Blogging: what I do when I’ve blocked my usual social media outlets

It seems that it takes extreme measures for me to post anything in here anymore. I had a busy week of work and freelance projects, so I installed LeechBlock on Firefox to keep myself from opening Facebook and Twitter repeatedly/compulsively…and man, what a difference it made. (I’m a little embarrassed to admit it.) However, the one downside is that I haven’t been able to share all the cool stuff that’s come across my radar by other means this week…which is why I’m back here again.

Life’s been good in general. I’ve been keeping busy with work and Meetup events and whatnot, meeting people around town, and generally maintaining a good work-life balance. I’ve gotten involved with the pit orchestra of a local community/student opera group, who’s putting on an obscure Rimsky-Korsakov opera at the end of the month; rehearsals kick off this weekend. And I just started weekly Japanese classes with a handful of JET alumni–the first one this past weekend was already so refreshing after several years without dedicated study time. It’s good to know I can still string sentences together with reasonably accurate vocab and intonation, at least.

Also, I miss writing. Hopefully I can do a little more of that here in the weeks (or months…) to come.

Anyway, fun and neat things to share:

“Give it five minutes” – words imparted from Richard Saul Wurman (one of the early pioneers of information design and information architecture, and the founder of the TED conferences) to Jason Fried of 37signals, about giving yourself time to process and “perspectivize” something before reacting instinctively to it. (Semi-tongue-in-cheek, but this is why I really feel that sites like Facebook and Twitter need an “are you sure you want to post this?” option that gives you 10-15 seconds to recall something you just posted in haste that you would probably come to regret later.)

Yusuke Murata's paper-perspective comics

Manga artist Yusuke Murata, known for Eyeshield 21 (a manga about American football playing students in Japan–the anime version of it was on TV when I lived there), crafted a really creative and delightful set of comics that use folds and shadows in paper to provide dimensions. He did this in part to demonstrate that while there are things that can be done digitally in sequential art that aren’t possible with printed matter, the reverse is also very true. I freaking love this.

WhiteLines Wire Slim Squared notebook

I was wandering through Porter Square Books one afternoon and happened across these Whitelines notebooks–interesting shapes, clean and nice cover designs, and–most importantly–fantastic paper design. The light grey background with white lines is nondisruptive, subtle, and incredibly useful and versatile. This slim one was marked down to under $5; since I was looking for a proper sketchbook for work, I gave it a whirl and bought it, and it’s become invaluable to my work practice since. (My coworkers are also intrigued by it.) They’re available in a variety of styles: wire, hard wire, perfect-bound, top- versus side-flipping, black cover, white cover, hardcover, lined, squared, perspective lines…fantastic. And the paper is produced using carbon-neutral practices! You can find them in an art store near you (in North America) or from Amazon.

James Hance - 'Someone Who Loves You'

And last but not least, this image by illustrator James Hance has been making the rounds. Such a sweet crossover…I can’t look at this and not smile. He’s got a lot of great work throughout his site that will definitely make you smile (and some of that work is on t-shirts! Which I would gladly buy, if not for them being printed on shirts by American Apparel, which I will never again support for their horribly sexist advertising).

Wait, that was supposed to be the last thing but that’s not a happy ending. So…here! Baby sloths in onesies!

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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