Sunday, July 27, 2008

Surprisingly so

Visiting Malaysia changed my life more than I thought it would. Here are just a few (disjunct) realizations I made looking back at the four days that shifted my perspective.

1.The real world is bigger than my world. I've been living in this linear continuum of one day/ one deal at a time, caring only about where I'll have lunch next or how my back account is doing. This apathy has got to stop. While I am busy beating a deadline, the rest of humanity is playing out. Malaysia greets me with an in-your-face diversity and compelling dynamism that forces me to see outside my paradigms and appreciate other ways of life, no matter what the smell.

2.Scaling down is a virtue. You only really need one travel bag to survive. I took only four shirts, a pair of sneakers, and two sensible pants to KL. I didn't even bring extra shoes. Guess what? I survived. I didn't look fashionable, but who cares? No one does, not in Malaysia. Well, maybe except for those uber rich Arab women I met in Pucci. They bought the whole store, every$3,000 dress in it.

The point is: Living light is the only way to live. This realization prompted me to re-edit my already well-edited closet, which is now down to a bare minimum. I have exactly two dresses (including a Club Monaco on discount), the requisite Citizens of Humanity and Seven for All mankind jeans, a couple of capris, four pairs of shorts, a Diane Von Furstenberg silk top, three Mac Jacobs dressy tops, a few high-street shirts from Dior and Chanel, one skirt (yes, just one), and of course my daily uniform: some 30 casual Banana Republic and Gap tops + cardigans and seersucker pants with stretchable waistbands. Who needs a lot of signature clothes when I have good bags and shoes?

3.Friends and money don't mix. I love my friends, but I cannot count on them to pay for the cab – and I don't expect to. You see, no matter how 'financially comfortable' we have all already become since graduation, we all revert back to that college behavior when we're together. In Malaysia, we split everything down to the last ringgit. With the exception of Bismuth who was generous enough to let us stay in her hotel room for free (may the Albuyah bless your soul), Barry, Ennui, and I all pinched pennies like college dormers worried about their next meal. All that frugality didn't stop us from having a grand time, though. You know you're with real friends when you don't feel awkward about asking for that .20 ringgit.

4. Everyday can be Malaysia. There's no reason I shouldn't feel like I'm on vacation everyday, or at least most days. That is why I am designing a life of luxury without necessarily spending a lot. I have invested in a nice bed (and even nicer bedding) to channel that luxury hotel feeling. The room temperature is completely controlled. I get fresh orange juice in the morning. I 'outsource' my laundry so they come back folded and smelling wonderful. I even drink out of fancy glasses now, when I'm alone on weekends watching a Will and Grace marathon on DVD. And when I need to channel a 'resort' feel, I step out in the morning and sit by the pool. I never have to get out of my condominium to get that luxe hotel fix.

More importantly, I resolve to see the new even in the familiar. Manila can be much more interesting if only I got interested. I can't wait to see what's new tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I was 'tagged' (whatever that means) and now I have to ask ONE person THREE questions that would help people who don't know me understand the real me. I asked MSP, of course, because he's closest to me by default. He is my boyfriend of 7 years, and we built this company together. These were his answers:

1. What are some of the things only you know about Mussolini?

- She farts a lot.
- She is a natural marksman. She's good with knives, darts, bows, guns, and other projectile weapons.
- She likes staring at her ceiling.
- She picks her nose using her shirt.
- She can eat a gallon of gelatin.
- She is very clumsy.
- She has never lost a drag race.
- She needs coffee to be human.

2. What is Mussolini's favorite thing in the world?

- Her
Barbie-printed blanket.

3. If Mussolini was given a one-way ticket to any place, where would she go?

- To London.


Acey, I hope I got the instructions right. Now, I get to 'tag' others, correct? So I 'tag' Ennui, Bismuth, and Barry. Answer, you kualas. This whole tagging thing is quite fun in a juvenile, self-absorbed sort of way.



I got these Pucci Rosone ballet flats at 60% off, thanks to the Suria KLCC Wide Sale. Loot from top high-end brands were all discounted (except Chanel and Hermes, of course). It was truly a surprise. Who knew KL would be a shopping haven?

People who know me know that I cannot walk in heels, so I only buy flats. Make that 'invest in flats.' God knows how many times I have dipped into my investment fund just to get comfortable shoes.

Flats are more than just necessities for me -- they are also badges of my freedom. As Bismuth and I were walking around KLCC trying to find sensible shoes she could use for work, she pointed out how I have the privilege to walk around in flats while she does not. The company where she works frowns on employees who don't 'dress corporate.' But because I own my company, I get to wear whatever I want. I even wear sneakers to work, ala Ellen de Generes. I wear comfy shoes, therefore the world is mine.

I don't know what I'm blabbing about. Boredom is kicking in again, and not even my Pucci Rosone can amuse me. I need to travel once more. So friends, will it be Beijing come December?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

mussolini's malaysia

This is how I will remember you :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

packing light

I've packed four days into my weekender.
Mahatir, I will finally see your masterpiece.

Off to Malaysia :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

mercedes-benz, now and forever

I drive a Mercedes-Benz, so this is going to be a biased post. And while I try my very best not to seem like a hardcore Benz bigot, I really am one, especially when I meet people who have an unreal/uninformed perception of their Hondas or what have you. Don't get me wrong - I respect Japanese cars. In fact, my daily driver is a Japanese car. But don't come to me saying that your ricer is fast, because you and I both know it isn't -- not compared to my Benz.

Anyway, I was delighted to see this post from a fellow Benz enthusiast. To make the long story short, he was driving along SLEX and became the subject of rage of a Honda City driver. Here are some excerpts from his blog (some parts edited for clarity):


"So this is the story of one bigot Honda City owner, who thinks that all Benz owners shouldn't be yielded a right of way. But first, what is a Honda City?

(It) is a compact sedan - a typical Japanese Ricer. Everything in this car is so stupid and backward. The design is totally the opposite of German engineering superiority. Believe me, I would rather take a bus than own (a Honda City).

So going back to this bigot gayf'cker....I'm really convinced that this gayf'cker hates anyone who drives a Mercedes-Benz. The moment I took the lane ahead of him, he kept blowing his Honda-tuned horn. "F'ckhead," I uttered and pushed quickly (to) 80km/h, away from the Sucat traffic jam. I knew he would follow and he actually did. I heard his stupid car squealing in pain as if its power already exceeded the limits.

I pushed to 90km/h and then pulled a sudden drop to 80km/h and let him go ahead. I (wanted) to hear that tin can scream. He then slammed his brakes. This fuckface was no sport. He wanted a rear damage.

(I) brought the drivetrain on third and slingshot from his ass. From the rearview mirror, I saw the desperate chase. I heard the 3000rpm+ sound of this rice cooker, so I pulled in 4th, sunk the pedal. I sensed he was in 5th 'coz the rice cooker was about to get toasted! Going on 100km/h, I pushed on (my Benz's) Holy Fifth Gear. Wham! the f'ckface was smokin'!

For one, that asshole extraordinaire never did his math. (My) 2.3L German engine against (his) 1.3L twisting aluminum China-assembled Japanese-designed engine. (My) 124bhp versus what ... 3o? 40? The only thing I lost was my gas, but so what?"


You didn't hear it from me.


P.S. Comments not allowed. I know how very (very) sensitive some ricers can get :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

window shopping in greenbelt

I was in Gucci Greenbelt yesterday and found out that they marked this Boston bag down by 40%, so it's now only around P25,000. The only color left is yellow. I was going to buy it as I am really into colorful bags. My clothes are really plain, so I make up for the boringness with interesting arm candy. However, I would need pocket money for an upcoming trip to Kuala Lumpur. I had to pass on this one.

I also visited my favorite store Prada, of course, and talked to my favorite sales assistant. She told me that the shoes I bought from them 6 months ago ON SALE are now back to their original price (40% more). Lucky.

I also looked at some of the new Prada weekend bags. This deerskin beauty costs P140,000++. The Greenbelt store only had it in black (nero).

Photo from Barney's
Other deerskin bags are priced at around P99,000

Photo from Bergdorf Goodman

I'm not quite ready for that price range yet, so I am contented with lower-end Prada bags like the one I always carry around these days -- the Prada Crispy Nylon (Turchese). Price is P45,000 in the Greenbelt store. I love my bag. It's very unusual.

It turns out I don't have that urge to buy anything. I'm still quite contented with the stuff I already have. This article about splurging when you want to was right.

Retail therapy isn't for me. I only shop when I am happy - when I feel I deserve it because of some achievement. When I feel kinda down, I tend to save money.

Besides, I am pretty happy with the impulse gift MSP gave me -- the proudly Filipino, very well-made Fino weekender (cowhide). It's reasonably priced at P11,000 (Shangri-La store) so I won't exactly hyperventilate should it get damaged as I travel. It has all the right pockets and just the right weight. The stitching is superb. The design is old-world -- I feel like a European intellectual carrying it. I told MSP that I would use it every time I travel. I really will :)

it has come to this

I think I might buy this book.

I know it looks VERY SAD, but I need it.

Who knew you could make scrambled eggs - and even foie gras - using the microwave?

It's only $17.99 (roughly P800) online, but I'm going to ask Fully Booked first. I might save on shipping if it's available locally.


MSP found a better (less sad-looking) book locally. I think I'm betting this instead:

Different sources say different things about the safety and efficiency of microwave cooking. There are some people saying microwave-cooked food is hazardous to health, but it seems that the government says otherwise. In fact, MERALCO encourages Pinoys to cook using theur microwave oven, saying that it saves more energy and preserves the nutritional value.

I don't know who to believe, but I know one thing: I need to eat. Don't get me wrong. I'm actually a good cook (just taste my original fried Gindara with balsamic vinegar recipe), but there are days when I just want to curl up in front of my TV sipping hot chocolate, not having to wonder what I'll put together for my solo dinner. This book should help.