Friday, 27 November 2009

Friday's Faves: Thanksgiving Edition

Count your blessings proves one great advice for me. It goes effective even before I could even begin to count seriously. My faves this week are about being thankful for:

1. Sammie who lent me her Loy Krathong photos to feature on my That's My World post. It's not just her generous sharing; it's also about a festival that occupies a charmed spot in my heart.

2. A change in routine breakfast. Coffee, among the usual others, is what I've been gulping down for several months now, and I'm getting worried over addiction. It's not right when you have other addictions already. S
o I cut back and turned to milk, muesli, veggie salad, the healthier lot.

3. Speedy miracle. The co-worker who figured in a car crash after her father's funeral is back. She still looks a bit scary. I could hardly believe that only two weeks ago she's strapped in ICU. But now she's inching her way back to functional mode. That means no more double loads for the rest of us. Her crutches remind me never to ever doze on the steering wheel like I did years ago - almost drove off an overpass on Kingkeaw road. My angel must have poked me to the 24-inch railing which kept the car hood from dangling.

4. Being late to the cinema. For the first time in my life I was late to an entertainment. Now why am I thankful for missing the first 45 minutes of New Moon ...? I declare it a nice break on my record of usually being late to church and almost never coming late to anything else. It's got to have given me the-other-way-around look at things. Next time I enter a house of worship I'll be on time.

5. A bit of shopping. It's the reason why I was late to the cinema. I'm thankful it isn't bad; rather a reward for following a self-imposed rule: shop only if you are disciplined enough to stick to the budget.

~ See more faves at Susanne's Living to Tell the Story ~

Bickering Bunch

Meet my international gradschool group @ Bangkok U. After an arduous 3-hour coursework we took the lift further up for lunch. This photo is less than ten years old, but non-digital and old enough for me to have forgotten a detail or two. Let me see what I can remember: there's Lee, 2nd left (China); Shawn (Canada), Aya at the head of the table (Japan), and myself next to her (PI). The Thai mates are a mix of Europe trotters and long-term US residents whose idea of fun was flying home to do a master's.

It was a blast learning how communication theories are applied in negotiations with terrorists or how tobacco industries always manage to operate successfully along international advertising restrictions. But what I miss most was our chatter over after-class dinners. I still smile at how we once piled into G's BMW and slid into a posh coffee shop bickering all the way over acing or flunking exams.

~ Visit Alicia @ More than Words for more flashbacks ~

Thursday, 26 November 2009


A wonderful bloggy friend Thom of Thom's Place 4 Well Whatever passed three awards to me. Thank you very much, Thom! I am happy to pass these awards to

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Loy Krathong 2009

November is Loy Krathong month in Thailand. Thais flock to bodies of water to celebrate. This event is a nocturnal beauty; a personal fave. (Description that follows is summarized from information available in a travel site,

Early evening in Nakhon province, this is a large version of an original, usually hand-held krathong

Loy Krathong, or festival of lights (other literature refer to it as water festival) is held "when the tide in the river is highest and the moon is at its brightest, creating a romantic setting for lovers."

'Loy' literally means to float, and krathong is the lotus-shaped receptacle which floats on the water.

Originally a krathong is made of banana leaves folded and spread on a slice of banana trunk. Aside from flowers, candle and joss sticks, a krathong may contain coins.

A common sight on krathong night: Thais sharing a light.

As materials become more available, krathongs have become more elaborate, especially those provided for public viewing.

The ritual is simple: candles and joss sticks are lighted, wishes are cast quietly and the krathong is released into the current of the rivers or canals.

A popular legend of Loy Krathong originates as a tribute to the goddess of water Phra Mae Kongka for her bounty; a sort of thanksgiving.

Quite picturesque and lovely, Loy Krathong is one of Thailand's most celebrated festivals; probably second only to Songkran (Thai New Year)

My thanks to Sammie for sharing her photos.

~ That's My World Tuesday is brought to you by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia ~

Monday, 23 November 2009

Open Arms - Arnel Pineda / Journey

From the streets of Manila as an impoverished orphan collecting scrap metal, to the concert stages of America and Europe as Journey's lead singer, Arnel Pineda has made his mark. Neal Schon contacted Arnel to audition for Journey and here he is....

Journey homepage

The crazy comment I left some two years back, "Arnel, come to Bangkok and marry me!" makes me feel like an idiot now lol... I feel sane as I let Open Arms move me today though

~ Visit Diane @ Good Mourning Glory for more music ~

Top 5

1. The Turkey Farm- the HSUS says that from birth to date: 130 days

What are the top 5 things that entered your mind?

short life span


growing mass



2. Family Gathering

Tips for surviving Thanksgiving for the dysfunctional family What are the top 5 things that entered your mind?

Has Chevy gone cross-eyed?

There must be some association between the wine and bald heads

Discomfort around in-laws

Keep looking up.

Say grace before meals

3. Tips on not eating the whole thing this holiday season

What are the top 5 things that entered your mind?

Eat, drink and be merry

Try resisting



My ex-MIL's diabetes

4. Do we dare? Do we care?

What are the top 5 things that entered your mind?

Sumo wrestler



Morning weighing

Eating addiction

5. Black Friday
Are you brave enough? Got any tips?

What are the top 5 things that entered your mind?


Pandemonium broke loose


I'm too old for this thing now

I've had enough queuing in my life

~ Harriet hosts Monday Mayhem ~

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The party mummy meme

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Sarah at the blog Lady Mama. She states that Party Mummy (she did not provide a link) insisted she do 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. Name someone with the same birthday as you.
Frankenstein author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

2. Where was your first kiss?
on a quiet island

3. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? If yes, why?
yeah, childhood stuff- he punched my little cousin who just stared helplessly at him. I bought the fight; pushed him against a nearby flower bed nyahahah...

4. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? When?
yes, but in a choir long time ago

5. What's the first thing you notice about your preferred sex?

6. What really turns you off?

7. What is your biggest mistake?
got several biggest mistakes, which one do you want?

8. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?

9. Say something totally random about yourself.
reading myself to sleep is my "own brand of heroin," to quote Edward whom I'm seeing again in the second installment of the Twilight Saga this afternoon

10. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?

11. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows?
sometimes I'm forced if my kid invades my computer

12. Are you comfortable with your height?

13. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?
had his younger bro fly halfway around the world to cover for him at work so he can be with me the entire weekend - in another country

14. When do you know it's love?
when it becomes magical

15. What's something that really annoys you?
if I can't access those reference books by and by, I'll be really annoyed

Friday, 20 November 2009

Critter cheer

Another week! Things are looking good.

1. Rearranging the furniture. I like doing it at least once a year. They're quite heavy; here's hoping I'd grow muscles. It also makes me give up things I no longer need and the pack rat in me is sorted little by little in the process.

2. Critter cheer. Yesterday morning I was awakened by tweedling birds. It's heart-warming for someone like me who's been pining for countryside quaintness or at least a hint of it to hear the sound. I smiled myself out of bed to the shower. Then on my way to work I stopped by 7 Eleven for a toast tuna sandwich. While waiting, I had a lovely time watching a squirrel run merrily along a pole wire.

3. Visiting Bangkok U library. It was my first time to be back there after graduation. Work has kept me from going. I'm happy that my ID number, although no longer valid for borrowing, was still valid for entrance. It's a relief to find what I exactly need. Now I just have to find out how and where to access the books. The visit reinforced my wish to get started on a research proposal.

4. Sweet thoughtfulness. Chet was shopping when she rang and asked if I have bought and watched Twilight yet. Sometimes I'm just so behind on the latest films. She bought the DVD so I can see it before watching New Moon this weekend, and refused a reimbursement. Isn't that sweet! Thanks, Chet.

5. An eat-all-you-can restaurant was a nice place to sit down at after the Twilight meet-up. Italian, Japanese, Thai and Chinese were on the menu. The pineapple mousse was extremely delightful to the palate.

~ Visit Susanne @ Living to Tell the Story for more Friday faves ~

The Dating Profiles Meme: Hard Times

Welcome to The Dating Profiles Meme . This meme is based on a feature from WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Either you have used sites such as or Yahoo Personals or you’ve read them. Weekly, we scour those on-line dating sites to respond either a person's profile or often their headlines as most of us would really like to do. We use only "lines" that are gender-neutral. So, your mission is to respond to ten we choose each week. Seriously or with humor is your choice! The spelling or grammar errors were in the original profiles. Join us each and every Friday!

1. Why is this so hard?
Keep complaining. You don't know how much that thrills potential dates.

2. Walk with me.
I will if it's a rose-bordered path.

3. My software is state of the art.
I'll date your software.

4. Can’t believe I did this.
Oh crap, you say that in every free dating site you are in (lol)

5. Life is an adventure or nothing.
I'm sure there are more or less a hundred and one options

6. Looking for someone to get to no.
Did your English teacher let you pass?

7. I am absolutely terrible at this!!
Ten points off

8. Anything is possible, right?
You need support for your attempt at optimism, right?

9. It’s your last day to live, live it.
Aha! a reincarnation of Sybill Trelawney

10. I enjoy text messages.
There's some tech-savvy sounding euphemism. Hard times indeed: can't afford long-distance calls.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Mommy Decree: no eat - no play

Cj's nickname is Baby Pooh but when he gives me a hard time on the dining table, I call him Picky Pooh. Sometimes feeding him requires me to feed myself properly too. I need energy to think how to make him eat. I'm talking about veggies and fruits. Give him KFC nuggets or McDonald fries and he's the happiest boy on earth. But we've got growing up to do and eating the right food is one of them so I try every tactic I could think of.

Once I decreed that if he doesn't eat, he can not play

And something tells me the message he's sending back is 'make me, Mom.' Oh... isn't that familiar? History does not just repeat itself. It also becomes intense

There are times I allow him little amounts of junk to keep the peace

And here's what's yummy (Mommy Moments theme this week) to him

The wonderings are constant and ceaseless. He now eats veggies gradually and refuses icecream. Unlike before he now prefers drinking yogurt over lemonade. Last week I made oat patties each the size of his palm, put them on a plate and went to blog. When I turned for a helping, the plate was completely empty. He was still licking ketchup off his fingers. And I thought I have read enough on food choice changes.

~ Visit Chris at The Mommy Journey for more yummies ~

Around the world in 8 minutes

Not long ago I skimmed over Friendster and Facebook user demographics as well as stats. Both social networks have uses to me: on Friendster I see cousins's kids posting chillaxation photos; on Facebook I find friends my age.

My usual means to connect with loved ones are still phone calls or text messages. The more blogging becomes regular, the less I might soon have to do with a host of other ICT gadgets. My T13 is
a quick look back at how communication tools performed their role in the lives and deaths of people I know (Southeast Asia context / Filipino culture):

1. With the high cost of international calls, I am supposed to stick my nose to the pc and call only when it's important. But it was a bit different
last year because a cousin succumbed to ear cancer and everyone trooped to the wake. The messages that keep coming up on my Chikka Messenger window described which aunt is chatting with which grandma, how long have uncles been glued to the mahjong and chikicha tables and so on.

2. The army band played. Before he died Edwin requested his band mates to play at his funeral; joked that if they played badly they would get a cold nudge from him.

3. I couldn't resist. I had to join in the fun. Not that a cousin's wake was fun but the slumber party going on at Grandma's haunted, world war II house was. I also worried that they're not snapping away and videotaping enough and I would end up not seeing any documentation afterwards.

4. As it wasn't an e-burial like a great aunt's earlier, I asked them to post snaps and clips on friendster and youtube. Mama's assignment was to read the obituary on Sunday morning. I asked her to ring me secs before she does so I could dial back and listen. I missed it because I overslept. Agh! But I still got to hear the minister with all the background noise of a people-packed church.

5. In a hush-hush manner the phone was passed from relative to relative and I spoke with one I haven't seen for almost twenty years. I was elated with the catching up minimal though it was, sad that Edwin was going, and then ... horrified. My bill!!!

6. Too late. Fast backward: on a Friday evening in 2007 a train accident took Vin's life. I didn't know him personally but his wife's family and some of mine are friends. Friendster did the job of informing people smoothly.

7. In a single click the news of Vin's death reached everyone around the world on sender Gab's friends list. While reading the news I remembered that at my father's funeral in 2005 Vin sang Crossing the Bar, and he's young, big and strong. Wait a minute, he couldn't be dead.

8. In disbelief I sent a text to my mother in the South to tell her. She informed Ruby in Cebu who forwarded the news to Tess in Lahore, and they both simultaneously asked Vilma in Bangkok if it was true or not.

9. An aunt in Seattle who is Gab's friend, came online so I told her. Since I didn't know any details of the news she rang Gab in Bangkok and moments later she was back online typing the details away. Gab and I live in the same city but I got the additional info not from him but from Seattle.

10. Human tendency to be unwilling to immediately believe something bad sets the purpose of ICT in wondrous motion and speed. All this info spreading took only minutes and it was confirmed the poor guy's not coming back.

11. A few days later I hurried to the temple after work to attend the cremation service. The Bangkok sun blazed like crazy rendering the surroundings bone dry but not mourners' eyes.

12. Vin's widow's six-year-old niece comforted her, "Don't cry, auntie. You'll find another husband soon."

13. Our Biernes Santo faces broke into amused smiles. In my mind I mused, "with the efficient help of today's ICT, that's possible, sweetie; but unlikely happening in 8 minutes."

~ header from Samulli / click here for more lists ~

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Air Force One

Corazon Aquino and/or especially Ferdinand Marcos were the names on my mind for this week's TCP theme Presidents or their families. It was a just a fancy. I attempted a superficial search but I was 95% sure there aren't films about these Philippine presidents. At least none that I know of. So Air Force One it is.

Parts in the film that I could not forget are those of the president insisting his family and an injured staff member, not him, be safely ushered into the rescue jet first, the first daughter dangling mid-air between the two airborne planes screaming, Daddy! and the way the president saluted his men back after he and his family were rescued. In case you're wondering -- I'm twirling Recency Effects theory in my mind :-)

Robert Lynch provides the summary:
"A thriller about a steadfast U.S. President (Harrison Ford) who has just told the world he will not negotiate with terrorists. Russian neo-nationalists have hijacked Air Force One and the President is faced with a nearly impossible decision: give in to terrorist demands or sacrifice not only the country's dignity, but the lives of his wife and daughter

~ Visit Kikamz @ Just About Anything for more films ~

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Best of Times - Styx

Styx, like Queen and several fabulous others, is a band that I grew up with. After the (physical) growing up, I haven't outgrown their songs. Musical Monday host Diane features Celebration of Peace and Co-existence on her blog Good Mourning Glory.

That said
The Best of Times, one of my Styx faves is what I'm posting today. I know. With the economic recession and wars going on it's just a title, although "I do believe it's true ... when people lock their doors and hide inside... rumor has it it's the end of paradise... but I know if the world turned upside down...I know... I wish the summer winds could bring back paradise...." I was looking for some relevance. Additionally I'm sure it helps if we all start getting optimistic with our quest for peace.

~ Visit Diane @ Good Mourning Glory for more music ~

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Cj's first krathong

In November last year, I introduced Cj to Loy Krathong, a lovely water festival celebrated on the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai traditional lunar calendar, commonly known as November in the western world calendar. Last weekend was the anniversary of Cj's Loy Krathong experience. 'Loy' means to float; and krathong is the Thai word for that thing Cj is holding on the photos below.

We didn't have time to go far. Traffic was so jammed it took hours just to get to the rivers. Busy Bangkokians usually settle for bodies of water they find near them in the city. Those in extreme situations float their Krathongs on swimming pools. I decided on a convenient location - the pond of Queen Sirikit Park on Sukhumvit Road.

There are many versions of krathongs that Thais float on Krathong eve. Cj's krathong is made from a banana trunk, covered with coconut leaves and decorated with orchids in the top middle. There's a candle to light and three incense sticks on it. Last year the raft of my krathong was a flower bread. The fish welcomed it with open mouths. It didn't last long in the water.

People make a wish as they float their krathongs. As Cj looks bored, I didn't bother him that much about making a wish. I could have been in trouble if he told me. My wish though is to float my krathong in Chiangmai where the festival is a big deal; one huge party.

They say when your candle light is not extinguished while your krathong floats away, your wish is granted. I don't know whether it's true or not. I celebrate Loy Krathong just for the fun of it and took Cj along although he didn't seem to be in the mood. I'm lucky he didn't run away from the camera. I was also after the chow afterwards of course. What would Loy Krathong be without food?

I let him watch the birds first before going home. Or before striding in to that light brown building in the background. That's an upscale mall where we ate. Hmmm... yum! Eating is indeed one of my major talents (lol).

~ Ebie and Arlene host Our Weekend Memoirs ~

Friday, 13 November 2009

At the driving range

We're talking sports on Mommy Moments this week. When I dug my archives I found something that serves two purposes: a flashback entry and a reminder that I just don't have a sporty bone in my body. This was during my married days, when I would go along with the then hubster as he played golf. Yummy food and boredom were main motivators in my involvement, not the playing.

This was Top Golf Driving Range 9 years ago, before it became a 'licensee of World Golf Systems UK, making it the first in Asia and the third in the world to use microchip embedded in the core of premium golf balls accurately reporting its distance, location and score instantly to personal bay monitors.' (source)

The range is part of Piyarom Sports Club where Thailand's foremost tennis player, Paradorn Srichaphan sometimes plays. I recognized Paradorn when he beat Andre Agassi in 2002
~ Visit Alicia @ More Than Words for more flashbacks ~

The chat

Expect the unexpected. I should have gotten used to it by now. A colleague's father died the other day and a sombre mood permeates the office. Construction dust and dirt spray all over the front of Bldg. 18. That's what we have to endure to get to the cafeteria. The boss seems to be indefinitely enjoying his rising buildings so the topsy-turviness will be a part of our working lives til the last bulldozer goes away. I'm hoping to surprise myself with faves I can spot out of this week. Let me see...

1. Making a happy announcement. If there's a part of my job I can call a favorite, it's announcing good exam results and flashing a satisfied smile at students who topped the exams, congratulating them and seeing the expression on their faces. I will never tire of doing it.

2. Opportunity to encourage. I love leading students into taking their exam results as a challenge. Whether high or low, keep on improving, people.

3. A chat with the vice president. There's an issue with him that I decided to resolve with some compromise on my part. Social relations are very important to Thais. Having been here for more than a decade I ought to have learned how to deal with a sticky situation such as this was. I was fuming mad when I found it out last week. Thank goodness for time. It gave me the chance to calm down and revise my approach. There's also the fact that he's my wedding godfather and I just can't throw it away. At the end of the chat, he apologized. Did he really! In a strictly hierarchical society as Thailand, you don't normally expect those in the rung above you to ever say sorry to you; not that the sorry was all that mattered to me. But our relationship did manage to escape big damage because of the word.

4. Meeting Munchies. Ok I may be fond of food a wee bit too much. I love it when extra-cur activities are discussed over food.

5. Couch. I forgot it last week when I was describing our new office. But here it is smelling brand new with the plastic cover practically still clinging to it. Tired bodies could stretch out on it briefly after long lecture hours. It could almost match the feeling of relaxing at home

Yay, got them all five :-)
~ Visit Susanne @ Living to Tell the Story for more faves ~

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Sporty attempts

Once in a blue moon I go sporty (Mommy Moments theme this week). But I am as clumsy as I can be. Heck I was just showing support to that college boyfriend when I yawned my no-idea state on that court. I buy a tennis racket because I fancy owning one not because I like playing. On my first attempt to play, I hit the ball so hard it flew extremely high and landed with an alarming thud atop a BMW on a nearby parking lot. It scared me off tennis forever.

Before getting married to Cj's dad, I thought 'hmmn.. I dated a tennis player, I would marry someone who plays golf.' Silly and of course nothing has changed. Going to country clubs and driving ranges all over Bangkok didn't make me any sporty at all. Ah well, at least the cuisine is very enjoyable.

I don't want Cj to follow in my unsporty footsteps. He shows interest in basketball and baseball so I suppose it's a good sign. Recently his Dad bought him a toy golf set because he fussed about the real clubs I had recently. Ex-hub and I have managed to remain friendly with each other when it comes to golf and movies. He lent me his clubs and since Cj saw them standing idle in my apartment for almost a year, he thought they were mine. When they were returned, he cried and tried to get them back, "that's Mommy's golfffff!"

Poor kid. He'll just have to be contented with this ball in the meantime.

~ Chris hosts Mommy Moments ~