Thursday, September 30, 2010


Good Lord, have you ever cried so much at a ProjRun episode?

So tonight, some of my friends and I traipsed down to Beauty Bar, a hipster dive where the schtick is a manicure and martini happy hour most evenings. Pretty enticing, this; I may have to take them up on it some evening. Anyhoo, they show Project Runway every week on a few projector screens, and during the commercials, they have raffle drawings and DJ Craig C spins until the show comes back on. Sweet and frilly cupcakes and cosmos are the order of the hour, and everyone just has a great time.

The reason for this scene is Denver's own Mondo Guerra. As I've said before, that boy is bound for Fashion Week. Ain't no stopping him now. Three wins in a row. He's got pretty much everything you'd want in a designer: strong point of view, he's not afraid of color, and has damn-near impeccable tailoring. Oh, and Nina j'adores him. If you can clinch that, you're golden.

Mondo rules the roost at Beauty Bar during PR showings. Tonight, he also brought along the much-maligned but still adorable and talented Michael Costello and his boyfriend. (One of my friends claims to have, uh, participated in a threesome with them last night, but that's a story for later.) As we found out later, it was because Michael wanted to provide support for Mondo tonight.

Once again, Mondo blew everyone away; no one was even close to him. And, of course, the room went berserk once he was declared the winner. But here's the big deal, in case you don't watch PR. The designers got to reunite with either their mothers, or in one case, the guy's hot-as-fuck boyfriend. Tears flowed like boas in a drag queen's dressing room - myself included. But then it came out that Mondo was HIV-positive, and had been for 10 years. He wisely decided not to tell his mom as they were enjoying an afternoon together in the big city. But it rode on him. And his poz status inspired the gorgeous black, yellow, and purple print he made of repeated plus signs. After hesitating on the runway to reveal his inspiration to Nina, he decided to divulge his status, much to everyone's deep respect. Tears, cheers, and hugs everywhere again, both on the show and at Beauty Bar.

Now, for the killer: Did I mention that his parents were at Beauty Bar, too, watching the whole thing? (Uh, Mom? Dad? I have something deeply personal I need to tell you, and nationally syndicated TV seemed the most appropriate way to do it.) I'm sure they were frightened and probably more than a bit upset, being (most likely) conservative Catholic Hispanic parents. But seriously, I'd like to think that was buffered by the obvious Mondo love flowing through the well as the obvious Mom love that surfaced when the moms reunited with their kids. At least, that's the hope.

I'm firmly on Team Mondo. At the beginning, Gretchen was the one to beat, and she's still pretty solid, but her latest designs haven't been all that. Still, her spot in Fashion Week is hers to lose. I know I've called out Andy to complete the Fashion Week trifecta, but after the past two weeks of random designs, he's lost focus, and I don't know if he can get it back again. He does have that strong POV, though. April is also a big contender, and I see her possibly beating Andy out. Everyone else can pack it up and go home. (With apologies to Michael C.)

Why it's not easy being green

Once upon elysian days in halcyon fields, I loved the color green. It vied with blue for my favorite color, until I came out and fell in love with orange as well. (Blame Very.) But for the past year or two, my love for green has steadily dwindled, and uggh...if I open up the pages of the local alterna-screed and see one more shade of green, I'm gonna puke. Green puke, of course, just to purge it from my system once and for all.

Why is this? Well, as a leftie health care professional who does not prescribe drugs (can't even do it legally if I wanted to, which I don't), I can say the color green has been linked with our profession, at least to some extent. You's the color of that beaten-to-death sacred cow, The Environment. And my colleagues and I are nothing if not tied with the environment. Pretty much all our healing techniques are dependent on the health of our planet: herbs, homeopathy, clean water, fresh air, high-quality food, and other such stuff. If it goes down, we start to struggle. Digression over.

So I can sum up my aggravation in two words: Medical marijuana.

The only real objection I have against marijuana in general is that I really don't care for the smell. (That, and the "we fear what we don't know" argument...I've never ingested marijuana in any form other than second-hand smoke.) I'm not against medical marijuana...I've heard numerous stories about how it has dramatically helped people seemingly after all other (allopathic, traditional) methods have failed. And medical marijuana has been available in Colorado for a few years long as you have a, uh, doctor's "prescription." It's been about as easy to procure said ganja as limping (truthfully or not) into a dispensary, claiming joint or low back pain or some other such thing, and getting someone to write a prescription for it. Again, there's a legitimate use for it, but when 18-25 year old males are the demographic that uses medical marijuana most, it kinda makes you wonder about that legitimacy.

I suspect there's been a lot of abuse of the legal right to use medical marijuana here in the (ahem) highest state in the nation (average elevation just shy of 7,000 feet). And it gives medical marijuana a bad name. There was a law passed this past year making it significantly more difficult to run a medical dope shop (read: you gotta have all your licensing creds together), which, knock wood, will raise this profession's standards. But until that law gets enforced, there's plenty of evidence of an economic marijuana bubble about to burst all over the place. And the most readily visible evidence of that is in the back pages of the local rag, where every ad for a place that dispenses marijuana is, of course, green.

For that matter, I seethe when I see the word "wellness" or "holistic" used in such context. Marijuana, on its own, does not constitute "wellness." It is not a "holistic" treatment. And for health care professionals such as me, using these words in the wrong context a) gets at my craw, b) usurps a word that really, should be about the medicine that my colleagues and I practice, and c) could potentially damage what little reputation our profession has.

Overthinking things, mayhaps? Guilty. But fergawdsakes, I can't WAIT to see the green ads for medical marijuana be reduced from 6+ obnoxious pages of poorly-regulated, low-quality shoppes down to maybe a page of ads for a handful of reputable companies.

And while I'm at it, I'd like to have a pony and peace in the Middle East.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Your fucking stupidity has killed me. Now my goddamn cat is homeless."

By now you undoubtedly have seen this hilarious beauty. The debate between the old warhorse iPhone and the new upstart Evo/Android rages nowadays, and many people think the iPhone is going down.

I'm no tech expert, but as someone who has had both an iPhone and an Evo (my current phone), I have to say that the iPhone wins out in my book. I may change my tune soon, but I've got some reasons why (much to my better half's chagrin) I still prefer the iPhone.
  • Music. First and foremost in my list, of course. iPhone backs up seamlessly with (duh!) iTunes. Plug it in, and iTunes opens automatically and does its job. The Evo has a crappy music platform that's hard to back up. Worse, it doesn't link easily with any music software like Media Player. Big fail in my book.
  • Sound: Voices sound awfully tinny on the Evo. And for that matter, the little music it makes when it starts up is pretty craptacular. Sounds like some tone-deaf audio intern came up with this half-assed music that was thrown on at the last minute because...well, you do have to have something on there, right? Paging Thomas Dolby, please.
  • Backing up in general. Effortless with the iPhone. Plug it in. Done. But the Evo? Wake up your phone. Plug it in. Open the top menu. Select the item that says "Select to change USB connection type." Then select "Sync contacts and calendar." Then "Done." It finds HTC Sync on the PC. Hang out for a takes some time. Then on the phone, select "Sync now." If you're lucky, it syncs up immediately...but that's not a guarantee. Then you get to close the window with a report of what just synced (which actually is a pretty good feature.)
  • Battery life. Far and away, the #1 complaint of everyone with an Evo. I agree...the battery life SUCKS. But you have so much going on in the background that of course the battery life is gonna suck. And suck and suck. How do I adapt? A charger at home, at work, and in the car. Pretty high-maintenance for me.
  • Too many options. This, in my mind, is one of the big differences between Apple and least from a user point of view. Apple is streamlined, with very few ways to do things...but they are effective. Microsoft is more varied, with many ways to do things. This accommodates more, uh, interaction and learning styles, I guess. ('s called "customization," apparently.) But for me, it's a bit too chaotic. I appreciate the relative simplicity of the iPhone and its easy learning curve.
  • Size. I just plain think the Evo is too big. Many will disagree with me, especially those with thicker fingers that need a bigger touch screen, and they have a legitimate argument. For me, though, the iPhone was just about the perfect size.
  • Predictive text. It's great if you accidentally type "reapect" and your phone automatically shows "respect." But do you really need predictive text if you're typing "dog"? Especially if there's five different words it offers as possibilities? (Or you could hit the arrow that offers up even more...20 words in all, including "significant" and "division." Please.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"...a cross between MC Hammer and The Beverly Hillbillies Grandma..."

Michael Kors is a treasure. Even when you take away his contributions to fashion. His witticisms are simply brilliant. This blog title just happened to be his best one yet this season of Project Runway. I also have a soft spot for "barefoot Appalachian Li'l Abner Barbie."

There's being catty for the sake of fun, you guys. But yeesh! Who pissed in the judges' bowls of Bitchy Bits this time? Duchess L'Orange (aka Kors) looked like he'd just had his teeth scraped with a rusty metal hasp, and Nina Garcia (aka Meana Garzilla) looked next in line for the torture. And it didn't help that this TV season's ice queen extraordinaire, January Jones (aka Mrs. Betty Francis) was on line to help with the executions. wacky Milla Jovovich here. Not even Frau Seal was friendly. Interrrupting a designer trying to discuss his dress just to say you're about to lose it laughing because he was so way off the mark (even though he was so way off the mark) is just plain rude. (Thus saith the king of run-on sentences.) There must have been some gawdawful disaster backstage before taping began, and I cannot wait to hear what it was all about during the reunion show.

And on the flip side: let's hear it for the hometown boy! Team Mondo! He's bound for Fashion Week, kids. Mark my words. He and Gretchen and...well, I would have said Valerie before tonight, and I do adore her, but she's slipped a few too many times now for me to be so confident in her. That third spot's up for grabs by this point.


And now for some completely depressing things: this was the front page of tonight. This stupid-ass self-pity party. And directly underneath it, this latest attack on the sacred institution that is marriage. Seriously, you guys, if gay men were to try and bring marriage down, I don't think they could come close to what this monstrosity is proposing. We just want some simple legal rights and some tax benefits awarded to our straight brothers and sisters that we don't have. Meanwhile, brides-to-be are using this show not for finding the man of their dreams and pledging eternal love, but as a means for getting the lipo they've always wanted. Seriously. Another nail in the coffin of meaningful marriage, y'all.

And the worst of it all: total, endemic lack of confidence. Well, at least small business is doing among the, uh, least bad of them all. Huzzah for the small business owner. (Yes, that's me patting myself on the back.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hairstyles I Have Known...

The good, the bad, the ridonculous, and the downright tragic.

The straight comb (through age 12): Pretty much the most boring of 'em all. Not so good for a fine-haired towhead like I was. Showed off every little mistake a stylist made. But I didn't really care too much about hair...for a while.

The spike (one-time shot at age 10): So I wanted to try something new and edgy. My stylist offered up this beauty, which made me look like I had a blond koosh ball sitting on my forehead. Never again.

The part (through age 15): Pretty innocuous, except for when my mom first bought me Dep to help with the part when I started 6th grade. I didn't know how to use it. Combed my hair to the side, then applied the Dep only to the bangs so they would stay. End result: a lock of hair across my forehead as stiff and attractive as a plank of wood.

The flattop (again, one-time shot at age 13): This was too good. Asked my mom if I could get a flattop. She assented, but I totally didn't hear her say "wait until after your sister's debutante ball tonight." I came home with this beauty, suntan lines and all, and you shoulda seen her jaw drop and her eyes bug out as she turned the corner from the garage hall. Comical now, but she shot flames of fury my way that afternoon. (Sister's ball went off without a hitch, natch.) But as a hairdo, it was way too long. Picture Bart Simpson.

The skater bangs (through age 18): Partially inspired by my skater betty girlfriend, I decided to grow my bangs long. They eventually reached down past my chin, and provided a great quasi-refuge when I was feeling antisocial (which, every damned day, people).

The #3 buzz (summer of '94): Look. When you're working at a Boy Scout camp, and no one really cares how you look, and the last thing you need to do is pay attention to your hair on your way to the morning's flag ceremony, why bother? Make it easy on yourself and hack it all off. That was my philosophy. Worked fine by me, and again, none of my fellow counselors paid any attention, but at least one of my high school friends threatened to disown me if I ever did that again.

The green stripe (fall of '94): And when you hate the college you go to and read the Anarchist Cookbook and listen to the Dead Kennedys and the Descendents for inspiration, your hair has to change accordingly, right? So once my hair grew out from the #3 phase, I took Manic Panic Alpine Green to my hair in much the same way my unfortunate experiments with Dep went. It actually looked quite cool, but washed out way too quickly. Two applications over two months, at which point I decided it was too much trouble to be worth it. (One picture taken of it, an ex who probably shredded the picture when we broke up. Squish squish.)

The long hair (summer of '95 through summer of '96): Almost the most unfortunate of 'em all, especially once it got long enough for me to tie back in a ponytail. Yes, you heard right. In its shaggy, Eddie Vedder era, when it was just getting started, it was actually quite cool. But I had to go further, and one year in? Dear Lord. Yes, there are pictures out there, about which the less seen, the better. Worst of all, I decided to keep the hair - tied back, of course - when I sang for my sister's wedding. And, oh, God, I hate to admit it, but Ma, you were was a phase, and a bad one. Mea culpa. But not the worst. That honor goes to...

The Dutch Boy (fall of '96): Take your long hair. Tie it back. Chop it off. And when it gets longer and annoys the hell out of you, push it behind your ears. And pray to God there's no one with a camera within miles.

The butt cut (winter of '96): Now, go to a Russian hairstylist, tell her you have no idea what to do with this craptacular style, and ask her to just make it go away. Terrible name for it, but a part down the center made for one of the more successful styles I've ever rocked. Extra, extra points to her for using only scissors.

The spiked part (various and sundry times throughout): A little less conservative than a regular part, and way easier to maintain. My old standby.

The bedhead (current): Who knew I could wear this to work and get away with it? Maybe not terribly doctorly or professional, but it's fun and looks pretty good.

The death row inmate (fall of '05): I had just finished chiro school - the worst two years of my life. I needed some form of catharsis and release. So once graduation was done, I went to a friend who had clippers, and asked him to take 'em to my head. No guard. Just straight-on clippers. I saved the hair, and burnt it along with written memories of the worst times, people, places, and experiences I'd been through. Threw the remains into the lake in the center of the campus, and yelled a few defiant "FUCK YOU!"s at the place that had damned near flattened me. And I looked every bit the angry asshole for a few weeks afterward. Upside: I did get quite a few approving looks from guys in gay bars who went for the uber-masculine. But since I've grown my hair back out, I've fallen out of favor with them. Oh well. When you really don't have all that much of a receding hairline, and you're not going bald, why cut off what you have?