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.