The Well-Read Wife


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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
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Kiki Overthinks Every Thing
June 30, 2006
The Devil Wears Club Monaco
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: The Devil Wears Prada
Topic: Movie Reviews
The cinematic version of The Devil Wears Prada was a joy to watch, even from the front row. The theater was filled with couples of all shapes, sizes, races, genders and orientations. Even straight men with their girlfriends laughed at all of the appropriate moments in this so-called "chick flick"-- which doesn't leave the sickly sweet aftertaste of the majority of films that get slapped with that demeaning chick flick moniker. The Devil Wears Prada retains the bitter bite of the movie's "Devil," editrix Miranda Priestly.

Anne Hathaway plays fresh-out-of-college Andrea "Andy" Sachs as the na?ve and idealistic journalist the way you would imagine a Northwestern journalism grad to be. As so sharply pointed out by Stanley Tucci's character, fashion editor Nigel, Andrea feels that working at the fashion magazine Runway is beneath her training and intelligence. She's only there because one year as Miranda Priestly's assistant will guarantee her a spot at any of the more "literary" magazines in New York City.

So desperate for that big break, Andy plays peon to Miranda's #1 assistant and spends every waking moment as Miranda's handmaiden--appeasing her most bizarre whims. She sells her soul to the job, leaving friendships, family, and a very cute boyfriend, played by Entourage's Adrian Grenier, twisting in the wind. Everyone sympathizes with Andy, but don't understand why she continues to allow herself to be abused. Andy knows but is afraid to say it--she wants to be successful. As the movie follows Andy down her career path, we realize that Andy is as fierce and as competitive as Miranda when it comes to her career. Who is the real devil in this movie? Is it Miranda Priestly who knows what she is and plays to win at all costs? Or is it Andy who pretends she has no choice to do what she does to get ahead?

Meryl Streep deserves a Best Supporting Actress nomination as the cold, berating, insulting, patronizing, condescending, back-stabbing, anal retentive editor Miranda Priestly. With her asymmetrical silver-haired bob and air of superiority, anyone within 100 feet of her should be both duly impressed and scared. Even when Streep allows the bitch-editor to reveal her humanity, we never feel sorry for her. Why? Because Miranda doesn't want it and you better not give it.

The Devil Wears Prada is a whirlwind of Manhattan scenery, top shelf wardrobes, pretty men, good music, and stunningly beautiful fashion. Half-way through the movie, my eyes were as wide as Andy's black-rimmed doe ones. My heart was in my throat as they flashed the montage of Paris Fashion Weeks' top runway shows. I was envious. It was at that moment that I understood what fashion is as Miranda sees it. It is a fantasy land to the outsiders, and they long to be in the positions of Miranda and Andy.

I tried to read the novelby Lauren Weisberger in preparation of the film. Reportedly, the book is based on her experiences as Anne Wintour's assistant at Vogue magazine. The book was overwritten, tedious, and exhausting. I lost my patience of wading through for the conclusion at 250 pages with about 100 to go. The movie was significantly retooled, and is a faster and smoother story. The flick was better then the book, so don't read it. See it!

~~~~Trailer Report~~~~

There is a new movie coming out later this year starring Nicolas Cage as a New York City cop on duty the day the terrorists slammed a commercial jet liner into the World Trade Center. It is called, simply enough, World Trade Center. Even though they were using recreated and not actual 9/11 news footage, watching just a few seconds of the destruction and pain that day caused made tears run down my face. I can't say whether or not it is too soon for U.S. audiences to see a film about 9/11 considering Hollywood made World War 2 films during WW2, but I do know it is too soon for New Yorkers to see. (Especially since firemen, EMS workers, policemen, and other rescue workers are still dying from respiratory conditions developed directly as a result of the debris from the WTC.)

There's also a whodunit movie based on the real life death of George Reeves (the the 1950s TV Superman) starring Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane, and Bob Hoskins. I'm totally excited to see that movie. It is called Hollywoodland

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:01 AM EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: July 1, 2006 3:00 PM EDT
June 29, 2006
Meeting a Fashion Web Icon
Mood:  vegas lucky
Now Playing: How To Be A Budget Fashionista: The Book Party
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I was fortunate enough to score an invitation the Budget Fashionista's, Kathryn Finney's, exclusive book signing and cocktail reception last night. Can I tell you just how cool it was? I felt like I was swept up into the oft-portrayed-as-glamorous-world of a fashion editor.

The soiree was held at an out of the way bar in Greenwich Village (New York City) called Madame X. It was a dimly lit bar, which boasted excellent $5 drinks and red velvet settees. Be warned though, the door of the woman's body features a larger-than-life painting of a naked and busty voluptuous woman. The art is reminiscent of graffiti artist muse Vaughn Bode. (You have to appreciate the super-curvy female specimen he creates. Not one of his female characters makes you think of skinny as sexy.) The men's bathroom features the naked lower half of man, but not as voluptuously drawn.

Upon entering, I immediately met the Budget Fashionista's hubby, Tobias. He gave me a pink gift bag with faux pearl handles. I nearly giggled, but tried to remain cool. The second person I met was Kathryn--The Budget Fashionista herself. She was tall and curvy and was wearing a wonderful dress. (A Macy's sale peice, she informed me. But of course!) It was a drop-waisted white dress with tropical colors splashed across the front. I wanted to take a picture, but due to a human malfunction the batteries in my digital camera had died.*ack*

I hob-knobbed with four accomplished and professional black women: three book publishers and one PhD scientist. While enjoying jumbo shrimp and crudit?s from platters surrounding us, we talked fashion, science, babies, and scoring deeply discounted clothes. I was feeling severely fashion-impaired for the event since I had just come from job at the library, but the ladies assuaged my fears by complimenting me on my slim-fitting slacks, V-neck blouse, lavender & khaki-colored scarf.

All the women there were fashionable and well-dressed in their own styles, proving that having style doesn't mean emulating what the fashion pundits declare is stylish. There were also an array of well-, and a few outrageously-, dressed gay men who were introduced to people with prefixes such as "Sexy..." and "the Fabulous...." I'm not hating, they were fabulous! I also met a wonderfully effervescent woman who was a personal stylist. Her main clientele are fresh college grads who need help transitioning from the campus lawn to the corporate offices. (My first year after college found me wearing over sized Black Power tee-shirts over leggings to work!)

After my one cocktail, the Indecent Proposal (a combo of champagne, orange juice, and peach schnapps), went to my knees, I bid adieu. I complimented Kathryn effusively on her book, and thanked her for a great time. While on the train, I rummaged clandestinely through my goody bag. There was a handmade necklace from up-and-coming jewelry maker Jessica Hicks, a lariat necklace from Claire's Boutique, CVS' version of the Olay Regenerist night cream (which was true to the TBF's modus operandi), and a $10 gift certificate to This made me squeal like a schoolgirl!!!

On the way to the subway station after leaving Madame X, I stopped by mid-level priced costume jewelry store--several varieties of these shops have been popping up all over Manhattan. The walls are covered from ceiling to floor with earrings of all lengths, colors, tiers, styles, and materials. The least expensive pairs are $5 and there was a buy 2 get 1 free deal for the least expensive ones. The most expensive pair of earrings I saw were $35. There shelves of bracelets, bangles, wristbands, chains, necklaces and pendants in leather, silver, goldtone, silvertone, beads, and plastic. There were also jewels for cell phones, key chains, and zipper pulls. It is the adult version of Claire's Accessories. If you were to spend a $100 in this place at the beginning of the Fall and Spring Fashion seasons, you would be able to update your entire clothing wardrobe with a season's worth of trendy and chic accessories.

The name of the store is Crystal Collection: Fine Jewelry/Silver & Hair Accessories. It has two locations: 177 Bleecker Street, NYC, between Macdougal and Sullivan Streets and at 1370 Palisades Center Dr., West Nyack, NY.


To begin my long 4th of July weekend, I'm going to ride my fashion high straight to the movie theater to see The Devil Wears Prada. I hope to have a review up by July 4th. The critics seem to be enjoyiing it thus far although the fashion press seems to be balking at the clothing used in the movie. I've read a majority of the book, and it is more true to life about the magazine industry than anyone dares to admit. (I know, I used to work in the magazine industry!)

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:01 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: June 29, 2006 10:55 PM EDT
June 21, 2006
All That and A Bag of Chips
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: How to Be a Budget Fashionista : The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less
Topic: Book Reviews
The Budget Fashionista has released a wonderful style, fashion, and shopping book. Aside from the The Pocket Stylist, Kathryn Finney's debut guide, How to Be a Budget Fashionista:The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less, is the best fashion and shopping book out there. Kathryn takes the wit and humor that made her website famous and turns it into a very helpful book. She takes you through the steps of getting your finances straight to defining your style and where to get the best look for less. Folks, this is the most thorough book you're going to find on how to look great and how to shop. What's best is that it isn't a weight read filled with fashion and style jargon that goes way over the readers' head. It also enlightens the new fashionista to the tricks of the trade in the fashion and retail industry relating to vanity sizes to the true definition of a sale to how to spot a fake designer bag. It also has the quality that makes fashion magazines helpful: quizzes! This quick five minute questionnaires help you to define your style, and they are surprisingly reliable. There also homework assignments that help you with making smart style choices. How to be a Budget Fashionista gives readers lots of opportunities to highlight important facts and make notes inside the margins. Since it is quite a small and lightweight book, you can stuff it into your purse and take it to the mall with you. You will fly through the incredible easy read in about a week, and find yourself going back to it as an important reference. My favorite chapter is the one developing a proper underwear wardrobe. She lists wonderful stores and websites to fill all your underwear needs no matter if you're as flat as a board or your breasts make Pamela Anderson look like a 12-year-old boy. Many of my womankind brethren, especially the older ones, are in a serious need of a bra makeover. Girls, your breasts can be separate from your stomach!!!

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 5:32 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: April 30, 2007 4:41 PM EDT
June 14, 2006
Mood:  chillin'

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June 12, 2006
I Think What I Think
Now Playing: BET's Walk the Faith
On Sunday morning, BET aired a show called Meet the Faith which is a weekly talk show. I watched it because there was going to be a discussion on overweight black women and their positive self-image. The three guests were controversial Thomas Lopez-Pierre, the social director of the Harlem Club, plus-size model Toccara, and author and spiritual adviser Iyanla Vanzant. What could have been a thoughtful conversation turned into a shouting fest where nothing useful or positive or intelligent was said. I like Toccara for being pro-big women, but the girl is about as smart as a bag of rocks. Putting Lopez-Pierre was just an excuse to have a dubious target. (It has been widely documented in the mediathat this upper-class Black man is a chauvinist and believes in a very outdated/colorist notion of Black female beauty.) The conversation then turned to the topic of upper-middle class and upper-class Black women aggressively pursuing men outside of their race, since it is very difficult for them to find a black men who is on the same educational and professional level as them. Even less useful things were said, and basically ended with Iyanla shouting "But what's your of Black?"

Well...Here's my two cents.

1-cent. I have no problems with men or women entering into relationships with people of other races. I don't believe interracial relationships should be pursued out of a need to satisfy a fetish or ; to make "pretty light-skin" babies; to have children with "nice" hair; to leach off the opposite races' supposed advantages; and out off self-racial/ethnic hate.

I believe that each ethnic race or nationality has its own attributes of beauty that can be appreciated from someone outside of that race. Deep down, pheromones recognizes other pheromones. If social, religious, or familial constraints forces a person to stay within their own race, I think that is okay and not necessarily racist. A Catholic who prefers to marry a Catholic is not necessarily anti-Semite. Romantic relationships are tough enough without adding cultural differences to the mix. However, if a couple has the guts for it, then go for it. I'm not hating.

2-cents: Being overweight or fat or chubby or plump or even slightly obese does not necessarily make a person unhealthy, irresponsible, a glutton or unattractive. According to the weight charts, I am obese at 180 lbs on a 5'4" frame but ask my doctor about the results of my last physical.

My sugar-levels are fine; my cholesterol levels are low; my EKG results were excellent; and my blood pressure is in normal range (squarely not barely in normal range). I do have fair to poor lung capacity, but that is only because I am a lifelong asthmatic. My bones or my joints or my muscles don't ache from carrying this weight. Yet, as soon as someone would hear my weight, they would automatically assume that I am unhealthy. Studies have proven that a naturally slender person with a sedentary lifestyle is more unhealthy than an overweight person with an active lifestyle. In the end, weight really doesn't add up to all that much.

There are thousands of reasons that people are overweight that have nothing to do with not pushing themselves from the table. Many women, including myself, have a hormonal condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which causes uncontrollable weight gain. Thyroid problems can also cause people to be overweight. Not having access, due to your neighborhood or salary, to healthy food options, a gym, or affordable health care can all be factors. Suffering from undiagnosed depression or taking certain types of medication for depression or arthritis can also make one overweight. It isn't just about gluttony.

It is true that African-American and Caribbean men find beauty in women who are over a size 14. But as my brother would say: "you can be fat but you can't be sloppy with it." Meaning, you have to take care of yourself from the inside out and not walk around like a self-pitying mess. And as I say, Black women got too much other shit to worry about in this country then to obsess over then their weight.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 1:37 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
June 11, 2006
Not the Same Ol' Black and White
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Something New
Topic: Movie Reviews
When the movie Something New was being advertised earlier this year on the Black radio station that I listen to, it was being touted as "a movie by Black women for Black women about what Black women want." Because the movie is about a love affair between a Black woman and a White man, are we to believe that what Black women really want are White men? My husband and I would guffaw imaging how Black women would react if African-American sex symbol Morris Chestnut would star in an interracial love story claiming to be "a movie by Black men for Black man about what Black men really want." Can you imagine the riots in the street that Black women around the United States would have started? They would have been burning Morris Chestnut in effigy! As the DVD came to the stores, they changed the marketing a bit. It's now a romantic comedy about a Black woman trying to find Mr. Right, and race is not even mentioned. After watching the movie, the latter marketing strategy was more accurate. This movie is not as much about race as we are led to believe although some people are not going to get past the race issue and pay attention to the deeper issue. (For a movie about Black women and the White men that love them that discusses race, check out the indie flick Restaurant starring Adrien Brody and, 'lo and behold, the male lead of Something New Simon Baker!)

Sanaa Lathan plays Kenya McQueen, who is a top executive at a financial firm, a homeowner, a six-figure earner, and is the daughter of an upper-class Black family. This character is smart, beautiful, well-off, and a successful professional. All of the Black people in this movie are all smart, well-off, successful professionals, educated, and firmly entrenched in the middle-class and upper-class and all the long-standing traditions that go along with being a part of the Black Bourgeoisie (also see Talented Tenth) There are no single mothers, drug addicts, slackers, or hustlers among these people in this movie. It is a slice of Black America that is rarely, if ever, portrayed in the media. It is also a life most Americans believe only White people live. Although it was probably not Something New’s intention, this movie reveals the real division in the United States. It isn’t racism at all, but classism.

(On an extreme side note, the Black Bourgeoisie could also be called the Talented Tenth that W.E.B. DuBois wrote about--educated Blacks who would come back to their poorer Black communities and lift their people up. In reality, this has not happened to the degree that DuBois probably envisioned. The TT/BB separated themselves from the lower-class of their race causing a type of intra-racism. Educated and professional Blacks have been slapped with the monikers of Uncle Toms, sell-outs, and wannabe White folk from those in the Black communities they left behind. See, they also believe that middle- and upper-class living is only something White people can achieve.)

When Kenya and her girlfriends go out for champagne together on Valentine’s Day, they give a list of their ideal man. Besides being Black, he has to be well-spoken, well-educated, have a job, and be close to the same professional caliber of these ladies. They want a man who is their class equal. It has been theorized that this is a problem among new generations of Black women. They can’t find a Black man equal to them, because Black women are outpacing them in getting a higher education and in the workplace. What’s a woman to do? If this were the typical Black and White sister-girl movie or an episode of the now-defunct Rikki Lake Show, the women would have shallowly agreed that it was time to go White. This is not Kenya’s plan at all. It is to keep hope alive to find a Black man that meets her qualifications.

Enter landscaper, Brian, played by Simon Baker, an Aussie native. He’s a man who wears blazers over tee-shirts and spends his days elbow deep in dirt and flowers. He’s not rich but he makes a decent living. He is also White. Brian and Kenya have a strong chemistry, but Kenya is very resistant to their relationship even before it begins. On the outside, she plays the race card saying she would prefer Black men. As the movie moves along and we get a deeper look into her upper-class upbringing, we realize that race is only the second problem. Brian is not upper class in the slightest. This is clearly illustrated when Kenya’s younger brother refuses to shake Brian’s hand upon meeting him for the first time. With a shocked look to his sister’s look of reproach, he declares rather indignantly that “He’s the help.” and not "he's white."

As the romance goes through ups and downs familiar to all rom-com fans, class and race battle it out for the cause Kenya and Brian's relationship problems. When Kenya wants to discuss the subtle racism she bears at her job, Brian wonders if she’s being paranoid because her upper-class education and life has taken her further than most White people. Kenya isn’t being paranoid, but as the argument continues you can understand Brian’s stance. A moneyed life has given Kenya a leg up over everyone even with the racism she endures.

As a romance movie and a study of class in the United States, Something New was a refreshing movie albeit the metaphorical language was heavy handed. Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan heat up the screen with their furtive glances brimming with lust. When they finally come together romantically, you’ll exhale as though you were in the romantic clinch. Sanaa Lathan proves she is a great actress as she conveys a thousand inner feelings with just a mere expression. Simon Baker is no chump either, with his genial charm and his rugged pretty-boy looks, letting his eyes and gentle touches convey his feelings more than his words. I don’t know where Hollywood has been hiding Simon Baker, but they need to get him into more movies pronto. Preferably with his shirt off, but that’s my own Black woman’s bias. ;-)

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 12:24 AM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: June 11, 2006 10:26 PM EDT
May 31, 2006
I'm A International Reader
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Blackhair Magazine by Haversham Publications
Topic: Book Reviews
I discovered the UK magazine, Blackhair at my local library. I devoured the latest three issues. As a Black woman, Blackhair is the beauty magazine I've been longing for. Each issue is divided into three sections--beauty, fashion, and hair. There are plenty of stories on how to care for all types and Black complexioins of skin, as well as hair from weaves to braids to relaxers to natural styles. Most United States Black hair magazines seem to forget about natural styles or attach a story that seems tacked on at the end.

Blackhair also offers a glossary of chemicals and ingredients featured in most beauty and hair products. This gives women a chance to figure out if they're using the right products based on their needs. There are also plenty of advice columns that answers readers' questions. I really love the fact that they use real-looking models and dark-skinned models as the norm, and not as an afterthought. If a subscription wasn't $79 US, I would certainly plunk down money for one.
I love Blackhair magazine and I hope my library keeps carrying it.

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May 20, 2006
Seriously, My Doctor Told Me To Buy New Shoes
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: Gladiator Sandals
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I have unfortunate feet issues. In 1999, I was subjected to wearing sneakers through the entire summer while I received physical therapy for my fallen arches and torn heel muscles. (Sneakers were the only acceptable form of footwear that would accommodate my special-made orthotics.) By the summer of 2000, I was able to sport cute sandals as long as they had proper arch support.

Last summer, my arches fell after spending the winter running up and down the stacks of the library in my non-supportive faux Uggs (until this winter when I discovered my orthotics could fit in them). I went the route of Birkenstock sandals and nurses' clogs to support my re-fallen arches. Not terribly cute, but at least in the Birks I could still show off my pedicure and toe rings.

Then...I badly sprained my ankle. For six weeks, I had to wrap my foot in an ace bandage, walk with a cane and wear high top sneakers. Oh the fashion agony to wear the same pair of shoes everyday for six weeks. *sigh* (During the healing process, a case of soda fell on my foot forcing another two weeks in the damn ace bandage.)

As the weather started to warm this April, I was looking forward to sporting a whole new collection of nurses' clogs in multiple colors and maybe a new pair of girlie-looking Birkenstocks. Then the unbelievable happened. An industrial fan fell on my foot at work breaking my baby toe! Can you believe this crap? It's going to take like eight weeks to heal. For the past six weeks, I've been regulated to wearing an ugly orthopedic boot to keep my foot flat and my toes from flexing. But there's been a break in the clouds my dear fellow fashionistas! My podiatrist has told me that I can start wearing sandals. He said I can alternate between sandals and the open-toe orthopedic boot. Closed-toe shoes will squeeze my toe, cause more pain, and slow down the healing process. EUREKA! A doctor who recommends buying shoes for medical reasons.

Regular sandals with bands that went across the top of my foot rubbed my injured toe, so I decided to go with this summer's huge trend of Gladiator-style sandals. Essentially, they're flats with a thong styling and criss-crossing across the top of the foot. I bought two very cool pairs from Payless Shoes. One pair was a barely there jeweled silver sandal. They are very comfy, sexy, and a beautiful neutral to all of my cool-based color summer clothing. (I have a beautiful deep blue silk shift dress that these sandals would dress up wonderfully!)

The second pair I bought is a pair of sexily-strong and sturdy sandals with man-made leather straps criss-crossing in the front and a zipper up the back. They came in white, orange, bronze, and spring green. I opted for the orange because they looked more tan and was the perfect neutral for all of my ware-based color clothes. Here's a picture of a similar styled shoe from Target:

Now, what injury could I get next year that would make it medically necessary for me be the library's ultimate fashion icon? lol. Just kidding...I don't want to be injured anymore.

Posted by Kiki Shoes at 2:43 PM EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: May 20, 2006 2:04 PM EDT
May 9, 2006
Voice Your Opinion
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Vote in the Beauty Awards
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews

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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

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