Saturday, September 30, 2006

FREE "Intensive Self-Care Kit"

If you have been reading my articles and Newsletters on my other blog, you know that Intensive Self-Care is essential to your survival and well-being, and it's critical when you are in a nurturing position. It's like putting on your own oxygen mask FIRST before you help others, when the plane is in trouble.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Blind Man

Two nuns are ordered to paint a room in the convent, and the last instruction of the Mother Superior is that they must not get even a drop of paint on their habits.

After conferring about this for a while, the two nuns decide to lock the door of the room, strip off their habits, and paint in the nude. In the middle of the project, there comes a knock at the door.

"Who is it?" calls out one of the nuns.

"The Blind man," replies a voice from the other side of the door.

The two nuns look at each other and shrug and deciding that no harm can come from letting a blind man into the room, they open the door.

"Nice Boobs," says the man. "Where do you want the blinds?"

Monday, September 25, 2006


The European Commission have just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase in plan that would be known as "EuroEnglish":

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c"-- Sertainly this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favor of the "k". This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" wil be replaced with the "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always been a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e"'s in the language is disgraceful, and they should go away.

By the 4th yar peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz yar, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

My First Kung Fu Tournament

A few months ago, I set a goal to compete in a Chinese Kung Fu tournament in September. I've been taking martial art training for 5 years, but I just switched to Chinese Kung Fu and Tai Chi Sword training this year. It's very different from Tae Kwon Do (a Korean martial art) that I was accustomed to, but I really enjoy the new training. I know for me to do well in something, I need to challenge myself, and competing in a tournament is certainly a great challenge.

I'm no stranger to martial arts tournaments. I have competed and medaled in several NJ state & regional Tae Kwon Do Championships. But, this would be special because it would be my very first Chinese Kung Fu tournament. I figured, it would be a new adventure and fun experience for me. I told my classmates that I was doing it for fun and for the learning experience. I'm just a "new kid on the block" in the Kung Fu world. If nothing else, it would certainly make a good bedtime story for my future grandchildren. :-)

However, right before summer, I started to have a lot of neck and back pains. As it turned out, I have 4 mild disc herniations in my neck and my lower back. The entire summer I was spending many hours in tests and treatments. I started to feel unsure about the tournament.

There was less than 2 weeks left and I didn't even own a Kung Fu uniform. I finally had to ask myself: "Are you 100% committed or just sort-of, kind-of want to do this?" It's time to clean up my act. So, I got my Kung Fu uniform and matching tassels for my sword, and signed myself up for my very first Kung Fu tournament. This is the 2006 Wong Fei Hung North Eastern All Kung Fu Championships. It's sponsored by Yee's Hung Ga International Kung Fu Association and held in Jersey City, NJ on September 23, 2006.

Last night, my son had a huge fight with me, because he didn't want to spend the entire Saturday going to a Kung Fu tournament with me. My DH and I tried to explain to him that we all have to go together, because I need Daddy there to take pictures & video, and I need all of my family to support me. "Come on", I said, "it will be so cool to watch the lion dance and all the different weapon forms!!!" Well, he doesn't think that would be fun. He would rather stay home and play with his Bionicles. I know. I understand his preference, but I want him to understand that Mommy also has something that I'd like to pursue for myself, and it's very important that I stick to my goals, and it's very important that we support our own family. No matter what I said, he just kept saying "I just don't want to go" and started wailing.

After trying to console him with no avail, I got mad & walked away. It's the night before my tournament, as nervous as I already was, I really don't need this. I also felt hurt. When my son finally calmed down, I held him on the sofa and told him that he hurt my feelings. I told him that I would ALWAYS love him, but this time I was mad at him because his behavior hurt my feelings. All these years, I have worked so hard to support everything he did, everything he liked. And now it's my turn to pursue something I like. All I ask for is some moral support from him, and the least he could do is to go to the tournament WITHOUT complaints. "It's not all about you", I told him, "Sometimes you need to do something for other people, especially your family".

I want him to know that as a family, we need to support each other. In addition, the world does not revolve around him. Even Mommy and Daddy have our own lives, our own goals, and he needs to respect that.

So, today is the day. The tournament registration started at 8:00am, so we all had to get up really early, and loaded everything in the minivan. I looked at myself in the mirror, in a sky blue Kung Fu uniform, took a deep breath, and left the house. I guess my talk worked somehow. My son was quite cooperative today -- not so enthusiastic, but didn't complain either. It turned out to be a LONG day at the tournament, but it's all worth it.

It's such an exhilirating experience! It's so awesome to see so many martial artists, from so many different styles, showing off their skills under one roof. The adrenaline-pumping sparring matches were exciting to watch; nontheless, I personally prefer the forms competition. The forms are an artful combination of strength and grace. It takes hours and hours of practice, tremendous patience, focus and discipline to learn a form well. Skills aside, there is something beautiful about it, when you see a martial artist's total focus, intention and dedication while performing a form. Sometimes it moves me to tears. I guess that's why they call it martial "art".

Martial art traing has been very empowering for me. When I was training in Tae Kwon Do, one of our student creed was "To be victorious with patience and bravery". Those are the two qualities I've been trying to cultivate. I've proven to myself so many things I (or anyone else) never thought I could do. Seriously, I'm 5'3" and less than 110 pounds. Probably the last person you would suspect who takes martial art training. I've had to overcome a lot of limiting beliefs & fears -- on my part, and from everyone around me. My parents and my doctor just couldn't understand why I wanted to do this in the first place. LOL! I tried it out because my good friend kept asking me to, and never expected that I would be any good at it. But I quickly found out that I really enjoy the challenge and the sense of achievement that comes with doing something well. I was always amazed that I was so much stronger (mentally & physically) than I thought. Besides, this was something that's for me, and me only, and that's a big deal when you are a mom. :-)

Anyway, I competed in two categories today -- Northern Hand Form and Internal Weapons, both in the Executive Division (for people 36 and older). I did Mian Zhang Quen ("continuous palm") for the Northern Hand Form, and Wudang Tai Chi Sword for the Internal Weapons. I was very nervous for the hand form, because I had just finished learning the form about two weeks ago, and I didn't really have enough time to practice. Plus I was waiting by the ring side for SO long that I was STARVING (past 2:30pm and no lunch). I tried to do my best, but just didn't feel like I was able to execute the form with full power. After having something to eat, I did a much better job with Tai Chi Sword. One of the judges came up to me with a big smile, and asked me how long I had been training in Jiang (sword). He was pleased when I said "six months". What a relief! :-)

I'm very happy to report that I won 1st place for both categories!!! Yay, two more gold medals under my belt!!! I'm very proud that I stick to my goal despite the obstacles. The gold medals are sweet bonuses! I'm very grateful for my master, my family, and all my friends who have supported me on this journey. This will become one of my most treasured memories. And you can bet that it will be told to my grandchildren many years from now. :-)

picture with my master Gary Carbone (center) and my classmate Robert Matthews (Photo by Carole Rizzo)

at the tournament with my master Gary (left), classmates George (middle), Lance (right), their children, and my children

at the tournament with Master Frank Yee, founder of Yee's Hung Ga International Kung Fu Association

Lion Dance performance at the tournament

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mathematically Speaking

This equation should be taught in all maths classes.

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint it goes like this:
What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as:1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then: H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K= 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98% !

And K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E= 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But, A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E= 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

And, B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T= 2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass-kissing will take you.
A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G= 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that: While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass-Kissing that will put you over the top!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Anatomy Class

First-year students at Texas A&M's Vet School were receiving their first anatomy class, with a real dead cow. They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet.

The professor started the class by telling them, "In vet medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the animal body."

"For an example", the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the dead cow, withdrew it and stuck it in his mouth. "Go ahead and do the same thing," he told his students .

The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes. But eventually took turns sticking a finger in the anal opening of the dead cow and sucking on it.

When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and told them, "The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention."

Now, that's a great lesson there! How often do we blindly follow other people's footprints without thinking for ourselves? And how often do we operate on auto-pilot and not pay attention to what's REALLY going on in our life?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Chain of Friends

A good friend of mine emailed me this today, and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with everyone...

Alone they might be washed away
but together they stand strong.....
Thank you each for holding my hand somewhere along the way
when I was facing a wave of my own
I hope you will reach for my hand
when your own wave threatens

All of us girls....
Old and young
Near and far
Hold special memories of good times we've shared
We've had our share of hard times when our friends were there
to make us feel better
We've shared...
our time
our secrets
our fears
our hopes
and our dreams
Let us never break the chain of friends!

Pass this on to all of those girls that you are happy to have as friends. And if you get this back, then you know the chain of friends is strong!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Thoughts on Exercise

Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. Now she's 97 years old and we don't know where the hell she is.

The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there.

I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

And last but not least: I don't exercise because it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.

You could run this over to your friends but why not just e-mail it to them!

The Accidental Email

A husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the email.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from relatives and friends. Reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:
To: My Loving Wife

Subject: I've arrived

Date: October 16, 2004

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is freaking hot down here!