Archive for June, 2012


15 min writing

Day one of my effort to write everyday, for at least 15 minutes:

Talked with my mom last night.  I’m so tired of seeing her struggle financially.  When one struggles their whole life with something, how can they turn it around?  Is it really in their power?  We need help from others – opportunities & support.  Where would I be if I didn’t have a safe home growing up?  What kind of mental state would I be in without emotionally grounded and financially stable parents?  Makes you sympathetic to homeless people; you don’t know someone’s story.

I feel so angry because I don’t know what I can do to help my mom, to help myself.  My entire family has struggled with money our whole lives.  It’s difficult sometimes to imagine us wealthy, because I’ve never experienced such an emotion or state of being.  It just seems so hard to believe.  I guess one could compare it to a fat person becoming skinny.  But, I immediately object – there is a basic understanding of how to lose weight – eat healthy and exercise.  I know there are gimmicks out there trying to sucker people out of their money through fad diets and fad weight machines, but for the most part, most people know that in order to lose weight, they just have to put in the work of eating right and exercising regularly.  Not so with money.  It seems there is an orgy of misleading information out there, trying even harder to sucker people out of their money.  Stay-at-home mom schemes, owning your own businesses schemes, blah blah blah.  It’s hard to know which one to trust, and who to trust.

Am I complaining?  A bit.  But I’m also a highly analytical person, so I feel I’m also searching for reasons how I got where i am, in order to better understand how to get myself out of it.  Is that so wrong?

I admit, I feel complaining is an old habit, as I used to do it a lot when I was younger. Seeing everyone around me in a better financial situation didn’t help matters.  “It’s all their fault!  My environment, my peers, my (lack of) mentors!”, I feel like screaming.  Point that finger.

What actions to take?  How to enjoy the journey at the same time?  How can one enjoy being poor?  I know they say you don’t have to have money in order to be happy.  But whoever says that apparently hasn’t had to live without money for a prolonged period.  Am I making excuses again?  Yes, I’m angry.  I’m angry that some people have to struggle financially, health-wise, etc, while others do not.  It’s not fair.  It’s not just.  “So what?”, a wise person might say.  “Go out there and be the change you want to see in the world”.  I’m trying.  I really am.  But the problem is, I haven’t seen or felt progress, and that can be one of the most debilitating feelings I’ve ever known.

What actions to take.  I want someone to tell me, to guide me.  I’m so tired of running into walls.  Not because I’m afraid of failure – I got over that recently – but because it seems like with money, every time you “fail”, you’re in a worse off situation than before, and life really does get more difficult due to lack of money.  How does one keep positive in such instances?  It’s funny how I often feel like my family and I are alone in our struggles, when I know there are tons of others in far worse situations than us.  But still, that hasn’t helped ease my pain for a while now…

Action.  What actions can downtrodden people take?  Where do we turn for support?  For a safe, stable haven?

Even if I am complaining, I debate whether I should “get it all out”, or just stop doing it.  I know that before, complaining wasn’t helping me progress closer to my goals, but now, I feel I’m just analyzing the reasons why I’m not moving fast enough or hardly at all, towards my goals.

Survey – Odds & Ends

Found this survey on the blog, “BetweenFearAndLove“.  I love filling out surveys.  I guess I love probing my mind and also seeing the responses of others.  Plus, this blog post made me realize that these can act as really fun digital time capsules.  So here we go:

June 27, 2012, 5:13 PM PST

1. What time did you get up this morning? 9:00AM – Bleh. I try to get up between 6-7, so I can get more shit done.

2.Diamonds or pearls? i prefer diamonds, as they are far more difficult to destroy.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The Avengers – amazing

4. What is your favourite TV show? Currently it’s Parks & Rec, but I also love Off Their Rockers, Breaking Bad, & Dexter

5. What did you have for breakfast? 1 slice wheat toast, provologne cheese, salami, spinach, pesto, cucumber

6. What is your middle name? Christopher – Saint of Travel

7. What is your favourite cuisine?  Japanese

8. What is your favourite brand of chips?  Tim’s Cascade

9. What is your favourite CD at the moment?  Adele’s “21”

10. What kind of car do you drive?  Public transit.  Hope to have hybrid car soon!

11. Favourite sandwich? Anything with bacon, salami, and avocado.

12. Favourite item of clothing? Grey hoodie with track lines down the arms

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? It changes, but right now, Japan with my younger sister.

14. What is your greatest accomplishment in the last month?  Having some job interviews lined up at places I actually want to work

15. Favourite brand of clothing?  I suppose American Eagle, but lately I have been disappointed in their collections.

16. Where would you retire to? anywhere close to the ocean, my family, and temperate weather

17. Favourite time of the day? night

18. What was your most memorable birthday?  Wow, I actually am a little stumped on this one.  This last one (28) was pretty memorable, because Dustin threw me a wonderful surprise party.

19. Where were you born? Manhattan, NY

20. Favourite sport to watch?  I don’t watch sports.  If I have to pick, maybe gymnastics or wushu

21. Who is your support network/group?  My mom, younger sister, younger brother, Dustin, Shann.

22. What have you realized recently?  In order to work through a limiting belief (in my case, money), I need to absolve my past experiences that gave contributed to it.

23. What is a new habit you have picked up?  Chanting in the mornings (thanks to Ray) and evenings

24. Coffee or tea?  Hmmm, so many different types of tea – green, black, herbal.  I gotta go with tea.

25. What do you want to be doing a year from now?  Living with Dustin in a place we love, loving what I do.

26. The biggest challenge of the past year?  Jumping from job to unemployment to job to unemployment.  Arguably one of the worst periods of my life.

27.  Most prized possession? My aging MacBook.  I’m excited to get a new MacBook Pro!

28. Current goal?  To have a job(s) where I am free, creative, wealthy, & inspiring.  To have a 6-pack, so I can feel accomplished and confident.

Feel free to share or post your responses here.  Also, if you know of any other fun surveys, please let me know!

 

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  2. Diversify my writing portfolio every day
  3. Reach out and help at least one person a day (called “giving The Gift” in the book, The Gift).  This has basically become a habit by now, since it gives me such joy, so I won’t be listing this as a task anymore

I have not been reaching out to other websites and offering my writing services, because I suppose I was celebrating my new job prospects by not doing a damn thing.  Funny how I even want to take a break from things I enjoy.  Part of the problem may be the thought of reaching out to an undefined number of websites.  So, I will reach out to at least one website every day.

Have not been diversifying my writing portfolio, though I found a fun writing exercise, which I will post today.

My interview with the tutoring center went well; now I just have to finish a take-home SAT.  God I remember how difficult math was for me back then and even now.

I’ve been leaving my schedule this week clear, in case Aerotek sets up interviews with Amazon for me.  I have a phone interview on Friday for a cool company, so that’s exciting.

It’s funny how, despite going to networking events and reaching out to my network for work, all these job prospects are coming to me through other, random ways (i.e., craigslist, staffing agency finding my resume from two years ago)

Next week:

  1. Find and reach out to at least ONE website centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  2. Diversify my writing portfolio every day

 

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Eat 4-5 meals per day
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week
  6. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  7. Do pullups every other day

I have given up on doing a full body workout before & after meals, because doing pullups MWF is draining enough.  Plus, I believe results will come from doing more strength training in general, as opposed to doing it just before meals.  But, perhaps I just need to master strength training my muscle groups first, and then I can experiment with doing a full body workout before meals.

Been very good about eating every 3-4 hours.  What’s more, I’ve been doing great about ensuring I eat a dark green veggie (mostly spinach), protein, and a complex carb at each meal.  I’m really starting to believe that diet is a huge factor in getting results.  If it weren’t for the state, I would not be able to afford such nutritious food on a regular basis, so thank you, Washington state!

Been doing myotatic crunches & cat vomit exercises 2X/week.  After reading more and more fitness articles claiming that you can actually work the abs more frequently than other muscle groups, I’m brainstorming of an ab workout routine.  I’m thinking of doing what this really great fitness instructor, Davey Wavey, does – work on the upper abs one day, lower abs one day, and the entire core another day.

I discontinued doing a kettlebell routine because I think it was giving me lower back pain.  I think this is due to me using a dumbbell to do the prescribed kettlebell swing; perhaps the grip is too high on a dumbbell.  I have been doing more deadlifts as a sort of replacement, since those are great compound exercises.

I have been brainstorming about the best strength training routine, and I think I’m going to copy Davey Wavey’s personal routine, where he does chest/forearms one day, biceps one day, shoulders/back one day, then legs/triceps one day, with ab exercises peppered here and there.

Next week:

Stick with following workout routine and monitor results:

M: 12 min tabata + chest/back strength training, myotatic crunches & cat vomit, pullups

T: 20 min tabata

W: 12 min tabata + biceps/triceps strength training, pullups

R: 20 min tabata

F: 12 min tabata + legs strength training, myotatic crunches & cat comit, pullups

Sat: 20 min tabata

Sun: REST

 

Desire to be impactful

While watching movie trailers yesterday, I found one in particular (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) that made me realize I could finally put into words a longstanding desire of mine:

To be captured forever in a moment of ecstasy, exhilaration, passion, beauty, liberation, rage, or any type of power.  

This deep desire is probably behind my reason for wanting to be a model.  You can look at a photo and be affected by it so much in an incredibly short amount of time.  From just one second’s glance.  That’s powerful.  I love films and music videos for being able to portray a powerful human emotion in a beautiful way as well, but photography seems to be the fastest way of invoking a feeling in the viewer.

This might sounds like a childish wish, but I want to live forever.  But, I know that’s currently not possible .  So the next best thing is to create something or be a part of something that does last forever.  Art always come to my mind – photography, film, music.

I want people to remember me.  My face.  My body.  My legacy.  A legacy of what?  I’m not really sure yet; a positive legacy, for sure.  I don’t want to be considered vane, but I just want to be remembered.  A stark photograph, a powerful music video (with hopefully equally impressive music), a cult film…. I want to be immortalized in a breathtakingly beautiful form.

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day
  4. Reach out and help at least one person a day (called “giving The Gift” in the book, The Gift)
  5. Figure out how to install Google Ad Sense on this blog (having trouble)

Like I mentioned in my accompanying Body post, these past two weeks have been a low point in my life.  I’m so sick of not having an income, so sick of job hunting, so sick of going to networking events… I debated whether or not to talk about this, but I think it’s important to showcase all aspects of a journey, including struggle and hardship.

Let’s see, I’ve been checking craigslist every day for writing and modeling jobs.  Found some interesting positions for which I applied, so I’m waiting to hear back.

I do need to do better about diversifying my portfolio.  In defense, I’ve been revising a test article a social media marketing company, so that’s been great practice.

I’ve been getting better about asking more questions of people, as I try to figure out how to help them.  Oddly enough, it can be tough to figure out exactly what people want and what I can do for them in that moment.

The Google Ad Sense has been really frustrating.  I’ve decided to put it on the back burner, since I feel I could be devoting more time to job hunting.  I’m thinking of switching to Blogger so I can easily install Google Adsense.

*UPDATE*

I started the above post yesterday, and today, I have two interviews set up with amazing companies!!!  An overwhelming feeling of joy, relief, and happiness has been hitting me in waves all day today.  I have my first interview tomorrow, and another next Tuesday.  The one for next Tuesday, I have to come up with a 15 minute lesson plan and teach it, which should be exciting.  I will create that tomorrow at the latest.

Next week:

  1. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  2. Diversify my writing portfolio every day
  3. Reach out and help at least one person a day (called “giving The Gift” in the book, The Gift).  This has basically become a habit by now, since it gives me such joy, so I won’t be listing this as a task anymore

Body Sculpting – Week 45

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Replace white carbs with beans
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week
  6. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout

To be honest, these past two weeks have been one of the lower points in my life.  Instead of progressing towards a 6-pack, I seemed to have backtracked; I noticed my love handles and tummy were a bit bigger.  Probably the most annoying thing about progressing in fitness is that it takes so long (4-6 weeks) to see results.  So, you could be constantly changing your workout routine for over a year before you actually see desired results.  I guess that’s what I’ve been doing since I started successfully losing weight in 2009.  But, at least I was seeing progress.  Perhaps this is just a low point on my steadily upward-spiraling graph of success.

Regardless, everything seems to feel more heavy when you don’t have an income.  I equate lack of income with failing at life.

Seems that eating as many beans as you want doesn’t really help with fat loss/muscle gain.  I suspect it might be because I’ve gone back to eating three meals per day.  So yesterday I started eating four meals per day.

I’m at a loss for what to do now.  I’ve researched how to get a body like Zac Efron – slim & toned – and basically learned that high weight, low rep strength training plays a critical role.  That, and a high-protein diet.

Today I took a break from working out, because I’ve read that one should take at least one day of rest.  I don’t know.  I don’t know anymore.  I don’t know what to do.  I’m discouraged by all the fake, misleading spam shit on the internet promising to give you 6-pack abs.  I feel so immobilized as a result.

I realize this is a depressing post, and I debated whether or not to post it or talk about something else.  I think it’s important to showcase all aspects of a journey, including struggle and hardship.  For the first time since I started this blog, I’m at a loss for actions to take.  I figure dividing my lunch meal into two smaller meals will greatly help me increase my metabolism.  I’m also going to do pullups every other day, as I noticed that really helped strengthen my back and broaden my shoulders.

Next week:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Eat 4-5 meals per day
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week
  6. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  7. Do pullups every other day

Lipstick Message

From WritersDigest.com, in the Weekly Writing Prompts section:

Lipstick Message

You get a message, it is obviously for you, but it is scrawled in lipstick on a mirror in a public restroom. It’s unexpected, but now you know exactly where the killer is hiding. It’s time to find him and, hopefully, your friend (and hopefully your friend is still alive). Write this scene.

“BODIES: The Exhibition, at the Convention Ctr. Come alone.”

The message stared back at me from the grimy mirror in the public restroom.

Fuck.  BODIES?  The human body exhibition???  The recently famous exhibition had been in Seattle for a month now and everyone had been raving about it.  The thought of real human bodies frozen in various poses didn’t really grab my attention.  I didn’t get why people were excited to see such a spectacle.  In fact, the thing kind of freaked me out, and by “kind of”, I mean A LOT.

And now, I was being forced to go there, at 1:00 AM and find this demented killer, along with my friend he kidnapped…killed…dismembered…god, who knows what?

I focused, trying to keep my heart beat steady and my mind clear.  But it felt like trying to fight the tides; this overwhelming sense of panic and rabid imagination constantly threatened to overtake all my senses and send me into a nervous breakdown.  I just go home.  I wished this had never happened.  I knew i was wasting time complaining about the way things worked out, that I should be sprinting to the Convention Center to rescue my friend (or his body).  But, I was frozen.  I couldn’t call the police.  I couldn’t tell anyone.

“Well”, a voice piped up in my head, “he just said to come alone; he never said anything about not telling anyone.”  Ugghhh, but that could mean he didn’t want me to tell anyone. What should I do??  I’m not hero!  I know I play them all time in video games, but this is different.  There’s no retry, no starting over from a save point.

I forced myself to take a deep breath, deep into my lungs.  It jolted me to life a bit.  I exhaled forcefully.  Turning on the spot, I began walking briskly towards the Convention Center.  About five blocks from the public restroom, the Convention Center loomed in the darkness of night.  Picking up my pace, my mind raced through my options – weapon; defense; support; back up plan; Ray; was he still alive?; Andrew; that bastard; why was he doing this???  How did I caught up in this shit???

I shook my head in an attempt to clear these “Why oh me?” thoughts and focus on the present.  As I approached the entrance to the Convention Center, my body instinctively swung my satchel around my body, to where I zipped open the two largest compartments.  What could I use?  Gum.  Band-aides.  Journal.  Pens.  Keys.  Damn it!  I needed some sort of weapon.

I grabbed the sturdiest pen and griped in firmly in my right hand.  If Jason Bourne could use a pen to mame someone, I could do the same.

I pushed open the entrance door and ran up the stairs to the main exhibition room.  As I neared the top of the stairs, a sea of naked human bodies greeted me.  Damn.  Scary.

My body froze as I listened for any sound of movement.  Nothing.

I stood there, frozen.  Another deep breath.  I forced myself to take a step forward.  Then another.  Lidless eyes peered at different angles.  Their muscles almost seemed to glisten in the faint light from the above lights.  Walking.  I kept walking down the center aisle.  The giant room seemed to be set up in a grid of 30 separate blocks or stands.  I moved down the center aisle and looked around as I walked.  The key in my right hand was hot from my body heat by now.  My eyes fell upon a lone exhibit body lying face down on the floor about ten feet in front of me.

Could this be a trick?  As I walked up to the shoulders of the body, I kicked it over and observed the eyes staring upwards.  So creepy… The lights suddenly went out.  Panicked, I thought about putting some sort of barrier behind me.  I ran to the right, holding my hands out as I ran blindly.  Feeling the wall, I quickly put my back to it and tried to adjust my eyes to the darkness.

I heard footsteps right around the area where I was standing with the lone body.  The footsteps started getting louder as they came towards me.  A flashlight beam appeared five feet in front of me, focused on the floor.  Knowing that psycho would soon be pointing the flashlight up towards me in a second, I silently dashed to my left and crouched behind an exhibit.  The beam of light grew larger as the killer walked towards where I was just standing, until he was right in front of me, staring at the wall.  Changing my grip on the key, I got into position to lunge at him.  I lunged at him, just as he turned to face the opposite direction.

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Replace white carbs with beans
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

Sorry for late reply, everyone.  I took a break last weekend after a week of hectic job hunting.

I qualified for food stamps, so I will now be able to get a steady supply of beans, spinach, and other nutritious food.

Been a bit disappointed with lack of progress here.  My love handles are still pretty obvious to me, and my newly modified workout routine doesn’t seem to be working (at least, not as fast as I want it to be working).  As a result, I think I will start doing more exercises targeting the lower abs and obliques.

I’ve been doing a lot better at remembering to do a full body workout before and after meals.  Now to see if it really makes a difference.

Not much else to report, other than I had a HUGE binge day yesterday.  Ugh.  I swear I’ll never eat that amount of food again (don’t quote me).

Next week:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Replace white carbs with beans
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week
  6. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Finish reading and complet all exercises from What Color Is Your Parachute?
  2. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  3. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  4. Diversify my writing portfolio every day
  5. Reach out and help at least one person a day (called “giving The Gift” in the book, The Gift)

Well, I did not get that flexible, part-time job by May 31st.  I have been really depressed and angry about it, but last night something really incredible happened.  I was planning on going to a networking event, but a lady from my Landmark Education group had just completed an Advanced Course there and invited me to her graduation the same night.  I told her I wasn’t going to go, since I was already planning on attending this Advanced Course, just as soon as a I got a job, so I didn’t see the need for me to go to her graduation night (where they basically explain why you should take the Advanced Course).

To make a long story short – I changed my mind and decided to attend this Landmark Education Advanced Course introduction night.  Here are two incredible things that happened:

  • Another lady from my group, Dora, offered to pay the deposit of the Advanced Course, so that I could have time to get a job and pay the remainder
  • Christine, the successful realtor who led the Landmark sessions, offered to coach me and help me get a job

I’m excited about taking the Advanced Course in September, but I’m more excited to have Christine as my coach.  I’ve always wanted a money/career mentor, and Christine is one of the best people I could have imagined for the role.  She’s extremely successful AND she’s a Landmark leader, which means she’s very driven and gets shit done.

Christine coached my last Wednesday, which coincided well with a job interview that same day.  Christine brainstormed with me on different actions I could take to achieve my goal.

I want my mom to take the Advanced Course because she really wants to take it.  But I also want financial abundance for her, and I’ve love for her to have a money/career mentor as well.

Didn’t finish What Color Is Your Parachute?, as I discovered there are more in-depth exercises that can only be completed by writing in the book.  So, I’m going to put this book on the back burner while I turn more attention to being coached by Christine.  When I have a reliable income (that I enjoy), I’ll buy the book for myself, my sister, my mom, my brother, and my boyfriend, as I know they all need more direction & clarity in their careers.

I did complete a creative writing exercise yesterday, so I will add that to my blog today.  Woo hoo!

Been reaching out and asking to help people almost everyday, per inspiration from The GiftI was really gung ho about it when I first completed the book, but about a week into helping people, I got really frustrated – for the majority of people, they either didn’t tell me they wanted, or they weren’t sure what they wanted.  Argh!  I even asked some people TWICE what they wanted (in separate emails), but got no response.  How weird.

Anyways, sorry this post is so late – I took a break last weekend from a week of hectic job hunting.  Will be more in-depth in my next post.

Next week (this week):

  1. Check craigslist everyday for writing & modeling jobs
  2. Find and reach out to other websites centered on film/movies, and offer my awesome writing services
  3. Diversify my writing portfolio every day
  4. Reach out and help at least one person a day (called “giving The Gift” in the book, The Gift)
  5. Figure out how to install Google Ad Sense on this blog (having trouble)