Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Community activism

So I went to another community meeting last night, this one our neighborhood association's. Mayor Fenty was supposed to be there but there was this other little event a few blocks away. Perhaps you've heard of it? Something called the State of the Union.
Because Fenty was supposed to be there it was standing room only, apparently not a common occurence. and I volunteered S and me to do some work for them.

So it was deputy mayor Dan Tangherlini. He's got a great dry wit, and apparently did a terrific job as DC transportation director and then Metro director. Basically the focus of the meeting was traffic issues. I asked the obligatory question about the vacant police building in our area. The city has some sort of plans. Actually I wanted to ask about maintenance, which is on the slow side. leaves piled up, snow is never shoveled, that kind of thing. I never really got to clarify since everyone else had the traffic issues.

It is true, cars barrel down Maryland Avenue. And pedestrians seem to be prey, despite DC's status as one of the most walkable cities in the country. Deputy Mayor Dan (who lives in the 'hood) promises to bring it up to Chief Lanier and see if we can get enforcement. I'll be curious to see that. I have yet to see a patrol issue tickets.

Everyone seemed happy that the issue was traffic, not crime. I have to say, the apartment building nearby worries me. I've seen this one guy hang out, even in brutal cold, and hop in random cars, go around the block and walk back. Seems suspicious, but not suspicious enough to report it. We don't know what to do.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

PR 4.9

Major insomnia last night, so will I make it through Project Runway tonight. I woke up at 1:30 and could not get to sleep.

Her name is not Kit! Is this an evil plot by Victorya with a y instead of an i? Or is it just exhaustion.

Ricky is whining again.

The boring models are out again. I don't understand Christian's love of his model. She has an interesting face, but straight as a board figure. The other model was unmemorable however. What is up with Heidi's T-shirt?

Field trip time! Wonder if they'll use recycled materials again?

"We are fabulous we don't need to meet anyone else," sez Tim. hee. I heart Tim.

Galoshes, boats. Chris.

Levis. Let me see -- could it be jeans? Yes, denim galore.501 jeans. white cotton.
laundry bags. Poor Chris --they have to run again. This time he's giving it a real effort. The producers are jerks. Making fun of the sissy bear.

dark denim seems to be the trend
Oh Victorya, selfish B word. You are being manipulative -- and passive aggressive again.
ricky makes his own damn hats. no matter -- they suck.

ooo is rami getting the loser edit? Sketching to relieve boredom at age 6 or 7 or 8? REally? But we know you're not American designer,

housekeeping tips from Christian and Chris. they're clashing now. Christian's head has swollen again. "It's so cute to see youth," sez Chris. "Someone needs to give him a bottle and send him to bed."

And Chris IS right -- denim is sturdy material so a damp cloth would work. Sweet P is in her 40s, she probably trusts him,

"C is like a cartoon character. If I had hair I'd want to tear it out." Good one, Rami. Maybe I'd forgive you for your treatment of Sweet P last week.

bitcn, whine, bitch, whine. but now V is getting the loser edit? Mother stories always lead that way.

The evil in Victorya is definitely coming out. first grabbing jeans from Chris, now doing a coat same as Jillian. ooh the claws have been unleashed!

Sweet P now gets some personal bio shown. Her hub looks older and rather distinguished. Was his name Sage?

Hey Christian, you and me both! Yes! maybe you're not so irritating. Ricky should go home. His stuff is boring, uninspired, and not well-made.

Ricky gives a long boring list of his accomplishments.

Chris is talking to himself.

Oh god, Tim likes Ricky's dress.

uh oh, tim is concerned about Chris's dress. Chris, you must learn, always listen to Tim!

Rami is so not going home. Zippers remind me of Jeffrey.

VYa's looking patchworky, sez Tim. Oooo could she be going home?

You're scaring me says Tim. "Happy hands granny circle" sez he. That sounds very ominous. Hippy dippy, oh no. but I'd rather Sweet P than Chris.

Tim is just not interacting with the designers this year as he has in the past. Or they're severely editing him.

Smart of Sweet P. Always listen to Tim.

Chris was being a little condescending so I'm afraid he's getting the loser edit. But Chris, you weren't listening to Tim, so obviously you're not paying attention either...

Jillian is having a meltdown. In fact most of her personality is either blah or having some sort of emotional breakdown.

OK, so I did start nodding off. My notes made no sense. In fact my comprehension of the rest of the show was completely off other than knowing who the winners and losers were.

So here are next day notes.

Jillian is whining again.

Chris is being bitchy. But Victorya's outfit does look like a jacket with some stuff sewn on that could have taken someone else two hours. Victorya says still pressed for the time.

"IF I see another tube dress I'm just going to die I'm so sick of it." Christian is so right again! Augh. What's going on that I keep agreeing with him?

Now Jillian figures out she should have edited. Right as Tim is nagging her to the runway like a mother hen.

We're nearing the end of the season. Immunity has ended.

Ricky's, gulp, is kind of cute. I like the 501 flap riff on the fron.

Love Sweet P's -- it doesn't even look denim.

Christian is so very 80s. Using sleeves for the legs was clever but only people weighing 80 pounds could wear it.

The zipper theme makes me think of Jeffry but Rami did use it in different ways.

I didn't think Ricky's was as well-fitting as they did. Oh no Ricky is crying AGAIN. Geez and they were complimentary.

Overcomplicated. Remember Amadeus. "Too many notes."

Any woman could wear it. Exactly. But the Levis doesn't like as much as the other judges. I think Sweet P would have won otherwise.

Wow Victorya admitted she wasn't inspired.

Ricky won. oh. my. fracking. god. ick. I liked Sweet P's better. And this means he might be going to Bryant Park. ick. ick. ick.

Christian looks crushed that he didn't win.

Chris looks relieved he didn't lose.

I don't believe those rumors that Victorya had a temper tantrum when she lost. I think she looked as though she was reigning in tears and that's why she didn't give her speech. I don't like her aesthetic and I think she's passive aggressive, but don't get the hate.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

PR 4.8

Here I am live blogging with a blanket around my legs and a pounding head and a sore throat and nausea because I'm not wanting to eat and have been chewing drugs on a stomach full of only bread. Hope it's worth it.

Boy, the models are really unmemorable this year. I can't keep them straight. I didn't recognize Leia because her hair was so different. The only other one who's recognizable is Sam because she's a redhead. That one poor girl was screwed because they didn't style her hair. Wonder if she showed up late deliberately.

Don't blame you, Chris, for refusing the position of team leader. and look at Jillian and Victorya fighting each other for passive agressive attitude.

"If i were a diva my name would be Feroshe."Oh sister Christian, maybe you should be on teevee.

What does a trench coat have to do with rebellion or punk mohawks? I'm not getting the concept.

if I were Kit and Ricky, I would have gone for the outrageous beehive. That looked more avant garde.

"Let me finish boning her." Ricky, occasionally a flash of wit comes out. you really need to show that side of yourself more?

The ugly comes out from Rami. It looks as if he's getting all bossy.

Sister Christian is being very amusing. Loved his runway walk, he walked better than the real models!

I kind of see both sides, but Rami is definitely one of those overconfident guys who runs roughshod over other people. Sweet P's a bit of a ditherer so it's a bad combo, oil and water and all that jazz.

I cry too when I get angry, so understand where she's coming from.

Hope Chris and Chris' confidence is well earned. I'm not too sure Kit and Ricky's is. But at least they seem to be working well together, unlike Victorya and Ricky -- so maybe Ricky shouldn't get that much blame for their team interaction 3 or 4 episodes ago.

A bustle would so add something to the dress. But Rami isn't listening to P.

Hmm. an extra challenge. It seems a little unfair. Poor Sweet P. I'd hate to work with that guy.

Go team fierce!

I hate to admit it but V and J's (hee, I made a funny..vayjay) looks really awesomely avant guard, at least from the back. but looks more horsey, maybe s and m than trenchcoat.

The glimpse of Rami's yeah, definitely not out there. Showing a little lack of imagination, aren't you, dear? Don't bore Nina! Don't be a Johnny One-note, which you are in danger of becoming. Why do all your gowns cover the left breast? What's up with that?

Like Heidi's outfit, especially the belt.

The expression on Nina's face as Team Fierce's look came down the runway was priceless. You knew they would win it right then and there.

So I have to admit, although I understand how outre The Fierce Team's gown was and it is absolutely avant garde and even gorgeous, I totally loved VeeJay's look. That turned out Matrixy cool. If I were 8 inches taller, I would so rock that coat.

The judges were unfortunately correct about Kit and Ricky's look -- it was cheap looking Scarlett O'Hare in bedsheets instead of curtains. bleh. And Rami's look was typical. They gave him hell too for ignoring Sweet P and then throwing her under the bus. ha. A side of humility would go with your diet very well.

The tragedy is it will probably be Kit who is aufed, instead of Ricky even though he's there...again. ack. that's how Wendy the Wicked Witch of Loudon county ended up in the top three. I think they'll be out instead of Rami because everything was bad.

Yay Team Fierce! You rock. But I'm sorry Big Chris doesn't get to share in the glory, or the immunity,

F@#$% Ricky survives again!

Kit's probably out.

Yep, she is. Too bad, because she's the only one with a rock attitude.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Excellent point about veg-vangelism

I'm wrapping up Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and she makes an excellent point about people who think they're more ethical/moral because they're vegetarians.

"Globally speaking," she writes" the vegetarian option is a luxury. The oft-cited energetic argument for vegetarianism, that it takes 10 times as much land to make a pound of meat as a pound of grain, only applies to the kind of land where rain falls abundantly on rich topsoil. Most of the world's poor live in marginal lands that can't support plant-based agriculture." If they didn't raise chicken and goats, in other words, many of the poor in many parts of the world would die of starvation.

About vegans in particular, especially a celebrity vegan actress who "dreamed" of creating a safe haven ranch where cows and chickens would live idyllic lives:

"Wait til those cows start bawling to be milked," I warned. "Having nursed and weaned my own young, I can tell you there is no pain to compare with an overfilled udder. We wondered what the starlet might do for those bursting Jerseys, not to mention the eggs the chickens would be dropping everywhere."

She also notes that vegetarianism also kills animals. "Unaccountable deaths by pesticide and habitat removal -- the beetles and bunnies that die collaterally for our bread and veggie burgers are lives plumb wasted."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Real ID -- Your papers please?

Homeland Security is going forward with its plans to establish nationally vetted driver's licenses. If the next administration lets this go forward, I will refuse to fly or drive ever again. Of course some states are trying to impose voter ID using driver's licenses, so the tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist reptilian part of my brain goes hmmm.

This law might have all the best intentions in the world, but it's definitely on the downhill side of a slippery slope. As I've posted before, one of the greatest freedoms in our country is the freedom to travel from sea to shining sea unfettered.

Read all about it.

At least I'll be 57 and probably shouldn't do any driving at that age. And since I live in Washington, DC, what's the use in driving or voting anyway?

As Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said, "Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither."

And something he definitely did say that I use as my email sig: "It is the duty of every citizen to question authority."

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Project Runway 4.7

Yeah, it's Project Runway Wednesday!

This time I decided to live blog in between commercials and the show went on forever without one...and there were so many great lines, etc.

First, what was up with the fit of giggles from the designers? They were more burbly than the teen girls they're supposed to design for. You're supposed to listen to your clients, not act like them.

What a hoot Big Chris is. I want to know about the girl who chose him based on the portfolio sketches he submitted. Someone with a great sense of humor, no doubt.

Best quote: "I'm not feeling fierce. " Poor Sister Christian. Nah. Can't feel too sorry for him. But he is the most entertaining.

I've changed my mind..if Kevin doesn't finish the bottom of his dress, it could be him.

Good plan, Bravo, bringing in the moms. Cut off Sweet P's girl and her plunging back. That girl definitely had visions of J Lo dancing in her head.

Those "women" were Big Chris in his portfolio. That's too funny. But the girl was pretty cool about it.

Christian is showing a defeatist attitude. But ick, that's one fugly dress. Ugly color, ugly brickbrack. and too many designers. The color makes me think of Malan.

Kevin still didn't finish the hem. The sound of teutonic hooves are thumping in the background. Wonder if that empire waist is going to work for his client.

Most of the colors are pretty bright. Sunglass time for Victorya with a y instead of an i's dress. I liked Kit's bodice with the multi colors.

Rami may make the bottom 3. Tim is right -- it looks, as the suntan god would say, MOB. Well, at least much older than 16.

Ok, so the gowns I liked didn't make the runway. and oh, no, VictorYa is going to win. Of the dresses left, I'd have to admit that hers was the cutest. That rhinestone color thingy was very cute. I hate bubble skirts, though (thanks, Angela).

Sweet P's was very pretty, and the color was nice, but I didn' find it extraordinary.

Oh, please, please, please, por favor, let the loser be Ricky. Spare us his tears! But it will be Kevin. Ricky will skirt by again. It's a tossup between the two when looking at the dresses. I think that color is pretty but only Nicole Kidman can carry it off.

Argh. Straight guy Kevin is out. I thought he was one of the more consistently good designers too.

But two of the weaker designers keep plugging along. I personally like Sweet P so I'm ok with her staying. but Ricky is annoying.

The good news is Sister Christian stays and maybe learns An Important Lesson.

Those crazy TSA guys

Five-year-old boys with common names like Matthew Gardner are potential terrorists. Actually I think these TSA agents violated da rules. After the last toddler was on the watch list the powers-that-be issued an edict that children are not included on the no-fly lists.

And man, I bet there are at least 100 Matthew Gardners out there. Must suck to be them at the airport.

In fact I just googled and saw there's a lawyer in Iowa, an actor in the Bay area, a life sciences CEO in the Bay area, a Seattle realtor, a designer in Boston...well, you get the picture.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Hampshire Primary

It looks as though Hillary Clinton is in the lead of a tight race. I'm more an Obama fan myself, but the sneering misogyny of the press since Iowa has been driving me nuts. Apparently NH women are overwhelmingly voting for her and who can blame them?

As the folks at Making Light said: "I’ll bet lunch it’ll because a bunch of last-minute deciders were terminally pissed off by the ridiculous media frenzy over her “emotional display.”"

Sheesh -- if she doesn't show emotion, she's a steely eyed, cold-hearted rhymes-with-witch, and when she does, the reaction ranges from 'faker' to 'weak female.' Talk about the 'damned if you do...' scenario writ large. Can she do anything that pleases these people? She can't even offer bagels and coffee.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's newest book right now -- really more skimming it because it's my contribution to my book club's post-holidays celebratory book exchange. It provides an interesting context to her marvelous "Prodigal Summer."

The premise: Kingsolver's family moved from Tucson to an old family farm her husband owns in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. The family will spend a year living on either food they grow and raise themselves or buy from only local farmers. Kingsolver includes essays by her eldest daughter and husband and a lot of detail about the locally grown movement.

When you buy produce from supermarkets, as well as processed food, you're contributing to global warming because of all the petrol burned to get the food to your plate. Not only that but corporate farms churn out more calories than anyone needs and they fill our food with corn syrup and other processed stuff so they have a market for it.

But as I read I have some questions. I cannot see removing citrus or avocados from my diet. Do you have to reject all exotic food? What about wine? The nuts and shade-grown coffee help encourage preservation of the Amazon rain forests, don't they? What about olive oil from Italy? Or cheese from Spain?

I might just have to make the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan my next serious read.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Project Runway 4.6

W00t -- my first time live blogging Project Runway!

Meh, the model elimination. They haven't found a good way to do this. And this season's models are not as memorable. I was surprised Rami finally changed models. Good for him.

Sleepy-heads...how can they be still asleep with cameras in their faces? Kit did look as though she still was asleep though. Made me like her -- Kit, even though he's gay, I wouldn't want to appear toussle haired and braless either.

Hershey's? Shades of groceries and plants...and recycling. Hershey's flack was such a hack.

Hmmm. So who will get eliminated? The hints are a little less obvious this time. I'm placing bets on Sweet P or Elise, but Jillian is looking a little grim. Then again, her outfit looks promising if she can pull it off.That edit probably means she wins.

Sister Christian's ego is so huge, I'm surprised the other designers could breathe with all the hot inflated ego in the air. Contrasting with him, what a sweetie Sweet P is, trying to reassure Jillian when SP is struggling herself.

Sister Christian needs to be on the bottom to prick that ego a bit. Keeping my fingers crossed that the judges hate the outfit.

Rami's looks promising. I bet Victorya with the y instead of an i is in the top. I hate ruffles. But the judges will like it, I just know, even if Tim didn't. She reminds me of the kid teachers love and no one knows why. Kevin's looked good from a distance, but he must be somewhere in the middle since they don't show the outfit.

Tranny room indeed. How can anyone design anything else with candy wrappers?

Surprise! They hate Victorya's! yay! But unfortunately, I think Sweet P is out. the magic 'boring' and 'too simple' words came out of the judges' mouths. My faves were definitely Rami and Chris. Jillian gets lots of credit for using Twizzlers but dang, I'm getting tired of her red and basically the same dress every time.

I liked Kevin's but once more, he doesn't get credit from the judges. Wonder why? Sis Christian was a bit deflated by not being in the top 3. Ha!

Should have seen the clues...now they're majorly obvious -- duh -- the tragic story of Elise being in that accident and in a coma (explains her la-la attitude) was a Major Clue. Sorry to see her go -- she was quirky and entertaining to watch. I would have, actually, chosen SP over Elise even though I also find her entertaining. Poor Elise -- she gets abused by the judges for being too out there and then over edits and gets aufed.

Glad Rami won over Jillian.

Next week: Oh goody. Ricky is crying again.