Friday, April 16, 2010

A quiet week

Thailand is celebrating Songkran (Thai new year) this week. Water-throwing which characterizes the occasion has been reportedly mild especially in Bangkok where protests are still going on. It's untraditionally dry where I live and in general things have been quiet. I like the week just the way it is:

A place to purchase necessities in peace
I usually stay indoors during Songkran because I don't like to get drenched. To do the same thing this year I hoarded food so I didn't have to go out at anytime during the entire week. I'm glad I was able to do my shopping without having to worry about stray bullets or being trampled by a mob.

A friendly man in uniform
After buying everything we needed, CJ and I stood waiting opposite the mall for our ride home. Vehicles on the highway were sparse. The cop directing traffic approached CJ, and playfully tugged the Ultraman doll which seems perenially attached to CJ's hand nowadays. Then he went back to his job. It all happened within less than a minute but the smile coming out the officer's masked face spread to my face too.

Baby sitting gone easy
Out of the blue CJ stopped drinking milk from the bottle. An abrupt, sort of without preamble decision of his. YAY to the end of almost six years of bottle-related inconveniences! I'm exceedingly relieved and pleased.

I made use of my free week brainstorming. There are parts of research where offline sources are more helpful than online back-up. Such books were good litter on my bed.

Rebirth in my fridge
This is the result of more or less 60 dinners in restaurants, and take-out lunches. I had fun discovering it, wished I had an earth-filled pot so it could go on or time for city gardening -

Share what you love about your week
with Susanne @ Living to Tell the Story

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Theories in action

Gradschool, Communication Theory class: we were grilled on the application of theories in everything at every turn. When trouble erupted in Thailand's Muslim south, we were required to analyze it using a communication theory. A major newspaper editor was fired and we set about combing pages for a theory that would best explain the circumstances around the sacking. Thank God Bangkok U has already released me or I will have been wondering which theory would explain the ongoing Red Shirt protests. I remember some of these theories (#3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12), and as I'm drafting a theoretical framework this week I have to consult texts which makes it easy for me to come up with my T13 today. Which ones are relevant to your experiences?

1. Critical theories a group of theories that seek to produce change in oppressive and otherwise undesirable practices and structures in society

2. Critical race theory examines how laws and legal institutions construct race and uses race as a critical perspective for questioning cultural views of justice and fairness

3. Dialectical theory the point of view that certain tensions between contradictory desires are inherent in personal relationships (this partly helped me understand my divorce better)

4. Dramaturgical theory describes, explains and predicts human behavior in terms of dramatic actions and settings

5. General systems theory claims that all living organisms are dynamic wholes that function as a result of organized interaction among parts

6. Muted group theory a feminist theory that claims that women have been silenced because men have had the power to name the world and thus to constitute experience and meaning

7. Narrative paradigm the point of view that humans are natural storytellers and that most, if not all, communication is storytelling

8. Rules theory the point of view that socially constructed and learned rules guide communication

9. Social exchange theory the point of view that in relationships people try to minimize costs, maximize rewards and ensure equity

10. Standpoint theory the view that the material, social, and symbolic circumstances of a social group shape what members of that group experience as well as how they think, act and feel

11. Uncertainty reduction theory the point of view that uncertainty motivates communication and that certainty reduces the motivation to communicate

12. Cultivation theory the point of view that television promotes a view of social reality that may be inaccurate but that viewers nonetheless assume reflects real life

13. Speech community theory the point of view that explains the communication styles of particular social groups with reference to the cultures in which members of the group are socialized

Source: Wood, Julia T. (2004). Communication theories in action, 3rd ed. Canada: Thomson Wadsworth.

Megan and Janet host Thursday Thirteen

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mona Lisa Smile

The theme for Tuesday Couch Potatoes this week is Julia Roberts movie. I love this actress! She is one of my all-time favorite stars. But guess what -- except for Charlotte's Web in which she voice acted, I don't have any of her films in my DVD collection.

My favorites are Pretty Woman, and Notting Hill. She was her feisty best in Erin Brockovich. I remember ogling at her shoes in The Mexican. I watched Dying Young when I was in college and made sure I had the piano sheet of the soundtrack. JR exercised patience of a woman in love in Stepmom. I had no idea she voice acted in The Ant Bully. I can't remember details of My Best Friend's Wedding and not sure if I have seen Sleeping with the Enemy. I had easy access to The Pelican Brief, America's Sweethearts, Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve but had never gotten the time to watch them. I'm curious about Charlie Wilson's War, and putting Conspiracy Theory, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in my to-watch list. Soon I hope to watch Eat, Pray, Love. (image)

Now where is that entry of mine.... It's one of my favoritest of all Julia Roberts movies: Mona Lisa Smile - "a funny, inspiring and uplifting film about an art history professor with a lot to teach about life and much to learn about romance." (source)

Kikamz hosts Tuesday Couch Potatoes at Just About Anything.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stuck and Stolen

Musical Monday: Runaway - Bon Jovi
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My computer has gone crazy. Going out was no option because Red Shirt protests have escalated so I tried the TV. That's when I learned from CNN that as of yesterday the death toll was 19.


It's the start of Songkran (Thai new year) here but it looks like protesters are not chucking water at each other with the intensity that this event is traditionally characterized with. It's a different liquid poured on the gates of Government House but do not to go to this link if you are squeamish. I'm trying to numb some rising fear here by sticking Runaway to my head today.

Diane hosts Musical Monday at Good Mourning, Glory!


Monday Mayhem: Goes Stealing
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Mayhem is locked up in a jail cell some place in Illinois. You might ask why? Well it went on a stealing binge this week. It passed go and didn't collect the $200.00. Rather it went right to jail. You can get it out of jail by answering each question and sending a Margarita to Harriet. Cheers!


From 2nd Cup of Coffee:

1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I think I answered this with 'to be a nun'

2. If you had one word to describe yourself , what would you choose? wondering...

From Sunday Stealing:

3. You have been given the opportunity to create the half-hour TV show of your own design. What is it called and what’s the premise? Corruption-free Government: In Your Dreams

4. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? Have fun and pay your bills.

From Good Mourning Glory!:

5. This week's theme is Four Seasons. Share a video.

From Saturday 9

6. What age would you encourage your children to get married? when they are mature enough not to be like me

7. Who got married at the last wedding that you attended? Rungnapa

8. Do you enjoy weddings and receptions? yes, especially if there are old maids and widows who seem so eager to catch the bouquet - awesome lung exercise

From Thursday Thunks:

9. Your thoughts on truck drivers? What would two heavy and slow 18-wheelers look like if they tailgated each other

10. What is in your kitchen sink right at this very moment? I don't have a kitchen

Harriet hosts Monday Mayhem

Friday, April 9, 2010

Treat from the sky

Bangkok is in a state of emergency. I tried shopping yesterday but could not because protests have shut down major malls. There are no signs that anything's going to be resolved soon. As I am right where the action is I am hoping that my travel plans won't be affected. Meanwhile the rest of us are still working normally and that's a lot to be thankful for. I am also happy for other blessings:

Treat from the sky
Monday night it rained, saving me extra AC cost. Tuesday night a full moon was visible. Due to light pollution it's not every night that city residents get to see a sky adorned with a smiling heavenly body.

Helping each other
Sorting taxes is beyond me honestly, but some colleagues are good at it and willing to do it for me. In return I do something for them they'd rather not; like write the institute boss' speech around time constraints for research. Tension was high but when it was over it was hilarious how we were all in a dither while the boss just extended his hand for the folder that contained his speech and went on addressing the audience like a surgeon would go about in an operating theatre, expecting a nurse assistant to know which instrument to put into his hand. I just love cooperation that results in a positive working relationship.

"Jesus is gold"
It's what Cj said when he saw an image of Jesus on a clip I was watching. Kids. But well, the Man is, isn't He?

Hitting two birds with one stone
I got my 90-day report done while having a re-entry permit stamped on my passport. With terrible traffic, travel to the Immigration is stressful since its office has been moved so far away. There's also a crowd to wrestle once there. It's quite a relief to accomplish two requirements for a single fatigue.

A meeting that turned out well
The usual drab meetings, ouch. I'd be more thrilled with fast and clean execution of orders over minimal drama. This week's faculty meeting is just fab. Cambridge experts graced it. Professional woes were heard.

~Share what you love about your week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story~

Thursday, April 8, 2010

There is Math in your future

Do written signs have an impact on you? They must have on me as they recur from time to time. The first twelve of these signs are some I remember from MVC, a boarding college my parents sent me to. Situated on a hill and nicknamed The Hilltop, it is puritan, replete with angels and demons. I loved and hated that place. But signs, here we go:

1. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life ~ in the Music department. I did an entire summer job there pounding pianos for voice students

2. There is Math in your future ~ this has proven useful to me now

3. Reading maketh a full man ~ library obviously

4. Come out of here my people ~ looks like a line from the Bible. Occupants of the room where this sign was posted were male Theology majors. Boxer shorts hung on their ceiling during Open House, a once-a-term event when ladies and gents are allowed inside each other's residence rooms

5. Don't get mad. Get even ~ etched almost inconspicously on the wall of a tiny room above the stage of the auditorium

6. Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God's ideal for His children; godliness, godlikeness is the goal to be reached ~ on a frame in a classroom where Humanities subjects are taught

7. Sardines for sale here ~ on A4 pasted in a room in the girls' dorm. The college is vegetarian. Meat and selling are forbidden

8. Whether therefore ye eat or drink do all to the glory of God ~ in the cafeteria. I trained my eyes not to wander into it whenever viand was terrible

9. I will if I could but I can't so I won't ~ in the girls' dorm manager's office; we had a Miss Minchin-type during my time there

10. Wanted: girlfriend. Contact Gremer ~ on the bulletin board in the girls' old dormitory. Gremer is to MVC as Mr. Filch is to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

11. Bawal ang nakasimangot dito (Anyone frowning is not allowed in here) ~ in the makeshift Student Government office

12. MVC: Shine on til Jesus Comes! ~ this is huge and placed above the pulpit in church

13. Stop corruption! Dissolve parliament! ~ a placard held by Red Shirts currently protesting in major shopping areas of Bangkok. They want the premier to step down

Megan and Janet host Thursday Thirteen

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wonderful World

Musical Monday: What a Wonderful World
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Is it just me or do you also notice that sometimes when you are required to write something concise, you could hardly do so? All weekend this was my trouble. I drafted a research proposal overview that, if approved, would involve textual analysis of National Trust publications -actually simple to look at but taxing to put together. Louise Armstrong's What a Wonderful World would be one way to describe a part of it.

Diane hosts Musical Monday @ Good Mourning, Glory!


Monday Mayhem: I love this about...
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What do you love about people that you spend time with outside your home (coworkers etc)? they always share their snacks, perhaps a cultural trait

What do you love about people in your home?
my kiddo's manifestation of caring: last night I casually showed him my bleeding ankle and he ran to my dresser, stood on his toes looking for something beyond piles of magazines and came back with a muscle pain cream, lathered a handful on the cut and with a worried smile assured me, "there."

What do you love about talking on the phone?
speed of sending the message across

What do you love about the over-used terms that people use? glimmer of cuteness in the familiarity

What do you love about restaurant foods?
that I don't have to prepare them and clean up after eating

What do you love about restaurant servers?
their attention

What do you love about reading other blogs?
the picture I form in my mind about their world

What do you love about memes?
other people's interesting ways of answering them

What do you love about commenting on blogs?

What do you love about people who chew gum?
less gibberish as they have to chew (this was hard)

What do you love about driving on the highway?

What do you love about shopping at Walmart?
Walmart seems to be the equivalent of Tesco here which in that case, the low prices

What do you love about kids?
their juvenile wisdom that teaches adults to behave like responsible adults

What do you love about your gender?
feminine power

What do you love about the opposite sex?
strength and intelligence

What do you love about shoes?
that I don't have to suffer the difficulties of going barefoot

What do you love about shopping for clothes?
variety of styles

What do you love about music?
it helps me accomplish a lot of chores

What do you love about drinking alcohol?
watching those who do lighten themselves up a bit

What do you love about pizza?
when it is delivered to my door

Harriet hosts Monday Mayhem. Click here to join.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Medieval stroll

In York I was inwardly moaning that I could not join a ghost walk because I could not stand the cold. I missed viewing 13th century manuscripts because the tour ran out of time. So these 13 things I love about what I did not miss in that lovely city had better make up:

1. Guy Fawkes hotel. Although having a large portrait of England's catholic restorationist in my room was eerie, the four poster was cozy

2. Historic breakfast. It's served adjacent to the cottage where Guy Fawkes was born

3. Room with a view. The window is like a picture frame into which part of northern Europe's largest cathedral fits

4. York Minster: massive, magnificent, enough said.

5. Staring awed at the Five Sisters, reputed to be among the finest and rarest in the world.

6. Evensong. Beckoned in by the vesper chime, I quietly joined other worshippers for a bit of spiritual exercise

7. Minster choir. As voices rose to the spires, so swarmed gooseflesh from my gloved fingers to my shivering scalp

8. A chance to help preserve the Minster. 7GBP+/minute, cutie contribution lettered on a scroll signed by the dean

9. The Shambles. Meandering medieval street; picturesque and oozing with history

10. Relaxing in the market square. There I was examining my photos, unaware before looking up at a sign that hundreds of years ago heretics were burnt at the stake inches from where I sat

11. Hats on display reminded me of Lady Di

12. Beautiful dolls... controlled ogling in the shop

13. Browsing books. Blurbs transported hopeless romantic me into a gothic neverland

~ Megan and Janet host Thursday Thirteen. Click here for more lists ~


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