Friday, February 24

Mozart would have liked that

Were I a socialite, the Vienna Opera ball would definitely be something to prattle about in a high-pitched voice over afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches. This year is particularly special because firstly Carmen Electra was selected to be a special guest and secondly (and slightly less importantly so) the event is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

As befits the status of this glittering occasion, the dress code for men is insufferably strict and requires the full coat and tails shebang. It has also become custom for the more privileged to make a grand entrance (as above), accompanied by a side of breast and thighs. Carmen Electra's decision to avoid embarrassing America by keeping her clothes on met with public approval but private disappointment.

However it is clear that Carmen, in displaying her inability to air kiss with aplomb, is still very much unschooled in the ways of the socialite. Female-on-female kissing that doesn't involve tongue has never really been her forte.

Carmen Electra may seem like a very random choice for something so highfalutin' but when you look at the more recent celebrity guests, you can detect a trend emerging.

Yes, they would all be names that come to mind when trying to cast a low-rent Bond girl, which is exactly what this role amounts to. Instead of out saving the world armed with the knowledge of nuclear technology and sexy high kicks, her task is to make sure that her aging Austrian playboy escort passes out drunk before he can get in a good grope.

Naturally there are some fuddy duddys who don't appreciate interlopers without old money and inbreeding on their cv. "These women are horrible. Their presence damages the event's distinguished image," says a woman who slept during the 1990s and missed out on two of the biggest phenomena of that golden age - Baywatch and Spice Girls. Furthermore the definition of distinguished really depends on whether you have remembered to put on your pince nez glasses:

Let's take a closer look at that sumptuous bit of jewellery on the lady who isn't with Austro-Elvis.

On a less superficial note, there is more to the Vienna Opera ball than just basking in the abundant opulence and affluence on display. You can listen to the opera and waltz the night away and generally do all the magical things you wished you could do instead of being a Cockney flower seller huddled by the roadside cursing out the cold night air.

You also have the opportunity to meet people who are unfamiliar with the concept of public transport. It's not everyday you make the acquaintance of someone who married Germany's wealthiest plastic surgeon for the freebies, was arrested of his murder but later released, then went on to snare a prince and still had time to make their own website (

Thursday, February 23

Deceptively simple revenge ideas from Martha Stewart Living

Vandalising cars
Damaging somebody's car is a good way of causing inconvenience and mild distress. This is best done when the car is in a stationary position. If your enemy has more than one car, start with the most expensive looking one and work your way downwards.

Press a sharp key firmly against one of the car doors until you have scratched beneath the paint. Keeping the key pressed down, scratch the entire length of the vehicle. Use a straight ruler to maintain a neat line. Measure the position of the first scratch and repeat for the other side making sure that both scratches are at the same height. If you have time, let out one of the tires.

Hate bouquet
Flowers convey many meanings, but unfortunately most of them are positive. Here's how to turn a box of roses into a nasty surprise. Gather one dozen fresh-cut long-stemmed roses from your garden. Lightly spray the roses with black matte paint. Leave to dry for 3 hours and spray with sealant.

Clip the roses to 18 inches and tie together with barbed wire. Decorate the inside of a box with a dead rat (it should be dead for no more than 1 week) and its droppings. Complete with a f**k you note elegantly engraved on high-quality heavyweight card stock.

Public restroom graffiti
Carefully designed graffiti draws attention to your message and can increase the aesthetic value of a public area. A few simple steps will let you defame your enemy without spending more time in a sleazy toilet than is necessary.

Create a stencil, in the same size as a bathroom tile, containing your enemy's details including name, address and number. Include a comment about their apparent homosexuality or sexual inadequacy. Prepare the tile you have chosen by cleaning it with tile conditioner. Apply adhesive to the back of the stencil and place it firmly on the tile.

Using a sponge brush, apply an even, opaque coat of enamel paint over the stencil. You can use different colours for different sections. Remove the stencil after painting. Allow to dry and use sealer to stop the paint from fading.

Lawn Destruction
For many people, their garden brings them a sense of pride and achievement. In this case obliterating their lawn can be particularly satisfying. It is recommended that the vindictive act be done under the cover of night.

You will need 20 gallons of extra concentrated weedkiller and sturdy garden stakes. Arrange the stakes in the ground to spell out your favourite four-letter dirty word. Position each letter 30 inches apart. For maximum effect use caps instead of lower case. Carefully pour the weedkiller within the perimeter of the stakes. Remove the stakes and return in the early morning to admire your handiwork.

Photoshopped fliers
In this day and age, people will believe anything bad they hear about somebody. Learn how to spread scandalous and mean-spirited rumours with some basic craft skills. I used this to great effect on my ex-longtime friend Donald Trump.

Start by building up a collection of high-quality images of your nemesis. You will then need a program called Photoshop or some other image application editor. Using this software, pick one of the images and attach the head onto various scenes depicting deviant acts of sexual gratification. Download our animal template or create your own. Take care to clear up any obvious signs of manipulation. Colour print the images and embellish with warnings about previous convictions. Distribute in mailboxes and post as fliers around the neighbourhood.

Wednesday, February 22

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time

Everyone in Milan is reeling at the possibility that one of their richest and most stylish could go to jail. And all because he ticked the wrong box on his tax return. Given how fast fashion moves, a two year prison sentence would be a disaster. By the time Cavalli gets released, he'll only be remembered as that guy who was excessively fond of animal prints and designed other stuff that made Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys and Scarlett Johansson look totally crap.

Unbeknownst to the public Roberto Cavalli has actually been under investigation for some time. Unless they got a watertight testimony, tax evasion was the only way they were ever going to nail him. His laundry list of alleged crimes reads longer than most other fashion designers with mob connections. Here's a little of what can be revealed about his murky deeds:

Each year he is responsible for 7 out of 10 cases of indecent exposure at bars. The victims are usually men and the vast majority of them choose suffer silently rather than voice their concerns and risk disbelief & ridicule.

He also recently committed visual assault on the public at large by incorporating tie-dye into his menswear collection. The last person who wore this was effectively exiled from his neighbourhood.

Informants have observed plenty of suspicious activity at his notorious pool parties. It has been rumoured that these men are part of a giant conspiracy to convert ALL males into buffed and hairless Adonises in tight speedos.

In Asia, the kingpin furthered his criminal network by trafficking sordidly detailed fashion phones. These phones were sold without proper warnings about how they can lead others to believe that the owner lacks good taste.

Finally, the designer stands accused of perpetrating massive fraud. Over the past few months he has been carting around a wax mannequin of Victoria Beckham at public events and trying, very successfully in fact, to pass it off as the real thing. Counterfeiting celebrities is a serious offence and when the authorities catch up with him, we can expect some harsh justice to be meted out.

Tuesday, February 21

Fitness DVDs as reviewed by a fat cat in China

So here's the thing. I'm what you call a little overweight. I clock in at 33 pounds and when you weigh more than a female lead on The O.C. then you have to admit you have a problem. There are 2 things I hold culpable for my obesity - the first being Chinese food. How anyone can dislike eating Chinese food is beyond me. It's like having a burning hatred for fluffy little kittens or chubby-cheeked babies. Impossible.

The second thing is lack of exercise which is also beyond my control. There is no way in hell you're gonna see me hunting down anything over here without being properly vaccinated first. So I figured out the safest way to lose weight was to pick up some fitness DVDs from Ah the wonders of one-click shopping!

The Jordan Workout
When I first saw the cover, I swear I thought Jordan's tank top had the word "tit" on it. This made me laugh and laugh so hard I almost busted something. Anyway I was willing to give this a go because she had managed to lose her pregnancy weight so quickly.

I thought the exercises were well-suited to a beginner like me. It certainly felt like a good all-round workout that covered important things such as safety and stretching but also really hit the problem spots. However I couldn't get round the size of Jordan's breasts. Wouldn't carrying out the weight of them alone be enough exercise? They were incredibly distracting. So distracting in fact that after the first set I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing. I spent the rest of the day under the covers being mesmerised by them moving up and down on my tv screen.

Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease
Whoa, this should come with a difficulty warning. Now I'm not one for fads but I thought this would be a good way of toning my hips, thighs, buns and abs while having a little bit of fun. But man, I threw my back out halfway during the sensual sexy librarian routine. Maybe I was too ambitious. Maybe I was should have started with "Fit to Strip" first. Needless to say this put me out of action for a few weeks.

During that time all the progress I had made sorrowfully unravelled when I discovered smoked salmon flavoured potato chips. Damn it, the tape measure does not lie!

David Carradine's Chi Energy Workout for Beginners

I was drawn to this DVD because I've always felt an affinity with David Carradine. Like him, I'm a white guy surrounded by a bunch of Chinese folk, crushing grasshoppers under my feet wherever I travel. After all that intense energy it was refreshing to take a more gentle and relaxing approach to working out. It was all about bringing mind body and spirit into harmony. If I kept this up, I could probably will myself onto the bed instead of needing my owner to give my ass a lift.

In conclusion I didn't lose any weight but the important thing to remember is that I didn't gain any either. Who am I kidding, I am so gonna need one of those celebrity self-help books.

Another blog to visit: Life After Jiangxi

Monday, February 20

You Like, You Buy Vol 41

Local fashion retailer Gitti ( was founded on the vague premise of "the global outlook of local fashion". You can choose to dismiss it as a load of marketing BS but it's really an indication of how local designers have broadened their vision. They are now designing not just for a local audience but for the bewilderment of people in far-flung reaches of the world.

Surprisingly in this case, the clothes themselves are not particularly appealing, nor are they particularly horrible. They are the sartorial equivalent of a tepid action movie starring 2 cops of differing ages/ethnicities/sexual proclivities. However Gitti has managed to set up a myriad of stores in Asia and even set up shop in the land of the free & home of the brave.

The secret must lie in their killer advertising campaigns. Sometimes all you need is a fantastic model who make a compelling visual argument for even the most mediocre item. For its most recent collection, Gitti decided to spread this burdensome responsibility between 2 models.

The first one played it serious, and gave the clothes a dark and intense edge to them. Look and learn budding Shakespearean actors. This is the look someone gets just before they unsheath their ponytail and brandish it through someone.

It is with the second model, however, where you really begin to appreciate the value of posture and facial expression. She exudes a boundless, infectious enthusiasm for life even in the face of extreme adversity and the worst ponytail ever uploaded onto the internet.

I would imagine that the photographer's directions would also play a big part in the resulting shot. For example, he would most likely have told the model to affect a sunny disposition that went together with her bright clothes and a slouch that matched her boots.

In this case, she would be channeling a grinning Christmas elf. She can't wait for the festive season to roll around because of the distinct possibility that by then pants might have reverted to a decent length.

Already the stress of wearing orange, purple and green is starting to take its toll on our model. However she soldiers on, resolutely holding her facial muscles together before they start twitching uncontrollably.

Even amputees should laugh at life because they get to wear one less Birkenstock sandal than everyone else.

Finally, the shoot has come to an end and while one of her legs has regenerated, the other arm remains AWOL. It must have got lost along with the concept of proper art direction. It also says a lot about this whole gig that even though her bladder is about ready to explode she can't wait to hail the first taxi out of there.