Saturday, December 18

You Like, You Buy Vol 16

If you're ever in Hong Kong be sure to stop by Shanghai Tang ( which is one of my favourite stores for stress relief (Some people have those squishy palm toys for stress relief, I have stores. What a wonderful diverse world we live in.) The chinoiserie is expensive but the store itself is ever so pretty and classy like the sound of the word chinoiserie.

Better still, email me (subject: Can you show me how to get, how to get to Shanghai Tang) and I'll take you there for an afternoon of power browsing. This entails poking and prodding everything in the store, and trying on anything which I think has a greater than 10% chance of looking good on you. Because we'll have such a time and you might never have the chance to go back there again, we'll end up buying up loads of stuff and putting it all on YOUR credit card. No no, I insist!

Oh and if you ever have a party with a 1920s Shanghai theme please please please invite me. Because I have this kickass burgundy and gold lace overlay cheongsam which my mum bought for me as a wedding gift so I wouldn't have to wear the traditional wedding qipao and look like a Swarovski'ed goose waddling around the living room. But SOMEONE didn't bother to tell the clan that there was a tea ceremony to rock up to so it turned out to the biggest non-event of my life. Angry? No, not anymore. Bitter? You bet. So yeah. Have cheongsam, will party.

Shanghai Tang's A/W 2004 collection is a bit different from its usual traditional Chinese style with a contemporary twist. This time they have decided to re-interpret Tibetan tribal fashion and call it urban nomad (Did you see how they slipped in the word riotous? Miaow.) I wonder what would His Holiness the Dalai Lama, or more importantly Richard Gere have to say about this latest plundering of Tibetan culture. I'm not feeling much love for the designs below. Let me know what you think.

Nomads skirt

Streaked Wool Coat

Tribal Topstitched Coat

Tibetan Stripe Denim Jacket

Tibetan Stripe Half Moon Bag

OK for this last one, call it Tibetan if you want but I can't believe that George Lucas hasn't slapped David Tang with a copyright infringement action yet. It's like what would happen if an Ewok and a Jawa mated.

Spirit Fingers is nominated the Best Asian Newcomer 2004 and Funniest Blog categories of the Asia Blog Awards (voting is only allowed once per day). Vote Spirit Fingers for a return to nomadism.

Friday, December 17

Buy Nothing Campaign

Check out Hong Kong Land's guide to the hottest Christmas gifts and then have a good eyeroll. Luxe Gifts for Her, Him and Baby. I think they mean to say Rip-Off Gifts for Desperate Social-Climbing Couple Firmly Entrenched in Middle Class Hell And Their Baby Who Doesn't Know Any Better But Will Grow Up To Be The Same.

In my opinion, giving is always better than receiving except where Chanel is involved. Even the cash-strapped or miserly can participate in gift-giving through the Buy nothing this Christmas campaign. It's established by the Canadian Mennonites who I am not familiar with. Are they like Amish with electricity? Their site has a lengthy list of alternatives to buying gifts:

Give Linux for Christmas!
I'd rather just be regarded as stingy/poor. No need to add geeky to the mix.

If you are skilled in a particular area, offer a lesson or class.
I'm not sure if anybody would want to attend a lecture on how to give an old person a sponge bath.

Give away a valued possession
What if it's already been given away a decade ago in the back of a car while a Boyz 2 Men song was playing on the radio?

Do something exciting and challenging together
Well Escape from Eluned is always a buzz.

Create a menu of various culinary delights (e.g., Tantalizing Thai, Mexican Fiesta, etc.) and have the gift recipient choose one of the options.
What happens after one of the options is chosen. Does everyone just sit around admiring the choice, saying "well done, good choice indeed".

We said so and we are your parents so go to sleep baby Jesus because Xmas day will be very busy. And by the way Joseph, we (meaning I, Mary) will be watching you carefully.

The best thing about the Buy Nothing campaign is that it leaves us with more money to indulge in self-purchases (what is the deal with the lawyer who is so desperate for staff discounts he has to moonlight as a Bloomingdale's salesman). Because the most rewarding gift is the one that you give yourself *nods sagely*. Um no...not daily in the shower, you sick twisted people.

Spirit Fingers is nominated the Best Asian Newcomer 2004 and Funniest Blog categories of the Asia Blog Awards (voting is only allowed once per day). Spirit Fingers - fighting for the rights of middle-class Canadian Menonnites who are lawyers by day and Bloomingdale salesmen by night.

I like big feet and I cannot lie

Overheard at a party in ancient China circa AD 1288:
Oh. My. God. Ying-ying, look at her feet.
They are so big. *scoff* She looks like,
one of those troupe guys' girlfriends.
But, y'know, who understands those troupe guys? *scoff*
They only talk to her, because,
she looks like a total non-prostitute, 'kay?
I mean, her feet, are just so big. *scoff*
I can't believe they're just so wide, the toes are like,
out there, I mean - gross. Look!
She's just so ... UNDEFORMED!

After reading about the practice of foot-binding and dry retching for several minutes, I don't feel like shoe-shopping this weekend anymore.

Thursday, December 16

Hobo Chic

Oh how the mighty have fallen. From joint figurehead of a billion dollar merchandising empire to homeless first semester dropout wandering the sidewalks of New York. Where is the nearest halfway house for saucer-eyed waifs, kind sir? Meanwhile the other twin is feeding pigeons on the other side of town.

Take note adorable kiddies, fame will swallow you whole in your infancy, exploit your adolescence, then spit you out when your cuteness does not translate well into adult features. And Uncle Jesse won't care because he's too busy trying to get over Rebecca Romijn Stamos by dating anything he can lay his hands on.

Alas it's the same old sad story all around the world. Celebrity fortune is just as fleeting in Hong Kong, even more tenuous than a senior citizen's grip on reality. Order a side of fries and the doors to $limming ad campaigns will instantly slam shut. Come back from holidays with a tan and say goodbye to that lucrative Advanced Triple Whitening Solution Essence contract. Case in point, pretty & talented Cantopop idol Joey "Xmas Chihuahua" Yung who appears to be living out of a cardboard box.

Tut-tut. I thought Peter Pan's gang of Lost Boys wasn't accepting any more members. She should have listened to my advice before sinking her money into buttered squid commodity futures. Bonds, shares, property, those are not investments. A mid-length wool overcoat slightly tapered at the waist but with enough room for movement, now that's a good investment. So is a clean cashmere sweater.

Mmmm tastes like chicken without the threat of bird flu contamination. Millions of herbivores can't be wrong! No wonder Joey has had to supplement her income with a second job. She's not raking it in yet the way some other female celebrities are but it helps pay the bills.

The thing is, red PVC leather is an absolute bitch to dryclean. I hope for your sake, Joey, that the Japanese businessmen tip generously. Very generously.

UPDATE: Spirit Fingers is nominated the Best Asian Newcomer 2004 and Funniest Blog categories of the Asia Blog Awards (voting is only allowed once per day). Spirit Fingers - panhandling for your votes in a dress made out of a garbage bag.

Wednesday, December 15

Dazzzle me

With the party season in full swing, everybody seems to be getting invitations to stand around quaffing drinks and engaging in witty repartee with head glamourously thrown back. To cope with a busy social schedule one needs an all-purpose party outfit that can last the festive distance. As a Victoria's Secret model would say alluringly in her thick Eastern European accented voice "Excite meeeee, Deeeelight me, Dazzzzzle me".

WHOOMP!! That's the recoil force of the camera's flash slamming the photographer back against the wall after he took the above picture. Why is it that the more I look, the shinier it gets? Is it just me or is anyone else feeling a searing pain shooting through their eyeballs? Shouldn't a magpie have dragged this campy czarina back to its nest by now?

Bobby Trendy (yeah I know) seems to be sort of kid in class who always hogged the glitter paint. The kid who wanted gold stars from his teacher because they were faaabulous dahling. I was sort of hoping that Bobby came from Hong Kong but this self-proclaimed "beautiful rich white woman" was originally from Vietnam. Just as well he left a long time ago because a country once ravaged by war can't rebuild itself on overpriced throw rugs and silk cushions. So rest easy, Hong Kong this is one phenomenon that the West can't blame you for. They probably still haven't forgiven you for William Hung yet anyway.

Now that you have your snappy double cape and waistcoat combination, you need to consider what accessories would go with this. An oversized crystal quartz ring that wears you instead of the other way round? No...nobody likes a showoff.
Coloured tooth crystals? Maybe...if you were a James Bond villain with a good dental plan.

A gold and jewel-encrusted pimp chalice? Hmmm...I see potential. Handy for holding frankincense, myrrh and trendy drugs. It's the next best thing to an electric candelabra and we all know that only a legend is entitled to carry that.

UPDATE: Spirit Fingers is nominated the Best Asian Newcomer 2004 and Funniest Blog categories of the Asia Blog Awards (voting is only allowed once per day). Liberace would have wanted you to vote for Spirit Fingers.

Tuesday, December 14

Return of the Dog

Stop worrying everybody, Gisele's dog has been returned to her. I hope that she has learnt a very important lesson from this ordeal and will use a Yummy Yeti Faux Fur Puppy Purse from now on. This is a useful preventative measure that can spare Gisele the hassle of offering a "no questions asked" reward, reneging on it when the dog is found, arresting the finders at gunpoint, throwing them to the ground, handcuffing them and for the love of God would their stupid kid stop crying already because it's scaring the little dog!!!

Speaking of little dogs, do you think that one day canines as fashion accessories will reach a critical minimum size like mobile phones already have? Some of these incredible shrinking dogs are so small that you could cradle three of them in your arms quite comfortably, swathe them in a flurry of pink and grin madly like a farmer's wife who has just cut off their tails with a carving knife.

If they were any tinier they could be in danger of being suffocated by their Chewnel #5, Jimmy Chew and Chewy Vuitton plush toys (is it wrong that I covet these for myself).

It's about time we bucked the trend of carting around an emotionally detached part-dog, part-rodent part-Victorian doll. Save the costumed frippery for your own closet. Learn to love the big friendly dogs and they will love you back in every way possible, oh yes they will.

Monday, December 13

Reading Club Selections

Welcome to Spirit Fingers' Reading Club. When I'm not out shopping, I like to curl up by my faux fireplace made of cardboard and read a good book. On this occasion I would like to recommend a set of novels for the singletons who have become jaded by the trials & tribulations of power dating, preferring to retreat to a fantasy world constructed by quivering, romantic prose., the personalised romance novel provider, offers you the chance to be the lead heroine with cascading jet black hair, piercing blue eyes and pleasing curves. All you have to do is choose from 15 lovelorn titles and just provide some personal details (the most important being billing and payment information). They can also write a novel based on your own story for $100,000 but then again that money could be better spent on the best gigolo money can buy.

When ordering your book(s), one important thing to decide between the WILD or MILD versions. Judging from the excerpts which I customised below, the WILD version seems to be the way to go.

Away on the Range
MY SLUTTY CO-WORKER ran her fingers through her LIMP AND GREASY hair, looked up at MY SLEAZY SUPERVISOR and said, "If I'm gonna find that needle in this haystack, you better get to losing it. "Pronto," MY SLEAZY SUPERVISOR replied as he tore at his clothes to release his needle.

For the Ages
At that moment, their favorite GREGORIAN tune started up over the limoâs stereo speakers. "Just like on RADIO VATICANA," THE POPE noted, quickly adding with an air of optimism, "maybe we should take that as a sign." He placed his hand on SISTER MARIA's knee and began to slide it up her leg.

The Treasure Seekers
Though in a dreamy state, BILL was cognizant enough to throw a handful of bills once again toward the ceiling. RUPERT did the same. The bills floated as if in slow motion, some landing on their glistening bodies.

Let the Good Times Roll
The beads moved this way and that. ALIEN dipped her head and a strand danced across PREDATOR's chest. Another was clenched in ALIEN's mouth and she unconsciously chewed on them as she ground her body against his.

Love's Bounty
He spoke softly, “And this evening’s lead story, ‘No bombings, no robberies, no car accidents, no wars. Just PARIS HILTON and THE ENTIRE TOWNSHIP making love in a hammock on the Outer Banks.“

Heart of the Keys
When it was over, and they stood panting under the showerhead, SPONGEBOB turned the knob from warm to cool. The refreshing spray re-energized PRINCESS PEPPERMINT. “That was amazing,” she said. “No, you’re amazing, MY LITTLE PONY,” SPONGEBOB remarked. PRINCESS PEPPERMINT reached down and picked up the soap. “What’s really amazing is that we didn’t slip on this. Wouldn’t that have been awful?”

My second reading club recommendation is for the single straight guy who requires less text and more visuals. I think that you will find plenty of character development in Red-Hot Trailer Brochure Model Fan Fiction, if you know what I mean.

Spirit Fingers is nominated the Best Asian Newcomer 2004 and Funniest Blog categories of the Asia Blog Awards (voting is only allowed once per day). Vote for Spirit Fingers - I pledge to have a romance novel in every home.

Fashion Roadkill of the Day: Vol 19

On the weekend I decided to take a train instead of a cab to my friend's place for dinner because I thought the ride would be more pleasant. It just so happened that EVERYONE else in Hong Kong decided to take the same train. For the first half of the journey the body heat of my co-passengers was stiflingly uncomfortable and nothing at all like the movie with Kathleen Turner and William Hurt (i.e. passion laced with a tinge of danger and generally full of memorable quotes).

For the second half of the journey I managed to get a seat and that's when things started to get a little more interesting. I think any master photographer would agree that when one is least expecting it, one is confronted with an intriguing image, an image so compelling that it needs to be captured pronto, even if it means shoving one's camera between a stranger's legs and yelling "Spread them!".

In case you were wondering, nobody attempted to make a citizen's arrest on me for committing an act of indecency. You see, there are certain advantages to living in a city where you lose the right to any personal space the minute you step out of your home.

When the crowd emptied out of the carriage at the next stop, it had vanished, gone into the night like an elusive spectre who can't dress to save its (former) life. I was left with the feeling of someone who had been given a partial glimpse into an unrecognisable future - trying to make sense of what little that was revealed and wondering whether I could've handled seeing the vision in its shocking entirety.

Sunday, December 12

You Like, You Buy Vol 15

Singapore-based OSIM ( has everything you need to transform your home into a relaxation zone or failing that, a geriatric rehabilitation centre. A word of warning: I don't know who thought it would be fun to mock the domestically challenged by casting some of these healthcare products in the form of common household appliances, thus increasing the chances of household accidents that are horrific yet humourous enough to submit to the Funniest Home Video show.

Facial Sauna

Normally I give my face a good steam cleaning by draping a towel over my head, bending over the bathroom sink and inhaling like a party girl. I'm yet to convinced that using a castrated blender for this purpose is the most efficient way.

Warm Air Turbo

I was bit excited to see a leafblower for sale because after years of living in Hong Kong I'd forgotten what one looked like. Front lawns and back yards are generally obsolete in Hong Kong because the space could be used to build entire housing estates. Boy was I disappointed (even more disappointed than the time I booked a Citroen C4 for test drive and found out that it doesn't actually turn into a funky dancing robot like in the ad) to discover that it was just a modified hairdryer for every part of the body other than the hair.


After a long day of having your feet squeezed into ill-fitting but gorgeous shoes that felt OK in the thick carpet of the shop, it's time to relax by squeezing them into a mechanical death grip. I think the iSqueez looks very much like a toaster but thankfully it's not because nobody, and please correct me if I'm wrong on this, likes their morning toast smelling of feet.

OSIM's latest massage chair model is the iSymphonic chair which synchronises massage pulses to music played from an audio-visual entertainment system. Suddenly watching Jaws or Psycho becomes such a wonderfully tactile experience.

Despite being such a futuristic chair, the design has some ways to go before it achieves the aesthetic heights set by the 1957 Chevy Bel Air Chair:

Now there's a chair worth taking pride of place in any living room.