Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Bests of the Month

February was a month full of action in many different areas – both good and bad. While we saw two athletes at the top of their games caught for cheating, we witnessed a speedster (in a car anyway) jump off the fringe back into NASCAR stardom, an under-dog movie sweep the Oscars, a superior actress remind us why she truly is the best, and one of the best rappers alive win big at the Grammy’s. Here are my bests of the month.

The Director: Danny Boyle
The star British filmmaker of the year’s Cinderella movie, Slumdog Millionaire, took home an Oscar for Best Director at this months Academy Awards. His earning was just one of the eight awards the movie took home that night.

The Driver: Matt Kenseth
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, Matt Kenseth shot out of the gate this month, winning the season’s first two races, including the Daytona 500 and last week’s race in California. In doing so, Kenseth has led a combined 91 laps and has made new crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, look like a genius. The challenge for Kenseth will be maintain his triumphant rebound from last year’s “trying” season, in which he finished 11th.

The Crazed (But Successful) Rockstar Rapper: Lil’ Wayne
Lil’ Wayne, the most prolific man in music, put his stamp on 2008 with his incredible release, Tha Carter III. All he needed was the hardware to go with his uncanny popularity and this month he received just that. Weezy earned four Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance for “A Milli”, Best Rap Song for “Lollipop”, and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Swagga Like Us”.

The Designers: Dolce & Gabbana
Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana went back to their roots for their show at New York Fashion Week this month. The show was my favorite of the Fall/Winter 2009 clothing lines, as many of the outfits were chic, slim-fitting and clothes I can see myself in.

For the show Dolce and Gabbana wanted to emphasize the importance of close connections in hard times. The collection had an Italian Rat Pack feel to it; the clothes appeared to be fit for the chic nightlife.

Take a look at the full fashion line here.

Best Magazine: INside Magazine
Okay, so I am Associate Editor for the magazine based here on IU's campus, but our Arts Issue that came out this month was truly the best issue we’ve ever done. The entire staff worked very hard in putting together a great, informative issue. Learn about a film geek, where to see great art, how to dress better, and how to create homemade art in our four department articles. In the features read about an incredible artist on campus and find out what inspires student artists (painter, composer, photographer, dancers) to create.

Local Store: Andrew Davis Menswear
For the second month in a row this chic menswear store takes the cake in my local area. This weekend the store facilitated a trunk show by Coppley, a wonderful menswear store located in Hamilton, Ontario (yes, Canada). Coppley Vice President, Dennis Wilson was in town to not only showcase his store, but he also did custom fittings for men who signed up. I signed up for my fitting and Dennis took all of my key measurements for a sleek black suit that will be made with ultra torto fabric. I had never heard of this fabric before my fitting. It doesn’t wrinkle and it’s very light weight, making it great all year-round.

In addition to the fitting, ADM gave out free ties (I chose a burgundy-ish maroon-ish colored tie by Private Stock) and free lunch, consisting of sandwiches, chips, cookies, and bottled water. The guys were great to talk to and after a while Esquire Writer At Large, Tom Chiarella came through for his fitting. I picked his brain for close to an hour before the fellas broke out a bottle of wine by Robert Talbott (yes, the same guy known for designing luxury ties). ADM store owner, Andrew Mallor was very generous and showed me all of the deals they had available. You better believe I’ll be back there frequently.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Unlikely Inspiration

I just returned from Edgewood High School where I spoke with coach Mark Deal to a classroom of special needs students. When Coach Deal asked me to speak to the kids I jumped at the opportunity, for I’ve always enjoyed speaking to people and attempting to motivate them.

In the class, Coach Deal and I were asked a series of pre-determined questions by his daughter, Carrie Deal, who is doing her student teaching at the school. The theme of our message today was hard work. In speaking to the class I spoke about my experiences as a student athlete, my home life and how I grew up. I talked about how I went through high school with my priorities out of order; after school it was nothing for me to turn my attention to video games instead of homework. Now, I know what’s important and my priorities are in line.

I related everything to what the kids go through on a daily basis in school in addition to using examples from my own life. I let the kids know that, though they may not know it, they’re an inspiration to many because many people have told these kids that they couldn’t learn or that they were too dumb to understand anything. I encouraged them to believe in themselves and not to let anyone tell them what they couldn’t do.

Coach Deal and I also encouraged them to always be appreciative of those who help them on a daily basis, including everyone from their parents to the faculty who help them learn at school. It is those people who give their lives to helping special needs students learn and realize that they’re just as important as anyone else.

Going to Edgewood was a humbling and eye-opening experience. I’m very glad I went and would do it again in a heartbeat. They’ve inspired me to be better myself. I have the abilities to be successful so I should use them just as I told them. Too often I get lackadaisical and forget how much better I can be. Well, talking to those kids was great medicine for me. I will continue to do my best and, in this case, practice what I’ve preached.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Have Faith In President Obama - The U.S. Will "Emerge Stronger"

President Obama gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress last night, where he asked worried Americans to pull together during these hard times, for knows we will overcome our economic struggles.

During his speech, Obama confidently stated that “we will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”

Obama’s speech was very ambitious and optimistic, as it should be. Sure, we’re in a recession but we Americans worry way too much. It’s easy for me to say because I’m just a college student who happens to be on full football scholarship. But give it some thought; too often we forget that this country has been in many recessions before, including The Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 on into the 1930’s. We didn’t stay in that mess forever did we? No, we did not.

So what makes people think this recession will last forever? Maybe it’s the stimulus plan. Even if you do not believe in it, I find it hard to believe that Republicans disapprove with everything in it. Even if they do, what do they plan to do, just sit around and mope about it?

Obama has said many times before that he is the President for all of the people and that we are the United States of America, not the country of red states and blue states. We need to come together if we are to make change. I’ve seen many people express how worried they are through articles, TV and even Facebook statuses. Some people have too little of faith.

The fact of the matter is Obama inherited the mess that we’re in. The Republicans created it. They didn’t seem to worry much about the economy while we were sinking deep into debt so why are they so up in arms now? Why are they so pessimistic? My guess is probably because their man didn’t win.

But before I make this an all out battle, let me just say that if Sen. John McCain would’ve won the presidency I would’ve supported him and backed his plans to save America. I’d have no other choice. There’s no use in worrying about everything. We forget that there is someone greater who is on our side and will make everything okay in His time. He will never leave us.

So, we all really need to chill out and listen to President Obama. Applaud the man for his ambition and confidence to change America. Many said he’d never become President and he achieved that. So what makes you think he can’t get America out of this mess? Have faith my friends.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Guess I Better Go See Slumdog Millionaire

I should’ve known Slumdog Millionaire would be the biggest winner of the night because every time I’d tell someone that I haven’t seen the movie they’d look at me like I had eight heads. Believe it or not, I don’t have eight heads but Slumdog took home eight Academy Awards last night, nearly pulling off a full sweep. The victorious night was just a part of the ride on the wave of success that includes big wins at the Golden Globes, Writers Guild, Directors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Awards.

When I first heard about this film months ago it seemed like another independent film that would go nowhere. The fact that it isn’t really an American film made me wonder why so many people were dying to see it. Though, Slumdog did have its troubles, as it was nearly put straight to DVD in America after its initial studio closed.

Though I have yet to see the film, I applaud Slumdog, and everyone who worked on it. About a month ago I had no idea who director, Danny Boyle was and now I’ll be paying attention to other films that he directs – given that I’ll like Slumdog. I heard it’ll be showing on the IU campus for free within the next few weeks, and you can bet I’ll be in attendance.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

According To Kurz...Doing The Right Thing

This week the most used word in the American language has been “steroid”. I am so sick of hearing this word that I am now going to refer to it as, “the s-word”. But while “A-Roid” (as he is now being referred too), better known as Yankees third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, was giving his press conference and explaining how “young and dumb” he was at the age of 23, some decency was being displayed sports.

Milwaukee Madison senior basketball and football player, Johntell Franklin’s mother died of cancer on Saturday Feb. 7th. He originally decided he was going to miss his basketball game that night. He later changed his mind and wanted to play in the game against DeKalb (Ill.) High School. Because his coach, Aaron Womack Jr., had not planned for him to be there, Franklin’s name was not in the scorebook. Womack decided to play Johntell, knowing that the rules stated that the other team would be awarded two free throws. DeKalb coach, Dave Rohlman pleaded with the refs to not have the free throws assessed but the refs were just doing there job.

In response, Coach Rohlman gathered his team in order to decide who would shoot the free throws. Senior point guard, Darius McNeal put up his hand.

“You realize you’re going to miss, right,” explained Rohlman.

Darius nodded.

Darius set up to take his free throws with all the eyes in the arena on him. He brought the ball up to his forehead and rolled it across the out of bounds line. The ref picked up the ball handed it to the point guard. He did the same thing. The crowd rose to their feet and applauded the senior for his actions.

“I did it for the kid who lost his mom” McNeal told a Milwaukee newspaper. “It was the right thing to do.”

At the age of 17, Darius McNeal knew the right thing to do. A young man decided he was going to be selfless and miss those shots on purpose. I wonder what a 23 year old “A-Roid” would have done….

Thom Browne Does His Thing In Florence

Damn, isn’t Thom Browne amazing!? Instead of showing his 2009 Fall/Winter clothing line at New York Fashion Week he decided to stage his first European fashion show at Pitti Uomo in Florence this week. He used 40 male models all dressed alike in finely tailored asphalt grey suits with grey cardigans, sleek narrow grey ties, and black wing tips. Over the suits, each model wore a camel-colored cadet jacket that was cotton with no padding, making it perfect for weather protection.

The whole ensemble looked like something out of a 1950’s and 60’s New York Wall Street trader closet. Each suit was cut to Thom Browne perfection: pant legs cut high above the ankle, pants fitted high on the waist, snug fitting jacket. The only thing missing from the models was the signature Thom Browne tie bar – which he wore himself only with a black ensemble.
The show had a militaristic feel and look to it, as each model strolled walked in one after the other in orderly fashion. After they walked into the room a fictional boss rang a bell, prompting all of the models to take off their overcoats and suit jackets, hang them up, sit down, and begin typing. They sat at identical desks and ate apples for lunch.

While the show failed to show much, well, any variety, Browne wanted to show off his greatest hit, the shrunken gray suit and cardigan with arm stripes.

Each suit was impeccably tailored and the order of the show is nothing like the fashion world has seen before. I would love to duplicate this entire look – maybe I’d have the pants a little longer, but I’d be showing some ankle. I also hope my office looks something like this someday…minus the typewriter of course.

*Click on the pictures to enlarge them and see the detail

Kanye Brings The Pain (And Glitches) With Video: "Welcome To Heartbreak"

Kanye West once again uses his oh, so broken heart to create wonderful art in the form of his "off, but beautiful" Auto-tuned voice. He's just released his third music video, "Welcome To Heartbreak", which features rising star, Kid Cudi, off of his album, 808's and Heartbreak. On this track Kanye's voice sounds almost robotic. You can feel the heartbreak in his voice and the guilt in his lyrics. In one verse, he sings, "My friend showed me pictures of his kids, and all I could show him was pictures of my cribs."

The song sounds like therapy; like he's finally getting what life is all about. What a revelation. As for the video, at first sight I thought there were glitches in my computer, but I think that's how the video is meant to be. For some of it, he almost seems stoic, but it's probably just the lack of happiness in his face. While his demeanor certainly captures the mood of the song, the video uses special affects that look like something out of the '80's. Bottom line, though; great song, different but good video.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The INSIDE Magazine Fiction Project

We asked IU students and staff to put their heads (and their words) together, and we wrote a story, line by line. It’s charming, it’s bizarre - it kind of makes us rethink reader participation … We love every word.

1. He wasn’t sure if he could remember all of the circumstances that had led him into the unusually wobbly kayak, but the fortune cookies, he knew, hadn’t been there long.
- Allie Townsend, senior, INside Editor

2. “Zarvox!” yelled a large mystery woman as she shook the kayak.
- Austin Williams, freshman and Kodi Thornton, freshman, both androgynously named females

3. After the mysterious woman shook the kayak, a platypus suddenly appeared next to a pile of fortune paper slips.
- Amanda Eldridge, sophomore and IMU Back Alley employee

4. Oh no!
- Matt McCurdy, freshman and other IMU Back Alley employee

5. Billy Shears sprang from his pillow, shot his eyes to the alarm clock (3:45), and let out a long breath–thinking to himself, “That damned ‘Zarvox’ dream again…”
- Brian Janosch, graduate, founding INside editor and editorial assistant at The Onion

6. Meandering out of the bedroom, stumbling over empty pizza boxes and aluminum cans, the sirens wailed in the distance announcing the oncoming storm as Billy swore under his breath.
- Luke Fields, senior, president of the IU Student Association

7. As his memory of the past 12 hours seeped back, he suddenly fisted the many fortune cookie slips out of his pant pocket, realizing not only had he actually robbed the Dragon Express of some of those crunchy cookie cartons, but he had then ransacked the union’s kayak storage facility. All for the love of one singular platypus.
-Elizabeth Rauh, senior

8. The sirens were closing in. Time was growing short. Billy just had to see her again before getting caught, simply had to. Against his better judgment, he threw caution to the wind; this would be a tumultuous day.
-Yun William Yu, senior, and “boy genius” featured in INside’s Smartest Issue Ever

9. So he picked up the phone…
-Carrie Albright, Assistant Manager and barista at Soma Coffeehouse

10. And dialed the number of his long lost love, the platypus.
-Dylan Galyan-Wilkerson, Soma coffee sipper and senior at Bloomington High School-North

11. Billy stared blankly at the loosely gripped phone in hand, sensing that the platypus was only a strand of his own fiction. Panic washing over the entire room, images of pirated kayaks and hijacked Chinese food swell and suffocated his thoughts. Rummaging through his pockets, Billy finds a single untouched fortune cookie in his shirt pocket. Reflexively he snaps it in half, popping the pieces in his mouth; while unfolding the cookie’s quotation, Billy grins. “Enjoy life! It is better to be happy than wise.”
-Troy Mottard, senior, artist featured in INside’s Art Issue

12. It’s the buzzing that brings him back from his fortune haze; two mechanical rings, then the click of someone at the other end…
-CJ Lotz, sophomore, INside departments editor

13. “Hello,” she said, sounding like a woman who had walked too long and too fast in a long, tight skirt, and he realized–too late, as it turned out–that he had gotten food poisoning from the massive amount of Chinese food he consumed.
-Amy Cook, IU professor of Theatre History

14. “Oh, you have a prescription for Zarvox? Certainly!” He thanked the large woman.
-Danny Walsh, former IU student and patron of Upstairs Pub

15. And then it was responsible for more than the usual celestial mechanics. Ordinarily I find that people tell me how to relate but if naught else is available, I will make this demonstration. The planets describe elliptical orbits; this much is dear. I know how obvious it is to the masses, but I hope in the end, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion will be common knowledge, Zarvox not withstanding.
-Brendan Granger, expected M.A. Applied Mathematics, written at 1:31 a.m. at Nick’s English Hut

16. (He couldn’t believe that the Zarvox was making him think such crazy–but intelligent!–thoughts.) “Man, this stuff really works!” he said to himself, before popping another pill.
-Ashley Wilson, senior, INside features editor

17. The pills effects became stronger. Everything seemed clearer now, the robberies, the “Learn your own Chinese” on the back of his fortune cookie, his obsession with celestial movements, and the Platypus. That Platypus. What a dame. The girl whose legs seemed to go on forever. He wanted to stare at her for hours. He’d robbed the restaurant for her hadn’t he? And yet it all seemed like years ago; a jumbled mess of a hundred stories told by an asphyxiating narrator who had obtained a dozen personalities before the end of his incomprehensible tale. Despite the pills drowsy effects he had to return to her. He had to give his love with the platypus tattoo the money before the bulls or the feds got him and locked him up. After that he didn’t care what happened. He pulled out his father’s old .38 service revolver and kicked down the door. He never expected to see what came next…
-Luke Fisher, Eigenmann resident assistant

18. As the dust from the broken door settled, Billy was greeted with a sight that he once again blamed on the mysterious Zarvox pills he had downed with fervor. A group of 20 men, dressed in bedazzled pink raincoats grabbed him by the shirt and threw him into the back of a black, stretch limousine parked behind the entrance of the restaurant. Utterly shocked and overwhelmed, Billy who continued to brandish his father’s revolver, could not determine if the colorful men were his saviors or his enemies.
-Lesley Brooner, sophomore

19. Most of the men in the raincoats vanished into the night. The jolt of being thrown around disoriented Billy, but when his eyes adjusted to the mood disco ball lighting of the limousine he realized he wasn’t alone. Five diamond-studded raincoats surrounded him. They sat in silence on the plush leather seats. One handed Billy a glass of champagne. They slowly took down their pink hoods. The Fab Five of Queer Eye greeted Billy warmly and with disgust about the plaid flannel shirt he was wearing. They were going to help him find his love in style.
-Katherine Fay, sophomore

20. Billy was confused. Instead of paying for cable, he had decided to spend all of his money on Zarvox and Chinese takeout. As he reached out to grasp Carson Kressley’s manicured hand, the revolver fired.
-Sarah Hutchins, sophomore, INside assistant features editor

21. “OMG!” the other four men screamed! Kressley had been shot in the chest and was now bleeding a great amount. The limousine quickly raced to the hospital. Fortunately by the time they reached the overhang of the ER both McSteamy and McDreamy were waiting outside for them.
- Sara Stombaugh, senior, Homecoming Queen 2008

22. The pure beauty of McSteamy and McDreamy stopped Billy, and everyone around him, in his tracks, but Kressley’s shrieks brought him back to reality. He raced with the doctors into the Emergency Room.
- Haley Adams, sophomore, INside editorial assistant

23. Caught without his insurance card, it looked at first liked he might not be treated. Then he remembered he could put the expense on his Bursar bill.
-Dick McKaig, dean of students

24. To do so, he needed to swipe his ID card at the front desk. So he reached into his pocket and pulled out his student ID only to find that the face on the card was not his, but the face of a sloth. And the writing on the card was in Russian! “Is this a joke? Am I dreaming?” he thought.
-Bryan Payton, senior football player and INside associate editor

25. He looked to his right and looked in the mirror—and was greeted by the sight of a sloth. Yes, a sloth. He brought his hand to his face and let his fingers trace through the hair that gloved his face, “What the—”
-Justine Carlotta, Union Board’s Canvas Creative Arts Magazine director, model for INside’s Art Issue

26. After his hand slowly moved through the thick coarse hair covering his face, he then suddenly remembered to swipe his card and check on his friend who appears to have suddenly caught a case of gangrene.
-Jessica McComb, junior

27. “Oh, no”! he yelled. You have gangrene and it’s a dreadful thing to have—it means you might lose a limb, but hold on don’t lose your head, help is on the way!”
-Bernadine Payton, mother of INside associate editor Bryan Payton and Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne graduate student

28. “What’s help gonna do right now?” asked Kressley. “I got gangrene and who knows what could fall off! There’s so many things that I haven’t done in my life, like finally getting Beyonce off Jay-Z’s old WRANGLY ASS HANDS.” Right as this argument continued to get worse and worse Beyonce came in and broke his heart. He thought he was dreaming when she stepped through the doorway, but she came in and started hatin’, telling him, “If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it!” and told him him that “I may be rich but I’m not paying no damn hospital bills!”
Kellen Lewis, senior, IU football starting quarterback

29. The few remaining Zarvox pills rattled vigorously in Billy’s weakening grip as he reinspected the label’s instructions: Adults 12 and up, take once upon a time as needed for dreams. “Fuck,” he thought, “I must’ve already popped about 35! Maybe I can even this out with a little more wisdom.” He eagerly chomped his last fortune cookie, almost choking on the paper. “Call 911,” said the salivated fortune. He took out his phone and dialed. “Hello, Kelvin Sampson here! Gung hay fat choy, Billy!”
-Nicholas Peters, owner of Gunz n Butter Produtions, featured in INside’s Art Issue

30. “Kelvin! Sorry, I dialed the wrong number. I was trying to call Japan! Oops,” Billy said, confused.
-Claire Burke, senior, INside assistant departments editor

31. After snapping his phone shut, Billy ransacked his mind for the one who could show him the path to wisdom. Aha, Billy frantically dialed Mr. Miyagi. The ringing was driving him mad, until Mr. Miyagi answered and simply said, “Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.”
-Carly Bassen, freshman, expert cartwheeler

32. As the Zarvox-induced cloud in his brain slowly coalesced into the shape of the purple birthmark on Mikhail Gorbachev’s forehead, Billy exclaimed, “Holy Oktober Revolution! Now I understand.”
-Claude Cookman, IU journalism professor

33. Billy wept.
-Michael Sanserino, senior, Indiana Daily Student Editor-in-Chief

34. Billy, drying his eyes on his plaid sleeve, tried to man up and quit crying. He whimpered and looked to his left. And then the inevitable occurred.
-Erin Wright, junior, INside associate editor

35. Billy had to take Zarvox again because he started to cry after Mr. Miyagi’s phone started to ring again.
- Kelley Douglas, sophomore, Gamma Phi Beta Little 500 team member

36. Just as the phone started ringing, purple panthers zoomed across the window, frightening Billy.
- Kara Robinson, sophomore, Chili’s employee

37. And then the panthers killed Billy.
- Saad Saghir, junior, President of Sigma Chi

38. Mr. Miyagi was crushed when he learned of Billy’s death, and he vowed that he would find the panthers that committed this vicious crime. When he received a tip that the panthers were running through the Arboretum, the chase ensued.
- Shannon Burruss, sophomore, INside associate editor

Apparel Watch...Thom Browne Converse Sneakers

I'm not even sure if this is a good to put in the "Apparel Watch" because these shoes are $1,800, but I'm doing it anyway. While master designer, Thom Browne, isn't doing a runway show this Fashion Week he is still making headlines in the fashion world. He has done a show off runway, but I'll get to that later.

Browne is known for his close, custom tailoring and design in his suits, but he has stepped outside the box - as he usually does - to team up with Converse to design a limited edition Jack Purcell sneaker. It's a patchwork grosgrain ribbon sneaker design that is reminiscent of the inner lining on many of Browne's tailored cardigans (see the detail picture from his Spring 2009 Show).

An original Jack Purcell Converse model will run you $40, but if you want a kick of Thom Browne you'll have to pay extra.

INSIDE MAGAZINE...Your Body, Your Canvas

We’ll show you how to be a one-(wo)man exhibit.

By Bryan Payton and Haley Adams
Photo by David E. Corso

We all become artists when we dress in the morning. We use our clothes as expression, giving meaning to what we drape on our bodies.

Whether you’re reminiscent of classical art in a three-piece suit or a modern expressionist in pink heels and shutter shades, remember: Perception is everything.

With a flair for the sartorial, student fashion designer Lauren Ison chooses a casual look for two student models, and the director of IU’s student Fashion Design + Culture Group, Deborah Christiansen, offers her interpretation.

Ison is a senior fashion design student working on her senior project inspired by the transformation of Norma Jeane into Marilyn Monroe, showing March 7 in the Willkie Auditorium.

Chantsler Underwood is a senior majoring in journalism who has modeled for Finish Line and plans to sign with NEXT Model Management in New York after graduation.

“He’s athletic, and he’s actually a model, but he’s always on the go and always moving,” Ison says, “so I wanted him to feel like himself.”

Underwood says the combination of classy and comfortable clothing is something he’d wear.

“I’m always on the go, so I could just slip these on if I’m in a rush,” he says. “I’d still feel comfortable, but it’s a chic, classic look.”

Also dressed by Ison is Justine Carlotta (right), a sophomore majoring in creative writing. She is the editor-in-chief of the newsletter for the IU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and is a 2009 Union Board director.

“Justine has an outgoing personality, and she’s really outspoken, so I wanted to bring in bright colors,” Ison says. “With the hat and the jewelry, I just wanted to make it real trendy and classic, and maybe turn a few heads when she walks past.”

The accessories and colors are bold but wearable, Carlotta says. “It’s eccentric with the purple and the yellow contrasting each other,” she says. “And the boots are always fun since everyone’s wearing boots right now. If I was going out, I would definitely wear this.”

Director of IU’s student Fashion Design + Culture Group Deborah Christiansen comments on the models’ new looks.

ON CARLOTTA: “I liked that the color choice was very bright. The outfit was a little retro, and I liked the boots. It’s something we’ve been seeing, so everything was very on-trend. The hat made it more eccentric, maybe not something for everybody, but it was perfect for a college student.”

ON UNDERWOOD: “The hoodie was very on-trend with a bit of a techno print, updating the computer-generated print. It was nice to have the refined look of the belt with the Chuck Taylors.” In general “She made good choices, and they were perfect for this age group.”

Edward Hirt, an associate professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences, says choosing the perfect outfit is one of the many ways people express themselves, and clothing communicates information. “When people are trying to express a certain kind of image, they want to dress to convey that image,” he says. “If you’re going out on a date, you know what clothes you want to wear. In a job interview, if you want to express professionalism, you’ll wear a power suit.”

There are other factors people look at when making judgments, such as facial attractiveness, body shape, and race. Hirt says people are the product of the strength of their stereotypes. If a person’s judgments come true, that person will stereotype more often. Judgments based on appearance are unavoidable, he says. “I think it’s unrealistic to believe people can ignore it,” Hirt says. “In many cases, it is an important cue to get information.”

INSIDE Magazine Hits Newsstands Today!

INSIDE Magazine's Arts Issue hit the newsstands stands today! To pick up one up, look inside the the Indiana Daily Student newspaper and you'll find it.

As an Associate Editor for the INSIDE I'm very excited about this issue and feel that it's definately the best issue the magazine has put out yet. I've only been working for thme since December, but I've enjoyed the entire staff as we've all worked very hard in putting The Arts Issue together.

The cover is graced by junior photographer, Sara Baldwin from Zionsville. The photo was taken by Zach Hetrick. In the magazine you'll find departmemnt articles done by the Associate Editors, Haley Adams, Shannon Burruss, Joe Jasinski, Erin Wright, and myself.

Find out the "Confessions of a film geek", learn about Bloomington's local art scene, learn to dress better, and make art from scratch.

Also read awesome feature stories written by Brian Spegele and Ashley Wilson. I will posting the article done by Haley and I later this afternoon, as well as a funny fiction story put together by many around campus. Stay tuned and enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Diddy Takes Home Two NCAAP Image Awards

My number one role model, Sean Combs, took home two NAACP Image Awards last Thursday for his star role in the special three-hour movie adaptation of "A Raisin In The Sun", of which he also executive produced. The awards he nabbed were Best Actor In A Television Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special as well as producer honors for the same category.

I actually own this movie and can honestly tell you that Combs did a wonderful job portraying Walter Lee Younger, a man hurt and left disgruntled by the dire situation of his family's poverty and lack of respect as a black man. The role was played by Sidney Poitier in 1961 and Danny Glover in 1989. Combs was no Poitier, but he did more than hold his own.

I encourage you to go check out this movie, as it will change your perspective on life and you'll realized how bless we really are despite these hard economic times. Also, get a glimpse inside black America in the Midwest in 1950's.

Below is a video from Diddy's video blog on via Youtube. Check out his speech and reaction. It's great. And I love what he says at the end, "If you dream and believe you can achieve." He's such an inspiration to me. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lebron Gets You Ready For Valentines Day

Leave it Lebron to show you how to treat your lady on this day of love. I stumbled across this very funny video titled "After 6" while looking at Lebron James' commercials on youtube. It features Pussy Cat Doll lead singer, Nicole Sherzinger as Lebron's girlfriend. Listen to the hilarious quotes given by Lebron as he gives Nicole the best gift a girl could ask for.

"Girl, don't pump fake me now." I'll remember to use that one!

Friday, February 13, 2009

According To Kurz...Blue Chips

Last week Wednesday I found myself sitting at my computer surfing, while tuned to ESPN on my TV. The date was February 4th, the first Wednesday of the month, better known as College Football National Signing Day. This is a ritual that goes back to my days in high school, when I first recognized the high anticipation and excitement of finding out which school’s each blue-chipper will choose.

But what started off as players just faxing in their letters to the chosen school, has now turned into national media coverage (see Terrell Pryor), internet diaries (Chris Leak), and All-American bowl games where players lay three hats out onto a table to trick the audience (Dre Kirkpatrick). The fact that just the recruiting aspect has gotten so much coverage is crazy to me, but something I do thoroughly enjoy. But after my freshman year in college I started to question the process. Does the number of stars given to an athlete on Rivals really matter? Maybe the sports world has it mixed up. What goes on after the player has chosen a school is more important than everything that happened before the decision.

Exhibit A: Back in 2005 there was a five-star receiver who was labeled the “next Randy Moss”. He was a 6’4”, 190 lbs kid from Tallahassee, Florida. His name was Fred Rouse. Fred attempted to be the first player to jump from high school straight into the pros. Well, we all know that never happened, so he decided to attend Florida State University. One year later he was kicked off the team for breaking into former teammate, Lorenzo Booker’s apartment before deciding to transfer to UTEP. On March 21st of last year UTEP Head Coach, Mike Price announced that Rouse would not be returning for the ‘08-‘09 season. Now, Rouse has landed at Division 1-FCS Texas Southern University.

Exhibit B: With the 40th pick in the second round, the New Orleans Saints selected Indiana University cornerback, Tracy Porter. Tracy came to IU as a two-star recruit, who was later changed to a three-star by Rivals. Not very heralded out of high school, but while in college he recorded 212 tackles, 16 interceptions and became the first player in school history to return a punt, interception and a fumble for a touchdown in his career. In his rookie season Tracy started five games in the NFL before being sidelined with a wrist injury. But more importantly, Tracy Porter graduated the school he originally committed to with a degree.

So while all the media and analysts begin to look at next years’ crop of big time recruits, I think I will be following the development of players such as Bryce Brown (Miami), Manta Te’o (ND), Jelani Jenkins (UF) among many others. I’m interested to see how each of them handle being a small fish in a big pond and how they grow, not only as players but as people. I will be listening for their names in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chris Brown Is Trippin'

What the hell is Chris Brown thinking? I’ve heard everything you can think of about him allegedly beating up Rihanna. Many people I know have said that she gave him Herpes (eww), I’ve heard that it was a simple argument in the car that escaladed into a terrible fight. It’s been reported that Rihanna has bite marks, bruises and a split lip.

Why the hell would you bite someone? I can’t help but wonder how that was necessary. I also heard that he hit her with an umbrella (-ella, -ella). Maybe she refused to be his Cinderella (listen to the remix).

Now, maybe she did give him “The Herpes” (pronounced herps), as I like to call it, but that gives him no right to put his hands on her. You know, I really thought they would make it. I thought they were going to grow up and be a younger Will and Jada Smith. I doubt that they’d work now, unless they want to be known as the STD version of Ike and Tina Turner. While the gossip columnists and magazines would love this, I’d hate to see these two begin a downward spiral that spawned from their pre-Grammy battle.

I’m rooting for the both of them in this. Chris Brown needs to chill and worry about singing and dancing and get as far away from Rihanna as possible. The same goes for her. I can’t help but wonder if it’s true that she gave him “The Herpes”, as she is such a pretty girl and for her to be tainted by such a nasty STD is just crazy. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this all plays out.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Grammy Picks

I’m sitting in my family room watching the pre-Grammy Awards Red Carpet show on E! and I’m getting excited to see who wins what and, more importantly, what everybody is wearing. If I can, I’m going to post my best and worst dressed tomorrow sometime. But for now, I’m making my picks for some of the categories I care about most. We’ll see how many times I get it right.

Best New Artist: ADELE

Album of the Year: Tha Carter III by Lil’ Wayne

Song of the Year: "Chasing Pavements" by ADELE

Record of the Year: “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: ADELE for “Chasing Pavements”

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: John Mayer for “Say”

Best Dance Recording: “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga and Colby O’Donis

Best Rock Album: Rock n Roll Jesus by Kid Rock

Best R&B Album: The Way I See It by Raphael Saadiq

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: Jazmine Sullivan for “Need U Bad”

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: Ne-yo for “Miss Independent”

Best R&B Song: “Miss Independent” by Ne-yo

Best Rap Album: Tha Carter III by Lil’ Wayne

Best Rap Solo Performance: Lil’ Wayne for “A Milli”

Best Rap Song: “Lollipop” by Lil’ Wayne

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Benjamin Button Could Change Your Life

Just saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with my girlfriend and I must say that it’s one of my favorite movies and one of the best I’ve ever seen. It didn’t win any Golden Globes and I’m not sure why.

I could talk about the details of the movie and how great the acting was but that’s not why it’s one of my favorites. The movie made me think about my family and all of my loved ones. I thought about the people who affect our lives and what they mean to us, or what we mean to them. Who have we impacted and why? What would people say about you? I specifically thought about my parents and how they’re aging. They’re not really old (my dad will be 55 this year, while my mom is 52) but it’s not often when you think about your parents growing older. You just see them as mom and dad. Thinking about this made me tear up.

In the movie, Benjamin sees many loved ones pass away and has many people who leave and come back into his life. This is truly how life is. There are people who affect our lives greatly but we, somehow, won’t even remember the most important things about them. Like the woman who taught Benjamin how to play the piano. He couldn’t even remember her name, but he knew she had impacted his life. I can relate to this.

Benjamin met many interesting characters throughout his life. Some were comical, some more serious, some made him who he was. Think about those people in your life. Tell them how much they mean to you. These are the people you’ll never forget. They provide experiences, opportunities and love. It was said in the movie that we are defined by the opportunities we have. That is true and we are also defined by the decisions we make, which is what we do with our opportunities.

As Benjamin grew younger everyone else grew older, including the love of his life. This was hard to see, as I knew they’d never be a normal couple. He’d have to watch her fade away, while he grew into a young man. Think about the one you love. You may not be growing younger, but one day we will fade away. You want to be able to say that you took nothing for granted. This goes for the love of your life as well as everyone you encounter. Make an impact. Show some love. I’ve realized that I’m not the nicest person in the world, but this movie makes me want to be a better person.

I recommend this movie to everyone. It’ll make you think about your life, your loved ones and what this life means to you. You’ll want to pay attention to others more, including people you don’t know. For example, this movie makes me want to go sit and have conversation with an elderly man to hear his stories and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

The lives we live are gifts. We need to maximize our gifts and live life to the fullest. And, in the mean time, allow others to make a difference in our lives while we make differences in theirs.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Apparel Watch...Italian Chino Suit

Go to your local menswear store and ask for a khaki suit. It’s very likely that they’ll bring out something in light brown or some type of olive color. That’s not what a young man needs to be a true fashion rebel this spring. A khaki suit should be, well, khaki. This cotton Italian chino suit from J. Crew is just that. I first saw it in GQ Magazine and fell in love with it. I plan on buying this suit or one similar to it for the spring and early fall months when the weather says “wear what you want.” The suit will run you $386 dollars but it's worth it.

The suit is slim, chic and manly. It’ll make you stand out wherever you go. I’m envisioning this suit with a light blue shirt, navy tie and a pair of loafers. Though, it would go with much more than that. Here are the details:

Blazer: Smooth cotton twill woven in Italy. Our classic cut, destined to be a wardrobe essential. Felt under collar. Two-button closure. Flap pockets, interior pockets. Nonfunctional buttons at cuffs. Center back vent. Fully lined. Import. Dry clean. Catalog/ only.

Pants: Smooth cotton twill woven in Italy. Silk-tie stripe piping at interior waistband. Zip fly. Off-seam pockets, back pockets. Half lined. Import. Dry clean. Catalog/ only. Traditional trouser fit, straight through hip and thigh, with a straight leg.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Signing Day Smack Talk...You Go, Lane Kiffin

Don’t hate on Lane Kiffin for being who he is. The new brash, young head coach of the University of Tennessee football team has done a fine job ruffling a few feathers around the SEC since he was hired at the end of last season.

I was actually excited to see the Volunteers hire Kiffin, as I believe he will be a great fit for them despite whatever happened between him and Al Davis while he struggled coaching the Oakland Raiders. He’s a disciple and he knows how to get things going by invigorating the Volunteer nation. On the day he was introduced as the Vols head coach, Kiffin said he was most looking forward to “singing Rocky Top all night long” after beating Florida next season.

It was a typical statement to make at a football hiring press conference, but little did we know that Kiffin was just getting started. Kiffin, then attempted to lure Florida assistant coaches, Billy Gonzales to Tennessee while the Gators were preparing for the BCS National Championship game.

Kiffin bothered Alabama head coach, Nick Saban by hiring Lance Thompson from Saban’s staff two weeks before signing date. In retaliation, Saban ordered Alabama recruits not to take any visits to Tennessee.

Kiffin didn’t stop there. He got under the visor of Steve Spurrier when he hired Spurrier’s brother-in-law and battled him in the press with comments about recruiting. Speaking of recruiting, on signing day Kiffin lured two players, who were previously committed to Florida, to Tennessee, including wide receiver prospect, Nu’Keese Richardson. Today Kiffin claimed that Urban Meyer violated NCAA recruiting rules during the recruitment of Richardson. Kiffin had this to say at a recruiting banquet:

“I’m gonna turn Florida in right here in front of you. While Nu’Keese was on campus, his phone kept ringing. One of the caches says, ‘Who’s that?’ And he said, ‘Urban Meyer’. I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn’t get him.”
Someone should’ve told him that calling recruits while they’re on another campus is legal. But that’s okay. I applaud coach Kiffin for being so brash and bold. He has made a statement by coming out swinging, throwing hey-makers at the big dogs in the SEC. I’m not even sure if he knows what he’s getting himself into but I still like him for doing it.

Next season the Vols play, both Florida and Alabama away, while they’ll face South Carolina in Knoxville. I’m not sure what the season will hold for Kiffin and his Vols, as I’ll be busy with my own season, but we can rest assure that they won’t be short on confidence. Despite their 6-6 season – including losses to all three of Kiffin’s targets this offseason – having confidence is just the place to start a road to success. I’m looking forward to seeing how his team does. Who knows, maybe us Hoosiers will meet them in the Outback Bowl.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

According To Kurz...The Super Bowl - 10 Things I Liked, 10 Things I Didn't Like

After two weeks of build-up for Americas greatest game, here are the 10 things I liked, and the 10 things I didn’t like about this years Superbowl.

10 I things I liked:
1) Mike Tomlin is a great coach, and is the pioneer for a new generation of much younger professional coaches. In his second year he has as many Lombardi’s as Bill Cowher did in his 15 year run.

2) I really enjoyed NBC’s pregame show - which lasted five hours - especially when Bill Belichick broke down the film of each teams offense and defense. I found it very interesting to almost look through the eyes of one of football’s geniuses.

3) Bruce Smith, Rod Woodson, Derrick Thomas, Randall McDaniel, Bob Hayes, and owner, Ralph Wilson all deserved to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. The effects of each of these individuals can be felt in the NFL to this day.

4) I was pleasantly surprised that President Barrack Obama actually chose a team to win the game, and was openly rooting for the Steelers. In years past, President Bush did a nice job of riding the fence before the game.

5) Kurt Warner is actually a family friend and I was happy to see him starting in the Super Bowl. I don’t know if there’s any other player that has gone from Super Bowl MVP to searching for a backup role to back on top, starting in the big game.

6) The Rooney family has always done an excellent job of running the Steelers franchise. They, now, hold the record for winning the most Lombardi Trophies with six, and they deserve every one of them.

7) Animal Planet’s alternative to the game, Puppybowl 5, was just as hilarious as it has been every year. The kittens at half-time stole the show.

8) Those E-Trade commercials with the baby talking stocks are still funny, and they keep getting funnier. I can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever see that baby at the Oscars 15 years from now.

9) Cardinal safety Adrian Wilson has always been a diamond in the rough out in Phoenix. I was happy he finally got some exposure. He played hard and tough the entire game, despite a losing effort.

10) I don’t feel this year’s game was better than last, but it’s a tough choice. There was a moment where I thought the game could have gotten out of reach for the Cardinals, but the game was exciting and had me on the edge of my seat.

10 b) Only 2 months until the NFL DRAFT!

10 Things I didn’t like:

1) The media over analyzing the Boldin and Todd Haley spat on the sideline of the NFC championship. Stuff like this happens a lot more than people know about, players and coaches want to win and sometime emotions flare.

2) The Chicago Bears weren’t playing this year…next year is our year!

3) The pre-game was good, I enjoyed Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren and others, but Matt Millen? The guy that put together possibly the worst team in NFL history is one of the last opinions I want. I have a feeling if the Lions had not fired him, we could see them trading up to the number 1 overall pick to select Michael Crabtree.

4) No trash talk? No arrests? No prostitutes? Superbowl week was too quiet this year. It’s almost as if players are getting Commissioner Roger Goodels message.

5) I am still not in favor of the media voting for the Hall of Fame. I think players and coaches and current members should vote. If this were the case I have a hunch Chris Carter and Shannon Sharpe both may have not been left out.

6) Despite a few gems, again the commercials were not all that funny or creative, very disappointing.

7) James Harrison played hard and almost un-blockable showing why he won Defensive Player of the Year, but his cheap shots late in the game on a defenseless Cardinals player was disheartening to see.

8) Kurt Warner’s “fumble” at the end of the game was not reviewed very long. The more and more I see the replay, the more I think it was an incomplete pass. If it was ruled just that, and on top of the personal foul the Steelers received, the Cardinals would have had the ball at the Steelers 30 yard line. But I guess we’ll never know.

9) I respect and enjoy watching Troy Polamalu play, but he missed way too many tackles that night. He put his head down and didn’t wrap up on many occasions, very un-characteristic for the ball-hawking safety.

10) Football is over…college spring ball couldn’t be here soon enough.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Career Fair Wear

Last weekend I attended a career fair at Franklin College.

Before I arrived, I wondered what everyone would be wearing and if I was over dressed.

I wore a gray three-piece suit by Alfani that I bought from Macy’s about two months ago. I also wore a white Kenneth Cole Reaction shirt with a silk, black tie and topped it off with sleek, black shoes by Apt. 9. I would’ve added a black or white pocket square, but I accidentally forgot it at my apartment.

Now, this suit might have been just another suit if I had not gotten it tailored the week before.

I took it to Wade’s Tailoring, which is in the back of Andrew Davis Menswear, located on Kirkwood Ave. between Walnut and College St. Wade is a third-generation Italian tailor, who pays close attention to the slim detailing of men’s suits.

My grey three-piece did not fit me badly, but I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted to stand out, but not just that day. I wanted to stand out every day I wear that suit or any suit for that matter. If you’re going to be a fashionista, attention to detail and fit is key.

I had Wade shorten the sleeves, make the shoulders of the suit fit more naturally with my actual shoulders (most suits have more of a boxy shoulder, making you look wide) and bring the middle of the suit in, making it slim and more snug in to show off my physique.

I was more than pleased.

One might think having a suit that fits perfectly might be a no-no for future use, but I will never get much bigger than I am right now. I’m going to be a strong physical fitness participant my entire life. However, if your body does change over the years, you can always get work done to make it fit appropriately. Though, be aware that it’s much harder to make the suit bigger than it is to shrink it.

Once at the career fair, my confidence was a 12 on a scale from one to 10. Not only did I feel and look great, but I could also notice other students looking at me. I received compliments from the potential employers saying they loved my look.

I also saw numerous examples of how not to dress in front of potential employers.

1. I saw the dreaded “overgrown” suit, where a young man looked like he had borrowed the suit from his dad or bought it two sizes too big. Poor guy.

2. One guy there wore a white, button-down shirt with the top button buttoned (follow me?). It gets worse—with no tie! I thought to myself, “Come on, man. There’s no way in hell he could have thought that looked good.” I’m not hating; maybe he loved it. But it made me wish I had brought an extra tie.

3. There was a girl there with pants that were way too long and another with a shirt that was much too short, showing her belly. No one needed to see that.

The bottom line is: if you’re going to a career fair or an interview of some sort, make sure you pay close attention to what you’re wearing.

Pick out your clothes in advance and pay close attention to detail and fit. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money to get your clothes tailored. Show off your strong points in your clothes just as you would when selling your skills to someone. It’s probably just as important.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Immediate Thoughts on the Super Bowl...Steelers 27 Cardinals 23

First of all, that game was one of the best games I've ever seen. This is how a Super Bowl should be. I loved the fact that the Arizona Cardinals made it there and it was no surprise to me that the Steelers represented the AFC. I was rooting for the Cardinals, but I've got to give it up to the Steelers. Especially to head coach, Mike Tomlin for becoming the second black coach and the youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl.

Also, congratulations to Santonio Holmes. This is definitely a dream come true for him. He is from Belle Glade, Florida and I can't imagine how he must feel right now, earning the Super Bowl MVP in his home state. I actually would've given the MVP to James Harrison. I mean the guy did have a 100 yard interception return for a touchdown. But it's okay.

I got together with some of my teammates to watch the game and I have to say that I thought the game was over when Larry Fitzgerald scored a touchdown late in the 4th quarter. I got up out of my seat, yelled in excitement and high stepped all over the room. I should've known better.

Larry Fitzgerald came up big just like I thought he would. The guy catches everything even when he's not open. But I do think the Cardinals took to long to get him the ball in the first half. Also, great game by Steve Breaston and Kurt Warner in a losing effort. They didn't deserve to lose, but someone got to.

I was surprised by how big of a role penalties played in this game. A holding call by on the Steelers caused a safety that changed the game. The Cardinals offensive tackles had trouble blocking James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley all night, causing them to resort to lots of holding.

I failed myself by not DVR-ing this game because its worth another viewing. Like I mentioned earlier, it was definitely one of the best games I've seen. I have to put it in my top ten, probably top five.