Friday, May 6

Spring break IV: Tokyo

In a move that is intended to thaw Chinese-Japanese relations into melty loving goodness, I've been despatched to Japan for a week. Cue the demented fangirl squealing:

This is a serious mission so there'll be no wandering-ennui-Lost-in-Translation type crap. I have a deep understanding of the Japanese culture based on perverse anime and will be able to set a few things straight like:
- correcting some of the glaring errors in Japanese textbooks
- enlightening Junichiro Koizumi that his favourite dance partner is quite the asshat.
- helping Crown Princess Masako deal with her longtime depression over the Crown Prince's shortcomings

- and finally, instructing teen idols in the art of flaunting their spirit fingers

Thursday, May 5

Mother's Day selections

It's Mother's Day this Sunday! One of the few days of the year when Sunday brunches are 50% more expensive than usual. Will you be doing any special for her? A shopping spree...a day spa package...letting her nag you without rolling your eyes in return?

Well I'm already on my best behaviour so here are some gift ideas that are inoffensive. They're also DIY if you are in possession of things like skill, manual dexterity and free time.

This is the chance to thank Mum for all the late nights she spent in the kitchen baking cupcakes for your stupid school event. You can find everything you need to know about these marvellous baked goods on All Cupcakes All The Time. It's simply amazing what a little food colouring, frosting and cream can amount to these days - fancy flavours and fancier designs that made me gasp aloud. I have never been one to say no to a proffered cupcake, and I suspect that there aren't many people like that. In fact, those kind of people probably kick small animals and children in no particular order.

If your mother is a male inmate at a maximum security prison then a soapcard would probably be inappropriate. In all other cases, it is a cute and fuzzy sentiment that produces a satisfyingly foamy lather. Don't even bother trying to figure out they get the message in the soap. I'm sure the truth is disturbingly similar to a scene out of Fight Club.

Mom Teddy Bear
Ordinarily Supermom Bear would be a right bit of fashion roadkill but you can't deny the awesome power of a bear wearing the Super Mom belt complete with key ring and pockets for "Gum & Candy," "Wipes & First Aid Kit".

Supermom Bear comes from the Vermont Teddy Bear Company which has plenty of other special Mother's Day bears. My favourite is Bingo Bear who seems to be grasping an inferior imitation of the Rampant Rabbit. However you'd do well to stay away from the hybrid cow-bear of evil puns and the unfortunately titled Misfit Mom.

Wednesday, May 4

Watching each other's backs

As the weather warms up, people start heading to the beach like a pack of pasty, rabid wolves. However we must remain vigilant for the world is a dangerous place, too dangerous for the things so fragile as the human skin.

If it cannot withstand the ravages of a makeout session with Tom Cruise:

then what hope does it have against the almighty UV rays of the sun? It's well documented that the sun can damage our skin in frightening ways - wrinkles, freckles, age spots and of course the bastard melanoma. It forces us to monitor our spots religiously for deviant activity. But unless the devil has blessed you with a 360 swivel neck, you can't exactly watch your own back. The only effective way is to let others do it for you by wearing backless clothes.

Nicole Kidman (who spent 10 years under the glaring light of Tom's teeth) sets such a health-conscious example:

Her friend, actor-rapper-fashion designer-dermatologist P.Diddy is only too glad to help:

Pamela Anderson (who spent many years running in poetic slow motion on a beach) also adopts this method of sun care awareness:

As a matter of fact, it's become bare backs galore on the red carpet! With the whole world watching through hi-resolution paparazzi lens, no malignant spot, no matter how Z-list a body it belongs to, will go unmissed:

Tuesday, May 3

For Hire

Renting used to have a kind of financial stigma attached to it. It was what you did when you needed something that would last a long time but couldn't afford to buy it outright - like a home, a tuxedo or a sex partner. But not anymore. Cashed up individuals living a technomadic rootless lifestyle have become big fans of renting. Many things are now available for rent, which even though you didn't need, would make you want to create a need for them.

Rent my Son & Rent my Daughter
With Mother's Day coming up, Dad could use some spare cash to splurge on something that says "Thanks for letting me knock you up" in a fancy way. What better way to do this by renting out the fruit of your loins.

Child-rental services enable parents to generate income from their little cash calves AND enjoy the peace & quiet of reclaiming the house while the children are out at work. It's like killing a flock of birds flying in a regular V-formation all at once!

Rental children should be prepared to hang out with other children, attend parties, social events and prom dates (corsages and alcohol are complimentary). Therefore it does help to have a decent-looking children in order to command market rate. You can see how from the Rent My Daughter graphic header that toned midriffs are highly prized. Personality, lack of criminal record, bladder control, all these things are also important.

ChildNet Services ensures that potential clients are carefully screened to eliminate anybody who is overly white, overly plastic or who can do the moonwalk. While it's still early days yet, the success of the agency could lead to further spinoffs which specialise in renting out other useful relatives:
Rent my meddlesome spinster aunt
Rent my snooty in-laws
Rent my bigoted sexist racist homophobic uncle
Rent my fiancee who is prone to getting cold feet
Rent my really hot first cousin (who I'd already hooked up with if we were hillbillies)

Rent a German
The new Pope has renewed interest in the Germans themselves. There hasn't been a German who generated so much internet traffic since Heidi Klum in her Sports Illustrated heyday. Lots of people are now putting "hang out with a German" on their list of things to do before they die. Renting a German allows them to do this without having to commit to a fullblown friendship.

People want to peel back the stereotypes of bureaucracy, stoic humour and lederhosen. And when they do, they are pleasantly surprised, by the sound of these testimonials:
I was gobsmacked when the German even cleaned my house the next day, before I was awake! Will definitely rent again

I’ll definitely do it again- It was, like, “oh my god, this is so it!”

I was gobsmacked when the German even cleaned my house the next day, before I was awake! Will definitely rent again.

we read German poems together ‘til 3 am. Even Grandma stayed up and enjoyed the exotic sound of words like "Rasenmäher, Motorsäge or Solidargemeinschaft".

The agency must be doing brisk Teutonic trade because it is actively seeking referrals. Submit your own German and get instant cash! There are prices listed on the website, which gives you an idea of just how valuable Germans are.

However there seems to be a baffling price discrepancy between the packages. Why pay 1200 EUR for a short talk during a coffee break when you can get one for 750 EUR to give you happy moments "in the nature, at the hotel bar or in the night dancing"? I know which one I want already.

Monday, May 2

Courtroom drama

Weighty courtroom dramas that would have been made immeasurably more interesting if French fashion house Comme Des Garcons had got involved

Objection your honour, Counsel is badgering the witness!

Your honour, may I approach the bench?

Move to strike that outburst as unresponsive!

Would the court entertain a request for a brief recess?

Let the record reflect that the witness has identified the defendant.

The evidence is overwhelming. The defense rests its case.

Sunday, May 1

Fashion Roadkill of the Day: Vol 31

When I was in London last month, there were slim pickings in the fashion roadkill hunt. People were terribly unco-operative, deliberately dressing in a nondescript manner to bedevil me. Could it be, that the people over there possessed some self-awareness, a modicum of taste even?

It was only towards the end of my stay that the drought broke. I found what I was looking for in a crowd of tourists outside the Selfridges department store. It was like I never left home.

The weather was distinctly parka weather, but that didn't stop her from wearing her whitest pedalpusher suit and summer hat. It's a combination that makes as much sense as Celine Dion and rap. As for the rest of it, it gets curiouser and curiouser. The mismatching handbag, shoes and ankle bracelet....these would definitely not look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two:

And to think people are starting to consider the possibility of a single Asian currency. We can't even achieve unity within the same outfit for heaven's sake.

Back in Hong Kong, everyone strives to adapt to the rapidly mutating fashion trends. In this fast-changing environment however, there are some things that remain constant.

Mannequins still can't dress themselves

Children riding escalators continue to play fast and loose with prints and textures

Women persist in showing as much white leg as possible

Burberry rules OK!