Sunday, May 25, 2008

Almost Cher

I bought Jessica Zafra's TWISTED 6 after many years of not reading her. Jessica gave me her autograph once, back when I was in high school (we share the same alma matter, and she came to visit during one of the homecomings). I remember freezing at the sight of her. It was probably the only moment in my life where I felt completely, utterly starstruck.

This was what she wrote:

Dear (Mussolini),

May you achieve world domination.

It was a very happy day. It was the day I decided to be fascist.

Jessica Zafra to me is like Cher to gay men. She is not a human being – she's a life force.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Which is more dangerous - a gun or a swimming pool?
What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
Why do drug dealers still live with their mums?
How much do parents really matter?

I was dubious at first, until I read the first chapter on how crime rates and abortion were related. I wouldn't say this book is brilliant (I'm very careful not to use that word to refer to everything sensible these days), but it is certainly insightful. There are paperback copies for only P299 at Fully Booked. For that price, the book is worth it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

root of all evil

I know that with so many financial gurus out there, they are all starting to look funny. These nitwits all say the same thing, and we've heard it all before. But sometimes, hearing it over and over (and over and over) is exactly what we need. Here's an interesting interview with Farnoosh Torabi, author of You're So Money.

I like her. She does not say anything new -- she just reinforces ideas we already
know but need to read in order to realize.

* * * *
In other news, my friend finds herself in money trouble. The problem can be fixed, but it is a
real problem. Stories like this make me pee in my pants. I feel like she should have told me about the situation earlier on. Perhaps I could have helped her better.

I blame Pinoy culture for this.
Money is a taboo subject when it shouldn't be. Even among good friends, money is a "sensitive" topic. Sure, we can talk about the clitoris, but not about money.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

note to self

This article explains how some women (and some fashionable men) have succumbed to bankruptcy just to satiate their need for designer bags.

I don't claim to be a financial guru and I certainly have my share of deluded moments when all I could think about is buying THAT bag, but thank St. Theresa (my alma matter's patroness) that I haven't gone bankrupt because of this "passion." I have delayed some investment opportunities to get a designer bag *guilty* but I come to my senses and eventually tighten my purse strings after a purchase.

To prevent any further damage, I should establish bag purchasing rules to follow. I thought I should blog about it so whenever I feel the urge to splurge, all I have to do is go online and check this manifesto. Here it goes:

1. Invest the same amount of money you spend on a designer something to equities/bonds. e.g. If you buy a P40,000 bag, invest your next P40,000 to the stock market / money market fund.

2. Have a designer goods ceiling / cap. Set a reasonable portion of your yearly budget for bags and shoes. It could be P50,000, P100,000, or P500,000 (depending on your current annual income). I'm guessing about 5% to 10% is alright. I'm just a start-up fledgling build-up-stage no-right-to-live-like-a-millionaire working woman, so my self-imposed cap is P50,000. This means I have almost exhausted my bag /shoe fund (and it's only mid-year). Unless I find a shoe at 80% markdown, I can't afford to buy any more items.

3. If the boyfriend buys it, it doesn't count.

4. If it's on sale, it still counts. "On Sale" items are still expensive.

5. You don't have to have it. You just think you do.

That felt great.

Now, time to study the equity patterns in the last 6 months. I will be steering clear of high-end stores until Christmas. Time to be responsible again.

I will take 21,000 shares please.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

back to my other life

I just got home from a vacation of a lifetime. It was short enough NOT to get boring, and long enough to be very memorable.

Hong Kong and Macau gave me the perfect balance of shopping, dining, and intellectual stimulation (I had to brush up on Portuguese history, thank you very much).

I walked for hours on cobblestone / rode the MTR,

ate delicious truffles / street-quality nasi goreng,

marveled at remnants of history / evolved urbanity,

appreciated Philippe Starck's modern design / the cheap tiled art in Sau Paulo,

and ran after a very tastefully dressed gay man to ask where the Prada outlet store is. (He was able to give me the right directions).

I will never forget this trip.


(P.S. I have some "for friends only" photos. Kindly email me if you want access so I can let you thru.)