Wednesday, August 30, 2006

DAY 115

I love love love Uli's dress! Could be due to the fact that I am a native Los Angeleno. Nevertheless, I gotta admit that I've seen this dress before from Uli. But I don't care. She's a genius with prints and draping. She's a sure thing for final three.

The lunatics have taken over the asylum. That's the only reason that you'd be wearing an outfit like this; an outfit inspired by scrubs.

How refreshing! Another vanilla number from the Ice Queen.

As soon as Kayne said that Tara Reid was the only hip jet setter he could think of, I knew trouble was afoot. But you can't argue with the fit of those pants and, Honey, if I ever enter a beauty pageant you are my man!

Get down with your bad self Michael! You've acheived it.

I think Michael Kors said it best: "You're a mess just standing. So travelling you're going to be just like a homeless person." Amen, brother. Let freedom reign.

Dude, say what you will about Jeffrey, but don't tell me he didn't nail this. Ninagarcia summed it up: "It will work in London, Rome, Tokyo, so yeah, I loved it."

However, I'm forwarding him the copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People that I previously had earmarked for Angela. Obviously.

DAY 114

Yay! Project Runway tonight! So, on Wednesdays I typically troll the Internets for my PR fix to hold me over until the show. And today, I stumbled on a post on Malan Breton's site. He has apparently been getting his designs out there, go Team Malan! And I have to say this dress is pretty cute from the front:

So cute that I wanted to see the back. Wait for it. Wait for it:

Erm. Wedgie anybody?

Monday, August 28, 2006

DAY 112

These three guys live in E's office (they're about twelve inches tall). Recognize 'em? That one in the middle is Hong Kong Phooey; on the right is Quick Draw McGraw; and on the left is Wally Gator.

DAY 111

On June 6, 2006 I wrote a 101 (things to do) in 1001 (days) list. I tried to put a wide variety of items on the list: some tasks I’ve been procrastinating; some big exotic trips; and some simple pleasures too. In July, I checked the list and nothing was done. Oops. Now it’s August so I checked again … woohoo! I did some stuff. Here it is:

3. Organize closet so that getting dressed for work isn't such a chore; this includes tossing out regrettable items and purchasing wardrobe staples as indicated.

I broke down and bought ANOTHER shoe rack and dozens of hangers. I donated a bag of accidental purchases. It’s progress. Now, if I could just stop throwing my clothes in a pile in the middle of the closet floor each night... well, let's not get carried away.

7. Fix that em-effing side view mirror, change the oil, check the breaks, and refill the windsheild wiperfluid. Seriously.

Done. Done. And done (see Product Endorsement for Rydell Chevrolet below). Actually, the oil and whatnot was the happy result of a free car-wash and oil-change coupon from the Sherman Oaks car wash (a $60 value!).

25. Finish the random half read novels on night stand.

I finished one (a Marilyn Monroe biography written by her sister Bernice Miracle). The next one (The Tender Bar) isn’t really started yet so I’m counting this one completed.

58. Visit Carpenteria.

E and I stopped on our way to Santa Barbara. It wasn’t so great. It’s possible I missed the quaint part of town somehow. If you know any great spots in Carpenteria please let me know so I can give it another shot.

66. Go to one of those vintage couture places and maybe pick up a Chanel suit (or any other remarkable classic).

One Diane Von Furstenberg dress for $75 (pictured right). I was hoping for a wrap dress with three-quarter length sleeves and a little collar but this was a very close runner up. Perfect with a little cardigan and for office-to-dinner wear. I would have bought half a dozen DVF dresses, if they had them.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Random Product Endorsement

Let me tell you how much I love Rydell Chevrolet Parts and Service in beautiful downtown Van Nuys, California. They are open seven days a week. Monday through Friday they are open from 7 a.m. until Midnight! Midnight, People.

See I have, on occasion, been known to lose a side view mirror or two. (Shuddup. Sometimes people hit them in parking lots when I'm nowhere near the car. I swear.) Anyway, I've had dealers tell me the whole bloody side view apparatus had to be replaced -- even though only the mirror was cracked. And they charge in excess of $300 for that. At Rydell, they replaced just the glass mirror piece at an estimated $90. But guess what? It was only $73. And they gave me a free car wash coupon too. AND, they did all this on a Tuesday night after 8 p.m. with no reservation.

And for that, I love them. And I want to marry them.

DAY 107


All done? Well then, we now return you to your regularly scheduled (and regrettably less well crafted) blog post. Carry on.

Meet Angela's mom, Darlene. I know I'm about to give an unpopular opinion (because 73% of you text-message voters took her side over Jeffrey's) but that woman deserves an Academy Award for her performance last night. She antagonized Jeffrey and then when he got a little snippy she turned on the waterworks: Woe is me! Woe is me! I really think she set out to sabotage him (and can you blame him for being sensitive in a high-stakes competition?) If I had any doubts about Darlene's intentions, Angela's coaching behind the dressing screen erased it: "Mom, if the judges ask how you feel in the outfit be honest you have a right to your opinion blah blah blah." How transparent. Why not say: "Mom, you can get your revenge on Jeffrey when you're on the runway. Rip him to shreds."

And I know that if there were less drama I'd be less hooked, but at the same time I feel bad that talented designers get cut before their time. C'mon: Robert eliminated before Vincent? Allison eliminated before Angela? It's not right, I suppose we can only hope that the final three are at truly based on merit. My final three are now Uli, Michael, and Kayne. Since only one of my original final three is still standing it's sort of moot but hope springs eternal. N'cest pas?

So, how much did you love the look of ... what was it? Shock? Physical pain? When Lorraine learned that her daughter Laura is preggers with number 6? And how much did you love Laura saying about her newest bundle of joy: "Five... Six ... Seven... I'll just throw it on the pile with the rest of them." Why does she think it's so chic to be the Anti-Mom? And did I hear Lorraine say she's living with Laura? Well, if that's so, I hope it means somebody is available to dote on that "pile" of kids.

And speaking of Laura... wow! She ventured away from shades of white and all the way into the very daring navy blue. How brazen! Tim's take on Laura's ensemble is supercrazyfantastic:

"Laura’s design for Pam (Jeffrey’s mom) was a dull thud of an outfit. It was matronly in a British, Lady-of-the-Manor way. She paired a navy skirt with a celadon blouse and accented the collar with a scarf. Yawn. Pam had expressed a desire for an everyday outfit for a cruise, but I don’t believe she meant for staffing the cruise."

Pam really should win the World's Best Mom coffee mug. She stood by Jeffrey all the way and made a meaningful effort to divert the faux crisis created by Angela's mom. And she did it with dignity and grace. No smack talking, no eye rolling, just good old fashioned let's-get-some-persepective-here attitude. Indeed, Mrs. Sebelia, Laura could learn a thing or two from you about balancing womanhood and motherhood. I hope you found some time to chat backstage. You know, when you were changing into a cute outfit.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

DAY 106

It's Back-to-School time! Okay, I've been out of school for a while *cough* more like a decade *cough* and I don't have kids or anything but I love fall ever so. Each year 'round this time I imagine myself looking like a Ralph Lauren model donning a chunky earthy knit and amazing buttery leather boots and carrying amazing buttery leather bags. But every year, no matter how hard I try, I end up looking like The Softer Side of Sears.

So this year I'm totally inspired to acquire the perfect fall wardrobe on a budget just like they show you in the fashion magazines. You know what I'm talking about: those photo montages where they take like 5 pieces and make 500 different outfits? Somehow, I usually end up buying closer to 500 pieces and getting only 5 good outfits. It's just hard because, you know, I'm highly suggestable and all. I mean, I see photos of these beautiful women and think: "If I got that sweater I would totally look like her." It's insane. I mean, rationally, I know that if I get The Sweater I will look exactly like me, just me in The Sweater. But it doesn't matter! I still buy The Sweater. See another photo. Repeat. And voila! Five-hundred pieces but only five outfits. Sure, once in a while, I actually feel like the beautiful stylish Ralph Lauren model while I'm wearing The Sweater so it's kind of worth it to have that feeling/delusion even if it's ephemeral.

You know what else I think throws me off track when fall shopping? I sort of believe that the right fall wardrobe will transform my day dreams into real life. The day dreams where I'm sipping hot apple cider - stirred with real cinammon sticks - whilst sitting on the leather club chairs in front of the roaring fire at my parents' equestrian-friendly estate in New England? (Shuddup. I lead a rich fantasy life.) Like how is a sweater going to transport my parents' house from Lake Balboa to Connecticut? Seriously. But it doesn't matter. I get sucked into it.

Of course, E moves through the seasons with ease. I swear to you that if I took a picture of him in each season (rain, shine, sleet or snow) you would not be able to tell by his outfit which season it is. The man wears comic-book graphic t-shirts and jeans year round. And it's not so easy to picture myself lounging in a leather club chair, sipping apple cider, and gazing out at the acres of trees turning beautiful reds and yellows when he plops down next to me on the couch in his Green Lantern t-shirt and puts his ratty tennis shoes on the coffee table and clicks on The Simpsons. And just as I'm sitting there wondering where I went wrong and thinking to myself: "Why aren't I living with a blue-blooded, suede-elbow-patch wearing, polo-playing, hunk of a man?" he looks over at my new boots (during a commercial break, naturally) and says: "Wow. Sexy boots." And then I don't just feel like that beautiful stylish girl -- I am that beautiful stylish girl. Which, quite obviously, makes him the one and only indispensible piece.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

DAY 104

E and I are just back from our weekend at the fabulous Ballantine's Hotel in sunny Palm Springs, California. While Ballantine's may not be the swanky resort that say Marriott Desert Springs is, Ballantine's is unmatched for privacy and that home-away-from-home feel (assuming your home is kind of like a mid-century hotel in the desert, of course). That pool is about five degrees cooler than the warm night air which makes for a strange but truly wonderful sunbathing-at-night experience. We went with three other couples and really felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. So relaxing.

On the way back I insisted that we stop at a road side attraction. I don't know what my problem is but if I find out that the word's biggest ball of twine is one mile off the highway -- I can't resist! And this one was way way better than twine, right? It's gigantic dinosaurs for Pete's sake! In the middle of the damn desert! Come on. They are very very cool. It looked like you could actually go in the dinosaurs through a door in the back and maybe climb around in them a bit. I didn't want to spoil the mystery for myself so I passed. I did, however, want to know more about these supercrazyfantastic dinos once I got home. And I learned from my friends at Google that the dinos are in fact privately owned structures originally built in the 1960's by Mr. Claude Bell who was inspired by a boyhood trip to see Lucy, the giant elephant, in Margate, New Jersey (something I have yet to see myself but am really looking forward to doing!)

Mr. Bell spent twenty years and $300,000 building Rex and Dinney. Dinney, the brontosaurus, is 150 tons,150 feet long, and reputedly built from left-over construction materials from I-10. Rex weighs a mere 100 tons. While no contractors or construction companies were used to build Dinney and Rex, they are both habitable buildings and Mr. Bell lived in the upper rooms of Dinney for a period. Mr. Bell died at right old age of 91 in 1988. Thank you so much, Mr. Bell, for your fabulous kitsch.

UPDATE: After reading this, E goes: "Did you used to have a job writing brochures or something?" He really is the best, n'cest pas?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

DAY 101

Dude, I told you guys about Laura. She designs in each and every lovely shade of white: ecru, eggshell, beige, grey, oatmeal. This outfit is free of the big ole furry collar and spangles. So that's a step in the right direction. Again, this dress is not ugly. Definitely not. But it's also not creative. And sorry, but I hate the "For Nuts Only" on the ass. Who wants nuts in their ass anyway? Oh hold up, yo. Somebody does. But probably not the same somebody who is gonna buy that dress. And what's that on the belt? A rosette? It's like Laura did it just to spite Angela.

I'm not gonna recap episodes anymore because you totally know what happened and you don't need to be reminded that this was the recyclable challenge and honestly, there's some damn fine recappers out there. But, man, Kayne (Ole Sparkles himself) and Robert ripping Laura to shreds tickled me pink. They have totally become the darlings of the show (despite the fact that they both made the tackiest shiniest whickety-whack possible this week).

So there's the winning dress on the left, yes? Well, it totally should have been. Michael Kors (thank god you're back man!) said it was the only dress that actually moved coming down the runway. He loved the trump l'oeil belt detail (me too!) But those meddling producers! Gah. At least they picked one of my final three: Michael.

Alas, Alison was cut last night and we all know that once again it should've been Vincent but damn... how fabulous is this post at projectrungay? Daisy Duck. Priceless.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

DAY 97

Sorry my posts have been a bit sparse lately. V. busy at work!

Nevertheless, E and I managed to make it to the movies this weekend and saw Little Miss Sunshine. I love this movie. It's an amazing character study with brilliant performances by a very talented ensemble cast; the likes of which I haven't seen since American Beauty.

Steve Carrell is stellar in his dramatic role as Frank, the preeminent Proust scholar who has just survived his failed attempt at suicide. Frank's sister, Cheryl, takes him in to stay with her family because Frank doesn't have the insurance coverage for a suicide watch. Cheryl's family consists of her ne'er-do-well husband (played flawlessly by Greg Kinnear but bearing an uncanny resemblance to his role in The Matador) who is on the brink of bankruptcy and hoping that his "Nine Steps to Success" motivational program will bring him the success that has thus far evaded him. Cheryl's teenage Neitzsche-devoted son, Duane, has taken a vow of silence until he enters flight school next year and communicates exclusively by hand signals and comical notes scratched on a small pad of paper. Her daughter, Olive, is seven years old and about to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant -- a competition for which she is sorely unprepared. Cheryl's father-in-law is also in residence with them as he has been evicted from his nursing home for untoward conduct. He has taken to snorting heroine at night and coaching young Olive in her dance routine for the upcoming beauty pageant by day.

The whole family takes a road trip in their Volkswagon van to California (because they can't afford the flights) so that Olive can compete in Little Miss Sunshine, a dream come true for young Olive. During this fateful (and highly amusing) journey, each of the characters undergoes profound loss, epiphany, and healing. It's a brilliant script, brilliantly cast, and brilliantly directed (do you hear me, Academy?). I wouldn't change a minute of it. If you only see one movie this year, make it Little Miss Sunshine. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

DAY 94

I can't believe it took me like three weeks to make this connections... but check it out:

Where have you seen this VERA effing WANG dress before? C'mon, you know! You know! Vera Wang! She's a celebrity judge on Project Runway... Project Runway! Where where where have you seen the dress? Oh yeah:

Malan tried to carve that Vera Wang dress out of wood. Oh yes he did.

Friday, August 04, 2006

DAY 90

Check out this adorable skirt by Abercrombie and Fitch. You love it, right? Well, it's evil. Yes. It. Is.

Let me back up a bit. E and I are going on a Palm Springs mini-vacation in a couple of weeks and I suddenly realized that my current denim skirt is rather long for 100-plus degrees weather. And so I got myself over to Sherman Oaks Fashion Square. This darling skirt is in the window at A&F and it instantly takes me back to summers past and I get this happy nostalgic feeling and so I go in to the shop in search of darling skirt (and maybe a wee bit in search of summers past).

The second I step into the shop I am immediately accosted by the ridiculously loud music that they apparently use to keep the parents of their clientele out of the store. I think 24-hour convenience marts use this same technique to keep the homeless from making camp in their parking lots. Anyway, I can't find skirt anywhere so I seek help from the gaggle of teensy fifteen-to-seventeen-year-old girls that work there. Seriously, this company is clearly engaged in discriminatory hiring practices because it cannot be a coincidence that all of their employees are size 00 (that's smaller than single zero, if you are wondering) and have long blonde hair that flows all the way to their belt loops. But I digress...

So I get one of the sales waifs to help me find skirt and show me to the dressing room which is where I discover that A&F uses overhead industrial-strength incandescent lighting (whose brightness is rivaled only by the sun itself). The lighting seems to be intended to reveal any hint of cellulite you might have which -- if seen peeking out of A&F clothing -- would obviously tarnish the A&F brand name (and A&F will have none of that!). While I don't want to accidentally buy something that makes me look like post-2004 Tara Reid, I really don't think it's necessary to light the dressing room to the point of inducing snow-blindness. Despite their best efforts to discourage me, I decide the no-sugar diet has been going rather well and that I'm satisfied that skirt looks more Sienna than Tara and I make my way over to the register.

Now I'm standing in the checkout line minding my own business and the cashier (a virile-looking young man) keeps saying: "Ma'am? Ma'am?" Suddenly I realize he's talking to me. Me?! WTF?! Everybody knows "Ma'am" is code for "Old Lady" (unless it's uttered by a cosmetics sales girl, in which case it's code for "bitch"). Look, I am certainly NOT an old lady, Punk! Anyway, it turns out he wants to move the line around to the other direction (for no apparent reason other than his own amusement). I oblige. And seethe. And that's when skirt starts talking to me. (Oh yeah. It talks). Skirt says to me:

"Wow. You're like the oldest lady who has ever tried me on."

"Shut the hell up, Skirt! You don't know what you are talking about. Heather Locklear is at least seven years older than I am and she has a skirt just like you."

"She's no Denise Richards," says skirt.


Somehow I manage to shake off this whole insulting incident by concentrating on my head photoshopped over Sienna's in this picture on the left. I do this to the point that I now have a very strong memory of that day when me and Jude went strolling through London with our sweet puppy. Oh, how we laughed and laughed that day! *sigh*

Finally, I pull into my garage and go upstairs to get ready for bed (with images of Jude, and me, and silent skirt, still dancing in my head). Right after I brush my teeth and wash my face it happened. I looked in the mirror and sort of turned my face three-quarters to the right. And then I do the same thing to look at the left... and... oh god... it's so terrible! I actually put one hand on each side of my face and sort of lifted up a bit. I virtual face-lifted! *GASP* I'm too young to be testing out face lifts in my bathroom mirror! Yes. I. Am. So, anyway, I blame skirt. It's the only thing that makes sense, right? Evil skirt.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

DAY 89

Oh, Keith. I'm just sick about this. Your designs were always flattering and chic (and I will totally buy your stuff when you put out a line). At least you handled your dismissal from Project Runway with grace and professionalism. And I thought your note at Blogging Project Runway was likewise professional and courteous. Tim appeared sincerely disappointed that Keith won't be finishing the show too and has confirmed Keith's statements on his own blog:

"And please let me put some rampant speculation to rest. It seems that everyone now knows about the sketchbook in which Keith presents copies of the work of other fashion designers. Nina, Heidi, Michael and I all noted this when we reviewed the portfolios of the semi-finalists. Keith presented four to six sketchbooks and look-books (I can’t recall the exact number), and we assumed that this particular book was for inspiration. Fashion Designers have a responsibility to look at the design work around them. Many make notes or illustrations of the work that appeals to them. It’s not at all unusual. So, for us, that sketchbook was and continues to be a non-issue."

*sniff* I'll miss you Keith! *sniff* [pause for moment of respectful silence]. But you know, we have to Carry On!

Okay, so this week was was a group challenge to design a three piece ensemble for Macy's INC line. The designers split into four groups of three, led by: Keith (*sob*); Robert (I <3 Robert!) NOTE: BROKEN ENTRY... note Angela wrote to Blogging Project Runway. "I'm getting so much love and hate mail right now..." she writes. Oh, please. First off, "Love mail"? I suppose she means fan mail ... but let's be honest Angie, you're getting nothing but I-love-to-hate-you mail. N'cest pas? Anyway, I have to admit that Laura, Michael, and Angela were a pretty good team. Which is no fun at all. Hopefully, Laura and Angela will get into a cat fight or something next week (oh pleez pleez pleez! with sugar on top?)

Speaking of Michael, I'm subbing him in for Keith in my final three. I've loved all his stuff so far and he always appears to be so sweet and good natured. I'm torn between him and Jeffrey though. I adore Jeffrey for his uncensored commentary on Vincent ("the guy's obviously nuts") and for openly fearing that Angela would choose him for her team. But I have to go with the designs I would be most likely to buy... so Michael is my man. Fingers crossed for you, M! Until next week... auf weder? auf weider? weidersein? Oh hell: our feet are sane!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

DAY 88

Let the record show that I am not good at counting days. It has been 88 days since May 5. So this day (August 1, 2006) is officially Day 88 (not Day Sixty Something as I've made it appear to be). I think. I mean, I roughly counted it out in an effort to get the days right. It's right, isn't it? Meh.

I've also noticed that I've veered considerably from my orignal mission: documenting E's adjustment to the good ole San Fernando Valley. Now I'm just sort of scrapbooking our days. But that's because he's pretty well adjusted. Serioulsy, he has totally stopped complaining. And he hasn't broken any of the appliances lately (though he still doesn't know how to program the TiVo and yesterday he was convinced the air conditioner was broken because it kept shutting off. Accordingly, we had a brief lesson on how thermostats operate and he seemed satisfied that the A/C is not, in fact, broken). Love him love him love him!