Some truth made today. A truth to live everyday.

 

MakeArt

 

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I’ve been shy to share this video–but I put it on youtube and waited for incidental views? Funny, how I make sense of wanting my art to be seen and accepted, but withhold it from full view to avoid potential judgment of the negative kind. I did say “accepted,” didn’t I?

This is a video of celebrated self-empowerment!! Time to put it out there! And accept the negative judgement! Bring. It. On.

 

I also have this vision of others making videos like this:

>What empowering, courageous, silly title would you give yourself?
> How do you want to be seen?

Maybe one day this becomes a website for individuals to submit their videos, the Self Parade.


They’re beautiful. They’re strangely attached to the exterior of a building. I’ve been photographing them from personal interest in their aesthetic.

My friend, Luis Moro, is an artist. He does a lot of traveling between the places where his work is exhibited, and I call him the “Lord of the Flies” for his fascination with insect bodies. Lately he’s split most his time between Mexico City and San Antonio, TX, and on a walk together through the Alamo City (SATX), he commented to me on the fire escapes–he said fire escapes are more common (in the U.S.A) because “we’re more afraid of burning to death than someone breaking in to rob our place.”

Interesting, how fire escapes tell of our sense of security in society/culture…

IMG_20130409_205352 IMG_20130410_174333 IMG_20130415_171753 IMG_20130415_155030fire escape


I’m an amateur at a lot of things. Yes, I’m admitting this, it’s fine. Have you read this blog? It’s a lot about my amateur search for professional mastery. My gift is relating! So, I’m basically knowledgeable in a lot of areas, and one of those areas is outdoors-ing, or more specifically, backpacking-hiking.

Me! Backpacking!

It would seem then, the outdoor-sports store budget priced for hobby-enthusiasts, Academy Sports + Outdoors, would have me as their target audience. In fact, their latest ad in Texas Parks & Wildlife’s State Park Guide features a couple who look roughly my age. Attractive. They’re walking alongside one another smiling. They’re wearing button up outdoor shirts with khaki pants. They’re wearing their backpacks wrong.

Academy’s Feature Ad in the Texas State Park Guide. The models have on their backpacks incorrectly!

Those babies should be buckled up! Your core is the central, strongest part of your body, and your shoulders will quickly tire if carrying all the weight of a backpack. Especially if that backpack, as they each appear to be wearing in this picture, holds 40 liters of goods. So! The first place to strap in and adjust is around your hips, where most the weight should be carried. Then, the shoulder straps get battened to fit your torso snugly. There is much more, very lengthy literature on how to choose the right fitting backpack (this links to REI’s detailed tutorial on choosing the right backpack for your adventuring).

My point is: these folks are not going to make it far “living outdoors.” They’re models! And the ad team is only the ad team! Which is totally understandable, by the way. It’s just, those facts are more apparent than any outdoor gear and lifestyle I should be purchasing, Academy.


Take out the pronouns! It’s a rule of thumb I’m going by these days, and most especially, with the messages I write to professional contacts.

Eliminate these Pronouns in Professional Notes! Image courtesy of shewrites.com

I produce marketing materials, events, and host/perform on contract for various organizations, meaning, my emails are often about negotiating creative decisions and administrating needs/expectations. As a contractor to an organization, what I produce must live up to their vision/identity, and also, as I was hired because they trust and respect my professional opinions and experience, I must add value to their decisions. Thus, to manage the working process, I’ve been playing with this “Rule of No Pronouns” to create a dialogue that’s factual, open-ended, and positively goal-oriented.

Example 1: While my input on the event and what I will perform is asked for, to tell the contractor what “they” need to do is a final decision to which they are entitled. Taking out the pronoun defers that responsibility while providing my input still.

“I don’t feel like you need to include Snow White in the title/description of the Story Time.”

“I don’t feel like the title/description of the Story Time needs to include Snow White.”

Born from the communication tactic of handling potentially emotional- and relation-rocky subjects with using “I” statements: framing conversations in terms of how “I feel…I think…I would like…” instead of using blaming- or judgmental-sounding “you” statements, the thought was that: by completely mitigating any “you,” “me,” “I,” “we” – whatever subject pronoun! – each party would feel free from any relational obligation or responsibility to the other to instead focus on the subject or business at hand.

Example 2: Does any additional value come from claiming “I” did this other than asking that “I” am recognized? What if, upon revision, it ends up I’ve done it wrong? Because then I have to accept that responsibility…
Better leave out the pronoun (and my ego) to focus on the work objective.

“The coupon codes I’ve set to launch Monday, 10/1, are:”

“The coupon codes set to launch Monday, 10/1, are:”

Of course, this rule is like most: a guideline. It’s also a practice in conscientious living and relationship management. Says Sakyong Mipham (via Shambala Sun), “Self-reflection is how we can transform society.” If we can be aware of ourselves and motivations in our work and relationships, we can act with integrity upon them with others.


First off, meet Libby Mattingsley. She grew up in the kitchen with a mom-pastry chef. Her skills are cultivated and her tastes exquisite – who thinks to add fresh black pepper to the apricot, lemon, ginger marmalade they’re making? (Libby) – so I came over to make some robust veggie chalupas with her one evening, and instead documented her teaching me some techniques I’ve wished to acquire…knife skills.

Knife skills, to me, means maximizing a food item’s use with efficient hand strokes. So we started with a basic, a staple ingredient called for in many a recipe: the onion and how to dice it, and specifically, into little cubes (our use was for pico de gallo and flavoring some refried beans).  Note: this technique is also transferable to a tomato (a few photos will show them), but those guys can be less compliant with dicing due to their squishy texture.

No 00. or No -1. should be about safety: curl in those fingers as you hold the onion (or whatever item) to avoid any knife-nicks

CUT THAT ONION!

1. Cut off those spindle-top ends and peel the top layer of flaky/rubbery skin. No need to be delicate. Just make a slice down the side and rip it off.

2. Then, from the top, slice in skinny rows WITHOUT cutting all the way through. The onion needs to stay intact for the next step.

3. Look the onion in the face. You can see its ring and the vertical slices you’ve made down its body. Similar to the first step, slice in skinny rows while leaving the onion intact at the very base. Do this in horizontal cuts.

4. At this cut, the onion will fall off into perfect cubes. Slice again from the top-side, going width-wise, a 90 degree angle to the cut you made in step 2.

Beautiful!! You cut your onion. And if you want to make the pieces smaller, just have at it on your cutting board with the knife blade underhand. Happy cooking!


chuck norris joke, funny, humor, stupid

I tell you this, and the first thing you’re going to do is try to rebound with a Chuck Norris joke.

“Maybe I haven’t heard the most hilarious one that is sure to make me laugh and change my mind entirely about the whole thing!” Or, you understand, so instead you’ll tell me the inside joke describing a stony, strange drama professor you had in college. He passes up the fruity cereal kind to eat actual pebbles for breakfast??!

Look, now I have to polite laugh since I care enough about your feelings and our relationship to not retort on the still very dumb bruteness of these jokes and how I DON’T LIKE CHUCK NORRIS JOKES.  Maybe you’re defending yourself, and it’s nothing against you and your tastes – though I don’t agree with or relate on this one -but I won’t be convinced otherwise.

And, are you into those Dos Equis guy advertisements? …that pause says it all…

What is it with this reinvention of the Chuck Norris joke to sell Dos Equis?
What does this purple silk scarf, black velvet robe wearing man with a smirk on his gray-bearded face have to say to men (to people!) about what’s smart and cool, and oh, happens to be purchasable in cheap alcohol form?

The Dos Equis (apparently) ‘Most Interesting Man in The World’

I just Googled “Dos Equis quotes” to get some images, and OH GOD, IT’S WORSE THAN I THOUGHT!  Policymic.com’s decided to share “22 of the Best Dos Equis ‘Most Interesting Man’ Quotes,” with this grandiose introductory sentence:

“Dos Equis beer has created a fictional character that all men envy and strive to emulate, a modern day James Bond, if you will.”

“THAT ALL MEN ENVY??” and “STRIVE TO EMULATE??”

Please, men, don’t strive to emulate this dude. This, Dos Equis Man.

It does not, in fact, make you ‘an interesting man’ to condescend other people with your so apparent wit. It is not captivating, whatsoever, to find contrived ways to talk about yourself under the veil of humor. I AM NOT INTRIGUED TO KNOW ANYTHING MORE ABOUT A MAN WHO SELF-SATISFACTORILY CHUCKLES ABOUT MADE-BELIEVE CONQUESTS THAT ARE PETTY.

 

…That is all.