Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Madness 2012 : Elite Eight Casualty Report

Well, here we are at Final Four Weekend. After all the carnage and bracket busting, we are down to just four contenders and three games left to be played. Ohio State has done me right. I believe they can take down Kansas and make it to the Championship game, as I predicted they would. Whoever awaits on the other side matters little at this point. I don't know if I gain any points if Ohio St makes it to the Finals but loses the Championship, since that's what I actually predicted, but I wish them the best nonetheless.

Currently I have 59 points, have an overall rank of 212,914 and an overall percentile rank of 50. I would LOVE to finish above 50 percent. It all hinges on Ohio State. Go Buckeyes!

#katewinsletproblems

(you might be dealing with a lot, but chances are you're not dealing with what Kate Winslet is dealing with.)

I really enjoy Kate Winslet. I think she is a fantastic actress and always comes of as a really fun and relatable person in interviews. And she's an Attractive, which never hurts. Yesterday I was reading an interview with her I found linked to online originally from MTV News, where she talks about the inescapable nature of "My Heart Will Go on" for the past 15 years of her life since Titanic was released. She was very good-natured about it, even though it's made clear that among the song's detractors she is at the top of the list. It seems everyone who knows how to play piano believes she will want to hear the song whenever she walks into a room. She recounted a story about a recent appearance on an Italian talk show I find particularly amusing.

 "I did a talk show recently in Italy, and they actually had a live pianist who started gently playing the theme song. I was not even gently, rather severely, urged to go and sing it as though I had in fact sung it myself in the first place. It was like, 'No! I'm not going to do that.' They're like, 'Oh no, come on it will be funny.' No, it won't be funny. At all. And I'm not going to."

I find this amazingly absurd. It feels like an SNL sketch - one that they didn't even put that much effort into  writing no less! - but it actually happened in real life. I got to thinking, what must have been running through Kate Winslet's mind when she found herself on an Italian talk show being pressured to sing a Celine Dion song from a movie she was in 15 years ago? Was her thought process something like, "wow, this is crazier than that time I was staying on that billionaire's private island and lightning stuck the roof of the mansion causing it to burst in to flames so that I had to gather up my children and flee the house, picking up the billionaire's frail mother along the way and literally carrying her down the stairs and out the front door before the whole place was completely consumed by fire? Is this moment crazier than THAT?"

The Italian TV show was probably not as harrowing or unbelievable as the Great Branson Mansion Fire of 2011, but it reminded me that Kate Winslet, for all of her lovely down to earth nature, has been in some very surreal situations. She handles them with charm and grace and self-assurance, as you would imagine, but not many people face her bizarre circumstances. It's the conundrum of being a level-headed person surrounded in a world of money, opportunity, creative nut-jobs, entertainment bizarros and natural disasters. These are Kate Winslet Problems.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Rafa in Miami 2012: Withdrawn!!

(With a tip of his hat, Rafa says goodbye to Miami.)

Ay, such sadness! Rafa withdrew from competition in Miami today. His left knee has been bothering him since last week in Indian Wells. He barely got by Tsonga on it in the quarters, winning 6-2, 5-7. 6-4, and trying to play at the top level necessary to compete with Murray in the semis could've injured it even worse. So now he rests and hopes he's solid for the clay court season starting up in mid April, and Murray has to face Novak in the Final on Sunday.

I'm disappointed for Rafa. If not for his knee, I thought he had a really great chance at winning against Novak. His level of play had been so strong. Let's all wish Our Hero a speedy recovery! VAMOS!

On a closing note, I am posting a video of one of my new favorite songs written by Ryan Scott Oliver and sung by Lindsay Mendez called "The Party Goes With You." The rest of the tourney won't be the same without you. For when you strike your goodbye pose, Rafa, everybody knows, everybody knows, the party goes with you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rafa in Miami 2012: Fourth Round

(Rafa dominates again!) 

Round of 16 action is completed, and Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, has once again triumphed. He took down Kei Nishikori from Japan 6-4, 6-4 and advances to the quarterfinals.

Nishikori came out strong, and broke to take a 2-1 lead in the first set. But Nadal broke back and then took command of the first set. Rafa then raced off to a 3-0 lead in the second but had to fight off a surge by Nishikori at the end. It was another straight-set victory, but it took 2 hours and 10 minutes - much longer than Rafa's previous two matches. Nishikori put up some fight!

Next up, Nadal is playing Tsonga in the quarterfinals. I've never been a big Tsonga fan. I definitely don't want Rafa to lost to him. Hopefully he'll continue to play his top level tennis! Vamos!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rafa in Miami 2012: 3rd Round

(This is just what I look like prepping for a forehand! Only not left-handed! And not as muscular! And Nadal's shot will likely clear the net!)

Continued Success! Yesterday, Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, eased his way into the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open, shrugging off 25th seed Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-2. Nadal was pretty much in control the entire time. Radek managed two break points against Rafa but couldn't convert either of them. Meanwhile Rafa broke Stepanek twice in each set, finishing him off in 87 minutes. Easy peasy.

Next, Rafa will face off with No. 16 Kei Nishikori of Japan - another player he has never lost to. Let's keep up the winning ways! I really feel Rafa has a good shot at the title this year! VAMOS!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rafa in Miami 2012: 2nd Round


(large and in charge!)
Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, is back in action this week in Miami. In his first match since losing to Federer in the semis of Indian Wells, Rafa easily sprinted to victory. He dispatched Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-0 claiming the final 10 games and winning the match in only 69 minutes. Wepa!

So glad to see Rafa dominating after that unfortunate loss to Fed. Everything was working for him. Next up in Round 3 is Radek Stepanek from Czech Republic. Rafa has won all 5 of their previous meetings. Let's hope he can make it 6-0! Rafa has never won this event and I'm really hoping 2012 will be his year for the Miami title. VAMOS!

March Madness 2012: Sweet 16 Casualty Report

OMG, look at the carnage. The Sweet 16 wound up being exceptionally bitter for my bracket. I had 8 teams in the sweet 16, and in the elite 8? I now have three. And my pick to win the tourney is gone. It's terrible! Now I can accept some of these defeats well.  It was always against the odds to pick an upset of Kentucky. But Michigan St.? What the HELL? 44 points? All the offense could produce was 44 points for an entire game? That's just awful. And now my bracket is destroyed. Boo-urns to all that. Why, Michigan St, WHY?

What's even worse is that if Ohio St doesn't come through against Syracuse, I'll have no teams in the Final Four! That would be so depressing. I'm hoping they can pull pff the win. Right now I'm at 51 points, ranked 222,456 and in the 47th percentile. If Ohio St wins, my stats might improve a little bit. If not, I hate to think how far things might fall before the tournament is over. Go Buckeyes!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Madness 2012: Round 3 Casualty Report


So another round down and things aren't SO bad. They could be better, but they could always be worse. Exits for Georgetown, Vandy and New Mexico were disappointments for sure. On the NCAA leaderboard, I currently have 39 points, have an overall rank of 184475 and an overall percentile of 56.  Those numbers aren't very impressive, I know. Sweet 16 results will really determine where I stand. Half of my original Sweet 16 picks are still in the mix, 6 of my Elite 8 remain, 3 of my Final Four, and both of my Final 2. I'm gonna need an upset win of Indiana over Kentucky. That will be a tall order, but not impossible. I feel good about my chances in the other match ups. We'll have to wait and see! But we won't have to wait for long.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rafa in 2012 Indian Wells, Finals (Yes, FINALS!)

(Champs!)

Okay, so it's true that Rafa didn't play in or win the singles final, but he did play in AND win the doubles final! Our Hero, and his partner marc Lopez, reclaimed the BNP Paribas Open doubles title with a solid 6-2, 7-6(3) win over Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey earlier today.

It was a bummer for Isner who also lost the singles title even earlier today to Roger Federer. Fed is playing exceptionally well right now. Please, sportswriters. Stop telling him he is old at 30. He's not. He's younger than me. And probably you. And he's an elite champion and a winner. So stop the nonsense.

 I am very happy that Rafa gets to end the tournament as a winner - even it's doubles and not singles. It sucks that it comes at a double loss for Isner, who was attempting to become the first man since Jimmy Connors in 1991 to win both the singles and doubles titles at Indian Wells. Instead, he lost both in the same day! Has that ever happened before? That's an unfortunate distinction to hold. But let's recall that Isner played the longest match ever and he won that one too, so he's got some great records to his name and a really bright future for this season with a win over the extremely dominant Novak Djokovic.

If it feels like the Miami tournament starts immediately, that's because it does. Opening round action is tomorrow! Who will win that one? It seems like there are more names in the mix than there were at the start of Indian Wells. I hope Rafa can make it to the final there and bite into that champion's trophy. Vamos!!

Rafa in 2012 Indian Wells, Semifinals

(You'll get 'em next time, Rafa!)

Oof. That was a rough one. After a long rain delay, and following a truly electric semifinal where Isner beat Djokovic, Nadal and Federer faced off in what was a pretty one-sided affair with Nadal losing in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. All credit to Roger for handling the windy and rainy conditions better. Nadal just never got into the right rhythm  The first 3 games of the first set went to Roger. Then Rafa answered with three straight games of his own. Then Fed answered AGAIN by taking the next three games and the set! It was as if Rafa couldn't really get it together until he was down 5-2 in the second set. At that point it was way too late. Well, no.I think I've seen Rafa pull out wins where the score was that dire, but not in these conditions and not against Fed when he was playing that well.

Oh well. What can you do? Our Hero must look ahead. He's still in great condition and competing well. It was just an off night in bad conditions against a terrific opponent. It happens! As for the Final, I would LOVE to see Isner win his first Masters 1000 event. American success is always nice to see and a cause to celebrate. But I've been liking Fed's success lately. So either way it's cool. And then whatever happens, Isner has to go back on court later this afternoon to play the rescheduled men's doubles final - against Rafa! Obviously, I'm cheering on Isner in the singles much more so than in the doubles. Vamos!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Madness 2012: Round 2 Casualty Report

(it takes two images to display all the carnage.)

Well, we got through Round 2 and things could be worse, but they could also be better. There's a lot of red of red dashes slicing through the bracket. The first day went pretty much as it could be expected to go. I took a couple wrong turns but the outcomes were not unbelievable. Yesterday was when the blood really began to flow and it could not be staunched. Duke! Missouri! Both gone. 
 
Hindsight is, of course, 20/20. What was I doing banking on a deep run by UConn and UNLV and Michigan? These seem like a fool's choices now. I should've predicted more upsets! And I should've known better than to bet against VCU in the opening round after last year's run. But UConn WON last year and now look at them! You can never know for sure. That's what makes it so exciting!

As it stands in the NCAA bracket challenge, I have 23 Points, I'm ranked 105515 (which doesn't really mean much unless they tell me how many total entries there are) but that I'm also currently hovering in the 75th percentile. This is not bad. 3 of my 4 final four teams remain alive as do 6 of my elite 8 and 11 of my sweet 16. So we'll see what befalls in the Third Round and hope that for this St. Patrick's Day, the luck of the Irish is on my side!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rafa in 2012 Indian Wells, Quarterfinals

(Somebody's feelin' it!)

This evening, Our Hero, Rafael score a come-from-behind victory over David Nalbandian of Argentina 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the Indian Wells Quarterfinals. Nadal previously hadn’t lost a set in the tournament, but Nalbandian was playing at the top of his game, impressively winning the final three games of the first set to take the early lead. Then he led 4-3 and 5-4 in the second, but Nadal refused to surrender and fought his way back to take the set, and level the match. Then Nadal went up 5-2 in the third, but then Nalbandian rallied again to bring it to to 5-4. Nalbandian had a few more chances, but could not capitalize, and Rafa took the match. Thank goodness!

Next up: Federer in the Semis! That's going to be crazy. I'm hoping he can win against his long time super-rival. I would also LOVE a John Isner win over Djokovic in the other semi. And let's not forget Rafa is still alive in the men's doubles draw. He plays for the doubles final tomorrow! Lots of tennis still left to be played. I hope tomorrow the luck of the Irish is with the Spaniard! VAMOS!.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Community Rising!


I'm so excited that Community is returning tonight. Just a little under an hour to go! Thank goodness those suits at NBC didn't leave the second half of the season to languish in the vault and burn off the episodes over the summer. I seriously hope they have come to their senses and will recognize that this little gem of a show deserves a place on their schedule for next season as well.

In case you are new to the show or have, during the hiatus, forgotten the many relationship among the show's core and secondary characters, the good people over at HuffPost have created this amazing diagram to help you keep everything straight. Enjoy the show.!

Rafa in 2012 Indian Wells, Fourth Round

(It's another straight set victory for Rafa!) 

Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, sliced through Alexandr Dolgopolov at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday , cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over theUkrainian. Rafa took the first set in 43 minutes, and was even more dominant in the second. He is playing so well! I'm very impressed with his conditioning and mental focus this week after having taken such a considerable break from match play after the Aussie Open.

Still ahead he's got potentially three very difficult competitors before he can claim the title. David Nalbandian awaits him next in the Quarter Finals. Then if he gets through that, it will likely be Federer in the Semis and then his reward should he take that match will likely be Djokovic in the Final. By no means is that an easy road. I hope Nadal can keep us his incredible play through the rest of the tournament. He's still alive in the men's doubles bracket too! Vamos!

Rafa in 2012 Indian Wells, Third Round

(swatting away the competition!)

Playing catch up on Indian Wells! Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, advanced to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers. Werk, Rafa!

Nadal blazed through the first set in just 29 minutes. Granollers stepped it up in the second, putting in a much better effort than the first, but still it was not enough. Rafa is competing very well right now and the scoreboard reflects it! Next up is (well, was, at this point) Alexander Dolgopolov. He's always a fun and tricky player. Rafa should be able to dispatch him easily. Vamos!

Also of note, after his recent doubles match, this stupid dude fell onto the court trying to chase after a signed ball that was bouncing around the stands. It was Tennis Wipeout! Naturally, I laughed and laughed. But Rafa was so nice he went over and gave the guy a hug and a signed ball. That was sweet of him, but I hope he realizes crazed fans are now going to try to fall down in front of him at every match hoping for some signed memorabilia and a little Rafa TLC. At least I know that would be my strategy.

March Madness 2012: And So It Begins...

 (place your bets!)

It is here! It's a world of laughter! A world of tears! It's a world of hope and a world of fears! There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware it's March Madness after all!

Unlike the last few years, the NY Times website seems to not be hosting an online bracket game. I looked forever, but couldn't find one. I'm disappointed. I'm playing through ncaa.com, but the graphics for the bracket are so large it's very hard to hold it all on the screen, and therefore hard for me to make a picture of my bracket for my blog. Instead, I had to use a printable bracket (courtesy of HuffPost)and fill in my picks by hand and then scan it so that there is evidence of what I chose, before the games start being played and won. I will update the chart as the rounds progress. I'll let you know how many points I accumulate and my ranking on the NCAA boards as well. Right now I'm at a solid 4 points, overall rank of 1 and overall percentile of 100 for having guessed the winners of the First Four round correctly. So far so good!

I chose Michigan St to win the whole thing. I'm not sure why. The brackets were such a disaster for almost everyone last year, I see very little reason to justify my choices other than to say, that's what intuition told me. I'm hoping my beloved UCONN can take down Kentucky. Go Huskies. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rafa in 2012 Indian Wells, Second Round

(Back In Action!)

Hello, Dear Readers. It seems like it's been forever since Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, played his last tennis match, no? It was back in January in the Aussie Open Final. He took a nice six week vacation, and his first match back showed no signs of rust having settled in during the break. After getting a bye in the opening round, Rafa charged back into competition at Indian Wells in Round 2, defeating Argentina's Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-3  earlier today. Life is always better when Rafa is winning tennis matches. It's so good to have him back on the courts!

What's not so good, but has nothing to do with Rafa's actual game play, is that his official website has been down for months! It's ridiculous! They overhauled it just a few years ago. Why on Earth are they overhauling it again? Can't they leave the old one functioning in the interim? I liked having one place to go for all things Rafa. I hope they get on the stick and bring it back online fast.

Anyway, Rafa usually does very well at Indian Wells, having reached at least the semis here every year since 2004. Hopefully he will have another very successful run here this week. Up next in the third round is fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers. He's a good player, but Rafa should be able to handle him easily. Vamos!

The Gossip Plays at the Abingdon this Tuesday 3/13!

(you know you love me as a playwright. xoxo.)

Friends! I want to invite you to a performance this Tuesday of a 10-minute play I wrote as part of the The Abingdon Theatre Company's Gossip Plays Benefit Series. My play is titled, "The President is GAY! (and other delicious scandals.)" It's sort of Golden Girls meets Mean Girls scenario. Potential political and personal scandals abound. You'll love it. No one eats cheesecake or gets hit by a bus, unfortunately, but they weren't allowed props so I didn't include those homages. Anyway, if you can come that would be fantastic. I'm sure it will be a fun night of short plays from all the different playwrights. I've really enjoyed working with the cast and director during the last week of rehearsals. You have two chances to see it - one night only. The runtime of the 5 shows selected is about an hour, so you'll be in and out lickety-split. I hope you can make it! xoxo!

The Gossip Plays 
Abingdon Theatre Company 
312 West 36th Street, just west of 8th Ave. 
Dorothy Strelsin Theatre, 1st Floor 

Five playwrights take on the challenge to write a 10-minute play inspired by Abingdon’s current production, LIFE LINE, by Frank Tangredi. 

$10 suggested donation at the door. 
There are no reservations. Only 52 seats per show! 
Box office opens 30 minutes prior to curtain. 

SERIES A Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:30pm & 8:30pm 

Playwrights: 
Jan Buttram ● Liam Mitchell ● Owen Panettieri 
Bara Swain ● Frank Tangredi 

Featuring: 
Estelle Bajou* ● Gail Merzer Behrens* ● Barbara Bleier* ● Danielle Bourgeois Susan Brady* ● Sheila Burkert* ● Emily Nicole Hansen ● Betsy Johnson* Heather Massie* ● Tony Neil* ● Lisa Riegel* ● Mathew Shear ● James Wilcox Directors: Jessica Creane ● Hilary Edson ● Vincent Scott Melissa Skirboll ● Bara Swain 

STAGE MANAGER: Kristin Bodall 

* Member, Actors’ Equity Association 

All participants are donating their talent to present these staged readings as a benefit for 
Abingdon’s New Play Development Program.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Drag Race Season 4: Separating the Men From The Boys and the Drags from the Queens

(If you can't love Season 4, how in the hell you gonna love anything else?)

RuPaul's Drag Race continues to be the most fun show on television. I find it totally fascinating. The blurring of gender norms! The camptastic challenges! The creativity and talent of the contestants to execute all their different runway looks! The witticisms and punnery of the regular judging panel! The enthusiasm of the guest judges! The bitchery and sweetness of the girls chatting in the work room! The sensational lip syncing for one's LIFE! (the performance level of which have been a big improvement over last season) And while these Drag Queens all really want to win, the show still to never takes itself too seriously and champions a message of acceptance and empowerment above all else. Credit to RuPaul. It's a great hour or entertainment. (And the half hour "Untucked" follow up show is a lot of fun too.) Now that we're half way through the season and pretty much only serious contenders for the title and winning prizes are left, I figured I'd give my assessment of the field ranging from least likely to most likely to win it all. Here goes. 

7. Jiggly Caliente
Read her: Girl is a Hot Mess. She is fun and has a lot of personality, but she's been avoiding getting the axe by the slimmest of margins for weeks. I genuinely like her and it's fun how every episode Ru asks "May I call you Jiggly?" and Jiggly laughs and says she can, but her time is near up. Her lip synch performance skills have saved her twice already, and a Big Girl who's actually a boy who can do a split is always impressive, but a third lip synch for your life against the remaining girls... could mean DEATH!
Highlight So Far: Winning the first photo shoot mini-challenge!
Lowlight So Far: Her pride float and matching runway outfit were both really bad. She didn't know what she was doing the whole episode. It's lucky for her Milan imploded while she held it together during the lip sync for their lives.

6. DiDa Ritz
Read Her: She's got talent, and acquits herself well in challenges, but her runway is WEAK. The judges don't like her outfits or her wigs. She's been improving, but I don't think her learning curve is fast enough. I don't have a whole lot else to say about her, which is not a good sign either.
Highlight So Far: DiDa killed it lip syncing to This Will Be (An Ever Lasting Love)
Lowlight So Far: Her "pedestrian" runway looks all jump to mind.

5. Phi Phi O'Hara
 
Read Her: She started so strong for me, but has faded fast in the last two weeks. She's one of those people just not cut out for Reality TV competition. She's been absorbing the stress of the situation week after week and her energy is increasingly negative. She's way too jealous of Willam's and Sharon's successes. She shows how it eats her up inside not to win, but she hasn't really ever deserved to win in their places! When a bitch is better than you, just say "well played" and regroup for the next round. Phi Phi can't do this. She's internalizing the losses and it's weakened her subsequent performances.
Highlight So Far: Screaming at Sharon Needles to take her freaky ass back to Party City. It was a great line.
Lowlight So Far: Losing her wig AND her fake boobs during the wet t-shirt contest. Total fail.

4. Chad Michaels
Read Her: I put Chad in 4th basically because as a person he seems very sweet and in the competition he always acts like a professional - a fact which he'll never miss an opportunity to tell you about. Granted, he's already won two challenges and been at the top for many others. I just think what will keep him from the final three is that his drag is kind of old-fashioned. His looks are well-executed, but not always innovative. And generally, he looks older than the other Queens. I mean, his Cher impression is fierce, but she's also in her late 60's, no? Still he's a sweetheart. Of all of them I think of him as a boy and not a girl. I think it's because he doesn't have a different stage name.
Highlight So Far: Impersonating Cher in Snatch Game. Spot on.
Lowlight So Far: Her pride float and outfit were forgettable. But otherwise she's been on point.

3. Sharon Needles
Read Her: Her look is always kinda freaky, but what she does, she does really well. She had a lot of early success, but she has to keep outdoing herself and she might just run out of room to go by the time the finale rolls around. The judges want to see growth and something new, and I don't know if there's enough bar left to raise in that regard to claim the title. Still, I'm not like Phi Phi. I don't want to see her go back to Party City anytime soon.
Highlight So Far: Blood drooling out of her mouth during the Post Rupacolypse runway!
Lowlight So Far: Her runway look following Snatch Game made her look both average and old. A rare misstep.
2. Willam
Read Her: Willam is a bitch, an ass-kisser, and a total actress. But she's always on, always brings the sass, and has a killer body, so you have to respect the bitch. She is very entertaining, and her verbal barbs and mind games are just gentle enough that you don't really hate her for messing with the other girls. You have to hand it to her, she knows what she has to offer and she's the best at delivering it. I don't think the judges will hand her the crown for it, but it should take her all the way to the end. PLUS she has the best bag of accessories from which to pull. Who has several dozen star-shaped stickers of her face tucked away in her bag in case they'll come in handy for an art project? Willam does. Damn, girl. You came prepared.
Highlight So Far: Her Jessica Simpson impersonation was great and she totally killed her Pride Float.
Lowlight So Far: It took her a couple early episodes to really find the right note to hit in her bitchitude, so through Week 3 she kinda sucked, but ever since she locked into that sweet spot, she's been cruising along just fine.

1. Latrice Royale

Read Her: I don't think she is -as of yet- the front runner to win, but she is definitely the Dark Horse and the best shot at a Big Girl ever winning this show. Latrice has elegance, personality and a great sense of self. Whereas some Big Girls in the past have played up their bigness for laughs, or just seemed not to know how to style themselves, Latrice is in full control of her full figure. She's incredibly likable in and out of drag and knows how to stay sane in an insane world. Jesus is your biscuit. Sop it up, Girl. Stomp those skinny bitches and take that crown!
Highlight So Far: Winning the Sitcom Challenge "Get those nuts away from MY face!"
Lowlight So Far: Being called out on needing to wear a new pair of runway shoes after wearing the same leather boots several weeks in a row. It's gotta be hard to find supportive ladies footware in that size!

So now that I've made my rankings, I'm sure Latrice and Willam, will both be in the Bottom 2 next week and somehow Jiggly will fight her way through six more eliminations to the crown! Ah well. Good luck to y'all remaining ladies! As Ru says, Gentleman start your engines, and may the best woman win!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Low Line: I Want To Go To There... Don't I?

(From here we are basically one step a way from that Underground Rave scene in Matrix: Reloaded.)

A friend posted this campaign to Facebook earlier this week and my initial thought was: AWESOME! A Low Line park to compliment the already kick ass High Line! Their basic idea is to take an abandoned trolley terminal on the Lower East Side and transform it into the world’s first underground park... Carlsbad Caverns notwithstanding.  It will be a beautiful public space and the thing that will make it especially cool is that it will utilize solar technology in a uniquely designed way, allowing for natural illumination underground! That should allow for plants and flowers and trees to grow! And maybe allow people to tan?? (They are not advertising that. I'm just putting it out there.)You can learn more about the project at www.delanceyunderground.org. It all sounds pretty cool, has great people supporting it and already reached its 100K kickstarter goal. Still, I have a few concerns about a green space underground. Off the top of my head, here are some potential issues.

1. RATS. There are rats underground! Everywhere! Have you been on the subway? Sure, there are rats running around in both green and non-green locations at street level, but when they scurry away do you know where they always go? Underground How would they solve the underground rat problem in this new space? And can that solution be applied to the rest of the subway system? (PLEASE?)

2. FEBREEZE, BUT NO BREEZE. It kinda stinks underground. It just smells bad. Sure, this green space theoretically will have trees and flowers and fresh smelling things in the area, but won't the air still be stale without any wind? Will there be a wind simulating ventilation system? That sounds really complicated. Part of the reason you go out to a park is for the fresh air and this seems to be the opposite of that.

3. THE HEAT, MY GOD, THE HEAT! Underground temperature stabilization is always tricking in NYC. I'm basing this opinion on my experience with the subway system. In the summer the subway gets baked like an oven and in the winter it can be freezing! Sure, you could go to this park even when it's raining, but how are we gonna keep it comfy? I can envision the place looking cool (the above concept art helps) but I have a hard time imagining it's relaxing.

4. BALROGS. Quite frankly, if we dig too deep into the Earth while creating this underground park we risk releasing these powerful beings of flame and shadow upon our beautiful city. Is this a risk we are willing to take? Perhaps a public hearing on the matter is in order.

 (You shall not pass! ... without paying admission!)

I hope these concerns are all addressed in the planning stages and that we get a wonderful new park out of it. Come to think of it, the Transit Museum is underground and that place is pretty awesome. Whatever they create, let's hop that it doesn't quickly turn into a pit for homeless crazies, drug dealers and child-trafficking rings. That would be a total worst-case scenario. Good luck, Low Line team! Make it work!.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

WHO Runs the World? Girls??

 (You'd think this poster wouldn't be necessary, 
but sadly it seems it is.)

OMG, Ladies! Today was International Women's Day! Sure things are tough around the world for females, but girl, don't you feel great here at home? So much to love!

FOR INSTANCE!

Just last year state legislators introduced more than 1,100 anti-abortion provisions into bills in states across the country and enacted 135 of them! Seven states either fully defunded or tried to defund Planned Parenthood, which in case you didn't know, provides basic health care, contraception, breast cancer and STI screenings to millions of low-income women each year. But you probably did know that, because you're women, and shit like that actually matters to you! And don't even get me started on the Susan G. Komen foundation. Gurrrrl.....

And then of course there's our Federal Government, in which Republicans ever since the 2010 elections have tried time and again to grind the the legislative process to a halt by arguing abortion issues into bills that didn't even directly have anything to do with health care!  And remember that time they tried to narrow the definition of rape to be "forcible rape" instead of "asking for it permissible" rape? And that other awesome time when Congress barred the District of Columbia from using its own funds to help low-income women pay for abortions? These dudes really have your best interests at heart. Don't you worry your own pretty little heads about it. And there's also the great state of Virgina where mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds were are all the rage for a hot minute.

And then of course there's Rush calling y'all sluts for you wanting basic health care plans to cover birth control medication and wanting your voices included in congressional hearings when the sign on the Congressional Tree Fort clearly stated "NO GIRLS ALLOWED." For that, Rush expected you to make sex tapes for him in exchange for a filled prescription. But you still have allies in upper chamber. The Senate managed to beat back the Blunt Amendment that would've allowed any health care provider feeling sorta religious and totes morally superior to not cover hormonal contraception. That landslide vote rejected the amendment by a whopping 51-48 margin! Nice work, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski!  Be proud to be American woman, where at least you know you're free (if you seem to know nothing else.) Oh, how we live in enlightened times!

 Click to embiggen the timeline. Thanks, HuffPo!

So, all that I've mentioned above is serious bullshit that just doesn't seem to stop. These men pulling the strings should have no business telling you what to do with your bodies or your family planning or denying you access to health coverage to help you make the best choices for yourself. Literally today in Congress, on International Women's Day,  they are debating the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), which would make it illegal for anyone but a parent to accompany a young woman across state lines to seek an abortion - even if her parents are absent or abusive, or possibly the father of the baby! These people constantly rant on and on about government being too intrusive into our lives, but waste no opportunity to try to get inside your vaginas without your consent. There is still hope though. It's an election year, and elections have consequences. It's time to stand up to these bastards at the voting booth and be like my girl Amy Poehler on SNL, and tell them in no uncertain terms "Don't Tell Me What To Do!"

I love you, Ladies. So until that fateful day when that Beyonce lyric rings true and you run the world, don't let some out-of-touch paternalistic white dudes in power try to take away your autonomy. I am with you. Lots of men are with you. The vast majority of the country is with you. Show the rest of the women around the world how it's done.