Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Shopping’

Aggretsuko and Gudetama: Adorable and anti-capitalist

July 23, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Shopping No Comments →

If Hello Kitty represents happy-go-lucky submission to globalization, Sanrio’s newer characters respond to the market with soul-crushing resignation or seething rage. Aggretsuko “is a symbol and expression of the pent-up stress and irritation that is rife in the world today,” her designer, Yeti, wrote in an email. And Gudetama, Amy wrote, parallels “the people in modern society who despair amid economic hard times.”

How Sanrio Makes Anti-Capitalism Adorable and Profitable

How to pick the fastest line at the supermarket

September 09, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Shopping 2 Comments →


Get behind a shopper who has a full cart

That may seem counterintuitive, but data tell a different story, said Dan Meyer, a former high school math teacher who is the chief academic officer at Desmos, where he explores the future of math, technology and learning.

“Every person requires a fixed amount of time to say hello, pay, say goodbye and clear out of the lane,” he said in an email. His research found all of that takes an average of 41 seconds per person and items to be rung up take about three seconds each.

That means getting in line with numerous people who have fewer things can be a poor choice.

Saturday in Cubao: Cat cafe and Pop-up bazaar

April 05, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Clothing, Places, Shopping No Comments →

cat cafe

We like visiting Cubao because our parents used to take us there when we were children. During the holidays we would stand on the street outside COD Department Store (gone) to gawk at the animatronic Xmas display, and in the weeks before school opened in June we would go to Marikina Shoe Expo in search of school shoes.

In high school when I learned to cut class, my friends and I would watch movies at those standalone cinemas on Aurora Boulevard (Coronet, Remar, Diamond, gone) or at Ali Mall (which is still there).

Last Saturday we visited a cat cafe in Cubao called Bengal Brew. All the cats there are Bengals, which have beautiful coats like ocelots, leopards and other felines in the wild. Admission is Php400, which includes your choice of pastry (the sans rival and chocolate dome are okay) and coffee.


Afterwards we had lunch at Bellini’s (broccoli soup, osso buco, orange cake) and checked out the stores. The last time we were at Cubao X it seemed a little dispirited: so many shops boarded up, not much to look at besides the vintage store that is so crammed with stuff you can barely walk in. I am pleased to report that Cubao X looks spiffy again, with newish cafes and interesting stores selling all manner of stuff.

There was a pop-up bazaar featuring handmade toys and accessories.


At one shop we found this vintage flamingo brooch. We love this stuff.


The absolute last-minute gift guide

December 23, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Notebooks, Shopping, Sponsored No Comments →

You have just realized that it’s less than 48 hours before Xmas and even if you’re an atheist you like giving and getting presents (or at least not being the buzzkill). Go to the nearest National Bookstore and get these.

Black sketchbook, Php599. Give with gold and silver Sharpies or Dong-A metallic gel pens.

Pierre the Maze Detective by Hiro Kamigaki and IC4 Design, Php879.

Children will find it entertaining; overgrown children will love the design.

Gold Leuchtturm1917 journal, Php949. Obviously we’re keeping this. Shiny!

Daycraft A6 sketchbooks, PU leatherish covers, wide range of colors, Php389 each.

This season’s “I’m tired of thinking, I’ll just take two dozen of those” gift: colouring books for grownups. It’s supposed to relieve stress. In our observation, people who are already stressed will get more stressed if you give them coloring books because it’s more work they will feel compelled to do. This one comes with 8 colouring pencils in a nice tin box so you don’t even have to wrap it, because you’re stressed, too. Php395 only.

The exception in the colouring books category is The Official A Game of Thrones colouring book, and you know it’s for the real fans because the “A” is in the title. Php665.

Leuchtturm page-a-day 2016 datebook, Php1221. You can have the recipient’s name engraved for free. (Every year we get a Moleskine diary but the new designs haven’t arrived so we’re trying something different. Moleskine, where’s the new stuff? We want the Blue Note editions.)

The new Stephen King story collection, hardcover Php1199. The man’s a story factory with consistently good quality control.

The Powerbooks shopping bag has our name on it.

September 04, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Shopping 3 Comments →


Reusable shopping bag at Powerbooks, Php25. We’re sure we said that somewhere, we just don’t know where.

It’s a reading advocacy project, we don’t get royalties from sales. Not only is the bag useful, but the color is so bright it’s practically a light source.

Do not buy this notebook which advises kids to plagiarize their schoolwork.

May 28, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Shopping 1 Comment →

This is an actual notebook that we spotted at the bookstore. It tells kids to copy their homework from Wikipedia. Not only does it promote plagiarism, dishonesty, laziness and disrespect, it also insults the schoolchildren’s intelligence. (It’s also guilty of copyright infringement.) Any parent who buys this for their children is a dumbass.