Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Impromptu and The Secret Garden

It's family time at TCP this week. I could not find a trailer for Impromptu 1990 on youtube, (my internet connection has been jumpy too) but I'm convinced it's one of two films I'd like to feature. Here's the overview:

A true historical depiction with comedy, romance, & classical music. Nineteenth century England is the setting for this more than a love story about George Sand, an extremely independent woman writer, who often wore stylish men's clothes and took a male nom de plume in order to be published. She does not allow the mediocrity, pettiness, and hypocrisy of ordinary life to stop her from being a sincere, loving, creative, intelligent, unique, independent and strong spirited woman. A portion of the film deals with her romance with Frederick Chopin. It portrays the vicissitudes of an artist's life. Highly inspirational for women who dare to be different. (text from the same link)

It's suitable for growing up or grown-up children.

Here's something with more visual aid :)

The Secret Garden

The overview goes:

Based on the children's classic by Francis Hodgeson Burnette, the author of The Little Princess (also highly recommended.) A magical film about a strong willed ten year old girl who goes to live with her uncle and cousin in the English countryside at the turn of the century. This independent, strong and delightful character impacts everyone around her and brings life and love to her young cousin. Visually stunning and rewarding, the film shows how illness and faulty belief systems can be overcome by the power of love coupled with strength of character. A film that all young girls should see, it exalts the magic of nature, the power of love, and advances a "believe in your inner feelings" ethic for young ladies.

*Recommended for the whole family - all ages - to watch together. This is a live character film, not animated, so be careful to rent this version as there are several on the market
. (text from the same link)

Male characters in The Secret Garden exemplify similar values as the female characters so little boys, sit down and concentrate :).

If class appeals to you, the setting which is England, in both films, surely provides it.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Air Supply

My first concert was a local/small town type and although I enjoyed it I guess I should feature something that co-MM participants could more likely relate with.

Air Supply has been around since the 80s. Because I was crazy about them when I was a teen, I and my then bf bought front row seats when they performed in Bangkok in 2000. Changes in their looks and voices were evident but I didn't care. They sang many of my faves and that's what mattered. When the band began playing the intro to Making Love Out of Nothing at All, the audience went wild. As well-worn as the description may seem, that's how sentimental Bangkokians behaved that night. Towards the end of this hit the entire Bangkok Convention Hall rose to give them a standing ovation.

After all these years I haven't gotten tired of listening to them. Once I sang along one of their many hits playing off an MP3 and a niece said, "Auntie, you know Someone Who Believes in You? That's our high school graduation song."

Personally, there's something nostalgic about aging soft rock stars. Fab, old Australian duo. They gave one happy fan a lovely evening reminiscing beautiful memories.

~ Musical Monday is brought to you by Jori and Diane ~

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Rains usually go away once it's August. But September is about to end and it's still pouring. In fact as I write this the sun is only coming out. I hope it dries up the puddles that the downpour created last night. On another night last week we got more than what we needed


a student wading his way out the campus

Floods are normal in Bangkok but this was the first time my workplace was victimized like this

staff going home after doing overtime

blurred but I guess that's a cheerful attitude to either the guy who took this shot or to the deluge

plastic toy boats would probably look cute on this surface
the business office, ouch

I wonder about the fate of textbooks placed on the floor
Once my poodle was due for shots and there were no rides to his clinic due to the deluge. I didn't mind. It was actually fun braving 5 kilometers of water six inches up the legs, and observing the phenomenon live. At another time we (ex-hub and I) were submerged in the middle of Udomsuk Road. Water seeped into the insides of BIL's car. He and his wife fly to the US every year - and it was one time they left their car with us. No bother at all. What got to me was when I woke up one morning to the sight of my piano virtually floating in the living room. I had it! Now I live five floors up an apartment.

(Photos by Nattakit. Thanks for taking and sending them to the DBA Outlook inbox)

OWM is brought to you by Ebie and Arlene ~

Friday, 25 September 2009

Life's a Beach

Can you believe this???

Wait... I'm counting us.... wah! Eight fully-clothed grinning teenagers! All we needed were robes and a minister and we're ready for rebaptism. First glance at this photo after 19 years and I thought there were only 3 of us wearing size L shirts. We seem to have multiplied over the years. This is the same summer in 1990 I reminisced about in a previous FPF post with that Eric. Oh that's him alright; the guy holding the little girl, and that's me with my left hand on his shoulder, not knowing whether I should stay for the photo op or run back to the cottage.

Now what were we laughing about? ... recall ... recall ... ok, my guess is our bathing suits. Like most of them, I didn't plan to get wet. But a few bored companions had this goal of having everyone in the water before sunset. Early on I told them I was staying put looking as gravely as I could and hoping they'd spare me. But they were planning an ambush and carried it out by pouring a glass of coke on my head while I was chatting with Michael (the bf, not on pic). A couple of boys then dragged me to the beach. Well, as they say, if you can't beat them, join them. This is how we ended up frolicking.

The girl in yellow is now a church pastor's wife and lives in Kuala Lumpur, or was that Singapore... I can't remember. But I have a vague memory of friends talking about that young boy on the left holding a slab of styrofoam. They said he
later swallowed his tonsils. The latest update I heard about the little girl is she's attending nursing school. That's a smooth, shiny inflated wheel in our midst, a common sight on Philippine beaches. Oh, that guy in front, the only appropriately dressed beach party-goer, dated my cousin in college. They're now neighbors with each of their spouses and children in California.

~ FPF is brought to you by Alicia of More Than Words ~

That's my Favorite!

Cj's current favorites are Japanese soy sauce and a 90-minute documentary called Animals are Beautiful People. We're talking about favorites at Mommy Moments today. I'm posting Cj's favorites. And a couple of mine.

Three years ago when I could still fool him to strike me a pose, this is one of those times he did it with gusto. His cousins cheered him on, "Ceej, do your pogi points." Until now I don't know what that means, but it seemed to be his favorite pose then. This has also got to be my favorite capture of his smile with his front teeth yet intact.

He doesn't show any indication of giving up the bottle and this has become my source of embarrassment. But to him this is his all-time favorite, all-in-one dearest thing in the world: meal, dessert, snack, comforter, trumpet, toy, pacifier

His favorite section of the mall - I avoid this place if I can because it's where I witness my poor 10-baht coins gobbled up by these rides

His favorite sightseeing buddy-slash-slave: Mommy

Now it's my turn and this is my idea of playing favorites. He's riding one of his bikes, wearing his favorite shirt, sporting his favorite haircut and about to take the lift. Chompoo, (Thai name which means Pinky), daughter of a staff member on the ground floor happened to be by. As I looked at her and thought how much I wanted to have a little girl, an idea poofed. I asked her to kiss the bike-rider hahah! The doll sweetly obliged, much to my delight :-)

So there you are, Ceej. Grow up, explore the universe, have your own mind but disobey Mommy one minute and I'll show this to all your girlfriends. *wicked wink kidding*

More favorites at The Mommy Journey

Piano and Prose

It's an ordinary week, but things thankfully make it to the list of faves:

1. Last week. We're concluding an academic term at the Institute which means the beginning of a three-week light office work. The best part is the internet. Yes, it's allowed as long as work is done.

2. Orchids in bloom adorn Bldg 2 in distinctly bright colors. They hang reasonably proud and they're so beautiful it's a joy to walk past them everyday. They give off cheer as far as five meters away.

3. Piano talents. A friend passed me this URL of a four-hand arrangement of the Blue Danube by Anderson and Roe. Ten minutes of awesome piano prowess! I'm also enjoying Speak Softly Love and Victor Borge as well.

4. Austenprose. As a Jane Austen fan, I'm loving this blog immensely.

5. A nice lecture hall. I'm not sure if it's luck or what. Large groups are usually stuffed in normal-size rooms and that's it. Everyone suffers. But it's a welcome s
urprise to find out I was assigned to hold university classes at the best lecture hall in the campus. Fast and efficient presentation technology on stand by, good acoustics and a comfy sofa to sit on during a 10-minute break help make the job a breeze.

~ FFF is brought to you by Susanne. Click her name for more faves ~

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Beautiful People of the Namib

"No matter how harsh or inhospitable a place is, there's always someone who's willing to live there" - of Africa's Namib Desert on Animals are Beautiful People

It's a 90-minute nature documentary that my five-year old loves to watch repeatedly. As I work around while the kiddo focuses on the entertainment, I pick up snippets of Jamie Uys's hilarious narration, ie. "the chameleon may be the only creature whose left eye doesn't know what his right eye is doing." There are interesting bird names such as Go-away and Secretary. See which of these 13 (from the more than thirteen featured) animals you remember or like from this 1974 film:

1. Oryx, 'the most beautiful of all antelopes, always manages to look sleek and well-fed. Perhaps because man finds the Namib so intimidating he hardly ever ventures there. But to the Oryx the hostile desert is paradise'
Wikipedia photo

2. Meerkat
Wikipedia photo

3. Weaver bird, 'the condominiums they build come with a variety of architectural styles'

Charles J Sharp

4. Kudu
Wikipedia photo

5. Dikkop, 'spends 95% of his life looking like a stuffed bird because he stands very still and never blinks'
Wikipedia photo

Wikipedia photo

7. Warthog, 'so ugly he's beautiful'
Wikipedia photo

8. Turaco
Wikipedia photo

9. Anteater, 'a tired medieval knight in armor'

Wikipedia photo

10. Impala
Wikipedia photo

11. Hyena, 'the trash collector who lives off leftovers of lions'

Wikipedia photo

12. Ratel (Honey Badger)
Wikipedia photo

13. Jacana
Wikipedia photo

~ header from Samulli / click here for more T13 ~

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Class of 1999

Hired to teach. Programmed to kill.

That film tagline is a world away from the principles of teaching for education professionals. I don't think there's even any need for followers of the Teachers' Code of Ethics to be horrified. The second statement is what it is - a science fantasy. But for those who have had a frontline taste of what it's like among the worst scenarios of discipline issues, what if... what if robots were employed to educate gangsters, drug addicts, and other kinds of violent imbeciles?

Fortunately the only two instances where I had to deal with anything that resembles what I just enumerated were when a budding, uncircumcised ruler-of-the-world wannabe showed me his knife to impress; and just last week a belligerent kid in his late teens attempted to barge into my class. Thanks to the internet the emergency numbers of the cops are just a click away; or thanks to the padlocked fiberglass door. In more extreme cases I just might need a stiletto-wearing android to eliminate undesirables

Like this:

"The time is the future and youth gang violence is so high that the areas around some schools have become "free fire zones," into which not even the police will venture. When Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell), the principal of Kennedy High School, decides to take his school back from the gangs, robotics specialist Dr. Robert Forrest (Stacy Keach) provides "tactical education units." These human-like androids have been programmed to teach and are supplied with weapons to discipline problems. These kids will get a lesson... in staying alive." (Wikipedia synopsis )

Courtesy of dreadcentral

Hey, I was just bored (lol).

Monday, 21 September 2009

Summer Breeze - Seals & Croft

This song came out in the early 70s. I heard it was popular back then. I liked it as a kid; I enjoy listening to it as an adult. We only have two seasons here in the tropics: cold (or wet/rainy) and summer (dry). As the latter is associated with beaches, vacays and no school, quite predictably it is my favorite season. Seals and Croft aptly described Southeast Asian summers with one of their hits, my entry for this week's Musical Monday Seasons theme.

~ Musical Monday is brought to you by Jori and Diane ~

Sunday, 20 September 2009

One Long Meme Part II

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger called Yellow Jacket from Foma. He explains that "I found this clunker on Impetua's blog.". But, it was probably stolen at that blog 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!


27. Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
~ I prefer to balance both

28. Do you look like your mom or dad?
~ Dad

29. How long does it take you in the shower?
~ less than 15 minutes during workdays; more than 30 minutes to an hour if I owned the time

30. Can you do the splits?
~ no

31. What movie do you want to see right now?
~ Twilight. I may be the only person who hasn't seen that

32. What did you do for New Year’s?
~ I forgot. It was uneventful.

33. Do you think The Grudge was scary?
~ I don't know; haven't seen it

34. Do you own a camera phone?
~ yes

35. Was your mom a cheerleader?
~ no

36. What’s the last letter of your middle name?
~ g

37. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
~ lately an average of 7

38. Do you like Care Bears?
~ yes

39. What do you buy at the movies?
~ the right to watch the movie

40. Do you know how to play poker?
~ no

41. Do you wear your seat belt?
~ of course

42. What do you wear to sleep?
~ Pjs

43. Anything big ever happen in your hometown?
~ for a sleepy town, just the yearly fiesta I guess

44. How many meals do you eat a day?
~ 3 - 4

45. Is your tongue pierced?
~ no

46. Do you always read MySpace bulletins?
~ I don't have MySpace

47. Do you like funny or serious people better?
~ I don't mind both

48. Ever been to L.A.?
~ no

49. Did you eat a cookie today?
~ no

50. Do you use cuss words in other languages?
~ in certain situations, yes

51. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?
~ pay

52. Do you hate chocolate?
~ no

53. What do you and your parents fight about the most?
~ I only fight with my mom who thinks I didn't turn out embodying her religious and moral ideals

54. Are you a gullible person?
~ with that little sample in no. 53, what do you think?

55. Do you need a girlfriend to be happy?
~ no

56. If you could have any job (assuming you have the skills) what would it be?
~ I love preserving things of historical value so a job with the National Trust

57. Are you easy to get along with?
~ I hope so

58. What is your favorite time of day?
~ sign out time from any boring work or endeavor

Quick Meal at S&P

This is what happens when a mom is stricken with temporary laziness to cook which usually happens during an uneventful weekend. Well, if it's eventful, we still normally end up in some restaurant as I don't have a proper kitchen in my apartment. Half an hour before dinner time, my 5-year old was already demanding, "I want chicken!" So we walked to nearby S&P and chicken it is:

I ordered mine for the kale and bell pepper strips:

We agreed to help each other try another plate:

Cj drowned his chicken with his dearly beloved Hi-Q 3 Plus. (Will the vice ever stop?) I finished mine with the only pineapple juice I found in Bangkok that comes close to a Philippine taste. Dinner solved :-)

~ OWM is brought to you by Ebie and Arlene ~

Saturday, 19 September 2009

He first loved me

I am playing this especially for my 5-year old today - a dose of something real, and a break from the everyday Winnie the Pooh, Lion King, and what else has he.... But it's also a sweet, familiar refrain for you and me.

~ TSMSS is brought to you by Amy @ Signs, Miracles, and Wonders ~

Friday, 18 September 2009


Back in the day, it seemed like the English Department always got this errand of hosting school pageants.

1996. Saturday evening. We had to move a few kilometers along Bankerohan River for the venue of this pageant. That's my co-instructor and co-host, a Mr C. We're both employed in this marine academy in Davao, a city in Southern Philippines. Mr C and I we're having a lull in reading sponsors' names and advertisers when this shot was taken. The student wearing blue is one of the campus hunks who girls go crazy over. I've forgotten whether he won or not but I'm guessing he must be out in some ocean now working on a ship. The academy also offers courses in Hotel and Restaurant Management where the hunk-crazy girls come from. This was my last job before I left the country.

~ FPF is brought to you by Alicia of More Than Words ~

Interacting with my 5-year old

Giving me all the highs for several weeks now are nights researching for a possible study proposal. The ideas I find here and there are freaking exciting I practically scream at my computer screen. But right now I'm acknowledging the little things that made me smile this week, and they are my faves:

1. Stairs. Hours in front of the pc are giving me extra weight, and I'm getting worried. Climbing stairs is a great alternative over the lift in exercising.

2. Golf cart ride. On Tuesday morning my watch registered 7:50 and I was still inside my apartment. I had ten minutes to sign in at work. Running to the computer in high heels surely would not help. The golf cart saved the day. Uniformed security never looked as useful, helpful and even sweet.

3. Food-equipped office. People in our department must really be this fond of eating. Thai colleagues are always inviting everyone to share their food. It's normal to arrive in the office and find snacks on your desk. Sometimes the goodies have 'designer' taste :)

4. Free Nights. They are numbered. Next week it's show time at the university, so I cherish my free nights as much as I can.

5. Interacting with my 5-year old. I was surpised when he approached me over some hot oil that splattered on my arm when I was frying him sausages. I took the oppportunity to explain how his food is prepared and teach him a quick lesson on being careful. He got more interactive with me than usual and I loved it. My favorite part is his added willingness to be kissed and hugged; and he returns the same acts of affection with intensity after seeing my burn.

~ FFF is brought to you by Susanne. Click her name for more faves ~

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Moments to Treasure

Most shots I take of CJ are precious to me or there is almost always a reason why they are so called treasured pictures (this week's Mommy Moments theme) regardless of the quality. I selected a few pictures for my MM entry today.

In 2007 I flew Mozart, my 'eldest son' home to PI and took the younger son Cj back to Bangkok. Mama and I exchanged wards :) This is one of our early family online chats

Summer 2009: I just love it when he shows me his latest antics. Thanks to Auntie Chette for capturing this moment

He's growing virtually half a centimeter an hour and I'm trying to hold on to his being a baby by carrying him like this

He's got slight fever but due to our yayaless situation during weekends, I had to take him with me on my chores. Despite not feeling well, he endured an hour following me around while I sorted my european travel insurance.

When I gaze at peace on his face while he is asleep, I feel at peace too

(I posted this pic on a different meme but) this is one of my favorite treasures

~ More treasured pics at
The Mommy Journey ~