Friday, August 31, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Les Miserables

I am so excited about the film version of Les Miserables that is coming out in December! It looks like it stayed true to the stage version and I can't wait to hear Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe sing. Anne Hathaway's voice in the trailer is excellent. And if you take a gander at IMDB you'll see that the original Jean Valjean, Colm Wilkinson, has been included as the Bishop who helps Valjean see the light. Also stars Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the innkeeper and his wife! Check out the trailer!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Project Runway - Ven is a jerk!

So this week's challenge was to dress... well, I can't say "real women" because Heidi jumped all over Ven for saying it, so this was the Dress Women of Average Sizes challenge. Ten people nominated one of their friends to get a makeover, including hair and makeup and an outfit designed just for them. As each of the designers met with their clients, things seemed to be going pretty well. Kevin and I were pretty impressed with Gunnar, who, up until now, Kevin wanted to personally and literally kick off the show. Gunnar was so positive when working with his client and displayed none of the diva attitude he has shown in all other episodes. He genuinely seemed to be having fun and his client loved her new look.

On the other hand, there was Ven. Ven, who tragically was paired with a heavier-looking woman. A woman who was also, and I know this will be difficult to believe, a whomping 40 years of age. A big fat dinosaur, in other words, at least in Ven's mind. Oh, he whined about it, he complained about it, he moped about it.

What did Ven have to say about his client? Let's see... "When I first see Terri I'm in shock, I am very disappointed... You know, these women have wide waist lines and hip lines, so this is really a challenge." That's his first impression. Let's see what else is going on in that little round head of his.

"There are certain techniques or designs you want to do with your aesthetic, but you can't because it won't work on her figure." Okay, I buy that. So figure out what works and quit whining! Or don't you know what works? Maybe he just doesn't know?

Ven to the hair stylist: The first thing I noticed when I saw her was that the hair was very flat.

Thank goodness the hair stylist was there to listen to Terri and talk to her like she was in the room, unlike Ven, who I don't think looked at her once.

"The one thing I am a little upset about is that with this challenge why does one have a client who looks like a model and one a plus-size figure? That's unfair."

Well, boo hoo for you. My god. Are you an adult?

Ven to Tim Gunn: So when I first met her I was a little bit in shock because I have never worked with plus size before.
Tim: Well, what size is she?
Ven: Oh my God, I'm thinking around a 14. (laughs)
Tim: Well, that's just on the cusp.

Ven: My client really doesn't have a shape. She's definitely not fashion forward, she doesn't have any sense of style whatsoever.
Tim: Are you leading her forward?
(Fabio comment to camera: Ven's client is beautiful and curvy and obviously this is a challenge about real women. She came down here hoping to get special treatment and she's stuck with a designer who is not going to give her what she wants.)
Ven: The before picture is definitely a nightmare and the after picture will definitely be something that is drastically different.
(Elena to camera regarding Ven: I kind of lost all respect for him.)

At that point all the other designers in the room are giving him dirty looks and Tim is staring at him with a half-troubled, half-concerned look on his face.

A nightmare? Really?

She looks like a perfectly normal person to me. There's nothing nightmarish about her. I saw about three women who were roughly the same size; none of these women were huge. On camera, they were overweight. In person, probably not so much. And I gotta tell you, Ven is no lightweight himself.

Continuing on with the mouth that won't stop. Cut back to Tim.

Tim: Well, I mean, clothes, when done correctly, they provide a kind of optical illusion. That's your challenge.
Ven: I'm also considering her age. She's, what, almost 40, I think. Maybe late 30s.
Tim: (sarcastically) She's an old lady. (Perhaps thinking that Ven didn't realize he was joking?) Not.
Ven: Yeah.
Tim: No, she's just coming into her own in a matter of speaking and this could be like a whole, new debut.
Ven: Mmm hmm.
Tim: You know? The ideal here would be for you to give her a kind of epiphany about who she can be. And have her really transform. Just think about it.

I love you, Tim. I really do.

Now to the fitting.

Ven: Your hair looks great.
Terri: You like it?
(Ven to camera: Terri comes in for the fitting and her hair looks beautiful. It's exactly the direction that I was going for.)
Ven: So the look is very polished, I think it's going to be great. And black is also very slimming.
(camera looks at Terri's face, with its expression of, "Okay, I get it, I'm no size 2," and then Theo's unhappy face)
Ven: But you have a very beautiful face, I think the black with your light complexion will be gorgeous.
Terri: Okay.
(Ven to camera: Terri is obviously a very full-figured, plus size woman.)
Ven: (giving her a belt) Can you try to just see how this works? (she tries it and it is too small) Like, this would be great but it's too small. But I'll ask, um, if they have bigger ones.
(Gunnar to camera: Ven is just dogging his girl and it's like extremely rude. First of all, you don't talk to somebody like that. Especially your client. And it's just, everyone in the room just senses how bad it is.)
Ven: They're just too small. I thought these would be bigger. But they're all the same size.

Um, did you think about checking them before she got there? Just to see? So she only would have had to try on one? Poor Terri was holding back tears at this point and Theo was not happy.

The next morning shows Gunnar, Dmitry and Fabio as they get ready. Gunnar says, "Ven's in trouble. He could have done some good things. She's not that big of a girl."

Fabio, to camera: After seeing how Ven treated his customer, and how he spoke of her, I don't think he's sophisticated, refined, or elegant.

Ven to camera: You know, there were other designers who had clients who were the same size as their model, it was definitely much easier for them.

Quit your whining, infant!

The final fitting...

Ven: I actually think it's very slimming here.
Theo: I mean, Terri, it's up to you.
Ven: But I think when it's all done, she's going to look beautiful and that's, that's...
Terri: I'm not doubting that it's a beautiful outfit. It's just not me. (Hmm, could that be because Ven hasn't listened to anything you say?)
Terri: So the belt is going to go here, right, if they get a fat enough belt?
Ven: They'll definitely, I mean, I requested the belts, but the ones we have here were too small, which we tried on yesterday, but...
Terri: Yeah, you keep saying that, it's embarrassing. I'm fat.
Ven: No, no, not at all, but that's what they provided and I did take them.
(Ven to camera: She's telling me that what I'm saying is making it seem like she's fat or that she's big. And not at all did I ever say that. That's the way she's feeling cause nothing that I brought fits her.)

Well why'd you keep bringing her stuff that you knew wouldn't fit? And why did you keep repeating that nothing fit? She was aware of it, man! She is obviously a sensitive person and feels insecure about her weight. You could tell that from the moment she walked into the room. At least, if you looked at her and didn't keep talking to Theo like Terri wasn't even in the room.

And after, Theo had a talk with Ven about how upset Terri was and that she wanted Terri to feel special. Ven dug himself even deeper.

Ven: Right now, the objective is to put it on and tack and fix what needs to look good. That's the goal right now and I think with the beautiful hair that they did and the makeup, it's going to look gorgeous. And very modern and young, cause, you know, I was surprised yesterday when you walked in, how beautiful you looked, so, um, so...
Terri: (laughs) Thanks.

By now, we've reached the runway show. Ven makes the bottom three and has the audacity to be surprised. While defending himself, the judges ask Terri and Theo what they think. Theo speaks up and starts to cry and the friends hug. Unfortunately, they didn't throw Ven under the bus as he deserved. I so wanted all the other designers to be on the runway with them so Ven could say he was not mean to his client and everyone else could look at him with incredulous disbelief. Ven was horrible! Does he suffer from some malady that makes him totally unaware of the social niceties, that makes it impossible for him to speak to another human being with intelligence and respect? I think so. At least Heidi told him flat out that the judges liked Terri but did not like Ven's outfit.

The judges conversed. This week, it was Heidi, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and guest judge Alice Temperly.

Heidi: What did you think about Ven?
Michael: From the get go he told us well, I've never really designed for someone-
Heidi: Real.
Nina: Real.
Michael: Real women.
Heidi: I wrote it down. I mean, hello? I was like, what are you talking about, Ven?
Michael: But I think the reason he ran out of time, actually, is he didn't really work with his client at all. I think he just wanted to do what he wanted to do.
Nina: It was a little bit selfish not to listen to this women that needed him.
Heidi: And that's why her friend was crying, because she knew how much she needed that.
Alice: And that look wouldn't have traveled four hours a day and it wouldn't make her feel easy, and I think it's sad. And she needs versatility out of her clothes.
Michael: I don't think he cared about her life, I don't think he cared about what was right for her. I think he cared about Ven.

Did Ven make it out of the bottom three? Unfortunately, yes. They sent Nathan home instead. Happily, I was just visiting the Project Runway blog and voted on who I thought should have won (Fabio, who did win) and who I thought should have gone home (Ven!) and saw that 85% of voters felt Ven should have gone home. We can only hope it happens next week. He was already going down in my estimation after I noticed problems with his work in my last review. After this week, he'd have to save a litter of puppies from a burning building before I'd grow some esteem for him again. And a little old lady. And his fellow designers. And keep his mouth shut the whole time.

Please show him the door!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Funny dog

Yes, I like watching videos of silly dogs and cats. I watch other videos, too, like the one where the doctor was doing laparoscopic surgery to remove a cyst from someone's ovary. Why? No clue. I figured you would appreciate seeing this video more than the ovary video.  :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

O M Freaking G

I think this is one of the BEST video dramatizations I have ever seen in my life. I apologize for the link but I couldn't figure out a way to embed the video.


Artist Samuel Silva

I read an article about this artist, Samuel Silva. His art is available for browsing at deviantArt. He's incredible! The photograph below is not a photograph, but a ball point pen drawing!!!!!!!

You've got to go check out his other works. Amazing!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We Got Us a Pee-er!

So my day yesterday started with a little excitement... and humor.

There is a vacant house next door which is currently for sale. I called about a month ago to report that there was a City Utilities valve or pipe or whatever in front of the house, and that it was leaking water. The grass there has done wonderfully well during our drought.

Finally yesterday someone arrived to do something about it - the Three Stooges. No, wait, it was workers from City Utilities. I am sure they are normally very capable.

I started texting my mom and Kevin about the goings on.

9:22am: City Utilities is next door digging up the yard between the sidewalk and the street.

9:27am: Little concerned now. I heard one of the guys say, "Whoops, that's not the one." Then I opened the back door to let the dog out and I smelled gas. I hear a sound that could be running water but see no water. And no one is near the hole at the moment.

9:33am: NIPSCO here. No more running water sound.

9:35am: Fire fighters are here, too. Oh, good! They have commenced digging. I feel so safe and secure.

9:37am: Fabulous! Gas is leaking again.

9:41am: Haven't they ever heard to call before you dig?

9:43am: Now the back hoe guy is cleaning his windows. The NIPSCO guy is back in the hole.

9:50am: They're moving the back hoe. I'm sitting on the porch now.

9:51am: The NIPSCO guy is still here. Not in the hole at present.

10:00am: NIPSCO guy back in the hole.

10:02am: Poor NIPSCO guy. He was all clean and tidy and now he's in a hole of muck.

10:10am: City guy is trying to engage NIPSCO guy in small talk. NIPSCO guy has been with the company for 41 years. According to City guy, kids today won't know what that's like.

10:13am: NIPSCO guy asked them if they were done digging and City guy said they still have another 5 feet to dig.

10:22am: Oh, god, they're getting ready to dig again.

10:26am: They're bringing back the big dump truck... The back hoe guy is ready... A new player has entered the game. Someone from Utility Locators. Dude, you're a little late.

10:28am: The back hoe guy is being so careful now, taking little baby bits of dirt at a time.

10:40am: They just gave me the title for my blog post - "Oh, we got us a pee-er." I believe they are spurting water now.

10:44am: No, NIPSCO guy, don't go! I only feel safe when you're here!

10:46am: I believe I just heard someone say, "You'll be okay to dig under that gas line."

And that was my morning!  :)  The good news is I did not have to evacuate four cats and a dog and precious items by myself and my house did not get blown up. Considering the way the rest of August has gone, I think this means things are looking up!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dog Loves Ball

I had to watch this a second time, and then I couldn't stop laughing. Poor puppy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Project Runway - Team Challenge!

Don't you love the team challenges? They actually give me a little stress because I hate to watch people do nothing but argue.

I felt if Raul and Fabio had switched teams, Team 6 would not have had so much arguing. It seemed to me that all the arguing done about what they were going to make was started by something Raul said. I'm so glad to see his cupie doll hair go bye-bye again. He did nothing but whine and complain. I'm not sure why the designers were so happy to have him back.

Once again, Dmitry turned out a beautiful design.

Ven's was quite nice, but has he got anything else up his sleeve besides the folded looks he's done so far? Why haven't we heard the judges saying anything about it yet?
In looking at these photos again, I also am noticing that in the pink dress the bust does not fit well, there's something weird happening at the front of Kenley's skirt, and the kind of yellow/gold dress doesn't seem to fit all that well at the sides and across the belly. Maybe Ven is not as great as everyone believes?

Kevin was not impressed with Melissa's blue dress but I actually liked it. I've always kind of liked cowl necks, though, and boat necks, and this was a kind of combination.

I did wonder about some of the designs. Maybe I've worked at the library too long, or maybe it's being in the Midwest, but how many offices allow sleeveless tops? Not to mention the one-shouldered garment sent down the runway by Nathan:

 It's a little bit sexy for the old nine-to-five. And was he trying to emulate Ven by adding the pleat across the crotch?

I loved Dmitry's error in trying to call Ven a "one trick pony." "One way monkey" is definitely a phrase I want to add to my lexicon. :)  Dmitry had better make it to the final three.

What demon is Elena channeling? When she turned around and told Melissa not to talk to her that way, I was amused. Hadn't Elena been talking to everyone else that way the entire day? If you can dish it out, you'd better be able to take it. I did feel sorry for her at the end when Raul announced loudly in front of everyone that he hated her. Multiple times. That was just rude. I don't know that she cared all that much but it looked like it was a little embarrassing for her. I want to know what was said after Raul left the room.

Kevin is still eagerly awaiting the departure of Gunnar, though Gunnar was really not too bad this week. That was probably due to the fact they were focusing on Elena's craziness and Raul's whining.

Overall, the clothes on this episode were attractive, not necessarily appropriate for the office, but there was nothing terribly interesting except Melissa's dress. I hope they get an avant garde challenge where they actually have a couple of days to create the outfit. And that they actually create an avant garde look, unlike past seasons. Or give them a Bob Mackie challenge. I want to see some amazing gowns! I want to see feathers and sequins and outrageousness from this group. Because right now I don't believe they could do it. Everything so far this season has been safe. Everyone needs to take it up a notch.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ha! Ragu ad

We watch Netflix, so I'm sorry if this is an old ad you've already seen. I just saw it and thought it was funny.  :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Still Sick... But Laughing

This made me laugh, then cough:

Monday, August 13, 2012


I've lost 10% of my body weight! YAAY!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Project Runway

You may or may not be aware that I am a huge Project Runway fan. Mondo rocks! Other favorite designers include: Seth Aaron, Rami, Epperson, Mychael, Uli, Nick Verreos, Santino,Daniel Vosovic, and Kara Saun and personalities Austin Scarlett, Andrae, Anthony Williams, and Santino (yes, he makes both categories). I also love Heidi and Michael and Nina, and my husband and I adore Tim Gunn. (I have managed to get my hubby to watch episodes with me and he is very vocal about who he likes and dislikes and who should win and go home.)

We are now in Season 10 and I have to say episode 3 was hilarious. The thing that made it so hysterical for me? Gunnar and Kooan being partnered and having to design for Irina, season 6 winner. If you've never watched, you just won't get it, but it made me laugh for a very long time.

And then they made the top two. What? I think I missed the episode where they made a completely different dress that was actually good. I was so confused by it, I can't even describe. Meana Irina was giving them looks that would curdle milk, they stitched a frowney face on her bum because the dress did not fit properly, and it was... it was awful, just awful. Even Kooan was confused.

Ven ended up winning with a navy dress designed for former contestant Kenley. I thought the dress was too short to wear to the Emmy's, and did not have any oomph. It was well-constructed and they listened when Kenley told them what she wanted, but I think the skirt should have been a sheath with a slit up the back, not too high. It wouldn't have been 1950s picnic, but it would have been appropriate to wear to the Emmy's. I'll be interested to see if the dress changes by the time the Emmy's roll around.

Contestant Andrea left in the middle of the night after a rough judging session where her assigned partner told the judges she'd said it would be a relief to go home. And that it took her 12 hours to cut the skirt of the dress. And other assorted things which were true, but he was a little overwrought by it all.

So far, I am liking Ven and Dmitry for the final three. I'm not sure who else. I am concerned about Ven's penchant for utilizing straight lines to make rose shapes; he's done it on all three episodes. I'd show pictures but I can't get blogger to cooperate with me on where they sit on the page. Dmitry has been robbed twice, as far as I am concerned. Again, I'd show pictures, but...

I'd like to see an actual outfit designed by Nathan and Fabio, because we haven't really seen what they can do yet. Lots of people talk about Sonjia but she has not impressed me so far. I mean, her stuff has been well-crafted, just not terribly interesting. And I know she's bizarre, but I hope Buffi gets to stay around for a while; she's fun.

I picked the three who have left so far, so no surprises there. I don't think Kooan will last very much longer because his designs are too Japanese street for the judges. Hubby is gunning for Gunnar to go. He finds him terribly annoying and arrogant, and it always takes us a moment to distinguish him from Christopher. I think they were separated at birth.

Can't wait to see next week's episode where a designer decides to go home!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Favorite Olympic Moments - Here's to the Underdogs

Here's to the gymnasts who didn't medal!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Death in the Family

My half-sister's husband, Ladd, committed suicide on Saturday, leaving behind my half-sister Kimberlee, and their children Emilee, Christianna, Samuel, Ladd, Wade, Rebekah and Mary Caroline. The funeral yesterday went as well as that sort of thing goes.

It started with a procession of fire trucks and a couple other official vehicles making their way to the church. The chief carried Ladd's cremains into the church and Kimberlee and all the kids rode in the first fire truck and were each escorted in by uniformed fire fighters. The family went in after that and then the rest of the crowd. There were a lot of people there. There were even people lining the sidewalk outside the fire station as we drove by on our way to the church.

A harpist was playing as people were seated. When the guests were seated, firefighters from Sturgis, Coldwater, Clay, St. Joe, Centerville, and a few others walked in and stood on either side of the pews, then were seated. It made quite an impact. Among them were also a few police officers, EMT's and a couple of city officials.

The first thing we did was stand and sing a hymn. Then the fire chief got up to speak and that was difficult. He told a lot of stories about Ladd's life at the fire station. One was that one day Ladd caught a giant spider at the fire station and had it in a bottle and was going to take it home to show the kids. He was showing everyone at the fire station during the day. One of the other firefighters is afraid of spiders and during the day the spider died so Ladd threw it away but put the empty bottle, open, in the other firefighter's locker. So he opened his locker and saw the spider bottle, empty, among his things. A few stories along those lines. He got choked up toward the end and had difficulty speaking. Ladd had been a firefighter there for 27 years.

The next speaker was Ladd's oldest daughter, Emilee. She told stories of memories she had of her dad, of how when she was a kid he would give her candy when they were out running errands and they would always hide the wrappers so Kim didn't know. How they had a special whistle so if they were in the woods and needed to find each other they could whistle. (Their house is in the woods.) How she would chop wood with him and she would say she couldn't do it and he would always tell her she could, and how he taught her endurance and perseverance. She spoke well and didn't get too choked up, but right after she spoke her younger sister Christianna, 15, was going to play the piano and sing a song she had written while they were searching for her dad, and when she got to the piano she burst into tears and couldn't do it. Luckily they had a recording of it so they played that instead and it was quite lovely.

After that, the pastor got up and talked a lot about sin. He did tell a story about how one time Ladd was holding a little child and standing on a deck and how the deck collapsed and Ladd just curled himself around the child and protected him from getting hurt while Ladd ended up getting a compound fracture in his ankle. We sang Amazing Grace, and then a friend of Ladd's spoke and read a bible passage.

I talked to Kim after and she said she had prepared herself for all those pieces of the funeral, but what she had forgotten was the call to duty that happened at the end, and when they got to that part she just cried so hard. One of the firefighters spoke and I'm pretty sure he was broadcasting from the fire station out onto the official channels. He said Ladd was at peace. Then the bagpipes played Amazing Grace and one of the firefighters stood at the box holding Ladd's cremains and gave a slow motion salute. The firefighters walked back out, each touching Ladd's helmet as they passed. Then a few came back in to escort the family out of the church.

I found myself getting so angry anytime they mentioned that Ladd left behind a wife and seven children. They had photos of the family outside and the photos were taken a month ago, and there was a slideshow of Ladd through the years, pictures of him at the Grand Canyon and other places, pictures with his kids, pictures with Kim, and it's just impossible to understand what happened. Emilee had also told a story of how she had gone through a period of depression in her teen years and how he encouraged her and told her time would heal and gave her wisdom. It's just difficult to comprehend. And very sad.

Favorite Olympic Moments - Midori Ito

Midori Ito, from Japan, was one of the favorites to win gold at the 1992 Winter Olympics. The hopes of her country weighed heavily upon her and she had a troubled short program, after which she was in fourth place. If she won the long program, she could still get the gold. But her long program began with a failed triple axel. She added one in at the end of the program and landed it successfully, becoming the first woman ever to land a triple axel at the Olympics. Midori won the silver medal, apologizing to her country for not winning the gold. Midori was the first woman to land a triple/triple combination in competition and to land seven triple jumps in a free program.

This is her exhibition program at the 1992 Olympics, after all the pressure was off.Her smile and joy really come through.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Favorite Olympic Moments - Dan Jansen

Moments before the start of the 500 meter race in Calgary in 1988, Dan Jansen was told that his beloved sister Jane had succumbed to leukemia. He wanted to win for Jane, but his grief was too overwhelming and he fell in both the 500 and 1000 meter races. In 1992 in Albertville, he was the favorite again but stumbled in both races and won nothing. Lillehammer was his last chance to medal. He stumbled again in the 500 but in the 1000, he not only won gold, but also set a world record. As he took his victory lap, he held his baby daughter in his arms. She was named Jane.

The best video I can find is this commercial!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Favorite Olympic Moments - Torville & Dean

Jayne Torville and Christopher Dean were competitors from Great Britain who performed in the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. Their emotional Bolero routine is one of the classic Olympic moments.