Friday, November 20, 2009


Ahh, going gaga over Gaga in her new video Bad Romance. The Lady is looking abfab gorgeous in her new video, those lovely, lovely eyes! What's not to love - super catchy beats/lyrics, Wade Robson-esque dance moves, maxed out glam outfits (yes, that IS a polar bear rug coat!) and a good round of spot the product placements! And come on, the black crown that Lady Gaga is wearing is totally screaming Max from Where The Wild Things Are. And did Madam Gaga turn the creepy hairless cat into a hair clip at the end [3:02]? Fans of Gaga's boobie sparklers shooter from the Much Music Video Awards will be glad to know that they make a re-appearance in this video. I can literally hear drag queens around the world dropping Madonna's JPG cone bras to the floor.

Sing it with me now! “Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah! Roma-roma-mamaa! Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!”

So here's what I spotted in my first viewing of the video, in order or appearance:
  • 0:11 Parrot by Starck - iPhone/iPod speakers
  • 0:17 Nemiroff vodka - didn't like the opening shot of the bottles at all, hard sell. Bleurgh.
  • 2:02 Burberry trench
  • 2:11 Nintendo wii controller and 2:45 HP laptops me thinks. If you're wondering what they're for, I think it's the bidding button of our Lady, bids going up are shown on the HP laptops.
  • 3:28 Craaaaazeee gold outfit and un-missable heels from Alexander McQueen. I have no clue how anyone walks in those (apparently Daphne Guinness is doing a helluva a job though - just google "Daphne Guinness McQueen", but I would love to try! Muahaha, sometimes, I think I have a miniature drag queen inside of me who's screaming to escape.
  • 3:47 Carrera sunglasses
There's a lot of product placement easter eggs in the video, see if you can spot more. Give up?

Andy Warhol of our times, anyone?

Posted via email from I am Audrey.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Cocktails on Mad Men

Cocktails are as much a character on the Emmy-winning series “Mad Men” as Don Draper and his Sterling Cooper colleagues. Deals have been made and broken, relationships born and killed and creative minds put to the test over a Bloody Mary or Old-Fashioned.

We take a look at the classic cocktails that are the drinks of choice among the “Mad Men” set as the hit show's third season comes to an end Sunday. Sit back, have a drink and take a trip back to a time when pregnancy and business hours didn't mean cocktails were off-limits.


Who's had it: Draper's drink of choice — we knew this bourbon-based libation was his preference before we even knew his name — is among six cocktails that date back to the 1800s. Local bartenders say they get a few requests for this fruity, slightly bitter cocktail, mostly from businessmen wanting to unwind.

“It's a sipping drink,” explains Jesse Pantoja, a local bartender and manager with more than nine years experience.

Where to get it: Most bars, especially those catering to the executive crowd. Try Morton's the Steakhouse.

Classic martini

Who's had it: Roger Sterling favors this vodka-based classic whether he's at lunch commiserating with colleagues or trying to get through dinner with family. He's even shared a few with Don (remember the oysters and martinis lunch from season one?). Whether ordered with extra vermouth, no vermouth or a touch of olive juice, “martinis are made to be crisp,” says Stephen Drew, assistant director, food and beverage, of Bar Rojo at the Grand Hyatt.

Where to get it: Almost any place that serves liquor and has a bar stool. For a retro touch, try the martini lunch special at Oro Restaurant & Bar at the Emily Morgan Hotel.

Bloody Mary

Who's had it: Known as a hangover cure and brunch-time beverage, Duck Phillips tried to woo Sterling Cooper copywriter Peggy Olsen with this vodka/tomato mixture with a kick. He succeeded, but not in the way we expected. From the 1960s to today, this cocktail has never seemed to wane in popularity.

“We get quite a few orders for it, especially on Sunday mornings,” says Pantoja, who manages the bar at Tomatillo's Café y Cantina.

Where to get it: If establishments that serve Tex-Mex and breakfast offer this drink, then you can get it pretty much anywhere.

Tom Collins

Who's had it: Little Sally Draper has proven her bartending skills making this gin-based libation that shares a spot with the Old-Fashioned and martini among the six original cocktails. (The Manhattan, Daiquiri and Sidecar are the others.)

Though not among the most popular cocktails, local bartenders say they still get requests for this classic, mostly from older patrons. Maybe they're reliving their own “Mad Men” days.

Where to get it: Your best bet is at swanky bars frequented by business executives. Try Vbar at Hotel Valencia.

Vodka gimlet

Who's had it: When Betty Draper was torn on whether to take back Don at the end of season two, she went into a Manhattan bar and ordered this tangy cocktail. Its effects were a bit surprising.

Men and women of all ages enjoy this easy-to-make cocktail, say local bar keeps.

Where to get it: A bar wouldn't be a bar without the ingredients for this libation. All you need is vodka and a touch of lime.



Posted via web from I am Audrey.


An Entrepreneurial Life - You’re the Boss Blog

Thinking Entrepreneur

I just celebrated my 30th anniversary. One wife, three kids, 10 business start-ups, five business successes, five business misfires. I started my company the year before I got married, right out of school. I have come to realize over the years that I have not had a normal life. That’s because I am not normal; I am an entrepreneur.

It took me a long time to figure out that I am different from most of the people I know. I have never had a full-time job, a savings account for my child’s education, or anyone to answer to besides the bank and 50,000 or so customers. I am also a recovering entrepreneuraholic. Starting a new business can be intoxicating. As with anything intoxicating, moderation is key. There are prices to pay.

First of all, I am not having a midlife crisis. My whole life has been a series of crises — from hiring the wrong people to not getting paid to running out of cash to running out of customers (something new in 2009). These events cannot usually be compartmentalized. They creep into your personal life, if you have a personal life.

I can speak only for myself. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. But here are some words that I believe describe many successful entrepreneurs: independent, intense, strong-willed, obsessive, competitive, intolerant, thrill-seeking, adventurous, visionary, crazy, self-absorbed. With short attention spans. Perhaps some of these characteristics are necessary to be successful.

Now, suppose we were to make a list of words that would describe a good or easy-to-live-with spouse or parent. Would any of the same words be on this list? Hmmm. I don’t think so. Suffice it to say that the traits that make someone successful at work can be challenging at home. Can someone be different at home than at work? I think so, but only to a degree. I’ve come to believe that a real hero is someone who figures out how to leave his problems at work. It isn’t easy. I frequently haven’t succeeded. I’m not even sure that I always tried. I was young and ignorant.

It’s so easy to justify working long hours, missing family events and being stressed out in the noble quest of providing for the family. I accept the reality that if you want to be successful, you sometimes need to put the business (or job) first. I wish it were as simple as just deciding to put the family first — and maybe it should be. But entrepreneurship is not always about our wishes. Sometimes we have critical responsibilities that can’t wait: to a customer, to an employee, or for the bills that have to be paid. At some point, though, once the business is successful, it is no longer about providing for the family. It becomes more about ambition, ego and competition. We all make choices, some conscious, some not.

Everyone talks about balance. There is no balance. Balance is perfect. There is nothing perfect in work/life balance. It is about compromise, choices and, often, regret. Here is the irony of ambition: The same ambition that drives people to be successful won’t let them enjoy being successful. They pay a terrible price for their success, as do their families, but they are never successful enough. Me? I feel successful. I didn’t always. I never felt as if I did enough, made enough or achieved my potential. I have redefined what it means to achieve my potential. Sometimes controlling your ambitions can be a good thing. Sometimes smaller is better. Grow or die is an insane war cry for entrepreneurs. Many times it is grow and die. The bottom line is more important than the top line.

My business day is very different from what it was 20 years ago. I would go from one urgent matter to another, all day long — from a customer to a production person to an insurance agent to the accounting firm to the newspaper’s ad sales representative. It is normal and necessary for an entrepreneur to wear 10 different hats in the course of an hour. But it can make your head hurt.

I remember a morning when my mother called me at 9 o’clock to tell me that my grandfather was going in for emergency surgery. She asked me to call my sisters to tell them. At 4 p.m. one of my sisters called to ask why I hadn’t called her. I was speechless, and mortified. I had forgotten. About five seconds after hanging up with my mother, I had got caught up in my typical day of moving from one crisis to another. I felt stupid, irresponsible and out of control.

This chaos went on for a few more years until I learned how to hire, train, manage and empower. It also didn’t hurt that my company’s growth started to slow from more than 30 percent a year to about 10 percent. I have learned that bad things can happen in your life. I don’t ever want to be in a position that I can’t take some time off to deal with whatever comes up. I guess I’m trying to approach normality.

I have three wonderful children that I don’t think I screwed up too much. And I have a loving wife who has put up with all of the nonsense that goes with entrepreneurship. I hear the line from “My Way”: “Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew.” I think of my wife. I get teary-eyed. And then I go to work. I’m trying. Happy anniversary.

Jay Goltz owns five small businesses in Chicago.

Good read. Even better reminder on not letting chaos take over your life. It's strange that 15 years ago (15! Eeks, age is completely creeping up on me), I would balk at the concept of normality. But these days, perhaps that's what we all really want - some sense of normal, or at least our own definition of normalcy.

I'm guilty of the many crimes brought up in the article - and all because I was obsessed. Obsessed with getting it right. Obsessed with doing more than what's expected of me. Obsessed with doing it better and faster. There was a reason why I left, many of which were professional and yet, more of which for my own well-being and perhaps, like Jay, it was my way of trying to approach normality.

PS: It's super scary that the theme of my USC admissions essay back in the day was Ol' Blue Eyes' "My Way." Even scarier now that I realize the lyrics are starting to take on a very different meaning.

Posted via web from I am Audrey.