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Archive for the ‘fashion and style’ Category

Apple of My Designer Eye

In consumer tech, dance, Dance Central, fashion and style, Product on March 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm

You had me at hello, new iPad2, largely because of the new cover.

Call me silly, but this stuff makes a difference to a girl with fashion sense. Silver, orange, navy or red… consumer tech should make you happy to come to it every time and work like a dream.  I have yet to purchase the iPad2, as I was waiting to see how much better it would be.

Richard: “They didn’t change much.   It’s just thinner.”

Me: “But did you see the cover?”

It’s kind of the same principle for car cup holders or the ability to change outfits on my dancer in Dance Central.  Small detail, big impact.  I’m thinking…red.

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A Mom and a Pilates Junkie Walk into My House…

In dance, dog, fashion and style, gaming, Kinect, Product on November 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm

No joke.  Two girlfriends who have no interest in video games broke free from their Nordstrom jeans shopping (serious stuff here) and came over to the house for a super-fast sampling of Dance Central on Kinect before picking up the kids.

It all happened so fast that the dog got really excited and didn’t quite “stay”.  Out she went on the deck for the time being. (More on what happens with Kinect with a big dog in the picture in the next post.)

I pop in Dance Central. and the intro to the game rolls…

“I’m so excited.”  (the Mom)

“This is a good video.” (the Pilates Junkie)

I sign in.

“I love how it’s so futuristic… that you’re just using your hand for the commands.” (the Mom)

“Okay, which song?”  (this is me)

“PUSH IT.” (Both, almost simultaneously, after seeing a few songs)

I pick the Easy mode just to get started.  The Mom jumps in first.

“This is hard!” (The Mom, after a few steps to the music.)   “This is so much fun!”

Pilates Junkie is laughing at the nerdiness of it all.

“I’m totally sweating!” (The Mom)

Pilates Junkie jumps in, laughing at herself for getting about half the moves right.  She also lets out a little gasp when a move isn’t quite right, and the dude tells her, “That’s alright, everyone messes up on that one.”

And just like that, their inaugural Kinect Dance Central session is over.

Final thoughts from them?

The Mom: “OMG I’m totally getting this.  My kids will love it.  I love the no-controller thing.”

Pilates Junkie: “I don’t like the Freestyle so much… when they take your pictures.  I don’t really want to see that.”

I agree.  I’m not a fan of the photo Freestyle feature.  (Xbox – can we disable this?   Don’t mind the Freestyle, don’t need to see the sweaty playback.)

When they leave, I’m back on Bust A Move, trying to stay in the Top 10.  A few rounds later, I post my highest score yet (another blog post, another time).

Xbox is the new mayonnaise.

In fashion and style, gaming, Product, TV watching on October 11, 2010 at 11:29 am

Sometimes I look at our Xbox 360 and think: this thing is a time suck.  But I also think: this thing is saving us money – we have a seemingly endless amount of content for less.

The big spend is, well, unfashionable these days…a trend likely to stick long after the recovery has begun.  During this downturn (are we still calling it that?), we’ve come up with new rules about how/where we spend our cash.  Is that good news for Xbox?

According to a new study published in Ad Age, absolutely.  We watch our budgets, but we still throw down money for an entertainment device.  I know someone who doesn’t have a job but just bought an iPad…in fact, I know several.  Do you? We have a bunch of video games at home, but I am looking forward to Kinect so I can dance like Michael Jackson (July 2010, Can Barely Contain My Excitement…), and Fable III so I can hang out with my virtual dog again (Dec. 2008, I got a dog.  A Fable Dog).

Once upon a time, according to the study, Americans ranked Hellman’s (as in mayonnaise) at the top of list for beloved brands.  We’d throw down a little extra money for a good spread.  Today, we love the brands that provide an escape to entertainment, people and peaceful moments.  We also love the brands that empower us with information (e.g. Google).

Now that you know this, what’s your next purchase?  Will you spend a little extra to give your avatar a new accessory?


Are You Too Busy Watching Project Runway to Video Chat?

In dog, fashion and style, gaming, interior decorating, Product, relationship, travel, TV watching on September 6, 2010 at 11:32 am

When we first moved in together, Richard tried his best to convince me we did not need cable because we had a ton of content options through Xbox Live.  I told him, no, I needed cable to a) do my job…sometimes, and b) because I wanted to watch shows like American Idol real-time (as detailed in my post, Sept. 25, ’08:  How Do I Watch Cable?  Really, Just Cable).

So, we hooked up one television for cable.  Problem is, it is the living room’s 64″ television, where Richard prefers to play shooter games, watch his action/violence movies and test new technology.  Most of the time, he gets there first, and I’m blocked out of my cable shows.

Richard, visiting family, calls me the other night. Predictably, I’m catching up on my cable shows and at one with my armchair with the dog at my feet, curled up in an orange ball and snoring.  I have no competition for the remote(s).

Here’s how the phone call went:

“Do you want to try to video chat over Xbox Live?  Or are you too busy watching Project Runway?”  (this is him)

“???” (the bubble over my head…wondering how he knew I was, at that very moment, waiting to see who would get the Auf Wiedersehen from Heidi.)

“Okay, what do I do?” (I know this will make him very happy, so I put Heidi on pause.)

“You have to get a headset and plug it into the controller.  Then you have to log on as xboxbride.” (him)

I reach into the boxes in which I’ve stored all his gaming accessories (see: Sept. 8, ’08 post, I Made Friends With the Container Store) and fish out a headset.  Then, I follow his directions.

He tells me how to do something else, but either I can’t “make it work” a la Tim Gunn, or I am too uncreative at that moment to problem-solve.

“Never mind, sweetheart.”  (him)

“Can we just talk on the phone?” (I am thinking… “like normal people”?)

We do.

It wasn’t long before I found out that Peach (below) got the Auf Wiedersehen and Michael C. won the challenge of turning an ugly bridesmaid’s dress into a wearable party outfit (black dress below) in Episode 6:  “You Can Totally Wear That Again”.  Why is it that bridesmaids dresses are always so ugly, anyway?

Why Does One Need Multi-Threat Armor? It’s about more than Halo: Reach..

In dog, family, fashion and style, gaming, Halo, movies, Product, relationship, TV watching on August 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

“Do you want to watch something while we eat?”

This is a normal question Richard poses to me as we sit down to dinner. However, also normal: having to sort through all the new videos on Xbox Live before we can even get to something like, say, Mad Men (you know, the amazing, award-winning show on AMC).

The other evening, this was the video that I experienced as I was taking my first few bites: Game Stop – Halo: Reach

It is a promotion to pre-order one of the most highly-anticipated titles in the video game world through Game Stop. If you pre-order, you get exclusive, multi-threat armor. Multi-threat armor. Again for the nosebleed seats… multi-threat armor.

My initial reaction of a raised eyebrow of confusion/bubble over my head: “seriously?” changed when I thought of Reach as a metaphor. By the end of the Game Stop promo video, I understood. If you really think about it, sometimes… on the job or in life… life changes so drastically, one needs multi-threat armor to cope or fend off the bad guys, the bad times, and the hardest challenges one faces (e.g. family illness, job loss, etc.). After all, we are in the middle of an economic downturn that is unique in many ways, and many of us just don’t know how to predict what will happen…what to expect.

Would it be such a bad idea to have multi-threat armor right now? Anyone? Bueller? What does that look like? For me, it’s entertainment like Mad Men, my yoga practice, the dog, growing my own herbs and cooking from them, and of course, my husband. That’s my multi-threat armor. What’s yours? If you can’t think of anything right away… maybe Game Stop can help. We all need a little multi-threat armor now and then.

Regression. Another Wardrobe Malfunction.

In fashion and style, relationship, travel on July 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm

“Sometimes it’s nice to go back to what’s comfortable.”

That was Richard’s response this morning as I intercepted his departure for Xbox headquarters.   A reminder:  we’ve been on a pretty successful journey to eradicating the Wardrobe Malfunctions of the Xbox kind, as detailed in my post, October 2, 2008:  Wardrobe Malfunctions of the Xbox Kind.

Thing he did right today:

  • Wore his nice Guy LaRoche jeans with pocket detail and simple wash that we got in Thailand for $25 USD.  Price is good for him, style is good for me.

Thing he did wrong today:

  • Paired his discount designer jeans with a tourist T-shirt from an African safari.  There was a cheetah (leopard?) on it.  

“Those things don’t go together, honey.”  (this is me)

Him:  Mumble, mumble, something about no nice shirts… really just expressing overall disinterest.

“But, at least I’m half right.” (this is him)

True.  (Sigh.  But we’ve been making so much progress.)

I am quite sure this will not be an issue at work, as the malfunctions are standard with this set.

Dear Xbox, I think these are adorable.

In dog, fashion and style, gaming, Product, relationship on June 30, 2010 at 9:30 am

“COOL!”

The big sound of excitement came from the living room, where my husband had just started exploring the newest Xbox “accessories” for your Avatar:  fantasy pets.

“What?!!” (this is me)

I walk in to see… a gargoyle, a cyclops, a minotaur…

I have to say…very cute.  I mean, the fantasy pets (okay, my “big kid” husband too”). Kudos to the designers.  These are just the right balance between not-too-cutesy and a little bit edgy.

Now the question:  which one for my avatar?   More shopping for me.

Hope the dog doesn’t get jealous.  ;D

We got married. And then there was Gossip Girl.

In fashion and style, relationship, travel, TV watching on September 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Been away for awhile… getting married.

We got married in a small, intimate, recession-year (read:  frugally budgeted) ceremony on a local park beach and had dinner with our families waterside, followed by a cake and champagne reception with 60 friends.

A few days later, we left for a two-week honeymoon in beautiful Bali, with side trips to Lombok and Singapore.

While Indonesia is not an expensive place, over the course of a couple weeks for the wedding and the honeymoon, we did burn a hole in our entertainment and lifestyle budget significant enough to cut back on the spending for a few months after our return.

And then there was Zune VideoMarketplace to welcome me home. Score another small victory for my husband, because he was able to one-up my DVR sensibilities.

There was my beloved Xbox 360 logo… beckoning me with a world of content as far as the eye could see.  The Xbox sphere promised endless depth.  There I was, a 41-year old newlywed, diving shamelessly into the world of Gossip Girl.

I spy.. Major Nelson.

In fashion and style, gaming, Major Nelson, Product, TV watching on January 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

I used to be on TV every single day, and I used to wonder why people thought it was a big deal when they met me.  It was so odd to me.

I’d been watching the Xbox Live content that Richard was watching… wondering how this Major Nelson person came to be.

“Who is he?” (this is me)

“A guy who works for Xbox.”

I’m trying to wrap my head around this and am strangely intrigued by his regular appearances as “Major Nelson”, not in a stalker kind of way.  How has he become such a figure on Xbox Live?

I had this same fascination with Jared the Subway Guy.  I have interviewed him about four times, and each time I’m fascinated by his story… from huge jeans, sandwiches and a letter… to national spokesperson and a healthy lifestyle.   I wondered the same about Major Nelson.  What’s his journey?  Really, it’s the story that interests me.

One day, I am on Xbox campus to pick up Richard.

“Hey, is that Major Nelson?”  (this is me, as I crane my neck and gawk)

“Yes.”

It’s so weird, because I thought it was a big deal to see Major Nelson in person.

I am rarely star struck.

I am officially a dork.

By the way, I really wanted to give him advice on new jeans.  But Richard told me if he were too stylish, he wouldn’t relate to the Xbox audience as well.  Is this true?  See context in “Wardrobe Malfunctions of the Xbox Kind”, October 2008.

The light saber and the cheerleader.

In fashion and style, relationship on November 30, 2008 at 3:00 pm

I decided to update my Avatar outfit to the cheerleader outfit (I was a cheerleader a long time ago, so I thought this would be fun).  Yet, my inner geek was embarrassingly excited with Richard told me that there were Star Wars accessories available for avatars.  I could not believe how excited I became.  I.  Love. Star. Wars.

We purchased a light saber for my cheerleader avatar, and I realized I was entering dangerous territory.  Isn’t this combination pretty much a geek dream?