Gaga Chanel

The fashionable Atkin’s dieter’s dream pursesnack. Check out these Chanel bags crafted of actual meat, created by fashion designer Nancy Wu from Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design:

RIF 2011 Annual Gift of Reading Gala

Editorial credit: Caroline Coppel

There was more to Reading is Fundamental’s annual fundraising gala – held at the Mayflower Renaissance Wednesday – than the usual dinner, drinks and polite conversation. True to its theme, “There’s More to the Story,” the event was a celebration of the organization’s commitment to children’s literacy.


The centerpiece for the cocktail reception was a display of books, and much of the artwork available for silent auction was from children’s illustrations. Guests were even encouraged to bring out their inner children – the party favors were giant, rainbow colored lollipops and there was a booth set up where they could take photos dressed in quirky costumes.


Although RIF recently lost its federal funding, the gala was a testament to the organization’s diverse network of supporters. There was not an empty seat at the awards dinner as RIF honored its three volunteers of the year and UGI Utilities, one of its corporate sponsors.


The three volunteers – Suzanne Fillmore, Patricia Gillespie and Mary Comfort Stevens – work with RIF at the local level. A short video illustrated their passion for education, and for what they do.


“You can either pay for schools or pay for jails,” said Stevens in the video.


One of the most genuine moments of the night came from the featured speaker, Dr. Valoria Baylor. The crowd gave her a standing ovation when she announced her retirement from her job as principal of an elementary school in Ward 8.  In her speech, she stressed the importance of RIF’s role at the school.


“It’s one thing to borrow a book from the library, and the students do,” she said. “It’s another to give a child a book to take home, and have them say, ‘This is mine.’”


Every year, the gala ends with a children’s story, and this year Baylor led the crowd in a reading of “The Dot.” Here, her years of working in education shone through.


“Isn’t that funny, b–,“ she stopped and laughed. “I almost called you boys and girls.”

Photo credit: Reading Is Fundamental

Casting call for "Game Change"

This is going to be my break out role!


While there isn’t an opportunity to suit up Iditarod style as Todd Palin (the former first dude role already went to actor David Barry Gray), if you are a member of SAG or AFTRA you could still land a background role (aka glorified extra).

According to a Washington/Baltimore casting call, the film is still looking for Caucasian actors who “can play the 20-60 age range.” Actors are urged to be honest about their age, as the casting folks have encountered some problems with dated headshots. Teens and septuagenarians need not apply.

So that no eyebrows are raised on the call for Caucasians, the notice states, “that although there are some opportunities for minorities on this film, the need is for more Caucasian actors.”

1/3 of DC's ambulances not working

That’ll pair perfectly with the 1/3 of Metro shut down at any given second.

The Washington Examiner reports:

“Nearly a third of the District’s basic life support ambulances are out of service for repairs, a situation that couldn’t come at a worse time, union officials said.

The shortage of transport units comes as a heat advisory has been issued and the fire department is reporting an unusually high number of calls.

As of Tuesday morning, seven of the 25 basic life support units were out of service because of mechanical problems, Smith said. He was told that most of the units were out because of the air conditioner in the patient compartment.

City rules prohibit the use of an ambulance if the air conditioner unit is broken in the patient area.”

Portrait of Georgia at The Smithsonian

Editorial credit: Caroline Coppel

Georgia – the country, not the state – threw itself an elegant birthday bash last Tuesday, commemorating its 20 years of independence from Russia.

“Portrait of Georgia,” held at the Smithsonian’s Kogod Courtyard, was equal parts staid cultural event and jovial soiree. At the start of the party, men in traditional garb strolled around the bright, airy venue, or quietly listened to a set by Georgian musical group The Shin. Young couples in varying forms of eveningwear stood in long, loosely defined lines waiting for access to the open bars, paying only slight attention to the batik wall hangings on display. Both groups were skirting the courtyard’s two large, flat fountains, unsure of whether to walk around or through them.

The food was served in the form of a Supra, a traditional Georgian feast. Guests circled the two long tables laden with dishes, eyeing their exotic descriptions – trout in pomegranate juice, melted cheese with mint – and taking pictures with their phones. They could only look, however; as part of a Supra, eating begins after a toast, and waiters stationed by both tables made sure this custom was upheld. They pushed people’s eager hands away, politely but firmly telling them to wait “just a few more minutes.”

After Georgian Ambassador Temuri Yakobashvili completed his toast, the crowd descended upon the buffet with almost no restraint. Waitstaff struggled to replenish the stacks of plates as people cut in and out of line, stocking up on potatoes and barbecued veal sticks. By the time the night ended, both tables were picked completely clean.

There was also a performance by Sukhishvili, Georgia’s national ballet company, and Batumi singing and dancing. Overall, it was a great party: let’s hope it doesn’t take the Embassy of Georgia 20 years to throw another one.