Burb Rocking
Friday, July 28, 2006
  Project Runway Season 3, Episode 3
posted by maurinsky

I started watching Project Runway during the Postal Uniform challenge in Season 1, and I'm basically an addict now. I watch it, my kids watch it, Tree watches it, Kathleen watches it, and last night I found out that Bernadette and our mother also watch it. If Michael watches it, I might just pass out, but somehow, I doubt it will come to that.

Last week, the challenge was to design an evening gown for Miss USA to wear at the Miss Universe pageant. Kayne won, and I placed a curse on Bravo for actually getting me to watch some of the pageant to see the gown. Too bad Miss USA mucked up her answer in the Q&A segment.

Malan was auf'd for his log-like gown, which I thought was an interesting idea that was poorly executed, but still not appropriate for a pageant. I had hoped either Angela woudl be auf'd for not coming up with a design, having nothing to pitch to Miss USA, and her general lack of doing any work, or that Vincent would be auf'd and shipped off to Bellvue where he can get the help he needs. But it was not to be, and we all got a little choked up to see poor, sad little Malan Breton from Taiwan go home.

This week, the challenge is to design a garment inspired by one of today's hottest fashion accessories. Despite some lame and/or odd speculation from the designers (cell phones, belts, shoes...horses?) it turns out to be a pack of lapdogs, and I don't mean the White House Press Corps.

All the designers are excited, except for Laura, who explains that she is not a dog person, because she has 5 kids and no time for a dog. Judging by her johdpurs, she doesn't feel the same way about horses, which I assume require more care, but my only horse experience consists of being bitten by one. She ends up with a tiny Pomeranian, which she immediately stuffs into her bag lest she have to touch the beast.

Uli is happy with her pug, Einshtein, and Einshtein seems happy with Uli, as he snuggles into her cleavage. Allison and Bradley switch dogs because Bradley isn't sure the poodle is right for him - she gives him a little terrier who looks shaggy and needy, just like Bradley. Keith loves his dog, because he loves rare things, like hairless hounds, or people who are hoping Keith wins.

Back at the workroom, Tim says "Designers, gather round" and tells them they have 30 minutes to sketch a design inspired by their pooch. He tells them to think narratively. They will have $150 to spend at Mood.

Laura is annoyed Sophia the Pom, who is practically catlike in her desire to distract Laura from her sketching. I know the feeling, Laura. Our big cat, Caz, will sometimes step directly onto the keyboard to get my attention. Robert is struggling to get his dog to pose for a picture. In a quick scene of practically unbearable cuteness, Katy gets a high five from her dog.

At Mood, Kayne finds a colorful print. Robert has a pink plaid that he says is Jackie O. and Barbie rolled into one. Laura tells the boys they have no taste. Because people with taste only wear black, white and beige, right Laura? Allison knows exactly what she wants: linen, leather and silk. Angela gets purple silk taffeta, because her dog was born in the spring...? I'm not sure I follow her grid-free logic.

Back at Parsons, the designers get to work. Angela shares her narrative: she is designing a dress for a British headmistress of a Parisian art camp for kids, who is throwing a birthday party for Pattycake the dog. Oookay. Allison is designing for a Japanese businesswoman, who wants the businesswoman's lunch special. Or maybe she just wants to go to Fashion Week and must bring her pooch with her. Robert's story is about a Park Avenue Princess who is going into rehab. He then tells us he hates these stories. I don't know why, because his was my favorite.

Keith is being a sh*thead, and can you imagine how much sh*t there is in his wildly inflated head? The woman Keith is designing for doesn't dress her Chinese Crested dog in anything, even though the dog probably could use the warmth, being that he has no fur on his body. Keith, we all know you're just trying to wriggle out of the required elements of the challenge.

While I believe Michael Knight and Bonnie Dominguez are still on the show, I cannot prove it with any footage.

Vincent...oh my goodness. He's made his dog a newsboy hat. And clearly, this is the funniest thing Vincent has ever seen or heard, because he does. Not. Stop. Laughing. The cameraman slowly backs away from the crazy guy.

Bradley seems to be struggling. Or rather, he's not struggling, he seems to have given up.

Tim comes around to the designers. He is totally sold on Uli's crazy color combination. He suggests to Katy that her design is too simple, and she needs to think about that. She says she can whip up a hoodie shrug, two words that I don't think should ever go together, but the Gunn tells her to go for it. Tim is concerned about Bradley, as is Keith, who tells Bradley it doesn't matter what he makes, it's got to be better than Angela's. And lawd, Angela's...it's Guadalupe all over again, only this time in vibrant silk taffeta.

Runway day! Kayne's design is visually exciting. His model is wearing a cute dress - a white halter on top, a black belt, and the vibrant print on the bottom. Over that is a black raincoat, lined with the vibrant print. Kayne's dog has a matching coat. The model is also wearing a hairband of the vibrant print. It's all very Barbie-esque, but very nicely made.

Uli has once again designed a halter dress, but the woman is a color pattern genius. The dress has these multi-colored bubbles on a white background, with a cheetah print for the trim. Over the halter dress is a short sleeve, cocoa colored jacket. It's cute. Uli wins over the judges with Einshtein's jacket, made out of cheetah print fabric with the words "Hi Ladies" on it.

Jeffrey's made an actual constructed dress this week, although apparently it's not punk rock to use any colors other than cream, black, and brown. His Corgi is in a suit coat which is just a little too long.

Allison's made a linen dress with a white jacket over it. Her model has poodle hair - a big pouf on top. The dog is wearing a white leather jacket. It makes an excellent first impression, although the camera work does not allow us to see enough of it. My pick for the winner.

Robert has a blouse/skirt outfit. The blouse is very nice, short sleeves with a bow at the waist and another at the neckline, but not froufrou cutesy bows. He's used the pink plaid for a skirt. I totally see Jackie O and Barbie. His dog has a pink plain poncho.

I don't remember Bonnie's design, although I think there was a big white coat.

Laura's made a tasteful suit, although I dispute the feathery/furry border as being tasteful. It's very nicely tailored, but it's sort of blah, although I think the furry collared sweater she puts on Sophia is cute.

Michael's made an interesting tweed dress, it's sort of sexy librarian, with a weaved front and an open back.

Keith's model comes out with the naked dog. He's chosen a beautiful fabric, but the dress is similar to his episode 1 dress. halter top, with an Elizbethan collar at the neck this time, and the skirt is A-line with pleating. It's beautifully made.

Katy's dress is cute, very sweet, but it doesn't really match up with the adorable hoodie she made for the dog. The dress is too sporty to be dressy, and too dressy to be sporty. It's very simple. I like it, but I think she's in trouble.

Bradley has not, in fact, sent a nude model down the runway. His model is wearing a copper colored blouse, the shape of which puts the blousy in blouse. It's poofy, is all I'm saying. The skirt appears to be blue on my TV, and is fairly simple. I peg Bradley as the auf'ee.

But wait, I haven't seen Vincent's yet. Vincent has made a long, fitted tank top. And capri-length stockings. And a black newsboy cap. He's lucky he made a cute outfit for the dog, a black jacket with white polka dots and a white newsboy cap that the dog is drying his darndest to get off. A shot of the judges shows them all smiling, and I think they must not see Vincent's atrocity because they are blinded by canine cuteness.

Just when you think it can't get worse, out comes Angela's design. Short bubble skirt with multi-colored silk taffeta yoyos all along the bottom. A vest that shows off a significant amount of belly and chest. It conjures images not of a British headmistress, but of Skanky the Clown.

Michael, Bonnie, Kayne, Laura, Robert, Jeffrey and Vincent (wha?) are congratulated and sent off stage.

Uli, Angela, Katy, Keith, Bradley and Allison represent the best and the worst.

Uli tells her story about her fabulous woman who parties fabulously and then meets her fabulous friends for brunch. The judges like the back. Allison tells about her Japanese businesswoman, and the judges are enchanted.

They ask Keith why he didn't design anything for the dog, and he lies and says he designed 4 different outfits, but felt very strongly that his story involved a woman who lets her hairless dog go out naked. He tells them he made a collar for the dog, but Heidi checks it out, and what do you know, Keith is lying again!

Bradley is waiting for the anvil to drop. The judges ask him who is garment is for, and he basically says it's for Laura. Silly Bradley, Laura wouldn't wear a blouse that covers up her sternum! Inexplicably, the judges love, love, love his garment. I don't understand fashion, but I'm glad Bradley wasn't booted on his birthday.

Katy's story is sort of incoherent, and Nina points out the uneven hem, which Katy blames on the machines.

No one understands Angela's story. Of course they don't - who in England would send their 6 year old child to France to take art lessons from a hooker/clown? No one, that's who.

Uli is the winner. Allison is shocked and not happy. Bradley is in. Keith is in, although they tell him he would've won if he'd made something for the dog. Katy, you made a simple dress with execution problems. Angela, you made an inexplicable garment.

In the end, Angela's design is awful, but it's not auf'ul, so we say goodbye to Katy and have to put up with the distaff nutcase for another week.

Next week: who is going home? If it's Angela, Vincent, Keith, or Jeffrey, I'll be a happy camper.
Friday, July 07, 2006
  shoe's on the other foot
Was reading the following just the other day:

. . . "How will North Korea perceive an attack on any given day?" asks Anthony Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here. "The options tend to be ones of provoking general war."

For Japan and South Korea - both strong US allies and home base to thousands of American troops - this makes the military option a nonstarter...

- from For US military, few options to defang North Korea by Mark Sappenfield (Christian Science Monitor)

Which, of course, reminded me of this Oval Office conversation recently reported in the Onion Radio News:

Rummy: Our metrics show there are too many military unknowns. Until we know more about the unknowns we don't know, we don't know. The more unknowns we know, the more we know there may be more unknowns, you know.

Bush: Vzzzah?

Condi: I think what the Secretary of Defense is saying is that we don't know enough. We need more information before we can act.

Rummy: I like your shoes, Condi.

Condi: And apparently the Secretary likes my shoes.

Bush: Me, too. Nice shoes.

Condi: Thank-you. Found them at the Fifth Avenue Ferragamo last September. They were having a sale.

Bush (snickering): Heh-heh. Fire-sale?

Rummy: That fire-sale was going on a few Septembers back. My guess is this was a flood-sale?

Condi (drily): Very funny, Mr. Secretary. Sir--

Bush: We know each other better than that. You can call me 'Mr. Bush.' Heh-heh.

Condi: Mr. Bush, I need to know your position on North Korea. If military options are out, then we should be negotiating, don't you think?

Bush: Just jokin'. You can call me 'George,' 'Dubya' or even 'Temporary' if you want. But should we really be negotiatin' with this guy? I mean, his hair is funny.

(Yes, this conversation really happened exactly as reported above.)
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
There is a heirarchy where I live. The sole human male in the group, you might imagine me outnumbered and therefore not at the top of that heirarchy. And you'd be 100% correct. Without giving it too much thought, I suspect it goes something like this:

1. She Who Must Be Obeyed
2. He Who Must Occasionally Be Heeded
3. "S"
4. "M"
5. The Ultimate Animal
6. The Other Ultimate Animal (especially when The Ultimate Animal is not around)
7. The Poopster

These names can be deemed either affectionate or descriptive, depending upon the circumstances. "S" and "M" are the two outrageously appealing human beings who, by a strange coincidence, are also my two only daughters. (And, no, we are not Opus Dei and the S&M joke was not planned - those just happen to be the initials of two young female humans, who are beautiful, amazing, and related to me.) Both are currently at camp - "S," the elder, actually gets paid to be there as a camp counselor, while "M," the younger, must pay to play. Or, rather, He Who Must Occasionally Be Heeded and She Who Must Be Obeyed pay. But it's all good.

When you look up the definition of "blog newbie," my picture is right there. Uploaded by someone not me, of course. So I will probably never upload actual photos of my own to any blog. But here is an image which approximates The Other Ultimate Animal:

And here's one which captures (for me) The Ultimate Animal himself: He's actually rather fit, not quite as chubby as the specimen featured here. But he has more than a touch of that same "Lord of All I Survey" attitude - and his real name, Casmir, in fact derives from a king in a story. He's also a skilled hunter, who has brought down mice, birds and - most recently - a bat. For some reason, he's attached himself to me (often literally) and regards me as the source of all things good: shelter (I let him in and out of the house); warmth (he likes to curl up on me, or next to me); food (not only does he expect me to feed him, but he also possesses the odd quirk of wanting me to lead him to his food-dish if food is already there). The Other Ultimate Animal, though smaller, is nevertheless clever and determined (opens doors, for instance).

Leaving The Poopster (aka Poops McGee, Poopsy Galore, The Mad Pooper, and Pu Pu For 2, among other charming nicknames - there's a theme there, by the way, if you look hard enough). He is a Bassett Hound, mostly black and brown, with white paws and belly. Very good-natured, but about as sharp as a block of wood. Always playful, and oddly lovable - even the feisty my-claws-and-teeth-are-out-and-I-will-hurt-you calico likes him and plays with him. He closely resembles this creature:

Now that you have some passing familiarity with the principals, on with the anecdote. "M" sent home a letter from camp. Not addressed to either of the two at the top of the food-chain shown above, but addressed to The Other Ultimate Animal, the calico. "M" and The Other Ultimate Animal (real name: Madouc) share a strange but special bond, whereby this fighting feline will permit "M" all sorts of liberties (hugging, squeezing, etc.) which are totally off-limits for everyone else.

Letter from "M:"

Dear Madook,

I miss you very, very, very, very much, and I'm sure "S" feels the same way. Tell Mom and Dad that I miss them, too. I also miss Cass, and please tell him that, but I miss you the most.

Love, "M"

Since we have a game where I make up things the animals say, I figured I'd respond in kind. My letter is a wordpad document from The Ultimate Animal (whom "M" refers to above as "Cass," also spelled by us as "Kaz"), who often amuses "M" by his personality and antics (such as his habit of walking on the computer's keyboard when he wants something). His letter follows:

Dear "M"

Was lying on the windowsill next to the Center of the Universe. (That's what I call your Father.) He was making words with his fingers on that funny window. Borrrrring.

My neck is wet from Big Smelly Tongue chewing on me. (Big Smelly Tongue is what I call the Dog.)

But I like doing that, too. I walk on the clickers all the time, even though no one ever reads what I write. That was when I got the idea to plug in the printer and write you this message. (Actually, Madouc plugged it in for me because she knew I wouldn't let her eat today till she did.)

I am watching a squirrel and some birds outside. The squirrel is on top of the building out back, nibbling on an acorn. I've never been up there, but there is a tree I could use to get there if I wanted to badly enough. The squirrel would be gone by the time I got there, anyway. And then I'd be stuck way up high waiting for the Center of the Universe to get me back down. Maybe someday. The birds are more interesting. They go under the bushes to look for food. That's where I got the last two I left on the back porch.

No bats today.

Your Ultimate Animal,


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