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I have some things to get through, so just be quiet for a minute. First, the food. Food is always first. Our second night of Eastern European cuisine featured Hungarian Noodles and Fasole Batuta, a Romanian bean dip. Ben and Julianna liked the noodles, Lily did not, in spite of their similarity to mac and cheese, her current sole form of sustenance. The bean dip was VERY garlicky, which means Steve and I ate most of it. Last night, we had a 4-H meeting until 6 and had to be at a play at 7, so I just fried up Pierogies (Mrs. T’s mini’s–in your freezer cabinet!).

Next, Lily’s new-found reading skills are rocking her world just a bit. She was looking over my shoulder as I was reading The Amber Spyglass (terrific!) and saw the word “dragonflies” as a chapter heading. She asked what it was. When I told her, she replied “No, that’s a ‘duh’, dragon starts with a ‘juh’–‘jragonflies.” Wow, they do sound the same. So we talked it out, but she was a troubled. Then, a couple of days later, I asked her what dress she wanted to wear. “Dress? I thought it was jress!” She was kind of laughing it off but in this really nervous “NOW what are you going to throw at me?” Knowledge can be unsettling.

Love Project Runway, we know that. But you know, PR Canada is really stepping up the competition on dear ol’ Heidi and Tim. This week on the American show–make boring men’s wear for some ex-athlete with conservative taste. The results were sloppy and dull on the whole and those that were interesting were utterly ignored b/c the guest is the whitest black man since Bryant Gumble. But this week on PR Canada–the models came out dressed in one fashion era or another and the designers had to decide whether to choose by model or by the style they want to be inspired by in the next challenge. Great idea! And then, the challenge? Swimwear. Genius. And then? Not only do they have to design for their model, they have to do a plus sized suit as well. AND they didn’t act like the plus-sized women were lepers. They mostly made good, flattering suits. Yay. Plus, Iman referred to her husband as “Bowie.” love it.

So tonight we started our tour of Eastern European cuisine (Steve: If you make Kasha Varnishkas, I’m going to a restaurant.). I tend to think of this region’s food as Brown. Mushrooms and sour cream and dill. And, in sifting out vegetarian options, I’m not far off the mark. But I think I’ve got us set up decently. Tonight, we had Ukrainian Barley Mushroom Winter Borscht and Sou-berag or Armenian Lasagne. They both were pretty tasty. The lasagne was good b/ c it’s a big ol’ pile of cheese. But the borscht was very good, I thought. But can it be borscht without beets? It can certainly be yummy without beets. In fact, I don’t think it can be yummy WITH beets. But is it borscht? That’s one for the food philosophers. I’m going with it. The kids all liked the lasagne. Julianna ate the soup, Ben ate some, declared it “okay” and gave up. Lily tasted it and refused more. But she’s on a very strict mac-and-cheese regimen.

I draw a map of where we’re eating each week, and I swear drawing this section of Europe was full of “so THAT’s where that is!” moments. When I learned geography, everything west of Poland was “Russia.” Damned inconsiderate of them to break it all up like Ma Bell. As a result, I was looking all over for Armenia. I knew that starving children came from there in the 60s. I thought it was all tucked up there in the cold areas. But no! It’s wedged between Turkey and Albania. Which, thanks to Cheers, I know borders on the Adriatic. And its chief export is chrome.

I was lying in bed with Lily last night, way too late for her to be awake, but there it is. We were in my inlaws bed (they went to a hotel, bless ’em) and there’s a digital clock on the dresser at the end of the bed. Lily said, “Hey, it’s 10:10!” And I said, “Make a wish!” She said, “I wish I had a pony.” of course. Time passed. She said, “It’s 10:11! Is that a wish time?” I told her sure, any time the numbers match on either side of the two dots or if they make a counting up, you can wish. “I wish Aiden was my boyfriend.”

“What would it mean if Aiden was your boyfriend?”

“MOM, you KNOW what a boyfriend is.”

“What does it mean to you?”

“We’d…um…hang out together?”

“What would you do together?”

“We’d ask our moms to buy us video games. Hey, it’s 10:12. That’s going to be a wish time too. I’ve decided.”

“okay. What do you wish?”

“I wish Aiden loved me back.”

Caroline? Keep your boy away from my child. She’s trouble.

Turns out I have to approve comments over here.  I had no idea.  So at least my family loves me.

I know I’m totally talking to myself here because you all love AOL soooo much. Anyway. So who knew ANTM and PR were the same night? Hail TiVo I had no clue. But yay! So I had time to get the kids to bed between Model and Runway and then settle right back in. No live blog for this one though. Not that it matters. Because you all loooove AOL. feh.

Carrie Bradshaw was the guest judge! Woo! Much, much cooler than that Nikki Hilton. The designers had to work in teams of two to design a look for SJP’s new Bitten line of clothing. It’s being sold for Old Navy prices (they swear there are no sweatshops involved ) so the teams only get $15 to buy fabric. At Mood. I figured they’d just have to use the plastic bags, but they managed to do pretty well.

I continue to love Elisa and her Breakfast Clubby oddness. She is self-possessed and unconcerned with the others thinking she’s bonkers. I find that very cool. Sweet P (ugh) utterly flips when she sees that Elisa “spit-marks” her clothes as she’s working. I thought “Hey cool, that will just fade away and you don’t have to worry about getting the chalk out!” On the runway, Heidi recoiled at the notion, saying “People don’t want to know someone spit on their dress!” but dude, wash before you wear. Anyway, the much-maligned Elisa came damned close to winning. Even Steve said, “hey, I like that” as it went down the runway. In the end, Victorya (YA) had the winning design with a hideous grey sack with a stupid bow at the neck. Too. many. bows. this season. Stop it. We are not freshly groomed llasa-apsos.

I called the loser again this week. Marion’s design last week was so horrid I couldn’t believe he wasn’t auf-d then. But it caught up with our shifty-eyed manchild this week, and his Incredible Growing Poncho sent him home. Seriously, as they stood there on the runway, this burlap-bag with fringe looking thing he had designed was sloooowly growing toward the floor. They had to hurry up and send him out before it grew down around the model’s feet and threw her to the floor. And oh LORD, it looked like it itched. I had hives just watching. I always feel a little bad for the models when they have to walk in such a dog of a design. “Crap, this insane little man is ruining my chances.” It would be cool if there was a parallel show, filmed at the same time, of the models. I’d watch that. And now, I shall search for PR Canada on line…what better way to spend Thanksgiving. I give thanks for reality TV!

Well, it’s really only b/c I’m in NJ at the in-laws and they don’t TiVo ANTM (I KNOW!) so I have to watch it in real time. So blogging about it gives me something to do on commercials….

We’re going to China! Lisa’s neck is freaky long like that Chelonia on that comic strip I couldn’t remember without googling it. We get the usual animated plane, but no bobble heads. I think they only did those after “Pack yer bags, y’all,we’re goin’ to Milan!” So sad. They get there. Excellent quote from the gals as they arrive–Bianca: “Everything’s made in china, so I’m like shopping, shopping shopping.” O Choorin, as the closed captioning says. Heather:”China is like no other city I’ve been to. Excpet maybe Las Vegas. I missed who said this:”It’s like we’re in the Jetsons”

They get to their big penthouse and snag beds. Five beds, 6 girls. But one bed is a king-sized. Saleshia snags it, and Heather, last to walk in is left without a bed. She thinks she’ll be sharing with Saleshia, but Miss Tootie Hair doesn’t think she’s being spoiled to hog the king bed for herself. Heather is actually upset that they’re picking on her. Imagine! Okay, the black girls are really mean to her. They’re following her around, telling her how fun it is to make her freak out. WTH?

In the end, Bianca and Jenah share a bed. And I wonder if we aren’t seeing anything b/c the general feeling is that Heather is just being a drama queen because she didn’t get a bed, but given how sleep deprived they are, I can see that one would be a bit upset, you know?

Anyway. Challenge time. They go to a fim studio in Shanghai. And oh no! Scary assasins leap from no where and fight like Jackie Chan! And for some reason Lisa is already sweaty. So they’re going to learn basics of Martial arts positions. They struggle. they are going to get to do the poses on wires, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style. Bianca is our heights-skeered gal. Did this come up on the gargoyle challenge. We go to commercial break with a will she or won’t she…she goes up, but she comes back down without posing, disqualifying herself. Heather nails it and wins the challenge. Bianca dies a little. The prize is a shopping spree. Bianca dies a little more. And then Heather says she WOULD have chosen Bianca if she hadn’t been such a damned monster. The girls are enormous among the wee Chinese. Attack of the models!!

The shoot will have to do with some sort of queen. Are we finally getting our drag queen challenge! Jaslene will be so bummed. Ah, but no, it is for the Cover Girl Queen Collection. Blech. The Cover Girl challenge is always a pill. Line memorizing action. We know that Heather is sweating b/c she is not so much with the acting. Saleisha’s makeup is clowny. Sure, CG is crap, but surely they can make it look good for TV. Oy, Bianca’s is horrid, too! and the Queen line is supposed to be for dark-skinned women isn’t it? Heather botches it and Bianca grows back the little bit that died before. Jay feeds her the lines to get her through at all. Hmm… Heather’s eyes are kinda wonky, aren’t they? A bit of Duane’s Syndrome with that Asperger’s huh? Jenah’s looking all snaggle tooth and rat-weavy. Chantal is Cheryl Tiegs’ clone. It had been bothering me until they ponted out last week who she resembled, and it’s so true. She couldn’t look more like a cover girl is she got surgery to do it. Lisa’s makeup–ass. Maybe I was wrong, because the non-whitey gals are looking horrible with this stuff. She blows it too. Saleishas time at T-Zone camp seems to have been magic. Hm, anyone else think that would be good publicity for Tyra’s camp? So, Saleisha and Chantal as the final two?

Panel! Bianca “won’t let them” send her home over refusing to fly. Well, then. Miss Jay’s hair is getting rawther large. Wow, Lisa’s photo is AMAZing, even though her commercial is bad. Chantal is so cute you could die. They tease her for not being Queenly. Bianca is taken to task for not going up in the air. Her commercial is okay, and her photo is okay. Jenah and her weave are not charming in their commercial but the photo is really pretty cool. The rat-weave isn’t even horrid in it. Saleisha’s commercial is perfect, her photo is wicked ugly. Heather is shown a really choppy mess of a commerical. Were they really not able to cobble anything together? Did they really need to show her botching the same line over and over? They didn’t do that to the others who gave crappy readings (not AS crappy, but still). Tyra kinda reams her for not being able to even repeat back the lines. But her photo looks different and it’s really cute. Okay, I’m going with Heather, Bianca, and Lisa in final three…Lisa goes home.

Deliberation. Okay, after deliberation, I still say Lisa goes home, but it’s Heather, Jenah, and Lisa. Tyra thinks that they all pretty much sucked. But Chantal was best of the lot. Then Saleisha. Bianca is next. Then Jenah. Lisa and Heather step forward. Turns out there’s only one photo in Tyra’s hand. Hm. Who knew? Lisa is beautiful and had so much personality. But oh no! She’s fading, she might not be able to handle critique. And we have Heather, who interests the judges and takes the best photos. But she can’t deliver lines in a commercial. But….she gets to stay. Lisa goes home. Of course. Back to the Fastrack!

Next week, go sees!

Not to appear desperate and sad…but I need proof that anyone has found the new spot.  Someone drop a note in the comments please, to reassure me.  I don’t buy for a second that you’re all busy preparing for Thanksgiving.  I know you’re surfing the internet, hiding from your families.  There’s always room for you to hide at Six Gables.

I’m officially here now. I’ll only put new posts on this blog. Welcome. Give me some time to get all the links over and such. No shoving. So we continued our British Isles theme at dinner. Tonight was Welsh Rarebit, bubble and squeak (which did neither), and cucumber sandwiches. For desert, treacle sponge pudding:tumory Mmmmm…tumorous…. Really, I cannot imagine how British food gets such a bad rap.

So we moved to the British Isles for this weeks culinary journey. Tonight we had Bashed Neeps (mashed turnips) and Cheese and Onion pasties We also sampled three cheddar cheeses–one from England, one from Ireland, and one from Scotland. Bashed Neeps are from Scotland. Any time I came across a recipe with a name that gave no hint as to what it might be, it was Scottish. in fact, when I clicked on the Neeps recipe to find out what the heck a Neep was, the recipe just called for 250g Swedes. Which, I later found out, are turnips. Oh, those whacky Britons. There is quite a lack of green in the listing of tradtional British recipes. No shortage of cheese or butter, though, bless ’em. Cheese in the pasties. Hot buttered Swedes. Cheese sampling. Cadbury chocolate fingers for dessert. I have…a sour stomach. I’m grateful to only spend one more night in the UK. Things from this post you shouldn’t google: Hot buttered swedes. Pasties. Chocolate fingers.

Okay, I’m going to try a real post, see how this feels to me. I really am still conflicted about which I like better. I wish this one had a bit more color to it, but I do like that it is nice and clean. And I’ve had a few problems with Blogger not letting me leave comments on blogs before and lord knows I don’t want MY audience to suffer.

So, I totally FORGOT top model this week. I was watching Best Week Ever with Steve and a clip came on with a Chinese Lion heralding the fact that the ANTM sticks were going to China. The hell? I didn’t see that! And then I realized that the return of the Most Holy Project Runway had overshadowed it entirely. I went and caught it that night on YouTube, of course.

The challenge on Model was a cruel tease. See it LOOKED like they were going to fulfill my fantasy abbout ANTM and PR coming together in a flurry of fabric, bad weaves, and high drama. But really? meh. The only noteworthy thing was that Tyra announced the trip to China BEFORE that week’s elimnation. Which really had to suck for Ambreal. Hey we’re going to China! Woo-hoo! hug hug jump squeal. Oh, no wait. Not you. You are going home. And this time, no one is going to save you. The big teaser about nekkid Heather goes nutzoid? Meh. but then we knew that would happen, right?

Like I said, Project Runway is back. Oh, how I wish I could go back in time, go to fashion school, and be on this show. I crave that the way I used to crave being on Sesame Street. Only instead of talking to a puppet, I’d get to talk to a puppetteer. I love Elisa. She got some silk and rubbed it all over the ground to get grass stains on it. She drapes the fabric on her own body. She looks like Ally Sheedy in breakfast club. And, as good ol’ Tom and Lorenzo put it: this group seems to demonstrate a rather high collective opinion of themselves, and we would love it if the dirty girl in the corner of the cafeteria would show them up once or twice. And while I’m on the topic, PR fans who don’t know about the Rungay boys–you must read their blog. hilarious. A sample grab:


“I ended up taking some silk chiffon and I decided that I would imbue it with a natural element and use grass stain as a staining method. In my own work often times I use teas, oils, and herbs to feed the fabrics.”

I'm not sure I see where this is going...

“Yeah, that’s great. Do you also use dog shit? Because you just did.”

Seriously, they’re the perfect condiment to the PR buffet.

AND they introduced me to PR Canada which…shh…I might kinda like better? Iman is just SO great. She really adds so much to the show. Heidi is sweet and lovely, but Iman…oh Mr. Bowie must be a very patient man.


November 2007