Nicole Brodeur fills in readers on the Nordstrom Designer Preview, Groundswell and the book "Things I Want to Punch in the Face" by Seattle author Jennifer Worick.

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Remember that “Sex and the City” episode where Carrie Bradshaw falls flat on the runway, gets passed by a model, and refers to herself as “fashion roadkill”?

That was me at the Nordstrom Designer Preview, where I tumbled off a riser just moments after the last poker-faced-and-ponytailed model made her exit. That’s what you get for shopping at T.J. Maxx.

Thanks to Nordstrom downtown manager Todd Buntin for helping me up. (A fine how-do-you-do.)

Fine event, too, which raised $35,000 for the Seattle Art Museum Supporters, according to its president, Colette Courtion.

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It was also a chance for Seattle folks to try to buy fashions we don’t always get here.

“It’s like the magazines come to life,” said attendee Randy Pollock, of Mercer Island.

I spotted an orange Birkin bag, a $1,050 pair of purple Christian Laboutin pumps, and among the high-heeled and short-skirted, a beige-booted woman looked a heckuva lot like Theresa Olson. Remember her? She’s the lawyer who got into trouble after engaging in a now-infamous jailhouse “hug gone bad” with her client, convicted murderer Sebastian Burns. LinkedIn says she’s now the production engineering assistant for C.C. Filson.


We really are the world

Big night for global health Saturday at McCaw Hall, where the Washington Global Health Alliance held Groundswell, a veritable rallying of the troops to give the whole world a shot at a healthy life.

The number of agencies aimed at reducing disease — and the statistics they’re up against — were a little overwhelming.

“Don’t get me started on the malaria groups, because I can’t get them straight,” said Andrew Barrer, of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, as we shared a table with Institute for Systems Biology co-founder Leroy Hood and his wife, Valerie Logan Hood.

Before the big event, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $250,000 seed grants for innovations aimed at reducing maternal and newborn deaths in low-resource settings. Five hundred applied, but only 17 were awarded in what Peter Singer of Grand Challenges Canada called “the ‘American Idol’ of global health.”

Among the winners: Seattle’s own Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), which hopes to develop a low-cost test for gestational diabetes.

And then there were George Chen, 19, and Noah Greenbaum, 21, two Johns Hopkins undergrads who won a grant for their idea to use cellphones to screen for anemia and report results to a central server.

Call your moms with the news, I told them.

“Mom? Our project just won $250,000!” Greenbaum told his mother, Maureen, back in New Jersey.


“Don’t sound so surprised!”

The program ended with Melinda French Gates issuing a charge to the audience:

“All of you are in this for a reason,” she said. “Go where your heart is on fire. It’s the smarts that help you get the work done, but the heart will keep you on fire while you’re doing it. And it will change you in ways that you cannot even imagine today.”

Short route to screen

The Sundance Institute came to Seattle the other day with its Shortslab seminar, featuring “Your Sister’s Sister” director Lynn Shelton, cinematographer Ben Kasulke and feature film director Todd Haynes (“Far from Heaven,” “Velvet Goldmine,” HBO’s “Mildred Pierce”).

Haynes showed his 1987 short film “Superstar,” which recalled singer Karen Carpenter’s struggle with anorexia — using Barbies.

“It felt cool to redeem someone who had been totally dismissed,” said Haynes, who “painstakingly” researched the story, right down to Karen’s addiction to Ipecac. But the film was crippled because Haynes used the duo’s music without permission and was sued by Richard Carpenter.

“There was an intense sort of rigidity in that family,” he said. I’ll bet.

His charge to the crowd?

“Make films any way you can,” Haynes said. “and that often starts with short films.”

One girl’s guide to anger management

Local side-splitter and author Jennifer Worick has written an incredibly un-Seattle book titled “Things I Want to Punch in the Face.”

This tiny tome, to be released in October, is like a balm. A sampling:

Naked pregnancy portraits. Knighted celebrities. Silk flowers. Seat hogs. Precious Moments.

Most timely: Grocery Bag Guilt, which has descended on Seattle like a fog, thanks to the new plastic-bag ban.

Mine: Wait staff who inquire if I’m still “working” on my meal, as if I’m eating with a trowel in a Carhartt jacket.


Names in Bold appears Tuesday. Reach Nicole at 206-464-2334 or

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