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Fun Post! Favorite Proposal Videos

One day, I went to the mall. I went into a jewelry store and while looking at jewelry, I struck up a conversation with a friendly jeweler. She informed me that it’s engagement season. In honor of engagement season, I will share my three favorite proposal videos. These are in order of when I found the videos and they all happen to be proposals at an anime convention.

First up, we have a video from the masquerade from Animazement 2011. In the anime convention world, a masquerade is when many people people perform skits, songs, or dances in front of convention attendees.

The video of the proposal

There was bonus rehearsal footage with the fake ending (a stage slap by the guy and the girl chasing the guy with her tonfa), but I can’t find the video anymore. It must have been taken down recently or put as “unlisted” (which means only people who have the link to a video can see it). In this proposal, three people do a skit. When the guy walks towards his girlfriend, instead of the planned ending, he takes the ring box out of his pocket and proposes to her. I think this is one of the first anime convention proposal videos I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the couple had a nasty spat and broke up a few months after the proposal.

Second, we have a very adorable proposal that happened at the end of a panel.

The video of the proposal

At Anime Detour in 2013, there was a Hetalia cosplay panel. At the end of the panel (you only see the end of the panel in the video), a Hungary cosplayer proposes to an England cosplayer. What makes this a favorite video is that the England cosplayer has an adorable reaction to her girlfriend proposing. They got married during the fall in 2015. Happy ending!

The third and final favorite proposal video is another skit, but this time, the proposal happened at Anime Expo in 2015.

The video of the proposal

After some technical difficulties in the beginning of their skit, this group of Pokemon cosplayers decide to do battle. The Luxray cosplayer used the “Destiny Knot” on the Houndour cosplayer. The “Destiny Knot” was an engagement ring. What made this engagement special was the Luxray cosplayer was professional voice actor Sean Chiplock. According to social media, Sean will be getting married soon.. In the words of someone in the Hetalia proposal, “Three cheers for the happy couple!”

So those are my three favorite proposals. What is your favorite proposal video you have seen or story you have read or heard about (other than yours)?

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Fun Post! What’s in My Gym Bag?

Remember when I said I was going to post fun stuff in my blog? I finally get to!

So some of my followers and readers may go to the gym to exercise. Some people exercise at home. Some people go outside to run. I don’t like running, but my dad was a track and field star in high school. People say they don’t run unless they’re being chased. I only run when I’m chasing someone. I digress.

So if you are familiar with my blogs, you know I do kickboxing. For two hours a day, three days a week, I’m punching and kicking. So what do I pack for class? Fellow kickboxers do not need to pack the same things I do, but many things are stuff you should have.

  • A bottle of water. Because each class is two hours long, I carry a 32-oz water bottle. The brand of bottle I have is called Pogo. However, depending on the length of physical activity that you do, you may just need to carry a regular bottle of water.
  • Mouthguard. Sparring sometimes happens in my gym, so it is very important to protect your teeth.
  • Three sets of handwraps. I only use two since the 180-inch handwraps were determined to be too big for me. That set will probably go to my boyfriend. I use a set that is 108-inches and a set that is 120-inches. You need to wash your handwraps about once a week or once every two weeks, so you may want another set of handwraps in case you don’t have time to do laundry before your next class. Handwraps are important to help reduce your risk of injury. While it has a little bit of forgiveness if you punch wrong, you should still use proper technique when doing punches. Regular people who fight on the streets have broken their hands due to wildly punching people.
  • Boxing gloves. You want to punch the bags? At the gym I go to, with the exception of the speed bag (which you do without gloves on), you must wear boxing gloves to do bag work. One of our heavy bags is 350 pounds. Do you really want to punch it without gloves on?
  • Shin and instep protectors. This is optional. This can be used to help gain more confidence with certain kicks. However, I didn’t want to wear them at first because I felt I would get too dependent on them. If I needed to defend myself, I will likely not be wearing shin and instep protectors. The only reason why I have them was because I got a bruise on my shin while sparring with my coach back in May. I did a roundhouse kick and he blocked it with his boxing glove. Ouch.
  • Dry t-shirt to change into. Sometimes, I have an intense day of working out and I’m sweating a lot. I sweat a lot if I’m sparring that day or if I’m doing lots of mitt work. It’s getting cold where I live, so dad has me bring a dry shirt to change into after class so I don’t get sick.
  • A hand towel. I haven’t used it lately, but I would use it to wipe the sweat off my face during the summer. I would use it so I would make sure not to drink all my water too quickly.
  • A pair of tennis shoes not worn when walking into the gym. Honestly forgot about these being in my bag until I typed this out. If you’re going to wear shoes at kickboxing, we are told to wear shoes that we didn’t wear on the way to the gym. I go barefoot in the gym so I can properly pivot on most of the kicks, but I have a pair of tennis shoes because there are two treadmills and a stationary bike in the gym. If I want to use the treadmill (which I haven’t), do I really want to be barefoot for that? You probably can’t be.

So that’s what I have. Out of the things mentioned, a pair of 108-inch handwraps, boxing gloves, and my mouthguard were provided to me when I joined the kickboxing gym for a total of $55 while I bought the shin and instep protectors from my coach. You may have to supply your own gear, but see if you can buy your gear at your gym. What do you have in your gym bag when you exercise?

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Feminist Joys: Impressing International Acquaintances

So yesterday, I went to kickboxing. While I was putting on my handwraps, a mysterious woman walks in. The woman, I soon learn, is a boxer from Germany who comes to exercise in the gym whenever she is visiting the United States.

I heard she just finished her Master’s degree and has not been able to train due to having to study all the time. I want to get my Master’s degree so I asked her what her degree is in and which school she went to. This is how I found out she’s from Germany. She told me that in order to be a teacher in Germany, you have to have a Master’s degree. Here in the United States, teachers don’t need Master’s degrees unless they want to be college professors. We continued talking about the differences between United States schools and German schools. In Germany, secondary school starts in 5th grade.

She asked me what I want to get my Master’s degree in. I told her Computer Science. She figured it was mostly guys in that field. She is very correct. I told her that I’m a software engineer and told her an overview what I have been doing at my job (didn’t go into details since having a security clearance means not to discuss what projects are specifically about). She said she was very impressed.

And that’s why I named my blog post “Feminist Joys: Impressing International Acquaintances”. Many times, feminists and womanists have things to rightfully be enraged about, especially in this political climate. To me, this is something to be happy about.

The future teacher of 5th through 10th grade students is here until mid-January. With her boxing experience, she would be a good sparring partner. Sometimes I’m the only woman in the combined boxing/kickboxing class and one of the black belt kickboxers feels like I should spar against women more often. I’m the oldest female who is a regular attendee in class, with the second oldest being in high school. I feel like I’ll be less scared to spar against our friendly visitor compared to sparring against my coach. It will be a good way for her to return to boxing. Due to having to study so much for her degree, she said she’s in the worst shape of her life. Anyways, she won’t be here for too long. She will return to Germany to start teaching in February. Good luck with teaching, Izzy!

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Oh Wow, I’m 25!

Yesterday, on November 2nd, I celebrated my 25th birthday. This is a big thing for me, and it’s not because I’m a quarter of the way to 100 (people at the gym kept telling me that). It’s because I didn’t think I would live to see 25. The reason why I didn’t think I was going to live to be 25 years old was because of my declining mental health at the time and due to the fear that white supremacy was going to win. Not even 24 hours after Donald Trump was elected president, people started ripping hijabs off of people’s heads. Nooses were being found. People were being attacked. Racism is on the rise. I expected to be killed due to the color of my skin being “wrong”. End socio-political portion of this blog.

So what did I do on my birthday? I went to work and a team lead decided that we were going out to lunch to celebrate my birthday. We went to Panera Bread, which is within walking distance of the office. I also saw a baby snake in the office. We set it free, but I consider it my birthday snake and I will call it Paul. No, I don’t know why I picked the name Paul. After work, my parents, Franklin, and I went to Outback Steakhouse. My center-cut sirloin steak was a little hard to cut first. I like sirloin steaks because that cut of steak is mostly lean. Then I blew out candles and opened gifts when we returned home. What did I get, you ask? I got:

  • Two sets of new handwraps
  • An AMC Gold Experience Package (not sure if it’s called that, but the tickets are Gold tickets). This includes two Gold Experience tickets good for any movie, a voucher for a free small popcorn, and two vouchers for a free small drink. Franklin instantly declared that we’re using the tickets to see Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Two Panera Bread gift cards. Yay for not having to pack a lunch sometimes!
  • A personalized belt display for my kickboxing belts. This was not on my wishlist, but it was a last minute gift that my mom ordered once I came home with my green belt.
  • New sports bras. My previous ones were losing support so I bought two new ones to replace the old ones. Now I have more sports bras so I won’t have to worry about not having clean sports bras. Plus, these bind my chest a little.
  • A gold necklace with a pearl on it by the brand Tara bought at Smyth Jewelers. Yes, I was there to pick out my own necklace that Franklin bought me. Over a month ago, he decided to get me a necklace for my birthday because I was the only woman at a family event not wearing one. I’m not really a person who wears necklaces. I have a few others, though. I even wore this necklace to work today because I am making sure to get his money’s worth of use.

Also, my kickboxing coach texted me to wish me a happy birthday. That was a neat surprise. That’s all I wanted to say today. Now I will e-mail my boyfriend to see how drill went today.

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A Surprise? For Me? Green Belt for Me!

First off, I want to congratulate Catherine for completing another 5K! She beat her previous time and ran the entire 5 kilometers without stopping! Way to go! Good luck on your next 5K!

I’m recovering from a cold. Just wanted to throw that out there. Since I took a zinc lozenge as soon as I realized my throat was still feeling funny on Thursday afternoon, my cold wasn’t as intense. I was still able to go to kickboxing on Saturday and today. I just have an annoying cough.

So this evening at kickboxing, we did our usual conditioning during the first hour. After we finished our last exercise, the coach told us to stay where we were. He called all the black belt kickboxers to the front of the gym. I originally thought they were going to have us do another exercise or split off into groups. The coach said that kickboxers have an opportunity to obtain rank (we get belts in kickboxing). This is when I thought all kickboxers were being challenged to fight against the black belts and only certain people would get to the next belt. I was called to the center. My coach went to his office and in his hand was a green belt and a certificate. Oh yeah, and Franklin apparently had been keeping it a secret since Saturday. When we were leaving class, my coach wanted to talk to him, but had me stay where I was. Found out tonight that my coach told Franklin the secret about me getting my green belt.

If you remember my post from when I got my yellow belt, I said that it starts taking longer and longer to obtain higher belts and that you get your belt when the coach feels like you deserve it. There are also times where you don’t formally test and you get surprised with a belt. That was my case. I didn’t formally test and I only got my yellow belt three months ago.

I was told that no one has ever gotten to green belt this quickly, but I deserved it since I showed up to every class since I started and I worked hard. I have been doing kickboxing for more than 8 months. Today in class, I reviewed the techniques I already learned. I reached this goal sooner than I expected. I expected to get my green belt at the end of this year or beginning of next year.

Now that I’m a green belt, my next belt goal to aim for is blue. That means I will be learning more techniques. A few new things on the list of things you need to know for blue belt are things I already know. The two new kicks I will learn will be spinning crescent kick and spinning hook kick. I will surely be dizzy now!

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“Chosen Families” are Valid Families

Chosen family. What does that mean? It’s a family that is not related to you by blood, but play a significant and positive role in your life. This is often a group of friends. I first heard the term in the LGBTQ community a few months ago. People often have a chosen family due to issues with their biological family. For me, I feel like the black sheep of the family, although for reasons that family members don’t know about.

For me, my chosen family is made up of the people in my kickboxing gym.

In this chosen family, any criticisms I get is to help me improve my techniques for my kicks. In this chosen family, there is support. This family did not discourage me from taking kickboxing due to me being a girl. No one has said sexist things (although I still get paranoid that they’re thinking sexist things). My blood relatives did not think I should do kickboxing because I’m a girl. Although I am afraid of shadowboxing against a few people, I don’t dread being around the people at my gym.

Sorry it’s a short post. I’ve been forgetting about this blog post for weeks and don’t have much to say. Also, today is my grandfather’s 87th birthday.

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Workout Buddies: Good for Motivation and Improvement

Franklin’s military class is going well. Thanks for asking!

So jeanapril is following me now, and she’s a┬áLifetime Emerald Beachbody Coach. This inspired me to write today’s blog, which is about workout buddies.

I didn’t have my first workout buddy until my second year of university. I wanted to go to the fitness center more often than I did the previous semester and I heard this girl in marching band saying that she wanted a workout buddy because she wanted to start going to the fitness center. We would work out together on Tuesdays after we got back from English class (we were in different classes since she was a freshman and I was a sophomore) and she would work out on her own on Thursdays since I had color guard practice those days. And that’s how she became my other best friend from university.

After graduating, I didn’t have another workout buddy until I started kickboxing. You’ve heard me talk about Gary in the past, so I will just link to that blog post. Yes, for those wondering, I did have a crush on him. However, you can thank Franklin for the crush ending (as well as Gary getting re-injured and being gone for a few weeks to recover). I’ll just say one thing, though: the excitement of seeing Gary in class is what would motivate me to go to the kickboxing gym whenever I didn’t feel like it. Different people have different motives for working out, so tell me what your motivation is!

Now, when I’m not working on improving my new kicks and sweeps in kickboxing, I help to teach and review things with some other kickboxers. Last month, this one guy named John joined the kickboxing class in order to lose weight (he’s lost 8 pounds so far. Good for him!). I work with him on his kicks and gave him some warm ups that black belt Phil taught me for strengthening and stretching my hips. I may be a yellow belt, but I find that teaching kicks by breaking it down helps me to reinforce proper techniques. My next belt is green belt and we still have to perform lower-belt kicks for tests, but with improvements compared to the previous belt. Plus, being able to teach was (and might still be) a requirement for the last belt, which is why I led warm-ups last month when my cousin was here. I was told to lead a 15-minute warm-up. This was what I did in the warm-up in order.

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. “Front back side to side” This describes the scissoring motion your legs make. You start with one foot in front and one foot in the back. When you jump, you switch feet. That means if your right foot was in the front and your left foot was in the back, your left foot is now in the front and your right leg is in the back. When you jump again, your feet cross one in front of the other. Then in the next jump, your feet separate like you were about to do a jumping jack. Then you cross your feet again, but with the other foot in front of the other. I can’t find a video, so I hope I did my best to describe it.
  3. More jumping jacks.
  4. Feet moving side to side while doing jabs, hooks, uppercuts, and crosses. Moving the feet side to side is for footwork.
  5. More jumping jacks until the two minutes is up. We know when two minutes are up because of the Sparmate timer.
  6. Some stretches and squats.
  7. Shadowboxing for one round.
  8. Punching combinations. I would have liked to add kicks to the combinations too, but I was only given 15 minutes to lead the warm-ups. This was a good way to have me think on my feet (for those whose first language isn’t English, “thinking on your feet” means to think and react quickly. For example, I couldn’t stop to think for long to come up with the next set of combinations for the class to do).

Do you have a workout buddy? Would you want a workout buddy?