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

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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Being a Tourist in Korea

I was all sorts of excited as the day I would be on my way to Korea came. It felt like forever, as I had purchased the tickets five or so months before, but all I could think about was my upcoming adventures and, of course, my many moments of reminiscing. And so, one of my friends who would be traveling with me from the beginning to end slept over the night before and at 4:15 in the morning, we headed off to the airport.

Of course, our first flight was delayed an hour and a half but we finally made it to San Francisco International Airport for our connecting flight. Because of our previous flight, we missed our original flight but we got another one through Asiana, which was great, but as a vegetarian, I was worried. They had no record of the vegetarian meal that I had booked a week before with my original airline. Hence, I was stuck with picking out the meat from my meals, reminding me of what I would need to go through once I arrived in Korea.

No matter (though I would be lying if I said the lack of food options in Korea never bothered me after I stuffed my face in Taiwan and Hong Kong on my vacation earlier this year), because for some odd reason, Korea had already won me over when I lived here for a year, but at that point when I was only a couple hours away from Incheon, I could only hope that would remain the same. …And it did.

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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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Shoes or Barefoot?

When I was in elementary school, I loved to walk outside on the concrete pavement barefoot. Why? To my 9-year-old brain, I believed that one day, when the world reached its end and we no longer had factories to make shoes, I would be one step ahead of others as the bottom of my feet would be more acquainted with walking without protective footwear. After all, if our biological ancestors could do it, so could I. Plus, I hated to have anything on my feet – shoes? socks? Simply unnecessary luxuries and they cramped my style. My 9-year-old pride also hated being dependent on something else that could easily be taken away from me; I know, I had odd thoughts.

Now, a little over a decade later, the bottoms of my feet are a bit thicker than most so I occasionally like peeling off the extra skin because if I don’t, it can occasionally get too hard. You didn’t need to know that. Anyway, I suppose I succeeded in my goal. Although I’ve thrown that idea out the window for a good number of years now, I still prefer doing things without anything on my feet. This could be for convenience and comfort’s sake or just because I feel lazy.

When I was in Beijing for vacation last summer, I brought along my jump rope so I could get some cardio into it, amidst the mandatory gaining weight phenomenon that people usually undergo. We had gone to Japan before China, but our hostel wasn’t very accommodating to exercise. See, I may be on vacation, but when I returned to Korea, my taekwondo instructors were still going to treat it as if I hadn’t left so I couldn’t fall behind. We stayed with my sister’s friend and one day, before dinner, I decided to get back to it. I moved the coffee table to the side, took a deep breath, and began jumping rope barefoot. On his tiled floor. Smart going, there. I forgot that the floor in the do-jang is made of some sort of padded material, similar to a yoga mat but perhaps a bit thicker. As a result, jumping rope at the speed I was going wasn’t going to end up the same way as it would in the do-jang.

About five minutes straight of jumping rope, I realised something was off. My foot hurt. I did it for another minute, because I’ve gotten my right foot sprained thrice before, two times of which happened when I began taekwondo, so I thought it was just acting up. Then, I realised that this pain wasn’t coming directly from my ankle. Swell. I ended up walking with a limp for the next five days. Just yesterday, I decided to jog around my house. Half of my jogging route is tiled. My feet started to hurt so I stopped after just three minutes, because I don’t want to bandage my foot and ankle again – not when I left my pressurized can of Air Pass and bandages in Korea.

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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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