Jason Statham broke my phone*

I was out on Friday night, and my friends were telling me about how Jason Statham was their ideal male type. I’m not too familiar with what he looks like, so I searched for him on my phone.

“Look for ‘Jason Statham body!'” they exclaimed, when the Google search results came up with headshots and clothed pictures. ‘Jason Statham body‘ was one of the suggested searches, so I clicked on it and —

My phone died.

And it has refused to turn on since then.

So that’s how I find myself using my ancient Samsung Galaxy SII. It’s funny how old and clunky it seems, but I remember being perfectly happy with it a few short years ago! I’m going to send off my bricked phone to the LG Service Centre this Monday, but I’ve already researched and know what I’m going to get if it can no longer be revived.

I’m a bit annoyed at this unexpected expense. But that’s life, hey? I’ve actually had several appliance breakdowns the past few months. My six-year-old laptop started gasping for life, my clothes dryer broke down, my dishwasher keeps throwing up an overflow error… ah, well.

A fortune teller told me last year that he saw me with a new phone. “Soon or in a few months,” he’d said. I remember scoffing at that suggestion, not just because of the randomness of it, but because I’m not one of those people who insist on getting the newest models when they’re released. I tend to use my phones til they conk out. But yeah, anyway, this happened. So maybe I should write this experience off as fate? Haha!

* Thanks to my friend T for coming up with the title when I was telling her this story!

Leave a comment

Asking for directions

One of my mini-resolutions this year is to give directions to anyone who looks like they’re lost (as long as I’m relatively familiar with the area…)

Today, on my way home, I came across an older American couple standing at one of the funny intersections in the Sydney CBD. The man was fumbling with the map. I asked if they needed help with directions. Fortunately, their hotel was near my workplace, so I tried to explain as best I could.

(As with all direction-giving I worried that I didn’t explain myself properly, but I figured that at least I steered them in the right direction, and if they were still lost, they could ask someone else on the way!)

Every time I give someone directions, I can’t help but remember when I was confusedly standing in front of one of the ticketing machines in my first year in Sydney. A young man, unbidden, asked me if I needed help, and explained how to use the machine. It was at Town Hall, I remember, and he had been with his girlfriend. Funny how I haven’t forgotten!

Wherever you are, random stranger, thank you for showing me how friendly Sydneysiders can and should be!

Leave a comment

Trying to be badass

One of 2016’s best lessons for me is that unexpected things can happen just like that!

Take, for example, one of my goals last year. I really wanted to get into self-defense. When 2016 started, I had an informative chat with a former coworker of mine who has a black belt; he recommended a few schools to check out. I did my research and asked around in online forums. I didn’t get far, unfortunately. I think I sent an e-mail to one of the schools nearby and, when I didn’t get a reply, didn’t feel compelled to follow up.

Then, when I was overseas last December, my dad mentioned he knew someone who knew someone who gave self-defense classes. Did I want to go for a one-on-one session? Hell yeah!

So, one hot and humid afternoon, I found myself in a studio in Makati, facing Roland Isla of Isla Mandirigma Kali. What I liked about it was that it was focused on self-defense… he didn’t just teach me how to strike and kick; he taught me about how to scan the environment for threats and about the mindset I should have (fighting shouldn’t be the first resort; and the aim is to get as far away as quickly as possible, not a fighting showdown.)

We went through several scenarios and basic steps I could do to defend myself. I learned about some simple “routines” that would hopefully incapacitate my attacker enough to give me time to flee. It was tiring, but it was super fun! I felt stronger and (cheesy as it sounds) more empowered that I was in a better position to defend myself.

If I was still in the Philippines I’d definitely be attending his regular classes. However, I knew that I’d eventually forget what I’d learned and that I’d likely panic if placed in an actual situation without regular practice. So I decided that self-defense would be my “thing” for February and started looking around for similar schools in Sydney. I came across 360 Degree Self Defence which was, fortunately, a quick drive from where I live.

I had my first session yesterday and, like my other class, it was also super fun! It was just an hour, but one day later and I’m definitely feeling the effects. We practiced some sample scenarios and I got into some basic moves. There is definitely a lot to learn! I can tell that I need to improve my upper-body strength. I also need to build my muscle memory as I found myself panicking during one of the exercises.

Hopefully I won’t be placed in a situation where I actually have to use these skills, but I’m feeling a bit more confident now that I’m taking steps to learn how to defend myself!

Leave a comment

Dancing with m’self

My “try something new” goal for January was: DANCE!

I’m a creature of habit. I’ve been religiously attending classes at the Sydney Dance Company for several years now. I’ve gravitated towards the same classes: lyrical. Jazz. Contemporary. Ballet. So, this year, I decided to do something new! I found a voucher for unlimited dance classes at a studio in one of my favourite suburbs, so I was in.

I know it doesn’t sound as “revolutionary” — so I’m going to another studio, big deal. But really… I realised that I was too much in my comfort zone at the SDC. I had been going to the same teachers (who I love, don’t get me wrong!) but I wanted to try something new.

So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been trying a whole heap of classes and it has been super fun! Not only has it jump-started my fitness after the holiday season, there are a few classes which are sooo different compared to what I’m used to which I’ve realised I really like, that I’m thinking of continuing after my voucher runs out:

Contemporary improv
I’ve always been taking classes where we’d be following choreography… but I’ve always wanted to be able to dance to music, just “feeling” the music and moving my body the way I wanted to. This was really good at helping me become more comfortable with myself. (Note: this is not my teacher, this is the founder of the style of contemporary improv we do, talking about it.)

African dance
Pardon the grainy video quality! I nicked this video from the dance teacher’s Youtube and it’s a couple of years old. It’s really tiring, as you can see — a lot of jumping and big movements. I like it because it’s sooo different from what I’ve done before! And I love the drum beats.

Also, I’ve been attempting more difficult classes. I really, really want to get a lot better at dancing this year, and I realised that I had to push myself and challenge myself a lot more. I can tell that I’ve improved from doing my ‘regular’ classes, but I can improve so much faster if I just push myself more. So push myself I will!

I’m also trying to write more this month… it’s already mid-February, whaddayaknow?

Leave a comment

Delayed launch

Soooo my “let’s goooo 2017!!” vibes were a tad delayed.

Soon after I had my decluttering/rest weekend a few weeks ago, I got sick. I used to proudly proclaim that I never get sick. But I’ve gotten ill three times in the last four months, so I don’t think I can really say that anymore…

My doctor said I probably picked up a viral infection, with my immune system being down after the busy-ness of the holiday season. He told me to get plenty of rest, so I took a few days off work, and did nothing last weekend. I got a mad case of cabin fever, feeling antsy at being forced to stay indoors.

Times like these, I have to remind myself that “resting” time is not wasted time. I once complained to someone that I hated times when nothing interesting was going on. He said, “Sometimes, when nothing is happening — that’s a good thing. When you are sleeping, and you get an extra hour of sleep, do you consider that wasted time?”

Still, I can’t deny that I’ve been restless. I’d canceled a few things and I’ve been slowly getting back into my social life. I’ve been easing myself into exercise too, and I can’t wait to fully get back into it. One of the good things, though, about getting sick was that I got rid of my holiday weight! Granted, it wasn’t that much — just a little over a kilo — but staying home and being able to get back into preparing healthy meals gave me a boost.

Did I mention? Getting super fit is also one of my goals this year. Haha. I say that every year. I’m relatively quite fit, but I just want to take it up a notch this year. (Interesting, late last year I had two male friends comment — quite surprised-ly — that I was fitter than them. I guess it’s not obvious? Haha.)

OK, now I’m really ready for you, 2017.

Leave a comment