Wednesday, November 28, 2007

SJP on Project Runway

Last week’s episode of Project Runway featured a challenge where designers had to create a two-piece look for the new line of a very special fashion conscious celeb --- Sarah Jessica Parker! It was such a good idea all around – the show got to feature Sarah Jessica Parker, a New York City fashion goddess ever since Carrie Bradshaw hit the scene; and SJP was able to spread awareness about her new clothing line, Bitten.

The show allowed Sarah Jessica a platform to announce her line, and also include the fact that is being sold at Steve & Barry’s stores, therefore helping communicate that this is going to be an affordable line for everyday women. SJP came across as very intelligent and having great fashion sense, and through her comments seemed very concerned in making sure all the pieces in her collection can be worn by women of different shapes and sizes – and still be flattering.

The challenge had designers (who by the way were extremely excited to see SJP come into their workroom) create a two-piece look for Bitten, but the catch was that the entire outfit had to retail for under $40, making their budget $15! This was incredible in that I’m sure most viewers thought it would be impossible to create such an outfit, but also told viewers that this line really was going to be affordable, and SJP was looking to follow the mantra of her brand, “Fashion is not a luxury.”

The winning design is currently being sold at Steve & Barry locations, and an indication that the product integration worked – my friends and I headed over to the store yesterday to check out her collection. I got a shirt.


So kudos to SJP and Project Runway for a job well done. This integration was relevant and interesting, and that’s why it worked.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Has Anyone Seen My New Red Hat?"

A League of Their Own.
Quite possibly the greatest movie of all time. It's timeless, funny, heartfelt, hilarious, and rewatchable. I find that really well made movies have a high rewatchability factor. Movies you can watch again and again, until you memorize almost every line of dialog in the movie, allowing for the recitation of lines in sync with characters onscreen (or several seconds before the words are actually spoken, making you seem like a movie prophecy, or just generally annoying the people around you). If I had the time to sit here for several hours, I could probably recreate the entire script of A League of Their Own through memory alone, including all song lyrics ("We had a moment, just one moment, that will last beyond a dream, beyond a lifetime..."). Fortunately for you, I am not going to do that (although I did subject my teammates to sporadic yelling of lines on the bus ride home the other day, and captivate my brother and friend at lunch today with limitless quotes, morsels of League of Their Own goodness). I have given much thought as to how I want to structure this post, and it's been really hard because I find myself wanting to express so much about my love affair with this movie, but I've finally decided on a suitable outlet for my thoughts. So without anything further on the timeless themes of the movie, or the ball scratching capability of Jimmy Duggan, I give you: my top-5 list of A League of Their Own characters - those wonderful gems that make the movie really shine.

5. Shirley Baker - aka:The Girl Who Can't Read - The girl can play ball, but she can't read. And we find out in a really embarrassing way - At tryouts! Who can forget the scene where Miss Baker stands in front of the team lists like a lost puppy, in those ol' jean overalls of hers. She just wants to play. Thank goodness for Helen Hayley, the caring Rockford Peach who had the compassion to go forth and ask , "Can you read, honey?" The answer was obvious. And the rest is history, they find her name, she's a Rockford Peach! With that the Peaches erupt with pure joy at the new illiterate addition to their squad. You can say one thing for those Peaches, even though they lost the World Series (still a sensitive subject), they cared about each other. Mae even took time during bus trips to help Shirley learn to read using sex books. So why'd Shirley make the list? It's always the ones that can't read who do well in life. Take Fantasia Barrino for instance. Have you heard anything about her since she learned to read? Didn't think so.

4. Betty Spaghetti - There's not too much to say about Betty Spaghetti I guess, but she does have a fun nickname. She's not that pivotal in the movie, except to be used as a pawn to make us think that Dottie's husband has died in the war, only to have Jimmy Duggan announce at the last second "I'm sorry Betty." (Note: it was appropriate of him not to add the Spaghetti nickname at this somber time). I still have nightmares where I can hear Betty's pained cries of "No! George..." before she is led out of the locker room. They'll probably haunt me forever.

3. Miss Cuthbert - Poor lady...She's got the worst job in the world, trying to keep these young things from running around, dancing with boys, and smoking their cancer sticks. It's a job best left to the strong-willed, and after seeing her throw up the dinner that Mae poisoned ("In all my years practicing medicine, I've never seen anyone throw up that much"), I think she is just the woman for the job. One thing is for sure, this woman always gets shit on. When Lou quits driving the bus because Stillwell Darling covered his eyes while he was driving, it's Miss Cuthbert who chases after him, because "the girls have a game!" And you know what she gets for that? DIRT IN THE FACE, compliments of Lou. So then, being the responsible den mother she is, she tries to wake up Jimmy Duggan to get the bus moving again - he wakes up, obviously in an altered state, and kisses her passionately before realizing it's her and letting out a blood curdling scream. He then has to swig from his flask and spit it out all over the bus floor just to get the taste of her out of his mouth. To put the icing on the cake, while this is happening, Mae is plotting to poison the damn lady's dinner so the team can go dancing. And did Miss Cuthbert ever complain? No. And who did Betty Spaghetti turn to when she found out her husband died overseas? Yeah, that's right, Miss Cuthbert. The unsung hero of the Rockford Peaches.

2. Evelyn (and Stillwell ) - Evelyn, Evelyn, Evelyn... putting aside the fact that she can't hit the cutoff girl to save her life, and this is a skill that should probably be mastered before your team is going into the final game of the World Series, and looking further past the point that she cried during a game ("There's no crying in baseball!"), I'd have to say that I am most appalled by the child rearing skills of this woman. Stillwell behaves horribly, has chocolate constantly smeared all over his little pig face, and is not even enough of a little gentlemen to keep his eyes covered in the locker room (don't think I didn't see you peaking, you little perv). This duo makes the movie go from good to GREAT, giving us great gems of scenes like when Jimmy Duggan screams at a crying Evelyn, and when Mae chases Stillwell Angel around the bus with a bat, only to stop when Evelyn offers him another candy bar and the little brat is more than excited to eat it ("gimme gimme gimme gimme.") You also have to give props to the scene where Stillwell is prancing around in front of the dugout and Jimmy Duggan throws a glove at him to topple him over. Classic stuff. I'll tell you one thing - thank goodness Evelyn's husband did not want Stillwell at home with him alone (a smart man), because the Evelyn/Stillwell duo make the movie that much more timeless.

1. Marla Hooch - As much as I wanted to put Jon Lovitz's scout as my number one pick, seeing as he's just playing a baseball scout version of himself, I couldn't fail to mention the extreme charm of Marla's awkwardness. From the moment we lay eyes on her hitting the crap out of balls in a gymnasium on a rainy day, and see her up close for the first time, we know Marla is going to be one of the best parts of the film. We see a transformation of this girl through the movie, from awkward, scared, small town girl, to awkward, karaoke-singing, married woman. The transition starts in beauty school ("What do you recommend for her?...A lot of night games."), where Marla learns the skills she needs to get wasted at a bar later on and belt out "It had to be you" to her new beau ("I'm singin' to Nelson!"), and eventually the girl we thought was only good at hitting is leaving the team to run off with her new hubby. Only thing I regret about Marla is that she left the team in the middle of their World Series run to go on a honeymoon with her new man. A real ballplayer wouldn't leave the team, and frankly I'm a little skeptical of how the Peaches continued their winning streak after they lost their best hitter (Marla), number one pitcher (Kit to Raccine) and catcher/star (when Dottie goes home with her hubby). It'd be like the Yanks losing A-Rod, Wang, and Posada at the same time then just goin' on like it didn't matter. But let me get back to the point. This movie would not be what it is without the ungraceful charm of the Hoochanator.

I know this post is getting really long, but I just have to close with some words to my LEAST favorite character:
You know what Kit, you kinda piss me off. You're always complaining about Dottie being better than you, but the fact is, Dottie is better than you. And in all the bus scenes you wear your stupid little dirty red Rockford Peach hat backwards like your five years old. You act like a five-year-old most of the time, actually. Like when you found out you were getting traded to Raccine, and you threw a baseball through the window of the team house to express to Dottie how mad you were. Kit, you wouldn't even be in the league if Dottie wasn't around. You'd be feeding Harvey chocolate bars to the constipated cows on your farm back home, playing mediocre softball with the other village tomboys, and striking out frequently because you don't know how to lay off the high ones. If you spent half as much time training as you spend feeling sorry for yourself, you might be a decent ballplayer. And at the end of the movie when you win the World Series because Dottie felt so sorry for your pathetic ass that she dropped the ball on purpose, you act like you're the greatest thing ever and talk it up to those little girls like you're the best ballplayer who ever lived. Well, you're not! In fact, I might take Evelyn over you if we were playing backyard ball, because even though she cries during baseball, you whine all the time. So f you Kit, go train Free Willy or something.
Thanks for throwin' back to 1992 with me to reminisce about a great movie and some even greater characters. Next time... Doris and Mae - were they a couple?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

With the emergence of rap in our culture comes the wonderful new sect of comedy that is based on watching children, babies or otherwise unlikely candidates partake in singing, dancing, or enjoying the hip hop culture in any way. Who wouldn't love to see their gym teacher dance to "hey ya," and the video of the little boy dancing and lip synching to beyonce (and taking it way too seriously) is a comedic gem. Although I think sometimes parents go a little overboard with posting videos of their babes donning hip hop personas and droppin' it like it's hot, I sometimes find a laugh from watching these videos. But tonight, I found something much funnier than a toddler bustin' a cap could ever be. Cartoons performing rap songs. Check out the Lion King below performing Crank Dat Soulja Boy. One thing's for sure, Simba's one bad ass motherfucka. And if you can't get enough (like I couldn't), check out the equally entertaining Pooh Bear , Barney , and Spongebob versions. Enjoy!