Thursday, January 16, 2014

Song of the Day


Syd Arthur is a group of four guys from Canterbury, that look like a British Nirvana. Heavily inspired by late sixties early seventies, their sound reflects those generations, with a disco-y rock sound. I love them, because they sound like a hybrid of The Black Keys, Jake Bugg, and Steely Dan--with a touch of Led Zeppelin. Listen to "Ode to Summer" and you'll hear exactly what I mean.

They named themselves after Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd, and Arthur, in reference to the Kinks concept album. Their music is just an all around good time, and is guaranteed to put you in a happy mood--I love listening to them when I'm at work. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Golden Globes 2014: Best Dressed List


1. Amber Heard in Versace
2. Amy Poehler in Stella McCartney
3. Caitlin FitzGerald in Emilia Wickstead
4. Emilia Clarke in Proenza Schouler
5. Emma Roberts in Lanvin
6. Emma Thompson vintage Lanvin
7. Helen Mirren in Jenny Packham
8. Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Roberto Cavalli
9. Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Narcisco Rodriguez
10. Julianna Margulies in Andrew Gn


11. Julie Bowen in Carolina Herrera
12. Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad
13. Kate Mara in J Mendel
14. Laura Dern in Roberto Cavalli
15. Lizzy Caplan in Emilio Pucci
16. Lupita Nyong'o in Ralph Lauren
17. Margot Robbie in Gucci
18. Naomi Watts in Tom Ford
19. Rashida Jones in Fausto Puglisi
20. Robin Wright in Reem Acra

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why I Suck

...and the rest of us Millennials.

I PROMISE I will get to my Golden Globes post tomorrow--when I say I have no time this week, I have zero time.

In fact, I'm squeezing this post in between meetings, at yes, almost 7pm.

But hey, gotta pay my dues, because at the end of the day--I deserve to be here at the bottom.

I'm only 24, and as I've posted before, one of the worst traits of my generation is our sense of entitlement, which even I am guilty of often.

But then I read articles like this on The Huffington Post, and it reminds me why I need to straighten up, buckle down, work hard, and make something of myself.

So read this post, and remember your purpose in life: to make something of yourself. And if you're really lucky, you'll find a way to make something of yourself, while helping others and making an impact.

Monday, January 13, 2014

BOOM: How to Shut Down Your Haters 101

I had every intention today of posting my best dressed list for the 2014 Golden Globes, but my work load today had other plans, and there is a pile on my desk two feet tall that must be addressed before tomorrow. Therefore, that will have to wait until tomorrow. However, when I scouring the Internet for pictures of the gorgeous gowns this morning, I came across this tidbit on Cosmopolitan.com. 

Apparently, Twitter was blowing up last night with the negative comments about Gabourey Sidibe and the dress that she chose. With numerous hateful and fat-shaming comments, reading the feedback was disgusting. Like, we get it people--she's plus sized. Do you REALLY THINK she doesn't know, and isn't incredibly aware of this fact?



So in response to the negative comments and haters, this was Gabourey's response:


BOOM.

AND THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE FOLKS! Who gives a fuck what she looks like when you're bank rolling, and doing what you love?

I don't know why I'm even in awe of her response, because Gabourey is known for being sassy, and just not giving a fuckity fuck what anyone thinks.

I know, I know, it's unhealthy, and not an ideal body type for a long life, but who is the public to tell her that? That's between her and her doctor, and APPARENTLY the rest of America.


and whoever doesn't agree with me, should go listen to Beyonce's "Flawless" and listen to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's excerpt.  

 Like, now. And get a soul while you're at it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beyoncé : Fierce Year-Round

People magazine recently featured Beyoncé in their "Beauty Watch" section, showing how often she changes up her look. I can't decide which look is my best, because naturally she looks amazing in all of them. I was a HUGE fan of that pixie though.

....just another reminder and reason #682 Beyoncé is Queen B.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Your Daily Inspiration

I've been slowly getting sick over the last couple days, and I woke up today feeling awful. I seemed to have broken a fever overnight, and woke up more stuffed up and fatigued than normal. I had every excuse to not put in atleast a few minutes of exercise today, (which was another one of my resolutions) but then I saw this video. I love this woman. She is very candid about her struggles as she documents 100 days of exercise on her journey to weight loss. No gimmicks, just hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude. Even at the end, she has a long way to go, but her positivity is infectious, and you just know she continued her journey. Check out the clip here--if she can do it, so can I!

Bottom line--she convinced me to do my Tracy Anderson DVD. Not well I might add, as I wasn't getting enough air only breathing out of my mouth, so I had to stop every 5 minutes--but hey, I tried right?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fat Shaming at its Finest

We've all heard of muffin tops, and I recently learned about bingo wings. (Which according to UrbanDictionary.com, my source for all terms "trendy" and frankly, made-up means, "The hanging fat that swings from an obese womans upper arms when they are raised and shaken while shouting 'Bingo!' during a tournament").

However, the latest "buzz word" to add to your list of fat-shaming terms is buffalo hump. You've probably never heard of this, but you've definitely seen it. Naturally, I learned about this on the Daily Mail, in an article on how the percentages of people getting plastic surgery are steadily on the climb.

But a "buffalo hump" is the deposit of fat on the upper back, that sits below the neck. The bulge gives a Quasimodo effect, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Having poor posture certainly doesn't help the look of the buffalo hump either, as it angers the beast, and it rears its ugly head.

Still don't know what I'm referring to? As I was writing this and googling photos of this unfortunate condition, I saw that The Frisky has already written an article about this, and giving the topic far more justice than I am right now.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beyoncé = "Flawless"



I am obsessed with the song "Flawless." Fresh off Beyoncé's new album that she dropped guerrilla-style a couple weeks ago, I cannot stop listening to it. I have this incredibly annoying habit where I get one or two lines of a song stuck in my head, and I say it aloud on repeat over and over. I don't even realize I'm doing it, it becomes so second nature.

That being said, my cubicle mate is two minutes away from tearing the partition down and strangling me, because I keep saying over and over "GODDAMMN GODDAMNN say I, look so gooood toniiiiiiiight" the incredibly catchy hook from the end of this song. I'm telling you now, this is going to be the female power anthem this Spring. I can already picture the squealing that will ensue when tipsy girls hear this song over the speakers at the club and do what they believe are their "hottest" dance moves (though really they just look amazingly ratchet.)

Anyways, if you've listened to Beyoncé's album, then you have very quickly noticed how sexual the album is. Each song is heavy laden with sexual innuendos and sometimes, even no innuendos--she just flat out says what she's craving, and puts it all out there--but in a typical Beyoncé manner, she manages to find the perfect balance between class, and her inner Houston ghetto/gangsta. It's amazing. How she does this, I have no clue, but I would kill to be able to wear the assless denim cutoffs she rocks in this video, yet still be considered lady. Because only Beyoncé can twerking in a video one minute, and fist-bumping Michelle Obama the next.

Like all of Beyoncé's songs, "Flawless" is about female empowerment. But this song along with "Pretty Hurts" really drives the message home. Featuring Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and an excerpt from her TED talk, "We Should All Be Feminists" the song hits many issues on the female landscape. For example, in Chimamanda's part she says, 

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller
 

We say to girls: "You can have ambition, but not too much
You should aim to be successful, but not too successful
Otherwise, you will threaten the man"
 

Because I am female, 
I am expected to aspire to marriage  
I am expected to make my life choices, always keeping in mind that marriage is most important  
Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support,  
but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage, and we don't teach boys the same?  
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
 

We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are  
Feminist: a person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes

My personal favorite is how she defined what it means to be a feminist at the end. Somewhere along the line, the word "feminist" became attached to a negative implication, and I have no idea why. People wrongfully picture a hippie, or a woman who just wants to be "slutty" or a career woman, when being a feminist does not involve any of the above. In fact, it's not even a reflection of their opinions of men; they just want to be granted the same respect, lifestyle, pay, opportunities, and "freedoms" that men do. Beyoncé touches on this frequently throughout her album, because with such a sexually charged-album, she takes back the power. Men are celebrated and patted on the back for their sexuality and conquests, and Beyoncé follows suit. (HELLO lyrics like on her single "Blow:"

 Can you eat my skittles?
That's the sweetest in the middle. Pink that's the flavor
Solve the riddle
I'm-a lean back
Don't worry it's nothing major
Make sure you clean that box
That's the only way to get the
Flavor......) 

Point is: this is not an album for children, and you know what? THAT's OKAY. She is a grown woman, and there is nothing wrong with her singing about the female sexuality and desires, considering rappers ONLY talk about their many women, conquests, and sex, sex, sex. After all, the biggest single this year was Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," which caused quite a stir when it was first released for its rape-y (that's not a word, but it should be!) undertones. And don't even get me started on his video. Don't get me wrong, its hot--but Pharrell, Robin, and T.I. are brushing naked women's hair, licking ice cream, pushing the women in tiny toy cars, etc., and in a weird way, treating these grown women like little girls.  

In addition to addressing female sexuality and feminism, Beyoncé also undertakes the female self-esteem. Women are known for their competitiveness and tearing each other down, when we should be lifting each other up. That's why I love the ending to the song, because it's all about loving yourself, and embracing yourself for being a woman. ("Pretty Hurts" does this too, but addresses society's expectations on what we should look like, and how difficult it is being a woman.) She does this in "Flawless," by ending the song in a chant, where women repeat after her:

We flawless, ladies tell 'em
I woke up like this
I woke up like this
We flawless, ladies tell 'em
Say I, look so good tonight
God damn, God damn
Say I, look so good tonight
God damn, God damn, God damn
I'm Flawless

Which surprisingly, really works. For the same reason why I mentioned earlier that women would squeal on the dance floor and bring out their hottest/most ratchet moves to this song, is the same reason why it works; because it makes you FEEL GOOD. Queen B provides that verbal affirmation and empowerment that every single woman on this planet is craving, and manages to reassure them that they look damn good at the same time. What more could you want?

Check out Beyoncé's video for "Flawless" and watch her not only sing about female empowerment, but exemplify it too. If nothing else, watch the video for her hot assless denim shorts, and her sick dance moves. Only she can be mean muggin, yet still manage to look so damn cool and pretty.

  *PS-Young B on Star Search also bookends the video--proving she's been a flawless entertainer from the beginning.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

IMPORTANT: Hard-Hitting News

This falls under the WTF category.

You will assume that this post also falls under the laziness category, because it's so short. But I figured I've provided wayyy too much lecturing/rambling lately, and not enough randomness. (Though yesterday's was a  pretty random list--in case you can't tell, my personality is all over the place.)

But today, I was checking the Daily Mail like I do everyday, and not surprisingly, this headline caught my eye. Whoever wrote this, high five, because your job might be even cooler than the guy who writes the headlines for the New York Post. (I'll elaborate on that later, because it's seriously my dream job.)



Yes, you read that correctly. "Ex-wife of Cormac McCarthy pulled silver handgun from her genitals during argument with boyfriend over space aliens."

It doesn't add to the story, but just FYI Cormac McCarthy is the Pulitzer Prize winning writer, who has written novels like The Road and No Country for Old Men. 

BUT POINT IS--this is hard-hitting news. I mean, obviously I'm going to read it because I love reading trash, and it is the Daily Mail after all, my source for any dire or important information. You know, things like is Kim K losing her hair? What is the age difference between Bradley Cooper and Suki Waterhouse? Is Cara Delevigne making out with Michelle Rodriguez? What does Dwayne Wade's new baby momma look like?

But seriously, I'm fucking done. I can look no further for the most intriguing news line of all time, and the most fascinatingly trashy story I've ever read. This is AMURICA, folks!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Five Favorite Things

1. FSU winning the Rose Bowl.
A proud alum of Florida State University, last night was epic. Despite my bias, last night was one of the greatest football games I've ever seen. Play after play was a game changer. With Auburn taking the lead with roughly a minute left, I cried, and sank to my knees. But Jameis Winston did not win the Heisman as a freshman for nothing, as they gained 80 yards in the last minute, and was successful with 6 out of 7 completions. With THIRTEEN SECONDS LEFT, we scored the game-winning touchdown. My knees hurt today from all the jumping up and down, and my voice is hoarse from screaming. Best. Game. Ever. Never been more proud and into a game in my life. And that's saying a lot considering I used to take Nancy Drew books to every single football game my dad dragged me to growing up.


2. The Selfie Olympics
This is one of those things I stumbled upon on the sidebar of a website. The ridiculous selfie, and the lengths that this person went to take a photo of themselves, was so shocking, (dare I say gripping?) that I clicked the link to visit College Candy's site. I still can't decide if this was a good decision. It made My 5 Favorite Things List, so clearly part of me likes the ridiculousness of The Selfie Olympics, and the ratchet ideas people came up with to win. On the other hand, this is the demise of America people, when words like "selfie" are added to the dictionary, and people have WAY, WAY too much time on their hands. (Especially the guy that broke into his NEIGHBORS bathroom
to take a selfie--like what? You're willing to risk jail to take a selfie? Ok I quit.)

Just look up #SelfieOlympics on Instagram, and see for yourself.

3. HOMELAND.
I know, I know. Where have I been the last 3 years? Homeland always kind of turned me off, because I'm already a realist, (ok cynic) and felt that I didn't need another excuse to be all worried and paranoid about our government activities. One snowy Saturday later and I haven't been able to put my iPad down. Let me put it this way--each episode is an hour long, and there's 36 episodes total. I've watched 24 in 3 days. I work 9 hour days. That means I spend 8 hours a day watching Homeland. And the remaining 7 hours are divided between eating, a social life, working out, and occasionally sleeping. Claire Danes is really, really good at playing a crazy, damsel in distress, if her role in "Rainmaker" didn't prove that to you already. But Homeland might be the best acting I've ever seen.
Love this: from thefrisky.com!
Claire Danes recently said in an interview that "I really have never been concerned with being beautiful on screen. That's just not my jam." Normally you would roll your eyes at a typical, narcissistic actress saying this, but Claire Danes is not your normal actress. Playing bi-polar and intense counter-terrorist CIA agent, she has no time to pretty, and despite her plain look on screen, her acting is so spectacular with her face conveying a multitude of emotions at once, that she radiates, no matter the amount of makeup. She is down played, and made to look like a sleep-deprived, neurotic woman, but she's arguably the best actress of our generation. If you debate that last statement, watch Homeland and you will never say another word. I can guarantee it. I mean, there's a reason why she's won NINE highly-coveted awards for this role. Golden Globes, SAG awards, Emmy, Critic's Choice, you name it...

4. The Real Housewives Optical Illusion
I love the Real Housewives franchise--to the point that it's a problem, and I really should go to rehab. I can't get enough of their ridiculousness, their stupid worries, and subjecting myself to the envy of their closets, cars, homes, etc. However, the one thing I do not envy is their over the top use of plastic surgery. Some so much so, that they are unrecognizable. Take people like Lisa Hochstein, the Real Housewife from Miami who is only 29 (maybe 30 now?) but has already had so much Botox, she looks like the cat lady. In fact, she honestly looks like a well-kept 45 year old, because why would a woman have so much Botox at such a young age? I came across this photo of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and it startled me, because it looks like such an optical illusion. Rumor has it there are two things that show a woman's true age: her hands and her neck. I would like to add legs to the mix, because naturally as you get older, you have more age marks, varicose veins, spots, etc. Looking at this photo, you can see just how much work the women have had on their face, and how plastic and stiff they are. Then you look down. Their knees and calves don't match up with their faces at ALL, sans Brandi Glanville, the youngest of the group pictured. It almost reminds me of those Russian dolls where you spin the top, middle, and bottom to mix and match body parts...HYSTERICAL. Is there such thing as a leg job? Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying they have bad legs. They all look amazing! I'm just saying there is nothing wrong with aging gracefully :)

5. Ellie Goulding's "Goodness Gracious" video.
I love Ellie Goulding--we all know this. But her video for her new single "Goodness Gracious" is even more likeable. Reminding me of the colors of a MGMT video, mixed with the fun "hanging out with friends" theme of say, a Katy Perry video, it's just a fun, visual experience, that is a far cry from videos Ellie normally does. Her videos tend to be more dark and expressive of her tomboy side, but this video is a welcomed surprise, and aesthetically pleasing. Miley Cyrus--take note, and please stop doing these "edgy" videos of you touching yourself. K thanks.
I really have never been concerned about being beautiful on-screen. That’s just not my jam.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Resolutions

Every year, I make a list of resolutions I wholeheartedly plan on keeping in the new year, but it never works out. Some are incredibly unreasonable so I don't beat myself up too much, (i.e. walking 5 miles every. single. day.) but others really bother me when I let them fall to the wayside. Like everyone else in the obesity-ridden America, the majority involve weight loss, eating better, juicing (HA!) exercising, etc., and while I normally start out following these new healthy changes, my job, lack of time, social life, and every other excuse in the book comes between me and my goal. However, this year, I have one resolution that I've already failed at keeping up, that's really bothering me. (No like, its already January 6th, and I've only managed to do it once--I suck.)

Right before New Years, I read a great blog article, that a friend of mine posted on Facebook. Titled, "Something Small, Every Day," it's premise is simple; do something small, every day.

Blogger Austin Kleon writes, 

"Figure out what your little daily chunk of work is, and every day, no matter what, make sure it gets done.Don’t say you don’t have enough time. We’re all busy, but we all get 24 hours a day. People often ask me, “How do you find the time for the work?” And I answer, “I look for it.” You find time the same place you find spare change: in the nooks and crannies. You find it in the cracks between the big stuff—your commute, your lunch break, the few hours after your kids go to bed. You might have to miss an episode of your favorite TV show, you might have to miss an hour of sleep, but you can find the time to work if you look for it."

Your daily chunk of work should be something that you love, and inspires you. Not only will it help you improve your craft, but you will learn to find beauty even in the days that are difficult. Kleon writes, "Should you start to despair at your progress, always keep in mind the words of Harvey Pekar: 'Every day is a new deal. Keep working and maybe something will turn up.'”

So if you have only 10 minutes to do your "work" and it sucks, don't fret--you can try again tomorrow. That's the beauty in all of this; You get a sense of accomplishment for having completed your "work" and maintaining something every day, and who knows, you could look back on yesterday's shitty work, and it could be better than you thought.

Bottom line, there is nothing but growth, creativity, and improvement happening. Because your worst time working on your craft, is still time spent working on your craft!

Not to mention, if you're someone like me, you like living your life on endpoints. Not in a morbid way, but I always just feel better and have a sense of peace when I know the endpoint, and a sense of accomplishment, when it's finished. For example, if I'm on vacation, it's hard for me to relax not knowing when I'm coming home. I need to know that I leave on the 10th, so I can make the most of my time while I'm there, and schedule things accordingly. If I don't have an endpoint, it brings me anxiety, and I feel like I'm stuck somewhere. Therefore, as I touched on in my last post, it's imperative for me to take life day by day. While I love having a grand plan, it stresses me out, because your endpoints rarely go as planned, and often times, drag on for much longer than anticipated. Not to mention, there is infinite amount of research supporting the idea that people who live in the moment, and day by day are much happier than those always looking to the future.

So work on your craft, and take it one day at a time. Kleon explains this logic much better than I ever could, writing,

"Seasons change, weeks are completely human-made, but the day has a rhythm. The sun goes up; the sun goes down. I can handle that. There’s a reason many recovering alcoholics adopt “one day at a time” as their way of being. Here’s Richard Walker in Twenty-Four Hours A Day:
Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the battles of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad. It is the remorse or bitterness for something that happened yesterday or the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore do our best to live but one day at a time."
It may not seem like a lot, since after all, you're just completing one thing each day. But do it every day for a year, and you have an entire portfolio of successes and accomplishments.

Kleon suggests: "Break your work into daily chunks. Each day, when you’re finished with your work, make a big fat X in the day’s box. Every day, instead of just getting work done, your goal is to just fill a box. After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

So I'm sure you can deduct by now, that my "craft" and what I want to work on this 2014 is writing. I love to write, often aimlessly and with little direction, (as every post I ever write proves) but it's theraputic, fun, and writing things down always puts them in perspective. There is typically a long period of time between my posts because I don't have time, am uninspired, or feeling like what I have to say isn't worth writing about. Yet, every single time I sit down to blog, my writings take a different direction that I initially planned, and I surprise myself. So I plan to follow Austin's advice, and really dedicate myself to writing this new year. Like he said, some days his poems suck, and sometimes they're great--so bear with me here. A lot of my upcoming blog posts are going to suck harder than normal, but be patient with me, and hopefully you'll find a diamond in the rough that inspires you too, or at least makes you laugh!

WARNING: I'm sure there will be a day or two where literally I just post a picture or hell, just a "HI," so that by technicality, I make the deadline. Hey, a post is a post! But I promise to provide good content too. :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

White Winter Wisdom


It's only 1pm but today is already a great day. Being a born and raised Floridian, I am not used to these things called "snow days," so to have work cancelled because of a weather-related issue other than a hurricane is really exciting for me. The winter storm Hercules hit the northeast last night, and it was deemed "too dangerous" to go to work today, so it was cancelled unless you wanted to come in.

...it was not a tough decision.

But waking up this morning and seeing my new backyard covered in snow, was just beautiful. Entering 2014 I'm feeling much more of a sense of peace and stability. After 8 months, 10 moves, 7 apartments, 2 jobs, and the passing of my best friend, Charlie, it's been chaotic to say the least. (I will do a post on Charlie later, as I've learned too much from him not too--even if he is a dog :) But when I looked in my backyard and saw all the dead plants, old crumbling brick buildings, trees missing their leaves, and dirty  sidewalk covered in a blanket of beautiful, glistening snow, I couldn't help but feel the same way. I almost feel reborn, and a sense of comfort I've been so desperately craving for months.

When your home life is in shambles, it starts to creep in to other aspects of your life. And I don't mean that my home/family life in Florida isn't great--I mean my New York life. The past few months, I've had to move/change locations/sublet for every reason under the sun, so to finally have an apartment I'm permanently staying in, all of my belongings in one place and out of storage, a job with no end point, and a great group of friends up here, I really couldn't ask for more. I knew I needed this stability, and I also knew that I haven't been able to properly judge the city, or determine how I really feel about it, until I am settled, and have a comfortable routine. Living out of a suitcase for months has been no picnic, but in retrospect I wouldn't change a thing, as it forced me to work on one of my worst traits: my impatience.

I've always been rushing. Since I was a child, I've wanted everything to happen faster, and exactly when I want it to. But the most annoying/greatest thing about New York is that it doesn't care about you or your agenda. You're thrown in to a melting pot of a million other people whose problems are the same or bigger than yours, and New York doesn't care if you don't have an apartment. I went to easily 20 open houses, and saw 30 apartments. And while I so desperately wanted to sign on the first place I saw, I knew that my impatience would make this entire struggle pointless. Why sign on the first apartment I see, when if I wait one week more, I can find a better one? And sure enough, I did. My patience paid off, because I'm paying the same rent for an apartment right next to Union Square with a backyard and a loft in my bedroom, as I would for places I saw downtown with no storage and no closet, let alone no backyard. My persistence and patience paid off, and by finally learning to take a deep breath, and take each day one step at a time, I prevailed. Normally, I am always looking ahead. My head is always in the clouds, I am always working on my "grand plan" and trying to discover ways to better my future. But after this New York experience, I couldn't bear to look farther ahead than one day a time. If I looked ahead, I became overwhelmed with anxiety about how little stability I had, how uncertain my future was, and if I would have a roof over my head. So by forcing myself to just take each day slowly, and seeing the completion of each day as a victory, it became manageable. It's amazing how great it feels to simply mark an "X" on the calendar.

So in 2014, I encourage you to have one thing--patience. For our generation it's easy to fall into this trap, as we feel entitled, (as I mentioned here) which in turn makes us impatient. I am guilty of this every. single. day. So when you get a chance, stop and take a deep breath. Embrace the struggles, and never look farther ahead than what is directly in front of you, and it's remarkable how much easier it is to handle the day to day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dating with Tinder: The Do's and Don'ts

The other day, the worst possible thing happened.

Okay not really, but I was on Tinder, and saw THIS SCREEN.


My initial first thought was "Oh my god, I've been through every single male in New York." Which (doing the quick math/assumption that the male to female ratio is 50:50--which it's not) means I've passed or "approved" through all 4.5 MILLION MEN in New York?!

While my friend later confirmed that she too was seeing this screen, and this is a common Tinder bug, that's not the point. The point is, it got me thinking about what is wrong with Tinder, and what makes people "pass" or "approve" the people they're offered.

For those of you that are just joining 2013, let me inform you on what Tinder is. It's an app that based on your location, helps you find people nearby to meet/casually date/hookup/whatever you want. To set up a profile, you upload the best pics of yourself, choose if you're into men or women, select an age range, and write a tag line about yourself. Relying on anonymity, it allows you to meet a people based solely on their looks, as there is no other real info provided, except their age. If the person likes you back, (but really your pictures) you get a match, and then you can open your messages to begin conversation with them. And while it seems incredibly superficial, and borderline creepy, this app is a big deal, and everyone is on it. If you don't believe me, go on it for 5 seconds, and see everyone from past teachers, to neighbors, to your dreaded ex. While I normally would find this disturbing (HAS ANYONE SEEN AMERICAN PSYCHO?! He could casually bring a chainsaw on the date/be a serial killer) it actually really works. In a city notorious for its difficulty in meeting people, a large number of my girlfriends have been on several successful dates, met some nice guys, and one of them is even in a great relationship, all from Tinder. Essentially, you get to stalk people based on their appearance, in the privacy of your own home. You think they're hot, you click the green heart. Wanna pass? You click the red "x." You get the idea.

While I am not one of those people who has found success, or even been on a tinder date, as I can't quite wrap my head around the whole online dating thing, I do enjoy going on Tinder to see who is on there and who I'm matched with. While this is purely narcissistic and superficial, again, it's anonymous, so don't judge me.

Bottom line, in my extensive creeping, I have definitely noticed some things that catch my eye in the pictures and make me "approve," as well as what turns me off, and makes me "pass." Below are my findings, and what's sad is that you would think most of this is common sense....

-THE DO's and DONT's of TINDER PICTURES-

Do:


-Travel pictures. So you look all cultured and shit, and like you leave your apartment, hell the zip code occasionally.

-A picture of you out, showing that you can be social and have a good time.

-Doing something active. Play a sport? Triathlete? Hot.

-You in a tux. Like from a wedding. Girls are suckers for a guy in a tuxedo. Just don't upload one with the bride, not only is that misleading, but stupid.

-YOU AND A DOG. Preferably puppy. Not posed is critical, but playing Frisbee with your golden retriever? Laying on the couch with your bulldog? Game over, I'll see you in 5.

-You at work. Hey, doesn't hurt if we know you're employed right off the bat. You're hardworking, clearly have some business/SOCIAL skills, and I know you can afford to pay for dinner.

Don't-- These are KEY:


-Stand next to someone who is 6'5. It's fine if you're short, we aren't assholes. But it just makes you look bad. I'm sorry, it's one of those harsh facts of life, and girls love their heels. Your height doesn't matter, just don't hurt your chances.

-Pose with a child. I'm not saying don't be a proud parent, and I appreciate how upfront you are from the get-go if it IS your child, but save that bomb for the third date. Cause 1) Why are you exploiting your child? 2) Who goes on Tinder to see baby pics? 3) We don't want no baby mama drama.
       **and if it's NOT your child, it doesn't matter, because as I just proved, we assume it is.   Otherwise, why would you pose with a child on a DATING SITE?

-Post a picture of you and a girl. I don't care if it's your sister. We assume it's your girlfriend. Why wouldn't we? Which leads to, you're not a one woman man, i.e. player, which leads to a "pass."

-Post only one picture. It's creepy, and makes us think you've never done anything else but that one event in your life where this picture is taken. Not to mention, if you only post one extremely hot picture of yourself, we assume it's just the best photo of you ever taken, and that's not how you actually look in real life. Or on the flip side, if it's only an OK picture, we assume "Wow, if that's your best picture, you are not good looking." So upload more than one, just to provide reinforcement on what you look like, and give us a better idea of what we're getting ourselves into.

-Post the same picture twice, and only have two pictures. Do you HAVE a social life?

-Post only several group shots. We don't know which one you are. Maybe you're intending to deceive us, but regardless we think you don't stand out, and assume you aren't confident/unattractive. Plus, no one cares enough to take the time to cross-reference the pictures and determine who you are. I swipe through people so fast it would make your head spin.

-Blatantly blackout pics. One is fine, cause who doesn't like to party? (If you don't, gross.) But alcoholics aren't welcome.

-SELFIES IN THE MIRROR. (I cannot stress this one enough.) Says so much about you, it's not even worth getting into. Cause if you don't know what a selfie implies/says about someone, you are one of those people, and need to get a life. This is not MySpace, and flashes in the mirror are so 2001.

-Pics where you're pretending you weren't the photographer cause you're "busy" doing whatever thing you're trying to draw attention to in the picture. You obviously took the picture--we weren't born yesterday. Oh you HAPPEN to be posed on the couch "sleeping?" Oh a selfie of you drinking--cause you're cool. Now I assume you have no friends cause you had to take a picture of yourself drinking alone. (and again, alcoholics not welcome.)

-A blatant "this is my sexy look pose." (almost coincides with selfies in the mirror, but slight variation.) Men should never pose, EVER. This is the almost the golden rule. It's the female equivalent of the duck face, and don't even get me started on that. You're supposed to be chopping wood, trading bonds, and drinking beer, and "oh someone happens to catch a picture of you doing said things." Not setting up your own personal photo shoot complete with a pageboy cap and your sexy tie and "smoldering stare."

-Flexing in the mirror in a wife beater. I left Florida for a reason. Or now that I'm in New York, I can say, "there's a reason why I'm never going to the Jersey Shore."



----Fellas, if you know what's good for you, you'll take my advice. It might be harsh, and based on assumptions, but it is genuinely how girls think..and if I do say so myself, if they DON'T think like this, you don't want them anyway ;)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Song of the Day



Today is my birthday, and I share this special day with one of my favorite singers, and a current pop sensation. While she may be pissing people off lately with her rants against pop singers (namely Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez) and their ant-feminist lyrics, I think Lorde is captivating for being so young. She only turned 17 today, but is already taking the music world by storm. While she has performed for every late night show and morning broadcast, and has a permanent place on the Billboard Top 10, it's the fact that she was asked to perform at MoMA's event honoring Tilda Swinton this past week in New York that impressed me most. You know you're awesome when Tilda Swinton requests you, because is there a more feminist and gender-breaking woman out there? In Hollywood certainly not. (not to mention David Bowie asked to hang with her at the after-party...normal, right?)

While Lorde is known for her song "Royals" (which I wrote about back in July if you want to check out the posting) I think there are a few others on her album, The Love Club that are much better. "Bravado" is one of these songs, and "Tennis Court" and "Team are just as great. She said that when working on The Love Club she was listening to a lot of The Weeknd, Prince, and Kanye, and drew from her childhood influences of Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Etta James, and Otis Redding. With a sound that is such an ethereal combination of dark-wave music, combined with electro, hip-hop beats, its a sound unlike anything out right now. With such a unique sound and relatable lyrics, it's no wonder why it's so appealing. You can definitely hear her influences in "Bravado" as it starts very quiet and melancholy a la The Weeknd and breaks into an electro beat that Kanye would have no trouble turning into something. I've heard it dubbed "indietronica" and I love that--Couldn't be a more accurate description.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Keys to Success in the Workplace

I've recently started a new job, so I'm going to spare you the excuses of why I haven't written in awhile. After almost three months of interviews, endless preparation, constant anxiety, and finally success, I have the time to write again. But that too might change again, once I learn the ropes and it all picks up. I landed a job in one of my dream companies so I'm thrilled, but going through this strenuous and stressful process really taught me a lot about myself. In fact, I almost feel like the lessons I learned in applying to this job, are greater than the lessons I've learned living thus far in New York, and taking that big life plunge. However, there's some valuable information that I've gathered the last few weeks, a combination of experience, trial and error, and critical advice from my former  boss/VP in Atlanta, that I feel I must share to the world. (maybe even write a book?) Being 23 (almost 24) years old means I come from a generation of kids who all go to college, (and I'm generalizing hugely here, I know it's a major, major privilege to go to college, and have that opportunity--I'm just saying in my SES' circle, its very common and an absolute necessity) all have dabbled at jobs, and all have this innate sense of entitlement. Nowadays, going to college does not guarantee you a job. To us, going to college is what it meant for our grandparents to complete high school. It's just done, you must do it--you don't have an option if you want a successful career. But that is simply not enough. We all feel entitled because we feel we've paid our "dues" and done exactly what our high school guidance counselor or college advisor told us, but it is the hustle, and ATTITUDE that gets you ahead. My generation is always looking for "THAT BIG SECRET" to get ahead, and they want to rise in the ranks, quickly. Unreasonably so in fact, and I've always been one of them. But in reality, there is no secret. It's hard work, and making yourself invaluable that gets you ahead. You see, all we've known is getting an education. In school, you did what you were told, completed your assignments, and you were rewarded by going to the next level and advancing to the next grade. At a job, there is no automatic advancement. "Doing your job" only means you aren't fired. You are EXPECTED to do your job. There are rarely rewards, there are firings. So to make it to the "next grade" or receive a promotion, the only way is to make yourself invaluable, and to do your job so well, and always be so many steps ahead of your bosses, that they promote you because they are SCARED TO LOSE YOU. No one is guaranteed a promotion, no one can simply "get ahead" quickly, and the attitude of entitlement will only carry you farther from your dream, as no hardworking, older boss of yours, will appreciate some young punk who feels they deserve their job, and can do it better than them. In fact, based on this point, if you have the right attitude, common sense, and performance, I would even argue that for some jobs (unless you want to be a doctor, lawyer, etc.) you don't even need to go to college, if you play your cards right, and follow the tips I will share with you below.

1. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. Your attitude should be exactly this, and I cannot stress it enough. I even have this written on a post-it in my office: "That's all you got?!" It's the combination of, "Give me all your shit, but I'll still be enthusiastic and better than you, and I'll do all this with a smile on my face."

2. PROACTIVITY is the name of the game. Being ANTICIPATORY is the the single most important aspect of a job, and rising in the ranks.

3. NAIL YOUR BASIC JOB. Find out what the core stuff is, and dedicate yourself to that. Concentrate on the basics. Then later, once you excel at it, you can figure out ways to improve your time management, and do the job better. 

4. SEE THE BIG PICTURE and find out how you fit into your office, and its environment.

5. ALWAYS DO CRAP WORK WITH A SMILE.  Always. There's nothing people love more than to delegate work no one wants to do, on the entry level people. And that's FINE. Everyone has been entry level at some point, so pay your dues--You too, will get to delegate tasks you don't want to do some day. You are young, accept it. 

6. NEVER, EVER, COMPLAIN. Do you know how many people are unemployed in this economy? They can replace you in 0.5 seconds, and give your job to someone who is older than you, wiser than you, and has 3 mouths to feed who will gladly do your job.

7. IT IS NOT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO TELL YOU WHAT YOUR JOB IS. In fact, sometimes employers are purposely vague to see how you do the job, and to see what kind of initiative you have.

8. ARRIVE BEFORE YOUR BOSSES, and LEAVE AFTER THEM. Again, you are young, prove yourself, and be ready to be professional. You are never "too busy" or have plans that are "so great" to excuse this rule.

9. BE CONFIDENT, NOT COCKY. You cannot be shy. If you are, act. You want to appear like you are the president of the company. Confident. Firm handshake. It's great to meet these people, and you should be pleased to. EVERYONE has something to teach you. EVERY single person. Even the jerk you hate who talks to loudly in the cubicle next to you. They have experience that you don't.

10. BUT BE HUMBLE. You're young!!!! You're not entitled to anything because you have a college education and have had a few jobs-You and everyone else in America, buddy.

11. GO OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Do I want to be the best I can be? "Hey, I'd love to talk to you sometime, learn how you got to where you are..." LEARN from invaluable resources, while you can, and are employed and working in close relation with these people.

12. FIRST IMPRESSION IS EVERYTHING. Never come off as a college kid or intern. YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT. 

13. YOU ARE COMPETING AGAINST EVERYONE NOW. 

14. ^^^ TRUST NO ONE. IT'S BUSINESS. Don't tell anyone your intentions to get ahead, nothing. There is always someone watching, trying to take your spot, or trying to bring you down. It's sad, but oh so true.

15. YOU'RE GOING TO GET HOSED. People are going to do things that are unfair, and piss you off. Don't concentrate on it. It's never their fault. NEVER. I mean it. NEVER. Accept the blame, always. Accountability is what maintains relationships in business, and there is no greater punishment than a sour relationship with a coworker. Your work will be affected, productivity will be affected, and the workplace will be miserable.

16. ^^^THEY WILL NEVER GIVE YOU INSTRUCTIONS OR TELL YOU WHAT TO DO. Take the shot, and move forward with a smile. If anything, it will just piss them off that they didn't get under your skin.

17. NEVER APPEAR TO HAVE DOWNTIME. Always be moving, moving forward. There will be days you have jack shit to do. That's when you want to check in and see if you can help. Those are the people who get promoted, and that's how you get better, more interesting work to do. By offering to help with things you wouldn't normally, you gain more experience, and it's more fun because it breaks up your typical work load, and you prove your value. 

18. NEVER GO ON FACEBOOK. This will set you back months in your boss' mind. Even if you only did it one time, they will think you are always on social media, and that you're lazy for MONTHS before they finally forget they caught you that one time. Always find something to do. Worst comes to worst, read the NYTimes.com. Atleast you look like you want to be informed/worldly.

19. IT TAKES PEOPLE A YEAR TO REALLY, REALLY LEARN WHAT THEIR JOB IS, AND WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO. Be patient. That sounds like an incredibly long period of time, but any VP will tell you that's true.

20. ASK QUESTIONS. BUT ONLY QUESTIONS THAT ONLY THE PERSON YOU ARE ASKING WOULD KNOW THE ANSWERS TO. Don't waste their time (and look stupid) by asking questions you can easily look up online. (Like, how do I write an invoice? Google it.)

21. PUT YOUR LIFE ON HOLD FOR A FEW MONTHS. Want to get ahead? Don't be yawning all day at work because you stayed out late partying. Trust me, they notice that stuff. They really do. It can wait. I'm not saying give up your social life, but be smart about it.

22. SOCIAL SKILLS CARRY A LOT OF WEIGHT. Be relatable. Be fun, but professional. Make yourself someone your coworkers WANT to help and spend time with. 

23. DON'T BE AFRAID TO NEGOTIATE. This can mean salary, benefits, etc. How can your employers value you, if you don't value yourself?

24. ASK QUESTIONS, THEN PROPOSE THE ANSWER. Don't ask, "When you do you need this by?" Say, "I'll get it to you by three, unless you need it earlier?" I made this mistake the other day. A mentor was calling me to discuss business, and we emailed back and forth arranging a time, and then he had to email me asking for my number. I should have automatically included that every time we discussed him calling me. So I was not proactive, and forced him to take another step! Unprofessional.

25. HAVE THE BEST POKER FACE AROUND.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stress. (and getting "New-Yorked")

"The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions." -Ellen Glasgow

Stress. We all get it, and living in the city that fights for the number one spot every year on the “Most Stressed City in the United States Award,” doesn’t help. If it’s any sort of consolation, New York only was ranked number two on the list, behind Los Angeles, according to Forbes and The Huffington Post. Lately I’ve been so stressed, I’ve literally made myself sick. Sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, sinus headaches, etc., and I didn’t even know you could make yourself sick from stress! Initially I thought it was allergies, but after Web-MDing all of my symptoms, and using their symptom checker (most accurate and scientific tool ever, of course) they listed STRESS as one of the top potential ailments. The second I saw it, I knew I didn’t have any of the other problems, I knew it was my stress level.

Everyone in my office tells me I’m getting “New Yorked.” They might have been slightly clued in, considering I walk in and give them the finger every morning, after a bad commute of train delays, homeless people, and sickly smells of garbage, plus my lack of caffeine, my hangover, and their beaming smiles are way too big for 9am, especially since they are natives of this concrete jungle. 

This “getting New Yorked” ailment is widely known in the city, as these are the effects that occur when not leaving the city at least once a month. If you do not get out of the pollution, intense stress, heavy sidewalk traffic, constant partying, and cut throat competition, you get “New Yorked.” Apparently the only cure for said condition is some sea air, greenery, mountains, or palm trees. I never considered myself a nature person in the past. In fact, I even declared myself an urbanite, which I do still believe I am, but I never knew just how much nature was important to me, and a critical part of my sanity. Even Central Park does not always relieve the stress, because you never feel like you can appreciate the solitude and nature when there’s always over 100+ people in your line of vision, homeless people sleeping on benches around you, and the constant fear of being hit by the heavy traffic of joggers or cyclists. 

Bottom line, I’ve been in a persistent state of stress for the past 3+ months. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have plenty of fun, and relieve this stress too often by going out, but I have not felt truly, completely relaxed in a dangerously long period of time. On the brink of a nervous breakdown the past couple weeks in particular, I’ve had some heavy issues facing me. My position in New York was only temporary, so knowing this, I’ve been looking for jobs for months, with no prevail. In the summer in New York, everyone is gone on vacation, and responding to emails, job requests, doesn’t happen. In fact, I’ve interviewed for several jobs, and after hearing nothing for a couple weeks, I give up, only to get a call two weeks later (mind you, a month after the interview) to hear that I’ve made it to the next round, and they will call to schedule the interview in another two weeks’ time. THAT IS OVER A MONTH AND A HALF to make it to round two. That is madness. And to be in this situation with several positions? Incredibly frustrating, and you begin to feel like writing over 75+ cover letters, (no exaggeration) resume customizations to each position, and a steady flow of emails, is a complete waste of time. And my worst trait of all my many flaws is my impatience. Not to mention, finding a job in the hardest city in the WORLD to find a job, in the most competitive and cutthroat city in the world to find a job, let alone in the HARDEST INDUSTRY to break into, is always a picnic. Everyone and their mother wants to be in the entertainment/broadcast/television industry, it’s as cheesy in New York as saying you want to be an actor in Los Angeles. So I have several odds up against me. Not to mention I’m a girl, which means you have to prove yourself even more in the work place, and you simply do not get jobs in the industry without knowing someone and having some connections. It really, truly, doesn’t happen. After a year trying to do it on my own, and having too much pride, despite dozens of people telling me the contrary, I knew I needed to suck it up and ask for help. 

On top of this never-ending job search, and having many “irons in the fire” and potential leads/positions STILL in the works after a couple months, I also am dealing with the fantastically fun challenge of finding an apartment in New York. Again, let me lay out the odds here. Once again, I am trying to find an APARTMENT in the hardest, most expensive city in the United States, probably WORLD to find a place to live. Are there many options available? Absolutely. But they are either a DUMP and far away from any train for the 1,200+/rent price, and therefore not worth it, or so obscenely nice, it will cost you in the tens of thousands of dollars a month. It’s really a crap shoot. Not to mention to have any real sort of success in finding a place, you need to use a broker, which charge a month’s rent typically, of whatever place you find. You can do it without a broker via Craigslist, but then spend 3 hours to sort through 900 listings that 900 other people are looking at, and 80% of them are scams, and when calling, not at all what they advertised. In fact, from my experience, half of them use fake photos too, to lure you in, or kill you, I’m not sure. Some places I’ve seen I step one foot in the door, and am preeeeeetty certain I’m about to walk into an American Psycho situation.

So let’s retrace our steps. In two days I have no money coming in. I have nowhere to live. And I have no job. 0 for 3. Becky 0. New York 3. As of right now, New York is a bitch, and I simply don’t like her anymore. Am I being a dramatic wuss? ABSOLUTELY. And my lack of perspective (i.e. my go-to’s: okay, I have savings I can live off of, I’m not living in Africa, I have a terrific, happy family, I will always have a roof over my head, food, blah blah starving babies in India, I’m not in Syria, blah blah) doesn’t help. In fact, when I consider the many ways I’m blessed right now, I’m still like “fuck it.” And I literally cannot handle any petty, unnecessary drama right now. People want to come to me with problems or stupid BS, I’m simply like, I cannot handle this right now, I’m checking out. You want to be immature, go for it. Because compared to the major life, “ADULT” things I’m enduring, I could care less, and all of this has given me a larger perspective, to reaaaal life problems, I’ve never had to face yet. 

Another part of this problem is that I’m a major control freak. I’ve always wrongfully believed that with persistence, I can steer my future in certain directions, which simply isn’t true. Because as Steve Maraboli said, I “must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”

So I booked a ticket home for Labor Day. Super excited to go home for a week plus. I mean, why not? I don’t have a job or place to come back to just yet, and my future roommate can’t move up for a week or so, so why not enjoy my time at home, and get back my perspective I so desperately need, and shake off getting “New Yorked.” Oh waaaaait. Because I booked my one-way ticket, only to get a call from a huge, major television network, that they want an interview on Wednesday morning. Basically this cut my week long vacation down to three days.

My first thought was “DAMNIT.” And then it hit me, that old friend called perspective. This is what I’ve wanted. Who cares that I lose my vacation? If it’s anything like my past interview processes with networks, it will still take another several weeks of interviews, so I can always fly home afterwards. It’s just money. (and couch-surfing for a week.) What is money, and the cost of another plane flight, in the name of my sanity, and my future? It means nothing. This is why I save. This is what I’ve been waiting for. This is what makes it all worth it, even if it's just a chance.

And I have friends going through much, much heavier issues constantly, than I could ever, ever imagine. These issues are such a consistent, everyday part of their lives that they don’t even complain anymore, because they don’t know any different. Do I ever hear them complain about this bitch, New York? Rarely. They struggle with family problems, real health issues amongst their family like alcoholism, REAL money struggles, having children, and here I am whining about something that is only temporary.  These friends are my heroes. I need to remember that in the end, everything always works out EXACTLY the way it is supposed to, and it always, always does. My only job is to trust this crazy ride, and remain positive, and pass New York’s very trying test. 

Because in reality, all I’m dealing with, is simply BEING AN ADULT. And I refuse to let New York win.

So this is when I go and listen to one of my favorite songs, Billy Joel's "Vienna" (which I've posted before) because it's entire song is a constant reminder, on how I need to slow down. Yep, I'm taking it there--even posting the lyrics below. Click here to hear the song.

Vienna

Slow down you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you're so smart tell me,
Why are you still so afraid?

Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you can just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize... Vienna waits for you?

Slow down you're doing fine
You can't be everything you want to be before your time
Although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight (tonight)

Too bad, but it's the life you lead
You're so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you're wrong
You know you can't always see when you're right (you're right)

You got your passion, you got your pride
But don't you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
When will you realize... Vienna waits for you?

Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It's alright, you can afford to lose a day or two 
 When will you realize... Vienna waits for you?

And you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
Why don't you realize... Vienna waits for you?

When will you realize... Vienna waits for you?

--------------------------------------------
sooooo.....see you in Austria?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My 5 Favorite Things


1. Mumford and Son's Hopeless Wanderer  music video.

The Mumford and Sons finally parodied themselves, and it was brilliant. Considering all of their videos are similar, typically singing in a field, playing their instruments, with a strategic sepia filter and an old-timey movie intro, or performing live, it was hysterical to see them make fun of themselves on their single Hopeless Wanderer. Recruiting Will Forte, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis, and Ed Helm to play themselves, the comedians do what they do best--impersonations, and making us laugh. This has been a big hit circulating the Internet, and everyone and their mother has seen it at this point, but it's easy to see why.


Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/opnzpzr

2. House of Cards.

I wanted to leave this description as "nuff said," but figured this incredible show deserved a bit of an explanation. A Netflix original series, based off the UK's BBC mini-series from 1990, it's a political drama-thriller that has you on the edge of your seats. Starring an all-star cast of Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Mara, and a bunch of standouts like Michael Kelly (so awesomely evil,) Kristin Connolly, and Corey Stoll, the ensemble cast works together like a dream. Usually ensemble casts become too much for me, and it's hard to follow the story line, but it's so well done, it's easy to follow. Considering it's only premiered one season, and is already nominated for 9 Emmy Awards, you know its good. Not to mention the fact the Executive Producer is David Fincher, director of Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which is obvious in the first scene of the series, due to its dark, yet eerily calm and chilly demeanor. Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey is so manipulative and calculating, this anti-hero will have you spellbound, and definitely cynical on the real truths behind politics in Washington. I could seriously talk about this show all day. (and I actually do, sorry to everyone I work with.)

The only problem/best part is that being a Netflix original series, they release all the episodes at once, so for people that binge on TV like me, its amazingly awful. Amazing because it feeds my addiction, but I also haven't slept in three days to finish the season, and my work life is seriously suffering.


Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/kknjmgg

3. The Zara skort that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has.

I'm declaring that skorts are back in. This architectural skort from the store known to rip off all the major designers has done it again; delivered something so affordable and accessible, that everyone buys it, myself included (in two colors actually, and I NEVER do that). Originally distributed in only black and white, they've now re-released this skort in a couple other colors. I love the points, the shape of it, how it goes with literally EVERYTHING, and can be worn several ways--casual, dressed up, with heels, with wedge sneakers, whatever. And I've seen everyone, and I mean everyone in New York wear it. In fact, no exaggeration, I see almost one person a day wearing it on the streets. But everyone re-interprets it so it keeps it interesting. With a denim button down, with a leotard, with a blousy top, it always looks new, and it's easy to see why its so awesome. I know the 90's are back in, but I never thought I'd live to see the day that skorts are cool. Thank youuu DJ Tanner. 


Photo Courtesy of Rihanna's Instagram

4. Rihanna's new grill.

Rihanna is so not a role model, and I love her for it. Shamelessly not caring about what people think, it's no wonder why everyone worships her, despite her continuously poor (and public) decisions. Love it. A perfect example of this is her new grill. Lately everyone has been rocking a grill, from Madonna to Beyonce to Katy Perry, but god forbid Rihanna choose the typical gold and diamonds. No, she chose to get an AK-47 assault rifle grill. She clearly likes guns based on her tattoo underneath her armpit, but this time she took it to a whole other level. But she wouldn't be Rihanna if she didn't, right?


Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/kwmz6rb

5. Midi-rings.

Rings worn on the middle of your finger, not at the base near your hand, are all the rage. I was waiting for some of my go-to cheap jewelry stores to have them, and now finally they've caught on with the celebrity trend. Just so dainty and yet so cool, they've been spotted on everyone, and are just an out-of-the-box take on the normal ring. Cause God forbid trends stay the same, and rings are worn the correct way. But I do love this trend, and my only complaint is that I tend to have trouble keeping them on, and it's a conscious effort to not have them slide off my finger. But hey, all in the name of fashion, right?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Song of the Day



Currently I'm obsessed with Hiatus Kaiyote, and their song, Nakamarra. Sounding like a jazzy and whimsical Erykah Badu or something, I can't quite liken them to anything I've heard before, because that's just it--they are unlike anything I've heard before. However, once reading that they cite their influences to be Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, Flying Lotus, and Tupac Shakur, it sort of made some sense, especially since they self-describe their album Tawk Tomahawk as multi-dimensional, polyrhythmic gangster shit. Now I'm not sure about the "gangster shit" part, but they are definitely multi-dimensional and polyrhythmic. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia and fronted by singer-songwriter Nai Palm, their sound is as original as her look, as she typically performs wearing some sort of head piece, in addition to scuba-esque goggles on her head like an anime character. Give Nakamarra a listen, and enjoy the ethereal sound for yourself--I promise you won't regret it, and you'll find yourself being transported by this jazzy lullaby. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Punk? Chaos to Couture.

For the last several years I have patiently waited every May, for the arrival of the Met Gala. Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, I would scrounge the Internet the night of, and the day after looking for every bit of information that I could, and I would bask in the glow of incredible fashion. Also known at the Met Ball, The Costume Institute Gala, the Fashion Olympics, it is the crème de la crème of New York high society, and the attendees are always a blend of A-list celebrities, supermodels, billionaires, athletes, fashion writers and editors, hoteliers, and those related to royalty, whether literally or those of a figurative sense like the spawn of Peter Brant and Stephanie Seymour, the Brant brothers.

More than any other A-list event on the planet, The Met Ball is at the forefront of fashion. More so than the Oscars, the Cannes red carpet, the Grammys, this is the time when the real fashionistas take risks, bring their “A-Game,” and wear their couture. It is even described as having “Less star power than the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, but more fashion panache.” (I personally would disagree with this statement, because it has just as much “star power” but in a different way, more of an intellectually powerful crowd of A-Listers.)

Every year the event has a theme, recognizing the work of a legendary designer, a period of time, an event, etc. For example, since its birth in 1971, themes have included: Untailored Garments, Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design, Man and the Horse, The Age of Napoleon: Costume from Revolution to Empire, Cubism and Fashion, Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion, etc. The event has even honored specific designers and design houses like Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Gianni Versace, Alexander McQueen, and Prada.

But this year’s theme, was unexpected, and took 1999-2000’s theme of Rock Style even further—Punk: Chaos to Couture. Shaking up the fashion world, this theme forced the straight edge, white collar elite of New York society to shed their pearls, “safe” looks of the past like Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Lanvin, and embrace the designers outside their comfort zone, like Vivienne Westwood, Givenchy, (which has since become impossibly chic) Jean-Paul Gaultier, Burberry Prorsum and dare I say, Betsey Johnson? (haha JUST KIDDING.)

But anyway, sponsored by the impossibly chic Lauren Santo-Domingo’s Moda Operandi, and the usual, Vogue, The Punk: Chaos to Couture event was a sight to be seen. The crowd decked in an unusual red carpet display of studs, leather, tartan, fringe, and ear cuffs, were spectacular, and it was nice to see them out of their red carpet safety net. There were even several rumors from the Internet newspapers that the attendees and their stylists were panicking up until the last minute, deciding just how far to push the envelope, what was too “safe,” and what was too “far.” Absorbing all this fashion gossip like a sponge, I couldn’t wait to see what they wore, and hear more about the exhibit.

So what stood out? Jessica Biel’s septum ring. Kim Kardashian’s much-paraodied Grandma’s-faded-floral-couch dress. Miley’s spiked hair. Katy Perry’s Mary Magdaline look. Gwyneth’s lack-of-punk (which deemed as punk, because it wasn’t expected?) Nicki Minaj looking like she wasn’t in a costume. Madonna, wearing THAT at her age.

My favorites? Allison Williams. CARA DELEVIGNE. Beyonce. Rooney Mara. Gisele. Sienna Miller. Blake Lively. Jamie King’s tuxedo. Stacey Keibler. Dakota Fanning. Anja Rubik. Hailee Steinfeld. Joan Smalls.

But it’s not about the clothes….it’s about the exhibit, and what they’ve come there to celebrate, right? (wrong, but we will pretend we’re intellectual like that.) So my POINT IS, that I’ve taken forever to make, is that I FINALLY GOT TO ATTEND THE EXHIBIT IN PERSON. After years of longing, I was finally in New York at the right time. I was devastated two years ago, when I missed Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty by a week. I thought I had made it on time, only to have my dreams crushed when I made it to The Met.

So today, I finally walked up the sacred steps of The Met, walked by the Impressionist masterpieces of Van Gogh, Monet, Georges Seurat, and strolled into the exhibit. It was not difficult to find since you could hear the Sex Pistols down the hallway, and see the glow from the strobe lights. You were not allowed to take photos, as the guard at each corner reminded us incessantly, but I snuck a few photos cause I would wait for the one second dim of the strobe light to take effect, hide behind a mannequin, and snap a pic. Bottom line, be grateful for the pictures I have taken of the exhibit.

You walk in, and the punk stage was set. They showed this by displaying one of the original birthplaces of punk, the CBGB club on Bowery in New York, which housed everyone from The Ramones, The Talking Heads, and Blondie, ETC.
Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/mplv92q

Instead of showing the bar, the exhibit displayed the unisex bathroom. Looking very similar to the Rolling Stones’s “Beggar’s Banquet” cover art,
it was covered with angsty graffiti, lyrics, toilet paper, and was dirty as hell. It was amazing. With 3x3 TV screens displaying a single image of Sex Pistol’s videos or The Ramones, it was the perfect backdrop.

Then came the clothes. The first room featured another pop-up exhibition, but this was Vivienne Westwood, the Queen of Punk’s original London store. Then came the décor.
The walls were lined with rubber, and they mannequins on the walls had ripped t-shirts with images of the Queen, Marilyn Monroe, Mickey and Minnie having sex, boobs, the British flag in all sorts of decay, gorillas, and any other punk emblem you can think of. In the middle were TV’s featuring in my opinion, gothic images, but were really punk performances with masks on? But the centerpiece, was the middle, with to-die-for modern reinterpretations of punk clothes.

Full of Viviene Westwood, Burberry, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe. These were a mixture of amazing leather, tartan, ripped mohair sweaters, bondage pants, and oh so many safety pins. There were a couple mini   skirts I just HAD to have. ---------------------------------->>>>>

The rest of the rooms were divided by various materials and forms of “Do it Yourself.” The first room DIY:Hardware was all white with pink lighting. Featuring a lot of Maison Martin Margiela, Moschino, and Jean-Paul Gaultier, the all white clothing was a mix of scotch tape, paper, trash bags, and various forms of recycled material styled into interesting pieces of art--the original materials were still very much recognizable, but definitely added to the look of the clothes.



In the height of the punk era in the 70’s they weren’t initially trying to make a statement. It was about the music, and they couldn’t afford new clothes, so if there was a tear in their clothes, they re-attached with a safety pin. If there was a rip, they left it. If it needed to be taped, so be it.
Naturally, this appeared intentional, and caught on as a trend, and this room celebrated that, the DIY-nature to punk, and mixing the consumer culture with destroyed items. My favorite was an Alexander McQueen coat made of bubble wrap, which could not have possible been made out of garbage.
In the DIY: Graffiti & Agitprop room, the highlight were the Dolce & Gabbana ballgowns which were a classic take on gorgeous dresses, destroyed by graffiti. This was the first room to actually have real color on the clothing,  and my favorite was this beaded mini with a deep V, the only real wearable one I saw, which said in neon, “love” and “rock.”It was fabulous to say the least. Throw on a pair of those neon “Unbout” Louboutin’s, and some perfectly messy bed head, and it’s the perfect outfit.


The final room was the DIY: Destroy room, with impossibly chic clothes in various states of distress. Featuring the likes of Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, and Chanel, it was fabulous. My favorite two were a mohair, ripped Balmain sweater with endless horizontal chains paired with some leather skinnies, and this amazing Chanel suit. The iconic and instantly recognizable Chanel suit had holes throughout, but upon closer inspection, the holes were filled with white netting. To see such a coveted outfit, a power symbol of women for decades destroyed, was a strong statement.Juxtaposed with a white silk blouse with a bow at the neck and pearls, it was punk in the most French, Chanel way possible. I believe this was the kind of statement Gwyneth and attempted and failed with her pink dress, being “punk” by not being punk--If that makes any sense. Another one of my favorites aspects, was the final mannequin just before exiting, giving the finger to everyone leaving, the perfect final statement. Kind of how I felt too, after getting harassed at every corner for taking pictures, but hey it was worth it.
The exhibit was an aesthetic, fashion experience, and definitely worth it. It was such an incredibly uneven balance, between the chic walls, the pumping music, the fabulous clothes, and the grunge theme, but it made for an overwhelmingly contrasting, yet pleasing experience.

It was so out of place for The Met, but I was just honored to be in the presence of such esteemed fashion and designers, and to breathe in their interpretations, and modern take on a culture that has been overlooked since the seventies. What is PUNK? No. So if you are expecting an authentically punk experience, then you will be disappointed. But if you want to see the boundaries and new translation of punk, then it’s certainly something fun to check out. And considering one of the definitions of punk is “defiance of social norms of behavior,” than it IS punk. Because this kind of exhibit in place as sacred and renowned for its priceless art as The Met, is defying their norm, making it technically, punk.

The exhibit closes on the 14th, so you can catch it in what little time is left—it’s worth it!