Sunday, January 25, 2009

goodbye, rat.

There is a belief that it's difficult to get rid of rats because they're smart. Some say that if you try to hit a rat and it manages to escape, rest assured that it will seek revenge – the offended rat will chew on your favorite shirt!

And some of them know how to sniff a set-up. I tell you, I've come across one which actually refused to enter a cage trap, even when we tried to lure him in with an aromatic piece of meat.

Based on the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Rat officially ends today. That means saying goodbye to a year of grave financial instability. But just like rats, our economic problems won't go away easily. That's why we all need to work together to change the course of 2009.

When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.
– John M. Richardson, Jr.

Goodbye, Rat. Hello, Ox.

Happy Chinese New Year to all! :-)

(Top) The limited edition Mouse Bearbrick, a Hong Kong exclusive. Produced by Mani Limited HK in cooperation with Medicom Toys.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the color purple

Hard as I may try, I can't recall owning anything purple. I don't remember the color coming into fashion at any point in my life. My strong Catholic upbringing taught me that purple is the official hue of Lent, a somber reminder of the death and suffering of Jesus Christ.

In my experience, no guy wore purple to parties. No one drove a purple car. Or lived in a purple house.

At work, clients of mine are not likely to approve advertising layouts with the color purple. For them, it's a sad color and will not sell.

But it's payback time for purple. Today, fashion's most influential designers have labeled it the 'color of the year'.

Check out their Spring 2009 collections:

(Left to right) Emporio Armani, Badgley Mischka, Elie Saab

Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci, Gucci

Louis Vuitton, Anna Sui, Emanuel Ungaro

John Galliano, Versace, Etro

Okay, okay. The women's dresses look terrific. However, the men's outfits look a bit... too much?

But I must say: it's great that people have become more open to unpopular color choices. From something as mundane as pushing purple on the runways to something as historic as putting a black president in the White House. Change is good! :-)

(Top) The purple 'West One' Bearbrick is part of 2004 Bearbrick World Wide Tour (Set B) released in Osaka, Japan.

Fashion pics from


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

pigging out in bali

On the plane ride to Bali, Indonesia, my companion J told me, "We must go to the place where Bourdain ate roast pork."

He was referring to Anthony Bourdain, celebrated chef and author of the bestseller, Kitchen Confidential. Bourdain once featured the tropical island of Bali in his Travel Channel show 'No Reservations' and one of the segments was on the local eatery called Ibu Oka (below).

The place specialized in 'babi guling' (below): tender, succulent slices of roast pork and crunchy pork skin served over rice with a savory sauce made with shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, and chili. Tucked underneath these was a slice of freshly-cooked blood sausage and deep fried pork cracklings. Yum.

There was nothing else for us to order but second and third helpings – and we did!

So just how good was it?

Let me quote Bourdain: "OK. No question about it. This is the best pig I've ever had. Absolutely, the best. I mean is there anything more beautiful? Do you think that even the finest French chef could ever come up with anything as delicious or as beautiful as this? I think not. It's the mountain-top of pork. And I am there."

J and I had to rent a car and travel 50 kilometers to Ubud, Bali just to try Ibu Oka's famous pig. But it was definitely worth the trip... and the calories! :-D

(Top) The Year of The Pig Bearbrick, produced for the Hong Kong Bearbrick Fan Club, was released at the 9th Hong Kong Comics Festival in 2007.

Info from: / / Pics by Yours Truly

Thursday, January 1, 2009

the unkissable frog

Will you dare kiss a frog?

Probably not.

But let's say, you are a contestant in Fear Factor and 10 million dollars are at stake. Will that change your mind? :-)

Indeed, money is a very good motivator – it's right up there with fame, love, sex, and power.

To be successful, it's important that we keep ourselves motivated. But to be truly happy – here's a wonderful tip (a forwarded text message from a friend):

"What really matters is
Not what we bought but what we built;

Not what we got but what we shared;
Not our competence but our character;
And not our success but our significance."

Happy New Year to all! :-)

(Top) This Bearbrick (inspired by the fairy tale "The Frog Prince") was created by Isetan Japan to promote the edgy fashion brand, Libertine. Beautifully illustrated and unblemished by logos, it's one 'frog' that's easy to love.

Water lily background pic by Ian Britton from / Bearbrick pic and digital imaging by yours truly :-)