It is hot. Chiang Mai has shared in the heat wave that has struck Southeast Asia for the last week or two. Although the mornings and evenings continue to enjoy wonderful spring like temperatures, mid-day temperatures approach 100 degrees. Ordinarily that temperature wold drive me indoors, however the Sala that I sit in writing this remains very pleasant. Other parts of Southeast Asia are hitting temperatures of 110 degrees or more. It all appears to reflect the regional differentiation in climate produced by the general global warming. The 0 decade just past has been the warmest and driest on record, consistent with the temperature reports for the globe as a whole. The climate models I have reviewed predict that this trend of warmer and drier weather for Southeast Asia will continue into the foreseeable future. We have already seen the climate of the Northeast portion of Thailand, the country’s poorest, change from semi tropical to semi arid during the past decade or so. Given that the ASEAN nations of Southeast Asia contain a population of 600 million almost twice that of Europe and their lack of modern infrastructure, I expect we will see significant population movements regionally in the next decade.
For the past week I have been forced to forgo my normal writing schedule (emails, novels, journals) and succumb to pressure to complete a number of children stories by next week when Hayden returns from Bangkok. I got started on this because I ran out of children’s books to read to Hayden at bed time. When my daughter Jessica was a child, often before bedtime I would make up stories to tell her. Unfortunately, long before the story was finished, much to her dismay and amusement. I would fall asleep. In order to avoid inflicting that trauma on another child, I decided to write down the stories so that we can read them together. I chose to use Goggle Images to illustrate the stories with cartoons and photographs to add interest. Once it got out that I was doing this I began to receive demands and deadlines to produce new stories, not from Hayden or other children who could care less, but from their parents. I am under the gun to finish one of the stories by Thursday of this week for parental review.
One group of stories are a series of detective tales staring Hayden and his stuffed animal friends “Snaky the Snake”, “Buddy the Bear”, “Whitey the White Tiger” and other creatures of his bedroom menagerie. Also appearing in the stories are some of the creatures living in the gardens and empty lots around the house. They include “Feral Kitty (one of the feral cat pack that lives in the lot next door), “Boo-blue bird”, “Francis the Fraidy Frog”, “Clarence the Cross-eyed” the king of the cobra’s living in the lot next door (yes, we have cobras as neighbors in the lot that I have dubbed the “Wild-lands) and in Bangkok “Ratty the Great, King of the Rats, the 10347th of his Line” and others. The humans in the story include me “Pookie the Old”, Nikki the Pilot” and “Pi Newan.” Pi Newan is the name of the maid and is usually the heroine of the adventures while Nikki and Pookie prove to be pompous and mostly useless. In addition to the Prologue, the first three tales are, “The Case of the Missing Breakfast”, “The case of the Monster of the Wild-lands” and the Case of Close Encounters of the Rat Kind”. The latter I have to finish by Thursday or suffer the consequences.
Tomorrow is Hayden’s 5th birthday. Today’s photograph is of the small party we held before he left for Bangkok.
Sunday, February 28 2010 11AM
Have stomach ache. Played with Hayden of balcony. He was very affectionate. He wanted to go to Night Safari. Went. Closed until 11 AM. Returned and agreed to go back after lunch. Will nap see if my stomach feels better.
Monday, March 1 2010 4PM
Yesterday as we got into the car to go to the Night Safari N. called. Said she did not want us to go. I agreed. Hayden very unhappy. It was probably better that I saved the money. Hayden fell asleep on my bed while waiting for Pi Newan. I let him sleep.
Today still no word from Nikki. Very hot. No school today, probably a Buddhist holiday. Spent most of the day in my room. Sprayed Hayden with water on the balcony. Sent emails. Worried about Irwin’s health. then worried about my own.
Sitting with computer trying to avoid going to bed, like Hayden. Worried about Jason. Worried about Jessica. Worried about Tai. This is a worry night. Maybe I should go to sleep. Sat out on balcony at sundown with Hayden. Smoked a cigar. Tried to show Hayden Orion. We tried to figure out if what were darting around in the sky were bats of birds. I thought they were bats, Hayden birds. Good night.
Tuesday, March 2 2010 8AM
Hayden was up and ready to go by 7 AM. In a good mood. Played the “if you do not hurry I am going to leave” game, roles reversed.
Cannot get internet connection to operate. Very frustrated, pissed. What the hell is going on?
Immediately after writing the last sentence above, my internet connection resumed operating. Still, what the hell is going on?
Irwin responded that it is depression and not a return of his cancer causing him to write emails like he usually does.
Still no word from Jason and Jessica.
As for Tai, she tells me baby in hospital again high fever and spitting up milk. The baby I saw was unusually unresponsive, does not cry or laugh. Fear the worst. She wants money again. Fear the worst.
Nikki arrived and is napping as I type this.
Just called Tai. Told her instead of going to BKK to see her, I will send the money I save to her for the baby. She seemed happy with that, said only, “when will you send the money?”. Another Hmmmm.
NIKKI still napping. Set up a calorie counting internet program. I believe I am down to 211 lb.. Need to weigh myself soon. Avoiding work on my writing. why? not a block but simple aversion. Would try Hayden’s story but am beginning to feel obsessed. Try Amanda’s story, at least it is a one time thing.
Went to dinner with N. and H. Ate too much. Got a b’day cake for Hayden. Did not call Tai. Need to record my time spent in activities.
WEDNESDAY March 3 2010 6PM
Well, today was interesting. After dropping Hayden off at school, Nikki and I drove to Mae Rim after getting lost we stopped for coffee and directions at a gas station/ coffee house. While sipping our coffee Natalie called, first Nikki who did not answer, than me who did not answer also than Nikki again. This time Nikki decided to answer after we agreed that he would tell her that we were not together. She told him that she had made reservations for her and Hayden to fly to the US on April 4. This was what Nikki and I suspected for quite a while. Nikki argued forcefully that he opposed it as it was not good for Hayden to change schools again. She responded that she had to bring him to the US to have his passport renewed. Nikki told her that not only was it unnecessary but that it was time the child’s birth certificate was changed to reflect the real father. She said that Gary would not agree to the passport and that she had to work it out. A rather heated exchange then took place that I only heard one side but that included her accusing me of brainwashing him.They also discussed Hayden’s loss of free flying privileges as Nikki’s son. Natalie then told Nikki that Gary paid the insurance. (Doubtful since she has constantly told us she had no ins.) Finally she appeared to concede that she would go to the US without Hayden. That, Nikki would bring him to BKK and Nat, Nikki and Hayden would spend a few days at the beach. I would go to BKK by train on the 8th or 9th to take him back to CM.
Later we stopped at the restaurant under the waterfall along the Mae Rim- Erewan road where we had lunch and from where I called Kesorn to arrange for her to come to Chiang Mai.
Later on the way back to pick up Hayden from the school we discussed the strange co-incidence of her changing her password shortly before Nikki’s computer crashed and he lost all his contact information and I began getting notices from my computer that someone or something was also on my line.
Got to school. Choti said Nat called and told her she wanted Hayden in summer school.
Hayden and Nikki went off shopping and I returned to the house and called Tai. She said the Hospital stay for Aslon cost 20,000 baht. I agreed to send 2000 tomorrow.
Went to restaurant at the street end. Nikki liked the herbal wine. Plotted. came home. Played with the video boxing. Had fun. And so to bed.
Thursday March 4 2010 10:30 PM
Got up at 7:30 AM, overslept. Hayden and Nikki slept until I woke them at 8 AM. Dropped Hayden off at school. Had coffee with Nikki. Got a shave. Drove to restaurant
near airport. Commented on Thai police sitting near us two officers at one table and two staff at another. Left lunch late. Went to BKKB to open accounts then to fish massage. By then it was 4:30. Picked up B’day cake then Hayden and dropped me off to start BBQ while they went shopping. Cordt and Friend Kevin arrived, then Leo, then Jerry, then Nikki and Hayden. Ate and talked about Land Use, Lao wood trade, US democracy and flying commercial airplanes. Choti arrived brought cheese cake. Ate sausages, franks, pork and fruit. Then all left. Hayden insisted on attention after Leo left and that sent the rest home.
Earlier Spoke with Tai, said she was sick. I sent 2000 baht. N. called wanted 1200 baht paid to gardeners. Nikki agreed to pay. and so to bed.
Friday March 5 2010 10 AM
Got up. Got Hayden ready for school. Nikki was very creative with “Pirate” costume. Got to school. Nikki went off to do “business”. I went to coffee shop. Took Nat’s phone call accused me of not paying gardener’s their 1200 baht yesterday. the electric bill and 10,000 baht to the maid. I said “OK” after graduation. She said ”you always say OK and then you do not do it. Thai people expect to be paid on time”. I said “OK”. Hung up.
Went to graduation. Took pictures and videos with the computer. Hayden’s report card showed improvement over the semester. His teacher, Peter. said that he was very committed when he was learning something especially Maths.
Left went to salon to watch Nikki get hair colored.
Went to pick up Leo and Pam and brought them to house for birthday cake. Natalie called Nikki as we were cutting cake seemed more interested in Hayden and Nikki carrying their bags with them on plane then the birthday.
I will take Leo and Pan back to Leo’s house at 2 PM
COMMENTS ON POST:
i can’t say that i share your views regarding global warming, etc. in my conservative years i have come to believe that if there is any “global warming” that it’s just the nature of things that occur as the planet earth ages and/or is effected by outside forces, like al gore, other planet/sun/moon discharge and visits from clackto. i don’t think hair spray has contributed to the demise of dinosaurs and other animal species nor will contribute to the actual extinction of mankind any more than bad movies, such as avatar. but then again what do i really know. more than that what do i care? i am at the stage of life where i hope everything we are told is proven wrong, except of course for the children’s stories you are now in the process of writing. congratulations on that!
and speaking of effects of the environment, unless that is not you but is another adult in the photo you sent (happy birthday hayden!) you are becoming asian in appearance.
Joe’s response to Irwin:
I am writing this from my 2nd class bunk on the overnight express train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. I flew down this morning to pick up Hayden. It seems like mom did not want a beach vacation after-all.
I disagree with your disagreement with my disagreement with someone who disagrees with someone else. You see, it is all about cow farts. Global warming and the resulting climate change is a direct result of the exponential increase in cow farts generated by the growth of the bovine population occasioned by the expansion of McDonalds. In fact there is a direct correlation between the increase in the consumption of Big Macs and the sudden precipitous increase in global temperature over the past 50 years. I defy anyone to produce an analysis that shows differently. The solution, of course is to simply increase the sale of chicken McNuggets. Not only do chickens emit less methane gas per pound than cows, but chicken shit is a better fertilizer thereby increasing the growth of climate altering gas absorbing vegetation. Directly from this flows flows the “McNugget Assumption” “that it is easier to persuade McDonalds to sell more McNuggets than to persuade a coal company to shut down a single coal fired power plant or as Petrillo’s First Rule of Practical Politics states ” you can lead a horse to honey but you cant forget the bees.
So enjoy reading your e-mails, I honestly think you should write a novel. I’m sure you heard about the horrible winter we had. We’ve lived in Virginia twelve years and I had to have my driveway ploded twice in a period of two weeks, which I never had to do before this year. I would not complain to much about Ciang Mai’s heat. Something, we’re all looking forward too, maybe not so extensive…………………………….
You seem very relaxed and enjoying Hayden, love the pictures………………Stay well.
Bill Gates writes:
Global warming is a crock!
When you get to writing the porn stories based on your Thai experiences – you know, the two legged feral cat ones! – send me a copy.
Life sounds boring but good.
Joe’s response to Bill Gates:
That’s in the novel. Although one of the children’s stories takes place at AVA and provides enough for the imagination of reprobates like us.
By the way Nikki told me that Natalie claims she has found a buyer for AVA that she is taking to Italy for some reason. Should we sue or laugh?
Bill Gates responds:
Re: a buyer for AVA: let’s laugh, then think about suing, then laugh again. Us getting cash from AVA is like the reality of your thesis about McDonald’s, chickens and methane gas! But, hope springs eternal, so I await my check.
Speaking of waiting for checks, here’s the latest on Electric Point: As you know, there was a agreement to represent them as plaintiff’s vs. the bad guys on a fixed price basis, but the bad guys came after them. We’ve since defended, made court appearances down there, and accrued billing that has nothing to do with the original concept of a fixed price Retainer Agreement for going after the city. Jim has told them about the hourly billing (which wasn’t part of the deal originally), said we need to be paid and is negotiating for some additional work under a new agreement that will probably look like the” fixed price” original one. I haven’t talked to Jim about it in a week or so (he’s been out of town) but it seems everything is going into the hopper and the old deal, the new one and the hourly billings are all on the table. I have no idea how it will wash out but you can bet I’ll be pushing the shit out of him to get some cash, since the cost of living here is a little more than in Thailand and I’m about to start recycling old coffee grounds to cut expenses!
That said, I’ll probably be in Thailand the end of Apr/first of May time frame. I’m going straight to Pattaya from the airport and plan on spending a week there. I have a tenant that’s been depositing into my rental acc’t. and I need to access the funds, including the May 1st rent. Don’t plan on spending time in BKK or your area but let’s see what happens and maybe we can think of something to get us to have a “pop” (not at AVA – every time I think of that place and getting so screwed [while feeding a lot of people], I get so pissed I can’t stand it). Come to think of it, suing doesn’t sound so bad… laugh again.