One For The Road

Something to smile for
because we are still here.

Finn and Jake
Adventure Time

Southern Italy: Vacationing, Eating, Sailing Cooking

Southern Italy: Vacationing, Eating, Sailing, Cooking

Experiencing late August in the seaside town of Tropea in remote southern Italy was a slice of Italian life.

Our hotel was a thousand year old building cut into the sheer cliff rock wall of the town.

The floor to ceiling window in our apartment was completely open to cooling breezes – no screens available, nor needed; flying pests did not live there, apparently. The view from the little iron balcony looked down onto an amusing switchback road – two on-coming vehicles would approach at speed, stop, inch around each other, and then speed off again.

One morning very early, a disorganized herd of goats appeared and ambled through the dusty, deserted parking lot below, stopping and grazing at grassy corners. A young boy took his time shepherding them, disappearing into the scrubby pine grove near the harbor side. In the early morning light people watered their plants, left for work; one woman gave a boy a haircut outside on her back porch.

The walls of the hotel were easily two feet thick, punctuated by six by six inch holes, whether for shooting arrows, ventilation, or whatever, we never found out for sure. The town and its yellow cliffs precipitously dropped down 200 steps (we counted) into a narrow street next to a crescent of white sand beach bordered by the crystal blue coolness of the Mediterranean sea.

Meals in picture perfect outdoor ristorantes and pizzerias allowed us time to experience local favorites such as Fileja Pasta with Capers, Eggplant, Red Onions and Tomatoes, Insalata Tropea with tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions in a fresh vinaigrette, or Pizza with red onions, arugula and parmesan cheese. The famous local produce was sweet red onions, appearing in many of the dishes and seen in braids everywhere for sale for 1.50 Euros, and hot peppers, which were billed with a wink as “Viagra” peppers, for their strengthening effect.

Evenings saw the vacationing Italian families out in force with all ages in attendance. Dinner, starting not before 8 pm , was followed by the passagiata, or evening walk, where everyone promenaded around the streets, talking, hugging, playing with their children and pushing their babies in strollers. Women wore heels, men were in tight shirts, all were impeccably well groomed and coiffed as they paraded the streets, walking down the cobblestone streets toward the view from the cliffs, shopping for souvenirs, eating their gelato, and enjoying the warm evening breezes. Everyone was out at least until 11 pm, including the little ones, who by now were mostly passed out in their strollers.

When we transferred our luggage to our 43 foot sailboat on Saturday morning for a week’s sailing odyssey, we knew what to buy in the markets to provision our boat in order to duplicate those distinctive tastes for our lunches and, as it turned out, a few dinners.

Our intent was for our party of six to sail to the volcanic Eolian Islands, mooring or docking next to each one, and having dinner in the various little towns. That first night when we moored at the harbor in Stromboli (accent on the FIRST syllable, please), the good looking young Italian man who pulled up to our boat in his little inflatable, warned us ominously that a scirrocco – strong wind - was coming that evening, probably about midnight, and that the mooring was not guaranteed to hold us.

With that in mind, we uneasily set about getting our little dingy in the water to go ashore. Still healing from a broken collar bone, I chickened out and decided to stay aboard our 43 foot boat, the Alice (A-LEE-chay, in Italian). As the seas got rougher, and the winds kicked up, the rest of our six person band decided to stay aboard also. The seas and winds increased with each passing minute, and the provisions we put aside for “one day”, were hauled out for “today”. We started cooking the fileja pasta in a large pot of boiling water as the scirocco winds bore down on us.

The dishes and glassware – didn’t the Italians know about plastic? – crashed back and forth, and side to side in the locked galley cabinets. We were sure they were all in smithereens. Later we heard that that night the scirocco winds blew up to 50 knots for a sustained half hour period. And nothing broke!

All during this time the pasta pot bubbled as the stove swung wildly back and forth on its hinges, struggling to keep from tipping, as did we all. That pasta, which we prepared with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, eggplant, and onions, served us for dinner that evening, when finally at ten p.m., the winds let up enough to allow us to eat on deck while only occasionally holding onto to our plates.

In the meatime, our dingy had untied itself from our boat, never to be seen again. The morning dawned sunny and calm and we continued on to other Eolian islands for more adventures and wonderful food in the subsequent week.

Back at home in New Jersey, we had a fabulous pasta the other night that approximated some of the tastes we had in Tropea on land and at sea. Using Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, we loosely followed the recipe for Linguine with Raw Tomato Sauce.

- Use only really ripe, lovely Jersey tomatoes. No need to skin or drain the seeds.

- Buy imported Italian pasta. (I bought mine at Home Goods for $3.99 for 500 g, about a pound.)

- Buy imported Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (Again, I bought at Home Goods. For both, check to see if it says “made in Italy” – it’s surprising how many times it says made in Spain, Turkey, or elsewhere when it’s billed as Italian.)

- Buy high moisture, house made mozzarella from an Italian store, like D’Angelo Italian Market on Spring Street in Princeton.

- Salt the water after the water comes to a boil.

- Leave the pasta really, really al dente – just barely tender. The imported pasta itself has good flavor, and this way will have texture as well, which is how the Italians make it.

Raw Tomato Sauce
Kosher salt
3 or 4 cups roughly chopped ripe tomatoes, preferably plum, but round are ok too
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press, or chopped
¼ to ½ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced or torn into pieces
1 pound Italian pasta (the fileja shape is in 3 inch pieces of rolled tubes)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
OPTIONAL but fabulous – fresh mozzarella, cut into ¾ inch cubes,
Swiss chard, quickly sautéed in a few tablespoons of EVOO

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water. Cook the pasta just until tender. Save a cup of the pasta cooking water.
In the meantime, add the chopped tomatoes to a large, wide bowl. Add kosher salt and pepper, EVOO and garlic and mix together. Drop in the basil.
When the pasta is ready, don’t forget to take out a cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta in a colander. (Never rinse the pasta – the starchy water will help the sauce adhere to the pasta.) Pour the pasta into the bowl with the tomatoes and add about ¼ to 1/3 cup pasta water to loosen the sauce. If using, saute the swiss chard 2 minutes or so until just tender in the empty spaghetti pot. Tip out into the pasta bowl. Add the optional mozzarella and fold together, adding more pasta water if the mixture seems dry. Dust with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.

This recipe simply cannot convey how delicious this dish can be if you use all the best ingredients you can find, but even if you just use great Jersey tomatoes, this will be a wonderful meal.

Italian cooking = all about great ingredients used simply to highlight the natural tastes of the food.

More on our Italian adventures overseas and in the kitchen next week.

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Pasta Purist

Voices From The Planetside

"The moon keeps getting smaller every time I see it."

"Beats me, I no longer look at the moon," Aenepada said before returning to the tome he was reading.


"What's the use of looking when the sky is already flooded with lights?"

"You mean the floating cities?" Mamud sighed. "I sometimes envy those sky dwellers. The great mother said they used to live among us, but now..."

"Now what?"

"I doubt if they still know we exist." 

"I wonder how it feels like living there?" Aenepada stoked the fire pit before returning beside his companion. The wind blows, and came with it, the arctic chill which the ground dwellers have grown to live with.

"This cold spell used to take breaks, but now it goes on, like forever..."

"What do you mean?" It's Mamud's turn to put wood on to the fire pit.

"Winter comes and goes and the land returns to its verdant state. I remember growing vegetables under the sun."

"I don't believe you."

Mamud was too young to remember. He grew up seeing the lake frozen, and their fiber glass hut covered in thick blanket of snow. Sometimes, the hazy sun would appear, for very brief moments before it too disappears behind the wisps. The sun chasers, as Mamud's generation is called knew only of the moon and its faint glow. 

But most of them, including Aenepada have grown weary of the silvery orb. Instead, they fix their eyes to the passing floating cities and wish to become their inhabitants too.

But no one has ever become one. 

The young men, in their time of communion waited until the moon disappears on the horizon. The older one may have spent the night sleeping under the blanket of city lights, while his dreamy companion, curled beside him desired the stars. What they didn't know is that across the barren world, ground dwellers like them are dying out. Whispers tell that entire tribes suddenly disappear, but village chieftains and town leaders dismiss this as lore.

After all, no longer do they speak to each another.

Meanwhile, beyond the floating cities and far out of the planet's orbit, the runaway moon begins to crumble. Entire landmasses sink beneath the surface. It cracks open, revealing an ancient machine only the eldest of the ground dwellers knew from their legends.

The massive artifact lays there motionless. Against the backdrop of stars and now without the moon to illuminate the heavens, Mamud and those on the planetside who still bother to look could catch it drifting aimlessly in space.

More Good Flicks You Might Have Missed…

Hi Everyone,

Here are some more interesting picks from our collection:

Blue Valentine

Starring Michelle Williams, Ryan Gosling. Dean and Cindy, a young married couple who have grown apart, take one night away from their daughter to try to save their relationship. With provocative scenes alternately intimate and intense, this film captured audiences and critics alike. If you like Ryan Gosling as much as I do, you’ll enjoy this one. 2010, Rated R. Drama.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress


Starring Xun Zhou, Kun Chen, Ye Liu, Shuangbao Wang, Zhijun Cong. Set in the early 1970s during the later stages of China's Cultural Revolution, two city-bred teenage best friends are sent to a backward mountainous region for Maoist re-education. 2002, not rated. In Mandarin and French with English subtitles. Drama

Made in Dagenham

Starring Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson.
Based on a true story. In 1968, the female workers at the Ford Dagenham car plant walked out in protest against sexual discrimination. Their actions played a major role in the battle for equal pay for equal work, both nationally and internationally. 2010, rated R. Comedy/Drama.\

Let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

Jill Eisner
Sr. Librarian
Information Services


"The Philippine Government has just passed a bill that effectively ends the Freedom of Expression in the Philippines," the message read.

"But some parts of the bill basically says it can imprison anyone who commits libel either by written messages, comments, blogs or posts in sites such as Facebook, Twitter or any other comment spaces of other social media in the Internet."

To make a stand has yet to cross my mind. Not that I won't be affected by the Cybercrime Bill, but I still have to read the law before I can judge its potency. Moving behind the curtains has effectively covered my tracks. My words, with their ability to destroy, also, have yet to be used for such purpose.

The ground I walk is built on anonymity. I may have revealed myself to some. But to the digital cosmos, I have remained largely incognito. For this reason, I fear not the bill. If I wish to mangle someone's name, I could always do it without leaving a hint of my doing.

I know little about libel, and from the words I heard, news organizations were successful in promoting their interests while protecting their men. In college, I remember little about the subject since Journalists seldom get imprisoned for the letters they put on print.   

And then this hacking incident came.

Let it be a warning that this government website takeover is just the beginning. The online community has yet to realize how the bill can bring misery to individuals. When word flies that a careless denizen really got jailed for the words he left online, expect a backlash never before seen in this country's history.

The people won't give up their freedom without putting up a fight.

In Preparation

Surely wearing fur on ones feet is a perk only winter can afford; making its appeal skyrocket to those of use who dread the cold. Got these black Celine fur boots during the barneys sale. I guess there are a few exciting things about winter, which I might have overlooked while venting in the previous post. 

For The Future

Previously on Souljacker

The trend is to lay claim to the overhead cabinets, before they too fall victim to the hoarders looking for space to dump their keepsakes. These wooden storage boxes, while already being used as repository of useless things, don't make the most of the available space. Given proper attention, the old stuff they hold can be thrown away, allowing the essentials littering the ground and at the mercy of the elements to be kept instead. 

For this urgency, I volunteered to occupy the overhead cabinet opposite my room. It has never been used since it was put there, and the handful of bags and other small items it holds could be passed on to new owners who might have better use for them.

My idea was to squeeze in the comforters my mother bought when chill weather used to pay a visit. It's been ages since they were taken out of their dust-coated plastic bags, and their old spot not only blocks the passage along the narrow corridor, their ugly presence tell that we don't have a place to keep them. 

Using a borrowed ladder, the ledges of the overhead box were wiped clean. The material excesses, including the motorcycle helmet which I never used when I had a bike - were carted away. After turning the cabinet into an empty shell, I shoved the comforters in, but only my sister's sheet could fit. I still have to find a place for my comforter, or I might sneak the over-sized blanket out of the house and give it to someone who needs it.

But as I descend the steps of the ladder, I chanced upon a stack of carton boxes that are also blocking the path. And then I remembered the man-sized book case that used to occupy half the space of the corridor before it was towed away to the master's bedroom. The encyclopedias and information tomes were hastily put inside the carton boxes before they were abandoned.

Meanwhile, I craned my head up to where the overhead cabinet was and thought of a better use for the space.

The fate of those books and my plans to share the knowledge before their hard-bound sources become obsolete has always been a thorny issue between me and the matriarch. 

My mom insists that we should keep them "for the children." But I would counter that my nephews would be using tablets once they step foot in grade school. Mother would brush off my vision, while I secretly grumbled in protest. But between sowing discord and embracing world peace, I never dared touch those tomes out of fear that I might fall into temptation

And give away those books without her permission.

But as I take out the volumes of Collier's Encyclopedia, and the non-fiction sagas out of the carton boxes, I cannot help but recognize the matriarch's line of thinking. Those books not only nourished me, they were part of my growing up years along with Nintendo, Voltron and Bioman.

Those precious gems of knowledge may have lost their charm in today's world. Nevertheless they have played a role I can never deny. Letting the less fortunate gain from these books is the most prudent move. But what about our own children - our bundles of joy, whose minds are now beginning to search for answers about their world? And what about the memory? Would I drop my sentimental leanings knowing there's a path to remembrance?

The stuff I tried to fit in were suddenly seen flying out of the storage cabinet. When the ledges were cleared, the atlases, almanacs and children's fairy tales were carefully arranged so that they could fit together and leave a gentle afterthought that they were put there on purpose.

I may not know what the future holds, but following my mom's ardent faith that books are timeless pieces, I may have unknowingly passed on the wisdom I have gathered, like fireflies, to lead the way for those who will one day follow our footsteps.

"For the future," I said, before closing the sliding door. In my head, I could almost hear the squeaky voices of my slightly older nephews asking to be read a book. 


Sweater Weather

 I felt the sun kiss my cheeks and the wind blow a light breeze through my hair. Today was such a sweater day. Took a nice walk outside around lunchtime enveloped in my supper cozy baggy knit top. No matter how wonderful this fall weather is, it is just a constant reminder that the cold is coming. There is always that lingering, threatening thought in the back of my mind, winter is almost here. It means snow boots, winter coats, gloves & knit hats. If you can believe it, i've never really had a severe (NYC-like) winter. I'm a little nervous, I know I have to prepare for it but I just don't really want to.

Home Improvement


My buddy Recho's favorite spot in the apartment

This awesome supper comfy chair was gifted to Joe & I a while back and was in dire need of a face lift when we moved to NYC. Rather then sew a new fabric cover for it, I decided to spice things up a bit and make cushion covers in cow hide.

Kind and Generous

I can be very nice to people.

Despite my tendency to be aloof, I can be very accommodating to those who see beyond the impression. I can bend rules if reasons justify. And I can be very patient, when it comes to loved ones, to colleagues, or to fellow travelers who got heavy burdens to carry on their back.

I try to be considerate and non-confrontational. I won't raise issues and shake establishments just to keep the peace. And I won't demand things I cannot do myself. Selflessness begins when one realizes his limitations.

But this generosity of spirit appears to be working against me. People tend to abuse it knowing you won't howl. Disarmed, protestations usually fall on deaf ears. Unforgotten. I always pay attention to what has happened in the past. I run my hand and feel my scars so that others won't have to suffer the atrocities I've been through.

I guess the world doesn't work that way. Whoever said that when you give a hand, your arms would be pulled apart must have been through such epiphany. 

I've been wondering if the world has enough of my good side. The peaceful, good-vibes, and stress-free me? Should I finally make adjustments on how I see the universe so that those who have basked under my graces know and feel that I am actually a troublesome ass to reckon with?


children's children of our time
will look at the sky
and wonder how we used to fly
fine machines such as the space shuttle.

in their hearts they will feel a sense of loss;
a time, those of us who were alive today hardly remembers,
which they will put into words
for the digital universe to mourn.


Good Vibes

I went to Katipunan to shake off these pallid thoughts. I succeeded, for a moment, because the memory of the monasterio fills me with unmistakable joy. Then off I went to the bank, to let the two week's worth of salary sink into my savings account. And then at last. For the very reason I left the house this afternoon, I went to Trinoma to buy a present for my godson. He will join the flock this Saturday morning, and with my afternoon work schedule tomorrow, I got no time to do my shopping since work ends at 10 in the evening. 

As my rest days take a bow, I've realized that: I spent one free day quarantined (and stuck in bed because of a malady.) Another, if you would consider the weekend forced work-absence a privilege. My work-out activity still has to resume after a week of not going to the gym. And with my social life in a tail-spin, my cash resources still dwindling, and with the obvious lack of accomplishments these past few days.

It's no surprise that I ask, why is happiness becoming a struggle?

Automated Packaging Systems Help Businesses Keep Profits up

Businesses are in business to make money. In order to make money, most businesses produce either a product or a service. Producing this product or delivering this service has costs involved. The ultimate goal for every business is a war of numbers. These numbers consist of costs and profit margins. The lower a businesses costs are, the higher their profit margins are. Every business strives to keep their costs as low as possible in order to make larger profits. Some of these businesses will pass their savings on by offering lower prices on their products or services, while others may reinvest the additional profit into creating an even better product or service.

Many large businesses try to keep the amount of employees they have two a minimum. Many businesses have flat out eliminated certain jobs by using automated systems. One of the most common is an automated packaging system.

Packaging products used to be the job of several different people. They may have worked on a line packaging products all day. Automated packaging systems are less expensive for companies to purchase and run than it is to pay a team of people to do the same job. These computer aided or robotic packaging systems are also much more efficient at getting the job done than their human counterparts. An increase in production speed will almost always equal an increase in profits for any business. Autobagmachines have helped many companies improve production speed, and they are some of the most popular automated packaging systems that many companies have adopted.

Every business is looking for a more cost effective way to increase production. Again, it all comes down to the battle of costs and profit. It is an endless numbers game for every single business on the planet. Automated packaging systems can definitely have some higher costs associated with them, but they will quickly pay for themselves.

Machines never get tired, they don't need insurance, they don't need vacations and they can't injure themselves on the job. Machines do need routine maintenance in order to ensure optimal performance,  but the costs associated with routine maintenance is still lower than all the costs associated with a handful of employees. Machines do break from time to time, but they are often much more inexpensive to repair.

Automated packaging systems can cut costs and increase production times. This is a win-win situation for most businesses. It allows them to keep their costs down and their profits up.

Man Repeller To Design A Collection

Across the board, the bloggers are becoming the creators. Leandra Medine, the blogger behind The Man Repeller is tapped by P.J.K (Patterson J. Kincaid) to design a contemporary line called MR x PJK. The collection will debut at the Coterie for spring with price points ranging between $198 and $398.

Leandras new venture is just another example of bloggers evolving into business people. Tavi Gevinsons started her own magazine Rookie Mag, Bryan Boy is a guest judge on the cycle 19th of America's Next Top Model and the most outgoing of the blogger hustlers Elin Kling is a stylist, designer of her own label NOWHERE, magazine owner, has been tapped to collaborate on collections for H&M as well as Guess, and even has her own blogging network - which just sayin' happens to includes Derek Blasberg and Anna Dello Russo. These kids are playing the game, and very well. 

I am not sure how much more qualified or not these technically untrained writers and designers are than the graduates of Brown or Parsons but it apparently doesn't matter. They're a hot commodity sans training, creating content that their followers no doubt love. The fashion industry is well aware of their influence and monetizes on their fame just as they would latch on to a new artist for a celebrity fragrance.

Its not yet clear how profitable these "collaborations" will be for the individuals who do the tapping but first match point is awarded to the bloggers for amassing such a network to warrant such opportunities as these.

What's up dog?

Rocker style, my boyfriend found these T- shirts randomly on the web from There was an ad for them on Facebook and we just had to order it.  These pnts are a D.I.Y (I'll show you the details and explain how to do it soon) My shoe are Balenciaga and my jacket is from BCBG Max Azria.

The Good News

Once, I got a book.

It was a token from a classmate in Diliman. A Filipino-Chinese, who spends most of her time running the family business. It was a parting gift given during our last day of class. And I didn't give it much thought until I got home.

I unwrapped the present to learn that it was a religious book. Not the inspirational or self-help literature but a Manga. A graphic novel that was inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Manga Messiah, as the title says, is an illustrated novel lifted from the passages of the New Testament. Done in Japanese style of drawing, the book covers the life of Yeshua from his birth to his resurrection. Its fresh approach to the stories in the Bible makes it very appealing to people of all ages, especially the ones who grew up watching Anime.

The book lingered in my bookcase for more than a year. Sometimes, I would take it out so I could lift a few pages, and then I would return it again to hibernate until kingdom come. Not until my faith was challenged did I appreciate its true value. Ganoon pala. When you're looking for anchorage and you can't find it on earth, it is when you start looking up to the heavens for an ounce of solace.

It happened once. Yung mag-seek ka ng assurance that everything will be alright, even if you have to live with the guilt because of the choices you made. It happened once. Yung mag pray ka over and over because it is more dreadful to wait with an idle mind. It happened once, when you're too helpless to walk out of the room and that voice in your heart tells you to get that book. Not because it has the answers, but to let you know that you are not alone.

And I felt comforted.

I was able to resolve my troubles without anyone knowing what I have been through. With my faith hitting an all time high, the rosary and the pocket Bible became traveling companions inside my bag. I was able to put my life in order, and secede from the person who was tearing me apart. I was able to finish reading the Manga. But in all the years I searched the Christian bookstores for copy,

My expedition always fails.

Until someone at the Manila International Book Fair this week handed me a fresh copy.

No longer am I sure to give my extra copy. At P250, the Manga isn't something you can simply give away. I don't even know who among my cousins and godchildren read graphic novels these days. But just to pass on the good news these illustrated pages have shared with me,

Come Christmas, the book shall shed light to its new keeper.


What a busy week, OMG. I am exhausted! I had to split fashion week with working at the studio and only catching shows during lunch or maybe taking the day off if it was completely necessary - I missed so many appointments this way. (hopefully no one notice my absence and I am still on the invite list for next season) Oh but did I have fun and was I anything but excited and inspired. Well worth the trouble and efforts. The VIDEO BELOW IS AMAZING -PLEASE WATCH IT

Oscar De La Renta snaps at Cathy Horyn

Printed in WWD for the whole industry to see, Oscar is calling out the famous New York Times fashion critic on her negativity. This is interesting because earlier this week, I read her write-up on the weekend shows - which was really a love letter to Marc Jacobs that merely mentions the other designer in NYC - I thought to myself wow, was that called for? She made backhanded compliments to industry veterans and complimented the new kids with their sometimes non-existing construction skills. I was confused, did she have a bone to pick or was she merely being a great journalist by being completely honest and bringing the news to the people? I noticed on Tuesday how her reports on Ralph Rucci's beautiful collection affected the usually more upbeat designer. She wrote a very short paragraph, no mention of his brilliance or optimism and sly compliments that could hardly be considered thus by anyone. He was seemingly less upbeat all day.

Oscar must have gotten fed up! Well good for him. When you are a seasoned designer and you put your heart and soul into every collection (especially when you have been doing it for 30 - 50 years like Oscar and Ralph) you get tired of these people who sit on their thrones & wreak havoc with only a pen swipe.

I do not profess to know the whole situation. Yet I see Oscar's point, (even though I feel that an open letter in WWD is a bit over the top) he is a professional and one with a great track record. His customer clearly is pleased with his work or he would not have lasted for so long. You can state your opinion on the clothes, it is your right, but when you attack the person you are wrong. There is a thin line between designer and celebrity. Cathy is not a member of the paparazzi, she works for the Times.

Read for yourself: 

Cathy's report on Oscar's presentation

"The rest, like Oscar de la Renta’s ruffled latex tops in Easter-egg colors, is just for show. ---- Mr. de la Renta is far more a hot dog than an √©minence grise of American fashion. He opened his lively show on Tuesday with a red latex pencil skirt, a sleek ivory wool pantsuit and dairymaid lace. The models’ hair was streaked with war paint, and midway along, after bead-quivering jackets and neon-bright skirts, he sent out white lace with black pencil-like scribbles. It was wonderfully cantankerous, a good bit of window-dressing for the gooey stuff that followed".

Cathy's views on Ralph Rucci's presentation

 "It was great to see Ralph Rucci loosen his aesthetic, strip away the embellishment (apart from cheeky feathers) and discover a sexier attitude. He freely used hot shades of pink and yellow, with cool white, and kept the shapes crisp. Simple day dresses have always been a hidden strength of Mr. Rucci’s. He should do more".


china doll

It was a gift from an aunt long before my little sister was pulled out of my mother's womb. 

Encased in a transparent jar, the ceramic doll remained untouched. Only recently, when the soon-to-be mother began moving stuff out of her room and into the narrow corridor did the china doll got dismissed. Its jar coated in dust, trash spilled within the bowels of the container itself.

I found the jar and the porcelain baby while cleaning the end table facing the stairs. There, the memento lay half-buried under piles of trash and forgotten keepsakes. The delicately crafted doll leaned on one side, pressed against the glass wall by a discarded Eveready battery. Rolls of yellow and green ribbons add to the garbage. The ribbons were put there as souvenirs marking an occasion, perhaps, to be collected and reused at a later time.

I took out the china doll from its container, making sure the figurine doesn't fall, or hit a hard surface. One of its legs was already severed. The industrial glue has failed to reconnect the broken parts.

The glass jar was taken away for cleaning, while a wall-mounted metal sconce, with its candle holder missing found new use after it too lay unclaimed on the table. There, on a wall separating my room from the outside world, it found its home. A metal hook was already in place. All that was missing is a wall-mounted conversation piece, which the glass encased ceramic doll now fulfills.


Drinks all around! drinks, drinks, and FUN! Celebrating Brandon Sun's successful showing, a party of close friends to relax and wind down. My outfit: Ralph Rucci Jacket, Jaun Carlos Obando pants & Givenchy heels.