Thursday, February 28, 2008

You’ve Been Living in a Monkey House: The Project Runway recap

Don’t ya just want to see
Tim’s house one day? To see hazy pictures of 10-year-old Tim in short pants with a “Tim” tee-shirt on? To find out surprising facts about Tim’s parents, his circle of friends, his taste in furniture?
But of course, we never will. That, I suppose, is part of the mystique of Tim Gunn. Each year, the designers express a kind of child-like surprise that Tim actually
exists outside the studio (“it was so surreal seeing Tim Gunn at my house!”), so perfectly adapted to the Parson’s landscape is he. There’s a vague sense that Tim curls up at night on the Bluefly accessory wall, and awakens, fully pressed and pin-striped, ready to dispense tasteful advice.

Nonetheless, I do always love this archeological “See the Designers in Their Natural Habitat” episode, even if this year was a bit of a let down, what with everyone being from Manhattan or L.A. Ho hum. Are we never again going to see White Trashtastic family barbecues in Pennsylvania, with Tim sitting cross-legged on a picnic blanket eating coleslaw with a plastic fork, as some toddler in dirty diapers crawls across his lap? Sigh. Everyone is so damn sophisticated this season (although Jillian’s dad was sporting a surprising, non-ironic trucker hat).

We start with Christian—a pocket-sized man, living, appropriately enough, in a pocket-sized apartment. How he managed to design that whole collection in that tiny studio apartment is beyond me. Also beyond me? The collection itself. I’m sorry Christian, I love ya, mean it—I think you’re insanely talented. But that collection eluded me. A gorgeous fitted jacket with a “neck piece” that goes up to the nostrils? (Isn’t that technically a “nose piece”?) A pair of feather pants that appears not so much to have been sewn but
poached? And what’s up with all the black? “It’s a lot of look,” Tim summed up in his inimitable way. Look, who am I to second guess the Amadeus of Fashion (is Rami his Salieri? I haven’t quite figured that one out yet.) But Christian’s collection is over my head.

Next, onto the very creepy and bizarre world of Jillian.
“I always knew
one of my children was special!” her mother proclaimed, as the other sisters looked on glumly, content to merely bask in Jillian’s celestial glow (ever mindful that it was nearly time for them to sweep the chimney and press Jillian’s gown for the ball).
Cut to a beautiful portrait of young Jillian—looking every inch the future Ralph Lauren staffer— posing with the family Golden Retriever (although it’s entirely possible they merely
rented the dog for the photo shoot.)
Something tells me that the other sisters worked as gaffers and best grips on the photo shoot.
“I know that everyone thinks they’ll be the next big thing,” Jillian announced. “But I’ll have it no other way!”
She followed that by saying: “I am big. It’s the fashion world that has gotten small!” (Okay, she didn’t. But she could have.)
You never really know someone until you see them at home, huh?
As for Jillian’s 15th-Century-inspired collection? I saw some gorgeous stuff in there—and some not-so-gorgeous stuff, too (I’m not sure I was feeling that gold-plated armor dress). Notably, Tim seemed to have very little negative feedback for our future Queen Diva Chosen One of the Universe. A clue?

Onto Rami, who of course, has his own professional studio in L.A. (while poor Christian toils in a chamber closet.)
We hear a brief anecdote that confirms—shockingly!— that parents in Jordan are also momentarily concerned when they find out that their son is a fashion designer, but then come around when they see that he is talented and it makes him happy. We are the world, indeed.
We also see a picture of young Rami with flippy boy band hair. It’s really hard to take Rami seriously when he has hair.
I liked what I saw of Rami’s collection, although I agree that the jackets looked overly-fussed-over. Still, the mere fact that he broke away from his all-draping-all-the-time mantra was a major achievement for our boy. It probably took hypnosis and strong meds, but hey, whatever gets the job done.

Ah, last but not least Chris, bless his heart. I love the fact that he wanted to be over the top, but not
too over the top, so he came up with that perfect middle ground: human hair! Yes, Chris, nothing says “I’m ready to the leave the world of camp for the world of haute couture” quite like sewing Cher’s hair into your clothing. As for Tim? Suffice it to say, Chris’s collection wasn’t his bag. “My gag reflex is kicking in.” he said (and this was one of the nicer things he said about Chris’s collection.) Then, he proceeded to equate Chris’s collection to getting used to the stink in the monkey house. Now, I’m no fashion expert, but something tells me that when your mentor compares your collection to MONKEY SHIT, that’s a bad thing. But maybe that’s just me.
Onto meeting Chris’s friend, who lives in the most insane (literally) apartment you’ve ever seen. It’s as though all the Baroque and Renaissance collections of the world’s museums just kind of threw up inside this man’s flat. “It’s staggering!” Tim Gunn said, an excellent word, when you not sure if you are impressed or alarmed, or both.

Now we’re back at Parsons and—once I’ve recovered from Jillian’s distracting super-sized Minnie Mouse hat—it’s time for the Rami/Chris showdown. As both men sent their collections down the runway, I had this overwhelming urge for it to be a tie. Yes, I know that I’ve complained about the judges wimping out in the past—but both men put their heart and soul into their collections. When it comes to Chris—yes, it was costumey, yes that one dress did resemble a “velvet condom,” and yes he used some “surprising” materials—but that was a labor of
Indeed, when Heidi said that Rami was “IN,” I kept waiting for her to say, “Chris. You are also IN, as well.”
But no. It wasn’t meant to be. Chris, you came far. You were cut, you were brought back. You made it the final week—almost. You buried your head in Rami’s chest in despair (well played, my friend). And you felt all the love in the universe come back to you.
Now I have three words for you: Locks of Love.

Monday, February 25, 2008

No Country For Oscar Winners: My Academy Awards recap

You know that much-maligned (and much read) feature in Us magazine: Stars: They’re Just Like Us?
Well, that’s the way I used to look at Jon Stewart. He reminded me of the guys I took AP English with—brainy funny; kinda cute in that nebbishy, doesn’t wear deodorant yet way; polite to the teachers; obsessed with the arcania of fringe pop culture—in short, a nice Jewish boy.
But seeing him last night on stage at the Oscars, I began to perceive him in a whole new light. Maybe it was the greying around the temples (adding a certain gravitas?); maybe it was the confident way he took to the stage, trading barbs with George Clooney and Jack; maybe it was the fact that he remained completely unflustered if a joke fell flat, just kept the patter going, knowing he’d have them laughing in no time.
Whatever it was, as I watched the entertaining (if unexhilarating) show, it was clear to me that Jon Stewart had become a man.
(Sorry. Bad habit. . . )
His best joke? Gaydolf Titler, for sure. (Also loved the Norbit joke: "Too often the Academy ignores movies that are bad.")
His best moment? Bringing Once’s Marketa Irglova back on stage. (Shame on you, Gil Cates, for cutting her off!)
Nicely played, Jon.

As for the show? I thought it was swift and smooth and relatively glitch free, but lacking in any of those “wow” moments that end up in montages. (and I feel like a freakin’ montagologist after last nite’s show.)
(Okay, Javier Bardem speaking in Spanish to his crying mother in the front row MAY make the cut.)
My own prognostications were pretty mediocre (doh! I should’ve pulled the trigger on that Tilda Swinton pick. I was sooooo close to doing it, too. . . I tip my hat to thee, Dave Karger of Entertainment Weekly.) But I was largely happy with the winners. No Country For Old Men was the best film of the year—it deserved its honors.
One question: how is it that British people manage to be so gracious and articulate under pressure? One minute, Tilda Swinton is hyperventilating and appears to need oxygen. The next minute, she’s giving one of the world’s most smooth and witty acceptance speeches.

As for the aforementioned Once? Look, I was happy with their win for Best Song. But I had what can only be described as a “conniption” when Glen Hansard came out with that ratty, holey guitar of his. It reminded me of everything I didn’t like about that film—it was all so self-consciously twee and shaggy and under-doggish. It’s like, yeah, we know that you’re just a poor Irish lad with a song and a dream. But dude, you’re at the Oscars. Fix your damn guitar!

Having the members of the armed forces read the Best Documentary Short awards? A nice touch.

What else? Dresses. We had dresses! A lot of wickety wack, as my Project Runway pals might say. Is marabou suddenly in now? Copycat designers of the world: make it stop before it even begins.
Rebecca Miller’s dress (she’s Mrs. Daniel Day Lewis) looked like she had forgotten to take it out of the gift wrap.
Marion Cotillard’s dress, while gorgeously fit, seemed to have gills.
Nicole Kidman’s ornate necklace might have been a winner, but it seemed to list toward one boob.
Tilda Swinton won the “my hair is so cool I can just wear a black potato sack” award.
Anne Hathaway’s dress, while a glorious red, appeared to have a giant lei on the shoulder.
Cameron Diaz’s pink dress was adorable. But her hair and makeup screamed: just back from the mall.
I was dying to see what kind of cute, funky dress Ellen Page would come up with. I wanted to see how a stylist would incorporate her tomboy chic look into her gown. Their solution? By giving her the most boring, non-descript look on the red carpet. Boo!

My favorites?
Hilary Swank was NEAR perfection (but again with the feathers?) in a black Versace gown.
Her prettier doppelganger (or is just me?) Jennifer Garner WAS perfection in an Oscar de la Renta taffeta gown.
Katherine Heigl filled Charlize Theron’s blonde Amazonian goddess shoes nicely in her red Escada number.
I also liked Amy Adams in that emerald classic gown. (But way to pull the Miley Cyrus switcheroo in the Enchanted waltz—for the record, that WAS Amy Adams singing in Happy Working Song but NOT her dancing in So Close.)

Speaking of Miley Cyrus: Who knew? That kid was so poised, so sassy, so loveable when she introduced one of the best songs, I may have to start TiVoing Hannah Montana.

And speaking of guys I went to high school with (that may be the longest distance between original reference and the “speaking of” to ever appear in written form), how cute was the Seth Rogen/Jonah Hill bit? “I have Halle Berry hands.” Har.

All in all, a good, if weirdly “international” night. It’s America’s most glamorous night!—featuring a whole lot of more talented people from Europe.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who’s Going to Eat the Sausage? The Project Runway reunion recap

Well, that was . . . awkward. I’m not sure if I was expecting a big Love Fest, but I sure as heck wasn’t expecting a prolonged support group for the bitter, depressed, and sexually confused.
Is it just me or was there a lot of anger in that room last night?
First, there’s Carmen—at least, I think her name is Carmen (come to think of it, that may be the source of her bitterness). Look, honey, you sent a half nude model down the runway. Maybe, just maybe, your revolutionary scarf-as-shirt idea is going to catch on. More likely, you’re going to get some flack for it. Just deal. Instead, Carmen cried, Carmen whined, Carmen turned to Heidi and said (bitterly), “Thanks a LOT, Heidi” when Heidi introduced the menswear montage.
Next, we have Victorya, who has clearly never let a smile be her umbrella. Also, if looks could kill, Seal would be singing “Candle in the Wind” at Heidi Klum’s funeral right about now. But wasn’t it great when Heidi “innocently” turned to Tim Gunn and said, “Victorya’s always a bit uptight, no?”—as though Victorya wasn’t 10 feet away from her? Meow!
Finally, we have Ricky. Again, I say, when you bawl like you’re the lovechild of Scarlett O’Hara and Jim Bakker, there’s going to be montage. Laugh it off. Create a Ricky-Cries-a-Lot doll. Pull a big endless clown hankie from your pocket. (That would’ve slayed em.) But noooo. . . when they set off the Ricky Cries montage, Ricky looked angry. He pouted. He glowered. What Ricky doesn’t realize is, far more alarming than his frightful array of tears was his frightful array of hats. During the course of that montage I counted no less than six hats, all cocked at a jaunty 45 degree angle:
•We had the black mesh, the one that resembled a hairnet.
•We had the argyle black and white cap that seemed to cut off the circulation to his brain.
•We had the patent-leather, “I’m going to an S&M themed costume party” hat
•We had the inevitable trucker hat.
•We had the fabulous red patent leather police hat (what to get for the cop who has everything)
•We had the white mesh hat, that looks like something the state issues you upon arrival to a mental facility.
Also, score one for the evil camera guy who said, “I’m not trying to push your buttons” while actively pushing Ricky’s buttons. (Of course, getting Ricky to cry is about as easy as getting Britney to show off her vajayjay).
Ironically enough, there were two people who weren’t bitter last night.
The first was Rami. I say this is ironic because Rami seemed to have a chip on his shoulder for the entire competition. Everything about the show made him vaguely aggravated. But last night, he was going for some kind of Project Runway Merit Badge.
He held Chris’s hand!
He comforted Ricky after the Crying Montage, telling him that real men, in fact, DO cry!
He tickled Chris, so that Chris could laugh us into the break!
He gets my MVP.
The other non-bitter person who had every right to be bitter? Michael Kors. The man does have a professional reputation to maintain here, people. First, we see a picture of him and discover that as a lad he looked like none other than Ralph Malph!.
Then, they showed his decidedly—how shall I put this?—unmanly giggle attack he had during the WWE challenge. Not only was he laughing like a giddy school girl, he kind of had to cup his hand under his mouth to catch something (drool?) mid-laugh. Not his finest moment.
Oh, and Nina, thanks for sharing your pain over Meana Garzilla with us. I’m sure that’s not going to catch on.
Loved that they included a “Is Kevin Gay?” montage, featuring the very convincing moment where he tells his girlfriend: “I have lots of new girlfriends, er, of the same gender!”
Who else was shocked that Christian won the Fan Favorite challenge—by a landslide, no less? I kinda figured it would come down to Chris or Sweet Pea (my fave.) (Speaking of Chris, iTunes needs to make his laugh available as a ringtone NOW.) But the little guy pulled it off. How he manages to be irritating and endearing is one of life's great mysteries.
Always happy to see Michael Knight, although until Steve Jobs invents iSmell, I’m not sure if I trust his taste in men’s cologne.
Next week, we get our final three. Smart money is on Rami over Chris, right? Although, ask yourself this: When Heidi dangles the sausage in front of both of them: Who will eat the sausage? Who will eat it up?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Drape Expectations: The Project Runway Recap

Here’s my question: How exactly does one develop a “passion for draping”? A passion for the late string quartets of Beethoven, sure. A passion for a bottle of 1970 Chateau Rothschild, perhaps. But a passion for draping? How do you actually muster such strong feelings for what is essentially a way of folding fabric? (I can only imagine that Rami has a bumper sticker on his car that reads: “I’d Rather Be Draping” or that his friends wear T-shirts that read “I’m With Draper.”)

But our boy Rami is nothing if not consistent. He began this competition as a draper, and by God, he will leave this competition as a draper.

Still, just between you and me, don’t you get the sense that Rami has a little bit of contempt for this whole process? I realize that I’ve been schooled in the language of reality TV, where everyone goes on a “personal journey” and has growth and change and all that Dr. Phil stuff. But what has Rami learned? Nada. Zip. Nothing. He came into this competition with a clear, unshakable faith in who he is as a designer and he leaves the competition (or at least, heads into its final stretch) as the exact same designer. Tim Gunn and Nina Garcia bow down to his impeccable taste and superior craftsmanship, but I see a one trick pony. (It kinda reminds me of the girl who just made the Top 24 of American Idol by singing Amazing Grace—twice! Honey, Amazing Grace is great, but once in a while ya gotta sing a little Stevie Wonder.)

So of course, there was really no question that Rami was going to pick the toga room—er, the Roman and Grecian sculpture wing—at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was there? (Anyone else getting serious From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler flashbacks as they wandered the Met. Just me?) It almost seemed like a trap. Dangle an Aphrodite statue in front of Rami and see if he can resist. No suspense here: He can’t.

But enough about Rami, for now.

Loved the fact that Chris made a true groaner of a joke at The Met (a Joan Rivers joke in the ancient temple wing? really Chris, that is beneath you) and then howled with his patented trumpet laugh, and Tim Gunn shot him a stern, patrician look. No talking in class, Chris!

Say what you will about Christian, but the kid can sew like a whole team of German seamstresses. Remember last year when Laura accused Jeffrey of hiring outside help to finish his collection? (Oh, how I miss the days of naked acrimony among the designers.) Well, no one could possibly level that accusation against Christian. As far as I saw it, boy designed a shirt, a hat, a pair of knickers, a jacket, and a cape of some sort. He practically did an entire collection in the time that it took Jillian to freak out over a coat and a dress. (Jillian? Freaking out? Shocking!!)

Speaking of working fast, how dead did you think Chris was when he was caught napping on the job? Does this guy have 9 lives or what? Not only is he the only designer to ever get cut and brought back to life on Project Runway, but I was 100-percent certain that Nap Gate would do him in. Tim Gunn was positively incredulous. “You can’t be done!” he squeaked, several times. “No one’s done!” (I half expected him to break out a Tom Hanks-like “There’s no napping in couture!”).

But Chris pulled it off—sorta. There’s no denying that his dress was very, very evocative of the dress he made with Christian. (Who are we trying to kid? It was the exact same garment.) But it was well done. And Robert Cavalli was practically kvelling. (Of course, he hadn’t seen the previous dress.)
But still, fair is fair. If you don’t penalize Rami for redundancy, you can’t penalize Chris, can you?

(One irrelevant aside: Is Michael Kors sharing his tanning spray? Everyone on the judging panel seemed particularly orange this week.)

So here’s how it all went down.

Christian won, and deservedly so.
Then Jillian came in second, for making another hot jacket (that lining was to die for, but the dress was nothin’ special). Then, Christian—perhaps emboldened by his shocking arm wrestling victory over Sweet Pea last week—attempted to swing Jillian up in the air in celebration, but realized he couldn’t actually lift her. Oh well.
Speaking of Sweet Pea, aww, bless her heart. She had such a fretful time on Project Runway. She always seemed worried. (Her model even attempted some sort of Reiki healing spell on her to calm her down, to no avail.) But I agreed with the judges. Her dress was cute, accessible, and easy to love—just like Sweet Pea herself. But it wasn’t finals material.

Then it came down to Rami and Chris. I was on the edge of my seat. Could they possibly ditch Rami—Mr. Professional Designer—for Chris, a man who makes triumphantly tacky dresses for plus-size drag queens?
And then they said it: Chris is in!
But wait! Rami is also in?
Ohnotheydi’int. Not the same “We love you all, we can’t choose!” cop out as last year?
Well, not quite. Both Rami and Chris have to design collections, but only one will make it to Bryant Park along with Christian and Jillian. (All completely complicated by the fact that all five designers—yes, Sweet Pea included—had to show at Bryant Park to avoid web spoilers. But we’ll ignore that technicality).

Not sure how I feel about this. I really, really, really would’ve liked to have seen Rami’s stubbornness punished. I mean, how awesome would it have been if he had lost to loud, flamboyant, gregarious Chris—a man who is literally the embodiment of everything he can’t stand? Let me answer that for you: Very awesome.

But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Still, can’t wait to see all their collections, even (she grudgingly admits) Rami’s DrapeFest 2008. (Christian for the win? Anyone with me on this?)

Next week, reunion. And Frau Farbissina, a.k.a. Victorya, gets smacked down by Heidi! Achtung, baby!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

R.I.P. Silly Wally

A break from the normal bloggy festivities to say goodbye to my sister Felicia’s little cocker spaniel, Wally, who died earlier this week.

Wally was a truly ridiculous dog, in the best sense of the word. He was a comical being, everything he did was that perfect mixture of hilarious and adorkably cute that was his specialty.

Instead of giving kisses, Wally would sniff you. (Somehow, he missed the “dogs like to lick” day in doggy training class). In lieu of a sloppy kiss, he would kind of hover over you and sniff approvingly. Sniff sniff, sniff sniff. It was his way of showing love.

He loved tennis balls— had a remarkable nose for them. If you buried a tennis ball in a duffel bag in the back of the closet, he would sniff it out. The sign that Wally wanted to play ball was clear and firm. He would drop the tennis ball in front of you. Thud. (This was particularly amusing the time Felicia was taking a shower and heard the tell-tale thud. Wally had snuck his nose behind the shower curtain and dropped the ball in the tub. Hey, when you want to play, you want to play.)

Wally’s hair had a life of its own. When he needed a haircut, he looked sort of like a cross between a Wooly Mammoth, a Muppet, and the fifth Beatle. When he got a haircut, he was surprisingly slim and jaunty.

Speaking of jaunty, Wally had a good amount of energy in his day. He was quite aerodynamic, considering his center of gravity was pretty low. He liked to jump into open car trunks. However, when he ran out of energy, it was sudden and definitive. He would be in the middle of a walk and just kind of plop down. The whole world looked like a good place for a brief nap, as far as Wally was concerned.

It was hard to get mad at Wally. He was always in such a good mood, always so eager to please, so ready to play. His default state was happy-go-lucky. You could try to yell at him when he got into the trash or soiled the rug. But that little motor of a tail would get going, and resistance was futile.

Certainly the most charming thing about Wally was his complete and utter devotion to my sister. As is often the case with rescued dogs (Wally was found in Patterson Park here in Baltimore) Wally grew enormously attached to my sister. He followed her around the house. He had major separation anxiety when she left. Sometimes, if he couldn’t find Felicia, he would panic: running frantically from room to room, until Felicia would realize he couldn’t find her. “I’m right here, Wally!” she would shout.

Then, he would make a beeline to that permanent place of safety and love, by Felicia’s side.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Let’s Get Physical: The Project Runway recap

Spandex House? There’s such a place as Spandex House? It just sounds like the punchline to a bad joke: “You’re mama’s so tacky, she shops at Spandex House. . .”
And yet, there our designers were, pulling out yards of hot pink and day-glo silver, forced to endure the indignities of the world’s stretchiest, shiniest fabric. I’m sorry, but hearing Tim Gunn say, “Thank you Spandex House” just really doesn't cut it. (And did you notice the random pigeon shot before our designers entered Spandex House? It was like the producers of Project Runway were flinging metaphorical bird shit on the whole enterprise.)
So why Spandex House? Because of the most unholy of unions: Project Runway (my favorite show) and the WWE (is there a phrase stronger than “show I wouldn’t watch over my dead body?”).
The designers’ task? Create a ring-ready outfit for one of the Divas of the WWE.
Curiously, many of the silicone and botox-enhanced beauties referred to themselves as “girl next door” types. One even helpfully noted, “I’m a classy sex pot. Not a whore sex pot.”

Now let’s play the world’s easiest edition of Name That Designer!

Q: Which designer found an immediate soulmate in his WWE Diva, fueled by their mutual love of leopard print?
A: Chris

Q: Which designer snootily said, “This is not what I normally do”?
A: Rami

Q: Which designer tremulously said, “If I design the wrong thing, she might body slam me”?
A: Jillian

Q Which designer confidently proclaimed, “This is my favorite outfit. . .I’ve liked a lot of other ones, too.”
A: Christian

Q: Which designer managed to make a last minute save, taking her outfit from sheer horribleness to utter mediocrity?
A: Sweet Pea

Q: Which designer had no idea how badly he was doing?
A: Ricky

Q: Which designer said of his Divalicious outfit, “I wish I could wear it”?
A: Chris

Q: Which designer named his WWE superhero, Ferochia Couture?
A: Do I really have to answer this?

Bonus question: Which judge said, “I feel like the pope at a sex club?”
A: Michael Kors

For each correct answer give yourself ZERO points. Because really, people, could these designers be any more true to type?

I was worried about my girl Sweet Pea this episode. She fell on her face, huh? When you start randomly draping feather boas on your design just to give it a little pick-me-up, that’s bad enough. When Tim Gunn starts randomly draping boas on your design, you know things are getting desperate. And did you catch what Sweet Pea’s Diva said about her first attempt? “It’s like something you can buy at the Stripper Store.” (No doubt right up the street from Spandex House. . . ). But Sweet Pea pulled it together, kind of. Certainly not one of her patented great saves. But better than Ricky’s bathing suit, which gave his Diva a serious case of camel toe.

A few more thoughts. . .
Heatherette are so over-exposed, they make Donald Trump seem like a hermit.

Sweet Pea calling Christian a “skinny armed twit” was funny. And him actually beating her? The Giants’ big upset now needs to take a back seat.

Was Jillian even IN this episode? (Oh yeah, she did the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader outfit that the judges went randomly bonkers over.)

I didn’t understand Rami’s fugly outfit AT ALL.

Shirtless Ricky AGAIN? That image is now seared into my retinas. To quote Juno, “That’s one doodle that can’t be undid.”

Christian SO thought he was going to win. . . .

Ha! But I was happy for Chris.

And finally, our long national nightmare is over. Ricky is auf’d.

Ironically, he didn’t cry on the way out.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tom Petty! Conveniently breast free since 1950

Okay, first let’s talk about the halftime show. I love Tom Petty, even if the beard did vaguely make him look like an Amish serial killer. And that was an excellent, professional, full-on rockin’ performance he gave. That being said, the whole post-wardrobe-malfunction paranoia on the part of the NFL is getting a little ridiculous.

Since Booby Gate of 2002, the half-time shows have been as follows: Paul McCartney (white male, age 67); Rolling Stones (white males, ages 60 to 66); Prince (sort of black, sort of male, age 49); and now Tom Petty (white male, age 57).

I can only imagine the following conversation between NFL executives:
Exec number one: We can’t have any more female half-time performers, because female half-time performers have . . . BREASTS! With possible exposure of said breasts.
Exec number two: And for that matter, we should probably not book anyone young, black, or hip, because they might do something GANGSTER.
Exec number one: I believe the kids say “Gangstah”
Exec number two: Heh heh. You got that right, Jimbo.
And. . . scene.

My prediction for who will perform at next year’s Super Bowl? Bruce Springsteen. If he’s already booked, Frank Sinatra. Oh wait, he’s dead. . .

As for the ads?
You can't go wrong with baby spit-up and a good creepy clown joke, so I did dig those E*Trade ads.

I also liked the Justin Timberlake' s Pepsi ad, because I think all of us, even JT fans, secretly want to see him get repeatedly pummeled in the groin.

The Coke ad with Baby Stewie and Underdog and Charlie Brown was quite lovable.

But my favorite ad was actually created by the NFL (you see? I dis and I kiss): Loved the story of Chester Pitts, the oboe playing lineman.

All in all, this was definitely a rare case where the game itself was more buzz-worthy than the ads.

Sigh. Another football season has come to an end. Oh wait. . .I forgot: Pro Bowl fever! Catch it! (Yeah, not working for me either.)