The Hidden Treasures of Apartment Therapy’s January Cure

For the month of January, Apartment Therapy—the self-help guru of home design websites—has coached its readers through what it dubbed The January Cure, a 30-day clean-up diet. The project involved a daily assignment, given via blog and email. Along the way, one of the participants, Maria Pinkelton, unearthed a treasure trove of old Sassy magazines, and shared her discovery on Twitter. I am a great lover of cleaning and also of Sassy, which I grew up fetishizing, as did so many girls (and guys!) of my age; so when I saw Maria’s tweet I fell to the ground keening and rending my garments from sheer burning jealousy.

Then I picked myself up and emailed her to ask a few questions.

What made you decide to take on the January Cure?
I am a huge fan of Apartment Therapy and thought it would be great to begin 2013 with a relatively clean slate. I have a two-year-old son and a husband who really isn’t into the whole organization thing. Needless to say I had my challenges but I thought that by following the steps and taking smaller bites it would not be such a daunting task. Also, I looked at it as a group exercise class — there would be others motivating me along and I would not be alone.

Did you know the collection of Sassys were there, or were they a total discovery?
They had been in my mother’s house for ages in a plastic storage bin. I had completely forgotten about them and then got so excited when I remembered they were there. They went from her house to storage because at that time we lived in a one bedroom condo with no room for them. When we moved everything from the storage unit they landed on the shelves in the garage of our new townhouse. We had so much other stuff going on they stayed there until this month. I was so excited to thumb through them and give them a home on the shelves in our new place.

What’s your favorite issue?
The Johnny Depp cover of course. I remember losing my mind when that thing came in the mail. I dug through the bin crazy-style to make sure it was in there when I opened it up here.

Did you have a favorite Sassy staffer and feature?
I loved Kim France. I also liked Christina Kelly, but Kim had this really quirky style thing working. I wore "Kim France Pants" a lot during high school. It was nice that there was a cool name to put with the look my mother called very "hobo."

"Make It" was great. They would teach you to completely deconstruct and then reconstruct clothing. One time I remember they made a skirt from men’s neckties [JK: OMG I TOTALLY REMEMBER THAT AHHH!!]. It was awesome and in the magazine Mayim Bialik wore it. They were the opposite of the horrible Butterick patterns my mom would pull out.

Have you unearthed any other treasures during your clean-up?
I found my remote hard drive, clown nose and my hand carved wooden handle pocket knife. I know that is a random combination but I had wondered where all of them had gone. The funny thing is they were all in the same place in my closet. I guess they were hanging out waiting for me to find them.

Follow Jolie Kerr on Twitter.

There Are No Television Comedies Other Than ‘Modern Family,’ Apparently

So, the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards were last night, and considering we still have a bad taste in our mouths from our inappropriate drunk uncle Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars, for the most part, they were actually pretty fun to watch. Jimmy Kimmel had some funny bits, Giancarlo Esposito and Aaron Paul hugged it out and made us all verklempt, Lena Dunham ate cake naked and Julia-Louis Dreyfuss and Amy Poehler stole the show with their acceptance speech switcheroo.

In terms of the awards themselves, the recipients were almost painfully predictable, especially in the comedy category. The drama awards were mostly bang-on, as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the most part avoided the soapy pleasure of Downton Abbey and Don Draper’s steely gaze to actually reward what probably are the two best dramas on TV right now, Homeland and Breaking Bad (Aaron Paul’s Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award made our hearts happy). And Louis C.K. took home two awards — one the writing on Louie and one for his standup special at the Beacon Theatre.

But in terms of comedy, once again, the Academy chose to throw Louie its one bone—the equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences giving the most envelope-pushing film of the year Best Original Screenplay and then kind of ignoring it the rest of the night—and then choosing to celebrate thoroughly mediocre stuff. In a run similar to the one Frasier made in the mid-‘90s, for the past three Emmy cycles now, Modern Family has dominated the comedy categories to the point where even better stuff from the banal, laugh track-y, Chuck Lorre school of TV comedy was ignored (come on, as eye-roll-worthy as The Big Bang Theory can be sometimes, seeing Mayim Bialik win an Emmy, especially as the show’s saving grace that is Amy Farrah Fowler, åwould have been golden). All four of Modern Family’s big winners—Outstanding Supporting Actress Julie Bowen, Outstanding Supporting Actor Eric Stonestreet (convinced that there is one dude voting in the Academy who is just still totally super shocked that a straight dude can play a preening gay man even though this is 2012, y’all), Director Steven Levitan and the show for Outstanding Comedy Series — are repeat wins, with the show itself and Levitan earning them back-to-back-to-back. This year, the rest of the show’s adult cast members were nominated for acting awards.

I like Modern Family. It’s cute. Ty Burrell and Sofia Vergara are eternally fun to watch. I usually walk away from it not hating myself. My whole family watches it (cross-demographic appeal!). And granted, the Outstanding Comedy Series pool was a little thin this year—the token Lorre (The Big Bang Theory), two former comedy powerhouses that are still very funny but mostly over-the-hill (30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm), and the two other HBO shows, Girls and Veep, which were long shots anyway. But at a time and place where so many awesome things are happening with television comedy, at a time when a fart and smunny show like Parks & Recreation or something that, love it or hate it, can spark an international conversation like Girls or a show that is so funny and so human like Louie or a show that celebrates its dweebiness so joyfully like Community or a great traditional thirtysomethings-in-the-city sitcom like Happy Endings can all exist, it seems a disservice to let more of the same rack up statue after statue. It seems kind of silly to rant—the Emmys will probably never change and TV comedy is full of niches and Modern Family certainly isn’t the worst thing to happen to television ever. But when the whole run of programming is so totally awesome, it would just kind of be nice seeing the celebration of the awesomeness spread around a bit. At least Leslie Knope won her city council election. Better luck next time, Team Dunphy.

So, to make ourselves feel better about everything, here’s Aaron Paul’s acceptance speech again. 

Links: Julia Roberts’ Potty Mouth, Hugh Jackman’s Bagels

● Bret Easton Ellis, author of Less Than Zero and American Psycho, says that Benicio Del Toro will be playing “him” in the movie version of his fact/fiction hybrid novel Lunar Park. An odd choice, seeing that Ellis is a fair-haired boy from the Valley. [Cinematical] ● A judge has agreed that Woody Allen doesn’t need to prove his assertion that American Apparel ads are indeed “sleazy.” [NYP] ● Julia Roberts sure likes to say “fuck.” In a tribute to friend and former co-star Tom Hanks, America’s sweetheart dropped the f-bomb several times. [Us Weekly]

● Who knew Jon Gosselin (of Jon and Kate +8) was worthy of an US Weekly cover? The suburban dad was evidently partying late into the night with someone who wasn’t Kate. Scandal. [UsWeekly] ● Hugh Jackman may be the Sexiest Man Alive, but he’s also the nicest. He ordered bagels and coffee for the nearly 800 eager fans in Arizona waiting to see a screening of Wolverine. [Azcentral] ● Mayim Bialik, who played Blossom, will be on the season premiere of TLC’s What Not to Wear. [PR NewsWire]