Feb 28, 2014

ByeJoe: Spirit of China is Our Official Sponsor for Asian Burlesque Spectacular 2014!

I am so happy to announce that for The 2nd Annual Asian Burlesque Spectacular on Friday, May 16, 2014 our official sponsor is ByeJoe: Spirit of China!


I was introduced to ByeJoe at Macao Trading Company for one of my monthly Drunken Dragon Nights, and it was a match made in heaven! ByeJoe (aka: baijiu,白酒) is much like me. A bit of the east and a bit of the west. Baijiu is a traditional Chinese liquor often served at important business functions to "close the deal." But now ByeJoe has arrived to create a more accessible taste for the Western market and cultural-hybrids like me!

BTW-ByeJoe is gluten-free distilled from 100% red sorghum!

Feb 26, 2014

"Calamity Chang is my favourite colour" says beauty writer Alle of xoVain.com!

So happy to see Alle of xoVain.com write up her top 13 favorite red lipsticks and that my shade made it in her top list! I also loved seeing my shade on someone with fairer skin tone and I gotta say, it looks damn good too! It has a touch of 1920s, Gatsby feel to it. I can see it on Alle with dark smoldering eyes as well.

"...it’s totally worthy of the fanciest of occasions: it’s insanely beautiful, it’s incredibly comfortable on my lips, and is one of the few lipstick formulations that does not “feather” out. A deep plum that doesn’t need mega-lipliner is basically magical."

Read the entire article here or buy "Calamity Chang" (limited supply, $3.50 for shipping to US)

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Feb 13, 2014

Alamo in Chinatown

On this Valentine's Day eve I thought I would share a truly unforgettable story. Years and years ago I was dating a "kiwi" (someone from New Zealand). Actually, we weren't just "dating". We were in a relationship. We were together for three years and two of those years we lived together in a noisy two bedroom apartment in chic NoLiTa. In all three years together he never once told me he loved me. I was always in doubt. Did he love me as I loved him? What did he really think of me? Did that make him happy? Would he like this? Would he like that? To this day I am still apologizing to my girl friends for putting up with the me back then. I stayed though in the relationship, because like all girls, I rationalized with myself, obsessively weighed the good (he made me laugh, handsome, he made web sites for me) versus the bad (lack of emotional expression, lack of communication, extreme opinions that were very alarming). I do not miss navigating through that murky, uncertain relationship terrain.

Somehow, towards the end of the relationship he convinced me that we needed to have our own apartments after moving in and living together for 2 years. His reasoning was that he never had his own place since he moved to NYC and he really wanted to have that experience. Being the understanding and forever accommodating girlfriend that I was (fool!), I acquiesced. Part of me totally understood that desire. Having your own place in NYC is pretty awesome! But part of me felt like this was taking a huge step backwards in the relationship. In retrospect I see that he was "too nice" to break up with me because he didn't want to hurt my feelings (the sensitive man's selfish cowardly excuse to not own up to his own feelings), so he opted for "let's move out to our own place but stay together."

My favorite noodle shop in Chinatown on Eldridge Street

I found a small studio apartment on Essex Street and he found a slightly larger but old, old, old! one bedroom apartment nearby on Eldridge Street. That place was a real fixer upper located above Sheng Wang, a basement dumpling noodle shop which ironically has become one of my favorite places now. Naturally I put on a brave face but it made me really sad every time when he would go to his house and I to mine.  No matter how I rationalized it just felt sad and I felt utterly rejected. It almost felt like he was making me feel bad so I would leave first (probably true). If I could go back in time I would go back to the younger me, bitch slap myself, and the convo would go like this:

Future Me (Me Now): "You fool, you better start listening to your feelings and stop accommodating for things that are not you!"

Past Me: "Watchoo talkin about, Future Me? This is REALLY how I feel."

Future Me: "Oh really? You LIKE snowboarding? You LIKE falling on your ass all day long on the ice and up and down that freezing gondala?"

Past Me: "..."

Future Me: "You don't have any feelings of abandonment from the time he was off mountain biking in Canada and left you here during the big summer blackout?"

Past Me: "...he did call..."

Future Me: "And you honestly like wearing this raver clothes you are wearing?"

So yea Future Me rules. This is what people mean when they say "I know myself". This realization came slow and late to me but the final turning point hit me hard like a stink bomb during another time when he was away again (either for visa issues or recreational outdoors stuff). Naturally I was the lucky one entrusted with getting his mail and checking in on his apartment. These visits were pretty pathetic and involved me smelling his clothes, looking through his cupboard to see what he has been eating, lying down on the bed pretending I lived there, or looking out the window in silence to punish myself. Then one day the landlord called and said there was a leak in his bathroom that was leaking down to the floor below. He wanted me to go to the apartment and check for faucets that were accidentally left on. I went after work confidently climbing up the stairs feeling so capable! I was here. I am the one to solve his problem for him to make his life easier while he was having fun in another place! He's going to love me so much!

I went in the apartment and headed straight to the bathroom. I stood by the bathroom door and as I reached to my left to flip on the light switch, I felt a dampness on my shoes. I looked down just as the light snapped on and to my horror I was standing in sewage water. The entire bathroom floor was covered with brown water. The bathtub had about a foot of water with mysterious lumps and sinewy stringy things that I dared not think too long about. The sink too. The toilet overflowed with indescribable scatological horror - and that was when I drew my Alamo.

I turned right back around and walked out of that depressing Chinatown apartment. I will pick up Chewie's poop but I will not cleaning up after no man's. I broke it off with him shortly after he returned from his trip. That was the first time my heart felt broken (but I got over it - trust me, you'll get over it too if you WANT to). If I had stayed in that relationship I don't know what kind of person I would have changed myself into just to be with him. One day its trying out snowboarding, the next day is wearing something you don't really like, and then before you know it, you are cleaning up poop being half the woman you used to be. Let that be a lesson to you young girls out there whose Future You haven't bitch slapped you yet. Happy Valentine's Day!

FYI - Sheng Wang has amazing hand pulled or knife-shredded noodles. This is their beef fried noodle dish. I always go for the beef soup noodles when I have a serious hangover. Sheng Wang has a unique feature. They have pickled cabbage on each table for you to put on your noodles - a real Taiwanese treat! I still think it's funny that such deliciousness was here the whole time when I was in that unsavory relationship right upstairs! Ah, Chinatown's mysteries.