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!

Blue Monday: Cheap clothings

Ahem. I am back.
I wasn’t planning on a long leave from blogging. In fact, I didn’t have any plans to have a blog leave at all. However, since it is already summer – notorious for the scorching heat and persistent daily power cuts – I just stopped blogging. No pre-written posts, no photos in the drafts. Nada. Then the Khmer New Year came (we went on a holiday) and gone (and I didn’t really made an effort to go back, le sigh). I just sat back and allowed this blog to go stagnant. Meh.

Glad that I’ve woken up from that funk! So now I’m slowly inching to go back into the blogging groove again. Let me start again with this photo for our Blue Monday meme:

Clothes everywhere. Cheap, too.
Clothes everywhere. Cheap, too.

There’s so much cheap RTW (ready-to-wear) goods in Cambodia. Most of them are factory overruns, from hundreds of factories operating in the country. So you can imagine the quantity and the variety. In the above photo,  the goods are displayed in stalls in and around Psah Thmey (or Central Market). They are of good quality, and cheap, too. If you don’t mind the heat and sweat from digging through the pile, you are guaranteed to go home with the best buys. If this is not your preference, there are also air-conditioned shops nearby selling similar goods but more expensive.

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Saturday 9: Careless Whisper (1984)

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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: Me, Max and the blue swing

Hello, friends.

We have a fantastic weather here in Phnom Penh and we are all loving it. We are approaching summer and hoping that it won’t be as hot as the previous years.

So what to do with a lovely weather? Outdoors, of course, and play with the doggies.

The blue swing was made by my landlord for his grandchildren. And while they're in school, I love sitting here and basking in the sun.
The blue swing was made by my landlord for his grandchildren. And while they’re in school, I love sitting here and basking in the sun.

This photo was actually taken two years ago and I remember we had the same fine weather then. It reminded me of that old place where we used to live – across Chhba Ampov bridge. In the compound is my landlord’s charming wooden house and one of his married children next door to us. I love it there because there were lots of plants, we get a lot of fresh breeze, and most of all, we have a big yard for our dogs (we had two then) to run around.

Speaking of dogs, I was surprised that Max didn’t mind the camera when my husband took this photo. Normally, she would just walk away as she is not comfortable with the camera pointing at her, and hasn’t warmed up to it up to now.

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Blue Monday: Tools of the trade

Hah, last week, I posted about my current “obsession”. Today I’m posting some of the tools that I use because they are – wait for it – in blue 🙂

A. Paint brushes

Cheap watercolour brushes.
Cheap watercolour brushes.

First of all, I’m not a painter but I use a fair bit of watercolours in my drawings and calligraphy. Also, I use brushes not only for colouring purposes but also for loading my nibs with ink. Before starting calligraphy, I read blogs of expert calligraphers and they have really helpful tips for newbies like me. Dunking the nib to the ink-well or bottle can be done but it makes a mess and, more often in my case, loading copious amount of ink to the nib causing the dreaded blobs and blots.

Also, I wanted to buy brushes of different sizes. The smaller it is, the better since I like to be able to do small details. These are cheap brushes that I bought from a Chinese shop close to where I live and so far, I’m happy with the results.

2. Pens, pencils, and erasers

Pens, pencils and erasers.
Pens, pencils and erasers.

There is nothing more important to an artist than a pencil. It is the very foundation of many great masterpieces. I use a pencil to sketch my idea. Again, any pencil will do. An eraser is equally important to me, too.

Gel pens are very useful when I do faux calligraphy on black (or any other coloured) papers. I love them – especially metallic colours. They’re so pretty in black paper and/or card stock.  I’m also looking for the white gel pen but, as most art stuff, it is hard to find them here in Cambodia. The black pen (Pilot G2) is also a must-have for me and I use it for usual writing (postcards, letters, etc.) and also some special hand-lettering projects, too.

So there you have it, these are but some of the tools in my long list.
Have a great week ahead, my friends. Thank you for dropping by.

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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

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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.

Saturday 9: Dancing With Myself

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billyidolWelcome 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: Dancing with Myself (1980)

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

1) This song is one of Billy Idol’s biggest hits. Can you name another?
Nothing comes to mind, sorry. 🙁

2) When is the last time you danced around your home?
I do the silly dance with my dogs on occasions.

3) In this song, Billy says he dances with his own reflection. Is there a mirror in the room you’re in right now?
None.

4) Dancing with Myself is also the name of Billy Idol’s 2014 autobiography. Let’s say you’re going to write your life story. What do you title it?
“The Four-eyed Missus”, and I would love Sandra Bullock to play me. It’s because, like her, I believe in harsher punishment for parole violators… and oh, world peace. *smile, wave*

5) This month, Billy resumes his 2014-15 concert tour in New Orleans. Have you ever been to Louisiana?
No.

6) In 1980, when “Dancing with Myself” was first popular, VHS players were all the rage. Do you still have yours?
No, I don’t have the VHS player anymore but I have several VHS tapes in my possession. In them were copies of programs I produced way back when I worked as a producer for a TV station in the Philippines. I’m thinking of converting them to digital copies if it won’t cost me a limb to do so.

7) In 1980, The Love Boat was getting good ratings. Have you ever taken a cruise?
No, but I’ve sailed via ships from one island to another (in the Philippines). Back then, there were no budget airlines yet and the cheapest form of transpo was by ship.

8) Sally Field won her first Oscar in 1980 for the movie Norma Rae. Five years later she won a second Oscar for Places in the Heart and delivered one of the most quoted acceptance speeches in Academy history. Do you remember what she said?
Was that her “You like me, you really like me!” quote?

9) In 1980, People magazine named Stephen King one of the most intriguing people of the year because he had two big paperback bestsellers — The Dead Zone and The Shining. Do you have a favorite Stephen King book?
I’ve read a lot of Stephen King books when I was younger and I think the one I remembered the most was The Pet Sematary.

Blue Monday: Fancy

Some months ago, out of boredom, my husband and I set out to see what goes inside a local market. That day we went to Psah Olympic, or the Olympic Market. To my blogger-friends who haven’t been to Asia yet, shopping is quite an adventure in Asian markets. Cambodia is no exception. It is quite a treat to the senses!

I just might write some more about this market tours in my future blog posts, including photos. For the meantime, let me share you one of the sights I managed to capture inside the Olympic Market.

On the third floor of the market is where you will find fabrics of all kinds and, of course, Cambodian silk. Aside from the many shops selling fabrics and ready-to-wear dresses, there are also shops where seamstresses make these custom-made fancy clothes.

Cambodian wedding dress
Fancy dresses for Cambodian women on display at Psah Olympic. These are actually the traditional ones women wear during weddings. The more glitters there are, the more fabulous the wearer thinks it is.

The colours are splendid and the glitters even more fabulous.

These are the recent styles and are becoming more popular and preferred by the modern Cambodian woman.  It lis still
These are the recent styles and are becoming more popular and preferred by the modern Cambodian woman. The dresses are still bedecked in glittery sequins and the colour vibrant but, compared to the above photo, look more “subdued”.

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