Friday, October 22, 2010
A small flat in the middle of town.
I saw a real estate ad for an 825 sq ft NYC flat in the west 50s off the park and thought about how our tiny dog flat in Hong Kong had made me young again.
(A Manhattan flat will not hurt either!!)
I spent a few weeks in our completed dog flat in Hong Kong and perhaps because of the location and size, it has made me feel like a kid out of university. We really bought this place for the dogs and maids to live in while we spend time in Japan. Of course they had to give me a room!
I used to live in a flat three times its size in Repluse Bay where we faced the ocean and were surrounded by mountains and greenery. Had to take a taxi everywhere which is not bad considering a 20 minute taxi ride in HK is 'long."
I now take the bus to Central, which takes about 10 mins, because ít stops in front of our building. There are so many shops and restaurants on my street that I don't really need to leave my 'hood except to go to yoga, shop at Dries, Roger Vivier and Rick Owens. (More reasons to overfill my already tiny, cramped closets in the dog flat)
The great thing about 'playing house and pretending to be young" (take note PRETEND) is that I can still come home to dogs that have been walked, fed and brushed plus have home cooked meals that I don't have to prepare myself because I hate cooking.
Of course the cost of a flat will drain your bank account so not only will you feel young, you'll be broke which is just like it was when you were young!!
When I start feeling old in Tokyo and there is the tendency feel that way because everyone IS OLD and so polite, I can always decamp to Hong Kong. And when I feel Hong Kong is too uncivilised and dirty, I can always come back to Tokyo where garbage trucks are so clean they can be pale blue and garbage collectors wear matching jumpsuits (yes!! pale blue---amidst all that garbage!!)
Perhaps when we leave Tokyo a small flat in town would continue to keep me young...
The Japanese lesson that has left me speechless:
It is not enough for Chinese and Japanese to have articles like 'the'' ,'"a"or ""an"". They have to make learning their language so difficult there are modifiers/measure words for everything from dogs, sheep, shoes, houses, cars, trees, people, etc...
RO-PON(G)-GI simply translates as 6 trees. PON is the measure word for anything long (trees, pens, ties, sticks, bottles) which does not exist in Anglo-Saxon and Romance languages (if you think un, une, den, der, dem is bad enough...)
The thing with Japanese, is the answer has nothing to do with the question. This is where Lost in Translation plays a bigger part than Suntory did in the movie.
Q: Nan (how many)----biki (measure word for 'smore animars)? (dogs and cats)
A: Everything from piki to hiki but only one ends in biki.
Q: Nan--bon (the ófficial' measure word for long things--see Roponggi example above)
A: Everything from PON to HON but only one bon.
Q: Nan ---ba (measure word for 'smore birlds"")
A: Wa, Pa but not Ba.
So I asked my tutor if there was an easier way to learn this system.
"Äh..that is Japanese counting. So answer is no."
The money is also so difficult to phrase (aside from count!) that the Bank of Japan is probably still counting money from the 80s. I'm afraid that they will find out that there will not be enough for everyone to buy a Chanel bag.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
(I think I enjoy mine too much to look for something better)
Do you really have to go to India and not stay at the Imperial?
I also hate anything having to do with cheap travel, dirt and ugly clothes, all of which Eat,Pray, Gag and Cemetery Junction have. A Single Man this is not. But I LOVED Cemetery Junction because of the dialogue and how an otherwise bourgeois idea usually for sappy rom-coms turned into something funny and honest.
The film is directed by Ricky Gervais and written with Stephen Merchant--great British music from the 70s and because it is a 'period' film, it makes a great opportunity to be politically incorrect-- smoking, drinking, racial, social and sexual prejudice ---which makes great dialogue.
"....think about pulling all the foreign birds. They won't understand a word you're saying..."
"Why would I want to go to Africa? It's full of black people...""
"French eat snails, horses, etc.The only thing they won't put in their mouths is a toothbrush."
It is far from the Mad Men screenplay which is not accurate to the times and (I am convinced)was created only for booze and cigarette sponsorship and for retail advertising catering to fat-ish, anti-fashion figures who need Spanx. In other words, the moderate missy market who think that the size 12-16-girls Dove commercials are aspirational.
If you don't aspire to a size zero, what future do you have with Alaia? OMG!! Life without Alaia?? Bury me in Lanvin!
If you want accurate dialogue and costumes, watch Julian Fellowes'' Downton Abbey, Cranford or Lark Rise to Candleford. If you want stupidity, watch Gervais' and Merchant's new TV series Än Idiot Goes Abroad." Hilarious even to those not well-travelled.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
There is also talk that being very tech-savvy, he manipulates the number of hits on his website. But what do I know? I'm merely a messenger.
I'm still trying to figure out whether or not and how to break Part 4 to ya because I have some images and screen shots that I can't use due to copyright laws.
I'm not looking for anyone to believe me but no one believed Harry Markopolos, either.
To those who wonder if I am jealous, I suggest you find out more about me. While I don't like to discuss my lifestyle (and parade my closet and travels) publicly, you can always call me and I'll tell you what my life (as a bitch) is like. I MIGHT tell you what skeletons I have in my closet/s. Very likely clothes from the days when I was as thin as a skeleton.
You can also ask my friends. Or my enemies.
I'm not saying every blogger is into scamming, okay. Just some. Okay, maybe ONE.
IN THE BEGINNING....
Knowing what you know now about The Boy's living conditions (and by no means do I look down on him for this), let me take you back several years (circa 2003-2008?) before Dolce and Marc came calling.
He set up an online travel agency which has since been de-listed by IATA. At around this time he did single trips to New York (where he stayed with a criminally not sexually handcuffed Marc Jacobs staffer), China (Great Wall), France (LV, Eiffel), Russia, wherever!
(Not very much travel in my opinion. I know people who travel long haul and/or 6-8 hour trips every other week)
He could have done this with his travel agency or he could have done this at the expense of clients of his then-agency. (There was a time when online and phone sales at Saks and Amazon were flagged because customer cards were compromised. It happens to the best of us)
According to www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/creditcard.asp, credit fraud is very easy to do. All you need is a phone (to harrass people with) and a computer with internet connection (the better to 'harvest' emails and credit and identity info with, my dear..). I can't tell you more but you can go on snopes.com then give me the one-page executive summary.
And everyone knows hackers are based in third world countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe but cards scammed are from developed countries where credit lines are larger.
A style spy said that after the taping of Philippine Project Runway, he invited a designer and two models to an upmarket local restaurant and proceeded to order several bottles of wine which the Philippine production company was not prepared to pay for since they ain't NBC. The Boy stuck them with a bill of close to USD 1,000 which was a fierce bill to swallow even for the wealthy and especially bitter if you were planing on buying fierce Givenchy heels. It must have been a slow day for credit scamming.
The network sent him marching in Crocs after that.
When he was a little known blogger, he flew three members of the Philippine media to HK in exchange for a spread in the country's biggest paper. They were put up in a boutique hotel and he went on a major shopping spree which included a new Birkin.
He used a credit card to pay for it.
It didn't bear his name.
Thank Gawd it didn't bear mine, either.
YOU'VE GOT MAIL!!!...from India.
Then there was, as one source said, "..all that mail from India..."
They certainly weren't invites to the Taj Mahal, I can tell you that.
Project Runway India, perhaps?
Despite his living conditions, he always managed to stay in the best hotels, paid for expensive meals and booze (except in the case of Project Run-Away). Meanwhile, he was extremely rude to people who were recipients of his 'largesse.' It was as if his ill-gotten generosity warranted him some kind of subservience from his then-friends.
One of my sources who travelled with him unearthed (take note, BY MISTAKE!!) a clear card book full of credit cards from various institutions issued under different names. I, meanwhile, noticed that his cards were not from first tier institutions like HSBC, American Express, etc. and what I saw were all from state-run American banks.
The source who went shopping with him noted that shopping was done as soon as boutiques opened and the whole spree would be over before noon. I have no logical reason behind this practice but I can guess. MANY GUESSES.
I do have a question which I pose to you discerning readers: How can a Philippine resident with no net worth acquire so many American credit cards?
May I introduce you to one Albert Gonzalez (please be my guest at Google and Wikipedia), a Cuban national of modest means who threw himself a USD 75,000 birthday party, had 15 credit cards and btw was the biggest fish in the ocean of credit fraud?
I'm telling you, I'm in the wrong business. There's no business like fraud business.
Later this week (if I get so frustrated because they don't have my size at Dries) ...Find out how anonymity bred animosity and how he really sweats glitter NOW.
Don't worry kids, the answer to all your questions in Part I will soon be answered!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The fashion pack is indeed a herd. Take the shearling aviator jacket this season--an 'investment buy' even if it makes you look like Quasimodo in an Elizabethan collar made of carpet remnants.
Enough ranting. Now for my story....
Before this fashion blogger from the Philippines was hosted by fashion brands and had a Marc Jacobs bag named after him, he had to position himself in cyberspace society and shop until his friends dropped him.
Like Bernie Madoff and Ken Starr, he used other people's money. Maybe he still does!!!
Like many of us, the Boy doesn't carry cash and always uses credit cards but the cards are not (quite) his. They could be yours, though.
He manages to use numerous credit cards under different names and has even blackmailed someone into paying for his first trip to Australian Fashion Week because the organizers weren't willing to fork over the cost for him to go down under.
He is a member of creditboards.com, a site for people with bad credit or those who want to acquire credit without collateral or a job. Or rich parents. He was active in one forum on "Getting a Sears credit card..." Last time I checked, there ain't no Lanvin at Sears. Maybe HnM.
Like Bernie Madoff and Ken Starr at the height of their popularity and wealth, he is sought after.
BBbbut things didn't start off that way...
He anonymously started a local Philippine gossip site called chikatime.com, got caught and had to close it down due to insistent public demand, insults and lawsuits that were hurled at him. Also "due to insistent public demand," Nokia pulled out of an advertising campaign. He was removed from the Philippine edition of Project Runway before its first season was ovah!
If that's not last season enough....
Unlike Bernie Madoff and Ken Starr, he is not smart enough to manipulate funds to finance multiple homes, yachts, art, jewels and dodgy investments. He merely spends on bags, shoes and incidental travel. Okay, small time. (If you steal, wouldn't you have to steal big 'because you're worth it?" How you gonna "sweat glitter?")
You would think he would want a lot more because of where he came from. I guess his Momma didn't teach him that you have to reach for the moon because if you miss it, at least you'll end up with stars.
(Mind you, I admire people who have no education and manage to go from rags to riches through hard work and not credit card scamming. After all, it is the success story of many immigrant familes)
He may have Globe Trotter luggage but a globe trotter and fashion connoisseur he is not.
His family is so far from rich that they not only live in the outskirts of Manila but in one of the poorest outskirts of the Philippine capital--think close to homeless, probably without a proper address. The Philippines is 80% poor and he falls into that category. And this is not 'a good look.'
The Boy is so poor that he lives in a shack made of aluminum siding (if it has not been washed away by recent floods) near the national maximum security prison.
His sister was so happy when she got an internship at a local radio station because they had a food allowance. Apparently, in their household, they have no money for food.
But they have LOTS of handbags. So how does he finance la vida nada?
Wait for my next post.