Neurotic old maid patties

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I’m single. I eat in the kitchen sink. ~ Sarah (Diane Lane) in Must Love Dogs

Well, I’m single too, and I eat on top of the fridge facing a rickety bread toaster and a good, old reading lamp amongst pens, receipts, stray ear rings and notes bound for the loony bin.  In this one particular case when I had been in bed too long, I stood on my 5th floor porch for some fresh air. These are oat patties I managed to conjure err… make during one Saturday when I was unable to eat out.

Tuna chunks, pancake flour, evaporated milk, a large egg, Knorr soy sauce, and shitake bits. There are no spices at all; can’t be bothered. Just mix, fry and voila! Every piece turned out yummy.

You would expect me to fidget while trying to leave some for a friend who was coming to dinner. The AC machine became the next table. And then a thought struck. This plate is royal bone china. It falls and hits a sedan on the parking lot below and I’m going to mourn my loss for a long time.  Neurotic, old maid.

A tip: Use quick cooking oats, not instant, for patties.

Perhaps an experiment

At Tea Talk we briefly share how we are feeling and what we are thinking.

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I’m having bale coco milk tea in my Lang and Wise collector mug. It features “Family of Felines,” a painting by Lowell Herrero.

I’m feeling a bit anxious.

On my mind are the riots we had two weeks ago, and the meeting I am attending a few minutes from now. A major shake up at work is in the offing. The Ministry of Education is understandably not happy with the loss of control over erring students.  As my responsibilities do not extend beyond teaching duties, I am not directly involved in anything that happens outside the classroom. I will be affected by repercussions though. And that is what’s making me anxious.

Rumor has it the vice president for academic affairs is assigning me full-time courses in the university and I am saying goodbye to my job at the business institute. My question is will the price still be right? I am going to find out.

A friend’s Face book shout-out last night made me chuckle:

Money can’t buy happiness. But it is more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bike.

How true although I did not cry in a Mercedes. I just witnessed my ex in-laws arguing in a Mercedes.  That memory connects me to a possibility I am facing in the coming weeks: changes. I am not that keen on faith but I do believe it does wonders. It is perhaps time for me to have a little experiment with

Matthew 6:26 – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Forty it is

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As August 30th approached I did not know exactly what to make of it. The day arrived and I turned forty. What a number. I am glad to reach the age in good health. After those major issues in my 20s and 30s,  I see my life turn around finally and for that I am most thankful. With the present circumstances I am in I will have to spread the celebrations. I don’t mind. I actually like it. And for this week I am grateful for all that transpired on Tuesday:

Greetings from friends who were not with me physically, were busy with their own lives, but greeted me anyway. I did not realize how strict my privacy settings on FB were until a friend told me that writing on my wall was restricted. During my birthday I found out who cared enough to send messages or who were thoughtful enough to find ways to reach me.

A former student told me, “you were my idol.” I was speechless and felt shy thinking I didn’t want to be a teacher in the first place. The compliment hasn’t changed my mind about leaving the teaching profession first chance I get but I’ll take it as motivation to do my best in whatever I get myself into in the future .

Food. Due to work and time constraints eating had to be done in different places. So breakfast in the office, Vietnamese cuisine for lunch in a nearby sports club,  dessert at a pretty patisserie next door and dinner at a posh coffee shop. I bought a new top along the way and wore it before proceeding to a five-star hotel pub for cocktails and live music. It was fun.

Gifts. I would have chosen purple… 🙂 I loved choosing and buying these birthday souvenirs.

Hair. Me time in the saloon was soothing.

Plans. Wilfred Peterson describes the celebration I intend to do today and onwards – “A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”

~Living to tell the Story~

Jigsaw puzzle and tea

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“A time to look over our week, recall blessings great and small and pick our five favorites to share”

Visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for more.

Cassia Cafe and Tea Room. I’ve been fancying this lovely place since I found it online. Finally I went and had steak and kidney pie. The green tea with milk and honey is divine.

CJ talked to me on the phone! “Mommy, I’m reading.”  The therapy sessions must have started taking effect.

Entertaining. Wednesday was a holiday and I had company over  which meant enjoying the added bonus of having my space especially clean and the fridge well-stocked. We were deep in girl talk late into the night.  When there’s no pressure and no tension that you’re still in pajamas at 11 AM, it’s a holiday indeed.

Work permit found! It was missing for days. I was worried sick thinking of the red tape I’d have to get through to get a new one. Just when I was ready to accept that, I found it underneath five pairs of sunglasses on the left side of one drawer.

Jane Austen jigsaw puzzle. It’s the most charming treasure I have bought so far. “Packaged in a book-like box, it features illustrations from the Regency era paired with quotes from Jane Austen’s beloved novels.”

Chikuyoh Yakiniku

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You know what happens when you live in a normally boiling hot city and it suddenly turns cold? Instead of staying where you are you wander… Half an hour into looking around your empty stomach growls and you remedy it with a cup of coffee –

And then you become curious what’s on the other pages of the menu.

Ok, that’s my routine, sort of. A month ago this was what I experimented on: Chikuyoh Yakiniku @ Yagura Chaya Fumi. Loved it!

The culinary excuse of the hedgehog

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Bangkok used to be predictably boiling hot during summers but now it’s freaking cold. Two nights ago I walked around Piyarom Sports Club, my long-time haunt. The wind only had to make me shiver slightly and I was inside Ma Kitchenette in an instant, one of several eateries in the complex. It was half past ten at night and I needed the warmth you know 🙂

Rice fried with fish paste and dried mint leaves. The cashew nuts were my first attraction.  And that book club session I got back from earlier had too much red wine, chips and opinions on The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I had to temper those with a warm cup of cappuccino.

Between lunch and dinner

What do you call food eaten between lunch and dinner?

Last weekend I looked for a place to read a book in peace and 9th Cafe @ Siam Paragon was a yummy find. Chocolate swirl cheese cake! I did not regret choosing this.

Sprite.  A drink I have not had in awhile.

And mini beef tacos. Yum and I got to do two of my fave pleasures: eat and read.
The world is all good.

Violins and helicopters

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“A time to look over our week, recall blessings great and small and pick our five favorites to share”

Visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for more.

Loved ones are safe.  After watching a clip that showed Japan like it was 2012, I avoided everything that has anything to do with the destruction there until an aunt in North Carolina nudged me about a cousin in Chibaken. That’s when I went asking how they were.  She and her husband, a fellow mommy blogger, and a former gradschool classmate are all ok. It’s good to release all the breaths I held while waiting for news about them.

J not getting sent out to Japan anymore. When the quake hit J was automatically among a team of scientists on standby, Fukushima-bound. Worry wart me prayed he won’t be flown out.  Jet-setting halfway around the world to lend expertise and then aboard Chinooks to work on those reactors may sound glamorous but the danger is so not glamorous at all.  I cheered when J told me it looked like he was staying after all.

Brunch at Robin Hood. Calamari yummy; margarita rosita. Chips, football and British accent felt like brunching in front of Windsor Castle again.

Attending a screening at the FCCT (Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand). Living with the Tiger is a documentary about HIV-infected orphans. Q & A with the filmmaker and the director of the Business Coalition on AIDS explored possibilities of influencing policies for better handling of the AIDS issue in Thailand and beyond.

Violin recital at TCC (Thailand Cultural Center). Great Artists of the World 2011 and Bangkok Symphony Orchestra presented Cho-liang Lin.  He played Mozart and Tchaikovsky on guess what – a 1715 Stradivarius!  Ah some of  life’s most beautiful moments; later something to daydream over tea in a rickety rocking chair.

Weekend brunch

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This is not a sudden interest in Japan. Japanese cuisine has always been my preference for weekend brunch since I acquired a weekend life. And the beef steak set at Fuji is my usual order even though they always give me rare no matter how much I emphasize that I want well-done:

The set includes choices for either coffee or tea, hot or iced. I always have the hot tea with milk.

The meal is concluded by a trio of papaya, pineapple and watermelon slices.

Rarely do I pick something else on the menu. This set is what I order almost every weekend. Here’s hoping it’s not a weekend eating abnormality. I’m going out in a few minutes to have this brunch again.

~ Food Trip Friday and Friday Food Fight ~

Tea on a blustery day

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At Tea Talk we briefly share how we are feeling and what we are thinking.

Visit Ruth @ Celebrate Friendship for more


I’m having japanese genmai green leaf tea. Warmed, not chilled.

My mug is one of those little gifts that piled up on my desk over Christmas 2010.  I picked it at random from among many mugs and cups in the faculty office today.

I’m feeling cold but grateful to be indoors. We haven’t had the AC on since this morning but when I went outside for a quick break, it was still cold. I actually heard the wind howling. Hang on I’ll check…

It’s 26 degrees C according to wunderground. Tonight it will even drop to 18. I know it’s not cold at all for you ladies in the western hemisphere, but for some southeast asian bloods, that’s noticeably cold already.

On my mind are things in my to-do list: freelance editing and a volunteer job for the UN.  They keep me from being bored to death. And one motivation is this –

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.