When Good Looks & Jazz Collide

He's kind of a bad boy (he's gone to jail).

He's from New Orleans.

He's a humanitarian (helped rebuild New Orleans after Katrina, Honorary Chairman for Habitat for Humanity, etc.).

He named his first daughter Georgia.

He's a jazz musician and pianist.

Harry Connick Jr. . . 

Plus, he was pretty darn adorable in Will & Grace, if you recall.  

So what do you think, yay or nay?  Obviously HCJ is not my "usual" type . . . do you have any surprising celebricrushes?
Also, please go wish a happy birthday to my dear friend Heather!  Hopefully this year on her birthday, none of us will get assaulted in a bar by cranked-up freaks (heehee, remember that, Heather??).  A few years ago we were having a birthday party for Heather at Casanova in the Mission.  Heather got up to go to the bathroom and two random dudes sat right in the middle of our birthday "party" (we had a corner of the bar).  When she returned, Heather asked them for her seat back, and it turned into an ugly brawl, resulting in our friend Amick getting an entire pint of beer poured over her head, and two of us being pushed to the ground . . . I woke up bruised the next morning!  Ahhhh, the mid-twenties in San Francisco . . . 

Last day to enter the Blogger Book Swap! A basically free way to expand your reading collection--do it!

When I imagine an ideal man . . .

Check out what I discovered today.  A picture of Troy Polamalu in a manbun.  I think this is bad news for me--pretty sure that literally, no one else will ever live up to this level of hotness.  Better prepare myself for spinster-hood.

my hopes, my dreams, my fantasies . . .

Europe: Public Debts - Dettes Publiques

My Baby Chicks are Leaving the Nest

Yesterday was graduation . . . such an emotional day for everyone 'round these parts.  The tears started for me at our annual "Move Up" assembly (where the juniors become seniors, etc.).  I actually made it through the graduation ceremony okay, thanks to a hilarious coworker who made me giggle through the whole thing.  Here are some pics:

me and my sweet former student, RR

 excited lil FH!

I can hardly talk about this . . .
I've taught EM for 3 years and he has come so far.
I am so proud.  And teary-eyed! 

I love this pic of my girl, D.  I'm gonna miss her something fierce.

  post-graduation celebration in front of the school

What a day!  And to top everything off . . . as I was driving home yesterday afternoon, I got a call from my boss with some exciting news: we magically got the funding for the 2011-2012 school year, which means that I have a job (!!!) and Balboa's kids with incarcerated family members will still have this program to support them.  Yay for justice!  And happy Friday to all of you. :)

Jessica House II Elite Model Q & A

Elite: Favourite photographer you have worked with?
Jessica: Damon Baker
E: What is your favourite film?
J: Goodfellas
E: What is your nickname?
J: Mousey
E: Guilty pleasure?
J: 90210
E: What's your celebrity lookalike?
J: Shauna (Bennett, another lovely Elite girl) says I look like Anne Hathaway..I don’t!
E: The coolest era?
J: 1940’s
E: Favourite hangout?
J: Elite!! Haha
E: Your most overused phrase?
J: Okay
E: Dream job?
J: Film editor
E: Favourite person in the agency?
J: Tori (my booker)
E: Best thing about London/Paris/Milan?
J: London – ALL the takeaways
E: What did you want to be when you were younger?
J: 18
E: Marmite: Love/Hate
J: Hate.
E: If we took you to Starbucks right now what would you order?
J: Standard coffee (I’m northern so prefer tea!)
E: What song is most played on your ipod?
J: Miami 2 Ibiza – Swedish House Mafia
E: How would you describe your style?
J: Comfy
E: What's the best freebie you've ever got?
J: I haven’t L
E: What's your Facebook status at the moment?
J: “Just saw a stylist I worked with the other day…in French Vogue!”
E: How much is a pint of milk?
J: ?
E: Describe yourself in 3 words…
J: Northern. Northern. Northern.

Marinet Matthee || New In Town

USA, France: PMI Manufact.

Source: J.P. Chevallier

What I Learn about Ignatius through Facebook

Most of you probably remember Ignatius, my dad and Amy's horrible beagle.  If not, here's a visual aid:

His antics are never-ending.  Most recently, he stole his sister Lola's food, resulting in a throw-down between the two of them, which then resulted in Lola accidentally biting their beloved dogwalker, Trish (a good friend of my dad and Amy's).  

This is what I saw of the situation on facebook yesterday:
Really hoping that today was the last time I have to send an "apology gift" from Ignatius R. Kiefer.
If I were properly cared for, none of this would be an issue....I am sorry Trish
Don't forget to enter the Blogger Book Swap!

William Potter II Out Magazine

William Potter is all grown up and would you look at that smoulder! William recently shot this editorial for Out Magazine with Thomas Giddings and can you believe it was shot in Poole, the deserted wasteland would look more at home in the American outback. We are loving Williams laid back look and can't wait to see what else he has to offer us!

Blogger Book Swap!

(First of all, I want to wish the happiest 50th birthday ever to my sweet little mama!  I wish I were in Georgia today celebrating 50 years with her!)

And now . . . exciting news:  The lovely Lindsay from Undomestic Chica emailed me with a great idea--a Blogger Book Swap!  We all have books lying around that we've read and don't need anymore, so what better way to spread the love than to swap books with another blogging bibliophile?  

If you are interested in participating, here's the rundown:

1. Email Claire (kieferclaire@gmail.com) or Lindsay (undomesticchica@gmail.com) with your name, address, blog url, and reading interests.  Email us by May 30th!

2. We will email you with your partner's info on May 31st.

3. Once you get your partner's info, send her a book or two that you have around your house that you think she might enjoy.  It could be something you've read and loved, or just something you've heard great things about.  All genres are welcome, just try not to send something suuuuper popular (so that you don't end up sending books your partner already has).  Mail your book(s) out by June 4th!

4.  A week or so after the books have been mailed, Lindsay and I will host a little link party and showcase the books people sent/received.  Fun, right?

Please spread the word and put our button on your blog!  We're so excited about this and can't wait to pair you up.  We hope you join us!!

Olga Sherer || Louis Vuitton Prefall 2011

The stunning elegance of Olga Sherer is a perfect match for the Louis Vuitton prefall collection - the classic art direction and vintage inspired styling has got us pining for yester-year or at least a flight to the Alps for a skiing holiday. Gorgeous.

USA: Home Price - Prix des maisons

I may never get married

because I don't think I'll be satisfied with any potential suitor unless he is exactly like Adam Braverman (aka Peter Krause):

My crush began with Peter Krause as Nate on Six Feet Under, and has grown exponentially now that I know him as Adam Braverman from Parenthood.  Is it sick that I feel like I actually know him?  And it's not just cause he looks so much like the last guy I dated.  

I know I've mentioned Parenthood before, and therefore shouldn't harp on it, but seriously . . . it is so good.

Link up with Leeann!

Pierre Harald || New In Town

Timothy Renouf II Elite Model Q&A

Elite: Favourite photographer you have worked with?
Timothy: Claire Pepper
E: What was your first modelling job?
T: GQ Italia
E: What is your favourite film?
T: It’s a close call between ‘The Graduate’ & ‘Hook’ – big Dustin Hoffman fan.
E: What is your nickname?
T: Nouf/Tim Ren/De Jersey
E: Guilty pleasure?
T: The Only Way Is Essex – I love rubbish TV (E: It’s not rubbish though is it Tim?)
E: What's your celebrity lookalike?
T: Apparently Nicolo from X-Factor. Gutted. Getting chased down Columbia Road Flower Market is not the one.
E: The coolest era?
T: 50’s
E: Favourite hangout?
T: The Victoria (on Grove Road)
E: Your most overused phrase?
T: “What’s not to like?”
E: Dream job?
T: Burberry
E: Best thing about London/Paris/Milan?
T: London = Home, Paris = The Woodstock Hostel, Milan = Zac + Maria
E: What did you want to be when you were younger?
T: A Pirate – Nothing’s changed
E: Marmite: Love/Hate
T: ‘Ain’t bov’d’ – Ailish the “Elite” Thesaurus
E: If we took you to Starbucks right now what would you order?
T: Us to leave
E: What song is most played on your ipod?
T: Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True
E: What is your life philosophy?
T: Enjoy
E: How would you describe your style?
T: Hats everywhere
E: What's the best freebie you've ever got?
T: A Marni coat
E: What's your Facebook status at the moment?
T: Club Tropicana
E: How much is a pint of milk?
T: Twice as much as half a pint
E: What is your fashion week survival strategy?
T: Don’t forget your book.
E: Describe yourself in 3 words…
T: A true babe

Stephen Thompson & Rob Evans || i-D Magazine

Take a look at these graphic images, hot off the press from i-D magazine, featuring not one but two of our lovely boys. Stephen Thompson and new boy Rob Evans, both looking fierce as ever. Love love love it!

Tommy K || Twin Magazine

Shot by Ben Weller, Tommy K looks dreamy in this editorial for Twin Magazine. Taking inspiration from our guilty pleasure Braveheart, Tommy looks every inch the William Wallis alongside his leading lady, with a location to rival the Scottish Highlands. We love!

Friday I'm (Daydreaming)

Instead of yammering on about what's really going on (let's just say that after paying $722 in parking tickets last night, today I have to go to San Francisco Superior Court to pay $383 for a "tinted windows" ticket . . . and yes, I bought my car with the windows as they are from the Honda dealership), I'm going to talk a little about what I would be in love with if I could do as I pleased this weekend:

1. Reading

on my nightstand

2. Lying on the beach

Baker Beach in San Francisco, taken with my iPhone

3. Working on my apartment

outside of my apartment building/my back deck

Being as busy as I am, I rarely have time for things like framing prints, decorating, rearranging, etc.  Lately I've been longing to fix up my apartment a little bit . . . cause after all, I may be spending a bit more time there after I lose funding for my job!  

But tonight I'm going to see this, which I'm pretty excited about:

A Way Out consists of three short plays that offer a glimpse into the lives of women struggling to break away from cycles of abuse, incarceration and codependency, written by the women of Rising Voices.

What's going on with y'all this weekend?  Happy Friday!

Julia Saner || Vogue Japan

Julia Saner the global winner of Elite Model Look 2010 features in this relaxed and elegant editorial for Vogue Japan shot by Ben Weller and styled br Grace Koo. If you think you have what it takes to follow in Julia's steps and to be our next supermodel, why not apply online here for this years Elite Model Look and keep checking our blog, Facebook and Twitter for exciting details of our UK contest to be announced very soon!

Julie Gollner || New In Town

Gold Silver Ratio & USDindex : Strange / étrange!

Tasha Franken || Unde. Ligne AW11

Our stunning Tasha Franken shows off the AW11 collection of Under.Ligne by Designer Do Ris. We love this charming film shot by Christopher Starbody, to the beautifully whimsical sounds of Phone Home.

Maud Welzen || Turkish Vogue

We heart this beautiful editorial featuring Elite new face Maud Welzen, she is a picture of relaxed elegance, shot by the super talented David Dunan and styled by the lovely Sebastian Kauffman.

Nyasha Matonhodze || Emanuel Ungaro A/W 2011

Take a look at this amazing video featuring Nyasha the winner of our 2009 Elite Model Look contest.

Since winning Elite Model Look, Northampton born Nyasha has had an amazing career, walking catwalks across the globe, and shooting a whole host of amazing editorials and campaigns including 
Wonderland Magazine, Teen Vogue with Jason Kibbler, several  great campaigns which will be published very soon.

We have some very exciting announcements coming up so keep watching our blog, Facebook page and Twitter for updates.

Further details can be found at www.elitemodellook.co.uk

Louis Galloway || Elite Model Q&A

Elite: Favourite photographer you have worked with?
Louis: Cheryl Dunn on the Adidas campiagn in New York…big up!
E: What was your first modelling job?
L: Topman
E: What is your favourite film?
L: Stand By Me 
E: What is your nickname?
L: Ohhh Louis
E: Guilty pleasure?
L: Rory Torrens
E: Best thing about London?
L: Newington Butts Estate. Represent.
E: What did you want to be when you were younger?
L: A cowboy
E: Marmite: Love/Hate
L: Hate.
E: If we took you to Starbucks right now what would you order?
L: Can we go somewhere else?
E: What song is most played on your ipod?
L: Hannah Montana - Party in the USA (E: He really does love this one! It gets him in the party mood apparently.)
E: What did you have for breakfast today?
L: Porridge. Obviously.
E: How would you describe your style?
L: Lazy
E: Which established model do you most admire?
L: Hansel - so Major Models right now!
E: What's your Facebook status at the moment?
L: Not sure.
E: How much is a pint of milk?
L: 99p
E: What is your fashion week survival strategy?
L: My fellow Elite boyz
E: Tell us a joke.
L: Rangers FC
E: Describe yourself in 3 words…
L: Sottish, Slow and Simple


Maybe you've seen Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs pyramid,

the basic theory of which is that the most fundamental needs (at the bottom of the pyramid) must be met before the higher-up needs can be addressed.

One would think that given this information, society would make it a point to ensure that the basic needs of its community were being met.  Which, by extension, would mean that society would prioritize the preservation of jobs that work to meet these needs.

And yet, not so much.  For the past five years, I've been teaching children of incarcerated parents--helping them to understand the prison system and how it works, facilitating circles in which they are encouraged to share their experiences with parental arrest, and working to help them feel less alone.  Not only do I believe that this is important because of the emotional impact it has on these young folks, but I like to believe that programs like mine help to break the cycle of incarceration that almost seems inevitable.

My program is one of dozens being cut by the city of San Francisco.  I can't point fingers because I'm not sure it's anyone's fault anymore.  Last year, when our program was cut (we received last-minute "addback" funding last year, but this year it doesn't look like there's any available), I went with some of my students and some fellow teachers to City Hall to speak to the budget committee about why it was crucial that our program get funded.  Walking in, I felt confident that I'd be able to persuade the budget committee members to give my program the money, because surely they'd see that it was doing more important work than many of the others in our position.

But then I heard all the other people speak, and my heart sank:  San Francisco's Department of Children, Youth, and their Families was cutting not only my program for kids impacted by the prison system, but a shelter for homeless teens; a community LGBTQ clinic for teens who were being bullied, harassed, and/or pushed away from their homes; a job-training organization for at-risk youth; the Filipino Community Center; a violence prevention program in the schools . . . the list goes on and on.  

I saw this political cartoon the other day:

It's more sad than it is funny, huh?  I have a terminal Masters degree, and in just a month and a half, I won't have a job.  I will, of course, begin applying like a madwoman for jobs in my field, but the grim reality is that my field is sinking right now.  When Schwarzenegger was governor*, he cut the funding for all arts education in the prisons (these very arts ed programs were proving to prevent recidivism, by the way, ultimately saving taxpayers money).  With that went my dream of becoming an Artist Facilitator at a California State Prison.

When I told a friend (who is a doctor) that I was feeling lost and considering going back to graduate school to get a degree in Social Work, her first reaction was:

"Are you sure you want to go to school for something that's not going to make you any money?"

It stopped me in my tracks, and I was overcome with sadness and frustration that those of us who have a "calling" to work in fields that help people whose basic needs aren't being met, with those most marginalized in society, hardly make enough money to survive.

The difference between an MFA and an MBA is incredible, isn't it?  

I hate complaining, I really do, but sometimes I'm appalled that I went to graduate school and have a legitimate "career" and yet I have to babysit at least four evenings a week to supplement my income.  And the prison job?  That's totally volunteer.

Thanks for bearing with me through this long and winding spiel that is ultimately a big downer.  And if you don't mind, keep your fingers crossed that something good comes my way soon . . . so that I don't end up living in one of the homeless shelters that's being defunded by the city anyway.

*Still can't believe that California elected that clown as governor.  What exactly did they think were the qualifications for the job?