About grrlgenius22

Elle, love, kisses and pop glitter make life worth living!

November Reads…Ramble

The temperatures are dancing up and down, harder to commit to one zone than a player. I would say stick to one zone, except when we get those warmer days I am so grateful, given the predictions of another brutally cold winter. Brr. I get cold thinking about how this year started.

Here are a few great romance books to keep you warm, no matter what:

1. His Flower Queen by Lena Hart is one self-published book done right. It’s full of passion, girl-on-girl crime, and most of all, love. Set in the dessert, this is the first in a series of four, based on the card deck. Isn’t that clever? If you are going to be traveling and buy your books physically, the practical side is this is a quick, hot read that makes time disappear and draws you in and will having you longing to read the second book, His Bedpost Queen and then third and the fourth. Lucky for us, this series is now all available.
I’m also going to give this 4 out of 5 for being a multi-culture book because we need diversity in books and hell, if the loving is hot, that’s all that matters. Well written and on the pulse of the modern dating scene

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2. Avenge Me by Maisey Yates – one slice revenge for a sister who committed suicide after being forced into prostitution, one slice sexual domination with a hot, rich lawyer who feels responsible for turning a blind eye to the abuse of the dead sister. This may not sound like a sexy backdrop, but the heat between Austin Treffen and Katy Michaels will having you thinking “yes sir, may I have another, and another and one more after that?” When Austin & Katy meet fireworks are an understatement and what follows will be so shocking you get whiplash, it hits so hard. The first in a Fifth Avenue trilogy, Yates is at her finest writing the banter between the characters and keeping the heat growing, despite everything in the hell no, run away column.

516FU2c-WZL._AA160_3. Worth the Weight by Eileen Palma will have you laughing out loud at this debut novel. When ‘mortal’ enemies come together at the dog park, romance is strangled. Kate Richards is the founder of KidFit, while Jack Moskowitz runs Considerable Carriages, which profits off of childhood obesity. Reading about these two people shows that you can be on the opposite ends of an issue and, despite your own narrow minded ideals, can learn to see it in a new light because of the one you can help loving. This rom-com will have you toning up those abs through your laugh muscles.

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I’ve just started reading The Divorce Papers, that uses correspondence to tell the story, a format I love, when done right and this has been done right. I can’t believe it took me this long to pick it up, although given that my home is a small library it’s no real surprise. I’m delighted there are so many gems in my collection.

Booty Display : J.lo vs. Nicki Minaj: The New Feminism?…Ramble

Beyonce is the poster child for feminism these days, despite whatever is going on behind closed doors. (Have we all been drawn in to the master plan of headlines that compelled ticket sales for her joint tour with her husband only to hear pregnancy rumors? Yes!)

If Queen B (and she’s not the first to claim that title), is the face of feminism and she sings about riding on Hova’s surfboard, her ass gyrating for all to see, is that any different than the outright tribute to her own ass, J.lo has released?

For years people have been commenting on Jenny from the Block’s rear assets. When I met her I was shocked at how tiny that rear is, but it’s all relative once you zoom in on something. Is that the new definition of feminism? Everyone’s talking about your ass so own it? Well this is a spectacular way of doing it:

If people are unable to get out of bed today because they are waxing their own surfboards with the release of this video, what is the difference between this and the tongue-in-cheek hit “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj?

Well, for one thing, the taste-level. Jlo may be chewing gum and smoking cigarettes, but she’s doing it in a closed studio, ‘artistically’ and it’s just her ass and Iggy (Nicki’s rival), celebrating how their milkshakes bring the boys to the yard. Hmm, counterpoint so is Nicki, but in a much more over-the-top crass way with coconut milk dripping and mentioning how her pussy tires out her man so much he calls her NyQuil.

The dictionary defines feminism:

feminism

noun
1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2.(sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. feminine character.
Both J.Lo and Nicki are taking their own rights as women to exploit their assets to earn the big dollars men are not providing for them. Nicki’s lyrics advocate getting men to buy her things and are generally crude.  Is it about packaging? ‘Anaconda’ has been viewed on YouTube over 177 million times. Men are not thinking about feminism, they are jerking off to it and every time they do, I can hear the cha-ching building up in Nicki’s VEVO account.
Both women smack other women’s asses in their videos, both shake, twerk and leave on a bikini-string to keep them from being ‘fully’ exposed. If we look at Miley’s video for ‘Wrecking Ball’ which, IMHO, is her version of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’, that is, until she starts licking steel. Despite protests about Miley not having to ruin the artistry of that moment, fans have watched that video over 700 million times and is on track to hit a billion.
At the end of the day, women are still the first ones to get laid off and get paid 60 cents on the dollar if we are lucky. Has feminism morphed into a marketing idea or are these popstars really in control? I’d certainly like to believe it, because even though Jessie J sang ‘it ain’t about the money’, those are lyrics and we live in reality where bills have to get paid and most of us are not turning down sponsorship deals, we’re sponsoring ourselves! Shake those asses ladies, I’ll take the t-bills that are dropping out of them.

Fashion Week Event: With a Phone That Only Takes Selfies…Ramble

I love glamour. The idea of it. The effortless chic looks on glossy pages or the silver screen. It’s a break from the mundane and it brightens up daily life, so when my friend Dorothy invited me to Valetina Kova’s Fashion Show Event at The Mondrian Hotel – Rooftop, of course, I immediately rescheduled my evening to join her. Dorothy is one of those incredibly cool people who has always pulled off bright splashes of color in her outfits and accessories, especially her glasses’ frames.

We arrived and bumped into my other friend Jazmine and her man Matt in the queue for the elevator, delivering us not only to a room full of models decked in bright clothing, sunglasses and utter chic, but a 180 view of Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn that was breathtaking. That all calls for shuttersnapping, which I did, within boundaries. A few weeks ago, an ice coffee in a bag fell over without my immediate knowledge, into a bag holding my phone. Drying it through the ‘rice method’, it got better each day, although there is a visible ice coffee stain inside the phone. Last week the phone, while a little slower in switching between apps, but still very usable, had a new limitation – it will only take photos in the ‘selfie’- mode. Challenge accepted! See the fun results below and since I’m not in most of them we are calling them ‘reverse’ selfies, not regular photos. The models, the DJ and friends snapped were all very good-natured about it and had a lot of fun working the selfie mode. Thank you all especially Dorothy for being such wonderful participants! #NYFW2014

Look at those rings!

Look at those rings!

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Joan Rivers & The Feminists…Ramble

Last night I went to a dinner party to discuss current trends with a variety of ‘cool hunters’ ranging from fashion, hotel, and fragrance experts and more. One of the issues that came up was all of the female equality campaigns and how many people changed their social media profiles to Beyonce with the word FEMINIST behind her during the VMA’s (it also happens in her ‘On The Run’ tour.)

That word ‘feminist’ gets thrown around a lot. Joan Rivers was a woman who broke ground. She was the first female comedian, the only female ever, to get her own late night talk show. She blew my mind and curfew as a child. This sassy, smart mouthed woman who went to none other than Barnard College of Columbia University, which also happens to be my Alma Mater, where they drum female rights into the fabric of your mind, whether you are a card carrying Naomi Wolf (author of ‘The Beauty Myth’) fan or not. It is a small group of buildings with the campus being New York City. Get out there, conquer, kick ass, beat doors down and don’t let people tell you know because of your gender. 

It always amazes me how Johnny Carson could recognize Joan’s talent, making her the permanent guest host while he took off, but then when she was offered her own show, he never spoke to her again. Joan’s joke writer, Cassie St. Onge revealed in her touching tribute to Joan on XoJane.com, Joan never understood what or how Johnny wanted to be repaid, but she dealt with it, the way a true ‘feminist’ does, no need to declare it (I’m not for /against declaring it), and she made the way better for other females and her fans by saying what no one else could say. 

I watched a clip of her on E! News explaining why, off-camera, she always was nice to her fans (something I’ve heard from everyone I know who has met her and I work in entertainment so that’s a lot of people)– it was because she met three stars growing up and they were all nice to her. Her philosophy was that it was as easy to say ‘thank you’ as to say ‘no, I don’t have time right now.’ That shows a real grace of character, something that doesn’t instantly pop to mind as a description of Ms. Rivers, but true. I’ve worked with a lot of famous people, been behind-the-scenes, threatened by one boy bander with a baseball bat on a scorching hot day in Orlando, witnessed ugly behavior towards fans and that clip enforced what people who’ve met and worked with Joan have always felt from her, that she cared and she was kind, so it carries a good deal of weight with me and I will miss her shocking comments on Fashion Police, red carpets and her reality show with her daughter, Melissa. 

Sweet dreams Joan Rivers, you were a gem!

 

Run Baby Run…Ramble

Following my post about mixing up my exercise routine, I was discussing it with Jillian Wright, amazing spin teacher extraordinaire. Jillian is, BTW, one of a handful of ‘Master’ level spin instructors in CT. I went to a new doctor last week and got a physical as part of my ‘jump start’ into fall and being accountable. Beyonce started singing in my head “uh oh, uh oh, oh no no no no” and not in that sexy ’50 Shades’ version. Mmm, it turns out summer and all my baking and indulging in drinks with friends added up to 7 extra lbs. I’m 5’4″ that is not good. 

I left the doctor, went home, changed into my workout clothes and went running for an hour. Running leans me out so quickly. Sorry yoga, you have to take a backseat if I don’t have time for a two-a-day. I’ve already lost two pounds but let’s do the math on those five remaining pounds:

3500 calories= a lb.

3500 x 5 = 17,500 Calories 

Daily caloric intake should be 1500-2000, on the lower side when trying to lose weight. 

17,500 /2000 = 7. 5 – that’s 8.75 DAYS of extra complete daily intake I overate/drank worth of calories.  

Oh, Coco! Uh oh, uh oh, oh no no no NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “Such a funny feeling and your love (AKA my fat, get away from my body) can do what no one else can”: 

I think of all the hours I put in at the gym – Zumba x 3, spin x 2, yoga x 1 and a day off for my muscles. Aiya. Since I’ve done the math I have added running back to the mix. I’ve upped my game in spin class and dropped yoga in favor of running. There are two important weddings of people who are really wonderful friends in the near future, who also happen to be, to quote Zoolander “really, really good looking” and let’s face it, people have wedding photos forever. Those things can really haunt a person and make me feel for all those people who’s photos were hacked and exposed to the entire world. *I didn’t search or see any until the person sitting next to me at dinner brought out her phone (she was on it the whole dinner how exhausting and hello, bad manners), and held it up to my face to show me one of a couple I didn’t recognize with their naked backs brushing their teeth. Um, who cares? Sort of cute if they sent it as a joke? Eh, not worth violating someone’s privacy, but back to the exercising and accountability.

This week Jillian’s Cyclesanity program included a six minute segment where we had to track distance, with the goal of getting as close to two miles as possible. Came in at 2.3 so she told me next week I have to do better. Trust me, my legs are short. That was a total powerplay for me, but goals are a huge motivator for me and I’m a fierce competitor, even with myself. Seven pounds, now five, hope you liked your free ride because you are over and I’m “back on it” with vigor and by that I mean my heart rate is going to be up in the zone at 85% use rate. 

Dear Fat, you should’ve known better than to mess with me harder, now I’m gonna love you like a Black Widow Baby:

 

5 lessons from the celebrity iCloud hack that we should all think about

Originally posted on Gigaom:

With the dust starting to settle after the dreadful hacking and posting of various female celebrities’ nude selfies, we’re finally in a position to consider the implications of what happened.

Most of this information isn’t new as such – the episode brought to the fore circumstances and activities that have been around for a while – but there are lessons in there, and it’s time we gave them serious consideration.

1. Some cloud security is unacceptably poor

[company]Apple[/company] uses two-factor authentication (2FA) as a protection for Apple ID management and iTunes and App Store purchases, but not for iCloud backups, which is where many of these pictures originated. Even where the company does employ 2FA, it doesn’t exactly make it easy. What’s more, as Nik Cubrilovic wrote in his excellent in-depth analysis of underground marketplaces and forums, Apple makes it far too easy to execute so-called brute force attacks on…

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Free Falling into Exercise: Cyclesanity Style…Ramble

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A few weeks ago I was talking to my favorite spin teacher, Jillian Wright. It was her birthday weekend and she was considering challenging herself to go skydiving. It got me to thinking about how, as we age, we fall into ruts with things. It makes it easier to have a routine, but it also makes it boring and when that happens with exercise, it means our bodies plateau.

Jillian is a great motivator as a teacher. When we were discussing skydiving, I mentioned I had been bungy jumping in Australia when I was still a teenager. (Okay, sit down, I know you are in shock that I’m not still 17!) That rush of blood to the head and adrenalin can really shake up a system. Birthdays are a good stake in the ground to challenge the body to change up what my exercise routine is, and make sure to not be afraid to take risks. 

Part of the reason I took a job as Head of Music Video Programming at Yahoo! four months after moving to Brooklyn, which I fell in love with immediately, was challenging myself to take risks. Was I afraid? Didn’t I still have it in me to rise to the challenge? I was working at Vh1 at the time, for only a few months, did I really want to uproot or had I found my job for life? The one that I am happy and challenged in and passion about- that was a really tough decision. Initially I turned down the job at Yahoo! I loved my co-workers and my new job at Vh1. After a few months, Yahoo! poked me again and I had to face reality, I was denying myself growth by not taking a bigger risk. 

Jillian took that leap soaring through the air, strapped to a man with the parachute, without one of her own. When I watched the video of her jump it gave me goosebumps. In life, we need to shake off our daily routine, get out of the box and get that heart pumping. Earlier this year I added Zumba (aka Exhaustion to Beyonce!) to my workout routine. It can be hard as it is all about non-verbal cues. Once I let myself completely go and get into it, I have had a much more enjoyable time dancing and gotten a lot better at it. 

The body needs, *and I’m not endorsing skydiving for everyone, challenges. It’s great to workout consistently, but even doing that, can lead to a rut. We all need that ‘jerk’ when the parachute hits us, so our course alters slightly and adds a new dimension and challenge. That added challenge is why Cyclesanity spin programs change from week to week, why over a month there is a build-up and concentration on different aspects such as watts creating power, or how much distance your legs will take you. It’s totally amazing that Jillian inspires me inside and outside of the classroom. This was a great reminder to keep challenging myself, not wait for it to be an annual challenge, but take a look seasonally at what is happening and make goals for my body as well as professionally. Now it’s your turn to soar. 

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