Category Archives: internets

Getting Real about getting over Rebecca Black (and her new video)

We fell in love with her on a Friday (Friday). This Monday – after the roller coaster of video removals and reinstatements – we’re still smitten with Rebecca Black. Or strangely obsessed – we can’t decide.

So imagine my delight when I discovered that her follow-up smash single dropped today on YouTube (two hours ago to be exact).

I felt like singing “I’m So Excited” while wearing purple leggings and a cropped sweatshirt, and then having a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately, Black’s second attempt is wildly underwhelming. Here’s why:

  • There are about four lyrics in the song – Becky, where is the lyrical prose that first stole our hearts, like “gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal“? I just don’t understand.
  • The video is less colorful and by that I mean R.B. isn’t wearing blue eyeshadow and strawberry lipstick. And I’m sad. I liked that garish monster. Nude lipstick is so Monday (and I don’t mean that in a good way).
  • Her friends are trying way too hard. I guess Rebecca got all cool and shit and traded in her friends with the braces for new, hot friends. The fame has apparently gone straight to the bitch’s head. And this is after her friend hauled her around in a convertible for, like, a whole Friday. BITCH.

Basically, Rebecca, I think I’m through with you. You sold out. You’re all made up and shit. You’re on red carpets. You wear dresses that are red.  And I heard a rumor that you only upload your shit to Vevo now.

Currently, the video has 4000 likes and 4000 dislikes. This shiz is more controversial than the debt ceiling. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in our overflowing comments section.

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Getting Real about Starbucks and Big Shades


And we all remember Madison’s take on the “Pursuit of Jappiness”


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Getting Real about 3 people I want to slap some sense into this week

1) Chris Smith (+ all 173 members of the house that support The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act)

This bill includes many provisions. One of these provisions is the Hyde Amendment which prevents federal dollars to cover abortions with exemption in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the woman is threatened. The bill however proposes a change in language from rape to “forcible rape”.

This kind of open-ended language could allow interpretations that distinguish “real” rape from “non-forcible rape?!” as in the case where woman have been drugged or if the woman is of limited mental capacity. Who wrote this bill? The frat boy who sat next to me in psych class freshman year who told me that when girls mean no they really mean yes? Republicans often argue that government’s reach is too vast, like Rep. Michelle Bachmann who said we have a bureaucracy that tells us “which light bulbs to buy”. It’s not government’s place to tell us how to live our lives in a more sustainable, earth friendly way but it IS the government’s place to tell a woman what is a true violation of her body?

This goes beyond the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate. Rape by definition is non-consensual sex. The word “force” has no place here. The absurdity of even having this debate is beautifully demonstrated by the following Daily Show segment:

2. Kenneth Cole

And in other news Kenneth Cole referenced the uprisings in Egypt to promote his new spring line in the following tweet:

I guess clothes really can’t buy you class. Well done sir. I’m afraid this tweet might have the opposite effect you were hoping for on the sales of your new spring collection.

3. Gwyneth Paltrow

In the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, Gwyneth complained about negative response to some of the posts on her lifestyle blog GOOP:

There were a couple of times when I thought, ‘I’m just gonna stop doing it. People are so mean to me. I don’t want to do it.’ But then I was like, ‘Who cares what some lame person out there says?’ I was in Italy once, and this old man came up to me and said, ‘I had the best time in Nashville because of Goop.’ And that is so worth it to me.”

Yes, keep doing what you do Gwyneth, don’t let those lame meanies get you down. Lonely Planet and Let’s Go, watch out, cause you might be out of business reeeeal soon.

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Filed under Flora, internets, politics

Getting Real about black sand between your toes, Swiss chalets and Frette sheets

You’ve watched every episode of Millionaire Matchmaker on-demand, your liquid jacket isn’t as windproof as it was in college and your Totes Toasties have been worn so often that the grippers on the bottom are starting to come off. Basically, you’ve got a bad case of “winter” that you need to escape.

Thankfully, in the last year, the interwebs have given birth to a crop of discount luxury travel sites that allow you to flee your humdrum life and take a fabulous journey to an exotic locale. Since I travel almost as much as George Clooney in “Up In the Air,” and can’t resist a good deal, here’s a rundown of some of my faves.


Jetsetter, a spawn of the addictive fashion site Gilt, offers “flash sales” on luxury hotels at unbeatable prices.

The Upside: While some of their picks may not seem cheap, when you look at the sticker price, you realize what a good deal you’re getting. Also, each hotel they feature gets the “Jetsetter Verified” stamp, which means that it’s going to be a damn good hotel.

The Downside: Jetsetter flash sales only last for a few days max and the best dates (weekends, holidays, etc) get eaten up quickly. If you want the best deal on the best date, you need to act fast. Jetsetter just introduced a new feature where you can book any hotel at any time but this blogger only recommends that if you have Oprah’s bankroll.

Trips I’ve booked on this site: Our recent blogger’s retreat took place at a hotel (Villagio in Yountville) that we booked on Jetsetter. While the price of over $250 a night was steep, since it was split between the four of us, it wasn’t bad. And all four of us were able to use the spa facilities, enjoy an opulent afternoon tea (yup, crustless sandwiches and pine nut scones), and a breakfast with omelets on demand, for free. Last summer, I also booked the Fairmont Sonoma (also very snazzy) for under $100 on Jetsetter.

Hot deals they have going on now: Bestill my Sperry-loving heart – the c/o Maidstone in the Hamptons is like a preppy girl’s dream come true. I would advise booking a weekend in March when it’s a bit warmer but the prices have yet to completely shoot through the roof. Or if you want to get a little “wild,” there’s also a stay at the Vuyani Lodge in South Africa, which promises up close visits with Simba, Timon and Pumba. The $390 per night pricetag isn’t cheap but the rate includes three meals a day, safari drives, and airport transfers. MEE-OW.

If you’re thinking about booking, please do use this link – you’ll get $25 in free credit and so will this starving blogger.

Tablet Hotels

Tablet focuses a bit more on “hotels on demand,” which is to say that you can easily search their site by preferred destination, type of trip or hotel name. Tablet will turn up a list of “approved” hotels that they recommend. They also have “Private Sales” which have steeper discounts, but these aren’t promoted as well.

The Upside: In addition to surfacing great hotels that match your search criteria, Tablet also posts “Top 10” lists that can help you pick a hotel. From “Best Unusual Hotels” to “Best Beach Hotels,” there’s a list you’ll want to look at.

The Downside: Sometimes when you search for a specific destination, the list of hotels that Tablet turns up is sparse. This is likely because these hotels are already booked for the days you want them but it can be an unsatisfying experience.

Hotels I’ve Booked on This Site: When I was booking hotels for my recent trip to Argentina, I wanted to find places that were a bit unusual and exciting. When I searched for hotels in Mendoza, Tablet turned up Club Tapiz, which is set on a vineyard in Argentinian wine country. It was the perfect place to stay. Also, I recently booked a stay at Donovan House in Washington, DC for work. Donovan House is one of my favorite hotels in DC – it’s located right in the neighborhood where I used to live, has an amazing pool and a glorious rainfall shower that makes you feel like you’re in a time machine. Tablet had a MUCH cheaper rate than the one the Donovan House website published.

Hot deals they have going on now: Channel your inner Gordon Gecko with a stay at Andaz Wall Street, with rates from $150 in the Tablet Private Sale section. New York doesn’t come cheaper than this…unless the hotel charges by the hour. Otherwise, jet down to Buenos Aires for the weekend – Tablet has last-minute deals starting for only $100 a night in Palermo, BA’s trendiest neighborhood. And if you need a good steakhouse recommendation, I’ve got you covered.

While isn’t a luxury hotel site, as a savvy traveler I would be remiss not to include it, because it has really helped me over the years. I am not ashamed to admit that I love getting great deals on Hotwire and Priceline. I mean, sometimes you just want a place to sleep that you know is going to be decent like a Westin or a Hilton, and Hotwire/Priceline deliver these at a great price. What I hate, is ending up at a hotel that sucks because Hotwire/Priceline didn’t tell me the name of it before I hit confirm. takes the guesswork out of these sites by creating user-generated lists that match the listed amenities (pool, gym, business center) with the names of the hotels that it is most likely to be.

The Upside: There is no other site like it. Thousands of users work together to tell you which hotel you’re going to be booking, before you actually book. A beautiful demonstration of crowd-sourcing.

The Downside: The user experience and overall design of the site is in a word, heinous. You aren’t going to get the slick black background and easily navigable tabs that you will with the first two mentioned sites.

Hotels I’ve Booked: I’ve booked too many hotels to count on this site. It’s been most beneficial when I’m trying to figure out whether a hotel is a Starwood Hotel or not, since I am a Starwood Preferred Guest and adore that Heavenly Bed.

Hot deals they have now: There are always deals to be had on Priceline and Hotwire. First search there. Then cross-reference Betterbidding before you book your hotel.
And with that, happy trails to you! May your hotel closets by filled with plush robes and your days be filled with scuba adventures!

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Getting Real about the best blogs you are not reading


GRR's first annual bloggers retreat is upon us!


As GRR prepares for our first annual bloggers conference in Napa this weekend we wanted to give a few shout-outs to other bloggers and favorite websites who inspire us and offer up endless hours of entertainment when our desk jobs fall short.

It’s time to update your google reader account with a few of the below

For Foodies : smitten kitchen; What Katie Ate; the Kitchn; the Wednesday Chef; Foodzie

When planning your next dirty weekend : airbnb

Music: muzzleofbees (wisco-chicago indie scene); thebaybridged (sf indie coverage); pitchforkreviewsreviews; hipsterrunoff (i ❤ Carles)

Design:; The Neo-Traditionalist; The City Sage; Oh Happy Day; Coco + Kelley; Elements of Style; Plush Palate; Abbey Goes Design Scouting; Decor8; A Cup of Joe – Marisha is it possible for you to read more home design blogs?

Wedding : Snippet & Ink; The Bride’s Cafe; Style Me Pretty; Weddingbee

Fashion : Refinery29; TAVI (damn you and your front-row runway seats)

Hollywood : Nikki Finke




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Getting Real about the lost art of emailing

A few weeks ago, The New York Times published an article that said if email is your preferred method of communication you are officially old school. The “young” people have spoken: email is lame. It’s all about texting and chatting. They don’t have time for email, and why should they? They are too busy going to Justin Beiber concerts and picking out homecoming dresses to be bothered to put any actual thought into what they are writing. Composing a fully formed sentences? That is so 2005.

omg, hilarious!

“The problem with e-mail, young people say, is that it involves a boringly long process of signing into an account, typing out a subject line and then sending a message that might not be received or answered for hours.”

A lot of things wrong here. First, signing in – I’m pretty sure this process takes approximately 2 seconds and if it’s taking you longer, you are doing something wrong. Second, the subject line – you can actually leave it blank if this is really a point of stress. Third, writing the message – communicating in the written form is a skill. A very important skill that you will need in both your personal and professional life. A skill that “young people” and even old fogies like me in their 20’s often severely lack.

wtf, why the face?


Let me tell you a little story. I dated a guy once. He liked to send me cutesy texts and emails. But you know what wasn’t so cute? His atrocious grammar. I once made a comment about it and he told me that grammar rules don’t matter in causal texts and emails. Who cares as long as you’re getting your point across? I care. I, the reader, care. And I cringe every time I see ‘your’ being used instead of ‘you’re’. Or worse yet, ur. I’m sorry but if you are college educated and don’t know the difference between your and you’re, or worse yet, don’t care enough to differentiate between the two, ur an idiot. Needless to say that relationship did not work out.

Our generation is used to communicating at warp speed and getting a response instantly. But taking the time to think about what you say and how you say it is never a bad thing. And in this age where written communication is becoming much more prevalent than verbal, it’s important to keep in mind, everything you email, text, chat is on record somewhere. You never really know for sure where it is saved, who has access to it, and who might read it. So don’t you want to have the ability (you know, even if you don’t always use it) to represent yourself well? Or do u want ppl 2b rofl at ur crappy writing 4eva more?


Filed under Flora, internets, Tech

Getting Real about the hottest covers P. Diddy didn’t do


On any given day, YouTube is chock full of covers of your favorite songs, but in the past week, covers have been taking the world by storm.


Exhibit A: The cutest video I’ve seen that doesn’t involve an animal. A father-daughter team takes on “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. If you don’t love this video, your heart is made of stone.

Exhibit B: “Firework” set to violins…will wonders never cease? It’s kind of “Fray-ish” but I still enjoyed seeing actual emotion in a Katy Perry song.

Exhibit C: Ke$ha just got sassier. The banana microphone is an old gimmick, but I will give this young sir points for some awesome moves, specifically the “tearing it apart” gesture and the fist pumping (Vinny, watch your back).

Exhibit D: This one is more of a parody than a cover, but I’ll throw this one in there because I know we have a large Badger readership. We do it for the fans, here at GRR.

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Getting Real about High School Athletics

Remember how people would live and die by their high school sports?

Remember how you wanted to wear the varsity tennis skirt instead of the raggedy JV ones which were often stained and didn’t fit right?

Remember how happy you were that it wasn’t you who scored a goal on your own team?

Remember being a freshman and having to share the locker room with the senior girls embarrassed to take your shirt off – so you would do this awkward sort of dance where you changed under a hooded sweatshirt?

Remember how you didn’t try out for Track and Field because if you did your hurdles race would have gone something like this…

I also very much enjoyed the Radiohead remix of this video

Thank you Ariana for sending these links my way!



Filed under internets, Katie, Sports

Getting Real about the longest day of my life

This song /video has been the only thing keeping me going to today

So ready for a drink… and to dance to Katy Perry


Filed under internets, Katie, Music, TV

Getting Real about scented candles

Who doesn’t love the smell of sugar cookies – apple pie – strawberry cheesecake – or cinnamon strudel?

I enjoy lighting a delicious scent when I am about to sit down and watch endless hours of Real Housewive re-runs while eating an assortment of desserts.

A gift shop just isn’t a gift shop without the selection of “Fall Harvest”, “First Snow”, “First Rain”, or “Summer Peach” candles.

Frankly, I’m not sure who is buying an abundance of scented candles or why anyone needs to give candles as gifts.

But never, and I mean NEVER have I been more intrigued to smell…let alone purchase this amazing new find…

…and don’t even begin to ask why I was on White Castle’s website.


GET EM WHILE THEY'RE HOT - White Castle scented candles


Can you pick up the onion and fake meat notes on this?

**It should also be noted that net proceeds from this $13 candle will be donated to support Autism Speaks.


Filed under Food, internets, Katie