Happy Friday + Randomness


Happy Friday! Lately, I’ve been spending a few minutes every morning with my watercolors, painting whatever comes to mind. As a way to chronicle my daily paintbrush musings, I’ve been posting them on instagram, and it fills me with tiny bubbles of joy to have this little ritual (don’t roll your eyes!). There’s really no rhyme or reason to what I paint and I don’t know how long I’ll continue this.

As I’m wont to do, I’ve been thinking a lot about this whole “follower” culture that’s the norm these days. On Wednesday, I had to block an IG follower with a provocative profile image of a male appendage front and center, and then realized that a slew of my so-called followers are spammers of similar ilk. It’s sad.

Not because I don’t have as many followers as I’d initially thought — that doesn’t bother me in the least, but because it taints my experience of something I was genuinely enjoying. On Pinterest, I have over 20,000 followers, but I’m sure most of them are in the business involving handcuffs and poles and disco lighting. And then there’s the whole insecurity-inducing aspect of the popularity contest…yet we can’t forget the astronomical benefits of the connectivity and access social media promotes. I wonder what the next phase is? Curiouser and curiouser.

“It takes more courage to be nice and happy,” M told me the other day. Do you think that’s true? Is human nature really prone to baseness and gloom? Perhaps. I recently heard a Buddhist reference, which went something along the lines of how our minds are naturally pure and radiant but are frequently visited by unpleasant and unwanted thoughts and emotions like greed, jealousy, anger, hate…I like to think that we’re all basically good, and I definitely prefer the Buddhist outlook. Then again, in my world, bears ride bikes while sporting grins, so I may not be a trusted source.


I am truly and earnestly burrowing into the final, final phase of book #2, and I want to give it the fullest attention that I can. As such, I’m going to cut myself some slack again and post less frequently here over the next three weeks. Once a week, that’s my aim…Have a wonderful weekend, all!


Good to shake things up
Quality trumps quantity
That’s what I say, yo*

*K likes to make up raps and I’m easily influenced.

22 thoughts on “Happy Friday + Randomness

  1. Oh!!! What is wrong with people when they have to post anonymous images on the internet? LOVE the bear. I would like to use it, but if you don’t want me to, of course I will not. Also, I do not know how to respond to the last furoku! Is there a comment section that I missed? K’s singing is just wonderful. I replayed it several times. That girl is talented. Also the book was thoughtful, but I could not really read it. It kept jumping around with the print getting bigger and then smaller. Style mag does the same thing. I have a Mac, maybe my computer?

    1. Hey Greta, I’ll send you a separate email! So glad you liked the little ditty by K 🙂 And yes, I heard from other people that the mag was doing something odd — I’ve checked in with Help Desk but have yet to figure out how to get it fixed…technology gets me every time!! I won’t let it beat me, though!

  2. 🙂 in my world everyone rides bikes and grins!!
    I’ve enjoyed seeing your IG pictures. I thought todays butterfly was a photo at first. Of course I especially love that pedalling bear!
    I have a double quandary when it comes to social media followers who may not be legitimate (although I’m small fry compared to your numbers) and it’s this: If my online persona is made up, and an alias, then who am I to block someone from following her. I mean that’s like the fairies getting to choose who can believe in them…. I’m sure most people who engage with me on social media have an idea of who I am. If the spammers want to boost their own numbers by following a pseudonym then they can go for it. But I’m not interested in what they’re doing. And that makes me as egotistical as they are 🙂
    Oh what a minefield! 🙂
    Still, it’s a treat to see your pictures or so my alias tells me!

    1. Ha, social media can get dicey and complicated if examined too closely I agree! I don’t really care about the mildly annoying but innocuous spammers all that much, but it’s the x-rated stuff that gets my goat. Maybe I’m too prudish, but it really ruins my day when an unsolicited image of a magnified body part pops up, even as an itty bitty profile photo. And for the record, I don’t ever solicit those types of images :-).

      I figure we’re all egotistical and it’s no use pretending otherwise…but I don’t think there’s any reason to abandon manners and respectfulness in my opinion. Oh well, at least it made for a fun post to write :-).

      Thanks Shelley! By the way, your family of pedaling bears are en route to Australia!

  3. I think you’re both right. I think we start out mostly good, but live in societies that don’t always value that. So it takes courage to go against our culture and be good and happy, but we do it anyways because it’s right. You’re full of deep thought this Friday 🙂

    1. Oh Kathryn, I’m never full of deep thoughts — I just like to spew out whatever is in my brain and hope that it makes some sort of sense. 🙂 I do ponder societal norms and expectations quite a bit, mostly because I can’t wrap my head around them but know that I’m pretty much putty in their hands. Yay for mostly good and trying to be happy or at least useful. At the end of the day, there isn’t much else as far as I’m concerned.

    1. Thanks so much Liza Jane — the bear is definitely one of my faves. It took me a while to get into Instagram, but now I love it! I figured out that I’m most comfortable using it as a mini blog and a way to practice making things rather than trying to get all behind-the-scenes-in-a-glossy-way or “here, let me show you how I live, which is about a million times better than the way you live and requires a team of stylists” or “here, let me show you how I really live and not hold ANYTHING back, wanna see my laundry pile?” which seem to be the three most common approaches. Nothing wrong with those, of course, but I don’t know — wasn’t working for me.

    1. Haha, back when I was still checking who was following me on Pinterest (because it was such a new and foreign concept to me), I started to notice that their boards featured images of well-oiled, scantily clad and boob-enhanced women of a distinctly S&M flavor. The followers themselves probably weren’t exotic dancers, but that seemed to be the general theme.

      So happy you like the blog!! Once the book craziness is over, I’m itching to get back into regular programming :-). Thank you, E!

  4. That’s a staggering amount of followers on Pinterest. You must be doing something right, even if a lot of them are bots and spammers. If I wrote an article and it got 20,000 VIEWS, I’d be happy with that. Let’s say 1,000 of them are legitimate. That’s the circulation of a local paper… still not bad.

    I didn’t think that Pinterest attracted the handcuff and disco lighting crowd. I thought it was an internet equivalent of the ‘Curves’ gym.

    I wish there was a way to crack down on the ‘appendage’ guys. It isn’t much different than exposing yourself on the subway to someone. They’re this generations version of those creepy guys in the 80’s that used to make weird phone calls to random women (there was a name for them and I don’t remember what it was). Anyway, with the advent of caller ID, they vanished. Hopefully by the time K grows up, we’ll be in an online world where people can’t get away with casual flashing to unwilling audiences anymore.

    There’s a big difference between being nice and being happy. I have a lot of social defense mechanisms that probably stop me from being all that ‘nice’ with people I don’t know well. But I’m naturally very happy internally because like you, I’m in my own world a lot of the time and I like it there. The door is always open to my imagination… what’s not to like?

    I’m surprised you’ve managed to stay connected to your dream world while still being able to connect well with people in real life. Usually people have to pick one or the other, because other people have a habit of being careless and treading on dreams.

    Breathers. Was that it? Those weird phone guys?

    Damn, but I ramble on. My comments are like a blog post of their own. Sorry about that. I need to start writing again, so that I stop spraying words like a fire hose whenever I post anything 🙁

    1. Breathers!! I vaguely recall them…I grew up in L.A. where the wacky and disturbing never ceased. I know I’ve mentioned this in a post or comment somewhere before, but when I was brimming with youth (sadly no longer the case), I’ve been approached by sleazy L.A. directors offering me a “choice role” — no doubt involving the removal of clothes in a dirty motel room deep in the Valley. Ew.

      I hope you do start writing again, Paul. You have such an engaging way, and I love your insights and you seem to live in a rich inner world. I’m a big ole dreamer, true, and I’d like to think that I connect well with people in real life, but then again, I have a very small group of close friends and a sweet family so it’s easy to feel connected to them. I’m not so good with the social media or even keeping up with blog comments.

      As for Pinterest — I’m surprised that I don’t have more followers given that I’ve handed over a minimum of a year of my life pinning 24 hours a day like a weary yet determined old lady at the slot machines in Vegas. I was inexplicably focused and tenacious about checking my feed nonstop — I kept oohing and aahing over every inspiring image, and my family was definitely planning a Pintervention. 🙂

      1. I didn’t see that post, but it happens to men, too. I was in LA as well, but also spent time in the Bay Area. The Bay Area being what it is and me being young and fit (in 1994 at least), I got a couple of formal offers to be a ‘kept man’. Though to be fair one of the guys was absolutely loaded and had a huge yacht. If I’d been gay and had a daddy complex I’d have been set. Instead I chose a more heterosexual, yachtless path in life.

        You know, I don’t know how I ended up at your blog. I’m not a sowing enthusiast. But I come back here every few weeks because our lives have so many weird parallels.

        Immigrant family? Family upheaval at around age 7? Check.
        Genius brother? I was that brother, but to date I have never done much with it.
        Wrote as a kid? Started journaling around 20? Check.
        Traumatic career experience that we never entirely came back from (at least if I read you right)? Check.
        One child that we’re caring for, interracial marriage both done later in life? Check.
        Trying to make a ‘thing’ out of our creativity? Check. But you’re doing much better at it than me.

        So I read your creative and life stories… I see we’re similar but that you’re getting off your butt and working harder than me. Also that you’re rolling up your sleeves and doing the icky stuff like networking and selling yourself. That gives me a little push, too.

        You’re making this work with all your insecurities, and it’s a gentle reminder that I should be doing the same. Anyway, I’m hoping you succeed and perhaps I’ll get pulled forward by your significant mental wake.

        1. Paul, I appreciate your words so very much!! I quickly glanced at the comment as my daughter was finishing up her piano lesson, and I knew I had to re-read and absorb it a bit more. How fascinating that we have so many parallels! I actually knew a Paul with your last name (if your email address reflects your real last name) when I was a kid — I think it was middle school in East Los Angeles though my memory’s pretty fuzzy, but I imagine that the likelihood that you’re the same one is one in a million.

          I hope I succeed too! Though according to my husband who laments my income-generating incompetence, he still considers me a big time success, which brings us back to the whole idea of defining ‘success’. Thoughts to chew on.

          At any rate, thank you always for your thoughtful comments!

    1. Thanks, Steph! It’s only in the last couple of weeks that I’ve been getting into Instagram. It’s way less time commitment than blogging, which is nice, though I love the whole blogging process too. 🙂

  5. Love, love that bear! You being a trustworthy source, or not, brought a smile! 🙂

    I echo M’s opinion, although I’m not sure if it takes courage. It certainly takes some effort– it seems easier to be mired in negativity and coast along in self-pity mode. It’s been on my mind a lot too lately..I happened to come across this course (!) on the science of happiness- https://www.edx.org/course/science-happiness-uc-berkeleyx-gg101x-1#!. Question is, does happiness have to, or can it actually be taught?! Curioser indeed!

    1. Oh, I signed up to audit the class, I’m so intrigued! I’ve come to accept that I can’t get enough of human potential/happiness/possibly woo-woo and self-helpy yet totally important stuff, and am diving in (of course, by ‘diving in’, I mean in three weeks when I’ve met all deadlines — hi, editor!!). Good point about effort vs. courage, though in my case, the two are often one and the same. Thank you, Shvetha!

  6. I really enjoy your instagram posts. I only follow a few people, mostly people I know or appreciate their creativity. I sure enjoy going on there once or twice a day to see something beautiful or handmade or friends’ children living life to the fullest. It is an encouraging thing for me, and thankfully I have not encountered too many spammers so far. Thanks for sharing your beauty and creativity!

    1. Thank you so much Beccy! I’m learning that as soon as I make something a forced activity and as soon as I feel like I have to meet certain expectations, I stop enjoying it. So far, the expectation bar is VERY low for Instagram, and I’m having fun! 🙂

  7. I like your bear on a bike so much! Yeah! That is me!

    Good luck with your book finishing. I look forward to seeing you back here. But the book is really important at this stage so take your time.

    I can unfollow you at Instagram, if it makes you feel better… hee hee! No, I am not responsible for the male full frontal, but maybe you need to follow me on Insta so you know for sure.

    Actually, I amgetting to like instagram too. I never did pinterest.

    Well, have a good week and enjoy some more work time while K. is at school! Ahem!

    1. Haha, I’ll definitely follow you, Max! Pinterest can become a major time-suck, so proceed with caution if you ever decide to jump in ;-). I know that with your multiple dissertations, time is extra precious. School FINALLY starts tomorrow. My productivity level has been laughable this past week but starting tomorrow, that’s going to change in a major way!! 🙂

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