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Saturday, September 17, 2005

'Sold out' often isn't -- for the right price
The secondary ticket market is tricky but worth the effort when it comes to scoring seats for a concert or game that is in hot demand.
By Christian Science Monitor

Suppose your sole summer goal involves rocking out with the Rolling Stones.

And forget the nosebleeds -- you want to be able to count the lines on Keith Richards's face.

Ah, but you possess pockets of average depth. And you feel the need to eat every once in a while, maybe even tank up the Toyota.

Sing along, superfan: You can't always get what you want.

Onstage box seats for a recent show at Fenway Park in Boston -- the first stop on the Stones' world tour -- went for more than $3,000, 12 times their face value, at That's no anomaly. In what's being called the biggest summer of A-list concert tours in a decade, supply and demand have kicked into overdrive.

But in general -- whether for the Rolling Stones, Dolly Parton, or a Major League Baseball game between division rivals -- "sold out" doesn't always mean that there are no seats available.

Quick "sellouts" often just reflect rapid dispersal of tickets into the vast and nebulous secondary market, whose players range from licensed online brokers to street-corner scalpers flouting often poorly enforced laws. The legal segment of that market alone has now eclipsed primary-sales colossus Ticketmaster in annual dollar volume, according to some industry experts. And while all of that churn might be confusing to buyers, it can also open opportunities for those who know where to look (and that doesn't mean playing the scalpers' game).

The Monitor bought a Rolling Stones ticket at face value from a primary ticketer 10 days before the Sunday show. We found opportunities to do so even later (for singles, granted, and far from the stage).

The secondary market
But plumbing the secondary market is as tricky as defining it.

"Anybody with a ticket is now a 'ticket broker,' so how you describe the secondary market is becoming blurry," says Gary Adler, a spokesman for the National Association of Ticket Brokers, which advances a code of ethics among its members.

By some accounts, nearly a third of event tickets sold are resold through the legitimate secondary market. The number balloons when the peer-to-peer element is included., for example, opened its ticket section in July 2000. It reached around 10,000 a month in April 2002, according to Craig Newmark, founder of the free online classified site, and is now running at about 120,000 a month, thanks to the site's expansion into new cities.

Even though concert ticket sales have slid overall, resale activity has picked up in recent years for top acts with baby-boomer appeal, say industry experts. That’s driven by the public's rising comfort level with online transactions, whether with recognized entities or with other individuals.

Another factor in the secondary market: frustration with major primary outlets like Ticketron and Ticketmaster, whose inventory, meted out as dictated by the venues, seems to vanish within minutes of going on sale -- at stadium box offices and music stores, via telephone sales and the Internet.

The abundance of ticket outlets "doesn't actually make (getting tickets) more competitive" for buyers, says Bonnie Poindexter of Ticketmaster, though "it makes it more convenient."

Including sports and other events, Ticketmaster sold 98 million tickets valued at $5 billion last year. It uses optical barriers -- digitized codes on their Web site to prohibit automated buying -- and other means to complicate mass purchasing by resellers.

Still, Poindexter acknowledges limits to ensuring broad access. "We're not the ticket police," she says. "We can't look at a row of people in line and say, 'You look like you're going to resell your ticket, therefore we're not going to sell to you.' "

As it is, in terms of primary sales, as many as half of a venue's seats might be spoken for before regular sales begin for a major show -- with comps given to radio stations, corporate sponsors and the band, among others.

Through some channels, though, fans can get the inside track on tickets. These include fan-club membership discounts, corporate-affiliation deals (with your credit-card company, for example) or charities that give tickets in exchange for large tax-free donations or a few hours of community service. But would-be profiteers can scoop up seats from these same channels, too.

Also making gains: big-volume licensed brokers, which don't own inventory. Rather, they facilitate sales by private parties whose tickets are screened for validity. The brokerage takes a percentage of sales.

"We get discounts from the seller, and then there's a service charge to the buyer," says Kenneth Dotson, chief marketing officer for, who calls the legitimate secondary market a $6 billion a year business (other estimates make it considerably smaller).

Professional baseball pulls in the most revenue, Dotson says. Sports events represent more than 50% of his firm's business, then concerts, then plays. "'Wicked' and 'Spamalot' are really big sellers for us," he says, adding that tours by Paul McCartney, U2 and The Rolling Stones have set this year apart. TicketsNow guarantees transactions and requires that its sellers be licensed brokers.

Five Strategies for Arranging Art

Display need not be prescriptive. Leave old paintings unframed to relax traditional art. Or mat and frame prints or photographs identically to arrange in a neat grid pattern. Paint unmatched frames linen white or a pale tint for a cottage or country look, or choose black frames and white mats to pull together a contemporary wall grouping.

Here are five arrangement suggestions.

Strength of symmetry

For a symmetrical arrangement with a twist, stack four identically framed and matted prints between candlestick lamps (see picture above). Loosen the arrangement by hanging three artifacts above. Center an object, such as the box, on the table.

Leaning and lapping
Hang picture shelves (an odd number is visually pleasing) to organize framed and matted black-and-white photographs. Lean and overlap prints to avoid blanks; fill in with edited accessories in contemporary shapes.

Order from diversity
Turn assorted prints, photographs, and frames into an arrangement with paint and mats. Work out the grouping on the floor or trace shapes on kraft paper and tape to the wall before nailing. Start in the center and work out.

Weighted with Black Trays
Vary shapes and sizes of the same type and same color of object (here floral tole trays) for a strong focal point. Center the largest object to anchor the easy arrangement. Flank with a pair or balanced grouping of similar objects.

Frame with watercolors
Relax traditional art with innovative display. Here the two lower watercolor prints hang with the frame edges under the prints (inside the mats). The arrangement calls attention to the glazed, classical-style head plaque.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Casting News: Will Blanchett Be Queen Again?

News of movement on the long-in-the-works sequel to director Shekar Kapur's "Elizabeth" broke last week. According to Variety, Clive Owen and Geoffrey Rush (who starred in the first film) have come on board "The Golden Age" for Working Title Films and Universal Pictures. The trade paper also reported that star Cate Blanchett, who received an Oscar nomination for the original, was set to reprise her role. However, that may not be, as Blanchett told Australia's Herald Sun she wasn't sure the second installment was necessary.

"There's so much there if it were to happen, but my initial instinct is, why?" she said.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The very ordinary things
By Lucy Gomez
The Philippine STAR 09/11/2005

"A girl falls in love with a boy because he listens to her when she speaks, and remembers what she said a month ago. Love is sparked by the little things – the quiet word, the gesture of compassion, the look."Father James B. Reuter, SJ

Each morning, for many months now, I wake up to an inspirational message from Father James Reuter (you can subscribe by texting "Reuter" to 326). The quote above was his message last September 6 and it came on the heels of a quiet moment I had the night before with my own beloved. We both had had a very full day, starting early in the morning, and the only time we got together again was late in the evening, for a quick bite with friends in Penang at The Promenade.

Back home as we were getting ready to go to sleep, we found ourselves silently brushing our teeth side by side, comfortably lost in our own thoughts. Midway, he casually nuzzled into my side and with a soft smile filtering through the foamy toothpaste on his lips and the toothbrush still stuck in his mouth, he put his left arm around my waist. And we went on with the business of brushing our teeth. Just like that, as if it was the most natural thing to do. We had, once again and as with many other moments in our seven-year marriage, settled contentedly in a space where no words were spoken; none were even needed to begin with.

Richard always does little things like that to me. He always pulls me onto his lap when we browse through the Web together, tucks me in the crook of his arm as we watch TV, strokes my hair because he knows that puts me to sleep fast, and holds my hand forever and ever, whenever, wherever. Perhaps I just noticed how affectionate he really is as a husband that night more than usual because we had both been so busy the past week and I really missed his company. After changing we plopped into bed, talked for a while about the day’s activities and fell asleep with our fingers entwined, Juliana between us.

That, too, has become a sort of ritual for us in bed. No matter where in our bed Juliana chooses to sleep (usually in the middle), our hands, arms, legs, or feet always find their way to each other. Even as we are still enveloped in the cocoon of deep sleep, it is customary for one of us to reach out, with eyes still closed, looking for the other. Sometimes we sleep like spoons; other times our fingers barely touch (it gets more challenging the bigger Juliana gets), but it does not matter really as long as a part of us is connected, even in the slightest way possible. It is as simple as that. Yes, even if we have just had an argument, the same holds true. Come bedtime, the problem may yet be unresolved but the ritual carries on. It is a habit that very casually seeped into our private sleeping space, one that has made a permanent home there.

That was never planned, you know. It just came to be and perhaps we simply melted into what felt like the most natural thing for two people in love to do. And that is something I am thankful for. Tangible touchstones of affection like that have a way of insulating the love that is already beautifully shared, in the same way that it can soften the pain that such a love can entail. It diffuses into more manageable bits the differences that are a reality in any relationship. If not for the little things – the things that bespeak one’s affection – we would never be as close a couple as we are. My spouse is not only my sweetheart, he is my best friend, my best traveling companion, my buddy for life. There is nothing I cannot tell him and he knows that.

I once asked a stranger I was sitting beside on the plane what her secret to staying married for over 50 years was (of course, only after she volunteered the information to me in the course of our conversation). She corrected me and said she did not just stay married, she stayed in love while married. And that the secret was in loving her spouse, every single day of her life, in little things as well as in the bigger ones. Soon enough, she said, it became a habit – one that just flowed out effortlessly, as natural as breathing.

Father Thomas Keating, in an interview I had with him a couple of months back, also said wisely that loving is best done in the milieu of everyday life. When there is love, everything you do with, for and apart from your beloved is always infused with the love held precious in the heart. Only then will these little chores, the compulsory routines, essentially become more than what they are.

And Father Reuter’s message above holds so true, not only in the context of marriage but in the realm of all kinds of human relationships as well. Always, it is the little everyday things that count for more.

I know I had nice kiddie parties, some years bigger than others, but the one I remember clearly was when I was maybe five or six years old and I could have no party because my dad and I got chicken pox at the same time. My sister and I had this little square table in yellow and on the day of my birthday, my mom sat me down on one of the matching yellow chairs and laid a cake in front of me. Lighting the candles she sang me the Happy Birthday song. You know how birthday celebrations matter so much to little kids that birthdays are almost as important as Christmas? And so it was, late in the morning while the whole household was abuzz with activity and my mother had somehow managed to find a sweet way to make me feel like it really was my special day. Mommy also allowed me and my siblings to play in every corner of the house, turn over and rearrange the furniture depending on which cartoon-inspired fantasy we were living out, read us bedtime stories and was always home to be with us when we got back from school.

My dad, sturdy and ever-reliable, has responsibly done many big things for the family but the chips that are stored in my memory bank are those that show what kind of a father he is in the daily grind of things. He was the one who patiently taught me and my sister our math when we exhausted our mom’s legendary patience, took us to the dentist and the doctor for shots, and I remember during his trips to Cebu when right before he had to leave the house to board the ship, he would take me and my sister Caren on either side and hold our hands until it was really time to go. My parents are wonderful in big ways, but even more so in little ones.

Yes, we appreciate the grand gestures that showcase how much we are valued but somehow we always tend to soak longer in the memory of the more mundane ones. Those ordinary moments are the perfect prerequisites for extraordinary memories, those modest gestures make for more lasting impressions. They are the ones that beautifully stand out, they are those we remember more.

While the world rushes by at breathless speed, there is no balm quite like that of making thoughtful connections with the people in our lives. The fruits of these significant interactions, these seemingly ordinary exchanges, provide us a haven to flee to when the rest of the world swirls crazily around us. They validate people in our lives, they are little gifts that keep on giving, and they always mean more than what they were initially intended to.

Even through the busiest day, don’t just always rush by at breakneck speed. Smile at your maid, affirm your gardener for a job well done, thank your driver, never be too busy to hug a child, love deeply your spouse. There is a lot of compassion to go around for everybody; that is how people become inspired to give themselves to others more selflessly. The well of compassion is such that it runs deeper the more it is shared, given, and consumed.

Years from now, when I am old and gray, and the lines I will be faced with are not found in the grocery store but in the mirror as I look at it, I know I will always be warmed by the memory of Juliana calling out a loud "I love you, Mommy" even in the midst of play, how her eyes light up when she sees me walk through the door, how she gets Kleenex to wipe my tears when she sees me cry and how she forces me to drink water from her milk bottle because "you have to drink water after you cry, mommy."

My heart will soar in the knowledge that there was never a time when I came home and Richard did not engulf me in a big bear hug, a daily treat I always look forward to. I will always hold precious the countless times we would hold each other’s hand, through good movies and bad ones, across the restaurant table, in long lines, plane rides, through tears and traffic jams. I will read over and over again, till they are all crumbly and yellowed with age, the random notes and letters he leaves on my work table, cards and letters he writes me on special occasions (but more often when there is none), remember sweetly, too, the many times he cooked for me and helped technophobe me figure out all those high-tech gadgets that seem to multiply and get more complicated by the day. He has his own special brand of magic.

What the eyes cannot see, the heart can feel. And what the mind forgets, the heart will always remember. The ordinary things are the highlights of our life, they are the very things that nourish and sustain all the big blessings we already have and hold.

10 Sure Signs you’ve watched too many movies
By Scott R. Garceau
The Philippine STAR 09/11/2005

We need relief from all the turmoil out there – the political rallies, the natural disasters, the fourth season of The Simple Life. We need to escape from the all-consuming media once in a while, stop and smell the roses, and take a closer look at the important things, the things that really matter in life.

Such as: "Movies in Which Ben Affleck Cries Like a Big Fat Baby."

This is one of the completely useless but quite entertaining movie lists compiled by Richard Roeper, one half of TV’s Ebert& Roeper film critic team. The main qualification to write a book like 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed (which weighs in at a somewhat hefty 289 pages but can be read in less than half an hour) is an ability to watch movies. Hey, you’re probably saying, I can do that! But wait: you also have to be keen enough to notice the many things that don’t quite add up in movies – like, how characters in horror or action films do the same, stupid things, over and over, yet never learn their lessons. Meanwhile, those in the audience are busy shouting at the screen: "NO, PUT THE LIGHTS ON FIRST!" Or: "JUST GET THE HELL OUT OF THE HOUSE, IDIOT!"

Roeper knows all about this. He has studied his medium well, and he understands that:

• The spunky little kid or the wizened old soul who befriends a main character in the hospital has no chance. We’ll find out the kid (or the old-timer) has died when the main character stops in to visit, only to see a nurse’s aide stripping the bed. Nothing says death in a hospital scene like a nurse’s aide stripping the bed.

• The fresh-faced soldier who talks endlessly about his girlfriend, looks longingly at her photo every night, and tells everyone, "We’re going to have a baby!" will be coming home in a body bag.

• The popular veteran cop who has travel brochures on his desk and is a week away from retirement – he’s never going to see that condo in Arizona, is he?

Like a cinematic bean counter, he charts important data, such as variations in "The Age Difference Between Michael Douglas and His Leading Ladies" (Biggest gap: Douglas’ 54 to Gwyneth Paltrow’s 26 in A Perfect Murder). He can rattle off the famous "Actresses Who Have Played Prostitutes," and it’s interesting to note how many of them actually earned Oscars by doing this (Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8, Jane Fonda in Klute, Julie Christie in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Mira Sorvino in Might Aphrodite, among others). Talk about sleeping your way to the top!

He lists the "Best Porn Titles Based on Legit Movies" (Okay, here are 10 of them: Free My Willy, Driving Miss Daisy Crazy, Edward Penishands, Glad He Ate Her, Forrest Hump, Good Will Humping, On Golden Blonde, There’s Someone On Mary, Saving Ryan’s Privates, Position: Impossible).

Pop culture is the driving force behind a book such as 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed. Roeper wants us to know that he’s been watching the trends. He notices, for instance, the large number of "Pop Songs in Permanent Rotation on the Movie Soundtrack Jukebox" (which include Rock and Roll Part 2 by Gary Glitter, Takin’ Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive, and Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves, all of which appear in at least four movies. Hmm. Forgot to mention I Feel Good by James Brown and Gimme Some Lovin by the Spencer Davis Group). He’s apparently noticed Tom Cruise’s habit of playing facially-deformed or masked characters to earn acting credibility (as in Eyes Wide Shut, Mission-Impossible, Vanilla Sky and Minority Report). And he spots the trend of "Movies with Wisecracking But Caring Gay Best Friends Who Usually Live Right Down the Hall and Are Always Available to Lend a Shoulder to Cry On" a mile away. (Also known as: Julia Roberts movies.)

Roeper’s a good guy to have at a party if you want to know all the Meg Ryan movies in which her character is named either "Maggie" or "Kate" (nine, by his count).

He’ll let you know which movies feature horrendous plane crash sequences ("Movies That Never Played on an Airplane"). And he’ll be the one to tell you (along with comedian Dave Chappelle) why most phone numbers given out in movies start with the non-existent "555" prefix. This is because if a real phone number were used, "thousands of bored losers would dial it and harass some poor schlub whose private home line is in the latest Adam Sandler movie."

My personal favorite in the book is the list of "In-Jokes," such as the presence of R2-D2 dangling from one of the UFOs flying over Richard Dreyfuss’s head in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or the fact that all the license plates in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off are acronyms of previous John Hughes films. (Check it out: it’s true!)

His catalogue of "Red-Carpet Flubs and Blunders by Joan Rivers" is also priceless, including the comedienne misidentifying Ben Kingsley as F. Murray Abraham, asking Jim Carrey "Are you investing well?" and Barbara Streisand responding to one of her questions by calling it "ridiculous."

The nice thing about such a book is that I don’t feel bad at all about plundering it for material for this column. After all, in the "Sources" page at the back of the book, Roeper credits "the dozens of incredibly useful web sites" that provided him with most of his research. Hey, I’ve always been a big fan of recycling.

Okay, now you can go back to the turmoil.

The great depression
By Celine R. Lopez
The Philippine STAR 09/11/2005

I’m flat broke. Even though my parents disowned me years ago (well, financially, at least, save for the random Fendi bag and pair of Louboutin shoes during their generous moments), I’ve never been this broke. I almost had an asthma attack (which I don’t have) when I found out that my checking account had only 3,000 bucks. I mean, really. That can’t even buy you a decent pair of shoes and maybe will account for two dinners at Pepato or a really drunken night out. I had to reassess my plans for the future.

Causes for poverty: Moving out of ancestral home on my own meager Play- doh, funding my new fashion venture Loungerie Lux (which I hope all you readers will be suckered into buying), my addiction to anything Rhett Eala, Greyhound, couture, the latest must-have bag (the Balenciaga classic and Fendi Spy bag could have easily paid for a year’s worth of rent), traveling almost every month and foie gras. Any financial analyst would just ask me to pick out his ingrown toenails if he saw my financial report for the year.

My boyfriend reads Fortune, Time, Newsweek and considers Golf Digest his tabloid. I read Us Weekly, People and Star and know more about Paris vs. Nicole than the state of the nation. It shows our goals in life: him to be a citizen of the world, me to be a starlet. Needless to say, my direction in life needs some maneuvering. I’m 25, not quite the enfant terrible anymore, almost on the precipice of ceasing to be a darling ingenue. In a few years

I’ll be in limbo and just be in my thirties. Let me correct that: broke and in my thirties. In other words: has-been.

This month I can actually say that I went to Australia and all I got was the W Angelina and Brad back issue (which my friend Pepper actually paid for).

So when I wear boho from now on, I’m not actually pretending to look poor like Mary Kate Olsen. I’m pure dumpster. I deserve this, really. I did this to myself.

My brother is incredible at making money. In his mid-20s he bought a Jaguar on his own, two BMWs and a gold Rolex watch for my mother. I, on the other hand, am fantastic at spending it. Years ago my mom tried to teach me to invest, so she gave me a sum of money to work on. Work on it I did. I tanned at the Ritz-Carlton Millennia (taking a junior suite, at that) when I felt very depressed and bought lots of Gucci, Prada and a sweet pair of earrings. Happiness and memories are priceless, says a credit card company, and I guess I’ll take their advice. That was my investment. Needless to say, my chance for my mother’s financial mercy was nipped in the bud.

So now it’s backfiring. When I was looking around for a new apartment to assert my independence – which is quite pathetic when you just start doing it in your mid-20s – I realized how my high-maintenance lifestyle (which I don’t deserve and gain from this magnificent concept called credit, which also led to the great depression) has really come to haunt me. This is officially my first apartment on my own. My first one – when I was still the darling apple of my mother’s eye – was in front of Central Park in New York next to Barneys and Bergdorf. A stone’s throw away from the Plaza Hotel. A charmed life despite my apartment’s rather modest size.

It’s funny when you start looking for a place. You start out real small. Well, I did, rather. I wanted a one-bedroom. That’s all. I searched the metropolis and saw some of the most hideous pieces of real estate, if you could call them that. One was rather appealingly described as a penthouse loft. Well, it was more like a brothel/closet. It had a massive bar and a spiral staircase that led to the bedroom‚ and that was it. I was getting used to the idea of slumming – dismal quarters stained with quarter-life-crisis angst from my predecessors. Then I found my dream building.

It really pays when your best friends are real-estate developers. It felt like it was home the moment I stepped in. The fact that my best friend lived there was a plus, much to his chagrin. Then I saw the humble one-bedrooms and comforted myself that yes, this will be my home. Mine and mine alone. Until, of course, just for kicks I checked the two-bedrooms which I looooved – for me it was the Playboy mansion. I was so ready to sign up and when I struck a deal with the realtor, I was in heaven. In apartment-hunting you start out small but end up suckered into something bigger and better.

Then, a few days later, I was told that the owner of the apartment was a reader of my silly column. Suddenly and mysteriously, the price rose. I leave that to speculation, but I was brokenhearted and turned down the deal. Then, just at that very moment, another unit came up; it was the biggest two-bedroom in the building and so much cheaper. What did I ever do in this life? I was so happy that I almost wrote my check out in calligraphy.

So now there you have it – I’m a sham in chic clothing. I would rather starve than pass up Chanel pumps. This is the kind of horrible person I am. I don’t even know how I got to be like this. I grew up with my grandfather, who was darling but not fabulous, if you know what I mean. He was really simple. I think my dad did this to me. He is fabulous. When we were a poor little scion family back then, he would still buy his Gucci while I was in desperate need of milk. Thus my faux-anorexic frame. Just kidding. But there is truth to that exaggeration. He was and still is the biggest label whore. He named me after his favorite fashion house, for heaven’s sake. I was almost named Gucci, actually. Imagine being named Gucci in the ’80s when that scandal broke. I would have never forgiven him.

So I cannot call myself nouveau poor because I was never rich to begin with. Just living way beyond my means, like all the poseurs out there. That’s why I always warn you, don’t be fooled by the scion. We were raised to learn how to look privileged and charmed even in the most dire of financial circumstances, like an anemic checking account.

When people turn their noses up in the air and continually say they’re old rich, like a voodoo chant, it just means that: they were rich once and poor now. The real deals just are. They’re not obnoxious about it. So if you’re a gold digger, take my advice. Don’t be fooled by the flash. It may just be mirage. You may get that odd LV token of love in the beginning of your rather spectacular courtship, then you start modeling to pay for his gambling debts. Then you start seeing your beloved killing his siblings or what have yous (i.e., children from outside the famille) for their inheritance. It’s just plain gross. I mean, they feel entitled to it, but the truth is it’s not even their money. It’s a gift. A legacy to put to good use. My mom put it in my head to bring my own bacon home.

I take pride in being a working girl. I hate being called a socialite. What is that, anyway? I like to have fun in overpriced outfits, but please don’t call me a socialite. Just irresponsible. And I’m now taking my future into better figures (seven, hopefully). I hope that being my new entrepreneurial and wholly independent self will make me the real deal and not just another clichéd sham.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pinoy Bohemia
By Ruth L. Navarrra
Inquirer News Service

TO BE bohemian is to disregard conventions. It’s a state of mind and a way of life.

In the recent Bohemian/Moroccan Bazaar in Rockwell Tent, it became obvious that it’s passé to be plain and cool to be colorful.

Gone are the days when finding an affordable flamboyant skirt is limited to patiently going through rows and rows of monstrosities in Baguio’s ukay-ukay. The challenge now is looking for something that will stand out in a street full of women in body-hugging peasant blouses and swishing, shimmering skirts.

Cheap accessories in Quiapo and Divisoria have made dangling chandelier earrings, multi-strand bracelets and necklaces available to anyone who has the interest to adapt to the boho chic craze. Sooner or later, you will realize that everybody else is wearing the same thing— which defeats the purpose of the “bohemian” concept.

This is where Pinoy creativity comes to the rescue. Any gypsy would be proud about what our young entrepreneurs/ artists have come up with so that the legacy of individuality goes on.

Mariel Quimson of Adira makes use of multi-colored crystals to create design patterns for blouses and shoes. She said each piece from her is “handmade and unique.”

Timtam Mendoza of Splurge in Style hand-paints bags, sandals and flip flops. “We tested our products ourselves. We assure our buyers that the paint won’t come off with water.”

Eve Monroy of Accesoria de Casa makes use of unconventional but ingenious raw materials—water buffalo (our local carabao) horns, bones and even hooves. No, she’s not behind any mammal mass killing. She gets her materials from slaughterhouses.

“You’d be surprised at the number of people who are fooled into thinking that the meat they’re buying is beef when it’s not…” says Monroy.

Okaaaay, but that’s another story.

Bazaar directory

CRAVING for bazaar lifestyle? Satisfy it by inquiring from the following numbers. Most of the bazaar participants are newbie entrepreneurs, so they don’t have shops of their own. Not yet anyway. This is your chance to help them thrive.

Accesoria de Casa—Evelyn Monroy, 0927-4457911, 7229544; visit 38 Boston St., Cubao, QC; e-mail

Adira—Mariel Quimson, call 9261910

Ava Designs—Loraine Gotao, 0917-7906527; visit or e-mail

Cole Vintage—Eileen Co, 7214896, 0917-5284087, 0922-4138585; Stall 88 Annapolis Carpark Arcade, Greenhills, San Juan; visit or e-mail

Ilaya—3622706, 0920-9241808, 0918-9073695; 11-D Metrowalk Commercial Complex, Meralco Ave. Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Jane del Rosario—0918-9363031

Limited—9269385-86, fax 9268243, 0918-9425306; visit Room 204, Cabrera Bldg., 64 Timog Ave. Q.C.

Mia Villanueva—8967723, 0917-5289016; visit 21Planet St. Bel-air, Makati City; e-mail

New Yorker, Inc.—8447753, fax 8447663; visit 1004 Arnaiz Ave., Makati City

Rainstorm Trading—Carina Rabilas, 0915-6764336

Shirin for Khazana—9386720, 9362974, 9267340754 or e-mail

Splurge in Style—Timtam Mendoza, 0917-5141898; Ai Lu, 0917-5266973; visit 25 Diamond Lane, 3/F, Shoppesville, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan; 8 50th Ave., 3/F, East Wing, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas Center, QC; 244, 126 Fashion Market, 2/F Market! Market!, Fort Bonifacio, Global City Taguig City; e-mail splurgeinstyle

Tangerine—Cristina Rosales, 0917-8948770

Twinkle—Twinkle Feraren, 0917-8171590, 0920-2244283, 7256982, 7237550, fax 7256982, 8193708; e-mail, starfishie_wishie@ and
Unang Panahon Arts and Antiques—6332327, 0919-5124029; 4/L, Bldg. A, SM Megamall

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Weirdest Job Seeker Stunts
By Rosemary Haefner,
Vice President of Human Resources for

What would you do to get your dream job? Bribe the employer with food or gifts? Hit on the hiring manager? Become a stalker?

Job seekers will do almost anything to stand out among the competition. There is no length a candidate won't go to and no line someone won’t cross in order to get a job.

Hiring managers nationwide shared the most unconventional methods job seekers used to grab their attention in’s latest survey “How to Get in the Front Door.”

While some candidates’ efforts were impressive – like giving Power Point presentations, distributing portfolios on CD and working for a day to demonstrate talents – others’ were complete turn-offs.

One candidate called incessantly for weeks before and after the position was filled. Another clueless candidate asked for another interview after being told that the job was filled. One job seeker brought coffee for the entire office, while another asked the interviewer out to dinner.

If you think that’s weird, here are some of the most bizarre things job seekers did to get noticed:

Wore a tuxedo.

Used a celebrity official fan site as one of their portfolio accomplishments.

Brought a baby gift to the interviewer who was pregnant.

Sat next to the hiring manager in a church pew.

Left Yankee tickets for the interviewer.

Sent a nude photo of himself to the hiring manager.

Tried to do a stand-up comedy routine.

Waited for the hiring manager at his car.

Came dressed as a cat.

Said they “smiled on command.”

Multiple people are vying for the same open positions in most situations. Trying something out of the ordinary to market your skills and accomplishments can give you an edge over other applicants. The key to executing effectively and making yourself memorable for the right reasons is coupling creativity with professionalism and persistence.

6 favors not to ask a new mate
By Alan Goldsher

I have this friend, Mark. Known him for almost 20 years. Great guy. Would bring me chicken soup if I have a cold. Would take in my mail if I’m out of town. Would lend me money if I’m broke.

Won’t pick me up at the airport. Why? Because Mark says it’s annoying. And Mark’s right.

Now, if I won’t ask one of my oldest and dearest friends to grab me at the airport, goodness knows I wouldn’t ask a girlfriend. (If she’s a good girlfriend, she’d probably offer anyhow.) And if I wouldn’t ask a girlfriend, goodness knows I wouldn’t ask a new girlfriend—and, ladies, nor should you make this kind of request of that new guy you’re seeing. Because when you beg your recently-acquired beau to help you with annoying favors, you’re begging for trouble. Here are requests that I believe single people should avoid asking until they’re all but engaged:

1. “Could you pick me up at the airport?”
As noted, the airport annoyance factor is in the red zone. There’s the traffic. There’s the parking. There’re the flight delays. There’re the luggage delays. And what’s the payoff for the picker-upper? Being stuck in the car with a jet-lagged grouch in need of a shower. Swell.

2. “Can you help me get some stuff to Goodwill?”
If your honey is a slob, you’ll be crawling through dust and dirt. If your honey is a pack rat, every 30 seconds you’ll have to ask, “Are you going to keep this piece of junk?” If your honey thinks he or she has gained weight, be prepared to watch a try-on of every item of clothing in the closet, followed by the question, “Does this fit me okay?” These are all lose-lose propositions.

3. “Would you mind helping me move?”
Every step of the moving process is a landmine, an explosion-in-waiting that could detonate a burgeoning relationship justlikethat. Imagine hearing the phrase “That needs more bubble wrap” over and over again. Imagine being told “My last boyfriend carried that table up three flights all by himself.” Imagine having the words “Don’t drop that, it’s an heirloom” screamed at you every hour, on the hour. After that, you’ll probably imagine dropping a box of books on your mate’s head.

4. “Hey, can you help me with my yard?”
On one hand, gardening means flowers, veggies and herbs. On the other hand, it means weeding and mowing, and rolling around in the mud. (Granted, some people like rolling around in the mud, but that’s for another article.) Your girlfriend of two weeks most likely doesn’t want to spend her Sunday afternoon with hedge clippers, pruning shears, and a hose that spews ice-cold water.

5. “Can you grab me a quart of skim milk?”
For some, buying food is a Zen thing, a time when you can be at one with your grocery cart or commune with the produce. For others, it’s a utilitarian task that’s to be done quickly and efficiently. If you’re the utilitarian and your mate is the Zenmaster (or Zenmistress), bringing back the wrong brand of bread could get ugly. And feeling like someone’s delivery service doesn’t rank among life’s greatest turn-ons, for that matter.

6. “Can you fix my…(fill in the blank)?”
Even if your sweetie is a tool expert, it’s not the best idea in the world to ask them if they’ll take a look under your sink, or see what’s clogging your bathtub, or check out why your laptop keeps freezing up. Call in a professional, because what if they try to fix whatever it is that needs to be fixed and make it worse? It’s hard to get over having a new girlfriend crash your hard drive. Trust me on that one, I know…

Seeking Siblings: Clues in Collateral Lines

When to Seek Out Siblings

Though many first-time genealogists tend to focus on direct lines of ancestry, sibling research can add numerous branches to an otherwise barren family tree. Brothers and sisters are great supplemental sources of information -- filling in historical gaps often left by primary relatives. Below are just a few of the scenarios where you might want to seek out your ancestors' siblings.

Skimpy Research

• Birth Records: Often, one family can straddle the requirements for certain types of records. If your ancestor was born before the advent of certain birth records, it's possible that a younger sibling's birth was better documented. Locating a sibling's birth record can yield information about your primary ancestor's parents and place of birth.

• Marriage Records: Like birth records, marriage records have grown more detailed through the decades. While you may possess a marriage certificate belonging to a direct ancestor, the marriage record of a sibling may provide greater detail.

• The U.S. Census: Sibling research is particularly important when viewing census records. Because there is only one census per decade, it's probable that your ancestor missed a few owing to an ill-timed birth or death. Always search for as many relatives as possible before giving up on the census. Also keep in mind that elderly and widowed relatives may show up in the household of a sibling rather than your direct ancestor.

• Collateral Lines: Always keep an eye out for your ancestors' siblings, aunts, uncles and in-laws. These extended relatives constitute your family's "collateral lines," hence the term "collateral line research." This phrase is common among genealogists and particularly helpful when looking for research tips on the Internet.

Family Fibs

• Wrong Dates: While not all misinformation is intentional, you’re bound to find a few historical untruths in your family history. A well-meaning grandmother could have lied about her age on the 1920 Census or her marriage license. This fiction could have been passed to her children and grandchildren. Tracking the source of the erroneous information may be as simple as locating a great-aunt’s birth certificate.

• False Origins: What if your grandfather claimed his parents came from France and even noted that fact on the 1930 Census? One day you may discover that his siblings claimed "Oklahoma" on the same census. Cross-referencing your ancestor's stories with a sibling's documentation can either confirm or deny a questionable piece of information.
Missing History

• Stories and Legends: Interviewing the descendants of your ancestors' siblings can add new depth to your research. It's likely that these extended relatives hold undiscovered information about the earlier generations of your family. You may have missed out on a remarkable family story simply because it was passed down through another family line.

• Clues and Keepsakes: Valuable family heirlooms often surface in the homes of your ancestors’ siblings and their descendants. You may want to call around to distant relatives in order to locate family bibles, pedigree charts and other family keepsakes.

• Migration: It’s unusual for multiple generations of a family to stay in one place. Most family trees branch out in several different directions. Taking the time to research your collateral lines can help you track your family’s migration patterns.

Heirloom Confirmed As Rare U.S. Coin
Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. - This small coin is worth much more than its weight in gold. A coin owned by generations of a California family has been confirmed by numismatists as one of only 12 known existing "Quarter Eagle" coins, which were made of Gold Rush ore at the San Francisco Mint in 1854.

"The coin is only about the size of a dime and contains just one-eighth ounce of California gold, but I guarantee it will be worth much more than its weight in gold when it's sold at the auction," said John Kraljevich, director of research at American Numismatic Rarities of Wolfeboro, which authenticated the coin and will auction it.

The seller, who wants to remain anonymous, descends from Chinese immigrants who worked the California gold fields. The seller's great-grandfather acquired it between 1856 and 1858, said Kraljevich.

He said the family took great care with the coin and only one of the dozen known examples is in better condition. The others are all owned by collectors.

During the Gold Rush, depositors turned ore into coins for easy shipment and exchange, said Douglas Mudd, curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Only 246 Quarter Eagles were made in 1854, he said Monday. Many $10 and $20 coins were struck, but smaller denominations were in less demand, so fewer $5 Half Eagles and $2.50 denomination Quarter Eagles were made.

"You get a sense of the raw frontier, the 49ers and everything else when you hold a coin like this," Mudd said. "It's really the start of California, what it is today, occurring at that time. It really is a piece of history."

He said the coin would attract high-end collectors and investors and push the price to considerably more than $150,000. The auction is Sept. 18 in Beverly Hills, Calif.