March: A month of living without being stubbornly sedentary and tied to my desk

(Part of A Year of Living Without)

The challenge: To avoid sitting for longer than 1 hour at a time at my desk. After 60 minutes, I would have to get up for 5 to 10 minutes and do something else.

Planned replacement habit: Stretch. Talk to my officemates while standing up. Take the long route to the washroom.

Month-end Report: Relatively successful. It was easy because there’s conscious effort. I was aware of my commitment (to firm up  my ass).

Up next: A month of living without free TV and cable entertainment.

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March: A month of living without being stubbornly sedentary and tied to my desk

(Part of A Year of Living Without)

The challenge: To avoid sitting for longer than 1 hour at a time at my desk. After 60 minutes, I would have to get up for 5 to 10 minutes and do something else.

Planned replacement habit: Stretch. Talk to my officemates while standing up. Take the long route to the washroom.

Month-end Report: Relatively successful. It was easy because there’s conscious effort. I was aware of my commitment (to firm up  my ass).

Up next: A month of living without free TV and cable entertainment.

Posted from WordPress for Android

February: A month of living without processed meat

(Part of A Year of Living Without)

The challenge: To do away with processed /preserved meat. This includes hotdogs, canned meats, nuggets of unidentifiable meats, even kani sticks, fish balls that aren’t really made of fish, squid balls that aren’t made of squid, and this meat of mysterious origins called kikiam.

Planned replacement habit: More chicken and fish

Month-end Report: Epic fail. Should have declared a tocino festival instead. To be fair, I successfully skipped the canned goods, but couldn’t resist the tocino. I’m trying this again next month with a firmer resolve to eat food that’s more fresh.

Up next: A month of living without sitting for longer than 1 hour at a time at my desk. After 60 minutes, I have to get up for 5 to 10 minutes and do something else. This should be fun.

The sound of …

Revel in the pregnant silence
Giving birth to a realization
That we are certain
We know
In a heartbeat
We know
Our pauses in tune
My rolling thoughts
Wrapping around yours
You hear my unsaid words
Fluent crickets, musical
Singing, ringing in my ears.

Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I really shouldn’t be writing about this, but it’s Valentine’s Week.

After being single for so long (six years since the last relationship), the idea of spending the Valentine non-holiday with my special someone seems so foreign. The operative word is “spending.” Regardless of my status, I hold this to be true: the celebration of Valentine’s Day is overrated and its saccharine trappings, all too commercialized.

Growing up, I thought I wanted the red roses-chocolates-stuffed toys-and-candlelit dinner Valentine gift combo, the stuff high school-age girlish dreams are made of. Red and “heartsy,” warm and fussy. Thinking about it now, that’s what it really was, and still is — a gift combo. Traditional, convenient, cutesy, pa-porma (can’t seem to find the words to translate this) — a package perpetuated by what the malls, TV commercials, and romantic comedy movies tell us about spending and giving gifts.

Last year, my Valentine’s Day was spent eating shawarma rice at the UP Fair grounds. My boyfriend, probably thinking I was a stick insect, gave me a nice vintage graphic t-shirt sized XS…but I’m actually an M/L, not even an S. No worries. He thought I was smaller/thinner. :) Best part was, it did fit! After the gift-giving, we found out beer wasn’t allowed at the fair so we left UP and hung out at a nearby resto-bar with friends. We drank cheap beer, ate greasy sisig, listened and sang along to a folk singer, and laughed until the wee hours. It was one of the best Valentine’s Day celebrations I’ve had in a while.

This year, I will be spending Valentine’s Day at the hospital taking care of a family member. I already asked my boyfriend to come over. He better bring food. I’m counting on a hearty take-out meal in disposable containers to make my Valentine’s Day special. Or maybe we can just have a cup of those Php25 coffee concoctions at 7-Eleven. (French vanilla is the best.) His mere presence will make any day special.

Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge

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Tall, dark and handsome, with impeccable spelling and grammar please (?)

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Is it really too much to ask for in a guy? I’d say yes, it’s too much and it wouldn’t really matter once I’ve been swept off my feet. But that’s just me. For a friend who herself writes, spelling, grammar, and English proficiency seem to be the ticket to dating bliss. She laments the dearth of “good guys.” And by “good guys,” she means crush-worthy, physically attractive guys who can tweet, post, express their thoughts clearly and flawlessly.

Will that really matter at all? Will it muddle the gene pool? Will grammar trump other qualities like wit, charm, and sense of humor? Are we so enamored with perfection that not being fluent has become a bait for ridicule and shallow laughter, and a source of embarassment? What’s wrong with missing a letter here and there, misusing idioms, or being unable to make subject and verb agree and ride off into the sunset?

If he’s a great, lovable person, he just is. His awesomeness will shine through his limited vocabulary and sentence construction skills. Might be laughable, yes, but perfect grammar’s just not everybody’s best asset/skill. It shouldn’t be. Prince Charming just might be amazing in math, martial arts, or knitting.

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Guilty pleasures

Earlier tonight at the Vanilla Cupcake Bakery... (chicken cordon bleu with rice not mine)

Earlier tonight at the Vanilla Cupcake Bakery… (chicken cordon bleu with rice not mine)

This…after more than a week of “half-cup rice, half-cup veggies” diet. This…after I swore off processed meat from my meals. The ham and cheese sandwich and fries, I regret now. Ugghhh. Processed meat. And gooey cream cheese which I mistook for mayonnaise.

Absolutely no regrets about the cupcakes though. No. Never. Every bite was worth it. Cupcakes are up there with unicorns, rainbows, gummy bears, and glitter dust. They simply make life happier.

So now, in a cupcake-induced stupor as I look at my calendar, I’m thinking there are still 18 days left before this month ends. Not that bad at all. I have 18 days to see if I can stay away from processed meat which I declared as part of my “living without” experiment for February. (By May, I’m supposed to shun cakes. Oh dear.)

Staying away from hotdogs, tocino, and kikiam the past week was surprisingly easy. Ham proved to be my downfall. And it was not even some fancy variety, which could have made the lapse all worth it. I mean, if I truly (deeply, madly) enjoyed every bit of the ham, I would have just let it go and not be all whiney about it. But nooooo, it tasted so-so and I finished everything served on my plate. So much for resistance.

Meanwhile, juicy, salty-sweet-spicy beef tapa likewise pervades my hungry thoughts usually at breakfast time, but I’ve been psyching myself up to resist. I can totally do this! I’m pretty sure beef tapa isn’t in the same league as rainbows and cupcakes.