Monday, August 30, 2004

Monday Madness

It's that time of week again for Monday Madness
Name 3 of your favorite.......
1. Colors deep dark purple, deep indigo, deep burgundy red (I love jewel tones)
2. Pizza Toppings mushrooms, olives, pesto
3. Department Stores Macy's JCPenny Nordstrom
4. Flavors of Candy chocolate, peanutbutter, mint
5. Scents of Candles vanilla, green tea, lemongrass
6. Days of the Week Friday, Saturday and Sunday (of course!!!)
7. Vegetables mushrooms (is that considered a veggie?) tomato, cucumber
8. Fruits (I've fallen in love with the tropical fruits of south east asia. You can't find most of these in the States.) green mango, rose apple, mangosteen
9. Meals to cook spaghetti, vegetable soup, italian polenta casserole
10. Kitchen Gadgets cuisenart, juicer, array of fine cutlery
11. Olympic Sports gymnastics, horse jumping, figure skating

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Election Day

Today is election day for Bangkok mayor and Golf is going to exercise his civil duty. Let's just say it is very interesting to see another nation's political process. The headlines in yesterday's Bangkok Post newspaper said that military officials were to instruct personell to vote for 'such and such' candidate (I can't remember the candidate's name). I had to laugh. Democracy at it's finest!

I'm already beginning to do research on health insurance and being economical. I'm ready to come back home and Golf is ready to come back to the US. But we both know it is not going to be easy and it will be a lot of hard work. The fact that there are 45 million people not covered with health insurance is terrible (due to the Census report that came out on Thursday) and the fact that it costs upwards of $500 a month for basic coverage for a family is also dibilitating. Housing in the Bay Area is astronomical, I don't know how we will ever be able to afford even a CONDO. But this is where his work opportunities are and we will have to make it work. The most important thing is that we will have one another, and hopefully a baby to make our family complete. I can live without owning a home, it is material. I want to be able to save enough to be finanicially independent when we get older so we aren't a burden to anybone else and we won't have to worry.

Friday, August 27, 2004

I'm so thankful it's Friday

This has been a gawd-awful long week for me, and I couldn't be happier that it's nearly over. Part of it is that we had to come in last Saturday for a half day for parent meetings. Then we had to plan out the so-called science fair, then we had the science fair then we had to prepare for the MOE visit for yesterday. All in all, ministry officials just peeked in my window for a few seconds, which is a good thing because I was teaching math. I don't like math, I don't know how to teach math and make it interesting and fun. We do it from the book, and I do the best I can. In any case, the students were a little bored and restless, maybe because their teacher was too? Anyway, I'm glad nobody came in and did an evaluation.

What has also been happening is that I am more tired than ususal and it is because I've majorly cut down on the caffeine. I had gone down to two cups per day, then one cup per day. Last weekend I splurged on a jar of decaf coffee -- very, very expensive here in Thailand. Now in the mornings I fix a cup of half and half and the rest of the day I have a cup or two of a hot ginger drink or bael fruit drink. Wow, I never realized how addicted my body is to caffeine. I get slight headaches occasionally, but mostly I feel sluggish. I've had to take naps every afternoon after work just to keep on going. I hope this withdrawl phase ends soon. I'm doing this in the hopes that it improves my chances of becoming a MOMMY!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Why is it?

Alright, I have told myself many times I won't be bothered by this, but every time it happens it bugs me! ALOT! The Ministry of Education is scheduled to visit the school this afternoon. Apparantly, we female teachers are supposed to wear our uniforms today. Do you think we were told? NO! All the Thai teachers are in their uniforms today, none of the foreign female teachers are. I feel like it makes me look stupid, makes us stick out even MORE than we already do. But I have to remind myself: If we were not told, it must not be really all that important. HMPH! WHATEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

God-awful busy and tired

We had to suddenly prepare for a science fair today. I had basically since Monday to get it ready, but after a lot of hard and frenzied last minute work, we got a project put together. Nothing is organized in this country! I have also never in my life done a science experiment (except when I was in school umpteen years ago). I don't have the first clue about doing a science fair project. But I got one put together and it turned out rather alright, and the whole school did projects, and they all were projects scraped together in the last minute and it showed. But such is Thailand, this is the way it is here...

Tomorrow the Ministry of Education is coming. I got my lesson plans for tomorrow shuffled together and typed out in a decent format. They're coming in the afternoon when I teach the most boring class, math. I am not a good math teacher, but they seem to learn somehow. I am just exhausted with work, so much last minute stuff.

I'm going crazy! But it will all be done soon and I am taking Monday off (1/2 day) for the bi annual Chinese yearly activities with Golf and his family. I'm also more tired because I am drinking less caffeine. Having only half n half regular and decaf in the morning, then hot decaf teas or hot drinks later in the day. I'm doing this so I can get pregnant!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Monday Madness

It's that time of the week again..... Monday Madness!

1. Which is more fun, kid's toys or grown-up kid's toys? (ie. Lego's vs. power tools) Well painting and drawing could be both for kids or adults. I love coloring books. So I guess I like kid toys. :)

2. What's your favorite food and why? I love food too much to have one particular favorite. There is so much sumptuous cuisine from all over the world.
Which food is your number one weakness? Ice Cream!

3. How many blogs/journals/diaries would you say you read? I read a couple regularly and on days I go exploring, I can read dozens.

4. Do you feel you have an obligation to spread your religious belief system to others, or do you think religion is a private matter that everyone needs to decide for themselves? I absolutely believe it is a private matter. I actually abhor people who feel the need to be missionaries -- spirituality is between yourself and the Universe.

5. Did you keep a paper journal before blogging? No.

6. Describe your life in 3 words. American woman Saggitarius

7. What was the last thing you were wrong about? The time, I think.

8. What one thing would you do to help the world be a better place for all? Compliment a stranger and smile. Spread some kindness, wouldn't that be nice?

9. Are you a dog person or a cat person? I love both creatures.

10. If you could start your own meme (And you can!), what kind of questions would you ask? Questions that use your imagination, like: If you had a magical pet, what would it look like and what would it do?

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Got rid of him -- FINALLY!

No, certainly NOT my husband! :) My school was just about ready to fire this incredibly lazy American teacher who did not care about his work, his colleagues, and especially his students. Instead he agreed to come in for one more week (so he could get paid his monthly salary) and then resign. I kind of wish the school did fire him, they were just about ready to. This guy would consistently come in late and call in sick or leave early due to a 'doctor's appointment' at least once a week. None of us fellow teachers ever saw him doing actual work, like lesson planning or preparing. I think one teacher saw him at the photocopier ONCE. He refuses to write any of the paperwork, like the student reports we give to parents every two weeks. He leaves that for his Thai partner to do and they already have an enormous workload as it is. It's just terrible -- he's loud, argumentative to both Thai and foreign teachers and also an extremely sloppy dresser because he simply does not care.

One week he walked out of the classroom three times because he couldn't handle the kids. He teaches G7, which is a very difficult age. The kids are about 12 or 13 years old and their hormones are raging, bodies are changing and they don't care about anything but their looks and the opposite sex. Another colleague of mine also teaches G7, but she likes them. She jokes around with them and they've warmed up to her alot. They are still difficult to teach, but who said this was an easy job? I wouldn't teach that age group if given a choice. I like the younger kids. I'm very happy with my G3 students. Anyway, ALL of us at the school are extremely happy to see this guy go away and the teacher I mentioned who also is with G7 will become their new homeroom teacher.

So we had parent-teacher meetings yesterday (yes, on a Saturday, the only day parents seem to be available) from 8 to about 11:30. I think it went rather well. I'm not good with parents, I feel shy and actually a little intimidated since they hold so much clout at the school (if they are not happy with everything, they will simply take their child out -- and the school looses the tuition money which = my salary). But as my colleague Michelle said, just pretend you know what you are talking about and say it with confidence and they will believe you. That's exactly what I did and the parents seemed pleased. I want my future child to be with a confident teacher, they want that for their children, and I am confident that I am doing some good for their kids, even though I have only three years of teaching experience. Anyway, it went really well.

Last night many of us teachers got together at a nearby restaurant called Hooters. It's nothing like the Hooters in the States. No girls with big tits in tank tops -- I don't think big-titted Thai women exist. :) It was also all Thai food, and the food was alright. Turns out the Godfather, er I mean the director of the school, was there and he happened to bring like seven bottles of wine with him to entertain a couple of friends. Well, he found out we were there and he brought over like four bottles. It was lovely. We all proceeded to get pretty good n toasty. It was nice meeting the spouses/significant others of my colleagues. Golf went with me too and we all had a really good time. But by 11:30 we were SOOO sleepy! I tell ya, I am getting old. I was yawning like every minute and I couldn't keep up with the conversation any longer. I have to face it, I am an early bird to the core. So we were back home and in bed before midnight. It was a really good day yesterday.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Not much going on lately

I wish I had some sort of fantastic tale to tell or news to report, but really, it's quite dull around here lately!

My Australian colleague keeps bringing in sweet goodies and treats to eat and I'm fearful of my fatness! :((( It's awfully delicious though.

We did not go to the movies yesterday, as I was not feeling so good, we will save the movie for Sunday, and I think I will go have a facial then too. Other than that, just not much is happening.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

It's a negative

Well, it didn't happen this month. Golf and I are not yet meant to be parents. :( So tonight after work, to make us both feel better, we are going to go to the mall and do some shopping, see the movie House of Flying Daggers, and eat some good western food, like lasagne. Mmmm... I feel better already just thinking about it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A little catching up

I haven't been writing as much as I normally do, and I guess it's because not much has been going on worth writing about!

I'm getting bored doing aerobics. The instructor who comes the most days during the week plays the same music with the same routine and I am bored stiff with it, so the last 5 days or so I've just been powerwalking and jogging around the track.

And that's if I'm lucky and it doesn't rain. Yesterday I had to cut my workout short about 20 minutes because it started raining. Well, it is monsoon season and it does rain often nowadays. :)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Monday Madness

Monday Madness
1. If you could only take one item with you on to a desserted island what book, movie, music would you take? The Journeyer, by Gary Jennings.
2. What's the most disgusting thing that you have ever eaten or even just put in your mouth?? Balut, a Philippine delicacy, which is a fertilized duck egg and the embryo is nearly completely developed. I just took a taste, I couldn't bear to eat much. But I like to be brave and try new things, thanks to reading Anthony Bourdain's books of daring cuisine!
3. What one thing would you do differently if given the chance? Travel at an earier age. I didn't go to my first foreign country til I was 29. I would have majored in English at university, gotten a teaching credential and travel more around the world. Here in Thailand so many teachers and tourists are in their early to mid twenties. I would have done it for awhile to fund more travel, then get serious in my late twenties and early thirties back in home.
4. What political party, if any, do you belong to? I am registered as an Independent. I want to vote Green, Libertarian, Democrat or even Republican if I choose.
5. Do you like icees? Sure, but I like ice cream better. :)
6. East or West? Depends. East for it's religious philisophies (Buddhism and Hinduism) it's rich culture, history, architecture and food. The West is also good for it's liberal thinking, technological progress, history, philosophy, art, and food too. :)
7. Will we ever "all" be happy with the current political situation???? Heavens no... never.
8. Cookies or Crackers? Reduced fat Cheezits.
9. What fun thing did you do today?... My Blog. Hey, it's MONDAY.
and #10 has nothing to do with any of the above questions.........
10. Why?? Why not??

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch
School Days
1. Did you like or dislike high school? I liked it when I lived in Seattle. I didn't like my high school days in Sacramento. I went to 3 different high schools. Zillah was alright, but not the greatest. Seattle though, was ALOT of fun!
2. Walk to school, ride the bus or catch a ride with someone? I walked to school, both in Seattle and in Sacramento. I rode the bus in Zillah.
3. What was your favorite subject? Art
4. When it came to doing homework, did you do it right away, wait 'til the last minute or just do it whenever you felt like it? Research and term papers I generally waited til the last minute.
5. Would you go to your high school reunion? No because I wasn't close to anybody in Sacramento and I still reside in California (actually I reside in Bangkok, but will return to California sometime next year) and Washington State is too far away to go. My past is my past.

Enjoying our day at home

How I love Sundays! Acutally I think I love Saturdays even more because I know I have one more day off and the whole weekend is a wonderful thing. So I am savoring my other day off. Golf and I have nothing planned today, but I think I'm just going to clean the apartment and go jogging at the fitness center tonight after it cools down.

I got bored doing the aerobics -- the same instructor with the same routine with the same music -- it got boring! So I started jogging and it gave me a really good workout and it felt wonderful! I think I made almost two miles, which is very good, considering I haven't gone jogging for a long time. My right hip has been bothering me for the last few months. I hope it isn't arthritis setting in -- I'm still relatively young! But the main reason I had to stop jogging and start walking is the hip started aching. Ouch! I hope the jogging will strengthen the muscles around the joint and help it out.

Last night Golf and I saw the movie Alien vs. Predator. It was alright, certainly not a thinking person's movie. One critic described it as an intergalatic cockfight, which is highly accurate! That about sums up the entire movie. Next on our movie list is House of Flying Daggers, made by the same director as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It looks beautifully done, so we will probably see it during the week.

We also finished season one of 24. We are HOOKED on that series. Golf went in search for season two on DVD, but did not find it. WAH! And Blockbuster only has season one. The show made me feel exhausted watching it sometimes, it was so high energy and it made you think alot. I love storylines like that and I adore Kiefer Sutherland! :)

Friday, August 13, 2004

Friday's Feast

It's time for Friday's Feast!

Who is your favorite news anchor/reporter? Why?
I don't have one at the moment since I live in Bangkok, I prefer to get my news from the Internet. Ask me this again when I move back to California! :)

Name 3 foods that are currently in your freezer.
I don't have 3. I have only one, and that is periodically. It's bread that I buy sometimes from the bakery, decent bread, not the soft milk-toast kind Thais call bread here. And ice.

If you were to have the opportunity to name a new town or city, what would you call it?
I would name the town after my maiden name. If you know me, you know what it is!

Main Course
What will most likely be the next book you read?
4000 Days: My Life & Survival in a Bangkok Prison by Warren Fellows.

What's the first thing you notice about the opposite gender?
The face.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Mother's Day tomorrow

Tomorrow is a national holiday -- it's the Queen's birthday, so the day is marked as Mother's Day. (As you may guess, the King's birthday is Father's Day on December 5th). So today we had the ceremony in the morning and we have to wear these school uniforms that the men do not have to buy, and all of us had to wear jackets. My god, it's hot here, in case you haven't noticed!

Well tomorrow is a holiday, the school is closed. I'm happy enough because Thursdays are my busiest days.

I heard from my mom and dad on email today. Good to hear from them -- I don't hear from them regularly since they retired and took off in the trailer n truck across the country. I miss them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Immigration day

Today's the day I have to go to Thai immigration. I'm not much looking forward to it, but hopefully it will go smoothly, I don't know why it wouldn't. For some reason I can only get an extension, about 10 days, instead of my stamp that will keep me in this country until May. I think it is because the work permit isn't ready yet. The procedures and red tape in this country is remarkable! Many of us foreign teachers are discovering why many flee Thailand for better shores such as Japan or Taiwan: Better pay and less hassle. I think that if I weren't married, I'd consider going to Japan or Taiwan.

Work's been stressing me out too. We had a teacher's meeting yesterday and the school is due for another Ministry of Education visit and this time the visit is even more important. We have to have student portfolios of their work (which I had been sending home every week so parents could see what their child is doing that week) and assessment of the students using criteria that is vague at best. Their three different criteria kind of all blend into one another and it is difficult to discern one type from another. It's enough to make me pull my hair out.

Then we have an upcoming science fair. Science fair projects! What a joke. A fellow colleague suggested Dinosaurs as a theme. That's what we are going to do and the fair is in a few weeks. First of all, my kids aren't STUDYING dinosaurs. We have science once a week for 50 minutes. To study a topic that is unrelated to what we are doing in class is a waste of precious time. Plus there isn't enough time to fully study dinosaurs to make the project worth doing correctly. So I will have to do it the Thai way, half-assed but looking nice. Whatever. UGH!! Sometimes it's incredibly frustrating working within the system that exists here.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Monday Madness

I got Monday Madness on Monday! YAY!
1. What's "it" all about, anyway? Knowing thyself.
2. What radical political ideas do you have, if any? Quality, affordable health care for all people. A fairly liberal idea, but is it really so radical?
3. Do you believe that you 'fit' the profile of your astrological star sign? Yes, so much so it's sometimes CREEPY!
4. Will blogging survive 2005 or is it a fad? I think it will last. I like it, it encourages me to write my thoughts and I think there are many people like me who feel the same way. I love reading other people's blogs, I'm nosy and I don't mind sharing my life with others either. Everybody's got an interesting story to tell!
5. Do you Ebay? If so, what and how often? Is it a full-time job, part-time hobby, or just to clear the junk from your house? I do not Ebay. I have never used it.
6. True or False: When I vote, I am all for one party. False.
7. Meat or veggie sauce on your spaghetti? Veggie. Spaghetti is already a 'heavy' food. Having a light sauce is better.
8. Would you ever be on a TV Reality Show? No. Blogging is as public as I go for reality in my life.
9. What is one thing (or place) that you would like to do (or see) that you have not yet done (or seen?) I would like to experience motherhood.
10. Do you answer memes honestly? Yes, the truth is always more interesting than fiction.

Going to immigration tomorrow

This week I have to deal with getting my visa updated. It expires on Wednesday and I'll be getting a 10-day extension for a little less than $50. Kind of expensive for only 10 days! Today I had to get a "medical certificate" which is basically a statement saying you are alive, have a pulse, breathe and have a weight. I guess Thailand wants teachers who aren't dead or nearly so! It just seems like a really funny formality in order to be able to teach in this country.

Then I get to sign a stack of papers. They photocopied my passport 4 times! And I mean every single page on it that has a stamp. The government needs to know I've been to Egypt back in 1999, I guess. I have to sign every single page. 4 times. My original documents such as my university diploma, transcripts and teaching certificate were copied twice and I signed all those too.

Now I've done this a few times before -- those times I applied for a work permit. I've signed all this stuff before. One day, the Thai bureaucracy will discover the wonder of computers! The fact that there is this much paperwork year after year signing the same photocopied documents is ridiculous! All this data should be on a computer within the agency. Like the rest of the developed world. It's absolutely amazing. No wonder this country is called Amazing Thailand!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch
Another This and That
1. How do you like your eggs? Sunny side up with nice runny yokes!
2. What do you collect? Foreign currency from countries I have been to, or friends have been to.
3. Do you carry a purse, backpack or briefcase on a regular basis? If yes, does it contain only the essentials or a whole lot of everything? I carry a purse and it has the essentials, although it's always full to bursting.
4. When is the last time you've read a book, put together a puzzle, built something or did something crafty? I always have a book to read. Right now I am reading the Mists of Avalon. Since I teach art to kids here, I do artsy craftsy things on a fairly regular basis. Puzzle: Golf and I bought a Cat in the Hat book and puzzle for his grand nephew for his birthday and I helped him put it together. I don't build things, I let my husband do that. :)
5. What was the highlight of your weekend? Getting my hair colored!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Friday Feast

Friday Feast
Name 3 things that you think are beautiful. butterflies, the ocean, and sunsets
What was the last concert you attended? Oh my gosh, it was so long ago that I don't even remember! I can tell you concerts that I have attended, but I cannot tell you which one was the last one, I'm sorry to say. :(
What is one thing that frightens you about getting older? Not being able to have a baby. I am 33 years old, and I'm trying to get pregnant. I know women have babies at this age, but I know that my age is also working against me at this point.
Main Course
Tell us about one of your funny quirks or habits. I am addicted to talk radio and I even listen to it on the Internet when I am living in Thailand. I am even listening right now!
If you could extend one month to 50 days (instead of the normal 28, 29, 30, or 31), which month would you want to lengthen? June. Back in the States, it's kind of the official kick off of summer and that's when the time changes to an hour later and people just seem happier in general. It's also not too hot yet and it's just overall very enjoyable.

Hooked on 24

Golf and I opened an account at Blockbuster Video and they have VCDs of the TV series 24, with Kiefer Sutherland. We could not stop watching and ended up in front of the TV for four episodes! I can see how it got critical acclaim, I am hooked!

Not much on the plate for today. I guess I could say that for the last couple of days it has been rainy in the evenings so I haven't been able to work out. Golf has been going to lift weights during the day time since it is less crowded then, but I haven't been able to get any exercise!

Thursday, August 05, 2004


I'm frustrated with myself. After a 33-year-old habit of biting my fingernails terribly, I kicked the habit nearly two years ago. Somehow I just stopped. For over a year and a half, I had beautiful nails, and I still do have regular manicures, but recently, like the last two months, I've been biting them, again. They don't look terrible, my cuticles are still intact and I didn't bite too much off, but still. It's a little depressing. I want my pretty nails back! :( :(

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Trying it out on Wednesday

I'm just doing a quick test today because for the last few days, this blog has been giving me problems, like not posting what I write! Also the tools for bold, italic and linking didn't work. It appears to be working so far... Let's see if this posts!

Monday Madness on Tuesday

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Rainy Season has BEGUN!

Golf and I ended up going to Wat Samien last night for Asarnha Bucha Day and by the time we circled the temple and asked for blessings and sat inside the main temple, it had started POURING! And it didn't stop, only got worse. What a start to monsoon season!

Fantastic news: We finally got our phone line!!! I am now posting from my very own laptop computer on my kitchen table with my pajamas still on. I love it!! But Golf is patiently waiting his turn and I've been hogging the phone line since 8 this morning.

Last night after getting back from the temple, I watched the DVD of Shrek 2. It was a cute story and it's amazing what they can do with computer animation nowadays. After watching that movie, we popped in Stargate.