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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Abundance

Is enough ever enough? Maybe it's a genetic thing but humans are wired in such a way we just want more. Is there such a thing as enough time, enough money, enough love, enough sex? Most of us continuously and consistently seeking for more. Is that greed or is wanting more simply satisfying our basic needs? As I get older, I actually want less and less, realising no matter how much I want, nothing lasts forever (is that a motivation to want more while you still can?) For me, I just need to have what I, well, need. The rest? I really don't bother much.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The 3rd Birthday

Here is a PSP game that I've been thinking of getting for awhile: The 3rd Birthday is released by Square Enix and created by Tetsuya Nomura (same as Dissidia and Final Fantasy!!). It is the third instalment of an early series called Parasite Eve (which I'd never played) but the biggest draw of this game for me is the main character called Aya Brea, who looks very, very similar to (the frustratingly sexy) Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII. However, I had my initial reservations: 1) the game is first released in Japanese (oh yes, I've learnt my lessons from the original versions of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Dissidia 012 Duocemin which, despite the Chinese instructions, are extremely hard to follow if you don't know the language); 2) it is, in essence, a shooter game, and I am TOTALLY CRAP AT shooter game. I think my brain is just not wired the same way most other gamers are, who can pick up a new set of controls in nano seconds. I think it took me several weeks to master the control for Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and still I didn't get past the first chapter; 3) it has very, very mixed reviews, though mainly from PE fans who whinge and moan about how it not being as good as the previous two instalments, and for its inconsistent plot, which, in my opinion, is actually quite interesting, but more on that later.



Aya Brea ... is she what she appears to be?


Anyway, so when the English version was recently released, I checked out the game again. Since I could just download it from PSN (for quite cheap) I decided to get it anyway. And, wow, I'm totally and completely addicted to it right now. Cannot put it down! Okay, I am STILL crap at shooting (and get slaughtered even in EASY mode) but I think I'm actually getting better at it. What I like most about The 3rd Birthday is its battle system. Aya Brea has this ability to leap from one body to another, meaning your chance of survival drasticallly increase, especially when there are many other characters (mainly soldiers) on the battlefield. And the graphics is just stunning (one would expect nothing less from Sqaure Enix). The control is also pretty easy and has auto-aiming/targeting. There is also plenty of accessorising going on, which means you can just keep upgrade Aya Brea's weapons and abilities.

I actually find the storyline quite interesting too. Okay, I have to admit it can get a bit confusing as it involves time-travelling (which is NEVER logical), but I like the way as you progress with the game, you also alter the story development (for instance, a couple of characters who were already dead in the 1st Chapter, come back to life in the 2nd because of the missions I've accomplished; while another character who appeared in the 1st Chapter is now missing). But what is the most intriguing of all is, as you progress the game, Aya Brea seems to be wearing less and less clothes (!!)

NO wonder, according to online forums, gamers just rush through this game. The fact that a Aya Brea "shower scene" can also be "unlocked" after completing the game, like, five times, means we have to do that not once but five times to get the "full reward".

It is, kinda, a little perverse but, then again, this IS a Japanese game... Anyway, no time to waste! Tra-la!  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strength and Flexibility

Every now and then, everything just seems ... possible.

Tonight I took Mister M's Yin Yang class and had a totally different experience from last week's session. Perhaps I was still suffering from a lingering cold a week ago, I felt weak, tired and tight. Tonight, I felt strong and was, strangely, quite flexible. I know this is gonna sound like some martial arts/ ku fu movie BS but I actually found flexibility in my strength and vice versa. This dichotomy was particularly evident in two poses: Bridge/Wheel (Yang) and Pigeon (Yin).

I used to have problems with the Pigeon pose when I first started practising yoga mostly because of my bended front knee, which used to hurt. But after a couple of years, perhaps because the hip joints got more flexible (which means less stress on the bended knee), my Pigeon got deeper and deeper. Tonight I was able to completely relax my entire body on the bended front leg, while at the same time, using my strength to push the back leg further back, giving the pose extra stretch. And it felt Great!!!


Here is instructor Lawrence demonstrating the Wheel pose.
His back is so flexible it forms a beautiful/round arch while his legs
are pushing very strongly onto the ground. The fact his shoulders
can open up wide allows him to both take more air into his chest and
straighten his arms. All this enables him to hold the pose firmly.
He does make the pose look deceptively simple and effortless...

Similarly, when I was in the Wheel pose, I started to breathe more slowly and deeply (which is NOT easy), trying to relax my chest (opening it up more to allow more air to enter) while bending my lower back more. Yet such flexibility is only possible by pushing my legs down on the ground with great strength ... and so I used both strength and flexbility to keep this pose up for about a minute, which was quite a feat, esp for me!

   

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Short Break

...at the end of next week!! Have been very busy since end of April so haven't kept up with my regular yoga practice (on average only once a week as opposed to 5-6 times the past couple of months!). Having come down with a lingering cold didn't help, though am definitely on the mend. So I'm planning to practise everyday from next Friday for a week. I attended two classes the other night - my fav teacher Mister M is back from holiday - first Yin Yang, then "Relaxing Stretch class". Perhaps I was still physically weak, they both felt like Power classes (!) Hamstrings and hips have gone extremely tight so it will take awhile to have them stretched again.

Lightning





Tifa
Meanwhile, am grinding for points in the Dissidia 012 game. It just gets better and Better !!! I'm such an Otaku ...


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Cold

Thanks to Swiss Air who obvioulsy don't like to turn the heating on in their cabin during flight time, I almost freezed to death both ways and, as a result, had come down with a cold. Luckily it is already clearing up after just one day and I returned to the mat this evening for a power class. Haven't not practised for one whole week my body felt very stiff ... so it was just as well that the class required more muscular strength than flexibility. We also did some twisting, which I find very satisfying these days (can feel my spine "loosening" up/unlocking). 

Ah, here are a couple of new photos of Bolt that I forgot to upload; they were taken by my cousin Grace who has this weird camera ...

The Fish Bowl Effect ...


Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Flight to Catch

This will be the fastest entry in this blog's history: I am at the Venice airport waiting for my flight and there is absolutely sod all to do other than trying out this internet connection, which, unfortuanely, isn't free. But at least I got rid of some spare changes and it's a quick way to spend, say, half an hour. This airport is totally crap as it has no seats and everyone's standing around either eating their pizzas or READING MY BLOG behind me. Gee, don't they have anything else to do? Unfortunately my flight is not until later so will have to find a spot to plonk self down in about five mins. Where are the yoga mats when you need one?!! Have not practised for a full week and I can already feel my hamstrings and bum going really stiff. Will have to get back to the swing of things next week. In the meantime, I am going to bash the person STILL standing behind me and reading this! What has happened to airport privacy?!?