Culley and Culley-Home and Away

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Minor annoyances: pre-loved May 28, 2010

Filed under: daily life,minor annoyances,Winston — culleyandculley @ 2:07 am

In our preparation for the impending arrival, I’ve been doing some second-hand shopping, mostly because baby gear in Singers is so stinking expensive. I’ve been here for a year now so you’d think I’d be over the “it’s so much cheaper in Houston” rant. But I’m not.

I’m of the opinion that getting pregnant is an unofficial hobby-with the locals and the expats. Everybody is pregnant! I was in the grocery the other day (paying twice as much for cheese as I would in Houston) and I had pregnant women shopping on either side of me. I finally counted 7 pregnant women, 8 including myself, shopping in this tiny little grocery store (the grocery stores are much larger in Houston too). We’re everywhere. And obviously the folks that sell maternity and baby stuff know they have a captive audience and price their goods accordingly.

But I digress…back to second-hand shopping.  When did it become de rigueur to call your used junk “pre-loved”? I’m guessing somebody, somewhere along the road to resale decided that to indicate an item was “pre-loved” conveyed to potential buyers that the first owners didn’t just use and abuse said item, but loved and cared for it. Fine. It’s still your used junk. And while I’m sure we all want gear that has been loved, not just used and cast aside, I’m to the point that I will most likely ignore your second-hand ad should you indicate any level of former “love” for the item. I don’t want your toy/stroller/carseat to be loved, I just want all the parts functional and free of crusty Cheerio residue.


Sheer Indulgence March 21, 2010

Filed under: daily life — culleyandculley @ 12:55 pm

When Ali’s traveling I’ve been known to turn into a teenager: I stay up late reading and watching movies, eat junk, leave my laundry on the floor and my dishes in the sink for days.

Today was a crowing achievement in teenage indulgence. I had cookies for breakfast, appetizers for lunch and a pretzel for dinner (there were some other vitamins and minerals thrown in, but those were the highlights!). And I saw not one, but two, movies in the theater with my friend, Chris (and Karen and Logan who joined us for the first film).

We saw Alice in Wonderland and The Book of Eli. Both were pretty good films. Alice was better than I thought after hearing mixed reviews, but I think if you went in knowing it wasn’t going to be the “original” Alice story and enjoyed the special effects, costuming, etc. it was very enjoyable. Save they annoying little dance Johnny Depp and then “Alice” tried on at the end. Really? Whoever suggested those moves was indulged and should not have been.

Eli was a solid movie. Denzel has aged well, though Gary Oldman has not, and Mila Kunis was quite lovely. My minor irritation with this one…he kept his iPod working for 31 years. 31 years! Really?

Well, the night’s still young. Guess I’d better settle in for a good read and try not to get to bed too early!


St. Patrick’s Day March 20, 2010

Filed under: arts & culture,daily life,festivals — culleyandculley @ 6:09 am
Tags: ,

To celebrate this national Irish holiday, Ali and I met up with some folks at one of the local Irish pubs set up for the occasion last Sunday. There was to be a parade, but we think it got rained out.

The best part though was the Mexican food being served under the awning of a Vietnamese restaurant next to an Indian place. It was really a multicultural occasion!

The gang...and some random guy poking his head up in the back

The gang...and some random guy poking his head up in the back


Nesting, stick figures and pregnancy half-truths February 17, 2010

Filed under: daily life,Winston — culleyandculley @ 5:04 am

I know! We really need to get back to all the things of interest we’re doing and seeing in Singapore. After this post, I promise 3 good (ok, decent) posts on some recent trips and festivals.

But I’m pregnant, so indulge me today.

All my research has said that, yes, nesting is a characteristic of pregnancy. Most of the books, however, say that it doesn’t really set in until the 8th or 9th month. Well, I am fully into my 4th month and nesting like a rabid bird. I can’t put the groceries away or find a shirt to wear without organizing something. Our 15 minute lunch prep the other day turned into an hour-long affair (with Ali doing most of it) because I’d gotten sidetracked reorganizing the cabinet structure. Oh! But it is soo relaxing and therapeutic!!

Another pregnancy half-truth is that you grow to hate skinny women. I don’t hate skinny women. Being an American in an Asian country, you quickly get over feeling like the biggest kid in the sandbox.  And I have this fantasy that post-Winston I too will look like a willowy Asian model (the fact that I didn’t before I got pregnant doesn’t seem to hamper the dream). The women I hate are the skinny pregnant women! Seriously, have some self-respect and let your butt get big like the rest of us. The worst is when they’re obviously several months further along that I and yet look fit and trim. I’m storing fat in the form of cellulite to nurture and feed my unborn child…what are you doing? Why don’t you have bat wings yet? How is it possible that your legs still look decent in shorts? I mean, honestly!


Uncookies January 26, 2010

Filed under: daily life,domestic goddess,Uncategorized — culleyandculley @ 5:27 am
Tags: ,

My friend Kim graciously took me under her wing yesterday and tried to teach me some fundamental baking. First we made soft pretzels. Yum! Though the dough seemed perpetually sticky and they looked more like buns than pretzels, Kim swears they taste just as they should. Score one for me.

While we were waiting for the pretzel dough to rise, I decided to try my hand at making cookies. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to bake better cookies, so why not start small and try some homemade chocolate chip?

Trash can cookiesTrash can cookiesLook good, huh? Actually, for reasons Kim and I can’t even begin to understand, the cookies were an abysmal failure. I followed the recipe to a “t” (a recipe Kim used last week to make perfect cookies). Let’s sum it to say the dough was all wrong and even after baking for 15+ minutes the uncookies looked like uncooked Playdough and tasted about as rough. At that point we finally abandoned the project. Apparently, I have horrible cookie karma.

As a consolation prize though, I did get to use Kim’s UT Snuggie while we waited for everything to bake. Trust me on this one…don’t knock ’em till you’ve tried ’em. They are really freaking comfy! And I could hold the remote and the popcorn without leaving the warmth of the blanket :o)




Funny Singapore Man November 30, 2009

Filed under: arts & culture,daily life — culleyandculley @ 8:14 am

After some Chinatown Christmas shopping, Ali and I stop at our blind foot masseurs for a little 20 minute revive. The man who was rubbing Ali’s feet started giving us sex tips right off. This is the same man who, from the shape of Ali’s calves, believes we will have lots boys. His advice this time included a reminded to “mix our hormones” and the suggestion that Ali start with lots of whiskey.

About halfway through our massage we meet “Funny Singapore Man”. He goes up and down the market stall walk tapping on a piece of bamboo-it indicates that’s he’s a noodle courier, he’ll go get “mee” (noodles) from a restaurant and bring it back to the stalls. Ali gets to talking with him, tries out his bamboo, and then FSM settles in to really start entertaining. Apparently he has been videoed and posted on You Tube and said posting was written up in the paper. So we all stand around and watch on my phone and then FSM launches into a highlights reel of his mouth noises and demonstrates umbrella spinning on a pencil top. Truly, the best afternoon break ever!


Pay it forward August 24, 2009

Filed under: daily life,new and different — culleyandculley @ 7:26 am

KBR’s office here, in prepration for a wellness day, asked employees to sumbit pictures of active lifestyles for a contest. Ali entered a picture of him climbing in a race in Moab. And won 2nd place!! The price for this accomplishment was $150 in grocery vouchers.

Ali have $10 to his assistant. And this is where it pays forward. She gave the vouchers to her mom, who in turn played her luck numbers. And won $500!

Big winner!

Big winner!