Thursday, January 29, 2009

Game of the Moment

What have I been doing this week? What everybody else seems to be doing as well--playing "Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble."

Not only do you have to love a computer game with a name like this, but this is the most unusual game I have seen in ages. Beautifully designed to look like a board game, done in elegant watercolor, this game combines all the things a 1920s flapper can teach that girls of today need to know: How to play poker, expose secrets, successfully taunt others, and flirt with boys who will then sacrifice themselves for you.

But this isn't only about being bad--learning these skills allows your girls to outwit adults in order to solve a mystery and save the innocent, as well as successfully serve as matchmakers to at least three deserve-to-be-happy couples.

You start with selecting the girl who will be Queen of your gang--from a group of 12 possible, each of whom has different strengths.

You then travel around the school looking to recruit other girls for your gang, occasionally attending classes as well.

Once you have your gang complete, you begin to investigate why the school nurse is covering up accidents, while outmaneuvering the Liars, Bullies and Stoolies.

Eventually, your investigations take you out into the tougher world of Downtown Brigiton, where the boys are harder to hook, and the adults are corrupt, venal, or pathetic, yet all are harder to outwit.

The game and the producing company Mousechief are garnering a lot of positive reviews and nominations. This is the most delightful and amusing game I've played in a very long time, and I highly recommend it. Check out a one hour free demo at Big Fish Games.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SAGs--And The Winner Is. . .

What? You say they actually give out awards for acting at this event? Wow. . .and WHO CARES?

The most important award is who the Mistress of All Evil thinks is the best dressed woman at the event, and so -- the envelope please.

And the winner is. . .

Anne Hathaway!

Yes! In her Grecian inspired column gown, she pulls off the goddess look without succumbing to the one-shoulder trend of the moment. Will we be able to look at one shouldered gowns without thinking "That is SO January 25, 2009?"

For looking elegant, unfussy, comfortable and distinctive, Anne Hathaway walks away with this year's most coveted prize.

Crime Wave Strikes SAG Awards


Police have no leads as to the latest wave of criminal activity to hit LA. Apparently, someone with an impressive set of shears has been attacking Hollywood actresses and leaving them with only one shoulder to their gowns.

Evan Rachel Wood, Christina Applegate and Nicolette Sheridan were escorted to police headquarters, but could not make any positive identification.

TV stars from several shows have also been victimized. Lisa Edelstein, Angela Kinsey and Brenda Strong have also suffered the Snipper of Doom.

Not even the prestige production actresses are immune. Laura Linney, of the HBO mini-series "John Adams" and Viola Davis of "Doubt" have not escaped this mad spree.

The police have requested that any member of the public who has information about this Sartorial Shoulder Snatcher call Crimestoppers. Thank you for your attention.

More SAGs

What can you say about these two women and their statistically improbable boobs?

Paula, honey--Eva L-P did this look better at the Globes. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but adding the butterfly wings to the bodice does not actually provide any lift to the boobs.

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. You are hot. You clearly work very hard at it, and all, but when Playtex advertised that their bras would "lift and separate" that didn't mean it was a good look when the boobs did it all by themselves.

Cool Kids Clubhouse at the SAGs

Marcia Cross: Okay, as founding member and president-for-life, I now call the Pale Skinned Red Heads Club meeting to order! Our first order of business--Dark Colors Really Look Best.

Amy Adams: Look, just because you are the oldest member of the club, does that really mean I have to wear what you tell me to wear? I mean, the aubergine you made me wear to the SAG Awards was a nice color, but did I have to wear the bow from the Neiman Marcus gift wrap counter?

Marcia Cross: As president-for-life, I hereby amend the charter to say that nobody may speak in a meeting before being a member for at least a year.

Amy Adams: Look, sweetie, I have been nominated for an Oscar. I sang on the goddamn Oscar telecast. I am a star! Star star star! Take that, TV matron!

Marcia Cross: Don't make me show you the pictures of you in that wrapping paper dress you had on last year. Don't tell ME you never bought your dresses at the gift wrap department.

Amy Adams: Arrrrggh! My eyes!

Marcia Cross: So, next item of business. Do we invite Evan Rachel Wood to join the club, or do we wait to see if she goes back to imitating Dita Von Teese?

Amy Adams: (sotto voce) Get her in here--at least she didn't get stuck with re-purposing her birthday present as an evening gown.

Desperate Housewives at the SAGs

Nicolette Sheridan: One Grecian urn. . .TWO Grecian urns. . .and a water fountain. Trickle trickle trickle trickle.

Teri Hatcher: Oh my god, Nicolette. What are you doing? Eurythmics are so Nineteen-ought-six!

Nicolette Sheridan: Teri! That dress is so clever! I think I saw it in a book called "Creative Napkin Folding."

Teri Hatcher: Oh! You beeyotch! Marcia, tell her she's wrong!

Marcia Cross: What? Are you talking to me? La la la, I can't hear you, I'm too busy talking to Up And Coming Hollywood Star Amy Adams about the advantage of dark colors on pale skinned red heads. Maybe we'll invite Evan Rachel Wood to join us in our cool new clubhouse.

Teri Hatcher: Fine! Fine! I'll go get Eva. Eva! Nicolette is being mean to me again!

Eva Longoria Parker: Damn it feels good to breathe! Just look at how much more room I have in this dress than in that red thing I wore at the Golden Globes. Plus, this one has a little tummy ruffle, so it covers up that I've been eating stadium food at Troy's games. But, why do I have this sudden craving for orange sherbet?

Teri Hatcher: Okay, just be that way! I'm going to go change and go back down the red carpet again, and I'm totally going to make everybody forget about you. I just hope nobody notices that I forgot to wear the right bra, and so I had to fill up the dress with kleenex.

Everything Old is New Again

You know Christina Hendricks as Joan Halloway from AMC's Mad Men, the vintage 1960s series.

Here, she appears at the SAG Awards in a costume for her upcoming Mae West tribute show, "Sister, Can You Spare A Hat?"

America Ferrara at the SAG Awards

Well, sure, I looked cute and fresh and young in my satin Golden Globes dress, but I sure got a lot of grief about it. Look, satin is hard to make darts in, and if you make a mistake you can't really rip out the seams and do them over again! So the bodice didn't fit exactly right--I was counting on the crystals on the collar to be distracting enough. I guess they weren't.

Okay, so, now that I have another chance I'm going to go for higher contrast, so if there are any mistakes in the gown, nobody will notice because their eyes will be totally distracted by some other aspect of my dress.

No--I did not get this idea from the Miss America pageant where the sashes have to be fastened to strapless swimsuits! I wish I could remember where I got this idea from, though.


OMG, how did this happen? I missed the SAG Awards! I hate missing awards--all those shiny pretty people wearing fabulous clothing and jewels and standing still so I can judge them for tiny slips and mistakes while I'm wearing some really old jeans and picking nail polish off my fingers!

Okay, maybe I got distracted by the Oscar nominations and just forgot to pay attention to all the other awards being bunged about like bread at The Drones--oh hey look! Shiny!

But my mistake shouldn't make you suffer, so let's go to the Judgmental Clothing Blog! SAG edition!

Angelina Jolie: Is this dress too boring? It's too boring, isn't it? I knew I should have gotten out of bed earlier so I didn't have to wear my bedsheets tied on with a shoe lace.

Brad Pitt: "I am very drunk, and I intend on getting still drunker before the end of the evening."

Angelina: The shoelace doesn't show, does it? And nobody can see the bunny slippers I forgot to change, right?

Brad: "You still think you're the cutest trick in shoe leather."

Angelina: I don't know--it looked all right at home, but now it's just. . .just. . .blah. I'll lose my reputation as one of the best dressed women in Hollywood.

Brad: "With enough courage, you can do without a reputation. "

Angelina: I don't even have on any lipstick. I think I was going for subtle, but now I look like I've just eaten off my make-up or something.

Brad: "I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how. "

Angie: (fretting) And I don't have any jewelry on. At least I did something with my hair, or everyone would just assume I'm tired and pregnant again and I just don't care. I was busy, okay? I have. . .four, five. . .how many children do we have now? Anyway, I'm a mother, and sometimes being a mother means you end up going out looking tired.

Brad: "A cat's a better mother than you."

Angie: So, at least you are here with me, so I don't have to do the "who are you wearing" interviews by myself

Brad: "You go into the arena alone. The lions are hungry for you."

Angie: Stop that! Just because you can grow a cheesy mustache and scrunch your eyebrows up like that, you are not the Second Coming of Clark Gable, so stop quoting from Gone With the Wind. You aren't going to remake that movie and you are just getting annoying.

Brad: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama Is My New Hero

On his first day in office, President Obama signed an order to close Guantanamo Bay. This was such the right thing to do, but even I didn't think he'd do it that quickly.

I had hope for our new president, but he's exceeded what I even imagined by acting so decisively and quickly. Sure, there are issues that have to be resolved, but he's ordered all the quasi-judicial military commission proceedings be stopped for 120 days while the cases are reviewed. Not only did he make the orders, he created a deadline.

All I can say is this:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

For Football Orphans Everywhere

You say you don't like football? You have given up even watching the Super Bowl for the commercials, because even they aren't worth it? Are you a Super Bowl orphan, uninterested in watching the Big Game that the other members of your family are glued to?

Have I got a solution for you.

For the fifth year in a row, Animal Planet brings you the world famous Puppy Bowl!

Can you stand the cuteness?

While large men are crashing into each other, you can focus on various dog breeds playing in a large area with no interference--although a ref will whistle a foul if one of the puppies makes a mess on the field. Once picked up, however, play resumes immediately.

Last year, we were given the insanely popular Water Bowl Cam, which should be back again this year. Don't miss the kitty half time show!

In a move designed to pull your heart strings, all the puppies in this year's Bowl game are from shelters, and so are all adoptable.

Yeah, it'll be on in our house.

And In Other Movie News

Of course, Oscar nominations are only the protons of the atomic particles that are Hollywood. The electrons are the RAZZIES.

Yup, when you celebrate achievement, karma demands you create balance in the universe by celebrating the true stinkers at the bottom of the pile. The WORST performances, movies and directors. And the nominees are:

Worst Movie--also Worst Screenplay:
  • Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans.
  • The Happening
  • The Hottie and the Nottie
  • In the Name of the King
  • The Love Guru
Worst Actor:
  • Larry the Cable Guy
  • Eddie Murphy
  • Mike Myers
  • Al Pacino
  • Mark Wahlberg
Worst Actress:
  • Jessica Alba
  • The cast of The Women
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Paris Hilton
  • Kate Hudson
Worst Supporting Actor:
  • Uwe Boll as himself
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Ben Kingsley
  • Bert Reynolds
  • Verne Troyer
Worst Supporting Actress:
  • Carmen Electra
  • Paris Hilton
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Jenny McCarthy
  • Leelee Sobieski
Worst Screen Couple:
  • Uwe Boll and ANY camera, screenplay or actor
  • Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher
  • Paris Hilton and either Christine Lakin or Joel David Moore
  • Larry the Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy
  • Eddie Murphy IN Eddie Murphy
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel
  • Disaster Movie/Meet the Spartans
  • Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Speed Racer
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars
Worst Career Achievement:
  • Uwe Boll
Now, I know you are going to want to run out and see all these performances before the awards ceremony on February 22! Go!

Just In Time!

Oh thank god! The well that was the Golden Globes had just about run dry. I had pored over every fashion stitch and mis-step, I had chuckled (cynical and knowing as I am) about the 90 member "Hollywood Foreign Press" feeding off of American studio money while awarding prizes to non-American actors and movies. I had wrung every drop of excess and snark out of "Miss Golden Globes"--isn't that J.Lo's title-for life?

Face it. I had used it up. No more highs to be gotten from the remaining husks of that event.

So now what?

The Oscar noms are up! I'm good for another month now!

Best Picture:
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor:
  • Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
  • Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
  • Sean Penn, Milk
  • Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Best Actress:
  • Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
  • Angelina Jolie, The Changeling
  • Melissa Leo, Frozen River
  • Meryl Streep, Doubt
  • Kate Winslet, The Reader
Best Supporting Actor:
  • Josh Brolin, Milk
  • Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
  • Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
  • Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
Best Supporting Actress:
  • Amy Adams, Doubt
  • Penelope Cruz, Vicki Cristina Barcelona
  • Viola Davis, Doubt
  • Taraji P. Henson, Benjamin Button
  • Marissa Tomei, The Wrestler
I'll stop there for now, but boy, are we going to have fun with this list!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

When Boobs Misbehave

Rachel Griffiths' Right Boob: Okay, we've been spotted, I'm going to make a break for it.

Rachel Griffiths' Left Boob: Wha. . .? What are you doing?

Rachel Griffiths' Right Boob: I think the guy in the dark suit and sunglasses is a cop. The jig is up. I'm heading to our hide-out in the armpit over here.

Rachel Griffiths' Left Boob: (hissing) You get back here! You can't leave, we're on the red carpet, for gods' sakes! We're surrounded by photographers! You'll never make it!

Rachel Griffiths' Right Boob: Look, I've arranged a diversion. Those wrinkles down the front are going to grab all the attention while I make my getaway.

Rachel Griffiths' Left Boob: No they're not! They're just what happens when satin gets into a limo--they've all seen it before.

Rachel Griffiths' Right Boob: Then the clutch! What is a clutch for, anyway, except a diversionary tactic to take attention away from something that might be going wrong!

Rachel Griffiths' Left Boob: That's not going to work! She didn't bring the bright colored one OR the one covered with sparkles--Eva Longoria Parker got that one. You don't have a chance with that bland thing she's got that's the exact same color as her hands. Look--you are NOT leaving me here alone to take the blame for this!

Rachel Griffiths' Right Boob: But I can't get caught! Salma Hayek's boobs tried to get away, and now they are locked up tight! I'm too young to go to prison!

Too Cold For Humans To Live Here

I got up this morning and the temperature was -15 degrees. That's Fahrenheit, folks! It's even colder in Celsius. (-26 according to a temperature converter.) And that is OFFICIALLY Too Cold For Human Life.

This is probably the hardest winter I've had for something like 15 years. And when it is this cold, it is harder. Cars don't start, and if they do, they aren't anything like warm for quite a long time. And thanks to carjacking, it's stupid--if not downright illegal--to leave a car running unattended while you let it warm up.

I had to fill my Prius yesterday, and it was so cold that something inside the tank was apparently frozen, and I couldn't put more than 2 gallons into it at first. It was so cold the other day that the controls froze, and I couldn't turn off the radio, or change stations, or change the climate controls, or much of anything until the car warmed up. Which I had to do while sitting in the damn thing, because. . .well, see above.

The clasp on the dog's leash freezes, and I have to stand in the cold and warm it with my hands so the poor animal can go out. It was so cold today that he walked out, experienced the weather, and changed his mind.

This is the kind of winter when you understand those stories about people who put on long underwear and literally don't take it off until spring. These are winters when you can read Laura Ingalls Wilder and viscerally understand what she went through. Sure, I don't have to trek through blizzards to go milk the cows, but there are people who still do. I'm especially glad for indoor heating and plumbing.

These are the days when the cold makes the sky a blazing blue, and the snow sears the eyes with whiteness. These are days when the world looks flash frozen, eternally blue and white with cold, the trees all bare and lifeless. When the least little errand takes more time and effort than seems possible, and hibernation seems like a decent coping strategy. When it is this cold, it is impossible to believe that warmth will ever come again, that there will ever be a day when you DON'T have to put on three layers of clothing just to go outside, that you will ever be able to turn off the faucets without worrying that the pipes will freeze, that you wonder why you ever thought you would need air conditioning in your house. These are days when Global Warming seems like a Good Idea.

These are days when fleeing south becomes tremendously attractive.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Golden Globes--Random Thoughts, with Pictures!!

Marissa Tomei, sporting her Pirates of the Caribbean audition costume. Actually, I really liked this look--totally unlike anybody else on the red carpet; undeniably formal yet looking remarkably comfortable.

No, that's not a belt, it's a sash, for holding her scabbard, ya scurvy dog!

Cameron Diaz, once again taking the "tumbled out of bed" look too literally.

Furthermore--what is with the hair? The two-tone look is just so bad and so obvious. If you are going darker, for a part or just for a change, couldn't you dye the ends to blend better than that? Or, if you've damaged the ends beyond repair, and simply have to grow them out--there HAS to be a better hairstyle that would hide what look like Extreme Roots.

The dress is a pretty color, but the hair makes the whole thing look rumpled.

Gerard Butler looks mighty fine:

Since I haven't seen "Phantom of the Opera" or "300" I don't know the answer, but does he always talk with just the one side of his mouth? I have no idea what he was presenting, I was so fixated on the way the right side of his face didn't seem to move the entire time he was talking. Did he just wear the Phantom mask for too long?

Drew Barrymore--LOVE the dress.

The hair--not so much. It looks like Angie Dickinson in "Police Woman", or like the drunk and desperately unhappy Ewing wives of the old "Dallas" show. This is not a good thing.

On the other hand, you look happy, and pretty, and the dress is great, so we're going to assume you were assaulted by a stylist who had breathed in too many hairspray fumes. We don't blame you, dear.

Big honkin' rings. What is the deal here? This is Evan Rachel Wood sporting a big honkin ring on her index finger, the only color in her outfit, and it's just weird looking.

Amy Adams had on a similar one--same color, and same finger even. At least hers matched her earrings, but still!

Olivia Wilde has one on as well, but I've already posted her picture a bunch of times, so you'll just have to go back and look there.

Listen, I know how hard it can be to stop when it comes to putting on sparkly things--and these are (probably) even real! (If loaned.) But unless you are either the Pope or Marlon Brando in the Godfather, put down the rings and nobody gets hurt.

Scary Women

What is it about these women? They look like they'd rip your throat out as much as look at you. Maybe they are lovely, maybe they are lad favorites, but they scare me.

Olivia Wilde looks far too frightening to be wearing such a soft pastel. The light lavender says "innocent" and "light-hearted," while her face says "I can project laser beams out of my eyeballs, so DON'T CROSS ME, bitch."

Meghan Fox looks like maybe she was carefully genetically engineered, and then vacuum-packed into that dress. As soon as she thaws out completely from her cryogenic intergalactic trip, she's going to kick some human butt.

J.Lo--well, for one thing, she's J.Lo, famous for being perfect. But I bet her twins are scared straight when she gives them this look.

At least you can tell she's not gonna wear any damn corset.

Golden Globe Trends--Make-up

Not really a trend, just not something I thought we'd see--the arrival of make-up so understated that it looks like the actress isn't actually wearing any.

Exhibit A--Renee Zellweger:

What is going on here? She's got an armored dress on--her hair is totally "professionally styled," but she's so pale it looks like she just scrubbed her face with Physoderm or something.

No color on her lips, no visible eyeshadow--even her eyebrows look no more than just barely shaped. Frankly, I think she looks pretty washed out, leaving us nothing to distract ourselves from the weirdly diaphanous top to her dress. Is she wearing a corset under there?

Finally, Amy Adams. Yes, we love Amy just like we love Maggie Gyllenhal. She is cute, funny, capable of many different looks. The one she is modeling here is called "Tired."

Which is really too bad. The hair is supposed to be loose around her face, and her make-up is very understated, but she just looks like it's been a long hard week already, and it's only Sunday night.

Could somebody fetch her some coffee?

Golden Globe Trends--belts

I never really thought of a belt as an accessory to an evening gown, but there were belts aplenty at the Golden Globes this year.

Laura Linney--who is a fabulous actress and whom we love unabashedly, has a jeweled belt which keeps her gown from looking too much like a toga, and adds some evening bling to what might otherwise look like an overly long sundress. It might not be fair to even call this a belt, since it so defines the dress shape--maybe a "jeweled waistband?"

Olivia Wilde has a highly pleated and ruched dress, with a sort of "self-belt" added in. Does it really add anything to the line of the dress? It does emphasize her waist, at least in this close-up, and gives her somewhere to wear a diamond brooch, since she hasn't got any shoulder to pin it on.

Even the English thoroughbreds are wearing belts--Kristin Scott Thomas and Kate Winslet. Kate's is--again--not really necessary except as a way to define her waist. No harm, no foul on this one, other than as an instance of a trend we may need to nip in the bud.

Kristin's is kind of, how do you say, matronly? I am not at all fond the contrast between the taupe satin and the black belt. Maybe it's just that I think the combination simply repeats the unfortunate color of her too dark hair and her washed out complexion. Or maybe it's that the dress itself is so meh that all there is to look at is her too dark hair and her belt.

Even her make-up is just meh. This is what I think of whenever somebody mentions "a middle-aged woman."

The whole thing is just too Mother Of The Groom for a red carpet, don't you think?

Maggie Gyllenhal--one of my favorite actresses since "Secretary." I thought that was a tremendously brave performance and she sold it. She is also capable of selling me on this gown which most critics didn't like. But here a belt makes sense--it constructs the shape of the dress, which would probably otherwise look like a muu-muu, it's a coordinating color, so it doesn't overwhelm the dress, but is an integral part of it.

Maybe it's just her unusual (for Hollywood) looks, but this dress gives off a 40s vibe for me, with the single big ruffle on the shoulder, and the narrow and tailored line of the rest of it--the kind of gown you'd make if you had fabric rationing to keep the Boys at the Front supplied with uniforms.

Kyra Sedgewick's may be my least favorite belt. For one thing, it looks like those cheesy belts that used to come with just about everything--self-fabric or something, where somebody glued the remnants of the dress to a slightly-more-supple-than-cardboard backing and called it a belt.

Plus, there is no point for a belt there--the dress doesn't really have a focal point at the waist, as Olivia Wilde's does, and the belt just makes the dress look like a geometry proof on isoceles triangles. The dress is obviously tailored to her body, and wouldn't have billowed around her without the belt (as Kristin Scott Thomas' threatens to do). In fact, without the belt, the dress would have projected more of the old 1930s glamor than it does. I think the belt actually reduces the dress's ability to make a statement.

Finally, the end of the belt just dangles in the air. There is no loop to keep it close to the body so it just reinforces the image that Kyra just couldn't leave the house without a belt--to keep her gun in, perhaps?

There were more examples of belts, but let's just declare this a trend that shouldn't continue, shall we?