Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Plunging Backlines

Point one. There's a bird up here. I don't know where it is, but I'm pretty sure someone brought a bird to the office. I can hear it whistling somewhere.

Point two. The kimono top is finished; I'd chosen a very thin fabric, and I'm very skinny, so in a way I'm not as happy with the top as I could be because it sort of enhances my lack of figure. It needs to be Static Guarded, which might help. It's pretty, just perhaps not *quite* what I'd envisioned.
However: I made it with a plunging back. I folded the pattern for the back in from the neckline and made a V that goes down to my waist, just above the waist tie when you blouse the top out. I then made a tie for the top of the back, to keep it closed enough that it wouldn't fall off me. This is pretty daring, but let me tell you: The back frickin' rocks. It looks amazing, and I wish the front were equally as cool, or that I had the bosom to carry off the front as well.
The long and the short of it is that the top won't probably go with the new skirt I made, as I'd intended, but will probably rock a good pair of jeans or my white pants come spring.
I think the kimono top will work in some of the other fabrics I got, which are chiffony and have patterns and so will be less overwhelmingly big and black. I am faced now with the decision of what to do with this gold fabric I got, which I was going to use with another kimono top but I now am having second thoughts. I have a cute wrap pattern I've used before which will work, but I have to admit that the sexiness of the plunging back is appealing to me a lot (I got the idea from a Victoria's Secret shirt of a totally different style but with that plunge). I'm trying to figure out a way to make a sexy top with a better front and a plunge back, that will work with a modification of a pattern I already own. I'm actually trying to think of a way to modify the kimono pattern to suit my need a bit better...V in the front rather than boatneck? Plunging V with closures in front? Is that too much? Some totally other neckline? Short, fitted sleeves instead?
Or am I barking up the wrong tree completely?
I am obsessed with the plunging back idea and don't know why...well, yes I do, it's because I have a nice back and never show it off. And I want something pretty but not overdone...I have some patterns that are perfectly pretty but they don't seem right somehow. This decision is kicking my butt.

Point three. I am going to pick my car up from the Marathon garage. They could not figure out what was wrong with it either. Boo. Going to have to figure out what to do about this.

Monday, February 27, 2006

End Games

I have to say I was much more impressed with the closing ceremonies than those for the opening of the Olympic Winter Games in Torino.
Particular highlights:

O Canada: Props to Vancouver for bringing out the Native tribes and for the awesome ice cracking and whale song of the ice fisherman scene. That rocked.
Angels and Ministers of Grace: Va Pensiero sung by little ones in angel and devil costumes. That was cute and sounded pretty.
Little Brides: Likewise, the young brides lining up to make a peace dove was pretty exciting.
Better Parade Music: While the YMCA during the festivities seemed wildly out of place, the songs played during the athletes' entrance were much more in keeping with the Italian spirit.
Dancing Tarot Cards: All Carnivals should have dancing tarot cards. Period.

In all, the sounds and sights of these ceremonies seemed better choreographed, more visible, and more thematically resonant.
Huzzah, Torino!

Weekend Potpourri

Ah, weekends. A time for rest, a time for frenzy, a time for best-laid plans to go unseated, a time for things to come together anyway.

On Friday, despite my post about not putting on my pajamas as soon as I got home, I put on my pajamas as soon as I got home. I rested my back, had some dinner, watched the Olympics, and knitted. The store, I said to myself, can wait.

Saturday, I lazily rolled out of bed and back in front of the TV to watch the last biathalon event. That really is something dramatic. It seems so boring while they're skiing, but then when they get toward the shooting range, suddenly everyone's out of their minds. I was sad Ole Einer Bjorndalen did not get his gold, but happy that Poland, who I was cheering for, got its first biathalon medal...that happened last week, too, when I was cheering for France...not their first medal, but they did get gold.
Then I decided I should not only go to the store, but also to Jo-Ann's. There, I spent a ludicrous amount on new fabrics, most of which have plans in store. I found a lovely burgundy paisley brocade on clearance...I love those brocades and get some every time they're on sale, because they're just too darn pretty to ignore. I also got some knits to experiment with, and some charmeuse-like fabric, along with ridiculous yardage of tulle, more black, and burgundy and pink. More scarfs are on their way.
Kroger was uneventful, except that for once I stuck to my list and even discarded items from it. I did find something a student gave me a tip about: Girl Scout cookie ice cream from Edy's. They had a gallon of Samoas, which I later ate a bit of. It's rich, but it certainly tastes exactly like those cookies, my favorite kind.
That evening I finished up a velvet corset top I'd been working on forever, looked over some patterns to use with my new fabrics, had a steak and some antipasti, and watched more Olympics and the Saturday Brit coms. It was really a pretty brilliant day.

I thought I'd be in for more of the same on Sunday. For starters, the BGSU women's chorus was singing at church, to my surprise, and one of my students is in it. It was a special occasion, and then they sang Siyahamba at the end, which is one of my favorite pieces of all time, as I mentioned in my last post.
Then things went awry. My car wouldn't start. At this time I'd like to thank the unnamed chorus member who jumped out of her friend's car, and, in her long black dress, tried to help me jumpstart it. She was amazing, and reminded me of me a little bit in her willingness to work in her dress, and not at all of me in her immediate friendliness. Alas, the car would not start, and I declined a ride, which was a mistake.
For some stupid reason ("Who needs a phone at church?") I left my cellphone at home. Dumb. I went to Sunoco and a girl there (thank you, unnamed girl) let me use her phone, but I really needed mine, so I set about walking home in my church clothes, scarfless ("Who needs a scarf from the car to the church?"), but with gloves and a coffee purchased at Sunoco. It was a long walk. When I arrived, I changed and put a bandage on my new blister from illfitting shoes, and called my Mum...to wish her a happy birthday and to ask where Dad was. Called Dad, got some advice. Called AAA, and set about walking back, bundled up this time, to the car. The parking lot was a little full, because Anything Goes was being performed at the church, but the tow truck found me and, after listening to the car, the guy got it started. It wouldn't start reliably in the normal way, so he too gave me some advice. I got it home, though, and resumed having a pleasant day.
I made a skirt on Sunday, out of brocade. I also got most of the way through a kimono-style top. I'm a little skeptical about it, but I think it will be fine. I'd like to finish it tonight, because I want to make several of those in different fabrics, and I need to see how it looks. Watched the closing ceremonies, ate some leftover steak...all was back to normal.

Now, I need to go to a meeting, so I'll post on the closing ceremonies later.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wait...What day is it?

So, it's Friday again. What the heck happened?
This time last week, I was home home with the folks, hanging out, getting ready for a concert, making hockey plans. Now, I'm getting ready to go home and fall asleep for three days. Well, maybe not, but I think a nap is called for and within my rights. The only problem is, I have no soda, so I think I might have to go to Meijer or Kroger at some point today. I'm also almost out of milk. So I should probably not get pajamafied right away.
Today it's sunny, but chilly. I walked to school and my eyes were blurry. I can't wait until it's warm and my eyes stop watering every time I go outside.
I feel weird right now and am desperately hoping that my ill and ill-carrying students didn't give me something atrocious. I told them all they need to stop making out, but they're not listening to me. I heard flu A is here, which is not good news. Darn kids.

So, this week was the reunion show for Project Runway. Because of the Olympics, it was really the only interesting non-sport thing on this week (no Gilmore Girls, no Supernatural...seriously, what do Steve and I have to text message each other about if there is no Tuesday TV?) I was not home for most of the PR episode, but have caught up on it and Project Jay in reruns. PR was less uncomfortable than last year's PR reunion. There were some uncomfortable moments (ie whatever Guadalupe was getting at, and having to watch much, much more of Andrae's first breakdown than they showed on TV the first time), but a lot of things were said and it felt more zen than last year, like things came into balance. I also enjoyed the musical numbers provided, and watching Daniel V crack up over Santino's Tim Gunn impressions.
I am apprehensive about the upcoming Fashion Week episodes. I've seen a few spoilers of the collections, but those little surprises they always throw in make me nervy. I have to keep reminding myself I don't really care that much who wins this time.
It was nice to catch up with Jay McCarroll. He's very much a real person, perhaps unprepared for the demands and heartwrench of being a popular designer. It was good for me to see what he's learned and how he's growing. I liked his first collection idea that they showed, with the east meets west thing, but then after his surgery he started going quite another direction, and that was interesting, too. As much as we think of design as being keeping up with the competition, being part of the fads, its true eruption must be from the core of the designer, and has to be open to such wide vision changes. I wish him success.
Austin Scarlett's collection was....very Austin Scarlett. I loved that first little pleated dress in...blue, I think.

Speaking of pleats, I was catching some sort of Oscar roundup for dresses...a preview show or something, and there was a flat out GORGEOUS dress with black tulle pleated and folded in patterns in the bodice and skirt. It was the most amazing dress I've ever seen in my life. I want it. I want it bad. Alas, I cannot share a picture of it since I can't find it.
In homage to that dress, I have begun the "Darci scarf" from my cool knit book, which is a long scarf made out of tulle and in itself an homage to Darci Kistler, a famous ballerina. The one in the book is pink, but I'm going with black this time. Tulle is a pain to knit, but it looks pretty awesome and I am enthusiastic, although I sense I'm going to have to go get more tulle.
Ah, crafts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Walking Out of My Hip

Am I the only one who has this feeling: You're walking along, everything's cool, but then you take a step, your pelvis opens up to the side just a little too much, and your hip feels like it's going to pop out of socket? Sometimes, it happens a couple of times in one stretch of walking, and it's scary, because what if your hip really did pop out of its socket? What the heck would you do then?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

One week round-up

I have had many complaints about no new posts, and I'm sorry, but if you were me and having the workload I have had this last week, you would stop whining. Otherwise, you'd be talking to yourself. If you were me.
But actually, I have had many adventures this past week, with which I will now regale you; happily, I will be finishing the stack of essays I have today and will be free for a whole week. Free meaning, I can maybe write something, and do a knitting project, and watch Olympics without having to do anything at the same time.
So, Wednesday was better than Tuesday. I was still a little shaky and tired, but I got a damn fine hug that day and got to play around with my camera a little bit, which was fun. I need to practice with that a lot more.

Homeward Bound
Things started getting crazy on Friday. I went home because my college dance teacher and director is retiring, and Friday night was the concert at which they were to surprise-present her with a memory book and video. She's a truly great lady, and I wanted to be there, and I also wrote up a little essay that I'd sent for the book. Basically, she's responsible for several of the decisions I've made in the last six or seven years.

A story
When I was a junior in college, I gave up Classical Studies as a cognate and needed another arts cognate, so I picked dance (duh...don't know why I didn't think of that before, except that I had a full load of dance classes at the studio). I had choreography with Dr. Dixie Durr, and learned more in that class than most of my other classes combined. Dr. Durr has a great way of making learning about living, about being a person. I loved that class, and was encouraged by her to take modern that summer with Whitley Setrakian. I did, despite never having summer class before, and once again was staggered by an amazing dance and choreographic experience.
Fresh from these events, I decided to try out for Evita in the fall, despite a crazy course, dance, and library workload...see how this is getting good? I had Dr. Durr for several courses that year, including dance history and an independent study in Labanotation, and...Evita was directed by Dr. Durr. I had yet again a phenomenal learning experience, and felt like I was really contributing to the world as a dancer. Despite twisted feet and the need to eat while I was walking places, or else no eating at all, I was in heaven.
Whitley (remember her? Awesome modern in the summer?) was doing a piece for the rep company concert the following year; since I was graduating, I didn't try out, but she asked me to be in the piece, and so I agreed to dance it at the American College Dance Festival in the spring, and then my friend Liz would do it in the fall at the rep concert. Yet another smart decision...now here's where things get tricky.
The ACDF was in Bowling Green, OH, that year, and my mom recently reminded me that that wasn't even the ACDF region MSU would normally go to, but our normal region was full or something. So we went to BG, which coincidentally, I had applied to for grad school. On our first day there, I went and met some faculty, and got acquainted with campus.
Then, we danced, were adjudicated *well*, despite many other schools being heavily criticized, and, surprise of all surprises, we were selected to close the gala concert. We were ecstatic, we were in heaven, we were amazing. We really were! The piece ruled, the dancing was so comfortable for all of us...it was just, once again, everything coming together. Dancing in Kobacker Hall was pretty sweet.
Then, about two weeks later, the creative writing program called me and offered me a grad school place! How crazy is that? And I'm still here, I have a full time job, and I have publications.
Certainly, there are a lot of twists and turns we take in our lives, but it's amazing how, in such a short time, Dr. Durr became an absolute force.

The Concert
So anyway, back to the weekend. I went to the concert with my Mum, which was fun, because we got to chat and walk around the auditorium a little and reminisce. The concert was very interesting, and there were several things I liked and several things I didn't; part of my education via Dr. Durr was making thoughtful critiques and owning my opinions about them. The video after the program was very funny and sweet, and reminded me of a lot of things that Dr. Durr always has done in class, like call us her "little birds" (name of Whitley's piece? "Birds in the Air.") and spell words...D-O M-O-R-E. B-E S-T-R-O-N-G-E-R. My Mom thinks that is great because it slows down your thoughts enough to actually absorb the message. She also says, "Never apologize for being alive."
She was genuinely surprised and moved, and as my friend Kim said, someone finally was able to make her cry. She's an amazing lady, and it was my very great honor to be there, along with several others of my dance generation and others, to support her life's work.

The Game
Saturday, for some reason, is sort of a blurr to me at first. I rolled out of bed ridiculously late and then watched Olympics and did some essays. I think. Yeah, I remember something about the biathalon where they ski and then shoot guns. And the guy I decided to cheer for won.
But THEN, my parents and I went to the MSU vs. Miami-Ohio hockey game! It was bitterly cold out, but the game was, as they say, hot. MSU beat no. 1 Miami, rather emphatically, actually. It was the last home game of the season, so it was senior night, and it's always great when they win on that night. Many years ago, on Chad Alban's senior night, he scored a goal. He was MSU's goalie. We cheered until we cried. Saturday was more low key, but still amazing.

Sadly for me, the UUMC pastors back home are moving on. Methodists do that, move pastors around a lot, and we've been lucky to keep Frank and Carol for so long. I am glad to be able to see them a couple more times, I hope, before they go.
The choir and bell choir did some spiritual pieces, which was really fun. They sang Siyahamba, which is one of my favorite pieces of all time. It's so pretty, and it always gives me a warm and sunny feeling.

And that's it! Then I came back, have been grading like a crazy lady, and am finally catching up.
And now I have to go teach.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

February and I have irreconcilable differences.

This day has just decided it's going to be ridiculously bad. I got very little sleep last night, despite my goal to utterly relax with no work to do. I really have no idea what that's about, except that I had too much coffee at work. That's the only thing I can think of. But since I drank the coffee in the early afternoon, and I had very little caffeine after that...I dunno. Now my entire system is whacked out and I don't feel like eating today, possibly because of the no sleep, and possibly because I feel unloved, and possibly because I may have eaten something that didn't agree with me yesterday, and possibly still because of the coffee.
And then some crazy woman had the audacity to, as I was clearly turning into the parking lot, try to walk into my car, as if I should have waited for her when she was walking in the middle of the adjoining lot lane, and, had she gotten into the crosswalk, would have been far away from my car. Please don't try to shortcut and then look at me like I'm to blame for you nearly walking into my car when you can clearly see me and, were you a car, would have had to wait for me. Pedestrians should never be so convinced of their superiority that they try to play chicken with a hunk of metal and, in my case, plastic.

On the other side of things, that Chinese skater didn't break her knee, evidently, despite the most sickening fall I've seen in a while (with the possible exception of the 2004 fall by the Russian pairs skater, which they also thoughtfully showed in one of their lead-up stories for pairs skating. )
Also, it's almost time for men's Olympic hockey, and considering that there are some former Spartans among the bunch, hoorah. For instance, JM Liles is playing for the US...he was at State when I was. Also Tony Tuzzolino and Jason Muzzati are playing for Italy. I won't get to see them much, probably, but I will remember with fondness Tony Tuzzolino's many penalty minutes as a Spartan.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Just When You Thought It Was Safe...

Sadly, Peter Benchley died. Jaws being one of my favorite movies of all time, I will mourn the loss of its creator. I have also read The Island by Benchley (good old Literary Thrillers class with Gary Hoppenstand) and he's a fun writer, sort of bridging a gap between fine contemporary literature and fluff horror/sci fi. In other words, what I like to read.

Today is Monday, February 13. Garfield the cat's least favorite day. I do need to note, people, that in fact Stirf the cat is not my cat. He is, however, extremely photogenic and thus a good subject for experimentation with my new digital camera. He was on loan from Steve and Melissa.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Stirf vs. Everything in the Room

And here is a picture of Stirf just as he's deciding, "Everything's agin' me." He was masterfully hiding behind his toy basket while he selected his first target; the verdict? The plantlife in the corner. They didn't know what was coming, and didn't stand a chance.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I heart my Canon tech support guy

Canon support guy, whoever you were, thank you for your patient and smart assistance, and for explaining the problem to me when I asked, when I couldn't get Camera Window to start.
As a reward, here is a picture of Stir Fry, taken with my ELPH. He is saucily choosing a toy from his basket.

MUMMIES! And Italians.

Little known fact about Abigail:
Interested in Egypt and its mummies.
My favorite section of natural history museums is almost always mummies, followed closely by animal tableaus, including dinosaurs. I frickin' love Egypt. I don't know why. I always have been fascinated.
That's why I have been gung ho about this new tomb discovery in the Valley of the Kings. New mummies! New treasures! New hieroglyphics! I hope they learn a ton. I want to go there and see for myself. I want to go to the Pyramids and see the Sphinx.
Like I said, I have no idea why I'm so interested in Egypt; my second-favorite Hercules Poirot is Death on the Nile. My favorite kids' books were often about mummies. I will watch The Mummy and The Mummy Returns countless times, even if they are a little dumb. Stargate rules. There's a dark corner of the Chicago Field Museum with a whole bunch of animal mummies, and I always spend at least ten minutes there. It's not like I love history, I just seem to have picked up that period of interest. Part of it is probably their religious mythology. Egypt had a very complex god system, and I always liked learning about that. Then there was the Sesame Street Goes to the Metropolitan Museum special, when Big Bird found a little Egyptian prince trapped in there. That seemed pretty awesome. So, Egypt. Who knew?

I'm also obsessed with Greek mythology, which is what made the Athens Olympics opening ceremonies so good to me. And that segues into...
Commentary on the Torino opening ceremonies.
To be brutally honest, the first half of the ceremonies was ridiculous. It didn't look exciting or cohesive from any angle, and frankly with the way some of the scenes were lit I was surprised anyone in the crowd could see what was going on...the reasonably fun stuff with the cows and the folk dancing was dimly lit indeed. The transitions between sections were weak, and far too much time was given to walking, as in the segment with the model and the Italian flag. The whole thing lacked coherence and unity, to pull out my rhetoric terms. The skier of many people was interesting, but again, note that it was the best lit of anything that went on in the first half.
The parade of nations is always fun, but the music choice was inept. American pop/disco, particularly songs that aren't that interesting but that stick out so glaringly, was not the way to go. The songs even sort of overrode the whole point, which was the athletes coming in to glory. There were a few exceptions, but it was much more interesting and unique when the Italian pop music was playing. Why not play a medley of tunes from different countries?
The second half of the ceremonies, the Renaissance to Baroque section particularly, was much more interesting visually and had more transitional effects. And, of course, Pavarotti is always cool. I liked the race car, but did anyone else feel like the actual use of the race car was sort of mundane, and brought back that poor transitioning from the first segment? They went from this exciting building of the car, to making rings, but the car was sort of drifting around and looked like the driver had no idea what to do but sit there and make smoke, and then limp onto the ramp.
In evaluation, the ceremonies spent too much time on hyper-technical gadgetry and not enough on choreography and symbolism that would translate well to a large crowd, and on the so-important segment segues. Some moments that could be genuinely touching were lost on a too-large canvas with too-small tools. I had favorite parts, to be sure, such as the Birth of Venus, the little girl singing Italy's anthem (a simple and more appropriate use of the vast, white space), and the dancing of Bolle (weird, but in a comprehensible way, though he, too, sometimes looked like he had no idea where to go next). But for a ceremony entitled "Rhythm, Passion, and Speed," the results felt like none of the three to this viewer.
Torino, I still love you.
Oh! And best dressed? The English. Way to go!

Annoying Quote of the Day

From an article on CNN.com regarding a gap between parents and teachers:

"I don't see where the testing is going to come in handy for 90 percent of students down the line," said Hungerford, a truck loader from Syracuse, New York. "For science-minded kids taking English tests, I don't think they care where the period goes when you are up in space."

Well, that's great, Hungerford. Did you see Apollo 13? How will you feel when your kid can't understand what Houston is saying, can't take correct and precise notes, and can't understand technical manuals required to avoid death?

Parents piss me off sometimes. Testing is a hot subject I will not take a stand on here; but please don't try to tell me your kid can stop learning where the period goes.

Friday, February 10, 2006


I defy you to think these people aren't absolutely amazing. The girl, Yulia, is like a bird, and Maxim, while occasionally scary, is sharp like a knife. This piece they did (photographed by Jeffrey Dunn) is from America's Ballroom Challenge, and it was so stunning my jaw dropped and I didn't move the whole time. I couldn't believe they didn't win the International Latin division. I disliked the piece by the couple that did win, which made me even more annoyed.
This dance was incredible; fast, with Yulia doing all kinds of little, tight, precise swivels that made the fringe go crazy...but the fringe wasn't exaggerating the movement, you could tell it was all honest effort. I wish I had film footage of this because they were out of control awesome.

Culinary Friday

Ah, Friday. Last night, whilst I was reading my Cook's Illustrated (get it! get it now!), I was thinking, maybe I would like to do a weekly foodblog. Like, hey guys, I found this recipe, it rules. Or, hey, here's the kitchen experiment of the week.
But guess what I'm eating?
If you said McDonald's, you're right.
But at the risk of being hypocritical, I'm still gonna say some stuff about food.
Lately, I've been trying some new desserts. Hence, the Lemon Schaum Torte (meringue thing) last weekend, which is very delicious and, I'm sure, tres fattening, and some crazy peaches and cream ambrosia type of deal (jello...non fattening. whipping cream...well...). I feel most comfortable with desserts, because they usually turn out all right even though I don't always have the right kitchen utensils. Because I am lacking in kitchen space, my kitcheny plans often turn out a little smaller that I'd like.
But I've been wanting to try some more adventurous main dishes, too. The recipe I was reading last night was for peppercorn encrusted filet mignon. The experiments in the kitchen were very interesting to read about, and the end result dish sounded fantastic. It involves peppercorns in oil and a process of searing and baking that sounds pretty great. I want to do it! It didn't seem too difficult, and would be a tasty, expensive-looking dinner.
One of the things I love about Cook's is that they test expensive and inexpensive products, and their findings often coincide with one of my philosophies, which is that middle-of-the-road, on the lower end, is often a better bet than something expensive with little reason. Be a normal person. Avoid the pretense. They did a good review of mail-order vs. store steaks, and found that a good 20 bucks a pound steak from the butcher was a-ok.
This subscription, by the by, is a Christmas gift from my sister. It is pretty darn awesome, and it came with a bunch of yummy good spices; of recent use, the Bouquet Garni to kick up some gravy. Mmmm. Gravy.

And now, the kitchen lady's necessary tool of the week:
A jello mold.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


And now for this week's Runway commentary:
I did not see much of the beginning of this episode, the first 25 minutes or so, but I did record it; ultimately, though, I felt like I might not bother watching it, or maybe just wait for one of its many reruns. If you catch, like, the first ten minutes, and the last half hour of the show, you've really gotten most of the good stuff without dealing with drama queens.
Daniel V., WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? I had to laugh that Heidi kept saying, "I hate what you've done to Chloe," as if he's slashed her face or something. I did not agree with the assessment of dressing up in a grandmother's closet, put forth by Tim Gunn. The dress fit was indeed dowdy in movement on Chloe (who is short and curvy, and therefore needs something of a more fluid or flat-out stiff texture, and different skirt cut), but the end result was more like old-time Vietnamese bar girl. (And I have just now confirmed that she is, in fact, Vietnamese, which is worse to me somehow). The corset would have been SO much better in another context; I think it could have worked for her, but only if it were put together with something funky, not tawdry.
I actually liked Kara's design best this week, for Santino. The work done by Chloe for Nick was immaculate, and I'm not upset that she won, but Kara's work was much more thought-provoking. Sometimes fastidious isn't best, as impressive as it may be. Kara's hat kicked ass.
I was in complete agreement with Tim Gunn's blog that Santino's design was exciting and his execution...um, poor. I loved that Gunn invoked Emma Peel, because that's exactly what I was thinking during the show, and I thought Kara could walk it well (I sympathized with her trying to stand in it...that kind of outfit has to move). I especially liked the striping across the back. But. Wow. Next week, I want to see him put together a completed, finished piece. I mean it, Santino. Finished. You are often agitating, but there's so much talent in there, and I will be pissed if you don't get it together and make it a real competition based on style and execution.
Nick...Saddest exit for me; the puckering problem was uncharacteristic but also glaring, and made me wonder, dear Nick, what happened to you the last couple of weeks? You haven't been the same since Tarah. But you KNOW you can't be so attached to one muse that you lose control of your design focus. I sympathized a lot with Nick because he, surprisingly, experienced the problem I do, which is choosing the wrong fabric and trying to make it fit the wrong project. You will be missed.
Next week looks bitchy, which makes me sigh with trepidation. Hopefully people will chill out enough to get stuff done and we can have a real confidence in our final 3.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

RIP Mar-Mar Superstar

Well, it happened. Mar-Mar lost a long and difficult battle with fin rot and cotton disease and heaven knows what else. We tried to medicate, we tried to change water, we tried fishy cheering dances. We could not save him.
Mar-Mar, you were a good fish. A busy fish. A fish who spoke up at editorial meetings. A fish who loved to dance. A fish who hid in his plant. A fish who once jumped into a sink. A fish who spoke volumes with a single, mysterious popping noise. A fish we will miss.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Avert Your Eyes.

So, sorry to anyone I've flashed today. I can't do a thing about it.
I got my favorite sweater at New York & Co last year. It's pink, soft, and cozy. It has a v-neck, and I like it, but the v-neck tends to dip a bit low throughout the day, leaving it to anyone's guess who all has seen my bra. I pull the sweater back a lot, not often enough to be annoyed, but often enough for me to wonder if I should do it more.
This semester, for the first time, I was smart enough to schedule a lunch hour in, so that I'm not working or having office hours when I should be resting and eating a sensible meal. Boy do I like lunch. Sometime, let's talk about sandwiches.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Elph of My Heart

Elph, and not the Legolas Variety:
I got my camera! I got it good.
I FINALLY found the Canon SD 450; Circuit City in Holland had one, and so I ordered it online and went to pick it up at the store Friday night. Then I played with it a little and read some of the manual, and took a few test pictures. I have a lot to learn, and I still need to make an effort to take better pictures, but at least I can dump the ones that don't turn out! Knowing me, that will be a lot. The camera is tinytiny, as I told my mum about four packs of gum stacked together, not much more. I have to be very careful with it. Test pictures will arrive when I get to the stage of putting them on the computer.

Film of a different kind:
My usual Sunday shows aren't on tonight, so I will be watching Flightplan and possibly some of the Charmed episodes they are showing on TNT. I also watched a few other movies this weekend, namely:
The Brothers Grimm--kind of funny, but frankly didn't make a whole lot of sense. Badly paced, but interesting in a visual way, and since I love fairy tales I got along with this movie all right.
Corpse Bride--let us be honest. Was anyone else irritated when the dead people had their first song and it was virtually identical in sound to one or more of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Oompa-Loompa songs? Danny Elfman and Deep Roy being involved in the songs notwithstanding, COME ON. I hated the OL songs in Charlie, and I didn't like the song anymore in Corpse. I give good marks for the story and animation, but I was appalled by the music thing.
Batman Begins--I intended to see this in the theater...after all, as my friend Nate remarked, there's a fire-breathing horse. But I didn't. And then I got skeptical. And I waited. But then, I saw it, and I now believe Steve that it is awesome. Christian Bale is a perfect young Batman, and has returned to heartthrob status for me. I'm not crazy about Katie Holmes and never have been, but I sure do like Liam Neeson even when he's naughty.

In other movie news, Indiana Jones 4 has an official year attached to it, 2007, and according to imdb.com, Virginia Madsen is very possibly on board to play the love interest.

Today's Special:
One of my new favorite hymns: Saranam, Saranam
We sang this today in church, and it's from a Pakistani word "refuge" to a Punjabi melody. We sang the first two verses as the prayer chorus, and it was very pretty.
P.S. Today's sermon was about demons. I wonder if Pastor Andy has been watching Charmed.

What's Cooking?:
I must away now, to finish the meringue I began earlier today and to make a jello-related dessert, for no apparent reason except to entertain myself and to use the lemon and whipping cream I have in the fridge.

Dear God, please forgive me for throwing the chips out.

I always feel intensely guilty when I throw food out. We've sort of gone past the old parental admonishment of "starving kids in Ethiopa/Somalia/India/wherever would be grateful to have anything to eat let alone what you're tossing out," but I still feel it. Immense guilt for being a heavy-consuming, greedy American.
But sometimes, I think it's just not preventable. Today I tossed out somewhat stale Avocado flavored tortilla chips; not because they're stalish...I would eat stale chips out of guilt. But they leave this taste in my mouth that makes my breath smell, too, and it's so hard to get rid of. I have to use Listerine, which is okay except then my breath smells like medicine. Today I ate some of these chips, forgetting how awful the results are, and I'm trying to come up with things to fix it. Seriously...brushing teeth three times doesn't even get rid of it completely. The remainder of these chips (true, there weren't that many) are in the trash.
I've always had that issue...many years ago I ate a bowl of vegetable beef soup with a little garlic powder thrown in, and then brushed my teeth. I think it was even the next DAY after two teeth brushings, or at least several hours, and my Mom helpfully pointed out that my breath stank. She was right though, it did, and I couldn't do a blessed thing about it. I asked my dentist about this once and he didn't really have any helpful tips that I wasn't already trying, except for giving me the Listerine sample. Bleh. I need at least to get some cinnamon mouthwash, because I can't deal with that fake mint stuff. It's not minty at all.

So, going back to those five weird habits from a while ago, when I promised to come up with something better, I guess that's it. I have to be very careful about my breath.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I heart Trocks

Go here. It's funny.
Last night I went to the ballet. It was glorious. I was all dressed up in a brand new dress, a cute boy came with me, we ate pizza, and then laughed with and at dance.
What's great about the Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is that their repertoire can be appreciated by balletomanes and "normal" people alike. I, for instance, was laughing at the precise renderings of truly ridiculous ballet poses; these were honed to be only exaggerated enough to provoke giggles. They were accurate, but with a special extra something to send them over the edge into hilarity. This is why they are known for both homage and teasing at the same time.
Dancers really do silly things, onstage and off. The Trocks gave me the opportunity to laugh at myself as a dancer and to just flat out laugh.
Oh, and they're all men. In tutus. And pointe shoes.
Funniest piece: Les Sylphides
Most amazing piece: Le Corsaire pas de deux

The Runway; or, where the heck is my time going?

Presently, I am feeling appalled because someone seems to have made my time into sand. I can't seem to get a grasp on it, and little pieces keep falling out of my hand.
It is another week, another episode of the Runway. This week's theme: garden party, literally.
Did anyone else panic for all of the designers that none of them was close to finishing a garment at the time the show usually shows them almost done? I'm wondering of the directors were trying to trick us a little, which I resent.
Also interesting: Read Tim's blog on the Runway website. There's an interesting bit there about him wanting to tell the judges that you can't have flowers for the little $100 they gave the designers. They're too expensive. Everyone always wonders about that, if Tim talks to the judges; it appears not. There's also a funny reference in a later page to Santino's story about Andrae and Tim at the Red Lobster. God Bless Tim Gunn.
In any case, I was impressed with all the designs, doubly so because they looked like disasters early on. I was glad Kara got some positive attention, not because of the garment but because she needed it. I also, of course, liked Daniel's and Chloe's creations. The Andrae vs. Nick ending was a bit of a surprise; Nick really fell off the horse, in my humble opinion. I wonder if things would have been different if the judges had been aware of Tim's feeling about cost and flowers, above. Santino's garment was interesting this week, but I was a little sad that one of his earlier mannequin arrangements of the mesh didn't survive...it had a really exciting shape, sculptural but wearable. Ah, well. It may have been a little too much.

That's all...very dramaless this week, for me. Everything was just pleasant to look at, very low on tension.

Wish I could say the same for my own life. Much to my delight, Lush bath and massage products are on their way. They will be used immediately.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Red Pulse

First, a little something for Steve: Supernatural. Click on the car. Do it now!

Of note today: My blond streaks are now red. And when I say red, I don't mean titian. It is in fact, Red Pulse. This washes out in 8-10 days, which is good, because it doesn't look that great to me. We'll see what happens tomorrow when it's curly.

Tirade of the Day

Something I hate: Peacefully walking along, then passing through the University-Moseley connection and running smack dab into someone's cloud of smoke that he or she has just thoughtfully blown into the path of everyone who walks through there. I especially like it when smokers stand on the door side, so that anyone entering the building has no choice but to plunge through their foul air. I also like it when they do that outside East Hall.
Now, when I'm going to the bar, I know what I'm getting into. If I don't feel like getting smoky, I can avoid it. But how the F am I supposed to avoid my own workplace?
Smokers, get the F out of my way.

Next Tirade: People who ignore the stop line.