home remedies for cough?

OK blogosphere, I'm sending this out to you: got any home remedies for cough? I've tried tea with honey, I'd like to try buckwheat honey but they don't sell it around here, and I can't drink Throat Coat tea. Other suggestions? My only other option has been Tylenol with Codeine and I can't take that during the day as it turns me into the living dead. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Last week's Project Runway

Yeah, I know, the new eppy's tonight, but I just haven't been able to muster the interest to post about last week's. This show is a fiasco — the producers OBVIOUSLY dictate who stays/who goes based on who makes the best “TV.” You know what? Crying does not necessarily equal good TV.

Speaking of crying, Ricky opens this episode by complaining that everyone's telling him he's not good enough to be there. Here's a news flash, buddy: You aren't.

Christian thanks the losing model “more than life.” And now it's Tim Gunn Field Trip time.

Our intrepid designers show up at an East River pier building with a big Port Authority sign. The doors open and the warehouse is shown to contain more than 500 pairs of Levi 501s. Their challenge: Create an iconic denim look using 501s and white cotton.

They get three minutes to grab materials after a sprint. Chris manages this run better than the one at the first episode, but Sweet P loses her shoe and gets a very dirty foot.

Back in the workroom, Tim tells them they have until midnight. Ricky tells us he MAKES HIS HATS. Off with his head!

Christian is driving everyone crazy. Off with his lopsided head!

Jillian is annoyed that Victorya is also making a coat; like a denim coat is the most original idea ever.

SP is making a wedding dress. How this translates to 501 iconic, I do not know.

Ricky, feeling insecure, rolls out his resume.

Christian wonders why Chris talks to himself. Everyone else wonders why Christian talks at all.

Rami's borrowing Jeffrey's zippers-as-detail idea from the season three finale. Heck, it worked for Jeffrey!

Tim thinks SP's wedding dress is “happy hands at home granny sewing circle.” SP looks horrified.

Jillian has cut herself and has a meltdown at her sewing machine. At midnight, nobody's done.

The next morning, everyone rushes to their glue guns. Oh, and Christian calls Tim Gunn “TimmyTim.”

Jillian thinks Victorya's outfit looks too similar to hers, though J's model consoles her that it's “Not cute.”

On the runway: Heidi's dress is uglier than anything we're gonna see on the models, and that's saying a lot.

Sweet P is always so excited when they introduce the guest judge; I think that's cute.

Speaking of cute, Rami's outfit is the only one that isn't butt-ugly. Jillian's isn't bad, but it looks like she threw it together in 15 minutes. SP shortened the wedding dress and will probably get to stay to sew another day. Victorya's coat looks like it would best be used to catch feral cats.

The judges love Christian's biker outfit. No love for Chris, though… ooh, “home sewn!” They love Ricky. He cries. Kors says the Amy Winehouse influence is evident. Apparently he means this as a good thing, but to me it construes “crack whore.” They love Rami. They think Jillian's is like flowers on Valentine's day: too much, yet not enough. Kors thinks SP's is “chic.” But Victorya's jacket is stupid and the judges say as much.

Kors says Chris's outfit is “Joan Cusack in Working Girl.”

OMG Ricky wins and his dress will be sold on Levi.com. The other designers look like they want to have a mass suicide right there on the runway.

I thought they'd bump Chris (“home sewn” is usually the kiss of death), but now I think it'll be Victorya. Yup, she's out. The girls hug, and neither ice queen shatters. Amazing.

Professor Motormouth

I started teaching at the local women's college again yesterday and it is so good to be back! My writing class (Writing for the Media) has a whopping four students, so we'll be having more of a workshop than anything else. I had them write my typical go-to benchmark essay: 500 words about a time that something happened to you or a friend that made you laugh out loud. Also, they get to read Amy Hempel's “The Harvest” for the first time this week, and I'm terribly jealous that they get to have that experience.

The digital photography class also went well — I have a student in that class who took my writing class last year, so I already know her name. Then, at the end of class, one of the other students approached me and said, “We missed you in church on Sunday.” I'd been looking at her throughout the class session, trying to place her. Turns out she's one of the new nursery workers at our church! So I know her name, too. And then, earlier that day, I saw a young woman with streaked blue hair walking around campus and thought to myself, “I wonder if she'll be in my digital photo class?” Yup, she sure is. Not only that, but her mom is the one who wrote me an e-mail in December, asking for digital camera recommendations as a Christmas gift for her daughter. So, I already know the names of three students in the class. Only 17 more to go!

I wanted to introduce them to Photoshop so I had them download the “In the Snow” picture of my boy.

“Who can tell me what's not right about this picture?” I asked.

“He doesn't have any feet!” said my returning student.

“OK… besides that,” I said.

Oh yeah, it's good to be back. The only bummer was, I couldn't get my security badge, because a power surge took my record out of the system. No security badge means I couldn't check my mailbox, and also that I had to ask students to open my classroom door for me. But other than that, it was great.

continued sickness, continued snow

I don't know if the two go hand-in-hand but I've been sick since January 5th and there's been snow on the ground, if not falling from the sky, every day since then. I am so tired of the gray: feeling gray, looking outside and seeing gray. Heck, today I'm even clad in gray. Ugh. I think it's about time to go to the Mass Museum of Contemporary Art and see some (to quote the Comtesse's DJ) frickin' color.

Also, tomorrow I start teaching. Usually I begin with back-to-back two-hour lectures. My voice will not stomach that, however, so instead I'm just going to go over the syllabus, teach from the book, and then probably send them home for the week.

Oh, and if the boy is feeling better tomorrow, Monstro's going to take him to an informational seminar about modeling. Heck, he loves attention, loves getting his picture taken, and loves dressing up. Sounds like a win-win-win to me. But only if he's over his cold, of course. I'm not going to get all Jon Benet over it.

Heath Ledger

Anyone who spends as much time reading celebrity blogs as I do must have a comment about the untimely death of Heath Ledger, right? I suppose. I remember resenting the press shoving him down our throats when he starred in “A Knight's Tale,” and I remember truly despising “10 Things I Hate About You.” I remember being stupefyingly underwhelmed by “Brokeback Mountain,” which may have stemmed from its couldn't-have-been-longer-than-10-pages screenplay. Most recently, I remember reading the opening to the upcoming “Batman” movie and relishing how awesome it sounded.

Now? I'm pissed off that the media is saying it's drugs, though we don't know for sure. I'm pissed off at Eonline.com for saying “Brokeback Mountain” was his first and only Academy Award nomination (he could be nominated for “Batman,” I mean, stranger things have happened). I'm pissed off that he's dead and he's eight years younger than I am. And I'm pissed off that President Bush took the opportunity to *cancel* his conference about prescription drug abuse, for fear it would seem “opportunistic” in the face of tragedy, when the man's never ever ever been concerned about being accused of opportunism at any time in his weasely life.

But mostly? I'm sad that Heath Ledger's two-year-old won't get to know her daddy. And I'm deeply concerned about whether he left behind a last will and testament that will shower his daughter with the money he's made, and the money he has yet to make from what is certain to be THE summer blockbuster of 2008.

Rest in peace, Mr. Ledger — but only if you left a will.

Melissa & Doug

Have you seen the toys produced by a company called, folksily enough, “Melissa and Doug”? They're adorable. If they ever test positive for lead, our family is hosed. Our boy has the three-pronged stacking puzzle, a musical-instrument puzzle that sings the first line of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” whenever you place a puzzle piece, and then on Saturday one of our bachelor friends brought over a chunky, creatures-of-the-sea puzzle. Oh, and my father sent us a cobbler's bench for Christmas, because what every two-year-old needs is a wooden mallet. All of their toys are wooden, painted, and so cute you want to put 'em in your china hutch. Highly, highly recommended.

Project Runway not-quite-liveblog

Don't know what week it is, and I missed the last one or two because family was in town and frankly, I'm not super-interested in this season. Anyway, carrying on…


The challenge: Make an avant garde look to match the model's hair. Something artistic and conceptual. Man, if I were a model and got flat hair, I'd be pissed. Two models are out, and the designers will work in teams of two.

Christian and Chris are making a dress of 1,000s of circles. Kind of like Christian's Reeses dress? We'll see.

Jillian and Vyctoria will be the team from hell.

Ricky and Kit? I'm scared.

Sweet P and Rami? Huh.

Tim has a special announcement: There's another look walking down the runway: a ready-to-wear look that translates the avant-garde look to the everyday woman. Everyone freaks.

Ugh. Who cares? There's really nobody on the show I care about. They're mostly bitches. The nice ones (Chris and Kit and Sweet P) ain't gonna be making it to the top three, so why bother?

Oh, and Rami's a bully. Moreover, he's a one-note bully. Everything draped, all the time. Bor-ing.

Cut to the end:

Christian wins. Ricky's IN. WHY??? His ready-to-wear dress looked like it cost five bucks at Forever 21. Kit is OUT. Fiasco. What-ever.

Wrote a song

Hey, you know that song you always hear at a circus or carnival? The one that goes “DA da da-da-da-da DA da da-ah, DA da da-da-da-da DA da da-ah”? Well, the other night, Monstro commented that Barack Obama is the only person in the world whose name fits the measure of that verse. Always willing to try my hand at irreverent lyrics, here's what I came up with:

Are you voting for Barack Obama?
Yes I'm voting for Barack Obama.
'Cause I'm a Democrat,
and I hate Hillary,
but I'm not a lefty so I won't vote for Ku-cin-ich…

The irony being that I'm not voting for Obama, but anything for a funny song, right?


It's not that I have nothing to say, or that I'm so torn up about Britney I can't hardly type, but that I've got a cough that's hanging on like grim death and it makes me hack so hard my eyes tear. Ugh. Hence blog silence. The good news is, I've heard from my publisher and my book should be in the hands of the public by “early early February.” Woo hoo! It came in at 160 pages and I can't wait to see it! My publisher says “I think it may be perfect!” This is a very nice thing to hear from one's publisher, I assure you.