Thursday, December 28, 2006

Project Runway Recap, Season One, Episode 8: Going Postal: or [insert better title here; seriously, you can do better than that]!

Previously on Project Runway:

Everyone hates Wendy.

What? You were expecting more? Nope; that's pretty much all you need to know.

On to this week's episode:

Robert tells us AGAIN how important this next challenge is.

Jay: "No, seriously, what the hell is he doing here?"

The designers get brown paper packages tied up with string. I don't think anyone will be surprised to learn that this is one of Austin's favorite things. They try to guess what is in the packages:

Robert: "Do you think it could be a sports car?"

Jay: "I think there are babies inside. I can hear crying."

Austin: "No, that's just Wendy. I know; let's all gossip about her! It'll be fun!"

Wendy: "OK, I just have something to say. Someone ruined this photograph of my daughter and I want to try to milk this for everything it's worth. This is the only photograph ever taken of my daughter and it was taken using the daguerreotype method, which means there is no negative. And because this picture is my most prized possession I've never made a copy of it because that would make it less special. So, my point is, whoever did this has destroyed the memory of my daughter. In fact, I can't even remember what she looks like anymore."

Austin: "Wow, Wendy, that's a terrible story."

Wendy: "Thank you for understanding, Austin."

Austin: "No, I mean your story sounds like bullshit. This photographs is so precious to you but you never made a copy of it?"

Wendy: "I was busy."

Robert: "Whoever did this should rot in hell forever. But it could have been anyone."

Really? OK, then it was probably the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Robert: "Well, not anyone. but it could have been one of the models."

He has point. I actually thought it could have been Morgan after the way Wendy led her on and then dumped her at the beginning of the last episode. And she's vapid enough to do something this thoughtless. But would she have had access to the design room after she was kicked off the show? It's hard to imagine anyone else doing it. I guess this will just have to remain one of the great unsolved mysteries. It's just too bad Bravo doesn't have cameras constantly recording everything. What? They do?

Back at the apartment Jay is goofing around and when Robert comes out of the shower Jay rips his towel off of him. He's completely naked and we get a really nice view of his ass as he runs back to the bathroom. Right, so now we're rewinding that part to make sure we didn't miss anything important and ... um ... sorry, what was I talking about? Huh? Oh, yeah, I was saying that I think Robert is really talented and I'm really going to miss him. Wait, is that what I meant to say?

OK, that's enough drama. We actually have a fun challenge this time. The designers have to redesign postal uniforms. They are each given a different uniform to wear and it is amazing how well they seem to fit their individual personalities. Someone did a good job picking these out. Austin is wearing the gayest postal uniform I have ever seen. Or maybe Austin just magically makes everything he wears look like the gayest thing I've ever seen. Either way, he looks great! They have to go on rounds with some postal carriers. Wendy is taking this very seriously and asking lots of questions. She decides the current uniforms are good the way they are and don't need to be redesigned. All she needs to do is make them a little bit uglier and they'll be perfect!

Tim: "Wendy, those hideous sneakers may be fine for you but a postal worker could never wear something that awful. This challenge has nothing to do with comfort and practicality. I suggest you use some silver pumps. And Jay, Julia probably won't show up. Sucks to be you. Carry on, everyone!"

So, Julia is the new Morgan. This is why I thought Morgan made it to this challenge. I don't see why this is Jay's problem. The producers should find a new model for him. Robert is going through his little black book trying to find a replacement:

Robert: "Why do these girls keep hanging up on me? Sorry, Jay, you're out of luck."

Jay's out on the street looking for models:

Jay: "Hey, anyone want to be a model? It pays nothing. Come on! Man, these people all look like stockbrokers. Where are all the supermodels wandering the streets that you see in the movies?"

Wendy is also out on the street but she's trying to make up for her terrible design by practicing the speech she's going to make to the judges. She's out on the street talking to herself. If it weren't for her Cruella deVille hair you would not be able to distinguish her from the authentic New Yorkers. The other designers decide this finally proves she is insane.

Jay is unsuccessful with the model search. This next part works out so perfectly that it almost seems scripted. Jay uses Austin as his model. Austin happens to be exactly the same size as Julia, who also has no hips or breasts. Jay's outfit is very unisex and looks terrific on Austin. In fact, as Jay points out, Austin has never looked more butch as he looks now in an outfit designed for a woman. This would not have worked in most of the other challenges, which makes me think this is just too perfect to be true. Anyway, I think Jay could have won this one (again). But Kara wins it (again). Hers is also very good, though I don't like the big, baggy pants; I think they could be impractical.

Austin creates an updated postal carrier look. Updated to 1956, that is. Other Eric thinks it looks like something Doris Day would wear if she were playing a postal worker.

Michael Kors: "It looks like something Doris Day would wear if she were playing a postal worker."

Other Eric: "Hey, I just said that!"

Wendy just takes the current uniform, moves a pocket, and adds pleats to the sides of the shorts.

Michael: "Pleats on the sides?! Oh, my god, everyone was right; you need to be committed to an insane asylum!"

Nina: "Robert has no business being here. Jeez, Michael, I leave you with Anne for a few weeks and this is what happens? Do I have to do everything myself?"

Well, welcome back, Nina! Thank goodness she came back or Robert might have won the entire competition. So anyway, Robert is out:

Robert: "Are you hiring ... at the post office?"

Post Office Lady: "Ha, ha. That's funny. You're asking me for a job and at the same time you are insulting me by condescendingly implying that a job at the post office is beneath you and would be easy to get. Yeah, try McDonalds."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Everything must go: the after Christmas sale at Eric Three Thousand!

This is just a random posting about nothing in particular. You've been warned.

OK, so I wrote a Christmas letter and it was really funny (I'm not going to print it here so you'll just have to take my word for it). I've gotten really positive feedback from friends and family, saying it's the funniest thing they've ever read, etc. But I'm also getting this question (mainly from people who don't read this blog): "How can you be so funny when you write but be so boring in person?" Alright, I'm paraphrasing; nobody actually called me boring. They used euphemisms like "quiet" but I know what they mean. I can't explain it. I'm very shy and have trouble talking to people but I can express myself a little better in writing. This is why I'm allowing myself to waste so much time on this blog when I have so many other things I could be doing.

Eric and I had a nice Christmas. I had shipped my mother off to the Midwest (fortunately avoiding a Denver layover) and Eric's parents are in another state so we spent Christmas Eve at a friend's house and had a lovely time. Too much wine and coffee contributed to the fact that I didn't sleep much that night and we were up very early Christmas morning. I was making my traditional Hawaiian breakfast of SPAM while Eric was gagging in the other room and then we watched Miracle on 34th Street while we opened presents.

Then we were off to the first non-preview showing of Dreamgirls at the Arclight in Hollywood. They had been playing it for two weeks so I don't know why they suddenly had technical difficulties but apparently they had the wrong lens and this cut off the tops of people's heads. Because of that we got free tickets for the future and we were still able to enjoy the show. I thought it was pretty good. I wish the music had been more memorable but it was still fun and the acting was good. Eric, of course, had seen the musical on Broadway when he was a child. His parents made sure he grew up to be as gay as possible by taking him to all the musicals. Jennifer Hudson should not have been nominated for best supporting actress, though. She was definitely the star. Yeah, I understand why they do that; this way she has a chance of winning, but I still think it's wrong.

Holiday shopping was not too bad this year. I don't get presents for too many people. I decided to get Eric something nice from Lacoste because he loves their clothes but thinks they are too expensive (which they are). Anyway, I thought I would get him an expensive sweater there because he would never buy that for himself. And then I would be done shopping. Or so I thought. After buying a sweater at the boutique in the Beverly Center, wrapping it, and putting it under the tree, I decided he was going to hate it. So I thought I would try another location to see if they had a better selection. I went to Rodeo Drive. I never shop on Rodeo Drive. Even though I have handfulls of cash, the stuck-up sales girls there look at me with contempt and refuse to help me just because I'm wearing a slutty miniskirt and gogo boots. Boy were they sorry later that day when I showed up in expensive clothes and carrying bags from designer stores! OK, fine; I'm making that up; the salespeople on Rodeo Drive are perfectly friendly. So anyway, the Lacoste boutique there had the same clothes so I decided not to exchange the sweater. I did, however, take clothes back to Club Monaco because I had spent too much money on myself the last time I went shopping. Unfortunately I just ended up buying more! Someone stop me!

So my recent splurge at Club Monaco forced me to go through my closet and get rid of tons of junk. I've realized that I used to be a collector but now I'm a tosser. Wait, that doesn't sound right. What I mean is I like to toss things out. Yeah, that's better. I used to hoard all kinds of junk and buy crap I didn't need. Partly it has to do with the fact that I didn't have much for many years and it was comforting to have possessions. Partly I inherited this from my mother, who grew up after the depression but on a farm, where she learned to use and reuse and not be wasteful. Or maybe it has nothing to do with growing up on a farm and she's just crazy. Anyway, I grew up not getting many new things but also not getting rid of anything. Now nothing gives me more pleasure than going through closets and cabinets (and the refrigerator) and getting rid of everything I possibly can. And this is also why I try to avoid giving and receiving gifts whenever possible: I don't want any more stuff!

I hope you made it through Christmas without accumulating too much crap! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas: the Christmas episode of Eric Three Thousand!

No, actually this is just a little holiday greeting and a note about upcoming recaps of our favorite Bravo shows. The fabulous Project Rungay boys are taking a well-deserved break this week so there was no Project Runway season one recap this week. Tune in Thursday for the recap of episode 8. Also, Top Chef is on break until January 3rd. Unfortunately I won't be able to watch that episode or the next until I'm back from my London holiday so there won't be Top Chef recaps until at least January 11. I'll try to keep up with the Project Runway recaps by watching them before I leave and just posting them while I'm away. Also, I'll probably take the break from recapping next week to blog about miscellaneous crap.

So, enjoy the day tomorrow, whether or not you celebrate Christmas! We have a mixed Jewish/communist household here (OK, Other Eric wants me to clarify that he identifies as Jew-ISH and that I'm not really a communist but just a liberal with socialist leanings) but we still have our Christmas tree up and will be opening presents tomorrow morning. Then we will be celebrating the day the gayest way we could think of: by seeing Dreamgirls! All the best to you and yours!

Love,

Eric

Friday, December 15, 2006

Project Runway Recap, Season One, Episode 7: Back to the Future: or Apocalypse When?

I'm recapping along with the Project Rungay boys, who are blogging season one on DVD. Check them out, if you haven't already, and make sure to order season two on DVD because they'll be doing that next! Now, on to episode 7:

Robert: "The next challenge is the hardest, except for the one after that. And then comes the really hard one."

Jay: "Can someone explain to me what the hell Robert is doing here?"

Wendy: "Obviously Austin and Kara are going to the finale and I'm just hoping to get that third spot. Since Austin is consistently in the bottom two and Jay is consistently in the top two I've decided Austin is the favorite and Jay doesn't have a chance."

They pick models. This completely shocked me. I really thought Morgan was sticking around to screw up some more. But she's gone!

The designers are working on one big group project but at least everyone is making his or her own garment so it isn't too bad.

Tim: "You're designing for the year 2055 and you'll be using vintage clothing to make the garments."

Kevin: "But futuristic is the opposite of vintage."

Tim: "That's right, dumb-ass."

Robert: "Are we allowed to alter the vintage clothing?"

Tim: "Uh, yeah, that's the point. Any more stupid questions?"

Jay: "I usually design for the year 2050 so designing for 2055 is going to be really challenging for me."

Kevin is chosen as team leader. We are treated to a montage of clips demonstrating how Kevin is possibly the worst leader on earth. Well, after Kim Jong Il. Oh, and George W. Bush. And ... well, you get the point; he doesn't have leadership skills. The other designers look absolutely thrilled to have Kevin leading them. OK, I was being sarcastic but, actually, it turns out there is one designer who is happy about the choice:

Wendy: "Let's get rid of Kevin! Mwaaahahahaha!"

The designers go for a deconstructed look because in the year 2055 everyone will have forgotten how to sew. Tailors and seamstresses will have devolved into a sub-species and been hunted down and eaten by other humans. They choose a color palate and decide to create garments that can protect people from the environment:

Al Gore: "Don't worry; by the year 2055 there will no longer be an environment."

OK, so they decide to completely encapsulate the models in pods. I think this may have been Kevin's one leadership decision. Obviously it's a bad one. The designers pick out some pretty cool stuff at a vintage store and lay out all the clothes on the tables in the work room and the color palate is working. Then they're stuck. Tim comes in to offer some help:

Tim: "What's wrong? You all seem kind of lost."

Designers: "We're just concerned that the Democrats will lose their fragile grip on the senate."

Tim: "Please! Senator Johnson could serve the rest of his term in the hospital and no one would know the difference. Everything will be fine."

Designers: "Thanks, Tim. You always know exactly what to say."

Tim: "Well, they don't call me the sexiest man alive for nothing."

Designers: "What does that have to do with anything?"

Tim: "I just thought I'd mention it."

Austin: "Hey, did you guys hear that Tara Connor could have her Miss USA crown taken away because of 'behavioral and personal issues'?"

Kara: "What the hell does that mean?"

Jay: "I think it means she had a cosmo at a bar and she's only 20."

Wendy: "Oh my god! She should be in prison!"

Kayne: "How could she do this to me?"

Tim: "Can we stop talking about things that haven't happened yet and get back to work?"

Designers: "Sorry."

The designers still have no idea what they are doing:

Robert: "I've decided that in the future Starbucks will fulfill it's evil plans to take over the world by completely monopolizing the coffee market and then destroying the world's coffee supplies and turning the human race into zombies. Our only source of energy will be cocaine. I'm putting mirrors on the shoulders of the garment so you can just turn your head and do some blow."

Well, that sounds about as reasonable as anything else he's ever said. Kara has taken charge. They all decide they do not have time to do the pods:

Tim: "I never liked the pods but now that you aren't doing them I've decided they were a good idea. I think my brain is bleeding."

Jay: "My garment is complete crap."

Tim: "This is not the time for honesty. This is the time for complete bullshit."

Jay: "Sorry. My garment is fabulous!"

Tim: "That's the spirit."

That night, back at the apartment, the closest thing we get to a party is Robert offering Jay a beer. Is that why this episode is so boring? Not enough alcohol? The designers are all discussing how to defend their crappy collection. Except for Austin, who is completely consumed with studying a pink purse, and Wendy, who is just laughing like a mental patient.

On to the runway: The judges are Michael Kors, Anne Slowey, and Betsey Johnson. Austin has created a cocktail dress with possibly the worst proportions I've ever seen. And to make it look even more dumpy he's put the model in flats. If I see someone dressed like this at a cocktail party in 2055 I will know it is time to take my own life. Jay creates a club wear look. As usual, it's pretty good. Kara makes a business suit. It looks like something out of Aeon Flux or The Matrix. It's a little costumey and derivative but it's effective and dramatic and she wins. Robert creates a street wear look:

Anne: "So, Robert, would you like to explain to us how this is like a sports car?"

Ah, there's that famous Slowey sense of humor again. No, wait, this is the first time I've ever witnessed her sense of humor.

Robert: "In the future there will be no coffee so people will get their energy directly from the sun like Superman."

Anne: "Oh, that makes sense. You have pretty eyes. Did I just say that out loud?"

Wendy creates a youth outfit. It's really not bad. I don't know what Anne's problem is with it:

Anne: "It looks like my cat just shredded my old sweater."

OK, we don't need to hear about your personal problems, Anne. Michael and Betsey agree that it fits in with the deconstructed look of Kara's and Jay's. Wendy's gimmick was attaching a tool belt for a GPS device and all the other crap someone will need in the future. Duh; all that stuff will be implanted under our skin in the future, Wendy. Everyone knows that!

Kevin, creates a pretty but boring dress that has it's sleeves attached to it's sides for no apparent reason.

Kevin: "I think in the future people will have their arms surgically attached to their sides."

Oh, now I get it. Unfortunately it doesn't fit in with the collection at all, which is a major problem since he was the leader and supposedly made the decision for what the collection was supposed to look like. He's out. But first there was this drama:

Earlier, in the design room:

Designers: "Kevin is a terrible leader!"

Tim: "Wendy, would you be willing to say that Kevin is a terrible leader?"

Wendy: "Uh, yeah, I guess so."

On the runway:

Anne: "So Wendy, would you like to tell us what a terrible leader Kevin was?"

Wendy: "Uh, I think he probably could have done a better job with time management."

Oh My God! Can you believe the bitch just said that?!

Robert: "Kevin was an amazing leader!"

Jay: "I can't imagine having a better leader!"

Austin: "He was like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr."

Kara: "He led the shit out of us!"

Great, now everyone has the excuse to hate Wendy they've been waiting for!
Top Chef Recap: Episode 8: The Chrismukkah Episode: or The one where Mia finally throws herself under a bus!

The chefs are dealing with the loss of Frank:

Marcel: "I can sleep a little easier now that he won't be here snoring. Oh, yeah, I also don't have to worry about him killing me in my sleep anymore."

Sam: "When Frank left he broke my knife bag. Now I'm glad I smashed his sunglasses and blamed it on Marcel."

All the chefs, especially Mia (hint, hint) are complaining about being away from home for so long. It looks like they've finally had enough:

Sam: "Should we go?"

Ooh, where are they going? Are they all quitting? Are they going dancing? Are they going to see Dreamgirls? Nope. Turns out they are just going to the Kenmore kitchen. What a letdown. Well, there is a bright side:

Betty: "The Kenmore kitchen is completely filled with booze! My prayers have been answered!"

OK, apparently this portion of the show has been brought to you by Bailey's. The guest judge is Kristin Woodward, a licensed joyologist. Or is it mixologist? Whatever; it's some stupid, made-up word. She's a practitioner in the noble profession of helping people forget their troubles and get laid.

Uli: "Are you talking about getting vaysted? Because I have the perfect dress for that!"

Yes, yes, we know. The chefs have to make a mixed drink using Bailey's disgusting alcoholic syrup. They are also supposed to make a Christmas nibble, or something like that.

Ilan: "I've never heard of this "Christmas" you speak of. I guess I'll just make a Hanukkah snack and hope that's similar."

Mike: "OK, I know I say this every time but this is my specialty so I really have to win this one."

You won't.

Mia doesn't use a nice enough glass so she's in the bottom. Betty's drink looks like vomit and apparently tastes even worse so she's in the bottom. Cliff wins the quickfire:

Cliff: "It's really good to win immunity because that means you are immune from being eliminated in the elimination challenge."

Thanks for clearing that up for us, Cliff.

Oh, crap; team challenge. I hate these. OK, there's team Black and team Orange and they are making appetizers for two hundred people who have just walked down a red carpet for no reason. This portion of the show has been brought to you by Warner Bros. and Los Angeles Magazine, the magazine for people who love advertisements.

Team Orange is Sam, Ilan, Marcel, and Betty.

Ilan: "OK, I think we can all agree that Sam should be the leader of our team."

Marcel: "Oh, really? We'll just see about that."

Team Black is Cliff, Elia, Mike, and Mia. At first they don't seem to have a leader. But one thing is for sure: it is not Mia:

Mia: "I think we should serve lots of different appetizers. "

Rest of Team: "No, that's a terrible idea. We should just supply napkins and no food. It's better to have really good napkins than to screw up a bunch of dishes."

Mia: "Whatever. You all suck."

At the store there is a change in plan:

Cliff: "Mia, we've decided to not even supply napkins so we can really concentrate on standing around doing nothing."

Mia: "What? Why are you doing this?"

Cliff: "Because I have immunity."

Mia: "Have I mentioned you suck?"

At the seafood counter we witness this shocking exchange:

Marcel: "Don't put the mussels in plastic. You'll suffocate them."

Ilan: "Don't be a dick."

Oh my god! Ilan is in favor of suffocating mussels! Someone call PETA!

So, this is the team Orange menu:

Crab cakes, shrimp skewers, pickles mussels, calamari with dip, bread pudding, beef tenderloin with blue cheese, cauliflower a la plancha, croquetas, salmon mousse, confit of pork, mushroom tart, vegetable terrine, and chorizo and egg tostadas.

Team Black will have a fruit and cheese plate.

Tom: "So, the other team is serving 13 dishes. You have no chance. OK, good luck!"

Somehow Elia is now in charge of this disaster. It sure seemed like Cliff was in charge when they were making all the terrible menu decisions in the beginning. And it would have made sense for him to be the leader since he has nothing to lose. Oh well, let Elia take the fall.

OK, they are serving their food on the Warner Bros. lot on the street with the Huxtable house. Fun! I recognize of couple of minor character from Studio 60 and that's about it. Who are these people? The guest judge is Lee Hefter and Ted is filling in for Gail. Team Black does make better food but there just is not enough of it. Team Orange makes some pretty standard food but they really put out an amazing spread for the money they had. Team Orange wins.

Marcel: "I know we won but I'd like to defend myself anyway and say that I was my own leader."

OK, Ilan's right: Marcel is a dick.

Sam deserves credit for leading that amazing team effort. He wins a ginormous box of knives. Hey, Sam, I think Marcel would like you to show him your knives, if you know what I mean.

Team Black was a disaster and anyone stupid enough to take the leadership role deserves to leave. Elia takes complete responsibility. Cliff throws Mia under a bus:

Cliff: "This is all Mia's fault because I completely ignored everything she said."

Mia: "Cliff, you can kiss my big black ass!"

Mia seems to have a split personality is this episode:

Mia: "I thought Elia was a terrible leader for not listening to me. But then I thought she was a really good leader and did an excellent job. And then I thought she was a terrible leader again at the judges' table. And then I thought she was such a good leader I decided to take the fall for her."

Ow, I have whiplash.

Tom: "Mia, are you telling us you're quitting?"

Mia: "No, first I'm going to tell you why I'm not a quitter and then I'll tell you I'm quitting. Now, many of you don't know this because I've only mentioned it a few dozen times, but I was homeless. I was working as a salesman and raising my son by myself and then we got kicked out of our apartment and I decided to take an unpaid internship with a Wall Street investment firm ..."

Tom: "No, I think that's the plot to the new Will Smith movie."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Top Chef Recap, Episode 7: Surfing Safari: or The Quest for Fire.

Raphael Lunetta is the guest judge and for the quickfire the chefs have to create an entree with ingredients from a farmer's market but they can't cook anything. Mostly they go with produce but a few use raw seafood.

Elia and Frank are the only two who seem to have made an actual entree.

Raphael: "Ilan, this is good. It would make a good appetizer."

Ilan: "Wow. Passive-aggressive much?"

Raphael chooses Marcel, who has made a watermelon "steak." You've got to be kidding me. How does calling a piece of fruit "steak" magically turn it into an entree? This judge is an idiot. Well, whatever, maybe if Marcel has immunity in the elimination challenge people will not bother picking on him so much. Other Eric points out two things related to Marcel's win: First, Raphael and Marcel are totally staring at each other like they are in love; it's a little disturbing. Second, Padma is dressed like a watermelon. A cheap watermelon.

There are new tensions in the kitchen:

Michael: "I was minding my own business, playing Jenga, and Frank kept shaking the table and knocking all my blocks down. I think he was doing it on purpose."

Frank: "He's just like my little brother. Except he's even fatter and stupider. Oh, yeah, did I mention I can't stand my little brother?"

For the elimination challenge they will have to make breakfast for a bunch of athletes but they won't know what kind of cooking equipment, if any, they will have. Frank decides those would be the perfect conditions under which to attempt a quiche. Is he sure his brother is the stupid one? Mia is the queen of breakfast so obviously she's going to win. Sam has been doing brunch since before he was born, which made the delivery really difficult. Obviously he's going to win.

The chefs are bound and gagged and driven to the beach, where they are dumped in front of some fire pits. The judges meet them there. Michael proves he is, in fact, the dumb one by forgetting his eggs. Betty warms on me a little bit by giving him some of hers. Ew, that sounds gross, when I put it that way. The chefs have to try to get a bunch of surfers to eat their food:

Marcel: "Hey, you sexy wahines, those waves are really gnarly, huh? Shaka, brassiere!"

Wow, that was so authentic I feel like I've been transported back to the tropical beaches of Palmdale. Anyway, the chefs create some really good food under really harsh conditions. The judges are impressed:

Gail: "We should get them out of that goddamn Kenmore kitchen more often!"

The three ladies are the top three for this challenge! Mia's dish looked really good. The judges raved over Betty's presentation, which I thought looked like it was gift-wraped in a slice of turkey and did not find appetizing. Elia wins! That's good, because she should have won the quickfire. I forget if she wins something. Probably the chance to work with that dopey guest judge.

Sam, Cliff, and Frank are the bottom three.

Cliff: "I am not going home. And these aren't the droids you're looking for."

Padma: "Oh, it's OK, everyone; Cliff's not going home and these aren't the droids we're looking for."

Tom: "God, Padma, you're such an idiot."

Sam: "I'd just like to make an offhand comment about the fact that Elia used frozen waffles and see if maybe I can start another cheating scandal while pretending to be the nice guy."

Tom: "No one actually thought she had made fresh waffles at the beach without a waffle iron. But nice try."

Frank loses. Surprisingly, he goes out gracefully.

Tom: "Surfing is a really good metaphor for cooking because you have to get up really early in the morning and put on a wetsuit and you're swimming against the tide and then you're riding the waves ..."

Gail: "What the hell does any of that have to do with cooking?"

Tom: "Well, maybe not the wetsuit part, but the surfboard is like a cutting board and getting a lot of tube is like when you're in your zone in the kitchen and you have to go with the flow of the ocean ..."

Gail: "Please stop."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Project Runway Recap: Season One, Episode 6: Who does a person have to blow around here to get on Page Six?

OK, you know the routine: I'm blogging along with the Project Rungay boys, who are blogging season one on DVD! We start with Kara discussing the departure of Nora in the last episode:

Kara: "Finally! Now that Nora's gone I can get to work on winning this damn competition!"

Heidi comes out, they pick models, someone is stupid enough to pick Morgan, someone cries, blah, blah, blah, seen it! The designers have to make a bathing suit that can also double as an evening gown. Just kidding! Actually, they have to make a bathing suit that can also be worn out to a nightclub. Don't worry, these criteria will be completely ignored when it comes to judging the outfits.

Alexandra: "I'll be using a Missoni fabric and a design inspired by Michael Kors. I think Michael will appreciate that."

Michael won't be judging this week.

Alexandra: "Oh, crap."

Kara: "I'm going to go way outside my comfort zone for this challenge. Instead of designing for a debutante I'm going to design for a society girl."

That's basically the same thing.

Kara: "Oh, crap."

Austin: "I'm designing a thong for Esther Williams."

Esther Williams is almost 90.

Austin: "Oh, crap."

The designers are given half an hour to shop for fabric and three and a half minutes to make the outfits. The models are surprisingly docile this challenge. They're just glad they all got their hoohoos waxed recently because the designers don't know anything about covering bush.

Wendy's model: "You want me to wear what?"

Wendy: "This orange rubber band. Do you mind?"

Model: "Why don't I just wear my own black thong that will ruin the look and possibly cause you to lose because you won't have designed a complete bathing suit?"

Wendy: "Uh, OK, sure; that sounds like a good idea."

Jay is calling the sewing machines names that would make Laura Bennett blush.

Kevin: "There is no need for that kind of language."

Jay: "Why am I the only one having problems with the machines?"

Could it be because you are the only one trying to sew pleather, while the other designers are sewing regular fabric?

Jay: "I feel so much better after having that cigarette. You could say that cigarette saved my life. That's really ironic, see, because, you know, cigarettes are actually bad for you."

We break away from the action for a moment for a public service announcement from Other Eric:

Other Eric: "Don't throw your burning cigarettes on the ground, Jay. That's really disgusting."

Thank you. That was really moving. They should make an After School Special about that. Anyway, back in the design room Alexandra makes a really stupid announcement:

Alexandra: "I'm one of the top three designers left."

It would have been faster if she had just said "goodbye." Tim has everyone gather 'round:

Kara: "I have a bad feeling about this. I'm pretty sure he's going to tell us we have to walk on burning coals or something."

Tim: "You've probably already guessed this but you'll be going to Hero cocktail lounge."

Designers: "How the hell would we have guessed that?"

Tim: "Well, anyway, you're going to have an hour to dress your models like whores and take them to Hero. Your goal will be to give gossip columnist Richard Johnson an erection. You'll get extra points if your model actually has sex with him."

OK, they're at Hero and only two of the outfits actually look like something someone could legitimately get away with wearing at a nightclub: Jay's and Kevin's. The rest look like bathing suits and are completely out of place. But, as I said, this will have no bearing on the actual judging. They have to get Richard's attention but neither I nor the designers have any idea what that means. Are they supposed to sell him on their design? Is he an expert on bathing suit inspired club wear? Are they supposed to impress him with their personalities? No one knows. The designers show off their designs to him but he's really only interested in knowing whether the models are over 18.

Wendy: "I'll get straight to the point. Who do I have to blow to get in your column?"

Morgan is totally worth all the money they are not paying her. Kevin probably wouldn't have even had the nerve to speak to Richard but Morgan takes charge and is actually pretty impressive. I'm almost starting to think Kevin was smart to pick her. Yeah, that won't last long. Melissa doesn't exactly have a sparkling wit but her ass is completely showing and she sticks that in Richard's face, which seems to do the trick. After the party at Hero Morgan has to go out drinking and partying some more. Why? Because she's Morgan and that's what Morgan does. She has to take Kevin's outfit with her but she promises she'll change before she goes out and she'll bring it back in perfect condition the next day. What could possibly go wrong?

The next day:

Morgan: "So I wasn't able to go change clothes because ... well, basically because I didn't feel like it but I was totally careful! I didn't ride the mechanical bull that many times and it wasn't my fault that I fell out of the window of that guy's car while I was puking because he took that corner really fast! So anyway, the point of my story is that I had so much fun last night!"

No, Morgan; I think the point you were trying to make is that you ripped Kevin's outfit.

Morgan: "Oh, yeah, that's right. You aren't upset, are you? God, nothing I do is good enough for you!"

Kevin: "Who could have known this would happen?"

Designers: "We all explicitly told you this would happen!"

On to the judging! We have Anne Slowey again (oh, joy), some woman from eBay, and a gossip columnist. Was Howie Mandel unavailable?

"That woman from eBay is a feminazi."

Wait, was that Jeffrey Sebelia? No, unfortunately it was Jay. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt this one time.

Heidi: "Kara, you have immunity from last week so I'm not going to give you any indication of whether or not we thought your garment was any good. Austin and Jay, your models had the most impressive asses and you'll find out which of you is the winner by reading Richard's column tomorrow morning. Kevin, I clearly told you your garment had to look like a bathing suit."

Kevin: "No, you didn't. You said it had to be a functioning bathing suit that could be worn to a nightclub and that's exactly what I made."

Heidi: "I'm sick of your pathetic excuses! I can change the rules whenever I feel like it! And as for you, Alexandra, a real fashion designer can never look to another designer for inspiration!"

Alexandra: "Are you out of your fucking mind? All designers do that!"

Heidi: "Don't pay any attention to the stupid things I say in voice-over. They're added later to provide some sort of story arc to the episode. It's just a fast way of explaining why you're being kicked off the show."

Alexandra: "Oh, OK."

The next morning Jay and Austin are freaking the hell out of some guy at a news stand:

Austin: "Oh, my reviews are in! I can hardly stand the anticipation! Read them to me, Jay! No, no, don't, I don't think I can stand it! OK, yes, read them to me. No, wait ..."

Jay: "Oh, for god sake, Austin, you won."

Austin drops his purse.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Project Runway Recap: Season Two, Episode 5: Here Come the Models. All Dressed in ...

Austin is still crying from last week. OK, not really. He's moved on to complaining about Wendy:

Austin: "I'm emotionally bleeding. Wendy stabbed me in the back. She tried to shoot me in the back but her earrings jammed so she had to stab me instead."

[Check out Project Rungay for a great close-up of Wendy's earrings]

So, we start with Heidi making a very strange announcement to the designers:

Heidi: "Four of you are gone!"

Designers: "We are? What does that mean? You're scaring us!"

The designers pick models. They are then informed that their models will also be their clients:

Jay: "I assumed this would be a challenge for which it would be appropriate to have a crack whore for a model. I never would have picked Morgan had I known."

The designers need to make a wedding dress that will make their models happy. The models, of course, all want the most tacky dresses possible:

Kayne Gillespy: "What? Did someone say my name?"

Sorry Kayne; not that tacky.

Tim: "I don't care what you were told about this challenge. Your models are very young and, for the most part, not very bright. If you think their involvement in the fashion industry has given them a sense of style, you would be sadly mistaken. If I'm being too subtle, let me put it another way: your models should not be allowed to dress themselves in the morning, much less help you design a garment. Just nod and smile and ignore everything they say."

Oh, why don't people listen to Tim?

Let's check out some of the ideas the models have:

Morgan: "I want it to be see-through!"

Julia: "My favorite color is leopard print!"

Olga: "I want it covered in diamonds. And I want it to have a car seat."

What?! We eventually figure out she was saying "corset."

We discover the models have been dreaming all their lives of the day when their wedding dresses could be made really cheaply in two days for a design challenge. They all drag in their boyfriends, some of whom do not look at all thrilled about their unexpected impending weddings.

Olga sees Kevin putting crystals on her dress:

Olga: "What the hell is that? I wanted real diamonds!"

Later, when Olga puts the dress on, we start to think maybe Morgan isn't so bad:

Olga: "Oh, my god. I've never worn a dress that wasn't lined in silk. I think I can feel my flesh peeling off. Would someone please kill me?"

Later that night:

Olga: "Oh, my god. I can't sleep. I'm so uncomfortable. What's wrong?"

Kevin has placed a single pea under her mattress.

At this point my notes say, "Austin in dying."

Now I don't find this at all surprising because that sounds like the kind of dramatic thing Austin would do. But, of course, my notes were referring to him dyeing, as in dyeing fabric. He snaps on latex gloves like Deborah Harry popping pimples in Hairspray. And he's wearing a trash bag tied at the waist. It's not a great look. But it's so much better than the awful dress he ends up making that I wish he had put his model in a trash bag and sent her down the runway.

Wendy: "Oh, my god! That dress is so great! I couldn't have dreamed of anything better (to compete against)!"

Austin: "What was that? I missed that last part."

Wendy: "Oh, I just said what a talent you are. (Yeah, right.)"

Austin: "What?"

Wendy: "Nothing!"

The designers go out drinking. Even Austin goes this time. Is he out of fresh socks?

Rob is trying to impress Alexandra with his really butch gymnastics routine. The plan was going perfectly until ...

Alexandra: "Um, no; I was never interested."

Well, anyway, the routine was going perfectly until he falls and cuts his head open:

Rob: "No, not the hair! I'm not letting them touch my hair! I'll lose all my sexual prowess! I'd rather bleed to death! Oh, why couldn't I have fallen on my face?"

Back in the design room the models are being major pains in the you-know-what:

Kara: "Models are easily distracted. If you don't have anything shiny just tell them the fabric is really expensive. Works every time."

Wow, I'm having a hard time remembering why I don't like her.

Nora is having trouble with her roses:

Nora: "I got a dye called "wine." I can't figure out why the roses are wine colored and not bright red. Oh, what fucking difference does it make?"

Exactly! Nora loses.

Wendy's dress is white with red lacing and trim. It looks like the model got in a fight with her new Motorala RAZR phone.

Kara's dress is low cut in the front and low cut in the back. And low cut on the sides. Just kidding. It's very pretty. What else is there to say? Kara wins.

Jay's dress is also very pretty. I think if Morgan had been able to walk in it he might have won. Somehow he managed to give Morgan exactly what she wanted while completely ignoring all her ideas! He's a genius!

Austin's model, Julia, comes out. Heidi throws up a little in her mouth:

Julia: "All my life I've dreamed of getting married in the ugliest dress ever made!"

Austin: "She wanted something unconventional."

No; this is not Julia's fault. unconventional does not even begin to explain this atrocity. The judges don't think it is appropriate as a wedding dress. I don't think it would even be appropriate for a colorblind prostitute.

Anne Slowey is a judge. I miss Nina. I'm just saying. Anne's only claim to fame is pointing out when there is too much tootie showing. So I'm wondering why she didn't have a little talk with Heidi about the black dress she's wearing. Uh, Mr. Seal? We can all see your wife's business.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Project Runway Recap: Season One, Episode 4: Designers on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

The boys at Project Rungay are blogging season one on DVD and are watching every Wednesday night. Other Eric and I finally watched it on Wednesday this week (we usually don't get to it until the weekend). Anyway, here's the episode:

Heidi: "This challenge is about rock and roll."

Designers: "Oooooooh!"

Heidi: "I know, right? You're going to be designing a new look for Sarah Hudson!"

Who?

Heidi: "Sarah Hudson! Believe me, by fall 2006, when you are watching reruns of this season, she is going to be a huge star! Huge!"

If you say so. The designers have to pitch Sarah on their ideas. Here's a quick sampling:

Nora: "Girl in a blender."

Kara: "Princess hit by a bus."

Austin: "Penguins on fire."

The ideas all sound a little violent to me but what do I know from rock and roll? Kevin, Austin, and Jay are chosen as team leaders.

Kara: "Musicians are used to male designers so this doesn't surprise me. Have I mentioned that I worked with Eve?"

The designers are really getting on each other's nerves in the work room. Everyone wants Robert to get away from them; he's wrecking Jay's sewing machine; he's pushing sewing needles farther into people's fingers. Austin finally has enough and beats the shit out of him.

Kevin leaves the room for five minutes. When he returns, his teammates, Nora and Alexandra, have misplaced the dress, burned all the pattern pieces, filled the room with trash, and are sitting in their own excrement.

Kevin: "What the hell happened? I was only gone for five minutes!"

Nora: "Everyone stole our pattern pieces."

Everyone: "We didn't steal your stupid pattern pieces."

Nora (sobbing hysterically): "Oh my god; I can't believe you would say I accused you of stealing our pattern pieces. I never accused you individually of stealing; I accused you collectively of stealing. I'm just devastated that you would take that the wrong way."

We are treated to the first musical number from the series: Vanessa's beautiful rendition of the "Nora's Losing It" song. It may not be up to the standards of some of the numbers from season two and the choreography needs a little work, but it's pretty good and should definitely be put on the album.

OK, the outfits look remarkably similar. They all have poofy, shredded skirts. It's all a pretty cliched rocker look. Although I found Jay's skirt to be really pointless and stupid, his outfit overall was clearly well constructed and looked good. Obviously he wasn't chosen as the winner. Kevin wins with the most boring of the three garments. Austin's Little Bo Peep look was so anti-rocker that it almost transcended rock and roll to the highest (or pink) level of goth. I think if he had done something different with the styling of the hair and makeup this look might have worked.

We then have to endure the excruciating agony of watching the designers vote each other off the island.

Austin: "I can't do it; no, I refuse; I'd rather die; oh, alright, Vanessa."

Wendy: "I'm just going to arbitrarily say Austin because he's a better designer and poses more of a threat to me."

Vanessa: "I think Vanessa should be sent home. Wait, why did I just say my own name? God, I'm screwed."

Heidi: "Vanessa, we would have sent you home anyway, but you sure made it easier for us by picking yourself. Nora is in so that means you are out."

Vanessa: "Yeah, I figured that out; I may not know how to sew but my powers of deduction are very sharp. Are we done here? Because I have things to do."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Top Chef Recap: Getting Canned: The Thanksgiving Episode.

So we start the episode with everyone picking on Marcel:

Marcel: "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."

OK, seriously, he's annoying but he really isn't that bad. What's everyone's problem? On to the quickfire:

Mia: "So we walk into the Kenmore kitchen and there are all these cans!"

Mia, I think you mean the Kenmore Pro kitchen! The poor chefs have been so brainwashed they can't even speak without mentioning the sponsor's products! Anyway, for the challenge the chefs are given 13 seconds to create a dish using canned food. And, oh my gosh, wouldn't you know it but the results are just so spectacular that Tom can't pick just one as the winner. No, there are five winners this time! I feel used and dirty.

Elia: "I don't really see any point in going on when we are obviously being judged by a complete moron."

The losing five chefs have to make dinner for the winning chefs and Anthony Bourdain. It has to be a traditional avant-garde Thanksgiving meal.

Carlos: "That's oxymoronic."

You don't know the half of it, sister. They also can't use the Kenmore Pro kitchen; I think they have to prepare the whole meal in a hotel bathroom. Marcel cleans up first:

Sam: "Hey Frank, Marcel just used your toothbrush to clean the toilet. I can't believe you're going to stand for that. What kind of pussy are you?"

Frank kills Marcel.

The chefs try to plan a menu. Betty covers Michael's mouth to try to shut him up:

Michael: "Oh, no no no no. I don't know where that hand has been."

Rosie O'Donnell: "I find that remark really offensive! If Betty weren't a lesbian, you would never have said that!"

Elia is thankful for having Tom as her judge and for her brilliant sense of sarcasm. She questions Tom about his judgement:

Elia: "What kind of game were you playing by picking Cliff's? I tasted it and it made me puke."

Tom: "Well, I thought it was really good."

Elia: "OK, then; now that I know it was just because you have terrible taste, I can accept it and move on."

She makes a really delicious but unimaginative mushroom soup. Carlos prepares a salad at the Wild Oats salad bar. He's out. Michael creates an insane trio of starches. It's truly bizarre. Betty makes another failure of a desert and blames everyone else. Marcel actually makes a dish that is a modern twist on traditional Thanksgiving flavors:

Other Chefs: "I don't like it; the turkey is too dry, the cranberries are too tart, his hair is ridiculous, blah, blah, blah, boo hoo."

Oh, shut up!

After desert Michael brings out a cheese plate. I shit myself. Anthony Bourdain has experienced some pretty fucked up meals but I'm pretty sure he's never been brought a cheese plate after desert. But whatever planet Michael is from, Anthony is totally digging it. He says it's like Betty Rubble and Marilyn Manson had a love child, or something like that. He thinks Michael is such a complete freak he wants to adopt him; in all his travels he's never met such a free spirit. Michael is saved this week by the sheer brilliance of his ineptitude.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Project Runway Recap: Season One, Episode 3: Bananarama!

First, the weekly explanation: the fabulously glamorous fags at Project Rungay are blogging season one on DVD so I've decided to do recaps.

OK, on to the Banana Republic challenge! I am so out of it I really wasn't sure who was going to win this one so it was still exciting for me. I knew Wendy won a Banana challenge but I was really wondering, "is there another one in this season?" because I also thought Jay had won with his Chrysler Building dress. I also had no idea who lost.

We start the episode with Starr questioning whether she should be a lawyer or a designer. She seems to be the only person who doesn't know the answer to this question.

Robert informs us that he was a Russian mail-order bride.

The designers are to make a winter party dress for a Banana Republic clientele and the winner will have their dress sold in the stores!

Banana Republic Lady: "After spending thirty seconds with you guys I am confident you will design something worthy of going into our stores!"

That explains a lot.

Tim Gunn: "It is more likely that you all would be struck by lightning than have your dress sold at Banana Republic. I just hope you realize how lucky you are, you ungrateful little shits."

They are given access to the Banana fabrics! OMG, they are so beautiful! Really; much nicer than anything I've ever actually seen in a Banana Republic! The tulip-colored yellows and pinks do not exactly scream "winter" to me but I love them anyway! Out of all these lovely fabrics, Austin is somehow able to find one hideous chintz. How does he do it? Amazing!

They are designing a party dress for a sexy secretary, or something like that.

Jay: "They want a shitty Banana Republic dress? I'll give them a shitty Banana Republic dress!"

That's the spirit, Jay!

The designers are having fun and playing around the design room. Jay and Robert are pretending to fight over the iron. Wendy and Kevin are seeming older by the minute and are completely annoyed by these crazy kids (Wendy always appears to be doing needlepoint, for some reason):

Wendy: "Its all fun and games until someone loses an eye."

Kevin: "Yeah; or someone leaks rust on his dress."

Alexandra says something.

Who?

That's exactly what I asked.

After Kevin announces to Starr that black is the new black, Robert decides to get everyone drunk, thinking this will give him an advantage the next day. Unfortunately, he ends up being the only one with a dress that looks like it was made by someone with a hangover.

Austin skips the drinking and curls up with a good pair of socks. I'm starting the rumor that he only wears a pair of socks once and then throws them out. He's so eccentric!

Kara gives Wendy a makeover:

Wendy: "Kara said I should look in a mirror when I put on my makeup! I had never thought of that! I look so pretty now I've decided to start concentrating on designing and stop worrying about screwing with people! This should last about five minutes."

On the runway, I completely change my mind about Austin's fabric choice. I love his dress and would totally buy it if I had better legs. It does not look like a winter party dress but it is adorable anyway. And his model? Fantastic.

Nina: "You're telling me the crinoline is not attached to the dress? I think I'm going to lose my mind."

Jay's dress is amazing but, of course, he doesn't win.

Banana Republic Lady: "Wendy, congratulations; yours is the only dress boring enough to sell at Banana Republic!"

Wendy: "Oh My God, thank you!"

Robert's dress is really a hot mess but it is not nearly as bad as Starr's creation, which hurts just to think about.

Heidi: "Starr, even though we've seen absolutely no evidence of it, we all know you are very talented and we wish you luck!"
A Message From Jennifer Coolidge:

I just want to say what an honor it was to be a guest non-judge on Top Chef last week. I don't know much about food but I had a wonderful time. The puff pastry on the duck dish reminded me of the little fluffy wings we shaved into the fur of my show poodle. And dining was one of my favorite activities to do with my late husband before I ran off with my dog trainer. We had so much in common. We both loved soup. We loved talking. And not talking. I miss him so much. Anyway, thanks again; it really brought back wonderful memories!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Top Chef Recap: Leftovers: The Other White Meat!

Carlos: "Food and Wine Magazine is my bible. No, really; it changed my life. And remember, with the holidays coming up: it's the reason for the season. I have some literature I can leave with you."

This inspirational, life-affirming message has been brought to you by Food and Wine Magazine.

For the quickfire the chefs have to make something edible out of the parts of animals not good enough to be used for dog food. There's a good reason it's called offal.

Michelle Bernstein is the guest judge. She pronounces almost everything "very nice." For a few of the dishes she really gets descriptive and calls them "lovely."

Elia's dish is one of the few that is neither very nice nor lovely. It is apparently too much of a tribute to its ingredients.

Elia: "Well what the hell did the bitch expect kidney to taste like? Olives? Jeez!"

Sam wins.

The elimination challenge is to make dinner for Jennifer Coolidge. WTF? Who the hell comes up with these challenges? Don't get me wrong; I absolutely adore Jennifer Coolidge. In fact, I know her from good movies where she isn't having sex with teenagers. I just don't understand why the chefs are making dinner for her and 60 of her closest friends.

The chefs have to pair up. They are only able to pair up because last episode no one was sent home. What a coincidence, right? So if they weren't planning to send anyone home last week, was the whole cookie scandal a ruse?

Betty pairs up with her best friend/arch enemy Mia but she doesn't know about the arch enemy part. Marisa would like to tell her. Wow, Marisa has that look on her face again. She always looks like she's smelling something really bad. Marcel is paired up with Frank:

Marcel: "This is worse than that time I had to go to the prom with a girl."

Josie takes Marisa as a partner. Talk about a bad prom date:

Josie: "Marisa is the only one I really trust to screw this up and get me kicked off the show.

OK, who spent 99 cents voting for Marcel as most annoying? Seriously? Shouldn't Bravo be paying us?

So, we are at the luncheon party at Social in Hollywood. Padma is wearing a long, red dress and does not look like a total whore for a change. Jennifer Coolidge arrives looking fantastic but she's not using a funny voice. Oh well.

Mike: "One of my dreams in life is to have sex with Stiffler's mom."

The chefs create a completely disorganized meal. Josie and Marisa create a palate cleanser of Pepto Bismol and pineapple for the fifth course. Apparently this is the most bizarre thing anyone else has ever seen:

Cliff: "Usually the fifth course is a protein to distinguish it from the previous four dishes, which were also proteins."

Gail: "This is like an intermezzo. I am so confused. I don't know where I am."

Mike and Ilan's dish wins. Now, I don't like team challenges to begin with, but almost worse than having to pick one person from a team to go home is picking one person from a team to win the prize. If one team member makes an important decision then the other team member should get equal credit for recognizing that it is a good decision and going with it. Anyway, Ilan wins.

The teams with the worst dishes are sent in. Michelle Bernstein first points out what amazingly fresh ingredients the chefs had to work with and then complains that the pomegranate juice tasted like it had been left out for 48 hours. So why does she have bad pomegranate juice in her refrigerator? Uh, ever have one of those days when you're feeling not so fresh? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Mia and Betty: "We both thought the puff pastry was a bad idea, which is why we used it."

Mia: "After we finished our dish I went into the walk-in and cried."

Gail: "I don't blame you. It made me cry to have to eat it."

I now have a few words to say about Tom. There has been discussion (specifically on Blogging Top Chef) about having a mentor in the kitchen who would serve a similar function to Tim Gunn. Apparently Tom has responded to such suggestions by saying that cooking is completely different from designing clothes and that once you start making a dish there is nothing you can do to change it in any way. So I bring your attention to his comments at the judges' table:

Tom: "When you realized you were serving Pepto Bismol you should have done something to fix it. When you realized the puff pastries weren't working with the dish you should have left them out. When you noticed the pomegranate juice tasted bad you should have fixed the problem. You all should have fixed the problems!"

So what you are saying is that it is possible to make adjustments in order to address an element that isn't working? Maybe the sort of thing Tim Gunn would point out in the design room? Hmmm? Interesting.

Josie and Marisa stick together and are both eliminated.

Josie: "So you're going to send someone home as talented as me? It's crazy to send someone this talented home just for making one mistake. I know how talented I am."

I'm not sure but I think Josie thinks she's talented. Did you get the same impression?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Project Runway Recap: Season One, episode 2: What Would Jesus Design?

For those just tuning in, the fabulous fags at Project Rungay are blogging season one on DVD to keep the fans under control until the next season starts. So, since I'm watching, I'm doing my little weekly recaps. Hope you're watching too!

Here we go:

Heidi comes out to greet the designers. Hey, is she wearing cotton? I wonder if that could be significant.

First, they have to get rid of a model.

Kara: "It is getting more and more important to have your name picked early because everyone keeps choosing the same three models."

OK, Kara, this is only the second episode.

They keep the model who doesn't even show up and send home some other model I don't remember.

Heidi: "Sending home one of the models was so hard. I think it's the most difficult thing I've ever had to do. I had no problem sending Daniel home last week."

Now on to the challenge:

Heidi: "The look, the feel of cotton; the fabric of our lives! That's right; you heard me! Come on people; lets make some noise for cotton!"

Designers: "whatever."

Bolts of plain white cotton are draped between the columns in the design room. It looks like a Duchamp installation. It's a vast improvement; I hope they keep it like that.

No such luck; they have to cut it up and make garments out of it.

Wendy: "OK, first I recommend that we elect me queen of the cotton. I will then distribute it as I see fit. The person who acts the most sorry for me will get the longest piece. Oh, I guess that would be me!"

Mario: "Well, I need at least six inches of fabric so don't screw with me."

The challenge is to create a garment that represents the idea of envy.

Wendy: "Finally, my debilitating envy of everyone else is going to pay off! I'm envious of Nora because she's 21 and I was born middle aged. I'm envious of Vanessa because she has that stupid British accent I can't even imitate properly. I'm envious of Austin because he can wear make-up without looking like a clown. I should have no problem with this challenge. Plus, all the other designers are actually focusing on designing. It's like they've never seen Survivor. Fools. I'm the only one clever enough to concentrate on strategy. If I have extra time I'll make a dress."

The designers have to push their garments at an auction.

Jay: "This look works at home but for some reason people in the East Village do not want to talk to Jesus."

Wendy: "Austin, this is terrible; marketing is my weakness."

Austin: "Yes, there's that. Your lack of talent probably doesn't help, though."

Nora: "The more I look at my dress, the more I'm convinced I'm going to win."

I think you need to stop looking at your dress, then. I think it's destroying your retinas.

Back in the studio the designers talk to the judges:

Starr: "My legal education compels me to point out that we were never specifically instructed that the garments had to be pretty."

Ooh, she got you there, Nina.

Mario: "I got my idea for a blood-spattered dress after listening to all the models talking about murdering people."

Models (whispering to each other): "Damn, we have to stop talking so loud."

Wendy: "To me jealousy is represented by an unfinished hem. I tried to ..."

Nina: "I'm going to stop you right there. I have nothing to say; I just want to stop you."

Robert and Kara have the best designs. They are attractive and wearable and the stories about penis envy and envy turning to war make some sense. I would have chosen Robert's but Kara got the highest bid at auction so she wins.

Mario loses. Jay loses it. I think someone had a little crush. Cute!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Top Chef Recap: Camp Glucose: the Splenda Table.

Padma: "Welcome to the Kenmore Pro kitchen!"

Chefs: "Yeah, we were just here yesterday, Padma. Remember?"

Padma: "OK, welcome back to the Kenmore Pro kitchen!"

Chefs: "Thanks." (rolling their eyes)

The quickfire is to create an amuse-bouche from vending machine junk. What, they couldn't make it to a gas station convenience store?

Marcel is appalled, appalled, that there are no fresh oysters in the vending machines. The other chefs empty out all the "good" ingredients, leaving nothing for Mike:

Mike: "Damn, someone took the last roll of lifesavers! I was going to string them together into a bikini. Oh, wait, wrong show. Well, then, who cares about this stupid challenge."

Cut to Mike trying to convince the judges how much he really does care about this stupid challenge.

Mike (still holding his wife's panties): "I just miss my wife so much. Especially her vagina."

Carlos wins with what looks like a cross between an Almond Rocca and a small turd. I'm sure it tasted great but I think amuse-bouche should also be visually appealing and I didn't think that was. I would have been afraid to touch it.

But the guest judge is fearless. She looks like a younger Carole Bouquet and we really like her as a judge. She's blunt but has very intelligent comments about each dish.

Now on to the sucralose scandal:

The challenge is to create a seven course meal for children, including appetizer, palate cleanser, and cheese plate, that is under 500 calories. OK, not really; just a main dish, side dish, and desert. But this still seems almost impossible when we are informed that a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (that's EVOO to us in the know) has over 11 million calories! Who knew?

At the store Marcel has suggestions for the menu:

Frank: "What would children like to eat?"

Marcel: "What about prosciutto-wrapped asparagus?"

Betty: "Are you fucking insane?"

Back in the kitchen Betty is busy screwing up the cookies. Splenda promotes itself as baking just like sugar but even a terrible pastry chef like Marisa knows this is not true.

Marcel: "If my teammates disappoint me I will be very disappointed. Because there is nothing more disappointing than being disappointed by your teammates."

Sam is able to count every calorie but still comes up 50 calories short, with a meal no child would be interested in. Why not add a few more calories? You don't get extra points for being under budget! Meanwhile, wouldn't that smoothie send a diabetic into a coma?

Another team uses Mike to represent the benefits of healthy eating.

So the kids at the camp are really good sports. Tom says it has probably been a really long time since they have had chocolate cake but can this be true? If Kirstie Alley is allowed chocolate cake I don't see why these kids can't have some every once in a while. Tom acts like they've been getting nothing but spinach and herbal tea since they've been there but the camp must have nutritionists who put a lot of thought into making delicious, low calorie meals.

Marcel hits Ilan in the face with a soccer ball.

Elia: "It was heelaareoose!"

Betty, Marcel, and Frank win the challenge. Frank wins a signed copy of the judge's book. Oh, yeah, and the opportunity to work with her.

Then the bottom two teams are brought before the judges' table. They suddenly bring up allegations of cheating.

Sam: "People were squirting olive oil all over the place in there. It was like a Girls Gone Wild video."

Josie: "Ooh, I know Miss Thing is not talking about me!"

Mia: "The quality of Betty's cookies is so much higher than it was before. I think she received outside help."

Laura Bennett: "Yeah, you don't just pull quality like that out of your ass!"

Tim Gunn: "Well, these are very serious allegations. Wait, what the hell am I doing here?"

Betty admits she added sugar. For some reason, she keeps drawing big circles in the air to demonstrate that they were still under 500 calories. In her defense, while the other chefs seem to have understod they couldn't make any changes to the recipe, we never hear this rule specifically stated. But they must have been told this as some point. So I think it is pretty clear she broke the rules, even if she didn't do it intentionally. But the questions is, why didn't anyone say anything in the kitchen? As annoying as it was that Marisa didn't mention the lychees when they were at the store, at least she didn't wait to mention it at the judges' table. It really seems too late to bring it up at that point.

Anyway, Tom wusses out and doesn't send anyone home. The chefs spend the rest of the night fighting.
Dancing with the Stars: Pet Shop Boys at the Wiltern.

OK, So we are watching Dancing With the Stars on Tuesday (I'm actually in the kitchen but Other Eric calls me in whenever Mario starts dancing) and Tom Bergeron announces that the Pet Shop Boys will be performing the next night.

"Wait a minute; they are supposed to be at the Wiltern at 8:00. Check the tickets."

Well, of course they must film the show at 5:00 here in Los Angeles so it can play live on the east coast so they have plenty of time to get across town.

The concert was great! a couple of songs I think are boring, but mostly fun, high energy stuff. Unfortunately the people in the balcony, where we were, sat through the whole first half of the show. I stood up at first but then I felt conspicuous. The second half was much more fun, with most of the balcony up and dancing. There was one person dancing through the whole show. And the entire intermission! it was the middle-aged guy next to me, who apparently thought he was on Dancing with the Stars: he was totally rocking out and spinning and dipping his wife, oblivious to the fact that there were other people around him. I'm glad he was having fun but we eventually had to move because I was afraid he was going to hit me in the face.

Anyway, I think they should have opened with the Sodom and Gomorrah Show but it ended perfectly with Go West!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

H&M at the Beverly Center!!!!!!!

Fuck, yeah!

So, a girlfriend from work and I took the day off to check out the madness of the opening of the new H&M at the Beverly Center in West Hollywood. A woman's only store opened in Pasadena about a month ago but this is the first H&M with men's clothes to open in Southern California. I haven't been to H&M in years and was very excited. Not excited enough to camp out overnight on Beverly Blvd., though. The first two hundred people got gift certificates but we didn't bother trying for that.

So I got there about 11:30 and the store was opening at noon. The announcement had all these crazy instructions like waiting in line on Beverly Blvd. prior to 7:00 a.m. and on the fifth level of the parking garage after that. I decided to just go up to the store to see what was going on. I saw some people leaving the center with H&M bags when I was arriving so I think they must have let in the 200 people with gift certificates early. Anyway, when I got up there it was madness, with lines snaking all around the top floor (apparently the lines had extended down to the floor below.) It was so loud and the employees appeared to be leading cheers at the entrance to the store. I told my friend she missed a live performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers but I was lying. There were really cool looking guys in Black suits and glasses all over the place. They seemed to be crowd control but some looked like Prada models.

I was thinking it was a lost cause and we would never get in today but then there was a count down, cheers erupted from the throngs of people, and the line started moving pretty quickly. We decided to go to lunch and then come back and see how long the line was and if there was any merchandise left.

On our way to lunch I managed to injure myself twice. The Beverly Center is modeled after the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, with the escalators stuck on to the outside of the building. I liked it but apparently they decided it needed to be updated so they've sheathed the entire side of the building in glass and, while I find it a desecration, it is very pretty. And as I was looking down over the side of the escalator, WHACK, right in the side of the head! There are glass panels sticking out from the main surface of the window that I didn't notice. I probably won't forget about them now. It nearly knocked my glasses off, and that would have been a long way down. I can see the news reports now: "There was a temporary pause in the festivities at the Beverly Center today when an unidentified man was decapitated on the escalator." That would be so embarrassing. Anyway, I survived. A slight concussion was not going to stop me from shopping. I then proceeded to cut my finger trying to open the door to the new Old Navy store at the Beverly Connection. I'm a mess.

"So Eric, how's your head?"

I haven't had any complaints.

Anyway, after lunch we went back up to H&M, stood in line for about 5 or 10 minutes and we were in! We made it! We were expecting all the shelves to be emptied and piles of clothes on the floor but it was actually remarkably organized. Stores at Christmas are more crowded and messy than this was. Actually I've been to H&Ms that have been open for years and they've been disasters but this was actually a very pleasant experience. I really give them credit for planning. I have to admit we did not use the dressing rooms, for which there was a long line. There were a few hot guys taking off their pants in the middle of the store, like it was the Barney's sale. The checkout line was long but not terrible. and it moved quickly. My friend and I were being total morons, texting and calling each other from other sides of the store: "I'm in line for the fitting room but I think I'll just get out and take a chance. Where are you?" So sad.

So, the store is nice and bigger than I would have thought, given it's location in the mall. They still have cheap crap but they also have some nicer stuff that is more expensive than I remember. There appears to be a separate little room for Viktor & Rolf and I think there was even someone interested in buying the $300 wedding dress. There were some really cute women's dresses that could be $20 to $100. And the women's sizing is really strange: if you normally wear a 2 you may need an 8. Yeah, a little off. When I've been to H&M before I've just gotten shirts and underwear so I looked at some other stuff this time and it turns out that's really all I can get there. They don't have size 28 pants (don't hate me because I'm skinny) and the size 36 jackets were also too big on me. So here's the damage: 2 T-shirts, a beautiful chartreuse dress shirts (if you've been reading, you know that's my favorite color), a cotton sweater for Other Eric, a belt, and two pairs of supercute underwear: $117.

So you're probably asking, "If Other Eric is the only one who will see you with your pants off, why do you need supercute underwear?" Well, you just feel better when you are wearing supercute underwear, right? Plus, what if I'm in a car accident? Actually, that's probably a good reason not to wear supercute underwear. Let me explain. Although my organs can't technically be re-used because I'm a homo, I'm actually in perfect health and I have pretty nice organs, if I do say so myself, and it would be a terrible waste to cremate them with me when there are so many people who could use them; so I have an organ donor sticker on my driver's license anyway. But the problem is, the doctors will take one look at my supercute underwear and say, "This one's gay; we can't use his organs."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'd just like to give a shoutout to my homegirl Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to be Speaker of the House!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Project Runway Season One, Episode One: The Beginning!

Most of you probably know that the fabulous boys at Project Rungay are blogging season one in order to help all the fans survive the wait for season four. If you haven't already, check out their site (see my links) and start watching season one with us on DVD. I thought it would be fun to blog along with them. Hope they don't mind!

Season one, episode one! OMG, this is where it all began! Could you just die? Other Eric and I have never seen this first episode so it is very exciting even though we know who wins and loses the challenge.

OK, so we start with only 12 designers and there is really no "road to the runway." We very briefly see a few auditions and, sadly, only a fraction of the amazing wierdos we see auditioning for subsequent seasons.

We meet the designers:

We learn that Robert thinks that women are like sports cars. He knows they need regular servicing. What a gentleman.

We learn that Wendy just wants to be everyone's mom. Isn't she just so sweet? Everyone loves her. I predict she is going to be really popular with the other designers and a huge fan favorite!

We learn how Austin has always tried so hard to fit in. This really goes without saying. (Note to Austin: I love the lipstick but you're having a little mustache problem. I could wax that for you.)

We are reminded how truly bizarre Daniel Franco is.

So we are introduced to the host, Heidi Klum! OMG, she looks fantastic! There is something different about her. What is it? I can't quite put my finger on it . . . oh, I've got it: she isn't pregnant! That's odd.

Heidi tells us some important things:

Heidi: "Cotton is the official fabric of Project Runway!"

Really? That's fantastic! What the hell does that mean?

Also:

Heidi: "The most important thing in fashion, and people often forget this, is the models. Without the models, the clothes would just lie in a pile on the floor. You never thought about it that way, did you? Well, that's why I'm here: to blow your minds."

We are introduced to Tim Gunn. Our lives are now complete.

Kara is wearing giant gold hoop earrings. Vanessa is wearing even larger gold hoop earrings. In fact, they are bigger than her head.

Kara: "Don't be trying to steal my style, bitch."

Vanessa: "Whatever, Miss Jamaica."

We go to a party. In what will become tradition, there is lots of champagne. In what won't become tradition, this actually feels sort of like a party since it is not part of a challenge. Except Daniel Franco is basically cheating by starting to work and measure his model during the party, even though the designers were told they weren't to start working on the challenge until the next day. Well, it doesn't matter because soon the party has turned into work when the models are forced to dance like trained monkeys. I'm just kidding; it actually looks fun. Then everyone tries to get Heidi to walk for them:

Heidi: "Who, me? Oh, no, I couldn't possibly, I'm far too shy, no, no, really, oh, alright. Watch and learn, bitches!"

Damn, she's good!

The next day the designers are forced to walk to Queens to buy groceries because Bravo doesn't have the budget to feed them. Oh, alright; they are actually shopping at a grocery store for materials to make a dress.

Vanessa: "Obviously, melons would be totally inappropriate for evening wear. They're really more sportswear. Evening wear goes with fish, right? Or is it white wine? I always get that mixed up."

In the workroom:

Daniel is following his bliss all the way to cuckoo-land.

Starr? Um, Kayne just called. He wants his dress back.

Austin is having some shrinkage.

"Eric, don't go there."

Kara: "If Morgan ever shows up I'm painting the shit out of her."

Tim: "Make it work."

OMG, Other Eric gasps, "This is the first time he says it!"

I think we will all remember where we were the first time we heard Tim say these immortal words.

Nora's lawn-chair dress is gorgeous but Austin wins with his amazing corn-husk dress!

There are several possible losers: Starr, Daniel, or Wendy. Although, I have to say, as bad as Wendy's is, at least she did a lot more work than just wrapping a shower curtain around her model. I actually thought her idea of making sort of a chainmail out of lifesavers was great but it didn't work. I guess it was too time-consuming.

Anyway, Daniel loses with his hideous butcher-paper coat. Daniel tells Heidi he loves her. Heidi looks uncomfortable and shakes his hand goodbye instead of kissing him. She calls security and has him taken away.