January 29, 2010

New Food

So, since I'm such a loser as to have absolutely no one who reads this, I had no ideas how to stop the ice cream urges, except to drink water. Lots, and lots of water. Sure, I resisted the urge for the rest of the day (Though as I write this I want it. . . I want it!), but I discovered a new food.

I often get given gifts of food, things that I otherwise would not have touched, but today it was an interesting item called Kanom Tam. I was skeptical; they looked like large, pudgy orange dumplings covered in long strips of coconut. It ended up being mildly sweet bread that had a consistency reminiscent of a heavy english muffin. The coconut was rather disappointing though, being stringy and vaguely salty without being actually integrated.

I'd put up pictures, but I ate the evidence. But I'll try to do this again so you can see the causes of my increasing obesity.


P.S. Just to let no one know, A called me yesterday and ate up all my skype credit. Got cut off halfway through, but its ok, just talking was good. There's talk of either I going back there or she coming to where ever I am come March so we can get together again!

January 28, 2010

Communication is the Key

Phone Calls. Its a sad day when in this age of technology and the new 'Ipad' we can't get the simple telephone to work. Invented in 1876, its one of the oldest technological conveniences to have survived into the 21st century, and yet . . .

It took me a while to get my 6 year old Nokia to work in Thailand; it turned out that a certain network's SIM card wouldn't work in it, but I got it fixed. But no one calls me.

Now, you might say, why don't you use Skype? That wonderful internet invention that in the reincarnation of your outdated cell phone? Well, and I will tell you, that you need the internet to use Skype, a resonably fast connection as such. And when asked why I don't use Skype very often, I will answer you; I don't have a very reliable internet connection, and even when I have the connection, it's too slow to actually carry on a conversation. So I set up call forwarding, so even when I don't have internet, my beloved peps can still contact me.

But do they?

No such luck.

So I'm just very lonely teen battling a new obssession with second rate ice cream from 7/11. Yes, I want to talk to my peoples, is that so strange? Since I can't talk to them, anyone have any ideas on this . . . frozen dessert problem?


January 25, 2010

Mrs. Lonely

I know that that title may inspire thoughts of the hit song "Mr. Lonely" by Akon; that's where I got it from, but the central line and sentiment of the song is the "I have nobody to call my own." Such is, thankfully, not the case with me, and yet somehow I feel like it. I live alone . . . I mean, sure, I have roommates, but I don't know very much about them, and they don't know much about me. J got into a really good university for her post grad; she didn't tell me though. T's probably going back to the States soon, seeing as she doesn't have a valid passport anymore, P has a new boyfriend, and G started working again. And what am I doing? Well . . . not much. Needless to say, I feel pretty alone here, and I really shouldn't, because I do have people.

My mom is my best friend; with her I don't feel pressure to perform in any way, there are no hoops to jump through. Now, begad, we don't always have the perfect relationship with her, and I'm not always honest with her, but I love her. She's one of the few people I feel smart talking to; I know I'm relatively
intelligent, but that often doesn't come across when I meet people and being a total social reject, I end up looking stupid by comparison. With Mum, I never feel that way. We've come to rely on each other since my Dad left, and for better or worse, I am who I am because of her.

My sister Em is six years younger than me, and as you can imagine, that often causes problems, but not so much now as it used to. I don't hate her nearly as much as I did because I don't have to be the mum now. Em took it hard when my Dad left, and it's resulted in severe depression; she tried to commit suicide 3 days after my 15th birthday at the age of 9, and we've been walking on thin ice ever since. I love her, and I care for her deeply; I think we've moved past the stage where I think she's ruined my life.

My best friend, A, is Australian and one year and one day younger than me. When I first met her; I hated her. She was younger than me, girly, and annoying as hell. Then in grade 10 as my current best friend started drifting away and I was having my first troubles with a boy, A and I got to talking. I suppose we've been talking ever since I realized that really we're not that different; we're often called twins. I don't know if we're than much alike or if it's just that we sanded off the rough edges and met in the middle. She's having a hard time lately, emotionally, and my not being physically there for her is really hard for both of us.

And then there's my boyfriend JW (though I might call him JP sometimes). We've been dating for a little over a year and a half, and though he's two months older than me he's a year below me in school. He's also Korean, which provides a lot of interesting senarios. For example, I don't know exactly when we met (we were at the same tiny school, you can't really hide from people), but I do know I started liking him as we furiously whacked volleyballs at each other; its a passion we both share, and its also something we're both very good at. He asked me out to the end of year dance, and that's when it started. We kept going through the summer and the following year, and this year when his parents moved him back to Korea, I was really happy to have him with me. I trust him, which is really hard for me to do, especially with a guy.

This morning when I checked my e-mail, I had 7 in my inbox. The only one that had any relation to me was one from JW. He keeps me sane, but sometimes, there's a weird confluence of events and I get nothing. No daily dose of love and reaffirmation of my connection with home from any of my friends and family. I have two other best friends, BBR and KM, but they're both in Uni and so busy they don't e-mail. I've kind of given up on them. Am I crazy to look forward to a full inbox? Or pathetic to look sadly at my phone when I don't have any e-mails? I suppose I am . . . I just miss the people I've left behind, and if any one of them suddenly leave me, for whatever reason. . . I'm going to be flapping in the wind.

Honestlythough, I suppose right now I feel like an Island. An Island with a drawbridge down and all inviting that no one will take the effort to cross. Something for further discussion I'm sure.


January 20, 2010

Reading List

One thing you have to know about me is that I read. A lot. Voraciously (to use a word like that I would have to). One of the goals of this gap year is to read as many good books as possible, but since I can't remember everything I read last year, I'll just start with this year:
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. An interesting concept (that everyone can hear all animals' and Men's thoughts too), but I have to admit I was kind of disappointed wit the writing and the ending. Sure, it is the first of a series, but I do want some closure. Highlight was how Todd's dog, Manchee talked: "Todd. . . Poo Todd . . . Poo Poo Poo Todd." Yes, jeuvenile, but also funny.
  • Dude, Where's My Country? by Michael Moore. Interesting, again, but not the best book. Its more of a conversation with him in which he reasons with the reader and gives them tips on how to convince others that he's right. Of course, I mostly agree with him, but its not good writing. My friend simply hates him, and couldn't get through the book, but the points about how Americans need to take control of their voting rights is BANG on.
  • Mr Midshipman Hornblower by CS Forester. Ok, I'll admit that this was my guilty pleasure. I loved the TV series (simply entitled Hornblower), not to mention the guy . . . the one who was in Amazing Grace . . . And who's name currently escapes me is, my opinion, really cute. And he has an awesome accent . . . none of which has any impact on how the book was. It was ok, actually a bit disappointing, but maybe just because I already knew most of the episodes in it. Good writing, but not great.
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy was depressing. . . introduced to me as the one of the first novels to take into acount a character's ego, I found the ego somewhat lacking. I actually thought that the story should be over 30 pages in, but Hardy proved me wrong and spun a tale of despair and misery worthy of the twisted world we live in.
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day By David Sedaris is a collection of essays, some of which are really quite funny. His sexual orientation is, however, quite openly displayed with little introduction, so this may not be for everyone. The book, however, displays Sedaris' ability to make connections and write a good essay without the academic weight found in many author's work that make it very inaccessible.
Which brings me to my current 'assignment, '
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I haven't got that far in the book, but thus far I'm not disappointed. Its actually a bit disconnected, though I probably shouldn't read that much into it, otherwise I'll be persecuted, baanished, shot, or perhaps all three. Still, it has a reputaion as the best book ever to live up to.

I haven't been reading as much as I've been meaning to because my current quest to find money for university is currently not going quite as well as I'd like it to . . . Fear not, lay people of the world, I shall never cease my reading!


January 18, 2010

New People . . . .Eeek!

So, in the week and a half that I've been back at work, I've seen two more short-term volunteers come and go. The day I left, another girl came, but she was gone by the time I got back, so she doesn't matter. Ironically, we're not supposed to take volunteers for less than three months. I suppose my current neighbour isn't that short term, she's just short term in Bangkok; she's going south to the island where Mercy runs a school and other facilities to improve the lives of the sea gypsy (Mogun) who inhabit it. She seems nice, if not just a bit creepy hippy/backpacker, but nice enough.

I don't know about you, but meeting new people freaks me out, so having to stay with a new person for such a short time in such close quarters makes me feel very uncomfortable.

I have to go to a gathering of Bahai's tonight, and yes, again, I'm scared. I've spent the last few nights trying to figure out what I should wear, and imagining little snippets of conversations. Yes, I obsess about social situations and analyze almost everything. Sure, I hate it, but I can't stop. Anybody have any ideas on how to deal with what could count as an anxiety attack? I'll tell you how it goes tomorrow.


P.S. Don't forget to wear red on Tuesday for Haiti. Such a small thing, do you think you could show how we're all human and subject to the elements?


January 15, 2010

Like Clockwork, the Oranges

The Rabbits died! Both of them . . . one after another . . . For no apparent reason, other than the mysterious case of my oranges. perhaps the unknown cause of their untimely demise?

Recently had an epiphany about Mercy and how I got here, but I'll have to save it to a later date, to share the fruits of this interesting connection.


Haiti: the Stupid and the Pragmatic

As we all know, or at least I hope we do, there was a massive earthquake in Haiti on the 12th that measured 7.0 on the Richter scale and has killed, last time I checked, over 100,000 people. It's a tragedy, right? I certainly can't think of another way to call such a calamity, other than the two words I've just used. So it really saddened and angered me when I saw the YouTube Comments under a video of the aftermath. It was the only video I saw, but it featured people standing and looking at a building that had been totally flattened, all with shocked or confused expressions. I couldn't tell what function it had once held. It was obviously devastating for these people, who were, (OMG) black. What incensed me were the comments saying that the Haitians deserved it because they had made a deal with the Devil to earn their independence from France in 1804 and were now practicing Voodoo ( I later learned this was a paraphrasing of what Pat Robertson had said earlier, but since we don't have CNN I didn't know). There were other people telling others not to donate because the American (most posters were American, obviously) Economy is so bad, not realizing that the States have alienated almost all of its' allies in the region. A show of good faith would go a long way toward repairing the international community's opinion of the States.

There was a lot of praying that God would come help. I believe in God, and I'm not trying to bring someone down, but honestly, do they think that by praying God will help? I think, if you want to talk God, that it's a
test. Not a test of our faith, mind, but rather a test of our humanity and compassion. People who sit and pray that God (a.k.a. someone else) will help alleviate their suffering are failing this test, along with all the people who are denying it (like how Obama staged an earthquake ?!?!).

In tragedy our true colors are shown, and here we had racism come out, missionary aspirations, invalidation . . .
I know I've been in a bubble for a while, but are people really that cruel and insensitive? The people who actually expressed sympathy were greatly outnumbered by the 'haters', and it was disappointing to see genuine care disappear beneath the bile, but I suppose a the world is often like that. It really . . . saddened me to see, and needless to say, I'm not looking at comment boards again! Anonymity brings out the worst in people.

Simply put, just donate why don't you?


January 14, 2010

Oranges and Introductions

I like oranges; living in Thailand, I've come to appreciate, and expect the availability of fresh, cheap fruit. Sunday, I splurged a bit. . . not much, but a bit . . . I was in the store, and yes, I bought two bags of mandarin oranges. I took them home enjoyed a few out of a single bag, and put the rest in the fridge. Monday I had some more . . . By Tuesday, one bag had been mysteriously eaten, so I opened the second bag, removing but a single orange. But Wednesday, when I went for my quick and easy breakfast of, as you may have guessed, oranges, the whole bag was gone! Gone with the wind!

Now, I am not such a spend thrift that I can't stand to see someone else eat my oranges, but by Jove, I want to have some too! I save money, but I don't scrimp, but this . . . MY BREAKFAST WAS GONE! The first (and last time) I skipped breakfast in Thailand, I almost fainted from the heat and sugar deprevation, so I learned never to do it again. I had to eat only peanuts, which are relatively dry, and the whole day was off, beginning with the theft of my oranges.
Let me introduce you to the suspects, also known as my room/house mates:
  1. J, my 24 year old, Korean-American roommate. Devoted to Mercy, her research fellowship, losing the weight she's gained here, and most recently, Khao Pad Gom Yao or Fried rice with squid. I must admit . . . it does look good . . . however, her recent obsession with running for two hours every day and her plea of innocence puts her guilt in a questionable state
  2. P is a 21 year old Thai University student. She shares the top floor (and air conditioner) with me and J, and also has a window looking out over our room. Why this archtectural oddity, I cannot say. A former Mercy girl and student of the Lester B. Pearson School in Canada with a farang or foreign boyfriend I have yet to meet, she is a possibility
  3. G is P's best friend, and though she technically doesn't live in the house, she might as well. She's a former Mercy girl who now works as an insurance call lady whose working hours are unknown. She and P regularly engage in late night movies and Thai drama marathons, during which they drink coke and eat various foods found in the local. Coincindence? I know naught!
  4. Mah, our housemother who is really simply a silent adult presence in the house, lives in a locked chamber downstairs. I've never seen or heard of her comng upstairs, so the likelyhood she'd raid the fridge is unlikely
  5. T, a 16 year old volunteer of confused origin who speaks fluent Thai, T doesn't live with us but is often comes around to get away from the noise of Mercy 4 where she lives. Since the fruit in question disappeared sometime after dark, she's also unlikely, considering a ridiculous 6:30 curfew.
  6. The RABBITS! closest to the fridge, silent as . . . well, a rabbit, and as hungry as the Kraken, it must have been them! I knew they always looked at me with a strange gleam in their eyes. . . orange lust?
Anyways, the oranges are gone, and I'll simply have to go out and get some more. At least you know my house now.


January 11, 2010

Here Goes . . . .

This is my first time, OK, so bear that in mind now, and for all future postings, that these are the musings of an inexperienced 18 year old. Of course, that doesn't mean I expect you to cut me some slack, but they're my opinions, and you know what? If you don't like then, you can go find another blog to read.

I'm not generally this prim and proper (though I'm sure some people I know would say I am), but this is an introduction, and I have to make a good impression.

To start with, let me explain my title, before people start dissing it (not that that's ever stopped them before). Muse is

  1. the source of an artist's inspiration, generally a woman inspiring a man, after the 9 mythical daughters of Zeus, patrons of the arts; or
  2. to think deeply on a topic, often speaking aloud at the same time; or
  3. A town in the north of Myanmar** (which is really cool, since I'm hoping you'll discover my love of Myanmar later); or
  4. A Band, but that doesn't really influence me at all, other than the fact that I like one of their songs.

I'm sure you already knew all that (maybe not the bit about Myanmar, because I just learned that), but the point is this: what person doesn't want to inspire something great, either with their intensely profound thoughts or with their stunning beauty and character? Models get to be considered muses all the time, so why can't the common woman consider herself the same?

I suppose its also keeping my sense of worth intact; to call this 'Muse' gives me the illusion that I'm both somewhat attractive and deep. I graduated high school in June of what I guess was last year, and now I'm in Thailand volunteering in the Slums of Bangkok. It's a bit of a change from my previous locale, but I'm here, partially to find myself, but more importantly to make a difference.

Yes I'm a naive child who thinks I can make the world a better place, and you know what? I like it! At least I'm trying, not sitting on my butt doing nothing! (Ironic, since that's what I'm doing Right now, but I won't be in an hour!)

So that's why its 'Muse;' because I want to inspire people to get out there and make a change, and to inspire the kids I work with to make something of their lives and move past their histories. This may degenerate into a simple listing of all my activities in a day, but I don't care. Que Serra, Serra.


** I insist on calling it Myanmar, not the ' Burma, also known as Myanmar' we normally see. Sorry for any offense I may cause, but its a habit that won't be broken.