nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

Tag Archives: miscellaneous

Caught My Malaise

Well after a week and the heat has settled off. According to the news, I expected to see hot days ahead. Yet here I am trying fight away this feeling. I’m not thinking about anything yet and I hope I don’t. Let’s rewind to Saturday.

So Saturday is when I noticed I was really feeling worse than the day before. I still had the energy to go out and do stuff. Waking up late didn’t help, I still had a bit done. Then Sunday morning rolled in and I just had trouble sleeping. Turning in my bed, then seeking refuge in the basement for a few hours. I managed to sleep. Only to expend another weekend and a beautiful day. In the weekend I did nothing but take a few photos and saw the moon and Mars in the same city sky.

Sunday afternoon, waking at 8 in the afternoon. I’m rested in the sunset bleeding through the window. I hate every time I wake up, I feel I lost one more day in my life. Trying to claim to something that’s waning away. Sitting here on the backside of a heat wave and to be in the wake of another, I don’t think I can survive another day.

I just need to sleep away all this. Yes, maybe sleep it off.

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Need To Make It Rain

The past winter, I bought 500 business cards. With my name and a web address to my 500px account. In hindsight, sometimes impulse purchases isn’t the best way to get business cards.

When I first bought this batch was because I saw the 50% off deal on Vistaprint. Great deal at the time considering it’s 500 cards. I made a very simplistic card, white lettering on black – no designs and a straightforward style.

When they arrived, they come in boxes of 250. Well right now I’ve managed to give out about  20-30 of the 500. Since the last purchase, the place has been having the 50% business card sales all the time. So looking back on it, I could’ve spent more time designing a card to be more appealing.

Speaking of business, I was invited to a business seminar. It was a mixed bag of thoughts. Firstly, the entire  seminar was highly focused on getting people into a business to sell products. Something I’ve had some recent experience with, however it just sounded very remotely a bit of a scheme to brainwash people. When I was accepted the invitation, I thought “I could give away at least a hundred of these bad boys.” I arrived with 50 and only gave two and one to a friend of a friend. It’s unfortunate but these folks seemed a bit high brow and disillusioned. I think I’ve tried networking at a seminar and now I just have to dial in where to distribute and market myself.

I do feel semi-serious about starting a photography job. However in a city of millions, it’s tough to compete with someone well established. However I’m not in it in win it all, I just want to at least make it to be independent. Just taking it one job at a time.

Weird is OK

Last week I was so excited to see Paramore, the few bands in my rotating playlist of music that has permanent standing. It’s been almost a decade since I’ve seen them live, I believe I still have the stub from the DCU Centre in Massachusetts. But finally being able to see them here at home was a gift after having a terrible rainy date and the last minute request from work to complete a shift. Unlike the DCU, I had seats this time but I didn’t even need it (exception for the two opening acts, I’m not much of a Foster The People person). Just having them on stage and seeing the crowd reminded me of those days just sitting at home and blaring it in my ears.

At the start of the concert, I was surprised a lot of people dressed so differently taking their seats. Teenagers, old fans, a crew of dyed hair people, even a few people in their business casual wear stood and jammed with Paramore. They brought our a lot of old album favourites to playing their entire new After Laughter album. But just being there with people dancing and watching, I felt comfortable to wave my hands and headbanging in the stands. It was comforting to just hear Hayley’s words sung and sung back to her. It was electric in a way everyone can hold on those words. I remember the first time I felt like that was when I heard The Only Exception. It was moving that no matter where you come from, people are similar in situation. Whether a break up, a death, a crappy circumstance could being someone back.

After leaving the concert, I left for a bit of late night Chinese food. I saw hoards of people scrambling to cars and even people trickling into the streetcar stop. I took a less direct route to the restaurant for some take out. Just seeing people dispersing train stop after train stop with all their Paramore paraphernalia, it was something almost magical. Then as I waited for a meal, I saw a group of friends sit down wearing the same After Laughter t-shirt and I was remember just how special the concert was, the difference of appearance and now appetite.

I’ve always advocated that being weird and different is good. That night I really felt accepted by those words and I now I’m starting to look at myself and say “Weird is OK”.

More travelling?

So mid-June now, probably put aside to a lot of game time and been buckling down. Mostly for photography in nature, but at the moment I’m still planning. “Still planning” is a term I really dislike because I’m starting to feel more indecisive. I recently took a trip to a local tourism office to really find somewhere to take my camera. Somewhere local and old school, with a bit of historic and artistic value and vistas. Also everything has to close to the hotel room as well.

In-province, I’m thinking of a small town. I went to Niagara Falls this spring and it was a great. So it’s just a matter of finding the place that’s worth taking a shot and perhaps something less seen by other. Niagara Falls has been a tourist trap for ages but I really knew the beauty of the place when you leave the casino area. Really see what Niagara Fall really is when you take away the neon lights. If I can’t replicate the success of that trip, I’m going to exceed it. I want have extraordinary photos and memorable moments.

For the time being, I’ll just be window shopping for a nice place to visit. Hopefully before the end of summer.

I love/hate summer.

Finally summer is rearing it’s head out. I know for sure since my room in the late evening feels like a humid furnace. Happens every year and as annoying and dangerous as it is to live in my room, I’m glad for cool shade and a beautiful sunsets.

This summer, I do plan on taking less time for work and more focus on photography. Actually I’ve been closely following what 500px is doing and I’m glad they’re letting Getty distributing images from the website. Though it doesn’t seem like there are any details about it yet. But hopefully I can sell the few I have there. Meanwhile I finally have my account there set up to receive funds. So hopefully I will eventually see someone why some of my photos. I still haven’t been able to physically work on getting my work physically out there. I think framed prints can still sell. I guess I’ll find out in the next month.

All the while, it’s starting to feel like summer. I’ve been pulling all the stops to really enjoy this year’s warm weather. Definitely taking my camera out and doing some travelling. I’ve planned on seeing a concert in June. Recently I tried to even catch most of the photography festival that was going on here; I didn’t see much but at least I can say I attended.

This summer I’m going to do my best to really bring out my full potential in photography. Main goal and hopefully learn something new along the way as well.

A selfie is not a self portrait…

Sure this topic isn’t hip any more but when the term “selfie” came around to pop culture, there were a lot of opinion writers.

At the gallery there is a fantastic painting of an artist painting themselves as they’re painting themselves. It’s kind of interesting to step closer and seeing the detail into the scene within the painting. Even with their back turned, it’s a very interesting self-portrait. Fast forward to the digital age of the late 2000’s and 2010’s, the “selfie” is a self portraiture; usually associated with a cell phone and a mirror. I have to admit looking at the comparison between this piece in the gallery and everyone’s Instagram (I don’t have one but I like to peak at others), we’ve come so far that I feel the concept of a self-portrait has degenerated. It’s one thing to make the “I was here” statement when you want to selfie  in the moment but when people stage selfies, I do feel it’s a bit self-absorbed.

In a recent walk to witness the Sakura blooms, I saw a lot of selfie sticks. A lot. Enough to really conclude people are really selfish to really equate to those people who take chunks of the tree for themselves or those who disobey signs to get the right selfie. I really don’t think a jpeg from a cellphone could really out compete with a RAW file from a DSLR or even a png/tiff image from a point and shoot. I regardless, a $100 point and shoot will have a timer function. Meanwhile I’ve seen people reaching out to a stranger for a photo. I, for a few times, was the stranger. I usually do my best to take the photo. I quite understand to entrust someone of your phone when you’re so shy to ask. That’s obvious but there are some very outgoing people that apparent don’t have time to get a photographer as a friend.

I do find in modernity, the self-portrait has become more abuse of an artistic craft to a social media eye sore. And for those who rarely take them; rare being once in many month, then I think you are more observant of the world than looking for a narcissistic reward.

Pretty Beat

Recently I’ve been struggling keeping up with the hobbies. I’ve been partially working or been on my feet. It’s summer or what it feel like it here, but it’s a good time for photography. This year I’m hoping the summer will be more productive for photos. At the same time I’m excited to finish Fallout 4, however another game is slowly taking over my life.

Yes, after a couple years…I finally downloaded Pokemon Go. Just this past Friday and since then, I realize how dangerous this ago because I almost got hit by two cars and bumping right into a wall. Luckily I’m not so mindless that I would run full steam. However walking distracted is dangerous, especially in a large city involving many sharp objects. It’s like being a child again and your parents forgot to make the entire house child safe. Anyways, I’ll be trying to stay away from playing while moving. Though I kind of understand most of the good stuff in the game is found on avenues. So if anyone is still curious, please look and bee aware of your surroundings; this is not a drill.

With photography, I would like to push out and use my tripod more often. However at the same time, I want to travel and shoot something different. Seeing my city kind of loses it’s appeal. I like landscapes here and I think this year I’m blooming into street photography. I usually stayed from taking pictures of people in this shots. So shyness from snapping people, it’s diminishing and I’m getting comfortable with finding the shot with people in the scene.

Anyways, that’s where I am now. After the crazy stuff happening in the world and restraining to spout all the problems around me, I’ll try and write down the topic and hopefully I will remember it later.

Mental Health

This is one thing I have to be mindful of when I live my life. I take pills, apply therapy techniques and do my best to live my life. With the recent going-on’s in Toronto, I feel like underlying issue is left ignored.

During times like this when an incident on this scale happens, people get immediately angry and resentful. Myself included when I first heard the news, I was shocked and wanted nothing more for the suspect to serve his life behind bars. It is unfortunate knowing I walk the same streets and at any time, someone like this person would get behind the wheel and commit murder on this scale. Knowing one of those pedestrians can be anyone regardless of age, race and gender, it disturbs me to think I could be one of those unnamed and soon forgotten by the public.

Life – a fragile thing. Not only in preservation, but in keeping all the smaller things in perspective. Things like emotion, stability and clarity. To feel without overstepping while taking a stride with meaning without being led by emotions. Which is kind of why I’m brought to write this week’s post (though it feels I do this more bi-weekly).

The real question when crimes like this occur, I ask myself “What’s really going on here?” A lot of people focus solely on a person then blame a niche outside the norm. It’s equivocal if a hipster committed genocide because carnivores are destroying the Earth and veganism is the way to go. The way I see it, crime is a social issue. The question from “What this person has done?” to “Where did we go wrong?” Channelling the proverb “it takes a village” does reflect what happened and what has changed. From the restraint for the officer ending the situation non-violently to the tolerance to not accuse the suspect for terrorism right off the bat. We’re changing but there is niche groups that are still victimized because of radicalized individuals. It is sad people died because we live in a society still dictated by a toxic masculine point of view which objectifies men as much as it does for women. In a sense the recent pro-female movement has weaponized feminism into hating men than raising an equal society. This mirrors much of the recent movements started with good intentions and lead by those radicalized by them. Dissidence is important for a democratic society but the values we pass on must be of those of tolerance and critical thinking. To be objective and to ask questions beyond what we know to get a bigger picture.

If we can at least achieve this, perhaps things like this wouldn’t necessarily happen.

NIMBY

First time I ever heard of this acronym was in Cities: Skylines. In the game, this is a policy you can enact to prevent loud noise at night. In reality this is much more as a phrase for anyone who opposes a service within their neighbourhood.

Living in the big city, whether people say it or not, has become a bit of an oxymoron. Here homelessness and public transit are the top two people like to address but don’t necessarily want to physically change.

The transit system here is fairly archaic, most of the system was developed in the 60’s. With a sprawling city without an upgraded transit system, it has been crowded. So now with old stations being updated, a lot of people are really against the stations from expanding to accommodate more routes or making it more accessible. With a lot of people throwing opinions and hate for every plan, I doubt any meaningful progress so far.

The homeless issue is a bunch of sociological problems; drugs, shelter, food, safety. A lot of local NGO’s  try to keep these people alive while the city tries to find ways to bring these people back into society. The biggest problem especially in winter is shelter. Recently, my local city wants to open a new shelter near my neighbourhood. However Once that hit the news, everyone went ape about not wanting it near them. That goes the same with safe injection sites. I understand both sides of the stories and I honestly don’t know who’s in the right because both arguments are valid.

“No In My BackYard” has become something I want to avoid personally. It’s a phrase that doesn’t progress an issue and usually throws an issue to someone else.

Local Resturants

After a week of eating at small dining establishments, I’ve learned a bit about my area.

In terms of variety and styles there is not much of I like or enjoy and when there is “variety” it’s only by presentation. It kind of bums me out that no matter where I go I find an Asian eatery or a cafe. The only thing that really changes is the scene that occupies inside the restaurant but not much else in terms of the taste.

Sadly wandering around the city I found the same monotonous cafe. As much as I like the hipster vibes, it lacks in a community feel.  I only say that because I want to drop my business card on bulletin boards. I still like a humbling place with the smell of roasted beans wafting, but it feels a bit empty without interesting or interactive wall decor.

I think for now, I can say my week long experiment to see this city in it’s culinary glory is successful but I wish I could’ve seen more. I might keep trying to visit more but for now, I’ll get close to what I know.