Sunday, November 29, 2009

The battle of the serial killers

Does anyone else out there watch "Dexter"? I'm always surprised when I ask that question and get a blank stare. I do know a couple of people, I guess. But what a great show. You all should be tuning in.

Tonight, as some of you may know, should be a pretty darn good one. Dexter has revealed his murderous nature to his muse this year, a serial killer he calls Trinity. (You see, the guy kills three people in succession using the same pattern: Cuts a girl in a tub, makes a woman jump to her death off a high structure, and then bludgeons a man.) There were witnesses, however, when the real Dexter came out. Trinity's family saw Dexter strangle him with a belt and hold a huge knife over him on the floor. What will he do about the witnesses!? (Dexter's a serial killer, too, but he only kills bad guys. His biggest challenge is making sure no one knows about his little extra-curricular activities.) See, now doesn't this sound like a great show?

If you get Showtime, then be sure and catch up On Demand. This season is all on there. And this is one of those shows you can just start watching whatever season and then go back to the first three when you get around to it. I did the same with "Mad Men." This isn't like "Lost," where you need a three-hour tutorial if you've missed even one episode to catch up. I really hate "Lost," by the way, but that's a whole other matter.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The stupid Jacksons

Anyone else not care at all about a Janet performance at the American Music Awards, let alone one that lasted 8 minutes? I hear her brothers are also piggybacking on the death of their brother: A reality TV show about the Jackson 5 touring again. Who in the HELL would go to a show on that tour without Michael? Oh, I'm sorry Tito, did I miss the stampede of middle-aged women knocking down your door? ...No, I didn't.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"New Moon" turned me into a teenage boy

I went to "New Moon" today. I read the books and got hooked, despite putting them down every few seconds to feel really embarassed about how much cheese I was allowing myself to ingest ... and happily so. So I figured I should see this thing through all the way and see the movies.

"New Moon" was definitely a couple of notches better than the first film. Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner are so good at pulling off the schmaltz and making it palatable that I was actually entertained most of the way through. I'm worried, though, about the next movie when Edward becomes a key player again. As Twihards know, Edward isn't a big part of "New Moon" in terms of actually appearing in a lot of the movie. And I'm beginning to wonder if that's why I liked this one more. Robert Pattinson's acting chops are in question here. He's supposed to be brooding and deep but he's coming off as one note and two-dimensional.

As I was watching I was reminded of a review I saw on "At the Movies" on CBS. The two men who actually recommending the film commented that "New Moon" isn't just for teenage girls; it actually turns everyone else INTO a teenage girl while watching. During those particularly grueling scenes -- the ones where Edward is two inches from Bella's face saying things like, "You give me everything I need in this world just by breathing" -- I decided it had an opposite effect on me. I felt more like a teenage boy. Like the one in the lobby afterward shouting, "I just had to sit through two hours of a bunch of dudes with their shirts off. Yuck." Like the books, though, I put my head down and wrinkled my nose in disgust at all the cheese, and I kept going back for more.

P.S. Dakota Fanning was pretty awesome. Scary chick.

Friday, November 20, 2009

And the PR winner is ...

IRINA! I'm sure, I need not remind you that I totally called this. I had a story in last Thursday's paper (not yesterday, but the week before) that said Irina would win, even though we all hate her, and Althea would come in second, and Carol Hannah would be the dark horse who would come in third, barring any sort of miracle.

That's precisely what went down last night. Irina's collection had vision, continuity and an edge. She had an idea that connected the pieces and she carried it out. That's really what the winner has always had: 13 pieces that tell a story that no regular person could ever wear. That's why Uli a couple of seasons ago didn't win: Too simple, and women could actually wear her clothes. That's why Leanne won last season, because her outfits were more like pieces of art than wearable clothing. Little Carol Hannah, who fought the flu to finish her collection, was by far the best designer with color and construction, but she didn't have the "clothes as art" idea down. I'm glad. Something tells me she's going to be a lot more commercially successful doing it her way than Irina's.

So there you have it! I was ecstatic to hear that another season starts up in mid-January already. So as this Project Runway blog comes to a close, a new season is just around the corner.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Are you a wine-y?

If you're a wine-y -- which, obviously, from my usage of that
word, I am not -- then you know the third Thursday of November is upon us.

It's that very special day every year when the new Beaujolais Nouveau wine
is released for sale. And if you're like me -- and responded to that news
with, What in the ... ? -- then I shall share my research with you.

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes from the Beaujolais
region of France. Called the most popular vin de primeur, the wine is
fermented for a few weeks annually and released the third Thursday in
November, which has come to be known globally as Beaujolais Day or
Beaujolais Nouveau Day. (Nouveau means new, by the way.)

Vin de primeur refers to the wine being permitted to be sold in the same
year that the grapes are harvested, says local wine representative Joe
Strong of Bellboy Wines. Few producers in France are permitted to make
nouveau wine, according to Strong, or include the word nouveau on their

One minute past midnight today, celebrations around the world exploded into
action, as the bottles were uncorked and enjoyed by many from the small
village of Romaneche-Thorins to the metropolis of Tokyo. Well, it won¹t be
one minute after midnight, but Patrick's on Third in St. Peter will be
taking part in the action once again. The party starts 8 p.m. tonight.
Twenty bucks will get you samples of the two Beaujolais nouveau wines, a
hand-painted souvenir wine glass and appetizers. Bottles of the wine will
also be available for purchase.

Beaujolais nouveau is a purple-pink wine and described as lightweight with
little tannin. The wine can be dominated by flavors of banana and pear. An
added interesting tidbit: All the grapes in the Beaujolais region are picked
by hand.
I'm no wine-y, but I¹m intrigued. Sounds like fun to me!

If you go
Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Release Party
8 p.m. to 10 p.m. today (11/19) at Patrick's on Third in St. Peter
$20 per person
For more information, please call Joe Strong at 351-0575 or Patrick's at

Friday, November 13, 2009

Runway: The finals

Winner: Yet to be determined
Auf'd: See above
Challenge: Create a collection for Bryant Park!

The finale is upon us! How very exciting. All three girls seemed to be doing a great job in part one of the two-part finale last night. Let's discuss ...

Carol Hannah. She's who I'm secretly rooting for. I know she has been outshined for the entire season by Irina. But her collection last night -- what was done of it -- looked pretty darn good. One piece really caught my eye. It was a silky purple tank with long braids hanging around the neckline that hung down to the chest and waist area. So pretty. She's also doing separates and even pants! Shocking. I can't remember if it was Althea or Irina who remarked that Carol's pieces were all nice, but nothing so cutting edge that they felt intimidated. That's actually a good way to put it. Still, even in the finals, Carol Hannah is a bit safe. Although there is one tutu-looking dress that could really go either way.

Althea's collection was really hard to guage last night. Honestly, I just couldn't tell. I often find with her clothes, you don't really know what they're going to look like or turn into until the models put them on and walk. The movement sort of breathes the life into them. She definitely had some leather pieces I'll be interested to see. Slutty/1980s or chic/modern? Only the runway will tell.

Irina is the favorite. Certainly not for her personality, but for her obvious talent. She has a basketweave technique that seems to be coming up a lot in her pieces. I'm definitely liking it, and I think when she finally finishes, that detailing is going to give the wow effect to push her beyond the other two. Also, that bit of detail will add continuity to her collection, and the judges seem to like that. Tim said a lot last night, "Make sure each piece would be worn by the same customer."

One week left! Can't wait to see who pulls it out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Runway: Fat's cut, so it's on

Won: Irina, Carol Hannah and Althea, as they are going to fashion week!

Auf'd: Minnesota Chris and Gordana

Challenge: To design a garment based on inspiration from the art and architecture of L.A.'s Getty Center

It all happened so fast! It seems like just yesterday we were sizing up the 16 designers of the new season of "Project Runway," trying to determine who the obvious throw-aways were, as well as the clear front-runners.

Last night, as three designers were chosen to proceed to Fashion Week, my top pick was auf'd: Minnesota Chris. He won the first challenge and did pretty dern good for a few weeks after that. But for the past five challenges in a row, he floundered. He knew it, too. Unless he pulled out a true miracle during last night's challenge, we all knew there was no way he would go forward. A stiff-skirted floor-length dress was not the miracle the judges were looking for. So today, I bid Minnesota Chris adieu. Your crying was a big turn-off, but overall, it was fun. Good luck in your career, Minnesota Chris.

Now done to bidness. ...Oh yeah, I forgot, Gordana got kicked off, too. But that was a no-brainer, so we won't dwell on that ... Anyway! So Carol Hannah, Irina and Althea were chosen to go on to Fashion Week. The final three have been determined! So exciting. Althea got LUCKY. Had she not been consistently in the top the entire season, there's no way she would have made it through based on the gold, puckered skirt and top she made last night. Inspired by the various intersecting lines and waves of the architecture of the Getty, she pieced together pieces of fabric that intersected in interesting ways, but the fabric was so poor that the whole thing looked a mess. She also didn't spend much time on the top. But she did what the judges appreciate most: She took a risk, and so she was in.

Carol Hannah did what she always does best: constructed a beautiful, well-made dress. She didn't do a pair of pants the entire season, which I was sure she would get trashed for. But no one has said anything as of yet. I think the judges were bored, but they were impressed with her construction and silhouette. She's in! But I'm calling her the dark horse in the finals. Not enough vision.

Irina, of course, was first to be sent through. She's a bi**h, yes, but she's also a great designer. I think last night was the first night she got a bit of negative feedback, with the judges saying her skirt looked dowdy. But the top was gorgeous, and her overall performance was plenty to send her forward. To me, she's the clear winner at Bryant Park.

So here's what I think will go down:
Winner: Irina
Althea: Second
Carol Hannah: Third

Tune in next week to find out!!