Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Oscar night!

It's the Academy Awards tonight - the biggest red carpet show of the year!! Oh yeah, and awards will be given out, too. There are a lot of award shows - too many, some might say. And with each award show is an increasing number of minor red carpet events. In some ways it's all pretty silly, isn't it?

There's something about the overall glamour of the Academy Awards to which I'm drawn. The award show a stately affair, full of self-importance and conducted with pomp and circumstance. Winning an Academy Award seems to carry with it more weight than winning an equivalent Golden Globe or SAG award. Cynically, I suspect that "more weight" translates into "more money".

The awards themselves are supposed to acknowledge the very best in each area in that year. People assume that an Academy award-winner is particularly talented or great but that isn't always true. Some years the competition is particularly stiff and others the competition just isn't there. Any of several really good contenders in a category one year would win that category in a weaker year. Few people remember that the competition was particularly stiff the year a particular contender didn't win.

Regardless of whether the awards are useful or important in the real world, I like watching the show and looking at all of the outfits. Therefore I'll be watching the show tonight as long as it doesn't go too late and it isn't boring. I'll post my red carpet review for you in the next couple of days.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

At least the money wasn't wasted

I spent an hour and a half on the phone with the airline last night trying to figure out what would happen with my unused ticket. It turns out that I can use the value of the ticket towards another ticket with them as long as I book it by February 6, 2011 (a year from the day I booked my original ticket) and I call the airline itself to book the ticket. So I won't lose the money that I spent on the ticket I couldn't use yesterday.

I spent a lot of today sleeping and resting and generally sitting around watching Ian play video games. I'm still so very tired and I feel like I need so much more sleep. Not going away means that I get a chance to rest but I wish I was able to see them. I'm hoping that I'll be able to use my ticket to see them next time, whenever that is. I hope that I'm less tired then.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The trip that wasn't

I didn't make it to Orlando today :(

I'd been really looking forward to going to Orlando to hang out with my friends; I was so excited that I had a hard time sleeping last night. Since this is February I knew that there was a chance that the weather might wreak havoc with my flight. Which it did.

While we were getting snow, the Eastern Seaboard was getting rain and gusty winds which made takeoff and landing quite treacherous. As a result, many flights were canceled or delayed going into and out of Newark. The plane I was taking to Newark was an hour and a half late coming in. I saw that there was no way I'd make my connection to Orlando so I made arrangements to take a later connection.

About an hour later, we were notified that the weather had somehow caused a mechanical problem on the plane and they weren't sure whether or not the plane would go out. They had two agents rebooking people but there were a lot of people and the agents were slow finding flights and making arrangements for baggage to be taken off the plane. It wasn't the agents' fault that they were so slow: they lacked managerial support and a coordinator to make sure that all the things that had to be done got done. The two were constantly interrupted by other passengers and staff as well.

After standing in line for an hour and a half, during which they announced that the plane would fly sometime today but they didn't know when, I got up to talk to the agent. There was no way that I could get to Orlando today; the best she could offer me was to fly to either Houston or Newark tonight and to Orlando tomorrow morning. Since the problem was weather-related they weren't giving out hotel vouchers so I would be crashing in the airport overnight.  It occurred to me later that I could have tried to reach a friend who was in NYC who couldn't go to Orlando until tomorrow. Then I realized that I don't have her number and if I weren't able to reach her, I would have been stuck in the airport anyway.

I can't crash in the airport. I can't sleep by myself in public and I was already exhausted from not getting enough sleep the night before and there's no way I would have had a fun time there if I was that tired. I guess I could have tried to stay in a hotel but I don't know where the airport hotels are or how much they cost or anything and I just didn't have it in me to figure all that out. I was exhausted and frustrated.

So I came home. I'm tired and disappointed that things didn't work out. I'd wanted to go but it seems that the universe is conspiring against me. I have no idea what will happen with my airline tickets as they're non-refundable and I booked them on expedia. I hope they'll issue me a voucher for future use but I suspect that they might not do that. We'll see.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Comedy show

Two posts in one day - aren't you lucky :)

We just got home from seeing Stephen Harper! The Musical and I rushed to write my review. What can I say about this show? Staying home and trimming your toenails is a better use of your time. Renting any Pauly Shore movie and forcing yourself to watch the entire thing will give you more laughs than this show. Yes, this show is bad. Really bad. The best we can say is that it really didn't get any worse after the opening number.

Many people left after the first act because the first act was so unfunny. Don't be like them: don't buy tickets for this show in the first place.

The thing is, this show had potential and should have been sort of funny; this is Second City, after all, and they do funny stuff. But it was kind of a one-note show and it incorporated a whole bunch of stereotypes. The friend next to me joked that we should have played ethnic stereotype bingo because there were so many stereotypes. I don't know if they thought all those would be funny or if they were trying to portray Americans as believing in them (another stereotype). Either way, everything fell flat.

It's possible that the troupe that's touring with this show isn't the original troupe and somehow this group just can't make it as funny as it might have originally been. Or maybe you have be more interested in politics to really find it funny.

The sound in the second act was better balanced than in the first so that we could understand what they were singing/saying. The thing I liked most tonight was when the cast did three improv scenes after the show - they were quite funny and were definitely the highlight of the night. But don't go to this show to see good improv - go to an improv comedy night instead.

Now that I've done my public duty by writing this review, I'm off to bed and to Orlando in the morning. I won't be posting again until sometime Monday evening, when I'll let you know how the trip went. Oh, and to clarify, I fly through Newark tomorrow, not Montreal, so I don't need to worry about customs. At least I'm packing light :)

I think I'm overdoing it before my trip

Normally I don't let two whole days go by without posting unless I'm traveling. However, I've been crazy busy over the last couple of days getting ready to go to Orlando tomorrow. I'm feeling rushed and very, very tired.

It's occurring to me that I may be a bit over-extended right now. The bereavement group isn't physically demanding but it takes a lot out of me emotionally. The metalsmithing class is awesome and I love it but I don't get home until quite late. On the weeks that I have book club (like today) I'm tired from the last two days and have a hard time getting up and being excited for the group. I feel like I'm never really getting enough sleep.

This week I'm super-tired because when I have time I've been getting ready for Orlando. I knew it would be warmer there than here in Ontario but I didn't really think about how warm it would be. It's 25C (80F) there which is way different than it is here! Of course this means that I won't be wearing winter clothes there; I have to dig out all of my summer clothes instead.

Fortunately, these clothes take up less space in the suitcase. I'm connecting through Montreal to Orlando tomorrow and I only have an hour to make that connection. When connecting through Canada to the US, sometimes they make you go and get your checked baggage and then go through US customs. With only an hour to make the connection, I won't have time to go and get my luggage if that's what I have to do. So I'll be bringing only a carry-on suitcase with me - meaning that I can't take quite as many clothes as I might normally take.

Of course I'll bring another soft bag in case I buy things... which is likely. There's an outlet mall about a 15-20 min walk away from the hotel and another one a short drive/transit ride away. When I arrive tomorrow I have to wait about three hours for my roommate (whose name the room is in) to get there, so I was thinking of storing my luggage at the hotel and going to the nearby outlet mall. Or I'll spend the entire time curled up on a sofa or chair, reading. It depends on how tired I am. At at least one point during this trip I expect to do some shopping.

I'm looking forward to the trip, not just to being somewhere warm, although that will help, but because I'll have the chance to see and hang out with my friends. At least I'm only going for a weekend... let's hope it's relaxing and that I'm not more tired when I return on Monday.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Ian made a picasaweb photoalbum for the pictures of the birds in our neighbourhood. Apparently the pictures look a bit dark on other monitors (they're fine on this laptop, but they look darker on the desktop) but you can still see the birds themselves. If you want to take a look at the pictures, they're here. I need to figure out a way of  putting a permanent link on this blog. I know we've seen other birds in our neighbourhood and we want to add pictures of them, too.

This week is going to be crazy busy. Tuesday is bereavement group, Wednesday metalsmithing, Thursday Book club and then dinner and a comedy show, and Friday morning I'm heading to Orlando until Monday. I'm looking forward to the trip although it'll be tough having something to do every day for the next week and a bit.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A fine day for a walk

More winter storms are apparently on their way but it was gorgeous this afternoon. The sun was shining in a cloudless sky and the temperature was reasonable. Since it was so nice out, we went for a walk down to the river and tried out our new camera. The river water level is very high and appears to have been even higher at the peak of the melting. We got some pictures of ice and ducks and trees - Ian's processing them now and we'll post some when he's done.

Our new camera can take pictures in either jpg or raw format. Raw format is the image as seen through the lens and the photographer must post-process the picture to add light-balancing and to play with contrast and brightness and whatnot. Between the camera and the post-processing, there's a lot to learn. It's going to take some time.

Ian's mainly working on the bird pictures taken in and around the bird feeders in the backyard. He wants to put them somewhere so that he (and others) can keep track of which birds have paid us a visit

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Water, water everywhere

This past week the temperature soared above zero and stayed there for several days, melting the huge piles of snow to a quarter of their size and almost completely clearing the one to two feet of snow on the ground. It was wonderful and felt so good to be out in the sun and warm. Even though lots and lots of snow was melting and water was running everywhere, we didn't stop to think about the effects of all that water on our house.

Normally there's no reason to think about that water. Since the ground tends to be wet here (most of the Waterloo region was a swamp once upon a time) most homes have a weeping tile and sump pump system. Groundwater is collected in the weeping tile and fed into the sump pump vessel; when a certain level is reached, it then pumps the water out into one or another system.

When we had the inspection done on the house, we were told that the cap on a sewer line was off and that it should be closed back up. This cap is located in a cut-out in the concrete floor of the cold room: below the concrete is the gravel bed and the cap is right there. That was an easy fix so we did that as soon as we moved in.

Today we found out why the previous owners had left that cap open: to drain groundwater. With the closed cap the cut-out was full of standing water. Since that cut-out opens to the gravel underneath the concrete foundation, there must be a lot of water there. We wouldn't have discovered the problem except that there was a ton of water in the workroom right beside the cold room. We're now the proud owners of a wet-vac :) Fortunately, nothing important was destroyed and other parts of the house were unaffected.

We thought first that the water had come in from above, near the garage, but nothing supported that theory. However, if there was that much water underneath that part of the foundation, it makes sense that it would come up into the concrete.

It looks like our sump pump was a bit overwhelmed, because somehow the cap got itself full of water. However, we don't think that the water overwhelmed the sump pump and dripped into that cut-out because the wood framing the cut-out was only wet on the bottom half, indicating that the water had been drawn up into the wood. If the water had come into the cut-out from the top, the framing wood would have been completely wet.

We opened the cap in the cut-out and it sounded like there was a river of water draining into that pipe. We have no idea what kind of pipe that is because the main sewer line is black and in a different part of the basement. If it is a sewer then the cap shouldn't be open because of the gases in there, but we can't let that water stay there, either. A more permanent solution is needed, and I have a feeling that this won't come cheap.

We don't even know which professional we call to deal with this problem. Ian's doing some research now to try and figure it out. At least the weather has turned cold again and nothing is melting so we don't need to worry about the water for a while. With any luck we'll be able to get the problem fixed before the next great melt.

UPDATE: Ian disagrees with my conclusion that the water in the cut-out definitely came from the ground. The sump pump lid was full of water (which I don't remember being the case before), which would indicate that the sump pump was overwhelmed. So it's possible that the sump pump was involved somehow. Either way, we still need a professional here to figure out how to fix it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A cute little dog

A cute little two-year old female shih-tzu went up for adoption at the humane society and for once we were the first people who went to see her. She's super-cute and very curious about everything. She was able to relax with us, even letting me rub her tummy! I know we'd be a good match for her and that we could provide a good home for her.

Unfortunately, someone else had been second-in-line for a male lhasa apso and they switched their application to this shih tzu before we got there. They hadn't even seen her when they switched the application so they'll probably go in tonight or tomorrow to meet. If they're a good match for her they'll get to take her home. Sigh. If for some reason they decide they don't want her or the staff feel they wouldn't be good for her - if they're not going to be home most of the time as this is a dog that likes to be around people - then we would get her. It doesn't look good for us this time, though.

The cute small dogs go quickly while the bigger dogs stay up for adoption a long time. We'd take a bigger dog but Ian's allergic to dog fur so we need a dog with hair - the shih tzus, lhasa apsos, and cute little dogs like that. Seeing the bigger dogs up for adoption for a long time tugs at my heartstrings, especially when they put in a description like this one:

Hi! My name is Deena and I am a 4 year old Spayed female Cattledog cross.

I came into the centre as an orphaned dog. I had no parents that could tell anyone here about why I was running around instead of being in a loving home, no one here knew anything about my past – not even my name! The nice people here gave me a warm bed and lots of yummy food! They also did a lot of socialization work with me because I was a bit afraid of men. The staff at the centre think that maybe sometimes tall men and how deep their voices can be, remind me of other experiences that weren’t so nice.

The veterinarian determined on my physical exam that I have possible hip dysplasia. The staff decided to have me spayed anyway in hopes that it would help me to get adopted more easily! Sometimes it can be hard to find forever homes for dogs with special needs. Unfortunately I have already been up for adoption for over a month and no one has really shown a lot of interest in me. I’m not sure what it is, maybe I’m the wrong colour or the wrong breed? I think I’m beautiful and the people who work and volunteer with me sure seem to agree! I’m not the biggest fan of other fuzzy friends, I much prefer humans – they have treats and love and lots of walks to give! With some socialization though, I might change my mind about other animals.

They say I’m ready for my new home. I’m hoping it will be someone who is able to take care of my hips and make sure that I’m getting the best care!

How could you not want that lovely dog after reading that heartfelt description? I wish we could take her home. If anyone in the Kitchener-Waterloo area is looking for a pet, the KW Humane Society has lots, including the mixed-breed dog with the above description. If you're not in my area but looking for a pet I hope you'll consider getting one from your own local animal shelter. Those animals need a home, too!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New spectacles

Some might be wondering why there are no pictures of me anywhere since this is my blog and I just put up a bunch of photos of other people. Well, I don't like having my picture taken because I don't think of myself as all that photogenic. Even if I loved having my picture taken, there aren't that many reasons to take it. Me sitting in front of the tv with my laptop on my lap is not such an exciting picture. True-to-life, maybe, but boring.

Lucky for you, I got my new glasses today so I have a good reason to have my picture taken and to post it here.  Here's me in my new glasses:

My hair is still growing out the dye so it isn't all one colour yet. What's growing in is definitely ashy - white, in areas - so I wanted glasses that went better with the hair colour that I'll have. As well, because my hair and skin are so light I wanted to be sure that my glasses didn't blend in with my face. I'm quite happy with these glasses. The frames are plastic and for once the lenses hardly stick out at all. Yay!

BTW, in the picture you can see the horizontal scar from the mediastinal node biopsy and the small scar where the port-a-cath was inserted.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grammy Awards 2011 Red Carpet

Warning: image-heavy post ahead

Music award show red carpets are a little different than television or movie award show red carpets. People in music tend to be style risk-takers, because they aren't on the red carpet all that often, and they also tend to have more "normal" body types. They aren't all skinny twigs who wear haute couture sample sizes and they don't all get asked by major designers to wear their clothes. Therefore, the standards by which I judge the Grammy red carpet fashions is different than the standard I use at other times.

I expect people to be a bit wackier, style-wise, than normal. I also expect outfits to be a little tackier - tighter, shinier, shorter, weirder - than I'd expect otherwise. The Grammys are a less formal occasion than other award shows and I expect fashion to reflect that.

That said, let's have a look at what people wore on Sunday night. Where possible I've included the designer but this isn't possible for a lot of dresses. I also normally organize the pictures by dress colour but that didn't really work as well this time around. I thought about organizing them from least wacky to most wacky but that proved to be a challenge, too, because the definition of wacky kept changing! Therefore, the pictures are in random order.


Wow, that's a lot of skin and leopard print. I couldn't find the designer for this dress and I'm not surprised; who would want to own up to this? 

Alicia Arden
Those shoes don't go with this dress. I'm not a fan of the nude-coloured, hidden platform pumps. They make people look like they've got weirdly-deformed clown feet. The belt saves the dress from looking like a towel.

Bonnie McKee
I love the ombre effect on this fabric and I love the bright orange. I just wish it wasn't a mullet dress. And what's up with her sculpted hair?

Ciara in Emilio Pucci
Well, this is... interesting. she looks like she's wearing an upscale beach coverup over her wacky bathing suit. I love the colours. The shoes are all kinds of wrong for this dress. Love her hair and makeup.

Crystal Bowersox in Alberto Makali
This is so sad and droopy... and I'm not just talking about her hair. That left sleeve is bringing this dress down, as is the extra length. I like the beading detail on the bodice but that's it.

Cyndi Lauper
This is practically a mullet dress but even so, I love it. it's edgy and sexy and is probably comfortable. Her hair is its usual crazy self.

Eva La Rue
Short, tight, and shiny - Heidi Klum would love it. At least her arms are covered. It isn't an awful dress... it's just not that great.

Eva Longoria in Ashi Studio
Is that collar supposed to be standing up in the back? It's like this dress was held up by starch and then got caught in a rainstorm and fell down. Lovely hair and makeup but that can't save this look.

Heidi Klum in Julien MacDonald
Long, tight, and shiny - she must be growing up! I like this dress even though I'm not in love with the shoulder cut-outs or slit. Those shoes are way too matchy-matchy for my taste, too. Her hair looks strangely relaxed.

Jada Pinkett-Smith in Amanda Wakely
I didn't recognize her because her face looks so beautiful! She should stop wearing those tight, severe hairstyles because they just don't work for her. I love the dress except for the hem, which is weird. The shoes are wrong, too, with the ankle strap.

Jenna Ushkowitz in Pamela Dennis
What's up with her pose? Is she pigeon-toed?  I kind of like the gauzy, breezy feel of this dress although I don't love the bow at the top of the bodice with the tails hanging down. Keep the bow, lose the tails.

Jennifer Hudson in Versace
She doesn't even look like herself anymore. I like the bodice but it's too small for her and you can tell because she's got four-eyed boobs. The shoes completely ruin any good that could come of the mullet-style skirt.

Jennifer Lopez in Emilio Pucci
Even though she's bringing her own disco ball everywhere she goes, I love this dress. I love that the mirrors are different shapes over her abdomen and sleeves. I even love her matchy-matchy shoes, because if you're wearing something this flashy, only flashy shoes will do. Her long, casual hair is perfect.

Jewel in Pamella Roland
Lacking sparkles and glam, this dress is quite formal. It belongs at the Emmys or Oscars instead of a music award show. Still, she's pregnant and probably doesn't have that much choice in dresses. It's possible that she also wanted to cover up more because she's feeling fat and bloated. I don't know. She's pretty but a wallflower in this dress. And I wish she'd bring her shoulders down from her ears.

Katy Perry in Giorgio Armani
I love love love the fabric in the skirt. It's so ethereal and shiny and gorgeous. It doesn't really go with the mosiac mirrored bra but if you can't make your boobs into disco balls what's the point of having them? And are those wings on her back?

Kelly Osbourne in Tadashi Shoji
This is pretty. The colour suits her, as does her hair and makeup. And she's bringing the sparkle with her shoes.

Kim Kardashian in Kaufmanfranco
The shape of this dress is interesting but it isn't flattering and I'm really not loving the colour on her. I wish the places where the dress is held in place with double-sided tape weren't so obvious.

Lady Gaga in embryo
In case you missed it. lady Gaga incubated in that egg thing. She emerged from it as part of her performance.

Lea Michele in Emilio Pucci
What's up with her pose? Did the world tilt while she was wearing this dress so that her legs showed like that? The skirt on this dress is ok but I'm not loving the bodice with its ruffles and shoulder pads. 

LeAnn Rimes in Reem Acra
I like this dress... sort of. It's flattering on her, or it would be if her hair and makeup didn't look like that. Did she forget her wig?

Lilian Garcia in Nurielle
My eyes! My eyes! This is horrible - her hair, the lace, the hem, the "fringe". There's no way this look can be redeemed.

Nicole Kidman in Jean Paul Gaultier Couture
LOVE. I love the ombre effect, I love the colours, I love the skirt, I love the silhouette, I love the sparkles. I only wish that she'd done something just a bit different with her hair.

Rihanna in Jean Paul Gaultier Couture
You know, I kind of like this dress. I love the way that the lines of ruffles vary in width to emphasize the shoulders and hips and to make the waist and knees look smaller. I think - well, hope - she's wearing a bodysuit underneath even though her bellybutton and nipples are clearly visible. 

Selena Gomez in J. Mendel
LOVE! I love the dress fabric and silhouette and I'm also in love with her hair and makeup. This look is gorgeous.

Selma Blair in Lanvin
It's sad that there aren't many good choices for pregnant ladies to wear on the red carpet. This is a strange dress: it looks like the skirt was originally worn over the navy bodysuit and then someone decided it would be a great idea to attach the skirt over the belly, leaving the boydsuit as-was. The proportions are ok but the line between the skirt and bodice just doesn't work. And the colour, while great on her, is kind of drab.

Ariana Grande in BCBG
Huh. I like this. I like the line that the bodice and sleeve have against the skirt. The skirt is cute, too, although it's a wee bit short. I think I'd love it if the neckline was a bit different, and especially if the left side didn't look like a tank top.The shoes don't work at all and neither does her hair.

Christina Aguilera in Roberto Cavalli
Oh, Christina.This dress is too tight for you and your girls - can you see the way they're trying to escape? I admit that I love the dress with its beading patterns but it just doesn't work for you. The beading creates an hourglass figure and you already have one. And please, please, please, do something different with your hair: it looks dry and shapeless.

Dollphace in Cyndarella Couture
Love the fabric, silhouette, shoes, and hair, except that I think the belly is supposed to be completely covered. It looks like the outfit is just a half-size too small for her, too. 

Esperanza Spalding in Selma Karaca
There's a bit too much going on up at her face what with the hair and collar. I do love her hair and I love the dress fabric and silhouette; they just don't work together. Those shoes don't work at all: they're completely the wrong colour for her and for the dress. They sort of look like high-heeled slippers. 

Florence Welch in Givenchy couture
SQUEEE! I love, love, love this. It's got a concept and it's beautifully executed and it totally works for her.

Genevieve Jackson in Kimberley Kouture
I didn't know that sliip shaper undergarments came in such interesting patterns.

Gram'ma Funk
Why is she wearing a theatre curtain? Does it raise and lower to show more or less leg? I feel for her poor boobs, forced up and out of those teeny little cups.

Gretchen Wilson
What a cute night-on-the-town look! But wait, isn't this the Grammys? Shouldn't she be wearing something a bit more... something?

Hayley Williams in Jeremy Scott
I like that she took a risk but I wish that risk was more flattering on her. The skirt cuts her legs off at their largest part, making them look huge - and they're not huge. The bodice doesn't balance out the skirt or her legs.

Hettie Barnhill in Jovani Couture
I like this. The design is quite flattering and suits her. The design colour also looks a lot like her skin colour, adding a risque element to this look that I love. Unfortunately her hair takes away from this gorgeous dress.

Hillary Scott in Roberto Cavalli
This is kind of a blah dress. The belt doesn't look all that good and I'm not loving the black column with her hair and bangs. 

India Arie
You know, I'm completely in love with the skirt and her jewelry. I think I'd love the overall look if she wasn't wearing the jacket - or if she was wearing a different skirt. Both are too boxy together.

Janelle Monae in Ralph Lauren
I love her look - the skinny pants with the sequinned jacket and structured hair. It's so much her own look and at the same time great for the Grammys.

Julianne Hough in Malandrino
What a fun print! The silhouette looks great, too. It works for the red carpet but I with there was a bit more sparkle.

Karina Nuvo
Bridal. Crappy hair. The pleats are sort of interesting but the overall look is boring.

Kathy Griffin in Oscar de la Renta
What a great dress! it fits her and doesn't show too much. The metallic bits look amazing and I love the metallic piping. It's all her and it looks great.

Miley Cyrus in Roberto Cavalli
Ummm, wow. Why is her hair holding up her dress? This dress is too long for her.

Mya in Jean Fares Couture
I really like this - I'm a big fan of this colour and I love the way the pattern works its way up the dress.

Sara Bareilles in Ghada Paris
This colour is good on her and the overall look is polished and pretty. Still, this dress isn't as flashy as one might expect for the Grammys.

Tacky. Those ridiculous earrings, the matchy-matchy bag and shoes, and those shoulders - terrible.

Tia Carrere
Oh, wow. While the colour is great, the silhouette is just ok. The dead thing over her shoulder detracts from the dress.

Toni Braxton
She's melting into the floor. The bodice is pretty but she has no feet. Great hair and makeup.

Amber Riley in Ema Savahl
What a great dress! It's so slimming, and I love it! But why, oh why, did she put that gold thingy on her shoulder? And what did she do to her hair?

Anna Nalick in Ashi Studio
Oh I love this. I love the nude tulle over the sweetheart neckline and the sleeves and the belt and the full skirt with feather/fringe hem. Perfection, especially with her hairstyle.

Carly Steel
Love the colour but did she have to match her eyeshadow to her dress? I sort of like the colourblocking with the ombre but it also doesn't quite work.

Carolyn Malachi in Jovani Couture
Eh, it's pretty but not really all that exciting. I like the brooch detail on her shoulder and at the waist.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Um, wow. That leg slit is strange with the halter neck. And are those silver shoes? With an orange dress?

Dianna Agron in Vivienne Westwood
The pleating and ruching on the bodice is interesting but what I really love are her hair and makeup. 

Jordan Sparks in Zang Toi
I think the long skirt is belted on to the short dress and it just looks weird. Her leg looks strange and I don't love the short dress. The white under the red doesn't really work, either.

Keri Hilson in Basil Soda
Gorgeous! The movement on the dress is fantastic and I love the overall look. The colour really works for her, too.

Lalah Hathaway
She's either melting into the floor or being formed from it. The sleeves don't work for her at all. Great colour.

Margaret Cho in John Renaud
The bodice is a touch too big but overall this is a great dress. Love the layering in the skirt.

Martina McBride in Malandrino
What were they thinking when they made that sleeve? I sort of like the skirt with the extra bit added bit the neckline and sleeve don't work so well.

Melanie Fiona in Max Azria
Nice dress with interesting fabric lines. Who told her that this headband was a good idea? 

Miranda Lambert in Edition by George Chakra
Love the dress except for where it looks funny around her waist and hips. Why did she make her hair the height of her forehead? She looks deformed.

Monica in Stephanie Roland
It would be better without the sleeves but otherwise this is a gorgeous dress. Love her hair.

Nadeea in Dolce&Gabbana
It's the leopard dress from the Golden Globes! It works better here even if she's wearing that wig, mismatched gloves, and bag. Altogether this look is crazy.

Natasha Bedingfield in Abed Mahfouz
I didn't know that going to the Grammys was like going to the prom. This is a pretty prom dress that's a bit sheer in the skirt.

Naya Rivera in Ashi Studio
When did she grow a tail? That waist is too high and her hair is too blocky for this look to really work. Love the fabric.

Nicki Minaj in Givenchy
THIS is the way to wear leopard print: all over, from the dress to the leggings to the gloves to the hair. Crazy and amazing.

Pauley Perrette in Terri King
I wouldn't have known that she was at the Grammy awards if she wasn't wearing the notes on her front. The chartreuse colour doesn't nothing for her. At least the dress fits.

Skylar Grey
What's up with the waist ruffle on only the one side? The dress is a little too big on her waist but the overall look works.

Yocon Talie
Oh wow. Those... feathers... are something else. They certainly do move the eye around, don't they? Too bad they're paired with that grey dress that doesn't fit her too well because at least the colour of the feathers looks good on her.

Yolanda Adams
After years of too-long dresses on the red carpet, we get this. The top is gorgeous, as is the ombre, but the mullet hem makes it look like the dress is too short for her. And are those boots suede? Can you say "too heavy" for the dress?

Frida Giannini in Gucci Premiere
Lovely. The colour and silhouette work with her hair and styling perfectly. Love the halter neckline accent.

Paz Vega
This almost works: if the hem were straight it would be perfect because the crystal accents on the neck and sleeves make it interesting and right for the Grammys red carpet.

Faith Evans
The pleating and ruching on the skirt isn't quite flattering. The oversized dolman bodice with the zigzag gives is interesting and works for her.

N'Dambi in Sachin + Babi
Love it! I love the extra texture carried through the entire dress, the silver on the bodice, and the black belt. Even the shoes work perfectly. Gorgeous!!

Adrienne Lau
Well. There's a lot going on here: the super-long cowl, the carwash skirt, the sequins, the hem, the sleeves - and it all adds up to make a weird and wacky dress that isn't particularly flattering on her. That bodice with a straight long skirt would have been spectacular.

Cindy Valentine
What's going on with the hem of this dress? It's not supposed to look that way, is it? And why is she wearing shiny gloves and suede boots? The neckline is pretty but that's all that this dress has going for it.

Mayra Veronica in Herve Leger
There's nothing exciting about this dress... but there's nothing horrible about it either. It's a safe choice.

Kristine Elezaj in Atelier Pavoni
She looks like she's developed fins on the bottom of her skirt. The bodice is pretty and flattering but seeing someone wearing a nude colour like this with blonde hair makes her look washed out.

Nadia Ali in Jovani Couture
This reminds me of that look that Halle Berry wore when she won her Oscar. Except that this has feathers on the skirt and more obvious breast coverage. The skirt is a little overpowering.

Giuliana Rancic in Randi Rahm
Pretty, if a bit bland. I like the red belt and the skirt because they're interesting but the rest of the look - including her hair - is a bit ho-hum. Perfect for someone who interviews other celebrities because she won't outshine them in this.