Who says television and Irene is a complete waste of time and money?

Besides the $7 billion worth of damages that resulted from Hurricane Irene, most American families can agree that Irene has  done one good deed: bring us closer together. For many people, I guess force is better applied.  

On a Saturday night, I typically cuddle next to my mom and watch Chinese dramas – that was 10 years ago. The current 22-year-old “me” loves to prowl the bars, restaurants, streets, and local hot spots of various states on a the weekend. These were exactly my plans for last weekend until Elvis Duran, my favorite radio host, informed me of Irene. Unlike some of my unfortunate coworkers, I did not experience any power outages at home. However, I also knew that a majority of the bars, restaurants, and stores in Philadelphia would not be open or had early closing hours. I learned this fact the hard way when me and a friend decided to go to the mall on Saturday only to be informed by the mall’s  megaphones that they would be closing in 20 minutes. For safety precautions, I went back home, sat around for an hour trying to decide on something to do until my mom asked me if I wanted to join her in her room and watch a new drama. I accepted her invitation by changing into my PJs, making a steaming cup of hazelnut hot chocolate, and cuddling next to her in bed. Within the 5 hours, we talked, watched TV, enjoyed each others company, and snacked together. Eventually, I watched my mom slowly fall asleep. That night, I realized that I will always be the same little girl from 10 years ago to my mom no matter how old I am. Now, it kind of makes sense why she still tries to hold my hand when we walk around in public. I still think it’s embarassing but at least I can finally see it her way. I wonder if the same concept applies to my dad…

Even without power outages at home, I was able to unintentionally spend quality time with my family. I can only imagine how much closer the families that went through power outages in their homes may have gotten.

Another bonus: Irene definitely saved my wallet.



Rice and salt as indicators of experience

My parents love to use old Chinese proverbs to prove a point.

I don’t remember exactly what my parents were lecturing me about, but I definitely remember that they were trying to prove that I will always be significantly less experienced in comparison to them. The discussion happened over the dinner table, a typical pastime: feeding the kids with exhaustive lectures and delicious dishes at the same time. This way, we aren’t inclined to run off. Sometimes, my parents can be pretty brilliant. At one point, I decided to be a smartass and disagree with my dad. As usual, he would go off about his experiences and tell me that I still have much to learn. Before you know it, my mom would chime in (like they’ve planned the whole act) and spit out an old Chinese proverb. “I have eaten more salt in my life than you have eaten rice” is the one that really sticks to me. When I really think about it, they’re probably right. My parents have endured 30 or more years worth of crap in their lives when compared to me and my brother. That’s a lot of crap and a lot of salt!


Two key ingredients for happiness:
1. fitness
2. fullness

In addition to being physically fit and full, it is equally important to be mentally fit and full. Personally, I already feel pretty happy when my body is active and my belly is full of good food. Therefore, it’s definitely a bonus when my mind is active and my life is full of good people.

Mental note to keep in mind (once in a while, we need to be reminded of simple facts): “Smile, breathe, & go slowly.” – http://zenhabits.net

Shaun T kicks my ass!

I am now in the 2nd month of the Insanity workout (http://www.insaneworkoutprogram.com/). Shame on those who do not know of Insanity, best workout program EVER! If you’re someone who needs that extra push for motivation and love competition, then you should definitely give Insanity a try.

For the first week, I thought “what the hell did I get into?!” My legs felt like jelly and it was difficult to drag my heavy body out of bed. Gradually, my body became used to the program. Before I reached the 2nd month of the program, I thought I was finally fit enough to challenge Shaun T, the Insanity instructor. Now, I truly believe that Shaun T is the ultimate god of kicking my ass.

Although the program may be challenging, I’ve never felt so energized and strong. Nowadays, I sleep like a baby at night and have the appetite of a small elephant. Sometimes, I have to eat 4 to 6 meals a day to keep my active body full and happy. The biggest bonus overall is the program’s ability to burn off the stress I manage to build up each and every day. At the end of the workout, I’ve literally sweat out all of the things that I stress about such as meeting reminders, reports, and bills. Since the Insanity program is set for 60 days, I am going to make the the last of my 30 days the best!