Posted in awareness, Books, Culture, Events, Quotes, Social Justice, Technology

Aspen Ideas Festival

No Idea Is So Outlandish That It Should Not Be Considered With A Searching But At The Same Time A Steady Eye

– Winston Churchill

Enjoyed this year’s invigorating Aspen Ideas Festival these past few days. Various leaders around the world engaged in a deep discussion of the ideas and issues across many disciplines that both shape our lives and challenge our times. It’s virtual and free to attend. Past videos from this weekend have been archived and ready for the public to view. For more information: https://www.aspenideas.org/attend/festival

Posted in Culture, Events, flashback, Music, Quotes

The Importance of Play: A Mysterious Lion Captivates

As we grow older, our playgrounds change – where do you go to play?

Shelley @ Quaint Revival
Created a word cloud with Background Image from Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Hello there! Hope you are all well and safe!

Shelley’s quote peaked my interest today. How often do we neglect this area of our lives dismissing play as being infantile and frivolous? Throughout history, many influential people asserted the importance of play.

  • Albert Einstein: “Play is the highest form of research.”
  • Mr. Rogers: Play gives children a chance to practice what they’re learning.”
  • Johan Huizinga: “Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.”
  • Abraham Maslow: “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”
  • Roger von Oech: Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.

Play relieves stress by releasing feel-good endorphins. It improves connections with your relationships which can help ward off depression. Play helps increase vitality and helps replace negative beliefs and behaviors. For adults it can be something small like flirting with your partner, joking with your coworkers, or enjoying spontaneity with your relatives.

A Young Adult’s Playground

There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme.

Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen

A few days ago, I received a gift in the mail. As I unwrapped the box, I was stunned by the beauty of “Mysterious Lion”, a wooden Unidragon puzzle. I found out my thoughtful siblings mailed it to me as a surprise for my birthday. Mom called the night before and laughed when I told her I received a “toy”.

My eyes got watery. Unintentionally, the gift was rather meaningful and symbolic for me. VJ invited her readers to think about circling this week. For me, the invitation to play again was coming back full circle. I remembered the joy I felt to complete a puzzle as a child. Even though it’s been a while since I physically completed one, I was always attracted to things resembling a puzzle. Circling around the idea of solving a mystery.

My heart swelled a bit when my Facebook wall was flooded with lovely messages from local friends. It’s a strange sight to behold since I’m typically not active there. Since the quarantine however, all sorts of groups popped up to hang out. I had trouble choosing a non-profit to invite donations this year. So, I created a short video featuring non-profits that help the local community to drum up support.

Google Arts and Culture partnered with more than 2000 museums all around the world. I virtually explored some of these spaces and their exhibits. In the evening, I watched Verdi’s opera, Un Ballo de Maschera, a free nightly streaming at the Metropolitan Opera.

I had a very small gathering to celebrate in my cozy home. My roommates created a tasty meal of BBQ ribs, asparagus, mashed potatoes, ambrosia salad, chocolate cake with coconut-pecan icing. My boyfriend helped me build a desk as we enjoyed chatting with one another. My friend gave me hilarious t-shirts, Hawaiian floral hair clips, makeup which I’ll probably feature soon on Instagram.

Creating this banner made me feel pretty happy and features my bright personality. 😉 Sometimes it’s the little things that can bring a smile to your face. 😊

Posted in Books, Events, Music, poetry, Quotes

Moments in December

“Topology is the science of fundamental pattern and structural relationships of event constellations.”

R. Buckminster Fuller
Image Credit: Pixabay

Partaking in the sweet delights that start with P
Peppermints, Prunes, Pudding, Parfaits
Relishing in a blogging sabbatical
Capturing beautiful scenes
Snapshots through my lens

Swimming in scholarly research
Computer networking class investigations
Challenging me beyond belief
Navigating among puzzling topologies
Sailing the network infrastructure

Listening to holiday live orchestra
Created by Air Force’s talented musicians
Looking forward to Breakfast with St. Nick
Playing arcade games and bowling with friends

Image Credit: Pixabay

Enjoying my coworker’s Secret Santa mission
A Russian gentleman’s favorites
Color black, Rock n’ Roll, Extreme Hot Cheetos
Playing music & games, Reading the night away

Black gift bag filled with goodies
Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro 2033
Rolling Stones Circus Expanded Edition
Coffee-scented snifty pen
Terminator button pin
Gothic pocket watch

I write Leo Tolstoy’s quote
Inside a greeting card of a festive cat staring at a gift box
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Image Credit: Pixabay
Ain’t that a Lot of Love – Taj Mahal

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season! 🙂

Posted in Culture, Events, Technology

Friday Follies – 07.12.19 – Strange Font

#FriYayFolly

One day, there was a sale on http://www.vistaprint.com to create business cards. I was catching up with friends at the Olive Garden and we decided to create some cards for ourselves for future networking events. As we were browsing through various designs, I noticed a baffling font called “Refrigerator Deluxe”. I guess it’s standing upright and compressed into a vertical space like a refrigerator? If you are ever in the mood to create your own font, Font Forge, an open source application, is at your service!

According to Wikipedia, typography is the art and technique of making the written language legible and appealing and its principle goal is effective communication. Type design is the process of developing type faces. Various type faces can communicate to the reader a variety of emotions and ideas. Have you ever noticed while reading a book that one font can make you feel bubbly inside and how another font can send chills down your spine? It’s fascinating to see what kind of associations we attribute to the visual stimulus that we get from a font face!

Posted in Books, Culture, fiction, Freedom of Expression, poetry, Quotes

Freedom of Expression – Art!

Good evening everyone! I’m here to participate in Richa’s “Freedom of Expression” challenge! She shared some brilliant quotes about art, so stop by and take a peek! 🙂

ABOUT THE CHALLENGE

Every Thursday, I will pick up a “prompt word” to be acted upon by y’all. You are free to go wild with your imagination and interpret the “prompt” in any way that you like – photo, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, quotes, articles or drawing/painting – whatever works for you!
In short, it’s all about you being the BOSS and choosing the best way possible to express and depict your understanding of the prompt and go berserk!

Richa @ iScriblr

It’s interesting that Richa shared this quote below! ❤

Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.

Al Hirschfeld

I’ve been heavily sick for the past few days with a severe cold and allergies. My congested mind couldn’t really focus on anything too complex, so I decided to open up a steam punk coloring book I got from a convention last year featuring the amazing artwork of Brian Denham.

The box of Crayola crayons was just innocently sitting there on one of my shelves. 😉 As I opened the box, I relished a moment of silence as I marveled over the colors. It’s been too long since I last colored. I enjoyed blending the colors and developing the gradients and shadows of his “Victorian Secret Girls of Steampunk” Antarctic Press collection.

This morning I read a post on Riddles and Reveries called “Quotes from Anna Karenina”. I’ve only watched the movie with actress, Keira Knightley. It’s a visually stunning masterpiece of a tragic tale by Leo Tolstoy.

HDwallpapers

I couldn’t help but write a short story after I encountered this quote by Leo Tolstoy’s character Anna in Riddles and Reveries:

“If you love me as you say you do,’ she whispered, ‘make it so that I am at peace.”

Anna Karenina

So without further ado, here is a fan flash fiction of the aftermath of Anna Karenina’s death!

Life After Death

Train’s blaring lights struck
Horn sliced through sun-speckled air
Deafening silence

Anna’s life flashed before her eyes after she threw herself in front of the train. Darkness filled her vision in an instant. She blinked and awoke to find herself flying between the branches of a forest alongside a majestic angelic warrior with scarlet feathers and bright purple robes.

She smelled the refreshing scent of pine trees as the rays of sunshine warmed her entire body. A flock of blue jays sang joyous songs as they fluttered in the trees. The morning dew of the forest floor bed sparkled revealing a faint green glow that extended to a glistening meadow beyond. She felt her warrior’s healing presence – a protective and nurturing force.

Anna felt light – free of the torment and the burden of the jealousy she harbored for so long. Her cheeks flushed with the color of a new born rose. She was no longer shackled by societal conventions of imperial Russian orthodoxy. Anna took a deep breath. She could finally feel her husband’s, Karenin, forgiveness seeping into her soul. Her skin tingled at the former memory of her lover Count Vronsky.

A moment of peace is worth its weight in gold. Anna no longer felt like a caged animal. Her spirit is free to roam and experience this new grandeur of life that laid before her.

Posted in Culture, Quotes

3.2.1 Quote Me – Creativity

Jenna, The Sunshine Artist, has tagged me for the 3.2.1. Quote Me challenge started by Rory, A Guy Called Bloke and K-9 Doodlepip!, about creativity, one of my favorite topics! From making my own greeting cards, stories, clothes, gifts, being creative is one of the most rewarding endeavors I will ever embark in my life.

I really enjoy these quotes by Pixar!

As I ponder on the quotes below, I’ve realized that creativity is very difficult to measure in the classroom. If some people claim that they aren’t blessed with it, I wonder if some people can unlock the creativity within you. 🙂

Posted in Awards, Books, Crafts, Culture, exercise, Quotes

Sunshine Blogger Award #2 from Baldy Blog

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

J.M. Barrie
Alright, Toto! Let’s head towards the horizon!

After hanging out in the time traveling fog, the sun has come out again! Whip out your shades because I’m going to be answering roughly 60 questions from the WP community for Sunshine Blogger Awards for the next few days. Thank you! It’s always an honor and an encouragement to receive such an award. I’m learning a lot from this blogging journey and looking forward to the new year.

First up, I’ve been nominated by Sean at Baldy.Blog. Thank you Sean! I’ve enjoyed the poetry that he has shared from some classic poets such as Robert Frost, Stevenson, and Tennyson. He also shares fun facts, trivia, scattered quotes, and some wonderful photos.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
“The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.”

Once nominated, if you choose to accept, write a post where you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate other blogs and give them questions to answer
  • Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
  • List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post

If you had to choose to be on a reality show, which one would it be?

Though I’m aware that reality shows aren’t reality, I enjoy watching a variety of reality shows from time to time! I enjoy watching The Voice, Master Chef, Survivor, The Mole, and Disruptive Pitch. However, there’s a handful that I’d think I personally would enjoy being on and realistically see myself on. If level of skills didn’t matter, there’s four shows that come to mind:

The Amazing Race

Photo credit https://www.ibtimes.com
CBS: “The Amazing Race is a multi-Emmy Award-winning reality series hosted by Emmy Award-nominated host Phil Keoghan. This season, 11 teams will embark on a trek around the world. At every destination, each team must compete in a series of challenges, some mental and some physical, and only when the tasks are completed will they learn of their next location. Teams who are the farthest behind will gradually be eliminated as the contest progresses, with the first team to arrive at the final destination winning The Amazing Race and the $1 million prize. “

Ellen’s Design Challenge: “From Trash to Treasure”

HGTV: “The designers are given one hour to race through a salvage yard to find items to make their furniture. Back at the shop, some of the designers discover that the material they have collected is not up to par, while one of the designers carpenter teams is not on the same page. At judging, everything is on the line as the final three discover which two will go on to the finale. ”

Slow TV: National Knitting Evening

Photo Credit-Netflix: “Knitting enthusiasts in Norway discuss the pastime and try to break the speed record for shearing, spinning and knitting wool into a men’s sweater.”

Project Runway

Photo Credit: Pinterest “Heidi Klum hosts a reality series where aspiring fashion designers compete for a chance to break into the industry. Each week, a designer is eliminated from the competition after exhibiting their work in front of a judges’ panel”

If you could change your name, what would it be?

I really like my name: Sa! It’s short, simple, and sweet! Hm…I’ve always wondered what it’ll be like if I was named Magnolia like the flower. My nickname would be Maggie like Baby Maggie from the Simpsons. 🙂 My aunts were all named after flowers. My sister is named after a flower. Maybe I just want to join the flower garden!

Also, I have contemplated what it’ll be like if I was named Star after I read this fun young adult novel called “Stargirl“. It’s about a free-spirited girl celebrating non-conformity.

How long have you been blogging?

Roughly 6 months and a few days! I’m still in the early stages of organizing my content and format, but I enjoy it immensely.

How frequently do you blog?

Depends on the season, but generally once or twice a week. I spend the rest of the time checking out your posts and reading your thoughts. I write in my journals everyday though!

Share the link to a favourite post of yours, why is this your favourite?

#Poetic Short Story- Grand Performance

I loved the lovely image that Helene @ Willow Poetry picked out for her weekly prompt “What do you see?”. It combined a variety of my interests: the beauty of nature, drama, love, poetry. This poem makes me feel alive and grateful for simple pleasures like a sunrise and a breeze.

Do you check your stats for the countries that have ‘visited’ your blog?

Yes, it’s just fascinating to me that what I write is seen from others from different locations around the globe! I’m amazed by these bloggers who inspire me and am curious to see what regions they live and experience life.

Which countries are you missing from your WordPress globe and would really like to see filled in on your map?

So what’s generally missing from my WP globe map are countries from South America, Africa, Russia, Asia. I think it’ll be helpful if I can add a plugin to translate my page into their language of choice. If I keep blogging, I can update to the premium version to do that!

Are you a ‘crafty’ person? (Knit, sew, paint, macrame … ?)

YES! I’ve done all of the above ever since I was a young girl. (This is why I would be on the knitting reality show!) A childhood friend taught me how to knit one afternoon while watching Sailor Moon. My mom was a seamstress and taught me how to sew. Learned how to paint and macrame at school! Crafty activities make me feel really happy. I lose track of time because it’s so fun for me.

There’s a lot of health benefits to these sort of activities as well. Repetitive needlework can induce a relaxed state like the association with meditation or yoga. For some, it redirects their focus and reduces the awareness of pain or rumination on problems. It replaces anxiety and stress with the satisfaction of creating something tangible.

Assuming that you celebrate, do you shop in advance for Christmas or do you leave everything to the last minute?

I shop in advance and online when possible. I also try hard to hit the clearance sales throughout the year. There are many times that I hand-make items. I like to make origami crafts 🙂

Photo Credit: Etsy

Do you participate in sports?

I enjoy many sports recreationally not competitively: martial arts, basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball. I enjoy playing with friends in the courts at the schools and parks. I join in some athletic camps from time to time. I have a lot of fun stories from all the sports I’ve played.

Are you a sweet or savoury person?

Split between the two! I love both!

Sweet
Photo Credit: Pixabay – Macaroons!
Savory
Photo Credit: My Kitchen Snippets

Nominees

Questions to Nominees

  • What are some of your goals for 2019? (blog/personal/career/spiritual…)
  • If you invited me to a party, what can I expect? (food/decorations/theme/music/games…)
  • What kind of gift would you bring to a friend’s house-warming party?
  • What has been an inspiring book that you have read lately?
  • What is your go-to comfort food?
  • What is an accessory or outfit you wear that makes you happy?
  • What is a place you visit that brings you joy?
  • What fantasy or fictional world would you like to be a part of?
Posted in Crafts, Culture, Events, Food/Recipes, Nature, Quotes

321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life: Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Good morning everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed Thanksgiving break! Rory from A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! nominated me for 321 Quote Me- Celebration of Life which is really befitting because I love to celebrate various occasions! So this past week was busy, and I feel that’s an understatement. Homework is giving me a lot of curve balls, and I’m now getting caught up with my drafts and tags on WordPress!

I sent Thanksgiving cards to loved ones that live all over the nation. Yes, I like email and other social media to keep in touch, but I still enjoy giving hand written cards every once in a while! It’s hard to get us all together for anything because we’re so far apart. I’m thinking one day I’ll go on a major road trip and visit all of them to catch up. There’s so much distance between us, yet it doesn’t change how I feel about them.

My roommates made a delicious Thanksgiving breakfast before I headed into work for early Black Friday sales. I had some turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, brussel sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and washed it down with some cranberry cocktail. The food made me sleepy so I took a three hour nap before my shift.  When I woke up, I got dressed, packed my Kindle reader for any potential breaks (wishful thinking… breaks might be elusive), and was ready to go!

The day before, I had the opportunity to decorate my smock which I am so grateful for! I relish any chance to be creative especially during a chaotic retail holiday. Each department was color coded, and my supervisor gave us a bunch of creative materials. I went to town with the hot glue gun! (Did I mention that my hot glue gun and I are great pals?) When my boss first handed my uniform, my vest looked like a medical smock that I might wear to a gynecologist’s appointment. 

I had to change that immediately! I added a candy cane heart, penguins, sleigh on a shiny hill, wreaths, trees, gems, smiley face emojis, red bows, Mardi Gras beads. Decided not to take my sewing machine out and give it some shape because I need lots of freedom of my arms and waist. Yes, my boss seemed to skip the Thanksgiving decorations and jumped straight to Christmas, but oh well! I work with what I got. 

Here is my battle armor for Black Friday! My roommates told me I belonged on top of a Christmas tree because I sparkled so much. I was tempted to put on a football helmet because I heard last year a customer gave a worker a black eye during Black Friday, but I figured I’m a fast dodger! Brutal indeed, but all that Jujitsu training pays off. 🙂

I arrived at my workplace an hour early and gave my parents and siblings a call. They had a wonderful dinner and were playing a dancing video game. My dad created the Thanksgiving meal this year, and he told me he really enjoyed the process of cooking for the family.  Earlier I sent my siblings a Tokyo Treat Box for Thanksgiving which has a bunch of goody snacks from Japan. They enjoyed it! We said our farewells. They wished me luck, gave me some emotional support, and hung up.

Click. My one phone call is up. I clock in, and head into the battle arena. 

It’s like walking into the eye of the storm where it is eerily calm, but you don’t trust it. 

Understandably, I heard that some of my coworkers called in sick which according to my boss may be cause for termination. Others are anxiously manning their saran-wrapped stations. Customers are keeping an eye on their goods surrounding the station like vultures.

My smock is an eye catcher, and I receive a lot of compliments from coworkers and customers alike. Man, I feel like I’m walking the red carpet! I waved at my coworkers who smiled back and honestly looked relieved when they saw me. It looked like a brief moment of respite from the constant surveillance of their merchandise.

I push through the bustling crowd and finally reached up to the front end where there was caution tape closing off the checkout lanes. I enter the ringer. Several handsome (very handsome 😀 ) police officers were patrolling the area staying very alert. The HR director (aka the referee) greeted me and gave me a pat on the shoulder. Never saw him before, but he wanted to compliment me on my smock! 

We chatted a bit about technical incubators while the managers were priming up all the cashiers giving us their best pep talk. The store director paced the floors. One of our supervisors brought a huge speaker to play a motivational musical playlist. Then they played IT… one of the latest songs from one of my favorite musicals, The Greatest Showman!

All of this is rather intensifying the situation! Some of my newer coworkers are getting more nervous while I’m just getting primed up. I look at my watch and once the minute hand hits 6:00, I hear a full range of party horns signaling the go ahead for the masses of crowds to check out. 

I take a deep breath, and a big guy is headed towards me with a set of towering boxes of toys and electronics that seem to cascade down onto the conveyor belt. I silently talk to myself, “I can do this. I have an incredible team backing me up. You don’t have to go through life alone.”

I call for help from one of the burly, muscular cart pushers to help me lift all of these boxes (some of them were bigger than me!) throughout the night. A flood of customers came through my line with a variety of questions and complaints. I feel like they were dying of hunger the way the manic crowds were frantically fighting over goods. Grateful and puzzled for the kind, patient, and pleasant customers who stopped by! I would have thought they would stick to the online option. 🙂

Piles of merchandise were strewn throughout the store. We stayed on top of it by collected them before they got trampled on by the stampede. I filtered out the noise and focused on the task at hand. Some people may be of the opinion that a mosh pit is one way to celebrate life. Not me, but some people may find it thrilling.

Pinterest

Sometimes, I think people get energized by spending Black Friday celebrating with the enormous crowds! A celebration of spending their hard hard earned savings to buy things to enhance their life or the lives of their loved ones. It may be an illusion of enhancement or a reality for others. They may enjoy walking around the store checking out the sales with their families.

I didn’t get anything that night. No time to, but I did have an eye on the 200 piece art set with an easel/stand and DIY Spa Kit. (Already thinking of methods for self-care after this onslaught 😉 ) Our supervisors provided us with a warm dinner in the break room.  I crashed on my bed the moment I got home. New memories swirling around in my mind.

Ah,
my sweet bed 
How I adore thee
Falling into the oblivion
of sleep that comes easily!

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