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The Cycle Is Complete: Apple is full fledge luxury.

      As someone who once tried to launch a blog called a Fashionista’s Guide To Technology the last 6 months have been hell in my blog reading and podcast listening life. Listening to tech dudes of all stripes ramble on about the fashion industry and it’s clientele has to be how developers feel when they listen to non-developers talk about software and technology. I’ve listened and read the as they wring their hands about the impact of a 10,000 dollar watch on apple retail and how will apple step up it’s retail services in the future to accommodate such fashion items. I hate to spoil the magic of the illusive luxury brand shopping experience but you’ve already had it.  

     It’s a saturday morning. You’ve had breakfast with your family. You hit up the mall where you want to do some shopping. You know what you want. You walk into the crowded store, past the security guard and make your way to the display of what you want. Once you gotten their attention, you let them know what you would like. They check the stock and return from the back with it for you. You pay, they bag, and you leave.  

     So did you buy an iPad or a fancy LV handbag?  The answer is I don’t know.  Unless I knew if you left with a white bag or a brown bag I couldn’t tell you. This is the everyday reality of modern luxury shopping.  It’s not store clerks trying on clothing for you while feeding you cheese, fruit and wine . It’s not the shopping scene from Pretty Women.  This is not the everyday occurrence of luxury shopping. Personal shopping happens but it is not the norm and to think other wise is fantasy. 

     I hate to break it to you but all the reasons that you love apple are a lot of the reasons that someone else loves a luxury house.  Luxury Houses use proprietary and premium materials. So does apple. They all understand the concept of keeping as much as possible in house. LV, Chanel and Hermes all own their own tanneries. LV has it’s own proprietary coated canvas. Think of it as the handbag equivalent of designing the hardware and the software. Luxury fashion house and Apple push design boundaries that become iconic and trickle down thru their respective industries. Swap out a few details from the fictional Miranda Priestly's Cerulean blue sweater speech and you have the story of the iPhone and the way it changed smartphones forever.   

     The biggest reason that apple is right at home with most luxury houses is they know who their customers are, but more importantly who their customers aren’t. Louis Vuitton never has sales. Never. Not even when a bag is being discontinued. The bag is sold at full price until all stock is gone. Any long lingering bags are destroyed. Here is the price of the bag. Here are the sizes and shapes and colors it is sold in. Take it or leave it. Apple is the same way. While apple does have sales. They are unapologetic about how they wield and disregard current technological advances. Here is this years iPhone. We included what we thought were the best choices for our users experience. Buy it, or there is the door. 

Cars Vs Fashion

Slap the word luxury on something and people tend to think it’s market must work in the same way. I am sure that in marketing and other factors that can be true. I think that the luxury end of any market mirrors that market more than each other. So when Cars are Compared to handbags and trench coats it makes me laugh. The biggest difference is modern cars are a semi disposable commodity. The Car industry as a whole has bought into the idea that people will drive cars for X amount of time and then get a new one. You don’t find that mentality at the heart of luxury fashion houses. Rolex knows that it will have far less interactions with it’s clientele than say BMW. I think that if people want to compare an Apple Watch Edition to another luxury market it would be more akin to luxury cars then say luxury accessories. Both apple and the car company have to keep making it compelling for you to want to drop 5 figures on basically same product multiple times in your life.  Rolex, LV and Hermes would like you to do the same, but they operate in a market where that isn’t a given. Once you buy a Speedy from LV they hope that they can tempt you back in for a wallet or a Speedy in different canvas or size. You are less likely to find that in smartphones, cars, and computers. People tend to buy the newer model of what ever was working for them. The newer model of a handbag, is still that same handbag so why buy it again?

Women don’t wear big watches, these watches are huge.

 

     I’ve seen more than my fare share of this comment being flung around. The fact is it’s bullshit. Don’t believe me? Search for  #ArmParty on Instagram. Say hello to the 42mm and 45mm Michael Kors Chrongraphers watch. This watch is the darling of fast fashion watches of the past few years. You wanna get on the same level as the new Apple Watch Edition? Search for Chanel J12. People have have been going bonkers for this Unisex watch since it’s release in 1999. Most popular size? the 38mm. The same as the smaller apple watch. 

 

     So how will apple go about selling this 10,000 dollar gold apple watch. Well there are two schools they could follow. The Louis Vuitton Sac Louis route where they have an small well appoint space that is secured by appointment. You get to touch and preen with the Sac Louis. They fawn over you as you make your choice of color.  Then you place your order and the bag will be shipped to the store where you will finish paying for it as described before in our little role playing scene. My money is they take the Hermes route where spending 10,000-80,000 dollars on a Berkin bag is not treated like a grand extravagance. You walk in buy the watch and walk out. 

 

     I am excited to see Apple coming full circle into being a luxury brand because they do it the right way. They ofter something that is attainable and extravigant. For those that want to be utilitarian and those who want to be fashion minded. I think that tech has always placed utilitarian ideals over the “frivolities” of fashion. Apple is trying to balance both. I think the inclusion of gold in their laptops is another step in that direction. The sheer number of female fashion/lifestyle bloggers I’ve seen swooning and lusting over that macbook way out numbers the cries for ridicule and hate from the male enthusiast press. I think however it will take some time for the tech press and fanboys to get over the idea that apple isn’t just their playground anymore. As someone who loves fashion and technology, I couldn’t be more excited. 

 

30 Days of Lists: My Jams

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To be fair my iPhone is usually playing 1989 all day every day but I've really gotten into the Kpop group orange Caramel lately. And Fleetwood Mac is my favorite sewing music. 

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It's March that means that in edition to my regular posting you can see my 30 days of lists as well! Today's prompt: Why I Make Lists. Well as someone who has a lot of trouble focusing making lists is almost like meditation. It gives me a clear view of goals, and situations.  It doesn't matter digital or physical, a day that I spend a bit of my morning making a list is much better than one without that time. Also who doesn't love a stash of pretty note paper. 

At this rate "next time" is never coming

This week marked the end of the Greg Miller and Colin Moriarti era of the Beyond Podcast on IGN. It's the first big shake up at a mainstream gaming podcast in the wake of gamergate. What could have been a big leap forward in the balance of IGN on air talent (IGN had a podcast for all three consoles none of them have a women voice) has predictably been another incident of kick the can down the road. How many more "next times" are left before it becomes women's turn? 

 

It wasn't so many years ago that sports journalism found it's self in the same place.  . While sport's journalism still has a long way to got (female NFL announcers and halftime talent would be awesome) At least the networks try. When the Ray Rice scandal erupted in August the some of the men of sports journalism stood up. Even while the league failed to grasp the hurt it was causing. Keith Obermann has spent weeks devoting his opening monologue to the cause. Giving a boost to the voices to several female journalists on his show. ESPN even suspended one of it's own megastar journalist for victim blaming. It may have taken a vocal Twitter campaign to make that happen but ESPN listened. ESPN W will be 5 years old this year. Born out of ESPN managements concous effort to market and invest in women writers and covering women athletes. So my question is when does this happen for women in games? 

 

When do major sites like IGN and Giant Bomb stop kicking the can down the road. When does the industry look at the numbers it's provided and see that an 8% increase in women players  can't be ignored.  When platforms like You Tube and Twitch reach out to women to form by women for women gaming content in the same way they have done for Kinda Funny? When are the numbers enough. When do we see Sillcon Valley's VC/AAA sponsorship pored into a gaming website for women like it did for ESPN W? 

 

As someone who tried for years to be on-air talent for games media I want to know what it takes? It's not credentials. I have several corporate voice over credits, loads of acting and public speaking experences and I even attended a prestigious photo and film school. "But Spencer," you say "you don't have the journalism cred you need" Look at this article by Mattie Myers who is far more qualified from a journalistic standpoint and also can't get hired for on air jobs.  Most of the men on podcasts and videocasts and streams freely and openly admit to having no training for on camera presence. Yet have been graciously allowed to fail and learn these skills on the company's dime. When does a major games outlet give a women that same opportunity? When do we get more articles about actual harassment and sexism then articles about what a fictional TV show has to say about it. When does IGN allow a women to give her opinion not just read the top 5 news stories? 

As someone who is closer to the end of her "on camera years" then the beginning. I resigned to the fact years ago that it will most likely never happen for me. I just hope that I can kick and scream loud enough to change things for the 20 year old girl who wants to make videos about video games.  If any VC/Platform/AAA studio wants to prove me wrong,  I'll be here with technical know how and a list of women a mile long who deserve a shot in front of and behind the camera.  

Simple Goals Month 2 Week One : 30 Days of Yoga

Hey Everyone, 

Soooo I just looked up at my clock and realized that it was 11:31pm on Monday... and that I hadn't posted my Simple Goals for the week... or Last week cause I was feeling under the weather. SO for the month of February I am planning on doing a 30 days of yoga challenge.  I feel at my best and most creative when I am running and doing yoga. Running is a challenge the days cause my knees have seen better days. But I've got a little mini elliptical and yoga. So here is a quick list of the best 30 days of yoga challenges on You Tube. I am planning to do Yoga With Adriene this month. I hope to try them all out thru the year!  So what's your goal for February? (Can you believe it is February all ready!!!) 

Yoga with Adriene 

Bad Yogi 

Do You Yoga

 

 

 

 

Simple Goals week 3- Skincare tools

As I get older I find that I need more tools to keep my skin in check… Brushes, sponges, extractors OH MY! Here are my 4 favorites that I am trying to incorporate into my routine this week. 

Clarisonic Mia 2 

This little expensive face brush is such a game changer. For YEARS i debated do I really need it? then once I got it I wondered why I waited so long. The only thing is I have to use it every morning. I see a little bit of improvement if I use it a few times a week. However when I use this thing in the morning every morning the difference is very noticeable.  This week I’m gonna be diligent and make sure I get my Clarisonic on!  Word of warning your skin may not be able to handle everyday so be willing to get experimental when you get your hands on this baby! 

Conair True Sauna 

As a teen suffering from acne my mother used to have me steam my face over a pot of boling water. While serviceable this litle steamer from con air makes that experience so much better. I am in the market to pick up another one after my steamer of almost 6 years died. I am impressed with the small modifications they have made to this great little device. 

Double Ended Extractor 

Unfortunatly my laziness in skincare has made me something of an expert in extracting blackheads. I’ve tried several different loop extractors and this is by far hands down my favorite. It’s sturdy and holds up to my meticulous disinfecting procedure.  while it is almost twice as expensive then your drugstore variety it also will last at least twice as long. I’m going on 2 years now with my little guy. 

Konjac Sponge 

I have tried the very pricey Boscia and this reasonable eco tools one and there is no difference. So save yourself 12 dollars and get this one. It’s a very soft sponge that I use to help make my oil cleanser foam. it really helps get the makeup off my skin at night. A bit of a warning it feels a bit like a slug. It’s slippery and slimy but works oh so well!

ll that is left for next week is a wrap up on how well I've been keeping to this goal and to talk about next month's simple challenge! Hope your January has been as been a great start to a new year. 

 

Simple Goals week 2 - Skincare Treats.

Hey everyone! I hope you had an enjoyable week. I spent way too much time playing Dragon Age Inquisition.  I did pretty good with my skincare routine this past week. I only resorted to using make-up wipes no moisturizer once! That's a good start. This week I thought I would share some Skincare treats that I liked to use a few times a week. ( not the once or so a month that I do it now) Or in the case of this first one, when I can get my hands on some. 

Bioderma Micellar solution

French ladies have the best skin. So when my very clear skin french friend professed her love for this, I bought it. I fell in love with using it as a toner AND an eye makeup remover. I love that it would make my skin feel super clean but not tight. When I was in LA I would go to little tokyo to a cosmetics store that just so happened to sell it. Now that Iive in the great cold north of Oregon I haven't been able to find it. Or justify the shipping on it.  I hear that Simple skincare is coming out with their own Micellar water and I can't wait to try. 

Queen Helene Mud Pack Masque 

I love Queen Helene products. In the winter I use this Mud Pack Masque. It's smells floral and goes on smooth and tightens and clears my pores with out making my face feel over dry. That something that I find hard for my skin. In the summer and when I was younger I was obsessed with the brand's mint julep mask, I still use it on my t-zone with this on my cheeks. Costing only 3.99 it's a great skin treat with out breaking the bank. 

Lush Ocean Salt 

A long time ago, I used to use almost exclusively lush products... between having them poached by roommates and never using them all up before they spoiled I moved away from the brand. With the introduction of the self-preserving products I have worked this favorite back into my skin care. It makes my skin so soft so clean and perfectly primed for a deep moisturizing overnight treatment. 

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

 

This overnight moisture boosting masks helps keep my acne at bay. Growing up in small town Indana, Origins was one of the only skincare lines I could get my hands on. I love the smell of their products and how well they work. after a deep scrub with Ocean Salt I will spread a very thin layer of this on let it settle into my skin (10-15 minutes) and wash it off in the morning. My skin feels so plump and awake. Even when I'm dragging on only a few hours of sleep 

 

Simple Goals January 2015 - Skincare

Hello! I hope you've all had a great start to the new year. This year instead of making specific 2015 year long resolutions I’ve decide to make 12 small simple changes each month. This month is to get my skin care routine nailed down.  As I age (I just turned 32 eek!) my skin is less forgiving to my neglect.  January is going to be about finding a good winter routine for me. This week I want to talk about my basic every routine.  I have been transitioning into having a AM and PM routine to help curb the march of time.  I’ve also found that concentrating on prepping my skin for Make-up application in the AM and Anti-aging treatments in the PM is better then trying to find magical products to do it all.  

 

In the Morning: 

 Cleanser - Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash - 20.00  

This Cleanser came with my Clarisonic and I am now on my second bottle. It’s light exfoliation is perfect to prep my skin for makeup. 

 

Moisturize- Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF40

I love Josie Maran’s products, this moisturizer is light and doesn’t clog my pores it also look great in photos under makeup even with the SPF. 

In The Evening 

Cleanser = Josie Maran Cleansing Argan Oil  

As a girl with a very oily t-zone the idea of washing my face with oil made my skin crawl. But this stuff is amazing. It breaks down my make up and deep cleans my skin. I also love the ritual of how you use this cleanser and the self warming property of it. 

Moisturizer -  Josie Maran Argan Oil 

I like to do a deep hydration on my cheeks overnight, during the winter the this 100% argan oil works perfect, it even keeps my t-zone hydrated. 

Day and Night 

Toner- Humphrey’s Lilac Witch Hazel 

I feel like witch hazel has made the most difference in keeping my pores minimized. I love the smell of this lilac version.  

 

Eye Cream - Say Yes To Grapefruit dark circle correcting eye cream  

This eye cream does make my under eye concealer glide on and that is almost like having perfectly well rested eyes!  I think that it is helping my dark circles as well. (seriously genetics could you work on giving me pale skin and thin under eye skin UGH) 

My goal for this week is to make sure I do it every day this week. both in the AM and PM. I have a bad habit of sleeping in my makeup and that is trashing my skin. Next Monday I’ll talk about some specially treatments I’ve been trying in my routine.  


2014 in lists

Hey Guys,  Just thought I'd drop in and leave you my top 5 video games of 2014. In the last 5 months of the year we went from a zero console house to having all of them (even a PS Vita). We moved to a new house (the coldest house in portland) and I spent most of the year adjusting to being in a long distance relationship (can't wait until the long distance part is OVER) Here are a few top 5 to sum up 2014. 

Top 5 handmade outfits 

#5 Cat Nap Macaron 

catnapmacarondress

#4 Pink Fade Hat 

PinkFadeHat
plaidbiancadress
cameradress

#1 Paris dress 

 

Top 5 Video Game of 2014 

#5 Dangarompa :Trigger Happy Havoc 

This is a late entry to my list, it is the first game i picked up for my Vita after getting it for christmas. I've literally been glued to my vita ever since. The story is engaging the villain is cute and menacing.  The Trial gameplay is a lot like Phoenix Wright but with a better pacing. You feel like you are actually becoming friends with the characters and care what happens to them.  While the outlook is bleak for most of them it makes for a compelling game that I cannot put down. 

#4 Smash Bros 3DS 

Train, train and train some more. Smash Bros on 3DS has really helped my sad pathetic excuse for smash skills. I used to play hours worth of Smash bros on my Wii. I enjoy having  I love play as peach and rosaline and I am happy to have Smash on at my fingertips on the go. 

 

#3 Far Cry 4

 Lots of people docked Far Cry 4 for being Far Cry 3 re-skinned, having missed Far Cry 3 it was a fun adventure in a far off land. I watched my boyfriend play thru the entire story making one set of choices and I am planning on going back and making the opposite choices. Any game that lets me rack up kills with an elephant or honey badger gets an A in my book. 

 

#2 Dragon Age: Inquistion 

My Dragon Age story is like so many others, Played Origins, skipped 2 and dove head first into DA:I. This game is a time vampire. I find myself having to set timers and force myself away to eat and shower. I have been taking a break from DA:I while my boyfriend has been home for the holidays as he is also playing it but is several hours behind me. I love my sexy bad bobbed hair Mage Elf. And I am a sucker for the forbidden romance of Ex-templar Cullen. MMM sexy cullen

#1 Fantasy Life

Fantasy life is addictive and charming, well written, beautiful 3DS game. From the moment I made very cute and very customizable character I knew I was hooked.  I've gotten more then one other person addicted to the game by my constant talking about it. I love the leveling system is independent of the jobs system. It allows me to bounce between Talior (duh) and Miner without penalty. One of the things that struck me that the game play mechanics (supported by a solid reasons in the story) are set up so that a tailor or a Paladin can be the hero and save the world. If you have a 3DS and haven't picked up this game do it right now. Be forewarned a quick few potions/mining quests before bed can turn into 3am and bleary eyes the next day. 

 

Top 5 Catch Up Games 

Since everyone has already spent tons of time in years past yapping about how great these games are I'll just leave you with the list for this category. 

#5 The New Super Mario Bros 2 (3ds) 

#4 The last of us Remastered (PS4)

#3 Legend Of Zelda- Link Between Worlds (3DS)

#2 Persona 4 (ps vita) 

#1 Animal Crossing: New Leaf. (3DS)

2014 Favorites 

#5 Urban Decay Beauty Balm 

#4 Too Faced La Creme lipsticks 

#3 Te Chai Tea Caramel Creme Brûlée Tea  

#2 Mat and Nat Malone Vegan Handbag in peach 

#1 Rilakkuma Chocolate and Coffee 3DS hard case 

Removing My Head From The Sand

     I remember when I first felt uncomfortable with a video game.  It was the first christmas party I had in college. The game everyone had to play was Grand Theft Auto 3.  I watched in horror as the boy I was dating could not wait to show his buddies that you could have sex with a prostitute then beat her up to steal back your money. They erupted in laughter and I did too. As a girl who had spent most of high school being picked on for being different. All I wanted from college was to fit in. So I shoved it down in jar with a lid that said do not open and laughed. 

     Almost a decade later Red Dead Redemption happened. I had some major health problems. It was while recovering I decided to play Red Dead Redemption. I hooked up my Xbox 360 and tried to distract myself. That however did not happen. You aren’t even in to the real game play before casual misogyny starts. I never even got to the infamous side missions before I sold the game back to GameStop. It shattered that decade old jar. I told myself that I had simply out grown video games and quit. 

    So this summer, after almost three years away from mainstream video games my boyfriend bought me a 3DS XL.  The 3DS brought a way for us to have fun together while apart. I started checking my town in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and unlocking characters in Mario Kart. I also started reading about games again. looking at next gen consoles and future 3DS and Wii U titles. My rekindled love of video games came almost instep with the biggest blow up of sexism in the industry. Days before that 3DS showed up on my door, GamerGate (GG) was born. It would be a few days before I found it. At first I hid my head in the sand. Applying Nancy Thompson’s logic of ignoring Freddy Kruger to deny him power to terrorize her. However I like Nancy underestimated the force I was dealing with. 

     Eventually GG went after Intel. Intel folded under the pressure. Intel gave them the legitimacy they had so desperately craved. Intel make the processor that runs my MacBook Air. Intel makes the processors of most of my female blogging friends computers. Girls who don’t care about video games and video game culture. How could they fold to such a vile contingency of their customers. How could they not see beyond gamers to regular consumers who would be insulted by this groups origins. Why would anyone actively alienate 50% of the population?   When I tweeted my disappointment at Intel. My mentions suddenly filled with GG people.  Who started hashtag their replies with gamergate to call on more people to tell me how wrong I was. All of them hounding you with the same nonsensical questions. Trying to intimated you into being silent or to stop tweeting by the sheer number of people tweeting at you. Any empathy I had towards their purported goals was gone. It became stunningly clear that all they wanted was the silence of the opposition. That the only to choices are being quiet and submissive to their wants or gird your loins to face the on coming mob.  I saw people who actively refused to use the hashtag mobbed by GG. People who wanted to voice their support and their concern with out directly engaging GG were sought out to be silenced. Everyday it spirals more and more out of control. 

     Last night Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel her talk at Utah State University because someone threatened to commit mass murder on the campus if she spoke. Utah’s screwed up gun laws made it impossible for her to speak and stay safe. Last night an Actor got on twitter and used his celebrity to egg on a victims aggressors. She asked him to take into account his vitriol could get her killed. He called her a liar. Yesterday Huffington Post’s Live show allowed “both sides” to be heard. The website who’s founder got air time spent last night openly musing about murder and continued doxxing victims. Today as I was about to publish this post one of the biggest voices in gaming media is saying “Death threats are wrong. Don’t do that but….” I'm sorry Penny Arcade there is no but. Saying but is a casual admission that the ends justify the means. (they don't) Saying but is saying it OK to bully view points you don't agree with out of the conversation. (it's not) When you justify GG position against the media you say that 0.5% of articles talking about feminism is 0.5% too much.