muertemaria's blog

Tonight is your night to ruin a Beatles song

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New AI set – New year of recaps. First I would like to thank Julie and Jerry for letting me stay the week and eat their amazing food and sleep in their extra room. Also I would like to thank LK for doing the pool again.

So new set – lots of circles moving, a mosh pit. It is like a MTV movie awards but totally not.
Introduction of the judges. Does Randy have big sideburns? Terrible. Paula looks drugged. Simon has on a sexy unbuttoned shirt. Ryan’s hair is sort of triangular.
Lennon/McCartney songs tonight. Sweet. Which ones are they going to totally f-up. I wonder if someone would do Sgt. Pepper. That will be great terrible.
Simon is pissed at Ryan. I think the low shirt comment pissed him off.

You now are in the top 12

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Get ready for next year when you are performing at the next Bat Mitzvah. (Sanjaya!)

Lost - Discuss - Spoilers

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OOOOOOOO - again so good. Juliet backstory. Ben is crazy!! I can't wait to find out how he manipulated Said. And we know now that OC dad is the boat. I don't understand how whitmore is going to turn the island into a tourist trap so that people can get better from sickness. They haven't proven that if you leave you will still be better, and what about the whole time shifting issue? How would people have a constant. I don't think it will work but interesting story arc.

80s Style Boys

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I don't know wny they don't start out with 80s night on the first week of the top 24 so I get to hear more 80s songs. I love the 80s. I think most of the boys did well. I think that I mostly like the songs so I really was just thinking about how much I love the 80s music and not totally paying attention. I liked the young one, the stripper, the aussie, the combover and...

I cannot believe that the hippie did a Jeff Buckley song. He does not have a haunting and wonderful voice like JB. And that last high note was just terrible and he knew it. 

AI the boys

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Um - why has no one mentioned that Jason Yeager is wearing a 1/2 broken heart necklace that I totally had in the 4th grade? I am embarrassed for him. I thought you all said that the boys were good? This is the first week I have heard the boys, and I was not impressed.

Edit - I wrote this before I actually finished watching the boys, and I can't believe Paula started crying. David was good, but she is too much. I love it. 

Totally irrelevant to AI - Deus Ex Malcontent was fired from CNN for being a blogger. If you haven't read the site before - http://www.deusexmalcontent.com/

Life and Hope Association

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Wanted to write a little post about the Life and Hope Association the in-country organization that I worked with in Cambodia.

The Life and Hope Association's goal is to improve the lives of orphans, vulnerable children and disadvantaged peoples in the Siem Reap area of Cambodia. It is based in the Pagoda called Wat Damnak. The LHA was started by the monks at the pagoda, they have added more staff and taken on many more challenges in the past couple of years. Here are some of the projects that they are working on in Siem Reap.

Back on the posting binge - The rest of the temples

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I am back in the states and have an awesome case of jet lag. Today I managed to sleep until 5am which is way better then yesterday which was 2am. So I have a bunch of posts in the pre-written stage about the rest of my trip that I will be posting this week. My schedule is that I am flying back to DC on Monday and will be trying to find a new place to live by the 1st. So if you know if anything let me know. Onto the post.

There are a lot of temples at the Angkor Wat complex so I wanted to highlight some of the others that we went to see.

Angkor Thom Complex

Demon side of Angkor Thom EntranceBesides the large Bayon temple when you come into the complex there are these massive gates that have huge statues that on one side are demons and the other side are the gods pulling the large naga snake god. This one gate is the only one (out of 4) that still has the heads to all the gods and demons (I am sitting with a demon). They are pretty awesome.

My body won't cooperate with my mind OR maybe those people with the surgical masks are smarter then me

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A tale of sickness and the life destined to be a snorkeler

When I was younger and a girl scout, I went to camp on Catalina Island and learned how to snorkel. Like a real snorkeler, learned to dive, spit in your mask, etc. But I always yearned to do more. Flash forward to 17th birthday, I get scuba diving lessons. So excited! My body denies me by on the first in pool lesson in 10 feet of water I cannot equalize and I get vertigo when I come up and freak out. The next day I return my stuff and lie to the people that I have to work and can't make it. College - I do one day of the scuba class, have flashbacks and then quit that class and join the kayaking class (which I do not regret taking).

This week - I am here in Thailand, I plan on taking the 3 day class, get certified, I am going to be a diver! I wake up the day of the class with the WORST SORE THROAT. Self diagnosed strep throat which I have confirmed because I started taking antibiotics and 4 days later I finally felt back to normal. But seriously! How could I get sick again! I am destined to never learn how to dive. How can this be? My name means Guardian of the SEA. I should be diving all the time and instead am trapped at the top of the water. Stupid Ear/Nose/Throat - You have cursed me from my true fate of communing with the sea.

If my currency conversion is correct, I am pretty sure this post is costing me 4 dollars

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Hello from Thailand. I didn't think there was going to be an internet connection on the island I am on, but why would I not expect it, the problem is it is 4 dollars for 30 minutes. So quick post. I am on a lovely island off the coast of phuket. The hotel does have a regular boat shuttle, but when I got to the dock, I would have to wait an hour so I haggled with a long boat and had them drive me out here by myself. That was an adventure. They Island is in the bay on the non-ocean side of the island but the trip is about 9km and that boat was a little small. I got a little burned, but it was pretty fun. no seasickness. lots of waves.  

The island I am on is basically the one if you are anywhere tropical when you see the day snorkling trips to a small island or secluded side of the island. I am staying there. So in the early morning and after 3pm there are only about 30 people here. During the rest of the day it is pretty full with day trippers but kind of fun. It is great when everyone leaves and you have this huge beach to yourself and it is low tide and you can walk out like 100 yards and it is only ankle deep.

Final Final Day here in Siem Reap

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I am leaving for the airport in an hour. I can't believe I have been here a month! It doesn't feel that long. Things I am going to miss:

  • All the classes I have taught. They have all been challenging and so much fun.
  • The temples, they really are amazing
  • Riding my bike around the busy streets, I did have a great time doing that. I think also because I was a westerner everyone would say Hi to me or at the least stare at me which you just get used to.
  • The food and the prices. Cheap cheap here in Cambodia.
  • The monks. They are everywhere and so cute. Too bad you can't hug the monks.

So my bike I actually gave to Mr. Pe here at the hotel, he is about 20, was only in school until 6th grade and wants to learn english but didn't have anyway of getting to the english classes so he is now the owner of my bike. There are three other bikes going to the kids and Mr. Pe has been at the hotel the entire time and when I come back he is always trying to learn english so I help him with pronunciation.

Food Post

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Since I haven't really posted about much of the daily life. Food post for the foodies. Surprisingly, Cambodian food is really not spicy. At all. The two main Khmer foods are Curry which while not spicy is really good. It is heavy on the fresh coconut milk and very creamy and usually includes onion, potato, pumpkin and whatever meat you ask for. It is really good. You can ask for chilies to make it spicier, but I don't think it needs to be spicy. The other main Khmer dish is called ämok which is steamed fish wrapped in a banana leaf with a different curry and morning glory. What they refer to as morning glory is not what I think we would call morning glory. It sort of looks like a leafy vegetable, but I can't think of what it would be in the US. Amok is also very good, at every restaurant it is a little different but usually tastes like a green curry.

Bayon Temple and Beatocello

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So I have written this post already once and I am at an internet cafe and right as I was finishing the computer restarted. So I am so pissed, this post will probably be shorter then my original one. ARRRGGHHH!

Anyway - More of my pictures have finally uploaded. My Bayon Temple photos have now uploaded. Bayon is part of the Angkor Wat park but more specifically part of the Angkor Thom set of temples.

Angkor Thom was built as a square, the sides of which run exactly north to south and east to west. Standing in the exact center of the walled city, Bayon Temple represents the intersection of heaven and earth. Built around 1190 AD by King Jayavarman VII, Bayon is a Buddhist temple but it incorporates elements of Hindu cosmology.

Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point. The curious smiling image, thought by many to be a portrait of Jayavarman himself, has been dubbed by some the "Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia." There are 51 smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own.

New School, new things

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It has been a few days because I have not had an internet connection, either the hotel wasn't working or there was someone on the computer. So I have forgone the free computer and am now at an internet cafe. The .25 an hour is fine.

So this week I have been teaching at a night school at Wat Damanak. It is a free school for anyone who wants to come. Everyone is between 16 - 22 so very different from my elementary school kids. The best part - my second class has 2 "baby monks" they are both 17 and adorable in their orange robes. The second teacher is also a monk and he is super nice and has only been learning english for 3 years and is very good. It is kind of fun to have almost a conversation with the kids in the class. they are close to understanding me, but the teachers usually have to translate a little. it is quite nice to have someone who can speak khmer and pretty good english at the same time so when I try to explain something they can actually explain.

Yesterday in their book, we were learning the past perfect and I have to say I had no idea what that was. Good thing I had the answers. We also did the difference between Fortunately and Unfortunately.

Updates for the week

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Few updates.

I got more pictures uploaded finally after many hours of trying.

Here are all the rest of my photos from the main Angkor Wat temple. My pictures do not depict the scale of the reliefs that are on the walls of the temple because my pictures are up close and the walls are 500 meters long. so my pictures are showing maybe .05% of each wall.

I have also been able to upload all the pictures of my classes. They are such a cute bunch. We took pictures by rows so there are some rows of all boys (and they are trying to act cool in the pictures) and then rows of girls and some are mixed. Really there are just a lot of kids.

Last day of teaching at Preah En Kau Sai

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We found out this week that the kids have mid term exams all next week so today was our last day teaching. So today all we did was play heads up 7-up which everyone loves and then took pictures and gave out candy. Everyone was crying. I started crying, the kids were crying, asking me not to forget them when I go back to america. They gave me notes and pictures and candy. One wrote a note that says he was sorry for getting up in class when he wasn't supposed to.

I am now closer to leaving here then I was coming and it is so sad! The kids today really killed me. I know we didn't end up learning that much, but I think they all know at least the ABC song. I am uploading pictures now so you can see all my students. We took a picture with each of the rows in the class because there are so many kids we couldn't do just one picture with the whole class.

Here are my classes.

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