Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Funnies


Today was fairly quiet at the Big Brown House. Lisa worked on her latest piece, I studied my new guitar, and BamBam barked a lot. We also went to Doi Chaang Coffee for food and conversation, went to the talat for treats, and finished the day driving back downtown in the pouring rain, for dinner. Life in the rainy season.

The last song we played with was "I've Seen All Good People - Your Move", and Yes, it was Yes. Now try this classic on 'Old School Friday': (Intro) "__ __ __, across the sea, there's a girl, she's waiting for me. Cross over the river, beyond every cloud, she passed the wind that's blowing loud. __ __ __, a girl waits for me." Clue: This classic from 1957 is by a duo. The song has had many covers over the years, but theirs is the standard. Very romantic. The three word title is giving us directions.

This afternoon we got a call from Kwan telling us that she and her mother had another tax bill the they got when they paid the current one. It was for the same amount, but without the late fee, even though it was a year late. She also let Lisa know that her mom had made more chicken puffs. Lisa loves the chicken puffs. That got us out of the house. We met Kwan at Doi Chaang, handled the business, and talked about art and creativity, over puffs. We stopped by the talat for 'treats' on our way home. It was quite late in the afternoon and most of the shops we know were closed. The bulk of their business is in the morning and afternoon.

When discussing language it is important to mention the mis-translation of words. We see it all the time. Menus with the same word in several places with different spelling each time. Sometimes a word will be spelled the way it is mispronounced. Today's example was on a T-shirt, which is where we see this the most. The shirt read: 'Potty like a Rock Star'. It's anybody's guess as to how it came out like that, but the person wearing the shirt probably had no idea. Kinda makes you feel embarrassed for the person wearing the shirt, but we couldn't stop laughing.

This evening we had dinner at Aye's. We got to read and hear about the history of the restaurant. Aye and her husband Hans started their business adventures at the beginning of Chiang Rai's life as a tourist attraction. This year they are growing their own rice crop for the restaurant. That's a pretty interesting concept.

Have a Wonderfilled WeekEnd. Now it's time for the 'Funnies', sent in by my friend Claire.


Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.

Energizer Bunny arrested, charged with battery.

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Goal


Life in Thailand continues to be a pleasant, mysterious journey. It looked like rain all day, tonight it came. New insights on language have surfaced, we had an art visit, and a tax bill.

This song may seem obscure to some of you, but many readers knew it right away. Here's a bit more for you:
"Don't surround yourself with yourself, move on back two squares. Send an instant comment to me, initial it with loving care..." Clue: There seems to be a chess game in progress. The sub-title makes it clear.

This morning Noot and Kwan came over to look at Lisa prints, and to get some thoughts on ways Kwan could expand her approach to art. They brought us a cake. While they were here we asked them to explain a letter that was in the mailbox. With Boot out of town we had no way of knowing what it said. It was a property tax bill for a grand total of $4.00, plus a $.30 late fee. I gave them the money and they said they'd take it to the appropriate office.

Today we lunched at Big C. In the course of ordering my chicken sandwich I asked the manager for 'nit noy mayo', meaning 'a little mayo'. She gave me a puzzled look, then looked at the picture. It turns out that 'mayonnaise', the way we say it in America, meant nothing to her. In Thai the first syllable is pronounced 'maw', so it's 'mawyo'. She worked real hard to understand and we finally got it straight. More on words later.

We have known for some time that vowels are very specific in the Thai language. There are five tones, and the tone one uses can change the meaning of a word. If you get a tone wrong, many people have no idea what you're talking about. Some people will correct our pronunciation, while others will just look at us with wonder. I asked Boot about an island in the south and I thought I was saying it right. She didn't understand what I was trying to say until I tried different tones, and then she got it. The name was Koh Lanta. Koh means island. My western mind just assumed that 'lanta' could be figured out but I was wrong. In the west, consonants are pretty exact, but here it's all about the vowels, and there are a lot of them. The adventure continues.

Driving in the rain does not decrease the number of daredevils on two wheels. Tonight I encountered bikes driving against the traffic, people negotiating with one hand while holding an umbrella, and riders in T-shirts weaving in and out of the traffic. Amazing.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"You think that the goal is to be over there, and we say the goal is the
journey over there; the goal is the fun you have along the way on your way
to over there."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



It was another beautiful, cloudy/sunny day in Chiang Rai. We checked in on our visa, checked out a new coffee spot, and Daku got a check-up. It was a mellow day.

In case you missed it, the 'Easy Monday' song was "Play With Fire" by The Rolling Stones. See, it was easy wasn't it?
"Take the straight and stronger course, to the corner of your life. Make the white queen run so fast, she hasn't got time to make you wise. 'Cause it's time, it's time in time with your time and it's news is captured for the queen to use." Hints: The title is 5 words, and they're the first line of the song (which is repeated), never to be sung again. There's also a 'sub-title', and that will also count, if you know it. Yes, they're from across the pond, and many of their songs were very involved musically, and lyrically.

This morning we left early for our trip to Mae Sai. When we arrived at immigration, the office was almost empty, so we were back on the road within 30 minutes. We stopped for coffee at a place we've seen a few times. It's fairly new and it's called 'Teak Cafe'. Everything in the place is made from teak. There is a modern aspect to much of the design and, as we sipped our coffee, we kept discovering more unique touches.

Wednesday is 'pool cleaning day'. Today Johan stopped by while his guys were working on the pool. We hadn't hung out since before we left for the States and it was good to talk with him. We always cover many topics, and compare our observations about life in Thailand.

Our dogs seem to be taking us to the vet on a regular basis. Today Lisa noticed an area of 'missing fur' on Daku. He'd been scratching, but his fur is so long that it's easy to miss some things. We were told that it looked like an allergic reaction and not to worry. Daku was so excited about going for a ride in the car that he was beside himself. BamBam, who just went yesterday, thought she was going again when she saw the leash. They behave in totally opposite ways when they ride. BamBam hangs her head out of the window like a pro. Daku doesn't like the wind in his face. He'll check things out when the car isn't moving, but he comes inside the minute we take off. To each his own.

Lisa is back in her studio, creating more amazing cast acrylic prints in preparation for her show in February. Speaking of art, on Monday we went to Doi Chaang to get some coffee and saw that their new gallery space was almost done. The room is called '22', and it's the vision of Khun Wicha's daughter, Kwan. The current exhibit is mono-prints from Wicha's collection, along with some of Kwan's work. Tomorrow Kwan and her mother, Noot, will come over to look at Lisa's studio and talk art.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
~Sally Berger

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 27, 2010



Stormy night, hot sunny day. That's how it's been here in Chiang Rai. There was a major parade, a lot of driving, a fond farewell, a warm swim, and an evening out. It's been a full day.

I got a ton of email on this 'Easy' song. If you still have doubts, read this verse and be sure to check the clues.
"Now you've got some diamonds, and you will have some others, but you'd better watch your step girl or start livin' with your mother. So don't you play with me 'cause you're __ __ __." Hint: This is the last verse. The actual title uses a different form of the first word. It's only Rock & Roll. Think of the singer as a combustable material.

Last night the thunder and lightning began at about 8pm. A little later the first wave of ran came. It rained off and on all night. Usually, after a big rain, the pool gets cooler from all the 'new' water. Today it was so hot that the temp in the pool went up 4 degrees. Hmm.

This morning I took Boot to the bus station to get her ticket to Rayong. She likes to go on the evening bus so she can arrive in Rayong in the morning. The traffic was heavier than usual due to the holiday.

It's hard to believe it, but BamBam is a 2-year-old. Today we took her to the vet for her annual shots. She loves to hang her head out of the window. It took a while but she's finally realizing that she's a dog and that's what she's supposed to do. (Ha)

After the vet run, I took the car to get it washed. That's when the day became exciting, interesting, and frustrating. I turned down the major street that leads to the car wash. As soon as I did, it dawned on my that I had driven past a small barricade. I was headed straight for the parade route. Today was the day for the big parade. I saw a policeman waving other cars through so I kept going. After I dropped the car off I walked back to the corner and took pictures of the floats with my phone. Some of the workmanship was incredible. Figures of Buddha, dragons, and giant candles were made to look like they were made of wax. Some of them may have been. There were also beautiful floral arrangements. All of the schools and temples were represented, along with several traditional dance troupes, and drum groups. I stood in the sun for as long as I could, snapped a bunch of pictures and went back to the car wash.

In my mind, I plotted a course home, thinking I could avoid the parade. My plan was to go east, then north, and then west, It made perfect sense except that the parade was coming down the final street in my plan, from the opposite direction. I was forced to turn south. I followed the traffic, slowly drove through the market district, and thought I was going to make it. I was forced to turn down the same street the parade had confronted me on, which turned out to be the end. I took the new bridge over the river and came home through the village of Ban Mai. Next year I'll just stay home.

On our way to the bus station we had a chance to see a sign we'd never noticed. It read "Tomato Parking", and had a picture of a tomato. I've never seen a tomato parked there before. Actually, it's a Japanese restaurant called "Tomato," and the funny thing is, you can't see the sign for the restaurant from where we were in traffic. A little farther down the highway we saw a car with a decal in the back window. It said "I'm a black car". The car was white. A car with wishful thinking. (Ha) After a brief goodbye at the station, we headed back to the house for a swim. The water was warmer than yesterday. If this pattern keeps up we can keep swimming for a lot longer.

Our favorite Night Bazaar restaurant was closed for the evening so we went to Aye's for dinner. Lisa discovered a dish on the menu that she really liked, and I ordered enough of my 'rice with chicken' that we can create lunch tomorrow.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Never think that you're not good enough yourself.
A man (person) should never think that.
People will take you very much at your own reckoning."
~Anthony Trollope

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 26, 2010



We're back home in Thailand, 'Land of Smiles', motorbikes, and freeform driving. We're getting over Jet Lag, re-acclimating to the high humidity, and getting back into the swing of things.

The 'Old School' song was "Good Night My Love" by the late, great Jesse Belvin. Now it's time for 'Easy Monday'.
"Well, you've got your diamonds and you've got your pretty clothes, and the chauffeur drives your car, you let everybody know. But don't you play with me, 'cause your __ __ __." Clue: These 'bad boys' of R&R are still rolling even though they started in the '60's. The song is a declaration of just how dangerous the singer can be. Hmm.

On the trip back we were able to use our 'miles' to upgrade to the big chairs of first-class. It was really nice having the extra space for the long trip over the Pacific. Our layover in Taipei was just long enough to write a message before boarding the flight to Bangkok. We had about 7 hours of waiting in Bangkok before our flight to Chiang Rai.
That was just enough time to eat, get a foot massage, sit around, eat again, and wait for the plane.

Our friend Third picked us up at the airport. Everything is so green here as a result of all the rain while we were gone. When we got to the house, the dogs went crazy. You would think we'd been gone for a month the way they carried on. They finally settled down and went to work sniffing everything we put on the floor. Daku looks a little bigger, and they both are healthy and happy. Boot took good care of them and the house.

Sunday we dove right into Chiang Rai life with a trip to Big C for lunch, and shopping. By the time we got home and unpacked the car we were ready for a nap. It seems that the 'Lag' is not quite as bad coming this direction, but it's still there. In the evening we got a massage and that felt great.

Today we drove up to Mae Sai for our visa check-in but forgot that the office would be closed. There's a major two day 'Buddha Day' and many offices and shops are closed. We'll go back on Wednesday and take care of our business.

This afternoon, Boot got a call from her sister informing her that their 89 year-old grandmother had passed. Boot is sad, but it was not unexpected. Tomorrow Boot will take the bus to Rayong, and will be gone for about a week. That means we'll be taking care of ourselves. Oh boy. We know what to do so it will be just fine.

Have a Great Week.


"Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go
any higher than you think."
~Benjamin Disraeli

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Funnies


We're sitting in the Taipei airport with a little time to spare. Our flight from LAX was very nice in first class. Lots of attention, food, and drink. We've been chasing the sunset most of the flight.

The last song we played with was "My Sharona" by The Knack. And now it's time for 'Old School Friday'. Do you remember this one: "__ __ __, pleasant dreams and sleep tight my love, may tomorrow be sunny and bright, and bring you closer to me." Clue: Smooth ballad with a lush arrangement. Always a favorite at parties. A great 'last song'.

Leaving Los Angeles in the afternoon meant no lines at check-in, and immigration. It totally changes the experience. I don't know if it had to do with the time of day, the day of the week, or both, but we loved it.

A funny thing happened on the way to Taipei. One of the cabin attendants thought I was somebody famous, and we got special attention the whole trip. She was really nice, but I still don't know who she thinks I am. She said she saw my picture. Hmm. I just rode the 15 minute wave. (555)

It's time to go. I'll try to get back on schedule when we get to Thailand.

Have a Wonderful Weekend. Now it's time for the 'Funnies'.


Believe it or not, these are Memphis , TN 's REAL 911 Calls!

Dispatcher : 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller: I heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the brown house on the corner.
Dispatcher: Do you have an address?
Caller: No, I have on a blouse and slacks, why?

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Caller : Someone broke into my house and took a bite out of my ham and cheese sandwich .
Dispatcher : Excuse me?
Caller : I made a ham and cheese sandwich and left it on the kitchen table and when I came back from the bathroom, someone had taken a bite out of it.
Dispatcher : Was anything else taken?
Caller : No, but this has happened to me before and I'm sick and tired of it!

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 22, 2010



This is our last day in L.A. Late this afternoon we'll be taking off for Bangkok by way of Taipei. We spent most of Wednesday with The Boys, and alternate dining.

Well, we did remember this one, but I know more of you used to sing along. Here's part of the second verse:
"Come a little closer huh, ah will ya huh? Close enough to look in my eyes __..." Hint: This song really put something over on the censors. That's why I only gave you part of this verse. It's a family show. (555) One word, three syllables.

It seems like this time in L.A. I put a lot of miles on the cars. I haven't kept track in the past, but there was a lot of road time. When you have places to go, that's what happens. A lot was accomplished on this visit. I connected with a lot of friends, reconnected with some high school classmates, and spent time with family. It doesn't get much better than that.

The August Chronicles: Wednesday we spent time with Mr. August, watching yet another project unfold. He's created what he calls a 'Radio Station'. There is a cable running from his bedroom/lab out to a box mounted on the wall. Another cable goes into the living room to a speaker. The first cable is connected to a microphone which is next to a speaker connected to his mixer which is getting music from his CD player. Still with me? Music plays in the bedroom and comes out in the living room. He can control the volume from the bedroom, and introduce the next song, and you never see him. Earlier in the day he built a driveway cleaner composed of a wagon, a broom, and an electric pump. I discouraged him from using the pump with the water outside. It was actually more fun to roll the wagon, stop it quickly, and let the water splash out. Are you sure Leonardo started out this way?

Today we didn't eat Thai food. What? Lunch consisted of Pollo Loco, one of our favorite 'fast foods'. For dinner we splurged and ate at Dinah's. We hadn't been there yet so it was only fitting that we wind down the visit with a turkey dinner.

If I didn't get to see you, I'll be back in December. Maybe then you won't be so busy. (Ha) It's time to head back to the Land of Smiles. I'll write to you from Taipei.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Most people never run far enough on their first wind,
to find out if they've got a second.
Give your dreams all you've got and
you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you."
~William James

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 21, 2010



It's getting to be crunch time, and that means doing many things in a few hours. Not that it's so unusual, but today was a busy travel day. Santa Monica, Altadena, Culver City, Irvine were a few of the places we visited.

Our 'Easy' song was "Tracks of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Now for a little Rock & Roll:
"Oh my little pretty one, pretty one, when you gonna give me some time __. When you make my motor run, motor run, gun it coming off the line __." Clue: That blank is a girl's name. The group had a knack for getting us to sing along.

We began our day with breakfast at The Fig restaurant in the Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. We met with Lisa's childhood friend McKinley, and had a delicious meal while we heard about his life, and shared ours.

From Santa Monica we went to Altadena and hung out with my mom. We recapped our time in the States, had a computer lesson, and shared some pictures Lisa had taken of C-Bass. It was too short, but it was all the time we had.

I had ordered an electronic guitar from a place in Irvine, but it looked like I might not get it before we left, so I decided to go to the source, and pick it up. After taking Lisa back to Culver City I drove down to Irvine. The device is a MIDI guitar, capable of creating sounds of many guitars, keyboards, and effects. I can play it into my laptop, and record what I play. The guys at the company were very friendly, and we hung out for a bit while they showed me some of the features. The traffic both ways was flowing so I made good time. Now I have this cool new instrument to work with.

While I was driving up and down the 405 freeway, Lisa and Anna went on a tour around town picking up odds and ends that we need to take back to Thailand. In the evening I had dinner with my friend Michael at another Thai restaurant. The food was good, but I'm looking forward to Boot's cooking.

We have one more full day, and then we fly away.

It's time for Wacky Wednesday.


"Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect."
~Chief Seattle

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



Our return to The Land of Smiles is getting closer, but there are still things to do here in L.A. Today we made a school run, ate Thai food twice, and discovered a new store here in Culver City.

Our 'Easy' song has left many of you quiet. Maybe these lyrics from the first verse will jog your memory.
"People say I'm the life of the party because I tell a joke or two. Although I might be laughing loud and hearty, deep inside I'm blue. So take a good look at my face, you'll see my smile looks out of place. If you look closer it's easy to trace __ __ __ __ __." Hint: In some smokey room, a man is crying.

This morning we took C-Bass to school. It brought back many memories, and it felt good to be on the road with him again. He had us laughing and that felt good. It's hard to believe that he will soon be 16 years old.

We lunched at Thai Boom with Paul, Joy, and Leilani. What a wonderful time, watching an almost one year old dealing with the world. Lisa and Joy, who makes jewelry, discussed their artistic endeavors, while Paul and I watched Leilani consume mass quantities of water, and food.

Anna told us about a new store in town that is similar to Whole Foods, but less expensive. It's called Sprouts, and while we didn't by any sprouts, we did find a few things that looked interesting, and tasty. We'll have to go back to this store at the beginning of our trip when we come back in December.

After a brief nap, we went to Emerald Thai for dinner with our friends Cynthia and Lynn. They drove in from Prescott, Arizona. They're planning another trip to Southeast Asia, and another visit with us. They'll be seeing places we'd also like to visit. We heard about life in Prescott, and shared elephant, and dog pictures. It was really good to see them again.

Tomorrow will be another busy day. We'll start with breakfast by the beach, a visit with my mom, a road trip for me, and another Thai dinner in the evening. Stay tuned.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life
that no man can sincerely try to help another
without helping himself."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 19, 2010



The wild weekend is over. We hung out at a restaurant, dined on French cuisine, went to the beach, visited in Alhambra, and had a really cool picnic. Whew.

'Old School Friday song was "Every Beat of My Heart" by Gladys Knight and The Pips. Here comes 'Easy Monday':
"Since you left me if you see me with another girl, seeming like I'm having fun, although she might be cute she's just a substitute because you're the permanent one... So take a good look at my face...." Clue: He's leaving a trail of sadness, in five words.

Friday we went to Emerald Thai, and hung out with Nid and showed him our pictures of Thailand. He's a dear friend and it was fun showing him places we've seen, and things we've done. He really misses Thailand so it was nice to share with him.

In the evening we had dinner with The Valley Cousins at a French restaurant. Incredible food, warm conversation, and a new set of memories. There was actually something on the menu that I could eat. They practically had to run us out of the place, we were having such a good time.

Saturday morning we went out to Santa Monica Beach with Anna, August, and Madeline, a friend of August's. The kids played in the surf and sand, and we baked in the sun. It's the first time we've been to the beach and done that in a long time. Very relaxing.

After the beach we drove to Alhambra to visit Debby, a childhood friend of Lisa's. We had an 'indoor picnic' that Debby had prepared. We caught up on all the happenings, and shared pics of art and elephants.

Sunday was picnic day. August made a sign for us to post at the entrance. About 25 friends showed up and we had fun just sitting in the shade of a tree talking, laughing, and eating. Lisa's friend Lisa came all the way from Nevada for the afternoon. My mom came and brought her sister Sara, and everybody got to meet our dear friend Blue.

Needless to say we're a little tired. We have just a few days left, and they're going to be just as full as the previous days. When we get back to Chiang Rai it will be time to rest.

Have a Great Week.


"He who teaches children learns more than they do."
~German Proverb

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Funnies


Today we did lunch, had coffee in the marina, ran errands, and spent the afternoon with August and C-Bass. There's also more important news about the picnic.

The song I was looking for was "Aja" by Steely Dan. Brady even mentioned the Wayne Shorter sax solo. For 'Old School Friday' we visit 1961, and this classic. It was the first hit by a group that went on a ride on a train to Georgia.
"With __ __ __ __ __ there's a beat for you. In every toast of wine, there's a toast for you. In all my conversation, your my inspiration, and everything I do I do for you." Clue: The song makes reference to that thing in your chest that keeps you alive.

This morning I went to exchange the Nissan Versa for a nicer car. My first stop was a bust because they didn't have any cars. I finally ended up at the Hertz airport location, and they gave me a Mazda 3. Zoom, Zoom. I really like this car.

For lunch, we met with our friend Richard at a Japanese restaurant. We did a lot of catching up, and also got a glowing report about the Doi Chaang coffee beans that we brought him last trip. We got raw beans, and he roasted them himself. After lunch we went next door and had coffee with our friend Claire. We communicate through email, but it was good to get together and talk.

We picked August up from camp, and then we drove to the Culver City Park to get a look at the picnic area. It's located behind the skate park area, and there's a walkway off of Duquesne, just past the first grassy area that you see from the street. There are picnic tables, and three small shaded areas. There is a small parking area farther up the hill on the left side of the road. We'll put up a few 'Danny & Lisa' signs to guide you.

Back at the house, August worked on another invention. A few days ago Lisa taught him how to sew, and how to use his mom's sewing machine. He started making a place mat made from small pieces of fabric. Before he could finish, the needle broke. That didn't stop him from 'working' with the machine. Realizing that there was a spinning wheel on the thing, he attached a spoked wheel that he made, and created a dumb waiter connected to the TV stand. That broke but he felt the air blowing off the spokes so today he added fan blades to the spokes. Now he can press on the pedal of the sewing machine and get a blast of air. His next project will be to create a duct to move the air. Eventually he'll get a new needle and finish the first project.

Lisa helped C-Bass with a creative writing paper he's been working on for a summer school class. He'll be 16 next month, and has a way with words. He has a sharp sense of humor, and likes to write comedic stuff.

Don't forget: This Sunday, July 18, is the picnic. Culver City Park (Jefferson & Duquesne) 11am to 4pm. Hughes Ave. north of Culver Blvd., becomes Duquesne Ave. South of Culver Blvd. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Tomorrow we go to the beach with Anna, and The Boys.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. The 'Funnies' are from my friend Claire. Thanks.


I need someone to refresh my memory. How many cars are allowed through an intersection after the light turns red? Is it three or five?

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 15, 2010



Wednesday morning we slept in, compared to Chiang Rai life. I think we made it to 7am. There are some airport observations, an amazing lunch date, and a painless flight back to L.A. Plus, a reminder about the Sunday event.

Nice to know that so many of you recognized this tune. It's by a duo who mix jazz and rock in a beautiful way.
"Up on the hill they think I'm okay, or so they say. Chinese music always sets me free, angular banjoes sound good to me. __ when all my dime dancin' is through, I run to you." Hint: Here's the ultimate hint: The woman's name is a creative spelling of the part of the world where I live. Hmm.

After packing up, and checking out of our motel, we took Joe to breakfast at a little cafe in Palo Alto. It's our 'new' spot for mornings with Joe. Then we went across the street to his favorite art supply store. The place is an artist's delight. Such a contrast to the shop in Chiang Rai. It was hard to hold back, but we have to consider weight when we pack our bags for the trip back to Thailand.

We spent some quality time in Joe's studio, learning how he does what he does. I really enjoy watching, and listening to the two of them trade insights, trouble shoot, and discuss the various levels of their experiences using Joe' technique. For his next show, which will feature his paper sculptures, the room will be painted black in order to allow the works to stand out. They are mostly white so they will provide a dramatic contrast against the walls. Wish we could be there.

With good directions we drove to Cupertino, and found the Apple headquarters with no problem. We had to wait in the front lobby for our friend Bill, but it was very entertaining. They have a new installation in the main lobby that shows the icons for iPhone applications falling into grids in real time. The entire screen is huge, and holds 10,800 icons at a time. As the apps fall into place columns fill up to the top and then the screen goes black, and starts over again. What we were seeing was unbelievable, and it was something like 5 million downloads to date.

Bill, and his wife Rachelle, and their daughter Cordelia arrived, and we walked across the 'campus' to the main dining room. There were various stations where you could order just about anything you could think of, and more. The energy in the place was very intense. We had great food, and after we finished, Bill told us it was time for a test. He was referring to the busing of our trays. We were led into a small room that had a window with three signs above it. Under each sign was a trash can. The signs were for trash, compost, and recycle. There were examples for each and our job was to sort the contents of our tray into the proper can. What a concept.

While sitting on the runway at LAX, and again in San Jose, I was reminded of how amazing it is that so many airplanes come and go. In Chiang Rai the most you will see on the ground is two airplanes. There's never a wait for take off. It's a lazy little country airport.

This coming Sunday, July 18, from 11am to 4pm at Culver City Park, we will be having The Picnic. Bring what you want to eat or drink, something to sit on, and your smile. We haven't seen some of you in years, and we're hoping to see you on Sunday. Culver City Park is on the corner of Jefferson Bl. and Duquesne Ave.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



We're in day two of our Northern adventure. Tuesday was a gas, and today looks like more of the same. We got a big surprise on our arrival, and another at lunch. Today we dine at Apple. Hmm, wonder what they're serving?

The 'Easy' song was "Sitting By The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. That song got one of the biggest responses.
"Up on the hill people never stare, they just don't care. Chinese music under banyan trees, here at the dude ranch above the sea. __ , when all your dime dancin' is through I run to you." Hint: This mysterious song is obviously about a woman. Clues to the woman's name tomorrow.

Tuesday morning was charmed. We got to the airport with time to spare. There was no line at the baggage check-in, and we breezed through security. When we arrived at the San Jose airport, we found that they had finished work on the car rental building. No more sitting on a bus stop, and then driving to the car lot. It's all across the street from the terminal. On the second floor we found the board with my name on it, and the stall number with our car. As we turned the corner to the aisle I joked that I'd be happy with the little Cadillac coupe. When we got to our car it was a Cadillac DTS. We did a double take just to make sure we had the right space. As we left the garage we realized that this was going to be a special two days. The car is amazing in so many ways. Lisa figured out the dual air controls without the help of the manual. It felt like we were riding in a capsule as we floated down the highway. Then we discovered the radio. We've never experienced Sirius/XM radio before. It was tuned to a jazz station. Then we listened to several others. It's a far cry from the Nissan we're driving in L.A. OK, I'll stop gushing now.

The Cousin's lunch was a wonderful experience. We got to the restaurant close to the appointed time, and cousins were arriving. Trudye was the first one there, then Eunice, DeeDee, Albert, and Rochelle. We had just settled down at the table when Ming came through the door. We had invited him since he's spending the summer in Berkley. The surprise came when Blue followed him through the door. It was a feast of food, conversation, and laughter.

After lunch we drove south to Palo Alto to find our hotel. It turns out that it's a motel, but since it's just for one night, it's OK. The room is tiny, it's a little odd, but it's somewhere to spend the night. We relaxed for a while, and got ready for dinner.

Since we were driving a 'big car', we drove the dinner party to the Chinese restaurant that's one of Joe and Eva's favorites. The food was very good, the conversation stimulating, and it was fun telling Karen Jo about the things she and her friends would be doing on their visit to Thailand in October. After dinner we went back to their house and looked at pictures of our house.

This morning we'll go to breakfast with Joe, and then spend time in his art studio. He's preparing for a show of his paper sculptures. Then we'll drive down to Cupertino, and have lunch with the Athas family in the Apple dining room. Our last visit with them was a year ago and it was brief. This will be a treat on several levels.

It feels like a Wacky Wednesday.


"Though we travel the world to find the beautiful,
we must carry it within us or we will find it not."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



We got a 'letter from home', tackled the 405 freeway, and had fond memories when we picked up August from summer camp. Driving continues to be a challenge, dealing with more cars, less bikes, and the occasional wiper/turn-signal mix up.

The 'Easy Monday' song proved to be just that. Lots of you got it on the first day. That makes me happy. Here's more: "__ __ __ __ __ __ __, watching the tide roll away. Ooo, I'm __ __ __ __ __ __ __ wastin' time." Hint: This singer taught us to try a little tenderness.

Boot sent another email, this time it was a real letter. She and the dogs are missing us, and they've had some rain.
She's doing pretty well typing in English. It's also clear that we've become good at understanding the mixed up order of words when translated. Literal Thai doesn't flow into English the way we speak it. We also have to catch ourselves here, and not speak pigeon English. Hmm.

Our drive out to The Valley was the first time we've been on the 405 this trip. So many lanes, so many cars. We didn't have too much stop and go, which was good. The meeting with our new accountant was great. He's just what we've been looking for, and he made the whole process painless and understandable.

The August Chronicles: August has been going to 'summer camp' during the day and today we picked him up so we could hang out. We used to pick him up from the same location years ago and one of the teachers remembered us. When we got back to the house he went into busy mode. He made us coffee with these little pre-measured cups. Every step in the process was explained, and now I know how the coffee machine works. Later, Lisa taught him how to use his mom's sewing machine, and he's already working on a complex project.

This evening I took Lisa for an appointment with Amir, who was our acupuncturist years ago. While she was resting I told Amir and his assistant about our lives in Thailand. It was then that I remembered a few things about the streets that are different. I haven't seen any motorbikes pulling a small trailer with one large pig inside. It's quite common to see that or a pickup truck with a full load of pigs. Pork is a large part of the Thai diet so their transport is just taken for granted. The realities of life are front and center.

Tomorrow morning we fly off to the San Jose airport. We'll do lunch with The Oakland Cousins, dinner with Joe, Eva and Karen Jo, then relax. I'll write to you from our hotel.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"If you want your life to be a magnificent story,
then begin by realizing that you are the author;
and every day you have the opportunity to write a new page."
~Mark Houlahan

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 12, 2010



Our first weekend in Southern California was a busy one. In spite of Mr. Lag, we got a lot accomplished. Lunch and dinner in Pasadena, lunch and dinner in Culver City, and I got a 'Tech Tour' from Mr. August.

The 'Old School' song was "Along Came Jones" by The Coasters. It rattled a few memory banks. Maybe it's time for 'Easy Monday'. "Sittin' in the mornin' sun, I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come. Watching the ships roll in, and then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah. I'm __ __ __ __ __ __ __ watching the tide roll away..." Hint: There's a lot of sitting going on in this song. The title is seven words long.

Saturday was our big day in Pasadena. My high school class reunion was in the evening at the Westin Hotel. We packed the car with our 'outfits' for the event, and went to my mom's house. From there we went downtown to Saladang Thai restaurant where we met Blue for lunch. We had a great time talking, laughing, and relaxing. Back at my mom's Lisa showed Jean pictures of the dogs, elephants, and the house while I took a little nap. Then it was time to get ready for the evening.

It isn't everyday that you go to your 50th class reunion. I was excited, nervous, and very curious to see my fellow graduates. When we arrived at the hotel, there was a huge line at the registration table. We saw our friend Mike, with whom I did lots of music in the past, and it eased the initial shock. We got a place in line, stood for a while, and then decided to go downstairs and have a drink. Then came shock number two: a coke, and a glass of wine came to $20 with the tip. We hung out and watched baseball (huh?). After taking our time, we went back up to the line.

We didn't have to wait long to get our name badges, and arm bands. I started seeing people that I knew, and some found me. They took our picture for something that will probably be a memory book, and we went into the banquet room to find seats. I saw many classmates that I recognized, and some that required my looking at their name tag. It turned out to be fun, even though the dinner left a lot to be desired. We spent about three hours there and decided to call it an evening. I'm really glad I got to be a part of it all.

Mid-day Sunday we were hanging out with C-Bass, and August. C-Bass was watching the World Cup final and August was working on a confetti machine. August announced that he wanted Chipotle for lunch so Lisa and I went and got take-out. While we were eating Spain scored and C-Bass turned off the TV since the match was basically over. He was rooting for The Netherlands. August called me into his room to see his latest engineering feat. There was a monitor on his desk, and the picture on the screen was the living room. Then he had me try to find the camera. I found it but still didn't understand how he did it. He had put his laptop under a towel in the living room, connected to a tiny camera. Somehow, using Skype, he was broadcasting the picture to his mother's computer in his bedroom. I am totally impressed, and still a little baffled but I'm sure he'll explain tomorrow.

Today was their mom's (Anna) birthday. The adults went to dinner in downtown Culver City. We sat at a sidewalk table at a place called Simple Greens, and had a nice dinner. I had fun watching all the cars go by. Whenever we return to the States I have to take in all the different models of everything, since we don't see most of them in Chiang Rai.

Tomorrow we go to The Valley, to meet with our new tax guy. Tuesday we fly up north for an overnight stay. The adventure continues.

Have a Great Week.


"Dance to the music of your heart and
the audience will surely applaud."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Funnies


Today we ate at two of our favorite Thai restaurants, went to the art supply store, and had an obligatory nap in the afternoon. I think we're settling into the time scheme here, but not the weather. It still feels cold.

"Save The Last Dance For Me" was the song, as sung by Ben E. King and The Drifters. 'Old School Friday' is next:
"...He said, 'If you don't give me the deed to your ranch I'm gonna throw you on the railroad tracks'. And then he grabbed her (And then), he tied her up (And then), he threw her on the railroad tracks (And then), the train started comin', (And then, and then...). And then __ __ __ ..." Hint: This humorous record is from 1959, by a group who did a lot of novelty R&B tunes. This is a take-off on the old movie theme of the damsel in distress.

We have an art supply store in Chiang Rai, but it's tiny compared to what's available here. There are things that Lisa needs for her work that we can only get in L.A. Our trip to Pearl Art Supply was very successful.

For lunch we decided to visit our friends Woody and Suni at Thai Boom 2, on Robertson Bl. They were very happy to see us when we went back to the kitchen. They are the couple who came to our house last year when they were in Thailand. We told them about our elephant adventure, and communicated in Thai a little more than last time. This pleased them.

We had dinner at Emerald Thai with our friend Kathie. The owner, Nid, is a dear old friend who was one of our first Thai teachers. We'll go back and visit with him when the restaurant is not so busy. Some friends ask us why we keep going to Thai restaurants when we come here. It's what we eat. (Ha)

While we felt the need for a nap today, there wasn't the 'crash' that happened yesterday. I guess we're coming out of the woods. Maybe we can go all day tomorrow. Hmm.

Tonight Mr. August, and his mom, Anna, returned from Pittsburg. They went there for a 4th of July family reunion. We were given a tour of his new cell phone, and he asked us if he seemed bigger. The answer was a definite 'yes'. He had to get to bed, but tomorrow we'll hear all about his trip.

Have a Fabulous WeekEnd. On with the 'Funnies'.


What Pets Write in Their Diary

Excerpt from a Dog's Diary.....

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with my people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 8, 2010



Today was not like Chiang Rai weather at all. It was overcast, misty, and cold. Hey, where am I? Oh yeah, in L.A. in the summer time. We visited our chiropractor, Lisa lunched in the marina, I cruised the mall, and we entertained our old friend, Mr. Jet Lag.

Our current song was known by a few of you. All the usual suspects, but I'm hoping to hear from the rest of you.
"'Cause don't forget who's taking you home, and in whose arms you're gonna be, so darlin' __ __ __ __ __ __."
Clue: I'm all out of clues, but you'll get extra points if you can tell me the lead singer, at the time, with this R&B vocal group.

This morning I woke up at about 4:30am. I tried to doze a bit, and may have, but most of the time I was awake. I was lying there trying to deny that I was awake. I didn't want to believe that I was going to have to go through the 'sleep time adjustment'. I felt great, there won't be a problem.

I went out to Venice early this morning to return the rental car, or should I say 're-rent' the car. It's about the rate for the duration. Anyway, I had to use the windshield wipers. In a way this was great since it covered my turn-signal reflex. Nobody knew. (Ha) Now I remember, June gloom.

After our doctor appointments I took Lisa to the marina to the place where she used to work. I went to the 'new' mall to get a SIM card for Lisa's phone so she could have an L.A. number, and I took the opportunity to stroll around, since there weren't many people there. I did notice many tourists, and I felt like one of them. It's still all very new to me. I have to go back and really take in some of the things I saw, like the toy store. Yum

This afternoon, around 3:30, we got a visit from Mr. Jet Lag. We were sitting at the chiropractors office, for a follow-up, and Wham, Pow! The eyelids grew heavy, the head bobbed, and desperate attempts were made to stay awake. We managed to fight it through a visit to Trader Joe's, but by the time we got home there was no turning back. We crashed, and didn't wake up for two hours. Now the trick will be to go to bed at a 'decent' hour so we can get ourselves back on track, on L.A. time. (Mr. Lag is laughing)

For your records: Lisa's phone number is (310) 227-2351 Danny's number is (310) 494-1179

There shouldn't be any problem having a Cool Thursday.


"Most of the important things in the world
have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no hope at all."
~Dale Carnegie

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



I come to you today, with two feet firmly planted on American soil. After some 'light weight' adventures in the Taipei airport, we made the long journey. And I'm not just talking about the flight. Read on.

Yea, you finally got it. The Chiffons singing "He's So Fine" from '63. This next one, from 1960, should be easy too.
"You can dance (you can dance), go and carry on, 'til the night is gone, and it's time to go. If he asks if you're all alone, can he take you home you must tell him no." Clue: The title is in six words, and it's a request. Don't drift off over-thinking it.

After I sent the message out, we went in search of food in the Taipei airport. We left the EVA Lounge, where we experienced very fast internet, and headed towards an area that previously had a Starbucks, and a Subway. They had been both been replaced with local chains serving food that doesn't line up yet with our picky palettes. We found a place serving chicken/noodle soup, but they wanted $6.00 for one bowl. We decided to wait and eat whatever the airplane gave us.

We did a lot of sleeping over the Pacific. That would explain why I woke up so early this morning. When we landed at LAX there was the natural instinct to pack up and rush off the plane. It was an exercise in 'hurry up and wait'. Down a flight of stairs, out the door, and into a bus. We had to wait until the bus was filled to the brim before it started it's long haul to the terminal. Once we were there, it was time to stand for immigration, get the bags, and then wait in a very long line for Customs. Fortunately, an observant airport worker directed some of us to a shorter line and we finally got out. It took longer to go from touch down to rental car than it did to travel from our house to Bangkok. I'm just sayin'. (Ha)

Getting into our Nissan Versa rental was just the beginning of that odd feeling I get whenever we change countries. There I was, on the 'wrong' side of the car. I managed to get us through the lot to the driveway. Then it happened, I turned on the wipers in an effort to signal my intended turn. (555) It continued to happen until I 'thought' before moving my hands. It will happen again when I get into the Vios and head home from the Chiang Rai airport. It's just something that happens. Now if I can just remember which side of the road to drive on, all will be well. Just joking, since Lisa gave me the best tip ever: If I'm close to the center of the road, then I'm on the correct side.

C-Bass was waiting for us when we arrived at the house. Just his head was visible through the kitchen door. It looked like something out of a 'scary movie', just floating there. It was so good to see him in person. We see him on Skype, but it's not the same. We haven't seen August yet, but got to hang out a bit with Jeff.

I'm off to start the day. Looks like a Wacky Wednesday.


"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
~Emily Dickinson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, July 6, 2010



I'm writing to you from way up in the sky. We'll land in Taipei in one hour. That's when I'll send this to you. It's been an interesting day so far. We said our goodbyes to the dogs, and ran into friends at the airport.

I can't believe nobody remembers this song. Here's a clue: George Harrison lost a law suit for plagiarism.
"He's a soft-spoken guy (Insert Do-langs), also seems kinda shy (do-langs) makes me wonder if I (Do-langs) should even give him a try (Do-langs) " Hint: The title tells us that the young man is quite good looking. Three words.

This morning we surprised Daku by getting up at 5:30. He jumped up after hearing the alarm, and was a little thrown since it was still dark. The extra time was just what we needed to get all the last minute stuff done.

As we were leaving the check-in window we saw our friend Edwin coming in. He's flying to the US as well. In the waiting area for our flight to Bangkok I spotted Jah, Atom, and Ting. The three sisters were on their way to Hong Kong by way of Bangkok. We got to hang out and talk at the baggage carousel.

They served us a chicken and rice dinner on our flight to Taipei, and it was pretty good. There is one thing I've noticed about the meals on EVA: There are always three little bowls containing at least one thing that is unidentifiable. Today Lisa said she wondered what it was. I said 'I don't eat that'. She said I didn't even know what it was. I replied: 'That's why I don't eat that'. We both had a good laugh over that. Then we pondered the strange, spotted object in the fruit bowl. Oh, the joys of flying.

Oh yes, if you ever travel to other lands be careful how you act. Today there was a small group of 'travelers' sleeping on the floor in the airport in Bangkok. This is not proper behavior here. Thai people walked by and laughed at them. Hmm.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


PS Starting Wednesday you can reach me by phone (if I have enough bars) (310) 494-1179

"Man has never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."
~Bern Williams

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, July 5, 2010



'Twas the night before departure, and all through the house, creatures were throwing things in suitcases, even a mouse. We've been taking last minute pictures of things to share, making lists of things to bring back, and trying not to forget anything.

The 'Old School' song was "Do You Wanna Dance" by Bobby Freeman. Note that it was 'wanna'. 'Easy Monday' is next, and it's so easy it's silly. It will surely get stuck in your head. (Ha) It's from 1963, group named for material.
"__ __ __ (Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang) wish he were mine (Do-land-do-land-do-lang), that handsome boy over there (insert backgrounds), the one with the wavy hair...." Hint: It's about a boy. That's all you get today.

Saturday I was in town looking for an item, and I was given directions to a store that might have it. The woman told me it was next to the motorcycun shop. Oh yes, I know the place. I totally forgot that motorcycle was one of those words that would have that ending in Thai. Today we were at the bank and the automated voice that directs people to the tellers said the word counter in Thai. It's pronounced 'counter', with the accent on the second syllable. Now you know.

Misdirection is something we've become accustomed to since we've been here. I ordered a shirt at the Night Bazaar last week. It was to have a Thai saying on the front. I left my name and number, and assumed the girl had written down what I wanted on the shirt. When we went to pick it up, the front of the shirt read 'Danny'. Oh my.

Last evening as we were walking into the Night Bazaar for dinner I got a call from a friend of mine who lives in Pai. He and his girlfriend had just arrived in town. They were planning to come to the NB for dinner so we told them where we'd be. We had a pleasant time hanging out, and it was good to see him.

This afternoon we had visits from two friends. Johan came over to discuss pool business, and chat, and then Tye came by. Lisa and Tye hung out upstairs while Johan and I talked downstairs. We haven't had a chance to do that in a long time. It was nice to have a little diversion from the current focus.

I'll be sending you the Tuesday message from the Taipei airport. That will be right before the long haul across the Pacific to Los Angeles. We're looking forward to seeing family and friends.

Have a Great Week.


"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
~Marcel Proust

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Funnies


It was another crazy weather day in the north. We started with sunshine, and blue skies. Then the rain came by for lunch. It rained hard for about 30 minutes, then got pleasant, and stayed that way. We had a party, went to a dinner, and had a very social day.

The song that eluded some of you was "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Crofts. See how you do with 'Old School Friday'. "Well, __ __ __ __ and hold my hand, tell me I'm your lovin' man? Oh baby, __ __ __ __? __ __ __ __ and make romance, squeeze me all through the night, oh baby, __ __ __ __? Clue: This dance tune was a hit in '58. In the title (4 words), the singer is asking an obvious question. Nothing heavy, just trying to get things started. Hmm.

It was touch and go for awhile this afternoon. We weren't sure if the weather would cooperate with our plans to have the pool party. It worked out fine even though we could see what looked like another storm creeping in from the west. Rachel 1, Deirdre, Rachel 2, and Kevin came over for a swim. We had met Rachel 2 briefly at the Night Bazaar last week, but had never met her husband Kevin until today. There we were, six heads sitting on the surface of the water getting to know one another. Rachel 2 and Kevin are here for one year to manage the Sold Project. Rachel 1 will return to the States later this month. After our time in the water, we sat on the patio and had watermelon, and popcorn. It was a nice day for making new friends.

This evening we went to dinner with The Family. We had a table outside under the night sky beside the river, and it was very nice. The air was cool, with a slight breeze. We had an interesting exchange with the head waiter while waiting for our guests. He said a phrase in Thai that he told us means 'wait just a moment'. Lisa ask him about another way we had learned to say it. His reply was: 'That's Bangkok'. What he told us was the Chiang Rai way to say it. Learn something every day.

There were eight of us for dinner and conversation. We had a lot of fun sharing stories, interviewing each other, and talking about many things.

It's time for the 'Funnies', sent in by Cousin Trudye.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd.


Tony is 90 years old. He's played golf every day since his retirement 25
years ago.. One day he arrives home looking downcast.

"That's it", he tells his wife. "I'm giving up golf. My eyesight
has gotten so bad that once I've hit the ball I can't see where
it went."

His wife sympathizes and makes him a cup of tea. As they
sit down she says, "Why don't you take my brother Danny
with you and give it one more try."

"That's no good", sighs Tony. "Your brother's a hundred and three. He
can't help."

"He may be a hundred and three", says the wife, "but his
eyesight is perfect".

So the next day Tony heads off to the golf course with his
brother-in-law Danny. He tees up, takes a mighty swing and squints
down the fairway. He turns to the brother-in-law.
"Did you see the ball?"

"Of course I did!" replied the brother-in-law. "I have perfect

"Where did it go?" says Tony.

"I don't remember...

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, July 1, 2010



The weather was cloudy, and a bit cooler today in Chiang Rai. We had rain overnight, and it looked like it could have rained all day. Even cooler weather is still warmer than what we'll be traveling to next week.

A few of you got the song quickly. I think the chorus of the song will bring it back to the front of your mind.
"__ __ makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine of my mind." Clue: This seasonal song by a duo was recorded in '72. It got a funky redo by a famous R&B family. Two words describing something pleasant. Hmm.

There are a few things that I didn't tell you about our 'elephant day'. All of the elephants were females. The males are separated after about a year. They are not as docile as the females. My 'partner' was named Boosee. Em told us that her name is really Boonsee but her mahoot wrote it down as Boosee so that's what they call her. When an elephant flaps their ears, it means they are happy, and content. Boosee flapped her ears a lot while we were working.

We realized that part of the initial fear that came over all of us was the fact that there was nothing in front of us as we sat right behind their heads. Like you could just fly right over the front, and fall to the ground. When we walked back from the river, we each had a mahoot riding behind us. That was a slight comfort, knowing there was someone there. During the actual training we were on our own. There was a rope around the middle of the elephant, but it was of no use while 'driving'. It only came into play for the dismount over the head, and getting back on.

It's been four days since our experience and we're just beginning to get over the soreness. The front of the hips, and the sartorius muscle, which runs from the front of the hip to the inside of the thigh above the knee got most of the workout. It's what you use to hold on, and believe me, I was holding on. (Ha)

Tomorrow we're having the swimming party that was supposed to happen Wednesday. I think we'll have better weather. In the evening we're taking 'The Family', Jen, Arun, and their sons, to dinner. In the midst of all the activities we still have to start packing our bags for the trip to America.

Someone asked me if I was ready for driving in Los Angeles. My response was the same as last time. It will be more organized, and more polite than what I deal with here. There won't be people turning in front of me, bikes passing on both sides, and I won't have to dodge Samlors going 3 mph. It should be a pretty nice break. We'll see.

Have a Mellow Thursday.


"Don't let what you cannot do
interfere with what you can do."
~John Wooden

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style