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????