Topics: three

First up, Project Runway finale. If you didn’t watch last night because, say, you were watching the third & final debate, and you don’t want to know the results, don’t read any further. The winner? My darling Leanne! She crushed the competition. Well, not really. All three collections were impressive and well-executed, I thought. Leanne’s, though, was just so much more — more cohesive, more thematic (in a good way), more stunning. The colors were phenomenal and it was all so pretty. I just have loved her for so long and I’m happy to have had my early fave do so well. She reminds me of Chloe. Anyone else?

While Kenley’s collection was nice (I’m not really into the painted fabric), it was her attitude that was more upsetting. In the usual Kenley way, she was defensive and offensive at the same time. The judges, again, felt that she was copying ideas and designs that were already out in the world. Kenley stated that she had no idea that others were doing what she was doing and, I think, I might actually believe that. But it doesn’t really matter. Even if she didn’t explicitly rip-off other designers, it’s the fact that her designs aren’t fresh that’s the problem. If someone lives in a cave their entire life and comes out in 2008 with an amazing sculpture that looks just like the David, it doesn’t make that artist as cool as Michelangelo. It may make that person a pretty good craftsman and an artist who’s good with stone, but it doesn’t make the second David a masterpiece. So, Kenley, quit your crying.

Korto. There’s really not much to say. I have little doubt that she has a great future in fashion. She’s an incredible designer.

Next up, the debate. So, since I chose PR over Debate Three, I saw only snippets of the first hour and the last thirty minutes. What do you guys think? Is Joe the Plumber related to Joe Six-Pack? Are they the same guy? I was confused. Also, from what I hear, plumbers do pretty well for themselves and plumbing — unlike, say, the peeps working at the GM plant in Janesville that’s closing up shop any day now — seems like it’s a career that probably withstands a depression. We still need water and working pipes even if the stock market collapses. So, I guess, I’m unclear why the plumber is the icon being tossed around for your average Joe. Though his name, apparently, is Joe. But, again, I missed the beginning of McCain’s thread on this, so I’ll wait to hear from you guys for further evaluation. I’d like to go back today and listen to what they both said about the Supreme Court. Who was the first politician to talk litmus tests with regard to the Court? For some reason, that phrase just really annoys me. Probably because it’s thrown around all the time with no sincerity and it rings hollow.

Third up, I had dinner with Ben last night. Though we talk, email or text every day, we hadn’t seen each other in a couple of months, I’d say. It was really great to see him. He’s doing so well — he’s got all these friends and he’s practically running his school. He had a cute new orange raincoat and scruff on his face like he did back in the 2001-03 era. It’s hard to see him, too, of course. It’s a reminder that our relationship didn’t “work out” in the way we both had hoped it would. As more and more time is put between us and the pumpkin, I can’t always remember what exactly went wrong. In thinking about it this morning, I think it was, to be simple about it, that we stopped being nice to each other. Not that we were necessarily mean (though sometimes of course we were), but we stopped valuing being nice, being extra considerate, being patient and just kind. I know I’m no one anyone wants to take advice from, but I think that it’s important to remember that there is no substitute for being kind. Although being polite is part of it, I think being kind — really considering your friend or partner or lover’s needs and wants — is the most important thing in a relationship. Any relationship. And once you lose that, it’s really hard to get back.

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31 Responses to “Topics: three”


  1. 1 Heather October 16, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I didn’t watch the PR final, but I’m glad Leanne won. I’ll see if it’s on sometime today.

    As for the debate, Joe the plumber is someone McCain met in Ohio (and maybe Obama met, too?) who wanted to buy the business he worked for, but couldn’t under Obama’s tax plan because he would be taxed at too high a rate. So, I guess Joe the plumber makes more than 250k a year? Or he would if he bought the business? It was a little confusing, but he did not seem to be related to Joe sixpack, although I felt that mcCain wanted the image to be similar.

    McCain first used the litmus test expression, and then obama followed suit. i just think of them putting litmus paper on their tongues.

    I’m glad ben is doing well. I still have his housekey, from when I took gracie, which I keep meaning to give to him.

  2. 2 kateandgracie October 16, 2008 at 11:39 am

    No, I meant who — historically — first used the expression. Did it come up after Bork?

    I see now that Joe the Plumber is a real person and I read that he would be making $270,000 if he bought the company.

  3. 3 kateandgracie October 16, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Also, I know he probably just misspoke, but Obamamama was not in the senate when Breyer was confirmed, so he couldn’t exactly have voted against him. I’m sure he meant Alito, but still.

  4. 4 Kristin October 16, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    PR. Well, hmmm. It’s not that I thought Kenley should have won really, not with all her attitude and the copycatting probs. But…I liked her collection the best. I really did. If those three collections were in a store, I would be drawn to Kenley’s hands down. That said, Leeane’s was the most cohesive and innovative and it was just beautiful and I’m glad she won because Kenley is obnoxious and needs some more time to cook and grow up.

    The debate. Eee gads, I am so fed up with that grumpasaurus rex. Kate – you must watch the part about abortion. As my FB status says, when talking about it, McCain put the phrase “health of the mother” in airquotes! Twice. Jesus christ. Anyway, Joe the plumber (who CNN is now saying might not actually be a plumber – stay tuned) is someone Obama met in the ropeline over the weekend. And I wondered the same thing about him being related to Joe Sixpack. We can’t make this stuff up. Overall I think Obama looked a teensy bit off his game, and McCain looked a teensy bit more on his.

    I just looked up litmus test on Wikipedia and they didn’t talk about who first used it.

  5. 5 Kristin October 16, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    And kindness is so important and I’m constantly reminded of it when dealing with those who know me best. It’s hard to always be kind, but when you are, and when people love you, it can knock out anything that might have come before. Which is nice.

  6. 6 Sarayu October 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I was thrilled that Leanne won. Her collection was ready to wear in every way and I think she has a brilliant future. I thought Korto’s was gorgeous too. Kenley’s was certainly creative and beautifully crafted but I was so relieved she didn’t win. She has a lot of growing up to do, and if she wasn’t as defensive she would have learned early on that she isn’t as innovative as she thinks she is.

    Regarding the debates, most of your questions have been answered so I’ll just say this: McCain is gross.

    You and Ben and the pumpkin… I’m glad you had dinner. I know it’s hard. I know you and Ben were nice to each other, and you saw each other through a lot of hard times. And then there were times when things were just rocky.

    Being nice IS so important. It’s a lesson I keep re-learning. I don’t really know what my point is. I guess I just agree with you. It’s just too often that we take for granted the people in our lives. I know I spend a lot of time thinking about the past and looking to the future, but every once in a while I remember that what’s happening right now is pretty good, and someday I’ll probably miss it.

  7. 7 kateandgracie October 16, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Nicely said. I need to do that more, too. Recognize that this has been a tough year and that I’m pretty lucky to be where I am. And most days, I’m pretty happy about it, too.

    That said, did anyone look at Suede’s collection that showed at Bryant Park? It’s online. All I can say is: WTF?

  8. 8 Kristin October 16, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I can’t find Suede’s collection! Only Jerrell and Joe (Jesus – Joe, really?). Can you link?

  9. 9 Sara H October 16, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    McCain tried to say last night that it was the American Dream to own a business. I am not sure how being taxed at a higher rate on the increment over $250K prevents you from purchasing a business and achieving this new-fangled American Dream, so that doesn’t make much sense to me. But McCain’s other theme was to lower taxes on all businesses (including the ones that make lots of money) so that they can hire more people. It was like he was using Joe the Plumber to make a point about jobs but felt like he just had to tie in the “American Dream” thing too, which I don’t think exactly matched. He would have been better off just hammering on job creation. Explain how Joe the Plumber won’t be able to hire 2 more plumbers because of the taxes or something. Bad choice of examples.

    My favorite part? McCain’s slip of the tongue to call Obama “Senator Government.” 🙂 And holy Obama teeth whitening, Batman. But I feel like Obama won.

    Joe’s? Did you see Joe’s collection? That guy kills me! I didn’t watch, but I have it recorded – it was pretty obvious who was going to win anyway, now I just have to catch up so I can see the Kenley nastiness. And OMG, I saw a pic of her dress and the McQueen dress next to each other, and I seriously can’t believe that she came up with her dress on her own.

    I’m glad you and Ben had dinner – I so admire your ability to see yourselves clearly and continue your relationship in a new way.

  10. 10 kateandgracie October 16, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks, Sara.

    I’m just not sure I understand McCain’s point. If you make more than $250k a year, your taxes shouldn’t go up? I suppose if you’re point is just that no one’s taxes should go up, then that fits in. But I don’t think most Americans can sympathize with the idea that it’s really sad to have to pay more taxes on a quarter of a million buckaroos. And I’m not sure how you pay for a $700 billion bailout plan without raising taxes or doing MAJOR cutting unless there’s some secret government bank account out there with a super surplus no one knows about.

    Kristin, I don’t think I can link to Suede’s collection — it’ll just link to the whole gallery. It follows Leanne’s though, so just keep clicking.

  11. 11 Sara H October 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I also was unclear as to whether we were talking about business income or personal income. I could be way off, but I thought Obama’s plan was related to personal income and “spreading the wealth around”, but following McCain’s job creation logic it seems like you’d have to be talking about the business income. Weird. And illustrative of the problem with elections and policy proposals. Peeps aren’t explaining things in enough depth to satisfy me.

  12. 12 kateandgracie October 16, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Agreed. And you know how Obama has those ads that say that McCain wants to tax health care? What does that mean? For employers or ees or both? And is that true?

  13. 13 kateandgracie October 16, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    I don’t know how accurate this is, but here it is.

  14. 14 Kristin October 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    From factcheck.org:

    McCain’s plan would:

    * Give a health insurance tax credit of up to $5,000 for couples and families and $2,500 for individuals. Those who choose to buy insurance on their own would be able to use the credit to pay for their health coverage, with payment going directly from the government to the insurance company. Nobody would be required to buy insurance for themselves or their children, and employers large or small would not be required to offer health insurance as a benefit.
    * Tax the value of employer-provided health benefits. Employees would pay federal income taxes (but not Social Security or Medicare payroll taxes) on the value of those benefits. The tax credit would offset those taxes. Companies would not be taxed.

    So the tax credit would offset the taxing of employer benefits.

  15. 15 Sara H October 16, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    So I assume that the idea is to encourage individual choice in health insurance, HSAs and transparency and all that jazz. Because I’m not quite seeing a fiscal benefit.

    Haven’t been on that website, first glance it looks pretty handy.

    I’m going to miss Michael Kors for the next little while.

  16. 16 Sara H October 16, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Hey, I lost my dog biscuit monster!

  17. 17 kateandgracie October 16, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    That’s what I was wondering, too — if there’s any savings to it for the feds. Doesn’t seem like it, but my grasp on these things can be, shall we say, less than perfect. Yes, let’s say that.

    I heard that Bravo (NBC) is trying to get an injunction to stop PR’s flight to Lifetime. I gotta say, I really hope it stays on Bravo. I just like the look of the show so much. I feel like everything on Lifetime — not that I’m not guilty of watching — is done with crappy cameras or something. Things always look dingier. Know what I mean?

  18. 18 Sara H October 16, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    No, wait, he’s back.

  19. 19 kateandgracie October 16, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    He certainly is.

  20. 20 Heather October 17, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Well, I watched a movie on lifetime yesterday called cake, starring heather graham and taye diggs, and it was pretty awesome, but i can’t see pr on that channel.

    one thing i learned in this health policy class i took is that medicare will be bankrupt by 2017. but, if the government taxed healthcare benefits, they could pay for medicare. but, i don’t know how that tax credit works in. another reason to tax health care benefits from an economic sense is that health care benefits represent a moral hazard. that is, since they are tax free, people buy more of it than they really need. that idea seems a little crazy to me, as i don’t know too many people with those cadillac plans that cover hair extensions. but, there are studies to suggest it’s true (mostly in the general sense, meaning the concept of moral hazard).

    that being said, i think mccain’s plan is awful. that tax credit for families would never work. and, why does he keep touting how you could go across state lines to buy healthcare? why is that helpful to people, and what does that even mean? Like, your insurance company could be in Illinois? and can that not happen now?

  21. 21 Heather October 17, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Just to be clear, in case someone out there is an expert on the concept of moral hazard, usually the term is used regarding healthcare insurance, and other insurance, to suggest that people with insurance may be more risky. but, the health economists also attach it to tax free health insurance.

    my other favorite health econ word is death spiral. that’s when all of the healthy people drop out of the insurance pool, so the rates go up, then the moderately healthy people drop out, so the rates go up, then you’re left with really sick expensive people. it’s one argument for why you do need to mandate coverage.

    the main thing i learned from this class is that the us healthcare system is seriously fucked. mccain’s plan is pretty terrible, but obama’s has problems, too. not to mention that there is no money. my guess is that it won’t be fixed until medicare implodes. which, i guess, may not be too long from now.

    ok. sorry, you guys probably don’t want to hear this. i’m just trying to show off that my masters wasn’t a total waste of time.

  22. 22 kateandgracie October 17, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Well, goodness, that was certainly interesting. I’m not sure I understand it so I think I should read it again.

    In the meantime, did you have any thoughts on Edwards’ plan? I know it’s moot, now, but he had stated that he wanted the gov to pay for health insurance but, if you wanted it, you were required to go to the doctor once a year. I know that’s probably simplistic, but I thought that was a pretty good idea from the preventitive medicine side of things.

  23. 23 Heather October 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I didn’t look at the edwards plan, but that sounds good. i feel like with some sort of a patients bill of rights should come a patients bill of responsibilities. i think both the obama plan and the mccain plan say to “focus on prevention,” but i don’t know the specifics. one problem is that doctors get paid more the more procedures they do, even if they are of questionable necessity. the pay incentive is just all out of whack. You just aren’t paid as much if you counsel someone to quit smoking, compared to performing a cardiac catheterization after they develop heart disease from smoking. i think they’re trying to make better incentives, but of course no specialists want paycuts.

    also, with edwards gone, poverty has really been booted as a problem. i know the middle class is hurting, and they vote, but it seems like a lot of the education problem is tied to poverty.

    on a lighter note, has anybody seen any good movies lately?

  24. 24 kateandgracie October 17, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    That’s so true. I was just reading some columnist or someone saying that althought they didn’t really like Edwards, they missed his presence because of his focus on poverty, as opposed to, say, Joe the Plumber. That’s why the primary season can be so awesome — even if your candidate doesn’t win, he makes the others focus on a variety of issues. Now that there are just two, it doesn’t happen so much.

    We saw Nick & Norah’s last weekend. I thought it was very cute and romantic, but somehow not as cute as I wanted it to be. Maybe the subplots weren’t as strong as they should have been. Hmm. Sarayu and I talked about it; I think she liked it less than I did.

  25. 25 Kristin October 17, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Not in the theater, but I watched Taxi to the Dark Side on DVD last night. A super depressing look at the torture at Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. Ugh. I can’t wait until January 20th no matter what.

  26. 26 Sarayu October 17, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    It’s not that I liked it less than you did. I just… Ok, maybe I liked it less than you did. I thought it was cute but I just didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. I just wanted to be taken away by it. I just saw “What just happened?” Wow. That was a bit depressing. Impeccably acted, but depressing.

    You know what was great? “Elegy.” It really was the last movie I saw that I was just floored by. It was outstanding. I love watching good actors at work. It really is such a pleasure.

    I hear “Rachel Getting Married” is really good. Definitely want to see that one.

  27. 27 kateandgracie October 20, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Is it wrong, though, Sarayu, that since Ben Kingsley was in that movie making out with Mary-Kate, I really don’t want to see him in anything anymore? Yeah, that’s probably wrong.

    I have such a post coming about my yesterday. Here’s a preview: Packer Backer bus + jello shots + karaoke + Palin-esque accents + awesome Packer victory.

  28. 28 Sarayu October 20, 2008 at 11:52 am

    1. It’s not wrong. Ben Kingsley is a disgusting asshole. I understand not wanting to see anymore of him. I just loved the movie, though, and mostly when I think about it, I think of Patricia Clarkson, which weird because she had a pretty small part but she was so amazing. I just love her.

    2. Let’s just back up. Jello shots/ Oh I can’t wait for this one.

  29. 29 Sarayu October 20, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Aargh. That was supposed to say “Jello shots?”

    I’m terrible with this new layout. I should’ve waited until after my coffee to post.

  30. 30 kateandgracie October 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Well, let me make this clear. I did not partake in the shots, though they were offered to me repeatedly.

  31. 31 Heather October 20, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Why no Jello shots? In the hospital i often want to eat my patients’ jello. it just looks so good. that would probably really freak them out, though.

    did you do karaoke?


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