March 8, 2008
RIF Join the Challenge
Topic: Book Reviews
February 28, 2008
I Wrote A Couple of Poems
My Favorite Color
Feb. 28, 2008
Stop, danger, train crossing ahead
Fire bright, not a color for the dead.
Sassy, trashy, sometimes classy
its a color that won't let you
just pass me.
Too young for it, too old for it
never too bold for it.
1/3rd of the U.S. flag,
and 1/3rd of the Black pride tag.
Beautiful and ugly like the blood
seen at births and at deaths.
Will be my favorite color until
I breathe my very last breath.
Second Place Dreams
Feb. 28, 2008
Shiny nickels, dimes, and quarters
JKFs and Susan B. Anthonys
No patinas like on my
lonely Lincoln penny.
Valuable, beautiful, regal and true
Repping for wisdom when tinting hairs,
but forever the black sheep for
February 16, 2008
Bush is a D*ck and an A**hole
Now Playing: President Bush is Cutting Funding from RIF
President George Bush's No Child Left Behind Act and rhetoric irritates me to the point of cursing out loud at work. President Bush, his peers, his cronies, his henchmen, and all those who support him are failing America's children severely. I don't know if they are purposefully trying to create a gaping class/education/health divide in this country or not, but they are doing a very good job of keeping a great deal of people back. I know this is my U.S. education indoctrination speaking, but I thought this country was about allowing every one the opportunity to make it. I thought this was the country where a poor boy who grew up in a log cabin could grow up and become one of the most influential presidents of the United States. I'm not saying that the government should handhold every one and usher them step by step to greatness, but come the fuck on!!! At least make the playing ground level. It's like those athletes who are being stripped of medals and respect because they are using steroids. (I can't believe I just made that comparision.)
RIF Action Alert - Posted February 5, 2008
FROM CAROL H. RASCO, President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental
ACT NOW TO REINSTATE RIF’S FUNDING
The President’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009 eliminates the Inexpensive Book Distribution Program, which is the RIF Book Distribution Program. Unless Congress reinstates funding for this program, RIF would be unable to distribute 16 million books annually to the nation’s youngest and most at-risk children.
NCLB (No Child Left Behind) rests on false assumptions—e.g., test scores equal educational quality, and sanctions based on low test scores drive school improvement. As a result, it offers false remedies that are not working. Since NCLB was signed, reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have stagnated, and the rate of improvement in math has slowed. The neediest children in our nation continue to receive an unequal and inadequate education.
- State tests are extremely weak measures of high-quality standards. NCLB’s obsessive focus on raising test scores causes an increased emphasis on exam preparation. “Teaching to the test” narrows the curriculum, particularly in low-scoring schools, and forces teachers and students to concentrate on memorizing isolated facts and practicing rote skills, ignoring higher order thinking. Arts, foreign languages, social studies, physical education and recess have been squeezed from the curriculum, especially in schools with high numbers of minority and low-income students. In the past six years, these effects have been documented in dozens of reports by reputable, independent researchers. When fewer students are prepared to be successful citizens, rising test scores do not mean academic improvement.
- Thirty percent of the nation’s schools failed to make "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) in 2005-06. Diverse schools are more likely to 'fail' simply because they serve children from more demographic groups, all of which must meet NCLB’s mandates simultaneously. Independent researchers agree that nearly all schools will eventually be labeled "in need of improvement" (INOI) and sanctioned under NCLB. This will happen because of the way AYP statistics are calculated, not because all schools are actually in need of major improvement (though some schools clearly do need help).
- Demanding that disabled and limited English proficient students reach “proficiency” on standardized tests sets many schools up for failure. The tests are grossly inadequate and invalid measures of these students' learning. Rather than provide resources and guidance so schools can offer the individualized approaches these students need, NCLB claims that by holding them to the “same standards” they will magically rise to the occasion. Nevertheless, those groups disproportionately fail to meet AYP targets.
- Transfer provisions make matters worse. Some receiving schools are overwhelmed by transfers and ill-equipped to handle them. Most eligible parents are saying, "No thanks." Parents increasingly view "choice" as a hoax: their children cannot attend elite exam schools within their home districts or better-performing schools in neighboring districts. Communities need improved schools for all, not limited extra options for a few children.
- Tutoring provisions divert money from classrooms that most need it, giving assistance to the few at the expense of the many. Tutoring focuses on test preparation and rarely connects to the curriculum. Student attendance is often low. NCLB paves the way for private firms to reap huge profits but does not hold the firms accountable.
- As experienced, high quality teachers see schools with society's most needy students get labeled instead of helped, they transfer to higher performing schools or leave the profession. Stigmatized schools have a hard time attracting new, skilled teachers.
- Funding for Title I, the core provision of the law, has barely increased in the last several years. NCLB funding is tens of billions below promised levels and tens of billions more from what is needed to help all children reach meaningful educational goals.
- NCLB fails to address key reasons many children are left behind. The best school, the best teachers and the best curriculum can make a huge difference, but basic needs like housing, health care and nutrition must also be addressed. These gaps continue to widen. By blaming schools and focusing attention on boosting test scores alone, NCLB dampens the political will to address the real needs of children.
- The law's remedies for "failing" schools do not work. Most attempts to "reconstitute" troubled schools fail to improve student performance significantly. Few if any states have the capacity to intervene in the large numbers of public schools being identified for NCLB's ultimate sanctions.
- There are better ways to help troubled schools. Improvement requires rich assessments, from tests and quizzes to projects and portfolios, rooted in ongoing classroom work by students and teachers; collaborative professional development for educators and time for them to plan improvements in curriculum and instruction; involvement by parents as real partners, not just test score consumers; monitoring by the state to ensure schools are equitably serving all students; and targeted assistance for schools that really need it. Only if schools or districts demonstrate they cannot or will not improve should more serious sanctions be employed.
- Nearly 150 education, civil rights, religious and other organizations have signed the Joint Organizational Statement on NCLB, calling for an overhaul of the law away from a focus on testing and punishing and toward helping schools improve their capacity to serve all children well (available on the FairTest Website at http://www.fairtest.org/). The Forum on Educational Accountability, chaired by FairTest, has provided detailed recommendations for overhauling the federal law (http://www.edaccountability.org/).
February 9, 2008
Now Playing: Did You Know This About Sen. John McCain?
"It's now clear that John McCain will be the Republican nominee. I know the election is a long way off, but he's already running neck and neck with Clinton and Obama in national polls. That's' because when people think of McCain, they think of the media portrayal as a 'maverick'--they don't think of him as the man who helped George Bush launch the Iraq war.
I just read this memo from VoteVets.org and it really shocked me. It shows that when it comes to the war in Iraq, John McCain has been the president's greatest ally from the get-go--and most striking is the fact that his plan for Iraq going forward is the same as Bush's: Stay indefinitely.
Can you take a moment to check out the memo at this link?
Also, McCain is not a pro-choice Republican which many voters mistakenly think he is. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18632802
January 25, 2008
Taking A Moment to Ignore
Now Playing: Heath Ledger, RIP
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts
January is barely near its end and we already have one of the biggest celebrity stories of 2008. It's not the end of the Writer's Strike. It's not the cessation of the awards season due to the Writer's Strike, which, by the way, is very frustrating for the celebrity fashion watcher that is moi. It's not even another shocking moment in the quickly crumbling life of Britney Spears. It is the unfortunate passing of one fine and young actor named Heath Ledger.
Heath died on Tuesday, January 22nd. He was 28 years-old. He left a devastated family behind. He left caring (and now worried) friends behind. He left a blossoming career behind. But most importantly and most tragically, he left behind a 2-year-old daughter. A little girl is now without her father, and, by virtue of his celebrity, will be haunted by death-worshipping reporters and media. Think of the others that came before her: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Lisa-Marie Pressley, Frances Bean Cobain, John Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Kennedy. Not only left fatherless by untimely deaths, but now constantly being stalked by the media about their fathers' deaths. The wounds will never heal and the mourning will never be over for poor little Matilda or any other child of a late celebrity. (We should just set up a fund now for Matilda and Anna Nicole Smith's daughter Danni Lynn's future therapy.)
What's even disgusting is that Heath's body isn't even cold in the ground yet, and the feeding frenzy over his death has become relentless. Lurid pictures of his corpse being removed from his apartment. Hate groups planning to protest any memorials. Rumors swirling about his alleged drug use. It makes me nauseous. The United States used to be a country that respected its dead--statues, living memorials, scholarship funds, holidays, stamps, and endless burning flames. Conspiracy theories and negative comments were made only in private not broadcasted across the evening news or posted on the internet. Even Confederate soldiers, who were technically traitors to the country, have statues in their honor. What the fuck happened?
Isn't one of the positives of death the fact that your skeletons and secrets die with you? Yet we no longer afford people that privilege. No one is allowed to Rest in Peace anymore. Well, I'm no longer going to feed the media machine. As of this moment, I'm not going to read or watch any stories about Heath Ledger. I'm going to say a little prayer for his family who was left here to suffer. I don't care why he died or how he died. I'm not going to discuss it or be in places where it is discussed. I'm going to remember the joy and entertainment his talent brought me in such films as "10 Things I Hate About You," "Ned Kelly," and especially in "Brokeback Mountain." I look forward to seeing him in the new Batman movie coming out this summer, which I was ALREADY excited and anticipating highly.
So, I hope with this small symbolic gesture some peace and rest will be given to Mr. Ledger's family and soul. Thank you.
January 15, 2008
How to Look Good Naked
Now Playing: How to Look Good Naked the TV Show
Topic: TV: The Soft Blue Glow
How to Look Good Naked is another makeover show, but tries to provide much more than just a simple closet and beauty re-do. The eternally chipper and Carson Kressely, of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, is the host of this happy and helpful show. It comes on every Friday night on the Lifetime Channel, and features woman who has a mild case of dysmorphia. In other words, the makeover participants hate their bodies. The ladies are lumpy, slightly frumpy, and hide behind their clothes (like your slightly lumpy and frumpy blogger, here). In the end, however, Carson gets the ladies to appreciate the positives of their figures, to stop focusing on their so-called body flaws, and to pose naked in front of the camera. Like Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style and TLC’s What Not to Wear, I want to be on this show for the free clothes and the self-esteem shot in the arm.
I do have two caveats when it comes to How to Look Good Naked. I think it would be more effective to the women in the show and the women watching the show if the host were a professional straight man (or straight professional man). It would be so much more reassuring if a straight man like George Clooney (rumors aside) or Johnny Depp told me how beautiful my legs were despite any wobbly areas. (Although, I admit to none!)
My second problem is the opinion poll taken at the reveal of the naked picture as a billboard on Santa Monica Boulevard. When the participant walks up to a random man, asks him “Do I look good naked?” and gestures toward the billboard, the man looks like a deer caught in the headlights. He looks like every boyfriend or husband that has ever been asked “Do I look fat in this?” So, when he answers affirmatively to the question, I don’t believe him. I am positive that he is secretly thinking: If I answer this incorrectly, I’m never getting laid again.
December 22, 2007
It's All in the Bag
Now Playing: Louis Vuitton Mongram Aquarelle Speedy Bag
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I am not a fan, in general, of Louis Vuittion bags or leather goods. I don't like the coloring of the brown with the gold initials. It's an icky poop-brown color. As the LV logo has become synomous with luxury goods, I've also come to loathe any bag or fashion item with logos emblazoned across it. It's a little tacky, and makes the wearer seem like an attention-starved braggart. Look at me, I'm carrying Louis Vuittion. With that said, I did have a severe fascination with the Murakami LV bags a few seasons ago.
I longed for them and scoured the streets and internet for the Cherry Blossom Murakami semi-perfect replica (a.k.a fake or the less illegal-sounding "inspired by") bag. I loved the whimsy of the red cheeries and pink smiley faces on white leather, or in my case, pleather. I still own XOXO imitation that I bought five years ago. It hangs in my closet to remind of one of my most series fashion quests and follies. It's too small to carry my everyday essentials, so I mostly just pull it out on Easter Sunday to go to church. Soon, I'm sure, my two daughters will be playing dress up with it as I played dress up with my grandma's retro (and surprisngly sturdy!) handbags from the 40s and 50s.
There is a new Louis Vuitton bag with pastel colored LV logos smudged and silkscreened on white canvas was designed by artist Richard Prince in collaboration with LV artistic director, Marc Jacobs. The handles and the frame are painted beautiful raspberry color. (The handle is genuine snakeskin.) It is delicate yet sturdy looking, and designed to dangle from the crook of your elbow. It's playful yet not as frivilous as the Murakami bags. It also costs $3,600 and there are no pictures available on the internet. (I suspect that is to help protect from being copied and bootlegged.) However, if you pick up a copy of the January 2008 issue of Allure magazine you'll be able to see a great picture of it on page 71. Harper's Bazaar also has a picture in its most recent issue.
I've found my latest fashion accessory obssession. Sweatshop workers and victims of terrorismm, please forgive me for buying faux. Maybe XOXO will have a nice inspired-by come spring.
The name of the bag is the Mongoram Aquarelle Speedy Bag. Below is a picture of other LV Speedy bags.
December 8, 2007
Rocked My World
Now Playing: My Top 5 Entertainment Stories of 2007
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts
The New Year will be upon us soon, and so will the deluge of end-of-the-year wrap-ups. I decided to beat the rush and inform you of my five favorite entertainment stories of 2007. Enjoy!
1. Michael Vick pleaded guilty for his role in a dog fighting operation on his property in Virginia. He admitted to financing the operation and to the brutal victimization and killing of pit bulls. He turned himself in early to prison in November, and could face up to five years in jail. Fortunately, 47 of the 53 dogs seized from Vick’s property were sent to rescue shelters. An animal expert believes that the dogs can be retrained and adopted as pets. Michael Vick is an ass. He’s making more money than he can spend as a football player, so why fund and operate an illegal dog fighting operation?
2. Oh the shock! The movie Dreamgirls was supposed to be Beyonce’s big break-out role. It was supposed to be the movie that made Beyonce a true triple threat—singer, clothing designer and an award-winning actress. However, Jennifer Hudson’s strong acting and even stronger singing catapulted her to the top of the awards heap leaving Jay-Z's Bonnie in the dust. Jennifer was an American Idol reject slated for obscurity until her turn as Effie in Dreamgirls. In 2007, the plus-sized humble beauty became the fashion protégée of legendary Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley; became the face of Avon’s new fragrance Imari Seduction; and joined the cast of the highly-anticipated Sex and the City movie. Along with a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award, Jennifer Hudson became just the third African-American actress to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Rumor has it that Jennifer dumped her childhood sweetheart, and is now dating New York Jets’ player Kerry Rhodes. Let’s hope the roles and money keeps rolling in, and Jennifer doesn’t cave in to Hollywood’s standard of super-thin beauty. 3. Will the kids keep reading anything now that J.K. Rowling has finished tje uber-popular Harry Potter series? Well, let’s hope so or yours truly is going to be out of a job. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows did a great job of tying up every lose end from each previous novel, and keeping the action and emotions building until the final battle. Rowling also won over critics with her much-improved writing style. The biggest surprise, however, wasn’t in the pages of the book but revealed at press conference with American fans. Albus Dumbledore is gay.
4. When Britney Spears filed for divorce in the fall of 2006 from K-Fed, who would have thought that Kevin Federeline would turn out to be the court-approved better parent? In early October, a superior court judge ruled that K-Fed would retain custody of their two children “until further order of the court.” Losing custody of her two sons was just one in long list of sad (and no longer funny) things to happen to Britney Spears.
The Britney Spears Timeline of Distress:
February 22, 2007: Britney checks into rehab for the second time in a week. After leaving the first time, Brtiney shocks everyone by shaving her head bald.
March 21: Britney is out rehab after completing a one month program.
September 9: Britney gives a sad and pathetic performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Some criticize her for not being in peak physical shape.
September 18: The Superior Court judge overseeing her child custody case rules that Britney must undergo random drug tests, because she is engaged in “habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol.” She also has to spend 8-hours a week with a parenting coach.
September 21: Britney is charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving without a license.
October 1: A judge orders Britney to give up custody of her kids.
October 11: Britney wins modified visitation rules that allow her children to spend one overnight a week with her. Yet, a week later, the rights are suspended until she complies with the court orders in the custody battle.
5. The real stars of Hollywood, in my opinion, the writers, went on strike the first week of November. More power to them. The Writer’s Guild of America unanimously agreed to its first walkout in 20 years. The writers want to negotiate a new deal for royalties from DVD sales and new media. Late night talk shows will feel the pinch first, while daytime soaps and prime time shows could make it to the end of 2007 before the feel the pain. My prediction: MORE CRAPPY REALITY SHOWS. Give the writers the money. They earn it.
Postscript: This year was a bad time to be a Black athlete, wasn’t it?
Marion Jones admits to using steroids after years of denial. She has to pay $700,000 in prize money, and is stripped of all her medals and honors dating to September 2000.
O.J. Simpson is crazy. He is also being held without bail for a Las Vegas robbery arrest. O.J. is accused of leading a group of men in an armed robbery to retrieve what O.J. claims to be stolen sports memorabilia. As Shirley Strawberry of the Steve Harvey Morning radio show has said, “Sit down O.J., everyone has seen you.”
Michael Vick, see above.
Barry Bonds was indicted on perjury charges and obstruction of justice stemming from a federal probe that examined his alleged use of steroids. He pleads not guilty. Folks, that's his story and he is sticking with it.
December 1, 2007
What's for the Kids, Is Sometimes What is for the Mommy
Now Playing: A Prayer of a Distracted Parent
I am a born-again Christian, but I carry my beliefs and my Christianity very close to my chest. People who know me will probably find this odd, since I'm so much of an open book in the other areas of my life from my depression to my infertility. I mainly keep my religion and spiritiual beliefs mainly to myself as to not offend others and to not be challenged by the zeal of the "over religious." However, when I do want to mention something of a spiritual nature, I feel like I'm being a fraud because I don't advertise my beliefs. With all that said, I am trying to pray more and develop a better relationship with God--whatever a better relationship means. In this journey, I've been reading a lot of books about positive thinking and spirituality and prayer.
I'm currently reading a daily affirmation book by the late pastor Norman Vincent Peale. It is called Have A Great Day. On the November 28th day, it featured a prayer that I found very relevant to my life as a mother who can sometimes be short and impatient. I'd like to share it with all my fellow parents and impatient people.
Here it is:
Prayer of a Distracted Parent: Dear Lord, I love my children, but they are driving me to distraction [nuts]. I have lost my self-control, and I need help. I realized, dear Lord, that I can never direct them in their young lives if I am disorganized. Help me not to be angry and to not shout at them. Give me a sense of humor. Help me to know that their restless [and rebellious] energy is a sign of vitality and part of their development. Don't let me be tired and upset, but rather enter joyfully inot my relationship with them. Thank you for my children, Lord, but don't let them get me down. Amen.
Dew and Jo-Jo, I say this prayer specificially on our behalfs.
November 20, 2007
A Gangster's Rise and A Gangster's Fall
Now Playing: American Gangster
Topic: Movie Reviews
American Gangster is such an engaging drama that I hardly noticed its 2.5hour length. It's a good-paced and well-acted movie. It's no Oscar contender, but it is a good film. Denzel Washington's portrayl of uber-gangster Frank Lucas was well-played and subtly acted. In some scenes, it could have been easy for him to go over-the-top like Al Pacino in Scarface. Russell Crowe's was great as the scrappy New Jersey cop trying to bring down Harlem's drug kingpin. Russell's performance was also surprisingly low-key. It also made me re-realize how sexyRussell Crowe compared to the other pretty-boy leading men.
Josh Brolin stands out as the dirty and flashy New York City cop on the take. In a scene where she confronts her son about his dirty business, Ruby Dee is powerful and steals the limelight as Frank Lucas' mother. In his brief role as rival drug czar Nicky Barnes, Cuba Gooding Jr. acts against type. It made me want to see more of him.
The violence, blood and gore are minimum, and the cameos are maximum! The RZA from the Wu Tang Clan appears as cop! Recently arrested rapper T.I. is as an up-and-coming pitcher turned drug distributor. Although Lucas ended up imprisoned for 15 years, losing his wife and his fortune, many wanna-be real life gangsters will treat American Gangster as the new criminal primer.
November 5, 2007
Don't Cry Mommy
Now Playing: The Kids Are Growing up and I'd Wish They'd Stop For A Minute
Being a mother is hard, exhausting, and heartbreaking work. I have two daughters—a 2.5-year-old and an 8-month-old. I am simultaneously filled with melancholy and joy over them. They are hitting their developmental milestones—sometimes faster than I would like, and it is wonderful to see. Yet, it is also saddening to see. With each milestone they reach, the further from being babies they become.
Dew, my oldest, speaks in full sentences now. She knows what she likes and she wants it. She is too big for me to carry in my arms, and hates it when I try to carry her like that. She is fiercely independent and strong-willed. She won’t give an inch to me or her father. It seems like it was just last month when she was sitting her high chair, kicking her legs, and happily eating the steamed broccoli I fixed for her dinner. Or perhaps, it was just six weeks ago when she discovered she could run and would shout “Mommy, I running” as she did it. It wasn’t that long ago when Dew had just wisps of hair that I could barely get into a pony tail holder, and now she has a head full of hair that I must fight with her to comb. I get weepy just thinking about it.
My baby, Jo-Jo, is about to turn 9-months-old. Just ten months ago she was in my belly flipping around and kicking me—keeping me up at all times of the night. She’s now crawling and pulling herself up to standing. Walking will surely be close behind. Jo-Jo has already lost her new baby smell, and I miss sorely. No amount of bathing in Johnson’s and Johnson’s Baby bath or slathering on of Baby Magic lotion will make Jo-Jo and Dew smell brand new again.
On the one hand, it is tough being a brand new mom and I don’t want to go back there again with the guilt, the fear, and the strangling post-partum depression. Yet, I don’t want to go forward. I’m not ready to potty train, to teach sharing, or have long discussions about the joys of sleeping in the big girl bed. God forbid if the preteen and teen years rush upon me. Shoot me where I stand, because training bras, maxi pad shopping, and the first of a thousand conversations about sexual health will most definitely kill me. I can’t even think about it.
They are growing up so fast. Sometimes I want to skip work and just stare at them. As much as they might frustrate me, I am going to enjoy every terrible-twos tantrum and one-year-old walking-fall down-get up again adventures while they happen. Sometimes I think about trying to have another baby—naturally (like Jo-Jo) or by adopting (like Dew)—just to get that baby newness back into my house. Then, Jo-Jo will do something like snatch my eyeglasses off my face and try to eat them. That brings back to the present and of sound mind. I convince myself to swallow the sadness of watching my children grow up and just enjoy it while I still can.
October 21, 2007
The Fashionable Swag Bag
Now Playing: Fashionably Late with Stacy London Gift Bag
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I can't reiterate enough how much fun I had during the taping of Stacy London's new show despite the fiver hours it took. The warm up guy, Brian, was funny and personable. Even better was his knowledge of 80s pop music. (Yours truly was the only one to guess "U Got the Look" by Prince and Sheena Easton when he read the lyrics.) Stacy London looks incredibly petite in person and was nice and gracious. I don't know how much of it was act or how much of it was sincere, but either way I felt it was genuine. She's much tinier in person, but she has really great muscular legs! And folks, her hair is as beautiful and shiny in real life as it is on the television screen!
Although some audience members received free stuff between the segments, everyone in the audience received a swag bag filled with everything that was given out--with the exception of the bra laundry ball--during the taping. One audience member received a pair of size 9 pink stilettos from Stacy's wall of shoes. (The wall was to die for if you're a shoe lover like I am.)
Well, enough of the build up here's all about the swag. The bags were very chic black paper bags with ribbon handles and the name of the show written in hot pink on the front. A few of the things I cannot use, but I was pleased to receive nonetheless.
1. Goody Styling Therapy Add Shine hair brush which is infused with jojoba oil to remedy dull and damaged hair. Warning: don't ever use with a hair dryer!
2.The Original Gal Pal garment deodorant remover.
3. Two Alexis Bittar costume jewlery rings.
4. The hilarious Shame On You Kit which inlcudes 1 toothbrush, toothpaste, a one size fits most thong, 3 condoms, 1 "emergency" phone card, 1 packet of pain reliever and 1 "leave behind" note. The motto on the bag: For those days when you just can't make it home...you are prepared!"
5. Strap Tamers which are "the hassle free way to hide bra straps!"
6. Two pairs of DKNY tights in black and brown.
7. Hollywood Fashion Tape which "holds your clothing in place." (It's the miracle that kept J.Lo's infamous green Versace dress from revealing everything!)
8. Yoga Toes, which bills itself as the "ultimate freedom after shoes."
9. This product has to be one of the most ridiculously luxurious product a person could carry. It is from France and it is ready to freeze spring water ice cubes. It is called IceRocks. I used it in my regular New York City tap water and tasted nothing different nor did I feel any more (or less) glamourous.
10. Shubi--a really stylish and reusable tote bag to carry your fancy shoes to and from work. It's very pretty and durable. You could probably throw your Shame On You Kit in it along with your "F*** Me" pumps for those just in case after work dates.
11. Finally, we received a copy of the new cookbook from Rocco DiSpirito called "Rocco's Real Life Recipes: Fast Flavors for Every Day." The recipes looked easy and delicious, but I won't be trying any soon since my household has recently become lacto-ovo-vegetarians.
October 18, 2007
Now Playing: My Mini Preview of the new Stacy London show
Topic: TV: The Soft Blue Glow
I went to a taping of a new show called Fashionably Late with Stacy London. It is a new weekly fashion late night show featuring the host of TLC's What Not To Wear. Except for it being a nearly 5-hour event , I had lots of fun at the taping. I was worried about being dressed stylishly enough because the e-mail from the audience coordinator said to dress in something that pops! I'm a mom of two children and I work with children, my clothes don't pop. I ended up wearing a black and white print dress, and the very gay set designer set that I looked very nice and that my dress went great with the set--bright red chairs and 2 zebra print couches.
I got to watch Stacy interview Carolina Herrera, who is one of my fashion/working mom heroes. She's stylish and poised and her designs are beautiful. She always wears a crisp white shirt, and always looks fresh and brand new. She also has four daughters and ten grandchildren. She worked while being a mom, and two of her daughters are in business with her. Unfortunately, she is as dull as dirt to hear talk. lol. We got great gift bags that included some Khiel's lip balm, some pretty costume jewelry rings, bra strap tamers that keep your bra straps from slipping down, special sponges that remove deordorant stains from your clothes, and a cook book from a tv chef named Rocco DiSpirito (sp?) who is really cute and flirty.
The idea of the show is that bunch of stylish women are just hanging out in a great bar, having fun, and talking fashion. There's even a bartender! We had really great drinks, but only one per person and they were in really small cups. It was more of a shot of a really great drink. It was the taping for the premiere episode, which will air the first Friday in November. I'm excited. I got invited to come to another taping on Wednesday, but I couldn't get the time off from work.
Next post: The names of the products that were in the gift bag!
October 13, 2007
I Love Stacy, But She Also Kind Of Scares Me
Now Playing: Fashionably Late with Stacy London
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I like to keep my promises. Keeping my promises is one of my virtues. I made a promise to myself approximately five months ago that I would attend a taping of the new late night fashion talk show, Shut Up! It’s Stacy London. Well, I have kept promise. On Monday October 15th, I will be attending a taping of Stacy’s new show, which has been renamed to Fashionably Late with Stacy London.
I am very excited about attending. The audience coordinator has promised that there will be drinks, makeovers, and great giveaways (see e-mail below). He also said that there will be celebrity guests in the audience (and, I’m assuming, on the stage). I am also nervous about attending. They have given strict orders for the audience members to not wear black, but to wear color and to dress as we’re going out on the town with our friends. *Sigh* Don’t they know I am a native New Yorker and a mother of two children in diapers? Most of my clothes are of the black, brown, and dull variety. The e-mail confirmation instructed me to wear something that pops. Well, I do have one jersey mock-wrap dress in a black and white print that my husband says pops. But I’m not sure it is pop-py enough for the show. (I could wear it with my faux fur red
cap!) All of my somewhat colorful clothes are not fashionable enough or even appropriate for the season. I do have a pair of ivory white dress pants that I could wear (and that I save for special occasions like church), but what to wear over it? I have a red mock-neck turtleneck, a pastel lilac blouse and a bright red sleeveless handkerchief hem blouse. I’m thinking that the red sleeveless number is sexy and does pop, but it is sleeveless! I’ll be freezing when I get there.
I am also considering wearing my Audrey Hepburn-esque black shift dress with a turquoise poncho thrown over it. I wore this outfit to my brother’s wedding last year and received many compliments. Maybe it will be worth a try to do it again? Or, maybe I should pop the turquoise poncho of the B&W print mock-wrap dress? UGH! What’s a fashionista-in-her-dreams-but-not-in-reality do?
Any suggestions? Help a girl out! I’d like to get a makeover, but I don’t want to be too badly clowned either.
P.S.: Did I mention that I’m coming straight from work—the land of the comfortable footwear?
E-mail Received from the Booking Coordinator
of Fashionabley Late with Stacy London:
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU are CONFIRMED for a Taping of “Fashionably Late with Stacy London” ON:
Monday, October 15th
4:30pm Check in Time
The entire experience will take a few hours, but it will be WELL worth it!
We will be doing Make Overs on select audience members, Celebrity Guests will be in attendance, there will be a bar, and we will be giving away various AMAZING ITEMS throughout the shows to everyone!
The taping will take place at:
[address deleted for the privacy of the show and its attendees]
Also, there will be a Casting Person at the front to greet you.
There are NO hard tickets. Your name will be on a guest list the day of the show.
Check in with the Casting Person at the door. Your guests will all be under YOUR name
The Dress code is to look stylish! Dress as if you were going out for a night on the town! Do NOT wear Black! The brighter the colors, the better it looks on TV!
[e-mail truncated by moi]
September 8, 2007
You Bring the Couch, I'll Bring the Potato
Now Playing: The New Fall TV Season
September is my favorite month out of the year for four reasons:
It’s my birthday month.
School starts and the library becomes less of a loud hang out.
Fashion Week debuts the Spring’s hottest trends; and
The Television Season begins.
For the past seven years, I’ve slowly tuned out broadcast television as my prime source of television viewing pleasure. However, shows like The Office, Ugly Betty, 24, Scrubs, Heroes, and Dancing with the Stars have renewed my desire to watch broadcast TV again. One of the reasons has been broadcast TV’s adaptation of the two-season season—one in fall and one in spring like cable. Secondly, shows have gotten bit edgier and funnier and different.
After sifting through TV Guide’s Fall Preview issue (September 10-16th, 2007), I’ve come up with a list of four new shows that I will be DVRing and watching when my babies fall asleep.
K-Ville is a new cop drama set in a post-Katrina New Orleans, and stars Cole Hauser (from the underrated campy Paparazzi) and Anthony Anderson (from The Shield) as two stress out cops patrolling a whole city suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. It will suffer in the ratings, no doubt, because it shares a timeslot with NBC’s sleeper hit Heroes. Heroes will have its old viewers and new viewers who want to see what the hoopla is about, so I’m not worried about them. I will support K-Ville because it is filmed on location and 80% of the show’s workforce live in New Orleans. Maybe the success of this show will turn the still suffering N.O. around.
On Tuesday nights at 10 p.m., I will be turning into watch the sexy and talented Jimmy Smits head up a Hispanic cast in the business-family drama Cane. Set in Florida, it is about the infighting of a Cuban American clan who is in the rum and sugar business. Still hot after all these years is Rita Moreno playing the matriarch of the family. Think of Cane as a 21st century and a browner version of Dynasty. I have two gems waiting for me on Wednesday night.
First off is CW’s adaptation of the trashy teen chick-lit series Gossip Girls into a series. Changing coasts but not economic class, The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz brings his talent to the show. An hour later on ABC is Dirty Sexy Money starring Six Feet Under alum Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland. This wicked family drama is about a reluctant lawyer taking over his dead father’s practice, which includes representing a rich troubled family a la the Kennedys meets Paris Hilton. Peter Krause has a hot, slacker vibe about him and I’m longing to see him all dressed up and corporate. This is what’s funny: wasn’t his character on Six… a guy who reluctantly goes into dead father’s line of work? I’m just asking.
Let's enjoy this new season, shall we? Tell me what you think will be this year's break out hit.
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