Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Day after Christmas

Hello my men and women of many holidays: Christmas, Channukah, Kwanzaa and Festivus. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday full of family and food.

As for me, I had some of both and it was lovely celebrating Christmas with my small family and new dog, Moose.

Can I just tell you that as 'unemployed' as I always say I am, I am kept quite busy by the few days of employment I take on...which usually include numerous movie screenings. I know, my life is hard and yes, I realize I am one of the luckiest chiquitas to ever set foot on this earth. And I don't take it for granted. Now let me digress for a second and tell you that I am awaiting free pizza at the office while waiting to shoot 'The Big Tease' for Reelz Channel and it is 15 minutes late! I am starving and about to make a Cheetolicious sandwich. What am I, Britney Spears? I will never look at Cheetos the same way again. Way to ruin a good thing Brit.

Anyhoo, I saw movies on top of movies on top of movies. And then my brain exploded. Luckily I am a highly skilled brain surgeon (Read Puzzle putter-together) and was able to MacGyver some brain together with some scotch tape and paper clips. Good thing I am in the office with a supplies closet. ;)

Back to movies: Children of Men, DreamGirls, Notes on a Scandal, Alpha Dog, Smoking Aces, and...Oceans Eleven. Damn. Since I can write almost endlessly about movies, I will try and keep this short and sweet about what I saw and what is worth your $10. Yo, it takes me several days to earn ten bones, so I am not the type to just go flinging it around at any old movie...

Oceans Eleven - I am a moron for not seeing this sooner. I am sure you all have seen this stellar movie, and honetly 'Oceans Twelve' has nothing on its predescessor.

Children of Men - so much potential here. Like boatloads, which is what they play up as their goal, the boat for 'The Human Project'. Long story short, guy tries to help only pregnant woman who is also an immigrant get from sterile world to a safe ship. There are a number of important messages about immigration, the environment, and radicals as we see them in this film, however I felt the story line lacked just that, depth of storyline. For me, I felt very unfulfilled about what each group was fighting for, how the sterilization came to be, and why. and that my friends is what separates a movie from a matinee venture. The movie is really pretty to look at, and so is Mr. Owen, but I can get two magazines for $10 and those babies don't end in 2 hours.

Smoking Aces - This movie is really a fun, slightly dark comedy written and directed by Joe Carnahan and stars Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Andy Garcia, Alicia Keys, Common, and a slew of other talented actors. The film is a good ol' mobster fightout that starts with a hit being placed on Buddy 'Aces' Israel's head, and all the mercenaries and hitmen come out of the woodwork to get the $1 million prize. FBI try and save him and the mob is trying to kill him. It's an exciting storyline that gets extremely action-packed and gruesome. But still it puts in humor where needed. So I was talking to this one reporter for CNN at the junket and asked him, 'what did you think of the movie' and he said 'well i guess it was all right, but it isn't changing our world.' Wow. Really? Dude, make room for that pulitzer on your desk because man, a mobster movie all about hitting a magician in Tahoe isn't inspiring world change? That should lead of tonight's news. Plus he's staff. Crack team at CNN does it again. Good movie.

DreamGirls - see this movie. Jennifer Hudson steals every scene she is in, and although superficially speaking she isn't as outright gorgeous as Beyonce, she is by far the stunningly beautiful star of DreamGirls.

Notes on A Scandal - A teacher enters into an illicit affair with one of her students. Craziness ensues. See it for the performances by Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett alone. Seriously...

Alpha Dog - Story of Jesse James Hollywood, one of the youngest men on the FBI's Most Wanted until he was recently caught. I am truly on teh fence abotu this one. It is an interesting story, but for me, the characters are so human, that their malicious pre-meditated murder of a 15-year old acquaintence is kind of played down and characters sympathetic in the movie. But maybe that's the point. See why I am on the fence?

Update on my doggie, Moose. I have pictures which I hope to upload tonight. You guys have to check this littel stud out. He's getting better with my Dad, but he is still aggressive towards strangers and men. We're still working with him and watching a lot of The Dog Whisperer. I mean a lot!

anyone going to CES? I'll be there. Stop me and say hi!

Friday, December 08, 2006

James Kim

I am sure you all have heard the heartbreaking story of James Kim and his courageous family's struggle to survive in the wwilderness.

Luckily Kati, Penelope and Sabine were found safe and healthy, but sadly James was found a few days later, his body found less than a mile from where his family was rescued.

The thing is, this story was really hard for me to hear because I knew James well at TechTV and we still kept in touch after I moved to LA and he went on to CNET. James was one of those crazy smart guys whose knowledge you always envied. And as much as he knew, he always wanted to share, and was never condescending to those not as tech savvy as he. That was appreciated by many at TechTV.

He was also so cool you just basked in his greatness. But my favorite thing about him was his unflappable dedication to his wife and children. This was the ultimate father who loved his children more than anything else in the entire world. He lived for them and the pride he felt when he spoke their names or sent me pics of the girls was omnipresent.

There were tears in my eyes when I heard of James' untimely demise. It still breaks my heart, but makes me take account of my life and realize how truly lucky I am to have healthy and happy family and friends that surround me. That's all that really counts.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm back

Hello everyone! Yes, after months MIA, and by MIA, I mean twiddling my thumbs wondering when I should get back into blogging, and traveling, getting a new dog, working, and eating, I am back in semi-full effect!

I am very happy to report a couple wonderful changes to my life. First off, I have been hired by HGTV to front a couple specials. So on top of my wonderful weekly show 'I Want That Tech Toys', I will rock the 'Outdoor Living Special', 'Behind the Scenes of the Rose Parade', AND the 'Rose Parade Special'. Duuuuuuuddddddddeeeeeeeee. Life is aight. Plus, if you all get a chance, please check out my other show, 'The Big Tease' on Reelz Channel. It is such a funny and entertaining show. And by funny and entertaining, I mean you don't even need to be hopped up on lovely lady H to like it! How-bout-it.

Also, because I am unemotionally tethered to anything sensible on terra firma, I have decided to jump on the crazy pet-owning bandwagon and adopted myself a little dog. This white and brown chihuahua mix looks like he has a bit of Jack Russell Terrier in him. So we decided to name this little villain Moose. And boy, does he push other dogs and neighbors around....Damn! Now I have to admit that I have really good friends that warned me that having a dog is much like having a child. And your entire life changes. But I thought, it will change for the better. I never expected to get a little terror of a dog that is responsible for making me sooo excited about going home, proud to take this cutie out for walks, and not even mind doing the unthinkable picking up animal feces. I'd even go as far as calling it 'just something I do.'

Because our little shelter dog is soooo skiddish with sounds, barky around men and strangers, and biting around my dad, we decided to call the animal behaviorist at the shelter where we got the little guy. It turns out our little Moose might have been abused at his old home. Horrible! How can someone harm this little puppy that weights a whopping 10 lbs when soaking wet?! Sure he's an old man at the elder age of 4 years, but his eyes just look at you and you have to melt - until he starts licking his lipstick. Then you just turn around and walk away. So we have decided to try and work with him through his emotional issues and give him the most loving home we can provide. And being Chinese, the one way we show love is with lots of food. And when I say lots of food, what I am saying is that our dog is chubby. Now I did adopt him with a thick middle, but many 'observers' are noticing that his middle is getting bigger or his head is getting smaller. They're just haters.

Lemme tell you something about little Moose. He's smart, loving, and one of the cutest dogs I have ever laid my eyes on. Although it is a lot more work than I ever expected, I have to say he is worth every chubby moment full of love.

*with a gangsta accent* Chubby Brain living la vida loca with Chubby Moose. Holler!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Zune release

Here we go!!!!

Microsoft's Zune will launch on 14 November at $249.99 for the 30GB version

To jump-start competition with the five year-old iPod accessory marketplace, Microsoft also announced 10 Zune accessories ranging from AV cables to FM tuners.

Check it!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ellen again! This time, October 17th

Hey everybody! Looks like I have been invited back (already!!!!) to the Ellen Degeneres show!

Again, I will be showing you really cool high tech gadgets. I will give you a better idea of what to expect later.

set your Tivos, it's gonna be a fun ride.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Zune on Ellen

Hey everyone, in case you missed my appearance and have a couple spare minutes, check out my little diddy on Zune, and see how crazy the ladies get when they hear their prize!

Outta control. And scared the crap out of me being in the Ellen Studio.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Microsoft Zune - a preview

All right, even though I don't have a Zune in my hand to play with and explain how it all works, I can tell you what I know from my couple hours with it at Ellen - with the Microsoft rep and their publicist - in my room - the entire time. But I can tell you how I liked certain features, and can give you my first impression, which is all I am good for at this moment. I am really tired.

So here are some basics on the Microsoft MP3 player everyone is talking about:
-30 GB media player
-3-inch LCD
-3 color choices: White, Black and Brown (I don't get this one...) Each color gets a 'double shot' finish (ie. brown color gets goffy green overlay only really noticable on edges), which actually makes the player more scratch resistant, and with athat extra fog-like coating, fingerprint unfriendly. Unless you're eating fried chicken, then I can't help you.
-FM tuner
-Zune to Zune sharing (it can only talk to and steal tracks from other Zunes)

The Zune is able to ingest yoru existing music playlists, tracks, star ratings, videos and photos, as long as the DRMs don't kick your ass. The Zune is compatible with a lot of different media formats, so that is nice. I'm sure there will be hacks 2 minutes after the release of Zune to allow you to walk your dog, milk the cows, and vaccuum the house remotely using the Zune.

Here is my first impression of the Zune. I like that it is fingerprint resistant and has extra coating on the screen, as I have scratched my iPod screen about 3 times already. It utilizes a D pad, so everything is click or to move quickly through your playlist, click and hold - which takes 5 seconds to get used to if you've trained your brain to 'touch in a cirlce.' The other neat thing is as you quickly scroll through your music library on the device, there is a large letter that appears on tehe right hand side to let you see easily what alphabet you are up to, which needs a more aesthetic design, but utilitarianly designed. And when we talk about Microsoft, isn't that all we can ask for?

The controls, which I touched on above, are easy and intuitive. It is a circle with a center control button. The touch pad is more of a click pad, and even if you are watching a video, in which case it loads landscape to utilize the entire screen, volume controls switch so that turning the volume up will always be the top position, and down is the bottom position.

As for the 3-inch screen, it's fairly bright and nice. Watching darker videos on it takes some adjusting to make sure it doesn't start blowing out or aliasing. As for using it outdoors, I didn't get a chance to take it out of the studio. The screen, as large as it was and neat as it was to have the option of watching TV on a wider screen is nice, but it wasn't super impressive image quality. Sadly....

The FM tuner is easy to use, being digital and having a little glowing light tell you where on that damned dial you are.

The earbuds have a little magnet on the back of each bud so when you have them put away, the buds are held in position back-to-back, a pleasure to see for all us neat cord winders.

And since it is a harddrive, you can load content there, and using an AV cord, plug it into your TV or speakers for playback, just like many media players.

And the most important feature, the Zune to Zune sharing feature. Sure you can share tracks with your Zune buddies wirelessly, creating a social network of sharing and friendship, as their marketing people tell me, the track disables itself after 3 plays or 3 days, your choice. The sharing has no effect on homegrown tracks and videos, so trade on. And when you sync up your Zune to your computer, there is actually a place where all your 'shared' tracks appear and show whether you have marked them for purchase later, kinda like a waiting shopping cart. So yes, Zune to Zune sharing is an incredibly neat feature, to be able to send your buddies tracks, pics and videos, but in my opinion, what the Zune is will really depend on is what the Zune Marketplace (their version of the iTunes store) will be like and offer.

Since we couldn't get online, I couldn't see the store, but did get to see a couple screen shots. It looks organized and the images of CD art look large enough to quickly read at a glance, but then again, my linen closet looks good at a glance, but lemme tell you, there's a pillowcase or 15 out of place there. And no one knows unless I open up the doors. So open Microsoft, open up the Zune Marketplace.

Would I buy one? Only time will tell. Microsoft won't confirm a price point, but say it will be comparable to its rivals...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ellen!!!! Watch Wednesday 9/20 on NBC

OMG!!! I just came back from being on The Ellen Degeneres Show and it went soooo well! It was a little weird to be talking to 1000 people in the audience, Ellen, and 4 cameras, and everytime I mentioned a feature, the faces of these 1000 audience members would all be amazed, jaws dropped and everything!!! So watch the show tomorrow and I will post all the products soon.

PS. It is 6:10 pm and I have not eaten at all, today. Like ok I ate half a granola bar, and this hunger strike is NOT voluntary, it's more accidental. No worries, no urges to look like a Nicole Richie here.

Monday, September 18, 2006

MYLO and Zune

Hello everyone!

So I have had about a week to play with the Sony MYLO, in between my crazy little life, I was able to use the MYLO in my home, at the Dr's office, and at a cafe. Yeah! Now the features, which I am sure you all know, are this:
Communication - IM your friends using Yahoo!, Google and Skype; make VoIP calls using Skype
Web - browse the web
Music - listen to your tunes, and share with other MYLOs
Photo - look at photos - no camera
Video - watch videos you download to the MYLO from your computer
Text - take notes my brothers!
What's Up - a screen that lets you instantly see which of your buddies are online

So what do I like about the device? Here is a top line. If you are looking for a device that lets you make Skype calls (save those cell minutes!), IM and listen to music, this may be the right investment for that $350 burning a hole in your pocket. More details below.

Being the sole owner and bill payer of my cell phone bill, I really like that I can make free calls on the MYLO thanks to Skype. Skype is currently running a promotion where you can use Skype to call any cell or landline number in the US for free. And I have made a number of calls, and most have reported that the audio sounds like you're on a cell phone, not perfect, but pretty good. On the MYLO end, the person on the phone sounds crystal clear, so that is pretty impressive.

As for the QWERTY keyboard, the fingerpad is a little tiny, and takes getting used to, but once you do, it'll make your thumbs some strong contenders in the thumbwrestling competition 2007. The keyboard makes IMing extremely easy.

As for signing into Yahoo!, Skype and Google, I have noticed that logging into these guys is pretty quick and more dependent on your connection speed than the device, although, my laptop does beat the device by maybe 1-2 seconds. Really. That close. And that is IMing. For web browsing, well be ready to sit down, cause it's gonna take a minute.

As for setting up the trusted Wifi networks, MYLO makes it really easy, but once you tell it that this network is a registered network, well, it remembers the network whether or not it is available in your current location. That means that if you are in your home and wander out to a cafe, MYLO will try and connect to the web via your network before it tries the other ones it finds at the cafe. But that is easily by-passable by just clicking down to the open networks on the available lists.

It's got 1 GB memory and a slot for expansion. It's got the most useful command buttons on the face, similar to the Danger Sidekick, but there are things that are not so super with this crazy little Wifi Device.

And it comes in two color choices: Black with gray accents, and White with Orange accents.

For one thing, I really don't like that it isn't compatible with flash, so you can't surf sites like You Tube nor IM your AIM people on AOL Express (AIM's backdoor IM answer to not being able to download software onto your computer). Also, you cannot download songs directly from the web onto your MYLO, you have to download it onto your computer then transfer to your MYLO. And that goes for the pictures and videos too. Trust me, I tried. Even though they said it couldn't be done, you gotta give it the old tech toys go! The speaker on the device can pump out the audio just well enough to hear it outdoors, but I wouldn't say you can leave your headphones at home...And did I mention that it comes with a headset and mic for your calls?

But using their 'Ad Hoc' program, you may listen to and view the music, videos and photos of other MYLO users in the area. Plus you can see their profile (if they have made it public) and you can chat directly to those in your area. Talk about a new way to stalk! Yeah.

the battery life is decent; I have been using it to browse the web, chat and make calls for about 7.5 hours and am on my last battery bar. The only thing that I do not like is the ability to power down the screen sooner to preserve the battery. It's on auto, and a very long auto setting it is. And there are two settings, long and forever, so your choices are limited.

And as of yet, you cannot text to cell phones, but as Skype is rolling that out, the Sony Rep I spoke with told me they will be providing software updates so that may be coming to a MYLO near you soon.

All in all, the MYLO is an incredibly simple device to use. The interface is incredibly user friendly and has all the little things you may want. It is again targeted for areas that have wifi, like college campuses, certain cities like Philly, Sunnyvale, etc. and as more cities become hot spots, this device will find more and more homes.

Since I live in LA, we are some of the least tech savvy in the state, and there hasn't been a big push for city-wide Wifi, but a girl can dream. So for now, since I have gone over my cell minutes for the last year of my life, I think spending $350 to be able to make calls through Skype (aka Free) and surf the web for free while I am at home or out and about is looking pretty good right about now.

And if the Sony rep is reading this, yes, I would like a MYLO, and I would like the White and orange one please.

tomorrow I meet with the Microsoft people where I will get the skinny on Zune. Will it knock the socks off me? That's the million dollar question....

I am taping an episode of The Ellen Degeneres tomorrow, where I will talk about all these devices and more and it will most likely air Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

back from vacation

Hello all who still are loyal friends who read this blog. I just returned from my lovely jaunt to Germany to see my hardworking boyfriend and it was wonderful. We spent about two weeks together trolling the streets of Stuttgart (home of Mercedes and Porsche) in search of warm weather and boy, it was like someone told the sun we wanted to warm up because that bitch up and left our vacation so fast, it changed the rotation of terra firma.

So let me impart some knowledge about Germany that many of you may or may not know. First off, almost everyone in Germany speaks English, so if you're there to learn some German, no problem. If you're a lazy American who decided to head to a western European country without learning a lick of that foreign tongue (like your's truly), no problem. Almost everyone speaks English. Woot.

And if you love snitzel and potatoes, you're in big luck buddy, because they have that in tons. Looking for a salad? Well, that's not super rare, but let's just say Germany ain't California. So I spent many a day walking the streets of downtown Stuttgart and people watching. I really enjoy doing it, except when you are an ex-coffee drinker, it's hard to say no to that sweet sweet brown liquid I think of as happy juice - especially since they know how to brew that special brew so brewey! The lessons I learned while in Germany are: 1. Germans are incredibly nice. 2. Female Germans are GORGEOUS. And German men are handsome, but even the so-sos get their groove on nicely, from what I can see. Rock on.

OK so 'I Want That Tech Toys' has been going really well, showing off cool products for any budget, and wowing me with the really expensive crap that I WANT SO BAD I COULD PUNCH MY PRODUCER FOR NOT GIVING IT TO ME, but hey, I already host the show, so I can't really take the products anyhow, but well, I would love it to just be out there on the table.

Sorry, I digress. Looks like Tuesday I will be taping an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres show on NBC where I will be talking about the Sony MYLO...yes, I have it in my grubby little hands and am playing with it now. NOW! haha! I love it! Once I play with it, I will let you know what I think. First impressions? I am not really wowed by the screen and the exclusion of a cameraphone, but I love that it is a phone and device that works FREE out of the box. If there's wifi, well, you can make calls through Skype, IM, browse the web, all that jazz and for free! Skype has a promotion through the end of the year that allows free calls to any number in the US, therefore calls on the MYLO are free. Obviously this product is marketed for the younger market and urban areas.

I play, I report. I'll let you know. Hugs.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The View again!

Hey everyone, sorry for the late notice, but sooo much has happened in the last week. But please let me start of by saying that I will be on THE VIEW again tomorrow, Friday, August 18th talking about Dorm room gadgets. Well, let's just say they are not all gadgets with one item being a three-compartment hamper, but lemme just say I wouldn't send it away if showed up at my door. Plus I hear Joy, one of the hosts, claimed that bad boy before it made its nationwide appearance. Free stuff brings out the vulture in us all. Mama be proud!

Currently I am back in my second home, the bay area, working with MobiTV on their new project, MobiFest. It is a free to the public music monster that is showcasing some of the hottest bay area talents around. They have indie rockers, hip hop artists, and one of the hottest ballad bands around. I know what you're thinking, ballad like Skid Row and Guns N Roses ballad? No, I can only hope for the reintroduction to the days of hair. They are indie rockers who make really good make-out music. But no baby-making there. I don't hear any Luther influences. But I'll keep you posted.

Plus I saw a sneak preview of Idlewild, starring OutKast. Now you all know that I have interviewed some heavy-hitting A-listers in the past year, but I SWEAR I have never been as nervous teen trying to apply the right lip chap to ask the hunk to the Sadie's Hawkins Dance as I was in front of these two music makers. Soooo hot! Plus all the journalists and people around were saying that Big Boi and Andre 3000 were not really into the interviews or giving much, but once I rolled in, being one of their biggest fans, well those boys were so nice, funny, and generous. OMG, not only that, but one of the junket gifts (I know, my life is hard. not only do I meet these really great people after seeing their projects, I get little t-shirts and presents!) was a flask with 'Idlewild' on it. Well, Big Boi signed that for me. And he is a little dude. But just a big personality, hence the name. The big highlight of the day was meeting my future baby daddy, Andre 3000. He is soooo hot, in an understated cool. It kills me!

So do I recommend the movie? Well let's just say it is visually stunning. This isn't your average musical where people break into song at the bite of a hot dog, the songs are there to describe events, and since the songs are OutKast, it ain't a bad score. Plus the director, Bryan Barber, of many music videos' fame really brought a musical hard-hitting lyricism to the celluloid with amazing dance sequences and lots of excitement. Even he admits that directing the larger productions was easier than doing the movie's quieter moments, and he really went all out with the scenes in this one. Though the story is not something to write home about, the movie, with its graphics, dance and music are worth a theater visit if you're looking for a good time, music video after music video.

Peace out!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Last three weeks

All right. I should really be packing now, but instead I thought I should post something for you all to know what's been happening in my life for the past 3 weeks. And to answer some of the posters reponding to my last post, I left my Etymotics at home and ear plugs just didn't do it.

So the past three weeks have included 1 24-28 hour trip cross country per week. This is on top of working freelance in LA and considering moving back up to the bay area. I have shot two The View segments, the second one set to air Aug. 18th, and made it to the premiere shindig of Tech Toys in Washington, DC. The party, btw, was a lot of fun. And I met the people behind the show. Plus I have discovered that the people producing 'I Want That Tech Toys' and 'I Want That' work in the same office. Like right next to one another. And the prankster I am, I will make it my personal mission to start a little fun office war between the two shows. Hey, I don't work in the office, and with all these tech toys, I think my boys will have the upper hand!

On top of all this, my good buddy was just diagnosed with cancer behind his nose and began chemotherapy Thursday. And I couldn't be there for his first treatment because my plane was late from my last trip. And I won't be there for the 2nd because I will be shooting Tech Toys then. But I call a lot and he is doing all right, tired, but all right.

Now I must pack to go up to SF for a night and do some work.

Check out MobiTV when you get a chance. It is a REALLY cool service.

thanks to all who watched the show's premiere Wednesday and know that the shows get better and the tech toys get more crazy and fun. Keep watching every Wednesday night at 9!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

my blog's been blank all day

and I am wondering what the?!

so I just flew back from Washington DC today and lemme tell you, the 6 hour cross country flight wasn't so bad and would have been received better by your's truly if, and only if, a family of 5 weren't sitting directly in front of me. And by directly in front of me, I mean the little 4 year old girl yammers on and on and on for hours on end with no parental calming, cooing, or shutting up of the little pie hole. Now please don't get me wrong, I love children and someday may have a child of my own, but know this and know this now, I pledge to society that I will instill the fear of God in my child that if he or she speaks out of turn and acts up in a small space like, say a plane, where upwards of 200 adults who are all trying to sleep and who are all in earshot of her jabbering, we will have more than just 'words' together. Damn hippie parents respecting the soul of this child, yada yada yada. What about respecting my need to sleep and drool on the borrowed plane pillow? How's about that ma and pa?! Your daughter is 4, her life hasn't been long and experienced enough to let her tell her life story over 6 hours! Kids are cute, but camman!

I think this is why I am not allowed in animal shelters. Just a guess.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bedroom gadgets

So I am sure you all know my show starts tomorrow!!!! And now I am the proud owner of a host bio on HGTV.

Now my friends, if you weren't able to catch my 1st appearance on THE VIEW, these are the products that I was introduced to Monday morning, and delivered a segment on Monday noontime. yes, it was that fast and exciting.

So let's just get it out there. We all have tech in our bedrooms and I don't mean you good ol' rabbit (call me). This is network TV, so I will be showing you network TV safe tech. And since I didn't get the chance to choose the gadgets, well, I get to punch a couple of these products in their ovaries or testes. They make good punching bags.

Now for the first product I talked about called The Snore Stopper ($60). This thing was wicked weird. But I guess if you snore like a horse this could be majorly helpful to your mate. You strap this weird little box onto your wrist using this wristband, and it's a little weird because on the back of the box, there are these little gel pads that are supposed to sit flat on your wrist. Now why would you need little gel pads? Because this bad boy sends electric shocks to your body to punish you for working for the devil. We all know snorers are devil spawn. And that's my story, I'm sticking to it. The device does send pulses to the body, like a nudge to get you to shift your sleeping position and hopefully stop snoring. Does it work? Well I felt the little shocks on my wrist and it was kinda funny and creepy all at the same time. I had that same feeling when watching Children of The Corn. OMG! Children of the Corn made this device to send their spirits into our bodies! Yes! I see it now.

Another 'tech' product The View was hot and bothered about were Bright Feet Slippers ($40). In a nutshell, they are nightlights for your feet. Since there are little LED lights at the tip of the show that light up when you walk in them, they are really good for the latenight visit to the bathroom or kitchen. And with a light sensor at the side of the slipper, the light knows not to turn on during daylight. It's a smart slipper. Crazy! And for $40, well this slipper better have the IQ of a MENSA member. The ladies in the audience LOVED this slipper. For me, I'd rather spend $40 on iTunes downloads.

Next up: Double Up For Beds ($180). NO.

And if you're an extravagant outdoor partier who hangs with the hollywood or hamptons homeboys, well a party wouldn't be complete without this Outdoor Canopy Bed ($7280) that costs around as much as the GDP of many 3rd world countries.

And this last product, the Seura TV Mirror costs more than a salary I have ever made (go TV career!) (starts at $10,000) but is a neat little device. Now we all have TVs in our bedrooms, but who likes looking at a black box in the bedroom? Not I! So why not put a Sharp LCD into your mirror so when you aren't watching TV, the mirror is a mirror? And when you want to watch TV, well you get a pretty crisp TV image. However, one problem I noticed besides the hideous mirror frame, is the reaction time to turn this puppy on. I haven't ever experienced lagtime this long on a TV monitor before and do not know if it is related to SEURA's products, but considering you're paying that much money, well, a TV should turn on when you want it to...But don't worry about the frame problem i mentioned earlier, they have other choices and screens from 15"-42", so you guys are all set to purchase. Now go, consume!

And on August 18th, my next THE VIEW appearance will air. It has been pushed to coincide more with Back-to-school as I discuss Dorm Room Gadgets.

And don't forget to watch I WANT THAT! TECH TOYS premiering tomorrow night on HGTV!

PS. Chappelle Show is no good without Chappelle.

Monday, July 31, 2006


And announcing the block-rocking beats show that'll make new friends - hopefully.

It premieres Wednesday at 9pm, so set your Tivos and remember, this is the first of a long line of Tech Toys coming into your living room. Watch it and keep me employed!!!! and occasionally typing.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I am on The View again!!! Thursday July 27th.

If you guys missed my bedroom tech segment on THE VIEW Monday, here is the play-by-play...

I leave the charity event in the high desert abotu 20 minutes late and HGTV was kind enough to get me a driver to take me to the airport. Tehy must know that I am ALWAYS late and a driver barely guarantees timeliness, but works most of the time. So i get into this unassuming black car to be taken to LAX and since we are a touch late, the driver takes off like a bat out of hell. He's driving a towncar, not an ambulance with lights on! But that didn't stop him. And even with a seatbelt on, I felt like my organs were jostling around to remind myself that I am a complete fool. Needless to say, the driver was sweating a lot and crazy because he was LATE to pick me up and then tried to make-up the time while avoiding an accident and getting me to the airport. We made it and I actually made it on the plane! Unscathed for the most part...

I arrived at ABC studios ready to shoot at the buttcrack of dawn (4 AM PST), 7 am EST and went straight to rehearsal. But before I got to the studio, ABC was kind enough to send me a car to take me to the studio, and since I got the call to come down at 7, I got downstairs 5 minutes later, and the dispatcher calls over on the walkie-talkie and tells the driver to scold me and say 'the call for the ride was at 7! not 7:05!'. Way to start a morning!

I got on set, did my rehearsal and wore cute shorts to the set. Standing there with about 30 people screaming at each other, wondering what the hell was going on was nerve wrecking. Not only do they like to keep the temperture of the studio at 50 degrees, but there are a whole bunch of people and most likely, they were all union. That means, one guy can only talk ot this person to give orders, then that person calls another person who talks to another guy. there is no cutting out the middle man here, the whole show is run by middle men and I became one of them for a whopping 10 minutes!

Then out of nowhere it was time. It was time to do my segment. I walked out back into the ice chest of a studio, met Elisabeth Hasselback and Kelli Pickler and boom! We were live! Now I don't know how it happened, but I talked about these items: The snore stopper (watch-like product that sends safe electronic pulses to make you move and stop snoring), the popular Bright Light Feet slippers (slippers with flashlights at the tip), Waxless Sensor candles (LED candles), Double-Up for Beds Sheets, Outdoor canopy bed, and the Seura Mirror TV. And before I know it, 7 minutes had passed and I had finished my segment on the show.

It went well. the Producer came to find me afterwards and told me I did a great job. Then she told me there was another tech expert they brought onto the show who used to always shake like jello when he was on the show (she wouldn't divulge his name to me :( ) and she told him he did a GREAT job. And then she said, but you did a really great job. At this point I don't know how to take this compliment...

But since I am getting invited back to be on the show again this Thursday, the 27th, well, I guess I did all right!

Watch me again on The View Thursday July 27th on ABC mornings.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The View Monday!!!!

Yes I have seen a lot of movies and have A LOT to report, but more importantly, I will make my first appearance on THE VIEW Monday, July 17th live on ABC!!!! yeah!!!!!

They are flying me out Sunday and waking me at 3 am PST (6 am EST which in NY is reasonable...i guess!) Monday for a live appearance where I will discuss bedroom tech - safe for network television, that is....so that means no Pleasure Chest items, sorry die hards! The products will be fun and my favorite is an LCD TV that when turned off, looks like a mirror. Well with an entra $10K, that mirror and LCD can be your's too!

Ok I have to go pack and kill myself with my nerves. Even if I kstutter and blow it, watch and send some good vibes my way. OMG!!! I am going to be a guest on THE VIEW!!!!! Check your local listings.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

charity event

hi everyone! Sunday, July 16th from 11 am-5 pm, if you all have no plans and are in the LA-ish area, why not hop in your car and come to The Catalyst Foundation's Art and Gourmet Show? I will be MCing the art auction. Come and see me underwhelm an entire crowd instead of just your tv screens-LIVE! Or if you can't make it to the lunch, just come for the show. The tickets for the entire event are $55, but just $10 for the art show.

The art show consists of many great artists that have works that range from painting to photography to sculpture. And are you guys aware of how art programs are used as a type of therapy for seniors, prisoners and the mentally challenged? I used to volunteer at a gallery that aided the latter in using art as a form of expression. Many of the mentally challenged artists in the program made some of the most amazing works. And in this show, I think they may have a couple unique pieces created by prisoners.

The Catalyst Foundation is a non-profit that raises money to help at-risk youths with programs that build their self-esteem, build awareness for their environment, and help those afflicted with AIDS living in the Lancaster/Palmdale area.

Yes I know it is Africa hot out there, but come on, it's for the kids. I know they are trying to sell a number of tix, but the number they have sold isn't so high just yet. So I am hoping to help them get some people out! Hope to see someone there! ;) Come up and say hi too.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

eerie and almost ALL true!

has anyone checked out tv.com? Well tonight at 11:30 pm PST, I have! and it has some stuff on me! How do they know so much about me?


it's amazing. sure some things are wrong, like the fact that I am working 'on a pilot called I WANT THAT TECH TOYS,' rather I am hosting the show that will be on HGTV for at least an entire season, and if you all keep watching, maybe three! watch August 2nd and keep me employed! i love it.

Honestly, I never thought anyone would care enough to find out all those details about me, but voila!

Is Anyone in DC August 2nd? that's when my premiere party is....hopefully i will be invited.

tomorrow, i get paid to see 'You, Me and Dupree.' I swear, it is days like that I realize how lucky I am to get to see movies - with free popcorn! - before they are released, and then get to interview the stars about the film. It's pretty fun. and the only pain that i suffer is having to be around self-absorbed, self-important film critics high on their own great douche bagged-ness.

Has anyone seen South Park 'SMUG' episode? Awesome. and kind of what i am saying...

Mark your calendars - AUGUST 2nd!

yes ladies and gentlemen, the premiere date for I WANT THAT TECH TOYS is slated for August 2nd. The time you may be wondering? Well your guess is as good as mine. But you know you'll know just as soon as I do.

and now, my next little gig is to write my own bio for the show. DAMN! Girl can't write something semi-decent without too many segues to the fecal matter we all call 'our world'. And the Britney Spears NBC interview. That sig alert is still in effect. Anyhow, you all feel my pain? i can barely write, let alone write about myself! OK, I am barely literate, but cut the girl some slack! I am crying on the inside because Dan Rather just announced he is leaving CBS - officially. Do you guys ever wonder why people ever announce anything 'officially' anylonger? people are chomping at the bit a nanosecond after the slight whisper of some famous person's move is thought.

and now there are transexual supermodels. it's been a trying day. but I push on. Everyday. EVERY DAY.

Be strong guys. popazao.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Solid! Roomba welcome home!

I just did myself the biggest solid this Memorial Day weekend. I am not talking about all out drinking myself into a blind stupor while on a boat out in nowhere California. Oh no. I'm not even talking about learning how to make some kick-ass seared ahi tuna while a funnel of sangria makes a beeline into my stomach (it's amazing that all that fruit just gave up on the trip through the esophagus. Nope. I am talking about the best gift I have ever given myself, My Roomba Discovery!!!! The applause is deafening.

The Roomba Discovery is the white robotic vaccuum that uses algarithyms, AI, the AWARE system, the hair of a rat with the toe of a frog and the eyelash from your childhood enemy to sweep your entire room clean. Or in my case, my little abode. All 4 rooms of it.

And does this robot thing really work? Well besides the fact that I had 5 other girls in my house when I first brought baby home, and its appearance incited much excitement, the ladies couldn't keep their eyes off this little looker. Sure we charged this bad boy for a good 16 hours prior to itits first use, it was worth it to see the little dude beep as he backed-up from home base and started to go. Hey Roomba, you're looking so fine, why don't you back that ass up - and gimme that 18-wheeler truck warning beep. Cute!

Now after I let it run and do its thing, this little dude sucks up all the loose hair (it's shocking how much hair a girl loses in 2 days, and still doesn't appear to be balding - I must have the same hairdresser as Jon Bon Jovi. Lord knows he's been going skin since the 80s). I have to say, when it has finished its cycle, going under the chairs, sofa, tables, etc. which is more than I ever swept, mind you, it returns to homebase and charges. Save for the fact that the Rooba's sensitive 'tap head' that allows it to feel furniture and maneuver around it is more of a body slam that makes you jump at first, it's a good little dude if you ask me.

Now I do not have the Scheduler, the one that you can set a little alarm on him so he runs without you having to tell him to clean, but come on. My laziness has gotten me to invest in a robot to sweep for me. The least I can do is reach all the way to the floor and press the button 'clean' to start the badboy going. If i can't at least do that, well the terrorists have won.

And as much as the Roomba is able to fight a good fight against the evil crumbs and hairs of the world, it doesn't do corners, get super close to walls, into crevices or get that stuck-on crap on the floor well. But hey, if it keeps me from making everyone tie up their hair, wear hairnets, and biohazard outfits to keep their dirt to themselves while in my house, well hasn't this little thing already paid for itself?

I have run the Roomba in a total of 4 rooms, one mid-sized livingroom, 2 bedrooms (one with a closet hallway type thing), and a small office all on one charge. The littel guy started whimpering after all that work, with a little red light appearing in the power button, but it was still going. And I didn't run it straight for a certain amount of time, but I'd say this little guy ran for around 4 hours. And that's with waxing on, waxing off many times to make him clean all areas well. Keep practicing Ralph. One day, you'll be Karate Kid. Or the Scooba, and start mopping my floors bitch!

The iRobot Roomba Discovery is available for around $250-280. I got mine at Home Depot for $200 (crazy clearance!).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

a waste

I've been meaning to post this since last week...

Can I just tell you how much time I wasted by traipsing all the way to the westside to see an art show?! And not just any old art show, mind you, it was a Gregory Colbert show that charges $15 to artlovers such as myself, and makes me wait in line for over two hours to see a show that took a whopping 20 minutes to walk through - twice - while watching the films...

ashes and snow is the name of the show, and please don't get me wrong, I am a strong art lover. I belong to a lot of museums, have a degree in art, specializing in photography, so you know my tastes have been well defined. Well after so many rave reviews of this show, I thought I would hit this sh%t. Can I just say that the temporary housing structure called 'The Nomadic Museum' designed by architect Shigeru Ban is absolutely awe inspiring. Ban takes old train carts, stacks them on top of each other, like a checkerboard pattern and inserts large white fabric between the crates. The pillars that support much of the art work hangings and fabric are paper-made, which reinforces the temporary feeling of the installation and experience. The interior of the structure gives you the same feeling of wow, like you just walked into a millionaire's foyer, with rocks, great lighting, and old wood flooring.

Now for the not so good parts - well I have to say, why didn't I run when I saw the line that wrapped three times around the building as a sign that said, 'run for your short little life'. Even if I had enough sense to say, I have a long life and can spare 3 hours to lines and this 'art', I wouldn't spite that person if they decided to just shoot a dart in my head for that thought, the show was that riveting...

Now I would love to spill my guts about how I think Colbert is a very, very talented artist and photographer, but at the same time, I hate me some Anne Geddes, and I felt like I was looking at a picture show where the kids Geddes shot were all grown up and in grade school! And all with their eyes still closed! How do they pass class when they are always sleeping?

And then there are the dolphins. And the elephants. And the monkeys. Dude! And then the films of the people with the dolphins, elephants, and monkeys, all with sleepy people in slow motion, and with chanting music playing overhead. I love yoga chants as much as the next guy, but can someone say pretentious?! $15 is a dinner!

Ok rant over. I went to LACMA and saw the infamous 5 Klimt paintings and that was worth it. See Chi-Lan can hate AND love!

Monday, May 15, 2006

New Music site

hello fellow tune lovers and leavers. If you're one that loves the tactical feel of a music CD, well have I got the discount site for you! A new start-up in Silicon Valley has become is heard all you CD owners' cries and developed a site that helps CD owners trade entire CDs for less than an iTunes video download.


The site says that it will start working around July 4th (that's how they like to celebrate independence day. Can someone say 'thinly veiled double entendre'? Well I think I just did.) But I digress. Now no one knows if this service, which pretty much lets you list what you have and what you want, and matches you up with those that have what you want and want what you have, then charge you a fee of arond $1.50 or $2 to facilitate the trade. Sounds like a dating website. So no one knows if this site will be the another nail in the music industry's coffin, the next iTunes, or just a site that no one knows about, but I'll put it out there just because I can!

Hey, you never know, maybe music lovers alike will find more than a CD on lala.com.

Monday, May 08, 2006

This is the month

All right guys. This is the month that STUFF magazine's June issue comes out. And that means...my article!!!! I can't wait.

As for my print work, is there anything you guys want me to consider writing about?

and yes, I should post some new pics on my Flickr account. so many things to do, so little time. Can someone tell me why i waited so long to remove all the glue off my bamboo floors? talk about back, knee, arm, and crap ache. Somebody just put me out of my misery. And by put me out of my misery, I mean tell the dudes who wrote 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' to make it an digestible non-fiction rather than facts on facts on french words and facts. I feel like I am in senior year world history, you know the last year of your high-school career where you just don't care enough to try that hard, but you do what you need to do to get by and focus on the prom and staying away from gangs. And sneaking out to Taco Bell for lunch.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

That's awesome!

ok so you guys know I was on TV. That isn't any news, but it still surprises me when people recognize me...and let me just say that it rarely happens. And growing up in the 91801, I never expected I could be on TV. I grew up in a simple blue collar, yellow-trash family, and now look at me! I walk into a dim sum restaurant my family and I frequent and a guy named Bryant recognizes me - then posts on my blog! What a crazy small world. Soon we'll all be playing yatzee.

Hey did you all know about the computer companies holding hands in a non-sexual way with ubersexy car companies to come up with an overpriced, ok line of laptops? Well check it!

Get your ‘nerd turned successful’ on with the Ferrari 3000 laptop. A stylish lap companion that sports the patented Ferrari red color (I didn’t know red was a patented color either. That’s like saying I’ve patented air – I’m just sayin’.), a 15” LCD screen, ATI® MOBILITY™ RADEON™ 9200 graphics chipset, built-in DVD-Dual drive, integrated bluetooth, and an S-video output.. And yeah, Mary, the head cheerleader turned toothless crack addict living in a cardboard box will rue the day she said refused your invite to the prom because now you own a Ferrari! That crazy chic.

Not sure if hell froze over or pigs are flying, but ultra-sexy high-end car companies playing nice with the likes of computer makers doesn’t stop with Ferrari. Not to be outdone, Lamborghini and Asus joined forces to create a sleek and chic laptop coated in a mirror painted finish of undeniable Lamborghini black or yellow and topped off with the infamous triangular emblem. And with a 17” widescreen display, mobile media center with TV tuner, and built-in subwoofer, you’ll be able to hear every bass-note behind the artistic visuals of such classics as ‘Girls Gone Wild: Mardi Gras Invasion’ and ‘Girls Gone Wild: Spring Break ’06.’

My favorite recent television line: Family Guy: scenario: Peter and friends (Quagmire, Cleveland, Joe) sit at the Drunken Clam. Peter reads some pages from his recently penned 'nasty novel', also called trashy supermarket lit. Peter finishes his novella's last line and Cleveland responds 'I'm no school administrator, but there's an extension program going on in my trousers.'


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I Want That! Tech Toys

Hideeee ho everyone! Looks like the title of my new HGTV series is 'I Want That! Tech Toys'! That's right you all. This show is tentatively scheduled to premiere in August, and I, of course, will keep you posted.

Tech toys and me, what could be a better match?! Do you all get HGTV?

Monday, April 24, 2006

I can't wait!

Guys, my first article is supposed to come out in the June issue of STUFF magazine, and gaddamnit! I only received the May issue today! Aren't magazines supposed to come out 6 weeks in advance or some crap? See, I have never worked for a magazine before STUFF, so I don't know much about it.

Well at least you know it'll come soon. Anyhow, I am now writing about ultra-stylish laptops for the august issue. And it is all about the superstylish with a lot of pizzaz. Hot like a venerial disease.

Ok, now i have to put up some shelves...excuse me. I'll be back dawgs.

Woot. Woot.

PS. I will get the title of my NEW HGTV show this week! More details to come!


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saturday makes me a year older

Not many of you know this about me, but my birthday was this past Thursday, the 20th. Hitler was born on that day, Columbine happened that day, and well, my birth. I am just saying. Lots of horrible things happened that day, but none were my fault, so I try and celebrate the day none-the-less. Hey, Stalin and Mao were born on days on the calendar too, so!

Thursday was a good day, that began with a little lunch with my grandmother on my mom's side. She's a funny lady that will turn 90 this year. Then I got the Shure E4G earbuds, which I am really excited about trying out and telling you all about...and went out to dinner with my sister and brother. Thai, what cuisine could be better?!

I also received the EyeToy Kinetic bundle, which included a game designed by Nike Motion Works, and the eyetoy. This 'game' is actually a fitness trainer that helps you work out with either a personal trainer for a 12-week program (and they have these silly creatures they have named Anne and Matt) that go through exercises with you, and they have little games you can play for anywhere from 3-10 minutes.

As a woman who did yoga for over 2 years, and worked out religiously at the gym for the past year, and then stopped all physical movement except clicking the remote from my couch for the last 4 months, I thought I still had some muscle tone and agility. Boy, that Eyetoy showed me a thing or two.

Now most of you are already aware of the goods and bads with the EyeToy, so I won't go into them, but will rather discuss the Kinetic 'game'. The workout put a hurtin' on my jumping, leaping, slapping, hitting little soul after 4 minutes and 12 seconds. Jeebus! Where do you work your cardio like that? In guam? But I Kept going. And because you are watching yourself hit objects on the television screen, it acutally distracts you from the time you would usually be cursing yourself for torturing the only body you have. And because you're watching yourself, you think, well, if I do a roundhouse kick here, it'll look cool there. And work out my obliques so much better than a simple hit with the hand. Plus the 'personal trainers' edumakate you on all the muscles in your body, as they warm you up for your killer 20 minute workout (stop giggling) and stretch cool down.

All in all, I wasn't really sure what to think about this program, honestly. I thought, well I can just make my lazy ass go outside and run, but really, why do that when there are options? And those options include a tiny camera that lets you play games while jumping around so much on your floor that you 1. work up a sweat that will drown small pets and 2. drive the neighbors crazy.

Two bad things about the game, as uncoordinated as I am, I really don't give a flying f%$k when the trainer comes out and says 'that's ok. It's all about burning calories.' Shut up. And the music. Really music composers? You guys weren't drunk and just spun the bottle to choose those two whopping tracks? Now we all suffer for it. You bastards.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Back Back Back!

Ok I finally came back from my little world-wind tour, and I hope some of you guys are still out there.

I have a horrific cough and cold, so I have to go to bed now, but will write about my travels to 'da muderland' soon enough.

And I may have some exciting news about my re-emergence on cable TV!!!! I'll keep you posted.

But for now, may the power of tax preparedness be with you all.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

To Japan and Back!

Well I was trying to post wonderful things from my little jaunt across the world to Japan, land of the megalopolis, but alas, I was not able to...I was too cold in that rainy island weather to type anything with frostbitten fingers!

I went to Japan for two simple reasons: 1. check in on a buddy teaching english there to a bunch of 2nd and 3rd graders (cute!) and 2. check out all the cool electronics yo!

Day 1 started out simply enough. I woke up, I was in Tokyo. I got out through immigration at Narita airport without a snag. Little do they know of my sordid history! haha! The bathrooms at the airport were all sensory-type commands, pretty nifty! I got on a bus to go to a city called Yokohama. To my surprise, the bus got there on time, left on time, and I got to my destination on time. Odd!

I went to hang out in Shibuya the first couple days I was there, and all I could do was walk and walk and walk. I ended up going through Douganzawa, a district that has a very grey history. Legend has it, the guy's name I had just misspelled above used to hide in this far off hillside and rob all of the lovers going to the area for their trysts. Obviously this is the area where you'll find the infamous love-hotels of Japan.

This brings me to my first hot topic. LOVE HOTELS of Japan. What a brilliant idea! For those out there unfamiliar with a love hotel, these are the hotel or 'motels' in American vernacular that you can rent for a couple hours during the day for reasonable rates, or stay in overnight starting around 10pm. They are affordable and come with exciting themes such as Christmas, Disney, Hello Kitty, and the list continues as the rates rise. Because Japanese live in 2 and 3 generation homes, many share rooms and it is difficult to bring a lady or gentleman home to do the deed when little sis a nd her puppy sleep next to you in the room.

I stayed in one of these wonderful love hotels while I was in Kyoto and let me tell you, this thing was a suite! It had a full on huge bath, with separate shower and tub, bidet, living area, kitchenette, and when you checked in, the shade is drawn over the attendant's face so that everything is done annonymously! And did I mention while my travel buddy and I were selecting our room, another couple walked in and stood behind a bamboo divider until we left?! Damn! Even when we checked out, I waled into an older couple in their 50s or 60s about to leave, and once they saw me, they shut that door right quick. They were hooligans. I could see it in their eyes.

Another thing I discovered about Japan has to do with their food. I went there not expecting much except the best sushi of my life. Let's just say I got that, and much more. I went into a sushi bar at around 9 am for some soup (it was the only thing open) and they were all about kicking me out. It was 9 am and people were eating sushi. What happened to a little light hot meal to get you going?! Not here. sure you could have ramen or udon anywhere else, but for some reason, I was visiting a legendary fish market on it's only day off, like a smidiot (smoking idiot). Damn. But I have to say, the Japanese food was delicious; expensive, but incredibly delicious, and then I got tired of eating tempura, then it all went to crap. Just kidding, I enjoyed myself some Okinomyaki and it was good too. The Japanese like their sweet brown sauces.

As for the electronics, I went to Japan to see if I could see any new products or trends that will hit the US anytime soon, and sadly, I didn't. If you've been to Best Buy and Times Square in NYC, well multiply all of the electronics and kiosks there by about 1000, add Vegas lights, and a whole lotta Japanese people, and voila! you've Akihabara, the area almost all Japanese consider nerd central. I liked the area a lot...It is the area where you can wish for the wildest gadget and turn a corner and there it is. It is the place where you can find Maid Cafe and massage bars, where women dressed in maid outfits service you (and not in a dirty manner either. They get you food or massage your feet. But you have to talk to them about anime. They will not allow you to relax and sleep). I think the themed cafes used to be called Mei as in Anime character cafes, but since the Maid thing is so hot, and cafes are going out, you see a plethora of massage parlors. Go Japan! And yes they have a couple 'Comic Book Guy's there - and only there. As for the products, the only two things that really impressed me were the iRiver u10 MP3 player, which uses a 'D-click' system for controls. That means you tap on the sides of the screen to make it scroll up, down, etc. It is horizontal, a total break from the usual vertical built videoplayers, and is a slick looking black face. But hey, it'll be here in the US in like oh 2 hours. So not really a find.

the other thing that impressed me was the Ricoh 28-200mm (35mm equivalent) super zoom camera. I really liked the idea of having such a large zoom, but it made me wonder, well with Ricoh's image quality issues, will having such a large zoom make the image noisier than it really needs to be? Then I remembered Sony is coming out with an DSC-H5 and DSC-H2 models which boast 7.2 and 6 megapixel images respectively. Now if Ricoh's zoom was impressive, well Sony's 36-432mm zoom are a 14 year-old girl in R. Kelly's eyes. I only hope he doesn't pee on the cameras too. Although I didn't see all the new gadgets I had hoped to discover, I did get to see how temporary each of the gadgets were to the Japanese. And how bulky phones are the winners in this culture. tell me, can you really tie all those stuffed animals to a RAZR? I don't think so!

Tokyo is a major hypermetropolis that at night resembles Vegas, with the bars, party goers, and fun. What it adds is a sense of order and clean. All the public areas are incredibly clean, and there are no trashcans in existance throughout the entire city thanks to the 1996 gas bombs. The people are polite and enamored with Western culture. It took me a bit to find the Japanese core of Japan, but when I did, I loved it. The people love their country, they love their history, the geisha are like moviestars and links to a past that has all but been forgotten. And it stretches farther in the future than anyone else in the world. Well except for one thing, you cannot get the mayo on your sandwich to be put on the side. They can't understand the concept of altering the way things are. Some call this tradition and respect for life's way of being. Others call it pure insanity. It's gaddamn mayo! leave it off then!

I am off to Germany tomorrow, wish me luck on the flight and I will write from there. Do you all need some brautwurst?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

poop and a GPS

I was innocently having lunch with a girlfriend of mine, catching up on each other's lives Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful day with bright sunshine, the kind that comes after a rainstorm in southern California, so we decided to take a table under a tree. We both ordered salmon burgers with fries, and as soon as I had my third bite, a pigeon decided to open his dastardly bombay doors and let us have one. He pooped on my food! Damn him. That pigeon is a bastard filled bastard of a winged bastard. There goes $7.50, my appetite, and $2 for parking. I wanted to hit that bird upside the head and say, 'why the hell haven't you evolved from this free-wheeling shitting foul?' Gaddamn!

So TomTom just released a new GPS for two-wheeled vehicles (ie. motorcyclists and scooter aficionados). They call it the TomTom RIDER, and it will retail for about a grand. Now being an ex-scooter and motorcycle rider myself, I thought, how awesome! Finally I can get directions for my lost-ass as I travel through the streets. The thing that stopped me in my tracks is this: the price. I can get another scooter for that kind of cash-money. Or I can just pull-over and ask for directions. Being on a bike allows you flexibility like stopping quickly, riding up on the sidewalk to accost a dog walker, buying milk without ever having to get off your ride. But I digress.

When TomTom designed the RIDER, they did think a couple things through that make this device really cool. For example, it is waterproof, so you can mount it on your bike and fa-ge-a-bou-it! But what happens when you park your bike outside a shady diner for a bite to eat? Well with this device, you can't just unmount and put in your glove, but I am sure it has an easy unmount - or at least I hope. I have not gotten to play with a model yet, as they haven't been released in the US.

The other thing is that the TomTom comes with a Bluetooth headset that speaks the directions into your helmet, so you aren't forced to look down at the monitor mounted on your handlebars. Sure that voice in your head may get jealous of the incoming competition, but I think with time, the RIDER's voice and your crazies will make friends, and you can keep those stealthy riding eyes on the road, or on your cell as your dialing....Not only that, but you need never fret about the volume at which that voice yells the directions at you. It intelligently adjusts as you speed up or slow down.

And if you're worried about riding your scooter with the hells angels in the sunlight, and not being able to see the RIDER, fret no more. The system comes with an anti-glare screen, so they can clearly see your embarrassing bike, and your need for directions. Those Hells Angels are so judgmental. This GPS does incorporate all the usual stuff, like integrated GPS antennae, multiple destination calculation, choice of route, and the touchscreen responds to glove contact as well, which is important for you riders. And when you want to get into a car, well the RIDER can come along too. It comes with a car mounting kit that allows you flexibility in your car as well. IF you're paying a straight G for this, it'd better dance for you too!

All right, I'll close this preview up with just a couple more words about the RIDER. It is impressive that the RIDER automatically switches from motorcycle glove mode to in-car mode. It allows you to make and take calls using the touchscreen, and it speaks over 30 different languages. I always liked that feature.

But alas, we'll see how well all these 'smart' features really work out if I get to play with one. I'll let you know when I do.


Here are the tech specs for the RIDER:
Integrated GPS receiver based on SiRF Star III with 20 Channel All-in-view tracking
CPU: 380 MHz
3.5 inch, 320 x 240 TFT colour LCD touchscreen
115mm x 92mm x 58mm, 310 grams
Internal rechargeable Li-Ion giving approx. 5hours
Operating temperature: - 10 to + 55 °C
Water resistant and protected against any wet weather conditions
(test: TomTom RIDER was subjected to a sustained jet of water at high pressure from all directions and suffered no harmful effects)
Battery Talktime: 5 Hours
Battery Standby: 250 Hours
Memory card (SD card) with software and maps
USB port and cable for PC connection
Bluetooth headset included for clear wireless spoken instructions
Alternative power source: 12V motorbike battery
Mounting kit (4 pieces) to fit most bikes and scooters

Friday, March 03, 2006

STUFF Magazine

Guess who will have a two page spread on the top 10 gadgets on the market come May?!??! That's right! Your dog's mom. And me! Yeah, so pick it up on newsstands, then write in about how my wit and style make you want to continue reading, even though the gadgets aren't ALL blow your socks off immediately, but most are. So give me that my brothers and sisters. I would love to post some of the excerpts here, but I think that is not allowed, but once it hits newsstands, I will do immediately.

Looks like I am headed to Tokyo, Japan for a little vacation! And to see one of my best friends. I am really excited, and although I have been taking a break (read unemployed) for a couple weeks now, I have decided to make the most of my sad ass and take some time to regroup and figure out what the hell I wanna do with my life. What good is it to dedicate yourself to the technological advances of consumer electronics if you can't make a living off of it? I ask you this!

So I am headed around the country to do an investigative report on the who, what, and especially why Hello Kitty reigns supreme in a country with more than 14,000 people per square mile. I know some of those are adults. We don't live in the land of Charlie Brown for god's sake.

More news to come.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ahhh...Sam Fisher

I am sure most of you know a man named Sam Fisher. He is a myth, a legend, and the star of the Splinter Cell franchise. As the highest-rated spy action series of all time, I thought it pretty cool to be invited to Shanghai, China with MTV to check out what's new in Sam's life.

Shanghai is a metropolis as you'd expect. There are lots of stores, lots of tall buildings, and lots of cars. Oh and did I mention the people? There were a sea of black heads where ever you turned. And not only that, but because I went during Chinese New Year, well, there were people out in full force to enjoy the festivities. When 1.4 billion people decide it's time to party in the new year, the world shutters.

Chinese New Year's eve was really crazy in China. First off, we went for a group dinner at a lovely place on the Bund. The Bund is an area in Shanghai known for its english architecture. It was the previous location of many embassys and consulates, but currently serves as storefront to many designers. After dinner with a staggering view of one part of Shanghai's skyline, the crew and I packed up our stuff and headed to a club to ring in the new year like foreigners! I say like foreigners because Chinese New Year's eve is a special time that one is supposed to spend with the family, therefore, the clubs were mainly empty, except for a bunch of ex-pats and people unable to catch a train home.

As the new year rang in, the crew and I headed outside to watch some fireworks and do some shooting. No one expected to walk out onto a small street in Shanghai and see the sky ablaze with fireworks, being pelted from the ground by firecrackers; and fearing for my skin, I patted off sparks falling from the sky. Ah my pyromaniac people. How I love the!

After my skin seared into a type of healing I wish never to remember, I went on to do work, then move inside where there were the group of young Chinese stranded in the city away from family and many ex-pats girated to way too much drum and bass. How, do you ask, do a bunch of young Chinese get stranded in the city when a holiday as important as Christmas hits a nation? Well, let's take a moment and do some calculations. China is full of people, over 1.4 billion to be exact. When 1.4 billion people make a move either by train, plane, or car to get 'home for the holidays', the world shutters - a lot. Therefore, a couple people got stuck with the heathen ex-pats and partied until they couldn't see the way too expensive bottle of vodka they paid for to show everyone that they're cool enough to have a bottle at the table.

So what can I tell you about Sam Fisher? Well, I can tell you that for this new version of Splinter Cell, Sam loses his gay-ass goggles. When he stripped his goggles off, he also seemed to have stripped off much of his clothing. Clad in a wife-beater and pants (I am sure there is a secret code that makes Sam tear his pants into shorts, and speak with a lisp), Sam heads into battle against gangs, misfits, and all-out tyranny! Yowzahs! And not only that, Sam gets down with a little lady. Wha, wha, wha-t? That's right! Enter Enrica! A woman who makes Sam think 'hey, maybe I should stop working towards gay sex with this wife-beater and keep my eyes on saving the world once again!

While walking through Ubisoft, I have to say I was allowed to see some amazing renderings of the game. I also saw an early version, and lemme tell you, my mouth dropped so far down, it hit my house back in the US. The reason why we went to Shanghai during Chinese New Year to see this game is because Splinter Cell: Double Agent is that there is a special level that replicates Shanghai to startling detail on the XBox 360 version. It's pretty awesome to see Sam rapelling down famous buildings in Shanghai while new Year's fireworks are going off - and that is ALL in the game! Wow.

Another thing that is different about SC: DA is that the game involves the player in the cinematics, and changes the name from 'cinematics' to 'In-Game Moments.' That means when the characters start talking to each other to forward the storyline, you're there, playing, choosing what Sam will do next, like when he farts in the game and someone smells it, does he blame it on the tied up prisoner or take the responsibility for it himself? What would YOU do?!

And that is what is great about this game. not only are the graphics and audio astonishing and surpass anything else I have seen, but the storyline and playability are staggering. This is a game to own. I may have to finally put myself on an XBox 360 waiting list (even though I promised I wouldn't buy one til most of the bugs were worked out) and get one just for this game's release come September.

Shanghai and Splinter Cell, I thank you.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

MTV Overdrive segment...

Oy my brothers and sister readers, I apologize for not letting you all know earlier of Overdrive's limitations. No, MTV has decided NOT to run on Macs, and never will. I asked. And MTV's broadband programming prefers Explorer, and shutters at the thought of Firefox.

As you can tell, MTV ain't no technofile.

As a crazy little reporter girl running around on the scene, I wanted to give you all the heads up on a new game I saw: Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers. this game is the sequel to (surprise, surprise) Full Spectrum Hammer. Now I went to the game demo/press event ready to take in fully tactical strategy, bootcamp, and war, damnit! So off I went to blue Cloud Ranch.

Now what I encountered was a game demo, which was nice. They gave reporters the opportunity to check out the game, play it on various platforms (PC, PS2, and XBox), and look at the graphic and audio advancements.

Now before we get into what I saw, here's a quickie refresher on what FSW is:

Derived from its work with the US Army, Pandemic's FSW was a training simulator that provided gamers with a totally different way of playing game -- strictly, following militaristic protocol, and using strategic tactics throughout. That means simply that you controlled your teams, telling them to shoot, cover (always cover), or run and run and run. But the thing is, you never really did the things yourself.

Now FSW: Teh Hammers looks great and all, but as a girl who plays fighting and puzzle games, I have to say that the game wasnt' for me. Now don't get me wrong, if you're into tactics and strategy (said the SNL way), than for sure this is for you. When I mentioned to my brother the game I just saw, he began to drool, so yes, for a lot of you out there, this game will rock your world. Yeah, I went back in time for that line. Anyhow, if you're looking for crazy explosions and firepower, you'd better be looking elsewhere. This game, originally designed with US tax research and design dollars, has been parlayed into a tough strategy game, but not an explosive one. It's all about time, management, and teamwork.

Now get ready soldier, you're going into war.

BLACK - fps game review

So I have been MIA for a while but please allow me to be away for a bit, as there were a lot of holidays in-between then and now.

Now that I have returned, I have come with my coverage of BLACK for MATV, EA's new FPS game out in March! Watch it!

If you like it, tell MTV!!! I periodically do stuff for MTV Overdrive's games section. And soon I will appear on G-Hole. You all know what that is right? Duuuddddeeeesss.

What else is new in my life? Besides just returning from a whirlwind tour to China to check out Splinter Cell: Double Agent (*!&&#&@*!) - well nothing else matters right now really. That game is mad money.

More to come, and I SWEAR after I get over this jetlag, I will be all over this blog!