Back to Yoga

I took a 1 month and 1 week break from the States to head over to Taiwan in December 2014 plus a quick stop in South Korea for a couple of days for old time’s sake. To prepare for this rather big event (it’s for the wedding reception for hubby’s side of the family), I took a three-month break from hot yoga.

In truth, I have a love-hate relationship with it, and yet I still kept going back – even with the relatively high cost to both my wallet and time of keeping up with it. So, after having had a pretty long break from it and coming back for about a month now, I had come to my conclusion in regards to this form of exercise.

The following is my take on hot yoga thus far. Take it as a weak attempt of a half-organized case study of some random female who took hot yoga for almost a year. Continue reading

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The True Meaning Behind Valentine’s Day

Like most people, I love holidays – even when I don’t actively celebrate it. Perhaps it’s the festive atmosphere or the fact that everyone just seems happier. I would also say I love how you get some of those holidays off of work (or school), but I only get the major holidays off – mainly about two weeks for Christmas and New Years and, of course, Labor Day. The occasional July Fourth is off as well, if my bosses decide to go that route. Quite honestly, though, I still work from home on those days or at least am required to routinely check my work email, so getting holidays off doesn’t quite hold the same clout for me.

However, there is one holiday that I frankly have mixed feelings about: Valentine’s Day. America is notorious for turning holidays that originally had this deeper meaning and turning it into this overly commercialized thing where people put more worth into physical displays of the meaning that may or may not hold anything deeper. This is somehow exacerbated during this day that is saturated in roses and shades of red and pink everything… or at least this is my opinion, though I’m sure I’m not the only one to share this thought.

It’s the Monday after Valentine’s Day and everyone I met today asked me one common question: What did your husband do for you for Valentine’s Day? Although a small part of me likes little gestures like giving flowers (I’m mainly stuck on getting chocolate…. and good-quality chocolate – none of those overly, sweet excuses of brown-colored sugary cocoa butter), I’m honestly not that much of a romantic and my husband? Less so. Much less so. Not to mention the fact that before Valentine’s Day, people would ask what your plans were for that particular day. I don’t know about you, but it seems as if they’re unconsciously comparing — whose plans trumps whose? Who is the better couple? Should I be jealous or – better yet – you’re the jealous one?

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Spiced Beondegi??

I went out with my sister today at our usual and favorite vegetarian Indian restaurant. We piled on the food and sat down, while waiting for the steaming naan to come out. Then, we shoveled it in, as if regular breaths were not necessary for survival. The flavors were extraordinary and as I wiped my nose – though Korea has increased my tolerance of spicy foods exponentially, I’m still far from being immune from it’s effects (i.e. pink tint to the face, runny nose) – I took another bite of the palak paneer, my favorite Indian dish… only to encounter a crunch.

Palak paneer is basically paneer, or Indian cheese, in a curried spinach puree. At the most, the only resistance my teeth should be feeling is the slight texture change of the cheese, which is reminiscent of extra firm tofu. Being as this is my favorite dish, I’ve had it multiple times before and it was one of the main reasons I return to this restaurant. They always have it on their buffet menu. There’s nothing in it that should be that crispy or crunchy – like a frito chip. I suddenly felt like something was wrong so I froze and stopped chewing after that first chomp down.

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Coursera: Education for the Masses

Roughly three months ago, or shortly after my return to the States, a friend of mine had told me about this website that offered free online classes to anyone as long as they had Internet access called Coursera. On top of that, they’re all taught by professors from well-acclaimed institutions of further education. Of course, I did a little bit of research; it seemed too good to be true, especially for my incredibly bored self, just coming through the transition of being a Busy Bee in Korea and a semi-Bum here, at the time. Honestly, all I did was go to their About Us page since I was pretty desperate and here’s a basic introduction:

We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students.

Classes offered on Coursera are designed to help you master the material. When you take one of our classes, you will watch lectures taught by world-class professors, learn at your own pace, test your knowledge, and reinforce concepts through interactive exercises. When you join one of our classes, you’ll also join a global community of thousands of students learning alongside you. We know that your life is busy, and that you have many commitments on your time. Thus, our courses are designed based on sound pedagogical foundations, to help you master new concepts quickly and effectively.

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I Want to be a Flying Octopus!

It’s crazy to think that I’ve been out of school (and by ‘school’, I mean my undergraduate studies) for almost two years. It’s simply amazing how time flies now that I’m getting older and older. Next thing I know, I’ll be on my deathbed. Can’t wait. However, before then comes the age-old question of what do you do next.

I have friends who have had their (hopefully) Permanent Job ever since they graduated or have otherwise found their niche in life. Some even bought their first house and/or car. I have friends who are still in the transitional phase like me, or are temporarily doing something – waiting for something bigger and, preferably, better – also like myself. Then I thought of when I was still in grade school and we had journal topics on what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember making up class rolls at home and I played with that; I just loved the idea of telling people what to do and have them listen to me as a teacher. Now that I’ve been a teacher, among other things, I know that’s not the case. I also know that I’m just not teacher material – I’m too impatient, too much of an introvert, I prefer working alone, and I’ve a mind that works at my every whim in the most random of manners. I’m not consistent. However, there’s a difference between childhood fantasies (it never went farther than a teacher and then my next “epiphany of the future” was when I had randomly applied to a magnet high school and their medical sciences program) and reality. Once in high school and enrolled in such specific courses, I switched between so many occupations within the health sciences arena that I just simply wanted to try it all.. just nothing too boring. Unfortunately for me, once I got used to something, it got boring.

Now, reality (and my age) comes knocking at my door. Truthfully speaking, I’m not that old, but I’m definitely not that young anymore. After all, if I were to come into my work office with my hair in pigtails, a lollipop stuck in my mouth, and donning on a pair of neon yellow overalls (don’t hate; I used to have a pair of neon yellow cargo pants), people would think I didn’t belong. The adult world is full of rules, pressures, expectations, wants…

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The Relativity of Right and Wrong

When it’s time for one of the life-changing events to happen to me, it usually comes out of nowhere – hard and fast. On Tuesday, I got a job interview and on Wednesday was my first day of work. After my third full day of work, I finally find the time to think up and write another post, this time on something that’s been bugging me ever since I came to this realisation some ten years ago.

See, one of the things my mom loves to nag at me about is my seeming obsession over my laptop. I can sit before it for hours on end. Not completely nonstop, of course; I still tend to move around a little, but I can pretty much sit there for a long time. It’s been a long battle between us, whether it’s due to fanfiction (yes, I’m an avid fanfiction reader and proud of it), dramas, or little projects like blogs, research, and brainstorming. You would think that when I get a job where I sit in front of a laptop for 7 hours a day crunching numbers, among other things, she would be against it. Think again.

Then there’s how my mother refused to let my sister take the highways to get anywhere. I fortunately escaped this, as I went to a university outside of my city, but on top of that, I suppose my sister didn’t mind too much, but you bet I was surprised when I had given my sister directions to go to the mall and had instructed her to get on on the highway only for her to shoot questions at me at how it works because it was her first time driving on the highway. The sole thought running through my mind: how in the world did she get her license??

I understand the motivation behind both of these situations. After all, staring too much at a computer of some sort isn’t good for one’s eyes or health – you become a blob, something America doesn’t need more of. As for driving on the highway, cars do tend to travel at high speeds – I know because I’m one of them – so if you don’t have a good reaction speed or aren’t very observant, there’s a chance that it can be a dangerous trip. However, apparently slowly harming yourself due to a job (read: money) – the fact that I work for a company that deals with oil companies makes it all the better – makes it all right. My sister also isn’t helping the environment any nor is she getting anywhere fast, due to spending a good amount of her time on the road after an hour long commute to school and back. Granted that though the traffic here doesn’t get quite as bad as the traffic in L.A., it’s still nothing to scoff at. So then, it all comes down to how there’s essentially no right or wrong, as everyone’s perception of either idea is essentially up to them: their priorities, personal beliefs, particular circumstances, and I suppose this generally accepted idea of what is right (helping the elderly woman cross the street) and what is wrong (killing people) having been enforced since childhood.

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The Receptacle

The first post is the hardest post, so I pondered over it for approximately 3.4 minutes until I came up with something that I deemed appropriate. Then it took an additional 7 minutes to get a basic mental outline of how it could come about. Either way, here I am and tonight, I will talk about our physical bodies.

Wow, that just reminded of my teaching days. Talk about blast to the past.

This here is a chibi-fied Yagami Raito from Death Note. Adjacent to him is a house. They are one and the same.

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