And so… I was and I am… a Geek (with nerdy tendencies)

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Two days ago, in a local bookstore, I found these two books: “Modernet de Merda” (“Hipster” in “negative slang”) and “Yo fui a EGB” (“I went to the old schooling system”). So, why did I buy these books? I bought the one of EGB (Educación General Básica, or Basic General Education; which was the old schooling system in the 80s) just because of nostalgia. And the Hipster one I bought it out of lame curiosity, to know what a local hipster does… (Later on I kind of regretted the decision… local hipsters are… too weird for my standards!)

Yo fui a EGB is like a small dictionary of objects and things people who studied under that system used to have. It also displays a way of doing things that has long been forgotten by so many. Thanks to this book, many memories came back (including ice creams, manga, films, TV series, computers…) But I found out that there were things that were missing in the equation. The book did not include all the artifacts I used to surround myself with. (And here came the shiver throughout my spine!) This book is cool, but it does not really include all the geekery I had (or still have stored in my old room). It is a good example for exercising your memory, remembering the bullies at school, but it lacks all the geekery I was used to. I must say that thanks to it, already forgotten stuff from my childhood came as a flash into my mind: OMG! I was such a geek! (+ with nerdy tendencies)

Modernet de Merda is like a guidebook to become a local hipster. The problem I have with the book is the clearly derogatory title it has: “modernet” could be translated as “fashionista,” but it literally refers to “a little modern guy”. “De Merda” means “shit”. And it is clearly derogatory. Even if local hipsters assure you that the wording is “cool,” I find it misleading. So, we could translate the wording in English, trying to be literal, as “Shit fashionista”. But in fact, this wording refers to hipsters! (Thus my astonishment!) It seems that they refer to themselves using this negative wording, but they take it “cool” (while those who are not hipsters are taking it, obviously, as very negative). I must admit that, years outside my own country make some stuff difficult to swallow. And this type of wording is one of them. Who on Earth would like to be called like that? Why not just using the word “hipster”?? Wouldn’t it be easier?? (Who knows… but there is an English-word-phobia that makes folks use weird combinations instead of using easy words like “hipster”, and this just makes things more difficult.) This guidebook explains all the ins and outs of local hipsters in Barcelona, and it also includes a test to know if you are one. (The test is quite stupid, btw.)

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Work Overload!

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Writing a book, reviewing a book and a deck, creating art, designing an app (creating the design, not coding it), ending a magazine, discovering new stuff and having not enough hours in the day to end up all the projects in my mammoth list! This is my reality right now: a real, mammoth-size, inspirational and yet exhausting work overload. If you add to this your family duties, and daily earthly tasks, you become a walking zombie.

When you are in your limits, when you’ve consumed more coffee gallons than water during the day, when you resemble more a coffee-runned Fry, you are approaching, dangerously, the level of 過労死 “karoshi”. Karoshi is a state of extreme fatigue just previous to visit Heaven. In other words, karoshi is a cause of sudden death by working too much. Despite you feeling like a zombie, you keep on working (which is not a good idea at all). When you stress your body to extremes it will, eventually, tell you, somehow, to stop. If you miss the message, you might end up purple and quite rigid. Cause: overworking!

Well, this is it! Too many projects, too many things I like to do, and not enough hours in the day to accomplish all my missions! Because I am human I have to choose. So, that is precisely what I did: choosing!

So I chose: writing. I will keep on creating my beloved mixed media art, but not at the rates I’ve been doing lately. Writing gets priority (along with other projects, which can be made while writing). Designing decks is also taking a second place, mainly because I am not all almighty, and I need to rest, *sigh*.

Will reviews appear in this blog?

Yes. They will. But expect more diversity.

Will you keep on drawing?

Yes, but more peacefully. I will share my art, for sure, and I’ll keep on sharing the process, but not once a week.

Will you share some of your writings with us?

Yes! For sure!

Will you keep on with the Whimsies?

Oh! Yeah!!

Vulcan emotions vs Human emotions

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(click on the image to enlarge)

Humans have “super powers”. Believe it or not, we have “super powers”. Some of these “super powers” are to understand other people’s faces, and being empathic. But what happens if you are living with your personal kryptonite? You just become an annoying parrot till you realize it! Vulcans’ facial expressions are limited (please take a look at Kirk and Mr. Spock above to get an idea), or wrong. Some Vulcans, in order to fit in our neurotypical world, copy human facial expressions. Sometimes they force the “emotion” so much, that it becomes a sarcastic copy. And some times they use the copied facial expression in the wrong way. And this leaves the human without its “super powers”. That is: puzzled and perplexed.

My Vulcan is like Mr.Spock when he gets presents. You never know when he liked the thing or not. He just acknowledges the present. But there is no change on his face whatsoever. For years I’ve been a half-breed mixture of “parrot” and metallic “cylon“, both repeating ad nauseam “did you like it honey?”, and scanning his movements till I was collapsed on the floor exhausted. For years I’ve been interpreting this as me not giving to my Vulcan the correct present. Which, now I know, was plainly wrong. He was getting geekier and geekier presents, which were acknowledged. It turns out, he loved all of them. He just simply doesn’t know how to show to you how happy he is with all the geekery you are giving him as presents. (I am lucky: he is as geeky as I am, therefore, I don’t really need to think too much. I just go online and search for the geekiest goodies around).

So, what to do when your kriptonite just acknowledges something you did or gave him? I found out how to know if he liked the things or not. Instead of scanning him like a mad cylon during hours after giving him the present, or asking a zillion times if he liked it, I just observe, during the next days, what he does with the object I gave him. I give you an example: I now know he loves geek t-shirts. Every time I give him one, he acknowledges. The next day he will be wearing the t-shirt. Another year I gave him a USB Darth Vader that moves the head (spooky toy, btw), that he acknowledged. Darthy started to be used as USB from the very best moment he was taken out from the box.

As a neurotypical I expect a reaction in someone’s face, apart from acknowledging how much the person liked the present. This “emotions” (metadata that Vulcans cannot grasp), is what tell us, neurotypicals, if we had success or not. When these metadata are missing, we freak out and start acting in a weird way: asking a zillion times the same thing, collapsing our Vulcan; and trying to figure out a better present the next time because we interpreted his reaction as a total failure.

The tip here is: instead of using your “super powers”, just “observe”. Observation can be a helpful new superpower. What does your Vulcan do with the present? Does he use it right away? Does he put it on his special shelf? Does he put it next to his computer? Observe your Vulcan, he will tell you how much he liked it without metadata. He will tell you how much he liked it by his actions with the object.

Other “emotions” might be trickier. I’ve discovered that the equivalent of my “sadness” is “collapse” in Vulcans. At least the ones I know. To give you a picture: I live with my Vulcan. His mother is also a Vulcan (she has HFA), a friend of ours is also a Vulcan. These three people react in the same way when exposed to certain situations. For example: when collapsed.

When I am collapsed with negative emotions, I cry. I feel sad, and therefore, I cry. Plain and simple. However, when they collapse, they sleep!! Once we were at a friends house: two neurotypicals and two Vulcans. Do you know what happened? After an hour and a half of emotional conversation, the two Vulcans started to sleep on their chairs!!! We were astonished! At that time I didn’t know what was going on… And the neurotypicals thought “damn! We are so boring!!” But after analyzing carefully the situation (which has repeated itself with the three Vulcans I know), I arrived to the following conclusion: we collapsed them with tons of metadata they cannot translate!

Neurotypicals get collapsed by emotions. When those emotions are negative or dragging we usually (but not always) collapse in the shape of “crying”, “feeling miserable”, and “being depressed”. Vulcans, on their part, collapse because they cannot understand metadata (feelings). So, when in contact with a highly emotional situation they collapse by “sleeping”. They get sleepy, and at a certain point they cannot help but sleep. The problem is: they don’t show up much info on their faces, they start sleeping almost right away. For humans, this means that “hey you are boring”, but in fact, for them, it only means that they’ve been trying so hard to understand a bunch of feelings (metadata), that they cannot really process in their brains, and this hulkish effort has drained all their strength away. The system shuts down (sleeping) to have energy, so that they can “function” normal again after the nap.

The tip here is to help your Vulcan realize when he is nearing the red zone of collapse. Vulcans usually cannot detect, or it is hard for them to detect, the signs of their bodies that pint point to “energy failure” (this is just: being very tired). If you go to a party with friends, observe your Vulcan. Even if his face does not have changes, his body will. If he was standing up and starts sitting down, or looks from one person to another trying to absorb as many data as he can, odds are that a certain point he’ll start sleeping. Before that happens, help him recharge batteries. How? Go near him and suggest looking out of a window, or having a small walk outside.

There are more emotions that we use on a daily basis, that they don’t understand. There are lots of signs that they do that we don’t usually see. Observing our Vulcan will help us heaps. Not only you will understand his ways, but you will also live happier.

Whimsy Challenge 2014 (week 12): cute bunny



This time we have the sweetest cute bunny ever as a Whimsy! To celebrate Ostara, we are going to paint a very cute bunny with her decorated egg next to her. I used neocolors II mainly, and some Distress Ink. It is quite simple and easy to do. You just need the will to have lots and lots of fun!!

You can share your Whimsies in my page in Facebook, or in Mixed Media Love group. Have fun!

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800 likes in my page in Facebook! Thank you Give Away!

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Yay! I got 800 likes in my page in Facebook. Thank you! And to celebrate it I decided to give away two dePepi badges! Yup. You can choose one. Just like dePepi in Facebook, share the pic and leave in comments which badge you like the most: a or b. That easy!

Good luck everyone!

Whimsy Challenge 2014 (week 11): Lovely Mess (Ink Whimsy)



This week we have a “lovely mess”. We are going to create an Ink Whimsy, and very messy one! We need dylussions ink sprays (4 colors), and lots of messy imagination. Do not worry if it looks like a mess, or if the ink feels piggy. The idea here is to mess around, to experiment and to get lots of fun with it!

Mixed media is cool because you can mess around. You can create layer after layer and fix or change those things you don’t really like. With this Whimsy we are going to really really mess around. Beware, because your fingers will end up with lots of ink!

You can share your Whimsies in my page in Facebook and in Mixed Media Love group. Continue reading

Geeky Soul

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Back in the 80s I was a funny child who read manga (and colored it). I loved Japan and wanted to discover more and more about the country. In the 90s not only I was studying Japanese by myself, I also had a crush on anything made in Japan: that included music (B’z), Japanese language, books about Japanese culture, and anything with “Japan” printed on it. As time went on, I started to get more and more hooked on gadgets, learning more and more languages, reading books and more books, collecting figurines and SF x fantasy movies. Not only I was a great devourer of fantasy books from the 80s, I was a geek at heart… and I didn’t know it!

First of all… what is a geek? The word “geek” was used, in its origin, to refer to a crazy person, or someone odd. But from the 80s onwards, specially in the US, it became a slang word for experts in scientific and techie things who also happened to be dull for social interactions. From the 90s, however, along with the computer revolution and people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and others, the word “geek” developed a more positive meaning. Being a “geek” was becoming “cool”.

Japan had a word of its own: “otaku”. Bad news for the Japanese word is that “otaku” has a negative meaning in Japan. An otaku is someone obsessed with manga and anime, and who is odd like hell and has few abilities to interact with people. This same word changes to a positive meaning when exported abroad. Otakus are just geeks abroad. In Japan, otakus are obsessed fandom. In Spain, the word otaku refers to those who love manga, anime, cosplaying and Japan. The best of the best will also speak Japanese.

We also have another “spices” in the picture: “nerds”. Nerds are very much like geeks, but they have less abilities with social interactions, and might have more than just an interest.

Wording is difficult. One can think of himself as a geek while others might put the tag of nerd. Whatever the case, if you are in doubt, just use the word the person uses for himself.

In this section I’ll talk a little bit about my personal “geekery”. This includes all types of things: music, books, decks, figurines, movies, languages, Japan related stuff, etc. I know, I know: there are already some sections about this in my blog. This section is for those things that cannot be put anywhere else PLUS they are too geeky (or I consider them to be so).

I do believe that we have a Geeky Soul. If you have an interest that obsesses you, odds are that you might be a geek :p

Whimsy Challenge 2014 (week 10): I do believe in Fairies (Whimsy Fae)



Do you believe in Fairies? Because I do! I do! For this week I thought that it would be awesome to draw a Whimsy Fairy. My Whimsy Fairy has pointed ears :) What about yours?? There are many fairies out there you can choose from. For example, you have water fairies, wood fairies, home fairies, etc. Or you can just create your own fairy from your own imagination!

I used (as usual) Caran d’Ache Watersoluble Neocolors II, dylusions ink spray, distress ink, acrylics and pilot parallel pens :)

Have fun!

Remember that you can share your Whimsies in my Facebook page and in Mixed Media Love Group.

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