Of personal challenges and book blog tours (happenin’ next week!)

When I was still a youngling in the consulting world, my manager would ask me if I thought I was comfortable enough to do a small part of the presentation or to facilitate the ice breaker exercise. It was my manager’s way of teaching me and easing me into the ways of the consulting business.  Most of the time our target audiences were the managers or senior personnel of our clients. I would always say yes even though I was terrified of the thought and would rather not do any presenting or facilitating ever and at all. I’m an introvert and speaking in front of an audience is not my cup of tea, but I would always say yes to it because I saw it as a chance for me to just get it over with. It was a way of challenging myself and I didn’t want to be called a scaredy cat.

I still don’t like talking and presenting in front of people, but I have learned to manage myself when I need to do it and I am not averse to it. Not shying away from opportunities to improve myself has helped me know and accept my limitations as well as find out how much more I can do. Diving head first into challenging situations is a great way of overcoming personal struggles. For me, putting myself in actual “sink or swim” situations works better than just telling myself to do better. Niall Doherty of Disrupting the Rabblement calls these things random acts of courage or challenges that are supposed to push you out of your comfort zone.

These days I have a few personal challenges that are aimed to help me with my writing. One of these challenges involved signing up at Novel Publicity as a book tour host. Being a book tour host basically involves promoting a new book by doing a book review or posting about the author or an excerpt for the book. Now I am terrible at doing book reviews as shown by the book to movies challenge posts that I did last year. I am terrible at it and I don’t really love it, but I see it as something that I should be able to do if I want to be a true blue writer.

Anyway, so I signed up and I’ll be posting my first book review some time in the middle of next month. I’ll be hosting a book tour next week, but I won’t be doing any book reviews just yet. I’ll be publishing a guest post though and it will give you details about the book we’re featuring. You will also find out how you can win Amazon Gift Cards and a Kindle Fire! Watch out for it!

So there. Aside from my 30 day challenges, I also have my little book review challenge this year.

What are your current personal challenges? Have you ever deliberately put yourself in “sink or swim” situations just so you could learn to survive?

The 2011 HK Pan Asian Tournament + random grabbed photos + personal highlights (Part 2)

I grabbed some photos from everybodeh!

Carpet Head picked up new cleats in Mongkok the day before the tourney. 

Class picture after our first game against Beijing Big Brother, the no.1 seed in our pool. We lost by 1 point.

Good Vibes! A photo from Day 2. Can’t remember if this was before our 1st or 3rd game for the day. 
Photos from Ivy and Mel.

Okay, three photos. Not much. I realized I never take enough photos. I really should do that, especially when I’m on a freakin’ out-of-the-country trip. Goodness.

Anyway, some personal highlights from the trip:

  • The games. C’mon! The reason why we were there in the first place. Actually, I wasn’t supposed to play, but in the grand tradition of out-of-town tourneys, my I’ll-just-watch-from-the-sidelines plan was scrapped.
  • The beef brisket and wanton noodles from that noodle house near our hostel! I still dream about the beef brisket.
  • The chocolate milk in the cute carton. It totally reminded me of Blur’s Coffee & TV video with the lost little milk carton. Anybody ever seen that?
  • The Thai food from that little Thai place we walked to from the stadium. Darnit, I should take note of places’ names.
  • I am so glad that I got to enjoy the food on this particular HK trip. 
  • Discovering Lan Kwai Fong, the gimmick capital of HK. I’ve never heard of it before. The tourney party was in one of the posh bars in the district. We didn’t really stay long there for the party, but it was a sight to see. Throngs and throngs of dressed up people, expats and locals, and loud music and bright lights. It was interesting. 
  • The company. Enough said. Woohoo!

See part 1: 2011 HK Pan Asian Tournament (Part 1)

The 2011 HK Pan Asian Tournament + super random photos (Part 1)

Carpet Head and I flew to Hong Kong last weekend for the 2011 HK Pan Asian Tournament. We played with the same awesome people that we played with in CDO and Dumaguete and our team was called Good Vibes. Woohoo.
The tournament was on Saturday and Sunday, but most of us flew in early on Thursday night. We got in HK at past 10 PM and made it to our hostel, the Yes Inn, just before midnight. We dropped off our bags and went to this yummy little noodle house nearby. The beef brisket on rice and the wanton noodles were awesome. The servings were huge, too. Too bad I wasn’t able to take pictures.

Got this photo from Yes Inn’s website. I’m pretty sure it’s the exact same room we stayed in. 
There were five of us who stayed in this room. It was pretty decent. Good air conditioning, enough space, 
a personal ref, and a TV. The bathroom was a bit cramped, but we had hot water so it was all good.

We had Friday to do whatever we wanted. Our friends went to the beach while moi, Carpet Head, and Yaya went to hunt for a camera for Carpet Head’s boss. Carpet Head got a pretty good deal at Wan Chai. After we got the camera we went around Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok. Carpet Head bought sweet new Adidas adiZero cleats at Mongkok for a good price. I didn’t buy anything at all although I was dying to go shopping. I was on a budget. Bah.
On Saturday our first game was against Beijing Big Brother, the top seed in our pool. We lost by universal point. We won our second game, lost the third and won our fourth and last game for the day. On Sunday, we lost our last round robin game against Taiwan, but we still made it to the quarters. In the quarters we beat Love Affair (the team with Derek Ramsay, a few other good PUA players and some players from Singapore). We lost the semis to Taiwan. Taiwan went on to beat Korea in the finals. Not bad, yeah?
Anyway, enough text! Let’s get to some pictures! I took a grand total of eleven photos during our entire stay. YAYYYY. Here are six of them.
The tourney venue, Aberdeen Playground.

My favorite section in 7-11. Milk in cute cartons! Why do we not have those here??

Had this for breakfast for three days. Choco milk! Yum. I chose this for the kooky packaging.

This was posted in the elevator at the building where our hostel was. It’s Doraemon!

This is the shower head in one of the stalls in the Ladies’ Changing Room in Aberdeen. Funny! 
Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to see ingenuity like this here in the Philippines.
Okay, that’s all for now. I’ll try to grab more photos later. Hah.

Surprise book #2 for the Books to Movies Challenge and a jampacked weekend

Presenting my next book for the books to movies challenge… Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. Hells yeah. Okay, I know I made a friggin’ list, but I just gotta read this one next. I’ve heard of Battle Royale lots of times but I’ve never read the book or seen the movie, so when I saw this blood red beauty in the bookstore (I was looking for the books on my original list), I just grabbed it. Also, the fact that it was just less than 400 bucks made it real easy. Yeah, I’m kind of a cheapskate even with books – I always try to look for the cheaper edition. Anyway , this is friggin’ purrrfect for the challenge. I AM SO EXCITED. I did a little jig when I unwrappped it. Seriously.

I love the cover. RED. It’s pretty thick too. Around 600 pages.

And look! On the inside is a map of the island. Nice.

“I dedicate this to everyone I love. Even though it might not be appreciated.”
This is my favorite page so far. Hah. 
I haven’t actually started reading it yet, but I can’t wait. I don’t know how I can do it over the weeknd though ’cause I have a pretty packed weekend! We’re watching Transformers 3 tonight so my night’s pretty much occupied. Tomorrow is the first day for my ultimate frisbee team’s annual little tourney and that’s going to be the whole day. Let’s see if I can squeeze in a few pages before I sleep. Then it’s another Summer League day on Sunday. I’m so stoked about this weekend! Hah!
Happy Weekend! :)

Books to Movies Challenge

Aha! I haven’t read anything in such a long time that I’ve decided to join a reading challenge! I read about it in a post by Jai and I followed the yellow brick road to the challenge host: Two Bibliomaniacs.

The challenge begins June 1st and ends Dec 31st. All you gotta do is read a book and watch the movie adaptation. You can choose any book. You can also choose to read 2, 4, 6, or 8 books. Sounds easy enough, right? I’m going to try to go for at least 2. Haha. If I can do more, that will be great. I just bought a book a few days ago and it was one that was already made into a movie. Guess I’m off to a good start, eh? :P

If you’re up for a book and movie challenge, go to this awesome place and read more about it.

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In other news, it’s TGI-Friday and I’m blog guesting at A Taste of T today!

Enjoy the weekend, everyone! :)