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Showing posts from October, 2009

He died of what?

A college dormmate described how a bunch of faculty kids discovered and helped an ownerless, injured cat. It died. The kids had no clue how was the cat injured. As human nature would always long for at least some closure to a rather sad experience, they speculated on what happened to the poor feline. One little boy, his eyes round as marbles, comforted himself and others with him by suggesting, "the cat...he... he died of a broken heart."

I am guessing that kid must have been listening to this song:


~ More at Amy's Signs, Miracles, and Wonders ~

A roll of parchment

Temperature was gradually dropping outside Guy Fawkes hotel. My freezing southeast asian blood was a small price for that meander back in time on The Shambles. The british sun was heading west and the vesper chimes beckoned me inside Northern Europe's largest gothic cathedral. Unknown to me then was that I would be going back to Bangkok with an unusual present for Cj; my feature for this week's Mommy Moments theme: precious gift

and it looks like this:

York Minster needs "9 pounds per minute to maintain, day and night." As I'm a sucker for art and history, I was meaningfully happy to be given the chance to contribute to its "conservation, musical life, education services, it's daily life and work." While waiting for the gift to be sorted, I lighted a candle in memory of my father. **********
It's a piece of simple paper which I fondly call Cj's roll of parchment. It reads:
THE CATHEDRAL AND METROPOLITICAL CHURCH OF
SAINT PETER IN YORK
YORK MINSTE…

My haunted brain

In the spirit of the halloween season spooky does it. Or the beauty of language does. I am positively terrified by images conjured and emotions evoked by grave poetry. Rhymes bury boredom. Meeting words not used in common conversation charms me. With a witch's gait in my head, I roamed cyberspace and filled my HP cauldron with passages from poems of 13 literary greats:

1. Halloween by Robert Burns (1785)
Upon that night, when fairies light On Cassilis Downans dance, Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze, On sprightly coursers prance; Or for Colean the rout is ta’en, Beneath the moon’s pale beams; There, up the Cove, to stray an’ rove, Amang the rocks and streams

2. Ulalume: A Ballad by Edgar Allan Poe (1847)
And now, as the night was senescent,
And star-dials pointed to morn —
As the star-dials hinted of morn —
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born

3. The Hag by Robert Herrick (1648)
A Thorn or a Burr, She takes for a Spurre: With a lash of a Bramble she ri…

Chamber of Secrets

Just magical? (TCP theme this week) I'm so having a ready answer for that. But as ready as I may seem for this week's theme, choosing which, among the 6 installments of Harry Potter, to feature was rather hard. I love them all. Have I made myself obvious yet as a Harry Potter fan? :-) Ok, I made up my mind on the second installment - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Check out Mrs Weasley's howler. Observe how Dobby the house elf attempt to repay a debt of gratitude. Don't neglect your ear muffs when you grasp a mandrake. Make sure the invisibility booster is functioning when you ride a flying car. Avoid landing it on a Whomping Willow. Have some Kleenex in your pocket if you travelled by Floo Powder. It's a bit messy. Say 'immobulos' to ward off pixies trying to tie you to a dinosaur skeleton. Get curious at Tom Riddle's diary.


My kiddo watches HP almost every week, and sometimes points a chopstick at me and says, "umos aksima" (lumos …

Something wicked this way comes!

Both the tune and lyrics intrigued me the first time I saw the Hogwarts choir sing this on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Back in the muggle school I attended the English Lit prof wasn't into paranormal stuff so she understandably didn't discuss this part of Macbeth. Thanks to convenient research nowadays. Finding out that this was the witches' brew in the cave was a lazy flick of the wand. I wish the croaking of the frogs wasn't omitted, but I'm glad I no longer have to babble each time I want to chant along.
~ Musical Monday is brought to you by Diane ~

The Halloween Meme

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Apryl from the blog Meridian Ariel. Apryl explains that the questions were compiled by her from a few different memes floating about. So she stole it from lots of people. 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!

CHEERS TO ALL US THIEVES!

1. What is your favorite written work of horror fiction?
~ The Hound of the Baskerville

2. What is your favorite work of science fiction/fantasy?
~ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

3. Who is your favorite monster?
~ Frankenstein (which is basically incorrect because Frankenstein is the creator of the monster, not the monster himself. Apologies to Victor; and Mary is dead can't comment on this pop culture mistake)

4. What is your favorite Horror movie?
~ Friday the 13th but any good scare is a fave

5. What horror movie gives you the most chills?
~ The Exorcist

6. What character from a…

A new haunt

About six weekends ago I took Cj and myself to an art and culture centre right in the heart of Bangkok. It was basically to introduce the little guy to his country's (one of many) showcases of arts and culture, both local and international.

Mid-section of the entire building seen from all floors: it's where visitors find info on arts and cultural shows, announcements or schedules of opera, ballet, concerts, lectures, fashion, international artists presentations, film festivals
Black and white photos of the Thai monarchs' travels abroad as well as of visits to Thailand by other heads of states

Thai jewelry from the olden times

*sigh* I'm no photographer; can't get rid of the flash. Anyhow, if you noticed the reflection, they're of edifices around the area of Thailand's top university, Chulalongkorn

Masks. Kindly bear with the orb.
Cj's fave: the revolving three-headed elephant

These are a few of what we have seen. The place is 25,000 sq. m. and has 2 basements…

Monst...err... Mother-in-law

Hubster and I split up four years ago, so the woman I am talking about is history to me, although I don't want her to be so in my son's life; at least not totally until after she's gone. Mrs D is proud and fiercely supportive of her children. A rather premature widowhood must have brought out the best in her. She successfully raised six children single-handedly.

So on to this week's Small Talk Six topic: six things (good or bad) that you credit your mother-in-law for:

1. Calling the shots at my wedding. My then fiance and I were not so keen on a ceremony and reception, but she was. I don't speak Thai and he's useless at organizing such events. We couldn't pull off that kind of wedding the way she did. Being married in a completely different culture from your own is quite an interesting experience. Those chanting monks, strange but lovely paraphernalia and hours of rituals were important reasons why when we divorced, I made sure I got all the wedding albums.

2.…

Oh crap, she's up!

Flunking students, no matter how few, is a not so pleasant, but sometimes necessary part of my job. I got through it this week looking out for things I can summarize for Friday's Fave Five and I'm glad that there always are:

1. The maya(s) came back! and this time it had a companion. They flew away quickly but left a feathery promise they they'll come back again, and they did. It looks like I'm going to have regular visitors who prefer jasmine rice over pumpkin seeds. I'm happy to oblige.

2. Pre-meeting breakfast and post-meeting lunch. The complete menu went online 19 hours ahead. It's varied and delicious. The accompanying conversation at the actual feast was kept to a professionally nonchalant level. No insane politicking. No obnoxious surprises. We breathed normally and didn't have to worry about indigestion.

3. Exploring our new office. Building 18 is not quite finished yet, but since our department had to move in before the second term commences, we h…

Major homework

Perhaps one of the most common questions about tantrums (Mommy Moments theme this week), besides causes, is how they are dealt with. I guess I have tried every suggestion imaginable. We're learning. this was obviously easy
but sometimes he picks the perfect time to throw a tantrum like when I was in the middle of grabbing a bite before heading off to a long ceremony.I love you Baby Pooh but you're caught in the act :-) Ask your dad. He was behind the camera(Cj doesn't like this yaya which added to the foul mood; we let her go as soon as a replacement arrived)

distracting him; I was so running late to the Plenary Hall

These snapshots are of the mild episodes and nothing compared to his award-winning meltdown on board a train from Huahin to Bangkok. He was shouting himself hoarse, "I don't like...!" and in my panic and embarrassment I rang the grandma in PI for immediate instructions on what to do. She was helpful but I can't forget her saying, "you got …

Hair we go again

If you visit the Philippines and take a turn or two in certain places, you may notice these business names. See which ones are strangely familiar or you readily recognize:

1. A laundry in Manila: Summa Cum Laundry

2. A boxing gym in Taguig: Blow Jab

3. A salon somewhere: Curl Up And Dye

4. A store selling feeds for chicken along Sucat Road: Robocock

5. A shoe repair in Marikina: Dr. Shoe-Bago ('bago' means new)

6. A shoe repair shop along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City: SHOEPERMAN: We will HEEL you, save your SOLE, and even DYE for you

7. A petshop: Petness First

8. A taxicab: Income Taxi

9. A second-hand watch store: 2nd Time Around

10. An aquatic pet store in Malolos: Fish Be With You

11. A fishball cart along P. Campa St., near University of Santo Tomas: Eat My Balls

12. A restaurant in Baclaran that opens only in the evening: The Last Supper

13. A Hair Salon in Makati: Hair We Go Again~ header from Samulli / click here for more Thursday 13 lists ~

A shower of awards

Hello friends, lighten up and check out one cute butt.

It comes with the usual rules:
1. Pass it on to at least one other blog but the more the better.
2. Never ever tell anybody who gave it to you. (Link backs not allowed)
3. Make a nice acceptance speech.

Examples of acceptable acceptance speeches:

"As deserving as I am of this award I can not believe that they finally woke up and gave it to me. I have always striven to uphold the high ideals this award represents. You did well in selecting me."

Using Quilly’s Words:
Given the paucity of mellifluous isangelous blogs, how could you obstrigillate the awarding of this opprobrious award to this blog. I accept with great pleasure.

As a Raven’s Mini Challenge:
This blog, having roughly no bowling monsters in the closet from Pennsylvania on its menu for the day, is proud to accept this award.

********************
I am celebrating a shower of awards fromThom of Thom's Place 4 Well Whatever... Here they are:

1 2
*The blogger buddie a…

Early morning

Sai Yok Noi is a waterfall in Sai Yok National Park. It's a popular stop for tourists exploring Kanchanaburi.

There's a small market and a buddhist shrine in the immediate vicinity. Nearby is a World War II train, parked forever on a section of the Death Railway tracks.


It's peaceful and fresh for early visitors. The only audible sounds are the falling of the water, rustling of leaves and twittering of birds. The twittering humans arrive later in the morning and this tranquility goes aloof
Over on the other side is another watery spot 130 kilometers from the town centre. Tourists pass through a short bridge to get into the spring. Right in front of it is a cold stream. Hot or cold, take your pick
There are three pools for bathers at Hindad: lukewarm, hot and very hot. Old folk chatter in the very hot pool. Kids play in the cold stream. The lukewarm pool, fenced and empty, is nice temperature-wise and reserved for monks. This is the middle pool, the hot and less frequented, n…

I would do anything for love (but I won't do that!)

A fact about me: I have never celebrated halloween in my entire life.
Culture. Religion. Things like that. But since I grew up with the media never lacking on halloween thingies, I'm aware of this annual holiday right up to my nose. There's a similar or slightly different kind of celebration in my country which we call All Souls/Saints Day. But that will be for another post.

I missed last week's Musical Monday. I hope you don't mind that I'm blabbing a bit longer today. Please sit back and relax.

Someone named Pat contributed "In the grave yard" to a collection of children's Halloween poetry and songs on the web. It is sung to the tune of Oh my darling (Clementine). It's short and cute. Try it :-)

In the grave yard,
In the grave yard,
When the moon begins to shine,
There's a doctor, crazy doctor,
and his monster Frankenstein.

Oh, my monster,
oh, my monster,
oh, my monster Frankenstein,
you are very, very scary, don't come
near me Frankenstein.…

The ABC's of Meme

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Maggie from the blog Mind of a Mad Woman. She said that she stole it from Loralee who announced that she was "defying blog snobbery" by doing a 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!

CHEERS TO US ALL THIEVES!

A- Advocate for: animals

B- Best Feature: breasts...err... brain

C- Could do without: chaos

D- Dreams and desires: deplane in dreamland

E- Essential items: eyes

F- Favorite past time: feeding

G- Good at: gaining weight

H- Have never tried: heroine

I- If I had a million dollars: influence my wishes

J- Junkie for: juiciness

K- Kindred spirit: Kemsford

L- Little known fact: Lacock

M- Memorable moment: modelling my favorite character

N- Never again will I: neglect

O- Occasional indulgence: olive oil salad dressing

P- Profession: psychiatrist

Q- Quote: Quality is never an accident. It is always the r…

Here all along

So far I haven't come across any distinct identification of a target audience for this song, but with the way the lyrics go it sounds appropriate for the backslidden. Ok, I haven't been to church in awhile but I don't think I'm gonna say I'm coming back because I've never been away, just lagging behind church attendance. The world to me hasn't gone upside down. Anyway, the graphics are scenic, and the message lovely.
~ More at Amy's Signs, Miracles, and Wonders ~

Sweet Treats

Today I join Small Talk Six!, a Saturday meme on Mom Blogs at Momdot. KARENC, the host says, "since weekends are generally a little slower around the blogosphere, we thought this would be a great way to have a quick, fun, interactive meme.... You can respond to each topic with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, or 6 photos."

STS topics really are very interesting. I relate with most. I've been wanting to join so join now I do. This Saturday's topic is 6 of your favorite sweet treats in the whole world. Blimey, I got lots but I'll stick to the rule of course, and here are my fave sweets:
1. leche flan (custard) * I love the brownish version

2. moist fruit cake
* If it comes from Shangri-La, it's heaven

3. durian almond icecream
* The smell of durian is controversial, but when it becomes icecream, especially when it's made by Bonito (Italian), it's addicting. (just a personal opinion)

4. macaroon
*I like it a bit dark on top :)

5. crumpet
* I…

Infant Memories

"Memories dating to the third or fourth year, and even occasionally to the second year, are generally given credence; but there is widespread skepticism regarding those attributed to the first year. Is this justifiable scientific caution because of the difficulty of verification, or merely prejudice? How can we decide whether something supposedly remembered really occurred?"~ Melitta Schmideberg, M.D. on Infant Memories and Constructions, Psychoanalytic Quarterly

The year was 1971. I was a few months old and I remember water dripping gently on my head from the roof of this house we lived in. Bathrooms and comfort rooms were usually separate from the houses back then. My mother said that she was indeed going to give me a bath when someone with a camera passed by.

In later years I remember someone called "Auntie Bebot." She was pretty and pleasant. She loved to pop up in our living room or kitchen. She did it when Mama's dashing younger brother, fresh from militar…

The Maya

It has been raining cats and dogs almost all week. I mentioned to the ex how boring it was to be drenched everytime I go to his house to fetch Cj during weekends. He offered me his other car. I promptly refused. When it poured again and I got soaked again, I realized that sometimes swallowing your pride is better than pneumonia. Ok, I should be thankful it's just rain and not landslide. I could hear the lapping of water underneath the taxi yesterday, but to think that our neighbors were subjected to the quaking of the earth recently, there are really lots to feel blessed for, like:

1. Being on (yes, paid) leave. They say if you have a roof above your head and a job, you are luckier than millions of people. I am grateful for such a blessing and

2. forgetting the cares of work for five days. What bliss!

3. Time with Cj. It's the best thing about my leave or any free days I have. He gets a break from his usual schooldays companion, his nanny, and I get to do my duties as a mom. I to…

Mannequin Meets Malling Monkey

Once in a Philippine mall my mother and I were looking at swimming trunks when Cj suddenly decided it was fun to pull the skirt off a baby mannequin. In an instant the poor mannequin went naked in front of other shoppers! Startled sales assistants's faces were like, "isn't child porn prohibited around here?"

Shopping has since become an activity that we seldom do. I find going around the mall trying to catch a hyperactive monkey at every turn too much. We don't spend long hours anymore, much less a day at the mall (Mommy Moments theme this week). But now that Cj is more receptive to shopping behavior instructions, it has become easier.

During one shopping in Bangkok I warned him that if he'd check out another mannequin like he did in PI, I would disappear. His response:
Unlike me he picks what he likes without deliberation. When the 7th installment of the Harry Potter series was released, it didn't take him 3 minutes to choose his merchandise:
It's only …

Over coffee

Information overload is a reality that has been with us for awhile. It overwhelms but it's a feature of post-modern life that I rather like. On cyberspace alone there are loads of stuff to discover and enjoy. I just wish there's enough time to even touch the tiny tip of the iceberg. These are 13 reads this week in my nook that I have yet to deal with:
Coffee time
1. Cleantech: energy breakthroughs
2. Turn small savings into a big nest 3. Before you join the gold rush
4. The high cost of poverty: why the poor pay more
5. Writers praise Barack Obama's inaugural address 6. Billionaires who can buy entire countries
7. Britain's place in the New World Order
Travel
8. America's most mysterious places
9. Top ten eurovision countries
10. World's quietest places
Study
11. Extraversion, neuroticism, psychoticism...
12. Integrative complexity and radicalizations...

Fun! 13. Lists Galore

The Wizard of Oz

"There are few movies out there that have more urban legends connected to it than "The Wizard of Oz,"claims Jonathan Crow, on Infamous Movie Urban Legends.
This week's TCP theme is Urban Legends. According to Wikipedia, the Wizard of Oz is an American musical / fantasy film. So what have I done to the theme? The link above provides more explanation.
As this is such an old movie, my guess is many, if not all of you have seen it. The trailer I've embedded is from the 50s. Try it if you haven't seen it or just let me know what are your thoughts.

There are three reasons why I chose Wizard of Oz: (1) the way it's been attached to urban legends, (2) I want a break from the usual horror that urban legend films are usually characterized with, and believe it or not, (3) I have never seen it. Yet.How about our mental and emotional tendencies when we hear its soundtrack? As unscientific as it may seem, I like to believe that skies are indeed blue somewhere over the r…