The Comeback

Hi! I’m back again 🙂
Sorry, I was gone again for what seemed like eternity. I’ve been MIA for the nth time (blogging, social media) because I was avoiding people (still do). There are just certain people that will suck out all the happiness in you. Yes, the Dementor kind. They are always right, dramatic, they bring you down, and drag you with them into the depths of their own misery and negativity — and this makes you question your whole existence. I don’t feel comfortable with them around me; talking to them always leave me drained and exhausted. Wait, what? Is it right for me to say that all those time I was “absent” from blogging (read: evading my so-called friends) and  moping in my corner I had an existential crisis ? Oh, that’s deep, dude.

I’m glad I went offline again for some time. I let all the negativities and unpleasantness wash over with the passing of time. The Dementors are still around (I didn’t want to alienate them or for them to think I’m aloof) but I don’t and won’t let their unpleasantness latch on to me anymore. I’m not exactly terminating our friendship because they’re also good people, but something like I won’t be seeing/interacting with them frequently, you know. I’ll keep my distance.

So far, so good.
I can now go back to regular programming 🙂
I’ll leave you with this little doodle with a positive message I did recently. Until next post, ciao.

Let’s all do.

Of left-handed people

Me: Hello, blog! How are you doing?

Blog: *cricket sound*

I know, that question just ricocheted off the wall and flew back, hitting me on the face.
Many months have passed and my blog is in hibernation. Sorry. I’m still here alive and kicking and there are a lot of happenings in real life that I have not blogged about. I got so busy (and LAZY!), if you know what I mean, lol.

So, yeah, aside from domestic matters, I also got occupied with calligraphy. So happy to say that my skills have improved a lot. The muscle memory has returned and my confidence just got upped. Also, I met friends who are also venturing into calligraphy and lettering adventure. I am happy to have like-minded online friends who are in the same journey with me. I am also happy to meet lefty-calligraphers, wow. I can imagine the difficulty because most calligraphers are right-handed and the resources and tools are geared/shaped towards right-handed writers. But I’m really happy to learn from them that there already are resources and tools that are available for left-handed writers! Yay!

I believe it is the same for musicians, like guitarists, for example. Think Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix — they are all left-handed. If you want to know more about left handed acoustic guitar check it out at GuitarCenter.

Bye for now. Ciao.

I’m back.

For someone who’s coming back after a very long blog hiatus, what would be the best comeback post? Lol.
I don’t know who’s still reading my blog posts here, but if anyone remembers this poor blog and this poor blogger, here’s something that partially sums up what I’ve been doing or where I’ve been during my blogging absence.

minion

One day I had a lousy day or two, the next week there was so much to do at home, and the next, I lacked the energy to blog, and so on and so forth, that before I knew it, weeks and months had passed me by. I’ve fallen mightily behind with my posts and I don’t have any excuse for that. The past months have been spent on ‘adulting’. Very challenging, if you ask me, but since it’s part and parcel of life then I must keep on keeping on. Anybody here can relate, raise your hands, please!

My focus now is to get back into the blogging groove.
I’ve been reading blogs about how to successfully return to blogging after a long slump and I’m getting pretty useful tips from bloggers out there.

Wait.

As I am typing this, I can hear the soft melodious sound coming from my neighbour’s house. Their back window is open and I can hear the daughter playing the keyboard. I was amazed at how fast she learned the theory and played the instrument – I didn’t even know there are different types of keyboards in the market. But I digress. Funny, I know. Till next post.

Can’t get it out of my head

I am not a fan of Adele but her song Hello is in stuck in loops in my head, for some reason.

This song’s been going on and on in my head and the kids in school weren’t help at all as they keep on singing the chorus. When I got home, I sat down and watched/listened to it properly (on YouTube) and it made me think that the song’s not bad actually. It’s pretty good. Her vocals are great. You know what… I don’t know much about pop music – or music in general – but I’ll surely take her over Taylor Swift anytime.

The story of Lucille

I’ve never heard of it before but when an expat-friend, who is a local band-member, mentioned about how he’d love to get a gibson lucille for Christmas caught my ears. It made me wonder who – or what – it is!

I’m not really a musically-inclined person so please excuse my ignorance. My friend – who considered it a sacrilege that I didn’t know Lucille – then lectured me about it. Turns out it’s not a name of a person but a guitar named “Lucille”. The legendary blues musician B.B. King had the original Lucille and together they made music history. But, oh, how they all laughed at my expense and every time this subject crops up, I cringe! At least I learned something new.

Saturday 9: Bubbly

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330px-Bubbly_(Colbie_Caillat)Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we’ve committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do “random questions,” so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don’t have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today’s meme!

Saturday 9: Bubbly (2007)

… because Jodi suggested Colbie Caillat

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) Singer Colbie Caillat says this song was inspired by a trip to “the beach and having a wonderful day with a person you like.” Have you been to the beach yet this summer?
Yes, we did. We went to Kep, down the southernmost part of Cambodia.

2) Are you careful about applying sunscreen?
I seldom apply sunscreen.

3) Colbie made her TV debut in a 2009 episode of Saturday Night Live. Are you a big SNL fan?
Not really.

4) “Bubbly” is often a synonym for champagne. When’s the last time you enjoyed a glass of bubbly?
Wow, that was a year ago, actually. For some reason, even a shallow goblet of champagne makes me tipsy and giggly and animated that, at one instance, I broke the strings on ukulele that I was holding.

5) Colbie sang the National Anthem at the third game of the Red Sox/Cardinals World Series in 2013. How is your favorite baseball team doing so far this season?
Because of time difference between the US and Asia, I am no longer able to watch baseball season games. 

6) In 2005, Ms. Caillat tried out for Season 4 of American Idol but was eliminated very early in the process, before she could even audition for Simon, Paula and Randy. The winner that year was Carrie Underwood. Are you a Carrie Underwood fan?
Yes! I think that was the only season I watched from the beginning to the end.

7) In 2007, when “Bubbly” was popular, actress Yvonne deCarlo died. She was best known as Lily on The Munsters. If you had to choose (and yes, this Saturday you have to), would you rather hang out with Lily Munster or Morticia Addams?
I think I’d choose Morticia Addams. She’s the originally goth girl and my, she has this incredible sensuality and grace in her. Plus, she occasionally spoke French so I would probably learn a word or two from her. She also has “great” gardening skills – cutting off the buds of her roses and leaving just the thorny stems. I can also learn techniques about growing and feeding Venus flytrap plants.

8) In 2007, MySpace was faced with a serious challenge from Facebook, and it’s obvious which social network won. Did you have a MySpace account? If so, do you still post to it?
No, I’ve never had a Myspace account.

9) Random question: Which have you had longer, your ironing board or your plunger?
My ironing board – nearly 6 years with me!

Saturday 9: Careless Whisper (1984)

saturday9

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we’ve committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do “random questions,” so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don’t have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today’s meme!

Saturday 9: Careless Whisper (1984)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) You can’t miss George Michael’s gold hoops in the photo above or in the “Careless Whisper” video. Are you wearing any jewelry right now?
Yes, my wedding ring. I also like hoop earrings 🙂

2) Though the label says this hit is performed by “Wham!” featuring George Michael,” George Michael is the only member of the pop duo who appears in the video. Do you remember the name of the other guy who was in Wham?
I cannot remember the other half of “Wham!” but I do remember, back in grade school in the 80s, they were very popular! My older cousins could not stop playing and singing along Careless Whisper. There’s even a lovely version of this song by the PostModernJukebox which I really, really love.

3) Much of the video was filmed on Watson Island, a man-made island near South Beach. Have you ever been to Miami?
Nope, never.

4) Born Georgios Panayiotou, George Michael is of Greek descent, the son of the Greek restauranteur in East London. When you think of Greek cuisine, what comes to mind?
Gyros, moussakka, and of course, Greek salad! Yum.

5) Today he lives in a tony suburb called Highgate, and his neighbors are Kate Moss and Sting. Tell us about one of your neighbors.
My neighbour is a judge at the provincial trial court here in Cambodia. He and his family are lovely and are friendly with us. I realised we were living next to a court official the moment I heard him command “SILENCE” to my barking dogs, lol. Yes, he did say it in English as he knows my dogs respond to English commands.

6) George Michael fans can purchase officially licensed merchandise from his website, including an iPhone cover with his photo and signature. Tell us about your cell phone. Is it Apple or Android? Is it a smartphone?
My phone is not a smartphone. It’s an old Nokia N70 handphone. It has also a camera and is connected to the Internet via GPRS. I use it mainly for texting and calling and it serves the purpose so I don’t see the need for me to jump into the smartphone bandwagon yet. But if I do, I prefer an Android phone, a Samsung.

7) George Michael sang Stevie Wonder’s “You and I” for Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton. What’s your favorite love song?
“The Nearness of You”, by Jo Stafford. I love Jo Stafford’s version – simple, sublime, romantic and timeless. No fancy-schmanzy accompaniments, just the silky voice, lovely melody, and meaningful lyrics to carry on the song.

8) In 2014, George had a health scare. He was rushed to the hospital for tests and released the next day. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
No, not really. But back in my cub reporting years, we were tailing ambulances during night shifts as I was assigned in the police beat section. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, honestly, but in order for me to learn the ropes of reporting, I had to undergo this part of the internship.

9) Known for hard partying in his youth, George is now in his 50s and says he’s quite happy to spend his evenings eating takeout and watching DVDs. Are you doing any socializing this weekend?
Yes, we’re going to a viewing party – as you might have heard about it, the Pacquiao-Mayweather Fight of the Century will be broadcast live tomorrow, 9am Cambodia time. That would be tonight in Las Vegas. Expats and Cambodians alike will be glued to their tellies tomorrow as I know Cambodians and some expats are Pacquiao-fans. A friend is hosting the party and we are going. Should be fun, no matter what the result will be. Of course, I would love Manny Pacquiao to win!

Blue Monday: Gouache and water ink

In case anyone noticed, I was away from blogging for a good two weeks.
Nothing really happening from my side of the planet. Been busy with home-life and some creative hobbies on the side.

Marie's Gouache Paint Set
Getting ready to make some mess.

I love my blue and white dipping bowl. It’s small and hand-painted and costs me next-to-nothing. As mentioned previously, I’ve picked up calligraphy again and been experimenting on inks. Since calligraphy inks here are rare, much more coloured inks, I tried mixing gouache and water and voila! Problem solved. Here’s a scanned result – I mixed vermillion red and viridian green:

Love the henna-ish effect!
Love the henna-ish effect!

I am excited about the thousand and one possibilities of mixing colours!
Do you have any creative hobbies, too? Do tell 🙂

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Blue Monday: Balloon

My husband and I drove to the Post Office to pick up mails and then we were off to the vet’s clinic on the other side of the city to get my dogs’ vitamins. If only we have something like a local EntirelyPets Pharmacy nearby, then we wouldn’t have to be driving that far.

Anyways, we were glad to be out once in a while. It’s nice to be driving around the city on weekends when traffic is not bad and the weather is just right. By the way, we are still having a cool weather and we are loving it!

It was just one of those weekend drives we take across the town when we chanced upon this random scene… a giant while balloon.

Huge balloon in Phnom Penh
A weather balloon? Not sure.

They are being followed by two guys wearing blue shirts, on separate motorbikes. The guy immediately behind the balloon is a security guard, that explains the blue top. The other one must be the owner as I saw it following the balloon before turning right.

Now, how many of you have seen something like this? No, not the giant balloon but having it transported across town on the back of a moto-dop (moto-taxi)? I guess you wouldn’t have/get this in your part of the world 🙂

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Saturday 9: Went the Strings of My Heart

saturday9

garlandWelcome to Saturday: 9. What we’ve committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do “random questions,” so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don’t have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today’s meme!

Saturday 9: Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart (1939)

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about love at first sight. Do you believe that immediate attraction lasts?
It depends. When it comes to relationships, I don’t believe in love at first sight. But, on the other hand, if and when I discover something that tickles my senses like christopher radko christmas ornaments or L’Occitane products, for sure it would be a long love affair 🙂

2) The lyrics mention “a breath of spring” and robins singing. Now that we’re deep into winter, what do you miss about spring?
We do not have the four seasons here in Cambodia but I can imagine spring is gorgeous in other parts of the world – the lovely blooms and fragrances, the freshness of air and sprigs of green sprouting everywhere, and farm animals playing/grazing in the field. How beautiful it must be.

3) Though the world knew her as Judy Garland, this week’s featured artist was born Frances Gumm and her family called her “Baby.” Does your family have any pet names for you?
Yes, my nickname is Darling *cringe* When I was growing up I’d get embarrassed if any of my relatives and family friends call me as such outside our house. Still do.

4) Because she was petite — just 4’11 — it was obvious when Garland gained even a few pounds and consequently she battled her weight her whole life. Now that we’re in the new year, have you made any resolutions about your own diet?
I’m currently on a semi-paleo diet which I started, along with my husband, in September last year. By the end of the 2014, I lost more than 10% of my weight (around 18lbs!). I vowed to myself to continue this in 2015.

5) The year this song came out, 1939, was the year Garland’s most famous movie, The Wizard of Oz, was released. Which of her three traveling companions is your favorite: Scarecrow, Tin Man or Cowardly Lion?
None of them, I’m afraid.

6) Barry Manilow enjoyed Judy’s performance of this song so much he did a “dream duet” with her and included it in his recent CD. What performer who is no longer with us do you wish you could have seen in concert?
Michael Jackson, no doubt.

7) Judy had a terrible problem with tardiness. Are you usually prompt?
I have a “slight” tardiness problem as well, lol.

8) During World War II, Judy worked tirelessly to entertain the troops. Tell us about a cause that’s near and dear to your heart.
I’m all for a sustainable lifestyle. Whilst this is a simple principle, it requires a complete overhaul of the way we live our life now. But my husband and I are making steps towards realising it, downsizing our personal stuff, for example. 

9) The American Film Institute lists Garland as the 8th greatest movie star of all time. Who is your all time favorite actor or actress?
I have lots of names in mind but very difficult to choose which is my all-time favourite.