Sunday, December 16, 2007


Mailed my extra books already to my aunt. We were talking about achy stuff during cold weather, and my right knee hurts sometimes when it's cold, and now, it's 30-40 Fahrenheit (about 5 Centigrade) here :-s OhmyGOD. I should've bought a pair of gloves and a hat, but by that time, coming from Wholefoods, I wanted to look at the ones in Whole Earth, but I wasn't feeling well anymore: I had eaten a sausage patty (gasp!) with a Belgian waffle and some whipped butter and some eggs (with salt and tomato ketchup, of course) for lunch, with some fresh OJ and a slice of lemon meringue pie (ok, just the crust and the lemon jello: the meringue was soft and sickly sweet) and I got a case of the runs. I didn't have milk, so it couldn't be that. My friend Angie thinks it's the pork; I was feeling the need for something more solid, so I ate the sausage patty: boy am I still regretting it now. Just fish and eggs and tofu, I guess. Oh, man. Speaking of food, my aunt went to this chi-chi place that had uniformed wait staff and a piano playing, $42 a head, she said. Yikes. There was caviar, but she said it wasn't anything special for her. And I quote: "They have Caviar. I don't understand what the big deal is about those little round things. Nothing that I can think of. Tasted it and then next......They had rock crabs, shrimp, freshly made sushi, salmon, lobster in little cups with something mixed in it, salad galore, grilled portobello mushroom, onions and eggplant, mussels, oysters , omelet bar and so many things." Whoo, sounds good! But different strokes for different folks, I guess. Speaking of portobello mushroom, I bought some today at Wholefoods with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. Also got creamed garlic spinach, and crab cakes, with thousand-island dressing sauce on the side, I think: not sure. Sounds good, huh??? :-)

I was looking at spending Easter (vacation #3) with my aunt: was figuring 5 days would be good: maybe March 17-21, Holy Monday to Good Friday, or Monday to Saturday, 17-22? Whatever. And this time I'm getting a direct flight! Man: switching planes is taxing! :-/ Plus she won't be going back to work yet, so we can paint the town red ;)

I was thinking of what my parents were telling me about people wanting to take a class under me, and I thought of space heaters: I need to get some: I can't teach a cold class, it's not allowed, especially beginning students. And maybe a little air purifier so the room won't smell of sweat: that's what Pye does in her little studio-room. Was looking at Honeywell, at this baby, at, and at EdenPure. Need need need these.

Had a weird dream in which I was friends with the Dalai Lama and we were riding up and down this hospital elevator, and I questioned him about the Tibetan religion and why death is such a big part of it and he said I was...not insulting...superceding...something like disrespecting, the core essence of their religion, their reason for being, and he shut me out of the elevator?! Then the dream shifted and in flashback it turned out I had a daughter at a very young age, and life was hard for me (still set in the same hospital), and supposedly my parents disapproved and were unsupportive. And I was constantly trying to make ends meet, running away from my evil lecherous boss. Then I woke up. Weird. By the way, my daughter's name was Sophie/Sofie, I made sure of that. And I remembered thinking the day before that I would want to name a daughter that if I ever had one. So weird.

And NWN 2 is coming to the Mac!!! Woot!

In any case, I'm tired: taking class was good for my (sinus) headache, but my nose is still dripping. So I should get some rest. 4 more days!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Almost Christmas

As I have grown older, I have come to be more and more jaded about Christmas with each passing year. Too much commercial hype, less centering on what I always felt was more important: family, and to a certain extent, friends.

Well, this Christmas may be different. This Christmas, I am traveling halfway across the world to be with my parents this Christmas, and that...that just puts a different spin on things. It makes the world crazy, but right again. As Bikram says, the right way is always the hard way. 6 more days, and I will be going home for the holidays. Home, where it is warm, familiar, where I can be waited on hand and foot. I used to deplore that, hate that, but for a little break, it can be nice to have someone else cook and clean and launder, and not worry about it all.

Last week had me teaching 12 classes. Holy cow. 12. And of those 12, I taught two triples (three classes in one day). It was a crazy week. Crazy because people were getting sick but good because people who were ok (touch wood) were able to pick up and make it work. And I was one of those people. Yey! This week's teaching schedule of 8 classes has ended for me and I can now rest easy: Sundays are my day off, as per my request, which was duly honored, for which I am grateful for.

I'm almost fully-packed, have 5 more classes to teach...and I'll be on my way home for a little two-week break. A BREAK. And I mean it: hopefully I can be lazy and grow moss or something. Or maybe teach a few classes, take a few classes; we'll see. For now, I've gotta mail Ninang Noli my extra books, try to squeeze in some yoga, get my pre-Christmas massage on Monday, and maybe go out with Beth, check out Lululemon where I heard Bikram yoga teachers have a discount if they present their certificate: can't WAIT.

I just hope I end my last pre-holiday break strong.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Week in the Life

18 days to departure (for Christmas and New Year's in tropical Manila)! I taught 10 classes in a week for the first time. It was surprisingly good, but whew am I tired. I taught two 6 am's, which meant I was up by 4:30, to be in front of the desk by 5:30. That night, because I only had late classes the next day, I slept--for 9 hours straight. The next night, I slept for 8 hours. Wow.

Tonight, even after a salmon burger dinner, I still ate A LOT. Seriously. Let's see. One peppermint cup, one peanut butter cup, some peanut butter cereal, a gingerbread man, a fibrey muffin, then a fillet of tilapia and some asparagus. Before this, I was craving sugarsugarsugar; strangely, after this binge, I feel a LOT better--calmer, saner. Does that make sense?! Well, before this, I had some salmon for lunch at the Hobbit Café, then washed it down with a delish Starbucks peppermint mocha frappuccino! Well, it just didn't agree with me. I had the same case the last time when I went to Raven Grill and had a pasta primavera with cheese and salmon. It also had some tomatoes and cheese, just like today's salmon burger had tomatoes and I had a drink with dairy after. Well, today my stomach went on death throes. Man oh man. But I'm better now, obviously! *Makes note to self to avoid tomatoes, caffeine and dairy in the future*

Not using my new computer yet for Internet; will do that once I get it connected to the studio's internet system. But I'm still thinking of what name to christen my new MacBook. Was thinking Tilly.

Apple sent me the wrong keyboard protector, so I am sending it back (thank you, Angelina!). At the same time, I finally rode on the Spiderwick series and You series bandwagons; looks promising. Got them all at least half-off on Amazon. Yey.

Houston is nice, once you get to explore it, like what I did last Thursday after a nice lunch at Raven Grill, a nice semi-upscale resto along Bissonnet, in the search for better water bottles (they say bad quality plastic leak out into water molecules: best is supposedly the Nalgene brand), food that doesn't come from a can (because the parents said so), the perfect yoga top (Prana Sabin Racer in Coral Paisley, thankyouverymuch) and a cold-weather mule. I found everything except the top, which I found the very next day, online, after looking and looking for it in San Diego and their online store. I got these shoes in the eco-store, Whole Earth (no relation to Whole Foods the super-expensive grocery superstore): Merrell Encore Chill, size 9.5 in black. Very snuggly and warm, and with a sole good enough to walk the town with, plus with a waterproof exterior (though I just found out it's pigskin, oh well)! I found Bookstop/Barnes and Noble, too, right next to Whole Earth, and as I said, there's this gorgeous cupcake boutique bakery called Sugarbaby's along the same road (South Shepherd) that I visited on my way back, where I got to taste-test a cupcake! I also saw an independent jewelry shop, and a fresh-foods cafe that had a Greek flair to it (Zoë's). And along Shepherd is also Star Pizza, which serves one of the best pizzas in the US, supposedly. You can order by the slice and even choose your own toppings: it's pretty good.

Then last Friday, I went with a friend across town and we walked another friend's two dogs. He has two dogs, and the younger one that he rescued runs in front of cars, and goes ballistic when she sees other dogs. They wore us out, haha.

So if you are ever in the Houston area and want to hang out with me, bring your walking shoes as I do not drive. We can start on a nice leisurely walk by going to the museum district on bus, maybe even catch a movie nearby, or by straightaway walking along Shepherd and stopping at Star Pizza which supposedly serves one of the best pizzas in the US, then walking along further and stopping at Sugarbaby's, a gorgeous cupcake boutique (closed on Sundays). A few blocks more will find us at Whole Earth, a fantastic eco-store, with a Barnes and Noble next to it. If we walk a bit farther, we reach Westheimer, where there is St. Anne's, a Catholic church (I finally found the way to walk there!). Then on the way back, walking along Kirby (parallel to Shepherd), we can turn in to West Alabama, where the eco-superstore Whole Foods is, and either eat dinner (if we still have space!) there, or Tex Mex at Mission Burritos (where they have fantastic fish tacos corn chips, a tortilla soup, and gigantic build-your-own-burritos!), or eat veg-friendly/macrobiotic at Field of Greens. So yes, I have obviously been walking around, haha. Next mission is to stake out Kroger on Westpark by foot and explore the fantastic eateries around, not to mention Tapioca Express!

It's been fogging up lately, or raining the whole day (additionally making the heat/humidity in the room a true balancing act!). Houston weather is weird like that, but it also is humid, something California isn't, making Houston much kinder on the skin than dry California. I do admit, though, San Diego weather is plain gorgeous...except when it comes to termites. I do not want to have to deal with that, if ever. Yikes.

*Purchase-wise: I am waiting for muh Skinny Jeans (will they really make my legs look skinny?), stuff from Dr. Schulze (long overdue!), the Spiderwick box set and fairy book, the two You manual books, Mom's Rex Ray book from Amazon, and the iSkin from Apple.

Sometimes, sometimes I wish time would slow down. Dang, I wish I could be a kid again and have no worry in the world. Growing up is overrated. But then again, it IS cool, just...a bit too in-your-face sometimes, you know?

And now Christmas looms up ahead. What to give, what to give; that is the question.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Updates

Just got into Houston from my little vacation in San Diego. I got to eat too much, sleep as much as I wanted to, play and cuddle with dogs, watch tv and the occasional movie, go to the mall (an outdoor i.e. animal-friendly one), and even try something completely different: I got to ride a motorbike, oh excuse me, a Harley. I've been getting antsy progressively with each day without yoga. No Grey's Anatomy: no time! I'll squeeze in as much viewing time as possible tonight, before having to prepare to teach.

We spent Thanksgiving at my cousin's house. Very nice. Thanksgiving feels like the way Christmas used to feel: sans gifts, just talking and sharing and eating. It was nice. Had cornbread for the first time. Ohmygod YUMMY. Then my cousin Maribel's husband Brent has a HUGE audio-visual system in their basement: it's like being in a theater. And he has a room for a cellar. Seriously.

And yeah, for now, I'm hanging up my vegan coat, though still keeping vestiges. No dairy if possible, for instance, just because my allergies flare up and my stomach gets upset when I ingest dairy; no white rice/bread: brown rice/bread instead; no meat i.e. four-footed/winged animals. But I'm caving in to fish, especially salmon and sardines..and maybe eggs sometimes. No caviar if I can avoid it: too rich. No anchovies, either: not good for my blood type. And of course, tofu will still always have a place in my stomach. Living on my own with no kitchen and having a very small sink leaves much to be desired as a vegan. Too difficult, in the end, denigrating to my being a junkfood vegan, eating more processed food, something I was always against. So veganism will have to wait in the wings for now. Ever since I started ingesting animals again, I felt better, less bloated, clearer, more grounded. I started going vegan to detoxify my body, to bring balance to it. Perhaps this time I need to tip the balance back to include some animal-sourced food. So we'll see how this goes.

Anyway. Where was I. Oh yeah: the bike ride. It's different from riding a car, or walking. When you round a curve, it's like you curve along with the road: you and the bike are one. Plus with the wind in your face, it's a different experience altogether.

Then there will be a Bikram yoga studio opening this winter in Bonita, right next to the post office. It was supposed to open this fall, but I guess there were still things that needed to be done. Seriously, Bikram yoga keeps me sane: it keeps my moods more or less regular: heck, I was even thinking about my dialog while I was on the bike! Ninang Nilo said I should check out employment at the Bonita studio when it opens, but since I've been exposed to Houston, I find I like the Texan pace more. People are a bit more laid back, a lot more gracious, and prices are also a bit cheaper! Plus I've more or less so far found good in Houston: Mike and Joani have only been kind, and they have not let up on encouragement at the same time keeping my nose to the grindstone, dialog-wise, but still giving me space. It's difficult to explain. Plus the work environment seems like a family's, actually, which is a wonderful surprise. Anyway, at this point in time, things can change, hopefully for the better. We'll see how it goes. It still remains that Mike and Joani are senior teachers, and (I feel) THE senior teachers to learn from; I feel so fortunate to be training and working under them. The driving and other forms of income will come later: I acknowledge they are very important, if I want to continue teaching yoga for a living. But at this point in time, I am a teacher, and that is my priority: to teach flawless dialog, with panache, and confidence and verve. Everything else can come after.

Purchase-wise, I'm waiting for Dad's Vilebrequin burgundi paisley okoa shorts, and the last of the 4 Christmas CD's I ordered, to add to the Cafe del Mar CD, Sopranos DVDs, the Qtips, floss and tweezers. For myself, I'm waiting for my Skinny Jeans (I hope they really make my legs look thinner, geez!), an all-purpose vegan cookbook, new MacBook, woohoo! With all the fixin's, of course. I can't wait.

I'm fixin' to go to bed as I'm pretty tuckered out. By the way, do y'all like Boston terriers? I find them absolutely precious li'l things, as seen in the above picture.

Alright, maybe I can still squeeze in some Grey's time...or not. Over and out!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Daylight Saving Ends

...or ended, today. There's a saying that goes, "Fall back, spring forward." Or something like that, pertaining to DST. So it being fall, we got an extra hour of sleep. Yey! Daylight Saving resumes on March 9, 2008. There's a new law that states: "Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time is extended one month and begins for most of the United States at 2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March and lasts until 2 a.m. on the First Sunday of November. The new start and stop dates were set in the Energy Policy Act of 2005." From this site.

Have a cold sore, and have had it for about three days now. Or longer, But the past three days have made licking my lips or talking a bit painful. Argh. This site says to avoid arginine-rich foods and encourages lysine. It also says this sore can stay for up to four weeks?! Holy cow. I guess I just need to hydrate more.

I've been enjoying my weekly Bleach anime/manga and Grey's Anatomy. Derek Shepherd is still very, very cute, with his sad expressive eyes. The latest episode of Grey's Anatomy was especially nice when the guy having conscious open-heart surgery(!) was describing his "audience, " likening them to birds as per Izzie's suggestion. Got all fuzzy and sappy. Argh. I am feeling every part of my singlehood. But I figure it best to wait for the right person to come along, my very own Mr. Darcy. I've been debating about this for a while now, and I figure that financial stability, familial support, little to no complications, i.e. a stable future, is better than passion, and crazy-powerful emotions, instant gratification, i.e. the here and now: that can come later (and hopefully will!). So I figure I'll suck up my hormones and crazy emotions (angst, weird loneliness, over-introspection) and just bide my time. [Besides, if I make an effort to make contact and don't get anything in response, I guess that says something, ne?]

Retail-wise, I got some facial products from Mario Badescu which I hear is really good. I also got literature for type A in the Blood Type Diet: we'll see how that goes. Then just got my Yoga Toes, and tried them on. They act like braces for teeth, only they're for the feet. That's how they feel, at least. Then got the first season of I Love Lucy. Watched the first two episodes: ohmyGod so funny: Mom wasn't kidding. Ricky Rickardo and Lucy Rickardo. Ooh! I forgot to mention a gift Stefan and Mercy (fellow teachers) gave me over the weekend: an actual Shit List! It's hilarious: there's a portion of it that says "Plan of Attack: Confront/Ignore/Stew/Avenge/Talk Shit" Too cute! [Story: Someone had said, "That person's on my list." And I said, "What list?" And person referred to The Shit List, and I was still clueless!]

For future ka-chings, I'm looking at Skinny Jeans, this brand that promises to "scoop out thighs, lengthen legs, tuck in (the) tummy, and shape out (the) butt." Sounds good to me! Of course, I am super excited to order the MacBook for Christmas, oh man. Then gotta get some Christmas music for Mom & Dad, as well as real good tweezers, Q-tips, and dental floss. Mustn't forget those. Lately, I told Mom about these yummy, tart-tasting beans from Wholefoods, and the ingredients are: gigande beans, canola oil, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Delish. Maybe we can try making them during the holidays. And speaking of holidays, 18 days to Thanksgiving, 18 days to the end of my first 60-day challenge, 18 days to a little vacation to San Diego with Ninang Nilo! Exciting!

Teaching-wise, the week went off to a rocky start: I taught the Monday 12 nn and 4:30 pm. The 4:30 was a pretty big class and I was not able to manage the class, stumbling on my words and at times saying the wrong thing. I was so bummed out about it as this hadn't happened to me in a while, and I told Mike so, and then we figured I was doing too many things too soon. First of all, I do not correct yet, instead focusing on the dialog: that should be able to correct most people. Next, I should NOT leave the stage (except to check the count): in Mike's words, "You are nailed to that stage." Then of course, to constantly improve my dialog mastery, some ways being to take teachers with strong dialog, and to tape my classes, reviewing them after.

Prior to this, however, I had not been sleeping well, getting really exhausted and dropping off to bed right away, say 11 pm, only to wake up around 3 or 4 am to do laundry, fold towels, shower, brush my teeth, remove my contact lenses, that sort of thing. Only then would I go back to bed, and of course I'd wake up again exhausted, over and over again. On the 5th night/6th day (Tuesday, coincidentally the day after I had that bad 4:30 class), I woke up and decided to stay up. And I was wide awake: I helped Mike out with his 6 am class, and then retreated to the lounge to practice my dialog, have some breakfast. Somewhere in between though, I started getting sleepy, and told myself, "what's the harm in having a little nap?" I set an alarm, and that was that. Next thing I knew, Mike was pounding on my door, and when I opened it at 8 am, asked if I was teaching the 8 am. I was still too befuddled to think straight, but I changed into yoga clothes right away, and went out. Mike asked me if I was ready to teach class, but it was pretty obvious I wasn't, and he was furious (in his words, "very upset, dammit"), justifiably so. [Story: he had thought I was awake as I was awake for the 6 am so he and Annemarie didn't bother checking up on me 'til it was about 7:58. As for me, I didn't hear my alarm, and where I usually set 3, this time I set 1. Oops.] It took a while to sink in, but when it did, I was shaken to the core. This was my worst nightmare come to life. I called Joani, Roy, Stefan, and Andrea, telling them what happened, too distraught to say anything else. Then I buckled down by the desk and studied dialog. After, I was set to teach my (supposed) 2nd class, and I couldn't even bring myself to look at Mike in the hallway, much less speak to him. That class I stayed on the stage, and stuck to the dialog. And I taught a good class (Stefan took it and told me so, though he said I should beef up my floor postures): I hardly stuttered, if at all, even giving a good introduction. Afterwards, I got messages of assurance from Roy and Joani, [Joani] telling me that everyone has missed a class at one point or another, so to not be too hard on myself. Plus it was the day before Mike was leaving for teacher training, so that must have also put some pressure. Also, that we should set up an appointment  for me with Jie Bo, the resident acupuncturist. Afterwards, Joyce (Joani's sister, also a fellow teacher and the assistant director at Fountain View) came over and reassured me, too (Roy told her). She also gave me candy from Lala from Mexico. They're milky, caramelly, like pastillas de leche from Manila. Yum. Might just bring the rest for Mom. Incidentally, Mike came by, too, but I was still too scared to approach him since the morning's faux pas. Andrea and I were emailing the whole time, and she was telling me to call him to apologize, because I wanted to apologize; I was just too scared to. Instead, I emailed him. I told Jack about it, too. I was writing the email down to give to Mike (that's as close as I could get) when Mike came in and went up to me. That was all I needed: if he was willing, so was I. I said sorry, and he said he knew I didn't intend to do that (faux pas), and we hugged, and I cried a bit (He said, "you've got something in your eye" and hugged me. Aw.). Good ending from a bad start.

That night, I followed Andrea's suggestions to stay in bed, and keep a straight sleep cycle. It was a bit tough to break the bad habit of sleeping and waking up and sleeping again, but I did it, and it made a big difference. That plus staying on the stage, etc: the rest of my classes were a LOT better. Incidentally, on Thursday, I taught a 6 am & 8 am class. 6 am classes, Mike told me, require a lot of energy. My previous 6 am's were not that good, hence him picking it back up for me. So this was my 1st one without him in a while. And to my surprise and delight, it went fine. Even better, a student (Mike W) told me after that that was the first class where he did ALL postures! How cool is that. :)

This weekend was a lazy, 3-day break. I could've done more. No bike rides, just the Internet, and the bed, and a Thai dinner on the side (with Andrea, Ben, and Annemarie). Oh well. Maybe next time. I actually really should. But we'll see. That bike looks scary. Oh well. 'Til next time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Not-so groundhog days

Been teaching, as usual. Energy has been getting better. Teachers/friends who haven't taken my class in a while took it again and said I've majorly improved. Well, hopefully I can just improve more. Dr. Schulze's Superfood is beneficial, plus that session with Yamini (the Indian lady who does SRT: Soul Response Therapy) was good, and put some things into perspective, as well as gives me stuff to work on. And it was on Mike and Joani, which was even better. They said it's their gift to me, how sweet. Do you know, if I teach here a year, I can teach a private class, which goes for $100???? Same time, 90 minutes, but instead of $40 a class, it becomes $100--just for a private class, though. But still! Which reminds me to look up writing opportunities: gotta build up a portfolio first before anything else.

It's been getting colder here. I had thought Texas would stay warm, as I read that it's consistently warm here, in the 70s. Wrong. It gets to the 50s here, and since the building is made of brick (I think), it can sometimes be colder inside than outside. I find that bizarre. I'm so glad I went to the Galleria on Thursday and bought at Victoria's Secret and Gap. I got more loungey, fun clothes at Victoria's Secret (2 fleece hoodies-1 red, 1 grey with stars; 3 fleece pants in 3 different styles-1 navy, 1 Pepto Bismol pink, and 1 dark grey; and 1 cuuute cherry-pajama set that I can use around the studio), and more going-out clothes at the Gap (1 black wool pullover-dress with button-up turtleneck option; 1 water-resistant parka w/removable hoodie; 2 longsleeved shirts on sale-1 navy, 1 black; and 1 dark grey poncho with pockets!) I hear it can go down to 40. With these clothes, I'll be ok. A nice plus to going to the Galleria is I learned to take the bus, which is easier than the route the bus company gave when I called. Should use the bus tomorrow as I can't always rely on other people to bring me around. Might do that for groceries, too: easier than trying to go to the Farmer's Market open only 'til noon. We'll see; I teach the last class tomorrow evening, so I dunno yet. One nice thing about this weather is it's fixing my skin again: the heat made it break out a little, which the cold is now drying up.

Had a massage with Inga, the resident RMT (registered massage therapist) yesterday, on my day off yesterday. Fantastic. There's something about registered masseuses working the body. She didn't seem to be kneading me to a pulp; it was great. She told me something about (dry) body brushing, which she says is good for balancing hormones out. Then she played this CD just of waves. I borrowed it and downloaded it to my iTunes. I love the sound of waves. Afterwards, we had the meeting, wherein afterwards we were given $10 (for the hour we spent in the meeting: very nice of Mike and Joani to do). Then Ben (Andrea's fiance) and I went to the Mac OS Leopard launch at the Galleria, which I noted is actually pretty close to Intercon (BUT the traffic is horrendous!). We didn't get the free t-shirts anymore, oh well. Still, it looks really nice. Being in an Apple store is like being in a candy shop. It's like I want to try everything! I looked at the new iPods, and they look really nice (I liked the red in particular), but I read reviews that say the previous iPods worked better. Ben was telling me to get the white MacBook instead of the black because he said white is the distinctive color of Apple, but Andrea said to get the black. If white had that extra memory that the black does, I would've as I also like the white more, but it doesn't, so no go. I am pretty excited to order the MacBook, maybe by the 1st week of December?

Then Andrea, Ben and I went to the almost-all-vegan restaurant called Field of Green's last night on West Alabama. Man oh man; I got my vegan-fake-meat fix right there. They have very good vegetarian food: I like these vegan fish tacos that taste like that fake crab meat in sushi, with seaweed. Then I also recently tried a fake-chicken mushroom with portabello: YUM. They have this vegan chocolate cake that is absolutely SUPERB (I tried the chocolate tofu pie; I like the cake more) The owner's this Chinese woman from Shenzhen. Very nice. I also ordered some vegan food online recently: Tings, these chips with nutritional yeast; vegan gummi bears, a new vegan Snickers-like candy bar; and Liz Lovely Cowgirl cookies, the best vegan chocolate chip cookies that taste like cookie dough: again, YUM. I also recently ordered these yoga toe separators that should help with my bunion. Will see how that goes; maybe it will give me straight feet in the future. I love being able to do that here through the internet, and it arriving safe and sound (touch wood) to me.

Just finished watching Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy online--for free! It's my weekly fix, aside from the anime Bleach ;) Tomorrow, I might hang out at that bookstore (Brazos) again across the street. I got a really nice book there, called Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. I've been doing too much to stop and read it, but it sounds pretty good so far: it's a story set in France on the Holy Grail; Steve Berry of "The Templar Legacy" wrote a review at the back. It's really nice here. I like that there are shelters where you can put dogs/cats in or even adopt them from there, where a big advocacy on neutering and spaying is in place (so as to avoid unnecessary strays, etc). The people here are pretty laid back, as compared to the East Coast, and even to California. The mail system is fantastic, there are restaurants I know to go to (one of which is Mission Burritos, a Tex-Mex, veg-friendly place serving delicious tortilla chips and an awesome sangria-margarita frozen swirl: YUM--only on my days off, though!). The only thing here is that people drive a bit crazy, as Andrea puts it. But it's still pretty nice, nonetheless. It's a good city to settle in, I think. It does help that the South Blvd. studio is in a relatively nicer (and safer, albeit pricier) part of town. But we'll see: it's only been a bit over a month.

So I basically, teach...and teach, and that's my life here. Well, ok, add some laundry to the mix, and a freaky student every now and then, but eclipsed by supportive directors, colleagues, even students. Even Rosa, the cleaning lady, and I converse in Spanish: she teaches me a phrase or two sometimes: I'm glad of having studied a while in Salamanca! So yeah, it's been nice. I woke up to brush my teeth, remove my contacts and do the laundry. Now I'm going back to bed. So g'night!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coming Chill

So happy: we were just given a form for direct deposit for paychecks into any bank, which makes it so much easier for me: I don't have to walk to the bank anymore to deposit my check. I straightaway submitted my form to my director (Mike). Hopefully, should have more money saved by Christmas. Speaking of which, I'm thinking of buying a MacBook this Christmas; I'm also really excited about the new operating system, the (Mac OS) Leopard, coming out this Friday. So excited and curious about that.

Anyway, it's been getting cold here--the temperature's dropped to the 50s, and I did not bring warm enough clothes for this chill (Thin yoga shorts just won't cut it)! So I think I'll go look around Gap, maybe, if they have warm clothes. Or wherever nearby (and not so expensive!) on my day off. We'll see. This temperature change has also just been messing with my energy levels, ugh. To my chagrin, I wake up tired, I'm struggling again to teach, and even my yoga practice has been suffering: I feel like I die a million deaths in the hot room. Oh well. But Mike told me something sweet this evening: "I'm sure you've been told this so many times, but your backbend is just beautiful; it's amazing." Aw. :)

Mike's teaching the 6 am tomorrow, thank GOD; I teach the 8 am, then have to call Yamini for a "space clearing" appointment at 10:30 (am). Teaching the 10 am & 12 nn on Thursday, and then my day off on Friday, right in time for that (discounted!) massage. Counting the days...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rosy Day

Reason Why, Rachael Yamagata

My deep secret:
Until there is this ache in the pit of my belly
until my body quakes to its very core
I still reach out to you

and yet,

and yet.

are you already gone?
Are we too far gone?

I thought we were.

Are we really?
Should we, do we have to (be)?*

*Ignore me--I'm just getting sentimental.
Two days ago, something...odd? happened. I was set to teach at 10 am and 12 noon, so when I woke up at 7:15, I was pretty complacent. I puttered around, helping out at the front desk. The next class was at 8 am, and when by 7:45 the teacher who had switched with the original teacher set to teach hadn't arrived yet, I told the front desk person (Jack), and he called the teacher. Meanwhile, my director (Mike) wasn't pleased at what was happening, firstly because he wasn't informed of the switch, and which exactly led to the hullaballoo that was happening. It turned out that said teacher's alarm didn't go off, so Mike just said he'll teach class. Uh-oh. Then he turned to me, and said, "On second thought, can you teach it for me instead? You'd be doing me a huge favor, but if you can't, I can still teach it." What to do but say yes? And just like that, the humongous headache I had woken up with disappeared. With 15 minutes to go before class, no breakfast, no preparation whatsoever, ergo no time to get nervous(!), I went in there to teach. And I taught. And surprisingly, it went fine. WHOA?! My voice was a bit low and hoarse at times, but other than that, it went okay. I was set to teach the 10 am and 12 noon; that teacher took my 10 am class instead and I taught the 12 noon, and before that class, one of my students (Josie) came up to me and demanded "energy; I don't care what you say, but give me ENERGY!" And dammit, I think I did, which was pretty sweet.

Then yesterday was my day off. I went a little exploring...and checked out the nail salon across the street, which apparently also does waxing! Reasonable prices; I was only too happy to have stuff done there. I even got a hot stone massage on my legs after my pedicure, and a regular kneading massage on my shoulders and arms after my manicure! Nice. Afterwards, I checked out Brazos Bookstore a few doors down, which turned out not to be a Hispanic bookstore, but a regular, independent little bookstore! Very nice. It's a perfect place to just hang out and read in; they even had a little rocking chair, how sweet is that!

Back in the studio, my Dr. Schulze order arrived. Sweet! Then I remembered it was pay day, and I checked, and yes indeedy, I got my first paycheck. Very nice. It was such a good day, and banking on that, I gathered up the courage to call my bestest-but-no-longer-in-contact-with friend (Denee) up. We had a nice chat, to my surprise and delight. Hope we can chat sometime, or maybe even meet one of these days: she's in Austin, which isn't that far. Then I prepared for class, but class was canceled: the heat apparently wasn't working! The desk person (Annemarie) and I were at our wits' end, setting the heat up high, even calling Mike as well, but to no avail. So we canceled the last class, had to give out a free class to those who came to show up. Mike came up, and checked why this was occurring. It turned out that someone had flipped the toggle behind the stage, which was an emergency switch to turn the heat off. Dang. So Andrea (another desk person who had planned to take class) and I just had dinner at Mission Burritos instead (where I had a sangria-margarita swirl: yum!), and then hung out at her apartment afterwards, where we played with her kitties (Meadow and Wednesday) and fiddled around with facebook then watched Spanglish, haha.

Today, I started my Dr. Schulze products, which though great, taste horrible *shudder* Then I practiced my first back-to-back double. I was worried about how I'd fare in the second class, but to my surprise, I didn't have to sit out any posture, and most of my postures were more stable and I could go deeper into them! My backbend was better, though in my second set of the 3rd part of awkward I fell forward as I was coming out of it; my standing bow was deeper than I've ever done, and in the second set, I didn't fall out AT ALL; my floor bow was the deepest I ever had: I was rolling forward and my legs were WAY up; in camel, I saw my TOES; and in stretching pose, I'm just being able to go down more and more. Super super sweet. So yeah. Then talked to Mom and Dad not soon after. Very nice. Now to get ready to teach my 6:30 class (little to no stuttering and GREAT energy and be in COMMAND), and go with Mercy to watch Elizabeth: the Golden Age after. I'm hoping for the best.

Seriously, though, it's been just so great here. With great bosses and colleagues so far (touch wood!), and the ease of pretty-much-secure online shopping--having something you order come in without any worries (again, touch wood!), if I can really support myself here, maybe with a freelance writing job on the side or whatever, this city is looking more liveable by the second. Hopefully it can only get better and better.

To end--something that must be seen to believe (and enjoy!):

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Wonderful Weekend

Let me say that my one-month-mark weekend was just wonderful.

Saturday morning found me teaching two classes. Janna, Ana, and her current boyfriend took my first class. Then Stefan, Mercy, Cheryl, Andrea, and Annemarie took my second class. I was like, "ohmygod, it's raining teachers and staff! yikes!" But on hindsight, having them there gave me support, extra energy, plus they can only give me invaluable feedback for me to become a better teacher, which is great.

Then Saturday night had all of us staff gathered at Mike's and Joani's house in non-yoga wear for a staff party, and wow, everyone just looked gorgeous! Andrea and Ben were kind enough to allow me to tag along in their car. :) What was nice was that there were offers from Mauri, Lynn, and Mike as well. Too sweet! :) They were all very much appreciated. Joani ordered food from Niko Niko's, this American-Greek restaurant along Montrose (a bit farther than the museum), and she was thoughtful enough to order food for vegetarians, too. It was actually pretty good: off the top of my head, there was spinach lasagna, spinakopita, baklava, so yum. Also had one glass of red wine which quite satisfied my alcoholic urge to "get smashed," thank you very much. Tony beckoned me to show me something, only to show me a ROACH; eeeeek! :-s Finally got to meet Mike's mom, JoBeth, who is 94 and has been doing the standing series of Bikram yoga since she was 84(!); Jack's wife, Sharla, who is a veterinarian and rescues doggies, too; Marvin, whom I'd only met previously on facebook; Kate who works at Fountainview (Joani's studio); Kat, the girl who does the website; and lots more, though Lorena, my teacher training batchmate wasn't able to make it as she had her clan over from Mexico. But the highlight of my evening was meeting Mike's and Joani's doggies. OhmyGOD, losing my voice to play and grunt along with them was more than a fair exchange to monkey around with them, cuddle them, rub their bellies, have them lick my face and toes(!), all the while hearing those grunting noises "unh, unh, grunt, snort.." Sooooo cute. I was so happy I almost cried. George, Molly, and Tikka (French bulldogs), Alfie (a rescue dog!) Suki and Leelee (Pekingese, the former actually Mike's mom's dog): I love them all.

Then yesterday, Lynn took me around Houston, first to Hobbit Café on Portsmouth then to the Cochrell (aka Butterfly) Museum and then the Transco Tower, one of the tallest towers in Houston and the Water Wall Fountain, this amazing wall of water that can kinda got me dizzy from its sheer power. Gorgeous, gorgeous. We even went to Wholefoods afterwards for my groceries. Lynn's an absolute gem, having tremendous generosity and a huge, open heart.

Like I told Joyce that night at the party, the people here have been great, the support just breathtakingly and amazingly awesome. I've slowly been getting used to it, but I'm afraid to pinch myself, if this is just a dream. I sincerely hope not. I hope it'll last a long time.

As everyone knows, next project (besides dialog and voice projection!) is to ride a bike, courtesy of Cheryl. We'll see how that turns out...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

60-Day Challenge, Day 14

On day 14 of my 60-day challenge, my first double [for the challenge], as well. Man oh man, everything hurts, everything's stiff. I can't touch my forehead to the floor in Standing Separate Leg Stretching, my Backbend has gone back to halfway instead of an inch off the floor. Sucks. Lately, my left knee has started bothering me: I could barely bring it down in Fixed Firm; Mike told me to ease off that, reining in at any red-alarm hints of pain. Grr. Oh well.

Roy has challenged me to learn how to ride a bike, and enlisted Cheryl, Cheryl being the not-used-bike owner ;) Yes, I do not know how to ride a bike! Scary stuff: falling. Well, it would be a valuable skill to learn.

Party at Mike's and Joani's house on Saturday. Can't wait!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Heaven in a Spoon

So courtesy of Andrea who brought me to Wholefoods yesterday, among the groceries (my, how it DOES pile up!) I needed to buy, I found this brand of vegan ice cream that piqued my interest: NadaMoo. I had just had Turtle Mountain's Green Tea flavor which tastes EXACTLY like the dairy version, which was a pleasant surprise. However, I was wondering how a mint chocolate chip flavor would taste like. I had seen a carob peppermint flavor from Turtle Mountain that had less calories, but then my eyes strayed towards NadaMoo's funky (green!) packaging, mint-chocolate chip flavor. I scanned the ingredients, which seemed...interesting: coconut milk, amasake, agave nectar, spirulina, among others. From their website "ice cream that’s non-dairy, ice cream made with organic whole food ingredients, delicious ice cream, ice cream without high fructose corn syrup, creamy ice cream, ice cream without low-quality oils, satisfying ice cream, ice cream without isolated soy protein, refined sugars, artificial ingredients and colors." Sounds good to me. Still, coconut milk? In ice cream? My trepidations were all put to rest this lunch time (after teaching my classes for the day), when I tried it for the first time. So. f***in' good. Close-your-eyes-in-bliss-as-you're-transported-to-the-Himalayas good, go-back-to-the-freezer-and-scoop-out-another-serving good. Holy cow. Mm-mm-MM. DAMN good. Creamy without being fluffy (like dairy ice cream gets after a while), and just plain GOOD.

Next to try Turtle Mountain's slightly-less-healthy, less calorie-laden, Carob Peppermint. I am still reserving my verdict.

Just had Tofurky Jerky, too. Not bad. Satisfied the chewy, slightly-salty craving. Not advised for wheat allergy sufferers, though.

Next salty-craving hunt: Tings.

So yeah. Who said vegans are deprived????

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Week 4: Random Thoughts

This song just pulled at my heartstrings:

Be, Be Your Love - Rachael Yamagata

If I could take you away
Pretend I was queen
What would you say
Would you think I'm unreal
'Cause everybody's got their way I should feel

Everybody's talking how I can't can't be your love
But I want want want to be your love
Want to be your love, for real
Everybody's talking how I can't can't be your love
But I want want want to be your love
Want to be your love, for real
Want to be your everything, everything

Everything's falling, and I am included in that
Oh, how I try to be just okay
Yeah, but all I ever really wanted
was a little piece of you

and everybody's talking how I can't can't be your love
But I want want want to be your love
Want to be your love, for real
Everybody's talking how I can't can't be your love
But I want want want to be your love
Want to be your love, for real

Everything will be alright
if you just stay the night

Please, sir, don't you walk away don't you walk away don't you walk away
Please, sir, don't you walk away don't you walk away don't you walk away

Everybody's talking how I can't can't be your love
But I want want want to be your love
Want to be your love, for real

Wanna be your love love love love love
I wanna be your love your love love love

I love how she sings. And I've always loved to sing--though more in the privacy of my room, or anonymous among my fellow choirmates. But yes, music is in my blood, my lifesong, just as I love writing, or yoga. One day, maybe I can make something out of it.

In the teaching circuit, we've all been told to dress modestly, meaning a tank top showing little to no cleavage, and capris or at the very most shorts no higher than mid-thigh. That means no Shakti-esque shorts. Makes sense, though--we can't afford our students to focus on anything BUT the yoga! However, back in training, I remember Ren already telling us this: "no bikinis when you teach; be a model to everyone: wear a tank top and capris." What he said never left me as I began to teach; besides, I am not comfortable baring my stomach except when I practice, and even then it is to have a better practice!

Went to the Museum of Fine Arts on foot the day before yesterday from the studio. Fun--except when it started to rain. Luckily, I had grabbed a free magazine along Bissonnet: that was my umbrella (Note to self: bring your umbrella when you walk--at all times!) That plus I saw a dead squirrel along the path, oh no :( But at least the rain stopped, and wasn't super pouring, and by then, I had arrived at Montrose. I went to the Museum of Fine Arts. Oh, it was AWESOME. I definitely plan on going back one of these days. That plus they have Friday movie showings! Very nice. Weirdly, it took me about 20 minutes less to walk back, haha. Was all sweaty when I got back, but it was a nice walk. A bit long, but not so bad. I think on my next day off, I'll try riding the 18 bus to Wholefoods, or even all the way to Westheimer (I'm a bit nervous crossing the highway), or walking on Kirby to Rice Village. Fun. I accomplished something besides laundry ;) My feet hurt a bit afterwards, but Tiger Balm came to the rescue.

Have a class to teach in 2 hours. Gotta study the dialog, rev up my energy. It's been tough going back and hunkering down on the dialog, unlearning old habits I had no idea were there, where I had switched parts of the dialog around. Mike is right: unlearning them is so difficult, like an internal battle waging in your head! But when I do get it right, spot-on, it is the most beautiful feeling in the world. Gotta think of that, and forge on.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Yogini in Houston

Finally uploaded some pictures; check them out at:

One day, one day, I will ask someone to take a picture of me doing the yoga: postures have been improving ever since I started the 60-day challenge! But until's these pictures for now!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

On the Everyday

Let me just say that right now, I am seriously starting to dread washing my lone spoon and fork day in, day out. Oh, and my favorite mug, too. But well duh, who else will do it?

And laundry everyday, folding towels, fixing my bed, every single day. I wash my clothes at night and wait for the final cycle to end, to dry them on the rack in my room while I sleep. And at an ungodly half-past four in the morning, before the first class starts at 6, I hurriedly see whatever laundry needs to be washed, or dried, or folded. I like folding towels: the OCD part of me likes seeing all the towels neatly lined up in the cabinet. But still; day in, day out: laundry, laundry, dishes, laundry. Still, what Inga (the resident massage therapist) said IS true: "I just think of more laundry as more business." Sigh. True.

I've also been teaching 6 am classes more now, and I found myself supplementing my diet with Silk's Soy Mocha, which is basically pre-packaged liquid 3-in-1 coffee, sorta, only it's more a 4-in-1: coffee, chocolate, soymilk, and some sweetener. I also tried adding Kefir for digestion: its lactose molecules are supposedly smaller than yogurt's, and has even more probiotics. But I find that both the coffee and the kefir have been giving me headaches: coffee gets me jumpstarted, but I experience horrible and lurching, almost blinding, dizziness and headaches in the afternoon, after I crash to bed after teaching and eating lunch. So once I finish my stash, I'm going full vegan: not even dairy, and as with a detox rule, which I guess also applies to me, no more coffee: maybe my caffeine tolerance is lower: I'm sticking to my favorite chai and/or green tea. As for probiotics, a vegan alternative would be kombucha. That plus it does give me a nice, though more mellow, buzz.

That aside, I just got a comment from a student (I don't remember her name: as I tell my students, I'm still new at this name game, the objective being to remember their names!) who took my class two weeks ago and then took it again a few days ago. And she said that there is a marked difference in my teaching. "You're getting there," she said, smiling. I modestly demurred, thanking her, saying it's still a process. And it should be a neverending process. Tony said my dialog is fine; Mike said that too when he took my first class. However, he said last night that my dialog IS there but out of sequence. So he told me to tape my classes (however way is most comfortable, easy, flexible*!), then work my way through the dialog to get it perfect, starting today with Half-moon w/Hands to Feet, Awkward, and Eagle. Read the dialog as I listen to myself on tape, then highlight whatever I missed out on or skewed out of sequence. Listening to myself had helped tremendously in the past; I'm sure it will do so now. So I said ok, I'll do that. Then he did the cutest thing: He whipped up his hand for a high-five, and he said delightedly, "Is that a deal?" A tad surprised, it was all I could do to give him a high-five back. He's such a sweetheart. He's 63, and he can still act like a kid. Cute. Joani should be about 52? Something like that. They're both so supportive. Most everybody is, which is amazing and awesome.

Today's my day off, as is tomorrow; I'm thinking of going to the museum area today, though it WILL be a walk, and if I can, take a double today, just in case for a day I choose not to practice. Had a hard time getting up today (again, it must be that caffeine). So still thinking about it. Or go to the bookstore to get my order. Or get some groceries (discovery: LIMEADE! Sooo good. But hmm, maybe not: a bit heavy to carry). Or get a mani-pedi. Maybe. Or a wax. God knows I need a wax! Will check the prices first, though. Labor isn't cheap here. Plus something to do in the distant future is to learn how to ride a bike and to drive. Houston not having a very extensive bus system and not a lot of crosswalks, and being a bit reluctant to spend on exorbitant taxi fares might finally force me to learn to ride a bike and drive, especially if I want to explore more on my own! I've managed so far with my books, my little task-pad and the Internet, but one of these days, I really should go out, at least before Thanksgiving with Ninang Nilo!

But we'll see. The day is still young.

Monday, October 01, 2007

3rd Week Rollercoaster


I am on my 3rd week of teaching here in Houston. I'm also on my 2nd week of the 60-day challenge, which I will hopefully complete! The 60-day challenge imposes a strict discipline on yourself (regardless of if you ate a lot, etc), at the same time improving your practice step by individual step, inclusive of aching body, energy spike and then plunge, and clearer mind. So so far, so good. As for my teaching, for a while, I wasn't progressing: it was sort of stagnating and I'd feel desperate and weak after class, going back to stuttering the poses more. Then one day, Mike set me aside and made me hear an opening of one of my recent classes. And ohmygod I sounded weak and small and uncertain and afraid: NOT in control. And he said concernedly, "THAT is horrible." He told me to be smiley and bouncy and CONFIDENT from the get-go, take control from the very start. In short, kick their asses even from half-moon, and my energy will pick up, so much so that even if I stutter, it will hardly be noticeable. He said, "Think about how you were when I first got an iMac: you should be that happy in class." He even had it saved in voicemail, he said it was that cute! "Pure delight," he said it was. He told me I could practice in my room how to go into class, starting strong, half-moon, etc, and I did, and ever since then, my classes have been pretty good, less stuttering, more energy and command. I'm the teacher: I've got to take charge after all. Because as Mike pointed out, if I won't, who will? Definitely not the students! So I've got to take charge, be in control, at times even be a little pushy and less merciful, almost not giving a damn as they "suffer." So yeah.

Coincidentally, though, that day I decided to pick up the pace a bit, I got a newbie who turned out to be having a rough time in class. She first left during triangle pose, but after leaving during tree pose/toe stand, she didn't come back. But she didn't look ashen, so I figured the heat/humidity was too much for her. I didn't give it much thought 'til after class, when we saw her at the lobby seated on a bench, with her eyes clenched shut and breathing shallowly. Turns out she hadn't eaten anything before class, instead drinking a liter (or was it a gallon?) of water with a quarter teaspoon of sea salt. What the heck: this induces one to throw up. Not only that, but she takes Abuterol, a powerful anti-asthma medication which she takes not for asthma (she doesn't have asthma!) but for her running. What the ****. Then she started shaking, and didn't stop. We offered her a mint to get some sugar into her system, and she took that, then we offered her a banana, a slice of bread, but no dice. Then we gave her some Emergen-C, but she hardly drank it. I called Jack in a panic, but Annemarie did better and called Mike. So he came and was better at handling the situation than I was: I was a bundle of taut nerves, gnawing my lip, my nails, short of wringing my ice-cold hands. He called 911, but was super cool about the whole thing. When she was given oxygen, she looked better. After they left, I was so scared Mike would round on me and blame me for what happened. To my surprise, gratitude and relief, he didn't. He said that hardly happens, even teasing me, saying that that would usually happen to a teacher after two years, at most; to me it happened after two weeks! So he told me not to worry about it, saying that the thing to do in such situations is to be upbeat and positive, not to worry, as that would just add to the situation. Gotta keep that in mind. I e-mailed Joyce (the assistant director and Joani's sister at the other studio) about it, and she said to think about these mishaps as a little personal bank wherein after a while, nothing will faze me anymore. That afternoon, Joani laughingly teased me about it, but also affirmed what Joyce said, saying it'll prepare me for anything that can come my way, yet still continue to teach.

Besides that, it's been peachy. Last Saturday, though, I taught a larger-than-usual class that just got bigger out of nowhere: one minute I was in the WC, the next minute I find the class grew from 19 to 30+: holy cow. Then Cheryl, this amazing teacher comes in and also decides to take class. I started hyperventilating, trying to breathe normally to little success, and Mike took me by the hand to his office. In essence telling me to relax, he said, "What are you afraid of?" And I said Cheryl was taking my class, who teaches like a rockstar, and I...I' And he said having Cheryl there is a good thing, providing an avenue for me to improve, at the same time being a source of support. Besides, he said, Cheryl's a nice lady. And she is. So then he smiled at me encouragingly and said, "Now think about when you told me you had a great class and this great big natural smile came over your face. You'll do fine!" And the rational part of my brain told me he's right, and I was calming down. It must have showed; after that, he patted me on the shoulder, looked me straight in the eye, and said gently, encouragingly, supportively, "Now have a good class." And you know what, I did. It did get a bit gnarly in there--104 Fahrenheit but 65% humidity, even when the vents were turned on at full blast and the fan was on, not the heat. My students were dropping like flies. I had a newbie, too, and he was struggling with the humidity. Cheryl beckoned to me, asking if the fan and not the heat was on (it was). Still, I continued to teach calmly, albeit with a few speedbumps, like after I spoke with Cheryl where I lost my focus. But other than that, it was great, and I finished, and most of my students stayed in the room. Afterwards, they told me it was HOT! But it was a good class, so thank you. Even Cheryl said so! Ahahahaha. Well, I did tell them the vents were on, etc, and to breathe in and out by the nose, slow 6 counts of inhale and exhale, to regulate their heartbeat with their breath, etc, etc, which worked, I guess. So yeah, cool.

Taught a double this morning: the first one (which Tony took and afterwards told me was pretty good so yey) was a bit distracted: a student had told me to "slow down" after Eagle, which I guess kinda rattled me, because I was about to forget the entire balancing series until a student corrected me! Oh goodness! Plus afterward, a student came up to me and said I needed to make some of the standing postures longer. So I did in the second class, lengthening especially on standing head to knee, and triangle, among others, and my second class was much better. Even she said so. ;)

Outside the yoga studio and besides going to Wholefoods (which is nice too, but still), I've finally gone to a bookstore--Borders, because it's a lot nearer: I heard there are fewer Barnes and Noble shops here. Oh well. Got some new books, including a guidebook of Texas and some Houston maps: basically the books I've had on my Amazon Wishlist for a while now. Ordered for some CD's and books. Then I also opened up a bank account to put my pay and "allowance" in, very useful if I need to get stuff only based in the US. I'm also trying to ride back on the vegan wagon. Very cool. Met an elementary school batchmate and friend whom I hadn't seen in...maybe 10 years; wonder of wonders: through facebook, how neat is that. And that same night, I got to chat with Frank. Yey!

Tomorrow, I teach the 6 and the 8 am class, this time alone. After I took his class tonight (which was awesome: I was right beside him under the podium, first row, on the "hotter side" of the room, and I was DRIPPING SWEAT!) Mike asked me if I'd prefer he came over, but I said no. In any case, he said he's a phone call away, which was very sweet of him. But I should be fine.

This week, I hope to finally get a taxi: this past weekend when I called, they were booked solid for two days straight (?!), plus the bus schedules were weird. So yeah. This weekend, hopefully I'll explore more and go out more. But wait: my days off this months are more on Thursdays and Fridays. Oh dear. We'll see then. At any rate, I hope this week will be great, my teaching hopefully to only get better and better.

Thanksgiving is my next big vaca. For Christmas, I'm going home. Plus Dad said to go ahead and get a Macbook for Christmas??? Holy cow, WOW! Coooolness. Though yep, it IS more expensive in Manila by about $300 easy. Then I looked at the iPhone 'coz I know Dad is fascinated by it( and admittedly, so am I!), but it said that to sign up for the iPhone plan with AT&T (the exclusive carrier in the US), the minimum monthly fee would be $60. Not only that, but the iPhone only has 8GB of space. That lack of features for $399? I don't think so. But the MacBook sounds great, haha.

Now to study dialog...and maybe dump my sweaty yoga clothes when the current load's done. And then hopefully, SLEEP.

G'night, g'night. Sleep tight, g'night.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Get the Ball Rolling

I have no idea what I was thinking, but...

I've started my 60-day Challenge. Since Monday.

That means 60 straight days of yoga.

I should then be done in time for Thanksgiving.


I've been praised for my backbend first by Mike, then even Stefan said I have a great flexible backbend. Then Cheryl commended me, and told me to do it outside the hot room, for Annemarie to see, [Cheryl] saying pretty soon I'll be able to grab my ankles(?!), that I should practice walking my hands back down the wall 10 times then 15 times, and if I can do 20, then I'll be ready to grip my ankles. Then today Lynn said I have a great backbend. It feels good to hear that. :) But seriously, it's "just" lifting and keeping your chest up, hips forward, tightening the glutes and thigs, everything forward to the front mirror, and just constantly looking and reaching back:"whole spine is backward bending." But then that seems to be the only posture I excel in; I still have trouble locking my knee in Standing Head to Knee Pose. Oh well; we "practice" yoga, after all: working and working constantly to improve.

So far, of the teachers whose classes I've taken, I can see clearly in my mind's eye Mike, Mercy, Stefan, Lynn, Ana, Janna. But somehow, Cheryl reminds me of Toni Jo from Las Vegas. And her walk..her walk reminds me of Denee's same outrageous swagger. OhmyGod, no. And it doesn't help that she teaches an awesome class.

Oh, and I've found fellow veg-heads in Andrea and Mercy. Mercy had this cookbook called "The Voluptuous Vegan" whose author teaches at the Naural Gourmet Institute in NYC (though there also seems to be another alternative school in Oregon, where there would also be better chances of teaching and a nicer atmosphere than in NYC). Something called "kanten" intrigued me, and I found a nice vegan recipe and explanation here.

I've booked my Thanksgiving vacation with Ninang Nilo; my debit card is working, yey! And I've taught my first double yesterday, with Mike guiding me almost every step of the way (thanks, Mike!) Seriously, though, Mike and Joani so far, touch wood, are looking to be really nice bosses/mentors. I wonder, if after 6 months, it would be feasible to live here. I need to learn how to drive, that's for sure: walking takes a lot out of a person, and the bus is unpredictable. But I'm still on Week 2, after all. We have yet to see.


Monday, September 24, 2007

In Transition

I'm moving into my 2nd week in Houston. So far, I've taught 7 classes already, Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs-Fri-Sat, with a break on Sunday, and then today. I teach my first double tomorrow. Ohmygosh! Seriously, though, it's been incredible. My first class had me all nervous: I hadn't taught in a month, and as I was reviewing the dialog the night before, I realized I had forgotten most of it. Before I was to teach, Mike was up (to teach): he usually teaches the early classes, actually. So he asked me if I was ready, and when I mentioned I was nervous (and probably must have looked it!), he said I don't have to teach if I'm really not up to it; he looked so concerned. But I told him I could do it, and he smiled. :) I asked him if he was going to take my class; he told me he wouldn't if I'd get all jumpy. But I said I wouldn't, so he did. And guess what: I didn't. The vibe when I taught here was just so different. And afterwards, he did have some things to say, but they were constructive, sound, and at the same time, still very supportive. I told him afterwards that I thought he'd chomp my head off, and he hugged me and said there wouldn't be any chopping around here; how sweet! A day after, even Joani e-mailed to say Mike said it was a good class, and congratulated me! But then I had a bad class the other day, right after a great class the previous day. Despite that, my students still thanked me after class, and when I told Joani about it even she told me not to be too hard on myself!

And indeed, such are the people here, so much so I still have trouble getting used to it. Students here are thankful for class; they do not have distinct favorites: they focus on the yoga, not the teacher. At the same time, Mike and Joani generally leave us alone, teachers and desk people alike. There is that implicit trust and confidence that I am surprised to have been so generously given, but I am all the more grateful for. Here, it is not an environment of fear, but of love. And that is such a blessing.

Outside of the hot room, I have gone to Rice Village and back, though that was maybe more of a mile each way, so I'm not sure if I want to do that again, I was so sore the next day! Then I went to the bank across the street today: I found there WAS a crossroad for crossing the busy street ;-) However, the bank had already closed, so I'll just try again tomorrow. Might also go to the bookstore tomorrow; walk there maybe, whatever, get more adventurous ;-)

Last night, Janna (a fellow teacher) invited Stefan, Mercy and me to her house for dinner, where I met her dogs, yey. :-) But I was kinda woozy from sleeping at 4 that morning from reading online stuff after coming "home" at 1 from my first live non-classical concert, with Jack, Stefan, Mercy and Annemarie, tickets courtesy of Jack, the mayor of Houston's music scene! ;-) Ate a lot yesterday, and today; maybe the (lack of) sleep has something to do with it? At least I practiced (and taught) today :-s Andrea and I went to Wholefoods yesterday for groceries and stuff, after lunch at Field of Greens with her fiancé Ben. Then Tony saw the fridge today and teased me that he'd get a full breakfast right there, haha. Also been having lunch with Mercy and Stefan sometimes, who are gracious enough to wait for me when I am slow! I also heard Mike finally relented and got an iMac. Hehe; it was the combined influence of me and Jack telling him to get one. But seriously, Macs are beautiful machines. So happy for him! So touch wood, I've been getting along with most everybody, which is always nice. The first few days, I was told that here, everybody pretty much gets along with everyone else, in essence making up a yoga family; this seems to truly be the case. And that is such a blessing.

The dialog seems to be coming easier (touch wood, please Lord!): instead of reading it aloud, now, I seem to fare better reading it before class to prepare. And then I taught this morning without "rehearsing." Beforehand, I was nervous about it. But Tony told me since I teach everyday, I should do ok. And I did. And that...I couldn't even have envisioned that before coming here. That is already a small miracle. And I am truly, truly thankful; I feel blessed. Thank you, God.

So yes, I've been doing pretty good, I think, touch wood. I hope it can only get even better. At the end of the 6 months, who knows? :) It's a beautiful environment; Mike and Joani made sure the yoga would develop the way it has, I guess. And I am grateful to be a part of it. 
I'm grateful to Mom and Dad who let me delve into Bikram yoga, not halfway but full throttle, even if having me away worries them half to death! Mama Cez too--evidence being Oa calling up to check on me, and to offer support of any kind. Tita Angie (Marian's mom) has also called me up, and I might meet Kristine (Kay) for dinner next week, an old batchmate from way back in 7th grade who moved to Houston. Ninang Nilo and Oa have both invited me over for Thanksgiving. Tita Neng and I have spoken, too. And Tita Marose's sister Tita Cecile said she'll meet me soon.

I'm just hoping and praying this, I, can only get better and better.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Howdy from Houston

'Hope this finds y'all fine and dandy. 

I arrived in Houston yesterday. Have a phone, just don't know the number yet!  I start work on Monday. Yikes!
The weather here in Houston is still pretty warm (yey!), kinda like Manila, oddly.
My hosts/employers Mike and Joani have been absolute darlings. Besides housing me already and fetching me from the airport, Joani paid for my 1st groceries in Wholefoods as a "welcome to Houston." Mike helped me get a phone line here, though it only does calls, I think, and to the US? Not sure, will verify. (It's actually their extra "shared" line(?), where I only pay $9.99 a month, as opposed to maybe $80 with a prepaid) He also helped me mail Marian's package for her mom. Whew: that's done! Then this evening, they took me out for dinner, how nice is that! Everyone's been so nice: they said that if I need anything (particularly on mind is to go to the bank nearby, get a razor and a foldable line-dry to dry my yoga stuff and delicates 'coz no way can I dry those in the dryer, as well as to find a Catholic church nearby), to let them know so they can give me a ride, if need be. I've met Joani, Mike, Anne Marie, Jack, Janna, Ana and Andrea, so far. And Christina didn't apprentice here in Houston; it turns out she apprenticed in Dallas, I think that's what Joani said. Ana's Nikki T (from my training)'s friend, it turns out! And she said not to worry, just to go out there and teach!
Mike is a Texan through and through so has this cute drawl; Joani on the other hand is from New York, so she doesn't really have that Texan accent, though she doesn't really have that New York accent, either. Mike is a dog person (most of the staff are!) and has 5 dogs which he said he'll introduce to me one of these days; Joani is a cat person. And hey, Mike's 94-year old mom practices Bikram yoga, and has practiced it since she was 84, how neat is that? So if she can do it, anyone can! Quoting Bikram loosely, "It's never too late, you're never too old, never too sick, never too broken, to practice yoga." 
Took Mike's class this morning, even if they told me I didn't have to: I figured it's the least I could do, to get up and introduce myself to him first thing, right? Then took his class. He praised my floor bow :)  His class was pretty gentle, actually, as opposed to what I heard, that it's tough. The humidity was great, too--not as hot as Pye's, not as intense as Tu's class. But Mike was fluid, and genuine, and so assured, which I think made all the difference.
I voiced some of my concerns with Mike, like how to control the class, give energy or pick up the energy again, and so on. I particularly remember one thing he told me. He said when we talked about dogs, my voice inflection changed, my eyes lit up, etc. He said to remember that as I teach class and to input that in my energy, in my voice, when I teach. And of course, dialog, dialog, dialog. He says, it's hard--he and Joani both do--but they said I'll surely get there. :)
Will write more when I can--whether it be evenings here when everyone's gone (as I stay in the studio), or when my computer gets connected to the wifi here. Still have to get used to the timezone, too! It's 2 hours more here than San Francisco, 1 less than NYC. So if it's 10 am in San Francisco, it's 12 noon here, 1 pm in New York, and 1 am in Manila.
So still settling here in Houston, will maybe explore after work settles(!). In any case, will write again when I'm not as woozy.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

In Between Trips

Oh hey, Pavarotti's dead.

And heh, wonder if this is true:
Take it here.


Got back last night. Didn't get to sleep 'til 5 this morning, woke up near 1 pm. Heh; having been reading Philip Pullman's "The Amber Spyglass" didn't help, either ;)

Went to Frankfurt and Munich in Germany, then Florence in Italy, and Athens and Kea in Greece. Lots of pictures. Tried to curb the shopping. But of course, bought stuff.

First destination: Frankfurt. Went to the Messe with my parents for the first time. Saw the set-up. Halle 9. Interesting. Went to stores, saw sales. Discovered Uli Knecht, and got a paisley George Gina & Lucy bag. S goes nuts over Louis Vuitton, and World of Music in Karstadt. Introduced her to Douglas Parfumerie, where she bought some Benefit stuff. Celebrated S's birthday at Rama V, an excellent Thai restaurant.

Took the ICE train to Munich, but got on the wrong wagon. Got to our seats at the last stop before Munich, to enjoy it for 30 minutes (out of 3 hours). Before that, it was one mad rush. Dad blamed me, saying I was a twit and should know better. Needless to say I was very upset, and S said later on that she did not quite know what to do with herself, aside from having motion sickness from the constant moving about.

In Munich, we met up with my German "big sis" who surprised our mutual friends at their new store location in Karlsplatz by bringing us along. Went back to the Basic bio super-store in Isartor and bought my beloved Amaranth schoko-müsli, as well as a gorgeous, multi-toned schal. At nearby Cosi Bazar, found-and bought-HUGE rings that fit my slim fingers, at reasonable prices. Tolle! Showed S Marienplatz--the Glockenspiel, the Viktualienmarkt (where I bought some Bärlauch and she some honey hand creme), St. Peter's Church, Elly Seidl (where we both bought fresh, handmade chocolates!) Dallmayr (where she bought coffee beans), Funf Höfe, and the Residenz (the latter new for me, as well); brought her to Linderhof and Oberammergau, then after a horrible tourist lunch, took the arduous climb up Neuchwanstein and Mary's Bridge, coming back to Munich exhausted. Remembered the bahn  routes. Remembered my scant German.
I love Munich.

The train ride back, we were early, and got on the right wagon. Was able to read more of Philip Pullman's "The Subtle Knife" while S dozed.

In Frankfurt, rushed to the hotel then to the Messe to meet up with the parents--and see the fair on its last day. Manila FAME doesn't even come close.

Next day, left for Florence. Ate at 13 Gobbi for lunch. Yum, yum. My parents come to Florence to shop and to eat, and this time brought us along to their haunts and introduce us to their sukis: Farmacia Mustermann, the Erboristeria Spezieria Palazzo Vecchio, the enoteca they frequent, the piazza and Sta. Maria Novella--both scenes in the movie Hannibal(!), the department store La Rinascente (where we were able to get La Perla cheap!), Giotti--the original Bottega Veneta, Prada, Pucci, Armani (where S got sonnenbrille), Gucci (where Dad got shoes), Angela Caputi (where Mom and I got beautiful shawls on saldi!) and Etro, my favorite--the pattern on pattern, as Dad describes it (where I got a shawl, sonnenbrille, a shirt on saldi and a travel bag). Went to rub the pig (Il Porcellino) for good luck, as well. Consulted a map and a Louis Vuitton salesman's directions to Vivoli in a previously-unexplored part of town, but alas, the shop was closed for the summer. Ate gelato at another gelateria anyway. Molto bene.

That night found S struggling to pack everything she'd bought. Mom sends Dad to the rescue and we sleep at 3:30, only to wake up at 6:45, very late, to leave at 7 to catch the plane to Munich at 8:55 (to connect to Athens from there)! Andiamo! Nonetheless, we make it and I doze on the plane.

We meet Anthony (real name Adonis) in Athens in the afternoon. He had been waiting as per his wife Sofia's instructions since before noon. As we speed to the port in his car--our parents in a taxi as we with all our luggage simply wouldn't fit into his tiny car--he tells us about the fires that ravaged Greece, saying the damage would take 15 years or more to undo. Neither was this catastrophe of natural causes, he said. As to why, he said maybe terrorism.

We rode on a ship to Kea, car and all (what we call ro-ro in Manila). Boat rides and I never get along, so when we got off the ship, it took all I had not to throw up. The winding road to their vacation home didn't help, either. Nonetheless, I survived. Anthony said, "Don't do anything; relax!" Had to help him; he had a bad back; besides, if I didn't move the luggage, he would have a hard time backing out of the driveway. Met their Indonesian housekeeper Sofina, who cooked delectable meals throughout our stay, even cooking vegetarian for me! Every meal was a celebration, every meal a feast, every dish a delicacy. The olives, the marmalade with crunchy sugar, figs plucked fresh from the tree, cherry conserve, sheep cheese, homemade crepes, orange-bread, peppers (or as Anthony calls them, pepperoni), and yes, I ate fresh lobster to respect our hosts, but what lobster, so sweet and juicy..! Our hosts' son Kristos even taught me how to eat it ;)

And the beaches--nothing to rival Boracay, for sure, but the Aegean waters are cool, the waves none too strong...and no-one cares whether you go in with a 1-suit, a bikini, or nothing at all. Still, compared to our small-boned hosts, I was huge, or at least felt it...which needlessly bothered and frustrated me to no end.

We went back to Athens with skin tanned (not sure about S) and bellies full. And it was a different Athens from the Athens I saw 10 years ago. Athens is so much more developed and progressive now. The night we arrived, I was too tired to do anything else but sleep. The next day, however, we went to our hosts' office (Le Shop) and there Mom and Dad were shown ideas for expanding the business. Then we took the train--Anthony showed us how--to the Akropoli, for S to see. But at high noon. Good Lord. Afterwards, we went to Plaka for some shopping and some late lunch and last-gelato(!), ending our day tour with a drink at the top of the hotel overlooking the Parthenon and the entire city.

In the airport, I followed Mom to a Greek specialty shop selling mastiha. Interesting. Should tell Anthony about it. Maybe he can tell me more. Because our hosts are incredibly proud to be Greek, telling us the root meanings of words, Greek lore, and so on. Incredibly fascinating. If we had more time in Greece, I would've wanted to learn the language--how to speak, how to read the words: in fact, I was already able to decipher a little already, but only a little.

In the airport, S had problems with her tax-free forms from Germany as she lost them, and had to check her wheeled hand luggage in. Luckily she was able to salvage her precious CDs (about 120+ out of the 130) and stuff them into her other one.

And now we're back. Back to the real world. Now I have to prepare for my next trip to Texas--not a vacation, but to work, and to get real. And lose the weight gained, imaginary or no.

Mom and Dad now ask about salary and all these things, but vague me hasn't really worried about that. Now pragmatic me is nudging me to learn the ropes of our business next year, and make yoga a side-business, a hobby, maybe like what P does in Makati. I worry, however: what if I need to give that up? I want yoga to be a permanent part of my life. However, there is the reality that it is an uncertain path to monetary success. And I do like my Etros and Lululemons once in a while, and maybe yogi/eco-friendly retreats in the future, with a nifty little spa somewhere near. Plus my Dad points out that my vegan, organic lifestyle isn't that cheap, either. On the other hand, there is the business, where my mother put the responsibility ruse real thick (and being an only child, I always fall for), which she says is something on whom only I am the only person left to run, in their stead. (And what if I fail?  But that is always my fear, which often sets me back: I can fail in yoga, in veganism, in going organic, in the business, but hopefully NOT.) Still, this is not an immediate need to be answered, thank goodness. I still have my apprenticeship in Houston next, and hopefully there, things will be answered, or at the very least, much clearer--the business, yoga, veganism, going organic: hopefully they will all be on the same path.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Listening to the Music

I recently tuned in to Amy Winehouse (Rehab), Rihanna (Umbrella) and Regina Spektor (Fidelity). I'm trying to get updated :-s However, my real prized find was the soundtrack of the Sound of Music. High on the hill was a lonely goatherd, lei-i-ho, lei-i-ho, lei-i-ho! :-D So happy.

Now listening to Phantom of the Opera. Ah, bliss. Where in the world have you been hiding, really you were perfect... I love singing this.

Then I was forwarded this website. Attention dog-lovers: TYPE IN a command and see what happens: sit, roll over, down, stand, sing, dance, shake, fetch, play dead etc. And it's also very cute if you type in a command that's not recognized! Make sure you type in "Kiss" too, but do it last.

It DOES help that I'm finally kicking my cold. Yeyness. :-D

Monday, August 13, 2007

Recap; Breather

So I taught my 13th and 14th classes two weeks ago...or how many classes now, I dunno anymore, lost track. I thought they were good, and some students said I've improved, but I guess I can't please everyone. Argh; solution is practice, practice, practice. A bit disheartened, to say the least, but gotta gotta gotta. Was almost ready to throw in the towel, and just work for Mom and Dad, but then I remembered the costs it took and the hard work I put into; no chickening out.

15th and 16th last week were better. I continued writing the dialog down, and for the 16th, I really went up and said the dialog in front of a half-length mirror. Surprisingly, the 16th class was way better; I changed my voice patterns AND my timing came back; I finished relatively on time :)

However, I'm leaving next week for a vacation with my parents--and as most people know, a vacation isn't really a vacation--it's actually quite taxing, hahaha. So I'm taking it easy this week. At the same time, I think I should--I'm down with the flu, nasal cavity super congested, my head feels like it's being split in two. I need to go see my doctors, and for some depilatory maintenance, go to the parlor, heh.

Also began reading Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner. Pretty good stuff, so far. And watched 300 for the first time(!) last night. For my fellow Ilonggos, here's a nice parody. Makadlaw gid kamo a.

Back to checking my mail. I should get some rest. Maybe later.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Classes 13 and 14 Coming Soon

Classes 11 and 12 last week especially suffered from low energy and stuttering. This week, I have yet to see. Dialog is nauseating to look at, but I must persevere, this time write it out then say it aloud instead of just reading and reciting for practice, I guess. Signed a contract today. Got my paycheck for this month's 5 classes, yippee! Class 13 tomorrow, class 14 on Friday. Stay tuned.

For those in Manila, why not give it a shot:

Bikram Yoga Manila

-Makati (I teach here more often than not):
15/f, 88 Corporate Center (beside PS Bank; across One Paseo Center, formerly IBM Building)
141 Valero corner Sedeño Streets
Salcedo Village, Makati
Phone (632)889-1011

-Quezon City
5/F CKB Centre (building where Italianni's is)
203 Tomas Morato Ave. (corner Scout Rallos)
Quezon City
Phone (632)376-4632

A Dark And Isolated Place

So there we were last night, on our way home being dropped off from a wedding reception. Almost turning into the street that would lead to our house, BAM! Possible whiplash effects, we were disoriented and not a little bit alarmed. What happened: a flat tire?? Holy shit, what the hell...

A taxi had bumped us from behind, HARD.

The road was dark, barely illuminated by orange street lamps, with no living soul in sight. (It's a good thing my Dad was at the back; otherwise, he would have gone down immediately and beat the guy up) My grandparents' driver, slight though he is, was spoiling for a fight, and in the chaos, he would have gone down, had my mom's voice rang out: "Nobody gets off the car!" And my Dad and I both said, "Just drive! Go!" Against his pugnacious instincts, he inched forward, still sneaking side glances for that infernal taxi. I urged him on, faster, snapping at him to go, because I'd experienced what could have happened had he gone down, and that would have been terrible. For what is more valuable: a car, or a life? [It's usually the latter, FYI!]

We got home safe; quite shaken, but safe. I can still remember my grandparents' faces, trying to put a brave front, but disoriented as hell. Those bastards. Will they really stoop down that low for money?

Apparently, yeah. Afterwards, my mom said the fact that we were many (or supposedly in their terms, "loaded") discouraged them. I called my grandparents once they got home; I'm just glad we all got home safe.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I'm in a really nasty mood, and I've no idea exactly why. Have been easily getting tired, as well, accompanied by splitting headaches, but when I sleep at night, slumber comes fitfully and sporadically. My teaching's been crappy: I've been told I lack energy and I stammer, major downslide for me from the week before. And this opposite of improvement is frustrating me to no end, getting me in a worse mood, and so on.

Ironically, this week coincides with the end of my Landmark Forum, where I was supposed to improve, and I thought I did, so why this?

Anyway. Got an external hard drive of 320 GB capacity. Not bad. :) Backing up my [Bleach AVI] files as I write.

Also, for fellow fans of the now-defunct Cooking Master Boy, here is the link to the first part of the last episode. It's in Chinese, with English subtitles, instead of the usual Japanese, so it's pretty neat to listen to, as well.

As for shopping, I got a pair of Melissa shoes. They've been written about as super comfy; let me see if that is the case: my halluxed feet will testify.

It's also heartening to be able to go to a store and find bottoms that fit, finally. In Aura, I even went down a size--not bad :) However, they didn't have the smaller size in the color I wanted. Oh well: you win some, you lose some.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Consummatum Est

*Thank you, Wikipedia.

Bought the book last Saturday. Started reading it in between workshop breaks, as much as I could. Finished it yesterday, the same day my workshop ended. Deathly Hallows was a major change from the disappointment of Half-Blood Prince, if I may say so, though the movie was a complete opposite, where Chamber of Secrets was much better than Order of the Phoenix.

Even as the Harry Potter empire series has come to an end, I still wonder how Harry graduated from Hogwarts, what job did he get, etc, how his kids look, whose hair, whose is red, etc; how the rest of the Wesley family fared, who became the next headmaster at Hogwarts (Minerva McGonagall?), and if as the latter books progressed, she had the actors/actresses in mind with the storyline.

Of course, the questions can, and will, keep on coming, but it was a good run, and a good read. Thank you, Ms. Rowling.