'Best' wedding entrance If U havent't seen it here it is. Now, why didn't I think of that? LOL

Click here!

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Bikram Yoga - a first impression

In the name of better health and fitness I have ventured into the unkown (to me) world of Bikram Yoga.

What is Bikram Yoga? It consists of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. The kicker is that you bend and twist into these postures while basting in a 105º room with high humidity for a total of 90 minutes.

So why would I want to do something that would simulate me being rotisseried? I suffer from back pain and did alot of research on what types of exercises would help my condition and this type of yoga kept popping up.

I signed up for classes last week. Here are my first impressions.

I arrived about 45 minutes early to sign up and do the paperwork. I also had to sign a release that reiterated this was my idea and if I pulled or hurt something and that they wouldn't be liable. I put my shoes in the cubby, bought a yoga mat and played a bit with the owner's dog who has 4 names and the only one I can rememer is 'Cashew'.

Go time! I met the instructor and another newbie. We headed towards the HOT room. I put both of my 32oz. water bottles next to me, layed out the mat, placed my towel on top of that and sat quietly with my legs crossed indian style and observed. There are large mirrors towards the front and right side of the room. The rule is that the newbies sit in the back, the "yogis" and "yoginis" in the front.

The instructor stands on a small stage looking at the class and presents the newbies by name. She explains that she will not be doing the poses but saying the poses and exercises. The newbies are is to observe those in the front but also look @ the mirror and be our own teachers. But realistically only expects the new kids in class to just be able to stay in the room for 90 minutes.

We're told to do some deep breathing exercises. It's at this point I notice a wet dog smell in the room. I wrinkle my nose and shake my head thinking they should keep 'Cashew' out of this area. I do the first couple of exercises, stay out some, do a couple other exercises, stay out more!

I feel dizzy, I'm sweating like I've never sweat before; not even when I used to be in a dance group back in the day and practiced 6 hrs straight! I sit back down and I'm in a daze yet in an awe at some of those in front. These human pretzels! I wonder how long it took them to do that pose! Ouch! Ooh! Awe!

I attempt to do some more poses. When at some point I start going through the five stages of grief. 1- Denial and Isolation (I can do this! I hope no one is looking @ me. I suck!) 2- Anger (Why did I sign up for this! I'm not a teenager anymore! I shouldn't have fallen for this.) 3- Bargaining (God, I swear to you if you get me out of this I'll recycle more! Give to the poor! Stop swearing!) 4- Depression (I want to cry, I want my mommy, how long 'til it's over?!) 5- Acceptance (What? It's over already? I survived it! That wasn't too bad, it's for my health you know.)

Since then I've gone back. Yes, I'm nuts. LOL. Each time it gets...not 'easier' but you're able to accomplish more. No, it's not fun, but yes, it does make me feel better. I've learned that if I put my mind to something I can achieve what I thought was impossible. I'm on my way to a better me. I'm a nicer person when I'm not in constant back pain. And that 'wet dog' smell is actually human stank! Not pretty, but well worth it.

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I <3 Pensacola

I was in Pensacola, FL this last weekend. It was a 12+ hour drive just to get there but well worth it!
My mini vaca was to attend my sister's Luau BBQ B-day Bash.
Went to the sandy white beach on Saturday morning. At night the party started. It was a blast.
Alot of her friends came to wish her a happy b-day. I got to meet alot of fun, craaazy people. Played some dominos and danced the night away.
I heart Pensacola, and I heart lil' sis.
That's the pretty b-day girl with the violet flowers and me. :-)

Houston, the Preacher and the Horn

Now that I take a second glance, the title of this post seems like the punchline to a bad joke. But on the contrary, a lesson in life.

Two weeks ago, I was in downtown Houston, TX spending a weekend with the family. After a day of fun at the Aquarium and a good lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. My family and I decided to take a stroll through the Theatre District and I wanted to take some pictures of the awesome arquitecture.

-If you're interested you can see my uploaded pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeanyang22/sets/72157616452078286/show/

As I was snapping some pics of Jones Plaza, when I hear a sound like a muffled trumpet. As I turn towards the direction of this sound I notice this man standing in front of a pyramid-shaped building on a cool Sunday afternoon blowing into a very long horn. I snap a pic of him. He crosses the street and starts walking to where I am. I asked if I could take a picture of him with his unusual instrument. He agrees but only if he can talk to me about God. I'm taken aback since I wasn't expecting this answer but concede. He briefly speaks to me then blows his horn again. The man in the picture is a preacher. He sounds his horn to later announce the Good News.

I can say that I do admire him. Not everyone has the guts to stand up to the world and speak what they believe. It made me think that, in a small way, we too are doing this. All of us who put ourselves out there for all, we have also decided to speak up, and share our thoughts and ideas to the world, in a sense are also standing up for our beliefs.

So to all of you I say, keep sounding your horn. Because someone will always be there to listen.

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Mind Reading a Reality

Scientists in London have developed a new technology that enables them to read a person's memory. They did a study with volunteers getting their brains scanned while playing a virtual reality video game. Scientists guessed where the volunteers were located within the virtual world through their brain activity, reading their 'spatial' memories.

They say that the science to be able to read people's minds by invading it, rather than willfully, is still @ least ten years away. They also believe that this discovery will be able to assist with research for people suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer's, which is good. My grandfather suffered from this disease and if in the future someone with this disease should get the chance not to suffer it sounds promising.

Yet all the same, it's still a bit scary to know someone out there will have the ability to know what I'm thinking. On a funny note though, I can only laugh at visualizing how guys will react in the future when asked the dreaded, 'Does this make me look fat' question. Now tell me how you really feel. Wait...I'll just take a peek. (Youtube link is a funny song titled: If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out.)

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Single Awareness Day

Valentine's Day.
Many fear this day, others embrace it.

I received a call from one of my single girlfriend and she narrates me her plans for this day. She will be attenting a house party dedicated to all of the single friends.

What I found amusing was that instead of calling it Valentine's Day she and her friends used the term Single Awareness Day. (I found this hilarious since the acronym turns out to be SAD, which I pointed out and it was something they had not noticed.)

In the end, it isn't a sad event and it's great that she and her single friends are celebrating. Celebrate life, friends, family and love. But it's great to also celebrate you.


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The Accidental Austinite

I recently moved to Austin, Texas by way of Chicago, Illinois -actually Schaumburg, IL but no one really knows where that is (30 minutes west of Chicago). I've only been here 4 days and it's mostly consisted of unpacking my shizzle. But it's a cool place with a hippie sort of vibe @ least the downtown area. One thing though, there's this mysterious highway called the MoPac, which is actually Highway 1 but everyone calls it that. So if you're asking for directions beware!

I love love love the weather. It's freaking February and I'm wearing my summer clothes! I'm overly excited about this because last week I was in Chicago and it was 6 degrees brrrr. I also am fascinated by the fact that there are so many vegetarians here, yes, in Texas! It sounds like an oxymoron (two words but together to create something that doesn't make sense like girly-man) vegetarian-Texan.

There's also no lack of things to do either. Austin is the live music capital of the world. THE WORLD. So alot of free live music @ the pubs and quality concerts (I already have some friends and family asking to pull out the inflatable bed and reserve a place for them). Which I will do happily! Lots of art galleries to fill my fancy and the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) yay! It gets even better! Austin just got into soccer in the USL league I'm not an expert in soccer nor am I an Austin fan (yet) but I am an Islanders fan (My native Puerto Rico's kick-ass soccer team) and they will be playing against Austin in May. Which all of the Rowdy Ricans (nickname I've given all of the puertoricans I've met here) are down for.

Texans love Texas. On a prior trip here I noticed the majority of homes and businesses have the State flag flying not the US flag. There's alot of Texas pride. The Texas dept of transportation's slogan is "Don't mess with Texas" The 'national' beer of Texas is the Lone Star Beer and they state that 91% of Lone Star Drinkers don't care what 4 states border Texas. Austin is also the home of the Longhorns football team. Everywhere you turn there's the sea of burnt orange logos. And from what I've been told the city practically shuts down on game days. "Hook 'em Horns!" All very entertaining at least for an outsider looking in.

And a couple of random thought thrown together:
I haven't noticed any real "Texan accents" but I'm on the look-out. I enjoy imitating accents and going 'native'. I will definitely be getting me some cowgirl boots. No ten gallon hat, jean jacket and pink fringe though; that's too much to handle right now.

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My First Virtual Wedding

I confess, I'm one of those people who like to play on Yoville. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a cutesy virtual world where you can interact with many people across the globe, shop, go to the beach and decorate your house (my favorite part). Well I will say that besides all of that fun stuff I recently attended my first virtual wedding. As if Vegas wasn't fast and easy enough. Will this be the future of weddings if it can be made legal? Think about it, just get all of your friends to go online, dress up and then hit the reception at someone's pad. Sure a heck of a lot cheaper too. No hiring a photographer either, just print screen and voilá. LOL

Your thoughts on this new phenomenon.


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No, I don't want to sign up to save 10%

I went grocery shopping to the same place I always go. I've been going there for about the same time I've lived in the area - a couple of years now. I don't mind the lines or that a product isn't in stock; but what does bother me is the fact that this one cashier can't take no for an answer.

I usually try to avoid her if I can. But when I can't, I have to mentally prepare myself for the usual.
cashier: "Do you want to sign up for our credit card?"
me: "No thanks"
cashier: "Why not? You save 10%."
me: "I know, but no thanks."
cashier: Starts scanning my items at a slower rate. She smiles. "Are you sure?"
me: "Yes. "
cashier: "But you save money. Don't you want to save money?"
me: Thinking I should've just left the groceries and ran. "Yes I want to save money. But I don't want the card."
cashier: "But it's 10%!"
me: "Yes, you said that already. NO thanks."
cashier: Looks up and smiles, eyes wide open as to say are you sure? Then reluctantly gives me my change and receipt.
me: Finally on my way out!
cashier: probably thinking..."I'll get her next time...next time."

Has this ever happened to any of you? Make me feel better by saying yes. LOL


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Finally, a New Year's resolution I can keep!

Yay! It's a new year, new you as they say. But one thing I've always have been scared of are those new year resolutions basically because...well...they're not realistic @ least my previous ones weren't. Such as: get into my back-in-the-day jeans, get organized, learn to ride a motorcycle (I took a class but have yet to get the license).

So after putting it off for almost a month now, I ran across an article titled: 'Red wine, dark chocolate and exercise" As I read on it was stating how these things could benefit a person (in moderation of course). A lightbulb went off. Yes! A new years resolution I can keep!

So that said, I will definitely drink to a better me, savor that bitter-sweet chocolate and oh yeah and that other one too.

Do you have a new year's resolution or would you just rather not even bother?

- Jean

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Say What?!

I love music. 
I'm a pretty good dancer; and on a recent trip to visit my sister I was even challenged to a battle LOL (looong story)! That being said; I'm the total opposite when it comes to singing a favorite tune, and on top of that! I just found out that half the time, I invent the lyrics. This was kindly (not really) pointed out to me from a very dear friend (not really). After getting my groove on and jamming along to a new song on the radio. My very dear friend (not really) tells me...that's not how it goes. I look over and ask; so what does it say? I was still skeptical. So I got home and decided to research, on those lyric websites, some of my favorite songs. The results below.

T.I. song Dead and Gone:
What I say: Homey's dead and gone
What the song Really says: The old me dead and gone

Rihanna's song Please don't stop the music:
What I say: Just let the music play, we're hand in hand just a chance and now we're face to face.
What the song Really says: Just let the music play, we're hand in hand chest to chest and now we're face to face.
(note - this one totally peeved me: It's my ringtone!)

Has someone ever pointed out the "obvious" to you? How did you deal?

- Jean

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