Thursday, June 15, 2017

020: parting the red sea

painting tools


I took some time to draw again. So I'm still gonna update my blog and write but less frequently. The thing I struggled with most is not the actual drawing. But where am i going to find the time to do it. Finding time to do my own thing is a big challenge. Why don't you do this?… Oh you can reach your audience this way and that way… blar blar blar… Ideas are cheap. How to make it a reality is the million dollar question.

In all the time when I was at the old apartment I prioritised finishing the chores and cooking before do my own thing which was sewing and drawing. I got sucked into it. At night I was so tired I couldn't do anything.

A lot of people women or housewives have done it so why not me? The blog was a start. I ignored the housework for an hour or 2 hours. I'm going to try for more, without upsetting our domestic balance. It's an experiment.

It's like Moses parting the red sea. The sea for me is the housework. LOL Or something which my sewing teacher did a long time ago while teaching drafting. She had a tiny table which she did everything on. So the table was crammed full of things. When drafting clothing on a paper you need a certain amount of space to teach. So she pushed so everything fell off the table. LOL So that's how she made room.

That's how you create physical space. Now to extend it on a mental level. Clearing your head of junk, chores and everything you "need" to do. I imagine a white dot growing into a huge white circle, completely blank inside. This mental training works a bit. I cut down the time I on fb and twitter time.

I just want to say how much the story of people struggling to put food on the table inspired to push on. There are millions of people less fortunate than me making things possible. So no more excuses for me.

For updates on my drawings go to my instagram account @juunta

#draw #sliceoflife #blog #paintingtools #challenge #ideasarecheap #ignoredthehousework #domesticbalance #partingtheredsea #maderoom #createphysicalspace #mentallevel #mentaltraining

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

019: writing

Spillo in the dog park

I enjoy reading recipes and watching videos on how to make this and that, not necessarily making anything. Just for reference. Then an article about bad coffee caught my eye. It was so well written. I loved the style of writing; where the author/writer recounts something that happens to them in the first person. Very relatable. I didn't start right away.

It reminded me of another thing I done in Italian class in Milan when I first started. As a practice we would recount the events of the previous day in Italian. It sounds simple enough and everybody does that here not just Italian language students, in a very passionate way. Why am I puzzled? What's out of place? I don't recalled having to do that when I was a student in Singapore. It's not a Singaporean habit. We don't stop to talk about what happened yesterday everyday. Nobody notices and nobody cares anyway.

Here in Italy grannies teach toddlers to describe the world around them. It's a really amazing way of connecting with the physical space, processing it in the mind and then verbalising it. In this way writing is just putting down in words what you are already describing as it happens. Writing is just an extra. Whether it is written is not important.

In writing this blogpost I'm working my brain the most underused part of body in a proactive way. It's not just reading some post on facebook or twitter and laughing about it. I have to choose the words and remember what happen (which is not easy for me at all). Now all it takes is a little willpower and you have to tell yourself to take a little time off not to browse through facebook or laze about because the weather is just right for lazing. All weather is right for lazing. When it's raining, who wants to get wet. When it's sunny, it's too hot. etc...

#sliceoflife #readingrecipes #relatable #italianclass #recount #Italian #Singapore #yesterday #nobodynotices #grannies #toddlers #describe #physicalspace #processingit #verbalisingit #asithappens #underused #choosethewords #willpower #lazing

Sunday, May 21, 2017

018: Ordinary special ...2

Our wedding anniversary celebration sweets & prosecco yesterday

20th May… that's our wedding Anniversary. It was a bit difficult going off for dinner with Spillo around. We already went out on the 11th when I had a medical check-up and Spillo was at the dog sitter so it was fine. So instead we got sweets and prosecco to wash it down. The day went on in the most ordinary fashion. Roby at his usual time ie. very very late.

The weather was sunny with lots of dark clouds. We went off to the dog park which we discovered the day before. It's turns out the dog park was private property but was open to public. It was 3times larger than the one near our place so we were happy. It also a huge turnover of dogs. Never the same in the period of time that we were there. Also there was a farm next to it, with goats, geese, chickens and also a lot of peacocks.

It threatened to rain and we went off to get the tarts and bignes. Back home we toasted, finished off most of the tarts and off we went doing our respective chores/work. Roby at his desk, researching and me putting out the bread dough on the baking sheet to rise the second time. Spillo settling down, bored shitless like always.

For dinner we had pasticcio (aka lasagna) for dinner. We watched Netflix/ Better call Saul. After that I had to make Spillo's food, it's normally last for about 10 days so that was a lot of food.

We are celebrating that nothing much happen. LOL It's great sometimes when it's uneventful :D

#sliceoflife #weddinganniversary #sweets #prosecco #ordinaryfashion #dogpark #farm #goats #peacocks #tarts&bignes #breaddough #pasticcio #lasagna #uneventful

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

017: Animated blood is not blood

I find myself not thinking about anything in particular. This is right after looking through facebook or twitter. Or after being forced to watch an episode of Dawson's Creek. Roby is the thick of nostalgia for his youth with 6 seasons of Dawson's Creek, there is no escape because the living room is also the kitchen; clearing the dirty dishes after dinner.

How did I end up like that. In fact TV watching after has been a tradition even back when I was in Singapore. Is there no alternative? (We don't have a TV. We have a projector with AppleTV connected. Which is more or less the same thing.) Nowadays I prefer watching anime which is 24mins per episode. I don't binge watch so only one at a time and then I'm off doing the housework. If we watch a film after dinner, then I nod off on the sofa after 1/2 an hour. Following in the great tradition of my parents' after dinner routine.

The plots of the soaps are formula with a bit of variation on the theme. I don't exactly know why we don't choose more exciting forms of entertainment. Also I can't escape this trap that I find myself in. I already know that the more you watch the less you live. Simple. You can be doing more than 1 thing at a time. With the exception of my ex-colleague's father, who has the tv on, read the newspaper and the radio on for toto results. 2 tvs on, reading the paper and talking to his kids. That's amazing multitasking for you!

Maybe in experiencing the same type of stories over and over again, give you a certain comfort and nostalgia, that warm cosy feeling. Nothing too shocking. Nothing out of the ordinary. We don't want to think or to be troubled by what we see. It like your favourite food being having the same taste as the last time you ordered it. No changes can be an improvement. LOL

At least plots in anime works has a more darwinian approach. There are a lot of stories being written. Out of these, there are really some really good plots; plots that put new ideas some very strange. Provided you can put up the really bad shows and like the animate form, these great stories are not going to reach you. It remains niche. Roby just don't like animation in general because he can't feel the connection between him and the story; doesn't feel real enough. Animated blood is not blood. He is more a Dawson's Creek kind of person. But blood in the soap opera is fake as well. I guess he feels closer to the character if they are filmed in a real setting.

A lot of my friends can't take the animation too. It's something that they take their kids to. Part of childhood, so as adults and as parent they put themselves on the other side. They would pick a predictable plot over anime anyday.

Anime has for me replaced the films I use to watch in film festival days. I no longer have the patience to sit through 2 hour long film. 24mins is just perfect.

Here are 2 thought provoking bloody anime recommendations with links to descriptions:

Subete ga F ni naru: The Perfect Insider This is a mystery series. I had a good time guessing what happened and how it happened.

Parasyte A lot of blacked out scenes because it got too bloody. Not my usual genre. It made me question our dependence on another species of animals for food. The general arrogance and disrespect toward another species of being. How we ignore the fact that death is involved on a daily basis over lunch or dinner (except for you vegetarians)

#sliceoflife #DawsonsCreek #nostalgia #noescape #TVwatching #projector #bingewatch #nodoff #afterdinnerroutine #formula #entertainment #multitasking #darwinianapproach #niche #connection #realsetting #partofchildhood #animerecommendations #SubetegaFniNaru #ThePerfectInsider #Parasyte

Monday, May 8, 2017

016: 2 steps forward 1 step back



Training Spillo is problematic. Just when we thought everything was going smoothly Spillo lunged and barked at a jogger and an old lady with a kid in 2 separate incidents. I'm taking this seriously. I've taken a step back in the training. In other words I keep a minimum distance of 2meters away from everyone we walk by. I treat as usual for not barking at people. Also I ask for a trick every 3/5mins of our walks. Everything is under control.

Of course it's not as stressful as a few months ago. I look like a suspicious person on our walks. lol I look left, right, back and front. When there is someone, I make a big arch to avoid the person. Like there was a person sweeping the doorway of her house a few days ago, we crossed to the other side of the road to avoid her altogether. Seems like an over reaction on my part, but it takes just a second for something to happen.

A jogger came from behind silently, no reaction from Spillo *phew … why? I asked for "dietro" aka heel about a 1 minute ago, so that help because he was waiting for the next command and ignoring the passing jogger. One mini victory for me.

A friend of mine wanted to bring a child to visit us, but later postponed it to next year. How we going to train him to not bark at kids? If there was a steady stream of kids coming in and out of the house, we would have plenty of opportunities. As it is now,  nobody wants to risk their kids being barked at right? So it's a catch 22 situation.

It takes willpower to create these kind of "training props". With our work schedules as they are it's going to be slow and it will take a long time before we see results. We have seen that in repeating a situation over, he becomes less reactive after many repeats. Well, our lives shouldn't stop for Spillo. Ideally we would like to bring him out like to a restaurant or out and about in town doing things. But as it stands now we can't.

#sliceoflife #trainingSpillo #jogger #minimumdistance #notbarking #undercontrol #suspiciousperson #walks #overreaction #ignoring #victory #kids #risk #catch22 #trainingprops #workschedules

Friday, May 5, 2017

015: Jack of all trades

Yorozuya… Gin chan's & friends' odd jobs shop 

I've had a lot of jobs in the past. I know how to do a lot of things. Unfortunately a lot of them are not marketable. Sewing, cooking, drawing. At this point I'm trying out writing. When I was in Singapore I was lucky, a lot of factors help me land a job. I had a false impression that that could lead to something.

Just because I have a couple of ideas when I was younger doesn't the whole world is going to fall at your feet. Ideas are cheap, making them real is hard part.

I take cue from Yorozuya the shop Gin-chan and friends set up in the anime Gintama. The odd jobs crew! This is the state of my life now. I can't afford to specialise in one thing so I have to try more things. Blogging gave me the opportunity to reflect on my current situation. It's not so rosy but definitely more "real" than my life in my parents' place in Singapore a decade ago. (I thank my parents for taking care of me so far)

There was a huge question mark …"something is missing in my life but I don't know what." A terrible state of unease. A comfortable life and yet terribly off. Now my troubles have not passed in fact they have increased, but certainly my uneasiness has passed a bit.

So still continuing to sew. I will re-train myself to draw again. Of course I'm blogging. If anyone has any small writing jobs, please let me know. There are also Roby's projects in the works which I maybe helping out. Currently he is conducting a workshop on RaspberryPi programming for amateurs. This course is in Italian, but if there are enough people wanting to participate, it he will create an English version too. A related video is also planned on his youtube channel.

The future will be more exciting if you make it.

#sliceoflife #alotofjobs #notmarketable #lucky #sewing #cooking #drawing #ideas #ideasarecheap #Yorozuya #oddjobs #blogging #notsorosy #real #uneasiness #Robysprojects #intheworks #RaspberryPiforamateurs #Italian #Englishversion

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

014: He doesn't care

Spillo in the yellow raincoat we bought him

He doesn't care if it's rain or shine, as long as he is out of the door. This is Spillo we are talking about. I heard of other dogs out not being able to step out when it's pouring outside. Sensible dogs! Not Spillo. He can sit on a wet puddle, no problem. We bought a raincoat. He is indifferent to that. He doesn't give a damn about it. On or off, as long as he gets to go out. We get a kick from looking at him in a raincoat. Cutest overload! He looks at us looking at him and thinks "huh? what?" Some dogs gets embarrassed when being seen dressed walks back inside, or won't even let themselves get dressed. He doesn't care either way.

Part of the highlight of the daily walk for him is sniffing dog poop, dog pee and cat poop. He pulls hard so he get to put his nose to where the dog peed the last time. He works hard sniffing. Never use your human standards to judge a dog. Why are you so excited over pee. "Andiamo, andiamo!" (Let's go) Then he chooses a spot to pee for the next dog to sniff and we continue again.

Eating off the ground. Why? When I give him good home cooked food. He loves these fruits from a particular tree in our morning walks towards the cemetery. Not the freshly fallen ones, but the ones that are flattened and browned probably from passing cars. Also some dried up bits of fallen gelato. Why does he not get sick from that? Must be the famed beneficial bacteria he picked up as a stray.

Oh well… ヽ(´ー`)┌

#sliceoflife #Spillo #wetpuddle #raincoat #cutestoverload #goout #embarrassed #sniffing #humanstandards #fruits #flattened #beneficialbacteria