Friday, December 23, 2005

More Television Obsession: Project Runway

Okay, I'm a little late in sharing this love of mine, because the first season is already out on DVD and the second season has started. (But it's on Bravo where it will be repeated numerous times, so you can totally catch up). In the reality television genre, I am a fan of the competitive reality shows - particularly those where they are working towards a career goal. (Although that hasn't helped me like "The apprentice", but that's another story). "Project Runway" brings together aspiring fashion designers (and models). The designers compete in a series of competitions, all with insane deadlines. They're designed are showcased in a mini-runway show and then they are critiqued and a winner and a loser are chosen. The loser is out.

I think part of the reason this show is so much fun is that the designers are great characters, Everyone has their favorites and there a those who one might consider the villains also. Heidi Klum hosts, and Tim Gunn who works at Parsons where the show takes place offers wonderful guidance. This is the second season so the format is a little more familiar to those participating - although some of the contestants seem not to have taken that to heart.

The competitions can also be interesting. So far they have included the designers being sent to a party where they were told their next outfit had to be made entirely from what they were currently wearing, designing a look for My Scene Barbie, and putting together a lingerie collection.

As the show progresses, they will get down to three designers who will be given money and a decent (comparably) amount of time to put together a collection which they will show at fashion week. From that final show a winner will be chosen.

My super quick guide to this year's crop:
Andrae - Dramatic guy, most notable moment so far was a crying jag during the judging.
Chloe - Winner of the "Clothes Off Your Back" competition, she seems to have a level head and a very clean style.
Daniel F. - Sadly Daniel was eliminated in this week's challenge, he was (and is) a lovely guy with great tailoring skills.
Daniel V. - Winner of the "Team Lingerie" challenge, he has so far been pretty quiet.
Diana - Has some innovative designs - a skirt with magnets for example.
Emmett - Very tall, and very even keeled (which is a contrast let me tell you).
Guadalupe - Her designs seem fussy for my taste, and there has been a hint of future dram in her interactions with the other designers.
Heidi - Eliminated in the "Road to the Runway" challenge. She seemed very nice.
John - Also eliminated in the "Road to the Runway" challenge, in part because he admitted his simple design only took him eight hours (they were given a week for that first one).
Kara - Again with the drama potential - she had the Toys R Us employees stop the escalator so they could retrieve Barbie's hat for her.
Kirsten - Eliminated in the "Clothes Off Your Back" challenge for making a tacky outfit.
Marla - Has gotten on the other designers nerves for lacking some of the necessary sewing and piecing skills (and on the viewers nerves for constantly mentioning that she is from Allentown - we get it).
Nick - Winner of the "All Dolled Up" challenge, he has done some great stuff so far.
Raymundo - Eliminated in the "All Dolled Up" challenge for creating granny's dress instead of Barbie's dress.
Santino - Winner of the "Road to the Runway" challenge and cocky beyond belief, he has already demonstrated he does not take criticism or not winning well.
Zulema - She has been quiet recently but made her mark early refusing to share closet space and making a dress so short it bared her model's butt.

The Project Runway/Bravo site (which includes Tim's Blog and Podcast and you can look at the outfits produced so far).

Television without Pity has recapped all of last season, as well as this season:

All copyrights of course still belong to the people at Bravo and Mattel and all that.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Letter to Target

Hello -
I wanted to share my concerns over Target's policy concerning filling birth control prescriptions. I understand that there are people - many of the pharmacists - who object on a religious and/or moral basis - to the use of birth control. I certainly do wish for these people to do anything that would conflict with their beliefs.

However, as a pharmacist a person takes on a set of responsibilities, which includes allowing people to fill all their legally obtained prescriptions. If a pharmacist is unable to fulfill that duty - or to fulfill all of it, they need to make their supervisors aware of this restriction.

The supervisors then need to plan for that when scheduling pharmacists. We all lead busy lives. When I drop off a prescription, I expect that I will be able to pick it up in the timeframe that I was originally promised. I should not have to worry about returning only to discover that the pharmacist on duty is unwilling to provide me my prescription and that I now need to come back at a different time or go to another location.

If I can't have some certainty about being able to retrieve my prescription in a timely manner, why would I use the Target pharmacy?

Thanks for your consideration.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Debate Me

"...once a prejudice begins to be publicly debated, it is always revealed to be a dying prejudice. One does not debate a prejudice until the definition undergirding that prejudice has begun to be questioned." Bishop Shelby Spong
I'm on the e-newsletter list for Bishop Spong and this was part of his response to a question about how does he handle the setbacks in fighting for gay rights. And this was an "aha" moment for me. What a fabulous idea! The idea that once you have gotten the issue to the point where it is debated, you are already well on your way to winning. This could apply to gay rights, to anti-racism, to reproductive education - all manner of things.
It is so easy to get depressed and to think that we are never going to move forward. (And I realize some of you may have different ideas about what constitutes forward progress, and, well, I'm sorry to hear that.) So, this was inspiring. Now I have no idea how true this is - I have not verified the authenticity of the statement. Certainly I can think of examples in which public debate still led to another hundred or so years before the idea had any sort of mainstream acceptance.
But nonetheless, getting an idea or prejudice or concept to a point of debate should be - based on this - viewed as a huge positive step. It certainly doesn't mean sit back and relax. And certainly that doesn't mean yours is the idea that will turn out to be the accepted one certainly the idea of debate insists on at least two viewpoints, and you (or I) may turn out to be the ones holding onto the one that will die out or be pushed aside.
But a little something to keep in mind, when you are out there trying to expand minds. Whether about the rights of DC residents or about diversity in television.

Friday, December 02, 2005

To Gift or not to Gift

Well, we are rapidly approaching that time of year when many of us choose to exchange cards and/or gifts. Which leads to a dilemna. How do you determine who is card-worthy or gift-worthy or both? There are givens, like immediate family members (normally). But there are always those people who are on the bubble. There are those who are new in your life. They are a friend of a friend who you cross paths with frequently. There are those who you carded last year - have they moved up to gift status this year? There are those who you aren't sure you'll run into over the season - so are they postage-worthy? And there are those hangers-on who have been on your list in past years, but who you no longer really talk to or see outside of the holiday season. Should they be bumped down a notch? Dropped off the list. And there are people who you sent something last year - but got no response. What to do?

Well, I'm here to help! Okay - only in a philosophical type way. But nonetheless.

  • One handy-dandy measuring stick is - would you be embarrassed if they sent you something and you hadn't sent anything for them? Now if you are one of those people who would always be embarrassed, then this rule won't be much use to you. Because you can't get something for everyone. But, in order to allay some concerns I do recommend having a couple of generic cards (and a pen) on hand. You can pre-write a generic message ("Happy holidays! Love, Me") and have it sealed ready for the card to get a name on the front. Keep them handy (purse, car, desk).
  • Miss Manners says anyone who did not respond to your gift can be removed from your list. Now, if it is a family member, this may get sticky so you may want to weigh the sticky factor before striking this offender from the rolls - but at the very least they should be downgraded on your list. Now, I should clarify that a response does not mean they sent you an equivalent gift or card - it means they acknowledged your thoughtfulness without you having to call to make sure they received it.
  • Another possibility is making a donation to a charity in the name of your family and friends (you don't have to name them all). You can then notify people - by card or otherwise - that you have made a donation on their behalf. That should help you take care of/pare down a portion of your list.
  • I'm a fan of sending out lots of cards. I may not have gotten to talk to or correspond with every person that year, but sometime the card is what starts the cycle up again. But if this person's only reason for being on the list is that they have always been there and you don't even really care to hear from them - drop them.

    The original traditions surrounded given presents to brighten up the days of those less fortunate, celebrating the change of the seasons, and gathering with friends and family. Those are the important parts. All this gift and card stuff should be fun. (I know - easy to say). So, try to keep that in mind when fighting through crowded malls and crazy traffic. Try.

  • Week 13 Picks

    NFL WEEK 13
    Sunday, Dec. 4
    *** MIAMI - Buffalo - Oooh - a division game when both are desparately vying for a wildcard spot. Miami hasn't won a division game yet, but Buffalo has yet to win one the road. So I'm going with Miami to break their trend. A squeaker! 1-0
    *** PITTSBURGH - Cincinnati - Yeah Pittsburgh just went down to the Colts - they are not losing this week. Whoops, not a good start (for me). 1-1
    *** BALTIMORE - Houston - Okay so I keep picking home teams, but in this case B'more is the less loserish team. Just barely - 2-1
    *** INDIANAPOLIS - Tennessee - This is not the week Tennesee will see improvement in their road game. Yeah - so not that hard to predict. 3-1
    CLEVELAND - *** Jacksonville - Jax took down the Cards last week even without Byron, I think they can take the Browns too. Close game. 4-1
    *** N.Y. GIANTS - Dallas - Big oooh - Winner takes the division and so far the Giants have been winning the big ones. Shocker, I know. 5-1
    CHICAGO -Green Bay *** - Now that GB is guaranteed a losing season I think they will - conversely - win some. Well, apprently they didn't get that memo. 5-2
    DETROIT *** - Minnesota - Two incosistent teams for anothe division battle - I think Detroit's a little madder after last week. Oops - well that's what happens when both are inconsistent. 5-3
    *** CAROLINA - Atlanta - Oh look another division game. I predict Carolina will remain on top. Not quite as close as I expected. 6-3
    NEW ORLEANS *** - Tampa Bay - The Saints are getting the hang of that winning thing and TB keeps going down when they shouldn't. Happy for the Bucs, sad for me. 6-4
    SAN FRANCISCO - *** Arizona - AZ just had a very sad loss. Yay! 7-4
    ST. LOUIS - *** Washington - Favored again! How cool. But seriously, I think we'll snap the losing streak now (Unless is goes to OT). Big yay! 8-4
    *** NEW ENGLAND - N.Y. Jets - Yeah, the Pats have yet to lose a division game and the Jets have yet to win a road game. And again. 9-4
    KANSAS CITY *** - Denver - KC's on a roll and ready to take this division rival down. Yipee! 10-4
    *** SAN DIEGO - Oakland - Yeah. Like I said. 11-4
    Monday, Dec. 5
    *** Seattle - PHILADELPHIA - It's amazing there are enough Green people left for Philly to play. Hah! 12-4