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.

Saturday 9: Dancing With Myself

saturday9

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”.

bluemondayicon

Saturday 9: Marshmallow World

saturday9

cover170x170Welcome 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: Marshmallow World (1963)

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

1. This song likens fluffy clouds to marshmallows. What does the sky look like where you are today?
Today, Phnom Penh sky is covered with thin, wispy clouds, as if someone had pulled a bigger cloud apart into smaller pieces.

2. The lyrics refer to snowballs. Have you ever been in a snowball fight?
No, never been in one.

3. Chionophobia is fear of snow. What phobias do you have?
I have a mild fear of falling. Being inside a viewdeck of a tall building is such a difficult experience – I could not even go near to look at the view. I get a clammy feeling.

4. In 2004, Canadian school children raised money for charity by setting a new world record: the most snow angels made in 24-hour period. Have you ever participated in a fundraising stunt?
Yes, I did. I helped organise the Charity Bike Ride for Operation Smile Cambodia last March. It was fun, albeit a lot of work. And I also joined the bike ride, of course.

5. When marshmallows were first introduced, they were used for medicinal purposes. Specifically to soothe sore throats. What do you take when your throat is bothering you?
I take warm ginger tea with a dash of lemon. Very soothing.

6. Marshmallows are an important ingredient in the Rice Krispies Treat recipe. If you were asked to prepare something for a bake sale, what would you make?
Chocolate chip muffins!

7. Darlene played Danny Glover’s wife in the Lethal Weapon movies. Do you enjoy action movies?
Sometimes 🙂

8. Darlene’s father advised her to always, “shoot for the stars.” Share some good advice you’ve received.
Someone wiser advised me to speak only when spoken to. Fair enough, tee-hee-hee.

9. Will you be returning/have you returned any holiday gifts?
No, I’ve not returned any gifts. I don’t know, but I think it would be a shame to return gifts of any kind. I’d thank the giver and keep it so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Blue Mondays: Sun-drying

We have been lucky to have a nice, cool, sunny weather these days.

And one day last week, my neighbour thought it was a nice day for sun-drying their cushions. I saw their helper lay out their giant, colourful cushions on their lawn to air and dry them out in the sun.

Giant cushions on display. I want one of those for my living room!
Giant cushions on display. I want one of those for my living room!

I also do this. Sunlight and air, according to my mum, kill mildew and mould spores that build up on the pillows and cushions and freshens them, too. I do this for a few hours and only once a month – and when the weather is perfect for such. However, I do fluff my pillows daily while making the bed. More when I’m particularly frustrated and needed to vent some bottled emotions *wink-wink*

bluemondayicon

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays!

saturday9

Sam_&_SantaWelcome 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: Happy Holidays!

1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick’s lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether — either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn’t celebrate Christmas?
Christmas indeed is the most anticipated time of the year for most children. I remember counting the days! I enjoyed the Christmas tradition when I was a wee one but we never climbed on to Santa’s lap. My mum was probably too impatient to wait in line.

2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there?
I am most probably in the Nice list. I’ve been very patient this year and have watched my spending, too. Also, I’ve successfully avoided individuals who were vexations to my spirit by pretending they don’t exist in my universe.

3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest?
Cards, yes to family and friends, but gifts only to family back in the Philippines.

4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year?
Yes, I did! I bought myself a calligraphy tool set which I was salivating on earlier this year. I decided to take up calligraphy again as my handwriting has deteriorated, of which I blame entirely to computer use. I love writing letters and I also give special attention to the envelopes 🙂 Yes, I’m one of those crazy people.

5. What’s your favorite holiday-themed movie?
Home Alone (the original).

6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day?
As far as I can remember, I’ve never been to one on Christmas Day. Christmas Day was (still is) spent with family. We have this huge party, as my grandma’s birthday fall on the same day, and all the aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives are present.

7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party?
Thank goodness, no! I count myself lucky! lol.

8. What’s your favorite beverage in cold weather?
Tea masala. I also go for hot chocolate.

9. What will you remember most about 2014?
Mostly personal and family milestones. My marriage had a lot of ups and downs this year but we got through them all and are moving on. Just excited about what the new year will bring.

And please, allow me to greet you, my dear blog-friends, a very Happy Holidays!

Blue Monday: Sky

Good morning, friends!

We woke up to another chilly morning in Phnom Penh.
Looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of locals in thick jackets again. It’s a beautiful day today so we went out for a drive and get some stuff for the food pantry. It was nice to be up and about early in the morning – the sky was a clear, gorgeous blue shade.

blue monday traffic in PP

But I think we stayed too long because, on the way back, a moderate build-up of traffic greeted us.

bluemondayicon

Blue Monday: Thankful

Today is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception in my hometown in the Philippines. However, the week-long celebration supposedly culminating today was cancelled due to the arrival of typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) in the province.

Thankfully, our province is not in the direct path of typhoon Ruby, and the destruction was not as massive as during last year’s Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). Still, it was strong in other provinces, wreaking havoc in most-affected towns. We were lucky that my hometown was spared this year, and for the other provinces that were not, my heart goes out to them. Hopefully, they’ll be able to bounce back from this natural disaster in no time.

I have been worrying since yesterday but my sister assured me that they are all okay. According to her, the weather today is good – no more rains and winds. What they’re busy now with is picking up the pieces left by the typhoon. Cleaning up and drying out things under the sun. But only after they’ve come back from hearing mass today. And yes, there are so many things to be thankful for today. Typhoons and other disasters come ago but the faith of my countrymen is very much alive and unwavering.

A statue of the Immaculate Conception at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral, in my hometown. Photo by my sister-in-law, Minmin.

This is the altar of the Immaculate Conception church, photo taken by my sister-in-law. This is where I was baptised, as my father and other siblings were. Although the church is newly-renovated, it still is the same altar that I remember, and the same statue of the Virgin Mary cloaked in a blue robe and golden trimmings.

bluemondayicon

Saturday 9: Lucky Star

saturday9

Madonna-Lucky-Star-132302-1-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: Lucky Star (1983)

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

1. Have you ever wished upon a star?
Oh yes! I’m forever a dreamer.
When I was in highschool, did I wish for a lot of things, which included a nice moog sub 37 synthesizer that I thought was cool and useful for the music enthusiast in me. I was in a youth club way back and we have this weekly activities that included sports, music, and the arts. It was just a passing fancy for a teenager like, as were most in my wishlist at that time.

2. In the 1980s, Madonna considered her wrist bangles one of her fashion trademarks. What’s one of your fashion trademarks?
I like wearing tribal bracelets. Plus, I have three piercings on my left earlobe.

3. Though she got good grades, Madonna could be disruptive at school, known for turning cartwheels in the halls between classes. Can you do a cartwheel?
I still can do cartwheels plus front and back walkovers, handstands, and many more. But never in between classes nor in halls. Always in our uni’s gymnastics room.

4. Her high grade point average earned her a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan, home of the Wolverines. Do you follow college football?
American football – no.

5. Madonna co-starred in the movie version of Dick Tracy. Do you enjoy comics?
Yes, very much so. I first got hold of Archie (Andrews) and I was hooked. Then, of course, others followed like Superman, Spiderman, Xmen, Constantine, you get the picture. There is a geek inside of me 🙂

6. She played Argentinian First Lady Eva Peron in the biopic, Evita and directed a movie about Wallis Simpson. What famous 20th century woman do you wish you could meet/could have met?
Hillary Clinton. I just would love to listen to her talk covering many topics and see what goes on in that mind of hers.

7. Madonna authored a children’s book called The English Roses. Tell us about a book that had a big impact on you when you were a kid.
Okay, I read this when I was in university – so technically, no longer a kid. The first thing that came to my mind was this book by a Filipino writer, Lualhati Bautista, who is a feminist through and through. It’s called Bata, bata… Paano ka Ginawa?;  Loosely translated to Child, child… How Were You Made?  The title might give you “scandalous” thoughts but it actually refers to how a child is shaped or raised in society. The story revolves around a strong, liberated single mum, Lea, who defies society’s conventions (having two children with two different men, double standards against women) and how she addresses her marital and familial concerns in the context of a flawed and judgmental society.

8. One of Madonna’s “vocal idols” is Ella Fitzgerald. Who is your all-time favorite female singer?
No one in particular.

9. Madonna once did a Pepsi commercial. What beverages are in your refrigerator right now?
There is a bottle of low-fat milk and a carton of organic, unsweetened hazelnut milk. And of course, water.

Blue Monday: Toy logging truck

As per usual, I was blog-hopping and came across another photo meme called Blue Monday. I followed the link and I arrived in the mother-ship of Blue Monday meme. There I read the mechanics, which is very easy, and decided that it is doable. So here I am, on my first Blue Monday meme. Hope to find new friends as well 🙂

My first photo is a toy truck I found in a toy store in Phnom Penh. To most of you, it’s just an ordinary toy truck carrying logs.

This toy truck carrying logs is actually thought-provoking.
This toy truck carrying logs is actually thought-provoking.

Illegal logging is a major problem in Cambodia. Not only does this activity degrades the forest and other natural resources, it also promotes corruption and human rights abuses. So, to see this toy truck sold in a toy store really struck me considering I live here and for years have worked with many local farmers depending on the forest and land for their livelihood.

bluemondayicon