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Showing posts from September, 2013

Gift of a dear son

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There is something about finishing a book that I find lovely, in the case of a Maeve Binchy bestseller at least. It's like getting acquainted with the characters off the pages, and then saying goodbye to them in your head.

As a university instructor I relate with this quote from Nights of Rain and Stars:

"Teachers of every kind needed a chance to go out and talk to people of other countries, otherwise they could get caught up in the internal politics of their own university."
"Internal politcs." Lord knows how tricky the thing is in my playground. It makes an upcoming trip seem opportune. Arranging the trip even turned out well.

At the vice president's office to file a leave -

VP: What's this, Hazel? Where are you going?
Me: Out of town, boss. Give me three days.

He approved it immediately, but then still holding the paper, asked:

"CJ alright?"
"Yes, boss. My little guy is doing fine."
"No. I mean have you asked him permission ye…

Integrative complexity levels

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Sepia Saturday "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." ~ George Carlin
Photo Courtesy: LMCF

This week's Sepia theme takes me back to those afternoons when I was putting together a research proposal (Re: Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen).
The project focuses on integrative complexity (IC) defined as a measure of intellectual style used by individuals or groups in processing information, problem solving, and decision making. The IC construct is used to measure complexity levels of government leaders during periods of crises.  
Cognitive studies in communication examine changes in leaders' IC levels, i.e. world leaders in the war against terrorism, Middles Eastern leaders during the 9/11 crisis, German parliamentarians on the Gulf War.  The theory is that IC complexity levels decline during conflicts and increase during resolutions of conflicts.
A notable finding from a previous study shows that changes in IC levels c…

Keep calm and age well

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Life is full of promise
There is so much it has to give,
so much joy and wonder
yet to be explored.

You can always meet the challenge
every single day you live,
when you walk in faith
together with the Lord


Amanda Bradley's words cheered me up 15 summers ago. I was going through some tough time and a thoughtful friend gave this card to me. I kept it and never saw it again until recently while rummaging through my drawer in the office.


Family over for lunch. Space is limited in my nook but I'm glad they came. Old family tales were retold. I rang overseas for Mama to join in some of the conversation. Ouch phone bill, but familiar voices are worth it.


Book shopping makes me happy.  World Book's Young Scientist and The Questionary for CJ and a coffee table book for me. Pictures inside Mary Ford's Cake Decorating book are a stunning eye candy.



A pretty little thing to wear to an occasion I do not yet know, is I think okay sometimes. I do look forward to it - maybe at The Authors&…

A doily arbitrates

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~ Sepia Saturday ~

Does anyone remember those doilies?

This doily is one of the oldest things we have at home; kept among pins, spools of thread, lace and other little old things around my mother's equally old Singer sewing machine. I needed to take a photo of my recent bookstore loot with Lady Anastasia before I was to fly back to Thailand. Something was necessary between her ceramic ladyship and Mama's glass table to prevent clashes or scratches. This doily served that purpose perfectly. ae Nak, a native of Phra Khanong, marries the handsome Mak. When war breaks out, Mak is conscripted for military service and leaves his pregnant wife behind.
In the war, Mak is severely wounded. Meanwhile, Mae Nak dies during childbirth with her unborn child and is buried by the neighbors. This is unusual as Buddhist custom calls for the cremation of their dead.
When Mak recovers from his injuries, he returns home to an emotional reunion with his loving wife and baby son, not real…

Ice cream it is

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I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice-cream. ~ Heywood Broun

I don't think this is the kiddo's first ice cream. But I remember I bought this for him because its blue color was very attractive and I thought it would match his blue shirt and blue watch. It would also please his Grandma whose favorite color is blue. The other reason was he wanted to stay in the mall to check out the latest Ultraman dolls. I wanted to go home so I bribed him with ice cream.


History repeats itself. When I was little my father would buy me ice cream and I would forget that I wanted something else which I knew he didn't want to give. When a massive coronary felled him, I made sure there were loads of ice cream on top of a catered lunch I hosted for approximately 300 family and friends. The sweet, cold, creamy dessert must have worked wonders on the sombre mood. At the reception hall I heard this exchange between a cousin and her i…

Mae Nak Prakhanong

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Now I see what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that's what.  ~ Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Ed Warren observes that the devil exists, God exists. He did not specify 'ghost' but that could well include Casper and his relatives whom I believe in but do not want to see except in films. On my way to see The Conjuring I snapped this photo from a speeding bus of the Prakhanong klong, a tributary of Chao Phrya. The water looks peaceful enough to me. If I closed my eyes to the wires and vandalized bridge, that is.


Mae Nak Prakhanong, is a film I watched while traveling from Huahin to Bangkok in 1998. It portrays normal life in Prakhanong, then a village; of people rowing their boats in the klong to visit neighbors or go to the market. Scenes especially those around the water are engulfed in eerie serenity. You see Mae Nak  is a ghost. She is probably famous as I have yet to meet a Thai who has no idea who Mae Nak is. Her love story with her soldier husband is told in t…

Honey, honey

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Honey, honey, how he thrills me aha...
This is one of those blue-sky holidays in the chili patches. We are in the sunflower fields of Thailand. The farmers there sell honey aside from sunflower seeds and sunflower wine.

Drogba forsakes football for the day to bottle honey in Saraburi. A tourist blows a honey kiss.
Honeycomb up close
 Honey pool

The sweet, therapeutic liquid in Regency Scotch. Regency: to an anglophile like me, the merchandise is sold.
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