Japanese Music!

Why break this daily blogging thing while it’s going strong? And I’m better about blogging now than writing my story because I keep seeing new characters or new ‘group dynamics’ between them every day… right now I have a fantastic three for Part I that will eventually somehow form and expand, it might even be a fantastic five… even before we meet the second protagonist… well at least I can say I’ve worked on CHARACTERS and PLOT DEVELOPMENT?

Today was my last full day of work – tomorrow I’m cleaning my office, picking up my Chinese visa, and coming back for an exit interview. (Quick aside – I think my asian-ness is becoming a bit too obvious because when the girl that did my passport photo asked for cash, I said something like ‘Hold on, I have to look for it or come back later’ and she looked at me for a bit and then said something else. IN CHINESE. So I did what any person that totally understands would do and nodded and said ‘Thank you’ (since I’m pretty sure I would butcher ‘xie xie’))

SO today was my last full day of work so I’m already kinda getting into vacation mode. Since I’ve been at work for 11 weeks straight since the Monday after finals week.

That’s not to say I won’t miss work, as I really enjoyed doing a solid project and loved the busy times and usually only wanted there to be more busy times, as I had practically finished my part a few days before leaving – but OMG FREEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMM

(And China the week after next – how am I going to survive if I can’t even say ‘xie xie’?)

SOOO I’m getting into VACATION MODE… what does that mean?

That means listening to crazy rock music NONSTOP!

Which I will now share with the world!

I have no idea what’s going on with the person in the video but love the music!

I especially like this MV! Can I be an extra in one of their videos? Please???? I’m sure my friends will volunteer as references for my general insanity in the face of music. (Or maybe just in general)

Not Japanese… so WHAT?

Hahaha Shikamaru… (by the way, is Naruto STILL going? Please say no?)

Different, but how could I not include Monoral here? This is a Japanese band! Or an English-singing band based out of Japan? Just two people? Two geniuses? (The anime in the video – Ergo Proxy, which the song is an OP for – had so much potential. But the characters fell flat. Ahhhhhh what it could have been…)

KPOP boyband singing Japanese! Is it okay that I like their Japanese songs better than, say, ALL of their korean songs? Perhaps because I can understand them more? And they’re faster?

With the exception of their award-winning MV Rising Sun!

Well nowadays I mostly listen to this band (even if the singer can’t really dance in this video… he looks like a rotating tree):

Afraid that I’ll run out of music for my next posts? (Or hopeful? =P) Fear (or hope) not, I am nothing but resourceful! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Feel free to share any music you like, anytime, or just listen if you’d like!

ROW 80 Update – 8-3

So as part of this ROW 80 Writing Challenge all of us have to post updates every Wednesday and Sunday on our progress towards on our writing goals. Mine was to write 500 words – of just my novel – a day. And read a book a week. And I started late – most people started July 4th and I started July 31st – so this is my first “update.”

So how’d I do?

Hahaha. Well.

I blogged every day. Each post was something like 700-1000 words…

I went to work, ran even when it was 95 degrees outside…

Except for today, which I took to do laundry and PACK ahead of time so I’m ready when I go back to my home and leave DC on Saturday (after a traumatic packing experience in which I had less than a week’s notice that I’d gotten a job and had to empty my DORM room in one day… or should I say an afternoon till 5:30 AM…) (I did walk for an hour to come back from work though!)

I have also been thinking about my novel and making some decisions about character development, and sat at my computer for half an hour trying to write more than 300 words from one day…

Let’s just say that my writing goal might have been too ambitious for this week.

(I think part of the problem is that I’ve planned out so many scenes and I’m trying to write scenes that I haven’t ‘seen’ in my head or planned out completely yet, because they happen ‘first’. Tonight I’m going to try telling the story of this character I just thought of weeks ago, who I can visualize and whose scenes I can ‘feel’ right away, if this makes sense…)

BUT I’m keeping it as it is now, because of this:

To get into the routine of exercising regularly (5-6 days a week), I had to tell myself to exercise EVERY DAY first. Did that for almost two weeks, before I read somewhere that you had to take breaks. The week before I started on that? After a month of no exercise at all? I went running outside, a grand total of three times in a week. And did quite a bit of walking. I see that week now as my ‘transition’.

If I want to be a serious writer, I need to make myself work on this novel (as in the writing CRAFT and not just the plot) every day. So I see this week as my own ‘transition period’ – we’ll see how long it takes until I get in the hang of it. Today I’m working on at least 500 and up to 2000 words… but I won’t go crazy trying to catch up at this point. Slow and steady wins the race? Mayyyyyybe?

Time to read other ROW 80 updates, dry my laundry, and start writing!

(this music below would be like the background to the climatic scenes that I’m probably going to write tonight – yes, even that ending part fits! – if only I had the as much skill in writing as Yoko Kanno does in composing…)

“Fitness Personality Colors”

Wow, I’ve been really blog-happy the last few days, but since I’m in a bit of a rut with my story (that I plan to have five more pages done of… by tomorrow morning…), I thought I’d just do a quick post to share something I found. About EXERCISE.

So I get email updates from Care2, which is this site that might be the most hippie one that’s ever existed. Even more so than Grist and the Sierra Club (which I also get email updates from… ONE DAY SOON I’ll do an ‘environmental’ post…)

One of the headlines in a newsletter I opened was “What is Your Fitness Color?” I was like “Oooo Fitness! Colors!” So I clicked it.

Usually the articles on Care2 veer towards common sense advice, motivational articles, ‘be good and true to yourself and the planet,’ etc., but this was one article that I found a bit more interesting. Mostly because I’m curious about personality-type tests.

Anyway the article gives you one of eight colors based on your four-letter personality type (example EFTP – if you want more information or want to find your ‘type’ you can go here or search for Myers-Briggs as that’s just a random one – I think most people have seen this in school or the web already though). Then based on that color, it tells you what types of exercise habits (consistently? spontaneously?) and types (with others? alone? focused? with music?) you would be ‘happiest’ with. There was a page for each color, so the entire article is 10 pages.

I fall in the Saffron color range, and according to the article that means I am motivated by ‘music’ and ‘play’ and like doing exercise spontaneously. It recommended that I find exercise places near home AND work, so I can go when I’m ‘in the mood’ (ahem… that is just SPOT ON me for doing ANYTHING), and that I take classes with music like group cycling, yoga, and dancing.

So what do I think of the article, and its usefulness and practicality??

I think that it is a very beneficial starting point for someone who’s just getting into the habit of exercise, but is afraid of feeling ‘bored’ or unhappy with what they are doing. Running on treadmills isn’t the only option. I also think it might open up your eyes if you’re already exercising, but don’t realize why you were more motivated doing some activities than others, or maybe can’t choose, or maybe even want to switch up your routine – self-awareness is always good. Almost all exercise-focused magazines today focus on how to get those perfect abs, or race a half marathon, burn the most calories in 15 minutes, or lose ten pounds – I don’t think I’ve actually seen an article that takes people’s exercise preferences or personalities into account. Some people get fit doing pilates and no running, some people backpack all the time, and some do a combination of activities. It’s not like there’s one perfect routine for everyone. Even all the busy corporate workers with no time. What about the ones that can’t stand the gym, or can’t work out consistently alone?

Anyway. This article is also only just that – a starting point. It’s not the end-all be all, and it’s not complete advice. “Saffrons” like me find purpose in life by putting some discipline into it, which means making ourselves work out X days a week even if we don’t initially ‘feel like it.’ And running (…with my headphones) as well as weight-training and sometimes elliptical have helped me and become my favorite forms of regular exercise. We all have weaknesses, and I wanted to work on my accountability by working out, and being THE person that makes sure I work out, not only doing classes (I do some pilates too! =D) – and running has helped me do that. Maybe I also like it because I think of Slumdog Millionaire when the kids sprint like CHEETAHS away from everyone and I’m like “I want to be like THEM!”… so running makes me feel adventurous… and playful? At least that part of the article applies?

Bottom line: Check out the article and find your fitness color, but don’t restrict yourself to the activities they suggest for your color! Think about what motivates you to run and use that to help you achieve your own goals!

And in general, personality tests should be taken with a few grains of salt, but they are still FUN and thought (or debate) provoking! =)

Workout-playlist-worthy music video time! Never enough FLOW!


Look at who can FOCUS ON ONE TOPIC!!!!!!!

Hahaha just kidding. I’ll break this down.

This is basically a ‘ahhh… surviving WORK’ post and a ‘I spent too much time on the internet yesterday!’ post in one. But also a Life List Club and ROW 80 -related post. I was going to have links here to each different part of this post but am having trouble with the HTML… =/ Feel free to skip or skim!

Work + Concentration

Today I had a reaaaaalllly hard time concentrating at work. This is my eleventh and last week of my internship, in which I’ve organized this Metro bus wash monitoring project – largely independently, doing research and visiting sites on my own without too much orientation (except for one very helpful mentor who knows all about controllers!). Sometimes I had reports or a presentation to do, oftentimes I was on the phone asking salespeople for specifications or quotes, and at one point I was even doing water testing – in our three-foot square temporary kitchen in the office… =)

However this week I just have two deliverables – a last project report with instructions on how the project should be continued when I’m gone, and a Powerpoint presentation with that same information. I was planning to have that report done by today… but I. could. not. focus. It was really strange. I usually work with my headphones on, my email accounts open, and maybe before 9 or around lunch check out a fun site for a few minutes or chat (we have an hour for ‘lunch’ and we can adjust our hours… well, by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’ as I’m now the only intern in the office, with just two project managers…). But I have goals for the day in mind, write them down, break them down, and get them done. Each day.

Maybe the ‘finishing up’ part is the hard part for me. If I was going to continue to be involved in the project, I think I would be getting this out-of-the-way faster so that I could… DO STUFF! Like PROGRAM! INSTALL THINGS! Find INTERESTING data and ANALYZE IT! But this isn’t really a ‘final report’ as much as a ‘progress report,’ but it’s my own ‘final report’ – I guess I find it hard to finish something that doesn’t seem finished to me. Even though what would count as ‘finished’ (or at least result-worthy) to me will need even more weeks of time and installation – weeks after I leave. And if I finished that report today, and that presentation Tuesday, what would I do for the rest of the week? (Edit them. Add to them. Discuss them with my supervisor and mentor. Duhhh. Tell that to my subconscious or whoever calls the shots around here.)

Finishing things has ALWAYS been difficult for me, though. I kind of wonder why. Whether it’s taking a social research project past the research level, planning an environmental club at MIT, designing posters for the UA Sustainability Committee at MIT, getting exercise groups at my living group organized – I’ve entered each with enthusiasm and found my feet stuck in cement when it came to pulling them through. If there’s a ‘Just FINISH IT Group’ in the blogger-sphere… take me THERE.

Well, I am finishing my report TOMORROW (Tuesday – leaving early to FINALLY get my visa to China as well!), and the presentation by Wednesday/Thursday. Despite my short time here, it will feel AMAZING when I am finished with my part of the project!

Internet + Goals (update!) This weekend I somehow had too much time on my hands, and wandered all around the internet. Around blogs, in particular. This is how I discovered the “Life List Club” and “ROW 80” – two groups that encourage people to make goals and give support in the forms of posts and comments. And that’s why I went a little crazy yesterday and started my own “Life List Club” page and “ROW 80” page (the latter is a writing challenge). And I don’t regret it one single bit. That statement will probably have more weight when I say it on say September 22nd (the end of ROW 80) or July 31st, 2012 (the end of the first 12 months of my “Life List” – and my first set of goals). I encourage everyone to check out both clubs – Life List Club and ROW 80 – and try them out!

I thought I’d just give an update for my first day for both, not that I’ll be updating these lists daily:

Life List Club – I’m planning to add ‘drink 8 glasses of water a day’ and ‘sleep 8 hours a day.’ I think in junior (or senior?) year in one class, when my English (or government?) teacher asked what the most valuable lesson we had learned over the summer was, one girl said “Drink water. Trust me. It is SO important. It CHANGES YOUR LIFE.” Did I listen? Of course not. But I remembered. Water has helped me soooooo much here – every day is better with enough water.

And the same goes for sleep. When I was trying out rugby last spring at school, even though I wasn’t quite in shape, with ten hours of sleep I had enough energy to be involved for my whole B-side game (and awkwardly block the forwards while I was at it because I was a n00b and didn’t know where to go… ANYWAY…)

Got to work half an hour late (one of my goals is to be on time) – we technically do not have strict hours so it did not realllly matter – the reason was that I packed my food and left it and had to buy food on the way >.< New goal: ‘REMEMBER YO STUFF?’

ROW 80 – I planned for 500 words a day and have 287 from yesterday. Plus (not including) this snippet I wrote while trying to get started:

Hello world…

Today be the first day this girl woman specimen thing here err-writes for this here err-challenge-err when she’ll be writing 500 words a day. 500 words a day folks? That right there is almost as frightenin’ as that ol’ Jack Sparrow thinger come to life agi’n man. But she insists she c’ do it, ’tis only a paaai~ge (or two paiges double spaced methinks laddie?). So what can I tell ya. Notin’ I can do ‘ere ‘cept sit ‘n watch ‘n wince ‘n chew me tabacco or bark cause they’re cheap ’round these isles an’… “SHUT UP I’M ACTUALLY DOING THIS!!!”

So anyway… I got work done, but I still need to get in the habit of creating SCENES. And writing all the back-story. Without just barfing out exposition. How does 723 words tonight sound? Possible? Feasible? Maybe not really… since I have an oovoo call with friends, and am getting out of work early tomorrow, I’ll do some tonight and catch up tomorrow. WooHOO!

(Just started using this wordpress spell-check thing and it doesn’t like me much at all, especially my talking to myself and my WooHOO’s, oops…)

All right, end of updates! MUSIC TIMEEEEEEE