Nightmares

I know I haven’t been posting often enough, and it’s entirely my fault, but I’ll try to post more often in the future.


Just wanted to share the latest xkcd comic, which I found rather amusing:

Single Pane. Caption: When I got used to the regular nightmares, my subconscious got creative. A female stick figure is holding a male stick figure's shoulder, and says to him: 'Please don't wake up. I don't want to die.'

Secret Worlds

xkcd 52

Today I decided to go back through the archives of one of my favourite webcomics, xkcd, and re-read everything. This was because:

  1. I had nothing better to do (which is actually untrue; I’ve actually got plenty of overdue work that needs completing, but I’ve been in a slump all week and haven’t been able to put forth the effort to completing them.
  2. I noticed today something that I never noticed before: each comic has a title attribute that holds an extra tidbit of information, and I wanted to find out what all those tidbits were. (My curiosity has always gotten the best of me.)

While browsing back, I happened to stumble upon this one, which really caught my attention. It features a quote by Neil Gaiman that really got to me:

“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people in the whole world—I mean everybody—No matter how boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.”
––Neil Gaiman, Sandman

I love this quote so much mostly because I really believe it. At least for myself this is true. (Some worlds are darker than others.) I can only imagine what other people’s worlds are like. I’m fascinated by other people’s thoughts and ideas. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you were able to delve into someone’s mind and explore their labyrinth of sort of like a Penseive? One can only dream…

I’ve requested a hold on The Sandman: Book of Dreams at the TPL so I can pick it up within the next two weeks. It seems like a really interesting book (at least judging by the excerpt ) and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’ve still got a huge book backlog, but I hope to catch up on that after I’m set to graduate on the 17th.

Speaking of books, I’ve recently grown a new-found love for them. I used to make weekly (if not more often) trips to the library and had dozens of items on hold at a time (FYI: the maximum hold limit (and checkout limit, for that matter) is 50 items at any given time), but all that changed once I moved. There is a smaller, neighbourhood branch across the street from where I live now, but I rarely frequent that location as it doesn’t quite have the broad selection as other district branches do.

But recently I’ve been reconnecting with books (and actually going out and buying them even — gasp!), which has led me to appreciate them that much more. I’ve always cherished paper, despite how digital my life has become; I carry around a moleskine wherever I go so that I can jot down any notes or ideas I might have. I find that the tangibility of a notebook and pen just make it that much more real, especially in this digital age we live in these days, where it’d be unthinkable to live life without being plugged in to the Internet.

Creativity 100

Apologies for being absent all this time. Things have been rather hectic lately and I haven’t had the time I would’ve liked to do things like update this (or my other) blog as much as I’d like.


I had this bookmarked a while ago, but never thought to post this here until just now when I went to retrieve the link from del.icio.us (I suddenly forgot why I was looking for it to begin with).

Henriette Weber Andersen has compiled an excellent practical creativity manifesto that can “create some twisting and turning in your minds.” I love it.

One of my favourite from the list is a creative exercise:

78: draw 20 circles. Try to make each one into something in under 7 minutes (ie: pie, bicycle wheel, sewer grate, etc). repeat daily.

when I first tried this (I was really out of practice at the time), the first few were easy, but it became more difficult once I passed the twelfth. Then I realized, I didn’t have to constrain myself to only things shaped like a circle; I could build around the circle, too: after that I came up with several other concepts, each one more fun to draw than the last (a few examples of what I cam up with: a snowman, a lollipop, top-down view of a coffee cup, a camera with a big-honking macro lens (I wish I had one of those <drool>), a pair of stereo speakers (I sort of cheated a bit an counted that as two circles, one for each side, but don’t tell anyone—shh!), …you get the idea).

Maybe one of these days I’ll have to do up one of these…

(via michele)

QOTD for March 29th

Today’s quote comes from the epic 1989 film, Dead Poets’ Society:
“Seize the Day”

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life!
To put to rest all that was not life
And not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

H.D.T.

I <3 My Friends

pretty flower

I just had a really encouraging talk with Sacha just now. I’ve been feeling rather unproductive this past week, and haven’t been able to get any work done. She gave me some really great and inspirational advice. I haven’t much time to go into the details of our conversation right now (as this right here is a distraction; but I just had to give her praise), but I’m happy we had a chance to speak (despite her hectic schedule). I’m not usually used to people being so nice to me. Thank you, Sacha :)

Inspirational Advice

This morning I received a very inspiring piece of advice this morning from my dear friend Sacha Chua. However, I’d like to share the dialogue that led to this, just so there’s some context:
Me:

[...]there are things going on in Toronto that I know you’d just love to be at, even aside from all the
*camps. For instance, Mr. Doctorow himself will be at Bakka Books on February 1st to promote and sign copies of his latest short story anthology: Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present. I’ll be sure to get you a signed copy. Any particular message you’d want him to write to you? ;)

Sacha:

What, “To Sacha: I’m sure we’ll meet someday.”

? ;)

Me:

Well, if I remember correctly, Joey did promise you that he’d introduce you to Cory (and vise-versa) the next time he was in town last time when we recorded a podcast back in June (which never actually got around to getting launched yet; i’ve still got the files
sitting on my hard drive), this would be the next-best thing to that without having to wait for the next time he’s in Toronto. Of course, they deliver special signed copies, but that’s got an extra $10 added to the price tag and you’ve gotta do it before Feb 1 (i assume via email would be the best way to contact
them; i can’t find a link on their site). I think Quinn & Leigh will be there, too, & hopefully Joey (though he hasn’t replied to my email yet).

Sacha:

Oh, don’t worry, I can wait. =) After all, I don’t chase after celebrities as much as I chase after real conversations with real people. I’d prefer dinner (or lunch or coffee) with Cory more than signed first editions of all his books. =)

Me:

You’re right. I seem to be more of a ‘collector’ than a connector (like yourself, which is how it should be). I’ve got signed copies of books from authors (Tim Sanders’ for one), but there’s no real depth behind it and I after that we never see each other again; in retrospect it seems to be more of a trophy than anything else.

See, you can get away with inviting out renowned speakers for coffee or lunch because you’ve got your cuteness and charm (among other things) that make people want to be around you. I couldn’t pull off something like that, at least not in my current state.

Sacha:

Make a decision to get quality instead of quantity, and quantity will follow. =)
Dare!

A bit of prose

Well, it’s been quite a while since I last blogged here (almost 8 months, but I feel like it’s time to get back to writing here again.


I got a bit carried away on Tuesday when a friend asked me (in an email) when my birthday was, and I ended up writing much for than was required. She was probably expecting something a bit more concise, like July 3rd, but instead got this. Here is the result:

It was a Last Quarter moon that early Friday morn, and the human loft apartment I had lived in for the past nine months had given me an eviction notice, effective immediately. It was clear my landlord wanted me out, but I wouldn’t go without a fight. I was able to resist for a good couple of hours, but once building security showed up, I knew I had to leave.

I was escorted out, leaving all of my possessions behind. They brought me to a new place, much larger and better lit than my previous residence, except this one was filled with colossal beings twenty times my size.

It seemed nice, but nothing could match the security and comfort of my old home. Little did they know that I had left a trail of organic rope leading back to my abode, but one of the officers seemed to had found it and took my end away, leaving me trapped in this new world. I suddenly felt light-headed, as if my supply of oxygen had been cut off.

I opened my mouth to yell at whoever had done this, but instead of yelling, I felt a surge of energy within me. I tried to yell again: another surge. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but it appeared to be solving my faintness problem. I continued this inhale-exhale process, as it seemed I had to do this as long as I remained in the new place, which from my judgment was going to be a long time.

These giants seemed ok, excluding their intimidating demeanor. One in particular seemed to take a liking to me, and she held me close to her in her gargantuan arms, while I looked around, taking in my new surroundings. And I spotted it, my “organic breadcrumb trail”, leading around and then under this giant’s gown. It dawned on me: this being, now cuddling me… I had been inside it these past nine months (or so I’m told; I can only remember 2 of them), and now, I was seeing the outside of it for the first time. It was…different. Not necessarily bad, but quite a change from what I was used to. And since there was likely no chance of going back, I’d have to make do living with this place with the being that had so much affection for me. If I couldn’t be back in my old home, I might as well stay as close to it as I could.

I originally wanted to stop after the first few lines or so, but it would have sounded incomplete otherwise.

Evolution

As my Exploring Creativity course draws to a close, only a week remains. It’s been quite a journey, addressing issues such as veganism and newmindspace (which, by the way, I’ve still got to do a post about, as promised. It should probably be up by tomorrow at the latest.)

I have come to the conclusion that even though the course is over, this blog doesn’t have to be. It just wouldn’t be fair to all my readers. Besides, I enjoy writing this blog too much to just suddenly abandon it, and I’m sure many of you enjoy reading it as well (even though parts of this blog have been a bit eccentric I must admit… but who doens’t enjoy a bit of eccentricity once in a while?).

So, the blog lives on. And it’ll be updated more frequently. I’m hoping at least 2-3 times per week. I’m also debating whether or not to combine this blog and my other blog into one, because, as you may have noticed, it’s getting a bit lonely on the other side :(. I figure, why not have a technology and a creative blog in one? It helps add more variety and a different perspective on things, and anyone who’s read my other blog knows that I don’t just pick a random topic out of the blue and blog about it; I only blog about a subject if it’s something worth discussing, and perhaps some alternative insight would be healthy (and of course, I don’t want to just desert my other readers as well, causing them to think that I may have vanished off the face of the Earth or something). What do you guys (and girls) think? Feel free to express your opinions in the comments.

So until next time, I’ll just have to continue multiblogging until I come up with a definite solution.

Get Inspired!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while (ever since Jan. 26 when I picked up the paper, actually), but it seems I never got around to it until now. I guess I just liked the print version better.

There’s a great article in the January 26 issue of Dose about some ways to blossom some new ideas for the inspirationally-challenged. Features thoughts from seven of the most creative Canadians out there. Great Read!

Also, visit dose.ca/inspired to see what makes Dose readers tick and to contribute your own opinion.

I’m an Artist

Benjamin Perez, an old high school friend of mine once told me (last year),

(Gabriel), you know what, you’re an artist. I mean like, you don’t like people telling you what and when to do things. You do things on your own terms.

After hearing that comment, I felt really good. It was the most appreciable comment I had ever received.

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