Sunday, January 30, 2011

Faves: Compression Tights

I love compression tights (no, not the kind your great-grandma wears) the athletic kind.  My much-more-fit-than-I-could-hope-to-be cousin told me about them last fall and I decided to try them out as I was increasing my running mileage.  I bought the Zoot Recovery and Travel tights.

They're like magic, for real.  There's some sort of science behind them that talks about using compression to increase blood flow and speed up recovery, but the long and short of it is that they feel really good if your legs are tired.

This is what I consider my ultimate test.  The Sunday that I left for the Philippines (late night flight) I did a 16-mile jog in the morning, took a nap, did some packing, put on my compression tights, did some other stuff and then got on a 13-hour flight.  When I got to my hotel room in Manila on Tuesday morning (22-ish hours after completing 16 miles) my legs were fine.  They were slightly tired, but they weren't sore and nothing hurt!  In my mind that one day made this purchase totally worthwhile.

So, I suggest that any active folks out there get some of these things, they make voodoo on your sore muscles.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Traveling: Philippines (Part 2)

Next up was a flight to Cebu.  Now for a side note; everyone in line to board the flight got a pat down.  There was a women's line and a men's line, you stood on a little platform and got patted down, back of the hand under the boob and all.  It wasn't a big deal and Americans need to quit whining.

Cool machinery

We headed to factories straight from the airport and by the end of the day I was ready to crash at my hotel.  Luckily it was pretty great, it was a resort on Mactan Island and I was greeted by a girl in a pretty dress with some yummy fruit beverage and sent up to my room.

View from my room

The next day had a lot of factory tours and the beginning of me being sick.  I have never loved proper sewage/water treatment more than when I came back from this trip.  Let's just say I was very familiar with the hotel clinic by the end of the trip.

Another factory

The next day I had a fairly free day, and it was super unfortunate that I wasn't 100%, but I did get to snorkel, and lay by the beach and the pool for a couple of hours.

 The beach at the hotel, white sand, warm water, amazing!
Remote control picture at the beach in the morning

 Wow, check out that awesome cell phone self portrait, yeah sunny squinty face with random lines on my face from snorkel gear, rock it.
What the hell is this thing?  They put a child inside, inflate it and have a handler walk them around on a string so they can play around in a hamster ball.  Has anyone seen this before?

Then I went to my room and after laying in bed for a while I rallied enough to walk to a nearby plaza.  I was determined to see something outside of my hotel.

 There was a lovely tower in the center
 A beach with some locals hanging out

 An abandoned boat on the shore

 And some place that I assume is used for festive occasions


And if I ever get my underwater camera pics developed from the snorkeling I'll put those up.  But that was pretty much it for the Philippines.  The next day I hung out on a delayed plane for a few hours praying that I wouldn't miss the flight from Manila to LAX.  Luckily (?) the plane with the engine problems that was flying from Cebu to Manila was the same plane going from Manila to LAX, so they couldn't leave without me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Traveling: Philippines (Part 1)

Mabuhay! (That is the only tagalog I was able to pick up, and it's a very formal version of  'welcome'.)

Back in October I was sent to the Philippines to check out some furniture manufacturers (not a bad gig).  All I can say is that it was quite an experience.  It's the poorest country I've ever been to, and the traffic is unimaginable to me, even though I live in Los Angeles, but there is some lush, tropical beauty as well and the people are as nice as can be.

It started off with a 13 hour flight over there, oh and there was a typhoon happening while I was flying over, but it was fairly cleared up by the time I landed.  Needless to say, parents were calling and telling me to cancel my trip.  I left late Sunday night from LAX and arrived early Tuesday morning in Manila.  It was grey and rainy, but the worst of the storm had subsided, so I just crashed at my hotel room until I had to meet our buying agent later in the afternoon.

Views from my hotel room in Manila

Afterwards I went to the furniture show (Manila FAME show, meh) and met up with our buying agent so that we could go around and meet some of the manufacturers.

Then we headed to a showroom in Manila, it was in an old house and the courtyard was fantastic.

The lush greens and that blue door slay me, I was so in love.

The next day we headed north to some of the factories, and I got a full of idea of just how crazy traffic in Manila can be.

 Lanes are completely an option

 And there are so many modes of transportation: horse and carriage...

 Trikes (motorcycles with a sidecar, up to 6 people can be on these, I swear I saw it)...

The jeepneys, are old American jeeps that are elongated and turned into a jitney, Philippines style...

 And, of course people just walking around amongst the cars, motorcycles, bikes, trikes, jeepneys, and...

The funniest looking armored car I've ever seen.  This thing seriously looked like it was made in someone's backyard metal shop, but it gets the job done.

Then I saw some countryside on the way out to the factories, it was pretty and tropical, but slightly flooded from the typhoon in places.

One of the manufacturers took me out to dinner with another buyer (might have been where I got sick, but oh well) and I had the best drink in the world.  It was some sort of cucumber, celery, apple, parsley and a-bunch-of-other-green-things drink and it was amazing.  It wasn't thick like a smoothie, it was juice-like and I wish I could replicate it.

The next day we saw more of the furniture show in the morning and then I had a massage, body scrub and facial that evening at the hotel.  It was fantastic, and though not cheap because I was at a nice hotel, it was totally within my price range and I went for it.

Then I flew to Cebu (on a Cebu Pacifc flight, the ones who created this, but I sadly didn't get to see it), and I got to stay at a beach resort.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Faves: The ArchAndroid

I don't claim to know a lot about music, but I'm in love with this album.  Easily my favorite of 2010, Janelle Monae's The ArchAndroid is awesome.  There are so many genres on there, from dance pop and orchestral moments, to Simon and Garfunkel-esque folk songs, and a collaboration with Of Montreal that is just fun.

And the fact that it's partially based on the German Expressionist film, Metropolis just adds to the awesomeness.