Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Case Against Watching TV in Hawaii, Part 2

Okay, now that I've given you that mental image of Peter Sarsgaard and Nancy Lee Grahn macking on each other in a Jacuzzi... on second thought, I'm still going through a major cranky phase, so let me go on this rant and I'll be happy.

Ah, KGMB-9 News. Hawaii's “Severe Weather” Station and CBS affiliate. How many ways do I hate thee? Or should I say, where the heck do I begin?

Is it the shoutiness? Is it the way that Kim Gennaula - whose shrieking-harpy voice, BTW, just made me throw a coffee mug at my television last night - fawns cloyingly over Michelle Wie like a particularly obnoxious stage auntie? (Dammit, even Joe Moore didn't suck up to Jasmine and Camille that much.) Is it the way Guy Hagi is turning into Guy Camera Hog-i? Or is it that super-boring Cedric “Not Related to Jade” Moon, who not only sounds like he's getting elocution lessons from David Caruso, but also reports like he couldn't care less about this stupid town and can't wait for the station to fire his smug, bitchfaced ass, like, right now? (And, apparently, judging by his absence on the KGMB site, the Powers That Be may already have. Or not. But I'll just leave that kind of speculation to the folks at Talk Stink instead.)

Seriously, it all starts with the shoutiness, which gets ten times more annoying when you realize that the 6 PM newscast is the lead-in to the ultimate in shouty non-cable/ non-infomercial programming, The Insider. (I seriously bemoan the fact that Lara Spencer left Antiques Roadshow for this swill, because she was a whole lot classier talking up auctioneers than Mark L. Walberg would ever be.) And it's even more startling when you compare the newscast to everything else that's currently being aired on this station. Yes, even the museum-quality reruns of Hawaiian Moving Company.

It's just too bad, because there are a lot of things I actually like about their newscast when I don't get a chance to turn it off. Jim Mendoza and Keahi Tucker, for example, who both manage to come out with discernibly pleasant personalities in spite of the shoutiness. And the sports desk, which seems to have picked up on the exact blend of local and classy that Neil Everett now brings to SportsCenter. (I'm biased because I share a few non-news acquaintances with both Liz Chun and Steve Uyehara, but I'd still enjoy watching these guys even if I didn't know much about them.) Then there's Jeff Booth, who reminds me so much of Sean Murray - yes, McGee from NCIS - that I'm surprised nobody has used their resemblance to each other as a cross-promo opportunity. (And, heck, if Triumph the Insult Comic Dog could get away with doing weather for KHNL, why not let McGee do the same for the Severe Weather Station?) Even Guy Hagi has his moments when he's very relaxed and not trying too hard to be cute.

And let's not forget the whole package that they did on Jade Moon donating a kidney to her dad, which could have been cheesy but turned out to be very emotional... and, ultimately, a nice way to say goodbye, for both Jade and the station.

Now, if only we could perform the equivalent of a living-donor organ transplant - or, better yet, a live on-air colonic cleansing - to get rid of the more annoying aspects of the newscast...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Case Against the "Hollywood Issue"

Meimei, sweetie, honey... am I so glad to see you. Yeah, I haven't visited in a while. Yeah, it's because, um, I'm busy. Working on a movie. Yeah, that's it...

Wait a minute: Is this about Vanity Fair's Hollywood Issue? You're not upset about not finding it anywhere in town, is it? I mean, I can see why Times Supermarket is still stocking the one with Lindsay on the cover, but... You mean you saw it in Barnes and Noble but didn't get to browse through it because they covered it in plastic? Gee. People these days, man.

Oh, I get it, it's about the whole deal with me tied up in ropes, is it? Baby, I know you thought of the Japanese bondage idea first, but you've got to understand... I told them it was your idea, sweetie. I guess I didn't explain myself well because the photographer must've thought I was talking about Maggie when I mentioned that my "hot, intelligent girlfriend" likes it. Or Jake. Whatever. It was kinda smurfy. The way he was acting, I mean. But I thought it was genius, babe! And so much sexier than what that pervy hack Tom Ford really wanted me to do. I swear, I'm so glad I didn't have to go with it; otherwise that would've been me in a pool of gold paint and live honey bees while groping some random ho's ta-tas.

Mei. Meeeeei. Come here. You know you're the sexy one here. Everything that comes between those pretty little ears of yours is just so. hot. Baby, who made you smile when People forgot to mention me in their Sexiest Man Alive issue? Who made your day after Edward Norton took you out for tea and bored you to death with his latest screenplay? Hm? And you've done so much for me, putting up with my bra-challenged, publicist-approved Hollywood "girlfriend" and my unwatchably hot indie movies. Who loves ya, baby? Come here, bunny. Papa bear wants some sugar...

Oh, all right then. I'll go ahead and call Aaron Sorkin first thing tomorrow morning and tell him it was your idea for me to try out for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. And after that, I promise you, we'll go out to Wailana Coffee Shop and we'll have all the pancakes and bacon we can stand. Then I'll take you out to the beach and we'll crank-call the producers of Dancing With the Stars 3 to con them into auditioning Maggie and Ed Norton for their show. How's that? Just for you, baby.

EDIT: Don't know about you, but Mei thinks my picture here makes me look a little bit like Lane Davies, don't you think? No wonder she likes me so much, because apparently I seem to share the same "sexy bitch" genes with Mason Capwell from Santa Barbara, which she used to watch every freaking day back when she was 12. And y'all know Mei never really thought she'd see her favorite soap of all time mentioned here in this blog, right? Or that she'd admit to crushing on Mason after years of thinking that Cruz Castillo was cuter. Okay, guys, I'll show myself out the door.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Case for the Makeup Routine

Okay, so I've been reading the latest DeLush Roundtable on the makeup colors that "liven up your look," and I have to admit that I haven't worn makeup as frequently as I have in the last few months, so any kind of makeup that goes on me has the tendency to make me look "alive" anyway. (Or at least less like a long-haired boy.) So here's what has been working on me - dark brown/black hair, golden tan skin, brown eyes - since the beginning of this year.

FACE: I'm too lazy to wear foundation, so after I'm done prepping my skin with moisturizer I take a big fluffy brush to a pressed powder (L'Oreal True March Super Blendable Powder in Sun Beige W6) and fluff it all over my face. I'm a lot happier using this than the other powders that I used to wear more often because - as I've mentioned before - it makes me look more airbrushed. (Still saving up for them Bare Minerals, though.)

EYES: Maybe it's an old habit I've cultivated, but I always start with the eyes because then I can choose which blush and lipstick I can use afterwards. I've mentioned MAC's Crystal in an earlier post, which - again - I can't recommend enough as a great lavender eyeshadow, because it's sheer but iridescent but not Barbie-like. Using the lavender as a sheer base (the better to counteract the dullness on the eyelid), I then use a neutral palette to complement it and enhance my eye color (hence the term "make your eyes pop"): Stila eyeshadow in Wheat (pale cool champagne) on the brow bone and Twig (bronzy brown) closer to the lash line. As much as I love mascara and eyeliner, there are days when I don't want to wear it, which is why the lavender/beige/brown combination works so well.

BROWS: On the other hand, I can't seem to get away from doing my eyebrows. Hence, NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in dark brown to fill in dark spots and correct arches. (The brush on the cap helps, too.)

BLUSH: Now we come to one of the two deal-breakers for this look. Because of the lavender I can't go too bright - but if I used a plain neutral blush the whole look would just go muddy on me. Something like Bare Minerals' Face Color in Warmth can work with this, as will L'Oreal's Feel Naturale blush in Mocha Rose - as long as they're applied with a light hand.

LIPS: Another deal-breaker, though more complicated: I know that I can go neutral, but not too light (so as to look like an old lady) and not too dark (so as to look like Teri Hatcher at the Grammys... ew). Lip balm and Jordana's Easyliner for Lips in Tawny make for a great base on which to put on either MAC Smoove (again with the light hand), Revlon Super Lustrous Gloss in Cherries in the Glow (thanks, Kim) or Almay Whipped Gloss in Nude Reflection. Blotting with tons of tissues helps, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Case for Retiring Your Cosmetics

Two down, three more to go. That's how I'm faring right now with my quest to come up with enough empties to bring back to the MAC store and get a free lipstick. (Wait, are they still doing this? Last time I checked the MAC store at Ala Moana was doing so. If the other MAC stores aren't doing this, then I stand corrected.)

Today I decommissioned one of my old MAC lipsticks - Smoove, which was an iridescent dark plum (that used to look great with all the gloss I wore in college) - after the bullet broke off and I couldn't put it back together using my old lighter. Now the lipstick bullet rests inside a tiny plastic sauce container (like the ones you get at the plate-lunch places to hold your shoyu, ketchup, or hot sauce of choice) while the empty case rests in a drawer next to another old MAC container that used to hold cake eyeliner. After doing this I also had to decant another MAC lipstick (Under World, a very dark red) into another sauce container, leaving behind a half-inch in the case so I can still carry it around without having to pull up a separate brush. And once that lipstick's all but worn down, there's still a lot of other MAC stuff to go, like the gel blush that I still can't seem to diminish no matter how often I use it, or the shimmery lilac eyeshadow that I thought I'd lost but I now layer it with all the beige shadow I have on hand. (Oh, wait, that would be Crystal - a definite must-recommend for those who want to try out the lavender eye that we keep seeing more often. )

Other than that, though, it's either I'm stuck in a comfortable rut or really lucky about shopping for makeup, because most of the stuff that I do have at hand have all worked for me in one way or another - which is why I rarely throw stuff out. (And if I do, I probably have my reasons - like, say, eyeshadow that crumbles in the bag, or mascara that runs and irritates my eyes.) And the thing with the department store stuff, like Stila and MAC, is that they do last a long time in storage for the most part. So I'm more likely to spend more on something that I'd want to use more often than on something that looks trendy on me.


Speaking of trendy... how about a rant, for a change?

This weekend I also found a drugstore that had testers for L'Oreal's HIP line, which I was so excited about... until I tested it out in my hand.

I'm not saying that I'm not a fan of high-pigment makeup (come on, I'm giving MAC some business, am I not?); it's just that I found the eyeshadows to be a tad too powdery. No doubt that the color payoff is major and the texture is silky, but... I don't know, maybe the color turns up different when it's on your face, and maybe it does last. Also, all the "looks" they keep plugging to promote the product look like rejected out-takes from a MAC photo shoot, especially with all that bright shimmery eyeshadow all up to your brow and cheek bones. Maybe it might look hot if you're Scarlett Johansson (and judging from the TV ads, she does), but plot out all those eyeshadows on me and I'll end up looking like the love child of Boy George and Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.

That said, I still don't think it's a bad product, even if it does seem a little overpriced for something you can snap up at Longs. My favorite products in the line are the Eye Shadow duo in Lively (dark bronze and forest green - reminiscent of Nars' Blade Runner duo), the Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss (an edgier, vanilla-scented version of L'Oreal's own ColorJuice) and the bronzers (it's not just limited to "light," "dark" and "sparkly" any more, folks). So, yes, I'm still holding out hope.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Case for the Fountain of Youth

I think it's about time I finally admitted it: After all these years of being bummed about my outdated photo on the Blogger profile, I decided to - ahem - get some "work" done.

You could see that I seem to have shaved off years (years, I tell you!) in this photo. And ifyou think this was cute, wait till you see how it looks close up:

(Oh, all right, you got me there: I got sucked into making doll avatars on the Internet. Kinda creepy, yes, and a bit atavistic, but it's like getting a makeover without spending my entire budget at Neiman Marcus. And how better to keep my anonymity on the Internet without sacrificing my style and/or resorting to cockroaching celebrity photos? Besides, if you thought this was way too J-pop/ K-drama/ Hot Topic for your taste, take heart that at least I didn't provide a link to the site with the "Celebrity Dollz.")

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Case for the 14th

Dear Unnamed Prospective Valentine:

I guess you might have gotten the memo by now that I've stopped waiting for you to come around, have you? It's not that I don't believe that you exist - come on, you're talking to a girl that still believes in Santa Claus - or that I've stopped waiting for you. It's just that - well, let's face it, neither one of us is getting any younger, and a single girl's gotta start managing her expectations. So if I ever upset you in any way.... I'm sorry.

So anyway. Since we're on the topic of managing expectations, let's talk about those Valentine's gifts, shall we? Right now I'm in full Mufi Hannemann mode, where I'm classifying my presents under the categories of "nice to have" and "need to have." (Yeah, I know it's not sexy to think about the mayor of Honolulu right now, but bear with me.) Forget about the fancy perfume or bubble bath or whatever the saleslady at Sephora told you would be a great gift for me; again, you know I love that stuff, but you know me - if a horrible disaster were to strike Makiki tonight, I'd take my books before I save the cosmetics. (Let's not even talk about the lingerie.)

That leaves us with the roses and the chocolates and the champagne (and the U2 tickets - but that's not till April, and even then - again, "nice to have," not "need to have"), so it looks like you're all set... but aren't you forgetting something there, buddy? Yep, that's right - if you knew me at all, you know that I've got a thing for a man who can put together an awesome dinner. Note that I didn't say a "home cooked meal" - I'm a sucker for that, too, but by the time you read this you're probably thinking, Crap, how does Mei expect me to get her a home-cooked meal on Valentine's Day when all of the restaurants in Honolulu are fully booked and there's not enough time for me to cook when I get home?

Calm down, big guy. You don't have to hire the personal chef yet. You don't need to lose your head shopping for the fanciest gourmet ingredients just to impress me. Let me make this easy for you.

If your budget is anything like mine - you know, next to none - and you're not feeling like going to Zippy's, there's nothing wrong with getting me a pizza or a Philly cheese steak, or having one of your buddies swing by your favorite Chinese/ Korean/ Italian/ Hawaiian/ Greek joint so you can drop off some takeout on my doorstep. (No sushi, though - we've been having crazy cold weather here in town and I could use a hot meal for a change.) Don't worry about combinations or anything; a takeout container full of cake noodles with chicken and broccoli can say "I love you" in so many more ways than an indifferently-reserved table at Le Bistro.

Of course, if you could spring for it, you can also go straight to the deli counter at Foodland on Beretania (not that far from my house!) and put together a nice, pre-cooked meal - I personally enjoy their meatloaf, but if you decide to spring for the pork loin - or, better yet, the steak plate (it is Tuesday, after all) - all the more better. And there are a lot of other restaurants on the island that can do takeout for you, too - or you could order it all online, but I'm assuming that you already know what I think about shipping policies to Hawaii, so I wouldn't want to put you through all that trouble.

If you really - and I mean really - want to go "all out," though, I can tell you now that there's nothing wrong with waiting until Friday and giving it your all for the long President's Day weekend. In fact, I might be able to appreciate it so much more. Why have just one day when you can have all weekend and a Monday off?

Well, I better get to sleep soon. But I'll be dreaming of you. Hope it all goes well for both of us tomorrow.

love, Mei

(And to those of you still reading this blog: Hugs and kisses all around for a Happy Valentine's Day!)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Case Against Watching TV in Hawaii

First up: You know that girl in the Oceanic Time Warner Digital Phone commercials? The one who has "a cousin inSanJose" who likes how she doesn't have to "worry... about how much... we'regonnapay" for long distance? Yeah, her. Yeah, I'm aware that she could actually be a really nice person in real life. But her voice... andherweird... speakingpatterns (what, since when did Horatio Caine become a vocal coach?)... is driving me nuts, and if she has to tell me about how she has "a loooot of friends in Seattle" one more time, I will probably have to use my strappy sandals to beat my TV to death.

Second: The next time you watch TV here in Honolulu and find yourself gritting your teeth through a commercial with an interminably long and twee-sounding jingle, it may make you sad to know that there is just That One Guy whom everybody turns to for commercial jingles. I'm not kidding. Don't take my word for it, though; I've heard about this from many other folks who have tried to get a commercial on TV and found themselves in a meeting with That Guy and his "Place Company Name Here" approach to advertising. The sad part is, you can always tell who used That Guy to write their jingle. Really. Just try watching TV some time, pick out any three commercials for local companies with music that you come across, and... bingo.

Third: Shut up, commercials for Sensually Yours. I swear, could the girl narrating your commercials about "letting your imagination... rruuunnn wiiiiild!" be any less sexy? For crying out loud, people, you're an otherwise decent lingerie store that just happens to sell sex toys, hooker shoes, and porn. The last thing you want is a bored-sounding narrator who can't even sell it like the rent was due in an hour.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: No joke, Sensually Yours really is a decent place to get lingerie, especially if you can't find a place that sells in your size - like Frederick's, except kinkier. That still doesn't excuse the fact that the other stuff is all front and center when you walk in, so consider yourself advised.]

Fourth: Who do I have to bitch-slap to make our news anchors a lot less shouty? One thing I noticed about KITV and KHON (with the exception of Joe Moore, who is at least entertaining in a "this close to an on-camera freakout" kind of way) is that their anchors and reporters speak in modulated tones, unlike the ones in the other stations where they sound like carny announcers trying to sucker - I mean entice - viewers into watching the newest Car! Crash! Victim! On Kalanianaole! Highway! and awww-ing over Michelle Wie's latest elimination from tournament play. Again, try it some time - you can always tell.

Okay, I gotta log off before Drew Lachey starts generating more HoYay! with George Hamilton.

UPDATE, 10:27 PM: Ever since I wrote about Digital PhoneGirl, the commercial came on a couple more times during Dancing with the Stars and her segments in the commercial became less irritating, believe it or not. Which then reminded me about another Hawaii-only commercial, albeit one that actually makes me smile: KFC Hawaii's parody of Lost, complete with Samoan Hurley, Engrish-Speaking Jin, Fake Shannon and a guy who looks so much like the real Locke that I wondered if they ever thought about hiring Terry O'Quinn for the sequel for this ad. Paging Ryan and Jen!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Domesticity Watches the Grammys

I wasn't planning to watch, so I missed out on the Gorillaz until I tuned in a few minutes too late. Plus I already knew which slack-key album won for Best Hawaiian Album (no, that wasn't meant as a spoiler) and I stayed until the final, final number honoring New Orleans, which rocked. But, ah, where to begin...

- Dear Madonna: Your leotard didn't scare me. In fact, it reminded me of the Gaultier stuff you used to wear during the Blonde Ambition days. Not scary.

- Dear Sir Paul McCartney: Man, after coming out with Jay-Z and Linkin Park I will never mistake you for a lightweight ever again. But, you know, when you broke out into “Helter Skelter,” I was half-expecting you to intro with, “This is the song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles...”

- Dear Kanye West: You're still arrogant. You're still not Bono. But you did redeem yourself with that "Gold Digger" marching-band number. Plus, I'm not handing you my Shut Up Award of the night because that one goes to every single one of the Black Eyed Peas, for failing to stay articulate while presenting awards.

- Dear Terrence Howard: You are growing on me, and you're getting easier on the eyes. Mmm.

- Dear Jack Johnson: Brah, do you need a hug? We still love you out here.

- Can I just tell you how much Teri Hatcher looked like literal hot buttered ass? As soon as she came on the television, I wanted to scream, “PUT SOME CLOTHES ON, LADY!” Not to mention that her makeup made her look even more whore-ish. Sexy, my foot.

UPDATE: Apparently Go Fug Yourself agrees with me on this atrocity. Seriously, is Teri trying to replace Melinda Clarke as Lady Heather on CSI?

- Speaking of sexy: You want sexy? John Legend with a piano is sexy. Chris Martin hanging from a railing is sexy. Ludacris' voice is sexy. Keith Urban belting out "You'll Think of Me" is sexy. Bono's sense of humor, Bruce Springsteen jamming with a full band - heck yeah.

- And the award for Damn, When Did You Get Hot? is... a three-way tie: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (lovely cheekbones on that man), Adam Levine of Maroon 5 (it's the slicked back hair) and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park (to whom time has been very good... hmm).

- Once again, Joss Stone - though sounding a little smoother this year - has been outclassed during the musical tribute. Even Fantasia in full Tina Turner mode was radiating more charisma and soul. Even Sly Stone in a freaking mohawk had more magnetism.

- Can I also say something about the L'Oreal HIP commercials? Not only because I've seen the stuff in person at Longs Kaimuki (can't wait to try - the eyeshadows and lip glosses look good in the package) but because Scarlett Johansson actually looked fierce with the punky blue eyeshadow.

- And just in case you were wondering: Bob Dylan beat out “Trapped in the Closet” for the Long Form Video award. Woohoo!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Case for the Temporary Entry (f. Sean Combs)

For some reason Blogger ate my last entry (as well as the revisions on my blogroll), so unless there's a chance that it has resurfaced in any form whatsoever, I'm going to post a little something here.

Anyhow, I just thought I'd share with you Sephora's list of notes for the new Sean John fragrance, which Diddy not-so-eloquently flogged on Letterman last Friday. I'm still not impressed by the marketing strategy for this product (implied multiracial threesomes? How very Tom Ford. Except, not) and that "Hot/ Sexy/ Fabulous" thing makes me laugh way too much, but I stand by my contention that it might actually smell good, even if the ingredients do make it sound like Expensive Rap Video (Featuring Sean Combs) in a Bottle.

That said: What's up with that name, anyway? I don't know about you - and maybe this is the Roman Catholic part of me talking - but the men in my social circle would think twice about wearing a cologne called "Unforgivable." Besides, the only thing more unforgivable than a Diddy fragrance would be a Kevin Federline fragrance:

PopoZao: The Fragrance for Men
Because luck is nothing without talent.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Case Against the Wax Job

Or: Reason #548 Why You Should Never Get A Beauty Treatment While You're Depressed

Long story short: I went to the neighborhood branch of the Chain today (...yeah, I know) to get my eyebrows done. And, folks, it was NOT the best eyebrow wax I've ever received. The girl claims that she only cleaned up around the perimeter, but I could tell as soon as I got my head up that my brows were severely uneven - like wearing black shoes on both feet, but one foot was in a penny loafer and the other was in a stiletto heel. I asked that she clean the mess up, which she did, but she insisted that she did nothing wrong- even though I could tell that something was wrong judging by the way the red rash marks started breaking out on the area the girl says she didn't treat. Upon closer inspection, I also realized that there was an entire section underneath my good brow - from the brow bone to the inner corner of my eye towards the nose - that was completely unwaxed and untweezed.

And what made the experience worse was that I was already having a bad morning, complete with anxiety attacks and the urge to yell at well-meaning strangers. By the time I left the salon, not only did I deliberately not tip the girl who did the brow wax, but I came home even more depressed than I was when I went in. Luckily, I recovered from the anxiety attack (even though it took all of my willpower not to scratch the parts where the waxer told me not to touch) and I managed to fix the fuzzy part that went untweezed.

You could say that I got what I paid for, since the salon was advertising the service for a low rate... but, people, I've had my brows done at other salons and I've never had this problem. In fact, I might actually start going for eyebrow waxes at the Rival Chain's salon out in town again - they don't charge more than the Chain did, but the waxers they have on staff are really good about not leaving any fuzzy parts in and keeping my brows even without making them look like deranged leeches. But, hey, at least I don't have to worry about stray hairs ever again.