Welcome to Sunday Summary, the meme in which I attempt to summarize the week that came before. And what a week it was! We had widespread flooding throughout the island along with numerous landslides which blocked access to communities along the coast and downed powerlines. This all caused massive disruptions to, well, everything including my having to search for a new job for the first time in more than eleven years. But as I begin writing this at noon on Sunday, 23 October, I can see a bit of blue sky peaking out from behind the clouds and I have an interview lined up for Tuesday afternoon. Things are starting to look up!
In a word… NOT!
On Tuesday, I wrote about the “end of an era” with the teachers agency with whom I worked with since July 2011 having lost all of its school contracts thus putting all of us essentially out of work. This came when the entire province was being battered by heavy rain and the resulting difficulty in traveling anywhere without a boat. I’d had my Sunday afternoon class canceled due to nobody being able to get close to our classrooms (the building housing our agency was an island while everything surrounding was covered with waist-deep water). Further cancellations were to come — my in-house lessons Friday, Saturday and Sunday were all non-events. Ouch!
The frustrating part was being held hostage inside when I should have been out doing job search-related tasks such as trying to find somewhere to get my resume printed (my printer at home is out of ink and nobody carries the necessary cartridges nor did I think it appropriate to print it at my office), buy new dress shoes (my other pair having been left in the kindergarten where I worked during Term 1, which was underwater this week anyway), not to mention checking out other local sources of employment.
Cooped up inside, I revised my resume and composed cover letters, not exactly my two favorite activities. This is also the time when I would be creating lesson plans and materials such as flashcards for the upcoming school term. Until I secure a new position, I won’t know the curriculum to follow. I do have a huge stockpile of flashcards on a variety of topics so that doesn’t really worry me too much (although I like to create something fresh even when revisiting a previously taught topic to keep it interesting for myself). I probably need to get some stickers to paste over my old agency’s logo (I always branded everything).
I hope that in next week’s “Sunday Summary”, I will be able to report on starting a new job. Stay tuned for that…
I should add “Vlogging” to this heading as I made TWO videos this week and I am quite proud of the latest, even though it’s just an account of a trip to a shopping center and the return home. That latest one is less than 15 minutes which is much better than the 30-minute endurance tests I uploaded before. I kept music on throughout rather than just the intro and outro which added something to the viewing experience. Have a watch if you are so inclined (there is an unexpected surprise towards the end):
The shocker is that last Sunday’s video about the floods in Phuket Town has received almost 700 views as of this morning! I am used to around 20 unique views per video so this was a nice change although covering a natural disaster is what pushed it to the inflated level. I am becoming less self-conscious about filming video with my phone and have noticed many others around town doing the same. I even gained my first three subscribers this week (one was my sister). Other than low-fi equipment (still “shaky cam”), my biggest fault is that I say “OK” and “Alright” on camera way too much.
I wrote a number of blog articles this week, mainly for this site and just one for My Collections. I had decided to make this a “stampy” week and that it was. Four blogs concerned upcoming or recent new stamp issues and I posted another review of a philatelic YouTube channel. In all, I published seven articles since last week’s Sunday Summary.
Latest posts on My Collections:
Latest posts on MarkJosephJochim.com:
These days, it is not often that I receive anything in the mail. Due to a great many reasons, I have not been doing much trading of postcards or stamps in more than a year nor have I ordered much of anything from overseas stamp dealers. On Friday, however, I received a parcel of early German stamps from a dealer in Denmark. It was a small lot (two album pages) that I won in an eBay auction so long ago that I had completely forgotten about (and the time limit to request a refund expired several months in the past).
Saturday morning, I scanned the two album pages and then checked my Davo Volume 1 album to see if I could add any of these to my collection. Out of the 58 stamps received in the lot, I was able to add 30, ranging in years from 1880 to 1920. While there were no great rarities, one single stamp out of the batch has a Scott catalogue value of US$7.25 which, coincidentally, is how much I paid (winning bid of $4.25 plus $3.00 shipping). I would say this was a very successful purchase even though it took almost eight months to arrive! After cataloguing the stamps and entering the new additions into my collection spreadsheet, I spent a pleasant (but still rainy) Saturday morning transferring stamps from the old album pages onto my Davo pages, several of which are now nicely populated. Page three is now my earliest in the Deutschland I album that is 100 percent complete.
I took a break from Black Earth City and began reading Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough. I’m glad that I did. This is a real psychological thriller which is just what I needed to take my mind off the worries of each day. I found that I have been looking forward to spending time reading each evening rather than procrastinating about it. I will probably finish this novel in another week; it would be sooner but I have so many other things I occupy my evenings with that I budget my time for each task.
An almost nightly “task” is to watch either an episode from a television series, a few YouTube videos (for my channel review blogs), and I even managed to stay awake for an entire movie one evening. At nearly three hours, I didn’t think I would be able to watch all of No Time To Die but I did with ease. I watched S01E09 of House Of The Dragon so early in the week (compared to my usual Thursday or Friday viewing) that I began to wonder if I had forgotten about it. Yellowstone grips me with every episode and I am now up to S01E06.
Once again, I did not listen to a whole lot of music this week. About mid-week, I listened to a bit of Webb Wilder (my favorite is still 1991’s Doo Dad, which I bought new based solely on the fact that a friend of mine had joined Webb’s band and played bass on the album). Friday, I listened to some live George Thorogood & the Destroyers circa 1980. My first encounter with George in person was a Youth for Vietnam Veterans Concert in Kansas City during the fall of 1986 (wiping the stage with headliner John Fogerty) and I was even more impressed five years later when he opened for The Allman Brothers Band. Last night, I finally got around to listening to Buddy Guy’s latest album which was released about a month ago. He’s still got it!
My eating habits while on this term break have become rather predictable. I tend to order from the same three or four restaurants on FoodPanda and haven’t tried a new one since La Taqueria two weeks ago. The only real variance in one of my delivery orders was trying McDonald’s new potato wedges (they were alright but I will still take their regular fries over them). I had sandwiches for lunch over several days using bologna, shredded grilled chicken breast, cheddar cheese, mustard, and sandwich spread.
Last night, I had been thinking about pork fried rice (for which my go-to place is now the lengthily-named Champ Tomyum Noodle Aroi Taam Sang on Phang Nga Road near the old bus station). But riding the porthong (pink bus) last night, we passed Som Mai Khai Steak near Chillva Market in Sam Kong and all I could think about the rest of the way home was spaghetti Bolognese. It’s only 80 baht and really the best I have had in Thailand. I order it at least once a week and sometimes more!
One day, I got a couple of microwaved items from 7-Eleven which were okay. When I finally made it to the local mini-mart (wading through knee-deep water to get there), I bought a few more snacks than usual. I thought about starting a series of video shorts in which I would film myself trying “weird” potato chip flavors. For that, I bought some Heinz Ketchup flavored Lay’s but my reaction was not very photogenic. A couple of days later, I got around to trying the Hat Yai Fried Chicken flavor I’d bought at the same time; these were delicious but I have not yet returned to buy more.
Kanchana and I probably broke some records in how much we chatted over the past week. She revealed she had been set to surprise me by booking a flight back to Phuket for Monday. Of course, that is when the airport got shut down when floodwater entered the terminal. Later in the week, the airport closed again when it lost power due to electrical poles toppling over as the result of still more rain. If she had made it though, she probably would have been cut-off as her apartment is on the west coast and major roads experienced landslides. Oh, well. Someday she will make it back here.
Earlier this month, I began playing with one of those apps that animate photos to make them “sing”. I made a bunch of these which I sent to her. She laughed at the ones of us together but hated the solo renditions. I promised that I wouldn’t make any more (and that I would not post any to the blog, a shame because some were really good).
Photo of the Week
I hope the week to come is just how you want it to be. Cheers!