Of Gardens of Sorts

I've learned a parenting trick: you have to tire your kid out to get a good night's sleep.*
And a play ground/area will do the trick. Although it's worth noting that there's a lot we can learn from a kid's enthusiasm to life. 


I won't lie; it's fun playing with kids and their toys.


Ridin' the beep beep, as my nephew likes to call it. He still doesn't really talk, unless you count gibberish.**

Once again, we travelled to faraway lands to a place I was already familiar with.***
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden was a good time!


Flamingo Posse


The Final Countdown (Or A Brief Her-story of Cats)

Not to the end of the world. We all know that's not happening. Trust me, there's Mayan blood in me.


If you really want an unflattering picture of yourself, X-ray effect is the way to go. Go on, smile on camera and you'll know what I'm talking about. Water, on the other hand, looks really nifty.

When I'm not distracted by Photobooth and my uncanny resemblence to an X-men, I'm counting down the days for when I'll be re-united with my love, my precious, my Butters.
Oh, long hair...
Even though she's cat and I'm human, we're like two peas in a pod.*

In exactly one month I'll be flying back home to my Mexico Lindo y Querido and hold my cat in my arms once again.
Thanks to technology (and doting family members), distance hasn't been a huge issue.
We've managed to schedule Facetime chats into our busy schedules.
I look great in Facetime snaps. Ha.
It came as no surprise that she wasn't very keen on talking, but rather rubbing against whoever was holding the iPod and meow-ing for tap water. 

Now children, gather round to hear the story of a cats who won the heart of a Cat Lady...


Second Time Around: Temple Ruins

Ayutthaya is one of those places that never fails to impress, not even the 2nd time around.*
Even though I'd been there recently, I was still looking forward to going back.
There is something so peaceful and comforting about these temples.

Ayutthaya was the former Siam royal capital- the Burmese army rampaged the city, and thus the reign ended in 1767. It amazing how some temples still stand strong.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet was first up, the largest temple in Ayutthaya. 



A truly stunning portrait of yours truly (note sarcasm). It was really hot that day.
Walking around in Wat Phra Si Sanphet, it's hard not to feel like an archeologist!


Here's To The Ladies That Watch Movies (On Their Own)

Guys, I cried watching The Dark Knight Rises. That's not much of a spoiler as it is a testament on how incredibly sensitive and slightly 'damaged' I am. I think I may need to quit on the violent/action movies for a while, they no longer work as escapism... There's enough bad shit going on in the real world as it is.

However, if you ask me to put these empathetic feelings to the test during scene work- my tear ducts dry up immediately. It's like a man unable to perform before getting it on. Fear/Anxiety does that to you.*

Notable movie trailers I had not seen before:
Breaking Dawn Part 2: I gave up on the Twilight Saga after I payed $12 to watch New Moon in theaters. Oh, I had a good laugh but knew I could have put that money to better use. 
You guys, I actually read all the books in the series** and the last book was a bit of a "cock-block" for me (is that an appropriate term to use? No offense...)- there was a whole lot of build up for nothing.
Kirsten Stewart looks good as a vampire. End of story and moving on.

Man of Steel: Henry Cavill. Mmm. That's all I have to say about that for now.

Anyway, the (Ish)Review...


And I Was Like Baby, Baby...

While it's been great having my sister and nephew around, it's also been a little overwhelming at times solely because 1 year olds have so much energy it's hard to run around after them all day. And I'm not used to a lot of noise.
Guys, having a kid is hard work, I tell ya.
I get put off by that for a while, until that little toothy rascal runs up to me and hugs me. Or when he plays peek-a-boo and is equally amused every single time.
It is special.

I don't want to bore you with emotional Aunt Mariana talk, so I'll get down to what I wanted to get down to (oh boy, bear with me...). We've been trying to get a lot of stuff done sight-seeing-wise, and so far it has been pretty successful, methinks.
Thailand is incredibly rich in culture** and history- the country is diverse, from beaches to mountains to cities***- so there is a lot to take in and see. From a westerner's point of view: just being here is an experience on its own!
While they're off in the North of Thailand (been there, done that), I thought I could update on what we have been up to.

The day after our "Safari" excursion, we decided to take it easy and hop on over to Terminal 21.
I've written about it before and have been there a couple times since and it still never gets boring; I still think the concept of the mall is pretty rad.


I indulged in a Dr.Pepper float- hadn't had one in a loooong time.


And of course took a couple of pictures...


Having a Laura Palmer Moment?

By that I don't mean I was murdered or on cocaine or dreaming about Bob.
If you're familiar with Twin Peaks, then you know the famous Laura Palmer portrait. 
There's something about photo studio portraits that make you look eerie and frigidly pleased.
Just look at this portrait of a 12 year old me.


Friday Dance Fun

I thought I'd shake things up a bit and take a regular funny Friday and turn it into a fun dance party.
The promise of a good weekend will do that to you.

I ♥ this video.

Get out those dancing shoes (or go au naturale*), turn the music up and jive 'til Monday morning!

* Barefeet, not that there's anything wrong with dancing in your birthday suit....


And Now, Summertime Anti-Sadness

Moving away from the mellow-ness of the last music post...

You guys remember when we were young and hip and music that would (now) be considered shameful was actually rad?
The 90's (and an early 2000) were all about catchy tunes.
If you ask me what any of these songs are about, I wouldn't know what to answer.

Did anyone really pay attention to lyrics back then?*

Uh, I actually still consider this song a favourite. I remember listening to it incessantly on a cassette- I taped it off the radio. I used to do that a lot...

Now here is a song with a positive message.

It took a whisky drink. It took a vodka drink. Then I just slur all the other lyrics -sans alcohol- until the chorus. You know everyone joins in at the top of their lungs: I GET KNOCKED DOWN, BUT I GET UP AGAIN.
Before the Jonas Bros. there was Hanson.

It's a secret no one knows.
And I never did find out!

And for some female representation: Vanessa Carlton.

Good stuff. Yay or nay?

* Or was I the only ignorant 10 year old around?


Transmission Received.

I've always had a fascination with the sky. *
Night and Day. The shift in colours, shapes of clouds. Its stillness, its movement.
The way it changes from country to country, and yet- it's still the same sky.


July 12th's Sunrise + Rainbow

To witness an Aurora Borealis is at the top of my bucket list.
A couple of days ago, I saw something I'd never seen before. A bright blotch of rainbow in the sky.
I deduced, from my google searching, that it was due to solar flares.
These were taken while I wason the highway- so it was a little hard to capture. I am glad the colours translated well into the camera!


It started out as an orb- circling a blinding light. 


Then it got wider.**


And wider.

I encourage you to look up to the skies every now and then.
You might be surprised with what you find!

You might want to tune into this as you're sky-watching.

* I've already devoted one & two posts on them, as well as a Flickr Album.
** Can you see the bear like shaped cloud that looks like it's climbing up to the light? :)


Hey Sister, Sister!

Never knew how much I missed ya.

Sorry to disappoint, but this isn't about the Tia and Tamera Nickelodeon show.
No. I'm talking about my own sister: She's in town!
With none other than my adorable nephew (I'm not biased- just take a look at him yourself...). 

While it's been a little difficult getting over the jetlag (we're 12 hours ahead from Mexico), we've still been taking it easy. Parks, nearby restaurants and a "Safari" have been the sight-seeings of choice.
Looks like the days are clearing out too, which means it'll be great weather for Temple & Palace visits!

Last time I saw him he still couldn't walk and his first tooth was coming out. Now, he's running around like a little monkey and chomping away with his 6 little teeth. 


Don't tell my sister this picture of her is circulating around the internet. I couldn't help it- they're Facetime-ing with my Brother-in-law. *

The "Safari" was a little depressing for me, but I didn't want to be a party pooper and stay at home alone. I honestly hate seeing all the animals being used in a show and circling their cages... 


The King


This was the crowd while we were waiting for the Dolphin Show to start. It was amazing- I pretty much choked up from how "emotional" it was (at least for me, in a way). There were a lot of Indian tourists and so they blasted, what I gather, a popular song of theirs on the speakers- they all got up and started dancing and singing along. It's hard to say why I felt the way I did, but they were full of such joy and unity that it was just so beautiful. 


I love him.

Nothing can stop me from some GPOY fun with statues though.


Tomorrow I'll be posting about the awesome skies of late. Seriously.
Did anyone else catch the solar flare?

* Ah, technology. Keeping families together since ... I can remember. (The 2000's right? That was the big Apple/ big Mac boom?)


Summertime Sadness

I bought Lana del Rey's album this week.
I just had to.
 I've enjoyed every single song (to my surprise!) on the CD*, especially Summertime Sadness

Sometimes I let myself take the plunge into Melancholia but let go afterwards.
These are a couple of tunes I've been listening to lately, which transport me to that place of longing- if only for a couple of minutes.
But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues...

Perfection. And the distorted voice... *shivers down my spine*
Lolita would totally play this song, coke bottle in one hand & heart-shaped sunglasses in the other.

I used to really hate this song. Like, really hate it. Mostly because his voice was incredibly whiny.
Funnily enough, I think that's what I like most about it now!

C'mon, it's Mazzy Star.

Best. Scene. Ever.** (Dean Stockwell does a pretty awesome job at lip-synching)

And some Muse, again, for good measure. For that finale with an Oomph.

What other song/artist would you include?

* Yup. Totally bought the Compact Disc. MP-what?
** Then again, Roy Orbison's one of my favourites, so I may be biased.



I baked cookies! There was one minor accident in which I burnt my hand in the oven- but since I did not burn the cookies, I consider the baking a huge success. The embarrassing part here is that I burnt my finger with the steam/heat of the oven, not the hot pan...

Thanks to my amazing and talented friend, Maria of Shopgirl on the blogosphere, for answering all my baking questions.* You should really check out her blog- she's got some amazing recipes and cute/fun crafts!

The cookies were made from scratch- flour, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, brown sugar, butter, buttermilk and egg- then into the oven they went!

I was excited about making my own buttermilk- it's simple, too!
Just add 1 TBS of lime to 1 Cup of milk, and let it stand for 5 minutes until it has noticeably thickened.



This is also one of the few times my cookies look pleasant to the eye.

After I finished, I chopped some broccoli. 
A-la-funny-Friday (and recent photobooth fun)...


Oh, Peeeetah (Parker)!*

Source: pin4fun4021.blogspot.com via Felecia on Pinterest

 Two movies in one week?! I'm on a roll! **

Per usual, I went by my onesy and had a little snack before hand.

It had been a while since I enjoyed a nice cup of Mocha. *Sigh* (a couple o') Sweet memories of working at a movie theater... 

Let me begin by saying I've never really been a big fan of Spiderman. I've been more of a Batman kind of gal (thanks Michael Keaton!) and to be honest, Tobey Maguire just didn't do it for me.
Cue in Andrew Garfield.


Isn't it Funny...

How a night unravels into something random and a little crazy*?

Saturday night. Home Alone. I'm debating whether or not I should watch Scream 4.
I do the unthinkable and click on Photobooth.
Things start to happen. My face contorts in every possible way it can.
This is post-Thai exam, after 4 hours of foreign language mental mind-numbing.
Fidgety hands got a hold of eye-liner and before I know it, cat eyes!




The Truth According to Abe

Part of me thinks it would've been awesome if a former president had been a vampire hunter. But then the other part "wimps out" because the idea of vampires actually existing kind of terrifies me*...

While waiting for the Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D movie release in Asia, the decision was between Abe or Spidey. It being the weekend and Spidey topping the Box Office, I decided to avoid a crowded theater.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter doesn't mess about or disappoint if you're looking for a fun action-packed time. That is, if you aren't skittish when it comes to gruesome creatures and blood.
From the get go, there's rarely a minute of inaction (story-wise too).

Paul Bunyan, anyone?

We see the evolution of Abraham from child to avenger to righteous man and overall ass-kicking extraordinaire.
Benjamin Walker was the perfect choice for Abe.  "Common looking"** though he may be, he is charming and intense; he has a look that is so expressive, he exteriorizes what goes on inside him without it being over the top. Plus, those axe-wielding stunts he pulls are awesome.
Funnily enough, I'd noticed a resemblance to Liam Neeson a couple of times and what do you know? He was young Liam Kinsey in Kinsey! I'd be good at casting- maybe I should look into that...

Surprisingly, there was a little romance in the film too. It managed to touch on various events in Lincoln's life without it ever being distracting from the story or removing your attention.
The first 15-20 minutes are an excellent example- enough is shown about his childhood and how he trains to become a vampire hunter sans long-windedness & irrelevant side-stories.

The supporting characters were also great: Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell and Jimmy Simpson. A real sense of camaraderie permeated within the characters, so much so that the geek in me thought on various occasions, "Hey- I want to be a part of the Lincoln gang too!" 

Where be my axe at?
The action sequences can't be omitted. It was obvious they were intended to be seen in 3D, but it still translated well to the "2D eye". As I've already mentioned, the axe stunts are what I found to be the best bit about the fighting and choreographies.
A scene involving a stampede of horses took it all too far, in my opinion. That was the only time I found myself saying, "Aw, c'mon, really?!".

I'm considerably more drawn to read the book now, especially since Seth Grahame-Smith*** also penned the screenplay. Also because the story seemed to work so much better visually- I don't know if I'd like reading pages and pages of battles. 

And so there it is, another epic tale of good vs. evil. Of humans vs. vampires. And a history lesson, albeit rebooted.
I think it's safe to say now that John Wilkes Booth was a vampire.

Back at home, I decided to give my best vampiric shot a go...


What a Day This Has Been...

Actually, what a day it was!
Last week, I headed to Ayutthaya for a day and luckily the weather was on my side, allowing me to trek from temple to temple sans rain. I actually got sun-sandal-burned on my feet!

What made the day all the better was a breakfast I concocted for myself.
I was excited because I envisioned it all beforehand and realised I had all the ingredients to make it a reality. That rarely happens!

It's the little things- like strawberries, a baguette & apricot jam, cheese and a simple sunny side up egg- that count. 


Say Cheese! Chee-

There's nothing like being in a picture with (arguably) one of the most beautiful people that ever graced the Earth, and, well...

Not being prepared for a photo is the worst. I know I've had my share of awkward faces, but this one takes the cake.
She obviously wasn't on ANTM- Tyra prepares you for all these sort of situations.
Also, Audrey is totally smize-ing.

Lesson of the day: Be prepared!*

* And I don't mean for the death of the king. [see The Lion King] 


A Brief M.I.A: In Retrospect

Not the Paper Planes MIA, but the 'missing in action' kind.
If you've thought, "How rude! She hasn't published or responded to my comment..."- I've an excuse.

I headed to the beach* for a couple of days with some family friends to escape the city and avoid being completely alone all week. And well...
I had a pretty awesome time (and avoided being on the internet).

Monday I was graced with a typical Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstration/class by a beautiful Japanese woman. 


Of Last Peeks & Sneak Peeks

It feels like I'm always catching up on and queueing up posts.
While I sort out my pictures from my Ayutthaya day trip, here's the last peek of Chiang Mai.

What are the odds that I'd find more used bookstores in one block of Chiang Mai than in a whole main street in Bangkok?
Well, I did find them. And I couldn't help but go in and come back out with full hands...
But how could I not bring back Best Cat Stories back home with me, I ask you. Cat Lady doesn't know how to say no (only Meow).

View all my Chiang Mai pictures HERE.

Here's my sneak peak of my day trip to Ayutthaya...


Granny at Heart (Or Stooge Forever?)

Ever since high school, I've been labelled a granny by my friends. I've never had a problem with that- I take full responsibility for my intermittent 'senility' and overall granny-ness.
Now, I don't knit*, I don't use dentures, my limbs are still in perfect shape (knock on wood) and I don't use a hearing aid.
I nap**, I mumble angrily (and occasionally raise my fist to the heavens), I tend to get along easily with the elders,  I have an affinity to rocking chairs and I like sleeping early.

In college I created an imaginary old man friend, who lived in the closet (literally, not metophorically- don't ask, I used to create many characters...) and I would often answer my phone with a, "Yallow".*** 

 My dear college friend, who had to put through all this craziness, recently sent me this.

It's times like these when pictures speak louder than words: all these years, Sophia (of The Golden Girls) has been alter granny ego.

Funnily enough, I'd taken this picture a year or so in a half with my granny character in mind.


North (of the) Country

"Snuggled into the foothills of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a sanctuary of sorts with a refreshing combination of city accoutrements and country sensibilities."*

I couldn't have said it better myself (which is why I didn't really bother, to be honest).
Chiang Mai really is that perfect little nook in the country- surrounded by mountains and history, it is a great escape from the city stress. It also helps that it's cooler (temperature wise) than central Thailand making exploring the Old City that much better.

First day I walked around and stooped by at the Chiang Mai City Arts & Culture Centre.


The Three Kings Monument (Anusawari Sam Kasat) is overlooking a small plaza in front of the Centre.

I wandered around and came across the Museum of Insects and Natural Wonders.