Prunes and Prism

RULES FOR YOUNG LADIES: Some arch advice on snagging a husband. Exercising the mouth into a pretty shape through repetition of certain words seems to have been an indoor sport for young nineteenth-century girls; in Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens' overly bred girl repeats, "papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism." (

Friday, February 03, 2006

Red Lobster, Mon Amour

I missed the original airing of this week's Project Runway because I was busy drinking that gin martini, but I saw it last night and afterward lay in bed still laughing out loud. I knew Santino's impressions of Tim were funny, but last night when he crafted an imaginary scenario in which Tim and Andrae went on a date to Red Lobster? And Andrae threw a plate of lobster in Tim's lap? And Andrae ran crying into the bathroom? Comedy gold, folks.

I'd also like to acknowledge the bonus video on the Bravo site the week of the Sasha Cohen challenge (and yes, my life is kind of without form and void, thanks for asking!) in which Santino makes up a spiritual dirge, a pastiche of "Go Down, Moses" called "Don't Let Emmett on the Serger." Santino is the kind of hilarious semi-friend who scares you because he might turn on you next. ("Don't ... Let ... [Your Humble Narrator] Near the Doughnuts.")

Finally in Project Runway news, Tim's latest podcast is a real gem:

a) He refers to himself as "Big Daddy," and
b) decrying the Frank Gehryness of Santino's construction, utters the withering "This doesn't have to be Bilbao!"

It's enough to make me forgive him for saying Rachel has "Gumby legs." If Rachel has Gumby legs, I have Vienna sausages. Actually, I do have Vienna sausages, so let's move on.

Emma and the Comrade had grown so close that I joked about her loving him more than she loves me, but now it's just painful enough to be the truth. Sometimes she doesn't run to me when I come in at night, just lazes out of the bedroom ashing her Parliament all over the floor. Then as soon as the Comrade comes in she shoots to the door like a fat little beaver hurtling out of a cannon, and as soon as he sits down, she's crawling into his lap like Daddy's little girl.

The Comrade assures me this is just a mama thing. "Mothers are always doing things -- they're khazyaushki,"* he said. "My mother was the one who fed us, but I couldn't wait for my father to come home so he could throw me up in the air. When I got older I realized everything she did for us, and now when I call home she's the one I talk to."

This is heartfelt logic, and yet there's a big hole in it because (1) let's face it, Emma has a brain the size of a walnut and (2) will never bring her laundry home from Bard College and have an epiphany that I loved her best all along. Of course, she's also never going to take a seminar in Deconstructing Feminist Ur-Texts**, either, so I'm glad she'll never grow up.

* housewives, but more than that -- sort of like domestic majordomos

** What is the early-Seventies "feminist novel" in which the heroine is a promising philosophy student who builds a timeline of great thinkers on the walls of her dorm room, but by the end of the book she's married, and a mother, and her great subversive act is to leave the dishes for morning so she can engage in marital relations with her husband? Anybody? I've Googled every combination I can think of.


Anonymous ashok said...

It sounds like I'm missing a lot by not watching this show...

Sorry to hear about Emma. There's some bitterness here, and it contrasts with the liveliness of your prose. I hope you're OK.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Recovering Baptist said...

Dammit. Do I have to get cable for this show or can I order it on DVD from Netflix? Because as a general rule, if it's not on Netflix, it isn't playing Chez Rachelle.

I think Emma is just in the little girl stage with the Comrade. Give it a few more years and he'll be embarrassing her in front of her friends and she'll be back to the tragic princess you knew and loved.

10:52 PM  
Blogger frostine99 said...

Thanks for your support, both of y'all -- I think you're right, Recovering Baptist, Emma's daddy love may be a phase ... that, and the stuff the Comrade wears around the house, which tends to the fleecy and thus makes a better nest. She is half-sitting, half-standing in my lap as I type this. And it hurts! She's not a thin girl, and it's a lot of weight to concentrate on those little fluffy paws. She likes to lie on her back, and Mama says it's so her fat can flop over and she can catch a break. I know the feeling!

I just checked Netflix and you can indeed get the first season of PR, which is also great. (Though I think I'm liking this season even better because the designers seem even more talented and also because they've shown more this season of the relationships they formed with each other. Just last week there was a segment when they're hanging out making their garments in the sewing room, and the precious 21(?)-year-old Daniel V. is talking about how he came out to his parents last year. It was just a nonsensational, low-drama, genuine kind of moment, and one of the little things that make the show great; for the most part it's edited in a very thoughtful way that makes people seem like personalities but not caricatures.)

You don't necessarily have to care that much about fashion to enjoy it, either. Somebody I know likened it to Iron Chef in that you don't have to cook yourself to be fascinated by watching really talented people do amazing things within ridiculous time constraints. I never imagined I'd care a whit about what an overlock stitch is, but believe it or not, the show makes it compelling.

I still don't know why I happened to watch that first episode, but as soon as I did I was Sucked In But Good. Get it from Netflix! The only thing is, I think your enjoyment of the show will be severely compromised if you know ahead of time who wins. This week (last week?) I accidentally found out Wednesday's winner before I watched on Thursday, and the show was not nearly as tasty.

Gosh, I had no idea I had so much to say about this. When I love something I can get kind of wiggety-wack about it.

12:11 PM  

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