Saturday, December 30, 2006

One of those other tidbits

I stated in my previous post about sharing some more of my thoughts that I've been having. One of them is my plan to create what's called a vision board. Basically it's a way of visualizing your hopes, dreams and goals. I happened to have the TV on a local variety show and they had a guest on talking about visualizing your aspirations and how it really works. I've heard about visualization techniques to reach your goals and manifesting your hopes, and that it really works. This guest has stated that successful people do this regularly. She said it is because you have this quick reference (the vision board) of the images you relate to and you have it in a place that you see frequently every day. This reminds you and motivates you to take those incremental steps daily to get you to your desired goals.

I'm naturally a visual person, and creating such a collage of images would make me feel great (the creative process is such a source of joy for me) and shall motivate my spirit that I CAN do it. It sounds a bit new-agey, but what if it works? It doens't cost anything besides the posterboard and glue. The magazines for clipping images were free, old ones that friends gave or that I had lying around.

Perhaps I shall post my vision board when I complete it and share with you my hopes, dreams and goals for my life.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mewwy Kwismas and a Perfect Storm

We had a great low-key Christmas with feasting on Christmas Eve this year since Anna and Jimmy were going to his parents' on X-Mas Day. They're then off to Vegas for a few days of fun and my other sister and her hubby left for Europe for a few weeks and will be back the 29th. I'm very excited about that trip and cannot wait to hear about it!

Mom had out some decorations and it was very nice since we don't really go all out for XMas the way most people do. We're so happy NOT to be out in the throngs of shoppers and year after year we're grateful not to be a part of that. The time away out in the country has been a nice break and the last five days have consisted of too much food and too little activity. I feel like a complete lump! Part of that problem has been the weather.

It's been rainy and windy and last night was the perfect storm of winds over 40 MPH and lots of rain. I haven't been in a storm that violent in years and it was very loud and forceful. We were planning on going on a day trip but it was rainy throughout that day too.

Letssee -- I've got more to write about and I know my blogging has dwindled significantly since living in Bangkok. Something about daily life here that's not that exciting to write about unless you would like to read about how I'm constantly thinking about finances and worried about our future and what we're going to do to ensure that we're not destitute when we're old. That's mostly what's been on my mind, also working on Discovery Day and taking care of Aidan. Among those three things in addition to daily tasks of running our household, that's all that happens in my life day in and day out so I'm finding that most of it isn't worth reporting. I do, however have some more interesting tidbits to share that I hope to write about within the next few days.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Had a real neat class today

I had a very short substitute teaching job this afternoon. It was an intermediate ELD (English Language Development) class and it was truly global.

There was a girl Fatima and her cousin Nour who were from Syria. Three boys from the Phillipines. A girl from Afghanistan and another girl from Mongolia. One boy names Elvis (!) was from Bosnia. A Vietnamese boy and two other boys from China. Next semester my Thai student Paer will be in this class and also a really fun boy named Soo from South Korea will attend as well.

I had asked the Filipino boys if they had any family back in the Phillipines and if they were OK from that Typhoon Durian that slammed into the islands last week. They were surprised I knew about that. All their families were OK. I asked Fatima from Syria if she was from Damascas and she seemed surprised I knew the capital of her home country. I asked how long she had been in the US and she had said she arrived in June. I asked her if that was before or after the recent Lebanese/Israeli conflict and she said she arrived to the US only a week before that had begun. I looked on a map and saw just how close Damascus is to Beirut. It's much closer than I had thought - I had thought Damascus was much further north.

These kids must not have many people who ask them about their countries of origin, much less know anything going on newswise. Anyway, they were a delight and Fatima asked when I was going to come back again. I hope soon, and I wrote to their teacher telling her I would love to sub for her in the future. :)

Also, when I lived in Bangkok, I saw many Etheopians and from my time eating in their restaurants both in Bangkok and in San Francisco. They have extremely beautiful features and you can see in them the ethnic mix from the influences of North African Arab cultures. I don't know how to describe it, but they have a look that I can identify. I had asked a girl who was a TA in one of the classes if she was Etheopian and she looked so surprised, but said Eritrea. I'd never even heard of that country but after looking on a globe, sure enough, it was right next to Etheopia. I guess it was a province of Etheopia until its independence in 1991. I can't get too cocky, though, because another girl, a bit of a troublemaker in another class, told me something about her home country and I asked where she was from and she, too, said Eritrea. I would have never guessed that! She MAYBE looks like she could be Middle Eastern or Persian, or even Mediterranean....

I have to say that this school I'm subbing for most the time is quite an interesting place and I get my culture fix every week. :) :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Been hooked on The Lost Room

The Sci Fi channel has a miniseries out called The Lost Room starring Peter Krause from Six Feet Under. I love that actor! The storyline is quite interesting and tonight is the exciting conclusion. It came at a bad time though, cause Golf's hooked too, but he's got some translation project due dates coming up soon!

Many other things going on in my head, but don't feel right about posting them here.

Celebrated my 37th birthday yesterday too. God. I'm gettin' OLD! Thanks for the birthday wishes friends and family who sent them. :)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thoughts on History

I've been reading a fabulous memoir called A Chameleon's Tale, by Mo Tejani. He's of Asian Indian descent and a Muslim by birth, though not practicing. He was born in Uganda, Africa until the crazy dictator Idi Amin threw out all non-Ugandan citizens in the 1970s. He and his brother were relocated to Britian, the rest of his family in Canada.

I'd never even heard of Idi Amin before reading this book. I'm sure the textbook I had in high school discussed it briefly, although I cannot be sure since it seems most history books in the time I was in school focused mostly on Europe. Recent history was all about the Vietnam War and it was overall so boring and dry, I never paid any attention.

But the way Tejani told his story and related it on a deeply personal level, I was captivated as to what happened to him and his family in Uganda. Then I remember there was a movie out recently with Forrest Whittaker who played some crazy African dictator. Could it be about this Idi Amin that Tejani talked about? I looked it up online and the movie is called The Last King of Scotland. And Whittaker plays Idi Amin. I don't think it's in theaters any longer, so I have it saved in Netflix already. I'd had no interest in that movie before I read Tejani's book!