Thursday, February 11, 2016

Random Musings

You know that “TrusTed” logo? Well, I like “DestesTed” better, but this is good, too.

See, it turns out that when you Google “TRUS” you get this:
"A transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is an ultrasound technique that is used to view a man's prostate and surrounding tissues. The ultrasound transducer (probe) sends sound waves through the wall of the rectum into the prostate gland, which is located directly in front of the rectum."
Yup, that’s the very top Google result.

So, basically Cruz’s new logo is about an anal probe and the name ‘Ted.’ And I thought Frothy Mix was good …
I didn’t watch the Superbowl … I’m not into volleyball … but if I had, I would‘a been less interested in the game and more interested in the newest internet sensation: Hot Ref!

It seems Twitter declared Super Bowl referee Clete Blakeman, the 51-year-old former University of Nebraska-Lincoln Huskers quarterback to be “Daddy Ref,” and the true winner of the Super Bowl.

Though I wonder what in the world that hand gesture in that first picture means …
So February 8th was Chinese New Year, and this year is the Year of the Gorilla. But a San Francisco-based Chinese graphic designer kinda went a little sexual with a poster for the celebration.
Or maybe it’s just me … ?
A couple of more things about the Superbowl:

Lady Gaga can sing and rocked the National Anthem — picture Madge singing it … don’t cringe — and Gaga did so with her regular, albeit sequined, clothes.

As for Beyoncé … she basically ripped off Michael Jackson, strippers, Britney Spears and the Black Panthers while flipping her weave and lip-syncing.

Bruno was good, but why was Chris Martin there? When he popped up between Bruno and The Weave, he looked like a nerdy high school kid trying to photobomb the cool kids.

But then there’s this, too: Red Lobster has reported a boost in sales following release of Beyoncé’s new track “Formation” in which she sings:
“When he f*ck me good I take his a** to Red Lobster.” 
Wow. That’s talent. Illiterate talent. Stupid talent. Pandering talent. With a weave. And a twerk.
So ... Carly Fiorina suspended her campaign? I'd always assumed she'd just fire it ... or ship it overseas.
I am loving American Crime — not to be confused with American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson which is also goodGreat storytelling; great cast; great acting; interesting topic: can a man be raped? And what if he’s gay?

But, it also features one Andre Benjamin who is just delicious.

Just sayin’.
Well, it looks like the Ali Forney Center’s Love Thermometer blew past the $200,000 goal in their campaign to purchase Harlem’s hate church, which is scheduled to go to public auction on February 24th.

AFC founder Carl Siciliano has noted, even if the purchase doesn’t go through, the contributions are desperately needed for our LGBT homeless brothers and sisters.

Win … win.
Chris Christie also suspended his campaign because Krispy Kreme is doing a Two-Fer on the Jersey Shore.

Or something …

PR All-St★rs 5 Starts tonight!

Well, PR All-Stars returns for season five, bringing back some old, and some really old, contestants from the PR as well as a couple from that Tim Gunn spin-off show the year Heidi didn’t want to do a PR called “Under The Gunn.”

Let’s meet them …

Alexander Pope, of PR 12

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
I’ve just been working my butt off in costuming for theater and TV.
I see lots of ‘it looks like’ a costume’ remarks ahead for Alexander.

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
Probably my copper hair and Spock-like eyebrows… but things change, especially hair color.
I remember the Ironing Board Pushing …

What makes you All-Star material?
The fact that I was asked back to do "All Stars" makes me All-Star material!
Well, there isn’t a lot to choose from so maybe you were chosen to fill out the PR Dance Card?

Asha Daniels, of Under the Gunn

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway: Under the Gunn”?
I just launched my debut afro punk-inspired collection for Asha Ama in my first professional fashion show since my season. The collection has been shot in a few editorial features. I’m currently working on re-launching my website and online store
She knows how to work the promotions, eh?

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
Everyone that watched the show loved my winning look for Zendaya. Having such a beautifully talented woman wear one of my designs is by far my favorite moment from my season. Designing for a dream client was a huge inspiration and blessing.
I think I remember it …plaid, right?

Who is favorite fellow "Project Runway" designer?
My all time favorite designer is definitely Mondo. Going from watching his amazing talent on his season to having him choose to mentor me on mine has been surreal. We have the same stupid sense of humor and unrelenting passion for design. He has inspired me both as a designer and as a human being. I love his brave and bold approach to creating. Mondo’s definitely someone I love and respect.
I’ll give her that; I love Mondo, too. And not just because he reTweets me.

What makes you All-Star material?
My ambition, unique point of view, determination, and God-given talent.

Daniel Franco, of PR 1 and PR 2

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
I am the owner of Albertson Wedding Chapel in Los Angeles. It is L.A.’s only cool, stylish wedding chapel. I think it is the only one of it’s kind on the West Coast. We market to 25-35 year olds that are deeply in love and that have love a modern aesthetic. These are not religious wedding, but are they sure are romantic and intimate. I style and give hands on artistic direction to the chapel and change it’s look monthly. We perform close to 1000 weddings a year.
So, no design, just weddings?

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
My tenacity as being the first designer to return to "Project Runway" of my own accord. It was not a privilege to return back then, but a right earned. I lost in the lingerie team challenge to Santino’s team and the nation flipped out! At least we got a great song out of it… "Daniel Franco where did you go-oh oh?”
Um, I don’t remember a song but I do remember you losing … twice.

What makes you All-Star material?
I helped build this ship with my efforts 10 years ago. That’s 10 years of living with my "Project Runway" experience. I am All-Star material because my looks from 10 years ago from Seasons 1 and 2 still look in style!
I’m sensing Heidi and Tim might be Gunn-ing for him since he’s taking so much credit for the show.

Dom Streater, PR 12 Winner

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
Lots! I've been concentrating on my namesake collection of print-based garments and accessories, with a focus on jackets and rainwear! I've also been working on a few collaborations like a set of printed headphone skins by Velodyne and a custom collection of mens ties, bowties and pocket squares for the Roots and Jimmy Fallon just to name a few!
Headphones, prints and ties, oh my!

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
Definitely my personality and use of print. I knew who I was as an individual, but I think Season 12 for me was a chance to really discover who I was as a designer and it really opened my eyes to having fun with fashion. It’s what the fans of the show always say they appreciated about my time on the runway!
She was a prints queen. 

What makes you All-Star material?
I think to be an All Star, you have to embody the ideas of perseverance and creativity. “Project Runway” is hard. “Project Runway All Stars” is harder. You have really got to know yourself in order to succeed as a true all star.
Again, you won … that should be enough.

Emily Payne, of PR 13

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
I've been constantly creating new work for private clients, collaborations with other designers/artists/photographers for images for my website, which are both now completely revamped with all new content since my time on the show. I have been involved in several fashion shows and charity events all over the Bay area. I've also taught several draping/sewing classes for youths, as well as PR/designer biography/Q & A sessions.
She’s working the coins from her time on the PR.

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
Being fair, not talking about other contestants or becoming involved in the drama.
In other words, kinda boring? So, why is she back? I needs my PR drama!!!!!!

What makes you All-Star material?
I think my experience in the field for so many years, building an extensive portfolio, collaborating with so many talented and important artists, as well as my placement on the show. Many viewers believed that I should have been able to go to NYFW and thought I deserved a place on "All Stars."

But, I do wonder, if you are so successful, and so varied in your field, why come back to the PR?

fäde zu grau, of PR 13

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
This year I found investors, turned into a company, hired a clothes maker, and already looking for a second one! PENG! After being on "Project Runway," many people contacted me, asking where they can buy the clothes that I was wearing on the show, which I made myself. We just launched our online store at the all new and later this year we possibly expand and sell our FA-bülouzzz clothes in a couple of small stores in Fort Lauderdale and New Jersey.
He’s all lower case. 

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
My "Atheist" shirts and necklaces! To this day people ask where they can buy them. Or they simply congratulate me for being outspoken about it. Another part from the show that many seem to remember was the emotional phone call that I had with my husband John.
I did love the atheist shirt.

Who is favorite fellow "Project Runway" designer?
I have great memories. The time with Sean, Alexander and Kini in the apartment during filming Season 13 was the coolest. We laughed so much it was completely out of control! Coming back at 2 am or something, we still managed to dish for an hour no matter how tired we were. As soon as the door closed everybody was like, “Okay, okay, OOOKAY! Can you belieeeeve…”
A bunch of queens in a New York apartment gossiping until all hours? Who’da thunk it?

What makes you All-Star material?
It was a crazy and draining experience being on Season 13, but I learned a lot, especially to stop doubting myself and just follow my intuition. So I was very glad to be asked back for "All Stars" because I‘m ready to show everybody what I'm capable off.
Now THAT’S an answer.

Ken Laurence, of PR 12

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
Since Season 12, I stepped away from designing temporary to reflect on myself and identify my voice as a fashion designer. Last year I moved from Birmingham, Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia. It's still the south but better opportunities. Also, in February of 2015 I showcased my self-entitled clothing line, Ken Laurence, at Philly Fashion Week and had ALDO Shoes to sponsor the collection. Shortly after I decided to pause and focus on the business, so that I can build the proper foundation to succeed as a fashion designer.
So, is he designing, or is he stepping away? And I heard no mention of anger management classes though this man surely needed that!

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
Well, everyone knows what I am best remembered as... LOL!
Raging bitch. Raging. Bitch.

What makes you All-Star material?
I am All-Star material due to my willingness and perseverance. Giving up after failing the first time around is for the weak. An All-Star surpass the life's storm like an eagle. We use the storm's wind to descend above the clouds.
Oh dear. Word salad.

Kini Zamora, of PR 13

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
Well after "Project Runway" I hit the floor running. I launched my Spring/Summer 2015 ready to wear collection. I also launch a new print that I designed for my Hawaiian wear collection. And started a bridal collection as well as keeping up with building my custom clientele. I'm also keeping busy by talking at libraries, schools and career fairs to share my experiences.
How does he have time for All-stars? 

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
I think everyone remembers me at the “fast sewer” and the nice easy going person on the show. And of course that umbrella dress from the Rainway.
 Oh, yeah, he has time because he’s the “fast sewer.”

Who is favorite fellow "Project Runway" designer?
Amanda Valentine. I think we have like business and creative minds. We are soul sisters! We know how to balance our business and creative life.
 Egads! Amanda?

What makes you All-Star material?
I feel like I have a lot more to show the world and I feel like I have the potential to win. I was so close in my season and I'm ready to go to the end and win "All Stars!"
It’s all about the second chances.

Layana Aguilar, of PR 11

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
So much! Let’s start with: I got married and had a baby boy! After my participation on Season 11 I was able to take my clothing label Layana Aguilar to the next level and leverage from the exposure the show gave me. I traveled throughout the country and overseas to showcase my new collections. One of the places I visited was Aruba, where I signed a deal with a local resort to redesign their uniforms and their prints. I am also working on a big project with Disney for a new movie. I have also been successful in growing my sales and PR presence. I have been working with celebrity Dash Plank from “Orange is the New Black” and we make looks for her almost every week! I have attended several trade shows and now Layana Aguilar is sold in four awesome boutiques in NYC. I also do popup shops with fellow contestants once a month in NYC.I am launching a second label called Laya Land with affordable looks for everyone! Oh, also my husband and I are expecting our second baby, and it’s a girl!
When does she have time to design?

What makes you All-Star material?
I was able to take my experience from being on “Project Runway” and turn it into a successful business with all the hardships and challenges that the competitive fashion industry brings. Not many of us can say that.

Mitchell Perry, of PR 13

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
Since being on 13 I have been on life’s very eventful roller coaster. From appearing on the news and local magazine interviews to even judging local fashion events. However since "Runway," my ride hasn’t always been on the up, I’ve been mugged on the streets and stuck in some legal issues. I spend a lot of time creating digital prints and designing print placement dresses and swimwear.
Wow. Mugged? For his designs? Or because he used to call himself The Mitchell Perry? 

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
I think I’m most remembered by saying, "The shorter the shorts, the closer to God,” and also my amazing disk dress from the unconventional challenge. The unfortunate truth is, when people meet/recognize me, they associate me with being mean, which is pretty sad because that’s not the real me at all.
It was just the TV you?

What makes you All-Star material?
Well duh, I’m freakin amazing. So that is that! Okay just kidding. I’m an All-Star because even in the face of adversity, I still manage to keep a smile on my face and persevere.
Smiling doesn’t make you an All-Star, dear.

Sam Donovan, Under the Gunn

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway: Under the Gunn”?
Since "Project Runway: Under the Gunn," I've been working on producing my own collections and client work, while working as a designer at one of the biggest retailers in the country.

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
I think people likely remember me for my sassy streetwear designs, as well as for opening up about my suicide attempt as a young gay teen. I am still receiving messages from all over the world from people who want to share their similar experiences and struggles with me. It has been rather touching.
Sassy streetwear? I remember Sam from his comments on my blog about me calling him a pissy little bitch; he liked that!

What makes you All-Star material?
My eye for balance between edgy, editorial, creative fashion, and wearable, beautiful clothes.
Okay, I like that.

Stella Zotis, of PR 5

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
Being a full time mom and sometimes taking on a project. My son is three and I’m trying to give him a solid early foundation by being there every day constantly. The design business is very demanding and until he goes to school for pre-k I can only pick and choose my time for jobs.
So, she isn’t designing? 

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
Leather spikes, studs, and rock 'n' roll.
She was a Leather Daddy, to be sure. 

What makes you All-Star material?
Do you even have to ask?

Valerie Mayen, of PR 8

Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since your time on “Project Runway”?
I’ve been busy planning and producing our annual fashion event and fundraiser, Hullabaloo. For the past four years I’ve produced and designed an exclusive collection for this solo show that incorporates music, dance, food and fashion to raise funds and awareness for a different local non-profit that we support. This year we had over 750 attendees. Mondo came to Cleveland and showcased a capsule collection of 15 looks before my collection of 40 looks. Our 4th annual Hullabaloo was a huge success. The collection, titled “Viva Femme,” was inspired by and created to honor the women of Laura’s Home, a center for women in crisis and those who have suffered abuse and rape.
Well, that sounds like a fun event … even though ... Cleveland. 

What do you think you are best remembered for from your season?
I hope I’m best remembered for being funny and happy-go-lucky and having good character. As a designer I think I’m best remembered for my red dress from the Marie Claire challenge and my napkin dress from the party store challenge.
I remember her for joining in with Ivy the Hater to bash Michael. 

What makes you All-Star material?
Honestly…I’m not sure. I feel uneasy saying that I’m an All Star. Who decides that? What’s the criteria? I’m a hard worker and I think I have some interesting ideas and I execute them well. If that makes an All Star, then call me an All Star. It’s an honor to be one… I just hope I can live up to the name.
I think the producers decide, based on who’s available, who’s memorable from their season, and who can bring it.

So, there you have it. A couple of bitches, a mean queen, a sassy queen, a costume queen, a Hawaiian queen.

It’s a mixed bag this season …let the games begin.

West Virginia Takes Religious Freedom To A Criminal Level

I’ve heard of religious freedom before; you know the kind where you can discriminate against someone, usually The Gays, by simply saying Jesus gave you permission. But West Virginia is taking religious freedom to a new, and potentially dangerous, extreme.

Republicans … of course … in the state are trying to pass a new bill that would essentially eliminate all laws if you can prove that the Baby Jesus made you do it.

Drug dealing? Jesus said I could.

Rape and murder? I spoke with Jesus and he understands.

If you can show that religious beliefs, and in West Virginia they mean you Christian beliefs, so all you Muslims that are so dangerous, this does not mean you, made you commit a criminal act then you get a Hall Pass of sorts from God.

I killed my husband because he ate shrimp and in Leviticus …

Case closed; you’re free to go!

I sold drugs because my church needed more money to build a new rectory …

Case closed! Thank you Jesus!

It all sounds crazy, even for a state like West Virginia but …

Senate Bill 11 [SB 11] is also known as the “West Virginia Freedom of Conscience Protection Act” and it establishes that only a “governmental interest of the highest magnitude that cannot otherwise be achieved without burdening the exercise of religion” can compel someone to obey the law if their religious beliefs come into conflict with it.

And SB 11 defines of the exercise of religion thus:
'Exercise of religion’ means the sincere practice or observance of religion or religious conscience. It includes, but is not limited to, the ability to act or refuse to act in a manner substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious beliefs or religious conscience, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.
Now, those who favor the bill say it is just another way to protects those holy bakers and marriage license clerks, and religious wedding venue owners, and good Christians who make bridal gowns, but the fact is that this proposed bill makes it okie-dokie to commit a criminal act if you can prove, or just establish, that the Baby Jesus wanted you to do it. And the state would have to prove a ‘governmental interest of the highest magnitude’ to enforce any law.

Let the games begin … Start cooking meth for the Baby Jeebus! Star raping women because God told you He wanted another son!

Sure, I know it won’t get that far, but this proposed law, and others like it, are seriously taking a step in that direction.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Architecture Wednesday: Treehaven

I love a California Bungalow house because they’re cozy and quaint and cute. But this bungalow, located in Ross, California, just a hop, skip and a few freeway exits from San Francisco, is all that I love in a bungalow … and more …and bigger.

Treehaven is a mix of tradition and elegance and California casual, with fully indoor-outdoor living and sweeping views of the Coast Range Mountains. It’s timeless.

It was built in 1927 by Albert John Evers, a protégé of renowned California architect Bernard Maybeck, and in 2016 the house retains the authentic character of a 1920s home, with Gambrel-style ceilings, mahogany custom-built paned windows, batten board wainscoting, tongue-and-groove detailing, and an exquisite living room fireplace, surrounded by original redwood. The home is drenched in sunlight and offers stunning views of the Ross Valley, Mt. Tamalpais, and Bald Hill.

While the house reflects a European sensibility — 18th century Rococo panels grace the entry steps — it is also a distinctly California home blending the formal and informal, indoor and outdoor living, on more than an acre or private land dotted with majestic oak trees, gardens and level lawns.

A covered entry porch leads to the home's main level and the formal living room, the great room, a library, the den, an exercise room, the mudroom and a sleek, fully updated kitchen.

Just off the kitchen and great room are two substantial outdoor living areas: the west balcony is a great place to dine and enjoy the dramatic sunsets over Mt. Tamalpais, while just off the kitchen is an expansive deck with pool, hot tub, cabana and built-in BBQ. A granite ledger wall surrounds the pool area which is anchored by a large stone fireplace. A few steps below the pool is an organic garden bursting with vegetables and herbs as well as citrus, figs and nectarines.

The home's sizeable lower level — which has its own spacious covered veranda — features four bedrooms and two baths; the master bedroom sits on the top floor, with ten-foot tall windows and French doors opening onto a private balcony; there are soaring ceilings, custom-finished herringbone oak floors and a European-style master bath of quartz countertops and hand-painted tile-work. A roomy walk-in closet, just off the bath, provides abundant storage.

In total there are 5+ Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, 2 indoor fireplaces, handcrafted mahogany windows and doors, oak floors, custom cabinetry, and radiant floor heating in all bathrooms.

Outdoors is an 18 x 36' swimming pool and spa, a covered Cabana, a stone fireplace, level lawns, stone walls, decks and balconies and verandas, Bluestone paths, old growth  oaks, a vegetable and herb garden and a 2-car garage; there is also a Guest Cottage with a full bath and kitchenette.

And it’s for sale for just $8.8 million.

Stormi Stands Up To A Bully

Stormi is a nine-year-old girl; and a Girl Scout. And so, as Girl Scout’s do, she was selling cookies because she likes it and because, as she says, cookies “make people smile.” But not everyone was smiling, because Stormi is transgender, and as she was going door-to-door in her neighborhood, one man turned her down flat, saying:
“Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress.”
Yeah. And that made Stormi sad because she’s a girl. It also made her mad, and so she found a way to shut down her bully and sell more than 3,000 boxes of cookies. She sold her cookies through the Girl Scout’s online site, Digital Cookies, last week and gave people the option of having her deliver them in person. And as news spread about Stormi, folks took notice.

A comedy duo out of New York gave anyone who bought cookies from Stormi free admission to their show; a California multimedia musical, 35MM: A Musical Exhibition, donated a box of cookies to everyone who bought a ticket. An LGBTQ support group in Idaho, Idaho Falls Gender Community, ordered all their cookies from Stormi.

Stormi’s project ended over the weekend. But she wasn’t quite done. She also bought, and donated Girl Scout Cookies to the Illinois foster care system — she is a foster child herself — so those kids could have cookies.
“I want kids like me to know they are perfect just the way they are. There are people all over the world that love you. Never give up because it does get better. [And] I have learned that even though people can be mean I shouldn’t give up!”
Never give up, Stormi, because for every door slammed in your face, there’s an open one waiting.

Good for her; good for her mother for helping her; and good for the Girl Scouts who have always been an inclusive group, and very supportive of the LGBTQ community.

In 2015, a Girl Scout troop in Washington was handed a $100,000 donation — with the caveat that the girls not use the money to support transgender children.

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington returned the check.