, lines, and unevenness sinking into the crevasses to give you a smooth even surface onto which your foundation will glide like glass.

What primer should you use? Well, there again, Jill has done the work for you. She tells me that both Clinique and Philosophy offer perfectly acceptable primers, but the best primer in the business is Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer, a product that, as you can see, just happens to be an Allure Editor's Choice, and will even offer you additional, at SPF 15, sunscreen protection.

If you're in Paducah, you'll have to figure in shipping costs, because we've yet to be fortunate enough to rate a Smashbox products distributor at the local mall. Figure $17 for the travel size and $42 for regular plus shipping.

Broke? Search E-Bay for it. Lots of your favorite beauty products to be had for cheap if you're adventurous (watch the expiration dates though). Often one can find sample sized versions of favorite products (and perfumes) for a few dollars and regular sized versions if you're lucky (and, like I said, brave).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Batman: The Dark Knight, a Review

No wonder everyone is talking about Heath Ledger's performance in "The Dark Knight" the latest film in the Batman series. Aside from the obvious--his recent tragic death--he is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise unending drone of a movie that, by the last twenty minutes, left me and my two companions snickering in our seats, speaking to each other in croaking whispers (in imitation of Christian Bale's bazaar "Batman voice" that is a tragic but often amusing cross between the voices of of Darth Vadar and Bob Dylan) and wishing for nothing so much as the relief of a really good pee. And by the time we got one, I can assure you it turned out to be infinitely more satisfying than this over-hyped mess of a movie.

With a running time of 152 minutes and more climaxes than a whorehouse on a Saturday night, "The Dark Knight", for all its trying, forgets the first three rules of film making: the story, the story, the story. Oh, there is a plot. I think. It's just so convuluted that I never could quite sort it out--something about the regular mob, the Korean mob, the Moscow Ballet (?) the disappearing police chief, and then there's Maggie Gyllenhaal who manages to have chemistry with neither Aaron Eckhart or Darth Dylan and, at one point, comes dangerously close--too close for my tastes--to actually sporting a side ponytail as a hair-do.

Central to the story, near as I can figure, is a note Ms. Gyllenhaal writes to Batman promising to love him if he quits being Batman. Or wanting to be Batman. Or wanting to quit being Batman. Or something. Eventually, Bat-Vadar-Dylan receives the note. Except later we learn he never got it. Or something. OOooo---plot twist! (Warning: there are lots of these.)

And now you're starting to catch on to why this movie is annoying. Oh--but I have to clue you to the other major element--!EXPLOSIONS!. !CRASHES! and etc. Not that I'm complaining about the action. It is often a welcome relief to the general plotlessness and the characters that the film never gave me any real reason to love.

And there is some heavy-hitting acting talent going on here. I mean, come on, Gary Oldman? I'm still not over the Dracula scene: I have crossed oceans of time to find you. Chills. Not to mention, he even managed to pull off that creepy heart shaped gray bouffant. In JFK, he completely disappears into the role of Lee Harvey Oswald. But, sadly in Batman, he's just a guy with glasses and a really (justifiably) pissed off wife.

Aaron Eckhart? Who didn't love him as Nick Cannon, the slick fast-talking tobacco lobbyist in Thank You for Smoking? And then there's my sentimental favorite, Conversations with Other Women (love a split-screen!).

Maggie Gyllenhaal? Hair-do's aside, she's got the chops. Secretary and Sherrybaby , both stellar (and risky) performances.

Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, of course, need no endorsement from me. By virtue of their superior talents, voices and experience, they know how to rule the screen when they are on it and thus retain their cred. Both actors give us some of the best scenes in the film just because they themselves know to to work it. But these are too few and far between.

And, finally, Heath Ledger. (sniff!) I've said it before and I'll say it again: The best thing an artist can do for his/her career is to die. Ledger is definitely the high point of this film. His Joker is creepy, scary, funny, and even sometimes pitiable. Is he the best Batman villain ever? Ehhh. Maybe. Does he deserve an Oscar? In a world where "Titanic" received one for best movie of the year (an insult to the institution I've yet to get over), it could be.

But if Ledger wins for Joker, it will be another instance of the academy righting a past wrong by recognizing a slighted actor. He should have won for "Brokeback Mountain". His gritty portrayal of the tortured, anguished, repressed Ennis Del Mar is a performance so raw, so painful that, even now, I have trouble watching it. THAT is an Oscar-worthy performance.

In fact my theory is (and I'm chock-full of baseless theories, in case you haven't noticed--no extra charge for these) that the role of Ennis Del Mar proved so traumatic for Heath that I believe it drove him to impregnate Michelle Williams so her expanding belly and subsequent offspring was a constant real-world reminder of his heterosexual prowess. Not that this would cause him to love his resulting daughter any less. On the contrary, perhaps.

Where was I? Oh, yes, Batman: The Dark (endless) Knight. At best, a medicore DVD rental (because you'll be needing a bathroom).

A far cry from theater-worthy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Emerald Eyes

I had dinner with my son this week at Hananoki, a local Japanese grill.

[And, PS? Hananoki needs to have a grill area table reserved for people not interested in the "performance". Because for me, at least, one you've seen the ol' egg-in-the-hat, onion ring volcano, shrimp-tail-flicking show once, that'll do ya (unless you're five). ]

Chase was seated around the corner from me facing a large window, his face illuminated in such a way by the fading sun that his eyes As we talked and drank beer and stuffed ourselves with grilled meat of all varieties, I continued to silently marvel at the trick of the light that caused his eyes to look so green.

Finally, I had to mention it.

"Chase, your eyes look positively green in this light", I told him.

"Mom, my eyes are green. They've been green for three years", he replied.

This was nothing short of startling information for me. And, I'm assuming, here, any mother. Because we are the people who absolutely know these sorts of statistics about our children. Chase's eyes have been brown since the end of his first year when I watched the slow progression they made from their original blue to muddy to, what I assumed would be their final color, brown. Certainly, the genetic odds in his case were overwhelmingly tilted toward brown since I am blue-eyed and the starter husband brown-eyed.

For a long time, that first year, I harbored a futile hope that Chase's eyes would, through some miracle, remain blue like my own, though I knew this was probably genetically impossible.

Turns out, though, now that I've done a little research, that yes, eye color can sometimes change in an adult (often because of sun exposure) and that a blue/brown parent combination can yield a green-eyed child probably in this case because his father has a green/green green/blue gene lurking somewhere in the mix. Genetics has always been something of a fascination of mine.

So, wow. Green is certainly closer to blue than brown and even though it probably isn't a result of my own chromosomal contribution, I'm going to just randomly take it as a positive wink from the universe for me, because that's how I am.

The whole situation just serves to reinforce and bring to mind once again the immortal words of the great philosopher, Ferris Bueller.

Life goes by pretty fast sometimes. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


In my dream, I am at TJ Maxx (a favorite haunt even in my waking life) rifling through the purses. I come across a large, gray alligator bag that I decide I must have. Randomly, for me, “alligator” translates to “Audrey Hepburn”. I have no explanation; this is just how my brain works.

When I say “large” purse I mean really large. I hang the purse on my shoulder and turn to the right to survey myself in the full-length mirror. The purse covers me from armpit to calf in length. The width exceeds my physical proportions by a good three feet on each side. I could easily accommodate two active toddlers in this accessory.

I realize the purse is over sized, but still, I tell myself, yes, I can make it work. Yes! I can work this purse! After all it is alligator, it is gray, it goes with everything! Cute!

My dream-self shifts the mega bag to the opposite shoulder and I survey my reflection from that angle in the mirror. I tilt my head from one side to the other. Bend this knee and that. Yep. Pit to calf, three feet on either side.

Still, incredibly, I remain optimistic about the possibilities. I don’t necessarily have to carry it on a shoulder, it’s not like it’s the law, I say to myself. I grasp the handle in my hand and begin sort of swinging it around. Not an easy feat while still keeping it off the ground, but I manage it.

I smile at my reflection. Damn, I say to myself, this is one sassy purse. The arc of my swinging becomes larger and more far-reaching. I begin pondering the method of payment I might utilize as I continue to swing: debit card? Visa? I’m positively giddy…

Suddenly, my madly swinging purse smacks into something solid. Solid, but a little, er, squishy.

Gasping, I whirl around to find…

…my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Hall.

Her pale, watery blue eyes are just as I remember: each framed by three lonely carefully mascara-ed upper eyelashes. Mrs. Hall fixes me with a withering stare and extends a wrinkled forefinger:

“Suzanne, you know good and well that’s too much purse for you!”

My suddenly sixth-grade heart contracts with guilt and fear of reprisal and, in a split second, I awake with a start in my bed just as a dreary dawn begins to filter through the blinds. One simple, thought rings in my head and it is, at that moment, completely terrifying:

I. Have. Too. Much. Baggage.

Can I really make it work?

I glance over at the alarm. Six-ten a.m., time to start another work day. Since I'm wide awake--unusually so--I swing my feet to the floor jostling a reluctant FurGirl to consciousness. Still half asleep, the dog struggles to her feet, then rests her sleepy chin on my lap and I give her velvety soft ear a scratch.

"Well, FurGirl, gray does go with everything, right?"

After a sharp intake of breath, FurGirl heaves a huge, drawn-out sigh so prolonged that it ultimately ends in sort of a moan.

And then we face the day together.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not Beating the Heat (Like, at all).

If you live in Paducah, you’re probably aware that today is the kick-off day for one of our biggest local annual events: The Summer Festival. And, while I’m all about greased pole climbing and Oreo cookie stacking and big wheel racing, and dancin’ to the oldies, and good clean American fun of all types, this event remains one of my all-time biggest pet peeves about this city.

For one big reason:


While the rest of the city is responsibly cutting back on having workers out in the heat of the day and the local news is posting heat advisories and the region is setting up “cooling stations” and we are taking up collections of fans to keep the needy and elderly alive, we are also? Hosting an outdoor festival. In large part? For our precious children.

Am I the only person that thinks this is just a little tiny bit, oh I don’t know, gee how to put this…INSANE?

And, lest you think I am just a big fat blog whiner, you need to know that, woe is the person who has admitted in my presence that they are on the Summer Festival Committee. It may surprise you to learn that those people have gotten a big, old heapin’ helpin’ of opinion on this subject from yours truly.

And you see the earth shattering effect that has had over the years.

Yes, the Summer Festival continues, just as it has since 1967 (when, I daresay, it was cooler). So bring your sunscreen, and your bottled water, and for God’s sake, wear a hat. The schedule is

Monday, July 21, 2008

Front Butt: The Back Story

It’s a story I’ve threatened to tell many times.

In my mind.

But, really, now that I’ve sat down to finally write it, I’m not sure it’s all that interesting. Still, with an incredible THREE commenters feeling it worthy of a mention, I feel I must. Because it's all about YOU, dear readers! For serious!

When I was but a wee lass, probably somewhere around the time of the Summer of Love, I hit on the phrase. Having inescapably noted the bodily functions associated with my private parts, and knowing that, well, your butt is your butt, duh, I drew the next logical conclusion. That since both panty parts are used for toileting, are located just around the corner from one another, and, in my case at least at that time, they both looked remarkably similar, I concluded that I had not one but two butts: a front and a back. And I only needed a simple modifier to differentiate one from the other.

And it stuck. It still sticks. Because, through the years, when I lay the term “front butt” on a person for the first time, be they male or female, they all know exactly what I’m talking about. Oh sure, there may be a long pause, they may get a funny look on their face, they may laugh, (usually all three actually), but in the end? It’s a term that works. A person just knows what a front butt is. Like many simple and elegant language solutions, it has stood the test of time. More time, really, than I’d care to admit.

I’d like to be able to say that the “front butt” has never been questioned and wrap this post up right here.

But, sadly, that wouldn’t be true either.

The truth is that I was once in a close personal relationship with someone (who shall remain nameless) who had the audacity to question the front butt.

Oh, he didn’t question the phrase. In fact, he rather liked it. But he sought to redefine it.

His inexplicable desire to modify the time-tested term (alliteration points!), could probably easily constitute the basis for an even larger and more far-reaching metaphor about all sorts of things about this particular unidentified person. But I digress.

The conversation that happened went a little something like this:

So, yah, I was thinking about the “front butt”

It’s front butt. Not front butt. There’s a slight emphasis there.

Ahem, like I said, I was thinking about the term and I think it’s good, really good even, but there’s definitely room for improvement.

Say what?

You know, it’s good, it really is. You’ve just got the wrong definition.

Well, gee, that would be quite impossible since, you see, I coined the phrase.

I’m thinking of overweight people, you know, that you see around sometimes whose protruding stomachs hang down so low, over their crotches really, that it could actually be mistaken for another butt. A front butt. (UPOTMP finishes, a very self-satisfied look on his face.)


It’s a great term, really. Just needed a little tweaking.

Oh, yes, forty years later, the front butt totally needs your approval.

I’m afraid so.

Dude. First off? The “front butt” is not a term that is open to interpretation or reinvention. It IS what it IS. Get it? The ship? It has sailed. And, secondly? What you’re referring to now would be a “double butt”.

A what?

A double butt. You heard me. Yet another term I coined several years after my initial scientific butt related observations. It is, in fact, the perfect descriptor for the condition you refer to.

No, the descriptor here would be “front butt”. I’m telling you. (Pauses. Stares off into space clearly reciting the phrase silently to himself.) Yes, definitely, “front butt”.

I’m afraid that’s quite impossible because, as you well know, the term “front butt” is ALREADY TAKEN.


Does it really surprise you to learn that me and that particular UPOTMP were in the very end stages of the relationship by the time that conversation took place? And, while I'm not prepared to blame the break-up on this particular issue, I will say this:

Guys? Word to the wise: don’t question a sister’s term for her business, okay? After all, we don’t tend to question what you call your front butt do we? No, we just accept it. And we don’t accept it because we LIKE it, trust me. We’re just mature enough to figure that sort of thing is up to you. We’d like to be shown the same courtesy.

Otherwise, a guy runs the risk of becoming a major pain in the back butt. The sort of pain that can preclude any kind of future relationship with the front one. Is all I'm saying.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mama Mia!: The Review

There are, basically, four essential qualities necessary to enjoying the movie version of the musical "Mama Mia!" starring Meryl Streep, now out in theaters everywhere.

They are:

1. A love for the music of Abba.

2. The ability to check your critical thinking skills at the door (and not really miss them all that much).

3. The kind of generosity of spirit that would allow you to forgive the fact that, since he has no singing voice whatsoever, Pierce Brosnan apparently decided, at some point, that the way to "sell" a song is to produce facial expressions one would expect him to exhibit while experiencing an extremely complicated bowel movement.

4. Probably? You need to be a girl.

But if you can answer largely in the affirmative to these four conditions? Then you seriously need to grab your like-minded girlfriends and head on over to the theater. Because "Mama Mia!" is one fun romp with some very excellent all-out over-the-top performances that must be seen to be appreciated. I'm thinking specifically here of Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep and, yes, Pierce Brosnan. Wow!

To review (or in case you've been living in another galaxy), "Mama Mia!" the movie is the film version of "Mama Mia!" the very successful Broadway musical. The storyline is manufactured and entirely built around the original lyrics found in the music of Abba, a Swedish rock band formed by two married couples that became wildly popular in the seventies. Whatever the reason, there seems to be two kinds of people in the world: those who love Abba and those who don't. And, in my experience at least, never the twain shall meet.

I, personally, can't think of any girl of my acquaintance with a pulse in the seventies that didn't have at least a few Abba 45's in the collection.

I have to mention, while we're at it, this isn't the first feature film that has relied heavily on the magic of the music of Abba. I'm thinking here of Muriel's Wedding, Toni Collette's debut film. Another not-to-be-missed gem, albeit not quite the big truckload of silly that "Mama Mia!" is.

Perhaps the most refreshing thing about "Mama Mia!" is that, while there is certainly the element of beautiful young people represented (and I'm not knocking it, believe me), the story for the most part revolves around characters on the distant side of middle age that are still vital, alive, full of sass and--I dare say it?--even more interesting than their youthful counterparts.

I'll have to admit to initially not being completely sold on the idea of Meryl Streep singing, dancing, and heading up the cast of probably biggest musical adaptation of the year. And, don't get me wrong, there are moments in this film that just don't always work. But overall? Girlfiend pulled it off. Particularly when it counted, her biggest number "The Winner Takes it All" a song that, when it began--high on an island mountain top--elicited an actual giggle from me. But, by the time Meryl was done with it? I was wiping away a tear. THAT, my friends, is talent.

As for Christine Baranski and Julie Walters who play Meryl's BFF's, well, they were just stellar. And, above all, committed, which is, in my opinion, what it takes to pull off fluff of this magnitude. Both Christine's big number, "Does your Mother Know?" and Julie's, "Take a Chance on Me" are major high points.

I have developed a grudging respect for Pierce Brosnan that may have actually reached fandom at this point. I mean, show me another James Bond with the balls to manfully croon away with his non-singing voice, damn it all. I was also impressed with Pierce's performance in another film the offbeat, The Matador . This is one pretty boy who doesn't take himself very seriously. A quality that, in my book at least, always scores major extra credit points.

And now, randomly, you need to see Helen Mirren in a bikini. Because she looks AMAZING (at sixty-two).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

PR, S-5, E-1

In case you missed it, a brief video summation of Project Runway, Season 5, Episode 1. Also, don't miss the expert blog recap by The Manolo.

In the name of Science

I thought I was seeing things yesterday when I received this text message from a friend:

How would you like a pap smear and a check for $40?

Um, excuse me?

Turns out, Four Rivers Clinical Research is conducting clinical trials and yes, indeedy, you can not only get a free pap smear, but they will pay you for the privilege. And, while it's true I have an expensive baby in layaway (Mommy's coming, Tallulah!), I'm still not real jazzed about raising funds in that particular fashion. Besides, I had my check-up in December.

But my friends? Ya'll, they are not right. These girls could not get their panties off quickly enough. They were over to the FRCR and outta there with a check before you could say, "Can you warm that up, please?" Frankly, I think they would have been just as happy doing it for $20 and a lolly.

But, seriously, whether it's something you've been putting off for a while (yes, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE I SEE YOU OUT THERE), don't have insurance, or just enjoy a good bargain, call Caron at FRCR at 270-441-4606 and make an appointment. It's quick, easy, and you'll receive your confidential results in a few weeks. Show your Lady Station and your bank account the love all at the same time.

Oh, don't need the money? Good, gather up your girlfriends and donate the proceeds to your favorite charity. When else are you you going to get the opportunity to help save the world with your own personal Front Butt?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Baby Love

I think by now everyone lurking around these parts is aware of my love for the black and white.

There's my black and white kitchen floor (note B&W dishtowel):

My black and white couch (also note B&W lamp for which there is, of course, a twin):

My wardrobe is bursting with black and white combinations of every description.

I have black and white dishes. Shoes. Purses. Jewelry.

I say all this by way of explanation, although I'm not sure there is one.

Friends, meet my black and white babies:

Dashiell ("Dash")



I'm guessing hijinks will ensue.

(And I blame the Jolie-Pitts. Also? Puppy breath.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Best reality show ever.

My love for Project Runway is no secret around here. Season 5 premiers on Bravo tomorrow. I've basically switched to the Dish Network specifically to watch this one show.

And just like one can never duplicate the joy of finding that perfect Little Black Dress in just your size on the clearance rack, or that special feeling you got that one time when that smokin' hot pair of [Levi's/Guess'/Whatevers] magically zipped and buttoned in a size that was totally ridiculously truly delightfully anorexic, or the thrill the first time you got a REALLY GOOD haircut, I'll probably never recreate the joy of Project Runway Season 1 and that Austin Scarlet corn husk dress:

But still, I guess I'm Pollyanna enough believe that Project Runway has not jumped the shark just yet.

What other show has ever captured (Season 2), in its entirety, the complete and total sobbing incomprehensible on-stage meltdown of a fashion designer wanna-be wearing a tee-shirt that proclaims in large letters, "I'm So LA"?

And then there was that one time (Season 4) that Michael Kors completely lost his sh!t:

I know where I'm going to be Wednesday night.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Corrupting a Friend: A Modern Retail Tragedy in Three Acts

Act One: The Coupons

We enter The Limited, my friend and I. On a Sunday, no less. I whip open my purse and start waving around my coupons.

I have !coupons! (I shout.) (Sales girls eye us suspiciously.)

LB (friend)
(Peeping over my shoulder.)
Wow. That’s a really good coupon. You should be able to get a bunch of great stuff.

But look! There is….ANOTHER COUPON! It says “for a friend”.

(Looks at me uncomprehendingly.)

Hey… that’s YOU….YOU are “the friend”!
(I rip the second coupon from the flier.)
Here…put this in your pocket.

Act Two: The Conversion

I begin pawing through the racks of clothes. LB hovers by my side.

Will you even look at this vest? Ohmygosh, SO super cute with a little blue stripe. And pants too! (gasp!) OH! And this little blouse…let’s see what sizes…!!

That would be cute on you.

I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about YOU.


(Suddenly stopping and really looking at LB.)
What are you doing?


No. You’re shopping with me, for me.

(Looking confused.)

What is the matter with you? You have a coupon, woman! Now get over there and shop! For yourself! SCOOT!

(Takes off uncertainly for the other side of the store.)

Act Three: Breakthrough

The sales girls have warmed to us. They have deposited three armloads of possibles into my assigned dressing room which is next to LB’s. LB meets me at the dressing room. She is holding exactly one pink shirt.

What are you doing?


You’re not going in there with one pink shirt.


(Sighing. I walk over and grab the nearest black blazer with white trim, the matching pant, and a black and white print sleeveless shell.)
Now get in there and get this on. You can’t possibly fulfill your coupon requirements with a pink shirt.

Sales Girls #1 & #2
(Smelling a commission now, they hover hopefully near our dressing rooms. They silently shake their heads at me in reaction to LB’s lack of retail motivation. I roll my eyes. Both LB and I disappear into our dressing rooms.)

(From in the dressing room.)
Oh. MYGOSH! This is the cutest sweater EVER.
(I emerge from the dressing room with a flourish wearing a B&W sweater and a-line black skirt.)

Sales Girl #1
I’m buying that!

Sales Girl #2

It just needs…

Sales Girl #2


(Emerges from her dressing room in the black pants and shell.)
Hey. I think I like this.

You don’t say!

What do you think?

Cute, but where’s the blazer?

In there. (She shrugs toward the dressing room.)

Sales Girl #1
I don’t know….

It needs more punch, doesn’t it?

I have that pink shirt…

ME, Sales Girl #1, Sales Girl #2

What’s wrong with a pink…

(To SG #1)
Don’t you have, like, a purple…

Blouse? Oh, yes, that would be perfect. I’ll go get one.

I really like this shirt? I mean, look, it’s cute.

It is cute, but it’s kind of…

SG #2


SG #1
(Returns with the deep purple blouse and hands it to LB.)

Um…this? Are you kidding? It’s like…

ME, SG #1, SG #2

(Begins to look frightened. Disappears back into the dressing room with the purple blouse.)

(Meanwhile, I settle on another on-sale blazer and a red scarf.)

SG #1
(Hands a safari print blouse with an empire waist over my dressing room door.)
You can’t leave without this.


(From her dressing room.)
Hey! I think I like this color.

We both emerge from the dressing rooms.

LOVE that purple color on you.

SG#1 & SG#2
(Approving clucks and nods.)

But…how much do you like the blouse?

A lot.

How much is “a lot”? Like, it’s the best thing EVER?

ME, SG #1 SG #2
(Looking at each other confusedly)

Because…you know, I just don’t want to buy it if it’s “okay”. But if it’s great then…well…

You know what? She needs a blazer.

SG #1
(Points to the back wall where a black tie-front blazer with three-quarter sleeves hangs.)
I’ve got just the thing!

…I’ll buy it, but if…


SG #1
(Returns w/blazer.)

…it’s just average…or just slightly above average…

(Handing LB the blazer.)
Put this on.

(Automatically puts it on.)

ME, SG #1, SG #2


That tie really works!

We should try that other pant too….

SG #1
And jewelry!

How much is the blazer?

(To SG #1)
Did you get that pant?

SG #1
Right here.

(Handing the pants to LB)
Try these.
(She disappears into the dressing room.)

Suddenly we hear an extra harsh ragged gasp from LB’s dressing room. Alarmed, we all look toward the door. The door opens and LB emerges eyes wide, face pale. She has on the pants.



These are.


The. Perfect. Pants.

ME, SG#1, SG #2
(Nod knowingly.)

(Suddenly regaining her color and composure.)
How much are these pants?

SG #1
Ahem. Well…um…they would be…uh…Seventy dollars?

But! They are. The. Perfect. Pant.

(Wiping away a tear…)
My baby! She’s all grown up!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Situation. Twenty-five years later.

I evidently slipped into a time/space continuum crack today. Probably due to the fact that, yes, I wore The Leggings. And? I liked it.

At lunch, I was treated to a loud version of Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me with Science"--a quirky favorite of mine and a friend's.

My People Magazine arrived containing a photo spread on that child of Billy Ray Cyruss's (no clue on the spelling) completely decked out in 80's fashion items i.e., leggings, spandex, and Madonna-esque wide hair ribbon.

And just now, I learn that Yaz is going on tour for God's sake.

So, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go do the Time Warp. Again.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Why it probably isn't wise to chew bubble gum when acting as an official backdrop for your boss, the Governor of the Commonwealth, as he gives a speech. Somebody could totally take that the wrong way.

(I wasn't going to post this. In fact, I've waited over a week. But, you know me. I have have no control. Especially when personally capturing an image like this. I think bubble boy is a fireman. Or at least I HOPE he is. 'Cause I'd hate to get arrested.)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Happy Camper and The Jumper

I never unholstered the camera. I didn't take Pinky. There was no cell phone signal. Nobody would tell me what time it was. Ever. But I did it. For the first time in my life, I camped for two days and two nights. And I loved it.

Not everyone would call it camping. There were, after all, hot showers and air conditioned sleeping quarters. There were grilled steaks and home made salsa and breakfast burritos. There was grill-steamed corn on the cob and marinated pork chops. There were movies in the DVD player. There were conversations like this:

Me: Do we have enough beer?

Jae: We have eight.

Me: [Loud, dramatic gasp, my eyes bugging, one panicky hand clutching reflexively at my chest.] Eight BEERS?!?!

Jae: No, cases.

Me: Whew.

I knew things were going to go well when I discovered, upon arriving at camp, a brand new copy of this book waiting just for me. I found the time to read it cover to cover, too (and I loved it, though it wasn't exactly what I had expected--a collection of musings, really). I took a two-mile hike along with, for a short time, a doe, and made my very first campfire roasted 'smore (SO good).

FurGirl was beside herself to be included on her very first ever vacation and generally dissolved into a jumpy, goobery fool mess when any camper came anywhere near her. She was only completely herself while leading the way on a trail or defending her camp--by big-girl barking ferociously at those strange people lurking just outside the fire light--or sleeping, which she did on a bed to herself curled on her Harry Potter blanket in splendid air conditioning near pretty sun-kissed girls.

There were boat rides. On Sunday we cruised to the infamous rock quarry, floating singles bar of the LBL. As we rounded the bend and the inlet came into view we could see boats of every description in every direction, so many that it looked like a huge marina.

The driver of our boat turned to me and said,

"Look, Suzanne! Dairy Queen!"

She referred, of course, not to the Dairy Queen in Paducah today (a brown box on the corner), but as it was during high school--a long cruisable drive-in that we used to circle endlessly as we inhaled car exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke, my tall Sonic cup usually spiced with something sweet and alcoholic.

Today, the rock quarry bulged with boats and crotches, many of the vessels tied to each other in long bobbing rows that adventurous boys effortlessly traversed with the sure-footed steps of mountain goats.

We entered the quarry slowly and floated by everyone, Dairy Queen style.

There were near naked girls gleaming with oil sprawled suggestively on towels and bare-chested boys holding beer coozies. The sun glinted off everything.

I immediately began to feel light headed which could have been attributed to the sun, or my own coozie, or the air, so thick with pheromones that I imagined they probably weren't dissipating as usual but rather bouncing back and forth off the tall rock walls.

We cruised by big boats and small boats and pontoon boats with elaborate stereo systems that churned out loud rap music that tanned sweaty girls in the barest of bikinis used as an excuse to gyrate their hips at everyone as the sun slowly cooked us.

Many of the bobbing men had perfected the art of what I came to think of as the "thousand-yard sex stare". It was a way some of them had of looking--silently, and preternaturally still while projecting, mostly from behind sunglasses even, a predatory look of such intense sexuality and frank invitation that it could be felt from many boats away. I imagined this technique takes years of boating excursions and beers (not to mention practical experience) to perfect.

Someone said, "Look! The jumpers!"

I looked up, shielded my eyes from the sun and could see a group of teenagers standing high up near the edge of the tallest quarry wall daring each other to jump into the water some thirty feet below.

I know teenagers have been doing that for decades in that spot. I knew my own son was one who had leaped into the deep water below.

This thought made me light-headed again.

The crowd at the top of the wall suddenly parted to reveal the latest dare-devil, this time a shapely biscuit brown girl in a white two-piece suit with bold pink flowers and a thick brown ponytail. She was clearly trying to get up her nerve while the others egged her on.

We sipped our fast-warming beer and stared up at the unfolding mini-drama as our boat slowed to a stop. We were too far away to hear any of the conversation, but we didn't need to. We could see emotions tracking across the girl's face like a fast-moving weather pattern: fear, uncertainty, determination, hesitation, and then they would all repeat again in exactly that same order.

"She won't jump," I said, suddenly having a feeling about it, "hand me a beer," I added.

Finally, as we continued to stare, she faltered completely, stepping away from the jumping spot.

"Told ya," I said as we began to ponder and discuss our next move--tie off? Back to camp? Cruise on?

Someone said, "She's back!"

And there jumper girl was again, but this time with a dark-haired curly-headed boy standing beside her, his tan so dark that his teeth shone a startling white against it. His belly was flat as a washboard. Handsome. After a moment, the pair clasped hands.

"They're going to jump together!"

We could see the crowd of urgers around them lean in, intensifying the peer pressure.

At the appointed time, the boy charged forward--one, two, three long running steps toward the cliff, the girl staying behind.

"You're right, she's not going to jump," someone said.

But then, just as the boy launched into the air and disappeared over the edge, she did begin to run--fast now--and she did jump far out over the ledge, she hurled herself up, over, and down.

I watched as she plunged into the water, but looked away before she resurfaced.

I knew she would. And I knew this would be only the first of many times she would hurl into the abyss after a boy.

But not by herself.

Silly girl.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Speaking of which....

Just a quick post to share a link I can't resist relating to Madonna and legging-like accessories. I seriously don't know where the internet would be without the Fug Girls. They can wrest a chuckle from me on even the most depressing days.

Sorry for my recent lack of bloggage. I just don't have time and I really mean that. What with my job taking up my days and my busy social calendar crowding my nights, there's not a whole lot of chance for reflection.

There are those people who have actually accused me of having too much fun. And to that charge? I answer I am absolutely one hundred percent SO GUILTY.

It may get worse before it gets better. I am headed to a locale that may (gulp) not have an internet connection for the long weekend. I'm not checking this out for sure because I'm trying not to be a big titty baby about it. And by "titty-baby" I mean, "Gee, thanks for the invite to spend a long weekend in your fancy camper with central air and hot showers, and a DVD player, and a reservation in your boat from which to enjoy the fireworks on the water...but is there an internet connection by any chance?"

You get the idea. Regardless, I'm taking Pinky, of course, and hope to write some entries and maybe take some photos that I can upload later.