100-word Project Runway recap: Episode 13: FINALE PART ONE

All right, only 200 words left. Get excited:

Opening. Drawn-out recap. The designers get crunk with Tim and Heidi.

3.5 months later. Tim checks on the finalists. First, Christian designs in his tiny, tiny apartment. He shows Tim some feathery pants that scare him. Next, Jillian, who sports the world's largest turtleneck. Tim likes her stuff but thinks it might be a wee bit drab. Then we see Rami, who's on this whole Joan of Arc thing. He has friends who don't talk. Last, it's Chris and his human hair collection. Yep, he's designing with human hair. Interesting choice.

5 days until fashion week. Chris and Rami have to room together and share a worktable. Ouch. Ouch. Christian and Jillian just kinda hang out.

Judges, part one. Rami earns the spot at fashion week because the designers can’t get past the fact that Chris, again, designed with human hair. (The texters disagreed and woulda sent Chris to fashion week 58% to 42%. Little random factoid for ya).

Next week: One more challenge before Bryant Park: Each designer must rescue their models who are trapped in cages, hanging precariously over shark-infested waters. Then they must design one more outfit that matches their vision using only milk and buttons. Finally they must embroider Saturn logos on each design, but refrain from getting to costume-y. And at last a winner! They'll join the ranks of Tattoo Neck and Chloe as the next great American designer. Speaking of which, anyone know what happened to those guys?

Ronson Vs. The Missing Taco

Welcome to Ronson Vs. where I set forth to right the injustices of society. For instance, today I search for a missing taco.

The story: It had been awhile since I ordered the crispy tacos at Chipotle. And I used to freaking love the tacos – what can I say? I preferred crunchy over doughy. They're slightly healthier. Plus you'd get four tacos and any mess you made could be made into a taco salad at the end of the meal. Seriously, it's perfect.

Yesterday, after the longest Chipotle burrito streak I can remember, I went back to the basics and ordered the tacos. Only something was different. Something was missing. In fact, one taco was missing. It was odd: the price had stayed the same, but it was definitely three tacos instead of the regular four. Is there a shortage on taco shells that I'm unaware of?

Winner: Currently stands at a draw. I didn't bother to ask about it because I imagined one of the following happening: 1) Blank stares, 2) Someone yells "No! Only three tacos!" at me, or 3) Both. I couldn't deal with any of that. It was enough of a jolt that I won't be ordering them again anytime soon (four tacos seemed like a steal, three tacos just seems...average). But don't worry, the next time I do, I'll get to the bottom of this and I might even film the results, Dateline style.


Kari in Spin!

Huge, megaprops to Kari, whose first Spin article appears in March's issue (it's the one with those Vampire Weekend guys on the cover). I just got mine in the mail, which means it should be out at your local grocery, music and book stores shortly. In the article, Kari highlights the excellent music scene in Cincinnati, which you gotta admit is pretty cool. So go out and pick up a copy - if you pay me $5, I might be able to arrange an autograph situation.

At The Cardio Cinema: Ocean's Thirteen

Welcome to a new feature I'm experimenting with here in Ronsonville, where I review entire movies based on what I've seen inside the gym's luxurious cinemaplex. Hopefully it will go down in the annals with past content you've seen in Ronsonville ("Meeting Drawings," "Artist of the Week," "Ronson Vs.") and I won't get bored with it too quickly (though I'm due for another Ronson Vs. soon).

Please enjoy this week's feature presentation:

Movie: Ocean's Thirteen (2007, full runtime: 122 minutes)

Running length:
15-minute run, 3-minute cooldown

Well, for kicking off this feature, we've definitely got an unusual one. 1) A new(ish) film! Most flicks playing at the gym land roughly around the year 2002. 2) I saw the opening credits and the first 15 minutes – usually I'm clueless and trying to follow what's going. 3) Finally, this rest of this film actually looks like it might be watchable – again, a rarity.

The basic plot? Not much to go on. Hmmm, a heist I guess? Looks like Elliott Gould gets betrayed. Half of what I saw were famous people feeling sad about Elliott Gould, so I approve this heist. Whatever the deal, the guy getting robbed probably deserves it.

Good: Eddie Izzard looked like he might be playing a comic relief type character, which is a big thumbs up. I left in the middle of his bit though, so I never found out for sure. Also Casey Affleck was wearing a comical mustache that seemed to be working pretty well.

Bad: I don't know what it is about famous people basically playing themselves, I guess I find it distracting. Also, Ellen Barkin instead of Julia Roberts? Kind of a strange swap.

Grade: B. Again, it probably wouldn't kill me to watch the rest of this one, but it's unlikely that I'd go and rent it. Excellent job, famous people - your charisma has allowed you all to sneak by on yet another Oceans movie.


100-word Project Runway recap: Episode 12: The Reunion

It's no secret that I kinda hate reunion episodes. Especially on Project Runway, a season with only a handful of episodes and not a whole lot of time for character development. What is there to comment on? Judging from this week's ep, not much. But here were the highlights:

Welcome to Project Runway! Where Carmen competes for a chance for her own fashion line! At least that's what Carmen seems to think, as waaaaay too much of the show focused on her drama. Wasn’t she was mercifully yanked in the third episode? How is that possible? People didn't miss her enough, that’s how. Kit and Jillian have to talk her down.

Also: Awkward jokes between Tim and Heidi, met with icy silence. And, oh the montages:

- Kevin battling his sexuality
- Ricky battling his tears
- Michael Kors laughing uncontrollably during the wrestler runway show (the highlight)
- A Christian "fierce" fest.

In (kind of) a shock, Christian wins the "fan favorite" over “designer favorite” Chris. Mychael Knight gives him the check and Chrystyan converts his i’s to y’s cuz that’s what fan favorites do. My guess is that Christian's personality (meaning he has one) is what put him over the top.

Just kidding, other designers! You know I love ya! Whatever your names are.

Next week: All right, it's really the finale this time, for real real real this time, we're gonna find out once and for all who gets that fashion line! Oh, wait. Nope. Just a battle between Rami and Chris, which seems pretty unnecessary, given most of the eliminated designers picked Rami to win the whole thing. Except Victorya who thinks Christian is "hands down the most talented designer." Then why was she copying off of Jillian so much?


Scariest looking person in 2008?

My vote goes to Taylor Dayne:

Please tell me that this is a picture of a robot made to look like Taylor Dayne. And then comfort me because I am scared.


Blogs as Lit (aka Ronsonville snubbed again...)

According to the NY Times' "City Room" blog, a new book entitled "Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web" will be publishing works from 27 different blogs that feature more essay-like entries and mostly NYC-based (well, nine of 'em anyway).

Friends and readers, Ronsonville has been excluded from this list.

I know!

And here I thought Ronsonville was an oasis in this wild web. For a complete list of those who made the cut, click here. I'm gonna come right out and say it, sounds like a snoozefest. Am I just saying this because I was omitted from the book? Maybe. Am I the 1,000th blogger to go on this rant? ....Probably.

Here's an excerpt from "Ultimate Blogs" editor Sarah Boxer's essay in the NYT Book Review regarding the difficulty of selecting work to go into the big blog book:

Many bloggers really don’t write much at all. They are more like impresarios, curators, or editors, picking and choosing things they find on line, occasionally slapping on a funny headline or adding a snarky (read: snotty and catty) comment. Some days, the only original writing you see on a blog is the equivalent of “Read this…. Take a look…. But, seriously, this is lame…. Can you believe this?”

Well, I can tell you that here at Ronsonville, we provide only the highest literary content. Look no further than these posts if you need proof.

Don't worry - I'm handling it well. I'll just sit here with a tear in my eye, and patiently await my inclusion in a future volume...in the meantime, you can expect big posts here in 08. I will be going on plenty of journeys and discovering a ton of new things about myself. And I'll feel compelled to blog about every single one of them.


100-word Project Runway recap: Episode 11

One more episode before the finals. Sorry, this one hit 150 words. What can I say? A lot happened. Here it is:

Opening. Competition is getting intense, but Chris isn't worried (because he's already been eliminated once?)

Challenge. Design an outfit based on a piece of art. Rami gets angry and pretentious because his outfit is boring. Christian and Jillian bicker. Foreshadowing? Even Sweet P's model has turned against her (she doesn't show up). Creepy, pointless visit from Collier Strong. Chris finishes early and naps. Everyone predicts everyone else's downfall.

Judges. Crazy guest judge who speaks English but still requires subtitles heaps praise on the contestants. Christian wins the challenge. Spot #1. Jillian locks Spot #2. Chris vs. Rami for Spot #3. Reminiscent of last year, both win, only they have to compete for their spot at fashion week. So, it was just an elaborate way to eliminate Sweet P. Sorry, P – think of it this way: to survive that long and never win a challenge is quite a feat!

Next week: This finale will be insane. Twists aplenty. I think there's a boxing round this year. Rami vows to fashion everyone on the planet with his "art" and starts by attacking Michael Kors with some drape-y fabric. Chris' designs are a hit, but once outfitted, none of his models can fit through a door. He is disqualified. Heidi flips a coin. Heads Jillian, Tails Christian - however she leaves the room to start filming season five before the coin hits the ground. Nonetheless, all four finalists must do Saturn commercials for life. Where's your inspirational spot? Better start hiding there.

Oh wait sorry, it's the reunion episode. That means everyone comes back to do their schtick one more time.


Snow! Madness! Vampires!

So, tonight is the Vampire Weekend show at the Gypsy Hut. The show is sold out and the Gypsy Hut (from what I hear) is a pretty small venue. I like the CD - there's a lot of hype surrounding this band and that tends to add some expectations to the music, but the group lives up to it pretty well. However, I am a little concerned about the combo of buzz band/small venue/wintry mix, so I guess we'll see how that goes. I've been a little lazy about seeing live music lately, so hopefully this will kick me back into the habit...

Btw, that means the Project Runway recap that would usually run in this spot will be a little postponed this week. Don't worry though, it'll be here soon. Something to think about in the meantime - are there going to be 4 finalists again this year? The description to this week's episode seems to indicate the end has arrived...


Does someone need a new online art director?

(From the offices of CNN.com):
Hey boss! We need some art to go with this story about how depressed women shop. Do we have any photos of sad women shopping? Oh wait, never mind! I just found a picture of an ugly Meg Ryan lookalike from the 80s with crimped-out hair and a sweet acid wash jean jacket. She isn't technically sad, but she looks kinda sad. Maybe if I Photoshop in a random friend for her. Hmmm... she's wearing sunglasses and seems really happy. Maybe she's blind. Yeah, that'll be fine. Now we need a locale for these lovely ladies. Not a shopping mall...how about a random labyrinth of bricks? That's the stuff.

Annnnd publish!

– My guess is that the people behind this decision did some serious shopping after work. Thanks to Sue for spotting this and the ugly Meg Ryan riff...

Whoa. Aimee Mann = kinda funny...

I've enjoyed a few Aimee Mann songs in my time, but check out part one of this excellent Mann-related trilogy created in the style of "mockumentary." Jon Krasinski is featured in this segment - future segments include Fred Armisen and Will Ferrell. The highlight of this particular bit is Mann's touching tribute to Mr. Krasinski...

To check out the rest of the saga, click here.


100-word Project Runway recap: Episode 10

This show is still on? Oh yeah. Let's go:

Opening. Jillian doesn't want the finals to be a sausagefest. Rami and Christian mock Ricky.

Challenge. Model Jacyelene is out!!!!! Anyway, the next project is to design outfit for a wresting "diva" from the WWF (er, WWE). Sweet P picks some weird fabric, then acts wrestler-like to defend it. Then she loses to Christian in a fun (but sad) arm wrestling match. It is the first of many times Christian congratulates himself.

Judges. Chris ponders how they’ll be judged whilst in a muumuu. Things almost go back to normal, however Rami tanks and Chris excels. Chris beats out Christian in another upset. And Ricky is finally booted for his random swimsuit design.

Next week: It's the shock of all shocks: Jillian, Rami and Christian get tossed out of the competition, which means it Chris vs. Sweet P squaring off at Bryant Park. Sweet P dazzles with her haphazard biker (I guess??) vision, but Chris gets to use all-male models and puts on a drag show for the ages. However, in one final twist, Project Runway randomly decides to bring back Victorya who wins it all with her collection of designs ripped off of the other contestants. Curse you, Victy!