Urban Jungle

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Grid.”

We often superimpose a mental grid over things we photograph to help with composition. This week, let’s go literal.

NYC Building Exterior
NYC Building Exterior

This “grid” texture was the exterior facade from a New York City parking garage.  It looked repressed, monochromatic and mostly, sullen in the midst of busy car traffics and noisy tourists.

Not everything is elegant, pristine and pretty in this urban jungle.

Rebel Heart

Madonna's Rebel Heart World Tour
Madonna’s Rebel Heart World Tour

Madonna recently launched her world tour, “Rebel Heart“, and stopped by Madison Square Garden this week for three sold out shows featured songs from her latest album.  Besides performing several new tracks from her album, Madonna did many “oldies’ from the 80s and 90s for her die hard fans this time around.

I have gone to five of her last seven shows and enjoyed every single moment of her highly energetic shows, elaborate showmanship, and her massive archive of popular hits.

I was sad that I didn’t get the opportunity to check out her concert this year, after realized that her set list consisted mostly songs from her early stage of career ranged from Burning Up, Dress You Up, Who’s That Girl to Deeper and Deeper.

To celebrate this occasion, here is a list of songs from my previous blog post, Strike a Pose, Vogue, Vogue, depicting my personal favorites (and Modonna’s most under-rated songs from the past).  So let’s strike a pose and vogue!

Foodie Friday | Japan

I love Maggie’s aka travelmagnolia’s traveling blog. For this Foodie Friday post, Maggie shared her wonderful journey to Tokyo and yummy food pictures with us. I am a huge sushi lover and drooled over the images from this post. Thank you @travelmagnolia for this wonderful treat!

travel magnolia

Wading through two weeks’ worth of mouthwatering images from sublime meals in Japan, I decided to let the pictures do the talking for this post! More to come next week, with a feature on Naoshima. In the meantime, I may rent Jiro Dreams of Sushi and order takeout from my local Japanese restaurant to sate the cravings this post created.
untitled-7untitleduntitled-3untitled-2untitled-4Sake, Kazaridaru, Japan

For more on Japan, see Tokyo Intro and Catch It While You Can – Tsukiji Market

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Learning Is Sexy: Blogging 201

I had a blast learning from the Blogging 101 community.  From this experience, I had the opportunity of meeting many talented and diverse group of bloggers, learned best practices and applied useful ideas on how to improve my blog content.  So when Blogging 201 started this week, I am excited about meeting new bloggers, learning additional information from each other and Blogging University as ways to elevate my blogging skills, and hopefully be inspired through out this process to create better posts.

Sky View From NYC
Sky View From NYC

Through words, images, music and random shenanigans, I blog to express my ideas, thoughts, and point of views about fashion, food/drinks, travel to pop culture from a forty something’s perspective.  I hope with this new Blogging 201 experience, I want to further polish my content materials, be concise with my ideas and create fun posts.  Here are my goals:

  • Gain 30% more followers by October 31st.
  • Publish a minimum of twice each week during September and October.
  • Spend one hour each week visiting my followers’ blogs, reading, and commenting from now until November 1st.

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I look forward to our upcoming assignments, and most importantly, acquiring new information from this experience.  As I have mentioned in my title, learning is SEXY!

Stomp writer’s block. Let loose!

Great advice from Robyn.

I have been hitting the wall lately myself and can’t even create anything interesting or informative to express my point of view. I may try this method and lose myself in music for the next few days to rejuvenate my creativity again!

Thank you Robyn for this advice!

The Daily Post

I’m working on a novel. I’d always romanticized this type of writing. I imagined that words would flow from my head onto the page with the greatest of ease. Hey, I create other types of work every day. I have a solid, diligent writing practice. So, how hard could writing 80,000 to 110,000 words be? It turns out that, like running a marathon, writing a novel can be exhausting, and worse: I can hit the wall. I can run out of ideas and inspiration, and sometimes get sick of the sound of my own inner voice. I have a deadline to hit with this book, which only makes the stress worse, and mires me even further.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. And thus, my technique to shake off my writer’s block was born.

It may sound goofy, but it’s working like a charm!

Where words fail, music speaks.
–Hans Christian Andersen

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Pitch Black …

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Monochromatic.”

This week, share with us your monochromatic images. Be calculating and creative in choosing your subject and focal point; resist the urge to simply take a photo of something with a single color range.

Empire State Building
Empire State Building

Weather this year in New York City was miserable. We had back to back heat waves from August to September, and barely had any breaks or relief in between.

This image was taken at a rooftop restaurant with friends during one of our humid summer nights.  The sky was dark with clouds and the air felt dead.  However, the iconic Empire State Building was lit with white bright lights and exuded brightness against this monochromatic background.

Image like this one makes hot summer nights more bearable from time to time.

Raindrops Keep On Falling On My Head

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Your Number One.”

What was the #1 song when you were born? (not sure? you can find out here.) Write about how the song relates (or not!) to your personality.

I had no idea that this song, Raindrops Keep On Falling On My Head by B.J. Thomas, was the number one song when I was born.

I can somehow relate to this song and its message.  To me, it is about having the right attitude and trying to see negative things in a positive way.  So here’s the video and lyrics to the song.  Enjoy!

PS:  I am 45 years old just in case you are trying to figure out my age.  Ha!

Here’s the lyrics to the song:

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
Just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothing seems to fit
Oh, raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
Keep a-fallin’

Cause I just done me some talking to the sun
And I said I didn’t like the way he got things done
Sleeping on the job
Oh, raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
Keep a-fallin’

But there’s one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won’t defeat me
It won’t be long till happiness
Comes up to greet me
To greet greet greet greet me

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red
Crying’s not for me
Cause I ain’t gonna stop the rain by complaining

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red
Crying’s not for me
Cause I ain’t gonna stop the rain by complaining

Because I’m free
Nothing’s bothering me
Because I’m free
Nothing’s bothering me
Because I’m free
Nothing’s bothering me
Because I’m free
Nothing’s bothering me

Ulay, Oh …

This beautifully written song, “Ulay, Oh,” by How I Became the Bomb, is based on the true story between visual performance artist Marina Abramovic, and her long-lost love, fellow performance artist Uwe Laysiepen (stage name Ulay, hence the song’s title).  During her visual art performance at MoMa in 2010, Ulay stopped by and surprised Marina with this unexpected visit, after haven’t seeing each other in many years.

When I first saw this video clip, I could actually feel the raw emotion between Marina and Ulay. Their emotions were so powerful, I did feel the aching, sadness, and most importantly, love between them.

Then there’s the music playing against the background. The lyrics told a bitter sweet story between two lovers and the melody further evoked the unspoken feeling between them.  I was touched the honesty of their emotions during this meeting and cried like a baby after watching this clip, again and again.

So please enjoy this video, and I truly also hope you can feel the “love” between them after all these years through this visual and sound experience.

Lyrics to “Ulay, Oh”.

There she was like a picture.
There she was, she was just the same.
There she was; he just had to know that she had forgot his name.
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.

Thinking back to the last time.
On the wall as they turned away.
Walking back; was it just a dream or did he hear her say?
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.

Trying his best to forget her.
Trying his best to just keep his stride.
Kept his word, but he knows he heard
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.

There she was like a picture.
There she was, she was just the same.
There she was; he just had to know she had not forgot his name.
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.

There he was like his picture.
There he was; he was just the same.
There he was. He could never know she could never give his name.
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.

Thinking back to the last time.
On the wall as he turned away.
Turning back, did he even know?
Did he ever hear her say
Ulay, Ulay, Oh?

Trying her best to forget him.
Trying her best just to keep her stride.
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.

There they were like the picture.
There they were, they were just the same.
There they were, but he walked away and her eyes could only say
Ulay, Ulay, Oh.

Rising For A Cause

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Connected.”

This week, show us how two (or more) things — people, objects, places — come together.

Yogathon 2015, Calgary, Canada
Yogathon 2015, Calgary, Canada

I volunteer for this wonderful organization, Art of Living, and manage its social media campaign this year for our annual fund raising event, Yogathon.

This event happened late August and 46 cities around the world from Sydney, Oslo, Toronto, Washington DC, to Vancouver  participated simultaneously for a great cause.  Our mission is to raise funds and awareness for this origination, Care for Children, and helps it developing school system in India and other under developed countries.

This powerful image was taken from downtown Calgary by a volunteer.  This beautiful imaged conveyed the message about “rising for a cause” and “connected” people all over the world to achieve a common goal together.  I had to share this message on social media to show how these tireless participants were united together for a cause.

If you are interested to know about this event, please check out Yogathon for more details.

Writing Advice from Jerry Seinfeld: “Don’t break the chain.”

Yes, a great motivation to be creative, inspired and productive!

It is also about being disciplined and able to be consistent with fun, inspiring, useful contents!

The Daily Post

Looking for writing inspiration? Check out our free ebook, 365 Writing Prompts which offers a new writing prompt for every day of the year.

Thinking about starting or resuming a writing practice with the kids ensconced in school but having doubts about your ability to stick with it? Stand-up comic Jerry Seinfeld offers a simple productivity tip that might be just the thing to keep you coming back to your notebook or keyboard consistently.

You may also be interested in “Getting Started with a Prompt Box,” in which Andrea Badgley shares a little bit about where she gets inspiration for her writing practice.

He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself…

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