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Be still, my heart

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(Yeah, clearly I have A Type: dark and handsome. Those hairless, overmuscled dudes look too much like that weird cat that Rachel on Friends had for two-thirds of an episode.)

(Mad Men 4-eva!!!)

Project Runway: some scattered thoughts on the season thus far

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There are relatively few people that instantly bothered me, but here are my annoyances:

  • Jason the Bowler Hat Guy: enough already. You wear a creepy headpiece, and constantly insist you’re straight. Look, we don’t care either way– just stop being a weirdo. You created a completely ridiculous garment, and will not be missed. (And skipping out on the opportunity for Tim to say, “Bonne chance”? You are awful.)
  • Mondo: stop complaining about being excluded when you don’t talk to anyone. All that skulking around isn’t helping anything. [Note: I wrote this before he had his teary confessional moment, and now I feel like a bit of a jerk. Mondo, I’ll be your friend! Just loosen up.]

So far, I’m enjoying Peach, Gretchen, Valerie, and Christopher the most (also, dear lord, I find it sort of precious that Andy brought an airbrush makeup machine). [Post-results: I’m going to miss Nicholas! Even though he made a semi-silly look for this challenge.] I fear that Peach may not be long for the PR world, which is a bummer because she’s an “older” contestant who manages not to be a Marla or Wendy Pepper (and, yes, this most recent dress was a bit of a disaster). Gretchen has proven herself to be a bit of a badass, winning the first and second challenges, and saying that, while she’s a “green” designer, fashion comes first– hopefully this means cool sustainable fabrics rather than burlap-sack capri pants. Oh, and bonus points for using “literally” correctly, especially after someone else (SARAH!) so grossly misused it in the beginning of the episode. [Plus, the “My mom’s going to be so proud!” comment had me all misty. Crying is one of my hobbies, it seems.]

The designers don’t seem completely bent on destroying each other just yet, which is refreshing– it’s nice to see the guys and the girls hanging out and being friends, rather than saying things like, “I’m not here to make friends.” Chill, folks on other reality shows. We know why you’re there.

Oh, and the new 90-minute episode length isn’t as bothersome to me as I thought it would be, at least not yet. Especially here in the beginning, it’s giving the audience a chance to get to know the contestants, but I do worry about what will happen as the season wears on.

Have you been watching? Who do you like so far? Whose auf-ing cannot come soon enough? What other headwear might Jason want to consider?

Shop it to Me Tuesday: Mad Men

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In anticipation of the triumphant return of Mad Men (only five more days to go! I’m watching dvr-ed episodes and remembering how awesome this show is), I’ve decided to theme today’s SitM Tuesday to styles that might fit into the early-60s aesthetic of the show. (Oh, and for a more legitimate fashion review of the looks on the show, check out Project Rungay’s rundown of Mad style.)

First, let’s remember a lesson from Joan: “Men love scarves.” Who am I to argue?


Next in accessories, a fun, graphic black-and-white bangle. Maybe a little chunky for any of the MM ladies, though Jane Sterling might be able to pull it off, or maybe Trudy Campbell, who I like a lot more. (Hello, did you see that Charleston?)

Moving on to potential office-wear, what do we think of this cardigan?


To me, this seems like the quintessential Betty Draper dress, when she’s in her more princessy mode.

Finally, some swimwear— maybe something for Trudy when she’s hanging out with her parents in Rehoboth Beach? (This is probably the item in today’s post that I’m most fond of, mostly because of the halter and interesting embellishment.)

All right, friends– who else is looking forward to the return of Mad Men? Whose Mad Men style do you most want to borrow?

Project Runway: "Run for Cover" recap-ish

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So, okay, this started out as a recap and quickly devolved into me making notes and comments. I’ll divide my thoughts and unrequited crushes from actual commentary on the show…you’re welcome.

Episode-specific commentary
I get that Project runway has to show off its sponsors and affiliates and all, but come on– it’s the fifth challenge and you’re doing two back-to-back? Campbell’s was more egregious, but the editor of Marie Claire (who looks a bit like Tilda Swinton, don’t you think?) is a bit much as well.

Other shows might do well to show off their also-rans, given that they are sometimes more popular than the actual winners (I’m looking at you, American Idol). On the other hand, does it diminish the win…? Oh, also, it seems sort of needless to have not-Tilda explain that magazine covers are cropped. None of the designers looks that blown away by this opposite-of-earth-shattering news, which is reassuring (good thing Jesus went home last week, otherwise we’d end up with a sick Tiger Beat look).

What’s the twist? Is Heidi pregnant right now?

Let’s review the things that we know Heidi likes, as evidenced by her judging over the years:

  1. shiny things (season 2 floral challenge)
  2. expensive-looking things (“It looks cheap, no?” Budget for this challenge is $150, which isn’t terrible by PR standards.)
  3. things that make her boobs look good (She always seems very concerned that the models’ breasts look ok. I think this must be because of Victoria’s Secret.)

I wonder how the fittings will work– will Heidi just be traipsing from designer to designer? Oh…so the models are showing the clothes, and Heidi just picks what she thinks will look good on her? This seems less interesting than Heidi actually working as their model, but doesn’t necessitate an extra judge.

Oh, also– do these designers never have to deal with time pressure? I know that 24 hours to complete a piece is extreme, but they must have at least had to work with timelines before.

From the clips of judging before commercials: Janean cries (again!), Michael says they’ve never done something before (what could it be? Kicking off two people at once? I feel like that’s happened before…).

Now for the runway show, pictures from which can be found here (and judging, in italics)…

  • Amy: I’m glad I didn’t have to watch you construct this monstrosity. Heidi can be boho at times, sure, but that print! Jebus. Also, the rosette? Yikes. She does appear to have stuck to the aesthetic she has going on, though, as this looks a bit like her piece for the farm challenge.
  • Seth Aaron: A suit? With what appear to be mutton-chop cleeves? You can’t “guarantee” shit, buddy.
  • Jesse: The new Jesus? I can see that model’s vajay. I do like the basketweave on the bodice.
  • Anna: Maybe you will be one of those girls who is great at making clothes for yourself and for others with your same look (cute and hip and a little Anthro-like, but pretty straight-up-and-down rather than curvy), but I can’t see you being a mass-market designer. Nina thinks it’s shapeless, not-Tilda uses the phrase “slightly nauseous,” Michael thinks it looks too young for Marie Claire, Heidi thinks it’s well-made but doesn’t push the envelope.
  • Anthony: I don’t love it, but it might look pretty cool on a magazine cover. The color really pops, but we’ll see what the judges say. Heidi grins at him and says it makes the model’s body look beautiful, Michael declares the costume drama over (yay, Anthony!), Nina likes it and Anthony is proud to have won some praise from her, not-Tilda loves the color.
  • Janeane: At least you don’t suffer from the hubris that some of the other designers seem to. The skirt looks a little stiff, and the little cap sleeves/sleeveless bolero thing? Not a fan. Michael is not impressed by the “sea” inspiration, Heidi thinks it’s not fashion-forward, not-Tilda calls it a “polluted sea” (damn, girl), and Nina comments that it looks bridal. (After Janeane voiced the same concern as she was sewing! Follow your instincts, designers!)
  • Mila: Of course you love your dress. Those colors are going to wash Heidi the frick out, though. Michael tells Mila her “peach” looks a little more like “Ace bandage,” Nina notes that the “arrows” are pointing right at the model’s crotch (like in Naked Gun?), not-Tilda harps on the color again.
  • Emilio: Good color choice…but it looks a little like a nightie. I am not convinced by those straps. Michael appreciates that Emilio made the silk jersey look structured, not-Tilda says that it would make for a very strong cover, Nina loves the color but says it feels a little “junior” to her, and Emilio cuts the straps off and makes it all grown-up-looking. Apparently that’s what’s never been done before. Yawn.
  • Jay: WHOA. That, sir, is volume. Crazy, monochromatic volume. This moves well, and I like the one-shoulder, but I feel like it’s the wrong kind of Too Much for a magazine cover.
  • Jonathan: Um. Is that a shirt? And…tap pants? Oh, a romper. Not a fan.
  • Maya: Eh. That front seam looks wonky. Not crazy about the colors.
  • Ben: Loves it! I’m happy he replaced the belt, and the colors are cool. Maybe not for an April issue (it just hit me why there are so many pastels), but this might be my favorite look of the episode. Michael thinks it’s a good choice, Nina thinks it looks very modern and likes the color combo, Heidi likes the back, not-Tilda says it’s a contender. (YAY!)

The winner (does not get immunity): Anthony, who yelps and asks if the judges “are for real.” I want to hug him. Instead, he hugs Emilio on his way off the runway, and everyone seems very excited for his win,
The loser: Anna. Which makes Janeane bawl. Get it together, lady! Anna, who is sweet, appreciates the opportunity and gives a nice little goodbye.
Next week: New models– little girls! I DIE. Also, oh my god, Jesse is going to snap and kill one of them.

Contestant notes
Mila, stop complaining that people didn’t congratulate you on getting second place last time. I know you’re a special snowflake, but come on. You are too old for that shit. Ooh, are you speculating about copying now? Don’t be such a hall monitor. Turns out everyone hates you, and I can’t say that I find anything that compelling to argue against them.

Jay, you are adorable, and appear to have some skillz. You know, apart from the insect-thorax you put your heart disease survivor in last week. Your hair looks fine, trust me. Also, I love your little towel turban! I must confess that Jay and Amy are two of my favorites because they are awesome and are representin’ the Bay Area. Also, chances are slim that there will ever be a contestant from San Jose, so I’ve got to root for whoever is even remotely near.

“Icy color pallette…silver, light blue, and charcoal gray.” Oh, Anna. You are so sweet. But those colors are going to make Heidi look like shit. Also, now is not the time to try to make a crazy amount of pieces. Seventeen minutes in, you are getting the loser’s edit. I’m going to miss you.

“Short but not slutty.” Good idea, Anthony. We do not want any “tootie” showing. I love you for saying that you “wish [Seth Aaron] would stop…” and not being a bitch about it. If only people on reality shows were more like grownups! “Did you smoke anything besides a cigarette when you went outside?” Anthony, can we have lunch sometime? I’ll even buy. Oh, honey– that sketch looks like something that Hollywood Montrose would like. (Can we have a Mannequin reunion, please?)

I like Ben. He could very well sneak into the top 5… “The magenta is looking fuchsia.” Heaven forbid!! “Madame Butterfly on acid” is fine, but I hope that Carefree bubblegum pink doesn’t make it into the final look.

Janeane: figure out your color story before you go shopping! Dude. Also, this “spewing out factor” (thanks, Tim) is going to look sort of strange on Heidi. What is Janeane going to do when Anna is gone? It seems that Anna functions as a sort of touchstone for her, at least in terms of seeing her as a kindred spirit. We need to get Janeane something to smoke outside “other than a cigarette” (thanks, Anthony!)…maybe it’d calm her down.

Jesse seems to be containing his murderous rage pretty well…so far. (We are nine minutes in.)

Seth Aaron is (thankfully) not this season’s Jeffrey Sebelia, but should stop his singing in the workroom before I change my tune. (See what I did there? Yeah, I’m sorry.)

Jonathan, you may actually be a jerk, but at least you are funny about it. (Witness the exchange between him and Anna: “Are you making a dress?” “No, I’m making a spacesuit.”)

Emilio, you are pretty badass– and fairly awesome at following not-Tilda’s advice about putting extra detain above the waist. I hope this works out for you.

Where is Amy? She’s participating in this challenge, right?

Um, does anyone else think that Maya’s look this week is really reminiscent of the look from her partner challenge (with Jay)?

What I’m loving right now…

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This is one of those posts that begins composing itself in one’s head a good two or three weeks before it finally gets posted. Not to say that the quality of the writing is that greatly improved, but it does mean that I really, truly do love these things…

New Sephora acquisitions: I am always so excited to make my final selections after loading my basket with a ton of “maybe” items. When I get home, I find myself tearing open the (pretty, pretty) packaging and using whatever I have purchased. Case in point– went with MaGP when they were in town a couple weeks ago for my shower (which, ok, I am lame and haven’t talked about or posted pictures…but I’m waiting on our photographer to send me the pictures!), and bought a Jurlique sample pack (am totally in love, convinced that I need to buy products that include a nearly-$70 “herbal recovery gel,” oh yes I do) and Laura Mercier Magical Flawless Skin Set (or something like that, seriously, they should let me name their products). Got home and headed straight to the bathroom for face-washing and makeup-putting-on. Pure magic, I tell you.

West Wing. Period. I don’t know where the hell I was when this originally aired (high school? Gah, what was I watching instead of this?), but I am so happy to have it in my life now. We have borrowed seasons 1-4 from one of GP’s friends, and burned right through them. I’m downloading season 5 right now, and…oh my god, you guys, I am in love with AMERICA! And Josh Lyman, and, yeah, a little bit with Will Bailey. But that might just be residual Jeremy-love from my Sports Night watching (another Sorkin show, quite lovely, really. With Peter Krause, so…bonus!).

String cheese. Where have you been all my life, low moisture, part-skim mozzarella? Never leave me, ok? (Remember that time I gave up cheese for Lent, even though I am not the biggest fan of Jebus? Wasn’t that just awful?)

How little time there is until The Wedding. Ha, you thought you’d be able to get through a single post without me mentioning it? You, my friend, are a fool. Because I have only one month and three days left, and I. Am. Ready for this thing. I am tired of making decisions, and already of chasing down the seven delinquent RSVPs, and tired in advance when I think about how ridiculous all the little things that we have to do before we can just Be Married are. But that’s why we do them, right? Because we are convinced that, at the end of the day, it will be worth it. And I know it will.

Um, not to go back to something as silly as television, but I am more than reasonably excited for all my shows to start! I am filling the void with Bravo reality programming (I am more of a fan of old raisin-faced Rachel Zoe than I thought, though I want to throw Taylor straight into a swimming pool, Melrose Place-style) and new Project Runway (my favorite so far? Shirin.), but I have already re-watched the Glee pilot once (and am not above watching it again), and can’t wait for new seasons of 30 Rock and The Office. Too bad we have to wait until January for more Lost…

Twitter! I am so late to the party on this one that it’s a little silly to be so up in arms about it, but…I am. In my boss’s absence, I am co-manning the library’s Twitter account, and let me tell you, organizational Twitter accounts, especially in our field, are fricking boring. Mine, I promise, is much more entertaining. It is much as I thought, very similar to my Facebook status updates, but more conversational. I still can’t believe that there aren’t more younger Twitter users–I believe there was a quote in the NYT article about Twitter where a teenager said that Twitter seemed “more, like, professional,” and I say to this teenager…what? I am sort of living in fear of any potential future employers (who we will assume lack much of a sense of humor, for the sake of argument) discovering my tweets. Professional, my ass.

Also. Get excited, friends! I took GP out for dinner last night to mark a birthday that officially means he is in his Late Twenties, and the blog came up…and he offered to do a guest post. So. Get! Excited! It is likely to be wedding-or-mawwage related, but will be completely different from my constant oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-kill-someone wedding rantiness. Anyone have a question or two for him? I’m sure he will be happy to oblige…

Divorce, marriage…and tv

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I was twelve– nearly thirteen– when my parents divorced. When they sat down with me and my brother on the deck of our house, whatever warm late-summer evening it might have been, telling us that they had decided to end their marriage after seventeen years, I was not surprised. More than anything, I was relieved. I’m sure there was a time when my parents liked each other, probably even loved each other, but that time had since passed, and now my dad had taken to sleeping on the couch. It was upsetting to watch them constantly be at each others’ throats, and worse yet that the arguments managed to continue even after they weren’t even in the same place– there was a lot of under-the-breath commenting in the laundry room, in the car on the way to school, as one watered the lawn and the other, each just wanting out.

I write these things, of course, from the perspective of someone who has lived roughly half of her life with divorced parents. And I will repeat– I was relieved. I knew, even then, that the marriage wasn’t making either of them happy, and that it was beyond the point of being salvaged. I was relieved then and feel pretty lucky now that everything that followed went the way it did: my dad moved out, but never missed an opportunity to be around for me and my brother; my mom eventually remarried a man who makes her happy and truly cares about us, all of us, as a family; my once-broken and now reformed (mutated?) family that includes me, my mom, my dad, my stepdad, my brother, and a stepsister, regularly splits holidays and attends special events together, with no ruffled feathers or raised voices. I am incredibly lucky.

As GP and I move closer and closer to our wedding date, I am thinking more and more about the ideas I was presented about love and marriage growing up: love is a leap of faith, and marriage requires constant attention and nurturing. We are not religious people, GP and I, but we believe in love as if it were a prayer, an altar, a relic. I am not daunted by what my parents went through– I am hopeful that I have learned the lessons available to me on both what to do and what not to do. I will be the wife that I want and need to be…minus the occasional disagreement over taking out the trash (boy chore!) or washing the dishes as a team (just leave me alone, it gets done faster that way!).
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And yes, of course I have to comment on the media-saturated divorce of Jon and Kate (of “Plus Eight” fame). I became a fan within the last year, but loved to watch all! those! cute! kids! Also, sometimes Kate would remind me of my mom, all Type-A and whatnot. It was easy to see how their marriage would be challenging– twins before even a couple years of marriage, and eight children before either of them was thirty would be enough to drive any couple apart. It was hard to watch last night’s “special announcement” (which– come on, there is the internet now, how are we possibly going to be surprised by this news?) episode because, in separate interviews, neither of them took any of the responsibility. “I’m here for the kids,” each said. And me? Well, Jon and Kate, I am here to call bullshit. I would have loved to have seen them at least attempt to talk about their problems together (hey, like grownups!), and am sort of dreading the episode when they tell the kids about it (you know it’s coming! It’s going to be awful!). Did you watch? What did you think?

Michael Phelps is Not Funny

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Yes, friends, fall is upon us. Because there is very little in the way of autumnal coloring in California, one of my favorite parts of fall is new tv! So exciting! And we’re back, with the SNL recapping and our friend Michael Phelps. Before I turn on the Tivo…I have to say, I have been trying really hard to avoid coverage of the Tina-Fey-as-Palin, Amy P.-as-Hillary sketch, because I want to be surprised. We’ll see. Oh, and I have huge, huge doubts as to the hilarity of Michael Phelps, despite his abs that I want to eat brunch off of.

(Note: turns out Tivo didn’t record it—wtf—and I am having to use our DirecTV dvr to watch this. This dvr is le suck.)

We begin with “A Nonpartisan Message from Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Hillary Clinton.” Yay! Tina Fey+Amy Poehler=awesome. I’ve paused it, and “Hillary” looks bored. Can’t wait to hear Tina Fey do that godawful accent, with its flattened and horrific vowels. Also, sexism? Is not the reason we hate you, Sarah Palin. We hate you because you are a Big Fat Idiot. What’s a flirge? Ooh, I would love to see Sarah Palin side-hug Hillary, and watch Hillary punch her in the throat. No, no one else? Ok, it lived up to the play it got on the internets…I am satisfied.

Same cast as last season? Huh. Ok. A couple new featured players, maybe? Nah, just this Bobby guy. And Casey Wilson, whose face I always recognize but whose name always escapes me. Thanks, Don Pardo.

Michael Phelps, monologue. Can I just say, he reminds me a lot of my younger brother? About the same age, kinda tall and goofy… But I am still willing to bet the bro-ham is funnier. Yes, Michael Phelps, the gauntlet has been thrown. At least you dressed up for this. Hee hee, Amy P. is playing his mom, who I think is totally adorable. She’s a middle school principal, too, which means that she is a big damn deal. “Swim Cop.” Not funny. Will Forte in a Members Only jacket offers to have MP endorse My First Meth Lab, “a product [Michael Phelps] should not endorse.” Duh. OMG SHATNER!!! Teaches MP a lesson about integrity…and Priceline, an online travel site that I have never found that useful (Travelocity/Expedia/Kayak 4-eva!). Ahhhh, the real Debbie Phelps! So cute. Wow, I am totally glad that others saved the monologue, because he could NOT carry that thing.

I officially want to see Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. Am I hip enough to do that?

Michael Phelps wears a swim cap to beckon us into “Quiz Bowl,” where there are people barking like dogs within fifteen seconds. Terrifying. Also scary? The wigs. The joke here is that home-schooled fundamentalists don’t know about sex, physics, biology, or dinosaurs. Regular public-schooled kids aren’t that hot either. Ohh, America. Kristen Wiig steals the show, awesomely. However, this sketch is the lame.

Commercial about how hard jars are to open! Sucks. I mean, come on.

Yay! Will Forte takes another star turn as a high school swim coach. (Remember the Peyton Manning episode?) “Fudged my Speedo”? Poor showing, Michael Phelps. I hope there will be singing at some point…and a cassette tape makes an appearance. Yessss! Forte fixes his mustache and the song plays, a little muzak, and everyone manages to mostly keep their shit together as Will Forte performs Balki’s Dance of Joy. Phelps joins him, but is still wearing his warmups/tracksuit. I’ll give it a B-

I hope Ghost Town isn’t going to be as bad as it looks, because I really only want the best for Ricky Gervais.

Now that’s more like it! Hot Olympian with Laurels Michael Phelps brings us back to the show. What am I, made of stone? Something is wrong with the boss’s kids. Phelps as cousin Jeremy is in headgear, and together he and Kristen Wiig twitch their way through the French for numbers one through ten. It is strange, y’all. There is the display of a yodeling doll, and Phelps does some five-pound bicep curls, which are the highlight of this crapass sketch. I don’t want to be so negative about the season premiere of one of my favorite shows…but come on! I want some more Tina Fey or something.

Leonardo diCaprio with a neck beard? Not ok. But maybe Body of Lies won’t totally suck. Nah, it probably will. Miracle at St. Anna, though? I will probably need to see that. Woo, Spike Lee!

Li’l Wayne. Wearing those sunglasses that old people wear, all angle-y and wraparound. I am not cool enough to like this, not at 10:30am on a Friday morning.

I want to punch the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua in it’s bulging-eyed head. Sorry for the violent threats, but tell me you disagree.

Weekend Update! The highlights: Sarah Palin sucks, OJ is finally going to go to prison forever and ever (finally), Russell Crowe and Snoop Dogg are friends, who knew? Larry Craig doesn’t understand what entering a “guilty” plea means, despite being a freaking lawyer. Online mating databases for zoo animals (hilarious shot of a tiger sitting at a laptop), Nicholas Fehn comes and craps all over comedy. Cabbage Patch kids are 25 years old now (really? I am old), a bird called New Jersey 911, Seth Myers adorably celebrates a sort of lame joke. Andy Samberg is Cathy, of comic strip fame, and I think Rachel Dratch could do it better—what’s she up to these days?

Anyone seen Burn After Reading? I love me some Coen Brothers.

Charles Barkley’s talk show…with our friend Darrly Hammond as Bela Karolyi, who is probably completely insane. Michael Phelps gets to play himself, which is a relief. My little sweet potato is a hell of a swimmer, but not much of an actor.

Family dinner, with that obnoxious T-Mobile commercial where the daughter has hot friends. Dad, that is gross. I am happy to see the “aftermath” of this commercial.

Digital short! Andy Samberg in a white wig, somewhere in space/the future. This song could be by Styx, and is about the Space Olympics in 3022. It is not as awesome as you think it might be.

Aww, Amy Poehler is pregnant. This is the first time we’ve seen any hint of the belly this evening. She and Michael Phelps are on a date at a place like Friday’s or something, and our new featured player is acting much like I imagine regular Friday’s servers do. He fidgets with his do-rag, and I worry about the flammability of his Dragonball-Z shirt.

Um, friends? I heard there was to be some Barack Obama in this episode. There are only 15 minutes left. Where is he???

Li’l Wayne has at least two pairs of sunglasses. This means that he is a true baller, no? Well, Li’l Wayne, I have no fewer than four pairs of sunglasses on my console table right now. It would seem that we have more in common than I thought.

Woo, the Michael Phelps diet! I wish I had crazy Michael Phelps-ian muscles, but I worry about what they would look like in my wedding dress. And Jared Fogel even makes an appearance! It is a rough life for Jared these days, I’m sure.

Okay, the episode is over. And I saw no such Obama. Shame on you, SNL. Did I just miss it, internets? Help a girl out here!