Friday, December 31, 2004
After that we went out to eat at a place recommended to me by one of my colleagues. It supposedly had really great hamburgers for alot less money. Usually if I crave a really good hamburger, I'd go to Outback Steakhouse, but it's very pricey and I don't like spending that kind of money. This place, however, was a hole in the wall bar. And the hamburger was delicious!
Then we walked back to that mall and saw the movie, National Treasure. It was very good and while it wasn't Raiders of the Lost Ark quality, I still enjoyed it very much. I love treasure-seeking adventure movies and besides this one and Raiders, I also enjoyed the early 80s movie called Sphinx, based on the even better book by Robin Cook. Anyway, Golf and I are indulging ourselves in going to the movie theater here to see as many movies as we can before the baby comes. We can afford it here and we know that once we go back to the States, besides the fact that we won't be able to up and go to a movie, it's simply too expensive to go see movies in the theater.
Speaking of books, after the movie, we went to the used bookstore nearby so I could sell back about four books I had finished reading (don't want clutter!) and when I was browsing through the store to see if there was anything I'd want to trade for, out jumped the book, Your Money or Your Life, which is the Voluntary Simplicity movement's bible!!! Sometimes when you are on life's right track, the way just opens up for you. Who would have thought that the very book I had been dying to read since discovering the Simplicity movement, would be in a used book store in Bangkok?!?!? I was so thrilled and of course, I bought it immediately.
At home, we've been watching DVDs that my colleague, Michelle, lent to us. She buys a ton of them and we get to borrow them when she's finished. I just finished season 2 of Six Feet Under which I enjoyed alot, and have since started watching season 1 of The West Wing. I'm not enjoying that show. It's too fast paced, people talk so fast, and about things I don't know about and I don't know who the people are. It almost stresses me to watch it, it goes so fast and is so intense. And some of the people in it are immensely annoying. I will maybe watch one more espisode and if it doesn't get any better, I won't watch anymore. Forget about it!
Oh, last thing. Tonight for New Year's Eve, Golf and I plan to go to this little bar and grill that's right next to the grocery store. It's a five minute walk from our condo building and they serve great food and have a nice ambience. I'll see if my pregnant body can stay awake until midnight! Happy New Year everybody!
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
We are so enjoying this time off work. Well, me especially! I feel so good just being lazy around the house. I go online after I wake up, then later in the morning I practice my prenatal yoga. Then we go out to lunch, then come home and watch movies. It's great. Today though, we plan to go see Polar Express at the nearby mall. I wish I could have seen it before Christmas, but we just didn't have time. It looks very festive!
Monday, December 27, 2004
1) Which holiday do you celebrate this time of year? I celebrate Christmas, in a secular way.
2) Do you begin shopping for gifts earlier than Thanksgiving, looking for the perfect gift? If not, when do you begin? Yes and no. If anyone is getting a gift, I get it when I see it, if it's before Thanksgiving, then great. I try to stay away from shops and retail stores after Thanksgiving.
3) Do you only purchase gifts that you know are perfect for the recipient and if you don't find that gift, do you just get anything? I would never just get anything, that's a waste and a bit of an insult, IMO. It's now a tradition in my family NOT to get gifts and get all caught up in the consumerism that Christmas has turned into. Buy a gift at a random time of year, and really surprise them -- that's more thoughtful.
4) Did you receive or give any "obligatory" gifts this year? Only for the Santa Exchange we had for the teachers at school. And it's a gift I can't use. :(
5) Do you decorate your tree as evenly as possible or do you skip the areas that are not visible? We don't have a tree this year, since we are living in Bangkok and are trying not to buy too much stuff since we're moving back to CA next year. Next year, I will try to decorate the tree evenly! :)
6) Do you like multi-colors on your tree or do you prefer monochrome? Multicolor. I love colors.
7) Did you bake "traditional" cookies, frost them and decorate them? or did you cheat and buy the ready to bake kind? I would never cheat. I love the traditional homemade kind. My mother even did cookie exchanges when I was a girl and we had so many different kinds. I'd love to do that when I move back. Russian teacakes are my favorite Christmas cookie.
8) Are you the host of a holiday gathering? which one? family, work, friends? Not yet. And when I move back, I don't know that I will be living in an apartment with not the most amount of space. So, I HOPE I can host a holiday, just don't know yet.
9) With whom do you spend the holiday? Husband, friends and when we move back, my family.
10) How did the holiday turn out? Perfectly? funny mishaps? miss anyone? It turned out to be great fun. Scroll down for pictures and a description of all the fun we had with my co-workers. I did miss my family, though, but I did get to talk to them that night.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
My turkey dinner which had this sausage wrapped with bacon, a 'croquette' (?) which is a sausage like thing with breading, mashed potatoes, turkey, ham, roasted vegetables and creamed cauliflower. The dark meat portion of the turkey was very tough and tasted funny.
1) What is your favorite Christmas song? It's between Winter Wonderland and I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas. Or I'll Be Home for Christmas -- I love those old 40s carols.
2) Do you send Christmas cards? Yes, but I don't have a million people I send them to. This year I had five.
3) Artificial or real Christmas trees? REAL -- nothing beats the wonderful smell.
4) What is your favorite Christmas décor? (ie, trees, snowmen, stockings, Santa) Evergreen -- the tree, the boughs and wreaths in evergreen. It's so festive.
5) Do you attend any religious services on Christmas? No, because I'm not a Christian, but I adore celebrating the secular aspect of Christmas.
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Yesterday our party was a success at school, but it was nearly a disaster. Sue, my colleague, worked incredibly hard organizing the event, since she was put in charge of it, and it was her first time doing this. She's Thai, but has lived in the States since she was very small, so she's American in her culture.
Anyway, the singing was supposed to begin at 12:50, right after lunch, and this was clearly stated in the invitations given to the parents. And it did begin, right on time the kids were up on stage, singing their carols beginning with G1. Well, many parents didn't arrive until 1:00, many of them G1 parents. So guess what we had to do???? Start the whole thing over again!!!! ONLY IN THAILAND, I tell you. Sue had the whole thing planned out, and the foreign teachers, who also helped put on this party were furious. We go by a time schedule -- there was a limited amount of time to sing the songs, play the scheduled games, and then have the Secret Santa gift exchange -- and the way the director of the school pandered to the parents was just pathetic, and a couple of the foreign teachers were rather bold about this to his face. Is it the school's fault that some parents chose to come late? Sue was so upset she lost it and was crying really hard, and I felt so bad for her. All us foreign teachers said that this is the absolute LAST time we EVER do an event at this school.
The good news is that the rest of the party went off alright. Once the games started the kids were having fun, as were the teachers, and we got through the party and it was a success, and miraculously it didn't end up running over time. I got a ton of gifts from students and their parents, and they're sitting on the couch right now waiting to be opened for Christmas morning. I'm going to have Golf help me open them. :) Then tonight we will be meeting my colleagues at the Dubliner for Christmas Dinner. It's very expensive, but this will be our last year having Christmas away from home (my home anyway) and the rest of the time after that we'll be enjoying home cooking. So we'll splurge a little!
So last night Michelle had a gathering at her apartment, and Golf ended up having so much fun talking with everybody. I did too. :) My colleagues are all very nice people. We bitched about the Christmas party and how happy we were to have until Jan. 4th off. Oh, and how at the end of the party after the teachers exchanged gifts, the Director comes up to thank everyone for such a good job, and have a good holiday and by the way in mid-January there is a special teacher's trip to go out of town together for the whole weekend. All us foreign teachers were looking at each other like, What??, I ain't goin' ANYWHERE, thank you very much. Now that I'm preggo, my husband does not leave my side, and I would rather stay at home and enjoy my time off!!! So, ah, NO THANK YOU. We also talked about Thai politics, ghosts, I mean you name it, once they had a couple of beers it was a free-for-all conversation. I just ate too much junk food and wasn't hungry for dinner. What a bad mother! I will be eating well today though!
Last but not least, the best Christmas present of all came last night just before I went to sleep with Golf. He told me how he was thinking about his strategies on how to make a living for us when we move back to the Bay Area, and that's why he sounded a little down when I called him earlier that afternoon. As he was telling me all about this, I suddenly was able to completely put myself in his shoes and I felt the burden of responsibility he has with a wife and child for him to support. I can't imagine what that must feel like -- no longer earning a living just to keep yourself in the basic necessities, but two other people. My love for my husband just suddenly filled my heart to overflowing and I just about cried. And I told him I would do whatever I can to help him, and I will always do my best. I love you so much honey!!!
Friday, December 24, 2004
So today after work, the teachers are going to Michelle's (my colleague) for drinks (for me, a Diet Coke) and snacks. And of course, Golf's going with me. Tomorrow about 10 of us have planned to go to this Irish pub -- The Dubliner -- for Christmas dinner and it's supposedly got some really good food. I'm so excited about eating a BRITISH dinner with TURKEY! Golf and I plan to arrive a little early than our reservation which will let us both see if the pub is too smoky to enjoy our food. I hope not, but if so, we'll bow out and find a hotel buffet, there are so many along Sukhumvit Road. I'm tolerant of a little smoke, and we'll be sitting on the first floor instead of higher up, so I hope that will make a difference.
Hope you all have a good Christmas!
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Then this morning, I had a bit of morning sickness while brushing my teeth, so I've been feeling a little bit yucky ever since then on top of these volatile hormonal surges. I just want to be left alone, I suppose.
But the good news is that I've been feeling inspired. Remember my post a few days ago about discovering that Simplicity Circle? Well, I've delved further into the topic and find that it fits me and my philosophy of life far more than I thought. I never knew that different feelings I had toward my lifestyle with regard to number of hours worked and having a life had a whole activist movement behind it. There are SOOO many resources online it's rather overwhelming. Just some interesting links for you to explore: The Simple Living Network, The Work to Live initiative to reduce working hours and have a LIFE, and various articles from the Simple Living Network, primarily from Your Money or Your Life. Check it out, if you're interested, I know I'll be exploring this much further once we move back to CA.
Monday, December 20, 2004
1. How did you learn about computers? Were you self taught? Yes and no. I learned a little in high school, but learned the GUI once I was at university taking graphic design. I learned the PC on my own, as graphic design was all on the Mac.
2. What is your favorite color and why is it your favorite color? Purple. It's very pretty.
3. What one thing going on in the world right now, has the most effect on you personally? The obscene cost of health care in the USA. I have to go through my pregnancy and birth here in Thailand because I cannot afford the cost of it in the US.
4. If you were going to develop your own meme, what kind would you create? I never gave it much thought.
5. Why do you enjoy answering memes? It's fun!
6. What is your wildest dream? To own my own house in the Bay Area, California. (My hometown, but one of the most expensive places to live in the entire country.)
7. Why do you answer these questions? It's fun!
Saturday, December 18, 2004
I want to limit my child's material gifts during Christmas. I would also like to give something back to the community with my child once he or she gets a little older. I mean that's what the season is all about and I want to instill that valuable moral into him or her.
Anyway, this online article cited a website, the Seeds of Simplicity, and I would like to become a member upon returning. Our world is so caught up in consumerism and materialism and it's difficult not to succomb to its seduction. I will need support. I'm already jealous that I cannot live in a house upon returning to the Bay Area, with a new family. But I am eternally greatful for my hard working husband, who is giving his all to support his family, and this is what I focus on. Our healthy home environment, no matter if it is an apartment or a house, is our family sanctuary.
If any of you have any other resources for simple living, please email me!
Friday, December 17, 2004
Well, after that call I felt much better and I laid on the couch and watched more of the second season of Six Feet Under (a very good series!) and then after we ate dinner at 7:30, I could not keep my eyes open! Yes, I went to bed last night at 7:30. So if the baby is on a growing spurt, he or she sure exhausted Mommy yesterday. After about 11 hours of sleep last night, I feel refreshed and better. No aches today! I'm just so ready for the week to be done, and I'm thankful it's Friday, it's been so busy!
Monday, December 13, 2004
1. From Mel... Do you have a favorite 80's song? I have so many favorite 80s songs -- I just LOVE music from that decade. But to narrow it down, I'd say anything from Duran Duran's first three albums -- I was a screaming, hysterical Durranie when I was a girl. :)
2. From Luzja... What's the biggest event in your life to date? Getting married. I'm still preggo, so birth is out of the question.
3. From Amy... What's one more thing during your lifetime you would like to learn how to do well? I'd like to learn how to cook really, really well, like a gourmet chef.
4. From Susan... what is your earliest childhood memory? One of the earliest is when I was 2 or 3 years old and I remember seeing my dad's old 50's red pickup truck.
5. From LDH... What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? Mach 4.
6. From Beverly and Rosie... Where, When and What is your most favorite memory? I have many good memories of different people and times of my life that to pick only one would belittle other important memories. Do I say getting married to my wonderful husband, or do I say that time I was held in my mother's arms as a child, all snug and secure? I just can't answer the question.
7. From Shirl...Do you fit in? Yes, of course. I normally don't get myself into situations that are over my head or that make me feel uncomfortable.
8. From Sherle... Tell me your favorite recipe then go to Recipe Swap and share it with all of us! I don't have a favorite recipe yet.... I'll get back to ya on that one!
That evening we went to a shopping mall where they have this Nepali arts shop and in this shop is a beautiful hand-made silver moonstone ring that I've had my eye on for more than a year. When brainstorming for what my husband could get me for my birthday, this was the only thing I could think of to get. Perhaps I'll take a picture of it and post it too.
After shopping, we went out to MEXICAN FOOD! It was a pretty good place, but of course, no place like home. I had beef enchaladas and Golf had beef chimichingas. It was pretty darn delicious! My husband went all out to make sure I had a wonderful, happy birthday. Thank you so much, sweetie! I will always remember this day.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
It was a holiday yesterday and I didn't have work, so in the morning, we got up early and went to the market where they set up an area to make merit to the monks who come by. There were four monks and both of us donated food for each monk. Then toward lunch time, we walked down to the nearby temple and made merit on Golf's parents behalf, thanking them for providing for us. Basically we buy a bucket filled with supplies for the monks at the temple and we add some money to an envelope, then we write on the envelope who the money is from and who we are making merit for. Golf and I then sit on the floor and a monk is on a chair in front of us. Golf tells the monk why we are making merit that day so that the intention of the blessings goes to his parents. We give the buckets with the money. Then the monk blesses us by chanting in Pali (the ancient Sanskrit-based language that Thai is derived from). Then we are done and we feel so good!
The rest of the day we lazed about the house. I'm feeling so homey and nesty, I don't want to go anywhere! We rented Troy, even though we saw it in the theater, so that we could see the Special Features DVD. Oh, the other day we went to see Alexander and the only two good things about it were the music and costumes. Oliver Stone could have done so much more with that movie, I think. I was disappointed.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
It's also about 20 minutes til lunch and my tummy is rumbling since I had a smaller breakfast and snack (following my new eating regimine). I usually eat enough to where my stomach doesn't rumble at meal time, but I think you should be good and hungry once mealtime comes. Now I have to remember to eat slowly!
The not so good news is that I have simply gained way too much weight so far. We had our doctor's appointment yesterday and I gained nearly 9 pounds in one month!!! I couldn't sleep last night, I was so disturbed. There are no scales here that are accurate except at the doctor's office, so it is difficult for me to monitor my weight, or I think I weigh less than I actually do. The biggest change I made for pregnancy eating is having a nice breakfast in the morning down in the cafeteria at school. And now I think that's the main problem. So I'm going back to my fruit and yogurt prepregnancy breakfast but add in a small sandwich or crackers with a little peanutbutter -- just one more little thing to go with the fruit n yogurt. Then I will have a good snack, ONE serving at lunch with fruit and a sensible dinner. I also have to slow down my eating. I eat very fast if I am feeling hungry. I am, as of this morning, keeping a food diary for the rest of my pregnancy. See, even if I gain one pound a week until delivery, I will have gained 40 pounds total. The one-pound-a-week is the ideal guideline, so I must really, really try. I hope this new strategy works. We are also going to purchase a scale so I can monitor carefully every day. OF COURSE the main concern is for a healthy baby, and I plan to continue to eat healthily, as a matter of fact, a lot less cookies and other sweets, which I eat, but no more than before pregnancy. I need to cut back for pregnancy.
Yesterday at the doctor's I also had a blood test called the triple screen, which looks for Down's Syndrome. We will know the results on the 14th.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Hmmm.... it's nearly 9:30... past my bedtime!
Monday, December 06, 2004
1) Which stone is your birthstone? Do you like it? Turquoise. It's OK, not my favorite. I don't own any turquoise jewelry.
2) Do you prefer silver or gold? Silver. The only gold I wear (which is not very often) is my Egyptian cartouche necklace of my name that I bought in Cairo.
3) Name the jewelry that you wear whenever you leave the house. Wedding ring, watch, various earrings and/or necklaces.
4) What is your most precious and valuable item of jewelry. My wedding band!
5) Do you carry insurance on any of your jewelry and if not, why not? No, I don't feel I need to. My wedding band is the only thing worth anything and it's not worth enough to take insurance out on!
Sunday, December 05, 2004
So instead we went to MBK center and I was pleased to see that the video store we go to often has added to their Yoga DVD library. I got *4* new videos to bring back to the States, so I won't get bored with one particular style, plus another new prenatal Yoga video, to bring some variety to the one I'm using now, which I can recite verbatum at this point. LOL! They won't arrive until probably next week since both Monday and Friday are holidays. I'm so excited!
Oh, if you see that Ko Samet photo below, never mind it. I'm trying to upload that picture to my profile, and I'm getting an error, so I'm waiting for Blogger to get back to me about it.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Last night Golf and I walked down to my bank to transfer a deposit to our landlord to pay the rent. (9,000 baht = $225 per month!) and of course the ATM was out of service. I HATE that bank and on Monday I am going to see about transferring a vast majority of my savings into my Bangkok Bank account. This one I have that sucks is the one the school uses to deposit our salaries, so I had no choice but to open an account with them.
So then we stop at this northeaster (Isaan-style) Thai food cafe where we order dinner. Golf always orders so much food. I used to eat only one entree with rice for dinner before we got married. Now between the both of us we eat 4!!! I try to make it so he eats more of it, but when it's sitting in front of my face, I pick at it even when I'm bursting full. I told him this later on as we waddled out of the cafe. I said I don't want to be fat, and I'm seriously worried and need his support. I mean Isaan food isn't particularily fattening, but too much food is too much food and I need to be moderate, especially now!
We get back home, groaning the whole walk back, and I take my shower. We planned to watch the Dodgeball DVD at about 7:30, since we both know I konk out at about 9 PM most nights. Well, it wasn't even 8 PM when I started nodding off on the couch. I couldn't believe it when Golf took me to bed at 8:00 and I actually fell fast asleep! I woke up this morning at 6, my usual time for getting up on a weekday. But I got 10 hours of sleep already, so I didn't try to go back to sleep. Instead, I went online. So that's it. Baby needs all my energy already! :)
Friday, December 03, 2004
So on Saturday Golf and I will meet a friend of his who will be returning to San Fancisco next week. We plan to go into a part of town where they will have it decorated for the King's birthday. They have it decorated all beautifully and lit up like you wouldn't believe. We'd like to go to get some photos, because this is our last December here in Thailand. (woo hoo!) and want to get some shots of that beautiful area.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
But last night we went out to a nice Japanese restaurant around the corner. The only frustrating part was that I was planning to take birthday boy out, but when I went to two ATMs to withdraw some cash, there were communication errors with both and I didn't have enough money in my wallet to pay for dinner. So Golf ended up paying for his lovely birthday dinner. I said I'd pay for my birthday dinner in return. :) He said, don't be silly! Anyway... it was still nice.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Monday, November 29, 2004
1. How did you choose a name for your blog? I thought that "A Little Peek Inside" is just that, a tiny little look into my life for those who wish to.
2. How many times have you changed the name of your blog? None, I like it!
3. How many blogs to you update regularly? One. This one.
4. How many times have you moved in your life? Maybe about 10 total, first three being before the age of 5, so I don't remember the move.
5. On a scale of 1-10, how stressful is moving (in your opinion)? 7, especially if your new home is on the other side of the planet!
6. When moving, do you/would you rent a moving van/truck? Most of the time yes. These two times I have moved to Thailand it's been the airplane that serves as my moving truck. My whole life packed up in a big suitcase, one box, a carryon luggage and laptop. It's gonna be worse moving BACK next year with a husband and baby. We'll have to cargo ship some stuff ahead of time.
7. Do you wear glasses? No, I've been extremely lucky and have good eyesight. (Knock wood)
8. What one question would you hope someone running a meme, would ask? What's one more thing during your lifetime you would like to learn how to do well? (For me it would be gourmet cooking.)
"George Washington had a vision for this country. Was it three days ofuninterrupted shopping?" -Jeff Melvoin, Northern Exposure
1) Do you enjoy shopping at the mall? Yes. I like to go browsing at places I don't normally buy a lot of stuff, either.
2) What is your favorite mall food? In Thailand, I like any western food or I go to the cheap food court. In the States, it would be Fresh Choice salad bar!
3) What are your three favorite “mall” stores? In the USA: Pottery Barn (good thing, cause I worked there for two years!) Victoria's Secret, and Old Navy.
4) What is your favorite mall? Well, if you want to go for beauty, I like the San Francisco Shopping Center. In Thailand, they're all like 3-ring circuses, although Gaysorn Plaza is very she-she. It's a little too hospital-like though because it's all white.
5) Do you have one special person that you enjoy going to the mall withthe most? Well that would be my husband, of course!
Saturday, November 27, 2004
So their house is acutally more of a retreat like place. It's very small with only one bedroom, but very cute with a traditional old ceramic tile roof. They have a boardwalk that leads out to the river and there's a gazebo sitting area right on the water where we sat and ate and drank. Boats went by, firecrackers went off at the neighbors... and at nightfall we lit our kratongs, which are made out of flowers and shaped banana leaves all stuck around a round floater, usually made out of the cross section of a banana tree stump. I made one in Ayuthaya with my Thai friend, A, last year. There's incense and a candle you light before setting it in the water and you make a wish before floating it. It is a really nice tradition, and we all had a fantastic time.
We got back around 9:30 last night, but it may as well been 1:30 with how tired I was! Pregnancy really wears you out! So today we are taking it easy, just hanging around the house.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Next year we will be back in the States, will a cute little tax deduction to introduce our holiday rituals to. I'm looking forward to that. This is my last year being away.
Oh! I added a new entry into my pregnancy journal. It's the start of my second trimester today -- I'm officially at four months!
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Monday, November 22, 2004
"Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price." -Amelia Earhart
1) Do you enjoy flying by air? Yes, I like it very much, it's exciting! I don't like the really long hours in one position, so I try to get an aisle seat so I can get up and walk around easily.
2) Do you typically check a bag when you fly or carry on? Check a bag.
3) Has an airline ever lost your bag? Describe what happened and if you were compensated by the airline. No, knock on wood, I have always been very lucky.
4) Do you eat the airline food? Yes. It's alright! But then I'm not a picky eater either!
5) What do you do to pass the time when you fly? Watch the on-board movies or read magazines or books.
"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
1) How do you cook your turkey? (Stuffing, spices, cooking bag, etcetera) My mother always did the stuffed roasted turkey -- I always helped her too. Next year, when I'm back home for Thanksgiving, I want to talk her into trying the brining method, where you soak the turkey for 24 hours in this salty, spice infused brine before roasting. I've been told it's VERY delicious.
2) What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert? Pumpkin cheesecake! Regular pumpkin pie is a close second and a close third is my mother's homemade apple pie.
3) What are you doing this year for Thanksgiving? Not a thing, since I live in Thailand.
:( I'm saving the feasting this year for Christmas.
4) Do you have any family traditions at Thanksgiving? No, not really. I always help mom in the kitchen at about 7 or 7:30 AM, we watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and I go on a powerwalk with my sister BEFORE dinner. We eat dinner between 1 or 2, and then my dad watches football on TV while the rest of us nap. The evening is ususally card or board games.
5) What one dish does it just not feel like Thanksgiving without besides turkey? My mother's traditional homemade cornbread southern-style stuffing. We make the cornbread baked in an iron skillet the night before, then slice it into cubes the next morning for the stuffing. It is so delicious and I miss it!
Saturday, November 20, 2004
It will be an interesting visit, finding out all the goings-on at my former school. One thing she filled me in on is that my former employer is not letting anybody have a Christmas vacation. In the two years I worked there, we had one week off, with Christmas at the beginning of the holiday and New Year's Day at the end. Well, since Christmas is on a Saturday this time around, she's making people come into work M-F and I think they will get New Year's Day off, but that's it. And she thinks she can keep foreign teachers this way? None of the other schools are doing that, mine included. I'm SO glad I'm no longer employed there!
So, speaking of Christmas, a number of us foreign teachers will be around on Christmas day, since the last day of work is that Friday, Christmas Eve. We would really like to go out on the town and find a really nice restaurant that serves all the traditional Christmas fare and I'd really be into finding a British pub or restaurant to sample what the British eat every year. Mmmmm what wonderful comfort food! Golf is a great sport and is enthusiastic about joining us. Maybe if I'm around one of the pubs around there, and I will be today, I will pop in and ask about it. I'm willing to splurge a little for this little taste of home.
OK, one last thing, about the tastes of home: My colleage the other day, made homemade goulash and she gave me a bunch of it to take home. It tastes alot like beef stew and that's something I had been craving. Ohhh it was heavenly! I thought it was just SO nice of her to share. So to repay her kindness, I'm going to pick up some of my favorite breads for her at this fantastic bakery I go to just about every weekend. Then I'll make some of my salsa fresca and thow in a bag of tortillia chips. I told her I don't have a real kitchen and so I can't cook, but this is what I can do for an exchange. She then told me she was going to make lasagne over the weekend and might bring me some on Monday! Oh this preggo gal just can't say no! :)
With all this food talk: I'm now officially trying to be more attentive of how MUCH food I put into my mouth. I'm concerned about gaining too much weight. I eat nutritiously, but I eat too much, I think. I've gained a little too much in my first trimester, not a lot, just a little. But I want to have better control of my habits. I need to drink a big glass of water before my meals and most of all, SLOW DOWN while I eat. I feel just horrible when I'm all puffed out and bloated after dinner, and I get thirsty after all that, which makes me feel even worse in the end. So I'm trying to work on smaller meals (Golf is being more conscious about not gorging on his meals too) and just have a snack in between. I really only need just over 300 additional calories, according to the What to Expect When You're Expecting book, and I know I'm eating more than that. Writing this out feels better and makes me feel more committed to trying harder. No worries! I will NOT be starving my baby! I'm just going to eat more efficiently, as the book says. Don't eat excess food, just make sure what you do eat is very nutritionally sound.
I have less than one week before I enter my second trimester!!!!! :) :)
Thursday, November 18, 2004
I also got Duran Duran's latest album, Astronaut. For any of you who don't know, they were my favorite band for many years when I was in junior high and high school. I just about worshipped these guys. Recently all five original members reunited and have just released their new album together. I remember that all their albums after Seven and the Ragged Tiger had been disappointing, with the exception of Simon, Nick and Roger's band Arcadia, and the album was called, So Red the Rose. That was really good. All other Duran albums without all five members were not all that great. So I had high hopes for their new release and the first song, Reach Up for the Sunrise is very good. The rest of the songs all sort of blended into each other but I have only heard this CD one time, last night. I guess I cannot expect that they will sound as they did in the 80s. They are different people now after 20 years. I am a different person after 20 years too. Technology and trends have changed; synthesizers are more high tech and saxophones (remember Raphael DeJesus?) are not used as often in pop. I'm sure I'll get to love this CD the more I listen to it.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Monday, November 15, 2004
1. bar soap or shower gel In the States, shower gel, but here they have lovely hand made soaps and some that smell really good!
2. cd's or cassettes CDs
3. television movies or documentaries Documentaries
4. wall calendar or desk calendar In the States, a wall calendar. In Thailand a desk calendar because all the walls are concrete and you can't hang up ANYTHING!
5. dsl, cable, or dial-up Anything high speed is OK by me.
6. summer or winter In Thailand, the so-called winter. Between late November and mid-February, it's just the season where you don't sweat as much.
7. city or country City for living, country for getting away.
8. camping or stay in a hotel Depends upon the intention of the getaway.
9. gold or silver Without question, silver.
10. fiction or non-fiction books How about something in between: Historical fiction! Based on fact with a good fictional story intertwined. My favorite is The Journeyer, by Gary Jennings, the fictionalized account of Marco Polo's travels.
11. mashed potatoes or baked potatoes Hmmm this is difficult because I love both. Sorry, I can't decide on this one.
12. ranch, italian, or catalina dressing I usually prefer Italian.
13. solid or spray deodorant Solid
Today, one of my favorite colleagues is back from the US. She's British and she had to leave Thailand so she could get her citizenship and was 2 weeks late coming back to teach. I miss her company and with me being more hormonal, we can have some quality gripe sessions together. :) I'm feeling especially touchy today, but she brought back some chocolate bars from the States, so that's making a big difference! LOL!
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Yesterday we didn't do much. Now that I'm pregnant and it's SOOOOOO hot outside, I don't feel like going out and doing anything. I just want to lounge around the apartment and Golf is fine with that too. Speaking of hot, Thailand is currently experiencing a severe drought. It's been months since the last rain and it seems to be getting hotter every day. It's normally supposed to start getting cooler this time of year, but the opposite seems to be happening. We went walking last night at the fitness center, since we were so sedentary during the day and when we left, I looked at my hands which were swollen like sausages. I get like that when it gets hot. I was careful and kept drinking water, but really, I can't walk more than once or twice a week until it cools down some. Our electricity bill is also expensive this month because of the constant use of the A/C.
I saw on SFGate that they found Scott Peterson guilty. Glad that justice has been served, but I am also listening to the Gene Burns program online from KGO and he said it was like a Roman circus outside the courtroom with a reporter even asking Peterson's mother if she was 'proud of her son'. What sort of moronic question is that?!?!
I'm disappointed of our society's lack of respect and tact toward one another. Americans treat each other rather badly with hardly politeness any longer, and it's quite sad. If you discover your neighbor has a different political viewpoint, for example, you end up treating each other like enemies. It's really depressing. This is the one part of moving back to the States that I'm not looking forward to, BUT I plan to bring happiness and make people smile. My husband has a knack for doing that here and it kind of reminds me of my own father. Golf will see a sour looking person and his goal is to make that person smile by the end of our encounter (for example a scowling waitress). It's just the best attitude! :)
OH! I'll end this posting on a happy and joyous note. Today is our 1 year anniversary of meeting one another! Yes, on November 14, 2003, Golf and I had our first date at Starbuck's coffee and then for a beer and some food at the World Trade Center beer garden. I wish it was cool enough for beer gardens now! Tonight we plan to go to Reflections restaurant for dinner, which is where we had our wedding reception. We've come so far in a short period of time.
Friday, November 12, 2004
While we're at the mall, we plan to go see a funny movie: Dodgeball with Ben Stiller. We both like that guy, he's so silly! Just some light entertainment. We'll probably eat at the Food Cellar, which is like a food court. I'll get my Italian food fix and Golf can still eat his usual Asian delights and we'll both be quite happy!
OH MY GOD, IN EXACTLY ONE MONTH I WILL BE 35 YEARS OLD!!!!!
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Not surprise at all!Thai police are notorious for their behaviors. It's wrong from the start. They are allowed to have absolute power. The original idea of Thai police is "to serve and protect the so-called hisocity, not the citizen". I am Thai and I have seen this kind of events over and over again. It's been like this since the Thai police Department was established 100 years ago. Last night I watched the talk show called "Tung Lok Tuk Kon (Hardball)". One of the Pol. Generals said, "We must continue the beat-up method, otherwise we can't do our job". He also said that police in ALL countries are doing the same thing. It's sad to hear things like this, but I am not surprised at all. Their metalities are twisted, distorted, and crooked making them like killing machines. Do whatever they can to close the cases as quickly as possible. Thai laws are based on accusation, not investigation. So the suspects are the wrongdoers from the beginning. If they are not confess, they deserve "special treatments". Electical shocking, brutally beat-up, hitting with the clubs or sticks, kidnaping the accused person's family members to get his confession, or simply murdering the accused person to end the cases are wildly exercised by Thai police. There are many more of this uncivilized, unhuman methods, but I don't want to discuss about it anymore. It makes me sick.
There are stories here also of police torturning -- one man who was suspected of a crime had his genitals electricuted until he confessed to the crime, which he very well may not have done! Another young married couple were held without formal charges brought against them for over 100 days. They had to re-arrest them so they could continue holding them. The 17 year old wife was heavily pregnant and gave birth WITH NO MEDICAL ATTENTION WHATSOEVER!!!!!! What kind of freaking brutal country is this?!?!
So now there is a lot of attention on the police, who have ultimate power and authority here. They do not serve to protect, they protect their own and do away with citizens who might say anything bad about the police department or who could point fingers at the vast corruption going on. With stories like this, I feel like being sick every single day. The US has problems, but when I see what is going on here in Thailand, I cannot WAIT to come back to a more civilized country. Neither can Golf.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Monday, November 08, 2004
Name 3 (or more, or less!) things...
1. ...you cannot live without. Food, Air, Clothing, Water, Shelter
2. ...you CAN live without, but cannot seem to part with. Internet, Books, Diet Coke
3. ...you wish to accomplish this COMING week. Write next week's lesson plan, Do my yoga, Call some friends I haven't talked to in awhile, Write some emails I need to catch up on.
4. ...you have accomplished this PAST week. Went to doctor's appointment, Did my yoga, Got through the first week back at school
5. ...on your holiday (or non-holiday) 'wish list.' Step by Step Yoga DVDs for after the baby's born, and the rest will have to wait til we move back to the States, like a new bed, an apartment, a car, stuff for baby -- we are going to be starting all over again, but we have the support of a great family!
6. ...you would like to change about yourself. Become focused on what I want to do with my life and then actually DO it. I've been mentally scattered for years, but there have been a few things I focused on and these were successful endeavors.
7. ...you like about yourself. I'll usually try something once if it's not too dangerous or illegal, I don't waste too much money (only a little bit!), I believe in moderation in everything.
8. ...you should be doing right now instead of what you ARE doing. Preparing for a better math lesson, (I will as soon as I'm done with this!) Working on my art work, Reading something constructive.
9. ...in your life that could use a little more organization. Hmm.. at the moment I'm pretty organized. Ask me again after I become a mother in May!
Time for Sunday Brunch!
1) What is your favorite vegetable and your favorite fruit? Well, it’s considered technically a fruit, but I love tomatoes the best, so versatile! And for fruit, I love papaya the best. I love almost all tropical fruit.
2) How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat a day? Oh, maybe I total 5 servings of both. I love the fruits here and I eat salad often.
4) What vegetable can you absolutely just not get down, no matter what you are bribed with? This sort of bitter melon type green vegetable. It’s soft and just not tasty at all. For fruit it would be the durian -- terribly stinky!!!
5) What is your favorite way to eat fruit? RAW, sometimes cut up.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Before our appointment, I got my Subway sandwich, which I think could be a monthly ritual before going to the hospital. :) I ate an entire footlong, but I was SOOO hungry by that time. I didn't even feel too full afterward. My god, a pregnant woman can sure pack away the food!
After our appointment, we went to a nearby mall that is our favorite to go to because it has far less people than the others. We went to the best bakery I have yet to find in Bangkok, because the breads there are to die for and inexpensive. I got a good supply of delicious bread with kalamata olives in them and some rye. I miss rye bread. Then we went on to the bookstore and I'm just going to have to wait to study Spanish once I return to the States because there are no language books for it here. Just a few dictionaries and beginning phrases. I want real lessons. So no Spanish books, but I did get a Yoga Journal magazine with some very good articles on limiting food portions (what a read after eating Subway, but I'm eating for two at the moment and not too fat!) and bettering your posture (a lifelong trouble-spot for me). It also came with a free sample DVD, and I plan to watch it today.
After that we went to a different mall nearby because it has an awesome grocery store selling all kinds of western food for me to stock up on for home. Before we went grocery shopping, I found some new maternity bras -- I bought two of them and I now fit comfortably in a size D cup! So now my pretty C's will have to wait til after breastfeeding before I can wear them again, it's gonna be some big ugly bras for awhile now. But it's for a good cause.
At the grocery store I got some beautiful Gouda cheese, just a real small bit to taste and savor. I MISS GOOD CHEESE! I also got some fat-free raspberry vinegarette salad dressing, some more chips n salsa and ready-made beef tamales which are really good! What else, some German-style parsley meat-loaf for sandwiches. I hope it's good. I miss having a wide range of choices of lunch meats. I miss smoked or honey turkey, pastrami, honey ham, roast beef, oven roasted chicken, etc. etc. etc.
Golf bought a new DVD called "Super-Size Me" which is a documentry of the obesidy epidemic in the US brought on mainly by fast food companies. The man does a self experiment by eating McDonalds for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 30 days. It is a VERY interesting movie and I highly recommend it. Interestingly enough, the guy who did this said that when he was a kid, his mother ALWAYS cooked at home and they rarely went out to eat, it was like a treat. Just like my family -- my mother always cooked. I plan to do the same with my family once we return to the States. Nowadays, families eat out 40% of the time, and that's another reason they are fatter. Jeez, pay more money to eat out and get fatter in the process! I think I'll cook from scratch, thank you. I'm sure that my Mother's cooking at home all the time has influenced me now because I RARELY eat fast food. OK, Subway once a month or Pizza Hut even less cause Golf doesn't care for it. But hardly EVER McDonalds. When I want a hamburger, I want a real one. We went to Outback Steakhouse last time I craved a burger and it was MUCH more expensive, but it tasted better and was more satisfying. And it was NOT fast food. YECH. Anyway, thanks Mom! :)
Friday, November 05, 2004
I've still been doing really good about my yoga, and I feel like I'm making some good progress. I plan to do it until doctor says I shouldn't any more, and will continue after baby is born. Tonight I would like to go walking because the fitness center finally watered their field and it's not so dusty anymore! Plus there's an aerobics lady there T-Th who chooses to blare her music not only on the stereo speakers, but on the loudspeakers as well and it HURTS when I walk by the aerobics area. I see mothers there with their young children on their hips, bouncing them to the music, where I am plugging my ears in pain. Are these mothers already deaf???? I will never bring my baby there if this is the case! So I told Golf that on these days we need to bring a surgical mask for the dust and earplugs for the noise! I hope not to have to deal with that tonight.
Will write more tomorrow after the doc appointment. Oh! I'm also supposed to call my Mom and Dad and I'm really looking forward to speaking with them. :)
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Monday, November 01, 2004
It's crazy hot here! When's the cooler season supposed to begin????
Sunday, October 31, 2004
1) What candy are you passing out on Halloween night if you are staying home? If I were back home, I'd hand out small assorted chocolate bars, ESPECIALLY the Reese's peanut butter cups. Don't tell anybody, but I eat many of them myself -- buy just a little too much so there's some for ME! :)
2) What was your best Halloween costume? It's been so long ago that I dressed up, I honestly can't remember! That's terrible!
3) Are you doing anything on the night of Halloween if you are not staying home to pass out treats, and if so, what are you doing? If I were back home, I'd stay home until our little baby (now a bun in the oven) is old enough to go trick-or-treating or to parties.
4) What is your favorite Halloween décor? (ie, witch, ghost, pumpkins) I love the many ways people get creative with jack-o-lanterns. You don't have to just carve faces in them any more! There are some real masterpieces out there. I remember I did an alien once.
5) Do you carve jack o’lanterns? If I were back home, I certainly would!
On the way to lunch yesterday we walked by a beauty salon and I noticed it offered facials. I was wanting a facial and was considering going to my favorite place downtown over the weekend. Well, this place charges only half the price and does many of the things I like about the downtown salon. So BOTH of us are going to have a facial after lunch today. YIPPEE! :)
As I was thinking about it, I thought, I could do this throughout my pregnancy, since I can't have massages. But then reality hit: After the 3rd month, you aren't supposed to lie down on your back and that's exactly what you do for a facial. AWWW MAN! So I'm only going to have three weeks left -- perhaps I will get three more facials!
Tomorrow is the first day back at school. They gave me a completely different schedule with all my math classes and english classes lumped together into 100 minute chunks. No break in between. At first I protested -- twice a week for math, 100 minutes each instead of Mon-Thurs, 50 minutes each. But I thought later, that I don't know for sure it's not as good a method since I haven't actually tried it out. So I said I'd give it a shot for two weeks and if it doesn't work out, then they can change my schedule back. I hate it when they give me a new schedule AFTER I've done a course outline with the proper dates and lesson plans with the proper days and times. But hey, this ain't America. :)
Friday, October 29, 2004
We didn't go to Kao San Road because we weren't hungry, so we went to Siam Center instead and got to see Sky Captain. It was a good movie, very well done and an interesting story line. I love the 1940's style it was shot in. Turns out the movie Anna recommended, Saw, is playing here, but I don't know if I want to see it, it looks too scary!
Today's the first day back at work, and besides making a photocopy request, there's not much to do, so I'm reading BabyCenter posts and surfing around. I hope we have a meeting today to talk about the start of the school year and I hope the tailor shows up today. Golf's gonna meet me for lunch and I hope I don't have to stay until 4:30!