Monday, March 31, 2008

Boobs, Anyone?

Leave it to the press to ruin a perfectly good thing. Normally I would be the last person to complain, but this time, I feel it is time to take stand for all that is sacred and good in this world. I feel that my freedom of choice has been trampled upon. It was just a few days ago that I stumbled onto that phenomenon sweeping the Internet. It is not so much a game as it is an interactive reality show, but now it seems that my new-found addiction is being attacked by right-wing extremists claiming it sets a bad example. I feel this qualifies as moral terrorism and crimes against humanity. And they have incorporated the use of weapons of mass destruction: words and narrow-mindedness.

Like Townsville, Miss Bimbo is under attack!

Miss Bimbo is my current drug of choice. She is my escape from the ills of everyday life. Some people choose to take recreational hallucinogenic drugs, I take refuge in a world of pixels, HTML and Flash. The premise is simple. You register and get your own bimbo. I named mine Pupita. Then I am given goals that include employment, wardrobe, hair, boyfriend, and weight management. I can spend my bimbo dollars to dress her, rent her an apartment, feed her, give her diet pills, send her to therapy and even send her in for plastic surgery. All of which I have done. Each of those activities gives my bimbo more bimbo attitude. The more attitude, the more popular she becomes, the more likely she is to bag a millionaire boyfriend who can then buy her more things, make her more popular and the cycle goes on. My next steps were to get her a gym membership so she could get into table-top dancing shape and bag herself a boyfriend and get that cool apartment.

But then today I went to the site and found the following messages:

  • As a result of this rather surprising media attention we have decided to remove the option of purchasing diet pills from the game. We apologize to any players whom this may inconvenience but we feel in light of this weeks proceedings it is the correct action to take.
  • We would also like to sincerely apologize to our players for the media comparison of Miss Bimbo and Paris Hilton. We feel that this does a disservice to the players whom send their bimbos to university, tea parties or chess tournaments.
  • At this time we would also like to remind players that the Miss Bimbo team assume no responsibility or liability for any fashion faux pas, hair style disasters or boob jobs incurred in real life as a result of playing the Miss Bimbo game.

What I find really outrageous, is the attention this is getting. Great for the makers of the game, but I have a hard time with people going after the easy target. All the claims that playing this game will give young girls an inferiority complex, make them run out and get boob jobs or other plastic surgery is absurd. Have those people sat and watched just 5 minutes of any MTV video in the last few years? Have they seen Victoria Beckham? Or what's left of her? Pamela Anderson? Any episode of “The OC”.

As an avid player of video games since Pong was invented when I was a young child, I feel like I have been let down. Outside of the virtual space, I have never stolen a car, robbed a bank, been involved in a police shoot-out, rescued princesses from castles, raided tombs or contemplated a boob job. I guess this is the part where I blame my parents for not raising a more impressionable child who can’t tell the difference between reality and entertainment. My inability to give into the pressures of gaming and cinema are obviously ruining my life.

So that said, I feel it should be bimbos for all.

An Evening With Royalty

Thursday evening there was a little do at The Claridges. It was a party in for Leiber, which is all about the crystal encrusted clutches coveted and carried by women in the know everywhere. From Sarah Jessica to Eva Longoria to Heidi Klum, crystal clutches seem to be the new pastel Louis Vuitton. I received an invitation today – hand delivered to my office, I might add - and decided to break out the white wing-tipped Gucci sneakers, which in Delhi are as practical as, let’s say, white wing-tipped Gucci sneakers in Delhi. I almost never wear them and in between their limited excursions around the various five-star hotels and restaurants in Delhi, they stay in their little individual cloth shoe bags tucked snugly in the brown box with the word Gucci written in gold letters across the top. And there they sit, waiting for some glamorous invitation that warrants pulling them out of their individual pouches and dusting them off for a night on the town. So given the fact that this party was being thrown by their Highnesses Maharaja Sawai Bhaani Singh MVC, Maharani Padmini Devi and Princess Diya Kumari, all of Jaipur, I decided I should pull out the sparkly white sneaks and parade them around Delhi for a few hours. I was bored and an evening with royalty seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.

I had phoned Ankit hours before and he assured me he would be there as well, and so off I went, full speed ahead to the garden at The Claridges. I walked into the party, a vision in Paul Smith and Gucci and took a look around. And what a sight it was. I almost fell into a coma, but instead ordered a glass of champagne. I decided to entertain myself by taking a tour of the new collection and the few vintage pieces they had on display. My favorite piece was the reason for the party. A sparkly Ganesh that made me wish I could carry off a cocktail dress and glittery clutch, but I am afraid there just would not be a pair of Christian Louboutin’s in my size. I walked around the party in awe at how entertained people can appear in even the most boring and numbing of occasions. Ankit had a change of plans and didn’t think it at all necessary to let me know, so I hung around waiting for his camera crew to arrive.

Contrary to popular belief, I get very shy in situations like this. I simply have no idea how to break the ice. If is a situation of a conference where someone has expressed an opinion or talked in an educated way about a topic, that opens up a door to engage a complete stranger. But being a guy at a party for handbags, I didn’t really know what to say. Fortunately for me a glittery Ganesh smiled down on the party and just as I was about to trip over the shoelace of boredom and stumble into a glitterless coma, I met three fabulous women who came to my rescue. Fiona, Caroline and a tiny stylist for Elle. We chatted, we toasted and we compared notes on our boredom and all too soon it was time for us to part ways. But not before getting invited to Fiona’s Luxury Vagabond book launch party which promises to be a spectacular affair.

And after 2 hours of jewels, champagne and camera crews, I walked out of the party and was handed the parting gift. A copy of the current Indian Vogue, a gift worthy of royalty.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sing, Sing a Song...

Normally when I get a song trapped in my head, I simply do what my favorite girl with the golden hair Agnaetha would and say “thank you for the music and for giving it to me” – Normally that is what I would do. But not this time. This time is different, darker than ever before. I am being tormented by the songs of Broadway shows past. And not the cool songs. I am not talking about wicked witches with emerald skin defying gravity, the merry murderesses of Cook County jail and all that jazz, or even a turbaned Norma Desmond saying everything with her eyes. I would even settle for an instrumental medley from Kenny G, I am that desperate. But instead, somebody has sent in the evil clowns and going round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning on an ever-spinning reel, I have the following lyrics blowing through the circles that I find in the windmills of my mind…

Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry
When I take you out in the surrey,
When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top!

It is driving me insane and I can honestly say I am going off the rails on a crazy train. Why, I ask the universe, am I haunted by a musical number from “Oklahoma!”? If a dream is a wish my heart makes when I am fast asleep, then what is an annoying song stuck in my head during my waking hours supposed to represent? I can imagine you are busy trying to figure out what the most disturbing part of this whole thing actually is… That I know these lyrics are from “Oklahoma!” or that I actually know the lyrics and melody in the first place? I too am troubled by these questions. But to answer those questions means to look back on a colorful life…

There I was in high-school, as nerdy as nerdy could possibly be, long before nerdy was the new cool. Back in my day, we nerdy types got put in trash bins and chased home from school. Undressing at the end of each day meant finding yet another “kick me” note that had been taped to my back. I had a collection worthy of an eBay auction. Hey, if someone will pay $1300 for a corn flake shaped like the state of Illinois, my 25 year old kick-me signs (hand-written, I might add) should be worth something. We were the last ones picked for sports. During touch football I was ruthlessly tackled. Tennis would mean being slammed with a wet tennis ball. Track would mean being tripped and pushed until I fell, although I did jump a mean rope! And God forbid it should be a rainy day in Southern California. That would mean Phys Ed would be in the gym and that it was time for dodge-ball. I was a favorite target and never very good at dodging. I probably would have been had there not been 100 balls coming at me at exactly the same moment from every possible angle.

As if gym class was not enough of a crime against humanity, there were the school dances. I was usually the one without a date and would either get laughed at or beat-up if I asked a girl to dance. Assuming I would have had the courage to actually do such a thing. It wasn't as if I wanted to do anything with her, I just wanted to brush her hair and perhaps fix up her make-up. If there ever was a poster-child for nerdiness, I would have been a supermodel. Where was Napoleon Dynamite when I needed him? I would definitely have voted for Pedro.

So I did what any self-confessed nerd would do. I hung out with the band people and got involved in drama. Why is it that drama is such a magnet for gay teens even if they haven’t yet figured it out for themselves? It is almost as though we are helpless to escape the gravitational pull of costumes, make-up, hair and lighting. It is the very sad and pretty much hopeless gay teen in drama that gets assigned to props or anything not requiring at least a few moments in the spotlight. We can deal with the name calling, the teasing and tormenting, but assign us to props or scenery and start looking for the hard drugs to get us through. So anyway, there I was, tragically unhip and terminally un-cool in my first high-school play. I had wanted the lead, but my wiry frame and rather still high-pitched voice landed me in the chorus. Just one step up from props and scenery, but at least I got to linger at the edges of the spotlight while multi-tasking in my most artistic way. Belting it out to the balcony while performing a flawless hitch kick, adding my own background vocals to “Surrey with the Fringe on Top”.

But those days are long ago and faraway, usually not even a whisper of a memory which is why it is so surprising to have this song stuck in my head. I can still see the faces of all the people that made my life miserable and I throw mental darts at them all the time. I have to say, I take great pleasure when I go back home and run into my old arch-enemies. I usually spot them behind a counter, wearing a visor and asking if I would like a large fries with that Big Mac. Gotta love karma.

And with that, the CD player in my mind seems to have shuffled and now I have Boy George looping.

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon
You come and go
You come and go
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dream
Red, gold and green
Red, gold and green

Have no clue what those lyrics are about, but for the next few hours, my life will be red, gold and green, not a hint of fringe in sight.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

D is for Diet

Geographic intelligence seems to be at an all-time, nose-bleed inducing high.
According to Miss Teen South Carolina, most US Americans can’t find the US on a world map because they don’t have maps due to the lack of education in the Iraq and such as.
The bulk of US high school graduates can’t locate Washington DC on a map of the US. I assume this is also because they don’t have maps, again let us blame it on the Iraq and such as.
There are people who are not smarter than a fifth grader and who think Turkey is Hungary, Europe is a country and Amsterdam is the capital of Copenhagen. Let’s just blame that one on good old fashioned stupidity.

So I was not really surprised when I discovered that in addition to the United States, France and Italy, Hermes has included Hawaii in their list of countries. Did Hawaii just pull a Kosovo while I was out shopping? Perhaps Hermes should consult a map. Assuming they have one, of course. But I guess when you are that glamorous, you can call anything you want by any name you choose. After all, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and if it comes in an orange box, all the better.

I was on the Hermes site doing research. I seem to be swimming in a sea of luxury brands and exclusive retail experiences these days, all while getting paid to do so. It’s fantastic. Earning a living while participating in my favorite full-contact sport. Lifestyle and luxury have become the buzzwords around my team as we pitch for a client who at this point in time I must keep under cashmere cover lest I get in trouble for disclosing portions of what falls under a non-disclosure agreement… The advertising version of patient-doctor confidentiality. But when I write my Tori Spelling-esque tell-all, I will spare no details…

While Googling the US and searching for images of world maps I could print out and hand to the poor unfortunate souls without one of their own, I just discovered that it has been over a month since I last wrote anything here. A whole month. It begged me to ask myself that age old question, the very same question we blonds have been asking ourselves since we blonds began asking questions… That question is this “where have I been?” and I realized I had no idea. I was stumped. I paused. I reflected. And then in a montage worthy of Gloria, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille” Swanson it all came flickering before my eyes.

These days have indeed been filled with all sorts of exciting (and boring) new hobbies for me. And it all started a few weeks ago when I accidentally joined the elite ranks of inventors and creators. No, I didn’t invent anything nearly as passé as lets say an iPod or a quick fix for that little issue of global warming which seems to be quite the hot topic at the moment. Glacier melting, blah, blah, blah. Instead, I invented something much more noble and useful. I had no prior intention of becoming a celebrated, perhaps Nobel Prize wining inventor destined to impact the lives of dozens everywhere, but destiny lent a hand and the rest is bound to be history at some point in the future. It all started on a normal Friday evening.
It was a warm February late evening, dust hanging in the air, overisized bats fluttering overhead and our names inked in on a guest list for the opening party of Forbidden City, the new bar and restaurant to be seen at in Delhi. We walked up the path lined with replicas of terracotta soldiers, past the fountains and right to the bar where we ordered passion fruit and basil mojitos while the rest of our glamorous entourage strutted in. Anjali arrived and we hugged exchanged enthusiastic New Year’s greetings, drawing odd and confused looks from those around us. Chris and Poul appeared and staked out an alcoholically strategic location. No way a waiter was getting past them without taking drink orders.
Stephen and Pierre were sunning it up and shaking their groove things in Sydney for Mardi Gras and Danielle was doing whatever it is that Danielle does when not with us. She works for an embassy in what I imagine to be a very 007 like role.
So there we were in our little group, drinks firmly in hand and sampling the never-ending tsunami of edibles that were being shoved upon us. It didn’t hurt that we were in the company of Bennie and Tina, two of the arrangers of the party. The keepers of guest list. The ones that hold the keys to the kingdom of social excellence. We were served shrimps wrapped in spring roll, aloe and cucumber salad, chicken satay and on and on it went until we had been whipped into complete culinary submission. The drinks kept coming and food kept drifting by and suddenly, my life was forever transformed by a silver tray. There they were, little blobs of epicurean heavenliness. Prawn and lychee balls in a light and fluffy puff pastry topped with just a dab of crème fraiche and a tasteful sprinkling of orange caviar. I popped one in my mouth and it was nothing short of an oral orgasm. And I had multiple ones that evening. I think at one point my eyes actually rolled back in my head and it was everything I could do not to start screaming “Yes! Yes! Yes!” until I blacked out from pleasure. But instead of that, I kept banging my head against the headboard of fabulous hors d’ourves. I did what anyone in my situation would do, I cornered one of the waiters and begged in my best quivering begging voice until he left a tray on the bar for me. I immediately shot everyone a look that said “think about it and die!” Chris and Poul managed to sneak a couple, but I quickly shoved as many as I could into my mouth. And like Jell-o, there always seemed to be room for more.
It was then and there that the idea occurred to me. I would join the ranks of Beverly Hills, South Beach, Subway and the Grapefruit by having my own diet. I guess I was born to this fate. My mom was, after all, a professional dieter. One of those people that live to diet and if she wasn’t starving herself, counting her calories or finding some new and inventive way to lose that stubborn 5 pounds that seemed to haunt her very existence, then she really didn’t see the point of breathing. In fact, she had even been so bold as to create her own diets. You might remember the Pepsi Diet. The noodles and soy sauce diet? The lettuce diet? The-three-calorie-a-day-until-you-pass-out-diet? My diet was a little more glam, prawn and lychee balls in a fluffy puffy pastry topped with a dab of crème fraiche and the obligatory sprinkling of caviar.
I can only hope I make my momma proud.