Cross-Stitchable Hamilton Quotes

 

Hamilton is infinitely quotable, and this lends itself very nicely to cross-stitched messages on pillows and wall decorations, of which there are MANY.

However, the ones that are available are too obvious!  Although my suggestions start with some obviously inspiring quotes, I’m proud to say that my ideas get increasingly ridiculous.  Someone get to work on these, stat!

And if anyone designs the Domestic Burr or Mulligan’s Butt patterns, please alert me.  I need them decorating my apartment YESTERDAY.


For the earnest fan:

“What is a legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”
Pictured:  Seedlings beginning to sprout from the ground.

“Just let me stay here by your side,
That would be enough.”
Pictured:  Eliza and Hamilton walking away from the viewer, hands reaching for each other.

“Dying is easy, living is harder.”
Pictured:  Hamilton climbing a mountain, carrying a burden made of books.

For the adults struggling with grown-up life fan:

“Domestic life was never quite my style.”
Pictured:  Burr in an apron, looking harried.   Continue reading

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Unblocking My Creativity

I’ve been hearing a lot of podcast people talking about “being yourself” and how if you want to be creative, don’t worry about doing something New and Exciting.  Just be whoever you are, and people will see that and relate and love it (or not).

WHICH IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR ME.  Whenever I write a blog post, I think:

  1. Will people think this is funny?
  2. Will people think this is deep?
  3. Will people think I’m a selfish asshole?
  4. Will people judge me for using the word asshole?
  5. Will people think my graphic design attempts are childish?
  6. Will people unsubscribe?
  7. Will someone comment?
  8. Will someone stop supporting my work in Greece financially because I say something they find unChristian or wrong?

And let me tell you, those thoughts running through my head are a TERROR.   Continue reading

Game Rec: The Beginner’s Guide

The Beginner’s Guide is a uniquely simple and emotional story-driven game about depression, anxiety, and the diseases of external validation and the impulse to “fix.”

Created By:  Davey Wreden
Initial release date: October 1, 2015
Platforms: Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
Time to Complete:  about 1.5 hours
Cost:  $9.99

What begins as a game that traps you inside the twin feelings of depression and anxiety, inviting you to empathy and concern, ends with the realization that perhaps these emotions do not need to be fixed.  In the fictional world of The Beginner’s Guide, “Coda” invites “Davey” to play his impossible games – prisons without exits, mazes without solutions, codes that cannot be broken.  Davey keeps offering us solutions where none exist, and the twist that sets this game apart is his eventually realization that this is wrong.  Coda is not sharing the games (his pain, his creativity, his soul) in order to be fixed.  Coda just wants Davey to share in these experiences alongside him.   Continue reading

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I heard this was a good biography, and I like Apple products, so I gave it a chance.  Actually, I got it at the library with three other massive books (this one clocks in at 570 pages) and I chose to read it first because I assumed I wouldn’t get past the first page.  I WAS SO WRONG.  I loved Jobs’ biography, for two main reasons.

Steve Jobs was a fascinating man.  Isaacson makes sure to let the readers know Jobs’ passion often turned into screaming fights and insulting appraisals of people’s work.  And yet…despite his frequent moments as a jerk, I wound up loving the man.  He was intense, brilliant, and focused.  When he saw something inadequate, in himself or in others, he did everything in his power to improve it.  Although this cost him some relational intimacy, those exact same qualities led him to revolutionize technology, not once or twice, but in every major technological division: personal computers, music, tablets, storefronts, phones, entertainment.  He was hard to work for, but 90% of his employees were proud to be on his team because he brought out excellence they never knew they had.   Continue reading

StumbleUpon Sunday (4)

StumbleUpon is a giant collection of the best pages on the Internet.

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. Silk
    This is the coolest website that allows you to create fantastic art by messing with rotational symmetry and colors.  It’s intuitive and impossible to make something ugly.
    index
  2. 49 Locals Tell You What You Absolutely Must Not Do in Their Home Countries
    Some are helpful, some are hilarious.
  3. 5-Year-Old Little Girl with Autism Paints Stunning Masterpieces
    My cynical side often thinks these child geniuses are not all that genius, but this girl’s paintings are genuinely beautiful.
  4. Time Lapse of Snow
    Oh my gosh, as a deeply devoted fan of snow, this massive accumulation of snow is fantastic.  It’s just so much!
  5. These 20 Thoughts are So Deep Your Brain Will Drown
    “If the toys in Toy Story died the kids would keep playing with them like normal but the other toys would be playing with their dead friend.”
  6. 10 Best Places to Live for Escaping World Conflict
    Never hurts to start planning ahead for retirement.
  7. If You Really Want to Connect With Someone Then the First Date Should Cost Zero Dollars
    Compelling idea–if the first date involves no money, the focus is on creativity and getting to know a person rather than going through the motions.
  8. Greek Frappe
    This video teaches you how to make a Greek frappe and is guaranteed to make you thirsty.
  9. 25 Spectacular Movies You (Probably) Haven’t Seen
    Hopefully you’ve seen some of these movies, because based on the ones I’ve seen, I completely agree that they are spectacular recommendations!
  10. 10 Reasons to Avoid Talking on the Phone
    98% of the time, I hate talking on the phone.  For exactly these ten reasons.

Creativity on the Internet

I have spent the last couple months obsessed with YouTubers.  In three days I plan to post a list of my favorite vloggers and Internet performers, but for now, I want to take a few steps back and look at creativity in general and how it is expressed online.

Ear Biscuits is a podcast by YouTubers Rhett and Link.  Together they interview interesting people on the Internet, going deep in discovering what makes these successful YouTubers tick.  The men and women who have sat at their Round Table of Dim Lighting include John and Hank Green, PewDiePie, Smosh, and the Holy Trifecta:  Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, and Hannah Hart.  These are men and women who have millions of subscribers to their channels.

During their interviews, Rhett and Link cover family pasts, careers and hobbies, and how people became the Internet sensations that they are today.  Most of the people they interview make enough money in creating videos that YouTube is their full-time job.  After listening to thirty or so interviews, I’ve put together a few common denominators that I think influence how creative people successfully become Internet famous.

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Most of the YouTube elite have some kind of family trauma in their past.  This is not entirely surprising, since creative people often feel the need to express themselves because their earliest selves were not able to do so adequately.  At the same time, the way people spoke of divorce and mental illness was from a place of resilience.  They took the pain they felt and turned it into something else–something funny or educational or meaningful.

There is also a trend of YouTubers being introverted or shy; many sheepishly talked about having few friends growing up.  The Internet is a perfect place for people who deeply crave attention and affirmation while also wanting safety and distance.  Content creators can express themselves and be vulnerable with the safety of a screen between them and their audience.  The quietest people sometimes just need a safe outlet for them to truly shine and become outgoing.

I should clarify, these trends stood out to me, but by no means has every YouTuber had a traumatic past or been introverted.  Many had loving childhoods and were extremely outgoing.  But it did seem that the YouTubers interviewed seemed disproportionately unique in their personalities and pasts.

Nearly all of those I heard interviewed began making videos within the first couple years of YouTube’s existence in 2006.  They created videos because they wanted to.  That they later developed an audience was unintentional.  Almost unanimously, these vloggers and performers had a genuine love for creating.  They made content because it was going to spill out of them whether or not they had a platform.  It was after one of their videos went viral and their subscribers drastically jumped that they had to reconsider what exactly they were doing.

And that is the final piece of the puzzle.  Although most of the men and women interviewed did not start creating videos in order to get famous, once they accumulated a following, they had the business acumen to create a brand and sell it.  They became more intentional about what they made, and they expanded their brand across media platforms.  Some branched out and created merchandise, or charity drives, or wrote books.  All of them continued to be passionately creative, but now they had a bit more focus.

Why does this matter?  Well, internalizing these YouTubers’ stories was what inspired me to combine my blogs.  I have been blogging for over twelve years, from Xanga to Blogger to WordPress.  I create because I have to, but in the last month or so I decided I wanted to be more intentional about it.  I don’t think I will ever have the influence of Rhett and Link or Grace Helbig, but I want to be the best blogger I can be.  Although we’re in different realms of the Internet, I’ve learned a lot from YouTubers, and I hope to continue to be inspired by their stories.

Coming up:  My list of favorite YouTubers!

How do you think people express their creativity on the Internet?  What are the necessary pieces to someone’s Internet success?  Comment and let me know what you think!