Thursday, January 12, 2006

Happy New Year

I am writing this for L. So we went to the Martha Show taping yesterday and it was really interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes when they tape the show.
I am going to audition for Kaplan. I hope I get it. I am going to teach how to tell a Renoir from a Monet painting. A tad dorky but there is nothing else I could think of.
I ran today and I have been listening to two song over and over again. "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas and "Pass the Dutch" by Missy Elliott. Any suggestions for fast beat music?
I am excited about "Beauty and the Geek" even though it is going to cut into my OC time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Life as We Know It

Rio is now really old. He had to wear a boy kimono for his birthday.

I have been eating yogurt relentlessly in the interminable pursuit for youth and good health. I have also been eating ryvita fruit crunch. ( It is yum and on sale at Whole Foods. Aaron hopes that my diet will not give me scurvy. Blasted, methinks I am a pirate. ARRRR!
Since I am again bored of my movies/art/book of the week, I will start writing my thoughts again. Oh the inconstancy! I miss jibber jabber.
But I must say that the respite from writing was good for me. Thanksgiving was big ass pie event. I made pumpkin pie which turned out to be same cost-wise as buying a pie at Whole Foods. If life was a Mastercard commercial:

Pie Crust: $2.39
Canned Pumpkin: $1.50
Alice as wannabe Martha: Priceless
The respite has extended to other areas of my life. My first time at the gym in a long time. I forgot my headphones so I didn't catch who won on The Biggest Loser. I am really excited about the Bachelor in Paris. Nothing can beat meshing my two loves together: France and reality TV. Oo laa laa. I have no idea who win ANTM or on Trump's Apprentice.
I also stopped drinkiing coffee. I am big on tea now. I love Earl Grey and Chai. Has anyone ever had Twinings Lady Grey? How is it? Any other suggestions for tea?

Teahee Teahee. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Movie of the Week


I admit I am a sucker for Broadway remakes. Chicago, The Producers..they both bestill my heart. Rent is just a little too late. While it was fun singing (albeit in my head) to the tunes I grew up with in high school, the story did not ring true to me as it once did. Kudos for Rosario for she clearly stole the show. Angel rocked too. Save yourself the ten bucks and dig up that soundtrack and turn it up full blast. Vive La Boheme!

Book of the Week

By Malcolm Gladwell
Aaron's on _The Tipping Point_ written by the same author. Blink started with a *BANG* and kinda poo poo'ed at the end. The book motivated me enough to go to his website ( only to find that his articles were pretty much excerpts from the book. The premise goes trust your gut. He provides lots of compelling examples as to why to trust it: Kouros statue, thin-slicing couple, face reading, and then goes to tell us all the times it doesn't work. Bottom line: trust your gut but question the criteria for the snap judgment. So...I was going to give it five stars but after heavy consideration, it gets a good solid two and a half. Zing!

Art of the Week

Dutch Design @ FIT

Northern Europe is arguably the forefront of product design (Hail, the mighty billion dollar empire of Ikea and the lovely speciaty market of Bodum) and FIT seem to intimate that the Dutch's prowess will soon dominate the fashion frontier. I decreeth not. Though I rather enjoyed learning about the Dutch values of conceptualization and effort, fashion stemming from their intellect and wit just drew lots of question marks. My blank stares slowly turned to saddened side turns of the head. The horrorific sight of the surrealist jacket with many sleeves. Tsk tsk!

"How come their products are so good but fashion so sucks?" I ask.

It has to do with how the Dutch approach the issue. With products, concepts seem to address the question. How can we make this chair comfortable using the lightest material possible? Voila! Concept becomes reality. Since fashion does not a)center around a question b)aim to be practical, the Dutch conceptualizes questions that are weird and comes up with answers that are even weirder. If we can make shoes from cows, what if we made mole rat shoes? Indeed they answer that one too.
The only thing redeeming about the exhibit was the designs of Victor&Rolf, who seems to use a very understandable yet still very Dutch way of approaching fashion. Their structural designs and cut of the fabric is bar none the best. Snip away boys!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Museums of the Week

What goes up must come down. Exhibitions at the Met has been so dead on but Montebello definitely made a faux pas (or two) with Fra Angelico and the Clouet to Seurat.
Clouet to Seurat

Indeed was just that...Clouet to Seurat drawings. The beginning of the exhibit qualifies that the British Museum (where these works were borrowed from) is second to the collections in France, but having gone to the Musee D'Orsay, where works were exhaustive, this collection left a lot to be desired. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the new renovations within the museum. Walking around in that part of the museum was new to me.

Annual Christmas Tree at the Met

Intricate and classical to say the least. Each angel is unique. The clothes on the angels are to look windblown. Though the tree is not real, the foreground surrounding it is. A sight to behold.

Fra Angelico

Not a fan of fourteenth century religious artwork but must admit Brother Angel was very modern for his time. Colors are exceedingly rich. Walked around the Lehman rotunda only to find my sister fascinated with an Ingres. Wayward.

FIT:Fashion and Textile

Amazing collection of clothing that are superbly well preserved. Lots of vintage, classic Chanels, YSL, Balenciaga, Christian Dior, as well as newbies such as Proenza Schouler and Zac Posen (all graduates of FIT). Sure the name is famous but got to understand in-depth as to why they were. Contrasts were also dealt with (ex: Coco vs Karl Lagerfeld, Balenciaga vs Ghesquiere). Educational yet wearable.

"Real Women Have Curves"

NYTimes reviewed the Giacometti exhibit at the PaceWildenstein this past weekend. Among his subjects, Caroline was Giacometti's last and most beloved woman in his life. She was a prostitute that once snubbed a cigarette onto a portrait he had done of her (shown in the gallery). His plasters really appeal to me and his life is beyond interesting. Great way to end the week.

Movies of the Week

Pride & Prejudice

Must See. Sure it is romantic but very witty. Keira Knightley really held her own even vis a vis Grand Dame Judy Dench. Some complain that this Darcy is no Colin Firth, but he definitely played the role well and really gave good chemistry. Bingleys were a cute side story. Up there with the Producers.


Though few words pass between Mirabelle and Roy Porter, Claire Danes and Steve Martin bring complexity to the characters through emotion and things that went unsaid. I felt a loss at the end and that is not a great feeling to round out the evening. Rental.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Character of the Day

Bīng. This one is always useful. It means soldier, weapon, army, or military strategy. It is comprised of gǒng () on the bottom, representing two hands, and jīn () on the top, meaning axe. Let’s look at some combinations.

卫兵 – wèibīng means guard
红卫兵 – hóngwèibīng means Red Guard
老兵 – lǎobīng means veteran
新兵 – xīnbīng means recruit
炮兵 – pàobīng means artillery
士兵 – shìbīng means soldiers (rank and file)
撤兵 – chèbīng means to withdraw troops
当兵 – dāngbīng means to serve in the military
佣兵 – yōngbīng means mercenary
宪兵 – xiànbīng means military police
征兵 – zhēngbīng means conscription, draft, or to conscript
兵力 – bīnglì means military strength
兵马 – bīngmǎ means military forces
兵马俑 – bīngmǎyǒng means terracotta warriors
兵刃 – bīngrèn means weapons
兵戎 – bīngróng means weapons as well
兵役 – bīngyì means military service
兵变 – bīngbiàn means mutiny
兵法 – bīngfǎ means the art of war or military tactics
兵营 – bīngyíng means military camp or barracks

So, there you have it.

Tea Corner

Hello. Welcome to another edition of Tea Corner. Today, we're going to be discussing blending tea. It's a great way to get new flavors from the teas that you already have, and it's an excellent way to enjoy your rare or expensive teas while making them last a bit longer.

Blending tea is really just combining two different kinds of tea leaves in one pot/cup of tea. For example, I'm currently drinking a pot comprised of half white tea (from some tea house in Eau Claire, WI) and half wulong tea (from Porto Rico in NYC). It's a great combination that adds a smoothness and brightness to the usual properties of wulong.

I also enjoy blending lychee red and pu'er tea with some regular loose green that I get at Trader Joe's . A whole pot of lychee or pu'er can be a bit overwhelming, but blending them with the green allows you to enjoy the flavors of these teas in a bit more subtle configuration. It's also nice because I got them in Lijiang, China, and I'd like to be able to enjoy them often and not run out before I get back there.

So, that's it for today. Don't take my word for it. Experiment with some combinations of teas and see if they float your boat. If you come up with something especially tasty, let me know. Bye.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Color Change

Ok, it's time for a change to the color scheme of this thing. If you read this, leave a comment to suggest a new set of colors (two should be enough to work with) or something else that will indicate how you want this to look. You can do it anonymously, so don't be shy. I'm not the best with the whole color coordinating thing, but I have to do all the setup here, because Alice's computer is from the stone age. So, go for it.

Character of the Day

Fú. Here’s a useful one. It means to serve, to obey, to take (medicine), or clothing. The left part is yuè (), which means moon, and the right part is fú (don’t have this by itself), which is an ancient character meaning rule. It combines with many other characters to make other words, so let’s check some of them out:

说服 – shuōfú (or shuìfú) means to persuade or to lobby
便服 – biànfú means casual clothes
叹服 – tànfú means to admire
信服 – xìnfú means to believe in
礼服 – lǐfú means ceremonial or formal dress
制服 – zhìfú means uniform
心服 – xīnfú means to admire sincerely
征服 – zhēngfú means to conquer
舒服 – shūfú means comfortable
和服 – héfú means kimono
屈服 – qūfú means to submit, to yield, or to accept defeat
衣服 – yīfú means clothing
克服 – kèfú means to overcome
服从 – fúcóng means to obey
服气 – fúqì means to concede or to be convinced
服侍 – fúshì means to serve or to attend to
服务 – fúwù means service
服役 – fúyì means military service
服用 – fúyòng means to take (medicine)
服装 – fúzhuāng means clothing, dress, garment, or costume
服毒 – fúdú means to take poison
服罪 – fúzuì means to plead guilty
服药 – fúyào means to take medicine
服帖 – fútiē means obedient, submissive, proper, or well handled

So, there they are. Clothing, war, debate, and servitude. All use fú. That’s all for today.

New Shoes

I got these shoes today. They feel really nice. I'm looking forward to taking them out tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Women of Alberto Giacometti

My inaugural art piece. From now on, instead of blathering, I will write about one topic in the name of constructivism. This blog aims to learn and pass on, so I am keeping up with the theme to this blog.

Located on Park Ave and 57th street, the Pace Wildenstein gallery has a new exhibition entitled "The Women of Giacometti," housing 48 works of the eponymous artist. His oeuvre spans from the 1920-50s, among the most notable the Venuses of Giacometti, a group of steel figures that have never been shown all together. Fascinated by the woman figure, Giacometti intensively studied the subject which including his mother, Annette, wife and other models. While his most notable medium is steel sculpture, several portraits are also included in this exhibition. My favorite among them was a sculpture acquired by Peggy Guggenheim entitled "Woman with her Throat cut off." I find it to be exceedingly modern, and as the scales and vertabrae align in harmony, poetic and yet immensely tragic. But dont count his skinny, molten figurines out. The medium is hard to play with but yet the fragility of his women are so tenuous that the relief of his figures, creates a depth to them to reveal that female beauty does not merely lie on the surface. Indeed.