Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Thank you for blogging and happy new year!

Glitter Graphics -

That's it!

We are about to conclude 2009. I am thrilled to have finally begun something I have been curious about for awhile: blogging, and that it turned out to be a wonderful experience. The friends I found and the interaction with them are the highlights of my online social life this year and I intend to have the same or more next year and next....

There are beautiful bloggers to whom I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation through this

given to me by Mommy Moments host Chris at the Mommy Journey:

Thom, whose playground Thom's Place 4 Well Whatever is a very interesting read; for becoming my no. 1 bloggy friend, always leaving me comments that are guaranteed to put a smile on my face if not make me fall off my chair laughing

Lisa of Lisa Notes for her significantly inspiring posts, always well-written and lovingly hits where it is reasonably necessary. I feel blessed every time I visit her blog

Anya of KARELTJE en ikke!!! for spreading her message of love and kindness to animals, specifically felines

Rose of Nostalgic Marveling for sharing tales of her lovely family. I love your personality, sis :)

Glitter Graphics -

Cj and I are joining family and friends in a resort town three hours from Bangkok. We are meeting the new year there. We leave on Thursday, December 31st and will be back on Saturday, January 2nd.

Here's wishing all of us a happy, bountiful 2010!

King Narai's Palace

Built in 1666, King Narai's Palace was the home of Ayutthya ruler King Narai the Great. Lopburi, where the palace stands, was the second capital of the Ayutthya Kingdom. When the King died in 1688 both palace and capital were abandoned. It was closing time when friends and I arrived but staff allowed us a stroll on the outer grounds where most of the ruins are.

Palace Gate 1

Royal Storage

area near the outer gate

ruins opposite the preceding photo

MyWorld Tuesday is brought to you by Klaus, and the MyWorld Team members Wren, Sandy, Sylvia, Louis, Fishing Guy and Klaus

Monday, 28 December 2009

Calls and resolutions

My papers were sorted and I sat waiting for my turn at the Immigration Department on Thursday last week. A black guy approached me, made friendly talk about the foreign job market in Thailand and I responded accordingly. Only a few minutes into the conversation he asked for my number. I gave it to him. Then he disappeared into the crowd of visa applicants. I was relieved.

But there he was again when I emerged from the Government Complex. I began to get annoyed. He said, 'the number you gave me - it ...' he smiled and shook his head. I replied, 'it's the number of my company-issued phone. 'Could you give me your number?' he pressed. It was my turn to shake my head and as I hailed a taxi, I went frank, 'I don't think so.'

About 17 years ago on an island paradise I listened to Dennis de Young belt out this very song while looking out the ocean from a veranda one starlit night. The guy with me was one I would have wanted to ask for and keep my number. I would have been willingly moved to say Call Me.

Diane hosts

Head over to Good Mourning, Glory! for more or to join



Weight lossin 2010 - For 11 years I have been stuck at 38 kilos. The ideal weight for me should be 41 and I accomplished that this year by blogging and eating loads. Looks like the job is to maintain 41.

Debt in 2010 - return what I borrowed from my son's savings account

Save money
in 2010 - more!

in 2010 - continue what I've always done since the services of Cj's caregiver-slash-maid were discontinued: do the laundry and clean the apartment myself

in 2010 - I only smoke at Hard Rock or if I want to shoot somebody but I rarely experience both and I don't have a gun, so no worries

in 2010 - I have martini, vodka, things like those once in a blue moon and I have no plans of lessening the frequency

Eat better in 2010 - less coffee, more veggies and fruits

Harriet hosts
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Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Final Week of 2009 Meme and Memoirs

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Nik Dirga at the blog Spatula Forum. Nik is an American journalist who now lives in New Zealand with his kiwi wife and son. He does not say where he found the meme. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
researched scholarships

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't do new year's resolutions because I never keep them

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
by dining on seafood at a floating restaurant in Thailand's summer capital

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
more determination not to procrastinate

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
nothing; 2009 was fun but there isn't any date that memorable to be etched in memory

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
sealing my place in my son's heart, WOOT! he doesn't want to live with his Dad

9. What was your biggest failure?
not being aware of something that should have gotten me out of here sooner

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Where did most of your money go?
to my appetite for tours and sightseeing

13. What song will always remind you of 2009?
You Set My Soul Alight

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?
better, careful planning of goals

15. What do you wish you'd done less of?
being oblivious to things that cost me something I'd rather have been saving

16. What was your favourite TV program?
none, but I watched seasons 4 and 5 of LOST on DVD

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
no one

18. What was the best book you read?
The Exploration of Human Diversity

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Anderson and Roe piano duet, BLUE DANUBE FANTASY

20. What was your favorite film of this year?
Twilight Saga: New Moon

21. What did you do on your birthday?
chatted with friends and ate things yummy

22. What kept you sane?

23. Who did you miss?
my other boy, Mozart

24. Who was the best new person you met?
the bloggy friends I found

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Good timing in everything works wonders

Bud hosts

If you find yourself roaming Bangkok in December, you'd think it's just another city celebrating christmas. Despite being 95% Buddhist, indications of the season are stark. In fact some decors look over the top. I hear some Thais think Santa Claus is the father of Jesus. Commercialism here does not miss one of christianity's major celebrations.

There was a christmas party at the Philippine embassy two weekends ago. On our way there Cj thought it was perfect timing to behave. I was thankful it was a mild tantrum; "ignoreable" enough for me to stop and notice the Emporium escalator from the skytrain

and the christmas merchandise inside

A problem with my visa kept me from shopping and wrapping gifts on time. I relied on restaurants and malls to celebrate christmas with Cj. From work I hurried to pick him up from his Dad's house.

We had an early christmas dinner at Sakura on Thursday

this is the huge tree at Central Bangna


Ebie and Arlene host

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Saturday, 26 December 2009

Chuck off the routine!

With just a handful of natural exceptions, i.e. an exotic wedding, a nasty divorce and a son to live for, my twelve-year stay in Thailand has been routinely work - home - work - home - repeat. I have had enough. That said I am making some changes. From a bachelor's degree in Education to a master's in Communication, I mull over a doctorate in Anthropology. Midlife crisis or a tap on the concept of self-reinvention: either way I'm still too keen on the holidays to determine it yet. Seriously I only want something that is NOT boring. A few years of it then I'm ready to get back to the grind. So... things I am looking forward to in 2010 --

Positive application result from a university of my choice

II. Securing a plausible research methodology

Systematic data-gathering, hopefully a painless process of analyzing finds

Fulfilling my Disneyland promise to my five-year old, and

V. Getting him home to my mother for better care

VI. Executing plans I, II, III, IV and V smoothly

KarenC hosts Head over to Momdot for more STS or to join

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas vocabulary

"Sanct'akaus!" "reindeer" "Bethlehem," Cj repeats after me. We have been identifying every christmas object we see on available media since December 1st. But recording these moments is the same as the past weeks. He decided to be shy around the camera. I decided to steal shots.

We explored the Emporium snowmen

he is convinced this snowman is Pinocchio

Last week I was told Cj was having classes on christmas day. I was like "are you kidding me?" There is understandably no trace of christmas in his buddhist Dad's house. I am appalled anyway and pulled him out of there as fast as I could, still in his school clothes.

We had christmas dinner at a Japanese restaurant where I managed to steal another shot

and another along a parade of poinsettias

Merry Christmas!

Chris at the Mommy Journey hosts

Wrapping up 2009

Following someone's midsjudgment of moves on what was supposed to be intense ass-kicking in an Austrian divorce court, I am staying put in Thailand for the rest of 2009. To make up for the cancelled Europe trip, I made sure I had fun right where I was. And I had it in abundance. This week's T13 is a summary of activities that tie up my year:

1 - socialized at a wedding

2 - rode on a submarine

3 - checked out my son's school

4 - discovered that there's more to Sin City Pattaya than just bars and whores

5 - dreamed about making wishes come true (Disney on Ice)

6 - braved a macabre showroom filled with mummified bodies of AIDS patients

7 - travelled back in time (ruins of the French ambassador's mansion in Lopburi)

8 - welcomed the birth of a cousin's daughter

9 - visited an arts and culture centre

10 - threw a party for my son's 5th birthday but bought the wrong cake; he sulked and I ended up promising him Disneyland next year

11 - accomplished requirements to hold license to teach

12 - frolicked with and fed a school of fish (Namtok Pleu National Park)

13 - and as part of celebrating Christmas, I went to a concert mainly to hear I'll Never Love This Way Again live and to see how Dionne Warwick would sing That's What Friends Are For without Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight; the legend's son David took care of the parts well, and she charmed Bangkokians with Chestnuts roasting...

Merry Christmas, my lovely bloggy friends!

~ header by Samulli / more Thursday Thirteen here ~

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Miracle on 34th Street

My pick for this week's TCP theme, a merry christmas movie, is Miracle on 34th Street. Here's the plot summary:

A little girl discovers dreams do come true if you really believe. Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood's most enduring miracle - Santa Claus. Her mother told her the "secret" about Santa a long time ago, so Susan doesn't expect to receive the most important gifts on her Christmas list. But after meeting a special department store Santa who's convinced he's the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all - something to believe in.
Robert Lynch

Kikamz hosts

~ more christmas movies at Just About Anything ~

Monday, 21 December 2009

Silent Monks and Thom's Holiday Meme

This is the third time that I'm posting about the Hallelujah Chorus, and I promise this will be the last. Today's version is something lighter from the serious tone that the first two carried. Journeywoman, led me to, according to her, 'a neat link' of HC and it is what I am sharing with you today. You may have seen it around already but what's wrong with laughing again and releasing toxins off the body? Besides we're supposed to be merry this season, aren't we?

Diane hosts

~ Head over to Good Mourning, Glory! for more music ~


Who did you see kissing where?

Here comes Thom, yehey! :-)

Thom's Holiday Fill in the Blanks Meme:

I saw __Bad Boy__ kissing __Regine Mae__
Underneath the _bamboo bed_ last night
They didn't see me __toot___
Down the __cracks__ to have a __woot__
They thought that I was __drinking__
in my __lil' bar__ fast __chilling__

Then I saw __Bad Boy__ kissing __Regine Mae__
Underneath the __bamboo bed__ last night

Oh what a _scandal__ it would have been
If __Snow White__ had only seen
__Bad Boy__ kissing __Regine Mae__ last night.

Note: Bad Boy is a Philippine action star, also known as a local womanizer and rumored to have a crush on Regine Mae, Asia's songbird. Regine Mae is dating former Miss Australia's ex-hubster. Snow White is how Bad Boy calls his wife after their divorce. Everything is product of a can't-think-of-anyone-else-to-abuse-at-the-moment imagination.

Harriet hosts