Monday, July 31, 2006

Ignored No More

After experimenting with dinner (made omelet, thai style), I noticed my guitar in the corner of my bedroom, covered with fine dust, obviously neglected for a very long time. So I thought maybe tonight would be perfect, since it was also pouring outside.

To create the perfect ambience, I turned on the lamps, burned sandal wood incense, squatted on the carpet surrounded by huge pillows, then played my old repertoire -- Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Colvin, Jason Mraz and Sixpence -- and some new songs by Corinne Bailey Rae and Kotaro Oshio (*slight*... still working on the chords).

It reminded me of my college days, and times at home with my family, just making music, not a care in the world. Soothingly therapeutic.

I think I should be doing it more often.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cursing Billy Blanks

Tonight was only my second time to follow the advanced tae-bo workout cd which I got ages ago, and i couldn't help but shout swear words at the instructor on video. I am still in my sweaty workout gear (eeewwwww), trying to rest and write while I'm still in the mood before i hit the shower.

For the first 20 minutes of the entire 30-minute workout, I was already gasping for breath, tongue out, desperate for H2O. I was praying as I struggled with the much faster punches and kicks, "Please, please, please let this be worth my while." I do have to shed off the remaining pounds, which is still A LOT, and the thought sort of boosted up my adrenalin already. Then Billy Blanks started doing one of his irritating adlibs, "What? What did you say? That's right, one more set!" So I went (*%@#^!$@^%$@#R%*&!^Y#P(*^(%!*(&#*!!! plus the dirty finger flying in the air with the punches.

Well, writing about it now makes me laugh. I can be so whiny sometimes :D


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Terminal Case of RFS

RFS = Rock Fanatic Syndrome

YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pardon me, still on a high, just finished watching Incubus' Red Rocks Concert on DVD.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

10 Insightful and Fun Questions

1. What is your favorite word? DESTINY
2. What is your least favorite word? LIKE, used as an expression
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? MUSIC
4. What turns you off? VANITY
5. What is your favorite curse word? B***Y NI ITA NYA
6. What sound or noise do you love? RAIN
7. What sound or noise do you hate? LONG AND LOUD CAR HONKS
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? PSYCHOLOGY/CULINARY
9. What profession would you not like to do? CHEMISTRY... eeeekkk
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? YOU DID JUST FINE.

O sha, your turn :p


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My Inner Brat

For the first time in many months, or even years, my conscience kicked in when I came to work this morning almost an hour late. Well, just a little bit ;)

I have been late, almost always, at work for as long as I can remember, and this is something I’m not proud of. But when I’m going somewhere fun with family or friends, I always make it right on time, or even ahead of time. Getting up at 7 o’clock in the morning for work seems more difficult to me than getting up for a trip, or just an early holiday breeze, at 5am. Not that I don’t enjoy my job, which I do, I just don’t get the point of coming to work before 8am, and just sit there doing almost nothing. I do work in a school, so the day always starts early, though not for me. So even when I wake up at 6, I just stay there in bed, watching TV or trying to get more sleep, and still couldn’t come to work on time (couldn’t, or wouldn’t? hehe).

I was initially looking for funny quotes about tardiness, for my daily blog. I didn’t find anything funny. Maybe tardiness is really not a subject to laugh about. Then, I read this article. It made me realize something about myself. I do lack the self-discipline. I allow my inner brat to interfere with my adult self, and actually let it win. My tardiness almost seems deliberate that I make excuses sound foolish, at least to myself.

I do hope someday I break the habit.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You've Got Mail!

I was just talking about my career doubts yesterday with some friends, and guess what happened today? I got an email from a company, offering me another freelance project (which I just turned down because they wanted it rushed, as in this week, labo :p). How weird is that? Did it ever happen to you, just talking about things and the next day, they actually happen?

I think this is the fourth time this sort of thing happened to me. As far as I can remember, well not really that long time ago, my friend and I were talking about old crushes and boy friends, and we focused on one person (my side). Then two days after, this guy calls me out of nowhere, telling me he’s coming to Thailand for some business matters. We have not even talked for ages. The second and third were like this fourth one. I was bored during those times, hoping to get even a part-time job to work on, then this company calls me and offers me one. Out of the blue. Amazing huh?

I feel blessed for getting what I actually want at the exact time, sometimes. It always reassures me of the existence of THE higher power. And for this, again, I quote Paulo Coelho’s words: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

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Monday, July 24, 2006

I'm 50% Abnormal :D

You Are 50% Normal

While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Late Night With Shyamalan

As I took the last ride on the subway tonight, I started to reflect on the film I just saw.

A few weeks ago, the "Lady In The Water" movie poster came out and easily caught my eye. I was highly intrigued. I felt a bit of excitement just seeing M. Night Shyamalan's name. I thought "Has he done another film with a kickass twist, like 6th Sense and The Village? Or would it suck, like Signs and Unbreakable?" I was also looking forward to seeing his cameo appearance, as he always did in his previous films.

The movie is basically a modern-day bedtime story with a twist, or even a few. It is NOT a horror film. Anyone expecting a scary movie, much like the 6th Sense, will be very disappointed. Believe it or not, it is safe to let kids watch this one. How do nymphs, beasts, guilds, healers and other fantasy characters sound?

Though the movie is not intended for everybody's enjoyment, the film points out several lessons, including some laughs. It sends out a message about purpose. We all have one and everyone is meant to be somebody. All we need to do is figure that out.

Oh, and yes, M. Night DID appear in the film, and actually played a semi-major role this time. Kinda strengthened my belief about his quest for stardom in the acting arena. Frustration perhaps? Hehe.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mushy Mood

Just one of those days when I daydream about things. I normally gag on pop love songs, but this one kinda goes with the vibe.

Jim Brickman - Simple Things

For people in love (myself excluded, technically) ... Words are too mawkishly amorous to be posted, so nevermind. Enjoy the music.


Friday, July 21, 2006

What Ice Cream Flavor Are You?

You Are Rocky Road Ice Cream

Unpredictable and wild, you know how to have fun.
You're also a trendsetter who takes risks with new things.
You know about the latest and greatest - and may have invented it!

You are most compatible with vanilla ice cream.


What Kind of Rocker Are You?

You Are an Indie Rocker!

You are in it for the love of the music...
And you couldn't care less about being signed by a big label.
You're all about loving and supporting music - not commercial success.
You may not have the fame and glory, but you have complete control of your career.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Home Away From Home

I have been living in Thailand for almost four years now, and not once did I feel the urge to flee. I feel blessed to treat every single day as a new one. How could you not see things so positively when the minute you walk out of your apartment, you are greeted and surrounded by smiles and kindness? No rude drunken men on the streets, cars honking endlessly, or snatchers on the loose. Neighbors, who I do not normally talk to (due to my lack of Thai-speaking skills), never fail to greet me with a smile when we pass by each other on the street. I have left my personal stuff a couple of times in many places, and never was anything stolen. People even try to return them, including the simplest things that you could easily throw away. It’s amazing how people carrying bundles of cash, out in the open, manage to stay in line at a money deposit machine, unthreatened. Vendors and other shop owners, big and small, could even leave their stores unattended. Respect for others, in general, is strictly observed. Some people even express their sincerest apologies when you’re actually the one at fault, like in a near-car-hit scenario. Normally, the driver would shout curses at you for being so stupid, right?

There are so many other reasons why I love living in Thailand. Rent and food are cheap. Any expatriate working here can afford their basic necessities plus a bit of luxury – that is if one chooses to settle on a budget that allows saving, otherwise, one can surely lead an extravagant lifestyle. It is also situated in a very strategic location that makes traveling to other countries much easier and more affordable. Their rural areas are highly-prioritized and maintained by the monarchy, and the government, that locals and foreigners tend to go there for the holidays, instead of going some place else.

Of course there are always flaws, but why spoil the image when more than enough good points already stand out?

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My Dream Destinations

As I always say, mangangarap ka rin lang, todohin mo na! :D Sky's the limit, ineng! In no particular order:

1. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines -- hmmm... *maybe* next summer; photo courtesy of my aussie friend, Jean, who went there last summer (Jho is filled with envy!!!)

2. Thilosu Waterfalls, Thailand -- planning to go next month, but we only have 3 days off; you need at least 5 days to permit long travels and camping, so maybe later this year (say mo, bakla?)....

3. South America (Venezuela, Arentina, Peru, Chile, Brazil) -- dreaming....

4. Cebu, Philippines -- I'll try to go straight to Cebu from Bangkok one time, then Cebu to Legaspi to get home hehe. It's a real hassle that PAL domestic planes do not offer many flight options between provinces (Cebu-Naga, for instance); you always have to drop by Manila airport, grrr....

5. Easter Island, Chile -- just a quick tour, I guess... click the picture and see how mysterious and interesting this place is....

6. French Polynesia (Tahiti, Bora Bora) -- yeah, dream on....

7. Cairo, Egypt -- I would LOVE to set foot on the Sphynx and the pyramids....

8. Japan -- Cherry blossoms are always a delight... plus the Japanese culture... and FOOD!!!


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sundays with Joie

I just spent the weekend at my sister's hotel room. She works as a pianist at the Imperial Queens Park Hotel -- just a 5-minute walk from Emporim Plaza and BTS Skytrain.

Hanging out with my sister is fun. We just laughed ourselves to sleep last night, as always. She's my foodtrip buddy. Well, not as much as before but we did eat some today. When we both feel like going out, we usually go to Brown Sugar, a jazz bar near Lumphini Park and Night Bazaar, but we tried the Saxophone Pub at Victory Monument last night, for a change. I still prefer Brown Sugar though. We also love watching horror movies together. We even rent Thai horror movies and make up crazy translations to make them less scary. By the way, I'm going back there on Wednesday night -- Sixth Sense on Star Movies at 9pm. Bwahaha!

Aside from spending time with sis, I always look forward to staying there because I get to watch Star Movies, National Geographic, MTV and BBC (unfortunately, my apartment only has HBO and ESPN, the rest are thai/thai-dubbed channels. pathetic). I also get to read the Bangkok Post and solve the crossword puzzle for free hehe. Jazz and acoustic music mesh well with lying on the bed and reading a good book (uh, Harry Potter 6 for today). Some CD's I played earlier: EBTG - The Best of EBTG, Stacey Kent - In Love Again, Kotaro Oshio - Be Happy, and Renee Olstead.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sangkhlaburi Getaway

My friend and I just spent 3 fun-filled days in a remote town called Sangkhlaburi. It took us almost 10 hours to get there - 2 hours wait at the Southern Bus Terminal (entirely because of the bitchy ticket lady), 2 hours trip from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi province, another 2 hours wait at Kanchanaburi terminal (because the buses were full; good thing we asked around and found a small ticketing office for Sangkhlaburi trips), and another 4-hour drive to Sangkhlaburi.

When we finally arrived, we couldn't help saying "wooooowww" over and over again. It was truly spectacular, just perfect for rainy seasons. The guesthouse is facing the River Kwai. It rains there all night long. You could hear mild tapping of the rain on the tin roof, which made our sleep heavenly during our stay. But the minute it hits 7am, the rain stops.

P.Guesthouse, where we stayed, was packed with tourists. It was so peaceful and quiet. The rooms were nice and clean, and the staff was very friendly. Food was very appetizing (thanks to that, because we both get grumpy when hungry hehe) at the restaurant at the top of the hill. The view from there was breath-taking, we couldn't help but stay for almost an hour to finish our meals.

The second day was an adventure. We joined a boat tour bound for the Mon and Karen villages. The river was very calm, the surface looked like silk. The hills were topped with clouds. It was a beautiful sight. Then the boat docked where 5 huge elephants were waiting. We were so excited, like little kids about to ride a carousel. It was a thrill to be on an elephant's back, walking through the wild, climbing up and down steep and slippery slopes. We called our elephant B****. She was so stubborn -- she got tapped in the head a couple of times for not following his master. At first we didn't know why she kept on pausing, then we realized she was eating non-stop! It was really hilarious. I even joked to my friend that we were on the right elephant. The elephant ride took 1.5 hours to reach the small village where we had our lunch (khao phat :D). Then we took the boat again from there. We were supposed to go rafting after lunch, but the family that came with us didn't want to... those *&(#(%@^!

Since rafting was cancelled, we got back earlier than scheduled, so we decided to walk on the wooden bridge (made by the villagers themselves, only by hand) across River Kwai. The wood was obviously centuries old, but it was highly maintained. When we got to the village across, it was nothing I expected. There was a parked Mercedes Benz on one side of the street, and several brand new Hilux pickups on the other. The roads were small but well-paved. The small stores had everything. The drainage system was well-managed. There were stoplights. One of the villagers was even using the latest Nokia model. Although their lifestyle was as modern as the city's, their rich culture could be seen everywhere -- houses, old folks, men and women, walking on the street wrapped in malong-like skirts. Anyway, we were getting closer to the huge temple we could see from the guesthouse so we decided to go there. They had intricate art carved all over the place. Thai art always amazes me.

Walking back was a real killer. But the moment we reached another lodge on a hill, it was so worth the walk/climb. We could see the whole stretch of the river, and all the resorts, villages and 3 bridges (the floating houses in the pictures are not slums, they are actual floating houses that tourists can rent and take to the middle of the lake; there's a boat that drags the entire house). We enjoyed the view while having dinner on the top porch. After eating tom yum kung and khao pat kai (shrimp tom yum and chicken fried rice), we headed back safely to the guesthouse (through the rain, and after a few near attacks of vicious-looking dogs).

We started our 3rd and last day of the getaway by sitting on the jetty early in the morning (yes, 9am on holiday is early for people like us), reviewing pictures in the camera and saying how much we will miss the place. We were supposed to leave around 10-11am, then the frontdesk lady mentioned there was a bus going straight to Bangkok at 2pm (all we found in the internet were Bangkok-Kanchanaburi and Kanchanaburi-Sangkhlaburi trips, and vice versa). Not only was the Northern terminal closer to our apartments but the trip only took 5.5 hours. Annoying huh? Well, we did enjoy the whole vacation so... kiber na ineng! Anyway, the bus had very friendly staff (we called the steward, and later driver, *Smiley*, beccause he really was smiling the whole time) and they served snacks and dinner, which makes the last trip much cheaper and less exhausting than the first one. We arrived Bangkok at 8.30pm, a total of 6.5 hours, including the stopovers. I can't wait to go back!

Oh, by the way, there's another long weekend in August. Hmm... where to go? (Painggit ba? :D:P)

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