Oscar 2006 Fashion Report

Posted on March 5th, 2006 in Fashion by mynagirl

Oscar Arrives!

Argent de Poche

Strangely, pockets were a mini-theme this year… both Amy Adams and Sandra Bullock wore blossomy dresses with pockets, and both looked utterly relaxed. I guess a beautiful gown with pockets just makes you feel less stressed, like you’re just hanging out.

Amy Adams’s striped Carolina Herrera was gorgeous and elegant


Sandra chats calmly during the red carpet mixing


Pales in Comparison

It’s official, I will never like pale colors on the red carpet. Color, people, color!!

Naomi Watts was radiant as always, but that washed-out Givenchy did not do it for me… I actually liked the gauzy messiness of it all, but I just can’t stand that pale color on her!!

I had a really bad run-in with King Kong before the show


Naomi’s b.f. Nicole Kidman was similarly milk-toast in her ivory column.

Ice princess Nicole


Even Reese Witherspoon and Uma Thurman chose the pale look.

Reese paled it up as well


Uma… where’s Oprah?


Golden Girls

Going just one shade beyond pale were the gowns ranging from gold to goldenrod. Jessica Alba was radiant with beautiful hair and jewelry, even if her gown did make her look a titch naked at first glance. Michelle Williams’s mustardy dress wasn’t my favorite, especially with those cool, dark colors in her antique-y necklace.

Golden princess Jessica


Mustard princess Michelle


Even radiant Jennifer Garner chose an icy barely-gold sequined number.

Stunt princess Jennifer


And Bahar Soomekh of Crash is so beautiful, I was sorry she spent the night in yellow chiffon, even if it is Calvin Klein.

Persian princess Bahar


But it wasn’t just the young kids in shades of gold… Jane Seymour wore a pale gold gown that showed off her figure (perhaps a smidge too well).

I’m hoping to sub for Dolly Parton if possible


Back in Black

Of course, not everyone was brave enough to go for ivory or pale gold. Some had to get really brave and go with… black. Jennifer Anniston, Felicity Huffman, and Rachel Weisz all opted for black. Although Felicity’s Zac Posen look was a bit more daring than the other ladies.

I’m hoping to stand out as little as possible


Just in case you had any doubts from Transamerica


I think my pregnant belly leaves no doubt at all…


Charlize Theron also chose a blackish green gown whose puffy sleeve was almost matched by her hair-helmet hairstyle.

Well, I have a pillow to use if the telecast gets too boring


Color, although Not Very Much

The most colorful dress of the evening was Salma Hayek by far — in a radiant

The New Adventures of Old Christine (***)

Posted on March 3rd, 2006 in Television by EngineerBoy

So, I really like Seinfeld. On average I probably watch 5-7 episodes each week. The more I watch it the more I appreciate it…you have to watch it for several years to *get* the intricate weave of characters and storylines over the years. It was self-referential without being self-conscious, and it was funny. FUNNY. Sure, there are some episodes or plotlines that I don’t particularly care for, but overall the show is classic.

And I’ve watched with some interest as the former cast members have moved on and tried to go solo, with limited success. Until now.

In The New Adventures of Old Christine, I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus has hit paydirt. I TiVo’ed it out of respect for Elaine Benes, and figured I had to give Julia the benefit of the doubt and at least give her show a chance. I’m glad that I did. Mynagirl and I have watched all of the episodes so far (four, I think), and they have been pretty damn funny. Sure, there are rough spots and some hackneyed sitcom staples (precocious kid, slacker brother, sassy black friend, etc), but it seems to be working.

When I first heard the title I mentally rolled my eyes and figured the show would have to suck, given such a trite title. But after the first episode I got the story behind the title, which is that Christine (Louis-Dreyfus) is divorced, and her ex has started dating a younger girl. Her name is also Christine, and she gets referred to as “the new Christine”, hence the show’s title. In a wonderful rejection of low-hanging sitcom fruit, the new Christine seems really nice and is not scheming, evil, superior, or rude.

And Louis-Dreyfus really seems comfortable in the role and embodies the old Christine quite fully. I watched a bit of her other show (where she was a singer…I forget the title…it really sucked) and she just didn’t seem like she felt at home with the character. This character is older, wiser, and a bit more jaded than Elaine Benes, and with an ex-husband and kid to boot, but still allows flashes of Elaine to show through, which makes me think that they are flashes of Louis-Dreyfus and they just happened to flash through both for Elaine and Christine.

The rest of the cast also seem to fit comfortably into their roles, although I’m not sure yet if the character of her son is cute or annoying, although the kid playing the role does a great job.

And now I’ve actually started looking forward to new episodes, and that’s rare for me. I hope they keep up the good work on the show, because I want it to be good. It would be nice to see a former Seinfeldian do good.

Note to the producers of TNAOOC: if you ever have an episode where Louis-Dreyfus plays both Christine and Christine’s sister Elaine Benes, then your show will have

Vegetarian Recipe: Stir-Fried Chickpeas and Rice

Posted on March 1st, 2006 in Health and Fitness,Recipes by mynagirl

Ingredients

Portabella mushrooms, chopped
Red Onion, chopped
Montreal Chicken Seasoning (contains no chicken)
Canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Cooked brown rice
butter (can substitute olive oil)
ginger sesame marinade (optional)

Directions

Pre-heat a cast-iron skillet, frying pan, or wok on medium heat.
When wok is hot, add butter, and portabellas and red onion. Add a dash of Montreal seasoning.
Stir-fry until onions are carmelized.
Then add chickpeas, drained, and more butter. Add another dash of seasoning.
Stir-fry until chickpeas are browned.
Then add more butter and the cooked brown rice (cold from the fridge is ok). Add another dash of seasoning.
Stir-fry for another 5 – 8 minutes (add a Tbsp or so of ginger marinade if desired) until everything is nice and sizzling hot.

Editor’s note: When I first posted this recipe, I commented that I usually pair this dish with cheese to get some protein. But my great friend Darla clued me in the wonder food that is chickpeas: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58. Check out the amount of protein in these bad boys, not to mention iron and fiber. How cool is that?

CSA: Confederate States of America (***½)

Posted on March 1st, 2006 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

Mynagirl and I have a relationship where, when we are sure that we are alone and have absolute privacy, we share with each other the uncharitable, judgmental, mean, nasty, rude, cruel, and just plain malicious thoughts, jokes, and feelings that pop into our heads. These are the things that one would never ordinarily share with others, lest one be thought to be evil or crude. In most cases these thoughts don’t actually represent our beliefs, but instead represent things that we think are funny even if they are just plain inappropriate.

For example:

What’s the difference between Christopher Reeve and OJ Simpson?

OJ walked and Reeve got the electric chair.

or

What is the opposite of Christopher Reeve?

Christopher Walken

Now, intellectually I find both of those jokes offensive. I liked Christopher Reeve and don’t really approve of making fun of the dead. However, in my heart of hearts, both of those jokes make me laugh. They shouldn’t, but they do. They’re creative and funny, and Christopher Reeve was enough of a cultural icon for me to be able to disassociate the jokes from the actual tragic circumstances of his accident and his ultimate death.

And I would share with Mynagirl the fact that I found those jokes funny – she may or may not agree, but we revel in the trust and closeness that results from such open honesty with each other.

What, you may ask, do my autobiographical musings have to do with CSA: Confederate States of America?? Well, the parallel is that Kevin Willmott, the writer/director, has put into his script and onto the screen a lot of the same gasp-inducing-yet-funny things that many people might think, but never say.

The premise of the movie is that you, the viewer, are watching a television station, and that station is airing a Ken Burns-like documentary about the CSA. In the reality of this film, the South won the Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression, depending on one’s roots) and hence we have the Confederate States of America, or the CSA. The documentary (in the film) was produced by British television, complete with typically erudite and accented voice-over. The documentary is interrupted at regular intervals for commercials from the present-day CSA for products that would only have niches in this imagined reality, and also by news breaks reporting news that one would never see today.

I’m trying not to get too specific, as the parade of yelp-inducing moments in this film are endless and diabolically funny, while also forcing us to hold up a mirror to today’s less-than-perfect race relations. Mr. Willmott has taken a great risk in producing a film like this, because even though it is funny, it is also incendiary and I’m sure will be controversial.

I’ll give you a real-world example of how this film is completely relevant today. We went to this movie with our friend Bruce, and it was showing at the Angelika theater here in downtown Houston. The Angelika

Bikram Yoga College of India Houston vs. Hot Yoga Here

Posted on March 1st, 2006 in Health and Fitness,Mynagirl by mynagirl

Hot Yoga Here

1320 W. 34th at Golf St.

Houston, TX

832-483-5787

www.hotyogahere.com

Bikram’s Yoga College of India – Houston

2438 South Boulevard

Houston, TX

713-664-5333

www.bikramyogahouston.com

Note: Bikram’s Yoga College of India – Houston also has another Galleria location

Ok, so if you’ve perused some of the articles on this site, you already know I’m a yoga person. And you may have read my review about Hot Yoga Here, the yoga studio I go to here in Houston. And if you’ve read my review, you’ll know I love Hot Yoga Here so much that I have said that I couldn’t even bring myself to go to another studio, even for the purposes of comparison.

The “Other” Yoga Place

However… this past weekend Hot Yoga Here was closed for a planned event and I needed to get my yoga on, so I decided to give the “official” Bikram franchise here in town a try. I’m glad I went so I know what it’s like and know I can go there in a pinch, but I’ll never choose to go there over Darla’s studio at Hot Yoga Here. Below is what I found at Bikram Yoga College of India, Houston — feel free to discount my review because I’m such a die-hard “Hot Yoga Here” girl, but I call ’em like I experienced ’em.

The studio I went to (they have two locations) was in a nice section of West U, and in that regard it was very much what I expected — freestanding building, nicely labeled, good parking, with a decent-sized dressing room and showers. For a first-timer, I could see that it would be less intimidating than Hot Yoga Here, which rents space in a Krishna temple and until you get used to being at the temple for yoga, you do feel a bit out of place.

Is That a Gucci Sports Bra?

Even as a regular hot yoga devotee, however, I felt more out of place at Bikram Yoga College of India than at the Krishna temple: boy, you can tell that this type of yoga started in L.A. The desk in the lobby is under the photographic presence of Bikram Choudhury himself, in a huge poster print of him sitting in lotus position on a (I do not lie) dead tiger skin. Not a very good yoga environment for this vegetarian. Over the doorway to the yoga room another picture looms, of Bikram and (presumably) his wife, sitting at the edge of a beautiful pool — and she’s wearing a swimsuit emblazoned with the name of an Italian design house. That pretty much encapsulated the BYCIH experience for me — yoga’s cool, but especially if you’re gorgeous and in designer clothes.

The people were much different at BYCIH than at HYH. More West U, maybe, I don’t know. I don’t really have anything against West U or people who live there, but… it’s just a different vibe. Hot Yoga Here is this sort of collection of all

Whole Foods Market – Love to Hate It

Posted on March 1st, 2006 in Commentary by EngineerBoy
'Hole Foods Market

‘Hole Foods Market

We should be right in the target demographic for Whole Foods Market. Mynagirl is vegetarian, I try to eat relatively healthily, we like natural and organic foods, and we don’t penny-pinch when it comes to grocery shopping.

However, we go there as little as possible, even though there are some things that we can only get there. For example, I stopped eating ground beef from grocery stores and restaurants (click here to find out why) but I eat organic and/or grass-fed ground beef, both of which Whole Foods carries. Yes, Kroger and Randall’s carry some form of organic ground beef, but it’s frozen and the volumes they sell means that it’s usually not the freshest. But the meat counter at Whole Foods has trays filled with fresh organic and grass-fed ground beef.

Whole Foods also has a produce section filled with organic fruits and vegetables, rather than the few organic things carried by mainstream grocery stores. We also prefer natural sugar as opposed to refined white sugar, whole grains as opposed to bleached white flour, preservative-free as opposed to shelf-stable-for-our-convenience, and additive-free as opposed to chemically-treated-and-or-irradiated-to-kill-any-possible-bad-things-while-introducing-who-knows-what-long-term-health-effects.

So, Whole Foods Market should be the place for us, right, right?

Wrong! Wrong!

The reason that Whole Foods is wrong for us is because every trip there is an exercise in frustration and annoyance, and a test of my patience with people. You see, I have almost zero tolerance for the following:

Narcissists
Rudely oblivious people who think the entire world not only revolves around them but also needs to cater to their every need and whim, including freeing said oblivious person from having to demonstrate the common courtesy that all humans must demonstrate to get along in this world, such as sharing space in the aisles of grocery stores with other carts, moving out of peoples way if one is blocking the entire pathway (particularly if there is plenty of room to get out of the way and said oblivious person is blocking the entire pathway simply because they are oblivious and self-centered)
BMW drivers (or is that the same group as above?)
Health freaks (those who take “healthiness” to OCD levels)
Poseurs
People with obvious affectations
People who park in the fire lane of grocery stores to load/unload, making all other traffic go around them and reducing traffic flow to one lane, simply for their own convenience, and oblivious to the fact that if all shoppers did the same there would be anarchy and chaos, but they count on the fact that nobody else is rude enough to do what they do so they know they can get away with it
In other words, every single other person in WFM other than Mynagirl and me

Not only that, but the layout of WFM (at least the one on Kirby in Houston) is a tightly-packed rat maze with all of these oblivious, rude, narcissists packed in together like sardines jostling for position with as little human compassion or

American Idol 2006: Mynagirls American Idol Dashboard and Commentary

Posted on March 1st, 2006 in American Idol by mynagirl

Note: postings are in reverse order with the most recent listed at the top.

Who Got Voted Off This Week: Week 1, Goodbye Melissa

Week 1


Melissa McGhee
In trouble: Ace Young and Lisa Tucker

Ace is stunned when he learns it’s him and not Kevin Covais in the bottom three.
Ace Young
Um, are you sure you called the right name?

03/14/2006: American Idol — the Final Twelve Perform, Ace in the Bottom Three

Well, of all the theme nights, Stevie Wonder night is both fabulous and scary – I love Stevie Wonder’s music… well, a lot of it, but he is really really hard to sing! Every time so far I’ve heard someone sing one of his songs I think “boy, they shouldn’t really have tried to sing Stevie”.

I’ve watched American Idol long enough now to not be surprised when someone doesn’t know the music of someone as influential and timeless as Stevie Wonder… and of course, it was the two blond country folks, Kellie and Buck. It’s so wild to me to hear someone say they don’t really know his music. I’m like, “naw… you’re just joking”.

I don’t know if it was pressure from the vocal coaches or Stevie holding out some of his catalog, but I was surprised at how many obscure (to me) Stevie songs were chosen. I can understand avoiding the really well known ones like “Ma Cherie Amour” but… man, I was really hoping someone (preferably Taylor Hicks or Mandisa) would sing “Maybe Your Baby” or “You Haven’t Done Nothing”. I mean, those are groovy!

And on a fashion note, sometimes having more stylists is a bad thing. Both Ace’s and Bucky’s hair were WAY too nice and “done” for boys – I agree with Simon that Bucky’s cascading blond waves were a smidge too Jessica Simpson. And some of the outfits! Paris was utterly lost in that pink coat, lace, and ruffly yet tragically cut denim skirt. Katharine McPhee looked to be wearing a silk couch from a successful 70’s psychiatrist’s office, and Lisa Tucker was cute but that belt wore her, not the other way around. I’m never sure if the person’s own misguided fashion sense showing through, or if the stylists go crazy and some people can’t say “no”, or what. But there are some disasters happening, and somebody needs to step up and take care of business.

The girls didn’t really go to town with the Stevie. Lisa sounded stilted – she’d mentioned that Stevie was telling her to feel emotion on the uptempo songs – good advice, but I don’t think she was able to follow it.
Lisa Tucker
Signed, Sealed, Delivered… bland singing
Kellie was reasonably good at the singing but downright adorable when not singing. She’s one of those really rare and true folks who is actually cute, not just “being cute”. You just can’t help but adore her.
Kellie Pickler
Can you tell I just learned this song?
Poor sweet Melissa