Thursday, August 21, 2014

The song that doesn't end


:) It's Lamb Chops Play Along :)  
How I loved this song, still do.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The sun shines in my room

Look what I did with wax crayons on a newly re-plastered (long story, water-damage) wall.
I'd been itching to paint surfaces larger than my A4 sketch paper.
Then came the rough wall-finish in my room and the need to disguise it.
So I grabbed my long-idle pack of kiddie crayons and started to scribble
First some purple, then some blue, and - why not? - some sun rays.
Detail: sun
Hey, why not paint all over the apartment?
I can frame the mirror on the wall in yellow and brown; finally it can stop being a boring rectangle.
I can even create more crayon frames just to "paint" scenes inside.
Never be bored again :)      
A sunny 'bonjour' to me
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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Now I have to live without 43Things

I am sad to announce that this site, which has been my friend for a decade, is now to close down.    On 43things.com , you could list and track up to 43 open goals of yours - sleep more, learn French, kiss in the rain, or whatever.
It allowed journal-style entries, with replies, pictures, comments, and a host of meta features - you could mark the goal as done, or postpone it, or even give up. Just for fun, you could give and get cheers on your goals and updates, browse for funny or popular goals, or create New Year resolutions.

I first discovered it while blog-surfing (cyberstalking really) a software-head friend's girlfriend, seated at my desk at my room in the Cats (Catalina apartments) in grad school.  I really liked 43things.  It was a fabulous Web2.0 social application. 

The founders/creators of 43Things also created a lively site called 43places, and there was also 43people, allconsuming, then I stopped noticing their new sites.

I used 43places to organize my dreams of travel.  You could write entries on places you'd been, but front-and-center was a list of where you'd like to visit.  It featured flexible, intelligent programming using RubyonRails tech, such that you could list a country or continent, or a site or town; it didn't restrict you to one level, while it unobtrusively tracked the relationships between those places e.g. it was cool that I could indicate India, and separately the Taj Mahal, and do photos and 'social' relating to each in a way that felt natural.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-to-save-the-taj-mahal-49355859/
43people was rather short-lived, and I mourned when they axed it.  "Who do you want to meet?" it said, and I did indeed meet some of my 43people :)

I liked to keep my front-page list very short; my last 43things profile had only five items on it.  Meanwhile, over the years, I learned from others how to simplify, unclutter, have fun, crush on my crushes, like my likes and choose my choices :)  For most of my years with 43, I really meant to get the PhD, but that's not yet done, and who knows if ever.  When I finally publish my first novel, I won't be able to share that milestone with my cyberfriend the robot and my anonymous 43things friends.  Still, it's amazing how much one little site helped me along the way.  Thanks, kids of the robot co-op.  Thanks, 43 community.  One love.
http://blog.robotcoop.com/
The good news is that Coursera is still alive.  Plus, maybe there is a Web 3.0 around the corner.  California (and Seattle, well, West-Coast) idealism rocks.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pirate Latitudes - a-thrill-a-minute

I just watched The Count of Monte Cristo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Count_of_Monte_Cristo_%282002_film%29
which was, surprisingly to me, a lot of fun.(Surprising because I'd thought it was a Guy Ritchie film and I've hated the ones I tried.  Turns out it wasn't, it merely featured an actor named Guy Pearce)
I remember there was a time I was just mad about the lead actor James Caviezel.  His eyes I think.  I can't remember now what the film/project was.  It must have been The Passion of The Christ?  Who falls in love with Jesus' dreamy eyes, like, uggh. 
Monte Cristo reminded me of this novel,
http://www.google.com/search?q=pirate+latitudes
Pirate Latitudes, by Michael Crichton, which in one way is one of the best I've ever read.  And yet when I talked about this book with the writer-bookseller last week but we didn't have time :( I said the book was "pacy".  It had a thrill a minute, such a lot of fun, heads were chopped off, hungry rats used as weapons; there was no dull moment.  Like a children's book, we said, full of event.  And no character development, he added, which was sort of maybe true, in a way.  And we agreed such books are, eh, for those who don't know a good book, like, for the masses.  And you know, the great thing is if you meet someone who says they don't like to read, this may be the one you use to draw them in.  He was soooo cute.  What am I to do with all these handsome gents everywhere I turn?

But I had to run and meet my people who were doing lunch a few doors down, else Juan (no really, his real name, from someplace in the Pyrenees mountains, near Benasque) and I might have got to analyzing and snobbing some more.  Which is not a bad thing, it's just talking about a thing, talking about a thing with nuance, with respect, with irreverence, a mixture of both; measuring the worth of the thing on a fine scale, making an incisive examination of its layers, just because we can.

It's like discussing taste to develop taste and, for some (elitist) folk in the world, this matters.  Then you read The Seagull and other plays and see that this separating from the world, drawing away to think too much, it kills.  First with boredom, then madness lol.  So enough "cerebrating" - found that word yesterday, can't find the passage now.  Really, I've actually decided to tone down the "I want to write, I am writing, I will be a writer" drama and just do it or not do it or whatever.  Haha funny. 

I'll reread the plays sometime, it turns out, and it will likely be for the insights, the answers to "what's the meaning of life?"  But the thrills matter too.  The jabs, like this one: "...she would always take on big parts, but she acted them crudely, without distinction - with false intonations and violent gestures.  There were moments when she showed talent - as when she uttered a cry, or died on the stage - but they were only moments."  Woooooah.  Tickled.  I'm re-reading that.