Tag Archives: Music

Here’s a little something for your Monday.

 

Over a week later and I’m still hungover with Jay :p Tunes I listed below were in my head all week, and since it’s dreadful Monday, I want to share the joy with you.

Here’s the 101 on the master of diao: Practically every Mandarin-speaking population have at least heard one song by Jay Chou. The Taiwanese artist plays the piano, guitar, cello, flute, drums, violin, and various traditional Chinese instruments. He makes films, he loves his mother, and he’s cute. Oh yes, and his beverage of choice is a glass of milk.

Other than that, when it comes to music, variety is his nature. His albums always has that one upbeat song, that super emo one that almost always become chart-toppers, and the one with zhong guo feng. Because you’re hearing it from me, I’m gonna say everything he does is great.

Depending on which of these emotions you’d like to get a dose of right now, you can get them from Jay Chou. If you’re a girl and you understand Mandarin (i.e. the lyrics), these songs will work doubly on you. Guys, stay straight.

Without further ado, ENJOY.

 
 

Get happy

 



 
 

Get emo

 



 
 

Get Oriental

 



 
 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 
 

The unforgetable Opus Jay 2013 World Tour in Jakarta

 

WARNING: Deeply affected (read: benumbed) fangirl ahead.

 

Sorry that it took me so long to give you the 411 about this, but … you remember I told you about Jay Chou’s concert in Indonesia? For the first time, like, ever?

DSC01361

Friday, October 11, 2013, at the press conference of Opus Jay 2013 World Tour in the ballroom of The Media Hotel & Towers.

Well … I went to see him. FOR FREE!!!!!! And Oh. My. God. Like, seriously he’s 帅到要死啊~~ you don’t even have to understand what I just said in Chinese, the point is, my childhood fantasy came true~


 
 

The day before

DSC01364 DSC01365 DSC01367

DSC01366

L-R: Sean Sudwikatmono of W Productions, Harry Cheung of Kaspersky Lab, my incomparable Jay, and his translator

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG … I mean, Jay Chou is REAL.

I was trembling throughout the press conference while watching him coming to life with every move he makes, walking and talking like a human being. For the first time I saw him in person. Ten years holding his voice close to my mind and heart and soul and I finally saw him in person.

He’s not the usual two-dimensional figure I’ve been fantasizing about since I was thirteen. He’s, like, real, as in 3D – moving, breathing, and completely touchable. Of course I didn’t get to touch him you silly. I mean it’s a good thing ’cause I’ll probably die and go to heaven if I’d poke him, let alone touch him.

Throughout the super short conference, Jay hinted on a couple of stuff to expect in the concert: He will be performing some thirty songs, all of which are the ones he has written himself. That’s still a vague overview, even though Vincent Fang has written more than half of Jay’s ten-year discography. But then I know he won’t be serenading Ai Zai Xi Yuan Qian (愛在西元前) to me anymore.

He also said that this wasn’t the first time he’s been to Indonesia. A long, long time ago, when he was seven years old, his mother once brought him here for a vacay … in Bali.

So yes, besides being his first performance in Indonesia, this was his first time in Jakarta as well.

One journalist asked the one edible thing he’d like to try while in Indonesia, and Jay spoke of the modest cup of java.

“I heard Indonesian coffee is great,” he remarked. Immediately, I thought, this is one of those successful cases behind the excessive advertising of Sumatran coffee beans overseas. Then again, maybe he really digs coffee. A large part of why I always think he’s cute is because he loves milk.

Okay, okay. Maybe I shouldn’t reveal any more trivial information about him on this post. It only shows how much of my teenage years I’ve spent on stalking him.

So basically throughout the Q&A session, journalists asked him casual questions that would serve the general public’s interest. I had a question, but I resisted from raising my hand, because the ONLY thing that was in my head the whole time was … 你到底有没有努朋友?? (Do you or do you not have a girlfriend??)

FYI, he’s always denying about his rumored relationship (and/or marriage) with the beautiful 20-year-old model Hannah Quinlivan. Nevertheless, I’m comfortable living with lying to myself that he’s still single, as over two years of their alleged relationship later there’s still no fool-proof pictures to confirm their relationship.

DSC01368 DSC01369

I know he doesn’t always look good in pictures. In fact, and I’m brutally honest with this, I thought he’s just another C-Pop star with a garage of emo mementos to share. It’s why the only C-Pop artist I really listen to, like really, really listen to, is Jay Chou.

It’s not just that – by now, my taste in skinny guys with smiley faces have probably been challenged for the umpteenth time … but I don’t care.

I believe anyone who’s seen Jay on these videos would know right away why guys and girls alike would just get head over heels for this artist.

For Pete’s sake, he’s a modern legend of Asia. Ten years from now, if the standard school is to include the ’90s Asian pop culture in their curriculum, I guarantee Jay’s music and his influences would mark a dent on history textbooks.

DSC01372

Look at that razor-sharp jawline … those dimples … that gentle, mysterious, calm and cool facade!


 
 

The Opus concert

As with everything Indonesian, one of the most unforgetable two hours of my life started late at about 07:40pm -_- But I was just thrilled that the line-up were largely comprised of his old favorites, most of which the lyrics and chords and piano scores I’ve memorized entirely by heart in the past decade, partly because I’m obsessed with him and partly because they’re still good even though I’ve listened to them more than a million times.

The concert opened with the blasting 4D effect technology getting the 12,000-something audience warmed up quickly. Wowed crowds of teenagers and the elderly alike started singing cheers as they chanted wah kao! (哇靠!) repeatedly (from the upbeat chorus of Jing Tan Hao) on Jay’s cue. I won’t go further into the details because I wasn’t taking much notes during the concert (guilty). I made an attempt to list all the songs he performed that night though, which you can see if you scroll down just a bit more.

20131012_19515420131012_195414


20131012_211057 20131012_210929 20131012_210858

20131012_202440 20131012_202414 20131012_202401 20131012_200241 20131012_200235

DSC01376

This is where I need your help: If you went to the concert as well, please drop a comment and spell out where I’ve gone wrong with the order of the songs, or any other mistake you’ve spotted on my list. This is as far as I can recall:

 

1. Jing Tan Hao (驚嘆號) – Exclamation Mark
2. Long Quan (龍拳) – Dragon Fist
3. Zui Hou De Zhan Yi (最後的戰役) – The Last Battle
4. Na Li Dou Shi Ni (哪里都是你) – Everywhere is You
5. 一路向北 (Yi Lu Xiang Bei) – All The Way North
6. Bu Neng Shuo De Mi Mi (不能说的秘密) – Secret
7. Shuang Jie Gun (雙截棍) – Nun-chucks
8. Ming Ming Jiu (明明就) – Obviously
9. Shi Jie Mo Ri (世界末日) – End of the World
10. Dao Xiang (稻香) – Fragrant Rice
11. Long Juan Feng (龍捲風) – Tornado
12. An Jing (安静) – Silence
13. Jian Dan Ai (簡單愛) – Simple Love
14. Ben Cao Gang Mu (本草綱目) – Compendium of Materia Medica as a beatbox prelude to Gong Gong Pian Tou Tong (公公偏头痛) – Dizzy Eunuch
15. Qian Li Zi Wai (千里之外) – Faraway featuring Beijing singer Liu Chen (Sylvia Stephanie)
16. Qin Hua Ci (青花瓷) – Chinese Flower Pot
17. Dou Niu (鬥牛) – Bullfight / Shui Shou Pa Shui (水手怕水) – Sailors Afraid of Water / Da Ben Zhong (大本钟) – Big Ben
18. A medley of Cai Hong (彩虹) – Rainbow / Gui Ji (軌跡) – Orbit / Niu Zai Hen Mang (牛仔很忙) – Cowboy Is Very Busy / Xing Qing (星情) – Clear Stars / Hui Dao Guo Qu (回到过去) – Go Back To The Past
19. Wan Mei Zhu Yi (完美主義) – Perfectionism / Qiao Ke Shu Shu (乔克叔叔) – Uncle Joker
20. Qing Tian (晴天) – Fine Day
21. Qi Li Xiang (七里香) – Common Jasmine Orange
22. Kai Bu Liao Kou (開不了口) – Cannot Speak
23. Wu Ke Li Li (乌克丽丽) – Ukulele
24. Yang Guang Zhai Nan (阳光宅男) – Sunny Otaku

 
 

Every passing minute of the concert had me stupefied (and perhaps I cried a little) that I went gaga all the way with my lightstick. I know it was two sweet hours (and some more) already, but … I really, really can’t get enough of the guy. 再给我多几个小时的杰倫吧~~~ T_T

You have to see the look in his face – he’s sincerely doing it all for his fans. If I were him I would’ve been easily let down because the seated persons on the VIP and VVIP sections were, compared to the frantic me, quite nonchalant throughout the first half of the concert. There weren’t many from the audience who were fully engaged and singing along with Jay, whereas I was waving at him like there’s no tomorrow, singing as loud and as in tune as I can with him. I just went berserk. Whenever he moved towards his left onstage, near where I was at at the stadium’s top right, I’d melt slowly in his words. My eyes could’ve fooled me, but I must have imagined him seeing me because I was practically hanging in the air, my top half reaching towards him so far as if I was about to fall off the balcony. Like if I could just poke his pecs or something, I’d die.

Putting all fangirl raves aside, I thought I heard short clips of Ting Ma Ma De Hua (听妈妈的话) in the beginning (or was it the end?) of one of these songs, and Yi Fu Zhi Ming (以父之名) somewhere else. But overall I was beyond impressed with the whole sequence. There were segments where Jay specifically promoted his most recent self-directed, self-starring musical, The Rooftop (天台), plus a mime segment, a solo drum performance, a solo electric guitar one, and many more spectacular performances by his accompanying crew.

"The Rooftop" official poster

“The Rooftop” official poster

Even though he’s now making movies and made it to Hollywood these days, and I’m sure many of you longtime Jay Chou fans would feel the same, I hope he will never stop making music in the long run. He was the first guy who brought the Western R&B into a new light – a zhong guo feng light to be exact – and that has never changed in the past ten years of his music career.

One decade is quite a while to keep up with any form of consistency. Not many artists out there, be it the Western thunders or the Eastern counterparts, who have enjoyed the same, if not more respect from their fans for such a long time. Fast forward to the far future: If he still keeps up with his originality in the years to come, I’m sure the whole Mandarin-speaking world will forever remember his legacy.

DSC01377

Ai Xin & me *peace*

Oh, and one more thing: To follow the footsteps of other Mandarin-speaking countries, Indonesia will welcome Jay with open arms should he return for his future concerts. During the press conference, he expressed his interest in coming back, hopefully for every two years, to entertain his Indonesian fans. Note that the every-two-year part is meant to comply with the touring tradition he’s established for himself. Of the past every-two-year tours, none in which he’s ever gotten the chance to perform in Indonesia. So let’s pray he’ll return for the second time in 2015.

 

Much more better-quality pictures from the amazing Opus concert will appear on next month’s issue of HighEnd Teen magazine, so make sure you get your copy once November rolls around!!! :)

 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 

3 jams I can’t get off my head right now

 

I can still distinctly remember the last time I went clubbing: summer of 2009 – just before my so-called depression era and the year-long absent period.

alex-morph-prime-mover-the-remixes-our-personal-picks-youredmBut for many reasons other than the brazen addictive nature of it, I can’t get trance out of my life.

It’s like therapy even up till now, and I suspect it will last for a very long time. I used to have a really (and I mean, really) wide variety of music on my playlist before trance came along.

Safe to say that I was a totally different person than who I am today. Either that or I’m simply breaking out off the extrovert shell I’ve carefully molded over the years.

But put me on a dancefloor this minute with progressive beats and sync a couple of vocal trance in the background, and I’m off the ultra-tense exterior I now put on every day.

Here are the bombs:

 
 

1. Eternal Flame (Solarstone Pure Remix)
- Alex M.O.R.P.H.

BPM: 136
Release Date: July 26, 2013
Record Label: Armada
USD 1.99 @ Beatport

This is my personal pick from the Prime Mover remixes bundle. I think I could last a full night’s loop of the tune. It’s pure bliss – as if you’re in another world. Like when I danced in heels for a straight 4 hours during AvB’s line up at the 2008 LoveFest Afterparty and remained euphoric throughout. Alex M.O.R.P.H. has a got dozens of remixes I’ve loved throughout his decade-long career, particularly nailing it on his B2B remix of DJ Shah & AvB’s “Going Wrong” with Woody van Eyden, as well as the more recent remix of The Thrillseekers’ super old hit (in trance history), “Synaesthesia“.

 
 

2. Strangers ft. Tove Lo
- Seven Lions with Myon & Shane 54

BPM: 128
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Record Label: Casablanca Records
USD 1.29 @ iTunes

Guess what, this is the first time I spotted a trance tune on a Hollywood movie soundtrack (“Strangers” appears on the “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” official soundtrack)! Also my first time listening to the vocals of Tove Lo, and she’s a different breed from MS54′s usual sidekick, Aruna, though equally ethereal. But I’ve been a longtime fan of MS54′s productions and remixes alike – I voted for them as one of the five spinners on DJMag’s annual Top 100 DJ voting for the last couple of years, though AvB’s still off the charts consecutively. I suggest you start educating yourself with their stuff by subscribing to their FREE weekly podcast, International Departures.

 
 

3. Go It Alone (Andrew Rayel Remix)
- Dash Berlin ft. Sarah Howells

BPM: 132
Release Date: September 2, 2013
Record Label: Aropa Recordings
USD 2.49 @ Beatport

I’ve been in love with Sarah Howells’ voice since Lange’s epic 2008 record, “Out of the Sky”. The Kyau & Albert-remixed version still gives me the chills. Though trance is starting to become mainstream today and I’m all nostalgic about the classics, this is one of the tunes that caught my attention throughout the build-up.

 
What about you? What have you been listening to lately?
 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 

Newsflash: Get ready for Opus Jay 2013 World Tour!

 

Oh, gosh. He’s coming. He’s really, really coming. I’ve been waiting too long for this moment. Never in my wildest dreams he would actually come to Jakarta. Gosh.

1069238_580601518658372_2086301321_n
 

Mark your calendar:

Date: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Venue: Mata Elang International Stadium (MEIS), Ancol
Time: 07:00pm – finish

 

Not only is he coming for, ahem, me, Jay’s also telling the world that he’s still king of Mandopop today, even though his most recent album, “Opus 12” (十二新作), was released last year.

Cut him some slack – he’s a very busy guy these days, what with acting, directing, producing, and endlessly composing stuff in hometown Taipei and abroad. My boy, who turned 34 early this year, has been consistent with his albums annually since 2000 anyway, singing his slurs and rapping in hums. His work has long instilled an inspiration so deep within the Asian music scene that every Mandarin-speaking individual I’ve ever spoken to, whether in the States, in Singapore, or in Jakarta, has at least one song they like that is written and vocalized by Jay Chou.

His last live stint, The Era 2010 World Tours, has melted thousands of crazy fangirls’ hearts across Asia, and now he’s doing it again by hitting Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Chengdu, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Jakarta, in part to reintroduce himself as the brand ambassador of Kaspersky Lab.

Our imaginary long-distance relationship has been rocky over the years, but nowadays it’s going quite steady. This will be his first trip to Indonesia, which I thought would never come true just a decade ago. Though it’s just a one-night stand concert at MEIS, I know it’ll make up for our lost time.

“It’s truly an honor to organize Jay Chou’s world tour,” said Telly Len, managing director of PT. Nusantara Utama Technology today. “We’ve seen a tremendous growth of Kaspersky users in Indonesia, with more than two million Indonesian users this year. We hope that Jay’s presence as the new ambassador of Kapersky would be a cordial reception for Indonesia.”

DSC00684

Wednesday, July 24, 2013, at the press conference of Opus Jay 2013 World Tours in Mangga Dua Square’s Sands. L-R: Gaery Undarsa of Tiket.com, Sean Sudwikatmono of W Productions, Telly Len of PT. Nusantara Utama Technology, Franky Waroby of Synergism Entertainment, and Dony Koesmandarin of Kaspersky Lab

I’m glad that the tickets to see Jay are available on Tiket.com, which makes life so much easier ;) Buying passes online saves you from the hassle to document the physical paper until the day comes, in which case, for someone as clumsy as me, I’ll easily lose. Just remember that you can only book up to four tickets for each transaction, and that once you’ve received a confirmation e-mail of your purchase, the tickets are no longer refundable.

Ticket booking will start at 11:00 AM on this Friday, July 26, 2013. Keep a lookout on Tiket.com!

 
DSC00681

business-seating_plan_tiket_copy.map
 

It’s really happening … Twelve albums later, and Jay’s made quite an impression in the silver screen. I’m still a bigger fan of his music though. True that he’s talented in everything the showbiz throws at him, and it’s not hard to spot the high-achiever’s perfectionism that’s written all over his works, the kind that’s similar to Steve Jobs’ Apple. But somehow, I can never get tired of watching him play his dozens of instruments, and I’d rather sit by his pink piano, strumming his guitar, playing his violin and cello, and blowing his flute all day than seeing him wearing so many hats working for a single flick.

I’d like to leave much, much thanks to the following peeps who’ve made one of my childhood fantasies come true T____T:

If you’re looking for reliable IT security, Kaspersky Lab is the go-to distributor. Since 1997, the Moscow-based company has been offering a vast range of trusted anti-virus softwares, particularly anti-spywares, anti-spams, and anti-destroyers. Their recent partnership with network security provider and fellow Jay Opus 2013 World Tour sponsor Tech Titan aims to strengthen their commitment to providing value-added digital security solutions. Though not the official organizer, PT. Nusantara Utama Technology is currently the only authorized distributor of Kaspersky Lab and Tech Titan in Indonesia. Since April 16, 2010, the company has created numerous sales and opportunities for its partners, much like its unique marketing programs for Kaspersky.

Promoters Synergism Entertainment and W Productions are bringing the farthest-fetching artists to J-town. Best known for permitting last year’s SM Town Live World Tour III, W Productions has consistently kept Indonesia’s cheeriest fanboys and fangirls screaming for more. After the whole legion of Korean artists they’ve invited in the last five years, including PSY, Rain, and Kim Bum, I’m really glad they’re now sending in one of the rare artists I’d go to concerts for ;)

Multi award-winning startup Tiket.com has been kind of like a local version of Expedia and Fandango to me. Probably the easiest and most convenient way to buying movie tickets here in the congested capital, Tiket.com has reserved seats overnight for 10 and me when we were watching Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel at Blitzmegaplex, and on both times, we were thankful we did. Otherwise it would’ve taken hours in traffic just to find that the seats are full.

Last but not least, I’m grateful for Mata Elang International Stadium (MEIS), the “it” arena within North Jakarta’s up-and-coming lifestyle center, Ancol Beach City, because a) its an indoor stadium, so I won’t have to worry about rain, and b) the strategic location: It’s nearby my home :) The vast platform was just opened for public early last year, but numerous household names have graced the stage. There were the popular Korean artists, namely Super Junior, BIGBANG, and Girls’ Generation who had all the K-Pop fanatics go gaga, and then there were the Western classics like David Foster, J Lo, Guns N’ Roses, and Sting.

business-event_header.crop

So remember guys: One day left until tickets are open for booking :) I bet there are hundreds of crazy fangirls, excluding myself, to overflow the stadium. I seriously think I’ll cry when I meet him in person.

By the way, have you seen these videos? You should. And you wonder whether Mr. Perfect Chou is human.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 

16 powerful girly songs that keeps you strong and going

 

I know, I know – judging from the headline, call me girly-girl all you want.

In my defense, I’m a jobless twenty-something girl who doesn’t have everything all figured out yet in life (and this is a totally different topic, something I might frequently touch upon in the near future).

After all, I’ve only achieved one out of the five milestones sociologists consider as becoming an adult: Completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying, and having a child.

Equipped with our tech-savviness, multitasking skills, innovative ideas, and a “fresher” perspective, modern society perceives Millennials as the new breed that will replace Gens X and Y in the workforce. Other twenty-somethings go back to their hometowns after college and live in their parents’ backyard, falling behind from the employed population.

That would be me.

I’m scared, and I’m confused about the future. But I know one thing’s for sure: I am not alone.

Being alone in this changing times is frightening, especially when you feel like no one understands your situation and there’s no one to talk to about this dilemma. I myself have experienced suicidal episodes during my junior year in college. Just the thought of life after graduation frightened me so much that I considered ending my life was the only solution.

Well, unless you’re stupid, it’s not. Because there’s more to life than just the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness in itself is readily attainable, but as human beings, I believe each one of us has our own unique life purpose to live by, and therefore hold the responsibility to ensue the purpose. Some will die for love, while others will suffer for the welfare of others.

But before I get too philosophical about the nuts of bolts of living the twenty-something life, or just life, let me stop and say that in a few scrolls away, I’ll be sharing with you my inspiration to keep moving forward no matter what life brings me ahead – good music.

Music moves people. Good music moves people to do positive actions. Katy Perry wrote Firework for a reason. She wanted to inspire the people who are labelled by society as “different”, or “weird”, or “disabled”, to never give up in spite of rejects. She dedicated the music video to the It Gets Better Project, a national movement in America responsible for suicide prevention and encouraging self-esteem within the LGBT community.

I’ll let Katy Perry herself explain the purpose of her song, courtesy of MTV:

 

“People are coming back and almost adopting it as their own anthem, and it’s hard, I think, to write an anthem that’s not cheesy. And I hope that this could be something in that category. I hope this could be one of those things where it’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to put my fist up and feel proud and feel strong.’

 
 

So I guess the following songs are my anthems?

What I know is that these tunes give me a sense of power. That I still matter. That for as long as I’m still alive, God still has a plan for me, an important job for me to do.

Some of these I’ve listened for more than a decade, while others are top-charters from recent times. Some you might recognize because they’re featured on my fitness journal, others you might hear them when you were way younger – that is, if you’re a fellow ’90s kid.

For every song on this list, I plucked the most meaningful words and phrases from the lyrics. Aside from my weekly Power Words, I always find myself mutter these phrases under my breath whenever I need an extra oomph to push forward during my runs.

My hope is for you, whether you’re a twenty-something, thirty-something, or just someone who needs a power tune-up, to get inspired by these anthems and share your life’s meaning by living out your purpose … starting today.

Enjoy the tunes!

 
 

1. Spice Girls – Stop

 

 

Slow it down, read the sign,
so you know just where you are going

 
 
 

2. Hoku – Perfect Day

 

 

People say
They say that it’s just a phase
They tell me to act my age
… Well I am.

 
 
 

3. Lea Salonga – Reflection

 

 

Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?

 
 
 

4. Girls’ Generation – Stay Girls

 

 

どのくらい私は変われたのだろう?
自分では見えないの
憧れた姿に近づいてるの?

wanna be wanna be 素敵な
gonna be gonna be 大人に
なれるように居たい でも …

 

Translation:

I wonder … how much I have changed?
I can’t see it myself, but
Have I become closer to the person that I long to become?

Wanna be, wanna be, I want
Gonna be, gonna be, to become
A wonderful woman, however …

 
 
 

5. Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)

 

 

It’s time to be a big girl now
And big girls don’t cry

 
 
 

6. Britney Spears – Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman

 

 

But if you look at me closely
You will see it in my eyes
This girl will always find her way

 
 
 

7. Celine Dion – Because You Love Me

 

 

You gave me faith ’cause You believe
I’m everything I am
Because You love me

 
 
 

8. Pink – F**kin Perfect

 

 

You’re so mean when you talk
About yourself, you are wrong
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead

 
 
 

9. Avril Lavigne – My World

 

 

And think to myself,
Where do I belong forever,
In whose arms, the time and place?

 
 
 

10. Michelle Branch – You Set Me Free

 

 

There’s a will
There’s a way
Sometimes words just can’t explain
This is real
I’m afraid
I guess this time there’s just no hiding, fighting

 
 
 

11. Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway

 

 

Maybe I don’t know where they’ll take me but
Gotta keep moving on, moving on
Fly away, breakaway …

 
 
 

12. Katy Perry – Firework

 

 

Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road

 
 
 

13. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston - When You Believe

 

 

A small but still, resilient voice
Says hope is very near

 
 
 

14. The Voice Within – Christina Aguilera

 

 

You’ll make it
You’ll make it
Just don’t go forsaking yourself

 
 
 

15. Only Hope – Mandy Moore

 

 

When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

 
 
 

16. Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance

My heart is really close to this song. So, … I included every word from the lyrics.

 

 

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance … I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance … I hope you dance

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)

 
 
 

Sailor_Moon-17254- Image courtesy of Sailor Moon Fansite via Weebly

 
 
 
 
 

Consider today who you are and what you’re worth.

Do you want to look back to this day and wonder where all the moments have gone?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Muchaluva,
Stace.

 

Fitness Journal: What is circuit training?

2.3 mi run in 21:50 min (pace: 9’30″ / mi)

Music: International Departures with Myon & Shane 54 Episode 144

***

Notes:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0avYw54WWE]

 

 

 

Great voice, great song. Aruna‘s vocals always give me the chills.

Which is why I especially love Episode 144 of the International Departures podcast.

Today, I ran more than I aimed for (I set a goal to run 2 miles yesterday), and my weekly mileage of the this week adds up:

2.01 + 3.03 + 2.3 = 7.34 miles

Great. Improvement so far ever since I keep count of my progress:

Week 1: 1.52 mi
Week 2: 3.79 mi
Week 3: 5.86 mi
Week 4: 6.93 mi
Week 5: 13.28 mi
Week 6: 7.34 mi

Hmmm…

 

 

 


As I’ve reviewed
, the mileage goal I set in the beginning of the week was a bit unrealistic. I honestly doubt whether I could achieve it. Factors affecting whether I can make it to the gym or not:

 

  1. Traffic jam - a notorious characteristic of my beloved hometown.
  2. Work demands - still getting adjusted to job workload; still in transition from school assignments to earning a living.
  3. Quantity of sleep - whether I have time to sleep more than 6 hours or not.
  4. Availability of transportation - does my mother need to use the car, or does my brother? I’m still waiting for my car to arrive next Tuesday.

 

 

Gotta solve problems now and complain no more. Hopefully our new and seemingly collected governor will sort out the problems in Jakarta. For one, our daily congestion.

In any case, I need to sleep longer. My quantity and quality of sleep determines whether I can think efficiently at work or not.

I don’t have a say on availability of transportation… I will have to better communicate the importance of my job to my mother, whose philosophy as a woman is still quite traditional.

This weekend, from 29 September until 1 October, I’ll be off to Bali! I promise to update you will loads of pictures :) I take this mini-getaway into account to think of how much I want to run this week, and…

 

My target mileage this week is 7.5 miles.

 

 

 
That seems achievable. This time, I’m actually confident that I can make it. It’s only a bit of an improvement, but it’s still an improvement. I can almost feel my spider-sense tingling. Ha.

Last week, we touched up on the principles of resistance training and the benefits of cross-training. A quick recap: Resistance training is any type of exercise that involves pushing or carrying an extra load. This requires the exertion of extra effort against any sort of resistance to strengthen and elongate the targeted muscle groups. The concept of cross-training is just adding any type of exercise other than your area of discipline into your routine. It’s as simple as that. By working different muscles, you can actually improve your overall performance in your sport.

I also brought up the term circuit training and how you can get creative about your workout when you do this type of exercise. But most would wonder: What is circuit training?

Circuit training is basically a time-efficient workout that is designed to work all of your muscle groups. Yes, it’s a total-body workout that requires the least amount of time to get you all toned up and fit.

In circuit training, you normally go to multiple stations to perform a combination of resistance exercises with frequent repetitions, along with short bursts of high-intensity aerobics. Most of the time, trainers and instructors will ask you to do active rests in-between each station.

Sounds challenging? It should be.

You should aim to go up to 60% of your maximum heart rate in order for the workout to be effective. It’s possible to do a whole circuit-training workout within 20 minutes, but remember:  With less time you have, the more challenging those exercise have to be for you.

And that means, always target your weakest spots.

For me it’s always around the lower abs, hips, butt and thighs. I also slouch a lot during the day, so my back is stiff too.

Let me illustrate an ordinary day of how I do my circuit training at the gym, followed by 10 minutes of stretching and cooling down:

 

 

 

15 reps of back extensions
25 reps of leg press
20 reps of combination shoulder press and bicep curls with dumbbells
15 reps of triceps extensions
12 reps of squats

10 reps of side-to-side squats (or forward and side lunges)

15 reps of back extensions
25 reps of leg press
20 reps of combination shoulder press and bicep curls with dumbbells
15 reps of triceps extensions
12 reps of squats

10 reps of side-to-side squats (or forward and side lunges)

15 reps of back extensions
25 reps of leg press
20 reps of combination shoulder press and bicep curls with dumbbells
15 reps of triceps extensions
12 reps of squats

10 reps of side-to-side squats (or forward and side lunges)

 

 

 

As you can see, you can pretty much design your circuit training using practically any kind of move. The most important thing is to have little rest and keep moving the whole time you are working out.

Anyone can benefit from circuit training.  The only disadvantage out of circuit training is if it’s performed by a bodybuilder.

Circuit training aims to build muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. This means it doesn’t bulk you up the way bodybuilders want their muscles to look. Instead, you work all muscle fibers, both your fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles, to achieve maximum benefits in all dimensions of fitness: strength, agility, speed, endurance, and flexibility. This explains why circuit training involves more repetitions using moderate weights, whereas bodybuilders normally lift heavier weights but in less repetitions (which only works fast-twitch fibers of the targeted muscles).

Personally I find that circuit training strengthens my mind by, literally, “pushing” away those negative thoughts I always load my head with and keep working on battling with those thoughts until I win.

Winning, to me, means never quitting. Winning means you solve your problems by facing it, dealing with it, and never back down from it.

 

“The best way out is through.” - Robert Frost

 

 

Overcoming mental blocks like that requires anyone to look at fear right in the face, so it helps if you train yourself to become stronger everyday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muchaluva,
Stace

Fitness Journal: 2 common terms often used in sports

3.03 mi run in 29:35 min (pace: 9’47″ / mi)

Music: International Departures with Myon & Shane 54 Episode 137

***

Notes:

 

Andain’s “Promises” (Myon & Shane 54 Summer Of Love mix), playing at 132 bpm (beats per minute), always pumps me up. Every once in a while, the beat triggers an unexpected energy, and I can suddenly dash from all the heavy huffing and puffing.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgcjjdSOjf0]

Honestly, I enjoy running longer better than faster but in intervals of walking/sprinting. I used to run a well-worth of mileage per week a couple of years ago, and I’m slowly remembering those memories I keep to myself when I wake up to greet the morning sunrise along the San Francisco bay.

Since I’ve decided to shift my focus from building a strong body to a performance that lasts longer, I decided to focus on never stopping to walk until I reach my goal distance. This builds endurance, not speed. I think speed will eventually follow once my body is used to running greater distances. I want to focus on increasing mileage volume per week now instead of being a watchdog of my pace at each workout.

Just 2 workouts and I’ve already built this much mileage:

2.01 + 3.03 = 5.04 miles 

I think, previously, I couldn’t even go as far as 2 miles in a single workout. I pushed the idea of immediate gratification (to unleash my inner moxie) away, and instead save it for later to push me at the last mile of a workout. It is desperate to run faster at the first mile after my warmup, but I said to it: “Calm down, my dear. You’ll be able to run for me in a minute.” And another minute, and another minute. From the outside, it might seem crazy to talk to yourself like that, but as human beings we need to tame our ego so that we’ll be able to run better for long-term success (though in this case, long-distance).

So, for the sake of persevering, I should’ve been more realistic… -_- Last week right after I finished my 10k race, I set a goal to run a weekly mileage of 13.25 miles. This week is also my first week being hired post graduation. I no longer hold 100% control of my time and it didn’t occur to me that I’m going to have to set more achievable goals as of right now.

The weekly mileage I ran 2 weeks before was a good 6.93 miles. I think I can make time for another 2 miles tomorrow to add up to a total of 7.05 miles this week.

This is what I’ve crossed off from my plan so far:

In addition to the 3 miles I ran today, I also added a 24-minute cross-training workout on the elliptical machine for my resistance training.

I know I’ve mentioned the term resistance training for quite a while now, but most non-runners are not very familiar with the concept. Same goes with the term cross-training.

Let me explain.

Resistance training is a form of strength training. That said, the goal is to build muscle strength on the targeted spots in which you perform your resistance exercise. An important component of resistance training is pushing against added force, or as most would say, “carrying a load”. This is completely different from running, where you completely rely on your body weight to move forward against the air.

Because I am shy at the gym (though it doesn’t seem so), I don’t like to perform my resistance training in the weight room (i.e. using dumbbells to perform certain moves for 24 minutes while L-men models are wondering what the heck is this little girl doing in the same room as they are), and I always use the exercise machines that are closest to the corner.

Anyway, that’s irrelevant.

The point is, there are many ways to perform resistance training besides on a single exercise machine. But I find that the elliptical machines especially work from your toes all the way up to your lower abs. Those are the muscle areas most women are weakest at, and it was effective for me to activate the dead muscles I have on my butt whenever I sit down for hours (or sleep) and read too much novels.

That said, you can actually get creative when planning to do a resistance training workout. Another term normally used in sports terminology is something called circuit training, which I’ll explain next time. But that is the creative part of designing how you want to do your workout. Ideally, it should be challenging enough, but the most important something is that you enjoy doing it.

My resistance training today is, simply, playing up the resistance levels on the elliptical machine. Let me give you a clearer picture of my workout just now:

00:00 – 05:00 - Level 7
05:00-06:00 - Level 14
06:00 – 07:00 - Level 7
07:00 – 08:00 - Level 14
08:00 – 09:00 – Level 7
10:00 – 11:00 - Level 16
11:00 – 12:00 - Level 8
12:00 – 13:00 - Level 16
13:00 – 14:00 - Level 8
15:00 – 16:00 - Level 18
16:00 – 17:00 - Level 19
17:00 – 18:00 - Level 9
18:00 – 19:00 - Level 25
19:00 – 20:00 - Level 24
20:00 – 21:00 - Level 23
21:00 – 22:00 - Level 22
22:00 – 23:00 - Level 21
23:00 – 24:00 - Level 20

It’s proven an effective way to build and maintain muscle strength for my lower-body. By adding this weight-loading exercise into my routine, I enhanced my overall running performance through working out the weakest parts of my body.

Working different muscle groups from the ones that you normally work is the most basic concept of cross-training. For swimmers who normally swim, it is beneficial for them to run once or twice a week, which will further improve their swimming performance by working more muscle groups than the ones they routinely use when swimming. Same goes for biking and hiking, golf and soccer, yoga and dancing, and many more combination of activities.

I believe every single person in this world loves a certain kind of activity. Be it for relieving work stress, giving you confidence, spicing up your sex life, or just making you feel good, I always encourage the people around me to go out and do it.

For me, it’s running – It’s a means to enjoy my time, to discipline myself, to clear my head, to liberate my mind, and free my soul.

I believe most hobbies and activities do the same for every one, and I sincerely urge you to get up from your desk and do it now, for health’s sake.

Muchaluva,
Stace

Analytic Code