Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sad News

Sean Taylor, a safety for the Washington Redskins, died early Tuesday morning, one day after being shot in his South Florida home. He was only 24.

My thoughts and prayers are with Taylor's family, teammates, and friends.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Update: Michelle Obama Will Not Appear on The View

Today on The View, Whoopi Goldberg announced that Michelle Obama will not appear as a guest co-host on December 5 after all. It seems that both Michelle Obama and John Edwards canceled scheduled appearances on The View to demonstrate their support for the television writers' strike. Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters clarified that The View is able to continue despite the writers' strike (and presumably without offending the strikers?) because the show doesn't rely on writers--there's no monologue (unlike Leno, Letterman, Kimmel, and Ellen), and as we all know, the banter among the co-hosts is unscripted.

Michelle Obama and John Edwards are obviously free to schedule and cancel appearances as they please, but I'm not sure that their respective appearances (Obama as a guest co-host, Edwards as a guest) would have been interpreted as not supportive of the writers' strike. Then again, perhaps there's a complex television industry issue here that I just don't understand and that would have made their appearances entirely offensive to the strikers' efforts. I guess Hillary Clinton was lucky to make her appearance of The View before any of this began...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Two Things I'm Thankful For...

It's Thanksgiving week(end). I've spent the past few days in sunny Florida with my family, and I've had some time to reflect on two of the many things I'm thankful for...

1. My Family: On Friday, my mother and grandmother read my little blog and offered very helpful suggestions. (Thanks to you, Mom, for your help with the new layout--so cute! Thanks to you, Grandma, for reading a sports entry and spotting two errors. You were absolutely right; Oregon lost to Arizona 34-24, not 34-34). Also on Friday, my brother braved the after-Thanksgiving shopping crowds with me at 5am to check out the deals that retailers were pushing in an attempt to save what has been a lackluster year for sales. (Thanks to you, Tommy, for driving us everywhere and for not protesting too much when I asked you to hold my handbag so that I could try on a jacket). And on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, my dad and I watched football games together. (Thanks to you Dad, for explaining to me that pass interference carries a different penalty in college football than it does in professional football. Note: While I'm a huge football fan, I admittedly don't know all the rules (yet), and I always appreciate when someone is willing to teach me).

2. This Year's College Football Season: I'm still a little bummed that Florida didn't have a better season. But this year's wildly unpredictable college football season has been so entertaining that I've hardly had the time to feel sorry for myself or my Gators (who, by the way, beat their in-state rivals, the Florida State Seminoles, 45-12 earlier today). The Arkansas Razorbacks' victory over top-ranked LSU last night (50-48 in triple overtime) was just one in a series of stunning upsets that has left me and college football fans everywhere wondering who will have a BCS National Championship Title to be thankful for in January...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Project Runway Gets Bitten!

The lovely Sarah Jessica Parker was the surprise style icon for whom the designers would be working on tonight's episode of Project Runway. And she really did look lovely--she was fresh, modern, and also incredibly kind to the contestants.

The designers' task this week was to create a two-piece outfit for Bitten, SJP's affordably priced line for Steve & Barry's. (As an aside, the reviews for Bitten have been mixed. My entirely unprofessional opinion is that both a keen eye and a willingness to try at least one, maybe two sizes larger than usual are absolute prerequisites for a successful Bitten shopping experience. After some trial and error, I stumbled upon two winners-- a wool funnel neck pea coat in eggplant and a fitted corduroy blazer in olive. At $20 each, I've already gotten my money's worth.)

I wasn't totally wowed by the winning design--a rather complicated black (or was it smoky gray?) dress with a long necktie/bow/distraction attached at the collar. The dress was paired with a cropped, plaid racerback vest. I actually preferred the dress/cape combo designed by Elisa, the eccentric multimedia artist. On the other hand, I did agree with the judges' decision about the losing design. While I can see where this design may have been headed, the wannabe bohemian dress definitely looked more like an itchy blanket than a fashionable and affordable garment that would appeal to a wide range of women. Heidi Klum commented that it looked like it came from someone's basement. Or a trash can. That was harsh, I thought. But not entirely inaccurate.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Michelle Obama to Co-host The View

Here's some fun television news: On December 5, Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, will be the guest co-host on The View. I cannot wait for this! Michelle Obama has been one of my favorite figures in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, and I am sure that this Princeton and Harvard educated attorney and former Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals will do an amazing job as co-host. It's too bad that Elisabeth Hasselbeck will still be on maternity leave when Obama visits--it would have been really interesting to see the two of them host together. Of course, when Hillary Clinton appeared on The View as a guest a few weeks ago, she and Hasselbeck seemed to get along just swimmingly. And just in case there was any doubt, on today's show Barbara Walters revealed that Clinton had sent Hasselbeck a lovely gift congratulating her on the birth of her son. Very thoughtful! Or political. Either way, it was a nice gesture.

15 days until Michelle Obama's appearance on The View!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sports: Still the New Television Drama

It's been a busy two days. First, we learn that Alex Rodriguez will likely return to the Yankees after all, courtesy of a 10-year, $275 million contract. That's ridiculous. Clearly, there is a back story here, and I'm going to wait patiently for the details. In the meantime, I'll just be disgusted.

Next, we learn that a grand jury in San Francisco has indicted Barry Bonds on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. The charges suggest that Bonds lied to a grand jury that was investigating steroid use among athletes. Sure, Barry Bonds probably used steroids, but he's not the only one. And while "everyone else is doing it" is no excuse, this witch hunt couldn't be more transparent. If Barry Bonds is guilty of what the indictment alleges, then fine. But he shouldn't be the only one to suffer a severe punishment for what is so clearly a league-wide problem.

And finally, some sad college football news. Heisman trophy favorite Dennis Dixon, the star quarterback for the Oregon Ducks, went down with a knee injury in last night's 34-24 loss to Arizona, and it doesn't look like he will return to the game soon. This is really too bad; Dixon was having an incredible season, and the Ducks were ranked #2 in the BCS standings before this loss. With that said, Dixon's health is far more important than any game. Here's hoping that he recovers well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shocking Football Games Wait for No One!

I'm ashamed to say that it's been over a week since the last post. This time, I'd be lying if I said that academic obligations alone kept me away. I may have squeezed in a (fantastic) mini-vacation during this past week as well. But just because I was resting doesn't mean that the football season was resting, too. And so, I may be late, but I am nevertheless compelled to comment on two *crazy* things that happened this past weekend:

1. In college football action, the top-ranked, previously undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes lost to the Fighting Illini on Saturday, 28-21. Ohio State's loss paved the way for LSU (9-1) to make its way back to the top of the BCS Standings and the AP Top 25, while Ohio State (10-1) fell to #7 on both lists. This is a tough break for Ohio State. I feel for the Buckeyes, and I'd probably feel even more if I weren't distracted by Florida's steady climb back toward the Top 10 (#12 BCS, #14 AP Top 25) following last weekend's convincing win over South Carolina, 51-31.

2. In professional football action, Adam Vinatieri chose an incredibly inopportune time to miss a 29 yard field goal on Sunday night. The Colts were playing the Chargers in San Diego, and they were down 21-23 with 1:34 left in the game. Vinatieri kicked, missed, and the Colts lost. It was heartbreaking.

The moral of these stories is this: In the coming weeks, the television writers' strike may force tons of shows into reruns prematurely. I support the writers' position. It is an absolute shame that the writers are not getting an equitable share of the profits generated via new distribution channels for the shows that they bring to life, and I truly hope that there is a swift and fair resolution. In the meantime, it's comforting to know that, at least for the next few weeks, football upsets and flukes just might provide otherwise deprived television fans with a little unscripted entertainment.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Celebrity Sighting at Benihana

Academic obligations prevented me from blogging dutifully during the past week, but I emerged from the depths of graduate school to share this fun anecdote: Earlier this evening, while celebrating my birthday at Benihana (which, by the way, is the restaurant of choice for birthday girls and boys--no fewer than five November 5th babies were there tonight, and each received a scoop of vanilla ice cream adorned with cocktail umbrellas and a commemorative Polaroid to mark the occasion), I happened to glance up from the hibachi only to spot former Florida Gator turned Atlanta Hawk Al Horford dining a few tables away from us! A brief detour to his table on our way out of the restaurant revealed that Mr. Horford is both friendly and gracious, and also remarkably understanding when strangers interrupt his meal to tell him how great he is.

The Atlanta Hawks are playing the New Jersey Nets at Continental Airlines Arena tomorrow night, which explains why Al Horford was dining in a Manhattan Benihaha tonight. Go Hawks!