Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Britney Phenomenon Explained by Me

Before you judge me (boys especially) for being a Britney Spears fan, you have to understand that Opps! I Did It Again was one of the first CDs I had ever bought as a 13 year-old at which I listened to on repeat for weeks on my Sony Walkman CD player (remember CD books?!). Pop music, Britney Spears, midriff bearing tops--that was my life as a teen, and over a decade later, every new Britney song and album reminds me of how awesomely fun life was back then and can be when listening to pop music.

See, Britney defies traditional music stardom because for over a decade she is able to produce hit after hit and sellout concerts without fail. There is human quality about Britney--that want to "just have fun"--which she established early in her career and which all her fans identify her by. What she has playing on her side is the sentiment of FUN, the nostalgia of that high school dance, the college party or that epic night in Vegas. We remember moments in our lives based on her chart-topping hits ("Womanizer" fittingly came out when I was in London) and even moments in her personal life serve as milestones, like that time she married her friend Jason in Vegas, her awful reality TV show with K-Fed and her infamous head shaving.

Manufactured image, lip-syncing, weight gain--in our eyes Britney Spears can do no wrong as long as she continues to exude that fun, kick-ass Britney factor on stage. Am I right that Glee dedicated an entire episode to her? I don't watch that show.

Simply, Britney was the Bieber of my time.

Catch a one-hour MTV special "Britney Spears: I am Femme Fatale" this Sunday at 9 pm EST, and for all of you who wonder does Britney still have it? Watch a crowd-shot video of her GMA performance of Till the World Ends that captures that spark we crave in a Britney performance (starts around 0:55):

Sunday, March 27, 2011

USMNT vs. Argentina, My First US Soccer Game and Freezing Tailgate

I took work off Friday to complete my USA outfits for the US Men's National Soccer Team versus Argentina game on Saturday. The outfits were taking me longer than usual to complete due to some mechanical difficulties, but I cranked out a navy blue maxi dress with red and white stripes up-top and criss-crossed straps on the back. Modeled by Hannah below, I have to say the dress was quite a success! I also made a simple red and white stripped tank top to go with red jeans I already owned. USA outfits will surely get more face-time around July 4th.
1:50 pm: On our way to New Meadowlands Stadium from Port Authority
Tyler's repping Hawaii at a USA game...
2:15 pm: High-Five! The five kegs are here
Don't be deceived by the blue skies, the temperature was in the 30s and the parking lot a windy tundra
Smiles all around still...
and lots of USA Pride!
 With high winds we couldn't play flip cup or beer pong, so we had to improvise--beer relays!
 Lunch is here!
 Corned Beef and Turkey Sloppy Joes from Town Hall Deli in Jersey is MONEY
 6:30 pm: Heading into the NY Giants' New Meadowlands Stadium
The game ended in a tie 1-1, and according to people who actually watch US Soccer, it's a win for the US. I still don't like games that end in ties.
At the end of the very long and cold day (5 hours of tailgating, 2 hours of game and 2 hours of traveling), I had fun supporting the US and am glad they didn't lose, but I can now say with confidence that I definitely prefer hockey games over soccer games.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Polyvore x Hudson Jeans x NYLON = The Online Contest Revamped

Nowadays, branded online contests is an overused and uninspired marketing tactic that struggles to scale; however, this week Hudson Jeans in partnership with publisher Nylon Mag and fashion trend tool Polyvore proves that simplifying the entry process in digital touchpoints that reach your audience can produce crazy high engagement levels. Polyvore's trend collage-building concept lends itself well to retail and its innovative Mini Editor unit lends itself perfectly to reaching audiences across the web. This week on NylonMag.com, Polyvore's mini editor replaced the typical 300x250 homepage spot so fashionistas can instantly create and submit their collages (sets) directly in the unit without leaving the page. In addition, you can browse and "like" entrees within the gallery tab of the unit. What amazes me is how dead-on the NYLON, Polyvore and Hudson Jeans audience fits right into each other, and in combination with the high interactivity and versatility of Polyvore's Mini Editor unit--the Hudson & Georgia May Jagger Style Inspiration contest is a sure winner.
Nylon tweeted to its 336K+ followers:
Polyvore's Mini Editor is also integrated on Hudson's Facebook page:

Impressive submissions like Denim Daybreak's below show that the contest reaches a very interested and passionate audience:

Polyvore has worked with other brands like Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and YSL in similar contest formats. What is really interesting is the engagement numbers are available on Polyvore for everyone to see:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jason's Hearty Birthday at Vinegar Hill House

I celebrated my dear friend Jason Ishikawa's birthday tonight at Vinegar Hill House in DUMBO, and in true Jason foodie fashion it was at an awesome restaurant with a very "hip" (in the authentic creative way) ambience. We feasted on a delicious dinner of fennel salad, chicken liver mousse, mussels and entree of pork chops, cast iron chicken or bass with cheese grits and brussels sprouts on the side--and if that wasn't enough hearty grub--for dessert, a guinness chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting! The silver lining about birthdays in your mid-20s is that you spend it with good food, good wine and good company instead of trashed or blacked-out with your head in the toilet. Wasn't that how you celebrated? I really have to thank Jason and my close group of awesome friends in New York (if you've played on the bus then you're included) for making my time here special, and now I understand why they chose to film a show about Friends in New York, BECAUSE THERE WOULD BE NO NEW YORK WITHOUT FRIENDS. Think about it.

Anyways, Happy Birthday Jason! Now, how about that shot of 151 and Rock Star?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Practice Safe Posting People

I find the recent Gilbert Gottfried and UCLA girl news somewhat alarming as to how easily "freedom of speech" can turn into a VERY poor life decision. It's a good thing President Obama and First Lady Michelle recently held a summit at the White House about educating the youth on the proper use of the internet because obviously some of the first generation of vloggers, tweeters and content creators are not practicing common sense. I have bigger issues to worry about than some girl's racists rants, but as an Asian American and human being, I think there's a lot everyone can learn from the lack of looting in Japan and how the Japanese have been "true to their moral code" even in a very dark time in their country. The internet allows us to share our perspectives and connect with people with the same passions, but we need to be more sensitive to the "public" visibility of content online. And I'm not talking about comedy because most people can tell the difference between an insensitive comment and a joke--and I don't think Gottfried or the UCLA girl was joking.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's a Small World, Help Japan

Living half way around the world in New York, it is easy to go out about our daily routines answering emails, sending text messages and checking Facebook updates, but thankfully, the internet and social networks make it very hard to forget the tragic disaster that shook Northern Japan. As the world gets smaller and smaller due to our ability to share online, our hearts should be as large as ever and willing to give back to those in need around the world. I am really proud of Vivaki the digital holding company I work for who will be matching employee donations up to $50K, of Red Cross' Twitter promoted trend #helpjapan raising awareness of the relief effort and of W+K's subtly powerful poster that will surely encourage people to donate. Many other media companies, artists and business are finding simple and innovative ways to help Japan.
Lady Gaga's "little monsters" can buy wristbands, all proceeds go to Japan relief efforts 
AlohaForJapan.com is selling specially designed T-shirts and all proceeds go to the Red Cross. The shirts are currently sold out online but should be back up soon.
In the end, the way or form that you donate should not matter, JUST THAT YOU DO. I have yet to visit Japan, but I did have a Japanese foreign exchange student Yasuko stay with me in middle school and have met countless compassionate Japanese people in my lifetime. They are gracious and polite people who have a great influence on fashion, technology, design and cuisine. This could happen to any country and anyone, so I ask that you spare what you can to help Japan.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to Steal A Million the Old School Way

Call me old school but I love old TV shows and movies, especially from the 60s, probably because I was only allowed to watch Nick At Nite after 9 p.m. growing up. I have exhausted Hulu's I Dream of Jeannie episodes so tonight I'm downloading Audrey Hepburn's 1966 movie How To Steal A Million on iTunes to provide me with some pure, fun escapism. There's a simplicity to old movies that I find extremely soothng--no CGI, vampires or apocalyptic story lines--plus I watched the trailer and Audrey's Givenchy wardrobe is to die for. Maybe I'll also learn some tips on how to steal a million.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Forget I Used to Live on a Volcano

Okay, I'm exaggerating. The closest thing to a Volcano that I've stood next to was probably the glass furnace in glassblowing class in high school (and seeing that it resulted in second degree burns, me and hot fire do not mix), but after watching recent videos of the Kilauea eruptions on the Big Island of Hawaii, I am reminded how beautiful and powerful Hawaiian nature can be. Now living on the East Coast, I am jealous of the art and natural history museums children growing up here have access to, but looking back, I wouldn't trade it for a zip-line ride through the Ko'olau Mountain range, ghost stories under stars as bright as the Swarovski crystals on JLo's Golden Globe dress or searching for sea life in the tide pools at Makapu'u. I miss the awe and overwhelming emotion deep blue skies and towering green mountains can have but instead now I am just in awe and overwhelmed by that awful pee smell at the 6th Avenue L stop.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Get Good Beer at Good Beer NYC

It's a shame that Good Beer NYC had to open three months after I moved off the East 9th Street block. Located on East 9th Street between 1st & A in the East Village, Good Beer sells, well, good beer. Lined against the walls from front to back is the biggest selection of chilled American Craft and Imported beers I have seen in NYC (if there is a better place, please tell me). My favorite thing is their $8 beer flights, which you can select four out of the 12 beers on tap. If you don't know much about beer except that you like it, the guys at the counter can help you choose which ones to try. 
There's seating in the back for about 10 people and when the place gets crowded people just stand around the front and drink. It looks like eventually there will be a nice garden in the back with tables and benches, which I can't wait for. For updates on what's on tap, check out Good Beer NYC's Facebook Page. Below was my beer flight, I had the Captain Lawrence Winter Rye, Sly Fox Seamus Red Ale, River Horse Oatmeal Milk Stout and the last one I can't remember, but I did enjoy all of it. Good Beer has a really casual and chill atmosphere--a perfect place for an afternoon beer drinking spot.