Monday, July 31, 2006

The Case Against the Bodice-Ripper

Actual plot line of actual romance-novel paperback found in our home library at Hacienda de Meimei. I don't know who bought this (fo'sho it ain't me) but I won't be surprised if the author in question had written books in a similar way.

Heroine with Exotic Name: Oh, poor me, I'm a naive young miss who needs to lose her virginity!
Unusually Virile Romantic Interest #1 With Exotic Name: Behold! I will charm you with my long, flowing tresses, my broad, muscular chest, my over-the-top mansion, and my unusual talent! Oh, and also to have sex with you.

Heroine and Unusually Virile Romantic Interest #1 spend the next 20 pages having lots and lots of graphic sex complete with highly detailed descriptions of certain body parts.

Heroine: Oh, I have enjoyed my time with you. I think I am in love with you!
Romantic Interest #1: But I cannot love you. You are young, there is so much of the world that you should know and explore.
Heroine: No, I won't leave you! I love you!
Romantic Interest #1: Here's my charming and witty friend, Unusually Virile Romantic Interest #2. He comes from an exotic land where women are driven to distraction with kinky sex.
Romantic Interest #2: All-right, THREESOME!
Heroine: Oh, well, if you insist, then.

30 more pages of graphic sex. And then...

Romantic Interest #1: I'm jealous.
Heroine: Too late. Romantic Interest #2 is taking me on an exotic holiday. Maybe you should stay with your hot-blooded and exotically-named new girlfriend. With whom you cheated on me. Ta-ta.
Next 50 pages describes holiday between Heroine and Romantic Interest #2 in Exotic Faraway Place, punctuated by short moments of graphic, kinky sex involving various positions, accessories, and a few implements which are sadly unavailable at your friendly neighborhood sex-toy store. And then...
Heroine: Something has happened in my home town. Maybe I should go back and visit.
Romantic Interest #2: Well, okay, then. But remember, you are now an intelligent and independent Woman of the World, and I have taught you things that the highly virile Romantic Interest #1 has never taught you before. And also, you are MINE!

Enter Romantic Interest #3, with not-so-exotic name and plain, conservative outfit concealing innate sexy qualities.
Romantic Interest #3: Hi. I was just in the neighborhood and wanted to see if you wanted to get a malt or something.
Heroine: No, I cannot go with you! I must find out why Something has happened in my home town! And also to see if Romantic Interest #1 is still alive so I can have steamy hate-sex with him.
Romantic Interest #1: Behold, I am here for you, my Heroine! I may be older now, but I will turn your steamy hate-sex into wild passionate lovemaking! Also, I will tell you my Terrible Secret that has led to Something happening in your home town.

More sex in the next 15 pages with Romantic Interest #1 as character exposition continues at glacial pace.

Heroine: Oh, how I wish I had not known this Terrible Secret!
Romantic Interest #1: Yes, but you must know. By the way, I love you. And now I must die.
Heroine: Noooooo!
Romantic Interest #3: See, I told you he had something to do with it.
Heroine: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you! Wait, Romantic Interest #3, you're beginning to look hot to me.
Romantic Interest #3: Well, I've never had hate-sex before with a woman like you, then. And certainly not with the ex-girlfriend that I've been hung up on all this time who's kinda lousy in bed, now that I think of it.
Heroine: All this supposedly witty and spontaneous banter is making me horny.
Romantic Interest #3: Let's just go back to my plain suburban house, where I don't have a spiraling staircase and satin sheets like you're used to with Romantic Interest #1.
Heroine: Great.

Next 10 pages spent on supposed hate-sex where Heroine has near-religious moments of ecstasy as Romantic Interest #3 introduces her to hot lovemaking in conventional positions without props and toys.

Romantic Interest #3: You're a great gal, Heroine. I think I'm falling in love with you.
Heroine: But I must leave you! At least to resolve that plot line involving Romantic Interest #2, who seems to have dropped out of the picture.
Romantic Interest #2: I am here! Come with me so we can explore more Far Away Lands!
Heroine: I'd love to! Wait, where is this sudden bout of indecision coming from?
Romantic Interest #2: Never mind. I want to fall in love with you, but you are beginning to remind me of my unintentionally homoerotic friendship with Romantic Interest #1. Let me put you back on the next plane to your home town while I get on the phone with Romantic Interest #3 and tell him what he should do to win back your love, since there's no chance in hell that I'm actually gay.

Heroine gets on plane, and spends an entire half-chapter crying about What Should Have Been. Also to wonder if Romantic Interest #2 is really That Gay.

Romantic Interest #3: Hey, long time no see. By the way, here's the non-sex-related stuff you like that Romantic Interest #2 told me about the other day.
Heroine: My love! My true love! Oh, how much I love you!
Non-sexual body contact. Heroine then gets turned on by Romantic Interest #3's manly smell, even if his conventional polo shirt and khaki pants don't seem to do the trick.
Romantic Interest #3: I love you, too.
Heroine: I'm ready to start my new but less exciting life with you.
Romantic Interest #3: Hey!
Heroine: Kidding. Let's go home. I think we could both use some looooooove.
Implied sex, then implied long-term monogamous relationship. The End.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star, Week 4

This morning I caught the tail end of the elimination round, and... what can I say? Phil really hasn't stepped up enough. I don't think that Suave Porn (TM Rock Star board on TWoP) made the right decision, but I don't think they made the wrong one, either - especially considering that Phil did sound pretty off key on "One Headlight" last night. Still and all, though: Josh deserved to be in the Bottom 3, too, because he sounded so whiny on "No Rain" that I practically didn't care about him wasting his breath on educating the band about "opening their mind" to rhythm and blues. Please.

Oh yeah, the performance round: What else is there to say that hasn't been said yet? Well, for one thing, I finally "got" the whole deal with Dilana - meaning that she finally impressed me with "Time after Time." Apart from rocking the insane red bustier (still crazy, but a step up from hot pink Band-Aids on your cupcakes) she also looked like she really was having fun on stage. Not that I'm going to change my assessment that she's going to turn into this year's Jordis - too much hype now, inevitable burnout later - but there you go.

Another thing: Zayra actually rocked "Call Me" to the best of her ability. I don't know about the cats, but my ears did survive. Ixnay on the blue rubber/spandex with the heels, though; it's way too Juliette Lewis for my taste.

Other highlights:

- Believe it or not, I actually switched channels on Patrice singing "Remedy." Not because I hated it, but because I must've known that I was going to fall asleep if I kept the channel on her. And it was telling, too, since what I actually watched during the channel switch was this cheesetastic video for "Dale Candela." (Thank goodness I found a version that wasn't from MYX, because that one has some badly transcribed lyrics. For crying out loud, how hard is it to write "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire"?)

- Dear Magni: Stop drinking all that Spanish Fly. You were supposed to be boring during "Heroes" and I am not supposed to find you attractive! P.S. I still think you should've sung "One Headlight" instead of Phil. Also, start interacting with everyone else on stage; people like that kind of stuff.

- I was hoping for somebody to stage dive tonight. Unfortunately, that somebody was Ryan, especially since he was doing the whole American Idol chest-thumping-for-"intensity" move while he was singing "I Alone." Luckily Storm came to the rescue and went for the kill during "Anything Anything."

- Another person I was hoping would stage-dive: Toby, who should be drinking more of whatever Magni's been drinking. Like him as a rocker, but really needs to do something about that voice.

- In the "so wrong it's almost right" category: Jill trying, and failing, to dry-hump Gilby Clarke. Not sexy, even if I do like Jill a tad bit.

- I just figured it out - Dana + guitar + sparkly eyeshadow = Tia Carrere's character in Wayne's World. I'm half-expecting her to sing "Dream Weaver" or "Ballroom Blitz" next week, if she could hack it. Maybe she should switch to Guinness next week?

- And how could I forget about Lukas, who really impressed me this week with "Bittersweet Symphony"? Though I do agree that he, too, needs to do more with his voice as well.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Domesticity Dispatch: Can't Live Without

In honor of Allure's beauty-blog coverage (kisses to everyone mentioned - yippee!) I offer my own list of things I can't live without, which I have yet to discuss on my blog. Mostly because these are the same things that are keeping me sane (yet beautiful) while I'm here in the Philippines.

Previously discussed:
- Smith's Rosebud Salve
- L'Oreal True Match pressed powder
- Bare Escentuals Face Color in Warmth (not with me, unfortunately)
- L'Oreal HIP eyeshadow in Mischief
- L'Occitane Verbena shea butter
- Bath & Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena (both shower gel and Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Hand Lotion)
- Old Navy by Kiss My Face ONBody Shower Gel in White Chocolate + Orange
- Garnier Fructis Volumizing Conditioner (works even with Philippine tap water!)
- Aveeno Ultra Calming Moisturizer
- Jordana lip liner in Tawny
- Bench FiX Hairlastic styling cream

Current list:
- Stila eyeshadows in Wheat, Twig, Barefoot Contessa, and Ebony: My 8-pan also contains the discontinued Rain shadow (the better to fill in those brows) and Belle blush (the better to brighten those cheeks). I love how the eyeshadows in particular are neutral, but never boring, and quite long-lasting. I intend to use them all up until I get to the bottom of the pan.

- Maybelline Sky High Curves mascara: Works even in humid weather, and gives great volume as well as curl. Plus it's also available locally!

- Watson's Oil Control Blotting Paper: Best for absorbing sweat and grease on the T-zone.

- L'Oreal Feel Naturale Blush in Mocha Rose: Again, a non-boring neutral in a brownish plum blush with bronze shimmer. Great for giving tanned folks like us a little glow without looking pixie-ish.

- Revlon Super Lustrous Gloss in Raisin Glaze: Got this on Tia Williams' recommendation. Girl can't go wrong - I think I may have already found the perfect "my lips but better" shade.

- Chanel Chance: Yeah, I said it. The closest I'll get to a signature fragrance - again, for now - with the most perfect fruity-floral notes.

- Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Butter: With stuff like this, who needs regular manicures?

- Sunsilk shampoos in Fresh for Longer and Summer Fresh: Lovely scents and great volumizing ability without leaving my hair limp at the end of the day.

- Lush massage bars in Sleepy Head and Fever: One helps me go to sleep; the other leaves me with a creamy carnation scent. Both keep my skin soft and my sheets lightly scented, which I also love.

- Suave cocoa butter lotion: Mmmm, cocoa butter!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Newsstand Roundup: Manila Glossy Mags

As I mentioned before in my last entry, I seem to have gotten less catty with age. It's definitely not easy, especially right now in the Philippines where most of the nice stores work with "Asian sizing" (note: nothing larger than a US Size 10 for clothes) and beauty still equals youth (see how Filipinas fared in Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty here), but for the most part I'm a lot more patient and even-keeled about the whole situation.

That said, I still feel like sharpening my claws about the Pinoy fashion scene over here, and especially the way it has been covered in the local glossies. On the one hand, the local designers have been turning out a lot of breathtaking designs, and the scenesters are more diverse; on the other, however, we still haven't seen the democratization of fashion that Manolo has been talking about and us fashion bloggers have been yapping on in this space. Maybe it's because Manila's still taking a lot of cues from global mainstream fashion media, but I for one have a wish list of Things I Do Not Want To Read About Ever Again While I'm Still Here:

- Holding up favorite fashion-blogger targets such as Bai Ling, Mischa Barton, and Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig as fashion icons
- Leggings with skirts (also see: Miller, Sienna)
- Shorts as formal wear
- Male models with both bitchface and "butterface," as in "The body's good, but the face..." (in other words, Borgy - or should I say Borg-like - Manotoc)
- Being defined as "fashionable" just because you have the latest It Bag or designer shoes
- Telling us that size and money don't matter when it comes to personal style, then bombarding us with advertorials for expensive things that only skinny trophy wives can wear
- Whitening products in general (I just love it when the mags here praise self-tanner as the Next! In! Thing!)
- All references to the Belo Medical Group... not because I don't want to know who got plastic surgery from Vicki Belo, since I've stopped caring already, but because there's something fishy about how her patients are way too open with the press about their procedures. Hey, Doc, wouldn't you be wondering, too?

Now that I've got your attention, I really should start the nitpicking. The glossies I've chosen to pick on pertain squarely to fashion; for this reason, I've weeded out the Philippine editions of international magazines (like Cosmo and Marie Claire, both of which are just as annoying here as they are Stateside) and teen magazines as well. Because I have limited exposure to these glossies (read: I only get to them when I'm at the salon), I've also decided to base my impressions on a few back issues, so forgive me if some of these views are not as objective as they ought to be.

- The first magazine I bought when I arrived here was Mega, which I thought was fairly decent at first... until I started reading the articles. No offense, since the copy I have here was pretty old and purchased at a back-issue outlet but the grammar was just so stilted (on singer/icon Zsa Zsa Padilla: "She's got an impressive set of pipes on her, with lips to knock out even Jessica Rabbit..." I'm sorry, but - what?) that I couldn't help but take out my red pen and grammar-check the whole issue. Seriously, I am no grammar nazi - and I let a lot of other things ride grammatically over here - but if I read something like "Renown in her own right, [person]'s previous projects includes..." in my magazine, it grates on my nerves. (Dear editors: Yes, all of these blurbs came from one writer in particular. I'm just saying.) It's not a good impression to make on any reader, but especially if said reader usually reads Spirit Fingers to mock the very fashion victims... I mean, fashionistas that Mega's advertisers seem to be targeting. (Not for nothing does Bulgari and Louis Vuitton get a lot of coverage in here.) In short, nothing inspiring to look at here, let's just move right along...

- I only got to read one copy of Metro, the glossy mag for "independent women" produced by the owners of The Filipino Channel. I wanted to forgive them for featuring only TFC-related celebrities, especially since they did come up with some good fashion and beauty reviews. (Well, except for their insistence on skin whitening.) But how can I take a magazine for "independent women" seriously when the articles I remember the most were written by a gay male writer mostly about the fading club scene and how the good old days were so much better with all the drugs going around? Again, I'm just saying.

- Which leaves us with Preview, which has always been my favorite magazine ever since they came out ten years ago looking very much like Allure. It's still not perfect; there's too much emphasis on the "hipster" elements and how it's hard out here for a fashionista (which... well, again, I'm the kind of person that reads Gawker, and this is also the sort of thing Gawker likes to snark on) and the grammar makes my teeth hurt a little, but at least the beauty advice is sound (yay, bronzer!) and the articles are really interesting. I have their July issue right now, in fact, and as much as I don't always agree with them (see my list, above) I actually can see why they chose this particular group of women to be their Best Dressed for the year, all of which I can definitely picture as being edgy and modern without crossing over to annoying. I also think that their celebrity coverage is a lot more thoughtfully handled; even the most annoying starlets are featured in a way that isn't too fawning or condescending. Even luxury items such as resorts in the Maldives and expensive watches are presented in a sophisticated, but still readable, manner. All in all, an entertaining read.

Edited various times because I should be my own Grammar Nazi once in a while.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Domesticity Dispatch: Let's Get Philosophical

Well, folks, I do owe you a Newsstand Roundup of the glossies from Manila, but right now I'm in the middle of a karaoke-induced haze from requesting some insanely obscure songs that were famous when I was way younger than I am now. (Sing it with me now: I'm not an actor, I'm not a star, and I don't even have my own car...) It also doesn't help that I'm in a bit of a "mood" right now, if for no other reason than the fact that I owe tons of people email and the people that I do write to are getting puzzled by the quality of my writing.

Not to mention that Google has been giving me some surprising searches for people I used to go to school with, who are all turning out fabulously in life. I found the home page of a certain friend-of-a-friend (I never got to know her personally) who now has a lucrative career as... well, basically someone who makes a living by posing in various swimsuits and fabulous outfits, in addition to a side hobby in television hosting. And another friend-of-a-friend (more like a "frenemy" of a friend; again, I know who she is, but I was never close enough to get to know her) who continues to have an awesome career as a fashion editor. And the others who became event planners, boutique owners, fashion designers, yoga instructors, and the like...

Jealous? Me? No. But if you asked me ten years ago, I would've been in for a heck of a catfight. Now that I'm older, though, I couldn't be more happier to have been graced, even for a moment, by such fabulous company. I may have been a dork then - and perhaps I still am now - but I'm still blessed, nonetheless.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star Season 2, Week 3

Well, well, I'm back - and as much as I enjoyed my short trip to the islands, I did miss out on a lot - namely, Week 2 of Rock Star. Then again, considering that I caught the elimination round last week, I had to feel a little sorry for Chris, even if he did murder "Take Me Out."

So tonight, I wasn't expecting any surprises at all, and the show... met my expectations. I mean, Dilana still underwhelms me (sorry, folks - plus I thought she got justifiably fugged on Go Fug Yourself), Jenny's still too bland, and Zayra still can't sing for beans (I had to switch channels because even the cats were getting upset) but other than that, I was fine with the rest of them. I didn't even mind Toby failing to rock the house.

Though I do have to say something about Magni's version of "Plush," because I found him strangely hot while he was singing that. I'm beginning to wonder if all Stone Temple Pilots covers really have that effect on me. And, Phil? Stop wearing dress slacks, buddy, they do nothing for you.

Another thing: I'm beginning to see some resemblances between the contestants and other celebrities/notable figures. Observe:

- Patrice: I already mentioned Chrissie Hynde, but in some angles she also looks like my friend Eight. I also get a little Allison Janney vibe from her, but maybe that's me.

- Josh: Adam Levine, definitely, but also Elliott Yamin. (A lot of my friends out here do think that E. got robbed on American Idol anyway.)

- Lukas: Peter Dinklage with skunk-stripe hair. And I mean that as a compliment. Really.

- Jill: Some posters on TWoP say Faith Hill, but I'm seeing more of a pre-eating-disorder Nicole Richie. And should I also say that I totally enjoyed her performance on this one as well?

-Storm: A bit of Geri Halliwell, but also a bit of Renee Olstead. Then again, could you see the redheaded girl from Still Standing offering up a snappy comeback to Tommy Lee after sexing up "Just What I Needed"? My answer: Exactly.

- Dana: Local model/fashionista Georgina Wilson, in some angles. Same lips, same babydoll stare.

- Ryan: Oh, this pains me so... In some angles, he looks like Hugh Laurie. But, for the most part, he looks like Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional, and I'd rather that he take after the Dashboard guy instead. Come to think of it, would it be too much to ask him to sing "Screaming Infidelities" for his elimination round, if he's still in the bottom 3 tomorrow?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Domesticity Dispatch: In The Name of Research

Don't laugh, but I'm road-testing a skin whitening lotion right now. Yep, you heard it: skin "whitening."

I've said it before and I've said it again: the concept of skin whitening is TEH EVOL. Fine, deal with hyperpigmentation an uneven skintone if you must, but I don't like how these beauty products promise the "glow" of "rosy white skin" - as if slathering a cream for a certain amount of time is going to turn us from J.Lo-bronze to a perfect porcelain pale a la Ziyi Zhang, and as if that kind of pale would make us automatically beautiful in everyone's eyes. As someone who has lived among the toasty-skinned in Honolulu, I'm pretty darn proud of my tan, and there's no amount of product or colonial mentality that's going to change my mind about it.

That said, as someone of Malayo-Polynesian extraction with Chinese blood, I'm very much aware that hyperpigmentation is a dead-on giveaway of aging on most Asian complexions, and especially for those whose complexions are not as prone to wrinkling as the rest of the world. As I'm typing this, in fact, I actually have three spots on my face that would look like freckles to some people and birthmarks to others, but are quite obviously the signs of too much sun and not enough protection. Which is why I reached for that sample pack of Pond's White Beauty Detox Spot-Less White Cream, knowing that I'll probably get laughed at by my family when they find out.

And here's where the review portion of this entry begins: Folks, this Pond's cream may promise to "whiten" my age spots and even out my complexion in two weeks, but I ended up slathering this baby all over my face and already I have the dreaded "cement face" effect after one use. Seriously, people, I should email the ingredients of this product to the Beauty Brains, because I found titanium dioxide in the ingredients list - which I'm sure is causing the cream to wipe out what's left on my tan and leaving a dreadful ashy cast. "Rosy white," my foot - I look like I spent my summer vacation locked in a crypt with fluorescent lighting, that's what. In all fairness (heh), however, the texture of the cream works better as a primer, since it does have all sorts of silicones and leaves a layer that could work with foundation on top. Plus the ingredients also list niacinamide, tocopherol (Vitamin E) and other vitamin extracts, which sound good from a skin-care standpoint even if the "whitening" properties turn out to be a gimmick. I could see this working for someone who's most affected by hyperpigmentation - say, someone with yellower undertones plus major acne scars and freckles -but I'm just going to dab this on my "age" spots from now on and leave the rest of my skin alone.

One thing's for sure: I'm leaving this cream behind on my dresser, because I'm going island-hopping with my family for the rest of the week! YAY! Hopefully I'll be able to share more stories when I come back at the end of the weekend.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star Season 2, Episode 1

Before I begin, let me say that I need to give your retinas a break after all those hot-guy-photo postings, because even I'm getting sick of looking at them. As we say here in Hacienda de Meimei, you'd be sick too if you had steak every day for the rest of your life.

Through the power of Star World, I finally got a chance to watch the season opener of Rock Star: Supernova on repeat tonight. And let me say this: The HECK?

I mean, yeah, Jason Newsted seems to have gotten the bad end of the aging bargain, and yeah, I should stop begrudging Bwak Bwak - I mean, Brooke Burke - for wearing those sequined nightgowns that she usually does. And I'm liking both Gilby Clarke and Butch Walker more than I'm liking Tommy Lee (nyah). Dave Navarro is awesome, as always, and so is Our Band: House. But other than that, let's move on to the contestants, shall we?

Tonight's Shut Up Awards go to... Zayra, for ruining my favorite Evanescence song of all time (I swear, I can sing a better version of "Bring Me To Life" with nothing more than a Magic Sing karaoke mic and a few beers); Chris, for that asshat (yeah, I said it) re-arrangement of "Roxanne"; Dilana, for freaking the heck out of me (and can I just say that lady looks like she should be hanging out on some street corner on Honolulu's North King Street ranting about the military industrial complex?); and Jenny, for taking the edge off "This Is How You Remind Me" (aw, heck no).

Honorable mention goes to Phil, because while the voice and body is there, I really can't see "Cult of Personality" being sung by a lanky boy who used to be a chemistry major.

I also missed Josh because I was on the phone, but that's OK because I would've thrown something at him for singing "She Talks to Angels." I still want to hear him next week, though.

Ryan "Star": Tiffany Montgomery called, and she wants her name back. Oh, and JD Fortune is on line one, asking you to dial down the shtick. But then I may also have caught him so soon after witnessing the video for Ronan Keating's craptastic cover of "Iris," so I'd like to see him with a better song.

(Side note: People of Dubai, you know I love you and I want to visit your beautiful country someday, but did you HAVE to allow Ronan Keating, of all people, to showcase your best tourist attractions in a video for one of his craptastic cover songs? Because that's making me sad.)

Magni: Too stiff, and visibly nervous. Could use a lesson from Taylor Hicks on how to be more "Vegas-like" in a good way.

Toby: I don't want to see him go yet - 'cause he's hot, yo - but nothing moved me about his performance. Less over-singing on a better song would've put him on better terms with me.

Dana: I'm going to go ahead and call this -- she's the Kat McPhee of Rock Star.

Matt: Did you have to sing "Yellow" on your first time out? I mean, couldn't you have held out for "Politik" or "Speed of Sound," at least? Also, you look too much like Darren Hayes, who I just realized was still alive. Maybe I should expect a cover of "I Want You" next time? Because nothing says "I want to be in a band with Tommy Lee" like the words "chic-a-cherry cola."

Lukas: I want to love you and your little troll face, but I'd love you more if you'd enunciate.

Storm: Pretty, but not Roger Daltrey. Same with Jill, but substitute "Janis Joplin" instead.

Patrice: Reminds me of Chrissie Hynde, but also a victim of song choice. (Dammit, how did Rock Star allow so many crappy song choices, anyway?)

Not calling a Bottom Three yet - but I so want Chris and Zayra to be there because I want to be entertained when Star World airs the elimination round.

EDITED on 07/07/06, 8:39 Pinoy Time, to add that I didn't catch the elimination round, but judging by the recaplet on TWoP I'm sad - though not surprised - to see Matt get the boot. But, yeah - not only is the guy NOT Chris Martin, he is also NOT Simon Le Bon. And we all know there could only be one Simon Le Bon. Right, Jen?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What's Your Fantasy? Special Pinoy Edition, Part II

Continuing the series of Hot! Pinoy! Men...

Dear Piolo Pascual:

Once upon a time, you looked like this...

And I wasn't attracted to you. Not because you pinged my GayDar (ain't nothing wrong with that - would you think I'd be less attracted to Peter Sarsgaard* if that was the case?) but because, well, you were sooooo overrated. First of all, I didn't buy into that "Hunks" nonsense to begin with. Second, I didn't get what the other TFC-watching Pinays in Honolulu saw in you, especially since they're more fanatical about you than every single fan of Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks combined. Third: Gee, another singing, dancing Pinoy actor who likes to flash his abs and star in melodramatic movies in love teams with "sweet" actresses? Please.

But then you started growing your facial hair:

It's too bad I can't find the picture of your San Mig Coffee ad (the one where you totally grew out your beard), which I would not have known was you if my Mom hadn't pointed it out. (Sorry, guy, but my Mom's taste in celebrity boyfriends begin and end with Sean Connery.) And, really, you couldn't be any hotter if you had shown up at my doorstep shirtless with roses and champagne in one hand and Chinese takeout in another. You do know how much I love Chinese takeout, right?

Anyway, I hear you're dating a certain actress who used to be a sickly sweet teen star until she started posing in her underwear and making trashy movies. (Hey, at least I found a work-safe photo, dude!) If that's the case, good for you. Either way, I'm raising you a milk toast - with extra Milo - just for being, well, you.

xox, Mei


*And on another note: Dear sweet Jebus, I just saw the Saturday Night Live rerun hosted by P-Sars, and I had to turn it off after half an hour. For crying out loud, SNL, could your writers be any more incompetent? What is this, General Hospital? And, Pete, I'm glad you're taking a break to help Maggie G. out with your baby, but please, please, PLEASE, would you consider making your own comedy next time?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Case for the "Spa" Day

Yesterday I gave myself a break by going to the salon and getting my nails done.

It's the first time for me to go to any beauty establishment here in my hometown (Jesi Mendez doesn't count because it's about 20-30 miles away) so I wasn't expecting any big-city prices of any sort. I got myself a manicure and "spa pedicure" for around P275, or roughly US$5.50 -- which won't even cover the cost of replacing a broken nail back in HNL. I was with my Mom, who had both fingers and toes coated with clear polish. For my fingernails, I chose a sparkly golden peach (think Nars Orgasm, but with more gold), with a very dark burgundy for my toenails.

The thing with spas over here is that, while they're still bound to the same health standards as most nail salons in the world, they're still much, much more comfortable. While I didn't get my usual gigantor massaging chair with whirlpool foot bath attachment, I did get a quiet communal room, a comfortable lounge seat, all the newest fashion mags from Manila, and a very attentive and non-judgmental manicurista who was totally cool about putting the callus knife away in favor of a wet foot file and some seriously scrubby exfoliating gloves, which got my feet in shape better than anything else I can think of.

Compare that with one of the last times I got my nails done in Honolulu, where I had to ask for a remote because they had put on an unintentionally frightening Vietnamese karaoke video on the telly (and not frightening in a ha-ha-super-kitschy way but more like the "Dammit, I will never ever rent Audition again" kind of way) and I had to risk chipping my polish so I could watch The View. Next to that experience, this trip to the salon was, well, a day at the spa.

And here's the thing about my home town: Everyone goes to the spa. True, it was also my Mom's first time getting a spa pedicure, but I swear there were also a couple of grandmas who came in for the pedicure as well, and even a tough-looking guy who was getting his fingers cleaned up. The nail tech who worked with me told me that everything gets busy from noontime onwards -- not so much because of the office crowd (who come in after work) but because of the stay-at-home moms who come in for a break from taking care of the house and kids. Now I have to check out all the other day spas in the country (or at least 50 miles from where I am) to see how everyone gets their spa day.