Category Archives: Ramya

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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Filed under internets, Music, Ramya, Tech

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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Filed under internets, Ramya, Tech, Travel

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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Filed under internets, Music, Ramya, Tech

Getting Real about Mariah Carey’s only good song AKA all we want for Christmas


In honor of Black Friday, the girls of GRR got together to create our “bitch, please no coal in the stocking” wish list for the 2010 holiday season. We’ve been reallllly good this year (kind of).

Flora’s picks:

Le Creuset pan (in Orange)

It came as no surprise to us that our resident gypsy chose this cookware, describing it as “magical”. May the new year bring numerous helpings of “magical” risotto to our plates.

Christian Louboutin Declic black pumps

“So high. So sexy. I could never wear these in San Francisco, but I’ve always wanted one pair of ridiculously expensive, impractical shoes.”

Ramya’s picks

Personalized stationery from Minted

“I have an obsession with stationery, especially fun, girly prints. Who says snail mail is a thing of the past? I adore getting mail that isn’t bills or catalogs.”

And yes, this Hindu-turned-agnostic still loves Christmas trees, wearing a Santa hat 24/7 and receiving presents in December.

Sony Bravia with Google TV

“Right now, our TV setup involves a receiver from Craigslist hooked up to a 26-inch computer monitor. It feels so 2003. A shiny flat-screen with seamless integration with the web is sorely needed.”

Ramya may be drinking a bit too much Goog-juice but the TV is really slim and pretty – the way we like our men.

Marisha’s picks

Michael Kors Wedges

In the immortal words of Carrie Bradshaw, “Hello lovers! These”

Vespa scooter

“If I was really, really good this year, I would ask Santa for this. But I wasn’t so I’ll shoot for it next year. Maybe even add a sidecar for my future yellow lab, Gus,” – Marisha

Marisha suitors of the internet, take heed — what she really wants is a yellow lab puppy in a basket with a bow on its head. You can also throw in a Bernese puppy for Katie.


Katie’s picks:
“OMFG is it going to be a sweet xmas if Santa brings me all or any of the items on my list.”

Hunter Wellies
“I have finally found my perfect rain boot, and obvi, they hail from my Royal ancestors in the United Kingdom.  If there’s one thing England has a good grasp on, besides a pint and shepherds pie, it is rain gear.  I am partial to the Original Tall Metallic in Midnight Blue.”


“Can’t wait to walk through a body scanner wearing these… “


What’s on your holiday wish list? Leave your picks in the comments.

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Filed under Fashion, Flora, Katie, Marisha, Ramya, Style, Tech

Getting Real about what I learned in college

You’ve had a bit too much to drink and there’s no place open past 4 AM in Shelbyville OR West Haverbrook. Have no fear. It’s time to prepare the ultimate plate of nachos.

What do you call cheese that's not yours?

This blogger recommends stocking your cupboards (no, people under the age of 80 do use the term cupboards) at all times with the following ingredients just in case: tortilla chips, jalapenos, Mexican blend cheese (industrial size). Salsa, sour cream and guac are nice-to-haves. Things to avoid: these rookie mistakes when assembling your midnight snack:

1. Making the perfect plate of nachos is just like getting dressed in San Francisco – it’s all about the layers. The bald chip is simply unacceptable. Nobody wants to see that shit so take great care to spread one thin layer of chips, then cheese, then chips, then cheese. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you have a towering mound

2. Another amateur mistake is skimping on the cheese. To avoid this, first put on the amount of cheese you think you need. Then double it. Let’s face it – you can never have too much cheese on the chip. And if you wanted to eat healthy, you’d be chewing arugula.

3. Spread the jalapenos excessively. If you don’t like spice, this Indian girl recommends you stop reading this blog right now. Because this blog is SPICY.

4. Take care to put any fixins’ – salsa, sour cream, guac – on the side of the plate rather than on top of the chips so as not to soggify the goods. Better yet, use ramekins because they are adorable and will remind you of eating at T.G.I. Fridays.

Happy na-chewing!


Filed under Food, Ramya

Getting real about cute overload

Here are three cute things I’ve seen lately. Your friends may reference these in weekend conversation. You can thank me in the comments for keeping you socially relevant.

Cute, confused owl:

Cute puppy mid-nightmare:

Cute banana cat or Klan member. You decide:

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Getting Real about slap bracelets (that tell time)

Once upon a time, I had a slap bracelet. A beautiful neon pink slap bracelet with unicorns on it. And then, it was taken from me by my shrew of a second grade teacher. Apparently, slap bracelets were dangerous. And then they weren’t – only the metal kind were. The plastic kind that I had rightfully won at Sport Time U.S.A with 1000 tickets in skee-ball winnings was just fine. My bracelet was returned, as was my popularity.

I don’t know what happened to that slap bracelet. Here’s what I do know: Henri Bendel is now selling slap bracelets for $50. I guess there’s also a watch attached.

This is obviously a cheap ploy to get 20-something hipsters to buy watches…cheap ploy or not, it had this 20-something at hello. And who wants to bet Serena is rocking one of these bad boys in the next episode of Gossip Girl? I’m willing to wager, oh, $50.

What’s that? Your elevator doesn’t open into your Upper East Side penthouse apartment and you don’t have $50 to spare for a “slap watch” (yea, that’s what they’re called – real original)? Don’t despair. You can buy 50 slap bracelets for $19.99 at Oriental Trading Company in an assortment of colors and designs. One for you and every other person who came to your pottery-painting birthday party.


My 6 year old self is beside...myself


I like the cheetah one myself (MEEE-OW).


Filed under Ramya, Style

Getting real about the size of Dylan McKay’s forehead

Are you ready to feel really old? Oh, you are? Good. It has come to my attention that today, October 7th, marks the 20th anniversary of the premier  of Beverly Hills 90210. That’s right – it’s been two decades since the Minnesota twins first strolled through the doors of West Beverly High clad in stonewashed denim jackets and upset the delicately-maintained social hierarchy with their Midwestern values (and Brandon’s mullet).

To commemorate this momentous occasion (and also to honor the fact that Gabrielle Carteris, the actress who played Andrea Zuckerman, is now literally 50 years old), let’s take a spin through some of the highlights of the good old days hanging at the Peach Pit (and yes, I am one of those maniacal believers that the show sucked after the Brenda years so don’t even THINK you’re going to see Valerie Malone in these highlights):

Brenda and Dylan’s totally intense first kiss

O.M.G. – you just don’t see drama like this on TV anymore. Imagine you’re out on this really great date and then all of a sudden the guy’s dad comes home and your date FLIPS out. But this is the guy that you’ve been pining after (not to mention the guy that your best friend also kind of likes) so you go chasing after him when he storms out of the HOTEL WHERE HE LIVES. He screams and cries. You cry. Then you make out. I always thought (hoped/wished/dreamed) my first kiss would be like this.

Kelly’s mom goes apeshit at the charity fashion show

This is probably one of my favorite moments because it reminded me that nobody’s mom is crazier than Kelly Taylor‘s and also scared me way more about cocaine than Officer Campeon and his D.A.R.E. education ever did. The actress who played Jacki should totally have gotten an Emmy for this performance.

Scott shoots himself

It’s still kind of unclear if the gun went off by accident or whether David’s freshman buddy Scott inentionally committed suicide but I commend the show for dealing with the serious subject of teen suicide and dealing with the death of a friend (or a son – the show also focused a lot on Scott’s overbearing mother). I also think that there is a good possibility that Scott was gay so I don’t commend the show for keeping him in the closet. For a project that is helping gays deal with bullying/teen suicide, see from Dan Savage.

Color Me Badd guest stars

I want to sex you up. That’s pretty much all you have to say about Color Me Badd who had an awesome cameo, appearing at the Peach Pit. God bless the early 90s. Oh, also in this episode, Donna finds out that her mom’s a ho.

Emily Valentine torches the homecoming float

There was perhaps no character that brought more conflict to the show than biker chick Emily Valentine who briefly stole both the hearts of Brandon and Dylan (THAT BITCH). I mean, obviously we had to hate her for stealing the only two men in the school…but then when she torched the homecoming float…we pretty much wanted to see her get a one-way ticket back to Marin County. Who would DARE mess with something as sacred as a homecoming float anyway? Girl had some issues.

Donna Martin Graduates!

So what if Donna had a little too much champagne at Mel Silver’s before prom? She overcame a learning disability for god sakes and then the tyrannical school board had the gall to not let her graduate. Thank god the sheer political organizing power of the West Beverly High juniors and seniors triumphed in the end by marching on the Mall…errr, I mean down Mullholand and chanting that epic refrain, “DONNA MARTIN GRADUATES”. It’s the moment that inspired me to become a political activist. I think it was the same moment for Obama.


Filed under Ramya, TV

Getting Real about meeting me at Shooters

Last week, Jezebel posted about a Duke grad’s PowerPoint “fuck list” that went viral. First off, good job Duke for teaching students how to use PowerPoint and preparing them for their inevitable lives as cogs in the corporate machine…or better still, they’ll be the authors of famous fuck lists like Karen Owen.

The men, who were rated on everything from creativity to size (size of their hearts. get your mind out of the gutter), did not have their names or faces revealed by Jezebel. But Deadspin, Jezebel’s crasser cousin posted the full skinny on the men…at least, until the Duke lacrosse team got their panties in a twist (again) and pleaded to have their names blacked out.

Upon reading this story, we approached a Duke graduate and scholar to get his scoop on the situation and on Shooters, the bar that is referenced multiple times as the scene of most of Owens’ pickup attempts. He declined to comment on anyone involved (because he’s decent like that) but did say of Shooters:

“Shooters is a bar with a faux country-western theme.  Arguably the most popular spot by campus.  If you are looking for a chick like this, you can always find one there.”

So what do you say GRR readers? See ya at Shooters? You want to be popular, DON’T YOU?

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Getting Real about Lady Gaga’s burgeoning political power

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) has been a source of anger and confusion for the LGBT community and their allies for about 20 years. Who knew that all it would take to get a vote on repealing the act was a sprinkling of rainbow-colored Gaga glitter?

Apparently, Gaga herself.  Earlier today, on Twitter, she asked her followers to call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and tell him to schedule a vote. So Reid responded, via his campaign’s Twitter account, that he already had. He said that the vote would be next week and that anyone in the United States should have the right to serve.

Move over, Madonna. There’s a new flame diva in the house. Here’s hoping that within the week gays can enjoy their bad romances AND stay on active duty.

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Filed under Music, politics, Ramya