Thursday, August 31, 2006


The trial/sentencing I was a juror for is, at least here in Dallas, a high profile case. While I won't be talking in detail about this, I thought I would post what the news reported about it to give you a little more insight. Thankfully, what you hear here is a watered down version.

Again, and I say this only because I had to defend our decision to a friend, I stand by our decision to give this man two life sentences. What I neglected to say in the last post was that this is the worst case that many of the witnesses (professionals, such as doctors, therapists, etc. that have dealt with hundreds to thousands of sexual abuse cases) have ever seen. The doctor who examines children for signs of sexual abuse even cried on the stand.

**CLARIFICATION**In the below video, they incorrectly state that he may spend the rest of his life in prison, but, despite receiving life, he will not spend the rest of his life in an actual prison. The maximum number of years is 35, with the possible opportunity of being released on parole in half that time, but no matter when he is released, he will be on parole for life. Parole is the only thing that is for life.

Okay, so I can't post the video cause it's copyright infringement or some other shit. Click here to read the story and see the video.

I must first applaud Mandy Griffith (one of the state prosecuters) for impressive work as one of the prosecutors. She was, simply put, brilliant. She adapted very well to every twist, new discovery and witness. For the latter, she took on a southern accent when talking to the bastard's mother and step-father, to make them feel more comfortable since they are from a smaller town and spoke similar.

As for the defense attorny, Heath Harris (no relation to his client), I initially thought that there is no way that I would ever consider letting this man defend me if the need arised. He was horrible. He wasn't paying attention, he would ask pointless questions (not once, but multiple times), he never had questions prepared when it was his turn with a witness (even when said witness was HIS!), he referred to the defendant's wife as Mandy (it's actually Candi) so often that the prosecutor (whose name is Mandy) had to ask the judge to have him start using the correct name, and, most of all, he gave us more reasons to not give his client probation (as he wanted us to) than the prosecutors. He even yelled and talked down to his own witnesses.

After it all, some of the jurors were discussing the defense attorney. It was agreed that he knew that his client was guilty (he did confess after all), he knew his client did these horrible, unspeakable things, and he is a father. Why would he even try to truly defend this person? That being said, I still would not want him as my attorney.


I just completed jury duty. Back on Monday when we were being put the jury selection process, all I knew is that someone age 17 or older had been charged, and pleaded guilty to, with two counts of aggravated sexual assault to a minor (someone under the age of 14). We knew that a man age 17 or older had plead guilty to one count of having his penis penetrate the mouth of a female under the age of 14. This same man had plead guilty to also penetrating the sexual organ, with an object (in this case, digits - or, as they are better know, fingers), of a female below the age of 14.

Those were the only facts that we were presented with. It could have been consensual or non, we had no idea. We all had our suspicions based on merely seeing the defendant, but, as I've stated, we simply had no idea. I was hoping that it was consensual and that this guy was 17 or 18 and was having sex with his girlfriend and the parents found out or something. That I could sit and talk about.

It wasn't that. It was far from that. The defendant is 24 and the victim, his step-daughter (although she called him Daddy), was, at the time of the aforementioned charges (not to mention several other more sadistic events), ages 6, 7 and 8. The victim's own mother was even in on it, and, in fact, initiated it all.

There are many other details that I refuse to discuss here. I do not feel that they need to be printed here. I will say that we, the jury, sentenced the defendant to two consecutive life sentences (one for each charge against him).

I know that this sentencing may seem very harsh to some of you, but you have no idea (and neither do I, but most likely far more than you do) all that this beautiful little girl had to suffer through and will continue to for the rest of her life.

Dress Up In You 06.04

I'm getting ready for jury duty, so I'm not going to write anything about this song except that I'm posting this one for Hypoxic and that it is Daniel Bedingfield performing his version of The Killers' Somebody Told Me

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

From A Whole Other Universe (a/k/a - Happy Birthday Adam)

Technically, Adam's birthday isn't until tomorrow, but I baked him a cake and forced him to celebrate a day early. In honor of his 26th birthday, and because I'm just far too emotionally drained from jury duty (I'll hopefully be able to post about it tomorrow!) to write anything lengthy, this post will be told with pictures (and captions). Sorry, not lengthy Project Runway recap. You'll understand why I'm just not in the mood after I post about the case I'm a juror for.

Adam The Giant!

Adam, ever the Diva, growing impatient at how long it was taking me to light the candles

Apparently, my moving at a glacial pace displeases the whiny diva

Adam is presented with a piece (of cake) offering by me

He accepts by blowing the candles out

Unfortunately, his wish didn't come true...Mr. Bush still exists

Here's a little something I like to refer to as bi-polar Adam

Adam is happy one second

All Martha fuckin' Stewart the next

And now for some video footage...poor Adam had no idea I was recording this until the very end. Sadly, it cut off before his big reaction.

As for Project Runway...The designers were told that they would be designing for a hip jetsetter. Little did they know that the jetsetter would actually be them! They were to design an outfit for them if they traveled around the world hopping from party to party. Something that is comfortable enough to wear for several hours on the plane, something that travels well (doesn't get all wrinkly) and that, of course, looks hip. Most of the designers did pretty well on this challenge, with, once again, the exception of Vincent, Angela and Kayne. Kayne is proving his limitations and lack of high fashion (it's the beauty pagaent queen in him), so I don't suspect that he will be around for too much longer. Angela's was just a complete mess. It had far too many rosettes (her signature) and two big ass ones on, well, her ass.

Before the announced the winning and losing designs, Heidi informed them that they will be flying somewhere. After packing and arriving at the airport, they are informed that they will be going to Paris. Once in Paris, they are taken to Parsons Paris, where their outfits (which they had to wear from the time they left the runway until this point) were judged a final time for some famous (I didn't recognize her) French designer. She will be judging on how well it travelled. She announces that Jeffrey has won the challenge (but, once again, Michael was a close second). The bottom two are Kayne and Angela. She tells Kayne that he looks like a fake pop star and ridiculous. Angela is informed that is just from a whole other universe and is not a jetsetter. Angela is out. Before you uncork that bottle of champagne, let me remind you that Vincent is still in.

Winning Design/Losing Design

Auf Wiedersehen!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Put Your Records On 06.03

It's a day early, but I have jury duty and I wanted to get this out during the day rather than the evening tomorrow. Since I won't have access to the internet during the day, I figured I might as well post it now. This week's new music comes from Justin Timberlake. I was going to stick to my indie stuff, but he was just too cute for me not to post something about his new album. This song is called LoveStone. I think it's my favourite track off his new least for now. Sit back, enjoy the pic of him shirtless (since I missed out on the shirtless car wash!) while listening to this new tune. If you like it, why not buy his new album FutureSex/LoveSound

This Coming From The Homosexual!

The juror selection process is an interesting one. The day started off with several hundred people packed into a room waiting to be shuttled off like cattle to their designated court room. On a side note, you’d think that out of all of those hundreds there would be more cute guys…I noticed only one, and, well, he noticed me, too…haha…made me feel nice to have someone walk past me and turn around to get another look, especially when they are as cute as this one was. My number (well, my number fell in a range of numbers) was called and I headed off with about 70 other people to my court room.

And there we sat. For well over an hour. Once we were finally called in, we were seated according to a number we were assigned (I was juror hopeful #21). We are introduced to the lawyers, who I’m not impressed with at all. For starters, the two women selected for the prosecution were color and outfit coordinated. They both wore a red blouse, black coat and black skirt. The one that spoke to us looked like a cross between Kate Bosworth and one of the mothers off of a sitcom called Yes, Dear (no, I do not watch it, I just know what she looks like), but with a big ol’ Texas accent that she was trying to disguise.

For those not familiar with the juror selection process, here are the basics: They get a large group of people, the prosecution and defense take turns asking each person questions and then they narrow it down to the twelve they believe will be the most fair in making a decision.

Let me say that I was very surprised by just how, well, to put it bluntly, STUPID most people are. They were told from the start (including several times throughout the process) that absolutely no facts (aside from what the charges are) were going to be given to us at this stage. They were told that any examples given to them were just that…examples. We wasted so much time with people asking over and over why they couldn’t be told the facts. And then even more time was wasted by people that couldn’t grasp that one of the examples the prosecutor gave was not what this particular case was about. The DA (District Attorney…I promise not to get all Rachael Ray on you and explain this abbreviation every time I may use it) is partly to blame, but anyone who was listening would have known that she previously said that no facts at all would be given (including the ages of people involved). Needless to say, it was very frustrating. I didn’t care for some of the questions, either. We had to give an A) or B) answer, no other. But with this type of case, there was honestly no way the majority of people could say one or the other based on the information they provided us with. What kind of question is, “What do you think is more important, punishment or rehabilitation?” If I told you what the case was about, though, I don’t think that you could give a proper response based on what little information was given to us.

I was surprised by one comment someone shouted out, though. Well, not so surprised considering where I live, but still. This man, who is obviously gay, made a remark to the prosecutor that people know from a very young age what is right and what is wrong, or something along those lines. A man in the back said (and just loud enough for everyone to hear), “This coming from the homosexual!” It was not acknowledged by anyone, but I knew everyone heard it. Thankfully, he did not make it to the final twelve.

Needless to say, since I was generally quiet (except for the one time every single person was asked to answer a question – the aforementioned one), I did make it. Quite frankly, I’m not sure what I’m getting into. I already do not like the subject (no, it isn’t a murder, but it is a criminal case). All I do know is that the person has already plead guilty, so this is just the punishment phase. Not sure if I can even disclose information, but I figure that part is safe since I’m not giving any specifics.

So I’ll be in court through Wednesday or Thursday, assuming we are all able to wrap things up like the judge is hoping. So I won’t be posting during the day. I tried to today, but, for some reason, I can no longer log into Blogger from my phone. It brings up the log-in page, but takes me to Google. It’s weird.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Project Runway 2 lost out to The Amazing Race. I have never watched the show, so I guess I can't really say that it wasn't deserving of the prize. Still, though...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back In The Day

After 12+ hour nap, I woke up and felt compelled to google two of my favourite comic book artists from back in the day...Joe Madureira and J. Scott Campbell. I'm not sure what made me think about them, but I've spent the past two hours getting all nostalgic. While I started drawing at a young age (far before I saw work by or even heard of either), these two have heavily influenced my style and been a source of inspiration and motivation. I aspired to not only be as good as them, but to be better than them. Silly dreams, but I was young.

The very first comic book that I discovered (in a box out in the garage...I have no idea how it got there, as nobody in my family bought comics...ever!) was in the late 80's, but the issue itself was Uncanny X-Men #192 from 1985. Oddly enough, while I always remembered the main enemy being the Phalanx, after googling it, I've discovered that it was actually Magus. I was going to say that it was very fitting that my return to Uncanny X-Men would than also be an issue that revolved around Phalanx, issue #312. This issue, which did involve Phalanx, was purchased for two reasons: my love of Storm (which started with the aformentioned issue #192 - all mohawk punkish, and I loved it) and because I was attracted by the art...which was by at-the-time guest artist Joe Maduereira. And there began my love affair with both Joe's work and X-Men.

Gen13 would come later. I instantly fell in love with the art. Very manga influenced, but still heavily grounded in the Western style. Which was perfect for me. I already had a very stylized drawing, but it became far more evident after seeing J. Scott Campbell's work in this comic. I became very obsessed almost. I wish that I had some of my work from back then to show you. I still have no idea what happened to it all. I thought that I had saved it in my portfolios with the rest of my work, but none of it was in there when I brought it back from my parents'. Oh well.

Looking back now, I left the comic world just before it began collapsing at a rapid pace. When I stopped picking up GEN13 (drawn by Campbell), it quickly began to struggle and has never been able to recapture the height of popularity it reached in it's heyday. Of course, this had less to do with me than it did with Campbell leaving the series.

Anyway, here is some of their work:

Joe Madureira

J. Scott Campbell

Thundercats! Yeah baby!

Friday, August 25, 2006

At The Car Wash

If you live in the Dallas area and have a messy car (or clean even), let the local (and gay) rugby team, Dallas Diablos, scrub your car clean. They'll be hot, sweaty and, best of all, shirtless! A friend of mine is on the team, so I can assure there is at least one good looker in the bunch...although there are plenty of others from what I've seen.

The car wash is tomorrow, August 26. Scrubbing starts at 11am and continues until 4pm. It will be held at the paid parking lot known as Central Park near the corner of Throckmorton and Cedar Springs Road.

Suggested donation is $5 for cars and $10 for oversized vehicles.

All proceeds will benefit AIDS Arms' Peabody Health Center:

On Sunday, July 9, 2006, the Peabody Health Center (a service of AIDS Arms), the only HIV clinic in South Dallas, was vandalized and suffered major water damage, thus displacing 635 patients who have no other means for medical care. The clinic is temporarily closed and all staff and patients have been relocated to the administrative offices of AIDS Arms in Oak Cliff. Repairs and restoration for the clinic will exceed insurance coverage by $15,000.

So, if you live in Dallas, take your car to get cleaned. Clean car, hot shirtless guys and all profits are going to charity...everyone wins!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Woman Scorned

I've become increasingly annoyed by the increasing number of tabloid pop songs being churned out. I am referring to songs whose subject matter isn't fully understood unless you keep up with tabloids. These would be What's Left Of Me by Nick Lachey, Confessions Of A Broken Hear (Daughter To Father) by Lindsay Lohan and A Public Affair by Jessica Simpson to name a few. However, occasionally, a song comes along that is actually worth listening to (think Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake). It's rare, but it does happen. And it is usually by someone who isn't a tabloid starlett first and a singer second (*ahem*Jessica Simpson*ahem*).

Enter Ring The Alarm by Beyonce. It's easy to tell that this song is aimed squarely at Jay Z and Rihanna and their alleged dalliance. I actually first listened to the track several weeks ago, but, not being a huge Beyonce fan (I don't dislike her, I just don't care for a lot of her songs), I only gave it one listen through. I didn't particularly care for it at the time, but then came across the video last week. That sealed it for me. I loved the song. She is seriously pissed off, and it shows...I highly doubt she's that good of an actor. Anyway, check it out:

Dress Up In You 06.03

Natasha Bedingfield may be a little too preoccupied with attempting to show off her vocal range here, but there’s still something about this rendition of Coldplay’s The Scientist that I like. Or maybe I just love this song so much that I am willing to overlook a few things. Whatever the reason, the point is that it’s a pretty good version in my opinion.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Family Design

The show starts off as it normally does. The designers are waking up to a fresh day and the results of the last challenge are still heavy on their minds. Jeffrey is upset about Alison going away. She was his best friend there, after all. Michael is reveling in being the only season 3 contestant that has won more than one challenge, back to back to boot.

At the runway, Heidi tells them that they will be designing for the every day woman, but tells them that there’s more to it. She brings the “models” out, and, as I suspected, they are family members (mostly mothers – Robert’s sister was flown in from England and Vincent’s sister was brought in, too). But then Heidi lets the designers know that they get to pick the model; however, they can’t choose their own mother or sister.

Laura chooses Jeffrey’s mother, just to torture him. And, because his name was drawn last, Jeffrey got stuck with his arch enemy’s (Angela) mother.

Back in the work room, the designers and family members say their hellos. Uli hasn’t seen her mother in four years, so this is especially sweet for her. Tim comes in and gives them a surprise. They have been invited to a special party being held by the special guest judge. They are taken to Tavern On The Green, where Michael Kors and his mother (the special guest judge) are waiting. They crack open some champagne and the mothers start showing off pictures…I mean, come on, what are mothers for if not to embarrass their children? We get to see a pic of Jeffrey with dyed hair and braces. We also learn that he is a recovering alcoholic junkie that used to live on the streets. While I’m not surprised, I have a lot more respect for him knowing that he’s pulled himself up into a successful designer. And Laura accidentally lets it slip that she is pregnant with her sixth child. She had found out after shooting began and hadn’t even had the opportunity to let her own husband know, so she wasn’t particularly thrilled about spilling the beans to her mother.

Then they go back to the work room to get to start planning their designs. They are given 30 minutes with their clients to discuss and come up with a design, and then they have a day to produce the actual outfit.

Kayne chose Michael’s mother because she had the brightest clothes and rhinestones on her shoes, so he knew that they would get along VERY well. Jeffrey’s mother says she hasn’t eaten in three days so she would look good for the challenge. And Uli’s mother appears to be getting along quite well with Vincent, as hard as that is to believe.

Jeffrey is really challenged with Angela’s mother. He has never worked with someone of her size and she doesn’t really fit his style. So, when it comes time for them to go shopping for fabrics, he hasn’t really even come up with a design.

They pick out their fabrics and get to work, but it isn’t smooth sailing for a lot of them. Those with the larger women are completely stumped. They are used to working with size ‘0’ models, and have no idea how to design something for someone with larger proportions. Robert, especially, has a lot to worry about. His model has chosen red and black for her colours, so he afraid it’s going to be yet another boring dress. And he’s right, it is from what they show. It looks like a tomato when they show it.

Tim brings in the moms and sisters to go over the designs. Vincent is fairly confident with his since Uli’s mother is so comfortable with him. Laura’s mother is very opinionated (big surprise). Tim finds out that Angela’s mother is not happy with the colours, so he brings it to Jeffrey’s attention. Jeffrey ends up feeling that Darlene (Angela’s mother) is setting him up because she tells him after he bought the fabric, but, to be fair, she told him the colours that she wanted and he didn’t listen. He tells her that he isn’t happy that she isn’t excited about the design, and then tells her he is offended that she is even standing there by him.

Darlene rushes to a back room, and Angela goes in and comforts her. She goes on about how she has never been talked to the way that Jeffrey was talking to her and then starts crying. Angela is obviously upset, so she confronts Jeffrey while they are in the sewing room. He tells her that he feels that her mother went out of her way to embarrass him in front of Tim and doesn’t feel sorry at all.

The next day, Tim sends the models in for their fittings. Jeffrey is being nice to Angela’s mom, but you can tell it’s painful for him. Despite this, Angela helps her mother into her dress, but basically tells her to tell the judges she hates the dress. Meanwhile, Angela dress isn’t safe either. Laura thinks it is dreadful and eclectic…in a bad way.

Going into the runway presentation, I really have no idea what to expect. This hasn’t been a typical show, because they have been focusing primarily on the Jeffrey/Darlene drama and have kept the designs nearly out of sight.

It’s time for the runway, and Heidi is wearing yet another WTF dress. I swear, these outfits they have her wearing are straight of the rack of a Macy’s department store.

Laura was worried about her garment. It really isn't all that flattering to Jeffrey's mom's body. At least she has, once again, tailored it well.

Kayne’s mother worked Uli’s outfit. She seemed happy with the end result and strutted her stuff down the runway with pride (mostly to embarass her son, though).

Vincent, naturally, loves his design. Personally, I think it is a little too reminiscent of Robert's dress for the Macy's I.N.C. challenge...but what do I know?

Kayne was worried since Michael’s mother didn’t smile when she was on the runway. The judges might take that to mean she isn't absolutelly thrilled with the outfit. To be honest, there's a just way too much orange/gold or whatever going on.

Robert’s design wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it isn't much better. Way too simple looking. And, despite revealing later that she actually likes the outfit, Vincent's sister looks absolutely miserable. I could say something really mean here, but I'm going to censor myself.

Michael was lucky that he was first to pick, cause he got the one that was both the youngest and the most slender. I say lucky only because that is the body type these designers are more accustomed to working with.

Despite not liking the dress at all, Darlene decides to make the most of the runway and has fun with it. It doesn't look all that bad and probably is far better than it would have been if Jeffrey had gone with the colours she had wanted.

Angela's just wasn't pleasing in any way. She was aiming for Audrey Hepburn, but was way off on this. This nutjob of a designer is not consistent. You just never know what to expect, although, more often than not, chances are it won't be something you like.

They divide the designers into two groups, as they are going to ask them all questions. Kayne, Michael, Robert, Uli and Vincent are in the first group.

Michael reveals that his dress is completely reversible. Kors thinks the idea is great, despite the matronly bow in the front.

Kors thinks that Uli’s outfit is both understated and chic at the same time. The other judges agree that it also drapes well and is very flattering.

Nina is not happy about the matchy matchy goings on in Kayne's piece, and Kors believes it would have benefited from a little more skin.

I still don't believe it, but Uli’s mother actually loves the dress Vincent made for her. Kors thinks it’s chic and Nina thinks he did a great job.

And then there's Robert. Nina thinks he took the easy route. Robert tries to get off by saying he thought the challenge was to make the client comfortable and happy, but tt’s far too basic and B-O-R-I-N-G in the opinion of the judges.

Those four are sent to the back, while Angela, Laura and Jeffrey are brought out.

Nina says that Angela’s dress is too young. Kors sees more Stevie Nicks than Hepburn. Basically, it's a mess.

Since Jeffrey's parents like to travel and sail a lot, Laura incorporated the sailor outfit (you know the one mothers always dress their babies up in) into her dress. Jeffrey's mother says she would wear it to dinner, but Kors feels it makes her look older.

Jeffrey explains that Darlene stressed that she wanted to be covered. Darlene counters that by saying she feels matronly in the outfit, and, if it were hanging on the rack at JC Penney she would walk by without giving it a second glance. Heidi asks Angela how she thinks her mom looks, and, of course, she says she hates it and says it is embarrassing. Come on, do you really think Angela would have said she liked it even if it had turned out to be an amazing dress? I think not.

At this point, the top three seem to be Uli, Michael and Vincent. The bottom three are Angela, Kayne and Robert. Laura would be included, but they loved the tailoring. It's hard to tell where Jeffrey stands in all of this, but we are about to find out:

Michael had immunity, so he’s in and is asked to leave the runway. Laura is also in.

Now for the winner - SURPRISE - Vincent. I still don't get it.

Uli is told she is in. Kayne is also in. Angela is in.

That leaves Jeffrey and Robert on the runway. At this point, I’m feeling like Robert is out since his was such a basic design and he has been consistently boring. Plus, he hasn't really seemed too into it all for a while now. AND….I’m right.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Backstage, everyone seems to be more upset than Robert is, but that’s probably because he’s been ready to go for since a few challenges ago.

NEXT WEEK: The challenge is to design for a hip jetsetter. Of course, we are left hanging in suspense, cause Tim comes in and tells them that there is something Heidi left out about this challenge. I’m dying to know now because Uli says she is shocked! Of course, it probably won't be as exciting as I'm hoping for, but at least they have me anxious for next week.

And, for the record, I still miss Alison!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

In Bloom

I saw this over at This Boy Elroy and thought it was pretty damn cool. Go here, type in any URL and watch what happens.

Here's the end result for my blog's URL:

Watch my site bloom

Put Your Records On 06.02

Suzie Kerstgens, Tom Deininger and Sten Servaes make up the German band Klee, and they sneaked over stateside nearly unnoticed last month with their album Honeysuckle. The first single, and possibly the only track worth listening to on the entire album from what I’ve read, Gold became a smash over in their homeland in 2005, so they thought they would test the waters here. Even though I’ve posted the original German version, it’s still easy to tell why it was so popular there. It has a catchy beat and a bass line that has been compared to Blue Monday and You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). Who cares what she's saying, it's pure ear candy if you ask me.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Save Room

So I was a bad boy and neglected my blog over the weekend, despite having ample time to sit down and write something. Aside from a night of debauchery on Saturday, I kept a relatively low profile. I’ve been debating something, and was kind of in a foul mood for most of the weekend because of it.

I also rearranged my apartment a little. My dining room has been wasted space for a year now, and my room has become far too cramped for my liking. I moved my dining room table into the kitchen for some extra surface space, and then hauled my computer desk into the dining room to convert it into an office.

Since I don’t believe I’m going to be getting the dog after all (I really want the dog, but the people I would be getting it from didn’t bring it up with them when they came up to visit my friend), I’m going to take an excursion up to IKEA. I want a drawing table, as I’m constantly deterred from working on my pieces due to lack of a large enough surface. I also need a new area rug for my living room. The one I have is white, so it constantly looks dirty no matter how often I clean it. And, depending on how much money I get back from my deposit on the apartment I had with an ex, I may just get an armchair or two for the living room. All I have now is a small couch, so I am in need of additional seating for guests.

Of course, all that will change if I do end up getting the dog. I’m going to talk to my friend tonight to see if he thinks it is still a possibility that his father will visit this weekend. I’d really prefer the dog over the additional furniture, cause I know I’m going to dread my next move. Ha.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sweet Kelly O' Mine

Yep, Kelly is just like you and me...except for the 5X platinum album, legion of fans and that voice that won her the first American Idol. Here she is getting shit-faced, alongside 80s hair band tribute band Metal Skool and the lead singer of Yellowcard.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dress Up In You 06.02

The winner of the first season of Pop Idol in the UK, Will Young has become both a successful singer and actor. He’s also pretty darn adorable and gay! Which makes his rendition of the (like it or not Adam) 2005 gay anthem Don’t Cha by The Pussycat Dolls all the more sweet. I still prefer the Jason Nevins Mix, but Will does a fine job of making this a whole lot sexier.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fallin' Off The Ice Cream Truck

Or would it be that I’ve jumped in the ice cream truck? Thanks Adam and Brad for finding my one weakness and forcing me to have it as a delicious dessert! Of course, I had (HAD) to stop to pick a pint up on my way home. But I got Haagen-Dazs Light, so I feel a little better about it. So as I’m writing this, I’m indulging in chocolate fudge brownie ice cream…mmmmm.

As for Project Runway 3, it was…bittersweet. Laura is turning into a bitch, Vincent is as nutty as ever and Robert, while still very much a drag of a fag, is actually coming out his little bore slump.

Heidi started the show informing the remaining contestants that they have had it considerably easy so far, so they are going to make this challenge a little tougher. That’s all she would tell them, though. Tim Gunn woke them up the following morning at 5 a.m. and told them that they were going on a field trip. They were instructed to not wear any open toed shoes, which only added to the suspense. An hour later, they were in a van on their way to America’s armpit – New Jersey. They ended up at a warehouse in Newark.

Much to their surprise, they found out their challenge involved recyclable products. This includes paper, plastic, etc. So, in other words…trash.

AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! Ice cream headache.

Okay, now that it’s over….

The designers are given just thirty minutes to shift through the trash to find the elements they will use for their garments. We learn that Kayne and his sister are white trash, so he is used to dumpster surfing. Laura goes after the only product that resembles fabric…peanut sacks. The rest just seem to grab whatever they think they’ll be able to work with. At this point, nobody has a design in mind. After their thirty minutes there are up, they go to a craft shop and are given ten minutes to get stuff like glue and paint. We learn here that Jeffrey is planning on using acrylic paint because he wants to make his dress using paper materials (i.e. – newspaper, magazines) and needs to add colour.

Back at Parsons, the designers are trying to figure out just what to do with what they were able to scrounge up when they are told that they only have 10 hours total to make it work. I think this is the tough part Heidi was referring to, seeing as, up until now, they have had at least two days for each design. Naturally, some of the designers begin to panic. I mean, they are working with materials that aren’t meant to be worn and have less time than normal. I’d be a little worried, too.

Laura begins her dress, which, as usual, just reeks of Laura. I like Laura, don’t get me wrong; however, I thinks he needs to start shaking things up a little. She consistently produces well made, gorgeous dresses, but, at the same time, each dress looks like it was made by Laura. It’s become rather boring, I say. She needs to show that she doesn’t fit just one mold, although, I’m afraid, she just may. The other designers seem to dislike her, as well. There is a lot that gets tossed on the editing room floor, so we don’t really know exactly how she has presented herself to the others. I think we get a glimpse into her behaviour during this episode, though. Her bitchiness is starting to shine.

Michael is basking in his win on the last challenge, which, I’ll admit, worried me at first. I figured, he is starting to let it get to his head, but, thankfully, he didn’t. Or at least it doesn’t appear that he had. He talked about how he tried out for season 2 and, obviously, didn’t make it. So he wrote down on a piece of paper that he would win Project Runway. After he win, he found that piece of paper in his wallet. I thought that was cute. For his dress, he took Mylar, turned it inside out, and used plastic as wrap. I think the end result was cute, sans the wrap, of course.

Vincent is as kooky as ever. I just can’t even begin to describe him. He is crazy. He has a train wreck of a dress. Just white, stiff…well, I don’t even know what he was using. Then it looks like a lint roller that he just rolled over a dirty floor or something, cause he just threw and glued a bunch of crap on it. He said it was like walking art. Please, the model could barely walk down the runway, so it was just crap.

Despite his arrogance, Jeffrey actually assembled his best dress yet. Made from paper clippings, he painted it multiple colours. After slapping on a big belt, it actually turned out quite well. And it was the only dress on the runway that actually flowed. Guess he does have some talent hidden somewhere.

Kayne, on the other hand, had some problems. For some reason, he went with lime green as his colour. The skirt started out as just paper with a big green flower painted on it. It just screamed high school art project. It was rather sad, cause you know he could have done a lot better. After Tim Gunn had a near laughing fit over it, he reworked the design. I’ll say this, it didn’t turn out much better than his original concept. You pretty knew he’d be in the bottom three.

Uli picked Mylar and braided it. She came up with a very cute dress that was surprisingly (to me, at least) different from all of previous designs this season. I rather enjoyed seeing her veer from what I’ve come to expect from her.

For all his complaining, I had a feeling a Robert would be safe this round. In fact, I will not be surprised if he does make it in the top three. I’m not saying he is one of my favourites any more, but I wouldn’t be surprised, is all. Anyway, I knew he would be safe this round because his was the only dress we didn’t see at all until the runway. Whenever Robert had air time, he was never around his dress. So I was pleasantly surprised when the dress came down the runway. For starters, it wasn’t boring. It wasn’t great, either. It was just good enough to get him to the next round, and I think his spirits may be lifting again because of that.

Alison. Poor, poor Alison. She was working so hard on this crazy, abstract skirt that just looked horrible after she starting sewing it. She had to start over from scratch, and just didn’t have very good products to work with. Her model was also the biggest (i.e. fattest) out of all them and had no waist, so it was going to be doubly hard for her. But I had faith in her. I really thought she would pull it off, at least enough to slink on to the next round. Honestly, I think she is my favourite designer this season. There’s just something about her. Charisma, maybe? I don’t know, I don’t care, I just think she’s fuckin’ amazing.

And then there was Angela. She produced two amazing outfits in a row, so she must have thought she had completely redeemed herself and could produce crap. She did…produce crap, that is. I have no idea what she was trying to do with this design, but it looked hideous. She was so lucky that there just happened to be three far worse results.

So now it’s the runway. Laura’s dress gets a laugh from the judges (the backside says ‘for nuts only’ – it’s a peanut sack, remember), while Vincent’s model is barely able to walk down the runway in his “walking art.” After the dresses are presented, Heidi calls six names: Alison, Laura, Vincent, Kayne, Michael and Jeffrey. The remaining three – Robert, Angela and Uli. We already know who the bottom three are and who the top three are, as it is fairly obvious. Each designer is asked about their piece and then the judges make their decision. Laura is in. Then the winner is announced. Jeffrey is confident that he will win this, but Michael pulls an upset and claims a victory for the second challenge in a row. Michael is in. Jeffrey is in. Kayne is in…but just barely according to Heidi.

So it’s down to Vincent and Alison. Vincent’s model was barely able to walk down the runway, but his “innovation” was appreciated. Alison’s silhouette and design make her model look frumpy and the judges are shocked that a female designer would create a dress not flattering to the female figure (and that whole hair in a bow thing only detracted more). Alison is out. Gringo is NOT amused.

Auf Wiedersehen!

In the back, things heat up. Nobody is happy that Alison is going home because they all know that she has talent. Laura is very upset that Vincent is still there and begins yelling at him, telling him that he fucking knows his model could barely walk down the runway. It’s all rather enjoyable watching everyone gang up on Vincent, especially since I really wanted him to go home. I really hope he is auf’d next week. It’s really time for him to go. Or, better yet, send this nutcase home:

Ahh…I’m done. With both the post and the ice cream. Ugh. I’ll regret the latter in the morning. Haha.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Put Your Records On 06.01

In this segment, every Tuesday I will showcase new, or relatively new, music. While the occasional mainstream artist will be featured, I am going to focus primarily on indie musicians that you may not have heard of.

Ratatat is a NYC based duo consisting of Mike Stroud (guitars) and Evan Mast (synthesizer drive/producer). From what I have heard from them, their songs are, for the most part, vocal free and can be classified as electronic and rock. Their new album, boldly titled Classics, is due in stores August 22, 2006. If the two tracks I have heard are any indication, though, this album is going to kick ass. While this isn’t the first single from the album, click play below to listen to Lex.

If you like what you hear, please click here to purchase the album.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tagged, I'm It

So Dan, over at Turning 40, tagged me for this book Meme. So here goes:

1. One book you have read more than once.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith. A novel that tells the story of Archie and Samad, two best friends that met during an ill-fated excursion through Europe in World War II, and their vastly different families. Culture, race and religion are just a few of the major themes of this resplendent novel, all the more impressive considering it was her debut.

2. One book you would want on a desert island.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. I figure I’ll want to laugh because of something funny than from losing my mind. Speaking of laughing…

3. One book that made you laugh.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. The answer to #2 actually made me laugh far more, but, this was my introduction to David.

4. One book that made you cry.

Either #2 or #3, but from laughing so hard.

5. One book you wish you had written.

Anything by Zadie Smith. In my opinion, she can do no wrong…at least when it comes to her novels.

6. One book you wish had never been written.

The Holy Bible...for the same reasons Dan gave.

7. One book you are currently reading.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith. This is my favourite author, and is responsible for my on-again-off-again love affair with books. Every time she puts out a novel, I go on a reading spree. This novel, her third, is no exception. While I haven’t touched it in several weeks, it isn’t because I haven’t wanted to.

With her novels, I do not read up on what the story is about. I don’t need to. With her name attached, I know I’m going to love it immensely. I also pretty much know it is going to revolve around the crumbling infrastructure of a family (or two). So far, that seems where this one is headed, as well.

8. One book you have been meaning to read.

Wickett’s Remedy by Mya Gold. I read her debut novel Bee Season (well before the film adaptation), so I decided to give this, her follow-up, a chance. It isn’t keeping my attention, but, I have it, so I want to finish.

9. One book that changed your life.

I don’t believe that any book has changed my life. If I had to choose, then I would go with The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. The first novel I actually wanted to read a second time.

10. Now tag five bloggers.

Chad over at Stop Touching My Food
Kelly over at Rambling Along In Life
VJNet over at VJNET
Brian over at Story Of The Turtle
Kevin over at Hypoxic

There's A First Time For Everything

I just received my very first jury duty summons. I knew it would happen sooner or later. At least I get paid $6 and get a free bus ride there.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dress Up In You 06.01

I'm starting a new feature for Thursday posts. Most people are annoyed when a classic song is remade, and, more often than not, it's because it's been far too glossed over. I usually agree, but can still appreciate a decent cover song. What I do enjoy is when musicians redo current, or relatively current, songs. These are, more often than not, done while on tour or during an acoustic set. For example, while there was never a studio version to my knowledge, Travis reworked Britney's ...Baby One More Time as more of a rock song. They were just having fun w/ it, but it was still better than Britney's...which actually isn't saying much if you really think about it. Anyway, my point is that I'm going to start posting these types of songs here every Thursday.

The first installment is from Nelly Furtado. She did a stripped down version of Crazy, the global hit by Gnarls Barkley that is currently resting at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 here in the US, during a recent visit to the BBC Live Lounge.

btw, in the title I'll list the year then which entry number it is for said year.

Food, Fashion...FOOT?!?

It’s Wednesday night, and we all know what that means! In case you don’t, though, it means PROJECT RUNWAY 3. I must admit that I was looking forward to tonight’s challenge with more anticipation than the past four. Thankfully, I was not disappointed, save for an issue w/ one designer.

As I stated in a previous post, the challenge this time around was to take a fashion icon from the past four decades and modernize their look. The icons were:

Farrah Fawcett
Pam Grier
Audrey Hepburn
Katherine Hepburn
Marilyn Monroe
Jackie O
Diana Ross

In a twist, the models were asked to choose the designer they would most like to work with. After the designers were selected and two models were auf’d (remember, two designers went home last week – Bonnie was auf’d and Keith was eliminated), the surviving models went to the design room and got to fight over the icons. Here were the icons and the designers that got paired:

Alison - Farrah Fawcett
Angela - Audrey Hepburn
Bradley - Cher
Jeffrey - Madonna
Kayne - Marilyn Monroe
Laura – Katherine Hepbur
Michael - Pam Grier
Robert - Jackie O
Vincent - Twiggy
Uli - Diana Ross

With the exception of Alison and Bradley, I think each designer totally lucked out. Now, whether they rose up to the challenge is whole other issue. Michael was the one to beat, though, as he not only got the perfect icon for him, he had the best model. But Kayne was up to the challenge. I mean, come on, you give a gay man Marilyn Monroe, you expect fabulousness to occur. As for Alison and Bradley, neither really knew much about their icon. At least Alison put some effort into hers. Bradley ended up with a design suited less for Cher than for a baked potato (gotta give Adam’s Brad props for that potato reference). It was seriously hideous.

I’m going to stop for a moment and comment about Bradley. I firmly believe that the elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor, if you know what I mean. He’s just a little too peculiar. The oddest things come out of his mouth. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lived a very solitary life before the show. A squid without a sea he is indeed.

Back to the challenge. It wouldn’t be an episode of reality television if there wasn’t some sort of drama every week. Last week it was Keith being dismissed. This week, it was a feud triangle consisting of Angela, Jeffrey and Laura. While Jeffrey takes everything way too far, I have to side w/ him on this issue. Angela apparently used Bradley’s sewing machine, and, when Bradley went to use it, something was broken on it. Angela didn’t think that if she was the last person to use that it was her responsibility to repair the machine. Plus, it caused a domino effect of sorts. Angela’s on Bradley’s machine, so Bradley has to use Laura’s machine, so Laura has to use Michael’s machine, and so on and so on. That’s just an example, it isn’t what really happened. Anyway, Jeffrey started making a huge deal about it, and ended up screaming back and forth with Angela in the sewing room. Laura was trying to work and was being distracted by all of this, so she made the mistake of putting her two cents in. So now Jeffrey has a new woman to hate. First, it was Angela, a/k/a feminazi, now it’s Laura. I can’t remember what he referred to her as at this time.

With that little drama behind us (at least with the magic of editing), the challenge was back on. Here are the designs:

As I stated before, I believe Alison stumbled with this one because she was out of her element with Farrah. Still, I would have expected something a little better than this from her.

Angela surprised with a stunning dress that had Audrey written all over it (not literally).

What can I say about Bradley? Once again, he didn’t even try, but this time, there was no fooling the judges.

Jeffrey has become the resident arrogant ass in Keith’s place. Actually, he was pretty much an ass before, but it’s far more obvious with Keith out of the way. He continuously bad mouths all the other work, but then churns out crap like this. It’s definitely a Jeffrey design, but I don’t see where Madonna fit into this design at all.

Kayne delivered. This dress just reeked of Marilyn, and he was confident he’d win.

Laura nailed Katherine Hepburn.

Michael was in his element and produced fuckin’ hot hot pants. Very Pam Grier.

Robert, Robert, Robert. What exactly were you thinking? You were so focused on producing something not boring that you ending up producing yet another dull outfit. And am I the only one that can't imagine Jackie O ever using twine as a belt? This is the designer I referred to earlier as being disappointed with. At the start, he seemed by far one of the most promising. Now it seems like he has pretty much given up.

Vincent went more Brady Bunch than Twiggy.

Uli struck a chord with Diana and came up with a design that you could easily see on Ms. Ross.

Alas, it boiled down to the two best and the two worst. Michael’s magenta hot pants outfit was declared the victor, so he and his model were featured in a TRESemme ad in an issue of Elle. Kayne had to settle for runner up.

The bottom two were Bradley and, for the second time in a row, Robert. Robert’s design was yet another boring outfit, and Bradley’s, well, I don’t even know where to begin. It was a complete wreck, both in execution and the fact that it didn’t look like anything Cher would be caught dead in. So, it was goodbye to Bradley.

Auf Wiedersehen!

It wasn’t all about Project Runway tonight, though. We had our weekly dinner, as well. This time around, Kim brought dinner…

So we ended up having pizza delivered.

All in all, it was a most splendid evening. Adam and Brad are always great hosts. Btw, Adam, I love the dining room. The new colour draws your eye into the room while managing to not overpower the other features in the room. Whereas, with the deep red tone you had in there before made it so dark I’d forget there was a room there some times.

Well, I am off until Saturday. I’m leaving for Houston right after work tomorrow and will not be getting back until Saturday evening. Unfortunately, I will not have internet access, so I won’t be able to update the blog until I get back home.

Take care, have a wonderful weekend.