Resuscititating a blog….and the Beauty of Language

To be honest, I had decided to retire this blog as this blog had been on life support for the past year. Now, so why did I decide to resuscitate this blog? Well, something made me rethink this.

I was posed a question as to whether I had the chops to make a Content Writer.Well,  I think I do. I may not like to write a lot of prose, considering I had spent a couple of decades writing esoteric prose on equally cerebral art pieces, but I realise that if I just stick to visuals like I had been doing lately, I am missing something. Something that made me pursue a career as a contemporary art curator for a large part of my life.

The saying goes ” A picture says a Thousand Words”, which is true but language has its own beauty and the nuances of literature cannot sometimes be conveyed through just a picture. True, just giving visuals leaves one open to a a whole range of interpretation and justly so, sometimes a visual should just be left at it is. Yet, at times, the beauty of language can prompt one to visualize in one’s imagination the whole range of a particular subject.

Take for example, the prose in a song. The depths of emotion and feeling one ascends to can be extended through language. Notwithstanding that a song can appeal just by the pure music and vocals and expression the singer puts into the song, but the passion and expression finds better purchase though the lyrics of the song too

This was brought home to me when I listen to the song, Keijijou Ryuuse (Metaphysical Meteor ) by Buck Tick. Some comments by You Tubers were that the song or vocals sound forced because of the singer’s expression and they didn’t like that. To me however, listening to that song Live, I empathize with the passion of the singer and  while music itself transends language, yet knowing the lyrics only adds to the emotional pathos of that song.

Metaphysical Meteor
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Imai Hisashi
I see you’re a lost boy
Come with me
There’s no need to be afraid
At all
Step on my shadow
Come play with me
Until they can’t see us anymore
 
When you reach out your hand
Come look and see
When you reach out your hand
Your fingertips softly touching me
 
My heart is breaking
And splitting open
Surely so beautiful I could die
Ah I was dreaming
I was dreaming…
 
Blindfolding your eyes
Play with me
The face behind it
Who are you?
 
And when you speak aloud
It seems a lie
But let me hear you say it at the end
Once more, one more time
 
My heart is breaking
And splitting open
Surely so beautiful I could die
Its dissolution
And dissipation
Hold it tighter, tighter, hold me, hold on
My heart is breaking
And splitting open
Surely so beautiful I could die
I was dreaming
I was dreaming…
 
When you reach out your hand
Look out and see
When you reach out your hand
Your fingertips softly…
And when you speak aloud
It seems a lie
But let me hear you say it at the end
Once more, one more time
 
My heart is breaking
And splitting open
Surely so beautiful I could die
Its dissolution
Then dissipation
Hold it tighter, tighter, hold me, hold on
My heart is breaking
And splitting open
Surely so beautiful I could die
I was dreaming
I was dreaming…
 
La la la     la la     la la la la…
(Lyrics translation by Cayce from  nothegreatestsite (https://sites.google.com/site/lyricsyndrome/)
I guess this is a roundabouts way of saying, look, I am back and I haven’t totally given up on prose and that there is a whole lot of beauty in it! 🙂

Keeping My Blog Alive….

Lately, its been a struggle keeping this blog alive. WordPress has made changes to the way one blogs and I frankly didn’t like the changes. It makes it a hassle ….no matter how few the changes, one has to figure them out and with so much on my plate, I just wonder if its worth it.

Then these days, I have too many social media platforms I am active on …..tumbler, facebook (3 different pages, one for my etsy store, one “personal” and one a page where I am one of a team of administrators and then lately google as well.

Tumbler crossposts with my “personal” facebook page and that suits me and what i used to post on wordpress, I now post directly on my etsy store page on Facebook or my “personal” page.

In addition all the reasons I had for starting a wordpress blog have been served through my facebook pages, tumbler and google platforms. Also the audience i wanted to reach, I am reaching through facebook and tumbler , more so then I ever did through WordPress. WordPress has become more or less redundant for me.

I think the only reason my wordpress blog is still alive is that it picks up reblogs I do on facebook….but basically its been on life support the last year.

So, when do people decide to let a blog live or die? Mayhaps the reason this blog is still here is because I didn’t like the morbidity of consigning the blog to some blog graveyard.

And maybe the reason I have for posting today is because of the way social media and cyberspace works. I Liked and Reblogged a post on Tumbler this morning from a Blogger who Follows me and whom I Follow back……then I realised why the post looked familiar when I re-looked at the post and saw that the source of the original post, was Myself on this WordPress blog more then a year ago!

So, maybe, just maybe, I should just keep this blog alive…….

To Blog or Not to Blog, that is the Question?

That’s the million dollar question …to blog or not to blog? I have to admit I have lost interest in my blog mainly I guess because the  reasons i started on wordpress no longer applies.

I am from a generation which still treats social media with  innate suspicion and wariness. And to be truthful would never have started on the social media bandwagon if not pushed to do so when Etsy, the online marketplace I sell at, actively prodded Etsy Sellers to do so.

I started with Facebook but didn’t really feel comfortable using it as i didn’t want half baked posts inadvertently sent out to a gadzillion no of people. WordPress offered a safer platform then Facebook,  as it let’s one preview one’s post first so I went the WordPress route, using WordPress to post to my Facebook page.

Now though I am more conversant with Facebook and no longer need wordpress to make me feel ‘safe”. I can reach my clientele through Facebook or Etsy Follows. And any fashion interests I have, I can also share directly from there,

Next, the things I wanted to share on wordpress such as my interests in Buck Tick , j-rock band or anime again has also been met. I am now one of the admins for WonderUndergound-Buck Tick Unofficial USA Street Team and have served in that capacity for the last year and that page is more then sufficient to offer me an outlet for my interests and to chat with people of like interests.

In addition, I also found that majority of my anime “interest” friends are from my generation  and these ones happened to have the same wary attitude towards social media. So far, despite my urging, they have chosen to communicate via email or in one case snail mail only!

So now, I am faced with the million dollar question…..do I let this blog die a natural death, or is there a point in continuing? Especially as I am too private an individual and am not someone who likes to share their thoughts and very rarely write an actual post.  I mostly share photos and oneliners anyway. Besides, I think I have had enough of prose to last me the rest of my life, considering i was an art curator and critic; writing obscure esoteric essays on art for decades.

At this point, I wonder what keeps other bloggers going? What is the motivation for those who do not use the blog for marketing purposes. Does blogging provide a sense of personal satisfaction? What is the reason behind your drive?

Going Cats!

So, how do you know you are going Cats? You have an inkling  when you are spend the first night in your new home sleeping on the floor with only a blanket whilst your kitties spend theirs in comfort on their new cat tree. You wake up the next morning feeling every aching bone while your kitties are all bright eyed and bushy tailed waiting impatiently for their breakfast.

So, why are you sleeping on the floor? Well, you didn’t get time to unload your mattress because you spent that time getting a cat tree instead.

If that is not indication enough that one is going cats, how about realising that the first store you ever visited in your new town was Pet Smart. You find that not only did you  travel with a menagerie  when you relocated from Ontario to Alberta but you find out that your first order of business directly after you  have unloaded enough stuff from the UHaul truck  to have space, was to locate the local Pet Smart and buy a cat tree for the kitties.

Though there are plenty of signs as to who rule the household already when you realise that you spent an hour  at Pet Smart deciding on a Cat tree compared to the 1/2 hour it took you to decide on the apartment that was to be your new home……besides what you looked for in your new apartment was whether the bathroom was large enough to house the kitty litter box and where would the food and water bowls for the kitties go…..

Then of course, you had to purchase the cat tree which was NOT ON SALE because it was bigger, had 4 tiers compared to the one which was ON SALE which had only 2 tiers.

The next day after you had finally finished unloading all your stuff, you went back to Pet Smart for a 2nd Cat tree, for one piece of cat furniture just isn’t enough for your  kitties while on the otherhand you and your family make do with one armchair because that was the only chair you could bring along in your moving truck.

Then after all that, you find that your kitties much prefer sleeping on your one armchair and you end up sitting on the floor. That’s the time when that realisation finally hits, you are a definitely OWNED by your Cats!

MeMeNMJMeMeAndMJ2

 

 

Relocation to Medicine Hat, Alberta

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UHaul Truck starting our Journey

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Massive areas of Frozen Lakes in Northern Ontario

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Arriving in Alberta

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Medicine Hat, Alberta

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View From Our New Home, Hills and Lake?

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Our New Home, Coming Up

 

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Our New Home, Apartment Building, Vantage Point

 

My Family and I made an unexpected move from St Catharines, ON to Medicine Hat, Alberta. Our decision was made within less then a week, so it was vastly unplanned. That was about one of the most chaotic periods for us but we have finally arrived and settled (more or less) into our new home

It was quite an adventure to travel in a U Haul truck with 3 people in the cab, 2 cats on leashes as there was no room for carriers, a hamster and two goldfish! We did experiment with MacDonald’s cups for the goldfish and sit them in cupholders. The main thing is to remember NOT to DRINK your fish! Though in the end we settled for sitting the fish in a container within a pail by our feet as we really wanted use of our cupholders. But it sure was plenty crowded and cramped to have so many critters and people in the truck.

It took us 4 days to reach Alberta…..the first two nights of our journey took us only up to Northern Ontario.Having lived in Southern Ontario for most of 20 years, it was quite amazing to travel that far north in Ontario and realise that wow, the province of Ontario sure is darned big for one and that there’s hardly anything up there! I guess most people are centred in Southern Ontario!

We did drive by areas of huge frozen lakes and the sight was pretty impressive. Pity my photos are not able to show the huge expanse of the scenery.

Two days later, we left Ontario and by the fourth day, we finally arrived in Alberta. The scenery has changed from one of forests and frozen lakes to dead flat plains and rolling hills. One could really see for miles and miles around and its just pure vivid blue sky and flat lands. It is an incredible sight for someone like me who is used to either cityscapes or landscapes with trees and houses.

There is a dearth of squirrels here. A common sight in Ontario but here, not a single squirrel. Instead we saw white tail deer and rabbits! And the Locals tell us that the deer here are pretty bold and that during hunting season, they know to come to town, where they are safe! Smart deer!

Anyhow, we are finally mostly settled here and look forward to many years spent in our new hometown, Medicine Hat. The Bird & I Jewelry Store has just re-opened for business and I have started working on new pieces.

 

 

A Case of Super Duck and Joining the Social Media Bandwagon

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When I started this blog and activated my Facebook page after quite a lengthy period of resistance, I never had the intention to write any wordy pieces.  I was simply being thrust into the stream of social networking  willy nilly .

Now why the reluctance to hop on the social media bandwagon? Well, my generation never grew up with the world wide web, computers, tablets,  smart phones, x-boxes, or  playstations. Games were simple ones, that involve a lot of imagination and little gadgetry.  Also, we used the “snail mail” and emails was something we encountered when we were full adults and not something we grew up with. .

Therefore, its not altogether surprising that a majority of us don’t trust things that are intangible and worry over revealing too much of ourselves to strangers. So I can understand when my favourite vocalist, Sakurai Atsushi from my favourite band, Buck Tick stated  in an interview (which was translated courtesy of Nopperabou.net if my memory serves)   he doesn’t understand  computers or social networking stuff like facebook, blogging or live journal. When  he was told blogging and live journal is something like a personal diary, what  he replied was he doesn’t see the  point of  a personal diary which is  public! Then it wouldn’t be his personal diary! He certainly has a point there.

This was more or less in line with my own attitude.  Besides, my first forays into the early regime of social networking was one which left a lasting impression on me.

One of my hobbies was the cat fancy and I did go to exhibitions to show my pedigreed cats. Well,  one of those internet lists which I belonged to ( and this was before there was Facebook and such) , were talking about hair dryers and which were the best ones to use.

 Now one of those early hands free pet dryer is called a Super DUCK. It was a pretty good dryer and my first model had  broken down and I was in the midst of ordering a 2nd one. Well, in my hurry to extol the virtues of this dryer, I inadvertently sent off a post to about 300 over people, not only highly recommending the product but saying that I couldn’t wait for my new Super DICK to arrive! That I had worn out the last one and couldn’t wait to get the new one!:o

Imagine  my horror when I realised I had just mistyped one single word and the whole meaning changed…….of course, if I  had true anonymity, it wouldn’t be half as bad and if I  didn’t have to meet any of those people on the list, that would have been just peachy.  Instead, as fate would have it, I did have to face some of the people on the list in the next weekend show.. …grinning people who came up to me and  asked whether I did receive my new order and how it was working out.*:"> blushing

I did deliberate on the options of sinking into a hole on the floor or possibly the black hole….and the consolation from well meaning friends didn’t exactly make the situation better…when it went the route of, well you did provide comic relief for the weekend show, or it could have been much worse, you could have shared something extremely personal or chances are you are bound to commit worse transgressions in the future and this one will be as nothing….

Platitudes aside, in the sagacity of age, I have to say, this was nothing much. One just has to live it down and find the humour in the situation. So, I have finally embraced  the social network medium though   I am by no means sanguine about it. I still  view it with a lot of trepidation and see it as a route full of pitfalls but for now, I present to you the awesome Super Duck!

Some thoughts on Blogging…the Lone Ranger…my handmade bracelet and such….

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Today, I was reading some of the blogs I follow and fellow bloggers were talking about Length of Posts, the Perfect blog, the Dos and Dont’s of Blogging. It got me thinking…

Normally I just simply share visuals of the things I like or enjoy or  photos of my jewelry. In my jewelry, I don’t write about it beyond a few descriptive paragraphs of what is in it or sometimes, where I take my inspiration from. I don’t write or offer an analysis or critique of the visuals I share either in my postings on this blog.

I’ve been an art curator and historian for decades and certainly in that field, what one does is write….whether its a critique of an art piece or an interpretation of an artwork for the layman or ones’ contemporaries or the art community. However I have found that as one gets more and more engrossed in one’s field, what goes into an art catalogue or art book has become something for the “in” crowd and at times its soaring prose and semantics is such that the writing has become an esoteric piece beyond the comprehension of most people.

I remember a case in point where an artist I was working with actually came to me and asked if I could write a simple introduction for his coming exhibition, something he could distribute to people who come to his exhibition opening. He had been honoured to have the leading art historian at that time write his catalogue but  as he quietly told me, the article may be about him and his art but honestly speaking, he didn’t understand it even if its about himself!

This makes me question the whole purpose and role of the art critic….are we writing for ourselves and the select few?

Now, as a practising art curator for a number of years, another thing I realised early is that the average layman who comes to visit the art gallery or museum will spend about 10 seconds reading the label on the wall beside the painting, so that usually means nothing more then the first few sentences on that label is going to be read. So it behooves us to keep information succinct so most of that information is actually seen.

Which comes back full circle to where my thoughts were when I started writing this.  Jewelry is something visual and whether the esthetics of the piece appeals to one depends on that person…sure one could be “educated” to “appreciate” certain styles, but at the basic level, whether the esthetics in a piece appeals to one or not is something personal and individual.

I mentioned “The Lone Ranger”  and that is because this is a movie which the critics have basically destroyed at the start go. Oh, its by no means a masterpiece, nor does it take on any pretensions to be more than what it is,  but its a whole ball of fun and isn’t the purpose of a movie to entertain?

I made a couple of “Lone Ranger” themed bracelets for some fans of Johnny Depp and one of these bracelets actually made it to the LA red carpet premiere of the movie.  So as I pull my rambling thoughts together, what I wanted to point out is that sometimes something is best seen for oneself and then you make up your own mind about it.

Like with my recent post on Classical inspirations in fashion post…I could write a whole essay about Greek and Roman clothing (for after all I studied art history) but I am not sure how much more appealing it would have made the visuals if that style had not appealed to your personal esthetics.

Sure, I enjoy language and good writing and blogs with a lot of content and acerbic humour appeal to me but my feeling is if one’s blog has high visual content and IS ABOUT visual content, then there doesn’t really seem to be a need of a page long prose appended to it.

So I guess, where I am concerned, I post about what I like and  I don’t subscribe to the “correct” blog guidelines or requirements. Possibly that is a failing, I don’t know.