Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

I was browsing the photo section on people.com and came across these gems. I guess it's a weird kind of irony what with it being Halloween and all.

Lindsay Lohan works Halloween whore chic.

Ashlee Simpson leaving a theater in London. Nothing that strange about this picture right? But check out the Spy vs Spy guy in the background

Catherine Zeta Jones (yep that weird-looking woman is her) snuggles up to Queen Latifa's bosoms backstage at Glamour magazine's Women of the Year event

Julia Roberts lets a monkey sit its dirty backside on her head in Morocco. Nasty.


A frail-looking Kate Bosworth walks her dog, who actually looks healthier than her.

A Parasite Hilton fan pays homage for Halloween achieving a remarkable likeness. And he's a man. Coincidence?

A series of strange coincidences

A couple of months ago, I was invited along to a poetry evening at Home House, of which my lovely friend Derya is a long-standing member. Following the main part of the evening, my friends and I got chatting to a couple of people, and I mentioned I was ex Saatchi, and that I was now a freelance creative. This chap piped up that he was the creative director of well known ad agency in Amsterdam. Hearing that Robert and I were heading over there he gave me his details and said I should contact him. I didn't write them down, and subsequently forgot them.

Anyway - last night was the annual poetry society dinner marking its 6th year anniversary, which I was lucky enough to be invited to.

A man, who I took to be the same ad guy I had spoken to previously, came to join our table at the bar later. I immediately started mattering away, asking him how Amsterdam was etc. He looked at me quite surprised and said, 'I'm no longer in Amsterdam, I'm based here in London." Curious as to the sudden change in location and quite possibly job, I asked him when it happened, and he replied that he had left Amsterdam two years ago, and was working as a fund manager.

"What?!?" I thought - he was offering me possible work just two months previously, and now he says he left there two years ago? I was very confused.

Admittedly, he too looked confused most of the time, and kept asking me - so when exactly was it the last time we met? I responded - "Oh about two months ago, but you were very drunk - so I imagine you don't remember it."

Now at this point, most people will say - this is clearly not the same guy. And they'd have a point - but things got increasingly bizarre as the conversation progressed.

Still amazed at the major change in career, I asked him - how does someone go from being a creative director of a leading ad agency (I did mention the name of it) to being a fund manager - what made you leave it all behind?" Looking confused again he continued to answer my questions, but became increasingly vague regarding the advertising ones, but here's the rub: At no point in the evening did he say "I wasn't the creative director of X", or, 'I've never been a creative director", or, "I've not been in advertising ever."

This morning I dropped my friend Jane (who was at both evenings too) an email, and she tells me that it was in fact a completely different guy - but one who looked remarkably similar to the other one. Blair also provided me with the ad guy's name - and yes they are two entirely different chaps. Mystery solved. Or is it?

Was this in fact a series of very strange coincidences?
(a) Two guys who look incredibly similar, both happen to be members of the same club, and both attend poetry society evenings
(b) Both have lived (and one still does) in Amsterdam
(c) Both have been (and one still is) in advertising
(d) At a stretch - is it possible that guy number 2 was actually creative director of the very same ad agency in Amsterdam at some point previously?

I even commented to guy number 2 on how very different he was personality-wise from the last time my friends and I had met him, but put it down to him being drunk previously, and sober last night (he was driving and therefore not drinking).

The alternative to all of this is that he was having a bit of fun with me and playing along, clearly aware that I thought he was someone else. Judging by the vagueness with which he answered my questions on his switch-over from advertising to finance, it's entirely possible. But saying that, he also came across as a fairly sincere person, making the whole thing even more strange.

Very curious.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Posh and Katie - Fight! Fight! Fight!

Oh this is too good. I should be catching a taxi to a function, but when I came across this little bit of goss, I couldn't resist.

According to Dlisted, these two have had a falling out, after the human toothpick that is Victoria Beckham 'suggested' to Katie Holmes that she might want to shed a few pounds before the wedding. VB was supposed to be overseeing the whole planning and everything, but after this bit of diet advice Katie (who has just become my new personal hero) told her to go and fuck herself. OK, so I don't know if that's what she said, but she should've done.
A source said, “Victoria didn’t mean any harm, she just wanted to help Katie look her best for her big day. She offered to share her diet secrets but Katie immediately got defensive, saying she didn’t need any advice. Katie is really proud of the weight she’s managed to lose since giving birth to Suri in April and she doesn’t think she has to lose anymore.”
Yes, because it's such a good idea to spread the secret that is anorexia, misery and self-denial. I haven't laughed this much in a while, well not since I saw this that is.

Halloween whore chic

There's a scene in Mean Girls - a Halloween party - and there's a line about how American girls dress like hookers at these things, instead of well, scary ugly monsters, witches, etc. I thought it was a joke, until I saw the latest Halloween photos to come out of Hollywood - and realised it was once again a case of art imitating life. I mean Parasite Hilton - what's she supposed to be, a really scary police woman? Yes, OK, she got the really scary bit right - but I don't think she needed a slutty outfit to achieve that.

PS: The irony that Lindsay Lohan who starred in the film Mean Girls, and whose character found the Halloween whore look bizarre, yet arrived at a party dressed like this, hasn't escaped me.

More incomprehensible not so much scary but slutty outfits care of Tyler
.

The Infinite Cat Project

Have you ever thought about photographing a cat looking at a computer screen containing a cat looking at a computer screen containing a cat looking at a computer screen? Strangely, and you're not going to believe this, but neither have I. But someone did - it's called The Infinite Cat Project.
"It all began innocently enough when a visitor to an Apple forum posted a picture of his cat, Frankie, contemplating the beauty of a flower. Shortly afterwards another user posted a picture of his cat bristling at the image of Frankie on the monitor. I decided this was too much fun and advanced the concept as The Infinite Cat Project which is, simply, cats regarding cats regarding cats in an electronic milieu. If you like this web site then thank your lucky stars that the world is populated with cats, Macs, and people with wayyyy too much time on their hands."
Check it out here. Thanks to the lovely Cath for the tip.


Macca vs Macca (again)

The latest person to stick their ore into the whole Macca vs Macca bloodbath and spring to Paul's defence, is Heather Mills's ex (ex) husband, Alfie Karmal. Karmal reckons if anyone in that relationship was physically abusive, it was most likely her.
"We had a lot of rows, then she'd attack and slap me. Attack is the best form of defence for Heather. She kicked me off a bed once. I was kneeling and she kicked me in the chest, knocking me off backwards. It was really painful. I never hit Heather back, but I felt like it sometimes." Source
Who to believe? I reckon Heather and Paul were both into a bit of the ol slap and tickle. In fact, they probably met at some weird S&M bondage club, where couples go to beat each other, and make each other crawl when they need the loo. Initially it was dead sexy:

Paul: Heather, you're not getting to use no stinking dirty bedpan in my bedroom - if you need to go for a wee, you can damn well crawl.
Heather: Oh Paul, say 'damn well' again - god it's so sexy!

But when things got a bit dull (how many times can being lunged at with a broken wine glass still be a turn on?) - they decided to call the marriage quits. I tell you, it's tough going keeping the magic alive.

Photo c/o peta25.com

Whitney's back

This is what happens to a woman when she finally gets some sense and divorces her abusive, drug-taking/pushing loser husband. These pictures of Whitney Houston were taken at the recent Carousel of Hope Ball in Los Angeles, and she's looking gorgeous.

In other news,
Nicole Richie apparently collapsed at Hyde nightclub (Hollywood) early on Sunday morning. A club employee reportedly wanted to call 911, but Richie's friends said they'd take her to the hospital - and that's the last anyone has heard. Girl needs to eat.

Finally, South Park have done it again, and this time are coming under fire for portraying the late Steve Irwin as a guest at a party held by (a very camp) Satan - complete with bloody stingray sticking out of his chest. See it here.

Photo c/o dlisted.com

Sunday, October 29, 2006

coolnina97 Revived

Ok, you're not going to believe this, but right after my last entry, I decided to try and migrate coolnina97 from the old blogger version to the new beta one, for the second time. As a safety measure, I changed my blogger username (because it was the same one as my googlemail account before, which is what I think caused a lot of the problems), and pressed the 'convert to beta' button while holding my breath. I thought to myself, god, I spent a couple of months of back and forth emails with those technical guys at blogger trying to sort out the problem I had previously - how would they respond if I emailed telling them I had willingly and knowingly converted and lost my blog again?

Well, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph - and all the saints, it worked. I'm still a bit gobsmacked actually - but for those of you who were hardened coolnina97 fans - all those missing entries are now visible, and the blog is up to date - right up until the 15th of August 2006 - which is the fateful night I tried the beta conversion the first-time round.

The queston then becomes - do I stick to writing on letters from london, or do I go back to coolnina97? Robert reckons to stick to letters-from-london. Until I completely make up my mind I'll keep writing on here.

Letters from London switches over to beta

I finally overcame my phobia of joining the rest of the civilised blogspot community and switched over to beta. This took some inner strength, after my last attempt resulted in approximately a year's work on coolnina97 being 'lost' somewhere during the cross-over process. Now when I log in to coolnina97 using the old blogger version, all my 'lost' posts are visible in my files, however try as I might, I cannot seem to re-publish them. If I log in using the new beta version, these posts are missing, but I can now add new posts.

Anyway, bygones and all that.

The switch-over for this blog was a success and I have to say, I'm enjoying the new functionality of beta. It's so much quicker than the old version, and it also lets you customize how your blog looks - colours, text etc, without requiring that you read and write code. Saying that, I still needed the ever-whizzy Roberto to upload my banner image in the html. They need to add the ability to easily upload an image to the blog title area in the layout application to their new bag of tricks.

The Bubble Project

I used to smoke krak on the 6 train

I can just picture it. The lovely Blair sitting at the bar in the little cafe she took me to in Amsterdam. Drinking a coffee, smoking a Marlboro Light, scarf wound round her neck a dozen times, reading the online papers on her Mac. It's autumn, the air is crisp, the sky is impossibly blue, and the afternoon sun is hazy - much like it is here in London today. Breathtakingly beautiful.

And then she sends me a link to an awesome new project this ex Saatchi (NY) guy is doing. Going around the streets of New York and placing blank speech bubbles on posters, ads, signs etc and letting people fill them in with whatever the hell they want to. Sort of anti-advertising/anti-media guerrilla warfare. I love the idea.

Check it out here.

Thank you, as always, to the incomparable Blair for providing inspiration and ensuring my blog retains a bit of soul.

There goes another one


I used to love Dolly Parton when I was a kid. Maybe it was her beautiful voice, or all those incredible blonde wigs (how I wished I had a collection of wigs like that!) or perhaps it was the glamorous outfits encasing that wonderful barbie-doll figure. Probably a combination of these things, but Dolly was my idea of the perfect woman - feminine, glamorous, and very very blonde.

So I was genuinely sad to see recent pictures (top right) of her resembling something closer to the Joker rather than the bubbly gorgeous woman from my youth. Jesus, look at that mouth, and those teeth. Not to mention the incredibly pulled-back skin. With her naturally beautiful looks, I thought if anyone could age gracefully, she could. Clearly she wasn't going to take any chances, and I honestly think she's ruined her face as a result. She doesn't look younger, she looks ugly and cartoonish.

One woman that has let herself age gracefully - though not let herself go (two different things entirely!) is Jean Smart from Designing Women (another show I used to love). She is still very attractive and well put-together, but looks her age, and not like some alien stretched-skin creature.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Naomi still leading the way in women's rights


Today I ran 15k, cleaned out my wardrobe, and had a big plate of pasta for lunch.

Unfortunately, only two of the above things happen to be true.

The cleaning out of the wardrobe did actually happen - and though I hate doing any activity with the word 'cleaning' in it - it's always cathartic when I do. I guess I realised it had to be done when my cleaner stopped putting stuff away because, well, there was no space. And before you get images of drawers overspilling with new and exciting goodies from Top Shop, and boxes of unopened shoes, think more along the lines of old stretched jumpers, and faded vests with hair-dye stains on them. Plus clothes in about three different sizes thanks to my yo-yoing weight over the last few years.

I was pretty brutal asking myself three questions regarding each item:
1. Have I worn this in the last year? (Wearing an item to dye my hair in or pot plants doesn't count)
2. Does it fit?
3. Would it appear on a 'What were they thinking???!!!!' fashion page

OK, so not really number 3 - because let's face it, my wardrobe is full of stuff that falls into that category and I'd have nothing to wear if I chucked accordingly. But one and two were pretty sufficient, and I filled a big black plastic sack with old stuff. My wardrobe is now stream-lined and fighting fit - unlike me. (A cryptic clue to which of my three top statements is untrue perhaps?)

In the land of inane celeb news, not much to report. Naomi Campbell is still beating the crap out of her assistants, drug counselors, and anyone who can't find her a pair of jeans or a fix. I think it's good to remind all those chauvinists out there that it's not just thick men that can be aggressive and use their fists, or in the case of Naomi, mobile phone to solve their problems. You go girlfriend - girl power!

And just in case you doubt just what a bad-ass Naomi is, lest we forget the brilliant reenactment Smoking Gun TV did of the last time some weak-ass assistant tried to test her. That'll learn her.

Photo c/o ilromanziere.com

Friday, October 27, 2006

Things I have learnt this week

Advice is a funny old thing. Erica Jong said in one of her books, that you seek it when you already know the answer and wish you didn't.

My experience of advice is mostly getting it when I haven't asked for it, which is enough to piss anyone off. It's usually to the effect of, "You know what you should do ..." or, "If I were you, I'd ...", or, "Please don't take this in the wrong way, but ..." - traditionally handed out by the likes of my grandmother or mother.

I'm fairly good at listening to it, when I've asked for it - knowing that what someone is going to tell me is not always what I might want to hear. "Yes, well, if you want to get a body like Linda Hamilton circa Terminator II, it will actually require you to get off your backside and make it to the gym, and stop eating so much crap." etc.

The problem I have is that I like to fix things, and if I cannot, I find myself feeling helpless and guilty. The truth is that when it comes to people, sometimes you can't fix stuff, and more often that not even if you could, it's not for you to fix.

I got myself into hot water with a friend this week, telling him that he was smart, attractive, strong, had a great career (all of which are true), and that he was not defined by his (now ex) boyfriend who had left him. I thought this might provide inspiration for helping him to deal with it, and eventually move on. But instead he got angry at me for not appreciating the extent of his hurt, and shot back with "I want to see how strong, smart, and attractive (no mention of career - because, well, I don't really have one) you would feel if Robert just upped and left you without a proper explanation."

He had a point.

I've learnt the hard way, that sometimes as a friend you don't need to try and fix something - but just listen. Sit there, buy a few rounds, and let the person say what needs to be said. To get it out of their system, to have someone to sit with them while they are in a bad way. To look them in the eye and say, "Yes, that really sucks, and I'm sorry you're hurting." More often than not people don't need solutions, they just need to feel heard - and the rest has a way of working itself out from there.

The new Madonna/Richie clan

I found these photos of little David with Madonna and her family on people.com. Apparently they were unveiled during Madonna's appearance on Oprah this week.


Photos c/o people.com

Nicole Richie checks in for treatment

According to TMZ, Nicole Ritchie has checked herself into a private facility for 'an undisclosed treatment.'

On E news, her reps issued a statement which said,
"She is working with a team of doctors and specialists whose focus is nutrition..."
TMZ reckons she will 'undergo diagnostic treatments to determine why she can't gain weight.'

Hang on, stop the boat, I can save Nicole and her reps a whole lot of money on this one. Strangely enough, it just so happens that after many years of research and tests on myself, I've found the answer to this enourmously tricky and complex question: Eat a whole lot more, exercise a whole lot less (no exercise - even better), and watch a lot of TV while eating crap. Very soon those pounds will just be piling on. Promise.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A good example

This recent pic of Pete Doherty and Kate Moss with the ol fag and drink at the Moet and Chandon Fashion Tribute, clearly dispells any rumours that she's pregnant with his child. I mean who in their right mind would be boozing in the early stages of pregnancy? OK, don't answer that.

Photo c/o wwtdd.com

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What Madonna told Oprah

Oprah's interview with Madonna (filmed yesterday) will be broadcast in the USA today. But that didn't stop audience members from spilling the beans.

Contrary to David's father stating that he had no idea the adoption would be permanent, Madonna told Oprah that he knew he was signing away his son permanently. Madge stated,
"He looked at me straight in the eye and said 'I'm thankful for giving my son a future and a life because if he stayed with me I would have buried him'." Source
Check out the teaser for the Oprah interview here.

Shawshank in a Minute

Those guys at JibJab have been at it again, and this time have come up with an excellent Eminem-style take on The Shawshank Redemption entitled, Shawshank in a Minute, directed by John Landis. V. funny.

Photo c/o jibjab.com

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This week I'll be mostly

I popped out at lunch-time to run a few errands, and the shops here in London are already full of Christmas goodies. I don't know why, because Robert and I are not even doing the traditional Christmas thing this year, but I'm all in the mood. I wish shops would sell little mini trees, the sort of ones that sit on tables and have mini decorations. I've seen the mini decorations, but the only mini trees I've seen are silver, bright pink or white - the sort of thing teenage girls or advertising agencies favour. Speaking of teenage girls, Superdrug is brim-full of gorgeous gifts for this age-group. If I were one, I'd drag my mother there and drop massive hints - they have everything from makeup sets, to hair kits, manicure sets etc.

Paperchase are full of Christmas wrapping and cards and stuff. Ah Christmas cards - the next big con next to packaged lettuce leaves. I know I'm not cheap - I blow too much money to be cheap, but the price of Christmas cards never fails to get up my nose. £4.50 for a packet of 5 semi decent ones - anything less is printed on thin paper with a shitty sentimental image on the front or some lame picture of a reindeer banging into the side of a building which no-one finds funny. There are a handful of people who keep Christmas cards, but most of the time they stand on the fireplace for a couple of weeks, and then get chucked away with the last of the Christmas turkey. I'm thinking of doing my own Christmas cards this year, after we spent nearly £70 on them last year. No kidding - it's extortion, or we're idiots. Probably both.

In the news, Lilly Allen's new music video for 'The Littlest Things' is out, and the song is great. She's made quite a lot of publicity for herself, mostly because she slags off other celebs like Madonna. Most recently she slated Sir Bob Geldof's daughter, Peaches:
"I would kick her over then kick her even harder when she was down. I would probably like, stamp on my can of Magners and then stab her in the ear. She (Peaches) did this documentary about Islam and it was really awful ... What do you know about Islam you useless oaf?"
O-kay then. Because what we really need are famous violent teens as role models for our kids. Her attitude reeks of 'I want attention', which is a bit sad really, but in spite of that the girl's music is good.

Madonna is all set to go on Oprah this week to explain her reasons for adopting little David Bana. I'll be interested to see what Oprah has to say about the whole thing.

The above picture of Kirsten Dunst doesn't really have a story attached to it, other than the fact that I think her teeth are scary. Lest we forget that Dunst was lucky enough to star alongside Brad Pitt (and get to kiss him) in 'Interview with the vampire' when she was little. Seems that movie made a lasting impression on her.

Don't forget to check out 'Your Dilemma' and submit one of your own.

Photo: c/o wwtdd.com

Monday, October 23, 2006

How to eat Sushi and Paris in the bedroom

All sushi-lovers, and those of us who think they know how to behave in a sushi restaurant, need to watch this video. Essential learning material. Thanks to the lovely Blair for the tip.

I'd also like to use this oppportunity to plug a brilliant new blog, entitled Your Dilemma. This is set to become the next Post Secret* - spread the news.

Oh, and apparently Paris Hilton is addicted to the green stuff, and was often 'too wasted to peform' according to her ex, Nick Carter. I don't know about anyone else, but the thought of Paris Hilton in the bedroom is like imagining my grandmother getting jiggy with it, which is not really something I like to imagine at all. But if we, for a moment, do torture ourselves with the image, I can't really see Paris as being particularly gifted in that department. I mean, it must be pretty tricky having sex, rolling a spliff, and admiring yourself in the mirror (or is it camera lens) all at the same time.

OK, so maybe not the next Post Secret, but rather delusions of grandeur than crippling insecurity I always say.

Stuff that's going on

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday night yadayadayada

I read somewhere on the net today that Pete Doherty's uncle told the press that Kate Moss is pregnant with Pete's baby. The article reported that the couple were very happy about the news, that she had had a scan already (baby was healthy), and that they were planning on breaking the news to the public next week. I'd link to this story, but subsequently cannot find it. Weird. So either I misread, or perhaps the story was retracted - but if it does turn out to be true, remember - you read it here first!

I cut and coloured my hair yesterday, well, specifically my stylist Ross did it for me. I went from long brown hair, that was getting increasingly knotty, to a short blonde bob. No kidding. I like it a lot, but then it dawned on me it's the exact same cut one of my old boss's used to have, and I think it might frighten Blair the next time I see her. You know it honeybunny ;-)

Ross discovered the gym about 6 months ago, and has lost a ton of weight - he's all thin and toned, and it made me aware that I have to get my own (a lot less toned) backside back into the gym or doing some sort of exercise again. I just feel sluggish and a bit tired and unhealthy since I stopped working out.

I watched a couple of episodes of The Girls Next Door (a reality show following the lives of Hugh Hefner's three blonde girlfriends inside the Playboy mansion) this evening. It's not exactly highbrow viewing, but it's my Sunday night crap TV indulgence. My favourite has to be the sporty one - Kendra. She's very down to earth - and what a figure! But what makes the show so watchable for me (apart from getting makeup ideas), is that Holly (Hef's number one girlfriend) is clearly quite territorial, and often it's a case of spot her annoyed face when he plants a kiss on one of the other two girls. Very funny. I'm also very jealous of the fact that the girls all have pets.

We went to go and see The Departed yesterday, the film everyone's saying Scorsese should get an Oscar for. I thought it was good, but not that good. I mean, I love Scorsese, but it just felt as though there were too many main characters played by too many big Hollywood names, all trying to steal the limelight. However, saying that, I'm not usually a big Leo DiCaprio fan, but I thought he was brilliant - very believable, and a little bit sexy too.

And on the celeb front, I hate to say it - but I saw this one coming a mile away, the father of the baby boy Madonna adopted is having second thoughts. This is what happens when you adopt a child that still has a living parent who puts up his child for adoption, not because he doesn't want anything to do with the child, but because he can't afford to keep him at home and feed him.

Update: The lovely Becky sent me this link re. the Kate Moss pregnancy story.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stuff that's going on

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Borat's myspace

The is Borat, and his 12-year-old son Bilak's wife. More photos of Borat and family members on his myspace page.
Regarding who he'd like to meet he states, "I want meet nice western girlies for chitchat and sexytime - preference lady with yellow hairs, with plough experience and little or no history of retardation in family. I would like to meet you and make romance inside you.

If you agree be my wife then you will come my country, I will give you television with remote control, a red dress, two strong shoes, I will love you and care for you, we will be as one... but if u cheat on me I will crush you!

Also I like meet nice men, as friend - no sexytime."
Borat's home page is here, and click here for some of his interviews shot in America. Warning: cringeworthy and thoroughly non-PC.

Update: Lots more Borat TV clips here.

Run and become

I met a friend of ours father last night, who is in his mid 60's and looks at least 15 years younger. His secret? Probably good genes, but the guy has also been a fanatical runner for over 30 years. He runs at least three times a week, and makes a point of researching where he can run ahead of traveling to a new place even on holiday. He told us that at a recent health check his arteries were completely clear, his resting heart rate was 40, and he had enlarged lungs (but in a good way). It goes without saying he's pretty trim and lean-looking. And this guy is in his 60's. Incredible!

This is Robert's reason for getting into the running and fitness thing too - he worries about getting older, and firmly believes that exercise can have many positive effects to combat age-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, as well as heightened cholesterol. And then there's the whole looking younger thing too I'm sure.

I exercised so much and so hard in the run-up to our wedding that I effectively overdosed on it and aside from tennis and hiking on our honeymoon, haven't been back in the gym since. And the fact of the matter is, some of the weight has crept back - especially around my middle. I really don't want to get back into that obsessive frame of mind I was in before, where I was weighing myself every morning, and trying on size 8 trousers in shops as a way of measuring my weightloss. But I would like to be able to stay firm and certainly healthy. And most of all, be in a position where I can eat normally, knowing that that bit of exercise I do each week evens things out.

Robert has signed both of us up for a 10k at the end of this month, and I'm terrified. The furtherest I've run was 5k and we did that in just over 30 minutes (without stopping). But that was also in the middle of my rigorous fitness regime with our trainer Guy, and I felt like I was going to die at the end of it.

Our friends dad says the trick with running is not to see it as a race, nor to push yourself to much too early. In fact, his attitude is to run for fun - and to let that guide you in terms of when you do it, how far you go, and at what rate. This is perhaps not the best attitude for someone as lazy as me, because the whole 'when you do it' would result in never, unless it's for a buss, or towards a designer shoe sale.

I've decided that if I am going to do this 10k, and not chicken out of it, I need to get my shit together and start training. And unfortunately it's not raining outside... .

The ugliest divorce ever?

Paul & Heather in happier times

If you were in London yesterday, the headlines were hard to miss: "MACCA (That's the English press's name for Paul McCartney) I'M NOT A WIFE BEATER."

This followed a series of supposedly 'leaked' court papers in their divorce proceedings which were published in The Daily Mail, and which claim a series of (very serious) accounts of what amounts to abuse from Paul towards Heather.

What's difficult in this case, is who to believe. Heather Mills has a reputation for, how should we say, embellishing, especially when it comes to her past - which remains a bit of a mystery depending on whose version you are listening to. On the other hand, sometimes some of the most abusive men, can also come across as being incredibly charming and lovely to everyone when they are public facing. Macca is also a very famous and powerful figure, and it's not unlikely that this isn't accompanied by a degree of demanding and even controlling behavior. As my mother is fond of saying, who knows what really goes on between a man and woman behind closed doors?

According to yahoo news, "Mills's lawyers refused to confirm the authenticity of the documents, but her representatives said she stood by everything that had been filed in court on her behalf." That doesn't sound like a no to me.

Macca's camp are hotly denying the claims, emphasising, "Our client will be defending these allegations vigorously and appropriately," and " "Our client would very much like to respond in public and in detail to the allegations made recently against him by his wife and published in the press but he recognises, on advice, that the only correct forum for his response to the allegations made against him is in the current divorce proceedings." Source

In some of the more shocking claims in the allegedly leaked court papers, as published in The Daily Mail, it's claimed that McCartney lunged at Mills with a broken wine glass, cutting her on the arm. It's also stated he used illegal drugs and drank excessively, and that he hurled abuse at Mills and made her cancel 'an essential' leg operation because it interfered with his holiday arrangements. Mills (also) claims McCartney did not want her to breastfeed their baby daughter, stating, "they are my breasts" and that he didn't want a mouthful of breast milk.

See here for a comprehensive list of all the so-called allegations. And here for Heather Mills's divorce papers. Go on, you know you want to.

New Sony Bravia commercial

Check out the stunning new Sony Bravia ad, directed by Jonathan Glazer. The hard thing to believe, when you watch it, is that apparently none it it was done using special effects in post (production) - all shot in camera.
According to Sony, "Our latest TV ad - featuring massive paint explosions - took 10 days and 250 people to film. Huge quantities of paint were needed to accomplish this, which had to be delivered in 1 tonne trucks and mixed on-site by 20 people.

The effect was stunning, but afterwards a major clean-up operation was required to clear away all that paint!

The cleaning took 5 days and 60 people. Thankfully, the use of a special water-based paint made it easy to scrape-up once the water had evaporated.

Keeping everyone safe was also an important factor. A special kind of non-toxic paint was used that is safe enough to drink (it contains the same thickeners that are sometimes used in soups). It was also completely harmless to the skin."

Thanks to the lovely Blair for the tip.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stuff that's going on

Just how real is it?

An English actress gets the lads mag retouching treatment

I've posted before on the power of re-touching, and how if people saw and knew just how much of it was done to ads and posters before we got to see them, they'd stop beating themselves up for not looking like something which effectively doesn't exist.

Sure there are some truly beautiful people in the world - generally of the airhostess/model mom and millionaire Italian father ilk, and these lucky bastards are born with long slim limbs, great teeth, a good complexion, and well, just gorgeous genes. Look no further than Grace Kelly, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Nathalie Portman, Rock Hudson etc. But even these people did or do get airbrushed - teeth get whitened, bags under the eyes go, a spot gets removed, a bit of dark hair on the arms disappears, hair becomes thicker and shinier, an extra glint gets added to the eyes. Fact is, we are human beings - we have body hair, pores, bad hair days. No matter how beautiful they are, no one is as 'perfect' as the crap we see in magazines.

Dove are doing some great work in terms of their real beauty campaign. OK, let's not kid ourselves, they're still a multi-million dollar company that want to continue selling their stuff, and I doubt this promotional drive is hurting sales - in fact, quite the opposite I imagine. But the message is still good, and a lot better than what we've had before. It's clearly about loving who you are, and making the most of what you have, as opposed to aspiring to achieve the impossible. One only has to look at some of the freakish lengths women go to these days with plastic surgery, or indeed with starving themselves, to see what a problem this is.

Check out the new TV commercial Dove are doing showing how a pretty(ish) model gets converted into a gorgeous one. Fantastic! You can view it at their website too, but I'm not sure how long it's going to be on there as it's on their splash page.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The ex Beatle, the soon to be ex-wife, and the personal trainer

I'm confused. Are Heather Mills and Paul McCartney still getting a divorce? And if so, haven't they been separated for the past few months? And if this is true, then what the hell is Paul McCartney (supposedly) doing asking her personal trainer, Ben Amigoni, (who only joined her staff two months ago), whether or not he's having an affair with 'his wife'? Source

Oh I see, so she's your wife when you need a bit of fodder for your divorce case, but you also feel free to change the locks on her so she can't get into your shared London home, and refuse to cross paths with her when you pick up your daughter. If that's his idea of how to treat his wife, I don't want to know how he's going to treat the mother of his child after they've divorced.

Amigoni apparently got a call from Macca asking him the question, and denied that anything was going on, but was mostly just surprised that the ex Beatle had actually called him in the first place.

I'm not taking sides here, but as far as I'm concerned, if you are separated from someone and going through a divorce it's none of their business who you are or aren't seeing. I appreciate if you have children together, this might be more complicated as you'd want to know who they are being exposed to. Still, if the story is true, I think it's bang out of order for him to call the guy asking him if he's having an affair with his wife. Why not ask her himself - oh yes, that's right, I guess him and his 'wife' don't actually talk to each other any more.
According to The Daily Mail, Sir Paul was reassured by the short chat he had with Amigoni, according to friends. A source said: "Paul is pretty relaxed about the whole thing and doesn't believe anything is going on ... if he suspected something more serious was going on, it would be a totally different story."
I'm not exactly sure what is meant by "if he suspected something more serious was going on, it would be a totally different story." It doesn't look like those two are still in love with each other, so the only thing that comes to mind is that it would get spun into some or other unfit mother crap in court.

Photo of Mills-McCartney & Amigoni c/o dailymail.co.uk

Transformations

For once the bitchy blogosphere is at a loss for words when it comes to Britney. Fact is, as these recent pictures show, the girl is looking good - and has lost a ton of weight. The hair could use a better (and consistant) colour, and I might suggest a more effective bra for support - but aside from that, not bad - not bad at all. It's also good to see her in something other than her customary flip-flops and denim shorts.


I've noticed there have been a few hits to my blog because of my mention of Jade Goody's mum Jackiey's recent plastic surgery makeover. I found these before and after pics in Heat magazine and scanned them in for your perusal. She also got a pair of massive new boobs (not visible in these pics, obviously), and because she already had quite a neat little figure on her, she looked dynamite in a purple evening gown on the night of her reveal. Personally I thought those boobs were a bit on the big side for her small frame, but she seemed delighted with them - which is what counts.

Photos: Britney c/o wwtdd.com
Jackiey Goody c/o Heat magazine, 14-20 October 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Amsterdam

A canal view (click on image to enlarge)

Despite living in the UK coming up for nine years, and despite the fact that Amsterdam is a cheap 45 minute flight away from London, until this weekend, I had never been. To my credit, the first few years of my life in London where on a South African passport - and having one of those means you need a visa if you so much as want to go to the toilet, never mind the Netherlands. As a South African and wannabe jet setter, you find yourself standing in a lot of embassy queues at 7am on cold winter mornings.

Anyway, I finally got to go and see Amsterdam, and I was so excited. In my mind I was going to visit a place that had a lot of watery canals and bank upon bank of tulips and other colourful flowers. There would also be windmills, and lots of pancakes, quite possibly with cream. In my mind, it was always sunny and warm - and people wore clogs, and some of them wore funny turned-up hats. On the other side of my bizarre (and what would later prove to be incredibly wrong) fantasy - was the seedy drug-infested red light district. Here pickpockets and perverts reigned supreme, and unsuspecting and unwilling passers-by (usually god-fearing Americans called Jim) got dragged into brothels and injected in the thigh or neck with heroin – only to come-to later and discover that their wallet had also been stolen. In reality, no self-respecting prostitute or drug dealer would force their products on an unwilling tourist for free – but one’s idiotic fantasy-life is often devoid of reason. To my paranoid credit, I was told that pickpockets in this area are in fact a reality.

So that was my mental image of Amsterdam: Happy, traditionally be-clogged, pancake-yielding young girls with armfuls of tulips by day, and a seedy underworld of drugs and prostitution by night. I was in for an adventure.

Well as it turns out, Amsterdam is none of these things, except of course for the watery canals, and the flowers - though the latter are for sale in the flower market, and not (as I had imagined) growing freely in every available space. It is, for all means and purposes, a city (and quite a chilly one at this time of year) with non-clog wearing people who look and dress very much like everywhere else in Europe. The city layout is structured around a series of concentric canals, dotted with houseboats and populated by the occasional duck or three. Despite being fairly built-up and busy, it also manages to be quite suburban and homey, and is incredibly picturesque - one of the prettiest European cities I have visited.

What did strike me immediately as being different to anywhere I had visited before, was the amount of people on bicycles. Everyone is on a bike - kids, adults, women in 6 inch heels, grandfathers. And not just any bike mind you, but the old fashioned kind of bike Postman Pat used - none of this fancy mountain bike business. What's even more striking is the fact that no one wears a helmet, and the Dutch seem to treat riding a bicycle with a certain reckless abandon. There is much multi-tasking while cycling - they talk on their mobile phones, give lifts to friends who sit on the little ledge on the back side-saddle, and I can equally imagine them rolling cigars, flipping pancakes, or whittling a pair of clogs - all while winding their way down the road.

Then there are the methods by which children - of various developmental stages - are transported. They have these sorts of wheelbarrow attached basins on the front, where the kids are placed inside (equally helmet and seatbelt-less) or for those who can't be bothered with this, children sit perilously on the back, where one might attach a satchel. I saw one woman this morning, with a small baby in one of those canvas baby strap-on devices, cycling without a care in the world. Either they are very confident in their cycling ability, or the sheer danger of it just doesn't occur to them. One taxi driver told us, with a sadistic glint in his eye, that there were people in Amsterdam who shot at cyclists. I don’t know if this was him voicing his psychotic desire to do so, or if it was the truth, but one can see that the sheer magnitude of people on bicycles is bound to cause traffic obstructions and an annoyance to drivers.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes (click on image to enlarge)

And what about those cannabis-selling coffee shops that everyone talks about? For some people this may seem too good to be true, but if grass is your thing - you should visit, because these cafes do actually exist. They are situated mostly in the city centre, and primarily close to the red light district. They are fairly easy to identify because the shop window is usually painted in the Rastafarian colours of red yellow and green. Either that or the cafe has a picture of a guy with a huge spliff in his mouth - so not hard to miss. You you can either buy the cannabis and take it with you, or you can smoke it in the cafes, which were generally filled with youngish people, and not in the least bit seedy or threatening-looking.

Fairly typical cannabis coffee shop (click on image to enlarge)

The red light district is a must - again, just because it's so weird seeing something which is illegal almost everywhere else in the world, so freely on display. We didn't visit it at night - so I can't vouch for how safe it is then, but during the day it wasn't in the least bit scary. It was also full of thrilled-looking groups of 18-year-old men, what looked like stag parties, and German families.

The women, of various shapes, sizes, and ethnicity (as well as what looked like some very attractive transsexuals) display themselves in either lingerie or swimwear in these little windows. I was dying to take some photos, but with my large digital Canon I thought they’d think I was a pervert, or making a promotional brochure, and either way would want a cut of the profits. I had visions of myself being chased down the street by these women in their tiny animal print underwear, or worse, by a gaudily-clad pimp with gold teeth.

These women (and transsexuals) wore openly provocative expressions which were (I imagined) supposed to be alluring, but some were just kind of frightening. Robert mostly started as his shoes as we walked past - I’d like to think it was out of shyness, but have a sneaking suspicion he was worried about being recognized. I gawked freely - for the sake of reporting back on here, of course. I think what really came home to me when seeing all these different women, is that if you think that the popularized media size 6-8 with big boobs image of sexiness is what appeals to everyone, you’re sorely mistaken. It takes all types and tastes to make the world go round - and indeed these women make money from their unique differences from the norm, which are clearly in demand.

Prostitute in the red light district - note the safe distance I kept (click on image to enlarge)

The sex museum was equally an education, but nothing I hadn’t seen before. I think what was most interesting about that whole experience were the photos of pornography taken back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and the fact is that very little has changed in terms of what people find sexy. What has changed is that the body shape of models is different – those women had a lot more meat on their bones, and generally quite visible stomachs, as opposed to the flat or six-pack look now. Also pubic hair (and a lot of it) seemed to be quite fashionable in those days, as opposed to the bald Hollywood wax look that is so fashionable nowadays.

The famous Sex Museum (click on image to enlarge)

If you want to buy pornography or sex toys, Amsterdam is also a fairly good place to shop for it. We went into one shop, called quite ingeniously I thought, ‘Sexy Land’ which advertised itself as the ‘1st Erotic Supermarket’. I can’t begin to tell you of the treasures that lay within, and one film which particularly stuck with me (and will probably inhabit future nightmares) was, ‘Dial M for midget – getting down with the little folk.’ I don’t think I need to detail what that particular cinematic gem was about, nor do I need to describe the pictures on the back.

Sexy Land - home of 'Dial M for midget' (click on image to enlarge)

But aside from all this bicycle, cannabis, and midget business, was the central purpose of our trip -
Robert’s half-marathon, which he ran on Sunday and completed in 2 hours and 9 minutes. That’s 21 kilometers in just over 2 hours. I’m very proud and impressed, and indeed baffled as to why anyone would want to put themselves through such bandy-leg inducing agony, but he did it, and I think he’s amazing. Well done Robert! I saw him off, along with a few thousand other Dutch and English zealots – hopping around from one leg to the other in the freezing cold ahead of the starting point. These people came out in droves to go and punish their limbs and joints, and seemed excited to be doing so. Must be all those legal drugs I reasoned. In fact I attributed any sort of (what I thought to be) strange behaviour, and what appeared to be a general sort of happiness amongst the Dutch people, to all that freely available sex and drugs. Who wouldn’t be happy, or indeed a wee bit strange?
Robert at the start of the Amsterdam half-marathon (click on image to enlarge)

Briefly, because this is the world’s longest post already – I had such a fun time catching up with my friend and ex-writing partner Blair, and loved Amsterdam. The best bit had to be where she gave me a lift on the back of her bicycle to a cosmetic wonderland, called ‘Da’. There we were – her cycling, me sitting on the little back ledge in a large leopard-print coat, screaming down the side of a canal with the wind in our hair, laughing out loud like two mad women. Her brakes didn’t work, and I must have weighed a ton. It was absolutely terrifying, and wonderful, and the last time I did something like that I was 12-years-old. Happy times.

Blair and her amazing bike (click on image to enlarge)

Friends

“When we're incomplete, we're always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we're still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on - serial polygamy - until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.” Tom Robbins
I spent a year or two (when I first moved to London), being quite lonely. I enjoyed seeing my sister and her husband, but they weren't quite up to the late night bar sessions and clubs I was interested in, and in fairness to them, there’s only so much of a drunk younger sister anyone can take. I don't know why, but I just found it incredibly hard to make friends outside of work, and so I spent a lot (a lot) of time on my own - going to movies, walks in the park, staying home watching Sunset Beach omnibuses, and expanding my waistline with comfort eating. Part of my inability in those first two years to truly settle into London life, had a lot to do with not really having a social life. I found colleagues happy to go out with me for a beer straight after work, but less so inclined to want to socialise on the weekends. This may also have had a lot to do with the fact that I worked in advertising, and we worked such long and late hours during the week, that when the weekend came, we’d had quite enough of each other.

When I met Robert who is an outgoing and magnanimous chap, I like to joke I not only got a boyfriend, but inherited about 120 friends. It was wonderful – suddenly there were all these people in my life; people to have a beer with, to discuss films with, to shop with, to go out with. A lot of the girls in the group also went on to become independent friends of mine, because we made a point to see each other more, and I guess there's always the love of shoes in common.

Having had the friendless experience, one of my greatest pleasures has therefore become introducing people, as well as many failed matchmaking attempts, but generally just getting people together and seeing what happens. We have parties or some sort of social gathering, and people meet, and the next thing I hear they're doing stuff together, and a lot of the time, these people have gone on to become friends independently of me. This has never been an issue for me, nor do I think it ever will be. I retain my friendships with them, but sometimes their friendship with each other, based on whatever commonality, is a much closer and deeper one than with me. As much as I live in a fantasy world most of the time, I am not quite as misguided as to believe that I possess the ability to meet everyone’s emotional, intellectual, and entertainment needs – and god knows the alternative sounds like way too much pressure.

Which takes me to my next point: There is no such thing as friend stealing. If you introduce two people, they treat you like crap, never talk to you again, and go on a cross-Europe lesbian motorcycling trip together, then sure, you have a beef. But still, at the end of the day, you have no claim over people, and it's certainly none of your business who they choose to socialise with. Ultimately, I am always incredibly flattered when I introduce people who go on to enjoy each others company. That's an indication that I have a fine choice when it comes to the people in my life. And more so, our friends tend to be a lot like us - outgoing and extrovert, and it's inevitable that there will be someone they will hit it off with and have something in common with other than you.

To have a beef with someone for ‘stealing’ a friend of yours is like saying: “You are more likeable, popular, interesting and better company than I am,” - because how else do you explain the theft? I mean, that person has to be doing something to lure those people away? And unless they are a supreme master of (tireless) deception, it’s more likely the case that they are likable enough that people enjoy their company, which is probably the reason you are friends with them yourself. And you in turn must be pretty likeable for them to be friends with you.

This whole thing sounds absurd as I write it, and I think that’s pretty much because it is. You have to have an open hand and an open heart when it comes to people, and life in general. God knows I have met some wonderful people through friends, and I have made a fair few introductions myself, and I think this is a wonderful thing. If you are that insecure about your friendships, it’s likely you doubt your ability to be a good friend to people and to keep that relationship, and you shouldn’t. Chances are if you are that shit at the job, that friendship would have or will end of it's own accord, with or without the help of a so-called friend stealer.

People are not possessions – and the irony is you are more likely to increase your popularity, gain more friends, and be viewed as a generous and magnanimous person if you are happy to introduce and share your friends, than if you guard your relationships jealously. And even more importantly, life is far too short for any of this to be an issue in the first place .

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Mini-sized

I love those travel-sized bottles of shampoo, shaving cream, body lotion etc that you can buy these days. I first came across them at a Wallgreens in New York, then at a Boots at Heathrow, and now I've found them at the Superdrug on Tottenham Court Road. These little goodies are a must if you travel on business, you and your partner are in denial about whether or not you are living together, or if you enjoy the occasional mini-break. They take up a hell of a lot less space in your bag, and if you leave them somewhere by mistake, it's no big deal.

I got all kitted out for our trip to Amsterdam - I had my Dermalogica (for dry skin) travel pack (cleanser, toner, moisturizer and complimentary sample skin refinisher), plus my mini Tresemme Shampoo and Conditioner. I had even packed a mini toothpaste - although our regular one doesn't really take up that much room - but if I was mini-sizing, I had to be consistent. I had a mini shaving cream, mini mouthwash, mini everything. So you can imagine how annoyed I was when I discovered last night (while attempting to freshen up ahead of meeting Blair) that I had in fact forgotten my entire mini-stocked vanity case in the bathroom back in London. What an eejit!

I was wondering why (for the first time in ages) my suitcase felt so light, and was stupidly congratulating myself for packing (for once) so ergonomically. Usually I include a fake fur coat, a ball gown, a pair of army boots, and a handglider - just in case. This time I was steamlined to the point of military precision. Only I don't think any self-respecting soldier would forget their bloody vanity case, now would they?


Fortunately the hotel we are staying in has complimentary L'Occitane products, and their shampoo and conditioner is quite lovely. Unfortunately, they (like 99% other hotels), don't really put skincare cosmetics out for your personal use. Mostly I imagine, because men don't bother, and women always bring their own.
Now I can survive with hotel shampoo provided they also do conditioner and sufficient amounts of it, because my hair is uncombable without the latter. Likewise the soap or bodywash they have on offer is usually fine. But what I cannot do without is eye-makeup remover, a facewash, or a moisturiser. These are grassroots basics in my beauty routine, and without them, my face resembles a leathery piece of something which covers a drum. I have very dry skin, but it's also prone to spots on occassion, which makes using the complimentary body lotion (which is usually rich in something like greasy cocoa butter) on my face, a risky enterprise. No one wants to be on a romantic mini-break with itchy, shiny, spotty skin, now do they?

This morning I made do with their 100% vegetable soap for my face, which wasn't quite so drying as most other soap, and thank god and all the saints, I found a teeny tiny little Origins sample in my makeup bag - which is called Youthtopia - skin firming cream. According to the teeny tiny instructions on the back, you're supposed to 'smooth over skin AM and PM after A Perfect World* White tea skin guardian.' Well, I didn't have no white tea skin guardian, but this stuff seemed to work OK as a moisturiser - at least until I can find the nearest shop selling Dermalogica.


At this point, Louise will be asking - why on earth didn't you have a mini face cleansing kit in your handbag, as well as a mini toothbrush and toothpaste, like any self-respecting prepared for anything London girl should? And my reply to that sarcastic comment would be - well I would have, if there weren't all these current bloody restrictions on liquids in your hand luggage. Fortunately, I did remember to bring my makeup bag (ergo Youthtopia discovery) and had packed that in with my luggage - but the rest has to be purchased. Oh dear, I guess that means I'll have to go shopping... .

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pictures and shit

I'm having a particularly non-verbal day today. Probably because I've been up since about 7.30am, which is an inhuman time to expect anyone to be up at - let alone functional and literary. Herewith an assortment of pictures - mostly photos taken around London this month.

For a special treat, I'm kicking things off with a Hoff gem sent into me by Blair, who seems to be under the delusional impression that I have a thing for him. No Blair, that's my sister Chantell - who adores him, wants his babies, and is chairman of the South African Hoff fan club.
Central St Martins school of art and design student doing performance art (I think) in a class window. Charring Cross Road.



Channel 5 Promotional Teaser. Clerkenwell Road.
(Later followed by: Who says nothing good came out of America - new channel showcasing best of US film). I found the placement of this one interesting.



Me with my friend Andrea's son Jack, yesterday. Check out the gorgeous red hair!


Robert coming in for the home stretch on the Nike North/South 10k in Hyde Park

Graffiti on Tottenham Court Road

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Let's go shopping in Africa


In my humble 2.5 years or so of blogging, I've come to learn that when it comes to celeb news - where there's smoke, there's generally fire. You hear a bit of gossip on the blogosphere or tabloid magazine circuit, which is immediately hotly denied by the star/s in the question. A week or two later - they're selling one on one interviews or autobiographies admitting as much. It's not so much that the story was untrue, you see, it's just that they had to get the right amount of money to admit it.

The latest bit of info is that Madonna has adopted a one-year-old child from Malawi, called David. Again, when she was pictured in Malawi, doing what looked suspiciously like orphan browsing, claims that she planned to adopt were denied. There was even a qoute to the effect of, 'I don't want to do a Brangalina.' Then, yesterday, I heard on the radio news (which must be true -surely?) that she has in fact adopted.

Now, coming from Africa, and having travelled (to a small degree) within the continent, I know how poor places like Malawi are. And I imagine there are thousands of children that need a good home. But then again, there are also many many children who need to be adopted in England, and America too. But hmm, guess what, I think it's quite tough to adopt a child - bordering on nearly impossible most of the time in these countries. You get vetted for ages, and then there's the waiting game - sometimes for years. So why go through what everyone else has to? Why not go to a dirt-poor place, flash a bit of money around, and completely fast-track the process?

Sure this little kid is getting a chance here, but fundamentally I don't agree with what she has done, nor for that matter Angelina Jolie. Though Angelina, to her credit, does pour a shit-load of money into places she adopts from which benefit many other children, and attempts (so she says) to keep a home in these places, so the children don't lose their cultural connection entirely. With regards to David, this child sounds as though he has a family - there have been qoutes from his father and grandmother. Chances are the only reason he was put up for adoption in the first place is that his family cannot afford to feed him at home. It's just so sad. Why take this child out of his country and away from his family? Why not donate all that money to the orphanage and a community project, so tthat his family can get some skills, make some money, and be able to support him?

Now reports claim that Madonna's camp initially denied the adoption, so that they could drag out the story, and get some publicity for her kid shopping humanatarian efforts. Nice.

Photo c/o wwtdd.com

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nicole Richie redefines the skinny jean look

There's no real story attached to this recent picture of Richie, except it has me wondering what size jeans those are, and where I can get a pair. I know I could totally rock them. And when I say rock them, I mean like - I'd be bursting out of the seams with coolness. Literally.

Picture c/o the superficial c/o (in case you missed it) x17