Some Shows Make me Laugh

DISCLAIMER: I don’t think it’s morally nice to laugh at other people no matter what the situation may be. Sometimes we simply can’t help it, and it should be OK as long as it’s not done with a malicious intent.

Today is usually the day when I post reviews – if you look at my past post and the days they’re posted on. This post is not really a review and is not particularly long either. Nor does it have images attached.

Tonight – as it is almost 8 pm as I type this – I want to recommend to some of you, an easy way to make yourself laugh. That is by watching the auditions to shows such as So you think you can dance, ____ got talent, and other similar competitions.

You don’t need to watch the whole competition show, as not all of it is funny – just the auditions are. My partner made me watch two episodes of auditions for the dancing show … I must say my stomach was hurting because of so much laughing. -does it mean that if I continue, I will get a 6 pack sometime in the future? Talk about easy workout! LOL –

The producers would have spoiled us if they showed the performance of all those that passed the auditions. Not to mention that others that “think” they can dance [and in reality they have no idea what dancing is] might not get the message right.

For starters, there was a guy who said he’s been dancing all of his life … in his room o.o and that he won dancing competitions … except he had no way of proving it. People like this have nothing to do with such auditions – they waste their own time and that of the judges and show producers.

Did I mention his routine could not even be labeled as “dancing”? He was hilarious to begin with. His confidence was to be admired – I wish I had it, to be honest. His self-awareness was nowhere in sight, sadly.

This guy was a lesson and a message for many other people who might think of themselves too highly and are not looking in a mirror too often or simply need a new mirror since theirs is broken.

So, my advice to you is to watch these auditions, even the competitions. Laugh at those people [with no mean intentions], be thankful it wasn’t you making a fool of themselves. And if you happen to know someone with a particular talent – let them know if there is something they could improve or if they should be searching for a new passion. You can help those you care about become better simply by watching such shows.

See you next time!


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

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Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

While I have many other things to update you guys on, on Friday that just passed I was hit with a wave on inspiration and I thought I could write about the result, and show you the process of getting a similar look, if you’d like to.

Let’s start with 2 things:

  1. pockets are useful and sometimes fun
  2. I have at least one clothing item with no pockets

Clearly, something had to be done, especially now that winter is coming. So I decided to hack my clothes by adding pockets to them. I started with some training pants – is this what they’re called? – though, this must be one of the more difficult clothing items to start practicing with.

So these are my pants. Aren’t they kinda plain and boring? This is how they turned out!

Not too shabby, if I can say so myself. My partner thinks the result is rather cute and not all that bad for the first ever DIY / hack project. There are a few steps to follow if you want a similar … look, or result … however you want to call it.

TOOLS:

  • clothes that need pockets
  • fabric to turn into pockets
  • scissors
  • thread and needle
  • pencil and eraser, maybe
  • paper [for your pattern]

HOW’S DONE, step by step: guaranteed 100% NOT foolproof

  • Choose a clothing item that could need some pockets – in my case, some HM sweat pants I got on sale, in summer or so.

  • Search for fabric that would look nice on the chosen clothing item. I used some old sweat pants by Juicy Couture, on baby pink [is this how the color is called?] Those pants were some 8 or 9 years old and were well loved and falling apart, but I still felt bad for just throwing them away and some parts were still in decent condition. hmmm

Make sure the fabric you find matches somewhat in thickness with the garment, and is made the same: woven or knitted. It will look better, than mixing thickness and fabric type.

  • take the pencil and paper, and draw your hand’s outline, to make the pattern for the pocket. Leave some space around the hand because you don’t want a very tight pocket. Use your smartphone as well, if you want to make sure it will fit into the future pocket.

  • Remove your hand, and realize the pocket will be too small and possibly too ugly too for an outer patch pocket. Decide at this point to use a bigger item, like an A5 agenda or notebook, or any other item of that size. Trace its outline on the paper instead of your hand.

You can use a different paper, the back of the one you used already, or the same paper like me. You may choose to erase the first attempt, like I did, or not.

  • Cut the paper pattern and use it to cut your fabric. While you could use the agenda or notebook to draw directly on the fabric, the paper is lighter, and you can attach it to said material to make sure it stays in place. This is especially helpful when you’re not someone with more experience when it comes to sewing or making clothes.

  • Cutting the fabric should be easy enough if you laid the fabric completely flat. You just need to own good scissors for the purpose. Make sure to cut enough pieces for as many pockets you want to make. I cut 2 pieces but only used one.  But I may use the other one in the [near] future.

I had to cut away the seams of the pants, as I used the lower part. I also removed their hem as the fabric there was dirty and too thick. eww

  • The next step is to find a position for your pocket, on the garment. I recommend putting the garment on and then deciding where the best place would be. I chose it while the pants were off of me, and I didn’t realize it would be too low. I did want it to cover 2 small holes that appeared in my pants [eww, no craftsmanship in the HM labor camps/factories and the cheapest yarn possible.]

While you’re here, make sure you choose matching yarn as well. I measured it too, since I was about to had sew this patch and I don’t need unlimited supply.

  • You’re supposed to start sewing at this point. You are allowed to make some tea or coffee if you didn’t have one before. Make sure to sew an upper hem as well – it will look more professional. You should also ensure to fold in in the edges of your pocket patch.

If you also chose pants or another garment that is pretty tight, or don’t own a sewing machine [like me], you have to pay attention NOT to sew together the 2 sides of the item. You can avoid this accident by placing an agenda right under the working spot – like I did in the 3rd shot, in the image above.

In case you’re wondering, I’m right handed, so I sew towards the left hand, but I placed the pictures in a left-to-right order … I hope it doesn’t confuse you.

  • When you’re finally done, more likely an hour or more later, your pocket should look like in the image below. I think I will go with another sewing session, to give it more strength – I don’t trust it much with just one go done by hand.

My partner said she likes it, and I think it’s decent enough. I was lucky with the colors too as gray and pink look nice together. The pants are now more interesting, eye catching, and make my life easier when I don’t want to carry a lot of stuff.

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I hope you find this little DIY project useful. See you next time!


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

Shadowscapes Tarot – The Fool

Ah! the Fool! First card of the deck. And full of symbols. I feel this deck has more symbols than others, and some cards too are ‘heavier’ in meaning than others.

We see a young girl almost throwing herself off of a beautifully decorated column [or is it a column?] A fox looks at her, almost wondering is she’s going to go through with it or not. Some birds fly around her and a few hold onto some red ribbons, as if trying to stop her.

Looking close at her face, I almost feel as if she thinks “whatever happens surely will be better than my current state.” I wonder if she really considered all the dangers, or if she really is prepared to face all the consequences?

Some insight from the official page:

It begins with a whispered voice. Serpentine, the song threads through her days and her thoughts, beckoning. Come…come…come…. “Where?” she asks, curious, but there is no response.

She ignores the summons, until one day that siren song unexpectedly explodes and fills her to the brim. Its pulse is undeniable. “Where?” she asks again, and this time the steady beat of her heart is the response.

[…]

Meaning: The Fool is a symbol for new beginnings and adventures, pleasure, passion, thoughtless and rash. Like the Fool, you may stand upon the precipice gazing out into the unknown; and there is either an oblivious foolishness to the terrible plunge you may experience, or else a wild spirit of adventure and great faith and knowledge in that which can and will bear you up and guide through the times to come. There are unlimited possibilities opening up for the seeker.

Some insight from the now closed tarotforum forum:

By silvercrow: “she knows she will be protected. The birds will carry her, the hands will catch her. The fox, her guide, will guide her in the right direction. Below her is love, butterflies, flowers and light, but there’s also bees which can sting and sharp rocks which can hurt as well as darkness and shadows.

By r0sered1ster:the stone monkeys she stands upon, one with a heart, one with a rose and one with a butterfly. Signifying the courage, beauty and transformation she will encounter on her way

By snyc: “So the red ribbons held by the birds that surround and hold The Fool make me think of the sensory ties that hold The Fool back, which are so easily broken if only The Fool has the courage. (These ribbons are also shown in The World, but in The World they have been broken and are wrapped around her arms.) Finally, I view the statue that The Fool stands on as representing memories of the past, visions of the future, feelings, and desires.”

I view The Sun as embodying purpose, and since the right foot is often the foot that takes the first step, now I think that it means the call of purpose is what drives The Fool to take the leap, to take the first step off the cliff…

By kloeyy: “It really gives me a new perspective on the blind faith and the stirred emotion to feel compelled to step forward or leap into the unknown.”

Some more ideas from psychic-revelation.com:

In terms of finances, the Fool is an extremely positive card. You can expect increase, and furthermore, you will find it in yourself to know that no matter what happens financially, that you will be all right and will “come out on top.” Trust yourself, work hard, and you will do better than you expect.

Some ideas from destinysspiritualjourney blog:

The first thing to be noted about The Fool, is that it is the ‘zero’ card of the major arcana. The Major Arcana, represents important major life influences and is also sometimes seen by readers as a journey, through each and every card in this arcana. I always imagine The Fool as the first card in the tarot deck, some view The Fool as neither first nor last, but as the character wondering through the major arcana. The Fool is the one who experiences the trials of all the cards.

Why is the Fool the one experiencing the trials of the cards? Because humans are Fools without no life experience. Humans are designed to make mistakes in order to become wiser or better people.

On this blog, I am the Fool, sharing my experiences through life – more or less. I was born a fool and I will die a Fool, and there is no shame in that.


© 2013 – present The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved. The green texts belong to their respective creators, reproduced here for learning purposes.

How To Read The Tarot

I know you were expecting a presentation of one of the cards or one of the symbols. That’s brewing for next week [hopefully].

This week, I will help you “learn how to read the tarot” cards. The process is rather long, but it can help you see other aspects of a situation, or new ways of doing the same thing.

DISCLAIMER: The links provided are the ones I use the most in my journey to ‘learn’ how read my deck. Other websites do exist, and other forums are even open and active. I just got used to this one and the site itself is 21 years old – this should count for something.

I will have to tell you from the start that not everyone can do it, and most definitely not with all the decks. Or perhaps they just didn’t discover the right one yet?

[boring backstory]Many years back I had an oracle deck, and the meanings of each card was pretty straight-forward: whatever you saw on the card was the meaning. I didn’t need to elaborate novels around the spread. When I first decided to have a look into the tarot, I felt lost and I didn’t understand anything, and there were many hidden messages to be discovered. I thought I could never do it.

I still wanted to own at least one deck – and I hoped for a pretty one – and then, earlier this year it happened, if you remember my online shopping haul post.

Luckily I got this deck now older, when I understand more things, when I have generally more experience. This helped me a lot with learning how to read this deck. I first went on the official website, and then I found this forum where they were discussing each card. However, if you have more decks, or if you feel like the interpretation given by others doesn’t click with you, there’s another method!

ONE OF THE STEPS

Take each card and analyze it: see what message it has for you, based on the image. It’s perfectly fine to create keywords you associate with each card. Do try to write the meanings in an easy to flip through notebook. Though, depending on how much you write, a ‘regular’ size agenda or notebook should do.

Pic used in the same shopping haul post.

ANOTHER STEP

Do simple readings with just 1 card or maximum 3 cards. These readings can be for yourself – daily or weekly- or for other people. Do try to remember the “standard” meaning of the card, and see how does it apply to the situation.

At the beginning of October I started to pull out a card in the morning, and I’d only look at it in the evening. I want to ‘test’ the accuracy of the reading by how well did the message apply in my life that day. Yesterday’s card was “the Hermit” and it applied really well – I basically was the Hermit yesterday.

ADDITIONAL STEP

Buy a tarot reading guide, or find one online. I started, but not finished this “21 ways of reading a tarot card.” Apparently this is a book by Mary K Greer [and I honestly have no idea who she is]. Her method seems very good for those cards that you have a more difficult time understanding.

I believe her method also includes a notebook, so do make sure you have one handy. Since the guide takes you through 21 stages, I can’t possibly imagine anyone going through the process 22 times [just for the Major Arcana] and even less for the whole deck. Luckily, you can apply the method to an oracle deck as well.


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

How many Hanzi do I know?

I believe in this post I mentioned something about posting an entry on how many Chinese characters -hanzi- I know. This post is it.

I don’t really have much to say about this, but there are a few clarifications I must make.

This list below shows translations for single-character words, but I do know a few that are formed of 2 characters. I will create a list for those words sometime in the future as well [ahem, whenever I remember I guess, ahem].

I included only the translation I’m more familiar with, though I do know some of them have many other meanings. But that is ok, because other meanings can be learned at a later time. I didn’t translate the numbers. The meaning of some of these characters was easier to remember because several years back I wanted to study Japanese. I still have some materials for that, but it basically collects dust.

I may not know the reading of all of them -seriously, there are a handful with which I still struggle to remember how to read, but I know what they mean, or how to translate them.

The list is a little over 100 characters long, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t include all the Hanzi I know. This simply means I must have skipped or forgotten to add some. I think that if you want to learn and keep track of your progress in a foreign language, then a spreadsheet can be useful.

A small notebook is a good alternative for languages that use a different script than what you’re used to is also helpful because by writing the words by hand, you’ll memorize them faster. Just make sure to write on each page the same amount of words if you want to keep a good track of your vocabulary. Using several notebooks might also be a good idea: one for grammar, one for new words, another one to pair words up.

Please remember that even though I started this Mandarin learning journey last year, I didn’t have time to do it every single day. For crying out loud, I had some 3 or 4 months when I had a full time job when I had no more energy to study. And even this year, with all the free time I ha, I didn’t dedicate it all to Chinese – you could say I’m not that serious about it. Mostly because I still want to like it, rather than stress about it.

I should probably tell you what tools do I use to learn Mandarin. There are several websites: HERE [learn how to write and read each hanzi, their traditional form, and more], HERE [focuses on grammar and you don’t always have the translation or the reading on the page], HERE [learn how to write the hanzi, their traditional form, reading(s) and (main) meanings]. All these sites offer free materials to help your individual studies, but you might want to get a tutor as well if things are easier for you that way. [not affiliated with any, not getting paid by them – just the tools I used and helped me the most].

See you on Tuesday with an esoteric entry, on Thursday with a review, and again on Sunday with another blog entry related to my [boring] life. Bye~~


©2013-present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

it’s OK not to stick to a workout routine

If you read my last few post, you might remember I’m trying to bullet-journal, and to also introduce some workout sessions in my life. Of course, since I’m notoriously lazy and sometimes I have projects to work on, working out daily is impossible.

And that’s OK.

And it you also want to work out more, you came to the right place, because I will try my best to encourage you on your journey. I’m not a trainer, nor a health guru – but you already know that. I’m just sharing my experiences to help others that also struggle like me.

The biggest mistake I noticed I made was to expect myself to workout daily, the way I have the impression others do. Others, in this context, are various bloggers and vloggers I either follow or sometimes stumble upon. And you know what? I’m pretty sure this is wrong,  because we sell dreams. While my intention is NOT to sell dreams, I can’t know who will come across my blog one day, reads it, and thinks “oh, I wish I was more like this author” [I secretly hope for this, to be honest]. Personally, I wish my writing style was more funny, similar to that of the guy behind My Crazy Chinese Family blog – but now I’m going off topic. Let’s return.

WHAT ARE MY RESULTS SO FAR

Last month I managed to workout during 11 days, out of 30. I’m not really impressed, but I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.

This month I only worked out 2 days so far. I want to improve the number, but we’ll see how things go.

My workout sessions lasted about 30 minutes and less. I get out of breath very fast, my heart pumps like mad, and I have to stop or else I feel like fainting. It’s OK to stop your routine when you feel like fainting! You also don’t have to work out for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time!

Most importantly, when I was done, I would feel happy and proud of myself. Something to do with my body releasing more endorphins. Feeling more happy can motivate a person to keep at this new found routine.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK OUT?

There are many reasons for people to be interested in starting this journey: to get back in shape, to prevent weight gain, to participate in a marathon, to simply change their lifestyle, for health related reasons, and even because they think they should.

So, how about you? Me, I could subscribe to all the reasons above, except the marathon. I simply can’t run it makes me feel like veins and nerves are breaking in my brain, I can’t see well anymore, and faint. It’s really bad. [on a side note, I see many people running downstairs, back and forth. in a way I feel I should do the same, and I feel guilty because I can’t. How silly is this? it’s not like anyone knows…]

My advice to you is not to compare yourself to others, because everyone is unique. And if you feel fine without working out, nobody can tell you otherwise.

Challenges you might face

Starting and getting into it is the most difficult part. Also, having a busy schedule can make you feel like you don’t have enough time for this. These are my 2 main reasons why I only worked out for 11 days last month. I hope to change this.

Having to wear appropriate clothing that you don’t own. Sure, it’s better to work out in workout pants, but honestly, as long as your clothes allow you to make any movement you need to, then it doesn’t really matter. you could be working out naked, but please do so only in the privacy of your house.

Speaking of where to workout, many think it can only be done at the gym. Or they think a gym subscription will motivate them into visiting it. Truth is, this is unlikely. Instead, stretching a bit after you wake up right beside your bed is perfectly fine. There are countless routines that can be done at home or even outdoors.

Now, if you want to have more muscles, you’ll want a gym membership and to be strict abut visiting it. A personal trainer will be very helpful as well.

WHY DON’T I SEE RESULTS?

Results don’t appear overnight. We’re somehow programmed into thinking results appear instantly, but this is the biggest lie we could ever believe. 11 days of working out and a reduced amount of food consumed in June [mostly because the heat took away my appetite] made me lose 1kg. It’s not a lot, but slower results seem to be the ones that stick more.

So results will appear only if we’re consistent. Also it depends on why we start, on our somatic body type, and the type of routine we try. My somatic body type is the one that gains weight the easiest and has the hardest time losing it – and I forgot what’s called. oops.

CONCLUSION

Whether you decide to exercise more or not is fine! whatever you will wear to do so is fine as long as you’re free to move as you like. Not doing what others do, is also perfectly fine and OK. Don’t do something just because you think you must: you don’t.

I hope you’ll feel more inspired to live your life as you please because sometimes it takes courage to do so.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

how to become your cat’s favorite human

You might already know I own 2 cats, but I will talk about the younger one for he likes me a little more than the older one. You want to know a secret? You can also make your cat like you more than the rest of the family [if you have a cat, that is].

DISCLAIMER: this method is not 100% foolproof, and is more successful on kittens. It is still worth giving a try – hopefully your cat is not a the spawn of the devil and can be [gently] handled. i credit expert cat owners with the discovery of the method.

I hope everyone planning on getting a new cat or kitten will find this short entry a bit useful. If you dislike cats, I hope you will change your mind about them a bit.

So this is Mikey, the younger cat – he turns 6 years old on July 4th. I cannot tell you how attached to me he is.

To put it into perspective, he knows when I arrive home, he doesn’t let his older brother come to me, he makes sure to leave his scent on me whenever he can [even when I’m in the bathroom], and he cried a lot last year when I would be gone to my 9-5 jobs. That’s not all, he also gained a lot of weight last weight: it seems he ate his feelings [and i feel bad for it].

One of the ways he showed his affection was by ‘cleaning’ me while i slept – my face, hands, arms, hair, whatever he could. His older brother never did it. He also loves sleeping next to or on top of me.

i dont think it’s healthy to sleep so close to the cat.. but what can i do?

So, how come he prefers me?

You must know I got him when he was a kitten, and I basically stole him from his family and mother. I don’t think he was fully weaned, but he was eating cat food.

So, when I got him, i had to act like cat-mom, and make him relieve himself. This is easily done by holding the cat over the litter and gently rub her behind with a damp towel – it should have the same texture as a cat’s tongue. Your cat will believe it’s her mother taking care of stuff, and in a way will think you’re said mother – your scent is all around after all, and her mother’s scent is not. It’s almost natural that you’ll be replacing her mom at this point.

There is one more important step you should not ignore, when going through this process: “burying the gifts” AKA the cat pee and poop. Gently grab one of the cat’s front paws [or hands if you prefer] and move it from the front towards the back, while touching the sand [or litter bed. we use a special type of sand.. bentonite, clay? I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I recommend silica type because it disappears, so you throw away less stuff.] The movement should imitate the one the cat does when she covers her waste.

This paw movement should be done right after wiping her behind with the damp towel, even if she doesn’t relieve herself. This is one of the best methods to teach a cat where ‘the toilet’ is, no matter the age. It is especially useful when changing houses and getting a new cat.

If for some reason you consider changing the type of litter, make sure to do it gradually, so that the cat will get used to the new type slowly – or better said so she won’t realize. if you change it all of a sudden [because you couldn’t find the one you usually get] try this method I described above.

Cats can be and are just as loving as dogs, perhaps even more so. This is why an older cat will take some time to get used to new humans, if re-homed. She might act distant with her first humans, but maybe she’s generally more distant. Remember that not all cats are the same, just like not all dogs are the same.

I hope you found this article a little helpful.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.