Why One Single Brooklyn Woman Lowered Her Expectations

November 10th, 2013

By Jocelyn Voo
New York Post

In September, a report by online dating site Are You Interested crowned Brooklyn women the pickiest online daters in the nation. As a fervent advocate of Internet dating and someone who just celebrated her 10-year New Yorkiversary, I found this entirely believable. This is, after all, a city of people who demand their coffee cold-pressed and their yoga studios WTF-hot.

The filters on dating sites give us license to be equally persnickety, sorting suitors by everything ranging from age to astrological sign. With a few clicks, you’ve got a bunch of algorithmically determined Prince Charmings waiting for you.

Or so it would seem. After years of off-and-on activity, none of my 70 percent-plus mathematical matches has proven to be an everlasting real-life match. Maybe, if this study holds true, I really should stop keyword-searching for world travelers and roboticists (hey, we all have our quirks).

And so I decided to embark on a week of being completely unpicky, seeking out OKCupid guys who ranked as close to 0 percent match/100 percent opposite as possible. I mean, this could possibly net me my soulmate — right? Read the rest of this entry »

The Complete Crash Course on Clean Eating

November 4th, 2013

Kale, Grapefruit and Hazelnut Salad With Tofu CroutonsBy Jocelyn Voo

Maybe a new raw cafe has sprung up in your neighborhood, or you read about Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow being fans. Either way, eating “clean” is gaining traction — but what does it actually mean, and how is it good for the body?

Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.

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Sweat Equity

January 16th, 2012

Sweat equity

By Jocelyn Voo
New York Post

If you’ve ever wondered what a $22,000 sports bra looks like, imagine a silk racerback number embellished with diamond-eyed gold skulls and an 18-karat solid gold zipper.

If you’ve ever wondered what kind of person would make such a product during a recession, meet Kelly Dooley, triathlete, fashion aficionado and founder of the activewear brand BodyRock Sport.

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Door Prize: Ice Cream Biz Hits Folks Where They Live

August 23rd, 2010

By Jocelyn Voo
New York Post

When assessing your monthly expenses, it’s not auspicious if one of the big line items is your ice-cream budget. For Diana Hardeman, though, a persistent pint habit pointed toward opportunity.

A 2009 grad of NYU’s Stern School of Business, Hardeman was living in Alphabet City and contemplating her next move when the idea of selling ice cream struck.

“A lot of my peers came out [of school] with jobs, and I didn’t know exactly what it was I wanted,” says the 27-year-old. “And then I bought an ice-cream maker.”

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Can-do Spirit

March 29th, 2010

By Jocelyn Voo
New York Post

Some people call the bathroom their “second office,” but in the workplace, New Yorkers seem to do everything besides their business once they enter the porcelain palace.

Judging by the goings-on, the office bathroom is more akin to one’s private living room than a public library. Colleagues yap on their cellphones, brush their teeth, even take naps in there. Why? Similar to how you might have claimed a certain stapler or a specific corner of the break room fridge as “yours,” you’ve also subconsciously claimed the bathroom, too.

“In environmental psych terms, the office bathroom is perceived as a ‘secondary territory’ — regular users see it as theirs even though it’s public,” explains Steve Schiavo, professor of psychology at Wellesley College. “No visitor would do those behaviors there.”

A cursory search of OverheardInNewYork.com reveals the scope of intimate conversations going on in office bathrooms: a Park Avenue Plaza trader making deals via cellphone while on the toilet, two NoHo women discussing the possibility that one of them may be dating a pee fetishist.

Mark, 21, recalls hitting the bathroom at his Long Island workplace only to hear a co-worker having a heated cellphone conversation — in Russian, no less — while locked in a stall.

“I sat outside in the break room for about 15 minutes, hearing him babble on and on,” he says.

Flagrant phone calls aren’t the only transgression. Others treat the office bathroom as if it were their personal grooming quarters. Like Tanveer, a 27-year-old programming manager who used to bring his electric razor to work to shave in the morning.

“Sometimes I brushed and flossed my teeth, too,” he adds, “but I think a lot of people do that.”

And that’s not even to mention the technological goings-on. In an AOL poll, 61 percent of New York e-mail users said they’ve checked their e-mail from the bathroom.

“It’s the only place I use the video capabilities of my iPhone,” says Joe, a 30-something tech worker.

Most frequently watched? “Seasons 1 through 6 of ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force.’ It’s the only location where this entertainment seems appropriate,” he explains.

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Volkswagen Super Bowl Commerical — What’s the Song?

February 7th, 2010

By Jocelyn Voo
AOL Radio Blog

You probably played the “slug bug” game when you were a kid — punching the poor soul who happened to be within arm’s reach as a Volkswagen rolled by — and the nostalgia certainly isn’t lost on the German automaker, whose “Punch Dub” commercial aired in the third quarter of the Super Bowl with the dreamy vocal harmonies of indie folk-rock band Grizzly Bear‘s ‘Two Weeks’ wafting in the background.

Based in Brooklyn, Grizzly Bear came onto the scene in the early ’00s playing alongside as varied acts as fellow indie group The Dirty Projectors, alt-rock legends Radiohead, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. ‘Two Weeks’ is the second track off the group’s hugely popular third album, ‘Veckatimest,’ released in May 2009 and named after a tiny island on Cape Cod. It’s also the first single off the record.

And while the band has been largely popular with music critics (‘Two Weeks’ ranked as no. 162 in Pitchfork Media’s Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s, and ‘Veckatimest’ was voted Stereogum’s 2nd best album of 2009) and mainstream media as a whole (the VW ad, of course, and also an episode of the CBS sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother’), they’ve still retained many of their original rabid fans — one so much than he made a very cool CGI video homage to ‘Two Weeks.’ Check it out alongside the VW commercial below.

Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

See my archive of AOL Radio posts here.

Dante’s Inferno “Hell Awaits” Super Bowl Commercial — What’s the Song?

February 7th, 2010

By Jocelyn Voo
AOL Radio Blog

This year, Electronic Arts (commonly known as EA Games) joins the big dogs of the auto and alcoholic beverage industries by making its Super Bowl ad debut, showcasing its new HD action-adventure video game ‘Dante’s Inferno.’ The placement seems like a natural fit — what better venue than the Super Bowl to reach the 18 to 34-year-old male demographic, and just two days before the game hits shelves? But it wasn’t the easiest deal to broker.

The game, inspired by the first part of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem ‘The Divine Comedy,’ is full of demons and violence, and the commercial was first rejected by CBS. Originally, the last few seconds of the ad would flash the words “Go to Hell,” but were changed to the slightly milder “Hell Awaits” tagline. Similarly, the soundtrack for the spot — Bill Withers‘ smooth R&B hit ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ — acts in stark contrast to the CGI monsters spewing flames and the hero swinging a scythe through an army of attackers.

‘Sunshine,’ off the 1971 album ‘Just As I Am,’ won Withers a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1972, and ‘Rolling Stone’ ranked it No. 280 in its 2004 list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Other artists flocked to the song, too; it was covered by dozens of prominent musicians, including Michael Jackson, The Police, Marvin Gaye and John Mayer. The hit was also included in soundtracks for movies like ‘Notting Hill,’ ‘Old School‘ and ‘Munich.’

Some bloggers have noted that the music doesn’t quite match with the game’s grisly premise. But if the aim of the song choice was (just as it was for the altered tagline) to placate the potentially riled up religious masses, this wasn’t a Hail Mary pass from EA — it was a touchdown.


Audi A3 TDI “Green Police” Super Bowl Commercial — What’s the Song?

February 7th, 2010

By Jocelyn Voo
AOL Radio Blog

Sure, you recycle. You use those fluorescent lightbulbs that’ll last till next decade. You bring your own reusable grocery bag to the supermarket. Hell, you might even compost. But with its new “Green Police” ads, German automaker Audi is trying to send the message that when it comes to making environmentally friendlier car purchases (an oxymoron, some might say), you may want to scope out the new Audi A3 TDI, which won Green Car Journal’s 2010 Green Car of the Year award for its use of clean diesel technology.

Audi’s PSA-spoofing Green Police commercials revolve around spouting eco-friendly tips to the masses, but one ad that’s set to air during the 4th quarter of Super Bowl XLIV showcases something else entirely: the classic 1979 Cheap Trick song ‘Dream Police’ lyrically remade into ‘Green Police.’

Formed in Rockford, Illinois (the state even dubbed April 1 “Cheap Trick Day” as of 2007), Cheap Trick became widely known for its power rock songs with classic pop melodies — check them out on AOL’s Classic Hard Rock station. ‘Dream Police,’ the band’s all too karaoke-able lead track off the album of the same title, cracked the Billboard Top 30, and the album went platinum only a few months after its release. Watch both the Green Police remake and the original music video after the jump. The band’s hairdos may have gone out of style, but the music clearly lives on.

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Pepsi “One People” Commercial — What’s the Song?

February 6th, 2010

By Jocelyn Voo
AOL Radio Blog

Really, Pepsi Cola must have thought they’d nailed the musical selection in their new “One People” commercial to introduce their 2010 Pepsi Refresh Project. After all, who better to communicate the “we are all interconnected” message than the trans-cultural group Black Eyed Peas? Will.I.Am (African-American), Apl.de.Ap (African-American and FIlipino), Taboo (Native American and Mexican) and frontwoman Fergie (Caucasian) are more than just a musical mashup of hip-hop and pop — they also collectively represent the ethnic melting pot of the modern-day American.

The song, ‘One Tribe,’ is a track off their 2009 album ‘The E.N.D.’ (short for Energy Never Dies), which earned the group an Album of the Year nomination and Best Pop Vocal Album win at the 52nd Grammys — largely due to the phenomenally radio-friendly singles ‘Boom Boom Pow’ and ‘I Gotta Feeling.’ (If you happen to have been living under a rock since, oh, say 2003, tune into AOL Radio’s Top Pop station to listen to Black Eyed Peas.)

But this particular ad may be short of a home run: it seems like TBWA\Chiat\Da, the agency who created this Pepsi spot, took more than just inspiration from Japanese band SOUR’s wildly popular music video for ‘Hibi No Neiro,’ which won YouTube’s Japan Video Awards in 2009. The split-screen format is distinctive — and practically mirrored in both ads.

One people? One mind, to be sure.

Fender T-Mobile MyTouch 3G – What’s the Song?

January 27th, 2010

By Jocelyn Voo
AOL Radio Blog

The Fender edition HTC Magic T-Mobile MyTouch 3G phone boasts some serious covet-worthy features for audiophiles: a 16GB microSD card to house thousands of songs and videos, a 3.5mm headset jack for headphones, and a newly enhanced music player, just to name a few. So who better to hawk the rock ‘n’ roll-heavy smartphone than three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-r (and the only guy to ever achieve such a feat, in fact) Eric Clapton?

As he fiddles with the 3G’s touchscreen, Clapton’s ‘I’ve Got a Rock ‘N’ Roll Heart’ (off his 1983 album ‘Money and Cigarettes’) plays in the background, its jaunty, toe-tapping melody synced in time as Clapton pages down the phone’s screen. The song was popular in the States, peaking at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 the year it was released, but oddly didn’t find as much success in Clapton’s native UK.

Dig the song? Buy the limited phone — ‘I’ve Got a Rock ‘N’ Roll Heart’ is one of the preloaded Clapton classics. Or go the recession route and check out the track below, or listen to it on AOL’s Adult Rock station.