Friday, October 28, 2005

Crouching Daughter, Flying Tea

While having dim sum lunch with my mom at The Oriental the other day, I said something that made her laugh so hard, she sent chrysanthemum tea flying out of her nose and onto the front of my shirt.

Sadly, this simply made us laugh even more. It was tea waterworks galore.

In the end, I don't know who was left feeling more embarrassed -- me, with my lovely new tea-print pattern smeared across the front of my chest, or my mom, whose tea-spraying incident had been witnessed by everyone within a three-table radius.

Fortunately, we were having a late lunch, so only a table of confused Taiwanese tourists, a thirty-something couple out on a lunch date, and a semi-famous politician and his cronies were there to witness it.

The waitresses scurried away, leaving us to fend for ourselves. Mom dabbed at her face while I dealt with my tea-print pattern, feeling like a grade A idiot as I dabbed lamely at my chest while in full public view. Still, the laughter did not die down. In between hiccups, Mom managed to gasp out that Buddha was going to punish me for laughing at my mother during a time of crisis.

She's probably right. Everyone knows that one of the cardinal rules of Buddhism is: Thou shalt not laugh at Choking Mom.

I totally laughed at Choking Mom.

Despite running away earlier, the restaurant staff eventually returned and were very nice in that they offered to replace my now drenched red-pork salapao (due to sprayed tea from over yonder on Mom's side of the table) with a shiny new one from the oven.

A replacement salapao? Pfft. I could care less. I am appalled the restaurant staff did not at least attempt the Heimlich maneuver on Choking Mom.

Kidding aside, I am totally going to keep my mouth shut during meals from now on. Really. And I'm definitely gonna simmer down on the lame, dirty jokes, too.

Currently Playing: Goo Goo Doll's Dizzy Up the Girl album. This CD rocks, people, as does Johnny Rzeznik's voice. Dizzy, Slide, Broadway, and Black Balloon are personal faves, as is Iris (the perfect teenage angst song), but mostly because this was the first GGD song I'd ever heard, thanks to City of Angels (which was watched with my TLCAGS babes in 11th grade following a very memorable incident with a less-than-friendly makeup lady at the mall), starring Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage, who my mom only ever refers to as "that guy with the really tense face who looks like he puad kee mak mak**."

Currently Reading: The dental student forum over at Student Doctor Network. After reading the The Top Tens that Indicate You are a Dental Student, I feel very fortunate in that I have not yet dreamt of being chased by a block of wax, nor have I started passing out dental floss to friends after meals. If I ever do, someone please slap me!

**Puad kee mak mak = Really, really needs to take a shit. Please pardon the vulgarity, but that's how we talk in my house. Plus, watch any random Nicholas Cage movie and you will see that my mom was, well, simply speaking the truth.

>> Click to continue reading <<

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Chivalry, Oh Chivalry, Wherefore Art Thou, Chivalry?

The dental school I attend is a part of the international college at my uni, so we have our fair share of students who hail from all over, be it the US, Finland, South Africa, England, Bangladesh, or Australia. Last week, as I was walking toward the front door of the IC (international college), this Italian guy walking behind me did something for me no stranger has ever done before.

He quickened his pace, reached around, pushed open the door, and held it open for me with a smile that had enough wattage in it to light up the entire length of Broadway.

I have to admit he made me stop in my tracks, because, wow -- and let's be honest here -- there aren't that many guys who actually make an effort to do that anymore.

(Of course, the whole stopping-in-my-tracks thing might've been because he had the whole tall, dark and handsome thing down to a tee, was at least six-four, and the owner of a killer pair of baby blues. But, um, that's beside the point.)

Now, whether or not he's a charming rogue or simply a boy whose mama taught him well is of course up to debate. But still, it made me wonder why guys never hold open doors for us ladies anymore.

Or, to be more specific, is it simply THAI guys who remain completely clueless toward the concept of old-fashioned chivalry, or is it that European guys really know how to turn on the charm factor? (And believe me, if you saw this guy, you will realize I am not joking when I say his charm factor was to the power of infinity. Really. Charm was oozing out of his every pore.)

Now don't get me wrong -- it's not like I expect guys to toss their velvet coats upon muddy waters so their lady fair can cross puddle upon puddle without so much as soiling their silk-lined petticoats, but whatever happened to chivalry? I'm not talking gallant knights in shining armor upon white stallions here, but simply good old-fashioned gentlemanly behavior. Did it get swept away with the tides of evolution, only to be forever lost to civilization?

I don't know about you, but I'd like to think some guys out there still have a bit of that gentleman in them. But still, as optimistic as I'd like to be, I have to ask you, when was the last time you saw a guy hold a chair for a woman or help her with her coat?

Well, with the exception of male waiters holding chairs for female diners, I've never seen that here in Thailand. And don't even ask me about the coat, because there's obviously no need for coats in the sweltering heat here in the Land of Smiles. But even if there were such a need, I don't think I'd be seeing much of that, either.

As for holding open doors? My brother does that for my mom, and sometimes for strangers, even. But then again, that's only because I've rammed it into his head at least a zillion and one times that holding open a door for a woman can go a long way (believe me, we girls don't forget that kind of stuff very easily). And, okay, in all fairness, a number of guys I know have held open doors for me in the past, but complete STRANGERS whom I've never even met before?

Well, until Mr. Debonair Italian last week?


Of course, like I said earlier, his being Italian and all might've had a little something to do with it. I mean, c'mon, it's no secret those Italian guys live to flirt. (Anyone remember that scene in Under the Tuscan Sun, when a small group of guys practically stalk Diane Lane through the streets of Rome?) When my cousin went to Italy, she said she got honked at on the streets by 3 out of every 5 cars that passed her. And while it was kind of fun at first, it got downright annoying a few dozen honks later. Now, I'm no expert in math, but 3 out of 5? Italian guys are definitely not shy.

Which brings me to the men's side of the argument. Some guys might argue that such chivalrous behavior will only make us ladies suspect them of an "ulterior motive." Ya know, basically, "jeez, he's just holding open them doors to get into my pants." And as if that weren't confusing enough already, you've also got another group of women who adamantly insist , "hey, buddy, if I can rack up the dough, I think I can manage a measly door on my own, thanks." (And rightfully so.)

"Well," the modern-day man cries in sheer frustration, "what the hell am I supposed to do? Open the door, or not open the door? Help her with her coat, or dump the damn thing in her arms? Pick her up at her place on my white stallion, or meet her at the new Japanese place downtown instead?"

(And guys, you have my sympathy; I do realize all this is enough to make a guy go completely insane.)

So what do you think? Ladies, do you think chivalry is dead, and do you think it's necessary in the 21st century? And do you like guys to show random acts of gentlemanness (I just so totally made up a word there), or can you open your doors on your own, thank you very much?

And guys, do you think women who demand such behavior are woefully stuck in the 19th century? Or, even worse, do you think we fickle, modern-day women are utterly confused, what with the way we firmly plant our independent-minded, Manolo stiletto heels in the 21st century, yet leave our romantic hearts aflutter in the 19th? Also, do you think chivalry is bogus, and that we women are perfectly capable of opening doors on our own? (Ditto our chairs and coats.)

It'd be interesting to hear what others think.

Oh, and as for Mr. Debonair Italian with the killer smile and pretty baby blues? We talked briefly and I found that he was indeed mighty charming and easy to talk to. Unfortunately, ladies, he was also the biggest, baddest flirt since Giacomo Casanova -- all roving eyes, easy smiles, and wandering hands. I don't care if you're Prince Andrea Casiraghi of Monaco, please do not be all touchy-feely with me if I do not know you and have never even laid eyes on you before. As charming as you may be, too much charm, I have learned, can also stink up a room pretty bad.

(Well, okay. I lied. Maybe I would care a little if you were Prince Andrea Casiraghi of Monaco.)

EDIT: Oh, wow. They actually have a whole series of articles on Gentlemen Etiquette over at Of course, some of those tips are just plain ridiculous -- "Do not curse"? Um, how is that physically possible? Someone enlighten me please, because I haven't the faintest idea. I mean, jeez, we girls want Mr. Darcy every now and then, not a freaking saint.


Currently Playing: Hey Ya! by Outkast and Starry-Eyed Surprise by Shifty and the incomparable Paul Oakenfold, because these here songs will make you want to bounce in your seat and get up and shake your booty, even if you can't dance for squat (not that *I* can't dance for squat per se; I'm just saying. That's all). Oh yeah, Starry-Eyed Surprise also holds lots of memories for me, because it was while SES was playing on the radio that I got into my first car accident. Famous Thai Singer Who Also Goes to My Uni rams his shiny new BMW into my crap car while turning into uni, and I, unapologetically late for an Embryology exam, walk away with his number (for the insurance guys, obviously) and a totally believable excuse for being late for finals. Starry-Eyed Surprise? Gosh, you bet.

Currently Reading: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Again. Because it is so strikingly clever and poignant, I just had to read Christopher's story once more.

>> Click to continue reading <<

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Totally Useless Information About Me

I have no idea why, but I have been inundated with surveys this past week, both through e-mail and the blogosphere. I'll start off first with the email I received from Kit, Dao, and Jack. The surveys they sent were pretty similar, but a few questions were I mixed and matched.

5 snacks I like to munch on:
1. Khao niew ma-muang (mangoes with sweet sticky rice and coconut milk) = CALORIE SUICIDE + much sobbing afterwards
2. Cookies & cream ice cream -- and no, it's not the same thing as vanilla with oreos.
3. Cinnamon graham crackers -- cinnamon anything, really.
4. Oishi green tea (do beverages count?), because it's the best drink EVER
5. Chocolate (unfortunately)

5 bands whose songs I know all the words to:
1. Literally anything and everything by Hanson (remnants of high school teenybopper days)
2. Aerosmith
3. No Doubt
4. Goo Goo Dolls
5. Rooster
6. Texas
7. Savage Garden, even though they broke up ages ago
8. The Corrs
9. Blue, because I am a sad, sorry person and a sucker for British boy bands. Unfortunately, can't blame this one on high school stupidity, seeing as how Blue didn't release their first single until my freshman year of college.
(I know 9 does not equal 5. So I cheated and added a few more, okay?)

5 places I would run away to:
1. Southwest coast of Ireland, for good craic and stunning scenery
2. Tuscany, to be charmed by the land and to bask Under the Tuscan Sun (heh, sorry, couldn't help it)
3. Prague, to walk along the Vltava river
4. Burgundy, to soothe the soul
5. Paris, to indulge in la dolce vita Parisian style, baby

5 things I'd do with $100 million:
1. Give a large part of it to my parents
2. Travel the world over. Thrice.
3. Give to all my favorite charities
4. Buy a house somewhere in the aforementioned places
5. Invest or start up a dream business venture

5 biggest joys:
1. Photography
2. Reading
3. Writing
4. Driving
5. Travel

5 bad habits:
1. Tapping fingers/feet to whatever song I currently have playing on repeat in my head
2. Clumsiness/klutziness
3. Sleeping in
4. Cursing like a sailor
5. (see below)

5 things I say too much:
1. Like
2. Oh my God -- put #1 and #2 together, and you have Lynn the Long-Lost Cast Member from Clueless.
3. Um
4. Totally
5. Feck -- could never say/type f*ck without feeling just slightly guilty, thanks to 13 years of Christian and Catholic schooling. Yet, oddly enough, damn/ass/crap/shit/random Thai swear word all come easily to me. I guess that, other than f*ck, I am pretty much a (shame-faced) potty mouth.

5 things I would never be caught dead wearing:
1. This. Oh my God, dear Charlotte, what HAPPENED to you?
2. This. It's usually a hit or miss with J.Lo. Sometimes she looks spectacular, and other times she just looks like, well, a sack of potatoes.
3. This. Still, I'll always love you, Britney!
4. These.
5. And definitely not these.

5 joyful memories from your youth:
1. Driving down to LA to visit family every year
2. Family road trips to Napa/Lake Tahoe/Yosemite
3. Sunday school and summer school at Thai temple -- I used to HATE Thai classical dance and khim lessons, which is probably why Jirat, Jessica, and I would sometimes act like total brats. Oh my God, our poor teachers. Karmic retribution is coming my way someday, I just know it.
4. Trick-or-treat on Halloween
5. Tuesday mass at my old school, because I will not lie -- I secretly enjoyed singing those hymns.

5 embarrassing/bad memories from your youth:
1. The whole "Orange" fiasco in eighth grade (Arwen, Teresa, Alice, Pam, Michelle -- if you're reading this -- you know what I'm talking about)
2. The time I peed in my pants in Mrs. Lamm's 2nd grade class, because we were only allowed to go to the bathroom 3 times the entire YEAR, and I'd already used up all my excuses and thought I could keep it in until lunch. Apparently I couldn't.
3. In 1st grade, when we were supposed to give a speech about our ancestors, and I -- not having anyone at home to ask what the word "ancestor" meant -- except for my non-English speaking Chinese grandmother -- as my parents were away in Thailand, attending my grandfather's funeral -- announced to the entire class, "I'm sorry, I don't have any ancestors."
4. The time I puked three feet away from my crush's locker in 6th grade, leaving me feeling completely and totally HORRIFIED. No, not because he was looking at me -- because he was; like he could miss the new girl hurling less than 3 feet away from him -- but because I'd had a bowl of kuay thiew at the CRAP RIS cafeteria at lunch the period before and was thus struck ill with food poisoning for the next three days.
5. In 5th grade, when we were playing kickball and I accidentally kicked the ball smack into this one guy's groin. Apparently I'd kicked the ball so hard, he had to be taken to see the school nurse -- ACK. I was sooo embarrassed, and blamed it all on my mom, who'd made me join the soccer team the year before, thus turning my leg into something out of Rambo, or something.
(I have about a billion more embarrassing moments, but I think I've said enough already.)

5 (current) TV shows I like:
1. Lost (!!!) -- don't think I watch this show to find out what the heck is going on on that ol' island; au contraire ma cher, I watch it for the guys. ;)
2. Gilmore Girls -- I wish I could transplant myself into this show; what an awesome cast of characters and killer script.
3. Will and Grace, though I watch it more for Jack and Karen (who always crack me up, without fail) than Will and Grace.
4. Scrubs, because Zach Braff rocks and everyone in that entire hospital is totally INSANE, I tell you.
5. Arrested Development, because they will make even the quirkiest family look like the Brady Bunch.

5 (all-time favorite) TV shows I like:
1. Friends, of course.
2. Late Night With Conan O'Brien -- LOVE him and that crazy hair of his. Love him even more for making me choke on my iced tea in 1997 when he interviewed Fabio and questioned him about his man boobs and whether or not he does man boob workouts and lifts weights with his nipples to keep fit. Please don't look at me like I'm insane; you had to have seen it to get it -- I NEARLY DIED LAUGHING.
3. Charmed, because girls who can kick demon butt in a tube top and pair of heels rule.
4. South Park, for the 3rd grade boy alive inside of me.
5. The Naked Chef, because I love me some Jamie Oliver.

5 books I like:
1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Angela's Ashes -- so depressing, but oh so funny; talk about a total oxymoron.
3. The Time Traveler's Wife -- made me cry like a baby, but DAMN was it good.
4. The Other Boleyn Girl
5. Outlander
6. Memoirs of a Geisha
7. The Historian
8. The entire Harry Potter series
9. Ditto the Shopaholic series, because I'd be a big fat liar if I said I didn't love Becky Bloomwood and her charming, scatterbrained ways.
(I live for books. How could I not cheat on this one?)

5 Movies I like:
1. The Princess Bride, because as the Grandfather in the movie says, it has everything -- "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." It also has Westley, but whatever.
2. Labyrinth, and not just because David Bowie is in it.
3. The Count of Monte Cristo
4. Love Actually -- made me cry, which is ridiculous because it had a happy ending and no one died or was left behind.
5. The Phantom of the Opera, who WAS left behind -- also made me cry, because what's sadder than the Phantom living out the rest of his days beneath the Opera Populaire completely and totally alone?
6. Big Fish (cried again)
7. House of Flying Daggers (cried as well -- are you sensing a pattern here?)
9. Il Mare (you can probably guess what happened here, too)
(Totally cheated again)

5 fictional characters I would date:
1. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice -- there's no need to even explain this; c'mon, we're talking MR. DARCY here!
2. Chandler (Matthew Perry) from Friends
3. Seth (Adam Brody) from The OC, who proves that geeks are sorely underrated.
4. Sawyer (Josh Holloway) from Lost
5. Jack (Matthew Fox) from Lost
(#4 and #5 probably explain my current Lost obsession)

5 famous people I'd like to meet (dead or alive):
1. Jesus
2. Buddha
3. Jane Austen
4. Socrates
5. Bono, because he's soo cool.

5 people you tag to do this:
1. Niffles
2. Mi mejor amiga, Mama Goose
3. Paddy
4. Kris
5. James

Heh, if there's one thing you learned from this list, it's probably that I'm a big cheater. ;)


OK, now for the survey Doc Gibbon tagged me with:

Mechanics of the "Weird List" - Tagging Game:
Write 5 weird habits that you have and then tag 5 other ppl by leaving a msg on their blogs. Put their links in your own blog too.


1. Besides singing, sometimes I also dance in my car. You will probably never have the good fortune of witnessing this because I only do it when I am alone, or, on occasion, in the good company of my brother. And that's only because I have enough info at hand to blackmail him for a lifetime.
2. Whenever I take a test, I have to spritz myself with perfume beforehand. Crazy, I know, but when I saw P'Ying do it too, I was relieved I wasn't the only one. We figure it has something to do with aromatherpy.
3. No matter how hot it is, I have to wear a jacket or cardigan when I drive, because like most Asian girls I'm afraid of the sun's killer UV rays and the damage it can do to my skin.
4. To evade paying sky high parking fees at malls (especially since I tend to spend the entire day there), I will instead park at adjoining/nearby hotels and pretend I'm a guest there so I can get free parking. (I used to think I was the only one who did that, but now know it's more a question of who DOESN'T do that?) One time the bellboy actually questioned me -- like he didn't believe I really WAS a guest there, pfft -- and to save my ass I started speaking to him in French (read: gibberish), and he totally believed me and apologized.
5. I always wear sunglasses when I drive, even if there are low-hanging clouds out and it's raining like the end of the world.
(Heh, I just realized 4 out of 5 of those facts are related to my car/driving.)


Five Songs - The Rules:
List five songs that you are currently loving. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the songs in your blog (Xanga). Then tag five other Xanga friends to see what they're listening to.

1. Trouble by Pink, because this song will make you run like the wind on the treadmill, and if it doesn't, then, well, you're probably dead.
2. Broken by Robert Downey Jr., because I thought he was so suave when he played the piano on Ally McBeal. I saw him on Oprah a few weeks ago and couldn't help wondering if he still had it in him (since he went through his whole druggie phase and all). Well, the guy performed, and guess what? Yep, he still has it. If anything, he's better -- yay, Robert!
3. With or Without You by U2, because I will NEVER grow tired of this song (or band).
4. Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden -- laugh if you must, but this will forever be one of my all-time favorite ballads.
5. Runaway Run by Hanson -- I swear I played this song on repeat my entire senior year in high school. And no, I am not even kidding. Even now, when I listen to it, it reminds me all over again why I love these guys so much.


Official rules:
Write 20 random facts about yourself then tag the same amount of people as minutes it takes you to write the facts.


1. I get all excited whenever I see a bookstore or library. In fact, the first thing I hit the second I step into a mall is the bookstore. After perusing the new arrivals, THEN I hit the shoe stores and shop the life out of them.
2. I've never gotten a traffic ticket from a cop in my life, but that's only because I do what ALL Bangkokians do, which is slip a little cash their way. The lowest I've ever slid away with? Nada. I told the cop I was late for an autopsy (I really was) with Dr. Porntip at Siriraj Hospital and that I was so so sorry I'd unknowingly (really!) taken an illegal turn, but would be really grateful if he'd have a little compassion and let me slide by since I'm just a lost provincial girl who lives ten minutes outside of central Bangkok and who gets all confused whenever she goes into "town", and that I swear I'd never make an illegal turn again. He let me go, but not before asking why a nice girl like me would want to get into forensics and hang around with dead people all day. I told him I didn't, but that Dr. Porntip's class was a requirement if I wanted to pass Pathology, and thus the entire school year.
3. I love learning new things, which makes the Discovery and History channel my most favorite channels ever. OK, I lied; they're my most favorite channels ever after E! and VH1.
4. Don't be fooled by my chattiness on this here blog. In real life I tend to be really shy when meeting someone for the first time, and people will always ask why I'm so quiet. Of course, after getting to know me a little more, many people will claim I don't know how to shut up.
5. I am such a slave to pop culture; not so much that I have to do or wear what the celebrities do or wear, but more so that I have to know about Tara Reid's latest faux pas, or about how Paris and Paris have called off their engagement, or about how Britney and K-Fed's baby boy is doing. Speaking of celebrity spawn, did you guys hear about the latest TomKat news? (They're having themselves a TOMKITTEN!!)
6. If I don't drop a little something into the donation boxes at the supermarket, I end up feeling really guilty later on.
7. I laugh really easily and ALWAYS lose at those staring games where you have to stare at your opponent to see who laughs first; it's always me, and usually after, like, two milliseconds. This makes me a really bad liar, because I'll usually end up laughing or making a total ass out of myself in a way that tells the other person that I'm so totally keeping something from them.
8. During my sophomore year of college, they used to leave the Anatomy room open the night before an exam. My friends and I would spend an entire night in there with fifty some cadavers and would be TOTALLY FINE, but a year later, when we passed by the room when it was dark, someone (and to this day, we still don't know who) let out a loud shriek and we totally freaked out and ran the entire way to my car, screaming and laughing the whole way.
9. I would gladly touch a cockroach or gecko with my bare hands than come within ten feet of a spider.
10. I'm not sure how my fear of spiders came about, but I have this distinct memory from 3rd grade. See, some @#$%*& kid left these cryptic messages in my science book for me -- i.e. "Turn to page 30", and when I got to page 30, there was another note saying, "now turn to page 172", and when I go to page 172, there was ANOTHER note that said, "okay, last one, turn to page 87 for the coolest picture in the world!" -- which eventually lead to the hugest most god awful picture of a hairy spider about to sink his fangs into a poor silk-wrapped fly. I literally threw the book across the room and wanted to cry when I found out a few months later that we were going to be reading Charlotte's Web in English Class.
11. I LOVE driving, but I think that's mostly because I love listening to music (while I drive).
12. I used to be such a fashion magazine whore in high school, but I never look at them anymore. Not only did I get tired of the recycled articles, but I've come to learn that while fashion comes and goes, STYLE is something that can never change. ;)
13. I like to chew on บว๊ย (tamarind) when I drive. It's a habit that started in college, since the sour tanginess used to keep me awake in traffic after those long nights of little or no sleep.
14. I love living in the city (or maybe just Bangkok), but would just as gladly move to the country. Not Hicksville, USA or anything, but more so Tuscany or somewhere in the French countryside. Can you imagine anything more cool than that?
15. During our sophomore year of college, Su and I once lugged a human brain (totally soaked in formaldehyde and all) back to my house (she lives about ten minutes away from me) at 3 AM so we could get ready for our Neurology lab exam, which was scheduled for 8 AM. We ended up sitting around until 7 AM trying to locate things, like, the corpus callosum and cingulate gyrus, both of which I distinctly remember NOT showing up on the exam. We felt sooo cheated, but did the same thing all over again the next month when we got tested on the cerebellum and basal ganglia.
16. I hate, hate, hate math, but was always put into the advanced math classes all the way through (high school) graduation. Somehow I managed to slide by with Bs and the occasional C, but my hatred for all things arithmetic finally caught up with me my senior year when I did HORRIBLY on my final Calculus exam (let's just say that while I didn't fail, it was enough to make me hate math with a passion).
17. I LOVE and appreciate art, but can barely draw a stickman without making it look like something that just landed from Mars.
18. I always have to bring a book, magazine, lecture notes from school, or newspaper with me everywhere I go. If I have to wait for someone, it's like I can't sit around idly for 5 minutes without reading something.
19. I'm a dental student now, but when it comes to flossing -- even though I try to do so on a regular basis -- I sometimes get lazy and "forget" to floss. (But shhh, but don't tell my profs that!)
20. I make fun of French (the language, not the people), but secretly think it's one of the most beautiful languages in the world, Italian being a close second. Any ill will I feel towards the French language is simply a remnant of horrific nightmares I have of high school French class.


Um, there is no way I'm tagging 72 people, so how about a standard 5 instead?

1. Noi
2. Pete
3. Poeh
4. Caro
5. Ben

ACK. I so have to sleep now because I have to wake up early tomorrow (well, today, actually) to go to my nephew's birthday party. Oh wow, can you believe the guys at the house across the lake from me are still partying? Someone's singing a god-awful version of I Will Survive, and I want so badly to laugh. I'm not sure if it's because he plain SUCKS, or if it's because he's plain plastered; from all the slurring he's doing, I'm thinking the latter.

>> Click to continue reading <<

Friday, October 07, 2005


This and this is what the world has come to, folks. Evil colleagues of one of my dear high school BFFs, Swita, have bearnapped her pink Bates bear and are holding him hostage as we speak.

To add insult to the injury, said bear had a vair awesome Burberry arm-scarf, too!

>> Click to continue reading <<

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Out With the Old, In With the New...

Oh, I (finally) got around to dumping my old crap camera in exchange for this one. Telling from the good reviews, I'm not the only one in love with it. It's easy to overlook it as another easy-to-use, point-and-shoot camera, but the variety of options, functions, and liberal control over shutter speed and aperture make this camera a lot of fun to use.

If you're interested, you can check out pics from its inaugural photoshoot in Vegas and the California Bay Area at my brother's site, in which we do a joint blog entry about live nude puppets in Vegas, pachyderms, and various other nonsensical things...

>> Click to continue reading <<

Nude Farangs +Thai Transvestites = a Typical Weekend in Pattaya

So, like the title suggests, our weekend in Pattaya (way back in, uh, August) was pretty uneventful...I mean, considering the fact that nude farangs and transvestites are as much a part of Pattaya as tuk tuks and Soi Patpong are a part of Bangkok.

OK, I know it seems like I always rat on Pattaya (which is why I have NO IDEA why I always seem to end up in that town), but I will admit that much fun can be had in Pattaya. And when I say fun, I mean fun of the non-sex industry sort. Really. I actually discovered a few hidden gems in and around Pattaya this time around, and will admit that this trip was a weekend well spent.

Our home for the weekend.

The view from our hotel room.
It was pretty cloudy and foggy the entire weekend.
Unfortunately, that didn't stop the nude sunbathers from working on their tan.

We had some cocktails in the lobby, which was decorated with some way cool scenes from Sunthorn Phu's epic poem, Phra Abhai Mani.

And the man himself, Phra Abhai Mani, with his famous lute.

Talk about a killer chandelier...and I really mean that.
Can you imagine this falling like in that scene in The Phantom of the Opera when the Phantom and Christine are singing that totally scandalous song, Point of No Return? Ack.

Steps leading to the beach...

I know they don't get much sun over in Europe, but because these signs were literally all over the place, you'd think those topless Europeans would get a clue and KEEP THEIR DAMN SWIMSUITS ON. But, no. We were forced to witness a large number of nude sunbathers strut their stuff all along the beach boardwalk. I am not even kidding. "Holy hanging boobies!" we cried in utter horror, covering our burning retinas lest we end up contracting some unknown form of eye cancer. I mean, seriously, it was like dangly, gangly, jiggly body parts galore.

Fortunately, one of the hotel staff went and asked them to please -- for the love of God-- cover up. The hotel dude who saved us was totally calm and composed throughout; he must be used to this kind of stuff. Major props to him, especially for being able to keep a straight face whilst talking to an elderly European man who was pretty busy applying sunscreen -- fondling -- his man boobs. I mean, I do NOT need to see hairy, portly 60-year-old men strutting around naked, for chrissake. Nor do I need to see hanging-way-down-there breasts a la South Park's Miss Chokesondick. If I want to see live nudity, I can just swing by Soi Cowboy. I live in Bangkok, you know.

But other than the cavorting nudists, the scenery was nice on the eyes. Nothing to rival the Similan or Andaman islands or anything like that, but definitely a nice change of pace and scenery from BKK.

Two of the thankfully-now-not-naked-anymore sunbathers AFTER the hotel staff kindly asked them to cover up their boobies and various other body parts. BTW, this is apparently a very family-friendly hotel.

I know, I am just as confused as you are.

The Royal Cliff Beach Hotel Resort is huuuuge, and you have to get around the place either by car or the hotel's shuttle network. It's spread out across 64 acres and there's plenty to do there. In fact, we were pretty much holed up at the resort the entire time we were in Pattaya since there was just so much to do and explore.

The sports complex was pretty stellar. Squash, tennis, and basketball courts were available, as well as a gym, pool, and steam room. Oh, reading material was available, too. Most of the books were left behind by past hotel visitors and were in various European languages. The interesting thing is that 90% of them were romance novels, complete with bodice-ripping covers and Fabio lookalike cover models. Curiosity demanded I flip through one French romance novel (hey, I wanted to see what we missed out on in high school French class, okay?). I discovered that the novel's hero was a studly, handsome, well-muscled man named OLIVIER (!!!!!), which made me giggle out loud for a reason any French-taking RIS alumni should know DAMN well why. ;D Ol' Olivier and his true love had a few hurdles to overcome, but when I skipped to the last page -- after a few pages of heaving bosoms and "oh la las" -- and saw "je t'aime, veux-tu m'épouser?", I knew that all was well in the world.

I guess this means that love really does make the world go 'round, huh?

And the moment you've all been waiting for...
Transvestites from the world-famous Tiffany establishment.

Whenever I see a transvestite, I'm reminded of a story a friend from college once told me. Her older brother once asked this girl out on a date, and according to my friend, this girl made Angelina Jolie look like a mop with peaches for boobs. I know, I can hardly fathom such a thing, either. But I guess it gives you an idea of this girl's standard in singling out the perfect plastic surgeon. Anyway, my friend's brother was pretty stoked, and maybe the love gods were smiling on them that day, because the date went fantastically well -- conversation flowed, chemistry sizzled, everything was perfect perfect perfect!

That is, until they checked into a hotel and the clothes started flying off. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that he and his date had a hell of a lot more in common than he'd originally thought. And yes, I'm talking about their nether regions. =X

You guessed correctly if you figured he hightailed it on out of there. Just a cautionary tale for all you unsuspecting guys out there.

Bye Pattaya!
On the way out of town, we stopped by the house of a friend of a friend of the family.

I guess "house" is a bit of an understatement, huh. Apparently the guy was going for the whole European palace look. The result is a little too flashy and gaudy for my tastes, but really cool to check out nonetheless. I think I was more surprised to see a thoroughly European-influenced estate smack in the middle of Pattaya, Thailand than anything else.

There was an Indian version of the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Quan Yin (or as she's called here in T-Land, Guan Im).

Darling statues that looked more at home in Rome or Greece than Pattaya, Thailand were also scattered throughout the estate.


Currently Reading: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, which received lots of hype even before it was published. According to the reviews, you'll either love it or hate it; I'm loving it. This novel has everything -- gothic medieval history, lush Eastern European landscapes, a disturbingly creepy (to me, at least) Vlad the Impaler story, and everything in between. Personally, I am admiring Kostova's clever way in weaving a story within a story within a story, as well as her lovely prose. Can you believe this novel took her ten years to write? Definitely worth all those years, because I could not put this book down. Definitely recommended. After finishing the book, I found myself lusting for the backpacker's life. If only I could live out of my backpack and travel the world over. Twice. Maybe not for life, but at least for a year. Or two. Whatever the case, I now add Turkey, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria to my list of Countries I Hope to Visit Before I Die.

Currently Playing: Joy of Life/Trout in the Bath and Rebel Heart by the Corrs. I love love love Irish instrumental pieces by the Corrs (or any random band down at the pub, even). Joy of Life makes me want to do the jig and Rebel Heart makes me want to weep, it's so beautiful. I've always loved these songs, since they were one of the first ones I learned to play -- squeaking and cringing my whole way through -- on the tin whistle.

Currently Anticipating: The new Pride and Prejudice movie by Working Title Films (the same folks who brought us Love Actually, Bridget Jones's Diary, and Notting Hill). I am totally excited about this movie, especially since Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite novels. Don't kill me for saying this, but I think I'm going to like it even more than the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth. After all, after seeing this scene, you too will find yourself totally smitten with Matthew MacFadyen's more vulnerable version of Darcy (plus, you have to admit the man has such pretty eyes =X). From the previews, I can't help but think that Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen have so much more chemistry than Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth did in the BBC version. Anyway, much heated debate has been going on amongst hardcore P&P fans, but looks like I'm going to have to wait a little longer before casting judgement, because while it's already out in the UK, it won't be here in Thailand until January -- GAH! For all you lucky arse Americans, make sure to check it out on November 18.

EDIT: Jen emailed me to ask if I have any links to more P&P clips. Sure do. Here are some links to the behind-the-scenes documentary. And here are actual clips from the movie. Enjoy. :)

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