Saturday, October 01, 2005

Oh, Canada!

"Any other great Canadian finds you'd like to share?"

Oh, are a card. There are actually a lot of great Canadian things, and since lately I cant stop making top five/ten lists (High Fidelity, anyone?), here's our top five favorite Canadian things. And, just for the record, neither of us is secretly Canadian, but thanks for asking - I nearly wet my pants.

1. Hockey. Whether or not I'm going to get in big trouble for this, I have to keep it real - I'm a big New York Rangers fan. And while the Broadway Blues probably won't win the cup for another fifty years, and they didn't even play last year, there is something that is strangely attractive about the sport. The traditions associated with hockey are so involved - it's like a religion, and I'm hooked. I've watched enough games where I can now sing the entire Canadian national anthem. Am I sad?

2. Beer. If you've never had Canadian beer, then it's an experience you should have. I'll quote Big Daddy: "You know that Canadian beer is like moonshine." Plus, the Molson's bear in the commercials is hysterical. And how about Bob and Doug Mackenzie?!

3. Star-Making Power. Thank you, Mother Canada, for Keanu Reeves, Alanis Morrissette, Steppenwolf, Joni Mitchell, John K. (of Ren and Stimpy fame), Caroline Rhea, Matthew Perry, Terry Gilliam, and a host of other entertainers that my life would be much thinner without.

4. Niagara Falls. Now, the actual natural phenomenon is pretty, and it was nice all lit up in the dark, but NF is fantastic because a more easily accessible Vegas for those of us who don't care to go berserk. There are casinos, great stores, and all I had to do to get in was show my license. NF is like a big club. When Las F were in college, we took a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Falls, and we had a great time, which only took a three-hour drive. Well worth it! And it doesn't have the garrish excess of Vegas.

5. Canadians. I'll be honest, I've never met a Canadian that I didn't like. And I'm not just saying that to butter you Canucks up, you people are very nice. I'm sure there are a ton of nasty Canadians, just like any other country, but when I visited Canada I felt very welcome. They're so freakishly proud of their country, and I can't blame them. Now, you know there is only one other group of people so freakishly proud of their homeland, and that would be New Jerseyans, so be on the lookout for that top ten list real soon!

Hilary Duff to encourage teens to lose weight

Hilary Duff, the most recent Teen Queen to Become the Size of a Toothpick, is now encouraging other teens to follow in her footsteps.

Um...Isn't the whole idea to get someone who's HEALTHY? There's a distinct air of not-so-healthy surrounding Duff...maybe it's just us. All you people (especially the anonymous ones) know that at Las F are dirty, ugly, fat biddies who will never be loved, and have therefore declared war on all skinny celebrities.

But I still think she's too thin.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The Must-Have Tools of Any Straight-Haired Woman

"Love the advice, but i have straight hair and i never know what to do with it."

Lu, I have been in that boat. Especially if your straight hair is limp, like mine, it can be nearly impossible to find a style that is attractive, easy to maintain and not boring. There are a few things we need to do and own to keep nice hair. Firstly, you'll need to pretty much throw away the notion of wash-n-wear hair. You don't have it. Straight hair is a curse, you have to work at it to make it look good. I'm sorry. But the good news is it is a versatile texture, and with the right tools you can make it into almost anything you want. And for the products you see below, go to American Discount Beauty. Great stuff, dirt cheap!

1. Velcro Rollers. These are the straight-haired girl's best friend, and very versatile. You can make your hair wavy, curly, very curly, depending on what size you get. Dry your hair about 95% of the way, roll all your hair up into an appropriate sized set of rollers, and dry your hair the rest of the way. Undo the rollers and you're good to go! Finish up with a little light hair spray and you'll look good all day.

2. Root Volumizer. Especially for straight hair that gets limp, it will give you some lift so you won't look like a hippie. Spray it on your roots before you blowdry, then flip your head over and finish your roots first. Then flip back over and style as usual. Also, a deep side part is the sexiest thing you can do to your head. I personally recommend the one at left, by Garnier. This is also great if you're just going to wear your hair straight that day - it's just that much more exciting.

3. Two Good Brushes. One should be your regular brush, to get the tangles out. I recommend either a paddle brush with nylon bristles (to cut down on static) or a wide-toothed comb. Your second brush should be a styling brush, like the aerated rounder brush at right. Pick a brush that's as fat as you'd like your locks to be, so to speak. Get a big fat one for big fat waves, and a thin one for curlier curls.

4. Claws. Not for your hands. The little plastic claws with the teeth are great for just putting your hair up quick and looking elegant. Gather your hair at the base of your neck, then twist and pull up, like a French twist. Secure with a claw, and it's the perfect solution to a bad hair day. You can also pull your hair half back - clip the front pieces together at the base of your neck for something different. Or, do a low ponytail with a claw instead of an elastic. It's just a quirky new twist on an old 'do.

5. Jeweled Barettes. Even on a boring hairstyle, a cute jeweled barette can turn you into a glamour queen. And if you find a place where you can get a wide variety of them cheap, you can go berserk, buy a ton of them, and always have something new to put in your hair for every occasion! Like shoes, hair accessories can make a plain onld jeans and sweater into a stepping out-fit. Go ahead and pamper your hair - it's the quickest day ruiner if you have a bad hair day. But it's also the quickest way to feel gorgeous when you think you look dowdy.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Top 5 Guy Mistakes

What better way to kick off our man-help articles than to start with the basics? Some of you guys are past this, and so you can just have study hall. But for you guys who haven't a clue, this one's for you. And we promise we won't rhyme anymore. We'll skip over hair stuff, we covered that once before, so now, on to more pressing topics.

Mistake #1: Shar-Pei Clothes
I really don't get how it is that you guys can walk out of the door in a mess of wrinkles. It just looks so sloppy! You need to get to know your iron. There are some nice ones out there that are not too expensive, and they are not hard to use! Believe me, I can use one very well, and I'm an electronics idiot. Your other option is to buy wrinkle-resistant fabrics, such as those made by Dockers or L.L. Bean. Either buy the iron or buy the clothes, but please do one of them.

Mistake #2: You Need More than One Pair of Shoes
Are you a complete pauper, or homeless? If so, you can ignore this advice. Otherwise, buy yourself another damn pair of shoes. I'm sick of seeing you in those tired old sneakers - oh, I'm sorry. Too personal. Anyway, you may have a pair you love, and you think they go with everything, but you would increase your hotness quotient tenfold if you go out and buy yourself a nice pair of black oxfords. Just like for women, the right pair of shoes can really jazz up an outfit, so just go do it. The ones at left are nice, and they actually do go with almost anything. Later, when you are no longer a fashion padawan, you can branch out into other kinds of shoes, but don't even think about mandals until you graduate to our advanced class. They require a keen eye.

Mistake #3: No One Wants to See Your Underwear
I can appreciate the baggy clothing trend. Skin tight pants are neither attractive nor popular. However, you should not be a) tripping over them, b) pulling them up every 5 minutes, or c) storing anything over 5 lbs. in them. So, bearing those things in mind, buy a pair of pants that fits! And then, pull them up! There should be a select group of people who get to see your underwear, and while we're on the subject, the happy medium between boxers and briefs are boxer briefs, and they are muy caliente.

Mistake #4: One Eyebrow is One Too Few
I know you're terrified of ever doing anything that could be construed as gay. Aside from the glaring homophobia, you need to grapple with the idea that hygiene is girly. And then you need to do it. Start with your eyebrows. You don't have to go crazy; in fact, I'd argue that most guys' eyebrows look great the way they are. You just need to get the few stray hairs in between. The only man that looks good with a unibrow is Bert, and he's not real. Get tweezers.

Mistake #5: The Smell Test Does Nothing
I know, you think you've got it all figured out. You want to wear your favorite shirt, but it's in the laundry. What do you do? Hang it out the window for five minutes, spray it with Febreeze and you're golden. I'm here on behalf of all women to say that we can still tell from a mile away that your shirt is dirty, and now we think you're dirty, too. We women have special vision that can pick out dirtiness, and the above mentioned trick will not do. You'll have to wash it, so either wait until laundry day or - here's a crazy idea - wash it now.

Top 10 Television Shows

"So what are your top 10 t.v. shows?" -Joyce

Such a simple question, such a complicated answer. You have to think about it - top 10 of all time, or top 10 on the air today? And what are we rating them on? There are so many things to consider. I just want to say, Joyce, that this was the most challenging question I've ever had to answer, and a pleasure to tackle. I wish I had four hands, I'd give you four thumbs up. Instead, I submit to you: The Top 10 TV Shows On the Air Today, judged by innovation and entertainment value. Mind you, this list is in no particular order, so don't get mad because #3 should be where #8 is. I just did this as I went along.

1. Arrested Development. This show is a multiple Emmy winning, grass roots cult favorite. It is in the top 10 because it is such a brilliant concept. For those of you who haven't seen it, it's a sitcom posing as a documentary (hence the shaky camera work) narrated by the director, who just happens to be Richie Cunningham - I mean, Ron Howard. The characters are original, the plotlines are ridiculous to the point of hysterical, and it's smart. What's not to like?

2. Family Guy. I'm really showing my love for Fox here. This show is more than just a cartoon. It uses the medium to push envelopes that live-action shows just can't, such as the nudity envelope, the racism envelope and the sexism envelope. It ridicules established social convention, which I'm always a big fan of, and the family is a lot more normal than the Cleavers. I mean, the Cleavers are a great family, but they're not real. At least this family (with the exception of the talking dog) is more reflective of an actual family. Plus - Stewie Griffin is one of the greatest characters ever conceived. I don't care what anyone says - that kid is great.

3. Desperate Housewives. Now, I confess that I'm sick of Eva Longoria and I don't see what's so great about Teri Hatcher, but you can't deny the show has got some real power behind it. The fact that it can draw in viewers from so many places and walks of life - my 78-year-old dad likes the show, and believe me, he is hard to please. Not only that, but this show is not just a celebration of loose morals and loose women, it's more like a pictorial of American life (for some!), and is unashamed by portraying women who have flaws. On a personal level I can't stand the show, but we're not judging these on my personal taste. It's smart, it's different, and you can't deny it.

4. Lost. I admit to never watching the show, but the concept alone makes it top 10-worthy. The shipwreck theme is not new, but the way the plot keeps its wide body of viewers interested every single week without fail means they must be doing something right. I also find it fascinating that they weave plot clues into the show, for example, the winning lottery numbers story. Also, bringing together such a large ensemble cast and keeping all the characters fresh is a hard thing to do, and they do it every time. They're also not afraid to kill of a hot/potentially popular character to be true to the story. Keeping it real is job #1.

5. The Daily Show. A lot has been said about The Daily Show, but sardonic newscasting is my favorite cup of tea. This show has a knack for giving you fake news, but somehow telling you more about the way of the world than the real news does. It's a self-admitted joke, but is still legitimate enough to do interviews with political figures and ask the difficult questions. You know, the ones that make the pundit squirm in their seats. And then the force them to sit there and answer it. I don't really care about journalistic integrity - I want to see the hypocrites of the world puckered at both ends. It also spawned the careers of some of the most brilliant comedians of our time, including Mo Rocca, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell.

6. Entourage. I think it's easy for HBO to get the best shows because they don't have to worry about profanity, nudity, you know, all the things young men like. But regardless of all that, Entourage is a deliciously voyeuristic look at the backstory of Hollywood. Jeremy Piven is a brilliant comic, and it's about time he was given a successful vehicle. And if you've ever seen the show, Johnny "Drama" is another one of those characters that you don't know where they came up with him, but holy crow is he funny. Also, the use of Mandy Moore as her(fake)self was great. It's like fake reality inside a sitcom.

7. Law and Order. This program is the originator of so many other shows, including the entire CSI franchise and NYPD Blue. It's as old as the hills, and its staying power alone is what makes it great. It also has a great cast, no matter which L&W you're talking about, not to mention the sheer number of successful spin-offs it spawned. Vincent D'Onofrio, Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T all do cop mystique perfectly - not overdone, as so many others have. Oh, and by the way, how in the world did Ice-T go from the rapper of "Cop Killa" fame to portraying a detective? God has a quirky sense of humor. P.S. We miss you, Jerry Orbach.

8. My Super Sweet 16. Some of you are thinking, "Is she serious?" Some of you are thinking, "What is that?" If you've never seen it, check MTV out - now bear with me while I explain. This show chronicles how these rich, privileged girls plan and execute their sweet 16 parties. The children really aren't as disturbing as the parents are, though. It is they who are the enablers, who foot the $10,000 bill for the most lavish party on the block. It's really a brilliant cross-section of elite life, although I'm sure that's not how it was originally intended. The sociological implications are staggering - the parent who gives in to their child's incessant whining because she wants her first car to be a Land Rover, or the family's desperate quest to make sure that their party is better than the best friend's. It's a sick train wreck I can't stop watching.

9. Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. You may never have heard of this show, unless you are a fan of Spike TV. Picture this: a Japanese game show of physical challenges. Not really that hysterical on its own, but add a quippy, nasty American overdub and you have yourself a show. It's hard to make a program where all you can control is what the people say, but it worked out great for these people. I can't say it's the smartest show I've ever seen, but I never watch an episode where I'm not crying laughing. That makes it worthy.

10. Mythbusters. I love this show if only because, as one of the most curious people on earth, there are certain things that I've always been dying to know with no way of finding out. These guys use science to find out if urban legends are true or false. For example, they tested the theory that if you're in an elevator, and it starts to free fall, you should jump just before it hits the bottom so you won't get squished. That was proven to be very false, and it's fascinating to watch how they do it. Go check it out and learn something.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

How to feel and look like a princess

Louisa May Alcott once wrote of appearance: "It is the little details that make up the pleasing whole." Believe it or not, people will notice if you've taken time on your look. Listen up---many celebrity stylists won't give you these tips.

1. Tweeze your eyebrows. This may sound rudimentary, but you'd be surprised how many people don't do this. It's OK if guys don't tweeze, unless they're gay or metrosexual and then...they probably don't need this website. Really, ladies, this is for you. A good corner salon will effectively wax your brows for about $8. You can get it done professionally once, and then maintain the brows at home on your own. Just make sure you invest in a good set of tweezers. Look for the kinds with a thick, blunt end, that enable you to grip the hairs easily. We like Revlon's tweezers, about $7 and worth every penny. Check Miribella for some good ideas on how to get started.

2. Get your hair done Again, this may seem basic to some of you. We're not talking about $300 highlights, but we at Las F strongly advocate a good wash and cut every now and again. Find a stylist you trust. A good rule of thumb: If you don't want to end up looking like the person who cuts your hair, then just don't go to them. So if Gothic isn't your thing, it'd be wise to steer clear of that very pleasant girl with black and green hair who promises to make you look like a star. A star of what? The Addams Family?

3. Style your hair on your own. Every day. Don't just fall into the whole lazy wash-and-wear faux pas. In the immortal words of Dolly Parton: "It takes EFFORT to look [good]!" Be prepared to make that effort. Wash you hair in the morning as it is easier to style when it's freshly washed. Brush it carefully. There are hundreds of clever things you can do with your hair. If you're blessed with natural curls, use a styling serum and a diffuser to emphasize them. If you want more full curls, then go for hot rollers. Just do something that makes you feel pretty and confident. It's worth the effort.

4. Paint the barn. You heard it from us first: every woman has her own unique and special beauty. Makeup, when applied correctly, can capitalize on what is already there. A good foundation will protect your face and decrease the negative toll that wind, rain, snow, sun, and grime all take on your skin. Get something with sunscreen for an added bonus. And don't forget color. A little eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick will do wonders for your face, and perk up your look.

5. Take good care of yourself. Treat yourself to an in-home spa night. First, rid your skin of impurities-We at Las F love Queen Helene's Mint Mask, $3 at most drugstores. Then, treat your feet. We love Tutti Dolci, a luxurious line of lotions and scrubs available through Bath and Body Works.

Frequently Asked Questions

We at Las F love when you ask questions, and we encourage that if you have anything you want to know more about, just drop us a line and we'll gladly look into it. That being said, we do get a ton of requests - if you haven't seen yours yet, rest assured they're coming. There are also a handful of questions that we get all the time, and so in an effort to knock out a bunch at once, and not have to reply to every single one, here are the most frequently asked questions and the answers.

1. How do I ___________ on Blogger?
Okay, to be honest, for all those of you who seem to think we're these brilliant web page designers, we're truly not. We happen to know a little html, but mostly all the tools we need come from Blogger, and that's where we learned how to use them. I'd suggest that you go to them for help, and not us, because we are really not so bright that we just invented this all.

2. What do you look like?
Although I have to admit, usually this question comes in the form of an insult, along the lines of, "You're both probably fat and ugly," or, "I hate when homely women make fun of other people." Sorry to disappoint you all - we like to be mysterious, and we'll never reveal what we look like, except to say that we're obviously not so hideous that we're locked in tall towers, and we're obviously not so fat that we can't walk to the computer and write for your entertainment. Other than that, get used to disappointment - we'll never tell. But we are planning on doing a post about ourselves soon (favorites, etc), so if you want to get in your own burning question, leave a comment and we'll try to let you know.

3. Can I link to you?
The answer is always yes. We're a public outlet, and all are welcome. Feel free to share our stuff with whomever you prefer.

4. What makes you think you're qualified to judge __________ ?
That's actually a really good question, and for that answer I'll refer to our manifesto in our profile. We aren't here to change the world or even get people to agree with us. We're just here to issue our helpful, funny and/or disturbing views on the world, especially those that struggle to remain in the public eye. We like to poke fun, all the time wishing it was we who were the big stars - so try not to take us too seriously :)

5. What's with anonymous?
We...seriously don't know. I think this is where people take us too seriously, then they feel it's their responsibility to start taking us down. Well, okay, but it seems like a waste of energy to us. My personal theory is that the person we've skewered (or their mother) is writing the comment. If that's the case - then I guessed we hit a nerve, eh?

6. Can I comment in Spanish?/Puedo comentar en espanol?
Yes, but be forewarned that only one of us speaks Spanish, and I don't know how to make the tilde, accent or upside-down punctuation, so you'll have to muddle through my responses. We also take comments in French (nous parlons francais).

I hope that clears some things up.

Great and Not-So-Great Performances

"Can you tell us about your favorite and not so favorite shows of the past and present?"

Adrian, I'd be happy to. Music is a favorite of Las F. I think the most memorable show, for me, was when I got to see Reel Big Fish, one of my favorite bands of all time. The show was great, because they played all of their best songs, and they made up songs as they went along, too. They're just a fun band, and the energy the audience reacts with just makes you like the event more. What was even better was I went backstage afterward and met the band, and most of them are some of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. Scott, the trumpet (and everygthing else) player is an accomplished musician, and Matt, the bassist, was a lot of fun to talk to. They stuck around for as long as we were willing to. And the weirdest part was Aaron, the lead singer, was actually shy and much shorter than I suspected. Who knew? RBF went through a lot of personnel changes, though, and their new bandmate Tyler was just troublesome. I didn't care for him very much at all.

My second favorite concert experience was when I saw the Barenaked Ladies. They are just such an entertaining band to watch that it's hard not to like the show. The best part (especially if you've heard him do it on any of their live stuff) is when Ed starts talking about something and then all of a sudden it's a funny song. When I saw them the story was about how many ribs he had eaten that week. "Gimme an R, I, B, what does that spell? Rib!" Of course singing along with "If I Had $1,000,000" is an experience every BNL fan should have. When they sang the "Shopping" song, they came out with shopping carts (or buggies, as some of you call them) and did a song a dance. I also loved when they all came out from behind their instruments, the drummer included, to do an acoustic rendition of "For You." Just brilliant.

As far as my least favorite shows, I can't really say I have any. If I like a band enough to go to the show, I'm usually not disappointed by seeing them live. Some shows are more entertaining than others, but then of course some music is entertainment in and of itself, with no need for choreography or embellishment. Although my chief complaint with the concert circuit is the crappy opening acts. What a waste of my time. I've learned to go to the concert late to avoid having to sit through them. Otherwise, a concert is the best night out money can buy.

South of the Border-wear

A reader, who signed his post Bx, commented recently with the following conundrum: what's to be done about summer fashion in the southern hemisphere? It's a good question, and a tough one - we in the north are thinking about fall and, yes, even winter already. I would love a nice getaway, even a mental one, so if I were packing for a Brazilian holiday, these are the clothes I might bring.

Bx mentioned Bermuda shorts as a hot item, and they were pretty hot here, too. In my opinion, these longer shorts only tend to flatter stick-figure women. The Bermudas being sold today are very narrow-legged - wide leg Bermuda shorts become coulottes, and that is very last century. Also, fuller figured ladies might find that Bermuda shorts bulk up the thigh area, and so believe it or not, I'd recommend a shorter short. Personally, I never wear shorts; I find they never flatter my body. I instead opt for above-the-knee skirts. As far as the shorts go, I love colored denim Bermudas, such as the ones pictured from Polo.

Also mentioned in the comment that he and his cronies were disappointed that women were covering more, and I agree that it seems to be the trend. I think this is because women are trying to recall earlier eras, such as the 60s, and the age of reckless abandon is now over. Fashion, as well as many other things, are becoming more sedate. When it comes to bathingsuits, however, I am not a fan of covering up. When I go to the beach, it's a suit and flip flops, and that's it. Walking around in anything else loses the purpose of the whole beach thing. A lot of girls I know say they don't feel comfortable with just a bathingsuit on, and feel fat. I say there is nothing wrong with your body, no matter who you are, and as long as you wear a flattering suit, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Now, that also means that if you are a big, hairy man then a speedo is not for you! Women should pick a suit that flatters them for their size and shape, be they thin or heavy. The reverse of this is - just because you are skinny doesn't mean you absolutely must wear a bikini or look like a prude in a one-piece, like the one above. There are some great one-pieces out there with embellishments or cutouts that are not only sexy but give you a little mystery. It's like Jerry Seinfeld said: men are intrigued by whatever we cover. If we always wore hats, scalps would be the sought-after peek. Just be proud of you.

Now, he also mentioned thongs and lycra pants. I don't think I have to make a big thing of this - don't do it. There needs to be something said of modesty. Try it.

Kate Moss' Pity Party

I was perusing the news today, and Kate Moss is apparently in dire straits. She has been left "devastated" by the drug accusations and the loss of two of her biggest contracts, H&M and Burberry. She says she felt betrayed by whoever took the picture, and was absolutely devastated by the accusations being thrown at her, according to her manager.

Psst...Kate. The way to not get caught taking drugs is - don't do it. You have some cajones to snort coke, get caught, then actually expect us to feel bad for you because little model girl got nabbed with her hand in the cookie jar. I used to actually like Kate Moss, I thought she was quite a good model, and she was disconcerting when she became thin as a stick, but this now is just absurd. You can't do drugs then expect us to feel bad for you when karma comes back and bites you on your emaciated behind. It just doesn't work that way. The interview went on further to ask whether Kate will be entering rehab and the response was, "she's not an idiot." I mean, I think she was an idiot for doing drugs in the first place, but let's not mince words. I don't feel the least bit bad for you. You should have listen to Earl - do bad things and they will come back to haunt you. No one forced you into nose candy, and now it will be up to you to resurrect both your reputation and your career. And those are the facts, ma'am.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


So, I guess the British didn't like this outfit that Sienna wore to her sister's wedding this weekend. Blah, blah, blah.

I'm just glad that everything matches, despite my vehement aversion to all things vest or vest-like.

I'm more happy about the fact that Jude Law didn't go with her, apparently. Maybe he was busy with Sadie that evening.

Celebrity May-December Romances

Demi and Ashton got married. BFD. Personally, I think the arrangement is a little weird. The age thing isn't necessarily the problem, but the fact that Demi's daughters are old enough to sport a crush on the guy makes the situation slightly creepy. Not to mention that Bruce Willis, ever the untiring ex-husband, is always around. I appreciate that he wants to be a part of his children's lives, but you know that when he goes home after hanging out with that mismatched pair, he just rocks back and forth and wonders what, precisely, he can do to keep his lunch down. Anyway, there are a lot of other May-December romances that are not nearly as nauseating as those.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are a great example. Now, at first I was horrified about this, because the age difference is stark, but after a while I got comfortable with it, perhaps because they act like - heaven forbid - a normal couple. Seriously! They're not having affairs with the help, or walking around barefoot in germ nirvana...they're just an obscenely rich normal couple. It may also be the unspoken excusal of older men with younger women. For some reason it's not that big a deal, as opposed to an older woman with a younger man. Why is that, anyway? Regardless, it's hard not to like these two. I saw Michael on Will and Grace and he was absolutely hysterical. And besides - isn't Catherine fabulous? Who didn't love her in Chicago?

Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson are pretty cute, too. Now, I tried really hard to not like Kate Hudson, mostly out of jealousy, but I couldn't do it. She's just so chill. Now she's made a family with her son, Ryder and her husband, 13 years her senior. Another situation where the man is much older and it doesn't seem to bother me, true, but still, they're just normal people, having a family. And while I think Chris desperately needs a shave and a haircut, they could very well live on my block. That, perhaps, is what means the difference between cute and creepy. For example - Soon Yi Previn and Woody Allen are just bizarre. Why? Because that's his stepdaughter. Yeah. That's the difference, alright. The 35 year age difference wouldn't even be so bad if it wasn't for the whole pseudo-inbreeding thing.

To test the theory on that, let's measure the weird-factor on the newly bi-monikered TomKat. Let's see...they were dating for about ten minutes before they got engaged, check. He's been immersing her in a religion she had nothing to do with before she met him, check. There are rampant rumors of a paid contract to get married, check. They celebrated their engagement by having a press conference. Yup, that's about a nine on my weird-o-meter. Additionally, I'm not the biggest fan of Tom Cruise. Ever since Mission Impossible: 2 I've gotten this fake vibe off of him. He just seems like he's never truly himself. A reader who goes by Bunny asked if there was any further buzz about them, since they just seemed to drop off the radar (also weird). The most recent rumors I've heard are that they plan to get married on Christmas Day, because it's a special day to both of them. I find that odd - do Scientologists even believe in Christ? Anyway, I've also heard she plans on taking his last name and changing her first to Kate, so she will become Kate Cruise. Yuck. I don't like this - it smells funny. Stay tuned, fellow curious onlookers.

Pick the Best Glasses for Your Face

It can be depressing and daunting to come out of the optometrist's office and find out you have to wear glasses. I was in that spot in the second grade, and I was not happy. I also had no clue what it meant to pick something that looked good for you. I just picked what I thought was the pretty pair. This was also in the 80s - you can imagine what happened next. Bearing that in mind, it's no longer true that "boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses." Glasses seem to have come back in a big way in the 21st century, and they're not ugly anymore! So then - how do you pick eye or sun glasses that don't make you look ridiculous?

The first step to doing this is to figure out the shape of your face. Your choices are round, oval, square or heart. In order to determine which of these is yours (if you can't simply tell by looking), you can stand in front of a mirror and trace the outline of your face on it with something that will wash off, like eye pencil. Stand away from the outline and try to determine what general shape category it falls into. For most people, the shape of their face is pretty obvious, so don't overthink it. Oval faces are supposedly the best because almost anything looks good on you - hair styles, glasses, you name it. Good for you.

So, now that you know what shape your face is, you don't want to pick the same shape of eyeglasses. If your face is round and you wear a round pair, it's only going to accentuate the fact that your face is round and make you look unduly chubby. If you pick a square shape, however, it will elongate your face, giving you an illusion of a thinner face. If you have a square face, you might consider doing something oval or round. This is another area where you need to pick what's going to look best on you, and let your inner personality come out. After all, you're going to have to wear them all the time, and it's going to be the first thing people see when they look at you. Pick glasses you absolutely love, and that reflect who you are.

Sunglasses are the same way, but you can take more risks with these. Go for a bolder pair, if you want, because you don't have to wear them all the time. Big sunglasses are in, but you don't have to get absolutely huge ones - slightly larger than normal still makes a statement without making you look like Carrie Donovan. You can do almost anything with sunglasses - aviator, rhinestoned, colored lenses - anything goes with these. Have a little fun with them! But make sure you get a pair that is still going to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. Losing your eyesight is not attractive, nor popular.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Series Television Paradox

"I was very intrigued by a certain plane crash/island-themed show last year but decided against checking it out because the potential for having to keep up each week."

TG brings up an interesting point. Shows like Lost not only require that you watch each week so you know what's going on, but it basically ruins its own chances of new viewership. We all know that it's the kind of show where, if you weren't on board during the first episode, you can pretty much forget jumping on now. Especially now that the show is into its second season, there are a ton of things that you don't know that you need to if you're going to understand what's going on. Also, they're going to be answering a ton of questions, and if you don't even know what the questions are, where does that leave you? I'm so jealous. I really want to watch the show, because it truly looks interesting, but would I stand a chance? Perhaps you Lost viewers out there could let me know. Although I have a point of confusion - how does that fat guy stay fat? Even Tom Hanks lost weight when it was just him and Wilson.

I felt the same way about 24. I thought the concept was great, but for whatever reason, I couldn't sit down and watch it when it first aired, and now it is most definitely too late. Does a show hurt its chances if it procludes the chance of new viewership? Of course, with the invention of the DVD, you can go rent the prior episodes, but that's another committment. Do I really want to sit in front of the TV for hours on end, just so I can start watching a show? Do I even have that time to begin with? The answer is no, and so I won't be jumping on either of those bandwagons. But I will add that I wish I could. I feel like there's some club that everyone else belongs to that I don't...and I'm jealous.

Then, the other angle is, how do you know when a show should be watched from the beginning? What if you start watching a show like, oh, I don't know, Head Cases, only to have it cancelled? Or another show, only to find out you spend all that time watching it, and it sucks? There's no way to tell with television. On a side note, Everybody Hates Chris beat almost everyone in the ratings - shocked, anyone?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Anime - Not Just Cartoons

I mentioned to a friend yesterday that I was going to go home to watch anime.

"Anime??? What are we, Japanese seven-year-olds???"

"Uh, no," I replied, with as much indignation in my voice as possible. In case you haven't heard, anime is a legitimate art form with a buttload more entertainment value than some of the stuff we're force-fed in America. We'll excuse her - she's a sweet girl who has had no exposure to the genre, and since many of you out there may be in the same boat, we're going to drop a little education on you. While cartoons for those in the West are generally anvil-laden giggle fests, anime is much more sophisticated fare. The subject matter is usually not meant for children, although there are many child-friendly shows out there. Also, the shows do not go on indefinitely, as our shows tend to do until they lose viewership. Some of them last quite a long time, but from what I've seen, most of them air until they've told their story, and they end. I will discuss with you my three favorite series.

My absolute favorite anime, without exception, is Cowboy Bebop. This series is about a group of bounty hunters, and lasts for what comes out to two American seasons. One of the reasons this is my favorite series is because it deals with a lot of very deep emotions, both painful and pleasant. You can really get into the characters because they have a lot of depth. It is at times funny, but is clearly meant to be a drama. Let me put it to you this way - I still cry when I watch the ending. It is just that good. The series also includes a movie, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, and a soundtrack by the absolutely brilliant Yoko Kanno, which spans about five CDs worth of music. After all - the Bebop they refer to, in addition to the name of the ship, also includes a healthy dose of bebop jazz, especially the infectious opening theme. It's just such a good series, you really ought to give it a try. I would warn you to just muddle through the first four or so episodes - it starts to get really good after that.

My second favorite anime is Trigun, a story about Vash the Stampede. Vash is known worldwide as a lethal killer, until we as the audience find out that it's mostly because he's terribly clumsy. This series also ran for about two seasons. I personally found the first half of the show, more or less, to be the funny half of the series. The second half tends to get heavier and deal more with Vash's life, and what his quest is. That much was a little jarring, since I was laughing at the show at first, then when it started to get heavier I felt like I was waiting for the jokes the whole time. There are some excellent characters in this series as well, including the gun-toting man of the cloth, Nicholas Wolfwood. Overall, it was a great series.

The series that I will always love no matter how old I get is Sailor Moon. Go ahead, laugh at me, I get that a lot. A friend of mine recently lent me the entire series and all three movies (a hefty load, believe me), and you know I stayed up until 2am last night watching them. Anyway, this series is one of the first that I ever watched, and I always liked it. It was a good fantasy kind of storyline, very involved. Plus, there is just something so appealing about having magical powers to hurl things like fire or lightning at people. Very jealous. I could think of a handful of people I wouldn't mind incinerating. She's also such a klutz, which is something I relate to well. This series seems to be incredibly popular, as well. If you Google it, you'll find an absolute mess of shrines - yes, shrines - to each of the scouts, the villians, just about every character you could think of. Apparently, this show is easy to get obsessed with - but I wouldn't know anything about that.

Music You Must Hear, Vol. 2

"Thanks for the song recommendations. If would be great if you continued to do so."

Hey, we aim to please, right? Back by popular demand is my music recommendations for you. I like to do oldies first, then new stuff. You really need to go and listen to Bjork, but I'm going to make a caveat here. If you like mainstream, straightforward rock or pop, then you should definitely not listen to her music. Don't go listen to it and then come back and be all, "Damn, that sucked!" because I'm telling you now she's not for everybody. She's incredibly experimental, and it's sometimes jarring to an ear that's used to radio fare. If you're looking for something terribly different, Bjork's your gal, and she is just dripping with talent. On a side note, Dancer In the Dark was a fantastic film, but only watch it if you're in the mood for a good cry and can handle the films of Gus Van Sant. Toward the end of the film you'll realize why she only acted once - she really gave the role 110%. In any event, I recommend "My Spine" and "Our Hands," not because they're both body part songs, but they're good to start out if you've never heard her before. Then, to explore her depth you should move on to "Joga" and follow it up with "It's Oh So Quiet." Now, if you're really feeling experimental and you're in the mood for something heavy and industrial (as I often am), try the remix of "Enjoy" found on her Telegram album. It helps to like techno if you're going to try Bjork; she's definitely different. Think about that swan dress. Different.

As far as new music is concerned, I've been all about the new Gorillaz album Demon Days. Yes, that "Feel Good, Inc." song is nice and it's popular, but there is so much more going on with that album. "November Has Come" was one of my favorites immediately, a little angsty and a mellow backbeat. I also liked "Dare," which has become quite popular overseas and made it into a commercial. The best thing about the Gorillaz is that they're not just a rap band, or a pop band, or a rock band. They do all kinds of different things, so it's hard to get bored of them. They also run the risk of doing something terrible, but they're willing to take that risk, and that's commendable. So go out and listen to something old...and new.

The Hip New Trend...Knitting?

I'm sure my grandmother, may she rest in peace, would be absolutely thrilled that the whole knitting thing became the sexy thing to do. There are books, kits, and of course the thrill of a handmade clothing item. We at Las F were, to say the least, surprised. What is going on, here?

Part of why I think knitting has become big is because a lot of women were already knitting but didn't want to tell anyone for fear that people would consider them odd. So, instead, women turned knitting circles into what they now call Stitch n Bitch, which is an opportunity to sit around, knit or crochet, and gossip. Not to mention that it's a cheap hobby, and who doesn't love that? It also seems to be terribly popular among the college crowd - look at the girls in the picture! These ladies, under normal college circumstances, would ordinarily be found doing kegstands at their favorite frat's house, arguing over who was the Chuggernaut and who was Tyrannosaurus Becks. If you're interested in jumping on the bandwagon, there are a ton of websites out there to help you learn, although some of them can be kind of confusing. These people have special code words for how to make stitches, and they all know what they're talking about, but no one else does. That being the case, I recommend visiting Crochet Cabana. Don't laugh, I'm serious! They're pretty good at helping you learn what your doing without being magnanimous about it.

This is a good hobby if you have to sit around somewhere, like if you take a bus to work, or if you need to chill out sometimes. It's a fantastic way to disconnect; you focus enough on what you're doing that you pretty much forget everything else. It's like cotton drugs. Even my boyfriend, who you may remember me mentioning before and is unmitigatingly straight, has tried crocheting and enjoyed it. Of course, he's only using black yarn, because anything else would be too feminine. Also, we've been reminded that, once you make yourself a blanket, you might run out of things to make. This can make you resort to making things like tea cozies and ornaments for your home. Don't let this happen to you! Las F prefer to donate the blankets they make to a charity that redistributes them to the homeless and elderly. This way you won't look like the crazy neighbor who crochets everything he/she owns. Especially now that winter is coming, charities such as those are entering their busy seasons, so any donations are welcome. Crochet Cabana also has a link to charities that provide that service, so you can click around and find one near you. Otherwise, you can try to make your own clothes - at your own risk.