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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Physical Limitations

Tonight I took my usual hot yoga class (a woman was carried out of the last class ... she looked like she'd fainted!) and did the best I could given I have arthritic knees :o( The block came in handy as I couldn't really bend my knees too deep. That coupled with my slightly warped hips I found some of the poses (which I could normally do) quite challenging. I did try the split again and I could do that (at least the half split) easily, sitting on the tall side of the block. But I have come to accept my limitations in my practice. Just as I've accepted that there are things in life that you can't really change and just have to let it be. 

This morning something really annoyed me at work and for a brief moment I thought I'd kick up a big fuss about it ... then I took a few deep breaths and thought: oh well, why fret? I decided not to take any action or do anything cos knew it would have been futile ... I actually feel good about my decision now cos I didn't work myself into a lather over something that, to be frank, is pointless.    

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Some More Letting Go

This might sound trivial to many but I've decided to let go of some of the older video PSP games -- Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, Persona 4 -- which I've spent hours (TO close to 1,000) playing. But I need to free up some space in my memory card for new games. And some of these games just don't appeal anymore. 

But I'm really into the Final Fantasy series right now (am doing some serious grinding and farming in Type-0 after another quick foray into Dissidia: Duodecim 012 earlier) and will very likely buy FF X when its HD rework is released on the PS Vita later this year. Won't play FF IV and the After Years until I get my hands on a walkthrough (which I'm told I'd need if I was to make any good progress in it). I did have a walkthrough but I stupidly gave that away :o(

With Type 0, there are so many ways to play the game ... I started the game playing Ace, Machina and Rem (for thematic reasons cos they are, like, the main characters) but have also been trying out King, Deuce and now, Trey, Jack, Eight and Queen. What makes this such a great game is a lot of thinking (and I really mean a lot) has gone into making all 15 playable characters unique. I still have, like, six Class 0 warriors unexplored (their weapons just don't look as sexy ... I mean, swinging a mace?!?) but am sure will try them out at some point. But looking at the ones I have played:

Machina: He is, at the moment, the strongest guy ( @Lvl 65) on the team; he is such a powerhouse and by combining his Sword Field and Darkside basically he can attack and defend at the same time.

Diabolo 
Deuce: I'm really re-discovering this flute girl; with dodging ability and her Concerto (which is long/short range and breaks enemy defence), she is basically invincible! And I proved it by taking her into a lvl 70 dungeon and she is the only one walking out alive, with her beautiful hair intact (but a very sore thumb pressing down on the triangle button). However, all that dodging really uses up her MP so ...

Rem: here is where Rem comes in as her main job is to re-fill the entire team with MP!!! She is apparently an amazing Mage, the strongest in the game, however since I still haven't learnt how to Magic Cancel, I'm not really using her correctly. I have been exploiting her Re-raise ability (to sacrifice then resurrect) though so I can spam Summons (Diabolo ~ WOW!!!) that can get the team out of some really sticky situations (like the final side mission in Chapter 7 where the dragon nest/egg needs to be destroyed). 

Trey: This is another cool discovery ... his bow & arrow can shoot Really far and he's a balanced weapon wielder and magic user. Can charge his shot while running. The only thing is I've been farming/grinding for his Rune Bow in Besunel Cave but Still No Luck. But he seems to be able to OHKO enemies, the only problem with him is that is not very good at closeup combat. 

Ace: He's always been reliable but I've only been using his Teleport cards ... never used his open deck so will explore that later.

King: Like Ace, he is always reliable and a great range attacker ... but he seems to be less interesting than Trey and his Never Give Up (re-raise) ability doesn't always seem to work. And I hate it when he has to reload his gun in the middle of a battle. But all in all, an easy character to play.

Jack: For closeup OHKO, Jack is the guy but the timing of his Kill or Break Sight/critical hit is kinda hard. Playing him well needs practice. And he limps and is slow. However, I have his mid-range katana, which is great.

Eight: Eight is another one who is quite hard to play ~ though his play-style is probably the most interesting ... given he has SO many moves! But not for anyone who gets confused with too many control button combinations.

Queen: She is powerful and potentially v interesting to play but haven't come round to really trying out her moves yet. But I tend to have quite a few exclusive accessories for her already so will probably use her to grind high-level dungeons later. 

I don't think I'd missed out anyone. So in terms of grouping, I think below makes sense:

Machina + Rem + Deuce: a powerful & perfect combo!
Trey + Jack + Eight: the lads are predominantly short-range, magic fighters
King + Ace + Queen: more a long range and no nonsense team...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Mother of All Migraines

Oh yeah, she paid me an unwelcome visit last weekend and it really was paralysingly painful. It took not one but two Advils to numb the pain. I blame it on the weather/low pressure as this part of Asia enters the typhoon season. In fact, the recent crap weather really has much to answer for: both my knees took turns to swell (with arthritis) and then the migraine. All this, of course, meant I've been off the yoga mat for almost a fortnight (I did squeeze in a hot class on Monday, which was nice) ... but with my regular yoga instructor away, it doesn't look like I'll be taking many classes next week either.


However, must get back to regular practising soon as I'd signed up for a workshop by this (beautiful) couple called Briohny and Dice. At first I didn't want to sign up cos I knew I'd be just staring at these people (like, in awe of their presence as they are kinda, like, celebrities in the yoga world but since my friend is going and there will be quite a bit of partner work, I thought I'd just go and help out. Their workshop is made up of five sessions (over three days) but I'm only attending two (one one day). They will be inversion classes (bring those Core exercises on, baby!) which I quite like/enjoy. It really is a bit like training for the circus but the practice requires a lot of focus, balancing, control and inner calmness. So, something to look forward to next month. 

Meanwhile, much has been happening on VideoGames-land (while I was nursing swollen knees) ... I grind-ed big time on One Piece ... then kinda got bored. Went back to  Final Fantasy Dissidia 012 Duodecim and got a bit deeper/further into the Labyrinth and Scenario 000 before I decided to take another (maybe long) break. Don't understand why I'm not getting any decent weapons. 

So I'm now back on Final Fantasy Type-0 (seriously, this is such an amazing game I have no idea why Square Enix won't localise it for the international audience)... anyway, discovered that Deuce (the flute girl) is close to invincible. When she plays her Concerto -- with her "avoid" skill active -- she attacks and protects at the same time, which keeps her HP high. However, all that dodging depletes her MP (even though I've already upgraded that skill to minimise MP consumption) ... but throw in Rem, then we have a winning double act, with Rem refilling everyone's MP with her Convert skill. The thing is I'm now at this horrible grind-y stage (really, so much grinding in the video games I play it's not funny...) where I'm not sure whether I should start my third playthrough soon (but still need to complete Chapter 8 -- without Rem and Machina ... which will be no fun at all). Will see how next week progresses. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Sore Core

What I hate about doing Core exercises is the Sore afterwards (!) I took one class on Wednesday night and I can still feel my "effort" today, three days later; i.e. can't laugh or sneeze without feeling the muscle pain.

Building up the Core (which is kinda like a thick belt that wraps around the abs and around the back) is vital in a yoga practice not only to give practitioners (inner) power -- there are so many yoga poses that require Core strength such as Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III) --  but to protect our lower back. Having Core strength is also vital for the inversion poses. 

Warrior 3
There are many ways to train the Core ... and one of my old yoga instructors, Lawrence, used to ask us to get into various poses that require Core strength, which I enjoyed. The practice also helped us focus. There is also what I'd called the drill method, which basically means you spend the entire class just targetting the core with repetitive exercises (a bit like crunching in fitness training... that was what the Perfect Human Specimen used to do during part of his Core classes) ... last Wednesday our instructor adopted the latter method for the ENTIRE class. I mean, that was kinda sadistic (but I think most of the (female) students actually enjoyed it despite all the grunting and moaning ... could be the myth of weight loss at work again).

I don't think I will go to his class again (esp I tend to laugh and sneeze a lot). Am resting this weekend but will probably get back into some serious practice next week....