Saturday, September 29, 2012

Emmy's Fashion Review - Part 3

Let's get this thing wrapped up, shall we?

This here is Allison Williams, she's on Girls and is Brian Williams (from NBC Nightly News) daughter. She's super cute and I really like her character on the show. This dress is fabulous on her. I absolutely love the color and it's incredibly flattering to her body. It's not wrinkled like some other taffeta dresses. I like the on-trend peplum and though it's not gotten great reviews, I like the sculptural bodice, too. Good job for her first awards show.

Oh my gawd, My Girl is all grown up! This is Anna Chulmsky, can you believe it?!? How fabulous does she look?!? I think this grey lace dress is stunning on her. Not too young, not too old, just the right amount of maturity for her. It fits her really well, it's not showing an obscene amount of cleavage or leg. The young starlets who are still growing up in the industry should use this as a guide of how to dress for the red carpet as they grow up. I  also really like the scalloped train that follows the design of the lace. But, I don't like her shoes. I think they're a bit boring and too light of a color.

I love Kerry Washington. She seems genuinely nice. If you haven't watched her show Scandal, you should check it out. It's smart, fast-paced, drama-filled, fun. This dress didn't photograph very well, but when it was in motion on the red carpet, it was stunning. I love the blingy-ness and the color was very nice with her skin tone. I think her hair was a little boring, but I agree with the minimalist jewelry since the dress was so sparkly.

More sparkles! I don't love this dress on Jane Krakowski. I think she looks like she's suffocating and can't move her torso because it's way too tight on her. But I think the dress itself is stunning. I love the color. I love how the size of the beading/sequins goes from small at the top to large at the bottom. I think it's really successful and beautiful design. Gorgeous! Sparkly!

I don't love this dress on Lena Dunham, of Girls. I think it's frumpy and not the most flattering thing she could have chosen. (It looked especially bad from the side.) But I do love her hair and makeup. One of my gripes with her on the show was her unflattering hair and makeup. Now she's cut her hair into a cute almost pixie cut and highlighted her eyes nicely. I hope she does more of this on the next season of her show.

Lucy Liu's dress has gotten a range of reviews. I loved it. I loved how different it was (it was metal!), I liked the structure of it, I actually thought it made it more interesting that it was essentially see through. But not grotesquely so, really you could see her legs when light would shine through the skirt. It was just sexy and revealing enough. I like her curled side pony tail - simple but not boring. Well done!

I haven't seen Sarah Paulson here in a long time, but I've always loved her and don't think she gets enough credit as an actress. Her hair is darker now and I think it looks great on her. And though I'd like to hike the dress up an inch on her chest, I really like it. I like the black belt, I like the color, I like the appliqued flowers on the tulle. It's just the right amount of detail and volume. The accessories are appropriate. Nicely done, Sarah!

Again, I've heard the gamut of reviews for Sofia Vergara's dress. Some people thought it was the same-old, same-old for her. Yes, we know you have a great body and dresses fit you spectacularly, blah blah blah. But others, me included, love it. I actually think it is a little different for her. She doesn't usually wear a completely beaded dress, nor does she wear straps like this. She seems to like silk and satin and strapless or one-shoulders. And though everything she wears on the red carpet fits her stunningly and she doesn't shy away from showing her body, this seems somehow slinkier than her usual. I absolutely love the color and the details in the beading. And I think the peak-a-boo cut-out on the back is super sexy. But she's completely contained, she's not showing too much. (Except for when the zipper broke and she exposed her ass!) Overall, it's one of my favorites.

My second most favorite dress was Nicole Kidman's. Besides her, only Gwyenth Paltrow could have pulled this off. She wears the column sheath like it was made for her, the bright white is flawless, and I love the detail on the front. I liken it to angel wings. Really, really gorgeous in general, and on her. I like that the rest of her is simple, from her hair to her jewelry. I don't think you need much more with this.

And lastly, my favorite of the night. Ginnifer Goodwin's funky-fun, beautiful orange concoction. I love the vine/flower-like applique in orange on nude. I think this was the most successful of the high-low hemlines. I think her accessories contrast nicely - the gun metal color a nice counterpoint to the orange. I actually even like her shoes, though some have thought they're too matchy. I'd rather they match than be wrong or ugly. The fit was fabulous and Ginnifer has just enough attitude to pull this dress off. Well done, Ginnifer!

That's it, that's all! Well, until the next awards show!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Emmy's Fashion Review - Part 2

Let's start with some of the guys today. Johnny Galecki here looked pretty dang good. I definitely wouldn't have wanted to be wearing a velvet tux jacket because it was 100+ on the red carpet, but since it was officially fall, he looks good. And I really like the blue. I like that it's a change from the usual.

I also really like Harry Shum Jr.'s take on the tux. The burgundy shirt is a nice way to differentiate himself from the sea of white shirts. He looks quite dapper. Nicely done.

I think John Cryer might have been my favorite, though. The grey tux with black lapels is extremely dashing. Plus, plus, also, and... I LOVE his plaid tie. LOVE it with a passion. And how cute was his bumbling, unexpected acceptance speech? Thank you, Duckie. We still love you.

I didn't appreciate Kevin Costner's different take, though. I think he looks sloppy without a tie and his shirt is unbuttoned too far. He's too tan and his hair is a weird yellow color. Is it for a film? For his new show? Regardless, he looks wrong.

Now for some more ladies. Elizabeth Moss here was taking a big chance and I don't think it was entirely successful. Floral is a big trend for fall and the multi-level hem has been around for a season or two already, but I don't think this all works well together here. Maybe there's too many ruffles? Also, I'm not a fan of her hair this light. She's so washed out.

I know we can all agree that Heidi Klum is beautiful and has a stunning body. But this is just too much - too much boob, too much leg. When I first saw this, it was from the side and I thought it was great. Really good color on her and I was okay with the amount of cleavage, but when she started moving - WHOA! Over-exposed!

Jena Malone (remember her from Stepmom with Julia Roberts?) has gotten mixed reviews for this dress, but I mostly like it. I think the color is great for her, I like her hair, I like her shoes, I think the silhouette of the dress is flattering to her body. Yes, the detail at the bodice might be a little busy, but since she's left the accessories near the bodice to a minimum, it works for me.

I absolutely hate with a passion this dress on Hayden Panettiere. I think it's hideous. And I think it would be hideous on anybody, though it would be better on a 60-year old versus a 20-year old. The color of the sheer is okay, but the execution is ugly and the crinkly gold under-dress looks cheap. She is a seriously cute, young girl, with a great bod. This is not doing her justice. She can do much better.

Julia Louis Dreyfus has gotten great reviews for this dress, but I didn't really like it. I don't like the molded boob cups and it seemed a little tight. When she went to accept her award, she could barely walk up the stairs. Also, I hate her hair like this. The center part is not flattering to her face. And lastly, I don't like the color of her earrings. She was obviously going for a Grecian goddess kind of look and the earrings don't help accomplish that at all. The dress does have some pretty detailing on the train though, and it's a pretty color.

Another example of the floral trend not really working for formal wear on Julianna Marguiles. The fabric just seems too thick, too stiff here. Though, hello my favorite pockets!

I love the color of Julianne Hough's dress, but I don't think it's the prettiest dress. And it definitely needs another inch or two of bodice. I feel like it's going to expose her nipples at one wrong move. But I absolutely LOVE the detail at the bottom of the dress. Kind of like feathers. I think it's really artful and pretty.

Kat Dennings here looks generally good. I like the color of the dress and her lipstick. But this is WAY TOO MUCH boob. Another accident waiting to happen. Plus, the gathering at her belly, below the empire waist is superfluous and adds visual weight where no girl wants/needs to add weight. It would be so much better without that. Also, STOP with the center part people! It's not the most attractive place to part your hair! It elongates your face unnecessarily.

Stay tuned for part three and my favorite dresses of the night!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Emmy's Fashion Review

I had to watch the red carpet and the Broncos game at the same time this year. The game sucked, but I couldn't turn it off, kind of like an accident - you can't not look! Because of that I missed some dresses and actually had to watch the show, which was painful, but I did it. Just so I could see the dresses. :)

Let's start with the brights - Julie Bowen wore a fun highlighter bright dress. I liked it. I thought it was a daring color that she pulled off nicely. I think the top didn't fit her correctly, but the rest of the sort-of deconstructed gathers were fun and different. Her hair was a bit of a disaster, though. Messy and beachy and I didn't like it for this event.

Next up -Leslie Mann. Another dress I love. I think the mandarin color of the skirt is fabulous and I like the white/nude beaded top. I think if the dress was color up to the top it wouldn't be as successful. I also love the pairing of the chunky turquoise jewelry with it, although the designer of the dress didn't. Also - POCKETS!!! Love a dress with pockets.

I love the color and the ombre effect of Nancy O'Dell's dress, but I absolutely HATE the gold lightning strip that punctures it and holds it up. I think it's unnecessary. Also, I think Nancy needs to stop tanning so much.

I first saw Julianne Moore's dress from far away on the red carpet and just saw the top. I loved it. I thought it was one of those simple Calvin Klein jersey dresses and would just skim her body in a simple line to the floor, but in a totally funky fun color, which seems like an acid yellow/green. Then during the show I saw the rest. I'm not a fan. I think the two parts of the dress don't go together well. I don't like the high, high waist without any kind of interesting detail. I don't like the heavy-ness of the skirt with the long sleeves and high neck. I think it would be much more successful if it was all one fabric. But the color looks fabulous on her.

Padma Lakshmi's dress was a beautiful color and fit her stunning figure perfectly, but I think the overall effect is a little boring. There's no interesting jewelry or cool clutch. You can't even see her shoes. I think she could have done better.

Now for some of the most boring dresses. Christina Hendricks. Jeez. She needs some help dressing her body. And if somebody is helping her, they need to be fired. Her boobs were popping out of this thing. and it seemed too tight on her hips, like it was bunching weirdly when she wasn't standing exactly like this. (See the weird bubble right behind her clutch at her thigh.) And this has got to be one of the most boring non-colors ever. It's not that flattering on her. She's too pale to pull this off. Either she needs to be in saturated color or pure white, but this nude/silver color is not her friend. I do like the belt though.

Emily VanCamp here is wearing her grandma's dirty dishwater 100-year-old curtains. Girl, you are young and beautiful. Wear something that highlights those facts. Gauzy grey blah is not good enough.

Kristen Wiig obviously thought she was going to a different event. She's wearing what equates to a bridal nightgown and suede pumps that would look good at the office. The dress is too casual for this event and not a good (non) color for her. Boring. The length just adds to the not-right-ness. The shoes are not red carpet worthy, nor do they do anything for the dress/nightgown. Her hair is her normal boring regular. C'mon. You can do much better than this.

Stay tuned for more soon!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review of "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman

Description from Goodreads:

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

I read this short little YA book yesterday and was so, so touched that I had to write a review of it. I had wanted to read this book for a while; it was on my to-read list forever, but for some reason I didn't download it until recently. (It was released in 2009) 

The premise of this book is a little strange for a book that is not other-worldly - Mia watches the aftermath of a devastating accident from outside her body. She follows herself as she is transported in the ambulance, the helicopter, as she undergoes surgery, as her family comes to her bedside in the ICU. But she's not completely tied to her body, she wanders around the hospital and can sit with her family in the waiting room or the hospital cafeteria and hear what they have to say.

One of the nurses watching over her tells her family, "Don't you doubt for a second that she can hear you. She's aware of everything that's going on. You might think that the doctors or nurses or all this is running the show. Nuh-uh. She's running the show. Maybe she's just biding her time. So you talk to her. You tell her to take all the time she needs, but to come on back. You're waiting for her." It's like the nurse knows that Mia is watching all of this and she's the one who has to decide if she wants to stay.

Moments in the hospital are interspersed with flashbacks to moments of Mia with her loved ones - her parents and grandparents, her cutie little brother Teddy, her best friend Kim, and her boyfriend Adam. These memories are how we really get to know Mia. It helps the reader understand why she might chose to stay or go. It's really heart wrenching.

I honestly cried throughout this whole book. I couldn't stop. It was really moving. One of the parts that made me cry a lot was when her usually taciturn grandfather is by her bedside in the hospital and he says to her, "It's okay. If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my  life. But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It's okay if you have to leave us. It's okay if you want to stop fighting."

That's the really tough part about this kind of situation. You know you don't want the person to go, you want them here with you. You can't imagine your life without them. But you know their life will probably be easier if they go. To realize it, to admit it, to be willing to say goodbye is the hardest part for the ones left behind.

Another reason that I really appreciated this book is kind of weird. Though it's a little morbid, I've always  wondered what it would be like at my own funeral. How would my family and friends take it? What kind of funeral would I be given? Though this is not Mia's funeral, she watches how her family and friends react to her accident, her potential death. It's a similar premise. Very interesting.

I won't tell you how the book ends, what Mia decides, that's just too much of a spoiler. The end of the book is a little sudden, but generally well done. I would've been okay with it ending there, but there is a follow-up book, Where She Went. 

This one picks up about four years after the accident and is narrated by Mia's old boyfriend, Adam. It deals with the aftermath of Mia's accident and how he's dealt with it, how it's affected him. He's one screwed up guy. His head is a mess and it's difficult to read about him like that, when he seemed like such a strong guy in the first book. I think it's definitely worth it to read the second book. To know what's happened. This book also goes back and forth between present day and past memories, though they're all told from Adam's perspective this time. I think the author did a relatively good job of speaking in another narrator's voice. 

Though these books are Young Adult, they didn't completely feel like that. Some YA is cleaned up, not real-life enough, a little sanitary. These really aren't. Some of the characters have true-to-their-age conversations and thoughts, but the overall subject matter is much more than that - bigger, for all ages. The characters use curse words when appropriate to the situation. They say "fuck" or "shit" when a real person might use "fuck" or "shit". It makes it realistic. They are relatively short, easy reads. I read both of them in one day. But so, so good. I'll read them again after I've recovered from all the crying I did. :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lots of changes happening. Lots of changes. Some are sort-of okay. Some are seriously not okay. But I don't have control over it all, so I just have to roll with it right now.

First big change - I'm moving out of my apartment. It's definitely not my first choice, but it's what I have to do. My lease was up and when I got my renewal information, I saw they'd raised my rent. Again. I've lived here for three years and they've raised the rent every year, without making any significant improvements or changes. For example, since the day I moved in, my windows have been pieces of shit. I've complained and complained. Asked them to repair them, asked them to replace them. Other units have gotten new window, but never me. Not cool. In fact, I'm completely ghetto right now because I have a rolling pin holding open the window in my bedroom. Really. In addition to that, they cut down a bunch of 30+ year old trees a couple years ago and never planted anything new to take their place. Then, my complex was sold. The new owners got rid of all of the leasing staff that I had gotten to know pretty well over the past few years. The communication to residents became really sub-par. Even some of the maintenance people complained about the changes.

So, I don't really feel like paying more for the same old thing. Plus, with my job situation the way it is, I can't afford to pay more right now. I went in to the office to chat with them about moving to one of the larger one bedroom units. The unknown, unfriendly man was basically unwilling to find/make something work for me. My years of being a good resident meant absolutely nothing to this new guy working for the new owners. He told me that nothing was available, and even if something did become available, I'd have to pay a large transfer fee to change units. If that something became available before my current lease was over, I'd either have to pay to break my lease on my current unit, or pay the rent for both units until my current lease was over. I was shocked! You'd think they'd be more willing to work something out with a long-time, good resident. But, nooooo.

I told them I'd be moving out. I had no idea where I was going to go, but I definitely wasn't staying. I generally like the location of my apartment. It's really central to every place I go. And the rent is quite reasonable. Or at least it was.

Then John, the boss man, finalized his sabbatical plans. He's going to go to St. Lucia for the last three months of the year to "figure things out". He asked me to stay in his house while he's gone. Though my lease doesn't end until after he's already gone, I decided to go ahead and stay there. I won't have to pay rent for those couple months, though I will pay his utilities. I guess I'm just going to put all of my belongings into storage while I'm living there. Though, of course, I'm having trouble deciding what kind of storage option I want to use.

It will be interesting to live there. It's obviously much larger and much nicer than my current living arrangement. He's got a great kitchen, a big yard. But it's also a little like living in a museum. Some of his things are quite expensive and I don't want to touch them. Some of those expensive things are not exactly comfortable. I won't have cable tv there (eeekkk!), which will be incredibly difficult (ridiculous, I know). I know I can watch some shows on Hulu and dvds (he does have a tv). But I'm kind of a news junkie and watch numerous news shows every day - local news a couple times a day, the Today show, NBC Nightly News. Are any of those things available online? Live streaming of local news? And I often have the tv on just for noise while I'm doing other things. I know I could turn on the radio, but it's just not the same.

I have no idea where I'm going after that.

Not knowing, not having a plan is really difficult for me.

The other big change - and the most distressing one - is that with John going on sabbatical, I'm essentially losing my job. For almost six months I've been working part-time, but now my job will be going away almost completely. He told all of our clients that he's going away and that any big needs/projects to wait until he's back next year. He told me that while he's gone, he won't be able to sustain even the 16-20 hours per week I'm working now. He might need me to do a couple things now and then, but he thinks they can be accomplished in the evenings or on the weekend. (I'm not sure how that can work exactly if I'm trying to communicate/coordinate with people who work regular M-F, 9-5 jobs.) There is no guarantee that this job, this company will be available/around even when he comes back.

So, that's huge. I guess it's a good thing I won't have rent to pay for a couple months. But there are other bills that I need to pay. I need to have some income.

I've been looking for a different job for six months now. Originally, I was attempting to change careers, trying to get into the Recruiting field. It has proven very difficult. My Junior League experience doesn't mean anything or isn't enough to the people who want somebody with experience. But then my 14 years of career experience (even in a completely different field) makes me unattractive for entry-level jobs. Even when I know somebody, think I have an "in", it doesn't net me anything.

Because I haven't been able to make that work yet, I've also been looking for a different design job. And I haven't had much luck there, either. I'm trying all my contacts, all my connections, working all the angles. I always seem to be too late for the most promising options. Or, the options pay so little that I'm unwilling to commit to them. Yes, I realize that some money is better than no money, but it is so difficult to say yes to something that won't even completely pay the bills. I've got a few leads left that I'll work this week, but who knows.  I hope something comes up soon. I need something to come up soon.

There you have it. I don't know where I'm going to work. I don't know how I'm going to pay my bills. I don't know where I'm going to live. Lots of unknowns. Not fun for a control freak like me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Supporting our President

"When it comes to the health of our families, Barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another President. He didn't care that it wasn't the easy thing to do politically...He cared that it was the right thing to do. He did it because he believes that here in America, our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine, our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick, and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or an illness. 

AND he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our healthcare. 

That's what my husband stands for."

-First Lady, Michelle Obama @ the Democratic National Convention, September 4, 2012

This is one of the main reasons why I support our President, Barack Obama. (extra emphasis is all mine)