I've moved house- you can now find me at http://garterstitchgreenbelt.blogspot.com. It's nothing personal- a combination of 20six being a pretty dead platform, plus a temporary (well, kinda long-term) lack of motivation to do any writing at all. But now I'm back with a vengeance, just on another website. So if anybody's still here, you should check out the new one- again, that's http://garterstitchgreenbelt.blogspot.com- and leave me a hello. I'm looking forward to it.
Yeah... three of my top five picks for the season have gone home in the first four episodes. I'm willing to put a fair amount of money on Christian getting to Bryant Park, though. Just wait and see, I swear!
The fourth season of one of my very favorite television shows, Project Runway, premiered tonight on Bravo. In case you're not familiar, it's a competition among 15 up-and-coming designers who have to butt heads in seemingly impossible challenges for a chance to show at New York fashion week, a fashion spread in Elle magazine and $100K to start their own line. Examples of past challenges include: design a garden party dress out of flowers and leaves, or design a figure-skating costume for Sasha Cohen when the sewing machine is broken. Tough stuff. This season brings us 15 new designers, all of whom are startlingly qualified- almost all of them have prior professioanl design experience, whether from their own line or someone else's. Because my opinion obviously matters a lot, I'm going to grace you all with my top 5 picks for this season.
5. Jillian. Jillian looks really sweet, but she is ruthless. She's a designer and illustrator for Ralph Lauren (impressive!), so she's fluent in the classy, All-American sensibility that's going to score her points with judge Michael Kors. Her traffic-cone dress left me cold in the first episode, but she's hip, fresh and has a great eye.
4. Carmen. In doing research for this post, I discovered that Carmen is actually the head designer for Lacoste. This actually makes me question what she's doing on the show, because she's obviously successful on her own. In addition, she's a former model and I don't see how knowing both sides of clothing design could hurt. Having modeled and designed for some of the top dogs in the US and Paris, Carmen seems pretty foolproof.
3. Chris. Yeah, his leopard-print shurban (a shirt that you can wear as a turban, dur) and lime-green tie look more dressed-in-the-dark than designer. It's this out-of-the-box aesthetic, however, that's going to serve him well in this competition. Chris is a costume designer for outrageous clients like Cirque du Soleil and Madonna and, apparently, has executed things like a giant pincushion built on a wig and a dress made of salad trimmings. I'm pretty sure that any challenge they throw at this guy will pale in comparison to his experience.
2. Christian. Christian is an arrogant bitch. In his interview, he calls himself "young, raw talent" and "kind of a big deal." Usually this Anchorman reference makes me want to punch puppy dogs in the Adam's apple, but we get the feeling that Christian is conceited for a reason. The structured, hot-librarian ensemble he put together was perfectly made and, at the tender age of 21, he's already worked with Alexander McQueen and (the f*ing legendary) Vivienne Westwood. I feel like his abrasive confidence is also going to help him own the asses of his more mild-mannered colleagues.
1. Marion. Possibly the most soft-spoken of the contestants, I have a feeling that Marion's going to be a sleeping giant of sorts in this competition. In the commercial for the season, he says his personal style is "Oliver, with a little twist." If the clothes he makes are as engaging as the clothes he wears (and, if the first challenge is any indication, they will be), he's destined for Project Runway greatness. I know that I, for one, will be running out to buy a newsboy cap as soon as I possibly can.
Altogether, I think this is the strongest crew of designers yet and I'm really excited to see what they come up with as the season progresses. Of course, it will be hard to watch any of them go home, but you know the competition's gonna be fierce. Just the way I like it.
I'm actually working on two real posts at the moment, but I have to tell the whole world about this song I just heard. It's called "Parentheses" by The Blow. Lately I've been calling everything, from Justin Timberlake's "My Love" to the song "I 2 I" from the A Goofy Movie soundtrack, the best love song of my generation. I was lying a lot, because I've just discovered one that tops them all.
If something in the deli aisle makes you cry, of course I’ll put my arm around you and I’ll walk you outside through the sliding doors. Why would I mind?
All of the babies they can feel the world; That’s why they cry.
And when you’re holding me we make a pair of parentheses. There’s plenty space to encase whatever weird way my mind goes, I know I’ll be safe in these arms.
Awwwwww! This is definitely one of the sweetest songs I've ever heard, made a hundred times better by the mild grammatical nerdery.
EDIT: I found the music video! It's just as adorable as the song deserves, so watch.
As you may have read below, I spent a few days in Boston last week. My esteemed colleagues and I left Thursday afternoon and returned late Sunday night, at which time I was greeted by some adorable boy named Jason. We went to Bosstown for the annual Secular Student Alliance conference, which bookended The New Humanism, a conference celebrating the 30th year of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard. I'm expected to write about a million pieces about the conference so, in my narrow self-interest (which is your best interest, too) I'll spare you the details. I have only one exciting thing to report.
I met Salman Rushdie.
I saaaaaaid, I met SALMAN F*ING RUSHDIE. The same one who wrote The Satanic Verses and dodged execution for eight years. My friend Joe has a lot of clout at these things, since he has his hands in every secular organization in the world. He introduced himself and added, "This is Lauren, the secretary of our campus group." And, in what I will most modestly call my most genius of all strokes of genius, I said:
"I loved your work in Bridget Jones' Diary."
Salman laughed- he LAUGHED at something I said!- and said, "Finally, someone who takes me seriously." You see, he had a thirty second cameo in the film, easily the most ridiculous thirty seconds of his life.
So that's my story. I'd love to stick around and hear about all of your weekends, but I have a whole lot of work to get done in the next couple of weeks. So leave your stories, if they exist, in the comments and I'll see you kids later.
Oh, and a note- my birthday is on May 1, the day after J's. Cash gifts, however large, are accepted with gusto.
I'm leaving this afternoon for a few days at Harvard for the Secular Student Alliance annual conference. The SSA is a pro-separation of church/state group that includes students (and real-world grownups) of all faiths from all over the country. Pret-ty darn exciting.
So I'm off to rub elbow with Salman Rushdie, E.O. Wilson and blossoming writer Hemant Mehta. I'm expected to write a huge story about it for some newsletter, so I'll probably be posting it here as well so you can witness first-hand my account of baby-eating and virgin sacrifice.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 13 of 15 young, insulin-dependent diabetes patients were effectively cured as a result of stem-cell therapy. Three years after stopping insulin treatment, they're still fine without it.
I don't really want to go on a rant about how great stem cell research is- I'm pretty sure that everyone has made up their mind on this (senselessly) controversial issue. I would ask you, though, to consider passing this article along. I didn't come across it in any major news outlets here in the cities, which I think is a damn shame. This is very very exciting news, and even more exciting is the prospect that breakthroughs like this could become a regular occurence.