Friday, October 31, 2008

I've been tagged :-) Who's next?

My friend Monica over at Souter Life in the OC tagged me. For those of you unfamiliar with the weird games that bloggers play, here are the rules of this particular game of tag that has been making its rounds in the blogosphere. Like my last post, where I accepted my first blog award (thank you to all of my fans; um.... I mean my 1 fan), this is the first time I've been tagged.

So now I have to tell you 7 random and/or weird facts about myself. (Before you read my list, you might want to click on over to Monica's list and enjoy a few laughs. She's got some doozies.)

(Just for fun, I'm using Mandarin numbers for my list since I've been learning some of these from GG who has Mandarin at school 4 days a week.)

I used to drive a red Jeep Wrangler with the soft-top down much of the time. I still miss my Jeep. It was the best!!! (Thanks Dad and Mom!!! - And, no, I don't think I was spoiled, just well taken care of.)

I dyed my hair black when I was a freshman in high school and part of it turned green. :-0 Now that's what you call embarrassing.

I went through a phase when I spelled my name "Starlyne." Yes, I thought it was cool. I realize now how incredibly goofy/dorky/dumb/immature it was. What's even worse is, in my attempt to be original (btw, how much more original can you get then my name as it is?), I was really being a copycat. My cousin Kim had started spelling her name Kym.

I worked at Weinerschitzel from the time I was 16 - 18. I actually enjoyed the job, for the most part, and I was pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. My favorite, believe it or not, was when I got to work the opening shift during the summers. I'd have to be to work at 6 AM but it was worth it. Those were the only shifts when I got to work in the back as a cook instead of at the front counter, bagging, drinks, or drivethru. GG enjoyed hearing me tell her about when I used to have to dress up in the weiner dog costume.

I went through a stage where I actually wanted to be a hairdresser. If you know anything about me, you can understand why that would not be a good career choice. At that time, I was trying to figure out how I could get out of going to college and beauty school seemed like the perfect choice. No offense to any hairdressers, cosmetologists, etc. but, for me, it would have been a very unsuccessful choice, I'm sure.

OK... that's enough embarrassing memories from my teen years. I'm having trouble coming up with the last two things without drawing from that awkward time in life but I KNOW I can come up with something. Here goes...

My birthday is an official national holiday in Singapore. I never realized that people in other places actually celebrate May Day.

The verse from the Bible that I claim as "mine" (kind of related to my name) is Matthew 5:16 - - ...Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Now that I've told you more about myself than you probably wanted to know, I am going to tag everyone that I know who blogs (unless you've already been tagged). Sorry to my friends for "giving you awards" and then tagging you all in the same day. You don't have to participate if you don't want. Sorry I don't have a larger base of "blog friends" to pick from.

Home is Where You Start From
Crazy Mommy, punk music is for kids!
...thoughts and ramblings from the edge of the world...
The Balance Quest

My first blog award!

After all my time off (from being sick) it's time for me to catch up on blogging. I have a whole page of hand-written notes about things I need (er... want) to blog about so, stay tuned. It may be busy here for a while. Also that fact that Gander gets back from China tonight means that you will probably be getting an onslaught of posts from him, too.

[Please know that I'm trying to catch up on e-mails, too, so if you are waiting to hear back from me, please keep being patient. I promise I will e-mail you back soon. :-)]

Now time to get down to business....

I was honored with a blog "award" from my friend T. at Send Chocolate because, apparently, I am "charming." {Stop that snickering!} According to the instructions, I am supposed to include the following blurb on my blog and then pass on the award to 8 other bloggers. I don't think I even know 8 other bloggers to pass it on to so I am going to pass it on to everyone I know that blogs BUT I am doing so with the disclaimer - I won't be upset with you if you don't keep the chain going. So... this is a "no pressure" type of award, as far as I'm concerned.

The Charming Award
The Rules: Leave the following message on your post when you pass the award on to their chosen eight blogger buddies. “These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

So now, I pass on the Charming Award to all of my charming friends in the blog world (in no particular order). Go say Hi to my friends if you want and see how charming they are for yourselves. :-D
Souter Life in the OC
...thoughts and ramblings from the edge of the world...
The Balance Quest
Hey, I have to tell you something
Home is Where You Start From
Crazy Mommy, punk music is for kids!

I hope I didn't forget anyone.

Do you need a good laugh or 2 or 20?

I imagine that some of you have probably seen FailBlog before but I just found it. I'm telling you, I could waste a good day or two. at least, just looking at all of these funny photos and videos. (If you click on the words "FailBlog" either here or at the beginning of this post, it will take you to the website. FYI- I linked you to the G-rated version because I'm just that kind of girl. Sorry - you're on your own to figure out how to get to the non-G-rated stuff if you want to.)

Just as a taste of what you'll find, here are a couple of the videos I found on FailBlog that I thought were especially funny.

Enjoy!! It's like watching America's Funniest Home Videos but it's not just America, it's not all home video, and you don't have to put up with the annoying commentary from the host.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New and Improved "After" Photo

A little while back I posted before and after photos of myself showing my eyebrow makeover. The after photo wasn't very good so I've been wanting to post another one that better shows the change in my look. So, with no further ado...

Yes. I know it's a shocker. I'm actually wearing makeup. I've taken to wearing (very little) makeup a couple times a week now. It's amazing what a newly shaped pair of eyebrows does for a person.

When I first told you that I got my brows done, I said there was more but I'd save it for a later time. Now's that time.
I got a perm and tint!!
What do you mean my hair still looks the same? Of course it does! I didn't mean that hair. I meant my eyelashes.

Did you know that you can actually have your eyelashes permed (with a curl, of course) and tinted, just like your regular hair on your head. For someone who hasn't spent much time or effort on physical appearance and who has little interest in it, this was a pretty weird thought. Like a miniature perm and hair-coloring on teensy, weensy little hairs.

I'd heard of permanent makeup - aka tattooing your face to look like you always have makeup on. There's no way I'm letting someone stick me over and over again with a tiny tattoo needle so close to my eyes in the name of beauty so, NO, I won't be doing that. But, hey now, just getting a little perm and tint... that didn't sound so bad.

It wasn't soooo bad. I won't say it was painless. I would probably do it again. Overall, though, I have to say, waking up every morning looking like I already have mascara on and my eyelashes perfectly curled is pretty cool. Even when I was so sick I looked almost dead, at least my eyelashes looked pretty. I can tell myself that now. At the time, I didn't care in the least.

So there it is. The full story of my eye makeover and a better "after" photo.

Don't worry. I haven't become obsessed with external beauty. But if you ever hear me considering that permanent makeup business, be sure to slap some sense into me. (And if you are someone who actually has permanent makeup, please don't try to convince me that it's not so bad. I'm a big baby when it comes to pain so needles on my eyes is NOT a good idea.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

22 prescriptions and $471 later...

It's been a little over a week since an unwelcome visitor invaded our home.

Elly caught the flu at school and brought it home where every single one of us joined her in her misery. And misery it truly was. At one point I seriously considered going to the emergency room. I don't know if this is the worst flu I've ever had, but, if it was not, it was pretty close. Even Gander missed four days of work. And that says something because Gander rarely gets sick and when he does, it usually doesn't make him miss work. The girls missed school all week. We stayed in bed for almost the entire week. It was not fun, to say the least.

I seem to be the only one left who is still struggling but hopefully I'll be back to normal soon.

I understand this is a normal part of adjusting to life somewhere new, with new germs and strains of disease that our bodies aren't used to. I hope this is the end of our "germ-related welcome."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Before and After of me

While Gander was away on his last trip, I decided it was time to beautify myself just a bit. See if you can guess what I did from the pictures below. (You have to ignore my hair -that's not what changed. I mean, I know it looks different but, trust me, I realize the AFTER pic does not show a more beautiful me if you focus on the hair, or, sadly, on the smile or the chin. I guess that's what happens when I take a picture of myself when I should be sleeping. It was close to midnight. I definitely like the before pic better, overall, but there is one small thing in the after pic that's better, I think.)



I'll give you a hint. It's not what GG guessed when I asked her the next day if she noticed anything different about me. (Word of advice: Never ask a 7 year old if you look different.) She looked me over and seriously replied, "Fatter?" Ummmm..... no. (Well, maybe. Those all too frequent trips to McDonald's to get an American food fix may be having an effect.) But that wasn't what I was going for. At least Elly has a kind heart and after hearing GG's remark and my embarrassed laughter, she guessed "Skinnier?" Anyways, neither of those are the correct answer. Have you figured it out yet?

I'll give you another minute.

Times up! YES! It's my eyebrows. I'd been wanting to have my eyebrows shaped for a long time. They were way past due. Gander noticed the difference right away but I don't think he likes them much. He asked why I had them made so thin. I like them but maybe he's right. Oh well. It doesn't really matter too much. I feel like they liven up my eyes and I'm not self conscious anymore about my brows being too bushy.

There's more to the story. I went back a couple days later and had more done but I'll save that for another post.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

RESULTS- "The Price is Right" box of Cheerios

The WINNER is.........................

LisaD guessed $7 US dollars. The item in question was a 14 oz. box of Cheerios. That's a normal size box... not too small, not too big. Here is the actual price: (Singapore)$10.75 = (US)$7.35. It doesn't seem quite as bad when I convert it to US dollars but when you see almost $11 for a box of cereal, it is kind of hard to swallow.

Congratulations, Lisa!! I'll make sure to send you a postcard. :-D

And, in case anyone was wondering, yes, I did buy the box of Cheerios. Fortunately (or unfortunately, I'm not sure which), I am starting to get more used to the prices here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kuala Lumpur

KL is the best city I've ever visited! It has beautiful architecture, nice restauarants line the streets, night life abounds with the sound of live music everywhere and then there's China town, which is a large swap meet. To top it off, the people are really friendly... if you're wondering about the fish head above, YES, we ate all of the FISH BODY, did not touch the head - other than my fingers to open it's mouth for this pic :) All of the food was awesome - here is what I ate: Tiger Gruper, Tiger Prawns, soup called Lala which had clams in it, and Indonesian Sea Snails!!! The sea snails were the BEST!! Seriously, I would not have ordered them, but glad my colleague did!!! This restaurant was amazing - you get to pick out your food LIVE while it's in fish tanks... YUMMY! By the way, our youngest daughter just got a new fish and I told her that I was going to eat it when it dies - she agreed that I could eat it ONLY when it dies, and we also agreed that I can call her fish 'YUMMY', and she calls it 'Princess Fish'.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bangkok Video


Hey there everyone - I just got back from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Quite a trip!! From Elephants, subways, fresh fish eating, and large, tall buildings - all was amazing!!! Here are some pics and videos. Enjoy! Can you spell Coke in Thai? (above) Language was the largest barrier - very difficult to communicate with people in Bangkok - I am learning sign language quickly!!! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A night at the zoo

A couple weekends ago we went to the Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo. We had hoped to be able to post some really cool pictures of our adventure but, the funny thing is, animals in the dark don't really photograph well. Go figure. :-/ So instead of seeing photos of some really amazing animals, you'll have to settle on my description. Or you could always make a trip to Singapore and go to the Night Safari with us.

Since it's been a couple weeks, I can't really remember everything but here is what I can remember. First, we went to a show. It was probably the best show I've ever been to at an animal type place. There were real live bats flying overhead every once in a while, not just as part of the scheduled demonstration of animals. They had the cutest little otters that fulfilled the "environmental awareness" portion of the show by sorting recyclable materials into the correct containers. There was a mountain lion, hyenas, and a sloth bear that walked above our heads on a tightrope-type thing. There were several other animals, too. The person who narrated the whole show was very entertaining and they did a great job making the show memorable. There is one very "exciting" part of the show but I am not going to tell about it because I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone that may some day actually get to see the show him/herself.

After the show, we took the tram ride around the park through portions of 8 different "areas" of the world (Himilayan Foothills, Equatorial Africa, South American Pampas, Burmese Hillside, etc.). What is truly amazing is this zoo does not use any cages or cage-like enclosures. At one point, all that was separating our tram from a hippopotamus was about 30 feet and and some end-to-end logs forming an outer border of his area. I was actually a little nervous about the fact that he could have come right up to the tram if he really wanted to. I suppose they know enough about the animals' typical and individual behavior to keep it safe but it was really pretty strange. During the ride, we also passed by a pair of elephants that were truly no more than 4-5 feet from the edge of the tram. Two of the handlers had taken them out for a walk and we drove right by. All I can say is they are amazing animals up close and I was surprised by how much expression you could observe on their elephant faces. To my relief, the more dangerous animals were kept at a safe distance by greater obstacles than the hippo would have had to overcome. Yet none of the animals we saw on the tram ride were behind glass or wired caging. (Is that what it's called?)

After the tram ride, we walked through the "Fishing Cat" trail and a portion of the "Leopard Trail." Elly was so sleepy she had to be carried most of the time. The highlights from the walking trails were the fishing cats, the Indian gharials, and the Malayan flying foxes. The fishing cats were actually on the banks of streams and in the water fishing. The gharials are fish-eating crocodiles, which we actually were able to see capture and eat their prey. It was pretty freaky watching them as they would surface out of the water where they could not be seen beforehand and submerge in the water to disappear. And in case you were wondering (I was) if the flying foxes were really flying foxes... no - they are actually the largest bat in the world. And they are pretty darn big.

So now that I've written a novel, here are some pictures of the girls. Remember we couldn't get any good shots of the zoo animals but we at least got some cute shots of the girls when we stopped for an ice cream break at the Z-bar. (clever, huh?)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Anyone out there???

So far only one person has tried to guess the price of the box of Cheerios. (Thanks, Lenora.) I hope more of you will leave a comment to guess the price.

I know there is no real prize for winning but isn't the thought of being mentioned on my (I mean "our") blog as a "WINNER" motivation enough? NO? Well... um.... ok. How about a postcard from Singapore? Alrighty, then. I hereby amend the official rules of "The Price is Right blog-style" and declare that the winner will be sent an actual postcard through snail mail as a prize. (I know. It's a pretty pathetic prize but not nearly as pathetic as the fact that I've resorted to trying to bribe you to play my game. Am I beyond help?)

I hope you'll play along. Anyone is welcome to play, whether I know you or not. Be sure to leave at least your first name if you post anonymously. If you win and you want your postcard prize, then I'll figure out how to get it to you at that point. (I'm not going to worry about that issue right now.)

A smile only a mother could love?

No.... Not quite. But it is definitely a smile that brings panic to the heart of the tooth fairy: "How will I possibly keep up with leaving money for this ONE child when there are so many others in the world losing teeth, too? Will my funds hold out if this kid keeps losing teeth at this rate?" I'm sure those are just a few of the thoughts running through the tooth fairy's mind. Oh... just kidding! I know the tooth fairy has plenty of money growing on her dollar tree. Nothing to worry about, right?

So GG lost her third tooth in the last 2 months. Here's a close-up so you can get the full effect.
See that big front tooth on the top (sticking out kind of at an angle)? You know... the first one that she should have lost on the top? It's a stubborn one! It's been loose, off and on, since before any of the three missing in this photo even wiggled for their first time. But it is still holding strong. It's not even close to falling out - just a little bit of a wiggle. I'm considering tying a string around it and yanking it out (while GG is asleep, of course, because she would never go for it if she were awake). Wouldn't it be perfect timing if she were missing all 4 of those teeth, right in time for Halloween? She wouldn't even need a costume. She'd be a real-life jack-o-lantern. (Maybe some orange face paint might add to the effect, I guess.)

OK, OK... I won't yank her tooth out. I know... how could she ever trust me again? But it's still funny to think about what she'd look like if that stubborn tooth would finally fall out like it was supposed to do already.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"The Price is Right" - box of Cheerios

I didn't plan on taking this long to do another episode of "The Price is Right" blog-style. Sorry it took me so long.

For directions on how to play, see this post:
How to Play "The Price is Right" (blog-style)

Here is the item you are guessing the price of ---

One 14 ounce box of Cheerios

I'll post the winner in a few days. Have fun!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bryce Canyon 07'

OK - This post is for two reasons. One - This is proof positive that I am not the only one to make fun of our kids - my other half does also. Two - This is proof that our kids are VERY funny and one can't help but laugh till it hurts. This is our youngest daughter having a hard time staying awake at the dinner table at the lodge @ Bryce Canyon. We got stuck in a major storm while walking back up a trail that we had just walked down well over a mile.... the girls all worked very hard walking up hill and this one just couldn't keep her eyes open (notice how her nose crinkles on her arm as she fights the heavy, heavy eyelids) This is just too funny not to share with all of you!!!! :)

Texas Fun in 07'

Here's a a short video clip of us having fun in TX. Me and the girls took a surprise road trip to Texas to surprise my two sisters and Mom - it was a blast. This is a video clip of a TX water had a huge pool, slides, teeter totters, basketball court and blaring music in the background. This video clip is one of my favorites because it shows just how adults can't sit on the sidelines and watch kids have fun - we have to partake in the fun also as my big sis does with my favorite nephew who lives in CA :)

As you can see...

My blog is no longer mine. It has become ours. As with most other things that become a joint effort or are shared, there are positives and negatives.

One of the positives of having Gander contribute to the blog is, I'm sure you will now laugh a lot more. In addition to his "talent" for taking the most unflattering photos of people, he also has a talent for being funny. The negative side of that is, now that Gander has the ability to post whatever he wants, there is a strong possibility that I (and some of you) may be embarrassed (if you haven't already been embarrassed by any of the photos he posted recently). I'm afraid I'm going to wake up one morning to ... Oh wait. I better not say anything. I don't want to give Gander any ideas. He doesn't need any help coming up with ways to embarrass me as he is already an expert in this area.

Another positive is you'll get to see a lot more photos. I've been holding back on posting tons of photos because I didn't want the blog to take a long time loading for you. Hope this won't be a problem but please leave a comment if your loading time increases drastically so we can figure out a different way to show you all of the embarrassing photos that Gander wants to post.

It doesn't feel so "peaceful" and "calm" around here any more but, I guess, for some, that could mean that it's become more interesting. In any case... Enjoy!

Oh, and a big welcome to Gander! Have fun posting on the blog (but not too much fun or you'll be getting your own blog, honey).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


What can I say? God knew not to let me find out about this restaurant in downtown Santa Ana until about 2 months before we left for Singapore, otherwise I would be broke. Ambrosia is probably the best overall 'experience' restaurant I've ever been to and to top it off, we went just prior to coming to Singapore with our awesome food aficionado friends, Steve and Monica....what do I mean by 'experience' restaurant? Well, it has everything you could ask for in a restaurant or at least all I could ask for...great ambiance, great food, great service, great wine selection, live jazz band that will play whatever you ask them to, numerous private rooms to match your occasion however large or small - the best room, which we've toured before, has wall to wall cigars and you can smoke em right at the table. Oh, I'm not done yet. Just like an old castle with secret passage ways, one of the cabinets that has wall to wall cigars folds out to expose a secret passage way to the top of the theatre that is right next to us with private seating if you reserve that guys gotta go check this place out...I'm not paying though :) :) But wait, there's more....there is a VIP lounge in the basement called the 'Vault'. It's actually an old vault and when you walk in they have large leather couches and chairs to chill out with friends...highly recommend this place. It was awesome to have a goodbye dinner with our good friends, Steve and Monica - enjoy the photos!

More Misc photos - I'm in trouble now!!

This is the Singapore Gooseman again - I have to have fun while I still have access :) :)

Misc Photos of Family - Enjoy!

This is the Singapore Gooseman writing - Thought I would toss out some misc. funny and cute photos for all to enjoy...