Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
1. The Crane Wife, The Decemberists
2. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Neko Case
3. Rabbit Fur Coat, Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins
4. Duper Sessions, Sondre Lerche and The Faces Down Quartet
5. The Life Pursuit, Belle and Sebastian
6. Naturally, Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
7. Supply and Demand, Amos Lee
8. Math and Physics Club, Math and Physics Club
9. Robbers and Cowards, Cold War Kids
10. Begin to Hope, Regina Spektor
Let's Get Out Of This Country, Camera Obscura
Show Your Bones, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Alright, Still, Lily Allen
Putting The Days To Bed, The Long Winters
Friday, December 15, 2006
So I haven't written yet about the Decemberists' show, and now I also have to write about the KEXP benefit show we went to last Sunday. First, the Decemberists. I was so excited to see Colin and the gang that I was practically jumping up and down when they started to come onstage. There was a HUGE, beautiful backdrop with an illustration of a Japanese village, complete with a crane flying away (with a perfect blood spot on one wing, just like the album cover). In front of the backdrop were 8 very large red lanterns hanging over the band. It was one of the prettiest stage sets I've seen at the Paramount. They started the set with The Crane Wife, Pt. 3--the first song on the new album and my current favorite song. I was giddy. Colin had a cold which seemed to get worse as he went on, and they actually wound up cancelling their Vancouver shows to make sure he didn't damage his voice. But the show was fantastic nonetheless. You could tell that Colin was annoyed about his voice not doing what he wanted, but it didn't matter. If I want to hear the songs performed perfectly, I can listen to the album. The live concert is about what happens in the moment, so I was really pleased when he finally let loose on The Landlord's Daughter and just went with it. I know a lot of people were annoyed that the show was relatively short (because Colin's voice was shot), but I was just happy they didn't cancel altogether. I had been looking forward to the concert for 2 months, and it totally lived up to my expectations. I just can't say enough good things about The Decemberists, and I will most definitely be seeing them when they come to Seattle again.
Sunday we went to the KEXP benefit show at Neumo's. The line-up was:
Cold War Kids
The Junior Boys
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
My favorite group by far was Cold War Kids. These guys are just fabulous--they are so much fun to watch and you can tell that they're having fun too. They use lots of complex rhythms and catchy melodies, but their presentation is so haphazard; it's almost as if they just woke up, hopped onstage and threw a song together. Love it! I highly recommend that you check out their album Robbers and Cowards. The Junior Boys were good, but the mixing was so out of balance that the bass was killing our ears. We had to move off to the side of the stage just to avoid being in pain from it. Ted Leo was lots of fun too; not totally my genre, but he can win anyone over with his energy (plus he's REALLY good at what he does, so just from that perspective you have to like him). By the time his set finished we were all pretty tired; we stuck around for the first 3 songs from Juno, then made it to the frites place right before they closed. Frites are truly the best ending for any evening, especially one spent with good friends and good music.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The Dangers of Opera
Company members of the Metropolitan Opera were sickened after being exposed to a shipment of costumes, including shoes, from China less than a month before the premiere of “The First Emperor,” a $3 million new production composed by Tan Dun and directed by Zhang Yimou. At least one backstage worker was hospitalized, apparently with an allergic reaction made worse by an existing ailment, said Elena Park, a Met spokeswoman. Ms. Park said other company members, costume shop workers and chorus members also had reactions, but she did not know how many people were stricken. The problematic costumes, confined to one of several shipments, were cleaned and the shoes replaced. “We don’t know the cause,” Ms. Park said. Samples of the costumes, elaborate designs created by Emi Wada, were sent to a laboratory for testing. The mysterious condition did not delay rehearsals, Ms. Park said, and the opera is scheduled to open as planned on Dec. 21. DANIEL J. WAKIN
Obviously, this could have been a serious problem and it's very fortunate that only one person became ill. But while I don't want to make light of the issue, I'm rather intrigued by the first sentence. Company members "were sickened after being exposed to a shipment of costumes, including shoes..." Is there some important chemical or toxin that would more likely be found in the shoes as opposed to the rest of the shipment? Was it necessary to include this extra detail so that the reader would be prepared to read later on that the shoes had been replaced? Was Mr. Wakin trying to fulfill a word count requirement? Or, and I think I may have something here, maybe he's on a personal mission to use the word "shoes" as much as possible in his writings. I'll have to investigate further--stay tuned!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
We are having difficulty delivering copies of VOGUE/W to one of your gift recipients. That person's name and mailing address as supplied to us is shown below. The Post Office has informed us that this address is undeliverable.
Please verify this address and if it is not correct, make note of the correction on this letter and return it to us. We will then correct the address and make the necessary adjustments so service can be restored."
Since we live together, the "undeliverable" address with my name on it is the exact same address as the one with Larry's name on it, THE ADDRESS WHERE WE RECEIVED THIS LETTER. So if we can get the letter, why can't we get the magazines?
I went to the post office this morning, and they told me to talk to the magazine service department since the address is, in fact, deliverable. Larry called the magazine service department and they couldn't figure out why this would be happening. This afternoon, my W magazine arrived right on schedule.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Dustin has to charge admission this year to pay for the theater and movie rights, but the tickets are super cheap--$7.00 for one movie, $10.00 for two (there are usually two movies shown each night). Tonight's Cubicle Challenges lineup was Fear and Trembling, a very cool French film about life in corporate Japan starring the awesome Sylvie Testud, and Office Space, which really needs no explanation. I love that movie, and I love the soundtrack even more (Kendra, if you're reading this, Damn it feels good to be a gangster!). Wednesday's films are being kept secret, but you know they're going to be good if Dustin's screening them. The rest of the schedule is below; if you're in Seattle this week you should definitely check it out.
November 15, 2006 SECRET SCREENING
um....it's a secret.......you'll just have to be curious enough to find out.
(first screening at 6:30, second screening at 8:45)
November 16, 2006 MISSING PERSONS
6:30 THE LADY VANISHES (1938) directed by Alfred Hitchcock (NR, 97 min.) Inspiring many films in its wake (Bunny Lake is Missing and 2005's Flightplan amongst the best known) this early Hitchcock confection pits feuding train passengers bound for romance against a mind-bending mystery. A passenger on the train (the lady of the title) is unable to be found the next morning. Young Iris (Margaret Lockwood) queries other passengers on the ladies disappearance and is met with the simple claim that they have never seen the person she is talking about. Alternating between light comedy and exciting tension, this is early Hitchcock at his finest.
8:50 THE THIRD MAN (1949) directed by Carol Reed (NR, 104 min.) THE THIRD MAN is considered by many filmmakers to be one of the greatest films of all time. An American, Holly Martens (Joseph Cotten) arrives in post-WWII Vienna to visit his friend, Harry Lime. He soon discovers his friend has been killed and finds himself being questioned by a police officer who claims Lime was involved in racketeering. Holly vows to clear his friend’s name, but soon becomes caught up in his friends' shady history. Don't forget this film also stars Orson Welles who, by the late time he appears onscreen, still gets one of the most famous entrances, speeches (the 'cuckoo clock' which he scripted himself) and climactic chases in the history of cinema.
November 17, 2006 CONTEMPORARY GERMAN MASTERPIECES
Both films are in German with English Subtitles
6:30 WINGS OF DESIRE (1987) directed by Wim Wenders (R, 127 min.) The sky over Wenders's war-scarred Berlin is full of gentle angels wearing trench coats who listen to the tortured thoughts of mortals and try to comfort them. One of the angels wishes to become mortal after falling in love with a beautiful trapeze artist. Peter Falk, as himself, assists in the transformation by explaining the simple joys of a human experience, such as the sublime combination of coffee and cigarettes. The result is a film that reaffirms the beauty of life and the absolute potential of cinema.
9:00 THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR (2000) directed by Tom Tykwer (R, 135 min.) After his breakout hit, RUN LOLA RUN, Tom Tykwer upped the ante with THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR. Sissi (LOLA's Franka Potente) is a nurse in a mental hospital. One day, she mistakenly walks in front of a semi and is saved by a mysterious young thief who caused the accident. Unable to get her savior out of her mind, she sets out to find him. Eventually the wheels of fate turn as she becomes involved in a transfixing bank robbery and the two embark on a personal odyssey toward their own destinies. Tykwer's use of floating camera, a hypnotic musical score, and an impeccable use of sound all work to created the films unique sensory experience.
November 18, 2006 NON-CONVENTIONAL MUSICALS
5:00 UNFAITHFULLY YOURS (1948) directed by Preston Sturges (NR, 105 min.) Rex Harrison stars as a symphony conductor in this super-black comedy from the brilliant Preston Sturges. Harrison believes his wife is cheating on him and while conducting a symphony uses the 3 pieces on the program (each by Rossini, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky) to imagine his homicidal revenge fantasies. But good imagining doesn't always work out as planned in this brilliantly performed mixture of razor sharp dialogue and uproarious slapstick.
7:30 32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD (1993) directed by Francois Girard (PG, 98 min.) Comprised of 32 shorts about Glenn Gould, Francois Girard (who would later create The Red Violin) helms what started as a biography of portraits and becomes a meditation on the loneliness of exceptional artists and their perception of music. Colm Feore stars as Gould in all 32 shorts, which range from narrative to experimental and contain some of the most marvelous depictions of experiencing music I have seen captured on celluloid.
10:00 THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984) directed by Rob Reiner (R, 82 min.) Before BEST IN SHOW and WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, there was SPINAL TAP. The grandfather of the mock-u-mentary is still the best of the bunch. The bands absurd behavior is offset by director Rob Reiner's adherance to a strict documentary treatment. You will never forget Harry Shearer's encounter at the metal detector, Christopher Guest's collection of guitars and amps, or Michael McKean leading the band in circles trying to reach the stage. I guarantee, this night we're going to turn the sound up to 11. It will be one louder.
November 19, 2006 KINGDOM FINALE
5:00 THE KINGDOM, PART I (1994) directed by Lars von Trier (NR, 271 min.) Seattle's own Sean Axmaker once described THE KINGDOM as "a nightmarish cross between Twin Peaks and Chicago Hope as directed by David Cronenberg, and even that hardly captures the giddy absurdity of Lars Von Trier's soap-opera-cum-horror-tale." A bizarre mixture of hospital politics, cult activities, ghosts, graveyards, and one amazing cliffhanger are capped with a greek chorus of dishwashers. It needs to be seen to be believed. Not to be missed.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
In other exciting music news, only 11 days till the Decemberists show at the Paramount...I'm totally counting down.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
The party was awesome--we bowled, ate greasy bowling alley restaurant food, and at 9 pm headed to the lounge for karaoke. First up was the best rendition of Joey EVER. We also heard and sang along to such gems as Jack and Diane, Sister Christian, and Love is a Battlefield. My favorite part, though, was singing backup for Missy's classic version of Bust a Move. Yeah, we rocked the house. Seriously, she didn't even need the teleprompter. She knows ALL the words!
Confession: The summer after 6th grade I went EVERYWHERE with this album in my Walkman. On cassette tape. (I also wore oversized t-shirts over biker shorts, but that's a whole other post.) And yes, I had a huge crush on Young MC. So for old time's sake--and those of you who lack the mad rap skills of Missy--here are the complete lyrics to Bust a Move. Enjoy!
Bust A Move
This here's a tale for all the fellas
Try to do what those ladies tell us
Get shot down cause you're over zealous
Play hard to get and females get jealous
Ok smartie, go to a party
Girls are stancin the crowd is showin body
A chick walks by and you wish you could sex her
But you're standin on the wall like you was Poindexter
Next day's function, high class luncheon
Food is served and you're stone cold munchin'
Music comes on, people start to dance
But then you ate so much you nearly split your pants
A girl starts walkin, guys start gawkin'
Sits down next to you and starts talkin'
Says she wanna dance cus she likes the groove
So come on fatso and just bust a move
You're on a mission and you're wishin'
Someone could cure your lonely condition
You're lookin for love in all the wrong places
No fine girls just ugly faces
From frustration first inclination
Is to become a monk and leave the situation
But every dark tunnel has a lighter hope
So don't hang yourself with a celibate rope
New movie's showin... so you're goin'
Could care less about the five you're blowin'
Theatre gets dark just to start the show
When you spot a fine woman sittin' in the front row
She's dressed in yellow, she says "Hello,
Come sit next to me you fine fellow"
You run over there without a second to lose
And what comes next, hey bust a move
If you want it baby you've got it (repeat)
Just bust a move
In the city ladies look pretty
Guys tell jokes so they can seem witty
Tell a funny joke just to get some play
Then you try to make a move and she says "no way"
Girls a fakin' ... goodness sakin'
They want a man who brings home the bacon
Got no money and you got no car
Then you got no woman and there you are
Some girls are sophistic... materialistic
Looking for a man makes them opportunistic
They're lyin' on the beach perpetratin' a tan
So that a brother with money can be their man
So on the beach you're strollin'... real high-rollin'
Everything you have is yours and not stolen
A girl runs up with somethin to prove
So don't just stand there, bust a move(break down)
Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry
In five days from now he's gonna marry
He's hopin you can make it there if you can'
Cause in the ceremony you'll be the best man
You say "neato"... check your libido
And roll to the church in your new tuxedo
The bride walks down just to start the wedding
And there's one more girl you won't be getting
So you start thinkin', then you start blinkin'
A bridesmaid looks and thinks that you're winkin'
She thinks you're kinda cute so she winks back
And now you're feelin' really fine cus the girl is stacked
Reception's jumpin', bass is pumpin'
Look at the girl and your heart starts thumpin'
Says she wants to dance to a different groove
Now you know what to do g, bust a move
Friday, November 03, 2006
What we ate:
K: Full Circle Farms Baby Lettuces--lemon vinaigrette, pistachio, parmesan crisp
Very tasty, but I think I'll order the pear salad next time (or as long as it's on the menu)
Balsamic Glazed Alaskan Sablefish--polenta cake, remoulade, parsley
I hadn't had sablefish before, but I would definitely have it again! The polenta cakes were super buttery and rich. A great dish.
L: Local Comice Pear Salad--arugula, walnut, ewe’s blue cheese
Grass Fed Seared Top Sirloin--fingerling potato, radicchio, béarnaise sauce
Again, such a well thought-out dish. The radicchio was a perfect foil for a medium-rare steak.
Dessert:Smoked Theo Chocolate Pudding--graham cracker, vanilla marshmallow
A no-brainer...it's Theo chocolate, so you know it was good.
Mini Caramel Heirloom Apples--hazelnut, hot apple cider shot
Still the cutest dessert EVER.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
It's cliched but true nonetheless--the food at Tilth was amazing. Every dish was so well thought out, and presented beautifully. There was nothing on the plate that didn't need to be there--no extra garnishes that just get thrown in the trash, and even more importantly no superfluous ingredients. We both commented on how nice it was to eat food that wasn't over the top in presentation but still felt special. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable, and the ambience was homey (fitting, since it's in a house). My only complaint was the noise level--at our small table for two, we both had to lean in and talk louder than normal to be heard, and even then at times I was straining to hear the conversation. So for a romantic dinner Tilth might not be my first choice, but I'd definitely go again for brunch or dinner with a group of friends.
Local Comice Pear Salad
arugula, walnut, ewe’s blue cheese
The cheese was sooo deliciously tangy...it was an excellent compliment to the bitter arugula, and the thin slices of pear and cracked walnut blended in perfectly. One of the best (and best-composed) salads I've had in a while.
Crispy Pork Belly
cranberry beans, scallion pesto, bacon vinaigrette
Really tasty, but I would order the small size next time, and share it. About 2/3 of the way through, I was horrified at the amount of fat I was consuming. But it tasted so good!
Local Mountain Huckleberry Tart
black pepper ice cream
YUM. The ice cream was different without being weird, and the tart crust was flaky beyond belief. Plus, the huckleberries were perfectly sweetened.
Mini Caramel Apples
Taffy, peanut, hot apple cider shot
Seriously, the cutest dessert I've ever eaten. Six teeny apple balls with peel on the top and speared with toothpicks shaped like blades of grass. Presented on a bed of peanuts with a little dish of caramel for dipping. We didn't want to eat it at first, it was so adorable. But we gave in to temptation pretty quickly, and it tasted as good as it looked. We both decided we might have to crib this idea for future dinner parties.
alternate titles for this post...
I Dig Tilth
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
We wound up stopping for dinner at The Santa Fe Cafe, a New Mexican restaurant on Phinney Ridge. Dinner was good--the portions were huge, and the flour tortillas served on the side were irresistibly fluffy and warm. But the best part was the awesome vision that came to me as we waited for our table. It all began normally--I asked Larry if he thought that the staff liked the song "Santa Fe" from Rent. He humored me and said maybe. Then I started to envision the staff gathering together before they open every day, singing "Santa Fe" together. They would sashay through the restaurant like Collins and Angel, swinging around corners. At the end, they could all join in a huddle, singing "Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh-oh..." with one hand in, and then on the last "Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ooh..." they would slowly raise their arms, with jazz hands of course. Then they would shout, "Santa Fe!" and open for business. Come on--it would be a total morale booster! I think the next time we go back I may have to suggest it on their comment card.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I'm starting to lose some love for PR in general--it feels like the producers are just yanking the audience around and trying to create "drama" instead of letting the natural drama of the competition carry the show. I understand making the challenges tougher, but bringing two auf'ed designers back (and the two most dramatic ones at that) just seems fake. Plus it undermines the work that the other designers have done to make it this far, especially when Angela wouldn't have won the Macy's challenge without Laura and Michael. It just felt like the producers made up a viable sounding reason for bringing those two back. Even Tim seemed a little annoyed to see Vincent and Angela again. Oh well, at least they got kicked off again. I suppose there's some amusement in that.
Since I didn't post last week, here's a quick recap of the couture challenge:
Jeffrey: don't like him, but the gown was great. Very punky and modern, but still pretty.
Kayne: I thought the judges were too harsh--his gown was beautiful. Plus it was really smart to use the corset top since he had to fit 2 different models. He should have gotten more credit for that.
Laura: the judges were right--it looked like old YSL. I'm so glad she changed it up a little this week; her cocktail dress was so cute and something I would definitely buy (okay, I'd buy it if I were taller and had model-thin legs...)
Michael: for being his first couture style gown, I admired his ambition. But it looked so much better when he folded the scallops in--I wish he would have done that from the start.
Uli: Pretty, but kind of like everything else she's made this season.
Vincent: I'm with Catherine Malandrino--No. No, No, NO.
Can't wait to check out Getty Images on Friday and see the runway show designs. Unless Michael has a meltdown, I don't see how he won't win the whole competition. I predict Michael, Laura and Jeffrey make it to the final 3, and Michael better win. He's clearly the most talented and versatile designer on the show. But I'll still always have a soft spot for Kayne, no matter what his taste level. Bye, Kayne--don't forget to write!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Jenny gave me a BEAUTIFUL pair of Nepalese moonstone dangly earrings set in sterling silver, plus some yummy truffles from Chocolati. On top of the pretty floral wrap was one of my favorite You Send Me cards--it has a little black kitty wearing a crown and playing with a hot pink ball of yarn, and it says, "Queen for a Day." So cute! Kristine and Bob gave me a "bee-day" present that was so cool, I wished I had brought my camera to take pictures as I unwrapped it. It was wrapped in my favorite black and white wrap from the shop with yellow ribbon, with a handmade card that said "Happy bee-day!" tied on top. Inside, there was yellow tissue with a copy of one of my favorite woodcut bee designs tipped on; then there were 4 presents, each wrapped in yellow tissue with a black band of ribbon and the same (but tiny) bee tip-on. This may be boring to some of you but for a wrap-oholic like me, it was heaven! The presents were totally themed, too: a tea-leaf scented candle whose black/white scroll label recalled the wrap; a box of matches with old-fashioned bee illustrations on both sides; beeswax lip balm; and a gorgeous glass bottle of honey. Seriously, it's not even officially my birthday yet and I have already had so much fun!
Later in the evening, the waitress brought over a piece of ice cream cake smothered in whipped cream and chocolate sauce for me. Kristine, Jenny and Bob started singing "Happy Birthday," and the bar was so small that almost everyone else joined in. What a great way to kick off my 29th year.
Since I didn't have my camera, we came up with a birthday haiku to commemmorate the occasion:
to bee or not to
be twenty-nine forever
that is the question
Monday, September 04, 2006
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings--the tightest rhythm section I have seen in YEARS. And the trumpet and 2 saxes danced when they weren't playing. You know the dance--that Blues Brothers-esque side step back and forth. It looked amazing, the whole band moving like one organism. And on top of that, the music was sooooo good. Sharon Jones is a tiny woman, but she had more energy than any of us at the show. If you don't already have her latest album Naturally then you should get to the record store asap and pick it up.
Lady Sovereign--a 19 year-old British rapper. She has the mouth of a sailor but her raps are so energetic and "teenage" sounding that it's just pretty darn cute. My favorite was a rap about girls who use too much self-tanner, with the line, "Bitch, don't you know you're orange?" Classic.
The New Pornographers--they are easily one of my top 5 groups. Their music just makes you want to dance, and the harmonies are brilliant. I've now seen them 3 times and will definitely be seeing them each and every time they come through Seattle.
Spoon--obviously talented and quite popular, but not quite for me.
Jeremy Enigk--I hadn't heard him before but he was great. Thoughtful lyrics and music. So low key that Larry was falling asleep during his set, but I was pretty mesmerized.
Blue Scholars--gotta love the hometown rappers! It's nice to see them making it big.
Kanye West--he's a great performer, but he spent most of the set performing "greatest hits"--beats/raps he produced for other performers. But he also did some new stuff that will be on his next album, and he ended with "Touch the Sky" which is my favorite, so it was definitely worth sticking around for.
That's it--today we're off to see Sera Cahoone, Rocky Votolato, Bettye LaVette, Breakestra, Yerba Buena, and Feist, and probably more. It's a great lineup, and should be fun...
I'm fine, and the driver ultimately rolled down his window and apologized. But what a way to start the day, huh? Sadly, both Larry and my friend Stephanie have both been hit by cars in similar circumstances. Not to sound all preachy, but people really need to pay attention. Or at the very least, they should probably look for pedestrians at a CROSSWALK before hitting the gas...
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
My new top 3: Michael, Uli, Kayne. Michael has been showing creativity and skill from the beginning and I was so happy to see him win, twice! I loved the reversible shirtdress; I'm not really into reversible clothing but his was cute enough to win me over. Uli is consistently original and you gotta love the way she paired a print with stripes and made Kayne's mom look amazing. I thought she should have won this challenge. Kayne has been a little harsh to some folks lately, but I still love him. I'm sure I'd be getting grouchy if I were under that kind of pressure. Not Jeffrey grouchy, but still.
Vincent wins: Wha-huh? So if I make a satin dress that manages to make a svelte woman look all pooch-y in the stomach and then tack some harlequin clown lapels on the front I could win too? Seriously, the dress did not deserve to win. Uli's mom is adorable, though.
Robert: I will miss him so much; it seemed like everyone else was as bummed as we (the PR-watching crew) were to see him go. I scrim, you scrim...we love you, Robert!
Jeffrey: Tacky, tacky, tacky. The dress, his behavior, everything about him in this episode.
I really hope tomorrow night will be a better episode, with a real challenge. No more team challenges, no more "creative" materials, no more obvious drama plays, people! There is enough drama without the producers sticking their fingers in the pie, so I wish they'd stop already. And I know Heidi's pregnancy is starting to show, but why can't they get the supermodel a decent outfit? This should not be too much to ask from a show about fashion.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska
Sunset over the Inside Passage
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Keith is auf: Karma did indeed catch up with Keith, and I can't bring myself to feel sorry for him. His over-the-top arrogance, combined with blatant cheating, did him in and he deserved to be kicked off.
Angela's win: Completely due to the good taste and skills of Laura and Michael. I'll give it to her, the rosettes worked as buttons, but please don't call them your "signature." If I have to look at those stupid rosettes for the rest of the season I will seriously go blind. I really loved how no one wanted Angela to pick them--even the model looked bummed to be stuck with her. I'm sorry, but even if she won I can't get past her own hideous clothes. The bubble skirt, those AWFUL pants (what was that weird fabric on the rear?)...ICK. I do have to give her credit for working with Laura and Michael as a team and not just blazing ahead as the team leader.
Heidi's outfit: WHY was she wearing formal shorts???
Favorite phrases: "I'm a squid without an ocean."--Bradley
"No more granny flowers!"--Laura
"DA-YUM!"--Michael, making the Home Alone face
Top 3: still Kayne, Robert, Michael. I can't give up on Kayne and Robert just because they had a bad outfit--I still love them! And Michael...well, he's just awesome. Carry on!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Who I thought should win: Michael. His dress was killer--so sexy but totally wearable. I think he's going to emerge as a top contender as the season progresses; he definitely deserves more recognition than he's getting right now. (I really liked Uli's dress too, but I thought Michael was wrongly overlooked.)
Continuing rant against Keith: Please, Keith, do us all a favor and get over yourself already. You're not that great. And stop lying!!! The other designers were actually rolling their eyes when he said he had made 3 or 4 outfits for Morgan and none of them worked; it sounded like a complete load of crap, especially since he said from the beginning that he had no intention of making an outfit for her. I was so happy that Heidi called him out on the bracelet/collar that he claimed to have made (altered, yes; created from scratch, NO). His only redeeming quality was his seemingly genuine concern for Bradley. But karma's going to catch up with Keith sooner or later...
My top 3: Kayne, Robert, Michael. I love Kayne--he's just so fun to watch, and so far I've loved all of his designs--so he really can do no wrong in my book. Ditto for Robert. And the two together are even better! We haven't gotten to see much of Michael's personality, but the two designs he's shown are amazing. I hope we get to see all three designers for a long, long time.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
We went to the M's game last night--we have tickets all weekend because the Red Sox are in town and they're Larry's team. I also love the Red Sox because Larry got me into them, but I'm more of a Mariners fan. Since I never really watched baseball before the Mariners, they've become my home team, and though they're often disappointing I still love them. But games against the Red Sox are tough--I find myself cheering for both teams and getting strange looks from those around me.
Last night we were in the upper deck behind home plate, and it was really interesting to see the pitches from that vantage point. There were a lot of near-misses and several batters hit by the ball--maybe it was the weather, because there were also a lot of home runs. We lost 9-4, but Yuniesky played well; he was 4 for 4 in his at-bats and of course rocked on defense. I was working today so couldn't go, but we beat Boston 5-2. (Unfortunately, Larry got beer spilled on him by drunken M's fans who called Ichiro a "Chinaman." Nice, huh?) Tomorrow we're behind the left-field foul post; it should be fun to see the game from another new perspective. I imagine I'll be happy no matter who wins...
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Vincent: CRAZY. Really, he scares me and I feel a bit uncomfortable even watching him. It's like watching a train wreck. And what was with the "sweetheart" this and "dear" that to Angela? Patronizing much?
Angela: ICK. After harassing Kayne and biffing her interview with Miss USA (I'm sorry, but you're a designer who doesn't sketch? Are you kidding me?), she shouldn't have been surprised to be the last one chosen. I thought that Vincent was an ass to her, but she was just as bad with her rotten, nagging attitude. I hope she gets the boot soon, 'cause I can't stand her.
Kayne and Robert: Still loving them both!!! I loved the dress (even though there was a little something funky going on with the top) and thought it was perfect for a pageant. Plus they were so fun to watch. My favorite moment was when Robert said, "She's a beauty queen, not a disco ball," and Kayne replied that they had bought a thousand rhinestones and were going to use them! Oh I adore them so. I hope they both make it to the final three.
Laura and Michael: Another great team, it was just too bad that the nude fabric came across as white. Maybe not the perfect dress for a pageant, but truly beautiful and classic. (Although I wish Laura would cover her sternum--she looks unhealthily skinny when it shows.)
Was sad not to see more of Tim this episode--hopefully next time.
One last thing...love this blog from one of the producers.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
Why I don't like Keith: He lied to the judges at his audition!!! He said he had codesigned womenswear, but in one of his personal interviews he said it was the first time he had ever made a dress. I don't like that. Even if he's "designed" womenswear, if he hasn't sewn it before then he shouldn't act like he has. Plus I didn't think it was that great of a dress. His "Gone with the Wind"/Carol Burnett story (and his cuteness) is what won the challenge, not the outfit (although he does get some credit for actually turning out a decent first dress).
Malan's freaky accent: So he was born in Taiwan, lived in London and "all over," but why does his accent sound mostly like Kara Janx who's from South Africa? Can you say FAKE???
**Update: After reading this interview I take it back--the accent could definitely be a combination of Australia, Hong Kong, etc. Sorry, Malan! I like him better and better each day, which is a little weird since he's not on the show anymore, but he's really likeable in all of his interviews. I hope he makes it big someday and proves his mom wrong.
Kayne: I love, love, LOVE him. When he said Michael's dress looked "like it would smell like Febreze," my adoration of Kayne was cemented. I don't care if everything he makes this season is hideous (though I hope it won't be because I'd love to see him stay on the show), he is sweet and hilarious and I love him!
Tim Gunn: The real star of the show. I wish he was my super cool uncle. Carry on!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Project Runway Trivia Challenge
1. In which episode did Tim say to/about Wendy, "Don't defend the shoe to me?"
2. Who coined the phrase "wickety-wack?"
3. To what did season 1's Robert Plotkin compare a beautiful woman?
4. What New York gossip rag gave a special mention to Austin Scarlett?
5. Who is Shetangy?
6. Who most likely said, "Where the HELL is my chiffon?"
part 2: In which episode did this person sport an uncomfortably bizarre British accent?
7. In season 2, Santino, Nick, Daniel V. and Andrae were the boys of what?
8 What are Tim's two most famous catchphrases?
9. Which season 1 designer delivered mail in season 2?
10. For which socialite did season 2 contestants design a dress?
11. When Jay said, "I didn't take the bitch's dye, that's fo' sho'," who was the bitch?
12. What two designers used the same ombre fabric, but in different seasons?
13. Which season 1 model showed up late, threw regular tantrums, and nearly ruined Kevin's dress?
14. What was Wendy Pepper's nickname for herself?
15. Sing any two of Santino's musical numbers.
16. What scandal almost derailed Kara Saun's runway show?
17. Who said she didn't know what "Auf wiedersehn" meant?
18. How many hours did John Wade spend on his semi-finals dress?
19. Which designer's dress was Michael Kors referring to when he said, "She looks like Barefoot Appalachian L'il Abner Barbie!"?
20. Name 3 guest judges from either season 1 or 2.
1. USPS challenge
3. A race car
4. Page Six
5. Zulema's alter ego
6. Andrae (yes, I know it's up for debate but they're MY questions!)
part 2. Clothes off your back challenge
7. 35 D (their apartment)
8. "Make it work," and "Carry on."
9. Robert Plotkin (for the ice-skating costume challenge)
10. Nicky Hilton
12. Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice
13. Morgan (or as I like to remember, Morganza)
14. The Longshot
15. There are 3 (that I remember): "Daniel Franco, where did you go..."; "Lighten up! It's just fashion!"; "Ain't gonna sew-ew no more..."
16. She had shoes made for free by her friends at Dollhouse, in violation of the PR contract
17. Heidi Standridge
19. Raymundo's (My Scene Barbie challenge)
20. Choose from: Parker Posey, Badgley and Mischka, Amsale, Debra Messing, Nicky Hilton, Sasha Cohen, Nancy O'Dell, Cynthia Rowley, and others I can't remember right now.
How'd you do?
0-5: You're out early like Daniel Franco...follow your bliss!
5-10: Was it the shirt? You're out (like Emmett).
10-15: Like Kara and Austin, you get your own decoy runway show.
15-20: Ready yourself for Project Jay!
Friday, July 07, 2006
Anyways, we got to Kinko's and they took one photo but it wasn't good enough--my chin was down too far or something. So the gal starts to take another photo, when the camera dies. Now I'm sure I overreacted (I stalked out in a major huff, leaving poor Larry to follow behind), but are you freaking kidding me??? You offer passport photos as a service, but no one thought to keep the camera charged? Maybe I'm particularly incensed because I work in retail, which is all about customer service, and their service quite frankly sucked. But I don't think it's asking too much to expect that a passport PHOTO service would have a functioning camera. Apparently Kinko's does, however, because their solution was that I should come back tomorrow. Needless to say, I found a different source for my passport photo--the UPS store. I think I'll call before going, though, just to make sure their camera's charged...
The UPS Store in Fremont is awesome. I was in and out in 10 minutes, they were super nice, and my pictures even turned out pretty decent (a nice counterpoint to my driver's license, in which I look like a convicted felon). We got my application mailed off on Saturday, so I'm hoping I'll get my new passport in the next week or so. Moral of the story--never go to a Kinko's in the University District (of any city, I imagine) and expect good service. They're just too burned out from working with college kids all day.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
Fresh out of the box(es).
At long last, I have my very own blue suede shoes.
I can't get over the attention to detail on these...
This flower detail is my favorite part.
Larry's shoes are pretty rockin' too.
Sorry if this looks like one big Diesel ad, but they really are the best shoes ever. They're so comfortable, they last forever, and how can you argue with shoes that make you smile every time you put them on?
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Last night we saw Neko Case at the Moore Theater. She has an AMAZING voice. You know how a lot of times you go to a live show and they're not as good as they sound on the album because there's no production to help them out? Her voice sounded almost exactly like her albums but even better! She's from Tacoma, so I think she was playing a really long set for her hometown crowd, but she sang for nearly 2 hours and I was mesmerized the entire time. She has such a captivating sound, and I loved how the choice of instruments (pedal steel guitar, dobro, banjo, etc.)for each song perfectly complemented the mood and her voice. If you have the chance to see her don't miss out.
Today we went to the Mariners game against Colorado, which lasted 11 innings and nearly 4 hours. Even though we lost it was a good game. Yuniesky had some great plays--his hitting is still uneven but he makes up for it with his defense. (Listen to me acting like I actually know what I'm talking about!) After the game we went shopping downtown and I wound up buying 2 new pairs of shoes!!! Diesel sneakers are my absolute favorite(they're soooo comfortable), and I haven't bought a new pair in a few years, so I guess I was due for it. At least they were both on sale. One pair is blue suede with lavender suede stripes, and the other pair is freaking amazing--red-orange and yellow suede slipons with this great Asian floral pattern mixed in. I'll have to post a picture--can you tell I'm excited??? Larry got 2 pairs too--one of Diesel sneakers (olive green with orange stripes and brown laces--yum!) and these great brown suede Adidas with orange soles. We came home nearly delirious with happiness about our new shoes (okay, by "we" I mean me) and had a great dinner of roast chicken from the grocery store with our new favorite tomato salad (recipe below). All in all, it's been a pretty perfect weekend.
Judy's summer tomatoes (from It's About Time by Michael Schlow), adapted by us
1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped into medium-size chunks
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
6-8 basil leaves, torn up
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO!)
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Mix it all in a big bowl and watch it disappear!
Monday, June 19, 2006
Once they finally started, the set was great--the lead singer could use a dose of self-confidence (he seemed a little shy even though his voice is why I love them so much), but they were clearly having a lot of fun onstage and I just love all of their songs. The bassist in particular was super fun to watch. They all seemed like a down-to-earth bunch, even the drummer once he got started playing. It was my first time seeing them live after listening to their EPs many, many times, and I'm happy to say I love them as much as ever, maybe even a little more.
But who knows--it could've been a whole different story if that floor tom hadn't been miked...
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Since my horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day on Sunday, I have had an amazing voice lesson with my teacher, attended my high school student's recital which renewed my self-confidence as a teacher, and just chilled out in general. I decided to stop being so anal and start experiencing creativity in the making: in other words, to let my singing be and enjoy it in the moment, rather than being hypercritical to the point where I don't want to sing anymore. Because, after all, isn't the whole point of making music to HAVE FUN? I know that's why I got into it, but sometimes you lose sight of the fun in the midst of striving for technical perfection. So anyways, I let go of all that and told my inner critic to just shut up, and as a result I had fun tonight, I really connected with the music, and my technique took care of itself for the most part. And the audience responded--they really enjoyed my performance! More importantly, I enjoyed it, and I had a new appreciation for all the other singers' contributions as well. Everyone's voice is so different and unique, and that's what I love about singing--it's a new and different experience each time, with changing variables. You could have a cold, or be tired, or the room is different, or your emotions regarding the song affect you in a new way, and suddenly the entire process changes. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not, but always a slight variation, which is really exciting when you think about it. Music isn't some static, stale operation; it's constantly evolving, not just with changing times but with each musician who brings their own point of view to the table. So we're always being forced to confront our preconceived notions and opinions, which makes us fresher, better musicians (and in the end, better human beings). I better quit before I get all new age-y, but I have to put in a quote that my accompanist Penny said earlier this week:
"When a performance is too perfect, it loses its humanity."
She went on to clarify, that any performance so steeped in technical perfection ultimately feels disconnected and emotionless, but I love that quote. Because we as humans are imperfect, and while it's okay to strive for perfection in practice, in performance you need to give over to the moment. That's what makes music--or any kind of art--interesting. People don't want to watch someone hit all the right notes, with the proper vibrato, brightness, etc.--they want to feel connected to you, to be told a story, to get lost in a song for a while. And singers who get caught up in the teensy tiny details of absolute perfection are missing the point, and making themselves miserable in the process. So this recital was great for me, as frustrating as Sunday was. It brought me to a new level of understanding about my craft, as well as a breakthrough in my voice lessons, and in the end taught me some (non-voice) lessons about myself. I only hope I don't forget them too soon.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Amazing voice lessons both with my teacher and my students
Larry, who is nice to me even when I'm a pain
Being reminded that making music is a collaborative, creative process and we can all take part
Cute new "fresh popped ideas" journals at Flourish
Going to my student's senior recital and watching her get lost in a song
Playing with my kitties, who can entertain themselves for hours with only a clear plastic wand
Ross--where else can you find an adorable skirt for $6.00?
A glass of Coke and baked barbecue Kettle chips
Summer in Seattle
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
So I'm singing on my friend's recital this coming Saturday and I'm performing 2 pieces that she composed. We had rehearsal today and her feedback was great, but I felt a little defensive about it for some reason, which was really annoying. It's a little nervewracking singing a solo in front of the person who wrote it (and who's performed it before), because of course you want to make them happy. Then there's the whole voice teacher thing--we're both teachers, but she has much more experience than I do, plus I'm still honing my technique so sometimes I still get impostor syndrome about my qualifications and ability. Which is pretty stupid considering that I've taken private lessons for 10 years now and have been teaching private lessons for 3 years, plus that whole music degree thing. Why do I have to be such a freaking perfectionist? I think that's what bothered me the most--that she had to make suggestions, like I should have just done it perfectly the first time. Of course that's completely unrealistic, but there it is. If I could change one thing about myself it would be to stop being such a perfectionist. I've managed to mellow out in most parts of my life, but in singing it still persists, and of course that's the area where I most need to chill out--it's hard to have an open, relaxed sound when your body is filled with tension, steeling itself against the criticisms the brain anticipates.
I have such a love/hate relationship with singing; the whole process I described above makes me miserable, gives me stomach aches and makes it hard to sleep sometimes (because along with perfectionism comes the tendency to over-analyze everything). But when I don't sing,or when I think about having a life where I wasn't making music, that seems even more miserable. It's a catch-22. I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow, and of course it's just one recital; 10 minutes of singing on a Saturday night is really not that big of a deal, even though it felt like it today.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
It seemed like there were a lot of romantic dinners going on; a young married couple 3 tables down raised a toast, and 2 tables over a teenage couple (when did they start looking SO young?) looked like they were out for prom. The older couple next to us was celebrating 6 months of dating. Volterra's tables are quite close together, so it's hard not to overhear; that combined with my curiosity meant that we learned a lot about their relationship. At first, it was hard not to laugh--the gentleman gave his date a full-page, typed letter to read at the table that he had composed "...in my basement, thinking of you." I know computers are great because you can edit while you type, but come on! It's a love letter--it should be handwritten! (yes, I know that my paper addiction makes me less than objective on this matter...) The woman finished reading, and we overheard,"It's interesting, the different details we remember. For instance, I don't remember touching your arm that night." OUCH. I thought he might be in for a rough night, but then she gave him a couple of notes of her own, and you could see they definitely had a spark. In the end it was pretty cute, actually, and it's nice to know that you can find romance at any age. Cue schmaltzy music...
Back at our table, dinner was amazing. Our server, Steven, was so great; he was super friendly, and Larry liked how he was so excited that we were enjoying our food. When the sommelier came with our wine, he gave Larry the last of the bottle, which made for a very generous pour. When he saw the difference between our glasses, he topped mine up too. It was pretty funny how full our glasses were, and yet somehow we managed to drink it all...
We probably should have skipped dessert, or split one between us, but we decided to go all out and we each got our own, plus a cup of tea (served with yummy candied lemon rind and a pistachio biscuit, which we could barely finish). By the time we left I was so stuffed that I could barely walk to the car. But it was worth it, and I'm sure the next time we go I'll have forgotten this incident and opt for my own dessert again.
What we ate.
House Salad--Baby arugula, shaved fennel and parmigiano reggiano tossed in Chianti vinaigrette and sprinkled with fresh chives
Panzanella--Vine ripened tomatoes, English cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olives, white beans, Tuscan bread, house vinaigrette and shaved ricotta salata cheese
Farro Fettucine with Prawns and Porcini--Homemade farro pasta tossed with shrimp, porcini mushrooms, basil pesto, fresh arugula and a splash of cream
Papardelle with Lamb Ragu--wide egg noodles tossed in lamb ragu and topped with black pepper studded Sicilian pecorino
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart--handmade tart topped with acacia honey zabaglione
Braeburn Apple Pie--Homemade apple pie with warm brandy sauce and vanilla gelato
Monday, May 22, 2006
Another highlight of the game is always the Storm dancers. Instead of girls in skimpy cheerleader outfits, the Storm has two kids' dance squads, one with teenagers and one with younger kids. In the young group, there is the cutest, tiniest little girl--she can't be more than 5 or 6--with hair down to her waist and some major attitude. She can do all the dance moves as well as anyone else, and of course she's a crowd favorite. This season she has a partner, another little girl who is just a hair taller. They're so cute when they dance together! The rest of the kids are great too--they just have so much fun out there that they always make me smile.
Tonight we went to the Mariners game against Baltimore, which was another great game--we won 8-6, with Richie Sexson hitting a grand slam in the fifth inning. Yuniesky Betancourt (my favorite player) got a run right before that, thanks to his super speedy running skills. And his hitting has really improved lately, so now all those people who mocked me for liking him so much are starting to like him too. It cracks me up that I'm such a sports fan these days, but what can I say? I'm a convert. I even listen to M's games on AM radio now. But as my friend Heidi says, at least I don't listen to sports radio talk shows...yet...
Sunday, May 07, 2006
The great grease fire clean-up continues, although we're almost done. We had tickets to Sigur Ros Wednesday, so we took the night off from cleaning to listen to experimental Icelandic music. The opener was a group of 4 girls called Amina, and they were AMAZING. They all played strings, and also took turns playing a variety of other instruments like the xylophone, harmonium, handbells, glasses, and the saw. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I saw someone play a saw, and I'm pretty sure it was at some weird country music festival my parents took me to. Amina's saw playing was much different than I remembered, and very cool. Their EP is called Animamina, and if you can get your hands on it you won't be disappointed.
Sigur Ros left me a little cold, to be honest. I think their concept is cool: the male lead singer bows his electric guitar like a violin, and sings with this really high, ethereal voice. A lot of their music is based on sustained pitches and phrases, and some songs are in a made-up language that lets you imagine your own words. The lead singer used a distortion box on his guitar quite a lot, and the Amina gals played background strings for much of the show, kind of like a drone.
Intellectually, I appreciated that they were pushing the boundaries of what is typically considered music (vs. noise) and how we are used to hearing it. Aesthetically, it just wasn't my thing. Part of it could be that they were overamplified for the space, but the distortion and extended high pitches made my head hurt. And I don't know how else to explain it, but almost all of their songs sound like the bridge of a song to me. There's no build-up or resolution--it's just THAT INTENSE ALL THE TIME. I think I just had different expectations for what they would sound like.
What I liked about the performance is that it got me thinking about music in a way that I haven't for a while (and maybe that's part of their goal--who knows?). At any rate, it was at Benaroya Hall, which is beautiful--the lobby has two amazing glass sculptures by Dave Chihuly that I never get tired of looking at. Plus, it's always nice to see a show in a venue with assigned seating and clean bathrooms!