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Friday, November 6, 2009

Camp Out

What better way to leave the toils of the everyday world but camping out. Although there is more to it than just campfires and overnight in the wilderness, camping out is actually one of the best ways to release negative energies brought about by the busy life.

Imagine a starry sky and a quiet, ambient atmosphere where you have nothing to think about but the excitement that is up ahead. Whether it be simple trek in the wilderness, or a wild white water rafting adventure. In the wild, the possibilities are endless. The point really is to get as far away from the source of your stress as possible. The intent is to replenish the strength you’ve lost battling the challenges of everyday living – shuffling work and family.

But before you decide to go for a little time off for and from yourself, you need to know the following about camping.

1. Whenever possible, use existing campsites. Camp on durable surfaces and place tents on a non-vegetated area. Do not dig trenches around tents.

2. Camp a least 200 feet from water, trails, and other campsites.

3. Pack out what you pack in. Carry a trash bag and pick up litter left by others.

4. Repackage snacks and food in baggies. This reduces weight and the amount of trash to carry out.

5. For cooking, consider using a camp stove instead of a campfire. Camp stoves leave less of an impact on the land.

6. Observe all fire restrictions. If you must build a fire—use existing fire rings, build a mound fire, or use a fire pan. Use only fallen timber for campfires. Do not cut standing trees. Clear a 10-foot diameter area around the site by removing any grass, twigs, leaves and extra firewood. Also make sure there aren’t any tree limbs or flammable objects hanging overhead.

7. Allow the wood to burn down to a fine ash, if possible. Pour water on the fire and drown all embers until the hissing sound stops. Stir the campfire ashes and embers until everything is wet and cold to the touch. If you don’t have water, use dirt.

8. Detergents, toothpaste and soap harm fish and other aquatic life. Wash 200 feet away from streams and lakes. Scatter gray water so it filters through the soil.

9. In areas without toilets, use a portable latrine if possible, and pack out your waste. If you don’t have a portable latrine, you may need to bury your waste. Human waste should be disposed of in a shallow hole six to eight inches deep at least 200 feet from water sources, campsites, or trails. Cover and disguise the hole with natural materials. It is recommended to pack out your toilet paper. High use areas may have other restrictions, so check with a land manager.

10. Following a trip, wash your gear and support vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thai Yoga

Thai Yoga. is a cross between the massage and popular yoga. Also referred to as the “lazy person’s yoga” because of the nature of how it is done. You will soon learn why it earned this name.

Thai yoga, unlike your conventional yoga requires an “assistant” or the practitioner who will work with the receiver, or the person undergoing this stress busting activity. The practitioner would assist the receiver in stretching the latter’s muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments etc. through a series of yoga posses. All the receiver has to do is whatever he/she is told, pretty much.

By these activities, the blocked areas of the body are opened up and stale or negative energy is released, clearing the pathway for fresh energies to flow through the body's system. The belief that the body has about 72000 energy lines which needs to be worked and Thai Yoga is believed to be the best way to do this. The body’s healing process is also promoted by this activity.
This therapy does not require much. The attire needed is any comfortable non-restrictive clothing. It also requires an ample space enough for the activity. The living room floor is ideal for the exercise.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


One of the most ancient forms of stress relief is meditation. In a nutshell, and from a lay man’s point of view, meditation is like resting in a state of sleep without being asleep at all. It is a more in depth form of “cat napping”. In depth in such a way that it does not only relieve physical stress but also clears the mind of everything that causes its exhaustion.

Some of the physical benefits of meditation include the lesser consumption of oxygen which enables the body to pass the threshold of stress to the state of relaxation, since the process of respiration slows in a more stable rhythm. It also decreases the volatility of blood flow and stabilizes the heart rate which subsequently lowers blood pressure to a normal rate. It also increases the level of serotonin, which, a deficiency of has been attributed to depression, obesity and insomnia.

People I know that practice meditation appears more lively and having a more positive outlook. These are happy stress free people who were able to develop a better coping mechanism.

Meditation, considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine, produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process results in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.

Benefits of meditation

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don't end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and improve certain medical conditions.

Meditation and emotional well-being

When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.The emotional benefits of meditation include:

Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
Building skills to manage your stress
Increased self-awareness
Focusing on the present
Reducing negative emotions

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chat and Vent

It is human nature to cling to another human being when we are in distress. It is an inherent need that comes with our natural social behavior.

“Do you want to talk about it?” is seemingly a standard question that comes out of a friend’s whenever we begin the process of venting, and our friend senses distress.

But what if you’re alone in the middle of the night with no one to talk to? I have experienced this first hand. At some point, I contacted friends from overseas just to “talk” about my situation which seem to eat me up at that time. It worked. I have passed the threshold of the stress and felt better – but I have also passed the threshold of how much I can afford to pay my phone bills. Then came online chat. Friends are not always around, even online. This is not really a problem when it comes to socializing on the internet. Just look for a wholesome chat room where people are usually friendly. Introduce yourself, make friends and chat your troubles away. Who knows, you might even make real friends who are always willing to listen, when all other friends are not around.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Enjoy a Movie

Go watch a funny movie or browse on the internet for funny clips.

They say that “laughter is the best medicine”. It is indeed. A funny movie may as well be the medium for a good cheer. It does not only relieve muscle tensions and heavy feeling on your chest, laughter also help in the moderate release of endorphins which help abolish all sensation of pain. That’s probably why we feel a bit better when we laugh.

A good laugh also helps us divert from the negative emotions and the stress they generate by totally changing our outlook to a more positive inclination.

Sure, we all can be busy but it is all worth the while to sit and watch a funny movie once in a while – just to keep the balance between stress and replenishment and rebound.


Here's a list of classic movies dubbed by Reader's Digest as the funniest.


By common agreement (including Charlie's) this is Chaplin's greatest silent film. Alternating between heads-on slapstick and poetic mime, the famous Little Tramp pans for nuggets in Alaska--and winds up broke. In a classic scene, he and his customary foil, Big Jim (Mack Swain), get so hungry that Charlie cooks a boot for dinner, carving it like a steak, then delicately twirls the shoelaces around his fork pasta-style. Chaplin's comic techniques were to set the standard for the next 50 years.


The third of the great silent film trio (the other two were Chaplin and Keaton), Harold Lloyd did all his own stunts, many of them dangerous, with skill and humor. Here he's a frosh trying to ingratiate himself with fellow students.


Celebrated as the Great Stone Face because he so rarely cracked a smile, Buster Keaton is remembered as an adroit stunt man and knockabout comedian. But he was far more than that, as demonstrated by this extraordinary silent comedy of the Civil War. As a train engineer who recaptures some hijacked rolling stock, Keaton is audacious, poetic and explosively amusing. As the film's director, he scintillates.D

UCK SOUP (1933)

Perhaps the purest film farce ever made. Directed con brio by Leo McCarey, the film offers no love story or subplots, just Harpo, Chico and Groucho Marx at their manic peak. En route to a slam-bang finale they satirize war and the country's leading politicians. (Groucho: "It's too late to [prevent a war]. I just paid a month's rent on the battlefield.")


The "talkies" grew up with this adaptation of a Broadway hit by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. Under George Cukor's canny direction John and Lionel Barrymore, sex goddess Jean Harlow, and comedians Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery enliven the sophisticated dialogue, revolving around the lives of financial predators, actors on the rocks, hatcheck girls on the way up and millionaires on the way down, all set against the background of a glittering Manhattan dinner party.


Mae West became something of a joke in later life, but as her films prove, she was one of the best comedy writers in 1930s Hollywood. Here, she plays a Gay Nineties saloon singer in trouble with the law--impersonated by Cary Grant in an early role. "When a woman goes wrong, the men go right after her." "Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" The great lines are here, and Mae wrote 'em all. Lowell Sherman directed unobtrusively.


Arguably Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's best film. The boys slip away from their spouses for some mild carousing; next thing they know, they're shipwrecked off the Hawaiian coast. Grand farceurs, doing their thing.


William Powell and Myrna Loy play Dashiell Hammett's married sleuths, Nick and Nora Charles. Notorious wisecrackers and party-goers (the film was shot during Prohibition), the Charleses solve mysteries between drinks: Nora: "What hit me?" Nick: "The last martini." The pair had such on-screen chemistry they went on to play in 13 other movies, including five more Nick and Noras, but none equals this one. Directed with panache by W. S. Van Dyke, and augmented by Asta, a dog with almost as much appeal as his owners.


A cynical newspaperman (Clark Gable) and a pampered heiress (Claudette Colbert) collide on an overcrowded bus headed from Miami to New York. It's hate at first sight as they share the last remaining seat. "Remember me?" Gable demands the next morning. "I'm the fellow you slept on last night." Predictably they fall in love, but not before a series of tight situations and colorful arguments. Director Frank Capra's screwball comedy remains fresh after six decades.


A spoiled-rotten heiress (Carole Lombard) hires a shabby-looking bum (William Powell) and learns about life. Many a subsequent comedy was influenced by Gregory La Cava's rambunctious screwball farce.


Director Leo McCarey had a lot of help from Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. But this story of a divorced couple who try to ruin each other's new romances owes its accelerated pace and high polish to him. Ralph Bellamy and Mary Forbes supply the straight lines.PYGMALION (1938) The George Bernard Shaw play that inspired My Fair Lady, exquisitely directed by Anthony Asquith sans music. Witty, beguiling, convincing, with Wendy Hiller as Eliza Dolittle, and Leslie Howard as 'enry 'iggins.

HOLIDAY (1938)

Cary Grant is engaged to the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. Trouble is, she and her father expect him to become a faceless bureaucrat, and the young man is far too lively for that. Only one person in the family understands him--his fiancée's younger sister, Katharine Hepburn. A wise and sparkling Philip Barry script, enlivened by two performers at their peak. Lew Ayres was notable as Hepburn's hapless brother. Another George Cukor triumph, often overlooked.


In her penultimate film, Greta Garbo plays a frigid, rigid Soviet envoy. In Paris she encounters a Playboy of the Western World (Melvyn Douglas), and after a valiant struggle, succumbs to his masculine wiles. The coruscating script, co-written by Billy Wilder before he became a director, lampoons the Stalinist type just as Europe lurches toward World War II. Ernst Lubitsch's unfailingly light touch emphasizes "those wonderful days when a siren was a brunette and not an alarm."


The bulbous, droning W. C. has a Fields day as Egbert Souse ("accent grave over the e," he insists,) a henpecked drunk who gets involved in film-making and foiling a bank robbery--all in the course of a single day. He's admirably backed by Shemp Howard (one of the Three Stooges) as a bartender, Grady Sutton as W. C. Fields's awful son-in-law, and Franklin Pangborn as a bank examiner. The film was written by Mahatma Kane Jeeves, one of the Great Man's many noms de plume.


A comedy director (Joel McCrae) decides to quit Hollywood to seek a serious subject among the poor. He runs into Veronica Lake and a whole bunch of revelations about the meaning of life. A wise, enchanting gift from Preston Sturges.


"Like Webster's Dictionary, we're Morocco bound," croon Bing Crosby and Bob Hope as they board a camel and head for adventure. Along the way, as always, they encounter Dorothy Lamour, triggering, as always, a battle of one-upmanship to see who gets the girl. In this, the best of the seven "Road" movies, the comedian and singer knock down the "fourth wall" to talk to the audience, kid Paramount studios, and ad lib relentlessly with the movie's splendid heavy, Anthony Quinn.


In Nazi-occupied Poland an acting troupe struggles to survive. Out of this unpromising situation director Ernst Lubitsch served up a banquet of laughter. Peerless Jack Benny stars as a Polish ham; Carole Lombard is his wandering wife. (This was her last movie; she died in a plane crash that year.) The pair is aided by a cast of expert jokers, headed by Sig Ruman as a pompous German administrator. Caveat emptor; the film was clumsily remade by Mel Brooks in 1983.


Far from home, a shy, 4-F shipyard worker (Eddie Bracken) is mistaken for a World War II combat veteran. Before he can stop them, a group of Marines adopt him as one of their own. They return to the place he ran away from--only now there are cheering, ignorant crowds and a once-snooty girlfriend (Ella Raines) who wants the fugitive to run for mayor. Preston Sturges's view of small-town archetypes is as funny as his gentle satire of patriotism run amok.


Wide-eyed Betty Hutton attends a party, gets drunk, gets pregnant, and can't identify the father. Preston Sturges's directorial hand is sure, and William Demarest and Eddie Bracken are clowns beyond compare.


The ghost of a man's first wife tries to break up his second marriage. Noel Coward's diverting dialogue keeps this British farce afloat, as do Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, and Margaret Rutherford as an eccentric medium.


MGM superstar Danny Kaye was one of those extraordinary performers who could act, sing, dance, crack jokes and make it all look effortless. Here he plays identical twins with divergent personalities. One is a bespectacled intellectual, the other a brash nightclub emcee. When criminals knock off the entertainer, his ghost enters his brother's body, with hysterical results. The special effects and Technicolor backgrounds showcase Kaye's unlimited energy and metronomic timing.


Universal Studios had the ingenious idea of mixing its comedy duo with its horror stars. Result: unsubtle but explosive humor, with Bud and Lou as baggage clerks delivering packages to a haunted house. The occupants are Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., Vincent Price and other ghouls who want to replace Frankenstein's malfunctioning brain with Costello's minuscule one.

ADAM'S RIB (1949)

Of the nine films Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn made together, none tops this pairing. They play married lawyers who represent opposite sides in a divorce case--thereby giving scenarists Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin opportunities to provide the stars with effective salvos in this stylish battle of the sexes. Judy Holliday and Tom Ewell co-star as the pair in Splitsville.


Alec Guinness plays all eight members of the D'Ascoyne family, including Lady Agatha. Each, in turn, is bumped off by an impoverished heir (Dennis Price) who then claims the title of Duke. Only one obstacle remains: Shall he wed steamy Joan Greenwood or icy but elegant Valerie Hobson? Whether he gets away with murder depends on how you interpret the ambiguous ending of this memorable British farce.


Spencer Tracy takes the title role in this family comedy, and shows how to take an everyday event and make it into art. The bride is Elizabeth Taylor at her most radiant; the groom is Don Taylor at his most self-effacing. Billie Burke and Leo G. Carroll are relatively hilarious. Vincente Minnelli directed.

HARVEY (1950)

Jimmy Stewart plays a slightly addled gentleman, fond of the bottle and of a six-foot rabbit only he can see. Josephine Hull is his concerned sister; Cecil Kellaway is a shrink who comes to realize that the patient is saner than his critics.


Garson Kanin's famous play about an uncouth racketeer (Broderick Crawford) who hires a tutor (William Holden) for his girlfriend (Judy Holliday). Naturally, teacher and pupil fall in love. With George Cukor at the helm, everything--eventually--goes right.


It's the end of the 1920s, and the beginning of the end for silent movies. All very well for the mellifluous Gene Kelly, not so good for the adenoidal Jean Hagen. Young Debbie Reynolds is hired to supply the diva's offscreen voice, and thereby hangs the tale of the funniest musical ever made. Donald O'Connor's "Make 'Em Laugh" is a gem; Kelly's title song became his trademark. Adolf Green and Betty Comden wrote the knowing scenario; Stanley Donen, a former hoofer, directed nimbly.


With this film and Mon Oncle (1958) French actor/director Jaques Tati paid homage to the great silent film comedians. There's a soundtrack, but the innocent bumbler barely speaks as he fights a losing battle against technology and creates chaos wherever he wanders. The humor is gentle, the gags indelible, the persona endearing.


Cartoonist Ronald Searle's caricatures of a British all-girl's school brought to hideously hilarious life by director Frank Launder. Joyce Grenfell and Alastair Sim (in a dual role) make much of their opportunities.


Tom Ewell's wife goes on vacation, leaving him alone in Manhattan. Marilyn Monroe lives in a neighboring apartment. The rest is history, particularly when she walks over a subway grating in her diaphanous white dress. Sophisticated laughter, the Billy Wilder way.


The Duchy of Fenwick declares war on the United States in order to lose--and get money for reparations. Peter Sellers impersonates three different people, and those playing his countrymen (and women) are his equals in risibility.


Director/co-writer Billy Wilder sends up gangster movies in this ribald adventure of two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.) They witness a mob rubout and join an all-girl band to escape from their pursuers. On the way, the cross-dressers encounter a fabulous cast of caricatures including Marilyn Monroe, the band's lead singer, and smitten zillionaire Joe E. Brown, who plans to wed Lemmon, even when he learns the truth. "Nobody's perfect," claims Brown.


Marcello Mastroianni heads the cast in Mari Monicelli's grand, elaborate spoof of caper pictures. Vittorio Gassman, Toto and Claudia Cardinale make sure that chaos reigns supreme.


Stanley Kramer's over-the-top chase movie, with top bananas of comedy, including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Jimmy Durante, and Jonathan Winters, all outpaced by Mr. Cool himself, Spencer Tracy.


Jerry Lewis usually went overboard when he directed Jerry Lewis, but here he uses a laid-back approach to tell the story of a simpleton who becomes a sophisticate when he partakes of a magic potion. In a dual role, Jerry is laughable and/or loveable, without employing his customary frantic appeal to the audience. Stella Stevens is diverting; Kathleen Freeman is droll.

TOM JONES (1963)

Henry Fielding's great novel of 18th-century England brought to rumbustious life by director Tony Richardson and a stellar cast, headed by Albert Finney as a young man with his eye on the Main Chance. Susannah York supplies the beauty, Edith Evans and Hugh Griffith the sly sense of period and place.


Working with Terry Southern's mordant script, director Stanley Kubrick met the nuclear jitters with madcap laughter, subtitling his black comedy How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Archetypal casting includes the astonishing Peter Sellers in a triple role (the American President, a British major, and a mad scientist) and Sterling Hayden as the maniacal Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper. George C. Scott, Keenan Wynn and Slim Pickens furnish admirable, if outlandish, support.


The second of Blake Edwards's "Pink Panther" films, with Peter Sellers as the hapless Inspector Clouseau trying to unframe an innocent blonde (Elke Sommer). With Herbert Lom as Clouseau's furious boss, Burt Kwouk as his valet and martial arts trainer, and George Sanders as a wicked old roué.


Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren display their unique onscreen chemistry in this charming farce about an elusive womanizer and the lady who wants him to marry her. Widely imitated, but never duplicated.


A period comedy of bad manners, starring Dustin Hoffman in his breakout role as Benjamin, a youth struggling to find himself in a materialistic world. A family friend utters one word of advice: "Plastics." Other than that, he's on his own, attempting to romance an innocent girl (Katharine Ross) but instead getting seduced by her sly mother (Anne Bancroft). The spirited songs ("Mrs. Robinson" et al.) are by Simon and Garfunkel. Mike Nichols deservedly won an Oscar for direction.


Updating Faust, co-writer Peter Cooke casts himself as a genteel British devil, with Dudley Moore as the Tempted One. Eleanor Bron is the object of Moore's adoration. With Barry Humphries and Raquel Welch as two of the Seven Deadly Sins. The mirthworks are under the apt direction of Stanley Donen. A newer version appeared in 2000. Stick with the original.


The basis for Broadway's biggest hit musical. Two grotesques (Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder) produce a ghastly show, Springtime for Hitler, hoping it'll bomb. In the resultant confusion, they plan to steal the backers' money and get out of town. Behold! The thing turns out to be a smash, and the con men are hoist by their own petard. Mel Brooks's directorial debut.


You know the story. Major slob Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) allows neat freak Felix Ungar (Jack Lemmon) to move into his apartment. All too soon the divorced men are at each other's throats. Neil Simon skillfully adapted his sparkling Broadway comedy for a notable cast and director Gene Saks.

M*A*S*H (1970)

Robert Altman's weirdly appealing antiwar comedy that gave birth to the tamer, long-running TV series. With overlapping dialogue, odd camera angles and provocative performances by Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman et. al.


A cult film, featuring Bud Cort as a 20-year-old and Ruth Gordon as the octogenarian with whom he falls in love. Director Hal Ashby stresses credibility as well as oddball comedy. Ace score by Cat Stevens.


Another coming-of-age movie--with a big difference. George Lucas (Star Wars) directed, and chose a cast of newcomers with real talent, among them Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard and Harrison Ford.


Retired teacher (Art Carney in an Oscar-winning performance) goes cross-country with his cat, calling on his children, and former lovers, with mostly comic but sometimes poignant results. Paul Mazursky's direction is sensitive; Ellen Burstyn and Larry Hagman are exceptional.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Massage it Away

Toxins tend to make our muscles stiff or tensed. Massage helps release such toxins and enables relaxation. If you have ever been to a massage parlor, you would know the kind of ambiance the place has to offer. The dim light helps you loosen up which enables your muscles to give in to an upcoming caress. A soft easy listening or, in some more modern parlors, trance music, is played which also helps to relax the mind.

Massage enables the smooth flow of blood which tends to reduce aches and pains we feel in some part of out body. Although in a rested state, the release of tension – and stress is felt, while the body replenishes and regains.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rock it Away!

From personal experience, I have always surrendered to the comforts of the karaoke whenever I’m stricken with stress causing vibes. It’s probably kind of strange to call it self entertainment but singing does help release the build up on my chest.

Pick an emotionally driven ballad and sing your heart out. Imagine yourself doing a rendition of your favorite ballad on a stage – in front of an audience – and it’s your last performance ever. Then pick a feel-good rock and roll song with high notes and catchy rhythm and dance to it. It works well if you have a wild imagination. After the first round of your “concert”, you will sweat the stress out without you realizing it.

Keep singing and dancing until you get tired and in need of something to drink. Before you know it, you’d feel much better.