The Well-Read Wife


Frogpond Badge
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
« January 2006 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
January 26, 2006
Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Books on Fashion and Beauty
Topic: Book Reviews

So, I've been browsing in the 391 and 646 sections of my library's non-fiction section and indulging my senses with pictures and information about fashion and beauty. I'm almost an expert myself. Being an expert, I felt that it was in the best interest of others if I share my knowledge. Below is a list of my favorite fashion and style books. Enjoy!

For the sheer joy of the pictures, I LOVE Hot Shoes: One Hundred Years by Maureen Riley and Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & More by Linda O'Keefe. I prefer the latter because it provides more of a history and goes into the terminology of shoes.

I have a fetish for 1940s Fashion, and I've read three books that have really fed into it. Miller's Collecting Fashion & Accessories is really a collector's guide but it is also a beautiful trip down the history of clothing. My favorite section is about the clothes being manufactured during the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s. I found out that French Cuffs, pant cuffs, and long hemlines were damn near outlaw to perserve material for the military's uniforms and supplies.

Fashions of a Decade: The 1940s by Patricia Baker provides wonderful pictures, illustrations and facts on all facets of American fashion from bobby socks to Dior's New Look. This volume is actually one in a set of 10 books (it begins with fashion in the 1900s and ends with the 1990s). It was written for middle-grade children, but it is an excellent primer on the decade's looks.

The most helpful fashion advice book I've borrowed from the library is The Pocket Stylist : Behind-the-Scenes Expertise From a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Unique Look by Kendall Farr. What's great about this book is it actually accomodates several different types of body shapes and sizes from the short and petite to the tall and plus-size. It explains in detail what are best styles for your shape. To my joy, it wasn't the typical plus-size fashion info!

TLC's What Not To Wear Dress Your Best : the Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your Body / Clinton Kelly and Stacy London. This book is for both men and women and their myriad of shapes. It uses pictures of actual people instead illustrations which gives you a better idea of fit. Unfortunately, once you find your category the other pages of the book becomes worthless.

The Lucky Shopping Manual : Building and Improving Your Wardrobe Piece by Piece / Kim France and Andrea Linett ; edited by Danielle Claro. This is still one of my favorit style and fashion books because it helps you to organize your closet and explains how to put outfits together. It doesn't really make account for size, but you can always get another book for that. 

After seeing him on the Tyra Banks Show, I borrowed designer Bradley Bayou's book, the Science of Sexy from the library. The basic premise is that each woman falls into a certain body shape and you have to dress it accordingly. Perhaps it is because I've poured of many style books and magazines, but I found the book neither more nor less helpful than the Pocket Stylist. I say this much: if this is the first style book you have ever picked up, then you don't really need another one. He will give you tips to dress your shape to enhance your looks and fashion sense. It is easy to follow and has wonderful pictures and illustrations.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 8:18 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: April 26, 2007 7:59 PM EDT
January 21, 2006
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Claire Danes Grows Up and Other Celeb Beauty News
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize the transformation of Ms. Claire Danes from girl to woman with a simple hairstyle. She looks beautiful and nearly sexy as opposed to her usual sullen, souless stare. Hurrah for the makeover.

Claire Danes ala Angela Chase.

Claire Danes sexy bitch.


Today I was fortune enough to get a free copy of Sophicate's Black Hair Styles and Care Guide February '06 issue. I love the black hair magazines because they're examples of expensive hairstyles that I'll never achieve but maybe one day may be able to weave. However, at $5 a pop, they've always been low on my magazine priority list. Anywho...they're always entertaining and informative when I do get one.

In this new issue, I've found out that Queen Latifah is not only a spokesperson for Cover Girl but she also has a line of make-up inspired by her from CG. Apparently, they're geared towards African-American women. It is called The Queen Collection. I'm very pleased. I love the Queen.


Singer-actress Brandy has her own line of synthetic hair for weaves and braiding.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 2:01 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: January 21, 2006 4:04 PM EST
January 17, 2006
Oh the Star Power Is Blinding!
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: The 63rd Annual Golden Globes
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I love awards season, but I hate awards shows. They're drawn-out; over hyped; and too numerous to count. There's so many award shows that they saturate the market, and no longer hold any credible weight. Nonetheless, I'm love award show season mainly for the fashion coverage (even more so now since I've joined the Fantasy Fashion League.

If you every wondered who watches the E! Channel's red carpet coverage and then votes during the commercial break for the best dressed red carpet star so far, know that I am one of those people. On Emmy Night, Grammy Night, Golden Globe Night, and REALLY on Oscar night,I log onto E! On line, pop a bowl of popcorn, and settle down for a night of fashion hits, misses, and No She Didn'ts.

The Golden Globe Live Red Carpet coverage was very entertaining although I sorely miss Joan and Melissa Rivers, and, to a lesser extent, Kathy Griffin and Robert Verdi. They gave the question Who Are You Wearing? a certain sarcastic edge. Ryan Seacrest, whether he is straight or not, was lobbed a lot of opportunities to fawn over female celebrities. He seemed clueless and nervous. Guiliani DePandi was entertaining enough although her Mrs. George Clooney compact gag grew weary. Although the New York Post declared Issac Mizrahi as being "...gloriously devoid of tact, asking every actress what kind of underwear they were wearing while pawing through their purses," I found him wonderfully tacky and full of fun vigor. (Kudos for Queen Latifah and Keira Knightly for actually answering him.)

I thought all of the fashions were well done and beautiful in a classic and boring sort of way. I suppose if I had to chose the Worst Dressed Celebrity, I would have to chose Gwyneth Paltrow because I didn't like the collar of her otherwise pretty dress. (Pregnancy has made Gwyneth very pretty and happy. It suits her.) Reese Witherspoon's dress did nothing for her curvy figure. I don't care if it was vintage Chanel or not.

My two favorite dresses of last night was Anne Hathaway's navy blue with shimmer, one shoulder number by March Jacobs and Marcia Cross' coral Marc Bouwer (sp?) goddess dress. Her red hair is so beautiful she hardly needs any make-up or jewelry to make an outfit pop. (Oh, how I envy the naturally red-headed folks.)

Natalie Portman was the perfect pixie-haired gamine with her black, lacy, knee-length Chanel dress.

I'm going to be very busy in the next couple of months with the Grammys, Oscars, and New York's Fashion Week coming up. I can hardly wait!


Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:37 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: January 17, 2006 6:13 PM EST
January 13, 2006
Learning Prayer Lessons
Mood:  hug me
Now Playing: Prayer for People Who Think too Much
I’m a voracious reading. I love reading. I also like to read different books in a subject I’m interested in or want to learn more about. Right now I’m reading a lot of spiritual and self-help books to help me become more accepting of my self, improve my self-esteem, improve my prayer life, and to help me strengthen my beliefs.

This week, I’ve been reading a book called Prayer for People Who Think Too Much: A Guide to Everyday Anywhere Prayer from the World’s Faith Traditions by Mitch Finley. It has been very enlightening to me. As a self-proclaimed liberal-leftist, I often find myself separating my religious beliefs from my political beliefs. Attending a Unitarian Universalist church helps somewhat, because UUs are good at combining their religious beliefs with their political beliefs. However, I sometimes find that stifling to my spiritual self. This book has taught me the following lessons so far:

1.People in the Western World who are spiritual feel forced to practice their faith and religious consciousness in secrecy, because they live in a societies where church and state are separate. People don’t bring their faith into the workplace or places outside their home as to not offend other people around them who are not of the same faith.

2. In Judaism, many prayers are used throughout the day when doing anything for the first time. For example, when a you put on your clothes for the first time in the morning you thank God for giving you clothes to wear.

3.An authentic spirituality resists the dominant culture’s divorce of the secular from the sacred, finding that even in such a culture, God is present in the people and human activities that fill the average day. Even when the dominant culture restrains people from acting out their faith in overt ways, authentically religious person perceives the sacred every where. (Ed note: This one paragraph has helped me understand the right-wing conservative’s side of things a little bit. Although, I still believe that in a country like the United States, when there are several 100 different religions being practiced, it is difficult to base the government or law on one religion’s law.)

4.One of the most important ways to cultivate and maintain a sensitivity to the holy in the ordinary in a secularized culture is through regular prayer and meditation.

5.A balanced spirituality includes the willingness to make the world a better place, even if we risk our very life. (Ed Note: My deepest desire is to make the world a better place. Sometimes, it feels overwhelming to do so and I get down. I have to remember that I do not have the power to make the entire world a better place, only God does. What I can do, is make the spaces I inhabit each day a better place. I can cause a chain reaction of goodness that could spread across the world.)

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 10:45 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: January 13, 2006 10:46 PM EST
January 3, 2006
Everyone Else Does A Wrap-Up
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: My Top Ten Favorite Television Moments of 2005
Topic: TV: The Soft Blue Glow
Every year, television provides me with countless hours of entertainment. This is the first time I've decided to honor my favorite television moments. Welcome to the first annual Kiki-TV Awards.

10. Joan Rivers accidently flipping the bird to America at large while showing off her line of nail polish on QVC.

9.Tyra Banks getting a mammogram and removing her bra to let her boobs sag on television talk show.

8. Evander Holyfield trying to do the two-step on Dancing With the Stars. You could see him counting the steps in his head!!!

7. Chris Rock's incredibly funny Jude Law joke at the Oscars. I agreed with him! "And who is Jude Law? Why is he in every movie I have seen the last four years? Even the movies he`s not acting in, if you look at the credits, he made cupcakes or something. He`s in everything!"

6. Terry McMillian and her gay ex-husband's interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

5. Terry McMillan's incredibly angry interview on theTavis Smiley Show.

McMillan: I paid for his college education, you get a vehicle, and if he's able--I basically paid 300 and some odd thousand dollars to get him a pet grooming business. Two days ago or three days ago, I find out he sold everything in it and split. OK? And everything he's been doing, he's been ly--he lied in his court documents, made them available on the internet. He and his attorney both are guilty of trying to spread rumors about me being a homophobe, all kinds of things. I mean, I didn't know that you could lie in court documents. Everything in his court documents are lies with one exception--two exceptions. One, that he's gay, and two, his name is Jonathan Plummer. And I resent this.

4. Reality TV darling and plus-size model Toccara's pole dance on VH-1's Celebrity Fit Club 2. Hey ya'll, it was to lose weight! ;-)

3. Tom Cruise beingthiscloseto having his head explode on The Today Show when discussing anti-depressants with Matt Lauer.

2. Mike Meyers and Chris Tucker's reactions to Kanye West's comments on a NBC telethon to raise money for the victims of Katrina.

and Number 1, drum roll please....
1. Kanye West's
infamous George Bush comments:

"I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family it says they are looting if you see a white family it says they are looking for food. (...) those are my people down there.

(...) "We already realize a lot of the people that could help are at war now fighting another way and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us."

[Meyers, visibly uncomfortable, reads from prompter script. Camera cuts back to Kanye, who pauses, then says]

"George Bush doesn't care about black people!"

[camera abruptly switches back to a stunned Myers, then to actor Chris Tucker]

Have a Happy New Year Everyone!

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:22 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: January 3, 2006 5:33 PM EST
December 7, 2005
You Call This A Love Song
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Alicia Keys Unbreakable
Topic: Thoughts on Music
Take a gander at Alicia Keys' latest hit single, the incredibly catchy Unbreakable:


We could fight like Ike and Tina
Or give back like Bill and Camille
Be rich like Oprah and Steadman
Or instead struggle like Flo and James Evans
Cuz he ain't no different from you
And she ain't no different from me
So we got to live our dreams
Like the people on TV

We gotta stay tuned
Cuz there's more to see (Unbreakable)
Through the technical difficulties (Unbreakable)
We might have to take a break
But ya'll know we'll be back next week
I'm singing this love is unbreakable
Oh yeah yeah...

Yeah, clap your hands everybody
Clap your hands everybody
Lets do it like this, come on

See, we could act out like Will and Jada
Or like Kimora and Russell makin' paper, oh yeah
All in the family like the Jacksons
And have enough kids to make a band like Joe and Katherine, yeah

She ain't no different from me
And he ain't no different from you
So we got to live our dreams
Like the people on TV

We gotta stay tuned
Cuz there's more to see (Unbreakable)
Through the technical difficulties (Unbreakable)
We might have to take a break
But ya'll know we'll be back next week
I'm singing this love is unbreakable

We're living our dreams...yeah...
We're living our dreams
We're living our dreams
We're living our dreeeeeeeeeeeeams
We're living our dreams(We're living our dreams)
We're living our dreams(We're living our dreams)
We're living our dreeeeeeeeeeeeams
(oooooooohhhhhhh oohhh yeah yeah)

And we got to stay tuned
Cuz there's more to see (Unbreakable)
Through the technical difficulties (Unbreakable)
We might have to take a break
But ya'll know we'll be back next week
I'm singing this love is unbreakable
Sing it one more time now
Ya'll know we'll be breaking up
But we just might be back next week
This love is unbreakable(ha,ha,ha,yeah,yeah)
Break it down, break it down like this

No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation, talking 'bout nothing
No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation, talking 'bout nothing
No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation, talking 'bout nothing
No thing, no money, no sin, no temptation, talking 'bout nothing
Yeah, yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah,yeah
We just might be breaking up
But ya'll know we'll be back next week
I'm singing this love is unbreakable

The problem with this song is that the examples relationships that were unbreakable by life's circumstances are extremely flawed.

We can fight like Ike and Tina...Ike and Tina didn't just fight. Ike kicked Tina's ass. She was a victim of dosmetic abuse. Not to mention, their relationship was unbreakable. She left him because he beat her.

We can be rich like Oprah and Steadman...
Are Oprah and Steadman even together anymore?

Or instead struggle like Flo and James Evans
This is a sitcom couple, and they were unbreakable because they writers wrote them that way not because they had special connection.

All in the family like the Jacksons
And have enough kids to make a band like Joe and Katherine, yeah

Didn't Joe abuse his children? Didn't he cheat on his wife? Didn't his children FIRE HIM from being their manager? Didn't Joe put the welfare of his family behind the desire to make them famous? His children are screwed up, to say the least. The Jacksons are one of America's most dysfunctional fammilies. Who would want to emulate them in any shape or form?

Aren't there any better examples of long lasting Black relationships that she could've referenced? What about the late Ossie Davis and his wife Ruby Dee? Or Frank and Daphne Reid? The fact that she went for the most obvious proves how shallowly people take their relationships. This song would have been more tolerable to me with its obvious flaws if she hadn't reference Ike and Tina Turner. I would have overlooked the Jacksons' reference because despite their dysfunctionality, Joe and Katherine are still together. Saying that Ike and Tina were just fighting is like saying that Antartica is a little nippy.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 1:36 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
November 27, 2005
Viva La Boheme
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Rent
Topic: Movie Reviews
What is Bohemianism?:
Though a Bohemian is a native of the Czech province of Bohemia, a secondary meaning for bohemian emerged in 19th century France. The term was used to describe artists, writers, and disenchanted people of all sorts who wished to live non-traditional lifestyles.he term reflects the French perception, held since the 15th century, that the gypsies had come from Bohemia. Literary bohemians were associated in the French imagination with roving gypsies, outsiders apart from conventional society and untroubled by its disapproval. The term carries a connotation of arcane enlightenment (the opposite of 'Philistines'), and also carries a less frequently intended, pejorative connotation of carelessness with personal hygiene. Bohemians were often associated with drugs and self-induced poverty. --

Rent...the movie
A review by Rocki White
November 27, 2005

I will admit first off that I am not a Rent-o-phile. I have never seen the musical although I do know that the musical, now entering its tenth season on Broadway, has had more guest performers than the entire run of the Love Boat. I know it is supposed to be based on the play/book La Boheme, which I know nothing about. I also know the creator, Jonathon Larson, died before the show hit Broadway. I also know the show won a Pulitzer for best drama, and a slew of 1996 Tony Awards. During the 1996-1997 Broadway season, I saw another innovative show that critics loved--Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. From the Broadway: The American Musical compilation CD, I knew the popular song Season of Life from Rent. However, I didn't discover that until winter 2004. Needless to say, I went into the movie not knowing much about the plot of the show, but looking to be entertained and not disappointed by the film adaptation.

I was not disappointed with Rent...the movie although it was directed by Chris Columbus (who ruined Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets for me). Out of four stars, I give it three solid stars. However, I should delve into the flaws before I heap on the praise. That would only be fair.

Rent is a time capsule of a New York City that no longer exists. As a matter of fact, the NYC that Rent takes place in didn't even exist when the show hit Broadway. In 1995, AIDS was no longer a death sentence and phrases like "living with AIDS" were the norm. AZT was replaced with Protease Inhibitors. The heart of NYC bohemia, SoHo and Greenwich Village, became filled with Yuppies who were the only ones able to afford the soaring rents (no pun intended).

In the Giuliani era of NYC, Times Square and 42nd Street was cleaned of its charm. The hookers, the homeless (Squeegee Men), and drug addicts had been bulldozed out of sight by the corporate sponsors and family entertainment. Even the gays and lesbians seemed less threatening as they became more and more a marketing niche as opposed to a hated and disenfranchised population. And ironically enough, Rent came to Broadway stage at a time when Broadway was starting to sell out its soul to Disney, Hollywood actors (no offense Hugh Jackman), and musical tracks instead of real life musicians.

Rent was dated when it became a hit, but somehow it works. It works on stage and works on the screen. As a native New Yorker who remembers dirty streets, crack heads, graffiti-ed subways, and the squatters and tent cities in Tompkins Square Park, Rent is a beautiful reminder that New York is good even when it is really bad. It's full of youthful ambition and a will to succeed even when the odds are stacked against you. Death, sickness, poverty, and hunger are the prices one must pay to live out their dreams. Rent is about fulfilling dreams when everything works against you. It's also, as the Seasons of Life eludes, about love and living for only today.

Except for the lesbian lawyer Joanne, played by Tracie Thomas, and erotic dancer Mimi, played by a feline sexy Rosario Dawson, everyone in the movie are holdovers from the original stage production. Some critics say that they are too old to be playing characters that are at least 10 years younger. I don't hold their age against them--is there a time limit on optimism, ambition, dreams? You'll recognize Jesse L. Martin from his stint on Law and Order; Taye Diggs from How Stella Got Her Groove Back; and Diggs' wife, Idina Menzel from her Tony-award winning stint in Broadway's Wicked.

I was wholly moved by the plot, the acting, the singing, and of the NYC of long ago. I sat until the end of the credits singing along until finally the lights came up. I knew in my heart that I would be buying the original Broadway soundtrack and movie soundtrack and the DVD when it came out. I hope the movie gets an Oscar nod for best picture, best movie score, and that Rosario Dawson gets an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.

Rent! You gotta see it!

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 9:19 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: December 1, 2005 5:57 PM EST
November 22, 2005
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: All That Jazz
Topic: Movie Reviews
All That Jazz is a semi-autobiographical film about director, choreographer, and dancer Bob Fosse. Fosse was a Chicago native who used tour with vaudeville groups until he made it to Broadway. As a choreographer, he was well known for his sexualized movements and penchant for fishnets and bowler hats. The movie stars Roy Schneider as Joe Gideon cum Bob Fosse-- a chain-smoking tyrant of a choreographer with an ego as huge a his sexual appetite for women. Roy Schneider does a great job of assuming the sinewy characteristics of a life-long dancer.

Bob Fosse co-wrote and directed All That Jazz. ATJ gives us a peek inside the genius of Fosse. It is a fantastical story told as part musical, docudrama, and camp. (When Joe Gideon's alter-ego leans in beside the real Gideon, in bed after heart surgery, and whispers "cue hospital hallucination, you know, finally, that this is no ordinary flick.) Fosse skewers not only the financiers of Broadway musicals and the women he bedded, he also sticks it to himself the hardest. Gideon is such a jerk that when he is faced with a heart attack from years of drinking, screwing and pill-popping, you can?t decide if you want him to live or die.

All that Jazz is a movie that requires concentration with the quick cuts from Joe?s present to his past and into his imagination. There are also several viewings of Joe's daily routine (The routine consists of Joe popping a pill, using eye drops, taking a shower, shaking the pain out of his wrist, and then facing himself in the mirror to utter ?Show time.?). At first, the repetitions come off as annoying but eventually you realize it is a comparison of learning a dance. You repeat and repeat and repeat until you get it right. (And once it hits the stage, you repeat and repeat and repeat for 8 shows a week.) The theme of repetition and perfection come up in the film often.

Joe is working on a film project that is overdue to the movie company ( in real life it is a version of Bob Fosse's biographical film Lenny based on the life of comedian Lenny Bruce). He relentlessly watches the draft over and over again finding every flaw but never finding what good is in it. From every dance that is rehearsed ad nauseum to the parade of women that come in and out of Joe's life, his mere existence is about repetition until perfection but he never finds it. This movie, however, is as close to perfect as a bio-pic can get (witty, sexy, good music, great dancing, excellent acting).

All that Jazz also takes me back to the late 70s and early 80s when Broadway musicals seemed to having a revival in NYC. I fondly remember seeing commercials on television for Evita, Dreamgirls, A Chorus Line, Annie, La Cage Aux Folles and other favorites. I also remember hearing songs from those musicals played on the radio--re-edited and discofied for everyone. All that Jazz and Cabaret melded into one for me as kid. Life, theater, and the movies were just one big song and dance routine.

(I did especially the dance routine that Joe's daughter and girlfriend did to a life recording of Peter Allen's "Everything Old Is New Again."


Who is Bob Fosse Any Way? Bob Fosse (June 23, 1927 - September 23, 1987) was a musical theater choreographer and director.

Fosse developed a jazz dance style that was immediately recognizable, exuding a stylized, cynical sexuality. Bowler hats, fishnet stockings, canes and chairs were distinctive trademarks. His dance routines are intense and demanding, requiring considerable stamina. Technically the style involves moving one part of the body whilst holding the rest in a still pose - a combination of precisely-executed gestures ("hand ballet", to use his own term), both sinuous flows and rapid kicks and jerks. The filmed routines in Cabaret (1972) are particularly characteristic: the vulgar energy of vaudeville and burlesque updated and cooly contained within a slick, knowing sophistication.

About Musical theater From My Childhood

More recent eras

1976 brought one of the great contemporary musicals to the stage. A Chorus Line emerged from recorded group therapy-style sessions Michael Bennett conducted with gypsies - those who sing and dance in support of the leading players - from the Broadway community. From hundreds of hours of tapes, James Kirkwood and Nick Dante fashioned a book about an audition for a musical, incorporating into it many of the real-life stories of those who had sat in on the sessions - and some of whom eventually played variations of themselves or each other in the show. With music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban, A Chorus Line first opened at Joseph Papp's Public Theater in lower Manhattan. Advance word-of-mouth - that something extraordinary was about to explode - boosted box office sales, and after critics ran out of superlatives to describe what they witnessed on opening night, what initially had been planned as a limited engagement eventually moved to the Shubert Theater uptown for a run that seemed to last forever. The show swept the Tony Awards and won the Pulitzer Prize, and its hit song, What I Did for Love, became an instant standard.

Clearly, Broadway audiences were eager to welcome musicals that strayed from the usual style and substance. John Kander and Fred Ebb explored pre-World War II Nazi Germany in Cabaret and Prohibition-era Chicago, which relied on old vaudeville techniques to tell its tale of murder and the media. Pippin, by Stephen Schwartz, was set in the days of Charlemagne. Federico Fellini's autobiographical film 8? became Maury Yeston's Nine. But old-fashioned values were embraced, as well, in such hits as Annie, 42nd Street, My One and Only, and popular revivals of No, No, Nanette and Irene.


Coming next week, a review of the movie adaptation of Rent.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:14 AM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: November 27, 2005 9:09 PM EST
October 22, 2005
All I Need Is Jesus, Antidepressants, and a Good Book
Mood:  special
Now Playing: Depression
Yesterday, I felt better than I have felt in nearly three months. In July, I had stopped taking my anti-depressants after nearly four years of use. I thought I finally had a grip on my depression, because I had the two things I really worked hard to achieve: a position as a youth services librarian and a baby to call my own. However, the stress of those two things pushed me near the edge.

Throughout August, I kept fooling myself about falling into yet another depression. To people looking at me from the outside, I am the same person. I'm just as loud, gregarious, well-groomed, and fun as I always was. But on the inside I didn't feel quite right. I could feel myself being swallowed up by the stress of life--mainly caring for my baby and working with children. I couldn't sleep and my temper was horrible. Eating was a drug of distraction and calming. Then one night, I was watching Metallica's documentary Some Kind of Monster (really good flick, by the way) and downing a really good bottle of red wine (which I normally hate) and my soul went black. Pills, knife, suffocation, or running out into traffic.

It was time to see my faithful psychiatrist again. It was time to get straight again. Anti-depressants may be over prescribed in this country. Womenmay be over diagnosed as being depressed. But I tell you, I need anti-depressants. I don't like being in that black hole of despair or having that feeling of wanting to rip off my skin to feel something else beside bleak empty sadness. Today, I feel better. I can love and care for my daughter as I want. I take her crying in stride now. It's what babies do. I love her little smile, her little fingers snatching the glasses off my face, and the way she grabs my face and blows drool up my nose. It's gross but I love it.

I also have God and Jesus. I like them guys. I love them guys. To me, they're two people--the father and the son. I talk to them, and I believe they listen. I watch certain evangelists on television. Sometimes their words are soothing. I like Joel Osteen's parable approach to preaching. I like how Joyce Meyers encourages people to change for the better with God's help. I like T.D. Jakes because he moves my spirit. I don't know if they're charlatans are not, but they inspire. They help me in connecting with my God.

I've also been reading some good books. My first foray in JUDY BLUME'S children's and Young Adult literature has been very satisfying. I've been reading "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret." Oh my goodness! Why didn't someone give me this books when I was between the ages of 11 and 13. Besides just helping me through puberty, it would have helped me with my, then, struggle with God and Religion (at that age, I couldn't separate God from organized religion). I'm currently reading "Deenie" with great delight and I now know why Judy Blume has been popular all this time with children.

Read on, America, read on!

Next on my list:
Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen
A Parents Guide to Homeschooling
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
My Cup Runneth Over by Whytock
The Italian Affair by Lauren Fraser
Bridge to Terabitha by Katherine Paterson
The Road to Oz by Frank Baum

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 4:40 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: October 22, 2005 4:54 PM EDT
October 6, 2005
Picturing Cameron Diaz as the Bitch Helped
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: In her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
Topic: Book Reviews

About a month ago, I saw an ad online for the movie In her Shoes with Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette. This chick flick is based on the book of the same name by Jennifer Weiner. I read Jennifer's first book, Good in Bed, because it had a plus-sized protagonist. I ended up hating GIB, because the ending ended up reading like a cheesy soap opera plot. You could see the mistakes the main character was going to make a mile away. In Her Shoes seemed liked a better plot, so I picked it up about two years ago. I couldn't even get through the first chapter before I wretched. However, I judged the book too harshly.

Once I saw that they had made a movie out of IHS, I decided to give it another chance. Plus, imaging Cameron Diaz as the bitch sister helped immensely. At first, I found the 500-page book daunting but soon I was devouring the book like a pint of cookie dough ice cream.

Younger sister Maggie is a rebellious teenager stuck in a 28-year-old's body. She drinks and has sex recklessly, and is incredibly selfish. She often blames her learning disabilities for her actions. She actually just lacks self-esteem. Older sister Rose is the more responsible sister who feels compelled to take care of her screw-up of a sister although Maggie is never grateful. Rose is established in her career, smart, single-minded but heavyset. She makes herself invisible with dull clothes, makeup and hair. She too lacks a certain self-esteem.

Maggie's story is well thought out, and you can almost believe her character arc. Rose's story, no pun intended, is less fleshed out. You're never fully aware as to why she continues to help her sister besides familial obligation. Maggie and Rose also discover they have a long, lost grandmother in Florida. Her name is Ella. Ella brings the sisters together into a mutual and loving relationship, and rediscovers her family.

It is a wonderful story divided into three parts. Despite the length, I went through the book in about ten days. I was unable to put it down once I got past the third chapter. I was dying to know what came next. It didn't hurt that I got to imagine Cameron Diaz as the "dumb sister" who was the world class manipulator although she had "learning disabilities."

After reading the book, I am certainly excited to see the movie. I'm curious how mean they're going to let Cameron Diaz be as Maggie. Since her wonderful performance in Being John Malkovich, Diaz has only played the lovable kook. (I'm not counting that three hour bore Gangs of New York.)

Out of five stars, I give the book In Her Shoes three and a half stars. I give Good In Bed two stars.

Good in Bed is a painful book to read because the main character, Cannie, is so unpleasant. She is full of bitterness for the father who abandoned her, and the ex-boyfriend who writes about their relationship in a woman's magazine. She also loathes her mother's lesbian lover and is generally unaccepting of their relationship. (Which is odd because she longs for her size to be accepted by society.) You hardly want to root for her.
Cannie is a woman in need of good therapy and a hug. She's so full of self-loathing that she makes the most hideous decisions that you can see coming a mile away especially when it comes to her ex-boyfriend Bruce. Cannie hides her pain through jokes and sarcasm, but it wears thin.

Cannie is also a very physical woman, which real-life studies say should help her have a higher self-esteem. She turns to exercise like some women turn to comfort food. This was the best aspect of the book, because most plus-sized women are portrayed as couch potatoes.

The book does become soap opera-ish when she becomes best buds with a thin movie starlet and nearly loses her baby. I forgive this because it's fiction. But do yourself a favor, and borrow this audio book from the library.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 4:01 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: October 6, 2005 6:55 PM EDT
October 5, 2005
Obsession By Any Other Name is Still Obsession
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Flower By Kenzo Oriental Perfume
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
My friend sent me a wonderful bottle of perfume as a gift the other day. It is called FlowerbyKenzo Oriental Perfume. It smells wonderfully like Calvin Klein Obsession on me. It fades a little quicker than CkO. The bottle is also absolutely sleek, slender, and pretty. It sort of has an art deco feel to it. It makes me wish I had a glass-top vanity to display it. I don't know if Flower by Kenzo is going to knock Poeme or Obsession down from my number scent spot, but it is doing a pretty good job of being my steady number #2.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:01 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: October 6, 2005 7:14 PM EDT
September 22, 2005
I Can Read Damnit!!
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: What My Mother Doesn't Know in the Clearcut
Topic: Book Reviews
Today I started and finished a wonderful young adult (a.k.a. teen) novel called “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones. This book has two distinctive features: it was one of the most challenged books (books that people try to ban from schools and public libraries) of 2004 and it was written in a poetry format.

I picked up the book to read in honor of Banned Books Week(September 24-October 1st). I am also trying to re-read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone. At the library, we are planning a 4 hour and 51 minute read-a-thon of banned/challenged books (based on the list compiled by the American Library Association). I picked up Sones’ book expecting something depressing, overtly sexual, or sensational. It turned out to be a sweet and uplifting tale. The book is subtle. The main character, Sophia, deals with anti-Semitism, her parents’ rocky marriage, and her burgeoning love life without hitting the reader over the head. The simple and innocent language that Sones’ has her character speak with makes her story much more powerful. You get the feeling that a teenager actually wrote this, and not an adult pretending what a teen of the 21st century might say or do.

And since we’re on the topic of books, let me also recommend the very adult novel Clearcut by Nina Shengold. I am only a quarter of the way through this book, but I’m already completely engrossed. This is, so far, a sexy story about Pacific Northwest woodsman, Earley Ritter, and his lust for a Greek tree planter named Zan. The downside is that Zan is the girlfriend of Reed, the hippie college dropout Earley employs as a partner in cutting tree stumps. The story takes place in the 1970s when sex seemed much easier to have and had fewer consequences. I can’t wait to see where this story goes. I’m already casting the movie in my head. Earley is large, broad, unkempt man in his late 20s that two women find sexy. What man in Hollywood is fairly tall and can be sexy will being unkempt? I’m thinking Viggo Mortensen (although he may be too old)
or Heath Ledger.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:10 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: September 22, 2005 12:12 AM EDT
September 17, 2005
Fashion Food for Thought
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
The Great Flip-Flop Flap
Why we scorn the lowly thong.
By Amanda Fortini
Posted Friday, July 22, 2005, at 2:52 PM PT

The last time a thong was glimpsed at the White House, it was clinging to the backside of Monica Lewinsky. But recently thongs of a different sort—the shoes more popularly known as flip-flops—appeared at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. In a photograph of the Northwestern University women's lacrosse team taken with President Bush, four sets of flip-flops are plainly on display. The president, a lacrosse stick in each hand, appears characteristically unfazed. The girls smile tranquilly, unaware that their exposed toes are a scandal in the making.

Upon seeing the photo on the team's Web site, midfielder Kate Darmody's dismayed older brother shot off an e-mail: "YOU WORE FLIP-FLOPS TO THE WHITE HOUSE???!!!" The Chicago Tribune ran an article fretting about whether flip-flops were appropriate for formal occasions, quoting a team mother: "As somebody who is 52 years old it mortified me. I don't go out of the house without pantyhose on." The young women were forced to defend their faux pas. "I tried to think of something that would go well with my outfit and at the same time not be that uncomfortable," the 22-year-old Darmody said. "Nobody was wearing old beach flip-flops," noted her teammate, 20-year-old Aly Josephs, who had opted for a bejeweled brown pair. While the controversy obviously reveals a generation gap when it comes to views on casual dressing, it also raises the question: Why do we scorn the flip-flop?

It is often assumed that the flip-flop provokes us because it reveals too much flesh: toe cleavage, phallic protrusions—the foot's private parts. In truth, however, we aren't nearly so prudish. Mules and open-toed shoes, for example, both expose plenty of skin and fissures and are generally inoffensive. In the lacrosse team photo, the other front-row athletes wear strappy sandals that are at least as minimalist as their teammates' flip-flops. About these shoes there has not been a critical word.

If it's not the foot revealed by the flop-flop that bothers us, then it must be the flip-flop itself. Partly, I think, it's that the flip-flop seems altogether lazy—not only on the part of the wearer, who can't be bothered with buckles or laces, but on the part of the shoe. The flip-flop, essentially a flat piece of rubber or leather held on the foot by a thin strip (known to designers as a "toe plug") that fits between the first and second toes, seems too simple, crudely put together, lacking in underlying design. We'd like our shoes to be the product of more ambition. Our contempt for the flip-flop might also arise from the "toe plug," that undignified strip content to slum around precincts other sandals wouldn't be caught dead in. The trouble may not be that the flip-flop reveals the toes, but that it prefers the dark, dirty places between them.

Mostly, though, our problem with flip-flops is one of pedigree. While the style has been around for centuries—Cleopatra likely slipped her hennaed feet into some version of flip-flops—in the United States, the shoe's origins are shady. They were first favored by fringe groups: surfers and habitual beach-goers. (Mules and stilettos, by contrast, were originally worn by Hollywood starlets.) Most fashion historians agree that flip-flops first appeared in this country sometime around World War II, as rubber imitations of the wooden thongs, called zori, that had long been worn in Japan. Elizabeth Semmelhack, a curator for Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum, has stated that returning soldiers brought flip-flops back as souvenirs, while other scholars have argued that the rubber thongs were created during the war for use in submarines. Whatever the case, the flimsy sandals, dubbed "go-aheads" because it was nearly impossible to walk backward while wearing them, first caught on in California and Hawaii after the war, and then spread to beach communities in other parts of the country.

These were the cheap, poorly constructed flip-flops sold in large bins at the local grocery or discount store, made of shoddy rubber that could be smelled all the way down the aisle. These were the ever-breaking shoes Jimmy Buffet sang about in "Margaritaville"—"I blew out my flip-flop/ Stepped on a pop-top"—and for years, they remained the official footwear of the beach bum. Two forces brought them into the mainstream: The dot-com boom of the early '90s created "casual Fridays" and gave the slob-with-a-lot-of-leisure-time look a certain cachet; and the fashion world, ever fond of the ironic gesture, adopted the lowbrow shoes as a wry counterpoint to expensive clothing. By early 2003, flip-flops had completed their journey from subculture accessory to cultural staple. Designers like Helmut Lang, Burberry, and Manolo Blahnik offered various interpretations, and fashion writers crowed about the "Year of the Upmarket Flip-Flop." With women and men flip-flopping down filthy streets all over America, the trend shows no signs of abating.

In fact, it appears that the flip-flop's status is changing, perhaps because the young have no memory of its humble beginnings. Teenagers now wear flip-flops to prom under long sequined gowns. Celebrities prefer them to stilettos for walks down the red carpet. Fara Abramson, the self-proclaimed "Flip-Flop Guru" and co-owner of, says that many women get married in white flip-flops, as Sarah Michelle Gellar did. And perhaps the president didn't notice the girls' shoes—or lack of them—because his own daughter Jenna is an enthusiast; she wore a black pair with pink Capri pants to her court appearance in 2001. If this isn't enough to convince you that flip-flops are fast becoming part of our cultural uniform, consider that Old Navy, the McDonald's of clothiers, declared April 3, 2005, the "First Official Day of Flip-Flops," announcing sales of "more than 45 million pairs." (There are now so many flip-flops in the world that discarded rubber thongs wash up by the thousands on the shores of Australia's Cocos and Keeling Islands.)

Why have flip-flops caught on? Perhaps it's because they provide a certain visceral satisfaction. There's the catchy, onomatopoeic name. And the metronomic noise they make when you walk—pleasing, I suspect, because it confirms your existence with every step. But for most, flip-flops are about ease and comfort; they're easy to slip on and more comfortable to wear than shoes with some structure. And this is precisely why the recent instance of flip-floppery met with such objection, even as the shoes have become mainstream: You're not supposed to be at ease when you're meeting the president.

Amanda Fortini is a Slate contributor.

Article URL:

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 2:27 PM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
September 15, 2005
The New Fall TV Season
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Just Call Me Spud
Topic: TV: The Soft Blue Glow
Next week kicks off the new fall television schedule--Fox is early to the game. I've already checked out the season premieres of House, M.D. and The O.C. to my extreme pleasure. Desperate Housewives rolls out on September 25th. There's so much I'm looking forward to that I had to create a chart in order to keep up. Thank you Entertainment Weekly for the nifty guide.

What I'm Looking Forward to Watching
King of the Hill, Last season
The Simpsons
The King of Queens
Arrested Development
Freddie Prinze Jr’s sitcom on ABC
Everybody Hates Chris
The OC
Bernie Mac
Desperate Housewives
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office
Nightstalker with Gabrielle Union (It might be good!)

Through all of these TV shows and my trying work schedule, I still have to find time to watch my favorite Lifetime show--Strong Medicine with Rick(y) Schroeder.

TV Guide's Fall Schedule

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 3:30 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Pop Culture Hits Or Are They Misses?
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Say What?
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts
Britney Spears became a mother of a baby boy on my birthday! How do you like them apples? Madonna is now a middle-aged, proper mum. What next? Christina Aguilera enters a nunnery? Does nobody want to be our slutty sex symbol anymore?

It's a boy! Spears confirms birth of baby

1 hour, 4 minutes ago

Pop singer Britney Spears announced the birth of her baby boy on Thursday, saying on her web site that everyone was happy and healthy.

"It's a boy!" said the greeting on, over a picture of blue balloons and Spears kissing her husband Kevin Federline. It added: "Everyone is happy, healthy and doing wonderful. Thank you all for your love and well wishes."

The site gave no other details, but it confirmed published reports that Spears had given birth. Us Weekly magazine said the baby was born by Caesarean section on Wednesday at a hospital Santa Monica, west of Los Angeles.

Spears, 23, married dancer Federline in September last year. The Web site did not give the boy's name, but Us Weekly said the couple planned to call him Preston Michael Spears Federline.

The baby is the first for Spears but the third for Federline, 27, who has two children by his former girlfriend, actress Shar Jackson.

Yahoo News


I saw The Transporter 2this weekend. It was a visually engaging, simple-plotted, and fun Sunday afternoon flick. It wasn't better than it's over-the-top predecessor, The Transporter, but it will make its way to my DVD collection. Not to mention, I think Jason Statham is sexy with his lean body and bald head.


I really enjoy it when Keanu Reeves plays tortured good guy. He's really good at it. His seemingly blankness works. He's a white canvas that holds any color. Some would say his acting is bad, but his heroes aren't created for their great elocution. They're created for their mournful eyes, sinewy bodies, and the internal struggle. In the prozac, zoloft, anti-depressant world we live in, we've all become drugged up cut out cardboard versions of ourselves. Our eyes and our faces are devoid of emotion and depth as the drugs supress all, but our souls are in turmoil. Keanu Reeves does the perfect job of portraying the heroes of our ages. He does a fine turn in the surprisingly entertaining Constantine

If only all of us could take a dance with the devil and come out looking as great as Mr. Reeves. (Danced with the devil twice! Don't forget that Keanu was the devil's son in Devil's Advocate!)

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 3:00 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older