11 1 / 2012

I don’t think it’s a secret that I have a shopping addiction; in my defense, I would like to argue that I only shop when I see a great item for a good price. Or when I’m bored. Or on a special occasion. Or when it’s like, a Wednesday. Anyway, this day fell into one or more of the above categories and that means that I was busy using up some gift cards from Christmas and picking up long-desired items on sale. Check out the slide show if you’re interested in my haul:

1. I am so in love with this green bag - I’ve had my eye on it and had to call 4 different Anthropologie stores to get it, but it is finally mine! - Bold Strokes Satchel, Anthropologie
2. I had store credit to Sole Society and was doubting that I’d ever use it…UNTIL I saw these sparkled, adorable shoes. The bonus? The wedge heel will give me a little height, but will be comfortable to wear and dance in all night long! - "Bailey" shoe, Sole Society
3. The second I saw this nailpolish from Butter London I knew I had to have it - it’s dark and sophisticated, but has enough glitter to keep me happy. Butter’s polishes are ridiculously expensive, but it’s a classic that will last me forever - right? - "The Black Knight" nailpolish, Butter London
4. Aaaand while I was shopping online I noticed this OTHER polish from Butter - the perfect pink, sparkly counterpoint! With this on my nails, summer can’t be too far away, can it? - "Disco Diva" nailpolish, Butter London As I look at these I’m definitely seeing a trend of glitter, sparkles and bright colors…but I am nothing if not consistent. Cheers!

Shopping1Shopping2Shopping3 Shopping4

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16 12 / 2011

A recent work conversation about geo-based location apps (think Foursquare) got me thinking about this. The question came up of why on earth people would be willing to post details on Foursquare of what stores, restaurants, bars, etc. they’re going to. What could their motivation be for this? We came up with several thoughts: posting your information online is a way of preserving digital memories, like an online “scrapbook” that lets you look back and see where you’ve been. Maybe it’s just that people like tchotchkes, and even though those badges aren’t real, people like collecting them. Maybe it plays into the gamer mentality - people get really worked up over competing for the “mayorship” of places.

But after thinking about this and why I’m constantly Facebooking/Tweeting/blogging, I came up with a different solution (and no, it’s not that I do this for a living :-) Think about it: posting public information about your likes, dislikes and interests is a kind of identity shorthand. And in your teens or 20s, when you’re trying to define yourself and figure out what type of person you are, this can be pretty valuable. I like Gossip Girl, Baked and Wired cupcakes, trendy restaurants and bars, and unique retailers like ModCloth. That translates into a girly-girl, a young professional with an individual streak and a penchant for trashy TV. Some people argue that material things shouldn’t define you, but I don’t think we can help it - and I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. Thoughts?

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13 12 / 2011

The site is called Emotional Bag Check, and it lets you send music and/or encouraging messages to strangers who are going through a rough time. And if you’re the one who’s feeling down, you can unload your own baggage and someone will lighten your load. This is probably my favorite thing that I’ve seen on the Internet this YEAR. You can think that it’s cheesy or silly or too ridiculous, but I love the idea of forging a connection with people all over the country or the world. Go do it now!

Ebc

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12 12 / 2011

I ran across Lady Gaga’s “You and I” on Spotify just now and really listened to the song for the first time. I’m a pretty big Gaga fan; she’s doing things with music and fashion and public expression that no one else is daring to do, she commits completely to her public persona (which maybe isn’t even a persona - I’m starting to think she really was born this way :-), and my parents think she is 100% nutso and possibly even subversive - which is always a plus :-)

Lady_Gaga_-_You_and_I.mp3 Listen on Posterous

What I didn’t realize about Gaga is that maybe my parents are wrong about her. After listening to her newest album, I noticed religious references in A LOT of the songs - from “Judas” to “You and I” where she says “There’s only 3 men that I’mma serve my whole life / It’s my Daddy, and Nebraska and Jesus Christ.” Some people might argue that she’s doing this in the same way that Madonna does - to shock people and get their attention. After all, no one expects a good Italian-Catholic girl to sing about “Bloody Mary” and “Judas” in the same breath and show up places dressed like this:

Gaga2Gaga1 Gaga3

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But now I’m thinking that there’s something more there. If you think about it, Lady Gaga’s whole message is about love - loving yourself, loving “society’s outcasts,” and loving her fans more than anything. The more I think about it, there isn’t really anyone that Gaga hates. She speaks out about homophobia, intolerance and violence every chance she gets. And she’s pretty humble about her fame - in some ways she realizes how destructive fame can be (see: the Paparazzi video :-), and she understands that she has nothing without her fans. One of my favorite stories about her is that she lets fans at her concerts write all over her priceless Hermes and Louis Vuitton bags - we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of purses with Sharpee scribblings all over them. She realizes that she is nothing without them, and I love that!

So in conclusion, even though Gaga may be more traditional than we give her credit for, I think I like her anyway :-) Thoughts? Am I completely nuts? Or have I just fallen under her spell?

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09 12 / 2011

I’ve always been a fan of Van Gogh; “Starry Night” has been on the walls in the various dorm rooms and apartments that I’ve lived in over the years, so I’ve spent A LOT of time looking at his art. But when I stumbled across Serena Malyon’s experiments with Van Gogh and Photoshop, it felt like I was looking at some of these works for the first time. Malyon used Photoshop to tilt-shift 12 Van Gogh paintings to bring out new perspectives or details in the works, and I love how it reveals the depth and emotion in his art. And who says that art and technology can’t play nicely together? Take a look:

Vg2 Vg3 Vg4 Van_gogh_1 See the full gallery on Posterous

I uploaded some of my favorites, you can find the rest on the blog My Modern Met.


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06 12 / 2011

Not long ago, I threw a party that required complex and intense decorations; I was shopping online for feather boas, balloons and silver tinsel (don’t ask) when I ran across disposable cameras as a “novelty item.” This brought back memories of middle school dances, the fun of taking pictures and not know how they would turn out, and the excitement of getting them developed a week later and remembering all the fun and crazy poses. I was a few dollars short of free shipping on my order, so I bought them on a whim.

The night of the party, I pulled them out for fun - we took pictures, I expounded on how cool it was that “you take the picture and then you DON’T GET TO SEE IT AFTER. It’s like a new thing,” I explained to my bemused (and confused) guests. All good.

AND THEN, the trouble started. I wanted to see my photos, so I planned to drop them off at a local CVS to develop the film. Bad ideas: no one develops film anymore. After calling three drugstores, none of whom had film processing labs, and several specialty stores, which were asking upwards of $20 and 4 - 6 weeks to develop the cameras I had purchased for like $2 a piece, I ran a desperate Google search for “develop 35 mm film.” Luckily, I found the site Snapfish, where I could mail away my photos and get them developed for a few dollars each.

This started me thinking. Because of all the trouble I had taken to get these photographs, they were really valuable to me - maybe more so than the millions of digital photos I’ve taken through the years. Instead of deleting a shot where my eyes were closed or my sister was making a funny face, I wanted to keep them, to remember the moment. In some ways, new technology is letting us capture those random spontaneous moments more than ever - I can take a video of an impromptu dance party and load it onto YouTube in the span of two minutes - but in some ways, it’s letting us present a cleaner, more “polished” version of ourselves to the world. And where’s the fun in that?

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29 11 / 2011

As a college sophomore, I remember sitting in my Intro to Marketing class and listening to a professor explain how Second Life was “marketing for the future” - soon, he promised, every major company and ad agency would have a digital storefront there, and virtual advertising would be a huge part of the marketing mix.

Second-life-ad

It’s no surprise that Second Life burned itself out, so when I ran across this article the other day, I was interested to read more: what gives a fad its legs, and why do some trends stick around while others quickly run their course? The answer is user value: a fad is something cool, funny or entertaining to a large number of people. But to stick around, it has to actually create user value, so that people will keep coming back for more. It has to fill a need that people might not even have realized they had.

The most obvious example is Apple; in addition to making products that are sleek and cool, their gadgets are easy to use - a baby could learn them. It brings cutting edge technology to the masses so that anyone can get value out of their newest iPhone, iPod or iPad.

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03 10 / 2011

A lot has been said about the recent Facebook changes, and more is on the way - I’m excited to try out the new timeline feature, and I need to go back through my privacy settings to make sure that nothing drastic has changed. But today I noticed a really interesting addition to my newsfeed.

Over the weekend, news of the Arrested Development movie and TV show was confirmed, and apparently a LOT of my Facebook friends are excited. I know this because they’re sharing links and posting about it. Facebook is now recognizing it as a “hot topic,” and grouping these stories together in one place - even when the shared articles are different. Check it out:

Facebook

I like this because I have to admit: I get a majority of my world news and current events info from Facebook. When Osama bin Laden was killed, I saw it on Facebook first, and after DC’s mini earthquake a few weeks ago, one of my first actions was to check Facebook to see if anyone else felt it. The network has become a news source, on par with the Washington Post or NY Times, and it’s interesting to see it recognize that.

In other interesting news, Facebook is also changing its ad structure to show how many of your friends interact with an ad. Would you be more likely to click on an ad if you know that five of your Facebook friends did?

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26 9 / 2011

No but seriously, can I be this for Halloween?

Halloween

Target: Women’s Sweet Eats Cupcake Costume, $44.99

 

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24 9 / 2011

2011-09-24_15

Found this on my travels today…how cool to have all of dc as your sidewalk!

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