Friday, March 31, 2006

only the strong...when i grow up...advanced chemistry

In this episode, Janice makes a comeback, and Jade finds her role model. Gina gets bullied, bent out of shape and shipped home. Nenna gets hot and heavy on set and proves she's a woman for all seasons.

In the famous words of Martin Lawrence, “Damn, Gina!” I hate when I'm right (not really); I didn't want Gina to go home yet, but 4 minutes into the episode I knew it was over. And by the end of the episode I was glad to see her go. That girl did more whining than I could stand, and I have a patience threshold that rivals the Sears Tower. Jade kept taking advantage of her, and Gina kept letting it happen. “I know I can rock this, but I just…” Do you know, Gina? Who are you trying to convince? It's not working. So Janice comes in and embarrasses Gina to the nth degree. Did she learn the importance of being confident enough to laugh at her self? No. (For the record, Janice, that bate-and-switch you pulled at dinner was wrong. No wonder Jade felt a connection with you - bullies of a feather) After blowing up, was Gina able to get Jade out of her system and focus? No. Was she even able to capitalize on her cheesy side for the Sears shoot? No. Maybe Gina's place in the fashion industry is behind the scenes, but only if there are no bugs there of course…

When the girls met Tyra, backstage at the talk show (what a shameless plug that was), they discussed their plans for the future. There are lots of lawyers in that group. I believe Mollie Sue's a nice fit for the fashion world. Daniel, if you want to be a singer, but you decidedly cannot sing, is that your covert way of telling us that top model is your only other ambition? And who are you trying to fool, Jade? You want to be a kindergarten teacher, do you? Because you love kids, you say? Sure you love kids - to eat! Tell the truth! You just want to be surrounded by people who are smaller than you, so you can boss them around and maybe get them to look up to you. Daniel said she would home school her kids before she'd put them in Jade's class; I agree. Congratulations to Brooke who took the Leno out of her look for this week's shoot. There's hope for her yet. As if she wasn't impressive enough, we learned that Nenna wants to return to the continent of Africa to study disease. She already has a degree in chemistry. As far as I could see, she earned her masters in chemistry on the set of their shoot (woo hoo!)! ;+)

Nenna was amazing at both shoots. The first was a surprise because I thought her quiet intensity would be too much for a Sears ad, but she knows herself. That wardrobe is quite a prize too. Nenna knew how to turn it down and open up. But for the “Future Careers” shoot, maybe she was a little too open? Serves boyfriend, John, right. He was so insecure before they even did the shoot that, as far as I'm concerned, that was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sorry, dear John…

I have to take a minute to laugh again - ha ha! Ladies, I told you before, I'll tell you again - it's too early to leave the country! I think they got it this time; it sort of went like this, “Tyra-mail…(reading)…oh! It means we're going to… We ain't going no where.”

Thursday, March 23, 2006

walk this way!...(&) what goes platform, must come down...(&) so long, dolly...

Mother Goose or The Brother's Grim? Fairy Tales or Scary Tales? This Wednesday evening wasn't everyone's happily ever after, but at least it was a good story...

First can i take a minute to laugh? All the girls thought for a hot minute that they were going to Spain. HA-HA, Ladies! It is far too early in the season to take you anywhere. For one, that's too much money, even for a show doing this well. And for two, you all don't know anything yet. Mama Tyra is not about to take you all out into the world - or across it, rather - and have you embarass her! HA-HA!

Where does this story begin? Once upon a Wednesday night, there was a little frightened girl named Gina who was constantly manipulated by the wicked queen, Jade. GIna found a girl to talk to, a confident dame named Daniel. But Gina became clingy, and Daniel's story took a turn for the worst. Um, Gina, "watch you shower"? Dude, what's that about? Meanwhile, across Top Model Land, Mollie Sue doesn't seem to be living up to her hair, as far as the judges are concerned...Joanie and Brooke are still pretty quiet, and Furonda didn't act out too much this week either. Leslie just takes a damn good picture. I can't think of anyone else who could make young women want to walk aroung with a nose covered in coal, but i'm jumping ahead...

The walking lesson with Miss Jay revealed how very much a lot of the girls have to learn. I cannot contain myself when Leslie is walking; it's one of the craziest things I've ever seen. You want to be a fairytale character, Leslie? How about the beautiful duckling? Safe is definitely the word to describe most of their approaches at this point. Nenna was too slow. Gina - bland. Mollie Sue - short and stout. Joanie - too all American. Jade's stride fell short of her smack-talking. She needs to put her pumps where her mouth a matter of fact, she should keep them there too. Brooke's beautiful nonchalance worked to her disadvantage in this case because her walked definitely looked careless. Furonda was good, but not exceptional. Daniel was going strong until they walked in the dresses, then she was going down... and poor doll-faced kari! i thought she was turning into sarah from last season! you'd have thought her ankles were made of spaghetti i guess that's the problem with dolls, they can be made up and beautifully arranged - but they can't move. And Sarah, what can I say? In that challenge, all that height gone to waste...

so over the river and through the woods to their next challenge with this US, avant-garde designer and (what I like to call) his Rocky Horror Picture Show collection. That's the kind of stuff only a model could wear (well, a model and everyone in Manhattan from Christopher Street to 22nd). How about those accents! Nothing like a GIANT cockroach to add shock value to an otherwise ordinarily odd collection. Bedazzled cockroaches no less! Guaranteed to make your audience gasp and your models scream! Gina was the loudest she's been this season behind the scenes at that show. That she had to be pushed onto the runway was terrible. That she was composed enough to walk down and come back without screaming proves that the fears and insecurities are all in her head. Gina didn't faint, she didn't even cry; it's not a phobia. There would have been dignity in a phobia. Someone needs to direct Miss Gina to Eva's spider episode, cycle 3. Jade bothering her with the roaches was such poor sportsmanship, and she had to do the most and kiss the critter on the runway. Well, Jade, it didn't turn into a prince and you didn't turn into a top model - got bug koodies for nothing. I would like to give Jade more credit, but her impulse wasn't that of an intuitive fashion forward model, it was born of Gina's fear...

the photo shoot was a very cute and clever one, but boy it looked painful. Jay wanted the girls to fall gracefully, but the mat seemed to be a welcoming composition of sand and plastic overlay. I have to hand it to Jade, she did very well. Granted with her as Red Riding Hood, granny would be better off taking her chances with a wolf. Leslie's hot - enough said. I thought Mollie Sue was adorable. Boy Blue was a good way to go, not only because of the short hair but because she's got a little bad girl in her eyes that translates well with the energy of wearing "boys" clothes. Daniel's photo was good, but her mood and approach seems to be the same all the time. Yeah, you're sexy. Yeah, you're beautiful. But what else? Tell that "come hither" look to scram already and find another one. Would somebody please tell Brook to PUT HER CHIN DOWN! I like her; I like her a lot, but she needs to handle that - yesterday. Gina could have done so much more with sleeping beauty. A soft and sexy, nearly closed eye would have done the trick. C'mon GIna! You're already halfway there. (Oh Teresa, that's not nice!) That was a gift! And Sarah, yoe-de-lay-hee-who told you to pose like that? Sarah's the one closest to being recruited; right now, she's riding the equivalent of a top model scholarship. That photo didn't make the grade. Is it me, or was Furonda's braid the same size as her limbs? Boy that girl is tiny! When Jay asked her about her fairytale and why Rapuzel had all this hair; she said, "To get a man." So funny! She was really serious too because you can't fake answers like that on the spot...

FInally they make it to panel with the shoes of death. Furonda started out with the craziest face. I thought she was going to fall at the beginning - on purpose - to get it out of the way. Sarah rocked it, and I would have to agree with Nigel, she's used to being up so high. GIna did well, though still bland. Kari couldn't walk in regular pumps, let alone these. The judges may as well have asked her to walk the runway on her hands. Joanie nailed it. Brooke did okay too. Jade stumbled a little, but she recovered. Her recovery wasn't graceful though; it was kind of confrontational. She looked up at the panel like, "I dare you to say something!" Yikes. Daniel had a model's recovery; her trip was followed by the most amazing smile. it said, "I'm beautiful, but I'm human...did i mention I was beautiful?" and she came back out for judging on crutches - that's what you call a 'G'. That girl's got heart. In the end, Gina was spared again. Goldy Locks was sent home. The judges didn't find her just right...

Tid-bits: I'm growing weary of Nigel's weekly insect comments about Furonda. She's still in it, homie, so deal with it. Funniest comment of the episode goes to Miss Jay, and I quote, "Weables wabble, but they don't fall down." That one gave me a stomach ache.


Monday, March 20, 2006

for whom the [wedding] bell tolls...(or) four weddings and a second mortage...(or) the wrong number...

so i can laugh at this now, in that "things are always funnier in retrospect" sort of way. started making calls, looking to book potential caterers, halls, etc. and whatnot. found a nice spot. beautiful scenic restaurant by the hudson. wouldn't have to decorate a thing, and if the food was half as good as the location then it would be fabulous. so i call them on my lunch hour (imagine the anectdotal gesturing of one's hand into the shape of a phone...that's it).

YOURS TRULY: Hello? Yes, I wanted to inquire about potentially renting a hall for a reception dinner? It's a relatively small party. So, I need a space that wouldn't swallow everyone and make it look empty.
SBHD: (Chuckles) I understand. How many?... Oh, we could give you the Manhattan Hall and split it in half. It has a wonderful view.
YOURS: Sounds great! Now, what would be the base rate for this package?
SBHD: Well, first let me tell you what you get...
Aside:(Know, how 'bout you tell me what i asked you...)
SBHD:...You get the hall with seating, flatware and linens for 8 hours; you get 3 courses - appetizer, entree and dessert with service; you get one night in the honeymoon suite which our staff will decorate...and that would be fifteen thousand dollars.
YOURS (in thought): You gotta be f*cking kidding me! is the restaurant gonna fly all of my guests back to their homes? Is ambrosia of the immortals on the menu? Is every person on your staff buying gifts for the newlyweds? There'd better be a complimentary honeymoon to Florenece or something! (out loud) Okay. Well, I'll need to talk to my father since he's funding this operation (you lying!), but we'll be in touch.

And what have we learned? If you're looking for a guilt free way to get people for as much money as they can stand, enter the wedding industry. Any area will do. There's a sucker with her father's checkbook getting engaged every minute! Not me boys and girls; I obviously dialed the wrong number.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

bye,bye, brrrdie...(or) true colors...(or) what!

the transformation episode is always so revealing. here's where we get our first look at who's flexible and who's full of it, who's confident and who's covering up, who's been putting on and who's brave enough to take it off…

Of course, the most dramatic makeovers are the most memorable, and I don't mean dramatic in appearance only. I'm not psychic or anything, but I knew Nenna was going to have to take it all off. She looks fabulous, of course, and after rocking a photo shoot pretending to be bald, I guess she convinced the panel so much they had to see it for real. Moxie Molly Sue looks fierce in her new cut; they were smart to leave the color as is, I think. She loves it, and I think it would have shown even more in the photo if Mr. Jay didn't do the shoot in “Studio 54 - below”. Furonda stayed in the mirror after her do was done. Clearly, a confidence booster for her; she became so confident, in fact, that she distributed a list of rules for the girls. Careful! That may be why Rapunzel was locked in a room alone (I'm just saying). Jade showed her true colors when she didn't get the length that Furonda did. Her drastic change probably says that the panel believes she has enough confidence and fashion-forward sense to pull this thing off. But Jade's not too shift; she turned this covert compliment into a disaster when she began complaining! For the record, Jade, you don't know what you're talking about; your facial features are much too strong for a long ridiculous weave - you would have looked a mess (There, feel better?) PS, Jade - the “eyes” comment was bogus. If Gina can't use it as an excuse, you definitely cannot.
Weave seemed to be the word of the day because Furonda wasn't the only one who was made lock-a-licious. Leslie and Daniel both got more tracks than a Prince CD - double disc. For Joanie, Kari and Brooke it appears that less is more. A little color and a little cut made a big impact. Sara's cut looks really good on her; she's a rocker who just doesn't know it yet. And poor Wendy! She's cute, but a bit fowl-looking, so what did they do for the girl who already shares some semblance to a cockatoo? They made her hair look like feathers - not a good look. Know how you can tell it was a mistake? Tyra changed her hair in the middle of panel (she knew she was wrong.)…
How about Mr. Jay's fashion word scramble? “You are urban-glam-chic”, “You are simplistic-soft-chic”, “You are punk-pretty-cute”, “You are bohemian-high-fashion.” You are…crazy! I think he just picked words from a hat. (You're vintage-modern-complex-simplistic-layered-bare-haute-couture-street! Whatever, Jay!)…and nigel started to sound like kanye west, "Brooke..everything about you is wrong, but it's so right!" he's basicly like, "You're not pretty, but that's why people will look at you." what do you call that nigel? car-wreck appeal?...
I wish I had been wrong about Wendy's sad face because Jade needed to go home last night, but alas! It is a television show, isn't it? And Jade may not hit the mark as top model, but she's dead on for “arch-nemesis.” Bye, Bye, Birdie, guess they couldn't risk the ratings.=+(

Monday, March 13, 2006

...'don't you wnna be on top?'...or sorry 8th&ocean...

disclaimer: so, my little closeted fashionista comes out to play. if newbies make it to this blog now for some odd reason, please be advised - i'm not this mean in real life. and if you take my comments don't. it's suppose to be funny, farcical even. perhaps this is my subconscious, indirect attempt to be picked up by the New Yorker or some mag of equally snobbish caliber as a contracted freelance writer (damn, res, you put yourself on blast like that? yeah, well chalk it up to 'putting it in the universe.') enjoy!

i don't watch much television - correction - in the off season of america's next top model, i don't watch much television. and just when i was nearing my threshold, just when i'd had my fill of whose-bridezilla-wedding-on-a-budget-in-disneyland-is-it-anyway? and couldn't watch one more rerun of style channel's "allure's top 10 tips for the spring/summer", tyra and the gang returned just in time. with the approaching spring, i awaken from my tv hibernation to fully engage the long awaited, highly anticipated, never duplicated - sorry 8th&Ocean - America's Next Top Model, Cycle 6 (not to be confused with a 'season', that's so last...uh...season?). i will admit, i indulge in this show. it's an hour of beautiful women (and i generalize, as that is totally subjective) wearing great fashion in breath-taking locations; it is my aesthetic fix of choice. so, of course i'm all eyes and ears as we meet a brand new group of girls who all - you guessed it - wanna be on top.

let me begin by saying that anyone eliminated in the first episode should not be crying. there's no fall from grace for you, as there has been no ascension. there was no taste of the 'good life' left on your palette, as you did not make it to the banquet. there's no agony of having a whiff of sweet victory and then being defeated, as there is no competition even in the oven yet! if you're serious about modeling, then you will continue. if you only came this far because you happened to get chosen, then save the croc tears for a water shortage. it's not even like you lost money on plane fare, c'mon! don't make this the single, most saddest day of your life because for everyone else - it was just a wednesday. but on to the ladies who live in the house that top model built...

i lied. i must digress for a moment if only to acknowledge dani. this "uber-conservative" will be remembered in antm history for having a tolerance as long as... her successful stint on the show. thank you dani, go with God. anyway, who do i already remember? nenna - a striking nigerian beauty who can be thoroughly described in one word, "regal." then there's brooke. i'm partial to this hippie chick because she reminds me of my favorite alternative, angsty songstress fiona apple. brooke's "a little dirt won't hurt" appeal makes her interesting; not a mainstream pretty, but there's something in her face that could transform a fashion fan's observation into an artistic experience. molly sue's country cute name is as attention-getting as her awesome red hair. unless they change her color during the make-over, i expect to see her in a lot of green. speaking of green, miss jade seems jaded that she hasn't been discovered already - well damn, tyra, get it together will ya! "...i mean, when i walk down the street, people turn around to look at me like 'damn...'" well, jade, to know that people are looking, you'd have to turn around too, wouldn't you? what are YOU looking at jade? hmm... this one reminds me of the girl from last season who bragged on coming from a beautiful family - you might remember her as "Ashley"; i remeber her as one of the first to go. if her commandeering of the microphone at their mock press conference is any indication of what is to come, jade's about to be a handful, and i don't just mean when it's time to put her hair up. then there's furonda; i like her. she's got great eyes, almost alien-esque but they could be a very strong asset. kari is pretty in an anime kind of way; she'd got a lot of jaw and very little forehead. maybe she can find a way to balance it out. joanie's got maxim magazine appeal. that's all on her for now. kathy's the most geechey-ass victorian beauty i've ever heard and seen. i don't know whether to place her in an oil painting or on the back of a faded red pick-up. wendy's beautiful and has quite a story behind her arrival. i hope she makes it far, but sad eyes will sell photographs, wendy, not clothes. i can't really remember anything distinctive about the others right now. good thing i'm not a judge - that wouldn't be a good look...

well tyra, 6 seas..uh...cycles strong. you've got a real winner. young ladies watch this show, their selfesteem drops into their toes and then you have guests for your talk show! well done (just playin'!)

Friday, March 10, 2006

natural [co]habitat...(or) "you love me/ especial/ ly different.."

do not say
"poor sun, poor moon"
because they appear destined
to chase each other forever.
they catch one another, eventually,
and then live the rest of their lives
in perpetual glow.

interesting, this blogging thing, because i want to share without overly disclosing. what have i got to hide? nothing really, but i have a propencity for privacy, and as far as information goes, 'everything ain't for everybody.', i'll just say - i enjoyed my time solo. got my grown woman on, stretched out in my space and loved every moment of it. now, i have loved every moment since the end of that era. i've been blessed with yet another seamless transition. the way love and i coexist, it is as if he had always been there - except for a bigger grocery bill, but i'm saying. (sorry, couldn't let it get too sappy w/o a bit of comic relief.) still grown. still growing and stretching out. only the solo part has changed. talked to my little sis about it ( my little, little sis), and she was like, "dang! you really grown now. i mean, you was an adult and stuff before, but now - this is like 'no take backs.'" after i set homegirl proper on why i was grown even before this, i couldn't help but laugh. in terms of change, life is much more sand than stone. i pray that i never reach a place where i am too embarassed to change or turn around, but it feels good - right, you know? an unforseen compatability/ the effort to work steadily/ each joined still makes a better we/ comfort level to the Nth degree/ this embrace feels like home, to me...what more can i say except, "Who is Jill Scott?" tracks 5, 7 (twice), 8 and 9. word.

an open letter to dave chappelle...thank you...

dear dave chappelle,
damn. i saw your block party last night, and fisrt i would like to thank you. i've recently relocated to the midwest, but for 2 hours last night i was home again. what i'm about to say probably isn't news to you, but - 1) the line up was absolutely impeccable 2) love that you gave CSU the opportunity of a lifetime 3) love that you didn't edit FH Jr. 4) the house of broken angels is henceforth a historic landmark. i've journaled about my experienece with your film, do allow me to share an excerpt or two:

"Granted, nothing Dave says could probably ever be used on product [for my company], but his vibe of good people, a good time, a kind of rock-the-house-and-change-the-world mentality speaks to my generation. speaks to me."
"And what does Chappelle say? In his words and actions, Chappelle states that our differences are important, but there are some things about all of us that are absolutely the same. He favors and respects the elders and children. He values art and laughter. He brings good people together for the sake of doing something good. There's more than enough there to use in the business somehow - to use in life, definitely."

sometimes, i was in stitches. sometimes, i had to fight my impulse to stand up in the theater. i had such a difficult time remembering i was at a movie and not a concert. my fiance and i probably annoyed everyone by singing the words. you produced the show that i, too, have always wanted to see. if word had gotten to me about this block party, (in all sincerity) i would have cut a few classes caught a cheap flight and been there. for those who l(o,i}ve this music, you have given us a great gift. trust, as soon as the collector's edition DVD is available it will be in my possession. Dave Chappelle's Block Party will find a home, nestled safely among the likes of WildStyle, Beat Street and Breakin' 1&2. Thank you for being hiphop's Art Kane.

sincerest affection and gratitude,
teresa leggard