Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shoe repair

I guess I’m learning (slowly), that you get what you pay for. I am careful how I spend my money, but sometimes it’s tricky knowing where the bargain is. So far, cheap shoes in Malaysia have not turned out to be a bargain. I’ve already taken my third pair of kid’s shoes to the street cobbler for new soles in 7 months. Yesterday, I took the most recent pair of my daughter’s shoes to the cobbler. 

It’s interesting watching a street cobbler work. They have tiny tables and/or carts that hold all of their shoe repair goods in various plastic bags. And they do all their work sitting on little plastic stools with just a few implements including: a utility knife, cigarette lighter, brush, polish, sander, needle and thread, tread,  glue/cement, glue stick, a straight edge, and some type of pointy end tool! Oh, and of course, the smoking cigarette hanging out of the mouth is a must, as well...

gluing the soles on
the table and cart

shaving the edge of the new sole smooth

shaping the new sole

new leather tie over toes replaced as well

and here are the new much better than the old ones...

Photography update

My photography experience is expanding beyond what I had planned or expected this year. 

Some of my friends are currently doing daily exercises in photo taking with Flickr ( and I’m enjoying their delight in experimenting and capturing some of their daily activities. And though they live half way around the world from me, I feel that we are experimenting and learning together as we share our pictures and pleasure on twitter.

I have also joined a year long photo project with some of the lovely ladies at the Association for British Women in Malaysia (ABWM). No, I’m not British, but the group didn’t seem to mind and I love the British sense of humour! This photo group began Jan. 1, 2013 and is called Glimpses. It involves taking a photo once a week, for 52 weeks on changing topics. Since the Glimpse site is private and you won't be able to view it, I've included each of the weekly photos I've taken since January 1st below. 

At the end of each week, the group leader/coordinator, Chloe (photographer, extraordinaire), takes all the pictures from the week and makes a cool looking collage on our Facebook site. Additionally, some weeks are ‘winning’ weeks where our Facebook *likes* determine a winner for the week and that individual receives an enlargement of their winning photo free of charge from our wonderful leader. It has been a fun learning experience enabling me to see a variety of photos from people both more and less experienced than myself, all with a different perspective on each week’s subject matter. Thus far our weekly topics have been: celebrate, new, bridge, blue, black & white (a street scene), window (looking in or out), red, love, three, motion (to freeze or not to freeze), femininity, supermarket, and this week’s topic: play. Interesting and sometimes very challenging...

I am beginning to appreciate how much time it takes to shoot a photo you want to keep: thinking about the photo, prepping for the photo, figuring out how to take the photo, taking the picture without a photo bomber, keeping still while taking the shot, making sure I have enough light, but not too much, finding the story in the picture, cropping and adjusting the picture, and more.

Just recently, I have also found opportunities to show my pictures in a limited, informal way. Some of my pictures will be included in a school cookbook for our international school in Malaysia. I have had photos published in the ABWM magazine’s March 2013 issue for a Tesco (grocery store) tour I took last month. Additionally, I have contributed photos to our school for track meets some of which should show up in a quarterly glossy school publication, Berita. And just today, I offered to take pictures for a Japanese style flower arranging class that was happening at the ABWM. It sure is exciting to see my work in print! It looks like I will also be contributing pictures for the Mont’ Kiara International school’s spring play-Mulan Jr to go along with the DVD all the actors and singers families are receiving. I’m having fun!!!











Feminine (Mulan)

Black and white street scene (had trouble getting it to b/w on blog)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This year, Mont’ Kiara International school’s play was Mulan Jr. Madeline had months of rehearsals to prepare for her ensemble (singing) part which had her up on stage in numerous scenes for three days of performances. It was the biggest stage production Madeline has ever taken part in and it was a huge success. Madeline groaned over the long hours of rehearsal, but the final result was very enjoyable. I watched it all three days ; ). 

The lead character, Mulan, was a 6th grader and had a beautiful voice and was very poised. Other roles went to kids from other Middle and High school grades. Parents took lead roles in the costuming, makeup, staging, and concessions. I lucked out and worked two days of concessions, selling pizza, popcorn, juice, cookies, and my favorites-brownies (that I made) at intermission.  

playbill for Mulan show

Mulan's ancestors

Mulan with matchmaker

umbrella song (M is far left w/umbrella)

Mulan with mother and grandmother behind

Mulan (light blue top) with Mushu (her guardian dragon) and the Chinese army (M, back row, right-middle)

Mulan, trying to figure out who she is...

Madeline, shooting off flares (confetti) to warn the Chinese Army

Mulan with the Emperor

Emperor with 2 guards

taking bows after the performance

taking bows

Madeline and Jia Yu (Mulan's mother)

random scene with Madeline and Jia Yu

Mushu, Mulan's dragon guardian

Mulan, trying to remember the qualities of a good wife for the matchmaker

Mulan, being made into a 'good wife' prospect

more umbrella dance

umbrella dance

Madeline, the umbrella dance

Mulan and the matchmaker

the counselor

the Chinese Army (Madeline, back row, right)

Mulan and the Chinese Army

Madeline as a member of the Chinese Army

Mulan, the captain, and his advisor

Mulan, Mushu, and the Army

the Army

Captain of the Chinese Army

the Choir

the Emperor

female impersonators

some of the cast

loved the makeup on the ancestors

musical director (James Instone) and dance choreographer (Nia Womack)

Madeline and cast friend

Madeline and Ashleigh (backstage manager)

Madeline with bestie, Jia Yu

Madeline and cast friends

Madeline and next door neighbor, Ruby

Madeline and the Advisor

Madeline and an Ancestor

the Ancestors

Mulan's goofy family picture: l to r grandma, father, Mulan, and mother

Mulan's traditional family picture