My Missoni Madness

When I heard about the Missoni at Target capsule collection launch set for yesterday, I thought I would stroll into my local Target at some point that day to check it out.

(I have been buying Missoni for years – but never at retail. Century 21 in NYC has a nice Missoni collection where I have gotten sweaters for less than $200 – a Missoni deal.)

Then I heard on CNBC that the Target website crashed and was virtually sold out, and the New York and New Jersey stores all sold out within an hour! Ah!

For the first time I felt happy not to be living in NYC. But I hot-footed it over to Target pronto! So glad I did.

The store was picked over, but there was a lot left. 

The score:

(By the way, nothing was more than $50, although the items are already listed on eBay marked up to over twice the price in some cases)

My fave – the blue dress. It is kind of short, but looked great on. I am just trying to decide – what color tights, plain black or the cool Missoni blue patterned ones I left there …. damn I may need to go back)

missoni blue zig-zag mini dress

Missoni for Target blue zig-zag mini dress

The blue cardigan (not to go with the dress…)

Missoni for Target blue cardigan

The classic cardigan (I almost bought the dress that goes with this but it was too busy with the cardigan)

Missoni for Target zig-zag cardigan

The stretchy black and white tee –

Missoni for Target Black and White Zig-Zag Tee

I was not alone at the store, my husband and mother came along (she bought the tee shirt too) – so then we moved to housewares where we scooped up –

This throw – it is really thick, great quality, and has a black and white pattern on the reverse side. 50 by 60 inches.

Missoni for Target Throw

And 4 bowls and 2 mugs.

Missoni for Target Mugs

A productive 45 minutes.

I may go back to see about those tights. And the towels I forgot to look at.

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Same time last year

Last year, at this time, I was anxiously awaiting to see if my screenplay would advance from quarterfinalist to semifinalist in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards contest.

Two years ago, it reached the top 25%.

I did some rewriting, and last year, it advanced to Quarterfinalist (top 10%).

I was at a dim sum restaurant in San Francisco last year when I ran outside to the courtyard to check the website for the semi-finalist list – the top 25 entries in each genre. Out of around 4,400 scripts entered.

The script did not make that cut.

I did some rewriting.

So, here we are again.

It made the top 25% this year.

It made quarterfinalist this year.

And tomorrow – I find out if it makes semifinalist.


Just because I feel like it

Wow, I have not blogged in ages.

Not because life is not interesting – more because of laziness, or facebook…. oh  I really don’t have any suitable excuse.

But – I’m baaack…

The top 10 things since September – September?!

1) The screenplay is being read by 4 film production companies in Britain (one is bigtime). I have been on a query frenzy. A few people lit a fire under me – get that out there – now! My father being one of them. He so wants this movie made. Me too, dad!

2) I have been dieting. It is working, yay! I will get into my skinny jeans any day now. Anyone remember the old Scarsdale diet? I haven’t eaten this much grapefruit in my whole life.

3) Before the diet, we joined friends on a weekend eating frenzy in D.C.  Dim Sum at Mark’s Duck House. Peking Duck at Peking Gourmet in Falls Church. Yeah, a lot of duck – doesn’t it look good, though?

Oh, and there was the 9 course (9!) dinner at the chef’s table at Tosca. In the kitchen. Spectacular food. But way too much.

4) Got a museum fix. The Gaugin exhibit at the National Gallery. The new News Museum. Go there! You can read the news off a teleprompter, have it displayed on the TV monitor above, and cringe. It was fun – but none of us opted to buy it for 5 bucks.

5) We have been going to the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD at a local theater. It is fantastic. (Also it is fantastic to be the youngest person in the theater – but I digress.) What is cool is that during intermissions you see the backstage machinations – (one unaware stagehand guy said “fuck” – and this is live – oops). And Renee Fleming and Placido Domingo interviewed the stars backstage. You don’t get this at the opera house. Check it out – Met Opera Live in HD in theaters near you!

6) I have been way too invested in this year’s season of American Idol. So glad it is almost over, so now I can watch “The Voice” – which has better talent and better judges.  Because this season, AI voters got rid of the only good one – Haley Reinhart.  Despite my voting like a ninja. She was awesome doing Zep, and her father plays a mean guitar.

7) I bought 2  limited edition Murikami lithos on eBay. From Japan. Before the nuclear disaster. 

Takashi Murakami "Me and Mr. DOB"


8 )  We finally hung the Murikami’s last week. 

9) I am watching a deer munch on grass in my backyard.

10) I am so waiting to see the new Woody Allen film – “Midnight in Paris.” It is supposed to be his best film in 10 years.

Are zebra print jackets offensive?

Tacos and ice cream – a mission in the Mission

While in San Francisco recently visiting friends  – I wanted to 1) have some “real” Mexican food, and 2) try the ice cream at Humphry Slocombe.

Both were in the Mission.

We went to La Tacqueria. It looked like a fast food place – you order at the counter, find a table. I ordered 2 carnita asada tacos, with the works – beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole. Medium spicy. An order of chips and salsa and an order of guac to share (there were 3 of us). A Corona. (The 2 guys each ordered 1 burrito and 1 taco.)

The salsa and guac came first. The salsa was fabulous, more like pico de gallo – chopped tomatoes and cilantro and onion. Great flavor, really fresh. The guac was real thick and chunky.

The tacos were the best I have ever eaten. Ever. (And I get around.) The taco is wrapped in 2 soft corn tortillas (it needs 2 to hold all the “stuff” in it). The flavor of the meat and the flavor of the green sauce – superb. I really should have ordered one – I had no idea how big this was going to be. But – I had no problem finishing the second one.  My husband had a pork burrito and a taco – and while he loved the burrito – he loved the taco even more.

We then had to walk it off so we could eat ice cream.

We walked around the Mission, up 24th street to Harrison St. This neighborhood had really colorful murals and art painted on the buildings.

I had read about Humphrey Slocombe in the New York Times Magazine about a month before our planned trip. I do not live in NY. I do not live in SF.

This was ice cream fate.

The thing about Humprhy Slocombe? Is the crazy-innovative flavors. It is ice cream for adults. Adults who can step out of the chocolate, vanilla box, and into —

Peanut Butter Curry. Jesus Juice (red wine and coke sorbet). Secret Breakfast (Jim Beam and cornflakes). Balsamic Caramel. White chocolate lavender. Salt and Pepper. Prosciutto. Sweet corn. Rosemary’s baby (rosemary and pine nuts). Ancho chocolate. Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee.  Milk chocolate tarragon. Candied ginger. You get the picture. A full flavor list is here. Flavors rotate daily.

Well. We got to Humphry Slocombe, and there was a line down the block – the 10 minute wait gave us time to decide which flavors to try. I read today’s flavors – no Salt and Pepper, ahh! I really, really wanted to try that.

We get up to the counter and see that you can try the flavors you are thinking about – before ordering.

I tried the Thai Chili lime sorbet – too hot for me.  Between the 3 of us, we ordered the Jesus Juice sorbet, and peanut butter curry, sweet corn, Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee, and Rosemary’s baby ice creams.

Loved them all, but my fave that day was the peanut butter curry.

We had to go back another day, I had to try this salt and pepper ice cream.

We brought our other friend along – now there were 4. That day we tried balsamic caramel, ancho chocolate, burnt butter, secret breakfast, and… salt and pepper. 

It was not  what I imagined it to be – it was sweet, but with sea salt and peppercorns.  It was my fave.

Oy the waiting

I posted last month that my screenplay had made the top 25% cut in the 2010 Page International Screenwriting Awards Contest.

I was pretty excited about that.

So, not sure why I neglected to post that – the script has since made Quarterfinals – the top 10% of 4412 scripts entered. Yay!

So —

The next cut – Semi-finalists (top 25 scripts in each genre)  – will be announced on August 15th.  

I was okay not thinking about it – until I have been getting reminders all this week.

“12 days.”



Time to focus on something else.

Like shoe shopping maybe?

Or should I buy one of these?

36 hours in NYC – wish ribbons, blue shoes, and friends

We ran off to NYC for a quickie get-together with friends.

I’ll get to that later…

First, we got to the hotel around 7 pm, and cabbed it over to the 2nd Ave. Deli for matzoh ball soup and pastrami sandwiches. I still think this is the best pastrami in the city. Also, I really like the free mini-shots of chocolate soda that come with the check.

Then I had to wrestle with rugrat kids in the hotel business center at 9:30 pm to get on a pc before the 10 pm chat that Max Adams kindly arranged for her 5150 screenwriting workshop with guest screenwriter Terry Rossio. This was no picnic, trying to get that pc. A couple of kids on one pc. 2 Spanish guys on another, a surly teen girl on another, and an older man with a yarmulke on the last one. At about 9:50, after much exaggerated sighing, I announced “I have a 10:00 meeting with someone in Hollywood, is anyone getting off soon?!” Yarmulke guy kindly gave me his pc. It was a great chat – lots of great information and advice from Terry. And – Johnnie Depp is hotter in person than in the movies. So I hear.

Friday we had lunch at Luke’s Lobster in the East Village. It has recently been named one of the best lobster roll places in the city. It did not disappoint! Yum. The place has no real seating, just about 8-10 stools at a bar. We luckily got window seats and polished those babies off.

Then we cabbed it down to the New Museum on Bowery and Prince. I love this place because it is so off-beat.

There was a Rivane Neuenshwander exhibit in the lobby [other floors too, but I am telling you about the lobby..] – called “I Wish Your Wish.” She is a Brazilian artist.

It is walls of colored ribbons with people’s wishes printed on them. The ribbons loosely poke out of little holes. Visitors are invited to select ribbons printed with a wish to tie around their wrists. [The guy in the exhibit instructed me to tie three knots – I did.] When the ribbon falls off, Brazilian tradition is that one’s wish will come true. Visitors may write another wish and place it in the empty hole. [I did.]

So – I now will be wearing this yellow ribbon and green ribbon on my left wrist for – who knows how long?

There is this shoe store in Soho just a few blocks from the museum on Prince St. My favorite NYC shoe store – John Fluevog.

But. It was getting close to the time we had to be downtown for the reason we came to NYC in the first place – the party. I did not want to be late, but the husband insisted – insisted – we go get me some shoes. Who am I to argue?

I got me some baby-blue John Flouevog shoes.

They were even on sale, yay!

All this, and still – the best part of the trip – was seeing my old friends.

Friends I used to work with years ago. The occasion – an informal retirement party for a few of my old bosses, at Captain’s Ketch in the financial district. About 60-70 people showed, and caught up with each other over many glasses of wine and other alcoholic beverages.  It was way cool to see everyone again.

There is a core group (okay, clique) of seven women that are still really close – even though 4 of us have scattered off from that job. And we huddled and caught up with each other as if we had all been together just yesterday instead of 2-3 years ago. The best kind of friends to have.

The party was scheduled from 5 – 9pm, and at 10pm a whole lot of us were still there when the place turned on the lights to signal – hey you guys are running over – so we did what we used to do.

12 of us trudged up to Wo Hop in Chinatown for dinner. And pigged out on homemade wonton soup, dumplings, sesame noodles, egg rolls, and various versions of Chow Fun. 

And we all again hugged and went our separate ways. Until next time.

Casey James and Crystal Bowersox – American Idol tour stars

Okay, perhaps I am not objective going in, but I have watched virtually all of the American Idol tour on youtube this weekend, and the stars are….

Yeah, you read that title.

If you, like me, are not going to see the American Idols Live tour in person this year, here are some of the best performances from the tour that I have seen so far…

Casey James – “Don’t.” Watch for the guitar switch mid-song. USA Today reports that Casey used 6 guitars for 5 songs.

Casey James – “I Got Mine.” Bluesy rock guitar jam.

Crystal Bowersox singing one of my favorite songs – “What’s Going On?”

Tells you who really should have won American Idol, huh?

The Page International Screenplay Contest email – yay!

movie film

I received a fantastic email yesterday from the Page Awards!

“Dear Michele,

2010 marks the 7th anniversary of The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, and this is shaping to be our strongest and most competitive year ever! We received 4,412 scripts this year, submitted by writers from all across the United States and around the world, and our Judges are telling us that the overall quality of this year’s entries is the best they’ve ever seen. So the next few months promise to be very exciting!

Today we’re officially kicking off The 2010 PAGE Awards announcement season, and we have some very good news for you…

The Judges have finished evaluating all the scripts in the First Round of competition, and they have advanced the top 25% of all entries into the Second Round. Based on your First Round scores, we’re very happy to inform you that you are now in the Second Round of competition.

Congratulations!! Given the caliber of competition you faced, this is a real achievement.”

Man, that made my day!

It also made my day that my fellow screenwriter friends in Max Adams’ 5150 International Screenwriting Workshop – Nancy, Christie, and Jos – are in the top 25% with me! Yay!

5150 – rocks!

Next round (quarterfinal) announcements are on July 15. Here’s hoping!

Did American Idol sabotage Casey James?

The answer is undeniably – Yes.

I have watched American Idol since season 2. Through the years, I have noticed that the producers and the judges have their favorites, and try to control the outcome of America’s votes by swaying the opinion of the audience in a variety of ways. The way the producers paint the contestants’ back stories and backstage (and hometown visit) footage. The questions Ryan asks the contestants. The judges’ pronouncements during various TV interviews of who will be in the finale – before America has voted. The dishonest, subjective, often meandering or nonsensical judgments of performances.

In the case of Casey James, often there was no judgment of his performance at all. From day one, the producers and judges have painted Casey James as “the pretty boy who cannot really sing but plays okay guitar.” The producers and the judges continued this story-line throughout the competition, reinforcing it every chance they got.

It started during his audition, when Kara – purported singing competition judge – asked him to unbutton his shirt. If Casey were a woman, there would have been cries of sexual harassment across the country.

When Casey did a quite good rendition of “Mrs. Robinson” in “movie song” week, there was no critique of his performance, there were jokes about an older woman, younger guy (Kara and Casey?) – ha ha.

When they showed the edited footage of the top three’s (Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, and Casey James) hometown visits, pains were taken to show mostly shots of women cooing and screaming at Casey. The one TV or radio interview question they aired, out of all the questions he was asked, was “Do you have a girlfriend?”

There was absolutely no footage of his performances at home, the performances that show him to be the real entertainer that he is, a blues guitarist and singer with exceptional talent that could not be boiled down to 90 second performances of pre-selected pop music. [One can’t do a guitar riff if one has only 90 seconds and part of that has to be singing.] But. The producers showed footage of Crystal singing on her home visit. They upped the ante for Lee’s home visit (Lee is the new chosen one, after the producers have decided that Crystal, the resident “hippy,” is too polarizing and may not sell as many records.) Not only did they show Lee singing, they gave his footage a soundtrack – “The Boxer” – that is the American Idol story of a poor boy leaving home – leading into Lee’s actual performance of the song. If that’s not stacking the deck, I do not know what is.

If they had shown Casey’s performances in his hometown visit, safe from the judges’ critiques, not squashed into 90 seconds – just Casey at a hometown bar playing some awesome blues with a look of pure joy on his face…

America would have seen this.

And this.

American Idol did not want to show this to America. Because it would undermine their top-two decision and the story they have built about Casey James all season long.

Because the “pretty boy” plays a mean guitar and he can indeed sing.

Fashion Friday – High-heeled clogs!

Man, I want these clogs. The lace-up ones are hot.

These are sold at The Number 6 Store, in NYC’s Little Italy.

You can buy ones that are already made, or chose your own top material and patterns.

[Photo by Lars Klove for the NY Times]