Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Come back birds, please?

Forget Hitchcock's The Birds.

The Mice or The Rats is far creepier, and actually taking place in my own home as we speak.

They are threatening my way of life!

I feel I'm in some kind of "your mother told you so" hell.

This can only mean war... Peaceful cohabitation will not be possible.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pandora's Box

You buy a simple little device, about 3cm long and 2cm wide. Blue. Maybe 2mm thick. It isn't cheap, but not terribly pricey. All you want to do is take more photos with your digital camera.

But then, you realize you need a high-speed USB port to upload your photos faster. After all, now you have more photos stored on the memory card. And they're bigger, because bigger photos are better. So they take up more memory. So you need a computer with more memory. And Photoshop, too, so you can tinker with your photos. And actually, now that you're going to take so many photos, shouldn't you really invest in a high-quality digital camera to make it all worth it?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Notebook Notebook Notebook

Things I did while on my intense long weekend away.

The first is a time-intensive design for the back cover of my notebook. The productive powers of boredom. "I'm so bored, I'm so bored, I'll write 'notebook' as many ways as I can on my notebook." I also wrote 'bag' three times on my bag. But decided 'hand' as many times as it would fit on my hand would be pushing it (besides, I'd already done a strange fusion oars/sun/flower design there).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mouse Comics 2

They say the mouse is gone.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mouse Comics

I've been slightly busy recently, but drew this comic yesterday to document the past two days.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Last Man

Thinking about yesterday's post today, I remembered Nietzsche's idea of the last man (or woman). The last man is basically a loser. In today's world, he would probably watch TV nonstop, eat only fast food, never moves. He has no goals, no ambition. Actually, as far as I recall, the last man is madiocre and satisfied with what he's got.

Nietzsche says to be an artist, athlete, or I guess anything else worth being, is to to experience freedom in chains. You can't have everything; something's got to give. You sacrifice watching five hours of TV nonstop to have a social life, to work, to do everything else you want to do.

Compare and contrast with the Buddhist/ Daoist ideals of being and non-doing as opposed to 'Western' ideals of action, doing, progressing, etc.

Oh, and take everything you read on this blog with a grain of salt, especially if I happen to mention anything mildy related to physics (like yesterday).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I took a break

I took a break yesterday. I met the one-week blog challenge, posting everyday for a week. I'm trying to acquire new habits: daily exercise, blogging, the daily cartoon.

According to Gretchen Rubin at the Happiness Project blog, the way to maintain your exercise regimen is to never skip more than one day. Gretchen says: "Never skip exercising for two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise no matter how inconvenient."

I think the same applies to anything you want to do on a regular basis, like the things I listed above.

Still, you have to fight. It feels you have to fight. After all, isn't the 'natural' impulse laziness? (See last post, plus think of that physics theory (I think it's entropy) that says things revert to their lowest (or laziest) state.) So unless you are breathing down your own neck to get things done, things that you say you want to do, nothing gets done.

keri smith once wrote on her blog (an excerpt from the longer entry):
What if all you had to do was to "do nothing"? The fear in my mind says all hell will break loose, or the opposite, nothing will get done. I might fall into the abyss along with everything in my life. people would yell. the house would be a mess. no, the house would be gone, i would be out on the street begging for food. (does that count as doing nothing? or is that something?)
Isn't the zen way to let go, to truly do nothing and see what happens? But if you let go, as keri wonders, the house could "be gone" and you could be "out on the street."

Is there some kind of perfect balance between just being/ doing nothing and doing things? Is it really a struggle, or dare I use the word, kind of jihad, fighting to make things better better better?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Damn you, cave people

I read an article in Psychology Today* (as I was doing my daily 15 minute stationary bike exercise - yes, pedaling nowhere fast) about how humans are hardwired to be lazy. Well, not exactly. But back in the caveman and cavewoman day, the main goal at hand was to survive. So one was motivated to do things by hunger and thirst and the need to get out of dangerous situations. Once all that was taken care of, it was important to sit back and relax to conserve energy. Of course we haven't evolved that much - we're basically the same biologically and we have the same "evolutionary hardwiring" (um, whatever that means) as our cave people ancestors. So now that our survival is ensured (more or less), we can't deal with the contemporary world where we have long-term goals to worry about. We're still conserving energy because our survival needs are met. In contemporary world terms, it's called laziness and procrastination. (Are ambitious people who do stuff on time more evolved?)

Some of the solutions suggested to getting over our evolutionary 'handicaps' are not to freak out too much about long-term goals which require lots of little steps to accomplish and to just dive in, and to have daily to-do lists to stay focused on the long-term goal. Also, think about how accomplishing your long-term goal will enhance your life.

I'm writing about this because I have just made a major life decision (grad school: to go or to skip, I've chosen skip) and I can't help wondering how much this bears on my decision. Certainly grad school requires long-term planning, and not going doesn't threaten my survival, and it promises hard work. It's not what I based my decision on (dwindling interest is), but still.

* Psychology Today doesn't have this article online yet. Maybe next month.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In the Box Comics

In the book Gulliver's Travels (which I only read half of, I don't think even the nerdiest/ smartest kids in eleventh grade English read it all the way through) Gulliver travels to the land of horses, and the horses only speak the truth, because the purpose of language is to communicate, and what's the point of false communication?

I'm thinking about that.

Think tary'a and saying things just to move your vocal chords. In this context it makes no sense.

"Enjoy the silence?"*

* Depeche Mode song: Words are very/ unnecessary/ they/ can only do harm.
Click here to watch the video. It's really cool. And here for the complete lyrics.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pink Comics

A veritable smorgasbord of comics - discovered yesterday in the treasure trove that is keri smith's archives (think way back, I started from the beginning, 2003): Drawn and Quarterly. Clicking on the 'Artists' tab will lead you to little rooms for each artist where you can see previews of their work. Check out Joe Matt's. (Everything is in PDF).

Monday, July 09, 2007

Maintain Your Sanity; Escape Cairo

Escape from Cairo can be a very good (and necessary) thing. I had a super relaxing weekend away from the Big Bateekha.


Check out this newly discovered blog, Dooce, which belongs to a previously Mormon woman who suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her now five year old girl.

I found it in a list of the most popular blogs in New York Magazine. A good chunk are not USian and not in English. Yes, one of them is in Arabic. Lots are political. I recognized a few that I'd heard of before, but the only one from the list that I frequent is PostSecret.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

DIY Reality TV

We all love to hate reality TV. Hell's Kitchen, Survivor, Supernanny, Brat Camp - there seems to be an endless stream of innumerable genres of reality TV.

I wondered, how does watching reality TV impact us in our everyday relationships and interactions? Does it maybe make us more dramatic? How would we behave on a reality TV show?

What if we could be in our own reality TV show?

Part sincere, part fine line between genuine inner drama queens and a satire on the whole reality TV show concept...

How best to go about doing such a thing? I think a vacation with all the participants would be ideal, except for the fact that it would be hard to round up a group of people (I'm thinking at least five) together to go on vacation. So the next best: a large gathering.

No, I wouldn't seek syndication with ABC, Foxx, or O TV. Not even youtube.

Watch this space for updates.

Potato & Victim Comics

Apologies: I was away for the weekend and my system of proxy posting didn't pan out.

Good news: I'll post til Thursday to make up for it.

This is from my back log.


Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts

Cool stuff:

Naptime Writer blogeress wrote an interesting post about blog inhibition: "...trying to be clever and funny and insightful in every post....it's inhibiting, unless you're having a particularly clever, funny, and insightful day." Leading people not to post.

I'm attempting to get over this by posting more often.

Jean Railla of the Get Crafty website mentioned how much she liked Ethan Lipton's music on her blog. I loved the song Pirates of the Heart on first listen.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Running Away Theory

I have this theory, that as soon as people are presented with what they claim they want most, they run away. Then again maybe it's not everyone, maybe it's me and a few people I've observed. The person who wants to make more friends yet turns down opportunities to hang out with new people. The dude who wants to get a date but runs away if someone shows interest (even if he happens to be interested as well).

I guess it's fear based; fear of success, fear of failure, they are almost the same thing, or at least they seem to make people behave in similar ways. Of course, sometimes it isn't just an opportunity that knocks, but more or less exactly what you wanted that jumps into your lap, and indeed it was invited, by you.

I have no remedy for this as of now.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A comic & a drawing

The comic and the drawing are not fresh, I must admit. They are a few days old, like the vegetables in my fridge (purchased Saturday). Why insist on buying food then leave it? Why? How to overcome laziness?


To the left, you will notice a small notice in the sidebar (right above the links) that says: "Subscribe to Posts [Atom]." It's basically an RSS feed. It will go into your bookmarks, in something called Bookmarks Toolbar Folder (if you have Firefox). Then when you see my blog's name, to the right will pop out my most recent posts, thus enabling you to discover when I've posted something fresh. Which should be everyday, for at least a week.

Occasional art, comics, food, and other things of less interest to the general public.