November 26, 2015

It Is The Time of Year

Filed under: Minimalism / Simplicity, Shopping — Tags: , — rvchua @ 12:04 am

It is the time of year when opportunities to donate your old unwanted things suddenly pop out. I had already planned to get rid of last year’s golf shirt uniforms. However after reading Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I have resolved to let go of more things. Kondo tells us to ask ourselves if each item sparks joy. If I look at my work uniforms, none of them makes me happy, a couple of pieces I find uncomfortable and becomes unbearable when I become bloated. Looking at my personal stuff, there are shirts that I have enjoyed before but after several years of constant use now just makes me look dowdy. I have also been holding on shirts that have shrunk and were just hanging in my closet unused. This morning I tried on a pair of black slacks that I have only used a handful of times but when I put it on I could barely close the buttons over my belly. I tried walking around but it was just too tight, I could never see myself wearing this again. If I need a pair of slacks again, I would rather buy a new one that fits.

I lugged almost 4 kilos of stuff to the office. Inside were old shirts, a pair of slacks, handkerchiefs, a sports bra, hand towel, paper plates, plastic forks, a headband, a thin cardigan and a tote bag with a damaged zipper in one of its pockets. It seems that I am the first one who has dropped off any donations. It was also an opportunity to throw into the trash an old watch box (with expired warranty), plastic pouch, a broken comb that I was still using yesterday, broken container for my shades and icky underwear. I will also throw away my Sperrys and holey socks next week and move on to the blue flats I have only used twice. I will also donate a couple of plastic bottles that are still residing in my work desk. I will give my cutlery to my brother and buy ones that are less heavy. I will also bring home to Iligan a couple of malongs that have been accumulating and languishing in my plastic container for years.

By getting rid of all these things, it will finally force me to buy a couple of shirts. I plan to finally go to Uniqlo this weekend. H&M is opening this weekend also. I need a tote bag but my red Nike backpack has been very useful though it needs another thorough washing. There are still a couple of shirts that I can let go but for now I will hold on until I finally buy new ones.

Looking at my tiny closet, it looks more spacious and I want to keep it that way. Maybe it is time to start folding my clothes the KonMari method!

November 24, 2015

The English Countryside

Filed under: Film, Tom Hiddleston — Tags: — rvchua @ 1:20 pm

I am still waiting for this to finally happen. Again, I need you to console me!

November 23, 2015

Smeagol vs Gollum

Filed under: Books, Television — Tags: — rvchua @ 11:29 pm

I watched The Hobbit again during the weekend, more than a few tears were shed in just the first 30 minutes. I think it is time to read The Silmarillion again and geek out like Stephen Colbert. Try to watch another video of him outwitting James Franco when he casually mentions the name of all the Valars.

November 11, 2015

Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander Series

Filed under: Books, Television, Tom Hiddleston — Tags: , — rvchua @ 12:57 pm

I just discovered Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series. I immediately got hooked with this detective series set in Sweden though I only have read one book and desperately looking for the rest! Anyway while I was reading in Wikipedia about the Mankell, I learned that the book series has been made into a tv series both in Swedish and English versions. And the English version stars Kenneth Branagh as Wallander and Tom Hiddleston as Martinsson. Aaargghhh! Although Hiddleston is only in the first and second seasons, I am losing my mind! Need to read the books and watch the tv series!

November 9, 2015

Karma Yoga at Yoga Tree Studio Mactan

Filed under: Yoga — Tags: — rvchua @ 6:42 am

Last Wednesday I found myself agreeing to teach Karma Yoga on Sunday at Yoga Tree Studio Mactan. Though I did not hesitate to say yes, I was uneasy because the last class I taught was in February at Studio 108. I haven’t taught yoga for 9 months! It was the same length of time as when I had my last dental cleaning and checkup!

It only took me less than an hour to make the sequence, nothing fancy just a lot of vinyasas. The big obstacle for me was learning again to give instructions in a clear, convincing manner. I had to work on my script and not forget which is left and which is right or forgetting the name of a body part. I said out loud my instructions while I was walking home (some people were looking at me) and repeated phrases that made my tongue roll over.

I only had four students in the Karma class, all of them at different levels. Despite the other apprehensions I had the days before, like being worried if the dentist will discover new cavities during my checkup and having PMS and bloating, I enjoyed the class. I felt accomplished teaching again.

I still have a lot of things to improve like making an intelligent sequence that will target a specific area or how to prepare the body for the peak pose. I would also like to know how to make adjustments. I am tempted to join the teacher’s training this January but how to take time off from work?

If they ask me to teach again, I will be interested. They offered to pay me for yesterday’s karma class but I don’t know how much they would give me. I am willing to teach free if I can attend classes free!

November 6, 2015

For Sherlock Fans and Cumberbitches Out There

Filed under: Books, Television — Tags: , — rvchua @ 1:56 am

sherlock-mind-palace-colouring-bookOoooh, this was surprising! I have distanced myself from adult coloring books because I always have bad color combinations but this is very tempting! Also, fans have pointed out that this book will show that Mary Morstan (Watson’s wife) is Sebastian Moran in the books who is a collaborator of Moriarty. Is this really true? I can’t wait to see what happens in season 4.

Also, this will be the opportunity for Cumberbitches to lovingly color Benedict the way they like.

November 3, 2015

Expenses Monthly Analysis (October 2015)

Filed under: Food, Tom Hiddleston, Yoga — Tags: , — rvchua @ 12:58 am

I went a bit overboard on some things during October, some of which could have been avoided (mainly alcohol).

  • Joined the second Yogathering Camp (P650) at New Genesis valley where the lunch and dinner were at least 2 hours delayed. I only enjoyed the yoga (Kundalini) and the company of some people. I have no plans to join any future gatherings. I was cranky the whole time and the next day when we finally went back to Cebu I had beer (P300) and coffee (P105) for lunch to recover. I already had another coffee (P105) the day before while waiting to hitch a ride with Jeanne.
  • Shelled out P400 for beer during an overnight at Jeanne’s house to celebrate her birthday and join in a feeding the next day with the teachers and staff from YogaHub.
  • Lunch birthday treat for Jeanne at Café Laguna (P690).
  • My plan was to watch Crimson Peak (Tom Hiddleston’s buns!) at Ayala but never materialized due to weird schedule and truncated dates. To commiserate I had a frozen strawberry margarita and pizza at The Social (P811.52).
  • Birthday cake for Lulu (P357)
  • 3+1 class card (P500) from Yoga Tree

Still no improvements on reducing my intake on processed food. Too many sugars, carbs and preservatives.

November 1, 2015

Books I Have Read (October 2015)

Filed under: Books — Tags: , — rvchua @ 11:24 pm

1. Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

2. The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb

3. Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb

I spent the past 3 weeks reading Robin Hobb’s The Liveship Traders trilogy, the 3 books in total are more than 2K pages. This series is much better than the earlier Farseer trilogy. Engaging storyline and interesting strong female characters. The dragon lore in this trilogy is more complicated and fascinating than Naomi Novik’s Temeraire. Dragons are lords of water, earth and air! There was a lot of character development and you understand the characters better because of the shifting points of view. My favorite characters were Brashen and Amber (she is like The Fool, right?). The Vestrit female characters were strong in their own way and I was surprised with Malta’s transformation. However there were a few things in the story that irked me. One is the way women are seen by men and how they casually  explain rape as something that women wanted. Yes, there were a couple of rape scenes of two main characters that were disturbing (one of which people did not believe it happened) and a few references of women slaves being raped. Thankfully Althea was able to let go of what happened to her but I wasn’t completely convinced with how Paragon explained what happened (transferring of pain?). Though Kennit was an interesting character, he was completely deplorable not just with the things he did but also how he was able to manipulate people and make things go his way. Even his martyred death made my skin crawl. As for Wintrow, I was annoyed with his philosophical platitudes, his complete support of Kennit and his disbelief of what happened to Althea. The love between a liveship and a member of its trader family bothered me, I did not consider it as love, more of an obsession or even a form of slavery. The biggest thing that I have about this trilogy (and perhaps with the other Robin Hobb books I have read) is its unnecessary length. The author loves to meander and repeat (Reyn worried if Malta would accept his appearance, etc) and extending the page count. Despite the things that annoyed me, overall this is a highly original series. I need to take a break (I have a headache and a reading slump is looming nearby) though before I go back to the third book of The Farseer trilogy.

4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – This was a joy to read, I was even laughing at some parts that sound extreme but for me I totally understood. Although I am a minimalist, I think there are still some ideas from the book that I can make use of, I am planning to read the book again soon to focus on it. I have heard of polarizing views on the book, for those who don’t know about Shintoism or the Japanese mindset this might be too out there. But I really liked this book and I can’t wait to see in youtube how people applied it to their lives.

5. Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews – This was another solid and enjoyable Kate Daniels book. Actually this series is my benchmark for all urban fantasy and this is the reason why I can’t get into Mercy Thompson series because of the similarities. I missed the interaction between Kate and the Pack but this book serves as an introduction when Kate and Curran take over the Mercenary Guild. Fortunately this time around there are no devastating losses, I miss Aunt B. Also I found it funny that Roland insisted to have dinner at Applebee’s. In the next novel, it is expected that Kate and Curran will finally get married or maybe not?

Yoga in October 2015

Filed under: Yoga — Tags: , — rvchua @ 11:20 pm

yoga oct 2015

October 27, 2015

Gimme A Break, Yoga Ripples and Let Shit Go

Filed under: Books, Yoga — Tags: , — rvchua @ 6:11 am

Gimme A Break

I have only 7 work weeks left before Christmas vacation. This year I will go home to Iligan because last year was a disaster. I was inundated by head splitting noise from the neighbors during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I didn’t get any sleep and was cranky the next day. This year I want to be far away from the neighbors and with solid concrete walls separating me from the outside world. If somehow I can’t get a boat ticket home, I intend to hole up in a hotel during those critical times.

During the break, I will be doing a readathon of sorts. My goal is to read the Tawny Man trilogy in 2 weeks time. So I need to finish Assassin’s Quest before that. Also, it would be nice to squeeze in something fluffy or that has less than 200 pages.

Also, I am looking forward to eat overnight oats and tuna pasta/casserole. It also means that I will be overeating so I need to squeeze in some core exercises every day. I long for 2 weeks where I don’t have to think about work or mull over what to eat next.

Yoga Ripples

Last Sunday Marie announced that Yoga Tree will be transferring to Cebu Yacht Club either in December or January. However, it won’t be opening as Yoga Tree but as a branch of Yoga Now. For me this means the end of free classes. It is time to shell out real money for yoga. With the studio transfer, there will be a nicer view and a peaceful atmosphere. It will help if I don’t practice in an overheated environment. I don’t know how much the rates will be, hoping that it would be the same and that they will still offer class cards. I don’t know if I will take all my classes at Yoga Now but I would like to stick to Marie and Jaya’s classes.

My plans are not yet set, I still have to see the place, I still have to see the schedule. But definitely adjustments must be made soon.

Let Shit Go

Why do I endure wearing a pair of shoes that pinch my feet and has slippery worn out soles? With a hole that is slowly getting bigger, it needs to be tossed into the bin. Why do I put myself in situations wherein I am obligated to be in the presence people who irritate me and make me boiling angry? Why do I prioritize convenience or what I am accustomed to instead of my real happiness? Am I lazy or just afraid of change? Have I become used to a level of comfort where most of my needs are provided for?

To all of these, I say loudly to myself: Let Shit Go!

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