Sunday, September 25, 2011

Last Bit O' Emmy Fashion

I watched Joan Rivers' Fashion Police yesterday and decided to include some of her best and worst dressed of the Emmy's.


Nina Dobrev - Why yes, I have to agree.  She looks absolutely stunning in this dress.  Her tan looks natural, the jewelry is appropriate, red was THE color to wear, and this is a really flattering silhouette for her body.  The details on the dress are really fabulous, too.

Lena Headley - I have no idea who this woman is, except that I think she looks like Lara Flynn Boyle.  And I don't agree with them about this dress.  At all.  I think it's too covering and a little boring.  I don't like her pink shoes (imagine that!) because there isn't another bit of pink to answer them.  

The Fashion Police also liked Kristen Wiig's dress, which I had a mixed reaction to.

Now, their Worst:

Dianna Agron - Not the most flattering dress she has ever worn.  It's a lovely color on her, but it's a bit frumpy for someone so young.  And the wrinkles are a bit tacky.  I didn't see wrinkles on anybody else's dress.  The Glee girls really didn't do well this year.

Paula Abdul - She got reamed up and down for this dress.  And not really because it's not attractive, but because it didn't fit her correctly.  Or really because it had shifted on her body, putting the neckline off-center.  She never realized it, walked down the red carpet all off kilter, and NOBODY told her.  Sad.

Zooey Deschanel was the the last "worst".  They said this was too "little girl".  I don't think it's that bad, but it seems a little bridesmaid-y.  And I actually like the red ribbon on the pink dress.  In fact, I am looking for a pink tweed skirt to wear with a red patent leather belt and peep-toe heels.

The last dress I wanted to show is one I really like:

Sarah Hyland - I think she might be on Modern Family, or something.  I'm not real sure.  But I really like this dress.  I like the coral color, the silhouette, the pleating, and the fabric are beautiful.  The detail on the belt is great.  It's also not too sexy or too young - great for someone her age.  Her hair is pretty, too.  What I don't like are her shoes.  I wish they weren't such a bright silver.  I wish they were darker, more like the tone of the belt.

That's all I'm going to say about the Emmy's fashionistas.  Hoped you enjoyed my commentary.  :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Emmy Fashion

More good and bad from the 2011 Emmy's!

Everything about Anna Paquin is fabulous here.  Her hair is perfect for the outfit, her makeup is good, the accessories are minimal and appropriate, the dress is awesome and looks great on her, and the best accessory of all is behind her - her husband and True Blood costar, Stephen Moyer. :)

This is somebody named Jurnee Smollet.  I have no idea who she is, but I love the dress.  It's a beautiful purple - not too royal, which is a color I hate, but dark enough for fall. It is very flattering and looks incredibly comfortable.  I do wish she had earrings that made more of a statement, but the shoes and clutch are good.

I LOVE this dress that Christine Baranski is wearing.  GREAT color, very flattering silhouette, age appropriate.  I like that she doesn't have hella cleavage, so the deep v is classy, not sexy.  The little sleeves are nice for an older woman who may not want to bare all of her arms.  Her hair is stunning and her makeup is flawless.  Good job, Christine!

I really like Emily Blunt's navy dress, too.  Again, completely age appropriate.  It's fun and flirty, like Emily.  Her hair looks a little blah in this picture, but it might have been okay from the back.  Beautiful.

Julia Stiles dress didn't get rave reviews, but I mostly like it.  I think the color isn't fantastic for this time of year, but I like it in general.  I like the lace and the gathering details, and it shows us her fab bod.  I also like her hair - very glam and sexy.  Kind of a nice counterpoint to the innocent lace.

I don't particularly like the style of Kristen Wiig's dress, but I LOVE the color.  I love that she wore brown because not many people do.  And I love the ombre effect.  Awesome.

Though I think Nancy O'Dell looks way too tan, and this dress didn't get rave reviews, I don't mind it.  What I really like that she paired bold turquoise jewelry with the red dress.  Love the combo.

And speaking of too tan, what the hell happened to Jane Krakowski?  Did she fall in a vat of spray tan?  YUCK!  And her silver lame dress isn't helping any.

I previously mentioned how Katie Holmes looked too simple, and here it is.  Pretty boring, huh?  Nothing interesting to her dress, no interesting jewelry.  Her hair is really not good.  I expect more from her.

Now one of the Glee girls, Amber Riley.  This dress would be better on her grandma.  I actually like the beaded cap sleeves, but the cut, the color, the fabric - it's all wrong for this amazing young talent.

The other Glee girl, Heather Morris.  What is this?  WAAAAY  TOO MUCH.  I like ruffles as much as the next girl, but this is too busy.  The v down to her belly button is a bit much, too.  Though I like the main color, I don't like the darker color in the background.  There would have been enough of a shadow effect from all the ruffles without emphasizing them with a contrasting color.  And I don't like her hair either.

Still no favorite dress yet, though.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fashion at the Emmy's

I forgot to watch the Emmy's, even the red carpet coverage.  So I didn't get to see all of the dresses, but I have seen the recaps.  I don't have a favorite, but there are a few dresses I think are quite beautiful and some I think are awful.

Connie Britton, from Friday Night Lights, was wearing red like so many other people.  But I absolutely LOVE the layers of flowing chiffon, the sky-high slit, the long bow at the waist, and the strapless top.  This would make a beautiful wedding dress, I think.  Not a huge fan of the shoes, but that's okay.

Heidi Klum was pushing the line here, but I like it, and if anybody can pull something like this off, it's her.  I've heard both good and bad reviews of this dress.  Some people think it looks like a brillo pad and that the color is boring.  I think it's a beautiful neutral taupe with a hint of color - almost lavender maybe.  I like the asymmetrical hem, I think that's actually the only way the the design would work.  What I don't like is Heidi's choice of jewelry.  I don't like the big flowers.  I think her jewelry should have been more simple with the busy skirt.

I love Martha Plimpton in this dress.  And I love this dress.  And I love what she did with her hair.  Love it all.  The cut of the dress is so flattering to Martha, it shows us that she has a fab figure, which I definitely didn't know.  The color is great for her skin tone and is wonderfully appropriate for early fall.  The sparkles give it just enough umph so that she doesn't need lots of jewelry.  Her hair is classic and lovely, not overly styled or too simple (like Katie Holmes),

I usually really like Christina Hendricks.  I like that she's got hella curves and shows them off.  But this dress is not good on her.  Her boobs are too smushed together and the circular design of the beading that centers on her belly just emphasizes it, and not in a good way.  Also, I think her hair is boring.

Really?  Gwyneth Paltrow is usually effortlessly beautiful, but this just seems like she is trying too hard.  I might have been able to get on board if she didn't have a bare midriff, but the lace or embroidery is really busy.  If it was a little more simple of a pattern, I would be more okay with the black over nude.

Again, I usually really like Julianna Margulies, but this is not good.  It is too sculptural and too stiff.  The shoes are too clunky.  I feel like she must've been dropping crumbs down the top because it stuck out so far from her body.  And the skirt looks like it is really thick, like it's a drapery that is lined in bump cloth (a thick layer of cotton that gives the drapery body and insulates the room).  No.  Just no.

I not only like Melissa McCarthy, I love her.  But this dress does not do anything good for her.  Frump-a-licious.  I guess it's a good color for her.  And at least it has a v-neck, which is flattering for larger women.  But it's just too shapeless and covering.  The stitching detail makes the dress look sloppy and wrinkled.  She should take some fashion cues from Queen Latifah.  She know how to dress for a larger woman, and dressed fabulously when she was even larger than she is now.

That's all I know for now, if I find my favorite dress, I'll post about it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Fall!

I've decided that it's officially fall in my world.  I am a lover of fall.  And spring.  Not so much summer and winter, though.  If I could find a place in the world where it's never hotter than 85 and never colder than 45, I'd be in heaven.  John said good luck with that.

Any who...  It is quickly becoming fall here.  The leaves have started changing.  It is getting dark earlier and earlier.  The nights are getting cold - I think we were down in the 40s last week.  I can see my breath when I walk the dog in the morning and I've needed to wear a warm sweatshirt.  Lulu actually wants to cuddle and has been curling up in her cozy bed, instead of stretching out on the cool fireplace hearth.  It's fall!

I've needed to wear a sweater or a light jacket to work in the mornings, even though it's off by mid-morning because the days are still warm.  I've been closing the sliding door at night because I don't need to cool off the apartment that much anymore.  And I'll soon put away all of the fans that have attempted to keep me cool through the summer.  It's fall!

I'm switching out my fruity scented body wash for something more appropriate for fall - warm vanilla sugar.  :)  I need a warmer robe when I get out of the shower and I'm not sweating like a beast while blow drying my hair.  I find myself wearing jeans more often, even if it's with a tank top.  I need to switch out my shoe closet from all the sandals and flip flops to the boots and more cold weather appropriate shoes.  It's fall!

I need to bust out the down comforter for the bed because it's getting so chilly.  Lulu has actually been sleeping on the bed again, trying to siphon my heat.  I ate soup for lunch the other day and it really hit the spot.  I actually don't mind making myself dinner - turning the oven or stove on isn't the enemy.  And lastly, new tv programming is here.  It's fall!

Yay! Yay! Yay!  It's fall!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Good Reads - Series

I've been reading a lot of series lately, which I really like because you get to stay with familiar characters for a long time.  Here are four series of books that I have really enjoyed.

I found the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead quite a while ago.  I had finished reading and re-reading the Twilight series many, many times and needed something else to fill my need for vampire literature.  I kept seeing these books in the grocery store.  They looked tempting, but also seemed like they were too YA for me.  I wrote down the author so I could do a little research on her.  On her website were fun descriptions of each of her books (she was writing three different series at the time, two adult and one YA) and first chapter excerpts.  I found that I really like Richelle's writing style and found the characters and the premise of these books intriguing.  I also read through Richelle's blog and thought she was very funny and wanted to support her by buying her books.  Richelle previously taught middle school English, and actually started her writing career while still teaching.

There are six books in this series - Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice.  They follow the world of Rosemarie Hathaway, a half-human half-vampire teenage girl, a dhampir.  Dhampirs are trained to be guardians for their  mortal vampire brethren, Moroi, and protect them from the immortal deadly vampires, Strigoi.  Richelle got her ideas for her vampire world from mythology and folklore.  Rose is being trained to be the guardian for her best friend, Vasilisa Dragomir, a Moroi princess and the last person in her family.  Other characters are their friends, Mason & Eddie, their arch-enemy Mia Rinaldi, Lissa's potential love interest Christian Ozera, Rose's mentor Dimitri Belikov, and Lissa's uncle and cousin Victor and Natalie Dashkov.  You definitely need to read these books in order or you won't understand what is happening.  Thankfully though, Richelle usually doesn't end each book with a cliff-hanger, so you're not left wondering for however long it takes to get the next book.

The Moroi world that they live in is secret from the humans and operate with their own rules and laws.  The Moroi vampires use magic and do not kill the humans that they drink from, they can function in the sun, but do better at night so they follow a nocturnal schedule.  Strigoi vampires do kill their human victims.  They can also turn humans, dhampirs, and Moroi into Strigoi by killing them and then feeding their blood back to the victim.  Strigoi cannot function in the sun at all.

What I really like about these books is the Richelle doesn't try to make teenagers more angelic than they really are.  The characters have petty grievances, skip class, drink alcohol at parties, use cuss words, and have sex.  Much like real teens.  The six books follow Rose through some serious issues, ups and downs, and forbidden love.  They really are great and I recommend them to people who liked the Twilight series (though I think I might like these better!).  They are currently looking at making a movie or a series of movies based on these books, but I'm not sure where in the process they are.  The rights have been sold, but I don't know if they have a studio yet.

The next series is a spin-off of Vampire Academy.  The first book is called Bloodlines.  It is set in the same world as Vampire Academy, but doesn't follow Rose anymore.  She makes a guest appearance, though!  Only the first book is out so far, and I really enjoyed it.  It follows some of the secondary characters from the first series, but is narrated by Sydney Sage, who we originally met in Blood Promise.  Sydney is an Alchemist, a human trained to hide the vampire world from the rest of humanity.  Bloodlines also follows Adrian Ivashkov, Jill Mastrano, and Eddie Castile.  They have all been relocated to Palm Springs to hide and protect Jill.  It's very interesting being able to stay with characters we've known, but follow them from a different angle and from a very different perspective.  Sydney has deep-rooted religious beliefs that vampires are evil, but she can't seem to hate them as most of her fellow Alchemists do.

I really like the spin-off and can't wait to see what happens to Sydney.  The next book is The Golden Lily, and it comes out in May 2012.

I found this next series because Richelle Mead recommended it.  It is usually called the Jane True series, by Nicole Peeler.  In her everyday life, Nicole is a literature professor, which brings a distinctly intellectual twist to her books.  The books follow Jane True through her realization that she is a half-human half-selkie creature who has extraordinary power.  Selkies, in the old sailor myths, are seals that come to land and shed their skins to become beautiful women who seduce sailors.  It has also been said that if someone steals the selkie skin, the selkie is bound to that person.  Jane's mother was a selkie, but not like the myths.  She was a shape-shifter, who came to land, became a woman, fell in love with Jane's human father, and then stayed a human for 6 years before she left to go back to the sea.  Jane has inherited an incredible swimming ability from her selkie mother, but doesn't change into one, she always has human form.

There are many different types of "people" in Nicole's books.  Ryu is a vampire, Anyan is a barghest, Nell is a gnome, Trill is some sort of water pony...  It goes on and on.  Their world is very complicated and I'm sure I'd massacre it if I tried to summarize it here.  You'll just have to read them!  There are currently four books out - Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest, Tempest's Legacy, and Eye of the Tempest.  The fifth book, Tempest's Fury will be released in Spring 2012, and there is a planned sixth book, too.

Just like with Richelle, I researched Nicole Peeler on her website.  She also seemed very funny and she invited people to friend her on facebook.  Very different from those authors who have a professional facebook page that you just "like".  I friended Nicole and then wrote on her page how much I liked her books and why I liked them.  She actually wrote back!!!  I've since had a few short correspondences with her and it shocks me every time - to have that kind of contact with an author you really like!

Nicole was recently in Denver for a convention of some sort.  After the convention she did a group signing at a small independent book store.  Even though all the books I had were on my kindle, I really wanted to meet her and get her autograph, so I bought the first book and went down there.  She was just as funny in person and I loved hearing her and the other authors talk about their lives, writerly problems, and what is coming up for them and their characters.  It was a really small event, so we all got to talk to the author(s) of our choice for a couple minutes.  It was an honor to meet Nicole, and she even complimented me on my necklace!

This next series of books I was turned on to because I met the author at the signing Nicole was at!  Her books sounded intriguing and she was very funny as well.  These are called the Southern Witch series, by Kimberly Frost.  Kimberly Frost is a fake name for the author.  I forgot what her real last name is, but she doesn't use it because there is also a porn star with that name and she didn't wan't people confusing the two of them.  Kimberly is a physician in her everyday life, which is interesting because these two professions don't usually go together.

There are three books in the series, Would-Be Witch, Barely Bewitched, and Halfway Hexed.  They follow Tammy Jo Trask, a witch, as she discovers her true powers.  My absolute favorite part of these books are Tammy's interactions with her "cat", and ocelot named Mercutio.  I love him!  Other characters are Tammy's police officer ex-husband Zach , and her maybe-love-interest Bryn Lyons, a fellow witch she has been warned to stay away from.  Tammy gets into all sorts of trouble as she's figuring out her powers.  The books are not set over a long period of time, all of the action happens over a week or so.  I did find myself wishing that there was more time between the books so that something more would have happened to the characters or their development.  But each book picks up right where the last one ended.  But they are good, fun, easy reading.  I also wish I had actually bought the books instead of getting them on my kindle.  I really like the artwork on the covers, and they aren't included on the kindle versions.  (The Jane True books have the covers on the kindle version, though obviously they aren't in color.)  Here are the other covers:


If you need something new to read, I hope you check out these books.  They're all great!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11, 2001

Today, on the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks against America, I've decided to blog about my memories of that day.  Fortunately I didn't have any loved ones that died on that day, but the memories of that day still affect me.

I was getting ready for work while watching The Today Show, like any other day.  There's a certain musical tone they use when they cut into the taped broadcast with breaking news to go live and I heard that tone.  I went over to the tv to see what was going on and they had a live shot of Matt Lauer and Katie Couric talking about an explosion at one of the World Trade Center Towers.  As they were talking, with a live shot of the towers in the background, we watched as another plane flew into the second tower.

This is exactly what we saw.  It happened so quickly that everybody was a little unsure if we really saw what we thought we did.  They played it over and over, and zoomed-in - yes, that was a plane that flew directly into the tower.  Matt and Katie were completely shocked as they realized that this was not just an explosion.  This was a deliberate act.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I couldn't drag myself away from the tv.  Was this an accident - a very unlikely double accident?  Who, why, really?

At some point in the coverage they showed the Pentagon and the results of the plane that crashed into it.  This is crazy!  What is happening to this world?  Is this going to happen everywhere?

I called my mom at work to see if she knew what was going on.  As we were talking, I watched the first tower collapse.  It was unbelievable.  I said to my mom, oh my god, I think the tower just collapsed!  There was so much smoke and you couldn't exactly see what was going on.  I kept trying to tell myself that the building was still standing behind all that smoke.  And then the second tower fell and there was no question - both buildings were gone.  So, so many people had lost their lives.

I eventually tore myself away from the tv to go to work.  I just couldn't watch anymore.  At the office everybody was in shock.  My boss, a very hard woman, actually showed some compassion and some insight.  She said - Our lives will never be the same.  This is going to change the world we live in forever.  She then told us all to go home and be with our loved ones.

I didn't realize then how much our world would change.

It wasn't until I got home that I found out about the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.  What the people on that plane did, to save what we expect to be The White House, makes them all heroes in my book.

Planes were grounded for most of the next week.  There was never-ending coverage of what was now known as a terrorist attack.  I cried at every new story they profiled, cried when I watched the news and they told us new, awful facts - that people jumped out of the towers to escape the jet-fueled fires, that they were not finding any bodies in the rubble because they weren't there to find.  A fire fighter said it best - All they're finding is metal because metal doesn't burn.

I was supposed to leave on a business trip, fly to California, the Sunday after the attack.  Needless to say, my flight was cancelled.  My boss and another co-worker rented a car and drove out there.  By Tuesday I was able to get a flight out, though not to the city I needed to go to.  The airport was like a different world.  There were thousands of people lined up to check in - the longest line I have ever seen at DIA.  It wound all around the check-in area and then back behind the counters and snaked around the balcony that overlooks the main terminal.  It took hours to get through it.  Then the security line was just as crazy.  Though this was before they had banned liquids, it was still insane.  The gates were surprising quiet though.  There were so few people milling around and it was eerily quiet and strange.  The plane was eerily quiet, too.  People were worried and unsure.  As soon as the plane touched down, everybody called their loved ones to let them know they were safe.

That was something I realized didn't happen all that much before the attack.  You might call who was picking you up to make sure they were there, or call to check messages or something.  But it became incredibly important to let your loved ones know that you were safe.

Almost 3000 people lost their lives that day.  People in the four planes that crashed, people in the buildings in New York, people in the Pentagon.  The many, many other victims are the families and loved ones of those that died.  The effects are far-reaching and never-ending.  Our world is forever changed.

That's how I remember September 11, 2001.  We will never forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What I'm Reading

I find myself doing a lot of re-reading these days for some reason, and I'm currently re-reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

If you haven't read these books yet, you need to!  They really are very well written, even if they are young adult books.  The Hunger Games is the first in the trilogy, then Catching Fire, and then the conclusion Mockingjay.  The books are set in a future version of our world, where the United States doesn't exist anymore.  The country is now called Panem and is comprised of the Capitol and twelve districts that answer to the Capitol in a form of servitude.  The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdeen, a young girl from District 12, as she goes to the Hunger Games as one of the tributes from her district.  There are two tributes from each of the twelve districts and they fight to the death in the Hunger Games, for the viewing pleasure of the Capitol.  This has been going on for 74 years.  It's really quite repulsive.  Katniss is a very complicated, introspective girl.  She is incredibly smart and a very efficient hunter.  The three books follow her struggles and her personal growth for over a year.

I want to say more but I don't want to give anything away to anybody who hasn't read them!  There are so many horrific things that happen in her life and you really feel compassion for Katniss.  But then there are other times when you want to shake her and make her grow the hell up and act differently!  It's very interesting to read about the progression of her relationships with Gale and Peeta, the two men in her life, and see her mature from a girl to a young woman.  That all sounds vague enough!

What I'm so, so, so incredibly excited about are the movies they are currently making from these books!  Entertainment Weekly seems just as excited as I am and covers every move on the movie making.  They recently had covers with the stars of the movie, and the actors portraying them look almost exactly how I picture them when reading!

Gale & Peeta
Yay yay yay!!!  I can't wait!  And I think that these movies will be more true to the books than the Twilight series has been, because Suzanne Collins has been involved in the screen writing process.  Lenny Kravitz is going to play Katniss' stylist, Cinna; Woody Harrelson is going to be Katniss and Peeta's mentor, Haymitch; Donald Sutherland as President Snow; Stanley Tucci as Ceasear Flickerman, the Hunger Games interviewer; Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, the escort.  I think it's a great cast!

Check these books out - they're so worth it!