52 in 2015 Challenge Update – March

March has been a mixed bag in terms of what got crossed out and what got missed out.

Well so I already am not faring well on one front of the 52 in 2015 challenge, i.e. Posting monthly updates. Missed the update for February and am over a week delayed for the March one. Hopefully I am more diligent for the future months.

On the financial front I have been unable to save money for the daily, weekly or the monthly challenge. Worse, I’ve even had to transfer some of the amount saved for a few emergency expenses last month. Really hope I can play catch up on the savings and soon! Will need all the savings I can muster for the coming few months.

In terms of fitness, its been a pretty bad month. Step count has gone down and my average daily count is below 10k. Haven’t had too many running sessions either. Grrrr.

I have however started the month long deprivation of refined sugar and sweets of any kind. Started the challenge towards the end of March so hopefully next month’s update sees me cross off two more items from the list.

Managed to catch another new movie in the cinema hall and also blog about it. Another Bollywood flick, NH10. You can read my thoughts about the movie here.

My culinary knowledge got a further boost with two more recipes, both using the same main ingredient, macaroni. Alas I haven’t been able to concoct any new cocktails since January. But I do have some great new recipes saved for use.

Also had a true blue romantic evening with the wife at NTUC’s Romancing U event in March. Absolutely lovely time and also got some truly memorable pictures and souvenirs from the evening.

So there you have it. My month of March in terms of the challenges I’ve outlined for the year. Not fantastic, but not a complete waste either. Hopefully next month’s update will have some positive updates.

Inked!

2015/01/img_1591.jpgAfter a lot of deliberation and even more procrastination, I am finally part of an exclusive member of the inked club. That is to say, I now have a tattoo.
The decision to get inked was a conscious one and not something that happened on the spur of the moment. I had this listed as my to-do for 2014. But alas, I kept pushing it for later and missed getting it done last year.

The choice of design happened to take a while since I debated on the virtues of a number of symbols and letterings. Initially I was quite keen on getting Chinese characters etched on my skin. Possibly characters that symbolized victory or strength. However I soon ditched that idea as there were a few articles on how unknown characters may end up meaning something entirely different if you don’t speak the language.

So I narrowed my decision down between two of my favorite pop culture movie/book universes, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Since this was my very first tattoo, I didn’t want a very complex design that would end up costing me a fortune as well as hours upon hours of inking sessions. Hence the design had to be a relatively simple one with very few intricacies.

LOTR had a few, however not artistic as I had hoped. Star Wars offered a rich collection of logos and symbols, some more known than others. My first choice was to get the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire logos. But they seemed too main stream. So I kept searching. Finally I came across the symbol of the Jedi Council and I stopped my quest for a design. The symbol was perfect both in terms of appearance as well as its significance.

My design of choice is from the Star Wars universe and symbolizes the Jedi Order. Apart from the fact that the fact that this symbol represents the good guys from Lucas’s space opera, the artistic curves and design make it uber appealing!

The search for a reputed and safety conscious tattoo parlor was never an issue since the wife had already got her tattoo done last year and was very happy with her artist. So I headed on a Saturday morning to get my design inked on my left shoulder. I decided to keep it on the left just in the event that the process would leave me sore and rendered my arm useless for a few hours or days.

I had heard horror stories of how getting a tattoo could be a terrible experience both in terms of pain and the regret in the aftermath if said design did not turn out the way you had imagined. Fortunately for me, my very first tattoo experience was absolutely delightful. The inking process proved to be nothing more than a little irritating and slightly stinging and the end result was absolutely stellar. It did help to visualize the end result with the artist first applying a carbon paper impression on the area to be inked.

Getting inked has a certain excitement that is difficult to put into words. It’s not just the cool factor, but the fact that you’re using your body as a canvas to express your passion. I am certainly sold on continuing this form of body art and will not be stopping at just one tattoo. My next tattoo will be something that’s a tad more prominent even when am wearing a tee. Let the search for the next design begin!

 

My 52 in 2014 Challenge – A Year End Review

Well, here it is. The end of yet another year. However this one started off a tad differently than most. With my 52 in 2014 challenge, I resolved to engage in a list of activities that would help me improve across multiple facets. If you’ve been a regular at the blog, it won’t come as a big surprise to you that I have not really managed to see most of these tasks to fruition.

Let’s start with the health related ones. Not only did I not lose the existing weight, I actually managed to gain a substantial amount by September. However thanks to a new routine and diligent use of public transport for the office commute, I am back on the right track albeit with some excess baggage. I take solace in the fact that by sticking to this routine I should be able to realise this goal in 2015.

On the wanderlust front as well, it’s been slim pickings. Partially on account of visa related restrictions. But also on account of the work related restrictions which ate up a few of my weekends. Alas I must admit financial restrictions also limited this set of tasks.

Speaking of finances, it’s been a bad year. I admit that there was a lapse at my end with the over indulgence for the wife’s 30th birthday  celebration. But a little better planning and prudent spending on my part would have helped on this front.

The Family and Friends set of items were a mixed bag. I did manage to go out on a number of intimate dates with the wife, so much so that after a certain point I completely forgot to jot it down in the list. Keeping in touch with family back home was also not entirely a failure. Although I do admit, the frequency did take a nosedive mid-year. Also, it became a tad difficult to keep track of the conversations.

My hobby and passion for photography were not enough to get me off my fat arse and go for a photo walk. The one’s that I did manage were happenstance. However I did manage to stick to the 52 week photography challenge and flex my creative muscle to get some great shots and make some new friends.

Strangely, I was able to read a decent amount of books this year. And I intend to make strides on this front as well in the coming year.

Blogging as well was a tad low towards the middle of the year. And of course the monthly status updates of this challenge were almost nil after the first quarter.

Astonishingly for someone who prides himself as being called a couch potato, I did NOT manage to complete the tasks related to TV shows and Movies at home. I was however successful at watching 12 new movies at the movie hall. Guess a NETFLIX subscription does not a couch potato make!

Although it was only once, I did manage to donate blood this year. And I was also successful in selling off some of the old electronics. It’s a different story that I bought new electronics from the proceeds.

Dining at new restaurants was a success and I discovered quite a few great haunts that I intend to frequent. Guess the success at this task possibly explains the weight gain!

Alas, neither was I able to get a tattoo not was I able to go for a musical.

Learning to mix new cocktails and cook new recipes were also not met in their entirety. But I must say that I have mastered the art of cooking to an extent.

On the purchases front, I did manage to buy a new camera system as well a Mac Mini (the device I am using right now to pen this post). My Blu-Ray collection needs to catch up though.

 

So that was my year and the progress I was able to make on the challenges I set forth for myself. Although my progress on them may have been abysmal, this practice of setting a list of challenges for a new year and then tracking my progress against them is stellar. And even if it means I might fail yet again, I’ve already penned my 52 items to complete in 2015.

 

You can check out my list here

 

 

A Hijra in the family

I can’t say I can understand the pain and suffering of the author because quite simply I just cannot begin to fathom. But I sincerely hope that reading this helps you realize how difficult it can be when people around you refuse to listen and understand your inner self.
All I can hope for is that the author stays strong through this all and I am certain that happiness is just around the corner.

leylashah2014

I was just another boy wanting to be a girl. Now, I’ll be just another boy. I have not complained, nor do I complain now. I only tell a tale, for that’s all I’ve got. A tale, some could relate to.

This is for everyone who sees the queer movement as a superficial rich kid’s tantrum. I hail from a deeply religious middle class family with strong roots in a place known for its gender based crimes.

One of these days if I stopped existing the world wouldn’t know but I don’t want to be just another lgbt person. I don’t want to be just another statistic, just another note. I want to see the light, I want to be able to  hope but I don’t know where to look for hope, where to find it.

There was someone who told me, that maybe I should get my career sorted…

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My Movember Quest!

MOvember

I’m finally done with my very first Movember! And although the stache growth has been sparse, I’m proud to say that my first year has helped raise a total of S$50!!! I know its not exactly a small fortune but hey, every little bit counts right.

And at the end of the day it’s about raising awareness for a worthy cause. The challenge helped me make a meaningful contribution not just in terms of monetary support, but also in terms of my time and, well, my face.

Despite my lacklustre facial hairdo, I shall be doing the Movember every year. And I hope my Movember quest inspires you to do your little bit as well.

Until next year, stay healthy, be a Mo Bro!

 

My month long journey is chronicled on my Mo Space.