STUDIO KMO

Etsy
Steady and methodical. That’s what these maps make me think of. Sometimes, when you look at a piece of art, you can see the process laid out for you. What I see is a steady series of very precise movements. The effect is strangely calming. For me, at least. 
Karen O’Leary cuts each map by hand, and sells them on Etsy. They’re beautifully done. Precise. Geometric wonders. 

Untitled

IS BLOGGING NARCISSISTIC?

Via
You write about your life. Your daily adventures. What you eat. What you wear. Where you go. You document your thoughts and opinions. You take pictures – possibly of yourself – and you share. This assumes, of course, that whatever you’re writing about is interesting and beneficial. It’s also a practice known as blogging. 
So…is this narcissistic? Or is it just sharing?
I couldn’t tell you. To be honest, I just like putting myself on a writing schedule, which to a certain extent keeps me on a creative schedule. I also keep track of how many times I use the word “I” in a post – only I’m not sure if that really solves the problem. I guess it’s just something to have in mind, a pair of mental handcuffs, so that one day you don’t up and think everything you say is golden. I think it’s good to take stock every once in awhile, and see where things lie. 
Thoughts?
  

OUT AND ABOUT: PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT

Mountainside gradation

Sometimes, when you’re out and about, up and down, does it ever just occur to you that – hey, this life – it’s not too shabby. This sometimes occurs to me mid-sweat, when I’ve just plowed up some horrifically steep path, thighs burning, mouth filled with ashes, and then turned to take a look at the view. 
These pictures are from Pinnacles National Monument park. It has a nice retinue of anti-sloth activities: some nice views, clever scenery, a lake, some caves. Then you can go home and mentally congratulate yourself on a job well done.

mountainsidePinnacle National Monument lakePinnacles National Monument

FUN LINKS

Short Road

Inspiration

It’s a fairly common excuse to say that you’re too old to try something, to bring up that line about old dogs and new tricks. Well, think again!
Instagram
If you’re on instagram and looking for daily bits of inspiration to follow instead of just fashion and food, here’s a good one. She puts up a some interesting quotes that help kick the mind into gear. There are good quotes, and there are some really generic ones out there. She provides the first kind.
Mind
An interesting read about how to keep your mind in top shape. 
Apps
Let’s say you didn’t read the previous link – the one about mental work outs? Well, here’s the app he mentioned – it’s basically virtual flashcards you can use on your phone. The more you use the flashcards, the more you remember. Let me know if this works. Seriously.  
Awareness
Right now, every website is treated the same by every internet provider (think Verizon), so each website should load up and open at the same rate no matter how popular the site (this blog or Hulu should run at the same rate). But this may not always be true. Soon, larger websites who can pay for the privilege may get priority over smaller sites, and someone else may decide whether or not websites you go to will load properly or be accessible. The FCC recently lost their case against broadband providers to enforce net neutrality principles against them, so there may be some rough going ahead. I’m just spreading the word.  
Perspectives
The Man Repeller is one of the most successful fashion blogs in existence…but she doesn’t wear makeup. It’s intriguing to a certain degree. What’s more intriguing is her response when someone calls her “ugly as fuck.”
Food
Just found out about this site. This blogger found a way to heal her Postural Tachycardia Syndrome through eating a healthy plant-based diet, and now shares recipes. Speaking of making lemonade out of Tachycardia…there’s also an app.

Culture
Anton Chekov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People
Beautifully said.

AGING LIKE JAMES SPADER

Sources: Left Top, Left Bottom, Center, Right Top, Right Bottom
James Spader and I are not friends.
It’s a shame, really, because I always have that thought in the back of my mind – when I happen to see him – that he’s an interesting person. He seems to get put into roles where he plays the person people want him to be. If I had to put labels on it, I’d call it the emotionally-jaded drifter type. Or spoiled, emotionally shallow business-superior. Or even that slightly naive clean-cut upper-crust corporate exec type person.
There seemed to be no way around it – he just looks like that guy. Which doesn’t mean that he isn’t, but it’s no fun being pinned to a type. If I were an actor, I’d like to pretend to be someone that was far away from what I saw in the mirror, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. So you hang around, and you wait.
Recently, there seems to have been a shift. I saw an ad for the show The Blacklist, and my eyes almost shot out of my head. The prettiness is gone. The hair is gone. Everything that made him the James Spader of old is…gone. By the way, I don’t watch the show. I’ve seen one episode, and it wasn’t my cup of tea. I just wanted to see the new Spader in action, and he is magnificent. Not the way a lion is magnificent, but he gets to use a whole new set of acting muscles that I had assumed had eroded and died from lack of use. He finally gets to play a mysteriously complex criminal mastermind. The kind that authorities would never be able to catch…until he wants to be caught. It’s the acting equivalent to watching a lion run free in the wild. I always suspected that he could do a lot more, and this confirms my suspicions.
This brings me to my next point: aging. I’ve always seen aging as a process of refinement. You cut away the external layers, until you find out who you really are, at your core. I’ve never thought of Spader as a shallow pretty person. I’ve always suspected that there was something underneath that bit. It’s part of what made him interesting, because at some point, he would reemerge. Except he would have shed that old self, and what would appear next was unknown.
Now here he is again, and he can’t be typecast as easily. He no longer looks like Spader, and all that that entailed. You can pretty much put him anywhere. I can’t say for certain, since we are clearly not friends, but it looks now like he’s having a very good time. He has this knowing quality now that wasn’t there before – I’m not sure if anyone else notices this – but just behind his eyes, he seems endlessly amused.
Isn’t that the ideal? To just let the pressures fall away and enjoy yourself. Once you have found your core (this may take awhile) – and I think this new Spader is the core that was there all along – you can finally relax and let it flow.