Zumba for the soul, week 7

Oh, dammit!  I am totally getting on this!  I will be getting up to speed with it very shortly indeed, scout’s honour!

Ehhhh.  Anyhow!  Zumba for week 7 (and we’re only on, *gulp* week 20?  eeeeeeek)…

i) ‘2 hrs in a hammock doing nothing’.

Does the sofa in front of Netflix count?  I think it counts!

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ii) ‘Record yrself acting out a scene from A Wonderful Life.’

Hey, I could do Clarence the angel!  Yeah!  I identify with Clarence…  I don’t know why…  Maybe it’s just that humans are so exasperating…  Or maybe it’s the nœud papillon.

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iii) ‘Find the best vantage point possible and watch the sunset.’

I can watch the sunset from my living-room window…  Sorted!

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image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/slgc/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

image – Laura Cook on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/63036883@N07/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

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What I’ve been reading – Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

#GIRLBOSS#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great fun read, and Amoruso seems like she would be the funnest person to hang out with. Her sheer drive and wit and energy are inspiring – it’s just a shame that Nastygal itself seems to have crashed and burned, judging by the news stories. Still, I’m sure that Amoruso will rise from the ashes. (I just hope she’s managed to hang on to some of the money, after all her hard work.)

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Me and Pam, Week 5

Fifth chapter of ‘Art and Soul, Reloaded’, and my efforts at the tasks set by Ms Grout.  Wow.  Seems like this is really a thing, at this point.

This week’s chapter is called – oh, fortuitously – Dare To Be Mediocre.  And the essay part, the bit of inspiration from Ms Grout before the actual tasks, is about how if you let go of an anxious worry about producing perfect results, then you’re free to fly, to take action.

Oh, my.  Has she seen my wolfy drawings?  It’s like this chapter was written just for me!

Moving on – right along!  The main task for this week’s chapter is, I quote, ‘Come up with the title (just the title) of your forthcoming memoir’.

Ehhh.  I do love a memoir.  By almost anyone.  Don’t matter if you’re a filing clerk with a couple of pugs and your most exciting hobby is joining the local Gilbert & Sullivan society.  Still love ’em.

Ehhh, so, – ‘Under The Bus’, I think.  Yeah.  Yeah.  We’ll go with that.

I guess now is the time for that promised simply appalling wolf drawin’, right?  Seein’ as how it fits with this week’s subject, and all.  Boy, it’s difficult to pick the least worst, though.  They’re all pretty bad.

wolf 3 - Copy

Hey!  As a thumbprint it doesn’t look too bad!  I’ll have you know.

Zumba for the Soul, week 4

Week Four!  We’re back again!

Task One:

Eh.  Three instructions for this week, and the first is to catch fireflies or make snow angels.  Uhhhh…  I don’t know where I could catch fireflies.  I’m not sure it’s even the time of year for fireflies.  And no snow here, bud.35082682316_f7f9615c71_k

image – Bernd Thaller https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernd_thaller/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I think this one’s a bust.

Task Two: wear all one colour, yellow or purple or blue.

Well, my sis gives me so many cloes that I could probs do this one.  Will go and poke about in my wardrobe and chest of drawers.

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image Vladimer Shioshvilir  https://www.flickr.com/photos/vshioshvili/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Task Three: remember as many Christmas carols as possible.

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image – Nick Amoscato https://www.flickr.com/photos/namoscato/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

…timing much?  Ooookay.  Just remember ’em, though, right?  I don’t have to actually sing?  Because that would be cruel and unusual.  (For everyone around me.)

What I’ve been reading – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read it a long time ago, and to the best of my memory I just didn’t agree with at least half of King’s assertions. But you can’t argue with his sales, and The Dead Zone is one of my favourite books ever. He’s got to know what he’s doing!

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Me and Pam, week 4

It’s week 4 of my ‘Art & Soul, Reloaded‘ project!  Well, week 4 and a bit, actually.  But I’m getting back on track, right on there, just a little behind schedule.  This week’s project is a little origami.  Or at least, producing a 3D object out of paper.

Heck.  I have always been just terrible at origami.  But here we go, scrabbling through the craft box, looking for pretty colours and sugar-paper.

Pam also demands, in this chapter, an excuse for creative procrastination, if you’re engaging in it.  Damn.

“Netflix.  Ask Netflix.  It’s ALL THEIR FAULT, see?  And Ted Danson is fucking ripper in ‘The Good Place’.  It’s the role of his life, and I can’t possibly miss an ep.  Go ask him.”

There, you got my excuse.  What you got?

Oh, origami.  yeah.

 

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origami I will never be able to emulate in a million years!

 

NO, that’s not mine.  As IF The pic’s from Alberto, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ambs/, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

But I am prodding and poking around in my old craft box, sorting through glue and glitter and sparkly paper, and ehh, feeling sad.  It’s been a long time since I’ve tinkered with any of it, and that’s a shame.  I used to love it.

Pam is generally right, about most things.

What I’ve been reading – ‘Art & Soul, Reloaded’ by Pam Grout

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image – Matt https://www.flickr.com/photos/berger787/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ no changes

Yes, yes, I’ve only just begun working through the projects – but I actually finished reading the book itself a little while ago.  And I think it says something, that I had such a good time with it that I decided to actually put it to work and do the weekly projects.  Right?  How often does a book actually inspire you to action, including ones that are designed specifically for that purpose?

I have a print copy of the book (and it’s a lovely object, well-designed.)  It’s structured on a weekly basis for a full  year.  Each chapter has an essay linked to the main project assigned for the week.  Then there’s the ‘Zumba for the Soul’ section per week, three more random activities/tasks/suggestions.  And an inspirational quote/biographical tidbit to sign off.

I think – and Ms. Grout herself notes – that it would be easy to read the book purely as inspiration, to feel good and get lit up with enthusiasm and then…  move on and forget about it.  That would be a shame, though.  I forget who I’m quoting when I invoke the law of precession – Buckminster Fuller?  Things happen, when you take action.  Things you couldn’t have predicted.  Many more than you would have expected, all flowing from your original act like a fountainhead.

But it was pretty probably Goethe who said something about action having ‘genius, power and magic in it’, and how therefore actually getting off your arse and doin’ it – whatever magic act of creativity you  have in mind – was probably the best thing.

The results you get in life – good, bad, indifferent, astounding – depend on how much you engage.  Engage 10%, get 10% results – i.e. results that you’ve actually brought into being as a result of your interaction.  Engage 90%, get 90% results.  If you don’t engage – get out there, interact, create, ask, try – then you’re not getting results at all.  You’re just a null object, having no effect on reality whatsoever.  You’re a bit of flotsam, along for the ride.  You might as well not exist.

Lemme quote Taylor Parkes: ‘Activity is king’.

What would happen if you engaged 100%?  I’d like to find out, personally.

This book is terrific. But the results if you follow its prescription, if you treat it less like a pretty recipe book, and more like the actual contents of your food cupboards that you’re gonna cook and eat – could be truly astonishing.

Zumba For The Soul: Week 3

Wow, here we are in week three of this adventure I’m sharing with you, courtesy of Ms. Grout!  And the random, mercurial, downright mystifying tasks for this week are:-

i) Invent a new drink.  A boozy one.  Not just a beverage.  Hey, this is my kind of challenge!  Ooh, lemme see…  I know.  Lager and peppermint cordial.  As boozing goes, that’s the kind of disgusting that tests your resolve and your dedication to the bottle.  How much do you really want to get hammered?  That much?  Wow.

ii) for this, you gotta paint some old trainers, sneakers, somesuch.  I don’t know if I’ve got any.  Old ones tend to go in the bin!  But if I can find any, I’ve got some silver spray paint…

iii) ‘Eat breakfast somewhere you’ve never eaten before.’  What, like a sandwich out at the local pond with all the froggies in spring?  I could do that.

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image – Benny Mazur https://www.flickr.com/photos/benimoto/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Pammie, you’re making my brain hurt with some of these.

What I’ve been reading – David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling GiantsDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked the biblical stuff about David and Goliath – the interpretation that David’s victory was about the tactics and ruthlessness of the underdog, rather than a heavenly blessing, was very interesting. The chapter about the Northern Ireland troubles was very depressing though. I loved the bit about the Resistance in WWII France – the community that basically said, ‘We’ve got our Jews, you come get ’em if you want ’em, see what you get!’ was – well, almost funny, although you feel bad laughing at something so serious.

I often finish a Gladwell book feeling as if I’ve been entertained, but not sure what I’m supposed to have really learned. This is one of those.

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