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19 December 2011

A taste of arab attitude

It would be four hours before I was to board another jet to London. 

Emirates was changing air crafts in the UAE. I was in Dubai learning things by the minute. 

The officer who confirmed my flight number and arrival time in the UK, was good-looking, as many of them in that part of world are or so I like to think.

Space from the sofa I sat on extended to the surface of the glass table on my right. The PA System was echoing "O-whayyy..." now and then. An arab guy, X, sat next to me on the left. Another arab, Z, came by, chatted with X and soon Z sat on the table on my right. I didn't mind the seating arrangement at first. Their conversation was animated and I quietly enjoyed the foreign audio.

Their wide faces inched closer to each other. The proximity was making me uncomfortable. Two large yakking males sandwiching a 38-kilogram, Asian female. Such sight must have looked strange in that part of the airport lounge. And then these men made it clear that they didn't care what someone they deliberately flanked was feeling. Their breaths clashed in front of my eyeballs threatening my nostrils. What a show of psychological civility!

Their language no longer piqued my curiosity. I stood up and dragged my bag to find a seat as far away as possible. And that's when I had my first taste of Arab attitude. X and Z jeered in my back. For a moment Dubai International Airport transformed into an opulent, post-modern jungle.

Behind a smooth composure, I wrestled against turning and giving them the main reason why I extracted myself from their midst. Their body odor was an olfactory assault. Other than that their behavior hardly was overwhelming actually. For one who has survived a nasty divorce, two rude men behaving like they were intimidation heroes were pink cupcakes, albeit rotten.

Arab profile in my books hasn't changed much. I still think they are mostly handsome. I just don't think I'll be transiting the dessert when I visit Europe again.

02 December 2011

When it's dark

One night long ago, I was approaching an unlit room in an uncle's big house when, typical of Pinoy culture, my older cousins scared me, "there's a ghost in there, watch out!"

My mother didn't think it was right, and asked them to stop immediately.

[caption id="attachment_8480" align="alignright" width="300"] CJ in the dark[/caption]

So far I haven't noticed signs in my son being afraid of the dark.  We try to behave in it the same way we would in bright daylight. If someone scares him though, chances are high he will react accordingly.  For the record I am strongly against teasing children into being unnecessarily scared of anything.

The trick I see reminds me of that nursing professor back in college, "you know class, it depends upon the orientation."

What was your experience with the dark while growing up? Any similarities with or differences from the way your kids now act toward it?

Chris hosts Mommy Moments

01 December 2011

Films shot in Thailand

There are more than thirty films shot in Thailand. The earliest on a Wikipedia list is a silent docudrama called Chang, shot in 1927.  I've never seen #1-6 but have been to all filming locations like James Bond Island, Sirocco and the floating market. Oh,  except perhaps 'Bangkok Hilton' where Bridget Jones traded her wonder bra for a cigarette.  Seen any of these films?

1.    Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) directed by Michael Todd
2.    The Killing Fields (1984) Spalding Gray                                                                                  3.    The Ugly American (1963) Marlo Brando                                                                             4.    The Deer Hunter (1978) Robert De Niro
5.    Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) Robin Williams
6.    Alexander (2004) Collin Farrel
7.    Rambo, First Blood Part II (1985) Sylvester Stallone
8.    The Beach (2000) Leonardo DiCaprio                                                                                9.    Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Pierce Brosnan
10.  The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) Roger Moore
11.  Hangover Part II (2011) Bradley Cooper, Zach Gadlifianikis
12.  Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth
13.  Bangkok Dangerous (2008) Nicholas Cage

Megan and Janet host Thursday 13.

30 November 2011

Are we there yet?

The Yellow Bus Line operated the only land transport in South Cotabato about twenty years ago. YBL buses ply the Koronadal - Gensan - Davao route.  For long distances many South Cotabatenos preferred taking the yellow bus over those jeepneys called strikers.

A trip to Davao from Gensan would usually take 2.5 -3 hours. As a kid I remember happily observing the passing scenery or munching snacks while riding this bus with my family. If I didn't fall asleep, I was impatient, "are we there yet?"

The dust swirling around our nostrils and vision was normal. Arduous. But that was then. Now you may want to carry your tech thingies if you are on board one of their premiere buses as wifi has been enabled.

What are your buses called in your province?

Rose hosts Nostalgia.

22 November 2011

Sense and Sensibility: 200th anniversary

In 1811 Thomas Egerton of Whitehall, London published Sense and Sensibility. Quick math shows it has been two centuries since Jane Austen became a full-fledged author.

Quite an anniversary, indeed. A celebration, I declare.

Blogs regarding the publication anniversary of this romance novel picture Jane Austen's engagements whilst making the final touches of her manuscript from Sloane Street. In letters to her sister Cassandra, Jane gave accounts of her shopping for muslin, the party that their brother Henry and SIL Eliza gave; mentioned several acquaintances, and referred to her book as S and S.

As a fan I wonder which between sense and sensibility did JA deem more important since she portrayed both attributes equally well. I'm obliged to enthuse over my S & S reading experience. Alas, I only managed fourteen chapters before getting sidetracked by another novel, the very first that JA wrote. I will resume and complete my affair with the celebrant before 2011 ends.

This post is linked with ABC Wednesday.

15 November 2011

Rumford

The Rumford is a much more efficient way to heat a room than earlier fireplaces....
(Wikipedia on Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, designer of tall, shallow fireplaces which are now known as the Rumford, was an Anglo-American physicist known for his investigations of heat)
Living in the tropics, I have been in close proximity with only three fireplaces in my life. There was an unused one in the home of my college professor in the Philippines. The other one from which I could feel the heat and see the fire dancing was in a hotel lobby in the Yorkshire Moors. Picture taking was quick. Two old ladies were having tea by it, but that was my first ever real fireplace experience, and I loved it. The latest I have touched is the one in Jane Austen's imaginary Northanger Abbey.
The fireplace, where she had expected the ample width and ponderous carvings of former times, was contracted to a Rumford, with slabs of plain though handsome marbles, and ornament over it of the prettiest English china.
Fireplaces. What charming spots they are!


This post is linked with ABC Wednesday.

14 November 2011

Purple and white

Purple, heather, Rod Stewart with beautiful pictures to boot. The decision is unanimous :)



I couldn't shake white snake off when I checked this week's theme. Searched Youtube and found it's "White Lion." A mammal not a reptile, silly. Forgetfulness progressing. Being divorced does not keep me from liking  Til Death Do Us Part. When I saw scenes depicted in this video, I said Pride and Prejudice does it; this is it:


This post is linked with:

Denise @ Run DMT hosts Music Monday Blog Hop

10 November 2011

Q without U

These are words that begin with Q and not followed by U; in random order. Is there anything that's not new to you or have you used some in speech, writing, or word games?

1. qadi - an Islamic judge
2. qat - leaves chewed like tobacco or used to make tea
3. qabala - an esoteric or occult matter
4. qi - circulating life energy in Chinese philosophy 
5. qiang - the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in Sichuan
6. qepig - 100 qupig equal 1 manat
7. qabalistic - having a secret or hidden meaning
8. qibla - direction of the Kaaba toward which Muslims turn for daily prayers
9.  qatari - a native or inhabitant of Qatar
10. qing - the last imperial dynasty of China
11. qaid- Muslim tribal chief
12. qiviut - musk-ox wool
13. qanat - underground tunnel for irrigation

More here and on crosswordsolver.
Thanks to Megan and Janet for hosting Thursday Thirteen

08 November 2011

Quixoticism

"All the heroical fictions of ecclesiastical quixoticism"

That, claims, Wikipedia, is the first time quixoticism is mentioned, giving Pulpit Popery, True Popery as the source. Urban Dictionary defines quixoticism as unattainable idealism.

Let's take ism from quixoticism and we have quixotic. Anyone who knows Don Quixote would have an idea what the adjective is about.  Merriam Webster defines it as foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals marked by rash lofty romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action.

"It doesn't do to be quixotic. Telling the truth to people who misunderstand you is really promoting falsehood." ~ Anthony Hope

Then we take ic from quixotic and finally we have quixote. Enter (drum roll please) Don Quixote of La Mancha, the windmills, skinny Rosinante, ladylove Dulcinea.... Chivalry at its quixotic best! 

"The Quixotes of this Age fight with the Wind-mills of their owne Heads"


This post is linked with ABC Wednesday.

07 November 2011

Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams became a hit in 1988 (US; 1987 UK).  As I was more on loving the beat I didn't pay much attention to the lyrics. Or maybe deep inside I knew the song described about 80% of what I was going through thus I avoided it. Thank goodness I'm so over 1988. Now I can dance to this tune with my two left feet.



This post is linked with:

Denise @ Run DMT hosts Music Monday Blog Hop

04 November 2011

One little guy's opinion

Last weekend my mother sent me a text describing CJ's comment on a page of a volume of his Bible Friends. It was one on the crucifixion:
This is Jesus. He said to his Father, why did you forsake me but he did not answer. Oh, what a pity to Jesus.

The wrong grammar and shaky semantics amused me. Detaching my rigid academic head off lay stuff was a learning moment. All those fine scholarly writings I encounter at work and I get to witness a child's cute opinion. Don't you just love life's bonuses?

Yesterday my mother rang. It was to worry about me and the current flood situation in Bangkok. A couple of minutes in:
CJ: (rambling in the background) I can't ride it anymore... (then butting in to address me) Mommmyyyy! why did you tie my swivel chair?

Me: Why, what did you do in church?

Am I not so deaf?! (nakakaloka ang buhay na to)


Ma then explained that she told CJ it was my order to have his swivel chair tied in a corner to prevent 'improper traffic' in the living room. With CJ's ongoing speech and occupational therapy sessions I am grateful his mind is functioning and he is behaving normally.




[caption id="attachment_7742" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Summer watching Ultraman in a makeshift corner; he would later discover another way of riding wheels - like yesterday's incident"][/caption]

This post is linked with Mommy Moments at The Mommy Journey.

01 November 2011

Phaeton

Remember that 1995 Sense and Sensibility scene in which dashing Mr. Willoughby recklessly drives a phaeton around town with Marianne Dashwood? The novel was published in 1811.  Fast drag your imagination to 2011 and the two lovers are today's rich hunk and a happy-go-lucky, attractive chick speeding on say, a Lamborghini Reventon.

In Pride and Prejudice, obsequious Mr Collin declares, "she (Lady Catherine de Bough) is perfectly amiable, and often condescends to drive by my humble abode in her little phaeton and ponies."

pha·e·ton  (f-tn)
n.1. A light, four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses.
   2. A touring car. ( The Free Dictionary)



Two ladies in a high perch phaeton. The owners of these sporty, open-air and lightning fast carriages actually drove the vehicle, as there was no place for a coachman. Phaeton seats were built high off the ground, the sides of the vehicle were open to the elements (a top could be pulled over as a screen from sun or rain), and the back wheels were larger than the front wheels.  However, these light, airy, well-sprung vehicles were prone to tipping over when turning around corners too fast, thus a driver had to be skilled in order to move at high speed. The phaeton, therefore, was extremely popular with the rakish set. (Vic, Jane Austen's World)
This post is linked with ABC Wednesday.

27 October 2011

Editorial cartoons

As Bangkokians brace for "what now?, what next?..." the end of the country's worst flooding in 50 years seem drowned in the depths of either two major bursting dams. Blame, criticism and serious politicking affect flood (mis)management further.  The situation could be Thailand's halloweenish watery scare. I personally just went out yesterday to pick a few items that will somehow ward off starvation should the waters rush in to where I live. If most Thais are at a loss to understand what exactly is the government trying to say, what and how could anyone who does not speak the local language grasp anything at all?  Maybe Friends of the Nation editorial cartoons can help. A quick fact by the way: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is sister of former PM in exile Thaksin Shinawatra.



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Thanks to Megan and Janet for hosting Thursday 13.

17 October 2011

Don Gato and company

In the 80s we had a neighbor who played Senor Don Gato repeatedly on his cassette. The sound was loud enough to reach other houses. Fortunately, the song was amusing - a very cat-like human voice would respond "meow, meow, meow."  It probably helped that I'm an animal lover so I didn't mind hearing the song over and over. 


Mozart, my fur kid looks very much like this pooch. See how he dances :)

And here's thoroughbred Little Red by Patty Shukla

 Some of the things I love about living in Thailand are the elephants! They are called "chang" here. This is a clip of Thai children singing karaoke about a chang.


This post is linked with:

Denise @ Run DMT hosts Music Monday Blog Hop

13 October 2011

Shout outs

Beautiful, sarcastic, funny, pessimistic, creative, to-be-verified, positive, sad, true. Facebook has it all covered. These are shout outs I noticed friends have posted recently.  My faves are those that ring true.

1."Which would you rather be...divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?" - Anne Shirley

2. What is real happiness?...It is when you feel fine even if there is nothing left in your pocket...It is when you enjoy life inspite of the problems you have...And most of all,when you still know how to smile and thank God for His blessings even if you are the poorest person and has the least important job on earth...

‎3. ♥ Before Marriage
Boy: At last i can Hardly wait!
Girl: Do you want me to leave?
Boy: No don"t even think about it!
Girl: Do you love me?
Boy: Of course, always!
Girl: Have you ever cheated on me?
Boy: No, why are you asking?
Girl: Will you kiss me?
Boy: Every chance i get
Girl: Will you slap me?
Boy: Hell no, are you crazy?!
Girl: Can I trust you?
Boy: Yes!
Girl: Darling!!
♥ After marriage - Just read it backwards!!

4. Money cannot buy happiness but it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.

5. To all the girls who are in a hurry to have a boyfriend or get married, a piece of Biblical advice: “Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz." While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don't settle for any of his relatives; Broke-az, Po-az, Lyin-az, Cheating-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Locked-up-az, , Goodfornothing-az, Lazy-az, and especially his third cousin Beatinyo-az. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz...

6. Hope is hearing the melody of the future. Faith is to dance it.

7. October 2011 has 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags.

8. “I have reservations with the results. If the only basis is the Q and A portion, after having been trimmed down to 5, Ms. Philippines deserved to win. What made her different from the rest is that she had no seconds to rethink of her answer as she had no interpreter to break the ice. The rest had their interpreters and having breaks on seconds to think about their answers. Hands down, Ms. Philippines answered straight to the point.”

9. Don't take life too seriously. No one gets out alive.

10. How to please a woman:
Love her, die for her, take her to dinner, buy her jewelry, be interested in what she has to say.
How to please a man:
Show up naked. Bring beer.

11. Facebook should add a "who cares" button beside "like"

12. Officiating priest to newlyweds: I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now update your Facebook status.

13. Welcome to Facebook. The place where relationships are perfect, liars believe their own bullshit, and the world shows off they are living a great life; where your enemies are the ones that visit your profile the most, your friends and family block you, and even though you write what you are really thinking, there is always someone that takes it the wrong way.

11 October 2011

Melancholia

There's a marriage celebration in a castle
where the bride is hassled
for a campaign tagline.
Everyone would die
did you just sigh?
Back to the title
Melancholia must be that high.

~ Hazel, Stasia Desiderata



Has anyone seen Melancholia yet? I haven't. My coffee and movie meetup group sent me an invite to watch this film which is shown this week in Bangkok.  According to summaries around Lars Von Trier creates psychological devastation.  The sooner we get over it, the better: nobody survives. "In a way, the film does have a happy ending," remarks Trier.  Everyone perishes and there's a happy ending(?). That might send me to the theater to find out how true, how come and why. There are beautiful scenes in the trailer. Watch.


This post is linked with ABC Wednesday.

10 October 2011

Orinoco flow

"from Tripoli to the Yellow Sea, from Peru to Cebu..."

Quite international: about 16 other locations are referenced on Enya's Orinoco Flow which topped the charts for weeks in the 90s. The mention of Cebu brings me to the summer of 1990.  I was 18, traipsed Cebu and said to myself - one day I'll go look at what's beyond this old city. That is not the only reason I like Sail away (incorrectly thought of as the title).  The arpeggiated harp intrigues me as well. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I do.


This post is linked with:

Denise @ Run DMT hosts Music Monday Blog Hop

06 October 2011

Neurotic old maid patties

"...I'm single. I eat in the kitchen sink."
- Sarah (Diane Lane) in Must Love Dogs

Well, I'm single too, and I eat on top of the fridge facing a rickety bread toaster and a good, old reading lamp amongst pens, receipts, stray ear rings and notes bound for the loony bin.  In this one particular case when I had been in bed too long, I stood on my 5th floor porch for some fresh air. These are oat patties I managed to conjure err... make during one Saturday when I was unable to eat out.  Tuna chunks, pancake flour, evaporated milk, a large egg, Knorr soy sauce, and shitake bits. There are no spices at all; can't be bothered. Just mix, fry and voila! Every piece turned out yummy.


You would expect me to fidget while trying to leave some for a friend who was coming to dinner. The AC machine became the next table. And then a thought struck. This plate is royal bone china. It falls and hits a sedan on the parking lot below and I'm going to mourn my loss for a long time.  Neurotic, old maid.


A tip: Use quick cooking oats, not instant, for patties.

This post is linked with
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Girl reading

The pictures space in my e-library contains a folder named Anastasia's Looking Glass.  It is where I store photos that inspire me. Recently I stumbled upon this website called vi.sualize.us where you can "bookmark your favorite images and share them with everyone." So far I found 12; (thought I'd include one of me to complete the list as I like it the way it is), and I'm sharing all with you.  A link to the source is placed before each photo. My 'favoritest' are nos. 2 - 13. Got yours?



1. Reading blurbs @ Dasa Book Cafe. February 2011

2. reading
http://piccsy.com/2011/05/reading-88r2ws7ph/

3. Untitled / Lauren Treece
http://www.google.com/reader/view/#stream/user/12221102..../style

4. reading
http://piccsy.com/2011/05/reading-88r2ws7ph/

5. Beauty of childhood / via ver2go (tumblr)
http://ver2go.tumblr.com/

6. Sisters / Mig_R
http://flickr.com/photos/fawbs/2819244943/

7. 163 / 365 - Felix Felicis / Noukka Signe
http://beautyineverything.com/4518817536

8. Books to Read
http://www.fanpop.com/spots/books-to-read

9. Charles Edward Perugini, World Gallery
http://www.worldgallery.co.uk/

10. http://artfiles.art.com/images/-/Jean-Honor-Fragonard oung-Girl-Reading-Print-C10032525.jpeg http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://artfiles.....5.jpeg
11. Young Woman Reading By A Window, Delphin Enjolras
http://www.oilpaintings-art.com/movement/Young-Woman-Re....ow/162

12. Pietro Magni’s marble statue The Reading Girl
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://curledupwi....ng.jpg

13. Book of Fairy Tales... by *louvre89 on deviantART
http://louvre89.deviantart.com/art/Book-of-Fairy-Tales-88905326

Megan and Janet host Thursday Thirteen
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