Friday, February 27, 2009


Thank god its Friday.  I'm chilling out to some Van Morrsion on this sunny but cold day. Yesterday was a full blown snow emergency with 6-10 inches of snow. Most would say oh that's crazy, but nothing ever surprises me in this schizophrenic state.  We can go through four seasons in four days.  It was too snowy and windy to even try and photograph yesterday so that was a really debbie downer. I'm sure many of my local readers don't really want to be reminded of yesterdays anyways.  

Well I'm taking advantage of the snow and heading to Duluth for the weekend to go snowboarding.  Time to get out one more time before the season ends, and I've taken a real liking to Duluth in the last year.  A great getaway spot that's only a few hours drive outside of the city. Above is the scenery I'll be enjoying tomorrow.

Alright kids I'm off to drop off a novel of an internship application and then I'm out. Peace and Love all. 

Photo: Russell Mantione

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

NO NO NO NO Top Chef

I just finished the finale of one of my fav shows on TV and I'm irate.  Damn it Top Chef and damn you Casey!! 

SPOILER ALERT! First off I hate that cheating bastard Hosea he's so insecure and needy and a pain in the ass.  He sucked during the seafood challenge and he works in a seafood restaurant!!

If it wasn't going to be Carla it should have been Stefan.  That man is one of the cockiest people on TV, but he's got the goods to back it up!  Hosea just sucks in general and he's been on my shit list since Arianne got the ax bc he threw her under the bus for his hussy Leah.

It's been a great season, loved a lot of the contestants, and it just ended on the most sour note I could have ever thought of.

That's it for the day.  I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I've already received numerous texts from friends pitching a fit just like I am right now.  Air your grievances below.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I hope I've still got it like this at 44

The inspiring photo above is Marisa Tomei at an after Oscars party.  Her actual boy toy is to her left.  He's from the show Prison Break, I think.  Does it really matter though? No. He's just arm candy, and I'm sure he's not complaining he's probs gotten some fab networking out of all the awards season red carpets.  

Basically I've loved Marisa since the days of My Cousin Vinny.  I'm taking note. I hope I've still got the voodoo like this at 44.  Hot damn! Now this is a cougar with class.

Oscars 2009

Keep scrolling for my red carpet synopsis.

Oscars 2009

Well as expected it was insanely predictable. Everyone of my picks won, and they're weren't too many great moments. Penelope gave a bilingual speech, Heath's family accepted on his behalf, Sean Penn spoke out for equal rights, and Kate and Slumdog won of course.

Let's talk fashion though. Isn't that what really matters? I loved Freida Pinto, Taraji P. Henson, and Angelina Jolie. I know some people are going to say she looked boring in just a black dress, my take effortless. She looks like a knockout without really trying. Simple dress, beautiful earrings and ring, gorgeous hair and she had Brad Pitt on her arm. Team Jolie totally won last night. Aniston looked pretty, but as always as if she was trying too hard with a thick air of desperation.

Here's a quick synopsis of the red carpet

  • Freida looked stunning in John Galiano. Very Bollywood inspired, fabulous color, great one shoulder trend.
  • Jessica Biel not a fan of.  I don't care if it was architectural it was unflattering. Blah.
  • Taraji P. Henson my favorite.  From the dress to the jewelry to the clutch to the hair.  Glamourous. Fabulous!
  • Kate Winslet uggh.  Not a fan of that dress or hair.  Not a good look.
  • Meryl Streep stunning.  Age appropriate gown.  Sexy hair and makeup.  
  • Penelope Cruz.  The jury is still out.  Not sure how I feel about a white princess gown.  We all know I hate them as a wedding dress.  
  • SJP.  "Barely mint" It was true Haute Couture and fantasy.  How annoyed did Matthew Broderick look with the whole thing?
  • Amy Adams. She always delivers.  Keeps it classy while adding quirky touches that work great together.
  • Anne Hathaway.  Marion Cotillard did it last year, and the bust line didn't fit at all on the dress.  
  • Natalie Portman. Stunning. Enough said.
  • Miley. Fugly, and like usual she's just being Miley.
  • Vanessa Hudgens. What is with that Hobby Lobby arts and crafts project going on on your bustline. Marchesa rarely messes up, this was one of those cases.
  • Tina Fey. Knock-out!! Zac Posen always does it fabulous, and this dress was right on point.
  • Reese Witherspoon.  Scarlet O'Hara could get away with using the drapes, you honey can not. 
Last night wrapped up awards season :(  Stay tuned because soon enough it'll be May and it'll be Cannes!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

World Press Photo 2009

Photo: Anthony Sau, USA, Time

The World Press Photo has selected it's 2009 photo of the year, and as always its a telling portrait of a traumatic situation that's known well across the world. This year its not surprising that the World Press Photo chose a photograph from an American photographer telling the bleakest story of the American economy. The foreclosure of one's home is a circumstance I hope I never find myself in. In my opinion its the ultimate rock bottom scenario in this economic turmoil. I may be one of the 3.5 million unemployed Americans in this country, but I still have a roof over my head something I'm thankful for every day.

I've loved the World Press Photo exhibit since 2006 during which time I was spliting my time between Minneapolis and Amsterdam. The exhibit kicks off in Amsterdam every year, at the Oude Kerk (old church) in the middle of the red light district. It celebrates the best in photojournalism and for a photography junkie like myself it is captivating and a wonderful treat. Unfortunately the exhibit does not come to the U.S., but if you happen to be in Europe, Japan, Australia, or Montreal in the coming year check out if its in town.

This year's photo is interesting from a photography perspective, because its telling of the resurgence of black and white photography. The style has generally always been popular, but it seems in the last year or so its had a real comeback amongst many professional photographers. Its also the first time since 2000 that the World Press Photo has been set in the states. The most ironic part of this story is that the photographer, Anthony Sau, is now looking for work and can't find employment. Who knew the lens could shift so suddenly and create such a stark reflection?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Something I can no longer ignore...

I just read through my Google reader and Gawker and US Weekly have linked the picture of Rihanna taken right after the horrific incident that we all now infamously know. Last week it was something I just didn't want to talk about. There were too many rumors to clarify, and it was something I didn't exactly want to give publicity too. After seeing the picture, which I won't post here for the fact that its horrific, graphic, and overwhelming, I have to say my two cents.

If Chris Brown's career wasn't already over before this picture surfaced, it most certainly is now. Good. I don't need to see a Double Mint commercial with Ike Turner Jr. in it. I imagine Jay-Z, Rihanna's mentor, is through the roof over this. Yep its a definite the kid will never work again.

How sad is it that tomorrow is her 21st bday? An event that should be celebrated in epic proportions is now overshadowed by such a horrific time.

Ok enough Debbie Downer time. The reason I finally did decide to discuss this incident on my blog is because I hope some good does come out of this situation. Many of you know my feelings about violence against women, and that it has long been a cause close to my heart and something I don't take lightly. I hope from this tragic event young women who are in a tumultuous first love relationship find the courage and inspiration to leave. I hope Rihanna leaves him and sets a good example for the young women who are fans and look up to her. That's my peace about this situation.

Peace and Love to all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Amazing Top Chef!! 1 episode left!

So I just finished watching my favorite show: Top Chef. It was the semi-finals tonight in New Orleans, and it was high drama. My girl Carla came out on top again!! Are you surprised? Puhlz she cooks with soul and she has a southern background, she had this in the bag.

SPOILER ALERT!! I'm bummed Fabio went home. Uggh!! Now I only have Carla to entertain me during the finale, and I have to put up with the two bald guys fighting over some ridiculous ingredient next week. I'm so sick of those two! My girl better be Top Chef next week!

Moving on...I loved that the finale is in New Orleans. Its such a fabulous food culture city!! My kudos goes out to the New Orleans tourism board. So smart to partner with Top Chef to promote the city and Mardi Gras. I was totally wooed into wanting to visit the city even more after tonight. The episode was a great way to showcase all of the history and culture of the city, and in a way repositioning to a bit of a classier group. In the past we've all known Mardi Gras as a southern city with a flashing problem around Lent. With this promotion through Top Chef, New Orleans could reposition itself as a gourmet food city with grand American history (which it already is) to a more urban gourmet foodie group looking for a great weekend getaway. Especially to the northern set, who want a warm getaway this time of year. I'll second that. To me the real winner tonight was the city of New Orleans. Promotion well done!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just so you know

I'm home taking a few personal days. I've got lots of ideas for posts going and I'll be back at it later in the week. Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This is what V-day means to me...

Today is the ridiculous Hallmark manufactured holiday of predetermined romance that we all know as Valentine's Day. I do not observe this petty situation. In agreeing with my good friend Austin, romance should not be predetermined. Takes out all of the spontaneity and passion.

For about 5 years now February 14th has come to represent V-day for me. Not of the cupid kind. V-day an incredible organization founded by Eve Ensler aims to stop violence against women globally. The humanitarian non-profit first gained momentum after Eve's now infamous Vagina Monologues performances. In the past 10 years college campuses and community centers have staged their own performances of the Vagina Monologues. Famous performers include Salma Hayek, Jane Fonda, and Charlize Theron.

This year the organization has chosen to shine its spotlight on the battered and bruised women of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Become more informed @

Don't buy me a dozen roses, don't send me a card, don't buy me a teddy bear. This year give the gift of becoming educated about an issue that has always meant a great deal to me. To show that you really love and care about me, join with me in taking a stand.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Network television using show's plot lines for cross promotion

I often don't watch network television. I prefer my specialty cable networks like Bravo, Travel Channel, Food Network, E!, and Comedy Central. One show that I do enjoy on network television is How I Met Your Mother. My group of friends is pretty into the show so a few weeks ago I gave in and became addicted to a sitcom. Besides the fact that Barney Stinson is Legen-wait for it-dary I've noticed a recurring trend throughout the four seasons of the show.

They seamlessly use plot lines to cross promote other CBS programs. The best example is the episode where Barney gets onto the Price is Right. As a child Barney was told Bob Barker was his father. Barney finally gets on the show and plans on telling Bob he's his son. Shot during Bob Barker's last year hosting, the show perfectly incorporates a completely believable Barney story line, while promoting and giving tribute to one of CBS's most beloved shows. I thought and talked about my love for the Price is Right for the next week, because of that episode.

As an advertiser, I'm curious to explore cross promotion more. As advertising moves more towards fitting into a consumer's life as opposed to interrupting it this style seems worth betting on as a successful solution for advertisers looking for different ways to promote their product/show/brand. Warning though: Tread lightly with this style. 30 Rock has recently been getting a lot of flack on the blogs for overdoing the product promotion to the point that it seems like bad ad copy as opposed to a plot line. How I Met Your Mother's cross promo style works because it fits seamlessly into the character's life. It has to be believable or the viewer will see right through the backroom deal between writers and advertisers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday=Top Chef Day!!

First off let's just get right to the point and discuss how freakin' excited I am that Leah finally got the boot!!! YES. Hallelujah. Lord its about damn time! If she had made it to the final four I would have been irate and would have immediately headed to the bar. Thankfully for my pocket book I can stay in.

Carla, aka my fav, made it to the final four as the only female and basically has been labeled the underdog. I think she has a real shot actually. She's classically trained, is consistent in garnering great reviews from the guest chefs, and cooks simple beautiful food. I frankly don't believe in overdoing food. You should love it, let the ingredients come together, and don't try to make it into something it can't be. I love that she puts love into her food and lets the flavors of the ingredients shine through as opposed to making it into a foam. Ugh Marcel and those stupid foams.

Stefan f*ed up tonight by overcooking a salmon. Really?!! You're Finnish and you overcooked salmon. Come on. I'm Midwestern, as in no bodies of fresh water anywhere near me, and even I don't overcook salmon. I agree with Fabio. He needs to get his ass kicked in New Orleans. P.S. How psyched are we all that the finale is in New Orleans? Yes, a city definitely on my list, and have always had a liking towards. I think I love any city that incorporates food as such a critical component of its culture.

Let's move onto Fabio. How could you not love Fabio tonight? He talked about his grandma for the umpteenth time, but it adds to the Italian charm. He won the challenge with one hand!! That's top chef material if I've ever seen it. He created a classic dish, that as Tom Colicchio noted, "If he opened a restaurant this would be the dish he'd be known for." Perfect compliment.

All in all a fab show and I'm super stoked for the finale, which they'll break up into two parts so they can air the last episode the day after Fat Tuesday. Ahh the beauty of television scheduling! There is always a reason behind everything.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Thanks to my lovely iconoculture weekly trend report I was informed of something clever for the Millennial generation. Across the pond in jolly ole England there's a new website called Wigadoo .

What is Wigadoo you ask? Here's the sitch: As a Millennial you're always socializing with your friends and trying to organize group outings. Well how much does it suck to be that person that organizes everything and then basically get to be like the parent chaparone on a school field trip. Wigadoo handles the financial situation up front so the night or weekend of the event/trip everything is paid for. You organize an event and tell your friends about it. You're friends decide how much of their moola they're willing to pledge for the event and Wigadoo takes their credit card info but doesn't charge yet. When you decide the event is a go you confirm and then you're friend's pledged money is used to help pay. The night of the event you're able to party as hard as everyone else!

How much easier would Spring Break, trips to Vegas, Party Buses and Birthday parties be to organize with the use of this website!!

The website currently only provides to British Millennials (bollocks), but I'll keep you posted if things change.

Monday, February 9, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You

Last night I saw He's Just Not That Into You with a good girlfriend. I've long been an advocate of the book, often throwing it at crying girlfriends stuck in bullshit relationships. While the movie plays off the same principles of the book, and one of the co-authors Greg Bernhardt (hilarious stand up comedian) makes a cameo, instead of keeping it close to the raw frank intensity of the book its wrapped up in a Hollywood bow fairy tale ending. Typical.

SPOILER ALERT! The ending being that in order to be happy as a woman you have to end up with a man. Only 2 out of the 5 female story lines end up on their own. The two having been with the same lying cheating bastard, that if either of them had ended up with him every popcorn bucket and sour patch kids box would have been chucked at the screen.

As a choice feminist, for those of you new to the term it means I support a woman to be happy either in her own career on her own, or in her home with a family. My personal choice is to lean to the former, but that's my choice. What I don't understand in today's society is the pressure to have a man, whether its the right one or not, as long as you're not alone. When did my generation become so co-dependent at such a young age? I always imagined my early 20s as a time to spend on my own. Picking up and moving wherever I wanted, doing whatever worked for me at the time, answering and factoring in no other person. What happened to the 20s as a time to discover one's self, and live life without inhibitions? I didn't interpret the 20s as a time to shack up and play house. While a relationship with another person can be a great benefit to one's life, why the pressure to have it define your life?

Maybe its the only child in me, having always been fiercely independent, and comfortable with my own individual play time as a young child. Maybe its the years of wanting to play office instead of house with the other neighbor girls. Maybe I'm wired differently, maybe its the fact that that wretched holiday is coming up this weekend. I've never been fan of that holiday even when I have been in a couple. Its underwhelming, pressure filled, and disappointing on either side of the fence. Moving on...

As the average age of first time mothers and spouses drops for the first time in 40 years, I run further away from the convention of marriage and family more and more everyday. I feel like Betty Friedan trapped in my own Midwestern version of The Feminine Mystique surrounded by co-dependent couples, ring happy Bridezillas, and goo goo gaga mothers.

God I need New York or Europe more and more everyday...


Mondays are pretty dull even in the unemployed, I'm starting my own company world. Thanks to Google reader and my friend Jacey Berg for sharing this hilarious blog from copy writer Matthew Bottkol and art director Todd Eisner. My personal favorite is posted above. Everyone unemployed knows this is true.

Most days I do put on my pants, but there are always those days in the long unemployed week where you just want to go without. Mine usually occurs on hump day. I'm not sure why, maybe because my hump days in college were always my busiest and the last true day of having to do homework for the week. Now they're filled with cold calling, networking via email, and searching linkedin looking for a needle in a haystack that doesn't exist. Hump day is when my pessimist side begins to take over. After two full days of putting on my best first impression face and basically begging random strangers for their time and a potential job, all the while watching the Doomsday network aka CNN discuss how Congress can't get their shit together, Obama's latest pick once again doesn't understand the meaning of the IRS, and such and such fortune 500 company cut a bagillion jobs yet refuses to sell the company jet valued at $45 million. Wednesday is basically when I lose hope in the human race ever getting this economy on track and so I guess not putting my pants on is my way of saying "No world I will not deal with you today."

I'm sure the creative guys at Unemployment Haiku Weekly have seen the fabulous How I Met Your Mother episode when Marshall, who has been on the unemployment track for several months, extends his no pants ratio to innappropriate proportions. I guess that's the one benefit to being unemployed, you get to make the big decision of if you're going to put on pants today and face the real world. Today I put on my pants. Joe's Honey Jeans to be exact.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vicky Christina Barcelona

I had a lazy Saturday and watched Vicky Christina Barcelona, Woody Allen's latest film. Always in the mood for a film about travel, food, wine, and love I was particularly excited for this film. From the opening scene to the closing narration I was captivated and reminded of why traveling is so amazing. Shot in beautiful Barcelona, a city still on my list, two Americans Vicky and Christina are quickly swept up in the Catalan culture of food, wine, art, and guitar. Penelope Cruz and Javiar Bardem pay beautiful homage to their homeland as passion fueled exes. (My vote for best supporting actress is now Penelope) Shot in a quirky yet seamless way that only Allen can capture on film its full of humor, passion, and raw emotion of leading a life and talent unfullfilled.

The film's narrative of can travel sweep you away from the life you've always planned is one I full identify with. After living abroad I threw out my traditional American 5 year plan and began living for each crazy moment, experience and day. In the last month it has been hard to embrace Carpe Diem, but after a lovely film reminded me of what I was missing and throwing away each day I intend to fully 'Seize the Day.'

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Obsessed Mothers

I'm currently watching my morning fix of CNN, eating my cereal and drinking my orange juice, when the octuplet story update came on the for the day (eye roll ensues). In case you've been living under a rock here's a quick synopsis: California 33 year old woman, who already has 6 children ranging from age 7 to 2, had 8 embryos implanted in her last year resulting in the birth of 8 children last week. I already determined this woman was crazy and should be charged with child endangerment, along with her unethical doctor who implanted the embryos. This morning I received my proof. The woman now wants to become a child expert on her own television show! I'm so irate I can barely type fast enough.

Since when did children become adults' meal ticket or an accessory?!! The woman has already hired a publicist who remarked "She is the most sought after mother in the world right now." Is she sought after for her expert opinion? I think not. Most people, myself included, probably want to shake her and scream "Snap out of it!"

Her mother, who now lives with her daughter and 14 children and filed for bankruptcy last year (great now my tax dollars pay for these loonies), said her "daughter is not evil, but obsessed with children. She clearly outdid herself. I wish she had become a kindergarten teacher." Where was the mother's voice of reason when this woman had the 8 embryos implanted? Probably ignored by her selfish, immature daughter like a teenager who ignores her mother's sage advice.

Unfortunately the crazy mother story doesn't end with this California loony. Now we hop to the other coast, where on Sunday Page Six introduced us to crazy Upper East Sider's who have twins and multiples for attention! The author has since come out and said the article was misconstrued by Post editors, but considering it's the Upper East Side I wouldn't be surprised by the authenticity of this story.

In conclusion, obsessed mothers need to realize that a cute tot is not the equivalent to a cooking talent or a Chanel handbag. When those maternal instincts do kick in, make sure they're because you want to provide a child with a loving home, not because your friend Nancy just got a show on TLC or Carol just go the latest it handbag.