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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Grind Fest 2

Clocking in @ 60 hours+ playing Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention. Unlike Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, this a much, much longer game, and like a bottomless pit, there seems to be no end to it. I'd finished the main story at around 50 hours but there is so much post-game stuff to do and unlock. And to get the top weapons you just have to grind till your PSP Vita turns into a blade. However, part of the fun of this game is actually not to be OPed and OHKO-ing everything but to enjoy working out various strategical puzzles, which is very satisfying when solved. Looks like I will be spending several hundred hours on this ... in between my yoga classes ...     

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grind Fest

Okay, lots happened the past week on all fronts (yoga, games and tech) ... but first, Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention. 

(Quite a wacky promo with bad VO, "dood"! ... I'd switched over to Japanese VO, which is Great!)

I bought this game (for PSP Vita) back in Apr/May, hoping that it would get me off my Tactics Ogre addiction (bwah!). However, having played it for several hours I was totally overwhelmed by its mechanics; there is just SO MUCH to it yet SO LITTLE is being explained (despite tutorials). I had to put it down. Unlike TO (admittedly it took me awhile to get used to THAT system too), which is quite systematic ~ you level up your team and, with that, you upgrade weapons and skills ~ with Disgaea, it has a warped logic. For instance, weapons (and probably skills) are not directly related to the characters' level, it seems. As long as you have the dosh, you can get the more powerful weapons. I think skills are unlocked as the characters level up but am not entirely sure. I read in the forums that how powerful a character is depends not on its level but weapons ... so as long as you grind (for $$$), you can become OP (over powered) pretty quickly. So, yes, I am grinding "a bit" just so I can breeze through the story mode in my first run through. But there are so many things to unlock, places to explore that I might have to spend more than 999 hours (I did close to that with TO) on this game... and consider I can level up Each character to Level 9999 ... anyway, will report back on progress here time and time again...



Secondly, I bought myself the Nokia N8 (finally!) I've been eyeing this piece of gadget since its release a couple of years ago but it was just too expensive and notoriously buggy. Also, I think "Google phone" Nexus S (Samsung) is a far more superior smartphone I was in no rush getting it. But when I saw this in a "clearance sale" (prices dropped by half) this week, I thought it was time to get it: 1) production of this model has probably stopped so if I don't get it now, I wouldn't be able to get it in the future; 2) I really like its form factor, the metallic feel and curves are aesthetically appealing; 3) great camera with Xenon flash (!) and 4) well, it's a bargain. Since its firmware's been upgraded from the initial Symbian^3 to Belle, the OS is a lot more smooth and stable (but still not as good as Nexus S) but its sound quality of calls is just Amazing!! Also, I really am such a sucker for Nokia I just must have one in my collection, which is now made up of my Blackberry Bold (9900), Docomo F-02D, Nexus S and N8. Perfect!

Finally, from the materialistic to the physical/spiritual ... my last Yin class was another revelation. I was trying to do the split, though with help of not one but two bolsters! The experience was interesting in that, when in this (extremely) challenging pose (for me), I could feel the nerves that run from my lower back, through the knee to my lower leg ... I actually felt slight twinges in the knees and lower back areas, sensations that I don't feel in other asanas. 

Finally, finally, eat your hearts out comics geek! I spoke with Stan Lee the other week; amazing 89-year-old from another era ...




Monday, July 2, 2012

Another Revelation ...

One thing I like most about my yoga practice is that it helps me understand my body better; though, I have yet to learn how not to judge it. Today, I took an inversion class and, again, I felt my tight hips, shoulders and hamstrings ... and this imbalance of my body. Now, I've known about the imbalance between the left and right side of my body for years now but in today's class, I realised just how loose my left hip is as opposed to my right hip; left hamstrings are also less tight. Which is interesting. 

Note: the lifted leg, the heel should
be facing skyward
When I was preparing for the headstand (see left), after I placed my head on the ground and cupped its back with both hands, I walked my legs towards my head, then lifted my right leg up. Now, cos of tight hip and hamstrings, the right leg didn't go very far (i.e.heels supposed to face the ceiling and not the back wall) ... and even with strong-ish core, I just couldn't quite keep my right leg straight and lift left leg off the ground. But when I tried the other side. And the experience was very different. 
This time, because of a more loose left hip and less tight hamstrings on the left leg, my left leg just shot up and I was able to keep it reasonably straight, then I lifted up my right leg with ease. The only thing that stopped me from doing the full pose I still lack Core strength and the psychological fear that I'd flip over and fall. Actually, when I am doing this pose next to a wall, I don't have any problems at all. 

So I think I need to take private classes to address the issues of tight hips/shoulders/hamstrings and build up my Core strength ... before then, I will have another crack at Clayton Horton's (intensive) Ashtanga workshop (the same one I took about a year ago that gave me a swollen knee cos it was too, well, intensive!) This time, I'm just taking one session and I will continue the progress (or the lack of which) of my body.