Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What Have You Done Today...?

If you watch The Biggest Loser, as I always do, you know how the song goes: “What have you done today to make yourself proud?!” This is an interesting question to pose after having watched a TIVOed episode of last night’s Loser immediately followed by tonight’s Top Model. You can just imagine…

But first, I have to ponder, what have I, Gigi, done today to make myself proud? It’s tough to find things that make me swell with pride in my unemployed existence, but perhaps I can find some nugget if I recall my day. Hmm…let’s see…to begin with, I stayed in bed until 10am as Stu and I have been battling a now three-day bout of insomnia, which is not helped by the fact that I seem to have developed an allergy to, well, air conditioning. As a result, I have been spending my days with a constantly dripping and irritated nose. And as it’s been 90 freaking degrees in Philadelphia this week, I’m doomed to not sleep due to overheating if we turn off the A/C, or over nose-running if we leave it on. It’s not a win-win situation.

When I finally pulled my ass out of bed, I spent a few moments wallowing in self pity over my exhausted state. Then I read my morning news, aka The Superficial and Go Fug Yourself . After my usual Wednesday morning, hour-plus phone date with L. in Seattle, I colored my hair, despite the fact that I just had it done at a salon two weeks ago. Needless to say, it wasn’t quite to my liking. My new color isn’t really up to snuff either, but I made the effort. After coloring, I caught up on some email, had some lunch, and decided that even though I was taking a day off from the gym, I had to get outside and get some form of exercise.

Now this, I might be proud of—I took a two hour walk and topped it off with 10 runs up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps. You know, the Rocky steps? Actually, they’re not nearly as hard to get up as one might imagine, but by schlep #7, I was pretty pooped and therefore pretty psyched to have made it to 10 since my original plan was only 5. If Jillian Michaels had been standing at the top, she would have been very proud of me, I am quite certain.

As for the reality show contestants for whom the song was actually written, I’ve never actually blogged about Biggest Loser before, other than the time I interviewed some peeps who were auditioning for the show in Seattle, and I’m not quite sure how to go about it. I really can’t make fun of anyone because who could critique their efforts? However, I might pause to say that I’m not really sure why the blue team thought it was a good idea for Neil to take a hit and consume mass quantities of crap (tasty as I’m sure all that crap was!) just for a three pound pass. And why on earth did Patty find it necessary to pad the calorie count just because she thought Neil might not have followed through on the plan? And while I was sorry to see Jerry go, I might have to call him the Sorest Loser now. He certainly looks great post-elimination, but his departure was a bit bitter.

Anywho…my favorite part of Biggest Loser, aside from oh, every single minute and Jillian Michaels whom I lovelovelove (Actually, I heart Bob as well, but I so don’t like Kim AT ALL), is how much I cry. So I’m thinking that each week I might just do a short post pointing out some highlights and then perhaps keeping a Cry Count. As anyone who knows me knows, I am a SUCKA for the triumph of the human spirit and the great lengths and efforts one will go to to make life changes. So for me, the Biggest Loser is one big cry fest, so moved am I by everyone on that damn show. So this week’s tear count: 8. Yes, I cried eight times during this two hour episode. I need to think about buying stock in Puffs Plus.

But enough of tissues and on to models! As I asked before, what have you done today, to make yourself proud? I overcame exhaustion and congestion to run up and down steps (in 90 degree heat, mind you!), and the biggest losers, well they get to be proud every moment of every damn day. But what about the models? What have they done to make themselves proud? Well, thanks to Tyra they have solved the environmental crisis, wiped out smoking, and educated the public on the ways of Autism and Asperger Syndrome.

Oh yes, according to the Top Model vehicle, “Green is the new black!” and Tyra is apparently nothing but message focused this go round. And thankfully, Mila is supportive of Tyra’s efforts, claiming that it’s important to “keep the earth good.” Booya!

Mila, apparently also thinks that chemotherapy is a hoot. I guess she didn’t learn that smoking is NOT COOL, which Tyra is so desperate to convey. She’s even gone so far as to make Cycle 9 a *no-smoking* cycle because as only Ty Ty can, she’s “taking a stand.” Booya!

And one more thing of which ANTM can be proud, they’re teaching the world about Autism and Asperger Syndrome and thank god for that since education is clearly in need. I couldn’t tell which model asked Asperger Heather, “So do you like see the world differently than me?” Booya!

Editor’s note before I move on to deliberations: Here’s what else I am ridiculously proud of today—as I am blogging about Top Model, Stu is watching Ken Burns’ World War II documentary. Are my priorities in order or what? Booya!

I’m done saying booya now. I just recently saw that awesome scene from 30 Rock in which booya is a key punch line and I just want to use it all the time. I’ll stop. I promise.

Ambreal: She does have quite a neck. She should be around for a while.

Bianca: You knew she was doomed to the bottom two just cuz she was such a beeyotch to bikini dancer Lisa. But you also knew she wasn’t going anywhere just yet…

Chantal: I can see the bedroom eyes thing, but I still can’t wrap my head around why she’s so spectacular. I know, I know, I’ll wait for the makeover episode.

Ebony: She pulled a fast one on us! They bitchy girl is supposed to pull out a killer photo and prove everyone wrong. She froze and got all insecure on our asses. Eva would never have done such a thing.

Heather: Aw yeah! Aw yeah! My Asperger girl pulls it OUT. Even in a photo with another model, who also looked pretty damn good, Heather’s face is riveting. And how planted was Nigel’s question about Asperger so that Tyra could share her vast knowledge? It’s all about the message, people. Tyra is continually teaching us about the ways of this great world in which we live.

Janet: You know I love the pixie cut girls and I think Janet rocked her shot. Twiggy may not see model, and somehow my cute pixie cut girls never make it, but I’ve got their backs.

Jenah: She’s quite lovely. Let’s see how long she lasts having to quit smoking cold turkey. She had quite the look of terror on her face despite proudly renouncing her dirty habit the minute she saw her photo. Has she never seen those ads where they show you the ugly side of smoking and everyone is all gross and dead? She had to wait until her own fictional disfigurement to quit? It gives one pause.

Kimberly: Don’t like her. Don’t know why. Just don’t like her.

Lisa: Pole or no pole, Lisa kicked it. You knew either she or Bianca had to be in the top two so the other could be in the bottom two, just to fuel the drama fire. Oh sure they’ve apologized now, but now that one’s at the bottom and one is at the *wanna be on TOP*…

Mila: Did I call this one or did I call this one? I feel completely justified in wondering why on earth she even made it on to the cruise, let alone into the final thirteen. And honestly, I’m pretty sure the girl is on crack. She “concentrates on the positives so the negatives go away.” And did you notice, not one tear when she had to pack her belongings and go home. That has got to be an ANTM first. Did you notice how Tyra was trying to remind her that going home first sucks? Nothing. It’s all about the positive. It’s all about the crack.

Saleisha: She did manage to pick out the cutest Old Navy outfit, and she did look lovely in her pic, but not compared to HEATHER!

Sarah: Pretty. Anyone else got anything on Sarah?

Victoria: Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!! Smarty pants took a good picture! She’s almost as awkward as Asperger girl. I think they should be the final two. Imagine that runway.

Until next week, you are still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cargo Capris are for Ditch Digging

If cargo capris are, according to Veronica Webb, solely for ditch digging (but how about that parallel alliteration, folks!), then perhaps this explains why my relocation to the City of Brotherly Love has turned into a move to the City of Why-the-hell-can't-Gigi-find-gainful-employment. Clearly, I've been barking up the wrong proverbial, professional tree. With my great love of cargo capris, I should obviously be toiling away in the Philly humidity day after day, lobbing pounds of dirt from a shovel in order to create holes in the ground. Let me tell you, this is not a career to which I am well suited for various reasons. But apparently it is a career for which I am well attired. As much as I love Tim Gunn, I love my cargo capris perhaps a tad more.

This is blasphemy according to Tim and Veronica. Strangely however, after listening to a voicemail my fahsionista mother just left me, Maman (she's fashionable and French!) disagrees. She called to say she watched the first half of last night's Guide to Style episode and then fell asleep, but before drifting off, she had the wherewithal to declare her belief that capris do not make everyone look short and dumpy. Amen and hallelujah, because much like last night's fashion makeover Nicole, as someone who refuses to wear shorts (and really, no one over thirty should, at least not in public), my summer ensemble usually revolves around the capri pant. Hell, even my winter wardrobe revolves around the capri pant--a switch from kicky sneaks to kicky high-heeled boots and we are, voila, season appropriate!

So my mother and I stand opposed to the belief that the capri pant has, as Tim suggested, contributed to the "slobification of America." And according to Veronica, slobification has resulted from mothers losing all fashion sense, a trend of epidemic proportions (call the CDC!). Veronica was honest enough to unabashedly admit to having fallen victim to the sloppy mommy virus, if one can believe such a thing. Yes, she divulged that she had, for a brief period of time, joined the park mommy set, wearing all sorts of capri and track pants (my other favorite item!) while pushing around her offspring with the other reproducers loitering beside the jungle gym.

And here I digress for a moment to discuss my great and newly discovered love of Veronica Webb. I find her delightfully bitchy while simultaneously wonderfully gracious. And watching Top Model on a Wednesday and Tim Gunn's Guide to Style on a Thursday, pitting the two host super models against one another, is most intriguing. When you think about Tyra and compare Veronica, well, let's just say therein lies the difference between the CW and Bravo, shall we? Let's put it this way, could you ever see Tyra co-hosting a show with the ever poised, ever proper Tim Gunn? You know I love my Tyra, but that Veronica...

And man, that Veronica has the best clothes on this show! Not to make another Ty Ty comparison, but as we all know, Tyra has made some extremely questionable fashion choices lo these nine cycles of Top Model. Conversely, Veronica is impeccably dressed in every shot--even in a hoodie (yet another favorite clothing item of mine!). Did you see the red v-neck hoodie? If I were to want to bear children in any way, I would give my first one for that item. And that would probably be the only one since, I, like Tim, after about an hour with many toddlers, have to send them back to the kitchen. I mean, their parents (Note to family and friends with little ones: you know I love YOURS!).

And with talk of hoodies and kiddies, the gist of this week's episode was that one need not be a sloppy mommy. One can easily be a stylish mommy with the help of a professional stylist, a super model, and a former cast member of Project Runway, who has to be the most fashionable mother of all times (not including mine, bien sur!). Unfortunately however, with her new Barbara Streisand a la 1969 hair style, Laura Bennett looks a bit more tranny than she did last year. But whatever her true gender, I still adore her. Aside from creating gorgeous, although derivative clothes, I will always love her because of that one shot from the first episode of last season's Project Runway in which Laura was shown in a perfect, white, fitted shirt and lovely black dress pants, standing calm, cool, and collected in her drool-with-jealousy worthy New York apartment, staring blissfully out of a floor-to-ceiling window as her five boys beat the crap out of each other and scream like holy hell mere feet away. I don't have one child, let alone five (now six for Laura) who pummel each other on what seems like an hourly basis, and I'm never that serene. I could learn a lot from Laura Bennett.

And, as usual, one can learn a lot from Tim and Veronica. Having watched the show three times now, lessons are obviously the M.O. The narrative is interrupted by Tim's contract, closet-cleaning methods, list of essentials, etc. all meant to continually teach us the basics of fashionable dressing. This is obvious, but what I love is that the true lessons are embedded in the show. So perhaps every episode, I will cull together the best lessons. For this week:

1. A good tailor is better than surgery.
2. A little Movado watch never hurt anyone.
3. Cargo capris are for ditch digging.
4. Formal print sun dresses are for grocery shopping.

Let's discuss this 4th lesson, shall we? In America, what Veronica and Tim dubbed early in the episode as Nicole's Golden Girls sweatsuit, is what we generally wear to run to the grocery store. In France, my mother's motherland, one dresses for the grocery store and everywhere else one might travel in the country, out of respect for the people who would see you. See, here we dress for ourselves, and there, you dress for everyone else. I see the value in the latter, HOWEVER...

However, before the however, I have to tell you that I spent a large portion of my childhood schlepping from store to store with my mother, accompanying her on what seemed like daily fashionista shopping trips, as if they themselves were mere trips to the grocery store. Ironically, every time she randomly popped into a store and tried on some gorgeous cashmere sweater, delightfully dressy dress, or super strappy sandal, she'd say, and I quote, "this would just be good to run to the grocery store in." So, I'm just sayin', I see what Tim and Veronica were going for when they put Nicole in a floral dress with spaghetti straps for errand running, but honestly, folks, you know that Golden Girls sweatsuit is what's getting worn the next time the kiddies cry over their spilled milk and someone needs to run to Pathmark for a gallon of cow juice.

In any event, Nicole did learn to be a fashionable mommy and that's a mighty fine lesson (although I could have done without the weighted vest o' guilt). Maybe not an applicable, every-day lesson, but one should not live by solid t-shirts, capris, and flip flops alone.

And for the record, I didn't like one of those Doug Hannant dresses. Is anyone with me? I hate disagreeing with Tim, but if my mother can do it, well, I guess the apple can stay close to the tree!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pretty Girls With Stanky Attitudes

I always go for the cute pixie cut girl, which always makes Stu wonder why the hell I'm constantly pissing and moaning about my growing out my short hair. Doesn't he understand that everything looks better on someone who's in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model???


Well, no one has actually ever called me a bitch, except maybe this one girl who went to college with my best friend from high school and I ended up making out with a guy she hearted for like years and years (value added: he was engaged to someone else, i.e. not me or the girl who'd pined for him for some eternal amount of time). She's probably over thinking that I'm a beeyotch and I'm long over the fact that when I called him a week after the party he totally dissed me. But whatev. Long ago. The time is now and I am back on the blog, baby!!

Much has happened to me since my little Jaslene took the title of America's Next Top Model. And sure, I should have blogged about my summer love, So You Think You Can Dance, but frankly amidst nine bi-coastal flights, four weddings, and a cross country drive which ended in Stu and I relocating our tired asses from Seattle to Philadelphia so he could take a swanko job at a delightful, small, private college, well, the blogging spirit never quite moved me.

I pondered giving up blogging for good, but after tonight's ANTM premiere, after I saw that someone had named her child Spontanioeuse, that someone had uttered the words "pretty girls with stanky attitudes," and that Ty Ty had turned to a model from Yale and said, "c'mon, you know a lot of these girls are dumb," well, I pondered abandoning blogging no more.

The bitch and the models are BACK.

As always, newness abounds in the premiere, the foremost and most disgustingly obvious being the glaring product placement. Although we have seen much blatant product pushing over the cycles, none were quite so, how shall I put it, FUCKING ENORMOUS as tonight's. We're talking tanker HUGE. We're talking, A FREAKING CRUISE SHIP. Oh, yes the folks at the CW have outdone themselves and put this year's hopeful models on a cruise. Bad enough as that is, the floating hotel wouldn't have been so tacky if it weren't for Miss Jay's needless monologue about the vast list of amenities available on said cruise liner. Like we really needed to know that there was an ice skating rink on board. Of course we did, because of course the models had a jolly good time chucking fake snowballs at each other whilst circling the ice. Wow. I must remember to jot down the name of this cruise ship that I totally can't recall even though they showed it a cajillion times because now that I've seen the top models aboard such a vessel, I know it's the perfect vacay spot for me! That's advertising dollars hard at work people.

So, ahoy matey! On to deliberations! Or more just commentary really since no one has been eliminated just yet. Oh sure like 90 girls got sent home tonight, but I don't have the wherewithal to talk about all of 'em. Just the remaining thirteen then:

Ambreal: Quite lovely. Good spirited. Sold.

Bianca: I'm reserving judgment for after they get rid of her $25 weave in the makeover episode.

Chantal: Yeah, I guess she's modelesque. I'm guessing she gets eliminated early on. At least she would be if I were Tyra for a day.

Ebony: Ah, shades of Ebony from cycle 1 and Eva Diva from cycle 3. The girl who drives everyone else in the house NUTS, but underneath the beeyotchiness is pain and vulnerability. Sniff. Sniff.

Heather: Lovelovelove the Asperger Syndrome Hunchback of Notre Dame! Seriously, she is gorgeous and as Tyra and the Jays said, everything high fashion is concave anyway. So she'll never stick her chest out and spread her legs for Sports Illustrated.

Janet: My new pixie cut pick! My early fave aside from Asperger girl. Janet has quite the dancer's stance and walk, even though she's a waxer. I suppose the two are not mutually exclusive, however.

Jenah: Don't remember a thing about her except for her stunning face, which either bodes well for her future as a Top Model, or very, very poorly...

Kimberly: Nope, can't recall a thing about this chick either than when I first saw her, I thought her eyes were too wide set. Too early to judge. And you know there are those early low hanging fruits you don't need to pay attention to anyway.

Lisa: I've got a soft spot for the bikini dancer. Definitely in the running.

Mila: Mila is my *WTF were they thinking??!!* girl. I don't see it. I don't see her as a model, I don't see her as remotely attractive, and I don't see her as anything but annoying the crap outta me with her "life is a celebration" business. Oh, sure, I like a positive spirit as much as the next gal, but not someone who thinks that like "life is a celebration" translates into like just literally celebrating like holidays, and like birthdays, and like her friends' birthdays...

Saleisha: I'm down with the girl who went to the Tyra Inspirational Institute. Clearly, it worked cuz that girl has got some confidence, but as I'm sure Tyra taught her, it's a confidence mixed with a dash of humility. Excellent recipe, sure to win Ty Ty's heart every week. Although be afraid people, be very afraid, Tyra's gonna be harder on her. One can only wish for another Tiffani-like tirade from Tyra.

Sarah: Eh, whatever. Pretty, whatever.

Victoria: Awkward smarty pants from Yale rules! I always root for the high I.Q. girls. They've yet to make it, cuz they just can't hang on for the entire, as Stu likes to call it, "ride of the braniacs."

Jaslene: Just had to take a moment to discuss the new My Life as a Cover Girl spot with my beloved Cha Cha Diva, who Stu thinks is abysmally unattractive, but as you all know, I find divinely gorgeous, at least in photographs. So the spot wasn't too horrific, she's certainly lively and enthusiastic enough, however, what the hell did they do to her hair in the narration segments? She has this great dark and shiny, free-flowing mane and they gave her some sort of Teddy Roosevelt, parted-in-the-middle helmet. I might start to see what Stu is talking about if they keep that stylist on staff.

Until next week, dear readers, you are still in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model!

I'm off to watch my TIVOed episode of Gossip Girl!