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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ctrl BG: A Shortcut to Financial News 12/14

It's been a stressful few weeks for US auto makers. Last week, they handed in their proposals to be reviewed by Congress. I'm not sure about the details, but it was along the lines of major cut backs, and the Ford CEO vowing to work for $1 a year if Ford had to take money from the government (they are currently only asking for a loan line for emergency). At the beginning of the week, the senate approved a bailout. On Thursday, it was blocked by opposing Republicans, who thinks that it will be better for the big 3 to pursue a prearranged bankruptcy instead and also because the Unions wouldn't back down from a wage cut (beggars really can't be choosers...). Supporters argue that no one wants to buy cars from a bankrupt car company, which is a very valid point (think of the warranty/repair issues!). On Friday, Bush had to step in vowing to save the automakers from collapsing, with the TARP money (which they originally didn't want to do). A lot is at stake. The automakers claim that 1 out of 10 jobs in the US is connected to the auto industry. That would be devastating to the already weak economy.

A very good example of this trickling effect, would be GMAC the auto financier, which just got approved to become a bank holding company last week. Unfortunately, becoming a bank holding company is not as easy as GS and MS makes it out to be and they're struggling to raise the capital needed to do so. They are trying to renegotiate with debt holders to swap the debt for a smaller amount of debt, cash and preferred shares. If this doesn't work then they are highly likely to go into bankruptcy.

The other big news this week was Bernie Madoff $50 billion fraud. This former chairman of the NASDAQ stock market and Wall Street legend, is allegedly the perpetrator of a $50 billion giant ponzi scheme. According to Wiki, a ponzie scheme is a fraudalent investment operation that pays abnormally high returns to investors using the money coming in from subsequent investors. Apparently lots of the super wealthy have been fooled by this scheme. It is amazing how much you can get away with, with a good reputation and an affable character!

It appears though that the markets is already immune to these scandals, because the markets ended (by a tiny bit) up this week!

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Friday, December 12, 2008

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I'm getting better at this whole painting thing...

either that or i just need more time on a piece... probably a little bit of both

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: That’s a “Rad” Lemur

Confidential to Stefan Richter: It’s “Top Chef,” Not “Project Runway” (Though Michael Kors Would Certainly Say the Crotch on Those Pants Is “Insane” )

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Blondie's Got a Treasure Trail!

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Danny Gagnon Triumphantly Displays the Results of His IQ Test

Cool Gilt Groupe Finds

Ever since the Gilt Groupe offered Fashion Bombers an invite to their exclusive sales, I haven't been able to stop myself from perusing their fabulous offerings!
A few Milly items from today:

1. Belted Strapless Dress, $155. 2. Grace Lace Sheath Dress, $144. 3. Printed Stand Collar Coat, $202.
And it seems they still have a few Pour la Victoire shoes in stock:

1. Sybil Sandal, $128. 2.Dionne Pump, $88. 3. Laurette Sandal, $98.
The prices are *great* and the selection isn't bad.
Want to browse? Join by going to

Fashion Fun: Patrick Demarchelier at Petit Palais

Today I went to the Musee au Petit Palais... check out an exhibit on fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier.
If you saw The Devil Wears Prada, you might remember Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) saying, "Did Demarchelier confirm?" and Emily calling his office and responding, "I have Patrick!!" In case you didn't get the reference, Demarchelier is a premiere fashion and beauty photographer. Shooting for British, French, American, and Italian Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and more, Demarchelier manages to capture the beauty of his subjects with seeming simplicity, always delivering a memorable shot.
A few photos from the exhibit:
It was honestly breathtakingly beautiful--really the first time I've taken the time to notice the art inherent in everything from fashion shoots to advertorials.
Cool fact, Demarchelier shot Janet Jackson's cover from her janet album:
...and much much more.
Read more about Demarchelier here, or if you're in Paris, the exhibit will be up until January 4th.
And one parting shot from the city of lights:
Aren't you glad my camera's working again?

Hoot The Lights

Matt Kolling

Mail Bombs: J. Lo's Red Carpet Look, Keri Hilson's Gray Strapless Jumpsuit, and Sanaa's Flirty Headband

Only a few more Mail Bomb posts before the year ends...
...let's get in all that fashion goodness!
First Jewel from New Orleans says, "I am hoping you can help me find out who designed the hot dress J. Lo wore to the premiere of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button's in L.A."
"...and can you also help me find a similar design at a cheaper price?"
According to, J.Lo is wearing a Roberto Cavalli ivory gown. For a similar look, Adriana found these options:
Left to Right: Notch Bodice Halter Gown, $228; Bias Cut Gown, $308
Next Kamilah says, "Do you know who made the jumper Keri Hilson wore to the Lexus Listening Lounge?"
Since she's posted up with Project Runway's Mychael Knight, I'm assuming she chose to wear one of his singular creations along with her $83 Soldier Girl coat. If you want a similar look, add a gold belt to this $210 Paul & Joe Sister Noisette Bandeau Jumpsuit...
...and pop on a pair of gold hoops.
Randa says, "I am sending you this picture of Sanaa Lathan because I love her headband!!"
"Do you know where I can get one like it?"
Of course! Adriana found these chic, affordable headbangers:

1. Forever 21 Sequined Headband, $5. 2.Bebe Skinny Metallic Elastic Headband, $12. 3. Forever 21 Metallic Headband, $3
Ramona liked last week's post on Ciara's lace up boots, but was more interested in her dress:
She says, "I'm going to a party and would love to have this dress for the occasion."
Mimic Ciara's off the shoulder steeze with this $102 C&C Califoria Wool Jersey Dress:
Lastly, Akilah from LA comes with a wardrobe query. She says, "Here is the dress that I plan to wear for New Years..."
"...I was wondering what kind of shoes I could pair it with? I will be in LA so I can do sandals in the winter time BUT I'm a college student so my budget is TIGHT. Under $100 pretty please."
Since there's quite a bit going on with that dress, I'd stay keep it simple with a black shoe. Yes, black sounds boring, but you can dress and jazz it up with a pop of patent leather or details like cut outs or fringe:

1. Pelle Moda Women's Colette Dress Pump, $98. 2. Guess Women's Millicent Pump, $55. 3. STEVEN by Steve Madden Women's Bijoux Pump, $72.
That does it!
This weekend I'm going to my first défilé de mode (fashion show) with Fashion Bomb reader Aissata! My camera is finally working (yeah, did I mention I broke it at the Kanye Concert?) so I'll be snapping some fresh pics for Monday.
Stay tuned...and have great weekends!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Websnob: This Week's Hottest Fashion Links

* A Few Goody GumDrops is wearing Red Crocodile Cuffs from Nancy Gonzalez for the holidays!
*Stiletto Jungle features the best eyeliner and how to wear it.
*Allie is Wired has a fashion face off: Rihanna vs. Kourtney Kardashian.
*Christina Loves... luxury cosmetics bags from Give.
*Coquette gets ready for the cold with winter cords.
*Fashion Pulse is definitely obsessed with the exposed zipper trend. See how to get the look on a budget.
*The Fashionable Housewife is really digging the Kitten Heel Trend that Michelle Obama has brought back to life!
*The Shoe Goddess is obsessed with these delicate, pale pink Christian Louboutin Petal Sandals!
*Quinta Trends presents the lovely collection of Chilean designer Karina Latorre.
*It's time for Second City Style's annual 12 Days of Christmas (Shopping). See what we want from Santa!
*Shopping and Info found great black strapless dresses for your holiday parties.
*StyleBakery wants you to give green with eco-friendly presents for everyone on your list.
*Sxy Fashion Queen invites you to Gareth Pugh Celebrity Fanclub.
*The Beauty Stop shows off the brand new Ellen DeGeneres for CoverGirl ads.

Gail Simmons’ Wedding-Gift Registry: You Can Still Get Her a Fish Spatula (Though Obviously Not for Chilean Sea Bass)

Well, possums, although helpfully informs us that Gail Simmons and Jeremy Abrams have been married for 116 days, it is not too late to get our buxom and leonine McGill graduate a gift.

Gail and Jeremy registered at Bloomingdale’s and Williams-Sonoma, and there are a number of affordable items left (we’re eyeing a basting spoon). So go on, and have a look.

The Sarawak Almanac

The Sarawak Almanac is just so uniquely Sarawak that I cannot really explain to someone who does not see it as thus.

I cannot remember exactly when I started using one as it has always been around me. But the first time I was "awarded" one was when I taught in the Limbang Government School in 1974 and the Principal gave out one to each Head of Department. It thus became a kind of "award and or reward" for a Sarawak civil servant who has a "position which requires an Almanac". That is how I look at it in one way. Government bodies are given free limited copies in the past. I am not sure about the situation now. Those who hold lesser posts have to buy their own or just have to refer to the free ones lying around the staff room. There were even small jealousies caused by the awarding of the Almanac. Little trickling of " kiasuism " over a small government issued Almanac.

Years later I found out that some friends who used to serve in Sarawak also treasure it and I started giving the Almanac as gifts. Several years ago I made the Almanac my special Christmas gift and sent them out as postal gifts to these Friends of Sarawak i.e. friends who have served alongside me in Sarawak and are now back home in their own countries. But because of mobility and cost of postage and also the Internet a calendar slowly becomes just a desk top or shelf top item rather than a necessity like in the olden days.

I was very happy when a friend wrote from overseas "now I can tell when Chinese New Year is exactly without having to go to Chinatown" using the Almanac I sent.

The Sarawak Almanac has three calendars in one ie Gregorian and Lunar and Muslim calendars!! It is indeed a unusual reference.

This is my 2008 Almanac . By the way I received a free one at the beginning of year when the company offered me a spare copy after giving out to all the Heads of Department. This gift is really treasured and sits on my small desk. My reading glasses are kept at its traingular base for quick retrieval.

What I like most about the almanac is the chronology printed at the back of each month. I can easily refer to the some very significant years and historical incidents by just flipping the pages and there I have easy references from 1842 until this present year. Do you know that a Cutch factory was built in Sarikei District? When was that? Check out the Almanac.

This is a Brooke legacy . For those who do not know much about pre-1963 Malaysian - Sarawak History the Almanac is indeed a good quick history fix.

The Almanac is useful because it has a complete page for school terms and holidays.

It also has other important facts like king tide predictions and all the Chinese Festivals and Muslim Festivals and with lots of details too.

So for a mere (hopefully controlled) price of RM6.50 in the free market it is a very very good calendar to buy.

It is indeed an uniquely Sarawak item. One of a kind in the world!!

Don't leave Sarawak without one! (replicating the Visa advertisement) and to all my fellow Sarawakians do value this little treasure!

Memory Sketch excersise

My friend Patrick Morgan and I went out to sketch some people on our lunch break, and though the pickins were pretty slim, we spotted this lady that was begging to be we decided to take a mental snap shot of her and use her as our memory sketch subject.

I'll add colors soon, hopefully before the end of the week.

Dec 8th's Week in Chic: Garcelle, Solange, and Jaslene!

This week's best outfits in case you missed 'em:

If you had to pick, who would you say had the flyest 'fit?

Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Abrams: Gail Simmons and Husband

Your Morning Gail Break

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Carla Hall’s Mushroom “J’Accuse!!”

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