Thursday, May 31, 2007

Barack Obama: why the hell not?

OK, another political post. This is just about a couple of the Democrats in the primary election so if you are a staunch conservative and would never vote for them anyway, then there is no reason to get your panties in a twist; this post does not concern you.

So, to the question at hand: Barack Obama: why the hell not?

As Jena Malone's character on 30 Rock says, "He's black? And he wants to be president? Good luck."

Seriously, my reticence about Barack Obama had nothing to do with whether Americans were ready to elect a black president. I have total faith in the intelligence and open-mindedness of the American people ... Hahahahahaha! I had you going there! But really, even though I don't have much faith in the American people, I still think they would vote for a black candidate as long as he didn't have to rhyme everything he said.

No, my reluctance had to do with the fact that I just thought Obama was so young. Sure, he's charismatic and intelligent but would Americans find him presidential? I wasn't sure. But after reading a New Yorker profile I'm beginning to be won over. (New Yorker, May 7, 2007, "The conciliator: Barack Obama's vision," by Larissa MacFarquhar.)

First, my feelings about Hillary Clinton: no, she's not perfect. In fact, maybe she isn't even very good. But I like her anyway. I can forgive her for her initial support for the war because the Senate was going by the falsified evidence provided by the White House (the Senate did not have "all the same information," as the White House has claimed). Unlike John Kerry and others, however, she was pretty quick to admit that her support was mistake.

Liberals have many other problems with her and her husband and I'm not going to try to defend her at this point because, as I've said, I know she isn't perfect. My point is that I think she's electable. Though she doesn't have a long history in elected office, she has a pretty strong association with the White House: she lived there for eight years! She has more White House experience than your typical vice president. She has experience with presidential campaigns, she has major backing, and everything bad about her has already been brought out into the open.

A pole revealed that 40% of likely voters would absolutely not vote for her. This was seen as proof that she can't win. To me that means 60% of likely voters might vote for her. As I've pointed out in the past, I'm not very good at math but I'm pretty sure she could win with only 60% of the vote. I realize that the point of the pole was that it's unusual for so many people to have made up their minds so early in a campaign but I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing. It means people already know a lot about her. She would have to really work that 60% but I think it's possible.

So that was the reasoning behind my initial support for Clinton but I'm starting to get very interested in Obama. He manages to get people's attention without talking in sound bites and he's liberal without seeming too partisan. One interesting point is that he won something like 60% of the Republican vote in his Senate race. I don't know how unusual that is but it seems pretty encouraging to me. Apparently he has bipartisan appeal. Anyway, I'm not endorsing anyone (yet) but I really liked what I read about Obama in that New Yorker article. I know there are several other good Democratic candidates but these are just some initial thoughts.

In a related topic to my previous post on the electoral process, California has had a very late primary. By the time we vote here, the presidential candidates have usually already been chosen, which is pretty depressing. In the last primary I actually voted for Al Sharpton. Yeah, I'm the one. I know he can be an idiot sometimes but I actually listened to the primary debates and he was the only candidate who wasn't completely full of shit. So I rewarded him with a vote, knowing it wouldn't make any difference anyway (Kerry had already won the nomination by the time I voted). The reason I bring this up is that California's primary has been moved up. There are problems with moving primaries up because eventually we'll end up with primaries that begin before the last presidential campaign has ended. My point is that I've never been that invested in the primaries because I've never really had the chance to make a difference. Usually I just end up voting for the Democrat that has been provided for me. I was always interested in the candidates, but actually having to choose one is kind of a new thing for me.

I welcome your opinion, as long as it's polite. If you believe the election of either one of these candidates will signal the Apocalypse, please don't bother commenting. And you don't need to explain that the rotation of the earth means elections occur later in California. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Eric Three Thousand with free advice for celebrities:


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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Eric Three Thousand's uncontroversial political commentary.

OK, I'm certainly not non-partisan but I usually try to keep things pretty light and fluffy here at Eric Three Thousand so I don't discuss politics very much. But every once in a while I may find a topic that shouldn't cause too much arguing. Here's one:

Whether you enjoy spending your spare time getting abortions or making it easier for the mentally deranged to buy automatic assault riffles, I think we can all agree on one thing: our electoral system sucks.

Now, obviously, to have a real democracy the first thing we would need to do is get rid of the Senate (since it means people in smaller states have more representation than people in larger states) but that's not going to happen and I think I'm OK with that (the senate performs an important function in the balance of power so I generally like having it there).

As far as the electoral process itself, instant runoff elections would be nice because it would allow for more political parties and we could get candidates that represent the majority of the American people instead of small groups at the extreme left or right. Instant runoff elections mean you vote for several candidates in order of preference. So, for instance, if the environment were the most important issue to you but you didn't think the Democratic Party was strong enough on the issue, you could vote for the Green Party candidate as your first choice and the Democratic Party candidate as your second choice. Since people would be less worried about "throwing away" their votes, third party candidates could actually get some traction. Unfortunately, this idea has been discussed for a long time and doesn't seem to be getting anywhere.

But something we finally have the chance to do something about is the stupid electoral college. The electoral college makes absolutely no sense, everyone hates it, but we just haven't been able to get rid of it. Not only does it mean a person can assume the presidency after losing an election, but it also means the votes of people living in uncontested states effectively count less than the votes of people living in the small number of "battle-ground" states. Living in California, for instance, I always vote but the presidential election is kind of a waste of time since we know the state is going to the Democrat. In a democracy everyone's vote should count.

The original idea for getting rid of the electoral college, which I first remember hearing about years ago, was for the individual states to cast their electoral votes separately in proportion to the popular vote in the state (in other words, if the vote was split 60/40 the electoral votes would be split 60/40). This plan is definitely better but still not very good. One problem is that it would be impossible to perfectly divide the electoral votes (for instance, how would you split five votes in a 50/50 split?). Nebraska and Maine already allow for a split vote but apparently this hasn't occurred. The major problem with this plan is that all the states would have to do this at the same time, otherwise it would give a major advantage to one party or the other. For instance, if California suddenly gave 40% of its votes to the Republican candidate, that would suddenly throw off the balance of the election. And it just doesn't seem possible to get all the states to do it at once.

The new idea for fixing the problem is so simple I can't believe it hasn't been done yet. It's called the National Popular Vote plan. I first heard about this last year and the New Yorker had a brief discussion of it recently (April 16, 2007, Talk of the Town). The idea is for an individual state to simply give all its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. This would give everyone an incentive to vote, no matter what state they live in. It also wouldn't matter whether one state signed on to this plan or all fifty; it would still help and it wouldn't give an advantage to either party. For some reason the state plans are based on a certain number of states signing on before it goes into effect, which seems unnecessary, but I still think it could happen.

So there you go: one small step toward democracy in the United States of America. It would be nice if we could get democracy and human rights in this country before we try to force democracy on other countries. Oops, sorry, I wasn't going to be controversial.

To learn more:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Please Stand By: Eric Three Thousand is experiencing technical difficulties!

And ... we're back!

My Shear Genius post is finally up on Bravissimo!

I ran into computer problems on Friday and wasn't able to access the Internet until Sunday night. Our ancient desktop (about two years old) seems to have died and Other Eric does not let me touch his laptop for obvious reasons.

Yeah, I break things. I think I give off an electronic pulse that causes electrical equipment to die. When I first met Eric I told him I'm like a nuclear blast but not as messy.

I build up a lot of static electricity. I get horribly shocked every time I touch something metal, especially when the weather is dry and windy. You know those people who cause a spark when filling up their gas tank and their car explodes? I wouldn't be at all surprised if that happened to me. I take precautions but I still know it's a real possibility.

Anyway, back to the computer problem. Eric decided he would get a Mac and then he would let me have his PC laptop, which is only a few months old. The only thing disappointing about Eric's new Mac is that it really doesn't look anything like the cute guy in the commercials. That seems like deceptive advertising if you ask me.

My first laptop! Fun! We'll see how long this lasts...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Floor Plan Friday! (An homage to Blogging Project Runway's Fleurchon Friday!)

Well, my signature scent post was so popular I hate to post over it so soon but obviously this has to be posted on Friday (also I made Other Eric take this picture and load the image on to the computer last night so he would kill me if I didn't use it today).

Yes, I lied! I admit it; I lied! I'm a big liar and my pants are on fire! OK? Are you satisfied? I promised there would be no more Top Design floor plans but I just couldn't help myself. I have a problem and I need to be stopped.

Anyway, here it is: one last idea for the Santa Fe Lofts used in the final challenge of Top Design. My challenge, as always is to create a two-bedroom apartment while keeping as much open loft space as possible. This last plan has smaller bedrooms than my previous one but it creates more open living space and it includes a second bathroom! I moved the kitchen, however, which creates more plumbing work. If it isn't possible to get pipes through the cement floor, it may be possible to run pipes to the kitchen sink along the right-hand wall, under the windows. This plan would even work with the original front-door placement (which was over where the big storage closet is now, on the left-hand side).

Here's the post with my second plan, the one where I lied about it being the last one!
Here's a link to the Santa Fe Lofts web site, where I got the basic floor plan.
That's it! No more! I really, really mean it this time!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Smells like Eric Three Thousand!

I have been searching for years for a signature scent! So frustrating! Basically I just want to smell like grapefruit, of course, but that isn't really possible. It's much harder than it sounds. I think it's hard to make the scent of grapefruit linger or to make it in a form that can be applied to the skin. I have a body spray that smells good but the scent lasts about five minutes and I have scented oils but they are for candles and are not supposed to be applied to the skin.

I was wearing a grapefruit fragrance by Comtoir Sud Pacifique but they stopped making it. They replaced it with a pomelo scent, which smells like citrus but doesn't smell anything like grapefruit. Fun fact: apparently the grapefruit was developed in the 19th century; it's a cross between a pomelo and an orange. I liked the Comptoir Sud Pacifique because it didn't smell like perfume at all; just grapefruit. But the scent didn't last that long, either. Doesn't matter since I can't get it anymore!

I used to wear Laura Biagiatti's Roma (the woman's one) when I was in college. I loved it but I think it smelled a little perfumey. I was thinking about trying it again after all these decades but I couldn't find it at the mall. I probably stopped wearing it because it's a woman's fragrance. But much of that is just marketing and it might be fine. I did try Roma for men, which stank.

So a couple of weekends ago, after a few glasses of champagne at the Four Seasons, Eric and I were at the Beverly Center and I decided I was going to find a new signature scent, even if it killed me. I spent ages in Bloomingdale's smelling almost everything. I didn't really like anything but I decided to buy something anyway. I bought Marc Jacobs Orange.

I hated it! I was mad that I had wasted $70. I decided to try to take it back even though I had already opened it but I decided to go to a different mall because I was embarrassed. I'm such a wimp. Anyway, they took it back with no questions and the woman at this other Bloomingdale's had me try something I hadn't seen at the other store. This is my new signature scent.

Although this should remain a secret, I like you so I'll tell you what it is. It's Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès. It's not as grapefruity as I would like but it is fruity. Almost as fruity as I am! Yes, it's probably not any less of a woman's fragrance than Roma or the Marc Jacobs one but this is actually marketed as being unisex.

Nil is pretty new; I think it came out last year. I used to sell perfume when I was in college and I remember that I liked some of the Hermès fragrances because they were very fruity and not musky; I remember liking Amazone. Nil smells of grapefruit and green mango. It lasts a pretty long time but not as long as I'd like. Maybe I'll buy the body lotion to see if that makes it last longer.

Anyway, after buying it, I remembered that I had read a New Yorker article about the making of it. Kind of a coincidence, since the New Yorker doesn't publish that many articles about the making of a new fragrance. Here's a link to the article and a couple of little excerpts:

The Scent of the Nile
Jean-Claude Ellena creates a new perfume.

by Chandler Burr
New Yorker, March 14, 2005

Walking ashore, they began following a street that led to a Nubian village. It was during this stroll that Ellena saw, hanging low in the trees that lined the street, plump green mangoes.The fruit has a complex, authentically exotic smell: it is rich and fresh simultaneously, a rare combination. The scent is also ephemeral. The fruit exudes an odor only when it is on the tree. Once you pick it, the smell deteriorates; within sixty seconds, it is essentially gone. Ellena was beguiled by this elusive fragrance. Green mango, he suggested to his companions, could form the base of Nil.
Dubrule pressed her nose into the branches, finding a hint of apricot and grapefruit. At one point, Gautier frowned; she detected the smell of nail-polish remover. Indeed, green mango contains acetone, the solvent’s active ingredient.
“You will, above all, not put nail-polish remover in the perfume!” Dubrule later commanded Ellena.
“Above all!” Gautier concurred.
Ellena promised the women that he wouldn’t, knowing full well that he would. Acetone is often used in perfumery, he told me; it provides a lightning-like jolt. He would fold in some acetone, he explained, “but in such a manner that you won’t feel it.”

“This works perfectly for Hermès,” Gautier concluded. She did have one concern: would men be able to wear it? Both she and Ellena wanted Hermès to dispense with the archaic division between masculine and feminine scents—a mere marketing device designed to make heterosexual men comfortable with the idea of wearing fragrance. Though Gautier was, wisely, cautious of being too radical for the market, she nevertheless had decided that the Jardins collection would be unisex.

One final related shopping note. Eric wanted to look at a suit at the first Bloomingdale's and of course the section was right by the colognes. I just wanted to get away from there! He was trying on a suit that I thought looked a little too big on him. The salesman was really annoying, which also made me want to leave. He kept saying how it fit perfectly and any tighter would look bad. Then he used some other guy in the fitting room as an example of what not to wear! He kept pointing to the other guy and saying that the jacket he was trying on was way too tight and looked terrible! The other guy was obviously getting really annoyed; he was not being paid to be a model of what you don't want to look like! Seriously an awful salesman. I finally just made Eric hang the suit up and leave. Bloomingdale's: return policy good, salespeople not so much.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Shear Genius Episode 5: Hair of the Dog!

My Shear Genius post is up, over on Bravissimo!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Project Runway Season Two, Season Finale, Part Two: the Finale to the Season Two Finale!

Heidi: "This is the finale to the second season of Project Runway, the search for the next great American businesswoman!"

OK, first we have to sit through about 45 minutes of recaps from the first half of the season two finale. Then we get back to where we left off: the 13th look. Chloe has Diana helping her, Santino has Andrae helping him, and Daniel has Nick:

Nick: "Heck, yeah, I'm gonna win this!"

Too late for that.

Nick: "Heck, yeah, Daniel's gonna win this!"

That's better.

Andrae: "So, we're making a dress or some permutation thereof."

Santino: "If that means 'send the model down the runway in pasties and a maxi pad,' then yes, that's what we're doing."

The designers meet with Collier Strong for the styling session:

Santino: "Only do half the model's face."

Chloe: "It doesn't matter what you do because right before the show I'm going to freak out and say it's all wrong, anyway."

Daniel: "Just make her pretty."

Chloe tells us what a big deal this runway show is:

Chloe: "Most young designers would never get to show at Olympus Fashion Week."

Daniel: "You're not that young, honey."

Tim pulls out a velvet bag full of Rummikub tiles and tells the designers they have to play to determine the order that they will be showing in the tent. It will be Daniel, Chloe, and then Santino:

Chloe: "That's perfect."


Chloe: "I don't know. I just thought something needed to be said."

Tim: "Don't forget to pile on the Banana Republic accessories! Which reminds me, Daniel, Banana Republic has many lovely handbags."

Daniel: "You are not talking me out of using the bags I made."

Tim: "It was worth a try."

On the day of the show the designers go to the tent and put the final touches on their collections:

Daniel: "Does anyone know how to sew? Because I haven't started working on my collection yet and I don't have much time left."

Daniel's hideous purses go missing:

Tim: "Don't look at me."

Daniel: "You're telling me you had nothing to do with this."

Tim: "Well, I won't lie to you. I didn't physically take them but I did put it out there in the universe that I wanted those purses gone. Yes, I used The Secret to get rid of your purses."

Daniel: "Damn you, Oprah! You are going to pay for this!"

Nick: "Heck, yeah, he's gonna win this!"

Oh, will you give it up, Nick? OK, so who is looking for those purses?

Daniel: "Well, a thousand people should be looking for them but I don't know who actually is."

Really? A thousand people should be looking for those purses? It's more likely that a thousand people would be burning those purses. Unfortunately, someone finds the purses:

Tim: "That's it! I'm cancelling my subscription to O!"

Heidi is looking super cute in Michael Kors. She does a little spin on the runway for us. She introduces the judges:

Heidi: "And our celebrity guest judge is the star of Will and Grace, my best friend slash arch enemy, Karen Walker!"

Karen Walker: "Ah, thanks, sweety. Now get me a drink, bitch!"

Heidi: "Isn't she the best? We go way back. We met doing lines of coke at Mick Jaggar's house in the 1980s."

Karen Walker: "Yeah. I was dating Seal at the time and you stole him from me, you whore!"

Heidi: "You weren't dating him! You had him handcuffed to your bed!"

Karen Walker: "Tomato, tomahto."

Anyway, let's start the show!

Daniel: "I just want to say ... ummmm ..."

Fascinating. Let's see the clothes.

Other Eric likes them. He thinks Daniel should win. I think they are pretty but really boring. I just don't really see anything you wouldn't already find in a store. I do like a couple of his tops and, of course, the 13th look is adorable.

Karen Walker: "They look like clothes you would buy at Banana Republic."

Hiedi: "You are so full of shit, Karen. When have you ever shopped at Banana Republic?"

Karen Walker: "I went there once when Jack worked there. And I love hanging out at the mall with my step daughter. I like shopping for cute tops at The Limited [gag] or buying a nice print at Z Gallery [sound of vomiting]. See, I have a great respect for poor people."

On to Chloe (would it have killed her to wear heels?):

Chloe: "This collection was like giving birth. There is a lot of screaming and pushing and you'll probably want an epidural."

Yep, that pretty much describes my reaction to this collection.

Karen Walker: "This is one of the best drag queen fashion shows I've ever attended."

Santino is next:

Santino: "Whether you love to hate me or hate to love me ..."

Those are our two choices?

Santino: "My mom's the shit!"

Santino's Mom: "I never get tired of hearing that."

I really like Santino's collection. There are a couple of pieces I hate but there are several pieces I love, which is more than I can say for the other two collections. And I don't think they fit particularly badly; they aren't supposed to fit tight in the bust. I don't think any of Santino's pieces fit as poorly as the dress Daniel has on Rebecca. But the judges don't think they fit correctly. Part of that could also be due to the fact that his models didn't show up for their fittings.

Karen Walker: "What the hell is this shit? I can't believe I'm sitting here when I have some very important drinking I need to do. At least at that fake fashion show that Kara girl had some killer weed."

What do the viewers think?:

Jay McCarroll: "I hate Daniel's collection so I predict he will win."

Kara Saun: "I predict Santino will win. He reminds me of a young me. But enough about him; let's talk about how great I am. I've shown here at Fashion Week several times, you know. And I've designed for many celebrities."

Does anyone predict Chloe will win?

Chad from People Magazine: "Can I talk to Daniel? He's hot!"

Anyone for Chloe? Anyone?

Kay Unger: "I think Chloe will win because she's a great businesswoman."

That's great. Who the hell are you?

On to the judging:

Heidi: "Tell us what you have that the other two designers don't."

Santino: "Well, for starters, I have a dick."

Daniel: "You're a bitch. I should win because Santino is mean and Chloe already has a business. And I'm the only one who has my point of view."

Chloe: "Thanks for that, Lupe. Do you have any businesswoman specials? Because that's what I am: a businesswoman."

What business are you in?

Chloe: "I invented Post-it notes."

Nina: "Santino, there was not enough Santino in your collection. I wanted to hate it a lot more than I did."

Santino's collection is not cohesive and he is out.

Daniel: "My collection was a mix of military and Japanese sleekness."

Karen Walker: "I've had sex with Lucy Liu so I think I know about Japanese sleekness. And this isn't it."

Nina: "Well, Lucy Liu isn't Japanese but the drunken slut has a point: I don't see Japanese sleekness in this collection, either."

Daniel is inexperienced and his collection had no story. He's out:

Micheal: "Call me."

Chloe Wins because she understands women's bodies as long they are really tall and thin and because she is a businesswoman and this was a competition to find the next great American businesswoman.

Well, that's the end of season two! I want to thank everyone for reading and of course a big thanks to Tom and Lorenzo at Project Rungay for deciding to blog about season one and two on DVD! It was a lot of fun!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Random notes from the weekend!

Go over to Everything Eric to read the Other Eric's notes on our celebrity filled weekend! Nearly being run down by a very tall man in the mall who turned out to be John Tesh, sitting directly behind Sean Hayes at the Spider-Man matinee, and watching Larry Flint being hoisted into his Bentley were the highlights but there were others. I tend to act like I'm on the subway and don't look people in the face so I usually have to rely on Eric to inform me that, for instance, John Tesh just nearly ran into me. It was really appropriate to be watching Spider-Man with Sean Hayes since his character Jack McFarlane was always talking about Tobey Maguire spraying him with a white sticky web. Spider-Man, by the way, was not very good.

My Shear Genius recap is up over on Bravissimo!

And I'm posting everything at once so please scroll down to see my final Top Design floor plan post and my Project Runway recap!
Final Top Design Floor Plan Post! Really!

OK, so here is my final idea for the loft spaces used for the finale of Top Design. Excuse the quality but Eric had to photograph my drawing with his camera since we don't have a scanner. This design goes beyond what was really possible on the show but this is what I would do if I had a little more time to remodel the space.
The plan is from the Santa Fe Lofts web site and it is the same unit but they have changed the end of the loft where the front door used to be. In the units used on Top Design there was a series of small hallways leading off the main stairwell that led to the unit's front door and then over to the fire exit. In the new design they have incorporated those hallways into the unit, creating a better space and room for a walk-in closet. The kitchen door is now used as the main door. Obviously Matt and Carissa were not able to do this but since the building has done it I thought I would include the change in my dream design.
The other major change I have done is to completely rearrange the kitchen and bathroom. This probably would have involved too much plumbing work for the five days they had on Top Design, but with a little more time it shouldn't be much of a problem. The plumbing is in roughly the same place (in fact, I haven't even moved the toilet). I've created a more private bathroom and a more open, bright kitchen.
I've created a separate vanity area for the bathroom, which I think is very important if people are sharing one bathroom. I know big, open bathrooms are very trendy now because people apparently like sitting on the toilet in front of their loved ones. Personally, I prefer a little privacy, so a separate vanity area is very useful. Next to the bathroom is a laundry closet. I've also included a small linen or coat closet by the front door, which uses the wasted corner from the kitchen.
The front door opens to an entrance hall that leads out to the living/dining area. The furniture is just to demonstrate the amount of space. You can see there is plenty of room to move things around or add different pieces. I like a kitchen that has windows and is open to the living areas. It isn't a huge kitchen but, if organized well, it should be very functional.
The bedrooms are very spacious and one would make a very nice office. Yes, there is a bit of a walk to the bathroom but, in this long, L-shaped loft with the plumbing down at one end, some room is always going to have to be a long walk to the bathroom. At least it's a pretty direct route down the inside corner of the apartment. The master bedroom has a door to the fire exit. For some reason this bothers Eric. I guess he wants to be trapped in the event of a fire. Personally, I think the bedroom is the best place to have a fire escape.
So, anyway, that's my ultimate two bedroom plan for that loft. If you haven't, check out Linda Merrill's ::Surrounding:: site for a loft design challenge. The winners were announced this past Thursday. Thanks again, Linda; it was fun!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Project Runway Season Two Finale, Part 1: The Designer Who Shagged Me!

In this exciting sequel, Dr. Evil travels back in time to the year 2006 to steal Daniel Vosovic's mojo!

Daniel: "What?! But without my mojo I'll be powerless against Tim's critiques and the judges' cutting remarks!"

What designer from the future could possibly be working with Dr. Evil to sabotage Daniel's career?!

Santino: "Don't look at me. Seriously, it's a great plan but I had nothing to do with it. I was too busy working on my humanizing background story."

Well, it isn't Chloe. She doesn't even want to win. Who could it be?

Dr. Evil: "There is only one person on earth more evil than I am. That's right: Wendy Pepper!"


So we start off part one of the finale with Heidi reminding us what the prizes are:

Heidi: "The winner of project runway will get a new Saturn, a Kenmore Pro kitchen, the opportunity to punch Daniel Franco in the nuts, a gift certificate for $100 at Banana Republic, any babies I happen to deliver during filming, and an internship applying bronzer to Michael Kors."

OK, that's way too many prizes.

Tim visits the designers in their natural habitats. First is Santino. He's holding up three fingers, representing the remaining three designers:

Santino: "So this finger on the left in Daniel and I'll push him down and then this finger on the right is Chloe and I'll push her down and then I'm the finger in the middle and I'll be the only one left and that's how I'll win."

Well, good luck!

Santino: "What do you mean, 'Good luck'? I'm flipping you the bird, you idiot!"

What? Well, that's just rude.

Anyway, Tim visits Santino at the house he's renting in Hollywood. I have no idea how he can afford that house. He tells Tim the theme of his collection:

Santino: "It's Forties glamour boudoir rocker debutant chicken-and-waffles S&M dressy-casual. With a twist of lemon."

Tim: "Ooh, I'll have a twist of lemon!"

Santino takes Tim to the beach:

Tim: "Why does everyone take me to the beach? Do I look like a fucking beach person?"

Then they visit Santino's friend, the model Tony Ward. I am not at all surprised to learn that Eric actually knows who this is. Tony's children climb on Santino and get their cuteness all over him.

Tim drives his tiny Saturn Roadster to New York. We watch a little picture of a car move from left to right across a map of the United States. Well, that's how they should have done it. He visits Daniel V.:

Daniel: "Let's go shopping!"

Tim: "Yay!"

They try to find Daniel a slim-cut blazer:

Tim: "Maybe you could get Nick to make one for you."

Daniel: "That's not funny. I loved that suit."

Tim: "Oh, sorry."

Daniel: "I'm just messing with you. It was shit."

So they find a blazer that fits perfectly and I'm just wondering why I can't find anything that fits? Daniel is as skinny as I am; why does everything I try on look like a tent? He must be a little taller than I am so maybe his shoulders are a bit wider.

Tim visits Chloe in Houston:

Chloe: "I don't have any clothes done."

Tim: "That's OK. Show me some sketches."

Chloe: "Yeah, I don't do sketches."

Tim: "I drove all the way from New York. Without stopping. In a tiny red Saturn Roadster. With the top down. In the rain. Show me something."

Chloe: "Well, I have this bolt of fabric."

Tim: "You'll have to do better than that."

Chloe: "I can have all my sisters line up on the stairs like the kids in the Brady Brunch."

Tim: "Now you're talking."

So we learned a little bit more about the designers this week. Let's compare their sob stories:

Santino: "I was homeless."

Chloe: "I had to live in a refugee camp."

Daniel: "I had to endure being gay in a loving, accepting, upper-middle-class white family."

OK, I think Chloe wins that round. But let me tell you a real sob story: I'm so skinny I can't even find a blazer that fits. Really; I eat and eat and eat absolutely anything I want and I just can't gain weight! It's awful! ... What? Why is everyone looking at me like they want to kill me?

The designers go to their hotel in Times Square to get ready for Fashion Week. Tim looks at their collections. Chloe's looks very Balenciaga, Santino has this beautiful sunburst pleating that Tim is loving, and apparently Daniel's is just perplexing:

Daniel: "I am so offended that Tim is not piddling his panties over my clothes. I don't think that's too much to expect."

Tim: "Daniel, it's just that you're my favorite and I was expecting more from you."

Daniel: "That's so unfair!"

Tim: "That's life. Would you like for me to say that in French?"

Daniel: "No, that's OK. I know that one."

Tim: "Get down here on the floor with me."

Daniel: "I'm not falling for that again."

Tim: "No, I just want to show you this hem."

Daniel: "Oh, sure."

Daniel shows Tim the amazingly ugly handbags he made:

Tim: "It would be a shame if those went missing right before the runway show."

Daniel: "What?"

Tim: "Nothing."

The designers go to Michael Kors's studio and pick models:

Santino: "I should have picked homely girls, like Chloe did. The homely girls are always so grateful that they will show up for fittings."

Chloe: "Yeah, they taught me that in pattern-making school, asshole!"

Daniel: "Um, excuse me. Has anyone seen my mojo? It was in a glass vial that I had here on the table, right next to this picture of Wendy Pepper's daughter with a mustache drawn on it ... hey, wait a minute; where did that picture come from?"

Will Daniel find his mojo? Tune in next week to find out!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Check out the fabulous Los Angeles subway system! (that doesn't actually exist!)

This is a fantasy map (to get a larger image paste this into your browser: produced by The Transit Coalition, a dedicated group of freaks who think we should have decent public transportation in Los Angeles. Keep dreaming, freaks!