Sunday, June 29, 2008

Justice in Bourneside Killings

In December of last year, I wrote at length about the killings of four youths in Dorchester, and just more than two weeks ago the man who was arrested for those killings was tried and convicted. Calvin L. Carnes Jr. was found guilty of four counts of first degree murder in the brutal deaths of Jason Bachiller, Edwin Duncan, Chris Vierra, and Jihad Chankhour in December 2005. Carnes was also charged with larceny, robbery, armed robbery, possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a large capacity weapon.

(Photo from, clockwise from the top Jihad Chankhour, Chris Viera, Edwin Duncan, and Jason Bachiller)

Carnes' attorney says she will appeal the conviction. Chris Viera's mother, Elizabeth Perez-Barani said of the conviction, "I'm glad justice was done. The only way to stop murder in Boston is to get justice done".

Just over a week ago, Carnes was sentenced to four life sentences without the possibility of parole. It is justice, but it does not bring back the lives lost. Chris Mitchell, a friend of Chris Viera and Jihad Chankhour, has been visiting their graves for the past two years. He says that death has not broken the bond they shared; he goes by there to talk about work, movies, music, and life. "I go there and talk with them, just like I always did". They are like "my two brothers".

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fashion to Believe In

In an economy where prices seem to be continually on the rise, I have found it more and more difficult to justify buying new clothes. I (Miss V.) started wondering, where can I go shopping with my friends and not spend so much money that I am putting myself in a financial bind? How can I be fashionable and still have money left over for things like college loans, car payments, etc.?

I began researching and I found Steve & Barry’s. Steven Shore and Barry Prevor are childhood friends who founded Steve & Barry’s at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985, but the idea developed even before that. As teenagers in the suburbs of New York they screen printed t-shirts and sold them for one dollar at flea markets in Long Island and New Jersey. Following the success at their collegiate store at U. Penn, they expanded to other universities across the country. The store, as it is known today, started in the late 1990’s when their first mall based store opened in Detroit, Michigan. Steve & Barry’s not only sells collegiate apparel, but also men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing.

In June 2007, Sarah Jessica Parker introduced her clothing line BITTEN which is sold exclusively at Steve & Barry’s. All the clothing in Parker’s collection are reflective of her personal style, and all the pieces are priced at $19.98 or less. She decided to team up with the affordable store because she grew up as one of eight children in a family that faced financial issues on a daily basis. BITTEN allows women to dress well (fashionably) on a budget because as Sarah Jessica says, “fashion is not a luxury, it’s a right”. --- Steve & Barry’s website --- Sarah Jessica Parker BITTEN website

More Sex in the City.............

Season 3 Episode 41: Running with Scissors-- Carrie, “I couldn’t help but wonder, is sex ever safe?” The Plot: Carrie continues her affair with Big and it begins to affect her relationship with Aiden. Things take a turn for the worse when Carrie runs into Natasha while leaving Big’s apartment, but Natasha has an accident that forces Carrie to take her to the hospital. Before Samantha can sleep with her male equivalent he forces her to take an AIDS test. Miranda find herself attracted to a man wearing a sandwich costume. Charlotte is horrified when she finds out Carrie is cheating with Big. Charlotte hires Anthony Marantino to help her plan her wedding.


Carrie: I have to go.
Big: Hey, Carrie, thanks for being here. I'll call you.
Carrie: For what? We're so over, we need a new word for over.

My 2 Cents: This is one of many times during the course of the series that our heroine Carrie Bradshaw proves that she is fearful of a lasting relationship.

Season 4 Episode 49: The Agony and the ExTasy-- Carrie, “I couldn’t help but wonder, soul mates: reality or torture device?” The Plot: It’s Carrie’s 35th Birthday and the girls think about being in their 30s and still single. Samantha’s latest man is a monk and although she cannot get him to commit the ultimate sin and have sex with her; Samantha is still satisfied even though it is only in her mind. Charlotte tries to reconcile with Trey but realizes he isn’t hers; however, Charlotte still believes in soul mates. Miranda realizes that you do not have to be married to be happy with your life. Carrie organizes a birthday dinner party for herself but no one shows up and she goes home feeling upset and alone. She confesses to Charlotte how alone she felt and Charlotte makes a suggestion that defines the series. Mr. Big later shows up outside Carrie’s apartment with a bottle of champagne.


Charlotte: Maybe we can be each other’s soul mates, and then we can let men be just these great, nice guys to have fun with.

Miranda: I showed him a boob in a coat check room.
Carrie: Just one?
Miranda: I sensed he couldn't commit.

My 2 Cents: Charlotte’s comment about the girls being each other’s soul mates is basically what Sex in the City is all about. The girls are always there for each other while the guys come and go throughout their lives. If only all women were like this with their best female friends: soul mates.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Where are they now? America's Next Top Model Cycle 4

I thought that the contestants from America's Next Top Model Cycle 4 would be easy to research so that we could all know what they are up to now. I was wrong about that, most of the ladies are not signed with modeling agencies and all I found for most of them was myspace page (myspace really seems to be the trend lately for prospective models).

13th Sarah Dankelman--

11th Noelle Staggers--

10th Lluviana "Lluvy" Gomez--

7th Tatiana Dante-- She has a baby girl this year (March 19, 08) named Tiavani Leialoha Dante-Evans, her fiance is Robert Evans.

6th Michelle Deighton--

4th Brittany Brower-- , her modeling credits include Von Dutch, Carlos Santana Shoes, GQ, US Weekly, and Maxim Magazine. Britanny is signed with Passport Models (

Runner Up Kahlen Rondot-- Kahlen is now working as a bartender in New York City, and has plans to open her own bar.

Winner Naima Mora-- , Naima has modeled for CoverGirl, ELLE Magazine, Fuego Magazine, US Weekly Magazine, IN Touch Magazine, Teen People Magazine, Split Clothing, Jazz Album Samsung.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Causes to Care About: H&M Fashion Against AIDS

I have wanted to write about H&M’s “Fashion Against AIDS” since the moment I knew about it; I think it is such a clever idea for such a prevalent cause. H&M and Designers Against AIDS (DAA) joined forces for the edgy collection that is for guys and gals alike. They also teamed up with well known musicians and artists like Timbaland, Rihanna, Good Charlotte, Jade Jagger, Katharine Hamnett, My Chemical Romance, Ziggy Marley, Rufus Wainwright, and Scissor Sisters to model and advertise the new line, (This is just to name a few). The line was created for awareness; 22 million young people (ages 15-24) are HIV positive and 12 million in that same age group have AIDS. “By combining fashion with music… we hope to get these young people to ‘stop and think’ as Katharine Hamnett puts it on one of the garments in this collection”, said Ninette Murk the founder of DAA.

The collection was first available in H&M’s “Divided” series in their stores in February 2008. The artists all participated free of charge and agreed that getting the message out there was payment enough. All the items are made from 100% organic cotton with prices ranging from $15.73- $39.36; 25% of the sales will be donated to HIV/ AIDS prevention projects around the world. “It’s a collection that’s rich in color, with considerable commitment going into every garment. The artists have created personal prints with a strong sense of style,”, said H&M’s head of design Margareta van den Bosch. ---Some of the men’s swear line --- Some of the women’s wear line

The message ----

More Sex in the City.............

My Fave Episodes in the Series continues.......

Season 2 Episode 30: Ex and the City --- Carrie, “I couldn’t help but wonder, can you be friends with an ex?” The Plot: Carrie has never been friends with an ex and decides to try and be friends with Big, so she calls him up and asks him to dinner. Miranda runs away when she sees Steve, but then he goes by her apartment and they end up sleeping together. The two decide that they are friends, “that have sex”. Samantha dates a guy who is “too big“, and she breaks up with him for her own safety. Charlotte begins riding horses again as a way to overcome the trauma of being thrown from her horse Taddie when she was a child. At Carrie’s dinner with Big he tells her that he is engaged, she storms out, but not before telling him how she feels. She tells him that he had commitment issues for two years when they were together, but he gets engaged to what’s her name (the infamous Natasha) in five months.


Carrie: Ladies, I'm having an epiphany. The world is made up of two types of women. The simple girls and the Katie girls. I'm a Katie girl.

Carrie: Your girl is lovely Hubbell.
Big: I don’t get it.
Carrie: And you never did.

My 2 Cents: I love it when towards the end of the show, the girls are all together and Carrie says that she is like Barbara Streisand’s character in The Way We Were. Charlotte, Miranda, and Carrie break out in song and Samantha has never seen the movie! She says that Big is like Hubbell and she is Katie. It is then that Carrie decides she is a woman who doesn’t want to be tamed by a man. Oh you must watch the clip! ---

Season 3 Episode 36: Are We Sluts?--- Carrie, “I couldn’t help but wonder, are we romantically challenged, or are we sluts?” The Plot: Carrie questions why Aiden won’t sleep with her. Samantha is forced to move out of her building and to the seedy meatpacking district because one of her late night guests let a robber in who held someone at gunpoint. Miranda discovers that she has Chlamydia , and has the embarrassing task of informing all the men she has slept with. Charlotte is horrified when her new banker boyfriend verbally abuses her during sex. Carrie figures out that when Aiden just wants to take things slowly that she has been passing up romance for sex.


Samantha: They practically chased me with torches like I was fuckenstein.
Carrie: Oh, relax, they can't evict you for having sex.
Samantha: Of course, not, they’re just jealous, they’re a bunch of dried up old farts who haven't had sex since Eisenhower, and I remind them of what they can't have

My 2 Cents: I love how Aiden is this true romantic and that holds true for pretty much the whole series; John Corbett is just awesome in this role. It’s nice to see romance win out sometimes.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Fave Sex and the City Episodes

When I heard the “Sex in the City” movie was coming out in theaters, I knew I eventually wanted to make a list of my favorite episodes of the series. However, when I actually sat down and watched the episodes and read synopses’ ; I discovered that I had created a daunting task for myself. Asking me to choose my favorite episodes of “Sex in the City” would be like asking me what my favorite Shakespearian play is; I wonder if I could even choose one. So the following is not a top 10 list, but rather a list of episodes that I am fond of for one reason or another--- a thought, a song, an outfit, a phrase. They are in order starting with the earliest original airdate. I hope everyone will watch these episodes and want to watch all the others as well to fill in the blanks. The interesting fact about “Sex in the City” is that almost every episode ties back to the main theme of the series which is friendship.

Season 1 Episode 12: O Come All Ye Unfaithful --- Carrie, “I couldn’t help but wonder, are relationships the religion of the 90s?”

The Plot: Samantha dates lawyer James; she loves him but when they have sex, she figures out he is too small. Miranda dates a man who’s only flaw is that he showers right after they have sex because he’s Catholic. Charlotte wonders if she will ever really get married and consults a woman who reads cards. Carrie discovers that Mr. Big takes his mother to church on Sundays. After Big introduces Carrie to his mom as his friend, she wonders how seriously he sees their relationship. At the end of the episode Carrie breaks up with Big.


Charlotte: So, which church does his mother go to?
Carrie: Park Avenue Presbyterian.
Charlotte: Good church! It's one of the best on the East Side!
Carrie: What? Are you rating churches? Is there a Zagat guide for that?
Miranda: Four stars. Great bread. Disappointing wine selection.

Carrie: Oh, look we've all been there.
Miranda: That's for sure. I was once with a guy the size of those little miniature golf pencils, I couldn't tell if he was trying to f*#k me or erase me.
(Carrie starts laughing and Samantha begins to cry)
Carrie: I'm's's funny.

My 2 Cents: It’s one of many times Carrie breaks up with Big, and the ups and downs of their relationship never grow old.

Season 2 Episode 20: The Man The Myth The Viagra --- Carrie, “I couldn’t help but wonder, are we willing to believe anything to date?”

The Plot: Mr. Big calls Carrie his girlfriend. Samantha dates an elderly man. Miranda meets a bartender, and he turns out to be pretty hard to resist, and that bartender is Steve.

Carrie: I want you to know my friends better.
Big: I know your friends fine. Charlotte is the brunette, Miranda is the redhead, and Samantha is trouble.

My 2 Cents: This is by far one of the most romantic episodes of the series. Big proves Carrie wrong and shows up at dinner to meet her friends. It also proves Miranda wrong; she goes after Steve and decides to pursue a relationship with him.

(This will be the first in a series of posts until I choose at least one episode from all six seasons. )