Saturday, July 31, 2004

New Photos Posted

Golf just updated his website with our new photos from yesterday's ceremony at the temple plus some other miscellaneous photos I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy it!
Not much happening on the first day of our three day holiday. Just been working on our finances, and I think we will be doing pretty good once we return to the US. That's always a comforting thought that you are better off than you thought you were.
We are supposed to finally get our landline (telephone) early next week and I hope it actally happens. This will mean that we can log onto the internet from home at anytime we want to. We've been waiting for months to do this. I mostly go online from school and from the internet cafe on the weekends. Golf has to come to the internet cafe every day and he gets his jobs from files sent online. This is his LIVLIHOOD! So having that available to us at home will be a vast improvement that is highly anticipated.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Asarnha Bucha Day

Tomorrow will be Asharnha Bucha Day, a Buddhist holiday that celebrates the start of Lent for the monks. Today our school went to the nearby temple and did the ceremony one day early since the real holiday is on a Saturday.
Asharnha Bucha has its roots long ago when monks were so poor that they could not even get a candle to light their way at the temple. It was also rainy season, so they were discouraged from walking across rice fields to collect alms since it would damage the crops.
So began the Buddhist Lent, where the tradition is that the monks, for the next three months during monsoon season, stay cloistered in the temples and devotees bring them everything that they need, including candles! The holiday marks the beginning of this three month period and the highlight is the intricately carved candles that are offered as merit.

Devotees bring food, money, toietries, lightbulbs, flowers, candles, and other necessities to the temple. They circle the temple clockwise three times. This can  be accompanied with musical instuments and drumming.  The devotees then go inside the temple and make their offering to the monks.

Today at school we did this, the entire school went and we had the processional as described above. There were about four other schools there from around the neighborhood complete with dancing girls in traditional dress and marching bands. It was quite a show! And many BEAUTIFUL carved candles with flowers and garlands. I took many photos on my digital camera and if Golf uploads them to his website, I will post a link to it over the weekend on my blog.
So Monday will be a holiday since the real holiday is on Saturday. NO WORK! YAY! I love three day weekends!!! We don't have a whole lot planned, but that's alright. Perhaps I will work on the coloring book I am trying to illustrate!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Immigrating to the USA

Golf made an appointment today with an immigration lawyer and we will meet with them next Tuesday at 2:30 PM. The timing of our meeting and marriage might look suspicious to officials, especially when they see that he came back to Thailand from the USA after only a mere month before meeting me. There are some other issues that we are concerned about as well, and better to know about them now than later. Golf was going to start his visa process in October and we want to make sure that is still feasible, or if he should start even sooner.  

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Seeing Farenheit 9/11

At work we foreign teachers are doing a DVD exchange. Golf had bought the Bowling for Columbine DVD and since I had already seen it, I brought it for others to see. One of the teachers brought Farenheit 9/11, and of course, after all the hype it has received and Michael Moore's outspoken reputation, this is a film not to be missed.
I'm trying to keep up on the politics, especially since the presidential election is coming up. The Democratic National Convention is happening this week, so I have been keeping up with it on Today after I am finished teaching, I plan to go to the US Embassy website to see how I can register to vote as an absentee. The presidential election is a rather big deal!  

Monday Madness on Tuesday

Monday Madness
Here is the beginning of each of the following questions.....'If you had your choice between this and that, what would you do?
1. Skipping and Running   Skipping
2. Coke or Pepsi  Coke, preferably Diet Coke
3. Rock or Hip Hop  Rock, I don't like Hip Hop at all...
4. Laptop or Desktop  Laptop. They are called Notebooks in Thailand.
5. Cold Weather or Hot Weather Hot Weather
6. Swimming or Bicycling  Bicycling -- I like to see places. But I like swimming in the ocean.
7. Chocolate or Vanilla  CHOCOLATE!!!!
8. Day or Night  Day -- I am a morning person because of my job, and my husband is the night owl.
9. Looks or Brains  Brains, because the looks will fade with time.
10. Cable, DSL, or Dial-Up DSL, I guess.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Sunday Brunch (on Monday)

Goin' On Vacation
1.  What is your favorite mode of transportation when traveling? Airplane, but I also enjoy taking the train.
2.  If you had the means to travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? If I had the means and the time, I would travel to China, Vietnam, Mongolia, Peru, Chile, all of Europe, Great Britian, Mexico, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Galapagos Islands, and one day if there is ever peace in the middle east, I would like to visit Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iran, Egypt again, and Morocco.  
3.  Have you ever been to another country? Yes, I have been to Egypt, India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, and Canada. 
4.  If time were not an issue, how long would could you stand to be away from home? Well if my husband and (future) child could come along, then indefinetely!
5.  What is the funnest or most interesting trip you've taken? The 19 day trek in Nepal where I did the Annapurna Circuit and hiked over a mountain pass that was over 17,000 feet.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Praying for a baby

Yesterday Golf and I went to a special fertility shrine in Bangkok. The shrine is dedicated to a goddess and there are phalluses everywhere in this small shrine. It place just about pulses with virility and fertility. Golf and I bought jasmine wreaths, candles and incense and we prayed to the Goddess for a positive August. I hope she listened!
Yesterday was also my first day of not smoking at all. YAY! Not as difficult as I had thought. My mantra that totally turns me off to smoking is, "I want a baby more than I want a cigarette." After I say that to myself, I don't want to even go near them. In one week I will be in our fertile time and I want to be nicotine free for a week. I'm also down to a cup and a half of coffee and beginning tomorrow, only one cup. I love coffee, but I would love to have a baby more. Again, that is my mantra and these habits can easily be kicked when put into perspective.
Golf's also got our wedding video and photo CDs ready to mail. Will get them out today!


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Midweek Blahs

Hearing about a fellow foreign teacher's visa woes yesterday got me feeling depressed about living here, like if I get too much of a hassle getting my visa and work permit, I am tempted to just forget about it and come back to the States early. But that simply isn't an option now because I have a husband who is a Thai national and we have to make the time to do the immigration process properly to the US and apparantly it takes alot of time! I just have to have faith and patience that the process here will work out alright. My school likes me a lot and I think they will do what they can to keep me here. Sometimes I just get tired of the whole thing and I get to deal with it in the next coming weeks because my visa expires on August 11th.  Such is the price to pay for an exciting life of living abroad. :)
So since I was feeling down yesterday, I was in no mood to go to aerobics. I was feeling crampy, bloated, frustrated, homesick and sad.  To pick me up, my dear husband read my mind as usual and suggested we go to the mall and eat at Sizzler (salad bar!) and go see I, Robot. What a fantastic movie! I would like to see it again to catch some subtle parts of the strory line. You really have to pay attention and I like movies like that.   

Today I am feeling a little better. I am going to eat less this week, I feel like I have been stuffing my face with way too much food my clothes are starting to fit more tightly. Not a good sign! Will do the weights again as well and sit-ups at least until after we've had our fertile time for trying for baby. I don't know if doing sit ups is harmful if you've just conceived, so I don't want to take any chances. Anyway, tomorrow (Friday) is also my last day of smoking PERIOD.  I smoked two yesterday and 1 1/2 the day before.  Tomorrow will make it exactly one week before my fertile time and I want to be nicotine free for a week before we do the nasty.  Tomorrow and over the weekend, Golf and I will also enjoy the last bottle of Merlot I brought from California. Gotta have one perk for not getting preggo this month!  

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Talking about the future

For the first time in a long time, I am looking forward to returning to the US permanently. I now have a wonderful husband who also misses California, and my life will be different. We are researching starting our own business. We want to work for ourselves! I could never do something like this on my own back in the States, and to be married to someone with the courage and desire to do his own thing makes all the difference in the world. I would rather work for us in our own shop; I will happily work many hours, take our future child with us into the store, or take my work home with me if I want to go home early had have Golf hold down the fort, or vice versa. So many options. We can do it! So we have some time to plan.
I also plan to open up a CD with a financial institution that allows new accounts online. Why should I keep funds in my bank account sitting around doing nothing when I could invest in a two year certificate of deposit and get a much higher interest rate on it? My colleague informed me of one institution and I looked at them online. Will probably open an account with them today.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


I've been free since 1 pm today and am feeling a little bored and restless. Did some online research for Golf concerning opening a business in California and tried to find some info on finances. Am quitting Baby Center for awhile, getting too caught up in it and it raises my hopes too high. 
Just feeling a little depressed and a bit homesick today.  I miss my family.  I'm tired of Thailand and Thais a little bit today (my husband not included of course!). I need to get up and do some drawing for my coloring book. Perhaps I will bring it home this evening and work on it.

Monday Madness on Tuesday

1. Do you prefer to be out in the sun or in the shade? Shade. Now that I'm in my mid 30s I want to do everything I can to protect my skin from premature aging. I don't want so many wrinkles!
2. Regarding the walls in your house, do you prefer neutral colors or bright colors? Bright colors, or I should say rich colors. When I see home improvement shows on TLC, I see how much of a difference a richly colored wall makes. It's beautiful! I also love faux finishes. 
3. When hanging pictures on your walls, do you like things symmetric or asymmetric? Asymmetric because it creates more movement.
4. How about where you'd like to live; country or city? City. I like to get out to the country for relaxation. But the city is more exciting.
5. Your blog; Blogger, Blogdrive, Blog-City, or another one altogether? Blogger.
6. Email; Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, or other? Yahoo.
7. Air conditioning or just a fan when it's hot at night? I live in South East Asia. I use AC!!!
8. Dinner; seafood or steak? Seafood. It's cheap and delicious here, so I am taking advantage of its abundance. Once I'm back in California, it will be very expensive again.
9. Your all-time favorite music media; CD's, cassette tapes, or vinyl (or 8-tracks)? CDs. I especially like it that you can record your own CDs now.
10. When learning a new software program, do you find it easier to follow a book or an online tutorial? Online tutorial.


My period came today.  I was soooo certain I was pregnant, so that shows me how convincing the mind can make you feel. I really did feel some cramping every day during my two week waiting time. I really did feel a little nauscious every now and then...  Oh well. It's our first month trying and I don't think that it happens for that many couples their first month trying.
So now I'm focusing on other things. I'm also not going to obssess about it by going to all the time. I will post one last thing there (to say goodbye for now) and check for my fertile time next month. I am going to have only one cup of coffee per day instead of two. And as of today, I'm stopping my 2 cigarettes per day habit. No more. I don't want any habits to impair my ability to become a mommy!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Sunday Brunch

It's All About Me
1.  Do you or should you wear glasses or contact lenses? Neither. I have good vision, knock wood.
2.  What is your favorite type of footwear? Flip flops.
3.  What is your worst habit? Smoking a few cigarettes every day. I am actively kicking the habit though! 
4.  Are you an average, so-so or very good cook? Average. While I am living here I don't cook at all! 
5.  Do you spend more time watching television, listening to music or surfing the internet. Surfing the net.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Got back from a little vacation

I just returned with my dear husband from a lovely four day break down in Ko Chang near Trat. It is an island near Cambodia. We stayed at Lonely Beach and it was nice and quiet. We stayed at a nice little bungalow on the water for only 100 Baht per night, which costs, what, a little over $2? It was very relaxing, although there was a bar down the beach a ways and at night the water would carry the sounds of the music til it closed. You can't have everything though. And it wasn't so loud I couldn't sleep. But Golf and I had a wonderful time.
We have Sunday (today) to rest up, do laundry and grocery shopping and go online. Tomorrow it's back to work. It was a wonderful little retreat! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Last day of work before a mini vacation

Golf and I plan to go to Koh Chang tomorrow by bus. This will be my second time there, but Golf hasn't been yet. I hope it doesn't rain the whole time.

One of the assistant vice principals called me last night, the person who works with the farang teachers in all the issues. She was asking about another American co-worker because her visa is expiring and has to get another 10 day extension for nearly $50 fee. The thing is that she is to go on Friday, right in the middle of our vacation time!!! My colleage is burned out and we all need this little bit of time off. So far she hasn't come into the office and it's 8:30AM right now. I think she's insisting she have the extension done today.

I know immigration is a hassle in any country. Golf tells me it's a burden in the States too. But still it's a little more organized and there is no having to leave the country to get a certain type of visa etc. What am I going to do next May if I am heavily pregnant or have a newborn baby? Am I going to have to leave the country?

I told Golf that I would like to come back to the States soon after the baby is born and is sturdy enough to travel. We need to get adequate international health insurance for a long enough time to cover the family until we can get some sort of independent health coverage in the States. Well, all this is nice to speculate over, but I need to see if I'm even pregnant first!

Anyway, enough whinging for today. I may not be able to post again until Sunday when we get back from Koh Chang.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Monday Madness

Monday Madness

1. I like my job. TRUE
2. I find time to 'smell the flowers' so to speak. TRUE
3. I have no problem thinking of things to write about in my blog. TRUE (especially when given questions like MMadness!)
4. 'Organization' is my middle name! TRUE
5. If 'Plan A' doesn't work, there's always a 'Plan B.' TRUE
6. I adjust easily to new surroundings. I live in Bangkok, Thailand -- soooo TRUE!!
7. I'd rather work 'behind the scenes' than 'in the spotlight.' TRUE
8. I'm happy where I am, at this point in my life. FALSE. I want to be a mommy and I'm waiting to see if I am PG.
9. I can wake up in the morning without an alarm clock. TRUE, but I set it each night just in case.
10. I can function pretty well on less than 8 hours of sleep. TRUE, but I don't like it.

Sunday Brunch (on Monday)

In The Work Place

1. Do you work full-time, part-time or do you work a seasonal job?
I work full time at a bilingual school in Bangkok.

2. Are you more often on time, early or late for work?
On time. I live right across the street, so there is no excuse!

3. Have you ever called in sick when you actually weren't?
Yes, a sick day. "Sick of working" is more like it! LOL! Not often though.

4. How many hours per day do you put in?
Eight hours per day. I only teach 14 hours per week though, the rest of the time is prep and hanging out. I have it pretty easy here, and I know it.

5. Do you socialize with any of your co-workers?
Yes, Anne, another American teacher, and I go to the same fitness center. So when she goes we chat. I have some ex-colleagues from my previous school that I sometimes get together with.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Great new bookstore

Golf and I found a great new bookstore that just opened about a month ago. Here in Bangkok, there are no real libraries, so we buy and sell used books. It's called Dasa Books. Today I bought a new Nancy Chandler Activity Book (I already have her map and coloring book.) And I bought The Millionaire Next Door and 4,000 Days: My Life and Survival in a Bangkok Prison. Both look like interesting reads for when I am finished with The Mists of Avalon. I also am interested in reading the whole story of the Legend of King Arthur. I need to read some more classics.

Friday, July 09, 2004

First chance online in a few days

I haven't been able to go online the last few days because I've been so busy and also no internet access! I tell ya, at this school, there is always something going wrong. There is constantly (at varying occasions) no copy paper, the toner will be out on the photocopy machine, the printer is out of ink or just doesn't work, the internet is down, the electricity is down, the A/C doesn't work, some one forgot the keys so you can't get inside your class room or the teacher's lounge. It's always SOMETHING. I've learned to really go with the flow and have tried to be as patient as I possibly can, but we foreign teachers grumble justifiably!

This Sunday Golf and I will have our first family function together as husband and wife. It is a yearly event in which departed family members are honored. I'm looking forward to being a part of the ceremony, even though I won't know a word of what's being said.

Next week, the International AIDS Conference is in town and schools are required to close so that traffic congestion is eased. We will be required to go to work on Monday and Tuesday, but will have Wednesday onward off. Golf and I plan to go to Koh Chang (Elephant Island) and enjoy the beach. It will be lovely to enjoy some peace and quiet, although our neighborhood is pretty good as it is, for being in Bangkok!

Golf and I saw Spiderman last night. Very well done! Even better than the first, I think this superhero series is the best so far, with the possible exception of Superman back in the 80s.

So far I'm loving my book, Mists of Avalon. This is good timing becase the movie, "King Arthur" is opening at the end of this month, and it will be relevent with my book. Back to movies, I'm looking forward to seeing "King Arthur" and "I, Robot". Since movies are so cheap here in Thailand, Golf and I are indulging often!

Lastly, it's now the waiting game. Two weeks waiting to see if Golf and I must try again next month for baby. Let's hope that I'm pregnant!!! :)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Monday Madness on Tuesday

1. I usually clean my house on Saturday, or about every 7 days.
2. My favorite Sunday night program to watch on television is (Since I live in Thailand, all the channels are in Thai language. So I don't watch TV any day of the week!)
3. Monday morning I usually waking up thinking, "Here we go again."
4. To wind down at the end of a busy day, I like to take a 45 minute rest then go to the fitness center and do my powerwalk and/or aerobics.
5. I try not to call anyone on the phone until after 10 a.m.
6. And I NEVER call anyone after 9:00 PM.
7. When I don't have to get up to go to work or school, I sleep in until only 7 AM. My body is very used to getting up so early that 7 AM IS sleeping in at least an hour!
8. I have 3 telephones in my house. But we have no landline! So one phone is not being used at all and the other two are my husband's and my mobile phones!
9. I usually answer the phone on the second ring. But sometimes I don't hear my mobile ringing in my purse or it takes awhile to find it, and by then it's on the tenth ring or so!
10. When I know I should be sleeping, but am having a hard time falling asleep, I usually read my book.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

House Warming Party

Golf and I went to Benjawan's house warming party and birthday. She lives out nearby where I lived and worked previously, by Ramintra Road. There was a big awning erected in the middle of the small soi with tables laden with food and lots of people sitting around grubbing. We arrived just before 9AM and had A LOT of food. People were also drinking WHISKY first thing in the morning! CRAZY!!!
Benjawan, Golf's former boss, is a very nice woman, but still quite jetlagged! Her house is brand new with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Nice looking from the outside, but not what I would buy.

The houses here in Thailand just aren't cozy. I like a cozy house. Anna and Jimmy's place is cozy. Mom and Dad's house is (was!) cozy and Mel and Daryll's place is cozy. I think it's my cultural upbringing and the fact is that it's too hot here in Thailand to ever want to be cozy. You want to be cool! Eh, sometimes I just feel a little homesick, that's all. But I am still happy!

The next few days are supposed to be my fertile ones, so Golf and I will be busy trying for baby! What a wonderful way to spend a weekend. :) :)

Friday, July 02, 2004

New Book

Golf and I went to the mall last night in search of a nice gift for his former boss who is in town. It was payday for most people and the mall was PACKED like it was a Saturday afternoon. Plus Spiderman 2 premiered. We'll wait to see it after a few weeks and the crowds die a bit.

I found a new book while I was there, at a used book store. It's called The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. In my other book, The God of Small Things, the language is too flowery, too many metaphors, like the author is trying really hard to impress us with her knowledge of English. Boring--just tell me a story already!

So Golf found a nice bath set in Central, inside a purple silk box. I think it's a good gift and we are all set to meet Benjawan on Saturday. I felt such relief leaving the mall; there is nothing worse than going in with the intention to buy something specific and coming out empty handed.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

First of July already!

Golf told me last night that his ex-boss, Benjawan, is back in Bangkok for a visit. He told her last night some special news that he couldn't write her on an email about: he is now married! She was in the process of getting Golf's green card, but of course she doesn't have to do that anymore. She's real excited about the news and is looking forward to meeting me, and likewise with me because I've heard so much about her.

So Benjawan has bought a house in BKK and wants Golf and I to attend her house warming party and it's also her birthday. So tonight Golf and I are gonig to the mall to try and find a suitable birthday present for the party on Saturday.

I feel so close to my husband, especially recently as we have started to try for a baby. Trying to make a new life is so exciting and special! I've cut down on the caffeine, no easy task, and I've been getting some headaches. Smoking only 2 cigarettes per day, and even that I will cut back too, for sure by next month if my period comes. NO smokes by next month, whether or not I am PG. We have both been taking Centrum vitamins.

My hip though, has been acting up. I think from aerobics. The twisting action has made the joint VERY sore and painful, so I have decided to stop aerobics for about a week and just powerwalk for an hour and lift weights intstead. My hip doesn't hurt when I walk, since I don't twist. The last time my hip hurt like this was when I was trekking in Nepal and I was a few days away from the nearest VILLAGE!! Fortunately it went away...