Once Upon a Time: Season 2 – Premiere

Things are changing this season on Once Upon a Time. In the first season we learned that Storybrooke, Maine is filled with characters who had been cursed by the Evil Queen to forget everything and spend eternity in Maine…a fate worse then death. At the end of last season, the curse was lifted, and a purple smoke haze brought magic and memories back, but the inhabitants of Storybrooke were never transported back to their fairy tale world. That is the best that I can do to fill you in because, honestly, this is not a show you can start in the second season. I am not entirely convinced this is a show you should start in the first season, but oh well, here we are. Continue reading

Glee Interviews: Season 4, Episode 3 – Makeover

Here we are again, on a dark Thursday night, watching one of the most frustrating musical Dramadies in history unfold. It is time for Glee! We have the NYC set — with Rachel and Kurt fleshing out their new lives. We also have the Lima, Ohio crowd — forging forward with their meaningless Midwest lives. And they manage to do it all while singing, dancing and running around in absurdly high heeled boots. After 60 full minutes, I had a few questions, like, “why is the show still on the air?” and “when will Rachel become a Special Victim?” We here at By That You Mean have the privilege of sitting down with a member of the Glee creative team to provide us with some answers.

Thanks for once again taking the time to talk to us.Today we were subjected to songs like “Celebrity Skin” and “A Change Would Do You Good.” Do you think that your time could be better spent picking more memorable songs for the show? Continue reading

SNL Weekend Update Thursday: Episode 2

Please tell me this is the last Weekend Update I will have to suffer through on an otherwise happy Thursday night! I mean, what the fuck, Seth Meyers, must you ruin everything you touch?

The show started with a political cold open —  a town hall meeting with Obama in Ohio. This was not funny because it was a little bit too true. Jokes about the unemployed, foreclosed homes, meth addiction and immigration were kind of depressing. Kudos to Jay Pharaoh, though. He is continuing to impress with his Obama impression. Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 66 – Dumpster Diving

This podcast is hot garbage. Literally. Dumpster Diving! Is it an Olympic sport? Are we now being sued by the Olympic Committee?

Is anything real anymore?

Episode 66! It feels…significant? We’re so close to 69. AKA, the sexy episode. Well, not really. That one will probably be about putting pets to sleep or what we would do if aliens landed. Normal podcast topics.

Just like this. A podcast about garbage. Enjoy! Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 9 – Print Challenge

I really loved the flashback to Mondo’s season, when he used a plus sign as the basis for his unique print, stemming from his HIV+ status. His look was winning in its own right, but the personal connection really sent it over the reality waterfall edge. It was more than memorable. For once I don’t mind the HP product placement, since in this challenge the touch-screen capabilities [and side note: a Mondo-inspired laptop bag] really do enhance the abilities of the designers. Wasn’t Elena super cute when her mom walked in? I of course loved that her mom had an equally edgy look. My only real complaint with the challenge was that the designers were forced to create a garment inspired by their personal history.T

  1. This was a forced connection with Mondo’s very real reveal a few seasons ago
  2. Shouldn’t they always be designing from a personal place? Sure, they aren’t designing for themselves literally, but they’re supposed to always send something down the runway that truly speaks to their inner designer selves.

However, this is a minor complaint, since usually the prints are uniformly fine; it’s more a question of scale (too big = gawdy…too small = indistinguishable) than the individual drawing that ultimately becomes the pattern’s unit.

Lastly, the cuteness award goes to Fabio’s boyfriend.

Anyway, on to Loves It / Hates It! You can see all of the looks here.

Continue reading

SNL: Joseph Gordon-Levitt / Mumford & Sons

After what I consider a strong start to the season last week, Saturday Night Live continued the long-standing tradition of being a hot mess.

The overall theme for tonight’s show is to make the host Joseph Gordon-Levitt “do voices.” regardless of his talent, looks or comic timing, the SNL writers seemed determined to make JGL sound like an idiot.

I noticed the voices around the 2nd sketch. After JGL put his clothes back on, he does the Spanish voice, then he does a 20’s Film Noir voice, an over the top teenage boy, and a white rapper guy. So many awful voices, it was hard to focus. Okay, so those are the notes that I have for the host.

On to the best and worst of the night!

Continue reading

Glee Interviews: Season 4, Episode 2 – Britney 2.0

This week of Glee is all about Britney Spears. You remember her, right? She was famous once and several seasons ago, Glee paid her tribute. Apparently, unbeknownst to us at BTYM, Britney has enough songs to warrant a SECOND tribute. After dusting off some sad, old songs and hyping some new, awful ones, we sat down with a production insider to answer some of our burning questions.

BTYM: First, thank you for focusing on Brittany S. Pierce again. But can I ask why we have to subject the world to more Britney Spears? Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 65 – True Blood

Another week = another special guest host. Please give a warm welcome to returning guest host Nick. Oh you can’t do that because this isn’t a live radio program. Shut up.

This week we’re a’talkin’ True Blood. That’s our Louisiana accent. Get it?

In much the same vein as previous podcasts about GleeSmash, and Star Trek, listen as we discuss what we love, what we hate, and what we love to hate about this very strange show.

Enjoy! Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 64 – Special Emmys 2012 Edition

We couldn’t let this year’s Emmys broadcast go by without doing a podcast, could we?

BTYM stopped the digital presses to bring you this emergency podcast.

Predictions, criticisms, bets, threats…these are things, things that must go into an Emmys podcast.

You’re welcome.

(Normal BTYM podcast to follow on Monday as usual.)

Phew. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 8 – Starving Artist

Have there even been this many team challenges in Project Runway history? There have been almost as many team as individual challenges this season. Because we like misery? I have to say that this was maybe the first time the interactions between the various team members did actually provide insight into the design process. However, that doesn’t forgive the theme of the episode. What was the connection between making crap clothes to sell on the street and this being a team challenge where that money was used to buy materials for a fall collection? Fall collection = street selling…somehow.

The award for best “what the shit is that hot garbage” confessional cut-aways definitely goes to Alena, who is slowly moving away from love-to-hate to just plain love.  There were a lot of great lines from Dmitry to: “Alena, you wake up mad.” “Alena is walking depression.” And so on. On to Loves it / Hates it!

Continue reading

SNL: Weekend Update Thursday

Will someone explain to me why Lorne Michaels decided to take the WORST segment of Saturday Night Live and turn it into a prime-time special?

It is my own fault for not reading the title correctly. I assumed this would be as it was four years ago — a smart, celebrity-filled countdown to the Presidential Election. I wanted Tina Fey/Sarah Palin  and Will Ferrell/George W. Bush. I wanted more fake commercials.

Even if the show was not 100% focused on the election, what a great opportunity to include previous “Weekend Update” alums onto the stage? I would even take some Norm MacDonald! He is still alive, right?

Instead, I was subjected to 30 minutes of Seth Meyers awkwardly recycling jokes from the Daily Show. Continue reading

Glee: Season 4 Premiere – Interview with a Show Insider

BTYM: I was struck by the relatively somber tone of the premiere. Clearly with a new season brings new and difficult challenges for the familiar faces, but it was more than that. Peppered throughout was the usual “our differentness makes us special” tone of course, but I also noted an insistence on gritty realness, particularly in New York. In a sort of, “oh you thought your life before New York was hard, well suck on this truth,” way. Though it was fleeting, there was a shot of the World Trade Center being reconstructed in the background of an early Rachel scene. I’m not super sure Glee is up to the caliber of making even tacit references to 9/11 rebuilding, but it wasn’t so overt as to seem out of place. I’m wondering if you can speak to the decisions made going into this new season, specifically how to ramp up the hardships of the characters. Continue reading

SNL: Season 38 Premiere – Seth MacFarlane / Frank Ocean

I can’t say that I missed the comedy of Saturday Night Live over the summer, but I did spend some time thinking how the show was going to survive with the loss of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg. Oh, and also Abby Elliot.  Last season seemed to rest on the mighty shoulders of Wiig and sometimes the only well thought out segment would be the “Digital Short.” Who…whom…which comedians could possibly fill the void left in my heart?

It will be these three people, who I am not going to describe right now because they were practically non-existent in the premiere show. Instead, read about them here, at the Daily Beast. I will only state that I am looking forward to seeing some new characters, and the clips provided in this article do a lot to whet my appetite.

Okay, enough of that, let’s talk about the first show of the season. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 7

As the season chugs along and contestants are cut, it’s becoming less laborious to talk about the final looks. This show just has way too many people, most of whom are forgettable. Has anyone ever seen RuPaul’s Drag Race? It’s the total opposite.

I (MJ) liked the challenge — design a manufacturable dress for Lord & Taylor within a set price range — even though it is inherently cross-promotional with a brand, but at least in this case it’s a fashion brand. How is this type of challenge not more common?

Design a uniform for the Postal Service. Design a look for the US Olympic Team. Design a look around a couture shoe.

These are problems for which designers might need to find solutions, and yet they can still be interesting to the viewer. For example, Christopher looks at the existing Lord & Taylor Project Runway collection and notices it has only two evening gowns, whereas Gunnar sees a connection between the styles of two dresses that he could work from. I like this. Plus, there will be drama no matter what. We hear “Lord and Taylor” and know it is a clothing store. I’m just so turned off by the various Lexus/Dillan’s Candy/HP challenges.

On to the looks! Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 63 – You Smell Like Cat Piss

Hear ye, hear ye! It’s time for another episode of the By That You Mean Podcast.

We’re the official podcast of when you are on the subway and hear something revolting, so you make a face, but the people around you don’t hear what you’re hearing and so don’t understand the context, and instead they make snake-eye faces back at you, like “Ugh, who is THIS person?”

Well today our friends, Michael recounts just such a story that will make your eyes puke and your ears melt. Not quite, but it’s up there. On the eyes puking scale of 1 to 10 we give it a “gazoinks!”

Enjoy. Continue reading

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: It’s on!

The Drag-o-Meter makes its triumphant return October 22nd, when the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres its new “All Stars” season.

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 12 – Finale, Save Yourself

Did someone say something about tying up loose ends as quickly as possible? Goodbye, Russell Edgington. You were surely the funnest villain in recent memory on True Blood. Well, Michelle Forbes was maybe more exciting. You were up there, though. I kind of wanted Russell to eat all of the fairies. All of them.

And while I’m making requests, let’s petition for Stephen Moyer to be staked. You read that right. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 6

It’s the regular person / Loreal co-branded design challenge, where invariably everyone bitches and moans about how unfair their fat clients are. It’s hilarious how little enthusiasm the Project Runway designers have at the prospect of making clothes for real people. Not sure why this has occurred to us yet, but Dmitry is Count Chocula in human form. You see it? Oy, it’s hard to watch Ven, who is particularly demeaning to his client. Ironically, he is the most “plus size” of the contestants.

The designers are once again totally underwhelming. Why aren’t the judges hammering them more? In past seasons there have been better outfits that were torn apart in judging. Is it true what DM suggested, that they are scraping the bottom at this point? We’ve never been so bored so consistently week after week with the off-the-shelf looks, which, speaking of… Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 62 – Not Without My Beirut

It’s a very special edition of the By That You Mean Podcast. Chelsea is joined by a very special guest host, Layla, who recently joined Michael on a trip to Beirut.

Yes, that Beirut. We went a week after this happened.

But it was fabulous! And slightly scandalous! We took pictures!

This one’s deservedly long, so grab some humus and park yourself in a sex sling, because here it comes!

BONUS GALLERY: Continue reading

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 11

It’s the second to last episode of another season of True Blood, which means every new character and plotline that haven’t already been called off must be crammed into as few minutes of onscreen time as possible.

Let’s list all of the ball-trippingest new elements we are hoping are never mentioned again:

Lilith
The Authority
Werebabies
The Fae

Let’s discuss Lilith. Continue reading

Cult: Series Premiere

This summer, I had the nerdy privilege of attending Comic-Con San Diego for the first time. Aside from the plethora of cosplay, acne, and virgins there were also premieres. To be more specific, many television and movie studios use Comic-Con to get buzz started on future releases. There are “much-anticipated” premieres (like the first trailer for The Hobbit) and there are some “interesting-but-not-exciting” first peeks (like Hotel Transylvania). What I saw falls very much into a third category called, “what is this and who cares?”

Let me paint the picture for you.

I struggled to find a seat close to the front so I could see the pseudo-celebrities up close. Sure this meant I was squashed next to a morbidly obese, type II diabetic on a Hoveround, but come on, I was getting free TV.

Some mouthpiece for the CW introduced the TV show Cult, describing it as a meta show within a show within a compound. At that description I was already plotting my escape for a bathroom break, and boy, would I be glad I did.  Continue reading

First World Problems

Having an abundance of cheap lobsters, making lobster rolls for the second time in one week, but then forgetting to segregate the shells in their own trash bag. #MorningAfterRegrets.

Cast Iron Steaks

The key to “grilling” steaks indoors is the cast iron skillet. You can use a flat one or a ribbed one. The ribbed ones are good for giving the steaks “grill” marks, but the flat one allows the steaks to cook in juices. Let’s start with those juices.

30 minutes before you preheat the oven, season the steaks on both sides. I use a steak seasoning from Aldis. Nothing extravagant, just lots of salt, pepper, and garlic. Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 61 – Dreams

Happy Labor Day! We’re taking the week off at By That You Mean to pause and reflect on what labor means to us.

Just kidding here’s a long-ass podcast about dreams.

Enjoy!

Continue reading

The Cote d’Azur Is More Than Nice

Nice isn’t what my husband and I expected.  We expected it to be, well, French. But it’s just as much—maybe more—Italian.  Picture being in an Italian countryside village like Assisi but with crepes and us speak English and practice it themselves.  Gloriously, there’s no Parisian language conceit.  In fact, Niceans are more accepting and relaxed all around.  For example, suddenly, while eating al fresco at a “kitchen”-type restaurant, munching on a rather mediocre salad Nicoise (originated in Nice, of course), an older man at a nearby table broke into song, soon joined by his fellow diners.  This went on for quite some time—until they left.  No one except my husband and I seemed to notice, yet alone mind.  Frankly, all my when-in-Rome hospitality convictions failed me as we found their extravagant warbling to be more annoying than charming.  Rather than enjoy the novelty, we analyzed the spectacle to death: What if we tried that? What if we joined it?  What if we voiced our disapproval?  Bad, bad hospitality on our part, I confess. Other than that episode, we found Niceans to be friendly and accepting. Continue reading

Curbside Garden Diary: Weeks 7-10

As has become a common affair when tending to the garden, I had a very long conservation with my neighbor, the president of the block association. I learned that she has lived in our neighborhood 46 years and has gardened down the street for over 20 years. I was impressed. They apparently just installed a sprinkler system. She said that other people often ask her what the fronds on the street side of my garden are, and I explained they are asparagus sprouts. She pointed out that my zucchini so far had only male flowers and that the female flowers have little nubs on them that produce the vegetable. You’re supposed to pick off the male flowers and eat them, since they’re otherwise useless.

She also suggested I plant more perennial flowers next time.I couldn’t care less about that, but I held my tongue. She warned me squirrels might eat the tomatoes. What tomatoes? Fuck! I didn’t think of that, though. I was more worried about animals on the ground, but squirrels are crafty. We closed the conversation speaking about how people bring their dogs to her garden even though there are signs. She said one once told her it was fine for the plants, because dogs are natural. Yes that makes sense! We both agreed dog piss was not the same thing as grass-fed cow manure. I felt a little bad for her.

How has the garden fared as the summer has dragged on? Continue reading

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 10 – Gone, Gone, Gone

In the “previously on True Blood” segment my husband takes time to point out just how overpowered the vampires are in this universe. Can the werewolves, shifters, slutty faeries, or whatever Lafayette is ever truly compete? I don’t know if anyone else recognizes the character actor Sookie chopsticks to death in the intro, but I will always remember him as the lovable Phlox on Enterprise. Live long and prosper. I love how Sookie is so used to piles of blood in her home that she doesn’t bother to clean it up. Point of order: is it illegal [from the humans’ perspective] for a vampire to turn a human? We can assume not, since there’s not been a mention of any sort of investigation into who bit whom.

Blergh! Let’s discuss the rest of this bloody mess of an episode in true Am I tripping balls fashion… Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 5

The challenge this week on Project Runway was to create a “fashion capsule collection” for a real world / workplace setting. In a team, with a photoshoot! Was Raul a little too upset about being chosen last? He is kind of not great. There was seriously so much freaking out peppered throughout the episode! Lots of swearing and yelling for no reason. “CAN YOU DO A VEST AND A SKIRT?!?!” Why is this yelled? We also learn that a one-way monkey = one-trick pony. In conclusion, so much yelling.

DM hates team challenges. It stresses her out to have to sit and watch people fight and be whiny and catty. That said, the whole episode she kept wishing they could send Raul, Elena AND Gunnar home because of their bad and selfish attitudes. It’s a team challenge! Be a team player, because if your collection isn’t cohesive, there’s MORE of a chance you’ll get sent home.

On to Loves It / Hates It! Spoiler Alert: The judges seriously disagreed with MJ this week. Does he have bad taste? Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 60 – Goat Island (UPDATED)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be stranded on a deserted island? What would you bring? Who would you have sex with? What would you make cheese out of?

These are questions the BTYM Podcast’s extremely talented hosts, Michael and Chelsea, have thought long and hard about. So long. And so so hard.

What would they bring? Their answers may surprise you. First, to send a few ground rules… Continue reading

Son of Man

Up until the last scene, Son of Man should be called Mother of All, for Mary becomes the self-actualized driving force for all in her community.  If there is any hope for her neighbors, it is because Mary develops her self-confidence enough to inspire their hope and influence change.  Jesus, on the other hand, walks through his scenes without much emotion and deliberation.  Contrasting Jesus’ flat characterization to Mary’s fully developed portrayal; I hope to show how the film comes very close to portraying female self-actualization.

Let’s quickly review what I have determined (from Abraham Maslow’s work) to be the three criteria for self-actualizing: 1) know and accept who you are; 2) resist unhealthy, forced acculturation; and 3) contribute to a better relationship/world. Continue reading

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 9 – Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Ugh, the Authority. More of the Authority. Didn’t have enough I suppose! As the “previously on” segment reminds us, we’ve spent way too much True Blood time on the relationship between Eric and his apparent vampire sister — whose name does actually escape me at the moment. What about more time spent on Eric’s relationship with Pam? Are Eric and Bill still technically prisoners? Yes and no? I lament the decision to focus this season around the inner workings of vampire politics and religion. But then wow, a very rare full frontal male nudity! I’m very surprised. I thought this was Blood and Booby Hour.

Tripping Balls?

LITERALLY

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 4

This season’s contestants are quitting left and right! We’ll miss Kouen, or however he spells his name. We didn’t really get to see much of him. Wouldn’t it have been fun to see how he tackled the other challenges? DM is really not wowed by any of the designers on this season. She’s very turned off by many of them, and doesn’t really like any of them. Very few of them have any real strong design aesthetic. It’s like the producers and casting directors were scraping the bottom of the barrel this season, which is apparent in the way so many of them just can’t handle the pressure and just decide to give up so early on.

And good lord does MJ not care for Christopher. What is going through his mind? DM disagrees. They are going to fight about Christopher all season. DM adds, “And seriously who is Nathan? I keep forgetting.” Indeed. In general MJ finds the contestants to all be sufficiently interesting as people but fairly boring as designers. And why are most of them so afraid of color? And fun? It’s like they all want to design for the store they have back home in Muncie rather than a runway in Milan.

Finally and most importantly, GC’s back in the loves it/hates it game! Her hilarious comments have been retroactively added to this season, so please do go check out our earlier recaps. Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 59 – 2 Spiders 1 Web

Occasionally the hosts of the BTYM podcast will put a lot of thought into a podcast topic, only to be far funnier and spontaneous in the intro, which is cut in editing.

So we’re starting a new trend with episode 59 by including one such snippet. Consider it an easter egg or a blooper. A solid gold easter egg blooper!

Or as Chelsea would say, aeygah. Continue reading

Casual Summer Dinner Party

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I like to throw a fun party. I enjoy the planning process.  Thinking of a theme, planning the menu, decorating my house, etc., is really fun for me.  These days with two small kids, it’s harder for me to put as much effort as I’d like into planning parties and gatherings with friends. But, I still do my best to make it a nice event, try to enjoy the process and love the social aspect of the party the most (especially the wine drinking!).

Last weekend, Andy and I hosted three couples, two of whom didn’t know each other. These are my favorite dinners…I love the opportunity to introduce people and get to know others better.

Continue reading

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 8 – Somebody That I Used To Know

“For the first time in a decade I ate a child!” I have to say that I just love everything about the Authority vampires getting high and indulging on humans. “I need a baby. Lilith wants me to eat a baby.”

But I know you too well, True Blood, you’ll take this glorious campy violence and ruin it with melodrama and plot twists. And sure enough, Bill switches back to reason with little more than a glance from Eric. Are we supposed to like Bill? We see him in flashback letting his daughter die rather than vampirify her. Does he ever try not to be evil? Not that it matters, since he changes motivations seriously multiple times per episode.

Which brings us to the weekly “Am I tripping balls?” segment of this recap… Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 3

Thank goodness it’s a team challenge this week, because there’s less to critique! We still have just way too many contestants. There are over a dozen. How is this possible? The team challenges on Project Runway are usually enjoyable, and in what must be a first, the producers gave up the usual trope of the not-at-all-shocking twist. “Oh, these two people have to make more than one look? So surprising!”

Is it a little strange, though, that not a single male former contestant was included in the group of people to design for? Granted choosing all women levels the playing field, but it would have been interesting to see.

Lastly, we have yet another lame product tie-in. This time it’s Lexus, providing “color inspiration,” AKA the only six colors they paint cars with. “Lexus” is mentioned numerous times. Gag.

On to Loves It/Hates It! Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 58 – Animal Trivia

It’s time for another trivia edition of the BTYM podcast. This time we’re going wild. That’s right, it’s animal trivia. And then a pun about animals goes here!

Chelsea took predatory animals, obvy, while Michael took prey (which it turns out is like, every animal).

We’ve also included below an extra special copy of the questions and answers so that all of our deaf readers can play along.

Enjoy! Continue reading

True Blood: Season 5, Episode 7

In typical True Blood form, this episode opens with an interesting if entirely confusing scene, immediately following Chris Meloni’s death. There is some business with light (UV light?), darkness (safe?), a “protocol,” and the [human] vampire guards. I was super confused and had to watch it again. Was the protocol activated automatically, and if so how? By the staking? There was a brief countdown during which it appeared the Authority people knew to crouch down. Was the light horizontal? I’m confused how crouching in place was helpful to them. Wouldn’t Russell figure that out and do the same thing? It’s been made abundantly clear that he’s supremely powerful, yet he’s caught by a silver net fired from a single [human?] guard.

But then at the end of the episode, right before all of the vampires meth out on Lilith’s blood, it seems like just anyone who’s in the building gets to be in the room with Russell. So they’re all in on it? But then why did the guards freak out and net Russell, seemingly at their command? OK, so they weren’t all in on it initially, but now they are? Or they might be, and this is their time to take a stand? Did Salome have one-on-ones with all of them in scenes we missed? I really do feel like the writers are dicking with us at this point, but we always forgive them because they pepper insane violence here and there.

In case you can’t already tell, watching this episode made me super trip ballsContinue reading

Paris Syndrome

To be clear, I’m addressing Parisian hospitality, not the national hospitality of France.

France is my favorite place to visit, and Paris was high on my France list…until now.  I just returned from 6 nights in Paris.  Unfortunately, the Parisians—their rudeness, loudness, condescension, and lack of culinary effort—consistently disappointed me on my trip last week.

OK, I’m not saying I had “Paris Syndrome,” which is described by Wikipedia as follows: Continue reading

Hotels – Las Chullpas Eco-Lodge

Quero Cancha EN, Urubamba 084, Peru

Las Chullpas  is up on the mountain away from town but oh so wonderful! We found no reason to leave except to venture out hiking. The rooms are comfortable but with a rustic feel to them. They have used some clever ideas in the rooms and around the grounds that just put a smile on your face. See what they’ve done recycling bottles. They have wonderfully hot, hot showers! There are beautiful garden areas to sit in and enjoy a cup of coca tea. Also herb gardens all around. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Episode 2

The first few episodes of any Project Runway season invariably are a struggle for me to remember most of the contestants. How many are there? Like 38 or something? For example, please explain the difference between Christopher and Gunnar. You can’t. Well, the “unconventional challenge” episode each year tends to rectify that. In what I’m hoping isn’t — but fully expect is — a trend, this one’s especially product placementy. Does Dylan’s Candy really need this much exposure? Are they planning to expand worldwide or something? Usually this challenge takes place in grocery store or party store. Here, it’s logos galore. Oh well.

On to the final looks!

Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 57 – Gaydar

What’s the T girl? You loke like death. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Brace yourself, bitch.

That’s right it’s gay week at By That You Mean. Oh, wait, that was like a month ago? Shit, well, it’s gay week in space. Where no one can hear you queen!

This week your hosts discuss that elusive sixth sense: gaydar. Do you have it? Do you need it? By the end of this podcast will we have made you gay?

There’s only one way to find out. Continue reading

Colonie

I tend to feel late to many New York restaurants, and Colonie is no exception. I’m “late” in the sense that it’s been on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights for a while now. Years ago I remember filling a rental car up with gas across the street once, watching as a scene from Gossip Girl was filmed. Yet it remains a new restaurant in my mind, and I’ve been in no rush. Given that the owners apparently couldn’t afford a “y” I felt secure in my aloofness.

Odd spelling aside, it was on my 28th birthday that we finally stopped in for a bite and a drink. Though we didn’t have reservations (and my cloying “but it’s my burfday” sad face didn’t work), we were able to sit at one of the high chairs overlooking the kitchen. These seemed like the best seats in the restaurant. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading

Hotels – The W

The W on Lexington Avenue in New York City — not our usual Starwood Hotel experience.

Although not informed at booking or during several calls to the hotel, our request for adjoining rooms lost us 50 sq. So instead of our usual Starwood upgrade, we were downgraded. No free rollaway or breakfast coupons compensated for the cramped space. Our final bill listed a $148 charge for touching sensored mini-bar items, which resulted in a ten-minute dispute at the reception desk. Continue reading

Project Runway: Season 10, Premiere

Project Runway is back! Project Runway is back? I feel like it was just on the air. Oh, nevermind.

I’m so glad there isn’t a lame pre-episode where they cut a bunch of people this time around. I am, however, not glad about all the branding. The contestants all seem sufficiently odd and sound bitey. Freegans and white dreads and what have you. There is a fun moment when Tim Gunn walks in to ask how everyone is doing and they all collectively groan, “ohargyahboouhyahblah, ” in unison. Sponsored by Brother. Also, I love that Lauren Graham was a guest judge. Gilmore Girls for the win.

Let’s talk about the final looks, in classic Loves It/Hates it style… Continue reading

BTYM Podcast: Episode 56 – He’s Probably Dead

This is the true story (“true story!”)

of three strangers…

two living in an apartment complex, one living somewhere else…

who work separately and have their phones ring…

to find out what happens…

when people stop being polite…

and start getting real…

The By That You Mean Podcast. Continue reading

True Blood Season 5, Episode 6

Finally, vampires fighting werewolves! Sookie microwave fingering Russell! Not to mention Alcide shirtless within the first five minutes. But twist! Bill glamours him into always protecting Sookie whilst simultaneously being disgusted by her.

Ahh, True Blood.

Did we know Sookie could unglamour people, by the way? Apparently Eric didn’t. Or he did and was just having fun? It would have been fun to see Alcide recoil in horror a few more times, but this is True Blood, and plot points must be dismissed as immediately as possible. And let me just say that I do not need yet another scene where Alcide argues with yet another hick would-be pack master. Doesn’t it seem like they are always in a barn or outside surrounded by beat-up cars? They might want to try renting out a bowling alley.

On to the main event: Am I tripping balls?

Continue reading

Sandy Coughlin’s The Reluctant Entertainer Well Worth Reading

My 10 Commandments of Hospitality:

          1. “Hospitality is not about you.”

I was just reading today that the host’s hospitality goal is not her own self-actualization but an appreciation of her guest’s identity. Hans-Georg Gadamer has worked on this issue of the possibility of ever knowing another’s “horizons.” Here’s what Thomas W. Ogletree notes: “This emphasis is a corrective to the Western tendency to begin and end the experiences of others in terms of his or her own experiences, and who assimilates the moral import of the other into his or her own self-actualization.”  Continue reading

Hotels – Hospederia Guts Muths

Clean, comfortable, and unique in Calle de la Matanza, Santiago Millas, Spain.

We were greeted upon our arrival by the friendly and helpful Shubert from the Netherlands. He and his wife operate this 17th century house, providing lodging, meals, and tourist information. The rooms are comfortable and roomy. We booked a triple for about $100.

There is a big lobby with seating, a large dining room, a lovely garden for al fresco dining, a lodge with a fireplace, a library, and another sitting room. Continue reading