Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vacation Vixen: Mary-Louise Parker

In the immortal words of The Go-Go’s, vacation – all I ever wanted; vacation – had to get away. Yes, kittens, I’m embarking on a mini-vacation. How mini? Well, I’ll be back with fresh, full posts on Monday. Short as it may be, I’m still greatly looking forward to my wee break. As poor, inadequately-proportioned men like to say, size doesn’t matter, honey. While I’m away I will continue posting Vacation Vixens. Just because I’m lounging around sipping from drinks with tiny umbrellas doesn’t mean you have to be deprived of The Hot. (You can even click any of the images to enlarge The Hot.) So please join me and the luscious Ms. Parker in kicking off your shoes. It’s vacation, after all.

p.s. If you just can’t get enough (heavens, you want more?), I will still be tweeting throughout my break. Can’t…cut…cord. Must…still…communicate. See, I do need a vacation. Follow my (I can’t promise it’ll be creative) loafing at @dorothysnarker.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Doctor in the “House”

Lisa Edelstein - FHM1

Have I mentioned that I love France? First French Elle gives us some of the world's most beautiful women au naturelle. Now French FHM gives us Lisa Edelstein au hottness. Now normally me and my women's studies minor would frown in righteous scowly disapproval at all things FHM. The lad mags are just so damn laddy. But I will happily make an exception in this case. I've always had a thing for Lisa. Maybe it was that she was involved in the first real, non-experimenting lesbian kiss on American primetime television. Or maybe it's those snug little skirts Cuddy always wears on “House.” Or maybe it's that she knows how to work a stripper pole like a pro. Regardless, she's all kinds of sexy.

Did I mention Lisa is almost 43? Yeah, France, check your mailbox. My thank you fruit basket should be arriving any day now.

Lisa Edelstein - FHM2
[Click any to enlarge the hot. Scans via Cuddlestein]

Monday, April 27, 2009

And then there's Bea

Oh, Bea. Where would we be without you? Where would all the big, bold, brassy broads of the world be without Bea? From “Mame” to “Maude” to Dorothy, Bea Arthur was funny, feminist and fantastic. Whether with a simple look, a perfectly-timed zinger or full-on verbal machete attack, Bea did not suffer fools, but rather sliced and diced them down to size. That she was hilarious was one thing, that she was inspiring was altogether another. She gave countless girls permission to be smart and opinionated, funny and brash. Her shows, “Maude” and “The Golden Girls,” touched on everything from abortion to homosexuality, divorce to ageism, sexuality and – most important of all – female friendship. Which is also why so many of us took her passing this weekend so personally. We grew up with her, we looked up to her. She was always there to help show us the way. Bea knew who she was and was comfortable in her own skin. As she once told an interviewer: “Look – I'm 5-feet-9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line. What can I do about it? I can't stay home waiting for something different. I think it's a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting.” So thank you, Bea. Thank you for being yourself and – of course – a friend.

The Best of Dorothy

The Most Feminist Theme Song of All Time

What'll We Do Without Her?

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Weekend Crush

Given recent revelation about my penchant for no-nonsense blondes with guns, it’s only natural that my obsession would culminate with a nice, steamy slow dance to the tune of Agent Sarah Walker. Stoic, yet caring. Kick-ass, yet conscientious. Sweet, yet steely. She is the reason I finally gave in to the allure of “Chuck” and found myself forever converted to the Nerd Herd. I won’t lie, it also helps that Yvonne Strahovski is quite possibly the dictionary definition of a hottie. And if you think she is good when she is portraying an undercover American CIA agent, for the love of all that is good please listen to her as she unleashes her native Australia accent. Oh, and did I mention while hearing her Australian accent you can also see Yvonne in hotpants and a bikini? Yeah, you’re going to want to click play immediately.

[Hat tip, Ingrid!]

That “Chuck” is on the bubble for renewal or cancellation is one of those great injustices of television. A show this fun and smart, action-packed and laugh-heavy deserves to fight on for another season. Plus any show that keeps The StraHOTski coming into my living room every week is a very, very good thing. So, please, won’t you join me on Monday in watching the season finale with your Subway footlong. Save Chuck, TV gods. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

White hot

I wish for many things. World peace. The cure for cancer. An end to global warming. To age like Helen Mirren. What? That last one is altruistic if you consider beauty to be a public service. I mean it, hubba hubba. Seeing the spectacularly saucy dame in all her unPhotoshopped, unairbrushed, unaltered 63-year-old glory at the “State of Play” London premiere this week reminded me that you are only as old as you feel. Hell, and as long as we’re wishing for things here, can my – um – girls look that fantastic when I’m 60, too? Pretty please?

Helen Mirren

Seriously, one look at those and you know Russell Crowe had something absolutely filthy to whisper in Helen’s ear. You know, like this.

See, I told you, absolutely filthy.

p.s. Never mind Russell, is it physically possible to be jealous of a coat?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fringe on top

So, I've decided to start watching “Fringe” again. Yes, I know, there are only three more episode left. Yes, I know, I've got about half a dozen to catch up on. Yes, I know, the show isn't guaranteed renewal for a second season. Basically, I really dig Anna Torv. Oh, and the weird science. But mostly Anna Torv. Yes, I've Weekend Crushed her before. Yes, my reasons were multi-fold. Yes, she looks like Cate Blanchett's little sister. Basically, I really dig when Anna Torv kisses other chicks.

Case in point, last night's episode. [Oh, right, spoilers if you haven't watched yet. p.s. Edited to add clip at the end.]

Hello, hottie stripper hook-up. OK, sure, so her rendezvous with the Mila Kunis look-alike really only showed us one kiss. OK, sure, it ended with a very unfortunate case of Lesbian After-Sex Bed Death. OK, sure, it wasn't really her, but her dreaming herself into the emotions of her former child scientific guinea pig partner. It was still pretty freaking hot for about 1 minute. If you just stop when the girl breaks the glass, you can live a happy life thinking they ended up together with Anna walking around the house in a black tank top and her lady friend in hotpants. I'm also totally ignoring the fact that Anna married co-star Mark Valley (Agent John Scott) in real life. What? It's my fantasy and I can do what I want. I'm a blogging reverse empath, you know, in my mind.

Of course, the episode wasn't just about the kiss (or the lovely happy moment Olivia had in her head – “Oh.” “Oh.” “Oh.”) It had quite the twisty, turny reveal. Olivia was experimented on as a child by Walter? Holy, X-Files, someone tell Mulder. Wait, crap, wrong show. What I enjoy most about “Fringe” is, well, duh Anna and her tough yet thoughtful, calm yet open portrayal of Agent Dunham. (What is it with pretty blonde agents with a penchant for ponytails? Oh, hi, Agent Sarah Walker.) I really like Walter (John Noble) and all his eccentricisms, too. Pacey Joshua Jackson is still not my favorite. But, hey, the show also employs a real, live, totally out lesbian in assistant Astrid (Jasika Nicole).

Dream lesbians. Real lesbians. Mad scientists. Hot Australians. Seriously, why did I stop watching again?

EDIT: Good God, watch (rewatch, rewatch, rewatch) the clip! [Hat tip, Anna!]

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tank Top Tuesday

Last outing, we went with the black and white plain white tank. Today, I think we need it in living color. The contrast of the white tank top against soft skin is perfection, plain and simple. Add some plain white panties to that, like Ms. January Jones above and you'll think you've died and gone to lesbotopia. And the combination works with any complexion, any hair color, any you name it. It just works, period. Need proof? Just want to see proof anyway? Well, here you go. The United Colors of White Tank Tops. Kumbaya, anyone?

Kristen StewartGillian AndersonZhang ZiyiBridget MonahanEva MendesLiv TylerRosario DawsonPadma LakshmiKate Winslet

Monday, April 20, 2009

What dreams may come

[Warning: Extremely awesome “30 Rock” spoilers ahead.]

This will be a good week. This will be an excellent week. This may be the most excellent week in the history of weeks. This is the week that Salma Hayek kisses Tina Fey. Oh, yeah, you read that right. Salma. Tina. Lips. Touching. That loud splat you just heard was my head exploding. And guess what, you don't even have to wait. You can watch it now. Right now. In the immortal words of Salt-N-Pepa, “Push it, push it real good!” It, of course, being the play button.

Seriously, sometimes I think Tina must read my blog. Or, possibly, she is inside my head. How else could she make all of my naughty, naughty dreams come true. What? That clip was too fast for you? How about a recap?

And, scene:
Dear Thursday: Hurry the hell up. Love, Ms. Snarker

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Weekend Crush

If you somehow haven’t yet watched the video of Susan Boyle that has been making the rounds all week, I want you to stop reading right now and click play. My words can wait and I don’t want to spoil the experience for you. I mean it: watch, then read. OK, are you done? Are you crying? I totally did. I’ve watched it more than a dozen times now and each time it makes me smile from a deep and involuntary place in my heart. It’s not just her talent, which is considerable, but her dream that makes watching this clip of her “Britain’s Got Talent” audition so viscerally moving. Our ability to dream, to strive, to hope against hopes for a seemingly impossible goal is one of both our most magnificent and at times most tragic traits as humans.

When we look at Susan Boyle, we have instant expectations. She is a 47-year-old unemployed, unmarried, unkissed Scottish woman who lives alone with her cat Pebbles. Her bushy eyebrows, her frizzy hair, her double chin. She sure doesn’t look like a superstar. So when she says, quite earnestly, that her dream is “to be a professional singer” the audience laughs. We laugh. She is too old, too frumpy, too everything to possibly make it. We’re almost embarrassed for her. Poor dear and her big dreams. But then, then come those first few sublime notes. And then no one is laughing, just cheering.

The package is not the person. Talent doesn’t have to look a certain way, it just is. Society has conditioned us to believe that only the pretty, the perfect, the polished can rise to the top. We’ve fooled ourselves into thinking our eyes can tell us what our brains should discover. So we dismiss a person like middle-aged, pleasantly-plump, decidedly-unhip Susan Boyle almost automatically. We are a judgmental lot, us humans. But that she has become a full-blown internet sensation with 17 million views and counting of the original YouTube clip is a testament to one of our better human traits: our love for the underdog.

Of course, the cynics are already out. As the newspaper features and television appearances began to pile up (hello, even Oprah has come calling), so do the naysayers. She is not that great. She is a fraud. Seriously, what’s the big deal? I find it interesting that a lot of the critics seem to be men. Now this is just a theory, but I think maybe women react more emotionally to her story. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure she has countless male champions. But as women, we live everyday with constant, almost crushing judgment based on our looks. It’s in the cat calls you hear while walking down the sidewalk and the up-and-down you get while stepping to any counter. It’s at work, at the store, in the pub, even looking back at us from our own mirrors. So Susan reminds us that our abilities and our appearance really have nothing to do with each other.

She is also a reminder that we all of us deserve a shot to shine. Her plight is like so many of ours. “I’ve never been given a chance before but here’s hoping it will change.” It’s never foolish to dream. It’s only foolish to not give people a chance to live that dream. Thank you, Susan Boyle. Dream big, world. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

La beauté vérité

Monica Bellucci - Elle France 2009

I've said it once and I'll say it a thousand times: Photoshop is destroying our perception of beauty. Sure, we all want to look better and it's perfectly natural to want to hide your flaws. But what passes as beauty these days is essentially make believe. The message that sends to women, young and old, is one of constant failure. We want to look like the women in the glossy magazines, but even those women don't look like themselves. So, really, what hope is there?

Eva Herzigova - Elle France 2009

Well, for once, glossy magazines are coming to our rescue. Elle France has released a “Stars Without Makeup” editions featuring unadorned, unaltered European female stars. No (well, very little) makeup. No Photoshop. No retouching. The results are amazing. The three alternate covers featuring Monica Bellucci, Eva Herzigova and Sophie Marceau are portraits in beauty – real beauty. The kind of beauty you see when a woman wakes up in the warm morning light or comes out of the shower fresh and smelling only of skin. You know, the good stuff.

 Sophie Marceau - Elle France 2009

Sure, let's not kid ourselves, these women are all ridiculously gorgeous to begin with. So they're working with a definite advantage already. But this celebration of women and, even if only for one issue, recognition of the artificial beauty trap we find ourselves in is refreshing. Besides the cover models, the issue also includes pictures of Charlotte Rampling, Inès de la Fressange, Anne Parillaud, Karin Viard and Chiara Mastroianni shot by Peter Lindbergh. Good God, I'm so excited to see Charlotte Rampling's portrait I might just buy a ticket to France and so I can pick up a copy of the magazine myself.

To love women is to love the sum of her parts, all of them – even the imperfect ones. That we've come to a point where it's brave or shocking or daring even to show women looking natural is a sad commentary on culture. It's not brave or shocking or daring. It's what women look like – beautiful.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Femmethology Tour Stop

I don't talk too much about butch/femme identities here. In part this is because I happily cede the floor to the experts when it comes to serious discussions of gender and sexuality. But it's also in part because I tend to straddle what is traditionally thought of as those worlds. I consider myself to be basically femme with decidedly butch undertones. I've always had and love my long hair and embrace my feminine features. But I also wear very little makeup and never wear dressed. Seriously, never. So, hmm, where does that put me?

Well, today it put me in the privileged position of hosting a day of the month-long Femmethology Virtual Tour. The tour promotes “Visible: A Femmethology,” a two-volume anthology devoted to femme identity which was released by Homofactus Press this March. While – make no mistake – it is about queer femmes, it celebrates the delicious diversity within that self-identity. More than 50 contributors are included in the anthology who help challenge and answer the question: What is femme? Along the way their essays touch on everything sexism and racism, class and disabilities, trans and bi-phobias. Interesting stuff.

The collection challenge those preconceived notions that want to box us in – sometimes even within our own community. It's also a reminder that we're the ones who get to decide what boxes we check and don't check. And, even those don't truly define our entirety. We are what we say we are, how we feel, what we believe.

The tour started April 1 at the always sexy Sugarbutch Chronicles and continues on through the end of the month. So, if you're interested, give it a look-see. And if you're fascinated, buy yourself a copy or two.

The Femmethology Virtual Tour:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Naked Allure

I will always love naked ladies. Come one, no brainer. And naked Padma? I am her cheeseburger of love. But – and it almost pains me to say this – this year's Allure The Naked Truth photoshoot leaves me a little cold. Make no mistake, I love the subject matter. Padma Lakshmi, Eliza Dushku, Chelsea Handler and two women I've never heard of but look great in their birthday suits (Lynn Collins and Sharon Leal). Yay, nakedness, yay!

Eliza Dushku - Allure

But for a series that claims to be about naked truths, Allure sure spent a lot of time Photoshopping all semblance of truthfulness or sensual nakedness out of the pictures. The photos are, of course, tasteful. And I wouldn't want it any other way. Naked doesn't have to mean tawdry. But these are so extremely airbrushed and expertly lit that what is so sexy about the female body – namely its raw curves and gentle imperfections – seems to be missing. [Click any and all to enlarge]

For real sizzle, you need to read the ladies' accompanying interviews.

Like what does Padma wear to bed:

“I tend to sleep in the nude. I'm an innately tactile person and a very sensual-leaning woman. You have to use the word 'leaning' or it sounds like I'm boasting! When I'm in my own private space, I do spend time with very little on.”

Or why it's important to knock before entering Eliza's trailer:

“I'll strip down to my underwear and my Ugg boots when I eat lunch in my trailer.”

I'm getting a mental picture. I'm getting mental picture. And...I'm back.

But when it comes to the real pictures the ladies look too great, almost inhuman. Now I know folks were troubled by Dara Torres' Got Milk? Photoshopping last week. And while I agree that she was buffed and polished to a high gloss, I think all best bits were still 100 percent her. But here, while I have no doubt that these ladies all look otherworldly without their clothes, they might as well be wax figures. So how, then, is this supposed to make me feel better about my body as it's supposed mission statement proclaims? I don't have an army of makeup artists, lighting specialists and Photoshop whizzes ready to turn me into a glowing goddess.

Can we get just a little realism with our nakedness, please? Allure's naked photos haven't always been so plasticine perfect. But in the last few years the women have looked less womanly and more mannequinely. Fine, so that isn't a word but my body is having a hard time computing my brain's criticism of naked pictures – any naked pictures – of beautiful women. It keeps screaming something like, “Shut up, conscience. They're naked. They're ladies. What's not to like?” OK, fine. I think I'm going to let my body win this one now and shut the hell up. Did I mention Padma is naked? Mmm, naked Padma, mmm.

p.s. Almost forgot the hat tips: Thanks Virgotex, ThinkArt, Beth, Valerie, TJ!

Monday, April 13, 2009

State of grace

Mondays often lack a certain grace. You're cranky. You're stressed. You're harboring lingering resentments from the weekend. (cough, Amazon fail, cough, gay glitch, cough) Quite frankly, you'd rather be sleeping. So what better way to ease into another work week than with a moment of grace? No, not the kind of grace that goes “rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub” or any of its more eloquent variants. This is grace in the form of Summer Glau as shot by Tyler Shields and accompanied by the music of Cat Power. Fuck that plastic bag from “American Beauty,” this may be one of the most beautiful things ever filmed. And it's a reminder that no matter what life throws at you, you can always stop to appreciate a simple act of grace.

[See it in hi-res by clicking HQ here, it's well worth the click]

Getting to appreciate Summer and all her bendy goodness, well, that's just a bonus.

Wait, did I mention Summer was classically trained as a ballerina until an injury forced her from the profession?

Seriously, if you can even look graceful while all shot to hell, then that's almost unfair.

Even though I've only watched “Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles” on-and-off this past season, I hope against hope that last Friday's finale isn't the final one. Grace like Summer need to be on my TV. And, of course, that goes for Lena, too. Now, if I could find a picture of her in a leotard doing the splits, then this would officially qualify as the best Monday ever.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Weekend Crush

Oh, Erin Daniels. Seeing you last night on “CSI” reminded me just how much I miss seeing you on my TV every week. In fact, it inspired me to partake in another epic YouTube timesuck of Dana clips. And, dammit, if I didn't smile and giggle and even clap my hands with glee. So. Fucking. Cute. Erin is that most rare combination of stunning and silly. She is, hands down, gorgeous. But what makes her special is that endearing goofiness. Pretty much, she had me at “crispay.” Beneath the beauty is an adorable awkwardness and vulnerable openness that makes her utterly relatable, not to mention entirely huggable. She makes it impossible to not root for her. And root I do. Each time she pops up again on my TV – from “Dexter” to “CSI: NY” and “Saving Grace” to “Swingtown” – I feel like cheering. Plus, no one dorky dances like Dana Fairbanks. No one. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Lap it up

Dara Torres - Got Milk?

Dear Milk,

Why do you taunt me so? You know I can't drink you. You know you cause untold pain to my gastrointestinal system. You know cookies will forever be lonely at my house. But now, now you've gone and done it. Now you've made me want to run out to the grocery store and buy a damn gallon of you. Or, more precisely, a six pack. What, you doesn't come in six packs? Well, I must have been thinking of something else. Gosh, but I couldn't think what. Hmmm, this is a stumper. Well, never mind. Though, suddenly I'm terribly, terribly thirsty.

Ms. Snarker

[Hat tip, Mallory!]

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

SGALGG: First Lady Edition

Oh, hell, why not bring back all the old favorites this week? Though, out of respect for the subject matter today I guess I should rename today's post Straight First Lady of the United States Acting Like a Gay First Lady of the United States. You know, SFLOTUSALGFLOTUS. Wow, that acronym needs its own zip code. Watching First Lady Michelle Obama and her husband take the globe by storm this past week has been a true pleasure, and not just for the lovely, lovely photo ops. While I still stand by my earlier assessment, I'm more than happy to compare and contrast in the name of international relations. [Hat tip, Virgotex!] And while we're on the subject of relations, I greatly approve of the European tradition of greeting with a kiss. Greatly.

Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-SarkozyMake love, not war, illustrated.

Michelle totally looks like she's picking Carla up for a date.

Among the many, many reasons more women should be world leaders: international summits would look like this.

Michelle Obama and Hillary ClintonI can't be the only one screaming “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” at my screen right now.

Besides holding hands, Michelle and Hillary enjoy walking on the beach, watching sunsets and working on education policy reform.

Michelle Obama and Queen Elizabeth IIWhen even the Queen can't resist a little snuggle, you know your first lady is hot.