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Old Navy, New Disappointment

Kittyteef: I just got back from the dismal selection of pants at Old Navy.

Mirandala: Oh, Old Navy. Consistently disappointing.

Kittyteef: It used to be so good! With a large selection of work pants. Now it looks like romper room.

Mirandala: Old Navy t-shirts. So flimsy.

Kittyteef: Good for sleeping though.

Mirandala: That is how they are used in my household. They do have decent PJ pants. Old Navy: Clothes You Can Sleep In!

Kittyteef: Haha! Totally!

Mirandala: Old Navy: Clothes You Can’t Wear Out of the House!

Kittyteef: Old Navy is like the Garbage Pail Kids version of The Gap.

Mirandala: Old Navy: When Burlap Is Too Fancy!

Kittyteef: Old Navy: When You’ve Run Out of Curtains!

Mirandala: Sigh. I need new pants.

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Happy 2013!

Happy 2013! Here’s to opposition parties joining together for the betterment of all in the coming year.

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Shedwood

This is what I now do on Friday nights…

Note: My knowledge of Photoshop = Calamity Jane’s knowledge of polite conversation.

2 recaps! Chili Snore-Off & Dinner with the KKK

Ok, so I’ve missed recapping a few episodes of Top Chef…in my defense, I’ve been really busy…and the last few episodes of Top Chef have been really boring.  For reals, people!

How can you disappoint two of the nicest, muppetous Top Chef Masters contestants ever?!  Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Miliken, we love you.

So this episode with the chili cook-off started with what was supposed to be fire and excitement and increasingly hot chilis…and yet Beverly still managed to take a hot dish and turn it into a not dish.

She didn’t even cook her chili.  Serious.  she just put it down on the plate with some lettuce and a schmear of dookie.  Is it any wonder that Mary Sue Miliken made this face?

What she’s thinking is “I can’t believe I put that in my mouth.”

Later in the episode, Beverly made this face, which I think is only fair.

What she’s thinking is “Why am I crying?  Is it because my food sucks and I’m a spaz?  What?  I can’t hear you – I’m spaz-crying!”

Sigh.  So everyone pulls an all-nighter to make the chili – which is not really how chili is made, I think…and then they stand in the Texas sun to serve said overworked chili to hordes of Texans with silly hats who will later visit some seriously overworked Porta-Johns.  After service, the exhausted crew is treated to Judges’ Table in Abu Ghraib, when the bottom three are forced to cook some more.  This show is just begging for someone to slice off a digit.  QuickFire!

The dude with the stupid hair who is best buds with the other dude with the stupid hair goes home.  It is sad.  Well, it would be sad if I cared, which I don’t, because watching people cook chili in teams is unbelievably boring – and considering how sleep-deprived the last three chefs were, the judges are lucky they didn’t get served a duo of Alpo.  Still, we did get treated to the poignant sight of Eternal Love Between Two Ridiculous Hairstyles.

Did the next episode make up for this giant pot of simmered snore?  Well…you know, actually it did.

So, in the episode titled “Don’t Be Tardy for the Dinner Party” (which is a nearly unforgivable tip of the sequined hat to a certain “musical” atrocity), the cheftestants are divided into teams to cater a progressive dinner party in a Dallas Cul de Sac of Horrors.  This particular Cul de Sac also seems to require that all of the women have names that start with K.

First up for the appetizer course are Kim and Justin Whitman.  Google tells me that Chuck Norris gave the blessing at Kim and Justin’s wedding reception.  I fear asking Google to tell me any more.

Kim is a “lifestyle and entertaining expert” and she has strict rules for food:

  • Presentation is really important.  (Kim doesn’t want ugly food.  How this squares with Kim’s original desire to ask the chefs to make everything pink, I don’t know.)
  • Kim has a lot of foods that she doesn’t like.  These include: bell peppers, cilantro, foods that produce stinky breath, foods that get stuck in your teeth, foods that she hasn’t eaten before, foods with calories, foods that don’t match her outfit, foods that don’t match her friends’ outfits..

What does Captain TopKnot take away from this conversation?  Clearly this is a household that will appreciate me stealing a dish from my boss at Moto that looks exactly like a Cuban cigar!  What Kim really wants to do is eat a pretend cigar during her cocktail party!  Ashes and all!  Le Sigh.  (oh, and the “ash” is comprised of cumin and sesame seeds, because, you know, those *never* get stuck in your teeth)

On the left, Captain TopKnot’s cigar.  On the right, the cigar they do at Moto.

Right here, Kim’s attempt to eat the cigar.  I mean, she’s game, but she won’t be doing that again, people. (Note how I’m keeping it clean in this post!  Herculean effort, people.)

Entrées will live at Kari and Troy Kloewer’s house.  Kari and Troy had 24 bridesmaids and groomsmen at their wedding.  I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Kari is Kim’s sister.

Troy loves spicy food.  Kari really doesn’t.  Kari also doesn’t like cilantro and she really doesn’t like raspberries.  Troy loves beef.  Kari really doesn’t eat meat.  The cheftestants are speechless.

Frankly, the main entrée course was too boring to recap.  All I will say is that although this looks good:

Apparently it was not.

Dessert course!  Hosted by Kameron and Court Westcott.  I think this wedding photo speaks volumes about their relationship.  Note the possessive grip each person has on the other.  One grip says “Don’t ever leave me, strange trophy blonde.”  The other says “Note my inappropriately-placed grip on you, strange, tiny man with money.”  Oh, true love.  (Side note: can you guess who is named what?  Who is Kameron?  Who is Court?  Why do their parents hate them both so much?)

Kameron and Court want a big, Texas-style dessert.  They love dessert.  The first thing out of Court’s mouth (yes, she’s Kameron and he’s Court) is that he loves “cake balls” (refraining, refraining…).  Court loves dessert so much that his wedding cake (I really hope he meant groom’s cake) was a giant Gummi bear.  The cheftestants control their nausea (barely).

Here’s little Court’s face when he is presented with all that sugar.

Here’s guest judge John Besh’s face when he realizes that he is trapped in this episode until the end.

Here is Tom Colicchio’s face as he approaches the edge of madness.

Edward’s (of the horrifying facial hair) dish is met with a number of sophisticated comments from the dinner party (hey!  Next Bravo special should totally be Top Chef: Donner Party! oh, I crack myself up.)

 

 

Kameron: The presentation looks like a little Elmo.

Kari: Edward’s dish was a bit jiggly-looking.

Kim: It tastes much fancier than it looks.

 

 

 

Inside his head, John Besh is going to his happy place.

The judges can’t deal with Chris’ cupcake and believe it to be a hot mess with too much going on and no cohesiveness (Court loves it.  Almost as much as a nice big cake ball.).  I fail to understand the difference between the various hot dessert messes.

In the end, however, it’s Chuy’s overcooked salmon and goat cheese that sends our little pimento home.  Even Padma is sad to lose the cuteness.

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Goodbye Beard Papa

Oh Top Chef.  Welcome back.  Like an old friend who shows up one day after a long absence, you have returned with all your eye rolls, under-the-bus-throwing, seriously-ill-conceived vittles, and crazy judge faces.  Hi!

I am strangely compelled by this creature.  Why TWO pairs of glasses?  Why is your hairline so low?  What is up with your tiny, weird mouth?  Where have I seen that hairstyle before?  Oh, yeah, right here:

You know who I like, though?  Little Chuy.  What a cutie!

See, now that’s boyish charm.  Unlike a certain misguided Tin Tin wannabe…

Speaking of pasty creatures…

Just add whine.

Anyway, this episode featured a poor little girl’s quinceañera.  I say poor because she had to put up with all the cameras and the weird people and the (apparently) subpar food.  On the other hand, her family probably got the event for free and now she is the Queen of the Quinceañera in her school.  Win!  But, also lose (see food).

This episode also featured the season’s first bus-throwing-under.  Woot!  This happened:

Needless to say, getting pre-cooked frozen shrimp on a cooking competition show is a Bad Idea.

So then this face happened.

That’s Chef Keith assessing his longevity on this show.  Because, even though they didn’t end up serving the shrimp at all – and none of the judges actually had to even know that shrimp was a possibility in the first place, Chef Keith (of the poor judgment) got thrown under the bus and PYKAG-ed.  Have you never watched this show before, Chef Keith?  Rookie mistake.

Top Chef Lesson Two: if you make this face, the Bravo cameras will always catch it.

Alternate loser of tonight’s episode?  This shirt.

Pas de chat

When I was little and my sister and I were totally into ballet, we were also totally into this book.  Seriously – I read it over and over (before I moved on to my Dance Magazine subscription, that is).  Today’s New York Times reveals what happened to the girl in the book.

My new obsession

The Chicago Police Radio Scanner.  My preferred flavor is Zone 11 (Districts 20 and 24).  It’s surprisingly relaxing, especially if you just tune into your own geographic area (although then it’s also intermittently alarming).

You’d think that the scanner would just be full of crime and Terrible Things, but actually, it’s full of amazing glimpses of Chicago life and crazy people and hard-working police officers!  Also crime.  And Terrible Things.  In other words, it’s a fascinating way to check the temperature of city life.  Sometimes I listen to it while working on my computer at home – if you listen to your own district (vs. the city-wide channel), there are long pauses when nothing’s happening in the neighborhood – and then short bursts of activity.  It’s actually the perfect tempo for working – enough space to get something done, but interspersed with distractions that are short enough to offer relief but not long enough to sidetrack you (I’m looking at you, You Tube and Facebook).

Recent examples of what’s come over the scanner:

  • “No mental state, he’s just a cross-dresser.  Goes by the name of Ashley.”
  • “Guy with no shoes sitting on park bench.  Caller saw him there last week taking off his pants, doesn’t know what he’s up to today.”
  • “Caller reporting drunk teens just laying in the alley”
  • “Caller reports person who fell down on the street on Hermitage.”

Sadly, what also came over the scanner this weekend were reports of someone being shot in the head a couple blocks away from our house.  This is an unfortunate reminder that reports of shots fired that sometimes hit people are not uncommon in Zone 11.  As soon as it happens, people are on Everyblock posting “did you hear what I just heard?!”  Life in the RP.

Fear not.  My new pasttime does not compare to Timmy‘s (I could never match his dedication), and this is not about to become a crime blog.  However, if you’ve got some time at the computer and want to know what’s happening in your neighborhood, check out the scanner!

After the screaming

First there was this:

The awesome 3,000 piece puzzle I ordered and have been happily (if slowly) assembling on our increasingly-unavailable dining room table.

Then there was this:

The monumental (although not unexpected) statement of disrespect.

And now, after a burst of screaming and the sound of furry bodies slamming into furniture (which we ignored because a) we’re tired of breaking up fuzzball fights; and b) we were in the middle of an episode of The Office), there’s this:

I mean, really.  It’s like a lawless frontier encampment around here.  Speaking of which, time for more Deadwood, you limber-d*cked c*cks*ckers!

Worked Late

No post today. Back tomorrow, C*cks*ckers! (ok, watching a little too much Deadwood perhaps (can there really be too much Deadwood? (no)))

Top Chef Recapish 2: Bubble Tea

So, this whole start-off elimination thing where they bring in 29 chef-persons and then immediately haze them and PYKAG (pack your knives and go) 13 of them – it’s annoying.  It’s especially annoying that they actually force six of the 13 to go through another elimination round.  These six have been told that they’re “on the bubble” and the judges need to see more cooking before they can decide whether or not to crush their dreams right now…or later in the season.

The Bubble/Stew Room is a sad sight.  There’s Edward, who has a weird jaw-wiggling tic and a bad attitude (sorry, my Korean brother, it’s true), Andrew, who can’t stop himself from throwing a panna cotta on a plate with steamed mussels (eeuw), and Janine, the sister who can’t stop herself from spilling the sordid details of her horrible breakup.  The most horrible crime here?  Worse than an overdone veal medallion: the hair, people, the hair.

Edward overcame his scraggly goatee to grab a chef’s coat in the main competition.  Not so lucky for Janine and Andrew.

There’s also Laurent (horrifying facial hair skid mark on his French chin), Grayson (the Wisco girl with the Foreigner hair), and Molly (the cruise ship chef with something to prove)  in the bubble group.  Yawn.  So little to say about this bunch.  Grayson wins the other chef coat.  Laurent and his disgusting raw scallop dish are out, and Molly ends up not proving anything in particular about ocean-going food – except that when a giant shrimp is the majority of your dish, you probably shouldn’t overcook it.

Yawn.  So boring this episode.  Please get going, Top Chef!  Do not waste my time with any more video of people who are not going to be competing!

Other thoughts:

Emeril:  I like his comments – they’re tactfully delivered and seem thoughtful and to the point.  Still a little Deputy Dog, though.

Padma:  It’s Texas, not Hawaii.  Why is she sporting island-wear in every scene?

Hugh:  Oh, Frida.  RDC and I love/hate you and your weird mouth and Aspergers affect.  Please be yourself – right now you’re just boring us.

Step it up, Top Chef, step it up.