The Power of Authenticity…Ramble

We hear it the advice to be authentic professionally, but what does that mean on a personal level? What if you think you are being authentic, but you come off as insincere? Adjusting to a new country and the social codes of London, I’m starting to take stock of a of comments on “what is done” and “not done.”

Yesterday I took my French bulldog to a meet-up of over one hundred Frenchies in Regents Park. I realized I had been holding my breathe a little bit socially, and was excited to see another French bulldog and human as we were approaching the park. We began chatting and walked towards the park together. Ah, my people!

That fellow saved me from getting a ticket in the park. There are different rules when it comes to dogs in London – I can take Elle on the tube without being in a bag, but there are sections of the park she is not allowed to even walk on the path. She can come into pubs, but not cafes.

Walking into the meet-up section, my new companion and I came across a couple with their blue French bulldog. One of the men was wearing an adorable t-shirt with a French bulldog. I tried to engage him, but he gave me an icy stare, or as my love interest describes it “he gave no fucks.” I didn’t expect it to be easy, but being part of a community that makes a point of gathering, was taken aback by this person’s behavior. Later, I found out he is well-known actor. That doesn’t give him an excuse.

  A friend later commented on my video of the event naming the actor, who had posted a photo on his account, holding up his Frenchie, like baby Simba in The Lion King. The curation of life is something we all do. The actor was positioning himself as part of a warm, friendly community, with himself as part of it- a regular guy who goes to a public event with over 150 people on a Sunday afternoon in the park. It felt inauthentic to me. It felt like marketing, the caveat being, I don’t know him, and our interaction was truncated. It was 2 p.m., not 10 a.m., so the morning hangover explanation doesn’t really work for me, but is plausible.

  
What is being authentic? In daily life we curate the parts of life we want to show off, while cropping out unappealing elements. Language I take for granted, can be equally viewed as insincere. My New York upbringing is to be effusive, a trait of being a writer in a town where you can toss a coin and hit a writer on every block. My expressions tend to be positive, while the British style seems to be to undervalue things, almost borderline French – “it’s not the worst meal I’ve had,” or “that wasn’t half bad.”

  
I’m willing to give that actor the benefit of the doubt, that he was sincere in his actions of making the decision to attend the meet-up with his partner, to be part of the community, and I will be myself but mindful of being overly effusive, on that point, I am quite sincere.

 
 

Advertisements

Crush of The Week: The Dogist…Ramble

Humans of New York are cool, but DOGS are another level. “The Dogist” grew up with labs and now the busy photographer captures dogs of all breeds on the streets of New York all the way to Alaska.

When I first started following him on Instagram, The Dogist, aka Elias, had 3000 followers (now he is closing in on 700K with a book releasing this fall.) I would see posts of dogs from blocks away and get a little sad my dog, Elle (@grrlgenius_ ) had not been chosen, not yet. There were a few dogs events where he was but a shadow, surrounded by people I was too shy to stage dog mom, or thought I’d wait my turn, only for The Dogist to leave. Then came the April Fool’s Day event at Warby Parker and I spotted him. Again, struck with politeness. He asked the lady who’s dog was sniffing Elle’s butt if they could go outside to take a photo – never to return to the event. Le sigh. The heartbreak grew.

A week ago that changed and we met The Dogist. Elle finally got her photoshoot in Cooper Union Square. He won her over quickly and I watched his technique as he immortalized her.

She looked right at him with no extra help from me. It was amazing.

I feel honored Elle was finally added to The Dogist’s amazing collection, but the reason he is the crush of the week is for all the positivity his love of dogs has brought, both for humans who love dogs and the charities Elias brings attention.

That’s an amazing and wonderful way to live your life. Thank you ,Elias, for giving back so much to all of us dog lovers who enjoy discovering new breeds through your account.

5 Types of French Bulldogs I’m Obsessing Over on Instagram…Ramble

Hey – Buzzfeed isn’t the only one who likes Frenchies. I clearly LOVE them especially Elle! These are my wonderful Frenchie Brethren I just j’adore:

1. Breeders: while @sensationalbulldogs was the ultimate choice for Manny The Frenchie’s new bro Frank (really this name is terrible for a Frenchie. It’s neither French or clever and not cute enough for the adorable Blue baby! that’s why they don’t get a link!), my favorite breeder is @dakkydak‘s Bonsai Kennels. I like the vibe of Dak and his crew, who seem like they know how to enjoy San Diego and really, really care about the pups. Recently a 4 month old pup died and now Bonsai Kennels is doing a fundraiser for the couple’s hospital bills.

2. Frenchie + Cute Kid= @MiffySpiffy
Mom Celine has been on Instagram since she was first pregnant with now toddler Amber, documenting the adventures of fawn colored Plato. These two have so much fun and it’s amazing to see Amber grow and Plato’s patience as she tries to pull his ears off of his head!
3. Named after a food: Mr. Bobobear
Seriously? I just dare you to try not loving this little pied black and white batpig! Leader of the Frenchie In A Swing Movement (oh yeah, we Frenchie lovers are serious about fun!), I can’t get enough wondering what he’ll do next!
Tora & Meatball (see yes good names for Frenchies are things like Meatball & our little friend in DUMBO Gerkin, even Pickles down the street is our fave English bullie’s name but Frank? no. What a missed opportunity Manny’s parents. Seriously!) are patriotic, playful and they actually sit together while their humans dress them up.
Over in Finland (I love having Frenchie friends all over the globe!) Willem & Freek are an adorable pair of brindle black, brown and white Frenchies. Freek just turned one and, despite his young age, he has no fear when it comes to competing with Willem for toys!
Tofu and Shay (see, good names!) are more California Frenchies. They just posted their first “selfie” and it’s too cute. Of course, these Cali kids like to travel and have a daily website which offers great advice, recipes and you can buy cool stuff with proceeds going to charity.
There are so many others including @DumplingDuo and we love you all.
5. Joyful Japanese– okay, it’s really my dream to have a private jet full of Frenchies fly over to Japan on a Frenchie clothing shopping spree. So far I have Mr. Bobabear on board trying to use his powers wearing his Sorcerer Mickey hat…come on eclectic billionaire, decide this is a good thing and make it happen cause Kickstarter may not be supportive! Anyway I am inspired by many of the Japanese cuties so it’s hard to pick faves but kindly check out adorable @Potix who’s parents just had twins. How cute will it be see this little fawn Frenchie named Lotta with two kids? @Frangipaniwhite -just based on the name alone you have to follow her. And seriously @bull8 not only has multiple Frenchies, but also they seem to have their own clothing line and they dress up their Frenchies all the time. It’s wonderful.
BONUS:
You know I really can’t stop, but I also love some curators like @TheDailyFrenchie & @BatpigandMe so if you can’t get enough, they seek out the cutest Frenchies for you. xx
And, now you want one but you’re all sad thinking you can’t afford one, why not adopt from @FrenchBulldogRescueNetwork?
 Don’t lift this article Buzzfeed! Unless, of course you want to feature the amazing tiny butterball Elle! Here we are celebrating Bastille Day Frenchie Style in Brooklyn with Matt *human, Bruce Springsteen (look how long his torso is in comparison to Elle’s!), Liana *human and Luna!
 Image

Happy 2nd Anniversary to My Canine Kid Elle…Ramble

Two years ago today I drove five hours to pick up my lovely little Frenchie @Rocknroll_ELLE who completely changed my life the moment she came to me when I beckoned her with my finger. I was in love in a big way and it’s crazy to me how each day she is more adorable and how lucky I am to have this little fur baby as a soulmate. 

Image

She was only 5 lbs here and now she’s 18. Elle is the most wonderful companion. She is sweet and clever and she loves to play. I’m so glad her soft palate operation is now behind us and she is just as playful and energetic as the day we first met. 

We’ve been all over this town and on many adventures outside of it. I always feel much calmer when I have my best friend with me so thanks Elle for two amazing years and here’s to many more! Thanks for always being such a good sport too! 

Image

Baby Love 11: Snorter Heaven…Ramble

Woohoo, we were giving Meet-Ups a little bit of a revisit since there were a bunch of unneutered males at the last one we went to and some blood was shed…..seriously. Fortunately the Brooklyn Frenchie group has been revived by a lady named Jen who’s Frenchie also happens to be named Elle! ACK! It’s okay they are easier to tell apart. Turns out no matter where we go mon petit Elle is smaller by about 8-10 lbs! Unfortunately my phone died before I could take photos with all the Frenchies. There were a few boxers and pugs as well which made it totally snorterrific! Here’s a few pics from today’s group meeting at tbd over in Fort Greene. I can do this easily since Elle is passed out!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

5 Questions with @grrlgenius…Ramble

Look at Elle's ears!

Inspired by Mr. Billy Idol I should be dancing by myself, oh, oh oh, oh. My take? Why not interview myself today?

Location: Brooklyn!
Vocation: Writer & Digital Content Guru
Sign: Capricorn. Officially even though I’m a cusp with Sag

1) What’s so important about June 25th?

If you read this blog or know me at all you know I have loved George Michael for a very long time! Today is his birthday.

Last year I found a letter that I wrote tucked into a biography about George Michael. I had pulled it out to give it another read in honor of George’s birthday. I intended to create my first vlog posting, but then very quickly the day became about the passing of two other stars. Today, I finally have made the vlog. Please let me know what you think:

2) What are some of your favorite George Michael moments?

I got to fulfill a dream seeing him at Earl’s Court in London. We had a V.I.P. minder who took us through to a private tent. Rod Stewart was there but even more impressive there were journos and other George Michael staffers who had been with Wham! to China. It was an amazing night. George’s U.S. manager brought us a bottle of the wine he’d been drinking with George. It certainly beat waiting out for tickets overnight at Madison Square Garden and then realizing I had a fan club membership card back up at school which guaranteed me seats in the first ten rows. Simply amazing.

Meeting George wasn’t too shabby either. 🙂

3) Onto your current obsession. How did you decide to get a dog? (aka become Crazy Dog Lady)

Whoosh hot times in the city!

I have wanted a puppy for a while but didn’t think my lifestyle suited it. When I worked at Yahoo! a friend made a comment I’d be a terrible mommy because I was at work so much and travelling.

This year it seemed more like a growing need to care for a pup. I read Jennifer Weiner’s first book, Good in Bed. The main character is a journalist who feels very strongly every single person and every writer should have a dog. Then I got my tax refund…and saw a photo from the breeder…..and fell in love.

Elle makes me laugh every day. She is the most adorable creature and I’m so lucky she chose me.

4) Any advice on how to pick a breed?

Do your research. Frenchies don’t have the best breathing systems so they don’t do well in the heat. You have to monitor them closely and make sure to always have water on hand so they don’t over do it and have a heart attack.

Many quotes include “Frenchies like to be pleased but do not care about pleasing you.” In getting to know the breed I spent time with other Frenchies, watched everything and read books on Frenchies. It kept surfacing they were clown dogs. They do well in apartments and love people and dogs.

Some people like the look of a big dog. A Great Dane doesn’t need a lot of exercise and isn’t necessarily that social, while a St. Bernard can get to the size of a small bear and needs lots of exercise. You want a bear in your apartment? Yikes!

Review the laws in your state and price out things like insurance, licenses, vet fees, common health issues and which shots your dog requires. Dog sit for a friend. You should also read up on behaviour and potty training. Sites like Urbanhound.com, Dogbook (application) and the ASPCA are really helpful with a lot of information.

5) What makes you so passionate about recognizing Women in Tech?

The stats of women getting engineering degrees is on a huge downward slide. I have female friends from Yahoo! who dropped out of it because they didn’t like the way men treated them. Then I went to SXSWi this year and found myself in a meeting with several female groups. They all wanted to put down the Silicon Alley groups. WHAT?!

This is one thing that drives me crazy about minorities of any sort. Once a minority gets empowered they just want to take down others… just like when the Democrats regained control of Congress. The infighting means nothing gets done and in the end regular citizens wind up screwed.

As for women in tech, it felt like every time we made some positive connections another person would complain.One graphic designer said she wasn’t a women in tech– I told her any connection with digital be it on the content end, or marketing or encoding makes you a woman in tech.

As a group we are still pushing our way through the doors for recognition and yet, we don’t want help other factions or ask special treatment while men will run over us and push us off a cliff for an extra high-five. In the words of Queen Latifah, let’s get some

U-N-I-T-Y I’m not a bitch or a ho.


Baby Love…Ramble

I was reading Jennifer Weiner’s first book Good In Bed (it’s really great b-tee-dubs as @brianistuft would say) last weekend. The main character is a newspaper reporter who has a dog she is very passionate about & there are just pages of awesomeness when it comes to talking about every writer should have a dog. She’s not the only writer or person that feels that way but the heart was open to it & it all came together as finally being the right time. Today I finally got to get my baby…. so here she is introducing Elle.

What's our style? Fabulous, fabulous that's us!