Saturday, January 27, 2007


Oooh: Isa was featured in the NYT! Coolness. I have both her cookbooks now--I just found her cupcake book while browsing at a Fully Booked, woot!

Was thinking about [taking] different yoga teachers again. And it's not like I like one over the other, though being human, I must confess I sometimes do, and that even the term "favorite" can be switched back and forth over time ('coz I'm fickle that way). But whoever teacher, each one has something to offer, some grain of wisdom to impart to me. And I realize that I should always, always be grateful.

Lately, I had lunch with one of my teachers, H, at this quaint cafe, and I was mentioning balking over using just a sports bra or something similar instead of a full cami/tank because of my tummy, and she reminded me that "Yoga is about letting go." Ack. But really, maybe I should.

Being in Muhkatee, I've slowly been catching up with people from this neck of the concrete jungle. And I'm glad.

In any case, some advice I found useful from YJ:

Before buying:
Do I have enough money [for it]?
Do I have enough room [for it]?
Do I *really* want it?
Do I have time to care for it?
Will I really use/wear it?

Before saying anything:
Is it TRUE?
Is it KIND? (Well maybe this is optional, haha)

On gratitude*:
What have I received today?
What have I given today?
What difficulties and troubles did I cause today?

*This hinges on interconnectedness: how we are all connected to everything, and how we are dependent on Mother Earth for most everything: the sun, air, soil type and general climate that it took to produce our food, or the plants that took to feed the livestock, the vehicles that brought our food to the markets, the water and detergent it takes to wash our clothes and the weather that dries them, the circumstances of our birth....and this can go on and on.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bits and Pieces

What I was told reverberated in my mind like a gong's deep knell. Seriously.

If I recall correctly, I was told, "You can't make a breadcrumb trail from one trail to the next forever; after a while, those crumbs will get mixed up, and then where will you be? Of course there are infinite possibilities, endless what-ifs, but take one path, and stick to it. Decide. To decide means to slay, so slay all other possibilities and forge on; enjoy that path. If it doesn't pan out, so what? Failure is part of growing up: it's part of the learning process. You get up and move on: with no breadcrumb trail."

In relation to this, I was told to "trust in others, open yourself up to new possibilities. How can you expect others to open up to you when you won't open up to them? As Baz Luhrmann said in his song, Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen), 'Do one thing everyday that scares you.'"

This whole enterprise itself is scary: leave stuff behind; no excess baggage being lugged around! And I have to trust in people more. Tall order: 2-in-1. But hey, there should never be stasis; we should always be pushing, changing for the better.

Consumer I Am

Eeek. I succumbed to Adidas' Test Run 28's Adistar Control (men's style as my feet are long), then Carol Adams' book, too.

Since Aura's holding a sale 'til tomorrow, I got Tension's clothing, of course Lululemon's, and a Yogitoes towel, though I'm keen on a Manduka mat and Lumi towel, as well as this bra, this, and this tank too. Seriously, though, I'd have been a fool not to make use of the sale, especially as I constantly need good bottoms more than tops, hands down anytime, especially for April.

I then finished with the next month's issue of Yoga Journal. A session of yoga today with a workshop after, then a rare splurge after: Life is good, thank God.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another Day

Staying home can do wonders: I fixed more of my stuff, arranged my shirts by color, wrote people I promised to write to, and am finally finishing "Yoga School Dropout," finally to move on to "Autobiography of a Yogi."


I wonder if they're vegan? In any case, it gives me yet another excuse to visit NYC. But while in California, why not visit one of her own wonders? But man, if I could return to India, I'd like to enter an Ayurvedic treatment. Ah well.

Then care of Eric Prescott, this article states: "Leading aquariums and swim-with-dolphin dealers are subsidising the Japan dolphin slaughter by paying £25,000 or more for a few 'show' dolphins from the catch," said Ric O'Barry, a former US Navy diver who trained the dolphin star of the 1960s television series before turning against dolphin captivity in 1970....
A report released last year by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society reveals that dozens of dolphins captured in Japan's annual "drive fisheries" - and then spared - have ended up in aquariums around the world.

Figures. So stop supporting marine parks, or animal cage facilities already! Why not watch Cirque du Soleil, instead, or go to a botanical garden and smell the flowers; let love well up.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Beware the PMS'ing Virago

It truly boggles my mind that people who are closest to me are also those who can hurt me hardest. I think it has to do with that inner circle I let them into--my "inner sanctum" where I can express myself freely, take them into that confidence. And armed with that, they can do anything to trip me up and wound me, I guess. So yeah, I think it's all about TRUST. Of course, it doesn't help when it's nearing "that time of the month," when even the tiniest gecko can become a hissing, biting, fire-breathing dragon. It is in such times that I don't understand how I can get so snappish, and mean, and impatient, and VULNERABLE. But there you go, and here I am. Despite my usual peaceful mien, there is still that yappy little bitch that occasionally comes out to bite, or at best needs space to be left alone awhile until she reverts back to Pup Placid, lest she bites something too big that she can't remedy later. So in the threatening-to-erupt tempest in a teapot, I try to go back to pranayama, to take deep breaths and release them: always.release.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thinking, as usual.

I'm proud of what I've accomplished: I cleared my Santa Fe cabinet, my night table's drawers, and two rows of shelves....and I found my gold chain that I've been missing since New Year's Eve (from my Dad's mum), as well as filled up all the darn raffle stubs! Woot! Go, me! Next--to sort the pictures I found, go down memory lane while I'm at it.

I finally went to my ENT. Ugh, sinusitis and middle ear infection, congested nasal passageways and irritated eustachean tube from the darn construction next door going on since frickin' OCTOBER. (Maybe that's why I've been having difficulties with balance lately, getting dizzy so easily, too. Now I've been prescribed with a heady cocktail of antibiotics and steroids. Whoop-de-doo. Who am I kidding: I hate having to take drugs.) They said they'd finish by December, but now they push it to March. What the heck. So we have to suffer--from the dust, and the rats and roaches. Eeeeew. Because of them, I...had to....kill a *gulp* roach. Eeeeeeek. I hated it: gave me the willies and the heebiejeebies. Oh and the way it splatted sickly against my slipper? Holy hell. I washed my legs, my neck, my hands, my arms, the inside of my elbows. Oh grossgrossgrossGROSS. (NOT VEGAN!) Of course, the slipper had to be scrubbed to high heavens. Then one of our helpers killed this humongous rat today. Eeeeeek.So please God, let them be finished SOON.

This much time on my hands gives me ample rest, but also ample time to endlessly loop thoughts--some useless and irrational. Yet another of the kind is bothering me yet again. To contact or not to contact? That is the question. I've been missing D again--not as bad, but still there, wondering how D is, etc. I admit I still fantasize a bit if we were together, but heck, practicality comes crashing in and the worrywart part of me acknowledges it would be a very difficult road to take--my parents potentially disowning me, and having to prove myself time and again in the workforce, having no one else to really provide for me, no secure, legal future with D, no medical benefits, etc. So that part of me tells me to run like hell in the opposite direction....but I still miss D and would like to be friends again. I just worry D might want more, again...and if I do, too.

I've also been trying to rekindle old relationships--those I set aside, forgetting how much I treasured them. Perhaps there are second chances; perhaps it's still not too late.

With the time on my hands, which my folks will hopefully not harass me about, I'm hoping to be strong enough to fly away soon--and be accepted with no trouble. oh Lord, please may it be. As F says, "Teh-REE-sa! You have to be stuh-RONG!" Indeed. Hope against hope, I must.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Clearing the Past for the Present

Good grief; my head hurts.

I'm sleepy and hungry: I've been clearing years of correspondence--keeping what I still want, junking/giving away what I no longer desire (which is a considerable amount, because after a while, I realize that I no longer need as much, which incidentally, others can use more) I've also started to reach out to people I've neglected in the past--people who were so important before. I guess I got messed up, or at least my priorities changed. Well now I'm trying to make up, and see if it'll work, if even a little.

In any case, I'm not yet done. But at the same time, I also have to stay in the present, or try to. As much as contemplation--and solitude--are great, too much of it'll alienate others.

Time to plunge back and make room for present tasks and future dreams--but still keep enough to cherish.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Timeless Advice

Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen) by Baz Luhrman

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97... wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

CHORUS: Brother and sister together we'll make it through; someday a spirit will take you and guide you there; I know you've been hurting, but I've been waiting to be there for you, and I'll be there just helping you out whenever I can

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

CHORUS: Brother and sister together we'll make it through (oh yeah); someday a spirit will take you and guide you there; I know you've been hurting, but I've been waiting to be there for you, and I'll be there just helping you out whenever I can; everybody sing, oh yeah; everybody (oh yeah), don't you feel it?

Friday, January 05, 2007

In A Dog's Life

I took this picture; back then he was pretty mangy-looking. But the look on his face was pure ecstasy: he was frolicking in the sea, uncollared and could run free as the wind. I sometimes envy him--his freedom from responsibilities and expectations. Because I have been given so much, I am also expected of so much. So sometimes, I wish I weren't. But then life would be so different, so the question here lies if whether I'd still have the same questions? Or am I just scared and running away, afraid to make a choice? Thing is, choices become decisions which have effects and consequences. And my fears are that someone will get harmed, or that I will fail, and that they will all be irrevocable. Then again, I can't stay in limbo forever; that in itself is a decision, and in my case, would probably be a lame, half-baked one. The doggie made a choice, in his own way: he decided to have to run for shelter, scavenge or beg for scraps, let any illnesses go untreated, but his life is his own. Perhaps I should make a choice, too, and soon.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Much-Delayed New Year's Post

The Taiwan quake is really putting a damper on people’s Internet connections, methinks. Aside from that, I've been having serious allergic reactions, as well, so it's been difficult to do anything besides trying to get my strength back. (Key antidotes: water, vitamin c, and menthol oil) In any case, I hope everyone has had as good a holiday as they could have had.

One of feng shui’s premises is the adage “out with the old” to be able to “enter the new.” Having gotten a bit better, and it being the start of a new year, I have been doing just that. Books on the shelf finally placed in order, more books added to pile for sale; Dino's piece#1, check. Now to do #2, as well as clear more drawers--see if something can be junked or given....but after watching Bleach, ehe: I'm a new convert: currently on Episode #45, but stopped, as I have nothing to go after! So as I told my friend R, I've been "cheating".

There's a debate whether tempeh is an "omnisub" or not. Honestly, I still am not sure, so I checked out how to make it. I'm too lazy at this point, though. But after tasting mock tuna in a sandwich on the way to Penang from Singapore...I'm wondering if that's what it is. If so, I have to admit it tastes quite good--not as oily as tofu, and beanier.

But anyway, we stayed at what is fondly called by locals as "The Blue Mansion", a restored old Chinese mansion. If what you like is something more standard, however, perhaps The Eastern and Oriental, or "E&O" Hotel, built by the makers of Singapore's Raffles Hotel,would be more to your liking, though I believe Bayview Penang is more reasonably-priced, as well as this other hotel along Leith Street, called Cathay any case, I'm hoping to at least go back for some Indian music, whether it be classical, Bollywood, or Bhangra, or whatever else.

For indeed, Penang is a melting pot of cultures (well, in George Town, anyway), as reflected from the street-neighborhoods: Indian, Hokkien Chinese, Malay, Nonya or Malay-Chinese, Tamil, and so on. It's relatively safe, and the island is small enough to go around by foot, relatively: I want to go back. Maybe sometime soon: Dad liked it, too (for the salted fish!), so a return might be likely. Maybe a 2nd trip to India first, but this time to Southern India (Goa, Kerala, Pondicherry, though Kochi looks like a nice stopover) instead of the North (the so-called Golden Triangle--Agra, New Delhi, and Jaipur) where I also hear yoga is taught best (Mysore, anyone?) though aside from Bikram yoga, I am still confused as to what other yoga to take (though I'm already contemplating taking some classes here), let alone if this indeed is the path I aim to take in life; we shall see.

But as to that, for now, I'm still hoping I can follow that dream.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

News Bites

Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? It’s because it gets you high. They took the cocaine out almost a hundred years ago. You know why? It was redundant.

* In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
* 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
* 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dialate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
* 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
* >60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
* >60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
* >60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (As little as two if you’re a smoker.) But, hey, have another Coke, it’ll make you feel better.

*FYI: The Coke itself is not the enemy, here. It’s the dynamic combo of massive sugar doses combined with caffeine and phosphoric acid. Things which are found in almost all soda.

Taken from this site.


And yet another from An Animal-Friendly Life:

Bullfighting's Future in Doubt:

One of the weakest defenses of any form of animal exploitation is that it is a tradition. This includes hunting, animal racing, cockfighting, rodeo, eating meat, you name it.

News out of Spain reminds us that "tradition" is insufficient reason to continue barbaric behavior:

Bullfighting was facing an uncertain future in Spain yesterday with the announcement that the last bullring in Barcelona is to close after failing to draw enough spectators...

*based on this article
*more info on bullfighting here