January 29, 2007

We Joined the Revolution

Now there's a flattering picture.

It's finally happened. We've left the world of spreadsheets, minesweeper and spider solitaire behind... because we're the proud parents of a new Apple computer, all because I have the greatest in-laws...


Don't even try to argue... I don't care what your mother-in-law bought you last Christmas.

Was it an Apple laptop?

Ok then, I win.

I celebrated by going to Starbucks to try out the internet and post my first "wireless on-location" blog post, which is like a regular post but more pretentious.

Is there any other way to celebrate getting an Apple? No sir...

Actually, we celebrated by first making an iPhoto book of our parents' visit and mailing it to them in lieu of a "Thank You" note, because seriously, a Hoops and Yo-Yo Hallmark card doesn't quite say "Thanks for dropping a boatload of money so that we could have a cool computer."

Since our previous computer was falling apart (physically - actual pieces were falling off, not to mention people have completed the New York Marathon faster than the time it took for our computer to start up), my in-laws surprised Sharon and I with a brand-spankin' new, starts up in like 0.01 seconds, 2GHz, 1G RAM, 120GB hard drive MacBook.

Don't get me wrong - we loved our other computer. It was a workhorse. It was like a McDonald's hamburger - not the best food in the world but it works when you're hungry.

Our Mac is more like a Ruth's Chris steak, but wrapped up in a trendy, California-designed casing with a glowing apple on the back.

So now I'm going to download some obscure singer-songwriter folk songs, put on some man-capris, complain about any coffee which costs less than $4 a cup even though it tastes the same as cheap coffee and feign an interest in politics and first edition books.

Because that's what Apple owners do, right?

And as soon as I figure out all the gadgets on iPhoto, I'm going to erase that double-chin in the picture above.

Goodbye Gates.

Hello Jobs.

January 24, 2007

"Go Team!"...

or "Go Whities!"??
So last night us and the Kings went to a soccer match. Neither of us had been to one before- like not even a little league soccer game. The Kings explained the basics to us. So it was new and fun. It was our national team against Singapore so there was quite the crowd (picture above is before the half started so everyone was pretty docile). They ended up tying 1-1, so no one left in a bad mood- I guess.
The only scoring happened in the 2nd half. Above is the celebrating after the score. As much as this was a normal sporting event- loud music, big screen, fans wearing colors, national flags waving, chanting, booing, etc- something odd happened when we got there that is worthy of the "we live in a foreign country" blog.

We got there for the 2nd half. Before entering the stadium we all bought bandana's (bright yellow, the team's colors) to show our support. Anthony and Justin tied them in the guy 'kung fu' fashion and Daniela and I wore them like girly headbands. I'm not gonna post the pics of us with the headbands out of vanity...they're really bad pictures. Anyway.
It's pick-your-own seating so as we were making our way down the walkway to some seats things got interesting. (see walkway in top picture for reference). As we 4 white folks with our bright yellow bandana's would walk past a section everyone would start cheering. Since the team was entering the field for the 2nd half we just figured it was for them. But after about 4 sections we all realized they were cheering for us- or at us. The folks with their backs to us in the lower sections were even turning around to cheer us. In the middle of the 5th or 6th section Anthony and Justin responded back to their cheering by holding up their arms and yelling for the team too. That was all it took. When they did that the crowd yelled even louder, stood up, and everyone started sticking their hands out for high-5's. When we finally got to a section with open seats people were shouting at us to come sit by them. Hilarious.

White guys with bandanas haven't heard cheering like that since Ralph Maccio's crane kick in Karate Kid I.

January 21, 2007


...means "animals" in Bahasa.
This week we've encountered a few animals.
Animal lovers and members of PETA should stop reading at this point.

So the first animal we saw wasn't really an animal. Looking out our window to our lovely back yard I thought I saw a small dead mouse. No pictures, but it was about 1 inch long with a tail. Anthony agreed. Couple days later we realized it was poo...in the shape of a small dead mouse. Oh well.
The second animal was a monitor lizard on one of the roads near our house. We saw him when our parents were here. This time we think he was injured...again no pictures, but 4 foot monitor lizards are worth the words.

The third animal entered the scene during a language lesson on Friday. Adik, Kakak's almost 3 year old son, walked into the room carrying, well more shaking, a small cage with an adolescent squirrel in it. Poor thing was so scared, particularly when Adik got near the cage- what else can a 3 yr old do but shake a cage? I mean, he couldn't hold the squirrel so shaking was the best interaction he could get. Any animal activists that didn't stop reading when I told you to, yes, of course we tried to stop him.Saturday morning we went with Kakak and family to an aquarium to get fish for their new home aquarium.
All was going well. Seemed like your average fish aquarium.
They had huge dragon fish (common in Asia...I think) mostly just for display purposes.They had coy. Typical.

Then things started getting interesting.
Ever heard of a clown-face fish?We hadn't either. But there it was. It was the neatest thing. A fish that looked like it had pink lipstick. That was enough to make me consider getting my own aquarium, just to have the lipstick fish.
But as we made our way past the rest of the tanks...the lights slowly came on...
I'm guessing that because you've never heard of a Clown-face fish, you've probably never heard of the "Argyle Fish" either...Didn't think so.
If that has dazzled your curiosity then you may not be prepared for the elusive "Chinese Lucky Fish"...
Those of you not well-versed in Chinese Characters don't realize that the scales on this fish are telling you to catch it, and if you do you get 3 wishes.
Kidding, we can't tell what the character actually says because we don't know Chinese- but given the name, I bet it's something to do with "Lucky."

I reconsidered getting the fish. They're tattooed, and I'm not one to welcome such open rebellion into my home. Although if I ever find the tattoo parlor they all went to, or the man whose job is tattooing lipstick on fish, I will surely take pictures and post them.

To round off our week of animals, here's what Bang-Aiman (the 6 yr old son), ate for lunch...
a whole plateful of these, um, well, shells. I guess maybe mini-conchs or something. Anthony tried them and said they were good.

January 16, 2007

holiday fun...

So here's the post y'all've (try using that in Scrabble) been waiting for. We hope the 'teaser' posts kept you interested enough til we could put these up. Its difficult to describe 2 weeks worth of fun in a post... so here's the rundown using a bunch of pictures taken on 2 different cameras (see several posts below):

We went shopping throughout our parents' visit. You've already seen the mall with the rollercoaster. Here's one shaped like a pyramid with a giant lion outside. Go ahead, sing any "The Lion King" song of your choice.

Here's us in Chinatown (night of the infamous wallet incident) buying, as it were, a wallet- but the one I'm holding is an "original copy" Roxy wallet for my sis-in-law...

We ate a lot of food. We introduced the 'rents to several of the local dishes and had way too many MickeyD's stops along the way as well...

We had Sate one night with Abang and family and the Kings... sate is skewered meat fireroasted to perfection then dipped in peanut sauce... it is SO good!

Anthony, Abang, and Daddy had a contest to see who could eat the most sticks (for our Jax friends, think Monday Night at Gator's Dockside... I do believe 88 will forever stand as the record) Daddy won with 50 sticks, Abang 2nd with 45, and Anthony surrendered at 40...

There was no playin' up for the camera... that's real emotion shown on the face and protruding stomach.

Our Indian neighbors invited us over to their family's "Boxing Day" festivities...we ate there, and it was GOOD Indian food, but I thought y'all would enjoy a shot of our neighbor and her daughter...ADORABLE!

Here we are eating more Indian food- called "Banana Leaf" because, well, you eat off of a banana leaf. Here's Anthony's mom, Mary Lou, eating "roti tisu" a flaky desert with a sweet glaze poured over it... "Sedap!" or "Delicious!"

We drove up North for a few days for a "Vacation within a Vacation" excursion. We stayed on one island for a few days... It was here that the coconut-n-cameras incident occured. This island is also home to a rich British Colonial history.
We visited an old fort. It's no St. Augustine, but it did have lifelike replicas of fort life from the 1800's. Like this one here...

It was a fort so scrumtralescant, the man above could barely move.

Here's us atop a lighthouse. I have better pictures, but blogger has decided to put vertical pictures in a horizontal position... no matter. If you want the best view, you'll just have to come visit us yourself and see!

New Year's Day we woke up early- after ringing in the new year by watching several episodes of "LOST" on DVD- to take a high speed ferry to a neighboring island for the day.

This picture was taken from inside the air-conditioned cabin...it was much brighter outside...

We wanted to ride scooters, but our test-run of the 'motorbikes' proved not to be the smartest of transportation around the island that day- that gem of a story can only be told to you if you visit... as I must act out the entire ordeal to emphasize how funny it was.

But here's MamaLou with her helmet on before our decision to take a car instead... doesn't she look cute?
This island was one of the only places the 2004 Tsunami affected in this country. It has recovered nicely and the only big waves that day were from jet-skis whizzing by...

We returned home from our island adventures and vegetated by watching more LOST episodes and eating out. We think our parents genuinely enjoyed their tropical vacation- Anthony's mom especially because it was her first time out of the USofA.

We enjoyed ourselves and hope more of our family and friends will be able to visit us while we're here... jump on in the water 's nice!

January 15, 2007

All historical parks should have guns laying around

In our neck of the woods, white people - no matter if they are European, American, Australian or select members of the Jackson Family - are affectionatly refered to as "mad sailors" thanks to the reputation of the salty British sailors during colonialization. But that begs the question, "Why are whities still called mad sailors?" We may never know...

January 08, 2007

"Put down the coconut and no one will get hurt..."

It was New Year's Eve 2006.
We and our parents were taking a tour in "The Rush" on one of the vacation islands here.
We decided to stop at one of the beaches and take pictures of the cool huge rocks.

We were having a great time.
(See above picture)

Until my (Sharon) dad found a coconut.

Oh the tropics.
Cool rocks
Abundant Coconuts

My mom had just finished taking this picture
and she came over so we could see if it was cool or not-
(verdict is still out on that, but it helps give a visual to the story)

She was walking by a huge rock to get to us.

My dad was on the other side of said rock...
and had found himself one of the abundant coconuts.

He couldn't see his wife of 32 years on the other side.


My dad is known for making jokes.
All the time.
He even uses props sometimes.

He thought it'd be funny to chunk the coconut at the rock Anthony was standing on.
And it was funny...
Funny for as long it takes a coconut to leave a man's hand,
fly over a huge rock,
and smack a woman in the hand
(yeah, you thought I was gonna say "head")

Only thing is, she had her camera and ours in her hand.


He must've channeled the Bruce Lee moves again to hit her hand so squarely.
As the cameras flew out of her hand and crashed against the rocks
the "DADDY!" I yelled made no difference.

My mom's camera came out miraculously working.
A couple dings, and once we found the view finder cover,
it worked just fine.

Our camera's lens was out at the coconut's impact.
Either it or the rocks bent the lens to a permanently "out" position.

My dad said the only two things that could have appeased the sadness of the moment...
"I'm sorry"
"Don't worry honey, we'll buy y'all another one."

We immediately drove to an electronics store (I love Asia)
and took him up on that promise.

All turned out well and we only missed about 45 minutes of picture taking from our island holiday.

For those of you who made it to the end of this post, here's a sunset picture taken with the new camera.
The west side of the island, with a spectacular view of a valley, river, and the Andaman Sea.

January 06, 2007

Bruce D. or Bruce Lee?

One of the more dramatic events occurred one evening after a wonderful night of shopping in Chinatown...
So we were on the LRT Train leaving Chinatown.

Like a movie there was a guy standing next to Sharon's dad on the train.
He had a handkerchief over his mouth while riding the train- which many folks do since the SARS scare a few years ago.

Upon exiting the train doors, the guy moved in close to Bruce Durrance
And he had very sinister things planned.

(Can you hear the dramatic music rising in the background?)

But what he didn't know, was that Bruce Lee was named after Bruce Durrance.
Big trouble for mister handkerchief guy.

Just as the guy lifted Bruce's wallet out of his pocket
Bruce D channeled lightning fast moves from the famous Mr. Lee.

He grabbed the thief's arm and said,
"You have my wallet."

Not your lucky day mister handkerchief guy.

Realizing his error in choosing his target
the handkerchief guy threw down the wallet and said,
"No...no...it's right there..." and pointed to the ground.

Bruce released the thief from his kung-fu grip
and picked up the wallet.

Handkerchief guy scurried off with his tail between his legs...
like every other defeated ninja who has tried to mess with Bruce.

January 05, 2007

No more 3x5's...

...at least for now. Seems an earthquake did something to some underwater cable in a big pond named the Pacific Ocean. Now everyone in Asia has slow internet. Like "turtle-trying-to-run-with-cramps" slow. Hence, no pictures. We have some great stories of our parents visiting during the holidays. Stay tuned.