Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Fashion Rundown: The Good

Someone on my Facebook feed commented "I sure hope James Franco was high because otherwise that means he's a smug douchebage." TRUE! I haaaaaaaaated watching him host, rolling his eyes and acting like he'd rather be anywhere else. Anne Hathaway may have been the "Woooo!" queen last night, but she was working her buns off trying to make that show happen. At least she looked good. You'll see... I've included all of her eight looks in the rundown. So, strap in kids. We've got a lot of work ahead of us. Let's start with the bright spots, shall we? The Good!

Anne Hathaway!

While I found it strange that she walked the red carpet in something never to be seen again, I loved this 1981 Valentino. It's glamorous and beautiful. I don't think it looks like a tumor.

Reese Witherspoon!

I am biased. If you reverse the colors, I wore this to the prom my junior year. I loved that dress. I love this dress. Very simple and elegant. The hair might be a little Texas, but I won't mess with it.

Pen Cruz and Javier Bardem!

WHAT!? She had a baby like a minute ago!!! What the hell is she doing looking smoking hot on the red carpet!? While I think that Javier is the foxiest fox of all foxes, I think he perhaps put on a little bit of sympathy weight. His tux was a wee bit snug on screen.

Anne Hathaway!

I love this dress. I love the shimmer, I love the tight fit, I love the neckline, I love the color. Girl. Yes.

Mila Kunis!

Last night I hated this dress. This morning I woke up and thought, "Well it's not THAT bad." This afternoon I thought, "It flowed so well and she looked so pretty." And now I'm thinking, "Great job, Mila. You look totally hot. I hope you are boning Justin Timberlake."

Gwyneth Paltrow!

Suck it, I like this gown. Think of the alternative for a moment: a pretty princess dress like that pink Shakespeare in Love disaster? Ms. Gwynnie does not do floofy, fluffy, girly all that well. I think this sleek and polished look is fantastic for her. And I freaking loved her seahorse jewelry. So. Cool.

Anne Hathaway!

Further cemented herself as "Girl I could have fun drinking a bottle of wine with" when she went off script to demonstrate her cool fringe dress dance. It was a neat look for her, and broke up the parade of super sleek gowns nicely.

Jennifer Lawrence!

Grading on a curve, I think she looked fabulous. Sure, the top is reminiscent of Farrah Fawcett/Baywatch/other iconic red tank bathing suits...but think back to the other crap this girl has subjected us to. The searing neon pink thing? I don't forget things like that which is why I am glad that she pulled the blonde knockout card for this one. Well done, Jennifer Lawrence.

Natalie Portman!

Now that is more like it! Nat! Great job! Beautiful color, perfect cut, fun earrings, romantic hair, got to keep your allegiance to Rodarte, and you managed not to mention sleeping with your fiancé during your acceptance speech. All in all, a night to remember. Well done, you!

Jennifer Hudson!

Admittedly, the boobs are a little whack. Why oh why make them look fake? Such a strange choice. BUT. The dress is gorgeous, the color is seriously amazing on her, and sweet moses, could she be any more radiant?

Anne Hathaway!

Looooooooooooooooooooooooooove. Love this dress. Looooooove. So much. Needs a necklace.

Helen Mirren!

BLAMMO. Beautiful cut, love the shorter hair, love the accessories! And she has puffed sleeves. A woman after my own heart.

Sandra Bullock!

I'monna just go ahead and say she could use a necklace. But, look, this is an enormous improvement over that sad, sad lilac gown with the ridiculous bangs we saw last time around. The color is great, the bangs are gone, I actually really like pairing the dark red bag with the bright red dress. There's just one thing I need to talk to our Sandy about...

Sandy Sandy Sandy. You know the only appropriate place for a butt bow is on a bridesmaid. But you know what, you look so good and it's such a huge improvement from last time that I am going to let you stay in the good pile. You're welcome.

Anne Hathaway!

Adorable. Covet those shoes.

Amy Adams!

Soooo so close to being my favorite of the night. This dress is a dream. It fits her immaculately. I love the color, I love the soft romantic hair. And then, oh my god, you guys! How am I about to say this? I appreciate the effort, but I would not have worn a necklace with that dress. Don't get me wrong: I am all about golfball-sized emeralds. But not with this neckline and with how much glitz is already going on. So close, Amy. Really really well done, girl.

Hailee Steinfeld!

It's perfection. The cut, the hemline, the top, the headband, the color. Custom Marchesa at 15 years old? Oh, you lucky and fabulous girl. I so hope you continue down a good path. You win the Oscars for me.

Smashion Commentary is coming....

Oh hey look! It's the only slightly amusing thing James Franco did last night!

I know you are chomping at the bit, my dear 5 readers... hang in there. I'll try to have something for you this evening.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Noble: An American Cookery

I'll bet you'd never guess that a restaurant named Noble: An American Cookery would be pretentious, right?

Last night, thanks to the magic of Groupon, my ex (Punchadelphia) and I had dinner at Noble. It is conveniently situated right across the street from where my theatre company lives, which made it a pre-show dinner no-brainer. Punchadelphia and I are awesome eaters - alone, together, we know how to eat. We like to share, we like to try stuff out, and we're even expanding our comfort zones. We chose two main dishes that both included mushrooms, usually a deal-breaker for Punchadelphia. Me? I love mushrooms. This is probably why our relationship didn't work out.

The decor of Noble is absolutely lovely. I heartily recommend going in for drinks, just to sit at their incredible bar- a gigantic slab of a naturally fallen tree. It is so beautiful. Of course it is winter now so everything is tucked indoors, but in the spring and summer the most popular seats are in the window, facing the street. There is a large granite counter, and seats on either side (some inside some out), so you can dine al fresco with friends who like the atmosphere but hate to actually be on the sidewalk.

We ate upstairs in the deserted second floor. They grow herbs and greens on their roof and the ceiling is all skylight. Again, lovely, even on a cloudy February night. He had a great glass of wine - Clayhouse Red, I think - and I had a Hendricks martini up with extra olives. As I only planned to have one drink, I decided to go for the Big Girl Drink. We shared Peekytoe Crab Salad to start, and the menu describes sunchoke, grapefruit, fennel, truffle dressing.

It was delicious and sunchoke puree, grapefruit sections and fennel were perfect compliments to the crab salad. But on top of the salad was a perfectly formed circle of grapefruit gelée. It was difficult to eat with the salad and, to me at least (though I didn't mention it at dinner), it sort of looked like a flat breast implant. So, we'll call that a draw.

I ordered fluke with littleneck clams, asparagus, celery root, and Meyer lemon. Punchadelphia ordered braised beef cheek with okinawa sweet potato, bluefoot mushrooms, and red wine miso. The fluke was perfect spiced and cooked, served on celery root puree (though it may have been sunchokes again, since that is what it tasted like). The plating made me roll my eyes slightly, as the plate was sauced very precisely in just four places - four tiny Venn diagrams of clam reduction, Meyer lemon reduction, and miso. They were delicious together and perfect with the fluke, so I just swirled them around and stopped judging. On top of the fluke were three spears of asparagus which I can only describe as the most girth-ful asparagus spears I have ever encountered. They were downright pornographic. And tasty.

We were told that the beef cheek dish was the chef's attempt to make an all-purple plate. Wine-braised beef, purple yams, purple microgreens. (Wait, can a microgreen be purple?) It...didn't look awesome. Because in cooking, often "purple" translates to "black," and the lighting did not help this. I actually shied away from the potatoes because I was convinced they were some sort of pureed liver or offal of SOME sort and I was simply not in that adventurous of a mood. Once I found out it was just some goth potatoes, I was into it. Again: DELICIOUS. The beef cheek was fork-tender and totally delicious. It turns out bluefoot mushrooms are fantastic and a new favorite for me. All in all, the food was great, if the presentation was a little funny.

Punchadelphia had Mexican-Chocolate Pate for dessert, which I sampled (of course). There was a bit of ice cream with it and some sauce - a little spicy and a little fruity. Dude. If you like chocolate, this is a dish you must have.

All in all, I would say the food was hilarious to look at, nice to eat. I don't know that I'll need to go back anytime soon, but I wouldn't be mad if someone insisted we go.

Noble: An American Cookery
2025 Sansom Street

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


You guys, I have decided to take on a project. I hear you snarking, "What? Updating your blog?" Har har, comedians. You know that next week is going to be FULL ON OSCAR FASHION MADNESS (FOOFM), but after that, what? I mean, I'll still give you the food and pop culture and sex posts you...haven't seen in weeks. But I feel like I need something new, something fun, something insane.

And so, I am pleased to announce that after we get through FOOFM, I will be reading and blogging my way through this book:

Did you catch that? It's The Rules and The Rules II all in one book! For the low, low price of losing your mind.

As a lifelong feminist and mostly rational person, I have loathed the existence of this book for years - 15 years to be exact. Holy crap, I just realized that this book has been present in suburban white girl popular culture for half my life. That is horrifying. I remember it coming out when I was in high school and I very quickly and loudly denounced it, proclaiming to anyone who would listen that it was "complete bullshit." I was 15, I knew things. Obvs.

But here's the secret (oooh, maybe I should do The Secret next): I have never actually read The Rules and I don't really know what all is in there. I have a cursory knowledge of the general gist - play hard to get. And that little fact is enough for me to know that I will be angry with this book. Me being angry with a book = comedy gold for you, dear 5 readers.

So get ready! I am going to blog The Rules. After FOOFM, of course. I wouldn't deprive you.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The best laid plans of mice and men...

We're going to have to try again on Monday, I'm afraid. Until then, may I direct you to my friends Kate and Steven's Funny or Die video, Glitzy Babes. If you like the trainwreck that is Toddlers and Tiaras, this is right up your alley!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dear 5 readers... I ask your indulgence. Things have been a bit crazy, life-wise, and but I will try to have a new post up on Friday.

Until then, remember that leggings are not pants.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A rememberence of Valentine's Days past

Ah, the memories of my first Valentine's Day with a boyfriend. Names in this story have been obscured to protect the innocent.

I was 15. The First Boyfriend was a year older than me. We used to double date with our friends C and D. I thought having a boyfriend was the BEST THING IN THE WORLD!!! Valentine's Day was coming up and The First Boyfriend and C decided they were going to take me and D out for dinner and a movie. This was 1996. Bed of Roses, starring Mary Stuart Masterson and Christian Slater, was out in theaters. D and I had guessed that the guys were taking us to see this sure-to-be-romantic movie and we were so excited. What could be better than boyfriends, dinner and Christian Slater??? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So since I was 15 and they were all 16 and the driving age in New Jersey is 17, my dad drove me to C's house and his mom drove us over to the shopping center that held a TGIFridays and an AMC movie theater. Man, living in style. At C's house, the boys gave us laydeez each one rose. That was so great! Then at dinner, there were roses waiting for me and D on the table. Wow! These guys sure know romance, we thought. During a trip to the bathroom, D and I decided that it was official: they gave us roses at home, roses at the restaurant, we were OBVIOUSLY GOING TO SEE BED OF ROSES!!!!

After dinner, we walked over to the movie theater. It was packed. The guys went inside to get the tickets they had reserved. D and I looked at the board and noticed that Bed of Roses was sold out. "Good thing they bought tickets in advance," she said. Good thing indeed. When the guys came back, they gave us each ANOTHER ROSE! They held the movie tickets behind their backs. C said "We wanted to take you to a movie we knew you'd like." D and I could hardly contain our excitement! The First Boyfriend said, "So are you ready?" YES WE WERE READY! CHRISTIAN SLATER TIME! BED OF ROSES! BED OF ROSES! They brought the tickets out from behind their backs, handed one to each of us and smiled. D and I cheered...until we saw on the tickets, where Bed of Roses should be:


We sat in the front row and a little kid kept putting popcorn in my hair. D and I made a pact that night to never see Bed of Roses.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love is all around

My absolutly lovely friend Jen posted this Dear Sugar column on her Facebook this morning and it was absolutely inspiring to me. I'm in the midst of my 30th year (and it's been a DOOZY, friends) so I think it's only fitting that I offer a little bit of advice to my high school self. Feel free to leave a comment with advice to your own high school self. We'll put it together like a valentine and send it to the mid-90s.

* I know you want blonde hair, but it really washes you out. That said, go with the blonde because you will have so much fun when you are in your late 20s telling people about how you used to be blonde.

* Grow the perm out as fast as humanly possible.

* Don't be in such a rush to have a first kiss and a first boyfriend. You think that no one likes you and you have to take up with the first boy who shows interest. You're wrong.

* The tears you spill over that first breakup are more because you're relieved to be out of it but feel guilty about that. This will not be the only time you cry like that. Try to let go of the guilt.

* Try harder in French class. Mme. Hill is going through a lot and still showing up to teach your stubborn ass, the least you can do is read Suivre la Piste. You'll regret not being better in French later.

* While it is heartbreaking to not be cast in The Man of LaMancha, operating the follow spot will be the start of doing a little bit of everything. And don't worry - you get to be Cinderella senior year.

* All those boys you like? Gay. They are all secretly dating each other. That's why you don't get invited sometimes. No one hates you.

* You're going to think you need to take Physics senior year. You really, really don't. Really.

* You're going to be approached to participate in your "friend's" debut. Say no. You are going to miss a very important ministry trip that your real friends will talk about for years.

* When that boy crawls in your sleeping bag at a graduation party with his girlfriend sleeping a few feet away and you stick to your guns and shoo him away, you'll feel stupid. You're always going to wonder what it would have been like to kiss him but you'll always feel good knowing you didn't betray a friend. Sometimes the right answer is being alone.

* Oh, you will feel so lonely! You will write and write and write sad, lonely poetry that is completely pretentious and ridiculous. And then, one day, you'll feel embarrassed by all of that pretentious and ridiculous poetry and burn it. This is a mistake you will regret once people start reading their old diaries for theatrical entertainment. The greatest comedy comes from the greatest despair.

* Your real first love is going to talk you out of breaking up with him a couple of times. This is just an energy suck. You are allowed to break up with someone even if they start crying. You always think you are so strong, well, prove it.

* It's really okay that you're not ready for sex. You won't be for a long time. This is not something to apologize for, but it's also not something to be feared.

* Honey, your band sucks. It's okay, it's actually kind of funny. You're going to break up over whether or not you should play Oasis songs, and that is the most interesting thing about your band. Be real with yourself and admit you have no talent for the bass.

* You're going to spend an awful lot of time fretting over whether to major in writing or theatre in college. This is a waste of time. The minute you get to college, you'll know the answer.

* Your parents drive your ass around every day, bring you meals when you don't have time to get home between school and rehearsals, let you go to Marlton and Medford whenever you want, drive you and your boyfriends to dates, let you use the car all the time once you get your license, put you through some very expensive high schooling, support you through everything you do or even mention on a whim that you might want to do. They will continue to do this. Always say thank you, even when they are being annoying. Try to appreciate how much they are sacrificing for you. Try to make it up to them by making them proud - this means working hard, being a nice person, and not being asked twice to take out the trash. Take out the damn trash and smile while you're doing it. They are exhausted.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

SAG Awards 2011: The Bad

I'll bet you thought we'd never get to these! Let's do it, Rockapella!

Naya Rivera!

When we last saw Naya her boobs were levitating of their own volition, barely concealed by her dress. Now she's trying to fool us into thinking that her boobs are barely there. This looks like an unflattering nightgown from 1974. Please stop, Naya. You're hurting me.

Paz de la Huerta!

Paz: Courtney Love circa 1992 called. She wants her lipstick back. And she is PISSED!

Jane Lynch!

Quelle nightmare! The color is okay, but the tank cut of the top, the sash, the inexcusably floofy tier, the absolutely aggressive hem line ... it's all just too much. You guys, I think I'm going to have to cut Jane Lynch off from awards shows. I'm sorry, Jane. You're cut off.

Jenna Ushkowitz!

First of all, the color is insanely bad. Secondly, I'm sorry but that necklace doesn't go with that dress (BUT AT LEAST SHE TRIED). Thirdmost, wrinkle city plus those ruffles does not equal cute. Lastly, it is just too tight in the midsection. You can't really tell from this photo, but I saw a few where you can clearly see the outline of her belly button, which is a sure sign of Too Tight. There is no crime in going up a size, girls of the world. Glamour is all about flattering your frame, no matter what number is on the tag.

Kelly Macdonald!

Sad and depressing. It looks like she is trying this on for her friends for fun while they were all shopping in the mall. She's about to take it off, put her jeans back on and go get a Cinnabun. And why not? They are delicious.

Nicole Kidman!

Oh my god, you guys, this is awful. The spiderweb netting. The flowers at the notch of the neck. The awful windowpane effect on the chest. The shoulder pads. Someone fetch the smelling salts, I'm getting the vapors!

Melissa Leo!

I can only assume that Melissa Leo feels more comfortable in unflattering clothes. I should have known that her Golden Globes outfit was but an anomaly. Fool me once, Leo....

Angie Harmon!

We've been here before a couple of times (Pen Cruz, Drew Barrymore) but for the new students in class, I will reiterate: please refrain from using beloved Sesame Street characters as your red carpet attire. This one is actually worse that the Pen Cruz Snuffleupagus incident because the bodice of Angie's dress is heavily boned corset-style, which to my eye looks kind of cheap. Especially when you consider the furry boobs.

Kate Mara!

Oh girl. Oh no. There is absolutely nothing about this look that works. It is possibly the worst thing I have ever seen on a red carpet. Oh girl. Oy.

Christina Hendricks!

What in the name of Oscar de la Renta is that!? Christina, come over here for a second, I wanna talk to you privately.

Honey. Do you have friends? Do you have friends who celebrate you for how fabulous you are and want you to succeed? Shhh - just let me finish here. I don't think you do. I don't know who told you to wear a smoking jacket to the SAGs, but honey: that person is not a friend. Why did you let them put all of that black eyeshadow on you? It obscures your big, beautiful eyes. It's okay, darlin. We're gonna help you. We're going to find someone who actually cares about you and then we'll all go shopping for the Emmys, okay? Okay.

Jennifer Lawrence!

GAH! Someone is running around Hollywood making all of these girls wear pounds of black eyeshadow. We have to stop them! Also: this dress is hurting me. Like, a lot. It's just so bright that I can't concentrate on anything except how bright it is and that slit has me clutching my pearls! If I look past the color choices, I really like the draping, especially how the top is done. Basically, this could have been a great dress and it was irrevocably ruined by the color scheme and leg patrol. EW.

Winona Ryder!

I challenge you to name one thing about this look that works. The hair? Nope, sloppy and too young. The makeup? See the last two entries above. The dress? Unless she is getting married and her boobs unexpectedly grew a cup size overnight, I cannot excuse how ridiculous and ill-fitting this dress is. The handbag? OH MY GOD NO. Look, Wino, I also hate clutches but sometimes you just have to suck it up. (Unless of course you brought your latest sewing project with you, in which case - that is hilarious and you are excused.) Okay, the hem length is perfect. But that is all I have for you in terms of compliments! I love you and I want you to be better than this. Please. I'm begging.

Friday, February 4, 2011

SAG Awards 2011: The Meh

Welcome back, fight fans! Let's do this!

Julianna Margolies!

Sooo close. I love red on her but I feel like this dress is missing something. Well, there is the lack of necklace, of course, but it's something else. Something in the draping of this dress starts out great and then just falls flat for me. I will give her points for wearing something better than that terrible Golden Globes dress, though.

Jayma Mays!

Another slight improvement. I guess the dress is fine, but that color is all wrong. And while we're on the subject of all wrong, those shoes make me want to throw up.

Mindy Kaling!

Love. Huh. I think she looks pretty great, but I hate the fabric. The neckline is pretty but paired with the heavy belt, it just makes her look kind of thick, which she is not. I think, actually, my real problem is where the belt falls - see how it hits just above some structural detail on the dress? It just doesn't work. Her hair and makeup are flawless, though.

Kim Kardashian!

Okay, someone who actually watched the SAGs please tell me: why was this person at the SAGs? The dress is a headache. Great color and interesting construction but gaudy accents and a runaway boob. Headache.

Hillary Swank!

That is the taupiest taupe I have ever seen. Snoozefest.

Barbara Hershey!

I'm so glad to see our own Hillary Whitney on the red carpet! I am less excited to see that she spilled bronze paint all over her pretty black dress and forgot to do her hair. Maybe I'm just jealous, all right? So jealous of her I can't see straight! She did everything she said she was going to do, everything! And her talent, this incredible talent! I can't even yodel!

Jane Krakowski!

STOP POSING LIKE THAT. And those shoes don't go with that dress.

Edie Falco!

Edie Falco knows she can rock the red gown and she does it so often that skstjstkskjskfffffff... sorry, I just fell asleep on the keyboard.

Dianna Agron!

I praise you and this is how you repay me? Awful makeup and a dress that makes you look 3 inches shorter than you are? Boo to you, Quinn Fabray, boo.

Amy Adams!

I don't think Amy Adams understands that she should stick to soft and feminine. This strident fashion maven look doesn't work for her at all. That dress makes her look hippy (that is to say "possessing of regular person hips," not "smells like patchouli") and the hair is way too severe for her face shape. Let us love you, Amy.

Rosario Dawson!

This was so close to going in the Good pile. She looks absolutely gorgeous and that color is amazing on her. But the dress looks like it's too big in the bodice. Not that I need every star and starlet to show up in Hervé Léger, but at least make sure the dress fits.

Julie Bowen!

You know what? Shorten the hem an inch and a half, take the hair half up, and this is in the Good pile.

Eva Longoria!

Are we Jennifer Lopez? No, we are not Jennifer Lopez. Readjust your top accordingly. And, dear god, that low low draping on the midsection just makes you look stumpy...stumpy with an outrageously long torso. Don't try to fool us, Longoria!

Heather Morris!

I love you and I want you to be happy. That is why I implore you to explore colors. And bodices that fit.

Ariel Winter!

This is what I'm talking about when I praise Hailee Steinfeld. Girlfriend is trying very hard to look much older than she is. I could see this on Anne Hathaway or someone else in her mid-late 20s. (God, I wish I had seen this on Anne Hathaway. Girlfriend has fallen into The Pit of Despair. You may be very brave, Anne, but no one withstands The Machine.) The shoes make her look like she's playing dress up. Ariel! You are adorable! Don't do this!

Julia Stiles!

True confession: I am no fan of ombre dresses. I am especially not a fan of dramatic ombre, like this. She looks beautiful and the dress fits her like a dream, but I can't help thinking she is slowly disappearing from the bottom up. Maybe a necklace would help keep her tethered to this world?

Amy Pohler!

Amy! So nice of you to stop by the red carpet on your way home from the office! How did your presentation go?

Natalie Portman!

Really? I mean, it's better than the sachet bag/chest wound dress, but really? Please, please bring out the big guns for the Oscars. I'm counting on you to get it right.