Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting Creative - Week 31

I went looking for two things. New music. Preferably something “moody” and not just my usual singable/danceable stuff. I also searched for vanilla perfume. I used to wear the one made by The Body Shop but over the years they've changed their formula (or something) and I can't stand what they are currently selling. I can't stand a lot of the stuff they make since they were bought by L'OrĂ©al but that's a whole other blog post.

I had more luck in the music department. I found something new (in the first video below) and some stuff I'd forgotten about. I'm especially glad to find the theme from the TV show Angel (second video). How more moody can you get? I need to find more cello music.

This week's card:
Listen for Voices 
As we move through the routines of our daily lives, we're directed by a cacophony of voices telling us what to do, when to do it, and how we might expect to be rewarded for doing it well. The question we don't often have time to ask, or answer, is why? The creative process lends itself well to that kind of soft, slow-paced self-exploration. Next time you contemplate beginning a creative project start by closing your eyes. Listen for the voices inside that tell you what really matters – not to the world, or to your fourth-grade teacher or to The New York Times' art critic – but to you. No matter how the project itself turns out, the process is sure to speak to you.

We all have inner voices. Most of us have more than one. It can be hard to listen to the RIGHT inner voice. If you're inner critic is anything like mine, he can shout down just about anyone. I've never had a lot of success with meditation. Especially group meditations. The last time I tried, one of the others brought her dog. Halfway through the meditation the dog started snoring. I still laugh every time I think about meditating.

When I'm alone listening to a guided meditation I often fall asleep. I'm sure my inner voice knows how to tap into my dreams if she has anything important to say.

Creativity Resources

Five Pathways to Listening to Your Inner Voice – a short article about how to listen.

How to Do Guided Meditation – basic instruction to get you going.

Mindful Meditation MP3s – from UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center

Getting Creative is a 52 week project where I will try to work my way through 52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity by Lynn Gordon. You're welcome to come along as I do a card a week for a year.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Repost: Well That Was Fun

Nickel and I just got back from the 3rd World Urban Forum I'm not really sure what's been going on. It seems like a lot of people gathering around to say, "Yes, we like cities. We must, we've got a bunch of them!" I've just been getting the updates for the other days activities and that's about as much as I can figure out. 
It was my job to sit at the Amnesty International table and get people to sign petitions. All the delegates from countries that have horrendous human rights records gave us a very wide berth. I was pretty bored. In fact getting in was the most fun. There was some security there alright. Photo id cards mandatory. 

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I'm not showing you mine. There seems to be some kind of rule that id card photos must be the worst photos possible. Notice they spelled Nickel's name wrong. They spelled my last name wrong on mine. So much for security.

Nickel thought the metal detector was fun. We had to go through the kind that you have at the airport and that beeped. After that one took a wand and started waving it around. Nickel decided that it was a toy and I had to stop her from grabbing it and making for the hills. That would have been fun.

It was interesting seeing all those "secret service" types do a double take when they spotted the dog. That was immediately followed by them talking into their cufflinks. Two security guards actually asked to see Nickel's id.

Oh well. I've got a cool souvenir. Yes my dog does have id. I feel like Sue Thomas.

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Friday, November 25, 2011

T.G.I.F. - Pictures of Freddie

Since yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Freddie's death and I'm still kinda bummed, I thought I'd share this nice video created from pictures.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Twenty Years

September 5, 1946 - November 24, 1991

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Getting Creative - Week 30

I will admit that I got so busy that I forgot all about this week's exercise. When I remembered I went looking for some inspiration and found a mind map for the history of Science Fiction. And there went the rest of the day. Check out the full size map but be prepared to lose time.

This week's card:
Seduce Your Senses 
Whether your creative expression involves hacking at slabs of granite with a sledge hammer or sitting at a piano tickling the ivories, the act of creation is a sensory experience. Treat your body as the creative fountainhead that it is. Close yourself in your favorite room, fill an aromatherapy lamp with lavender oil, and let the fragrance transport you. Schedule a one hour foot massage and then follow those mellow feet to a salon for a long, luxurious pedicure. Close your eyes and touch an ice cube or a kitten's belly. Sink into a steamy bubble bath surround by twenty scented candles. Delight your senses, and they're likely to return the favor.

I have to have music when I'm at the computer. I can't work without it. I also have to be warm and wearing comfortable clothes. Preferably pajamas/lounge wear. I love going to the spa for a mani/pedi. I just can't afford to do it too often. It's not the same when you do it yourself. I'm not big on aromatherapy but there are a couple of kinds of incense I like. Vanilla scented anything is okay with me. I used to wear vanilla oil perfume. One day a woman stopped me and asked what I was wearing. I told her and she said, “It's like walking behind a chocolate chip cookie.” Uh-yup. You know that old saying about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach? You can take a short cut through his nose. Vanilla, apple and pumpkin seem to make men amorous – or so some studies say.

Creativity Resources

At Home Spa Guide – a guide to do it yourself spa treatments. Save money and still indulge.

The Erotic Eye and the Erotic Senses – an interesting look at eroticism, love and art.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab – makers of fine oils. Goth/dark humor. They have some great stuff. You can order samples.

Getting Creative is a 52 week project where I will try to work my way through 52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity by Lynn Gordon. You're welcome to come along as I do a card a week for a year.
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Repost: Have A Surreal Day

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point A Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with That.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In".

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone Has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch To Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For Sexual Favors"

7. Finish all Your Sentences With "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play Tropical Sounds All Day.

15. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won! I Won!"

16. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking Lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

17. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

About the image: The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali, 1931

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Friday, November 18, 2011

T.G.I.F. - Outtakes

Sometimes I think the best moments in any video are the ones that never make it onto the screen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting Creative - Week 29

I've always had a semi-secret desire to have a dragon tattoo. I was going to get one when I turned 40 but when I went looking for a tattoo artist in Vancouver I found that if they drew dragons at all they drew Asian dragons. I've got nothing against Asian dragons. I think some of them are quite beautiful but I'm not Asian. I want a European dragon. Asian dragons are serpent-like and European dragons are more like dinosaurs.

After spending hours looking at tattoos in shops and online I came to realize that if I wanted a dragon I was going to have to draw it myself and take it to a shop. The idea has been in a holding pattern for years but now I've found a book that might get me motivated: Drawing Dragons. I found it in the sale aisle for $3. When I was a child I used to have a similar book about drawing big cats. I loved that book. It was so easy to follow. I'm hoping this dragon book turns out the same.

I've also found some videos on Youtube for extra motivation. Cross your fingers.

Maybe when I'm 50 I'll get that tattoo.

This week's card:
Free Associate 
Ever watch a dog circling before he flops down to take a nap? Sometimes getting ready to launch a creative project takes the same kind of groundwork. Instead of turning circles on the rug, try jiggling your ideas loose by free associating. Settle into a comfy chair with a pad and pen. On the left side of the page make a list of words, leaving a couple of lines between each entry. Then go down the list and write down everything that comes to mind when you look at the word. Don't stop at salt – pepper; dog-- cat. Go for pepper – red – lipstick – Madonna – virgin; and cat – catwoman – Batman – Robin – egg – chicken. The collection of words will reflect the current contents of your creative mind.

I love mind mapping/free association. I can go quite astray. I can start at eyes and end up with interstellar transport. Don't ask how. I did it and I'm not really sure. Getting there is more than half the fun. I've never actually used anything from any mind map I've ever done but at least I know how to do them. Sometimes just getting your mind going when you've been blocked is a major achievement.

Creativity Resources

Lateral – a free association word game that is quite addicting.

Free Association Word Game – Freud would be so proud.

Online Mind Mapping – a free association tool.

Getting Creative is a 52 week project where I will try to work my way through 52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity by Lynn Gordon. You're welcome to come along as I do a card a week for a year.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SyFy Press Release: New Shows

NEW YORK - November 9, 2011 - Marking another phase of its record expansion of original programming, Syfy today announced three new scripted projects in development from Universal Cable Productions, CBS TV Studios and Fox Television Studios.
In making the announcement, Mark Stern, President, Original Content, Syfy, and Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions, said: "This broad-based slate, from top-notch talent in the creative community, will enable us to build upon the strong foundation of our current hit scripted series to provide Syfy viewers with the next generation of imaginative entertainment."
Syfy's quartet of popular scripted series—Warehouse 13AlphasEureka andHaven—powered the channel to its most watched Third Quarter ever, drawing 1.45 million total viewers.
On Monday, January 16 at 9PM (ET/PT), Being Human will return for its second season, followed by the premiere of Lost Girl at 10PM.
Syfy Scripted Development Slate
Universal Cable Productions
Robert H. Wolfe -- Executive Producer/Writer
After decades of war, the newly formed Unity Democracy orders a volatile mix of humans and trans-humans to lead the Starship Defender on an expedition in search of lost worlds requiring law and order.
SEEING THINGS (working title)
Fox Television Studios
David Slack -- Executive Producer
Scott Rosenberg and Robert Cort -- Co-Executive Producers
David Slack and Gabrielle Stanton -- Writers
A cop becomes a ghost after his violent death and the only person who can help close his last case is a socially awkward man who realizes that the hallucinations he's had all his life may not be a figment of his imagination.
Oni Press
CBS TV Studios
Brett Matthews -- Executive Producer/Writer
Andy Bourne, Eric Gitter -- Executive Producer
Based on the popular comic series, a female KGB agent and male American weapons inspector form an unlikely partnership when a deadly force is unwittingly unleashed from a Siberian research facility.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Repost: Great Big Sea Concert

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Oh the night that Paddy Murphy died, is a night I'll never forgetSome Vancouver girls got loaded drunk, and they ain't got sober yet...

Well okay. That's not exactly what you'd call true. But being drunk would really explain how, at the ripe old age of 41, I ended up standing at a stage door, in FEBRUARY, handing my ticket stub over to a musician whose name I didn't even know so that he could sign it.

I hooked up with some people from the GBS Kitchen Party (online messageboard) and one of them was attending her first concert ever. It is a right of passage that you have to stand at the stage door on your first concert. So off we all went. We were there for about a half an hour before 2 of the band members came out. Not being one to usually hang out at the stage door, I didn't have anything for them to sign until someone suggested my ticket stub. I handed it over, got it signed and then promptly smudged the signature. We waited around a bit for the other band members but the people I was with had to get up early to catch a ferry to the next concert the next day. I was home by midnight.

What about the concert itself you ask?

By mid afternoon there was some question as to whether there was even going to be a concert. The band’s tour bus had tipped over just outside Abbotsford (about 80 kilometres away.) No one was injured but the incident did prompt Alan Doyle (lead singer) to open the show with “We’re glad to be here. I mean it. We’re REALLY glad to be here!”

One of the things that I like about GBS, besides the music, is that the band members all seem to be outgoing and funny. There’s a lot of banter (in Newfoundlander accents) through the show. I had one of those “When Fandoms Collide” moments. Alan commented that they were just “in it for the money” and that was why they’d just released a CD of Newfoundland “sea shanties.” “Ca-Ching!” said he. He then had a conversation with Sean McCann that went like this:

Alan: They wanted us to play the Grammys but we said no, we want to play Vancouver.
Sean: U2 has to end. They can’t go on forever.
Alan: Dem bastards are good.

The concert lasted about 2 and a half hours with an intermission. The first set could be called “acoustic” where they played more traditional songs with traditional instruments. Most of the “sea shanties” were in the first half. Alan warned the audience that in the second half they would be playing whatever they wanted. That turned out to be true when they turned into the GBS Karaoke Band. They’d start a song and the audience would sing. I hear they do this regularly with different songs at each show. Last night the selections were: “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams, “Jesse’s Girl” by Rick Springfield and “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by The Eurythmics. 80s night obviously.

The rest of the evening was full of dancing, clapping and singing. By the end of the show my hands were sore and my throat hurt. I enjoyed myself. The only down point was when I found out I couldn’t by a t-shirt because they didn’t take VISA and I didn’t have enough cash. Bum. I guess I’ll have to wait and get one online.

Surfing around the internet I found some cool pictures. Great Big Sea played Barenaked Ladies for a 2002 Junos (Canada’s Grammys) celebrity street-hockey game in St.John’s, Newfoundland. Those are my two favorite Canadian bands. Here are the pics:

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Here are a couple of links you might find interesting:

The Official GBS Site
Check out some Newfoundland accents

Have a GRAND day!

BTW the musician's name was Murray Foster. He's the bass player. I also got an autograph from Bob Hallett who sings and plays guitar and other instruments.

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Friday, November 11, 2011

T.G.I.F. - Icon Award

Queen was given an "icon" award at this year's European Music Awards in Belfast. They closed the show with Adam Lambert singing lead. He wasn't awful.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting Creative - Week 28

I'm lucky I live in a major city like Vancouver. There are so many different (often free) "artsy" things happening every day. I used to make an effort to read the art listing in The Georgia Straight. I don't know why I got out of the habit. While I didn't actually go to any galleries this week, I did get reacquainted with The Straight and I found one multimedia exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver I'm going to check out next month.

I love all kinds of dance. I've always thought Bhangra was cool but when I looked for classes I could only find them for teenagers. Recently I've learned that there something called Bhangra Fitness which I am very tempted to give a try. 

This week's card:
Be Taught or Not 
Do you learn best through self-teaching or do you prefer the structure and outside support of a class? Knowing which learning style works best for you is helpful. Some need the support and guidance of a good teacher to explore a project that seems, at the onset, overwhelming or intimidating. From a private tutorial to a group class, there are many ways to benefit from experienced adult supervision. Of course, if you're a do-it-yourselfer, then go forth and do it yourself!

I'm definitely a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to art. I've tried art classes. I just don't think I got a lot out of them. On the other hand, I might really like one on one instruction. Especially with a young, sexy, struggling artist...

Someday when I win the lotto...

Writing classes are okay if they're small. Too many people and there's not enough time to read and talk about everyone's work which I do not think is fair. I've dropped out of quite a few when there turned out to be more students than advertised in the class. I don't need any one's help to waste my time.

Creativity Resources

Free Online Art Classes – exactly what it sounds like.

Academy of Art University – get degrees in art, photography, game design, film and many others completely online.

Free Online Writing and Journalism Classes – a list of online classes for writers.

Getting Creative is a 52 week project where I will try to work my way through 52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity by Lynn Gordon. You're welcome to come along as I do a card a week for a year.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Repost: Rattle and Hum

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What are you going to do with a guy like Bono?

One week he's telling Canada's Prime Minister to pay up and the next he's causing a stir at a children's charity. A group called Health Action Overseas (formerly Babies of Romania) asked a bunch of celebrities to draw their favorite childhood toys so the pictures could be auctioned off.

Bono submitted the above picture. He's says it's the thing he played with most as a child. Some people didn't like the picture and demanded it be removed from the auction. The people in charge have decided that it will be a big money maker so it will stay in.

All I can say is that it puts a whole new spin on the phrase "Rattle and Hum." I've always been a sucker for naughty boys who make me laugh.

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting Creative - Week 27

Well, I didn't buy any art. I didn't make any either. I got too wrapped up in writing all my blog posts for November so I could do NaNoWriMo. In fact, I got so wrapped up I didn't think about what I was going to write so I ended up bailing before the month even began. I need to have a basic outline before Nov. 1 or it's just too stressful for me. I wish I was one of those people who could just sit down at the computer and write on command. Maybe if I had more discipline I could be. Maybe.

What I did end up doing was going to my local dollar store and perusing the Halloween aisle. Those who know me are probably asking what the heck I was doing in the Halloween aisle. I'm Pagan. To me, October 31st is Samhain (pronounced Sowin.) It's sort of like Pagan New Year. The last time I dressed up for Halloween I was in my early 20s. I borrowed my sister's bee costume and went to a party. There was only one other woman at the party. My costume was awfully short (insert pervy stinger joke here.)

Anyway. I needed a plastic sheet to cover my living room rug so that I could paint. I figured the Halloween section would have something useful and twisted. So I bought the bloody table cloth. I probably should have bought more than one. Maybe I'll go back tomorrow and see if there are any left. If they haven't changed into the Christmas aisle. Hmm. I do need some Yule cookie cutters...

This week's card:
Look Out 
Sometimes the best way to jump-start a dormant creative streak is to indulge in other people's creations. Pull out the gallery opening and museum section of the local paper and head to that show on baroque ceramic miniatures. The work of others will perhaps inspire, perhaps annoy, perhaps make you wonder why you aren't creating you own masterpieces. If nothing else, inhaling other's work should partially demystify the process because others, with varying degrees of success, have done it.

Creativity Resources

Virtual Galleries – if you don't happen to have any art galleries nearby you can take a virtual tour of many of the world's great galleries and museums.

Goggle Art Project – look at great art from around the world without going to the gallery or clicking through other stuff in museums.

ArtChain – a listing of artists, co-ops and galleries in the US and Canada. Someone has got to be having a showing.

Getting Creative is a 52 week project where I will try to work my way through 52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity by Lynn Gordon. You're welcome to come along as I do a card a week for a year.