Sunday, February 22, 2009

By the way, I am now a red head

I've had long hair for the last 3 years. Louis Phillip Kee, my absolutely fantabulous hairstylist, has kept me looking sexy and gorgeous but I've grown tired of long hair and wanted to go short again. So last week, I visited his posh new salon at One McKinley and got a chop.

Louis' new salon is so luxe, it's divine. The wallpaper is from London, the chairs are all sink-into-heaven comfy, the mirrors are perfect (meaning I don't look wobbly or fat in them!), the shampoo chairs are soooo comfortable, and the lighting always makes me look soft and feminine. And the service is excellent.

Once I sat down, the polite and efficient staff asked if I wanted a cappuccino or an iced tea. I love how their coffee is served in gold-edged china. The sugar is muscovado. Yummy and healthy!

After coffee and a few magazines were served, Louis came up and chatted. He always asks me what I want. I used to always say, "Whatever you feel like, darling." But this time I said I wanted to go really short. Louis said, "Let's do it gradually. But I do admire your courage!" Here are Louis and Angie deciding on the fate of my mane. They both suggest something very bold--a deep vibrant red. I say, "Sure!"

This is Gilbert. He always attends to me when I'm here. He's like my personal assistant--he massages me while I wait, he shampoos my hair, he gets me drinks... Gilbert is the best! And his massages are to die for!

Since coloring hair can be a long wait, the staff offered refreshments and snacks. Here's a plate of the yummy seafood pasta I had. Sigh. I do love this salon!

And here's a before pic...And this is what I looked like after!I am loving the red hair, and everyone loves it, too! It's not so obvious here. Under lights (especially sunlight), it's quite vivid! Very bold. In fact when I first saw it, I kinda blanched and said, "Louis, it's very... red." And he replied, "Honey, when I first saw you, you were blond!" Ehehe, that's right--I used to have this terrible blond dye job. Anyway, like Louis said, we're doing it gradually so my hair is still kinda long. But I plan to return in a couple of weeks to go utterly short. Soooo excited!

Louis Phillip Kee Salon
G/F One McKinley Place, 25th Street and 4th Avenue,
Bonifacio Flobal City, Taguig
Tel nos. (02) 856-3388, (02) 856-4848, (0918) 842-4888

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shopping for a netbook!

Okay, so my husband--Vince Sales, the editor-in-chief of T3, just the biggest tech magazine in the country!--is exasperated with me. I've been wanting to get myself a laptop for a few months now. It's actually not a need since we already have a computer and if Vince is using the PC, then I can browse on his iPhone. But I really think I need my own computer for my blogging and my work and my online business. Of course, Vince--being a gadget guru--has given me advice time and again and, of course, I never quite listen so he's more than a little annoyed! But here is what we've whittled down:

The MacBook
Since I'm a Mac user (in publishing, all the editors wield a Mac), it makes better sense if I get a MacBook, right? Except that a MacBook starts at PHP56,000 (USD1,175) and I can't bring myself to buy anything over PHP35,000 at this point.

The Sony Vaio C
Then I saw the Sony Vaio C. I really wanted a Sony Vaio C! Why? Because it's pink. Seriously. But at an even heftier price of PHP60,000 (USD1,258), pink is a flimsy excuse.

The MSI Wind for Love
Vince said I don't need a super laptop--I can get those uber popular netbooks. Netbooks are small but perfect for the tasks I do often (writing, editing, surfing). And the best part: they are cheap! He first suggested the super cute MSI Wind for Love. It's only PHP20,000 (USD418) and proceeds from its sale benefit underprivileged kids in Third World countries. Nice.

The MSI Wind
As I was studying the specs though, I figured that I'd be better off with the much adored MSI Wind. No "love" this time. The computer memory is the big difference: the Love has 80GB while the Wind has 160GB. It's around PHP25,000 (USD520) and comes in pink!

The HP Mini
Vince then suggested if I'm going for looks, I should shell out more and get myself an HP Mini Vivienne Tam. This is what Vince highly recommends for me. In fact, he thinks it's perfect for his wife. The HP people don't call it a notebook; they call it a "digital clutch." Of course, it's also USD700 (PHP33,377) .

The Sony Vaio P
The husband also suggested the ultra-chic Sony Vaio P. Surprisingly, I didn't like this one. Vince and I are Sony people--we live in a house filled with so many Sony gadgets, you'd think we get huge discounts from Sony (we don't!). But at the P series launch last month, well, I agree it is ultra-chic but it's so small, I had a hard time with the screen, the keys, the button mouse, the... everything actually. At its steep price of PHP50,000 (USD1,000), please don't give me a hard time! Plus, it doesn't come in pink.

Also, if I had 50 grand lying around doing nothing, then I'm better off with a MacBook. Argh! What do you think I should get? I'm now choosing between the MSI Wind, the Wind for Love and the HP Mini Vivienne Tam. And what computer do you use when you're blogging?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

New things from old things

Today would have been Mama's 64th birthday.

A few weeks ago, my sister Jacqui and I finally opened Mama's closet to clean up and give away her things. We've been planning to do this since she died in September, but it's not the kind of thing one gets excited about. After endless rain checks, however, we decided to just do it one cloudy afternoon, over the long Christmas break.It was kinda sad and funny, sad for obvious reasons and funny because we found silly photos and other stuff that made us go "What on earth..?!" like psychedelic pantsuits from the 70s. Those were really cool by the way, and looked perfect on Jacqui's long frame. I'll try to get a photo of that crazy outfit.

We discovered that Mama didn't really have a lot of clothes. Towards the end of her life, my always stylish mother gave away a lot of her things as she focused more and more on serving God. But she did keep some fabulous dresses. I took home this gorgeous dress, which Mama owned when she was in her 20s.
I also took home this cream sheath dress. A few years ago, Mama had seen it in a store window and said she liked it. I had snapped back that we couldn't afford it. A few days after my rude comment, I scraped together some money and bought it for Mama. I remembered that oftentimes when I was a teenager, Mama had eaten Skyflakes crackers for lunch just so she can save up to buy me a new dress or shoes. I got Mama her dress and sent it with a sorry note. She loved it, of course, and forgave me, as usual. Now this dress is hanging in my closet. It doesn't fit me but I like touching it now and then.

I also took home these lovely evening bags. They're actually my grandmother's, passed on to Mama, and now they're mine.
Aside from her closet, Mama's jewelry box was also almost empty. When I was a little girl, that box overflowed with the most wondrous sparkling things. As our finances dwindled to nothing, those lovely works of art were sold or pawned so that we can eat or go to school or have new clothes.

When Mama died, Jacqui and I had the difficult task of choosing what she was to wear in her coffin. We chose her prettiest silk chemise to wear under her two-piece pale yellow quilted suit that she had worn proudly to my younger brother's wedding. Then I picked out her favorite pearl earrings and her pearl choker. When Jacqui and I opened Mama's jewelry box again weeks ago, there was hardly anything else left, just inexpensive pieces that a pawnshop wouldn't even consider. Looking at the few remaining items, we kinda got teary-eyed, remembering how Mama would cheerfully say, "Oh, don't worry about your tuition/project/field trip. I think I still have a bracelet in my jewelry box to sell/pawn. We'll be alright." I took home this gold necklace with a tiny disco ball diamond pendant, and I wear it every day.

The rest of Mama's jewelry, Papa and I gave to Jacqui. She, being 19, didn't want any except for Mama's pearls and only because the pearl is Jacqui's birthstone. But I told her a girl's got to have jewelry of her own and not to depend on a man to buy her her rocks. So Jacqui kept the diamond ring, a couple of pearl bracelets and necklaces, and a choker made of amethyst, Mama's birthstone.

We packed away the rest of Mama's things and have sent them to charities and distant relatives in the province. We're not done yet, however. We still have to go through her books, photos, journals... This time, we're no longer dreading this task. It's like rediscovering Mama all over again, seeing her not just as our mother, but as a faithful wife, a devoted friend, a thoughtful sister, and a true champion of Christ.