Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Boba "Feet"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tomorrow's My Last Day


Although I've been here many, many times, I've never experienced the city for such an extended period of time. Usually when I go and visit my sister, it's for a long weekend or for four days maximum. Tomorrow is my tenth day in a row.

When I come to NYC for just a short amount of time, I already have an agenda planned: shopping in SoHo and along 5th Avenue, a stop at Bergdorf's, lunch at a trendy sushi restaurant, Jamba Juice for dessert, and finally, a dinner at a nice restaurant and a Broadway show. Too busy to be aware.

But being here without a plan and an agenda, you see the city differently. You start noticing other things that you can't feel in a long weekend: people's attitude, the noise level throughout the night, the ethnic diversity everywhere around you, and most importantly, the fashion. The stereotypical New Yorker does not always wear black. The men and women of NYC are hip and urban-bohemian, who make strong individual fashion choices that reflect their true personality. Their hairstyles look unkempt, yet moussed and blown out that way purposefully. Their shoes range from high-gloss patent leather heels to dirty-looking Vans that were purchased today. They attack color with passion, and wear blacks and whites at full volume. They mean business.

It's so impressive. It makes DC fashion look like the preppy handbook. It makes my wardrobe look gray and overcast. New Yorkers' sense of style says, "Look at me and learn." DC's sense of style says, "I want to blend in and not make a statement."

I've learned a lot. And I'm going to try and bring a small hint of it back to DC.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The magic of being in NYC continues to unfurl before my eyes, so I decided to stay longer. I changed my train ticket and won't return to DC until this Thursday.

I was fashionably starstruck the other day: while walking around SoHo, I looked to my left and noticed an Asian woman who looked so familiar to me. "Who is she?!", I kept saying to myself.

Then I remembered her face from TV. It was Vera Wang, the queen designer of wedding gowns. She was smiling and talking to another woman who was clearly a supermodel (she was tall and lanky like a giraffe.)

The other side of being in NYC is that it makes me feel insecure, kind of like how I felt when I lived in Sydney. I won't get into it right now.

Maybe later.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Think About It:

A make-up company that's been around forever prides itself with the following slogan:

"Maybe she's born with it...maybe it's Maybelline."

If you carefully interpret what they're actually trying to say, it's more like:

"She's looks so natural...naw, she's made up like a circus clown."

And still you can re-phrase it like this:

"You butt ugly. You either got it from your momma or from your cheap ole' make-up."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No Other City In The World.

When it comes to shopping, there is truly no other city in the world that has an outlet or boutique for every major label and brand. Aside from the usual Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry. Christian Dior, Chanel and Fendi store found at every big city, let's take a look at the more exclusive brands:

USA stores:
Original Penguin
J. Crew Liquor Store (exclusively men's shop, selling exclusive items)
Double RL (Ralph Lauren urban cowboy clothing shop)
RLX (Ralph Lauren extreme sport label)
Ruehl (Leather Shop)
Ed Hardy
Tom Ford
David Yurman

European stores:
Pringle of Scotland
Hickey Freeman
Turnbull & Asser
J Lindeberg
Commes De Garcon

Asian stores:
Y-3 Adidas

The list goes on and on.

My guess is that Tokyo would be second to New York.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Be Careful How You Pronounce This:

It's like "Fuddruckers". Here we go:


That's the name of the place my sister and I went for lunch yesterday. And while the name sounds alluring, the outstanding reputation of the restaurant's food precedes its funny name. Food critics from many newspapers and magazines have raved over this asian noodle bar located in NYC on 1st Avenue.

I had never been before so we decided to check it out. On a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being the best- Ambience: 8, Service: 8, Food: 3.

Why a 3? The bowl of soup and ramen noodles I ordered was SALTY beyond a horse cube. My sister felt her food was so salty that she poured half a glass of water into her bowl to dilute the sharp taste. I turned around to ask the couple behind me if they felt the same. They agreed and couldn't finish the entrees they ordered.

Instead of just leaving, never coming back and not saying why, I decided to let the waitress know. She took my complaint to her boss who took it to the restaurant manager.

The manager came out, apologized, and then explained: we get this opinion from some diners, because they don't realize that our broths are cured-ham based, almost like a bacon or country ham. That's where the saltiness comes from."

"Oh. (Pause.) Ahhhhh. Now it makes so much sense! Looking back, I can totally taste it!"

He still comped us part of the meal.

So now you know.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Friends, Romans, Lend Me Your Ear!

To begin familiarizing myself with Rome, Paul and I rented "Roman Holiday" starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. It was a nice little classic that reminded me of "Notting Hill", starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. In both of these movies, an almost untouchable woman in the limelight became more human and girl-like when she was removed from her star-studded environment she was used to. She became even more vulnerable when she began falling for an every day ordinary man.

(Okay everyone, you all know it! On the count of three! Ready? One! Two! Three: "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.")

But getting back to the original purpose of watching "Roman Holiday", it showed the sights I'm supposed to see in Rome, but only in black and white. That made me even more excited to see the sights with my own eyes when I go in three weeks.

For now, I'll head off to NYC tomorrow morning to spend a few days with my sister and brother-in-law. Need something from NYC? Call me. Been to Rome or Venice and have some advice? E-mail me.

Have a great Monday.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Message From Taylor The Diva

"I know how you feel. I just don't care."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'll Settle For The Second Best Thing.

Louis Vuitton had three skateboards on sale in America for $8250 each (see entry from March 31st.) I never got a chance to purchase one (though I'm not even sure I would have if I was given a chance.)

I settled comfortably for this instead. Burberry made this deck several years ago. I wanted one, but wasn't ready to cough up the near five hundred dollars for it.

Now I have one, thanks to ebay. Me likey!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


On Easter Sunday, I got so many Easter presents I felt like I won the Showcase Showdown on "The Price Is Right."

Spoken in the tone of Rich Fields, the exaggerated and annoyingly excited voiceover for "The Price Is Right:"

"Ernie, your Showcase Showdown begins with two pairs of boxer shorts from Calvin Klein! Soft and supple, they're there on the double! Calvin Klein- nothing comes between you and your Calvins!

And of course, two pairs of boxers wouldn't be complete without a spring jacket from The North Face! Perfect for the spring season, whether it's sunny or rainy outdoors, this two layer jacket will have you ready for either damp or sunny weather! North Face- Never Stop Exploring!

And who wouldn't wear a new jacket without a brand new pair of shoes from...Prada! Perfectly sized for your feet, this pair of Pradas is outfitted with plum-colored patent leather accents, making you appear totally crazy and completely colorblind! Prada- coulda', shoulda', Prada!

Finally, with all your new clothes ready for an adventure, you're ready to go to ROME AND VENICE! You and the person that gave you this showdown will fly to Rome and Venice and stay eight days and seven nights in the month of May, drinking espresso in cafes and eating gelato as you walk around trying to find the Pope!

All this is yours, and because it is a gift, The Price Is Right!"

Monday, April 13, 2009


Two weeks ago, I had a bone marrow biopsy to test for cancerous growth. I thought the procedure involved taking a six inch needle and ramming into my hip. Instead, the doctor used a thin corkscrew that she twisted around and around into my buttcheek to drill through the bone. I was sore for days.

Results: no cancer, but bone marrow should be about 50% fat and 50% bone marrow. I have only 10% marrow. The rest is fat. This is typical of an 80 year old man, not for a 38 year old clueless filipino.

Last week, I had a PETscan done, not a CTscan, on my entire body to detect cancerous cells anywhere else other than in my brain, which would include the liver. (CTscans detect physical appearance, PETscans detect physiological or chemistry make-up.)

I got the results today: no cancerous cells in the liver, but the scan did detect an 8mm nodule in my neck. My doctors said that could be anything.

Most people who I told about the spot on my neck were unalarmed and dismissed it as nothing. If it is truly nothing, then why even bother mentioning it in the report?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter, Everyone!

He (not Snoopy) is risen indeed!

I hope you had some honey spiral ham. I didn't. But it's okay.

Big blog entry coming up soon...regarding health and wealth (and lack thereof).

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ernie, You're Weird.

I started feeling very nostalgic last night because I was on youtube watching the music video for "True" by Spandau Ballet. I remembered the video so well because I had a serious crush on the lead singer when I first saw the video back in 1984.

Then "True" was used in the movie "Sixteen Candles" at a very critical moment when Samantha saw Jake slow dance with his girlfriend at a high school dance. I too had a crush on Jake.

Then there's the group P.M. Dawn, who took the guitar riff of "True" and threw in Eric B. and Rakim's backbeat of "Paid In Full." They stirred in a little bit of their own lyrics, and tad-dah, a number one hit in 1992.

Finally, a remix DJ took both songs "True" and "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss" and put together a whopping nine minute song. The best of both worlds.

I'm stuck in the 80's and always will be.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

What Happened?

Val Kilmer, I'm not going to assume anything so, are you pregnant?

I hate to sing it, but I'm going to anyway: "Nah. nah, nah, nah, nah. nah, nah, nah, Fat-man!"

Friday, April 03, 2009

"YEOUCH!", Goes My Buttcheek!

Ohhh, the doctor didn't jab me in the hip- rather on my left buttock. I am so sore! I can barely walk today! YOWZA!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hear Me Out.

Tomorrow morning, unbeknownst to most of you, I will trek down to Charlottesville once again, but this time, to have a bone marrow biopsy, where they take a six inch needle and jam it into your hip and snip off a piece of marrow for testing.

Stay with me...

For that, I want to be rewarded. Why? Let me explain. There seems to be a "rewards/incentive" program in some parts of living life. For example, when you go to work and endure hardships at the office, you get a paycheck for all your efforts. When a child goes to the dentist or doctor, they get a sugar-free lollipop for their courage and good behavior. And when we vote or donate blood, we get a sticker letting everyone know what we did.

So what's wrong with me wanting to reward myself after I go through this potentially painful procedure? I ain't sayin' it has to be a $8250 skateboard, but how about a little somethin'-somethin' that keeps my focus off the procedure and on the prize?

I've been through five brain surgeries, several rounds of radiation, and enough chemotherapy that I want to start rewarding myself every now and then. Is that being too child-like? Too greedy?

To borrow Lon Solomon's words, "Not a sermon, just a thought."

May your Thursday be procedure-free.