Monday, June 30, 2008

sci-fi is my cherry garcia

My most sincere apologies for the recent lack of updates. There's been a lot going on in my life, and I had to let a tiny machine fall by the wayside for a few days. But I'm back with a vengeance.

I want to avoid getting too personal, but I've spent the last couple of days holed up with friends, self-medicating with boxed wine and marathons of Alias and Doctor Who. What I've realized is that although science fiction and fantasy are always a part of my life, in times of trouble, I'm even more likely to spend my days furiously reading comics books and re-watching my favorite episodes of Firefly. These things are my comfort food. This is partially because these interests help satisfy my escapism complex. However, they also comfort me because they remind me of my dad.

My dad was a huge pulp, fantasy and science fiction buff. I was so young the first time I watched Star Wars, that I can't even remember my life before Han Solo became a part of it. My dad and I would watch old Star Trek movies together, and I was a devoted The Next Generation fan by the time I was in fourth grade. Watching anything with him always meant that he'd pepper my viewing experience with fun facts and bits of trivia (a habit that he passed down to me, for better of for worse). Every night, he'd lie down on the floor of my bedroom and read me chapters from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It was our little bedtime ritual. We were halfway through The Two Towers when he died unexpectedly. It was a few years before I was ready to open that book again, but when I did, his bookmark was right where he'd left it. I picked up where we left off and finished the remaining book and a half in a couple of days.

As silly as it sounds, it breaks my heart that my dad didn't live to see The Lord of the Rings adapted into feature films, that he missed the reincarnation of Battlestar Galactica, and that he never got to read Hellboy. But I'm so grateful that I had a dad who was excited to share his interests with me. He was so involved in my life and eager to nurture my imagination. And because of him, these stories hold a special place in my heart. And when things get dark, I can always crack open a book or pop in a movie, and it feels like he's right there next to me. And I am so glad that I have that.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

a little more man candy

More Cole Mohr for the new Marc by Marc Jacobs ads.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

i want to wear this.... Dreamhaven on a comic book run, followed by the CC Club for a pitcher. Lucia's for a glass of white wine sangria and some excellent people watching. the Ten Second Film Festival at The Soap Factory. the next Walker After Hours.

Balenciaga Resort 2009

let me make it up to you

Due to some technical difficulties, I was unable to post yesterday. To make it up to my readers (you few, you happy few), here's the teaser trailer for Joss Whedon's upcoming online musical, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Featuring the phenomenal Neil Patrick Harris as the titular villain and Nathan Fillion (Mal!) as Captain Hammer, this ought to tide the Whedonheads over until Dollhouse.

Monday, June 23, 2008

au revoir, jeune lune

Although I don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone, I'm incredibly saddened that my favorite theatre company in the Twin Cities is closing its doors. The Tony Award-winning Theatre de la Jeune Lune has always put on cutting edge productions, weaving classic and contemporary styles, while constantly pushing their visual limits. Read the farewell statement from Artistic Director Dominique Serrand here.

This development is a pressing reminder that every time you spend a dollar, you're casting a vote. Whether you're purchasing a movie ticket, buying a dress, or attending an event, the choices you make shape the world around you and influence your future options. Money makes the world go round, and as consumers, we have far more say in the ways of the world than we think we do. Choose wisely.


well hello there, mister sister

The new Marc by Marc Jacobs ads

george carlin 1937-2008

Anti-establishment comedian. Counterculture icon. Time travel guru. We'll miss you, George.

facial sunscreen: lessons learned

Two summers ago, I was travelling around Sweden and Denmark with friends. We spent the most amazing day walking and biking around Copenhagen, eating cheese sandwiches, drinking beer and stumbling to the top of the spiral tower of Our Saviour Church. Naturally, we took loads of pictures to document every moment. So you can imagine my surprise and disappointment when I went through the photographs and saw that in almost every image, my face was an unnatural, ghostly white. I'm always quite pale, plus my hair was dyed black at the time, but I'd still never seen myself look quite so ghoulish. Then it struck me. I'd borrowed some European drugstore sunblock from my Danish friends. Although it wasn't noticable in person, the sunscreen gave my face a reflective, white cast that was dreadfully apparent in photos.

I already had a lot of qualifications for facial sunscreen, so I simply added does-not-cause-scary-ghoul-face to the list. For a sunscreen to meet my holy grail criteria, it can't cost an arm and a leg, because I go through a ton of it. It must be at least SPF 45. It can't clog my pores. And it absolutely musn't be greasy. Thank goodness for Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock. This product goes on light, without any residual greasiness or whiteness. Plus, it's never triggered a break out. It comes in SPF 55 with helioplex, so I feel confident that my skin is getting the protection it needs. And since it's Neutrogena, you can pick this up at any drugstore. This sunscreen got me through an outdoor concert last weekend without a smidge of redness, a major accomplishment for my complexion. I used it on my shoulders, arms, and legs as well. Good thing too, as my knee-high gladiator sandals would have given me pretty ludicrous sunburn lines.

the triumphant return of sarah jane smith

There still aren't that many female leads in science fiction, especially when it comes to women over the age of 30. But times, they are a-changing. Leave it to the BBC to give us a Doctor Who spin-off starring a gorgeous, 60 year-old actress. Unmarried with no children, Sarah Jane Smith is the furthest thing from an old maid or a tragic spinster. Played by Elisabeth Sladen, Sarah Jane was a travelling companion of the third and fourth incarnation of the Doctor in the 70's. Sladen reappeared briefly as Sarah Jane in the second season of the new series, and the fan response was so positive that she was given her own spin-off. Aimed more at children and young adults, The Sarah Jane Adventures follows the investigative journalist and a rag tag crew of neighborhood kids, as they uncover alien conspiracies. Although it's aimed at a younger demographic, the writing is sharp and the characters well-drawn, making the series a welcome addition to the SciFi Channel's Friday night line-up.

It's especially refreshing to watch Sarah Jane mentor her young neighbor Maria. Although we're seeing more strong female characters in sci-fi every year, mentor characters are still predominately male. Sarah Jane turns that norm on its head, without any soapbox posturing. The kids themselves are a solid bunch, engaging in extra-terrestrial detective work, while still acting their age. They can be insensitive or immature, but regularly show themselves to be brave, clever and resourceful. The show itself isn't as emotional or frightening as Doctor Who can be, but it's light, fresh and fun. And with its half hour running time, it's a tasty appetizer to whet your palette for the hour-long Doctor Who episodes that follow.

Fun facts: Elisabeth Sladen has played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who in 18 different stories spanning four seasons.
Sladen is married to British actor Brian Miller, who has provided the voices for the Daleks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

the run of the joint

What's the best part of having friends who work at the Walker Art Center? Circumventing portable toilets and a formidable line in the lobby in favor of the private office restrooms. It's all about who you know.

Surrounded by my lovelies Kate and Sha Sha, running around the Walker during Rock the Garden.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

summer lovin' part II: lips

You don't need to subsist on a diet of cherry and grape popsicles to achieve a fruity, summer pucker (although, I don't really see anything wrong with that strategy). My favorite summer lip products are sheer, hydrating and work on a wide variety of skin tones. Sun protection is an added bonus, but if it's not included, be sure to apply a coat of lip balm with at least SPF 15 (sunburned lips are the absolute worst).

Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker: Everything I need to know about make-up, I learned in 7th grade. This cult drugstore product moisturizes, while giving your lips a natural rosy glow. Plus, it smells delicious. Fortunately, it only smells like Dr. Pepper, it doesn't taste like much of anything. This is good news for me, because when lip glosses are too delicious, I end up licking them off right away.

Tarte 24/7 Lip Sheer: This lip tint comes in nine work-for-everyone shades, is super-moisturizing AND has SPF 15. It reminds me of a fancier version of Blistex Lip Tone, which I always carried around with me in high school, but rarely see in drugstores these days. With mango and cocoa butters to hydrate and tons of vitamin E, this is the perfect lip product for when you're attending an all-day concert (I have Rock the Garden on the brain) and want to carry as little as possible.

Fresh Gloss Absolute in Rose Parfait : I love everything by Fresh. With their lovely scents, beautiful packaging and fun, wearable colors, their Sephora display always gives me a sugar high. Their Gloss Absolute is another do-it-all product, a gloss that hydrates, plumps and shines. The plumping and hydrating action help minimize lip lines, and an antioxidant-rich pomegranate extract helps speed up cell turnover. Rose Parfait is a sheer, pale pink with just the right amount of shimmer, and though it's sheer enough to work on most skin tones, it looks especially great against pale, cool-toned skin. Plus, it has a yummy citrus flavor.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey: This sheer lip color has achieved cult status for good reason. This gloss-lipstick hybrid works on almost every skin tone. I was first introduced to this product in high school, by my friend of mixed Asian and Hispanic descent. She insisted that I try it, but I was skeptical that a color that worked for her could ever flatter my fair, freckled skin tone. Wow, did she prove me wrong. What appeared to be a warm, deep plum on her became a sheer rose stain on me. And this isn't some cheap marketing mumbo jumbo (I'm looking at you Smashbox O-Glow), it's just a very wearable color with the perfect amount of sheerness to let your own lip color shine through, creating what appears to be a custom color. Plus, the hydrating formula allows you to cut lip balm out of your routine.

Lancome Pixel Pink Lipstick for Thakoon: I know it's cruel to include this, as it was a limited-edition item that flew off shelves (I was on the waiting list at Neiman Marcus three months in advance), but I couldn't get through this post without mentioning it. This sheer raspberry has cool undertones, but still works on my warm, freckly skin.

i feel a change in the air

Fashion seasons are a funny thing. It's the second day of summer, yet I'm salivating over the ad campaigns for fall. Right on the heels of the all-black issue of Vogue Italia, Naomi Campbell is featured in the new campaign for Yves Saint Laurent. A long-time supporter of models of color, I am thrilled to see the values of the late Mr. Saint Laurent continue to be honored by his fashion house. As far as the actual photos go, come on. She's Naomi Campbell. She'd look gorgeous in Mary Kate and Ashley pajamas from Wal-Mart, so it's a real treat to see her working the disco pants and posing for two of my favorite fashion photographers, Inez and Vinoodh.

Linda Evangelista graces the fall Prada campaign, replacing long-time Prada muse and Russian nymphette Sasha Pivovarova. With so many young, interchangable girls popping up on the runway each season, it's refreshing to see a 40+ supermodel starring in such a major campaign. Granted, it's not like Evangelista is an everywoman. She's freakishly gorgeous and admittedly no stranger to the Botox needle. Nevertheless, it feels like a tiny victory for any woman over 23.

In other news, Bee Shaffer and her gorgeous Nina Ricci gown were passed up for inclusion in Vogue's coverage of the Costume Institute Gala. Wherefore the nepotism, Anna?

Friday, June 20, 2008

happy go luckeeee!!!

Remember when Heroes was good? With the first season's intertwining stories, interesting characters, and plot twists and payoffs, I was hooked. Then the second season began and everything fell apart. The same villain hung around, but this time being absolutely uninteresting. Too many new characters were introduced (a couple of whom were beyond annoying), keeping audiences from becoming invested in the story lines. Not even the additions of Julian Sark and Veronica Mars could save season two. Spoilers have started leaking out for season three, and sadly I just couldn't care less. It's going to take some pretty fantastic word of mouth to convince me to give this show another chance.

One of the bigger disappointments in season two was Hiro. A refreshing and endearing character in the first season, by the second season he was suffocating in his own shtick. In an overlong, ancient Japanese adventure, he managed to make even samurais seem dull and annoying.

So in honor of season one Hiro, I bring you Yatta!

Watch their live performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which features priceless translation.

summer lovin' part I: cheeks

The first day of summer has finally arrived! It's the season for outdoor concerts, afternoons spent at sidewalk cafés sipping chilled Vouvray, fruit-flavored popsicles, and long walks with cute boys (or girls). Since no one likes the look or feel of cakey foundation mixed with humidity and summer sweat (ahem, I mean "glow"), it's time to strip back your beauty routine and opt for sheer, lightweight products. I like bronzed skin as much as the next girl, but when it comes to low maintenance make-up, nothing beats fruity and floral-inspired cheek colors in romantic shades of peach, rose and plum. Here are a few of my summer favorites:

Benefit Benetint: This is the ultimate sheer rose stain. Blendable and long-lasting, this product delivers a delicate flush. And since it works on lips, as well as cheeks, it cuts another extra product out of your beauty routine. The color is completely buildable, allowing you to achieve a light glow or a deep rosy finish. In the mood for something lighter? Benefit recently introduced a follow up to their successful stain with Posietint, a sheer pink wash.

Benefit Dandelion, Georgia, Thrrrob and 10: Benefit really knows how to do low-key cheek color. All four of these powder blushes are great, perk-me-up colors, but on your cheeks the effect is subtle and natural. Dandelion is a pale pink that is excellent on fair skin. Georgia is a true peach that can make me look wide awake without nearly enough sleep in my schedule. Thrrrob, the most recent addition to the Benefit line of blushes, creates a rosy plum flush, mimicking a just-kissed-a-boy glow. 10 combines a stripe of Dandelion and a stripe of the bronzing powder Hoola. Swipe the brush across the pan to pick up both colors, then apply to cheeks, depositing Dandelion across the apples and Hoola underneath your cheekbones. The effect is a cheery pink cheek with a little extra summer glow. All of these blushes come packaged in adorable cardboard cases with their own applicator brushes. Plus, they house a ton of product, so you'll be able to get a couple of summers out of these little guys.

Rosie Jane Cheek Gloss in Rose: I randomly stumbled upon this product while visiting family in Nantucket (this isn't nearly as posh as it sounds). The Rosie Jane display was tucked in the corner of Beauty By The Sea, and as soon as I wandered over to poke through the products, the sales associate was buzzing in my ear. Apparently, this was her favorite line in the store, and she was incredibly excited to see me interested, as other customers had been walking by the display without a second glance. She immediately directed my attention towards her favorite product, this dewy gloss for cheeks. This bright rose gel blush can be tapped onto cheeks with fingertips, creating a flush that reminds me of the lip stain that only cherry popsicles can achieve.

Tarte Cheekstain in Tipsy: Similar in consistency to the Rosie Jane Cheek Gloss, Tarte's Cheek Stain comes in a popsicle-like push-up tube, which can be dabbed directly onto cheeks and blended with fingers. Tipsy is a brilliant peachy pink, which wakes up tired skin better than a morning Mimosa. It has a pop of white shimmer, but not so much that you look like you're going to a disco. Additionally, the apricot scent is light and sumptuous, enough so that my mouth waters every time I use this product.

DuWop Blush Therapy in Hug: Blush Therapy is a cream blush, but instead of feeling heavy and thick, it's light and blendable. It actually feels more like a gel blush, so I'm not exactly sure why DuWop chose to classify this as a cream. However, it lacks the stickiness that plagues a lot of gel blushes. Hug is the exact shade that my face turns whenever I'm embarrassed (I much prefer achieving this color on purpose, as opposed to having all the blood rush to my face). With a blend of essential oils built into the cap (I know, bizarre), Blush Therapy delivers a cooling sensation when applied to the skin.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

black out

Finally!! The highly anticipated all-black July issue of Vogue Italia will land in the states in two weeks. The fold-out cover features four gorgeous models, including veteran Naomi Campbell, rising stars Jourdan Dunn and Sessilee Lopez, and the radiant Liya Kebede in the top slot. With approximately one hundred pages shot by Steven Meisel, the editorials use only black models, while the features focus on black women in arts and entertainment. The bevy of models range from the experienced to the newcomers, including: Iman, Veronica Webb, Tyra Banks, Alek Wek, Yasmin Warsame, Chanel Iman, Gail O'Neil, Alva Chin, Arlenis Sosa Pena, Pat Cleveland and Karen Alexander. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is Toccara Jones, the full-figured model from season three of America's Next Top Model. This is just the spark that Jones' modeling career needs. Here's hoping the jobs roll in, and she'll be able to leave crap reality shows and lame hosting gigs for good.

bsg: for the obsessed

spoilers included

We have a lot to mull over. Four of the Final Five have revealed themselves to the humans. One jumped ship and returned to her cylon brothers and sisters. The others have been granted amnesty and remain among the humans. D'Anna has returned with a vengeance. Tigh and Caprica Six are going to be parents. The president and the admiral finally acknowledged their sweet, sweet love. And, along with a cylon faction, the human race finally made it to Earth, which has been bombed to a crispy black crust. All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again.

The Final Cylon:
For quite some time, I've had my money on either Dualla or Gaeta as the final cylon. I used to lean more towards Dualla (I liked the Kara/Anders Lee/Dualla bookends), but since she's barely been in this season and Gaeta's gone through some serious trauma, I think the latter is a more likely candidate. While imprisoned in the brig, Caprica Six told President Roslin that the Final Five were close, that she could feel them. Since we already know the identities of four of the five, who were living as sleepers within the fleet, it seems only logical that the fifth is in the fleet as well. However, D'Anna is the only person, human or cylon, who has seen the faces of the Final Five, and according to her, only four are within the fleet. I had a theory way back when that I dismissed as being too much of a stretch. We've all been wondering who/what Starbuck is. There are some who still think she's a cylon, but I've never bought into that argument. After her return, I suspected that she was either a clone (and the original Starbuck was dead) or some sort of Angel of Death. "You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace." We know that her crazy religious and extremely abusive mother was grooming her for some sort of special destiny. What if Socrata Thrace is the final cylon, making Kara Thrace the first hybrid child? When this idea first popped into my head, I was a little stumped with the age issue, but now that Saul Tigh has been revealed as a cylon, I can throw that rationale for doubt out the window. The question is, if the final cylon is not with the cylons nor in the human fleet, where is she/he?

"All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again." Earth, the Thirteenth Colony and mankind's last glimmer of hope, lies in barren devastation. As if the visuals weren't obvious enough, it's clear from the radiation levels on the geiger counter that the planet has experienced some kind of nuclear fallout. Is it possible that the experience of the Twelve Colonies was an echo of what had already occurred on Earth? Is this what the scriptures have been alluding to all this time?

Other questions:
  • At the end of the mini-series, Commander Adama finds a scrap of paper in his quarters that claims there are twelve cylon models. Who left him this information?
  • The cylons were supposedly unable to reproduce on their own (thus, the Sharon and Helo matchmaking). So how do we explain the Caprica Six pregnancy?
  • WTF is going on with Boomer?
  • What exactly are the Six and the Gaius in Gaius' mind?
  • Is Tyrol ever going to find out how Cally really died?
  • Where are the ones, fours and fives?
  • Is Earth empty, or are there survivors?


Doo.Ri Resort 2009

bsg: for the newcomers

With the mid-season finale of the final season of Battlestar Galactica airing last Friday, the hiatus has begun. I'm hopeful that we'll see the second half of the season next January, but the SciFi Channel has only stated that it wil air during the first quarter of 2009. Fortunately, they've promised at least one BSG television movie that will air during the season four hiatus. And we're sure to hearing plenty of rumors about the prequel series, Caprica, which is still in development and sounds like it has a lot of promise.

If you've never watched the show, this your best chance to jump on the BSG bandwagon. As much as I love marathoning this show, viewing the second half of the final season is going to be an event, and you're going to want to watch it as it airs. Catch up now, so that you can be a part of it next year.

For the uninitiated, BSG is the brainchild of Ron Moore (formerly of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). It's a remake of the 70's TV show of the same name, but don't let that dissuade you. This isn't Charlie's Angels with Cameron Diaz on wires. Moore took the premise of the original series and adapted it into a modern, relevant, post-apolcalyptic tale of human suffering. In the mini-series (Yes, there is a two-part mini-series before the first season. Do not skip it. You need the context.), Moore introduces us to the Twelve Colonies, a human settlement scattered across twelve planets. The humans created the cylons, a race of machines built to service mankind, whose self-awareness eventually spurred them to rebel, causing a great war. An armistice was eventually reached and decades passed with no word from the cylons. The mini-series tells the story of the cylons' return. They have evolved and now have twelve models that mimic human form, making it possible to infiltrate the Colonies' defense system and launch a nuclear strike.

They manage a nearly successful genocide, with the exception of a handful of surviving ships, including one warship, the Battlestar Galactica. This is the story of the human race, now a rag tag gang of less than 50,000, as they flee through space, struggling to survive and to find the mythical paradise from their scriptures called Earth. The series is a textbook example of how science fiction can often be the best genre to explore modern political and social themes, without feeling forced or obvious. BSG is a post-9/11 tale, weaving elements of politics, religion, military strategy, terrorism, and McCarthyism (if cylons look like humans, can you ever trust your neighbors?). Plus, shiny space battles and Academy Award-winner Edward James Olmos.

electric eyes

If you're in the mood to go dramatic with your eyeliner, but aren't feeling the grunge look, Vincent Longo's new Vibrant Waterproof Liners are a great way to make a bold statement. Available in bluetto (blue), verdino (green), giallino (yellow), moreno (brown), nerino (black) and bianchino (white), these liquid liners pack a mean punch. The colors have great pigment, so you don't have to worry about tricky layering to create an opaque finish. The formulas are long-lasting, though when I applied bluetto, verdino, giallino and bianchino to the back of my hand at Sephora (rossino was out of stock), I found that the yellow wore off significantly earlier than the others.

I already have plenty of black and brown liquid liners, so I wanted to purchase one of the brighter colors. After much debate, I picked up a bottle in bluetto, as I figured I'd get the most wear out of it. The brush is a traditional liquid liner brush, so if you've grown accustomed to felt tip applicators, you may have to play around a bit to refresh your memory. Bluetto makes a great, modern cat eye, though I've been limiting my application to the top lid, with a swipe of black pencil along the lower waterline. As great as the blue shade is, I can't help but regret not picking up the white, so I'll probably be trekking back to Sephora to add another liner or two to my collection. Hopefully, rossino will be back in stock. I'd love to mix the red and white together for a futuristic Pepto Bismol eye. And when I go back, I'll definitely be checking out the matching mascaras, as well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

par for the course

The Fug Girls tag Camille Coduri, Rose Tyler's mum Jackie on Doctor Who. Pigtails, boots, bike shorts and a jean jacket. I would expect nothing less from this absolutely glorious woman.

i always wear my shinguards to the beach

Jean Paul Gaultier Resort 2009

everybody drink!

The great depression that is Battlestar Galactica has had me reaching for a bottle of wine on more than one occasion. It's been so painful, in fact, that I've barely been able to write about it here. However, after the mid-season finale, we have a long time (until the first quarter of 2009) to dissect the first half of season four. Now is the time to cue up your DVR, Tivo and Torrents, and get to obsessively re-watching. This process presents a certain conundrum. The point of re-watching episodes is to pick up on things you missed the first time around. Subtle looks that can betray a character's true motives. Lines of dialogue that take on a double meaning. So you want your senses to be sharp. But, as I mentioned before, this show is about as dark as it gets and I don't recommend sitting through it without a six-pack at arm's length. So, I present...

The Re-Watching of the First Half of Season Four of Battlestar Galactica Drinking Game!!! minor spoilers included

Take a drink whenever:
  • Someone gets airlocked
  • Someone gets shot
  • Someone has a mental breakdown
  • Someone cries
  • Someone gets blown up
  • A dead character appears in a vision/hallucination
  • A Final Fiver looks shifty
  • Dualla's not in a scene (Kidding. That would send you to the hospital.)
Take a shot whenever:
  • Gaius has sex
  • Gaius gets beat up
  • Gaeta loses a limb
  • Gaeta sings a song
  • A cat dies
  • D'Anna says something funny (She's very sarcastic for a killer robot.)
  • Tigh drinks (This one could be the end of us all.)
As for the final Cylon, my money's been on Dualla or Gaeta for years. But after something D'Anna said, I'm reverting back to one of my whackjob theories that I dismissed as too absolutely ridiculous. I'll share it here soon enough. Happy drinking.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

this is the best thing i have ever seen

I recently shared a few of Doctor Who actress Billie Piper's music videos from her late 90's pop career. I didn't share "Because We Want To," but had to post it now so that what follows could make a bit more sense.

It is with great honor that I present Billie and the Daleks. And K-9!! (And are those the little meme spiders from the episode "The End of the World?") God bless the nerds.

Am I the only one who feels like Piper's pop career was very Robin Sparkles? Just slightly less Canadian.

that's 'sir doctor who' to you

Russell T. Davies, the brilliant writer and producer behind the resurrection of Doctor Who, has been named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Sadly, Davies will be stepping down as show runner for the fifth season, but hopefully he'll keep contributing as a writer.

Davies will be succeeded by Stephen Moffat, who's brought us some of the creepiest Doctor Who episodes: "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances," "Silence in the Library/The Forest of the Dead," and "Blink" (for which he was nominated for a Nebula Award, but lost to Pan's Labyrinth). I'm curious to see just how dark the show gets.

apparently source material is overrated

The Wanted writers didn't finish reading the comic book series before they wrote their screenplay. Maybe that's why they replaced a league of super-villains with a fraternity of assassins, ditched amorality and anti-heroes for the code, "kill one, save a thousand," cast Angelina Jolie to play a strong, black woman, and practically stripped away the entire premise of the comic book. But if you can ignore those little details, Wanted looks like it could be a pretty entertaining joyride.

it's a nice day for a white wedding

Lanvin Resort 2009

Monday, June 16, 2008

babylon a.d. might actually be kind of cool

I know I shouldn't get my hopes up for a Vin Diesel movie, but I like action, I like dystopia, and I love Michelle Yeoh. Plus, Charlotte Rampling and Gérard Depardieu round out the cast. Random, but perhaps awesome?

crush with eyeliner

When I was 14, I had Margot Tenenbaum-esque black-rimmed eyes and a terrible crush on a violinist in the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra. He was incredibly talented, and with his torn jeans, over-sized flannel shirts, and disaffected attitude, he was youth philharmonic's answer to Jordan Catalano. He sat at the other end of the orchestra (I played the french horn), and we didn't really have any of the same friends (he mainly hung out with strings). It was a pretty distant pining, until one day during a rehearsal break. I was reading in the hallway, trying desperately to look bored and Angela Chase-esque, when he walked by and called me his "sad tomato." I was completely confused. He called me this curious name several more times throughout the year, but I was always too nervous to engage in actual conversation. Finally, I mustered up the courage to respond, "So, are you going to, like, clarify any one of these days, or what?" Aw, to be young and articulate. He explained that it was from an R.E.M song, and that I was his "Crush With Eyeliner."

Sadly, our romance was short-lived. At the time, I thought R.E.M. was pretty wussy (still kind of do), and, fickle kids that we were, he developed a crush on another violinist, while I developed a crush on a percussionist. What did last was my obsession with kohl-rimmed eyes. Well, and attempting to look bored and Angela Chase-esque. The key for creating a dark, messy eye is to let go of your usual precision. This is not a cat eye. It is not liquid liner and it is not meant to look perfect. This can be surprisingly difficult for beauty perfectionists to achieve. This isn't the time to worry about long-lasting, non-smudge formulas. You need an eyeliner that soft, dark and blendable.

A great option is Benefit's BADgal eye pencil. With its soft, powdery consistency, blending this eyeliner with a smudger is almost like working with eyeshadow. If you're going for serious blackout, double-team BADgal with a long-lasting liner on the waterlines of your eyes. Try applying Maybelline Unstoppable Eye Liner in black to the inner rims of the upper and lower lids. The upper lid can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be amazed at how much thicker it makes your lashes look. Then pile on the layers of mascara. And don't worry about clumps, they just show that you, like, totally don't care.

bona drag

After attending the weekly drag show at Gay 90's last Saturday night (I love you, Veronica Fox and Roxie Hart!!!), I'm obsessing over stripper heels. So I've gathered a few cute and wearable stripper platforms from Pleaser (these images are from the UK line, but Pleaser can be found at online stores based in the U.S. as well). After Gwyneth Paltrow toured the world to promote Iron Man in tiny skirts and S&M heels, I'd say stripper shoes are fair game, even for more conservative dressers. Some of these selections are actually borderline tame. Now, if I can only find the perfect pair of black, patent leather, over-the-knee, bondage, high-heeled boots, I'll be set.

That night at the 90's also brought this to my attention. God bless RuPaul.

sweet, sweet sari

Dear Target,

Please hire Sari Gueron to design a Go International capsule collection. I'm obsessed with her playful use of plaid, gingham and florals, and her picnic-appropriate summery dresses are desperate for a place in my overstuffed closet. Please, I just want to give them a happy home.

a tiny machine

Sari Gueron Resort 2009

Sunday, June 15, 2008

where do we go from here?

Check out the highlights of the 2008 National Space Forum at The Space Review. The discussion addressed key questions such as:

  • Do space programs take too long to develop and cost too much?
  • Is space a contested domain?
  • Is there a need for the centralization of space policy making?
  • Is United States space leadership in the world productive?

delicious looks from thakoon

I want every single look from the Thakoon Resort 2009 Collection, but these are my six favorites:


the return of rose tyler

Showtime's Secret Diary of a Call Girl may not seem like scifi news, until one takes into account the series' star, British pop singer and Doctor Who star Billie Piper. Piper had studied acting since childhood, but was discovered by a record producer at the age of 15. Her pop career never took off in the states, but she was the youngest artist to ever achieve a number one in the UK. Her music career eventually fizzled, and she left the industry to return to acting. She was cast to play Rose Tyler in the reincarnation of the legendary British science fiction series, Doctor Who. Opposite Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, Piper was enigmatic as Rose, a bored chav teen who is whisked away from her dull life to travel through time and space with The Doctor.

Rose approached her adventures with enthusiasm and compassion, bravely facing tragedy and danger, but never losing her brilliant wide-eyed wonder. Piper easily played both classic British camp and dark drama, all while running around the universe in a track jacket, trainers and hoop earrings, with too much eyeliner and a bad dye job. She may not have been the reincarnation's most brilliant companion (Martha, season three), or the funniest (Donna, season 4), but Rose was the most inquisitive and adaptable. Plucked from her boring shop girl existence, she easily fell into the life of a traveler, always moving from one place to the next.

After her debut as Rose Tyler, Piper racked up awards and critical acclaim, and became the darling of the BBC. Definitely a grand example of a washed up pop star made good. She is currently playing the lead role in four BBC films based on fantasy writer Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart series, and last fall she starred in the first season of Secret Diary of a Call Girl. The series will start airing in the U.S. this Monday at 10:30 EST on Showtime. Initially Showtime considered buying the rights to the series to re-shoot it with American actors, but according to Showtime's president of entertainment, the British version was so fantastic, he couldn't bring himself to change it. For a glimpse of Piper as Call Girl's Belle du Jour, check out the trailer.

And okay, fine. Because I know you want to see some of her pop videos from the 90's, here's "Day and Night"

And "Something Deep Inside"

romanovs, maharajas and bike-chic, oh my!

Miuccia Prada is a woman of many talents, but my favorite thing about her is her ability to integrate. She can take several completely unrelated concepts, find their elusive common threads, and combine them seamlessly. She is truly a visual storyteller, and her 2009 Resort Collection is a perfect example of this rare talent.

Prada toyed with elements of traditional athletic wear, making bike shorts and windbreaker nylon evening appropriate.

Two of my favorite people are getting married in India this winter. If I'm able to go, I'll probably subscribe to the traditional notion of pink being India's navy blue. However, I'd love to wear something like this.

I love this combination as well, but I think Kelly and Sahil would be a little confused if I attended their nuptials in a bikini top.

This cocktail dress is infinitely wearable. I'd lose the heavy jewelry and the belt and dress it down with black tights and a beat up fedora for an opening at the Walker Art Center.

These two dresses immediately made me think of the Romanov family. Some morbid trivia: When lined up in front of a firing squad, it took an outrageously long time to execute the Romanov women, as they'd tried to hide their family jewels by sewing them into their corsets, creating rudimentary bullet-proof vests.