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Monday, December 31, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: High Tea at the Bangkok Four Seasons Hotel

Dottie and I toasted the new year early and then retired to our hotel room to pack (and draw) and sleep. This is the fabulous Four Seasons Hotel ceiling and me, reflected in our tea tray. Today is Monday. In the Buddhism practiced here, yellow is the color of Mondays. Also, the king was born on a Monday. So like many Thai people, today I am wearing my yellow shirt to honor the king. Tomorrow early I head back home.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: Mae Hong Son Internet Cafe

It wouldn't be an accurate picture of my trip if it didn't include checking email and posting pictures at Internet Cafes. Also note the photo of the king on the wall- images of the king are everywhere and range in size from wall posters and calendars to banners and billboards and entire sides of buildings.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: On the road to Sang Tong Huts in Mae Hong Son, Thailand

It is beautiful and peaceful here but my thoughts are starting to turn towards home. Tomorrow we head back to Bangkok, then shortly after I head back to the USA.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: Mae Hong Son - the Wats on the Lake

'Postcards from SE Asia: Mae Hong Son - the Wats on the Lake' self-portrait by San Francisco Bay Area artist Julia Kay. (Click to view same image larger.) Wat Jong Kham and Wat Jong Klang reflected in the lake. The lake is really quite small and though I think it is natural it has a man-made feel. Like a little lake in Central Park in New York City more than a mountain lake per se. Still the very nothing much to do or see of this place has made it one of my favorites - slow down and be on vacation instead of rushing from site to site.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: Mae Hong Son

'Postcards from SE Asia: Mae Hong Son' self-portrait by San Francisco Bay Area artist Julia Kay. (Click to view same image larger.) After a long, stressful, day with a couple mishaps, we finally arrived at our deluxe hut at Sang Tong Huts in Mae Hong Son, Thailand, where we have a huge bed with down comforters, a separate sitting area, mosquito netting, a large, pleasant, tiled bathroom with actual shower curtains (yes, the toilet paper is still dry after you shower!), convivial hosts & guests, and good meals.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: At Wat (Phra That) Mae Yen Outside Pai

I decided to help guard the temple. :) I think this may be my favorite drawing so far from the trip. One of the great things I've learned doing this - and it seems really stupid to say when I've been making and showing art my entire adult life - still, one of the important things I've finally settled with myself on this trip is that I can draw. Whatever I want to draw. In whatever circumstances - on the hotel room floor at night, peering at the little screen on my digital camera. Whatever it takes. All I have to do, is do it.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: Pai Airport

'Postcards from SE Asia: Pai Airport' self-portrait by San Francisco Bay Area artist Julia Kay. (Click to view same image larger.) Pai turned out to be an over-run hippy town filled beyond capacity but the flight there in this little 15-seater, 2-prop plane was great. It was open cockpit and no overhead bins or stewardesses. But it was a clear, still, day and we had great views of the mountains.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: Outside Chiang Mai at Lek's Fabulous Elephant Nature Park

Kissed by an elphant! On cue of course but still great. We spent the day watching, feeding, washing and learning about the lives of these rescued elephants and elephants in Thailand in general. Please learn about, visit, and contribute to the Elephant Nature Park

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: Above Chiang Mai at Wat Suthep

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: Nid & Noi's Chiang Mai Wedding

Both of their nicknames mean small, easy for me to remember since it is the same as asking for a small amount of spice. The wedding was great - beautiful & interesting though of course I did not understand most of the speaches. I will eventually add all the details from the monk's blessing in the morning, to the guests scattering of seeds for a productive union to the groom's way being blocked by the bride's family asking demanding questions and so on.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: At a Wat in Chiang Mai

We kept walking around in circles on narrow streets trying to get to the next wat but re-entering this one from a different side. Aside from buddhas, there were philosophical sayings written out on rough wood in Thai & English and nailed onto the many trees.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Postcards from SE Asia: Between Ban Phachi and Bankok

In the all-wood, barrel-ceilinged train car from Ban Phachi to Don Mueng airport in Bangkok.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: Phachi Feast

I wore my new yellow shirt honoring the king to my farewell feast in Phachi, which featured king prawns and more delciious tom ka seafood soup. Kop Khun Ka to Wirot, Siriya, Wareeporn & Aram, and of course to Dottie, without whom I wouldn't be having this adventure!

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Postcards From SE Asia: Ayutthaya Elephant

Here's the requisite pose with baby (well, young, anyway) asian elephant. The elephant's skin was very rough. In addition to the mall last night and the elephant at the end of the day today, in Ayutthaya we visited 5 temples, two of which are archeological sites, an english-language kindergarten, and a market. We had an excellent lunch of tom ka seafood soup, green fish ball curry, small fried fish that were hard to separate from their bones using only fork and spoon as is the custom here, and coconut vegetables. Mmmmm. Climbed many stairs and contemplated many buddhas.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: Ayutthaya Shopping Mall

At the Robinson's Department store in the Tosco mall in Ayutthaya, the women's section had hot pink Christmas trees and the men's section had brilliant blue. However, as far as I can see, both genders wear all colors, except on Mondays, when a majority of people where yellow shirts showing their love of the king.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: Siem Reap International Airport in Cambodia

Despite the reuired $25 per person to leave the country, Siem Reap International Airport was sweet: tropically landscaped, small, and uncrowded. So far, all flights have been on time, no luggage has been lost, customs has taken no interest in anything.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: Ta Prohm in Angkor Thom in Cambodia

Indiana Julia and Indiana Dottie where the tree roots are taking over the old temple of Ta Prohm. (Apparently parts of Indiana Jones were filmed here) I keep trying to remember that poem about Xanadu in Kubla Khan... wasn't that about a monument standing proud but also being taken over by the jungle? Tonight's project for google...

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: Bayon in Angkor Thom in Cambodia

Absolutely Colossal! Five gates, each topped by 4 colossal heads facing the four directions, with larger than life lines of demons and gods lining the roads leading to the gates, holding tight to the multi-headed world snake, which churns the water of life. And inside, the walled city of Angkor Thom. And in Angkor Thom, the temple of Bayon, which my guide book tells me contains 216 gargantuan heads. And here I am, with one of them!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Lucky for me, Dottie brought an umbrella to keep the sun off us. Now that we're back in town, we'll get another one for me. This is in front of Angkor Wat, the large temple at the site of Angkor. Spectacular! Every surface carved and decorated. Wall releifs stretching for hundres of feet, cool corrdiors and hot courtyards. But this was only first and perhaps least of the spectacles of the temples of Angkor.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Postcards From SE Asia: Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok

46 meters long and 15 meters high, and, yes, gold-plated. (That's approx 140 feet long and 45 feet high). The life of buddha was illustrated on the bottoms of his feet. This wat is also known for it's massage school so Dottie had a full-body massage and I had a foot-massage.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Vaughan and I will Cross Paths Over the Pacific

'Vaughan and I will Cross Paths Over the Pacific'  self-portrait by San Francisco Bay Area artist Julia Kay. (Click to view same image larger.) 'Finally Done Packing!' self-portrait by San Francisco Bay Area artist Julia Kay. (Click to view same image larger.) 'Half a Smile' self-portrait by San Francisco Bay Area artist Julia Kay. (Click to view same image larger.) I'll finally be flying towards Thailand later today while my friend Vaughan will be flying back home from there.

Speaking of which, of course I'll still be drawing but it's unclear how frequently I'll get to post, if at all. So if I'm not online until I get back home, Happy Holidays, and see you next year. On the other hand, do check in periodically, because if I can, I'll be loading pictures from Thailand and Cambodia while still on the road.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Taking a Break From Packing

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's Hard to Draw, Hunched Against the Cold

Friday, December 7, 2007

Passport, Pack, Go!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I Would Like to Pack Everything I Could Possibly Need, and Have it Fit in One Small Bag

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thai Calendar Count-Down

'Thai Calendar Count-Down' self-portrait by San Francisco Bay Area artist Julia Kay. (Click to view same image larger.) I thought it would be cute to have the days until I leave blowing away in the traditional way, but instead they look like they're attacking me. Also, I messed up my Thai numerals and counted 5,6,7,8,8,10... No time to do it again, though! Detail of 'Thai Calendar Count-Down' self-portrait by San Francisco Bay Area artist Julia Kay. (Click to view same image larger.)

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm All Wound Up Preparing For My Trip to Thailand!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Short Hair Take 2, and Flaming Curtain Shadows

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My New, Short Hair Cut Doesn't Explain the Ears...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Our Neighbor's Outrageous Party Kept Us Up All Night

Friday, November 30, 2007

Looking Down

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thai Trip Prep is Keeping Me Busy

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Use My Hands to Earn My Living by Programming Computers

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Use My Hands When I Train in Aikido

Here I am giving myself kota-gaeshi stretch.

Meanwhile, FTP Upload has started having problems again. What's up, Google?

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Monday, November 26, 2007

I Use My Hands to Teach the Alexander Technique

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Introducing my Inner Mad Scientist