Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fall Fashion 2010

Even though it's approximately 162 degrees outside, it's time for fall fashion! The fall fashion season has always been my favorite. Maybe it's my love of the season itself, but I always like fall clothing the best. This year, I particularly like some of the trends and I'm happy to report that many of them aren't so new or trendy. This fall, there's a nice return to classic wardrobe staples (like tweed! I love tweed.) but there are also some rather quirky ideas floating around on the runways, as well. From the cool of my air conditioned house, I give you my take on some of the biggest projected trends for Fall 2010.


That's camel the color, not camel the animal. This is a gorgeous, classic neutral that works with everything. I love the combination of camel with gray and I also love it with deep reds and plums. (Plum is another huge color this season.) A few of my favorite camel pieces:

This Michael Kors skirt ($1,395) is gorgeous, but who can afford that? Not me.  For a better budget pick, though, skirts like this, in varying lengths, should be easy to find at better-priced places like Ann Taylor Loft or H&M. My camel skirt from a few seasons ago (It's a classic, so I will never get rid of it.) was a lovely wool and cashmere piece from J. Crew.

To the right is a must-have for every woman (and man, really). The classic trench coat. This will NEVER, EVER, EVER go out of style and it's a classic silhouette that flatters every figure. This one is in camel from J. Crew in wool and cashmere. J. Crew has also brought back their Icon Trench in cotton, for a less expensive and more lightweight classic. You can't go wrong with either trench. If you aren't ready to invest in a lifetime trench yet, try a less expensive version at places like Target. I got a trench there last year for about $35. These aren't meant to last for years, of course, but they'll get you through until you have that big girl job and can buy something that will last the rest of your stylish life!

 Camel can be brought in from pretty much every area of apparel. The sweater here is a perfect, timeless fall staple. I've seen camel in boots, flats, pumps, dresses, coats, and everything else. Camel accessories are also a great way to add a fall color palette to season transitional pieces.

Fur + Leather

This is not my favorite fall trend. The combination of leather and fur was widespread on the fall runways, but I'm having a hard time seeing how most women are going to translate this to real life. The solution seems to lie in accessories. Are most of us going in to the office or out to dinner in leather pants and a fur coat? Of course not. But it is completely feasible that you might throw in a bit of the trend here and there, with a subtle fur trimmed bag or a leather jacket (another thing that pretty much always stays in style.) While the ensemble to the left probably isn't for you, here are a couple of ways to incorporate these trends if you like them:

A great leather jacket (leather blazers are also awesome)
Leather bag or leather boots
Fur (or faux fur, of course) scarf or wrap
Fur trim on any leather accessory (This could get ugly quickly, so proceed with caution!)


Oh, tweed, how I love you! I adore tweed and, though I wear it every fall, I'm pleased to see its stylish
potential really being fulfilled this season with a big crop of tweed clothing that goes beyond the standard blazer or suiting skirt. I'll be breaking out some of my current pieces, as well as purchasing some new ones, I'm sure. Among my current favorites is a tweed fitted jacket with suede elbow patches in a camel/espresso tweed. I also have a green tweed pencil skirt that I'm dying to get back into for the season. Here are some new things I've seen that are great, but still classic, way to incorporate tweed into your fall wardrobe.

I love these tweed flats. They have a great color palette, with a little teal and gold thrown into the subtle pattern, which will add some great interest to any outfit. Tweed can usually be used as a neutral, so don't worry about trying to pair these with an outfit of the same colors. Like Stacy London always says, it doesn't need to match; it just need to GO.

This jacket is my dream tweed blazer for this fall. Another piece from J. Crew (I am not usually such a huge J. Crew fan, I swear, but their fall collection is so gorgeous!), this is Harris tweed at $595, but I think it's worth the investment. You could seriously wear this for decades. The fit is impeccable and the quality of the Harris tweed will keep it from looking old for a very long time. (And how fierce does it look with that sequined skirt? I'm in love.)

Other places I've seen, and loved, tweed so far this season:
Bags! I must have a tweed bag. But DON'T carry your tweed bag when you're wearing tweed. That's too much. Also, be careful that you don't get a tweed bag with too much embellishment. The tweed speaks for itself, so go easy on the hardware.
Shoes: There are the flats above, but I've also seen some tweed-trimmed above the knee boots that are pretty fab.
Hair accessories: Tweed headbands run the risk of looking Catholic school girl, but done well with the right chic look in the clothing, it's a very nice fall look.

Gray on Gray

The big colors for fall, as I've already mentioned, are camel and plums and purples. All gray ensembles are also out there, though, and I must say, this is one trend for fall I'm really looking forward to. I adore gray and love some of the looks I've seen. The key here is not to wear a bunch of clothes that are the exact same color. You want to find some grays that vary in shade and texture. Texture is really important here! You might wear dark gray courdroy pants with a lighter heather gray sweater or tunic, then add a pair of gray pumps. (Note: I have somehow lost all my great photos of gray on gray in all its beauty. I will add them as soon as I find them!) Another thing to note about this trend: gray is the fingernail polish color for fall 2010. It's similar to this spring's putty color, but a little lighter with less brown.


What fashion post from me would be complete without a shoe update? For the coming fall, shoes are going to be really similar last fall, actually. The oxford will make a comeback, but this time around it should be bigger than it was last year. Here's the pair I have my eye on, for $59.95 at DSW:

If you want a cute (albeit disposable after one season, I'm sure) alternative that is really inexpensive, check these out from Target. Adorable and only $19.99. I think I'll pick up a pair of these as well, in the brown:
As always, fall is boot season. This year, the trend of over the knee boots continues, as well as the trend for flat or low-heeled riding boots and boots with western inspiration. I like these, also from DSW at $149.95, in distressed brown-gray leather, that encompass the best of a riding boot and a western boot. (These will be arriving on my doorstep soon!)
The other big shoe trend this season is the bootie. These made an appearance last fall, but they are coming back with a vengeance this year. Booties are everywhere! I'm sure lots of people will want to buy them and keep up with this trend, so here are some things to keep in mind. Don't wear your booties with skinny jeans unless you can carry that trend with your body type (and the body type for that is very slim). Otherwise, it'll just make your upper half and midsection look wider. Also, don't tuck your pants into your booties unless they are jeggings or very skinny jeans. A denim balloon coming out of your shoe is not attractive.

Final Notes on Fall Fashion

Jeggings are back! That's right, I said jeggings. Jeans that are leggings. Please be careful with this one. While it can be absolutely adorable, with a tunic and high boots, for example, it can also be horrific. Don't pair jeggings with tight fitting tops or anything that could be called cropped. Keep it balanced! If you're on the biggger side, jeggings can make you look bigger than you actually are. Make sure this style is good for your body type before you pick up a pair of jeggings.

Fair Isle sweaters made an appearance on the fall runways this season. These can either be pretty or hideous. Use your own judgment and remember that you should never sacrifice fit for a trend. These sweaters can get really bulky and shapeless, so try to steer away from ones that render you shapeless.

Ever the trendsetter in nail color, Chanel has released two great fall colors, seen here:

Paradoxal, on the left
and Jade Rose, on the right

There are a few more trends I'd like to mention, so keep looking for a Fall Fashion 2010 Part II!

For parting words today, please remember: UGGs are HIDEOUS. I don't care if they're comfortable. You know what else is comfortable? Those gorgeous tweed flats I showed you! Throw the UGGs away. That's the best fall fashion advice I can give, probably: Don't wear UGGs.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Strange Fashion Trends from Stone Mountain, Georgia

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Stone Mountain, Georgia for the day. In the evening, we went to a Laser Light Show Spectacular (that's the actual name) and got to hang out on a wonderfully cool grassy knoll waiting for the extravaganza to begin. During this time, there were lots of children and pre-teens running around. And by running around, I mean line dancing to the music blaring from the giant speakers before the show started. I saw a LOT of Cupid Shuffle. Great stuff.

But what was so strange about it was that tons of these kids were wearing socks with no shoes. I first noticed it on a girl who was wearing one blue sock and the other foot was bare, but with an ankle bracelet.

Then I started noticing that children and pre-teens everywhere were wearing ankle socks with no shoes. It was really strange. I'd estimate that around 25 to 30 of the young people around us were wearing socks with no shoes. So, at the risk of looking super creepy, I started taking some photos of their feet to share with my readers. This is what it looked like:

I decided that the socks-sans-shoes phenomenon was the equivalent of one of those strange fashion trends that gets started in rural communities. Most likely, someone cool took off her shoes at Stone Mountain one night, but left her socks on so her feet wouldn't get dirty or something, then someone else did it. Now it has become the cool thing to do and they're putting twists on it, hence the one blue sock one bare foot. This is certainly not a negative criticism of the fashion sense of people who live outside the city, but I think it helps to explain the sock thing. Or, at least, I hope it does, because otherwise I have no clue. I've never seen this happen anywhere else and I got the feeling that a lot of these kids were hanging out at the laser light show the way my friends and I used to hang out at the skating rink or the ball park. You get your parents to drop you off and you just run around and chill in a fun, contained environment. So I'm guessing the Laser Light Show Spectacular is a skating rink situation for the young folks of Stone Mountain, Georgia, and what the cool kids do on Friday night is wear their socks without shoes and do the Cupid Shuffle on the grass.

Anyone have any idea what's going on with these socks? I had never seen it before and haven't seen it since. But I'd love to know what the deal is.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

SYTYCD Emmy Nominations 2010

Ah, the Emmy Awards. I think I enjoy them more than the Oscars. They're more laid back, the fashion is usually more fun, the stars are drinking more, and I usually have much stronger opinions about who or what should win. This year, happily, "Lost" got a lot of nominations, as did "Friday Night Lights," another of my favorites. "Modern Family" also got several nominations; what a fantastic show! I love it. For the full list of nominations, click here. 

Of course, "So You Think You Can Dance" got several nominations in Choreography for this year's Emmy Awards. I'm not at all surprised about Mia Michaels' Addiction piece (danced to "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles) making the list this year. It's an amazing piece and I can watch it over and over, and have done so ever since last year! It's great. The other nominations are Mia Michaels again for her group routine to "One" from "A Chorus Line" and again for her "Koop Island Blues" piece, plus a nomination for Stacey Tookey for "Fear." Videos of all four dances are below.

I am a little surprised (and disappointed!) that Tyce Diorio's "This Woman's Work" piece wasn't nominated. I'm going to put the video for it below the nominated ones. It's definitely worth watching. He was inspired by a friend of his who had breast cancer. When the dance was performed a second time at the end of the season, he was able to announce that his friend was in remission. It's really lovely, so watch it, too. Enjoy!

"Addiction/Gravity" - Mia Michaels

"One" - Mia Michaels

"Koop Island Blues" - Mia Michaels

"Fear" - Stacey Tookey

"This Woman's Work" - Tyce Diorio

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A "Twilight" Alternative Reading List

I am not a fan of the Twilight series. Yes, when I read the first book, I was captivated. I devoured that book in a day and rushed out to buy the next two in the series, which I read just as quickly. By the second book, I was disappointed and still thoroughly annoyed by Bella and Edward, but I kept thinking, "This has to get better!" I thought eventually Bella would stop whining and become a real person, stand up for herself, and do something about her ridiculously codependent relationship with Edward that borderlined on domestic abuse. I thought Edward might realize how creepy he is and quit it. I thought people would stop trying to commit suicide over each other. I thought someone in this book might go to college! I was wrong, of course, and I found out just how wrong I was when the fourth installment, "Breaking Dawn," was released.

I literally threw that book down when I finished it. What a piece of crap.

When I finished sulking about how poorly written it was (My friends Jennifer and BJ have some sort of app that searches to see how many times words are used in it. I think "tremble" was toward the most frequent.) and how terrible the plot was (I mean, let's face it. That last book is a giant piece of fan fiction.), I considered the more serious side of the popularity of that series. Would I want my pre-teen daughter to read this? Absolutely not. I shudder to think at all the millions of young girls (and adult women and men) who have read those books and see Bella and Edward's relationship as some sort of ideal model.

According to this series, the weaker you are, the more boys will like you. The best way to get the attention of the boy you like is to constantly put yourself in grave danger. Hell, just jump off a cliff and try to drown yourself! It worked for Bella. She almost died, but she got Edward back. (It's really sickening how romanticized that scene is online. See image on left.) Getting married right out of high school? According to this book, that's the way to deal with your hormones. While the marriage part isn't horrendous, it's not what I want for my daughter (or son!). Then it got worse. Spoiler alert here, but Bella being beat nearly to death during sex, then begging for more was enough to make me sick. And that was in the first part of the book. By the time Edward had ripped their child from Bella's womb with his teeth, I was beyond horrified. Then there's Bella's former love interest "imprinting" on her infant daughter. A 19 year old man in love with an infant? Why am I the only one who seems to see how disgusting this is? I worked with a woman who used the series as a model for abusive relationships in the college sociology course she taught. She said it worked really well as a model, but the students were too in love with Edward to see it clearly. Anyone seeing my issue now?

That being said, I want to clarify that I have no problem with people waiting until they're married to have sex.  I don't have a problem with vampires having sex with humans, so long as no one is bruised and broken afterward. I don't even have a problem with Meyer pushing her pro-life agenda during the part about Bella's pregnancy. (I'm definitely pro-choice, but Choice is the key word there and, in a rare moment, Edward actually sort of allowed Bella to make one.) I do have a problem with a huge group of impressionable teenagers, particularly the girls, thinking that Bella + Edward = what love should be and that jumping off a cliff is an effective way to deal with a break-up.

Needless to say, I hate the influence of the Twilight series. It is one of the most anti-feminist things I have ever read, not to mention from a book critic view that the series leads to a giant battle. . . that never happens. My ideas about society aside, what a crappy ending! In the words of a piece of facebook flair I saw after the release of the last book, "WTF, Stephenie Meyer?"

The idea of this series is great. It's fascinating and romantic and thrilling. I was actually pleased to hear the books were being adapted to films because I thought it was a chance for a director to take a great idea that was a terrible series and make it back into a great idea on screen. Of course, that didn't happen. I watched the first movie, full of hope, until my dreams were crushed. The movies are just as bad! But this post is about books, so I'll save my film woes (and suggestions!) for another day.

I worked at the public library last summer, and after I witnessed the public's obsession with this series firsthand, I sought alternatives. And I found some great ones! I found vampire love stories written for young adults (which adults will love, too!) that have strong, awesome female characters. There are books that have diversity (several of them have gay characters, as well as ethnic diversity), they have interesting folklore, and they have great storylines. These books are all written for a young adult audience, so they're super fun and easy to read. I've read a lot of books in this genre over the past year or two, so I have a good idea of what's out there and what's good and what's not worth your time. I've read tons, but what I'm listing here are my favorites.

So I give you my list of Twilight alternatives. Some of these are about vampires, some about other supernatural stuff, and a few are about futuristic dystopian societies, which is probably my favorite YA genre. Keep this is mind when you need a blooksucking thrill/romance fix and you've run out of Buffy episodes.

These are in no particular order.

**The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast**

Written by a mother and daughter duo, the House of Night Series stars Zoe, a new teenage vampire being trained in a bording school for vampires. The series has great characters and a great plot, and there are 7 of these books out now and the series still isn't complete. There's love, sex, magic, blood (of course), and humor. Zoe is a strong female character who makes mistakes and learns along the way. These books are full of strong women! A big highlight is Zoe's grandmother, a Native American with amazing courage and wisdom.

**The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith**

I read the first of these when I was in high school or middle school; I can't remember. Since the resurgance of vampire teen fiction, Smith has written two new installments. This series was also turned into a TV show for the WB. While the relationship between the main character and her vampire love is a bit cheesy (and a little codependent - lots of "soul mate" stuff), she's a strong character with power of her own. Worth reading.

**The Secret Circle series by L. J. Smith**

In my opinion, these are far superior to the Vampire Diaries. I read these when they first came out, as well, and read them again a couple of years ago. I still love them! This one isn't about vampires, but witches, and the girls kick ass. It's excellent.

**Evernight series by Claudia Gray**

Another vampire boarding school novel, these focus on Bianca, a teenage girl whose parents make her attend the Evernight Academy, weird stuff happens, she starts figuring things out, you get the idea. 

**Blue Bloods series by Melissa De La Cruz**

This series focuses on Schuyler, a girl who is just finding out what her heritage is along with a bunch of other teenagers in NYC. This is one of my favorites because it's heavy in "Paradise Lost"-type lore.

**Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead**

Another vampire boarding school series. This one has lots of strong women, too! I love this one because merges vampire lore with new ideas about other mythological creatures.

**The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins**

SO "Lord of the Flies," this trilogy is probably my favorite of the dystopian society novels. It's about a society long after the fall of the USA, where once a year a lottery is held to put children in a contained environment where they have to kill each other. BRILLIANT series. Only the first two are out, so I'm anxiously awaiting the third and final one, which comes out in August.

**The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare**

This is a series about vampire hunters! The main character and her friends set out to hunt and kill demons, save the world, etc. And there's a great teenage love story with a twist. Again, lost of strong women and diversity in this one.

**Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr**
A series about faeries! These faeries are pretty creepy, though. These are page-turners.

**Uglies series by Scott Westerfield**

A dystopian society series about what happens when society makes everyone beautiful. GREAT stuff.

**The Maze Runner by James Dashner**

Another dystopian society book, this one is about boys trapped in a maze. It's also very "Lord of the Flies." It's a series, but only the first one is out so far. I'm looking forward to the next ones.

**The Iron King by Julie Kagawa**

A totally fun fantasty novel about faeries. This one gets extra points for including several characters from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and, I would guess, helping lots of teenagers digest Shakespeare a little easier. I loved this one.

**The Forest of Hands and Teeth
and The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan**

These two are pretty creepy. The second one takes place a long time after the first. It's a future in which most people are undead and they're infectious. Excellent.

**The Giver by Lois Lowry**

A classic, and required reading in some schools, this is a novel about another dystopian society where everyone is the same, except our main character and his mentor, the Giver. I read this book in about two hours. Well worth my time.

So enjoy these! Anything here would make great summer reading. They're easy to read, but a lot of them are hard to put down. And I would love to hear anyone's comments about these or suggestions for a series I may not have discovered yet!

I also want to say that, if you are an adult and you enjoy Twilight just because you enjoy it, I think that's awesome. There's nothing wrong with that. And certainly not every young person who reads the books will see this as a model for anything. I am against censorship of any kind, so I would never say Twilight should not be read. I just think there are better things out there.

To end, just for fun, here's something I found that cracked me up. Don't take offense, people; it's all in good fun.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

USA in the World Cup: Final Thoughts for 2010

I haven't posted anything about the USA v Ghana game yet, partly because I was too sad to write about it and partly because I was riding roller coasters. (True story.)

I am sad about the USA's early exit (I consider it early.) from the World Cup. Watching the game against Ghana, the US was clearly the better team. Things just didn't come together for them in the end and that wasn't helped by the shameless time wasting by the Ghana team. So my last post about the US in the World Cup is not about the goals scored or not scored or scored then disallowed, but instead about the men on the US team. I think I can say, even without my American bias, that the US men's soccer team was the most sportsmanlike and classy team to play in the World Cup this year.

Let's look at a couple of examples of what NOT to do in a World Cup. Screaming at your coach until you get thrown off the team is a good example. How about refusing to practice in protest of a player being sent home? Sure, because when your country is counting on you to play well so you can win games so you can do well in the World Cup, as you have historically proven you can do in the past, it's a great idea to not practice, right? Ridonculous. Add to that that the same team's coach refused to shake hands with the coach of the team that won the match and you get the award for Worst World Cup Attitude. That's an official thing. I'm mailing the trophy to France any day now.

Dives are no stranger to the World Cup, either. I remember being furious with Christiano Ronaldo in 2006 for falling down and screaming in agony, any time an opposing player came near him. This year, Ronaldo couldn't pull it out for Portugal against Spain, but at least he wasn't falling over at the slightest breeze in his direction. And, sure, there have been many dives this World Cup. But the beautiful thing is that you haven't seen them from the US team. You have, however, seen the US players get beat up quite a bit and not really whine about it much. Case in point: Clint Dempsey gets elbowed in the face, has a really bad bloody lip, and when the refs did nothing, he wiped his face and kept taking shots on goal. Clint Dempsey got particularly beat up this World Cup, actually. He took tackle after tackle, including some pretty nasty fouls, and he kept playing, and playing well. He looked amazing against Ghana! And let's not forget that "off sides" goal against Algeria. Totally on side, but whatever. Let's move on. The point is that the USA didn't dive and whine and hold their faces for no reason while pounding on the ground demanding a foul.

If you need another example of annoying conduct on the pitch, check out Ghana at the end of the US v Ghana extra time. Sure, any team in that position would be praying for the clock to run down, but these players took it too far. They were falling over left and right, lying on the ground, writhing in pain, and generally wasting as much time as possible. My favorite moment of time-wasting shenanigans was when a player for Ghana sprawled on the ground for as long as it took for a ref to notice him and stop game play, then he continued to lie there being "examined" by the med staff, then was carried off the pitch in a stretcher, only to get off the stretcher, by himself, the moment is was set on the sidelines. It's a miracle! I'm so glad those 3 minutes of play time were taken away from my team's players so that this guy could make such a miraculous recovery. The US players were visibly upset by all of this, and who could blame them? I was furious and the announcers weren't happy, either. Finally, the refs started telling the toppled-over Ghana players to quit, but that didn't stop them. Then there was the Ghana substitution that was for the player furthest away from the sideline. And the player walked over. Slowly. So. Very. Slowly. When he finally got there, the other player slowly walked on. It was infuriating! And we didn't get enough extra time to compensate for all those "injuries."

So, speaking of the refereeing, good stuff, yeah? I don't need to go through the specifics of how many times the USA players were the victims of terrible calls. But, in case you missed it, we weren't the only ones! The call that England's goal against Germany wasn't over the line was horrifying. Unfortunately, it cost them the game. But, and no offense to the English, terrible calls like that didn't keep the USA down. The US players didn't let those bad calls and opposing team tomfoolery get in the way of what they were there to do. They played and they played hard, no matter what. With two disallowed goals (for not reason!), they still fought and pushed and didn't give up and I find that incredibly inspiring.

My final note on the USA v Ghana game is that the US outplayed Ghana for all but 2 minutes of that match. The other day I heard someone say the US got lucky when Donovan scored in the 91st minute. My reply to that was that Algeria got lucky that that game wasn't 9 to 0. But, this is how it goes with soccer, and so we have four more years to get pumped up for Brazil. (And my trip to the World Cup! We're going!)

So, even though the team has already left South Africa and Landon Donovan was kicking soccer balls at moving taxis on Letterman last night, I am very proud of the way my country was represented in the 2010 World Cup. The US players didn't dive, they didn't give up when they got bad calls, they fought every minute of play (Remember Tim Howard up on the offense? Chills!), and they didn't whine or blame things on other teams or referees. They were a class act the whole time.

I'm going to do another post to address my thoughts on American reaction to the World Cup, so stay tuned for that!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The world is a vampire.

If you've never watched Whale Wars, I just don't know where you've been. The scientist and I got addicted last season and now that the new season is in full effect, it's even better than last year!

Here's the rundown: The Sea Shepherds are a group of conservationists who make Greenpeace look like comatose sloths. They go out on to Arctic oceans in their ship, the Steve Irwin, and they literally try to stop Japanese whalers. They throw stink bombs, the tangle ships' propellers with giant ropes, they get all pirate with it and jump on the Japanese boats, they ram their giant boat into other giant boats. It's really fantastic. So Animal Planet just follows them as they go on their annual mission during the whaling season. And the theme song is "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" by the Smashing Pumpkins. (Hence the blog post title.)

It's a great show because not only is it exciting, but it's incredibly interesting. I have learned so much about whales by watching this show, as well as stuff about international waters, international law, Japanese whaling, and Greenpeace. For example, did you know these whales are endangered, but the Japanese are allowed to harpoon them because they claim to be doing scientific research? In actuality, the whales are worth millions of dollars for their meat. It's a messed up thing. The Japanese self-determined quota includes 50 endangered humpback whales. Humpback whales! Unbelievable.

The footage of the whales is beautiful, too, and I always feel like they're super smart and they're so graceful. It makes me think about vegetarianism. But, then again, I've never had that "smart and graceful" vibe come at me from a cow. And cows aren't endangered. Things to think about...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hey, want to laugh until you think you might throw up?

My buddy Jennifer Butler Keeton and I discovered this at Slayage, the academic conference on the works of Joss Whedon, a couple of years ago. I was thinking about it today when I saw an Avenue Q billboard. If you're a Q fan or a Buffy/Angel fan, or just a fan of things that are awesome, check this out: