Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Funnies


Thursday was another busy day. We braved the cold for a visit to Universal Studios, Santa Monica Mall, Third Street Promenade, and classic rush hour traffic.

The 'Summer of Love' song was "For What It's Worth", by Buffalo Springfield. That brought back a lot of memories.
Now it's time to go way back for 'Old School Friday': "__ __, I was takin' a bath, long about a Saturday night. Rub dub, just relaxin' in the tub, thinkin' everything was alright..." Clue: This two word title is the sound one might make while bathing. It's from 1958, by a singer who also sang about a knife, and the sea. Hmm.

It was nice to spend a day in L.A. without driving. Anna drove Jeff, August, Lisa, and me out to Universal Studios for what was to be our first visit to the Studio part of the complex. We'd been to City Walk before, but never inside for the attractions. When we arrived we were shocked at the number of people with the same idea. It was also shocking to think of standing in lines in such cold air. We should have known that after a day of rain, there would be an extra large crowd. Just as Jeff got to the window for our tickets, we decided to just go to the City Walk, and return at a later date to go into the main part. We strolled around, looked in some of the stores, and got as far as the Hard Rock Cafe when it was time for lunch. We ate and then started back towards the exit. That's when the people from the 'Water Massage' place enticed Lisa and Anna inside. First they tried the 'Oxygen Bar', which has three bubbling tubes of colored water connected to tubes that you put in your nose. They breathed in through the nose and out through the mouth. I'm not sure what was supposed to happen, but Jeff and I decided that they were being turned into zombies. We had a good laugh about that. After the bubbles stopped Lisa tried a little muscle stimulation device like they use in physical therapy. The next thing we knew, Anna and Lisa were inside the water massage machine. You lie face down, clothed, and when they close the cover, a rubber sheet goes over your body and then jets of water massage you from your shoulders to your feet. Looked interesting but I didn't try it. They enjoyed it though. We left with the little device I mentioned.

August wasn't up to a trip to the mall so we took him home and the four of us went out to Santa Monica. There was a mad crush of traffic as we approached Santa Monica. We managed to park a few blocks away and avoid the parking structures. Whew. This was our first trip to the newly remodeled mall and we were very impressed. We sipped coffee from the observation deck looking out on the Pacific Ocean. That was very relaxing. After that we walked a few blocks of the Promenade. It was a fun day, even in the biting cold. We plan to go back to the mall at some point in our trip. So much to see.

Have a Wonderfilled WeekEnd and I'll see you next year. (Ha) And now, 'The Funnies'.



Why do you have to 'put your two cents in'... but it's only a 'penny for your thoughts'? Where's that extra penny going?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why is 'bra' singular and 'panties' plural?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, December 30, 2010



Today we'll finish up with Tuesday's activities, and dive into Wednesday in Palo Alto and San Jose. Day two of Chinese food, and I get an x-ray.

The 'Summer of Love' is still alive. Maybe this opening verse will bring back memories for those still wondering.
"There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear. There's a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware. I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down." Clue: The song is describing a demonstration. The first word in the groups name is a prairie animal. Hmm.

Tuesday evening we went to dinner with Joe and Eva, Eva's grand-daughter Taima, and her daughter Nasira. We met at their favorite Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto. The menu looked amazing and we all ordered too much food. There was catching up, stories, and getting to know more about Taima's life. It was something to be at the table with all those generations. Taima's mom is Karen Jo, who came to Thailand recently. After dinner we went to Joe and Eva's house for a little more conversation and then went to our hotel.

Our hotel was hosting a Lacrosse camp. That meant it was full of high school girls who were very excited to be on a 'road trip'. There were a few times when the noise level felt like the party was in the hall outside our door. It didn't last long and we crashed after the busy day.

Wednesday morning we picked up Joe and went to breakfast. It's kind of a tradition now, and always a pleasure. After breakfast we walked across the street to his favorite art supply store where Lisa got a few things to take back to Thailand. It's like being in a candy store. There were so many neat things in the place that my mom and I got some project ideas of our own. (Ha)

Back at the house, we spent time in Joe's studio. He showed us his latest work, we studied the paper sculptures from his recent show, and some new techniques were shared. He also gave Lisa two of his cast acrylic prints to take back and include in her show in February. At the suggestion of Sampong, who co-operates 9 Art Gallery with his wife, there will be a display showing the 'roots' of Lisa's work. It's a great idea.

From Palo Alto we traveled south to San Jose for lunch with the Athas family. Bill, Rochelle, and Coco have been a part of our northern adventures since they began. This time we lunched at Taiwan Restaurant in the community of Willow Park. Once again, the menu didn't explain the amount of food that would come with each order. Lisa and my mom ordered a soup dish, and got enough food in one order for the three of us. Nothing like abundance. The family wanted to show us their new house, so we followed them to a nearby neighborhood and got a tour of a beautiful Spanish style 'hacienda' that was full of wonderful touches. Coco gave us the grand tour of the rooms, and was very proud to show off her room. We left with directions to a gas station, and the airport. Just enough time to fill up and make it for check-in.

When I arrived at the security check, I did all the things I know to do and walked into the metal detector. A TSA woman instructed me to stand on what I thought was a line. What she really wanted me to do was stand on two footprints that were pointing to the left of the booth. Then she told me to raise my arms above my head. At that point I knew I was about to experience the x-ray machine. It was the only line that had the machine and I had to pick it. After standing there for a moment I was told to stand on two more footprints just outside the booth. A man just stood there and looked me up and down in a very suspicious manner, asked me "How you doin'", waited a moment and then released me. What? How am I doin'? I was fine until now. I'm nervous, paranoid, and about to get hysterical. That's how I'm doin'. (555) I put on my shoes, repacked my stuff and headed to the gate. That about wraps up the days adventure.

Tomorrow we go to Universal Studios with Jeff, Anna, and August. Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"If you can't fight
and you can't flee......

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, December 29, 2010



Tuesday was a travel day. Airplane, rental car, freeways, digital parking, new food, and old friends (and relatives).

It's no surprise to me that so many of you knew the 'Easy Monday' song. "You've Got A Friend" by James Taylor is one of those hits that lives on. If you said it was by Carole King you were also right. She wrote it, but James recorded it first. Time now for another trip to the 'Summer of Love'. "Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. We better stop hey...." Clue: The song was inspired by an actual event in Hollywood. It's by a group named after a steamroller. Hmm. Oh, and the title is not in the lyrics.

Driving into the sunrise, on my way to Altadena, it struck me that I hadn't been this cold since our trip to NYC to see Seth and The Godfadda Workout. The body remembers extremes. There was something rather spiritual about watching the glow of the dawn. It is a beautiful thing, even from behind tall buildings, and we (most of us) sleep through it every day. Hmm. When I got to my mom's house she was ready to go. Everything was going ahead of schedule since the morning traffic was light.

After picking up Lisa we went to LAX where I dropped them off and proceeded to Lot C. That's the place where you park your car when you're going to be gone for a day or more. Meanwhile, back at the airport, Lisa and Jean were checking in, getting a wheelchair, and negotiating security. I was standing in a parking lot waiting for a bus. (Ha)

Our flight to San Jose was a little late, and the floor was getting hard, but we were on an adventure and it was fun. Watching all the other travelers is one of my favorite things to do (sometimes). This time of year, with families returning from visits, students returning to school, and others looking lost makes for interesting dialogs in the mind.

Traveling with a person in a wheelchair has it's perks. While my mother will tell you she could have walked onto the plane with no problem, rolling her on got us on first, with seats together. So, lesson learned. We had a very friendly cabin crew who took good care of us. When we landed in San Jose the main guy told us to stay in our seats until the plane came to a screeching stop. It got chuckles from the crowd, but what really got us was when he made a screeching sound when the plane finally stopped. Hilarious.

There are moments when technology can make you feel totally powerless, helpless, and foolish all at the same time. I went to pick up our rental car at Hertz (thanks Linda), and found that we would be driving a Nissan Altima. Beautiful car, but when I got in, there was no key. Just a remote for the doors. I noticed a button on the dash and knew what to do. Pressing the button yielded nothing. What? It said start. I got out, walked around the car and then decided to try again before asking for help. (a guy thing) I put my foot on the brake, pressed the button and it started. See, I was trying to start it without following the rules of safe driving. (Ha) Now you know. We love the car.

We drove to Oakland and met with The Cousins. Albert helped me find a parking place and explained how to use the parking meter. Insert credit card, choose amount of time, and print. Then you put the little paper on the dash showing when your time is up. All the meter police have to do is check the time before writing you up. I like the Chiang Rai way better.

Tomorrow (Thursday) I'll fill you in on the rest of Tuesday. It's time for breakfast with Lisa's dad, Joe, and a trip to the art store.

Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"You progress not through improving what has been done,
but reaching toward what has yet to be done."
~Kahlil Gibran

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, December 28, 2010



The weather in the L.A. area was rain free yesterday. Still cold, but bearable. We had two lunches, did some shopping, and I got a reminder of 'home' on the road.

The 'Easy' song was pretty easy for a lot of you. I know there are more of you who know this song. This might help:
"You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I'll come running, oh yeah, to see you again. Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call, and I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah, __ __ __ __." Hint: I've got a lot of friends who know this song.

We met with our friends Claire and David for lunch in downtown Culver City. After lunch we had coffee and talked some more. It was a very warm visit in spite of the weather.

After lunch we had about half an hour until we were to meet Blue and Ming at Thai Boom. We went by the house and then made it over to the cafe. They've added another room to the restaurant and it's really nice. We ate again, and talked about movie making. Ming is a film major at Stanford. We always have a good time talking and laughing with them about everything under the sun. They had photographed the sunrise, and were going to shoot the sunset at Santa Monica after they left us. We're hoping to see Blue again before we leave.

We went to the 'Fox Hills Mall', which is what it will always be in our minds. Our mission was to stock up on vitamins to take back to Thailand. It would have been really easy to be drawn into the seduction of the place, but we resisted. Besides, it was that time of day when the energy begins to wane. I think we're out of the woods as far as the jet lag goes, but we're still used to afternoon naps.

In the evening Lisa and August played 'Go Fish' and a board game we gave them for Christmas. It's called the 'Ungame' and it's a conversation game. Very interesting since there is no winning, and no end. The instructions state that before starting you should decide how long you're going to play. Hmm.

I was sitting at an intersection last night, and when the light turned green, a car from the opposing traffic turned left in front of me. My conclusion was that it was someone from Thailand. Old habits die hard. (555)

This morning we fly up to San Jose, then drive to Oakland for our 'Cousin's Lunch', and then down to Palo Alto for dinner with Lisa's father Joe, his wife Eva, and their grandkids. Before the flight I'll go to Altadena and pick up my mom. This will be the first time she's gone with us on one of our adventures.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"The man who graduates today
and stops learning tomorrow
is uneducated the day after."
~Newton D. Baker

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, December 27, 2010



The wild weekend is over. We have dined, laughed, reconnected with family, been rained upon, and laughed some more.

The 'Old School Friday' song was "Roll Over Beethoven", by Chuck Berry. 'Easy Monday' should be just that: "When you're down and troubled, and you need some loving care, and nothing, nothing is going right... You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I'll come running to see you again...." Hint: Really now, I don't think it's necessary.

Friday evening we had a 'Family Dinner' with Jeff, Anna, C-Bass, and August. There was a theme to it all and we had a great time talking about various things, including Santa Claus. August was following him on the NORAD website. Every few minutes he'd jump up from the table and run into his room to give us an update. Then we all contributed to where the cookies should be placed, and gave our thoughts about the note. As it turns out, August had it covered.

Saturday morning we woke up before the rest of the house, so we just waited for August to come back to our apartment and let us know when to come in. When we went into the house, it was clear that Santa had been there. The cookies were gone, and there were two giant boxes addressed to August. That proves it. He had asked for two 500 watt, 12 inch speakers for his DJ rig. While he was explaining the wonders of his new speakers, the rest of us opened our gifts. Their two dogs, Peaches and Lola, also got in on the action. They seemed to have a preference for the toy that barked when they bit it. Of course they did. (Ha)

In the evening we picked up my Aunt Sara and her helper Ruthie, in Culver City, and drove to Pasadena for our Moses family dinner. My brother Denny, his wife Sheila and their son Gavin, came in from Colorado. Blue and Ming joined us, and the table for ten was abuzz with conversation and laughter. After a delicious dinner we looked outside and realized it was raining. The rain here is cold. In spite of it all, we went to my mom's house to continue the party.

Sunday we took our Godson, Darryl Jr. out for a birthday lunch. It was good to see him, catch up and reflect. As we sat at our table in Dinah's, he was able to find our house in Google Maps on his phone. We know it was a recent photo because we could see the new addition to our neighbor's house.

Emerald Thai was the venue for dinner with our friend Kathie. It's a regular event on our calendar and when Nid came out to say 'Hello', he and Kathie joked about seeing each other twice a year. We did our usual updates, and also talked about internet projects.

Oh, did I mention that it's cold here? It gets cold in Chiang Rai, but not like this. I'm glad to be here, but can't you warm it up a bit? (555)

Have a Great Week.


"If you walk in the shoes of others you will
come to find that they are too big for you.
However, if you look through the eyes of others you will
find that we are all equal..."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday Funnies


Day one in America and we didn't get rained on. The day began all sunny, but the afternoon got dark and cloudy. What? Oh yeah, it's winter. We started our 'running around', lunched with an old friend, took a 'Jet Lag Nap', and began playing Santa.

How could anyone forget that 'Summer of Love' classic by the 5th Dimension, "Up, Up and Away"? 'Old School Friday' brings us this little number: "You know, my temperature's risin', the jukebox's blowin' a fuse. My heart's beatin' rhythm and my soul keeps a-singin' the blues. __ __ __, and tell Tschaikowsky the news." Clue: Another Golden Oldie from 1956, with a 'Classical' reference by the man many call The King of Rock & Roll. He could play a guitar like ringin' a bell.

We ended up staying awake until 2:30 in the morning. Not a good sign for adjusting to the time change. On top of that, we woke up at 6:15, just like in Thailand, except we're not there. After breakfast, it was still early. (Ha) A little later I drove out to Venice to handle some car business. It was all I could do to keep from turning on the wipers when making turns. I'm still very impressed at how 'orderly' the traffic is, even with the volume. When lights turn red, cars stop. At certain intersections in Chiang Rai, you can be certain that someone will be coming through on the red light. The driving lanes are so wide here. It's also comforting to know the there won't be an assault of motorbikes zipping in between the lanes.

A visit to L.A. would not be complete without a visit to Ross. It was early enough in the day that it wasn't too crazy so we did a little shopping. There are so many household items that would be nice to take home, but there's just no room in a bag, not to mention the weight. We left Ross and headed for the 99 cent store. Now, that was a zoo. In spite of the crowd we found many things we needed for our little kitchen. It was worth the congestion.

When it was time for lunch we went to Emerald Thai. Nid, the manager is a dear old friend. He knew we would be there soon and had told his employee, who told us. They were both excited to see us and Nid sat with us while we ate and talked about Thailand. Midway through the meal we were both struck with Jet Lag symptoms. You know, the sudden urge to just put your head on the table and go to sleep. We managed to get home and take a nap. The trick will be to go to bed at a 'regular' time tonight and get up on L.A. time. Hmm.

As I type, Lisa has begun wrapping the gifts we brought with us. We are not allowed to bring wrapped presents on the overseas flights. This evening I got a call from my mom letting us know that she had a turkey for us, just like last year. What a wonderful surprise. Tomorrow we'll retrieve the bird.

Yesterday's post on the Blogspot website was the 900th entry. I started it when we announced that we'd be moving to Thailand. Some of you have been reading the chronicle of my life in email since way before that. I guess you could say that I've been blogging since before 'blog' was a word.

Have a WonderFilled WeekEnd, and Happy Whatever You Celebrate. Now it's time for the 'Funnies', sent by my dear friend Claire.


An escalator never breaks . . . it only becomes stairs

Bumper Sticker: Excuse me for driving so closely in front of you.

People never grow up; they just learn how to act in public

If you want to know more about paranoids, follow them around.

People who are wrapped up in themselves are overdressed.

Anything not nailed down is a cat toy.

The reason Las Vegas is so crowded is that no one has the plane fare to leave.

I am logged in...therefore, I am.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, December 23, 2010



After a day of travel, we're in America. Steering wheel on the left, wipers on the right, blinker on the left, and a heater. Welcome back.

I guess everyone was out rowing around town, doing last minute shopping. Only one response to the '67 song that begins with: "Would you like to ride in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon?" Hint: Is that really necessary? It's by a group that's named for a portion of the space/time continuum.

The trip went pretty smoothly. It appeared to be a full flight from Taipei to Los Angeles. We traveled high above the earth and arrived at LAX on time. We rode around the airport and finally there was an announcement that they were looking for a parking place, since another plane was in ours. It took about 20 minutes after we landed before we could deplane. We were so relieved to see a dry sky.

When we arrived at the house, August had set up a greeting for us in the little apartment. He made a fireplace DVD and had it playing on the TV. There was a new dresser, and Anna had food waiting for us. A home-cooked dinner is just the thing after a day of airline food. We sat around with Jeff and Anna and did some catching up, I got a tour of August's room, hung out with C-Bass, and then began unpacking.

Today we jump into things with both feet. Most of our shopping is done, but things have to be wrapped and tagged. We have to get 'provisions' for our kitchen, and set up various lunches, dinners, and get togethers that will fill the next three weeks.

As the keeper of the 'tech' stuff, I forgot to pack our 'Airport', a device that lets us disperse the internet signal to our two computers. So, we won't have a connection until I get a replacement. If you want to contact us, here are the numbers: Lisa = (310) 227-2351 Danny = (310) 494-1179 Those numbers are our 'L. A.' numbers.

Have a Thrilling Thursday,


PS This is post number 900

"A sure way to lift oneself up is by helping to lift someone else."
~Booker T. Washington

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, December 22, 2010



It's a beautiful day to fly. Today has been a simple day. Up early, run around the house, say goodbye to Boot and the dogs, fly to Bangkok, get a foot massage and hang out. Whew.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "Oooh, Baby, Baby" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Time for our 'Summer of Love":
"...we could float among the stars together, you and I, for we can fly, we can fly. __ __ __ __ in my ..." Hint: It's hard not to give this one away. Let's just say we might be singing it as we leave Bangkok. Once again, a title with repeated words. Hmm, I'm feeling a pattern.

Well, we think we remembered everything. It had to be everything - they put a sticker on the big suitcase stating that it was heavy. We got up early this morning to finish packing and set things up for Boot. Daku was a little confused, but happy to eat early. In an effort to keep the carry-on weight manageable, things got packed in the big bag. So glad we got the big bag. (Ha)

The flight from Chiang Rai to Bangkok was pleasant. We had an American family with two small children behind us. Once the seat-kicking stopped, they were pretty quiet. At one point the little boy wanted his mom to 'push the button, I want to ask them something,' referring to the flight crew. When it was time to leave the plane, their dad reminded them to thank the attendants and as they left the plane they both 'wai'd' and said thank you in Thai. Too cute.

Bangkok has a very big airport. One could get lost. We're getting used to it so we have a routine. After checking our big bags for a small fee, we set out for food. We had a very nice early lunch in a 'sit down' restaurant and then went for our massage. This time we made sure we got 'foot and shoulders'. We each had guys this time and they did an excellent job. It's the best massage of this type that I've ever had.

We did some people watching while drinking our coffee, found out we could check in for our flight early, and are now sitting in the EVA Lounge waiting for our flight. The lounge is a totally different environment than the airport proper. It's quiet, there's free stuff to eat and drink, vibrator chairs, and potted plants in the men's room.

We have a 3 1/2 hour flight to Taipei, an hour plus layover, and then the 11 1/2 hours flight to LAX. See you on the other side.

Time now for Wacky Wednesday.


"And the day came when the risk
to remain tight in a bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom."
~Anais Nin

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, December 21, 2010



Warmer nights and days are what we'll be leaving when we fly out of Chiang Rai tomorrow. We captured some sun, ran a bunch of errands, and got very close to finishing the packing.

Oooh, I got mail on this 'Easy' one. I still haven't heard from some of you so here's the second verse: "Mistakes, I know I've made a few, but I'm only human. You've made mistakes too, and I'm cryin' __ __ __ (repeat 3 times)." Clue: This song has had numerous covers, even hits by other artists, but the original still stands as the one to emulate.

We've been watching the weather reports from So. California and also getting mail from some of you. Just in case we don't see any sun when we get there, we sat on the front porch after lunch and enjoyed some 'rays'. Daku hung out with us, but moved into the shade after a few minutes. There's only so much sun one can store up, so we'll just have to hope the skies clear while we're in town.

There is something quite satisfying about setting out with a list and getting everything accomplished. That's how our morning and afternoon went today. We had to take Daku back to the vet's for a follow-up visit, and do a lot of this and that in preparation for being gone for three weeks. It's all done and now we're putting the last things in the bags. The whole thing of dressing for a 24 hour journey, from warm weather to cold, plus the airplane climate, makes it essential to layer our clothing. Then there's the issue of whether to try to be chic or practical. (Ha) Practical wins out in this case. When you're flying miles above the earth, comfort is number one. In the middle of the night it get really cold. Then it gets warm. Who knows what to do? Layers, baby.

Tomorrow I'll be writing to you from Suvarnabhumi (pronounced Suwarnabum) Airport in Bangkok. We have about 7 hours there before we leave for Taipei, and it would be too late to write from there. See you then.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Of all the creature of earth, only human beings can change their
patterns. Man alone is the architect of his destiny...
Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds,
can change the outer aspects of their lives."
~William James

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, December 20, 2010



Today started with heavy fog. It finally lifted and turned into a beautiful day. The weekend was full of parties, and a concert. Today we got photographed with an 'Old School' camera, and the house smells like cinnamon cookies. Yum.

'Old School Friday' took us to a place known as "I Like It Like That", by Chris Kenner. And now, for 'Easy Monday':
"Oooh, la la la la, I did you wrong, my heart went out to play and in the game I lost you, what a price to pay, I'm cryin' __ __ __, __ __ __." Hint: The title has a sound plus two words that are the same. Do you really need more hints?

Saturday we went to Gary and Baan's for a party that featured a big spread of wonderful food. We met new people, had some great conversations and got stuffed. They have a patio that is perfect for parties. Among the guests were expats from Scotland, Spain, and the U.S.

We had to leave the party a little early so we could get ready for the evening's event. We met Tye and her family at their house around 4:15 and drove way out into the countryside and up a long, winding road through several villages until we reached The Villa Darakorn Arboretum. This was the site for the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra Twilight Concert. The setting was perfect. The trees were decorated with twinkling lights and the stage was sitting in a clearing. When we arrived we saw lots of people we knew. Doi Chaang Coffee had a table where they were dispensing free coffee, there were juices at another table, and during intermission food was given away. All that for the price of admission. The whole affair lasted two hours. The orchestra did a good job and the guest soloist, Richard Harvey from London, played clarinet, Thai bamboo flute, and the Bawu, an ancient Chinese instrument. The sound of the instruments was magical in this setting. There were also three songs performed that were written by The King of Thailand, an accomplished musician. A violinist from the orchestra sang them with a very pleasing voice. The ride home down the mountain was dark, but our bright lights made it not so threatening.

Sunday evening we went to Jaffee's house for a dinner party. We made more new friends, had lots of laughs, and a delicious assortment of food. We connected with people from more far away places and shared experiences.

Today Chalit came over for lunch and brought his camera equipment. He wanted to do 'portraits' of us with his vintage style camera with bellows. He shot us in black and white, and did some trick things with focus and other things that went over my head. We won't see the results until we return, but I'm guessing it will be very artistic.

Tonight Lisa baked up a bunch of cookies for me to take with us. Having cookies with no milk products or soy is a treat. Now I just have to make them last. (Ha)

Have a Great Week.


"Love is the light that dissolves all walls
between souls, families and nations."
~Paramahansa Yogananda

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Funnies


Today we woke up to a dark, cloudy sky that looked like rain could come any minute. It never did. Just dark and cold almost all day. We spent the morning, and part of the afternoon in town, and we're having a quiet evening at home. Tomorrow will be a busy day.

The song you should have been rocking out on was "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream. It's from the Disraeli Gears LP.
For 'Old School Friday' see if this rings a bell: "Come on (come on, let me show you where it's at) come on (come on, let me show you where it's at).....The name of the place is __ __ __ __ __." Clue: The title of this 1961 song has 5 words. It's the name of a place, but also a statement of sorts.

This morning I dropped Lisa off at the salon and went to Big C. The place was just waking up at 9am so it was easy to get in and get out. A stop at the gas station for a fill-up, and the gift of two large bottles of drinking water. We ate lunch at Aye's and had the whole place to ourselves. By the time we got home, we just had time for a piece of a nap before it was time to go back out. We had a 3pm appointment for our massage. We're gonna miss that place while we're gone.

While I was out and about today I noticed a woman sitting on a motorcycle, with her hands in her lap. The bike began to move and that's when I noticed a man sitting in the sidecar with his hands on handlebars. He was driving. I've seen this in the States, but this is the first time I've seen this kind of set-up here. There are a lot of creative, one-of-a-kind motorbikes around Chiang Rai.

A few minutes ago (8pm) we saw a steady stream of balloons (lanterns) going up in the night sky. There's some kind of celebration going on to the north of us.

Tomorrow will be a busy Saturday for us. We're going to a party at Gary and Baan's that starts at 12 noon, and then in the late afternoon we'll be going to the 2nd Annual Twilight Concert of the Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra. If you want to know more about the concert, the orchestra, and the arboretum where it will be held, plus pictures from last year, go to: It's pretty cool.

Sunday we're going to a dinner party at Khun Jaffee's house. We'll be ready for a good rest by the time we get on the plane on Wednesday.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. It's time for the 'Funnies'.


A nice, calm and respectable lady went into the pharmacy, walked up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said, 'I would like
to buy some cyanide.'

The pharmacist asked, 'Why in the world do you need cyanide?'
The lady replied, 'I need it to poison my husband.'
The pharmacist's eyes got big and he exclaimed, 'Lord have mercy! I can't give you cyanide to kill your husband. That's against the law! I'll lose my license! They'll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of bad things
will happen. Absolutely not! You CANNOT have any cyanide!'

The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife.
The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, 'Well now, that's different. You didn't tell me you had a prescription.'

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, December 16, 2010



Another bright, sunshiny day in Chiang Rai. There was a little shopping, lunch in town, and two projects we've been waiting for got delivered.

Nothing like an old favorite to bring out the masses. This gem from the 'Summer of Love' is by a powerful trio.
"I'm with you my love, the light's shinin' through on you. Yes, I'm with you my love, it's the morning and just we two.... I've been waiting so long, to be where I'm going, in the __ __ __ __." Hint: Four words about something bright. Hmm.

In an effort to not get caught up in 'last minute' drama we are keeping up with our lists of things to do and get. This morning we went into town for one of those 'blue ice' packs. This is used to keep my margarine cold while we travel. There is a product sold here that contains no soy or milk products. We can't find it in the L.A. area so we bring it with us. The trick is to freeze it, and then pack it in a container with the blue ice pack. It stays cold and fresh until we land. Now you know. While we were in the pharmacy we saw the mother of the baby twins from Connect Cafe. They all have colds and she was trying to get some relief.

We ate lunch at Siam Corner. It's a nice little place behind the hotel where we first lived when we arrived in Thailand. When we sat down, the owner brought us a copy of the Bangkok Post. He remembered that we liked to read it while we waited. The chicken burgers were good.

Earlier in the day we got a call from Ghan, the woman who sews things for us. We hadn't heard from her in a long time and were a little concerned because she was to make a special waist bag for us to take back to the States. It turns out she's been busy working at the 'Pineapple Garden', as she put it. She's been picking and slicing for several weeks, but finally got a chance to work on the bag. We drove out to her place and picked up the bag. When we asked how much she said: "Up to you". She just wanted our friend to be happy with it. That's so Thai. It was also very touching.

This afternoon we got a call from Martin that he'd be done with the catalogue this evening. We just returned from meeting with him and his wife Kay. The final catalogue is a work of art in itself. We were hoping it would be done before they leave for England, and we leave as well. Now there's time for it to be taken to Bangkok for printing. Whew.

I was looking up words in a Thai language translator that I have on my phone. I decided to look up the word for 'ice cream'. The translation read: Ai-sa cream. We couldn't help but laugh. There is another pronunciation that comes out: i cream. Either way, you know what it means. There are so many words that have become part of Thai vocabulary that maintain their original spelling, but sound just a bit different. It makes listening to commercials on the radio fun.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting."
~Karl Wallenda

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, December 15, 2010



Chiang Rai had a cold night and morning fog - at least in our little weather system. It may have been sunny downtown. It didn't last long, but it really came in heavy from the west. It must have been eerie on the river. Daku went to the doctor and came home with a bag of medicine.

The 'Easy Monday' song was one of my all time favorites: "Venus" by Frankie Avalon. The 'Summer of Love' brings this: "It's gettin' near dawn, when lights close their tired eyes. I'll soon be with you my love, to give you my dawn surprise... I've been waiting so long, to be where I'm going, in the __ __ __ __." Clue: This one comes from an album with a curious title, by a group from the dairy food group. It's also an easy one.

This morning there were three conversations with America. I went out and got more printer ink and discovered that the main HP store has a bigger supply of everything than the shop I go to. I just may switch. The day before we leave I'm going to take our printer to the service center behind the main store for a full check-up. It's been very busy.

The big event of the day was Daku's doctor visit. When it was time for him to be weighed, he stepped up on the scale and sat down. The staff was quite impressed. Once we were in the examination room, the doctor motioned to have the two assistants put him on the table. One of them did most of the lifting, which is pretty impressive since he weighs 70 pounds. Daku stayed calm through most of the poking and prodding. He has an ear infection that will require medicine twice a day. He also will have to have his ears cleaned twice a week. He's not going to like that at all. He's been shaking his head since we left the doctor's office. He'll remember everything about today. Dr. Arnon will have to come by the house for a follow-up while we're out of town. It's nice to have a vet that we can see right away and consult with when something is wrong.

Lisa got a call from Bangkok today about four of her paintings that have been there for about a year. Looks like they may have been sold. Things work out in their own time.

Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"As we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."
~Marianne Williamson

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



It's really hard to believe that it's winter here. Sunny, warm days make it feel like spring. Only the cool evenings give away the true time of year. Today was an errand day, getting things for our three week absence.

There were a few responses to the 'Easy' song, but I suspect that some of you just thought it was too easy. That's OK, tell me anyway. Maybe if I remind you that the singer made a lot of movies on the beach with Annette you'll remember who he is. Here's the bridge to the song: "__ goddess of love that you are. Surely the things I ask can't be too great a task." Hint: After that you don't need any hints. Just write me with the answer. (Ha)

Last night we went out to see the meteor shower but they didn't show. The night sky was full of stars, but no movement. We'll try again tonight. It felt like being in the mountains. Clear, cold air and quiet. Hmm.

There are two drain tubes in our front lawn. They help clear the water when it rains really hard and forms lakes. Recently, Daku has decided that something lives in one of them. He is obsessed with this hole in the ground. He'll stand there and stare, waiting for something to emerge. Something did go down the tube at some point, but I think it's gone. I put a rock in front of it today but that didn't stop the 'Hunter Dog'.

This morning we went into town to the bank, the pharmacy, the watch guy, the post office, and the market. It was a full, productive morning. One very nice feature at the post office is that they have chairs set up in rows. You take a number when you enter, have a seat and watch TV or read, and then go to the window when your number is called. It seems so calm and relaxed.

Tomorrow we take Daku to the vet to check out his ears. He shakes his head from time to time and he's not saying 'no'. While we're there we'll get a supply of BamBam medicine so Boot will have enough while we're gone. It's the little things that we're dealing with these days. We'll also meet later with Martin to go over the catalogue for Lisa's show. Things are moving along and it will be nice to have most of the details settled when we leave for America.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"Let us not look back in anger,
nor forward in fear,
but around us in awareness."
~James Thurber

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, December 13, 2010



Chiang Rai finally got the rain it had been waiting for. We had a dinner for some friends, returned to the Night Bazaar, got a visit from an art lover, and went out for a 'goodbye' lunch today with more friends. It's been busy.

Our 'Old School Friday' song was "Moody's Mood for Love", as performed by King Pleasure. The 'song' was originally a saxophone solo by James Moody, for "I'm In the Mood for Love". That was in 1949. In 1952 Eddie Jefferson wrote lyrics to the solo, in a form known as vocalese. King Pleasure popularized Jefferson's work in 1954, and the rest is history. James Moody died on the 9th of this month. There have been many versions of the tune and there's a lot more info available about the whole style.

Now it's time for 'Easy Monday'. "__ if you will, please send a little girl for me to thrill. A girl who will want my kisses and my arms, a girl with all the charms of you." Clue: This song came out in 1959, and there's a reference to a goddess of something. Hmm. It's easy.

In the afternoon on Saturday we heard a sound we haven't heard in over a month. It was rain. At first it was light, but then it turned into a downpour. What a treat. The lawns and trees are very happy.

That evening we had dinner at the house with Atom and her sister Ting. Ting is in town from New Zealand where she's in her first year at university. We had a great time, hearing about life in NZ and learning things we didn't know. For instance, I was curious as to how one types in Thai, since the Thai alphabet is so complex compared to English. The key is in the 'shift key'. There was a lot of laughing and sharing. It was a very enjoyable evening.

Sunday we did the usual morning thing at Big C. Since we were still in the midst of a three-day holiday weekend, the place was packed. As we left we noticed that big progress has been made on the new Central shopping center structure. There has been lots of speculation as to when it will be completed, but we think they have a long way to go.

Sunday we got a call from our friend Pui. He had a friend who he wanted to bring over to see Lisa's artwork. It turns out that Bit had seen some of Lisa's work in the Le Meridien show. He's building a house and wants some art. We were quite surprised. He also saw the magazine article about Lisa in "Traversing the Orient." Unfortunately, most of the work is at the framers, but she showed him photos on the computer. It was nice to see his reaction to the art.

We had our Sunday dinner at the Night Bazaar and finished off the gift list. On our way home we drove down Clock Tower street to see the lights that have been hung on either side of the street. They're vertical strings of lights that create a corridor of lights leading to the Clock Tower. It's very magical.

Today I took the car to Toyota for a routine check-up. I had made the appointment on Saturday and they were in the middle of a giant sales campaign. There must have been 100 people there, with loud music blaring and tables set up for deal making. Today the place was very calm. I hung out in the lounge and watched the Thai version of The View.

Two of our friends, Michael and Heather, from The Sold Project are leaving for America on Wednesday so we took them to lunch at World Class Hamburgers. We sat in a sala out in the garden and had a wonderful time. We talked about the funny things that happen when one returns to the States after being here for an extended period of time. Like responding to people in Thai, or the shock at the cost of certain items. They'll be going to the Philadelphia area so the weather change will also be a bit of a shock. We'll stay in touch and hope to see them again someday when they visit.

Tonight we have clear skies and we plan to go outside and sit in the driveway in hopes of seeing the annual meteor shower. Last year we actually saw some and it was amazing.

Have a Great Week.


"Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Funnies


Chiang Rai had clouds in the sky for most of the day. What? Yes, but no rain. We have a forecast for sprinkles/rain and we're hoping it happens. Meanwhile, I stayed on the grounds all day. Lisa had a lunch date, and we started packing.

The song you should have had stuck in your head was "Windy" by The Association, from the 'Summer of Love'.
Our next stop is 'Old School Friday' and this might entertain you for the weekend: "There I go, there I go, there I go, there I go... Pretty baby, you are the soul who snaps my control. Such a funny thing but every time you're near me I never can behave.... James Moody, you can come on in man, and you can blow now if you want to, we're through." Clue: This tune became popular in 1952. We 'played it' before, but it's timely that we remember it now. We'll have music education on Monday. Strongly 'related' to "I'm In the Mood for Love".

Twice a year we go through the ritual of packing for the trip to America. The holiday trip is tricky since we have gifts in addition to what we'll need for three weeks. It has become a science of size and weight. For those of you who don't travel internationally, you pay for what flies with you, especially over the limits. Anyway, this morning we put all of the gifts in a medium sized suitcase, with a tiny bit of room to spare. On the return trip that case will carry most of the things we can't find here in Thailand. From art supplies to vitamins, we'll be balancing the weight, but making sure we have our supply of necessities. Since it's only the 10th, I'm feeling good about the packing thing this time. (Ha)

Lisa had a lunch date with Sutheera today. They were joined by a little girl named Min. She lives with Sutheera's mother and wanted to go to lunch so she could practice her English. The funny part is, she was too shy to say much. It was still good for her to listen to the spoken language. Lisa asked Sutheera what Thai people do for Constitution Day and she said 'nothing'. It's not a big celebration day, although I imagine that many years ago it was.

I actually did venture out for a short time late this afternoon when we made a bread run. We saw Jonathan, the English Golden, who greeted us and then wandered back into the bakery. Traffic was light since it was a holiday, so it was an uneventful trip. That last comment reminded me of a conversation we had about how we're getting used to some of the things that people do on the road. Could it be that I'm actually getting comfortable with cars and motorbikes turning in front of me, not stopping on red lights, etc.? I think so. There are certainly things I do while driving that will have to stay in Thailand. (555)

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Enjoy the 'Funnies'.


Subject: Points to Ponder

Nothing is worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

There is great need for a sarcasm font.

How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

Was learning cursive really necessary?

Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Bad decisions make good stories.

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Darn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did they do after I didn't answer? Hangup the phone and run away?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, December 9, 2010



Today was a perfect day for a road trip. We traveled north to the 'factory' and beyond. Tomorrow is another holiday, and the festivals continue. We also had a nice visit with a friend.

I got a lot of 'hits' on this one. Many of you knew the song, but missed out on the spelling. Lots of old memories.
"And __ has stormy eyes, that flash at the sound of lies. And __ has wings to fly above the clouds (above the clouds)..." Hint: It's a girls name, but not quite the one you might think.

This morning we drove north to the Ban Den district to see the latest framing work by Khun Tod. He did two of Lisa's cast acrylic prints in the style that was discussed on Monday's visit. One was done in brown and the other in black. They both came out beautifully and Lisa was very pleased. The rest of the work will follow the same style, with his discretion on the shade of brown for the appropriate works.

We continued north to the Mae Chan area to go to Tesco. It was an item on our gift list and since we were half-way there we figured it was worth the side trip. On the way back we stopped at the airport so I could get my airline tickets for a February trip to Phuket. It was quite a morning.

This afternoon our friend Johan came over for a little pool business, and to catch up on what's been happening. Among the things we talked about were the possibilities for warming the pool. We may have hatched a plan. He also told us about his 10 month old grand-daughter in Holland. It was good to hang out for awhile.

Chiang Rai is busy with the Food Festival and the Fish Eating Festival (not sure if that's what they call it). Tomorrow is Constitution Day. I'm sure that will be cause to light more fireworks. There might even be a parade somewhere in town.

We're at the point where it's time to bring in a suitcase and start that wonderful ordeal of packing for the trip to America. We leave Thailand on December 22 and will stay in the States until January 12. So much to do before we leave. The excitement is beginning.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Music is to the heart as air is to the lungs"

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, December 8, 2010



Today was another beautiful day, and we enjoyed it. Morning errands and browsing, massage in the afternoon, and the Night Bazaar this evening. You also might be interested in yet another festival.

The 'Easy Monday' song was "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" by Sly and the Family Stone. Clever, huh? Now it's time to visit the 'Summer of Love', a summer of very diverse musical expression. This one proves that:
"Who's peakin' out from under a stairway, calling a name that's lighter than air? Who's bending down to give me a rainbow? Everyone knows it's __." Clue: A big hit for a big group. They were associated with lush harmonies.

This morning we went to Bliss Photo Studio to pick up all the versions of all the photos of Lisa and her art work taken by Chalit. After a nice visit we strolled up the street to a traditional clothing store that we pass all the time. Today was the day we went inside. The selection was really wonderful. Many different styles that we'd never seen, and some modern versions of older styles. The store is part of a complex that includes a photo studio for taking pictures in traditional Thai clothing from earlier times. The final photos look like portraits of royalty. Hmm, sounds like fun.

Following a quick stop at the local pet supply (who can resist) we headed downtown. One of our stops was at the watch guy's shop. His place is open on two sides, on a street corner. Today the city had done the mosquito fogging and watch guy wasn't too happy about it. He smiled as he told us how bad it was. We're just glad it had dissipated by the time we arrived.

Our massage sessions have turned into physical therapy, which is fine with us. Today's session left both of us feeling relaxed, and it fit the mood of the day. We'll get one more session before going to America. We're going to miss our special massages. Maybe we'll have to investigate and see what's available when we get there. One our way home we encountered a real traffic jam. I had a suspicion it was some kind of parade since they seem to find me. (Ha) Sure enough, as we approached one of the major temples in Chiang Rai, I spotted banner carriers, and a large group of monks walking in the street. That called for a U turn. Just as we turned the corner to go over the bridge, they took down the barricades. Oh well, we enjoyed the ride over the bridge and through Ban Mai village.

The Night Bazaar gets pretty crowded these days. We got there fairly early, while some vendors were still setting up, but there was a crowd building. We basically finished our holiday shopping. There was so much to see, it was hard to stay focused. While we were in the 9 Shop, the music had me bobbing my head. We asked the guy who it was, but at first it was not real clear what he was saying. He said a name several times and just as he turned to write it down I figured it out. It was Linkin Park. It didn't sound like that when he said it. American music is alive and well in Thailand. The store guy loves it.

The quiet spell across the river was short lived. There is another festival happening now. Tye referred to it as the 'Fish Eating Festival'. We have no idea what this means, except there will be a lot of fish over there, and a lot of live music.

Have a Wacky Wednesday.


"We don't receive wisdom;
we must discover it for ourselves after a journey
that no one can take for us or spare us."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Tuesday, December 7, 2010



The weather in Chiang Rai was just what you expected, sunny and warm. A perfect day for running errands and taking a giant step.

Our 'Easy' song was just that for four of you right away. Oh yes, and three of you spelled the title correctly too.
"Dance to the music all night long. Everyday people, sing a simple song.... I want to __ __ __ __ __ __ __." Hint: This verse is a big clue as to who is singing the song. We all love it when we can be ourselves. Hmm.

This morning I went into town with a list of things to do. There was a stop at the pharmacy warehouse, a visit to the sprinkler store for adapters with spikes so the sprinklers stand up straight, and then the hardware stores. The first hardware store didn't have what I wanted so I went down the street to the place with the elevator. Boot's friend Jaa works there and I saw her as soon as I got out of the car. As I was leaving I noticed some guys from the store setting up a machine on the sidewalk. They were pouring raw rice into a bin on top. My curiosity got the better of me so I hung around to see what was going to happen. They adjusted some knobs and turned the thing on. The husks of the rice started coming out of one side, and rice kernels poured into a bucket on the other. The two women who were auditioning the machine held samples in their hands, examined it and smiled. Now I know what that looks like. It's a long way from the original way of doing things.

My next stop was the big stationary store for some large, white, plastic boards (think: plastic cardboard) that Lisa uses to mount her art when it's finished. Since we got the polyethylene cut into some big sizes, she needs bigger backing. They had two huge pieces that I bought. I knew they wouldn't fit in the car so I made an attempt to bend them. The girl at the check out took me and the boards to the rear of the store where a guy rolled them on a table that turned out to be a machine that puts a fiber strap around things. It was amazing how it worked. All I had to do was move the passenger seat and maneuver the roll into the car. You never know when technology will save the day.

The last stop was at the little market for pepper. I had parked close to a truck that has intrigued me for some time. It's a pick-up with a shell that looks like the roof of a Thai house. I used to think it was a coffee truck, but today I discovered that it's a rolling kitchen. More than a lunch wagon, they cook fresh food, and set up tables on the sidewalk so you can sit down and eat. They were just packing things up while I was watching. Very efficient.

Late this afternoon I went back to town for the 'big step' I spoke of. I got a small tattoo on the inside of my left wrist. It's in Thai and it means 'Gratitude'. I got the idea from our friends from The Sold Project. Something meaningful that is a discrete reminder. To Thais there are different interpretations, but it still comes out basically the same. The tattoo artist, Aoy, understood why I got it. What's really important is that I understand why I got it.
The funny part is that I was all prepared to go through some incredible pain, but it really didn't hurt that much. Hmm, that may not be a good thing. (555)

One last driving note. As I approached a green light with a countdown display I knew I'd make it. It read 8, but then it read 9, and then changed to 4. Amazing Thailand. I made the light anyway.

Have a Happy Tuesday.


"We come equipped with everything we need to experience a
powerful life full of joy, incredible passion, and profound peace.
The difficult part is giving ourselves permission to live it."
~Deborah Rosado Shaw

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Monday, December 6, 2010



The weather was perfect for our wild and crazy weekend. We went to the country for a turkey dinner, washed the dogs, and went back to the country to deliver artwork for framing. Chiang Rai also had a 36 hour Music Festival that we could hear from our house.

Our 'Old School Friday' song was "I Walk The Line" by Johnny Cash. For 'Easy Monday' this may be a challenge:
"Lookin' at the devil, grinnin' at his gun, fingers start to shakin', I begin to run. Bullets start chasin', I begin to stop. We begin to wrestle, I was on the top. I wanna __ __ __ __ __ __ __..." Hint: There's a sly twist with the words in the title. It was by a Bay Area band that was a family affair. Think hard.

Saturday morning Lisa asked Boot if Thai people liked mashed potatoes. The answer was yes. Our host, Noni, had told us how many were coming for the big turkey dinner. We thought we might need more so I went up to Macro for more spuds. Lisa made a delicious gravy for her special mashed potatoes made with coconut milk. Yum. We got an email from Bob and Noni with a map and directions to their house. We followed the directions pretty well until we realized we had been driving too long. We could see the river as we drove up a mountain road. That wasn't on the map. We tried to call but had no signal. Back down the mountain, enjoying the views, and the locals going about life until we finally got to a landmark we recognized. Not long after that we arrived at the house. It turns out we were not the only ones to get lost.

We got a tour of the new house and enjoyed small talk with the other guests. We knew most of the people there so it was fun. They have a stove with an oven. This is not the norm for a Thai kitchen, but it's the only way to do a turkey. When it was time for dinner the bird was brought out. There were vegetables, the potatoes, and the turkey. It was all wonderful. The house is on a large plot of land with spectacular views from the upstairs balcony. When the sun set we could see a Buddha off in the distance, set mid way up a mountain. There were floodlights shining on it, making it glow in the darkness. We had no trouble finding our way home, but just wished we had brought a little turkey with us. (Ha)

Sunday was the usual Big C morning, a lazy afternoon, and a quiet evening at home. In the distance we could hear the thumping of the music, which was somewhere just north of us.

Today we went out to Tod's 'factory' to take him 25 of Lisa's cast acrylic prints for framing. Our friend Chalit went with us to act as translator, and to meet Tod. While they discussed how she wanted to have the work presented, I strolled around and took pictures of the many projects that were underway. Chalit was amazed that I remembered how to get there after one visit. He told me I drove like a native. I took that as a compliment. We'll get two pieces back in a few days to see if they look like Lisa's vision. It's nice doing it like this since it cuts down on the 'surprises'.

Have a Great Week.


"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
~John Lubbock

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Funnies


Today has been a day of meeting friends for 'goodbyes', several levels of translations, and an evening of music, and more translation.

The Doors were hot during the 'Summer of Love' with "Light My Fire". A lot of you responded to that one. Now it's time for 'Old School Friday'. This one's from 1956, but you don't have to be old to know it. (Ha) This one is easy.
"I keep a close watch on this heart of mine. I keep my eyes wide open all the time. I keep the ends out for the tie that binds. Because you're mine, __ __ __ __." Hint: It's an 'Old School' tune by a singer who had a long and varied career. He's singing about something he doesn't want to cross.

This afternoon we met with our friends Poui and Jimmy for coffee at Doi Chaang. They will be going back to Australia until April. We will see them briefly after that and then they will leave again. We had a fun visit and learned about a spot we'll have to visit when we return to Thailand in January. Near the end of our visit I saw our friend Kevin walking up the street and ran out to say 'Hi'. At the same time Heather and Michael arrived and we discovered that they have to return to America. There we were, standing in the parking lot, saying goodbye to two couples that we have come to know in recent months. There's a lesson in there somewhere, something about impermanence. I'm just grateful that we've had such wonderful people in our lives.

This evening we went to Mu Mai to record Jenny singing. The original plan was to go to all the sets she does in one evening. Those plans changed when she told us that the Food Fair was being held right down the street from the second restaurant where she sings. It will be crazy there tonight so we'll see her one night next week. Tonight I got bits of her singing in English and Thai. She sings for an hour at Mu Mai, has a break from 7 to 9pm and then does an interesting set at Cabbages & Condoms from 9pm to 10pm. The first half is solo, and the second half is with a keyboard player and a guitar player. Then she returns to Mu Mai, returns to C & C, and finally ends the night with a midnight set with her brother's band, where she sings three songs. This schedule is every night. I hope I can keep up with her. (Ha)

While all of today's events were happening, Lisa's phone kept ringing with consultations from the several people who have been graciously helping her express her thoughts in Thai for her portfolio and show catalogue. There are apparently, many ways to convey the same basic idea. It's the same in any language. The thing is, if you don't read that language, you never know how the translation came out unless you get another person to read it to you and tell you what they read. Are you following this? That's what it's been like all day. Not easy, but it's getting done.

Tomorrow we go to a dinner party at Noni and Bob's. We'll finally have that turkey dinner, and see their new house. Lisa's making mashed potatoes. On Sunday, Lisa and Martin will begin work on the catalogue for the show.

Have a Wonderful WeekEnd. Enjoy the 'Funnies', part 2 of last weeks list.

* Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

* I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

* When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

* You're never too old to learn something stupid.

* To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

* Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

* Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

* A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

* Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Thursday, December 2, 2010



Chiang Rai had another sunny, warm day. The build up to the holiday weekend is in the air. I went to the market, and the Night Bazaar, we lunched with Jaffee, and Daku is getting 'manners'.

There's nothing like the 'Summer of Love' to spark old memories. Wayne reminds us that the album version is the only 'real' version of this song. I have to agree. "The time to hesitate is through. No time to wallow in the mire. Try now we can only lose, and our love become a funeral pyre. Come on baby __ __ __, come on baby __ __ __, try to set the night on fire, yeah." Hint: Yeah, like you need one.

This Sunday is The King's birthday, but it feels like the celebration has already begun. In addition to this being what is known as the 'High Season', with tourists all over the place, many Thais come to Chiang Rai for holiday weekends like this one. They come from smaller towns, as well as bigger cities. It's quite exciting.

This morning I went to the big market to get a couple of brooms for Boot. The place was really bustling as people swarmed the area for supplies for their stores, restaurants, and home kitchens. The little shop where I get the brooms is right next to a lot where the tiny 'taxi trucks' assemble, and it's a madhouse. Right behind that there are booths selling chilies and my nose began to tingle like crazy. On the sidewalk there were women selling fresh vegetables, and items for offerings at the nearby temple. The one-way street was filled with cars, trucks, bicycles, and motorcycles with sidecars, as well as the normal motorbikes. What beautiful chaos.

Our business lunch with Jaffee was very productive. He just returned from a trip to China, where he's involved with a new magazine. We discussed all the pieces of the production for Lisa's art show. He has broad experience in the publishing business and knows how to put things together. After we had finished eating, Daku snuck out from the kitchen and was a perfect gentleman. He went over to Jaffee and politely snuggled up to him and when he was led to our side of the table, he settled down right away.

This evening I had to make a quick stop at the Night Bazaar to pick up some work that was being done for me by one of the vendors. The street was buzzing with tourists from all over the world. There were two giant buses letting passengers off, and the entrance was a mini traffic jam. Fortunately, I was on a mission, and just made my way to the stall I needed. The young man I went to see makes incredible jewelry out of cords, stones, and fabric. The piece he was making for me was finished, and I managed to get out without being distracted. Whew. It could have been a long night.

Have a Thrilling Thursday.


"Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves
For we shall never cease to be amused."

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style

Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Today was a mellow day in Chiang Rai. There were Skype calls, a translation meeting, and more invitations to put on the calendar. Looks like we'll be busy until we leave on our Winter Visit.

Lots of mail came in for the 'Easy' song. It was the classic "Stairway To Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. Good ones stick. Time now for a trip to 'The Summer of Love'. I think this will also be an easy one. This L.A. band shared the love.
"You know that it would be untrue. You know that I would be a liar, if I was to say to you, girl we couldn't get much higher. Come on baby __ __ __, come on baby, __ __ __..." Clue: The singer is not asking for a light. The band is named after something one walks through. Hmm.

I remembered something interesting from yesterday. All of the school kids have to wear uniforms. There seem to be at least two outfits at most of the schools. Yesterday it was 'wear what you want' day at the big high school on the west side. It was as if it was a Saturday, or school was closed. It brought back memories of 'special' days back in the last century when I was a teenager. (Ha)

This is one of those days when not much happened. We got an invitation to a party on the 18th, and a reception on the 19th. That's in addition to the return of our friends Cynthia and Lynn on the 11th. Oh yes, and there's also a Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra concert on the 18th as well. One could certainly become a social butterfly if not careful.

This afternoon Atom came over to help with translating the catalog for the show as well as the names of some of Lisa's new prints. When all the translations are done, and all the work for the show has been photographed, everything will be taken to our friend Martin, who will design the catalog for the show. At the same time, large prints will be made of about 10 pieces as part of a portfolio. This portfolio will be used by Jaffee to present Lisa to other galleries, primarily in Bangkok. We have to get as much of this done before we leave for America, since we'll only have a month to prepare after our return to Thailand.

This Friday we'll be going out on the town, literally. Our friend Jenny has consented to let me video her singing at the various places where she sings. The plan is to show a typical evening as a traveling musician. When I get it all sorted out, it will be a featured on my Youtube 'magazine' project. As they say, 'Stay tuned'.

Time for a Wacky Wednesday.


"At the moment you are most in awe of all there is about life
that you don't understand,
you are closer to understanding it all than at any other time."
~Jane Wagner

Gettin' Funky, Thai Style