Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 bagels, bento boxes, and the HinJews who love them


During college orientation at the University of Michigan, I made an offhand comment about “japs” to my roommate. She happened to be Japanese and let’s just say…she didn’t take it well. She listened skeptically as I hastily explained that I was referring to “Jewish.American.Princesses,” and was not making derogatory remark towards her race.

Three months later, someone else at Michigan would tell me that they had never met a Jewish person before. As a Westchester Yenta with a severe love of lox, I was horrified…and promptly considered rushing the Jewish sorority so I could finally feel at peace.

Today, I don’t think I would have these encounters…because the term J.A.P. has gone viral. For example, take this 250,000-view video, filmed at my alma mater and titled “The Pursuit of Jappyiness”:

Some people who have seen it have called it offensive. For me, it feels a bit like coming home. Note to the San Francisco Flannel Council: Please don’t revoke my hipster card because I embrace this video – I still want to live in the Mission and wear Chuck T’s.

And then there’s “Sushi With My Girls,” a blog which has been popping up on the Facebook feeds of everyone I went to high school with (and by everyone, I mean four girls, but whatever). Move over, Seventh Heaven – I have a new guilty pleasure and it involves it involves eating a spicy tuna roll with my besties while READING THIS BLOG.

After a careful review, I only matched 9 of the items on the “How Sushi Are You?” list, including:

1. If you got over 1000 on your SAT, then it is with 100% certainty that you or one of your five best friends growing up attended a school in the Sushi 12. (Is it weird that I’m proud that all four GRR bloggers attended a Sushi 12 school?)
2. You know numerous girls named Lindsay, Joanna/Jordana and Ali. (obvi)
7. Vodka Soda- aka “The Linds”- the greatest drink ever.   (guilty)
64. Soco and Lime shots! (guilty again but only when chopsy’s out)
10. Someone you lived with in college attended one of these high schools: Dalton, Horace Mann, Scarsdale, Great Neck East, Syosset, Jericho, Highland Park, Newton South, Cross Roads or Harvard Westlake. (one? try all)
30. You watch at least 2 versions of the Real Housewives. (Shit…surely, Atlanta doesn’t count as “Real”?)
47. Having a really close gay friend. (Or TWELVE)
71. The South- EWW- But I hear Austin is AMAZING! (SO TRUE)
92.  Scarves…in 50 degree weather! (This isn’t Sushi, this is San Francisco)

In the same way that Jane Goodall lived in the jungles of Tanzania to better understand chimpanzees, you can learn about my natural habitat (read: hometown) by reviewing this blog in detail.

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Getting Real about Valentine’s Day cynicism

Alright, it’s two days post Valentine’s Day, and I couldn’t help but wonder (a la Carrie Bradshaw), where did all the heart shaped balloons and life sized teddy bears go? Somewhere in a large, depressing storage unit waiting to reemerge in a year? Or are there industrial garbage containers somewhere full of deflating balloons and rotting chocolate?

I admit I’m a bit of a cynic and I’ve always hated Valentine’s Day. It’s too commercial and endorses all the silly love cliches. If you are in a relationship it sets up some high expectations for your partner…..fancy dinner reservations, 3 dozen roses, candlelight, a card in which he writes you beautiful prose describing how the gold flecks in your green eyes make him swoon? Or maybe you want nothing less than him to serenade you at the local Gap store while you are picking out some basics or trying to fill the argyle quota for your wardrobe..

I mean do you realize the man power necessary to pull that off? Of course you are in for a healthy dose of disappointment.

And if you are not in a relationship, you become painfully aware of it and feel like if you see one more heart-shaped object you are gonna stab a teddy bear. One year ago, I fell into the latter category, and I called my friend and fellow blogger Katie on the phone and went into a bitter rant. A few hours later she and her boyfriend showed up at my door with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne. And as we toasted each other in my kitchen I realized, I may not have romance in my life but I certainly had love.

One year later, Katie and Nate are still giving me a reason to smile on Valentine’s Day. The day before Valentine’s Day (perhaps to avoid a cliche) Nate proposed to Katie. Did I scream for about a minute straight? Maybe I did. Did I call Ramya immediately afterward to start planning the wedding? Yeah, so sue me. All I know is thinking of them put a stupid grin on my face alllll Valentine’s Day long. Katie and Nate, your friendship is a gift, and your love is an inspiration. Inspiration that may not end the cynicism, but at least it puts it on hold. From all the GRR ladies, we couldn’t be happier for you both!

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Getting Real about my small bank account

Ugh, it’s that time of year again. Not only do I need to watch the numbers on the scale but I also have to track my (dwindling) bank account numbers. After my return from an amazing weekend at the Villagio including  a Thomas Keller dinner and an epic massage from a large man, I immediately had to get my money in check. Here are five east steps to get you started on your Money Diet.

1. Eat out only with company—When it comes time to save, the first thing I cut is my all-too-frequent eating out. I am very guilty of grabbing a $10 sandwich for lunch, picking up a $15 pre-made dinner from Whole Foods and then meeting a friend for $20 drinks.
Don’t get crazy about this. Start cutting the meals that aren’t a social activity. Take time to go to the grocery store (the normal priced ones) and get enough to make lunch and dinner for the week. But if a friend calls for dinner or drinks, GO!

2. Stop shopping the sales racks—Every store is drastically dropping prices to get those trendy Winter items out of the store. Don’t be tempted! I know you want another bedazzled sweater from J Crew but avoid at all costs! These items are trendy and you will never meet my $3 per wear rule.
Per wear rule: an item needs to be $3 or less per wear to make it worth it. For example, if you buy $300 boots, you better wear them at least 100 times before it’s “worth it”.
If the item does meet the rule, go for it because it’s probably a classic, timeless item that you will wear for many seasons to come.

Ok, this bedazzled sweater may be worth it :)

Ok, this bedazzled sweater may be worth it 🙂

3. Read your bills— Automatic bill pay is awesome. I get it. However, you need to take time to read those numbers and understand exactly what you’re paying for. Sometimes your situation changes and so should your bill. You simply need to call.
For example, I started a new job closer to home and typically drive less than 30 miles per week. I called my car insurance company and they automatically took $30 bucks off my monthly bill.
Same deal with my cable bill. I noticed a $50 increase after six months and called Comcast. I asked for a discount and they agreed to waive the increase. It’s just that easy.

4. Call about your credit card interest rate—Do you know your credit card interest rate number? No? BAD!!
Even if you pay your bill off in full every month, you don’t want a large interest rate. This number tends to increase if you are not watching carefully. Look it up, call and ask them to lower it. Again, it is just that easy.

5. Enjoy the small things—This shouldn’t feel like a food diet. Don’t keep a written budget because they don’t work. If that $1.85 Peet’s coffee brings you that much happiness, go for it! If you need to get a $12 manicure on a weekly basis, please do. This should be realistic and something that will quickly beef up your savings account without forcing you to feel like a poor college student.

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