Saturday, September 30, 2006


I haven't been regular with the posts. Sorry. I was busy on Friday trying to get the concept brief done. Surprise, surprise, I don't have it ready yet. I am waiting on that so I can send it off.

Some brands close orders next Monday so I need to rush.

I go to Singapore on Monday. I need to open a bank account and all that other business related crap. I look for a place to live on Tuesday. My cousin has told me some of those places are old looking. I've lived in New York City woman, nothing in Singapore can look old and run down to me. And I'm not a fussy guy so I should be fine in an old building. Considering that Singapore looks a bit like stuff out of the Truman Show, anything that's more than 5 years old with a bit of wear and tear to it is probably considered 'old'.

If I like something on Tuesday, I'm going to seal the deal on Wednesday so I can actually have a mailing address and a base to operate from. Let's see how that goes.

I am starting to worry about getting all these brands to support me. I hope they will. I hope they can see the idea that I'm trying to execute. A lot of people I have spoken with still find my vision slightly bluuurrrrryyyyy....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The last few days have been good for me.

I have realized that every single day brings some sort of progress.

Since I formalized the settlement with the tenant, I now have been assured of my store keys by October 15th. That was good news.

So the busy-ness starts now.

I started of Monday with a bit more swagger. I realized that every little thing I was working for that day would mean I was getting that much closer to store opening. With that in mind, I paid off the lawyer and worked towards getting the store concept brief all sorted. I've also been trying to look for a living space near the store so as to be able to walk to work or take the subway. My cousin's going to be helping me out with that. I have decided that I want a studio so that I can easily dodge people asking me if they can stay over my place when in Singapore. "Sorry son, there's only room for 1 + a lucky lady. Go away!"

I'm going to practice those words religiously. I might also just get a dog to scare away the non-dog people.

I'm planning to head down to Singapore on Friday to look at the two apartments my cousin has organized for me to see. Hopefully things work out there.

I spent the last two days working on the store concept brief. The concept brief is basically a sort of brief statement outlining things like your clientele, strategic direction, brands, location, overall vibe, etc. That stuff usually goes into the about section in your website. The idea is to keep it simple, direct, but well written. Kinda like the style you see in Avi's blog. The brief usually says a whole lot about a store and it's the first impression that you give off to potential vendors. Basically, it's crucial and I've spent a great deal of time on it. It's been edited to shit. The brief also includes pictures and moods as well as the logo of the store. Corporate identity is key. It is basically created using a combo of photoshop and illustrator and requires the expertise of professional graphic designers. This is why I went to see a buddy of mine to help me create it. It's also so that it can be sent via email to vendors for store approval.

I went to see Jason. This guy is talented and ambitious. Not only does he own and operate two cafes, he is a graphic designer by trade, he also revamps vintage cars and sells them, runs a creative company, etc. If my visit to his office did not serve as inspiration, I don't know what will. I sometimes think that I want to be in his shoes in 5 years. Running 5 different businesses I love with the similar creative direction I have gained throughout those years. I realized that whatever I learnt in school was not just about design; it was thinking out of the box in circumstances where creativity was necessary. That can be applied to so many things. If people understand what you're trying to communicate, you've made it Jack!

So me and Jason sat down and threw out random ideas and came up with some decent stuff for the brief. Out of nowhere I came up with the idea that he should help me with the store project. I'm a firm believer in keeping things consistent. Consistency is key and by no means should it be overlooked. I would rather communicate the idea to one person, get him to understand it so that he can then translate it into a language that interior designers, contractors, architects and everyone else involved can easily understand to ensure absolute consistency. Based on his experience, knowledge, creative vision and accessability, I feel that he would be perfect for the job. I threw out the idea his way. Sarcastic laughs aside, he said he would "Sleep on it".

I read a book at school once. The best quote in the book was it's title.

"It's not how good you are, It's how good you want to be".

Sunday, September 24, 2006


So last week I gathered up Inny and Jani and conned em into hitting up Bandung with me. Living in the U.S has made me realize that going out and getting comfortable with the immediate environment around you is more than just about being outdoors and doing activity. It's pretty unreal what there is around us. I did a lot of it in Boston and New York and surrounding areas and it was pretty good to see all the different stuff around those places. Not only are sites and sounds different, but even attitudes, fashions and other cultural aspects follow suit. All this in neighbouring area codes.

Bandung is no different here. Bandung is a city about 200 kms away from Jakarta but these two cities are completely different. The drive up is usually pretty easy with the new highway and all. The view's not bad either. You can either take the train up there or drive up yourself. We chose to drive down so we could run a muck on the way there.

Recently I've pretty much taken my camera wherever we've ended up so as to work on my photography skills. I have none so far but at least I'm trying. Give a brotha a break.

Fortunately because I was on camera duty, I was relieved of the burden of driving. Driving responsibility was left to Wardi, sleeping to Inny, picture-taking to me and Jani. We did okay for the drive up.

We cruised around for a bit and had absolutely no idea where we were going. Good thing Wardi was handy with the map. 15 minutes later we ended up at the newly built Ciwalk, which is short for Cihampelas Walk. It is an outdoor sort of mall which I thought was a nice change since I'm from Jakarta. It also had some local designer stores with their own unique designs. The stuff was interesting. They also had the usual J Co. (Indonesia's home-grown answer to Krispy Kreme) and the ever-present Starbucks. I don't do donuts but I couldn't help but notice the "Tirr-I-miss-u" donut at J Co. How the fuck do they come up with cheesy shit like that? How?

We hung out for a bit and then made our way around town. Hit up a few more stores and an exotic pet store and then pretty much hunger set in.

We then headed up to a restaurant called the Sierra. It was set on top of some hills. It had a pretty good view which is supposed to be real nice at night. Apparently thats a good spot to take it easy at in the evenings with the piano band and all. The only thing that had me wincing was their menu. Like most people I'm not a big fan of restaurants with 10 different cuisines. If I wanted 10 different cuisines I would visit a food court. But then again, looking out at the view made me realize that food is probably not the main reason that people come there.

Anyway, here are the results of the day. All of us enjoyed experimenting with the camera.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sorted X Settled

Got the place back....bring on the world.....!

Tough town no more....

I got up this morning and breathed a sigh of excitement. I was awaiting good news. Just as I was getting ready to head out the lawyer called and broke the news. He informed me that the tenant wants to move out under 3 conditions (WTF?):

1) Tenant will surrender the keys back to me by October 15th. Thats earlier than expected.
2) Tenant will take the agreed offer and collect the security deposit back but it has to be paid by next week.
3) Tenant will not return the space in its original state meaning that she won't clean up the place and do the necessary restoration work.

Correct me if I'm wrong but is it not a global practice to leave a space in it's original condition and then collect your security deposit? If it's not in the original condition, do I not have the right to keep the security deposit? Since when could beggars be choosers?

Decisions, decisions.....

Lawyer is in further talks to try and negotiate for me to have the right to the security deposit. I could just take the offer but I would be shelling out too much cash. Wouldn't make sense.

Let's see.

I also just got done registering the business. That was a good experience.


Today was eventful.

I'm not sure where to start.

I couldn't get myself up this morning thanks to Ro's antics last night. I went out with him to Loof and then to M.O.S. Before, I went out drinking at some neighbourhood bars myself to start of the night. The humidity has been fucking with my eyes. Every beer I lay my eyes on seems to be calling out my name. My ears must be fucked too.

So I went out drinking at this bar around the corner from my hotel. It's called Addicted Place. It's actually pretty addictive since it's a good setting with cheap booze. I've been thinking of making my way back there. I was actually thinking of going there to cap off tonight but I chose to give it a bit of a break.

I then went to Loof to meet Ro and his buddies. There was some Levi's event there which was cool. They had Jean installations all over the place. Definitely consistent with Loof's strategic direction. Further on, we headed to M.O.S. I know, I know, but when in know how it goes! Anyway so we hit up Pure over there. Started with Whiskey, ended with Lemon Drops. The best part was chilling with Ro and his buddies. They were all really good people and it was great meeting them. Ro's got a good setup.

I then left, got some food and flailed around there looking for my hotel while still in a drunken stupor. Good fun

That was just last night.

That was why I slept in.

I started of this morning at the CPF office. Not sure what that stands for but its important to sort out to be able to apply for a business registration. It felt good to read those words on the picture.

Not surprisingly they rejected my CPF Singpass application. Singapore's not given me a good welcome with stuff like this. Apparently CPF needs my Employment Pass number to get my Singpass, but the only way to get an EP, I would need to register the business. The only way I can register a business at ACRA is with a Singpass. Lost? So was I.

I decided to head back to the office to get some lunch. Shortly after, I left for the hotel to drop of my stuff before heading to a friend's house. On the way there I spotted the Venu freestanding concept store on the side of North Bridge road. Those that don't know, Venu is the sole distributor of Puma and all of their other collaboration projects. They have Mcqueen, Neill Barrett, Mihara Yasuhiro and some other stuff at their stores in Ann Siang Hill and Palais Renaissance.

I then headed to my buddy Resida's. She studies at Raffles Design Institute and majors in Fashion Design. Let me be the one to tell you, this is one fierce broad. Resida is so talented that if there was one person I would like help from with the store in terms of buying and selling, it would almost definitely be her. She knows her stuff and is constantly trying to learn more. She also brought out her final projects to show me. I wasn't dissapointed at all. We have a similar vision. Furthermore, she agreed to help me out with the store later on. We agreed on minimum wage.

Resida lives with her roomie Tasha who has a beast of a French Bulldog. After Boston I've become a real dog person so it came as no surprise when the dog started to give me subtle grunts as an indication to piss off. I think he was worried it was me that was going to give him rabies instead. Trust me I would have. Let me introduce 'Tora'.

Check out my facial expression. How could you not want to show love to a hero like this.

I passed out on the couch for a little over an hour thanks to the humidity. That was a nice break from the fashion paper we were working on for Resida's final.
I then capped off the night with a cold beer over dinner with Res, Tash and Tora at a nearby restaurant. Again the humidity was messing with me and didn't make dinner very comfortable. I need to invest in some shorts and slippers.

Hopefully tomorrow's better. I get the answer from the tenant then.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Marching on.....

Went to the lawyers and shaaazaaam, I was caught off guard with some news. Lawyer now informs me that the tenant in the store space I own wants to lower the 'takeover' fee. Basically she is willing to negotiate. Go figure! How weird that this comes at a time when I'm actually here to rent another space. How weird that this comes at a time when I'm supposed to confirm rental of the space by Saturday. I was initially pissed off when the lawyer told me this because I felt like she's been busting my balls all this time and is doing it again. I didn't want to get my hopes up like last time and I am definitely making sure I don't.

I then told the lawyer to draft up a letter stating my offer, a deadline for response and a date by when the space should be vacated, which is November 15th. That's right after melbourne so that should be a pretty eventful month.

I will post an update as soon as I get an answer.

Hopefully the ball-busting stops here!


Got into singapore yesterday and went straight to check out some real estate to look for another store space to rent. I saw some real cool places in other streets around the area. I will post pics later. I have so many other posts I wanted to put up but haven't been able to edit them.

So I saw a few good spots in other streets. These were real great spaces that would allow for me to operate the store downstairs and live upstairs so as to cut costs. That would also allow for more play and less work.

I went to the first space and it was pretty cool. It was all ready for moving in and setting up. The floors were exactly how I wanted them to be. All dingy and busted. The walls had water marks and mold growing in some places. I really wish I could throw up some pictures so as to show these little details more clearly. The second floor (living space) looked good. I was already planning where to place the bed so as to maximize the flow of chi. I may need to call Inny to ask for his feng shui help. Not really! I was actually planning where to strategically place all the mirrors to maximize showmanship. Iffyaknowdaameann. This place also had an attic. Perfect for when I need to abduct shoplifters!

Second place I went to was pretty cool as well. This had everything as the previous one. Slightly dingier though, which was good. It also had a sun/stair well which allowed for a lot of sunlight and it had a balcony. Ironically, it was overlooking the space that I own. The only problem with this place was that it had too much walking traffic!

I will be off in a bit to look at two other places.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just a thought....

Alcohol does questionable things to good people.....

Store Update

I think most of you know that I have hit a standstill in terms of store preparation. You may also know that I am now thinking of renting a different store space around the same area as before so as to get the feet wet as soon as possible.

I was supposed to go to Singapore two weeks ago to get this done. Unfortunately shady ongoings hindered my ability to do so. I was then supposed to go last week but that plan turned to shit too. I have no idea why this happens considering Singapore is so close.

Good news though, I have found a hotel and a good airfare so I am headed down there tomorrow in the a.m to get things done. I will post more meaningless stuff from there. Hopefully it includes further good news.

Enjoy. See you Saturday.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Easy Sunday....oh and David Blaine is a tool.

Good news that this weekend is almost over. It was rough. I'm just killing time before Super Sunday starts. If you're a footy fan, I'm sure you're either headed to a bar to start drinking or have completely isolated yourselves from the outside world. I have done enough drinking so I'll settle for the latter. I'm watching David Blaine's pointless ice exploit on the television and I just noticed he has one weird voice. He sounds permanently depressed.

I do blog & forum surfing every Sunday to catch up on things I may have missed out from friday p.m until sunday p.m. It's unreal how much you can miss out on in such a short time. Just goes to show how fast consumer culture manages to bring about new ideas.

David Blaine is out of the ice block and he is disoriented. He is going into shock. Who gives a shit you ask? I don't know.

I found something pretty cool on one of the blogs that I frequent. Apparently Omotesando is another one of those "different" areas in Tokyo where a lot of street fashion photography goes on. is a site that has such photographs. The site shows off some pretty wicked pictures with information on the clothing and prices in Yen as well as unique information as the dresser's style etc, etc. Good to see so much variety going on in the streets of tokyo. I respond to this. This constant search to define oneself brings about innovation, creativity, etc. It brings much-needed change and so on. Its a vicious cycle. Not a bad thing at all.

Don't get me wrong, I know this street fashion display has been going on a long time in Japan and has over time become a bit of a phenomenon. However, what I didn't know was that in Omotesando, magazine and freelance photogs alike set up early in the mornings to be able to get a good spot to photo these people on the streets. And if I may add, they take this shit pretty seriously. Read more about this here.

It's funny, I never really thought this whole street fashion thing would become so serious that even magazines and websites would be completely dedicated to it. I probably should admit I wish it wasn't so. It's all great and all, but it just seems almost 'planned' right? The intense scrutiny of it kind of takes away a bit of the charm. Some things are just better off left alone.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sorry bout not posting in a while. I took off work on Wednesday to waste the day with Shane, Inny and Jani. Last night I was down with some foodpoisoning. That wasn't fun at all.

Wednesday involved a whole lot of nothing until the P.M. Then we played pool at Eastern Promise for the competition. Thanks to Inny's heroics we did just fine and came out with a draw. I must say Inny should have taken both games. Was good to see everyone in good spirits and enjoying themselves. Everyone also got involved in the game 'Killer' where you're supposed to buy in and then you play against everybody else. You have to sink something when your turn is up. A miss is a strike and three strikes means you're out. Last man standing wins the pot. Good fun.

We capped off the night with another drink at Dragonfly. I'm glad we left after one drink.

Weekend's up. Don't waste it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Steve Irwin....

For the past few days I have been watching re-runs of Steve Irwin's shows on Animal Planet. That dude does everything with so much conviction it's hard not to love the guy. Some aussies find him embarassing and I just can't understand why.

Up until today I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about the guy, until this; Here are a few pictures of him training in mixed martial arts. Maybe this is how he used to prepare for a day of croc wrestling.

Steve Irwin doing some MMA

Steve Irwin in a standing clinch

Steve Irwin in side control

Steve Irwin with the eyes-closed right cross

Much props to the man who had more sack than anyone around.


For those of you that are interested in culture, fashion, art, etc, Superfuture is a good resource to find out all the funnest stuff going on in and around your hood.

Click on a city and it'll show you a whole list of shops, hotels, galleries that are worth checking out. Click on any one of the destinations and it'll show a review of it. Do yourself a favor and use this site. You will thank me.

I walked around New York City with a map from there and ended up discovering some good spots.

I looked up Melbourne to scout out all the good places worth checking out for our upcoming trip there next month. Here's the link. Those of you from around there please let us know what I need to keep a look out for.

The Supertalk forum there is a good resource too. Some of those dudes take their denim and their politics pretty seriously so try not to piss anyone off. Those dudes in the "What are you wearing today" thread are no less.

A Gang Gang Good Time!

You know that feeling when you've found a good restaurant and feel the need to go back there every time your stomache starts wincing even a little bit? Well Gang Gang Sulai (GGS) is that restaurant for my cousin Rishi and I. Founded in 1988, GGS was an instant hit and in no time there were 8 branches all over Jakarta. I think we even had a family dinner there back in '92 and that's how the love started.

Anytime Rish and I are yearning for cold beer and korean barbeque we hit up GGS. This time was no different, but we decided to include Inny and Jani to make it more merry.

Food there is served raw and you basically cook-it-yourself on the little stove placed in the middle of the table. This makes for great conversation I think. Probably a good place to bring a first date as well. Burning yourself through negligent cooking makes for a great ice-breaker.

We usually start of with the house salad and then move on to the bulgogi (below). This is probably our favorite meat in the entire place. The stuff never gets boring. Cooking this stuff takes about two seconds and the next thing you know its on your plate.

Next up we have the rib eye or the spare rib. Whatever it is, I can eat this stuff religiously. This is the part when we look at each other, lay our chopsticks down, take a bit of a breather and then sip on our beers. Two long seconds later we're back in it.

After that, we march on like real men and hit the final plate of meat. I'm not sure what this stuff is but last week was the first time we ordered it.

Meat on the barbie.....!

Dinner was capped off with some 'Neopolitan' ice cream and a plate of watermelon on the house. All for 25 bucks a pop. Good value for money you think, I agree!

You know what the dissapointing thing is though. On most visits to GGS, we've noticed a slightly apparent lack of demand for their food. Along with that, they've also closed down one branch. And that was the nearest one to my place dammnit. Sad but true! That's why you can consider this a plea to go out there and support your nearest Gang Gang Sulai branch to avoid this happening any longer.


Me and Shane went bowling yesterday. Apparently I'm good at it.

Feel free to let me know what you think of my bowling skills. They say I'm good.

It was pretty funny. We had a group of old Chinese folks in the lane next to us and when they noticed I started banging in the strikes, they stopped bowling and focused on us. They even started clapping after I put away my second strike. However, they were soon dissapointed when on my 5th try I only put 4 pins away. They instantly stopped cheering me on. Soon enough normalcy was restored when I cleaned out the rest of the pins.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bob Dob

Other than design, I'm pretty into illustration as well. I find an individual's perception on certain things to be really interesting. Especially when its tied in with art. I think illustration is one of the purest forms of seeing someone's perception of something under more creative circumstances. Juxtapoz is a real good resource if you're into illustration and other forms of urban art.

Here's an artist i'm really feeling now: Bob Dob. He's got a wicked style that I can't seem to easily point out. Maybe thats why I am so intrigued.

Above works are his best portraits. "Man Child", "Air Head" & "Pot Head". All works are Oil on Panel.

Can't quite identify what it is I respond to most or if it's the entire illustration as a 'whole'. His portraits are off the wall right? This one below is a favorite. Two of the most significant video game characters of our time taking a break to share a cold one. Genius!

Comments welcome.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Doing good.....?

Okay I don't usually like Starbucks. Their coffee's expensive.....but their lines are long....get it! I don't know what it is but they don't do much to give back to the communities they are present in. Their Asian Tsunami donation effort was pretty shit. They have also made it harder for the little guys with their plan for global coffee domination. Okay anyway, I stumbled across this and thought it was something to write about. Not sure if it is some marketing scheme or if its a genuine effort.

So get this. They have formed 'The Starbucks Salon'. Apparently its some sort of interactive coffeehouse experience that travels around the United States every 10 days. Not only do they sell coffee, here's the good part, it's also a gallery and a performance venue where they showcase work from up-and-cuming artists and musicians, etc. There's even going to be poetry and storytelling.

Above is a picture of the sort of marketing that Starbucks has been throwing up all over New York City. The buzz on the street is that New Yorkers don't think it's a genuine effort and are wondering why all these low-key artists are selling out to the big boys.

I don't think it'll be a success in New York.

Conclusion: A for effort, but I can see right through them. Definitely sneaky marketing!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tito and Jenna...

When I write about something I dig, it's good fun. When two things I dig come together, whoaaa, then I get excited.

So anyway, I think most of you that know me will testify that I like my fighting. Less of you will testify that I like my porn. Now you all know.

When porn and fighting come together, it's big news to me. I thought I would show you all.

So who's one of the more popular Mixed Martial Artists of our generation? Why Tito Ortiz of course! For those of you that do not know Tito, he has always been a great fighter as well as a great face for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The guy manages to generate higher ticket sales and pay-per-view buys in almost all events he participates in. And, he's got razor blades for elbows. Trust me folks, this guy is fierce!

So who's one of the more popular erotic film stars you ask? Why Jenna Jameson of course! For those of you that don't know Jenna, she is a great role model in showing that you can be real successful if you are willing to show your tits to everybody in this world. Trust me folks, this broad is fierce!

So what happens when these two get together? Shit hits the fan!

This is great publicity for Tito and for the UFC. Looks like it's becoming mainstream after all. Trust me people, this shit's going to wipe boxing off of our television sets.

I really wonder what these guys do behind closed doors?

Monday, September 04, 2006


Since I didn't really have much interesting shit to say today, I thought I would let you guys in on a little secret. I bet many of you feel this way but when I was living in NYC, walking around town each day was like something to do to kill time. It was a chore in itself. You didn't really need much of a destination. Flailing around and discovering new stuff was good fun. And while you were out discovering, it was good to look around you and see what people were wearing, buying etc.

When I left NYC, I didn't really have much of a chance to do that anymore. Don't get me wrong, you're bound to spot some real cool people in Indonesia sporting some cool shit but that is few and far between. After all, this is a conservative society where people are pretty conscious of their perception of how others perceive them. Getwhadaameann.

Sorry to drift but as I was saying, I could really identify with the fashion from the 'real' streets in New York. I think I prefer to look at fashion from a cultural standpoint you know. Just so it doesn't look so 'bought'. Just seeing and understanding how people's cultures and socio-economic status' affected their choice of clothing was pretty cool. Even so, those guys there managed to look good doing it. All of it was pretty real. Real real.

Anyway, the point of it is that I respond to stuff that I see in front of me rather than some magazines that anybody can buy. Through some research, I found this dude who has some sort of a "street scene" sort of blog. I've been looking at it all day. The Sartorialist basically shows us some cool pictures of people's individual perceptions of fashion in New York City. It basically shows what they're wearing. The dude who writes the blog also gives his commentary and his take on things. He also shows off a lot of his photographs. For those of you that have an interest in fashion, take a look at this as you'll be able to notice how different New York is from other cities.

It's shit like this that brings me back there. I thought I'd share it with you people.