Monday, January 24, 2011

Creativity From Structure

Jon Stewart: The Most Trusted Name In Fake News : NPR

Jon Stewart says something really interesting at about 16 minutes in:

I'm a real believer in that creativity comes from limits, not freedom. Freedom, I think you don't know what to do with yourself. But when you have a structure, then you can improvise off it and feel confident enough to kind of come back to that.

I'm working on adding more "planned creativity" to my life. It makes sense to me that structure helps.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lost Hour - Maybe Not So Lost

I lost a good hour today after rehearsal swapping culture nuggets:

Desaturated Santa (explanations)

Just blown away by the effect.  I love the explanation:

Santa is an immediately recognizable figure, and a Classic Santa has a fixed set of signifiers. The red and white suit, the black belt, the black boots with fur on top, the hat with the pompom on the end. These things add up in our brains to a Platonic Ideal of Santa.
When I decided to make a Desaturated Santa costume, I realized that to remove the visual cue of Red but still be recognizable as a Santa, I had to maintain as many of the other signifiers as I could. The illusion of a walking black-and-white-photo of a Santa wouldn’t be as effective if I wasn’t wearing a very classic Santa outfit.

Santa Mob

Desaturated Santa, Year 2

I'm taking leave of Santas Follow @sfsanta & #sfsanta

Union Square Santas

black & white santa

#lessambitiousmovies (hash tag on Twitter)

Just completely lost it, laughing.  Take a famous movie, then lower the ambitions on the title.

Schindler's Grocery List
The Girl With The Temporary Dragon Tattoo
Coming To Canada
Thursday Night Fever
The Devil Wears Kirkland Signature
Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, Arizona
Edward Fingerhands
Alice in Wallmart
Mission: Difficult
The Quarterback of Notre Dame
I.T. The Extra Employee
Being John Stamos
Jurassic Dog Park
Assistant Manager of the Rings

Best collections are:

Paste Magazine

The Huffington Post

Raul countered with Ted Williams - Homeless man with the golden voice

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wish List

Oh, that's what I should have asked for for Christmas.

the Personal Pie™

No, not really.

You might think I'd buy anything from an Australian.

You'd be wrong.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things That Went Through My Mind When She Was Carried Out

(You've got to understand that I deal with things through inappropriate humor.  Well I guess you don't need to understand it.  Just know that it happens.)

And that's why I don't do pure bal.
And that's why I don't dance shag.
And that's why I lead forward on one.
And that's why I don't go upstairs.
And that's why I take small steps.

And that's why I dance so much: I never know which song might be my last.

A dance friend of mine had to be taken to the ER last night.  She's on my mind.

New Southern California Pickup Line

Hey babe.  I've got central heating.

It got down to 47F last night!!!  And today's high, 63!!!  What's going on, Southland(1)!  I pay my taxes and fuel surcharge!  Give me my sunny and 72!

(1) No one says Southland except for local weather and traffic reporters.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Quick Hit: Twitter is censoring the discussion of #Wikileaks

Twitter is censoring the discussion of #Wikileaks | safety first

To be honest, I've never been a big fan of Twitter. And I haven't really followed the Wikileaks issue. And this headline isn't quite accurate. What's happening is that #Wikileaks isn't showing up on the Trends page besides exploding discussion.

But isn't the service's utility compromised if you can't trust whether it's acting the way you assume it acts? Are you a Twitter user? Does this behavior make you concerned?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Detachment From The Physical

I won't bury the lede: I'm starting the transition away from physical books.

Starting.  And I'm not sure what the path will look like for a while.  I've been a life-long bookworm, with some of my fondest childhood memories being of trekking back and forth from the various local libraries that my family frequented.  One of the main failings that the city of Brea, where I spent my 6th grade through high school years, is it's sad branch of the OC Library system.  We have more square feet of bookstore in Brea than library.  We've built parks, community centers, and housing tracts without putting money into having a better library with better staffing, hours, and accessibility.  Ok, my library rant isn't the point here.  The point is, books are one of the main lenses through which I view the world.  "I read a book about..." is, I assume, one of the more annoying things I say in conversations.

Since I transitioned to buying books, they've become ... sacred objects.  They're not just something I consume, they've become something that I have emotional ties to.  A book invokes memories of the times I've read it, good times and bad.  A book reminds me of the times I've shared it with others.  My sister reading A Spell For Chameleon.  My brother telling me that he finally read it only after I left it on his pillow.

A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, Book 1)

My sibs tearing through Ender's Game after I pushed it on them.

Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1)

One of the first books my brother shared with me, The Botany of Desire.

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

I haven't lived with my mother for years, but I still have tons of books in her garage (sorry Moms, I'm working on it...).

But as I look back, books didn't start out as sacred objects.  I loved L. Frank Baum's Oz series as a kid, but I never owned a copy of any but the first book.  All the others were borrowed (quickly) from the the University Heights library when we lived in the suburbs of Cleveland.  My parents might have been the original music pirates when they (allegedly) borrowed LPs and ripped them to ... Reel to Reel.  In retrospect, I guess we were an audiobook family from way back as well.

These objects add clutter to my life.  That's the bottom line.  I love the content, but I don't need the objects to enjoy the content.  So what's the alternative?  I suppose I could buy eBooks versions of what I own.  But it kind of sucks to buy copies of things I already own in another format.

I guess I let go of my compact disks a few years ago.  My entire collection is mp3 now.  Can I go electronic for everything?  Well, maybe not for everything.  And I do like the experience of reading paper versions.  But FedEx Office will cut the binding off a book for $1.50.  And I own a duplex-scanner with document feeder for easy PDF creation.  And tablets are bound to come down in price.

I've already done this with a few books I own.  The ones I would buy copies of to give away.  Now I send a PDF and ask the person to buy a copy if they feel moved to keep the author employed.  I don't know if this will become a huge thing in my life, but we'll see.

But really, it's not about the technology.  It's about separating the emotions that the object evokes from the object.  Maybe I'll have a separate blog to document memories and emotions tied with books.  Or other object.  Or maybe I'll do that here. :-)

What are the things in your life that you have emotional attachements to?  Is there a way for you to preserve core of the bonds without having the object clutter your life?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Vincent Cassel

Saw Black Swan on New Year's Eve, 2010.  My immediate reaction?

Best insane, self-injury, lesbian, ballet movie ever!
Black Swan Trailer

Yeah, a pretty intense movie.  One that I'll have to think about a bit.  But more important than all the Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis sexuality was the reminder of how big my man-crush on Vincent Cassel is.

Vincent Cassel Capoeira training scene

That dude is awesome.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I just had a rip-roaring good time reading through my past blog posts.  But they end abruptly back in March 2010.  I'll have to fix that this year.  Wish me luck!