Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tiger Woods' Jesus shot

This is just too funny!

Sorry for the lack of posts, but real life has kept me very busy, and many things are going on. That being said, I've also been glued to the TV, watching the Olympics practically every night. Michael Phelps is my new hero!!! Anyhow, maybe when things die down in mid-Sep., I will be back in posting mood, but I will expect that my posts will unfortunately be few and far.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Beijing Olympics are finally here!!!

I'm re-posting this official Olympic anthem 'cause I'm SOOOOooooo excited to watch the Opening Ceremony tonight, and anyhow, I can't get this song out of my head, so why even try? The first time I posted this song, it was edited down and didn't have any subtitles. The first version below is full and is fully translated. After seeing the meaning behind the song, I definitely think that the lyrics are both inspiring and extremely poetic, which is very much in line with how Chinese poetry flows. It is a very patriotic song, but how can you blame China? - they are a very patriotic nation.

Anyhow, enjoy the song. I wonder if it will be performed at the ceremony. Also, I listed two versions because the 2nd version has a different ending, where they actually show the athletes in action. I think this will be one of the best Summer Olympics yet!

Monday, August 4, 2008

the Olsen twins' new coffee-table book

Speaking of twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will be co-authors on a new coffee-table book titled "Influence." Featuring 22 interviews with who they deemed influential actors, designers, and artists, the book features the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, John Galliano, Lauren Hutton, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Louboutin, Margherita Missoni, and Giambattista Valli.

While I wouldn't call myself an Olsen fan, one of the things I admire most about them are their work ethics. People make fun of their "hobo" fashion styles and call them out on MK's eating disorders, or who Ashley is currently dating, but what I find most remarkable about them is that even though they rarely speak to the press, and aren't in-your-face in their need for fame, they were able to transcend all of that by just working hard in areas that interest them, which in these days are fashion for Ash and acting for MK.

They've been working since they were toddlers, have never been exploited in a way that was damaging to their reputations, and were keen enough to go to college when they obviously had little need of it, if only to expand their minds just a little more. I admire how private they are, while at the same time building an empire that seems very much to be built on love and a belief in their own products. One forgets how young they still are, but they appear to be very wise due to their life experiences. Because of that, I would be very interested in reading what they feel are "influences" that have made them strong and successful.

"Influence" - Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen - $35 (Pre-order at Amazon or Barnes & Noble - available Oct. 28th)

Jolie-Pitt twins!!!

The first photos of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's twins have hit the web. I think these photos were supposedly taken by the same photographer, but oddly, the People cover is much more "clean and soft" in terms of colors compared the Hello! cover, which is grainy and dark.

The babies are too young to look like offspring of mega-stars, but I can't wait to rifle through the pages of these mags, if only 'cause I just have an inexplicable fascination with Brad and Angie, as does the rest of the world. Something about the way they can live their lives so freely, jetting here and there, having a gazillion children but still looking like a young, loving couple, spreading humanity and grace around the world - there is a charm to that that is so attractive, and in some ways, enviable. They seem untouched by the worries that we every day folks have.

Anyhow, the only thing I'm jealous about is that they were able to have twins! If I ever have children, that was what I wanted, a boy and girl, at the same time. They are just so lucky...sigh...

Source & Source

Obama is NOT Mr. Darcy, IMHO

I normally try to not state my political views here, mainly because I don't believe this is the best platform, nor do I think people in general care about my views, but reading this op-ed piece really stirred a level of discomfort that I didn't know I had about the current election.

In the New York Times, there was a piece that compared Barack Obama to Mr. Darcy (the haughty but dashing hero), and America as Elizabeth Bennett (the spritely, carefree heroine). In an unfair way, John McCain was compared to Wickham (the dishonorable villain). While the piece was written eloquently and with much wit, I don't know if I agree that Obama is Darcy, and I only say this because I love Darcy!

I was a Hillary fan all the way. Despite the critics out there (really, which candidate is wholly perfect?), I really believed that she could make a change for the better based on her experience, intelligence, and understanding of both domestic and global issues. So I was very sad the day she was no longer in the running. I look at the current candidates and see flaws written all over them, with issues that they bring as "benefits" which to me are clear problems.

Barack Obama is a great speaker, has presence on stage, clearly loves his family, and believes in bringing "change" to the White House. My biggest problem with him is that I don't know what that "change" is supposed to be, and how he's going to do that. In fact, based on what I just wrote about him, I know VERY little about his policies. I can easily Google those and read them, but I think my issue with him is that I don't believe him. I think he's a master manipulator in his debates, where he tailors his thoughts for specific audiences; how different is that from when John Kerry was running 4 years ago and people accused him of being a flip-flopper? However, he slides by and gets away with this a lot of times. I'm not a political analyst, so I'm not going to try to name every episode, but I've been reading articles here and there, and listened to some of his debates, and just based on his answers on how he's going to handle the economy and taxes, there is a lot he doesn't understand about basic finances. I used to think I was a Democrat, but I'm beginning to think I'm more of a liberal, because I have issues with raising taxes to help fiscally-irresponsible Americans. There, I've said it, most Americans are big spenders, with debts up the wazoo, and now responsible Americans have to pay more taxes to help those who didn't manage their money well? It's one thing if people are working and underpaid, but an entirely different issue if people don't know HOW to pay for something, but can't stop buying. Sorry, I don't want to be a part of that. But if Obama is elected, there is a big chance that he will raise taxes only for a certain income-bracket, and relieve those with mortgage probs. I think there needs to be more assessments in this area than just lumping everyone together and making everyone responsible for those who abuse the system.

I also think he's too green. He's just not experienced enough, and I think his strategy is to please the audience, get into the White House, and then figure it all out once he sits as President. I think he's a lot of BS sometimes, and I mean that in the most polite way. He's on an extended job interview, and every time he has to talk to a new person, he reads that person by how they ask the question, by what their body language is, and he tailors his answers to please the interviewer. But what are really his credentials? There aren't enough to say whether or not he can get the job done, and do I like what he has planned? I just don't know, because his platform to this day is still too vague.

In terms of McCain, poor guy, he's getting older but he wants this job so badly. I respect that he's a former POW, that he's one of the most liberal Republicans out there, but my biggest hang-up with him is the issue of abortion. I think I feel better with his stance on the economy compared to Obama, but geez, what century are we living in, what country are we living in, if the most basic woman's right is taken away? I'm not FOR abortion, but I don't think it should be illegal. If a woman is going to get pregnant and doesn't want that child, she should be able to walk into a medical clinic and seek help. I don't want to read anymore about women fiddling with wire hangers or throwing babies away into public toilets or dumpsters, because if you put a woman in a desperate situation, she will do desperate things. Allow a woman to choose, and McCain, you just might have my vote.

I have never wanted to vote for a Republican in my life, but the choices here aren't so stellar, in my mind. If it were Hillary vs. McCain, hands-down the Democrats would have my vote. I'm tired to reading about how "great" Obama is. I want to understand what he will do for our country, and for me as a citizen. Lay out your platform, and maybe I will re-assess. But you ain't no Mr. Darcy, 'cause you haven't won my heart just yet.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

another Harry Potter book!

Two months ago I wrote about the auction of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," a handwritten collection of short stories by J.K. Rowling. Amazon owned the only original copy that was available for sale, and at the time, they did not have the right to publish it, so we were stuck reading synopses, which is just a tad boring compared to actually reading the stories themselves. But with perseverance and patience, everyone in the world will now have a chance to read it. In December, the book will be published and available for sale! This is especially exciting for "Harry Potter" fans such as myself. :D

In addition to the standard, mainstream copies, for a limited time, Amazon is selling a replica of the book they own. This version is only available through Amazon. I immediately jumped at the chance to own a copy.

Tucked in its own case disguised as a wizarding textbook found in the Hogwarts library, the Collector's Edition includes an exclusive reproduction of J.K. Rowling's handwritten introduction, as well as 10 additional illustrations not found in the Standard Edition or the original. Opening the case reveals a velvet bag embroidered with J.K. Rowling’s signature, in which sits the piece de resistance: your very own copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, complete with metal skull, corners, and clasp; replica gemstones; and emerald ribbon.

As a bibliophile, I'm a sucker for interesting books. I think I just love the idea of owning a book that is similar to what the characters in HP would be reading, and not your standard, mass-produced book. Only thing is, I have to wait 6 months to get my hands on it! But better late than never!

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" Collector's Edition - by J.K. Rowling - $100 (only at Amazon)


Friday, August 1, 2008

zhang ziyi's engagement ring

I was quite surprised when I first read that Zhang Ziyi 章子怡 was engaged. She's so private I didn't even know she was dating! Or, maybe in America, she just wasn't a big enough star to have that sort of press published. (Personally, I'd rather read about her engagement than to endure another cover story on any of the Hiltons/Lohans/Hills girls/etc., but you get the point.)

After much roving, I finally found pics of her gargantuous ring. I have no idea who made it, what cut it is, etc., but it's definitely a sparkler. (That double starfish ring is to die for, though!)

Congrats to her and her MOGUL fiancé, Aviv "Vivi" Nevo. Up until I read his name in Vogue, I had never heard of him, but as his outings w/ ZZ have been more frequent, he is starting to get into the spotlight himself. One example was via this investigative report from the New York Times. It appears, they are very interested in him, too!

As for the ring, even though it's so huge, it doesn't come off tacky at all. The design of the ring feels classic and stately, unlike Mariah's ring pop. :P Can't wait to see pics of her wedding, which is supposed to happen next year...!


August 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

a VERY limited Louis Vuitton...hehe

The main reason this Louis Vuitton bag won't last forever? 'Cause it's made of sugar and flour!

Gregory Soriano, a master baker, created this CAKE in a tribute to the Louis Vuitton Patchwork Tribute bag from last year. I am ogling this photo and just can't get my head wrapped around that this is a cake, and not some whimsical sculpture. Dubbed the "World's Most Expensive Cake," I actually wonder how much a cake of this artistic quality would go for. He has some other designs as well, but this one really, ahem, takes the cake. :D

The cake is above, while the purse that inspired it is below.

Source & Source

Christian the Hugging Lion

OMG, watching this video made me want to weep like a baby, but my heart swelled at the same time. I am such an animal lover that seeing a wild animal recognizing his former masters and giving them such loving hugs really touched me in that weird, maternal way (and, no, I have no children so I really couldn't relate!). Anyhow, if you haven't already seen this video, check out the whole story from the "Today Show. " It's so sweet!!!

Below are some "home photos" of the lion while he was living with his human family before he outgrew them. So cute!!!

In addition, this lion cub made such an impression that he inspired a wildlife preservation called the George Adamson Trust. Learn more and support their conservation efforts here.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zhang Ziyi vs. Lucy Liu

With the Beijing Olympics upon us in a matter of weeks, there was bound to be additional coverage, as was the case for the August issues of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

In terms of coverage, who wins? On this side of the ring, Zhang Ziyi 章子怡 had a glowing article about her rise to stardom, starting with her humble beginnings to her now international fame and new engagement to international tycoon and venture capitalist Aviv "Vivi" Nevo. Her photo shoot wasn't too bad, although the styles they paired her with were rather harsh, mostly in terms of the make-up and hair (feels like they were trying to claim the '80s?). I don't have scans of the pics, but you can see her video below as she talks about the photo shoot. And of course, she was featured in Vogue, the mother of all fashion mags. However, other than the fact that she is Beijing-born, nothing in the article or photos link her at all to the Olympics (ok, she was one of the Olympic torchbearers, but that was hardly emphasized).

On the other side of the ring, Lucy Liu had a more Olympic-inspired photo shoot, which was fairly creative, and her pictorial spread was much larger. However, there was not a word about her, not even a blurb on anything she was potentially promoting, so it looked like they borrowed her to model for the mere fact that she is Chinese-American (and thus, she's really Team USA). Her photos were in Harper's Bazaar, which as of late has been more inspiring for me to pick through than Vogue has been, so it's not THE best, but pretty up there in my mind.

So who wins? I say.....NEITHER! Assuming that the fashion world is embracing all things from China, and the Beijing Olympics being such a platform (note that a lot of design houses even created special, limited-edition pieces for the Asian market BECAUSE of the Olympics), I find it terribly defeating that neither could make the covers.

For Vogue, Kate Moss was on the cover, which makes sense seeing that she is 1) a supermodel, and 2) promoting her fashion empire, but her photos weren't even that great (see article and photos here). They could've put her on the cover of the September issue, since that's when the new Topshop will debut in the US (she being one of the coveted lines in the brand, it would have made sense in that case). Zhang Ziyi could easily have been on the cover, and no one would have thought it strange. She's been seen on the red carpet very frequently, wearing all the new designers, so she is already known for embracing fashion. I would have loved to see a beautiful spread of her in China, w/ maybe the Olympic stadiums or ye ole' temples or modern skyscrapers in the backdrop. How lush would it have been to see her in gorgeous gowns and showing the beauty of Beijing behind her? I don't particularly think that Ziyi is a great actress either, but she is def. on the A-list, and Americans do recognize that she is a "star," so why not the cover?

For Harper's Bazaar, there was a boring article about Jessica Biel (who has never done anything great except a GQ cover and dating Justin Timberlake, IMHO), and some lame photos of her "dancing" with designers like Vera Wang and Zac Posen. The photo qualities were mediocre, and if you were to compare her to Lucy Liu, she didn't have anything in particular to promote either, so how'd she make the cover? Lucy had some cool photos, and while they weren't shot in Beijing, they were cute in trying to blend fashion with athleticism. I don't know if Lucy is still big enough to land a cover, but isn't it a little sad if she was only able to land the photo shoot 'cause she was Chinese-American, and for no other reason? Like, some editor in some glossy magazine cubicle sat there and said, "Beijing Olympics are coming up, we need to put a Chinese person in this shoot, quick, how many well-known Chinese actresses are there that we can land for this? They don't even need to be promoting anything, or talk, 'cause we're not going to bother interviewing them. Just make sure they're Chinese."

Anyhow, maybe I should be happy any Asians get their own coverage, but it pains me that no Asian one can land the cover yet. One would have thought that this time, this would have been a great opportunity to do more than just the norms. Do you have any thoughts?