Friday, February 16, 2007


About going to Morocco next week. It's a pipe-dream of ten years coming true! Ever since my first sighting of Elle Decor photo spreads at the tender age of 16, cushion-filled plush interiors draped in gem-coloured fabrics, floors covered with every shade of blue geometric tiles, interior courtyards with lush landscaping and fancy fountains (small urban oases of calm) and dark atmospheric shots of hammams made up my mental images of Never-ever-land. Call me an Orientalist, but this world is so removed from everything I'd known then that I was immediately magnetized by it.

At 20, I was surprised again by Alexander Girard, fabric designer for Herman Miller, who mixes Modernism, 60's space-agey interiors, Moroccan / South American folk arts with whimsy. At 21, my Lebanese culture snob of an undergraduate research supervisor made grand claims about the delectable Moroccan cuisine. "Aaahhh. The best food in the Arabic world! I could taste it in my dreams." At 23, I learned about how the hardy Berbers defended themselves from centuries of Roman conquer-attempts with their desert forts.

At 24, I senselessly decided to work for a radio DJ, whose bi-polar psychotic spitting verbal abuse I put up with, just so I could tag along to document her participation in the legendarily hellish Marathon des Sables, a 7-day marathon in the gruelling dry heat of the Moroccan Sahara desert. In the end I got fired anyway after only three weeks, because I gave her "attitude".

At long last, at long last! Will this Moorish land live up to its hype?
I can't wait to get thawed, far and away from the -9'C cold in New York.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Small maneuvers to make myself feel better while not doing much in actuality:

This is it. Cumulo-nimbus' 2.0 done on a whim, under time and effort constraints.

The facelift has been on my mind for a while, but I never got around to learning CSS. Or for that matter, sitting down to write anything meaningful ever since I changed jobs, moved house, and found myself in a slow descent to becoming a cubicle drone / auction house monkey.

New Year resolution: to take better care of my blog. If I can't do yoga every week, watch quality art house movies (as supposed to degenerate trashy reality shows) as often as I want, at least I should brush the cobwebs off my ickle journal.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More brushes with the rich, famous and fabulous:

Since working on Anglomania, my celeb-spotting rate has been increased by an infinitesimal amount. Just this morning, Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols popped in to have a look at the setup, and to check over the costumes he lent for the exhibit. As my co-worker Jessica says,"I can't believe he just said 'Peace mate!'" Very un-punk indeed.

Then there was the Costume Institute's Annual Benefit aka the Met's Party of the Year. Needless to say, this being a Vogue fashion party, there were giraffe-like models, outlandishly decked designers and air-kissing a-plenty. We saw:

* Vivienne Westwood, the Reigning Queen of Punk in signature orange hair, diamonte devil horns, Union Jack deconstructed ballgown and patent metallic red lace-up platforms, with spouse and co-designer Andreas Kronthaler;
* Naomi Campbell - in white embroidered bolero jacket and dress;
* Tommy Hilfiger - in tuxedo with Rolling Stones' tongue in diamonte on the back, indiscreetly cannoodling with a nameless blonde;
* Drew Barrymore - in a black lacey corsetted number and bright red lipstick, laughing her head off;
* John Galliano - in Victorian top hat and pearly-queen style sequined Beefeater jacket, covered from head to toe in polka dot patterned sequins;
* Sienna Miller - in a short and sweet Twiggy-esque gold sequinced mini-dress;
* Jonathan Rhys-Meyers - looked like he's aged quite a bit since the days of Bend it like Beckham;
* Josh Harnett;
* Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, with 90's-supermodel wife Yasmin;
* Philip Treacy, milliner extrordinaire who single-handedly revived Britain's hatmaking legacy, donning a fabulous El Diablo type black masque with devil horns;
* Kate Moss, who looks comparatively tiny when next to all the other giraffe types;
* Liz Hurley (starting to look a bit wrinkley) ;
* Linda Evangelista, in a pink frilly number and looking like she has a bun in the oven;
* Supermodels best mates Amber Valetta and Shalom Harlow;
* Ex-Gucci face Georgina Grenville;
* Lenny Kravitz (who used to live in a 5 billion mansion right opposite the Met);
* Russel Simmons, of Def Jam records and Mos Def's Def Poetry fame.

From my observations, I have concluded that:
a) Models are mutants. They all looked like they'd readily snap in half if bumped into. People should never be that skinny.
b) Models, in fact, have wrinkles. *Phew*
c) Society types are very plastic. All socialites look the same: fake bake, twig-thin, with disproportinately bouffant hair to match meringe dresses. Most cannot dance to save their lives, or won't to save face.

So all in all, it was fun to dip into this uberwarped reality. And I'm still rather chuffed about not having to pay $5000 to dress up and party like a rock star =)

Couldn't snap any celeb pics, as was crashing the party. To see what everyone wore, go here.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

In the presence of fashion greatness:

Seeing Natalie Portman, Woody Allen, Hilary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg at MoMA and at the Met was already a high for my teeny-bopper self, so I didn't think I could top my celeb-spotting any further. That is, until I stood right next to Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue, aka the High Priestess of Fashion / the alleged monster-boss from "The Devil wears Prada".

The legend herself was inspecting installation progress for the Met's new Vogue-sponsored show, Anglomania - and get this: without her signature giant shades! In public! *gasp*
Wintour's as tall as me, but has the width of a toothpick. Her bird like frame could not have been bigger than an Italian size 32, which probably translates to a -2 in US sizing. Her waist might be the same size as my thigh. @_@ (Probably why I'd never make it to Conde Nast)

Was amazed that she donned a creamy white cashmere suit (looked like Chanel), with ruffley scarf, matt black tights and dainty Prada strappy sandals, in what was essentially a construction site. How do VIPs remain gleaming, when my black pants are covered in dust?? It must be the mythic aura that repels dirt a la Gandalf in Lord of the Rings III.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My personality as an Abstract Expressionist pic:

Faithful Artist
For the lack of interesting updates to write about, I bring you the PersonalDNA test. A colorful, fun and actually useful variation of the Myer-Briggs palaver.

Surprise surprise, I'm a faithful artist.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Qui etes-vous, Polly Maggoo?

... was a strange movie. Was motivated to see it, only because I've had a postcard of this still since I was 16, and had no idea what or where it was from. Typical of the French New Wave, it's deconstructed, hard to follow, lots of neurotic self-examination. But its visual richness sets it apart: full of wacky whimsical visuals, and the panache of it all!

It's a total recall of my love for all things space-age: dresses made out of steel, Courreges, Paco Rabanne, Cardin, Twiggy, crazy beehive hairdo's, and Grayson Hall as out-of-this-world fashion editor (who goes "Beep beep!" non-stop when describing the Rocket look she wants) is golden. The fashion world hasn't changed much since 1966, and it's still as fantastically out of touch with reality as it was then. Sami Frey as the dashing Prince Igor is very yummy-liscious indeed, as if to compensate for the utter lack of plot.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Golly. 2006 used to be a number far, far away in the future. As in, post-apocalypse if you, like me, used to believe in Nostradamus' predictions. Alas the world hasn't quite ended yet, so life must go on.

New Year's Eve saw me dressed as a half-hearted, eye-patch-less, wooden-leg-less pirate. There was plenty of bad disco dancing to Abba and the Bee Gees from my uncle and my dad, just the way such festivities should be. Even my grandparents got up to bogie, which was rather sweet, for an 89 and an 86 year old :)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas nostalgia

The sight of the Met's Christmas Tree, the choir fence in the Medieval Hall, and an a cappella concert by the wonderous, amazing Chanticleer (which is the closest thing to a 6 foot fully-grown-men's answer to the Vienna Boy's Choir, btw) brought back warm and fuzzy festive memories of yore. "In the bleak mid-winter", "O little town of Bethlehem" and all this choir business hurls back long forgotten CLC memories: Carol Prac's for the annual Christmas concerts, Pip & Jims, Christmas crackers, House prizes (I won the Deportment Prize in 1's, and the Tidiness Prize in 5's - already a Martha Stewart in the making...), mulled wine, end-of-term prayers and blazers, and Mrs. L-G, my housemistress back in Slodge. At the time, she was my biggest problem with authority. Looking back, she was perhaps the coolest housemistress out of the whole stuffy lot: she organized house outtings to ice rinks, ballet, Shakespeare plays, Alton Tower trips, countryside walks with her slobbery sheep dog Prima; she'd do coffee with 5's after church, talk about family and how we're getting on in school - but all this was not appreciated until much later.

Mrs. L-G, wherever you are now, I hope you are doing well. Thanks for trying to shape us lot into forward-thinking women.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Random point of art historical interest

Learn a few weeks ago that the Director of the Met, is in fact, a proud descendent of Marquis de Sade. (As in, the 18th C French nobleman who put the "sad-" in sadism - half of sadomasochism, more commonly known to Hongkies as SM) Word amongst employees is that he likes to see naked ladies in in-house video productions. Hmm....

Which reminded me of the Guerilla Girls from the 1980's. Thirty years of Feminism and twenty years of high-profile pranks later, the art world still hasn't changed all that much in terms of its male-female ratio. Even now, with equal educational opportunities, the museum / gallery / rock-star-artist realms are still dominated by white men. What is going on?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

To write or not to write...

It's occurred to me that my blogging has become a lot more self-centred and uninspired since I left school. What happened? Have I stopped being interesting all together? Or am I just too busy and happy to write anything meaningful anymore? Perhaps the killer combination of pausing my globe-trotting, and the day-to-day repetition at work, is what sent my inspiration down the toilet.

For now, until I have anything substancial and deep to say, me think I'll keep my mitts off Blogger. Meanwhile, the photoblog will still be updated, for a picture says more than a thousand words on my museum-worker / sedentary slacker life.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Back with a Bang!!

Am funky, alive, and.... 25. Sheesh. When your mother addresses you as a "thousand-year-old egg" in her e-mails, you know you can be officially deemed ancient.

Have finally received new, shiny laptop with new, shiny 14" 16:9 widescreen, and am still learning which of its new, shiny buttons does what.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Have just learnt from the laptop repairers , after paying $80 for an initial diagnosis, that the motherboard on my laptop is a gonner. Since IM-ing or blogging on the computer at work seems inappropriate corporate behaviour, I will be away from the cybersphere indefinitely for the time being.

Until someone decides to a) give me a new laptop; b) volunteer to fix mine up for me =p

In other news, in the past few weeks I've been drifting off to the historical gay mecca of Fire Island, Philly, Boston. Have also learnt on the job to rip DVDs. Hurrah to museum educational media!! Who would have thought I'd learn all about digital piracy from such a decorous cultural institution? ;)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Imminent digital death the power jack to the motherboard of my laptop seems to be dying. What am I to do without my entertaining, brain-cell-zapping blackholes of time? (AKA ICQ + AIM + e-mail + eBay + blogging + Flickr) *horror* The thing is, getting my laptop serviced here will prolly set me back 1/3 of my meagre salary, seeing how they might have to ship parts from outside the States, as my laptop was bought in HK. The cost-benefit here is a bit of a brain-wrecking dilemma-

In other news, my face is supposed to be aired on NY-area CBS, whenever prime time paid-commercials are NOT on. If you're lucky, you'd prolly catch a glimpse of me smiling fakely like a maniac a la Daniel Whatshisface in the Harry Potter movies.

Am seriously considering taking up yoga, or some form of non-intense indoor exercise involving mats. Have turned into a shapeless blob with a growing midriff and diminishing immunity powers since I started working in a windowless basement office. Should it be Bikram (the sweaty kind) or Ashtanga (the high maint muscle building kind)? Am clueless when it comes to workouts and physique maintenance. The ideal person to ask would be my ex, since he's the hardcore yogi, but then I would have to speak to him. Catch 22 indeed. Will prolly try it out at one of the free sessions in Bryant Park first.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Down with flu:

The sub-zero office AC has finally taken its toll. Maybe it's the meatlocker cold, maybe it's povery-inflicted malnutrition, maybe it's my Norma-no-mate loneliness, anyway my immunity caved in at the beginning of the week. First it was pains and aches in strange places (Armpit? What am I supposed to make of that? Breast cancer? When I have no boobs to speak off?), then it was the constant chills (Who wears a down vest to bed on a 25'C night?) Last night was spent curled up in bed in some quasi-foetal double-bent position, watching Team America: World Police, so I could be distracted from my aching bowels.

I now feel better, but am also restricted to a 4 block radius of my apt, for fear of fainting in public places (like the filthy NYC Subway, god forbid) sans medical insurance. As a 13th-hour measure I finally submitted the application paperwork for low-income health insurance, so hopefully I won't be in such a position ever again. *sigh* the destituteness of art educators.... now I know why they call us "starving artists".

*Now the good news* - I made it into the final cut for the Tony Oursler installation's spot. [see 6/29 entry] Apparently Marketing decided I had trendy glasses, and that they will reach the right target audience (read: hipsters). The ad's supposed to air on NY-area CBS at some point... more details to follow.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London's burning

Shocked to hear that bombs went off in London Madrid-style this morning. Am worried for my high-school mates who are living / travelling there; the bizarre thing is, London seems disturbingly and relatively unfretted, according to Chezzz who is holidaying there at the moment. Could it be that Londoners have seen it all? Could it be that after the 2nd World War air raids, IRA bombings in late 80's and early 90's, Neo-Nazi's bombings in Brick Lane, Londoners might have actually developed some sort of emotional immunity to terrorism and mass destruction? Even though the scale of this attack is a fraction of 9-11th's, New Yorkers / Americans in general strike me as a whole lot more paranoid and panicky whenever alerts come up.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Dumped by boy and other misadventures on Manhattan

The former part is not as bad as the first time, but it still bites. Especially when he did it over e-mail. Where are thou manners, inferior homo sapien?

Besides that small glitch, had a brilliant July 4th weekend, eating, drinking, dancing and burning cash to oblivion. With Alex, a high school friend visiting from upstate, and Casta, my roomie visiting from New Jersey, it was one big happy sleepover at our tiny duplex.

The mad weekend started at Hotel Gansevoort, an uberhip boutique hotel in the Meatpacking District with Ono, a minimalist Japanese garden bar / restaurant, and a rooftop bar offering evening views of the East River.


Rooftop Bar

Was amazed at the speed at which roomies picked up men, and at the speed NYC men pick up ladies. Fleeting superficial encounters with lots of heavy flirting. Not my style at all, but interesting enough to observe and critique. We met two Italian stallions, one a lawyer representing fashion designers, and another dealing artisanal Italian furniture. Having just been dumped, I was in no mood to socialize, and excused myself from the party when my roomies decided to change quarters to Marquis.

Next morning I was rudely awakened by sounds of kissing; I knew Nat and Casta are buddies, but surely they can't be that close?! Then I hear some dude's voice. Fan-fucking-tastic. One of them brought some dude home. I proceed to pretend I don't know anything.

After Alex's arrival, she the foodie / nutritionist / gourmet chef-to-be introduced us to the joys of Brazilian-accented sushi at Shiki's Kitchen. Was cheap, was yummy, and I liked them sushi with bananas and mangos.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Now that I actually have some form of life, I have no time to blog about it.
To summarise my past week, I've slap dashed together:


- Got totally lost with Alice in my supposed culinary homeland, given it is the abyss of Chinese immigrants and therefore cheap authentic Chinese food. It really is a different planet once you leave the ickle island of Manhattan. A + I stuck out like sore thumbs on the 7 train, which took almost an hour to get from Grand Central to Flushing. Noted that dress size and men's smelliness / hair greasiness increased exponentially as distance from Manhattan increased.

- Live toads sold in a supermarket, also in Flushing. Not even in Hong Kong does moving food get so exotic. Being our whitewashed squeemish selves, A + I headed out of the supermarket in no time.

- Soy milk told in takeout plastic tubs. Hello?! Even bubble tea comes in insta-wrap cups... let's get into the 21st century people.

Laundry day blues

Discovered my building charges a murderous $2 per washer load, and $4 for each 1 hour dryer cycle (as supposed to 75 cents for anything back in my school days). And it's friggin' COIN-OP. How is anyone supposed to have $10 in quarters? To avoid being ripped off, I decided to make use of natural resources and take advantage of the hot summer sun. Which led me to hang laundry ghetto Chinese style - on the balcony, like old amahs do. Which led to my being gawked at by any posh Upper East Siders who looked up.
Thank god no one knows me around here. Yet.

Will be on TV!

Just came home from commercial shoot for the newish Tony Oursler video installation at the Met. Played dispensable cable wrangler / runner /extra, and was required to look amused / perplexed at a white blob that resembled "a bloody Mr. Potatohead" according to my colleague,

with silly voiceovers that said "Boom boom boom.... I will kill y'all..." in a demonic husky voice, and projections of endless explosions, flames and misplaced blinking eyes and mouth. Have to find out when / which station the ad will air on...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Scatter Brain-dead

~ Food-induced homesickness:
I am re-living summer '03, when I had the most fantastic time in Lucca, Italy, but missed home sorely as I couldn't find any Asian food whatsoever. Maybe it's just Upper East Side / the Met's neighbourhood, but where are all the cheapo Asian eateries and food trucks hiding? Even ghetto Hardford, Connecticut, where my bro lives and where there is absolutely no retail and no supermarkets in the city, has Vietnamese and Thai food trucks.
Chinatown is a good 25 min ride on the subway, but even the pickings there are slim - ie. I yet to find a good grocer / restaurant. Am determined to venture out to Flushing in Brooklyn, the massive and so-damn-far Asian immigrant enclave this weekend to find cheap authentic Chinese munches.

~ Have same glasses as boss:
My department supervisor just noted that she has the same glasses as me. I have purple ones, she has blue ones. I'm taking this as an auspicious omen that I will go far in the museum field =)

~ Goings on in the city:
Mental notes - the Renegade Craft Fair this weekend in Brooklyn, and the New York Asian Filmfest.
Must also exploit my employee ID at the following locations: Little Boy show @ Japan Society, Frick Collection, the Whitney, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, all within a 1.5 mile radius of where I work.