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Showing posts with label Books / Reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books / Reading. Show all posts

05 December 2014

Those charming moments

Skywatch: city is far behind and I'm loving it!

Reflections: serenade

I buy books just because....

My not-so-old hat from the antiques section of a weekend market

 A little yummy error

Maybe I had more of those charming moments this week than the other weeks. I'm thankful.

Swiss sheep farm. Anything that takes me out of sight of urbanization, rising concrete (condos) and drab parking spaces - I'm in. What a treat for the country girl in me!

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight.... It's not everyday you get serenaded. I appreciated it. A lot.

The Heart Garden, Eating People is Wrong, etc: my loot from Neilson Hays book sale. Knockoff prices, old plus beautiful library architecture - just my kind of awesome.

Antiques therapy. My apartment is bursting I could hardly navigate the floor without my feet touching things so I didn't buy a truckload this week. Just the one hat. Thanks to the shining sun I had an excuse. But looking at those old, pre-loved treasures made me happy.

At a Vietnamese cafe I decided to not mind being 'lost in translation' so much. I'm a foodie; it helped. I just ate both dishes. Miscommunication is solved.   

Friday's Fave Five & Willy Nilly 5

13 September 2013

Keep calm and age well

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' Lounge in Mandarin Oriental to have tea where Ernest Hemingway once had tea himself many years ago.


Humor on Rocky Road. I played a little joke on myself during my birthday and inverted the numbers on my cake. I thought I was only this age once I was entitled to be amused.

A doily arbitrates

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 realizing what has happened.
Neighbors who try to warn him meet with a grisly end. Things remained this way until he discovers that he's actually living with the ghost of his wife!
He flees but she pursues him and the romance turns to horror. Mak seeks refuge in Wat Mahabut but Mae Nak follows him there. After several attempts by the terrified villagers, Mae Nak is finally exorcised to return to the other world and leaves Mak alone.
- See more at: http://www.tour-bangkok-legacies.com/wat-mahabut.html#sthash.xwgvkf7o.dpuf
Mae 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 realizing what has happened.
Neighbors who try to warn him meet with a grisly end. Things remained this way until he discovers that he's actually living with the ghost of his wife!
He flees but she pursues him and the romance turns to horror. Mak seeks refuge in Wat Mahabut but Mae Nak follows him there. After several attempts by the terrified villagers, Mae Nak is finally exorcised to return to the other world and leaves Mak alone.
- See more at: http://www.tour-bangkok-legacies.com/wat-mahabut.html#sthash.xwgvkf7o.dpuf
Mae 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 realizing what has happened.
Neighbors who try to warn him meet with a grisly end. Things remained this way until he discovers that he's actually living with the ghost of his wife!
He flees but she pursues him and the romance turns to horror. Mak seeks refuge in Wat Mahabut but Mae Nak follows him there. After several attempts by the terrified villagers, Mae Nak is finally exorcised to return to the other world and leaves Mak alone.
- See more at: http://www.tour-bangkok-legacies.com/wat-mahabut.html#sthash.xwgvkf7o.dpuf

05 July 2013

Antebellum reverie

It's a lovely week in the chili patches. Here's celebrating moments that made it so.

Dainty Dory a seafood bistro at Terminal 21. Inside it's like finding yourself in one of those sunny seaside Greek cafes featured on TV and films

Carnation cheer brightened up a dreary day in the office. Read: marking finals that never seem to end. A vase of red pink carnations is the only cheer in a sea of academic bits and pieces. I made it til sign out time by imagining tea served on the porch of an antebellum mansion.

Mother's Day gift. The day for Moms has been awhile but I've been busy. This week was my only chance to take a close look at a gift a friend gave me. 

Finding the perfect purchase during a routine book shopping. The friend who gave me the Body Shop Chocomania gift set (above) mentioned she and her diving buddies fancy the Great Barrier Reef next year. The Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef is a nice book that provides what my friend would most likely need to know about the place. I love it when it's my turn to give gifts.

Calamari wish granted: my little brunch at Dory

03 June 2013

Unbirthday tea

As Lewis Carroll's neologism in his Through the Looking Glass, an unbirthday is "an event that can be celebrated on any day that is not the person's birthday." People who love celebrations may be into unbirthdays regularly. I am. It keeps me counting blessings and looking at life positively.
"Statistics prove that you have one birthday, just one birthday every year. But there are three hundred and sixty-four unbirthdays. And this is a reason to gather and cheer." 
An unbirthday is also
"when you acknowledge that it is, indeed, the date of your birth, but refuse to acknowledge that you have aged."
and to you!

 

~ Sally's Blues and Maiylah's Food: sticky rice sweet coconut balls ~

It is also suggested that an unbirthday is "the day of a sibling's birthday where you also receive presents/money in order to keep the peace." 

I didn't know about this before but I have been buying gifts for my fur kid when the biological one has a birthday, and vice versa. When CJ turned nine I decided to join in the fun with my boys by having an unbirthday; albeit a working mom style one, spread and ongoing.

The local delicacy is the saving grace of the plastic water glass and paper coffee cup - served as snack during a 15-minute research conference break (intense and seemingly endless; not to mention quality control meetings here and there). When things go this way, as they usually do, the answer is an unbirthday.

~ My World: Business Faculty meeting, TRU-STech 18, Bangkok Campus ~

Never mind that it's punctuated with research thingamabobs: Epistemology. ANOVA. Enthnography. Multiple regression. Theoretical framework. Gimme the darn findings already! A long shot but it's nice to wish sometimes.

Plowing on - content validity, strategic communications, deception analysis. Crack! I need tea!

~ Mellow Yellows: it's strawberry milk tea time in my nook ~

And another unbirthday. So I made a little detour to Asia Books from bank errands the other night and got myself the latest Dan Brown thriller. Don't you just love the feeling of holding a 'just out' book in your hands?

~ ABC Wednesday: unbirthday treat ~

I read the prologue aloud to myself, heart skipping at the mention of Uffizi, huddling in the shadows...; then halted unexpectedly on chthonic, laboring beneath the earth.... How is 'chthonic' pronounced anyway? Anyone?

~ Ruby 2: Inferno ~

They are behind me unyielding, closing in. 
They do not understand what is coming.... 
Ungrateful land! 

The pressure to publish is floating around my nostrils. "'Seek and find,' the woman repeats" (Brown, 2013). Back to research mode. The load does get lighter when fueled by unbirthday tea.

05 February 2013

Dasa book cafe

When Dasa Book Cafe claims that they are the 'best secondhand bookshop in Bangkok,' I believe them. Not only am I a frequent customer here; I have also visited other secondhand bookshops in the city but I like Dasa best of all.

Their site has a page that explains the name Dasa, and I quote:
"dāsa" came from the name of the late venerable Thai Buddhist Monk called "Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu".

The word "dāsa" itself means "slave" or "servant". It's the word from an ancient language called "Pali" which is the language that Buddhist monks use in chanting and in their regular rituals or ceremonies. We chose this name because it conveys the meaning that all book lovers are "slave" in the sense that they can't live without books or reading. The name also has a nice Asian touch to it and is also quite catchy.
Even though the place may not look attractive on the outside, I'd still say it's one of my favorite haunts. 

Inside it's cozy

and conducive to browsing.

Sometimes I would climb up the second and third floors and browse some more

Often I just stay in this area where the English-speaking assistants are. A white guy (I'm guessing the owner) works quietly near the coffee corner cataloguing books in his computer.

20 September 2012

International Book Week

In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen

Quick–what are you reading right now? Would you recommend it? What’s it about?

Pocket Finance by The Economist Books. Does it count? It's one of thousands of finance books out there; a "guide that outlines the complexities of financial concepts and practice through essays and alphabetized terms."

If you are in higher education, Southeast Asia region- finance, accounting, management sort of stuff, you might fancy it for side reading. Come to my nook and we'll discuss it over tea. Coffee if you like or martini. It's just that at work there's talk of gearing up subject content for business undergrads; things like the AEC (Asian Economic Community), etceterati. This is back-up just in case.

Thursday Thirteen: International Book Week


There's a bit of fun going on around FB in honor of international book week. Bookworms are invited to grab the closest book to them, turn to page 52, and post the 5th sentence as their status. I'm tweaking it for T13 today. Here are thirteen shortened 5th sentences from books littering my bed right now -

1 Capital adequacy. Pocket Finance, The Economist Books
2 I dare say the Colonel will leave her all his fortune. Emma, Jane Austen
3 People always thought he had been to Oxford or Cambridge. Eating People is Wrong, Malcolm Bradbury

4 She'd learned capital optimisation promiscuously. The Lazarus Vault, Tom Harper
5 They recite together the Veni creator spiritus. Ladies in Waiting, Anne Somerset
6 But the beastie vanished into the chestnut wood. Wuthering Bites, Sarah Gray
7 The objective is to have the clubface make contact with the ball slightly. Golf, Bernard Gallacher

8 Provencale style also inspired Sunday's choices. The Heart Garden, Sunday Reed
9 Choose a stockpot large enough. Postcards from Kitchens Abroad, Diane Holuigue
10 Kolniyatcsh message will drown any that may be uttered. And Even Now, Max Beerbohm

11 Her face was thin and fierce. Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer
12 Robert nodded in agreement. Taste-Berry Tales, Bettie B. Youngs
13 Women in the cells at the other end tell Malachy he's gorgeous. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt

~ Happy Book Week to all book worms ~

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09 September 2012

Bookstore bits

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="144"]Bookshop Window Bookshop Window (Photo credit: garryknight)[/caption]

On the daydreams department: Inkwood Books, an "indie bookstore in a cozy old Hyde Park bungalow" is for sale. My dream is alive with more than just black and white as I buy the book bungalow in a page-turn.

The rich becomes richer: had the U.S. State Department not withdrawn a $16.5 million contract to provide Kindle Touches for its overseas language education program, that would have been the case with Amazon . The reconsideration now gives all vendors opportunities to respond to the Department's requirements for mobile learning. Yay to sharing the pie.

A positive state of bookstore affairs: Oblong Books & Music (New York) renovates. Here's wishing them traffic flow increase. Politics and Prose (Washington, D.C.) changes their store layout. A toast to events that draw larger audiences. Builders Booksource (California) re-sizes to a cozier space. May they have continued relief from high rental costs. Book Rack Bookstore (Massachusetts) has a changeover focusing on aesthetics. Patrons find it fantastic, they report.

I find all this especially good to muse about after singing a bookshop dirge earlier.

08 September 2012

Home in the Burrow


If you had to choose to live within a novel, which would it be?

That was a question I answered in a book party some time ago. I delightedly went, 'without much ado Harry Potter's Hogwarts! What a place to explore! I'd like to transfigure arrogant Malfoy into a cross-eyed cockroach. *kidding* And when I feel like cutting Snape's class I'll hang out at Hagrid's hut. Then during summers head to The Burrow. As Ron Weasley says, "it's not much, but it's home."

The kiddo loves Harry Potter. He watches the first two installments over and over hiding behind the door and saying, "I don't like this..." each time. Then he watches it again, runs to the door again, the ceremony goes on :) For fun I thought of listing our

Thirteen favorite places in Harry Potter:

1. Hogwarts the moving staircases and all the magic learning!
2. The Burrow 'dilapidated and standing only by magic' ah!... wonderful
3. Hogsmeade Village appeals to the country girl in me
3. Madam Puddifoot's is where we will have high tea
4. Diagon Alley shop til I drop
5. Shell Cottage a newly-weds' home must be sweet and lovely
6. Weasley's Wizard Wheezes I want their anti-acne cream
7. Honeyduke's Sweetshop for my sweet tooth
8. The Leaky Cauldron when one day in Diagon Alley is not enough
9. The Three Broomsticks running a pub and living above it
10. Scrivenshaft's Quill Supplies good old writing paraphernalia
11. Magical Menagerie offers advice on animal care and health
12. Florean Fortescue's who doesn't want choco-raspberry with chopped nuts?
13. Flourish & Blotts books of course

Have you got a favorite place in Harry Potter or any literary place really? It's fun to imagine yourself in them sometimes.

~ Photo Credit: The Pensieve. I claim no ownership. ~

24 August 2012

Lace and Expectations


"Lace is a thing like hope. It is beauty; it is grace.
It was never meant to destroy so many lives."

Lace also usually associates well with tenderness, delicateness.  But how does it end up destroying lives? Author Iris Anthony weaves a story of "fleeting beauty, mad obsession and ephemeral hope." Ruins of Lace is for historical fiction fans, and is going to be published on October 1st 2012. More info here.


LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 7:  Charles Dickens...[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="150"] Charles Dickens' great-great-great-grandchildren, Rob Charles Dickens, and Rachel Dickens Green, lay flowers at the grave during a ceremony at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the English novelist on February 7, 2012 in London, England. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)[/caption]

Remember Pip, the orphan who rose to wealth, and got affected by the improvement of his circumstances? If you think you have seen Pip somewhere in the news last week, I don't blame you. The novel was written long before our grandparents' parents existed. But don't we all mind a good story about being humbled after a stint with arrogance? Published in 1860 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens depicts life in Victorian England.

If you like old English masterpieces, chances are you did not miss the 1998 film adaptation of this book. A 2012 version is just around the corner, and is packed with a stellar cast - Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, along with a couple of promising newcomers. Mike Newell directs.

Canada will be first to watch it in September. New Zealand, Ireland and the UK will follow in November; Germany in December and Russia - January 2013. Check the trailer -



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