Thursday, June 30, 2016

Me & Ryan Gosling playing zombie

Ryan stopped by and visited me in my office one day when I was all dressed up in Zombie gear.  Why was I dressed up in zombie gear in my office, you ask?  Obviously, because I was playing a zombie that morning in a web video and then wanted to keep the look "alive" (so to speak - hahaha!)  Anyways, Ry Ry popped in to say hello and immediately got into the zombie vibe.

Goofing around with Ryan Gosling

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Inspiration! Make something old new again

I just love these images!  Artist Jane Long took old black and white photos and added colour, plus a hint of fantasy.  It's such a wonderful way to look at the world.  What if there was a fish jumping through a flaming hoop?  What if that bride was a floating spectre?  What if?  What if?  What if?  (These are the fun kinds of "what ifs", instead of the painful ones where you what if your own past.)

Fantasy photos by Jane Long


Fantasy photos by Jane Long

Source: Jane Long

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Singalong! Dance in the Dark by Lady Gaga

Remember back when Lady Gaga was awesome? So awesome. My theory remains that she pushed herself too hard to keep making new stuff constantly instead of giving herself time to actually let herself be an artist, but that's just me. Still, who doesn't come to life singing and dancing (in the dark) with this Gaga Classic?


DANCE IN THE DARK
by Lady Gaga

Silicon, saline, poison inject me
Baby, I'm a free bitch
I'm a free bitch

Some girls won't dance to the beat of the track
She won't walk away, but she won't look back
She looks good, but her boyfriend says she's a mess
She's a mess
She's a mess
Now the girl is stressed
She's a mess
She's a mess
She's a mess
She's a mess

(tell 'em, girls)

Baby loves to dance in the dark
'Cause when he's lookin' she falls apart
Baby loves to dance in the dark
Baby loves to dance in the dark
'Cause when he's lookin' she falls apart
Baby loves to dance, loves to dance in the dark

(tell 'em, girls)

Run, run. Her kiss is a vampire grin
The moon lights her way while she's howlin' at him
She looks good, but her boyfriend says she's a tramp
She's a tramp
She's a vamp
But she still does her dance
She's a tramp
She's a vamp
But she still kills the dance

(tell 'em, girls)

Baby loves to dance in the dark
'Cause when he's lookin' she falls apart
Baby loves to dance in the dark
Baby loves to dance in the dark
'Cause when he's lookin' she falls apart
Baby loves to dance, loves to dance in the dark

In the dark
She loves to dance in the dark
In the dark
She loves, she loves to dance in the dark

Marilyn
Judy
Sylvia
Tell 'em how you feel girls!

Work your blonde Jean Benét Ramsey
We'll haunt like Liberace
Find your freedom in the music
Find your Jesus
Find your Kubrick
You will never fall apart
Diana, you're still in our hearts
Never let you fall apart
Together we'll dance in the dark

Baby loves to dance in the dark
'Cause when he's lookin' she falls apart
Baby loves to dance in the dark
Baby
Baby loves to dance in the dark
'Cause when he's lookin' she falls apart
Baby loves to dance, loves to dance in the dark

In the dark

Lady Gaga's Dance in the Dark - from the good old days

Friday, June 24, 2016

Learning! A new theory of consciousness

Where did our consciousness emerge from?


One of my favourite things about science and research is delving into areas where we still don't really know what the heck is going on.  Areas like consciousness and a sense of self.  We still have pretty much no idea what actually brings together all our thoughts and perceptions into consciousness itself.

There is a relatively new theory on the market, however, that is interesting: Attention Schema Theory (AST).

AST supposes that consciousness developed slowly over about 500 million years in vertebrate species as an increasingly complex system of dealing with all the sensory input our brains receive.

We can't possible attend to everything coming at us, and so, just like (almost) any living organism, we developed ways to prioritize certain information over others.  AST suggests that consciousness is simply the highest, most complex evolution of that prioritization system.

There is, obviously, a lot more to explain with this theory, and for that I recommend you read this excellent article in The Atlantic.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Me & Ryan Gosling at Platform 9 3/4

Here's another one from my recent trip to London.  Ry Ry and I are HUGE Harry Potter fans and were really stoked to visit Platform 9 ¾.  Unfortunately, unlike the REAL Platform 9 ¾ (which I am confident truly exists), everything at the Platform 9 ¾ shop is really really expensive and neither of us could bring ourselves to buy more than a stuffed Hedwig for my friend's baby.  Ryan may be a movie star, but he's still practical with his money.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Inspiration! The contagiousness of generosity

The act of sharing helps inspire others to share

With yet another major tragedy in our wake, many people are thinking about what can be done to help.

That makes this a good time to remember that generosity is, in fact, contagious.  People's propensity to act with kindness, charity, or benevolence is, in part, driven by how much they see that action as a social norm compared to those around them.

It even was shown to work with expressions of empathy.  Knowing that people are highly empathetic towards a group or situation makes us more likely to act with compassion and generosity towards them.

So the more empathy we share and the more generously we act, the more we'll inspire each other to show generosity.  That's pretty cool, if you ask me.

Source: PS Mag

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cute! Gertie sleeps it off

This is what Gertie looks like after getting caught up in the big, bad world of catnip highs.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Animals on Tinder 6

More Animals on Tinder!  This week we have a very tall moose, a fit koala, and a pigeon that speaks five languages.  See the rest of the sweet, innocent animals speaking the words of Tinder profiles here!  And have a very Happy Father's Day!





Saturday, June 18, 2016

Singalong! The First by Tegan and Sara

Get ready, I'm about to sound like a snooty hipster: I used to LOVE Tegan and Sara before they got really famous.  Don't get me wrong, I still like their music, but back when I was in high school, before they had a song in the Lego Movie soundtrack, they were this cool alt-folk duo jamming on their guitars with passion and a little anger and they were amazing.  This was the first Tegan and Sara song I ever heard and I instantly fell in love with them.  Can you blame me?  They were the perfect outlet for my non-conformist angst.  I'm not going to lie, I still love it.


THE FIRST
by Tegan and Sara

Stand up sit down baby
Gonna be a formal dress down hey day
We decide why not go downtown
How about you and me we go get wasted
You'll have, you'll have to excuse me
Please please, please excuse me
You'll have, you'll have to excuse me

This will be my first time
By definition from grade school to English 30
We quietly become strong so early
Take it or leave it
They can't believe it

They go from kindergarten to killing sprees
They go from heartache to inner peace
100 foot ceilings 100 percent deceit
He said let's leave this between you and me
My cats watch my stuff leave my house
Between you and me the cat burglars are
What did you see what did you steal
Tell me baby how does it feel
Yeah how do you feel

It's a top ten list of
Things that move me the most
It's a top ten list of
Things that bother me the most
A top ten list of
Things that scare me the most
I'd have to say that the future
Wasting time in the fast food line
I decide to walk the fine line
And celebrate life celebrate death
I choose to celebrate the first
I celebrate the first

We decide to go out walking
The whole time that we're talking
Convinced that we're living
The whole time that we're dying
We decide to go out walking
The whole time that you're talking
Convinced that you're living
Whole time that I'm dying

Keeps me on my toes
Where did the time go
You keep me on my toes
Where did the time go

On the edge of town where the gravel's thin
They're gonna wear you down
Until you're thin and tired tired tired
Of wasting time in the fast food line
I decide to walk the fine line
And celebrate life celebrate death
I choose to celebrate
The first to come the first to go
The first to say yes the first to say no
I'm gonna seize this moment
The first to come the first to go
The first to say yes the first to say no

We decide to go out walking
The whole time that we're talking
Convinced that we're living
Whole time that we're dying
Keeps me on my toes
Where did the time go, yeah
Keeps me on my toes
Where did the time go
You keep me on my toes
Where did the time go
You keep me on my toes
You keep me on my toes
You keep me on my toes

Friday, June 17, 2016

Learning! We still know very little about women's bodies


Up until recently (and still today), researchers studying exercise and athletic performance have avoided including women in their studies, because they didn't know how to account for the variable of our menstrual cycles.  Nobody knew how much it affected our physical performance, if at all, and so instead of figuring it out, they opted to just exclude women from these studies and hope that our bodies work the same as men's.

A recent article in British Journal of Sports Medicine has come out highlighting the fact that, not only are women underrepresented (and our periods ignored) in studies of exercise and fitness, but medical research itself still has mainly male subjects: “Evidence suggests that women are almost twice more likely to have an adverse reaction to a drug than their male counterparts, and 80% of drugs withdrawn from the market are due to unacceptable side effects in women."

Add to that the fact that women have been discouraged from participating in sports (and medical research) because they will damage our delicate bodies, or (usually more importantly) an unborn fetus we may or may not have now or one day in the future, and we just don't know that much about how women's and men's bodies differ.

Listen, I love to subscribe to the "we are all human" philosophy more than anyone, and if anyone wants to avoid stereotyping genders based on things like hormones, it's me.  But for pete's sake!  This is medicine we're talking about, and I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure that the differences in hormones between us ladies and our male counterparts (and within our bodies throughout the month) are going to impact things like how drugs work and our physical capabilities.

Maybe we need to start framing this all in terms of sex and fashion, since the sex and fashion-related industries have reams of data on women's bodies: their various shapes and sizes and the different ways you can dress those shapes and sizes to accentuate or hide them, for example.

Oh goodness.  I just realized that the best solution I've been able to think of is making medical research on women's bodies sexy.  Ohhhh no.  What have I done?

Source: PS Mag

Learning! A blood test for personalized depression treatment


Right now if you suffer from depression, chances are your treatment will be a bit of a trial-and-error fiasco of medication and (hopefully) therapy.  Most people don't get a medication that works for them on the first try, and many more need to do some significant adjustment to their dosage levels before finding something that really works.  This period can be really difficult, especially since the wrong drug can actually worsen your depression symptoms.

Now, researchers have found that a blood test can help doctors prescribe the right medication from the start! 

Source: Yahoo News

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Challenge Accepted: Daily art-making therapy

Daily art-making therapy challenge


This is completely unsurprising, but worth remembering: a new study has shown that making art reduces stress.

This has been a pretty stressful couple of weeks/months/year in my life, and while I know that whenever I get away from computers and lists and just do something with my hands I feel a million times better, I don't actually do it that often.

So how about we start a daily art-making club?  Nothing too trying: doodle, mould some clay, slowly peck away at a collage, whatever.  Five minutes.  Five minutes of art-making, every day.  How does that sound?

Rallying cry: WHO'S WITH ME???

Wait: plans need to be a little bit more firm than this (for me, anyways).  A quick perusal through my craft drawers shows that I have a bunch of random acrylic paints.  I have long wanted to try a thing of painting or drawing onto book pages, so that's what I'm going to do.  I am setting aside a little box with paints, felts, a few books I don't mind cutting up, and brushes.

This is my Self-Imposed Art Therapy Box!

Starting tomorrow I'm going to set a timer for five minutes in the morning or evening and make something.  I probably won't get far in terms of the making, but heck, five minutes of self-imposed art therapy is better than zero minutes of self-imposed art therapy.

For how long?  Who knows.  At least a week.  I'll post them on Instagram with the hashtag #selfimposedarttherapy, and do a blog update next week.

Join me!

Google's self-driving cars learn to honk

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It's probably overkill how entertained I am by this: Google has taught their self-driving cars the etiquette of honking.  They now know to give a couple short "Did you see me here?" honks to someone backing up towards them, or a long, sustained honk for a more urgent situation.

So, basically, these cars will be better at honking than you and me.

Source: The Verge

Me & Ryan Gosling in the early 90s

I was recently back at my parents' house and went through some old photo albums.  Look at this gem I found of young Ryan and I hanging out by my grandparents' house in Abbotsford!  Check out the pattern on that top!  Oh, the good old days.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Inspiration! Forget innovators - it's all about maintainers


From TED Talks to tech conferences to the requirements for any arts grant, innovation is our current obsession. No, it's not an obsession. A requirement.

If it's not innovation, it's a "creative leap", "big idea" or "game changer", words I'm pretty sure we invented to avoid the word innovation getting repeated so often in a presentation that it starts to sound like a foreign language.

And why wouldn't it be everywhere?  Innovation is what brought us Golden Delicious apples and phones that suck the life out of every moment of our days (while keeping us from getting lost - thank goodness).  Soon it will bring us cars that drive themselves.  We love that stuff!

Innovation is a lot more fun to talk about than maintenance, that's for sure.  Maintenance is grunt work.  Maintenance is going through and making sure your records are up-to-date.  It's proofreading, securing operating funding, replacing old water pipes, repaving roads, cleaning behind the couch (again), and making sure your database is correct.

So what keeps our society going?  What gets things done?  Big leaps, or all the incremental non-glamorous work that keeps everything safe, clean, and functioning?

I'm not going to ask why we value innovation so much more highly than maintenance because it's obvious: innovation is fun!  It's new!  It's exciting!  Innovation means you get to buy a new toy and spend the months leading up to the purchase imagining how much better your life will be once you have it.

That's all fine.

Here's what's not fine, though: we assume that innovators are smarter and more valuable people than maintainers.  The innovators came up with a new idea, sure, but it probably happened on the back of a lot of maintenance work, and so the fact that we don't care at all about maintenance work is a problem.

Recently I listened to an episode of Freakonomics where they broadcast an entire conversation they had with Malcolm Gladwell.  One thing he brought up was how his 10,000 hours rule has been completely misinterpreted by the world.  He wasn't trying to say that you just need to throw 10,000 hours at something and then you'll be an expert and change the world.  The point he was trying to make is that you can't put in that kind of dedicated practice without a lot of outside support.

Young Bill Gates was not only lucky enough to have access to a computer long before other people did, but he had people who would drive him around, cook him food, and otherwise take care of "maintaining" life around him while he did it.  Most Olympic athletes have the same: parents or partners who basically give up their lives to support the regimen of training and nutrition and mental fortitude required.

When I was in university learning about the big innovators in theatre, I would often marvel at these people who devoted every day for years to developing a new theatre practice.  My wonder wasn't at their dedication (although that was impressive) but at the question of maintenance: "How did they afford to live?" I would often wonder.  "Who payed their rent and cooked them food?  How am I supposed to devote my life to creating art if I have to have a home and food and the ability to get myself across town?"

The answer, it always turned out, is that they had someone who was taking care of that for them.  They devoted their entire lives to their "creative leaps", because someone else was doing the maintenance work needed to support them.

Today this seems to still be the way it works.  Most people I know who work in the arts and don't do (too many) side jobs have partners with high paying "regular" jobs.  Non-artistic innovation is a bit different, since people are willing to pay money up front for promising tech innovations, yet it's really only the source of funds that changes.

Maintenance is on my mind right now as I head into summer.  My work is very seasonal and summer is when things go from crazy to virtually dead.  These are the months where I am supposed to catch up on all the things I didn't have time to do all year: clean up my mailing lists, make sure I've got proper records of everything that happened over the past year, research new contacts, set up infrastructure for the coming year so that I can be more organized, and so on.  It's work that can be satisfying once it's complete, but is hard to be motivated to start.

Of course, going from 10 months of hard deadlines and a steady onslaught of new projects to "I need to make sure I have three printed copies of all of last year's programs and it needs to be in place sometime before mid-August" doesn't exactly light a fire in me.

I want to be an innovator.  Most of us do.  But we can't all have teams of people to do the maintenance on our behalf.  Most of us have to be both innovator and maintainer.  We need to come up with the idea and do the work to make it happen, while keeping things orderly, clean, and properly recorded.  We need to whip up some dinner before we sit down and solve the next problem, and then eventually we'll have to tidy up and clean behind the toilet before going to bed.

A part of me thinks that this is the way it should be, at least until we can start valuing the work of the maintainers as highly as those of the innovators they support.

Inspiration! Don't wait until you're ready/better/perfect


I love old hymns.

I realize many of you have no religious connections at all, and if you do they are negative, and so you might not love old hymns or any of the things they represent, but hear me out for a second: hymns are honest about the hard parts of life, while maintaining a strong assurance that there is something better out there. Sure, in hymns, the "something better" is clearly God or Jesus, but even if those names mean nothing to you, there is probably some person or entity or concept that brings you comfort and support.

One hymn I love is called "Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy" by Joseph Hart.  It is a call to all those who need help (read: all of us), to come and find rest and healing.

My favourite part of the hymn is the third verse:

"Come ye weary, heavy laden
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry 'til you're better
you will never come at all."

Those last two lines: If you tarry 'til you're better, you will never come at all.

Every time I sing these words, I remember on a deep level how strong my tendency is to want to wait until I'm ready/better/perfect to do something.  Whether it's seeking healing and rest or pursuing a relationship or goal, waiting until I'm perfectly ready to take the next step is like waiting until I'm all better before going to a doctor.

We need healing when we are broken.  We need to try when we are nervous and unsure.  We need to trust when we don't know for sure what the other person will do with it.

If we wait until we are positive it will all work out, we will never go anywhere.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Things I say to my computer


A little while ago I decided to keep track of the things I said to my computer.  Turns out, I talk to my computer like it's a disobedient child who I am not very nice to, or maybe a very inconsiderate boyfriend.  Oh goodness, some of these get very inappropriate when viewed through the "inconsiderate boyfriend" lens.

"Ummmmmmm, what are you doing?"

"See, you said you were going to do this and now you're not doing it, why did you lie to me?"

"Wait!  Wait!  What?  No!  Wait!  STOP!"

*frustrated garbled noises*

"Okay, we're going to try this again.  Are you going to cooperate?"

"This isn't right.  Why is this not right?"

"Have you been on all night?  I did not leave you like this.  Who did this to you?"

"Thiiiiiiiiis is not what we talked about."

"You are confusing me."

"This shouldn't be so difficult."

"Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?"

"Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope."

"That is NOT where I told you to put it!"

"If this is how it's going to be I will turn you off and turn you back on again.  Yeah."

"How long does it take to open a window?  Really?  REALLY?"

"Oh, now you need to think again?  How much thinking do you need to do?"

"No problem, just take your time."

"Wait!  Did it work?  It worked!  You did it!  You diiiid iiittttt!!!!!!"

Friday, June 10, 2016

Learning! Can you aintegrate?


Us humans and our human brains really hate dealing with contradictions and paradoxes.  When they arise we experience what's called "cognitive dissonance", and instead of allowing for two seemingly contradictory truths to live in our minds at the same time, we will pretty much do anything, including decide that our best friend of 20 years was really a terrible person all along, to avoid the feeling.

Of course, this isn't the case for everyone.  Some people don't have too hard of a time dealing with contradictions.  This is where "aintegration", our ability to cope with incongruence and doubt, comes in.

There is no "what's your integration score" test out on BuzzFeed yet, but in the meantime you can check out the example questions from the study in the BPS Research Digest article to see where you might fall.  Or just play the odds: those with higher aintegration ability tended to be older, divorced, non-religious, educated, and/or tended to have had more positive experiences in life and saw negative life events as not all bad.

Learning! Women and people under 35 experience more anxiety


Looking for someone who is suffering with anxiety?  Improve your odds by looking for a woman or a person under 35 years of age.

Maybe my double-whammy demographic of being a woman under 35 who is mostly friends with people in that same category is why I assumed the proportion of people with anxiety to be far higher than the 4 out of every 100 cited in this paper.  It honestly seems like the majority of my friends live with some kind of anxiety disorder.

Source: Science Bulletin.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ghostbusters! Ghostbusters! Ghostbusters!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia
I know, I know.  Everyone's talking about Ghostbusters.  But I want to talk about it too!  Why?  Because I am legitimately excited about this movie!

I had no idea it was sparking so much outrage until I heard about it from a friend.  Turns out there are a bunch of people who are crying into their 30-year old novelty Ghostbusters t-shirts are making a lot of noise about all the "good reasons" why there should be no remake of this movie.  Oh, but just to be clear, they aren't sexist or anything.  Their anger is not disproportionate to a potentially bad movie coming out.  They have really good reasons to be SO ANGRY.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.  I like to be logical.  I like to dismantle arguments one by one and then be really really frustrated when I realize that the person I am talking to doesn't care about logic and will cling to their hyperbolic rage no matter what.

So let's start the process, shall we?  Let's look at the "really logical reasons" people are giving for why they are SO OUTRAGED about this movie:

1) Hollywood does too many remakes.

You think?  Hollywood executives clearly have a terrible case of New Story Blindness and have decided to suck all the life money out of anything beloved in the 80s or 90s.

So yes.  There are too many remakes.  This is a fine argument as long as you are also going to write long diatribes against the zillionth Spiderman, refuse to review the live-action Beauty and the Beast that can't possibly include a dancing candlestick, flip the table over a remake of the cult classic Clue that may include different locations than the original, or tell everyone to boycott the reboot of teen witch cult film The Craft on its way.

Oh wait, you don't give two turds about The Craft because it was a movie starring women in the first place.

2) It has nothing to do with the first two movies.

Um, it's a REBOOT.  So it has everything to do with the movie that it is REBOOTING.  I realize you had your hopes up for a Ghostbusters 3 and were all set for a sequel that expanded on the original story, but even before Harold Ramis died Bill Murray said he wouldn't be in it.  Later, Dan Aykroyd said on Larry King that they would need a whole new cast.  Check Wikipedia, he even describes the plot basically as what it is now.  You are essentially getting the Ghostbusters 3 that Aykroyd came up with after Murray pulled out.

Besides, this argument only really work if you're set to picket outside of movie studios over other remakes, like the new Commando that will not start Arnold Schwarzenegger and the producer said it might not "make sense to call it Commando" because it's too different.

3) It was my favourite childhood movie and now they're going to ruin it!

Okay, little bunny.  You're right.  Reboots, sequels, and adaptations tend to be sad shadows of their former selves.  I don't know why you thought a Ghostbusters 3 would be immune from this fate, but you did.

Whenever a beloved story gets either turned into a movie or remade, it risks total ruination.  Do you even remember how the live action Jem and the Holograms movie was like a sad, hipster Josie and the Pussycats?  No?  Because no one watched it because it was a sad, hipster Josie and the Pussycats.  (Instead of screaming on the internet as if our lives were going to end, however, those of us who loved Jem simply didn't see the movie.  So much easier.)

When you first saw Ghostbusters, you were a wide-eyed child with a heart that had not yet been beaten down by the cruelty of life.  You were still learning how horrible the world is.  Now, your heart is full of anger and you don't know what to do with it except write angry rants on the internet about a movie with women in it (but don't worry, definitely not because you're sexist).  So yeah, the movie will probably disappoint you.

Personally, I am more worried about the Jumanji and Honey I Shrunk the Kids reboots.

4) The effects are bad.

First of all Ghostbusters II is actually on a list of the worst movie special effects EVER.

Second, since when did we completely shun movies just because of some bad special effects in the trailer?  What about Michael Bay, everyone?  WHAT ABOUT MICHAEL BAY???  Are you so distracted by Meghan Fox's bum that you don't see the bad effects?  (The answer is yes, yes you are.)

5) It just doesn't look funny.

I read one long article (that I can't find now, sorry) about how the new trailer just doesn't have the carefree spirit of the original movie and simply isn't funny.

Well.  I guess I have to allow for differences of opinion here, but I stand by my original stance that the trailer looks hilarious.  I even compared it to the original movie's trailer, and, well, I think the new one is funnier.  Mostly, admittedly, because I think the timing is sharper in the new one, which is more of an editing thing.

Let's put them up next to each other. The old one and the new one (we'll use the second trailer for the new one, since it's longer format, too):



Now, I know there's no convincing trolls, but let's look at it. The old one does this sort of faux news-advertorial about the ghostbusters as its format. It's a funny schtick. The new one isn't quite so meta, but it starts with the same vibe, and then pulls a quick shift into the comedic/monster movie genre that it is.

I guess you don't have to think it's funny.  But since when did a movie that was supposed to be funny and isn't get so much rage?  So far I've only seen this happen once - as in, this one time - and the only thing that made this one potentially not-as-funny-as-expected movie different than the others is that it stars a bunch of women.

So?  Trolls?  Have I convinced you with my razor-sharp logic?  No?  You're still going to cling to your sad anger because it's all you have in the world and you can't let go and it wouldn't matter what I said or how great the movie turned out to be, you'd still be this mad?

Gotcha.

Does it matter that Bill Murray thinks it's funny?  Does throwing one of your (male) comedy heroes in there finally convince you?

No?

Right-o.  Back to your anger.

Me & Ryan Gosling sharing a precious moment

Remember the time I put a balloon in my shirt and pretended there was a baby in there?  Of course, there was no baby in there, but Ryan thought it was a fun joke and jumped in, nuzzling up to my "preggo" belly.  We had to keep this image on the down-low for a very long time to make sure nobody thought he was actually fathering a child.  It's a joke, people!  No baby!  No.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Inspiration! Watching time go by

I just love this series of photos by Barbara Davatz marking the passage of time in couples' lives in her book As Time Goes By. See how their bodies, styles, and family make-up changes over time and be overcome with the beauty and sadness of life and love.



Source: Slate. Check out Barbara Davatz's book on Amazon.

Inspiration! The Burly Ballet Dancer

Ballet is a world known for being a complete skinny-ocracy.  You've got to be super buff, with body fat of, I don't now, -5% to make it.  Check out the amazing moves on this guy, though!  A wonderful reminder that you're never too old, too fat, or too anything else to do something you want to do.

(Tip: the music in the video is classic ballet warm up piano and it's terrible.  Don't bother turning on the sound, just watch the moves with whatever music you're already listening to.)


(Also, sorry the video is so small!)


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

IS THIS HOW I SHOULD LOOK?????

IS THIS HOW I SHOULD LOOK????
AT LEAST I'D BE WEARING LIPSTICK, RIGHT????

You know how sometimes someone will say something to you and you don't quite process it until it echoes back to you in your head a few seconds later?

Yesterday I was walking to a meeting, and passed by (what I think was) a family in their front yard.

It was a beautiful, sunny day that had tipped from "really hot" to "pleasantly hot", and I was in a good mood because I was going to meet up with some friends in a park to hold their baby and relax in the shade a bit before heading to a meeting.

As I passed, I realized that the man was calling out to me.  I had headphones in, so I missed the first part of what he said, but I could tell his voice was friendly, so I turned to hear him say, "You look good!  Just like you should!"

I smiled, called out to "have a good evening!" and kept walking.

I replied in a friendly way because, as far as unwelcome street commentary goes, it was about as good as it gets.  He wasn't lewd.  He didn't chase after me, get mean, or try to stop me from where I was going to engage in further conversation.  He had a friendly voice and seemed like he genuinely just wanted to share some positivity.  I would have felt better if he said something about the good looking day, but whatever.

Then I got the echo: "You look good!  Just like you should!"

Just like I should?  I should?

OH SHOULD I????

So obviously, if I ever have free time again in my life, I'm going to do myself up just looking as terrible as possible and hang out in front of his patio saying things like "ohhhh noooo, I don't look good!  What should I do?  Is this okay?  It's not okay, is it?  Is this how I should look?  I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do!"

Ha.  Take that, sexism.

HOW ABOUT THIS LOOK?????
IS THIS GOOD?????

PS: Before someone scoffs that I just need to "relax" and "he didn't mean anything by it", let me clarify: I know he didn't mean anything by it, that's kind of the point.  The more easily someone says something, the less harm they mean by it, the more that shows it as the norm.  If he was trying to be a jerk and meant to remind me that I'm supposed to put an extra hour into my appearance every day to be a "proper" woman and that when I don't look good I'm doing something wrong, then he'd just be mean.  Instead, he made a comment that "doesn't mean anything" because it reflects values as pervasive and normal as if he had observed the nice weather.  Little comments like these, given out offhand as casual compliments, actually add up to something harmful.

Animals on Tinder 5

Another round of Animals on Tinder, wherein I put the words of Tinder profiles into the mouths of sweet little animals (or insects or whatever, let's not be too picky about all of this)!  These ones are blue because... well because the light was really blue when I was taking the pictures.





Monday, June 6, 2016

Cute! Public bathing with Gertie

When is public bathing cute?  When it's a cat, obviously!  Feel free to take note, here, of Gertie's generous belly as well as the cat-printed oven mitt on the stove.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Singalong! Renegades of Funk by Rage Against the Machine

I'm not going to lie, lately life is a bit overwhelming and I have some pent up feelings that needed to release. This morning I suddenly remembered the kings of releasing pent up feelings: Rage Against the Machine. So if you have some feelings, and you require something a backing track that's a little more aggressive than usual, then this is the singalong for you. I mean, what's a more aggressive soundtrack than a scathing inditement of racism in the American police? (A commentary that remains sadly relevant today - yet another reason to be angry.)

Language warning on this one, friends.


KILLING IN THE NAME OF
by Rage Against the Machine

Killing in the name of!
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Huh!

Killing in the name of!
Killing in the name of

And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
But now you do what they told ya
Well now you do what they told ya

Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites

Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
Uggh!

Killing in the name of!
Killing in the name of

And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they told ya!

Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Come on!

Yeah! Come on!

Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!
Motherfucker!
Uggh!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Learning! The psychosis of creativity

Was Salvador Dali a little psychopathic?
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

I spent the majority of my time as a young wannabe-creative person trying to reconcile the whole "you have to be depressed/anxious/crazy to be an artist" thing with my desire to not be a depressed/anxious/crazy person.

While I now see and appreciate the fact that the best creatives are, in fact, mentally healthy, new research has come out confirming the opposite: creative people share more traits with psychopaths than non-creatives.

Well, then.

So what we actually rate higher in are traits like emotional disinhibition, dishonesty, and risk taking, which kind of makes sense if you think about how creative work emerges. You've got to be able to hold your emotions at arms length and be okay taking a chance on an idea. The dishonesty, well, I could come up with a roundabout way to justify that as a good thing, but whatever.  We're not saints.

Source: Hyperallergic.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Me & Ryan Gosling on a road trip

Remember that time Ry Ry and I went on a road trip with some friends?  No?  Well now you do, thanks to this photo!  Here we are making time fly as we went through hour 4 of highway driving.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Inspiration! How to age like a teenager


This video made the rounds a few weeks ago, but it's still worth watching and thinking about: Flossie Lewis, a 91-year old inspiration.

Before we get into it, let me say that sometimes I think we go a bit overboard on "Elderly Inspiration" stuff - it's like we're not allowed to ever just relax anymore. Even as we retire and age we have to accomplishing great things.

In the case of Flossie, however, I see true inspiration.  It's not about doing amazing things - she's not swimming across a freezing channel or setting a world record.  She is living life and having fun and avoiding the mental traps of aging.  She still feels like a fifteen year old!

Among other things, this makes me feel good about the fact that I've never felt particularly "adult" and always feel a bit like a teenager who's tricked everyone into giving her a job and a home of her own.