Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bang your stick

That line is not mine. I mean I can't take it off my head since reading [Alan's] Marilyn's "You can choose; or go with armour, helmets... pantomime, theatricals, warlike women or big sticksIt's probably too much Nanny McPhee. I have become a fan of the unruly children-featuring film since becoming a mom to a handful.

Anyway, sticks. Perhaps something like a sceptre will do? And I got this photo from a recent Golden Reign Exhibit,  with exactly just that.

Known as Rama IX, Thailand's American-born King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world's longest-serving current head of state and longest-reigning monarch in Thai history (Wikipedia) He is also the world's richest royal with a fortune estimated to be worth more than $30 billion (Forbes). 

King Bhumibol (pronounced POH-mee-pahd) is shown on the photo with his wife, Queen Sirikit and son, crown prince Vajiralongkorn, holding his sceptre, which is adorned by Garuda, a mythical half-bird, half-human figure.

Being Thailand's national symbol, the Garuda can be seen everywhere in the kingdom. What I have not seen is a follow-up report of that 546-carat diamond said to adorn the King's sceptre to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his ascension to the throne.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The rain, the catfish and the chedi

Rain. I associate it with a weekend spent with friends frolicking with an army of tame fish in a national park. I remember it because that was when I learned that to deliberately stand in the rain just for the fun of it is sheer joy. The other reason was these delightful swish-swooshing catfish 

They sense it when people approach. They come near as if they know dinner is served.  We fed them string beans. What a greedy bunch!

Further up a slope as we continued to hike we found this moss-covered chedi made from laterite. It was built to commemorate King Rama and Queen Sunantha's visit to the park in 1876. Queen Sunantha drowned when the royal boat capsized in the Chao Phrya river. 

A Wikipedia entry describes the drowning, "despite the presence of many onlookers they were forbidden on pain of death to touch the queen - not even to save her life."  Nearby is a sign that forbids anyone to come near if they are not properly dressed. I took this shot using my phone from a distance. Perfect thing to do after the rain has stopped.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Literary takedowns

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

My dog just had his birthday (12 years old, thanks), so … how do you feel about books about dogs or pets? Fluffy stories of fluffy family members? Solid books on training them or taking care of them? Touching reminiscences of trouble and the way a person’s dog (or pet) has helped get them through?

(Mind you, almost all the pet-related books on my shelf are about dogs, but I’m well aware that people love their cats, horses, ferrets, rabbits, fish, etc. just as much, so … any species is fine!)

Any favorite books to recommend?
 Mozart (r) on his first birthday with guest/buddy Shopao (l, neighbor's pooch)

I notice, browse and admire those books about dogs but I actually do not have any of them. When I had my fur son I read about how to take care of him online and just asked his vet whenever I needed a quick question answered. Guess I was more keen on spoiling him. The spoiling took its toll. He turns 12 in August and behaves like a cat, eg. feeling entitled.

If I want Mozart to come to me I don't say "come" but "bye-bye, Mo." When it's bath time he suddenly gets busy pretending the noodle ad he's watching on TV is of national importance. Fur parents like me should probably read When Pigs Fly!: Training Success With Impossible Dogs. Or maybe someone should write us a book like When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Spoiled Rotten Poodles.

I have lots of DVDs that feature dogs though. One of my faves is Lassie Come Home. I can't stand stories or anything in the news that show dogs or any animal being mistreated.

Serious reading I did for Mozart was after my divorce when I had to pack him to Grandma's house. It was international travel. The process involved customs, quarantines, airline regulations on flying pets and government to government communications. It was major stress.

Now that we're back to normal I am eyeing a fun read called Arlo Needs Glasses. Here's the book trailer if you want to watch -

 ~ x ~

Thursday 13: literary takedowns. What do you think of authors or editors bashing other authors or their works? Have you had a fave author or work attacked? What was your reaction?
1.   V.S. Naipul against Jane Austen
2.   Stephen King against Stephenie Meyer
3.   Kathryn Schulz against F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
4.   Christian Lorentzen against Alice Munro (Poor Rose)
5.   Joseph Epstein against Franz Kafka (overrated?)
6.   Mark Twain against Fenimore Cooper (his Literary Offenses)
7.   Oliver Wendell Holmes against Plato 
8.   David Foster Wallace against John Updike (Phallocrat)
9.   George Bernanrd Shaw against Shakespeare
10. Lord Byron against Chaucer
11. Nabokov against Dostoyevksky
12. Bertrand Russell against Socrates
13. Ralph Waldo Emerson against Jane Austen

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A dose of country

It's another week of learning, inspiration and gratitude for blessings.

A dose of country. An aunt in Morganton, NC was game with my request for a close-up of the birdhouse in her summer garden.  The image colors my dreams of country living. Oh, one day when I retire....

Quick humor. It's one of those moments when you overlook little imperfections, but just smile and let things be. (Source: Report Card)

Quote: "You know what I like most about people? Pets." ~ Jarod Kintz, Who Moved My Choose?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change by Deciding to Let Indecision Into Your Life

The link takes you to a review of the book on Good Reads by M.C. Humphreys.

Health tip. "Saturated fats are actually the healthiest oils to cook with," claims Barton Publishing. Here's why.

Chicken pancit. I was invigilating killer Cost Accounting, Strategic Management and Business Law all day. On an empty stomach. During break some undergrads were smoking like heck; others looked catatonic staring at their iPads. With the tummy rumbling I mused it's what happens when CPA-Lawyers listen to Survivor's Eye of the Tiger while writing the finals. Thank goodness a colleague's wife sent reinforcement at 3 PM. Starvation sorted!

~ x ~

Friday, July 5, 2013

Thrones, stairs and ambassadors

The few visitors in the throne hall of King Narai's palace were leaving when I got there. Pleased with the solitude, I lingered. The quiet seemed to usher in an opportunity to commune with the spirit of the ruins, however fleeting it was.

Like usual thrones this one is elevated.  Over at his palace King Narai had foreign dignitaries, those of France's King Louise XIV whose practice of wearing high heels was hypothetically due to his short height.  There must have been some influence or connection there.

This is the Dusit Sawan hall. The stairs are steep. Imagine King Narai going up the steps to sit on his throne. I reckon the act was not very comfortable, but then I'm no king and they must have adapted some fashion of climbing steep stairs in 1666.

This is a close-up of the memorial plaque by the throne. It portrays King Narai granting an audience with French ambassadors -

The ruins still exuded so much character. Ambling behind the throne was like playing hide n' seek with whatever friendly ghost was left in there. Numerous climbs must have taken place on this flight of stairs before the roof went off to reveal that sole flier in the vast space above.

Then I proceeded to the living quarters of the king's many wives....

~ x ~
Shared with Time Travel & Sepia Saturday

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

Thursday, July 4, 2013


This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

"Do you ever read books that could be considered patriotic? Rousing stories of heroes? History? Brave countrymen & women doing bold things? What would you recommend if somebody asked you for something patriotic–no matter what your country?"

The only patriotic books I read were those required in school.  Nowadays if I have to pick up one patriotic book that involves my country, the Philippines, it will be Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq by Susan A. Brewer.  John H. Brown, Ph.D., has a good review of the book on American Diplomacy.

Thursday 13: quotes about time. Which ones do you like or relate to?

1. There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want. ~ Bill Waterson
2. Time is a game played beautifully by children. ~ Heraclitus, Fragments
3. If you judge people, you have no time to love them. ~ Mother Teresa
4. Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ~ Curtin, Phrynette Married

5. They say I'm old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast! ~ Dr. Seuss

6. I'm on a government watch list. But I'm not interested, because government watches only twenty minutes out of every hour. ~ Jarod Kintz

7. "I wish it need not have happened in my time, " said Frodo.  "so do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times.  But that is not for them to decide.  All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

8Time is the longest distance between two places. Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

9. There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart.  So you'd better learn the sound of it.  Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying. ~ Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

10. You may delay, but time will not. ~ Benjamin Franklin
11. Time is an illusion. ~ Albert Einstein
12. Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. ~ William Penn
13. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. ~ Anthony G. Oettinger


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