Showing posts with the label Memories


"Year after year beheld the silent toil
"That spread his lustrous coil;
"Still, as the spiral grew,
"He left the past year's dwelling for the new,
"Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
"Built up its idle door,
"Stretched in his last found home, and knew the old no more."  ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Chambered Nautilus

Hello my bloggity friends. I celebrate the week remembering a few favorites:

At the Temple of Literature, National University Hanoi... in that American Literature class our teacher made us 'chant' The Chambered Nautilus. She spent a few minutes on the beauty of the words and 'preached' the message into our heads.

It was either the heat outside or the memories that made me linger in the souvenir shop. Both maybe. I quietly enjoyed the moment: viewing the beautiful shell as fond memories of college buddies and a teacher that I liked so much came spiraling back.

One of my friends is reflected on the gla…

The party must go on

“Dare to love yourself
as if you were a rainbow
with gold at both ends.”  ~ Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams

May I tell you something? I have been frequenting tea rooms lately. The other thing is, I found a sky beauty from my 5th floor porch! It makes me momentarily forget that we are under Martial Law right now. Life goes on and I am grateful for the wonderful things this week. Here are five of them:

Something that made me smile in the midst of anxiety. Back home in the Philippines my kiddo is sick. It goes without saying I am worried but I can't help chuckling when I was told that he complained to my mother, "Grandma, I have a headache on my neck."
An 'oh...?' moment. I was told that CJ's doctor is an old friend I used to date; asked my Mom about me after taking a look at CJ. Sounds and feels like my son is in good hands.... And then the roses, those love letters, that weekend together in an uncle's house came flooding back.
No ordinary birthday.…

See you later, alligator!

There's something about going up in the air. Some kind of high. I may have felt homesick watching the buildings grow smaller as the plane zoomed into space, but it's cool joy to welcome the normality of getting back to work.

Thursday my passport was sorted. Suddenly I didn't want to think of Bangkok. I packed wondering when I can come back home. But then it's wonderful to see the end of this stress so of course this one tops my faves for the week. There was one final thing I did before dealing with airports and immigration.

I went to see my old man.

Back in 2005 I defied sorrow that only death could pull off by glaring at it in my mind dry-eyed throughout the burial ceremony. How dare you snatch my father, you massive coronary! 

Fast forward to 2014. Holy Garden Matutum Memorial Park was breezy when we walked in. The kiddo insisted that his Tigger relaxed beside my anthuriums. It gets easier each year. Time does heal.  

Less than thirty-six hours later I flew back to …


In the context of the devastation brought by Haiyan, different sources call the Filipinos resilient. The Daily Mail, UK quotes US President Obama:
"I know the incredible resiliency of the Filipino people, and I am confident that the spirit of Bayanihan will see you through this tragedy."Bayanihan, a word I never heard, used nor thought of in quite awhile, more or less two decades. It's nice to be reminded of a reference to 'communal unity and cooperation.' Honestly I don't remember being ever seriously sure what resilience really means until I gaped in horror at the TV this weekend. Let me reflect a bit:

"Resilience, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties"
I have great memories of adventure in Tacloban, an island city hit the worst by Haiyan. Happy to be out of boarding school for the summer, Tacloban was the perfect place for an 18 year-old to explore. But now aside from not having any photos of my own, I don't think anyone needs more…

Qrookshanqs joins a quorum of witches

Prologue: Thailand's Supreme Patriarch is dead.  The whole kingdom is in mourning mode. And that also means Khaosan Road, a usual party venue, is shut down. Parties go on though but behind closed doors and kept as private and quiet as possible. And that's how -

Qrookshanqs ignores Ermione and wanders into Medusa's cave...
 xxx xxx
She comes as Grumpy Cat,
tries not to forget who she is.
Qrookshanqs is convinced that those are Nagini's ancestors on Medusa's head, and thinks what a waste of cauldron time taking photos is
A smiling one joins them and the quorum is complete. Soon they chant eye of newt, toe of frog... lizard's leg and howlet's wing. Qrookshanks, ever the grief sucker, grumbles how do witches "boil and bake" fillet of a fenney snake or wool of batat the same time? Anyone?
No one huh? Alright, grumpy mood intensifying nicely...
Until the party is peaking and she starts smiling, ruining her stance. Now she's gone queer.

Ladybugs and choirs

It's another day to count faves and highlights. Here are mine this week -

A ladybug visited me. What a cute surprise! It's the first time I saw one that was not on a leaf or flower but on my very pillow so I cherished the moment. It hopped on some books (I read in bed) before flying out the porch. As a kid I loved watching ladybugs in our little garden. They're some of my favorite creatures.

All Free Download
Ma leads her group (all widows except one) to win first place in a provincial level choir competition. I found out on Facebook, thanks to a friend. So that's why she seemed unable to talk long when I rang last week. They were practising. Sometimes I get a bit annoyed that I find out first from other people, but okay, I get it - it's her way of teasing and she's fun like that.

Mellow Yellows
Grandparents' Day celebration in church. It felt nostalgic looking at photos and reading comments of their children who I went to church with. How time flies! Yesterday…


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow advises, "the best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain." I absolutely have no problem with that!

One childhood memory I remember to this day is that afternoon when playmates were out playing basket ball in the rain. Afraid I would get sick, my overprotective mother made me stay indoors. She allowed our dog and even the house help to play. I watched them by the window have the frolic of their lives through tears as torrential as the rain that was pouring, my heart broken.

As an adult an opportunity to stand in the rain presented itself to me in a national park. Seizing it with a vengeance, I found that rain was a natural hair conditioner. But more significantly, I didn't get sick. Did you hear that, Ma? In fact I felt the opposite.

I love chanting, "be still sad heart and cease repining, behind the clouds the sun is still shining. Thy fate is the common fate of all. Into each life some rain must fall. Some days must be …

Integrative complexity levels

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

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

~ 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

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…