Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

This evening we are having the Fri Night Dinner Group (aka: 'the usual suspects') over to our house for dinner to celebrate 3 of the guys' birthdays. We're making ziti with meat sauce and cheese and apple cake. Some of the guys are bringing salad, garlic bread, and drinks. Should be a nice evening, but I have lots to do this afternoon to get ready.

Anne Marie in Philly recently asked for a Pouncer update. (BTW, send me your email address Anne Marie.) Unfortunately there has not been much if any change. Pouncer still has those fits of rapid succession sneezing a few times a day, but he's still eating and behaving like normal. The last time I took him to the vet (a month ago) they basically said they didn't know what was wrong with him or what was causing his soft pallet to be swollen, so they gave me a referral to a specialist. However, the specialist is a 4-hour round trip drive so I'd have to take a day off work to take him there, plus Pouncer HATES riding in the car. I'm afraid he will drive me absolutely insane with his meowing and growling if I try to drive him there and back. So I haven't made an appointment with the specialist yet. I've been hoping that he would either get better on his own, or start getting worse which would force the trip to the specialist. But his symptoms/condition are basically the same as they were a month ago so I'm sort of 'waiting it out'. Thanks for asking.

In his State of the Union speech Wed night President Obama repeated his campaign promise to work with/encourage Congress to repeal DADT. Hours later I received an email from a well-meaning group requesting me to sign a petition urging the President to "act now" on repealing DADT. It seems to me that the President is ready to "act now" but knows it is Congress who needs to support and pass the legislation. So instead of signing that petition directed to the President, I signed this petition which sends an email to your representatives in Congress (not the President) urging them to work with the President to repeal the discriminatory DADT legislation that has resulted in the loss of thousands of talented and willing GLBT service members. I urge you to do the same.

I'm not too pleased with right now. On Dec 8 I ordered the newly released "Twelve Nights in Hollywood" box set by Ella Fitzgerald, featuring many never-before released tracks, and anxiously awaited its delivery. I received an initial email confirming my order, then another giving me an estimated delivery date of Dec 17, then another several days later indicating there would be a delay and that the new delivery date was Dec 24. Just before Christmas I received another email indicating that an 'unexpected demand' had caused another delay, and that the new ship date was Jan 3. Then on Jan 3 I received an email indicating my payment could not be processed so my order had been cancelled! Apparently when I updated my debit card number it did not save properly so Amazon tried to process the payment against my old card number. Rather than sending me an email about it and giving me a day or two to update the card number (again), they just cancelled my order. I think that's a sh*tty policy. So, after triple checking that my debit card number had been updated and saved, I re-ordered the box set and on Jan 3. The expected delivery date is now Feb 3. If it arrives then, it will have taken 2 full months to get the product I ordered. Next time I decide to purchase online I will look for other suppliers who compete with Amazon.

In sharp contrast, I can not adequately express how thrilled I am with my new jeans. I am particular about the way I want my jeans to fit but I was able to find, not 1, but 3 pairs last weekend that fit great! And to sweeten the deal even more, they were all on sale! YAY!!!

Despite the fact that its bright and sunny out today, its very cold and windy. Only 17 degrees with a wind chill factor of 8 degrees this morning when I took Jordan out. A snow storm is expected in the surrounding area tomorrow but I don't know how much is predicted for us, here on the coast. The stupid website simply tells me that its going to snow, but not how much to expect! Oh yeah, they also give me lots of other useless info like when high tide and sunset will be. I can look out the window and tell when its sunset!

Have a terrific (and possibly snowy) weekend!!

Crush du Jour: Nick Zano

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A conversation with...

This month IN THE LIFE will take a look back at the best of their ongoing series 'A Conversation With…', featuring provocative discussions among celebrated actors, writers and activists speaking out about LGBT equality and culture. Here's what you can look forward to:
A CONVERSATION WITH… Kathleen Turner and Edward Albee
Kathleen Turner and Edward Albee reflect on his plays, the reviews, inspiration, and what he considers to be the emerging "commercialism" of Broadway theater. "The problem about live theater is it costs so damned much to put on," says Albee "an audience that goes to the theater for escapism is a different audience than one that goes to engage and think about stuff.”

A CONVERSATION WITH… Julian Bond and Jonathan Capehart
Julian Bond, Chairman of the NAACP, a giant in the movement for Black Civil Rights, has been on the frontline for equal rights in America for over four decades. He is also an outspoken advocate for the rights of America's gays and lesbians. Washington Post editorial writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, Jonathan Capehart, explores Bond's national leadership role in these major social issues of our day, recalling those who were formative in his growth as an activist.

A CONVERSATION WITH… Julianne Moore and Christine Vachon
Long-time collaborators, screen actress Julianne Moore and Killer Films co-founder and producer Christine Vachon talk about lesbian representation in film, the state of queer cinema and homophobia in Hollywood.
To watch a preview click here.

The Best Of 'A CONVERSATION WITH…' will begin airing Feb 1 and will be available for free video streaming and downloadable podcasts from their website the next day. To find out when the series will air in your area, and to stream or download it, go to their website and type your zip code in the box next to "Get Airdates".

I don't know about you, but I'm setting my DVR.

Crush du Jour: Tim Perry

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1,000th post

Today Tales of the Sissy reaches a milestone: its 1,000th post.

That may not sound like much of a milestone to some bloggers who post up to 5 times a day, mostly with photos gleaned from the internet and links to news stories. Don't get me wrong - I love photo blogs and news story blogs! But my blog is different.

I limit myself to 1 post per day and pool my smaller pieces into a collection called Friday fragments. I think of my daily posts (M-F) more like original short stories. All of them are true and come from past experiences or current situations in my life.

I'm NOT saying my blog is better than photo or news blogs. I'm just saying mine is different and requires more time and thought, so 1,000 posts is a milestone to me.

I sincerely appreciate all of you who read my blog, and encourage you to leave comments as often as you'd like. Bloggers love comments!

Crush du Jour: Matt Light

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I am an award winner

I'm honored and flattered to report that, in addition to being a writer and an artist, I am also an award winner. The Kreativ Blogger award was bestowed upon me and I couldn't be more proud!

So here's how it works:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

Thank you to my handsome and talented friend Stephen in Portland, OR!

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

a. My 1st birthday I ever celebrated was when I turned 30. This is because prior to that birthday I had belonged to the Jehovah's Witnesses religion which prohibits the celebrating of birthdays and other holidays. My new friends planned a surprise party and I had NO idea. It was wonderful!

b. I started taking piano lessons at the age of 9. It took my teacher 2 years to figure out that I wasn't reading the music. I knew how, but found it tedious. Instead I would listen to her play and quickly memorize the song. Then I'd look at the music but play from memory.

c. Since I came out later in life (almost 30) and immediately entered into a relationship, I can count the number of sexual partners I've had and still have some fingers left over. Sometimes I wish that wasn't the case.

d. As much as people tend to gravitate toward that which is like us, I also crave diversity among my friends. I enjoy older and younger friends, married and single friends, gay and straight friends, white and non-white friends. I've had transgender friends and am currently seeking a drag queen friend.

e. I look heavier than I am. I've compared my weight with several friends who are approximately the same height and everyone always thinks I weigh more than they do when the opposite is true. This is despite the fact that I work out 2-3 times per week. Maybe its my clothes.

f. Although my carpet matches the drapes, my wallpaper is much lighter. The hair on my head is light brown with a slight sprinkle of grey, but my eyebrows and beard are very blond. The hair on my head used to be blond too when I was younger. So why didn't my eyebrows and beard get darker when the hair on my head turned darker?

g. I believe everyone needs to do some kind of volunteer/charity work at least once a year. Its a good reminder that many are less fortunate than we. It makes you feel good. It builds a sense of community. You often meet other nice, like-minded people. I know a couple who met while volunteering. They are still together many years later.

5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers and post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

I had no trouble thinking of 7 kreativ bloggers, but since several had already been tagged, I decided not to double-tag them and selected other kreativ cats!

Bugsy a day in the life of bugsy
cb Mangina Monologues
Paul Dangling Carrots
David DavidDust
Bob I Should Be Laughing
Tony Spewing Truth in the Face of Lies
Kevin The Lisp

6. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

Thank you again for the award, and congratulations to the award winners above!

Crush du Jour: Bjorn Barrefors

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend hightlights

When Spouse returned from his personal trainer appointment Sat morning he suggested we do a little shopping. I readily agreed because I needed some new jeans.

Since he was in the mood to go into multiple stores, I took advantage by suggesting we return a few things 'while we're out'. (He hates exchanging/returning things so I usually do it alone.) We stopped at 2 stores where we returned a humidifier because it was too noisy to run while sleeping and a pair of jeans Spouse bought 2 weeks ago that had a flaw in the fabric. Then we stumbled upon a terrific clearance sale where Spouse got a pair of jeans and 3 long-sleeve pull-overs and I got 3 pairs of jeans and 1 long-sleeve pull-over for $83. Can you believe it? I was particularly thrilled because I usually have a difficult time finding jeans that fit me correctly, but I found 3 pairs. After hitting that 'motherload' we stopped at the grocery store to continue the day's shopping theme.

For dinner I made sausage and cheese omelettes and heated up the left-over brussel sprouts. Then we watch Thursday's "Project Runway" on the DVR. I thought this week's garments were very creative and attractive, despite the designtestants having to work with potato sacks. They were much better than last week's garments, for which the designtestants could use anything fabric wanted. Afterward we watched a Netflix DVD "The Journey of Jared Price". Since it was written by Dustin Lance Black ("Milk", "Big Love", etc.) I had higher expectations. But then I realized the film was made 10 years before "Milk" when young Black was still practicing his craft.

Sun morning Spouse & I headed to VA. We visited with his family for a few hours at his mom's house, then picked up my aunt Mary and went to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant (in our old neighborhood) for an early dinner. After dinner we went to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to see "Ella!", a tribute to my absolute all-time favorite vocalist (and musical genius, in my opinion) Ella Fitzgerald. Dee Dee Bridgewater and Janis Siegel (of the Manhattan Transfer) were outstanding, and Al Jarreau was pretty good too. The Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band was also wonderful, but unfortunately, too loud most of the time. The singers were often drowned out by the band's crescendos which prevented us from being able to hear the lyrics. I also think the Concert Hall could use a new sound system because even when the band wasn't playing we had difficulty understanding the dialog between the singers. But overall the concert was great! Aunt Mary picked great box seats and we had a wonderful evening.

We dropped Mary off at 9:45 and then drove back home, arriving at 12:15. The pet sitter had fed and walked Jordan for us so we were in bed shortly after returning home.

Crush du Jour: Matt Bomer

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday fragments

I really hadn't collected much during the week to share with you in my Friday fragments post this week. I waited to see if some interesting things would present themselves, but the day has mysteriously gotten away from me and I now find myself with little to share and only a little time.

Last week I lost another 3 lbs (big deal), making my total lost weight 5 lbs. I will weigh in again on Mon for this week's results. I've been doing well as far as not skipping breakfast like I used to, and making better food choices. Hopefully it will all pay off and I will be in the running to become America's Next Top Model.

Last week a couple of you asked for picture of my trimmed goatee. I had let it grow for a few weeks but did not like the way the longer wiskers looked; kind of scraggly. Also, I didn't like that some of the curly wiskers started to grow onto my lip and I could feel them when I pursed my lips. Not that I purse my lips a lot. So I used a trimmer and shorted my goatee, which I like better.
The color and density are still very light so it doesn't show up very well in photos. I'm thinking maybe I should put a 'spin' on it and call it a "barely there" goatee.
"Barely there". Yeah, that's it! I like that it looks 'neater' and I don't feel the wiskers on my lips. On the extremely rare occasions that I purse them. Whatever.

That's all I've got folks. Hope you have a terrific weekend!

Crush du Jour: Dean Coxx

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I am an artist

I will freely admit that I know little to nothing about art. You could put a Rembrandt, Picasso, and a Renoir in front of me and I'd have no clue which was which. But that doesn't mean I don't like art. I just know what I like.

I like color, and I like defined shapes.

Many years ago Spouse & I saw this framed print by Kandinsky in IKEA and I fell in love with it. Spouse liked it too, and since it was inexpensive we bought it. It remains one of my favorite pieces.
While watching a decorating show on HGTV some years ago, I heard a designer refer to a piece of art she called "Mondrian-inspired". I liked the piece so much I looked up Mondrian and found lots of stuff I liked, such as this:
We don't have any Mondrian pieces nor any "Mondrian-inspired" pieces, but it is a style of art I am attracted to.

Just a few months ago when Steven & Thad were here Thad saw a painting in our house and said it looked "very Mark Rothko". "Very what?" I asked. I'd never heard of Mark Rothko, but when I looked him up I understood what Thad meant. Here are 6 separate paintings by Rothko:
I love them.

The paintings in our house that reminded Thad of Mark Rothko are these: (click to enlarge)
I painted them about 5 years ago to decorate my very dull office. They were my 1st ever attempt at 'making art'. I bought canvases at a craft store and used left-over latex wall paints. The green was in our kitchen, the purple was on a single wall in our bedroom, and the red/burgundy was on our fireplace mantel in our previous house.

When we moved to our current house I hung them in a bedroom that serves double duty as my office.
Interestingly, I hung them in a different order than before without being aware of it until now. I love that my art is flexible!

My 2nd attempt at 'making art' were landscapes. Each painting is done with just one color plus white. These are the same left-over wall paints I used for the "Rothko-inspired" paintings above, but with a very different effect. These hung in our library/den in our previous house.
Now they hang in a hallway at our current house.
Once again, I hung them in a different order than before without being aware of it until now.

Last weekend I felt 'inspired' by the long blank wall in our new master bathroom, so I picked up some more canvases at the craft store, along with some acrylic paints. (When we moved from our previous house we threw away all the left-over wall paints.) I wasn't sure what I wanted exactly, but I knew I wanted it to have a somewhat bold and reckless feel, to juxtapose the soothing, earthy tone of the space. This is what I came up with:
Without trying to copy Kandinsky, I think I created something "Kandinsky-inspired".

I was a little unsure of them at 1st, since they are not as controlled as my other pieces, but when Spouse said he like them, I banished my doubts and silently told myself "I am an artist. I AM an artist!"

Hmmm, sounds familiar. I hope I'm not taking this 'empowerment' thing too far.

Crush du Jour: Geoff Begnaud

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I am a writer

A few months ago I was contacted by Hadley, a straight woman who said she "loved" my blog. I'm guessing she searched Blogger for blogs in our small town and found mine.

Hadley said she was going to launch a website designed for 'Locals Only'. See, we live in a small seaside resort area that has a rather small year-round population (called 'locals'), but a large influx of out-of-state visitors during the summer months (called 'weekenders'). Being approximately 2 hours from Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Wilmington, there are a lot of people for whom our little seaside area provides a very attractive 'beach weekend'.
To encourage 'locals' to patronize the many restaurants during the non-summer months, many restaurants feature off-season specials. Hadley used to compile a list of the restaurants and their nightly specials, which used to get copied and passed around. Last fall she decided it would be better to put the list on a website/blog, and include reviews and comments from patrons. Thus, the 'Locals Only' blog was born. In an email she asked if I'd like to write for the blog.

Initially I was flattered that she liked my blog enough to invite me to participate, so I told her 'Sure'. We emailed back and forth a few times, trying to figure out when we were both available to talk on the phone. We both have busy schedules so it was harder than you'd think. The holidays came and went and since I didn't hear from her for a while, I wondered if perhaps I seemed too 'high maintenance' or something. You never know, right?

But today, out of the blue, with no prior coordination, I got a call from Hadley. She asked if I had a minute to talk and although I was working, I took a break to talk to her. I was glad she was still interested in me.

From our 10-15 minute chat I could tell we could become friends easily. I liked her right away. She loves to eat out, she loves to drink cocktails, she loves meeting friends for happy hour, and she loves men... all the things I love, too! And if that wasn't enough, she loves my blog, thinks I'm funny, and referred to me as a writer.

"I'm not a good writer at all. I just write like I talk" she said with a giggle. "But you're a great writer! You're funny, and your blog is always interesting. I just love it."

After all of that I probably would have agreed to almost anything she asked.
Hadley: "You're a great writer, now paint my house."
Mark: "OK. What color?"

She also explained that she wants the blog to be about more than just off-season restaurant specials and reviews, so we discussed some of the other types of content that would be appropriate. She was open to my ideas and was very easy to work with, so I agreed to become a contributor. A writer.

When our conversation was over I thought to myself "I am a writer. I AM a writer!"

I've always hesitated to call myself a writer because I don't have much formal training for it. I've written some training materials in a few previous jobs and I've been writing this blog for 5 years now, but its not like I've written a novel or anything like that. But I do have experience, if you consider a 5-year old blog to be experience.

And then I remembered that 2 1/2 years ago a small newspaper found my blog and requested to reprint an entry in the newspaper where I described a favorite restaurant. They actually published the blog entry, word for word, and listed me as the article's author. There was no mention in the newspaper of finding the article on my blog. No, they simply printed it and listed me as the author.

Yes, I am a writer.

So in the next few weeks I'll be putting together some short articles for publication on Hadley's 'Locals Only' blog. I'll provide you with the link when the 1st article is published, in case you want to check it out.

Crush du Jour: John Dore

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pact with the Devil

By now everyone's heard about Pat Robertson's vile claim that Haiti's devastating earthquake is the result of it's pact with the Devil. Honestly, I can't understand how he could have ANY followers left after such a terribly insensitive (not to mention utterly ridiculous) comment.

Apparently the Devil is a reader of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and decided to use that newspaper to send a letter to Robertson. The letter read:

"Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action.

But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.

Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"?

If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll.

You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best, Satan"

Crush du Jour: Alessandro Nivola

Monday, January 18, 2010

Long weekend highlights

Sat morning Spouse went to his personal trainer appointment, and Steven and I went to an estate sale nearby. Like most 'estate sales' around here, everything was overpriced. Steve found 3 boxes of vintage Christmas balls for his silver Christmas tree, but didn't buy them because they were way too expensive. They wanted $75 for all 3 boxes! Afterward we went to breakfast and I did well on my diet by not eating the home fries or toast. Steven dropped me off at home and I drove Big Ella over to the staging area so she could be in the Martin Luther King Jr parade. It was fun and I received a plaque for our participation.

Spouse and I did some shopping and I picked up some canvases and paints at Michael's Village Crafts. When we returned home Spouse watched TV while I worked on my art. I suggested we have a 'date night' where we'd have a nice dinner out followed by a movie. Spouse wasn't so much interested in seeing a movie so we just had dinner. It was sort of 1/2 of a date I guess. We decided to eat at Fish On! because we knew we would have a nice meal without blowing our diets, and because we had a gift card. Its an upscale restaurant that sort of looks like it belongs in Manhattan. We both started with salads of mixed greens with bleu cheese crumbles, then Spouse had salmon with roasted brussel sprouts and acorn squash. I had scallops with baby spinach in a lemon caper broth. Both were delicious and we successfully resisted their decadent Big Fat Chocolate Cake. When we returned home we watched Project Runway on the DVR and then went to bed.

Sun it rained all day. We decided to have a lazy day of TV watching, computing, and napping. I trimmed my goatee because it was looking too shaggy. It still hasn't filled in the way I wish it would, but at least it looks neater than before. We didn't leave the house until 4:30 when we went to Steven & Thad's for dinner. They were having tortilla-free taco salad and invited us to join them. We were impressed by their fancy presentation! All the taco salad ingredients were neatly chopped and pleasingly arranged in a large round divided container. I teased them about being fancier fellows than I had given them credit. We had a really nice evening hanging out with them and watching the Golden Globes. Usually I find awards shows tend to get kind of boring, but I have discovered the secret is to watch them with other gays. The 4 of us critiqued the stars' gowns, hair, and make-up during the red carpet show. It was fun! We also had a pretty wild thunder and lightning storm. Thank god the electric and cable didn't go out!

Spouse & I were both off on Mon for MLK Jr day. We tidied up the kitchen a bit, ran a few errands, went for a short walk on the beach, and then met our buddies Kozet & Jim for lunch. We met them at the gay car club awards banquet last Sept and discovered they live in the neighborhood where Spouse & I first lived together. They are nice guys and we had a very enjoyable time. Again I stayed on my diet by having a Greek chicken wrap and NOT eating the delicious french fries that came with it.

After lunch Spouse & I did our weekly grocery shopping, and then I went to my personal trainer appt early since I was off and Rick had an opening. Instead of getting home at 7:30, I was hope at 5:30, which was nice. I made bison burgers and baked beans for dinner. They taste similar to hamburgers but have virtually no fat and are a great source of protein. We watched TV and went to bed early.

Crush du Jour: Cory Bond

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

I've mentioned a few times that Spouse & I play team trivia with Steven & Thad and The Bobs on Thurs nights. Last night we won 1st place again, for the 3rd week in a row!! The prize for winning 1st place is a $25. gift card for the restaurant/bar where the game is played. Often we eat dinner there before the game and have our fave waitress Liz deduct the $25. from our bill.

Since Project Runway Season 7 started last night, and I knew we wouldn't get home in time to watch it from the beginning, I acquiesced and swapped our cable box for one with a DVR. Spouse has been wanting a DVR for a while but I have resisted, citing an addition $12.95 to our already high cable bill. But when I called the cable company this week about it, I found it was only $2.50 extra for the first 12 months. I figured that was a good test for us. Last night I recorded Project Runway so we could watch it from the beginning when we got home, but it was pretty late so we decided to wait and watch it tonight, after dinner with 'the usual suspects'.

Rue McClanahan had a stroke yesterday. Best known as Blanche on "The Golden Girls" and more recently as Peggy in "Sordid Lives: The Series", is 75 years old and is expected to be released from the hospital following surgery. Best wishes, Blanche!!

The Onion, my favorite and most trusted new source, has done it again. This time they've tickled my fancy with this (fictitious) story about a gay teen who is worried he might be a conservative Christian! I dare you to read it and not laugh. Then there's this report of a Colorado ban on same-sex friendships!

This will be a 3-day weekend for us, as Spouse & I both have Mon off for Martin Luther King Jr. day. We don't have any 'big plans' but who doesn't love a long weekend?

I've mentioned before that our friend Steven forced us to watch an episode of that train wreck known as "Jersey Shore". It is SOOO bad. But today my friend Matt posted this hilarious spoof on Facebook, featuring kids as the "Jersey Shore" characters. OMG - so funny!!

One of my friends posted this video on Facebook and I loved it! The vintage photography AND the crazy background music made me laugh out loud. I'm sure several of you can think of some ideas on "what to do with a drunken sailor"...

Have a great weekend!

Crush du Jour: Ben Kieren

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Enough time

Tonight is the premier of season 7 of Project Runway, and I know that David Dust is so excited he's already peed his pants a few times.

I have been watching Project Runway since day 1, or season 1, I guess I should say. I happened to see a commercial for it while watching something on Bravo and made a mental note to watch it. I did, and I really liked it. It seemed new and fresh. Maybe part of it had to do with the fact that I do not sew or design clothing. But the show just seemed different, and I liked that the characters were "characters". That was season 1, the season Jay McCarroll won, the season that got everyone talking about Project Runway.

Since then there have been 5 additional seasons of Project Runway, and many other similar design/reality shows, including Design Star, The Fashion Show, Sheer Genius, Top Design, and Launch My Line. None of them even approach the greatness of Project Runway, but that's just me.

And although Design Star and Top Design are about interior design and Sheer Genius is about hair design rather than fashion design, the format is the same: a pool of contestants performs in themed challenges that result in weekly eliminations. Another uniting factor about all these shows is my frustration with the amount of time we, the TV audience, has to view the final products.

It seems that more than enough time is devoted to explaining the object of the challenge, shopping for supplies, and watching the construction of the item, be it a garment, hairstyle, or room.

There is always plenty of time for 'confessional' interviews where the contestants talk about how they feel about the challenge and the other contestants.

There always seems to be a crier on every season who is emotionally overcome at least once in every episode.

And every frickin' week we are introduced to the same judges, as if we'd forgotten who they were from last week.

But the the part of the show devoted to actually showing us the finished project is, like, 3 seconds.

Seriously!! In a 60-minute episode of Project Runway with up to 12 contestants/models we are treated to about 18 seconds of the models wearing the finished garments on the runway, COLLECTIVELY! That means 12 'looks' in 18 seconds.

Now, I don't know about you, but I would really appreciate a little more time to view the finished garments/hairstyles/rooms before hearing the judges' comments.

Sometimes you hear a judge mention something about 'poor construction' or the lack of a finished hem. These are things we literally do not have time to see!

With an hour long show you'd think they could give a little more time to showing the results. Maybe shave off a few seconds by NOT showing the crybaby in every episode. Shave off a few more seconds by NOT introducing us to the same judges week after week. Shave off yet a few more seconds by NOT showing the contestants brushing their teeth in the morning!

Yes, with a little bit of shaving here and there, I think we could manage to piece together perhaps (gasp!) 5 whole minutes to view the 12 'looks' on the runway.

What do you think?

Crush du Jour: Tober Brandt

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Flight security

Last month's attempted underwear bombing of an airplane on Christmas day resulted in some new "security" standards being implemented immediately.

Since high-tech full body scanners will take a while to be installed in all US airports, the airlines are now implementing 'low-tech' body scanning on the tarmac.
It may be somewhat inconvenient (not to mention chilly in the winter), but you can rest assured that NOBODY will be able to board a plane in the US carrying a gun, knife, box cutter, shoe bomb, underwear bomb, or even Chapstick.

Of course, these measures are ONLY being taken on flights that originate in the US. Flights originating outside the US will still be a crap shoot.

Don't you feel 'safe' now?

Crush du Jour: Ethan Reynolds

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As they appear

Sometimes things aren't as they appear.

Example 1: Former President Bush appears to be talking on the telephone. But notice that he has the handset backwards, with the earpiece next to his mouth (where his foot normally is) and the mouthpiece next to his ear.
Example 2: This TV news anchor appears to be showing a sketch of himself.

Example 3: This soccor player appears to be really enjoying a BJ from a team mate.

Example 4: This weather map appears to have a large penis on it.

Example 5: The soldier to the left of the Queen appears to have forgotten his underwear.

Example 6: This gymnast appears to be so excited with her performance that she could just pee!

Example 7: This football player appears to be humping his opponent.

Example 8: This photo appears to be about children posing for an innocuous, off-season beach photo.

Example 9: This camel appears to enjoy being mounted by this soldier. (Kinda gives new meaning to the term 'camel hump'.)

Example 10: This child appears to be re-enacting a scene from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "The Birds".

Crush du Jour: Adrian Paul