Posts

Showing posts from July, 2008

periodical perusing: interview, may 2008

I am a little behind on my magazine reading, and as most of you know, I'm rather fond of too many periodicals for my own good. I've finally finished the May 2008 issue of Interview. I was eager to read it for three reasons: Interview is one of my favorite magazines because it's consistently brilliant, Maggie Gyllenhall (who may be my current favorite actress) graces the cover, and it's the first issue after Ingrid Sischy's sudden departure (she was the editor in chief for eighteen years). It didn't disappoint.

The issue began with a fantastic angry letter. I can't quite explain my fascination with angry letters to magazines, but this letter may be the best, most delusional ever written.

Less Sex, PleaseDo not ever send me another issue of your magazine. I hate it. It is so inappropriate. The pictures in the “Dream a Little Dream (of Me)” [fashion story] in your March 2008 issue are totally inappropriate. You've got a sexually inappropriate female spre…

recap: project runway, season five is here

Even keeping notes while watching this episode, it's hard to keep track of, and get to know, sixteen designers. My early favorites quickly emerged when they were smart enough to have their design philosophy sound bite ready. Jennifer describes her designs as "Holly Golightly goes to a Salvador Dali exhibit." Kelli said, "if Vivienne Westwood and Betsey Johnson had a baby that would be me." Quirkiness and wit are always a dynamite combination. I also instantly liked Kenley for her loud, yet tasteful, designs that mix prints and plaids. It's not easy to mix prints and look chic. Early on, it seems we've got a forceful contingent of female designers this season.

Now that we've hardly gotten to know the designers, it's time for their first challenge. Austin Scarlett is back as a guest judge, which I think is genius. Who can be more fair than a prior contestant? The producers have brought back the grocery store challenge, which was the very first chal…

recap: so you think you can dance - the top 10 perform

The night began with the news the blogosphere has been waiting for: Jessica's mysterious injury is broken ribs! No wonder she had to drop out. How much more endearing is her positivity knowing she's been dancing with broken ribs for weeks? She also announced she will be on tour.

Lil' C was the guest judge this week. I don't recall seeing him guest judge, but he was the best guest judge I've seen this season. I'm curious to know more about his non-crumping background. He provided valuable constructive criticism rather than merely espousing his opinions as several judges have done this season.

Courtney and Joshua danced a hip-hop routine first. Courtney said she's never popped before, which I find quite hard to believe since she dances for the Knicks. I had to pop my hips as a j.v. football cheerleader. It was a Frankenstein-themed routine, and I liked it. They both exhibited beautiful showpersonship. I enjoyed the performance, if not always the dancing. …

emmy announcement semi- live blog (and my early predictions)

8:30 a.m. I realize the Emmys are September 21, the same evening as the Indigo Girls concert I just got my tickets for.

8:40 a.m. Damages is nominated! Dexter too! Squealing ensues, and I realize I cannot possibly type fast enough to actually live blog this event. I resort to typing snippets of notes, and now I'm reconstructing them.

I'm also distracted by Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris standing next to each other. I was under the impression she was freakishly short, and I always imagined him to be quite normal sized, yet she's holding her own height-wise next to him. (According to imdb she is 4'11" and He's 5'11 3/4". Seriously, she had to be standing on a box.)

The six nominees for outstanding drama series are: Boston Legal (as I said yesterday, they always have one great episode a season, which is all that matters in Emmyland, and legal dramas lend themselves to this format brilliantly), Damages (hooray! it is absolutely the best, most …

emmy wishes and predictions

It's the eve of Emmy announcements. This year we've already been treated to the top ten lists, which makes predicting the actual nominees that much easier. Here are my predictions for the best series categories, including my cynicism when I imagine I will disagree with Emmy voters.

I wish for Best drama:
Mad Men (it's hip)
Dexter (amazing)
The Wire (it's due)
Damages (it's best show on tv, but I'm still hesitant because the Emmy process involves a single episode, and one cannot appreciate the sheer brilliance of the final three episodes without the first ten)
The Tudors

I predict for Best drama:
Mad Men (it's hip)
House (I'm cynical)
Boston Legal (it always manages one good episode to submit)
Lost (as a reward for getting good again)
The Tudors

I wish for Best comedy:
30 Rock (funniest show on tv)
Weeds (one of the five best shows on tv)
The Office
Pushing Daisies (I'm still unclear why this show is a comedy, but it's original and entertaining)
Flight of the Co…

dame helen mirren

My esteem for Helen Mirren is not exactly a secret. Still, I always find myself being met with questioning stares when it arises in conversation. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one enamored with so many of Helen Mirren's amazing talents and qualities.

It's nice to add another mutual appreciation the Fug girls and I share: good and bad fashion, young adult novels and television shows, and Helen Mirren.

book review: practical magic by alice hoffman

A few weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly published their 1000th issue, which features numerous 100 new classics lists. I, of course, have set out to read their 100 New Classic Books. (Yes, I'm still working through their memoir list too). First, or rather #100, on the list is America (The Book). While I adore this Daily Show tome, it's not the kind of book one either sits down to read or carries around on the bus all day. Instead, I'm reading one chapter a night before bed. I moved on to #99, Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman.

I've read a few Alice Hoffman books, most notably her brilliant Skylight Confessions. I vaguely remember seeing the movie adaptation of Practical Magic with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock years ago. The vagueness of my memory makes me inclined to believe it wasn't terribly notable. The book is magical, pun intended. Hoffman plays with magic as a realistic story element better than any non-Latin writer I've read. The story of the Owe…

book review: the divorce party by laura dave

I was quite excited to read Laura Dave's newest book, The Divorce Party. Everywhere I turned, reviewers were loving it, and I thought her first book, London is the Best City in America, was rather genius, and my favorite book I've read this year.

The Divorce Party is excellent, but it's not quite as good as London is the Best City in America. It's not fair to compare the two, but Dave's signature storytelling ways are present. She manages to tell the story of three couples and their love during one day. Dave is a gifted storyteller. She manages to tell the back story little by little so it enhances the present narrative. With so much background, it could easily overtake the present events. Instead, the past and present come together beautifully. The Divorce Party is told through the perspective of two women. Maggie, who is engaged to Nate, and Nate's mother, Gwyn, who meets Maggie for the first time the day of her divorce party. It's a smart novel th…

movie review: wanted

Hot on the heels of my lukewarm response to The Garden of Last Days, I saw Wanted. I adore Angelina Jolie, and I appreciate the interviews of her leading up to Wanted. After her mother's death, she knew she needed to work, but she didn't want to do a serious movie. She wanted to have fun and kick some ass. I'm a firm believer in balancing the serious in life with the fun. Fun movies may not be brilliant, but they're certainly useful and entertaining.

Wanted immediately grabbed me. It started like a reimagining of Office Space. I love cubicle drones gone crazy. James McAvoy was stellar. It was my first time seeing him act, and I cannot wait for more. About an hour into the movie, I leaned over to nomadreaderboy and asked for a home theater system. It seemed to be the kind of escapist movie fare I could watch over and over again, but it needs a big screen.

Unfortunately, suddenly Wanted tried to be deeper than it needs to be. It begins to take itself too serious…

book review: the garden of last days by andre dubus iii

Image
I finished the new novel by Andre Dubus III over a week ago, and I've spent many of those days trying to figure out exactly how I feel about it. I was ridiculously eager to read it after seeing so many glowing reviews, most notably Stephen King devoting an entire column for his monthly Entertainment Weekly gig to the book. Also, everyone whose opinion on books I trust, most notably nomadreaderboy, adored House of Sand and Fog, which sits on my seemingly insurmountable "Books I Want to Read List." The premise of The Garden of Last Days grabbed me immediately. It's a story of the days leading up to September 11th, and it takes place mostly in the strip club some the hijackers frequented. I find the tension between the hijackers religious beliefs and hatred of the U.S. and their frequenting of tawdry strip clubs fascinating.

It's an ambitious subject, and I enjoyed the cast of characters Dubus employed to tell the story. Ultimately, I didn't buy his insight…