alice wisely

Food. Drink. Fashion & Grooming. Tech.

Month: November, 2012

Fashion has gone to the dogs.

This opulent gold furniture piece calls to memory scrounging for quarters as a child–and it begs the question, ‘What’s in your sofa?’

While digging for change in your sofa one day, it coughs up US$1,000.

‘Brilliant,’ you think to yourself, ‘now I can get the ferocious dog t-shirt I’ve always wanted.’

….What? You mean to say, you haven’t the slightest inkling regarding what I’m blathering on about?

I’m gushing about the fact Balenciaga, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Givenchy and any/every-awesome-designer has a cool dog face plastered on his/her/its portfolio.

See here! For $925 (yes, that leaves you with $75 to spare….to buy 11 cases of gluten-free Otter Pops)–you can be the proud owner of 1x Black Maille Intarsia Dog Printed Round Neck Sweater by Balenciaga.

This doggy sweater is already taken/worn by model Aymeline Valade. Get your own at <>.

If this pup looks too friendly/slobbery to you–you might opt for Givenchy’s rabid rottweiler: he’s gender-nondiscriminatory and terrifying.

Silk angry rottweiler print t-shirt by Givenchy. Worn by Kanye West (left) and Liv Tyler (right).

At only US$300–the Givenchy Angry Dog Tee is a bargain that Black Friday couldn’t make more attractive. Snag one, quick, at Barney’s.

In case you’re feeling hungry for some further justification for the great, great, great purchase, Vanessa from TheHautePursuit writes:

like many out there, when i first saw the givenchy rottweiler print, i knew i had to have it.

Eh? Eh? I mean, with US$700 left to spare–you could also pop on a stole made of Melanistic Eastern Grey Squirrels, made by Diane von Furstenberg.

It takes 50 Melanistic Eastern Grey Squirrels to trim this cardi. Just kidding, guys. This piece is actually made of wool and cute, little foxes. All pre-dead of course.

BEWARE: These furry little dudes bite.


Ke$ha: Too drunk or drunk enough to be important?

The Ke$ha we know says wild, ridiculous–sometimes disgusting–things in her songs and in interviews. Is she hot, young trash or is she important to our generation? Or both?

In his video “Ridiculous Lyrics!” YouTube darling Kev Jumba points out how popular music isn’t just laden with explicit lyrics–it’s laden with ridiculous lyrics that are more disgusting than farcical. “[It’s hard to find] one song that isn’t about partying, sex, alcohol or booty,” Kev says.

In her defence, Ke$ha has stated she doesn’t mean for people to take her lyrics seriously. Nor does she want to be a role model to eight year old girls. She has also remarked, “I think Jack Daniels is underrated as an antiseptic,” and, “Jack Daniels is an anti-bacterial and it’s way better than morning breath. Let me put it this way, if you wake up naked in a bathtub and you have the choice between rinsing out with Jack Daniels or trying to make out with some dude with morning breath, I would recommend picking up the Jack.” Ehem, speak for yourself, Ke$ha. I don’t make a point of waking up naked in bath tubs.

Which is to say, Ke$ha might be ALWAYS too inebriated to be taken seriously. You cannot even take that you shouldn’t take her lyrics seriously seriously.

I would also like to point out, coconut milk is anti-microbial and contains lauric acid, which combats against the AIDS virus. What this means is,  piña coladas would (1) make for excellent toothpaste and (2) be a solid cautionary measure for after unprotected sex with a stranger.

Coconut milk has AIDS-fighting properties. For “safe” sex, all you need is light rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice and crushed ice. Don’t forget to grab a partner.

For anyone who doesn’t believe Ke$ha regarding Jack’s antibacterial properties–her manager gave her a tattoo gun for Christmas. Yes, she has given tattoos the old-fashioned needle-sterlilised-in-whiskey-and-ink way.

Here’s some “kids” brushing their teeth with Jack:

Come to think of it, that’s the same reaction I give when I rinse my mouth with Listerine. Which contains alcohol. I’m not saying Ke$ha is sane, by the way. I’m saying she’s high, high like Oscar Wilde was on absinth at Cafe Royale, imagining himself surrounded by a field of tulips. In fact, the waiter was stacking chairs.

EricaLnyy from TheFrisky writes

does anyone else see that kesha is funny? she’s so funny. all her songs are making fun of the party girls (like herself). like saying she’s hittin on dudes… hard. and brushing her teeth with a bottle of jack. and like the world is ours (ours our our ou ours). she’s just making fun of all the club crawlers, herself included, and it’s really funny

Whether she is trash or genius, Ke$ha is wild and certainly a (parody?) symbol of the current generation.

I don’t get pop music. It’s offensive.

To be honest, I don’t follow American popular music that closely compared to most my peers. Don’t get me wrong, some songs are catchy. Like A Goey, Decadent Chocolate Cake leaves me feeling nauseated after consuming eight slices too many–listening to the pop/rap/r&b music of nowadays makes me feel as if I’ve lost 88 IQ points. To everyone who likes pop/rap/r&b music, I mean no offence.

Whosoever masters this cake shall be destined for greatness or guilt ad nauseum. Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence.

And apparently, Akon doesn’t mean any offence, either, in his co-op song (w/David Guetta) “Sexy B*tch”…. See for yourself:

Let’s review the lyrics:

She’s nothing like a girl you’ve ever seen before
Nothing you can compare to your neighbourhood w*ore
I’m trying to find the words to describe this girl
Without being disrespectful…


D*mn, you’s a sexy b*tch, a sexy b*tch
D*mn, you’s a sexy b*tch, damn, girl
D*mn, you’s a sexy b*tch, a sexy b*tch
D*mn, you’s a sexy b*tch, d*mn, girl

…. Well, actually. Comparing a woman to a prostitute and sizing her up is fairly if not disrespectful. It’s certainly offensive.

Really, I don’t understand the glorification of hard drugs, partying hard, drinking hard, sexualising women to the point they are only worth their “t*ts and a*s”. I’m just naive, I guess. Which is to say, I have never dry humped a 15-year-old pastor’s daughter or lied about prison time. OH WAIT. That’s good.

Why is Akon wearing more clothing?

Caviar d’Escargot

These cheesy, garlicky, scrumptious little devils can be more slippery than meets the eye.

I will never forget the first time I ate Escargot de Bourgogne. This was at Jean-Georges in Shanghai. With much effort I tried de-shelling the little morsels with a fork and a knife; I did not want to get my fingers greasy. In the process was accidentally catapulted a snail into the drink of a Chinese Politiburo member enjoying lunch at a different table, fatty garlicky butter and all. It caused a splash in his drink. My face flushed red, as did his.

And now, on the topic of embarrassing gastronomic endeavours–let’s turn to something completely different. Caviar d’Escargot. Yes, snails lay eggs like chickens do.

At $115/400g–the price escargot caviar is comparable to that of its fishy counterpart, sturgeon caviar. A couple from Picardie in northeast of Paris has a farm of 50,000 snails. Man and wife has dedicated their lives to rearing the gasteropods and harvesting their cream-colored eggs, which they describe as having “subtle autumn flavours with woody notes.” Would you try??

Looking back on the 2012 Presidential Election

JANUARY 7, 2008.

For those of you living under a rock this past week, the GOP failed to take the White House. Strap in everyone–it looks like we’re in for another rollicking four years with President Barack Obama. That is, if this December 31st doesn’t usher in the apocalypse. The odds are low, in spite of recent global economic crisis, Hurricane Sandy and earthquakes around Vancouver and Guatemala.

I just wanted to share some propaganda with you today. I know, like you haven’t had enough smashed in your eye sockets and in your ears.

For your viewing pleasure, may I present a heart-wrenching Romney ad. Yes, 2012 presidential candidate Romney, remember that guy?

The video forgets to mention, Romney is Mormon and isn’t the biggest fan of contraception or the GLBTQ community.

What’s that? Nobody cares? (That’s right, nobody cares about issues — rhetoric and body language are far more important, kiddos).

“Use your body language, it’s your most valuable asset when doing a job interview” — Careers and Employability Service, University of Kent

Hmm, it’s no fun making fun of the loser, I guess. So we’ll quickly move on to making fun of the winner, Obama.

There are some people out there calling him God, Alpha Omega and Messiah. Think what you will, it’s sort of funny.

Certainly, the Obamas have gotten a lot of press coverage. Which is unsurprising because they occupy the White House.

May I share with you this small-town magazine cover:

Some would say there’s a resemblance to Vishnu being portrayed by the Design Team.


I don’t see it.

And how about the Great Woman who stands behind him?

A Spanish magazine depicts Ms Obama as a slave.

RACIST. By the looks of things, the media is trying to say Mr Obama is a Hindu god and Mrs Obama, a slave? WTF no. I’m just being obtuse.

Or maybe everyone’s confused at having a black U.S. president in a white house (okay, he’s half black technically, but who’s keeping track of percentages?).

And speaking of racist, have you seen the “Thy Kingdom Come” music video promoting our Beloved President? It’s outfitted with sassy brass instruments, black Jamaicans with thick accents and dancing.

I like it, it’s sort of catchy. But RACIST. Most people — black people included, duh! — don’t seek tribal jewellery for their everyday look or sit half-naked singing.

Whether you side with the Republican or Democratic Party, let’s face it: politics is emotional and can get ugly. Moreover, through the images and videos, we see the human perspective is highly malleable and highly influential in shaping our experience. Small things like lighting, a child’s face and music resonate deeply. With this in mind, do you think propaganda is moral? If so, how far can we run with it and still sleep soundly at night?

Evil Banks, Our Slavery

There’s a bit of truth behind this, as well as a bit of Grapes of Wrath.

Manresa in Los Gatos, CA Restaurant Review: Contemporary American Cuisine

East meets West, meets locally sourced produce at Manresa

Say you’re on the phone, booking a dinner reservation at Manresa, a two-star Michelin restaurant nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains.

“What is the dress code? Black tie?” you enquire.

“Business casual is fine,” replies the restaurant staffer.

‘Doh, of course,’ you realise, ‘it’s the Silicon Valley.’ Along the West Coast, in fact, billionaires regularly storm into meetings in a t-shirt, cargo shorts and flip-flops. Such attire is permanently tattooed on the pasty skin of many a high-earning engineer, e.g. my friend John Doe. John’s mom had to wrangle him into a tie for his wedding. Forget the cummerbund.

The restaurant staffer also notes there is a no-show fee. And not to name prices, but it was equivalent to that of a pretty nice bottle of wine. And I don’t mean Kendall Jackson or Gallo jug wines. By God, no. If you want to blow serious money and be preposterously wasteful about it, go home and pour a bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild down the kitchen sink. Then while you’re at it, snip your Dolce & Gabbana wallet into shreds with a pair of scissors–and stir fry the remnants in white truffle oil.

Or, you could become a snooty alcoholic…. which would suck for you and everyone who crosses your path.

Hard to find and around US$1,000 per bottle, Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru reds can quickly grow to be a pricey addiction.

Needless to say, you probably arrive 8:00PM on the dot for your 8:00PM reservation. Or, in my case….my party and I scurried in 15 minutes late. We like testing restaurants’ patience. And raising their hopes of getting free money.

One discerning guest in our party noticed the ladies’ place settings were such that she and myself would face the bar, while the gentleman got a lovely view of the windows. Unacceptable. We waited in the receiving area on grey suede marshmallows of seats — while staffers kung fu-ed the table 180-degrees around.

Our smiling, chipper hostess promptly presented us to the now-acceptable table. She passed out a leather-bound menu to each guest, as well as a wine selections list. Everyone’s face sunk with furrowed brows and bemusement. I felt as if I couldn’t read — I felt uncertain as to what page 2 offered to eat. I saw the wino at the table leaf back and forth, back and forth between the wine selections. She couldn’t recognise most; the ones she knew or knew of failed to pique her interest.

Manresa’s tasting menu offers a host of fresh, yummy ingredients. It loses me, however, in the sense I don’t know what to do or where to start. For all you user experience designers out there, the affordances to the user are unclear.

After humming and hawing and thumbing through our menus, we concluded the tasting menu pretty much equates to omakase — “I leave it to you (the chef)” in Japanese. Cool. I hate ordering anyway, because I can be indecisive when it comes to food, clothes and shoes.

A neighbouring table’s boisterous chatter emanated throughout the dining area. At least the atmosphere wasn’t that of a mausoleum. That being said, generally if I want a loud restaurant setting — I opt for a good dim sum place in Cupertino, CA.

Regarding allergies: between the three table guests, myself included, we had many for the chef to consider. Gluten, uncultured milk, pineapples, raw strawberries, strawberry seeds, carrots and sweet fruits. Out of preference, no one ate pork. Our hostess took note of everything and asked for clarification where necessary. Never did her toothy smile grow lacklustre.

Sommelier Jeff Bareilles suggested a champagne, a bordeaux and a white wine — all local. The champagne nose was crisp and pure, like the first rainfall of the season, as drops amalgamate with the toasty ground oils. Slightly sweet, but balanced by slight acidity and bitterness. Hints of lychee.

The bordeaux was smooth, smooth, smooth like Valrhona dark chocolate fondue. I cannot remember the white wine, so I guess it wasn’t anything to write home about.

Sommelier Jeff Bareilles is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and has a quirky grin that’s endearing.

We started off with something savoury: olive madeleines and red pepper gelees, served on a slab of slate that reminded me of a bathroom tile. For those of us unfamiliar with gelee, it is simply an arrogant, somewhat elitist jelly. The red pepper gelee caught my attention — crisp on the outside from a delicate dusting of sugar, soft but not mushy on the inside, totally pleasantly spicy and umami. Incomparable with drugstore gummy worms, Haribo gummy bears and Swedish Fish. I detected notes of umeboshi (pickled plum) amongst the red pepper.

A savoury appetiser in the form of dessert-before-dinner. Not overtly sweet.

Bread service came and went — I couldn’t participate because of being gluten intolerant. The next thing I found myself enjoying was, a lemon and lavender granita. Attacking sorbet swimming in froth is like drinking bubble tea for the first time — the question arises, should I eat or drink it? I ate the lavender; I looove lavender. In the dim, golden lighting, however, I failed to see and thus failed to remove the tie. FAIL.

In this picture, you can see the tie on the lavender quite, quite well.

It tasted like a rubber band. Which makes sense.

We enjoyed the abalone and oysters very much. I wasn’t the only one who noticed the flavor of tonkatzu sauce.

Abalone in a bonito broth.

Oysters and sea urchin in their own juices.

Japanese turnips, chanterelle mushrooms and roasted onions make for a pleasing gastronomic experience. Not to mention, the presentation is exquisite. Definite Japanese influences here. That’s a cool thing!

The medallions of venison — which were not gamey at all — satisfied what little meat-tooth I have. The venison looked like a rosy filet mignon and tasted earthy and buttery.

Deer meat done right. Yum.

The ‘Into the Garden’ salad was a major highlight; it featured an array of locally grown, freshly harvested leafy vegetables and colorful, edible flowers.

Featuring ‘dirt’ made of dried root vegetables.

At last, we finished the same way we started — except the madeleines and gelees were sweeter. And a spot of tea made of fresh flowers. Much cleaner-tasting than tea made of dried flowers or leaves.

I love tea.

The staffers greeted us at the entrance, returning coats, re-corking an unfinished red wine and offering homemade caramels (quite greasy) and cupcakes (none for me). Chef David Kinch was nowhere to be seen.

Did I say, Manresa uses locally sourced produce? All from Love Apple Farms.