Do You Hear Me?

Ok…here we go…two posts in one day!Well its a slow day,so rather write than waste time…

So I was engaged in my daily workout,with the radio blaring in the background and the RJ talks about ‘Mix Tapes”,how they used to be a ‘Cute’ thing back in the days-you compile a mix of songs in a particular order on a tape to gift it to someone.Such tapes were popularly exchanged between crushes or people in love and of course your concert buddy.

Hmmm apparently I can remember two distinct occasions when I received and gave a mix CD to someone (yeah oh I don’t come from the Tape Age,I was rather young to mix a tape for anyone).I did once get a Christmas carol mix CD from a certain someone once as I was leaving for home for the holidays,it was really sweet and had the most lovely of Nativity carols and tunes-the end of that story was that next Christmas ,‘Last Christmas’ by George Michael was on my playlist….yup that is an Irony!!!

The next time I got creative and made a Mix CD for another certain someone who shared common music interests as me,he was rather touched.I got on my favorite numbers on there,made a really cool CD jacket out of fancy craft paper,talk about getting mushy over a crush and well it did close the deal!!After that few songs were exchanged over email for sometime and well lets say that was the last Mix CD made,received or exchanged.Come to think of it,I did gift an ex-colleague a CD once for her birthday…but bought it from a music store.

Anyway…

It’s a rather interesting gift idea,considering that Christmas is just around the corner.Hey don’t feel like sending the traditional Christmas Card ,well then make a Mix CD!!It is an interestingly personalized way to convey feelings;love,hate,friendship or religious ties for that matter and is also a GOOD conversation starter.Forget about those online playlists and crap,lets get a tad more personal.Everyone does “Online”,but what makes a difference is when you make an impression with something more concrete and that can be felt-maybe later someday it will be pulled out of a storage box during a cleaning spree and you will be fondly thought of,might even get a call or not!Worth the Effort,what say?

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Morning Jive and Java

As I have mentioned earlier there are some artists that I like listening to when in a particular mood or during a certain time of the day.Well I have something called ‘My Morning Artists’,which are basically artists I like to listen to in the morning to ensure a ‘Smooth Wake Up’-as VH1 perfectly titles one of their shows.Well most days its usually a mixed playlist of forgotten classics or one hit wonders from the 80’s and 90’s and some mornings are solely dedicated to a particular artists.Now one of my all time favorites is….here it comes…’”Fleetwood Mac’”.Yup Yup and I’m not shy to admit it.

I usually like to start with ‘Everywhere’,which just sounds perfect when I’m brushing my teeth as I sing it out in front of then mirror,or when I experience the first hints of aroma of my morning coffee…yup Perfect.Oh and there have been times when I have caught myself humming it a little louder than my own personal space while on the metro and I have gotten stairs like ‘Common in the morning?’ or ‘Did I just hear that?’.They have got this pick me up groove about them,which gets you doing one of those steps,that only the four walls of your room knows of.Some of my favorite tunes from the band include Little Lies (best sung out in front of the mirror),Albatross,Gypsy,Family Man,Songbird,You make loving fun and then there is Hold me,which sounds way ahead of its time.And how can I forget Rhiannon,I have heard of people who have been named after that song,though it does have competition in the Baby Names area now in relation to a Cherry Red  headed artist of today…you better be serious if you don’t know who I’m talking about.

I think the band shares the same notes with The Carpenters,however The Carpenters do have this rather slow romanticism in their ballads as compared to FM.I think today we could add Lady Antebellum to the same category,though they have more of a southern country flavor to them.I discovered Fleetwood Mac just a few years back(Guilty),one day over the radio as I became ‘Musically Mature’-that I consider is opening oneself to new musical genres and tastes.I got a taste of ‘Everywhere’ and then went ahead and downloaded the whole discography.It paints a picture of those times when people had hair like Farah Fawcett,wore oversized blazers or parkas(hey are making a comeback today).I somehow always love going back to the cheesy tunes of the 80’s or 90’s,though I would groove to a ‘Super Bass’by Nicki Minaj with as much enthusiasm.

But personally for me Fleetwood Mac never gets Old!

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Recognizing the Doors and Windows….

Flashback:

It’s economics period and my teacher introduces the “Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility” to the class.She then goes on to explain a concept called “Opportunity Cost” and how its is important when making choices economically.At the end she instructs the whole class to memorize the law and by next day we should know it like the back of our hands. There I sat staring at the blackboard,”Is this ever going to be important later on in my life?”,I mean unless of course I do decide to take a Major in Economics,which by the way was very unlikely at that time.

Opportunity cost is the cost of any activity measured in terms of the value of the best alternative that is not chosen. It is basically  the sacrifice one makes in relation to the second best option available to them.It explains the relation between scarcity and choice. The concept of opportunity cost was first developed in 1914 by Friedrich von Wieser in his book “Theorie der gesellschaftlichen Wirtschaft”.To put it simply,choosing whether I need to buy a new jacket that would look fabulous with my indigo jeans or a pair of shoes that would be perfect for work,while on a budget.So which of the two I am I willing to forgo to derive the benefits of just one?

Today:

So today I sit here,having a situation where I have to make the choice of an opportunity cost and as I take the decision I wonder about the value of the thing I am forgoing,which is tough to say the least.And now I understand the importance of that class,apart from understanding the fundamentals of economics,it was important for my fundamentals in life .It doesn’t have to be in monetary terms but could be anything from lovers,to a job or to obligations.I’m sure you know how it feels,so I really don’t need to elaborate.Well even post making a choice,there is still that ringing in your ears,is this really worth it?Yes there are times when you are perfectly happy with the choice you have made and there is no turning back,that would be more in relation to buying clothes or choosing a brand of orange juice.It really doesn’t affect you in the long term.Whereas like I mentioned,there come those moments in life when you think,”Oh my god should I be doing this?”As this decision may play a very important role later in the future course of one’s life.Now there is a sort of psychological consolation you can make to yourself regarding the decision-making in the latter,with relation to the number of doors that it opens.Ok let me explain it like my economics professor. (can’t forget her,she really made those classes fun and at the same time terrifying)

Opportunity cost has been seen as the foundation of the marginal theory of value as well as the theory of time and money. In some cases, it may be possible to have more of everything by making different choices; for instance, when an economy is within its production possibility frontier-the benefits arising from two options using the same factors of production or resources.So therefore making a choice of something where you see the most benefits and at the same time requires a lot of time,calculation and deliberation to reach a final solution.Now two choices will obviously have their own benefits and that is where the problem always arises.For Example:So what are you going to have for breakfast tomorrow?Eggs,Bacon and Coffee; Eggs,Bacon and Orange Juice;Eggs,Bacon,Coffee and OJ;Cereal and OJ; or all of it??(My given choices intend to reflect the positive and negative nutritional value of each item,but at the same time you need to consider the quantity as well the time you have in the morning)

Why am I sharing this with you?Well it struck me how the opportunity cost,plays an important role at every single step.Plus just watched the ‘Freakonomics-The Movie’ yesterday,so feeling a bit inspired.

Note:I’m open to healthy criticism on the above!!!

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Let’s play….Dress Up!!

Call me judgmental but I always like to catch details of what people are wearing,when I meet them for the first time and umm…especially if they are guys.(Guilty)I have a mental score chart which gets ticks and crosses on a long list of attributes.I especially think that when you are going to meet someone for the first time,be it anyone random…its always important to look good.

There are couple of things I notice,like Shoes.I love when a guy can experiment with his shoes.I hate some of those people who think ,”oh who’s going to even notice?” and show up wearing the river-guide-type sandal,the trekking or sporty kind-I cringe at the sight of them.And its very important that the shoes should be polished,so what if they going to get dirty anyway,doesn’t mean you need to step out like you clean chimneys in your free time.

Ok I have this habit and to my luck haven’t been caught so far,I sometimes find myself staring at a person’s wrist when talking to them(No I don’t have Fetish)I initially close in to see if they are wearing a watch and then the brand.Not that I’m being materialistic,but an idea of the brand gives you a close idea of the guy’s lifestyle.Whether he is sporty,if he has taste and variety,if he is a workaholic…yeah that too.(You’ll find him constantly staring at the watch,they get used to that and plus you’ll know if he just want to get it over with)And how can anyone resist the attraction of a fragrance!!Its very important that when your man or prospective man walks into the room he smells right out of the shower,with yummy hints of musk or vetiver-even if he is wearing the deodorant spray from the grocery store,its all about his olfactory tastes.It’s something I’ve learnt from my Dad.The cherry on the cake is the gelled and cropped hair…very Important!!

Now here’s some serious advice,you know how much the guy is into you on the second date….or if this person is meeting you after a long time(and the two of you had a thing for each other),in both cases if he doesn’t show up all crisp and good looking sister….lose the number,Pronto!How much effort a guy takes to dressing up for you,shows how interested he is in you and how much he wants to impress you.I’m not saying the guy has to splurge and look like a Gold mine,during such meetings but it is key to look the best you can,with what you have and not come out looking like you are going for a drive with the guys.The reason why I don’t include my sex in this evaluation process,is because girls have the in-built need to look good when they are meeting some one.Yes but there are few who belong to the other category.I think that goes a long way in keeping the appeal and attraction alive through the relationship-the desire.No I’m not saying that you need to have a image showdown here,but when you look good,your partner wants to look equally good at your arm too.

Let’s just end by saying I prefer the man to be the Peacock,prancing around in his best.

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MyTunes

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Right now sitting in my room, listening to Sara Bareilles’s new Album-‘Kaleidoscope’,quite interesting in terms of lyrics.Perfect  those numb days when all you want to do is just stare out the window and would like to just go on with your own business for the rest of the day.(Also Recommended for someone who has broken up or debating with themselves about a relationship)

To me music is most important to help me through the moods,may it be sheer happiness,the stabbing pain of a heartache,the revengeful feeling thereafter,the rush through getting ready for work,when out on a jog…in short infinite situations.(Oh and not to forget when posing in front of the mirror in goods from a shopping spree…common don’t grin I know you do it too).Some people including me have a playlist for the Metro,the Bus ride or when rushing through airport for a flight.And yes technology is going as far as it can to make music so portable that it’s there with you everywhere.There are some artists that can take you to places even though you may or may not have been there.For example take two diverse artists like ‘Kings of Leon’ and ‘Everything but the Girl’,I have always associated them with walking through the damp alleys of Brooklyn.Ella Fitzgerald transports you back into one of those jazz bars,where a whirlwind romance is about to begin.

Music has the indefinable power to deal with a situation and some artists have the most perfect lyrics,like they were invisible shadows studying you and BAM!!…there comes the song just made for you.When you want to read,paint,cook,through unemployment,feeling frisky and maybe you are just crushing or longing for that person,there is one for every possible thing.Have you noticed how key music is to fill in the gaps or empty silences of everyday life like before your flight takes off,during a meal at restaurant when you are between rather boring people or conversations,or provides company when alone in a bar….(ok I am going into an overdrive with examples).Its funny how one artist always leads you to discovery of another.

There are times when people make conversation and ask you ‘So what kind of Music do you like?’Inside my mind I go ‘HUH’,do they really have the time to listen and are they really that interested?It’s rather weird to answer a question like that,cause today I may like Marshall Mather’s alter ego-Eminem,some other day it would be Fleetwood Mac….The Beach Boys….Nickel Back….and sometimes Van Morrison.It would really be difficult for me to be loyal to one genre.I agree some people have very definite musical tastes,but personally I love experimenting with my musical tastes like a Chef.The same feeling  when you know how to do your perfect burger with the fries and at the same time that gourmet sauce.Same thing as when someone asks you,which is your favorite pair of shoes?To the girls…Can you really pick?However I do agree musical preferences also depend on the age group and background one comes from.So that would be a discussion on a totally different level altogether.

Somehow for me it has always been difficult to confine my audio preferences into a single word.Music to me is like infinite universe,that one can escape to and I love my rat pack,the cheesy 80’s and 90’s pop,house,R’N’B,jazz,bollywood,indie rock,alternate rock,trance and the endless choices to the ears.And hey whatever works for you and helps you get through a day.

Personalization

Honestly I’m a sucker for customization.Is it just me or do you also have the urge to keep wanting to change your theme,every time you see a new addition on the main word press page.I don’t know,call me greedy but I see these lovely and amazing themes cropping up in a matter of hours and then I spend an hour trying to change it to something that suits my mood.Haha its like changing your Barbie’s clothes every time you picked her up when you were a kid…or maybe your shoelaces on your favorite pair of sneakers.Am I alone or do I have a problem?

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What’s Trending…..

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Just back from a brief holiday,I decided to purchase a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s  “The Tipping Point’” from the bookstore at the airport.Sat down to read it today,when something in the introduction  caught my attention.

In short it was all about how Hush Puppies-the classic American brushed-suede shoes with the lightweight crepe sole made an extraordinary comeback between 1994 and 1995.The brand had been planning to phase out when the owners learnt of a trickle trend emerging at downtown bars in lower Manhattan.Soon the shoes were being featured in photo shoots with leading designer pieces.The brand sales doubled with every consecutive year from then and was the ‘It’ thing during the late 90s.

My point here is that its not limited to an international footwear brand,but I guess trends are started in our own personal and work spaces as well.Be a haircut that forced the rest of your girlfriends to hold their hair up in the mirror and debate chopping off locks to maybe encouraging people to strut around in pumps at work.Though I religiously look to the celebrities and designer labels to stay ahead of what’s walking on the ramps but I have always believed in creating your own signature piece or look.Lets do some brainstorming:

1.A pretty everyday necklace that catches everyone’s eye when talking to you.

2.Glaming up your boring old black jacket with a funky brooch.

3.Shoes in a style,that people had forgotten about long time back,after all its about retro these days.

4.For guys it could be the wayfarers in a radical color.

(Now tell me you haven’t thought to your self ‘Hey that looks good on him/her,can I pull it off?That is the minute the trend starts)

I am an absolute supporter of vintage and getting on old stuff out of the closet,with an exception that you can label yourself averagely decent in the attire when you stare across the mirror.If not alone,you could mix and match too.Some people are so busy trying to stay in trend ,that they miss out on the wonderful pieces shoved away at the back of the shelf.

***The Basset Hound is the symbol of the Hush Puppies Brand.

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Think about it…

The line ‘Clothes define people’ is only half truism in fashion.The other more powerful half is how people give personalities to clothes.

The Recycling Times

I was watching the Today Show on NBC yesterday,where there was this discussion on Vanity Fair’s list of Best dressed Men and Women.So they go on about who’s made the list.Now the Duchess of Cambridge:Kate Middleton held one of the top position and then it becomes a hot debate as to how she has become a trend setter in recycling her clothes or rather making public appearance in a particular outfit more than once.It is worth acknowledging that a royal is repeating her clothes and carrying her own shopping bags!

How often would you repeat that favorite blue striped shirt  or that pink cardigan to work or a social gathering?Hmmm…Is it wrong or socially unacceptable to repeat?What are your definitions of a repeat disaster?

I mean its ok…I guess when you repeat your work clothes,unless of course your Anna Wintour’s assistant then you’d have to discard the poor piece after its first appearance.Anyway I think when you are working,its ok to wear a particular piece of clothing once in two or three weeks.You could even make it less of a repeat and more of a complimentary favorite by pairing it with something else.Like that cute black cardigan,with your chic trousers and then maybe later with a nice printed dress on those slightly chilly days.Now there are some guys I know who have their all time ‘Can’t live without denims’.I mean to them,they are walking out naked if they don’t have them on.God knows how often that goes into the washing machine!Reminds you of that time when your mom got you the nice t-shirt or shoes when you were a kid and where ever you went,you had to wear it.There are some individuals who swear every time,that its the first time they are wearing the item,though you swear in your mind you saw them wear it at the last  marketing meeting!I know of some people who even allot pieces to a particular season,no I’m not talking about the winter lot.But there are a couple of pieces like a blouse that comes out only in a particular season,make them look the temperature,if you get what I mean.In fact I was watching Katie Cruise (Tom Cruise’s wife incase it didn’t ring a bell the first time),so she was on the Jay Leno show and she says “I can’t wear yellow,that’s a spring color,for that matter even a pastel pink”.(Doesn’t suit her skin color)”I’m a winter person,I wear Reds.”Wow so we have a new category.

Now yes I agree the cute dress you wore at your cousin’s bachelorette party,well you can’t wear it to the wedding as well.I mean that would be plain lazy!There is something called…less is More!I’m going in for a theory here;you don’t show off that “Oh this looks so good on you’ piece,keep it to rare appearance and then bring it out like the Christmas crackers…you will still have people raving about it.Make sure you spend a little time to think how many new faces are going to be there.Now don’t go about wearing that pink blouse at every nice occasion,people will soon think you are poor or just too darn lazy to try on something new.

Lets just say the ‘Once in a blue moon’ appearance aint wrong!And I am glad that the Duchess is making sure the world knows that too,thereby signifying our economic times!

(Need to mention H.H. Sheika Moza Bint Nasser  of Qatar, wife of H.H. the Emir of Qatar and  UNESCO special envoy for basic and higher education made the list too!!)

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2011/08/revealed-vfs-2011-international-best-dressed-list.html

Cheers!

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‘Everyone Says I Love You’

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I’ve been on a Movie Marathon phase of sorts,catching up on classics and box-office hits varying from the 50’s to the 90’s that I missed out on due to ignorance,my teenage ideas of fun and later due to lack of time.I was very aware of the work of Woody Allen as a director,even as a kid.Just that probably I had to reach the stage in life where I could truly appreciate the work of a genius.My first Woody Allen movie was Everyone Says I Love You (1996) when I was in my late teens,perfect timing I would say!

Ok back to present times,I was watching Annie Hall(1977) the other day and there is this scene where he meets Diane Keaton for the first time at this tennis club.So Woody Allen changes into this White Shirt,a White high waist trouser with a tan belt and I’m there thinking to myself,we missed out on this guy.I’m a sucker for White! (For your information Diane Keaton walked away with the ‘New Fashionista’ title of the that time with this movie.)

Now many of our so called Fashion Police out there would term Woody Allen as what they love to call ‘Dowdy’.Not many girls would drool at the prospect of a guy with ‘Poindexter’ glasses,shirts you’d see your mom’s uncle wear and waist high trousers.The difference is this guy brought an intellect quotient to it,that did somehow make it sexy.Sexy???Yeah you heard me right.Even in his bedroom scenes with his various leading ladies you see him with the same jersey cotton t-shirt and cotton pajamas. It’s  like you got the hysterical genius and the boy-next door lying next to you in bed.He never made an attempt to look different,like with a hair cut,a stubble or sport a black turtle neck to make him look like a character that dined at SOHO,an essential to depict New York.I think Woody Allen and Albert Einstein would figure on the same paradigm in terms of self image,if you get what I’m saying!

He just did it with t-shirts,normal shirts that looks like its off that rack from Mark & Spencer’s (to be more closer to home in terms of reference),the plaid blazers and yes of course the trousers.There is something about the guy that got him all those marriages and relationships.What I’m trying to say here,is that it wasn’t about designer labels,somewhere the man created style that you could relate to.Now I know some people who would rave about Woody Allen in the film world,but the moment they see someone with the same dress sense out on the streets,the fingers and sneers come out.

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It’s funny how people get labeled with the ‘Geek’ tag and today you’ve got girls swooning over ‘Artie’ from the ‘Glee’ series who totally rocks the look.You also have all the boys pulling out T-Shirts with Einstein all over it and yeah they even rocking those chunky ‘Poindexter’ glasses.So is it hypocritical?

I mean I could go on about this and probably if I get some of friends over, it would be colorful debate where images would be pulled out with before-after stories,but at the end it’s not discouraging a person’s sense of style.I would say its all about labeling yourself with your own label…wow I just coined something here!!

Cheers ‘Geeks’!!!

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