Friday, September 25, 2009



I was in Manhattan early this week when the UN opened with speeches by Barak Obama (probably 30 mins) and Muamar Quadaffi who ranted and threw stuff (just like one of my former bosses!) for 95 mins. He LITERALLY camped out on a Trump property in Westchester--he has a very big and nice looking tent with 'walls'painted with Arabic art.

When my sister told me Obama would be in New York on Monday, my only thought was ÖMG!!! I hope MIchelle doesn't go to Bergdorf's on MOnday or Tuesday!! Those are MY shopping days!"!!"

(Of course, I would have LOVED to see Carla Bruni as I think she is so much chic-er than Obama who has a more contrived look. The French can never be beat in this area. But I am of course, part of the minority)

Last year, I left NYC not exactly loving it(for the first time I did not entertain the idea of buying a flat there) and in fact, I thought of not visiting this year but because my husband was in Boston and wanted to meet in London on Wednesday, New York started looking like a good choice of a stop. Indeed, for two days, I renewed my love for the city that doesn't sleep (because now business is bad but California is broke).

Walking home from a yummy FRench dinner at Jubilee, my friend and I saw Neil Simon taking a walk with his wife. The only reason we knew he was Neil Simon was because he and my friend are neighbors. THis is something that will not occur in any other city in the world. (So what if we see Jackie Chan or Jiang Zhi Yi at Landmark??)

I continued my walk along brightly lit streets (thank you Mayor Bloomberg) and buildings lit up to Vegas capacity then came home to a hotel room that overlooked yet more lights. This is when I fell in love with New York yet again.

But when I got to London, I enjoyed the old buildings lit strategically by spotlights. Even Buckingham Palace seemed dark compared to Park Avenue. On the surface, London's beauty comes out during the day but there is a serenity to it at night. But Paris and Rome are equally stunning day and night.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

IN AND OUT OF FASHION

At the behest of Vogue USA editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, retailers from 13 countries participated in Fashion's Night Out last Thursday. Since I don't go out at night and I do my shopping during the day and sometimes online, I don't really know how things went.

BUT I can still give an opinion on what I THINK happened.

The problem with this well-intended shopping stimulus plan is that it comes at a time when people STILL either a) do not have money or b) even if they do, refuse to fork out for anything that is not an investment (and I am not talking about the fashion investment 'that you can wear forever").

Personally, I hate shopping events because everyone sees what you are buying and you have to get out of the dressing room quickly because there usually is a line. (Well, maybe not these days)

Central in HK did a property wide shopping event before the summer and I don't really know how much the shops made during those few hours but I was told there was more champagne quaffing by office people and the 'wrong people' walking away with freebies.

PEOPLE just TOLD me, okay???

Last Thursday, my hairdresser said his business is down 30% and this is in Hong Kong where unemployment is considerably lower than the rest of the world and where the stock and property markets have bounced back. He said, "The markets are good but I know people still want to save their money and spend it on something with long term value and that's not exactly a haircut." (Even HE KNOWS!)

The following, from the Financial Times of 9 Septemmber 2009, sticks the stilleto heel into a crack on the pavement:

"...Bruno Frisoni, the creative director of shoe brand Roger Vivier, who will be at the Milan event, said: “This will bring people into our store that maybe wouldn’t have come in. But certainly in Paris it will not mean immediate cash. They come, have a drink, meet people, see the collection and maybe, if we’re lucky, they come back during the week. Maybe.”

Another international luxury brand executive, who asked to remain anonymous, noted that the company did not expect to recoup its costs in terms of overtime, electricity, security and food.

“It is a big expense for us” to keep flagships in multiple cities open for an extra five hours, he noted, pointing out that they agreed to participate only because Ms Wintour asked."

Business is certainly bad but I have yet to meet someone in the fashion business who would talk on the record about how bad it is.

Word on the street (like Pedder Street, perhaps?) is that On Pedder, a shoe and accessories regional boutique chain owned by Lane Crawford is ahem...."consolidating, relocating, merging, absorbing staff and inventory..." with the mother company.

I can think one other simple word that begins with a C.

GAAK! Choke! Surprise! But then, when you think about it (and you don't have to think longer than the length of a fashion show), the signs were there even to Wal-Mart shoppers.
1) high prices - cheaper online or in Europe or the US - I walked in there last week and there were hardly any heels there under 6000 HKD (750 USD) and hardly anything I wanted to buy
2) ugly stuff - well, you can't blame retailers if the design houses are producing atrocious stuff made available worldwide
3) recession and/or a now financially conservative customer
4) the Lane Crawford Beijing store which should really be in a mausoleum (oh..uh..museum) than in a mall

Friday, September 11, 2009

THE DIET ENDED YESTERDAY

Quote of the day: (on middle aged dating)
"At our age, you'll be hard-pressed to find a guy with no kids, no ex-wives, no emotional baggage and no debt. What you will be able to find is a guy with no hair. Or worse, no job."

Wednesday, 9 September 2009
exercise: NONE!
desperate measure: lymphatic drainage massage
breakfast: kefir, tea with milk no sugar and one banana
lunch@China Tee Club: chrysanthemum tea, 1/2 palm size chicken parmigiana (the rest I took home to the dogs), steamed veggies, 2 scoops ice cream (shared), coffee with milk, no sugar
dinner: pumpkin and orange spice soup, green beans (again!), the last of Nora's brownies, mint tea

Thursday, 10 September 2009
exercise: 1.5 hrs ashtanga yoga
desperate measure: haircut and highlights
breakfast: kefir, Awake tea from the Landmark mandarin, blueberries, dried friut
lunch@Shanghai Fraternity Club (by far the deadliest Chinese restaurant in town): fried eel strips, tofu and mushrooms in brown sauce, chicken and bamboo shoots in brown sauce 9which could possibly be the only brown sauce they use in that joint), 2 bowls of rice shared by three people--two of whom were thin and showed up in fitted dresses. I was NOT one of THEM!
dinner@Shiro in Pacific Place: sashimi salad, 2 slices mackerel sushi, miso soup, 2 glasses VERY GOOD rose (this was a VERY BAD idea)
movie: Bruno@Pacific Place sponsored by 'the world's local bank"--1/2 bag popcorn, two sips ice tea, the maltesers are still in my bag.....

My diet officially ends today not because I can't stand it and I haven't been getting any exercise (It will be worse in the next three weeks) but because---taddaah!! Seeing is believin'-----I can see TWO muscular lines on my abs. I also fit into my grey metallic Barbara Bui trousers and a Fendi chiffon top from, take note, a PRESS sale! (that means--- sample size come to Mama!)
NOW I'm happy!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

IT TAKES BALLS TO AVOID LIVING IN A BOWL


Before we get into a discussion of the latest news in fashion---believe me, there is not much because no one is shopping (more on that in the next entry) and everyone is in denial that no one is spending money....(But meanwhile, in HK we are buying stocks and property!)
Let me quickly bring to your attention a quote by Noy Noy Aquino from today's Philippine Daily Inquirer. Noy Noy is the son of the late Benigno (Ninoy) and the 'recently late' former Philippine president Corazon (Cory)Aquino. In the tradition of Third World (ahem--yet to be emerging economies) political dynasties, the "kid stays in the picture..."
From the paper:
While he was comfortable talking about politics, (Noy Noy) Aquino wants to keep his love life private. He said he already asked his youngest sister and popular TV host Kris not discuss his love life in public .
“I talked to my sister and I did ask her that’s the part of my life that I want to be private as it can’t develop in the public like in a fishball . I think she understood it…She texted me and apologized,” said the senator.
(The lady in the foreground who is desperately trying to remove the fake lashes that dropped into her eye is his sister, the chat show host, Kris)
(I'm he meant fish BOWL....)
I have four names for you: (two are American)
George Bush, Caroline Kennedy, PLUS Taro Aso, Segolene Royal, Joseph Estrada...Why must the Philippines always copy Americans even if they are wrong? (Look where their economic model got them)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

REGRETS--I've had a few (in the food dept)

SATURDAY, 5 September 2009

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: (on the cement industry--hopefully my stomach will be THAT firm)
"Are you guys decorating? No one is buying cement. There is so much cement in China except where they really need it..."
"Uh..no..Unfortunately we are just painting our walls...."

exercise: 1.5 hours hatha yoga
other desperate measures: steam, sauna, dry body brushing, polar temperature water spray on stomach, butt and legs for cellulite

breakfast: kefir, handful of blueberries (for anti-aging and faster fat burning), small slice cranberry raisin bread shared with Tallulah who ate all the raisins, tea with milk no sugar
VERY LATE lunch: 1/2 portion of Indian takeout from 360-basmati rice, chicken curry, soup
dinner: Nora's lentil soup, chef Riccardo's grilled chicken with pesto, green apples, grapes and SMALL piece of soft cheese shared with Sammy and Tallulah (they ate the rind)

SUNDAY, 6 September 2009

exercise: NONE!!
new desperate measure: cellutox seaweed detox wrap@American Club- This has to be the best 700 HKD that I ever spent--you get dry brushed (I'm so experienced!), rubbed with firming body lotion (like it really works!), covered in a seaweed puree then wrapped in heated pads then after showering the gunk off, you get heat-wrapped again just to make sure you completely melt away. Meanwhile, as you cook, you get a facial and head massage.

breakfast: kefir and blueberries, tea with milk, no sugar. I am getting so desperate that I'm eating like a camper lost in the woods.
lunch@American Club: (sinful) turkey burger with swiss cheese, coleslaw and 2 dill pickle slices (about 1/2 of a whole pickle), no fries because they were horrible, 1 glass virgin mary (appetite suppressant but look what it got me!), 1 mug Carlsberg
dinner: leftover lentil soup from Saturday (that's what I get for having a burger), dessert- Nora's chocolate graham brownie (small square)---I know I'm gonna pay with a plus-size waist measurement!

MONDAY, 7 September, 2009

waist measurement (at navel)- surprise!!! 32.5 inches. Allah akbar, Buddha be praised! The miracle of the seaweed detox and the Thai healer has happened!!

exercise: 20 mins on the maximum incline on the treadmill (I hate the treadmill!!)

breakfast: kefir, large papaya shake from MIX
lunch with the KiTty@ HK-FCC: vegetarian hot and sour soup, hainan chicken rice no skin, ONE scoop Ben and Jerry's Karamel Sutra (sex and the starving....)
dinner: broccoli soup, grilled courgettes with lemon (v. exciting!), sauteed green beens and carrots, Chinese pear for dessert (This diet is the closest you get to death and disappointment within the same body at the same time)
The dogs and my husband had chicken stuffed with Thai basil while I watched with hunger in my eyes.

TUESDAY, 8 September 2009

exercise: 10 mins on the treadmill because I didn't know how to work it. By the time I plugged in the headphones, looked for a channel that wasn't sports, tried and failed to set the treadmill right, it was 15 minutes. I was sweating just from trying to operate the treadmill!!
1 hour Pilates Group Reformer

breakfast: kefir, ONE butter croissant, very little butter and honey, tea with milk no sugar, orange juice
lunch: cucumber salad, bean sprouts with carrots shared with dogs, fried tofu, 1 spoonful red (unpolished) rice, Chinese pear for dessert

Who knows what we will have for dinner or if I'll still be alive!!
Next week I will be in Los Angeles and New York where their dining motto is: Look, don't touch.

Friday, September 4, 2009

HOW MUCH IS THAT LOSER IN THE WINDOW?


THURSDAY, 03 September 2009
Quote of the day: (on changing a career)
"I don't think I'll leave banking because I'm not really a creative person but I would like a job with more regular hours and less stress. Like being a tea lady at Goldman."
(With their janitors getting a USD 300,000 bonus, how can you not?)
*******************************************************************************
Outfit: I barely squeezed into a pair of Malo cotton city shorts (read: granny) so I had to hide the baguette sized roll with a blouson Little Joe silk chiffon top.
exercise: 1.5 hours of ashtanga yoga on the easy side due to hangover
other desperate measures: steam, sauna, and to get thin: dry body brushing, swan neck faucet on my tummy, paralyzing cold gush shower (as in Michael Jackson and Bubbles cryogenic freezing) on stomach, thighs and butt to prevent cellulite....and your ability to walk.
Breakfast: kefir
Lunch with the KiTty@Duo in Sheung Wan:
gazpacho, one trip to the salad bar, a single twirl of a friend's pesto pasta, coffee with milk
Before dinner drink: tomato juice with black radish concentrate --an appetite supperesant and liver cleanser
Dinner@Zuma in Central: (NO BOOZE, only Japanese tea all night): corn miso, oshinko mixed pickles, assorted tuna sushi, Zuma salad
FRIDAY, 04 September 2009
waistline: 33.5 inches (this diet and exercise program is obviously NOT working but I feel flatter. Not thinner but FLATter)
Quote of the day: (on the thin line between being in love and being a sucker)
There is a Chinese saying (no kidding, look it up!) "There ain't nuttin' wrong with bein' a suckah as long as you willingly allow yourself to be suckered."
**********************************************************************************
Outfit: (I'm ashamed to admit): khaki shorts and Ganesh yoga tee-shirt
Exercise: 1.5 hours of rigorous led-Ashtanga Primary series class (I almost died but I had an out of body experience when I saw my waist measurement--I wanted to get out of my body),
1 hour Pilates mat class
Desperate measures: Aside from repeating the entire spa procedure I did yesterday, I went to see a Thai healer who used Tibetan sound therapy and breathing techniques to balance my energy and gave me a REALLY painful massage to release toxins, gas and hopefully 33 inches of fat.
Breakfast: kefir
Snack: half a handful of Monica's dried fruit mix (she chopped them up and mixed them) because that's all I had in my handbag to chew on aside from leather.
Lunch@ the extremely late hour of 3PM: tuna and tomato foccaccia from Robuchon
Dinner: noodles with stir fried veggies and sweet potato leaf salad, bowl of cherries for dessert
I did not go to the Chanel party at Upper House tonight because I am ashamed to admit, I would rather stay home reading about Brooke Astor, Ruth Madoff, Larry King and the couture in the Vanity Fair with Farah Fawcett on the cover. Oh yes, and Grazia with Victoria Beckham and her weight loss problems on the cover. You either lose or you don't.....
Which reminds me of another Chinese saying, "In every feud there is a scholar."
Victoria Beckham gets a double doctorate from Oxbridge for weight loss.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Even my waist measurement is aging

Today's quote: (on gossip on a scandal)
"You DON'T KNOW?? That came out three months ago!!"
"In the PAPERS!!???"
"No, from my mouth."
***********************************************************************************

waistline (at navel) - 33 inches (Gaak!!! At least it is not 666 or 88)
flab - unchanged at 2"

exercise: 1. 5 hours ashtanga yoga including 15 mins rest and gossiping while on headstand
Yogic-ally, this is not allowed but if you're not bitching and it's only you, a chatty classmate, the teacher and Shiva, it should be okay. This is in contrast to dinner, see below where you'll only be invited if you can't say anything nice about anyone.

Breakfast: kefir, masala tea and 1/2 banana cake from Spice Box@360
Lunch with the KiTty@home: 1/2 pc. grilled chicken (half the size of my palm) with the other half going to the dogs, salad with raspberry vinaigrette, more masala tea, melon for dessert
Dinner@FCC-HK: tapas (1pc fish cake, 1/2 gherkin, 1 sml slice pita bread with hummus, 1 pc fried mushroom), small tomato and onion pizza w/o eating crusts, 3 bottles chardonnay/3 ppl= 1 bottle per person (BIG mistake!!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WHEN GODS GET INVOLVED


My yoga teachers all know that the reason I started practicing yoga was to lose weight.
After over 5 years of practice, this has not changed. Since found out that I am now closer to the dress size of Beth Ditto than to that of Victoria Beckham, the desire for shrinking my dress size rather than my ego has become more fervent.
Today I discussed this (and also my yoga practice which in NOT coming along well, thank you very much)
Yoga Teacher: ....Let me put it to you this way. You are only borrowing your body from God and who knows for how long. So you have to take care of it while you can and return it to him the same way he gave it to you.
Kitty: Hmmm...Honestly, when I borrow something from someone, I in fact, take better care of the thing than something I own.
YT: (beams) That's the idea! That is a very good attitude.
K: Then I better go back to size 6, the original size I was when God gave me this body. If I borrowed a skinny Rick Owens sweater and returned it an oversized Yohji, that would be wrong.
YT: (long silence) In the Bhagavagita, Krishna says that yoga is not about suffering. We must respect our bodies and know when to simply observe it as an outsider.
K: (long silence) Krishna has never been to Fashion Week. Or a sample sale. You want to see how you can observe bodies as an outsider? Try a fashion party.
Which reminds me, this Friday night is the Chanel party at the new Upper House in Pacific Place.

OPERATION FLABBY FREEDOM

Monday was the first day of Operation Flabby Freedom, a two week program from 31 August to 14 September where I am hoping to go back to the size that I have been accustomed to.

Why 14 September? Because that is when I start travelling again and will have no time for daily torture.

Let's see if I end up meeting my target of qualifying for UN Food Aid.

31 August 2009, Monday:

waistline (at navel line for objectivity) - the diameter of East Timor not including forests and ocean rights
inches of flab: almost 2

exercise: 1.5 hours of ashtanga yoga
breakfast: kefir (live bacteria---the better to eat you, my dear)
Lunch with the KiTty @ HK-FCC (Foreign Correspondent's Club): vegetarian hot and sour soup, hainan chicken rice with cucumbers and chinese broccoli
dinner: (I can't remember---I can feel the diet is working already! On my brain)

01 September 2009, Tuesday:
Today's quote (on when rich families lose their fortune):
Confucius say, "When a ship sinks there are still nails left." I think in English it's better to replace nails with floating planks or lifeboats.

waistline - too scared to face another reality BUT my Lanvin jeans from Ete 2004 which was tight dernier Ete fit today!

exercise: 1 hour Pilates Reformer, 20 laps (15 mins) swimming bec I had lunch date---see below, 1 hour BEGINNERS ashtanga yoga

breakfast: kefir (it's alive!)
Lunch with the KiTty@Sevva, the overpriced and overrated restaurant at the top floor of Prince's building: 1/2 Ms B's Favourite Turkey sandwich (the B stands for boring because I have not had anything so flavourless in my life), 2 pcs salt and vinegar chips--I think they are cheap ones from Walker's, 1/2 serving Chinese fish broth with glass noodles and lemongrass, 1/2 serving of coffee crunch cake (a weak copy of the one from the Philippines), digestive tea
After you see the bill, you're going to need it. HKD 800 for 2 people. No booze, no soda, no cocktails.
press briefing at Kotur: 1/2 small bottle Perrier, refused macaroons from Robuchon
dinner@home: Nora's chicken soup with carrots and corn, melon for dessert