Project Runway All Stars 2012 Begins With Drama Queens Who Return

Pic of Day

Project Runway All Stars-begins a new run and first things first, bring back the Drama Queens. For now, Joshua wins the biggest Drama Queen award. Then, of course, we have Casanova, is that really the name this man's silly parents gave him at birth?

There's the oddball female designer, including Suede, another odd name, and Wendy Pepper. Suede is more remarkable for her biker demeanor with Wendy Pepper coming off as the Mary Poppins sort.

Peach, goodness, what on earth does Judge Michael Kors have against this contender? Peach began an admittedly rambling description of her design. Abruptly Kors waved her shush with his open hand and told her ...never mind...he didn't want to hear her diatribes.

I was taken aback in that while Peach was digressing to childhood teachers and a manner of unnecessary minutiae, Kors seemed a bit nasty with his put down.

At any rate, there's an interesting stable of designers on this below.

As for the first few episodes of this new competition, there's been some design challenges. A more recent design challenge had the returning contenders whipping up an outfit for a disco era female. The stilly green thing was submitted by Ivy. I thought it was laughable. The judges loved it.

I thought Emilio submitted the prettiest frock for the challenge but it wasn't the winner.

The disco challenge winner was submitted by Uli, below.

Wendy Pepper, aka Mary Poppins, submitted the ugliest design of all and was sent home.

Below is some kind of silly short/dress combo that looks very childish to me. However, as is often the case, the judges loved it.

For now, no predictions for winner.

Keep an eye on Casanova and maybe Ivy's got some fit and flair, we shall see.

Project Runway All Stars airs on Lifetime on Thursdays at 9pm.

Click here to go to this Blog's main menu and see what other TV series we're covering.

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Drivel: Addiction

We had a monitor problem in alaHouse. The one connected to my laptop (not attached, mind; I have a sort of a docking station set up and there's a real monitor connected to it) suddenly turned shades of pink one afternoon. It flickered that way briefly and then went back to normal. I promptly forgot it had done that.

The monitor on the computer in the Green Room, our "anybody can use it" PC, has had an instant reset disease for quite awhile. You're playing Diablo and poof! the monitor turns off. Swiftly, it boots itself back on, but sometimes not fast enough to keep your character from dying while you couldn't see to fight.

Then one day in the middle of a game, it turned off and didn't come back on. That was massively inconvenient, but I switched to playing on the laptop and I was okay. . .

. . . Until about three days later when that monitor again turned pink. And stayed that way. Nothing looked right in pink, and most important to my daily life, I couldn't tell which email in my inbox was unread. Those are usually a shade of green compared to the read email's black. In pink, they looked the same.

I called Dell, which is never pleasant. This time, though, the rep helped me without meaning to: as he looked for my account he said it sounded like a connection issue. Then he asked if he could put me on hold. So, while I was on hold, I disconnected and reconnected every cord on the monitor. Poof! Back to normal colors. I had to wait for the guy to come back on so I could tell him he'd fixed my issue. I think he was as surprised as I was.

The off monitor was harder. Harry and I went to the store and got a replacement. We needed the same size and the only one the store had was an HP, not Dell. Shouldn't matter, right? We took the HP home.
The online world of Diablo is full of little kids.

Modern electronics require a six-year-old to figure out, and there are times when I do wish we'd had children. The new monitor came with only a pictograph sheet of instructions. No words, just hieroglyphic diagrams. Assemble this. Plug this here. Attach that. Connect to the PC. Start the CD.

We followed the instructions, and watched a black screen as the CD loaded up. Then, nothing. I pressed enter. Nothing. I pressed tab and then enter. Nothing. I popped the CD out and put it back again. Still nothing.

Apparently it does matter if you attach an HP monitor to a Dell computer.

I brought the CD in to the Computer Room and put it in the laptop. It ran immediately and on my no-longer-pink monitor I could see that the first screen wanted me to choose my language. I could find no way to do so without using the mouse. It seemed there was no way to get the program to run - install the new HP driver - without being able to *see* the screen. (Would it have worked on an HP?)

We ended up swapping monitors - the no-longer-pink monitor is now attached to the Green Room PC and I have the new HP connected to my laptop. It's working good!

That brief stint of working with limited monitor coverage reminded me how addicted I am to video games.

In here, on the laptop, I often play something mindless, like Bejeweled 3. In the Green Room, I play Diablo, which doesn't take much concentration but I do have to pay attention at least some of the time.

And sometimes. . . sometimes I play Diablo in both rooms.

Seriously. I missed that ability when the Green Room monitor was dead. :-(

I can see you're trying to figure out how I can play the same game on two computers in different rooms, so here, let me explain.

The online world of Diablo is full of little kids. Sometimes you can tell you're playing a game with kids because of the names they've chosen for their characters. Once I searched for dungeon treasure with TightAsss, BigBlueBoobs and HungryHorns. (My character's name? I don't remember which one I was using in that particular game, but I do have my own set of names. My current favorites are OrthodoxDruid and Fiat_Lux - "Let there be light.")

Sometimes you can tell you're playing a game with kids because they have no manners and don't know how to play with others. One guy ran away from the group only to come screaming back with a bunch of axe-wielding goats following him. Our entire party got decimated. And maybe you remember the sorceress from Drivel: PK and Crippleware? Quite a few of the players are thieves.

If you're lucky, and you play in groups a lot, you build up a set of "friends" you can trust to hold stuff while you change characters. If my high-level druid finds a good set of claws, for instance, he would want to give it to my assassin, who uses claw weapons. Trouble is, I can't run them both in the same game on the same PC. So, friends. "Hold this," and I switch characters and receive my new treasure from a friend's character.

Make sense?

Except I'm not that lucky and I don't play in groups much. I have six people or so who I trust in a Diablo game, but I rarely see any of them online.

And here's the next problem . . . when your character is still low-level, he or she has some trouble defeating the section bosses. In an online group, no issue. However, there, all the other players get any treasure because your character is low-level. A friend with a higher-level character can help you out pretty easily, and they tend to be much more generous with treasure.

But again, that requires that one of your friends are online when you are.

Enter the addict's solution: two PCs running the game in two rooms. My characters have to be on different accounts, but that's no problem since I have two accounts with eight characters on each one. Here's how the "Hold this for me" scenario works:

I am playing a character in the Green Room, where the computer responds better, and I find something I want to give to a different character. I boot up Diablo on the Computer Room PC, choose the character I want to receive the gift, and use that character to join the Green Room's character's online game.

Here's where it's a bit inconvenient. The two characters have to agree to "trade." One initiates by asking the other, "Hey, you wanna trade?" Then I have to change rooms to answer, "Sure, let's trade." The trading window opens between the two characters.

The one with my new toy puts it in the trade window and checks the "You take it" box. I have to change rooms to check the box on the other character's trading window.

This gives the item to the receiving character and closes the window. I can move several things at once; the number of items is limited by size and room in the receiving character's inventory.

Overall, the process works pretty well. However, if I want to help a lower level character defeat a boss, that gets tricky. Bosses don't wait for you to change rooms before attacking.

Take the trade scenario and speed it up. In battle, I have to run from room to room. This is where the real world and the fantasy world collide . . .

Low level character has to enter the dungeon first, because if the high level kills the boss quickly, the low level gets no credit for the quest. Useless! But . . . the low level, entering a boss's lair alone, is easy meat.

So, I put the low level character in, run to the other room, put the high level character in, and hope that's the limit to the running. Except it usually isn't. The boss moves around, and usually gets too close to the low level, or gets too far away. Too far, and again the low level won't get credit. A typical battle requires me to change rooms four or five times.

Man, no wonder I'm losing weight.

Enter the real world. The dog (and occasionally one of the cats) really, really, really loves it when I'm playing Diablo in two rooms. The race from one to the other is most certainly being done purely for his benefit, and he definitely wants a piece of that action.

There's something truly wrong when you can't save your character from the big multi-armed boss because a Shetland Sheepdog was in your way.

Any other addicts out there who can relate? Be warned: if the person who keeps asking you questions at work starts to look like an axe-wielding goat or if you look over at the other cars stopped at the traffic light and think if you could just move this blue one over and all three blue cars would disappear, you've been playing that video game too much.

The Desk Drawer writer's exercise list

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