Celebritology Live: Crocs, Summer Reading, More

Liz Kelly
washingtonpost.com Celebritology Blogger
Thursday, July 16, 2009; 2:00 PM

Join Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly LIVE every Thursday at 2 p.m. ET to gab about the latest celebrity pairings (and splittings), rising stars (and falling ones), and get the scoop on the latest gossip making waves across the Web.


Liz Kelly: Afternoon. I'm running late coming back from an appointment, so let's just jump in. I already see some good questions waiting in the queue.

Here's Kathy Griffin's most recent Twitter post to get us all in the mood:

Holy crapballs!!! 2 freakin' EMMY noms. My Mom's already HAMMERED & I've just booked Ryan Seacrest to do my mani/pedi.

Now that is a professional at work. I'm in awe.


front-page news: I realize this is not a fashion chat, but do you care to comment on The Post's front-page assertion that Crocs were, at some point, trendy? I'm perfectly comfortable in pleated trousers, but I wouldn't wear Crocs on a bet.

washingtonpost.com: Once-Trendy Crocs Could Be on Their Last Legs

Liz Kelly: I think we need to be careful here. While the enlightened denizens of this chat obviously realize that wearing Crocs is tantamount to fashion suicide, they did attract enough of a following to make some serious money and inspire a handful of (even) cheap(er) knock-offs. And, I'm given to understand, Crocs are a handy shoe for certain jobs -- like ER nurse. They've got a soft cushioning and are easily washed down when doused with bodily fluids.

But one visit to Bethany Beach -- even three years ago -- was enough to give anyone Croc overload. The things covered the beach-front shops like Kudzu. For women, men, kids. There were idiotic little decorative buttons one could add on. In a word, ick. In two words, ick nast.

I'm glad to see the demise of the Croc has officially been chronicled. I would wish the same thing on the ubiquitous Havaiana, but I wear them 24-7.


California, AN: So after seeing those horrifying photos of MJ's legs in the Daily Mail UK link, what do we think? Did MJ really have that skin-whitening disease?

Liz Kelly: For anyone who missed the pix and is possessed of a strong stomach, you can view said photos here. But I warn you, you'd have a better chance of keeping down your lunch watching a documentary about a flesh-eating virus.

I have to admit -- the last thing on my mind is whether or not he had vitiligo, but how in the world he got a wound that horribly out of control.


Liz Kelly: Ahh -- further to the fashion question:

Last week I promised to create a series of motivational posters about pleated pants. I have not yet finished the projmeect. It involves having a hard time finding men of my acquaintance (who are all properly schooled) to actually allow themselves to be photographed wearing pleats.


Washington, D.C.: Responding to Front Page News: Trendy does not equal fashionable.

washingtonpost.com: ...so I should stop wearing my slap bracelets?

Liz Kelly: Yes. And the fringed Ocean City t-shirt.


Short attention span: Have a young kid so I can't go to the movies. And I feel uninspired by my Netflix queue. Any good recs for summer? (Nothing heavy)

Liz Kelly: Good question -- lately I've been rewatching season 1 of "Lost" and the Tour de France pretty much non-stop, so I haven't seen any good movies.

Maybe that's the answer -- is there a show you always wanted to see but never did watch? Maybe something on cable, like "Weeds" or "Mad Men?" Most shows have their past seasons released as DVD sets.

That's my suggestion -- but I'll open this up for anyone else who wants to chime in.


Washington, DC: I am an absolutely boring person with nothing interesting to say to the world. How can I get my own reality series which I can parlay into enough money to let me coast through the rest of my life? As the world's premier Celebritologist I am counting on you to come up with a slant for me.

Liz Kelly: Now don't sell yourself short. Perhaps you have a hidden talent that you hadn't considered as reality gold. Maybe you, for example, have a third nipple like Mark Wahlberg or Lily Allen? Or maybe you, an otherwise upstanding citizen, have a shoplifting compulsion? Or maybe you are just incredibly annoying? Just think about those quirks you've previously taken for granted. Then figure out how to exploit one to your advantage.

If not, you may need to work on developing a special talent or peculiarity that makes you stand out from the horde of reality TV wanna-bes.


Washington, DC: And cowboy boots or Uggs with miniskirts in August.

washingtonpost.com: Whoa whoa whoa...not so fast.

Liz Kelly: This is a prime example of why most men should never be trusted with setting fashion standards. They don't care about what is aesthetically pleasing, but what most resembles a cowgirl dominatrix.


MJ's legs: is there another source for that picture, because I just do not trust pictures on the Daily Mail. Weren't they the ones who a year or so ago showed Posh's legs looking flabby, and they did the same thing to Madonna's arms.

Liz Kelly: Right -- always always take anything that isn't published in, say, The Washington Post with a grain of salt. The Daily Mail is the outlet that has been accused of manipulating pix in the past and last week apparently paid LaToya Jackson for a somewhat explosive interview in which she claimed that her brother was murdered.

But it is sad that when the subject of the shocking photo is MJ, we're perhaps more inclined to think it is real.


Mens Wear Dept, Tysons Corner: Are those Crocs that I see on Michael Jackson's feet in those necrotic leg wound shots? If so, the fashion police would rule Jackson's death a suicide.

Liz Kelly: No silly. Those are obviously a pair of delicate slippers he boosted from Diana Ross.


My name is * and I wear Crocs: Crocs are indeed super-comfy, light as air and wash off easily. I wear mine for gardening, washing the dog, and other projects. However. I go on record as saying I never wear pleated pants.

Liz Kelly: Which is more disturbing? That pic of Jackson's legs or the image of someone wearing pleated pants and Crocs simultaneously?

Re:gardening. I tried them for that and didn't like the wet slimy feeling that persisted.


Madison, Wisc.: Ha! When you posted that tweet from Kathy Griffin, I read it too fast and thought it was from Kathy (Lee) Gifford. I couldn't quite picture her saying "crapballs".

Liz Kelly: Oh, I dunno.


Alexandria, Va.: Pardon my ignorance but what is Havaiana and what are slap bracelets??

Liz Kelly: Maybe Producer Paul, who has more important things to do than googling flip-flops, would be kind enough to find us some pix?


It involves having a hard time finding men of my acquaintance (who are all properly schooled) to actually allow themselves to be photographed wearing pleats. : Maybe you can make their faces fuzzy, or put a black mark across their face to protect their identities.

Liz Kelly: Or I could allow them to wear paper bags over their heads like The Unknown Comic.


pleated pants pics: You could do a B-roll shot of men walking in pleated pants without showing their faces, just like news programs do for stories on obesity, filming the big bellies. I think we'd all appreciate that.

Liz Kelly: That sounds suspiciously like a video. Which involves way more work than a poster. But could be incredibly rewarding.


Movie Rentals: HBO/Showtime series on DVD. There is so much to choose from! "Deadwood," "Carnivale," "Sopranos," "Tudors," "Rome," "John Adams," etc.

Or dig up old TV series from your childhood. I just did a marathon of "Shogun" (I heart Richard Chamberlain) and "I, Claudius" (I also heart Patrick Stewart) when I was sick recently.

As time goes on, I find myself less drawn by movies and more satisfied by TV-on-DVD. I think it is because I can watch an episode (half hour, hour) and be satisfied. Might work for you, since with young kids I doubt you have 2-3 hours in a row to spare on a movie.

Liz Kelly: For me it's the satisfaction of knowing that when I finish an episode there are many more to come -- it's like returning to a good book each night.

Quick survey: What's everyone reading right now?


Netflix ennui: I second your suggestion of TV-on-DVD. The possibilities are endless. Start with shows on premium cable channels that you don't have (or, like me, you have the channel but didn't just get around to watching the show -- which is why my queue is full of "Six Feet Under," "Rome," and "The Wire"). My favorite catch-ups have been early "Dexter" and "Weeds." If you don't have HBO, you can't get lighter and more fun than "Flight of the Conchords."

Or revisit your youth. Many of our old favorites are on DVD (though I haven't specifically checked Netflix for them) -- you probably can find "Family Ties," or "Cheers," or "The Cosby Show," or (moving later) "Friends," or "Seinfeld." I assume the good ones from the '60s and '70s are out there too. (Ooh, try "Soap!")

Liz Kelly: Another vote for TV on DVD...


Richmond, Va.: For the bored one, I've been rewatching '80s fantasy movies:

"Dark Crystal," "Beastmaster," "Ladyhawke," "Time Bandits," "Willow," "Clash of the Titans."

washingtonpost.com: "Legend"?

Liz Kelly: Wow. It's like my dream film festival.


Alexandria, VA: Liz, Given your outspoken opposition (and rightfully so) to men wearing pleated pants -- please be honest and admit President Obama looked like a Big 'Ol Washington Dork in those awful pressed mom jeans he rocked at the All Star game? Maybe he isn't as "cool" as we have been lead to believe?

Liz Kelly: Yeah, these are pretty high and tight. I guess we need to resign ourselves to the fact that Michelle is the fashionista in that marriage.


Ashburn, Va.: (Maybe this should go to the Lost chat)

One of the leads (2nd male lead) in Spring Awakening at the Kennedy Center is Blake Bashoff, who played Karl.

He's very talented! Just thought you might want to know that one of the old cast members is in DC for the next couple of weeks...

Liz Kelly: I had heard that Karl was in town. Maybe Jen and/or I will try to chat him up before he moves on.

Speaking of "Lost" -- Jen will be heading out to Comic-Con at the end of the month and plans to get all the scoop for us live from the "Lost" panel. The -- sniff sniff -- last one ever.


Haivainas: They are awful for you, Liz. Flip flops are just terrible for one's feet and Achilles tendon. You are setting yourself up for plantar faschitis big time. Besides, they are ugly. Enough with the flip flops, people. They are for the shower at the gym.

washingtonpost.com: I actually have had chronic plantar fasciatis and Havianas are the only flip-flops I will wear. Like walking on a cloud.

Liz Kelly: Anyone else want to cop to a malady? I imagine this is what retirement may be like.


Hollywood and Vain: What this about Mischa Barton being escorted from her home by police ? Does she just dig guys in uniform or is she in hot water again ?

Liz Kelly: We don't know all the details yet. The story we have so far is that the LAPD was called to Barton's home to assist with a "medical situation." Whether that means choking on a pretzel or over-indulging in [insert controlled substance of choice here] we don't know.


Houston: ummm...I'm reading "Infinite Jest" in honor of David Foster Wallace

Liz Kelly: Okay, cool -- I'm using you (that's "you" plural) to build my summer reading list.

I'm currently reading Stephen King's "Gunslinger" and that Gwynnie-recommended detox book (hey, it's part of my job).


That sounds suspiciously like a video. Which involves way more work than a poster. But could be incredibly rewarding. : And washingtonpost.com pays you HOW MUCH for doing this?

Liz Kelly: I have a feeling I'd have to do this one on my own. A labor of love.


Washington, DC: Annoying. That's the one. And bored. Incredibly, utterly, mind-numbingly bored. (At least I was until you began answering my questions, so I guess now I'm back to annoying.)

Liz Kelly: I think we could work with annoying. It might actually be somewhat interesting to have your socially awkward attempts at friendship captured on tape and then have you set up with some kind of life coach tasked with making you less annoying.

That is, if I believed you. I don't think you sound annoying at all.


washingtonpost.com: Obama in Mom Jeans

washingtonpost.com: Obama in Mom Jeans

Liz Kelly: For anyone who missed Obama's fashion faux pas.


Snarkville, VA: Given that "John & Kate Plus 8" may now be a bad hairdo memory, and considering that Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo are now history, as are Nick Lachey and Vanessa Vanilla Manilla (...whatever...) are over and done with, how about this for a new TLC reality show: "Jess & Nick Re-Click"?

Liz Kelly: I'm liking it. It isn't as if either one has anything to lose at this point.

Or maybe instead Jessica could move in with Jennifer Aniston and we could watch as they commiserate about their strings of failed relationships and compare notes re: John Mayer.


I apologize in advance but: I can't stop thinking about Jon of "Jon and Kate Plus 8" being in France, photographed drinking what looks like champagne, after partying on a yacht in St. Tropez, with his new young girlfriend, who is the daughter of the doctor who gave his soon to be ex-wife a tummy tuck after she had sextuplets.

While I am at my desk.

Liz Kelly: No need to apologize. Your among friends here.


Quatch Cave: Sasquatch is now reading "The Snow Leopard," by Peter Matthiessen. It could be a candidate for your Lost Book Club.

Liz Kelly: Okay. Thanks.


Quick survey: What's everyone reading right now?: "Cemetery Dance" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. A little bit of New York, a little bit of voodoo.

Liz Kelly: Ooh, I like the sound of that. I'm resisting vampire books.


What I just read: "The Ten Best Days of My Life" -- very good Maeve Binchy's new book -- thoroughly enjoyable and lightweight, just like her other books "The First 30 Days" by Ariane de Bounvoisin -- very good book about how to successfully navigate through change

Liz Kelly: Another suggestion...


Producer Paul: just won my heart for mentioning "Legend," the movie that was supposed to kill Tom Cruise's career. It's my favorite Tim Curry movie - seriously.

washingtonpost.com: And you lost mine for preferring it to "Clue."

Liz Kelly: Okay, I'm going to pass this along without comment (secretly smug in the knowledge that "Beastmaster" is a better movie than either "Legend" or "Clue.")


New York, NY: My summer reading - just started the 19th Wife - I would describe it as the historical fiction Under the Banner of Heaven. It is the story of Brigham Young's wife who divorced him interwined with a current murder on an FDLS-type compound.

So far it is great, but I'm obsessed with the show Big Love.

Liz Kelly: That sounds promising. I read "Under the Banner of Heaven" and really enjoyed it -- as much as you can enjoy somewhat unsettling non-fiction.


Arlington: I had a fringed t-shirt once. It was lavendar and had a unicorn on it. Wore it roller skating.

Liz Kelly: That sounds like you were a kid. Maybe a kid in the '80s. In which case you're forgiven.

But I want you to know that I have -- as recently as last summer -- witnessed people on the O.C. boardwalk non-ironially wearing fringed air-brushed t-shirts. I was shaken for a good week after.


Wasoooooooookie-ington, DC: I'm reading the Sookie Stackhouse series upon which the amazing "True Blood" is based. Silly, entertaining and a more bodice-ripping than the "Twilight" series!

Liz Kelly: Again, I'm avoiding the vampire stories and enjoying "True Blood" so much I don't want to ruin it by reading ahead.


Tour de Lance: Yeah, been watching the Tour too.. So sick of it being all about Lance. If I didn't like Contador so much I'd almost wish that the team in-fighting would cause the entire team to flame out..

Who do you think is cuter, Cavendish or Cancellara?

Liz Kelly: Oh, Cavendish, most def.

Mr. Liz is a Franco Pellizotti fan and such a huge bike nerd that he ordered himself a Team Liquigas jersey.


Chat Management: Why can one person host a chat about all celebrities but it takes two to chat about one TV show ?

Liz Kelly: Your point?


Arlington, VA: I hate when people say flip-flops are ugly. They are so basic and simple, it's hard to mess up something like that. Do you know when flip-flops are ugly? When your feet are ugly. Yeah, I said it.

Liz Kelly: Ooh, check you out.


What I'm reading: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." I'm only 50 pages in, but it's reasonably funny. I was inspired by the Post review. (And judging from the local bestseller lists, I'm not the only one.)

Liz Kelly: I want to read that, but am afraid it will forever ruin my Darcy fantasies. Will it?


Curmudge, on: I'm reading James Lee Burke's "Swan Peak".

James Lee's prose is like buttah on a biscuit.

Liz Kelly: Okay, thanky.


mesh shirt: My ex-husband had one of those mesh shirts. I've even got pictures of him wearing it.

Liz Kelly: Wow. How Adrian Zmed of him.

Is this the reason he's your ex or were there other factors?


Reading List: Just read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Incredible story of the civil rights era. It helped focus the reality of it for me, especially since I'm from a generation that can't really wrap our heads around the idea that the world really used to be that way.

Liz Kelly: Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to look that one up.


Copping a Malady: I have trigger finger. It's very odd. It hurts a lot to "untrigger".

Liz Kelly: But is it itchy?


Washington DC: I'm reading Winter's Tale, by Mark Helprin. It's stunning, mesmerizing, utterly baffling in parts.

Liz Kelly: Okay, I'm going to power through a bunch of these suggestions. Bear with me...


I'm reading...: "Cat's Eye" by Margaret Atwood. Pretty good, but if you ever the subject of meanness as a young girl (as we all were), boy, it sure can bring up feelings you thought had been erased.

Liz Kelly: ...


Summer readin': I've been going through the Wally Lamb books - just read She's Come Undone & I Know This Much is True (War & Peace long but worth it), and am about to start his new one The Hour I First Believed.

Liz Kelly: ...


Reading: I'm reading Confederacy of Dunces for my book club, and Beyond Band of Brothers for me. (Band of Brothers is also a good Netflix suggestion! Action for the boys, cute boys for the girls! Also, good acting, etc.)

Liz Kelly: ...


re: Cemetery Dance: I would recommend beginning from the start of the entire series with "Relic." A creepy mixture of science and mystery. Although, you could read Cemetery Dance first and be okay.

Liz Kelly: ...


Pleats photograph me: I love you Liz but I don't agree with you on pleats. Come on down to the 11th floor and I'll gladly let you take my picture for your pleats projmeect.

Liz Kelly: Oooh, someone at post.com cops to wearing pleats.

Okay, man -- I work at home most of the time. How about you get one of your 11th floor buddies to snap a pic and e-mail it to me?


Or maybe instead Jessica could move in with Jennifer Aniston : Oooh, that's a good one. It will make Jen look way smarter than she probably is and Jess would look positively stoic.

Liz Kelly: I'm not sure Jess is capable of stoic.


What's everyone reading right now? : "Barnacle Love," by Canadian author Anthony De Sa.

Liz Kelly: More...


Currently Reading: "The Russian Concubine" by Kate Furnivall. I love historical fiction. I just finished "The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality" by the Dalai Lama and I highly recommend it.

Liz Kelly: ...


Reading Materials: "Unlikely Disciple" - true story of a kid a Brown who "studies abroad" at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. It was awesome except I hate the guy for being 22 and a great published writer.

Liz Kelly: Oh yeah -- I read a review of this and meant to add it to my list. Thanks for the reminder.


Please tell me...: ...that Octomom has just. gone. away.

Liz Kelly: Well, when Radar Online has pretty much stopped covering her, the circus has definitely moved on. Though I did see some headline last week about one of her older kids pulling a knife on the grandmother -- or something like that.


Obama's mom jeans: It's not just that the jeans are bad, which they are, it's those blindingly white sneakers. Doesn't he own a pair of cooler athletic shoes? Michelle, please, help your husband out!

Liz Kelly: Well, but he is the president. We don't want him hitting the field in holey Chuck Taylors or these ug-mo trendy things that all the kids are sporting.


My problem with flip-flops: is that more feet are INDEED UGLY. I dread summer. Sandals on the Metro. Ick Nast.

Liz Kelly: All feet? Even regularly pedicured feet?


I need a sleep aid: I slept late this morning and had a disturbing dream about Swoozie Kurtz driving a truck on the sidewalk and a fat woman riding an elephant down the street. Not sure if this is appropriate for this chat but thought you may have some advice for me...

washingtonpost.com: We really need to have a "share your celebrity dreams" chat some week.

Liz Kelly: We do. In fact I can't believe we haven't already.


Can we please have some Celebritology here?: Enough with the books. Did you see this?

washingtonpost.com: Madonna "Devastated" After Deadly Stage Crash - E! Online

Liz Kelly: Sorry -- we got a bit off track. It's summer. It happens.

That's horrible news. Love her or hate her, you can't blame Madge for a stage collapse. Though it is kind of jarring to think someone lost their life so a Madonna show could go on.


Separated at Birth in DC: Hi Liz, takin' a stay-cation and watchin' way too much daytime TV (if not on the stay-cation then when?) noticed that the guy who hosts Cash Cabs looks a lot like Jon (Hum-nah, Hum-nah, Hum-nah) Hamm. Kind of like his older, bald and follicly challenged Bro. Are they related? cause if he went to the Emmys in his place would anyone notice?

washingtonpost.com: Ben Bailey

Liz Kelly: You're right. That's almost uncanny. He's like a bald Don Draper.


D.C.: Less Kate + 8. More Jon + date.

washingtonpost.com: Another fine representative of my alma mater: EXCLUSIVE: See Mugshot of Jon Gosselin's New Girlfriend

Liz: Ya know, as mug shots go, that really isn't so bad. She looks downright tickled to be there.


You know you're at Neverland Ranch when...: When you look at the photo of Morgan Freeman and Bill Clinton and get a stronger Ick Nast from Morgan than Bill...

I say this as a avid Liberal who totally loved what Clinton did for our country but continues to be skeeved by the chronic philandererness of Bubba.

Liz Kelly: I'm guessing this is a reference to Freeman's supposed relationship with his step-granddaughter.


"My suggestion is to put on an all-green outfit and roll down a hill." -- Zooey Deschanel on how to best enjoy summer.: Been there, done that. It's overrated. What else can we do?

Liz Kelly: Ummm... all yellow and roll up a hill?


I agree, rent old TV shows/mini series: Honestly, I am going through the mini series North South right now and am loving it. Totally cheezy and it stars Patrick Sweayze with a cameo from Johnny Cash!

Liz Kelly: OH man, I loved that when it first aired. I was in junior high, I think. The only mini-series I liked more in that era was the Don Johnson version of "A Long, Hot Summer." Sigh.

What happened to the mini-series? Kids today don't know what they missed.


Reading list of a fashionista?: What does it say about me that I'm reading trashy romances (Stephanie Laurens is my current fave author) and the new A-Rod biography, wear Birkenstocks to the office, and love love love my Crocs flip-flops?

washingtonpost.com: If you're a lawyer, it might mean you're our composite demographic incarnate.

Liz Kelly: Only if you're billing this hour to a client.


Arlington, VA: MJ leg picture - OMG - major ick nast. John Mayer - male 'ho, or no? Supposedly the cause of the Jessica/Tony Romo breakup. And - to counter act that leg picture- a picture of our resident celeb - Andy!

Liz Kelly: I'm going to go out on a limb and say, sure -- Mayer's a bit of a playboy. But I'm not sure there's anything wrong with that. From what I can tell, he's honest about it.

And no Andy pix this week, but I can offer this pic of a hawk snapped this morning in my back yard. I know, he doesn't quite have the presence of Andy, but it's all I've got.


Madison, Wisc.: Ewww, that person likes Contador? He's such a dirty cheater. I'm hoping for a long-shot victory from Cadel Evans or Andy Schleck. And Thor Hushovd for the Green jersey. Cavendish is a cutie, but I like to cheer for the underdog, and I feel like Cav is getting a little big for his (spandex) britches.

washingtonpost.com: Is it really fair to single anyone in CYCLING out as a cheater?

Liz Kelly: Yeah. Contador is kind of a jerk. Considering that move he pulled back on the first day in the Pyrenees. I doubt anyone on his team is going to do much to help him at this point.


Liz Kelly: Okay, time for me to head over to the "Lost" Hour.

I'll see you back here next week. In the meantime, keep reading Celebritology.


washingtonpost.com: 'Lost' Season 1 and 2 Review

Liz: For any interested parties... we can continue talking about Crocs and "Beastmaster," even.


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