Weekly blogging challenge #9: Things I’ve learned about myself this year.

My 31st birthday is this upcoming Monday. This being my final blogging challenge before my birthday, I thought I’d share a few things I learned in my first year of my thirties. It has been a pretty big year in terms of personal growth for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself and who I want to be, as well as some truths about life.

First thing I learned is that if I want something bad enough and work hard to achieve it that I can accomplish almost anything I desire. Finishing my upgrading was a really eye opener for me. When I first considered going back I was filled with doubt about whether I could succeed. Not only did I finish but I passed all my courses with a better than I could have ever expected grade average.

Secondly because of my schooling, I learned that as much as I love to draw, that writing was a natural talent I have and I should be nurturing it. I try to write as often as possible which is why I started my blog. It’s through my blogging that I’ve been able to open a window into myself and start the process of redefining who I wanna be.

With that in mind that brings me to the third thing I learned. Which happens to be probably one of the most important issues of the past year. A few months back I came the the conclusion I was suffering from a crisis of identity and it left me depressed, lost and unsure how to handle going forward. It was through talking with loved ones and by blogging my thoughts out so I can organize and understand them more clearly that I was able to begin my journey of self discovery. I’m still far away from resolving my identity issues, but I’ve taken a few bigs steps forward.

The fourth thing I learned (or I guess I should say relearned) was just how important smiling is in my everyday life. I posted about this a few months ago in the post “The art of smiling”. My efforts to ensure I smile more frequently has been paying off. I’ve learned that it makes it much easier for me to maintain a positive mood throughout my day. As well how just a lil smile and a polite demeanor can drastically alter your everyday interactions with the people around you. It’s quite interesting to watch the ripple effect it has on those you interact with.

Lastly the fifth and final thing I learned was something people had been telling me for years and being young and stupid I didn’t listen. And that is that when you begin your thirties you realize all your actions and decisions begin to catch up to you. From becoming more concerned about your weight/health, and cleaning up the mess you made of your life in your twenties, to simple things like waking up stiff/sore every morning, or finding yourself unable to relate to current fashion trends or music like you used to be able too. (Like WTF is up with the stupid too small, skinny pants on guys and the girls wearing 80’s couch patterns for pants now?). I guess I should have listened to everyone (Sorry Jodi :p).

Anyway it’s been a good year in my life. With another one coming to a close, I look forward to the challenges the next one has to come and hope there’s decades more life for me to experience. I have a big party planned and look forward to celebrating the end of a great year with some good friends and loved ones. I’ll be sure to take lots of pics to share on my next post.

As always thanks for reading folks. Your support over these past few months has been tremendous.

Mike

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Weekly blogging challenge #8: The Bucket List

In my twenties I created a list of accomplishments that I hoped to achieve before my thirties, my bucket list. By the time I hit thirty, I had managed to accomplish the majority of my goals. Below are the goals I’m most proud of completing.

1) Go back to school (Check)

2) Travel somewhere exotic (Check went to Fiji)

3) Repair my smile (Check)

4) See my favorite band 10 times (Check currently awaiting #14)

5) Get my first Tattoo (Check)

As I’m sure you know, I’m pretty damn proud that I accomplished so many items on that list. it proved to me how much I can achieve with enough motivation, hard work and support from the ones closest to me.

Now that I am turning thirty-one in a few weeks, I feel like its time to create a new bucket list for my thirties. I’ve grown so much because of my previous list, I’m hoping to achieve even more with this one. So below are the first ten items on my new bucket list. I chose ten to begin but it’s by no means my max limit.

1) Complete Post Secondary/Earn Degree in Graphic Design.

2) Get my licence and buy my first car.

3) Pay off my debt and build financial stability.

4) Travel, Travel, Travel (Australia, Various places in Europe, Japan, Costa Rica, China).

5) Become successful in a career I love.

6) Buy a home with a yard.

7) Get married somewhere beautiful.

8) Create and design my own website..

9) Become more involved with my family and extended family.

10) Learn to play an instrument (Piano or guitar).

Since completing my last list was so successful, I’m positive I’m up to the challenge of finishing this one. I’m definitely motivated and more confident this time around.

So my fellow bloggers, tell me what you think of my list? Do you have a bucket list of your own, and if so any similar goals? Have you completed anything significant off of it? I’d love to hear about your bucket lst experiences. Feel free comment if you have anything you wish to share.

Weekly Blogging Challenge #7: The art of doodling.

I’ve always had an interest in drawing for as long as I remember. When I think about it I believe it comes from my interest in watching my mother create doodles of flowers. She used to leave them everywhere on everyday items that she doodled on, usually while chatting on the phone. When I was younger I was a lot like her in that regard, only instead of flowers it was always some cartoon character I created. 

My interest in cartooning has grown and developed as I’ve aged. I always loved art class in school. In fact in junior high my art teacher published some of my cartoons in the school year book, and when I look at them now I laugh at how terrible they are. When in my early twenties I drew a comic, along with a friend of mine, about a violent, sarcastic, maniacal robot named Killbot, (I know its not overly original) which I still consider adapting into a web comic.  But eventually over the past few years, I stopped drawing often for various reasons. Mainly because I find myself overly critical of my artwork.

Proud as I am of some of my work, over recent years I’ve struggled to finish most drawings because I can’t seem to stop looking for flaws. Eventually I stopped drawing almost entirely, doodling randomly andrarely finishing a project. I guess I hit a creative block of sorts. Since I went back to school in an effort to get myself into a career in design & illustration, I’ve been trying to draw more often to get over that creative block. Drawing is really the only talent I have had for the majority of my life and to be honest I feel like it’s my key to being successful. 

For today’s post I want to share a drawing I did this week, inspired by a friend who was going through a rough time on her birthday. I started this drawing as a way to cheer her up. I decided to post it because for the first time in a long time I didn’t struggle with finishing it. As much as its not perfect and I can point out a million flaws, I’m proud of how it came out. 

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(Image created by me. Any unauthorized use or reproduction of the above image without my permission is prohibited) 

 

Weekly blogging challenge #5. Mike’s top 5 nerd links.

Today’s blogging challenge was found online @ The house that Lara built.

For today’s post I’ve decided to share my top 5 favorite nerd sites on the Internet. Why??? Because being a nerd is awesome no matter how much the “cool” people say otherwise.

1) NASA
I selected the NASA homepage as the first in this list as what’s more symbolic of what nerds can accomplish then Space exploration. Plus the Hubble space telescope makes for the most epic hi-res wall papers.

2) It’s not news it’s Fark

Drew Curtis and the gang at Fark get my second spot in this list. A news link site that allows users to post links to various news from around the world. From funny and stupid to serious and world events. Fark has been a must read daily for me for the past 10 years.

3) South Park Studio’s

Ok a bit of geek fandom here but Cartman and gang at South Park get spot #3. With free streaming of episodes , games, trivia and a character maker what foul mouthed geek wouldn’t love this site?

4) Least I could do

One of my all time favorite web comic’s Ryan and Lars have given me plenty of laughs and groans with this comic about a charming, sexually charged,
nerdy, ladies man Rayne Summers. His escapades always have me laughing.

5) This is why I’m broke

Any true need has likely seen this site already. Filled with an inventory of items on every nerds wish list, ranging from ridiculous and useless to just plain fucking Awesome. Trust me spend 20 mins searching through its products and tell me there isn’t one thing you just gotta have. Can’t be done. Your bank account will be lighter but your inner nerd will be bursting with excitement.

So hopefully you’ve taken some time to check out the links shared. I’d love to know how you all like them or if you have any other sites you can recommend I check out, so please leave me a comment if you like.

Weekly blogging challenge #4: Write a list post

I attempted to complete this challenge late last night but due to WordPress being stupid it was deleted along with my draft. So I went to bed instead of writing it again.

Today’s post was inspired by 30 days to build a better blog by Darren Rowse as well as from reading other blogs. Lists seem like a common theme.

I’m not normally one to write lists. In fact I tease my list crazy gf often about her penchant for creating uncountable lists about everything. Although as much as I tease her about it, I understand the practicality of using a list, as I see first hand how it makes her organized and efficient in her life.

In creating my post I figured why not share a list of things that have helped shape who I am.

1) Person: George Carlin. My favorite comedian and modern philosopher. His love for language and his unwavering honesty about humanity makes him one of my personal heroes.

2) Video Game: Mass Effect 1,2 & 3. Bioware is based out of my home town and had made another game I enjoyed calle MDK II. My best friend even worked for them on Mass Effect, so my expectations for the game were pretty high. But I never could have expected just how awesome this game series is. Commander Shepard is now my all time favorite Science Fiction hero. Bioware really set the bar high. I was so emotionally invested in the story, the characters and the mission I truly felt I was Shepard. By far one of the greatest games ever made.

3) Book: Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. A gripping tale of a young boy genius, destined to be earths last hope in a war with an Alien threat and his emotional struggle to save earth as well as his humanity in the face of genocide. It’s sister novel Enders Shadow together combine for one of the best science fiction stories I’ve ever read despite the religious undertones. Soon to be released on film this year starting Harrison Ford.

4) Music: Strung Out. Southern California punk rockers have a heavy blend of Punk/Metal. My all time favorite artist. I’ve seen them 13 times, traveled multiple cities to see them, own too many T-shirts/merch to count and sport a tattoo of their logo the Astrolux. Love them. Check out http://www.strungout.com

5) Artist: Vincent van Gough. Creator of The Starry Night. His blending of color and use of dark/light contrast, added with his unique painting style has always left me fascinated with this painting. A crazy yet wonderful painter.

6) Website: Strong Bad and the gang at www.homestarrunner.com.
Created by The Brothers Chap. This flash cartoon was all the rage a few years back. From its wacky characters, interactive website and it’s classic cartoons like Teen Girl Squad. This website is already awesome to begin with. Add in the epically hilarious Sbemails and it’s like 100000 times more awesome. As an aspiring cartoonist I can’t help but be inspired by the world created by those talented brothers.

7) Historical Figure: Carl Sagan.
I know not overly historical as he only passed away in the 90’s. But as I’ve gotten older and learned more about him the more his words, his hope and his never ending quest to understand the universe have inspired me to view the world more openly. He did so much for us in regards to the space program and put forth some of the most historical accomplishments in humanities quest to understand the universe.

8) Place: I’ve mentioned Fiji before (which I love) but the most important place on earth for me is the Rocky Mountains. The raw beauty and sheer magnitude of these natural wonders have played an important part in my life. Some of my most humbling moments have been in the Rockies. I’ve seen them from afar, in the heart of them and from high above and no matter how I see them, I’m reminded just how big our planet is despite how small we are in the universe. Makes me curious about what other wonders are there to see, visit or discover on this planet and beyond.

9) Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A emotional tale of love and memory starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a recently split couple, struggling with the emotional turmoil of losing each other over their failed relationship. I saw this movie as I just ended a long term relationship and never has a film touched so close to home.

10) Food: Fondue, I’m a horribly picky eater. To the point it’s made things quite frustrating for my foodie Gf. But a few years ago we did Fondue for my birthday and had a blast. Cheesy, fried, or chocolate I love it all. I put this in the list because of how much my willingness to try new foods has changed. I’m still picky but I’ve eaten some pretty crazy stuff I never would have before if it hasn’t been for Fondue.

Thanks for reading today’s post and I apologize for the sporadic posting recently. Things will become more normal next week.

Mike

Weekly blogging challenge # 2 – Electric Boogaloo.

It’s Wednesday so that means its time for my next blogging challenge. I missed my usual Monday post this week because I was cramming for an exam (I kicked ass Wooo).

This weeks post is inspired by the “Picture Me 8 day challenge” I found on tumblr (link included below). Now with my photo challenge I’m going to spread it apart over a few weeks as I want to include various different writing/photo challenges every Wednesday. In today’s post I’m doing a twist on challenge #1. Instead of 1 pic and 5 facts about myself. I’m going to share 5 photos of myself over the years and a brief explanation of the photo and why I picked it.

Photo#1: I most definitely was a kid of the 80’s

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This photo was taken when I was around 20-21 years of age in my first apartment. I don’t recall where I got the wig or why but being a the huge dork I often would bust it out with friends while headbanging to heavy music. I picked this photo because it truly shows just how ridiculous I can get. *(Note the obligatory half naked girly poster every guys first apartment has to have)*

Photo#2: Call me Rubber Face.

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Haha this photo was taken a few years ago. I think 2010. But it just goes show my penchant of being a huge dork. Most people who know me notice I like to make a ridiculous face. My facebook photos are mainly funny faces. I picked this photo because every time I see it I laugh my ass off. It’s just plain silly.

Photo #3: The epicness that is Grizzly.

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In this photo, you’ll barely see me as my awesomely giant cat Grizzly takes up the majority of the shot. This was taken by my sister in 2007 I believe. I was staying with her after leaving a horrible relationship. At the time my cat Grizzly was quite unhappy due to the move and everything else going on so I picked him up and he crawled onto my shoulders. I picked this photo because it reminds me of how important I am to him. Grizzly has never been very friendly with people and has only recently started truly accepting the girlfriend. But since the beginning we have always been super close. My bond with him is one of the most important relationships I’ve ever had. *(Note Grizzly is 19lbs of fur and muscle and despite the temperament is a very loving pet)

Photo #4: Fiji 2009 Image

This photo was taken in 2009 by my best friend on our trip to Nanuya Island Resort (see link below) in Fiji. . This photo is significant to me because when planning my trip there I came across a photo of this exact tree and made it my wallpaper for all my devices. Mainly because it’s a beautiful shot but also as a way to inspire and encourage me to save up enough money to fulfill my desire to go to Fiji, which I did for my 27th birthday. I marked the accomplishment by getting a photo of myself sitting in that same tree as a reminder that I can accomplish any goal I make for myself.

Photo#5: Take care of your smile.

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This last photo is who I am today. It was taken last year shortly after I went through the first of many dental procedures to repair my smile. Part of the reason why most of the photos I have of myself are me being silly, is because in general I hated to smile for photos. For years I was overly self conscious of my smile due to having bad teeth. I also had a pretty big phobia with the dentist and spent a good chunk of my twenties in severe pain. *(Note No fooling kids, the pain I felt was insanely bad. At times like I was shot in the face. Visit your dentist regularly. Holy Hell). This photo is the first one taken in over a decade where I didn’t hate my smile. Its also a bit ridiculous without having to make a silly face. 😀

So I hope today’s post gives you readers a better insight into the man behind the words. I apologize for missing Monday’s post and won’t miss Fridays. Thanks again for reading folks.

Links:

http://www.nanuyafiji.com/

http://heckyeahtumblrchallenges.tumblr.com/

*(Update this post has been renamed Weekly blogging challenge 08/02/13.)

Weekly blogging challenge #1.

We’ll its Wednesday, which means today’s post is the first one in my weekly blogging challenge. For today’s post I wanted to share a piece of writing I completed for a class project. I know it’s a bit of a cheat using something I wrote already, but I wanted to share it because it’s one of the first pieces I’ve done where I felt like I wrote something worth merit.

The image below is the inspiration for this piece of writing. I’m not sure who the artist is but its one of my favorite pieces of digital art.

Before I share today’s post, I wanted to caption it with a quote that fits the spirit of the essay

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we would go nowhere ~ Carl Sagan

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Curiosity and the power of imagination

In this image the artist is showing that curiosity and imagination are what provides us with the ability to understand the world that we live in. Our curiosity is what leads us to discovery, but its our imaginations that allow us to put meaning to experience and understanding to knowledge.

The are two feature characters in this image, a young boy and a cat, both of which are known symbols of curiosity, either through youth or through instinct. The bright and colorful glow of the painting, which is the focus of the boys attention, is representative of how curiosity draws us in. The boy being in the attic, a part of the house that is rarely visited, reinforces his childlike curiosity.

Each of the items the boy is carrying are examples of his imagination at work. A cardboard sword turns into a powerful weapon, a ball of yarn becomes a lifeline back to home and his teddy bear becomes a trusty friend. Though each item alone is powerless, their strength comes from the boys imagination.

The artist has filled the picture with a rich collection of objects that show what curiosity and imagination can bring. These relics symbolize knowledge that has been gained. For example we can see a bust of Homer (Omero) representing philosophy, a globe representing our understanding of the world we live in, and a telescope representing our understanding of the universe beyond. The variety of objects suggests that the rewards of curiosity and imagination are universal to all types of knowledge. In addition, by being in the attic, the artist hints that these objects are rewards gained from previous adventures.

Overall this picture represents life’s great adventure. If you embrace your imagination, and face life with a creative and open mind, the treasures gained through life’s experiences will be rewarding

Thank you for reading today’s post. Always welcome comments, opinions or questions. Next weekly challenge I’m planning to post some new ideas.

Mike