NordicTrack with Google Maps, but is the run still boring?

I hate treadmills. The name just makes me think of gerbils’ futile efforts. I saw a commercial today for the NordicTrack X7I which let’s you program your run based on a geographical areas terrain using Google Maps. You can even see yourself running around the map – they call it progress, I still think it’s aimless.

I don’t know how much more entertaining or engaging this is. Why would I want to see myself moving around a map? Unless I was doing some death-defying Parkour, mebbe not. I’ll stick to the cycle.

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Thank you, Gloria Allred

I just wanted to take a moment to say “Thank You” to Gloria Allred. It warms my cold, cynical heart that there is vicious, passionate, hard-hitting lawyer out there fighting for women’s rights and issues. Also – thank you to Nancy Grace for being so fierce. Sure, they’re both assholes, but we need assholes on the good side.

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Hot potato sack

This Project Runway design challenge turned the saying “She’d look good in a potato sack,” into reality.

Amy Sarabi created this dress and it was my favorite. It didn’t win but it really used the inner potato sackness to great effect. There’s an element of fantasy with the petaled skirt, sort of like a farm fairy flitting around. I’d wear it! 🙂

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The iPad: Where are the women on Apple’s branding team? – Feministing

Ann on Feministing posted this neato picture of Steve Jobs holding up the iPad, which sounds suspiciously like a feminine hygiene product. But the iPad doesn’t come with wings, so boo on Apple for that!

Here is the problem with not doing user testing or doing bad user testing: you come out with products that sound terrible. I would think that Apple would have a great team of designers, engineers and marketers who would have said along the way, “Hey, that sounds like some you line your underwear with during a woman’s menstrual cycle.”

After a very lazy attempt at getting to the bottom of this, I have come up with two very weird facts:

1. None of the executives at Apple are women.
2. However, Andrea Jung, is on the board of directors and SHE WORKS AT AVON!

Take a moment.

I think Jobs should have to wear a Maxi Pad on his forehead for a month for this.

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Lost in fiction

Every once in awhile I like to lose myself in a series of sci-fi or fantasy novels. First it was Roald Dahl, then Lord of the Rings, then Harry Potter. I read Harry Potter over and over again until the seventh book finally came out. On the hunt for a new adventure, I came across the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde.

In Fforde's parallel reality, British policing agencies extend to time traveling, genetic and cloning experiments, and literary investigations. When I listened to the first novel's audiobook, I was really confused. Terms like "SpecOps" and "ChronoGuard" introduced and I had to listen over and over to make sure what I was hearing was right. Finally, I gave up and just borrowed the books from the library.

It's been a pretty good adventure with the long-sought after Strong Female Lead – Thursday Next is our hero. Yes, she does spend quite a lot of time worrying about her husband, Landen,  whose been "eradicated" (which means unscrupulous agents went back in time to make sure Landen didn't survive a car crash when he was just a baby). But it does turn the whole "damsel in distress" narrative on its head. Thursday is trying to save her husband from the fire breathing dragon of time.

Some of the dialogue, particularly in romantic scenes, feel out of place. But it could just my cold, cynical heart. I would still recommend this series for fans of sci-fi, Dickens, and female protagonists.

What other novels with Strong Female Leads have you read?

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New Year Resolutions: Make it or break it

I've never been one for resolutions at the beginning of a year. But I think this year is a good one to start. I've graduated, I'm looking for new career opportunities…so it's a good time to set some short and long term goals to help get down the right path in this new life I'm building.

First and foremost, I must continue to improve my digital creative skills and knowledge. It's times like these, in limbo, where it's easy to become complacent and uninspired. Which is why it's important to remain vigilant in pursuing my muse.

Second, be able to open a jar of peanut butter without injuring my wrist. It sounds rather obtuse, but I'm physically pretty weak. I talk a big game. A really big game. But underneath the crusty shell is a soft, tender core. Well, I want that core to be beefy and not tender. A friend said to me when I expressed my wishes to bulk up, "At the end of the year, I'll bring you a mayonnaise jar, a peanut butter jar and a pickle jar and you can just open them all up for me!" You hear that? I'll open jars for you!

Third, get a job. Well, it should be first, but I think it's a given, no?

I think that's all I'm willing to admit here on a public blog. 🙂

Bring on the challenges, new year! I'm gonna kick your ass!

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Feminist Icon: Leslie Knope

In this episode, Leslie has to prove that she did not have an affair with a councilman and the office misses her when she has to lay low for the media frenzy.

When the first season aired, the writers were really harsh on Leslie. No one liked her and everything she touched turned to crap. It was irritating to watch.

This season though, they give Amy Poehler’s character more room to breathe, while focusing more on the antics of local government instead of romantic trysts. Plus, the dudes on the show are given a chance to redeem themselves. Her assistant Tom is less of an asshole, and Ron Swanson, her anti-government boss, actually turns out to be not so bad a guy.

While at a strip club, Ron says this:
“Strippers do nothing for me. I like a strong, salt of the Earth, self-possessed woman at the top of her field. Your Steffi Grafs, your Sheryl Swoopeses, but I will take a free breakfast buffet anytime, anyplace.”

This episode is most telling of the kind of hardships women go through in politics. Leslie has to drop trou to prove that she did not sleep with a sex-crazed councilman. It’s demoralizing that the councilman wasn’t put up to as much scrutiny as Leslie and basically given a pass for all his womanizing. Why does it have to be Leslie to prove she didn’t have an affair?

The most heartwarming bit of this episode is at the end when Leslie returns to the office. Everyone in the office had been teaming up to handle all of her duties and responsibilities. When she returns, you can see that they really appreciate what she does for the department, but most of all – they really do miss her.

Leslie Knope is my Television Feminist Hero.

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