The Well-Read Wife


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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
May 6, 2006
Cultural Heresy
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: Defending (sort of) Tom Cruise and his ilk...
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts
I am taking a moment to post my opinions on celebrities and pop culture that might go against the grain of what everyone else is thinking. This might earn me some enemies or, at the very least, cause me to get a pair of discount designer shades at to protect my identity.

First off, I am a fan of Tom Cruise. I have been a fan of his since I was 12, and that was nearly 21 years ago. Back then, I carried his picture in my wallet and wept when he married Mimi Rogers. I was envious of Kelly McGillis in Top Gun. I also thought Tom Cruise was robbed of Oscar recognition for The Color of Money and Born on the Fourth of July. I thought Tom Cruise did an excellent job as the ambi-sexual vampire mentor Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. (Stuart Townsend didn't bring as much glee or depth to his Lestat in the horrid Queen of the Damned.)

I also believe that Tom Cruise is a good actor with a winning personality with a nose and a smile that only a mother could love. (Have you seen his mother? They look exactly alike!) I have loved Tom Cruise as a lover, a mother, a friend, and sort of like Rosie O'Donnell. Last year's appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show ruffled my feathers. His open disdain of antidepressants and post partum depression felt like a mighty stab in the back since I am an antidepressant user and was suffering from post-partum (post-adoption if you will) depression. Tom, if you're reading, you really hurt my feelings! The press has spent the better part of the last six months documenting his reportedly faux or apparently crumbling relationship with Katie Holmes. She was the victim, she was duped, Tom Cruise was brainwashing her.

Um? Okay.... Perhaps, but I couldn't feel sorry for the then-pregnant Katie Holmes since she took no precautions not to the get pregnant. (Right, they're all anti-Catholic. What about pre-marital sex? I believe that is also a big Catholic no-no.) Poor, innocent Catholic Katie Holmes and big bad Scientologist Tom Cruise. My goodness! Tom Cruise is the size of an ant. Kick him in the nuts, make a run for the border and get a restraining order if he is that crazy and evil. I don't feel bad for Katie Holmes. Dating Tom Cruise is the biggest thing she could have done for her career. (BTW, indie movie girl and former Dawson's Creek costar has gotten nominated for an Oscar. Go Michelle Williams. I suppose Dawson pined after the wrong girl.)

Scientology is a weird-sounding religion. From all I've read, it seems like a cult. It seems scary. However, Catholicism and Jehovah Witnesses seem like a cult and scary to me. The leftist liberal in me still celebrates the freedom to speech and the freedom of religion in the United States, and I believe that Tom Cruise has the right to say what he wants to say about antidepressants and to practice any religion he wants. Although I am classified as a Universalist Unitarian, I follow more of a Word of Faith movement spirituality which generally relies on positive prayer and thought (to achieve the greatness that God has for his children). WOF detractors believe that it is cult like and is trenched too much in the secular and not enough in the world. Kind of like Scientology, no? (Unitarian-Universalists aren't staunch Christians favorite religion either.)

Tom Cruise, I am defending you! You go with your crazy antics and your oft-criticized religion, because I don't care that much. I love your movies, especially your action movies. Nobody runs like a bat out of hell in an action movie like Tom Cruise. I can't wait to see Mission:Impossible III.


I admire Nicole Richie. She transformed herself from the skanky-looking and drugged-out sidekick of Paris Hilton into a lean (a too-lean, she and I and everyone else admits), sober, and pretty glamour girl about town in her own right. She graces best dressed, best tressed, and best makeover lists of dozens of magazines. She's getting solo fashion magazine covers, and recognition of her own. Even her feud with Paris Hilton makes her look good, since she didn't publicly start the feud. (The issue, I believe, is that Paris became jealous that Nicole didn't need her anymore for press.)Like Paris, Nicole is generally famous for nothing but I like her anyway. I'd rather see the made-up doe eyes and razor-cut bob of Nicole Richie than the overexposed long legs and pointy elbows of Paris Hilton. (I'm even going to take a glance at Nicole's debut novel, The Truth About Diamonds.

Here are some other things that go against popular beliefs:
1. I like Jennifer Love Hewitt. I think she's cute and genuine, and I like her TV movies except for the Audrey-biopic.

2. I think Keanu Reeves is kind of a good actor.

3. I don't like Jennifer Aniston. I think she's plain and her acting ability can't support anything bigger than a sitcom.

4. On that note, Friends, not that funny.

5. Beyonce Knowles is not a triple threat anything. Neither is Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, or any other of those singing-dancing-acting stars. Dance with the date who brung ya.

6. Madonna hasn't been relevant for ten years.

7. Gisele Bundchen has nothing on Cindy Crawford.

8. Best celebrity ass does not belong to Kylie Minogue, but Beyonce.

9. Matt Damon is an underrated actor. Ben Affleck is overrated and gets way too much press.

10. Wrestling is not fake. Those dudes can and do get hurt!

11. Playing gay in a movie, not that brave. Being openly gay in America, very brave.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:48 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: May 20, 2006 3:22 PM EDT
May 5, 2006
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: A Cute Purse from Payless Shoe Source
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I've been a fan of Payless Shoe Source since it replaced my favorite Fayva shoes on the corner of Broadway and E. 3rd Street (in New York City's Greenwich Village) many moons ago. It went from being cheesily cheap to ironically cheap to OMG that looks just like a name brand shoe to fashionalbly inexpensive. Payless shoes appear in such fashion magazines as Shop Etc., Lucky, and Glamour. (I doubt we we will ever see a Payless shoe in a Vogue fashion display.)

Right now, I'm loving Payless for all their cute espradille and other wedge sandals I can't wear because of my foot problems (long story). However, a recent visit to my favorite shoe shop revealed a beautiful white leather-esque hobo bag with colorful flowers embrodiered on it. OH MY GOODNESS, it was to die for and perfectly wonderful for summer. (My black real black leather back from H&M--4 years ago--is starting to peel and look to heavy for summer.)

Deliciously yummy for $19.99, no?

Spring and Summer are fun time for me because I like to shop and window shop, and see the big movie blockbusters. (On the top of my list Mission: Impossible III and X-men 3 with my alternative universe husband Hugh Jackman.) So look forward to more entires from moi.

Right now, I'm checking out a new website called Cocoa Chik and a new book by Kimora Lee Simmons called Fabulosity. I can't wait to give you my full details.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 4:15 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
April 27, 2006
I Lost 30 Pounds But I'm Still Fat
Mood:  hungry
Now Playing: Body Image and Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance
Vote For Me for Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance Viewers' Choice Award!

In the middle of my post-adoption depression in September '05, I developed an exaggerated case of self-hatred not experienced by moi since my first miscarriage in the summer of 2000. I hated every ounce of the 213 pounds I was carrying. I decided that my life was absolute shit but I could change one thing--my weight. A month after this depression-fueled realization, I joined Weight Watchers. Surprisingly, I adhered pretty strictly to their flex points program. I faltered a bit, but each week I was losing ounces. After six weeks on the program, I had lost nearly ten pounds. By February 2006 (after 4 months) I had lost close to 25 pounds. I was fitting into skinny clothes.

Wait...let me define skinny clothes for you. I was no longer wearing a size 22W which can only be bought in plus-size clothing stores like Lane Bryant, the Avenue, and Ashley Stewart. I was now fitting into a size 18, which are clothing sizes sold in more traditional Missy-sized clothing stores like Old Navy and the Gap. I blew my portion of my income tax return on updating my wardrobe in a size 18. I suddenly felt sexy again. What's ironic is that in 1995 when I was a size 18, I felt like a big ol' slob. Now, I rejoice at being an 18 again.

Now that my current Weight Watchers subscription is coming to an end and I'm choosing not to renew, I'm petrified of going above 200 pounds again. I'm afraid of being a size 22W. I've received so many compliments from my family, friends, co-workers, and myself. To gain back any portion of the weight I lost is to have wasted money on the subscription to WW in the first place. It is to waste money I spent on the new clothes and the tailoring of old clothes. To gain back any portion of the weight over five pounds is to fail. In my mind, it is To be a failure.

So, I've decided to go back to my self-esteem, love-yourself-no-matter-the-size books and to start being a plus-size advocate for myself and others again. (In 2000, I even created the website Rocki's Hips and Curves Appreciation Page to celebrate plus-sized and real-sized celebrities.)Right now, I'm knee deep in a wonderful book by Jessica Weiner called "Do I Look Fat in This: Life Doesn't Begin 5 Pounds From Now."

I will also be pulling out my old favorite that helped me build self-confidence and acceptance of my larger body the first time I was a size 18. It is called "Self-Esteem Comes in All Sizes" by Carol Johnson. This book literally saved my life for quite a while.

I'm also going to start rereading my erotica and romance collection featuring plus-sized protagonists. I'm hoping that I will be able to provide a preemptive strike against any self-hating feelings that might develop if I gain any of the weight back. Although I believe in positive faithand positive thinking, it seems incredibly selfish to ask for the Lord's help in maintaining weight loss when there's war and famine to conquer. I am hoping that I will not care about my weight either way by the time my daughter will be old enough to pick up on any of my negative body vibes. Of all the ways I could WFF her up, I hope this body hatred thing is not one of them.


Most of the women in the United States are a size 14 or above. This means, according to fashion standards, more than 50% of the female population the U.S. are plus-sized. Logic dictates that the skinny-skinny women should be envying the majority and not the fat chicks envying the minority. To show the world that big women are beautiful, sexy, and confident, Mo'Nique has created a reality television/beauty pageant for fat girls. It is called Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance and will be airing on the Oxygen network this July. I'm supporting it wholeheartedly because I'm hoping one ounce of these women's self acceptance will rub off on me.

Check out the Dangerous Curves Tour near you and support plus-size beauty.

Vote For Me!

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 1:12 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: April 28, 2006 10:22 PM EDT
April 24, 2006
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Derailed and Restaurant-- Movies that Kinda Sucked
Topic: Movie Reviews
This was a bad movie viewing weekend for moi.

Despite Jennifer Aniston's presence in the movie Derailed, I longed to see this movie because it starred the incredibly sexy and brooding Clive Owen.Mr. Owens has been on imaginary "To Do List" since I saw him Closer with Julia Roberts and Jude Who? Derailed had a lot of buzz surrounding it because it was supposed to be an erotic thriller of sorts--a man is dragged into a web of blackmail and murder because of an extra marital relationship. I was panting before the movie hit the theaters. Finally, I get the flick in my DVD player and I'm sorely disappointed. SORELY DISAPPOINTED

Clive Owen's plays Charles Schine, the poor sap who is pulled into a scheme to cover up a crime to protect his wife from learning about his affair. Schine makes one stupid and clumsy decision after the next. It is painful to watch Owen poor all this angst and pain into the world's most stupid man. When Schine's co-worker, Winston (played by the rapper and head of the Wu Tang Clan, RZA) becomes a deadly victim half way through the movie, I stop the movie. Winston's presence is the only decent thing in the flick, and keeps me watching. His demise feel like a betrayal. However, I do make it through the rest of the movie.

Clive Owen's dark and simmering eyes couldn't save this movie for me. This sexy thriller provided too little sex and not enough thrill.

I then moved on to the 2000 indie flick Restaurant starring Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, Grammy-winner Lauryn Hill, and a host of other recognizable actors from Malcolm-Jamal Warner to Jesse L. Martin to Simon Baker. Restaurant is a complicated little movie about the lives of struggling artists working in a New Jersey eatery. The movie tries very hard to dissect U.S. race relations between blacks and whites as well as love relations between men and women.

Adrien Brody's Chris is a playwright with a penchant for acquiring black women as lovers while trying not to become the racist his father was. (It is worth noting that perhaps Chris goes out of his way to have black lovers as a form of rebellion towards his dead father--using the women for their skin color. This angle is never really explored.) His best buddy, Reggae, is white and feels more comfortable cruising the hood for marijuana and hookers than his black friends whom the neighborhood would be far safer for them to travel. Lauryn Hill and Elise O'Neal are the two African-American loves of Chris's life, and who are also pursued by Simon Baker's character.(Lauyrn Hill's Leslie does fall for the charms of Baker offscreen.) Half in jest, I describe would Restaurant as the movie where the white men get the black women and the black men stand at the back and ignore it.

Restaurant also tries to tackle the hardships of broken hearts and forming new love relationships. It also tackles alcoholism, the delicate nature of using the word Nigger (um, sorry, "N" word), homophobia, classism, and the tenuous balance between sexuality and religion. This movie is so ambitious that it loses its identity in the midst of all the subplots. It becomes a fractured character study where we never fully understand the behaviors of the main characters or understand how they're able to resolve their crisis.

On the plus side, it had more sex than Derailed.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:21 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: April 24, 2006 11:25 PM EDT
April 18, 2006
Pretty Brown Faces
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: New Make-up Lines for the Brown Skinned Ladies
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
There are three new make-up lines out now that I'm curious to try. They're mainly geared toward women of color.

Queen Latifah has a line with Cover Girl. It is called CQ Queen Collection. Cover Girl is offering collection featuring rich palettes of "over 60 shades that are perfect for darker skin tones." I'm really excited about this because CoverGirl, although usually marketed to a younger audience, is my favorite drug store brand. Their foundations in soft sable are the best inexpensive foundation colors for moi. Although my skin is a tad too oily for the TruBlend liquid foundation, it is the only liquid foundation that really matches my skintone. I'm curious if the Queen Collection is even better at matching than CG's traditional foundation colors. You can find out which retailers carry them by calling 1-800-4-COVER-4 (1-800-426-8374).

L'oreal has also recently launched a collection of darker and richer color cosmetics called L'oreal High Intensity Pigments. They promise that the color you see in the pot will be the color you see on your face. Essentially, less layering to get the eye-poppingcolor.

Finally, I'm looking forward to Kimora Lee Simmons cosmetic line, KLS Beauty, available at Sephora. Now, it isn't specifically geared toward women of color, but I'm sure we will flock to it because we love Kimora's flashy, rich, ghetto fab style. According to the blurb on Sephora's site, "your champagne wishes and caviar dreams are about to become a drop dead gorgeous reality" because of Kimora's beauty line. I, for one, am very excited. (I've personally bought into KLS' personality. I'll write it about my conversion at a later date.)

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:33 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: April 20, 2006 7:19 PM EDT
April 15, 2006
What A Chick-Lit Novel Should Be
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: The Booster by Jennifer Solow
Topic: Book Reviews
The Booster is an excellent, page-turning and morally ambiguous debut novel by Jennifer Solow. Solow’s protagonist is a Jewish American Princess named Jillian Laurel Siegel—a mess of a woman who hides her inner turmoil by keeping a cold and distant demeanor. (A prescription for an anti-anxiety drug helps Jillian keep her distance from even those she loves.) Whenever she is forced to reveal anything about herself, Jillian lies. She not only tells white lies, but big whopping fibs. She doesn’t know how to be truthful, even to herself.

Jillian also has another problem. She’s a chronic shoplifter, a.k.a. a booster. Because of her upbringing as an indulged child by her rich uncle and his gay lover, Jillian walks around with deep sense of entitlement. It is a sense of entitlement that minorities in the United States believe that white people consciously or subconsciously have. At its least, it is an annoying trait. At its worst, it brings on severe feelings of contempt. Once the reader is drawn deeper into Jillian’s neurosis, we begin to sympathize with her. She is addicted to shoplifting as some people are addicted to alcohol or drugs. It narcotizes the pain that is felt from feeling unloved; being a disappointed to one's self; having low self-esteem; and sometimes from dealing with mental disorders such as depression and bi-polar disorder.

The imminent death of her beloved uncle and the loss of her job send Jillian into a downward spiral. She makes her first true friend, who lures her into a deeper life of crime. Jillian must now find the strength within her self to break free and move on with her life, but can she do it? Can Jillian find the help she needs and shake her armor of entitlement to make a sacrifice? I won’t spill the ending, which in true Chick-Lit fashion, wraps up pretty nicely.

The one downside of The Booster is the liberal use of Yiddish between Jillian and her family. Native New Yorkers will get most of the phrases, as we’ve adopted some of them in our own every day lexicon, but the non-Jewish reader will not know the difference from Shalom and Shabbat.
(For help with the Yiddish phrases, I recommend

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 11:10 AM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: May 20, 2006 3:26 PM EDT
April 9, 2006
You Knew Jack's Intention, His Last Name Was Twist!
Mood:  special
Now Playing: A Review of Brokeback Mountain
Topic: Movie Reviews

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain, so the media said, was the most gut-wrenching love story of the year. But, where was the love? Jack (played Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis (played by Heath Ledger) seemed more like really good buddies, who just happened to fuck because there were no women around. They horsed around (no pun intended), drank, fought, and shot the shit. Even when they did appear to share their emotions, neither one ever uttered the word “love.” The closest the audience comes to seeing that they are truly in love is when Ennis becomes jealous of Jack’s gay dalliances in Mexico. Only love or hate can inspire such a strong emotion as jealousy, and from their years of being fuck buddies we know that they didn’t hate each other.

Brokeback Mountain was a good movie. Heath Ledger was perfect as Ennis—the tight-lipped and emotionally congested cowboy. The only time he ever let his guard down or succumbed to the niceties of people was when he was with Jack. (He allowed Jack to tenderly caress him, and found rest by snuggling in his arms.) The only emotion he ever let himself show in public was violence. I got the sense that when he got into fights with other men he was really trying to beat up himself. For that performance, Heath Ledger deserved all the accolades he received and may have even been jerked by the Academy for an Oscar. (Michelle Williams and Jake Gyllenhaal also turned in Oscar-worthy performances.)

Jake Gyllenhaal used his lanky frame and doe-eyes to his best advantage as the bull rider with the fantastical dreams. From the first time Jack reached out to Ennis, you knew that it was over for Ennis. Jack turned him out, but it was Ennis who held the power in the relationship by being the emotional recluse—forcing Jack to always reach out for him. Jack was as starved for reciprocation as Ennis’ long-suffering wife, Alma. Jack and Alma were constantly waiting for Ennis to say the there magic words that they, themselves, were afraid to say in case they didn’t get the answer they wanted. His presence, as Alma learned the hard way, was not a guarantee of his love.

Again, I ask, where was the love? It was deep down somewhere in Ennis, where even Ennis was unable to touch and that was the biggest flaw of Brokeback Mountain. Nobody could reach Ennis’s heart.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 9:36 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: April 9, 2006 9:42 PM EDT
March 16, 2006
I'll Pass On the Hype Machine: 5 Things I Just Don't Get
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Pop Culture Analysis
There are things that are celebrated or otherwise held up to mimic in society that I just don't understand why they are. It confuses me. If anyone knows why these things are, please let a woman know.

1. The appeal of Jane Austen. More specifically, the appeal of Pride and Prejudice. How many many versions of this book have been made and are in the process of being made? I just don't get it. According to Internet Movie Database Jane Austen has written or co-written 27 scripts for television and screen since her 1817 death. There are also seven different versions of Pride and Prejudice.

2. The appeal of Edie Sedgwick. Why are they making a movie about her? Why do fashion magazines continue to hark back to her style? Edie Sedgwick was hospitalized at least half a dozen times, was a drug addict and died of an accidental overdose. I'm even positive that cult of celebrity surrounding Edie was very, very, very, very, very posthumous. I doubt her influence on film and fashion have been trumped up.

3. The appeal of Sienna Miller. Has anyone even seen any of her films? I only know her as the fuck puppet of Jude Law.

4. Of all the women who have passed through this world, can we please get past Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy/Jackie O and Coco Chanel has the ultimate fashion icons to emulate? Can't we stretch our imagination a little bit further? Oh, and don't even give me Marilyn Monroe and Sarah Jessica Parker as suitable fashion muses. They're overused as well. Let's go out on a limb and say Grace Jones! Lauren Hutton or Joan Crawford. Just someone different for goodness sake.

5. Teenage girls, like Gemma Ward, modeling clothes that are supposed to be bought and worn by adult women.

5a. Paris Hilton, Paris Hilton, Paris Hilton. C'mon ya'll, she ain't that cute and Nicole Richie was clearly the comic genius of The Simple Life.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 8:00 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: March 16, 2006 8:06 PM EST
March 14, 2006
Fashionistas Come to Crooklyn
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: BK Fashion Week(end)
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
During the weekend of May 5-7, 2006, I hope to attend some fashion shows on my home turf of Brooklyn, New York. The BK Style Foundation is sponsoring Brooklyn's version of New York's Olympus Fashion Week. It is called BK Fashion Week(end), and it will be held in the DUMBO (downtown under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) section of Brooklyn. (I remember when it was just called Downtown Brooklyn). It will feature shows from up and coming designers, celebrity judges and performers, and shows from such established stylists like Zulema Griffin of Project Runway, Season 2 fame.

I inquired about attending some of the shows. They got back to me rather quickly, and all sounds hopeful. I'm hoping that by mid-May, I'll have some designs to review/post for your pleasure.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:19 PM EST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
February 23, 2006
You Bettah Work..Sashay...Shante
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Project Runway
Topic: TV: The Soft Blue Glow
Let's make it clear, I normally dislike reality television shows aside from TLC's What Not To Wear, Amish in the City, Celebrity Fit Club and Flavor of Love. For awhile, I dug Blind Date but that was a long time ago. I find competitive reality shows very insulting to the participants. Eating cow testicles? Living with 7 people you loathe? Mucking through the jungle? Not really for me to do or to watch. Yet, I found myself drawn to Bravo's Project Runway, Season 2 on the observed President's Day holiday marathon. This show was good.

Project Runway is about 16 wannabe fashion designers of all ages, genders, and races. Each aspiring designer is given a weekly design challenge--create a dress or an outfit based on a theme. It is really something to watch the creative process at work. Cutting, sewing, thinking, and working. These folks are creating something tangible. You can really see how determined they are to prove themselves. Somehow, I admire that more than seeing people compete for a recording contract. In the end, the winner gets $100K to start their own fashion line and gets a designer job at Banana Republic. Not a bad way to start.

I was intrigued by the three episodes I saw. The criticisms were concrete, and more constructive than a personal attack. The best thing is that all of these designers were talented. Even the worst dress was still pretty damn good looking. I'm definitely going to rent season 1 on DVD.

I could really do without Heidi Klum. She seems terribly stiff and ill-at-ease. All in all, I give this show 4 out of 5 stars.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 7:53 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
February 9, 2006
Yawn, Yawn, Hurrumph
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Fall 2006 Olympus Fashion Week
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
The Metro Channel was a New York City cable station that featured the show Full Frontal Fashion. FFF would cover all of the fashion weeks around the world from New York to L.A. to Milan and all the Coture Shows in between. It was ESPN for the fashion junkie. Two fashion editors or stylists or gurus would watch hours of runway footage and comment on them. Other times, you could watch the runway footage without comment like you were actually in one of the tents. Even better, you would get quick backstage interviews with designers and celebrities. When the shows and fashions were fresh, it was a a television wonder to behold. I could lose hours and days glued to FFF. If you missed a show, bet your bottom dollar that you would be able to catch it again in 12 hours.

Suddenly, the New York Magazine operated Metro Channel ceased to exist during the early spring of 2005. I went into denial. Then the Spring 2006 NY Fashion Week started. I cried. There was no coverage anymore, but there was a small glimmer of hope. On the public broadcasting channel 25, Full Frontal Fashion would spend 3 hours a night covering the days events at Fashion Week. But only New York. But only for a week. If you missed it, you really missed it.

After seeing what I have of the fall 2006 collections on and Full Frontal Fashion's website, I'm almost glad to be missing all of the non-stop coverage. The clothes are absolutely dull, boring, and depressing. In a word, it was all BLAH. The runways were awash in colors of brown, taupe, grey, black, and black. At least Diane Von Furstenburg was able to sneak in some white, houndstooth, and red. Even my favorite designer's, Michael Kors, clothes were tragically blah and without panache. All perfect clothes to wear to mourn the 18-hours-a-day version of Full Frontal Fashion.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 6:41 PM EST | Post Comment | Permalink
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

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